NANTICOKE – Authorities continued their search Wednesday for a man linked to a suspected methamphetamine cooking operation discovered Tuesday in the basement of a house at 232 E. Washington St.
The alleged meth lab was uncovered as police investigated a report that a person had been stabbed at the house.
Linda Buckley, 50, who lives at the house and was arrested Wednesday, allegedly told authorities she allowed James Piacente, 35, and his girlfriend, Kelly Parks, 36, to stay at the residence, knowing they were manufacturing meth in the basement, according to police charges.
Piacente and Parks apparently fled the house prior to police arriving to investigate the alleged assault.
Buckley was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Diana Malast in Plains Township on charges of possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance. She was jailed at the county prison for lack of $40,000 bail.
Parks was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant later Tuesday night, police Chief William Shultz said, but Piacente is still wanted for questioning.
Also arrested were brothers Jessie Kinney and Dessie Kinney. Both were charged with criminal trespass, and Dessie Kinney also was charged with simple assault. Both were arraigned by District Judge Donald Whittaker and released on their own recognizance.
Shultz said people inside the house told investigators that the brothers came in, started a fight and Dessie Kinney cut someone on the cheek. The Kinneys told police they didn't have a knife and they only came to the house because they were looking for their sister, Shultz said.
John Soprano, regional director for the state Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests might occur.
Authorities found fuel, coffee filters, sodium and ammonium nitrate, items consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, according to authorities.
Neighboring houses were evacuated while the state police clandestine unit safely removed and documented seized items. Residents were permitted to return to their houses early Wednesday morning, police said.
Court records say an arrest warrant was issued for Piacente when he failed to appear for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 8. Wilkes-Barre police charged Piacente and Parks with stealing jewelry and a watch from Boscov's Department Store on Nov. 29.
An arrest warrant was issued for Parks on Dec. 10 when she failed to appear for trial in county court on burglary charges, court records say. State police at Shickshinny had charged Parks for her alleged role in a May 28, 2010, burglary at a residence in Huntington Township and stealing jewelry she sold at a Wilkes-Barre pawn shop, according to court records.
Buckley is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 6.