Franklin man accused of operating meth lab, assault

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By JIM MEYER – Staff writer

A Franklin man is facing charges related to operating a methamphetamine lab and domestic assault.

A criminal complaint filed through District Judge Matthew Kirtland’s office said that police were dispatched Thursday at about 9:24 a.m. after a third party reported that Scott Edward Strawbridge, 42, of 792 Old Mercer Road, had assaulted a known victim.

The victim had fled to a relative’s house and said that Strawbridge had assaulted her and that he was cooking meth in the house, according to the complaint.

The complaint said police interviewed the victim, who said that Strawbridge hit her in the face, then covered her mouth and nose, choked her and told her that he would kill her if she didn’t do what he said.

The victim told police that she had seen plastic bottles with white residue and that she noticed a chemical odor coming from a spare room in the house, the complaint said.

The victim also said Strawbridge had gone to the store and bought cold pills and batteries, according to the complaint.

At the scene, officers observed cold medicine in plastic bags and Coleman fuel in the kitchen, the complaint said.

The affiant, Patrolman James Harrah, affirmed that all of these components are indicative of meth manufacturing, the complaint said.

Strawbridge was placed under arrest for outstanding warrants and domestic violence and transported to Franklin Police Department for processing, the complaint said.

After a search warrant was granted by Kirtland, members of the Pennsylvania Clandestine Lab Response Team found multiple items of drug-manufacturing paraphernalia as well as suspected meth and heroine, according to the complaint.

Strawbridge faces multiple felony charges related to operating a meth lab and manufacturing controlled substances and misdemeanor charges of simple assault and terroristic threats.

Strawbridge was arraigned before Kirtland on Thursday evening and remanded to Venango County Jail. Bail is set at $40,000 monetary. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Nov. 29 at 8:30 a.m.