Active meth lab in vehicle leads to arrests


Two Greenfield people are in custody following a traffic stop in Hillsboro on Tuesday and the discovery of an active meth lab in the vehicle that a child was riding in, according to information released by the Hillsboro Police Department.

The press release from HPD states that the traffic stop was initiated after an undercover officer observed Anna F. Reffitt, 27, Hillsboro, along with a small child, get into the vehicle. Reffitt reportedly had an active warrant out of Wilmington.

The traffic stop occurred on Catherine Street, the release states. The driver was identified as Evan S. Clay, 22, Bainbridge, with passengers Reffitt; the small child; Jerry L. Beatty, 48, Greenfield; and Tara D. Ralph, 42, Greenfield.

According to information from the HPD, further investigation of the vehicle revealed an active one pot meth lab, which was “sampled and stabilized” after the occupants were removed from the vehicle.

Beatty was arrested and charged with illegal manufacture of drugs, a first-degree felony as the alleged offense “was in the presence of a juvenile,” the release states. Reffitt was arrested on the bench warrant and taken to Clinton County. Clay was released at the scene.

HPD’s statement said a family member came to get the child.

Ralph, while initially held under investigative custody, was later charged by the Greenfield Police Department for felony illegal assembly based on items found at her Greenfield residence, GPD Sgt. Jeremiah Oyer said.

According to HPD Chief Todd Whited, during questioning Beatty told police more items could be found at his residence in Greenfield. The GPD was notified and went to the home, which is also the residence of Ralph.

Oyer said police were given permission to search the residence by the homeowner. Discovered in the search, he said, were two “old” one-pot meth labs containing residue, a more recently active one-pot meth lab, and “other meth-related items.”

The Highland County Sheriff’s Office assisted both the HPD and GPD on the respective scenes. In Greenfield, Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District personnel also assisted on scene.

Whited and Oyer each stated that further charges are pending results from evidence analysis by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) as well as a review by the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.


Further charges pending BCI, prosecutor’s office

By Angela Shepherd

[email protected]

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