Three arrested in Harrington meth bust

HARRINGTON - Three out of state men who said they worked for concession stands at the Delaware State Fair were arrested at a hotel late Sunday night while operating a Methamphetamine laboratory in their room, Harrington Police Chief Norman Barlow said.

The 10:30 p.m. bust occurred after a chance meeting outside the Americ Inn Hotel between suspect Gregory D. Obenchain, 27, of Elliston, Va., and a Harrington police officer who was investigating a stolen bicycle complaint in the 100 block of East Street, Chief Barlow said.

While interviewing a front desk clerk, the officer noticed a bicycle fitting the description of the stolen property and saw Mr. Obenchain begin to take it toward his room, police said. The officer spoke with the suspect and determined it was the stolen bicycle, and then handcuffed Mr. Obenchain while placing him under arrest at the hotel in the 1200 block of Corn Crib Road.

"The suspect said he knew he was going to jail and then asked to get some of his stuff from his room to take with him," Chief Barlow said.

Upon arriving in the room to recover the belongings, police said they discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia in plain view. Lonnie G. Spraque, 55, of Hazel Park, Mich., and Michael J. Stone, 25, of Gibsonton, Fla. were in the room and arrested on drug charges.

Also responding to the scene were several Harrington police officers, and law enforcement personnel from Felton, Delaware State Police, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Harrington Fire Company Station 50 also responded due to the volatile nature of the drugs present, Chief Barlow said. DNREC provided two scientists to insure the safe removal of the Methamphetamine, which was located in the bathroom along with laboratory supplies that included a two-liter bottle and coffee filters, among other items.

Police said a room search located 2.9 grams of Methamphetamine, 23 grams of marijuana, 20 Zolpidem pills, 13 Alprazolam pills and drug paraphernalia.

Chief Barlow said Mr. Spraque and Mr. Stone were transported to the Harrington Police Department to be processed on charges of manufacturing, delivering or possessing a controlled substance, maintaining a drug property, possession of marijuana, two counts of possession or consuming a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. They were arraigned at JP Court 7 in Dover via video phone and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institute in Georgetown in default of $8,000 secured bond.

Police said Mr. Obenchain became disorderly when being placed under arrest and suffered minor injuries while being detained. He was taken to Milford Memorial Hospital under police guard and would be booked on the same offenses as the two other suspects upon his release.

"He was acting like he was on something else and then admitted to using meth and marijuana," Chief Barlow said.

Mr. Obenchain was also charged with receiving stolen property.

Staff writer Craig Anderson can be reached at 741-8296 or Follow him on Twitter @DSNAnderson.