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SOMERVILLE — A Somerset County man with seven prior felony convictions is facing a host of new charges after being caught with methamphetamine, cocaine and a handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets, authorities said Monday.

Eric Black, 35, of London Place in the Somerset section of Franklin Township is charged with first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, three second-degree weapons offenses and a fourth-degree charge of possession of hollow-point ammunition, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court.

A detective working with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force noted that he executed a search warrant on a silver Acura located on the 200 block of East Main Street Friday to find the drugs, two digital scales, more than $1,650 in cash and multiple cell phones, the filing indicated. A second search warrant of a silver Mitsubishi nearby turned up a Ruger P89 semi-automatic handgun loaded with the hollow-point bullets, authorities said.

In a statement Black, who is the owner of both vehicles, claimed ownership of the drugs and the gun, saying that he sells drugs and uses the gun for protection, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Bail for Black was set at $150,000, cash only.



Officers arrested a Lincoln man in connection with a stabbing Monday morning, and found a methamphetamine laboratory.




A Lower Hutt drug dealer may have died from heart disease and his methamphetamine habit, not a recent assault, a Wellington jury has been asked to accept.

Two men are on trial in the High Court charged with the manslaughter of Michael Mulholland, 52, who died on September 20, last year.

Desmond Leaf, 31, and Harlem Rawiri Turi, 32, have pleaded not guilty of manslaughter and a less serious alternative charge of injuring Mr Mulholland with intent to injure him.

Turi is also charged with robbing a woman of $100 when she went to buy drugs at Mr Mulholland’s house in Farmer Crescent, Pomare.

The trial began last week and the Crown today called its last witness.

The defence is calling a pathologist and an expert on the role of methamphetamine as a cause of death.

Defence lawyer Christopher Stevenson, for Turi, said methamphetamine could not be discounted as having caused Mr Mulholland’s fatal heart attack.

Mr Mulholland’s heart was already damaged from chronic methamphetamine use.

The Crown could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the assault, and not some other cause, had stopped Mr Mulholland’s heart, Mr Stevenson said.

Mr Mulholland had not seemed to be suffering the consequences of the assault, he said. He got into his car and drove a short distance before he stopped the car, collapsed and died.

Mr Stevenson said it was not for the defence to prove what had killed Mr Mulholland.

The Crown had to prove that the assault was a substantial and operating cause of death before Turi and Leaf could be found guilty of manslaughter.

The trial is continuing.



KNOXVILLE — The discovery of two single-pot meth labs at a Blount County motel Monday marked the second visit there by a drug task force this year, authorities said.

Blount County’s Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force found the methamphetamine labs in a trash bin outside the Princess Motel on U.S. Highway 411 South on Monday afternoon, according to a Blount County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Investigators found evidence that meth was cooked there very recently, and quarantined one room in the motel.

Personnel with the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force disposed of the hazardous materials.

No arrests were announced.



WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – On Saturday, Wood County deputies responded to a 911 call from the Brookhaven addition off of Farm to Market Road 2869. When they arrived, deputies found a man with knife wounds to his throat and chest.

According to the Wood County Sheriff Jim Brown, a father and son got into an argument about who owned an amount of methamphetamine and a fight ensued. During the fight, the son stabbed the father in the chest and cut his throat.

The father was transported to a Tyler hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery. The son was also taken to the hospital and treated for an overdose on methamphetamine and cocaine.

Investigators recovered a weapon and other evidence from the crime scene. The case is still under investigation and charges are expected to be filed.



The Waynesboro Police Department has arrested a Waynesboro man after a search warrant at his residence revealed a lab for making methamphetamine. Coty Grey Johnson, 24 years old, faces four felony charges involved with the operation of a meth lab.

Coty Grey Johnson

Coty Grey Johnson


On July 18, an officer responded to a call for service in the 700 block of 14 speaking with several individuals including Johnson about the theft, the officer determined there was evidence of possible drug use and manufacturing at the residence, 701 14 is a duplex.

Officers and the Virginia State Police’s Clandestine Lab Team returned to the residence with a search warrant and seized several items including a meth oil, packaging, and other items used in the manufacture and distribution of meth.

There were also three small children (aged one year, three years and five years) in the residence; all of whom were Johnson’s. Johnson has been charged with one count of manufacturing of schedule I or II drug and three counts of knowingly allow a minor under the age of 15 to be present in a dwelling during the manufacture of methamphetamine. For each of the latter charges, Johnson faces the possibility of imprisonment for not less than 10 or more than 40 years, pursuant to §18.2-248.02 of the Code of Virginia.

He is being held without bond at MRRJ.

The children’s mother was present but doesn’t presently face any charges. In addition to the Waynesboro Police Department, Virginia State Police, the Waynesboro Fire Department and the Waynesboro First Aid Crew, Child Protective Services responded to the scene and placed all of the children in the care of family member of the mother. The VSP Clandestine Lab Team deemed the home uninhabitable until further notice.

Additional charges are pending.



A California couple is being held in the Ada County Jail on $2 million bond each after they reportedly sold an undercover detective ten pounds of methamphetamine last week, according to Ada County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Patrick Orr.

Oscar Gutierrez-Chavez, 24, and Areli Mejia, 19, are both charged with trafficking a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and are awaiting a preliminary hearing on Aug. 3.


“Narcotics detectives began the investigation in early July. They agreed to buy ten pounds of the drug at $12,000 a pound and eventually met with the Gutierrez-Chavez and Mejia in Boise July 18,” Orr stated. “The pair had picked up the drugs in Northern California and drove them to Boise, arriving just before midnight Thursday.”

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Gutierrez-Chavez and Mejia a short time later, after they went to a Boise-area home to allegedly finish the deal. That’s where narcotics detectives say they found ten sealed one-pound bags of meth hidden inside their car.

Detectives also seized the Volkswagen Passat the pair drove to Idaho and more than $800 in cash.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force worked with Ada County Sheriff’s narcotics detectives on the case.

Gutierrez-Chavez is also on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold at the Jail, which indicates he may be in the country illegally.

The crime of trafficking in methamphetamine is punishable by up to life in prison.



MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (7/22/13) – SurfKY News and Muhlenberg County Sheriff Curtis McGehee have partnered in an attempt to raise awareness of the Meth problem that is currently going on throughout the state of Kentucky. Sheriff McGehee has agreed to submit a weekly article series in which we will share knowledge of the issue, and ways to put a stop to the constantly growing Meth production, sales and usage.

