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Sep 21, 2016 5:46 PM

UPDATE: Dozens of tenants evacuated after Manchester man accused of making meth

MANCHESTER – The man who was arrested for having items in his apartment associated with manufacturing meth is being held on $50,000 cash bail.

Detectives from the Manchester Police Department’s Juvenile Unit responded to 733 Grove Street, Apartment 19 around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night for a non-drug related investigation.

Once inside, they observed evidence that led them to believe someone had been manufacturing methamphetamine in the apartment.

“Upon entering the apartment officers noticed an odor, a chemical odor, and smoke within the apartment, and looking around saw items that would normally be used to manufacture methamphetamine,” said Sgt. Michael Biron.

According to court documents, those items included starter fluid, Ethanol, a coffee grinder with white residue, a plastic bottle with white residue, and other solvents and acids.

“Recognizing the potential for a methamphetamine lab, the fire department was notified, as well as the DEA Clandestine Lab,” Biron added.

Once on scene and confirming the detectives’ suspicions, officials evacuated the entire building, where dozens of tenants – including families with children – live.

Henry Benware lives in the building with his wife and her son, who is 8 years old. He said despite the heavy police and emergency vehicle presence, the scene was well controlled.

“It was a calm situation,” Benware said. “It was just not knowing what was going on and needing to leave. It was just uncomfortable. Besides that it was a quiet situation.”

Benware said when police told his family to evacuate, they only shared that there was a contamination, though Benware had his suspicions.

“I didn’t think it was a gas leak, so I automatically thought meth lab,” he said.

Anthony Elwell, 42, was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a felony. He was arraigned in district court Wednesday morning and was held on $50,000 cash bail.

At the scene, Elwell told police this wasn’t his first run in with the law over the drug.

“He informed the detectives at the time that he was currently out on probation parole for possession of methamphetamine,” Biron said.

As a result, the N.H. State Prison Control also placed a 72-hour hold on him.

Police did not have information about whether they found methamphetamine in the apartment or how much Elwell could’ve produced using the items found in his apartment.

Moving forward, Benware said he was concerned this was happening so close to his home.

“Very much, it does,” he said. “This is normally a quiet building. Everyone keeps to themselves, and I would never have suspected. I’ve never smelled any foul odors coming from the hallways.”

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