Seven arrested in Walton meth lab; three children rescued

Top row: Tammy Lewis, Amanda Bicknell and Emily Uhl. Middle row: Johnny Uhl, Brooklynn Alford and James M. Klinegardner. Bottom: James J. Nash. Photos via the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.

Seven people were arrested in a raid on a meth lab operating in a home in the Delaware County village of Walton on Tuesday, Jan. 26, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. Three children were rescued from the scene and were placed into immediate foster care, police say.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division has been investigating the sale and manufacture of methamphetamine in Walton, and on Tuesday morning the division obtained a search warrant for a property located at 116 East St. in Walton.

Thirty-one-year-old Amanda Bicknell, 35-year-old James J. Nash and 38-year-old James M. Klinegardner were all living at the residence, police say. 

Above: 116 East St., the site of an alleged meth lab in the village of Walton. Image via Google Street View. 

The home was allegedly the site of "an active, clandestine methamphetamine laboratory," and multiple agencies gathered on Tuesday evening to execute the warrant.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office, the Walton Village Police Department, Delaware County Department of Emergency Services and the Walton Fire Department were at the scene.

So were specialized state police units who are trained to handle the specific dangers of meth labs, which often house combustible chemicals. The New York State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT) and the New York State Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team (CCSERT) were both at 116 East St. in Walton on Tuesday night.

When police entered the building, they found "an actively cooking 'one-pot' methamphetamine lab," they say. They also found "precursor chemicals, quantities of crystalline methamphetamine, several 'spent' one pot, or 'shake and bake' meth labs, numerous prescription medications, cocaine, marijuana and public assistance benefit cards," according to the press release.

Seven adults and three children were in the building at the time of the raid, police say. The three children, who are not being identified, "were provided immediate medical evaluation for potential contamination of toxic chemicals" and subsequently placed into "emergency foster care," the press release states.

The seven adults were arrested. They are:

  • Tammy R. Lewis, 36, of Finch Hollow Road, Walton
  • Amanda L. Bicknell, 31, of 116 East St., Walton
  • Emily L. Uhl, 22, of Swan Lake, NY
  • Johnny Uhl, 29, of Swan Lake, NY
  • Brooklynn Alford, 18, of 80 Liberty St., Walton
  • James M. Klinegardner, Jr., 38, of Rock Island, Tennessee and 116 East St., Walton
  • James J. Nash, Sr., 35, of 116 East St., Walton

Each of the seven adults was charged with felony unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, felony criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, felony unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine in the second degree in the presence of a child less than 16, felony criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, felony unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory materials and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor. All seven defendants are being held at the Delaware County Corrections Facility on $150,000 cash bail, police say.

Nash was additionally charged charged for possessing suboxone and Johny Uhl was charged with possessing cocaine and marijuana, police say.

Calling the alleged drug dealers "lowlives," Delaware County Undersheriff Craig DuMond said that "they are destroying our future generations."

"The fact that parents would allow their children to be exposed to these situations is both sickening and heartbreaking," he said.