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Five charged in Lake Station meth lab operation

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LAKE STATION | Five individuals suspected of operating a methamphetamine lab were charged through Lake County criminal court.

Those charged Thursday were Harvey L. Morse, 54, Kimberly S. Neeley, 48; and Heather S. Bulthuis, 27, all of Lake Station;  Chad M. Skinner, 34, of Hobart and Jesse R. Vandiver Jr., 52, of Portage.

Morse, Neeley and Bulthuis were all charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a class A felony; dealing in methamphetamine, a B felony; possession of methamphetamine, a C felony; maintaining a common nuisance, a D felony, and possession of a precursor, a D felony.

Skinner and Vandiver were both charged with visiting a common nuisance, a class A misdemeanor. 

The drug raid at a house in the 3300 block of Arizona Street was conducted at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday after a search warrant was issued for the residence, Lake Station Police Chief Kevin Garber said.

This was the first meth lab raid in the history of the city, Garber said.

The raid was conducted by the Lake Station SWAT unit with the assistance of the Northwest Regional SWAT team.

During an investigation, Lake Station police conducted several undercover purchases of methamphetamine from the home.

Lake Station narcotic officers worked with investigators from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Jasper County Sheriff's Department.

Police obtained evidence the subjects were cooking the product inside the house.

During the investigation, police discovered the subjects were responsible for supplying methamphetamine to several other communities in the state, including some in Newton and Jasper counties.

During a search of the Lake Station house, police confirmed it was being used as a meth lab and recovered evidence indicating several batches of meth had been cooked in the house.

Among the items confiscated were methamphetamine and several electronic devices.

Several members of the Indiana State Clandestine Drug Lab team assisted Lake Station police with processing the house.

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