Two men were arrested Thursday for operating a methamphetamine lab out of a house on Field Avenue in the Village of Lancaster, according to town police and the U.S. Attorney’s office.
John Ruth, 39, and Michael Jachimiak, 37, both of Lancaster, were charged in a federal criminal complaint following an early-afternoon raid on a home at 97 Field by Lancaster police detectives and agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Lancaster Police Detectives Thomas Bulera and Edward Wojtal launched an investigation after calls from some Field Avenue residents about suspicious activities at the house. Trash dumped at the home was recently seized, police said, and officers found discarded packaging for pseudoephedrine, a precursor of methamphetamine, empty bottles of drain cleaner, lighter fluid, used rubber tubing, so-called plastic “one pot” meth lab bottles and an empty cold pack. U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. said all those materials are needed to operate a meth lab,
Ruth and Jachimiak are being held on federal charges of possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture with intent to possess a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine and maintaining a drug-involved premises.
During Thursday’s raid, agents found quantities of fuel, lighter and brake fluids, sulfuric acid, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, wire cutters, plastic bottles, rubber tubing and a plastic funnel – all used to make the drug, Hochul said. Also seized at the house were several hypodermic needles and a hydrochloric acid gas generator.
Hochul praised Lancaster police and the residents, and pointed to the dangers of a meth lab because of the “volatile and dangerous chemicals.”
The suspects were arraigned Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and remanded to jail.
Hochul said the two could face from five to 40 years in prison if convicted and a fine of up to $5 million.
Lancaster police said two women also at the Lancaster house were charged with state crimes of criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree. Their names were not released.