A malfunctioning headlight led Colonial Regional Police to find a portable meth lab inside of a car an officer stopped along Route 512 in Hanover Township early Tuesday morning, according to court papers.
Arrested were Richard E. Walterick III, 30, and Emily Anne Fatzinger, 21, both of 705 Princeton Ave. in Palmerton, who were passengers inside the sedan. The driver and another passenger had not been charged as of Tuesday afternoon.
Officer Christopher Templeton stopped the car at a little after 1 a.m. as it traveled north on Route 512 near Jaindl Boulevard, police said.
Then according to the affidavit:
- When Templeton asked the driver to step out of the car, the officer saw an open knife on the driver’s seat. Templeton then asked other passengers to get out of the car “for officer safety while a cursory search for weapons was completed.”
- While doing that cursory search, Templeton found a glass jar with “white residue” under the front passenger seat. He also found a black case, which Fatzinger had been sitting on, that Templeton “immediately recognized … as a case that holds drug paraphernalia.”
- Inside that case, Templeton found a glass pipe and a plastic container that had white residue, which field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
- Templeton also spotted a white bag hanging from the front passenger seat that had a plastic bottle with a liquid and white substance that the officer wrote he knew through “training and experience” to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
- There were also other containers in the white plastic bag and a gasoline container in the car’s back seat.
- The Pennsylvania State Police clandestine team were called to assist Colonial Regional Police in conducting a thorough search of the car. The team found “precursor chemicals and other items commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamines.”
- One of the troopers on the team “declared it to be a working methamphetamine lab.”
Walterick and Fatzinger were both charged with six felonies and three misdemeanors, including operating a meth lab, manufacturing a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy.
Both were arraigned before District Judge James Narlesky and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail each.