Most of the arrests in Mayes County include methamphetamine, leading to the highest number of incarcerations.

Heart racing, adrenaline pumping, nerves on high alert.

This is how Investigator Jason Treat of the Mayes County Sheriff’s Office responds to every methamphetamine bust.

“If I didn’t fear for my safety, I think it’d be time to find a new profession,” said Treat. “I think a lack of fear allows carelessness to sneak in.”

Treat said it has become common knowledge that Mayes County has a meth problem. As a special agent assigned to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics taskforce, he’s seen his fair share of busts.

It’s a quiet county, with one Walmart and a church on every corner, but…

“What people don’t know is how much evil is around them on a daily basis,” said Treat. “Its like a living nightmare.”

Foul-smelling labs that could explode at any time are worked by people who have no respect for the law. The “cooks,” usually addicts themselves, have burned the skin off their hands, have sunken eyes, hollow cheeks, rotted teeth and head-to-toe meth sores. It does sound like a nightmare, but Treat said it’s an every-day scene.

“Who are the addicts? They’re not always who you think,” Treat said. “It’s your neighbor, your co-worker, the cashier that checks you out at the store, the owner of a Fortune 500 company, it could even be your spouse.”

Treat said meth, like its addicts, knows no bounds.

“The dealer is the person who just got out of prison and sees no other way to make a living. It’s the person giving you food at the drive-thru window, or the old lady down the street that everybody loves,” said Treat.

In a county as small as this one, with a problem this huge, the odds are high you’ll run into a meth addict or user anywhere you go.

The casual user may show few symptoms to the untrained eye. But as the effects of the homemade drug are highly addictive, there aren’t many that stay casual users for long.

“The user who has been using more for longer, is more noticeable to the general public. They grind their teeth, they have unexplainable body movements and sores from picking meth bugs,” said Treat, of sores caused by users digging at their skin to remove imaginary bugs.

Cooks, dealers and addicts are all a danger to the community.

“Addicts are a threat because they are driving down our roads with school kids in the crosswalks and our families sharing the road. These are the people so paranoid they shoot out the door of their house at the mailman or trash man because they’re paranoid someone is out to get them and their drugs,” said Treat. “As a parent, I hate to see it but often meth addicts are people more worried about getting high than they are about feeding their toddlers.”

Dealers prey on the volatile addicts, knowing they’ll soon be searching for their next fix.

“They know that the kid starting to get bored with marijuana will soon be talked into trying meth and become another junkie willing to trade a box of pseudoephedrine for a bump of meth.

“It’s a dangerous world,” said Treat, who knows just how seedy the meth world can be. “The methods may have evolved, but it’s all just as dark.”

Treat said it all starts with pseudoephedrine, cold medicine, but rather than curing anything it’s making the problem worse.

He said training is crucial as the other ingredients in meth are commonplace household items.

“These cooks are using common kitchen and household ingredients,” said Treat. “But what they’re cooking up is a felony charge.”

Treat said the county, which used to be the meth capitol of the state, still has a meth epidemic, but also has devoted law enforcement officers willing to face the evil head on.

GULFPORT — Two men with suspected ties to a Mexican drug cartel have pleaded not guilty to charges involving 19.5 pounds of crystal meth allegedly found in a traffic stop on Interstate 10.

Elieser Sandoval, 24, the driver, and Victor Menera-Huato, 26, believed to be a cartel security officer, were arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Their trial is set for a court calendar that starts June 2.

Drug agents arrested them March 18 after the crystal meth, also known as ice, reportedly was found hidden in car with a North Carolina tag. They were denied bond.

A criminal complaint said Menera-Huato, from Mexico, was in the United States without permission, and Sandoval crossed the border earlier that day in the same car.

A grand jury indicted them April 9 on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, aiding and abetting and interstate travel in aid of racketeering enterprises.

They face charges punishable by 10 years to life in prison.





CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa —A mobile meth lab was found Wednesday in an Iowa hospital parking lot, reported the Cedar Rapids Gazette newspaper.

The lab was found at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids about 8:44 p.m.

The Gazette reported the lab was found as police were investigating a report of two suspicious people.

Rodney Schneider, 31, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested and charged with suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of meth precursors and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers told the newspaper that meth was being made in the car.

Schneider was taken to the Linn County Jail.

CLINTON — Two Clinton women are currently being held in the Clinton County jail on $50,000 cash-only bonds for methamphetamine charges.

