Electricity theft report leads to meth lab bust
A report of electricity theft led to three arrests for a meth lab in a Mitchell apartment building.
Susan Angela Normile, 20, and Donald Dale Kindt, 39, were living together at 814 N. Winsor, Apartment No. 11, with a 1-year-old child. On Monday, law enforcement found several containers used to manufacture methamphetamine, according to a Tuesday press release from the Mitchell Police Division.
"Normile and Kindt had their electricity shut off prior to yesterday," Detective Lt. Don Everson said Tuesday afternoon. "And they had an extension cord coming out of their apartment to a plug-in in the parking lot. Apparently the landlord told them not to do this, but they did it anyway."
When officers were in the apartment responding to the electricity theft report, one of the suspects made a furtive movement, Everson said. Officers weren't sure whether the suspect had a weapon, so they asked to see what was in the suspect's hand.
Everson wasn't sure which suspect made the movement as not all reports were complete by Tuesday afternoon. Everson said an officer opened an object in the suspect's hand and found drug paraphernalia.
"They asked for consent to search the apartment and received consent," Everson said.
Law enforcement found several items with apparent meth residue, he added. Court documents state officers found spoons that tested positive for meth and used syringes.
Through the investigation, law enforcement also found residue amounts of meth, substances used to manufacture meth and several items of drug paraphernalia.
Lindath Kendell Stone, 38, was also in the apartment when law enforcement arrived, according to court documents. Stone told officers he had used methamphetamine earlier in the day at Kindt and Normile's apartment.
Normile, Kindt and Stone -- all of Mitchell -- were all arrested in connection with the meth lab, Everson confirmed Tuesday.
Everson said Stone had been living at the apartment for the last few days. Court documents state Stone admitted in a police interview he helped obtain pseudoephedrine one time in the past month -- a product used to make meth.
Law enforcement evacuated the suspects from the building early in the investigation and then evacuated the rest of the apartment complex's residents.
The 1-year-old child was taken to Avera Queen of Peace Hospital to be checked out as a precaution, Everson said. The child has been placed in protective custody. Everson would not say who the child's parents are.
"The most important thing to come out of this is when people make meth in a one-pot method -- which is in a small container like a 20-ounce pop bottle -- the making of meth is a very unstable process," Everson said. "We're lucky something bad, like an explosion or fire, didn't happen."
He added that Kindt and Normile were making meth with the one-pot method, instead of making large amounts of the drug.
"Over time, people have figured out ways to make small batches of meth, versus the old method of making a lot of meth in glass tubes or in a traditional lab," he said. "The one-pot method is also called a lab."
It is an easier method, he said, to control and easier to dispose. Law enforcement did not find packages of meth in the apartment, which is not uncommon, Everson said. Many people who use the one-pot method are not making it to sell, rather to use it themselves, he added.
In recent memory, Everson said the Mitchell Police Division has dealt with other meth labs, most of which are small, one-pot labs. He noted one on South Montana Street and one that was discovered through an investigation of a dumpster fire.
Normile and Kindt were arrested for unauthorized manufacturing of a controlled substance and unauthorized possession of a controlled substance.
The manufacturing charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine upon conviction.
The possession charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.
Stone was also arrested on unauthorized ingestion of a controlled substance, aiding and abetting the manufacturing of a controlled substance and possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.
The ingestion charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine upon conviction. The aiding and abetting charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine upon conviction.
The marijuana charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $2,000 fine upon conviction.