Salem man gets 6 years in prison for running meth lab on S. Howard

LISBON – A man living in a home on South Howard Avenue in Salem where methamphetamine was being produced in February 2013 was sentenced to six years in prison on Monday.

Stephen M. Smith, 35, had been scheduled for a status conference in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court. However, he decided to plead to the meth-related charges he was facing and then proceed to immediate sentencing. Smith pleaded guilty to illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs and illegal manufacturing of drugs.

The six-year sentence by Judge Scott Washam was the same as the one Smith’s girlfriend received. Tyia Patchen, 25, South Howard Avenue, had pleaded guilty last December to the same charges.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart, the two had been living in the home and manufacturing meth in January and February 2013. Someone had called Children Services or Adult Protective Services with concerns about three small children and two elderly adults living in the home. When police arrived on Feb. 14, 2013, to perform a welfare check on someone living in the home, they reportedly found the attic windows wide open and an odor of a methamphetamine cooking.

Other drug paraphernalia was found in the home, but it was in the attic investigators reportedly found Coleman fuel, commercial lye, muriatic acid, tubing, filters and other items used in the manufacture of the drugs.

Due to the odors, the children, ages 5, 2 and six months, were checked by physicians and one elderly person was hospitalized.

In another matter before Judge C. Ashley Pike on Monday, Rameon J. Sumlin, 23, Penn Avenue, East Liverpool, was sentenced to an additional six months above the 12-month sentence he received last week. Sumlin had taken drugs into the jail and Pike sentenced him to 18 months concurrent to last week’s 12-month sentence for two counts of possession of drugs.