GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) – Three people, including a mother-son duo, were arrested during a meth lab bust, according to the Greenwood County Drug Enforcement unit.


Deputies said they went to the home on Highway 178 South on Wednesday to serve conspiracy warrants on Matthew Harvley, 24, for purchasing excessive amounts of Pseudoephedrine.


When they arrived at the home, deputies said they discovered drug paraphernalia inside and outside the home. Authorities said they were allowed access into the home, where they found Harvley’s mom, 46-year-old Tammy Harvley, and her boyfriend, 34-year-old Robert Johnson Jr.

In total, the drug enforcement unit said 112 grams of meth were seized from the home. The incident report said six “one pot” meth labs were found during the investigation.


All three were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, improper disposal of methamphetamine and possession of altered Pseudoephedrine. Matthew Harvley was also charged with conspiracy.

A HAZMAT team was called to the home to clean up the scene.




TULSA, Oklahoma

A Tulsa County deputy needed medical attention after finding a meth lab in an SUV Wednesday night.

Deputies patrolling a neighborhood hit by a rash of recent burglaries stopped an SUV with three people inside in the 9700 block of East 131st Street South at about 8:30 p.m.


A deputy searching the Chevy Tahoe found a black pouch under the driver’s seat. When the deputy opened the black pouch, he was exposed to a strong chemical odor and smoke, according to Captain Paul Tryon. Tryon said the deputy needed medical attention and EMSA paramedics treated him at the scene.

Deputies also found a modified BB gun and tools including bolt cutters and wire strippers in the back of the Tahoe.



Tryon said they are checking to see if the three people in the Tahoe are connected to recent burglaries in the neighborhood.

“We’re going to impound and try to check it out and see if we can tie them in with any of those previous burglaries,” said Sheriff’s Captain Paul Tryon.

Deputies identify the suspects as:

Desha Bailey, 27
Andrew Crisp, 31
Michael Callis, 21

Deputies booked them into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of endeavoring to manufacture, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

Jail records show all three have a court appearance set for July 24, 2014.



BLUEFIELD (WVVA) – Law enforcement officials gathered in Bluefield Tuesday to learn more about a national database used to fight meth crime.

They’re talking about NPLEx – or National Precursor Log Exchange — a database mandated by many states used to track pseudoephedrine purchases in pharmacies.

Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient in methamphetamine.


Simply put, NPLEx tracks who is buying pseudoephedrine and blocks habitual buyers before the next sale at the register.

The system is already at work in West Virginia and police say it is already making a difference in their meth crackdown.

“It gives our stores the ability to say ‘I’m sorry, this sale has been stopped,’ our computer will not complete it,” said Bridget Lambert, President of the West Virginia Retailers Association.

“What the meth guys would do is they could go pharmacy to pharmacy … the pharmacies weren’t communicating,” Louisiana Det. Chris Comeaux said at Tuesday’s meeting. “But now they are communicating, no longer can you go to CVS, and then Rite Aid and buy because Rite Aid is going to block you.”

Lambert says limits already in place in West Virginia are 3.6 grams a day, 7.2 grams a month, and 48 grams a year.

So far in 2014, 16,000 grams of the drug have been blocked from people who wanted to buy, using the database. Last year, the total was 47,000 grams.

Tuesday, police from across the area learned more about NPLEx and how to better use it to stifle meth crimes.

The program connects pharmacies and even law enforcement agencies as they fight the meth problem.

Officers say since it can all be found in one database, it saves them vital time.

“This puts it right at your fingertips,” Comeaux said. “In ten minutes i could probably do ten days work.”

Police say they are already seeing pseudoephedrine purchases decrease.

West Virginia’s border states, including Virginia, also use NPLEx, which helps prevent buyers from traveling across state lines to make purchases.




   CUSTER COUNTY, Oklahoma

A Tulsa, Oklahoma, woman was arrested after a Custer County Sheriff’s deputy pulled her over and found more than 14 pounds of meth in her vehicle.



According to police, at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Deputy Dillon Mach stopped a vehicle with a broken headlight. The driver, 59-year-old Constance Lee Potts, told the deputy that she had left Tulsa and driven to a truck stop in Shamrock, Texas, to look at some hand blown glass hummingbirds for her mother who was dying. Potts said she started to become ill and decided to drive back to Tulsa.

