By CARL E. FEATHER - firstname.lastname@example.org
Six Ashtabula area residents were arraigned Wednesday in Ashtabula Municipal Court on multiple drug-related charges following a meth lab bust in Ashtabula Township late Tuesday.
Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department deputies discovered and dismantled two one-pot meth labs that were in operation and “ready to ignite,” plus a gas generator in the basement of the rental property in the quiet residential neighborhood off Route 20.
According to the department’s report, around 10:20 p.m., a deputy was dispatched to 3314 Blair Ave. for a possible suicidal woman on heroin. The woman’s mother, who lives in Cleveland, called the tip into the department, based upon a conversation with the daughter’s ex-boyfriend.
Brandi Erin Krupman, 30, of West 46th Street, Ashtabula, eventually answered the door. While talking to her, the deputy noticed a wood box, hypodermic needles and spoons on the kitchen counter. That discovery led to the arrest of Michael Knight Manis, 29, of Washington Avenue, Ashtabula, who told the deputy that the paraphernalia belonged to him, the report stated.
While deputies attempted to contact the homeowner or renter for permission to search, the renter, James Anthony Rich, 38, came up the stairs from the basement in a haze of smoke. Two other suspects, Justin Daniel Baker, 28, of North Ridge East, Ashtabula Township, and Sarah Beth Martin, 23, of East 41st Street, Ashtabula, also emerged from the basement.
A sixth suspect, David Joseph Rose, 27, of Ashtabula, was found in a closet.
Deputies determined that the smoke was coming from a working meth lab that was near ignition, and the Ashtabula Township Fire Department was called to the scene. An attempt was made to alert neighbors to the fire/explosion dangers and evacuate them.
Firefighters ventilated the property and decontaminated all six suspects with pumper water behind a curtain set up at the curb. The suspects were transported to the Ashtabula County Jail.
Two one-pot meth labs were discovered in the basement, along with a gas generator and various other equipment and chemicals typically used to produce meth. On a cocktail table, a large, clear glass bowl of white powder was found, as well.
The suspects were charged with obstruction of justice, manufacturing/cultivating illegal drugs and illegal assembly/possession of drugs. Additionally, Manis and Krupman were charged with possession of drug abuse instruments, according to the report.
Manis was arrested in September during the execution of a search warrant at 5531 Washington Ave., Ashtabula. He was charged with possessing weapons under a disability, according to reports.
A meth lab, heroin, pills, meth-making supplies, ammunition, drug paraphernalia and unknown substances were found during that raid. More than 200 grams of meth were seized in that action.