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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wade says she often saw children playing at the home.

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

 

 

 

 

http://www.wate.com/story/26082330/several-meth-labs-meth-components-found-at-knoxville-home-with-children-inside

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

http://times-journal.com/news/article_f1f2f3f2-11dd-11e4-880f-0019bb2963f4.html

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

http://newsitem.com/news/meth-camp-found-in-franklin-township-1.1723225

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

http://www.wchstv.com/newsroom/eyewitness/140722_26774.shtml

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.ketknbc.com/news/neighbors-react-to-meth-bust-on-quiet-residential

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It said the suspect would soon be charged to court.

 

 

 

 

http://www.punchng.com/news/ndlea-arrests-graduate-with-2-18kg-of-methamphetamine/

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/sand-springs-officers-find-meth-lab-meth-making-components-while-trying-to-locate-sex-offender

 

TITUSVILLE — Titusville police seized a suspected methamphetamine lab Tuesday less than three blocks from Titusville High School.

Police arrived at a home in the 100 block of East Spruce Street at about 3 p.m. as a standby for an Office of Children and Youth Services home visit. During the visit, officers observed what they believed was methamphetamine manufacturing, police said.

Everyone in the house was removed and a search warrant was obtained. The Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Response Team also was called to the house and later removed active methamphetamine production equipment, police said.

The equipment was expected to be sent to the state police crime lab in Erie for analysis.

Charges are expected against multiple suspects, police said.

 

 

 

http://www.goerie.com/suspected-meth-lab-found-near-titusville-high-school

 

 

 

BARSTOW — Barstow police say they arrested a convicted felon Saturday after she was found hiding in a trash container while possessing a large quan­tity of methamphetamine.

Angela Kay Thomas was sought for an out­standing warrant and police received an anony­mous tip at approximately 12:23 a.m. that she was at a residence in the 600 block of Armory Road in possession of metham­phetamine for sale. Street Enforcement Team detec­tives arrived to the home and were told Thomas left minutes prior.

Officers, including a K-9 team, were called to the location to assist in the search of the resi­dence. During the search, Thomas was found hid­ing in a trash container in the backyard. Police said she resisted arrest and became “combative” with officers but was eventually subdued and handcuffed.

Thomas was found allegedly grasping a plas­tic bad containing a large amount of methamphet­amine. Police say they also found evidence consistent with sales of illegal drugs.

Police learned Thomas was out of custody on bail after being arrested April 8 after a narcotics search warrant was served at El Rancho Motel, located at 112 E. Main St. According to previous reports, Barstow police obtained the warrant after an investigation of metham­phetamine sales from the motel.

Thomas, who is also known as Angela Burch according to court records, was shot in the left shoulder by her ex­fiance Raul Aldrete in 2012. Aldrete was sen­tenced to 37 years to life.

Thomas is currently being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga in lieu of $75,000 bail and is due in a Victorville court­room Tuesday to answer to three charges, including possessing a controlled substance for sale and obstructing an peace offi­cer, booking records show.

The Barstow Police Department’s Street Enforcement Team fre­quently investigates nar­cotic and gang activity and encourages citizens to report such incidents by calling 760-255-5160. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip Hotline at 800-782-7463 or leave information on the WeTip website at http://www.wetip.com.

 

 

 

 

http://www.desertdispatch.com/article/20140722/NEWS/140729990

 

A Hays man is expected to face charges after a traffic stop in Hays resulted in the discovery of homemade explosive device and drugs.

According to Hays Police Department Lt. Brandon Wright, Lloyd C. Symns, 32, Hays, was pulled over for speeding on the 1000 block of Reservation Road shortly before 3:15 a.m. Monday.

Wright said Symns was found to be in possession of a small explosive device, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Wright said the explosive device was transported to a local range where it was disabled by officers from the Kansas Highway Patrol’s bomb squad.

Symns was arrested on suspicion of criminal use of explosives, criminal disposal of explosives, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.hayspost.com/2014/07/22/police-hays-man-had-homemade-bomb-in-car/

 

British born porn performer Bruno Knight was arrested at LAX on 16 June after border protection officers found he was carrying half a pound of crystal methamphetamine inside him

British born porn star Bruno Knight has been arrested for trying to traffic half a pound of crystal methamphetamine from the US to the UK.

