RAVENSWOOD - A former Ravenswood city council and mayor candidate faces felony charges for allegedly operating or attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

Jack R. Greene, 32, was arrested Thursday, following a Ravenswood Police Department investigation that began Wednesday with a reported vehicle fire near 717 Crooks Avenue.

Ravenswood Police Patrolman J.E. Cogar was on routine patrol Wednesday afternoon when he was dispatched to a reported vehicle fire at 717 Crooks Avenue. Upon arrival, Cogar found a red Silverado pickup parked in front of the residence. Lying in the roadway near the truck was a plastic bottle that had melted and contained what Cogar reported to be a off-white granular substance. Cogar also reported that the bed of the pickup was melted and burned on the driver's side at the corner closest to the cab. Cogar state the evidence was consistent with the one-pot cook (shake and bake) method of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Further investigation allegedly disclosed that the owner of the truck, Jack R. Greene, had recently purchased lithium batteries and cold packs from Rite-Aid in Ravenswood, and had also allegedly purchased sudafederine products from several pharmacies in the county over the past year to the point that he was being denied purchase.

Deputy Ross Mellinger of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Patrolman J.B. Thompson of the Ravenswood Police Department joined Cogar in making contact with Greene at the residence at about 7:20 p.m. Consent to search the residence and vehicles was obtained from both Green and his wife Stacia Greene. That search revealed the remnants of what appeared to be a one-pot cook in a blue trash can on the west side of the house and a sandwich bag containing a white powdery substance in the master bedroom. The substance allegedly field tested positive for amphetamines.
Jack Greene was arrested Thursday and charged with felony operating or attempting to operate a clandestine meth lab. He was lodged in the South Central Regiona Jail. Following arraignment by Magistrate Jackie Casto, bond was set at $250,000.

"This situation could have turned out worse than it did," said Ravenswood Chief of Police Lance Morrison. "The lab blew up at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon on a neighborhood street where kids walk by and ride bicycles. The neighbors who helped put the fire out did not know it was a meth lab and it could cause them physical harm. Those involved with methamphetamine either do not understand the danger of it or do not care. I am proud of the investigation conducted by my officers and, as always, they did a great job. We contacted a cleanup crew who inspected the area and gave it the all clear."