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Suspects in Northfield meth bust appear in court

  • Brian Bateman<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

    Brian Bateman

    (Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

  • Jason Buckley<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

    Jason Buckley

    (Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

  • Joseph Cole<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

    Joseph Cole

    (Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

  • Anthony Otatti<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

    Anthony Otatti

    (Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

  • Janell Dubreuil<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

    Janell Dubreuil

    (Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

  • Amanda Warner<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

    Amanda Warner

    (Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

  • Brian Bateman<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)
  • Jason Buckley<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)
  • Joseph Cole<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)
  • Anthony Otatti<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)
  • Janell Dubreuil<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)
  • Amanda Warner<br/><br/>(Courtesy of Northfield Police Department)

Two of the six people arrested Thursday and accused of cooking methamphetamine within yards of an elementary school in Northfield did so at times in the presence of their 5-year-old son, a county prosecutor said yesterday.

Amanda Warner, 25, and Brian Bateman, 27, have each been charged with three felonies of purchasing and possessing ingredients used to manufacture the drug and three misdemeanors of endangering the welfare of a child. They and four others were arrested Thursday in a mid-morning raid of the Elm Street apartment complex where the police said most of them reside. The building, a converted three-story home, is located across the street from Union Sanborn Elementary School and Hall Memorial Library.

Northfield and Tilton police officials said they opened an investigation into the operation late last month after receiving complaints from local residents. In one instance, a tenant at the complex told officers he smelled a strong chemical odor wafting from a third-floor apartment and had observed another suspect, Joseph Cole, 26, participating in activities associated with production of meth, according to an arrest affidavit.

Warner and Bateman were each ordered held on $180,000 cash bail. Bail was placed at $150,000 cash for Cole and two others – Jason Buckley, 36, and Janell Dubreuil, 27 – and $20,000 cash for the sixth suspect, 23-year-old Anthony Ottati. All are scheduled to appear Jan. 24 for a probable cause hearing.

Cristina Brooks, an assistant Merrimack County attorney, justified the admittedly high figures by noting that the alleged activity was done in close proximity to children. Besides Warner and Bateman’s son, who is now in state custody, she said other children live in the complex and that the building falls inside a drug-free school zone.

Three of the other suspects – Buckley, Dubreuil and Cole – were charged with multiple similar felonies of purchasing and possessing the goods used to cook the drug. Ottati was charged with assisting in the operation by driving Cole to the Tilton Walmart to purchase pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter decongestant routinely used in the production process.

Bateman told Judge Edward Gordon that he does not live with Warner at the apartment, as police officials had indicated, and was simply visiting his son on the day of the raid. Brooks said Bateman only recently moved to New Hampshire from North Carolina, where he is wanted on a firearm charge and is a suspect in a house fire tied to the manufacturing of meth. She said she had yet to obtain a more comprehensive criminal history for Bateman.

Most of the others have had brushes with the law. Leading the pack is Cole, who since 2005 has been convicted on dozens of felonies and misdemeanors, Brooks said, including simple assault, criminal misconduct, possession of controlled drugs and bail jumping. Appearing anxious during his hearing – shifting about and licking his teeth as Gordon read his charges – Cole demanded to know what proof had been used for his arrest.

“When the DEA kicked in the door and all that other crazy stuff, I didn’t have anything on me,” he said. “I had nothing on me. In my pocket I had my lighter.”

Others have less extensive records, Brooks said. Ottati has had a string of drug and other low-end criminal convictions since 2009, and was most recently charged with inhaling toxic vapors. He is scheduled to stand trial on that offense this spring.

Dubreuil was convicted in 2009 of theft out of Merrimack County and subsequently served a year in jail, Brooks said. She was also convicted in 2010 of receiving stolen property. Her stepmother, who was present at the hearing and asked that her name not be published, said Dubreuil also had previous drug convictions, but insisted that she had gone through treatment and had been working in recent months to stay clean and out of trouble. She noted that Dubreuil had been holding a steady job at a pizza parlor in Tilton and had a healthy complexion compared with the others.

“I’m not saying she’s an angel, but she wasn’t using,” she said.

Dubreuil offered a similar statement to Gordon.

“You’ve seen me a couple times,” she told him. “I’m not a bad person. I believe all these accusations to be wrong. . . . I’m trying to become part of society, slowly but surely. I’m keeping my neck out of bad. I’ve been trying.”

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

Related

Police raid alleged meth lab, arrest six near Northfield school

Friday, May 30, 2014

State and local police officers yesterday morning raided an apartment building in Northfield that faces an elementary school and a public library, and arrested half a dozen people who they said were cooking methamphetamine inside. The Northfield police said they began investigating the building at 6 Elm St. late last month after receiving multiple complaints from local residents about suspicious … 0

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