Author Archive

BLUFF CITY — Five people were arrested by Sullivan County authorities Friday night after they were allegedly caught at a home in Bluff City with multiple active methamphetamine labs.

Authorities with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence on Littrell Private Drive after its owners returned home from being out of town and saw two cars they didn’t recognize in their driveway.

When officers arrived at the scene, they were met by two males, including the homeowners’ grandson, Wesley O’Dell, 32, of Bristol, Tenn., and a female.

O’Dell, who was reportedly not allowed to be at the residence, told authorities and his grandparents that he had come there because it was raining and he had nowhere to go.

The second man on the porch was identified as Charles Hartley, 38, of Bristol, Tenn., while the female was identified as Melissa Timbs, 24, of Elizabethton.

Another male, identified as David Jones, 41, of Bristol, Tenn. was reportedly discovered inside the home during a search by authorities. SCSO K9 Misha reportedly located a second female — Erica Moore, 22 — hiding in a cubby hole in the home’s basement.

While searching the residence, authorities allegedly found several one pot meth lab bottles sitting in plain view.

After being given consent to search the remainder of the home, detectives with the SCSO Vice and Narcotics Unit and Tennessee Meth Task Force reportedly found four active one pot labs, one used cook bottle, 13 used gas generator bottles and a variety of ingredients used to make the drug.

O’Dell allegedly told investigators that the other suspects paid him $100 each for allowing them to cook meth in the residence.

All five were decontaminated at the scene before being transported to the Sullivan County Correctional Facility.

O’Dell, Hartley, Jones and Moore were each charged with burglary, promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Timbs was charged with promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

SCSO officers were assisted on the call by the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force, the Bluff City Police Department and the Avoca Volunteer Fire Department.




MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Macon attorney is giving up his law license after reaching a plea deal in a methamphetamine case.

Arjun Kapoor was sentenced Friday to 10 years on probation. That will include up to six months in a probation detention center. Kapoor pleaded guilty to one count of selling methamphetamine, and prosecutors dropped two other counts. He must also surrender his law license.

The Macon Telegraph ( ) reported that Superior Court Judge Edgar Ennis Jr. told Kapoor that the case reflected poorly on him and on the law profession. Kapoor apologized to the judge.

According to the plea agreement read in court, a police informant was recorded talking to Kapoor in 2009 about getting drugs. Kapoor delivered a small bag containing less than an ounce of methamphetamine and received $40.



SALTON CITY — U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than seven pounds of methamphetamine found hidden in a tow dolly at the Highway 86 checkpoint on Thursday, according to a press release.


El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Indio Highway 86 checkpoint seized 7.35 pounds of meth strung together with fishing line inside a tow dolly axle



Around 9 a.m., Mexican citizen Rafael Garcia-Gonzalez, 46, approached the checkpoint driving a white 2001 Ford F-150 pick-up truck towing a tow dolly, according to the court complaint.

A Border Patrol canine detection team alerted to the vehicle and the driver was referred to secondary inspection. Agents then found a dozen packages of methamphetamine strung together with fishing line hidden inside the axle of the tow dolly.

The methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $235,000.

Garcia-Gonzalez was read his rights and stated that an unknown person gave him the vehicle and trailer in Mexicali and told him to cross the vehicle, according to the court complaint. He was to be paid 2,000 pesos.

He was booked into Imperial County jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.




BOISEMethamphetamine use is a problem that has plagued Idaho since the 1990s. As meth gained popularity, so did the home meth lab. People were creating the drug in their homes using household chemicals.

That is no longer the trend. Meth is now a major item for the Mexican drug cartels.
Meth is one of the most addictive drugs out there. The Idaho Meth Project says in 2008, people did not know the dangers of methamphetamine use and the dangers of living near a meth lab.

“When the Idaho Meth Project first started, one of the biggest issues in Idaho was home meth labs,” said Gina Heideman, Executive Director of the Idaho Meth Project.
The Idaho Meth Project collected data that showed how this has changed to a a significant, steady drop in the number of meth house busts in Idaho.
“Meth labs are down tremendously,” said Heideman. “In fact, Idaho had one of the lowest meth lab rates in the country last year, and this year we’re on track to have even less.”
The number of meth house busts from 1999 to present day, peaked in 2000 with 186 busts. This year, there have only been three, and Heideman credits this change to the crackdown on the sale of pseudo-ephedrine.

“In every single state in the U.S. that has put pseudo ephedrine behind the counter, they’ve seen a reduction in home meth labs in their states. I think that was one of the best decisions that we made,” Heideman said.
With limited access to the key ingredient, authorities are finding fewer meth labs. Most meth is coming in from outside Idaho and outside the US.

“A lot of it is increasingly pure and linked to Mexican cartel activity,” said Wendy Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho. “We’re a further link up the chain from the most active groups along the border.”

