Sentencing In Meth Lab Case Postponed

Police: Defendant Made Drug In City Parking Lot

Posted: March 8, 2014

HARRISONBURG — A Keezletown man who had chemicals used to make methamphetamine in his vehicle during a traffic stop in Harrisonburg must wait at least another month before he finds out how much prison time he will have to serve.

William D. Landes Jr., 48, pleaded guilty on Dec. 16 to two felony counts of manufacturing methamphetamine.

On Friday, during a hearing in Rockingham County Circuit Court, his defense attorney, Sherwin Jacobs, asked for his client’s sentencing to be postponed so he could have more time to review the presentencing report in the case.

Judge Bruce Albertson scheduled Landes to be sentenced April 4.

Police say Landes’ vehicle was being used as a mobile meth lab, a tactic drug manufacturers often use to help evade detection by the authorities.

Investigators say Landes used a “shake and bake” method to produce meth in the vehicle. Shake and bake usually only requires mixing the ingredients in a 2-liter soda bottle.

On June 16, police say Landes purchased the over-the-counter decongestant Sudafed, which contains a common ingredient used to make meth, parked his car in a parking lot along East Market Street in Harrisonburg and began to mix it with other chemicals used in the manufacturing process. The mixture apparently resulted in a small explosion and fire, injuring Landes, police say.

He then tossed some burning items out of the car, drove to the nearby Wendy’s on East Market Street and used the restaurant’s bathroom sink to cool his burns.

Employees of the restaurant called police.

Harrisonburg police pulled over Landes a short time later on North Carlton Street. Firefighters and a hazmat unit were called to the scene to dispose of the chemicals.

According to court records, Landes has several previous convictions, including ones for felony embezzlement and felony shoplifting. He also faces a probation violation.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com



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