Man gets 3 years for meth lab operation

By Juliette Laaka | May 27, 2014
Photo by: Knox County Jail Anthony Torre.

Rockland — A 22-year-old man was sentenced to three years in prison May 27 after he admitted to involvement in operating a methamphetamine lab in Owls Head.

Anthony Torre was ordered to serve six years in prison with all but three years suspended, and was also ordered to abide by two years of probation upon release. He was convicted of one count of felony trafficking in methamphetamine.

Torre does not have a prior criminal record.

The sentence was a jointly recommended deal between Torre's defense attorney, Roger Hurley, and Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley.

Justice Richard Mulhern accepted the plea and told Torre the conviction is not a good way to start out his life.

"I hope for your sake, if you're addicted, you can get off this stuff. It's a road to nowhere," he warned.

When asked by Mulhern if he wanted to address the court, Torre said nobody else was involved in the lab operation.

There are three co-defendants in the case, Travis Batty, 29, of Rockland, Damien Welch, 22, of Owls Head, and Heather Gregory, 40, of Owls Head.

Torre was detained at the Knox County Jail since Maine Drug Enforcement Agents raided a home on South Shore Drive in Owls Head in November 2013, and seized evidence of methamphetamine manufacturing.

Scott Pelletier of the MDEA said in November it appeared the drug had been produced a number of times at that location through a "one-pot" method. Agents dismantled five containers inside the home where meth was suspected to have been made.

The chemicals used in the process of making the drug are both toxic and potentially explosive, according to officials at the scene.

MDEA was assisted at the scene by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, two chemists from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Knox County Sheriff's Office and the Owls Head Fire Department.

The toxic chemicals used, which include lithium from batteries, could cause flash fires and could pose an environmental hazard if they leak into the water table, the agent said.

Welch is charged with aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine. His charge is aggravated because he is on probation for a drug-related charge in California.

Gregory is also charged with felony trafficking in methamphetamine.

Batty faces a charge of felony trafficking in methamphetamine. Batty will appear in court again in June.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at jlaaka@villagesoup.com.

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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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