The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 12, 2008

Four arrested in meth bust

FAIRFIELD — Authorities raided two homes Wednesday in Jefferson County, arresting four people on drug charges.

The raids targeted two neighboring homes in rural Fairfield. Three of the people charged, Richard Heckethorn, 42, Jana Heckethorn, 47, and Janell Haynes, 25, live at 2176 265th St. Mervin Heckethorn, 45, lives next door at 2174 265th St.

All four face methamphetamine-related charges:

• Richard Heckethorn is charged with manufacture of less than 5 grams of methamphetamine, a Class C felony, and three counts of possession of precursor ingredients (lithium, anhydrous ammonia, and ethyl ether), Class D felonies.

• Jana Heckethorn is charged with possession of methamphetamine, an aggravated misdemeanor.

• Haynes is charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana, both serious misdemeanors.

• Mervin Heckethorn is charged with the manufacture of more than 5 grams of methamphetamine, a Class B felony, and possession of a precursor ingredient (ethyl ether), a Class D felony.

Each of the defendants has prior encounters with the legal system for various reasons, including prior drug charges. If convicted on all counts, Richard Heckethorn faces up to 25 years in prison, Jana Heckethorn faces two years in prison, Mervin Heckethorn faces up to 30 years in prison. Haynes faces the least serious charges and could spend up to two years in jail.

Matt Milner can be reached at (641) 683-5359 or via e-mail at

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