WILKES-BARRE – Making and selling methamphetamine was no big deal to Glen Kocher, authorities said, but it was to police who searched his house on Blackman Street, three other residences and a car to shut down his alleged illegal operation.
The 48-year-old, self-employed mason, his wife, Donna, and his girlfriend, Amanda Adamski, were arrested as part of an investigation into the sale and manufacture of the drug.
“We did some,” he said after his arraignment on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance.
“They’re making more out of it than it really is,” he added. “It’s an election year.”
Deputy Attorney General Tim Doherty disagreed.
“It’s big in the sense that where it leads,” he said. “It has the potential, again, of making a lot of money.”
Doherty said agents of the Attorney General’s Office converged on three houses in the city shortly before 7 a.m.
With heavy rain falling, city police shut down traffic as armed agents wearing body armor executed search warrants at 18 Spruce St., directly across from the Spruce Street Playground, and a double-block house at 356-358 Blackman St. just before 7 a.m.
A utility truck with a retractable canopy parked in front of the Blackman Street house. A table was set up under the canopy as agents brought out chemicals from the house suspected of being used in the making of methamphetamine.
The same process was repeated at houses on Spruce and Regent streets.
As a result of those searches, agents obtained additional search warrants for a house on Buck Creek Road in Bear Creek Township and a car parked on Blackman Street.
The search warrants and the affidavits to support the searches were filed under seal in Luzerne County Court.
Doherty said that during the course of the searches, “we were able to locate not only methamphetamine itself, but more importantly the manufacturing equipment, the raw materials, the packaging materials, the cooking instruments.”
At all the locations searched, agents “located instruments” used to make methamphetamine, said Doherty.
The husband and wife allegedly had methamphetamine on them when they were arrested. They said it came from a batch he made the previous night at a clandestine laboratory, according to the affidavit filed to support their arrests.
Donna Kocher, 52, told agents her husband had given her some of the methamphetamine, said Doherty. She kept half and sold the rest, he said.
The Kochers face identical charges and were committed to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail each.
While waiting to be arraigned before District Judge Paul Roberts Jr. in Kingston, a handcuffed Donna Kocher leaned toward her husband who also was handcuffed and sitting nearby and said, “This is what happens when you cheat on your wife. It’s karma. I hope it was worth it.”
He did not respond to her.
Agents said Glen Kocher had been living with Adamski, 28, at the Spruce Street house, a few blocks from Kocher’s Blackman Street house.
Agents found a small amount of marijuana, rolling papers, a pipe and a “roach clip” in a bedroom at the Spruce Street house, according to the arrest affidavit filed against Adamski.
“They found other things too that were taken to be analyzed,” said Doherty.
Adamski, who has no permanent address, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was committed to the county prison for lack of $10,000 bail.
Doherty said she faces additional charges of resisting arrest and tampering with evidence after a struggle with an agent at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, where Adamski tried to swallow pills. Adamski was taken to the hospital for an undisclosed ailment. She appeared at the arraignment wearing a hospital gown, scrub pants and socks.
The investigation developed out of complaints from neighbors, said Doherty.
“They called Wilkes-Barre police and we have a very active task force and Wilkes-Barre is very active,” he said.
Doherty said the Kocher operation was not related to the investigation of a fatal shooting of a man in February inside a trailer in Hunlock Township suspected of being a methamphetamine lab.
Depending upon where the Kocher investigation leads, there could be additional arrests, said Doherty.
He added it is up the city to decide whether to take action on the houses searched by agents.
“Once police hit a house, then the inspectors go out,” said Doherty.