The following is the first in this series of articles by Sheriff McGehee.

Some time ago I had spoken about the dangers associated with using methamphetamine and someone approached me when the presentation was over and mentioned that she wasn’t familiar with the drug, and though she knew it was in the area; she didn’t realize that it was so common.

I explained that she wasn’t alone, and the community in general is often unaware of meth, short for methamphetamine, and its effects upon our society. While most of us have some knowledge of the drug, I doubt that any of us fully realize just how dangerous that it is.

It is my desire that this weekly article will help readers to become well informed of the drug and its negative impact on the community.

Methamphetamine is often found in a powder or crystal form. For years the most common form of meth in Muhlenberg County was the powder type, sometimes referred to as anhydrous dope, by meth cooks (those that manufacture the drug). This type of meth is a fine powdery substance that will vary in color. Cooking methods vary, and so do the color of the cold pills that are used, so meth may not always look the same. I have seen white, reddish to reddish brown, and yellowish to cream colors, all confiscated in Muhlenberg County.

The powder form of the drug continues to be manufactured in this area. However, new state laws now limit the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine (ingredients found in some cold and allergy medications) to seven grams per person each month. This makes it more difficult to produce the drug in large amounts.

Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is just the beginning of the lists of ingredients found in the meth recipe. Starting fluid, anhydrous ammonia, lithium battery acid and drain opener, are commonly used in this concoction that is sometimes called a “witches brew.” It is worth noting that, while ingredients previously mentioned are the most common in this area, other recipes include a list of toxic chemicals that may include, but would not be limited to; red devil lye, iodine, heet, camping fuel, paint thinner, sulfuric acid and even gun blue.

Meth labs, by nature, are volatile and should be considered highly toxic and potentially dangerous.

The other form of meth that has increased in popularity in our area is crystal meth. Before the laws regulating the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were in place, it was very uncommon to find methamphetamine in crystal form here in the county. This type of meth is most often developed in super labs in Mexico and occasionally in California. It is now common to find the crystal form of meth in this area and across the state, as it is being imported in large quantities. Some drug officers feel that even though production of the powder drug is down in this area, the use of meth is still a problem. The powder drug is simply being replaced by the crystal form, in many instances.

Crystal meth, as one might imagine, often looks like small pieces of crystal, or pieces of glass. It may be known as glass, crystal, ice, rock candy, etc.

Methamphetamine, regardless of form, is not just another drug; it is lethal and should not be underestimated. Most users are addicted the first time they experience it. Because of its addictiveness and the fact that it is easily accessible, it has increased in popularity.

Methamphetamine will not just go away. It must be challenged. Working together as a community we must take steps to overcoming this critical drug situation. I strongly encourage our community to become well-informed, and to get involved.

You can report illegal drug activity by contacting your local law enforcement agency.

In Muhlenberg County, you may call 1-888-959-8477 or report a tip on line at



A 43-year-old man has allegedly confessed to strangling a 22-year-old friend of his daughter after the woman mocked him for being impotent.

Muang district resident Don Nakhua was arrested when he returned home after disappearing for four days, BungKan provincial police chief Monthon Thipjan said on Sunday.

Mr Don admitted kicking Siriporn Yothakong into a pond near his rubber plantation where they had taken methamphetamine together, the police chief said.

Mr Don told police he and Siriporn wanted to have sex but he could not achieve an erection.

The woman insulted him and he lashed out, Mr Don allegedly told police. After kicking her into the pond, Mr Don then jumped in to strangle and drown her, Pol Maj-Gen Monthon said.

The incident occurred about 7pm on July 2.

The next afternoon, Mr Don allegedly returned to the pond to retrieve Siriporn’s mobile phone and slippers and dispose of them elsewhere.

The woman’s body was found on July 12.



After several months of investigative work and search warrants prepared and executed, involving 12 drug dealers and drug users in Stokes County, who were arrested and charged with 65 charges.


The Stokes County Sheriff’s Office extended special appreciation to the Narcotics Unit of the King Police Department, who provided assistance to the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office in the investigative undercover work of this operation, and also to the State and Local Law Enforcement Officers from Carroll County Virginia.


On June 25, the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office kicked off “Operation Firecracker,” which involved a search warrant conducted by Virginia State Police Task force and Carroll County Sheriff Office in Carroll County, Virginia.


Officers from the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating suspects in Stokes County buying pre-cursor chemicals to make methamphetamine.


The investigation led to Carroll County, Virginia, where Virginia authorities executed a search warrant at on Childrens Lane in Cana, Virginia, where they located an active meth lab, cooking with more than 227 grams of methamphetamine. Virginia authorities arrested two suspects, Melissa Ibarra and Jessie Chance.


On June 26 and June 27, officers with the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office met for a briefing at the sheriff’s office and were divided up into arrest teams and dispersed, to apprehend specific individuals named for warrant service in this operation.


Sheriff Marshall stated, in a press release prepared by the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office: ” I cannot express how thankful we are for the assistance of all the different law enforcement agencies who helped us in Operation Firecracker. I wish to express a Special Thanks to the Narcotics Undercover Officers from King PD and the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office. These Officers work long and unusual hours helping develop the necessary information which eventually leads to making arrests in cases like this one. This continues to prove that there will be success each time law enforcement agencies work together.”


Sheriff Marshall further stated: “I wish to also thank all the Officers of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office, who many times, work long hard hours to bring drug dealers and other criminals to justice. As I have stated many times, as long as there are drug dealers and illegal drug users, we will continue these types of operations as long as it takes.”

