Folks don’t make a great deal of money in Buffalo, Missouri, a town of less than 4,000 people in the Ozark Mountains in the southwestern part of the state. The median income for a household is less than $20,000 and close to 30 per cent of the town’s population lives in poverty. There’s one thing you can count on, though. Except during the periodic droughts, you can count on plenty of home-cooked meth being readily available. These days, Missouri, and particularly the Ozarks, is known as the world’s home-cooked meth capital.People in the Ozarks

People in the Ozarks once made moonshine whisky, but back in the 1950s, the locals started buying mail-order speed in pill form in large quantities. When the mail-order supply was eventually cut off, ingenious souls learned how to manufacture their own crude amphetamines. This in turn led to making meth which caught on quickly. Before long, the entire Ozark plateau found itself in a methamphetamine choke hold. 40 years later, the situation really hasn’t changed.

Although the meth plague is often associated with the rural folk — the so-called hillbillies — the reality is that meth long ago spread to the small towns and cities and as likely as not there’s somebody cooking meth right on your block — could even be your next door neighbor.


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Amy Lee Hartley is a meth addict

Amy Lee Hartley is a meth addict. Her home, which is located at 810 Locust Street in the town of Buffalo, has been described as an “uninhabitablemeth lab by the Associated Press. You see Amy — who sustained a brain injury in 2008 stemming from a traffic accident and struggles with short term memory problems — and her boyfriend, 47-year-old career criminal Anthony Balbirnie, have been in the news lately. On September 21, 2012 a 15-year-old girl named Khighla Parks, whom Amy had reportedly befriended at at a party, died of asphyxiation at Amy’s house while being raped by Anthony. Charges were filed against Amy in October of this year.

Khighla had been reported missing on September 20, 2012 after she left her grandparents’ home in Willard, Missouri to go for a walk. She was last seen at a party in Buffalo, which is probably where she met Amy.

According to a local newspaper, the News-Leader, Khighla died at Amy’s house on Locust Street on Sept. 21st within hours of meeting her during “asphyxiation sex” with Balbirnie.

After Khighla diedCourt documents outline a grim scenario. First Amy invited Khighla to stay at her home/meth lab, and “to engage in sex with multiple partners, some of whom were known by the defendant to engage in asphyxiation sex.” The court documents also state that Hartley, 37, engaged in “deviate sexual intercourse” with the teen. Her actual death, though, is thought to have occurred during asphyxiation sex while she was being raped by Balbirnie.

After Khighla died, the police allege that Amy helped dispose of her body. Balbirne allegedly weighted down the deceased victim and dumped her body in nearby Truman Lake, where, according to Ozarks First, it was found by a boater on Sept. 30, 2012.

Amy was arrested after the charges against her were filed on Oct. 17th, Ozarks First reports. She is charged with second-degree statutory sodomy, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse. Amy is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child by allowing Khigla into her home, where methamphetamine was made and used.

The charges against Anthony Balbirnie may stem from information provided to the police by Amy who reportedly told investigators that she saw him wrapping up a girl’s body and placing it in the trunk of his car in the early hours of September 21st. In addition to facing a federal charge of abandoning a corpse, Balbirnie is charged with Khighla’s murder, and faces additional counts of statutory rape and child molestation.Balbirnie

Balbirnie was released from prison on parole in August of 2012 after serving 15 months for possessing marijuana, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections. The 47-year-old has a long history of criminal charges ranging from drug possession to resisting arrest.


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Amy Lee Hartley and Anthony Balbirnie are not the world’s nicest people. Neither are the other “persons of interest” who are still being investigated by law enforcement. You put a bunch of meth freaks together in a group and God only knows what will happen. Khighla Parks found out the hard way. One can only surmise what was going through her head during her final moments after she made the foolish decision to accept Amy’s invitation “to party”.

Meanwhile, life goes on as always in the Ozarks and it’s not likely to change any time soon, not as long as people still cook up their homemade meth and smoke it in glass pipes or inject it into their veins.



SFGate reports that one of three suspects charged in the death of 15-year-old Khighla Parks will be sentenced in December for his role in her case.

Dallas County authorities report that 40-year-old Larry Warner of Springfield, who was originally charged with second-degree-murder, pleaded guilty last Friday to endangerment and conspiracy in Khighla Parks’ death in September 2012.

According to KYTV, Warner, who although apparently a person of interest was not technically a suspect when this story broke last fall, has stated that he took Parks and Anthony Balbirnie to the home of Amy Leigh Hartley in Buffalo but later left. Prosecutors allege Balbirnie killed Parks during sex and he and Hartley dumped her body in Truman Lake.

Balbirnie is scheduled for trial in March. Hartley is scheduled for a hearing next week on several charges, including statutory sodomy and abandonment of a corpse.

The fact Any Lee Hartley has a hearing scheduled a few weeks after Warner’s guilty plea leads me to believe that she will also probably enter a guilty plea one or more of the charges against her. And, I also think it’s very likely that she has agreed to testify against Anthony Balbirnie.






