Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 22, 2013

McDowell County man caught after fleeing in sheriff’s department vehicle.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

WELCH — A McDowell County man faces multiple charges after allegedly being caught with a mobile meth lab and fleeing the scene in a sheriff’s department vehicle.

Ricky Monroe Johnson of Panther, no age available, was in the Panther area when deputies with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Department conducted a traffic stop, Sgt. James E. Muncy said in a press release issued this evening. The incident occured approximately 12:57 p.m.

Deputies were able to determine that Johnson was driving under the influence, Muncy said. During their investigation, the deputies found a mobile methanphetamine lab actively operating in the vehicle. The deputies called for backup, and during the traffic stop, Johnson was able to get his hands, which were cuffed behind his back, to his front and steal a sheriff’s department vehicle.

Other members of the sheriff’s department and the West Virginia State Police gave chase and were able to apprehend Johnson after a short pursuit, Muncy said.

Johnson has been charged with operating a clandestine lab, fleeing in a vehicle (a felony), fleeing other than vehicle, obstructing an officer, grand larceny, DUI, and fleeing while DUI, Muncy said. Johnson was at the McDowell County Holding Unit awaiting arraignment.