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Sligo Man Arrested After Meth Lab Found in Camper
Clarion County Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) filed the following charges against 32-year-old Robert L. Ashbaugh on August 18 at District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller’s office:
- Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony (2 counts)
- Possessing Phenylpropanolamine, etc., or a Precursor Substance with Intent to Unlawfully Manufacture, Felony
- Operating a Methamphetamine Lab, Felony 2
- Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor
According to a criminal complaint filed by Clarion County Chief Detective William H. Peck, IV, the investigation was initiated following a July 18 probation check on Robert Ashbaugh’s wife Amanda Ashbaugh at their Morris Street residence in Sligo Borough.
Several of their children and other family members also live at the residence.
Upon police arrival, Robert Ashbaugh – who had pending arrest warrants – allegedly fled via the back door.
Detective Peck and the Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched to the scene to provide assistance.
The Clarion County Probation Office conducted a search of the residence and property.
Several items used to manufacture methamphetamine were discovered in a small camper parked in the front yard, including a one-pot methamphetamine bottle, a Liquid Lightning bottle, salt, and lye.
When Detective Peck confronted Amanda Ashbaugh about the items, she stated that the camper was purchased from a family member for $200.00 and she was unaware of its contents.
She then signed a “consent to search” form, permitting the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Response Team to conduct an additional search of the camper and property.
The criminal complaint states that the following items were seized during the search:
- Adventure Ridge Mulit-color backpack
- Yellow spray bottle, suspected “one-pot”
- Quart bottle of Liquid Lightning drain cleaner
- 26 oz. bottle of Family Gourmet iodized salt
- Black Ricardo Beverly Hills Bag
- Milk Jug with tubing (gas generator)
- Pure lye container
- Ball Mason jar with residue
- Roll of aluminum foil
- 3 cold packs (2 cut open) and box for Rexall cold packs
- Container of Roebic Crystal Drain Cleaner
- Gallon can of Coleman fuel
- A traffic citation issued to Robert Ashbaugh
- A child’s report card dated 03/27/2017
- Instant cold pack in suspect’s vehicle
Several of the items seized are consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, according to the criminal complaint.
Amanda Ashbaugh was placed in the Clarion County Jail on a probation detainer.
On July 26, Robert Ashbaugh contacted Detective Peck via telephone and asked if he could “set up an appointment” to talk.
Detective Peck and Robert Ashbaugh met on July 28 at the Clarion County District Attorney’s Office.
The criminal complaint states that Ashbaugh admitted to fleeing his residence on July 18 because “he was wanted for outstanding fines.” Ashbaugh explained that he had since paid the fines and no warrants existed.
Ashbaugh first denied any involvement with the methamphetamine manufacturing items seized at his residence on July 18.
Later in the interview, Ashbaugh admitted that the items belonged to him.
The criminal complaint states that Ashbaugh told Detective Peck that he used the items to manufacture methamphetamine in mid-June.
Ashbaugh said he “cooked” the methamphetamine on a “back road” and then placed the items in the camper when he was done.
He stated that he did not manufacture the methamphetamine inside the camper.
Ashbaugh told Peck that his wife “had nothing to do with making the meth, other than using it.”
Detective Peck asked Ashbaugh why his wife’s fingerprints were on some of the items and Ashbaugh explained that she helped him scrape the jars after he cooked the methamphetamine.
Ashbaugh was lodged in the Clarion County Jail after failing to post $25,000.00 cash bail.
He faces a preliminary hearing on August 22 at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Miller.
No charges have been filed against Amanda Ashbaugh as of August 21.
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