Amy Hartley & Anthony Balbirnie: 5 Facts You Need to Know

Amy Hartley, 37, is the second the person charged in relation the murder of 15-year-old Khigla Parks in Buffalo, Missouri in September 2012, reports The Springfield News-Leader.Barton County Jail

Last week, 48-year-old Anthony Balbirnie was charged with with the actual murder of Parks. It’s reported that Hartley and Balbirnie have been involved in a long-term relationship together, she is charged with helping him disposed of Parks’ body in Truman Lake, Missouri. She’s being held on $75,000 bond.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Balbirnie is a Facebook Friend of Khigla Parks

 Balbirnie is a Facebook Friend

Although 48-year-old Balbirnie’s Facebook account has been inactive for some time, he is a friend of the 15-year-old Khigla Parks.

 2. Balbirnie is Charged With Murder

 Police are acting on the assumption that Parks died during “asphyxiation sex” with Balbirnie on September 21, 2012. The sex is reported to have taken place inside Hartley’s home in Benton County, Missouri, reports Ozarks First.

Hartley is charged with sodomy, tampering with physical evidence as well as the abandonment of a corpse. She’s been further charged with endangering the welfare of the child as she’s alleged to have facilitated the sex between Balbirnie and Parks.

Another man, Larry L. Warner, has been charged in relation to the case but his court documents have not yet been unsealed.


3. Hartley Has Been Certified as ‘Disabled’ 

Due to a 2008 traffic accident where Hartley suffered a brain injury, it’s reported that she has short-term memory problems which is a permanent disability. She confirmed to investigators that Balbirnie was with Parks at her home on the day the 15-year-old was last seen. Her home has been described as a meth lab and “uninhabitable” by The Associated Press. The home is located at 810 Locust Street in Buffalo, Missouri (above)


4. Balbirnie is Being Held on a Parole Violation 

Thanks to his lengthy criminal record, Balbirnie is being held at Bowling Green state prison in Missouri. He has yet to be arraigned on charges of second-degree murder, statutory rape, child molestation, endangering the welfare of a child, tampering with physical evidence and the abandonment of a corpse.

The man charged with the murder of Parks last stint in prison ended in August 2012 when he did 15 months for weed possession. The Daily Mail reports: 

He was on probation for convictions in 2010 for unlawful use of weapons, manufacturing a controlled substance and resisting arrest with the intent to cause physical harm or death by fleeing.

It’s also reported that in 2006 he was a suspect in the attempted abduction of a 16-year-old girl. He was later cleared on that charge because the girl told him she was 17. 


5. Parks Was Found Dead on September 30 2012


 Parks Was Found Dead

Her corpse was found in Truman Lake, Missouri where it had been weighed down. Police allege that it was Hartley who weighed her body down, it was found by boaters about ten days after Parks was last seen. The last confirmed sighting of the high-school sophomore came at a partyin Buffalo, Missouri on September 20.







Another charged with sex crimes, cover-up of death


A second person — a Buffalo woman in her mid-30s — is accused of illegal sex with a Willard teen before allegedly covering up evidence of the girl’s death.

Amy Leigh Hartley was not charged with murder, but recently unsealed Benton County court documents say the woman was engaged in sexual activity with 15-year-old Khighla Parks just before her death.A second person

Hartley is also accused of moving the body after the death and washing bedding in an effort to thwart investigators, according to the documents.

Hartley has been described in earlier documents as the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Anthony Balbirnie.

It was revealed last week that Balbirnie, 48, who has a long criminal history, was charged with Parks’ murder.

Authorities believe Parks died during “asphyxiation sex” with Balbirnie on Sept. 21, 2012.

Court documents released Monday say the death occurred in Hart­ley’s Locust Street home.

Hartley is charged with second-degree statutory sodomy, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.

She is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child by allowing Parks in her house “to engage in sex with multiple partners, some of whom were known by the defendant to engage in asphyxiation sex,” court documents read.

Documents that further detail evidence against Hartley have been sealed by a judge. Some documents concerning Balbirnie have also been sealed.

Although the probable cause documents are normally public records, Missouri Attorney General’s Office spokeswoman Nanci Gonder said documents are being kept secret “because of safety concerns to certain witnesses.” Gov. Jay Nixon in July appointed the Attorney General’s Office to aid county prosecutors in the probe of Parks’ death.

Previous reports describe Hartley as disabled from a traumatic brain injury in a 2008 traffic accident. Court documents say she has short-term memory problems and the disability is permanent.

It was Hartley who told investigators that Balbirnie was at her home with Parks on Sept. 21, the day after Parks walked away from her home near Willard, according to documents released previously.

Hartley allegedly said she saw Balbirnie participate in wrapping Parks’ body before putting it in the trunk of a car and driving away, bound for Warsaw on the shores of Truman Lake. Khighla’s body was discovered by boaters there on Sept. 30, 2012.

A third person, Larry L. Warner, is listed as a “co-defendant” in documents that began to be unsealed last week, but his alleged role in the case is not detailed. Presumably, details of the allegations against him are included in the sealed documents.

Early in the investigation of the death, Warner had been named as a person sought for questioning but was not criminally charged then.

Officers had questioned and taken DNA samples from Warner in the weeks after Parks’ body was found. Why remains unclear.







Police charge drug-dealer with abandoning a corpse after his 15-year-old ‘Facebook friend’ found dead in lake with weights tied to her body

  • Anthony Balbirnie’s girlfriend told police she saw him ‘wrapping body and putting it in trunk of car’
  • Khighla Parks, 15, last seen at party in Buffalo, Missouri on September 20
  • Desiree Siddens, 24, and Larry Warner, 39, named as ‘persons of interest’ in murder investigation

A 47-year-old convicted criminal has been charged today after a teenage girl was found in a lake with weights tied to her body.

