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Troopers exposed to meth fumes cleared for duty

QUINCY, W.Va.-- Two State Police troopers who were treated for exposure to methamphetamine fumes early this morning have been cleared to return to duty.

Troopers J.M. Comer and B.K. Smith went to a home on Lafferty Lane in Kelleys Creek early this morning to serve an arrest warrant on Travis Hamrick, 24, of Pond Gap, according to Sgt. Larry O'Bryan of the Quincy State Police detachment.

When they got there, they found Shana Elswick, 28, who lives in the house; her boyfriend, Terry Romine, 44, of Montgomery; and Hamrick, who was allegedly cooking methamphetamine.

"We didn't expect him to be cooking meth when we got there," O'Bryan said. He said the troopers inhaled vapors from the drug-making process and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

O'Bryan said Hamrick apparently didn't really know what he was doing. "There was a lot of gas vapor in the house [from making the drug]," O'Bryan said. "It can become mustard gas. I'm surprised he's not killed himself yet with the way he's doing it."

Comer and Smith were treated and released.

Hamrick, Elswick and Romine were each charged with conspiracy, attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab and possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, O'Bryan said. Each was in the South Central Regional Jail on Tuesday, with bail set at $75,000 each.

Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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