Two Men Charged with Operating a Methamphetamine Laboratory in Lancaster
BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that John Ruth, 39, of and Michael Jachimiak, 37, both of Lancaster, N.Y., were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with 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. The charges carry 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 Eric M. Opanga, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on June 19, 2014, the Lancaster Police Department made certain investigative discoveries regarding 97 Field St. after receiving information regarding a possible methamphetamine laboratory. In the trash for this address, investigators recovered packaging for pseudoephedrine, the precursor of methamphetamine, empty bottles of drain cleaner, lighter fluid, used rubber tubing, plastic “one pot” methamphetamine laboratory bottles and an empty cold pack.
A search warrant was then applied for and executed at the 97 Field St. residence. During the execution of the search warrant, officers and agents discovered four individuals including defendants John Ruth and Michael Jachimiak. They also discovered quantities of fuel, light fluid, brake fluid, sulfuric acid, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, pliers, wire cutters, plastic bottles, rubber tubing, and a plastic funnel. The items were assembled into a “pne pot” methamphetamine laboratory and a hydrochloric acid gas generator. Also located during the search were two hypodermic needles containing quantities of a liquid.
“Methamphetamine poses more than a danger to the users,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Because of the use of volatile and dangerous chemicals, the production of this toxic substance also creates a danger for any homes nearby. Thankfully, the actions of the community here averted a possible disaster.”
The defendants made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy.
The criminal complaint was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division and the Lancaster Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gerald Gill.The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.