HAZARD – Two people arrested for allegedly operating a meth lab in Perry County will face additional charges once their cases go before the grand jury.
Richard Combs, 59, of Bonnyman, and 51-year-old Daniel Combs, appeared in Perry District Court last week for preliminary hearings on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of meth precursors. Deputies with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office said they located the active lab in a shack outside of a house in the Bonnyman community on April 17.
During the preliminary hearings last week, the commonwealth’s attorney’s office requested six counts of felony wanton endangerment be added to both of the defendants, a request District Judge Leigh Anne Stephens granted, noted Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen.
Hansen said the volatility of the meth lab, which had the potential to explode during the manufacturing process, put six people, including police officers and two people living nearby, in physical danger.
“It’s extraordinarily dangerous,” Hansen said of the process of making meth. The grand jury will meet later this month, he added, and he will request that they consider indicting both Richard and Daniel Combs on the six additional counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, a Class D felony that carries a maximum of five years in prison for each count.
Hansen said his request to add charges in the case is part of a tougher stance he will take on meth use and production in Perry County. He said he has also spoken with local defense attorneys, and informed them that he will object to any continuation of probation or diversion if their clients test positive for meth.
“I feel I was elected to do something, and this is an element of extraordinary danger that we don’t need in Perry County,” Hansen said.