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Call it crystal, crank, or ice, you don’t want to live in a house where methamphetamine was cooked up. Many Americans, however, unwittingly purchase homes or rent apartments contaminated with the drug’s poisonous residue.

There have been nearly 84,000 meth lab seizures since 2004, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. But only a fraction of meth labs, as few as 5%, get discovered by authorities, according to Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.

“Millions of people live in properties that were used as meth labs,” said Joseph Mazzuca, who co-founded Meth Lab Cleanup in Athol, Idaho, with his wife, Julie. Last year, his company booked more than 1,500 jobs inspecting and decontaminating homes.

Jonathan Hankins, age 32, thought he and his wife Beth got a terrific deal last June on a starter home in Klamath Falls, Ore. They paid just $36,000 for a two-bedroom fixer-upper that had been repossessed in a foreclosure.

“We only lived there three weeks,” said Hankins. “We started to experience symptoms.”

They got dry mouth, headaches and nosebleeds. Their two-year-old son Ezra got mouth sores so severe he couldn’t drink.

After neighbors told Hankins the house had been a meth lab, he bought a test kit for $50. It showed meth residue at about 80 times the state’s legal limit for acceptable levels of meth residue in a home after it has been cleaned.

The family moved out and the health problems cleared up after a few weeks. But their financial problems persisted. The couple is still paying the mortgage on the house and rent on a new one and they lost furniture and other belongings that became contaminated.

Hankins’ lawyer told him to walk away from the mortgage, but he doesn’t want to ruin his credit. Even if they pay to clean up the house, it would be difficult to recoup any money by selling it.

Straightforward decontamination jobs can cost $5,000 to $10,000, according to Mazzuca. Surfaces must be rinsed with special detergents, rooms stripped of carpeting and other materials and meth residue must be sucked off of walls and other hidden surfaces.

Hankins is petitioning mortgage giant Freddie Mac (FMCC, Fortune 500), which sold him his home, to test all homes it sells for meth contamination, and he is speaking with the company about covering his costs.

A Freddie spokesman, Brad German, said the company did not know the Hankins’ home was contaminated. He said Freddie relies on local real estate agents to follow all state disclosure laws.

“We encourage buyers to do any test they want,” said German. “Hankins didn’t test and bought the house as-is.”

Meth labs can turn up anywhere. Last year, one was found in a building of million-dollar-plus apartments on Manhattan’s West Side. But the root of the problem lies in America’s heartland. In states like Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, thousands of meth labs are discovered each year.

Two years ago, Craig Lowther, a real estate attorney and investor in Springfield, Mo., discovered that a tenant had turned one of his homes into a meth lab.

“A young woman I was renting a house to let her father and brother live there and they were cooking meth in the basement,” he said.

After cops busted the place, Lowther evicted everyone. But before he could rent out the property again, he had to clean all the interior surfaces and pull out the carpets and other materials. All the walls had to be repainted. It cost him nearly $2,000. He now does thorough background checks on all of his tenants.

Making crystal involves a witch’s brew of ordinary household products like acetone, acids, brake cleaner, drain cleaner, iodine and paint thinner, which are all used to cook cold medicine containing the now highly-regulated ingredient, pseudoephedrine, into meth.

For every pound of meth produced, five to seven pounds of chemical waste is left behind. Meth molecules can cling to walls and floors, accumulate in carpets and cabinets and penetrate materials like insulation and drywall, according to Glenn Morrison, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. And they can be re-emitted for months or even years.

Short-term exposure to these chemicals can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Over a long period, liver and kidney damage, neurological problems, and increased risk of cancer can occur, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Adam Spencer rented an apartment in West Jordan, Utah, in 2006, just before getting married. Just weeks after he and his now-wife Rachel moved in, the two started to experience memory loss, headaches and breathing problems. They paid $1,000 to get the place tested, and high levels of meth were found.

“We had brand new beds, a washer dryer. We lost everything, even the clothes off our back,” said Spencer. They also had medical bills and moving costs. The whole ordeal cost them more than $5,000.

The couple has since bought their own home. “We made sure that it was brand new,” said Spencer.





In Tulsa County, Okla., police have identified 979 contaminated meth lab sites — the most of any county in the nation.





LOGAN — On Thursday, investigators from the Hocking County Sheriff’s Interdiction Unit confiscated 19 coffee filters containing a white powder substance that tested positive for methamphetamine inside a home on West Front Street.


Coffee filters are used to manufacture meth in the one pot “shake and bake” method.

HCSIU received information that the person living inside the home had been trafficking meth. When investigators visited the home, a woman allowed them to search the residence.

In a bedroom, deputies allegedly found the coffee filters, as well as a glass plate on the floor with a line of unknown white powder substance, two straws, plastic card and pocket knife.

