Jackson Street mother named third suspect in meth ring
A 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.
Denise 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.
Just 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."
Montgomery'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.