Jessica L. Crabtree, 29, 215 10th Ave. North, and Tera A. Riddle, 27, 611 1/2 S. Seventh St., were arrested last week for conspiracy to manufacture meth. Riddle also is charged with the delivery of a simulated controlled substance.

According to court documents, a cooperating individual told police last Friday that Riddle messaged him about purchasing pseudoephedrine. Police advised the individual to set up a meeting with Riddle for a trade of half-a-gram of meth in exchange for three boxes of the medication, according to the affidavit.

A meeting was set up at Dollar General on 13th Avenue North. Court documents continue that Clinton Police Officer Ron Heeren observed Riddle and a woman, later identified as Crabtree, walking to the area of the Dollar General. The two defendants allegedly met with the cooperating individual, who gave Riddle three boxes of pseudoephedrine, according to the affidavit. Riddle then gave the individual a plastic bundle with purported meth, according to the affidavit.

The bundle tested negative for methamphetamine and amphetamine, according to court documents. The affidavit states that Crabtree told officers that she knew Riddle packaged flour to give to the individual. After the transaction was complete, officers made contact with the defendants while eastbound on 13th Avenue North and found a package of lithium batteries, purchased at Dollar General, in Riddle’s possession, according to court documents.

That same day, police conducted a search warrant at Riddle’s residence and found a hydrochloric gas generator and two empty blister packs of pseudoephedrine, according to the affidavit.

During an interview with police, Crabtree admitted to attempting to purchase pseudoephedrine 32 times since November 2013, according to court documents. She also admitted to observing or assisting Riddle manufacture meth on at least 10 occasions, as well as purchasing liquid fire and stealing lithium batteries, according to the affidavit.

Both defendants are set to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.



As good as Canyon County residents can feel about the continued decline in crimes against property and people (as chronicled in Wednesday’s editorial), we should be equally concerned about another kind of crime that doesn’t show up in either of those two categories. That would be drug offenses, which increased by 18 percent in Nampa.


For all the well-publicized arguments about legalization of marijuana and how dangerous it really is, it’s easy to overlook what Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue emphatically believes is the biggest threat to the United Statesmethamphetamine. Despite the fact that its basic ingredients are harder to obtain in significant quantities in this country, the National Drug Intelligence Center reports that meth use has been increasing nationally, largely due to the huge quantities coming here from Mexico. And Interstate 84 is a major pipeline.

There are two main reasons you should be scared to death of meth: 1) it’s relatively cheap, and 2) it’s horribly addictive. A single hit of meth can release up to 10 times the amount of dopamine into the brain that cocaine does, yet it’s much more affordable than the latter drug is.

The real-life stories local law enforcement can tell you about the effect meth has had in the community are heartbreaking — parents giving the drug to their children, then “pimping” them out for more of the drug. Lives that are over before they’ve really even begun. Many of the crimes that do happen here are perpetrated by people desperate for their next fix. And because the drug is so powerful, rehab is all but impossible.

“It’s breaking down the economic hierarchy and social hierarchy of our entire nation,” Donahue said. “It’s so debilitating. It erodes people’s morals, ethics, family values, work ethic.”

The drug industry, like any other, plays by the rules of supply and demand. If there’s no demand, there will be no supply. It isn’t realistic to expect law enforcement to shut down the suppliers — the last time Mexican law enforcement tried that, 50,000 people died in five years, and the drug cartels are as strong now as they’ve ever been.

No, it’s up to us as a nation to end the demand. And we can start by being more vocal and persistent in hammering home the message to our kids that meth will destroy their futures.

Trends in pop culture aren’t encouraging. Drug use in general hasn’t been condemned to the degree it was a few decades ago. It’s going to be an uphill battle, and it has to be waged in each and every household.

Don’t hold any punches — you have to be bold. Bolder than the pushers. Get between your kids and meth in any way you possibly can.




MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAU) – A high speed chase ended in a crash and a drug arrest late Thursday night.

22-year-old Andrew Penrod was driving near Pepper Court without headlights when a Mosinee Police Department officer tried to pull him over. That’s when Penrod accelerated through a stop sign, starting the chase. He was able to get onto northbound I-39 at Maple Ridge Road, where speeds reached 98 miles per hour.


Penrod was apprehended after crashing into a fence and a tree in The Bonney Oak Drive neighborhood southeast of Cedar Creek Mall. He started running from officers after the crash, but eventually stopped evading officers. The complaint says Penrod had taken heroin about an hour before the chase, and had swallowed methamphetamine to keep officers from finding it.

