MIAMI COUNTY — A Piqua man was charged after being suspected of having a mobile methamphetamine lab in his car that caused his vehicle to catch fire near the Garbry Big Woods Reserve over the weekend.
Tommy D. Skaggs, 20, of Piqua, was arraigned third-degree felony assembly/possession of chemicals for manufacture of drugs in Miami County Municipal Court on Tuesday.
Skaggs was charged in connection with an incident on Sunday on the 6700 block of Casstown Sidney Road near Garbry Big Woods Reserve, part of the Miami County Parks District. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office first responded to a report of a suspicious car fire to that area on Sunday at 7:50 p.m. The vehicle was found with fire damage on the driver’s side, and it was later cleared to be towed from the scene.
After an investigation, deputies suspected that Skaggs may have been manufacturing methamphetamine in his car using a “one pot method” and the bottle used in that assembly had possibly exploded and caused the car to start to catch fire, according to court records.
On Monday, the sheriff’s office executed a search warrant on the vehicle. According to court records, “investigators located a Gatorade bottle that had been damaged by the first the night prior. Inside the bottle was a white sludge and pieces of what appeared be lithium metal. Other items located were liquid Drano, Drano crystals, salt, cold packs containing ammonium nitrate, opened and stripped lithium batteries, paint thinner, starting fluid, a methamphetamine pipe, and other drug paraphernalia.”
The items located were reportedly precursors, or ingredients, for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Skaggs is also facing a charge of second-degree felony illegal cultivation of marijuana, according to online court records.
Skaggs was released on surety bond on Tuesday.
A preliminary hearing for Skaggs is scheduled for Aug. 14.
In other news:
The Ohio State Highway Patrol arrested a Kettering man after finding guns and suspected drugs in his truck in the southbound rest area on Interstate 75 on Sunday morning.
A caller reported on Sunday at approximately 7:15 a.m. “that there was a truck with a shattered windshield parked in the rest area and the driver was slumped over behind the wheel,” according to court records. Troopers responded and found a driver in Dodge pickup truck who appeared to be passed out. When one trooper knocked on the window, he noted that the driver — later identified as James Clifford Warnick, 30, of Kettering — appeared disoriented and “extremely nervous.”
A glass smoking pipe was observed in plain view after troopers asked Warnick to exit the vehicle. According to court records, a probable cause search was completed and uncovered 26.8 grams of crystal methamphetamines, a .22 caliber rifle, two Xanax pills, two Clonazepam pills, 61 rounds of 9mm ammunition scattered throughout the vehicle, 280 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition scattered throughout the vehicle, a glass smoking pipe, and a digital scale.
Warnick was incarcerated in the Miami County Jail on charges of second-degree felony possession of drugs, third-degree felony weapons under disability, fourth-degree felony improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle, and fifth-degree felony possession of drugs.
Warnick was arraigned on those charges in Miami County Municipal Court on Monday. A preliminary hearing for Warnick is scheduled for Aug. 14. He is continuing to be held in the jail on a total bond of $75,000.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org