TOWN OF ROCHESTER – Four people are under arrest charged with the felonies of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and related crimes.
The case began at around 3 a.m. on Saturday, December 29 when an Ulster County Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the rail trail parking lot on Berme Road in the Town of Rochester and he encountered three people and a vehicle.
Briana Gowen, 38, of Saugerties, was found in possession of a knife and marijuana. She was detained.
As the deputy approached the vehicle, he Gary Hoffman, 28, of Kingston, who gave a false identity to conceal the fact that he was a state parole absconder.
At the same time, a second woman, Emily Hoffman, 33, of Kerhonkson, came from an area near the rail trail that during a later search was found to house containers and material consistent with the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.
Deputies determined a fourth person fled on foot when he spotted the police activity. Erik Fehring, 31, of Accord, was found several hours later hiding in a residence on Main Street in Accord after being observed by a concerned resident.
When deputies and state troopers discovered suspected methamphetamine production, they withdrew from the scene due to the suspected hazardous materials associated with the production of the drug.
The State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team responded to the scene, identified and processed the materials used to manufacture meth. Also located were plastic bottles that contained liquid and other materials that appeared to be undergoing a chemical reaction consistent with the manufacture of meth. The evidence was collected and the potentially hazardous materials were removed.
The four were charged with felonies of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material, criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine and the misdemeanor of criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacture material.
Fehring was also found to have several warrants for his arrest unrelated to this case.
Hoffman was also charged with the misdemeanor of criminal impersonation for providing a false name to avoid being discovered as a parole absconder.
Gowen, Martin and Fehring were sent to the Ulster County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond. Hoffman is held without bail.
The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.
Deputies were assisted by State Police, the State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team, the URGENT Task Force and the Accord Fire Department.