HONESDALE – State Police arrested 19-year-old Seth Ian VanValkenburg of Honesdale yesterday evening, after stopping him for motor vehicle violations. He was found in possession of drug paraphernalia and was driving under the influence.
According to the affidavit of probably cause, Vanvalkenburg consented to a search of his vehicle, assuring troopers on multiple occasions there was nothing dangerous in the car. However, when one of the troopers searched the trunk, he came into contact with a boiling mobile methamphetamine lab, with smoke coming from it.
The trooper breathed in the contaminated fumes and had to be transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale for treatment. The PA State Police Clandestine Lab Team was notified and responded to the scene, which took several hours to decontaminate.
Wayne County District Attorney Patrick L. Robinson said he spoke to the trooper who was exposed to the poison, noting he reported a tremendous headache all night, but was back to work and feeling better.
Robinson added, “This is outrageous conduct on the part of the Defendant. Not only did he risk a catastrophe, but he recklessly endangered many State Troopers and the public in general. Methamphetamine is a truly evil substance and Law Enforcement in Wayne County will prosecute those who manufacture and/or distribute Methamphetamine to the fullest extent of the Law.”
Anyone with any information regarding the manufacture or distribution of methamphetamines is urged to contact the Wayne County Drug Task Force at 570-253-4912. Residents can also submit an anonymous tip online or via text message to 570-391-0657.
Van Valkenburg, who faces four felony charges and 11 misdemeanors, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Linus Myers and incarcerated in the Wayne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail. He is scheduled for Central Court on June 27 at 9:00 am.