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Springfield police say in court documents that methamphetamine distribution in the city is being done by a gang called South West Honkeys.

Other documents indicate officers in Lawrence County have already made an arrest in the gang’s alleged drug distribution that appears to span southwest Missouri.

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According to a search warrant affidavit filed last month, Springfield police received information from an informant that three members of the gang were distributing methamphetamine locally.

The three were identified as Michael Carr, 34, Ryan Major, 28, and Jerold Lake, 31. While all three have criminal records, none have been charged in relation to the Springfield investigation.

Police began conducting surveillance of a house on South Ferguson Street and saw numerous people coming and going and only staying for short periods of time, according to the document. Police say that’s a sign of drug distribution.

In late January, police reportedly saw Carr leaving the residence, and when an officer tried to make a traffic stop, Carr “drove away at a high rate of speed through a busy intersection, disobeying traffic signals and placing other people in danger,” according to the affidavit. Carr was not apprehended at that time.

A few days later, police removed several trash bags from in front of the house and found residue which tested positive for methamphetamine, police say.

Police used that information to request a “no knock” search warrant, saying they believe Carr and others in the gang had access to guns.

When police served the warrant on Feb. 5, none of the three men were at the home. Police say they recovered several items, including methamphetamine and a gun, from another person at the address.

The search warrant return lists methamphetamine, marijuana, a pistol and firearm parts, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia — including baggies, scales and pipes.

The next day, Carr was arrested in Springfield. He’s now being held in the state prison system on a previous sentence for which he had been on parole.

Records show Major was arrested on Feb. 2 for an active warrant and has since been released. Lake is free on bond in a case out of Cooper County, court records show.

Springfield police declined to comment on the search or to discuss the gang in general.

Sgt. Kevin Hunter with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said investigators in southwest Missouri are aware of the gang, and specifically, Joplin police have been following the group.

Attempts to reach Joplin police failed.

Some members of the gang identified in court records have posted photos on social media sites. The men are often bare-chested, posing with weapons and flashing tattoos — some of which include the name of the gang and swastikas.

Officers in Lawrence County arrested a man, John Stafford, 32, last month in connection with a drug distribution investigation, and court documents indicate he’s also a member of the gang.

Prosecutor Don Trotter said officers believe it’s possible Stafford is a founding member of the group.

According to a probable cause statement used to charge Stafford with intent to distribute a controlled substance, police had been monitoring Stafford’s home after an informant told them Stafford was traveling to El Dorado Springs to pick up methamphetamine and was selling it out of his Mount Vernon home.

Police arrested Stafford on Jan. 14 in connection with a theft investigation, the statement says. After obtaining a search warrant, officers reportedly found digital scales, many plastic bags, pipes and methamphetamine in Stafford’s home. They also reported finding several items printed with the name “South West Honkies.”

Stafford is charged with intent to distribute a controlled substance and receiving stolen property. He was in the Lawrence County Jail with a $50,000 bond, but has since been transferred to the state prison system.

Carr has previous convictions for possession of a controlled substance and second-degree robbery.

Major has previous convictions for theft, second-degree burglary and resisting arrest.

Lake has previous convictions for resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance, leaving the scene of an accident and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

Stafford has previous convictions for second-degree burglary, first-degree assault, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.




A woman was caught on video pulling drugs out of her vagina after being arrested for possession Thursday afternoon.

After Carmen Swafford was taken to jail, Chickasha Police Officer Joel Hendrix received a call saying she was caught on camera laying a bag down as she used the toilet.

“I learned Carmen had been turning her back on the camera and reaching up inside her vagina on several occasions,” he said. “Once she was placed back inside the cell, they noticed her on camera remove a baggie and lay it on the ground as she used the restroom.”

Hendrix said he went into her cell to ask about the bag, which Swafford denied having at first and later admitted to dumping methamphetamine down the drain, and added destruction of evidence and bringing contraband into jail.

Hendrix pulled Swafford over earlier in the day for having a faded paper tag. He said she appeared nervous and avoided eye contact with him while she was being questioned.

“At one point after handing me her DL and insurance, she stops talking to me. She then looks up with a big surprising smile and says, ‘hey, how are you?'” Hendrix said. “I asked if she forgot I was standing there and she became real quiet and would not answer why she did that.”

Hendrix said Swafford told him she had been in prison on charges related to methamphetamine.

Swafford said the car was not hers, according to the incident report.

Hendrix said Swafford refused to allow him to search her car, so he called for a K-9 unit to sniff around the vehicle.

Hendrix found a makeup container with a bag of pills and a green substance in Swafford’s purse, and another bag in the back seat.

The report states Hendrix also found a pipe with white residue in a sock on top of the bag.

Swafford was arrested for possession of a dangerous substance and taken to the Grady County Jail.





He admitted he long took advantage of drug users — having dealt methamphetamine for 16 years.

Meth “could turn a housewife into a ho,” Greg Logemann said, matter-of-factly, from the witness stand Friday.

In the fifth day of the trial of one of the men accused of killing Omaha meth dealer Miguel Avalos Sr., 44, and Avalos’ two teenage sons, Logemann admitted he wanted to get the elder Avalos out of the way so he could rise from being a street-level drug dealer to a midlevel supplier.

Anthony “Pookie” Davis Miguel Avalos

He admitted that he suggested to Anthony “Pookie” Davis — the man on trial — that Avalos would be an “easy lick,” or robbery target.

He admitted he helped set Avalos up and that he didn’t like Avalos.