Deputy Mach thought the story seemed unusual, so he asked for permission to search Potts’ vehicle. But Potts declined.

However, the deputy’s K-9 “Ares” alerted to the presence of the odor of narcotics. After a search, the deputy said he found 14.84 pounds of crystal meth in a sack in the trunk.

A male passenger in Potts’ vehicle denied knowledge of the drugs. Potts reportedly told the deputy that the passenger did not know about the drugs, so he was released.


Potts was taken into custody and will be facing charges of trafficking meth. She will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and a bond will be set then.

Authorities said Potts also had an outstanding Creek County warrant for failure to appear on driving under suspension.

Deputy Mach and K-9 Ares were certified as a detection team just one week ago, and this is their first big find, according to the Sheriff’s Office.


Custer County deputies also made a major meth bust Saturday night after pulling over a truck for a minor traffic violation.  Justin Fritz was arrested after deputies found 12 pounds of meth in his truck.


The man authorities claim is responsible for bringing some of the purest crystal meth ever seen in Ohio to Cincinnati was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison Wednesday.

Heriberto Caro, aka “Colorin,” led an international drug-trafficking ring that brought about 6 kilograms of methamphetamine from Mexican sources to Cincinnati, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.


Caro obtained the methamphetamine, as well as quantities of cocaine and marijuana, from unknown sources with ties to the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas — two of the most feared drug cartels in Mexico, according to court documents.

Caro, 36, and four others were arrested in September at a Cincinnati hotel, the release states.

Drug Enforcement Agency agents and task force officers arrested the men as a result of an investigation into a drug-trafficking organization operating in Texas, Colorado, Mexico and Ohio.

All five men pleaded guilty, the release states.

- Bernardo Olivares-Cepeda, 36, of Corpus Christi, Texas was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison.

- Jose Ayvar-Ramos, 36, born in San Pedro, Mexico but residing illegally in Texas and Oklahoma was sentenced to 15 1/2 years in prison.

- Ivan De Los Santos, 24, born in San Pedro, Mexico but residing illegally in Texas was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

- Alberto Sanchez, 37, born in Caahuila, Mexico but residing illegally in Texas is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 18.

The Cincinnati Police Department and Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation.




SIKESTON, Mo. — A Sikeston woman is in jail facing felony charges for meth labs found in her home.

Sherrie Jane Hamlin, 44, is charged by the Scott County prosecutor’s office with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, possessing meth precursors with intent to manufacture meth and possession of meth paraphernalia.

About 3:04 p.m. Monday, detectives from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety responded to assist the New Madrid County Sheriff’s Department on an ongoing investigation at a home on the 100 block of Comstock Street, said Capt. Jim McMillen, public information officer for Sikeston.

“Our investigation was into counterfeit money and it led us into Scott County,” New Madrid County Sheriff Terry Stevens said.

Hamlin gave officers permission to search the home, Stevens said.

During the search, officers found what appeared to be meth lab items in the garage, kitchen and a bedroom, according to McMillen.

“Some were more recently used than others,” he said.

Hamlin was in custody at the Mississippi County Detention Center on $25,000 a cash or surety bond.

As for charges in New Madrid County, “we are going to submit the results of our investigation to our prosecutor for his decision,” Stevens said.

“The investigation is continuing and there is the possibility of additional arrests,” McMillen said.




A Tennessee contractor charged with illegally certifying that homes where methamphetamine was produced were livable again entered a guilty plea Wednesday.

Douglas Earl McCasland, 46, pleaded guilty to the 12th count of his indictment in U.S. District Court in Jackson.

The charge is that from October 2011 through June 6, 2013, McCasland “devised a scheme and artifice to defraud, and obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises and thereafter for the purpose of executing the scheme and artifice, to cause fraudulent payments by use of the mail,” according to the indictment.

The specific count is that he did so regarding a property owned by Montgomery James on Dromedary Lane in Memphis, the indictment says.

McCasland was initially charged with 10 counts of mail fraud and three counts of making false statements.