A pill bottle with the woman’s name on the label also was found, and it allegedly contained a small plastic bag of marijuana.

The woman allegedly told deputies the items belonged to her boyfriend, and the last time she used meth was last week.

She was advised that a report would be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for review and possible criminal charges for trafficking drugs and possession of drugs. Her name is being withheld because she hasn’t been charged.

Evidence recovered from the home will be sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation laboratory for testing.




Two Indiana woman were arrested with methamphetamine after a traffic stop Friday in Scott County.

The driver, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia. A passenger, Janice F. Chandler, 52, of Scottsburg was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance.


An Indiana State Police trooper pulled over the women at 5:45 p.m. at the intersection of Rural Street and First Street in Austin. The trooper became suspicious after speaking with Mullins and searched the car.

The two women were taken to the Scott County Jail.



LENOIR — When Sharon Schmidt reads news about a methamphetamine lab being found, she makes a mental note. It’s not just personal curiosity.

As a real estate broker, Schmidt wants to be sure she’s never in the position of trying to help someone buy or sell that house.

“As a Realtor, I wouldn’t touch one,” she said. “I wouldn’t even list a house if it was a known meth house. Can we be sure there is no health hazard?”

The reason meth labs create a concern is that the production of meth results in chemical byproducts so toxic that exposure to even small amounts can damage humans’ nervous systems and impair liver and blood production. Small children suffer most. Exposure to meth chemicals also can trigger birth defects, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

“We are in business to help the buyer make an informed purchase,” Schmidt said. “We don’t want to sell something to someone that’s not safe for a family to live in.”

Real estate agents or anyone else can keep track of properties used as meth labs, but they have to know where to look.

Since January 2012, a total of 12 meth-making operations have been found in houses in Caldwell County, two have been found in apartments, and one was in a camper, according to the N.C. Department of Justice. All but two of those were found in 2012.

Statewide, a total of 460 labs were found in 2012, including 59 in Wilkes County alone.

The State Bureau of Investigation keeps a county-by-county tally of meth labs, but it does not include the addresses, said Noelle Talley, a spokesperson for the N.C. Department of Justice.

There is an online national registry maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice that identifies meth lab properties, but it relies on local law enforcement agencies sending the information. The site includes a disclaimer encouraging people to check any address in the registry with a local law enforcement agency.

The Caldwell County Health Department keeps information on file about properties that had meth labs. That documentation is kept on file by the health department for up to three years, and anyone who asks can get the addresses — except for those properties that have met legal requirements for being cleaned.

When a meth lab has been removed from a house, the SBI notifies the health department, which then sends a letter to the property owner notifying him that the county won’t allow people to live at the property unless it is cleaned up, along with a list of companies that can perform the cleanup. The property owner must return a plan of action to the health department, which signs off if it’s adequate, and the cleanup begins.

Among other things, during a cleanup plumbing fixtures must be flushed. Ceilings, walls and floors are scrubbed. Wood materials, such as cabinets, are removed or sealed after cleanup. The property is aired out for at least three days to allow remaining volatile chemicals to disperse. Heating and air conditioning systems, sewage disposal systems, plumbing, carpets, appliances, and all surfaces, including floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets or tile, must be free from traces of meth chemicals.

“Often, the property owner feels the expense isn’t worth it,” said Denise Michaud, the health department director. “We had an owner a few years back who just torched his lot after a mobile lab was found. Another owner had a trailer that had a meth lab removed from his property.”



A federal database shows where local methamphetamine labs have been found. Visit



YANKTON, SD – On Friday, Yankton authorities responded to a reported structure fire at the 500 block of East 8th Street in Yankton.


After extinguishing the fire, authorities found components of a one-pot meth lab inside leading to the arrest of Laray Lee Slate. Slate is charged with Unauthorized Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance, a class 4 Felony and Parole Violation.

The Yankton Fire Department, Yankton Police Department and the State of South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the joint investigation.




KEARNEY — A Kansas woman was allegedly trying to make methamphetamine when a chemical concoction exploded and severely burned her in the car she and three other people were sitting in.


One of the occupants of the car, Levi M. Sanderson, 24, of Kearney was charged Friday in Buffalo County Court with felony manufacturing of meth in the Tuesday evening incident. Late Friday, he was being held at the Buffalo County Jail on 10 percent of a $200,000 bond. He must post $20,000 to be freed.

Court records outline the cases against Sanderson:

Around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Kearney Police Department officers were dispatched to a medical call at Sanderson’s home at 814 Ave C. There, they found Jayme Horacek, 26, of Almena, Kan., with severe burns to her body.

Through their investigations, police learned a one-pot meth lab had exploded inside Horacek’s1998 Ford Taurus while she and three other people were in the car.

A one-pot, or shake-and-bake, meth lab is a method in which ingredients used to make the drug are mixed in a bottle, shaken and made into meth.

