YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Mahoning County grand jury indicted a Damascus couple Thursday, alleging they cooked meth in a Canfield motel, according to court records.
The grand jury indicted Fallon Barnett, 31, and Nathan Steer, 28, Thursday, charging both with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, as well as the illegal manufacture of drugs.
In late January, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested the boyfriend-girlfriend pair at the Colonial Inn Motel on Route 224 in Canfield, saying they had meth-making materials in their room.
Authorities described the lab as a one-pot operation.
“They were in the midst of an active cook, which means we had to call out a clean and a removal team to assist in taking everything that’s dangerous out of there,” Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office Major Jeff Allen said.
According to police, Steer was wanted on a warrant out of Columbiana County. When police went to pick him up, they said they found the meth ingredients.
The Motel was open as usual Tuesday, and its owners said they were not aware of what was happening prior to Monday’s raid. But according to police, this isn’t the first time problems have been reported at the motel.
Authorities shut the business down in 2009 when then-owner Art Kline was arrested for running what police say was brothel at the motel.
The property was sold to a religious group, but the problems didn’t end there, and the motel was sold again in 2011.
While township officials said they are reviewing this latest incident, experts believe the motel doesn’t pose a health risk to other renters since the hazards have been removed. They say the labs that have not been uncovered, and the people running them, are the real threat.
“You get people that…(will) put them in trash bags and just thrown them off in the woods,” Mahoning County Sheriff’s Deputy Tyrone Hyshaw said. “Or throw them off on the side of the freeway, and you really have no clue the stuff’s in the bag.”