CHARLESTON -- A man who was one of three people accused of operating a methamphetamine lab in a truck parked in a rural Coles County location admitted to a role in the operation.

Andrew L. Gipson avoided a conviction for an offense that would require prison time but pleaded guilty to a charge accusing him of having the materials used to make the drug.

Gipson, 32, whose most recent address on record is 1509 Jefferson Ave., Charleston, entered the plea to a charge of possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials.

A charge of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing was dismissed but there was no agreement on a sentence. Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien scheduled Gipson's sentencing hearing for March 16.

The charge to which Gipson pleaded guilty can result in a prison sentence of three to seven years or up to four years of probation. A nine- to 40-year prison term would have been required for the dismissed charge.

Records in the case indicate that methamphetamine and manufacturing materials were found in the truck parked at the intersection of Bypass Road and County Road 550N just south of Lake Charleston on April 25.

The amount of liquid methamphetamine base found in the truck, which was reported stolen, came to nearly four ounces, according to the records. That was just more than the minimum amount to result in the manufacturing charge with the nine-year minimum sentence.

There was also a receipt from the Charleston Walmart for a purchase of some of the items used in the manufacturing process, the records say.

Police were then able to view a store security video recording of the purchase to identify Gipson and the two other suspects, according to the records.

The others identified on the recording and who were also charged are Richard E. Tresner Jr., 34, for whom records list an address of 308 N. Fifth St., Charleston, and Johnna S. Krutsinger, 37, whose address on record is 607 S. 33rd St., Charleston. Their cases are pending.

Gipson remains out of jail on bond pending sentencing. Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf is prosecuting his case and Public Defender Anthony Ortega is his attorney.

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