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October 5, 2013

Two cleared in meth lab case

NEW CASTLE — Charges against two people accused of operating a methamphetamine lab have been dropped.

Several of the charges against a third person were held for court.

District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright dismissed all charges against Adam Brett Jacobs, 21, of 4106 Hollow Road, and Richard Baynes, 20, of Lauglin, Nev., after a four-hour preliminary hearing Thursday.

However, Cartwright ordered some of the meth lab-related charges against Victoria Grace Pappas-Pappakostas, 21, of Apt. 309, 3315 Cloverlane Drive held for court.

They are: illegal depositing, storing or disposing of chemical waste; manufacture of methamphetamine with a child present; possession of liquefied ammonia with intent to manufacture controlled substances; possession of red phosphorus with intent to manufacture controlled substances; operation of a meth lab; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; possession of a controlled substance; possession of drug paraphernalia; and defiant trespass.

Other charges against Pappas-Pappakostas were dismissed. They are two counts of operating a meth lab, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of children.

The three were among five people arrested Sept. 19 at a Brinton Hill apartment, where, New Castle police said, they had found evidence of suspected manufacture of methamphetamine.

Police said most of the items were in Pappas-Pappakostas’ backpack when they served a search warrant.

A 17-year-old girl was charged by juvenile petition.

A fifth suspect, Jeffrey A. Shelpman, 25, of Apt. 615, 814 W. Washington St. had his preliminary hearing continued until 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Following Thursday’s hearing, Baynes and Jacobs were released. Pappas-Pappakostas was returned to the Lawrence County jail on $5,000 bond.

Police filed charges after receiving information about a possible meth lab at Brinton Hill, a Lawrence County Housing Authority complex.

They had received a call about a lot of trespassers in an apartment and found the five suspects there. Those arrested were not registered tenants, police said.

Pappas-Pappakostas is on the agency’s no-trespass list.

Police confiscated lithium batteries, tin foil, suspected lye, bottles with unknown substances, syringes, a bottle with alleged post-cook residue and packages of cold relief medicine.

They had withdrawn all charges against the four adults last week and refiled them the same day after learning the district attorney’s office did not have some of the needed evidence available in court for the preliminary hearings.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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