Pulaski Township police have filed multiple drug-related and endangering-the-welfare-of children charges against Robert Petrofske, 38, and Melissa Shonsky, 38, both of 160 Redwood Circle, in connection with the alleged operation, which police say took place inside the bedroom of the couple’s mobile home in Heritage Hills Mobile Home Park. They were arraigned last night and placed in the Lawrence County jail on $50,000 bond each.
According to District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa, the Pulaski police were assisted in the investigation by the county’s special investigative unit, an arm of the district attorney’s office that conducts narcotics investigations.
The team confiscated multiple items that included paraphernalia and packaging from components that typically are used for crystal meth manufacturing, Lamancusa said.
Chad Adams, lieutenant officer in charge of the Pulaski Township Police Department and a member of the special investigative unit, said the officers seized only a small amount of the finished product but found numerous pieces of packaging and individual labs inside the mobile home.
He pointed out that two juveniles, ages 14 and 16, were in the residence when police went there Friday. They were turned over to the custody of Lawrence County Children and Youth Services.
Adams initiated the investigation after having received multiple reports and tips from people who suspected the operation was going on, Lamancusa said.
He said that the officers, specially trained in meth lab investigations, were dressed in special protective gear when they served a sealed search warrant at the mobile home around 11:45 a.m. Friday, seizing evidence that they say indicates the pair had been cooking methamphetamine there for at least four or five months. The team seized all of the paraphernalia and the product, Lamacusa said.
Among the items confiscated were 28 spent labs, multiple bottles of lighter fluid, 15 lithium batteries that had been ripped apart, 11 empty boxes of pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, 03 grams of suspected methamphetamine, four glass pipes, a coffee grinder containing pseudoephedrine residue, a bag containing lye and the couple’s 2006 White Acura vehicle, according to a criminal complaint filed by the police.
Adams said he learned through the investigation that the couple had started using methamphetamine about a year ago, and that when they moved to Lawrence County from the Lancaster area, the product was scarce. He alleged that they used a recipe from the internet to make the product themselves. When they learned that people in the area were suspicious, they were depositing the trash from the operations at various other locations and not putting it into their garbage stream, he said in a phone interview Friday.
He said that no weapons were found on the premises.
Petrofske and Shonsky are charged with two counts each of endangering the welfare of children and manufacture of methamphetamine with a child present; one count each of possession of red phosphorous and other items with intent to manufacture a controlled substance; deposits, stores and disposing of chemical waste; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; risking catastrophe; recklessly endangering another person; conspiracy to operate a methamphetamine lab; and conspiracy/deposits, stores, disposal of chemical waste.
Lamancusa credited Adams for having conducted “a flawless investigation in the past couple of months that was spurred by numerous citizen complaints.”