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SAN LEANDRO – A Livermore woman was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, stolen credit cards and methamphetamine in San Leandro on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

At about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a San Leandro police officer ran a routine records check on a vehicle traveling on San Leandro Boulevard near Davis Street, police said.

The records check revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen out of Hayward on June 5, according to police.

The officer pulled the vehicle over and arrested the driver, identified as 30-year-old Stephanie Lamb, police said.

Lamb was arrested and booked into jail for possession of the stolen vehicle, as well as possession of stolen credit cards and possession of methamphetamine, police said.




A woman was caught this week at the U.S.-Mexican border allegedly trying to smuggle a pound of methamphetamine in her vagina.

The meth was reportedly in a condom wrapped in black tape.


The suspect, a U.S. citizen age 31, was stopped by suspicious U.S. border agents in Arizona when crossing from Mexico on foot. Agents noticed something unusual when they took her into a secured area for a pat-down. About the arrest, a U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement representative said, “When they were patting her down, they realized there was something down there,” the Phoenix ABC News affiliate reported.

The suspect agreed to remove her undergarments, according to the Phoenix New Times, and one agent “was able to see a piece of plastic protruding from her groin area… At that time, [the suspect] admitted to having a package of methamphetamine concealed inside of her body.”

The woman was then transported a local hospital to enable doctors to safely remove the meth package from her pelvic region. She now faces two federal drug charges.

A U.S. law enforcement crackdown on domestic meth labs (such as those fictionally depicted on Breaking Bad) has apparently caused the unintended consequence of shifting production of the drug to Mexico according to authorities, and accordingly a surge in smuggling into the U.S. Many of the smugglers are said to be children, which could be an issue amidst the present illegal alien chaos at the southern border.

Earlier this month, two women were busted at Chicago’s Midway International Airport after being allegedly caught with cocaine-filled condoms in their body cavities. In May, a commercial pilot wound up in a Houston hospital after one of the alleged 62 bags of coke in his stomach burst.

As previously noted by The Inquisitr, drug runners and so-called drug “mules” continue to innovate how they bring contraband into the country.







Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 36-year-old Tulsan Friday night after she reportedly threw bags of methamphetamine out of her vehicle at a safety checkpoint on Highway 412.

After witnessing the suspect throw meth out of a vehicle at approximately 8 p.m. at the checkpoint set up at 12900 West Highway 412, deputies asked her to get out of her truck.

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The suspect, Pamela Gibson, reportedly told deputies that she had used meth earlier in the day. The substance in the bags tested positive for meth.

TCSO deputies reported the meth recovered weighed a total of 89.2 grams.

Gibson was booked on complaints of trafficking methamphetamine and driving under the influence of drugs. She has since been released on bond.

A source told KTUL that Gibson’s husband, Gregory was arrested a few weeks on trafficking methamphetamine complaints. Police report that during a search of Gregory Gibson’s vehicle after a traffic stop, large amounts of meth were found in his vehicle.




MUNCIE — A Muncie man and woman face drug-related charges after police reported finding methamphetamine — and materials used to produce and consume it — in their home.

Ronald Lee Swift, 48, and Barbara Ann Burnett, 47, of 1901 ½ N. Milton St., were arrested Wednesday night. Both were preliminarily charged with dealing in meth, possession of meth, possession of paraphernalia, dumping controlled substance waste, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of precursors and unlawful possession of a syringe.

Barbara Burnett Ronald Swift

Authorities went to the Milton Street home to arrest Swift — who has a long criminal record — on a warrant. Once inside, they found Swift, Burnett and two other people, along with what appeared to be an active meth-making operation. The house was evacuated and the Indiana State Police meth suppression unit was called to the scene.

Found inside were five hydrochloric acid gas generators, six one-pot meth labs, burnt spoons, syringes and plastic straws with meth residue, and a box and blister packs that had contained pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter cold medication often used in meth production.

Burnett was being held in the Delaware County jail on Friday under a $50,000 bond, while Swift’s bond was set at $30,000.

Swift and Burnett were arrested in May 2013 after police reported finding a meth-making operation in the Hoyt Avenue home of Swift’s 92-year-old grandmother, with whom they had been staying.

Swift — on electronic home detention at the Milton Street address — is set to stand trial Aug. 5 in Delaware Circuit Court 4 on charges of attempted dealing in meth, possession of precursors, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia, all stemming from last year’s raid.

The warrant was issued for Swift’s arrest Wednesday based on allegations he had violated the rules of home detention. His criminal history includes convictions for driving while intoxicated (three times), leaving the scene of an accident, driving while suspended, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, possession of paraphernalia and battery with injury.

Burnett is set to stand trial Oct. 6 on a count of dealing in meth, also filed after the May 2013 raid.






– Hoosiers have a host of new laws to look forward to Tuesday when most of the statutes passed by the legislature this year go into effect.

Many of them aim to protect residents, including three laws focusing on meth labs, child-care safety and concussions.

Here is a synopsis of these new state laws:

Meth lab cleanup

Methamphetamine has devastated Indiana communities around the state for years. And every year there are more attempts to at least contain the damage.

