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Couple sentenced for downtown SLO meth lab 

A San Luis Obispo woman and her boyfriend were sentenced to separate jail sentences this week for running a meth lab in the bathroom of a Buchon Street home earlier this year.

At a sentencing hearing this week, 23-year-old Kenda Cooke stood in front of Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall and described how "severely sorry and remorseful" she was.

"I'm thankful for the chance to change that I've been given," she said.

Crandall sentenced her to one year in county jail - with credit for the 159 days she's already served - followed by one year in a residential treatment program, and three years of supervised provision.

The district attorney's office had targeted Cooke as the main operator of the lab, and detailed the utensils and highly toxic chemicals she was using. However, at the time of her arrest, police described the lab as a "very small operation," and estimated that it was probably only producing enough meth for one or two people.

In determining her sentence, Judge Crandall said he took into account that Cooke was using the lab to make meth for her own use, and not to sell.

"I wish you luck," he said after sentencing her.

For Browne's sentencing, Crandall said that since the 31-year-old San Luis resident wasn't as significantly involved with the lab, his sentence would reflect that. Browne was giving 270 days of jail, most of which he had already served, and three years of probation. He was also forbidden to have contact with his two children for that same time period.

After raiding the Buchon Street lab, police found Browne's then-2-year-old son and 4-month-old daughter in his car. Because of the dangerous nature of chemicals used to make meth - many are explosive, or carcinogenic, or cause short-term and permanent brain damage and immune and respiratory system problems - Browne had been charged with child endangerment.

As the sentencing hearing ended, and lawyers began gathering papers and files, Crandall had one last pronouncement: "Meth addiction is a horrible crisis in this country," he told the courtroom.

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