Comments Off on Methamphetamine labs busted: Agencies worked together to stop methamphetamine manufacturing
WELLSVILLE — “When we first started hearing of people using methamphetamine here and possibly even manufacturing methamphetamine, we took it very seriously,” Wellsville Police Chief Tim Walsh said Thursday.
The investigation Walsh was talking about lasted for months and led to the arrest Thursday of six Wellsville residents on felony and misdemeanor drug charges.
 
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Police were on scene at 25 Madison St. for about
15 hours and state police chemists from Albany
 were called in
Walsh stressed the collaboration among several agencies involved, including village police, the task force, state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and Allegany County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit.
He and others also talked about how important local residents are to investigations such as this one.
“This would not have happened had it not been for the cooperation of several citizens in the community who started bringing some different things going on in the neighborhoods to our attention,” Walsh said. “The level of cooperation between the state police, the district attorney and our department’s been absolutely tremendous. This is the way it’s supposed to work and I’m very proud of all these agencies coming together to serve the community in doing this the way it should be done.”
New York State Police Capt. Tim Talley said many investigations start due to someone’s suspicions about something.
“People know their own neighborhoods. If there’s something that doesn’t sit right with them, they can bring that information to us, to any of the departments that you see here and then we begin to look into that. It’s that simple,” he said. “The manufacture and sale of illegal drugs is a big deal to us. It’s something that we want to put a stop to. That’s why we’re all sitting before you.”
The following were arraigned by village Justice Christopher O’Connor and sent to the Allegany County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail:
• Jason W. Patterson, 36, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, all felonies; and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of methamphetamine, all misdemeanors;
• April R. Patterson, 28, fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, both felonies; and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of methamphetamine and second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors; and
• Anthony R. Kidd, 51, second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, both felonies; and criminal possession of methamphetamine, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, all misdemeanors.
On Sept. 25, 2002, Kidd, then 41, was charged by Cuba police with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, driving while intoxicated and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than .10 percent. The car he was driving struck and claimed the life of Kaleigh Wilday, 8, of Cuba. Kid had three prior DWI convictions and received his license while on probation.
In 2008, Wellsville police charged both Jason Patterson, then 32, and a Wellsville woman with petit larceny after a complaint received from an East Genesee Street resident.
O’Connor sent two people to the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Jon R. Faber 26, was charged with felony fifth-degree criminal possession controlled substance and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, criminal possession of methamphetamine and second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors. A 17-year-old boy was charged with felony unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine; second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of methamphetamine, all misdemeanors; and the violation of unlawful possession of marijuana.
Also, Justin J. McPherson, 26, was arrested on a city of Tonawanda court warrant and was processed and turned over to state police with charges pending in Wellsville.
Investigators first served a warrant at 23 S. Main St., across the street from the police department.
“I think if you’re doing drugs within spitting distance of the police department, you’re just asking to get your door kicked in,” said state police Senior Inv. Walter Mackney, who leads the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.
Mackney talked about the items seized in the search of 23 South Main.
“What we have are needles that were found at the scene. I don’t want to get into a chemistry lesson here and I certainly don’t want to talk about how to produce this or what can be done with this,” he said. “Most of this stuff are things that can be used in the various stages of manufacturing of certain narcotics, particularly methamphetamine — filtering material, chemicals that are used for dissolving and stripping certain chemicals from other chemicals, things that are used to create a specific reaction, some spoons — these are what they use to cook something on, to cook it down to a liquid form so they can inject it.
“You’ll find in some cases what’s called a box lab or portable lab,” Mackney said. “What we found in one location at 23 S. Main St. was a backpack that they had put this kit together. They’d labelled everything they’d need. We also found sheets of paper with recipes on it, a shopping list with ingredients, so to speak, that were needed or supplies that they were running short of and also the locations where they anticipated purchasing these things.
Police were asked whether those arrested had methamphetamine for personal use or to sell.
“I think it was probably a combination of both,” Walsh said. “They’re not geniuses. They’re not looking to make money. They’re looking to keep themselves high. They’re using what they have to and selling what they can.”
Mackney said, “Usually they sell so they can afford to keep themselves in drugs.”
One arrest was made when police searched the upstairs apartment at 25 Madison St. Madison Street was closed to traffic for most of Thursday. It reopened around 9 p.m.
“At Madison Street, the team that went in to secure the scene identified some things that made the scene somewhat more volatile, so we secured it from the outside, evacuated the building, made sure no one’s gone in there, got the proper personnel brought to the scene,” Walsh said. “They’re now going back in there with the proper equipment to handle the situation there.
“At 23 S. Main St., the initial officers that went into the apartment did not find a situation like they did at 25 Madison,” Walsh said. “That didn’t warrant going in with the extra measures.”
Investigators were asked whether they consider both locations to have been meth manufacturing plants.
“I don’t think we’re going to speculate right now until the investigation is complete on whether or not prosecutors would view it as one manufacturing plant or separate,” said Assistant District Attorney Michael Finn.
Mackney was asked how this situation compares to other drug investigations.
“I don’t know if there’s a comparison. This is an ongoing problem in a lot of communities across the United States,” he said. “It’s a problem we’re addressing to the best of our ability.”
Mackney said he couldn’t estimate the street value of the meth.
“I know that methamphetamine’s a fairly high-priced drug. It’s in the neighborhood of $135 to $150 for half-a-gram to a gram, depending on the quality,” he said. “I would say at this point, in this area, it’s a very small portion of the drug problem. We have a larger problem with the abuse of pharmaceuticals in this area — pharmaceuticals and marijuana.”

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