Suffolk Police  said a Levittown chemist faces multiple charges for...

Suffolk Police  said a Levittown chemist faces multiple charges for allegedly operating a methamphetamine lab inside his Ronkonkoma business.

Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

A Levittown chemist, who called 911 to report a predawn burglary inside his Ronkonkoma business, is himself facing a host of criminal charges after Suffolk County police responded and discovered a working methamphetamine lab inside the building, authorities said.

Fifth Precinct patrol and canine section officers responded at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to investigate the reported burglary at Quantitative Laboratories on Pond Road, police said.

Once inside, according to a Suffolk police news release, the officers "observed what they believed to be machinery and chemicals consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine."

Lab owner and operator Matthew Leshinsky, 23, of Levittown, was also inside the lab, police said. He was arrested and charged after an investigation by Suffolk detectives with the assistance of other law enforcement agencies, Suffolk police said. Members of the New York State Police's Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team also responded, as did the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Police initially charged Leshinsky with criminal possession of a controlled substance.

A subsequent execution of a warrant, and a more thorough search of the lab by Fifth Precinct arson and narcotics detectives, State Police and DEC investigators, uncovered what police said were “significant” quantities of solid and liquid methamphetamine, ketamine and cocaine, along with about $40,000 in cash.

In total, Leshinsky was charged with first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

He was arraigned late Thursday afternoon in First District Court in Central Islip where County Court Judge Eric Sachs held him on $2.5 million cash or $5 million bond. 

David Besso, Leshinsky's Bay Shore-based defense attorney, called the bail amount "outrageous" and accused Suffolk police of conducting an illegal search of the property with drug-sniffing canines.

"My client complained that he was being burglarized and next thing you know, the cops come in and decided that they're going to bring in drug dogs without reasonable suspicion to do so," Besso said.

Leshinsky pleaded guilty in 2021 to a charge of acting in a manner injuring a child under the age of 17 and was sentenced to three years probation and a $250 fine.

Besso said his client was making soap in his apartment at the time and prosecutors contended he was using chemicals that could have injured his child.

Leshinsky is due back in court Tuesday.

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