Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. — Two Clarksville women have been arrested after Drug Task Force investigators found evidence of a methamphetamine lab in a home where three children lived.

On Monday, a DTF agent searched 1460 Dotsonville Road, Lot 17, after the Department of Children Services received complaints of meth use in the home.

Two women, Nancy Kay Cohen, 34, and Tamara Leann Dennis, 19, lived there.

Tamara Leann Dennis Nancy Kay Cohen

The agent determined that another person was allowed to make meth in the home while three children – ages 5 months, 1 year and 14 – were present.

Cohen and Dennis were charged with promoting the manufacturing of meth and child abuse and neglect. They were booked into the Montgomery County Jail on $30,000 bonds.

The women also were arrested Saturday on meth-related charges after a traffic stop on Dotsonville Road.

Cohen’s car contained a gallon of camp fuel, lithium batteries and coffee filters commonly used in cooking meth, according to a previous article.

Additionally, 1.2 grams of methamphetamine, three Xanax pills and one Adderall pill were found, along with three syringes, but none of the occupants claimed ownership of them, the warrants said.

Amber Nicole Lehman, 29, of Cumberland City, also was charged Saturday. Dennis, whose infant son was in the car, was charged with reckless endangerment.

About arrests

Readers are reminded that an arrest, charge or indictment is an allegation and not a statement of guilt. Those charged are presumed not guilty until convicted by a judge or jury.




BEREA — Berea police arrested three people Friday after uncovering an active meth lab in a Knights Inn motel room.


According to a BPD report, officers were dispatched to the motel after a complainant reported possible drug activity in one of the rooms.

g0a00000000000000000d6c9ae3c4d74e8991998ec893aee7923a7d7a91 g0a0000000000000000ad3222256441b4dd21c2038d589da756a5362a4a g0a0000000000000000df800eebed50331197b45287995df1755e43c252

At the motel, they made contact with Lewis Bishop, 43, Bobby Saylor, 23, and Catherine Hogwood, 25, all of Berea. The three gave officers consent to search the room, where the officers found the active lab, five small baggies containing methamphetamine, several syringes and other items used to manufacture the drug, the report stated.


All three were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.


In addition, two warrants were served charging Bishop with first-degree possession of a controlled substance and Saylor with unlawful possession of a meth precursor, the report added.


The suspects were lodged in the Madison County Detention Center, where Bishop and Hogwood remained Tuesday afternoon, according to the jail’s online records. Saylor was released early Tuesday morning on a $15,000 bond, according to a detention center officer.




PORT ORANGE, Fla. (AP) — Three people are accused of running a meth lab out of a central Florida motel.

Port Orange police say they got a call Monday about drug activity at the Town and Country Motel.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal ( ) reports officer detected a strong chemical odor in the room. They found an active methamphetamine lab.

The area was evacuated because of the potential hazard.

Police Lt. John Jakovenko says the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office methamphetamine team was called to help remove and dispose of the material.

The people — ages 21, 39 and 66 — are charged with the manufacture and possession of meth.



The drug methamphetamine has been popping up all over the place lately, with four meth labs found in the county so far since only the beginning of the year.

Most recently, Lebanon police meth technician Chris Luna said two meth labs were found last week; one at Timberline Campground on Murfreesboro Road in Lebanon and the other in a backpack in an abandoned vehicle.

Additionally, meth labs have become more common in area motels and hotels, as Luna said they located one at Knight’s Inn in Lebanon and another in a small motel behind the former Ellie Mae’s Bar at 941 Carthage Highway within the past two weeks.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said the influx of meth labs, not only in Lebanon but also in the entire county, was a concern.

He said meth labs could affect everyone from those people who have to respond to the scenes where they’re located to children ingesting and being around the harsh chemicals.

“What bothers me is seeing all the dangers it causes, for the responding officers and the people staying in the motels that we’re finding them at. It’s dangerous,” Bryan said. “The numbers are increasing so much something needs to be addressed, probably at a state level.”

Bryan said numerous pieces of legislation concentrating on meth, and materials used to make it, would be seen in Nashville in the form of House and Senate bills to attempt to alleviate the meth problems in the state.

According to Bryan, the Sheriff’s Association is involved in trying to get a bill passed to require a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used in meth and also a common over-the-counter decongestant.

Other pieces of legislation offer the option to put a restriction on the amount that can be bought.

