The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

July 31, 2013

Army vet gets 2-10 years for his role in meth lab

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

PERRY TOWNSHIP — The reputed cook of a methamphetamine-making operation in Perry Township downplayed at his sentencing Tuesday the harm the lab had done, claiming he didn’t sell the drug and had not been associated with the lab for long.

But a judge told Aaron W. “Bob” Allmon that, even if his claim that he only gave the drug to friends is true, those friends go out into the community.

“Methamphetamine is a danger to any community in which it’s found,” Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert G. Yeatts said. “The impact of that kind of drug in a community is substantial.”

Yeatts sentenced Allmon, 35, of Orwell, Ohio, to 2 to 10 years in state prison with credit for 364 days on a charge of possession of meth with intent to deliver.

Drug agents raided a property July 20 at 237 Carey Road, Perry Township, and found four soft drink bottles containing meth and the ingredients to make meth. Agents also found other ingredients and equipment for making meth, two bags of marijuana, two pot plants and a .45-caliber handgun.

Assistant Mercer County District Attorney Brian Farrone also noted that Sarah A Hetrick, 31, was living there with her 2-year-old son.

“This is a dangerous situation for all the individuals involved,” Farrone said.

Defense attorney Stephen Delpero jumped on the fact that Hetrick’s recommended sentence was less than Allmon’s, and argued that she put the child in danger, not Allmon.

Delpero added that the method of making meth used by Allmon, putting ingredients in bottles and letting the bottles sit for a period of time, yielded small amounts of the drug.

“This was not a sophisticated lab operation,” Delpero said. “This was not a big dealing operation.

Allmon said that no money exchanged hands in the one supposed deal he was accused of, and he only made meth for his personal use and that of his friends, many of whom bought Sudafed at local pharmacies and traded it to him for meth.

“I had only been there a month,” said Allmon, an honorably discharged Army veteran and father of three.

Hetrick, who cooperated with investigators from the state Attorney General’s Office, was sentenced in May to 11è to 23 months in jail.

However, because of that conviction, her probation on a charge of attempted retail theft – she stole cigarettes from Sheetz, 1560 N. Hermitage Road, Hermitage – was revoked. At her resentencing Tuesday, Yeatts agreed with Delpero that she received “one heck of a break” in the sentence by Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

Yeatts did not second-guess Dobson’s sentence and fashioned Hetrick’s new sentence in line with what Dobson had done, ordering her to serve 2 years’ probation with 41 days’ credit and report directly to a 90-day halfway-house-type program.

“If Judge Dobson had sent you to state prison, I would have made this  a jail sentence and made you stay longer,” Yeatts said.

Defense attorney Randall T. Hetrick said Sarah Hetrick, no relation, had taken advantage of “basically every program” Mercer County Jail offers and set up entry into the halfway-house program on her own.

“If you’re going to walk a straight line, you better start right now,” Yeatts said. “If you don’t, you’re in for a big fall.”