In exchange for the plea, the United States will dismiss the remaining counts against McCasland.

His sentence will not exceed 18 months of imprisonment, to be served through probation and home detention. He must also pay restitution to those who sustained a loss because of his actions. Twenty-five individuals were listed on the plea agreement with restitution totaling about $100,000.

His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 21.

McCasland’s lawyer, William J. Morrow, said McCasland also has cases against him in about nine counties. Morrow said he believed some counties would drop their charges after seeing the plea agreement and allow all cases to be resolved through the federal case.

The indictment stated that McCasland was certified by the state of Tennessee as a Methamphetamine Remediation Contractor, but not as a CML Industrial Hygienist. McCasland created or directed the creation of certificates of fitness for unfit properties, even after being warned against doing so by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, authorities have said.

The indictment lists at least nine properties in Shelby, Dyer, Hardin, Carroll, Humphreys and Coffee counties in West and Middle Tennessee where McCasland was accused of having improperly certified the homes as being safe for habitation.




An alert citizen who reported a prowler and suspicious vehicle in a residential area in Sooke early Wednesday led police to a stolen vehicle containing stolen goods, drugs and replica handguns.

The resident called 911 about 4:45 a.m. to report the suspicious vehicle near Winona Close.

Police located a pickup truck, which they determined had been reported stolen from Saanich about a week ago, said Sooke RCMP Staff Sgt. Jeff McArthur.

Two people inside the truck were arrested and taken to Sooke RCMP detachment.

The truck was loaded with stolen property including three mountain bikes, a motorcycle, a chainsaw and several cellphones and other electronics.

Police also found two replica handguns and methamphetamine in the truck.

“It appears that the pair were actively involved in theft to sustain their methamphetamine addiction,” McArthur said.

A 31-year-old man and 22-year-old woman, both of Victoria, were arrested and are facing charges of possession of stolen property. They were held in custody and were to appear before a justice of the peace on Wednesday night.

The stolen property is being catalogued. Sooke RCMP plan to post photos of the items on its website at on Friday.




AN UNLICENSED Launceston mother has been busted speeding and driving on drugs in an incident that shocked police.

On Tuesday police across the state launched a well-publicised back to school safety blitz to mark the end of the winter break.

The campaign was aimed at drink and drug driving.

On that day, about 1pm, police saw a 26-year-old woman driving at 95 km/h in a 60 km/h zone along Vermont Road.

After pulling her over, police discovered she was unlicensed and a drug test detected methamphetamine in the mother’s body.

According to police, the northern suburbs resident said she’d forgotten about picking up her child at preschool and was rushing to meet him.

Northern Road and Public Order Safety Inspector Darren Hopkins said it was quite shocking.

“How do other parents feel that they’d got a drug-affected parent driving in at speed to pick up her kid,” he said. “Not only is she speeding, she shouldn’t be in the car anyway because she’s unlicensed, but also she’s on methamphetamine.

“Not only is she a risk to others and herself, but also the kids in the area.”

Inspector Hopkins said the woman would be proceeded against once results from the blood test were confirmed.





A flight attendant who worked for Air New Zealand for 24 years has been charged with bringing 25 grams of methamphetamine into the country concealed in his uniform jacket.

Douglas Wayne Reimer, 49, appeared in the Manukau District Court today facing the charge of importing methamphetamine.


The former flight attendant previously appeared in court in May when he was granted interim name suppression because his father was terminally ill.

Suppression was lifted today and defence lawyer Bruce Hesketh said his client’s father had now died, and Reimer did not want to cast suspicion over his former colleagues.

Court documents show police allege Reimer arrived off a flight from Los Angeles at Auckland International Airport at 6am on May 15.

He signed an air crew declaration form, declaring he was not bringing any illegal goods in to New Zealand.

He went through Customs where he was subject to a “second intervention” and his baggage was selected to be x-rayed, the police summary of facts said.

The x-ray showed a concealment within the uniform jacket he had been wearing on the flight.

Police allege that on further inspection, a customs officer found two zip-lock bags within the jacket containing crystal methamphetamine with a street value of $581.

Reimer said he had been approached by a man in Los Angeles, from whom he bought the drugs.

