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Meth-making charges dismissed against N.C. man

February 01, 2006|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - One of two North Carolina men charged in December with possession of chemicals that could be used in the production of methamphetamine had the charges against him withdrawn Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court.

Jeffrey Craig Miller, 45, of Wilkesboro, N.C., had been charged with possession of red phosphorous and causing or risking a catastrophe, according to court records. He had been released on bond shortly after the charges were filed in the Dec. 20 incident at the Best Western, 239 W. Main St., Waynesboro, Pa.

"He was not involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine. He was just present in the room, according to our evidence, District Attorney John F. Nelson said.

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Miller and Patrick Keith Butterwick, 24, of Greensboro, N.C., were taken into custody shortly after midnight Dec. 20 after Waynesboro police responded to a report of a man lying on the balcony of the motel. Lying next to Butterwick on the balcony was the card key to his room, which police used to take him inside out of the cold, police said.

Once inside the room, police found two containers of red phosphorous liquid, numerous matchboxes and two bottles of rubbing alcohol, according to the affidavit of probable cause. The strike plates had been removed from some of the match boxes, police said.

The affidavit stated that alcohol is used to strip red phosphorous off striker plates. The substances found in the room are among the ingredients that can be used to make methamphetamine, police said.

Butterwick waived his preliminary hearing and remains in Franklin County Prison on $10,000 bail. He is scheduled for mandatory arraignment in county court Wednesday, Feb. 8, according to his attorney, Eric Weisbrod.

At the time of their arrest, Waynesboro Police Chief Ray Shultz said Miller and Butterwick were employed by a company working on a project in Washington Township. They had been staying at the motel for about a week, Shultz said.

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