Meth defendant wishes to stay in jail, work in kitchen
SHAMOKIN - Thomas Michael Reddinger, one of two men accused of cooking methamphetamine in the basement of a Coal Township home, wants to stay in the county jail so he can earn money by working in the kitchen while building up credit for time served before eventually being sentenced.
Reddinger, 31, and co-defendant, Roger J. Shaw, 42, both tenants of 1012 W. Spruce St., Coal Township, forfeited their rights to preliminary hearings on multiple drug charges Tuesday and were recommitted to prison by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III.
Reddinger had his bail reduced from $75,000 cash to $15,000 cash on charges of possession of liquid ammonia gas, methamphetamine production, operating a methamphetamine laboratory, four counts of manufacturing with children under the age of 18 in the home, four counts of causing or risking a catastrophe, criminal conspiracy to produce methamphetamine and manufacture with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Those charges were filed by Shamokin Cpl. Bryan Primerano and Coal Township Patrolman Joshua Wynn.
Reddinger was released on his own recognizance on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing precursors and chemicals related to manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine with the intent to sell, operating a methamphetamine lab and illegal dumping of methamphetamine waste filed by Primerano. He was arraigned on those charges Tuesday.
Reddinger told Gembic that he didn't want to be released from prison. "I just want to get working so I can get some money in my account," Reddinger said.
Gembic said he reduced Reddinger's bail on the initial set of charges so he could become eligible to work in the prison's kitchen.
Police said a confidential informant tipped them off after being asked by Reddinger to purchase materials used to cook meth, including cold packs and lighter fluid. The informant, who met Reddinger at 1012 W. Spruce St. Aug. 4, later told police the drug had been manufactured in Reddinger's basement.
A search warrant was obtained and officers from Coal Township, Shamokin and Northumberland County Adult Probation entered Reddinger's home at about 8:40 p.m. Aug. 4. An adult female, identified in the warrant as April Stahl, and children ages 8, 10, 11 and 13 were on the first floor while Reddinger and Shaw were in the basement.
Employees from Northumberland County Children and Youth Services were brought on scene to help with the children. The home was evacuated and the 1000 block of West Spruce Street was closed to traffic. Reddinger and Shaw were decontaminated at the scene.
According to police, a witness showed police July 29 a location in a wooded area just south of South Market Street where methamphetamine was allegedly manufactured by Reddinger.
At the site was a campfire with lithium batteries, coffee filters and waste and paraphernalia related to manufacturing methamphetamine. A hut was situated nearby.
Police also found a plastic soda bottle containing methamphetamine residue at the site.
On Aug. 4, Reddinger admitted in an interview with police he used three outdoor locations to manufacture methamphetamine, including the site near South Market Street.
In addition to the multiple felony drug-related offenses, Reddinger owes $32,734.43 in child support.
Shaw was charged by Coal Township Detective Jeff Brennan and Shamokin Cpl. Jarrod Scandle with possession of liquid ammonia gas, methamphetamine production, operating a methamphetamine laboratory, four counts of manufacturing with children under the age of 18 in the home, four counts of causing or risking a catastrophe, criminal conspiracy to produce methamphetamine and manufacturing with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
His bail was kept at $75,000 cash, but Shaw may request a bail reduction in the future so he can also become eligible for work in the prison's kitchen.
Shaw and Reddinger, who were represented by public defender Melissa Norton, sported tattoos on their arms and neck while remaining shackled during their court appearances.