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MISSOULA, Mont. – Authorities say there is an increase in meth use throughout the state. The Drug Task Force team says while criminals aren’t making as much meth in Montana, others are sneaking it into the state.

Ed McLean is the commander of the Drug Task Force team. McLean says the surge of meth is alarming.

“The increase in methamphetamine use is one o those mysteries because you have a drug  that is so dangerous and so harmful,” said McLean.

Montana Highway Patrol K9 Unit Sergeant Jim Sanderson agrees it’s the most he’s seen since he started patrolling the roads in 2001.

“It’s resurging, it’s as big as I’ve ever seen it,” said Sanderson.

Sanderson searches vehicles when he has reasonable belief to think drugs are stashed inside. He gets help from his K9 pup Tika. She helped sniff out 18 pounds of meth seized from vehicles during 2014.

Sanderson says where there are users there’s demand.

“Narcotics have been transiting through routes in our state that normally haven’t been transited, and that gives those folks who are bringing in illegal narcotics into the state the opportunity to drop some methamphetamine off in our little communities that really haven’t seen the problem in as big of the scope as they do right now,” said Sanderson.

Recent cases prove Sanderson’s point. An Anaconda woman faced federal drug charges for being one of 20 people involved in a conspiracy to bring meth into Montana from Los Angeles. In another case just north of Missoula in Pablo, the Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority had 62 rental units test positive for meth.

McLean said the meth he finds is pure. It’s coming from out of state along I-15 and I-90 east. He says Montana is an end destination.

“The super labs and the quality of the methamphetamine being imported into Montana — the vast majority of the methamphetamine we see is being produced elsewhere and being trafficked into Montana,” said McLean.

For law enforcement one drug bust usually leads to the next.

“Where’s the source of this methamphetamine coming from, and it seems like every single time we end up making an arrest stopping a dealer there are two more to go after,” said McLean.

McLean says they’ve seen an increase of heroin use in Montana as well.








WASHINGTON, March 19 (UPI) — Drug use is rising across different sectors of North Korea’s population and methamphetamines produced inside the country lead to foreign and domestic trade, the U.S. State Department said in its annual narcotics control report Thursday.

The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, or INCSR, stated methamphetamines, or crystal meth, continue to dominate North Korea’s illicit drug market. The report said it is not clear whether the North Korean government is directly involved in drug production, but North Korean officials have in the past been apprehended for drug sales.

Based on interviews with North Korean defectors, the report noted poppy cultivation has diminished since the early 2000s with the rise of methamphetamine production and trafficking.

The State Department’s report stated incidents of drug trafficking and methamphetamine use is prevalent on the China-North Korea border. In August, a North Korean national was executed in China for selling 3.75 kilograms, or about eight pounds of crystal meth manufactured in North Korea. Chinese law enforcement has since heightened its surveillance of cross-border transactions, the report said.

The methamphetamine used in North Korea reach across all sectors of North Korean society, including women and young people. The report said the drug is snorted rather than smoked or injected and sometimes used in place of medicine, which is scarce in North Korea.

Radio Free Asia reported in January the drug is sometimes used in place of cash to pay for items or services, but a crackdown on the drug in North Korea had led to other methods of exchange, including the use of lapel pins that portrayed Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, to buy basic goods around the country.











A woman who imported nearly $1 million of methamphetamine in the post made the police’s job significantly easier by having it delivered to her home.

Judge Russell Collins said the role of “catcher” often saw criminals use a variety of tactics to separate themselves from the crime.Woman posted

“Your offending involved no greater activity like organizing post boxes or other false addresses, nor deceit or subterfuge, which are often carried out when people act as the receiver of illegal drugs,” he said.

“The drugs were sent to the address you were living … and you took control of them.”

Waipiu Lau, 23, was found with 913.4 g of P at her North Shore home on August 29 and was promptly charged with importation and possession for supply.

The Hong Kong national appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon where Judge Collins took a starting jail term of 12 years.

Lau received sentence discounts for her youth, her previously clean record, “difficulties and trauma” she had gone through in her life, her remorse and her early guilty plea.

Judge Collins settled on a final sentence of just over seven years in prison.

Because of the large quantity of the imported meth, he imposed a minimum non-parole period of two years and 10 months.








TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) – A Tallahassee man was arrested Tuesday after investigators said they discovered not only was he in possession of child pornography, but he also had a meth lab inside his home. 5509881a9147d_image

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, along with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, arrested 41-year-old James Rimes after they said investigators found out he was distributing child pornography out of his home on Wax Myrtle Road.

According to investigators, a search warrant was served at Rimes’ home Tuesday regarding the child pornography case. When arresting Rimes, investigators charged with him on four drug charges related to a methamphetamine lab inside his home. They also charged him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to FDLE, Rimes is facing 12 counts of child pornography. He was taken to the Leon County Jail. They also said the investigation will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office.








LORENA (March 19, 2015) A former Lorena postal worker who police say was delivering methamphetamine along with the mail was indicted Wednesday by a McLennan County Grand Jury.Edward-Flores-Lorena-Drug-Bust

Edward Flores, II, was named in a one-count indictment Wednesday charging him with delivery of a controlled substance methamphetamine in a drug-free zone, grand jury records show.

McLennan County deputies on November 13, 2014, seized methamphetamine valued at $17,000 and arrested Flores, a longtime U.S. Postal Service employee, in a raid on a home in Lorena that was the culmination of a 10-month investigation.

The home at 400 Greystone Dr. that deputies raided is near both Lorena Middle School and Lorena Elementary School.

Flores II, 39, is the husband of Lorena Postmaster Allena Wood Flores, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said.

Allena Flores was named Lorena’s postmaster in April, 2014, according to online U.S. Postal Service records.

Edward Flores was charged with possession of a controlled substance over 4 ounces, but under 200 ounces in a drug-free zone.

