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2 men charged with operating meth lab out of SUV in Warren County

Nj.com, August 22, 2013

MANSFIELD — Two men were arrested and charged with using an SUV as a methamphetamine lab this week, authorities said.

Daniel McCart, 27, and Charles Wilcox, 46, were both arrested and charged with drug offenses — including a first-degree count each of maintaining a drug manufacturing facility, said Richard Burke, the Warren County Prosecutor.

The arrests stemmed from a stop by Mansfield police on Monday at the Mansfield Commons shopping center parking lot, Burke said. McCart, of Glen Gardner, was stopped and evidence of meth manufacturing was found inside the 2000 GMC Jimmy, and he was taken into custody on outstanding warrants from Passaic County.

Inside the car were a combination of chemicals and liquid ingredients for making the drug - and several rudimentary pieces of equipment used to mix them, Burke said.

The array can be very volatile, the prosecutor added.

The car was impounded at the Washington Collision Center in Washington Borough – and the investigation grew beyond the police and prosecutor’s office to include the Warren County Haz-Mat Team, the New Jersey State Police Haz-Mat Unit, the Mansfield Fire and Rescue, the Washington Borough Fire and Rescue, and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Clandestine Lab Unit, Burke said.

Wilcox, of Hackettstown, was found to be the registered owner of the car — and he was arrested Wednesday, Burke added.

Both McCart and Wilcox are believe to have lived on Sanatorium Road in Glen Gardner – at an address listed for the Veteran’s Haven North homes — a transitional housing program for homeless veterans run by the N.J. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Burke said both are veterans.

McCart is being held at the Passaic County Jail on $200,000 bail with no 10-percent option, while Wilcox is being held at the Warren County Jail in lieu of the same amount.

The first-degree manufacturing facility charge carries at 20-year state prison sentence, Burke said. Both men are also charged with third-degree counts of manufacturing methamphetamine and drug possession, Burke added.

Wilcox’s first appearance in a Warren County courtroom is scheduled for today.