A Limington woman arrested Thursday in Windham after police discovered a suspected mobile meth-making setup in the car she was driving was ordered held Friday on $5,000 bail at the Cumberland County Jail.

Ashley Lynn Norton

Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren imposed the cash bail amount along with a host of conditions of release during her first court appearance Friday afternoon.

Ashley L. Norton, 28, faces one count of theft and one count of unlawful operation of a methamphetamine laboratory.

Norton was arrested Thursday after Windham police responded to a call for a possible shoplifting incident at the Hannaford supermarket in Windham that allegedly involved Norton.

Norton was driving a black GMC Envoy when police stopped her at a nearby Citgo station. They searched the vehicle and discovered the alleged meth lab in a bottle in the back of the SUV. The so-called “one-pot” setups, in which methamphetamine is produced by reacting ingredients inside a single container, contain hazardous materials that require special equipment and precautions to handle and dispose of.

Norton’s attorney for the day, Kevin Moynihan, argued that she did not know there was a meth-making setup in the back of the car, which did not belong to her. Moynihan requested Norton be released on personal recognizance with added conditions of release.

Assistant District Attorney Angela Cannon argued that police also found drug paraphernalia in Norton’s purse and that she had purchased pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter cold medicine used in the production of methamphetamine, that day.

In addition to the cash bail, Warren also required that Norton abide by a Maine Pretrial Services contract, have no contact with her boyfriend, who was in the car with her, not possess or use illegal drugs or alcohol, and not possess meth-making supplies such as pseudoephedrine.

Because the methamphetamine production charge is a felony, Norton’s case must go before a grand jury, which may choose to indict her.

Two others in the SUV were let go, but could face charges in the future, police said.

Police said a fourth person, whose image was captured on security cameras at Hannaford, remained at large.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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