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Dunkirk man, woman charged with operating meth lab

DUNKIRK – A Dunkirk man and woman who were initially the subject of a raid over routine criminal matters Wednesday evening were arrested after police discovered a methamphetamine-making operation.

Chautauqua County sheriff’s deputies and Dunkirk police officers went to a Leming Street residence early Wednesday night with arrest warrants for Crystal M. Kinsey, 32, on a Town of Ripley forgery charge and Jason R. Tolbert, 31, for a Chautauqua County Family Court proceeding.

Kinsey, who lived at the Leming Street address, was immediately arrested and Tolbert, who lives on Central Avenue in Dunkirk, was found hiding in a back room.

During the raid, officers found a meth lab. Under a new search warrant issued Wednesday night by Dunkirk City Court Judge Walter Drag, the State Police Clandestine Laboratory Team and a federal Drug Enforcement Administration squad assisted by a Dunkirk Fire Department crew rendered the laboratory site safe and seized all the evidence.

Tolbert and Kinsey were charged with felony counts of third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and face additional possible charges, according to the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task force, which coordinated the meth lab seizure.

Both remained in custody at the Chautauqua County Jail Thursday and face further court proceedings.