SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 6, 2014

Peabody man admits trying to make meth in hotel room

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — PEABODY — A Peabody man pleaded guilty yesterday to trying to make methamphetamine in a hotel room at the Holiday Inn in 2012, an effort that ended in an explosion and evacuation.

Joseph E. Penachio, 35, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court yesterday afternoon to one count of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, under a plea agreement that saw prosecutors dropping two other counts.

Penachio, who had been free on bond, was put back into custody pending sentencing on May 30.

Police and firefighters were called to the Holiday Inn, which is located at the junction of Routes 1 and 128, on July 29, 2012.

Some 200 guests, including 25 children, and employees of the hotel were evacuated due to fumes coming from the room after the explosion.

Penachio was arrested last August following an investigation.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.