Two charged in raid on suspected Dover meth labs

DOVER — A multi-agency search of two homes with alleged clandestine methamphetamine labs inside yielded two arrests Friday, police said.

According to Dover Police Department on Monday, Herbie B. Snyder, 56, and Charles B. Hitchens, 51, were taken into custody without incident at 11 Janes Circle and 1137 Janes Road as authorities executed a search warrant granted through Justice of the Peace Court 2 two days earlier.

Authorities said alleged labs were safely dismantled in the two homes by the DNREC Hazmat Special Response Team.

Charles B. Hitchens, left, and Herbie D. Snyder were arrested Friday after investigation into alleged manufacturing of methamphetamine. (Submitted/Dover Police Department)

Charles B. Hitchens, left, and Herbie D. Snyder were arrested Friday after investigation into alleged manufacturing of methamphetamine. (Submitted/Dover Police Department)

Details on any possible evacuations of neighboring homes were not immediately available. The area is near Dover Air Force Base off Horsepond Road.

“The fumes are extremely dangerous, but the risk of fire/explosion is very high,” Dover PD spokesman Cpl. Mark Hoffman said. “Clandestine labs are very dangerous.”

Also participating in the operation were members of the Delaware State Police, Delaware Probation and Parole, and the South Little Creek Fire Department.

Police listed the time of the incident as 9:45 a.m. Investigation began after police said they received a tip.

Mr. Hitchens, of 11 Janes Circle, was charged with operation of clandestine lab, possession with intent to deliver/manufacture methamphetamine, maintaining a drug property, second-degree conspiracy, possession of drug paraphernalia, and endangering the welfare of a child.

He was held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in lieu of a $14,250 secured bond.

Mr. Snyder, of 1137 Janes Road, was charged with operation of a clandestine lab, possession with intent to deliver/manufacture methamphetamine, second-degree conspiracy, maintaining a drug property, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was committed to JTVCC on $18,250 secured bond.

According to Dover police, methamphetamine-related investigations in the area are infrequent at most.

“Meth is rarely seen in our area, so to see two residences operating labs in the same area was unusual,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

Police said the dangerous materials discovered on Friday were destroyed, with other components being held as evidence “in appropriate storage,” according to Cpl. Hoffman.

Items common to methamphetamine manufacturing were found in the garage at 11 Janes Circle, police said in an affidavit of probable cause.

At the 1137 Janes Road residence, .1 grams of a white powdery substance in a glass vial was located and later allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, according to court papers. Other items were located in a single trash bag, police said.

Police said two children living at the 11 Janes Circle address were turned over to other family members.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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