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Meth, kids found in home near children services

Posted at 6:11 AM, Apr 14, 2016

A house directly across from Summit County Children Services was raided early Thursday morning after police found a working meth lab and five children inside the residence.

Around 12:30 a.m., police searched the home at the corner of South Arlington Street and 1st Avenue. Officers had received a tip about possible meth manufacturing.

Five children, ranging in age from 3 to 15, were found inside the home with multiple adults.

According to police, fuel reduction vessels, chemicals, and other items used to manufacture meth were found in the basement.

Four adult men--Kenneth Coole, Dustin Frasier, Ryan Barth and Brandon Mesecher--were arrested and charged with five counts each of child endangering, along with numerous drug charges. They were all taken to the Summit County Jail.

Three adult women living in the home were not charged. Police said the children were allowed to stay with their mothers in the home after the meth lab was cleaned up. The children were living on the first and second floors and officers don't believe the women were involved in basement meth lab.

On Thursday afternoon, police referred the case to Summit County Children Services.

"Certainly, we normally would receive a report and we would investigate and just make sure needs are met and kids are safe, said Sharon Geffken, director of social services for the agency.

While the children from Arlington Street case are not in the custody of children services, Geffken said there seems to a spike in the number of kids in their care because of drug problems.

Last year, the agency averaged about 600 children in their custody. Currently, the number stands at 693.

"The reality is that drug use--meth, cocaine, opiates--it happens in all neighborhoods, so I'm not surprised to learn that it was happening across the street," Geffken said.

All for of the suspects are scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Akron Municipal Court.