3 charged following Manchester meth lab bust
MANCHESTER — A resident of a city homeless shelter is charged with making methamphetamine in the trunk of a Ford Fiesta with Florida plates then trying to elude police by driving into oncoming city traffic and traveling in a highway breakdown lane at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour before crashing on a city street Wednesday night.
Police chased down and arrested Christopher Sparkman, 34, and his two passengers after the collision at Mammoth and Kennard roads about 6 p.m. Police found a camouflage-style cooler in the trunk which they said was used as a “one-pot” methamphetamine laboratory.
The lab was not “actively cooking” at the time and appeared to have just finished making a batch of the highly-addictive drug, police said.
Federal drug agents found a quantity of methamphetamine in a pill bottle.
“One-pot” methamphetamine labs — also known as “Shake and Bake” labs — are gaining popularity because of the ease and speed with which they allow the drug to be made, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration website.
Manufacturers can make a batch of the drug in about 30 minutes by shaking the ingredients in easily obtained containers, such as plastic bottles, the DEA said.
Sparkman, who lived in Florida and now lists his address as 199 Manchester St., which is the site of the New Horizons homeless shelter, is charged with three felony charges of reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine and manufacture of methamphetamine, police said.
He also faces misdemeanor charges of disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest, simple assault for allegedly breaking a police officer’s thumb when placed in custody, and false report for allegedly giving police a false name.
Sparkman was arraigned in Manchester District Court and ordered held on total $50,000 bail.
He is set to appear at a probable cause hearing on the felonies Sept. 18 and trial on the misdemeanors Oct. 7.
Plain clothes officers said they began watching Sparkman’s car while it was parked at 92 Walnut St., which they described in a court affidavit as “an active drug location.”
A chase ensued which police said they broke off when Sparkman allegedly crossed into oncoming traffic on Brown Avenue.
State Police picked up the pursuit when Sparkman got on the highway and turned on Interstate 93 South, traveling up to 120 mph in the right-hand breakdown lane, police allege. Sparkman drove into Londonderry, then returned to Manchester when he crashed at Mammoth and Kennard roads, police.
Also arrested were Trina Shepherd, 25, of 1435 North East 22nd St., Ocala, Fla., who was a front-seat passenger; and Philip Bishop, 44, of 92 Walnut St., Apt. 5, police said.
Shepherd and Bishop each were charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, police said. Shepherd was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail pending a Oct. 7 court date. Bishop will be arraigned Oct. 8.