The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 10, 2013

Ashtabula Township meth lab nets two arrests

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Two Ashtabula Township residents were arrested Monday evening after law enforcement officials discovered a methamphetamine lab in their home.

Brandon Antonio, 28, and Gillian Lee Rumple, 26, both of 1932 E. Prospect Road Apt. B, were arraigned Tuesday in Ashtabula Municipal Court on multiple drug charges. Antonio and Rumple were each charged with illegal manufacture of drugs, illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and drug possession. Bond was set at $50,000 or 10 percent surety for each of them, according to court records.

The building owner reportedly received a phone call from the tenants in the other apartment stating they could smell chemicals and see a haze of smoke in their home. The building owner called the fire department and responded to the residence as well, according to reports.

Ashtabula Township Fire Department was dispatched to the residence for report of a possible structure fire. When firefighters entered the basement of the house, they detected a very strong odor of chemicals and observed a white haze of smoke, according to reports.

Firefighters reportedly made contact with Antonio, who stated he was smoking marijuana and was attempting to mask the scent by burning incense, which caused the smoke, according to reports.

While Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Evan Wolff was speaking with Antonio, he detected a very strong odor of chemicals emitting from within the home, according to reports.

“Based on my training and experience, I recognized the chemical smell to closely resemble that of a methamphetamine lab,” he wrote in his report.

Wolff was given verbal consent by Antonio to check the interior of the house. Upon walking up the flight of stairs leading to the apartment, Wolff reportedly observed a very thick white smoke throughout the entire apartment, according to reports.

Antonio and Rumple, his live-in girlfriend, were evacuated from the house and detained in the patrol car. When Wolff asked Antonio if there was a meth lab inside the home, he stated “he didn’t know what he was talking about,” according to reports.

Antonio told Wolff a friend stopped by and left some items inside the residence but he wasn’t sure what it was. Antonio was found to be in possession of a folding knife and a cut plastic straw that contained a white powder residue inside it. The knife also contained trace amounts of white residue, according to reports.

Multiple items, used in the production of methamphetamine, were also found inside the residence, according to reports.