Court Will Not Reduce Bail in Pitman Meth Arrest

A Superior Court judge refused to reduce the bail of a Pitman man charged on June 14 with operating a meth lab in a shed behind his  parents’ home this week.

Fumes from chemicals used in illegal making of the stimulant methamphetamine “can be noxious to the point of death,” said Superior Court Judge Kevin T. Smith.

He denied a requested reduction in the $200,000 bail of Ari Lleshi, 25, of Columbia Avenue, Pitman.

“You combine that with putting it in a residential neighborhood,” said Judge 
Smith, and Lleshi “is lucky somebody’s not dead, including himself.” 

Defense attorney Richard O’Brien said Lleshi is a lifelong resident of Pitman, has a high school diploma, a landscaping business, a “track record” of appearing in court when required, making the current bail “a little bit high for this particular defendant.”

Assistant Gloucester County Prosecutor Joseph Enos stressed the “dangerous nature of the chemicals involved” that police discovered when a neighbor called 
police about a suspicious person walking behind homes.

Officers found Lleshi in a shed “putting these chemicals into his backpack,” Enos said. A police hazardous materials team was summoned to dispose of the chemicals, he  said.
Judge Smith, citing the seriousness of the first-degree offense and Lleshi’s admitted methamphetamine addiction, said those factors make him “truly a flight risk.”


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