News Release
January 30, 2007
Contact: Erin Mulvey

DEA Announces First 2007 Meth Lab Seizure in New York
Meth Lab Seizure in Washington County, NY

JAN 30 -- On January 23, 2007, a clandestine methamphetamine lab was identified and dismantled in Washington County, NY. This lab was identified as the result of Operation Red Dragon which also led to the identification and dismantling of nine clandestine labs in the greater New York City area during 2006. Seven of these labs were found within New York City and two in Long Island.

“Be it a clan lab in a shed or a clan lab in a penthouse – clan labs are highly toxic not only for the user, but the community. Due to the intelligence and thorough investigation in Operation Red Dragon, the DEA has been able to identify and arrest those individuals who import chemicals into our country that are used to make methamphetamine. It is our job as law enforcement to safeguard our neighborhoods from the perils that stem from manufacturing methamphetamine, said DEA Special Agent-in-Charge John Gilbride.”

Information was received that red phosphorous was being shipped to a post office box in Vermont that was listed to a resident of 12 Warner Road, Hebron, NY. The investigation targeted individuals who imported red phosphorus and other restricted chemicals, such as iodine crystals, which are known to be used to manufacture methamphetamine in illegal laboratories. Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. It is chemically related to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of methamphetamine are greater, resulting in a high potential for abuse and addiction.

The clandestine lab found was located in a shed at 12 Warner Road, Hebron, NY. The lab consisted of approximately 22 ounces of "meth oil," mason jars, glassware, red phosphorous, iodine tincture, hydrogen chloride gas, sodium hydroxide, muriatic acid, acetone, alcohol and pseudoephedrine tablets. In addition to the clandestine lab, law enforcement seized a loaded .22 caliber revolver from the shed in which the meth was being manufactured.

The drug and chemical seizures, and the dismantling and cleanup of the laboratory, were conducted by agents assigned to DEA’s Albany District Office, Group D-52 (Capital District Drug Task Force).

SAC Gilbride commended the work of DEA's Capital District Drug Task Force, the Phoenix Division of the DEA, the New York State Police, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington County District Attorney's Office.

The defendant, Mark A. Priest, age 32, is being charged with Criminal Possession of Controlled substance 2nd degree, a class A-II felony. Additional charges pending against said defendant pending possible Grand Jury action.