UNION — Normally when someone loses their home to a fire they are provided with a place to stay by the American Red Cross, but a Union man who lost his home to fire this past weekend was given lodging in the Union County Jail after authorities found items that could be used to make methamphetamine on the premises.
John Anthony Stafford, 29, 1418 Peach Orchard Road #25, Union, is charged by the Union County Sheriff’s Office with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine second offense.
The incident report states that on Saturday, Feb. 10, Cpl. Jamison Lee Taylor was dispatched to Stafford’s residence where upon arrival he spoke with Monarch Fire Chief John Flood who said his department along with several others were dispatched to the scene in response to a structure fire at the mobile home park. The report states Cpl. Taylor was then approached by Firefighter Cody Alexander in regards to a black backpack found under a wooden crate outside the mobile home where the fire had occurred.
The report states that Cpl. Taylor put on gloves and moved the backpack from beside the house and unzipped it. It states that upon unzipping the bag items were found inside it that are known to be used to manufacture methamphetamine.
The report states Cpl. Taylor then notified dispatch to contact the narcotics officer on call for the Sheriff’s Office. It states Cpl. Taylor also notified Chief Flood to protect his firefighters on the scene due to the finding of those items.
The report states that Maj. John Sherfield responded to the scene to collect the backpack and its contents. It further states that Investigator Scott Coffer also responded to the scene due to the suspicious nature of the fire.
Stafford, who was not home at the time of the fire, was taken into custody Saturday night.