|Suspects in Austin methamphetamine lab operation plead not guilty at court hearings|
|Written by George Browning|
|Tuesday, 23 October 2012 00:00|
All of the suspects arrested at the site of a methamphetamine-making operation in Austin recently entered not guilty pleas to the charges filed against them in Scott Circuit Court.
The foursome includes: Jesse A. McIntosh Sr., 43; his son, Jesse A. McIntosh II, 20; Linda Polly, 19; and Jason R. Tyree, 35. The younger McIntosh, Polly and Tyree all listed Austin addresses. McIntosh Sr. has a North Vernon address.
The case began on October 10 when Austin Reserve Officer Mike Tscheulin received an anonymous tip about a possible methamphetamine lab operating on South Sixth Street. Austin Patrolman Greg Green and Reserve Officers Tscheulin, Derek Smith and Lonnie Combs went to the home to perform a “stop and knock.” Combs and Smith went to the back of the residence, while Ptl. Green and Tscheulin knocked at the front door. Both officers said they noticed what was described as an “...overwhelming chemical odor...” coming from the residence, according to the probable cause affidavit.
McIntosh Sr. opened the door to the officers, but he refused to allow them inside, saying he “...was only there to clean....and because he did not live there,” the affidavit related. McIntosh said he and a friend, Tyree, were the only people in the house, but the younger McIntosh and Polly were detained when they attempted to leave. Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Arnold, who has experience with illegal chemical lab operations, and Deputy Joe Guarneri arrived to provide assistance to the officers.
Noting that the house is located in a densely populated area with at least three other homes within 100 feet of it and that methamphetamine labs can be highly dangerous and volatile if left unattended, the officers entered the house.
Court documents state that the men easily traced the chemical odors to a room where a blanket was hanging in a doorway. There, all were nearly overwhelmed by the smell of cooking methamphetamine. Deputy Arnold said he saw coffee filters, lighter fluid and an HCL generator, which is used to “smoke off” the final, crystallized product.
All then evacuated the house with the suspects and called the Sellersburg Indiana State Police post. The ISP post dispatched a Clandestine Lab Team to clean up the site and process evidence in the case. Troopers involved in that clean-up included Thomas Basham, Robert Caudill, Mark LaMaster and Marty Meade as well as state lab technicians.
Chemicals that are considered precursors were found. They included anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, solvent, lithium and the medicine pseudophedrine, according the ISP list. Also discovered in a rear bathroom were drug paraphernalia that included a syringe and a glass pipe, glass jars, filters and tubing.
None of the four claimed the lab set-up. All said they knew the lab was in the home but that another individual was responsible for its presence.
Each has been charged with Cass A felony dealing in methamphetamine,Class C felony possession or sale of precursors and Class D felony illegal possession of a syringe. Misdemeanor charges included possession of paraphernalia and visiting a common nuisance.
All had original court hearings on October 12, at which time not guilty pleas were entered for each. Their individual bails were set at $100,000 corporate surety or full cash, and their trial date is currently March 11, 2013.
Public defenders were assigned to their cases.