PARKERSBURG – Two Waverly men were accused of running a methamphetamine laboratory after several late Thursday night surveillance operations by the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Vienna Police Department, Parkersburg Police Department and the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force.
Task force agents at 11:30 p.m. stopped a 1998 Dodge Truck for an expired registration plate at Seventh and Reed streets in Parkersburg where driver Clyde Michael Willis Jr., 38, 138 Lou Willis Drive, was found to have a suspended West Virginia operator’s license with multiple previous convictions for driving on a suspended license, the task force said.
A substance suspected to be methamphetamine was found on Willis, the task force said. Also found on passenger Howard Wilson Ratliff Jr., 53, 631 Shiloh Hill, was a substance suspected to be methamphetamine, the agency said.
During the inventory of the truck, a chemical smell was noticed from a plastic container in the bed of the truck and upon further examination agents found what they believed to be an active methamphetamine laboratory and numerous items commonly used in the manufacturing of the illegal drug, the task force said.
Willis and Ratliff were charged with the felony of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory, which carries a penalty of 2-10 years in prison. Further charges are expected, the task force said.
This is the fifth methamphetamine laboratory processed by the PNTF since Feb. 3.
The task force is comprised of investigators from the Parkersburg and Vienna police, the Wood County sheriff and West Virginia State Police.