The first Methamphetamine Lab discovery in Mingo County was made Friday night in the Dingess area by Williamson Police Department and the West Virginia State Police.
James Ramey, 30, of Dingess, was arrested around 9 p.m., Aug. 21, after police executed warrants on his residence for delivery of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, operating a clandestine lab, and exposure of children to methamphetamine.
Williamson Police Lt. C.D. Rockel explained that after a three month investigation in Dingess, he along with Trooper Moore, Cpl. Harper and Cpl Flippin, made a controlled buy in the area and discovered the lab.
Officers executed a search warrant at Rameys residence, where they discovered marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. The officers were also shocked to find loaded guns near childrens beds, the officers said.
After searching Rameys residence, the officers then moved to another residence in Breeden, whose owners name hasnt been released, where they found the lab. Lt. Rockel stated that Ramey hade made the lab mobile and transported it to the second residence to prepare it to manufacture or cook the drug.
There has been suspicious fires and rumors, but this is the first lab discovered in the county that we are aware of, said Rockel. This location particularly concerned us because it was located near Dingess Elementary which will be opening soon.
With all the prescription drug, marijuana and cocaine addictions in the area, now we have to contend with methamphetamine, he stated. This is a very dangerous drug and all of the byproducts of this drug are toxic and considered hazardous waste.
It can cause very serious health problems even for people who dont use it, fumes that flow through the air are dangerous, it gets in furniture and the walls and can cause respiratory problems for adults and children to breathe it.
Rockel said Ramey had migrated from Tomahawk Ky., in Martin County and had only resided in the Dingess area for approximately five months, but had already began teaching other drug traffickers how to make and sale methamphetamine.
Ramey was arraigned by Mingo County Magistrate Dee Sidebottom, who set bond at $300,000. Ramey was transported to Southwestern Regional Jail where he remained as of press time.