Winchell Waives Charges to Court for Meth Bust

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman who allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine and who had asked her husband to cook it for her waived the charges to court Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Matthew J. Winchell, 38, of Howard  was charged by Lawrence Township police with possession of red phosphorus, etc. with intent to manufacture a controlled substance; conspiracy/possession of red phosphorus, etc. with intent to manufacture a controlled substance; operating a methamphetamine lab; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; intentional possession of a controlled substance; conspiracy/manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; and risking catastrophe.

Matthew Winchell previously waived the charges against him to court. His wife, Veronica April Winchell, 41, of Clearfield, is also facing the same set of charges. According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 15 Officer Jon Walker met with two, other township police officers and Clearfield County Probation Officer Scott Cline. Walker was advised about a previous domestic dispute incident that allegedly occurred on Libby Lane.

Cline was at the township police station to see if a female officer could go to the residence for his safety and to submit a female, Veronica Winchell, to a urinalysis test since she is on probation. Officer Tonya Marshall was going to assist Cline, and Officer Zachary Cowan indicated that mass quantities of pseudoephedrine and several pieces of foil were allegedly observed in plain sight while on the previous incident.

Marshall and Cline arrived at the Libby Lane residence and while talking with Veronica and Matthew Winchell and another male, Marshall allegedly observed in plain sight foil, which allegedly appeared to be wrapped with partial burns and residue inside. Marshall subsequently called Walker and Cowan for assistance.

Upon arrival Walker made contact with all occupants of the residence. Cline asked for assistance with a search for safety purposes. During the search, officers allegedly found numerous items of drug paraphernalia in plain sight on the kitchen table, as well as tin foil, which allegedly appeared to have chemical burns on the inside roll.

According to the affidavit, numerous items were photographed as evidence, including liquid Drano, a box of Equate cold compress, torch starter, a large digital scale, coffee filters, a glass plate with coffee filters, 22 pieces of aluminum foil with residue, four small metal screens, a small digital scale, a small clear glass pipe with residue, a butane lighter, a white paper towel covered in red phosphorus, allergy relief medications, a metal cigarette with residue and a clear plastic container with suspected methamphetamine inside of it.

Cline indicated to police that Veronica Winchell’s urinalysis test came back positive for methamphetamine use. Officers then requested permission to search Matthew Winchell’s truck. Upon opening the side passenger door, officers allegedly located a clear plastic bottle; officers recognized it as a portable methamphetamine-making device. Officers also observed in the front seat, Coleman camp fuel, which is used to make methamphetamine.

When Walker asked Matthew Winchell if the bottle contained methamphetamine, he said yes. He then allegedly made an open utterance about cooking methamphetamine for his wife, Veronica Winchell. Officers then sealed off the truck and called in a Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Unit, which seized the items in the truck for further analysis. Matthew Winchell was taken to the township police station.

In a written statement to police, Matthew Winchell allegedly indicated he had entered into an agreement with his wife to cook her methamphetamine. He said he entered the woods with the ingredients, and he explained to Walker how he cooked it. Matthew Winchell said he and about five other people had smoked it together Nov. 14.

Matthew Winchell also allegedly claimed to police that his wife was the sole reason he had purchased the chemicals and cooked the methamphetamine.

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