Two persons with lengthy criminal histories were arrested on multiple drug charges Thursday, Dec. 1.

Amity L. Baldwin, 32, and Mark Erskine, 51, both of 201 Lakeshore Dr., of Lebanon, were manufacturing methamphetamine in the residence, according to a press release from the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force. Friday, Dec. 2, both cases were assigned to Boone Superior Court I. Additional information was not available.

Both were arrested on charges of A felony manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, B felony possession of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, C felony possession of two or more precursors within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, and A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia. “Precursors” are any of the ingredients that are used to make meth.

Methods of manufacturing — also called “cooking” — meth in illicit laboratories are dangerous in themselves, and require hazardous chemicals. Several years ago, a Lebanon man died after the meth lab he had set up in the bathroom of an apartment exploded, causing third degree burns over his entire body.

“They had all the makings of the lab, all the ingredients to do manufacture meth, and had been in operation,” said Drug Task Force spokesman Lt. Aaron Dietz Friday. While Baldwin and Erskine were not making meth when their apartment was raided, a meth lab “had been active at that location before,” Dietz said.

An Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team removed the lab materials.

“The arrests came three days after Baldwin had pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine in Boone County, and was awaiting sentencing,” Dietz said.

“Erskine had been on our radar before,” Dietz said. “We worked in conjunction with the probation department there in Boone County.”

It is the second time this year Baldwin has been charged with selling methamphetamine. She was arrested by the drug task force in June, when she lived at 3810 W CR 200 S, Lebanon. She was also charged with D felony possession of meth, B felony dealing in Alprazolam, a schedule IV controlled substance, and D felony possession of Alprazolam. The drug is prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Baldwinhad accepted a plea agreement and was to have been sentenced this week.

A Boone County Corrections Officer notified the court that Baldwin had admitted using meth on Nov. 27; that, and other information collected by Boone County Community Corrections, prompted Judge Matthew Kincaid to delay her sentencing to Feb. 10.

Baldwinhad posted a $25,000 surety bond on Nov. 10, after it had been reduced from $50,000 cash or surety on July 1.

Erskine has failed to appear several times for hearings in multiple felony cases, according to court records. In September 2007, he agreed to pay $3,402 in restitution, $450 in probation user fees and $148 in court costs; he had twice been charged with violation of probation after pleading guilty to D felony theft in May 2007. He completed probation and was released on Feb. 8, 2010.

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