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November 12, 2009 - 7:37pm

Jackson Street mother named third suspect in meth ring

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

jacksonraid02.jpg

mug_denise_montgomery.jpgA third suspect -- a 41-year-old mother of a young boy who lived at 135 Jackson St., Batavia -- has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine following a search of her home by DEA agents this evening.

A small meth lab was found in the basement of the house, according to a DEA agent on scene. He said the guns found in the home, along with the presence of a child living in the house, could potentially lead to longer prison terms for the suspects.

“This was smaller than the one we found out on Lewiston Road," said Dale Kasprzyk, a group supervisor with the DEA office in Buffalo. "The one on Lewiston Road was much larger, took up a larger portion of the house and we believe had greater manufacturing capability."

Kasprzyk said he thinks the Jackson Street lab has been in operation about six months. He characterized it as a threat to the neighborhood.

"There were some chemicals in there that shouldn't have been in there," he said.

jacksonraid01.jpgDenise R. Montgomery, who resided at 135 Jackson St. for at least nine years, is the third suspect named as part of the meth manufacturing and distribution ring that was uncovered by the Sheriff's Office after a five-week investigation.

Also arrested following a raid at 789 Lewiston Road, Alabama, were Kenneth W. Mosholder, 44, (taken into custody at the Jackson Street residence this morning) and Dustin R. Behman, 20, of Darien. Benham was reportedly at the Alabama house, where weapons were also found with the meth lab.

Mosholder's 17-year-old son was also reportedly at the Alabama house when DEA agents arrived there at 6 a.m. He is not being charged.

During the search this evening of Montgomery's residence, a man who identified himself as her father was allowed to enter the home and retrieve clothing for her 10-year-old son. He said the boy was with him.

mug-ken_mosholder.jpgJust prior to the search, a man arrived in a black pickup truck and asked police if he could enter to retrieve a dog that had been locked up in the house all day. A police officer watching the house did not allow him to enter. The dog was removed from the home about an hour after the search began. A Sheriff's investigator said the dog would be taken to family members.

Dave Foley, a neighbor, said he has been suspicious about activity at the home for several months, with lots of different people coming and going and people often making trips to the back shed. He said people started showing up after Montgomery's husband moved out several months ago.

"It was just in my head (being suspicious) because I'd see people come back and forth, go back to the shed," Foley said. "I didn't know what it was. Just suspicious. It was unusual. It was stuff that wasn't being done before."

mug_dustin_benham.jpgMontgomery's other neighbor said, with her voice quivering at times, she was too upset to even talk. She described herself as a 53-year resident of Jackson Street and said she had never seen anything like this in her neighborhood. She couldn't believe there had been alleged drug activity going on next door to her house. "Oh, no, not Denise," she said. "She couldn't have been involved." She said she never noticed anything suspicious.

A commercial haz mat team was on scene to dispose of the lab and chemicals following the search of the home.

Kasprzyk said every safety precaution is taken in a meth lab clean up, because of the dangerous nature of the chemicals involved. The Genesee County Emergency Management Team was on scene, as well as Engine 24 of the Town of Batavia Volunteer Fire Department the county hazmat truck, ESU 1 and Mercy EMS.

"Anything that we find is packaged up and taken out of the residence or out of the location and eventually out of the community and disposed of," Kasprzyk said.

