Meth-making ingredients inside a rental truck parked near a CSX track shut down a railroad line for hours and led to the arrest of three people early Tuesday morning.
Hazardous material crews and state investigators were called after the 20-foot U-Haul box truck was discovered yards away from railroad tracks in a remote area near Farmersville West Carrollton Road, according to Miami Twp. Sgt. Paul Nienhaus.
He said a woman and two men – one of whom is linked to a previous meth-related arrest involving a fire and an evacuation – were arrested, but their identities were not released Tuesday. They were taken into custody after the truck was spotted by a CSX engineer whose train was heading north about 3:30 a.m., he added.
The suspects are each facing one felony count of illegal assembly of the manufacturing of drugs, Nienhaus said. They were being held in the Montgomery County Jail on Tuesday and may face additional charges.
The suspects were not cooking drugs in the truck, avoiding a potentially dangerous situation, Nienhaus said.
“When the temperature changes, they become a lot more volatile, and that’s when it becomes explosive,” he said.
Authorities found propane tanks, jugs, acid, lye and other products known for making methamphetamines at the site, on an access road about a half south of Farmersville West Carrollton, Nienhaus said.
The discovery of the truck caused officials to shut down rail traffic entirely from about 5 a.m. to about 8 a.m., said Carla Groleau, director of corporate communications for CSX. Trains were then permitted to move on the tracks at about 10 miles per hour before the area was fully cleared shortly after 10 a.m., Nienhaus said.
The shutdown caused “minimal local impact” in that only a few trains were delayed, Groleau said.
“We take these matters very seriously,” she said, noting shutting the line down was the “safest way to handle this.”
The potential for danger prompted the Dayton Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to respond. Crews from those units worked for hours to clear the scene while local authorities blocked off the access road.
While police have not yet released the names of the suspects, they said that one man was involved in an incident in early April involving a fire and an evacuation.
James Plemons was arrested at the location near Farmersville West Carrollton around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to county jail records.
He was also arrested on April 3 after a meth lab was discovered in Miamisburg. That lab discovery triggered an evacuation of businesses, two arrests, the closing of two roads and medical checkups for officers who responded to the scene.
A fire erupted at that location. Police said they believe Plemons was involved in cooking meth in a camper.
By Nick Blizzard - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)
Staff Writer Meaghan Pant contributed to this report.
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