Police said Reimer told them he then went back to his hotel room, where he made the concealment within his jacket.

Reimer often worked long-haul flights between New Zealand and The United States, and was in the position of in-flight co-ordinator, court documents say.

A Customs spokeswoman said in a statement that Customs screens cabin crew like all other passengers.

“Customs processing [for cabin crew] is the same.

“For example, a crew member may be questioned by Customs as a result of a profiling assessment or a dog indication.”

Air New Zealand would not comment on the specific case because it is before the courts.

It said in a statement that there is a strict drug and alcohol policy for staff.

“For obvious safety and security reasons, Air New Zealand has a very clear and strict alcohol and other drug policy including zero blood alcohol levels while at work.

“Employees in safety sensitive roles are required to undergo random alcohol and other drug testing.”

Reimer did not enter a plea and will be back in Manukau District Court in September. He was released on bail.

The maximum penalty for importing methamphetamine into New Zealand is life imprisonment.





A Myrtle Beach man will likely face a drug charge after he told police he tried to make methamphetamine in a Pepsi bottle and it caught on fire, according to David Knipes with Myrtle Beach Police.

Officers were called to a report of a structure fire in the 300 block of 1st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach early Wednesday morning.

Matthew Philipscheck, 31, told police everyone in the apartment was sleeping so he “decided to make some meth,” according to a police report.

The report said he told police he added chemicals into the soda bottle and shook it.

When he added water into the bottle, he told officers the bottle caught on fire and he threw it out the window.

Knipes said no charges have been filed yet, but he believes Philipscheck will likely be charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine and possibly with additional charges.





CHANGSHA, July 23 (Xinhua) — A drug trafficking case involving a 21-member gang was heard in a central China court on Wednesday.

According to the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court, the case involved more than 222 kilograms of “magu”, a stimulant consisting of methamphetamine and caffeine, and over 20 million yuan (about 3 million U.S. dollars).

The defendants crossed the border to Myanmar to buy the drug in March, the court said.

After they returned to Yunnan Province, they hid the “magu” in boxes and put them into a truck with bananas, which was heading for Hunan Province. The truck was stopped by police, it said.

The court trial will last three days.

Also on Wednesday, other Chinese provinces announced cases that have been cracked.

In Shandong Province, police of Yantai City said they busted a drugs gang, finding over 50 kilograms of methamphetamine and arresting 19 suspects.

According to the police in Nanchang City of Jiangxi Province, they arrested three suspects and confiscated over 30 kilograms of methamphetamine and 100,000 yuan earlier this month.

In Quanzhou City of Fujian Province, police said they had captured 22 people and found two kilograms of different types of drugs.

Chinese courts sentenced 39,762 criminals for drug offenses in the first five months of 2014, up 27.8 percent year on year, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) announced in late June.

JACKSON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) – A Jackson County woman is facing charges after her stillborn baby tested positive for drugs.

Vanessa Brook Adams, 22, of Stevenson, is charged with chemical endangerment of a child.


According to court records, Adams’ baby tested positive for methamphetamine when it died last September.

Adams is the Jackson County Jail on $20,000 bond. She is scheduled to go before a judge August 27.




TYLER, TX (KLTV) – A drug task force arrested two East Texas men and seized more than two-and-a-half kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in an investigation that lasted more than five months.

According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies arrested Uleyses Roberts, 45, and Diijon Howard, 25, in Henderson County for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in East Texas on May 13. The task agency seized marijuana, firearms, money and approximately one-and-a-half kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

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The sheriff says that Roberts and his associates distributed narcotics in Henderson County for more than a decade, and this arrest led to the dismantling of the organization.

Two men from the Dallas area were also arrested in the pursuit of Roberts and Howard; this arrest led to the seizure of an additional kilogram of crystal methamphetamine and a handgun in Kaufman County.

“Working cases like this is the reason why the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office joined the DEA Task Force in Tyler, Texas,” said Sheriff Nutt. “It brings more resources to Henderson County to help with these types of investigations.”

The task force was comprised of DEA Special Agents and officers from the Gregg, Henderson, Smith and Upshur County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Henderson and Kilgore Police Department. Other participating agencies included the Henderson County District Attorney’s Office and the Athens Police Department.

