An investigation into illegal dumping of hazardous waste on a Clay County roadway Monday led to the arrests of five people in connection with two active clandestine methamphetamine labs at a Vigo County residence Thursday.
According to information provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the investigation provided enough information for officials to obtain a search warrant for an undisclosed home in Seelyville.
When members of the CCSD, Vigo County Sheriff's Department, Vigo County Drug Task Force and the Indiana State Police served the warrant, officers reported observing a white cloud "blowing" from a hole in a garage entry door and a strong chemical odor in the air.
Officials discovered five people were inside the home, including home owner Mark Ditto, 40, Frank Ford, 35, Terre Haute, Audrea Marendt, 25, Indianapolis, Malachi House, 34, Indianapolis, and Sara Slaughter, 33, Clinton.
During the search, another active meth lab was discovered outside of the garage and residence.
An undisclosed amount of methamphetamine and several items of paraphernalia used for the ingestion of drugs were found inside the home.
Transported and booked into the Vigo County Jail, the suspects were booked in with the following:
* Ditto was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of precursors, possession of anhydrous, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.
* Ford was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of precursors, possession of anhydrous, possession of paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance, and
* The remaining three were preliminarily charged with visiting a common nuisance.
As of press time, the suspects remained incarcerated awaiting further court proceedings.
A conservation officer from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources assisted in the investigation.