However, Logemann, who went by the street name “Fat Boy,” denied defense lawyers’ suggestions that he was one of the gunmen who executed Avalos and Avalos’ two sons, Miguel Jr., 18, and Jose, 16.

“That’s not my style,” Logemann said. “I’d rather rob somebody than kill somebody.”

In a Douglas County courtroom lined with Avalos family members, Logemann, the state’s key witness, fingered Davis as one of the robbers.

Public Defender Tom Riley left nothing unchallenged.

He got Logemann to admit that he made a living by manipulating his customers as well as police. The five-time felon — a “criminal all my life” — said he had a dual role: drug dealer and police informant.

Logemann, 36, testified he had known Davis for 15 years and “loved him like a brother.”

He said he and Davis had gotten together on July 8, 2012, and Logemann told him that Avalos would be an easy target. He said he instructed Davis to call him when he had a vehicle that could take them from Council Bluffs to Avalos’ house near Ninth and Bancroft Streets.

A couple of hours later, Davis called and said he had a ride and would pick up Logemann.

Logemann said he hopped in the middle-row seat behind the passenger seat. Two men — Davis and a man he didn’t recognize — and two women were in the van.

Logemann said he directed one of the women where to drive.

He said he pointed out the house to the others in the van. Logemann said they circled the block. He said he didn’t know the name of the van’s other male passenger — Timothy Britt, awaiting trial in the case. But he informed Davis that Avalos left for work between 3:45 a .m. and 4 a.m.

In testimony Thursday, one of the women in the van said that Davis and Britt got out of the vehicle and that both returned within 15 minutes.

Riley questioned whether any piece of evidence corroborates Logemann’s story. Davis’ defense has pointed out that no fingerprints or DNA place Davis at the scene.

Riley grilled Logemann on his credibility. Logemann acknowledged that he made anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 a week selling meth.

He admitted that he worked as a confidential informant for Omaha police, ratting out drug dealers. And he said that the role often led him to lie, even to police.

In fact, Logemann testified, in the months before the slayings he had been working with Omaha police to try to set up Avalos.

Avalos was onto him. A couple of times, he accused Logemann of being a “narc,”  which Logemann denied.

Logemann said undercover officers staged a controlled buy with Avalos in April or May. In such a setup, officers often record themselves purchasing drugs from a dealer.

Asked why Avalos wasn’t arrested then, Logemann said he understood that officers wanted “to load up” Avalos — catch him selling more drugs so that he would face more time.

Under Riley’s questioning, Logemann acknowledged that he didn’t like Avalos.

“He would never deal with me,” Logemann said. “Miguel was bigger up. . .he had more weight than most (dealers).

“If he was out of the way, I could get more weight.”

Logemann denied that that meant he wanted Avalos dead. A robbery would suffice, he said, because it would cause Avalos to fall behind with his suppliers.

He testified he had no idea anyone was killed until his Omaha police contact called him the next day. He said he spoke with Davis several times in the two weeks between the killings and Davis’ arrest.

Logemann said Davis gave this explanation for what went on at the Avalos home: That “Cuz” — believed to be Davis’ nickname for Britt — “started flipping out” and shooting.

He said Davis asked him how long DNA would remain on a gun. (One of the murder weapons had been left in the house.)

“I asked him, ‘Who’d be stupid enough to drop a gun?’” Logemann said. “He was just worried about DNA on guns.”

Riley grilled Logemann on the plea bargain he’s receiving. In return for his testimony, Logemann is expected to plead to a lesser charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, a crime punishable by up to 50 years in prison.

Riley noted that Logemann’s current account amounted to an admission to first-degree murder under Nebraska’s felony murder law, which holds accomplices accountable if someone dies during the commission of a robbery.

Logemann said he initially didn’t know what felony murder was. But he does now. In fact, prosecutors are trying to convict Davis under the same law.

Riley pointed out the words Logemann had used to describe the realities of his chosen profession. At one point, Logemann had told authorities: “That’s the way the dope world is — always put the blame on someone else.”

“And that’s exactly what you’re doing here?” Riley said.

“Yes,” Logemann said, “but it’s the truth.”




Rochester, N.Y. — Arson investigators said a man trying to make methamphetamine caused a fire at a downtown high-rise Thursday night.

Robert Lemley, who lives in the building on the corner of St. Paul and Mortimer streets, allegedly started the first just after 10 p.m.


He was charged with reckless endangerment and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

Firefighters put out the flames quickly. No one was injured.


The Maury County Sheriff’s Department arrested seven people in connection with three unrelated methamphetamine labs over a two-day period last week. Authorities said the addictive stimulant has had a long history in the county, but, recently, there has been an increase in its usage.

Lt. Bill Doelle, head of the drug task force, said most people cooking meth are doing so for personal use, and use the “shake and bake” method — in which the chemicals are combined inside a two-liter bottle, shaken and then the liquid is drained to produce the drug. This method can produce four to six grams of methamphetamine. Doelle said because it’s a mobile way of producing meth, highway cleaning crews find numerous bags of cooked meth on the side of the road every day.


He said the drug is so powerful that he has spoken with incarcerated inmates who exhibit symptoms of meth use, even though they haven’t touched the drug in six months.

“A lot of them wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped them in the face anymore,” Doelle said.

Authorities said crystal meth, a purer form of meth than the kind made from the “shake and bake” method, is beginning to surface in Maury County. The drug is traveling north from Mexico, Doelle said.