Anthony Balbirnie faces a federal charge of abandoning a corpse. His on-off girlfriend, who has not been named, told investigators she saw him wrapping a girl’s body and placing it in the trunk of his car in the early hours of September 21.

Khighla Parks, 15, was last seen on September 20. She was found ten days later in Truman Lake, southwest Missouri by fishermen. It is believed that she was already dead when dumped in the water but cause of death has not been released.

Dallas County Sheriff’s Office also announced earlier today they were seeking two persons of interest – Desiree Siddens, 24, and Larry Warner, 39 – in the murder investigation.

Anthony Balbirnie, 47 after 15-year-old Khighla

15-year-old girl was last

Balbirnie was arrested on Monday after a car chase that began in Greene County and ended in Dallas County, Kansas. Deputies said Balbirnie threw something from the car during the 45-minute chase but they don’t know what.

The abandonment charge had been filed on Sunday but was not revealed until today. Court documents said Balbirnie told a woman he was taking the body to Warsaw, close to Truman Lake.

The drug dealer had been the only suspect in the case but it was not known today if anyone else was being investigated.

The relationship between Balbirnie and Miss Parks is unknown although they were friends on Facebook. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department was unclear as to when Balbirnie’s path crossed with Miss Parks.

Desiree SiddensLarry Warner

The teenager was reported missing on September 20 after she left her grandparents’ home in Willard to go for a walk.

She was last seen at a party in Buffalo, Missouri with a crowd of people, around 40 miles away.

The girl’s grandmother Bonnie Adams told KY3: ‘She had taken off a few days, went to a friend’s house or something like that, so I gave her the 24 hours.

‘I always believed you need to give them some space, but you also need to know where they’re at.’

Balbirnie was released from prison on parole in August after serving 15 months for possessing marijuana, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

He was on probation for convictions in 2010 for unlawful use of weapons, manufacturing a controlled substance and resisting arrest with the intent to cause physical harm or death by fleeing.

The 47-year-old has a long history of criminal charges from drug possession to resisting arrest.

profile pictures of Miss Parksand Anthony Balbirnie

teenage girl's body was pulled from Truman

Friends and family of the 15-year-old had started a Facebook page in her honor. The teenager’s funeral is being held this Friday at Clear Creek Baptist Church.

Balbirnie’s Facebook page has a profile picture of a latex mask with swastika. He describes himself as ‘outgoing and energetic, likes to take long walks in the woods’.

Police considered him a suspect in an attempted abduction in 2006 when a girl was allegedly taken against her will from a hotel room.teenager's grandmother Bonnie Adams

The girl came home and although Balbirnie was the main suspect no charges were brought against him.





Four juveniles – all U.S. citizens – were arrested Tuesday, Oct. 21, as they attempted to smuggle packages of methamphetamine taped to their legs into the country while riding buses, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

The combined street value of the 8.6 pounds of meth was more than $86,000, a news release said.

Both arrests were made at the 86 freeway checkpoint. That north-south highway runs west of the Salton Sea in eastern Riverside County.

In the first incident, agents performing an immigration check of a passenger bus about 10:15 a.m. found three juvenile males, ages 16 and 17, concealing a combined weight of 6.59 pounds of meth worth about $65,900, the release said. The contraband was discovered through interviews and pat-downs.

In the second incident, about 11:15 a.m., agents again questioned a juvenile male, age 17, who was aboard a passenger bus. He was found to have two packages of meth, with a combined with of 2.06 pounds and a value of $20,600, the release said.

The suspects were turned over the Drug Enforcement Administration for additional investigation.




ASHE CO. — Over 50 people were arrested in Ashe County on methamphetamine charges following a joint investigation by the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.witches_1

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Operation Witches Brew targeted “smurfers,” those who buy the products to make meth, and the “cookers,” the ones who make the highly addictive stimulate drug.

“For the past two years, we have been conducting investigations and making arrests, and today’s arrests are the largest meth round-up ever in this county,” Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said. “We tried to get as many as possible to sweep with a broom at one time to get a better chance of shutting these operations down.”

Those charged with manufacturing meth are being held in the Ashe County Jail on $500,000 bond, according to the NCDPS release. Those charged with the illegal purchase of meth ingredients are being held on $250,000 bond.




Sheriff Williams said the morning went well in picking up the 54 targeted suspects.

Boone Police Department and the Alleghany Sheriff’s Office also participated in the operation.



NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) – Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a male Mexican national from entering the U.S. at the Port of Nogales with nearly 18 pounds of methamphetamine.10212014+TFO+NOG+meth-2

Crecenio Garzon-Escalera, 39, was stopped at the Dennis DeConcini crossing after officers wanted to further inspect his Ford sedan.

A CBP narcotics detection canine alerted the presence of drugs and officers then found 33 packages of methamphetamine worth an estimated $53,000.

Officers seized the vehicle and drugs, and referred Garzon- Escalera to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.




ICE addiction is tearing Casey families apart three times faster than it was two years ago.

And no one is immune, as the fallout affects all age and demographic sectors of the community.