A meth lab blew up a mile from the home of Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville. And a real estate agent friend was exposed to meth residue in a home, requiring the agent to now wear a respirator in some homes.

So McNamara wrote House Bill 1141 this year that would make it easier for Hoosiers to know what homes or apartments have had meth contamination, and also require disclosure of meth-related damage when selling a home.

The Indiana State Police under the law now must maintain an online database people can search to see every property, car or outside location that was once the site of a clandestine meth lab that has yet to be cleaned and decontaminated.

Under the new law, police cannot add a location until 180 days after the department learns from law enforcement that the property has been the site of a meth lab.

This gives property owners a chance to properly clean up the house or apartment first.

If it is certified decontaminated before the 180 days is up, the property cannot be added. If it is certified decontaminated after it has been placed in the public database, the police have 90 days to remove it.

“You don’t want a property to be tainted forever,” McNamara said.

There are 9,200 properties statewide currently on the list, which can be found at

Police have made a $100,000 bust after drugs allegedly fell out of a woman’s purse as she showed officers her licence.

Police say the woman was driving erratically when she was pulled over at Berrimah in Darwin on Saturday night.


When she showed officers her licence, a bag of drugs allegedly fell out of her purse.

Police say a search of the woman’s car turned up more than $100,000 worth of methamphetamine and ecstasy, and more than $20,000 in cash.

The 33-year-old was arrested at the roadside and will face court on Tuesday.

The allegations against her include possession and supply of drugs, and driving under the influence of a dangerous drug.




A NEW line of work has shown long-term Roma community member Glenn Telford a world of drug abuse he didn’t know existed.

The Anglicare community learning co-ordinator said he was surprised by the extent of methamphetamine use among the young people with whom he worked.

He took on the role four weeks ago which is based around finding work for 15-24 year olds who are seriously disengaged from the community.

He came to the post after 28 years as a high school teacher and a stint as co-ordinator of a green army program.

“I’ve certainly been surprised by the amount of drugs other than marijuana these people are on,” Mr Telford said.

He said drug use was by far the biggest impediment to getting his clients into work.

“A lot of them are not lacking in intelligence and not lacking motivation.

“You just never know when they are not going to be employable the next morning.”

A young man among the 33 people on the program has spoken to him of methamphetamine debts.

“He admits to owing about $600 for drugs.”

The youth’s problems are made worse because he has no home and no income.

“The kids who are getting to the bottom of that slope are 15 or 16 years old with no homes and no money.”

Mr Telford said the task of keeping youths off drugs and in work could prove difficult.

“At the same time, if you look like having a bit of success, it is really satisfying.”







HOLTON — May 23 was a fairly routine day in Jackson County District Court. Judge Micheal Ireland sat behind his bench, sentencing defendants.

One by one, defendants took a seat beside their attorney. Nearly all of the cases involved methamphetamine, which isn’t out of the ordinary for Ireland.

“We have a ton of meth cases,” Ireland said last week while standing in his courthouse office.

In fact, Ireland said, he thinks Jackson County sees more meth cases than Pottawatomie and Jefferson counties combined.

Most of the meth cases deal with direct possession of the drug, the sale of meth or someone burglarizing a home to obtain money for meth.

Jackson County isn’t the only northeast Kansas community dealing with an increase in meth cases.

Meth in Shawnee County also is on the rise, according to Sgt. Glenn Hawks, with the Shawnee County sheriff’s narcotics unit.

“Meth seems to be the majority of our problems,” he said. “Meth seems to be way worse than crack cocaine because of the availability. It’s a highly addictive drug.”

Users can inject the drug, smoke it or eat it.

“It’s easy to get,” Hawks said.

The high is longer lasting, and meth is cheaper than crack cocaine, he said.

Lee McGowan, chief of staff and spokesman for the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office, said the amount of meth cases the D.A.’s office handles “doesn’t appear to be decreasing.”

I think we see more meth cases than any other single drug,” McGowan said.

One-pot cook method/shake and bake

While Hawks and Ireland said their counties have seen a decrease in the number of large meth labs, there has been an increase in domestic production because of an easier method for concocting the addictive drug.

The “shake and bake” approach — also called one-pot cook method — allows manufacturers to create the drug by mixing a small amount of pseudoephedrine tablets in a bottle with other ingredients.

“You can put it all together in a two-liter pop bottle,” Ireland said.

Other methods require fire, cans of flammable liquids and dozens of pills. The items needed for “shake-and-bake” meth can fit in a small container or backpack. The mixing can happen anywhere. And the odor isn’t as noticeable, law enforcement officials said.

“People can cook in smaller quantities and are less likely to get caught,” Hawks said.


Increase/decrease in meth cases

Ireland said he is handling more meth cases than five years ago. The number increased about three years ago and is holding steady. In the last two years, Ireland has averaged 200-plus felony cases per year. Of that number, 70 percent are related to meth.

“There are people who use in every community,” Ireland said.

Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse said most of the people incarcerated in Jackson County Jail are there on meth charges.

“It’s really an epidemic here in the Midwest,” Morse said. “It has some really devastating consequences.”

