3 facing charges in suspected meth manufacturing in Indiana Co. | TribLIVE.com

3 facing charges in suspected meth manufacturing in Indiana Co.

Renatta Signorini

Charges were pending against three people who were found Monday at an Indiana County home where authorities believe methamphetamine was being manufactured, according to state police.

The three suspects — a 27-year-old man from Smicksburg, a 33-year-old man from Home and a 30-year-old woman from Penn Run — are under investigation after troopers found items related to methamphetamine manufacturing at a South Mahoning Township home, according to a news release issued Thursday.

Police said they found several items consistent with manufacturing the drug during a search on Hardship Drive. The three suspects had not been formally charged.

Troopers have raided several suspected methamphetamine laboratories in Indiana County so far this year, including three instances in eight days in January. Since then, troopers have reported about one such investigation per month.

Meth also is known as “speed,” “crank,” “crystal” and “ice.”

Authorities nationwide have reported a resurgence of the man-made drug in recent years.

Jennifer Smith, secretary for Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, told a state Senate committee in March that the state is seeing “quite an uptick” in meth use in three early warning areas — Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Johnstown, the Associated Press reported.

In October, federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh reported the largest seizure of meth in Western Pennsylvania history.

According to a New York Times article from 2018:

“The scourge of crystal meth, with its exploding labs and ruinous effect on teeth and skin, has been all but forgotten amid national concern over the opioid crisis. But 12 years after Congress took aggressive action to curtail it, meth has returned with a vengeance. … At the United States border, agents are seizing 10 to 20 times the amounts they did a decade ago. Methamphetamine, experts say, has never been purer, cheaper or more lethal.”

“In the early 2000s, meth made from pseudoephedrine, the decongestant in drugstore products like Sudafed, poured out of domestic labs like those in the early seasons of the hit television show ‘Breaking Bad,’” the New York Times reported.

Meth cases fell off sharply after Congress in 2005 passed the Combat Methamphetamine Act, the New York Times reported. That federal law required pharmacies to keep products with pseudoephedrine behind the counter, limited sales to 7.5 grams per customer in a 30-day period and required pharmacies to track sales.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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