Alert store security helps nab meth makers

Four individuals were arrested last week on drug charges after alert Meijer employees reported some suspicious purchases. Three men and a woman were arrested in separate incidents Aug. 1 after suspicious purchases of pseudoephedrine products – used in the manufacture of methamphetamines, were investigated by the Clermont County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a release from the sheriff’s department, a man and woman each raised suspicions at the Eastgate Meijer after separately purchasing the over the counter cold medicine. Two years ago, pseudoephedrine products were listed as controlled products because of their role in meth production, and must be purchased by request and in small quantities.

Workers at the Meijer store became suspicious of purchases made by Harry Smith, 43, and Dusty Perdom, 27, and notified authorities with a description of their vehicle and a license plate number.

A short time later, that car was then located in Williamsburg Township where a sheriff’s deputy stopped it. Inside were the two individuals, along with a 15-year-old male.

As the car was searched, two boxes of Meijer brand pseudoephedrine were located, along with another 15 assorted boxes of the drug. Also found was a respirator, a mason jar, rubber gloves and receipts indicating the purchase of pseudoephedrine from other stores on that date.

The two were charged with illegal assembly of chemicals and child endangering.

However, approximately 30 minutes after that arrest, the release states that another call was made by the Meijer store of another suspicious purchase, this time made by Brian Gillman, 29, and Todd Baucom, 29.

An agent from the Clermont County Narcotics Unit was dispatched to the Meijer store and located the described vehicle. That vehicle was then stopped at a Speedway gas station. With the help of a canine unit, pseudoephedrine purchased at Meijer was found hidden in the engine compartment. Both Gillman and Baucom were arrested for illegal assembly of chemicals and conspiracy and were arrested.