The investigation revealed Sanderson was allegedly inside the car and saw Horacek holding a bottle that caught fire while she was seated in the passenger seat of her car. The investigation also revealed Sanderson allegedly bought two boxes of pseudoephedrine from Walmart in Kearney earlier Tuesday morning.

Pseudoephedrine is a main ingredient in manufacturing meth.

Sanderson had allegedly been asked to purchased the pseudoephedrine by a woman who traveled to Kearney with Horacek.

After the explosion, Sanderson told police he pulled Horacek out of the car and helped put the fire out. A man who had been sitting in the driver’s seat and the second woman fled the area in Horacek’s car. The car was later recovered in Phillipsburg, Kan., and police continue to look for the suspects.

Records say Sanderson had earlier made arrangements to purchase meth from Horacek and the other woman in exchange for the pseudoephedrine.

Horacek remains in critical condition in the burn center at St. Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center in Lincoln.

PROVINCETOWN — Though most of the Northeast has been spared the methamphetamine problem devastating other parts of the country, meth, also called crystal, ice or Tina, continues to plague the gay male community in Provincetown.

Now there is an even stronger form of the drug police say is taking over.


Provincetown police Detective Meredith Lobur said the current wave of the white crystalline stimulant is purer than the drug police saw on the streets a few years ago; the potency may explain why it’s taken a particularly deep toll on the community in the past two years.

“Many who were using it recreationally, now these same people are losing jobs, cars and everything. They are walking around town like zombies,” she said.

“What it’s doing now is what AIDS did in the 1980s,” she said. “And the rest of law enforcement (on the Cape) doesn’t see it.”

Unless, she said, your beat includes Provincetown where the popularity of the drug has continued for years.

In late October, Steven Marszalkowski, 54, of Provincetown, was arrested and charged with drug trafficking at the waterfront Masthead Resort, when he allegedly picked up a package shipped from a fake San Diego address, according to the police report. The package, which had already been intercepted and searched by a U.S. postal inspector, contained 99 grams of methamphetamine.

A typical user might smoke approximately 100 milligrams of methamphetamine at a time but the dosage can be much higher, according to the Utah Department of Health. Those bingeing on the drug — called tweaking — may consume 2 to 4 grams over a period of one to three days, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Marszalkowski pleaded not guilty and is due back in Orleans District Court for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 30.

Lobur said the Marszalkowski case was one a few significant arrests the police were able to make this fall in a town that has been quietly struggling with a meth problem for years.

In Massachusetts and much of the Northeast, meth has been a small issue compared to the West and more recently the Midwest where meth abuse has exploded. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found that most meth lab incidents are now concentrated in the Midwest, with the top state being Missouri (1,825 incidents) in 2012. A lab incident refers to the discovery of labs, dump sites and chemical seizures connected with producing meth. Massachusetts had less than a dozen lab incidents in 2012, according to DEA spokesman Anthony Pettigrew.

Since August, there have been at least five Provincetown-related arrests for methamphetamine possession, trafficking and/or distribution, according to Lobur and court records.

Harwich police Sgt. Robert Brackett, who served for years on the Cape Cod Drug Task Force, said Cape investigations and arrests for meth have always been either in Provincetown or related to Provincetown.

But Lobur said meth could find its way into other areas of the population, as it has in so many parts of the country.

“I’ve seen so much devastation,” Lobur said.

In Provincetown, the typical meth user isn’t the kind viewers came to know in the AMC hit series “Breaking Bad,” which tells the gritty story of a science teacher who produces meth with a drug-abusing former student.

The average Provincetown user is a gay man who probably first took the drug at a club, a house party or was introduced to it by a sexual partner, said Frank Busconi, manager of substance abuse services at Fenway Health, a Boston-based health center focused the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

He said about half the substance abuse patients he sees at Fenway are there for methamphetamine addiction.

Among this population, he said, the drug usually is associated with sex.

“Meth use is often — not always — part of a sexual experience,” Busconi said.

Meth, a stimulant, can increase sex drive, he said.

“People feel they want to be sexual when they are using it. So that’s a powerful motivator,” he added.

Long-term users lose their teeth along with their jobs, reputations and all else. But many keep using, perhaps because gay men grow up dealing with negative messages about their identities, he said.

They feel they don’t belong. And methamphetamine temporarily makes them feel accepted and sexually desired, said Busconi.

“That’s very hard to walk away from,” he said.

Outsiders got a peek into the meth scene of Provincetown in 2003 when Nathan Miksch, a former resident of Provincetown’s Foley House, a group home for people who are HIV-positive, was charged with the first-degree murder of Timothy Maguire, his sometime lover.

Provincetown filmmaker Tim McCarthy made a documentary about the case called “Meth & Murder in P-town.”

