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Sheriff cites vigilance in keeping meth production to a minimum in St. Lawrence County

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CANTON — Vigilance is keeping methamphetamine production at bay in St. Lawrence County, the county’s sheriff said Wednesday.

Sheriff Kevin M. Wells said his office is constantly on the watch for the drug making its way into the county. Monday’s arrest of a Heuvelton man for allegedly manufacturing the drug is only the second such arrest in the county since 2012.

St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force members charged Eric S. Lalonde, 29, of 4555 Route 812, with third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and third-degree criminal possession of marijuana, both felonies.

Mr. Wells said the lab was a small-scale operation that likely fueled only a personal habit and might have generated a slight profit through minor sales. “There was no big cleanup or anything like that,” Mr. Wells said. “The lab was on his property, and we didn’t have to clean anything up because he had already disposed of the lab stuff.”

The investigation is still ongoing, Mr. Wells said. He said Mr. Lalonde could face additional charges.

Regardless of the size of a manufacturing operation, the combination of highly flammable, volatile chemicals used to create the drug can result in fire and explosions, putting everyone in the vicinity at risk.

“People need to know that it is a dangerous thing, and if people see or suspect something they need to say something,” Mr. Wells said.

According to the newspaper archives, the last arrest connected to a meth lab in the county was reported Oct. 16, 2012, when Canton Village Police and task force members arrested three men who had been producing meth in a rehabilitation home where they lived.

Mr. Wells said meth production in the county isn’t as prevalent as has been reported in surrounding counties because “we are constantly vigilant for it. We know that there were higher counts of it in the counties around us so it is something we’re constantly on the watch for in order to keep it out of our county.”

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