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Pair charged with attempting to make meth at Sharpsburg Pike home

January 22, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Lawrence William Starkey
Submitted photo

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown area man and woman were in the Washington County Detention Center on Tuesday after being charged over the weekend with attempting to make methamphetamine at the Sharpsburg Pike home they shared, according to Washington County District Court records.

Lawrence William Starkey, 32, and Heather Nicole Nave, 30, both of 10433 Sharpsburg Pike, were both charged with possession of controlled paraphernalia for the manufacture or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance; possession of equipment for the production of a controlled dangerous substance; and attempting to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance, according to the statement of probable cause filed by the Washington County Narcotics Task Force.

Starkey was jailed on $100,000 bond and Nave’s bond was $50,000, court records said.

On Friday night task force agents and other police officers conducted a search of Starkey and Nave’s home after receiving information from two separate sources that they were producing methamphetamine using soda bottles and lithium batteries, the charging document said. The task force had also received information through a Drug Enforcement Administration database that Nave had purchased pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make methamphetamine, from a Hagerstown drug store, the document said.

Nave and Starkey were home when the search was conducted, the charging document said. The single-story house is near the intersection of Sharpsburg Pike and Col. Henry K. Douglas Drive, which leads to the Maryland State Police Barrack.

In the bedroom agents found a plastic bottle containing a white crystalline substance in a pair of men’s shorts and a plastic bottle containing white powder wedged between hanging clothes in the closet, the charging document said. Drug store receipts and lighter fluid were also found, along with a Pyrex measuring cup with powder residue, the document said.

A two-liter soda bottle containing crystalline powder with a tube attached to the cap, ammonium nitrate and a bottle of liquid drain cleaner, coffee filters and other items associated with producing methamphetamine were also found in the bedroom Nave and Starkey shared, the charging document said.

A task force agent wrote in the charging document that the white powder in the plastic bottle appeared to be crushed pseudoephedrine and the substances in the two-liter bottle, a plastic container and a baby bottle were a combination of lye and salt, “a generator used in the production of methamphetamine.”

The equipment and chemicals found were consistent “with a method of manufacturing ... commonly referred to as the ‘One-Pot Method,’” the agent wrote in the charging document.

That method places all the ingredients — lithium from the batteries, salt, lye, pseudoephedrine, drain cleaner, lighter fluid and ammonium nitrate — into one container to “cook” the drug, the document said.

Coffee filters are used to filter the methamphetamine from the “reserve liquid,” the charging document said.

All the evidence seized was submitted to the Western Maryland Regional Crime Laboratory for analysis, the charging document said.

During a bond review hearing Tuesday, Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion told District Judge Ralph H. France II that Starkey moved to this area from Georgia within the past three months.

If convicted, Starkey and Nave face a maximum sentence of 14 years on the charges, court records said.

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