Overall, Bryan said he believed the legislation was good and something that needed to be considered to end the meth influx.

“It’s bad stuff, and too many people are going to get hurt,” Bryan said. “It affects too many people.”

Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen agreed and said meth manufacturing has definitely picked up in the last two to three years.

Bowen said the dangers of the drug and the manufacturing process were obviously the biggest concern, but the department also has to spend thousands of dollars in order to properly equip and train themselves to be prepared.

“It costs us significant money in preparation, but with the dangers and hazards there’s no way around it,” Bowen said.

Bowen also said he didn’t see the meth boom slowing down.

“The system we have in place is not working, something definitely needs to be looked at,” Bowen said.

With legislation proposed for pseudoephedrine to be available by prescription only, Bowen said he thought that might have to be an option lawmakers go to.

“Right now the legitimate use versus the criminal use, I think way more people are buying pseudoephedrine for the criminal use, and it needs to be balanced,” Bowen said. “The bottom line is that we’ve got to do something, you can tell by what’s going on that what’s in place now isn’t working.”





CADILLAC — A Mason County man facing drug charges who was being brought into the Wexford County Jail received an unexpected surprise — more drug charges.

Albert James Brooks, 40, of Freesoil, was arraigned in 84th District Court in Wexford County on Feb. 5, according to court records, on a count of possession of methamphetamine, second or subsequent offense.


Brooks was being processed into the jail when what is suspected to be a controlled substance was found in his clothing, according to Jail Administrator Lt. Greg Webster. As a result, Brooks was charged with drug possession.

Prior to the discovery of the suspected drugs, Brooks already had faced a felony charge in Wexford County of possession of methamphetamine, second or subsequent offense, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $30,000. Brooks has a second offense notice, according to court records, due to a previous conviction for possession of’beacon_b38e71efb6′ style=’position: absolute; left: 0px; top: 0px; visibility: hidden;’>

Bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety.

A 38-year-old man was arrested Friday on charges of production of methamphetamine after deputies found someone shaking a container of chemicals under a street light on Comer Road in Bardin, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Ricky Wesley Comer, who lives on Comer Road, was being held on $9,000 bail on that and other charges of possession of listed chemicals, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and maintaining a drug vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office said.


Deputies received information that someone was cooking methamphetamine at the end of the road and walked down it to find . As they approached they observed a white male, later identified as standing next to a green Chevrolet truck with the passenger side door open. Deputies stood in the shadows and observed Comer walking away from the truck and towards a light pole holding what appeared to be a one pot methamphetamine lab in his hand. Comer was observed holding the object up to the light and shaking it.

As deputies approached Comer while identifying themselves, Comer took the object and put it behind his back and began back peddling to the truck where he then threw the object into the truck. Comer then grabbed a beer that was sitting on the tool box and acted like that was what he had in his hand. After briefly struggling with the deputies, Comer was detained and secured in a patrol car. Deputies then looked into the truck where Comer threw the object and an active one pot methamphetamine lab and chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine were discovered.

Members of the Methamphetamine Response Unit at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and rendered the one pot methamphetamine lab safe.

Comer was placed under arrest and booked into the Putnam County Jail.  His bond was set at $9,020.00



BULLHEAD CITY, AZ (CBS5) – Operation Wagon Wheel rolled through a Bullhead City trailer park Monday, resulting in eight narcotics-related arrests.

Numerous complaints were received leading up to the crackdown about methamphetamine use and sales inside the Wagon Wheel Trailer Park in the 400 block of Moser Avenue.

24695439_BG1 24695439_BG2 24695439_BG3 24695439_BG4 24695439_BG5

Acting on the tips, the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team conducted search warrants on four trailers on the property, with help from Bullhead City police and SWAT officers, police in Lake Havasu City and Kingman and GIITEM, the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission.

During Monday’s crackdown, detectives said they also noticed numerous code enforcement violations. The city’s Code Enforcement officials notified police that they, too, had been conducting their own investigation on the property because of dangerous building issues.

Code Enforcement declared about 14 trailers, mostly vacant, as uninhabitable for violations, such as sewage line breaks, dangerous electrical wiring and unsafe flooring.

