Updated 01/17/2011 04:30 PM
Man arrested in meth lab bust
A meth lab was found over the weekend in Corning. Now, one man is behind bars as investigators continue to search his apartment. Our Lara Greenberg was at the scene and has more of the details from our Corning newsroom.
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CORNING, N.Y. -- Police and hazmat teams were still on the scene of meth lab Monday morning that led to one arrest. Michael Wheeler is in Steuben County Jail without bail after being charged with possession of methamphetamine and criminal contempt.
"It's amazing what goes on underneath your eyes right next door to you."
Just five houses down from William Hall's home in Corning was a meth lab. Police say Michael Wheeler, 45, of Corning, was manufacturing methamphetamine on the second floor of 344 East Denison Parkway.
"I got a report yesterday of a chemical smell coming from one of the other apartments. The officer came and investigated and found products from a methamphetamine manufacturer," said Corning Police Department Sgt. Kenzie Spaulding.
Hall, who is a former police officer, says this kind of odor is distinct.
"To my inception and my smell, it smells like cat urine. If you smell a strong odor, contact the police or something. Let them investigate it," Hall said.
Hazmat teams have been here since Sunday making sure the home and the neighbors are safe from any dangerous chemicals. The Corning Fire and Police Departments, as well as the State Police, were also here just in case anything went wrong.
"It's just a matter of disposing of the chemicals safely and making sure that the house is safe to occupy," Spaulding said.
Wheeler was arraigned Monday morning and placed in Steuben County Jail without bail. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine and criminal contempt for staying with a woman who had an order of protection against him.
And though he's currently in jail, William Hall is still concerned for his children and young grandchildren who live nearby.
"I live five houses away from here. You know, what's next? My next-door neighbor?" Hall asked.
Wheeler does have a criminal record and more charges are possible. He will reappear in Corning City Court Tuesday morning.