Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigators discovered a meth laboratory in Bucksport and spent several hours removing the toxic and explosive chemicals from the Noel Way apartment. Credit: Courtesy of MDEA

Three Bucksport apartments were evacuated after police allegedly found a man and his aunt cooking methamphetamine on Thursday, police said.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigators and local police entered an apartment on Noel Way at about 6:30 p.m. and allegedly discovered Jamie Matlack and his aunt, Kimberly Matlack, using the “one-pot” method to make meth, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The conversion of pseudoephedrine to meth in one container creates a violent chemical reaction, so police evacuated the apartments until MDEA technicians could remove the processed methamphetamine, “one pot” vessels and other ingredients, McCausland said in a statement.

Jamie Matlack, 45, of Bucksport was charged with class A operation of a methamphetamine laboratory and class C unlawful possession of methamphetamine.

Kimberly Matlack, 53, of Bucksport, was charged with class A operation of a methamphetamine laboratory.

Operation of a meth lab is usually a class B offense, but the charges were upgraded because the apartment the Matlacks were in is within 1,000 feet of MSAD 25’s Reach School.

Class A charges carry a sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment. A class B charge runs up to 10 years.

Judge Michael Roberts ordered both Matlacks held on a $5,000 cash bail after they appeared in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court on Friday, a clerk said.

The Bucksport case is the 42nd response by MDEA’s lab team this year. In 2017, the team responded to 58 incidents, 126 in 2016 and 56 in 2015, McCausland said.

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