Meyer charged with squatting, keeping drugs at Wellsburg home

At left, Cody Meyer in the Grundy County Jail. At right, the house in Wellsburg where he was allegedly squatting and keeping drugs. (Left photo courtesy of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office/Right photo by Robert Maharry)

A man who originally hails from Grundy Center but is not known to have a permanent residence in the area has been charged with illegally squatting at a home that was for sale in Wellsburg and keeping marijuana and methamphetamine there.


On July 8, the Grundy Center Police Department arrested Cody Benjamin Meyer, age 26, on a Grundy County warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance—Third or Subsequent Offense, a Class D felony, and Trespass, a simple misdemeanor.


According to Sheriff Rick Penning, Realtor Matt Wikert, who, along with Tiffany Carson, was selling the home—located at 605 East Fourth Street in Wellsburg—discovered the drugs on April 10 and confronted Meyer when he found him inside the house. On June 15, a criminal complaint was filed, and 11 days later, a warrant for his arrest was issued.


“I don’t know that I’ve ever dealt with (squatting) before,” Penning said. “You hear about it all the time in the big cities.”


Wikert declined to make any further comments on the matter. 


Meyer was released on Wednesday through pretrial services, and he waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Public defender Harry Haywood has been appointed to represent him, and a trial date has not yet been set.


In 2010, Meyer pled guilty to a felony controlled substance violation in Grundy County but received a deferred judgment and avoided any prison time. In 2013, he pled guilty to additional drug violations including possession of lithium but pled down to an aggravated misdemeanor and received a total prison sentence of 11 years, all suspended.


Combined, the current charges could carry a sentence of up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 because marijuana was found at the scene.


Jeff McGrane, formerly of Holland, has since purchased the house in Wellsburg and was in the process of moving in when The Grundy Register spoke to him on Friday. He was aware of the situation but said that little to no damage had been done during the time period that Meyer was allegedly squatting there—which, according to McGrane, actually started with Meyer renting the house but became contentious when he refused to leave after it was put up for sale.


“They must not have been there for long,” he said. “There were just a few candle marks.”


McGrane was also told that methamphetamine had not been manufactured in the home. The previous owners now reside in Florida. 


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