Sudlersville man charged in meth lab case
SUDLERSVILLE — Police have charged a Sudlersville man in connection with a drug lab found at a residence on Duhamel Corner Road Sept. 22.
Harley Dean Duarte, 37, was not home when Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s detectives investigating a series of thefts from cars in the northern part of the county searched the residence and found the lab. He subsequently fled the area, police said.
“While searching the residence they located what appeared to be an explosive device and evidence of a lab to produce methamphetamine,” according to Lt. Dale Pat- rick, public information officer for the sheriff’s office. Duarte was arrested last week in Philadelphia and waived extradition, Patrick said. Deputies traveled to Philadelphia Wednesday, Jan. 25, to pick Duarte up and return him to Queen Anne’s County.
Upon his return, Duarte was served warrants on charges of violation of probation, 12 counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of firearms while a felon, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal possession of ammunition by a felon.
Duarte was on probation after serving 18 months of a 10-year sentence for theft scheme, $1,000 to $10,000.
When they found the lab Sept. 22, detectives cleared the house and called in bomb technicians from the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Sudlersville Volunteer Fire Company, county EMS, county emergency services and Choptank Electric also responded.
Emergency responders searched the house, shed and grounds, seizing evidence as they went.
“It was more chemicals, acetone, buckets, more Hell’s Angels style than ‘Breaking Bad,’” Patrick said at the time.
The search took most of the day and attracted attention of neighbors and passersby, who wanted to know what was happening.
Neighbor Beckie Lofland called the newspaper that day to see if anyone knew what was going on. When she heard it was a suspected meth lab, she said, “I figured it was something like that — that or a dead body — with all those cars.”
HARLEY DEAN DUARTE