Man charged with meth production

Andrew Hampp

Michael Brown, 21, of Newton Falls, was charged yesterday with possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of methamphetamines.

Brown was arrested Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot of Acme Plaza, located on state Route 59, and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing official business, according to reports.

Brown was arraigned for this felony charge yesterday afternoon in Kent Municipal Court and is being held at the Portage County Justice Center, Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley said.

David A. Ponick, 19, of Rootstown, was arrested Wednesday with Brown and is charged with complicity. His preliminary hearing is set for March 10, according to reports.

Kaley said Portage County sheriff’s deputy Kevin Nicolino responded to the arrest because of his experience and training in methamphetamine-related arrests. An officer from the Brimfield police department as well as DEA agents from Pittsburgh were at the scene to assist in the safe disposal of the methamphetamines chemicals, Kaley said.

Nicolino discovered Brown took Sudafed from the store. Sudafed is one of the drugs used in the manufacturing of methamphetamines, Kaley said.

Brown’s arrest was the latest in a series of drug-related arrests the Portage County Drug Task Force has made in the last two weeks. Kaley had no comment as to whether the arrests were connected to each other but was pleased with the newly restructured task force’s progress thus far.

“Since being opened up and truly active in February, they’re being very successful and being very active,” he said. “We hope to put a dent in drug activity.”

When members of the task force make arrests they are masked to protect their identity and wear proper safety equipment. Kaley said Nicolino is not working in an undercover capacity.

Contact public affairs reporter Andrew Hampp at [email protected].