CARONA — Three people, including a wanted fugitive from Missouri were arrested in a mid morning drug bust in northwest Cherokee County on Tuesday, and three young children were pulled from the home.
Jerry McGuirk, 48, Joplin, Mo., Roxanna Hale, Scammon, and Jason Hartman, 28, Columbus were all arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, three counts of aggravated child endangerment, possession of meth, misdemeanor paraphernalia possession, marijuana possession and unlawful possession of meth precursors.
Additionally, McGuirk had outstanding warrants from Baxter Springs, for failure to appear, and the Missiouri Department of Corrections, for a parole violation.
In addition, three children, an 8-month old girl, a 2 year old boy, and a 3 year old boy, were all taken into police protective custody.
According to a release from Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves, during the course of the search, officers discovered what they believe to be chemicals in various stages of the methamphetamine manufacturing process, methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Groves said in a telephone interview Thursday only a small amount of finished meth was found in the residence but chemicals in various stages of the manufacturing process were found.
Groves said this was part of an ongoing investigation.
“We’ve been investigating them for a little bit,” he said. “It all originated with a tip.”
Groves urged residents to be vigilant about meth manufacturing in the county, but not to approach a suspected meth lab.
“The chemicals involved are highly toxic,” he said. “And some compounds if they’re disturbed, put off toxic vapors.
“If you see something you think might be part of a meth lab calls us and we’ll come look at it.”
Groves also encouraged residents to call with tips if they see something suspicious in their neighborhood.
“Absolutely call our office,” he said. “They can be anonymous if they want to or they can call 1-800-KSCRIME to give information.”
McGuirk, Hale and Hartman were arrainged Thursday and bond was set at $50,000.