The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

September 28, 2013

Clinton man pleads guilty to meth charge

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

FULTON, Ill. — CLINTON — A man admitted to purchasing methamphetamine precursors for the manufacturing of the drug.

Benjamin Ross, 24, 3124 Lincoln Way, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture meth Thursday morning. Ross told Judge Mark Smith that he purchased precursors.

"I would give them (precursors) for the finished product," Ross said.

Assistant County Attorney Amanda Meyers said she would recommend a prison sentence of no more than 10 years, but would not seek any enhancement. The defendant said he understood he would be required to serve the one-third mandatory minimum. As part of the recommendation, he would pay a fine of between $1,000 to $10,000 and his driver's license would be revoked for 180 days.

According to the affidavit, the charge originated from an Aug. 15 follow-up investigation of a forgery case by the Clinton and Camanche police departments. After receiving permission to search the wooded area behind Ross' home, 3124 Lincoln Way, officers found contents from a "one pot" meth lab. According to court documents, Ross was not home at the time of the search.

During an interview later, Ross admitted to have using meth as recently as Aug. 14. He also told officers he purchased Coleman fuel, pseudoephedrine and lye for the purpose of manufacturing meth.

Smith ordered a pre-sentencing investigation for Ross. His sentencing date is set for Oct. 31.