Three people are in custody after local law enforcement uncovered a meth lab in operation Wednesday night.
Charged with assembling or possessing chemicals used to manufacture meth were Rachel Kreps, 28, U.S. Route 30, Hanoverton, and Michael L. Goughenour, 33, and Tristan Apinis, 30, both of Cleveland Street, Salem. The trio were arraigned Thursday in county municipal court, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 9.
The meth lab was at Queen's Garden on Route 30, about two miles east of Hanoverton, in a home rented to Kreps, according to county Drug Task Force director Brian McLaughlin.
Some of the seven “one pots” — soda liter containers — allegedly used to cook meth that were confiscated by law enforcement following a Wednesday raid at a Hanover Township rental property. This method for cooking meth is simply: “They throw everything in the container, give it a shake and then it begins to cook,” said county Drug Task Force director Brian McLaughlin.
Acting on a tip meth was being manufactured at the location, McLaughlin said DTF agents, assisted by sheriff's deputies, showed up at 8 p.m. Kreps opened the door and once she did they could smell meth cooking.
"It's not something you forget," McLaughlin said of the distinctive odor.
He said the law allows them to enter private property when there is evidence that meth is being cooked, and when they did their suspicions were confirmed in the form of chemicals seen in the house that are commonly used in the making of meth.
Kreps, Goughenour and Apinis were escorted from the home, while the DTF obtained a search warrant for the premises. McLaughlin said they returned with the search warrant about midnight.
They found seven soda liter containers serving as "one pots" used to cook meth. McLaughlin said you simply dump the chemicals into the pop container, setting off a chemical reaction that converts the chemicals into meth.
"They throw everything into the container, give it a shake and then it begins to cook," he said.
Also confiscated were materials used to manufacture meth, such as lithium batteries, cold medicine tablets and lye. A small amount of marijuana was also found.
McLaughlin said they remained at the house until 4 a.m., safely removing the one pots and chemicals for disposal. They were assisted by the Hanover Township Fire Department.
Additional charges are likely. When asked if the trio had prior criminal records, McLaughlin said, "They were not unfamiliar with us."
By TOM GIAMBRONI , Morning Journal News