Starke County Investigators Find Two Meth Labs, Suspect At Large


Investigators from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office are looking for a Knox man they believe was was making meth in his basement. They responded to a home in the 3000 east block of 200 South in Knox on Tuesday, May 5 after another man found a meth lab in the basement and called the police. Deputies from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office found the lab, precursors used to make meth, syringes and marijuana but were unable to locate the suspected cook, according to a news release. He’s identified as James Messer, 34, of Knox.

On Friday, Detective Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office got a tip Messer was at a home in the 2000 block of Tribue Drive North in Knox. Olejniczak spoke to the owner, who gave him permission to search the home. Messer was not there, but officers saw items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine in plain view, according to the news release. Olejniczak got a search warrant and found an inactive one-pot meth lab, precursors, methamphetamine and paraphernalia with the help of K9 Terror.

Messer faces charges of dealing in and possession of methamphetamine, possession of precursors, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

In a follow-up incident on May 8th in an attempt to locate Messer, another meth lab was allegedly located at the home. The homeowner, 34-year-old Jamie Chambers was arrested and charged with preliminary counts of neglect of a dependent, dealing methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of paraphernalia.

Anyone with information about Messer’s whereabouts is asked to call Olejniczak at 574-772-3771 ext. 6.