An Athens man is being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail under a $25,000 bond after being charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in the vicinity of a juvenile.

The Athens County Sheriff’s Office discovered an active methamphetamine lab Tuesday in The Plains near Route 682 and Porter Lane.

Clayton Ator, 37, was arrested on the charge of manufacturing meth in the vicinity of a juvenile after detectives found a lab while visiting Ator’s house on an unrelated investigation. The juvenile was allegedly inside the home at the time of the offense.

Clayton Ator

Clayton Ator



Det. Jack Taylor went to the residence after receiving information about a copper theft and copper allegedly being burned, according to Sheriff Patrick Kelly. The investigation into the copper theft is ongoing.

When Taylor got out of his vehicle at Ator’s residence, he saw smoke rising from the back of a shed at the residence, Kelly wrote on the his Facebook page.

“There were approximately seven bottles that were cooking,” Kelly told The Messenger Wednesday.

Kelly estimated that one bottle could contain about 3 grams of meth and that the street value of the drugs could be as much as $3,000.

When Taylor asked Ator what was smoking, Ator allegedly walked toward the smoke. Taylor secured the scene once he found the lab and obtained a search warrant. The Athens County Narcotics Enforcement Team dismantled and neutralized the lab, with assistance from The Plains Volunteer Fire Department.

The agencies were on scene for about two hours neutralizing the lab, according to The Plains Fire Chief Randy Williams.