Five children removed from Stow meth house are together and healthy

Couple indicted for making the drug have arraignments today

by Jeremy Nobile | Reporter Published:

Five children removed from a Stow home in February where methamphetamine was being produced are all healthy and living together with a foster family, said John Saros, executive director of Summit County Children Services.

Saros said the agency is attempting to find other family members the children can stay with.

"The kids are together in a foster home, and we're still working on efforts to possibly place them with a relative," Saros said.

The children -- ages 2, 8, 9, 11, and 12 -- were treated at a local hospital after being removed from their home at 1842 Lillian Road where police discovered an active meth lab.

Stow residents Jason H. Little, 37, and Brandi L. Little, 28, of the Lillian Road address, were both charged with several felonies related to the Feb. 19 incident: illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine in the vicinity of a minor (first-degree felony), illegal assembly of chemicals/components for the manufacturing of methamphetamine in the vicinity of a minor (second-degree felony) and endangering children (third-degree felony).

Both were indicted on all charges March 27 in Summit County Common Pleas Court.

Referencing the children's health, Saros said, "to my knowledge, they're all in good shape."

Stow Police Chief Louis Dirker said in February initial reports suggested the lab was discovered following an investigation spurred by reports that a 12-year-old student of Lakeview Intermediate School came to school smelling of chemicals possibly related to the production of meth.

On Feb. 21, Dirker clarified that a Stow resident's anonymous tip led to the lab discovery.

He said an individual had called Kimpton Middle School to report a student that the person believed was enrolled there was living in a possible meth house.

School officials looked up the child's information and learned the student actually went to Lakeview.

Kimpton faculty then contacted Lakeview staff, and the report made its way to DARE Officer Jim Barker.

Dirker said Barker conversationally told school staff a student smelling of chemicals might possibly be indicative of an individual living in a home where meth was being produced.

The 12-year-old student who reportedly smelled of chemicals was never actually examined at that time, Dirker said. Rather, Barker passed the tip along to the police department's narcotics investigators.

"[Barker] did not tell them to check the kid out. Nobody really did," Dirker said. "So there was some confusion there."

When the tip reached investigators, Dirker said Stow police and the Summit County Drug Unit went to the residence together for a "knock and talk" slightly before 2 p.m. Feb. 19.

"They talked to the residents and got permission to go in there, and that's when they found the meth lab," Dirker said.

During a search at the Lillian Road residence that afternoon, an active one-pot methamphetamine lab -- commonly known as a "shake-and-bake" lab -- chemicals and lab components were reportedly found in the basement of the residence. Methamphetamine waste and other related items also were reportedly found in the attached garage.

Other items allegedly seized by police included receipts for pseudoephedrine and cold compresses, a digital scale, plastic baggies containing an unidentified white powder, a plastic bottle with an unknown liquid and $379 in cash, according to the related police report.

According to the investigation, Dirker said both suspects were home and cooperative. Both were arrested without incident.

Dirker said it's unclear how many of the household's kids may have been home at the time, but all were transported to Akron Children's Hospital for evaluation before being released to Summit County Children Services.

According to the investigation, Dirker said it appears the Littles began renting at the Lillian Road home about seven months ago.

Email: jnobile@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400, ext. 4179

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