Shoplifting case leads police to meth lab

WINCHESTER — Two children were taken into the custody of Department of Child Services officials late Monday after an active methamphetamine lab was reportedly discovered in the basement of a Winchester home.

Arrested were:

• Shannon L. Mackey, 32, and Carolyn R. Mackey, 28, both of 421 N. Residence St., Winchester.

• Brett A. Buck, 33, 578 W. U.S. 36, Lynn.

• Megan A. Eicher, 28, 7782 S. Jay County Road 600-W, Portland.

• Michael A. Malinowski, 49.

According to a media release from the Union City Police Department, officers on Monday afternoon responded to a report of a suspected shoplifter at Didier Hardware, 1355 Landsdowne Drive, when they made contact with the Mackeys, who were with their 4-year-old daughter. In their possession were several items commonly used in the manufacture and use of meth, including lye drain cleaner, tubing and hypodermic needles.

A search warrant was performed on the Mackeys’ Winchester residence late Monday, where officers reportedly found an active meth lab in the basement and several other meth precursors. Prior to serving the search warrant, the Department of Child Services also took custody of the Mackeys’ daughter and 9-year-old son, according to the report.

“Anytime an investigation leads to shutting down a meth lab, we consider it a success,” Union City police Detective Chad Puterbaugh said. “Removing children from such a dangerous environment is even more important.”

The Mackeys are preliminarily charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of a syringe, possession of meth precursors, maintaining a common nuisance and two counts of neglect of a dependent.

Carolyn Mackey has additional charges that include possession of a controlled substance and theft.

Buck and Eicher each face preliminary charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth, possession of a syringe, possession of meth precursors and maintaining a common nuisance, while Malinowski is preliminarily charged with maintaining a common nuisance.

Monday’s incident represented the second meth lab discovered in Randolph County so far this year. Just three meth labs were investigated in Randolph County in 2013.

According to court records, Shannon Mackey, formerly of Union City, Ohio, has convictions that include resisting law enforcement, check deception, theft, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of marijuana, driving while suspended and driving without a license. Carolyn Mackey, meanwhile, has no recent convictions.

Buck — formerly of Portland, Ridgeville and Union City, Ind. — has been convicted of dealing in a schedule II controlled substance, driving while intoxicated and check deception. Eicher, a a former Winchester resident, has convictions that include criminal conversion and driving while suspended.

Since 1982, Malinowski has been imprisoned for convictions that include burglary and rape. He was also convicted of indecent exposure in Allen County in 2008, according to records.

The Union City and Winchester police departments, the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Unit and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department each assisted with the investigation Monday evening.

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