Housing support group WAYYS manager of outer south homelessness services, Kim Culpin said crystal methamphetamine was behind increased domestic abuse and mental health problems on an unprecedented scale.986722-9d5281a6-5a70-11e4-bf11-4b714919270b

“At one end it is causing homelessness of youth when their loud, aggressive ­behaviour forces them out of home, and at the other it’s resulting in grandparents having to raise grandchild­ren because the intermediate generation is incapable of doing so,” Ms Culpin said.

“It’s a major problem in Cranbourne and Pakenham particularly. It’s leading to sleep deprivation and mental illnesses. It’s become the clear drug of choice and its use is growing rapidly.”

Assistant secretary of the Ambulance Employees of Australia union, Danny Hill said Casey was a high-risk area for ice, particularly in Cranbourne and Doveton.

“It’s a serious problem for our crews, who often get called to suspected cardiac cases only to find the patient has taken ice and is incoherent and aggressive,” he said.

Turning Point clinical director Dr Matthew Frei said there was ample evidence use of ice was increasing in Casey and the southeast.

“Other areas have other drug problems, but in Casey it’s ice,” Dr Frei said.

A Turning Point study showed the number of ambulance call-outs for ice patients in Casey jumped nearly 200 per cent in the last 12 months, catapulting the city from eighth to the second highest need area in Victoria in that time.

Cranbourne Information and Support Services president Kevin Bradford said increased use of ice led more people on marginal incomes to spend the little they had on drugs, not rent or food.

But Southern Health spokesman Shane Butler said a study conducted by the Burnet Institute suggested the number of people using ice had not increased as much as the purity, which had jumped from 21 to 64 per cent in the past four years.


The ice scourge:

  • Ice is a stimulant that speeds up the messages ­travelling between the brain and the body. It is a type of methamphetamine, which is stronger, more addictive and has more harmful side effects than the powder form known as speed
  • 7 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over have used methamphetamines
  • The daily number of all ­amphetamine-related ­ambulance attendances in 2012/13 increased 88 per cent in metropolitan Melbourne
  • Other names for ice include crystal meth, shabu, crystal, glass, shard, p2
  • Ice can be smoked, injected, swallowed or snorted
  • Long-term effects include extreme weight loss, dental problems, anxiety, paranoia and violence, depression, heart and kidney problems, increased risk of stroke
  • Ice psychosis is characterized by paranoid delusions, hallucinations and bizarre, aggressive or violent behavior.


Get help:

  • Family Drug Support Service hotline 1300 368 186
  • South East Alcohol and Drug Services (SEADS), 8792 2330, services including assessment and referral, withdrawal, support groups, youth and family services
  • Windana Youth Residential Withdrawal Service DirectLine, 1800 888 236, is open 24 hours, 7 days
  • Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS), 9701 3488, services for young people including assessment and referral, outreach, withdrawal and day programs


AWKA – The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Anambra State has raised concern over the increasing NDLEA-Logomethamphetamine shipment in the state.

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.

Mr Sule Momodus, State Commander of the agency, told newsmen in Awka on Monday that the national headquarters recently intercepted a parcel, which was traced to Awka, the state capital.

He said that the agency was working seriously with other security agencies to get those involved in the business.

Momodu said that Gov.Willie Obiano recently approved N500, 000 to anyone who would provide information on the clandestine activities of laboratories where illegal methamphetamine was being produced.

He said that the governor had also approved N15m for the agency to use in the cleaning up of illegal methamphetamine factory, discovered in 2012 at Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state.

Momodu commended the state government for being the first to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment on the facility, where large methamphetamine laboratory was discovered

The Commander said that the substance, which had strong smell, was being produced late night in deserted buildings, adding that its waste product was hazardous.




The Weld County Drug Task Force conducted raids Wednesday that resulted in the seizure of more than 22 pounds of methamphetamine, over one pound of heroin and more than $100,000 in cash.

The raids were the result of a six-month investigation conducted by the task force, in partnership with the Greeley Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Weld County Sheriff’s Office and Evans Police Department. The law enforcement officials said they were investigating the movement and sale of large quantities of methamphetamine in the northern Colorado area.

During this investigation, officials said, a total of eight search warrants were served in four jurisdictions from Denver to Loveland and Greeley. More than 12 arrests were made.

“This is the first stage of a continuing operation,” Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner said. “Our goal is to make it a lot harder to sell poison in Northern Colorado.”

Officials said the investigation began with a minor buy from a known dealer. Through the use of confidential informants and undercover officers the investigation of the network of individuals involved in the trafficking of drugs into Greeley, Evans, Johnstown and Loveland was initiated.

Three of the people arrested, police said, were also indicted on federal drug trafficking charges.




544899a18be69_image Police charged a Fayetteville couple after narcotics detectives found a mobile methamphetamine lab outside a Ramsey Street hotel and a cooking site at a home in the College Lakes community Tuesday.

Investigators said they found precursor materials to methamphetamine inside a vehicle parked outside the Regency Inn on the 500 block of Ramsey Street about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

After contacting the State Bureau of Investigation’s Clandestine Lab Response Team, detectives found what appeared to be a separate cooking site on the 300 block of Saddle Ridge Road.

The residents, 35-year-old David Shawn Branham, and 30-year-old Tracy Branham, were taken into custody.

The Branhams were charged with conspiracy to distribute or possess a methamphetamine precursor.

During a search of the home, the SBI seized items for disposal and deemed the house uninhabitable until it is decontaminated, police said.

Three elementary school-age children also were found at the home. Authorities notified the Cumberland County Department of Social Services and the Cumberland County Public Health Department.

