Richard Daniel Boone, 43, later confessed to police that he had been operating a meth lab for about a year, according to charging documents. Police charged him with operating a methamphetamine laboratory and other charges.
Shortly before midnight, police were called to the first block of Water Street for an argument that turned physical between Boone and his girlfriend, Chief James Boddington said. When officers arrived, the woman said that she and Boone had gotten into a fight, and he tried to leave with a box full of methamphetamine baggies, charging documents state.
She knocked the box out of his hands and Boone picked all but one of the bags up when he left, according to documents.
The woman told police that Boone used to cook the drugs in propane tanks, but that he had started making it in the couple’s old apartmentseveral months ago, documents state.
Crews were dispatched to Water Street where authorities say they found various chemicals and cooking implements used in the production of meth, Boddington said. A state police Clandestine Laboratory Team was summoned from Allentown, and residents of the building were evacuated.
Around 11 a.m., state police officials in white hooded suits, booties and gas masks entered the apartment. Various chemicals were identified, including what is believed to be anhydrous ammonia and muriatic acid, Boddington said.
Crushed batteries and ephedrine, common ingredients used to make meth were identified, and cooking implements such as butane, tubing, glassware and straining materials were found, he said.
Further tests will be needed to properly identify the contents of the lab, but based upon what was found, the residents of the building could have been at risk, Boddington said. Meth production can produce poisonous fumes and cause fires or explosions.
“Some meth labs are very elaborate,” Boddington said. “This looks like a home-grown, quick cook. But the chemicals are still very dangerous.”
The property where the lab was found included eight apartment units, but few were occupied when police evacuated the building, Boddington said. The building was deemed structurally unstable several weeks ago, and tenants were given 30 days to leave.
The couple involved in the domestic dispute had recently moved out of the building but still had access to their old apartment. The apartment that was being used as the lab was well ventilated, Boddington said.
The man, who was in his 40s, was taken to Central Booking to be arraigned Friday afternoon, but police did not release his name. He will likely be charged with possession with intent to delivery, manufacture of meth and causing or risking a catastrophe, Boddington said. The investigation is ongoing.
Residents in the area were not permitted to return for several hours. Tom Johnson, who lives in the building where the lab was discovered, said he was planning to go to work but didn’t have time to grab his clothes as he was rushed from the building around 6:30 a.m.
Johnson and his daughter Megan Gettle, 19, said there were no signs of a meth lab operating inside.
“I’ve lived here (Glen Rock) my whole life and there’s been some strange things happening. This is the newest,” Johnson said.
The scene, which was only yards from the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, attracted a few curious glances from passersby. Two men stopped their bikes to stare and asked questions of local residents.
Area business owners initially were concerned the response to the lab would detract from business. Crews had closed all of Water Street, blocking parking lots for the nearby Glen Rock Mill Inn and florist Flowers by Cindy. But police moved lines back to accommodate the business owners shortly before 10 a.m. Cindy Cancilla, owner of the floral shop at Main and Water streets, said she was surprised a meth lab had been operating so close to her store.
“It’s such a quaint little community,” she said.
Richard Daniel Boone, 43, of Glen Rock faces one charge each of operating a methamphetamine laboratory, risking catastrophe, manufacturing of a controlled substance, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and harassment. He faces two charges each of possession of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was in York County Prison Friday night in lieu of $85,000 bail.