Clearfield Man Accused of Operating Meth Lab

CLEARFIELD – Charges have been filed against a Clearfield man who allegedly manufactured methamphetamine inside his residence at the Leonard Grade Apartment Complex, according to court documents from Magisterial District Judge Richard Ireland’s office.

Mark Charles Hackett, 53, of Clearfield has been charged with possession of red phosphorous with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, risking catastrophe, criminal attempt/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, operating a methamphetamine lab and deposits, stores, disposes of chemical waste.

The charges against Hackett stem from a joint investigation involving the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and the Clearfield County Drug Task Force. He’s currently incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Hackett’s preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 15 at the CCJ.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, an officer with the Clearfield Borough police contacted an agent with the AG’s office. An informant had told the officer that Hackett was manufacturing methamphetamine. The informant also told police that Hackett had solicited them to purchase precursors for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

The informant told the officer they didn’t purchase anything for Hackett. However, they would be able to purchase the final methamphetamine product from him. The informant showed the officer photographs, which they’d taken with a cellular phone from inside Hackett’s apartment at 501 E. Market St., Clearfield.

The informant’s photographs showed precursors of methamphetamine production. Also, the informant stated that Hackett had personally related his plans to manufacture methamphetamine during the upcoming weekend.

On Monday, the officer and agent interviewed the informant who stated that Hackett related he had product available and needed additional ephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine. The informant stated their photographs were of a briefcase in a bedroom closet of Hackett’s apartment.

The informant stated that another female was present when the photographs were taken at Hackett’s apartment. Afterward, the informant stated that Hackett put the briefcase above the ceiling tiles. The informant showed the photographs during the interview and provided copies of them.

At the conclusion of the interview, a state parole agent who supervises Hackett determined he would visit him. Another officer was requested to conduct security of Hackett’s apartment. After that officer departed the station, he received a call from the informant who advised Hackett had less than one gram of methamphetamine on his person or in a black safe within his residence.

Upon arrival a female let authorities inside Hackett’s apartment. Hackett was subsequently detained and placed in the kitchen area. The officer maintained security of Hackett while parole agents searched the residence. While searching Hackett’s bedroom, parole agents located a black safe.

Parole agents asked Hackett for the key to the safe. Hackett stated that the female who had left the apartment earlier was in possession of the key. An agent contacted the female and requested for her to return with the key to unlock the safe, which she did.

Inside the safe, parole agents found a two-dollar bill and empty prescription bottles of Subutex. Parole agents asked the female if she was aware of any product and or precursors, which Hackett may have hidden within the apartment.

The female told parole agents that Hackett had a bag containing methamphetamine precursors above the ceiling tiles directly above the microwave in the kitchen area. Upon moving a ceiling tile above the microwave, parole agents retrieved a black and gray backpack.

The backpack was taken into the living room area where a parole agent started opening up its side pockets. Inside the pockets were two plastic bags, which contained a white-beaded substance. While opening the main compartment, the parole agent detected the odor of battery acid emitting from inside the bag.

Based upon experience, the parole agent was aware battery acids are used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. The agent also located a sodastream bottle, which is used to contain ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine, and a Coleman fuel container.

Later on Monday, Hackett agreed to provide a statement to an AG agent and a county drug task force officer. Hackett told authorities that he used the items contained within the backpack in order to attempt to manufacture methamphetamine.

At approximately 7 p.m., authorities started to evacuate residential apartments at 501 E. Market St., which is also known as the Leonard Grade Apartment Complex. The complex consists of nine apartments with approximately eight tenants and two businesses, including Life Skills programs and a karate studio for both children and adults.

Additionally, authorities evacuated seven residences, which surround 501 E. Market St. The evacuation, the affidavit states, was due to the inherent dangers that exist with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

During a search of Hackett’s apartment, members of the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Team located and seized items, such as the backpack containing items to manufacture methamphetamine.

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