Knight, who’s real name is Philip Gizzie, had attempted to board a Virgin Atlantic flight at LAX airport in California which was departing for the UK but was stopped by Border Protection officers who had been tipped off by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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Knight told Border Protection officers that he had traveled to the US with his flight attendant partner Alister McCalister for a short stay and that prior to coming to the airport he had been partying in North Hollywood with several friends where he’d taken methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana and GHB.

However after being taken to a holding room he admitted that he was carrying drugs inside him.

Knight was able to dislodge two packets of drugs by himself however he needed to be taken to Centinela Hospital in Inglewood where a third package was removed via an enema.

The packages were weighed and found to have a total weight of 226 grams, or just short of half a pound and Knight was taken to prison.

Knight is being held at Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center and has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, which could mean he is seeking to arrange a plea bargain.

The details of Knight’s arrest were first uncovered by NSFW blog Str8UpGayPorn.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/porn-star-bruno-knight-arrested-trying-traffic-crystal-meth-uk230714

 

 

 

 

 

 

On July 21, 2014, Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) began an investigation into the manufacturing of methamphetamine at 190 Moll Drive, Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

During the afternoon hours, a probable cause search warrant was obtained for the residence. During the search, Investigators located several used “One Pot” cooking vessels, muriatic acid, empty boxes of cold medicine, lithium, and syringes.

The resident, Joseph Shawn Moll, 32, was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a church and preschool, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Moll was transported to the Walton County Jail where he received an additional charge of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer for striking a detention deputy.

WALKER Parish narcotics agents and uniform patrol shut down a local methamphetamine lab Monday and arrested the man believe responsible for it, Detective Stan Carpenter said Tuesday.

Police booked Scotty Ray Morrison, 21, at his residence at 39270 Tyler Ballard Road, Walker, on charges of manufacture of methamphetamine and placed him in the Livingston Parish Prison, where he remained as of Wednesday on a $500,500 bond.

Police received an anonymous tip relative to a strong ammonia type odor coming from the residence, Carpenter said. When deputies went to the investigate the complaint, they smelled the ammonia-type odor.

Deputies approached Morrison, who was standing outside, Carpenter said. After talking with police, Morrison voluntarily showed officials the location of the lab, which was running at the time.

According to information and evidence at the scene, police believe the lab was capable of producing approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine, valued at $2,000, Carpenter said.

DEA officials responded to the scene and joined ongoing investigation, Carpenter said.

A clean up team was called in by DEA as to dispose of any hazardous materials.

Carpenter said more arrests in this case are forthcoming.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.livingstonparishnews.com/article_165b542a-00d9-5aec-a839-c7c3984f6854.html?TNNoMobile

 

July 22, 2014. Avery County Sheriff Kevin Frye announced the arrest of two individuals after deputies escaped a possible ambush last week.

On July 17 at about 10 p.m., deputies were dispatched to a reported breaking and entering in progress at 155 Old Plumtree Creek Rd. Upon arrival, officers located one of the suspects sitting in a car in the driveway of the residence and another suspect standing just outside the house. As officers began speaking with the person inside the car, the second suspect ran back inside the house and into a bedroom where he shut the door.

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Officers were able to make contact with and arrest both suspects. The suspect who ran into the house had also opened and turned over a recliner, appearing to be ready for a barricade and the Uzi which was found with ammo jammed, making it inoperative. Charged with breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering and trafficking in methamphetamine were Daymon Isaac Pritchard, 25, of 852 Big Horse Creek Rd. in Newland and Levi Cody Hicks, 26, of 6210 U.S. 19 East in Newland.

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Officers also located a semi-automatic .22 caliber pistol which was in possession of one of the suspects and reported to have been stolen.

Both suspects were detained at the Avery County Jail where Pritchard was held under a $200,000 secured bond and Hicks under a $250,000 secured bond.  Approximately 100 grams of methamphetamine was seized.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.hcpress.com/news/100-grams-of-meth-barricades-and-uzi-avery-county-sheriffs-deputies-escape-possible-ambush.html

 

 

Three arrests cleared up six vehicle burglaries in Lamar County.

Eleven more netted a passel of people allegedly dealing methamphetamine and prescription drugs around Purvis and Sumrall.

It’s been a busy week for the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Danny Rigel said deputies on patrol spotted a car fitting the description of one at the scene of vehicle burglaries at Foxgate Apartments between Cox Avenue and Interstate 59.

After pulling the car over, deputies arrested Marquis Terrell Dantzler, 21, of Hattiesburg and two juveniles.

