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Meth lab discovered

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Christopher A. Steuerwald
In the middle of the chaos of Tuesday evening's winter storm, local law enforcement officers took the time to serve a Vigo County arrest warrant and discovered a meth lab in a Clay City residence.

"We thought we would take a shot that the suspect would be home because of the bad weather," Clay County Sheriff's Department Detective Jerry Siddons told The Brazil Times Wednesday about the investigation by the Clay County Drug Task Force. "This was a terrific joint effort between our department and the Clay City Police Department."

Siddons said when the suspect, Christopher A. Steuerwald, 43, opened the door of his residence at 8703 South County Road 50 West, officers could smell odors common with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

When questioned by officers, Siddons said Steuerwald gave them permission to search the residence.

Steuerwald was taken into custody for the contempt of court arrest warrant from Vigo County while officers from the Clay County Sheriff's and the Clay City Police Department located what appeared to be a working methamphetamine lab in the basement.

The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team were contacted to assess and assist with the removal and disposal of the hazardous chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Because of the meth lab discovery, additional preliminary charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and illegal possession of anhydrous ammonia was added to Steuerwald's charges during the booking process at the Clay County Justice Center.

The investigation resulted in a search warrant being issued for a second undisclosed residence in Clay City. Upon searching the residence, officers discovered a 14-year-old runaway from Monroe County and several items of paraphernalia which could potentially be used during the ingestion of methamphetamine.

Due to the ongoing investigation at the second location, Siddons confirmed the suspects' names are not being released while the Clay County Drug Task Force works with the Clay County Prosecutor's Office to determine what potential charges to file against the subjects.

Jail officials confirmed Wednesday evening that Steuerwald remains incarcerated on a no 10 percent $25,000 cash bond while awaiting arraignment.

"Methamphetamine labs of this type are common for rural areas, but are also being found in some larger communities," Siddons said. "The Clay County Sheriff's Department encourages the public to assist us with information on illegal activity."

To report suspicious activity, contact the Clay County Sheriff Department at (812) 446-2535.

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Great work guys, keep it up!!

-- Posted by snow on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 10:31 PM

This guy must've wanted to live in the confines of jail to give himself up like that. "Hi officer, you can search the house. I'm just baking cookies so that's what you're smelling."

LOL!!! Good work CCSD.

-- Posted by andypflueger on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 5:25 AM

Our law enforcement are the best. The reason we think meth is such a problem is because local law enforcement are actually doing a good job at catching and detecting meth. Unlike other counties surrounding us, our law enforcement actually looks for it. It may not seem like a big problem in other counties, but it is, they just are having a harder time finding it.

-- Posted by OntheRight08 on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 10:37 AM

I WIsh they would drive around my neighborhood and find it! It is being sold on the corners and over looked by everyone

-- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 1:31 PM

I am so happy to see Brazil getting a long needed clean up GREAT JOB SHERIFF'S, POLICE ,AND DRUG TASK FORCE. MAY GOD KEEP YOU SAFE AS YOU ARE US .

-- Posted by WWJDPeople on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 2:28 PM

For all the hard work the Clay Co Sheriff Dept and Clay City Police Dept did to get this creep on tuesday, he's out walking the streets in Clay City on saturday. Keep up the good work CCSD & CCPD maybe one of these days he'll be put away for good.

Somebody has more money than they know what to do with to throw away 25,000.

-- Posted by jasper1 on Sun, Feb 3, 2008, at 11:35 AM

I often wonder how these repeat offenders get out so quick. Meth is disgusting and all consuming. I pray for the kids that think it could just be a fun party drug it can not! As for the Clay County Police Dept they are good guys, I went to school with most of them, and I believe that they do their very best. Keep up the good work and get those addicts some help!

-- Posted by ibclean76@yahoo.com on Thu, Feb 7, 2008, at 11:22 AM

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