CLEARFIELD – A 53-year-old DuBois man, Steven Sunealitis, has been sentenced to state prison for operating a methamphetamine lab at his residence, according to Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr.
On Aug. 5, 2013, Officer Erik Rupp of the Sandy Township Police Department filed a criminal complaint against Sunealitis. He charged him with manufacture of a controlled substance; illegal dumping of methamphetamine waste; possession of a controlled substance; and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on May 13, 2013, an agent from the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole discovered evidence of methamphetamine production while conducting a routine home visit at Sunealitis’ residence. The agent then informed the Sandy Township police about the possible methamphetamine production at Sunealitis’ residence, which is located on South Main Street in DuBois.
The Sandy Township police and members of the Pennsylvania State Police Vice and Narcotics Unit, along with the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Response Team (CLRT) and West Sandy Volunteer Fire Company, responded to the scene because of the extremely hazardous conditions created during the manufacturing process. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, and all of the equipment suspected to be utilized for methamphetamine production was seized, as well as the suspected final product of methamphetamine.
A jury trial was held from Jan. 27-28, and Sunealitis was found guilty of the charges. On Tuesday, the Honorable Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced Sunealitis to a minimum of 8 years and a maximum of 16 years of incarceration in the state prison system.
Following Sunealitis’ sentencing, Shaw stated that he was extremely satisfied with the sentence imposed by Ammerman. A sentence of this magnitude, he stated, sends a strong message that this type of dangerous criminal activity will not be tolerated in Clearfield County.
Shaw emphasized that “meth labs” pose a significant danger to law enforcement, first responders, neighbors and occupants of the location where the lab is in operation. Shaw explained that chemicals used in the methamphetamine manufacturing process are extremely dangerous, because they can cause explosions or poison people with toxic fumes.
Shaw also stated that he was pleased with the investigative efforts of the Sandy Township police and the Pennsylvania State Police. Shaw was also extremely satisfied with the prompt response and removal efforts completed by the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Response Team. Shaw thanked the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Sandy Township police, the Pennsylvania State Police and the West Sandy Volunteer Fire Company for their assistance with this case.
Anyone with knowledge of a crime is asked to call Clearfield County Crime Stoppers at 800-376-4700. All calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clearfield County District Attorney Web site at “www.ClearfieldDA.org” and selecting “Report A Crime.”