In the past year, law enforcement seized seven pounds of meth in Eagle, 12 pounds in Boise, and 52 pounds near Idaho Falls, just to name a few of the trafficking busts.
Olson said the meth trafficking is not isolated to one area of the state.
“It’s a problem that we face on many different levels,” said Olson. “It’s people who are living here. It’s people who are coming here, and I think because there’s this addictive quality to it and a market for it. They’ll find whatever communities they can to push the poison in.”
Idaho State Police said the drop in meth lab busts lets them focus on the main problem, trafficking. Trafficking can cause an increase in violent crime with those involved, and an increase property crime as addicts try to get money to buy the drug.
“There are plenty of people who, unfortunately, are still using meth and engaging in other kinds of criminal conduct,” said Olson. “So it’s really a public safety problem, and a health problem, and a crime problem that really spreads its way through a lot of different parts of our community.”
Idaho State Police detectives say meth prices were at an all-time high three years ago and are starting to drop again.
Meth is the most significant drug crime that Olson and her attorneys prosecute, and she said it’s not slowing down.
Even with increased purity in some of the meth being trafficked from Mexico, drug experts still say you can never trust the source, and never know exactly what you are taking.




Authorities are on the scene of a methamphetamine bust on Scenic Drive off Flourville Road in Boones Creek.

According to Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, deputies went to the residence to serve warrants on Norris when they discovered four, possibly five, one-pot meth labs at the home.


Deputies examine evidence at the lab on Scenic Drive in Boones Creek

Norris reportedly was found hiding in a crawl space beneath the floor. The meth labs were discovered in the garage area of the home.




A Gering mom who sold methamphetamine to someone working for the WING Drug Task Force while her two young sons were in the car has been sentenced to jail this afternoon.

23-year-old Brianna Novotny will be spending the next 36-60 months behind bars after pleading no contest to a charge of distribution of methamphetamine.


She also received 180 days on each count of negligent child abuse, that will run concurrent with the first charge. Those were for each child that was in the vehicle during the meth sale. Prosecuting Attorney Scott Blaha says that the children tested positive for methamphetamine, and showed no disregard to expose them to an exceptionally hazardous drug.

Novotny was also sentenced to 180 days in jail on a separate theft by receiving charge. That will be tacked on top of the 36-60 month sentence.

During sentencing, Novotny asked District Judge Leo Dobrovolny to consider a lesser charge of probation. She told the court, “I want to say I am a drug addict… But I realize now that I am worth it, and I need to be there for my kids. I take full responsibility for everything I did- I just want to be there for my kids.”

Judge Dobrovolny told her that the nature of her crimes as consequences on the community, her family, and her children. Despite a good attitude during her 117 days in the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center, he feels that her criminal ways are likely to recur and that “probation is not likely to succeed.”

Novotny will be eligible for parole in 18 months, and could be out in 36 months with mandatory good-time law.




COLUMBIAMethamphetamine and heroin abuse increased significantly in Boone County from 2011 to 2012, according to state data.

In Boone County, methamphetamine abuse increased more than 30 percent and heroin nearly 45 percent from 2011 to 2012. Abuse of other substances, such as alcohol and cocaine, decreased, according to a report by the Division of Behavioral Health.


In 2012, 1,007 people were admitted to Boone County’s Division of Behavioral Health substance abuse programs. That’s down from 1,439 people admitted in 2010. In the past three years, methamphetamine and heroin are the only substances for which admissions have grown



The report also revealed a nearly 50 percent increase in overall stimulant abuse in Boone County during the period. Stimulants include methamphetamine and other amphetamines.

The number of meth labs detected in Boone County also increased — from seven in 2011 to 20 in 2012, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol website.

Prescription drugs might be contributing to the increase in drug abuse. Once people become addicted to one substance and can’t obtain it, they’re more likely to become addicted to other substances, said Linda Frost, prevention director of the Family Counseling Center of Missouri.

More young people addicted

According to the report, people ages 18 to 24 made up the greatest number of substance abusers in Boone County in 2012, and the number of addicts younger than 18 increased by more than 20 percent from 2011 to 2012.

This also holds true nationally, according to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Young people can be more easily addicted to drugs if they come from a family with a history of drug abuse or if they suffer from mental illness; they are also more likely to become addicted if they don’t go to school often or don’t have strong connections with other people in the community, said Ryan Worley, coordinator of the Youth Community Coalition.

Prescription drugs may also be a factor for drug abuse among young people.

“We’ve seen that particularly through the relationship between painkillers and heroin,” Frost said.

According to the latest national research findings, abuse of prescription painkillers has replaced heroin abuse as the most common cause of opiate overdoses. Many of those who die from drug overdoses are of lower socioeconomic status, said Eddie Adelstein, medical examiner for Boone, Callaway and Greene counties.

