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Essex County Sheriff-s Deputy Matt Braunius escorts John R. Boyle into Moriah Town Court Monday afternoon. Boyle, who is accused of having a meth lab in his home, was released on bail after he waived a felony hearing

PORT HENRY -- A Port Henry man accused of running a meth lab out of his home was in Moriah Town Court for a felony hearing Monday.

John R. Boyle, 33, of 6 Second Lane Building 2, Port Henry has been in the Essex County Jail since his arrest by State Police earlier this month.

Boyle was a substance-abuse counselor at the Moriah State Shock Incarceration Facility in Mineville when State Police raided his home.

He was charged with felony third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and misdemeanor second-degree criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing equipment.

State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Investigator Ronald Husner said in court papers that Boyle had tubing, glass jars and containers "used in manufacture of methamphetamine."

The laboratory equipment was found during a police raid of Boyle's home in Port Henry, Husner said. Moriah Town Justice Brian Venne had issued a search warrant for the incursion.

Police have released scant information on the May 8 raid, but neighbors said streets around the house were blocked off while troopers wearing bullet-proof vests stormed the house. A helicopter was also used for surveillance of the property.

The afternoon raid was apparently timed to coincide with Boyle's return home from his job as a drug counselor at the Moriah Shock Incarceration Facility.

State Department of Correction spokeswoman Linda Foglia said Monday that Boyle was paid $37,630 a year to work in the alcohol- and substance-abuse program at Moriah Shock. He started work at the prison in September 2005.

"We do expect disciplinary action in the form of a suspension," she said.

Boyle was represented at the felony hearing by attorney John McDonald Sr. of Ticonderoga. Boyle told Venne he believes the state workers union he belongs to will have an attorney represent him at future court appearances.

Boyle waived the hearing, and his next Town Court date was set for Tuesday, June 26.

Bail had been set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond, but at McDonald's request, Venne reduced it to $2,500 bond and Boyle was able to make bail.

Wearing a striped prison uniform, with leg chains and his wrists handcuffed in front of him, Boyle was brought into court by Essex County Sheriff's Deputies Matt Braunius and Michael Blaise.

Several of Boyle's family members sat behind him in the courtroom, and he chatted with them during breaks in the proceedings.

Methamphetamine labs can give off dangerous fumes and are prone to explosion or fire. Police said that in addition to the lab equipment at Boyle's home, they found muriatic acid, ammonia, thinner, stove fuel and lye, all chemicals that are part of a meth recipe.

County Assistant District Attorney Michael Langey is prosecuting Boyle. Langey said Boyle is not charged with having any methamphetamine at the time of the raid, only with possessing the lab equipment and chemicals used to manufacture the drug.

Methamphetamine stimulates the mesolimbic-reward pathway in the brain, causing euphoria and excitement, and is prone to abuse and addiction.

The facility Boyle worked at uses boot-camp-type training and discipline to rehabilitate first-time drug offenders.

lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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