“We had gotten a call from a witness that had seen them,” Rigel said. “It was a deal where they were going into cars that had been left unlocked.”

Rigel said Dantzler was charged with auto burglary and possession of a firearm by a felon. Bond was set at $10,000 on the burglary charge and $5,000 on the firearm possession charge.

A month-long investigation into the sale of prescription drugs and methamphetamine led to 11 arrests in Purvis and Sumrall by the department’s Narcotic Unit.

“It’s been a continuing investigation, where we’ve been following up on leads,” Rigel said. “More arrests are expected.”

Seven were charged with felony sale of a controlled substance:

• Dawn Lynn Argue, 60, Purvis ($200,000)

• Mathilda Danielle Dixon, 27, Purvis ($200,000)

• Gregory Revett, 57, Purvis ($200,000)

• Keith Lott, 27, Sumrall ($200,000 bond)

• Jacqueline Lynn Taormina, 44, Sumrall ($200,000)

• Christopher Clayton Phillips, 35, Sumrall ($100,000)

• Thomas Lee Pulliam III, 34, Sumrall ($50,000).

Three others were charged with two counts of felony sale of controlled substance:

• Meagan Danielle Dixon, 27, Purvis ($200,000)

• Crystal Michelle Dunn, 34, Hattiesburg ($200,000)

• Tanner Joe Runnels, 18, Sumrall ($200,000).

The 11th, James Randall Ford, 58, of Poplarville, was charged with felony sale of controlled substance and possession of controlled substance (methamphetamine). His bond was set at $200,000.

Justice Court Judge Bill Anderson set bond on Dantzler as well as those arrested on the drug charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/story/news/local/lamar-county/2014/07/22/lamar-county-danny-rigel-drug-possession/13002183/

 

Sunday, July 20th, after a traffic stop, two Burke residents were arrested after a quantity of drugs was found inside their vehicle, according to the Avery Sheriff’s Office.

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Arrested was Crystal Lynne Newton, 30, of 3233 Clark Loop Morganton. She was charged with possession with intent to sell/deliver methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.  Newton is being held on a $40,000.00 secured bond.
Also arrested was Danielle La-rae Eldreth, 22, of 5131 Crawley Dale Street, Morganton, charged with possession with intent to sell/deliver methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle and possession of methamphetamine.  Eldreth is being held on a $35,000 secured bond.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.goblueridge.net/news/1/24914-burke-women-charged-in-avery-drug-counts

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.goblueridge.net/news/1/24914-burke-women-charged-in-avery-drug-counts

 

ROGERS COUNTY, OklahomaA Rogers County task force arrested a 61-year-old woman accused for selling meth. They said an undercover drug buy led them to Elda Spears.

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When they arrested her they said she had more than 44 grams of meth on her, which has a street value of more than $2,000.

Investigators said she also had about $1,800 worth of hydrocodone pills in her purse.

 

 

 

 

http://www.newson6.com/story/26075447/61-year-old-rogers-county-woman-accused-of-selling-meth

 

MADISON, TN (WSMV) – Managers spent Monday surveying the damage at the Alta Loma apartments in Madison after a meth fire destroyed several units.

S&S Property Management runs the complex, taking control of the apartments just two months before the fire. The landlords, accompanied by insurance adjusters, walked through the rubble to assess cleanup costs. It’s unclear how much the meth cleanup will cost.

Metro police said the fire started when a meth lab exploded inside the building Saturday afternoon, displacing nearly 75 people. The flames destroyed eight apartments before Nashville firefighters extinguished the blaze.

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Police arrested Kelly Wakefield, 27, and her Michael Drury, 22. Both are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and aggravated arson.

“When people do these things inside their homes, there’s not much we can do,” said Tabitha Allbert, of S&S Property Management. “We’re doing whatever we can to make it right.”

Allbert said she’s refunded rent and deposit costs for at least five residents. Tenants who wish to stay at Alta Loma can request a vacant apartment. Allbert said there are enough units at Alta Loma to accommodate the people left homeless by the explosion. She puts that estimate between 35 and 45 residents.

Managers said they hope the residents can move into the apartments by Wednesday, but the time frame remains unclear.

Allbert said the company plans to develop tenant profiles to learn more about its renters.

A simple background check could have revealed Drury is a convicted felon with a history of robbery and burglary. But Allbert said Wakefield never listed Drury, her boyfriend, on the lease.

“With our current policies in place this would not have been an issue,” Allbert said.