Those arrested were:

  • Melanie Lee Kuehmann, 30. Police said they found her to be in possession of hypodermic needles and other meth paraphernalia.
  • Berl Ralph Lolmaugh, 59. A useable amount of methamphetamine and a meth pipe was located in his bedroom, officers said.
  • Charles Waukene Campbell, 56. Police said they found a useable amount of meth and a scale, spoon, hypodermic needles and several plastic baggies containing meth residue that belonged to Campbell.
  • Kaela Jayne Davis, 21. She had about 4 grams of methamphetamine, two glass meth pipes, a baggie containing a small amount of marijuana, and a firearm in her bedroom, police said.
  • Gary Eugene Coker, 52. Police said they found used syringes in the vicinity where Coker sleeps.
  • Jared Marcel Ary, 32. Officers said they found he had a syringe in his pocket.
  • Steven Thomas Williams, 47, and Kellie Marie Davis, 45. Police said they located methamphetamine paraphernalia, including a scale inside their residence.

All were booked into the Mohave County Jail in Kingman. Ary was taken to the substation jail in Mohave Valley.



A former King County Sheriff’s deputy who lost his job last year after accusations surfaced that he stole drug evidence while working undercover for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury on three drug-related counts, KIRO Radio has learned.

Mitchell J. Wright, 33, was arrested earlier this week after agents with the DEA witnessed him sell methamphetamine, according to statements made in federal court on Tuesday.

117183Mitchell J. Wright, 34, was arrested this week after agents with the DEA witnessed him sell methamphetamine, according to statements made in federal court on Tuesday


Wright, who was escorted into court in handcuffs and was wearing a tan jailhouse uniform, pleaded not guilty to one count conspiracy to distribute meth and two counts distribution of meth in amounts exceeding five grams.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian A. Tsuchida ordered Wright be held until a hearing scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20.

Should Wright be convicted on all three counts, he would face a maximum sentence of 40 years in a federal prison and a $5 million fine, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah K. Bolstad.

The federal charges released Tuesday are separate from those filed against Wright in King County Superior Court last year after Wright was arrested at his Bothell-area home for investigation of possession of stolen property, possession of narcotics, theft, and tampering with evidence.

Wright was assigned to the DEA field office in Seattle in 2009 to work with a task force dedicated to investigating federal and state-level drug crimes. He was reassigned from that position in February 2013 and resumed work as a patrol deputy out of the sheriff’s office in Shoreline.

Concerns about misconduct on the part of Wright first surfaced in May 2013, when a Bothell police officer caught a woman injecting heroin into her arm in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant. According to court documents, the woman was in a Dodge Ram registered to Wright and told the officer that she worked for him as an informant. The woman also told the officer that she lived with Wright, according to the documents.

A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered drugs and drug paraphernalia, the documents read.

The King County Sheriff’s Office launched an internal investigation into the incident and Wright was placed on administrative leave on July 3. He resigned from his position as a deputy with the sheriff’s office on July 9.

On July 20, King county deputies cleaning out Wright’s previously assigned patrol car found three “small plastic baggies” marked with DEA case numbers. Residue inside the baggies tested positive for heroin, according to court documents.

It was later determined that between $36,450 and $52,490 worth of narcotics seized by Wright during his time with the DEA were never placed into evidence, according to the documents. Those drugs included hundreds of prescriptions pills, including Oxycodone.

Wright joined the department in November 2002. In 2006, he was named “Shoreline Police Officer of the Year” by his peers. That year, Wright was credited with making more than 150 arrests, “including numerous arrests of suspects in stolen cars, felony narcotics violations, and other serious crimes,” according to a City of Shoreline annual report.

Wright is scheduled to go to trial in April on state charges.

A defense attorney for Wright declined to comment on the federal case Tuesday.



SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 35-year-old Mexican woman tried to smuggle nearly $500,000 worth of methamphetamine through a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley while driving a minivan with her 11-year-old son inside, authorities said Tuesday.


The drugs were found secreted in the gas tank late Saturday, and the woman, whose name was withheld, was arrested at the Interstate 8 checkpoint, according to a statement from the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego sector.

A service dog alerted agents to something suspicion in the woman’s 2005 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, and authorities found 27 cellophane-sealed packages of meth in the gas tank.

The total haul was more than 40 pounds, valued at $490,820, according to federal agents.

The boy was taken to San Ysidro and turned over to his father.



This goes hand-in-hand with the post immediately before this one – methamphetamine hidden in the vagina (or “groin area”) is usually found during the booking process.  Or is it?