He was freed in November after posting a $10,000 bond.

The investigation that led to the raid stemmed from allegations that methamphetamine was being distributed not only from the house, but also from a U.S. Postal Service vehicle by a uniformed post office employee, McNamara said at the time of the arrest.








WOOSTER, Ohio — The toxic waste that John Marlow hoarded under the floorboards of his hovel and in a broken-down shed did more than disgust his neighbors.hintonjpeg-b368c57eb1e05a36

It also terrified authorities, who feared the witch’s brew could ignite a fireball and torch the neighborhood.

Marlow, 54, is accused of cooking a mega-lab worth of methamphetamine in a small house in Wooster, a city 90 minutes southwest of Cleveland. Authorities said they found 40 small labs in the home. The chemical stash marks the latest large-scale meth operation unraveled in Ohio in recent years.

What makes this case different is that the garbage-filled home is still standing and the accused cooks were not harmed, as fires have become so much more common, especially in such sizable labs, according to records and interviews.

Marlow and Charity Hinton, 34, were indicted this month in Wayne County Common Pleas Court on charges of illegal manufacturing of drugs and illegal possession of chemicals to make methamphetamine. They have denied the charges. Their attorney, a public defender, did not return phone messages.

Records show that Marlow and Hinton are accused of being part of a growing wave of meth cooks, who make the drug in the so-called “one-pot method.” It allows cooks to mix a batch of household items together in a 2-liter pop bottle and shake it to create a reaction that produces the highly addictive stimulant. The method has not only turned cooks’ teeth to rotted enamel and their skin to a pasty, pocked surface, but also has caused explosions across the state and country.marlowjpeg-70233bda07991582

And that’s what has terrified neighbors.

“From what they found in that house, it could have leveled this whole neighborhood,” said a man who lives near Marlow and Hinton but declined to give his name. He said he watched as authorities spent two days pulling chemicals from the home.

“We just thought they were just selling it,” the man said. “But selling it is one thing, and cooking it is something else.”

Another neighbor, a woman, said: “I wish I had never moved here.”

What authorities accused Marlow and Hinton of doing is nothing like the high-tech meth production of the popular television series, “Breaking Bad.” Marlow and Hinton, according to court records, are accused of running a crude system that used jugs of chemicals to fill pop bottles with the homemade drug.

Nearby residents complained of smelling an ether-like chemical odor, which is typical of meth cooking. They also said they grew tired of seeing people walk into the home at all hours, staying a few minutes and then bolting.17292097-mmmain

In addition, they watched Marlow explode in a paranoid rages that prompted him to threaten his neighbors, according to court records and interviews.

Court records indicate the meth cooking at the tiny, two-story frame house on West Vine Street took off after June 1. That day, Gerald Hinton, Charity’s father and the owner of the home, was charged with raping a 3-year-old child at a nearby residence, records show.

Marlow and Charity Hinton began brewing the drug soon after Gerald Hinton’s arrest, according to documents, and they continued through early February.

On Feb. 4, Charity called police and reported a domestic disturbance involving Marlow. Once officers arrived, they found chemicals scattered around the house, according to court records.

Drug agents obtained a search warrant for the house and found about 30 labs, according to court records and authorities.

Agents also found a makeshift chemistry lab filled with gallon containers of drain cleaner and camp stove fuel, four hydrogen-chloride gas generators, packages of lithium batteries and 40 blister packs of cold medicine — all ingredients used to make methamphetamine, the records show.

The next day, Wooster firefighters and drug agents went back to the house and found 10 more discarded labs, authorities said. Some of the labs were days old, while other were much older. Much of the trash was buried under the floorboards, authorities said.

“Just because the cooking process is over, that doesn’t mean the danger is gone,” said David Posten, supervisor of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s clandestine lab unit. He said flammable chemicals and solvents remain long after the drug is brewed, potentially causing fires.

Nathan Murphy, the acting fire chief in Wooster, said the chemicals are a major concern, as nearby departments have battled recent house fires caused by meth labs.

“Unfortunately, it has become quite the epidemic,” Murphy said.

In an interview with drug agents, Marlow admitted that he and Hinton had been cooking meth from the house for months, according to court records. He said he made the drug at least 50 times since last summer, and he usually cooked from the living room, the records show.

Don Hall, the director of the Medway Drug Enforcement Agency, which fights drugs in Wayne County and the city of Brunswick in Medina County, estimates Marlow and Hinton made about $100 a gram or $400 a lab.

Marlow and Hinton were not charged with dealing the drug, mainly because police never made an undercover purchase from them. But Hall said he suspects the couple were selling to others.

Marlow hardly kept it a secret that he cooked methamphetamine. Last September, he was arrested for shoplifting camp stove fuel at a department store. He was later convicted and ordered to pay a $200 fine.

Gerald Hinton, 66, pleaded guilty to rape in November involving the attack on the 3-year-old girl. A month later, a judge sentenced him to prison for life.

“Why should I show you any mercy after what you did?” Judge Mark Wiest said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

Gerald Hinton’s house on West Vine Street is condemned. The four-bedroom, one-bath home was built in 1920. The Wayne County auditor’s office values it at $12,850. Prosecutor Dan Lutz said his office will not seek to obtain it through forfeiture.

The neighbor who lives near the house and feared an explosion said there is only one solution for the home, given the amount of chemical fumes in the walls and the toxic trash beneath the floorboards.

“Just tear it down,” he said.








BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — A Booneville woman was put behind bars on drug charges Thursday by Prentiss County authorities.Teresa Lynn Moss

Deputies say they received a report concerning a vehicle parked partially in the roadway and a woman going from house to house on County Road 8121.

Deputies responded and found the female, identified as 40-year-old Teresa Lynn Moss, in the vehicle when they arrived. Authorities report they were able to determine Moss was in possession of a felony amount of methamphetamine.

She was arrested for possession of meth and numerous misdemeanor charges.

