BILLINGS – A mother was arrested at a Billings hotel on Sunday and faces criminal charges for allegedly using methamphetamine in the presence of her infant.

Chardae Rose Warren, 29, was charged in Yellowstone County Justice Court on Monday with felony counts child 8698409_Gendangerment, criminal possession of dangerous drugs. She was also charged with a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Warren was arrested after her two sons, ages 10 and 8, told their father they did not feel safe staying with their mother because she was using drugs with her boyfriend, court documents state.

The children’s father contacted police and asked for a welfare check.

When police arrived at the Rimview Motel, they found a man in the room who was high on drugs. He was arrested on warrants from another state.

Warren was also in the room, and officers said they observed with scratch marks on her face that are consistent with methamphetamine use, court documents state.

Officers reported finding several needles, spoons, and prescription bottles.

Warren allegedly admitted she had smoked methamphetamine earlier in the day before handling her 6-month-old baby.

During a search of the room officers found more prescriptions and spoons with methamphetamine residue, as well as a scale dusted with a white powder.

The powder tested positively for methamphetamine.

Warren is being held at the Yellowstone County jail on $620 bond.

http://www.ktvq.com/story/29925479/mother-charged-for-using-meth-with-child-at-billings-hotel

JEFFERSON — The 68-year-old mayor of the small town of Idanha has been arrested on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Lt. Chris Baldridge said Monday that Cletus Moore and his passenger, 39-year-old Christopher Kosack, were stopped for a traffic violation in Jefferson Sunday night. He declined to name the specific traffic violation.

Deputies allege they found “what appeared to be methamphetamine” on both men.

Baldridge said Moore was driving without insurance and his car was towed. The drug was found during a subsequent search of the car. According to the sheriff’s office, the men admitted to driving to Jefferson to buy meth.

Moore and Kosack were booked into the Marion County Jail and later released. They are to appear in court Sept. 28.

A message left at Moore’s home was not immediately returned.

Idanha is a town of about 140 people about 60 miles southeast of Salem.

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33457980-75/mayor-of-small-oregon-town-faces-meth-charges.html.csp

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A Forest Grove math teacher appeared in court on Monday on allegations that he patronized a prostitute and had meth on him over the weekend.

Mike Terou Maraia, 50, was arrested by Portland Police at 3 a.m. on Sunday in the area of Southeast 139th and Division. On Monday, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office charged him with one count each of unlawful possession of maraiamethamphetamine and patronizing a prostitute. The drug charge is a Class-C felony.

Maraia, who lives in Beaverton, was convicted of attempted possession of a controlled substance and entered a DUII diversion program out of Washington County earlier this summer, records show.

During a jail release interview, Maraia told court staff that he uses methamphetamine on a weekly basis. He also told staff that he is a math teacher for the Forest Grove School District and has been employed with them for “20 some odd years,” records show.

The Oregonian/OregonLive, which broke the story, reports that Maraia works at Neil Armstrong Middle School. The paper also reports that Maraia told police that he planned to pay a younger woman $80 to have sex with her. Police found 3.1 grams of suspected meth and a meth pipe inside a Crown Royal bag, the paper reports.

Maraia appeared in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon for his first court appearance. Records show that he has retained criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Trotter. KOIN 6 News has been unable to reach Maraia, Trotter or the Forest Grove School District for comment.

http://koin.com/2015/08/31/forest-grove-teacher-arrested-for-meth-prostitution/

CRISP COUNTY, GA — The Crisp County Sheriff’s Office has made four arrests due to information gathered during the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.JAIL_INMATE_SHORTER_JENNIFER%20_MARIE_FRONT_08282015_025359_293_PM

According to Sheriff Billy Hancock, on August 27, his office, the Mid-South Narcotics Task Force and the Cordele Probation Department served arrest warrants on various individuals in Crisp County for distributing illegal narcotics.

The operation, targeting local drug distributors making undercover purchases of methamphetamine, cocaine and hydrocodone, began with information received as part of the “See Something, Say Something” campaign said Hancock.JAIL_INMATE_GRIFFIN_MORGAN_TAYLOR_FRONT_08282015_025527_402_PM

Those arrested so far include 39-year-old Arthur Starnes, who is charged with three counts of selling hydrocodone, a scheduled II narcotic; 26-year-old Jennifer Shorter, who is charged with sale of methamphetamine; 26-year-old Morgan Griffin, who is charged with two counts of selling methamphetamine and 41-year-old Albert Middlebrooks, Jr. who charged with sale of cocaine.

http://www.wfxl.com/news/story.aspx?id=1245736#.VeXK7-ZRGUl

Two Lincolnton men, both convicted felons, were charged with trafficking methamphetamine on Friday by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Ronald Keith Scronce, 59, of 928 White Street, and Scotty Michael Crouse, 41, of 2167 Stanley Drive, were charged after a nearly three-month-long investigation into the sale of meth. Deputies said they received information pointing to the two men Scotty Michael Crouse, 41; Ronald Keith Scronce, 59as sources for the drug and conducted a surveillance operation, which led to a traffic stop on South Grove Street Extension near Hilltop Road in Lincolnton on Friday.

When investigators searched the vehicle, they allegedly found 50 grams of methamphetamine, which they said had a street value of $3,000. Deputies also seized plastic baggies, needles and digital scales, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said Crouse, the driver of the vehicle, attempted to flee by running from the scene of the stop, but was quickly apprehended.

Deputies said the two men were regularly making trips out of Lincoln County to purchase meth and then bringing it back into the county to sell.

Scronce and Crouse were both charged with one felony count each of trafficking methamphetamine by transport and trafficking methamphetamine by possession. Crouse was also charged with a felony count of maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances and one misdemeanor count each of driving while license revoked, resisting a public officer and driving left of center.Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies

Scronce received a $30,000 secured bond and Crouse received a $42,000 secured bond.