Doelle said the street value for both drugs is similar at $100 a gram. And that’s a concern for law enforcement.

“We’re seeing an influx of crystal meth coming from south of the border,” Doelle said. “Somebody is behind it. We know that. And we’re looking for them.”

Three busts in two days

Just before midnight on Feb. 21, Deputy Rob Wagonschutz — a member of the department’s drug task force — said officers received a tip that meth was being produced inside a house on Hickman Street in Columbia. Wagonschutz said he didn’t know which house it was, and so he staked out the street.

He didn’t have to wait long.

Jason Lee Black, 37, of 1892 Culleoka Highway in Culleoka, was inside a house at 435 Hickman St., Wagonschutz said. Black, known to area law enforcement as a meth cooker, peeked his head outside the house, and Wagonschutz said that’s when officers had a good idea which house to investigate.


Wagonschutz said the smell of the vapors emanating from the chemicals used to make meth grew in strength as officers walked up the sidewalk toward the front door of the house. Deputies immediately removed Black and four other people from the house. Capt. Jimmy Tennyson said the department has a strict policy when dealing with meth labs.

“Our main concern in the law enforcement field is that even though these people are participating in the cooking of the drug or participating in taking the drug, our job is to ensure their safety,” he said.

Wagonschutz said officers then obtained a warrant and searched the house. Investigators collected the materials used to produce the drugs as evidence, and cleaned the lab out of the house.

Homeowner taken advantage

Lt. Bill Doelle, head of the drug task force, said the five suspects had been taking advantage of the homeowner, who was not present at the time of the arrests.

“This guy works open-to-close over at (a local restaurant),” Doelle said. “He thought these people were his friends. They were just taking advantage of him and using his house to cook. … He told me the female we arrested would convince him into going out to buy pseudoephedrine (a main component needed to make methamphetamine).”

Efforts to contact the homeowner were unsuccessful.

In connection with the Hickman Street raid, Black — along with Steven Lynn Hay, 32, Darryl Lynn Hay, 52, Jerry Wayne Gray, 27, and Rebecca Ann Sanders, 26 — were charged with the manufacturing of methamphetamine in a drug-free zone, possession of methamphetamine for resale in a drug-free zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Within 19 hours, deputies raided their second meth lab of the day. Doelle said a maintenance man for a rental property was called about 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 to a duplex in the 8600 block of Enterprise Road in Mt. Pleasant. The left side of the duplex, 8609 Enterprise Road, was reportedly vacant.


The maintenance man saw 44-year-old Jerry Louis York leave the vacant residence, Doelle said. The handyman, suspicious, called his boss at McGee Properties who then called the sheriff’s department.

Once again, deputies had to remove the suspects inside the residence before obtaining a search warrant. Doelle said York, of 8205 Dry Creek Road in Mt. Pleasant, came out with deputies. Thirty-five year-old Schollon Leeann Alsbury refused to leave the house, Doelle said.

Alsbury, of 1678 Ricketts Mill Road, stayed inside the house for 45 minutes before the strong, noxious fumes caused her to exit the house, Doelle said. Authorities were required to call an ambulance because Alsbury was struggling to breathe afterward.

Both York and Alsbury were charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine, the initiation to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All seven suspects remain in jail as of Thursday afternoon on bonds ranging from $277,500 to $602,500. Sanders is being held without a bond.

Doelle said a third bust occurred Saturday when Williamson County deputies asked Maury County authorities to pull over a driver suspected of running a meth lab in the trunk of his car. The male driver was staying in a room at the James K. Polk Motel, 1111 Nashville Highway.

Deputies seized the materials inside the car and cleaned out the lab he had built inside his motel room. Doelle said the man would not be charged in Maury County, but probably would in Williamson County for “having a rolling meth lab.”

Tennyson said the department is spending a great amount of resources dealing with the same people time and time again.

“They get prosecuted, sentenced, they serve their time, and then they’re back at it again,” he said. “They’re repeat customers.”



Authorities seized more than 25 pounds of liquid methamphetamine on Friday at the U.S. Border Patrol station in Indio, officials said.

Agents stopped two vehicles around 12:30 a.m., according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

auxiliary tank used in an attempt to smuggle

Two of the men taken into custody were riding together in a white 1991 Ford F350. The 21-year-old driver and his 18-year-old passenger were traveling with a gray 1998 Jeep Cherokee, officials said.

The street value of the drugs, which were found in an auxiliary tank on the F350, have been estimated at $162,500.

The suspects, all U.S. citizens, were taken into custody.



A federal grand jury in Knoxville has indicted 20 people, including five Sweetwater residents, on charges they conspired to make methamphetamine.

The indictments were announced in a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Killian, who said the defendants were buying pseudoephedrine at area pharmacies and using it to make methamphetamine in Lenoir City, Loudon and Sweetwater.

The release said those charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth included Sweetwater resdients Linda F. Pesterfield, 40; John G. Roberts, 38; Randy P. Brewster, 19; Mandy L. Moser, 36, and Tracy D. Lowrey, 31.

Also indicted were Lenoir City residents Jeremy T. Palmer, 36; Adam W. Norman, 33; Ebony L. Gallaher, 27; Christy J. Givens, 39,; Robert L. Smith, 27; Sherry R. Barr, 45;   Tenn.;Eugenia D. Taylor, 31; Kenny R. O’Dell, 34; Miranda R. Lankford, 32; Cynthia E. Rowe, 35, and Lester S. Willis, 61.