Her bond for all the charges totaled to $8,500.








PHOENIX — Ryan Giroux, the suspect in a Mesa mass shooting that left one person dead, is a former Arizona Department of Corrections inmate with a history of police assaults and illegal drug use, according to police and prison records.

Giroux, 41, has a criminal record dating to the early 1990s and served a two-month county jail sentence last year for violating terms of a previous probation. His record includes convictions for drug possession, theft and aggravated assault, according to Arizona Department of Corrections records.B9316652308Z_1_20150318200325_000_GABA8SGCQ_1-0

Giroux is accused of gunning down a man in a Mesa motel Wednesday morning, then going on a shooting spree that left five others, including a culinary student, injured.

A Mesa SWAT team took Ryan Giroux, 41, into custody around 1 p.m., in a vacant condominium near Longmore and Emelita Avenue after a massive manhunt that included four other law-enforcement agencies.

Giroux was shot with a Taser, taken to Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa for treatment, then questioned late into Wednesday evening by detectives and investigators. He was expected to be booked into Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail on multiple charges.

Court records show Giroux has seven felony convictions. He served 7.5 years in prison as part of a plea agreement and was released in October 2013, records show. He also was in state custody in the 1990s.

His most recent prison stint came after his conviction in the assault of two Mesa police officers who were trying to arrest him outside a Circle K convenience store in December 2006, records show.

The clerk said Giroux had shoplifted a bag of potato chips worth 99 cents and, according to court records, he fought with officers who questioned him about it.

Local authorities escort the suspect involved with the shooting of 6 people in Mesa, Az., after finding him in a local apartment complex Wednesday, March 18, 2014. One of the six people shot was killed.

The two officers said they saw the butt of a gun in Giroux’s waistband, records show, and said Giroux kept trying to reach for the weapon while the three men fought. Both officers said they suffered bruises and scrapes on their arms and hands.

Officers arresting Giroux at the time said that his tattoos and notations in a notebook he carried indicated he was in a gang.

Prosecutors recommended the 7.5-year prison sentence, citing Giroux’s six previous felonies.

Those include convictions in California, Washington state and Arizona from 1993 to 1999 for theft, burglary and robbery. In 1999, records show, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in California.

Upon his 2013 release from prison in Arizona, Giroux still was having problems.

“By the defendant’s own admission, he has the propensity to become violent when he is either intoxicated or using illegal drugs,” Giroux’s probation officer wrote in May 2014. “He has a long arrest history that demonstrates violent behavior.”

The report also noted that Giroux’s mental health “appears to be stable until he uses methamphetamine.”

In the report, Giroux’s probation officer noted that he “wants to change his life around.”

Giroux began to have tattoos removed from his face and hands, the report said. Symbols inked on Giroux’s neck, chin and eyebrows indicate he had gang sympathies, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office veteran Richard Valdemar, an expert on prison gangs.

According to court records, Giroux had complied with some court-ordered steps for rehabilitation. He reported to his probation officer as directed, submitted to drug tests and took part in individualized drug treatment, records show.

Upon his 2013 release from custody, Giroux agreed to conditions that included being screened by Maricopa County’s mental-health court, participating in programs and taking prescribed medications.

The form he signed was standard. Giroux’s mental-health condition is not clear from the documents.

Giroux, though, continued to use methamphetamine. Records show he tested positive for it once and admitted to using it another time. He also admitted to using alcohol and marijuana, though the record shows that he did obtain a medical-marijuana card.

In April 2014, a probation-violation arrest report said Giroux failed to report to the probation department and instead went to Mesa and used methamphetamine. The report also said he was involved in a car accident in which all parties may have left the scene.

There was no additional information in the report, and he was charged with a probation violation.

Court records show Giroux was sentenced to two months in a county jail in May 2014 for violating his probation.








PABLO – Ever since methamphetamine use began growing here in the mid-1990s, the Salish Kootenai Housing Authority has tested its rental units for signs of meth contamination any time a tenant was evicted because of drug use.Salish Kootenai Housing Authority

But 18 months ago, an incoming tenant asked whether the unit she was moving into had been checked.

“We said no, there was no cause, the previous tenant had simply moved out,” says Jason Adams, the housing authority’s executive director. “But she wanted it tested, and even though it had already been cleaned and painted, it still tested positive for meth.”

That quickly brought about a change in policy. Since then, the housing authority – which oversees 445 rental units on the Flathead Indian Reservation – has tested all units that are vacated for any reason, for meth contamination.

More than half of the tests – 57 percent – have come back positive.


That’s 62 of 110 units tested in the past 18 months, according to Adams, and it’s forcing the housing authority to use money intended for long-term maintenance on cleanup, instead.

It can be expensive.

While low levels of contamination can be dealt with by washing walls and ceilings with chemicals, higher levels are another matter.

In one case, the interior of a unit had to be “gutted down to the studs and rebuilt,” Adams says. The cost for that unit alone: $53,000.

Even low levels of meth contamination can cost $4,000 to $5,000 to remediate, Adams says.

“You have to pay a contractor who does this type of work, and there’s nobody local,” he says. “They have to travel, their insurance costs are high, and they need the right protective equipment. It’s still expensive.”

To date, the housing authority has spent $325,000 to completely remediate and rehabilitate 16 of the 62 units that tested positive for signs of meth – money that was meant to replace roofs, siding and complete other long-term maintenance projects.


Meantime, another 36 units awaiting cleanup sit empty, even as 200 families in need of housing remain on the housing authority’s waiting list.

“It’s hard to tell a family they have to wait longer, but you want to get the house cleaned,” Adams says. The tribes use a contractor out of Missoula, and are in the process of approving a second contractor, from Browning, who is qualified to do the rehabilitation work.

Where does that leave the families on the waiting list?

