Tonawanda News

Local News

April 6, 2013

Police bust Olcott meth lab

Tonawanda News — OLCOTT — Officers from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police stormed a house in Olcott Beach Thursday night where a suspected meth lab was in operation. Two men were arrested and face various charges connected to the operation.

The arrests were the culmination of a two-month investigation launched after neighbors complained of drug activity at the house.

Dearick Hoefer, 32, of Newfane was charged with a felony count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 3rd degree. Geoffrey Linderman, 28, also from Newfane, faces a misdemeanor charge of maintaining a public nuisance.

“They were in fact manufacturing and selling methamphetamine out of the residence,” said Niagara County Chief Deputy Steven Preisch.

The house at 1579 Franklin St. was cordoned off with crime scene tape and residents watching the proceedings said the house was a bundle of police activity until about 1 a.m. Friday. A police officer was stationed outside the home overnight.

Preisch said the state police are brought in for meth investigations because they have the resources to remove the hazardous materials used to manufacture the drug.

“They ensure the area is rendered safe and the materials properly disposed of,” Preisch said Friday afternoon. “That’s what took place most of today. They’re waiting for a cleanup crew to come in and finish up the rest of the work while we continue our search.”

Thursday’s and Friday’s proceedings attracted local onlookers, curious as to what was disturbing the neighborhood.

“The SWAT team came in last night around 10 p.m.,” said Connie Dierolf, who has lived in the hamlet for 28 years. “I watched them all running into the house. There were too many to count.”

Dierolf said she wasn’t sure what was going on when the police suddenly showed up, but neighbors told her the house held a suspected meth lab.

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