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

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

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

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

The SBI was called to remove the bag.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



BUTTE — Michelle Yallup, accused of leaving an Anaconda hospital with her newborn baby after testing positive for methamphetamine, has been arrested in Utah.


Butte Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich said on Monday that Yallup, 29 years old, is in custody and her baby is safe; no other details have been released at this point.

Anaconda police chief Tim Barkell said after she ran away that Yallup was not authorized to leave the hospital after the boy was born because she tested positive for meth.

She had been ordered to stay at the hospital until Child Protective Services officials arrived.

The Montana Department of Justice then issued a Missing/Endangered Person Alert for the baby and Yallup.

(UPDATE, 2:20 pm) The Montana Department of Justice has released the following information.

On June 17, Michelle Yallup went to the Community Hospital of Anaconda, where staff discovered her to be in labor and about to deliver a baby. During the hospital intake process, staff determined that Ms. Yallup had no pre-natal care and was possibly on drugs when she entered the facility. The baby was delivered at 6:15pm, and Ms. Yallup indicated she wanted to leave.

Hospital staff informed her that she could leave against medical advice if she chose, but that she could not leave with the baby.

Ms. Yallup took her baby son for a walk in the hospital hallway later that evening, and while doing so, she left the hospital and entered a waiting vehicle.

She was not seen afterward. On June 18, the Montana Department of Justice issued a Missing and Endangered Person Advisory.

On July 2, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Department of Law Enforcement asked DCI to assist in locating Ms. Yallup and her baby, at which point an arrest warrant was issued for her. DCI Agent John Sullivan was assigned to assist.

On July 16, through the coordinated efforts of the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Department of Law Enforcement, Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, DCI agents located Ms. Yallup in Utah.

On July 21, DCI agents received further information regarding Ms. Yallup’s last location, which was a truck stop in Willard, Utah. This information was relayed to authorities in Utah, who upon arriving at the truck stop noticed an orange motor home bearing Montana License plate 2-66873A parked in the lot.

Authorities approached the motor home and found both Ms. Yallup and the baby.

Ms. Yallup was arrested on felony warrants for endangering the welfare of a child and forgery.

Medical personnel transported the baby to the hospital, where the baby is being evaluated. The Utah Department of Family Services will take custody of the baby.

GULFPORT, Mississippi — Three suspects — two males and one female — have been arrested and are facing multiple charges after police say they robbed a man at gunpoint outside a Gulfport casino, led police on a chase and were also found with methamphetamine.

According to Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania, his department received a call around 4:15 Monday afternoon of an armed robbery. Police arrived and met with the male victim near 36th Avenue and U.S. 90.

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The victim told police he was approached by a female, later identified as Ashley Nacol Adams of Gulfport, inside Island View Casino, where Adams attempted to sell him a laptop computer.

The victim then followed Adams to the beach where the victim was approached by two white males — later identified as Dylan Spencer Thomas of Gulfport and Dustin Lee Rivers of Lucedale — with one of the males brandishing a shotgun.

The three suspects robbed the victim of cash and then fled in a vehicle eastbound on U.S. 90. Officer later located the vehicle in the area of Gulf Avenue, where the suspect vehicle attempted to elude police.

After a brief pursuit, Thomas, Rivers and Adams were stopped and arrested. At the time of the arrests, a shotgun, ammunition and methamphetamine were recovered from the vehicle.

Subsequent investigation revealed Thomas and Rivers have prior felony convictions. They were charged with Armed Robbery, Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Possession of a Weapon by a Felon.

Adams was charged with Armed Robbery and the methamphetamine charge.

All three suspects are in the Harrison County Adult Detention Center — Thomas and Rivers under $125,000 bonds and Adams under a $120,000 bond set by Gulfport Municipal Court Judge Felecia Dunn-Burkes.




The Henry County Sheriff’s Office reported multiple methamphetamine labs were located in the Deshler area Saturday morning as a result of a joint effort between deputies, the Deshler Police Department and the Multi-Area Narcotics Unit.

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Law enforcement first responded to 640 E. Holmes St. Lot #56 in Deshler at 12:35 a.m. for a report of suspicious drug activity. After conducting an investigation, a meth lab was located inside the residence, which led to the arrest of three Deshler residents.

Robert E. Salyer, 33, Pamela D. Salyer, 35, and Brian J. Cole, 35, were each charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs, a second degree felony, and endangering children, a third degree felony. The individuals were incarcerated at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio and additional charges are pending.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, deputies were led to two additional residences in the Deshler area Sunday morning. During a consent search of an abandoned residence at B-363 County Road 1 in Bartlow Township, a second meth lab was located.

This investigation is still ongoing. According to CCNO booking records, a pretrial has been scheduled for all three individuals in Napoleon Municipal Court for an unspecified date.




The health of former Kings Cross detective Roger Rogerson is ”failing” as he awaits trial in jail for the murder of Sydney student Jamie Gao, his lawyer says.

Mr Rogerson, who turned 73 in January this year, is on remand in Silverwater Correctional Centre following his arrest in May over the alleged murder, which police say occurred when a drug deal went wrong.


His former police colleague Glen McNamara has also been charged with the murder of Mr Gao, as well as with drug offences.

Speaking outside Central Local Court, where Mr Rogerson’s matter was briefly mentioned on Tuesday, his solicitor Paul Kenny said the former detective was ”ailing in jail” and suggested he was likely to apply for bail in the coming weeks.

”He’s being kept in isolation in very difficult circumstances. His health is failing,” Mr Kenny said.

