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Lockport police make seconnd meth arrest in three days

LOCKPORT – For the second time in a matter of days, Lockport police have arrested city residents for making methamphetamine.

Having two arrests so close together is unusual for the city, said Lockport Police Capt. Michael Niethe.

Police Chief Lawrence Eggert agreed, saying it could be a “blip” or a sign of a bigger problem. The department is planning to hold a public information meeting in late October to educate people on meth labs.

The most recent arrest was on Monday when officers searching an apartment at 240 Pine St. discovered plastic bottles being used to manufacture meth. A 4-year-old child was in the apartment.

Ashley Urban, 32, was charged by the Niagara County Drug Task Force with the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a child.

A man hiding in the attic, Derrick D. Powell, 31, of Harvey Avenue, was turned over to the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant. He also will be charged with unlawful manufacture of meth, according to police.

Eggert said landlords need to be aware of their tenants’ actions, noting that apartments can become uninhabitable due to the buildup of chemicals from manufacturing meth.

“This is not just putting paint on the walls. You may have to knock the house down,” Eggert said.

Police discovered a volatile situation early Saturday morning on Walnut Street.

Officer Paul Meerboth stopped a vehicle for speeding and discovered a mobile methamphetamine lab, actively in the cooking process.

State Police were called in to clean up the lab. Streets were closed and a decontamination lab was set up on the scene.

The driver, Justine Crawford, 25, of Hawley Street, was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, criminal impersonation, as well as traffic charges of aggravated unlicensed operation and driving an uninspected vehicle.

Eggert said there are unusual things people can look for, from tubing and bottles to lithium batteries, lighter fluid and boxes of Sudafed.

“These are all legal, but are suspicious if you see them in a totality,” he said.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com