State Patrol troopers made the stop on Route 104 in Pike County Tuesday.
The Chillicothe Post of the State Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle on State Route 104 at 7:20pm Tuesday in Pike County for matching the description of a vehicle that had been used in a theft of lithium batteries from the Waverly Wal-Mart earlier in the day.
The Waverly Police Department responded to assist and identified the driver, 27-year-old Michael Brannan of West Portsmouth, as the suspect that had been captured on Wal-Mart’s surveillance cameras. Further questioning resulted in him admitting to the theft and advising the batteries, which he intended to use for the manufacturing of methamphetime, were in the vehicle.
Further questioning of the passengers resulted in all admitting to traveling to Chillicothe in order to purchase Sudafed tablets for the driver. A probable cause search of the vehicle revealed 32 lithium batteries, 7 boxes of Sudafed tablets, rubber tubing, funnels, and a propane torch.
The driver, Michael Brannan and the passengers, 24-year-old Michele L. Jenkins, 41-year-old Clara A. Fleming and 34-year-old Joseph Puls, all residents of West Portsmouth and 21-year-old Tamela R. Wyrick of Lucasville were arrested and incarcerated in the Scioto County jail.
All five subjects will be facing charges for Illegal Assembly and Possession of Chemicals to Manufacture Drugs, a third degree felony.