”He’s not very well at all. There’s a number of ailments..I’m concerned about his mental health too.

”I can’t see why he can’t have a wristwatch and a calendar. He didn’t even have a blanket initially.”

Mr Kenny said his client would plead not guilty to the charges against him.


Earlier the court heard that after the alleged murders, police found methamphetamine in Mr McNamara’s car.

”A scientific analysis of the methamphetamine allegedly found in Mr McNamara’s car should be available within two weeks,” crown prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, said.

The court heard that this analysis was among a number of pieces of evidence against the two accused killers, including CCTV footage, which would take between six to nine months to be ready for presentation at trial.

This footage is believed to be from a security camera in Padstow that caught some of the last movements of Mr Gao, showing him walking from his sports car on Arab Street with a bag tightly held in his right hand.

It allegedly shows three men walking into the storage shed – but only the two former police officers walk out.

Police will allege that Mr Gao took three kilograms of the drug ice, with an estimated street value of $3 million, to the prearranged meeting with Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson.

The business student at the University of Technology was reported missing the next day.

An hour after Mr McNamara was charged with Mr Gao’s murder, the young man’s body was spotted by a fisherman off the coast near Cronulla. It was wrapped in blue plastic.

The court heard that the evidence against the accused also includes fingerprints and DNA from the alleged crime scene.

Mr McNamara briefly appeared via audio-visual link from prison, wishing the magistrate a curt ”good morning” before his matter was briefly mentioned.

The matter will return to court on August 28.




A suspect required treatment and two Ware County deputies were briefly overcome by chemical fumes Sunday when deputies raided what is believed to have been a working methamphetamine lab, the county sheriff said.

After receiving a tip that methamphetamine production was under way at a Ware County residence, sheriff’s deputies traveled to 3143 Slash Pine Road about 10:40 p.m. Saturday, Sheriff Randy Royal said.

The owner of the residence, Joseph C. Puckett, gave them permission to “look around” and, as they did so, the officers saw a light in a building behind the residence, Royal said.

When the deputies opened the door of the building, they were briefly overcome by chemical fumes from inside and took the man inside the building, William G. Bird, 23, into custody, Royal said.

When they did, however, Puckett and Kayla Kesler, a 19-year-old woman who lived at the residence, ran into the house and locked themselves in and refused to come out, Royal said.

Byrd complained that he had inhaled fumes and was taken to the Mayo Clinic Waycross where he was treated and released.

Drug detectives came to the address with a search warrant and Puckett and Kesler came out of the house after about 45 minutes, he said.

In executing the search warrant, officers found a number of spoons and hypodermic syringes that appeared to have been used for injecting drugs along with a small quantity of methamphetamine, Royal said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s regional drug enforcement office in Savannah responded to help with the cleanup of hazardous chemicals and to process the evidence, Royal said.

Ware County fire and rescue also had an ambulance and fire truck standing by as the volatile chemicals were secured, Royal said.

Officials remained on the scene until 7 a.m. Sunday, he said.

Puckett, Kesler and Byrd were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of drug related objects. Kesler was also charged with the unlawful possession of a prescription narcotic, Royal said.

All were in the Ware County jail Monday morning, Royal said.

Royal said detectives believe they found methamphetamine in the outbuilding but won’t know how much until the GBI finishing processing the evidence.





A deal is pending for a Dillon man facing distribution of methamphetamine and child sexual assault charges.

Brook Randall Fritts, 31, appeared for the first time Monday, July 21, in Summit County District Court for an arraignment. During the hearing, Fritts’ attorney, JB Katz of Breckenridge, waived formal advisement of the charges and requested the court schedule the case for a disposition hearing, saying a plea bargain deal was in the works with the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.


Fritts faces several charges of possession and distribution of a controlled substance, as well as child sexual assault charges, in two active cases in district court.

Fritts also is expected to plead guilty to one count of first-degree trespass of an automobile stemming from an alleged bond violation in 2013, according to court records.

Fritts, who remains in custody on $150,000 bond, returns to district court at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 18 for his disposition hearing before chief judge Mark Thompson. Deputy district attorney John Franks is prosecuting Fritts.

Fritts was arrested April 29 following a monthlong investigation by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, the Silverthorne Police Department, the Dillon Police Department, Summit County Probation, Summit County Social Services and the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The sexual assault probe was launched April 1, after a Summit County Social Services employee had a conversation with one of two alleged victims. The social worker told deputies the alleged victim admitted to having a sexual relationship with Fritts and that he would also provide she and another victim methamphetamine.

The names and ages of the two alleged victims have been redacted from court records because they are minors.

Investigators did not launch an investigation into the alleged drug activity until more than a week later. While conducting a routine welfare check, at the request of Social Services, law enforcement officers discovered the two alleged victims suffering from methamphetamine overdoses at their apartment in the 800 block of Straight Creek Drive.

Deputies received additional information about Fritts’ alleged drug activity when they arrested Ramon Benitez-Romero, an employee of Subway in Keystone, on charges unrelated to the case. During the course of his interrogation with law enforcement, Benitez-Romero said he witnessed Fritts — also a Subway employee — selling methamphetamine in the restaurant’s rear parking lot, according to court records.

Deputies then responded April 28 to the First Interstate Inn, where it was thought Fritts and the two alleged victims were residing. Although Fritts was not at the motel at the time, officers confiscated a bag belonging to the suspect.