“The definition of homelessness in Indian Country is different,” Adams says. “It’s two to three families living in one house. Usually, it’s a grandma and grandpa taking them in. You don’t see a lot of people living outside, in tents, although there’s a little of that in the summer. But for the most part, the people on the waiting list are living with relatives.”

In the 1990s, contamination came “primarily from meth labs,” Adams says, but now, meth use itself is a major culprit.

The health effects of living in a house contaminated by meth “are a big unknown,” Adams says. “Our staff has done a great job researching this, and there are yet to be reports that, if you live in a contaminated house, these are the effects.”

It is believed the drug can leave behind toxins that can cause respiratory and other illnesses in adults, children and pets.

“That’s why we’re being proactive,” he goes on. “We want to err on the side of caution, and provide a clean environment for our tenants.”


The new policy, begun 18 months ago, of testing every unit before a new tenant moves in will also allow the housing authority to set a baseline, Adams says.

With the new policy came new language in rental agreements. Tenants must acknowledge that they are moving into a unit that is free from meth contamination.

If they move out later, and the previously clean unit tests positive for meth contamination, they will be on the hook for cleanup costs.

“This isn’t just an issue for Indian tribes, this is an issue in every community, I guarantee you,” Adams says.

In 2013, the Denver Post reported that a Boulder, Colorado, firm that tests for meth, asbestos and other contaminants in residences, was finding meth contamination in half the Colorado homes it was hired to look at.

Gone undetected, meth contamination can linger on surfaces, walls, carpets and in duct work for years.

Adams says the 62 units that have been contaminated by meth were mostly ones that have had high turnover rates.

“Ninety percent of our tenants are good tenants, who abide by the terms of their lease and pay their rent,” Adams says. “We’re seeing most of the meth contamination in high-turnover units. We probably turn over 50 to 60 units a year out of the 445 we have.”

He encourages anyone, anywhere, who suspects drug activity in a home to report their suspicions to law enforcement.

In the meantime, the Salish Kootenai Housing Authority will continue to test every unit that people vacate before renting to a new tenant.

“It’s right there in the lease agreement now,” Adams says. “You acknowledge the unit tested clean, and if you move out and it tests positive for meth contamination, you will pay the cost to clean it.”








LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The unlucky couple who apparently got into a fight on the side of I-390 on Saturday between Dansville and Sonyea and sped off in their vehicle, later rear-ending a car hauler and flipping their vehicle on its side, were indicted with 11 others on Tuesday in federal court for “smurfing,” or helping produce more than 500 grams of Methamphetamine, or “meth,” for an illegal drug lab in Wellsville, NY.

According to a press release from U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr., a federal grand jury has returned three separate indictments charging 13 defendants, including accident victims Bradley Hollenbeck, 34, and Sarah Greene, 37, with conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute and to distribute, more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, a charge that carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10 million fine for each defendant.

“Over the last several years, we have seen an increase in the number of cases involving this highly toxic and dangerous substance,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “The public needs to be educated that ingestion of crystal meth causes profound and almost immediate physical, mental and emotional consequences, while the production process can also be deadly.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Duszkiewicz, who is handling the case, alleges that between January 2011 and late 2014, all of these defendants conspired to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. The defendants engaged in the practice of “smurfing” (buying small quantities) at local pharmacies to get around restrictions on purchasing products containing pseudo ephedrine, which he says is the most important chemical necessary in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Defendant Michael Hasert is charged for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, maintaining a drug involved premises, possessing more than 10 firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking, and being a felon in possession of firearms. The charges carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory five years to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed.

Brothers Timothy and Justin Billings are also facing charges of maintaining a drug involved premises and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. These charges also carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and a mandatory five years to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed.

The indictments are the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt, New York Field Division; the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET) under the direction of Lieutenant Kevin Reyes and Major David Krause; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Delano A. Reid, New York Division; the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, under the direction of Cattaraugus County Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb; the Wellsville Police Department under the direction of Chief Timothy O’Grady; U.S. Border Patrol under the direction of Patrol Agent in Charge Steven Oldman; and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under the direction of Captain Frank Lauricella.

The defendants charged are Michael E. Hasert, 60, of Scio, NY; Lionel C. Carter, 58, of Wellsville, NY; Todd E. Varney, 31, of Wellsville, NY; Bradley J. Hollenbeck, 34, of Andover, NY; Patrick J. Danielewicz, 34, of Friendship, NY; Sarah J. Greene, 37, of Wellsville, NY; Elizabeth J. Schreiber, 35, of Scio, NY; Michael C. Mullen, 34, of Hornell, NY; Timothy J. Billings, 30, of Wellsville, NY; Justin L. Billings, 32, of Wellsville, NY; Jordan R. Doane, 26, of Friendship, NY; Zackery D. Billings, 25, of Springwater, NY; Derek Fagan, 30, of Wellsville, NY.








BLOOMFIELD — Two roommates were arrested after police discovered a large stash of methamphetamine inside their apartment Tuesday, authorities said.17294641-mmmain

Gary Schuren, 54, and Marcus Irizarry, 32, had approximately 224 grams of the drug and more than $2,600 in cash hidden around their third-floor apartment at 165 Franklin Street, according to Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura.

The home had been the subject of a two-week investigation by a joint task force that included members of the sheriff’s Bureau of Narcotics, which culminated when officers forced their way into the apartment to serve a search warrant Tuesday morning.

Officers uncovered a single gram of methamphetamine on Irizarry, along with a glass pipe, and found $343 in cash stuffed in Schuren’s wheelchair, Fontoura said.

An additional search through the apartment yielded another 223 grams of the drug, $2,350 in cash and various drug packaging and processing materials, he added.

The street value of the meth was estimated at around $35,000.

Both men were charged with various drug possession and distribution charges. They were arraigned in Essex County Superior Court today, and are being held on separate $250,000 cash bonds.








