By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
PERRY TOWNSHIP —
A Perry Township woman among five people arrested when state drug agents busted a methamphetamine lab June 20 in the township entered a guilty plea last week.
Sarah A. Hetrick, 30, of 59 Thompson Road, pleaded guilty last Monday to a charge of manufacture of meth in a residence with a child present.
Prosecutors withdrew or agreed not to pursue 21 other charges, mostly drug-related but also including reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and conspiracy.
Charges related to the bust are pending against Donald D. Sturgin, 35, of 237 Carey Road, Perry Township; Callie T. Bothun, 35, of 10 S. Second St., Greenville; Aaron W. Allmon, 35, of Orwell, Ohio; and Jesse A. Sullivan, 33, of 1911 Bachop Road, Sheakleyville.
Kenneth L. Williams Jr. testified at a preliminary hearing in August that he became friendly with Sturgin over the course of a year, and they progressed to drinking and taking drugs together.
Williams said he could tell meth was being made at Sturgin’s mobile home because he saw peanut butter jars, hoses and chemicals. He alerted police after seeing Hetrick’s 2-year-old son at the mobile home five or six times. The child looked like he had not been bathed in days, wore a soiled diaper and was essentially unsupervised, Williams testified.
Agents with the state Attorney General’s Office, including members of the clandestine lab team, obtained a search warrant and raided the property.
A forensic scientist with the state police crime lab in Erie testified agents found items used in making meth in the mobile home, along with four plastic bottles he called “active cooks,” which contained a mixture of ingredients in the process of creating meth.
Ingredients found included lye, lithium batteries, cold packs – from which ammonium nitrate is extracted – and pseudoephedrine tablets.
Agents also found two bags of pot and a .45-caliber handgun in a bedroom and two pot plants outside.