Sheriff reports meth bust

PHILIPPI – Barbour County Sheriff Phil Ferguson reported Friday that his department, along with federal agents, “took down” a meth lab in the Taylor’s Drain area Thursday.

In a press release Friday, Ferguson said the incident is an example of how his department is “aggressively coming after those who continue to perform these illegal activities in (Barbour County) … if you wish to operate a clandestine lab or wish to distribute narcotics or any other illegal drug, you better take it somewhere else.”

“We are no longer putting up with it and will take every step possible to move forward with the prosecution of these individuals,” Ferguson said in the release.

Calls to the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office to attain further details on the matter were not returned by press time.

Ferguson, his deputies and staff were all sworn in during a special ceremony March 21 at the Barbour County Courthouse. Ferguson said the ceremony was intended to restore public trust following the resignation of former sheriff John Hawkins.

Hawkins pleaded guilty to a mail fraud charge in federal court in February. Hawkins’ plea followed an incident in which he staged a motor vehicle accident, ultimately filing a false insurance claim with the assistance of one of his law enforcement officers, whose name has not been released.

Contact Chad Clem by email at