Scronce has prior convictions for misdemeanor larceny over $200 in Durham County in 1995, a misdemeanor drug offense in Catawba County in 1996, felony possession of stolen goods in Lincoln County in 1998, misdemeanor wanton injury to personal property in Lincoln County in 2002, misdemeanor larceny in Lincoln County in 2008 and two felony counts of sell/deliver a schedule II controlled substance two felony counts of selling a schedule II controlled substance and one felony count of selling a schedule IV controlled substance in Lincoln County in 2010. He served a three-month prison sentence for the 2010 convictions from February to May 2015.

Crouse has prior convictions for misdemeanor driving while impaired in Lincoln County in 1996, felony breaking and entering and larceny and misdemeanor wanton injury to real property in Gaston County in 2005, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia in Rowan County in 2006, misdemeanor communicating threats in Lincoln County in 2013, driving while license revoked in Lincoln County in 2013, misdemeanor breaking and entering in Lincoln County in 2013, felony bigamy in Lincoln County in 2014 and three counts of attempted first degree trespassing in Lincoln County in 2015, according to a North Carolina Department of Public Safety records check.

Editor’s Note: Due to an error in the Sheriff’s Office press release, an incorrect address was previously listed for Crouse. His correct address is 2167 Stanley Drive in Lincolnton.

http://www.lincolntimesnews.com/2015/08/31/deputies-men-trafficked-50-grams-of-meth-into-county/

A drug epidemic is fueling crime in western Washington and now we know where it is coming from. The DEA has already seized more meth this year than ever before and it can be traced right back to the cartels.

Robert Dixon weighed just 129 pounds last November. His drugs of choice? Meth and heroin.cartels-map

“It just gives you a burst of energy and it winds you up and you go and go,” said Dixon who is 45 days clean.

For 9 out of 10 heroin users, meth is their secondary drug of choice.

Methamphetamine is a dark horse riding side by side with heroin,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug James.

The agency has seized more than 430 pounds of meth so far this year compared to 100 pounds in 2009.

Likewise, deaths have risen as well. In King County, there were 15 meth related deaths in 2009, 70 last year and the DEA says the drugs can be traced back to the Mexican Cartels.

“You know we’re 1,277 miles from the SW border, but that’s a 20 hour car drive, 20 hours they can have the drugs up here for distribution and this is a lucrative market here in the Pacific NW,” said James.

Calling them the greatest criminal drug threat to the U.S., a newly unclassified DEA intelligence report uses graphics to show which cartels are the most active here. The Sineloa cartel, led by Joaquin Guzman who escaped from a Mexican prison in July has the biggest presence. The cartel is active in Seattle, Tacoma, Yakima and Spokane.

“The Sineloa cartel is like a consortium of independent trafficking groups that have come together for a common goal. There are multiple heads to the organization with lieutenants. It’s run like a Fortune 500 company and if you cross them, they’re gonna do harm to you,” said James.

The DEA says next in size is the Beltran-Leyva cartel operating on the Canadian border in Bellingham. The Knights Templar cartel is operating in Seattle, Tacoma and Portland. The New Generation cartel has a small foothold in Seattle but is one of the most dangerous and fastest growing criminal organizations in Mexico. And the DEA worries could spread here.

“More often than not, we’re seizing weapons associated with large quantities of drugs and that’s alarming,” said James.

The DEA has set up a tip line where you can report dealers anonymously. Just text “TIP411” and start your message with “TIP-DEA.”

http://q13fox.com/2015/08/31/dea-methamphetamine-is-a-dark-horse-riding-side-by-side-with-heroin-mexican-drug-cartels-in-the-pacific-nw/

GULFPORT — An associate of the Black Gangsta Disciples street gang is facing up to 5 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute meth in George County.

Jamalia Nix, 34, of Mobile, pleaded guilty last week to a charge of interstate travel in aid of racketeering. In exchange for his plea, the government dismissed a conspiracy charge.

Nix is among nine people indicted in the case on charge of conspiracy to distribute meth from January 2013 and Nov. 5. in George County and across South Mississippi.

Nix, records show, drove from Texas to George County with meth.

The others indicted in the case are Larry Darnell “L.D.” Anderson, 33, of Lucedale; Samuel “Sambo” McDaniel Jr., 32, of Lucedale; Calvin “D” Allen Sr., 43, of Pascagoula; Christine Denise Miller, 29, of George County; Phillip “Ponty” Spivery, 51, of Lucedale; and Kermit “Olin” Blackston, 41, of Lucedale; Hosea E. “Bulldog” Blackston, 42, of Mobile; and Senon Guzman, 31, of Pasadena, Texas.

A warrant has been issued for Guzman’s arrest after he failed to show for sentencing earlier this month on a charge of conspiracy to distribute meth. He is out of jail on a $75,000 bond.

Allen was fined $5,000 and sentenced to 188 months in prison. Anderson was fined $7,500 and sentenced to 20 years.

McDaniel was fined $7,500 and sentenced to 160 months in prison. Miller was fined $9,000 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Spivery was sentenced to 46-months in prison.

Kermit Blackston is facing a 20-year prison term at his Sept. 29 sentencing. Hosea Blackston was fined $10,000 and sentenced to 480 months in prison.

http://www.sunherald.com/2015/08/31/6391258_black-gangsta-disciples-associate.html?rh=1

TULSA, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • A police chase ended at an east Tulsa QuikTrip
  • Officers said Adrian Woody refused to pull over for speeding
  • Police say he threw meth from a window before stopping

A driver spent the night in jail after leading police on a chase and allegedly tossing some evidence out of the window.adrian_woody

It began near 31st and Memorial when police saw a car speeding past.

Officers tried to pull the car over, but the driver refused. That is when police say Adrian Woody sped up to 90 miles an hour, trying to avoid arrest.