Some of the increase in Jackson County’s meth cases is related to people from outside the county visiting attractions, including the Prairie Band Casino and Resort, Ireland said. For example, visitors may get pulled over for expired tags, but law enforcement officials later discover meth. Others leave behind remnants of meth in their hotel room. The tribe declined comment.

US-75 highway is a “highly traveled road,” Morse said.

While some law enforcement agencies are noticing an increase in meth cases, others are seeing a decrease. Sheriff’s deputies in Osage and Jefferson counties haven’t noticed an uptick.

“We have our regulars,” said Jefferson County Undersheriff Bob Chartier. “I’m not going to say it’s not a problem. It’s a problem everywhere.”

However, a law restricting the amount and requiring people to show identification when purchasing over-the-counter medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in making meth, has helped, Chartier said.

“That is a wonderful law,” he said. “It really knocked down our meth labs. Before that law was instated, we were cleaning up labs — sometimes as many as three per week.”

Jackson County has had only one mobile meth lab bust in the past three years, Morse said.

“The drug cartels have really filled the demand for methamphetamine,” he said. “It can’t be produced (as easily) locally any more because of the changes in the laws.”

The shake and bake method isn’t a big issue in Jackson County, Morse said.

However, in Atchison County, the shake and bake method is a popular way to produce the drug, said Atchison County Attorney Jerry Kuckelman.

“I think all the new methods have made it easier,” Kuckelman said.

After the meth law passed, Atchison County had very few meth cases, he said. But a year ago, the shake and bake method became popular in the county.

The drug is highly addictive and causes physical and mental problems, law enforcement officials said. Jackson County Jail is seeing a higher number of people addicted to meth who have mental illness, Morse said.

“It is definitely an evil in our society,” he said. “It destroys a lot of people who have a lot of potential. It ruins their lives.”




Police arrest a couple for cooking meth in their Relax Inn motel room in Dickinson.

David and Kim Dulaney have been charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, a Class A felony.

A confidential informant told the motel owners about strange fumes coming from their motel room.

When the owners checked the room, they found three coolers packed with meth.

They eventually contacted police who arrested the Dulaney’s without incident.

HazMat teams moved everyone who was staying in the motel complex out, so they could clean hazardous chemicals left behind from the meth lab.

“It makes me feel really good that we did get a big supplier of methanphetamine amd it will possibly deteriorate anybody else that wants to enter these hotels as guests and think that they’re gonna set up drug shops because we are gonna be on them as much as we can.” said Lori Jackson, the co-owner of the Relax Inn Motel.

The Dulaney’s face 20 years in prison for this Class A felony.

Bond was set at 20 thousand dollars.



Methamphetamine is incredibly damaging to the heart, lungs, and brain of anyone who comes in contact with it.

“There’s multiple, severe medical effects that methamphetamine does have on folks that use it and also folks that can come in contact with it,” said Christopher Edwards, the Medical Director for the emergency room at Fairmont General Hospital.

Methamphetamine is incredibly damaging to the heart

Meth does a lot of damage to the body. The brain hallucinates and gets paranoid, the heart races, body temperature goes up, and people can have seizures. Law enforcement will tell you that the physical changes are startling.

“Just look at somebody that started meth and six months later look at the person. You’ll see their fingers are burnt, their arms are burnt; because the gas burns them whenever they’re letting the air out, or ‘burping,’ the methamphetamine lab,” said Chief Deputy Ralph Wright with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.

The worst part is that these physical effects don’t just happen to the users. Gases that come from cooking meth can be inhaled by anyone and the powder can get absorbed by the skin.

“Babies and toddlers particularly, their skin’s much more absorbent than ours is as we get older, so they’re crawling around in it, and then not only getting it through the skin, but putting their hands into their mouth,” said Debbie Mann, coordinator of the Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.

Up to 80 percent of the contaminants can be removed by getting the clothes off people who have been around meth. Then they need to be scrubbed down.

“Hot water and soap. Basically washing down very thoroughly, very extensively to get the rest of the contaminants off of you,” Edwards said.

Internally, it’s basically a waiting game. Doctors can only watch patients and treat them for their symptoms at that moment.

“The tough part with methamphetamine, a lot of the medicines we use to slow heart rate down, you cannot use in folks using methamphetamine because it can actually increase your blood pressure significantly,” Edwards said. “So you have to be very cautious of how you treat this.”

There doesn’t seem to be any permanent physical damage for people coming into contact with the drug second-hand, but the lingering psychological effects could be something to watch out for.

Mann said, “Malnutrition, neglect, psychological trauma to the children and babies of meth [-using] parents is a huge issue.”




EVERETT — An anti-tank gun, a pound of methamphetamine, a half pound of heroin and stolen weapons were seized Thursday night near Everett, sheriff’s deputies said.

On Wednesday, Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies contacted a 38-year-old man outside a storage unit in in the 3800 block of 75th Street SE in Everett for an outstanding warrant, officers said. He was arrested for alleged delivery of a controlled substance.


The next day, police issued a search of the storage unit and found more than 300 grams of methamphetamine, over 240 grams of heroin and three loaded firearms in the unit. One of the loaded firearms was reported stolen.