According to Trust for America’s Health, Missouri is now the only state that doesn’t have a monitoring system for prescription drugs. Missouri’s first bill on establishment of the prescription drug monitoring program was introduced in its House in 2007, and there have been eight House bills and three Senate bills calling for a monitoring program. None of them was passed.

The Missouri Prescription Drug Monitoring Program NOW Coalition — consisting of individuals and 36 groups and agencies — is now pushing for the passage of the legislation.

Realization and recovery

Estimates of the total costs of illicit drug abuse amount to $193 billion annually, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website. At the individual level, the costs are devastating.

“When people get pretty involved in their addiction, it ultimately is not fun anymore,” said Tanya Weigand, addiction recovery director of Family Counseling Center for  the central Missouri region.

Addicts struggle with medical and relationship problems, which can lead some people to try to end their addictions, Weigand said.

“But the problem is every time people try to stop using (drugs), the withdrawal symptoms are so significant that they can be painful, and they are really sick,” Weigand said.

Longtime methamphetamine abusers may find it difficult to replace the pleasure offered by the drug, which leads to further abuse, according to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“So it is a vicious cycle,” Weigand said.

People who attend the treatment programs at the Family Counseling Center usually spend about one month in inpatient clinics and continue their recovery through outpatient services, and relapses are common among patients, Weigand said.

“They get triggered by things, or they fall into old patterns, or temptation,” Weigand said. “And sometimes (they) take a couple steps back, and then we help them get back onto their goals.

“It really is a lifelong process,” she said.





A Caldwell County man out on bond for two previous drug arrests was busted again this week, the sheriff’s office says.

Roger Dale Franklin Sr., 51, of Lenoir, was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop by sheriff’s office drug agents.


Roger Dale Franklin Sr., 51, of Lenoir, was arrested this week for the third time since August on drug charges, authorities say

Investigators say agents had been watching Franklin and Sheila Hamby Sipes, 39, during the afternoon and evening. Authorities say they suspected Franklin had resupplied with methamphetamine, so they stopped his vehicle.

Agents said they found more than a half-ounce of crystal meth, along with $1,175 in cash and drug paraphernalia.

Franklin was arrested Aug. 19 by Lenoir police, who said they caught him with 12.5 grams of meth, 3.2 grams of cocaine, and more than $4,000 in cash. Then he was arrested in September by the sheriff’s office, which said he had 3 grams of methamphetamine.

Franklin was charged this week with maintaining a vehicle to store and keep a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine.

Sipes was charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver methamphetamine.

A Park Falls man is facing methamphetamine charges after coworkers called police after the man reportedly brought a butcher knife to work, acted strangely and crashed his truck into the Flambeau River after he left the building.

According to court documents, on Oct. 18 an officer was paged to Saunders Wood Products in Park Falls to speak to employees about the incident.


Employees said the man acted impaired on some type of drug. According to the criminal complaint, the man got into a verbal argument with another employee. A supervisor asked to speak to the man, but that’s when employees say the man left in his truck and drove into the Flambeau River.

The man, later identified as Zach Montgomery, 24, was not injured. During questioning, Police located drugs, later identified as meth in the man’s pocket.

Montgomery is expected to be charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession Drug Paraphernalia to store methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia during an initial appearance on Dec. 17. He’s currently free on $1,500 signature bond.

The man’s wife, Brittany Montgomery, 25, is also facing charges.




During the last two days Whanganui Police have made a serious dent in the supply and distribution of methamphetamine in Whanganui.

Sixty staff from across the Central Police District have assisted in executing 15 search warrants at residential properties across Whanganui.

The searches were supported by members of the Armed Offenders Squad. This was done for the safety of the staff involved and for the safety of the community. Some firearms were located but the public were not at risk at any time.

A total of 17 people have been arrested and face charges ranging from possession of methamphetamine for supply, supplying methamphetamine, cultivating cannabis, and supplying cannabis.

More than 100 grams of methamphetamine has been recovered during the searches, plus firearms and cannabis. The methamphetamine alone has an approximate street value of between $40,000 and $85,000.

Stolen property also located included a motor vehicle, chainsaws, and televisions. From enquiries completed to date it appears some of these have been stolen for the purpose of swapping for methamphetamine.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby says that a major disappointment when officers executed the search warrants was that young children were found at three of the addresses in environments that were completely inappropriate for children.

“It’s tragic that people engaging in these illegal and dangerous activities have young children present and don’t believe or care about the negative impact it is having on their children,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby.

“The use of methamphetamine is damaging families in this community and the Police, Child Youth and Family, and community groups will continue to work together and take a proactive approach to protect children and prevent them having to live in these environments.”

Child Youth and Family assisted in ensuring the children were removed from their environment and placed with extended family for their own wellbeing.

“The officers involved in this operation have spent long hours over many months investigating the supply and distribution of methamphetamine into the community. These arrests are the culmination of those efforts and show the determination to disrupt the flow of drugs.

