Police had to deal with alleged meth lab during flood emergency in Duryea

By Ed Lewis - elewis@timesleader.com
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DURYEA — Police busy with a flood emergency in the borough Wednesday twice arrested a man after he was caught driving a stolen vehicle and then cooking suspected methamphetamine in a bedroom, they say.

A State Police clandestine team dismantled the alleged meth lab during the flood emergency.

Police initially arrested Harley Wudarski, 38, of McAlpine Street, Duryea, after a relative reported he took off in her vehicle without permission, authorities say. Wudarski and the vehicle were later found in Plains Township, police said.

Several hours later, police were notified that Wudarski was allegedly cooking methamphetamine in a bedroom of his residence.

Police said they noticed a container of salt, coffee filters and lithium batteries in Wudarski’s bedroom — all items commonly associated with meth-making. When an officer climbed a ladder that led to the attic, a soda bottle with sludge was found, according to a criminal complaint. Bottles with sludge are another hallmark of meth-making operations.

State Police removed multiple soda bottles with residue, plastic bags containing paper towels with residue, a bottle of liquid fire, a funnel, batteries, salt, coffee filters, and an empty Coleman fuel can from the residence, the complaint says.

Wudarski was initially arraigned Wednesday night on charges of theft and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Police filed additional charges Thursday of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of substances to unlawfully manufacture a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and risking a catastrophe.

Wudarski was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $35,000 total bail.

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By Ed Lewis

elewis@timesleader.com