Three arrested in meth lab bust

Late Thursday night, members of the Maries County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group executed a search warrant on U.S. 63 near Vienna.

During the course of the search, deputies located: a methamphetamine lab, numerous items of drug paraphernalia, suspected methamphetamine, several weapons and several thousand rounds of ammunition.

“This was a very sophisticated methamphetamine lab,” said Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman. “The suspects had altered outbuildings with exhaust fans, and cut holes in tables to securely hold components of the methamphetamine lab.”

Deputies arrested: James E. Czeschin, 28, of Bland; Chelsey M. Evans, 20, Holts Summit; and Lacy Higginbotham, 21, Chamois.

Czeschin had two outstanding felony warrants — one out of Maries County for possession of a controlled substance with no bond and one out of Osage County for tampering also with no bond.

The residence where the methamphetamine lab is located is rented by Mitchell J. Krieg, 27, Vienna. Krieg has an outstanding warrant out of Maries County; he was not located at the residence and is now also wanted for questioning about the methamphetamine lab.

Czeschin is being held in the Maries County Jail on his outstanding warrants and is facing additional felony charges for attempt to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and felon in possession of a firearm. Higginbotham is being held in the Maries County Jail for possession of a controlled substance, and Evans is being held in Maries County Jail for unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

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