Despite what neighbors say, managers claim they’ve never received drug complaints about residents in the building. Allbert did admit receiving several other “minor” complaints, but could not elaborate.

“The complaints that we did receive, we were taking all action allowed by Tennessee Law and there was a plan in place for this unit,” Allbert said.

“And what was that plan?” asked reporter Alanna Autler.

“I can’t discuss the plans, unfortunately,” Allbert said.

The information comes too little, too late for Maurice Key, who escaped the flames with his 1-year-old daughter.

“I just want a roof for today,” Key said. “That’s my goal, where we going stay for the night?”

Key and his pregnant girlfriend, Breane Hodge, spent Monday searching for help. They tried visiting the American Red Cross shelter at a nearby church, only to learn it had closed Sunday.

“We’re basically just stranded out here,” said Key, who works two jobs to support his family. The flames incinerated the uniforms he needs to wear for work. Key and Hodge have stayed with relatives since Saturday.

“Our small child, everything she had, her bed, her clothes, her toys, everything is gone,” Hodge said.

An ongoing drug investigation led police to arrest two men at a nearby building earlier this summer, according to Don Aaron, a spokesperson for the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Aaron said that investigation appears unrelated to Wakefield and Drury.

Representatives with the American Red Cross said victims can still reach out to their Nashville office for food, clothing, and other assistance. Call 615-405-2433 for more information.

Managers with the Parkwood Villa Apartments in Nashville also want to help these victims. The company will waive move-in fees for residents displaced by the fire. As of Monday afternoon, six units remained open.

 

 

 

 

http://www.wsmv.com/story/26075074/landlord-tries-helping-residents-displaced-by-meth-fire-in-madison

 

A Golden Meadow Police officer and two others are charged with manufacturing meth, authorities said today.

Officer Ashley Pollard, 37, and his girlfriend, Anna King, 31, both of 113 West 82nd St. in Cut Off, were arrested Monday, the Lafourche Sheriff’s Office said. Also arrested was his brother, Courtney Pollard, 33, of 2016 South Bayou Drive in Golden Meadow.

Golden Meadow Police officer

Golden Meadow Police Chief Reggie Pitre said Ashley Pollard has resigned from the department.

“I am sorely disappointed in the actions of this former officer,” Pitre said in a written statement. “The Golden Meadow Police Department has no tolerance for criminal behavior, and we want to reassure the public that this officer’s actions are not a reflection on our department as a whole. My sincere hope is that this ultimately results in him getting the treatment and help he needs.”

Pitre declined to comment further.

The Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force began investigating the case in April 2014, the Sheriff’s Office said. Agents learned the Pollards had produced the illegal drug for personal use. King bought pseudoephedrine, a drug sold over the counter for colds and sinus conditions, and other products for meth production.

Agents obtained arrest warrants for all, as well as a search warrant for the home where Ashley Pollard and King live.

Agents met Monday with Ashley Pollard at the Criminal Operations Center in Lockport and questioned him regarding the investigation.

“During questioning, he confessed to his participation in manufacturing methamphetamine for personal use,” the Sheriff’s Office says in a news release. “Pollard told investigators he used methamphetamine to help cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder he says he developed following overseas deployments with both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.”

A search his Cut Off residence turned up additional evidence of meth manufacturing, the Sheriff’s Office said.

All three were booked into the Lafourche jail on one count each of creation or operation of a clandestine lab for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance.

All were released Monday after posting bond. Ashley Pollard’s bond is $10,000, King’s $5,000 and Courtney Pollard’s $25,000.

Courtney Pollard’s criminal history includes 14 prior arrests, including various battery charges, drug possession and several counts of contempt of court, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Ashley Pollard and King do not have prior criminal histories.

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20140722/ARTICLES/140729953?tc=ar

Lincoln, NE – In August 2013 federal law enforcement officials reported the arrest of 17 people linked to a single organization importing and selling meth in western Nebraska and northeast Colorado. Most of the accused lived in or around Ogallala and Big Springs, Nebraska. A dozen more people have been charged with having ties to the same group of dealers, according to officials familiar with the investigation.MugShotsBKvert_300x550

Investigators dubbed the investigation “Operation Mexican Seafood.” Court documents reviewed by NET News indicate the boss of the local operation lived on a small ranch five miles outside of Big Springs, Nebraska and had meth supplied by large, illegal manufacturers in Mexico.

