CHARLESTON -- A business owner pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in a case in which he was originally accused of allowing the business to be used for drug manufacturing.
Klay M. Kirk entered the plea to a misdemeanor charge, which was reduced from the felony offense of permitting the unlawful use of a building, and was sentenced to a year of probation.
Kirk, 46, for whom court records list an address of 102 W. Maple St., Ashmore, is the owner of Tig's Tat Too tattoo parlor at 1115 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, according to records in the case.
Another man, Larry Brandon Parke, was arrested for allegedly making a hallucinogenic drug in the basement of the business last year. Parke pleaded guilty to a drug manufacturing charge in January.
Kirk admitted that he allowed Parke to use the building but said he didn't know Parke was making the drug there, according to Coles County Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf, who prosecuted the cases.
Part of the reason for Kirk's being able to plead guilty to the reduced charge was because there's also a legal activity possible with the materials needed to make the drug Parke was manufacturing, Wolf explained.
The drug Parke was accused of making was dimethyltryptamine or DMT, which occurs naturally or can be synthesized.
The materials used to synthesize it can also be used in work with leather goods, which is what Kirk said he thought was taking place, according to Wolf.
She said police discovered the drug manufacturing after they responded to an alarm at the business on March 20, 2017.
Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick sentenced Kirk, accepting the terms of a plea agreement that Wolf and defense attorney Todd Reardon recommended.
Parke, 32, for whom records list addresses of "homeless" and on West State Street in Charleston, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years of probation when he pleaded guilty.
Among the terms of the sentence were substance abuse treatment that included Coles County's drug court program and payment of about $2,000 in fines and court fees.