Scotts Bluff County Detention Center jailers discovered seven bags of methamphetamine concealed “in the groin area” of a woman arrested early Tuesday morning.

Katrina Ramos, 25, of Scottsbluff, was arrested at about 12 a.m. Tuesday after a police officer stopped a vehicle in the 1400 block of Eighth Avenue. The officer was aware that a warrant had been issued for Ramos’ arrest.

The officer arrested the woman after she allegedly provided a false name and date of birth. He used photo identification to identify the woman. As she exited a police cruiser, she told the officer that she dropped a digital scale on the floorboard. While transporting the woman to jail, the officer said in an arrest affidavit, she appeared to be “digging in the rear of her pants.” He also heard a clinking sound in the back of the cruiser, locating a pipe with white residue believed to be methamphetamine, on the floorboard of the car.

Because of the pipe and the scale, he directed jail staff to conduct a strip search of the woman. After the search, the jailers provided the officer with a clear plastic bag which contained several smaller bags that had been concealed “in the groin area” of Ramos. The officer tested the substance inside the bags, which tested positive for methamphetamine. A total of four grams of methamphetamine was seized during the search, the affidavit says.

Ramos was jailed on charges of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false information to an officer. Formal charges had not yet been filed in Scotts Bluff County Court Tuesday, but Ramos is expected to be arraigned Wednesday.




This was recently published in a medical journal (Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2014 Feb 11.) by Jones P, Mutsvunguma R, and Prahlow JA.

Inserting methamphetamine into the vagina is a common way to “hide” the drug from the authorities.  Usually the drug is found when the woman is strip searched when booked into jail.  But what happens if the drug leaks out into the vagina?  It is quickly absorbed into the blood, and this medical study shows that that can be quickly fatal!

In this paper a drug fatality that involved an unintended drug delivery route is described. The decedent, a 23-year-old female in custody in a county jail on suspicion of a felony drug offense, was discovered in a holding cell unconscious and unresponsive. Following unsuccessful cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempts she was pronounced dead at the scene. At autopsy a wad of multiple small loosely wrapped plastic packages held together with another layer of clear plastic was found in the decedent’s vagina.

vaginal contents after the anterior walThe vaginal contents after the anterior wall of the vagina has been cut open. Note that the urinary bladder (above the vagina) has also been opened


The smaller plastic packages contained an off-white pasty substance that was later identified as methamphetamine.

opening the larger piece of discoloredUpon opening the larger piece of discolored, clear plastic, 3 smaller pieces of plastic were identified. One was loosely tied and contained a light-colored, pasty substance that was later identified as methamphetamine. The other two appeared to have been previously tied, but were largely empty of contents


Toxicological testing of specimens collected during autopsy revealed methamphetamine in the decedent’s subclavian blood, vitreous fluid, and urine at extremely high concentrations (42.6, 20.1, and 771 mg/L, respectively). Amphetamine, the active metabolite of methamphetamine, was also present in the subclavian blood, vitreous fluid, and urine at significant concentrations (1.3, 0.5, and 20.4 mg/L, respectively). The cause of death was attributed to toxic effects of methamphetamine and the manner of death was ruled accidental. This report suggests that lethal concentrations of methamphetamine may be distributed to the systemic circulation via intravaginal absorption.

PRYOR, OK — Selling methamphetamine to cops is bad. Four Mayes County residents did it twice.

After making two controlled purchases of methamphetamine, Mayes County Sheriff’s Investigator Jason Treat, along with Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agents and Locust Grove Police, executed a search warrant on a residence in Locust Grove.

The residence, near Locust Grove High School, was home to Melanie Williams, Gregory Mellowbug, Gina Mellowbug and Bryan Phillips. The search, combined with the amount purchased, yielded officers 10 grams of methamphetamine, valued at over $1,000, according to Treat, who is also an OBN agent. The group was selling methamphetamine out of the house. The residence was also home to a minor, 9 years old, who is not the biological child of any of the adults living there, according to Treat.

Gregory Mellowbug and Williams are each charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance within 2,000 feet of a school and possession of paraphernalia, according to Treat. Williams has an additional felony count of possession of a firearm after former felony conviction.

Gina Mellowbug is charged with two counts of conspiracy of delivery of controlled dangerous substance, unlawful use of a communication device, child neglect, possession of a controlled dangerous substance within 2,000 feet of a school and possession of a firearm after former felony conviction.

