Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 5, 2013

Meth lab found in Olcott

NEWFANE — Officers from the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police stormed a house in Olcott Beach Thursday night where methamphetamine was being manufactured. Two men were arrested and face various charges connected to the operation.

The arrests were the culmination of a two-month investigation launched after neighbors complained of drug activity at the house.

"They were in fact manufacturing and selling methamphetamine out of the residence," Niagara County Chief Deputy Steven Preisch told the Union-Sun & Journal.

The house at 1579 Franklin St. was cordoned off with crime scene tape. Residents watching the proceedings Friday afternoon said the house was a bundle of police activity until about 1 a.m. Friday morning. A police officer was stationed outside the home overnight.

"The SWAT team came in last night around 10 p.m.," said Connie Dierolf, who has lived in the hamlet for 28 years. "I watched them all running into the house. There were too many to count."

According to Dierolf, the home had been occupied for "a few months" by a man who neighbors believed was house-sitting for an aunt, or possibly a grandmother.

Preisch confirmed that there is a familial relation between the homeowner and one of the men arrested. He added that the home is a rental unit.

"There had been a lot of traffic there the last few weeks, mostly at night," Dierolf added. "We thought something was going on there. Once the cops showed up, we figured (drugs) were involved."

Preisch said the state police are brought in for meth investigations because they have the resources to remove the hazardous materials used to manufacture the drug.

"They ensure the area is rendered safe and the materials properly disposed of," Preisch expained Friday afternoon. "That's what took place most of today. They're waiting for a cleanup crew to come in and finish up the rest of the work while we continue our search."

According to Dierolf, the home had been occupied for "a few months" by a man who neighbors believed was house-sitting for an aunt, or possibly a grandmother.

Preisch confirmed that there is a familial relation between the homeowner and one of the men arrested. He added that the home is a rental unit.

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