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At least the third home-made methamphetamine lab is raided since July 24

MACHESNEY PARK — Winnebago County narcotics investigators broke up a methamphetamine laboratory Wednesday afternoon, one of three clandestine manufacturing operations police have found in recent weeks.

Law enforcement officials hope this isn’t the start of a trend. Illicit drug users in parts of Winnebago County could be turning to methamphetamine — a relatively cheap drug that can be produced through a crude and potentially dangerous manufacturing process using available chemicals and over-the-counter drugs.




Bradley N. Jones, 50, of Machesney Park was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012, on drug charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.


So far, the labs local police have broken up and destroyed have been crude, low quality and low-level basement operations producing small amounts of methamphetamine, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro said.

There have been no indications of a larger methamphetamine criminal organization at work locally.

“This was a little smaller operation,” Iasparro said. “It was not operational as we found it, but the necessary items and equipment needed were there. There wasn’t a cooking operation in progress.”

Bradley Neal Jones, 50, of Machesney Park was arrested for unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, possession of less than 5 grams of methamphetamine and participation in methamphetamine manufacturing. He was also charged with possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana.

About 3 p.m. Wednesday, Winnebago County narcotics investigators along with Illinois State Police officers and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, executed a drug-related search warrant at 924 Glen Forest.

During the search, a small amount of marijuana was located as well as items used to manufacture methamphetamine but no finished methamphetamine product, police said. Jones wasn’t present and wasn’t located until later when he was allegedly found to have methamphetamine in his possession.

Although around for years, the Rockford region has not seen much methamphetamine when compared to other parts of the state. Instead, crack cocaine and heroin have dominated the illicit drug trade locally.

But members of Rockford’s M3 Streets Team arrested four people July 24 who were mixing a batch of meth in a sports drink bottle while driving around Rockford in a pick-up truck. A Loves Park mom was arrested days later for manufacturing methamphetamine in her mobile home on Pebble Lane where she lived with her three children.

The latest arrest in Machesney Park is the third meth manufacturing related arrest in recent weeks. No connection has been discovered between any of those involved so far.

“On a national scale, the DEA has taken out large quantities that is of a higher quality in Mexico,” Iasparro said. “These home-made laboratories are very dangerous and the substances themselves are dangerous … but these seem to be localized and sold to smaller numbers of people while the larger quantities and better quality comes from the cartels in Mexico.”

Recent meth busts
Methamphetamine is relatively uncommon in Winnebago County where less than 40 grams are seized annually according to the latest available data, making it the 41st county in the state. Law enforcement officials are hopeful that isn’t changing with the third recent meth lab bust locally in recent weeks.

July 24: Daniel C. Portwine, 32, Phillip M. Mengwasser, 37, Amanda R. Personette, 34, and Samantha M. Viel, 30, all of Rockford, are each charged with participating in methamphetamine manufacturing, possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials and possession of methamphetamine precursor after a traffic stop conducted by Rockford M3 Streets Team officers.

July 27: Diane R. Balcom, 44, arrested by Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police investigators for unlawful possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, methamphetamine-related child endangerment, unlawful possession of methamphetamine material and participation in methamphetamine manufacturing after a raid at her mobile home on Pebble Lane in Loves Park.

Wednesday: Bradley Neal Jones, 50, of Machesney Park is arrested for unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, possession of less than 5 grams of methamphetamine and participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.


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