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PREBLE COUNTY — Two men were arrested and jailed pending charges associated with an active methamphetamine lab, according to Preble County Sheriff’s deputies.

Authorities at about 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon were sent to the area of Consolidated Road to tend to a suspicious persons call. The caller and property owner complained that two people fled a wooded area and what was believed to be a methamphetamine lab where the subjects had been seen, Capt. Dean Miller of the Preble County Sheriffs Office said.

Exclusive: Meth lab found, 2 arrested photo
Matthew E. Mendenhall

Exclusive: Meth lab found, 2 arrested photo
Consolidated Road and U.S. Rt. 127, Preble County. March 30, 2013.
Exclusive: Meth lab found, 2 arrested photo
Harold Swafford

Deputies, with the assistance of Eaton and Camden police, found both subjects at separate locations on U.S. 127, north of Consolidated Road.

Two back-packs containing chemicals and equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine were found. It was also determined that the process of producing ammonia was also done.

Agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) were requested to the scene and helped deputies clean up. Gasper Twp. Fire & EMS also responded.

Matthew E. Mendenhall, 34, of Eaton and Harold Swafford, Jr., 35, remain in the Preble County Jail on suspicion of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a felony.

Our news crew was the only media outlet on the scene gathering exclusive video, pictures, interviews and first-hand details.

The investigation is ongoing.


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