Barbour man arrested for dumping meth precursors

A Barbour County man was arrested this week for allegedly dumping materials used to make methamphetamine near a local energy company’s well site.

Michael Joseph Hurst, 30, of Galloway, was charged with three felony counts of possession of substances to be used as precursor to manufacture methamphetamine Tuesday, and remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail Thursday on a $10,000 bond.

According to the criminal complaint in the Barbour County Magistrate Clerk’s office, Chief Deputy Brett Carpenter with the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office and Natural Resources Police Officer J. Prickett responded to Consol Energy well site 10988 in reference to a separate trash-related complaint. However, upon arriving at the scene, approximately 30 yards away from the well road, the officers discovered several plastic bags allegedly containing meth precursors, including Draino bottles, batteries, a butane lighter, ice packs and more, the complaint states.

While combing through the bags, the officers found several receipts and a “hospital bag” that enabled them to trace the ingredients to Hurst, who resides on Barbour Corner in Galloway, Carpenter wrote in the report. Soon after the officers arrived at Hurst’s residence, he and his girlfriend pulled up in a vehicle. As Hurst exited the vehicle, the complaint states, Hurst placed one of his hands in his right pocket and refused to remove it when Carpenter requested that he do so.

Carpenter then placed Hurst in custody, conducted a “safety pat down” search on him and found a lighter, two batteries and a black change purse containing 10 Claritin D 24-hour pills and 10 grams of crushed pills, the complaint alleges.

“Based on the evidence presented… the defendant Michael J. Hurst is being charged with three counts of possession of substances to be used as a precursor to manufacture methamphetamine,” Carpenter wrote.

Court records indicate that the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office also arrested Hurst earlier this month for allegedly carrying methamphetamine in his pocket while in Randolph County Family Court. Hurst was charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance after a Randolph County Sheriff’s deputy discovered that there was an active warrant for his arrest on a misdemeanor charge.

The penalty for a conviction of possession of substances to be used a precursor to manufacture methamphetamine is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for two to 10 years, a fine of up to $25,000 or both.

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