PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Glocester man is facing a drug dealing charge after authorities say they stopped the car he was driving and discovered a batch of methamphetamine cooking in the trunk.
Kevin Lewis, 40, of 18 Spruce Ridge Road, Chepachet, was ordered detained Wednesday on a count of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute after an appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan in U.S. District Court.
“This is not only a controlled substance … but it’s using a technique that creates a really extraordinary risk [of explosion],” Sullivan said in ordering Lewis held.
Wearing khaki pants and a T-shirt, a bearded Lewis appeared very subdued during the proceedings, politely answering the judge.
Glocester police alerted U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents early Tuesday about a suspected clandestine “one-pot” meth lab after noticing a strong smell of acetone, which is associated with meth production, during a traffic stop, according to an affidavit of Special Agent Alan J. Sims. The police had stopped Lewis around 6:37 a.m. on an outstanding Family Court warrant.
Lewis’s wife, Carolyn, drove the Nissan Maxima that Lewis had been driving to the Glocester police headquarters and verbally consented to a search of the car, the affidavit says. In the trunk, they found an active batch of meth cooking in a one-liter plastic bottle set within a five-gallon bucket as well as two hydrochloric acid gas generators used in producing meth. A completed batch was in a cooler, along with pseudoephedrine blister packs, the affidavit said.
Carolyn Lewis again consented to a search of her father’s Spruce Ridge Road property, where the couple had been living, the affidavit said. DEA task force agents discovered two plastic bottles that had previously been used to produce meth and another completed batch of one-pot meth in the back of a Taurus belonging to Lewis, it says.
A one-pot lab is a rudimentary process that combines pseudoephedrine and other chemicals in a disposable container to produce meth.
Agents seized nine grams of meth linked to Lewis, according to the affidavit. Pharmacies are required by law to record the amount of pseudoephedrine being purchased. Records revealed that Lewis purchased 49.92 grams from November through Tuesday and was denied purchases at other times, it says. One gram of pseudoephedrine produces .9 grams of meth, authorities say.
Lewis’s lawyer, Tara I. Allen, had asked that he be released to a drug treatment facility. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard Sullivan asked that Lewis remain held, noting that he had been arrested 24 times over the past three decades and had a history of domestic violence.