Archived Story

Meth lab found in Niles, two arrested

Published 4:50pm Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Two out-of-state people are under arrest after Niles police caught them allegedly operating a methamphetamine laboratory at a residence in north Niles Monday afternoon.


Melanie Marie Topash, 28, and Robert Bruce Cumbess, 39, were each charged with operating a meth lab and possession of marijuana, according to a Niles Police Department news release. They are being held at the Berrien County Jail: Topash on $7,500 bond and Cumbess on $10,000 bond.


On Monday, the Niles road patrol assisted the Department of Human Services on a tip of people using methamphetamine in the presence of a child in the 1800 block of North 5th Street. Niles police made contact with Topash and her boyfriend, Cumbess, at the residence. No children were home at the time officers investigated the tip. However, an 8-year-old child does live at the residence, according to police.

During a search of the place, officers discovered components to manufacture methamphetamine and two discarded one-pot meth labs. A small amount of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia was also located inside the residence.

Niles Police detectives were summoned to dismantle the methamphetamine labs and collect evidence. During the investigation, detectives learned that Topash and Cumbess are from Alabama and Cumbess is wanted in Florida for a probation violation on a previous meth-related charge.

Topash and Cumbess were lodged at the Niles Law Enforcement Complex and arraigned on their charges in Niles’ 5th District Court on Tuesday.

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