Crime

A Port Matilda man crashed his vehicle. Now he’s facing felony meth lab charges

A Port Matilda man faces several felony charges in relation to operating a meth lab after a one-vehicle crash last week in Centre County.

According to the criminal complaint filed by state police at Rockview, a trooper responded at about 8:50 a.m. Thursday for a reported crash along Upper Brush Valley Road in Potter Township. The trooper reportedly found an SUV in a field and a nearby utility pole that was “split in half.”

There were no occupants in the vehicle, police said, but the trooper did find a plastic shopping bag tied at the top with smoke coming from the bottom. Inside the bag was a plastic soda bottle containing a reddish-white powder.

The trooper identified the container as a possible methamphetamine lab and evacuated the area, police said. The State Police Clandestine Lab responded and reportedly seized several items used in the production of meth, including two “one-pot vessels,” acid generators, plastic tubing, a fuel container and miscellaneous filters.

The vehicle was impounded, police said.

The owner of the SUV, Roy M. J. Kauffman, 35, reportedly contacted the trooper later that day in regard to obtaining his vehicle, police said. He reportedly admitted to crashing it and left the scene to find a tow.

He reported to the station Saturday, police said, where he allegedly admitted to his role in the meth lab.

He was arraigned Saturday by District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker, according to court documents, and charged with felony counts of possession of materials to make methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, operating a meth lab and risking a catastrophe. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment as well as summary traffic offenses.

Straight monetary bail was set at $200,000. A preliminary hearing is slated for June 7.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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