The Times West Virginian

Local News

December 18, 2013

Two charged with operating meth lab

FAIRMONT — Two Marion County men have been arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies and charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine meth lab.

According to the criminal complaint filed at the Marion County Magistrate Court, James Lee Varner Jr., of Route 9, Fairmont, and Anthony Michael Cosco, of 507 Birchview Drive, Fairmont, were arrested Monday.

While carrying out a warrant at Varner’s residence with his permission, deputies found Varner with a plastic bag that he attempted to hide behind his back, according to the report. Officers also saw several bottles of lye and cold packs that had been cut open.

They also saw a piece of tin foil with burns marks on the floor of the bathroom and adjoining room.

Officer Matt Love wrote, “I have observed similar items that have been used to smoke controlled substances in past incidents.”

A black zipper bag was found hidden in the back wall of a cabinet containing “items similar in nature to other mobile meth labs.”

According to Love, Varner admitted the meth lab was his. At this point, a search warrant was obtained and carried out, with help from the Fairmont City Police officers trained in meth labs.

According to the report, they found several items consistent with the operation or attempted operation of a clandestine drug lab. A second clandestine lab was found in an abandoned trailed on the property.

Varner is also reportedly facing an additional charge of child neglect due to a young child being present at the time of the incident.

Varner, 26, is being held at the North Central Regional Jail on a $15,000-cash only bail, and Cosco, 21, on a $5,000-cash only bail.

A Fairmont man was also arrested Monday by Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies.

According to the criminal complaint filed at the Marion County Magistrate Court, Justin E. Stull, of Route 4, Fairmont, is charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Deputies used a confidential informant (C.I.) to purchase hydrocodone 10 mg pills from Stull, according to the report. The informant arranged to meet with Stull and gave him marked buy money for the drugs, which Stull accepted. The informant gave deputies the pills he’d purchased from Stull.

Surveillance was maintained by undercover deputies during the transaction, and recording devices were used.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at

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