FARMINGTON – A District Court judge set bail Wednesday for four people arrested Tuesday on charges from a methamphetamine lab at a Phillips residence on Rangeley Road.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and Franklin County Sheriff’s Department discovered materials consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine on Monday night in a vehicle, leading to a search of the Phillips home, the vehicle and a residence in Chesterville.

A drug agent and sheriff’s detective arrested Michael P. Halle, 45, of Phillips, Erin Lynn Smith, 42, formerly of of Ocala, Fla., and now of Phillips, Kimberly A. Webber, 25, of Chesterville, and Jason Fowler, 39, of Chesterville. They were each charged with one felony count of trafficking in a scheduled drug.

Judge Nancy Carlson set bail for Smith at $10,000 cash and ordered no contact with the defendants. She and Halle were living together in a house they were renting to own, according to court testimony. They moved to Maine in October.

District Attorney Joshua Robbins said Smith had very little connection to Maine. She also has convictions of negotiating a worthless instrument in Florida and has several charges pending of the same in Maine, he said.

Robbins said the drug was being manufactured on the second-floor of the Phillips house that Smith and Halle occupy.

Defense attorney Luann Calcagni argued for $5,000 unsecured bail and a Maine pretrial contact.

Robbins also told the court that 13 dogs were seized from the residence and are now at the Franklin County Animal Shelter in Farmington. The cost to shelter them is $130 a day, he said. He said an option is to relinquish ownership of the dogs, nine of them puppies, to the shelter to allow them to be adopted.

The dogs belong to Smith and Halle, Smith said.

“I don’t have anybody up here to call” to take care of them, she said.

She and Halle were asked to consider relinquishing ownership of at least the nine puppies.

Carlson set bail at $5,000 cash or personal recognizance for Webber with a pretrial contract that would require her to go from jail to a substance abuse facility. When Carlson asked where she lived she hesitated before saying Chesterville.

Robbins said she was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Fowler that police stopped in Avon. She showed signs of being addicted to methamphetamine and also withdrawal symptoms from the drug and most likely, if released, would seek more of the drug, he said.

Calcagni argued for a lower bail and contract. She also said she could live with her mother, who was in the courtroom.

Robbins said Webber has three Department of Health and Human Services cases open. She has no criminal record in Maine that he knew about.

If Webber was allowed to go home, she would not get the treatment she needs, which concerns the state, he said.

“I would suggest the first step of treatment is separation from the drug,” Robbins said.

Carlson set bail for Halle at $15,000 cash.

Robbins said Halle is apparently the teacher instructing others how to create the the addictive drug. He has no ties to Maine and has only lived in the state for a short time. He has several convictions, including larceny and theft and has several negotiating worthless instruments charges pending.

Calcagni argued for $5,000 unsecured bail with a pretrial contract, saying Halle has indicated he has extended family in Maine.

Fowler’s bail was set at $20,000 cash bail. He was convicted of assaulting a state police trooper and is now serving his probation, Robbins said. He has a probation hold on him and there will be a motion to revoke probation.

When police were getting him out of the vehicle he was reaching for a knife, Robbins said. Police prevented him from getting it. There were items in the back of the vehicle that were consistent with making the drug, he said.

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