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W.Va. man charged with operating a clandestine lab

May 18, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - A Harpers Ferry man was charged Thursday with operating a clandestine laboratory after police said they entered a home in the Shannondale area and found chemicals, solvents and other materials used in the production of methamphetamine.

It was the second time in less than a year that an alleged laboratory has been discovered in the Blue Ridge Mountain area east of Charles Town, W.Va.

Bobby Earl Rosamond, 43, of 65 Dillow Lane, was being held on $500,000 bond Thursday afternoon in Eastern Regional Jail, officials there said.

Police searched Rosamond's home at about 8 a.m. Monday and found the items typically used for methamphetamine production, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober alleged.

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Their investigation led police to a house at 80 White Cedar Lane in the Shannondale area where they found a large number of firearms, 14 of which were reported stolen, Boober said.

People were in the White Cedar Lane house, but police encountered no problems, Boober said.

Boober declined to elaborate on what the guns were being used for and said the possible production of methamphetamine in Jefferson County is "troublesome. Obviously, this investigation is not over with," Boober said.

Boober did not elaborate any connection, if any, between the two houses.

The sheriff's department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Charles Town and Ranson, W.Va., authorities search warrants Thursday, Boober said.

The investigation started when the DEA developed a confidential source in February who had information about methamphetamine labs in the county, according to Jefferson County Magistrate Court records.

The confidential source told authorities that the source had helped Rosamond make methamphetamine, court records state.

Materials used in the production of methamphetamine can be purchased in stores and local police concentrated on items purchased from local stores like Gowers Feed Inc., in Ranson and the Charles Town Wal-Mart store as part of their probe, court records said.

Production of methamphetamine, also referred to as "crystal meth," requires the use of various materials including iodine, phosphorous, sodium hydroxide and lye, Boober said.

The chemicals are placed together in a certain order and the cooking method in the process can be volatile, Boober said.

Hazardous materials units are used sometimes to clean up labs and in some cases, houses that are used for methamphetamine production are destroyed, Boober said.

The drug causes an effect of euphoria, among other conditions, in the user.

The charge of operating a clandestine drug lab carries a possible sentence of two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 to $25,000.

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