  • Bennie Lee Hopper, 42, of Madison Road, Madison, charged with four counts possession with intent to sell & deliver cocaine, four counts selling and delivering a schedule II substance (cocaine), three counts maintaining a drug vehicle, two counts possession of a schedule II substance (cocaine), four counts conspiracy to sell and delivery a schedule II substance (cocaine), possession with intent to sell and delivery a schedule III substance (xanax), sell and delivery of a schedule III substance (xanax), and two counts possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $85,000.
  • Ricky Lee Garland, 42, of Madison Road, Madison, charged with two counts possession with intent to sell and delivery a schedule II substance (cocaine), and two counts conspiracy to sell and deliver cocaine. His unsecured bond was set at $25,000.
  • Renee Hopper Long, 37, of Madison Road, Madison, charged with trafficking schedule II by possession (oxycodone), maintaining a drug dwelling, conspiracy to sell and deliver cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia. Her secured bond was set at $7,500.
  • David Allen Stephenson, 21, of Merrydale Court, King, charged with possession of a marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. His unsecured bond was set at $2,500.
  • Donald Gray Johnson, 52, of Lemons Road, Walnut Cove, charged with two counts trafficking by selling a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), two counts trafficking by delivery of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), maintaining a drug dwelling, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $30,000.
  • James Martin Windham, 19, of Gene Martin Road, Walnut Cove, charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. His unsecured bond was set at $2,500.
  • Patrick Chase Slate, 26, of Hwy 311 N, Walnut Cove, charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His unsecured bond was set at $2,500.
  • Mitchell Edward Manson, 27, of Moorefield Road, Danbury, charged with manufacture of a schedule VI substance (marijuana), possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and delivery a schedule VI substance (marijuana), maintaining a drug dwelling, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $15,000.
  • Steven Matthew Manson, 24, of Moorefield Road, Danbury, charged with possession of a schedule IV substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. His secured bond was set at $1,000.
  • Joanna Payne Duncan, 44, of Rengo Drive, King, charged with obtaining controlled substance by fraud and forgery, trafficking by possession of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), trafficking by transportation of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), and trafficking by delivery of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone). Her unsecured bond was set at $25,000.
  • Cortez Devon Walls, 24, of Rookwood Lane, Winston-Salem, charged with possession with intent to sell and delivery a counterfeit controlled substance, sell and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance, creating a counterfeit controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and delivery near a child care center, maintaining a drug vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $25,000.
    Courtney Brooke Parrish, 21, of Merrydale Court, King, charged with possession of a Schedule VI substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. Her unsecured bond was set at $1,500.



Arrested in Cana, Virginia

  • Melissa Gwynn Ibarra, 36, of Childrens Lane; Cana, Virginia; charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), manufacture of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), conspiracy, possession of precursors, and possession of more than 227 grams of methamphetamine. She had no bond set.
  • Jessie Allen Chance, 35, of Childrens Lane; Cana, Virginia; charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), manufacture of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), conspiracy, possession of precursors, and possession of more than 227 grams of methamphetamine. He had no bond set.



METHAMPHETAMINE production in Gladstone is rubbish – or so you might think, after a startling discovery by local police.

Gladstone Police Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said a business in Chapple St called police early on Friday morning after workers became suspicious about some items found in nearby industrial bins.

“When police arrived they discovered – in an industrial bin there – what appeared to be a clandestine lab which had been discarded,” Snr Sgt Peachey said.

Gladstone Police Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey.
Gladstone Police Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey


He said a drug squad travelled from Brisbane to investigate the items.

“What they found was consistent to which we believe to be an illicit drug lab that has been used very recently in the production of methamphetamine,” Snr Sgt Peachey said.

He said investigations were continuing into who put the lab there and why.

“Our approach towards drugs in Gladstone has been very proactive and we will continue to make that our main focus,” he said.

He said Gladstone police had uncovered a number of drug labs over the last six months.

“I believe that’s indicative of our approach towards policing drugs in Gladstone,” he said.

Snr Sgt Peachey said recent drug-related charges had repeatedly highlighted the use and production of drugs such as ice, speed and ecstasy.

“There’s definitely a variety there but we’ve put it down to more methamphetamine rather than cannabis,” he said.

He said the punishment for such offences could be up to a life term of imprisonment.

He urged anyone who had any information about this or other meth production in Gladstone to contact Gladstone police on 49713222 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The discovery followed a Gladstone Police raid and seizure of marijuana plants in Calliope last week.



Athens-Clarke police responded to a call at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Petzone Dog Rescue on Atlanta Highway, where employees discovered materials in their storage room used to make methamphetamine, according to a report.

The Athens-Clarke County Drug Task Force and members of the Athens-Clarke County Fire Department were called to remove to items from the building, the report stated.

The manager of Petzone Dog Rescue and several employees told police they believed the meth-making materials belonged to a recently fired worker, police said.

A Boonville mother who admitted to allowing her toddler son to ingest life-threatening amounts of methamphetamine and alcohol will serve 270 days in county jail as part of a suspended state prison sentence ordered by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman.

At sentencing hearing held July 9, the mother, Samantha Ann Margeret Dellvalle, 22, was warned by the court that a violation of any term of her probation will result in the young woman being sent to state prison for up to four years. Having reviewed the county Probation Department’s social study of the defendant and sentencing recommendation, judge Moorman announced in court that she had decided not to impose a state prison sentence at the outset on Dellvalle, allowing the defendant to, instead, be incarcerated in the county jail. The court said it had reached this decision because of the defendant’s young age and lack of prior criminal record.

Deputy District Attorney Shannon Cox argued for the imposition of a state prison commitment, citing the overall seriousness of the case and the fact the child could have easily died. Cox argued this was an appropriate case to be used to send a wake-up call to other parents in community who may be similarly situated.

Dellvalle pleaded guilty July 9 to felony child abuse and endangerment, following her earlier arrest in Boonville in March of this year. A co-defendant, Raymond Earl Mabery, 21, was also charged with child abuse, but also with being under the influence of controlled substances and possessing drug paraphernalia. Prosecutor Cox said the case against Mabery, a relative of Dellvalle, is still pending.

Dellvalle’s son was rushed to Ukiah Valley Medical Center by his grandmother who became concerned over how sick he appeared after she picked him up at Dellvalle’s house. At the hospital the boy was found to have dangerously high levels of methamphetamine and alcohol in his system. With proper medical care, the boy recovered and is now in the custody of his biological father.



CATAWBA COUNTY – She had it all.

She made straight-As in high school, played varsity soccer, and went to the state championships with her swim team.

“I had everything going for me and screwed everything up,” she said.

On a trip to the beach with her soccer team during her sophomore year of high school, she had her first experience with methamphetamine. “I didn’t really know what it was. I just figured everybody else was doing it, and it was one time. But of course it didn’t turn into one time.”

She spoke with The Record under the condition that her name not be printed. Now almost 28 years old, she spent about 10 years addicted to meth. She is in an intensive treatment program and has been clean for 11 months. “It ruined my life” she said. “I don’t have my children because of it. I’ve been to jail multiple times.”

