Drug agents investigate evidence found at a suspected meth lab in South Thomaston. Photo Courtesy: Maine Drug Enforcement Agency
SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - State and federal drug agents Tuesday raided a home in South Thomaston, where they say someone had been making the drug methamphetamine.
A team of county sheriffs, state police and drug agents, along with the local fire department and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, descended on the home at 542 St. George Road.
Sgt. James Pease of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency told NEWS CENTER that police had first been at the house a week ago, when they arrested Leonard Wells of Greenbush on outstanding warrants and for possession of bath salts. Wells is at the center of a major bath salts case in the Bangor area, where he had already been arrested and released on $50,000 bail.
Sgt. Pease says Wells is a friend of Paul Mahonen, who is a tenant at the South Thomaston house. Mahonen has been arrested for Manufacturing methamphetamine, and taken to the Knox County Jail.
Sgt. Pease did not give details of what was found in today's raid, but he says they "definitely" found evidence that the building was being used to make meth.
Methamphetamine is considered a dangerous drug, both for its effect on the user and for the hazards said to be involved in manufacturing it. Police say the chemicals used in the process can pose a health rissk to the maker and a danger of explosion when being "cooked" to make the drug.
Meth labs had been rare in Maine, compared to other states, but that may be changing. Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says that in 2012, the MDEA uncovered 13 small meth labs, many of them in Aroostook County.
So far this year three meth operations have been found -- in Houlton and Smyrna, both in Aroostook County, and Tuesday's raid in South Thomaston.