STILLWATER — A former Drumright oilfield worker who is accused of having had a methamphetamine manufacturing laboratory while he was living in a Cushing man’s house near Memorial Park has been ordered to appear in court on June 3 for a preliminary hearing.
    Buddy Lee Wertz, 24, was residing in the home of David Scott Howard in the 100 block of S. Hough Street when a meth lab was allegedly discovered in Wertz’s bedroom in January, Cushing Police Sgt. Tully Folden wrote in an affidavit.
    Wertz listed an Arkansas address when he was arrested in April on a warrant issued in March, according to court records. Wertz remains in the Payne County Jail on $20,000 bond.
    Wertz has been charged with manufacturing or attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, possessing the drug within 1,000 feet of a public park, and possessing drug paraphernalia, all on Jan. 28.
    If convicted of the three-count charge, Wertz could be given as much as a life prison term plus four years and a minimum fine of $50,000.
    Howard, 33, who now lives at a different location in Cushing, has been charged with intentionally maintaining a dwelling house on Jan. 28 for persons using a controlled drug.
    Howard remains free on $5,000 bond pending a June 8 court appearance when he can ask for a preliminary hearing on the charge, which carries a maximum five-year prison term and $10,000 fine on conviction.
    The Cushing police sergeant wrote in an affidavit that he received information at about 7:45 p.m. on Jan. 28 from Officer Mary Jurczewsky regarding a possible meth lab at the house, which is located 555 feet north of the Cushing Memorial Park.
    “As I approached the residence, I could smell a strong chemical odor coming from the residence. The trash can also had a strong chemical odor,” Folden wrote in his affidavit.
    When he was interviewed, Wertz said that he had been living at the residence for three to four weeks and that the homeowner was Howard, who was not there, Folden wrote in his affidavit.
    “Once inside (the house), I continued to smell a strong chemical odor, which increased in intensity as we (Cushing police) approached Wertz’s bedroom,” Folden wrote in his affidavit.
    Wertz had consented to a search of his bedroom, where police found assorted chemicals that can be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, Folden’s affidavit alleged.
    “After observing the items located in the room, the search was stopped and everyone was removed from the residece,” Folden wrote in his affidavit.
    “While outside, I made contact with the homeowner, Howard. Howard said that he had been gone for three days, where he had been staying with his girlfriend.
    “When asked about his knowledge of the meth lab, Howard told me that he knew who it belonged to and was told not to ask any questions. Howard said that is why he left and went to his girlfriend’s,” Folden wrote in his affidavit.
    The chemicals were collected by Folden with the assistance of Cushing Fire Department Hazmat Technician Josh Morris, according to the affidavit.
    An analysis by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation showed that two of the seized items tested positive for pseudoephedrine and six of the items tested positive for methamphetamine, the affidavit alleged.