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Alleged methamphetamine lab operator arraigned

A West Ironton man accused of operating an illegal methamphetamine lab out of his house was arraigned Monday in Ironton Municipal Court.

Charles Hobart, 43, of 2012 N. Third Ave., was arrested early Wednesday morning. Ironton Municipal Court Judge Clark Collins appointed attorney Jason Smith as legal counsel for Hobart, who remains in jail under a $100,000 bond.

Authorities say the arrest came after an investigation that spanned a couple of weeks and involved a number of state and local agencies. Authorities said this is the first time

a methamphetamine lab has been busted in Lawrence County.

Methamphetamine, or meth, is a highly toxic, powerful central nervous system stimulant. Its street names include speed, ice, crystal, chalk, glass and crank. It is white, odorless and bitter tasting. It can be injected, snorted, smoked or eaten by placing it on food.

Methamphetamine presents a substantial risk when "cooking" the chemicals that produce the drug. Each pound of meth leaves behind 5 to 6 pounds of toxic waste and high concentrations of chemicals that can cause severe health problems including lung damage and burns.