A man described by investigators as a master cook of methamphetamine is among several people arrested in a crackdown on a suspected drug ring that may have been operating for years and involved dozens of people.
Police allege that William Franklin Miller, 45, has been making and distributing the illegal stimulant in the Vancouver area since 1984.
Officials of the Clark-Skamania Drug Task Force said an informant described Miller as being “the greatest (methamphetamine) cook he knew of,” so careful that he would hide chemical glassware used for making the drug in stereo speakers and lamps.
He was arrested Friday, as was Corey Alan Runyan of Ridgefield, for investigation of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine.
Their arrests followed a 50-officer police sweep on Thursday that included raids at five Clark County homes. Detectives said they found two active meth labs, illegal drugs and chemicals for making methamphetamine. Eleven people were arrested Thursday.
Police were still searching for several suspects, including another alleged central figure, Robert John Caulfield, 40.
An 85-page search-warrant affidavit alleges Caulfield has been making methamphetamine in Clark County since 1987 and has been “leading organized crime” by working with others to produce the drug.
Caulfield and others allegedly would make the drug at friends’ homes, paying them cash or a share of the methamphetamine.
In one case, the affidavit describes a family of methamphetamine “cooks” with small children. The adults allegedly left drug syringes and chemicals lying around the house. In one incident, a child started to drink from what the child thought was a pitcher of Kool-Aid but was stopped by a visitor who realized it was a meth chemical.
In another case, an informant described a meth-lab explosion north of Battle Ground that “lifted her off the ground and threw her into the garage door.”
The affidavit says the investigation grew out of the June 13 discovery of a dismantled meth lab north of Orchards.
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