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UPDATE: Neighbors Can't Believe Child Was Inside Home With Meth

By: Ashley Rittenhouse, Shannon Houser
By: Ashley Rittenhouse, Shannon Houser

UPDATE: 11/13/2012 5:18 PM

A meth lab is busted in a home in Vienna and investigators find a two year old girl inside.

It happened in a family friendly neighborhood on 21st street in Vienna.

"It boggled me. My dog started barking and I went outside and there was cops and fire and everything. I didn't have a clue," neighbor Jerry Robinson says.

Police say James Smearman was cooking meth during the raid.

"Located what they believed to be a one bottle methamphetamine lab that was in progress," Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton says.

Neighbors say the most disturbing part of this all, isn't the fact that there's a meth lab just a few houses down, they say it's because a two year old child was inside the home while Smearman was cooking the drug.

"To put a child in danger like that is insane. Absolutely insane that you are so into that stuff that you can't take care of your own child and to think about the consequences is insane," Robinson says.

A woman who lives in the apartment next door says the meth was so strong she could smell it in her one year old's bedroom.

Wharton says,"it's been shown through a lot of studies that the by-products left over by the manufacture can be very harmful to children. It also presents a great danger during the actual manufacture process of either fire or explosion."

Neighbors are relieved, but understand many kids could have been seriously hurt.

"I'm scared to death for the child. The child has no conscious. The child has nothing to do with this," Robinson adds.

Child protective services and the task force are investigating. More charges may be pending.

Smearman's bond was set at 60 thousand dollars. If he's found guilty, he'll spend up to 15 years in jail.
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A Parkersburg man is arrested for operating a clandestine drug lab and exposing a child to methamphetamine production, both felonies.

Thirty three year old James Smearman, of 96 Aqua Circle, Parkersburg, was arrested last night after Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force Agents executed a search warrant at an apartment at 700 21st Street, Vienna.

During the search, agents found two plastic bottles appearing to be used in the "shake-n-bake" method of producing meth.

Others tools used for making meth -- including empty boxes of pseudoephedrine and lantern fuel -- were also found, as well as two jars containing what appears to be the finished product.

Occupants of the apartment were evacuated, including a two year old child. Occupants of adjoining apartments were also evacuated

If found guilty, Smearman faces up to 15 years in prison

This is the third meth lab the Parkersburg Violent Crime and Narcotics Task Force has processed in the last three weeks.


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