Schoharie husband, wife charged in meth bust
By Jim Poole
Schoharie County Sheriff’s deputies, investigators and federal agents Thursday arrested a husband and wife in connection with a methamphetamine lab in the Village of Schoharie.
The evening raid netted Todd Diamond Sr., 41, and Loreen Diamond, 38, in an apartment on Main Street near stores and businesses.
Authorities charged both with conspiracy and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, federal counts.
Officers also took in three other people––unnamed––who “may be charged later locally,” according to Sheriff Tony Desmond.
Speaking at a press conference Friday, James Burns, assistant special agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, said the Diamonds had recently returned from Kentucky, “presumably with ingredients to make methamphetamine.”
Agent Burns also described Mr. Diamond with having “a lengthy criminal record, narcotics records.”
Sheriff Desmond credited local residents with tipping off his office that a meth lab was in the village and that the drug was being sold in the county.
Agents and deputies set up an undercover operation in Schoharie, watching the apartment. When they went in, the Diamonds were in the process of making meth, Agent Burns said.
The DEA also seized methamphetamine and ingredients to produce it. Agent Burns did not say how much meth was confiscated.
Officers seized no weapons or guns, he said.
The Schoharie Fire Department and Scho-Wright Ambulance were at the scene because of the possibility of an explosion and fire caused the meth-production process, Sheriff Desmond said.
“They were on stand-by for eight hours,” he added. “They really helped out.”
Agent Burns described the Diamonds’ manufacturing as “a relatively small operation, maybe three or four grams of finished product before they’d have to start over again.”
This was the seventh meth lab raided in Schoharie County since 1999, Agent Burns said.
Police busted 31 meth labs in the state last year. Schoharie’s was the 21st this year, so the total is likely to surpass 2010’s, Agent Burns said.
District Attorney Jim Sacket said meth labs went into decline about 10 years ago because of tightened controls on the ingredients.
But because most ingredients are simple household products, labs are on the rise, Agent Burns said.
“It seems to go from the West Coast to the East, and it’s coming up more,” he said.
“It’s a horrible drug, a horrible scourge on our society,” Mr. Sacket added.
The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s office and Mr. Sacket’s office.
Sheriff Desmond said the DA’s office is continuing the investigation into the three unnamed people.
While authorities cited the cooperation of county and federal officers, Schoharie County Undersheriff Ron Stevens pointed to the community’s help.
“We had a lot of cooperation in this from private citizens,” he said. “They assisted us with a lot of information.”