In 2012, 26 meth labs were busted in Catawba County. That’s the third-highest number of meth busts for any of the state’s 100 counties, according to information from the State Bureau of Investigation. Only Wilkes and Wayne counties had higher numbers of meth busts, at 59 and 27, respectively.

In the first half of this year, 17 meth labs were busted in Catawba County.


Agents with North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation examine and log chemicals from a meth lab located at 1275 22nd Street, NE in Hickory in January. An agent (right), investigates a bottle officer believe was used as a shake and bake or one-pot lab.

Caldwell meth, guns bust

Guns and drugs seized in a March raid based on a search warrant in Hudson


What is the problem?

Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that is taken by mouth, snorted, injected by a needle or smoked.

According to the web site DrugFacts, methamphetamine increases the release of dopamine, which is common for most drugs that are abused. Dopamine is involved in reward, motivation, the pleasure experience, and motor function. Meth’s ability to release dopamine rapidly in reward portions of the brain produces the intense euphoria, “rush” or “flash.” The rush lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable.

Chronic meth abuse significantly changes how the brain functions. It reduces motor skills and impairs verbal learning. It affects areas of the brain associated with emotion and memory. Repeated meth use is characterized by compulsively seeking the drug and some of these changes persist long after the use of the drug is stopped.

“It’s popping up like wild mushrooms,” said Sgt. J.K. Roberts with the Long View Police Department. He has been head of the department’s narcotics division for the past seven years and has witnessed the rise of the shake and bake meth lab.

Making meth in a shake and bake lab, also known as a one-pot lab, allows a manufacturer to make a couple grams of powdered meth within about two hours. Most of the ingredients and equipment required can be purchased at any hardware store, items including drain opener, lye, lithium batteries, camp fuel, cold compress packs, plastic tubing and coffee filters.

The key ingredient needed by meth cooks is ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Commonly found in cold medicines like Sudafed, it is available over-the-counter at drug stores, but state and federal laws limit the amount of the drug individuals can purchase.

Meth made in shake and bake labs sells for between $40 and $75 per gram, Roberts said, and is more powerful than the crystal meth that enters the United States from large, clandestine labs in Mexico. Crystal meth sells for between $80 and $120 per gram.

Imported crystal meth is usually only about 80 percent pure by the time it has been cut with added ingredients and reaches the American user, while the homemade shake and bake meth is about 96 percent pure, Roberts said.

Given the lower price and higher potency of shake and bake meth, local meth manufacturers are tapping in to a growing market for their product.

“It takes a very strong-willed person to put this evil drug down and walk away and say, ‘I’m done,’ without professional help. It’s like it gets its claws in you and won’t let go,” Roberts said.

Why here?

Aside from ingredients being readily available, members of law enforcement think specific conditions in Catawba County are driving the rise of meth’s use and production here.

Lt. Jason Beebe with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office oversees narcotics investigations. He said that the recession and high unemployment may be causing users to become manufacturers, because someone short on cash can go out and buy the precursors to make their own meth. “They’re selling it to make a small profit, to maybe manage their habit, maybe pay a power bill or something like that. They’re not driving around in $50,000 sport cars.”

“You and I can’t just go make cocaine, but you and I can go make methamphetamine,” Beebe said, “and then methamphetamine, at its cost, is a pretty good profit.”

The meth in the area comes not only from local manufacturers of powder meth, but also from super labs that produce crystal meth on a large scale, often in Mexico.

“It comes into Atlanta and places in Texas up to here. I think this is a good drop of point and there’s a high demand for it in this area. We’re seeing more fluctuation in meth than we are crack cocaine. When I started in narcotics seven years ago, it was crack cocaine. I never saw meth in Long View that much. Now I’ve got case files,” Roberts said, pointing toward a tall stack of manila folders, “where these guys are stopping people and getting meth. We’re hardly ever getting crack cocaine or cocaine anymore. The meth has actually out-ridden the pills.”

Sgt. Patrick Clark has led the narcotics and vice division at the Hickory Police Department since 2009. He said that the simple fact of a larger population in Catawba County is another point to consider. The county’s population is significantly larger than any of the surrounding counties except Iredell, and given a relatively larger number of people, there is a relatively larger number of meth users and manufacturers.

Impact on the community

Josie Jackson will not be spending her fourth birthday with her family. She is in the custody of a foster family appointed by the Department of Social Services.

On June 11, her parents, Dustin and Sarah Jackson, were arrested on methamphetamine charges at their home in Maiden. Josie lost everything that day, including all of her toys and clothes that were contaminated by the active meth lab in her home.

Rob Koliha’s girlfriend of eight years, Laura Burchette, is Sarah Jackson’s sister and Josie’s aunt. Koliha and Burchette have been working since the Jacksons were arrested to have Burchette appointed as Josie’s guardian.

Josie had already been placed in Burchette and Koliha’s care for a week in April after an order was issued for Dustin Jackson’s arrest and DSS received reports about Josie’s care at home, Koliha said, but after that week, DSS determined it was safe to return Josie to her parents.

When Josie was removed from her home on June 11, she was again placed in Burchette’s care. Burchette and Koliha hoped to keep Josie until her parents’ issues had been resolved, but the following day she was taken by DSS and put into foster care.

Koliha said he and Burchette were deemed unacceptable guardians for Josie due to an encounter with DSS over seven years ago. In that incident, Koliha said his son was hit by Burchette’s son with a curtain rod on the ear, causing some minor scrapes. When the boy went to school, he was mad at Burchette and told school staff that Burchette had bitten his ear.

The school contacted DSS.

Koliha said he and Burchette were cooperative with DSS and maintain they did nothing wrong, but the old case has become a stumbling block now that are seeking custody of Josie.

Dustin Jackson remains in jail, but Sarah Jackson has been released on bond and was granted brief visits with Josie, who turns 4 on Monday.

Koliha said their next court date is on Monday, and they plan to make a motion for a home study that will allow them to gain custody and reunite Josie with her extended family. “Hopefully the home study won’t take long and we can go ahead and bring her home,” he said.

Koliha and Burchette started a GoFundMe website called “Save Josie” in hopes of raising awareness about Josie’s plight and to raise money to cover their legal fees. Koliha said they have already spent thousands of dollars fighting for Josie.

Roberts said children have been associated with nearly every meth lab busted in Long View. One suspect even admitted to making meth while his kids were sitting beside him. “He said he did it because he was high and didn’t know any better,” Roberts said.

