Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 23, 2013

Meth lab found in local basement

By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG — A Greensburg man is currently housed at the Decatur County Jail on a $50,000 commercial bond, charged with four felony drug-related counts.

James W. Lazzell, 43, is charged with dealing (manufacture) of methamphetamine (Class B), possession of methamphetamine (Class C), possession of a controlled substance (Class D) and possession of marijuana (Class D).

Lazzell was arrested at his home at 2501 S. County Road 1050 W. without incident by personnel from the Greensburg Police Department (GPD), the Columbus Police Department (CPD), the Indiana State Police (ISP), the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a police report filed in Decatur County Superior Court, police served the warrant early Thursday morning, but Lazzell had already left for work. Police were greeted at the door by a third party who is neither under suspicion nor charged in the case. After serving the warrant, police searched the residence.

The search allegedly uncovered a trove of incriminating evidence, including multiple drug-paraphernalia items, 480 grams of marijuana, and a quantity of prescription medications obtained without prescription, including Alprazolam, Methadone, and Hydrocodone. According to a press release on the case, the illegally-obtained prescription medications were packaged in a way that’s “common for street-level distribution.”

Most significantly, police also uncovered a clandestine methamphetamine “cook” lab in the home’s basement. According to the press release, specially-trained members of the ISP, CPD and GPD worked as a team to dismantle the methamphetamine lab.

Exacerbating the charges related to methamphetamine possession, police also found a wooden gun safe in Lazzell’s bedroom containing six firearms.

Decatur County Sheriff Greg Allen and Greensburg Chief of Police Stacey Chasteen confirmed to the Daily News that, although the six guns confiscated during the search were legally obtained, having such weapons in the presence of methamphetamine “enhances” the possession charge from a D Felony to a C Felony. According to the police report, in fact, quantities of methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription medication was found stored inside the gun safe, along with multiple drug-paraphernalia items – all stored with the weapons.

Police arrested Lazzell around noon Thursday, when he came home from work. A search of his person uncovered additional quantities of marijuana and methamphetamine, and a “glass smoking device containing a white powdery residue.”

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011; robert.cox@greensburgdailynews.com