“People don’t want illicit drugs tainting their communities and this is made clear by the public passing on information to us.

“The public can be assured that Police will continue to target people that think they can bring methamphetamine into the community and distribute it,” says Detective Senior Sergeant Kirby.

If you have information about drug manufacture or supply rings please call your local Police Station. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.




  • Online  retailer Firebox is selling its ‘Blue Sky Candy’ in 130g (4.5oz)  bags
  • Mints look  like TV series Breaking Bad’s blue-coloured crystal meth
  • Methamphetamine is now one of the world’s most  addictive drugs


A gift firm has come under fire for selling  mints that look like Breaking Bad’s crystal meth – dubbing them ‘crystal  menth’.

Online retailer Firebox is advertising its  ‘Blue Sky Candy’ – which comes in 130g (4.5oz) bags – for £7.99.

It claims the peppermints are ‘99.1 per cent  pure’ and compares them to methamphetamine, a highly addictive, crystal-like  drug.

Lookalike: Online retailer Firebox is selling its 'Blue Sky Candy' in 130g (4.5oz) bags - for £7.99Lookalike: Online retailer Firebox is selling its ‘Blue  Sky Candy’ – dubbed ‘crystal menth’ – in 130g (4.5oz) bags


Blue Sky Candy
breaking bad

Inspiration: The peppermints have been inspired by the  blue-coloured substance made by chemistry teacher Walter White, right, in  Breaking Bad


It also admits to using cult TV series  Breaking Bad – which prominently features crystal meth dealers – as inspiration  for the blue-coloured product.

On its website, Firebox boasts: ‘Cooked up in  the Firebox lab under strictly controlled conditions, Blue Sky Candy is  authentic looking peppermint rock candy inspired by the hit series Breaking  Bad.

‘Coming in at 99.1% chemically pure, we’re  manufacturing some serious weight, allowing us to offer these 4.5oz bags at  street value.

‘So break off a chunk and enjoy some quality  crystal menth… just don’t tell the narcos.’

Trailer for Breaking Bad’s much-anticipated  finale

Awareness: The cult TV series has brought metheamphetamine into the public consciousnessAwareness: The cult TV series has brought  metheamphetamine – a highly addictive drug – to public attention

At the bottom of the website, it notes: ‘This  is NOT actually crystal meth’.

Unlike methamphetamine – which can include  common household chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner and lantern fuel  – ‘Blue Sky Candy’ is said to include sugar, glucose, peppermint oil and colour  E133.

Consumers can also pre-order the product  legally on Firebox’s website.

‘Distributed using trusted yet completely  secretive methods, we bring our product directly to you, hassle free’ its  website states.

Multi award-winning: Walter White, left, played by Bryan Cranston, and Aaron Paul, right, played by Jesse Pinkman, both feature in the dramaMulti award-winning: Walter White, left, played by Bryan  Cranston, and Aaron Paul, right, played by Jesse Pinkman, both feature in the  drama


Last night, a spokesman for leading drugs  charity Cranstoun condemned the firm’s ‘trivialisation’ of methamphetamine,  which can lead to severe paranoia, lesions, hallucinations and even  death.

She told The Sunn: ‘Trivialising this drug is  ultimately irresponsible as it takes one further step towards normalising what  can be catastrophic substance use.’

Breaking Bad, which saw its finale attract a  staggering 10.3million viewers in September, has brought metheamphetamine into  the public consciousness.

The multi award-winning drama follows the  life of chemistry teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, who, after  being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, starts making crystal meth to secure  his family’s future.

Firebox has refused to comment.


Methamphetamine – often referred to as  ‘crystal meth’ – is a highly addictive drug that stimulates the brain and  nervous system.

It is Class A drug – with those in possession  of it risking up to seven years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.


Supplying the substance can result in life  imprisonment.

Even in small doses, methamphetamine can  increase wakefulness and physical activity, while decreasing  appetite.

Illegal: Methamphetamine - or 'crystal meth' - is a Class A drugIllegal: Class A drug methamphetamine – or ‘crystal  meth’ – is one of the world’s most addictive substances


It can also cause a variety of cardiovascular  problems, including rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat and increased blood  pressure.

An overdose can lead to hyperthermia and  convulsions – and if not treated immediately, can result in death.

The short-term effects of methamphetamine may  include:

  • Increased attention and decreased  fatigue
  • Increased activity and  wakefulness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Euphoria and rush
  • Increased respiration
  • Rapid/irregular heartbeat
  • Hyperthermia

For more information, visit:




Nov. 22, 2013. On Nov.19, Narcotics Detectives from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Boone Police Department initiated one of the largest methamphetamine cleanup responses, if not the largest, in North Carolina history.

Through a joint investigation by Narcotics Officers from both agencies, detectives learned of an isolated location, which has been used, on multiple occasions, for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Meth 2

The many packets of pseudoephedrine found.



