UPDATE: Police Bust Suspected Meth Lab in Clarion

meth-bust-2CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Police discovered a suspected meth lab Tuesday evening at an apartment on Fifth Avenue in Clarion.

The incident occurred around 7:30 p.m. at an apartment located at 75½ South Fifth Avenue occupied by 27-year-old John Andrew Yantz, III, of Clarion.

Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Response Team, Clarion County Chief Detective William H. Peck IV, Clarion County Adult Probation officers, Clarion Borough Police, and Clarion-based State Police were at the scene.yantz

exploreClarion.com’s Jake Bauer was on the scene and observed what appeared to be a raid by law enforcement personnel.

Officers were observed knocking on the door multiple times. After several attempts, they entered the apartment and found Yantz.

Officers also discovered items that are commonly used together to make methamphetamine.

Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Response Team determined that the meth lab was functional but not operational.

According to Clarion Borough Police Chief Mark Hall, suspect(s) have allegedly cooked meth at the home and had all the ingredients on scene, but “nothing was cooking at the time of the raid.”

Yantz was placed in the Clarion County Jail on a parole detainer.

Charges had not yet been filed against Yantz as of Wednesday morning.

Hall says charges in the case will proceed and arraignment of the suspect will follow with these new charges.

Search Warrant Issued, “Precursor Chemicals” Found

According to an affidavit of probable cause for a search warrant applied for by Clarion County Detective William Peck IV, Peck was contacted by a State Police vice officer for a possible meth lab at the South 5th Avenue address.

Peck was one block away at the time and arrived at the location at 8:24 p.m. August 11, with Clarion Borough Police, State Police, and Clarion County Adult Probation Officers already on scene.

Probation Officer Jay Kerle advised Peck he had information Yantz had purchased sudafed, a common item used to process manufactured meth.

Kerle said officers attempted to make contact with Yantz for five minutes but were unsuccessful, but obtained information from a neighbor indicating Yantz was probably inside the residence.

Probation officers made their way into the residence and allegedly found Yantz there and observed in plain view coffee filters in numerous locations, cold compress packaging, uncapped needles, a bottle of Lye, Coleman fuel, an open plastic bottle of drain opener, a garbage bag containing a plastic bottle with a white crystal substance, an empty box of Claritin, wet coffee filters with residue, a tubing with red residue, and an empty package of lithium batteries, according to the affidavit.

Peck spoke with Yantz, who allegedly denied cooking meth in the apartment. Yantz allegedly said one of his friends brought the items to his house and asked him to keep them overnight. Yantz allegedly admitted the items are used to make meth, the affidavit states.

A trooper in the PSP vice unit agreed the items are precursor chemicals commonly used to manufacture meth.

“Due to the hazardous nature of the chemicals involved in the process of making methamphetamine, it is necessary to conduct a night time search of the said residence in order to dispose/process of the chemicals in the interest of public safety,” the affidavit states.

The search warrant was issued at 10:40 p.m. by District Judge Duane Quinn. It contains 12 lists of items police would search for, including methamphetamine “and any other illegal controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.”

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