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Meth lab found

Published March 21. 2011 05:00PM

Five persons were taken into custody Saturday afternoon when a specialized state police unit raided a home in the quiet community of Quakake, Rush Township.

The raid began just after 2 p.m. when the state police Clandestine Laboratory Response Team, acting on a tip from a confidential informant (CI), entered the home of Jeremy Snyder, 29, of 62 Heckman St. State police were backed up by police from Rush Township, Tamaqua, Coaldale, Ryan Township and Mahanoy City.

State police utilizing biohazard chemical suits, soon discovered a working methamphetamine lab. Also found were a fully operational marijuana growing operation in the upstairs of the home.

The incident began when the informant contacted the Rush Township police of the drug activity at the home. Police traveled to the scene and when confronting Snyder, police noticed in plain view a substance on a burner bubbling with a balloon on top of it.

Township police realized they had found a working meth lab and immediately took Snyder into custody, along with Jennifer DiPietro, 27, of Green Street, and William Mannes, 29, of 326 W. Rowe St., both of Tamaqua; Joseph Holland, 29, of 51 Hollow Ave., MaryD; and Russell Gernert IV, 30, of 38 Schuylkill Rd., New Ringgold.

All of the suspects were charged with felony manufacture of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, possession of liquified ammonia gas, criminal conspiracy to possess red phosphorous and criminal conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance.

Snyder was also charged with the manufacture of a controlled substance-marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia, while Gernert was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

All five were arraigned before duty District Judge James K. Reiley, Pottsville, and committed to the Schuylkill County prison Snyder in lieu of $40,000 bail and the other four suspects in lieu of $25,000.

Rush Township police notified the Schuylkill County Drug Task Force, which requested the state police Clandestine Lab Team.

The team members found the working meth lab inside the home including iodine, pseudoephedrine and sodium, all used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

The entire area of Quakake was cordoned off with nearby roads closed to traffic. Also assisting at the scene were firefighters from Quakake and Tamaqua, Ryan Township EMS unit and Pottsville firefighters with their decontamination unit.

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