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St. Albans police uncover meth lab while serving warrant

By Staff reports

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- Police say they found a methamphetamine lab inside the home of a St. Albans man after going to his house to serve a warrant for a previous meth arrest.

On Saturday, St. Albans Police Lt. Marc Gilbert and Detective Jake Dent went to the home of Richard D. Keli, 41, on Edgehill Drive, to serve a warrant for failing to appear in court.

Keli had failed to appear in Kanawha County Circuit Court on charges of manufacturing meth and possessing materials as a precursor to meth production.

The officers knocked on Keli's door and got no response, but heard voices and could see a light on, St. Albans Police Capt. James Agee said in a news release.

The warrant allowed the officers to enter the home if first denied entry.

Agee said the officers opened the front door and immediately smelled a strong odor of meth. They backed out and called for police meth lab technicians. Keli eventually walked out of the home and officers arrested him.

Once inside, officers found materials to make meth and an apparent working meth lab, Agee said.

Keli was charged with failure to appear in Kanawha Circuit Court and for operating a clandestine drug lab. He is currently being held in South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bail. Keli's house has since been boarded up and condemned.


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