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Police find portable meth labs in two Delaware homes

Delaware State Police on Friday found portable meth labs in two homes during unrelated incidents in Felton and Greenville.

portable meth lab Jamie Craft, 36 (right), and John Benchoff, 31, were arrested Friday during the first incident in Greenville.
Credit: Delaware State Police

In two apparently unrelated incidents Friday, Delaware State Police discovered portable meth labs in homes located in two separate towns about 64 miles apart.

Investigators with the Governor's Task Force and Greenwood Police Department shortly before 10:30 a.m. responded to a home in the unit block of West Market Street in Greenwood in an attempt to arrest resident Jamie Craft, 36, who was wanted on an active bench warrant due to an alleged traffic violation.

Once inside the home, police said they took Craft into custody without incident.

Detectives also found and arrested John Benchoff, 31, an active probationer wanted on a probation and parole administrative warrant.

After executing a search warrant, police said they discovered in the home .1 gram of manufactured methamphetamine, along with bottles containing waste associated with the byproducts of meth manufacturing and "equipment and key ingredients in making the drug."

Personnel with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Greenwood Fire Company and Sussex County EMS assisted in dismantling the portable meth lab and disposing of the waste, according to authorities.

Craft was charged with four counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, along with one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing meth, maintaining a drug property, second-degree conspiracy and hindering prosecution.

She was jailed at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution on $13,000 secured bond.

Benchoff was charged with four counts of possessing drug paraphernalia, along with one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing meth and second-degree conspiracy.

He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $11,000 secured bond.

Delaware State Police about nine hours later found a portable meth lab inside a separate home an hour away, located on the 9000 block of Canterbury Road in Felton.

Troopers responded to the residence after an occupant found soda bottles containing an unknown substance and contacted authorities.

Arriving investigators said they determined the bottles were active "one pot" portable meth labs used to manufacture speed.

After further investigation, they allegedly found additional bottles containing components and key ingredients in making meth, along with waste associated with manufacturing the drug.

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office and specialized local Delaware Volunteer Fire Company teams assisted with taking apart the portable meth labs and cleaning up their byproducts, police said.

No evacuations were ordered.

Police said both portable meth lab discoveries remain under investigation.

 
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