By Sarah Plummer
The Beckley Police Department discovered what they suspect was a meth lab on South Fayette Street in Beckley, across the street from Stratton Elementary School, and a convicted felon is back in Southern Regional Jail, reported Gant Montgomery, chief of detectives.
Montgomery said several uniformed police officers executed a search warrant at 1204 S. Fayette Street just before midnight Monday.
While searching the home of Mark Anthony Lyons, 44, police found a .38 special handgun and components of a methamphetamine lab.
Montgomery said among the items found were paint thinner, acetone, glass jars with residue, liquid heat and hydrogen peroxide.
Beckley Police then contacted Det. Gary Epling of the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office, who is trained to respond with assessment and clean up of meth labs.
The home was evacuated and Lyons’ 6-month-old baby was taken to Raleigh General Hospital for evaluation, he said.
Montgomery said he understands the infant is OK, but explained that the police needed to be sure the child had not been harmed if exposed to chemicals.
Child Protective Services was contacted, he said.
The detective said Lyons has been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and child neglect. Bond was set at $125,000 and Lyons remains lodged at Southern Regional Jail.
At noon Tuesday representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were still evaluating the home and police are continuing the investigation.
Once police have tested the suspected lab equipment, Lyons may face further charges for methamphetamine production, Montgomery said.
The Beckley Police officers who conducted the search of the home are Ptl. Chris Bloxton, Cpl. J. Legursky, Sgt. Roy Redden, Cpl. Josh Stewart, Ptl. Dirk Snuffer, Cpl. Jamie Blume and Sgt. Seneca Webb.
Cpl. Philip Conley is the investigating officer.