He stopped at a QuikTrip near 21st and 129th East Avenue after seeing stop sticks.

http://www.fox23.com/news/news/local/driver-accused-tossing-meth-during-chase/nnThW/

A truck driver was arrested at the Blue Water Bridge Tuesday after officers found suspected methamphetamine in his truck.

The man driving a commercial truck said he had nothing to declare when he attempted to cross the bridge, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

When CBP Office of Field Operations officers searched the cab of the truck they found two used glass pipes with residue inside.

That residue tested positive for meth.

Officers also found a bottle of methadone and crystal-like substances that tested positive for meth.

The Canadian man was arrested and turned over to the Port Huron Police Department.

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/news/local/2015/08/31/truck-driver-arrested-meth-seized-blue-water-bridge/71449750/

FAIRBORN — Police were assisted by Greene County A.C.E. Task Force after being called to an apartment suspected of being involved in drug related activity.

When authorities arrived at 335 Williams Street they seized components associated with making methamphetamine from apartment B in the unit.

Law enforcement told us they were able to collect, neutralize, and decontaminate the items.

No arrests have been made at this time.

The incident is now under investigation.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Fairborn Police Department at 754-3018.

http://www.abc22now.com/news/top-stories/stories/Investigation-Launched-After-Meth-Making-Material-Seized-from-Fairborn-Apartment-192640.shtml

PHUKET: The Phuket Drug Suppression Unit of the Provincial Police has revealed details about five recent drug arrests that scored the state more than 4,000 meth pills and nearly 10 grammes of crystal meth, a haul valued at about B2.5 million.

1440921536_1The sting operations leading to the arrests and drug seizures were carried out between August 26 and August 29, under the command of Pol Lt Col Prawit Engchuan, by the order of Maj Gen Phachara Boonyasit and Pol Col Pinit Sirichai, provincial police commander and vice-commander, respectively.

The first suspect, Mr Jiraro “Bung Deh” Kohkawee, 41, was arrested at 9.30pm on August 26 inside Soi Cherng Talay 12 in Thalang after he was caught in possession of 50 Ya Ba (meth) pills.

The second suspect, Ms Piyanuch “Jang” Saladtuk, 32, was caught with just over a gramme of Ya Ice (crystal meth) at 5pm on August 27 in the area of Soi Baan Kaek in Si Sunthon sub district’s Moo 8.

A third meth related arrest was made at Si Sunthon’s Moo 2 at 6.45pm on August 27 when police detained Mr Somyot “Jeed” Sukkit, 37, also in possession of just over a gramme of Ya Ice, along with six B500 notes, which prompted police to charge him with “intent to sell the schedule 1 drug”.

The fourth and largest arrest was made in conjunction with Phang Nga police on the afternoon of August 28, when undercover officers arranged to purchase a large sum of meth from a woman dealer, Ms Pornthip “Joom” Srimuang, 45, in Phang Nga Town, where they arrested her in possession of 1,000 Ya Ba pills.

A subsequent search of a house in the Ban Lumwa village of the Takua Tung district, north of Phuket, uncovered 3,000 more Ya Ba pills, which were seized, along with a mobile phone, black PCX-150 Honda motorbike, 14 B,1000 bills, in addition to 10 B100 bills.

Joom was charged with possession and intent to sell a schedule 1 drug.

Later that night, police honed in on their fifth meth suspect in four days, a military ranger volunteer (OrSor TorPor) named as 25-year-old Tikkhamporn Prayuraphan, who was caught with 7.74 grammes of crystal meth at 1.30am in the early hours of August 29 in front of the Phuket Bus Station in Rassada.

Lt Col Prawit confirmed that the initial smaller busts in Phuket ultimately led to the bigger sting operation in Phang Nga. Altogether, the haul is worth more than B2.5 million, he said.

http://www.thephuketnews.com/phuket-phang-nga-police-make-five-meth-arrests-in-four-days-haul-valued-at-b2-5mn-53877.php

After a grim and bloody week, where in an escalation of recent public attacks, gunmen descended upon on a funeral parlor, and murdered two, and leaving 10 wounded, in Tijuana, a large drug shipment was lost in Ensenada.

Ensenada, an hour or so south of Rosarito is generally quieter then it’s northern counterparts, a port city, which attracts ex timthumbpats and tourists, is a corridor for drug loads coming up to the border. It is routine for large amounts of marijuana, packed tightly into pangas to be captured of Ensenada, or while offloading their product further north, in US coastal areas.

The federal police claim that during a chase, a truck carrying the shipment was abandoned by it’s driver, after attempting to block the officers, chasing a 1996 Ford Aerostar. The federal police were apparently attempting to stop the latter vehicle. The driver and the Aerostar were not detained.

Inside the black truck were 220 packages, of drugs wrapped for transport to Tijuana, and across the San Ysidro, point of timthumb-1entry, one would assume. Some of the crystal and heroin could be headed for the colonias in Tijuana, where retail groups break them into smaller quantities, these groups are ground zero for the violence in the city, as of now.

169 kilos of crystal, 22 kilos of heroin, and 28 kilos of cocaine was the total amount. Everyone has different ideas about the exact, or near exact amount, but either way it’s at least worth 1.5 million to it’s owners, much more on the other side of the border, or sold in sub gram amounts in Tijuana and Rosarito.

The federal police official version seems slightly less then credible, which may be with good reason. The federal police have often been accused of being compromised, almost entirely. One notable incident in 2009, when federal police working for, or on contract by Juan Sillas Rocha, a CAF cell leader, stole 300 pounds of crystal, from Michoacan, bound over for transshipment through Tijuana.   The shipment was under the protection of Teodoro Simental Garcia, ‘El Teo’. In the aftermath, federales were murdered, and banners hung demanding the return of the shipment. A hotel in Rosarito housing many federal police was shot up.

If the blood on the pavement, and .40 caliber bullets penetrating the base of the skull are the fire, figuratively speaking, this, the product is the fuel. The fuel of the bloodlust and degradation, corridos playing til dawn, fingers dipped in oily cocaine, the Michael Kors on the arms of women, crystal smoke in pipes, acne scarred addicts living amongst the trash, leaving women, children, men, mourners in it’s growing wake.

