A judge has granted probation in the case of a Washington man who pleaded guilty to operating a meth lab at a home that was being used as a child daycare center.
Christopher N. Ingram, 39, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count each of possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance and possession of precursor drugs with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Gael Wood sentenced Ingram to five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections each on the first three felony charges and four years on the fourth charge, then suspended execution of the sentences and placed Ingram on supervised probation, according to Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks.
The charges stem from a meth lab raid March 18, 2011, at a home in the 1600 block of Third Parkway in Washington.
When members of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit and Washington police served a search warrant at the home they were unaware that the home was being used as a daycare center.
When they entered the residence they found five young children being cared for. While they were investigating, five other children were dropped off for after-school care, including Ingram’s two children, according to reports.
The Ingram children were placed into emergency protective custody with the Missouri Division of Family Services and the other children were returned to their parents.
Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, chief of the narcotics unit, said based on the amount of meth lab trash and precursor chemicals found at the home, many batches of meth had been cooked there.
Ingram initially was arrested on a warrant for violating his probation in a 2008 felony case.
Ingram pleaded guilty in May 2010 to separate counts of possession of methamphetamine and receiving stolen property. He was given a suspended imposition sentence and placed on five years’ probation on each count.
The 2011 case was submitted later to the Franklin County grand jury which issued an indictment against Ingram in February 2013.
Bond set at $20,000 but was later reduced to $5,000 and Ingram was released after posting 10 percent of that amount.
Ingram faced a maximum sentence of seven years in prison on the first three Class C felony charges and a maximum of four years on the fourth charge of possession of methamphetamine precursor drugs.