15 Arrested in 4 Erie County Meth Busts - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

15 Arrested in 4 Erie County Meth Busts

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 State and local law enforcement officials say they have broken up four meth rings in Erie County.  15 people have been charged, with many of the arrests taking place today.

The manufacturing of meth poses a danger, not only to the people who make the drug, but to everyone who lives near the meth labs. Law enforcement officials at a news conference today were happy to announce that four alleged meth operations are now shut down.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro came to Erie to announce the busts. He released the names of 15 people charged with the manufacture of meth and other drug related offenses.  Eight were arrested today, others were recently arrested, and a couple are expected to turn themselves in.

Shapiro said one ring involved ten people and $32,000 worth of crystal meth. He said agents held up a raid on a house in Lake City  because two kids, ages 5 and 6, were inside. Shapiro said he was heart broken to learn that meth was being cooked in the same kitchen as the meals prepared for the children. The agents waited for the kids to go to school before busting into the home.

Shapiro said another home, also in Lake City, contained a meth manufacturing operation that also put children in extreme danger.

"It was producing meth behind Elk Valley Elementary School.  In direct proximity to these grade school students.  It's not just about the drugs that they were making, It's about the risk that they put these children at.  There could have been an explosion that claimed the lives of precious elementary school kids," he said.

The defendants are:

Operation 1...Matthew Magalhaes, 39, Feasler Street, Erie, Mary Gula,40, Smith Street, Lake City, Justin Artz, Woodcock Dr. Girard, Steven Cozad, 58, Sixth Avenue, Corry, Alexander Kaufman, 35, West 31st St. Erie, Evelyn Lotz, 30, Olin Avenue, Girard, Joseph Morrison, 38, Wales Road, Massillon, Ohio, Brian Pike, 42, East 30th St. Erie, Ruben Rivera, 38, 11th Street, Erie, Nathan Sampsell, 34, Mechanic Street, Girard.

Operation 2...Brian Potter, 41, Cherry Street, Lake City, Emily Brandon, 25, Cherry Street, Lake City.

Operation 3...Richard Grassi, 50, Cranberry Street, Erie, Stephon Hardik, 53, Cranberry Street, Erie.

Operation 4...Justin McClay, 30, Lake Street, Lake City.

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