“It was a huge deal,” Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman said. He says it was not only the size of the operation but the unmatched quality of the methamphetamine being imported. In the past two years informants and undercover officers purchased meth which is up to 95 percent pure, according to investigators.

Sheriff Overman says getting such high-quality drugs from street dealers indicates “the folks who are manufacturing it are really good at manufacturing it.” Since it would be almost impossible for small, local meth lab to deliver such pure meth he believes “you are probably looking at a major meth lab, a super-lab.”

The operation targeted in Operation Mexican Seafood shed some light into how the drug travels from labs in Mexico to dealers in rural Nebraska. The investigation had humble beginnings.

“That all started, believe it or not, with a Colorado marijuana buy,” according to Dana Korell, supervisor of the Scottsbluff-based Western Nebraska Intelligence and Narcotics Group (WING).

The investigators soon learned the drug deals stretched eastward, into the territory of the Central Nebraska Cooperative for Drug Enforcement, a second police task force based in North Platte. Both played a role in investigating the operation.

In 2012 an informant working for the drug investigation task forces bought pot from a pair of suspects. Caught in a police sting, the busted dealers told police “they wanted to go to work” and provide information about other dealers in the area. The case continued to expand as additional deals yielded new intelligence.

“That morphed into this giant methamphetamine case,” Korell said. As the investigation unfolded through 2013, officers marveled at the amounts of the illegal drug available from the dealers. “They were moving pounds. Pounds and pounds of methamphetamine,” he said.

At the height of the investigation 13 different local and federal law enforcement agencies tracked down leads and rounded up suspects.

Court records examined by NET News indicate informants and electronic surveillance uncovered a methamphetamine sales network stretching from northeast Colorado almost 200 miles east to North Platte, Nebraska. Police tracked money transfers funneling the money back to Mexico delivered by wire and personal couriers.

“I don’t think anybody had any idea the size and the quantity of the methamphetamine that was going through the Ogallala-Big Springs area,” Korell said.

Some of the drugs were allegedly distributed out of a small ranch five miles east of Big Springs. One informant, a street dealer out of Colorado, told State Patrol investigators he sold $3,000 worth of crystal meth picked up at the house. He identified Andres Barraza as “the boss.” Court documents list Barraza’s alias as “Guacho.” Loosely translated from Spanish it means “The Bastard.”

In June, Barraza pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Omaha to federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Nine others in the organization have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 12 to 60 years in federal prison. Some sported long criminal records. Others were low-level dealers in Ogallala, linked by high school friendships and jobs at local fast food restaurants.

The busts apparently provided area law enforcement with a map of how incredibly pure meth made its way from the Mexican border to western Nebraska.

“Their distribution network is like, you think of it as tentacles of the octopus spreading out across the United States,” said Deb Gilg, the U.S. Attorney serving the State of Nebraska.  “The influence of the Mexican cartels cannot be underestimated in terms of their sophistication, their network in bringing methamphetamine into Nebraska.”

Investigators are not saying if they have traced where specifically the high-grade methamphetamine originated, or which of the cartels might be the manufacturer, other than saying there is evidence it originated in Mexico.

Reports prepared by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in the Rocky Mountain and Midwest territories link the source of huge amounts of the methamphetamine sold in the region back to Mexico’s northwest coast in the Sinaloa province. Sinaloa had been the home base of the drug cartel operated by Joaquin Guzman Loera, known as “El Chapo.” His arrest in Mazatlán earlier this year created international headlines and was considered a major blow to the drug trade in Mexico.

Five years ago, law enforcement saw a significant drop in the number of people in Nebraska attempting to make inexpensive home-brew meth. Pseudoephedrine, a popular ingredient in cold medicines and available at drugstores, was distilled as an element in meth.   A change in state law placed tight restrictions on the key ingredient used in small operations. Almost immediately south-of-the-border drug gangs began expanding sophisticated labs to make meth.

“What’s happened is the distribution network of the cartels have picked up and filled the void with meth coming in,” Gilg said. “It is frustrating to see the amount of drugs that are coming into Nebraska.”

From 2007-2012 statistics compiled by the Nebraska State Crime Commission reveal a significant increase in the number of drug arrests involving methamphetamine while cases involving heroin and cocaine dropped significantly. In 2013 there were 46 federal indictments filed on meth-related charges in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska. These are generally people accused of being part of an organization selling large quantities. Half of those arrests were made by the regional drug task force based out of North Platte. Some were also weapons charges filed against those involved in the drug trade.