Phillips is also charged with two felony counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled dangerous substance as well as possession with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a school and unlawful use of a communication device.

The two women are in a relationship having met while they were cellmates in prison. The two were released less than six months before this arrest. Gina Mellowbug has multiple prior felony convictions; in Mayes County she has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault and battery, petit larceny and feloniously pointing a firearm. Williams has formerly been charged with three counts of concealing stolen property, five counts of forgery and two counts of obstructing an officer.



LOUDON (WATE) – A Georgia woman was arrested on meth charges after a routine traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Loudon County.

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy noticed a Dodge Challenger cross the fog line several times while traveling south on February 7 around 3:30 a.m.

24691294_BG1 24691294_BG3

The vehicle exited at Exit 76 and the deputy was able to stop the vehicle at the intersections of Sugar Limb Road and Hotchkiss Valley Road.

The driver, identified as Jennifer Leigh Kendrick, 30, of Covington, Ga., said she was having an medical emergency. An ambulance was dispatched and cleared her medically.

Kendrick was then asked to perform a field sobriety test because officers said she was lethargic and unsteady on her feet. She could not complete the tests.

She then admitted she had taken methamphetamine. K-9 Dante was deployed and alerted to an odor of illegal narcotics.

Kendrick admitted to methamphetamine being in the vehicle. Upon field testing, one pound of meth was found along with two loaded handguns, which Kendrick admitting stealing, and a set of digital scales.

Kendrick was arrested and taken to the Loudon County Jail where she is being held on $77,000 bond.

VALEENE, IN (WAVE) – A cross-county police chase goes on for 20 miles before ending with an injured deputy and two suspects sustaining gunshot wounds, according to Indiana State Police (ISP).

After the chase, investigators found ingredients to make meth in the suspects’ car.

Investigators report the vehicle pursuit was started by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department in Palmyra near the intersection of Main Street (US 150) and Greene Street (US 135) just before 2 a.m. Monday.

Police said they noticed a car take off from the intersection at a high rate of speed and followed it, checking the license plate through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Harrison County Deputy Michael Andry found the plate did not match the car. As he attempted to pull the vehicle over, the driver made efforts to evade the deputy.

According to police, the pursuit traveled west on US 150 through Washington County and into Orange County, where it reached Rego. But it didn’t stop there, as the suspect driving, Daniel Ray Holloway, 23, of Leavenworth, Indiana, turned south onto county roads and kept going until he turned west at a dead end on County Road 820 South. The total chase went on for about 20 miles.

When the suspects realized they were faced with a dead end, police said the driver turned the car around and faced a deputy vehicle.

The deputy got out of his car and ordered the suspects, at gunpoint, to exit their vehicle, according to police.

Investigators said Holloway did not stop, however, but continued toward the deputy, who fired his weapon three times through the windshield. Holloway was hit in both hands and the front-seat passenger, Ian Goeble, 30, of Depauw, Indiana, was struck in the abdomen, according to a police report.

That did not slow down the suspect’s vehicle, which went on to hit Deputy Andry, throwing him onto the hood of his patrol car, police said. The deputy was transported to the Harrison County Hospital where he was treated for leg and back injuries and has since been released.

An Indiana Conservation Officer was in his car behind the deputy and blocked the suspects’ car, succeeding in getting Holloway, Goeble and a third suspect, Rachel Kirkham, 25, of Corydon, Indiana out of their vehicle and taking them into custody without further incident, according to police.

Both suspects who sustained gunshot wounds were transported to University Hospital. Their conditions are not known but police said their injuries are not life-threatening.

During their investigation, ISP troopers found “precursors to manufacture methamphetamine” in a backpack in the suspects’ car. Police said no actual meth lab was found, however.

Charges are pending against the suspects involved in the incident.

ISP was assisted during the investigation by the Orange and Harrison County Sheriff’s Departments.



CALDWELL COUNTY, KY (KFVS) – The Kentucky State Police arrested a Fredonia man on drug and traffic charges after a trooper stopped to help a driver broken down on the interstate.

On Sunday, February 9, at around 3:51 p.m., a trooper stopped to help a driver who was northbound on Interstate 69 at around the 78 mile-marker. The driver, Mark D. Baize, 48, of Fredonia had lost a tire to the trailer he was pulling behind his pickup truck.

While the trooper was helping him, Baize granted the trooper consent to search his vehicle.