The investigation was initiated by Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Investigators, and the task force was spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tyler Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by the Assistant United States Attorney’s Office in Tyler.




A call to police about a domestic disturbance led to a late-night evacuation of nearby homes after discovery of a methamphetamine lab inside a house in the 600 block of McDonald Street, officials said.

Iberia Parish sheriff’s Lt. Richard Fleming said in a statement that deputies received the domestic disturbance call at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and discovered the suspected lab.

“The occupants of the residence were evacuated, along with the occupants of three nearby homes,” Fleming said.

Haz Mat teams from the New Iberia Fire Department, the Iberia Parish Fire District, the Sheriff’s Office and State Police were on scene, he said.

“Three patrol deputies, along with the two adult occupants of the home, received decontamination treatment at the scene,” Fleming said.

Fleming did not release the names of two meth-lab suspects and said charges were pending as an investigation continues.





WILLARD — A convergence of computer telemetry worthy of a Star Trek episode led to the arrest here in less than 20 minutes of a Montana mother on the run from police for a month.


“There was all kinds of cool technology to this,” said Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Lee Perry of the arrest of Michelle Renee Yallup, 29, at the Flying J truckstop just off I-15 in Willard. “The greatest part is how it came together in less than 20 minutes.”

Since the 9-11 tragedy all 50 states have developed “fusion centers,” as they’re called, with staffs of computer analysts combing databases and sharing info among other fusion centers.

Utah’s is called SIAC, for State Intelligence and Analysis Center, and Montana’s MATIC, for Montana All Threat Intelligence Center.

“It’s a tremendous force multiplier,” said Keith Squires, Utah Public Safety commissioner, who started SIAC in 2008 when he was deputy public safety commissioner.

“The Willard case is a good one to highlight the value of fusion centers to law enforcement. With shotgun blast ATLs over the radio, with all the information generated by law enforcement in a 24-hour period, it can become like white noise to the officers.”

MATIC had been talking to other fusion centers around the West since Yallup was accused of walking out of a Butte-area hospital with her newborn June 17 after she and the infant tested positive for methamphetamine.

The electronic cyber-tumblers fell into place Monday morning after four days of trying.

MATIC had sent SIAC information July 17 that Yallup and the baby were believed to be in northern Utah.

“Who knows how many SIAC tips were run down from Salt Lake City north,” Perry said.

By Monday morning the info had become pinpointed: Yallup was believed to be at Willard Bay, in a 38-year-old motorhome, the info including plate numbers.

A SIAC staffer called the Willard Police Department, Officer Jodi Nix taking the call. She headed out to Willard Bay, but decided to check the Flying J on the way.

SIAC also texted UHP Trooper Josh Carr’s dashboard computer that Yallup was believed to be at the truck stop after Nix had confirmed the plates of Yallup’s motorhome.

SIAC had seen on its monitors — in Sandy — that Carr, per his GPS signal, less than half a mile away, was the closest officer to the Flying J.

He and Nix walked up to Yallup’s motorhome together.

“Yallup asked Josh what he was doing,” Perry said. “He said ‘I’m here to ask you questions about what you’re doing.’”

The officers asked her for permission to search the motorhome, and she declined. Then they asked her to step out, which she did. She was placed under arrest when positively identified by MATIC photos supplied by SIAC.

“As they are handcuffing her she starts to cry and says ‘The baby is in the back,’” Perry said.

A search of the motorhome also turned up marijuana and Yallup was booked into the Box Elder County Jail on forthcoming drug counts as well as the child endangerment warrants out of Montana. The baby was checked at a local hospital where she was found to be fine, now in state Child and Family Services custody.

“It’s a more targeted distribution of information, instead of shotgunning a large geographical,” Squires in trumpeting SIAC for the media Monday afternoon. “It’s an overlay that connects the dots between jurisdictions.”

Virtually all of Utah’s 164 law enforcement agencies now have Intelligence liaison officers trained at the SIAC in Sandy. The 12 staffers there regularly work with federal agencies as well.

The U.S. has fusion centers in all 50 states, a total of 77, California, for instance, needing three.





Police said they were tipped off about a woman selling meth from a room at the Pyramid Village Motel in Clarksville Monday.