Sources: AFN Tijuana

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2015/08/millions-in-product-falls-in-ensenada.html

Information within and illustrated on maps, is according to the PGR agency, ( the premier investigative arm of the Attorney General of Mexico). Readers may identify discernible omissions of both cartels and subgroups, or disagree with given information, nonetheless, this is what Vanguardia is reporting.cartel_map_2015_mexico_vangaurdia_publication

They identify subgroups working for larger cartels, and the area of influence.

Groups who began as operational subgroups, or enforcer groups for a large cartels, sometimes become consolidated and splinter into an independent group.

Such is the case of the Independent Cartel of Acapulco (CIDA), Los Rojos and Los Ardillos, which splintered from the Beltran Leyva Organization.

Guerreros Unidos splintered from La Familia Michoacana. Cártel del Poniente/La Laguna, separated from cártel del Pacífico.cartel_map_2015_part_2

Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO) identifies the consolidation of at least seven groups, arising from the Beltran Leyva Organization, with presence mainly in Baja California Sur and Aguascalientes.

The organization of Chapo Isidro, whose name its leader Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, (alias El Chapo Isidro), is identified by US authorities as one of the main traffickers of marijuana and synthetic drugs.

Noted by the agency is that Cartel del Golfo, is without a premier leader but is now formed by numerous cell groups who generate their own operational structure, often with regional leaders.cartel_map_2015_mexico_part_3

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2015/08/map-cartels-operating-in-mexico-and.html

FLORENCE, AZ – A Phoenix-area couple found murdered and buried in a yard two months ago both had amphetamines and methamphetamine in their systems, according to autopsy and toxicology reports released Friday.

The Pinal County Office of the Medical Examiner released the reports on 44-year-old Michael Careccia and his 43-year-old wife, Tina, that said both were homicide victims and had a gunshot wound to the head.KNXV%20Michael%20and%20Tina%20Careccia_1435105531016_20253391_ver1_0_640_480

The toxicology report also showed Tina Careccia had tranquilizers and sleeping pills in her system and both she and her husband had traces of alcohol.

The suspect accused of killing the couple told investigators that he and the Careccias used meth together and he was high on the drug when he allegedly shot them.

The couple was reported missing on June 22 after Tina Careccia never showed up to her job at a construction company.

Their abandoned car later was found covered in dirt about a half-mile from their home in Maricopa, about 35 miles south of Phoenix.

Family and friends spent a week searching the desert for them before county sheriff’s deputies interviewed Jose Ignacio Valenzuela. The deputies said statements he made led them to search his Maricopa property.

The bodies of the airline pilot and his accountant wife were discovered in a 6-foot-deep grave, according to investigators who also found a .22-caliber revolver believed to be the murder weapon.

They said Valenzuela, 38, borrowed a backhoe from an unsuspecting acquaintance to hide the bodies.

Valenzuela told investigators that he and the Careccias had been acquainted for the past two years and used methamphetamine together.

Last month, Valenzuela was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder by a grand jury. Prosecutors still are deciding whether to seek the death penalty.

James Mannato, a county public defender who is representing Valenzuela, didn’t immediately return a call Friday for comment on the case.

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-central-southern-az/florence/michael-and-tina-careccia-update-report-says-phoenix-couple-had-meth-in-system-at-time-of-death

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT)- A tip led Floyd County deputies to the Alpike Motel in Floyd County where they found a suspected meth lab.

Witnesses say they smelled an odor coming out from under a door.

Police say they received a call around 3:00 Thursday afternoon about a possible meth lab inside the Alpike Motel in Floyd County.

“They knocked and beat on the door and someone did answer. That person was coherent but was obviously shaken and somewhat medically needed assistance,” says John Hunt, Floyd County Sheriff.

Police say there was only one man inside the motel room and when they arrived on the scene there was fumes coming out from under the door.

“He was removed from the room and taken outside and eventually was de-contaminated here on the site and transported via an ambulance to Pike Methodist Hospital,” says Hunt.

State police sent a cleanup crew to clean and gather evidence inside the motel room.

Hunt says the man is expected to be ok.

“He had gotten a lot better within in the hour that we were here. He was removed from the inside and he has been de-contaminated that helped him a whole lot and the EMS crew was treating him and he was much better upon departure here,” says Hunt.

The Sheriff says the man has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

No one was hurt during the arrest.

http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/Man-arrested-for-meth-lab-in-Floyd-County-323169411.html

A 75-YEAR-OLD grandmother landed in jail after allegedly being caught with P236,000 worth of what appeared to be shabu in Barangay Bolinawan, Carcar City, Cebu yesterday morning.

Beatrice Fernandez Secretaria was handcuffed with her daughter, son-in-law and two other men in her hut shortly before noon.Barangay Bolinawan

Her daughter Ethel, son-in-law Marcelo, Regino Cabaluna and Albert Greg Delantar were caught keeping watch over the elderly woman’s illegal drug supplies inside.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the authorities seized illegal drugs worth P2.5 million and arrested two men in a buy-bust in Barangay Looc, Lapu-Lapu City last Thursday night.

Secretaria had caught the attention of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 two weeks ago because of a report that peddlers of pork chicharon and ampaw, two of the town’s known delicacies, frequented her place.

Secretaria later admitted the report was true.

She said she hopped into the trade again last April, six months after her first arrest last October, so she could buy medicines for her high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis.

“Gabasol unta ko pero unsaon ta man, wala man tay laing pangita para palit tambal (I regretted selling shabu but I could not think of other means to earn money for my medications),” she said.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2015/08/28/woman-75-caught-p236000-shabu-427124

The discovery of methamphetamine in her pickup truck landed an Eaton woman in jail on Thursday, her 31st birthday.