“It’s like a fantasy world until they come down and realize that they’re in trouble and they’re sitting in jail,” Roberts said of the meth users he has arrested. “These guys, I lock them up and they look like death warmed over. I go back in 30 days or so to interview them through their attorney if they want to talk, and they look like a totally different person. They look healthy. They have color to them. They gain 15 or 20 pounds. It’s just unreal what this stuff does to you.”

An unsuspected danger

Meth not only affects users, manufacturers and their families. Meth labs can pose serious health risks to people uninvolved with meth and can lead to environmental damage.

When a meth lab is discovered, usually by an officer who is called to a residence and sees precursors or evidence of production, specially-trained investigators go to the scene for an assessment, said Investigator Wes Gardin with the Hickory Police Department.

Investigators determine whether there is an active lab at a site or whether there are only precursors. The SBI sends cleanup teams and site safety coordinators to oversee the operations. After evidence is collected, the SBI transports hazardous materials to containers at different locations throughout the state. Once a container is filled with the meth lab waste, a private contractor picks up the materials and destroys them.

But even if the site of a former meth lab appears clean, the remnants of meth production can remain.

Beebe said guidelines from the EPA and the federal and state governments indicate that sheetrock, insulation, carpet, furniture and fixtures at a meth lab are hazardously contaminated. The chemicals used to make meth and the vapors they generate seep into any porous surface.

“You may not see it, you may not smell it, but any extended period of time of exposure to it, and you may end up contracting something that can cause you health risks,” Beebe said. Sometimes the owners of older mobile homes that were rented to people who manufactured meth decide to dispose of the mobile home because the cost of a proper cleanup is greater than the value of the mobile home itself.

Roberts said some meth manufacturers have discovered that they can more easily get away with their activities by cooking meth in motel rooms. “It’s a whole lot harder for us to get into a motel room than it is a regular house,” he said.

Manufacturers can fit all the precursors needed to make a few grams of meth into a regular-sized backpack, check in to a motel room, cook their meth, and then check out without management or law enforcement having any idea what happened in the room.

When people make meth at home, they have to dispose of the chemical waste that results from meth production.

“A lot of these guys burn this stuff in their back yard to get rid of evidence and you’ve got the smoke traveling over to your neighbor’s house,” Roberts said. “They’re pouring the liquids out in their yard which kills vegetation. It soaks through the ground and pollutes the water system, septic tanks and everything else.”

What is being done?

In 2006, North Carolina limited access to methamphetamine precursors, specifically pseudoephedrine. Non-prescription drugs containing pseudoephedrine must be kept behind the counter at drug stores, and when a person makes a purchase their name and address must be recorded. Purchases of more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine per day or nine grams per month are banned.

A national database called NPLEx allows law enforcement to monitor purchases of pseudoephedrine in real time.

“We have very good communication between pharmacies and law enforcement,” Beebe said. “If we end up having a target, we can research those individuals to see if they’re purchasing and how much they’re purchasing.”

Depending on the skill of a manufacturer, Roberts said, roughly six grams of meth can be made using nine grams of pseudoephedrine. The 2006 law made it more difficult for individuals to manufacture large quantities of meth on their own, but it hasn’t necessarily slowed down manufacturing due to an activity known as smurfing.

A smurf makes a purchase of pseudoephedrine for a manufacturer. If the smurf is a user, the manufacturer may give the smurf a small amount of meth in exchange for the pseudoephedrine. If the smurf is a non-user, the manufacturer pays the smurf for obtaining the pseudoephedrine.

“They’re learning how to combine their efforts and make more meth because the pseudoephedrine is so limited,” Roberts said. “Just like Harley mechanics know each other, these guys that shake and bake meth, they’re all acquainted somehow … It’s weird how these people are all linked together, and that’s why we’re able to build good conspiracy cases and continuing criminal enterprise (cases).”

Roberts said he thinks the coming months will see fewer numbers of individual meth arrests and greater numbers of group arrests as law enforcement connects people involved in the production of meth to one another.

“It seems the structured sentencing for these guys is making it difficult for the cooks especially to get out of jail. When they are sentencing them, they are giving them good, decent time. I think the state is behind law enforcement on prosecuting people and then actually sending them to jail,” Beebe said. “Methamphetamine production is one of the things that this state has actually handled fairly well. Could they make the fines and the punishments stiffer? Yes, they always could. But they’ve already started that headstrong with methamphetamine.”

Roberts mentioned one man arrested for possession of methamphetamine precursors. The man was not in possession of any meth, but he admitted to having made it a few times. Although the worst thing on his criminal record was driving while license revoked, he was sentenced to a minimum of 48 months in prison.

“That shows you how serious this stuff is,” Roberts said. “The way the court system works, we’ve got three heinous crimes: you’ve got murder, you’ve got rape and then you’ve got making meth. Meth is a class C felony. You’re going to do time if you’re found guilty.”

What are the solutions?

Debbie Haynes, program director for Safe Harbor Rescue Mission in Hickory, works with women recovering from drug addiction every day.

She said first-time users of meth often don’t realize how entangled the drug can become in their lives. “It’s not like pot,” she said. “It’s a whole lot more addictive and it’s really very scary to see how quickly it can get a stronghold on you.”

Haynes said peer pressure is part of the reason people start using drugs, but she also cited lack of good communication between parents and their children. “I think there’s also a lot of brokenness. Families are split up. There’s just a lot of emotional stress on kids that their didn’t used to be … There has never been a time that I’ve had a woman come in that didn’t have a story that included some kind of brokenness or trauma in their younger years, and so they try whatever they can to avoid that pain,” she said.

Broken homes are here to stay, she said, “but even in those broken homes, parents can connect with their children and interact with them and let them know that they’re loved and they’re important and they’re safe.”

Haynes encouraged parents to talk with their children to find out what is going on in their lives, what they’re doing online and who they’re hanging out with. “It just takes time and we live in a culture that’s very fast-paced. People are busy and they want to believe that their kids are OK, but you just can’t afford to trust what you see on the surface,” she said.

Just as Haynes urged parents to be aware of what their children are up to, members of law enforcement said the public’s vigilance can help quash meth’s proliferation.

Clark said citizens who monitor their own neighborhood are an asset to law enforcement. “They know their neighborhood. They know what’s going on. We could ride in their neighborhood and not know if that’s normal or if that’s abnormal. They know what’s going on in their neighborhood and they know if something starts up that’s not right,” he said.