The trooper found suspected methamphetamine inside Baize’s pickup truck.

Baize was arrested without incident and charged with possession of controlled substance 1st degree 1st offense – meth, failure to notify DOT of address change, and no registration plate.

Baize was taken to the Caldwell County Jail.



TAHLEQUAH — A 23-year-old Tahlequah woman was jailed on a $10,000 bond Friday after police allegedly found her to be in possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Erica McGregor was booked into jail for possession of meth, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he responded early Friday morning to a convenience store on East Downing, where a vehicle had been parked at a gas pump for at least half an hour.

Keele said he arrived and saw McGregor slumped down, appearing to be asleep. Officers knocked on the window several times before McGregor awoke.

McGregor told Keele she was waiting on a friend, but her friend would not answer the phone. She allegedly told the officer she was going to get a ride so she could leave her vehicle behind for another friend.

Keele saw a small jar in McGregor’s back seat, and the jar appeared to contain a bag with a green, leafy substance. She handed the jar to Keele, and he identified the substance as marijuana.

Keele then deployed canine officer Bo around McGregor’s car, and Bo gave a positive alert.

“I opened the driver’s side door and K-9 Bo jumped inside the vehicle and began to sniff the driver’s seat… ,” Keele said.

Police looked inside McGregor’s vehicle and found several syringes, a light bulb that had been made into a smoking device, and other items. Keele found a clear bag of meth in the driver’s seat; and a metal container attached to a key ring contained three bags of a white, crystal substance.

After she was arrested, McGregor allegedly admitted to police she had marijuana inside her bra. Officers at the Cherokee County Detention Center later retrieved the marijuana. -



CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In two years, a state fund set up to help the victims of violent crimes has paid out $1.2 million to clean up West Virginia’s meth mess.

Last year, the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund distributed $849,146 for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs, up from $378,404 in 2012, according to a Charleston Gazette analysis of Court of Claims data.

Out-of-state landlords who own meth-contaminated properties in West Virginia received more than $100,000 of those payouts for cleanup expenses since January 2012. Payments went to property owners in Kansas City, Mo.; Surfside Beach, S.C.; Arlington, Va.; and Cincinnati.

West Virginia is the only state that reimburses property owners for meth lab cleanup costs through a crime victims compensation fund.

Meth labs are having a substantial financial impact across the state,” said Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne. “The numbers are accelerating.”

In 1981, state lawmakers set up the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund to help “victims of crime, particularly violent crime.” The fund typically pays for crime victims’ medical and funeral expenses.

Six years ago, as meth labs began to proliferate in West Virginia, the Legislature passed a law that allows property owners to file claims with the state to help pay for meth cleanup.

Perdue said the drain on the Crime Victims Compensation Fund should alarm all West Virginians — even those in counties with no meth labs.

“There have been arguments represented this is a very localized problem,” Perdu said. “Irrespective of whether a county has meth labs or not, its citizens are losing the opportunity to access victims fund monies because it’s being depleted by meth lab claims. This is proof positive that it’s a statewide issue for taxpayers.”

The crime victims fund will only pay for cleanup expenses if landlords didn’t know that meth was being manufactured on their properties. The program’s purpose is to make rental properties livable again.

Initially, the fund paid $5,000 for cleanup costs. State lawmakers raised the reimbursement amount to $10,000 two years ago.

Since 2012, the fund has paid more than $668,000 directly to companies that specialize in meth cleanup, according to the Gazette’s analysis.

Simon Environmental, a Jackson County company, collected $423,845 for cleanup expenses — five times more than any other firm.

Global Environmental of Kearneysville was paid $81,526, followed by Astar Abatement of Sissonville ($56,495), Affordable Cleanup of Scott Depot ($54,139), and Meth Lab Cleanup LLC of Athol, Idaho ($35,612). Several other firms received smaller amounts.

The remaining meth lab payouts went to landlords, including 16 who live outside the state but own property in West Virginia. Out-of-state property owners and meth cleanup companies are eligible to receive money from the victims compensation fund.

To pay for the increase in meth lab claims, the Court of Claims has tapped a reserve fund for the past several years. The reserve account was set up to pay out injury claims after a catastrophic event, such as a school shooting or terrorist attack.

Because of meth lab claims, the reserve fund has dropped from $6 million to $3 million during the past four years.