Brittany Nicole Morgan was pulled over by Eaton police on Fort Wayne Avenue shortly after 6 p.m.B9318631878Z_1_20150828150611_000_GM5BONC4D_1-0

Deputy Marshal Chris Liggett wrote in an affidavit that a tearful Morgan told him she hadn’t had a driver’s license for 10 years, and urged him “to not be an a—–e and take me to jail.”

Liggett wrote that Morgan gave him permission to search her vehicle, and that he found a plastic bag containing meth inside.

Morgan — preliminarily charged with possession of meth, driving while suspended and identity deception — was being held in the Delaware County jail on Friday under a $12,500 bond.

Since 2009, Morgan has been convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery, driving while intoxicated and conversion.

http://www.thestarpress.com/story/news/crime/2015/08/28/meth-lands-woman-jail-birthday/71321978/

Four people, including a man from Fontana and a woman from Bloomington, were arrested as a result of an initial investigation regarding stolen delivery packages from residents’ homes, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

On Aug. 25, detectives investigated a possible lead that a woman was driving a white four-door vehicle around the Rancho Cucamonga area watching for UPS and Federal Express trucks to make deliveries. With the help of a home surveillance system, detectives were able to watch this woman drive up to a residence, walk up to the front door and look for recently delivered packages.

Then on Aug. 26, deputies located a vehicle matching the description in the area of Cantabria Avenue and Banyan Street. The deputies initiated a traffic stop and discovered the driver, Rebecca Hickson, 29, of Bloomington was allegedly driving on a suspended license and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

Deputies detained her and her vehicle was towed. During the required inventory of her personal property in the vehicle, narcotics, large quantities of copper wire, and several shipping receipts were located.The receipts were addressed to potential victims from several different addresses.

A search warrant was authored for Hickson’s home on 10th Street in Bloomington.

When they arrived at that residence, detectives made contact with Brandon Hazard, a 32-year-old Fontana resident, who was allegedly found fast asleep instead of watching Hickson’s small child. Narcotics and a methamphetamine pipe with residue were located inside the residence and easily accessible to the small child, the Sheriff’s Department said.

During the search of the home, detectives located numerous items that matched the receipts located in the vehicle that were addressed to victims at other residences.

Detectives then authorized a search warrant at Hazard’s house in Fontana. At that residence, they located methamphetamine packaged for sale and a double barrel shotgun.

While detectives were searching the residence, Oscar Velez, a convicted felon, arrived and was detained. Velez allegedly came to Hazard’s residence to sell him methamphetamine, the Sheriff’s Department said. Hazard also advised the detectives the shotgun was recently sold to him by Velez, a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Detectives then made contact at Velez’s residence in Diamond Bar and were given consent to search the premises. They located ammunition for the recently sold shotgun and .38 caliber ammunition, although no other weapons were located.

All four suspects were arrested, interviewed, and booked into West Valley Detention Center.

Detectives are now working to return the stolen merchandise to its rightful owners.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department at (909) 477-2800. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463) or leave information on the We-Tip website at http://www.wetip.com.

http://www.fontanaheraldnews.com/news/article_761b455c-4e74-11e5-9efa-2f0cb977559b.html

A young West Seattle woman told her ex-boyfriend in court Friday that if it were up to her, he would spend the rest of his life in prison for killing her mother.

Instead, Jose Gonzalez-Leos, 21, will be released most likely when he’s in his early 40s.west_seattle

Gonzalez-Leos was in tears throughout much of his sentencing appearance in King County Superior Court as he listened to his victim’s loved-ones talk, at times, through an interpreter, about Nga Nguyen, 46, the woman he beat and strangled just before Christmas 2013.

“I know the sounds of her suffering will always be in your head,” Trang Nguyen said directly to the defendant. “If it were my choice, you would spend the rest of your life in prison. You have shown no mercy for the pain you have caused my family. You have killed my mother. You have abused and stolen from my family, and now you are a waste of time.”

Gonzalez-Leos, also of West Seattle, pleaded guilty in June to murder in the first degree for killing Nguyen in the home she shared with her daughter, who had broken up with Gonzalez-Leos three months before the fatal attack. He had said he was high on methamphetamine the night of the attack on High Point Drive Southwest.

The defendant’s attorney, George Trejo Jr, asked Judge Mary Roberts to impose a prison term at the low end of the range, 20 years in prison, because Gonzalez-Leos had no prior criminal history. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Julie Kline recommended a mid-range sentence of 24 years. But citing a lack of motive for the brutal crime, other than punishing his ex-girlfriend for breaking up with him, Roberts sentenced Gonzalez-Leos to 26 years in prison.

Before he was taken away in handcuffs, Gonzalez-Leos begged both families for forgiveness.

“I have seen the pain my family is going through,” he said. “I can only imagine the pain the family of Nga Nguyen is going through. I am sorry to my entire family and friends.”

http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/meth-fueled-murderer-gets-26-years-killing-ex-girl/nnS3b/

ANCHORAGE – A Palmer man was arrested after a house fire related to a methamphetamine lab Friday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers wrote in a dispatch.

Troopers were notified around 12:30 p.m. Friday of a fire in a home on Gurn Circle in Palmer.New-Document

“Members from Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit-Mat-Su, Western Alaska Alcohol Narcotics Taskforce, Special Crimes Investigation Unit, Palmer Police Department and the State Fire Marshall’s office responded discovered a fully functional red phosphorus methamphetamine lab,” troopers wrote.

The homeowner, 33-year-old Michael E. Wellman of Palmer was arrested on several counts of misconduct involving controlled substances related to the operation and is being held at Mat-Su Pretrial on $10,000 bail and a court appointed third party custodian.

“Arrangements were made through Drug Enforcement Administration for a private hazardous waste disposal company to respond for the waste materials at the residence,” troopers wrote.

