Police: Meth cooked and sold in two Grove Avenue homes

By Ashley Babbitt and Kieran Coffey

Sun Managing Editor & Sun Staff Writer

ababbitt@evesun.com

NORWICH – Four sit in the Chenango County Correctional Facility following an investigation into the sale of meth in the City of Norwich.

A ‘no knock’ search warrant was executed by members of the Norwich Police Department at 14 Grove Avenue at approximately 8:13 a.m. The NPD was assisted by the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office.

Two were arrested from the residence and were charged with multiple felonies.

24-year-old Joshua W. Quinn and Johanna S. Bailey, 21, both of 14 Grove Avenue Apt. 1, were charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, a class D felony; criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine, a class E felony; criminal nuisance in the first degree, a class E felony; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class A misdemeanor. Quinn was additionally charged with the class D felony of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Immediately following the execution of the search warrant, information was obtained that a secondary residence was also involved in the manufacturing of meth. Detectives from the Norwich Police Department and the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office responded to the second residence on Grove Avenue and continued the investigation. After receiving enough probable cause, a second search warrant obtained for 42 Grove Avenue, Apt. A.

According to the Norwich Police, the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree charge for Quinn alleges that he knowingly and unlawfully sold a controlled substance. In this case, the controlled substance was methamphetamine. The unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree charge for both Quinn and Bailey alleges that they possessed – at the same time and location – with the intent to use, or knowing that another intended to use each such product to unlawfully manufacture, prepare or produce methamphetamine: two or more items of laboratory equipment and two or more precursors, chemical reagents or solvents in any combination.

The criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine charge for both Quinn and Bailey alleges that they possessed at the same time a precursor and a solvent or chemical reagent, with intent to use or knowing that another intended to use each such precursor, solvent or chemical reagent to unlawfully manufacture methamphetamine.

The criminal nuisance in the first degree charge for both Quinn and Bailey alleges they knowingly conducted or maintained any premises, place or resort where persons came or gathered for purposes of engaging in the unlawful sale of controlled substances.



The criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree charge for both Quinn and Bailey alleges they both knowingly and unlawfully possessed a controlled substance. In this case, the controlled substance was the prescription medication, Suboxone.

Police said that immediately following the execution of the search warrant, information was obtained that a secondary residence was also involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Detectives from the Norwich Police Department and the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office responded to the second residence on Grove Avenue and continued the investigation.

After receiving enough probable cause, authorities said a second search warrant obtained for 42 Grove Avenue, Apt. A.

At this residence, 26-year-old Devan Ellsworth and 26-year-old Bonnie Dalton, both of the above address, were arrested and charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, a class D felony and criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine, a class E felony.

The unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree charge for both Ellsworth and Dalton alleges that they possessed at the same time and location with the intent to use, or knowing that another intended to use each such product to unlawfully manufacture, prepare or produce methamphetamine: two or more items of laboratory equipment and two or more precursors, chemical reagents or solvents in any combination. The criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine charge for both Ellsworth and Dalton alleges that they possessed at the same time a precursor and a solvent or chemical reagent, with intent to use or knowing that another intended to use each such precursor, solvent or chemical reagent to unlawfully manufacture methamphetamine.

The arrests were the result of an investigation that included detectives from the Norwich Police Department and the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office.

It was said that the Norwich Police had close communications and guidance from the Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride. Both search warrants was reviewed and endorsed by Chenango County Court Judge Frank Revoir, Jr.

Authorities said that during the execution of both search warrants, several ‘One-Pot’ meth cooking containers were located at both locations.

Because of the dangerous chemicals involved with the manufacturing of meth, the Norwich Police requested the assistance of the New York State Police – CCERT (Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team).

The Norwich Police and NYSP CCERT were on the scene for several hours while the chemicals, containers and evidence were collected. The Norwich Fire Department was also on the scene of both locations as a precautionary measure. The Norwich Code Enforcement also assisted.

Narcotics Detective with the Norwich Police Michael Purdy said, “While each house was a separate bust, they were pretty much identical and this sort of thing is not uncommon with meth houses.”

“Pretty much what is done is one house is used to cook, and the product is sold from the other residence,” said Purdy. “Then they swap and take turns, dependent upon who is able to get the necessary chemicals and ingredients to cook the meth.”

Continued Purdy, “Where it is manufactured is typically referred to as the ‘cut’ house, and the subjects collaborate with one another with regard to who is going to cook and who is going to sell.”

Purdy said the ingredients used are highly hazardous and flammable, including Coleman fuel, brake fluid, drain cleaner, and other fuels. “The combination of that alone is dangerous, and that’s not including the other ingredients,” said Purdy.

“There is always a potential hazard of blowing up with these acids and chemicals, but the CCSERT team was in there swiftly and removed all that was harmful,” Purdy said.

All four were arraigned in Norwich City Court Wednesday afternoon.

• Bailey was arraigned on three felony counts, as well as one misdemeanor charge. After Bailey was read her rights by the Judge James E. Downey, she was asked if she wished to be represented by an attorney, to which she replied yes. Bailey made an application to be assigned a public defender.

As Bailey had no criminal history, or no prior felony convictions, the Chenango County District Attorney's Office recommended bail be set in the amount of $5,000 cash. Judge Downey upped the amount to $10,000 cash bail, $20,000 bail bond or $25,000 real property bond before remanding the defendant to the custody of the Chenango County Correctional Facility.

• Quinn was arraigned on four felony counts, as well as one misdemeanor charge. After he was read his rights, Quinn did also make an application for a public defender.

In Quinn's case, the DA's Office requested $50,000 cash bail, as Quinn has one prior felony conviction on his record. Judge Downey asked Quinn a volley of questions, including if he was employed, if he had any children and if he had an automobile. Quinn said that he lost his job in July, and did not own an automobile, as he does not possess a license. He also said that he has one son, but he does not pay child support. Downey set Quinn's bail at $25,000 cash, $50,000 bond or $50,000 real property bond.

• Ellsworth was arraigned on two felony charges. After being read his rights, Ellsworth also filled out an application to be assigned a public defender.

As Ellsworth already has two prior felony convictions on his record, Downey is not allowed to set bail in the matter, and thus the case was automatically transferred to the jurisdiction of the Chenango County Court.

• Dalton was arraigned on the same two felony charges as Ellsworth. After being read her rights, Dalton did also fill out an application for a public defender before bail was discussed.

Dalton only has one prior misdemeanor conviction on her record, so the DA's Office requested that she be remanded on $5,000 cash bail.

Downey proceeded to ask Dalton if she was employed, if she had any children and if she owned an automobile. Dalton said that she was a cashier at a local business for the last two months. She is expecting children in December of this year, and does not own an automobile.

Downey set Dalton's bail at $10,000 cash, $20,000 bond or $25,000 real property bond.

All four defendants are set to have felony hearings in the Norwich City Court this Thursday, Sept. 8, at 10:30 a.m.

“From the information obtained through the investigation, it was evident that both locations were working together to manufacture methamphetamine”, said Norwich Police Chief Rodney Marsh. “Again, this investigation began when concerned neighbors contacted the Norwich Police Department and reported what they believed was suspicious activity at the residence”, said Marsh. Norwich residents are encouraged to continue calling the Norwich Police Department’s TIPS Line (334-TIPS or 334-8477) with tips and information.

Ashley Babbitt Photo

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