When they got there, they said they found drug paraphernalia, meth and tools used to make one-pot meth.

Police arrested Nicole Lorey, who they said was buying meth from Katherine Reiter.

Detectives said Reiter ran to a nearby lumber yard and hid there until officers brought in a police dog.

“She was up in rafters or I guess shelving. She was so deep the dog wasn’t able to get to her but he found her, and they were able to get her out,” said Maj. Darrell Rayborn, with Clarksville Police Department.

Both women are facing several drug-related charges.

They are being held in the Clark County Jail.




CCTV footage shows a motorist — who was reportedly under the influence of drugs — crash into a tree before starting to behave rather oddly.

The video shows the Nissan sedan slam into a tree, flipping over in the process.


Seconds later, the shirtless driver — who had allegedly been under the influence of methamphetamines — crawls out of the wrecked vehicle.

Concerned citizens rush over to the young man, who then proceeds to behave, um, rather “erratically” for the rest of the clip.





See for the video

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Four people were arrested Monday after a meth lab was found at a North Knox County home where three children were living.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says deputies with the narcotics unit were conducting a welfare check on children around 4 p.m. at 5509 Scenicwood Road after an anonymous complaint that a meth lab was inside.

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They met with Leslie Mendez, 26, and her three children. Mendez gave officers permission to search the residence.

When officers approached the back bedroom and laundry room, officers smelled a strong chemical odor. They then found items used to manufacture meth including: a can of Coleman fuel, 12 gas generator bottles, coffee filters, lithium batteries, six bottles of crystal drain cleaner, ammonium nitrate, 12 Sudafed pills, aluminum foil, digital scales, grinders and iodine salt. They also found seven one-pot meth labs.


Now caution tape blocks the front porch, warning signs are posted on the door. Fans air out the fumes. Johnnie Wade lives directly next door to the home that’s been quarantined by authorities.





“Oh that scared me to death, that scared me to death,” said Wade.

Wade saw officers searching her neighbor’s home. Wade has lived on Scenicwood Road in North Knox County for nine years. She says she didn’t know her neighbor well, but says there’s always a lot of activity at the home.

“There was a whole lot of traffic over there all times of night late at night, cars parked on the side,” said Wade.

During the course of the investigation, Johnathan Thompson, 25, Emily Steinbach, 18, and Tammy Mercer, 47, arrived at the home. Deputies say there was an active one-pot meth lab in the back seat of their vehicle.

Thompson was also found to be in possession of a handgun.

All four were charged with promotion of methamphetamine. Thompson was also charged with initiation of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony.

The three children were taken by ambulance to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to be tested for exposure to methamphetamine.

Wade says she often saw children playing at the home.

“I said ‘Lord I hope there’s nothing wrong with them,’” said Wade.



A woman was arrested Thursday after authorities found a meth lab and materials to make meth at a home in Valley Head.

Sherry Denise Gravitt, 37, of Valley Head, was arrested and charged with second-degree manufacture of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.




FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP – An investigation into stolen batteries Monday afternoon led police to a meth-making campsite off of Extension Lane near Catawissa and the arrest of three individuals.

Locust Township Police charged Brittany M. Malernee, 25, of 4559 Tavia Lane, Shallotte, N.C., Steven C. Gatch, 40, of 2 Mersey Ct., Middle River, Md., and Michael T. Potoeski, 23, of 1115 State Route 118, Sweet Valley, with various drug offenses after items for methamphetamine making and a small amount of the narcotic were found at a campsite the three were occupying Monday.

According to court documents filed by Cpl. Christopher Snyder, Catawissa Borough Police Chief Joshua Laidecker called Locust Township Police Monday for a retail theft at the Weis Markets store in Catawissa. Store surveillance video showed two females entered the store and stood near the display of lithium batteries. The two females, one of which was identified as Malernee, were confronted by a store manager about the theft, which both denied.

Snyder, after viewing the video, identified Malernee and was able to obtain a search warrant for a campsite near Roaring Creek in Franklin Township.

The search warrant was served on the site and Malernee was taken into custody, but the batteries were not recovered. Police remained on scene to make and made contact with two males operating Malernee’s vehicle at 9:10 p.m.