On Tuesday morning, after receiving a search warrant signed by a Superior Court Judge, detectives walked along wooded property off of N.C. 105 South and located a small wooden shack which contained multiple “Shake and Bake” meth labs.  The property is owned by Watauga County and neighbors the old High School property.

After a full day of searching the property, detectives located and seized a total of 181 “Shake and Bake Meth Labs” and 289 packages of pseudoephedrine.

According to the State Bureau of Investigation, the methamphetamine manufacturing site was one of the largest seen in NC, if not the largest in the state.  The total amount of pseudoephedrine seized is equivalent to almost one pound of methamphetamine being manufactured.  The estimated street value on one pound of methamphetamine is approximately $50,000.

Due to the size of the multiple meth labs, along with lab trash, and chemicals, an independent cleanup crew was contracted rather than a typical response by the State Bureau of Investigation.  AEO, Advanced  Environmental Options, a hazardous waste disposal/emergency response team, who services both NC and SC, assisted with the cleanup of the contaminated meth site.  Approximately 200 pounds of hazardous waste and contaminants were taken from the site location.  According to the response team from AEO, it was the largest meth site the company has seen in North or South Carolina.  The total time spent to clean up the site was three days:  Tuesday – search and seizure of the meth labs and precursors, Wednesday – hazardous waste removal, and Thursday – site cleanup.

Sheriff Len Hagaman also wished to specifically thank County Manager Deron Geouque for cementing a coordinated effort between law enforcement and the Watauga County Solid Waste Staff and Transfer Station Maintenance for their expertise and heavy equipment operations in the thorough clean up and mitigation of the site.

Hagaman also wanted to thank Chief Dana Crawford, the Command Staff, and Narcotics Officers of the Boone Police for this team effort and further stated, I think Chief Crawford would agree that meth is probably the ugliest and most addictive drug that has come down the pike in 40 years.”

“Methamphetamine is a cancer eating away at our state. Meth impacts families, communities and the environment and it’s crucial we bring this problem under control,” Hagaman said.


photo 3

The meth hut, as Sheriff Len Hagaman described the structure.


photo 2

The meth hut, as Sheriff Len Hagaman described the structure.

meth 1 Meth 2  photo 1

Both the Boone Police Narcotics Officers and Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Special Operations Deputies agree that, “Methamphetamine (meth) is a major concern for North Carolina and Watauga County citizens, and local law enforcement because it is known to induce violent, erratic behavior in users. That behavior puts the community and law enforcement at risk. Meth laboratories contain extremely dangerous substances and pose significant health hazards to those who come in contact with these sites, including the general public and law enforcement agents who are often the first responders to a clandestine lab scene. These sites are so toxic that experts are required to be called upon to properly dispose of the chemicals found according to EPA specifications.”

In the joint operation, detectives have identified multiple suspects who are persons of interest in the investigation.  The investigation is ongoing and arrests are expected.




Kanchanaburi, Thailand — A lost and crying seven-year-old Myanmar boy was found on the roadside with a stash of  10,000 methamphetamine pills in his backpack by Thai police, apparently having been tricked into carrying the drugs.

Police said they were notified of the lost boy who could not speak the Thai language.

A policeman guards bags of methamphetamine pills during the 40th Destruction of Confiscated Narcotics ceremony in Ayutthaya province

A Thai policeman guards bags of methamphetamine pills, a popular drug in Thailand known as “yaba”


After taking him to the local police station to communicate with him through a translator, they discovered 9,953 “yaba” pills in his backpack hidden inside plastic baby powder bottles, according to a Bangkok Post report.

The boy told police he lived in Myanmar’s Phaya Tongsu district on the Thai border.

He said he lived with his mother, but had travelled to Thailand with his uncle and two other people.

He was let out of the pickup truck where he was found, he said.

Police suspect the boy was being used to courier the drugs.

Investigations are ongoing in the case.










West Virginia State Police have uncovered nine active methamphetamine laboratories and three “meth dumps” in southern West Virginia and have arrested 32 people on charges related to methamphetamine production in the past month, officials announced Friday.

First Sgt. Michael Baylous of the Charleston detachment said the raids were part of a State Police effort started Oct. 26 to discover how pervasive the methamphetamine problem is throughout the southern part of the state.

“We wanted to know how bad the problem was outside of the Kanawha Valley,” said Baylous. “What we found was there were quite a few in the month period of time.

“It’s more widespread than we thought.

“It’s the matter of having the right amount of resources and manpower to address the situation.”

Baylous said more methamphetamine labs are mobile labs that suspects can take from location to location, also called “one pot” or “shake and bake” labs.

One of the by-products of “one pot” lab is a “meth dump,” or a remnant of the lab that is left in the woods, in a home or at other locations, said Baylous.

Since Oct. 26, one “meth dump” has been found in Raleigh, one in Fayette and one in Greenbrier County, according to Baylous.

