BANGOR, Maine — Two local men have been charged with the most serious level of crime after an alleged methamphetamine manufacturing operation was found in a multi-unit apartment building.
The charges were elevated to Class A crimes because of the danger of fire, explosion or chemicals these “labs present to other innocent people living in the building,” Cmdr. Peter Arno of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said Monday.
Caleb Hathaway, 21, and Andrew R. Chalila, 26, were arrested Thursday morning and each charged with aggravated unlawful operation of a meth lab, Arno said.
“We responded at the request of Bangor PD following a bail check they were doing on someone who was living there,” Arno said of the apartment on Sanford Street. “Our lab team responded and collected evidence and both [Hathaway and Chalila] were charged. It was elevated to a class A offense because the operation was being conducted in a multi-unit apartment building.”
Elevated charges also can apply for meth labs found “in a motel/hotel or if children are present,” Arno said.
“During a bail search at 47 Sanford Street, officers came into contact with Chalila,” Bangor police Sgt. Tim Cotton said in a Monday email. “This is not Chalila’s residence. Evidence of drug activity, including indications of methamphetamine production (one pot type) was discovered in the apartment. Chalila is on probation and Maine Probation and Parole put a hold on Chalila. He was arrested and taken to the county jail.”
The “one pot” or “shake and bake” method typically involves using a large plastic soda bottle to make the methamphetamine.
Hathaway was out on bail after his arrest in a robbery reported at Ocean State Job Lot in September. In that case, Hathaway was charged with hindering apprehension, a Class B felony crime, after allegedly aiding and concealing Jacob Drapeau from police during the investigation into the store robbery. Drapeau, 24, was charged with robbery.
If convicted of the Class A meth lab charges, Hathaway and Chalila each face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Hathaway and Chalila remained at Penobscot County Jail on Monday, a jail official said.