The trial in Barnstable Superior Court laid out a lurid scene including Miksch’s numerous sex partners who he’d arranged to meet on the Internet, as well as his use of crystal meth.

Miksch was found guilty of second-degree murder and is now serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole.




Wilson County sheriff’s deputies discovered a methamphetamine lab while serving warrants Friday afternoon at a Lebanon motel.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan said deputies Jason Anderson and Matt Bush charged three suspects with manufacturing meth and other related charges at the Knight’s Inn.

“We had some information people we had warrants on were staying at the Knight’s Inn,” Bryan said. “We didn’t find any of them, but we did find this meth lab. The deputies did a great job in this case.


“It wasn’t an active lab, but they had all the makings of one. It appeared they had been cooking there.”

Deputies charged Candas Nicole Boatwright, 32, listed as homeless of Lebanon, with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of manufacture with intent for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brian Lee Cartwright Sr., 34, of Watertown, was also charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of manufacture with intent for resale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jody Ray Compton, 24, of Lebanon, was with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of manufacture with intent for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful carry and possession of a weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon. Bryan said the weapon was a knife.

Boatwright and Cartwright each remained Saturday in Wilson County Jail on $15,000 bond. Compton remained Saturday in jail on $19,500 bond. A March 27 court date was set for all three suspects.

Bryan said state meth task force agents were called in to clear and dispose of the lab.

“There is a very serious danger to all of this stuff,” Bryan said. “It’s affecting all walks of life. There really needs to be some work on the state level on regulating some of these ingredients.”

Lebanon police previously charged Boatwright with possession of drug paraphernalia Dec. 13 after officers found a meth lab in a vehicle she was a passenger in during a routine traffic stop at the Burger King on N. Cumberland Street. She was released from Wilson County Jail on $850 bond the next day.





Crookston, Minn. – LeaAnn Salem, 46, Crookston, will be back in court on Monday, Jan. 6 after a string of probation violations involving methamphetamine use. She was first arrested July 2010 when a concerned citizen thought she had possession of meth and was selling it to others.

According to the complaint, on July 30, 2010, Crookston Police Department detective Darin Selzler received information from the concerned citizen and went to Salon Elite (owned by Salem) on Fletcher Street to speak with Salem. She denied the allegations, but consented to a search of her business, motor vehicle and personal belongings.

Detective Selzler and officer Travis Halvorson found in her purse prescription pill bottles, the complaint states, one with a folded up piece of paper containing blue powder. They also found pill capsules, a razor blade, and a weight scale, along with some marijuana paraphernalia including a box grinder with residue and a dugout with marijuana in it. Officers also found a cloth bag with a residue-coated glass pipe, a straw with powder residue, a small amount of marijuana, a match box containing five small baggies with powder residue, a marijuana smoking device, a dental floss container with crystal-like substance, two razor blades, and three small metal containers. All of the smoking devices and baggies that officers found tested positive for meth or marijuana.

Salem was charged with third degree drug possession of methamphetamine in a school zone, park zone, and public housing zone. She was eventually sentenced to 21 months in prison with a stay of execution for 10 years, plus 10 years of supervised probation.

On Sept. 7, 2012, East Grand Forks Police Department officer Aeisso Schrage and a Polk County Sheriff’s Department deputy went to check on Salem at her business. While at Salon Elite, according to the complaint, they performed a search and found a pipe with powder residue, a bag with two crystal-like substances, and a part of a straw with traces of powder. They also found a picture frame with white powder on it, a device used to grind pills, a bottle of wine, and several different prescription pills. A urine sample provided by Salem showed the presence of meth, the complaint states.

On Dec, 12, 2012, another urine sample was taken from Salem and the presence of meth was revealed, according to the complaint.

Salem was sentenced to 33 months incarceration with a stay of execution for 15 years on Jan, 14, 2013 for third degree drug possession and contempt of court.

On Nov, 7, 2013, Salem signed an admittance form indicating use of meth on or about Oct. 28, 2013, the complaint states, and a couple weeks later she signed another admittance form indicating use of meth on or about Nov. 12. She bonded out of jail on Nov. 25.

On Dec. 2, a probation agent collected a urine sample from Salem that tested positive for meth. A week later, she admitted use of meth and, according to the complaint, stated that she licked some out of an old bag she found while cleaning.

Salem was taken into custody, then released on her own personal recognizance on Dec. 16. She will have a disposition hearing on Monday, Jan. 6 with a recommendation that she serve 180 days in custody and continue with a therapy program and probation.



Authorities rescued a 7-year-old girl after her mother, who is facing drug charges, lied to police regarding her daughter’s whereabouts.

Daleville Police Chief Harvey Mathis said police arrested the child’s mother, 29-year-old Denise Charlotte Deloach, and charged her with two felony counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (for xanax and methamphetamine), child endangerment and driving under the influence.

