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Police close down suspected meth lab

PLATTSBURGH - The Plattsburgh Police Department has arrested a man on suspicion of operating a meth lab within the city.

According to a department report, city police and members of the Adirondack Drug Task Force arrested 39-year-old Kevin M. Sipley, also known as Mike Reed and Mike Sipley, at approximately 11:30 a.m. Jan. 19. Sipley was arrested on suspicion of manufacturing methamphetamine inside an apartment at Lakeside Apartments on Margaret Street. Authorities reportedly made the arrest Monday morning following a complaint from a neighbor of "an odd smell."

The neighbor's morning phone call led police to believe a person was in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine, a highly-addictive stimulant created by heating and combining corrosive chemicals and solvents.

"Illegal meth labs are often discovered by fires and explosions caused by the improper and unsafe handling of these unstable, explosive components," the report further stated.

In this case, the distinctive odor caused by the "cooking" process alerted police, enabling them to act immediately, the report continued.

"This is the first suspected meth lab in the city. We have made meth possession arrests before but this is the first suspected lab," said Plattsburgh PD Capt. Michael Branch.

Approximately 15 people in surrounding apartments were evacuated due to the hazardous nature of the meth cooking process. Specially-trained members of the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team entered the apartment to document and collect evidence. Plattsburgh City Fire Department and the Clinton County Emergency Operations Center stood by on-scene in the event of fire or explosion and also decontaminated Sipley, who was remanded to Clinton County Jail.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew J. Wylie and the U.S. Attorney's Office are coordinating on charges. Sipley is in jail on a federal detainer.

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