Police accuse four Franklin residents of operating meth lab

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Police arrested four people this week accused of running a meth lab out of a home in Franklin Township, Beaver County.

Chanelle Beachem, 19, Christopher Simmons, 31, John Mesko, 42, and homeowner William Price, 34, all of Franklin, were jailed Wednesday on charges of running a meth lab, risking a catastrophe and various drug charges.

Franklin police Chief Brian Speer said police were tipped off to the suspected meth operation at the home on South Hazen Avenue over the Memorial Day weekend and executed a search warrant at the home Wednesday.

Inside, they found various items used in meth production, then went to local stores to check if the four suspects had purchased cold or allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, commonly used to make the drug that the chief said has become popular in the rural township 30 miles north of Pittsburgh.

"This has been popping up on our radar more and more," he said. "This is probably one of our more sizable [busts] as of recently."

Pennsylvania State Police tactical officers helped township police enter the home safely, the chief said. The four suspects were arrested later Wednesday and are awaiting June 6 preliminary hearings. No attorneys were listed for them in online court records.

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944.

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