The grandparents of the children were granted temporary custody.544899a190779_image



meth-bustInvestigators in northwest Georgia believe two people arrested during a traffic stop may have been distributing methamphetamines between metro Atlanta and Chattanooga.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Catoosa County sheriff’s deputies conducted a traffic stop on U.S. 41 in Ringgold, according to Sheriff Gary Sisk. During a search of the vehicle, deputies found two pounds of methamphetamines, worth an estimated $30,000, Sisk said.

Deputies arrested Jesus Humberto Lopez Deanda, 27, of Lilburn, and Mitchell L. Mary Cordova, 24, of Duluth. Both were charged with trafficking methamphetamine and drug possession. Deanda also faces additional traffic charges, including driving without a valid license and improper tag displayed, jail records showed.

Both Deanda and Cordova were being held without bond Wednesday night in the Catoosa jail. The two are believed to be major distributors of methamphetamine between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Sisk said.




ITHACA – A backpack containing materials used to manufacture methamphetamine was discovered on a roadside in the Town of Ithaca on Sunday morning, according to Cornell University Police.

Around 10:30 a.m. a person found a backpack containing what appeared to be household chemicals sitting alongside the road in the 300 block of Maple Avenue. Cornell police determined the pack contained materials commonly associated with the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.highwaymethfile

While the exact contents were not described, illicit meth production can be done with common items such as drain cleaner, fuel for lanterns or camping stoves, solvents such as ether and toluene, muriatic acid, table salt and common cold medications containing pseudoephedrine.

Police experts called to the scene determined that the contents found in the bag had been used for the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine. The New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Response Team secured the backpack and its contents, according to Cornell.

Earlier this month, the New York State Police gave a detailed presentation in Dryden to area highway departments and first-responders about meth lab remnants being left along highways.

State Police Sgt. Martin Kopcho, speaking at his presentation earlier in the month, said new meth production methods can be done quickly and in little more than a Gatorade-sized bottle using ingredients readily available at local stores. Getting rid of the leftover equipment often means discarding the hazardous material in public spaces.

“They have no problem tossing it outside a car into a ditch,” Kopcho said.

Cornell University Police ask anyone with information related to this case to call (607) 255-1111.




Nogales, Arizona – A male Mexican national is in custody following the seizure of nearly 18 pounds of methamphetamine Tuesday at the Port of Nogales.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Crecencio Garzon-Escalera, 39, for a follow-up inspection of his Ford sedan. After a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted to the presence of drugs, officers removed 33 packages of methamphetamine worth an estimated $53,000.

Officers seized the vehicle and drugs, and referred Garzon to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.



HICKORY, N.C. – Hickory police arrested a man after probation officers say they found methamphetamine in his dresser.

Tony Lee Watson, 39, of 1544 31st St. Court SE, Hickory, was charged with one count of felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor probation violation, according to an arrest report. He was placed under an $8,000 secured bond.54453b7293f92_image

Probation officers requested assistance from the Hickory Police Department on Saturday evening, Hickory Police Department spokeswoman Chrystal Dieter said. Probation officers told police they found methamphetamine and syringes in the suspect’s dresser, Dieter said. The methamphetamine weighed 1.2 grams, Dieter said.

Watson, who has been convicted of multiple drug and larceny charges, was serving probation for a felony larceny conviction, the N.C. Public Offenders website shows.



Lenny Wilkinson didn’t expect David McArtor would be out of prison before Wilkinson had his new remodeling shop up and running.

McArtor was serving 25 years in prison when Scott County District Judge Henry Latham suspended the sentence last week and put the 32-year-old Bettendorf man on probation.   5446d33143948_preview-620

“He has a debt to pay first,” Wilkinson said Tuesday, working out of a large storage garage in Eldridge. “Less than a year in prison, that’s just not right.”

McArtor was charged last year with causing a meth lab fire that burned down Wilkinson’s home repair business in Bettendorf. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced earlier this year.

After serving more than six months behind bars, Latham placed McArtor on four years of probation through Scott County’s drug court program.

“The drug court program is the most intensive form of probation,” Latham told the Quad-City Times.54415f3f8bd84_preview-620

As terms of his probation, McArtor is required to appear in court weekly at first, which gradually lessens as the participant completes various levels of the program, Latham said. McArtor also is under a nightly curfew call, required attendance at least three times weekly at an Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting, random and frequent drug testing and successful completion of the Salvation Army intensive rehabilitation program.

At certain stages in the program, the participant is required to become employed and begin making regular payments toward any restitution, Latham said.

“Drug court has proven to save thousands of dollars in costs of incarcerating individuals,” Latham said. “Additionally, drug court has recovered thousands of dollars in restitution that would have gone unpaid if the individuals had remained incarcerated.”

McArtor owes $11,989 in restitution, including $8,000 to Bettendorf Home Repair, Wilkinson’s business.

McArtor and his co-defendants caused about $325,000 in damage to Wilkinson’s four large storage units at 3221 State St.

McArtor’s father’s construction company leased a neighboring storage unit that caught fire Aug. 26, 2013, while McArtor and others were cooking meth. An investigation also uncovered a second methamphetamine production site in a field at Middle Road and Indiana Avenue in Bettendorf, resulting in the second manufacturing methamphetamine charge against McArtor.52326308ba068_preview-620

McArtor pleaded guilty earlier this year to second-degree arson, two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and sponsoring a gathering for use of controlled substances.

