Police: Man cooks meth while wife, 4 kids sleep
CATAWISSA - A early morning drug bust Sunday led local police to find methamphetamine cooking in the same home where the suspect's wife and four children were sleeping.
Locust Township Police charged Paul Cummings, 33, of 1120 Numidia Dr., Lot A-1 with a number of crimes, including operating a methamphetamine lab, causing or risking a catastrophe and endangering the welfare of a child following the 3:50 a.m. bust. The arrest concludes a 17-month investigation into the manufacturing of the drug at Cummings' residence.
According to court documents prepared by Locust Township Police Patrolman Christopher Snyder, the department executed the search warrant at the residence and immediately took Cummings into custody after finding a small amount of methamphetamine and several items of paraphernalia on his person. He was placed inside a police car while his wife, Stephanie, stayed in the living room with the couple's infant child and three other minor children who were sleeping when the bust occurred.
Cummings was questioned if there were any active "one-pot cooking" methamphetamine labs in the house. Cummings said no, but police began to search the residence.
In the bedroom, officers found an SKS modified assault rifle with a magazine in the weapon, but with no ammunition inside, a cigar box with bags of lye and ammonium nitrate, drain cleaner, marijuana, a grinder, lithium batteries and rubber aquarium tubing, along with multiple packs of pseudoephedrine tablets - both empty and full - consistent with the type used to manufacture meth.
In the home's laundry room, behind a large plastic sheet, a soda bottle with meth cooking in it was found. Due to the danger of explosion, the bottle was removed from the home, and the family was evacuated until the State Police Clandestine Laboratory team came on scene to deal with the situation.
Outside the home, lantern fuel and several charred pieces of other material used to cook the meth using the one-pot method were found in a fire pit.
Cummings was arraigned Sunday morning before on-call Magisterial District Judge Marvin Shrawder, Danville, and charged with felony counts of manufacturing of a controlled substance, possession of substances used to manufacture methamphetamine, operating a meth lab, causing or risking a catastrophe, and four counts of endangering the welfare of children, and misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
He was placed in Columbia County Prison on $100,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 17 before Magisterial District Judge Craig Long, of Catawissa.