bud prevost
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Sad,sad,and sad! She looks horrible, like all that oven cleaner and raid she's been smoking is trying to get out of her body, thus the pus face and neck. Very jolting to see this insidious drug making it's way to WNY. When I lived out west, it was the drug most heard about when it came to drug arrests. It's just very sad and depressing to look at the hollow expressions on each mug.
Beth Kinsley
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That should be an advertisement of why we shouldn't use drugs. Much more effective than an egg in a frying pan. Like you Bud, I am very sad to see that this horrible drug has made its way here. My daughter lived in Phoenix and it was very prevalent out there. Thank God she knew better than to put that poison into her body.
Robert Hunt
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Howard, The Town of Batavia Fire Department was not involved with the incident on Jackson St. If any fire department was involved it would have been the City of Batavia. I think you may have mistaken ESU 1 which is the County Hazmat truck for engine 24.
Dave Scheuerlein
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YIKES!!!!
Dave Olsen
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I like how one neighbor noticed something suspicious, but didn't do anything while the other one is in complete denial. Does this apply to an earlier discussion about knowing your neighbors and community engagement? I'm not condoning spying on your neighbors or invading their privacy by the way.http://www.thebatavian.com/blogs/howard-owens/molino-makes-pitch-improvi...
Howard B. Owens
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Dave, it's an interesting point and I thought -- if I was in the other guy's shoes would have have called the police? I'm thinking unless I had something more concrete, I doubt I would call specifically. However, I know at this point several Batavia police officers. I could see myself running into one of them and saying, "you know, the past couple of months, some strange activity at this house." But that's just calling police -- there's a maybe more significant issue of knowing neighbors and being able to talk with them directly and being able to help them if help is possible. My statements are in general and not meant to imply guilt of any specific individuals. Drug dealers prey on people. They find people at weak moments in their lives and suck them in, and suck them as deep as possible, including getting them involved in the actual dealing. Socially isolated people are much more likely targets for drug dealers.
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I understand enough about drug dealers to know how they work. I guess my point is that if people are out in their neighborhoods talking with each other, maybe someone else would have re-enforced his suspicions, and someone could have dropped an anonymous tip to the cops. This was one of the points I got from your other post about community involvement. I'm not judging anyone, I surely wouldn't want to confront some meth-addled nut with a gun or have him know I snitched. I just saw a connection.
Patrick Mruczek
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In my opinion, it's hard to know our neighbors in your neighborhood where the majority of the people are renters. Let me say that all people are not bad that rent, I have myself in the past been a renter. But on the southside, in some neighborhoods, there is such a turn around of people coming and going that it would be extremely difficult for any kind of neighborhood gathering or communication. Many people are of low income and indeed on public assistance, which again is not a bad thing when you really need the help but unfortunately in this day and age there are many who abuse the system. To further complicate things, much of the property in this area belong to absentee landlords. Again this is only my opinion, I have been living here on the southside for 9 years and have seen many people come and go. Many landlords don't care who they rent to as long as they get their rent. I believe that we live in a "me now" society, if it doesn't benefit me now then I don't care. I think that it is unfortunate, but true. What do you all think?
Dave Olsen
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she lived in that house for 9 years, The DEA said the lab was operating for at least 6 months, someone saw something, but didn't want to get involved. It may be as you say a "me now" thing or fear of reprisal, I can't know. I'm just glad that a fire didn't start and kill or injure the child living there or the neighbors.
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Patrick, You are absolutely correct. The southside has changed from ethnic neighborhoods consisting of tight knit families to exactly what you describe. Perhaps it is the evolution of city life on a small scale. The southside really had distinct neighborhoods mostly identified by the parishes in which they were located or by the school near to your home. The corner stores catered to the ethnic needs of that population. Gardens were a proud tradition, on the southside. The rivalry for the best kept garden was just part of the pride of living there. If you rented, you most likely rented from friends or family. Quite often you were still just a stone's throw from family You knew your neighbors because you either were related to them or grew up with them. The death of the southside, as we knew it, came slowly. As the population aged, the homes were sold off. Some were handed down to the next generation, but that generation found their lives far more complicated than the one before. Many of that generation used the GI Bill for education and the migration of our sons and daughters to other areas of the country ensued. Others stayed in Batavia, but their increased purchasing power enabled them to move to the outlying areas. There were still families keeping the traditions of the neighborhoods, but even that was evolving. The corner stores, started by the first generation, were threatened by the bigger grocery chains. Many, of that second generation, had no interest in keeping the stores and they were closed. Factories were running at full capacity and offered wages that provided a better life style. Children (the third generation) were better educated. Their horizons widened and job opportunities took them away from Batavia. So, as the second generation aged, the possibility of their families taking over the homes or staying in the neighborhood lessened. More and more homes were sold to absentee landlords and the beginning of the end of the 'old' southside was well underway. Public schools were closed and the children sent to the one remaining southside public school, Jackson School. More recently, the two Catholic southside schools were closed. The distinct neighborhoods, based on school districts no longer existed. The parishes, once a mainstay of neighborhood living, found their congregations dwindling. There are no longer boundries based on parish life. Another distinct element of the southside is gone forever. As I stated before, this is the evolution of city life on a small scale. Just as in larger cities, the neighborhoods change. Some for the better and some deteriorate into what we see now. The southside, once villified as being on "the wrong side of the tracks" had families that took pride in their homes and their neighborhoods. Am I surprised that drug dealers are finding the southside fertile ground for their business. Not in the least. It is the last nail on the coffin. Can the situation be turned around? I hope so. Maybe not in my lifetime, but the toddlers of today may be the city leaders of tomorrow who will work to make it happen.
