LOGAN — In what might be the largest methamphetamine bust in Hocking County’s history — or at least during the tenure of Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North — half a gallon of what’s believed to be liquid meth was discovered at a home on Big Pine Road in Laurelville Wednesday night.

The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office received a tip about a possible meth lab at a mobile home located at 19536 Big Pine Road just outside Laurelville, and when they traveled to the residence at around 10 p.m. Wednesday to investigate, they were invited inside the home and observed a marijuana pipe in plain view.


Liquid meth confiscated

Courtesy Hocking County Sheriff Office

Liquid meth confiscated

The two glass jars on the left are believed to contain liquid methamphetamine. The PowerAid bottles at the bottom were actively cooking the drug when authorities obtained a search warrant for the residence. The buckets are used by the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit to neutralize any flammable materials at the home. At the top of the photo is a plethora of items used to manufacture of meth.


Caudill and Davis head to jail

Gretchen Gregory/The Logan Daily News

Caudill and Davis head to jail

Cassandra Davis is assisted into the back of the transport van by Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North (left) and HCSO Chief Deputy Dave Valkinburg Thursday afternoon. Davis and Nancy Caudill were transported from the Fairfield County Jail, where there stayed Wednesday night, to the sheriff’s office in a cruiser before heading to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville.


The piece of drug paraphernalia led to a late night search warrant request from Hocking County Municipal Court Judge Fred Moses. Once the warrant was obtained and the search began, seven vessels of what’s believed to be liquid meth were located in PowerAid plastic bottles and glass Mason jars.

Four of the plastic bottles contained chemicals that were actively being turned into meth in a method that’s often called the “one-pot method.”

“When deputies realized they were cooking and were active, they backed out and called the [Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit],” explained Eric Brown, commander of the major crimes unit. “When those vessels are active, the risk of volatility is very high.”

Three individuals were charged, included Nancy Caudill, 43, of Kingston; and Cassandra Davis, 45, and Frank Davis, 43, who both lived at the home.

“It’s the biggest lab we’ve seen in Hocking County since my tenure in office,” North said Thursday afternoon. “It’s a great amount of meth that we found, and they were probably a major supplier of meth in that part of the county. From what we located in the search, we put a good dent in the supply of meth in the Laurelville area.”

“It’s one of the largest meth operations to date in the county,” agreed Laurelville Police Chief Mike Berkemeier, who also responded to the residence during the search. The Laurelville Fire Department also was there.

Depending on the weight of the liquid once the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation processes it, the three individuals could be facing mandatory minimums in prison because it’s such a large amount.

HCSO Chief Deputy Dave Valkinburg sought to caution local residents about the hazards of picking up plastic bottles that lie alongside the roadway because they could contain liquid meth inside.

Meth producers, he noted, are using the fairly new “one-pot method” of creating the drug and have been known to leave their plastic bottles sitting outside on the ground. If the bottles explode when picked up by unsuspecting individuals, their contents can cause severe burns and injuries because what’s cooking inside heats to hundreds of degrees in temperature.

“Heroin and opiates are still a problem in the county, but we’ve seen an increase in meth,” Valkinburg said. “It’s a risk to the general public because [producers] leave that stuff around and go back to check on it later.”

Caudill and Cassandra Davis were both charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs. Davis also received a possession of marijuana charge and a drug paraphernalia charge. Both women were arraigned in Hocking County Municipal Court Thursday after staying overnight in Fairfield County because all of the female bed space at Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail was taken.

When they were arraigned in front of Moses Thursday afternoon, he expressed displeasure at seeing the two women again.

Just last week, both women were charged with two counts of possession of drugs and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop in front of a Pike Street home in Laurelville netted meth, opiates and drug paraphernalia. In that instance, both women were taken to jail in Washington County because of a lack of female bed space at SEORJ.

Although the two were released on bond through Moses court on the earlier offense, he revoked that bond Thursday afternoon and gave them each an additional split bond amount of $50,000 cash surety and $50,000 appearance.

Davis openly wept during Thursday’s court proceedings. Moses responded by telling her, “I’m sorry. I don’t like putting people in jail, but the truth of it is if you’re charged with possession of drugs involved in a potential meth-making factory in your first charge, and you get caught in another one again, you’re not going to get out. I’m just not going to let it be a risk to the community because those chemicals are toxic, they’re dangerous and they put everyone in the area in danger.”

The other resident of the home, Frank Davis, also was charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs. He is being held on a split bond of $25,000 cash or surety and $25,000 appearance.







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