The Richmond Register

Local News

May 11, 2007

Child tests positive for meth

Father charged with endangerment, manufacturing

BEREA — A Berea man has been charged with child endangerment after sheriff’s deputies took down an active meth lab Wednesday night outside his home.

Christopher Thomas, 36, of Wilson Lane, Berea, is facing a laundry list of charges — the result of a complaint which led to a methamphetamine investigation at his residence.

“He had a working meth lab,” said Nelson O’Donnell, Madison County sheriff. “He also had a loaded .40-caliber pistol in the area where he was detained. He had approximately .4 grams of methamphetamine on his person as well as some marijuana and a straw, drug paraphernalia.”

Two children, a 13-year-old male and an 11-year-old female, as well as Thomas’ wife, were in the home during the incident. Social services case workers were called to the scene to ensure the safety of the children, O’Donnell said. They were placed temporarily in the custody of their grandmother and taken to St. Joseph Berea for examination.

“They were taken to the Berea emergency room where they did a urinalysis that resulted in the 13-year-old male testing positive for methamphetamine,” O’Donnell said. “There’s no way to tell how he actually consumed it, whether he ingested it by just being in the area, if (Thomas) was smoking it around the kids, or whether they got into where the lab was actually cooking.

“There’s no way for us to know, other than the fact that we’ve got a child who has been exposed to methamphetamine. We can say that without a doubt.”

Lab reports are not back yet, but O’Donnell said it may be possible to tell just how much methamphetamine the child was exposed to. Thomas’ 11-year-old daughter tested negative for methamphetamine.

Thomas was detained at the scene, where the lab was found in a small, shack storage building behind the home, O’Donnell said.

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