With the seizure of drugs and manufacturing equipment in south Akron on Saturday, police expect to exceed the 177 meth labs discovered last year in the city.
Akron police plan to issue a warrant for William James Lee, a 44-year-old man living with elderly relatives near Nesmith Lake.
Lee is wanted for allegedly manufacturing meth and possessing drugs, second- and third-degree felonies punishable by a minimum of three years in prison. Lee also has an outstanding warrant in Medina County for dangerous drugs, Akron police said.
“This guy’s been raining terror down on multiple communities,” said Lt. Brian Simcox of the Akron Police Department.
Simcox said Lee, who was not at the house Saturday, was living with a 92-year-old grandmother and another elderly relative while cooking meth in two-liter plastic bottles in the garage.
A visiting relative phoned police around 1:30 p.m. after noticing an unusual collection of items that may be used to produce meth, including cold packs, lithium batteries, liquid drain opener and campfire fuel.
Simcox said an additional charge of abuse of the elderly may be pursued as Lee’s alleged actions would have put those in the home in danger.
“This guy was living there to care for them,” Simcox said, noting more than 60 items seized in what he called a “decent operation.”
“This person was cooking meth with sweet, old, frail, poor-health people in the house,” Simcox said. It can be a common scene in meth lab busts, he said. “They take advantage of the innocent and they do so on a regular basis.”
Simcox said there have been more than 175 meth labs busted in the city this year. He expects that number to grow in the last six weeks of 2013.
Anyone with tips on Lee’s whereabouts may contact Akron police at 330-375-2490.
Doug Livingston can be reached at 330-996-3792 or email@example.com.