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Meth lab sparks Rehoboth apartment blaze

Fire engines sit along Parsonage Road waiting to assist crews from Lewes and Rehoboth Beach with a fire at the Beachaven apartment complex. BY NICK ROTH
May 27, 2014

Story Location:
REHOBOTH Beach  Delaware
United States

Delaware State Police have arrested a Rehoboth Beach couple after a fire broke out in their apartment from a "one-pot" methamphetamine lab.

Troopers and local fire departments responded to the Beachaven apartment complex for a reported fire with a possible entrapment in a first-floor unit about 8 p.m., May 26. Soon after the initial call, a domestic incident in the parking lot was reported, possibly related to the fire, and a male subject was fleeing.

Troopers were given the name and description of the suspect, and they soon located Eric P. Marine, 37, in the area of Applebee's on Route 1. He was taken into custody without incident, and he was found to be in possession of a hypodermic needle, seven clonazepam pills, two tramadol pills, two prazonsin pills, one Norvir, two bromocriptine pills, three pramipexole dihydrochloride pills, and one Lyrica pill. The pills were not related to the meth operation.

A one-pot meth lab is a small operation that produces a small amount of the drug for personal use, said DSP spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier.

The other occupant of the apartment, Susan Trudeau, 54, of Rehoboth was already safely out of the building and was being treated by EMS.

State police and the State Fire Marshal's Office began a joint investigation and determined the fire started in a spare bedroom where equipment and component mixtures of methamphetamine along with key ingredients for making the drug were located. Troopers assumed the investigation and were assisted by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to dismantle and clean up the meth lab, mitigate damage and dispose of waste.

Marine and Trudeau were both decontaminated by Sussex County Paramedic's decontamination team and taken to Beebe Healthcare, where they were treated and released. Troopers took them to Troop 4 in Georgetown, where they were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, second-degree conspiracy, operating a clandestine lab and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Marine was additionally charged with possession of a noncontrolled substance without a prescription, possession of a schedule IV narcotic and possession of a schedule V narcotic.  Marine and Trudeau were arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $30,750 and $30,700 secured bonds, respectively.