Salem arrest reveals danger of meth labs to the public - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -


Salem arrest reveals danger of meth labs to the public

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Pershing Street Pershing Street

SALEM, Ohio - The increased use of a new method for manufacturing methamphetamine is putting the general public at risk. A recent case in Salem is a prime example.

In Columbiana County municipal court, 42-year old Christopher Neiswonger is arraigned on charges stemming from a search of his West Pershing Street apartment.

The Drug Task Force recovered chemicals and other evidence used to manufacture methamphetamine. The police chief says residents of other apartments in the building were evacuated.

"You know everybody in the building ends up being exposed to the chemicals," said Chief J.T. Panezott. 

The chief says with the one-pot method, authorities are seeing more meth being made in apartments, motel rooms and other small spaces.

"We're seeing almost exclusively the one pot method, where they're using a 20 ounce bottle, mixing the chemicals, and that bottle has to be vented every so often or it will build up pressure and explode," Panezott said. 

A representative of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency said that's one of the reasons extra precautions are taken when dealing with meth labs.

"And when that bottle does explode it will spray those chemicals and acids which can burn and could cause death," the DEA representative said.

There's a further danger when these bottles, still containing harmful chemicals and acids, are discarded in the trash or on the street.

"People walking their dogs discover these and people collecting trash on the side of the road," said the DEA. 

The arrest of Neiswonger followed a seven month investigation.

He's charged with production of a controlled substance and illegal assembly or possession of a controlled substance.

He remains jailed on a $250,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.

Authorities say anyone who has suspicions of methamphetamine activity should contact their local police.


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