Two men suspected of manufacturing meth busted at house in Alabama
Two Genesee County men face federal charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine after local law enforcement agents raided a house on Lewiston Road in Alabama this morning.
Because of the toxic nature of the chemicals involved, a haz mat team has been on location all morning conducting clean up while investigators sift through the evidence, which includes chemicals, paraphernalia and guns. Two young men found at the location had to be decontaminated at the scene.
Sheriff Gary Maha announced the arrests at the 789 Lewiston Road residence at 10 a.m..
Taken into custody were Dustin R. Benham, 20, of 10472 Alleghany Road, Darien, who was in the house at the time of 6 a.m. raid. The owner of the home, Kenneth W. Mosholder, 44, was not in the dilapidated house this morning. He was arrested a few hours later at a friend's house at 135 Jackson St., Batavia.
Maha said his office sought federal charges in this case because he wants to send a clear message that the manufacture of meth will not be tolerated in Genesee County. Meth labs are an epidemic in some rural counties around the nation, including some New York counties.
"This is the first methamphetamine lab in Genesee County that we know of," Maha said. "We want to send a clear message that we'll stop this cancer before it spreads. That's another reason for going for Federal prosecution in this case."
Moshholder's 17-year-old son was also in the house at the time of the raid, but he has not been charged with any crimes at this time. He has been turned over to social services, who will find a place for him to stay. Mosholder could face child endangerment charges, according to Maha.
Other charges may be pending against Mosholder and Benham.
Maha said the lab was small and fairly recent, but officials believe Mosholder intended to grow his alleged production facility. The Sheriff said as far as officials know, the drug was being distributed in Batavia. The investigation is ongoing as to whether other individuals were involved in the distribution.
"At this time we feel it's a relatively small operation," Maha said. "We know he's been living out here for about a year-and-a-half, so it's possible he's been dealing for a year-and-a-half. You'll get a look at the materials and you'll see how big of an operation it is. Even though it's a small operation, we think he was growing the operation based on our intelligence."
Mosholder is reportedly originally from the Genesee County area, but moved to Texas before returning to Alabama in 2008.
According to law enforcement officials on scene, the presence of guns in the house -- where meth was allegedly being manufactured -- could add up to 20 years of prison time to any eventual sentence the defendants receive if convicted.
Responding to the scene this morning to deal with the investigation and clean up were DEA chemists, members of the Genesee County Haz Mat Team, Genesee County Emergency Management, Mercy EMS and the Alabama Fire Department.
Participating in the investigation and arrests were the Genesee County Local Law Enforcement Task Force.
Mosholder and Benham will be arraigned in federal court in Buffalo later today.