Crime

Charges filed in alleged meth lab bust

adrey@centredaily.com

Charges have been filed against a Bellefonte man stemming from the reported discovery of a methamphetamine lab in Bellefonte last year.

The CDT previously reported on the alleged discovery in September, as police reported a male recently picked up on a parole violation said he had been making meth in a nearby Halfmoon Hill apartment. State police were subsequently called and investigated.

According to criminal complaints filed by Bellefonte police, officers responded to a call regarding a domestic incident on Sept. 21. A neighbor had reportedly heard a male and female screaming before hearing a loud bang and seeing the male leave the residence.

The man, identified as Joseph A. Rodriguez, 35, was taken into custody along West High Street, police said. A search of his belongings revealed a small container of what he allegedly identified as meth. Rodriguez also reported he was on parole.

The female involved in the reported domestic incident reached out to officers shortly after, police said, and consented to a search of the apartment.

The officer reported the odor of ammonia in the apartment, police said, and also reportedly discovered a container with white powder and glass tubes containing residue — items consistent with meth usage. The state police Clandestine Lab Response Team was called to the scene.

A search of the apartment by the CLRT reported “significant findings that were consistent with the ‘one pot method’ in manufacturing methamphetamine,” police said. The property was subsequently tagged with a notice.

A juvenile female was interviewed Sept. 23 at the Centre County Children’s Advocacy Center, police said, and reported that she had been to the address on several occasions. She reportedly identified Rodriguez as living at the address and said there were occasional visitors.

A CLRT report was received Oct. 28, police said, indicating the presence of meth and byproduct at the residence. A container found in the freezer reportedly contained 72.99 grams of a liquid that tested positive for meth, byproduct, pseudoephedrine and acetone.

Rodriguez was arraigned Thursday before District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker, according to court documents and faces numerous charges, including felony counts of causing a catastrophe, manufacturing methamphetamine with a child present, storing chemical waste and possessing red phosphorus with the intent of manufacturing methamphetamine. Straight monetary bail was set at $50,000 in the meth case and $10,000 in the domestic dispute case.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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