The fire was contained to a small area outside the home and no injuries were reported, troopers say.

http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/troopers-palmer-man-arrested-after-a-house-fire-caused-by-a-meth-lab/34997246

CHIANG RAI — Police have seized 1.4 million methamphetamine pills with an estimated street value of 280 million baht in a sting operation in Mae Sai district.

A drug gang were to deliver the speed pills to undercover police posing as buyers at a petrol station on Saturday but they may have been aware of the sting and decided to discard a large bag packed with the drugs and fled at the last minute. However, police have been able to identify the suspects and are now trying to locate them, Pol Lt Gen Thanitsak Theerasawat, commander of the Provincial Police Region 8, told a news conference.

The confiscated drugs belonged to a Myanmar drug gang led by Lt Col Yi Se, who is wanted in Thailand and has a 5-million-baht reward on his head. The contraband was destined for Phitsanulok, and if it had reached there its value on the streets would have been up to 280 million baht.

Pol Lt Gen Thanitsak said police had conducted surveillance and gathered intelligence in the border district of Mae Sai for two months before being able to contact the gang members.
http://bangkokpost.com/news/crime/674020/1-4m-meth-pills-seized-in-mae-sai

Editor’s note: This report contains graphic language describing a rape that some readers may find difficult. We feel these details are needed to convey the terrible nature of the crime and the strength and resolve required to overcome it.

It was a rape of shocking crassness, three boys toying with an unconscious teenage girl on a pool table and videotaping it all.

The last Alisa Kaplan remembered of the July 5, 2002, party, she was given a drink. The next thing she knew, it was morning and she was sitting in the passenger seat of her car near her parents’ home, bruised and sore, a lump on her head and vomit in her hair.

But there’s the infamous video. In her recently published memoir, the Rancho Cucamonga woman describes what she saw when she watched it three years later in the District Attorney’s Office.

The details, which may be familiar from news accounts, still shock.

“There I am, naked, first on the couch, then on the pool table. I don’t move,” she writes. “The three of them drag me around, have intercourse with me, slap and pinch me. … Then they penetrate me vaginally and anally with a Snapple bottle, a juice can, a lit cigarette, and the thick end of a pool cue.”

Two of the boys press down on the outside of her abdomen, feeling where the pool cue is inside her, she writes, “until they hit my bladder and I urinate all over myself.”

This is tough to read, I know. Her publisher, Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Group, blanched as well. Kaplan agreed to some concessions for the Christian publisher, removing profanity and leaving out some of the details of her story.Alisa Kaplan

But she drew the line at glossing over the description of the rape. Readers, she said, needed that information to understand the crime and its aftermath.

“I wanted people to know how sick some of the acts were. I really wanted that part in the book,” Kaplan tells me. “They did some horrible things.”

Kaplan’s book, “Still Room for Hope: A Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Forgiveness and Freedom,” was published in April and represents her version of a story covered extensively in the media, including this newspaper. But as her name was never public before, and the names and locations of the events are obscured in the book for fear of legal repercussions, the link isn’t obvious.

Her book might not have come to my attention except through a chance connection: Her father is my mechanic. A few years ago, angry about what was in the newspaper the morning of my visit, he blurted out what had happened to his daughter.

Suddenly, the case had a personal dimension. Jane Doe, as she was referred to in print, was a real person, with a father and mother I knew and liked.

I didn’t know what to do with that information at the time, but sometime later he told me she was working on a book, and, when it was published, the time to ask for an interview seemed right.

She has given interviews before about the case, including to OC Weekly and NBC Channel 4, both in 2012, but neither was under her full name. To promote her book, Kaplan has talked to the Christian media, including Trinity Broadcasting Network and “The 700 Club,” and to a magazine in India, where sexual abuse is epidemic.

But she walked out of a KABC Channel 7 interview this spring when she learned the intent was to cut to coverage of the 2002 case. The story was scrapped.

Kaplan has never been interviewed by her hometown newspaper, on her home turf, where friends and neighbors recall the case. The prospect made her nervous. But, she says, most people in their circle know about it already, and many have read the book.

That said, “People don’t know how to talk about it or bring it up. So they don’t,” she says ruefully.

We met earlier this month at the home of her parents, Rick and Lyn Kaplan. Rick doesn’t particularly like journalists and later told me one had never been invited inside before, a measure of the trust they placed in me.

The ground rule was that Kaplan, now 29, couldn’t talk directly about the case or confirm any details that weren’t in her book, such as the names of her assailants and the location of the attack. She is limited, she says, by the terms of a settlement with her attackers and by her publisher.

I agreed. Better to write about her with her cooperation. Besides, the case was major news and details are easily found by Googling “gang rape Southern California,” as most of the early results are about the case.

In short, the first trial of her attackers ended in a hung jury, but a second trial, in 2006, resulted in their conviction for sexual assault. They were sentenced to six years in prison and forced to register as sex offenders upon their release.

I didn’t want to ask about the assault anyway. Kaplan shares plenty in “Still Room for Hope,” and it’s heartbreaking enough.

The straight-A student had fallen in with a popular crowd. She was invited to a small party at a rich kid’s home and remembers having a drink, which apparently was drugged. When police watched the video, they thought she was dead and the boys had been practicing necrophilia.

The boys’ video was left behind at the house of a friend, who watched it in horror and phoned police, setting the case in motion.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the woman who turned in the tape. She stands for everything that is good in humanity,” Kaplan writes.

Kaplan, however, punished herself. Her high school friends abandoned her, with some unable to accept that the boys they knew had done something terrible or that Kaplan wasn’t somehow to blame. She sometimes believed that herself.

As a victim, one “passed out and passed around,” as she puts it, she felt powerless. Guilt at least gave her a role to play.

She lapsed into alcohol addiction to blot out the shame. With her childhood friends checking out, drinking buddies were easier to find. Then she fell into methamphetamine use, which gave her a welcome sense of oblivion, “turning the volume down on all the sick, sad, frightening feelings that would otherwise plague me every waking moment of every single day,” she writes.