In January, Customs and Border Protection agents in San Clemente found 23 pounds of meth hidden under the back seat of an SUV. Street value: $236,000.

Six months earlier, a vehicle stop near Temecula led to almost 70 pounds of meth hidden under the driver-side carpet. Street value: $683,000.

In 2014 alone, border agents found 132 pounds of liquid meth concealed in the gas tank of a pickup truck, 14 pounds of meth sealed in cans of hominy — they even discovered meth hidden inside wheels of cheese.

A side effect of the success law enforcement has had reducing domestic production is a dramatic increase in meth coming across the border from Mexico.

Between 2009 and 2014, CBP reported a 300 percent increase in the amount of meth seized at California’s ports of entry. This increase is acutely felt in the San Diego region.

In 2013, San Diego field agents seized nearly 15,000 pounds of meth crossing the border — this accounted for 63 percent of meth seized at all ports of entry nationwide.

And the effects are dire. Over the past five years, the San Diego County medical examiner ruled that meth was a factor in 950 deaths.

The Drug Enforcement Administration now estimates that 90 percent of meth consumed in the United States is produced in Mexico.

Criminal groups south of the border buy precursor chemicals from China and then oversee both manufacturing and distribution of meth, which leads to higher profits.

The result is a deadly combination: more meth with a higher potency at a lower cost. CBP reports that a pound of meth is one-third of the cost of a pound of cocaine in San Diego.

To combat this destructive drug, we need to pursue three key strategies: ensure law enforcement has the resources it needs, raise awareness about the dangers of this drug, and increase access to prevention and treatment programs.

The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, known as HIDTA, helps create task forces that work to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

These task forces are made up of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and are particularly valuable in regions where meth use and seizures are highest. San Diego is one such high-use area, where 83 percent of those surveyed for the annual Meth Strike Force Report Card said meth is easy to obtain.

In 2012, the Southwest Border HIDTA, California Region, which includes San Diego, dismantled 50 drug trafficking organizations.

In 2015, this program received $245 million. Unfortunately, the administration recommended cutting the program by 21 percent in its 2016 budget request. I believe we must fully fund this essential federal program.

The federally funded Anti-Meth Task Force program, which provides valuable resources to states most affected by meth, is another key program.

In its first year of existence, it provided California with $1 million to create a task force to combat meth trafficking and related crime. The administration recommended eliminating this program in its 2016 budget request. I disagree and will advocate to fully fund it.

Education and treatment are also key.

The San Diego Meth Strike Force reports that meth was the primary drug of choice for 34 percent of all drug treatment admissions in San Diego County. We must ensure those patients have access to the treatments they need.

One of the primary ways the federal government supports access to treatment is through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Block Grant, and it’s critical that Congress fully funds this program. The same goes for prevention efforts like the Drug Free Communities program, which are crucial to stop meth abuse before it starts.

As drug trafficking organizations adapt to U.S. laws and find new and innovative ways to produce and transport meth, it’s equally important that federal agencies coordinate a comprehensive response.

It is also important that we work with our international partners because meth is a shared problem with shared responsibilities.

Mexico is a strong partner and has taken steps to control many of the precursor chemicals used to make meth. However, as drug trafficking organizations expand their production, we must find new ways to prevent them from crossing the border. This is especially true in San Ysidro, the busiest land port of entry in the United States.

We must also look further back in the supply chain. China is one of the largest suppliers of meth precursor chemicals, and we must redouble our efforts to encourage the Chinese government to stop these shipments.

Our legislative and law enforcement efforts have done a great deal to combat domestic meth production, but drug traffickers have adapted.

To ensure previous successes aren’t reversed, we need to address these new challenges quickly and effectively. We must prevent meth from infiltrating our borders and confront its deadly consequences.








PECOS, TX (Local Big 2 News) – A Pecos father and daughter were sentenced to prison Tuesday for distributing more than 3000 grams of 53f27d0751af6_imagemethamphetamine.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, a federal judge sentenced 56-year-old Jose Luis Corrales to over 30 years, and 28-year-old Angelica Corrales to 17.5 years in federal prison.

In addition to the prison terms, visiting U. S. District Chief Judge of the Southern District of Mississippi Louis Guirola, Jr., ordered the defendants to serve a 5-year term of supervised release upon completion of their prison terms.

According to court records, the father and daughter pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, admitting that from October 2013 until August 2014, the two distributed over 3000 grams of methamphetamine.53f27ce5289e3_image

Court records further showed that Angelica Corrales admitted that she sold a minimum of three grams of methamphetamine, supplied by her father, three times a day for a year.








Father, daughter arrested on federal charges

Aug 18, 2014

A father and daughter duo were arrested and charged with federal drug crimes following a raid in Pecos Monday morning.

Jose Luis Corrales, 55, and Angelica Corrales, 27, were arrested during the raid. The two were arraigned in the federal courthouse in Pecos Monday afternoon and were charged with five counts each of intent to distribute methamphetamine, with Jose Corrales receiving a sixth count for being the owner of the home 219 E. Fourth St., in Pecos, where the meth was allegedly distributed, according to the federal court documents from the U.S. District Court of the Western District.

Each of the Corrales’ could receive from five to 40 years for each of the federal drug counts and up to 20 years for maintaining a drug-involved premises.

The father and daughter are currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Office in Pecos.








KNXV%20Coratolo%20_AMP_%20Caufield_1426641769048_15114971_ver1_0_640_480PHOENIX – A Phoenix couple is behind bars for allegedly having sex and doing drugs with a 15-year-old girl numerous times over four months.

Alonso Caufield, 25, and his girlfriend, Chelsea Coratolo, 23, were arrested Monday at their home near 19th Avenue and Cactus Road.

According to a police report, Coratolo asked the 15-year-old girl to “pleasure” her boyfriend because she was having her menstrual cycle and couldn’t. This arrangement lasted from October 2014 to February 2015.

