GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office filed formal charges of dealing methamphetamine against a pair of Nappanee men whose suspected meth lab is believed responsible for starting a house fire earlier this month.
Prosecutors charged Charles D. Thompson, 52, 455 W. Indiana Ave., and Dana J. Hall, 55, 402 S. Main St., with dealing methamphetamine.
The charge is a Class A felony punishable by 20-50 years in prison if found guilty. The men were arraigned on the charges late last week in Elkhart Circuit Court, officials said.
Thompson and Hall were being held in the Elkhart County Jail on $150,000 bond earlier this week.
Members of Elkhart County’s Interdiction and Covert Enforcement Unit along with Nappanee police and officers with the Elkhart County Emergency Services Unit served a search warrant at Thompson’s West Indiana Avenue home shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, according to a news release from prosecutors.
The ICE unit had been investigating meth distribution, leading them to Thompson’s home.
When police went in the home, one of the men ran into an upstairs bedroom. Flames erupted in the room a few moments later, according to the release. The man wasn’t identified in the release.
Firefighters were called to the scene and the flames were put out a short while later. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
Officers arrested Thompson and Hall in the home without incident. Neither was injured.
The prosecutor’s office said a meth response team was used to collect all evidence from the home since it was considered contaminated with chemicals used in making the drug.
Court officials said earlier this week that both Thompson and Hall will be represented by public defenders, but those attorneys had not yet been appointed.