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October 10, 2013

Husband and wife charged in meth lab bust

BENZONIA — An anonymous online tip led to the arrest of two Benzonia Township residents who authorities said maintained a methamphetamine lab in their home.

Michael Todd Martin, 45, and his wife Angela Jane Martin, 32, were arraigned Oct. 4 in 85th District Court on felony charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house.

Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel said an anonymous tip made on the sheriff department’s website prompted an investigation. Deputies searched a residence near Hoadley Road and U.S. 31 on Oct. 3, an effort that also involved Traverse Narcotics Team detectives and state police.

“It was a lab in progress,” Schendel said. “It was enough of a lab that they were producing enough meth to support their addiction.”

Authorities said chemicals and components used for the meth lab were seized, along with suspected methamphetamine.

Prosecutor Sara Swanson said Benzie County doesn’t see many meth-related cases.

“This is the first one I’m aware of (this year),” she said.

Schendel said meth spreading into Benzie County is one of his greatest concerns. He said TNT detectives report a “high amount” of meth cases in neighboring Manistee and Wexford counties.

“This is something we don’t want to get a foothold in Benzie County,” he said. “It’s a dangerous and highly, highly addictive drug.”

Schendel said the investigation is ongoing and other charges could be filed. He thanked the anonymous tipster for alerting authorities to the alleged lab.

“The public came through for us,” he said.

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