Authorities said the victim told a counselor about the incident, who then notified police.

The victim told police the suspects gave her methamphetamine and marijuana and they would all take the drugs together.

She also told police that the couple recorded the sex acts and emailed them to her.

Caufield was booked on 10 counts of sexual assault and three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Coratolo was booked on 10 counts of molestation of a child and three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.








The case of a backpack meth lab being found in the restroom of a Muncie Wal-Mart has gone viral this week, evoking disbelief from those who come across the headline on social media.B9316637504Z_1_20150317171021_000_GIPA8FRVT_1-0

As the story spread, Indiana State Police officials made two arrests in the case, and the pair of suspects remain in custody on felony charges.

While the public restroom of a big box store isn’t the most common place for police to discover the production of methamphetamine, it isn’t the only spot to raise a few eyebrows in recent years. Here are five more.

On a motorcycle

In May 2012, police said a 33-year-old man was riding through Missouri with a meth lab strapped to his motorcycle.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that police arrested the man following a brief chase when he refused to stop for a seat belt check.

Officers found the active lab and a bag containing meth residue attached to the back of the motorcycle.

In a man’s pants

A 23-year-old Florida man was arrested in October 2014 carrying a mobile meth lab in one of his pant legs, WKRG reports.

The suspect was tracked down by police after authorities received an anonymous tip about someone who had been cooking and dealing meth in the area.

When the lab was recovered, police learned that the drug was being cooked in a plastic Smart Water bottle.

At the casino

A Louisiana woman accused of running multiple meth labs was arrested in May 2014 when police found her labs in a Shreveport casino.

On the day of the arrest, detectives were called to the casino for a fire started by possible drug activity, according to KSLA News.

Police found a meth lab inside the suspect’s room, as well as two active labs and components for making meth hidden in an air conditioning vent.

In a camping tent

Two men and a woman were arrested at Alabama’s Chickasabogue Park in June 2012 when a “one-shot” lab was found in the trio’s tent.

Police were called to the campsite for a disturbance involving guns, the Press-Register reports. When police arrived, they found the two men sitting on a bench near their tent.

One of the officers unzipped the tent and spotted the meth lab in a 28-ounce drink bottle.

At the retirement home

Residents in a Fresno, Calif., retirement home were shocked to learn that one of their neighbors was cooking meth in the building.

KSFN-TV reports that the 64-year-old suspect was cooking and selling drugs in his room within the retirement community.

Police said the street value of the meth the man was carrying at the time of his June 2014 arrest was close to $1,700. They also found scales and baggies in his car.








Last Saturday a Warsaw women was stopped by Indiana State Police on US 30 near Parker Street in Warsaw for running a traffic light. Indiana State Police Lt. Chad Larsh soon discovered after talking to the women that she was acting abnormal and showing signs of drug and alcohol impairment.Janet-Antoinette-Combs-e1426517259325-450x600

The driver of the pickup truck, Janet A. Combs, 42, was driving on a suspended driver’s license and had her two boys, age 10 and 12, with her.

Through the course of discussion with Combs, Larsh noticed drug paraphernalia located in the driver’s area, as well as items associated with drug use in Combs’ possession.

Combs claimed she had borrowed the truck to take her two boys to the movies. Larsh further uncovered a black bag in the bed of the truck during the vehicle inventory for impoundment. The bag was found to contain an active one pot meth lab and other items associated with methamphetamine manufacturing.

Combs was taken to Kosciusko Community Hospital after a search warrant was obtained giving permission to collect blood and urine samples for analysis. Combs was incarcerated at the Kosciusko County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine and driving while suspended. Pending the outcome of the blood and urine tests, Combs may face additional charges.

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.








AMORY, Miss. (WTVA) — Two women face drug charges after investigation into two shoplifting cases lead to the discovery of drugs.11310_656700201118654_922828973098483663_n

Amory Police say Stacy Foster, 44, of Nettleton was arrested Saturday after a report of a shoplifter at a business on Highway 278.

While Foster was being booked by police, they discovered methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in her possession.

She faces felony drug charges and shoplifting charges and is currently out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

In a separate case, Nancy J. Ellis, 39, of Saltillo was arrested Monday after a report of a shoplifter at a business on Highway 278 in Amory.10929067_657117697743571_225118035376248855_n

Amory police investigators say officers stopped the woman after she left the store and found methamphetamine, marijuana and paraphernalia in the car.

Two juveniles were in the vehicle with her and were released to a guardian.

Ellis is charged with possession of meth, possession of marijuana, shoplifting and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

She remains in the Monroe County jail on a $10,000 bond.








A St. Paul Park, Minn., woman told police a tinfoil wrapper in her pocket held a lock of her baby’s hair, but the crumpled package actually contained methamphetamine, according to drug charges.

Melissa Marie Solum, 35, is charged with fifth-degree methamphetamine possession and two driving offenses following a Feb. 28 traffic stop near the Cottage Grove-St. Paul Park border.

According to the criminal complaint:

A Cottage Grove police officer driving on 70th Street over Highway 61 had to brake suddenly to avoid colliding with a vehicle that had turned into her path without the right of way.

Solum was the driver and admitted she did not have proof of insurance and her driving privileges were revoked. She also had an outstanding Dakota County warrant.

During a search police found a crumpled piece of tinfoil in Solum’s pocket. Solum said it contained a lock of hair from her baby’s first haircut. Police opened it and found a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. A glass pipe used for drugs was found in another pocket, according to the complaint.

Solum was in court Thursday for an initial appearance.








DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Three people are in custody after a drug task force raid at a home here yielded almost 20 ounces of meth worth $60,000 to $85,000, said the city’s police chief Monday.detroitlakesmeth0317

39-year-old Nicolle King, 30-year-old Mark Knudsen and 60-year-old Michael Pickus are all facing two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Detroit Lakes Police Chief Tim Eggebraaten said law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on the home at about 6:10 p.m. Friday.

