39 year old John Ruth and 37 year old Michael Jachimiak are charged with possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture, with intent to possess, a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, and maintaining a drug-involved premises.
Federal prosecutors say Lancaster Police received information about a possible meth lab at 97 Field St. In the trash, police say they recovered packaging for pseudoephedrine, the precursor of methamphetamine, empty bottles of drain cleaner, lighter fluid, used rubber tubing, plastic “one pot” methamphetamine laboratory bottles and an empty cold pack.
During the execution of the search warrant, officers and agents discovered four individuals including Ruth and Jachimiak. They also discovered quantities of fuel, light fluid, brake fluid, sulfuric acid, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, pliers, wire cutters, plastic bottles, rubber tubing, and a plastic funnel. The items were assembled into a “one pot” methamphetamine laboratory and a hydrochloric acid gas generator. Also located during the search were two hypodermic needles containing quantities of a liquid.
“Methamphetamine poses more than a danger to the users,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Hochul. “Because of the use of volatile and dangerous chemicals, the production of this toxic substance also creates a danger for any homes nearby. Thankfully, the actions of the community here averted a possible disaster.”
The defendants made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.
The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, a $5,000,000 fine or both if convicted.