Brimfield police arrested two people near the hotels at Interstate 76 and S.R. 43 in the township and charged them with possessing the ingredients and materials necessary to make illegal methamphetamine.
Nickalaus C. Rutherford, 28, whose last known address was in Cuyahoga Falls, and Kelly R. Deem, 34, whom police said is homeless, are charged with one count each of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine, both third-degree felonies. They were arrested Feb. 9.
Rutherford also is charged with possession of marijuana, a minor misdemeanor. Following his arraignment in Portage County Municipal Court, he was ordered held in the Portage County jail on 10 percent of $15,000 bond. Deem was jailed on 10 percent of $10,000 bond, according to court records.
Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver said a tipster called police after seeing several suspicious people place items on the side of the road near the Hampton Inn, Days Inn and Econolodge hotels at Interstate 76 and S.R. 43 and walk away.
Sgt. Christopher Adkins and Officer John Pettit located Deem and Rutherford, and discovered they had left the makings of a meth lab on the side of the road, Oliver said. The items included acetone, sodium hydroxide, lithium batteries and other items containing chemicals that are commonly used to manufacture meth.
Officers secured the area until Brimfield Sgt. David Knarr, a trained meth lab removal technician, arrived and secured the evidence for cleanup. The residue of methamphetamine production is toxic and can be harmful to anyone who comes in contact with it.
While praising sergeants Adkins and Knarr and officers Pettit, Robert Putnam and Paul Gramlich for their work in collaring the "mopes" and "cleaning up their mess," Oliver also thanked the person who called in the suspicious activity.
"One of the major reasons law enforcement has success is the fact people are still willing to get involved," he wrote on the department's Facebook page.
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