New Castle News

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June 9, 2012

Police arrest meth lab ‘mastermind’

NEW CASTLE — Law enforcement authorities have learned more about a methamphetamine lab on Balph Avenue since making three arrests a week ago.

They filed new charges Thursday against Richard Clifford Carey, 33, of 12 E. Balph Ave. in connection with two operations they had raided May 29.

Carey is now in jail for being the alleged kingpin of the operations.

Previously charged were Wendy Lee Carey, 37, and Nicholas Andrew Stewart, 31, both of 12 E. Balph Ave., and Scott Shoaff, 38, of 113 Atlantic Ave., in connection with two methamphetamine labs at both of those addresses.

Members of the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration subsequently learned from a confidential informant that Richard Carey initiated all of the manufacturing.

The informant claimed to have first-hand knowledge of clandestine methamphetamine manufacturing that Carey  orchestrated at several locations, including where he lived, New Castle police said.

The source told police that Carey’s history of meth use dates back to his early teens, and that he cooks and uses methamphetamine every day.

The informant told police that Carey offered to teach others how to make the product, and that he learned to make methamphetamine in Panama City, Calif. The source said Carey moved last fall to 12 E. Balph Ave. and started the methamphetamine operation shortly after that.

THE PROCESS

The informant said Stewart initially watched, then helped  Carey in the process.

Carey stored the product outside next to the house in a barbecue pit, and it typically was kept in a 20-ounce plastic pop bottle, authorities learned. That went on until he moved out of the house just before Thanksgiving last year.

He relocated to 1501 Hamilton St., then began visiting several locations to make methamphetamine, the source told authorities, but he used 12 E. Balph Ave. and 113 Atlantic Ave. as his cooking locations.

He would carry his black bag of supplies from one house to another, the source said.

Carey began selling the product in January, and Carey, Stewart and Shoaff all were involved, the informant told authorities. The informant told them that the finished product using two boxes of over-the-counter ephedrine or pseudoephedrine yielded 5 grams of methamphetamine.

According to the source, Carey would make meth with Shoaff while Shoaff was working. Shoaff worked for a man  who purchased residential properties and renovated them for sale or rent, the source said, and after cooking the methamphetamine, Carey and Shoaff would discard the waste byproduct into dumpsters.

The source told police that Carey began using more and more methamphetamine, and he agreed to make it for Stewart and Shoaff and take half of the finished product as payment.

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