Indicted Hardin County meth home cleaner weighs plea deal

Nov. 11– JACKSON, Tenn. (AP)– A Tennessee contractor charged with illegally certifying that homes where methamphetamine was produced were livable again is considering whether to go to trial or accept a plea agreement, his lawyer said Friday.

Douglas Earl McCasland made a brief appearance in federal court in Jackson on Friday. He was indicted in July on charges of mail fraud and making false statements regarding the proper remediation of houses where meth had been made.

McCasland’s lawyer, William J. Morrow, told U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen that a plea agreement has been discussed with the government. Morrow said his client needs more time to make a decision.

Breen set a Dec. 5 hearing for McCasland to inform him.

Under state law, all harmful meth residues must be removed from a house before people can live in it again. Contaminated homes are placed on a state quarantine list until they are properly cleaned and certified for re-habitation. More than 1,000 homes are currently on the list.

Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation certifies contractors who are hired by property owners to clean up meth homes. It also certifies industrial hygienists who test properties for harmful residue after they are cleaned and clear them for habitation with a certificate. McCasland was certified by the state as a methamphetamine remediation contractor, but not as a hygienist.

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