AAll in all, 13 rifles were found, including a 20 MM Lahti L-39 Anti-tank weapon. Five of the weapons found were reported stolen. Police also found a money counter, scales and other drug processing materiel in the unit, deputies said.

The suspect is being held in Snohomish County Jail on $250,000 bail.


A man and his wife have been taken into custody after a traffic stop on Highway 59 S. Deputies seized crystal methamphetamine worth over $9,000 inside their child’s toy.


According to Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges, deputies stopped a white passenger car for a traffic violation on Highway 59. Deputies noticed an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle when they talked with the driver, who admitted marijuana had been recently smoked inside the car. Deputies also saw a 3-year-old child sitting in the back seat, who was not strapped down by a seat belt.

After receiving consent to search the vehicle, the suspects became nervous and gave conflicting stories about their trip to Nacogdoches. Deputies found 87 grams of crystal methamphetamine near the child concealed inside a toy.

Rene Tamez, 44, and Anna Tamez, 38, were arrested at the scene and taken to the Nacogdoches County Jail. The couple was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a second felony and endangering a child, a state jail felony.

Rene Tamez was currently on parole at the time of his arrest, and a parole warrant was issued for his arrest on Friday. He was served with the additional charge at the Nacogdoches County Jail.

The 3-year-old child has been turned over to Child Protective Services. Sheriff Jason Bridges stated his department believes the drugs were being transported to Nacogdoches County to be distributed on the streets. Authorities will continue their work to identify the distributor in Nacogdoches County.




CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A drug organization moved large quantities of methamphetamine from Arizona for distribution in Wyoming before law enforcement arrested the ringleader last year, federal prosecutors charge.

phillip martin

A federal judge in Cheyenne this week unsealed the indictment that charges seven people from Wyoming and two from Arizona with conspiracy to possess and distribution of methamphetamine. Five defendants have pleaded guilty and charges are pending against the others.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal last week sentenced Philip Martin, 54, of Cheyenne, to nearly 25 years in prison following his guilty pleas to the drug charge and possession of a firearm while drug trafficking.

Authorities say they confiscated nearly 40 pounds of meth and cocaine from Martin last fall. He was arrested after law enforcement tracked him on his return trip from Arizona by monitoring the location of his cellphone, court records say.

Cheyenne lawyer Terry Harris represents Martin and declined comment.

Prosecutor T.J. Forwood also declined to comment.

The Laramie County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release in December after Martin’s arrest. It stated the seizure of drugs from him was one of the largest in state history, with a street value of up to $2 million.

Gerry Luce, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said typical meth seizures in the Cheyenne area run from half a pound up to a pound and a half. “So it’s well above the norm of what we see in this area,” he said in December.

According to a statement filed in court last year by a DEA agent, law enforcement started tracking Martin after confidential informants said he kept multiple-pound quantities of methamphetamine in Mason jars in a gun safe in his home on Cheyenne’s east side and was selling it to others.

The indictment unsealed this week charges Martin received drugs from two other defendants in Arizona before he in turn transferred it to others in Cheyenne for redistribution in Wyoming.

Defendant Kendra M. Iverson of the Phoenix area, pleaded guilty in May and faces sentencing Aug. 7 before Freudenthal.

Defendant Michael T. “Bronco” Johnson, also of the Phoenix area, has not yet been brought to Wyoming to face the charge. Court records don’t indicate he has retained an attorney yet or responded to the charge against him.

All the other defendants are from Cheyenne.

— Freudenthal last week sentenced Michelle L. Puente, 52, to 135 months in prison.

— Defendant Ryan M. Bennett, 23, pleaded guilty earlier this month and faces sentencing Aug. 26 before Freudenthal.

— Defendant Michael A. Anderson, 35, pleaded guilty in May and faces sentencing Aug. 8.

The following defendants are set to stand trial Aug. 4 before Freudenthal in Cheyenne:

— Thomas F. Aflague, Jr., 35. An attempt to reach his lawyer, Mark C. Hardee of Cheyenne, for comment was unsuccessful on Friday.

— Joseph D. Stewart, 24. An attempt to reach his lawyer, Zenith S. Ward of Cheyenne, was unsuccessful on Friday.

— Cody D. Nace, 29. An attempt to reach his lawyer, J. James Learned of Laramie, was unsuccessful on Friday.




ADELANTO — Two women from Mexico are behind bars after deputies found them in possession of methamphetamine while they were visiting inmates at the Desert View Community Correctional facility, officials said.

Danahe Alcantar, 25, and Lluvia Espinoza, 29, both of Mexico, were charged Monday with felony possession of a controlled substance and attempting to bring a controlled substance into a jail.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to the facility on June 20 after employees reported that two females were scheduled to visit inmates at the facility and it was believed they would attempt to bring methamphetamine. Employees believed the women planned to transfer the methamphetamine to inmates during their visits.

Deputies and correctional center employees identified the women and found them in the parking lot of the facility just before 5:30 p.m. Alcantar was found to have methamphetamine in her mouth and Espinoza admitted that she had swallowed methamphetamine that she had been holding in her mouth, authorities said.

