AUGUSTA — A Hallowell man accused of making methamphetamine in the basement of his 11 Spring St. home told police he learned the one-pot method of manufacture while he was living in Florida.

Christopher M. Kessell, 36, had an initial hearing Friday at the Capital Judicial Center on charges of unlawful trafficking in methamphetamine and unlawful operating of a methamphetamine laboratory, both carrying penalties of up to 10 years in prison, as well as a misdemeanor charge of unlawful possession of fentanyl.

His bail was set at $5,000.

Kessell was arrested Wednesday after police were called to the home initially to investigate a domestic disturbance.

According to an affidavit by Maine Drug Enforcement Agent Jonathan Richards, Hallowell police had learned of a possible methamphetamine production laboratory from one of the residents.

Richards said he ran a check and learned that Kessell “over the past 11 months has had 52 pseudoephedrine purchases and has been blocked six times where he was not allowed to purchase more.”

Pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, contained in common cold medications, is essential to the manufacture of methamphetamine. There are restrictions on how much can be purchased by one person.

Richards said Kessell arrived home and told officers “he has a long history of drug addiction and currently is only using methamphetamine that he is producing from a process he learned while living in Florida.”

The affidavit said Kessell moved to Maine in November 2015, and that he produces whatever he can get from a box of pseudoephedrine.

Kessell told police there was some finished product in his van, which police said field-tested as positive for fentanyl.

Richards also said a search of Kessell’s home, where he lived with his girlfriend and their 4-year-old, produced “17 ‘one pot’ or ‘shake and bake’ method production vessels that contained remnants of methamphetamine production,” as well as some hydrogen chloride gas generators, battery components and other items used to make methamphetamine.

According to a news release sent Thursday by the Maine Department of Public Safety, the Hallowell home was the site of the 104th meth response by the drug agency this year. There were 56 responses in all of 2015.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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