Methamphetamine doesn’t just hurt addicts, Baylous said.

“Contamination comes from the meth labs and the people around them that take the chemicals out into the general public,” said Baylous. “Sometimes their kids are exposed to it, they take it to school, and other kids are exposed to it.

“It’s unbelievable, how toxic these chemicals are,” he said, adding that explosions are also a possibility when meth is being made.

Baylous said troopers are focusing more efforts on educating the public about safety issues related to methamphetamine.

He noted that abuse of the drug is both a moral and social problem.

While State Police don’t yet have the manpower to form a meth task force, they are treating the problem seriously and dedicating as much time and effort to cracking down on illegal meth operations as possible.

Community members can help by reporting suspected meth labs to police.

The recent arrests were made from community reports, reports by drug informants and “good, old-fashioned police work,” Baylous said.

He said Trooper First Class L.W. Price spearheaded the recent investigative focus on meth labs in the area.

The following felony arrests for operating a mobile methamphetamine lab were made in local counties:

Raleigh County: Ronald Roberts, 3 counts

Fayette County: Earnest Sorrells, 3 counts; Melinda Gwinn, 3 counts; Ralph Bland, 3 counts; Abraham Ennis, 3 counts; Angelique Ramsey, 2 counts; Ryan Dodd, 3 counts; Emily Murray, 2 counts; Daniel Price, 3 counts; Matthew D. Fox, 2 counts; Jerry M. Moul, 2 counts, Gerald W. Hunter, 2 counts

Summers County: James P. Hunt, 3 counts; Codi S. Bowles, 2 counts, Roger W. Reed, 3 counts; Kandi A. George, 3 counts

Greenbrier County: Matthew Falls, 3 counts

Additional arrests were made in Webster, Pendleton, Randolph and Braxton counties.



Vivian police officers are being credited with uncovering a working methamphetamine lab on Wednesday night after neighbors reported smelling an odor and suspecting drug activity.

Vivian Police Chief Ryan Nelson said his officers received information from a concerned neighbor about an odor coming from a residence at 546 W. Nevada St., and officers responded to investigate.


When Officer Tracey Small arrived at the house to make contact with the residents, she immediately could see and smell the fumes coming from inside the mobile home at the residence.

When she began to confront and detain the residents, Raymond Allen Williams, 22, began to fight with her, causing her to sustain minor injuries.

Officers eventually took Williams along with two other residents into custody for further investigation of the suspected methamphetamine laboratory.

The other two suspects were identified as Alexis Thompson and Michael Boatman.

Caddo Parish Fire District No. 8 and North Caddo Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene to render aid to Small and to assist with ventilation of the residence while narcotics agents with the Caddo- Shreveport Narcotics Task Force investigated and removed the clandestine laboratory from the home.

Agents E.J. Parker and Henry Whitehorn Jr. said it appeared that the residents were in the process of cooking up a batch of methamphetamines when police came knocking on their door



All three suspects were transported to the Caddo Correctional Center, where they were booked into jail. Thompson and Boatman were charged with creation or operation of clandestine labs and manufacturingdistribution of schedule II drug.

Williams was charged with creation/operation of a clandestine lab within 1,000 feet of school, manufacturing/ distribution of schedule II drugs, resisting an officer by force, battery on a police officer, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.



Police are disappointed young children were found at properties in Whanganui that were part of a methamphetamine distribution ring.

Police and the armed offenders squad raided 15 houses and arrested 17 people over the past two days, police said on Friday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Kirby says officers found young children at three properties in environments that were completely inappropriate for children, which was a major disappointment.

“It’s tragic that people engaging in these illegal and dangerous activities have young children present and don’t believe or care about the negative impact it is having on their children.”

Child, Youth and Family had placed the children with extended family for their wellbeing, Det Sen Sgt Kirby said.

“The use of methamphetamine is damaging families in this community and the police, Child, Youth and Family, and community groups will continue to work together and take a proactive approach to protect children and prevent them having to live in these environments.”

Officers found firearms, cannabis and more than 100 grams of methamphetamine with a street value between about $40,000 and $85,000 at the properties.

Stolen property, including a car, chainsaws and televisions, was also found and it appears some items had been swapped for methamphetamine, Det Sen Sgt Kirby said.

Those arrested are facing methamphetamine and cannabis possession, cultivation and supply charges.

The arrests were the culmination of several months work into the supply and distribution of methamphetamine in the community, Det Sen Sgt Kirby said.

“People don’t want illicit drugs tainting their communities and this is made clear by the public passing on information to us.”



During a recent drug bust, investigators for the King County Sheriff’s Office told KIRO 7 they found something they’d never seen before: liquid methamphetamine. It was inside a cooler found hidden in a Kent closet.