Both women were arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. Espinoza was taken to the hospital for treatment after swallowing the methamphetamine, and both subjects were booked at the High Desert Detention Center.

Espinoza is being held on $50,000 bail, Alcantar is being held on $25,000 bail. Both are scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.



An Athens woman was arrested at a local motel Wednesday after officers discovered marijuana in her room and three bags of methamphetamine in her brassiere.

Shelia Ann Ayala, 38, of 307 Vine St., was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and attempting to distribute a controlled substance.


Athens Police Capt. Anthony Pressnell said the department received a complaint of drug activity at the Bomar Inn on U.S. 31 Wednesday night. When officers arrived, they made contact with Ayala, according to Pressnell.

She gave consent for officers to search her motel room where they discovered marijuana, Pressnell said. A female officer also searched Ayala and found three small bags of meth in her bra.

She was booked at the Athens Police Department and transferred to the Limestone County Jail with $12,000 bail on Wednesday night. Jail records show she remained in custody as of Thursday night because of bond revocation for two previous drug possession charges. –





Jeffrey Coley, 50, a former employee of Chick-fil-A, is accused of holding up a KFC drive-thru in Rock Hill, S.C. and speeding away with the cash register drawer containing $516.02.


A day later and after a bit of a car chase, Coley was arrested by police in his Plymouth Neon, where the cash drawer was sitting on the seat with a little less than a gram of methamphetamine.

Coley, married with one child, told the judge in his hearing that he is his family’s sole breadwinner, making $8.50 an hour at Chick-fil-A.

But Mark Baldwin, a Chick-fil-A corporate spokesman, told the Rock Hill Herald that Coley was fired from his job earlier this month because he didn’t show up to work two days in a row. Norman Dobson, a KFC area manager, also told the Rock Hill Herald that Coley has been banned from all KFC stores and from speaking to any of its employees.

“Neither one of these young ladies has worked since the incident,” Dobson told the Herald. “They’re terrified; they’re not getting a good night’s sleep. He’s turned their lives upside down. They’re out there trying to make an honest living and this is what they got.”

According to the Associated Press, Coley was charged by police with armed robbery, possession of a gun during a violent crime, failure to stop for police, and possession of methamphetamine.




With “marked” increases in statistics related to crystal meth use, is London “breaking bad”?

That’s three times the provincial average, and the increase happened while admissions for fellow stimulants crack and cocaine went down.

According to the report on drug use in London (item 3 on the May 15 board of health agenda), crack was the stimulant most likely to present at addictions services from 2009-12 until meth overtook it last year.

There was also a 40-percent hike in inpatient hospitalizations related to methamphetamines (14.4 per 100,000 residents in 2012 from 10.9 in 2008).

In 2009, the London Police Service seized three grams of methamphetamines. In 2012, they pulled more than a kilogram off the streets, 1,121 grams in all. The number of prescription pills seized increased 27.4 percent over the same period.

In May, the Ontario Provincial Police called reporters to their regional base to announce a bust that included 12 kilos of cocaine and 3.5 kilos of “100 percent pure” meth.

Dr. Andrea Sereda’s four years in family medicine have focused on the homeless. She has a “heavy” caseload of about 400 patients at the London Intercommunity Health Centre (LIHC) clinic within the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope and has seen a rise in meth use.

She said many patients present with “poly-addictions” with meth showing up that way as a second or third substance being abused at once, adding that she would tend to see more opiate cases because there are more strictly medical treatment options – there’s no methadone equivalent for meth.

“Overwhelmingly it was opiates as a presenting problem but stimulants are now either co-ingested or they’re a presenting problem (on their own),” she said. “I’ve only worked in London but I can say subjectively that yes, we’ve seen an increase. Many of those patients often have a poly-substance presentation that now contains meth whereas it didn’t necessarily when I started four years ago.”

According to Pam Hill, the director of clinical services at Addiction Services Thames Valley (ADSTV), at six percent meth is among the top five problem drugs for people 24 and younger who seek their help but that’s just half as many as seek help for cocaine, and a fraction of the 27 percent who ask for help with cannabinoid (marijuana) abuse.

But she admits ADSTV only sees the fraction of users who seek help. She said there are probably a lot more people who consider themselves recreational users because the consequences haven’t affected their life enough to appear to be a problem.

Like Sereda, she said meth is appearing as one of a number of drugs being abused at once.

She said a person who takes meth goes one of two ways: angry and violent or extremely happy and energetic. The drug has a dangerous potential to create long-term psychosis because it is so intense and takes a longer time to wear off than other stimulants like cocaine.

“It’s interesting because it really blends mental health and addiction together,” she said. “It’s often hard to tease out whether it’s a mental health or substance abuse issue.”

The high is followed by a very deep crash: Hill pointed to the case of a man whose arm was amputated because he literally fell asleep on it for three days, cutting off the circulation.

With obvious physical signs like weigh loss, tooth decay and sores, long-term meth users are more vulnerable to predators on the street.