Mathis said the charges stemmed from police responding to a medical rescue call of someone passed out in their vehicle in the 400 block of Daleville Avenue around 2:40 p.m. Thursday. He said officers responded and initially couldn’t get the woman behind the steering wheel to respond to knocks on the vehicle’s window.

Mathis said Deloach, after being questioned by police, admitted she’d likely test positive for being under the influence of xanax and ICE, or methamphetamine.

Mathis said when police told her she was under arrest she told them she needed to go home to her daughter, who was with the babysitter. But when questioned, Deloach said she didn’t know the babysitter’s name.

When police went to her Old Newton Road residence they found it empty with no child inside.

“We called in some reserve officers and fanned out searching the neighborhood, door-to-door,” Mathis said.

Mathis said police found the 7-year-old girl at a known meth house down the street where an associate of her mother’s had recently been charged with manufacturing meth. He said the child was found by herself watching TV in the home.

“She told us she hadn’t eaten anything since early that morning,” Mathis said. “She told me ‘my mom is broken.’

Mathis said police found the child safe within a half hour of finding her mother passed out in a vehicle. He said Dale County Department of Human Resources responded and will look into the circumstances of what happened to the child. Mathis also said the child’s father drove down from Montgomery to pick up his daughter.

Mathis said Deloach was taken to the Daleville City Jail where authorities found xanax and meth hidden inside her bra. Deloach was taken to the Dale County Jail on Friday.

“We all breathed a sigh of relief when the officer came walking out of the home carrying the child,” Mathis said. “The child is safe and that was our main concern, the DUI was secondary at that point. We just wanted to find that child.”



Two Pismo Beach residents are in custody on drug charges after an investigation revealed one of them tried to smuggle narcotics into San Luis Obispo County Jail last month.

Samantha Jo Long, 29, and Jason Todd Hunter, 44, were arrested Dec. 23 at a Pismo Beach motel after a Sheriff’s Department investigation showed Hunter tried to smuggle methamphetamine into Long when she was incarcerated earlier in the month.

They are being held on charges of sending a controlled substance to jail, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of a controlled substance.

The investigation began on Dec. 11 when a correctional deputy intercepted a greeting card containing methamphetamine addressed to Long. The deputy found a small amount of methamphetamine wrapped in plastic hidden between two sections of the card.

No arrests were made at the time and Long was eventually released.

On Dec. 23, detectives served both arrest and search warrants on Long and Hunter at a Pismo Beach motel where they found approximately two ounces of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.



An Akron woman is under arrest after police said she was caught cooking methamphetamine in front of her 2-year-old daughter.

Ashleigh M. Mayfield, 21, of Donald Avenue, is charged with manufacturing of meth, illegal assembly of chemicals, child endangering, possession of Oxycodone, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities said an active meth lab was found inside of the apartment Mayfield shared with her daughter.



The woman severely burned in an alleged meth lab explosion is still in critical condition tonight.

Authorities are still investigating the dangerous Tuesday night incident in south Kearney.

Kearney Police were back on scene in the 800 block of Avenue C in Kearney on Friday where the incident happened on New Years Eve.

“We’ve still got a lot of unanswered questions we want to get answered.” Said Captain Michael Kirkwood with the Kearney Police.

24 year old Levi Sanderson was arrested at his home at 814 Avenue C on Thursday. He’s just one of four suspects including 26 year old Jayme Horacek who was flown to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Lincoln with chemical burns on her body.

That, following what police believe was an explosion during an active meth cook in her 1998 Ford Taurus.
A neighbor to the incident told News 5 he heard screaming, ran back into this alleyway and discovered a woman on fire.

The vehicle in question was later located in Phillipsburg, Kansas.

Kearney Police searched the alley behind Avenue C on Friday, collecting what is likely ingredients used in the process of cooking meth.

They believe the suspects disposed of them as they fled the scene on Tuesday.

“When you talk meth lab, you’re not talking anymore the boilers and the beakers and that sort of thing. You’re talking about just one bottle that you’re using and that’s it.” Said Capt. Kirkwood.
They call it the one pot method. It’s considered extremely dangerous.
“Meth’s not going away. It’s here, it’s strong. It will continue to be here.” Said Capt. Kirkwood.

This incident is rare for Kearney. They see very little meth lab busts compared to many parts of the state.

“Hopefully we don’t have any more incidents like this.” Said Capt. Kirkwood.

A representative from the Kearney Police Department tells me this is expected to be the last sweep for evidence in this alley way although the investigation is still ongoing.
Police are still searching for two more suspects.

It is believed that at least one of them was also burned in the accident.



CUMBERLAND — Charges are pending in an investigation of an apparent methamphetamine lab found Thursday night in the 500 block of Linden Street, according to the C3I Narcotics Unit.

