County man found guilty of manufacturing meth

LISBON — A Columbiana County Common Pleas Court jury on Thursday found David J. Cope, 40, state Route 154, Lisbon, guilty of five drug-related counts, including a charge involving manufacturing meth inside his home where his 10-year-old son was staying.

Assistant County Prosecutor Megan Bickerton said county Drug Task Force agents were able to testify they could smell the odor from the gas being generated by a one-pot cook, part of the meth-making process, as soon as they entered the basement, and vacated the house immediately. However, Cope had contended he did not know about the meth being manufactured at his home.

At the time of the raid by the DTF in early August 2015, Cope had been at work, leaving his 10-year-old son at the house. The boy was taken to a hospital at the time to be checked for possible exposure to the chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamines, which can be dangerous.

Arrested in the home the day of the raid were Ronald Lacey, 40, and Courtney Wilson, 25. Wilson is currently awaiting sentencing in December after pleading guilty to illegal assembly or possession of the chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and possession of drugs. Lacey, 40, was sentenced to five years in Lorain Correctional Facility for his part in meth manufacturing.

Cope was convicted by the jury of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, endangering children and three counts of possession of drugs. Besides the meth lab in the basement of the home where liquid containing methamphetamine was located, additional drugs were found in the master bedroom where Cope stayed. DTF agents found both 1.18 grams of nandrolene decanoate, which is an anabolic steroid commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, along with a tenth of a gram of cocaine sitting on a plate in that bedroom.

Cope is facing mandatory prison time for the methamphetamines manufacturing charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23.