The undercover detective working the case, who cannot be identified, told KIRO 7 that he and others were serving a search warrant recently at a home connected to a 30-year-old man who was pulled over with $15,000 hidden in his vehicle. In addition to the cooler with liquid meth, the detective also found a pound of cocaine and two pounds of finished crystallized meth inside the home.

The 30-year old “was taking the transported liquid methamphetamine, letting it return to a crystal form, breaking it up, and then selling it,” Deputy David Mendez told KIRO 7 Reporter Amy Clancy. Deputy Mendez can be identified because he’s not undercover. He’s part of the KCSO’s bomb and hazmat team, so it’s his job to get rid of the meth in the cooler, which has begun crystallizing. Meanwhile, the suspect has been arrested.

Although Mendez and the undercover detective said this is the first case of liquid meth they have seen, an Internet search reveals that meth hidden in liquids is becoming more common. It has also led to deaths when people have unknowingly taken a drink from containers holding the highly concentrated methamphetamine. This is why liquid meth is not a new way to take the drug, just transport it.

Liquid methamphetamine

Liquid methamphetamine




Mendez and the undercover detective told KIRO 7 that most of the meth is made in Mexico and transported across the border, hidden in liquid, often in tequila bottles.



MUNCIE — Police say a receipt left in a trashed methamphetamine lab tossed along the side of the road led to three Muncie women accused of manufacturing the toxic drug.

Dawn Marie Heath, 41, Misty Dawn Jones, 38, and Shelley Jo Watkins, 30, are each preliminarily charged with dealing in and possession of meth and possession of drug precursors.


The investigation began Oct. 30, when police found remnants of two meth labs that were thrown along the side East Centennial Avenue. One lab was discovered thrown near a tree off the north side of the 2600 block of East Centennial Avenue; the other lab, meanwhile was found about a half-mile to the east, within a field off the south side of Centennial Avenue, near Ault Avenue.

TSP ARCHIVES: Two trashed meth labs found on East ...

Two trashed meth labs found on East …: Police were immediately unsure if there was a connection between two meth labs found thrown along the side of the road in Muncie



The Indiana State Police’s Meth Suppression Section was called to the scene to investigate. According to a probable cause affidavit, a receipt left in one of the discarded labs led officers on Nov. 14 to Heath and Jones’ residence at 115 E. Willard St. in Muncie. During a search, officers reported finding at least one meth lab, as well as “items associated with manufacturing meth.”

Heath, Jones and Watkins — who was visiting at the time — were arrested and booked into the Delaware County jail that day. They were each released Thursday morning and are yet to be formally charged.

Indiana State Police Trooper Richard Clay told The Star Press on Thursday the case remains under investigation.

According to court records, Heath was convicted of burglary in 2005, the same year Jones was convicted of theft. Watkins has no prior convictions, records indicate.



ROVILLE — Butte County sheriff’s detectives conducted a traffic stop and arrested two men Wednesday night in Oroville after finding methamphetamine hidden in the vehicle’s steering column.

The detectives arrested Derek Barnett, 24, of Paradise, and Andrew Thomas, 24, of Chico.

According to a Sheriff’s Office news release Thursday, the traffic stop was conducted around 7:40 p.m. by the sheriff’s Gang Unit on a vehicle at Montgomery Street and Highway 70.

Detectives recognized the driver as Barnett, who was known to have a suspended driver’s license and a recent history of illegally possessing firearms, officials stated.

Thomas was the passenger and was wanted on an arrest warrant for drug-related offenses.

During the stop, detectives found approximately three ounces of suspected methamphetamine concealed in the steering column.

Both men were arrested on suspicion of possession, transportation and sale of methamphetamine and were booked into the Butte County Jail.

Thomas’ bail was set at $51,000. Barnett’s bail was set at $52,000.


A Sissonville man wanted on meth charges was found hiding in his girlfriend’s home, deputies say.

Kanawha deputies and deputy U.S. Marshals working together in the CUFFED task force went Tuesday to a home on Shady Ridge Road to investigate a tip concerning 35-year-old Jonathan Joseph “JJ” Riccio. A bench warrant was issued for Riccio’s arrest.

Riccio, of Sissonville, was wanted for conspiracy, operating a meth lab and two counts of exposing children to meth, sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Brian Humphreys said in a release.

Jonathan Riccio


Alisha Amber Fisher, 24, of Sissonville answered the door at the Shady Ridge home. Fisher, who deputies knew was in a relationship with Riccio, denied he was in the house. Fisher also was wanted on several misdemeanor charges.

Deputies detained her and searched the home. They found Riccio hiding in a bedroom. Officers also found a rifle, ammunition and drug paraphernalia in the bedroom. Riccio is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms, Humphreys said.

Fisher and Riccio were taken into custody. Additionally, Riccio was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Fisher was free on $500 bond but Riccio remained at South Central Regional Jail on $5,000 bond.