The remaining defendants are Phillip B. Richardson, 23, and William C. Crew, 32, both of Philadelphia, Tenn.; Amanda R. Spencer, 23, of Knoxville; and Joshua L. Ferguson, 30, of Loudon, Tenn.

Pesterfield, Roberts, Palmer, Norman, Brewster, Moser, and Gallaher also were charged with conspiring to distribute meth, according to the release.

Roberts and Palmer were indicted on firearms violations, including being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

If convicted, all defendants could be sentenced to serve from 10 years to life and fined up to $10 million the release. Roberts and Palmer face additional time if convicted on the firearms charges.

The release said the charges came from a joint investigation by the 9th Judicial Drug Task Force, the Loudon, McMinn and Monroe sheriffs offices, the Lenoir City Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.



A Hawi mother and son have been charged by Hawaii County police with methamphetamine distribution after a raid on their home.

On Thursday morning, police served a search warrant at a home on the 55-3300 block of Akoni Pule Highway in Hawi. The property was within 750 feet of a private school.


man and momBlaine, left, and April Isabel have been charged with methamphetamine distribution after being arrested at their Hawaii island home


Police recovered 2.2 grams of a crystalline substance, paraphernalia associated with meth distribution, 1.4 grams of a dried leafy substance and $5,032 in cash.

Arrested at the scene were the residents, Blaine Isabel, 35, and his mother, April Isabel, 55.

Thursday afternoon, both suspects were charged with meth trafficking, promoting a dangerous drug, promoting a detrimental drug, possessing drug paraphernalia and promoting a controlled substance near a school.

April Isabel was released Thursday evening after posting $16,250 bail. Her son was held at the cellblock in lieu of $81,000 bail.

Police encourage members of the public to report suspected narcotics activity to the Police Department’s Ice Hotlines at 329-ZERO-ICE (329-0423) for information pertaining to the Districts of Kau, Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala, and at 934-VICE (934-8423) for information pertaining to the Districts of Puna, South Hilo, North Hilo and Hamakua.



TORRINGTON – An Arizona couple has entered pleas District Court on methamphetamine possession charges, according to Goshen County Attorney Patrick Korell.

Fred Anderson Ewing and Carla Kugler were each charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, with intent to deliver, in connection with a Dec. 23 traffic stop during which 16 1/8 ounces of methamphetamine was discovered by Goshen County Sheriff’s deputies.


KELSEYVILLE — Sheriff’s office narcotics agents arrested a man and a woman Friday morning who were allegedly in possession of more than six ounces of methamphetamine and a firearm. The couple also faces child endangerment charges.

The arrest occurred after the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Narcotics Task Force performed a search warrant at about 7 a.m. in the 4000 block of Clark Drive in Kelseyville, LCSO Lt. Steve Brooks stated Friday in a press release.

When detectives entered the residence, they found James Russell Samson, 44, and Susan Nalani Samson, 46, both of Kelseyville in a bedroom they were sharing with their 2-year-old child, according to Brooks.

In the bedroom, detectives reportedly found and seized 10 grams of methamphetamine and a glass meth pipe, Brooks stated. The methamphetamine and pipe were reportedly kept in a coin purse, which was located on the night stand next to where Susan Samson was sleeping.

According to Brooks, detectives allegedly noticed that the Samsons had placed the crib next to the bed and their child could have accessed the methamphetamine.

During a search of one of the spare bedrooms, detectives reportedly found approximately six ounces of methamphetamine, packaging materials and a digital scale inside a tool box, according to Brooks. They also found a loaded revolver inside a safe in the master bedroom.

All of the items were seized as evidence.

Susan Samson was arrested on charges of child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.

James Samson was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Both were transported to the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility and booked.

A firearm charge is pending until it is determined who the firearm belongs to, Brooks stated.

The LCSO encourages anyone with information that can assist with drug eradication efforts to call the anonymous tip line at 263-3663.


The alleged use of methamphetamine and marijuana by adults in the presence of a child who shares the home with them led to two arrests by the Minot Police Department for child neglect and drug use.

Police were alerted to the matter by a “concerned family member” requesting a welfare check on the child at the home in the 1500 block of First Street Southeast. The caller claimed that the mother was sleeping on the couch while other adults were doing drugs in the child’s presence.

Upon arrival, police claim that they were allowed access to the home and that a pipe associated with methamphetamine usage and crushed meth itself along with some marijuana were all on the kitchen table.

Melissa Kaye Badrak, 42, Minot, and John Michael Schuh, 45, Norwich, were each arrested and charged with the Class C felonies of child abuse or neglect, possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia, and the misdemeanor charges of ingestion of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

The child, a girl, was released to the custody of her family. Neither of the two arrested adults were related to her.



Two men will front Wagga Wagga Local Court today on drugs charges, after being arrested during raids across the city yesterday.

The 23 and 31 year olds spent last night in custody and were targeted by Strike Force Edney, which was formed in September to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs in the region.


A further three men, also all from Wagga, were charged with drug offences yesterday and will front court in April.

Inspector Stephen Radford says the arrests were a good result, but believes there is more that can be done.

“We’d encourage, following these arrests and search warrants, anyone who does have information, if they could call us on Crimestoppers and let us know any small bit of information,” he said.

As a result of these raids a number of exhibits and other items were seized and five people were arrested in relation to the  supply of methamphetamine. This is just another step in the right direction and just showing that the Wagga Command’s on the front foot against drug supply.

      Inspector Stephan Radford


“They may not think it’s important, but it may be critical to our investigation.”