After executing a warrant to search the bag, officers booked into evidence eight glass pipes — some of which contained white residue that later tested positive for methamphetamine — a syringe, a small plastic baggie also containing white residue, a glass vial, two digital scales and several documents confirming the backpack belonged to Fritts, records stated.

Deputies noted in their reports there have been a rash of reported methamphetamine overdoses over the last several months in Summit County. Many of the survivors claimed they received the drug from Fritts, according to records.

Longview police arrested six people Saturday morning on charges of manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance after more than 200 grams of methamphetamine were discovered at a Longview home.

Debra Stiles, spokeswoman for the Longview Police Department, said Sunday that the drugs were found at a home in the 1900 block of  Willis Drive during an investigation of a stolen vehicle.

Gerri Paige Holt, 25, of White Oak, Brandi K McAlister, 32, of Ore City, Stephen Dwayne Cannada, 40, of Longview, Lacie Danielle Dorgan, 30, of Ore City, Carl Oscar Gearhart, 30, of Gladewater, and Leland Curtis Smith, 32, of Longview, were each being held Sunday on bonds of $50,000, according to Gregg County jail records.

Stiles said officers also found two more stolen vehicles at the home and an investigation is ongoing.




An Evansville man is accused of dealing methamphetamine.

His reasoning? He apparently told officers he had fallen on hard times, and was behind on his Vecrten bill.Storytrrt

Officers were dispatched to an alley in the 1100 block of North 4th Street Saturday afternoon. When they arrived, they say Christopher Swango made a run for it – tossing a canister that allegedly had meth inside. He was arrested and faces charges of dealing and possessing meth.

According to court records, he was arrrested on charges of possessing a controlled substance and battery in January 2010. A month later, he was convicted of purchasing too much Pseudoephedrine; the major precursor in meth production. In August 2010, he pleaded guilty to posession of marijuana. And in October 2010, he was convicted of visiting a common nuisance. Then in June 2012, he was convicted of possessing meth and resisting law enforcement.




It’s never easy when someone you love becomes dependent on a drug – but in the case of ice, there can be an extra problem: the suspicion and paranoia that can trigger violence. What do you do when your once high-achieving, sports-loving son breaks your window, injures the family dog and digs holes in the back garden, convinced there are bodies buried there?


These are experiences that Debbie, a Victorian parent of five adult children, has lived with since her son developed a dependence on ice 18 months ago. Her focus now is on helping him get treatment – and that’s not simple. Although he’s been admitted to a hospital psychiatric unit during episodes of drug-induced psychosis, the hospital tackles only the psychosis, not his drug dependence. Once he’s recovered from the psychosis, he’s discharged and the cycle of using and chaotic behaviour starts again.

“When he stops using for a week or so there’s this window period when he knows he needs help and wants his old life back, but there’s never a place available in a public rehab at the time. There’s always a waiting list,” Debbie says.

“We need more money spent on treatment for drug dependence. If he had a disease like cancer, he’d have the best of treatment.”

Family Drug Support, an organisation that helps families and friends of people with a drug dependency, says phone calls about ice to its 24-hour Support Line have now overtaken calls about all other drugs, including alcohol.

“The biggest concern is aggression and violent behaviour. With ice this can be very unpredictable – it just comes out of the blue,” says Tony Trimingham, the CEO of Family Drug Support, which has just produced Walking a Tightrope, a resource to help families and friends avoid drug and alcohol-related violence.

“Our advice is not to get involved in confrontations. You might feel it’s wrong to back down and walk away, but standing up to someone under the influence of ice isn’t an option.”

Associate Professor Nicole Lee, of the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction at Flinders University, says: “Families of drug users often need support, but especially families of regular ice users, because it’s a drug that can cause a lot of chaos and be very difficult to live with.”

What is the difference between ice, amphetamines and methamphetamines? Amphetamine is the term for a number of psycho-stimulant drugs, including methamphetamine. Speed is the powder form of methamphetamine, and ice – which is more potent – comes in the form of crystals.

There are two things that set ice apart from other recreational drugs, according to Dr Lee.  One is that it triggers a greater release of the pleasure chemical dopamine in the brain – as much as 1000 times higher than normal levels – which helps explain both the intensity of the drug’s highs and its crashing lows.

“The other is that its effects on the brain are more complicated. While most drugs just act on one centre in the brain, ice affects three. Besides causing the brain to produce more dopamine, it also increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter which regulates sleep, mood and appetite. But ice also activates the ‘fight or flight’ system, causing the release of noradrenaline. This can make people anxious, suspicious and jumpy, and increase the risk of aggression and getting into fights,” she says.

Dr Lee says these effects on the brain can make it difficult to treat dependence on ice.

“When people use ice all the time, their dopamine system becomes worn out. They can’t produce normal levels of dopamine and this can make them feel very depressed, and the relapse rate is high,” she says. “Counselling and psychotherapy can help, but it can take 12 to 18 months for people to feel normal again.”

About 2.5 per cent of Australians have used methamphetamine in the past year, mainly people in their 20s and 30s. These users are likely to be employed and connected to their communities – so they do not fit the stereotype of the marginalised drug user, Dr Lee says.

 “About 15 per cent of methamphetamine users are dependent – it’s likely that a higher percentage of ice users are dependent, given its potency. The remaining 85 per cent are more likely to use methamphetamine recreationally or to [help them] stay awake. But there are people using ice at a relatively low level who, although they don’t need treatment in long-term rehab, still need help to get off the drug or to reduce some of the harms – these people might be having trouble sleeping and feeling depressed and may not be making the connection between their symptoms and the use of ice.”


