Guilty plea in Saratoga County meth lab case
SARATOGA COUNTY Megan Howell lived with a small child in trailer that doubled as a methamphetamine lab.
The 28-year-old Greenfield woman was among a trio hauled in by authorities following a raid in October and later charged with manufacturing the lethal drug. On Friday, Howell admitted to possessing meth on the night of her arrest as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Howell pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance during her appearance in Saratoga County Court Friday. As part of the agreement, she is expected to receive a sentence of four years in state prison.
“Meth is a very dangerous and highly addictive drug,” District Attorney James Murphy III said in a statement. “It is reassuring that the New York State Police had resources to rapidly respond to a highly toxic and volatile crime scene in the middle of a dense neighborhood.”
Authorities believe Howell and Marlinea South, 34, were cooking large quantities of meth in the trailer, which was located within close proximity to other homes in the North Creek Mobile Village. Investigators believe they purposely located in the area so that they could sell the drug through a network in the area.
On Oct. 6., police raided the home, taking Howell and South into custody. Also arrested was Bruce W. Tyler, 55, for allegedly bringing his 15-year-old son with him during a visit to the home.
State police wore gas masks and flame-retardant suits to remove volatile chemicals associated with the manufacturing process. Authorities also hired a toxic waste hauler from Vermont to remove other chemicals found in the trailer –a clean-up that cost thousands of dollars.
“The taxpayers are the ones who ultimately pay as the crime scene cleanup costs tens of thousands of dollars in order to remove the toxic waste, clean up and dispose of it, sanitize the scene and install the necessary precautions to protect the neighbors and the public from residual harm,” Murphy said.
Howell is scheduled to be sentenced March 14. The cases against South and Tyler are pending.