“Strike Force Edney was run by the Wagga detectives and targeted the supply of methamphetamine in the Wagga area.

“As a result of these raids a number of exhibits and other items were seized and five people were arrested in relation to the supply of methamphetamine.”

Inspector Radford says the arrests have made the community safer. “This is just another step in the right direction and just showing that the Wagga Command’s on the front foot against drug supply,” he said.

“Information from the public is valuable in any investigation and it was no different in this one.

“Any small bit of information they may not think is important might be critical in our investigations.

“We’re pleased with the result and it’s a sign of more things to come.”





METRO VANCOUVER – Abbotsford police have detained two suspected border runners connected to a couple of backpacks found loaded with crystal meth on the U.S. side of the border.

The U.S. border patrol contacted the Abbotsford police around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday night to alert them to a couple of suspects that had fled north and were believed to be in the area of Old Yale Road.

Abbotsford police sent officers and a K9 unit, aided by the Air 1 police helicopter and Integrated Road Safety Unit.

Two men, aged 23 and 49, were arrested and will be held for Canadian immigration officials.

Police say the U.S. Border Patrol located backpacks on their side of the border containing approximately 20 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine.




KNOXVILLE — A federal grand jury returned a 26-count indictment Feb. 19 naming 20 people in what authorities maintain was a multi-county methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy.

According to a release from U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee William C. Killian, indicted on charges related to a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine were:

  • Linda F. Pesterfield, 40, of Sweetwater;
  • John G. Roberts, 38, of Sweetwater;
  • Jeremy T. Palmer, 36, of Loudon;
  • Adam W. Norman, 33, of Lenoir City;
  • Randy P. Brewster, 19, of Sweetwater;
  • Mandy L. Moser, 36, of Sweetwater;
  • Ebony L. Gallaher, 27, of Lenoir City;
  • Phillip B. Richardson, 23, of Philadelphia;
  • Christy J. Givens, 39, of Lenoir City;
  • Robert L. Smith, 27, or Lenoir City;
  • Tracy D. Lowry, 31, of Sweetwater;
  • Sherry R. Barr, 45, of Lenoir City;
  • William C. Crew, 32, of Philadelphia;
  • Eugenia D. Taylor, 31, of Lenoir City;
  • Kenny R. O’Dell, 34, of Lenoir City;
  • Miranda R. Lankford, 32, of Lenoir City;
  • Cynthia E. Rowe, 35, of Lenoir City;
  • Amanda R. Spencer, 23, of Knoxville;
  • Lester S. Willis, 61, of Lenoir City;
  • and Joshua L. Ferguson, 30, of Loudon.

 In addition, Pesterfield, Roberts, Palmer, Norman, Brewster, Moser, and Gallaher were indicted for a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Roberts and Palmer were also indicted for firearms violations, including possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of more than one year in prison, and for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

Eleven of those indicted appeared in court Wednesday and Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton and pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment.

According to the release, the investigation has shown that individuals involved were purchasing pseudoephedrine at local pharmacies and using that pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetamine at various locations in Lenoir City, Loudon, and Sweetwater.

If convicted, all face a minimum and mandatory term of 10 years in prison and a maximum term of life, a maximum fine of $10 million, and a term of supervised release of at least five years.

In addition, Roberts and Palmer, face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years, as to the possession of firearms by a prohibited person charges, and a mandatory minimum and mandatory five-year sentence up to life, which by statute must be served consecutively with any other prison term imposed, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised up to five years as to the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime charges.

All also face mandatory court assessments.

The indictment was the result of an investigation by the 9th Judicial Drug Task Force, Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, McMinn County Sheriff’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Lenoir City Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn L. Hebets represents the United States in this case.



San Diego County health, law enforcement and political officials want to remind everyone that while heroin is currently grabbing headlines, it’s methamphetamine that’s still a problem in San Diego county.


There’s good news and bad news to report on that front, as we saw at a news conference at the County Administration Center recently. The Methamphetamine Strike Force released the numbers from the past five years, and they would seem to shows that San Diego County is no longer the meth capitol of America, as has been the case in the past.

That is not to say that meth is no longer a problem, because it definitely is.

County Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, who led the effort to create the Strike Force back in 1996, says the numbers are somewhat discouraging.

“The number of meth deaths reported in 2012 was the second highest since the Strike force began tracking deaths in 1995”, says Jacob. “Make no mistake. Meth is death.” 217 people died of meth-related causes in 2012, a 55 per cent increase over the 140 who died in 2008.

Those numbers include people who died directly due to meth overdoses, as well as the less direct causes such as homicide, suicide, and accidents.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr.Jonathan Lucas says the statistics tend to bely the common perception that meth is a feel-good party drug used by young people to party, stay up to study, and other uses. “In fact, the most common age group for meth-related deaths is 40 to 60,with the prime age being in the 50’s.”

The primary meth users are not, as some have suspected, gangbangers and hardened criminals. 60 percent were white, 24 per cent black, 8 per cent Hispanic, and 8 percent classified as others, such as Asians, pacific islanders and native Americans.

Other interesting numbers are the increase over the years in the percentage of arrestees for crimes that test positive for meth: up from 24 per cent in 2008 to 36 per cent in 2012.

Arrests for possession and trafficking are up fully 56 per cent over 2008.

If there are bright spots in the picture, they are the facts that juvenile arrestees’ positive meth tests have dropped from 10 per cent all the way down to 4 per cent, and that the seizures and cleanups of large labs have dropped from 5 seizures and 12 cleanups in 2008 to 4 seizures and 7 cleanups in 2012.

