Meth lab suspect facing 15 years in prison
Last year, Brandon Watterson, 39, of Apollo allegedly taught others to make the illegal drug methamphetamine in the borough and Parks Township and started to sell it in the Alle-Kiski Valley.
Now he is behind bars awaiting sentencing in September.
Originally facing with a total of 58 charges, Watterson waived his case to court in May.
Now, instead of going to trial, Watterson has accepted a plea bargain.
In exchange for pleading guilty to two counts of making meth and one of operating a meth lab, the other 56 charges were withdrawn by the prosecution.
The prosecution is recommending that he serve 7 1⁄2 to 15 years in a state prison, according to a prosecutor and court records.
Watterson is in the Armstrong County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail awaiting a county judge to render his sentence in mid-September.
Defense attorney Bob Cinpinski said he has "some issues" that he will present to the judge in a bid to reduce Watterson's sentence. He declined to elaborate.
Watterson, named as the "cooker" of the enterprise, was among eight people arrested in April 2011 -- about a month after two raids by Armstrong County and state drug agents and police.
"We're satisfied with the sentence compared to the others in this case," said Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi. "He admitted his role."
Under Watterson's direction, two meth labs -- both posing a risk of explosion or fire -- were set up. One that was in a house at 508 N. Sixth St., Apollo, was within sight from a children's daycare center.
The meth-making process continued at a house at 3240 Garvers Ferry Road, Parks, even though two children lived there.
At last one child was exposed to the dangerous process and fumes from the lab at the Apollo house, where Watterson was arrested.
The other seven suspects were arrested in Parks, Vandergrift, Apollo and Allegheny Township.
According to police and state drug agents, the method used at the two labs used a myriad of items including brake cleaner, battery acid, drain cleaner and the chemical pseudoephedrine, which is commonly found in cold pills.
Some of the suspects bought cold pills containing pseudoephedrine in Apollo, Harrison, Leechburg, Lower Burrell, Pittsburgh Mills in Frazer, Ross and Vandergrift.
Watterson served time in federal prison in the 1990s for mail-ordering the chemicals needed to make methamphetamine.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Arnold woman severely injured in Allegheny Township wreck
- Lower Burrell 5th-grader illustrates power of kindness with cancer charity
- Riverview might ask to raise taxes above 2.3% limit
- Harrison officials discuss grant applications for sidewalks, sewers
- Second teen charged in Jan. 1 Tarentum shooting
- Weather postpones Route 56 closure in New Kensington
- Tarentum service honors legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Apollo officials interested in finding permanent home
- Corps advises to haul radioactive waste out of Parks Township dump
- Woman killed in Washington Township crash
- South Butler County School District offers free Pre-K program