Comments Off on Man, woman arrested for running small meth lab in Frackville motel

FRACKVILLE – Two Bloomsburg residents are in Schuylkill County Prison charged with operating a methamphetamine lab inside a room at a West Mahanoy Township motel.

Larry T. Wilcox, 43, of 139 Derrs Road, and Catherine A. Womer, 36, of 29 Perry Ave., Lot 9, were taken into custody early Thursday morning when a tip led West Mahanoy Township police to Room 18 at Granny’s Motel, 115 W. Coal St., where the “one-pot” lab was discovered.

The two were charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, liquefied amonia gas, precursors and chemicals, causing or risking a catastrophe and conspiracy.

Wilcox and Womer were arraigned by Senior Magisterial District Judge Elizabeth Romig, Frackville, and committed to prison, unable to post $50,000 straight cash bail each.

Police Chief Shawn Tray said the discovery of the lab unfolded when state police at Frackville received a tip that meth was being manufactured at the motel and informed township Patrolman Lance Monaghan.

Tray said that he was contacted and went to the room with the hotel manager about 12:05 a.m., knocked on the door and Wilcox answered.

Tray said he detected a strong odor of chemicals and was given permission by Wilcox to enter the room where Womer was inside.

Wilcox, Tray said, became nervous and was sweating and unable to stand still. Wilcox then admitted to using drugs and said he had to go to the bathroom, Tray said.

When Wilcox opened the bathroom door, Tray said he noticed an aluminum beer bottle with a piece of aluminum foil sticking out of it and a clear plastic bottle with a two-color liquid inside.

On a sink in the room, Tray said he also saw a gas mask, a funnel and coffee filters.

Both Wilcox and Womer were taken into custody and two adjoining rooms, 17 and 19, were evacuated as a precaution.

Once a search warrant was obtained from on-call Magisterial District Judge Stephen J. Bayer, Tamaqua, Tray said a state police Clandestine Lab Response Team arrived and entered the room about 4 a.m.

The methamphetamine as well as drug-related items, ledgers and cellphones were confiscated, Tray said.

Monaghan said it appeared that Wilcox and Womer had been staying at Granny’s Motel for several weeks.

“They didn’t just come here recently. It looks like they’ve been here a while,” he said.

A detective with the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force said the “one-bottle” meth lab was operational and capable of causing significant damage and injury if it would have exploded.

“This is the same type of method that burned the houses down in Pine Grove,” he said, referring to a devastating fire in that community Jan. 12, 2010.

That fire resulted in numerous homes being destroyed and the arrests of those responsible for “cooking” the illegal drug.

Frackville police assisted at the scene along with Altamont Fire Company

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