SHICKSHINNY — Authorities searching for a wanted man said they uncovered a methamphetamine laboratory in the basement of a Glen Avenue house, the second discovery of a meth operation in the tiny borough in a week.
Police said a large amount of methamphetamine was being cooked inside 10 Glen Ave., where two teenagers were residing with Victoria Ann Maslar, 42, and her husband, David Maslar, 53, on Thursday.
The discovery was made when authorities went to the Maslar household searching for a fugitive.
It was the second meth discovery in the borough in four days, prompting a plea for help from Shickshinny officials.
Stephen Rodney Reider, 32, was charged June 3 when police investigating purchases of cold medicine at area pharmacies were led to his house at 14 Baer St. where they allegedly found ingredients and tools used to cook meth, according to the criminal complaint.
Maslar’s house and Reider’s residence are less than 1/2 mile apart in the borough of fewer than 900 residents.
Mayor Beverly Moore said borough officials have reached out to the state Office of Attorney General for assistance and guidance for Shickshinny and other small municipalities that have limited police resources in battling methamphetamine production.
Shickshinny is patrolled by two part-time officers splitting 25 hours a week, with council approving 10 extra hours to work drug enforcement during the month of June, Moore said. She noted the two officers are not experienced drug officers.
“Small communities like ours have to come together,” she said. “We survived a devastating flood. We can stand up and come together for this.”
Moore said she is hoping the AG’s office can provide education and training, not only for the two part-time officers, but also for residents in what to look for if they come upon a methamphetamine lab, whether inside a house or in a car.
The Maslars were charged with possession with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, child endangerment, reckless endangerment and possession of a controlled substance. They were released from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility after posting $25,000 bail each on Saturday.
Arrest papers say borough police contacted state police drug troopers after finding a large container with a white substance and liquid in the basement that burned their eyes and mouths.
Troopers with the state police clandestine team removed the container, which tested positive for a “very large amount” of methamphetamine, arrest papers allege.
Police said the Maslars had purchased pseudoephedrine 17 times at area pharmacies since January. The purchases were made by the Maslars submitting their identification cards that were electronically recorded prior to purchases, according to arrest papers.
A 13-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were living in the house when the methamphetamine was allegedly discovered in the basement.
Preliminary hearings are scheduled on June 12 before District Judge John Hasay in Shickshinny.