Police: Addicts from smaller towns cooking meth in Summit City

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Police Department’s Meth Suppression Unit busted two meth labs within a block of each other late Thursday night.

The first methamphetamine lab was discovered at 1036 ½ Saint Mary’s Avenue after a lengthy investigation, according to FWPD Sergeant Greg Stier.

Agents discovered an active one pot meth lab and paraphernalia for smoking methamphetamine in an apartment above Applied Metals and Machine Works.

Police arrested Mason Arnold, 60, Fort Wayne on several drug related charges.

Mason was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of meth precursors, maintaining a common nuisance, and manufacturing methamphetamine.

He’s being held in the Allen County Jail on $50,000 bond.

The bust is the 28th of the year in Fort Wayne.

The owner of Applied Metals and Machine Works, Gary Ecenbarger, said Mason was just a renter and did not work for the business. Ecenbarger said he plans to evict Mason as soon as possible.

Mug shots of Mason Arnold, Amanda Renee Lee and William Howard Smiley courtesy the Allen County Sheriff's Department.
Mug shots of Mason Arnold, Amanda Renee Lee and William Howard Smiley courtesy the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.

A BLOCK AWAY

Shortly after cleanup concluded on 1036 ½, police discovered a known meth house at 830 Saint Mary’s Avenue.

Five individuals, including four men and one woman, were handcuffed outside the home.

Agents removed items from the home including an active one pot meth lab, a meth generator, and several items of paraphernalia.

Stier said the home also appeared to be infested with bed bugs.

Police arrested Amanda Lee, 26, on an outstanding warrant for dealing meth and maintaining a common nuisance. She was also charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. She’s being held at the Allen County Jail with no bond.

Police also arrested William Smiley, 51. He faces charges of manufacturing meth, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of meth precursors. He is being held on $50,000 bond.

Two other men were charged with misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia. Their names have not been released. A fifth person inside the home has not been charged.

The Allen County Board of Health condemned the apartment.

The incidents remain under investigation.  Police say the two were unrelated.

FWPD METH SUPPRESSION UNIT BUSTING MORE METH HOUSES

The number of confiscated meth labs in the city has increased.  According to the FWPD Annual reports, in 2011 officers found 32 meth labs.  In 2012, 64.

They say the increase is thanks to good police work and unfortunately people from other communities coming to Fort Wayne to cook meth.

“People in the smaller communities law enforcement know who they are. So, they’ve come to a bigger community to kind of blend in,” FWPD Detective Shane Pulver explained.

COSTLY CLEANUP

Both homes on St. Mary’s Avenue were condemned.  Detective Pulver says homeowners and landlords are left with the burden of paying to clean up the toxic mess.

“I’ve heard a range from $15,000 to $35,000 depending on the contamination.”

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