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Franklinville meth lab operator pleads guilty in Cattaraugus County Court

James Frazier, 53, of Franklinville, pleaded guilty Monday before Cattaraugus County Judge Ronald D. Ploetz in Little Valley to a felony charge of third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in connection with a meth lab shut down by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at his Weller Road property last June 10.

District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman said the raid, which capped an eight-month investigation, resulted in the seizing on the Frazier-owned property of a quantity of meth in powder form, and ingredients and equipment to make the drug.

The State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Rescue Team arrived that day and dismantled the meth operation, and several area fire departments were on standby near the site because of the possibility of explosions at such facilities, according to the district attorney. Frazier faces sentencing May 23.

Other defendants who appeared before the judge Monday included:

• Justin T. Erckert, 24, of Cattaraugus, who waived grand jury action and pleaded guilty to felony charges of promoting a sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child for getting a girl under 17 to stage a sexual performance in the Town of New Albion on March 18, 2014. His sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

• Benjamin J. Bloomfield, 38, of Olean, who pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging him with two felony counts of third-degree rape and a count of endangering the welfare of a child for sexual intercourse with a child younger than 17 in the City of Olean and the Town of Portville in mid-June 2014 and on Sept. 3, 2014.

• Brandon D. Orth, 29, of Cattaraugus, who pleaded guilty to a felony count of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for knowingly having property that had been stolen from the City of Salamanca last June 30. He faces sentencing May 23.

• Shawn T. Metcalf, 32, of Franklinville, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of driving while intoxicated and a misdemeanor count of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle when he was pulled over in the Town of Yorkshire on Aug. 26 while his driver’s license was suspended because of an earlier driving incident. He faces sentencing June 20.

• John H. Eccles, 45, of Portville, who pleaded guilty to a felony charge of failure to return the legally required address form demanded by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services of all state-registered sex offenders within 10 days of a change of address. Eccles, who was convicted of sodomy with an underage child in 2003, faces sentencing May 23.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com