Bismarck Police arrested a 30-year-old woman after she was reportedly found unconscious and methamphetamine was discovered in the home while she was caring for two children.

Authorities responded to a call at the 4800 block of Coleman Street at 10:07 p.m. Friday.

The woman had been reportedly lying on the bathroom floor. A small baggie of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found nearby. The woman was conscious when authorities arrived.

She was arrested for child abuse and neglect and possession of methamphetamine. Charges are pending.




A reported house fire lead to the discovery of a meth lab in Harrison County.072014Meth

William D. Radcliff, 43, has been charged with operating a methamphetamine lab, exposure of a minor to the manufacture of methamphetamine, and exposure of a first responder to the manufacture of methamphetamine, resulting in injury.
Saturday night, the Lost Creek and West Milford Fire Departments received a call and responded to a reported house fire where smoke was coming out of the back of the residence on Hawk Highway in Lost Creek.
After evaluating the scene, law enforcement was requested to respond because they believed the smoke was the result of a meth lab and Radcliff would not open the door, even though a small child was inside.
Members Harrison County Sheriff’s Department’s Street Crimes and Drug Unit arrived on scene and attempt to get Radcliff to open the door to his residence.  When he refused, SCAD members forced open the back door to the residence.
Radcliff was detained and transported to UHC for decontamination for meth lab exposure.
SCAD Deputies and firefighters then searched the residence and located a male child, believed to be between 3 and 5 years old, seated on the living room couch.  The child was removed from the residence, and transported by medical personnel to UHC for decontamination.
After clearing the residence and getting its occupant’s to safety, one of the SCAD Deputies was taken to UHC to be cleared for the exposure to the manufacture of methamphetamine.
The Meth Lab Response Team from the office of the Lewis County Sheriff, Adam Gissy, was contacted and responded to assist.
A search warrant was obtained for Radcliff’s residence, and as a result of the execution of the search warrant, SCAD Deputies located three Methamphetamine laboratories, finished methamphetamine product, a handwritten methamphetamine recipe, cold medication, and other chemicals/materials used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Multiple firearms and electronics were located and seized as well.

The West Virginia Department of Human Services was contacted and responded to UHC in reference to the juvenile.
Radcliff was released from UHC and transported to the West Virginia Regional Jail to await arraignment by a Magistrate.

Methamphetamine has been found in Winnebago County for a number of years, but authorities have seen an increase in its use and manufacture and expect to see those numbers continue to rise.

While heroin remains the drug that tops the list of list of drugs that concern local law enforcement, authorities are also seeing an increase in the use and manufacturing of methamphetamine in Winnebago County.

Methamphetamine has been found in the area for a number of years, there has been an increase this year in the number of meth labs uncovered by law enforcement.


“It’s here,” Oshkosh Police Sgt. Joe Framke said. “It’s in the entire Fox Valley region.”

The Lake Winnebago Metropolitan Enforcement Group, which covers Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac and Calumet counties, seized just 2.8 grams of meth and no labs in 2009. Seizures by law enforcement grew gradually, with the MEG seizing 19 grams and four labs in 2012. However, that number jumped to six labs and 529 grams in 2013.

No statistics are available for 2014, but authorities have discovered three labs in the Winnebago County area in the last month. Two labs were raided in the town of Utica on July 7 while Oshkosh Police located a lab at a residence in the 1500 block of Central Street on June 27.

“It’s always been here,” Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz said. “We’ve always had seizures in the four-county area, but we have seen a marked increase in the first six months.”

Two Pickett residents are now facing criminal charges in connection to the Utica meth labs.

Holly Morriss and Andre BP Morriss, both 37, were each charged in Winnebago County Circuit Court with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of the drug and maintaining a drug trafficking place. Andre Morriss was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia to manufacture, compound, convert, produce or store methamphetamine.

If convicted, Holly Morriss faces 32 years in prison and $120,000 in fines, and Andre Morriss faces 32 years, six months imprisonment and $130,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaints, authorities with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the MEG and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Clandestine Lab Enforcement team executed a search warrant at the couple’s residence in the 200 block of Country Trunk M in the town of Utica on July 7.

Inside the residence they found items associated with the manufacture of meth using the “one-pot method,” including a green plastic bottle used as a reaction vessel that contained a “granular sludge-like material” that tested positive for the presence of the drug and various chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine.

A stimulant that is similar to cocaine, methamphetamine is available in two forms. Crystal meth typically originates from a large-scale clandestine lab and is shipped into the area while the meth that is made locally using what authorities call a one-pot method, said Framke.

While authorities are concerned about the use of methamphetamine and the health hazards it poses, they also worry about the impact the one-pot method can have on community safety.

Due to the combination of chemicals used to produce the drug, toxic gases, toxic waste and contamination is produced. There is also a risk of explosions, which can cause injuries and fire, said Alan Hunsader, an agent who works with the DOJ’s Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team.

“The challenge is that with a one-pot method, you can take a small Gatorade bottle and that’s your manufacturing lab,” Framke said. “Think how easy it is to conceal, transport and move that item around.”

In Pickett, one of the labs was located in a vacant farm building in the town of Utica. Matz said he urged town residents to check little used buildings to ensure no labs were operating in them.



An admitted crystal meth user did the unthinkable to her little baby girl after an argument with the baby’s father. Hope Langly, 26, tortured her 1 week old baby to death by throwing her into the washing machine because the baby’s father would not bring her more drugs. Langly, already high on meth, put her newborn baby in with the dirty clothes and let her drown and spin through the entire wash cycle. As if that was not enough, she then wrapped the baby in bubble wrap and took her to the UPS store for overnight delivery to her father.