Local law enforcement officials regard meth as the biggest crime problem in the area. In a survey conducted by NET News at the end of 2013, a sizable majority of county attorneys and sheriffs surveyed agreed meth was “the greatest threat.”

“It causes the most problems and by far the most violence,” Sheriff Overman said. “There’s a lot of associated crime. Theft, robbery, burglaries, and that creates the money to buy the methamphetamine.”

More meth dealers and suppliers working out of Nebraska and Colorado could be picked up based on intelligence collected during Operation Mexican Seafood. Law enforcement hopes it could also land bigger fish, including those operating one of the super-labs across the border churning out the high-grade meth flooding the market in the Great Plains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.kvnonews.com/2014/07/huge-deal-major-meth-operation-revealed-western-nebraska/

 

CADDO VALLEY — A Hot Springs man claiming to be an Arkansas State Trooper faces felony drug charges after police found a traveling meth lab in his vehicle.

John Paul Dunn, 44, of Hot Springs, remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center on three felony meth charges. According to a recent report filed by the Caddo Valley Police Department, Sgt. Roy Bethell was patrolling the Valero service station parking lot after hours when he observed the driver of a SUV back into a parking space in front of the business. The driver exited and walked to the entrance of the store, which was closed.

John Paul Dunn

The SUV had a permanent trailer tag displayed on the front bumper. The driver, later identified as Dunn, approached Bethell and asked where he could find a cheap candy bar; he said he had just left a store nearby and “wasn’t paying two dollars” for a candy bar, the report states.

Before Bethell was able to respond, Dunn got back into his vehicle and drove across the street to the Pilot, where he again backed into a parking space. He “quickly exited and walked into the store before I could get to him,” Bethell wrote in his report.

Bethell took a closer look at the trailer tag on the front of the vehicle, discovering it was covering another license plate. He looked at the rear license plate, which also covered another plate. The California license plate was checked through dispatch, which said it returned to a stolen BMW. Bethell also noticed that the steering column inside the SUV “had been tampered with, which is common on stolen vehicles,” according to the report.

Bethell and another officer waited outside with the car until Dunn exited the Pilot and inquired about the license plates and the damaged steering column. Dunn reportedly said it was stolen but “quickly” changed that story toe ay it had once been stolen. He gave Bethell an Arkansas identification card and an Arizona driver’s license, which returned suspended. Dunn also had warrants out of New Mexico, which was contacted but would not extradite outside the state.

At some point during the conversation with police, Dunn said he was a former officer from the Malvern Police Department and was currently seeking office of sheriff at Maricopa County, Arizona. “He further stated that he worked for Troop F of the [Arkansas] State Police,” the report notes, but according to ASP spokesman Bill Sadler, Dunn is not employed by state police.

The report notes that Dunn “appeared to be under the influence of narcotics in that he rambled, could not stay still and changed topics in conversation rapidly and displayed nervous but aggressive behavior.” Asked to have a seat in the rear of Bethell’s patrol car, Dunn complied. Citations were written, and he was advised the vehicle would have to be towed because he had no insurance and because of the suspended driver’s license.

Dunn was later released and asked to retrieve his “very aggressive and large” dog from the vehicle so police could inventory the SUV prior to being towed. In the passenger seat, Bethell located meth. A check of the hatch area revealed a duffle bag containing “numerous items of drug precursors and chemicals for manufacturing meth,” the report states. A loaded Winchester 7 mm rifle was found under the back seat.

Dunn was then arrested and transported to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Formal charges are pending and will be determined by Prosecuting Attorney Blake Batson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.siftingsherald.com/article/20140721/NEWS/140729963/-1/Sports/?Start=2

 

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – Police think a “one pot” meth lab became too hot to handle so the owner threw it out of a car behind a Salisbury grocery store.

On Monday afternoon a truck driver discovered an Adidas bag on the ground near a loading dock behind the Food Lion in the 500 block of Jake Alexander Boulevard.

The driver said the bag was smoking, so he called 911.

Police arrived and found the bag still smoking.  According to the report, it contained all the ingredients necessary to make the highly illegal and addictive drug methamphetamine.

The SBI was called to remove the bag.

 

 

 

 

http://www.wbtv.com/story/26079414/smoking-one-pot-meth-lab-found-behid-grocery-store

 

Ogallala celebrates its past as a rip-roarin’ cattle town of the late 1800s, with monuments and tourist attractions.

