Meth suspect was out on bond in 2 other cases

Investigators say man linked to mobile labs that created safety hazards.

A man indicted twice in recent weeks on methamphetamine charges remains in jail without bond after an arrest this past week on similar offenses.

James Ellis Plemons Jr., 45, has been denied bond after being charged with the illegal manufacture of drugs stemming from an meth arrest in Miami Twp. early Tuesday morning, according to Montgomery County court records.

Plemons, who records indicate lives on East Decker Road in Franklin, has been indicted three times since late March on drug charges, with two of those indictments involving meth. All three indictments stem from incidents since June 2013, court records show.

In March, a grand jury handed up charges that Plemons allegedly operated a mobile meth lab found at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in June 2013. Last month, he was indicted on similar charges for an April incident involving a meth lab in Miamisburg, court records show.

Also in early April, Plemons was indicted on charges related to heroin stemming from a September 2013 case. A co-defendant, Melissa Jane Guffey, 33, was indicted on meth-related charges. She also faces charges in the Miamisburg case.

Plemons also faces breaking and entering charges in the most recent arrest, records show. He is scheduled to appear in court on the Miami Twp. charges Thursday, jail records show.

Attempts to reach Plemons’ attorney, Daniel J. O’Brien, were unsuccessful.

Representatives of the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office noted that at the time of his most recent arrest, Plemons was not in jail because he had used a bail bond service to post bonds totalling $50,000. After the recent arrest his bond was set at $150,000, and a common pleas court judge revoked his earlier bonds and ordered him held in jail on those charges as well.

Plemons and two others were arrested Tuesday morning after police said they found meth-making materials in a U-Haul truck near the CSX railroad tracks off Farmersville West Carrollton Road in Miami Twp.

It appeared the ingredients were being prepared to be cooked to make meth, said Miami Twp. Sgt. Jay Phares. Hazardous materials crews and state investigators responded, and the CSX line was shut down for about three hours as a precaution, officials said.

Miami Twp. police were not aware of the March indictment stemming from the WPAFB arrest, Phares said, but assisted in the incident that led to Plemons’ April arrest in Miamisburg.

Miamisburg police did not make a request for a specific bond or no bond after the early April charges, said Det. Jason Threlkeld. Threlkeld said he does not typically make such a request unless the judge asks him, and the “judge knew this was a pretty big case” given Plemons’ record.

Plemons was arrested April 3 after police said they discovered a meth lab on Maue Road in Miamisburg. That discovery triggered an evacuation of businesses, the closing of two roads and medical checkups for officers who responded to the scene, authorities said.

A fire erupted at that location. At the time, police said they believe Plemons was involved in cooking meth in a camper.

In the Wright-Patt case from June 2, 2013, Plemons was indicted for illegal manufacture of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs and illegal assembly/possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, court records show.

WPAFB police, with assistance from Riverside police and fire departments, found a methamphetamine operation in a trailer attached to Plemons’ pickup truck, officials said.

Prosecutors said last month that the trailer was used to cook meth, and it contained chemicals needed to produce the drug as well as the finished product.

Staff Writer Mark Gokavi and Yuna Lee of WHIO-TV contributed to this report.