All of this presents a picture that we might have something of a handle on the meth problem, but that ‘s not necessarily so at all.

The problem is that the Mexican cartels have discovered the incredible cash cow that is meth. Customs and Border Protection agents are busting more and more meth traffickers at the international borders, both Mexican and Canadian. The question there is, how much of the trafficked meth are they actually intercepting?

County Health and Human Services Director Nick Macchione says the meth makers are always finding more and different means of getting it across the borders.

“The latest ploy they’re using is meth in liquid form, which is almost impossible for the dogs to find. It comes across as liquids, and can be easily processed back into street sales form.”

While the attack against the super labs- the ones that produce prodigious amounts of meth- has been very successful locally, there are still the smaller labs that can crank out enough meth to make a profit for the meth cooks.

At the end of the day, meth is still a problem for two simple reasons, as pointed out by more than one meth addict when interviewed. “it’s really cheap, and it’s pretty easy to get.”



Three people were arrested in Abbotsford Wednesday afternoon as part of a drug investigation. Two of the suspects are now facing methamphetamine possession and distribution charges. The third suspect is in jail on a probation violation.

Clark County Sheriff Greg Herrick and Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief Ron Gosse issued a statement Thursday, saying the two agencies executed a search warrant and found illegal drugs worth around $12,000 dollars, paraphernalia, and a weapon at the Sycamore Street home.

Names will be released when formal charges are filed.



CENTERVILLE — On Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 the South Central Iowa Drug Task Force concluded a month long investigation which targeted multiple individuals who had conspired with each other to manufacture methamphetamine, according to a press release issued Friday by the Centerville Police Department.

At approximately 4:24 p.m. a traffic stop was conducted in the 700 block of South 17th Street. During the traffic stop officers detected a strong chemical odor emanating from the vehicle. Officers applied for and were granted a search warrant for the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle officers located items conducive to the manufacture of methamphetamine.

After a search of the vehicle a second search warrant applied for and granted for a residence located at 426 East VanBuren Street.

During a search of the residence officers located additional items conducive to the manufacture of methamphetamine.

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As a result of the investigation and subsequent search warrants the following individuals, all from Centerville, were arrested and charged: Jason Allen Hardin, 30, and Jessica Ann Hardin, 26, were each charged with Conspiracy to manufacture more than five grams of methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance, within one thousand feet of a public park, a class B felony and three counts of Child Endangerment, each count being an aggravated misdemeanor. Clarence Lynn Butterbaugh, 61; Marvin Lee Clark Jr, 37; Jesse Lee Myers, 31; Shawn Russell Maxson, 30; Jason Ryan Ross Horn, 28; Douglas Eugene Dejong, 25 and Felicia Josett Medina, 23 were all charged with conspiracy to manufacture more than five grams of Methamphetamine, a class B felony.

Horn also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for violation of parole.

All of the individuals arrested and charged as a result of this investigation are currently being held in the Appanoose County Jail with a bond set at $100,000 cash only.

Horn was given an additional bond for the outstanding warrant in the amount of $130,000 for a total bond of $230,000.

Agencies assisting the South Central Iowa Drug Task Force with this investigation included the Centerville Police Department, Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Human Services.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

This project was supported by Grant Number 09JAG/ARRA-4193B, awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice.






COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (March 1, 2014) – Officials say methamphetamine labs and a loaded firearm were found in a Kalamazoo home with a child inside.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says as part of an ongoing investigation, deputies used a search warrant in the 6200 block of East Michigan Avenue in Comstock Township. Deputies and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety found several meth labs, methamphetamine, components to make methamphetamine and a loaded firearm inside.

Deputies say Childrens Protective Service also responded because a child was in the residence at the time of the search.

Officials say multiple charges are pending for several suspects. According to officials, one person from the residence was already at the Kalamazoo County Jail on unrelated charges.




MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY) – Authorities said they found a 2-year-old child Thursday in an Eva home where methamphetamine was being cooked.

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Four people were arrested on meth manufacturing charges Thursday at a home in the 1300 block of Daniels Chapel Road.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said the county drug task force went to the home with arrest warrants for Shane Ray Widner, 41, and Amanda Nicole Roberts, 29, after receiving information there was drug activity and a child present in the home. Franklin said deputies had visited the home Wednesday to check out possible drug activity but no one was home.

After entering the home Thursday, Franklin said agents found syringes, smoking devices, pseudoephedrine, chemicals and equipment used to make meth. Amber Celeste Roberts, 26, and Cody Lee Widner, 26, also were in the home with a 2-year-old child, Franklin said.

Everyone in the home, including the child, was decontaminated. The child was turned over to the Department of Human Resources and was then placed in the care of a relative.

Shane Widner was charged with manufacturing meth and felony drug paraphernalia possession. His bond was set at $33,000.

Cody Widner was charged with manufacturing meth and felony drug paraphernalia possession. His bond was set at $30,000.

Amanda Roberts was charged with manufacturing meth. Her bond was set at $25,500.

Amber Roberts was charged with manufacturing meth and drug endangerment of a child. Her bond was set at $30,000.



KUANTAN, Feb 28 (Bernama) — A suspected drug pusher was detained by police after being found with 370 methamphetamine pills in a raid at his rented house at Jalan Air Kolam, Brinchang, Cameron Highlands today.

