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Emlenton Man to Be Sentenced for Running Meth Lab, Setting Jail Fire

Saturday, January 20, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

Posted by Scott Shindledecker

brandonCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – An Emlenton man who pleaded guilty to operating a meth lab and setting a fire in the Clarion County Jail will be sentenced next month.

According to court documents, 24-year-old David Wayne Brandon, of Clarion, pleaded guilty on January 3 to the following offenses:

– Operating a Methamphetamine Lab, Felony 2
– Institutional Vandalism, Misdemeanor 2

– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

As a result of the plea agreement, the following charges were dismissed:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Possessing Phenylpropanolamine, etc., or a Precursor Substance with Intent to Unlawfully Manufacture, Felony
– Knowingly Possessing Ephedrine, Misdemeanor
– Risking Catastrophe, Felony 3

He remains lodged in the Clarion County Jail on $25,000.00 cash bail for each case.

Brandon will be sentenced at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 7, with President Judge James G. Arner presiding.

Meth Lab Case Details:

According to a criminal complaint, around 7:19 p.m. on August 10, Clarion County Adult Probation Officer Kerle contacted Trooper Allison, of PSP Clarion, to be on the lookout for David Brandon, who was driving a red Dodge Stratus in the Clarion area.
Michael Stewart

The complaint states that about an hour later, Trooper Allison saw the car parked beside a trailer occupied by 45-year-old Michael Eugene Stewart (pictured on right), of Clarion. After surveillance by Trooper Allison, Officer Kerle, and other probation officers, they determined Brandon was in the area. Shortly afterward, authorities saw two men leave the trailer, open the door of the Stratus, and then go back inside the trailer. At that point, Officer Kerle recognized Brandon, the complaint indicated.

When authorities approached the trailer, they could hear “Happy Birthday” being sung before they announced their presence. A man’s voice said they could enter, and when they did, they saw Brandon and another man, 19-year-old Bradley Richard Elder (pictured below), of Emlenton, start to run, according to the complaint.

Both got out of the trailer but were taken into custody by probation officers.

A syringe was found in Brandon’s pocket, and after a search of Brandon’s vehicle, ingredients needed to make meth were also found, the complaint states.

When officers searched Elder, they found a syringe with liquid meth in it and a white, plastic container with meth in it, the complaint indicates.

Stewart then agreed to allow authorities to search the trailer after Brandon admitted to living in the trailer for a few months..

In the bathroom, authorities found a Mason jar, coffee filters, starter fluid, lye, drain cleaner, and a strong odor that officers recognized with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Stewart said he knew Brandon had a warrant for his arrest.

Around 10:39 p.m. a known woman was interviewed. She stated that she and Brandon went to the Clarion Walmart, and Brandon asked her to buy Claritin D. She stated that she knew that the Claritin D was going to be used to make methamphetamine. She also indicated that Brandon, Elder, and Stewart all participated in the process of cooking the methamphetamine by entering the bathroom at separate times throughout the cooking process.

Stewart pleaded guilty in November 2017 to one felony count of the manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and sentenced to five years in the Intermediate Punishment Program.

As a special condition of the IP sentence, Stewart was ordered to participate in the Clarion County Treatment Court program. The program will include successful completion of all levels of care recommended by Armstrong-Indiana-Clarion Drug and Alcohol Commission. Upon being released back into the community, the defendant will be immediately placed on electronic monitoring for a period of 12 months.

The remainder of the five-year sentence will be on probation supervision.

Stewart was ordered to pay the cost of prosecution and supervision fee, and he is not allowed to consume any alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs. He was released from the Clarion County Jail directly to the staff of Conewago Treatment Facility for inpatient treatment on December 14. He was also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Elder was taken into custody in September 2017 and remains in the Clarion County Jail after failing to post $25,000.00 cash bail.

Elder was charged with the following offenses:

– Manufacture, Delivery, or Possession With Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, Felony
– Possessing Phenylpropanolamine, etc., or a Precursor Substance with Intent to Unlawfully Manufacture, Felony
– Operating a Methamphetamine Lab, Felony 2
– Knowingly Possessing Ephedrine, Misdemeanor (six counts)
– Hinder Apprehension/Prosecution-Provide Aid, Misdemeanor 2

Elder also faces Robbery and related charges from a July 16, 2017 incident.

A Criminal Conference for both cases is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 7, in the District Attorney’s office.

Jail Fire Case Details:

According to a criminal complaint filed by Clarion Chief of Police William H. Peck, IV, jail personnel responded to a fire alarm in Brandon’s cell October 26.

Jail personnel report seeing smoke coming from Brandon’s cell and noticed a night light above the sink was loose. A toilet paper holder in the cell was “black and very hot to touch,” according to the criminal complaint.

Additionally, a burned candle was found in a toilet paper roll, and one of the cell walls was black from “heat and burning,” the criminal complaint stated.

According to the criminal complaint, Brandon told a correctional officer, “I did it all. My celly didn’t do nothing.”

On November 9 around 10:23 a.m. Brandon was interviewed at the Clarion County Jail by Detective Roger E. Wright.

Brandon told Wright that he did “something stupid,” according to the criminal complaint.

Brandon said he was attempting to “make soot which he has sold before in jail for people to use to give tattoos.”

According to the criminal complaint, Brandon said he uses Vasoline and puts it on toilet paper. He then “uses a light, and the toilet paper burns creating soot.”

Brandon told Wright that when he did it this time, the fire alarms went off and that “was new to him.”

Brandon said his cellmate was sleeping at the time of the incident and was not involved.

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