A toddler was taken to the hospital and several arrests were made after police said the makings of a methamphetamine lab were discovered in a room at a motel in Nitro.

                         Jennifer Funk

Nitro police said Thursday they received a call from someone expressing concerns about the safety of an 18-month-old child who was staying in a room at the Economy Inn. Police said they found meth-related materials in the room that were within reach of the toddler, and they arrested the mother of the child and another woman who was staying in the room. The women were identified as Jennifer Funk and Jennifer Boggs. A man also will face charges in connection with the case.

The toddler was exposed to meth fumes and was taken to the hospital. Police are trying to find a 7-year-old  who also was staying in the room so the child can be taken to the hospital and be checked as a precaution.

The two women were taken to the Nitro Police Department for processing and were being arraigned Thursday afternoon.



A Kingston man was arrested early Tuesday morning after his meth lab caught his bedroom apartment on fire.

Roane County deputies arrested Justin Michael Owens, 23, on five counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of manufacturing meth, tampering with evidence, and vandalism following the incident, which occurred at Smith Apartments on Kingston Highway.

According to the Sheriff’s Department incident report, the fire started when there was a “catastrophic failure” of one of the containers involved in the meth-making process.

After the fire was extinguished, deputies allegedly found several common components of meth labs and took Owens into custody. While being questioned, he told investigators that after the fire broke out, he had collected several other meth-making materials in a garbage bag and tossed them into some nearby woods.

The endangerment charges stem from the fact that a family of four, including two children, were in an adjacent apartment and a fifth resident was in another apartment in the building, all of whom “were placed at risk of severe bodily injury or death by the fire.” Those adjacent apartments were evacuated, but the residents were allowed back in after officers determined that “due to the construction characteristics of the building, combined with the heating and cooling systems and septic systems used, as well as the extent of the fire damage of the lab site, that quarantine of the entire apartment complex was not warranted.”

At last check, Owens remained in custody on bonds totaling $67,000.



Two North Chicago men were behind bars Monday after a police dog found a large stash of crystal meth in their car when they were pulled over for speeding, according to the sheriff’s office in Lake County, Ind.

About 4 p.m. Wednesday, a Gary police officer working for the sheriff’s Interdiction Unit was patrolling Interstate 65 just south of Lowell when he saw a 2002 BMW speeding and making unsafe lane changes, a statement from the sheriff’s office said.

The officer pulled over the car, and when he approached it with his K-9 partner, Loki, the drug-detection dog indicated something in the engine area of the vehicle, the statement said.

Under the hood, the officer found 3.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and arrested Alexander Molina, 18, and Alejandro Murilla, 26, both of North Chicago. They were charged with dealing in a controlled substance, the statement said.

They were taken to the Lake County Jail in Crown Point.



A 38-year-old Addison-area man admitted cooking methamphetamine “in the woods” with laboratory equipment police reported finding at his home on Sept. 23.

Scott Allen Francis pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lenawee County Circuit Court to one felony count of operating a laboratory involving methamphetamine. The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison term.

“I made bad choices,” Francis told Judge Margaret M.S. Noe.

He said he has been living in a camper on his property on Herold Highway in Woodstock Township. Chemicals and equipment police found during a search were used to make the drug, Francis said.

“I was cooking out in the woods,” he said.

The methamphetamine he made was for personal use, he said, but he also agreed to testify if necessary in cases involving two women charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

One of the women, Vicki Lynn Phillips, 54, of Addison, pleaded guilty to attempted possession of the drug on Oct. 30. The second woman, Jolene Marie Richardson, 37, of Addison, is scheduled for a hearing on Dec. 11.

Noe granted a defense motion to reduce a $300,000 bond for Francis pending his sentencing on Dec. 20. He was ordered released on personal recognizance, but was to be turned over to Hillsdale County authorities to face an insufficient funds check prosecution there.

FUQUAY-VARINA —  A man whom Raleigh police charged this week after finding methamphetamine in his pickup truck had been on the radar of federal drug agents, according to a search warrant issued for his Fuquay-Varina home.

Russell Gaither Snipes Jr., 52, was arrested Monday morning after a traffic stop in Raleigh led to a police dog alerting to the presence of drugs and police finding almost an ounce of methamphetamine, records show.

Russell Gaither Snipes Jr.



The next day, Fuquay-Varina police got a search warrant for Snipes’ home at 225 E. Spring St. and seized a cell phone, a note pad with dollars amounts on it and a sawed-off shotgun, they said in the warrant returned Wednesday to the Wake County Court Clerk’s office.

In their request for the warrant, police said they and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents had conducted surveillance on the home and the truck and had talked with an informant who said he had bought meth from Snipes.

Raleigh police charged Snipes with possession of methamphetamine with intent to make, sell or distribute it and with maintaining a vehicle as a place to keep or sell drugs.

Snipes was freed on bond after his arrest and is due in court again on Dec. 10.