Comments Off on Bethlehem homeowner charged with operating meth lab at home that exploded

The 64-year-old owner of a Bethlehem home where there was an explosion and fire March 8 has been charged with operating a methamphetamine lab in the house.

 Bethlehem blast, fire on Greenleaf Street March 8, 2013

An explosion in the basement of a home at 1965 Greenleaf St. in Bethlehem sent people to an area hospital

Arrest warrants have also been obtained for three people who were at the 1965 Greenleaf St. house during the explosion, Bethlehem police said today.

The blast and fire occurred at 3 a.m., about three hours before police planned to conduct a drug raid as part of an investigation into methamphetamine sales, authorities have said.

Homeowner Elaine M. Noone was one of seven people, including two responding police officers, injured in the explosion.

Noone was arraigned this afternoon on a felony charge of operating a meth lab and other charges, records say. She was released on $75,000 unsecured bail. Efforts to reach Noone for comment were unsuccessful.

Bethlehem police today also obtained warrants for Daniel James Houser, 39, and Jeffrey Caulfield, 28, who both lived in the home, and Davina Bowler, 39, who was at the house at the time of the explosion, the department said in a news release.

Bethlehem and Bethlehem Township, Pa., police and the Northampton County Drug Task Force had been investigating someone at the home for two months and planned to serve a search warrant at 6 a.m. March 8, city police have said.

Instead the fire department was called out at 3:02 a.m. to the home, which is within 1,000 feet of Governor Wolf Elementary School. Noone was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg in Bethlehem for treatment of injuries.

Jeffrey caulfield davina bowler
Arrest warrants have been issued for Jeffrey Caulfield, left, and Davina Bowler, Bethlehem police said

Houser, Caulfield, Bowler and Samantha Weil were all in the home at the time of the explosion and later went to the hospital for treatment, court documents state.

A search of the home following the fire turned up more than 25 different types of chemicals, storage jars, glass filters and other accessories used in the production of methamphetamine, documents state.

Also found were six Mason jars containing a clear liquid, a glass milk bottle with a bladder-style tubing coming from it, containers of lye and empty bottles of isopropyl alcohol, according to a seized property report.

Many of the items found are household supplies which also can be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, such as Drano and an empty battery pack, cut-up batteries and a bag of lithium, authorities said.

Extracted lithium is one of the chemicals used in methamphetamine production. Police also found “numerous” pseudoephedrine packs and tablets, documents state.

Some of the items did test positive for methamphetamine, police said. All of the hazardous items and suspected methamphetamine were taken to a Pennsylvania State Police lab to be analyzed, police said.

Noone’s other charges are criminal conspiracy to operate a meth lab, manufacturing, delivering or possessing meth with the intent to deliver, reckless endangerment, risking a catastrophe and related charges, court records state.

Caulfield and Houser are wanted for operating a methamphetamine laboratory, criminal conspiracy and six other charges. Bowler is being charged with three undisclosed charges related to the manufacturing operation, police said.



Comments are closed.