GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man wanted in Meigs County for burglary was arrested late Tuesday evening for allegedly producing methamphetamine in the presence of children at a residence located in Green Township.
Thomas M. Pennington, Jr., 38, Vinton, was arrested at approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday evening at 2767 Ohio 588 for the illegal assembly of chemicals used to manufacture drugs.
According to the police report, deputies were led to the residence after receiving a tip that meth manufacturing was occurring at the residence, possibly in the presence of children.
Reportedly, after arriving on scene, officers knocked at both doors of the residence with no response, but heard movement inside the home and also recognized a smell coming from the residence similar to what is found during the production of methamphetamine.
At the rear of the residence, a burn pile used to burn the bottles and other remnants of the manufacturing process was also observed by the deputies.
After receiving permission to enter the residence, the deputies located Pennington inside the home, along with three other adults and two children, ages one and two years, respectively.
A black bag hidden inside the home was later found by one of the officers — a bag containing the ingredients used to manufacture meth, including packages of cold packs, fuel solvent and drain cleaner.
Also found in the home was a dish liquid bottle containing suspected methamphetamine oil that was later sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation lab for testing.
Following the bust, Pennington was read his rights, and he admitted that the bag containing the meth supplies was his but claimed he had not actively made the drug in five days.
According to the report, the suspect also told the officers that the other three adults in the home at the time of the incident had not participated in the illicit activity, nor did they have any knowledge of it.
The bag and the items inside it were seized by the deputies, and Pennington was arrested and transported to the Gallia County Jail.
Charges were filed, and the suspect was present on Wednesday for an arraignment in the Gallipolis Municipal Court. He was charged with the illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs.
His bond was set at $400,000, 10 percent, and a preliminary hearing this matter has scheduled for February 20 in the municipal court.
Additional charges are pending consultation with the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office.