Larry Douglas, 27, had a gruesome surprise the following day when he received the delivery from UPS.

“I had ordered some items from, so thought nothing of it when the package came”, said the tearful father. “When I opened the box, I saw another box so I opened that one too. When I did, the smell was horrible! All I could see was bubble wrap. I reached in and unwrapped it. I can’t even tell you the rest. It was heart wrenching.”

Douglas immediately called the police.

The authorities immediately arrested Langly and charged her with first degree murder. On the day of the murder Douglas said they had an argument. Douglas, who is a recovering meth addict, said Langly got upset when he would not buy her the drugs she was begging for. Langly considers Douglas a dead beat because, according to her, he will not “Give her money to support her baby.” But Douglas insists that he bought things he baby would need because Langly spent every penny he would give her on meth. Langly was charged with second degree murder and sentenced to only 12 years in prison.





According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 1.2 million people used meth in 2012; the Meth War is far from over. This dangerous drug has ruined too many lives to stop combating its use, especially among young adults. The variety of knowledge and tools we have today help us educate people about meth, and keep them from using this highly addictive drug.

The NIDA describes methamphetamine as a “white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.” It can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked depending on the user’s preference. Once ingested, it increases the release of certain brain chemicals, namely dopamine and norepinephrine, and disrupts the breaking down of those chemicals. At normal, healthy levels those chemicals trigger the brain’s reward system which, among other things, affects motivation and the experience of pleasure. Meth rapidly floods the brain with these chemicals, and inhibits the brains ability to reabsorb them, causing a euphoria, or ‘rush’. Think of the happiest moment of your life and increase it ten fold. This is possibly what being on methamphetamine feels like.

The euphoria of meth comes at a heavy price. Meth alters brain chemistry that affects mental psycohological, mental, and biological well-being. Most people become addicted to meth after their first use. In addition they experience increased anxiety, depression, sleep loss, extreme weight loss, obsessive behavior, psychosis and hallucinations. These conditions give those who abuse meth a distinct appearance, even over a short period of time. It is possible that this rapid change in appearance is the most effective tools in the Meth War.

The internet has numerous heartbreaking photos and videos of individuals who once looked healthy. Photos, often mug shots from multiple arrests, chronologically show how meth destroys a person. The individuals look far older than their age, are obscenely skinny, have marks from obsessive skin picking, have missing and rotten teeth, and a sunken jaw (“meth mouth”). A powerful weapon of the Meth War is computer software that can imitate the effects of meth on a healthy person’s photo now exists. Such innovative persistent psychosis, cardiovascular problems, and Parkinson’s disease because of meth use, nothing is quite as powerful as seeing yourself wither away.

For some of those who have brain chemical imbalances, methamphetamine can be medically useful when taken properly, but when abused, it is a devastatingly destructive drug that takes a tremendous toll on a meth addict’s body and mind. Meth has become such an insidious drug because many addicts make their own with commonly found substances. As a result, we now have to show ID and sign for pseudoephedrine-based products, such as some cold and allergy products, and many have lost their homes or lives to the unstable chemical interactions in meth labs. While difficult to treat, the right rehabilitation program can manage the difficult withdrawal process and hopefully reverse the meth addiction. As with any chemical substance abuse, the Meth War will most likely persist, but with some knowledge and innovative thinking, we are making significant progress, one person at a time.





TUPELO – When a Realtor in found drug paraphernalia in a house he was trying to sell he called Certified Industrial Hygienist Joe Drapala of Hazclean to inspect the home for methamphetamine contamination.

Mississippi has seen a dramatic dip in the number of active and obvious meth labs in recent years but Drapala said that doesn’t mean the problem of meth-contaminated homes and vehicles has been eliminated.


Many states have passed laws requiring clandestine meth labs to be cleaned to a certain standard before the property can change hands or be inhabited and while Mississippi requires a disclosure when selling, no cleanup is mandated.

In 2008 the Mississippi Real Estate Commission began requiring anyone selling their home through a realtor to state on the property condition disclosure statement if the home has been the site of a meth-cooking operation.

The lack in cleaning regulations can be partly attributed to the fact that clandestine meth labs have given way to smaller and often-times mobile cooking methods that leave behind much less obvious toxic waste, and also due to the unfair burden cleanup costs could be to unsuspecting property owners or taxpayers.

Lt. Eddie Hawkins, methamphetamine coordinator for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, said many of the instances of meth labs they have seen are people in rural areas who sneak onto someone else’s property, like a camp house or old trailer, to cook the drug.

“I’ve had 21 incidents in the state this year and only two of those were active cooks,” Hawkins said. “Before, in 2009, we had 692 total incidents and 349 total labs.”

The incredible decrease in meth cooking, much due to the need to have a prescription for pseudoephedrine, is good news in Mississippi, but daily meth arrests show it is still being smoked and in many cases made by other methods.

Drapala said any amount of methamphetamine smoking or cooking, no matter the method, will leave residue on the surrounding surfaces and cause exposure to those around the surfaces.

“What they’re doing is reacting very volatile chemicals,” he said. “It’s not in a modern pharmaceutical lab or what you saw on ‘Breaking Bad.’ You’re looking at drug users making their own drugs and they’re not going to be safe. They’re going to be sloppy and they will spill ingredients.”

