SUNBURY — A 53-year-old Locust Gap man was sentenced Monday by Judge Paige Rosini to 2 to 4 years in state prison for operating a meth lab in his home, where his 2-year-old and six-month-old grandchildren also lived.

Matthew Scott Smithey, of 164 Main St., P.O. Box 165, also was ordered to pay a $250 fine plus costs for operating the meth lab on Dec. 5.

Rosini imposed concurrent sentences of 15 to 30 months in state prison for endangering the welfare of children and 3 to 6 months in state prison for possession of methamphetamine.

The charges were filed by Mount Carmel Township police.

Additional charges were not prosecuted under a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office.

In an unrelated case, Smithey was sentenced by Rosini to 72 hours to 6 months in county prison for driving under the influence of alcohol and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus costs. He also had his driver’s license suspended for 12 months.

The DUI charge was filed by Coal Township police relating to a Jan. 5 incident.

Police charged Smithey and his wife, Sheila L. Smithey, on Jan. 22 with eight felonies and five misdemeanors after a state police lab report concluded items found in their home contained the presence of methamphetamine.

Sheila Smithey is scheduled for a status conference May 20 before President Judge Charles H. Saylor.

According to a police report, Patrolman Michael Pitcavage said Northumberland County Children and Youth caseworker Brittany Duke requested police assistance for a visit to the Smithey home on Dec. 5 on an allegation that Sheila Smithey, caregiver to her grandchildren, was using methamphetamine.

Pitcavage said Duke was escorted to the residence by Patrolman Travis Bremigen, where they were welcomed into the home by Sheila Smithey. In the living room and kitchen area of the trailer, Bremigen observed camping fuel, butane, rubber hosing, coffee filters and what appeared to be meth-making material in a glass case.

Bremigen reported Smithey began to cry when he pointed out the items. She asked not to take the kids and claimed she didn’t use meth, but that her husband uses and makes it on the back porch.

Smithey gave written consent to a search of her home and assisted Bremigen in locating items throughout the property. On the back porch, Bremigen allegedly found two gallon milk jugs with a substance inside and hosing coming from the top.

Duke, Smithey and the children were told to leave the trailer for their safety due to the items that were found.

A state police team determined the meth-making operation to be non-operational, but functional. Evidence was gathered and released to a state police forensic scientist, who concluded the items taken from the home contained necessary materials to manufacture methamphetamine and contained traces of the drug.

Pitcavage said Matthew Smithey later spoke with Chief Brian Hollenbush and allegedly told him on multiple occasions he has a drug problem and only makes meth for personal use.

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