Man arrested on meth charges

A Jane Lew man faces charges of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab following a traffic stop Monday morning in Buckhannon.

Dakota Breyer Mathess, 18, of 704 Stone Lick Road, was stopped by Buckhannon police officers after driving over a curb and onto a lawn on Thurman Avenue shortly after midnight.

According to the complaint in Upshur County Magistrate Court, Mathess exhibited slurred speech and had red, watery eyes. He denied consuming alcohol, and he registered .000 on an initial field sobriety test, the complaint stated.

Officers, however, discovered several items reportedly used in the operation of a drug lab laying in plain view inside the car. A further search of the vehicle revealed needles and a spoon under the driver’s seat and other items in the glove box.

Mathess failed three additional field sobriety tests, and he was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. While staff members at the hospital were attempting to draw blood, Mathess admitted to having used meth, according to the criminal complaint.

Officers transported Mathess to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, where he is being held on an $85,000 bond. He was also charged with a misdemeanor of first offense, driving under the influence. If convicted, he faces between two and 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000 on the felony charge and up to six months in jail and fines up to $500 on the DUI charge.