Signs to look for include heavy traffic in and out of a residence, residents who stay awake all night and sleep all day, strong chemical smells in the air and frequent burning of trash. If you see a soda bottle with a binary liquid in it, copper beads, small white rocks, white residue, or tubes coming from the top, call police.

Clark stressed that reports to law enforcement can be made anonymously and should always be made if someone suspects a child is in danger.

“We get phone calls all the time, and if we get the phone call, we will follow right up on it and go see what we can do,” Beebe said. “Sometimes we’re really successful, and sometimes we just end up with a big goose egg.”

After his department busts a lab at a residence, Roberts said neighbors often say they suspected something illegal was going on. “My question is, ‘Why didn’t you call?’” he said. “Usually when you suspect something is happening, it’s happening.”

Why is meth so bad? Go to to find out.



Haines City, Florida — Five people were arrested Friday after 23 pounds of methamphetamine were seized from a home in the Haines City area.

The Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force (HIDTA) detectives say they received information about two men believed to be distributing meth in the city.

After an investigation, they went to 33-year-old Juan Arteaga-Orozco’s home on George M Road, which was believed to be a ‘stash house’, and served a search warrant.


Ashley Futch
Juan Arteaga-Orozco
Enrique Arteaga
Candelaria Arteaga

Jerad Smith


There they seized over 8.5 pounds of processed meth and over 11 pounds of liquid meth. They also recovered a firearm. Arteaga-Orozco was placed under arrest.

Detectives also pulled over Arteaga-Orozco’s brother, 37-year-old Enrique Arteaga, and found a half-pound of meth in his possession. They then searched his home in the 2400 block of Citrus Blvd. and seized approximately one pound of meth inside, about two pounds of meth buried in the backyard, two firearms, and over $34,000 cash.

Their mother, 61-year-old Candelaria Arteaga, who lived with Juan, was also arrested.

Two other suspects were identified during this investigation, and arrested.



 Nigeria’s anti-drug trafficking agency said on Sunday it has seized N2.3 billion worth of hard drug at the Lagos airport in the last six months.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, said 41 suspected drug traffickers were apprehended with 253.390 kilogrammes of narcotics with an estimated street value of N2.3 billion.

The drugs were intercepted between January and June 2013, said Mitchell Ofoyeju, NDLEA Head of Public Affairs.

Those arrested include 39 males and two females, he said.


a drug bust by NDLEA

“The command also won 53 cases most of which were charged to court in 2012,” the agency said. 

NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar, who gave the breakdown of the drugs said the bulk of the drugs was methamphetamine.

“in the first half of the year, the airport command successfully seized 253.390kg of various illegal drugs. Methamphetamine alone weighed 169.290kg. This was followed by cannabis with 47.230kg. Cocaine is 31.475kg and heroin 5.395kg. In all, 41 persons were arrested comprising 39 males and two females,” Umar said.

Further analysis showed that in the first quarter, 172.175kg of drugs were intercepted while 81.215kg were seized in second quarter.

Out of this total, 19.195kg were detected during inward screening operations while 234.195kg were seized during outward operations.

Seizures of methamphetamine and cannabis weighing 169.290kg and 47.230kg respectively were meant for export.

“It is pertinent to note that the airport seizure is a reflection of the fact that both methamphetamine and cannabis are locally produced in the country.

“The development has made the Honourable Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade to place an attractive incentive on the dismantling of any methamphetamine production cartel in the country. Giade directed the investigation department to beam its search light on the activities of illegal methamphetamine laboratories in the country,” NDLEA said in a statement.

In the past two years, the agency has discovered and decommissioned five clandestine Laboratories used for the production of methamphetamine in the country.

Four of the production laboratories were detected in Lagos while one was found in Nanka village, Anambra State. Three Bolivians and a Colombian are among persons arrested over suspicion of running the illicit drug laboratories.


THEY are the people who least deserve it but often the first to feel the rising scourge of the drug ice that has hit the streets of Ballarat.

The families of drug users are being devastated by the behavioural effects of the drug, also known as crystal meth, including violence and criminality, according to Ballarat experts who are calling for more support.

UnitingCare withdrawal nurse Darren Cutts, who deals with youth between the ages of 12 and 22 at Tabor House who are recovering from drug use, said it was often the flow-on affects of drug use that were less publicly acknowledged but the most destructive.

“Since the explosion of use in Ballarat, the impacts of methamphetamine on families have been acute and devastating,” Mr Cutts said.

“More parents are ringing up to seek advice on how to cope and help their children.

Mr Cutts said that 80 per cent of his clients this year have had experience with ice, often in conjunction with other narcotics; an alarming spike from 18 months ago.

“And it’s not just our clients that are impacted, it’s the emergency department, it’s having a significant impact on the legal system, police and ambulances.”

Health and community care providers are also asking for more support for the families of ice users in the region and experts are pointing to peer support groups as one aid to guide families.

UnitingCare Alcohol and Other Drugs family counsellor Margaret Radcliffe said similar peer-support groups to one set up in Bacchus Marsh could be a great idea in Ballarat.

“It seems to be working for the families in Bacchus Marsh and maybe that’s something our community should look at doing.”

 Ms Radcliffe said peer support groups for families of drug-affected people existed about 10 years ago, but were unsuccessful because of parents’ tendency to experience feelings of shame and guilt.

“They’ve tried to keep the problem behind closed doors. That’s a barrier. It’s about trying to overcome that.”

Ms Radcliffe said that almost 50 per cent of parents seeking her support were concerned about their children’s ice use.

“Families are unsure how to manage behaviour related with ice and will continue to seek support,” she said.

The Family Drug Help group that serves the Bacchus Marsh region is comprised of mothers who have faced the tirade of their own ice-affected children,including psychosis and violence.

Ballarat Police Divisional Response Unit Senior Sergeant Darren Tanis said the spike in ice addiction over the past 18 months was a community health issue,

not just a policing issue.

Senior Sergeant Tanis said the increasing demand on policing services was corresponding to alarming social and economical consequences.

“Ice addiction has a devastating impact on drug users and their immediate families,” he said.

“We are finding people with no history of drug use becoming addicted very quickly.”

Outgoing magistrate Peter Couzens had also warned Ballarat earlier this year about the rising tide of drug-related cases that were flooding the magistrates court, particularly involving ice and heroin.



The first rule of prescription drug abuse and diversion is, “Don’t confuse issues with facts.”