Officers seized 19.9 ounces of methamphetamine worth about $60,000 to $85,000, plus six guns and ammunition, coins and drug paraphernalia, Eggebraaten said.

According to court documents, the Detroit Lakes Police Department was contacted by the Drug Enforcement Agency that a FedEx package had been intercepted by police officers in California, addressed to an individual. Police believe the parties agreed that a controlled delivery of the package would be attempted.

Officers obtained a search warrant for the package which contained a coffee can that was covered in spray foam. Inside the coffee can were three cellophane-wrapped quart-sized zipper lock bags among coffee grounds. The three bags contained methamphetamine, weighing approximately 19.9 ounces.

Police removed 18 ounces of meth and replaced it with ice melt, a substance that appears similar to meth.

A special agent with the Becker County Sheriff’s Department was then put in place to make the controlled delivery. The agent was wearing a FedEx uniform and made the delivery to the residence on March 13 and to an individual identified as the homeowner.

Police executed a search warrant at the residence and upon entering, they found King in the entrance of the dining room lying face down on the floor. Police seized evidence in the home including the original package.

Found throughout the home were glass pipes, a digital scale with powder residue that tested positive for meth and unknown pills. Inside a blue zipper bag was the digital scale, small zip baggies with a spider design and a piece of paper with the name “Nicolle King” on it.

King told law enforcement that she had been offered money to sign for a package but she didn’t know what the package contained. King told police she tasted some of the delivered product but that it didn’t taste like meth and looked like “wax.”

According to the court documents, a records check revealed King was previously convicted of five controlled substance charges in Clearwater County in February 2015.

Lakes to River Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, the West Central Drug Task Force, Paul Bunyan Task Force, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources were all involved in the execution of the search warrant.








AMARILLO – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted a traffic stop March 14 on IH-40, yielding over 18 pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $1,608,000.meth_dps

At approximately 9:08 p.m., a DPS trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2014 Ford Fusion traveling eastbound on IH-40, for a traffic violation, near Conway in Carson County.

The driver of the Fusion was identified as Angela M Winn, 29, of Indianapolis. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered six bundles of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

Winn was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance over 400 grams, a first-degree felony, and booked into the Carson County Jail. The illegal drugs were allegedly being transported from Phoenix to Indianapolis.

The following day, on March 15, the DPS seized an additional 15 pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $1,332,000.

At approximately 8:28 p.m., a DPS trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2014 Ford Focus traveling eastbound on IH-40, for a traffic violation, near Amarillo in Potter County.

The occupants of the Focus were identified as Maria Fonseca, 44, Laura Vea, 26, and Mayra Duran, 24, all of San Bernardino, Calif. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered six bundles of methamphetamine in the spare tire.

All three occupants were placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance over 400 grams, a first-degree felony, and booked into the Potter County Jail. The illegal drugs were allegedly being transported from San Bernardino, Calif., to Amarillo, Texas.








DC Fitness owner has been arrested.

Duane Curley, 46, Mohnton, has been charged with possession; possession with intent to deliver of cocaine, methamphetamine, and anabolic steroids.Duane Curley

In April 2014, District Attorney John T. Adams’ Drug Task Force Detectives began an investigation at DC Fitness, 31 Catherine Street, Shillington, Berks County after receiving citizen complaints of suspected drug trafficking. Throughout the course of the investigation, numerous drug buys were made from Curley.

The investigation culminated with sealed search warrants being served by members of the Drug Task Force March 16 at approximately 5:30 p.m. at two locations: DC Fitness and 642 Maple Grove Road. The sealed search warrants were signed by a Berks County Court of Common Pleas Judge. Upon entry at DC Fitness, Duane Edward Curly was secured inside the office area of the establishment. Approximately 50 patrons were utilizing the facility at this time.

The following items were seized from DC Fitness: 84 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 66 grams of suspected cocaine, large quantity of oral and injectable anabolic steroids, large quantities of unused syringes, and drug-related paraphernalia associated with the distribution of controlled substances, and $570 of U.S. currency believed to be proceeds from previous sales of the illegal controlled substances.Seized from DC Fitness

The following items were seized from his home: a small amount of suspected cocaine, large quantities of oral and injectable anabolic steroids, and large quantities of unused syringes.

Subsequently, Curley was arrested and transported to the Berks County Sheriff’s Central Processing Unit for processing and preliminary arraignment. He was then transported to Berks County Jail System in lieu of $250,000.








WireAP_7a78e26acc764b15a1a9d0ebe4cef618_16x9_992A suspended Roman Catholic priest who authorities say dealt pounds of methamphetamine and bought a sex shop to possibly launder his drug money is asking a federal judge for leniency when he is sentenced next week.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin’s public defender filed a sentencing request in federal court in Hartford on Monday citing Wallin’s three decades of charitable service as well as more than 80 letters of support, including one from the late New York Cardinal Edward Egan.

Wallin, 63, dubbed “Monsignor Meth” in some media reports, pleaded guilty in 2013 to a methamphetamine conspiracy charge and agreed to a potential prison sentence of 10 to 11 years. Already imprisoned for the past two years, he is now asking for a sentence of no more than four years in prison followed by a year of home confinement, 500 hours of community service and drug treatment. Sentencing is scheduled for March 24.

“The record evidence demonstrates that Kevin Wallin is an extraordinary man whose remarkable character and acts have touched thousands of people,” Wallin’s public defender, Kelly Barrett, wrote in the sentencing request. “Kevin tragically became a methamphetamine addict. He fell from grace and did criminal wrong, but has confessed his crimes and has been working hard to atone for them.”

Barrett wrote that Wallin’s numerous accomplishments include serving as pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Danbury and the Cathedral Parish in Bridgeport, volunteering with a variety of community groups, helping found an AIDS ministry program, leading an inner city charity group, serving on the Danbury Cultural Commission and serving on the board of directors of Sacred Heart University.