West Virginia law enforcement authorities seized 533 meth labs last year, nearly double the 288 labs found in 2012. Police busted meth labs in 45 of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

The Crime Victims Compensation Fund is on pace to pay more than $1 million on 200 claims during the current fiscal year, which ends in July.

“In so much as the cleanup costs are going up and the number of labs are going up, it’s only logical to assume that other costs, like children going to foster care and hospitalizations, also are going up,” Perdue said.

Perdue supports legislation (SB6) designed to reduce meth labs and their cleanup costs. The bill would require people to secure a prescription before they could buy most cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient sold under brand names such as Sudafed and Claritin-D.

The legislation exempts so-called “tamper-resistant” pseudoephedrine products — Zephrex-D and Nexafed — which can’t easily be converted to meth.

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee advanced the bill last week, and the Senate Judiciary Committee could take up the legislation within days.

Drug industry lobbyists oppose the bill, saying it would inconvenience consumers and drive up health-care costs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse has recommended that state legislators pass a pseudoephedrine prescription law. The panel released its final report last month. Council members gave more votes to the prescription requirement than any other proposal designed to curb substance abuse in West Virginia.





A Dayton man and woman were arrested during a meth lab bust on Dayton Mountain on Thursday, Feb. 6, and were using illegally obtained electricity to power the meth lab, according to arrest reports released to The Herald-News on Monday.
Bradley Shane Hickman, 26, and Shanna Brianne Millsaps, 18, were arrested last week after a raid by the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department at a home on Ogden Road that deputies said was being used to house a meth manufacturing operation.





Two people were arrested Sunday afternoon by Auburn Police and charged with three crimes each related to methamphetamine.

At about 3:15 p.m., an officer stopped a vehicle at Indiana 8 and Interstate 69 for traffic violations.

Auburn Police on Sunday afternoon say they

Officers report that a search of the vehicle yielded a white powder believed to be methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and several precursors associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine including lithium batteries, camp fuel, lye, plastic tubing, coffee filters and several other items.

Jackie K. Bess and Bobbie R. Bess, both of Auburn, were arrested for possession of methamphetamine, a Class B felony; possession of precursors, a Class C felony; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.



Lincoln County Sheriff’s investigators discovered five methamphetamine labs at a grandmother’s residence in Elora on Friday.

Based on an investigation and information they received, investigators and a SWAT team went to the residence just as the woman’s daughter and grandchildren were leaving the house. The team obtained a warrant to search the property located at 6 Laymon Road, where Diddie Denise Smith, 45, lives.

“We found one meth lab in the house, and there were four found in a well,” said Investigator Jubal Ragsdale.

Smith, along with Stephen Doyle Hillis, 46, of 8 Laymon Road, allegedly had been making meth and throwing all of the packaging trash from the ingredients and meth oil down the well.

The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force was contacted to clean up and neutralize the chemicals in the house. Also on the scene were Lincoln Emergency Management Agency (EMA) officials Mike Hall and Kathy Hovis.

Hall stated that American Environmental of Murfreesboro, a Haz-Mat clean-up company, was called in to clean up the well and test the ground water. Hall said he is hoping there was enough water in the well to neutralize the chemicals but won’t know until he receives the test results.

“We have no way of knowing where that ground water and (well) water is going to,” said Hall. “They can neutralize that kind of thing.”

There is also a branch of a creek nearby that runs through Elora, he said, going on to say he couldn’t estimate the cost of the cleanup to the county.

Hillis is the owner of both 6 and 8 Laymon Road properties, according to authorities.

Smith was charged with child endangerment, possession of a schedule II drug, initiating the process of methamphetamine and promotion of methamphetamine. She was held at the Lincoln County Jail on $130,000 bond.

Hillis was charged with possession of a schedule II drug, intent to manufacture meth and promotion of the manufacture meth. Hillis was released from jail on $60,000 bond.

Deputy Mike Pitts was the arresting officer.




A Kilgore woman was jailed Sunday after police found 56 grams of methamphetamine in a plastic bag during a traffic stop.

Kimberly Kay Hasson, 47, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and two misdemeanor traffic charges, according to Kilgore Police Department. She was booked into the Kilgore Municipal Jail.


Hasson was pulled over during a traffic stop, and a police sergeant found her driver’s license was expired and the vehicle was uninsured, police said.

Hasson told police she had a syringe in her waistband. Police then searched her vehicle and found the methamphetamine.




