Jury convicts Moon of methPublished 10:11pm Thursday, August 5, 2010
CASSOPOLIS — Keep meth out of Cass County.
That is the messagejurors gave a Marcellus man on Wednesday, Aug. 4.
Christopher Moon, 38, was convicted unanimously by 12 jurors of two counts of maintaining a laboratory involving the production of hazardous waste, two counts of maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug house and resisting an officer.
Moon now faces as much as half his life in prison.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz indicated “This jury has sent a clear message. We don’t want meth in Cass County. Individuals such as Mr. Moon will pay a severe price for producing it in Cass County.”
Fitz also acknowledged the difficult and heart-wrenching decision the defendant’s mother had to make.
“She knew her son was endangering his own life as well as those in the vicinity. Meth production is extremely volatile and ingesting it can destroy the user. Fortunately, she recognized the dark side of Mr. Moon’s activities. She probably saved her son’s life.”
Testimony at trial indicated that on March 5, 2010, Moon brought a bag of trash downstairs at his mother’s Marcellus home and threw it away.
Moon’s mother, believing her son was engaged in meth activity and suspecting that the bag was connected to that activity, called authorities.
Cass County Sherifff’s Office Deputy Makenzie Kreiner responded.
She saw the bag and smelled chemicals — a telltale sign of meth production.
She then contacted the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team (CCDET).
Assistant Prosecutor Diab Rizk, who tried the case for the people, called Moon’s mother to the stand early in the trial.
She indicated that Moon had lived with her at her Marcellus home along with her brother.
Detective Phil Small responded and confirmed the suspicions regarding the trashed items.
It was an exhausted methamphetamine lab still producing hazardous chemicals.
Equally concerning, it also had methamphetamine particles inside. Moon was nowhere to be found.
Detectives made several attempts to contact Moon, but Moon could not be located.
Deputy Kreiner attempted to contact Moon at another Marcellus residence a little over a week later.
Moon was there but took off running when Kreiner told him to stop.
Detective Small along with other members of CCDET went back to Moon’s residence in an attempt to locate Moon.
Once again Moon wasn’t there, but again left his calling card — more methamphetamine laboratories.
Once outside Moon’s home, CCDET detectives looked up and immediately noticed a methamphetamine lab in Moon’s bedroom.
Detectives again began another search.
On this occasion detectives found meth lab components in Moon’s bedroom, including one that still was producing hazardous gases.
Moon’s bedroom was a “storage locker” for methamphetamine related items, including methamphetamine itself.
Moon’s bedroom was the tip of the iceberg, however, as detectives also searched a small shed on the property.
That shed housed multiple meth labs that were still producing hazardous waste as well as multiple pieces of items used for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Testimony from CCDET detectives informed the jury that this was not Moon’s first time flirting with methamphetamine and methamphetamine components.
Moon had been stopped on Oct. 12, 2009, and had methamphetamine in a meth pipe, as well as pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in methamphetamine.
Jurors were made aware that in October as well, Moon’s choice was to run from the police. Detectives also detailed to the jury the extreme dangers associated with methamphetamine production, which includes the hydrogen chloride gas that is produced as well as the possibility of fire and explosion.
The 12 member jury took less than an hour to convict Moon of all charges after two days of testimony and evidence.
Circuit Judge Michael E. Dodge presided over the case.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 27 at 8:30 a.m.
Due to defendant’s prior convictions for drug crimes and felonies, his maximum penalty is doubled to 40 years.