Wilkinson recovered about half the damage amount through insurance and bought a new location at 1142 E. Price St., Eldridge. He said he has spent every weekend for months trying to replicate his old location with a shop, bay area and a classroom while maintaining a steady flow of contracting work through the normal work week.

He is cutting costs where he can. He bought new storage racks “dirt cheap” from American, which was going out of business. He lucked out on the shelves for his racks. The 2-inch by 6-inch studs came from old Home Depot displays that were pulled apart and given away for free.

5232630971839_preview-620Trying to beat the cold weather, Wilkinson thinks he has another three or four weekends of work to complete his shop.

Wilkinson respects Scott County’s drug court program but doesn’t think McArtor was a good candidate.

“He didn’t have a drug problem,” Wilkinson said. “He had a money problem.”




KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) – A traffic stop in Knox County ended with four people in handcuffs on Monday.


Kentucky State Police stopped at 1996 F-150 on Standard Avenue in Corbin, and noticed two backpacks in the bed of the truck. Troopers investigated and determined that both backpacks were full of items to manufacture methamphetamine.

Four people were inside the truck at the time of the traffic stop. The driver of the truck, Brian S. Smith, 32, of Corbin was arrested and charged with first degree manufacturing methamphetamine, first degree unlawful possession of meth precursor, two counts of first degree possession of a controlled substance, and failure to wear a seatbelt.


Casey M. Smith, 33, of Woodbine was arrested and charged with first degree manufacturing methamphetamine, first degree unlawful possession of meth precursor, and two counts of first degree possession of a controlled substance.

Pamela S. Hensley, 31, of Corbin was arrested and charged with first degree manufacturing methamphetamine, first degree unlawful possession of meth precursor, and first degree possession of a controlled substance.

Anthony W. Martin, 27, of Corbin was arrested and charged with first degree manufacturing methamphetamine, first degree unlawful possession of meth precursor, first degree possession of a controlled substance, and tampering with physical evidence.

All four people were lodged in the Knox County Detention Center.



There is a need for a drug rehabilitation facility in the South West because of the damage methamphetamine is having in the community, WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton says.

She said the potency of the drug and frequency of its use was to blame for the strain on services, rather than the number of users.

“The information and statistics tell us that the use of amphetamine-type substances has been declining across Australia and WA since 1998, but there are changes to way that people are using it and this is seeing an increase in the harm being felt by an individual, by a family or by a whole community,” she said.

“There are more people going to emergency departments, there are more people going to hospital as a result of methamphetamine and the rate at which they are seeking treatment is increasing.

“We seeing increased harm in the community but it is not the result of more people using the substance.”

But the South West Community Drug Service said there was no doubt the number of addicts was increasing in the region.

“We’ve seen methamphetamine use increase exponentially along with other drug use across the region,” manager Nicolle Warren told the ABC.

“Whilst we’ve seen an increase in people presenting with this drug, it’s also the complexity of the client presentation that has an impact.

“We have a seen a 10 per cent increase in the last 12 months but in terms of numbers it’s important to note that many people come to us as requirement of the court system.

“Often there are people out using in the community for a long time before they get to service such as ours.”

Ten years ago the service treated just over 100 people for methamphetamine addiction, but so far this year it has treated 176 people, many of whom have returned several times.

“We have also seen a significant increase in number of family members or significant others of an individual struggling with methamphetamine, calling in at their wits end wondering how to support them,” Ms Warren said.


Relocation to Perth needed for treatment

There are no residential rehabilitation or detoxification facilities in the South West, and only one residential facility in the Great Southern, in Esperance.

Ms Morton said some people preferred to relocate to Perth for treatment.

“Some people actually prefer that, they see that as a way of moving away from their environment in which their drug problem is a factor,” she said.

But Ms Warren said having to move to Perth could deter people from seeking help, which could mean addicts lost public housing or jobs.

“It would be wonderful to think that clients could remain in their own local hospital and community,” she said.

Ms Warren said waiting times in Perth for long-term rehabilitation were six to eight weeks and two weeks for short-term detox services.

“We would refer, on average, probably two to four people per a week to the detox facility in Perth,” she said.

Palmerston drug rehabilitation facility in Perth said it had half the beds needed to keep up with demand, and there was currently an eight- to 12-week wait to receive treatment.

Ms Morton said the waiting time was not good enough, and more rehabilitation facilities were being considered.

“We know we need a dedicated Aboriginal-specific residential rehabilitation service in the south of the state,” she said.

“We also know that the South West region is an area that needs approximately an additional 36 beds across the board for residential rehabilitation.”

Ms Morton said this proposal was part of a new plan for drug services to be considered by Government in the next few weeks.




Police have arrested a 27-year-old man after they found 55.6g of methamphetamine hidden in his pants.

A 27-YEAR-OLD man will face Darwin Magistrates Court after a bag of methamphetamine was found in his jocks.

Detective Sergeant Matt Akers from the Gangs Taskforce said the man was arrested after flying into Darwin Airport on Tuesday.734573-9b0dc8a2-59a2-11e4-bb41-d2d878d2a380

He said 55.6g of methamphetamine was found in a clear clip-seal bag.

“Investigations are continuing in relation to connections with organized crime and the supply of methamphetamine in the Northern Territory,” Sgt Akers said.