Cameron Highlands police chief DSP Wan Mohd Zahari Wan Busu said police from the district CID narcotics division nabbed the man aged 28, from Kota Baharu, Kelantan after finding the pills in a sling bag concealed under a mattress.

The man worked at a hotel and was alone in the house during the 8 am raid, he said when contacted.

According to Wan Mohd Zahari, initial investigations revealed that the suspect who also tested positive for drugs, obtained the pills worth RM11,000 from a neigbouring country for distribution in Cameron Highlands.



KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – The service of a search warrant by the Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force has resulted in the arrest of a Kelseyville couple, and the seizure of methamphetamine and a firearm.

James Russell Samson, 44, and 46-year-old Susan Nalani Samson were arrested Friday morning, according to Lt. Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.


On Feb. 20 narcotics detectives secured a search warrant for the Samson residence, which is located in the 4000 block of Clark Drive in Kelseyville, Brooks said. At 7:20 a.m. Friday detectives served the warrant at the home.

When detectives entered the residence, they located the Samsons in a bedroom they were sharing with their 2-year-old child. Brooks said both were detained without incident.


During a search of the bedroom where the Samsons were detained, detectives located and seized 10 grams of methamphetamine and a glass meth pipe, which were inside a coin purse, according to Brooks.

The coin purse was on the night stand, next to where Susan Samson was sleeping, Brooks said. Detectives noticed that the Samson’s had placed the crib next to the bed and their child could have easily accessed the methamphetamine.

During a search of one of the spare bedrooms, detectives located approximately 6 ounces of methamphetamine, packaging materials and a digital scale inside a tool box. Brooks said they also located a loaded revolver inside a safe in the master bedroom. All of the items were seized as evidence.

During the service of the search warrant both Susan and James Samson were interviewed. Brooks said both admitted to possessing the methamphetamine for the purpose of sales.

Susan Samson was arrested for child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. James Samson was arrested for the possession of a controlled substance for sale, according to Brooks.

Brooks said both were transported to the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility and booked. The firearm charge will be submitted for complaint, due to not being able to prove who it actually belongs to at this time.

The Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force can be reached through its anonymous tip line at 707-263-3663.



ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Less than two weeks before a Fargo, N.D., couple left behind three children in a murder-suicide near Alexandria on Monday, they were arrested by West Fargo police after reporting a meth-fueled hallucination.

Family and friends say they are shocked at the violent incident Monday, and that the couple’s drug addiction likely played a part in the uncharacteristic events that led to their death.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Devin Blowers, 24, of Minot, N.D., shot and killed Katie Ray Christopherson, 29, before killing himself Monday after a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy checked on their vehicle, and Blowers shot him in the chest. The deputy was saved by wearing a bullet-proof vest.


The BCA has not released a motive for the incident, which came after the couple were arrested Feb. 11 at a West Fargo apartment building. They lost custody of their still-hospitalized newborn baby after the arrest.


Christopherson called police Feb. 11 to report “black males pointing guns at the building” they were in, police reports said.

When officers arrived shortly after midnight, they found no men on foot or in a van as Blowers described at the scene. Officers spoke to Blowers and determined he was likely under the influence of methamphetamine because he looked “amped” up, had rapid movements and had “extremely dilated pupils, the report said.

Blowers later admitted to police he had used meth earlier that evening and was high. Blowers said he wasn’t sure if he actually saw men outside and eventually told officers that his meth high probably made him think people were outside with guns.

Officers found Christopherson hiding in a laundry room. When they searched her purse, they found a small scale that had meth residue on it, the report said.

Christopherson told officers she had the scale to “weigh something for her daughter,” the report said.

In a statement a sibling of Christopherson released Thursday to WDAY-TV, the family member said Christopherson and Blowers were a “wonderful woman and a kind man that found themselves stuck in the cycle of addiction.”

“Our family sends our thoughts and prayers to the officer that was shot, and are thankful he was wearing a bullet-proof vest,” the family member said in the statement. “Devin is being made to be a monster, when in fact, the only monster is addiction … it is truly to blame, even if it is impossible to wrap your mind around it.”

The couple have a 1-month-old daughter, Bennie, who has been in the neonatal intensive care unit of Essentia Health in Fargo since Jan. 13, when she was born several weeks early.

Blowers has a 3-year-old daughter who lives in Minot with her mother, and Christopherson has a 6-year-old son, according to a birth announcement published in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.

Friends and family of the couple are devastated by the news, including Ashley Erikson of Minot, who was Blowers’ high school sweetheart and mother of his 3-year-old daughter, Shylee.

“(Devin) was the sweetest man,” Erickson said in a phone interview Thursday from Minot. “He was the biggest-hearted kind of guy. He had a smile that would light up the room and he would give you anything.”

Erickson said Blowers, who worked construction, was on a downhill swing after meeting Christopherson last year. Blowers came to Fargo for drug treatment and met Christopherson, a Fargo native.

Christopherson faced drug charges in 2010 after obtaining drugs from Sanford Medical Center by using her sister’s name, court documents say.

When police questioned her motive she said, “I’m a drug addict.”

Erickson said Blowers was released from the Cass County Jail on Feb. 20 after spending about a week in jail for the first time in his life. Blowers has no serious criminal history, according to North Dakota court records.

Blowers was arrested at the scene Feb. 11 on suspicion of ingesting a controlled substance. Christopherson was taken to an emergency room after telling officers she ingested “some pills” and later arrested and charged with felony possession of paraphernalia.

