A Brookville man was jailed Tuesday after police raided his Belgiumtown home Tuesday in connection with a meth lab investigation.
Michael Guthrie, 42, Manor Lane, Brookville, located in Knox Township, is facing charges associated with operating a methamphetamine lab.
Police raided the scene early Tuesday morning and were removing evidence and hazardous materials from the mobile home most of the day.
Officers were seen wearing hazardous material suits as they pored through the outbuildings bordering Five Mile Run.
Guthrie is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.
“In the last several months we have become painfully aware of a methamphetamine problem in northern Jefferson County,” District Attorney Jeff Burkett said. “Because we know of the many horrors that come with meth, we are devoting a lot of resources to dealing with this problem. We have spent a lot of man hours and law enforcement personnel in dealing with this.
“I want to thank the Brookville Police for taking a great leadership role on this issue,” Burkett said. “I also want to thank my county detective, Guy Felmlee, who is investing a large amount of his time working on these investigations as well as the Pennsylvania State Police Vice Unit. They have devoted a couple of troopers who do a lot of the ground work that has to be done to investigate these crimes appropriately.
“We will continue to deal with this very aggressively, as we have been,” he said. “There will be more news to come in a couple of months.”
Burkett said there may be additional arrests.
Jefferson County added two county detectives a week ago, raising the total number to three.
This is the third raid on a meth lab in Jefferson County in the past six months.
In September, Kenneth Lees Sr. shot Trooper Bradley Wilson twice as he and Jefferson County Drug Task Force officers tried to serve a search warrant at Lees’ home on Cemetery Hill Road in Snyder Township near Brockway. Lees took his own life during the ensuing standoff.
The warrant was part of an investigation into a possible methamphetamine lab at the Lees residence.
Last month, three people were arrested in connection with a methamphetamine lab operation in the garage of a residence at 9747 Richardsville Road in Warsaw Township.
One of those arrested, April Ann Novak, 43, is a former police officer. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m Tuesday in District Judge Greg Bazylak’s office in Brookville.
The other two defendants - Michael Andrew Novak, 22, 9747 Richardsville Road, Brookville, and Dean William Paige, 52, 32 Robison St., Blacklick – waived their rights to preliminary hearings. They are charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent, criminal use of a communications facility, possession of a controlled substance. Paige is also charged with conspiracy to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.
Meth labs are considered to be hazardous due to the chemicals involved in producing methamphetamine. Assisting at the scene was the Knox Township Volunteer Fire Company and Jefferson County EMS. Assisting at the scene was the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is continuing.