Cumberland fire and police departments responded to a fire in the residence at 9:22 p.m. and observed suspicious items that led them to believe that some of the materials may have been used to make meth.

The C3I Narcotics Unit response included a member of their unit from the Maryland State Police as well as a Cumberland Police officer who is certified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate and dismantle methamphetamine labs.

The material was rendered inactive and the area was made safe with assistance from the Cumberland Fire Department and Allegany County Hazardous Incident Response Team.

The C3I Narcotics Unit is continuing with the investigation and charges will be filed upon the completion of the investigation.


EL PASO, Texas — A woman carrying about 1 pound of meth was arrested in the first drug seizure made at an El Paso Port of Entry in 2014, officials said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said that around 5 p.m. Wednesday, a 33-year-old woman was trying to cross into El Paso at the Bridge of the Americas as a pedestrian.


Officials said that an officer noticed an unusual bulge in her lower back, and the officer found two bundles of methamphetamine strapped to her back. The drugs weighed about 1.15 pounds, officials said.


“History has shown that smugglers don’t take holidays off, and neither do we,” said CBP El Paso Port Director Hector Mancha. “CBP officers remain vigilant 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to stop all forms of illegal activity at border ports.”

Melissa Kay Villar, of Wichita, Kan., was turned over to federal agents in connection with the failed drug smuggling attempt, CBP officials said.



Fire started in a kitchen, but it is not known if the fire started due to the making of meth

Quincy Police are searching for suspects in connection with an early morning fire where meth making materials were found.


Quincy firefighters responded to a fire that had broken out in the kitchen of a two story duplex at 525 College. The call came in at 5:20 a.m. and crews had the fire knocked down within 10 minutes.

Two adults and three children made it out safely.

Firefighters later found items that were used in connection with making meth and called police to the scene. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and it is not known if the fire started as a byproduct of meth manufacturing.

Police are still looking for the suspects.



Polk County sheriff’s deputies found a meth lab dumpsite on John Weaver Road in the Green Creek community on New Year’s Day, sparking an investigation and a call to residents to report any suspicious activity in the area.

The dumpsite held materials and chemicals associated with “one-pot” or “shake-and-bake” productions of the illegal, manmade drug methamphetamine, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies contacted a narcotics officer, who secured the scene where deputies found a hydrogren chloride gas generator and a two-liter bottle used to cook the methamphetamine.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who sees trash being thrown from vehicles or people acting suspicious in the vicinity or vehicles parked on the roadway to report those instances. Deputies are reminding the public that chemicals associated with meth labs are dangerous.

If suspicious items are found, report the findings to the Sheriff’s Office and do not tamper with the materials.

When found clustered together, the following items may indicate a pile of trash could be waste from a meth lab: anhydrous ammonia tanks; loose pills that look like common cold pills or diet pills or packaging from cold pills that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine; empty or full containers that are labeled as muriatic acid, Freon or starter fluid; alcohol or methanol (like Heet-brand gasoline additive or rubbing alcohol); red-stained coffee filters, bed sheets, pillow cases or old clothing; iodine crystals (grayish-black and shiny); containers that held sodium hydroxide, sulfuric and hydrochloric acid (Red Devil lye) or other drain cleaners; red phosphorus (in match books or sticks); ether (engine starting fluid); cans of solvents such as acetone, benzene, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone or xylene; disassembled lithium batteries; clear glass containers that look like they are from a laboratory, with rubber or plastic hosing; and containers from table salt or rock salt.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation. To report any suspicious findings or activity, call the Sheriff’s Office at 828-894-3001.




Jan.  2 (UPI) — Jodie Sweetin is a debt free  woman.

The former Full House star has finally payed off her $53,000 debt to  Uncle Sam, TMZ reports.


The 31-year-old actress fell in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service  after it was discovered that she failed to pay $53,626.29 in income tax back in  2009.

After starring on the hit ABC show from 1987 to 1995, Sweetin became addicted  to methamphetamine. She’s currently a recovering addict who works at a rehab facility in Los Angeles.



A massive Guangdong drugs operation involving more than 3,000 personnel in 109 separate raids ended in the seizure of three tonnes of Ice and 182 arrests – all in a single village.

boshe2.jpgPolice pictured during the raid in Boshe village, Lufeng city, Guangdong


The huge swoop was on the village of Boshe in the notorious drug-producing area centred on the eastern city of Lufeng .

The 182 suspects allegedly belonged to 18 production and trafficking rings based in and around Boshe. Another 23 tonnes of raw materials for drug production were recovered.

A police officer surveys drug-making equipment during the dawn raid in Boshe. Photo: SCMP/HandoutPolice did not reveal whether the seized Ice, or crystal methamphetamine was for export or domestic consumption. Nor did they reveal its value, but it is estimated to be worth about HK$1.8 billion in Hong Kong.

