Police & Fire

Press Releases

Springfield Crystal Meth Lab Dismantled Following Narcotics Investigation

09f9654a4b3050ffbf75_drug-bust_2_.jpg
09f9654a4b3050ffbf75_drug-bust_2_.jpg

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - A narcotics investigation has resulted in a Springfield man being arrested and charged with maintaining a crystal methamphetamine production facility in his apartment, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park and Springfield Police Chief John Cook jointly announced Tuesday.

John Howlett, 42, is charged with first-degree maintaining a narcotics production facility, first-degree possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, two second-degree weapons offenses, and a third-degree drug offense.

A joint investigation by the Springfield Police Department and the Prosecutor's Office's Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Violent Crimes Task Force resulted in the execution of a search warrant at Howlett's home on Troy Drive in Springfield Monday afternoon.

Sign Up for E-News

Along with what appeared to be a makeshift methamphetamine laboratory, arriving detectives encountered a toxic odor in the apartment, prompting the evacuation of several nearby housing units and the dispatching of the Springfield Fire Department and the Union County Hazardous Material Response Team.

An evaluation of the apartment then was conducted by the New Jersey State Police Hazardous Materials Response Unit and the Drug Enforcement Administration's Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team, which jointly determined that it was safe for a search of the apartment to proceed. Recovered from the apartment and an adjacent garage were approximately 11 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, more than 160 oxycodone pills, approximately 220 various prescription pills, 20 folds of heroin, and numerous pieces of narcotics production equipment, including instructions on the production of methamphetamine, packaging materials, several boxes of pseudoephedrine tablets, iodine, batteries, heating sources, glassware, digital scales, Tyvek protective suits, a money counter, and a filtration system wired directly to an electrical box. Also found in the home were approximately $13,000 in cash, a sophisticated video surveillance and computer system, a Sig Sauer airsoft gun, and a BB gun.

Howlett was arrested in his vehicle outside the apartment while 24-year-old Elana Garman was arrested inside; she later was turned over to the custody of the Bergen County Sheriff's Office after being found to have outstanding warrants out of Bergen County. Howlett was lodged in Union County Jail, with bail set at $600,000 by state Superior Court Judge William Daniel.

Convictions for first-degree crimes commonly carry penalties of 10 to 20 years in state prison.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

'Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too'

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Step Up and Build a Stronger Union County

July 22, 2018

Union County residents who are seeking a meaningful, high-impact way to volunteer in their community can sign up as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties.

The organization is currently seeking volunteer mentors for its best-known program, Community Based Mentoring. The program involves individual mentoring with a local child or teen, age 6 to 18, with a ...

Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot)

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — The Shrewd Mechanicals from the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre will perform Shakespeare Gumbo in the parking lot of Berkeley Heights Public Library, 110 Roosevelt Ave.,  on Friday, July 27, at 7:00 pm. 

Bring lawn chairs.  Change of location will be announced in case of inclement weather.

Local people with disabilities measure success and shortcomings of Americans with Disabilities Act

Local people with disabilities this month are lauding progress made since enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 28 years ago, but also point to the remaining distance between where they stand today and equal access to all sectors of the community.

Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals based on ...

Mayors Push for Law Permitting Driver's License for Immigrants

July 22, 2018

PERTH AMBOY, NJ - Five mayors from northern and central New Jersey today called for passage of a state law permitting immigrants to get driver's licenses even if they are undocumented, saying it boosts public safety as well as the economy.

"This is important for every resident for a better life and a better life for the state of New Jersey," said Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 25, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sings Conclude with Verdi ...

Arts & Entertainment

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...