Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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November 9, 2012

Three charged in Erie County meth raid

HARRISBURG - Three suspected in the manufacturing of methamphetamine were arrested yesterday by state  narcotics agents and local police.

Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendants as Byron Smith, Lisa Kittle, and

 Click on thumbnail for larger image
Travis Johnson

 
Byron Smith

 
Lisa Kittle

Travis Johnson. The arrests follow a three-month investigation into the suspected manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Kelly said that the three defendants allegedly attempted to circumvent government regulations regulating pseudoephedrine purchases. This tactic, commonly called "smurfing" uses multiple individuals to acquire the precursor chemicals, pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, commonly contained in cold medications, in order to manufacture methamphetamine.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith, Kittle, and Johnson purchased cold medications containing pseudoephedrine in at least six stores throughout the Erie area, as well as in Michigan.

Agents from the Attorney General's Office along with Millcreek Township police served two search warrants, one on a vehicle and the other at 562 Conti Drive, Erie. A meth lab was discovered at 562 Conti Drive, as well as a liquid substance believed to be meth oil. Also, items consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine were seized.

Kelly thanked the officers of Millcreek Township Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police for their work on the investigation. The case will be prosecuted in Erie County by the Erie County District Attorney's Office.

Kelly noted that this is an ongoing investigation and more arrests are anticapted.

Smith, Kittle and Johnson were arrested yesterday and preliminarily arraigned before North East District Judge Scott Hammer. Johnson is being held in Erie County Prison on $50,000 bail. Smith and Kittle are each being held in Erie County Prison on $25,000 bail.
 
Below is a list of the defendants and the charges against them.

--Travis Johnson, 35, 6601 Sterrettania Road, Lot 83, Fairview, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of possession of precursor materials used to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of methamphetamine production, and one count of retail theft.

--Byron Smith, 33, 157 Baer Drive, Apt. 9, Erie, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of possession of precursor materials used to manufacture methamphetamine, one count of methamphetamine production, and one count of retail theft.

--Lisa Kittle, 27, 3625 Burkley Road, Williamston, Michigan, is charged with one count of criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and one count of possession of precursor materials used to manufacture methamphetamine.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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