Egan, who died earlier this month, was bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000. He praised Wallin in a letter to the court.

“He was outstanding in the fulfillment of his assignments and in his concern for people in need,” Egan wrote. “Father Wallin was held in highest regard as a dedicated clergyman and an outstanding citizen as well.”

Federal prosecutors say Wallin committed serious crimes and most people convicted of conspiring to sell meth are sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.

Federal investigators said Wallin had associates in California send him methamphetamine beginning in late 2008 or early 2009. By 2011, Wallin’s partners were sending him one to three pounds of meth a month and Wallin was running the drug operation out of his apartment in Waterbury, investigators said.

Wallin also bought the “Land of Oz & Dorothy’s Place” adult video and sex toy shop in North Haven and apparently intended to launder drug proceeds that totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, federal agents said in court documents.

Wallin’s two accomplices in California — Chad McCluskey of San Clemente and Kristen Laschober of Laguna Niguel — were both sentenced last year to five years in prison. Two men who helped Wallin sell drugs in Connecticut also were convicted. Kenneth Devries of Waterbury was sentenced to more than two years in prison and Michael Nelson of Manchester awaits sentencing.

Brian Wallace, a spokesman for the Diocese of Bridgeport, said Wallin is still a priest, but remains suspended from public ministry.

“We’re asking for prayers for him, understanding and recognizing that many people … suffer from addiction and they lose control of their lives,” Wallace said. “It’s time for him to try to rebuild his life.”








A Cave City man and a Horse Cave woman were arrested in the wee hours of Tuesday by Cave City police on drug charges.

Brian Poynter, 33, and Rebecca Shultz, 23, who was a passenger in Poynter’s car, were arrested after Cave City police officer Jason Morgan pulled over the red Mitsubishi car they were driving for a traffic stop. Methamphetamine packaged for resale, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle, as well as on the passengers in the vehicle, according to a Cave City Police Department press release.

Poynter was charged for not having rear license plate illuminated and trafficking in a controlled substance (Methamphetamine). Schultz was charged with possession of a controlled substance (Methamphetamine), trafficking in a controlled substance (Methamphetamine), possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, the press release said.

Poynter and Schultz were taken to the Barren County Detention Center. Morgan was assisted by deputies with the Barren County Sheriff’s Office, the press release said.








KNOX TOWNSHIP, JEFFERSON COUNTY – Police say a local woman was smoking meth when she shot her husband, and she claims she thought he was an intruder.

Police charged Trista Zickefoose, 31, with Criminal Homicide. She called 911 and reported the crime just before midnight Monday morning. Zickefoose told police she and her husband Gregory, 40, had fought earlier in the evening and at some point she started smoking methamphetamine at their home on Markton Road in Knox Township, Jefferson County.

She said heard someone in the house and grabbed a 9mm pistol from underneath her pillow. Gregory allegedly saw her with the weapon and started walking towards her. She says she fired one warning shot and then another that killed Gregory.\

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Trista Zickefoose is now in the Jefferson County Jail.

State police say their investigation revealed the couple had been involved in a domestic dispute at the home in Knox Dale.

State police say Gregory saw her and began pursuing her to get the gun. Trista told police she fired one shot to warn the victim to leave her alone. Then he continued, and she fired a second shot.

Neighbors say there are at least two apartments in the building. They later spotted emergency vehicles.

“I saw some flashing lights and what not out back here and I was looking around and saw they were across the street and there was fire trucks and an ambulance,” says neighbor Nathan Britton.

“What woke me up was the flash of the cameras it was so bright and they were taking pictures over at this neighbor’s yard,” says neighbor Regina Sarvey. “I’ve seen them walking their dog and I’ve seen their little kids.”

“I heard a noise that sounded like a bang sometime around midnight or so but I can’t guarantee that that was anything to do with it. I mean, I was watching TV, getting ready to go to bed,” says neighbor Raymond Chappell. “I used to see her walk her little girl up and down the street.”

We saw a trooper unloading evidence from a forensic van at the Punxsutawney barracks this afternoon.








A woman who allegedly began pumping breast milk to divert a state trooper’s attention during a traffic stop that netted 15 pounds of methamphetamine was sentenced Monday to nearly two years in federal prison.13785642

U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson sentenced Elda Deyanira Delfin, 37, of Oklahoma City to 21 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to a charge of misprision of a felony—failing to report a felony crime.

Delfin’s husband, Diego Delfin-Esquivel, 27, of Oklahoma City, was sentenced Monday to more than 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a methamphetamine trafficking charge. He also faces additional charges in Oklahoma.

Shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 8, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped a 2015 Kia Sorento SUV on Interstate 40 on a traffic violation of an improperly placed or obscured license plate, according to court records.

The trooper then talked to Delfin-Esquivel, the driver, and Delfin, a passenger, about their trip through the area, and both appeared nervous and gave conflicting information about their travels.

“During the traffic stop, Delfin started to pump breast milk from her breasts in what (the trooper) believed was an attempt to distract him from searching the interior of the vehicle,” according to court records.

Delfin then told the trooper she could not stop pumping once she started. Because of Delfin’s actions, the trooper thought Delfin was trying to hide something inside the SUV.

The trooper asked Delfin-Esquivel to search the SUV and he agreed, according to the affidavit. During the search, the trooper found nine bundles of methamphetamine in the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Six of the bundles were in a box by Delfin’s feet and three more bundles were found under the passenger’s seat where Delfin was sitting, according to a court affidavit.

During the investigation, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent interviewed another unidentified person who said Delfin-Esquivel was a methamphetamine dealer, that his wife was aware of his drug trafficking and that the couple had made several trips on short notice to unknown locations.

Child Protective Services also took custody of a 3-year-old child who was in the Sorento, a DPS spokesman said.