In Minnesota, a state with mandatory cleanup laws, the department of health warns chronic exposure to the chemicals used to cook meth can cause liver and kidney damage, neurological problems and increased cancer risk. Shorter exposures can cause dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, burns, chemical irritation and, as with any particularly toxic chemical, death.

Another reason law enforcement is seeing fewer home meth labs is because of a popular and often mobile production method – the shake-and-bake method – which can be done by combining ingredients in a two-liter soda bottle.

Hawkins said they see this method done often in vehicles while the vehicles are being driven down the road.

“We don’t have a way to test to see if the vehicle is clean,” he said. “If we seize one of those, what do we do? If we auction it off and someone gets sick we are liable. We can’t put an agent in it or sell it.”

Drapala also said studies at National Jewish Health in Denver have shown most nonporous surfaces can be mostly cleaned of meth residue with a thorough 409 scrubbing. Similarly, clothes sent through the washing machine can be mostly decontaminated of second-hand meth exposure.

The problem is when meth residue is absorbed into materials like Sheetrock or car seats.

“I just did a house near Tupelo and it was contaminated and we recommended to the people who were handling the home it would be best to remove and replace the interior walls,” Drapala said. “It wasn’t a cook house to my knowledge, it was just a situation where they wanted to know and we did a field test that came back positive.”

Hawkins said his department often ends up donating the possibly contaminated vehicles they seize to fire departments to practice putting out vehicle fires before then disposing of them as scrap.

To help cope with the problem of meth residue inside homes and other enclosures, many companies are producing home testing kits. The test kits are readily available online and work much like an at-home drug test, but for a house.

Another set of tools for property owners in states that don’t have mandatory meth lab remediation laws are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s voluntary cleanup guidelines. Those guide property owners and contractors on cleanup.

Signs of an area where meth is being used or made are dead vegetation around septic tank areas, used cold medicine packaging, lithium batteries that have been torn apart, empty chemical containers with puncture holes (like antifreeze, ether, freon, lye, drain openers, paint thinner) and plastic soda bottles with tubes or holes near the top. Since no one can be sure what was in a home before, Hawkins said anyone suspicious of their property or a property they plan to purchase should contact a company like Hazclean to have it tested.

“You can use soap and water and wash the house down but I don’t know if that renders it safe because we don’t know what was used before we got there,” he said.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people were charged in a meth-related explosion and fire that took place in Madison Saturday afternoon.

Authorities said 27-year-old Kelly Wakefield and her boyfriend, convicted felon Michael Drury, sustained minor injuries during the incident at the Alta Loma Apartments on Crestview drive.

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The duo reportedly admitted to being inside their apartment while meth was being manufactured.

The process resulted in an explosion inside, igniting a two-alarm fire.

The blaze destroyed eight apartments and displaced around 75 people. Red Cross is assisting the victims.


Both Wakefield and 22-year-old Drury were charged with manufacturing meth and aggravated arson. Each is being held on $150,000 bond.


Officials said Drury has previous convictions for both robbery and burglary, while Wakefield has previous convictions for theft.







Police in Gaylord confirm there was a suspected meth lab that caused an explosion inside a storage unit early this morning.

The storage unit was part of a larger complex near the Sled Shed facility off of South 27. The explosion took place around 5 AM.

Police are still investigating the scene.



Cartersville woman stopped early Saturday for traffic offenses was found with suspected methamphetamine, Floyd County Jail reports state.

Jessica Harlee Pinion, 20, of 38 Bishop Road, is charged with possession of methamphetamine, driving with a suspended license and failure to maintain lane, records state.


According to jail reports:

Pinion was at U.S. 27 and Darlington Drive about 12:30 a.m. Saturday when an officer said she had a suspended license and failed to stay in her lane. Suspected meth was then found in her 2005 Mazda.

Pinion remained in jail Saturday without bond.




Chesnee woman is accused of using methamphetamine while pregnant, and authorities say it’s not the first time drug use has impacted her children.

Nakisha Louise Kite, 30, of 3250 Henry Cash Road has been charged with child neglect.

Nakisha Louise Kite

According to an arrest warrant, Kite used meth during her pregnancy between Nov. 1, 2013 and Feb. 14. Kite and her newborn both tested positive for the drug.

A deputy was notified by the state Department of Social Services that Kite’s baby tested positive at birth for methamphetamine.

The DSS caseworker told a deputy Kite could not explain why she and the infant had the drug in their systems, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office report. The caseworker also told the deputy that Kite’s other children had been removed from her custody in North Carolina and that she was previously charged with child neglect due to drug use.

Kite is also charged with attempting to obtain $2,000 or less of property by false pretenses from the Dollar General store at 1915 Old Furnace Road in Boiling Springs on Jan. 12.

Kite was jailed Friday.




A Hawesville couple were charged Friday with growing marijuana and trafficking and manufacturing methamphetamine after an investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

Robert C. Vanconey was charged with cultivating five or more marijuana plants, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and second-degree manufacturing methamphetamine. Diana L. Vanconey was charged with cultivating five or more marijuana plants, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and manufacturing methamphetamine.





FOR five years, Mark Curtis was earning $600 a day drilling on the mines and coming home to a binge-fest of drugs and booze. 

“It fools you into thinking you’re having a good time, life is great and everything’s fantastic,” Mr Curtis said.

“It helps you connect with other people doing the same thing and you’re excited, you can stay awake for days.”

He would sleep through the comedown for a couple of days to get clean before his next swing — going back to the mine site broke.

His partying then spiralled into addiction after a workplace car crash in 2007. His injuries made him unable to work and in 2010 he received $540,000 in worker’s compensation. His addiction became so bad he had the drugs delivered to his door.

