A 36-year-old man and two alleged accomplices will appear in federal court court Monday following a police raid of a suspected meth lab.
Friday, the Vermont State Police executed search warrants at an Island Pond residence on Railroad Street. Law enforcement officers believe 36-year-old Carl Coker used the bottom apartment there to make methamphetamine.
Odd Sudafed purchases across Northern Vermont led them to Coker. Police monitor the over the counter decongestant because it's commonly used in meth production.
"There has never been a suspected meth lab in Island Pond or frankly, Essex County," said Essex County State's Attorney Vincent Illuzzi, "it's a very unusual occurrence."
Illuzzi would not say specify what officers found in their search but did say they found several "items of interest." "The material seized at the residence will be taken back to the Vermont Forensic Laboratory where it will be analyzed," he added.
Prosecutors say Coker is one of three people being held in connection with the search.
"He told me he was trying to change," said Coker's sister. She lives in the upper apartment with her husband and children.
"I never, never thought he'd do anything here," she said. She says her brother has a drug problem but had no idea what was allegedly going on downstairs. "I was really shocked, really shocked and I think I still am."
Now, her 30 year-old daughter is caught up in the investigation, as is Coker's friend Charles Amerine. The three suspects are held and due in federal court Monday morning.
I was allowed to take a brief peek inside the downstairs apartment. It didn't take long to sight tell-tale signs of meth production. Signs like dozens of torn apart batteries - a common component.
In February of this year, Alabama authorities arrested Coker for unlawful distribution. They issued a warrant for his arrest this summer.
Coker's sister says she hopes telling her story will prevent others from living her nightmare. "Unfortunately (drug addiction) hurts the whole family, instead of just the one person."
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