RIO GRANDE — Rio Grande police discovered a pair of meth labs over the weekend, one active and another inactive, at the College Hill Motel and safely disposed of them.
According to Rio Grande Police Department Lt. Josh Davies, the department received a call around 9 p.m. Saturday regarding a possible OVI at BP on State Route 588. Officers approached a stationary vehicle there with a woman driver. She did not have her license and was supposedly staying at the College Hill Motel. The tags on the woman’s vehicle were allegedly registered with another person.
Davies stated the tags were possibly “fictitious” in the way they were being used.
Officers followed the woman to her motel room where she was to meet a colleague. The officers knocked several times and no one answered the door.
Davies said the woman requested for the motel employees to let her into the room and once they did, officers noticed a heavy chemical smell. The area was cordoned off and help called in. Gallia County EMS, Rio Grande Fire Department and the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office were informed.
Lt. Matt Champlin and Adam Holcomb with the Gallipolis Police Department were called in to serve as meth technicians dressed in HAZMAT attire and handle suspicious substances being removed from the motel room. They then discovered equipment and determined one set to be an active meth lab and another to be an inactive lab. A duffle bag was also discovered full of potential meth-making supplies.
One woman has been detained in the investigation process. The other is still at large but a warrant is being served for her arrest.
Davies credited the Gallia County EMS, Rio Grande Fire Department, Gallipolis Police Department and Gallia County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in helping disarm what could have been a dangerous situation.
“Although, I can’t say much due to the case pending, I just want the people of Rio to know that we will be sending a strong message because we will not tolerate drug dealers bringing their poison into our town,” Matt Easter, mayor of Rio Grande, said. He said Rio Grande officials intend to pursue drug offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
Davies said meth must be removed from the area because of other crimes and dangers associated with lack of professional oversight in chemical-mixing processes.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.