Yarmouth Police arrest and charge homeless man with meth distribution

meth-boyYARMOUTH – Yarmouth Police have charged a homeless man with felony possession to distribute methamphetamine.

Yarmouth Police Officers, Yarmouth Natural Resources Officers, and Cape Cod Hospital Security converged on the area of the former cranberry bogs off Bayview Street adjacent to Cape Cod Hospital Friday afternoon.

The purpose of the pre-planned cooperative effort was to issue trespass notices to the homeless people that have established camps on the property.

Police said they have become a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhood which has seen a spike in criminal behavior among some of the individuals; including a recent violent attack on a Yarmouth Natural Resources Police Officer. 

At approximately 2:30PM, the team discovered a remote camp site that contained five tents. Officers announced their presence, but did not get a response from anyone inside the tents. When the Officers checked the tents to ensure no one was inside, two tents were found to contain the items generally associated with a ‘shake and bake’ or an improvised methamphetamine lab.

Officers found 5 gallon propane tanks, several dozen batteries, a burner, unlabeled 2 liter bottles with cloudy liquid, and an array of household chemicals. In one of the tents, Officers observed fresh and unspoiled food and two recent prescription bottles in the name of Stewart Catchings.

They immediately secured the scene and contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration. Upon seeing the pictures sent to them from the scene, the DEA activated and deployed their Clandestine Lab Unit, the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, as well as the Massachusetts Hazardous Chemical response unit to the scene.

Shortly after locating this camp site, officers found Stewart Catchings, 31, exiting the bog on a bicycle. He was detained and ultimately placed under arrest for manufacturing methamphetamine.

During the booking process at Yarmouth Police Department Headquarters, Yarmouth Police Proactive Anti-Crime Unit Officers spoke with Catchings and allegedly stated that he “is a safe cook.”

After rendering the scene safe, the following items were seized from the two tents:

  • 2 liter bottle w unknown substance
  • backpack containing 4 vials of powder/residue
  • clear tube
  • bottle of muriatic acid
  • bottle of lye
  • lighter fluid
  • 32 oz. Coleman fuel
  • coffee filters
  • various hand tools
  • energizer battery package
  • box of cold pack
  • bottle with residue
  • clear tube w/ cap
  • blue trash can
  • assorted clear tubes
  • Gatorade bottle with hole in cap
  • Sudafed wrappers
  • camping stove

Some of the items recovered tested positive for the presumptive presence of methamphetamine. The items with powder and unknown substances are being submitted to be analyzed at the crime lab.

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Also known as meth, chalk, ice, and crystal, among many other terms, it takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

Catchings—who is well known to Cape Cod Law Enforcement—is currently being held at Yarmouth Police Department Headquarters on $10,000 cash bail.  He is scheduled for arraignment in the Barnstable District Court on Monday.



Arrest:    STEWART J. CATCHINGS    Age:    31

Address:   HOMELESS



Media release provided by Yarmouth Police

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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