“Lufeng has long been notorious for drugs. Over the past three years, it has been providing one-third of the crystal meth nationwide,” Xinhua quoted a senior official of the Guangdong police anti-narcotics bureau, Qiu Wei , as saying.

He added that Boshe was the most notorious area for drugs in Lufeng, with more than a fifth of households linked to production and trafficking rings.

Paramilitary personnel, police and border guards from Guangzhou, Shantou , Huizhou , Meizhou and Heyuan launched the raids on the village – population 14,000 – before dawn on Sunday using helicopters and speedboats.

Provincial police deputy director Guo Shaobo said it was the province’s largest drug bust in terms of arrests, drugs and raw materials seized. It also represented the broadest co-operation among government units.

Lufeng has a long history of producing drugs since the 1990s. More than half the 500 prisoners in the city’s detention centre were involved in drug-related crimes, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported. It said Lufeng was an impoverished area where most of the farmland was sandy.

A suspect is apprehended during the raid. Photo: SCMP/HandoutGrowing numbers of villagers had joined the drug rings and turned their homes and farms into crystal meth factories, it said.

The drug rings were usually armed with guns and local villagers helped with tip-offs about impending raids, thwarting recent police crackdowns.

“It’s an open secret in Lufeng and Shantou that many local corrupt officials have helped protect those drug gangs for years,” said Li Wei, a Shantou resident.

Guo said Guangdong police had detained 10,836 suspected drug traffickers and seized 8.1 tonnes of drugs since launching “Operation Thunder” on July 30 to curb the drug trade.

The Public Security Ministry’s Narcotics Control Bureau said last year that police cracked more than 122,000 drug-related cases in 2012 and arrested 133,000 suspects. Among the 45.1 tonnes of drugs seized were 16.2 tonnes of crystal meth.





A Vietnamese man who claimed to be a monk was arrested in Thailand as he allegedly attempted to smuggle 2.3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine into that country on Wednesday, the Bangkok Post reported.


Nguyen Van Thiet, 64, was caught with luggage in which the drug was wrapped in plastic bags and carbon paper and hidden, when he arrived at Phuket Airport in Phuket Province, located in the north of Thailand.

The total value of the drugs was estimated to be about eight million baht (US$244,000).

The man, who dressed as a monk, told local customs officers that he was travelling from China’s Shenzhen City to Thailand for a pilgrimage, according to the news report.

Before he boarded a China Southern Airlines flight, a Vietnamese woman asked him to deliver the luggage to another Vietnamese person in Phuket, he said.

An unidentified person would meet him at the airport and take him to the recipient, Thiet said.

Paisarn Chuanjit, deputy director-general of the Customs Department, was quoted as saying that the man did not have a monk identification card, and that he entered Thailand on a tourist visa.

Thiet was charged with “possessing a category one drug and carrying it through Thailand for sale without permission,” according to the newspaper.

In Thailand, the possession of category I drugs, namely heroin, amphetamines, and methamphetamine, carries the death penalty.



Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Two Twin Falls residents are behind bars and are facing charges in connection to a drug bust.

Police seized a half a pound of Methamphetamine at 240 Camarillo Way in Twin Falls, while on a search warrant. Lieutenant Craig Stotts says, the drugs are estimated to be worth between $11,000 to $16,000.

Twin Falls, Idaho

Genaro Barbosa, 30, was arrested on trafficking methamphetamine and Raquel Gaxiola, 46, was arrested for trafficking methamphetamine and destroying evidence.

Bail for the suspects is unknown.



DAYTON — Police in East Dayton say neighbor complaints about a home in the 2100 block of East Third Street led to them busting a meth lab.


The tenant allowed officers inside the house to search and officers say they could smell methamphetamine.  Investigators found it cooking in a soup pot on top of a portable heater.

”And they saw fumes coming off, and they immediately evacuated the house and and exited, and that’s why we had to call fire out here to clear it and make sure it was safe.”, Sgt. Matt Beavers of the Dayton Police Department told us.

Hazmat crews say the neighborhood is now safe from any threat of explosion.  Police tell us the house may have to be condemned because of meth contamination.  They also say the tenant’s 23 year old son did admit to being a meth user, but police believe he was selling it too.


Hazmat crew, police bust meth lab

DAYTON — Police in Dayton say they were able to bust an illegal drug laboratory tonight, after complaints from neighbors led to an investigation.

Officers responded to the 2100 block of East 3rd Street at about 6:30 p.m., where they were looking into a suspected methamphetamine lab.

Due to the dangerous chemicals involved in meth production, a full hazmat response was requested by officers at the scene.

