Couple held for court on meth-related charges

Staff writer

A Utica couple were held for court Wednesday after they both had hearings related to methamphetamine production at their Swamp Road residence last month.

Louis Anderson, 52, and Lisa Anderson, 50, appeared before district judge Andrew Fish for their separate hearings in Venango County Central Court.

District Attorney Shawn White opened proceedings by calling Franklin state police parole agent Andrew Harriger to testify.

Harriger said that around 11 a.m. Jan. 18, he arrived at the Anderson residence to make a home contact with Lisa Anderson, his parolee since March 2017.

He said he observed on the front porch a plastic bottle with a hose protruding from the top, and upon entering the home, Harriger saw Louis Anderson placing plastic bottles, hoses and pill bottles under the kitchen sink.

Harriger said he left the residence and called a state trooper to the scene. When he returned to the home with the trooper, Harriger saw Louis Anderson walk from the woodline outside the residence with a garbage can, he said.

Harriger said the plastic bottle had been removed from the front porch, and the Andersons were detained at that time.

The couple consented to a search of their home, Harriger said, wherein he found all the items missing from under the kitchen sink. The items were later found in the garbage can outside, along with empty Sudafed packets and a plastic bag containing a substance, he said.

Inside, Harriger found two large plastic bottles in the freezer that smelled of ammonia and had a powdery crystalline substance inside them, he said.

On cross-examination during Lisa Anderson’s hearing, Harriger said he had only observed Louis Anderson handling the items. Both Andersons had appeared under the influence, he said, and they told him they were using the plastic bottles with hoses to unclog their drains.

Franklin state police trooper Jared Thomas was next called and said he observed multiple precursors to the making of one pot meth during a search warrant conducted on the home.

Thomas said the pH levels found inside various plastic bottles were consistent with the chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine. Other items found included discarded gas generators, lighter fluid cases, stripped lithium batteries and empty cooler packets, he said.

Thomas said the two bottles found in the freezer have yet to be tested for illegal substances, but he believed they contained methamphetamine.

A burn pile around 100 yards outside the home also had items related to the manufacture of methamphetamine, he said.

Fish ruled all charges be bound over for further proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas.

The Andersons were both charged with felony counts of deposits, stores or disposes chemical waste; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; possessing phenylpropanolamine or a precursor substance with intent to unlawfully manufacture; and two counts of operating a methamphetamine lab. They were also each charged with a misdemeanor count of use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Louis Anderson was also held for court Wednesday in a separate case where he was accused of causing false alarm by falling out of his chair last week while awaiting his initial hearing in the Venango County courthouse.

White called Franklin state police trooper Keith Johnson, who said around 9 a.m. Jan. 24, Louis Anderson was placed in the back row of the jury box in a chair nailed to the floor to await his hearing.

Johnson referred to video surveillance footage taken in the courtroom that day and observed Louis Anderson rocking back and forth in his seat and lifting the chair arm upward while pushing down with his feet.

As a result, Louis Anderson fell from his chair and had said at the time he had been placed in a broken chair, which collapsed, Johnson said.

Louis Anderson had been taken to UPMC Northwest as a result of his alleged injuries, said Johnson.

Fish again ruled all charges be bound over for further proceedings.

Louis Anderson was charged with a felony count of institutional vandalism of personal property and misdemeanor counts of false alarm to agency of public safety and disorderly conduct, in addition to a summary count of criminal mischief.

He remains in the Venango County jail. Bail was denied due to his noncompliance, according to online court documents.

Lisa Anderson was released Wednesday on $20,000 unsecured bail.