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Second defendant in meth lab incident pleads guilty

Published April 04. 2014 07:08AM

The second of five people charged in connection with the operation of a mobile methamphetamine lab which caused an explosion and fire in Lansford, entered a guilty plea Thursday in Carbon County court.

Tyler Matthew Strawdinger, 21, whose last known address was Stroudsburg, but is currently an inmate in the county prison, pleaded guilty before Judge Joseph J. Matika to one count each of operating a methamphetamine lab, a felony two, and recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor two. In exchange for the plea the district attorney's office dropped charges of illegal dumping of methamphetamine waste, criminal conspiracy, causing or risking a catastrophe, and liquified ammonia gas; and precursors and chemicals.

On May 18, 2013, Lansford police and fire were dispatched to 117 E. Patterson St. after a mobile meth lab exploded.

Also charged in the incident were Kyle M. Frantz, 19, Scott R. Frantz, 44, Jacqueline Slaven, 37, and Kendra Crostley, 20, all of the Lansford address.

Crostley entered a guilty plea in the case and was sentenced by Matika on Jan. 24 to time served (65 days) to one year in jail.

The two Frantz's have pretrial conferences pending while no court date has been set for Slaven.

Strawdinger is also facing charges in Schuylkill County.

Yesterday he was told that with his prior record he faces a standard range sentence of anywhere between 15 and 30 months up to a maximum of 10 years in prison. Matika told him, "That is a state sentence."

Defense Attorney Brian Collins, court appointed, said at the time of sentencing he would argue for a mitigated range sentence that would keep Strawdinger in the county.

Matika accepted the plea but deferred sentencing ordering the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report.

Strawdinger has been in custody since his arrest and reportedly has a detainer filed against him at the prison by Schuylkill County authorities.

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