The second rule of prescription drug abuse and diversion is, “If we build a better mousetrap, we will create a smarter mouse.”

Tennessee as a state now leads the U.S. in clandestine methamphetamine lab production. Consequences of these labs include but are not limited to chemical exposures to children, other forms of child neglect, destruction of private and public properties, dilution of law enforcement efforts from other critical crimes, prison overcrowding, severe injury due to meth-related injuries, environmental destruction and over-burdening the judicial system.

Efforts to curtail this nightmare over the last several years have included limiting the sales of the primary methamphetamine precursor, pseudoephedrine, to behind the counter sales by pharmacies; limiting maximum quantities of pseudoephedrine that can be purchased in a month; proof of age and identification and even in some local pharmacies selling pseudoephedrine only to local residents; and implementation of a “pseudoephedrine industry sponsored computerized pseudoephedrine product purchased registry” known as NPLEX or Meth-check. All of these programs when initially implemented had some moderate effect of decreasing meth lab counts as well their consequences.

Enter the smarter mouse. The smarter mouse would simply cross state lines for pseudoephedrine purchases. As neighboring states joined the fight against meth labs, by using the same NPLEX system, rodent evolution continued. The average methamphetamine cook is able to make the same amount of meth simply by paying others to use their own IDs to purchase pseudoephedrine for them. This process is commonly known as “smurfing.” While a few small, rural counties in Kentucky with designated law enforcement hired to specifically track these labs has had reasonable success using the computerized pseudoephedrine database, it is impossible for the state of Tennessee to fund these endeavors across the state. The computerized system did make a minor impact initially on the number of meth labs in Tennessee, but smurfing has quickly limited the database’s effectiveness.

Initiation of this database has also created another problem. Individuals who had purchased excessive quantities of pseudoephedrine were rapidly identified as likely meth sources now simply fall into the very large “maxed out” category.

The “smarter mouse” has also figured out that all the products and equipment needed to manufacture methamphetamine (with the exception of one product found at home improvement stores) can be purchased in most pharmacies. Methamphetamine can then be made in the car in the parking lot in less than 45 minutes, give or take a possible explosion or two.

Efforts that should be applauded include the pharmaceutical industry’s effort to create a tamper-resistant product such as Acura Pharmaceutical’s Nexaphed. While these products may minimize the amount of methamphetamine that can be synthesized from them, they are not mouse-proof.

Two states, Oregon and Mississippi, have successfully implemented pseudoephedrine by prescription only laws with a phenomenal reduction — if not near elimination — of meth labs in their stats. Doctors are not inundated by pseudoephedrine and the states’ healthcare systems have not documented increases in office visits due to this legislation. Yes, a handful of individuals or families have had to make a trip to their primary care giver to get their pseudoephedrine, yet public outrage is not substantial.

Why is this? Several factors are likely involved. First, there are a multitude of products available other than pseudoephedrine for cough, cold and allergies. Second, most coughs and cold are self-limiting without the use of medications.

So why have Tennessee, Kentucky,  Ohio, West Virginia and other states been unable to pass such an amazingly public-safety oriented, environmentally friendly  and healthcare savvy bill? The answer is easy: Follow the money.

The pseudoephedrine pharmaceutical industry continues to influence our legislators and healthcare regulators decisions based solely on their financial motives as well as by constituents ill advised by creative liaisons of the pseudoephedrine industry. Shouldn’t the experts of the healthcare system such as prescribers or pharmacists and law enforcement officers and agencies and “in the know voters” direct our state’s health and safety decisions instead of pure profit motives of pseudoephedrine industry?

This is a call to action of all healthcare workers at all levels to demand your professional organizations poll their constituents on how they want to be represented at the state level. Healthcare workers and local prevention coalitions have to give due diligence to efforts that are proven to end the out-of-control clandestine meth lab epidemic.



A Spartanburg man is accused of making methamphetamine in the presence of two young children — one suffered a burn — and authorities say their parents and grandmother knew.

David Ray Ivey, 39, of 271 Goldmine Road has been charged with two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child.

David Lee Hammitt, 24, of 275 Goldmine Road, Spartanburg, Angel Ann Marie Bishop Robinson, 22, of 641 Tizian Lane, Inman, and Donna Hammitt Blackwell, 46, of 271 Goldmine Road, are each charged with two counts of child neglect. The children are about 6 months old and 2 years old, according to arrest warrants.

Authorities say the crimes occurred between April 1 and Thursday.

Sheriff’s deputies went to Hammitt’s residence on June 27 after receiving a complaint that the 2-yearold child was burned days earlier, but she had not received treatment for her injury.

Deputies found trash outside the home, a burn pile in the backyard containing batteries and chemicals, trash throughout the home, and the only food was old and covered with mold and bugs, according to an incident report.

Deputies also found items used to make methamphetamine in woods behind the home.

A deputy noted that one child had a five-inch-long burn on her lower leg that appeared to be an untreated chemical burn.

Hammitt told deputies she was burned while he was away from home and in the care of her uncle.

Two children were placed in Blackwell’s care.

The Department of Social Services began an investigation.

A DSS employee received drug test results Wednesday that showed the parents, grandmother, and 2-year-old child tested positive for methamphetamine, according to a report.

People told deputies the children were present when Ivey made and smoked the drug.

Deputies later found what appeared to be a meth lab at the residence where Ivey and Blackwell live.



An explosion in a Dubai apartment exposed drug smugglers on Saturday.

Three Asian suspects smuggled in four cooking gas cylinders stuffed with shabu (crystal methamphetamine) via sea and hid them in Al Marar area.

While they were at extractibg drugs from the cylinder, a minor mistake by one of the suspects resulted in the cylinders exploding.




Major-General Abdul Jalil Mahdi Al Asmawi, Director, Anti-Narcotics Department, said one of the suspects was in a hurry to open the fourth cylinder after having extracted drugs from the first three. He cut open the fourth cylinder with electric sissors before ensuring the room was free of gas released from the previous three cylinders.

The blast left several cracks in the walls of the apartment apart from serious material damage. The suspect who was responsible for the blast also suffered burns but he manage to flee the scene before cops arrived.

Deputy Colonel Khaled Saleh Al Kawari said the suspects had professionally assembled the cylinders and so it went unnoticed.

They allegedly filled the upper part of the cyliners with cooking gas and divided the lower half into compartments and filled them with large amounts of crystal methamphetamine.