“Police will continue to target these individuals who seek to profit from destroying people’s lives.”

“We estimate over 500 hits of methamphetamine have been taken off the streets and as far as we are concerned that will go a long way into keeping Territorians safe.”

He has been charged with possession and supply of a commercial quantity of a schedule 1 dangerous drug.





544728545ee16_imageCAMERON – Authorities charged an 81-year-old Lee County man last week in connection with a methamphetamine lab found at his home.

Lee County sheriff’s deputies, the State Bureau of Investigation and Sanford police found the lab during of a search of Herbert Clayton Moretz’s home in the 500 block of Key Road near Cameron, according to a news release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Moretz was charged with maintaining a dwelling for storing a controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle that was reported for the use of controlled substance, accessory after the fact and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $75,000.

Eddie Bird, 34, of the 6800 block of Old Jefferson Davis Highway in Sanford, was arrested in connection with the lab.

Bird has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and three counts of possession of precursor chemicals. He was later served on several outstanding warrants.5447285465625_image

Bird’s bail was set at $136,000.




PAW PAW, MI – A 55-year-old man attending a meeting with his parole officer Tuesday afternoon in Van Buren County was arrested for having components used to manufacture methamphetamine in the vehicle he drove to the courthouse, deputies said. 16141283-mmmain

Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a tan 2001 Buick LeSabre parked in the Van Buren County Courthouse parking lot containing items used to manufacture methamphetamine, a news release from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 55-year-old that drove the Buick LeSabre to the courthouse was meeting with his parole officer, deputies said.

After conducting a search of the car, investigators uncovered items used to manufacture methamphetamine including Walgreens Instant Cold Packs containing ammonium nitrate and bottles of Rooto Drain Opener containing sulfuric acid and lye, deputies said.

“Further investigation led deputies to the suspect’s residence where additional components commonly used in the manufacturing process of methamphetamine were seized along with firearms, ammunition, and suspected methamphetamine,” deputies said.16141299-large

The man was subsequently arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine laboratory components, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine and parole violation, deputies said.




Cody HowardA 19 year-old Evansville man faces meth-related charges. He’s accused of running a meth lab in his grandparent’s garage.

Cody Howard was arrested around midnight. An EPD officer smelled a chemical odor commonly associated with making meth. This happened in the 1000 block of Harriet Street.

When officers arrived, they say Howard ran back into the house. His grandmother was able to coax him back out. Howard is being held without bond.



OREM — An owner of a trailer park was arrested Monday night for supposedly selling drugs out of her office and allowing dealers to use her bedroom for drug transactions. One of her tenants was also arrested under suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.Helena Avila

Utah County Major Crimes officers served a search warrant at a trailer park on north State Street in Orem, according to police reports. Police say as they searched the home of the trailer park manager, Helena Avila, 54, they found a small amount of white crystal substance, later field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Police reports also state they found several pills, including hydrocodone, in a pill bottle by her bed. She did not have a prescription for any of these pills.

Police also found several items of paraphernalia around the house, including packaging materials and pipes, according to their reports.

Reports further state that Avila told the officers she had been using her office, attached to her trailer, to sell methamphetamine. According to police reports, she said she would also receive phone calls from people who wanted to buy meth, and then she would contact a dealer, who could use her bedroom as a selling facility, complete with scales and packaging equipment. She told police she would get a little meth for “her trouble,” according to police reports.

While the warrant was being served and Avila was being questioned, Jeffery Rouse arrived at the residence. According to police reports, Avila was allowing Rouse, 53, to live in a bedroom in her residence for months as long as he would pay rent. As they searched his room, they found methamphetamine and a glass pipe, which he told police was his. Police reports also state he bought meth from Avila before.

Forensic testing revealed that Avila tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of her arrest. She was arrested within 1000 feet of a strip mall, making the area a drug free zone.

Avila was booked on one charge of distribution of methamphetamine, a first-degree felony, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony and a class A misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

Rouse was booked on one charge of possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.




5278735_GNatchitoches Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Robeline man and a Keithville woman on felony drug charges during a traffic stop late last week, according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

On Friday, October 17th at little after 11:30 pm, deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division were patrolling on La. Hwy 1 north of Natchitoches near the Bayou Pierre area, when they stopped a 2011 Chevrolet Z71 pickup truck for a traffic violation.

Deputies identified the driver of the vehicle as being Vicki Shea Nelson of Keithville, La.

Deputies say while speaking with Miss Nelson, she appeared nervous and they observed indicators that led them to believe criminal activity existed.

A passenger in the vehicle was identified as Vincent Flores of Robeline, La.

Deputies obtained permission to search the vehicle and occupants.

Deputies say Nelson admitted she had 6 (six) suspected hydrocodone narcotic pills on her person.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies discovered a glass smoking apparatus containing suspected crystal methamphetamine.

Both suspects were placed under arrest at the scene, and while being transported to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center, a deputy observed Nelson attempting to hide baggies containing over 3 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine and snorting straws in the sheriff’s patrol unit.

Deputies arrested:

(1). Vicki Shea Nelson, 41 of the 10500 block of Beechnut Drive, Keithville, La., booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule II Hydrocodone, 2-counts of Possession of CDS Schedule II Crystal Methamphetamine, 1-count of Criminal Obstruction of Justice, and 1-count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

(2). Vincent Flores, 54 of the 800 block of Lake Loop Road, Robeline, La., booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule II Crystal Methamphetamine and 1-count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Both suspects remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center awaiting bond.

