Walla Walla meth lab trial delayed

Clifford E. Chew is accused of manufacturing drugs at the Walla Walla Vineyard Inn.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man scheduled for trial next week for allegedly operating a large methamphetamine lab at the Walla Walla Vineyard Inn now is slated to face a jury later in January.

The proceedings for Clifford E. Chew, 57, were set to begin Tuesday in Walla Walla County Superior Court, but now are scheduled to start Jan. 24.

This is the fifth postponement of the trial, initially set to be held in July.

Chew is charged with manufacture of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school bus route stop, possessing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture meth and possession of the controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Police said they recovered many items used to manufacture meth -- in addition to the finished product -- when they served a search warrant May 18 in room 106 of the Vineyard Inn, 325 E. Main St., allegedly occupied by Chew.

The lab reportedly was one of the largest ever discovered in Walla Walla County.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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