A routine traffic stop for a vehicle with no exhaust ended with two homeless men being arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine. One of the men was out on bail while the other had a warrant out for his arrest.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agents worked on this investigation with the Oxford Police, who stopped the vehicle at 910 Main Street in Oxford. The driver, Charles McNeice, formerly from the Gray area, did not have a valid driver's license, and was out on bail for a felony theft charge from York County. The passenger, Joshua Mershimer, formerly from Portland, had an outstanding arrest warrant for failing to pay fines in Cumberland County.

During the stop, police noticed items in the vehicle that are commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, including pseudophedrine, ammonium nitrate, sodium chloride, and lithium. DEA agents arrived on the scene and seized the materials, as well as meth powder.

An investigation turned up more evidence at two additional locations in Gray where police say the men had attempted to dispose of chemicals and other items used in the manufacturing process. In addition, a bag containing chemicals was located in woods at the intersection of Hunts Hill Road and Tami Trail in Gray.

The 46-year-old McNeice is charged with Aggravated Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Class 'A,' and Violation of Conditions of Release. Mershimer, age 33, is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Trafficking in Methamphetamine.

McNeice is also a suspect in two other meth lab incidents that agents responded to earlier this year in Kittery and Pownal. Those investigations are on-going and McNeice has not yet been charged.

DEA agents say a number of homeless people from the Portland area have been identified as being recruited by McNeice to buy the ingredients needed to manufacture methamphetamine. The investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.