By Jessica Farrish
Police arrested seven suspects in Rupert over the weekend on charges related to methamphetamine production, Greenbrier County officials reported Monday.
In one of the raids, police discovered methamphetamine components being stored on property in a West Virginia Wildlife Management Area.
According to Greenbrier Sheriff Chief Deputy B.A. Sloan, Cpl. D.J. Hinkley was alerted to the possibility of a “meth lab” at a private residence just west of Rupert.
When Hinkley walked into the residence around 9:30 p.m. Friday, he found chemicals and other items that were consistent with the operation of a meth lab.
“Some of these items and chemicals were discovered inside a child’s bedroom,” said Sloan.
Anthony Bevins, 25, and Amanda Bevins-Yates, 23, were each arrested on charges of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine lab and exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing.
Hinkley also arrested Jeffrey Boothe, 25, for operating or attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine lab.
Two children were also inside the residence, according to Sloan.
Addresses for the three suspects were not available Monday.
They were transported to Southern Regional Jail and Child Protective Services was notified, Sloan said.
“Meth” is an illegal and addictive drug that initially causes extremely fast weight loss and a sense of euphoria that can last up to 12 hours.
Side effects include panic, drug-related psychosis and “meth mouth” — rapid tooth loss and decay.
Production of meth involves the risk of explosion.
Police on Sunday raided a second suspected meth lab, located at 103 Front St. in Rupert.
Again responding to an informant’s tip, Hinkley searched the private residence and discovered “cook sites,” drug paraphernalia and components used in meth production in the residence and on the property.
Some components and cook sites were discovered on nearby property designated as a state Wildlife Management Area, according to police reports.
Police arrested Owen O. Adkins II, 30, of Quinwood, Joseph M. Thomas, 25, of Rupert, Stephanie R. Thomas of Rupert and Sarah M. Bennett, 24, of Maxwelton.
Each was charged with one count of operating/attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine lab.
Hinkley was assisted by Sgt. Joshua J. Martin, Sgt. G.R. Workman and members of the State Police, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Emergency Services.
The investigation into the Sunday incident is ongoing and may result in additional charges, Sloan added.
“Meth use is an epidemic,” Hinkley said Monday. “There’s no way to describe it. It’s very dangerous, and everybody seems to be hooked on it, and it’s getting worse and worse.
“We have been concentrating some efforts toward arrests, but we also have been receiving cooperation from citizens who have been passing information toward us of suspicions they may have regarding meth labs,” said Sloan. “(That and) follow-up by officers have been yielding these results.”