The officers took Potoeski and Gatch, who identified himself as “Kevin Storm” into custody. A search of Potoeski found a small tube of a white, crystalline substance in his pants’ pocket. He said, at first, it was a dental substance, but then admitted it was “crank,”another term for methamphetamine. Police also found a pair of brass knuckles and multiple lithium batteries in his pockets.

A search of the campsite and the sedan they used recovered a gallon container of Coleman camp fuel, bottle of drain cleaner, Epsom salt, multiple pieces of steel wool, gas, coffee filters, batteries, a small tube of methamphetamine, a funnel and propane fuel.

Police said while there was no active meth laboratory located, they believe all three had some type of activity in the meth manufacturing process.

All three were charged with possession of multiple precursors needed in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, while Gatch and Potoeski were also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Potoeski was also charged with possession of an instrument of a crime for the brass knuckles, while Gatch faces a charge of giving false information to authorities.

The three were arraigned Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Craig W. Long and committed to Columbia County Prison on $50,000 cash bail. Snyder said Tuesday the reason Malernee was given the high bail for only one charge because Long ruled her as a flight risk with no ties to the area.

A preliminary hearing for all three was set for Thursday, July 31.



Deputies spent hours investigating an abandoned methamphetamine laboratory in Kanawha County. It happened just outside a trailer park that is in the process of shutting down.

Kanawha County deputies said the owner of the trailer off of East DuPont Avenue in Shrewsbury discovered the meth lab late Monday night.

Deputies have not identified a suspect, and no arrests have been made. But right now, deputies are on track to match last year’s number of meth busts, so the problem is not going away anytime soon.

New ways to track meth sales may be key in getting those lab numbers down. But given the mobility of these labs, they can disappear and reappear almost anywhere.

“So far this year, we have had 15 meth labs that the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office has worked in Kanawha County,” Cpl. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office said.

Humphreys said the sheriff’s office has received more than 150 tips through its tip line and website. He said the public telling the deputies where these labs are, is key to shutting them down. The peak year for meth making was in 2008, when 73 labs were busted.

“I can’t say that the labs have actually been decreasing. Right now, we’re on track to match last year’s number at 30 labs in Kanawha County,” Humphreys said.

One way authorities are tracking offenders faster is through a retail program called the NPLEX System. State Police and county officers around the state learned about it Tuesday.

“By blocking sales, it keeps pseudoephedrine out of the hands of criminals who are using it for the wrong reason,” said Bridget Lambert, president of the West Virginia Retailers Association.

NPLEX also will send law enforcement a text message if a meth offender tries to buy a pseudoephedrine product. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky are all linked, so crossing the border will not help an addict.

“Kanawha County stands out the most because they have the largest number of meth labs in the state of West Virginia, and we have now seen the largest number of blocks in the Kanawha County area,” said Lambert.

Deputies said Parkersburg is seeing an uptick in meth use. As for the numbers of labs going down, Humphreys said there is not enough research yet to see if use is down. The next step is pushing for a meth registry. So, if you’re a convicted offender, there is no way to buy.



An investigation into a possible stolen car leads to a meth bust and the arrest of six people on Willis Drive in Longview, a typical residential street that resident Mike Walters says is lined with trees and happy families.

“It’s a quiet neighborhood, a short street.. everybody knows everybody.”


So last fall, when new tenants moved into 1915 Willis Drive, across from Mike Walters and Christina Little, they say it didn’t take long to realize there was something suspicious about their new neighbors.

“We’ve seen many many and out and an exchange happening on the front porch..just outside. I mean there was no doubt in our mind we were like there is absolutely drugs going on across the street.”

Little says the constant flow of traffic at the house at all hours of the night and morning made her feel uncomfortable to let her children play in their own front yard.

“We’re always backyard. I never even let them go on the front porch without me.”

Early Saturday morning, Longview Police were investigating a report of a stolen car at the residence. Longview Police Department PIO Kristie Brian says they found the car..and much more.

“All six of them were arrested for manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance..which is a felony one due to the large amount.”

Police say they found syringes, rolling papers and over 200 grams of crystal meth.

