Last year, my Gazette colleagues and I put together a report on the impact of methamphetamine production in West Virginia, particularly Kanawha County and the surrounding areas. Since then the stories–which appeared over the course of two days in the Gazette–have been recognized by numerous organizations. “The Meth Menace”–part 1 and part 2–won a National Headliners award and was a finalist of an Investigative Reporters & Editors award. Reporters Eric Eyre and David Gutman were given a first place Green Eyeshade award for their investigation.
Here are some images, published and unpublished, I took for the report:
The one-bedroom apartment at 623 1/2 Simms St. in Charleston, which sits behind two homes on the city’s West Side, was condemned after a meth lab was found there last June.
An employee at Simon Environmental pulls a garbage bag through a window at 623 1/2 Simms St. in Charleston. Because methamphetamine labs create hazardous conditions, the entire contents of a meth-positive space must be disposed of.
A car seat is turned over outside Room 217 at the Economy Inn in Nitro. An 18-month-old boy was found in the room where officers arrested two women for cooking meth last November.
Sgt. L.S. Dietz — a Kanawha County meth lab technician for nine years — said there’s nothing that smells like meth. “It’s just a unique odor.”
Alan McClanahan, of Simon Environmental, picks up a bag of contaminated trash from 623 1/2 Simms St. in Charleston.
Simon Environmental spent several days from July through November cleaning and decontaminating the apartment at 6231/2 Simms St. on Charleston’s West Side.
Rooms were condemned at the Economy Inn in Nitro after two women were arrested for cooking meth in November.
“The officers that are there are automatically exposed to the chemicals that are there,” said Sgt. Sean Snuffer of deputy response to meth tips.
Just one truck full of several of remnants from 632 1/2 Simms St. in Charleston. Clandestine lab cleanup crews take the refuse from meth-positive homes to landfills in the area.