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Somerset police uncover meth lab during child-welfare check on Valentine’s Day

Patrick Varine
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Submitted photo/Somerset Police Dept.
Above, a High Street home in Somerset where police discovered a methamphetamine laboratory on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.
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Above, items seized from a High Street home in Somerset where police discovered a methamphetamine laboratory on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

Somerset police discovered a meth lab operation during a child-welfare check on Valentine’s Day.

Officers were dispatched to a home on the 400 block of High Street shortly after 3 p.m. on Feb. 14. When they arrived, they noticed several containers on the porch “consistent with what is used in the production process (of) methamphetamine,” according to Somerset Chief R.G. Cox.

The state police Clandestine Methamphetamine Lab team was called in, and officers took Michael A. Horning, 47, into custody after learning he was wanted on an active warrant for failure to appear in court on drug charges in Somerset County.

A search warrant for Horning’s apartment turned up additional items used to manufacture methamphetamine, including pseudoephedrine, lithium, sodium and ammonium nitrate.

The building’s occupants included a child less than 6 years old, police said.

During subsequent interviews with detectives, Horning admitted manufacturing meth, according to Chief Cox.

He was charged with drug manufacturing, risking a catastrophe and reckless endangerment, and faces arraignment on Friday afternoon in Judge Kenneth Johson’s Somerset court.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.