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November 12, 2009 - 10:43am

Two men suspected of manufacturing meth busted at house in Alabama

posted by Howard B. Owens in crime, Alabama, methamphetamine.

meth_lab01.jpg

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.

meth_lab03.jpgMaha 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.

meth_lab02.jpg

Kim Grant
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Drove by it this morning. Was wondering what was happening.
Alicia Jachimowicz
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Where did this happen at?
Beth Kinsley
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This scares the hell out of me. They make this crap out of household chemicals. No telling what's in it. Very glad to see they got these guys.
tom hunt
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Another example of the Big City problems visiting a rural area.
Olivia Gimlin
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Where this occured is literally only like four or five houses down the road from where I live. I can only imagine if something would have happened if it had not been discovered.
Howard B. Owens
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Actually, meth is a rural problem more than an urban problem. Here's some more info.
Karen Miconi
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Whats even more sad, is the fact that those who use this drug, are causing irreversable damage to their brains, and central nervous system. As you can see from Howards pictures, they loose their ability to take care of themselves, and their suroundings. Hopefully there are no children involved. The people that use this garbage, need help, and fast. I wish their were more programs to address this epidemic, and help the addicted.
C. M. Barons
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Of course it's a rural problem. These meth "labs" are reminiscent of Depression era "stills." No one with any dignity would snort the dope these trailer-court chemists put out.
cj sruger
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whats even more sad is this is why there have been so many car break ins. they need $ to buy this crap. also not hard to tell that some form of dirt bag lived in that house, just from a quick glance
Thomas Mooney
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Doesn't look much different than (old Quartly's Deli) Washington Ave in Batavia .When is city going put a stop to the illegal transfer station at the old deli .
Irene Will
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GREAT JOB by Sheriff Maha and ALL the other entities involved - especially to bring in the FEDS - not worrying about who gets credit, just going to take care of giving these guys the longest sentences they can GET.
Mark Potwora
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How do they allow a shack like that to exist...No code enforcement in that town,,,,,
dustin benham
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The towns official stance is that they had no clue anyone lived there. They say the house was not able to be seen from the road(lies). Its all in the buffalo news. In the artical about how they burned the house down to clean up the mess. Or whatever lies they are using to make it ok.

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