“We’re trying to create safety for people,” she said. “We don’t have a strategy for meth specifically, but we’re observing trends. The biggest thing is getting to the underlying issues that will cause people to move to substance abuse.”

The Middlesex-London Health Unit’s CEO and medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said Wednesday (June 25) meth is a concern but with an opiate use rate well above the provincial and national averages, that’s where the focus has to be.

“It’s a really interesting problem (but) although it’s higher the provincial average it’s still down on the list and we’re trying to focus on the big ones.”

The biggest one saw a threefold spike in 2013: 41 people died from overdoses of prescription opiates, compared to 12 the year before. That was more than half of all fatal drug overdoses that year, putting opiates on par with alcohol-related deaths (55) and ahead of motor vehicle collisions (17) for deaths among two- to-40-year-olds.

Mackie hopes it’s an anomaly.

“It challenges the idea that illegal drugs aren’t as big a problem as many people think,” he said. “At 41 deaths it’s really catching up to other causes, which is totally new and puts a different perspective on things. I sincerely hope that’s an aberration.”

PANAMA CITY — A trial date has been set for a man accused of carrying 56 grams of methamphetamine while chasing his ex-wife and another man down U.S. 231 and firing a 9mm handgun at them.

Anthony Johnson, 33, was driving down U.S. 231 through Fountain in March 2013 at about 1 a.m. when a pair of bright headlights appeared in the rearview, gaining rapidly. A Toyota truck edged up beside him, gesturing for him to pull over. But he didn’t, fearing the driver’s intentions, Johnson stated in his deposition.


Tasha Gurganus, his passenger, recognized the driver as Jasper Gurganus, 32, her ex-husband. Tasha Gurganus and her two children were staying with Johnson until they could secure a place with her family in Georgia , she later told authorities.

Johnson tried to gun it when he heard what sounded to him like trash being thrown at his truck, he said.

“When I heard a bullet hit my tailgate, I realized he was shooting at me,” Johnson told investigators.

His Ford F250 had the weight to command the road, but a shoddy fuel injector made his engine chug at about 30 mph as broken glass from the rear window rained down on the two inside, and bullets sunk into the metal truck body, he stated.

“I thought a bullet had hit me in the shoulder, which, it might have been a piece of glass,” Johnson said. “At this point I was freaking out.”

Johnson said he weaved to keep the truck behind him and eventually rammed it into a ditch along Webber Road . A cacophony of gunfire continued until they parked at a friend’s house and fled on foot. Johnson told investigators he later dug a bullet out of his visor above where his head was, but neither person was hit.

Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Jasper Gurganus standing next to his truck with the firearm and several spent casings nearby, according to court records.

During an inventory, deputies also found a metal can of Fix-a-Flat with a false bottom in Gurganus’ truck. Inside deputies found $6,170, 56 grams of ICE methamphetamine, a glass pipe, plastic baggies, a cellphone and a digital recorder, according to arrest records.

Gurganus has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.

Gurganus turned down the state’s offer of 40 years in prison for the two attempted murder charges in favor of a jury trial Oct. 13. If convicted, he would face a minimum mandatory of 40 years before the meth and paraphernalia charges are taken into account.




Two people are recovering from burns they suffered in what investigators believe may have been a small meth lab explosion in Lumberton.

Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins told 12News that officers were called to a home on Jenny Lane in Lumberton Sunday night for reports of a small explosion. When officers arrived, they smelled chemicals in the house and called Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, the Lumberton Fire Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Chief Sullins said investigators found chemicals used in the making of meth. He said a man suffered burns to thirty percent of his body while the woman suffered burns to her arms. The man was taken to Galveston for treatment.

Chief Sullins said he expects felony warrants to be issued for four suspects, including the two who were burned. Their ages range from 18 to 30-years-old.

Chief Sullins said the people who were living at the house were renting it.

BILLINGS – A man police say was found naked in a Billings rental house on Tuesday morning appeared in court Wednesday on felony drug and burglary charges.

Prosecutors have also charged the man, 49-year-old Dale Ron Carpenter, with two misdemeanors, alleging he had burglary tools and drug paraphernalia.


According to charging documents, police arrested Carpenter after responding at about 8 a.m. Tuesday to a reported burglary in progress on the 200 block of North 20th Street.

The man who made the report told police the alleged burglar wasn’t a tenant and didn’t have permission to be at the residence.

The door to the residence was locked, but police, with permission of the property owner, climbed into the house through a window.

Once inside, officers heard a noise coming from upstairs and announced their presence, ordering those in the house to show themselves.

“A naked man appeared at the top of the stairs,” charging documents state.

The man, identified as Carpenter, came downstairs and was handcuffed by officers, who searched the house and found tools that could be used for burglary.

Officers also said they found a baggie and spoons with methamphetamine residue, a metal pipe that smelled of marijuana, syringes and other paraphernalia.

Judge Pedro R. Hernandez set Carpenter’s bond at $15,000 and scheduled his arraignment for June 30 in district court.

A prosecutor said Carpenter has a prior felony drug conviction and numerous bench warrants for not appearing in court as ordered, including 15 warrants in 2010 alone.