Deputies say while interviewing Nelson, she admitted that she removed the baggies containing suspected methamphetamine from inside her pants while being handcuffed in the rear, attempting to hide the evidence.

Sgt. Shane LaCaze was assisted by Deputy D. Caballero in the arrests.



 HICKORY, N.C. – Police say they found methamphetamine, marijuana, needles and more than $900 in cash in a room at the Days Inn on Saturday morning, leading to the arrest of two suspects. 54453bac13e95_image

Ciera Pauline Hatcher, 20, of 3260 Whithering Heights Drive, Newton, was charged with one count of felony possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, according to an arrest report. She was placed under a $9,000 secured bond.

Bradley Joe Pennell, 30, of 936 Lewittes Road, Taylorsville, was charged with one count of felony possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, felony maintain a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, an arrest report showed. He was placed under a $30,000 secured bond. Police say the room was registered with his name.

Officers were on foot patrol at the Days Inn on 13th Avenue Drive NW when they walked passed a room with an odor of marijuana, Hickory Police Department spokeswoman Chrystal Dieter said.

In a search of the room, officers say they located 12.9 grams of methamphetamine, 1.2 grams of marijuana, needles, digital scales, two pipes, $944 cash, a marijuana roach weighing three-tenths of a gram and a hypodermic needle containing an unknown liquid, according to an arrest report.54453bc880a4c_image

A third person in the room was not charged, Dieter said.




It’s not every day that a suspect purposefully leads police to a vehicle full of cash, meth and a stolen gun.

But Strafford Police say that’s what happened in June when a Springfield man showed up at their station claiming he had ties to a Mexican drug cartel and was an informant for COMET, the regional drug task force.knakmuhsdouglas

According to a probable cause statement, Douglas J. Knakmuhs, 33, told officers he was “in fear for his safety.” Police say he appeared to be under the influence of drugs during the encounter.

The statement says Knakmuhs said he needed to contact “Brett” with the drug task force because he had “urgent information which may alter his safety.” He said he had been trying to flag down an officer for several hours to start an argument and get arrested.

Police say Knakmuhs struggled to stay on topic during the conversation.

Officers helped Knakmuhs call the task force and leave a message, but police say the message didn’t include any contact information, didn’t mention “Brett,” and did not give any reason for calling.

Knakmuhs then told police he had borrowed, from a criminal, the SUV he was driving.

“While speaking, Knakmuhs accidentally activated the vehicle emergency alarm on two occasions and showed great difficulty in operating the key fob,” according to the statement.

Knakmuhs told police he had been released from prison after a 14-year sentence and “wanted to provide a good service to the citizens of Greene County,” according to the statement.

He said the cartel wanted him to go to Kansas City but he was concerned for his well-being. He asked police to photograph two cellphones he said were given to him by the cartel.

He told police he was supposed to move “California Ice” and methamphetamine to Kansas City. Knakmuhs first said he did not have any drugs in the SUV, but later took police to the vehicle to “document” the meth.

The statement says he showed officers where more than 100 grams of crystal meth was located in the vehicle. Police also say the found a pistol, which turned out to be stolen, and several electronics. Knakmuhs also said there was about $250,000 in the car, under the car battery compartment, so police stopped the search to obtain a warrant.

Prosecutors say Knakmuhs was free on bond in a felony assault case in which he allegedly stabbed his fiancee in the neck with a “sharp-bladed instrument.” He also has past convictions for assault and for injuring a Department of Corrections employee.

In the current case, Knakmuhs is charged with felony trafficking and unlawful possession of a firearm. The trafficking charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

A warrant for his arrest was issued Friday.




A Buffalo man is accused of trafficking in methamphetamine and deputies accuse him of operating a meth lab in his mother’s garage in Union.Travis William Austin, 37

Travis William Austin, 37, of 117 Cross St., was arrested and taken to the Union County jail for booking Friday.

According to an incident report from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, deputies searched his mother’s home on Springdale Drive in Union and found meth oil, coffee filters, a shake and bake meth lab bottle and a number of tin foil pieces with burn residue.

Austin is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and trafficking more than 10 grams of methamphetamine, according to Union County jail records.




LILLINGTON – A traffic violation led to an Angier couple being charged with operating a methamphetamine lab from their home where they lived with two children, the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said.

Andrew Duncan Strickland, 24, and Brittany Elizabeth Strickland, 25, of the 600 block of Chinaberry Lane, are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Angier police have charged the couple with safecracking, possessing burglary tools and injury to real property, according to arrest reports.

Andrew Strickland also is charged with fleeing to elude arrest and three misdemeanor violations, reports reveal.

The incident began about 5 a.m. Sunday when an Angier police officer attempted to stop a vehicle driven by Andrew Strickland for a traffic violation, said Maj. Jeff Huber of the Sheriff’s Office.

Strickland led lawmen on a chase that ended on James Street, about two miles from his home, where he and Brittany Strickland abandoned the car and ran away, Huber said.

When officers went to the Strickland residence, they discovered the meth lab.

Two other men were arrested on outstanding warrants, Huber said.

Brittany Strickland’s bail was set at $110,000. Andrew Strickland’s bail was set at $195,000.