Police contacted Cass County Human Services about the couple’s baby, who was still in the hospital, according to police reports.

Christopherson and Blowers were told the baby would not be allowed to come home with them and became distraught, Erickson said.

Blowers pleaded guilty last week in Cass County District Court to a Class A misdemeanor charge of ingesting a controlled substance. He was ordered to serve one year of unsupervised probation and undergo a chemical dependency evaluation.

A felony possession charge was filed against Christopherson on Monday in Cass County District Court. A warrant for her arrest was filed Wednesday, but on Thursday, a motion to dismiss the case was filed.

On Monday, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Alexander stopped near a rural farm site to check on a suspicious vehicle and found Christopherson and Blowers. Alexander checked their ID and was returning from his squad when Blowers shot him in the chest.

Alexander was wearing a bullet-proof vest and was not seriously hurt.

The couple tried to flee, but their car got stuck in the snow just yards from the scene. Their bodies were found about four hours later.

Erickson, who has known Blowers for at least 10 years, said she believes the couple were trying to make it to a St. Paul family treatment center to seek help for their drug addiction. She said the deputy’s visit probably scared the two and they reacted poorly. Blowers was not a violent person, she said.

Michael Kaspari, registered nurse and agency director at First Step Recovery in Fargo, said symptoms of methamphetamine use can cause users to act out of character.

“When a person has been bingeing on methamphetamine but is in the coming down phase, they are incredibly irritable, prone to mood swings, bursts of anger, all sorts of things like that that,” Kaspari said. “It’s behavior that a person normally wouldn’t engage in. (An addict’s behavior) will be a surprise. The person is acting very different than what (family) knows.”

Jeff Blowers of Minot wants to adopt his son’s baby, Bennie, who remains at Essentia Health on a “medical hold,” Erickson said.

Cass County Human Services will not comment on specific cases, but has said it tries to place children with relatives whenever possible and would not rule out a grandparent adoption.

Erickson, who remains close to Blowers’ family and was in regular contact with Blowers before his death, said she hopes the orphan baby will be adopted by Blowers’ family. She would allow her daughter and Bennie, the two half-sisters, to see each other often and learn that their father was a “good dad” who loved them both.

“He was the sweetest man,” Erickson said. “He loved Harleys. He loved to ride. He was a very good, hard-working man. Then he (got into drugs).”


The text of a statement released Thursday to WDAY-TV by a sibling of Katie Christopherson, 29, of Fargo, in reaction to her death Monday, when authorities say her boyfriend, Devin Blowers, 24, of Fargo, shot a Douglas County (Minn.) deputy before fatally shooting her and then killing himself:

“Our family is grieving the loss of a wonderful woman and a kind man that found themselves stuck in the cycle of addiction.

“The programs available to addicts ultimately (rely) on a time frame to hurry up and get better, or money. I wish there was more long-term assistance available.

“Our family sends our thoughts and prayers to the officer that was shot and are thankful he was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Devin is being made to be a monster, when in fact, the only monster is addiction … it is truly to blame, even if it is impossible to wrap your mind around it.

“There are three children without a parent or parents, and we will make sure they receive the love and attention they need to hopefully live a full of life.”



SAN CLEMENTE – Two men suspected of smuggling more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine were stopped at a freeway checkpoint on Tuesday, authorities said.

The two men – a U.S. citizen who was driving a Ford F-150 and a Mexican national who was a passenger in the pickup – were stopped around 6 p.m. at the Interstate 5 checkpoint near San Clemente, according to a U.S. Border Patrol statement.

After the passenger was unable to provide agents with a visa, he admitted to being in the country illegally, authorities said.

A police canine alerted agents to the presence of drugs, and with the assistance of an x-ray detection system they found bundles of methamphetamine hidden in various parts of the pickup, according to the statement.

The driver and passenger, who have not been identified, were arrested. They, along with the drugs, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Border Patrol officials estimate the approximately 12.24 pounds of methamphetamine found in the vehicle has an estimated street value of about $122,400.



SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Police in Shelby County say a woman who was arrested Saturday on methamphetamine charges, gave a false name at the time of her arrest.

Ruby J. Tarter, 27, was arrested, along with two other people, on charges of dealing methamphetamine and visiting a common nuisance. Shelby County officials call the bust “the biggest meth bust in county history.”

24-Hour News 8′s news gathering partner the Shelbyville News reports Tarter gave a false name, social security number, date of birth and other information to police and a judge. She reportedly told officials a family member’s name, Nicole Lambert.

The case is being reviewed for possible perjury, forgery and identity theft charges.




Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man they say purchased a list of items to manufacture methamphetamine immediately after a court hearing for previous drug manufacturing charges.

Rico Nichols

Rico Nichols

Rico Nichols, 43, of 1354 Boiling Springs Road in Spartanburg, was taken back to the Spartanburg County jail on numerous drug charges Wednesday.

According to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office incident report, deputies arrived at the Sunset Inn at 1354 Boiling Springs Road at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday to search Nichols’ motel room with his consent.

While there, deputies found plastic tubing, glass jars, a glass pipe, a lithium battery, five Pseudoephedrine pills and an empty box of cold and sinus medicine, among other items, all in original packaging.

Deputies later determined Nichols is a known methamphetamine cook based on court hearings and past charges, and that after a court hearing on manufacturing charges, he purchased more Pseudoephedrine to manufacture more methamphetamine, the report states.

Nichols currently faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of possessing drugs near a school and two counts of possession of methamphetamine.