Recipe for a felony

A Marietta man pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to gathering together items he planned on using to make methamphetamine.

Chad W. Warner, 27, of 260 Greenbrier Circle, spoke softly as he waived his right to a jury trial on a third-degree felony count of illegal possession of chemicals for manufacturing drugs.

“Guilty, sir,” Warner said barely above a whisper as he stood and entered his plea.

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.

In January, agents from the Major Crimes Task Force monitored Warner and 24-year-old Trent D. Mason, as the men spent two days purchasing ingredients for homemade meth – a few items at one store, a few more at another store.

Through pseudoephedrine logs, officers were able to determine that Warner purchased pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in the manufacture of meth, Jan. 17 at Kroger.

The day before, Mason had visited both the Marietta Walmart and the Marietta Kmart. He purchased an instant cold pack, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide from the first location and a can of Coleman Fuel from the second. All of the items can be used for the highly volatile “one pot” meth making technique.

Agents from the task force located Warner’s parked vehicle the same evening of his pseudoephedrine purchase and were able to view many of the ingredients scattered about in the truck.

Warner was not in the black Chevy truck when it was stopped later that evening, but most of Warner and Mason’s purchases were still inside, said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Jared Erb.

“Coleman fuel, drain cleaner, plastic tubing, sulfuric acid and a cold pack were found in the back of his truck,” said Erb.

Mason and Warner were arrested later that night while walking across the Putnam Bridge.

At the time of arrest, Mason was carrying two lithium batteries, which can also be used to make meth.

Mason was indicted on the same third-degree felony charge. However, the illegal possession of chemicals for drug manufacturing charge was dropped in May in exchange for Mason pleading guilty to two fourth-degree felony charges of trafficking in heroin, said Erb.

Mason was sentenced May 1 to a total of 31 months in prison on the charges, he said.

In exchange for Warner’s guilty plea, the state agreed to recommend a one-year prison sentence. In addition, they will not oppose judicial release, said Erb.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth scheduled Warner’s sentencing for 4 p.m. Aug. 8.