Meth in the News
Professor Nicholas E Goeders
For the most part, I don’t really care what adults want to put into their bodies. I don’t believe that lengthy prison sentences are appropriate just for the simple possession and use of drugs. The money spent to incarcerate them would be better used for treatment.
But when they harm innocents with these drugs, that’s a different matter altogether. And it doesn’t matter if it is a child or an innocent animal.
Case in point is a story that was picked up by news organizations across the United States after it was reported online last Thursday, May 19, 2016. The incident occurred back on March 22.
Tustin is located in Orange County, Calif., and it considered part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. There Tustin police officers found a little terrier mix dog named “Bubba” in a motel room at the Key Inn & Suites on El Camino Real around 9 a.m.
Joshua West, 40, who is Bubba’s owner, was in the room with the little dog. Mr. West was on parole at the time, and police officers found methamphetamine, heroin and used hypodermic needles in the room.
The officers noticed that Bubba was acting strangely, so they called Animal Control to investigate. Tests later confirmed that Bubba had meth and heroin in his blood.
“This strikes me as pretty horrible,” Tustin police Lt. Robert Wright told reporters. “This is the first time we’ve ever heard of someone reporting that an animal has been under the influence.”
Mr. West was subsequently arrested for an outstanding warrant, a parole violation, and possession of meth, drug paraphernalia, and heroin. There was no mention of charges for animal cruelty.
At last report, Bubba was detoxing at OC Animal Care. They will put him up for adoption when he recovers.
Sandpoint is located in northern Idaho. On May 20 it was reported that Samantha Lee Caroline Morikawa, 25, was sentenced to 4 years in prison for using methamphetamine while breastfeeding her 5-month-old daughter from August 2015 to January 2016.
Ms. Morikawa had also been charged with aggravated assault because she allegedly attacked the girl’s father while he was taking the child away from her after finding out about her drug use.
Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Katie Murdock argued that Ms. Morikawa had exhibited an increasing level of violence since 2012, along with sustained drug use.
During sentencing, First District Judge Barbara Buchanan indicated that if Ms. Morikawa successfully completes a prison drug treatment program she may be released early on probation.
Court documents indicate that Ms. Morikawa said that she was unaware that the meth would be passed on to her daughter in her breast milk. Even I know that!
Remarkably, Ms. Morikiawa is currently pregnant with her fourth child. Obviously, she still has a lot to learn!
On May 22, police responded to a house in Winter Haven, Fla., after receiving a tip about possible narcotics use and child neglect there. But nothing could have prepared them for what they would see (and smell).
Inside the home, Winter Haven police officers found Ashley Barnett, 26, along with two children, 2 and 4 years of age, living in what the officers described as “deplorable conditions.”
The house had no running water, and there was an overwhelming odor of feces and rotten food.
Police reported that feces were found smeared on the walls throughout the residence. The toilet was also full of feces, and the bathtub contained about two inches of water with dead and live roaches floating in the water.
Police also said that they could barely find any eatable food in the home.
As they continued to search the house, officers discovered several baggies with a white residue that field tested positive for meth, glass pipes and a small butane torch on a bed. They also located additional drugs and paraphernalia inside the laundry room.
Ms. Barnett and her husband, Richard Barnett, were both arrested and charged with negligent child abuse without bodily harm, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia and were booked into the Polk County Jail.
Also in Florida, at around midnight last Thursday, David Dimarco, who was staying at the America’s Best Inn and Suites in Pensacola, suddenly heard a woman screaming for help.
“There’s no bang, no boom; just a woman next door hollering for help,” Mr. Dimarco told reporters. “When we opened the door, flames and smoke started pouring in our room from next door.”
Faith Cheatham added, “There was this lady that ran out of the room, and there was this huge burst of flames.”
The unidentified woman suffered multiple burns and was transported to a hospital.
Officials with the fire department concluded that the fire was caused by a meth lab in one of the rooms at the motel. The fire produced more than $250,000 in damages.
It concern me that something like that could occur in practically any motel or hotel these days!
Here is something just as frightening.
On Monday, May 16, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper responded to a report of a car stopped in a driving lane of Interstate 94 in Clay County.
There he found the driver, Jeff L. Nygaard, 46, of Fargo, passed out while still sitting behind the wheel of his idling car – in a driving lane, not on the shoulder!
The State Trooper noticed that there were multiple phones in the car. As he tried to speak with Mr. Nygaard to wake him up, the phones began ringing.
The officer also reported that Mr. Nygaard showed signs of methamphetamine intoxication.
A search of the car yielded about 9 ounces of suspected meth as well as items typically associated with selling and using drugs, such as baggies, scales and hypodermic needles, along with a set of brass knuckles.
Mr. Nygaard was arrested and charged with second-degree possession with intent to sell meth. Other charges are pending, including possession of a dangerous weapon and drug paraphernalia.
Just one more.
On May 23, Michael Cunningham, who was under investigation by the Indiana State Police and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, was sitting in his truck on Main Street in Knightstown. As the authorities approached his vehicle, Mr. Cunningham sped away.
As he was pulled from the truck after a short chase, a one-pot meth lab fell to the ground. Thus, Mr. Cunningham was actually caught red handed cooking meth during a police chase.
Sometimes I wonder how safe it really is out there! What is the driver next to you really doing?
Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!
If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.