HAMILTON – A Missoula man was arrested after allegedly bashing his girlfriend’s face into a steering wheel, punching her in the side and then strangling her after she accused him of using methamphetamine.

Chad Allen Fite, 36, appeared Wednesday in Ravalli County Justice Court on a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor charges of partner or family member assault, unlawful restraint, and theft.

chad fite

Court records said the alleged assault occurred on June 15 when Fite and his girlfriend of six years decided to take a drive from Missoula to the Bitterroot Valley to go on a hike.

The couple stopped in Florence at a gas station. The woman told officers later that Fite was acting “very unusual” when he came outside. She accused him of using methamphetamine.

He responded by allegedly becoming upset and pushing her head down into the steering wheel of the car.

Despite the altercation, the couple continued their trip and their argument about Fite’s use of the drug. At one point, the woman said she saw some of the drug in Fite’s pocket and reached for it.

In turn, he pulled behind Hamilton’s Verizon store and punched her in the side with his closed fist.

The woman told officers that Fite then put both hands around her neck and started to strangle her while pinning her to the headrest of the driver’s seat. She felt lightheaded and thought she was about to pass out so she dug her fingernails into Fite’s cheek.

Fite let go of her.

She got out of the car and called 9-1-1. Fite drove away.

When officers found the woman, she had two black eyes and red marks on her throat and bruise on her right side.

Fite was arrested in Missoula on a warrant that included information on a 1998 conviction for sexual intercourse without consent. On the state’s sex offender registry, Fite’s was listed a Missoula transient in lieu of an address.

Acting Justice of the Peace Jennifer Ray set bail at $10,000.






The beach is a place for surf, sun and sand — not meth making.

However, a man in St. Petersburg, Florida, is facing drug charges after allegedly cooking up methamphetamine in his truck at Gandy Beach.


Charles J. Tapp, 24, was arrested June 14 after deputies in Pinellas County noticed a dark colored Chevy Silverado parked along the beach’s tree line.

Tapp was in the truck as were several needles. An investigation of the vehicle turned up other items that indicated the suspect was making meth in it, WTSP TV reports.

Tapp was arrested on charges of possessing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine and hydrochloric gas, chemicals used to make methamphetamine.

Police said that Tapp admitted to manufacturing meth during questioning, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

He was taken to the Pinellas County jail, and later released on $10,000 bail, according to the jail’s website.



— Five defendants facing federal drug and firearms charges will appear in front of Judge Jacquelyn Austin Friday at 11 a.m. for a detention hearing to determine whether or not they will receive bond.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a federal grand jury has charged Rory Severin, 45, William Scott Powell, 40, Chad Edward Moore, 42, Marie Higgins, 36, and Angel Miranda-Luna, 24, for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute in excess of 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.

The release said Powell, Moore, Higgins and Miranda-Luna have also been charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge. It also said that Moore is charged with felon in possession of a firearm.

The investigation was carried out by several law enforcement agencies including Homeland Security, the Douglasville Police Department from Georgia, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The investigation concluded on two separate dates. In April 22, 2014 law enforcement officers arrested Severin, Powell, Moore and Higgins and seized in excess of two pounds of methamphetamine and four firearms.

Then on May 5, law enforcement officers stopped Miranda-Luna, who also went by the alias of Luna-Miranda, on a routine traffic stop in Atlanta. Officers discovered nearly 26 pounds of methamphetamine and, $90,000 in cash and a firearm Miranda-Luna was using to protect the drugs and drug proceeds.

If convicted, the defendants face a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment.

Andy Moorman, an assistant attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will prosecute the case.





RANGOON — To mark World Drug Day, Burmese authorities organized drug-burning ceremonies on Thursday that destroyed seized illegal drugs said to be worth a combined US$130 million.

But as piles of opium, heroin and methamphetamine went up in smoke, UN officials warned that illicit drug production in Burma continued to rise in order to supply a growing Asian market. They noted too that there had been “relatively little” heroin seizures in the country, in remarks that raise questions about Burma’s anti-narcotics efforts.


Opium production in Burma was “in 2006, at the lowest point, representing roughly 7 percent of the global production, it is now 18 percent. So it has increased year on year,” said Jeremy Douglas, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Southeast Asia representative. “The bulk of that is produced in Shan and Kachin states; southern Shan has the greatest problem.”

In the Southeast Asia and China “region we have seen a seven-fold increase in methamphetamine seizures in recent years… the highest levels ever recorded. We’re looking at 240 million pills recorded and seized last year. The source of those pills is Shan State,” he told a press conference held at Rangoon’s Drug Elimination Museum to mark the launch of the annual UNODC World Drug Report.

“For crystal methamphetamine, a more purified form, seizures have also been rising to record levels… It’s now a mixed methamphetamine market,” Douglas said, adding that the precursor chemicals used for meth production in Shan State were being supplied from India and China.

Comparing the scale of heroin seizures in northern Burma with other opium-producing regions such as Afghanistan, Douglas said, “Oddly, with 18 percent of opium production taking place in the Golden Triangle, there have been relatively little [heroin] seizures… The explanation for that will have to come from the government.”

