Man gets prison for making meth

Earl Rasberry III

A Shenandoah County man must serve prison time for operating a mobile methamphetamine laboratory in his car.

Earl Lee Rasberry III, 31, of Edinburg, pleaded guilty in Shenandoah County Circuit Court on Wednesday to one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine and child endangerment. All offenses occurred July 3, 2014, according to court documents.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp sentenced Rasberry to 20 years in prison with all but five years, six months and 20 days suspended for making methamphetamine. The judge sentenced Rasberry to five years, all suspended, on the child endangerment charge. Rasberry must serve five years of supervised probation upon release from prison.

Hupp also revoked one year, 11 months and 10 days of a suspended sentence for violating his probation on a previous conviction.

An agreement reached between Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristen Zalenski and Rasberry’s lawyer, Charles Ramsey, called for the defendant to plead guilty to the two charges. In exchange for the pleas, the court dismissed Rasberry’s remaining charges of possession of drugs, eluding and driving on a suspended license.

“The defendant was driving and law enforcement attempted to make a traffic stop,” Zalenski said Thursday. “He drove through a yard. I think he eventually stopped at a driveway.

“But, it ended up that he had his 8-year-old son with him at the time,” Zalenski added. “When law enforcement opened the trunk of the vehicle they found what they suspected to be a methamphetamine laboratory. They did find other glass bottles containing meth in the … passenger portion of the car.”

Manufacturing methamphetamine carries a sentence of 10-40 years in prison; child endangerment, possession of the drug, up to 10 years; and child endangerment, five years in prison.

Authorities seized numerous items from Rasberry when they arrested him, including a white envelope filled with a substance later identified as methamphetamine residue. They also recovered glass jars, plastic hoses and a plastic vial containing methamphetamine residue.

A court document shows that it cost authorities $478.54 to remediate the methamphetamine.

Rasberry committed the July 3 crimes less than a month after Hupp found him guilty of grand larceny for stealing from Lowe’s Home Improvement store in Woodstock. Hupp sentenced Rasberry June 18 to two years in prison with all time suspended and ordered him to pay restitution to Lowe’s. The court dismissed the remaining charges of receiving stolen property and obtaining money by false pretenses. The judge ordered Rasberry to complete two years of supervised probation. Rasberry violated the terms of his probation when he was arrested on the later charges.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com