A man who kept his wife in kids in the same house as his meth lab, in the retirement community of Sun City, was sentenced today to 7 1/2 years in prison.
Lancelot Lipe, now 30, claimed the meth lab in his garage wasn't even his, and sent an e-mail to New Times claiming he would sue for "liable" due to our coverage of the cops busting his meth lab. Looks like we were right.
A Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy was the first to respond to Lipe's house in April 2012, after people called about a fire burning there, but Lipe refused to let him in, so the deputy left, as a probable-cause statement cited the "availability of resources."
A week later multiple deputies showed up to Lipe's house to arrest him for allegedly slamming the door on the deputy's foot during the confrontation a week prior.
When MCSO detectives entered the house, they were "overwhelmed by a strong chemical odor . . . that immediately caused a burning sensation to both the eyes and throat[,] which caused detectives to immediately leave the area for health and safety reasons," according to court documents.
Lipe's meth lab was found in the garage, and a glass cooking vessel, jugs of acid, other chemicals for meth cookery, as well as meth pipes, other drug paraphernalia, and, of course, meth itself, was found around the house, according to the documents.
Noting that Lipe's three kids slept in a room that was "very close" to the meth kitchen, deputies questioned Lipe about the lab, and Lipe said it was his friend's. Lipe told detectives his friend owed him $2,500, so he let him play meth chef in his garage.
Lipe told investigators his meth-cooking friend had been over at 6 a.m. that day to work on meth-making, and the kids didn't leave the house with their mother until 10 a.m. Detectives believed it was possible the youngsters could have been exposed to meth-cooking fumes for four hours, just that day.
Lipe's wife, Brenda Lipe, came home with the kids as deputies dealt with the meth situation at the house.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
More meth and a meth pipe were found in Brenda Lipe's truck, but she told police she hadn't used any drugs for a "very long time," according to the documents.
In a later interview with a child crimes detective, the Sheriff's Office discovered a "very long time" actually meant she had smoked meth earlier that day, according to the documents. She ended up pleading guilty to child abuse, and was sentenced at the beginning of the year to three months in jail and three years of probation.
Lancelot Lipe, who had several felony convictions on his record already, pleaded guilty several more felonies, including a dangerous-drug violation and child abuse.