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Man charged after police search camper, allegedly find meth-making materials and drugs

A man faces felony charges after police served a search warrant on his camper in Washington County and allegedly discovered multiple meth-making materials along with suspected fentanyl and meth.

Richard Charles Ide, 49, of House Springs, was charged with the manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine precursors, and possession of a controlled substance.

According to a probable cause statement from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, on Jan. 26, detectives with Jefferson County Municipal Enforcement Group (JCMEG) served a residential search warrant at a property in the Woodland Lakes subdivision. Authorities believed Ide was inside a camper on the lot, according to the report.

During the execution of the search warrant, the report states, Ide was located inside the camper. Police reportedly found Ide’s identification and wallet inside the camper, as well as photographs of the man.

The report states police searched the camper and found a white powder substance that field tested positive for fentanyl. Investigators also discovered two clear plastic baggies of a white crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Further search of the camper revealed performance starting fluid, Coleman camp fuel, “one-hundred percent” lye, heavy-duty drain opener (sulfuric acid), cold packs, and several packs of lithium batteries, according to police.

The report states a JCMEG detective, who is trained and certified in identifying the items, was on the scene and confirmed all the items found were consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine. Authorities also found a clear trash bag inside the camper containing several damaged lithium AA batteries and an open cold pack containing chemical-soaked paper towels. The detective said the items were consistent with the process of manufacturing methamphetamine within a few days. It was noted in the report that the trash containing the damaged lithium batteries gave off a distinct odor that is associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Ide was booked at the Washington County Jail and a $100,000 bond was set in the case. The bond request in the charging documents identified Ide as a flight risk since he does not live in the area.

The man appeared in court on Monday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges and applied for a public defender to represent him in the case. He is due again in court on Feb. 7 for a bond reduction hearing.

A search of Ide’s criminal history showed previous arrests and convictions for drug-related offenses, including two recent arrests for alleged meth possession.

In 2013, the man was indicted in federal court for the sale or distribution of methamphetamine. Filings indicate he was sentenced to serve four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised probation.

Court records show Ide pleaded guilty in 2010 to the distribution/delivery/manufacturing of a controlled substance in Jefferson County. He was ordered to serve 15 years in prison but was released after a year when he completed a treatment program. The man was then placed on five years of supervised probation which he later violated in 2014, receiving the remainder of his initial 15-year term.

Ide has other previous convictions in St. Francois, Jefferson, and St. Louis counties for crimes including possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, and resisting arrest for a felony, according to records.

Richard Charles Ide

Richard Charles Ide

Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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