Sgt. Matt Beavers with the Dayton Police Department described the setup inside the home as “elaborate.” He said drugs were being cooked in the home’s kitchen as well as with a portable heater.

No arrests have been made but police were questioning a male and female they found at the scene.

“You would be amazed at how many drug complaints we get,” Beavers said at the scene.

The investigation started after a neighbor called police and when they arrived on scene, they said they were able to smell the drugs.

“Our numbers, officers, are limited,” Beavers said. “Without the eyes and ears of the citizens, a lot of stuff would go unsolved.”

He said the house will likely be condemned.



BARTONVILLE —- Five people were arrested after a raid Tuesday at a  Bartonville home that led to the seizure of drugs and materials to make  methamphetamine.

Police were responding to a call about a fight and when they arrived  at 113 Roosevelt Ave., they found a man with a backpack walking away. When the  man, identified as Michael W. Harris, 29, saw police, he threw down the backpack  and kept walking, said Police Chief Brian Fengel.

Inside the pack were cocaine, heroin, meth, a scale, syringes and  materials to make meth, the chief said. The officers, along with agents from the  Peoria Multi-County Narcotics Enforcement Group and the state police meth  response unit, then raided the Roosevelt Avenue address.

Harris, whose address was not available Wednesday, was booked on  charges of participation on meth production, possession of meth-making materials  and conspiracy to make meth.

The four people who lived at the house were also arrested. Robert W.  Searle, 32, faces charges of aggravated participation in meth production,  possession of meth-making materials, meth possession and conspiracy to make  meth. He was also charged with two counts of battery.

Also booked into the Peoria County Jail were Jacob T. Schmidt, 26,  and Melissa A. Cromie, 23. Both face charges of possession of a controlled  substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The fifth person, Cassandra J. Whitman, 25, also of the Roosevelt  Avenue address, was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Fengel said,  because police learned she had been “shooting up methamphetamine using a  concoction of lighter fluid and was not in good shape.”

Fengel said she had not yet been booked on a charge related to the  raid.







Three Hagerstown residents face drug charges after suspected heroin and suspected methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $50,000 was seized along with $9,000 in cash and several firearms during a drug bust this week involving multiple agencies, officials said.


The Washington County Narcotics Task Force recovered approximately 188 grams of suspected heroin and 95 grams of suspected methamphetamine Monday from 807 Hamilton Blvd. in Hagerstown’s North End, according to Lt. Todd Kerns, who served as the task force’s director in 2013.

“That’s a lot of drugs,” Kerns said Wednesday in a phone interview.

The task force was assisted by the Washington County Special Response Team and the Hagerstown regional office of the Drug Enforcement Agency, according to an email from Kerns.

Breezy Jill Beckette, 22, of 807 Hamilton Blvd.; Cody William Grant, 26, of 826 Dewey Ave., Apt. 3, in Hagerstown’s North End; and Daniel Matthew Anderson, 28, of 1008 Security Road, Apt. E, all face drug charges, according to Kerns and online court records.

Grant was being held without bond Wednesday at the Washington County Detention Center. Beckette and Anderson were being held at the detention center Wednesday, each in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

The bust began in the late afternoon Monday as Grant was contacted to do a deal involving an informant, and was taken into custody inside the Sheetz on Potomac Avenue, Kerns said.

Grant briefly escaped, fleeing while handcuffed, and was captured a short distance away, Kerns said. While he fled, Grant fell and injured himself, Kerns said.

Grant was treated at Meritus Medical Center and released to authorities, Kerns said.

Grant was charged with five counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance that was not marijuana and two counts of distributing narcotics, according to online court records.

Grant also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of needles related to drugs; possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana; creating a common nuisance through distributing narcotics; and escape in the second degree, according to Kerns and online court records.

Shortly after Grant was taken into custody, the task force executed a search-and-seizure warrant at 807 Hamilton Blvd., Kerns said.

At that time, police apprehended Beckette, who was inside the duplex, Kerns said.

Police seized drugs, cash and weapons from the residence, Kerns said.

Several weapons were seized, including two stolen handguns, as well as rifles and shotguns, Kerns said.

Beckette was charged with three counts each of intent to distribute narcotics and possession of a controlled dangerous substance that was not marijuana, according to online court records.

Beckette also was charged with possession of a large amount of heroin (more than 28 grams); possession of a firearm in relationship to a drug-trafficking crime; creating a common nuisance through distributing narcotics; and theft of less than $1,000 in value, according to Kerns and online court records.

Kerns said Anderson was part of an investigation that occurred prior to the search warrant being executed. He was taken into custody Tuesday at his Security Road home, Kerns said.

Anderson was charged with distribution of narcotics and possession of a controlled dangerous substance that was not marijuana, according to online court records.

The narcotics task force is a joint operation of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hagerstown Police Department.