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Bea, You are absolutely correct in all aspects. In our little slice of heaven here we do have a neighborhood watch. Unfortunately there are only three of us neighbors who participate. I am constantly suspicious and if I feel a situation isn't right, then I would call the police department. Which they have told me more times than I can count it's good to call, better safe than sorry. They will check up on the call. I can only hope that things will change. As for my family and I, we have decided that enough is enough and will be moving out of the city as we can no longer expose our daughter to this environment.
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Beth Kinsley
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Best of luck Denise. You have my prayers. I really hope that you get it together for yourself and your son. Don't blame Howard though. He's just reporting the news as it was given to him.
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Howard B. Owens
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Denise, I think it's very courageous of you to come on to The Batavian and and openly discuss your situation. If there are factual errors in my accounts of anything related to your arrest, I would be happy to know specifically what they are. Everything I reported either came directly from law enforcement officials, your neighbors or my own observations. Outside of you blanket statement of "misinformation" I have no reason to believe that anything reported on The Batavian was inaccurate. Of course, we are always willing to admit our mistakes and correct errors when specific mistakes are brought to our attention. I wish you all the best in putting your life back together. From everything I gather, you had a solid reputation prior to recent events and I'm sure you will find lots of support from people in the community. For the record, I did not send you a friend request.
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Denise- good luck on your road to recovery. Long and arduous, to be sure. Please take the time to direct the anger you point at Howard upon yourself. The whole situation that everyone experienced that evening was a culmination of poor choices YOU made. I'm not saying you acted solo in this, but the only one you can be truly angry with is you.
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bud prevost
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My advice was intended to be positive Denise. I do not live in a glass house. I know how insidious substance abuse can be. I'm not saying anything except good luck in turning things around.
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Tom Gilliatt
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Always easier to say all this stuff while on the outside looking in.
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Denise im glad to see they let you out. I felt so bad that they were letting me out and not you. You are the one with a wonderful son who needs you. I was happy to see that they posted about you being let go. Even though there was no post about me being let out the next day. Dont worry about what these people say. Or what the news says. We know how much of it is lies. It just blows my mind that the two of us were made to look like leaders of some large drug ring. I know your a good woman and i wish you the best. I hope that we can stay in contact at least a little bit to keep eachother posted on our legal status. As far as the news goes, i understand that howard only posts what he is told. I just hope that maybe the police will try to keep to the truth when reporting things. At this point all i can do is try to laugh about the lies that i read. Cause otherwise ill have to cry. Love you girl. Godspeed
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I noticed the gun lock on the Remmington when I first saw the picture. I figured they were both for hunting, but didn't bother pointing that out. The police report on this comes off as rather accusatory. Don't blame Howard for reporting the information as it was given to him.
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I dont blame howard at all. I have read alot of his posts on things, i think he is a bright man who is only trying to keep people informed. Why can a 3rd time offender over the age of 21 touch a little girl under 13 and get a year and some months in COUNTY JAIL and get out on probation? If my charges dont get reduced, i might as well just kill myself because what kind of life can i have getting out of jail at 30, 40, or 50 years old? Plus oweing more money than most people make in a lifetime? Where is the mind of this country? I think that some real changes need to be made. I could go on for hours about these things, but i know its pointless because how many people care about me?
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I know you care denise. Your good people. I mean the general public is happy putting us in prison but letting baby rapists free.
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Dustin - not one person on here wants to let baby rapists go free. In fact, I think most of us would be in favor of either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. I would love to see a little remorse from you. You have completely minimized the crime that you are accused of. As you put it "a grown man selling a drug to only a handful of other grown people". Sorry but I don't care who you were selling it to. It is a crime and a very serious one and you have no way of being sure that the "handful of other grown people" weren't in turn selling it to children. I honestly would like to see you get clean and turn your life around but the first thing that I would like to see is a little remorse.
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First i wanna make clear that even if i ever seem like i am being a jerk, sometimes i i come off agressive, not my intentions to yell at anyone. Second i am being charged for being at the house when the feds showed up. If i would have been at home noone would know who i am. I was hanging out with a friend who for the most part had noone else to keep him company. I was let go the next day. But i am still on a very strict probation. Getting urine tests and i have a patch on my arm that is always watching me. I failed my first test for weed, And only weed. I am now currently clean. I plan on staying that way for a very long time. This inncodent has brought be closer to my family and i am under some very close watch from my family. I am currently working and trying my best to prove that i am not the meth cook that im being made out to be. Your right. i cant be sure that the people were not in turn selling it to kids. But the opperation was soooooo small that i think its safe to say. Idk why i seem to keep feeling the need to come on here to save my name.
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Dustin - save your name by getting clean and making your family proud. That's all you need to worry about - not what other people think. I wish both you and Denise the best of luck.
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I will. I dont know if he told you but i talked to him last week. He was very comforting. He always is. As are you. I gotta say this whole ordeal puts me in a bad place but some of the people i met, almost makes it worth it. I love you guys
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Denise, thanks for talking to Dave and I. You have been a wonderful neighbor and we are your cheerleaders next door. Sometimes it just takes a few minutes to listen to someone to get the story straight. Good luck and we are here for you and Gordy. God Bless.
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I wonder what their attorney's think of Denise and Dustin discussing an OPEN and PENDING FEDERAL FELONY case on a website - that might be one of the dumbest things I've seen in a long time... right up there with smoking/helping to produce meth...

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