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Plea Court Date Set for Rimersburg Man Accused of Cooking Meth, Stealing Copper Wire

Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 12:03 AM

Posted by Scott Shindledecker

Legal-scales-books-gavel-Image-1024x681[1]CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A Rimersburg man involved in a methamphetamine cooking operation as well as the theft of copper wire during two separate incidents last summer is scheduled to appear in plea court this week.

According to court documents, Jacob D. Vasbinder, 27, of Rimersburg, has a hearing scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, in front of Clarion County President Judge James Arner.

Methamphetamine Case Details:

According to a criminal complaint, around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, New Bethlehem Police Department Chief Scott Ryan and Sergeant Nicole Peck were called to the scene of a residence on Mill Street in Rimersburg occupied by Vasbinder.

The homeowner indicated there were suspected drug-related items in a trash can in the garage placed there by Vasbinder. The homeowner consented to a search of the garage area. Officers found what they believed to be items related to a methamphetamine one-pot lab.

Around 4:30 p.m., team members from PA State Police CLRT (Clandestine Laboratory Response Team) searched the area and found the following methamphetamine manufacture-related items inside the garage/and in an orange bag inside the trash can:

- A two-liter bottle of suspected one-pot
- Pop bottle with suspected salt
- Cold compress pack
- Pint jar with clear liquid
- Bottle of Liquid Lightning
- Gas generator with cap and tubing
- Syringes

Additionally, numerous other paraphernalia items related to the manufacture of methamphetamine were found within a small orange bag inside the trash can in the garage, the complaint indicates.

Following the investigation, Vasbinder was arraigned September 12 on the following charges:

- Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
- Operating a methamphetamine Lab, Felony 2
- Deposits, Stores, Disposes Chemical Waste, Felony 3
- Possessing Phenylpropanolamine, etc., or a Precursor Substance with Intent to Unlawfully Manufacture, Felony
- Knowingly Possession Ephedrine, Misdemeanor
- Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

Copper Wire Theft Case Details:

According to court documents, Clarion-based State Police filed criminal charges against Vasbinder and Barry Lynn Steele Sr., 56, of Chicora.

According to a criminal complaint, at 3:07 a.m. on August 12, a private investigator contacted PSP Clarion to report a theft of copper wire in progress at Colony Homes in Paint Township.

Trooper Norris responded to the scene and located a red duffel bag containing scrap wire next to a dumpster in the rear of the facility where the theft was supposedly occurring. He entered the facility underneath a fence.

Vasbinder was found peeking out of a dumpster and was arrested. Trooper Norris discovered two additional red duffle bags containing scrap wire inside the dumpster, the complaint stated.

Vasbinder waived his Miranda warnings and stated that Barry Steele Sr. contacted him, and the two agreed to steal scrap from Colony Homes. Steele drove Vasbinder to the facility in a red Chevrolet Tracker. Steele dropped him off and he crawled under the fence at the rear of the facility. Once inside, he began filling the red duffel bags with scrap wire from the dumpster he was found in. Steele was to pick him back up at 4:15 a.m., according to the complaint.

Steele was stopped at the Country Fair gas station in Paint Township in the Chevrolet Tracker. He waived his Miranda warnings and corroborated Vasbinder’s statements that the two planned to steal copper wire from Colony Homes. He stated that the bags and cart in the rear of his vehicle were used to transport the stolen scrap, the complaint continues.

Vasbinder faces the following charges:

- Criminal Trespass-Enter Structure, Felony 3
- Conspiracy – Criminal Trespass-Enter Structure, Felony 3
- Theft of Secondary Metal
- Conspiracy – Theft of Secondary Metal
- Possession Instrument Of Crime W/Intent, Misdemeanor 1

He remains lodged in the Clarion County Jail on $20,000.00 cash bail.

Steele was sentenced to 12 to 48 months in February for his role in the crime and another copper wire theft.


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