Stephen Cannada, Lacie Dorgan, Carl Gearhart, Gerri Holt, Brandi McAlister and Leland Smith were arrested and jailed on felony drug charges.

Police have been called to the residence 13 other times and Walters and Little say they’re fed up with the homeowner not evicting the tenants or taking any action.

“We’re a little upset with the homeowner for not putting her foot down a little..or something. Six people that were in there the other morning arrested..we don’t know the people..we don’t know the situation..but the homeowner should know who’s in their house.”




The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on Tuesday, said it had  arrested a graduate of Business Administration with 2.185 kilogrammes with substances that tested positive for methamphetamine.

The agency did not mention the name of the suspected drug courier.

The NDLEA, in a statement by its Head, Public Affairs, Mr  Ofoyeju Mitchell, said that the seizure was made at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos.

It said the suspect was to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Malaysia when the drug was detected in his bag.

The statement quoted the agency’s commander at the airport, Mr Hamza Umar, as saying the suspect was found in possession with the illicit substance.

“He had parcels of substances that tested positive for methamphetamine. The case is under investigation,” it quoted Umar as saying.

The statement quoted the suspect as saying he smuggled drugs out of frustration.

He said, “I am a graduate of Business Administration but have been jobless since I graduated in 2008. After several years of joblessness, I became a commercial bus driver in Lagos. I am single and live in Badagry.

“A man I met at a hotel promised to assist me in getting a job in Malaysia. I was happy to travel out of the country even with drugs out of frustration but I was arrested in the process.

“They promised to pay me 3,500 dollars but I regret everything now because I feel empty inside.”

The statement also quoted the agency’s Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, as describing the arrest as disappointing.

“It is very disappointing for a University graduate who knows the implication of his action to get involved in drug trafficking.

“Besides, he was taking the drug to Malaysia where he would have been executed if caught with narcotics.

“I am happy with the arrest and call on members of the public to support the Agency in the eradication of illicit drugs,” the statement quoted Giade as saying.

It said the suspect would soon be charged to court.




SAND SPRINGS, Okla. – Sand Springs police stumbled on a meth lab Sunday while investigating an Oklahoma sex offender who failed to register.

Damon Dunham was arrested for endeavoring to manufacture, possession of drug paraphernalia and various other drug charges.

According to his arrest report, Sand Springs police were contacted by Oklahoma City officers to confirm Dunham’s father’s residence.  Jack Dunham Sr. failed to register as a sex offender, according to the report, and OKC police had an open investigation involving multiple victims within their jurisdiction.


When Sand Springs officers arrived at the home near West 41st Street South and South 252nd West Avenue they heard movement inside but it took awhile for anyone to come to the door, according to the report.

Police say eventually Damon Dunham answered and appeared to be stressed, shaking excessively and pale-faced.

The officers notified Dunham they were there to speak with his father and they say Dunham calmed down, welcoming the officers inside.

According to the report, the officers immediately detected a chemical odor associated with a meth lab, and when they asked Dunham about the smell he said, “Officer, I don’t smell anything.”

Police say Dunham gave them permission to walk through the home, waiving his rights and signing a waiver form.

In the living room, police say they observed a burnt marijuana cigarette in an ash tray on the coffee table, which Dunham said wasn’t his.

In a closet, which police say Dunham gave them permission to search, officers found a plastic bottle with chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine and a propane torch.

At that time, police say Dunham began crying, saying, “No, no, I can’t believe this. Am I going to jail now? No. Oh my God, Oh my God.”

Dunham told officers the remainder of the lab was in a trash bag by the kitchen.  He said he had just bagged up the components and was stressed when he opened the door for the officers because he knew he couldn’t eliminate the odor, according to the report.

In the trash bag, officers found used pseudoephedrine foil packets, stripped lithium batteries, drain cleaner, tubing and other items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Dunham reportedly told officers he was not the primary cook, only that he supplied the pseudoephedrine and he provides the component to other meth cooks in the area in exchange for a profit.

Another plastic bottle filled with chemicals was found in a bedroom, police say.

The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office’s Drug Task Force was dispatched to clean the home of hazardous materials.

Dunham was booked into the Tulsa County Jail on $36,250 bond.