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Men charged with having ingredients to make meth

December 21, 2005|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, PA.

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

Waynesboro police responding to a report of a disturbance at a motel early Tuesday morning charged two North Carolina men with possessing ingredients that could be used to make methamphetamine.

Patrick Keith Butterwick, 24, of Greensboro, N.C., and Jeffrey Craig Miller, 45, of Wilkesboro, N.C., each were charged with causing or risking a catastrophe and possession of red phosphorus with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, Police Chief Ray Shultz said. Both charges are felonies, according to the criminal complaint filed with Magisterial District Judge Larry Pentz's office.

Miller was jailed on $10,000 bail, which he later posted, Pentz said. Butterwick was in Franklin County Prison on $25,000 bond Tuesday afternoon, Pentz said.

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The men are scheduled for preliminary hearings Dec. 29, Pentz said.

Police went to the Best Western, 239 W. Main St., at 12:10 a.m. and found Butterwick lying near the edge of the second-floor balcony walkway, Shultz said. Butterwick allegedly started yelling and cursing and grabbed one of the officers, police said.

A room key card was found next to Butterwick and he was taken to his room to get him out of the cold, police said. Miller was in the room, where police officers detected an odor and saw items "associated with methamphetamine production," police said.

Those included a large number of matchboxes, alcohol and filters, police said. Butterwick and Miller were taken into custody and the motel rooms were evacuated while the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Response team was called.

A desk clerk at Best Western said the 52-room motel had a "full house" Tuesday morning and the other guests were taken to the motel restaurant and office to wait while police investigated and removed the evidence. The clerk said the guests were allowed back into their rooms between 3 and 4 a.m.

Shultz said Miller and Butterwick had been staying at the motel for about a week. They are employed by a company that is doing work in the area, he said.

"I don't know the amount they'd be able to make, but what we took out of there was not a lot," Shultz said. He said red phosphorus from the matches is an ingredient that can be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

"It is illegal to have them with the intent to produce a controlled substance," he said.

The Clandestine Laboratory Response Team was formed in 2001 to respond to methamphetamine labs and contain the hazardous materials, according to the state police Web site. A 2004 report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy stated that one methamphetamine lab was uncovered by police in Pennsylvania in 1999, but the figure rose to 60 in 2003, the last year that statistics were available through the Web site.

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system and use of the drug can result in psychotic behavior including "out-of-control rages," according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The key ingredients are ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which can be found in some over-the-counter medications.

This was at least the second suspected methamphetamine lab found in Franklin County. State police charged a man in April 2004 with manufacturing the drug in a trailer in Guilford Township.

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