Penrod is charged attempting to flee an officer, possession of methamphetamine, operating while revoked, and operating with a controlled substance. He’s jailed on a $25,000 cash bond awaiting his next court appearance April 23rd.

This is not Penrod’s first run in with the law. He was awaiting court proceedings for theft charges, and has a lengthy history of drug charges, fleeing officers, and driving several times with a revoked license.



SHEFFIELD LAKE — A “thionyl methodmethamphetamine lab — the first of its kind in Ohio — has been discovered in a lavish lakefront home in Sheffield Lake.

Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office says the Lorain County Drug Task Force arrested Madhu Dutta, 51, this week after executing search warrants at his home, 3675 East Lake Road, Wednesday and Thursday.

Dutta is charged with possession of precursors or chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine and permitting drug abuse in real estate.

Cavanaugh said Dutta lives alone and has lived in the home, which is valued at nearly $900,000, for about a year. The lab was not in complete operation, but there were enough chemicals and equipment to warrant the charges, Cavanaugh said.

The thionyl method is unique, Cavanaugh said, because of “the type of system, the chemicals being used, the specific type of equipment, and you have to have some knowledge or ability to be able to do this.”

He said the chemicals being used were commercial grade.

Not only is this the first meth lab of its type in Ohio, “There hasn’t been that many reported in quite a few years across the whole country,” Cavanaugh said. He added that this type of lab is “extremely toxic.”

He did not know if Dutta has a scientific background or what sort of work he does but said he owns a business of some sort.

Cavanaugh said his office began receiving complaints about suspicious activity at Dutta’s home in August 2013. He was unsure if Dutta was attempting to manufacture meth for personal use or to sell.

Authorities also took three handguns, 11 “long arms,” which included shotguns and automatic rifles and a large quantity of ammunition from the home.

The Lorain County Drug Task Force was assisted by the Lorain police Narcotics Unit, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Sheffield Lake police and fire departments.

Dutta remained in the Lorain County Jail Friday night.







Possible Methamphetamine lab found in $1M Sheffield Lake home

SHEFFIELD LAKE — The Lorain County Drug Task Force found what police believe to be an under-construction methamphetamine lab in an East Lake Road home that was purchased for $1.125 million last year.

Madhu Sudan Dutta, one of the owners of 3675 E. Lake Road, was arrested Wednesday at the house.

Detective Olen Martin said the Drug Task Force has been investigating suspicious activity at the house since August, but new information came to light this week that led officers to go there.

Martin said Dutta was in the driveway when police arrived and invited them into his house. Once inside, he said, they sat at the kitchen table and Dutta gave them permission to conduct a search.

Officers found chemicals and equipment consistent with building a meth lab and then obtained a search warrant before continuing the search, Martin said. While there was meth in the house, it didn’t necessarily come from the lab, which wasn’t finished yet.

“It was not to the point where I would say it was a fully functioning lab yet,” Martin said.

After investigators, who wore protective gear because of the risk of exposure to hazardous materials, found the items, Dutta was taken into custody on charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and permitting drug abuse.

Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigator Dave Posten said the equipment seized from Dutta’s house was evidence of a sophisticated meth lab that has become increasingly rare in the United States. He said the lab used the “Thionyl/Chloride Method” of cooking meth, the first time such a lab has been found in Ohio.

“This process requires sophisticated equipment, chemicals and the ability to use the lab to manufacture meth,” a news release on the arrest said.

The far more popular method for cooking meth is known as the “one pot” or “shake and bake” method, which relies on plastic beverage bottles and common household items like drain cleaner, lithium batteries and camping fuel. That method is considered easier to cook with, although Martin said the quality of the meth likely wouldn’t have been as good as what the “Thionyl/Chloride Method” would produce.

Police also found three semiautomatic pistols and 11 rifles and shotguns, including a .223-caliber Bushmaster assault rifle with a loaded magazine, during the search of Dutta’s home. A large amount of ammunition also was confiscated.

Martin said although police are checking on the guns, they have no reason to believe that Dutta wouldn’t legally have been allowed to possess the weapons and ammunition.

In addition to the Drug Task Force, specially-trained Lorain police narcotics officers and BCI agents were called in to help clear out the lab. Meth labs are considered extremely dangerous because of chemical fumes and fire danger.

Sheffield Lake police and fire departments assisted during Wednesday’s raid.

This is the second meth lab the Drug Task Force and other law enforcement agencies have found in the county this month. Lorain police found a large meth lab using the “one pot” method on West Seventh Court on April 9. Police said that case remains under investigation.