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Four jailed after Carthage police discovered alleged meth lab


CARTHAGE — Four men are jailed, two without bail, after village police discovered ingredients for the alleged manufacture of methamphetamine Saturday afternoon in an apartment on North James Street.

“We have been watching them for a few months,” said a member of the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force, but the investigation that village police opened was simply “good luck.” The manufacturing process had not been started, the investigator said.

More charges are pending because alleged stolen property also was found in the apartment, village police said.

Charged with third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, a Class D felony, are:

n Stephen L. Myers, 47, of 228-B N. James St.

n Duane L. Doyle, 52, same address.

n Kevin R. Farmer, 55, same address.

n Joseph G. Mathar, 33, of 20880 County Route 47, town of Champion.

Mr. Myers and Mr. Doyle, both ex-convicts, were ordered held without bail in the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, Watertown, by Village Justice S. Lucille Shettleton because of their criminal pasts. She set bail at $20,000 each for Mr. Farmer and Mr. Mathar.

The village police discovery occurred when an officer went to the apartment to arrest Mr. Doyle on a bench warrant for continuation of proceedings in Village Court on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child, a charge lodged in August when he was accused of using drugs in the presence of three youths, ages 6, 8 and 16.

Carthage Police Chief Reginald Huber said he and three state troopers went to make the Doyle arrest at about 5 p.m. “We heard Mr. Doyle talking when we approached the house, and then he tried hiding from us in his bedroom,” the chief said. “That enabled us to enter the house to look for him.”

The two other apartments of the building at 228 N. James St. were occupied, and were evacuated by village police when the alleged meth lab was discovered, according to the task force, which was notified at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. West Carthage police, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and a state police crime lab team responded to assist in the investigation. Entry to the apartment at about 8:30 p.m. was authorized by a search warrant.

“Several different items in the making of meth” were removed from the apartment, the narcotics investigator said, including a liquid solution in a bottle.

The alleged intentions of the residents was to use a “pot cook” method for the manufacture process, “but they hadn’t gotten that far,” the investigator said. The method is less dangerous than those previously used, which were potentially explosive, “but it is dangerous if not done right,” he said.

Chief Huber said more than 100 suspected stolen items were removed from the apartment, including proceeds of burglaries at Liola’s Pizza, 506 Alexandria St., and the Adirondack Mohawk Northern Railroad engine house on North Mechanic Street. Some other items are believed to have been stolen in house burglaries in West Carthage, he said.

Mr. Myers served about 21 months in prison after being convicted of first-degree counts of reckless endangerment and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in March 2007. He also has convictions for felony criminal contempt and driving while intoxicated.

Mr. Doyle was in prison for three years for 1988 convictions for attempted second-degree assault and attempted third-degree burglary.

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