Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Arrest led to deputy

Warren Co. investigating link to meth lab arrest

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DEERFIELD TWP. - The discovery of a mobile methamphetamine lab, which shut down Interstate 71 on New Year's Eve, led police to search the home of a Warren County sheriff's deputy.

Frederick H. Purcell, 31, of Verona, told investigators in interviews last week that just before he was arrested on I-71, he had delivered four grams of "meth" to Deputy Michael Moore in exchange for $30.

Moore, a 33-year-old deputy who was placed on unpaid leave in August after testing positive for marijuana use, declined to comment.

Moore has not been charged, but authorities said they searched his home Thursday as a result of Purcell's arrest. John Burke, commander of the Warren-Clinton Drug and Strategic Operations Task Force, declined any further comment.

Investigators noted that, when Purcell was arrested, authorities seized handcuff keys and a gas mask, "believed to be the gas mask issued to (Moore) by the Warren County Sheriff's Office.

Purcell was driving a maroon 1991 Toyota Camry southbound on I-71 late Dec. 31 when Blue Ash police stopped the vehicle for traffic violations.

Inside the car, police said they found methamphetamine and chemicals used in its production. Because those materials are considered hazardous, police from Blue Ash and Montgomery closed I-71 at Pfeiffer Road for several hours.


E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com

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