By the start of 2012, he had blown it all.



“I was living on the streets. I blew the whole lot, and I lost my partner, my dog, all of my belongings,” Mr Curtis said.

During a drug-induced psychosis police surrounded his house after he locked himself inside threatening he had a bomb.

“The TRG were running around the house. They had red dots on me through the window. It was unbelievable, and then I assaulted one of them when I got arrested,” he said.

Mr Curtis decided to turn his life around after becoming suicidal in jail. He eventually found a sense of belonging in the prison Christian fellowship and was accepted into the Salvation Army’s rehabilitation program in June 2012.

He finished the program in January last year.

“For a few months (when I started the program) I was in denial, thinking I could still dabble, but you can’t,” Mr Curtis said.

The 45-year-old has been sober for two-and-a-half years and is now volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Harry Hunter rehabilitation centre and men’s homeless shelter.

“I think it’s a blessing that I lost all of that money,” he said.

“If I hadn’t blown it, I would have continued doing the same thing.”



A PERMANENT new police squad has been formed to smash clandestine drug laboratories in WA.

PerthNow can reveal the new team started work this week tasked with halting the “dramatically increasing” supply of methamphetamine in metropolitan and regional WA.

The team of seven senior detectives has been ordered to crack down on the manufacture and production of methamphetamine — including highly purified and addictive crystal “ice” — before it reaches dealers and hits the streets.

Serious and organised crime squad boss, Detective-Inspector Chris Adams, confirmed the new unit was operational and said it would scrutinise every person in the state who bought big quantities of laboratory equipment, glassware and chemicals that were commonly used in suburban clandestine labs to “cook” methamphetamine and ice, which fetches up to $360,000 a kilogram.

He said the new team would operate within the existing improvised drug manufacturing investigation (IDMI) unit, a key anti-drug division of the serious and organised crime squad.

It is the latest move in a shake-up of the serious and organised crime squad that also included the formation in October of a specialist “district response team” — also with seven dedicated detectives — to bring down drug-dealing syndicates operating across one or more police districts.

“With these two teams, we’re specifically attacking it from both ends. At the distribution point and at the manufacture point,” Det-Insp Adams said.


New figures released to The Sunday Times show in nine months the district response team carried out 75 search warrants and charged 96 people with 346 offences.

It seized $477,000 in cash, 6700 rounds of ammunition, 20 firearms, 41 other prohibited weapons and drugs including 14kg of MDMA, 5kg of methamphetamine, 178 cannabis plants, 21kg of cannabis, 13kg of synthetic cannabis and 3kg of steroids.

Acting Detective-Senior Sergeant Grant Barber, who heads up the IDMI unit, and Detective-First Class Constable Rebecca Brandham, a new member of the district response team, put drug dealers and manufacturers on notice this week, saying more raids were “imminent”.


Det-Insp Adams said ice induced violent behaviour that led to domestic assaults, road trauma and violent crime. It also led to high-volume property crime and burglaries as users tried to pay for their habit.

While drug cooks were being blitzed within WA, Det-Insp Adams conceded amphetamines were also flowing into the state by land, sea and air as syndicates cashed in on “huge demand”.

But he said record seizures were coming because WA Police had forged “very close ties” with Australian Crime Commission, Federal Police and Customs and Border Protection operatives.

“Five years ago we were seizing ounces. Now we’re seizing kilos … multiple kilos,” he said. “Significant quantities of meth are coming into Sydney from Asia, particularly China and Vietnam, and then being couriered into WA.

“It costs between $5000 and $10,000 to produce a kilo of meth in China which sells for $200,000 in Sydney and up to $360,000 in WA.”

The organised crime squad boss said traffickers were also using the postal system in a “shotgun approach to drug smuggling, posting 20 parcels each with 500 grams of meth on the assumption that 18 or 19 will make it through”.

National Drug Research Institute director Professor Steve Allsop said he had seen a “definite spike” in the use of ice.

Carol Daws, who runs Perth drug rehab centre Cyrenian House, said ice destroyed relationships, led to psychosis and paranoia, and was “now one of the most common substances that people are seeking treatment for”.


Researchers say ice has also penetrated the regions. In Busselton, where the fly-in, fly-out population is growing, drug convictions are up 67 per cent this year and in Margaret River convictions have risen by a third.

It comes as the Australian Crime Commission’s Illicit Drug Data Report warned ice had become a national “pandemic”.

The report found methamphetamine was manufactured by organised crime gangs in China, Iran and West Africa and shipped via South-East Asia to the Eastern States hidden in products like tinned fruit, pots, toys and shampoo bottles.

Twenty tonnes of illegal drugs worth $2.7 billion was seized nationally last year and more than 10,000 people were arrested for drug offences.



For the past 10 years Major Colin Medling had been the manager of The Salvation Army’s Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre in Gosnells.

“It’s an insidious drug (methamphetamines) and the real problem is you don’t know how pure it is,” he said.

By the time addicts come to Maj Medling they have been battling the demons for years.

The average age of the male and female clients at ‘Harry’s’ is 36.

They have to complete a three-week assessment and dry-out period at Bridge House in Highgate before they are deemed stable enough to take part in the 15-week program.

“Once they come here, they are all treated the same. Addiction is addiction, is addiction,” Maj Medling said.

About 50 per cent of those who come through Harry’s complete the program.

During their stay, clients are taught about boundaries, anger management, spirituality and responsibility.

