3 Accused Of Operating Meth Lab In Residence For Recovering Addicts

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Three Canton men have been arrested for allegedly operating a meth lab at a home for recovering alcohol and substance abusers.

Canton village police say 28 year old Mark Amo, 30 year old Hunter Casey and 25 year old Andrew Larche were allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine at the North Country Freedom Homes residence at 25 Dies Street.

North Country Freedom Homes provides services to people recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.

Police say they found a partially disassembled portable meth lab, part of which was found in the house and the rest in a wooded area behind the property.

Also found were several components used to make methamphetamine, along with hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia.

"Investigators from the drug task force are doing a lot of background, a lot of  legwork, to see if they can run down where some of the ingredients came from and to see if they can determine maybe if it was a quantity enough that's being sold," said Victor Rycroft, Canton's interim police chief.

Staff at the North Country Freedom Home monitors residents 24 hours a day.

It was on one of the attendant's rounds that she noticed something unusual at 3:30 am on Wednesday.

"There were lights on under 3 bedroom doors and lights are supposed to be out after 12 o'clock," said North Country Freedom Home Director Greg Aldrich.

Aldrich says his staff reacted quickly and appropriately and says the meth lab was not a failure on his facility's part.

Staff can't predict or control client behavior. And that's why he's not shocked these individuals were involved with meth.

"I was not surprised," he said. "Relapse is part of the process. You can't predict it, but if you're going to be working in this field you have to accept the possibility of that occurring."

All three men were charged with third degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and second degree criminal possession of the materials used to make the drug.

They were sent to jail. Bail was set at $15,000 for Amo, $10,000 for Casey and $5,000 for Larche.

Because some of drug's ingredients are hazardous, a Department of Environmental Conservation hazardous spill response team was called in to clean up the site.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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