Lockport Husband and Wife Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine
ROCHESTER, N.Y. U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Thomas W. McCabe, 37, and Leah McCabe, 35, of Lockport NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William M. Skretny today to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, a $5,000,000 fine, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that between December 2013 and May 22, 2014, Thomas McCabe conspired with others, including Leah McCabe, to manufacture methamphetamine, a Schedule I controlled substance. On December 6, 2013, law enforcement officers responded to 4890 Saunders Settlement Road in Lockport after receiving a report that there was a clandestine methamphetamine lab in the basement of the residence. Leah McCabe gave consent to search the premises, and in the basement, officers observed a clear, plastic bag containing a clear liquid clamped to the outside of a dresser drawer, a can of drain cleaner, a can of Coleman fuel, and a gas generator, which are used in manufacturing methamphetamine. Officers seized a plate containing a credit card, a razor blade and a white, powdery substance. A field-test of the white powder was positive for methamphetamine. State charges were filed at that time against Thomas McCabe and subsequently against Leah McCabe.
On May 22, 2014, law enforcement officers went to the McCabe residence at 51 Ritchie Avenue Tonawanda, NY, to execute arrest warrants for the couple who failed to appear in court with on the state charges. On that date, officers observed a plastic bag containing what appeared to be methamphetamine oil. During a security sweep of the residence, they observed a plate and credit card which contained a white powdery substance. Thomas McCabe and Leah McCabe were removed from the residence due to safety concerns, and were taken into custody.
During another search, officers discovered materials and equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, including Coleman fuel, empty pseudoephedrine blister packs, table salt, a plastic funnel, ammonium nitrate, several empty cold packs, sodium hydroxide, a hydrochloric acid gas generator, and a one-pot methamphetamine bottle. A field test of the residue on the plate and credit card was positive for methamphetamine. The substances seized were submitted to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department Laboratory for analysis, which determined that there was more than two ounces of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine seized from the McCabe residence.
The pleas are the culmination of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. hunt, the Niagara County Drug Task Force and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Department, both under the direction of Sheriff James Votour.Sentencing is scheduled for January 14, 2015 at 2:00 before Judge Skretny.