Her anguished parents eventually kicked her out of the house rather than enable her, and at what may have been her low point — although there are a lot to choose from — she slept in the alley behind a McDonald’s on a ratty sofa next to a dumpster.

In 2005, a police officer who was arresting her boyfriend gave her a break when she showed him a list of rehab clinics she’d been calling in hopes of getting in. One accepted her shortly afterward. While getting clean, she talked about the rape for the first time in sessions with other patients. This began the process of reclaiming her story.

In 2011, she attended a Christian retreat with her mother and, she says, suddenly understood the concept of forgiveness and the need to ask for it. She spontaneously accepted Jesus and calls it the most important weekend of her life.

Since then, she’s become a state-certified victims’ advocate and crisis intervention counselor. As a volunteer with the Pomona-based Project Sister, she has talked to women who have been sexually assaulted and has counseled their families.

That turnaround amazes and delights Shirley Mangio, the victims’ advocate who worked with Kaplan from the moment the Orange County DA’s Office got the case file.

“It’s absolutely incredible what that girl has done. She went from a self-professed party girl to an accredited victims’ advocate herself,” says Mangio, 73, who’s now retired but has stayed in touch with the Kaplans. “A lot of people would still be hiding under the bed. She left being a victim and now is helping them.”

In some ways, the situation for rape victims is better than in 2002, Kaplan reflects. The definition of rape has been broadened by the FBI to include people unable to feel threatened, such as unconscious victims. The oft-quoted statistic that 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime has raised awareness. The 2012 Steubenville, Ohio, gang rape — one with many parallels to Kaplan’s — saw the community rally around the unconscious victim.

On the other hand, that response stands out because of its rarity, Kaplan says. And social media has taken high school gossip and shaming to a disturbingly public level. By contrast, people muttering “slut” as they passed Kaplan in stores, pre-Facebook and Twitter, seems almost quaint.

Overall, though, “it’s great it’s being brought out. People didn’t realize how often it was occurring,” Kaplan says of sexual assault.

“By my speaking out, maybe it will help other girls realize they should speak out. Speaking out is one of the great tools for healing,” she says. “You need your voice. When you’re raped, it’s taken away from you. You can’t get it back until you get your story out there.”

She first got her story out there publicly in the 2012 rally. A book agent contacted her about co-authoring an expose with a journalist. Wanting to write something more inspirational, she worked with a ghostwriter who used journal entries and interviews to craft a book in Kaplan’s voice, recounting her journey from victim to survivor. She hopes the themes are universal.

“Everybody goes through something they don’t think they can get through,” Kaplan says. “It’s not going to stay that way forever.”

She’s clean and sober, she has a full-time job at a religious institution and her faith is central to her life. Her relationship with her parents is closer than ever. She giggles often and, with a voice that frequently sounds chipper and girlish, it’s easy to picture her as the color guard member and yearbook contributor she once was. It would be simple enough to conclude that, to quote the song, everything is awesome.

Everything is better, certainly. Yet her book is painful. And in my living room conversation with Kaplan and her parents, phrases like “gang rape” and “meth addiction” are spoken matter-of-factly. This is their shared history, and by now they have few secrets from one another.

Another reminder of darker times is the home’s video surveillance system, installed during the months when the defense team hired private eyes to watch them 24/7, fliers soliciting dirt about Alisa appeared in mailboxes and store windows, and strangers with cameras showed up on their doorstep.

“We all had to learn to deal with constant harassment,” Lyn Kaplan says. “I’m kind of naive. I had to toughen up real fast. I got real strong, real quick.”

Alisa Kaplan herself is still wary. She has a reflex action when she’s behind the wheel, even on the short drive that night to her parents’ for our interview.

“I still look in my rear-view mirror to see if anyone’s tailing me,” she acknowledges.

She has trust issues, understandably, and has had difficulty with romantic relationships. Each Fourth of July holiday, the anniversary of the attack, she pulls away from people, especially men. There are physical scars that may prevent her from having children, if she ever wants them, which she’s not sure she does.

I asked if she dreams about the attack. She did on the weekend of July 5, for the first time in years.

“I was with my friends and they woke me up,” Kaplan recalls. “They said I was crying in my sleep.”

http://www.dailybreeze.com/article/20150829/NEWS/150829451/4000349

Shawna Morgan believed she wouldn’t become an addict. Her mother was an alcoholic who died of cancer when Morgan was just 19.

“I always thought I wouldn’t go down that path after seeing her addiction,” she said.

The stress of trying to fit in led the 1998 Western High School graduate to try marijuana and drink alcohol. It was methamphetamine, though, that would threaten to destroy her life.

Meth was my addiction,” she said. “I did everything. I cooked it and started selling it. I first smoked it and eventually moved on to shooting methamphetamine intravenously.”

Morgan isn’t so different from many people in Howard County struggling with addiction. Whether it’s pain medication, heroin, meth or cocaine, more and more people are becoming addicts, said Matt Oliver, chief operating officer at the Behavioral Health Services department of Community Howard Regional Health.55c3b24477814_image

“Addiction is definitely a growing problem,” he said in his downtown Kokomo office. “Agencies are struggling to keep up. It’s not just a local problem, it’s nationwide.”

More than half of all adults in the U.S. over the age of 26 reported using illegal drugs at least once in their lifetimes, according to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health. Nationwide, methamphetamine isn’t most adults’ drug of choice, but in Indiana, meth use is prevalent.

In 2014, the Indiana State Police reported 1,416 meth lab busts in the state. That was down from the year before, but in the past decade, Howard County has ranked among the top 10 counties for meth manufacturing four times. It managed not to earn that dubious distinction in 2014, but neighboring Miami County has been in the top 10 for two years in a row.

Morgan spent five years juggling her addiction and her façade of a normal life.

“I had a job and paid my bills. Nobody realized it. People who knew me never had any idea. I hid it very well.”

