News and Tribune

April 12, 2013

Three men arrested at America’s Best Inn

Working meth lab found in Clarksville motel room

By GARY POPP
gary.popp@newsandtribune.com

CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville Police arrested three men about 10 a.m. Tuesday after discovering a working methamphetamine lab inside a refrigerator of a room at America’s Best Inn on Eastern Boulevard.

Those arrested were Jon R. Hesse, 31, and James H. Stice, 30, both with addresses at the motel, and Eric M. Howson, 21, of 602 Dartmouth Drive in Clarksville

Before arriving at the motel, investigators had received information that the trio was possibly dealing methamphetamine, according to the police report. From a nearby business, police observed the men exit a motel room and stand on the balcony area. After approaching the motel property, the officers split into two groups.

One group went to the room that the men had been seen exiting, and the second group went to the rear of the annex portion of the building, where Stice and Howson were located and detained.

Hesse was approached by police outside the motel room. When asked by police if there was anything in the room that did not need to be inside the room, “ ... [Hesse] stated that there was, in fact, a meth lab in the refrigerator of the hotel room,” according to the report.

He then gave police consent to search the room.

Police reported after entering the room, officers immediately found a black and silver metal box that was open and contained a glass pipe used for smoking methamphetamine, several empty plastic bags associated with drug use and a set of scales.

“After seeing this, I proceeded to go to [the] refrigerator where I found a working one-pot meth lab inside the refrigerator,” the officer reported.

Police also reported a strong chemical smell associated with methamphetamine production coming from the room, and several fans, which had been brought to the room by the suspects in an attempt to air out the room.

Police then contacted Clarksville Fire Department and firefighters later entered the room to make sure the area was not volatile enough to cause an explosion. Firefighters advised that is was not necessary to evacuate the building.

Items found in the room associated with methamphetamine production and drug use included coffee filters, syringes and receipts for the purchase of cold medication.

Hesse was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, dealing in methamphetamine, a class A felony; possession of controlled substance and maintaining a common nuisance, both class D felonies; and possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

Stice was preliminarily charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance, both class D felonies.

Howson was preliminarily charged with possession of methamphetamine, a class B felony, and visiting a common nuisance, a class B misdemeanor.

Police reported as Howson was being booked into the Michael L. Becher Adult Correctional Complex, a jailer found in his wallet a piece of aluminum foil containing methamphetamine residue. When asked what that aluminum foil was used for, Howson stated he smoked methamphetamine out of it, the report says.

Howson was then preliminarily charged with trafficking with an inmate or child, a class C felony.

With the recent of arrest of the three suspects, court records have not been updated with their upcoming court appearances.