Comments Off on Three Slate Belt men charged in mobile methamphetamine lab incident
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A trio of Slate Belt men has been charged with making methamphetamine after a Plainfield Townshiptraffic stop that resulted in a hazardous materials response and decontamination of police.Court records and police give the following account of the traffic stop:

Police found meth-making materials during the traffic stop April 15 at Pen Argyl and Delabole roads.

During the stop, an officer noticed a “funny taste, almost like chlorine.” Township officer Scott Zabriskie called an emergency medical unit, firefighters and a two-county hazardous materials team. Police also notified the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in Belfast to send its clandestine drug lab task force.

Hazardous materials crews confirmed the substance and objects in the car appeared to be involved in methamphetamine production. Two police officers were decontaminated and declined medical treatment.

Zabriskie pulled over the car because of an active warrant for the driver, Jeffrey John Konopaski II, 31, of the 1500 block of Teels Road in Plainfield Township. According to court records, Konopaski was wanted for charges of possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.

He now faces additional drug charges, as do his passengers, James Labar Jr., 28, of the 100 block of Lakewood Drive in East Bangor, and Joseph Karl Zanette, 46, of the 200 block of West Main Street in  Pen Argyl.

Konopaski admitted he used methamphetamine earlier in the day, and he had a glass cylinder in his right pocket with an “unknown residue.”

Officers found a green bag on the rear seat. Under that seat, officers found a clear plastic bottle filled with white chips, liquid and rocks.

When one of the officers unzipped the green bag, Zabriskie immediately realized the contents included chemicals used to produce methamphetamine. He told the officer to put the bag back in the car and step away and then called for help.

Konopaski, Labar and Zanette are charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of materials to make methamphetamine and criminal conspiracy.

Konopaski is additionally charged with driving under the influence of methamphetamine and driving while suspended.

The three men were arraigned Wednesday before District Judge Richard Yetter III in Wilson Borough and committed to Northampton County Prison. Bail for Konopaski and Labar was set at $75,000, while Zanette’s bail was set at $35,000.

The defendants have preliminary hearings scheduled for May 3 before District Judge Douglas Schlegel in Wind Gap.



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