EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY – Only the suspect knows whether he rented the approximately 9 x 9 foot building because it was cheap, because it provided privacy, or because he was so accustomed to living in confined spaces due to a lengthy criminal history. In any case, police say they found enough inside the tiny building to return its occupant to a state owned facility.
Acting on an anonymous tip, the Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, a.k.a. “Men in Black” went to a residence in the 22300 block of Sandy Lane in Porter, Monday afternoon, to investigate possible illegal narcotics activity.
Constable Rowdy Hayden said investigators noticed what appeared to be a storage shed on the property that, in plain view, contained precursor chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine. The building’s door was open, and a strong odor was emanating from inside, Hayden said. Turns out, the building was the rented residence of 39-year-old John Allen Ransom, who emerged from the shed as officers arrived and was immediately detained, Hayden said.
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Ransom cooperated by giving officers consent to search and Hayden said they removed three or more chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine, making possession of those items a criminal offense.
A Texas Department of Public Safety Methamphetamine Initiative Group, or “MIG.” responded to the scene where they donned hazmat gear to remove and document the volatile chemicals inside the building.
Ransom was charged with manufacture / delivery of a controlled substance (first-degree felony); possession / transport chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance (first-degree felony);
The charges were enhanced because of the proximity of Ransom’s residence to a school. Specifically, the building he called home sits less than 700 feet from the new Porter High School.
In addition to the obvious issue of having illegal drug activity and possibly availability near children, with the production of methamphetamine comes the release of gases that are hazardous to inhale, as well as a serious danger of explosion, Hayden said.
Ransom was already on parole, according to police records, and his bond was set at $75,000 per count on the two new charges for a total of $150,000. No action has been taken regarding his parole per the jail roster as of this writing.
Ransom’s prior convictions are many and varied, including theft; criminal mischief; driving while license suspended; driving while license suspended (enhanced); unlawful possession of a firearm by felon; driving while intoxicated / open container; criminal trespass; burglary of a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.