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Meth Lab Across from Elementary School Nets 15 Year Prison Sentence

March 19, 2014
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03/20/14 Peter Devine, 35, formerly of Plymouth, pled guilty and was sentenced Wednesday in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to fifteen years imprisonment for manufacturing  methamphetamine as a Class B felony.  In open court, Devine admitted that between March and April, 2013, he manufactured methamphetamine in his leased home in the 1100 block of South Michigan St., in Plymouth, directly across from Webster School. 

Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Tom A. Black, which provided for a sentence at the Indiana Department of Corrections of 15 years of imprisonment.  Three years of the sentence was suspended. The parties argued whether Devine would be afforded purposeful incarceration at the discretion of the Judge.  After hearing arguments, Bowen allowed for Devine to petition for purposeful incarceration after serving half of his sentence or 6 years. 

The case began when in early February 2013 with anonymous complaints being made that meth was being sold out of Devine’s house.  Plymouth Police Officer John Weir began surveillance of the premises and noted a large amount of visitors known to be associated with methamphetamine visiting the house for very short periods of time. 

During this same time period complaints were received that individuals living at the residence were suspected in thefts of precursor items such as lithium batteries and drain cleaner from a large, local retail store.   Pseudoephedrine based products were also being purchased at the same time and at the same store and elsewhere by the same individuals.

On March 6, 2013, Plymouth Police responded to a noise complaint at Devine’s residence and observed him through the front window sitting and holding a fire extinguisher.  After knocking on the door, Devine was observed running down a hallway and refused to answer the door. 

Based on additional evidence an affidavit was prepared by Indiana State Police Trooper Keith Bikowski and a search warrant was approved on March 27, 2013 by Judge Bowen.  A search of the premises was held in the early morning hours of April 2 and revealed numerous items related to the manufacturing of methamphetamine, including remnants of a one-pot lab inside of a hollowed out fire extinguisher. Also found throughout the house were digital scales, an aluminum can bottom with soiled piece of white cotton, black assault rifle, assorted pills stored in a flashlight, two HCL generators, a plastic one gallon zip top bag cut open known as a “crasher bag.”  Outside the home in an area described as a fire pit, police found numerous cut battery casings, and partially burnt pseudoephedrine blister packs.  In the trash can police found cut open cold pack water pouches, an uncapped syringe, a pen casing with white powder, and empty Coleman fuel and drain cleaner containers.  Several of the items field tested positive for Heroin and methamphetamine.

Individuals besides Devine found at the home were interviewed and admitted that Devine frequently cooked meth at the residence.  They also admitted to purchasing at Devine’s insistence pseudoephedrine products and other items needed to manufacture meth.  Several of the persons Devine used were under the age of 18.

Chipman noted, “Pete Devine has been in our local jail for almost a year now, and has been source of trouble for the Sheriff and the orderly function of the jail.  It will be good to get him on his way to the Department of Corrections.  He is no longer a direct threat to our community and its children, and won’t be for a long time to come.”

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