By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
A Quincy man was arrested Monday night by agents with the West Central Illinois Task Force on a methamphetamine charge.
Rodney L. Belden, 44, was arrested without incident when task force members found him in a camper at Whispering Oaks Camp Ground near Mendon. He was wanted on an Adams County warrant charging him with unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors. Belden is alleged to have purchased pseudoephedrine after receiving a conviction under the 2005 Methamphetamine Control Act. Task Force Master Sgt. Patrick Frazier said Belden was in possession of a shake-and-bake meth lab when agents searched his camper.
Belden has also been charged with aggravated unlawful participation in methamphetamine production after a search warrant was executed Feb. 6 at his residence in the 600 block of Oak. A shake-and-bake meth lab was seized during that search, and Belden's wife, Melissa L. Belden, 44, was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful participation in methamphetamine production.
The charge against the couple was aggravated because a child lived in the residence.
Melissa Belden posted $500 bond on Feb. 19 and is attending an in-patient treatment program. She is next due in court for a preliminary hearing April 3.
Rodney Belden had two methamphetamine cases in 2005. He received three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for meth possession and 4 1/2 years of prison time for possession of anhydrous ammonia. He was arrested again in 2008 on a meth-manufacturing charge and received 30 months of intensive probation in the Adams County Drug Court program. He graduated from the program in May 2010.
Belden made his first court appearance Tuesday. His bail was set at $10,000, and he is being lodged in the Adams County Jail.
Two other people were also arrested in connection with the investigation, Laken A. Rudicil, 26 and Kartney R. Smith, 34. They were arrested Monday at a residence in the 500 block of North Seventh. Police said Rudicil and Smith were involved in the acquisition of precursors used in the meth-manufacturing process. Rudicil and Smith each made their first court appearances Tuesday. Both are being lodged in the Adams County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.