A local police department received an anonymous tip on Dec. 9 that there may be an active methamphetamine lab in a residence. Detectives were also informed there were children in the home with the meth lab.
Once at the Park Hills residence, a woman answered the door and detectives were invited inside. They were looking for 39-year-old Angela Voyles and 35-year-old Jay Leigh. Voyles came out and told detectives that Leigh was not at the home.
During the investigation a 3-year-old child was in the home and a 12-year-old child who also lived there was at school at the time.
Leigh was found lying in bed in a back bedroom. The detective explained the reason for being at the house and asked for Leigh’s identification.
Leigh stated he didn’t know where his wallet was, and after several repeated requests by the detective Leigh gave the detective a blank stare and pointed to a cooler sitting next to the bed.
The detective opened the cooler and discovered a meth lab inside. Det. Kurtz called for Detective Todd Inserra to come to the bedroom and bring Voyles with him.
Leigh was taken into custody and all three adult residents in the home were made aware of their Miranda rights. All three then gave detectives permission to check the rest of the home.
In addition to the lab found in the bedroom, there was also a propane torch, tubing with stained ends, two containers holding multiple syringes, spoons, and a semi-automatic handgun found on a shelf. The weapon was loaded.
Leigh admitted to the gun being his even though he is a convicted felon. While completing the search of the main floor, basement and detached garage two other meth labs were discovered.
Officers also found an AmerenUE meter on the floor in the bedroom next to the cooler containing the lab. Upon inspection of the meter base it was discovered that the residents had illegally jumped the power supply.
An Ameren lineman came to the scene and confirmed that they were in fact stealing electricity.
In the three labs discovered, several items were found including funnels, liquid Heet, four plastic bottles containing unknown chemicals or substances, a 20 ounce bottle about half full of a moist off-white goo with black flakes mixed in with a strong smell of ammonia.
In the detached garage a coffee can full of moist coffee filters containing a white substance was found and tested positive for meth.
In the basement detectives found lighter fluid, an electric hot plate, cold packs, coffee filters, a jar with white flakes, a measuring spoon, three two-liter bottles containing an unknown bi-layered liquid, crystal drain opener, aluminum foil and a digital scale.
Investigators confiscated approximately nine cups of what is known as “meth oil” and about eight grams of nearly finished meth product.
According to the police report, the entire home was found to be in a state of disarray with trash and dirty clothing piled everywhere and an infestation of bugs visible on beds, walls, cabinets and furniture. They also stated that smell from the trash was overwhelming.
The Division of Family Services was called to the scene concerning the children.
Leigh and Voyles were both arrested and taken to the St. Francois County Jail and book on several charges. The other occupant of the home is not being named at this time pending formal charges.
Leigh and Voyles have both been charged with the same nine counts which include a class A felony of manufacturing a controlled substance, a class A felony of trafficking in the first degree, a class C felony of tampering in the first degree, a class C felony of unlawful possession of a weapon, a class C felony of possession of a controlled substance and four counts of a class C felony of possession of a chemical with the intent to create a controlled substance.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org