By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
MERCER COUNTY —
State drug agents arrested four more people Thursday on charges that they aided a methamphetamine lab by buying ingredients to make the drug.
Arrested were John L. Elder, 38, of Cochranton; Linwood E. Thorne, 49, of 704 Greenville Road, Hadley; Ralph E. Custer, 56, of 296 S. Foster Road, Jackson Township; and Jacob W. Devinney, 36, of 5999 Sandy Lake-Polk Road, Sandy Lake Township, all charged with possession of pseudoephedrine as a precursor to meth and conspiracy to commit possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
District Judge D. Neil McEwen, Pine Township, arraigned the four Wednesday. Elder was taken to jail for failing to post bond, while the others were released after posting bond.
Seven others were arrested on the same charges earlier this week, and officials with the state Attorney General’s Office have arrest warrants for two others.
The charges stem from the ongoing investigation of meth lab raided last summer.
On June 20, agents searched the mobile home of Donald D. Sturgin, 35, 237 Carey Road, Perry Township, and found items used in making meth - including lye, lithium batteries, cold packs and pseudoephedrine tablets - and four plastic bottles containing a mixture of ingredients in the process of creating meth.
Sturgin and four others who were there at the time have been charged.
One of those charged, Sarah A. Hetrick, 30, of 59 Thompson Road, Perry Township, pleaded guilty March 11 to a charge of manufacture of meth in a residence with a child present, the child being her then-2-year-old son.
Hetrick told investigators that numerous people supplied Aaron W. Allmon, 35, of Orwell, Ohio, who has been described as the meth cook, with ingredients.
The preliminary hearings of those arrested have been set for March 27 before District Judge Brian Arthur, Greenville.