The remarks are in line with a drop in drug seizures by Burmese authorities that was reported by The Financial Times on Monday. It said new police figures showed that seizures of methamphetamine pills fell from 11.9 million in 2013 to 204,000 in the first five months of 2014, while heroin seizures fell from 238 kilo in 2013 to just 16 kilo in the year to May. From 2012 to 2013, the scale of drug seizures had also dropped.

Along drug-trafficking routes in neighboring countries, however, authorities have made huge seizures. The paper cited an anonymous senior police officer as saying that drug traffickers were shifting tactics and smuggling out smaller shipments, while stepping up production in lawless conflict areas.

On Thursday, to mark the occasion of World Drug Day, Burmese authorities put on a show with the results of their efforts, inviting reporters to join drug-burning ceremonies in Rangoon, Mandalay and Taunggyi to destroy drugs with a reported combined value of US$130 million

Home Affairs Minister Ko Ko, senior police offers and US Drug Enforcement Agency officials and Chinese anti-narcotics officials attended the ceremony in Rangoon’s Mawbe Township, which set a light $19 million worth of drugs, including 48 kg of opium, 1.6 kilo of heroin, 3.4 kg of cannabis and 3.4 kg of methamphetamine.

Authorities announced that in 2013, they seized 2,356 kilo of opium, 238 kilo of heroin, more than 10 million amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) pills, along with precursor chemicals caffeine, 13,482 kilo, and pseudoephedrine, 3,580 kilos.

Police Maj. Khin Maung Thein acknowledged that authorities’ efforts were doing little to stem the rampant drug trade in Burma, adding that ongoing tensions with various ethnic groups in northern Burma were the cause of the drug trade.
“We found that opium growing has increased year after year,” he said “Our actions did not have effect as we have arguments with each other.”

“Our police seized a lot of drugs in Shan State. In this area there is poppy growing and opium production. It is close to the border areas and [that’s why] it is hard to stop and crackdown on it,” Khin Maung Thein said during a brief exchange with reporters.

He added, “We need more education on drug awareness for our people because we found that their knowledge [of the dangers of drugs] is very weak. Methamphetamine is easily spread among young people, when they take it they think it’s fun.”

For many years, northern Burma has been the hub for opium and methamphetamine production in Asia and the trade is directly tied to the country’s decades-old ethnic conflict, which continues to fester in many parts of Shan and Kachin states.

Between 2006 and 2013, the area under opium poppy in Burma rose from 24,000 hectares in 2006 to 58,000 hectares in 2013, the UNODC estimated late last year.

Tens of thousands of poor ethnic farmers grow the opium. All parties involved in the ethnic conflict—rebel groups, the Burma Army and pro-government militias—are taxing the drug trade to fuel the war, while some militias and rebel groups are directly involved in drug production and trade, researchers have said.

Drug production fell from 1998 to 2006, after some armed groups and the then-military regime came under growing international pressure to stem the flow of drugs, but the production resurged in southern Shan State.

The Home Affairs Ministry acknowledged last week that a 15-year drug elimination program started in 1999 had failed, and it announced plans to extend the deadline for eliminating all drugs in Burma to 2019.

Jason Eligh, UNODC Country Manager for Burma, told reporters that the deadline is “a nice political goal but it’s not a realistic law enforcement goal.

“It is possible though investment, increased capacity building of law enforcement, through attaining peace in a place like Shan State to begin the process of containing problem, but certainly five years is not enough to achieve a massive reduction in drug production.”

A joint drug-elimination program involving the UNODC, law enforcement authorities, the Burma Army and an armed ethnic group, the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), has made little progress since it began in October 2012, showcasing the complexities of dealing with the drug trade in Shan State’s remote, conflict-affected regions.

“It’s basically a trust-building exercise between the actors. It’s important to find a point of trust, a beginning, where people can agree on something—that one thing is actually drugs,” said Jason Eligh, UNODC country manager in Burma. “The RCSS recognizes that drugs are a threat to the people to the people of Shan State, the government recognizes this as well of course.”

He noted, however, “We are moving much slower than expected … [and] are at a point where the only thing we are waiting for is the start of the implementation of the activities.

“It’s now waiting on approval from the Tatmadaw [Burma Army], to be honest, and that’s proved a stickier point than we thought it would have been, but we are making progress nonetheless.”





A Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department captain was arrested in Yulee early Wednesday with methamphetamine, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and Times-Union news partner First Coast News.

Joseph E. Acosta, 48, was charged with possession of the drug after deputies found 0.4 grams of crystal meth and a glass pipe inside his truck, a Sheriff’s Office report said.

Deputies stopped Acosta on U.S. 17 and Crady Lake Drive for having an unsecured load about 5 a.m.

The officer noticed beer cans in the back seat of Acosta’s truck and asked if there was an open container in the vehicle. Acosta said yes and consented to a search, the report said. The deputy found the meth and a pipe in a backpack on the floorboard, according to the report.

Fire department spokesman Tom Francis said Acosta has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The arrest follows a recent audit that noted the fire department didn’t follow proper accounting in regard to narcotic drugs it keeps.