Maj Medling said giving the addicts trust and responsibility was one of the reasons why the program has a high success rate.

“When you’re looking at addicts, they’ve never even trusted themselves before,” he said.



YOU need five people to hold down a person in the grip a methamphetamine overdose.

But the emergency department at the Royal Perth Hospital gets a lot of practice.

“You need one staff member for each limb, one staff member for the head, one staff member to draw up the drugs, and one to administer them,” emergency department toxicologist Dr Kerry Hoggett said.

The emergency room might see one or two people in that state each day, down a few presentations a week from the peak in 2006.

Dr Hoggett said alcohol still accounts for the majority of emergency presentations, and opiate use is on the rise.

But neither drug makes its users as difficult to treat as methamphetamine does.

Guns, 4kg of methamphetamine and $380,000 cash was recently seized in raids in Perth.

Guns, 4kg of methamphetamine and $380,000 cash was recently seized in raids in Perth. Source: Supplied


“It tends to make you quite agitated and panicked, so often we will see people come in being escorted by police because they have been involved in something else before that,” Dr Hogget said.

“They often appear to be hallucinating. They can be psychotic.”

Opiate use, she said, produces much less “resource intensive” hospital patients.

“They are really sedated and will stay in one spot,” she said.

“Whereas people who are on methamphetamines will take a lot of staff — a lot of security staff, a lot of hospital staff and police — so we can get them sedated so we can treat them.”

Ambulance officers, working in smaller teams, do not have that support.

One long-time St John Ambulance officer, who did not wished to be named, said paramedics were faced with “violent” and “dangerous” methamphetamine addicts on a nightly basis.

Often a person’s “terrified” family or friends will call 000, when they see the erratic behaviour typical of a methamphetamine overdose.

Crystal methamphetamine, or ‘ice’.

Crystal methamphetamine, or ‘ice’. Source: News Limited


“The violence towards first responders, in particular ambulance officers, is escalating and very dangerous,” the ambulance officer said.

He said the number of methamphetamine overdoses had “dramatically increased” in recent years.

The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, released this week said methamphetamine use in Australia was not increasing — but it was switching from powdered forms of the drug to the even more addictive crystal meth or ice.

And the frequency with which people use meth has also increased — 25.3 per cent of crystal meth users took the drug daily last year, compared to 12.4 per cent in 2010.

James Pitts, chief executive of drug rehabilitation centre odyssey House, has seen first-hand the horrors of ice.

He had to retrain staff to handle ice addicts because they are so much more dangerous and difficult to deal with than other drug users.

“With amphetamine-type stimulants, particularly ice, there is a completely different action because it acts on the central nervous system as a stimulant,” he said.

“So the users initially have a heightened sense of wellbeing and confidence. They have an, ‘I can rule the world’ feeling.

“The problem with ice is that kind of wellbeing, that sense of confidence, converts after a period of time into paranoia, agitation and feeling that people are trying to do things to you.

“That’s where the violence aspect comes in. Either a person becomes overly aggressive because of a comment somebody may have made or there is a perception that somebody is trying to harm them in some way and violence ensues.

“The biggest negative with ice is the fact that it doesn’t allow people to sleep and you need sleep so you can maintain some kind of sense of psychiatric balance. Because ice users are up for two or three days or more at a time they have a distortion of reality.

“They have a propensity to hear voices and display delusional behaviour. They become agitated, anxiety sets in and they are prone to violence.’’




Organised crime gangs in Iran, West Africa and China have been identified by the Australian Crime Commission as the biggest sources of ice or crystal methamphetamine production on the planet.

The ice is then exported in significant quantities to South-East Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, usually hidden in sea containers loaded on cargo ships. These countries are targeted for domestic ice consumption and for shipping onto other international markets.

Drug officers in Thailand

Drug officers in Thailand Source: AFP


Drugs are shipped from South-East Asia to Australia, most commonly in sea containers bound for Sydney and Melbourne. Virtually all the biggest ice seizures in the past year came from sea container busts, with the drugs hidden in items such as tinned fruit, furniture, terracotta pots or shampoo bottles.

Bikie gangs and other crime groups buy the drugs and take charge of distribution to WA. This is done by road, with ice commonly packed aboard trucks or in cars, again hidden in other items. There is no border control between New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or WA and police concede it is possible to check only a tiny fraction of freight.

Drug barons in WA buy the drugs once they reach the state and smaller quantities are sold to mid-level and low-level drug dealers through a chain of supply that stretches from Perth to Kalgoorlie, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, Broome and beyond.

Bikie gangs and drug dealers also make their own ice in “meth labs” in their homes or rental properties.

Local drug users purchase the drugs from their dealer and take the drugs in their home, at parties or during a night out on the town.




Methamphetamine has been found hidden in sea cargo.

Methamphetamine has been found hidden in sea cargo. Source: Supplied

The biggest seizures of ice and amphetamine-type stimulants in Australia happened in the Eastern States. Typically ice is landed there before being moved by land to WA. Busts in 2012-13 included:

585kg of crystal meth hidden in sea cargo going from China to Sydney

363.8kg of liquid meth suspended in 96 bottles of carpet cleaning products via sea cargo from China to Melbourne.

306kg of crystal meth concealed in 3,200 terracotta pots via sea cargo from Thailand to Sydney.

200kg of crystal meth hidden in truck tyres and seized in Melbourne.

75kg of crystal meth concealed in sofas and chairs via sea cargo from China to Sydney.

72.9kg of liquid meth concealed and suspended in shampoo and conditioner via sea cargo from China to Sydney.