Unnamed tipster leads investigators to suspected meth lab in Le Roy
About two months ago, local law enforcement received a tip from an unnamed informant that methamphetamine was being manufactured and sold out of a home in Le Roy.
This morning at 6:15 the officers from Le Roy, Genesee County, State Police and the DEA raided a home at 28 Clay St. and arrested five people.
"It took some time to develop probable cause for a search warrant," Sheriff Gary Maha said at a press conference this morning.
The five people arrested at the house have not been formerly charged yet. They will be arraigned later today in Le Roy Town Court.
Taken into custody were:
- Kari L. Riggi, 21, of 28 Clay St.
- Koree R. Stephenson, 22, 14 St. Marks St., Le Roy
- Christopher J. Elmore, 31, 14 St. Marks St.
- Nathan D. Bernard, 21, 28 Clay St.
- Joshua A. Miller, 20, 51 Myrtle St.
Maha described the lab found in the house as a working meth lab and that it was larger than the one allegedly found in Alabama last month.
"That was a little bit of a surprise to us," Maha said. "We didn’t expect it to be as large, so that’s why it will take a little bit more time for clean up."
Agents will be on scene all day, he said, and a clean-up crew that specializes in this sort of hazardous material clean up for law enforcement will arrive from Pennsylvania this afternoon.
The alleged lab was located in the attic and, according to Maha, there was also a quantity of finished product in the house.
Le Roy Chief Chris Hayward said his department believes some of the meth was being distributed in Le Roy, but some of it may have been going into other communities as well. He said where it was being distributed is unclear at this time.
Hayward said this is the first known meth lab found in the Village.
"Over the last 18 or 24 months I've been on public record as saying we have a growing problem in this community and we've been taking steps to address it," Hayward said. "If nothing else, this demonstrates to the community that there is a problem here that we need to address."
Hayward said he believes three of the five individuals grew up in Le Roy and another has lived in the Village for a decade or so. Police have also responded to 28 Clay on calls unrelated to the suspected meth labe, Hayward said.
The Drug Enforcement Agency also participated in the investigation, but has not yet decided whether to file federal charges against the suspects. In the Alabama/Batavia case, the three individuals arrested were immediately arraigned on federal charges, which carry stiffer penalties. Maha said then that the DEA was brought in to send a clear message that meth manufacturing won't be tolerated in Genesee County.