BAILEYTON, AL (WAFF) – The Morgan County Sheriff’s office arrested a man and a woman Monday night on drug related charges.

Morgan County DHR along with Morgan County Drug Sheriff’s Deputies conducted a welfare check at a home on Holcomb Road in Baileyton. The Sheriff’s Office said they obtained and executed a search warrant for the residence.

Agents allegedly recovered chemicals and equipment associated in the manufacturing process of methamphetamine, along with a large quantity of meth. Christopher Larry Beshears and Tonya Nicole Beshears were arrested and charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Unlawful Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance 1st degree – Methamphetamine, and Unlawful Possession of Felony Drug Paraphernalia.

Morgan County DHR arranged a safe plan for the children. The Bethel-Gum Pond VFD responded to the scene to assist in the decontamination process.

Christopher and Tonya Beshears were transported to Morgan County Jail where their bonds were set at $575,000.





Port Orange police on Monday arrested three people after finding them cooking meth in a South Ridgewood Avenue motel room, a police spokesman said.

Melissa Seay, 21, Jennifer McFarren, 39, and Peter Atwood, 66, were arrested and each charged with the manufacture and possession of methamphetamine, said Port Orange police spokesman Lt. John Jakovenko.

Melissa Seay Jennifer McFarren Peter Atwood

Police went to the Town and Country Motel at 5384 S. Ridgewood Ave. in Port Orange at 9:30 a.m. Monday after getting a call about narcotic activity in Unit 2 of the motel.

When officers arrived at the room, they detected a strong chemical odor associated with a possible meth cook. The officers found an active methamphetamine lab in the unit. The area was evacuated due to the potential hazard and the Volusia County Sheriff Office methamphetamine team was called to help with the removal and disposal of the hazardous material, Jakovenko said.



A Spartanburg man admitted Monday that he had a methamphetamine lab in a car parked outside a Spartanburg Walgreens this past March.

Michael Kevan AmburnMichael Kevan Amburn

Michael Kevan Amburn, 35, of 268 Canaan Church Road pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine in connection to that incident. He also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in another case.

Circuit Judge Mark Hayes sentenced Amburn to three years, suspended to the 168 days he has served in jail and 18 months of probation. Hayes’ orders included that Amburn stay drug free, undergo evaluation to see what substance abuse counseling he may need and also be screened to see if he needs grief counseling.

Amburn and his attorney, Spartanburg County Public Defender James Cheek, told Hayes that Amburn developed a drug problem after his mother’s death.

Amburn told Hayes that drugs led him to make poor choices, and he had never imagined developing an addiction to methamphetamine.

Seventh Circuit Assistant Solicitor Samuel Bass II told Hayes that Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies responded to a shoplifting at the Walgreens on Southport Road. A woman told officers there could be stolen items in her friend, Amburn’s, car, the Herald-Journal previously reported.

Officers found stolen batteries and a cell phone, as well as a mobile meth lab inside the car, Bass said.

Spartanburg deputies arrested Amburn less than eight months later after receiving a tip he was making and selling methamphetamine, Bass said.

Officers followed up on the tip and saw Amburn and others standing around a burn barrel, before he left the location on a moped, Bass said.

The moped was stopped and a search of Amburn revealed a syringe and white powder that field tested positive for methamphetamine, according to a sheriff’s office report.

Amburn’s prior criminal record included a shoplifting conviction.






Ogden • Jury selection began Monday morning in the trial for Eric Millerberg, accused in the 2011 drug-related death of his children’s 16-year-old baby sitter.

Millerberg, 38, of North Ogden, is charged with first-degree felony child-abuse homicide in the September 2011 death of Alexis “Lexi” Rasmussen. He is also charged with felony counts of obstructing justice, desecrating a body and having unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Fifty potential jurors were brought in Monday, and another 50 will be considered on Tuesday. Opening statements and testimony were scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

Six days were scheduled for trial testimony over the next two weeks.

Millerberg’s wife, Dea Millerberg, 40, is charged with desecration of a human body related to the girl’s death. A two-day trial for her is scheduled in April.

Her attorney said she plans to testify against her husband at his trial, and that she is planning to divorce him.

Dea Millerberg testified last April at her husband’s preliminary hearing that he injected a fatal mix of heroin and methamphetamine into the teen, and that the couple, in a panic, then dumped the girl’s body in a remote part of Morgan County.