MEDINA — The Medina County Drug Task Force made the biggest methamphetamine lab bust in its history Wednesday.
Agents assisted by Medina police went to a house at 505 N. Broadway St. at about 7:30 p.m. to serve two arrest warrants.
They arrested two other people on outstanding warrants and found eight recently used “one-pot” portable meth labs, various chemicals for making methamphetamine and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, according to the task force.
A fifth person was arrested in connection with the drugs.
Police arrested Lisbeth Karecki, 43; Kyle Roderick, 30; Vincent Clark, 33; Kathleen Scrivens, 36; and Jennifer Haugen, 30.
All five were residents of the home, along with two children, ages 1 and 13.
Clark also faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine. The charge is usually a second-degree felony but was elevated to a first-degree offense because children were living in the home. The two children were released to a family member.
Task force Director Gary Hubbard said additional charges of child endangerment — in this case a second-degree felony because meth was involved — and illegal assembly of chemicals, a third-degree felony, will be sought against each of those arrested.
Roderick and Clark initially were arrested on warrants charging them with unlawful purchase of pseudoephedrine, the main chemical used to make meth.
“We’ve been looking for these people for a while because we knew they were buying pseudo,” Hubbard said. “We received an anonymous tip that they might be there, and then we found the two women (Karecki and Scrivens) who also had warrants.”
Hubbard said Ohio law prohibits purchasing more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine in 24 hours or more than 9 grams in 30 days. Pseudoephedrine found in pharmacies comes in packages ranging from 0.72 grams to a full 3.6 grams.
He said task force agents have charged almost 100 people with attempting to buy too much pseudoephedrine since October.
While serving the warrants, agents reported finding drugs and paraphernalia and immediately obtained a search warrant from Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier.
While serving that warrant, agents said Haugen tried to conceal syringes. She was charged with evidence tampering, a third-degree felony.
Agents found five one-pot meth labs in a bedroom of the home along with chemicals commonly used to make meth. Three additional one-pot labs were found in the garage of the home. Other drugs were found by a Montville police K-9 officer, according to the task force.
“It’s the biggest meth operation we’ve ever found,” Hubbard said. “I was telling a guy I know in Summit County, an officer, and he said it’s huge even by their standards.”
Because meth labs are so unstable, the Medina Fire Department was called to the house to stand by in case or fire or explosion.
“Historically people charged with this same type of thing, we’ve had about six or seven of them, and they got from four to six years in prison,” he said.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.