Springville man arrested for allegedly operating meth lab out of storage unit

Joby James Romano. Photo Courtesy: Utah County

SPRINGVILLE, Utah, Nov. 3, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Springville man has been arrested after he allegedly operated a meth lab from a storage unit.

A probable cause statement from Utah County said Joby James Romano, 52, is facing charges of:

  • Operation of a clandestine laboratory, a first-degree felony
  • Possess precursor with intent to engage in clandestine lab, a second-degree felony
  • Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of possession or use of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

On Oct. 29, detectives with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and Springville City Police Special Enforcement Teams obtained and served a search warrant for a storage unit in Payson, the statement said.

“The search warrant was obtained when probable cause was established the unit housed a clandestine laboratory which was being used to manufacture methamphetamine,” the statement said. “Due to the danger involved with chemicals, poisonous fumes and fire dangers, the DEA Clandestine Lab Team assisted with the search and did locate a fully functional clandestine laboratory.”

Also found inside the storage unit were multiple prescription bottles which had Romano’s name on the labels and hand-written recipe books for methamphetamine, the statement said.

“At the conclusion of the clean up, agents from the DEA reported that chemicals found in the lab tested for epherdrine which is a meth precursor,” the statement said.

The storage unit was being rented by Romano, who is currently on parole in the state of Utah.

“After the discovery of the lab, a second search warrant was obtained for Joby’s residence of record and his vehicle,” the statement said. “A search of Joby’s vehicle was conducted by Utah County Sheriff patrol deputies who located almost a pound of raw marijuana, and user amounts of heroin and methamphetamine and assorted paraphernalia.”

A search of the residence was conducted by detectives, and during that search, 4.75 pounds of raw marijuana plants that were being processed for use were allegedly found in the back bedroom of the home.

Romano’s criminal history in Utah is 77 pages long, the statement said, and includes drug possession and distribution and various violent crimes. His history also includes multiple prison stays and parole violations, the statement said.

Romano was transported to Utah County Jail and after being read his Miranda rights, said he did not wish to speak with detectives. He is being held without bail.


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