3 arrested in probe of possible New Waterford meth lab

NEW WATERFORD – Three people were arrested at a New Waterford home Thursday morning after police learned about a possible methamphetamine lab there.

Members of the Columbiana County Drug Task Force, the DEA Youngstown, New Waterford and East Palestine police went to a Silliman Street home with two warrants, one for Bryan Carpenter, 28, and the other for Daniel Todd, 34.

Both men were charged with unlawful purchase of a pseudoephedrine product, a chemical used in the manufacture of meth. The charge stems from purchasing more than nine grams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period, a limit the two men had allegedly exceeded.

Carpenter reportedly was pulling out of the driveway when officers arrived. New Waterford police conducted a traffic stop and he was taken into custody. Carpenter was additionally cited for driving without a license.

According to Lt. Brian McLaughlin, director of the Columbiana County Drug Task Force, upon entering the home police found several guns, an inactive meth lab and the chemicals to produce methamphetamine. Additionally, authorities found both suspected meth and heroin.

Carpenter, Daniel Todd and Heidi Todd, 33, all residents of the home, were additionally charged with possession of the chemicals to produce methamphetamine. Additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

New Waterford Police Chief Dan Haueter said warrants were obtained acting on a tip from East Palestine Police Chief Kevin Dickey about possible drug activity.

Haueter said in addition to the potentially hazardous odors which can emanate from a meth lab, it was determined the home had a natural gas leak in the furnace in the basement. Additionally, the home had a deadbolt lock on the front door, which could only be opened from the inside by the person with the key.

Should the potentially dangerous chemicals or the natural gas have exploded, it would have made it even more difficult for the people living inside to escape, Haueter noted.

Due to the gas leak, Haueter said the gas company was contacted to shut it off until the owner of the house can make repairs. The water had already been shut off about 10 days earlier to the home, Haueter said, and police found bottles of water the residents were using instead.

County Children Services was contacted for the children living in house, who were all at school when police went there. The children were going to be medically checked due to both the chemicals and natural gas inside the home and then placed in alternative custody.

Carpenter and the Todds are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday morning in Columbiana County Municipal Court.

Additionally, Haueter said he later in the day took into custody the owner of the home, Chelsea Cope, 35, on an unrelated charge of possession of drug abuse instruments. Cope recently moved from the Silliman Street home to one on East Taggart Street, East Palestine.