About 32.4kg of crystal methamphetamine which did not burn up in the explosion were seized from the apartment.

One of the men – a 44-year-old married man – was arrested immediatley from Hor Al Anz area. He admitted to transferring the cylinders from Sharjah to the apartment in Dubai.

Two others were arrested from Sharjah by a search team. The second suspect is a married businessman, who sufferred burn in juries. He was initially taken to Rashid Hospital by cops for treatment.

The third suspect – a 38-year-old employee – is held under criminal conspiracy charges fro sheltering the second suspect with complete knowledge that he was felling after a criminal act.   The trio has been referred to the Public Prosecution.




OGDEN — A small amount of methamphetamine found on the grounds of the Ogden LDS Temple drew a swift response from the company remodeling the structure.

Carl Turner, the Big-D Construction superintendent of the temple site, contacted Ogden police at 8:07 a.m. July 12 to report the drug found in a portable toilet on the site.


“All of our projects are sensitive,” said Forrest McNabb, Big-D senior vice president of operations. “We have an obligation on all of them to keep people safe. And obviously the LDS Temple project is extremely sensitive.”

After the meth was removed by police, Big-D then conducted drug tests of all of its employees on the site, plus all subcontractors and suppliers tied to the job, McNabb said. “Approximately 300 people were tested.”

He declined comment on any firings, or sanctions, resulting from the test results.

“I prefer not to say if there were any terminations. That information will remain confidential,” McNabb said, adding test results are still pending in some cases.

Police used a disposable kit on-site and determined the found material tested positive as meth, said Ogden Police Lt. Chad Ledford. The amount was minimal, he said, not a bag as has been rumored, but a quantity in a gum wrapper.

Because the meth was found in a portable toilet that hundreds of workers had access to, there were no clear leads as to who it belonged to, he said.

The small amount did not justify committing the time and resources to interview hundreds of people on the site, Ledford said. “In a case like that, we just confiscate it, take it into evidence, where it will be destroyed.”

McNabb said the workflow on the temple remodel was not disrupted by the find or the company reaction.

“We have protocol for this kind of thing,” he said. We provide a drug-free workplace and require our subcontractors to take the same approach. We take the matter very seriously.

“This happens every day in the world we live in. No one condones it, but it’s the society we live in.”

Big-D employees should be lauded for reporting the meth find, he said.

“From a damage-control aspect, they could easily have disposed of it and turned a blind eye. But we take the health and welfare of employees and subcontractors very seriously.”

McNabb said the company has no reason to believe the integrity of the remodeling project has been compromised. “Not at all.”

The renovation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple, which first opened in 1972, is expected to be completed sometime next year

A Rome woman and man remained in jail Saturday night and now face felony charges  after being arrested at a Shorter Avenue address before 9 a.m. Saturday,  according to Floyd County Jail reports.

According to the  reports:

William Richard McCollough, 21, of 52 Weathington Road,  allegedly had more than an ounce of methamphetamine in a backpack he dropped in  a wooded area behind a residence on Huffaker Road, as well as two handguns. He  was arrested at 2470 Shorter Ave.


Chelsi Rena Smith

Chelsi Rena Smith

William Richard McCollough

William Richard McCollough


He was charged with felony counts of  possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a  firearm by a convicted felon, trafficking methamphetamine, possession of  methamphetamine with intent to distribute and abandonment of  drugs.

Chelsi Rena Smith, 19, of 52 Willow Run Drive, was also arrested  at 2470 Shorter Ave. and charged with a felony count of terroristic threats and  acts. Smith allegedly threatened to kill someone in front of a  witness.

Both remained in jail without bond.



The Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force arrested five people and seized about 23 pounds of methamphetamine during operations in Haines City on Friday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.

The investigation began when HIDTA detectives received information about two men believed to be distributing meth in Haines City. Their work led to a search warrant being served at the home of Juan Arteaga-Orozco, 33, 95 George M Road, where officials seized over 8.5 pounds of processed meth and more than 11 pounds of liquid meth, as well as a firearm.

Top row, Juan Arteaga-Orozco, Enrique Arteaga, Candelaria Arteaga, and bottom row, Jerad Smith and Ashley Futch

Detectives also conducted a traffic stop on Arteaga-Orozco’s brother, Enrique Arteaga, 37, and found a half-pound of meth in his possession. They served a search warrant at his residence, 2401 Citrus Blvd., and seized approximately one pound of meth from inside, about two pounds of meth buried in the backyard, two firearms, and more than $34,000 cash.

Their mother, Candelaria Arteaga, 61, 95 George M Road, was also arrested.

Two other suspects — Jerad Smith, 24, 639 Magnolia St., Waverly, and Ashley Futch, 22, 6849 Porter Road, Lake Wales — were also identified and arrested.

Enrique Arteaga and Juan Arteaga-Orozco were charged with armed trafficking in meth (over 400 grams); conspiracy to traffic meth (over 400 grams); and maintaining a dwelling for drug trafficking.

Candelaria Arteaga was charged with maintaining a dwelling for drug trafficking.

Smith was charged with possession of meth and possession of paraphernalia, and Futch was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.



FRANKLIN — A 54-year-old woman from the Somerset section of town was arrested Tuesday in her home after detectives say they seized about 94 grams of methamphetamine, nine small bags of marijuana, a digital scale and a stun gun from her bedroom.

At about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Organized Crime and Narcotics Task Force detectives used a search warrant to enter the home of , of Hempstead Drive, where they say they found about $8,000 worth of methamphetamine, marijuana, a scale and stun gun, according to a news release.

Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano said in the announcement that the search was part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.Khan was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of a stun gun, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was placed in Somerset County Jail in lieu of $125,000 cash bail.






A hit and run car accident turned into something more when Sioux Falls Police discovered methamphetamine.

It happened 1:30 Saturday afternoon at the corner of 18th Street and Bahnson Avenue. Police responded to an accident in which a Nissan Altima hit a pole, and the driver ran.  Two passengers were arrested when meth was found in the vehicle.

While searching the trunk of the car, officers found components used to manufacture methamphetamine. The vehicle was seized and the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force found components for a one pot meth lab in the car.

The passengers were taken to the Minnehaha County Jail on charges of possession of controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute/ manufacturing controlled substance.

The driver that ran is believed to be Jason Craig Oldehoff.  Oldehoff is a parole absconder. Anyone with information about Mr. Oldehoff’s whereabouts is asked to contact police.