NEW: Trial Set In Meth-Making Case

Search For Illegal Deer Trophies Sparked Drug Case

Posted: July 3, 2014

Daily News-Record

A Rockingham County judge scheduled a jury trial today for a man accused of making methamphetamine.

Ray Eppard, 31, is charged with two felony counts of methamphetamine manufacturing, one felony count of possession of a precursor to manufacturing methamphetamine, one felony count of drug possession and felony gun possession.

During a hearing in Rockingham County Circuit Court today, Judge Bruce Albertson scheduled Eppard for trial on Sept. 5.

Court documents state that Eppard used a "shake-and-bake" method to make methamphetamine.

The investigation began on Nov. 25 when an informant told game wardens with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that him or her, and two others, participated in the illegal harvesting of deer in several counties, including Rockingham.

The next day, agents raided a home  5500 block of Mossy Creek Road about two miles west of Bridgewater.  Agents seized several dozen buck racks ranging from 4 points to 12 points, as well as two firearms, a spotlight, a laptop computer and a cellphone.

The search also led police to the mobile meth lab. Eppard, who was arrested the day of the search, is being held at Rockingham County Jail without bond.

In May, Eppard and Michael Forbus, 32, of Bridgewater, were charged with game violations.

Forbus is charged with nine misdemeanor counts of unlawful hunting of a wild animal and one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property.

Eppard is charged with misdemeanor unlawful hunting of a wild animal.

Both are due in Rockingham County General District Court to make their first court appearance on July 23.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com

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