It earned its claim to fame after the railroad reached what would become Ogallala in 1867, the closest point for Texas beef to reach transportation to the hungry East.

There probably won’t be any monuments built to the latest way the community facilitates a connection between producers and buyers.

The fame — or infamy — actually belongs to a small farm near Big Springs, which provided high-quality methamphetamine to tweekers in Northeast Colorado, Northwest Kansas and Southwest Nebraska.

Methamphetamine has been a problem in our area for decades, but five years ago, after authorities cracked down on the sale of the pseudoephedine used as a raw material, they noticed fewer and fewer instances of small, local meth labs.

That left a vacuum in the market that was filled by drugs of such purity — up to 95 percent at times — leading officials to believe they were coming from a “super lab” in Mexico.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Central Nebraska Cooperative for Drug Enforcement based in North Platte and including McCook-area authorities, set up “Operation Mexican Seafood,” using confidential informants seeking immunity from marijuana busts.

One informant said he sold $3,000 worth of crystal meth he picked up at the Big Springs ranch, and the alleged local kingpin, Andres “The Bastard” Barraza was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Nine others got terms ranging from 12 to 60 years. Some were career criminals, others were high school friends or knew each other from fast-food jobs.

NET News, which dug through court records and produced the story, reported that while local authorities wouldn’t confirm the connection, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration linked the meth back to Mexico’s Sinaloa province, home base of the drug cartel operated by Joaquin Guzman Loera, “El Chapo,” who was arrested by much fanfare earlier this year.

While much attention has been focused on the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, and the harm it may cause to society, there is no question of the harm caused by meth, through crime, violence and ruined lives.

If marijuana were legalized everywhere, there would still be plenty of work to go around for those involved in enforcement of drug laws, and plenty of “customers” for jail and prison cells.

 

 

 

 

http://www.mccookgazette.com/story/2102619.html

 

Augusta, Ga. (WRDW) — “It isn’t the neighborhood, it’s the people in the neighborhood,” said Belinda Council who lives in the Harrisburg neighborhood.

Council’s strolls on the streets of Harrisburg are now few and far between.

“I’ve moved from one side to the other one,” she said.

Getting away from the bad, heading for what she thought was good but never realizing, it was following her and the one she loves the most.

“I got a granddaughter, and I don’t want my baby around that kind of stuff, you never know what can happen,” she said.

Just two blocks from her house, she would’ve never realized this could happen. An active meth lab in plain sight.

“You cannot beat the smells,” said Matt Perkins with Richmond County Narcotics Division.

Perkins says he can smell trouble from a mile away. He got the call Sudnay night to Battle Row, a man allegedly cooking up meth in his backyard.

“They’re definitely coming up in places that you wouldn’t think that they would normally show up in,” he said.

It’s almost an everyday occurance for Perkins but he says it’s not something that happens in just troubled areas.

“Come in, exchange money for dope, leave, and then they’ll use it and they need more, they come back, so it’s a constant drive-thru,” he said.

Neighborhoods filled with kids, older folks. Belinda says, “You got this stuff going on and they’re breathing in these chemicals.”

She’s holding her breath though, hoping the bad air will clear so her granddaughter can alittle breathe easier.

“If you want to put your own life in danger then you do that but you don’t have the right to put nobody else’s life in danger,” said Council.

 

 

 

 

http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/Meth-labs-on-the-rise-showing-up-in-unusual-places-268034861.html?ref=861

 

HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV)– This year, 12 meth labs have been dismantled in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. The number of labs in our area has been going up. That’s why the Rush Drug Task Force is making sure property owners know what to watch out for when it comes to finding meth labs in the Valley.

Mark Campbell, who is a special agent with the task force, says the ingredients used to make meth are pretty simple. It’s an issue that he says they’re struggling to keep up with locally.

“It’s statewide. The focus of it was in the southern part of Virginia when it first started. Now it’s starting to spread. It’s just so easily available. Any of the ingredients that you see that are for processing meth or making meth can be bought at a hardware store or Walmart for $40 and buy what you need,” said Campbell.

Once they find meth labs, they take the waste and store it in containers in Rockingham County until a contractor can come get rid of it safely.

Campbell adds that when they find evidence of meth production, most of the “lab” can be found in bottles. He says the thicker plastic holds up to the chemical reactions that take place to make the drug.

 

 

 

 

http://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/-Meth-Labs-Are-On-the-Rise-in-the-Valley-268009111.html