But in 2008, Morgan was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. At the time, she hadn’t slept in 21 days.

Sleep deprivation can have significant physiological and psychological effects. Health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease have been linked to long-term sleep deprivation, and people often suffer hallucinations and paranoia the longer they stay awake, studies have shown.

A few days before Morgan was arrested, she went to church with her grandparents and prayed.

“I had two syringes full of meth and I put them on the altar and prayed to be done with it,” she said. “Three days later, I was sitting in jail.”

Morgan was cooking meth when someone called the police. She managed to escape. Though she said she was going to turn herself in, she was afraid she was going to be sent to prison. The police found her at a friend’s house.

Morgan was in jail for 14 months, watching as other drug addicts and dealers came and went.

“I was actually very blessed,” she recalled. “I didn’t go through any withdrawals. I slept a lot and after two days of rest, my mind became clearer. I realized that lifestyle was done.”

That’s most meth addicts’ experience, according to a 2010 post published by Psychology Today. Unlike other hard drug users, meth users don’t often experience physiological withdrawals such as shaking and vomiting. The effects of quitting the drug are more often psychological.

Long-term methamphetamine use decreases the number of dopamine receptors in the brain. Dopamine’s role in the human body is to signal reward and tell the brain something good is happening. When addicts stop using meth, dopamine levels go down, and with fewer receptors to engage the chemical, those people have trouble feeling pleasure.

It can take as long as two years of staying clean for dopamine functions to return to normal.

Morgan thought she would be offered a plea bargain, but as she sat in jail, she realized being surrounded by other addicts in prison would probably put her right back into the lifestyle.

“I have a 14-year-old son,” she said. “He came to visit me in jail and said, ‘I never liked you when you were doing drugs.’”

It was Howard County’s Drug Court Program that gave Morgan the opportunity to change her life.

The program has accepted 54 non-violent drug offenders, and graduated 32. Morgan is one of them.

Implemented in 2007, the program allows offenders to avoid criminal prosecution by agreeing to live a substance-free life. For 16 months, Morgan was monitored, including frequent drug screens, and attended a substance abuse treatment program.55c3b24174e7a_image

Morgan spent the next two years going to meetings and working on her sobriety. She met Reba Harris, director of the Gilead House, and began attending classes. The Gilead House offers programs to women trying to move forward after addiction and incarceration.

“It really helped me, not just with the drugs, but with learning to be a productive person in society,” Morgan recalled.

In addition to the drug program offered by Howard County Superior Court 1, Morgan found support through her church family at Star of Light Church.

“I still attend recovery class every Thursday evening at the church,” she said. “It really helped me.”

A 2006 study on the role of social supports and spirituality in recovery available from the U.S. National Library of Medicine found support is likely to be critical to recovery.

“A growing body of empirical research supports the notion that religiousness and spirituality may enhance the likelihood of attaining and maintaining recovery from addictions, and recovering persons often report that religion and/or spirituality are critical factors in the recovery process,” it reports.

Morgan has been employed at Long John Silver’s for two years now. She was promoted to manager last year. She’s also mending her relationship with her son, who lives with his father. She gets to see him every week.

“We’ve been able to build our relationship back up,” she said. “It’s been a blessing.”

When Morgan looks back on her days as a drug dealer, she recalls how stressful life was. It was a lot of work to try to collect the ingredients she would need to make another batch of meth and the phone never stopped ringing. Now, she begins her days with a prayer and heads off to work.

Morgan said she doesn’t have any regrets.

“That made me the person I am today. God had a reason for me to help other addicts,” she said. “There’s a lot of people struggling with addiction and I want to connect with them.”

She offered advice to anyone else suffering from addiction.

“Change your patterns. Don’t get back in with the old people in your life,” she said.

http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/addiction-series-hope-in-recovery/article_eae06658-4049-11e5-87d5-5bd5fc0bf9ee.html

A Tulsa woman allegedly had two bags of methamphetamine and paraphernalia in a car during a traffic stop in Sand Springs.Mindi Morse

Mindi Morse, 35, was riding in a friend’s car when they were stopped for failure to signal while turning onto W. 2nd Street from N. Wilson Avenue, according to an incident report.

Officers found the meth on the front passenger seat, where Morse had been sitting, under a seat cover, according to a report.

Morse was arrested for possession of a controlled drug and possession of drug paraphernalia and taken to the Tulsa County Jail.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/communities/sandsprings/news/tulsa-woman-allegedly-arrested-with-meth-in-sand-springs/article_f4d03c2e-a4f4-5cf1-8c5c-7b2a5b0e39ea.html

State officials on Friday said a woman who plead guilty to running a methamphetamine operation out of her child care center will never be a day care provider again.B9318630165Z_1_20150828141721_000_GJEBOMQ3F_1-0

“Pursuant to South Dakota laws and regulations, Jennifer Darger will not be eligible to provide registered child care (services) in South Dakota,” Tia Kafka, a spokeswoman for the state agency, said in an email to the Argus Leader.

Questions about whether Darger would be able to be a day care provider arose after officials failed to detect her previous drug conviction before allowing her to open an in-home day care in Sioux Falls.

Background checks for in-home day care providers won’t catch a felony conviction older than five years.

Darger pleaded guilty on Wednesday to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance and contributing to the abuse and neglect of a minor. She will be sentenced in October.

In March, Jennifer Darger’s daughter told a counselor that her mother and Adam Darger had been selling methamphetamine and that her mother recently relapsed into addiction.

The daughter told authorities she was often asked to watch the children while her mother sold drugs.

Officers with the Sioux Falls Drug Task Force served a search warrant at the couple’s home at 6605 W. 53rd St.

Three children younger than 2 were being cared for when the officers arrived. They were turned over to their parents.

Authorities found methamphetamine in the home during a search.

http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2015/08/28/officials-woman-ran-meth-operation-able-run-day-care/71318336/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=