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With most methamphetamine supplies entering the United States through California, authorities plan to create a task force aimed at combating the spread of the

Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced plans Monday to form a Los Angeles-based anti-methamphetamine team to investigate illegal activities stemming from the manufacture and distribution of the drug.

Authorities said 70% of methamphetamine enters the U.S. through the San Diego Port of Entry.

“Transnational criminal organizations have made California the largest point of entry for methamphetamine into the United States,” Harris said in a statement.

Funded by a $1-million federal grant, six special agents will work with members of the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force.

The new team is one of at least 18 California Department of Justice task forces focused on investigating major crimes, including drug trafficking.

Meth entering U.S. mainly through California, report saysLocalMeth entering U.S. mainly through California, report says.

In a 98-page report released in March by Harris, authorities found a surge of methamphetamine was being smuggled across the California-Mexico border.

Methamphetamine seizures at San Diego ports had tripled between 2009 and 2013 to more than 13,200 pounds.




A former high school youth worker was sentenced Monday in P.E.I. Supreme Court to serve 5 ½ years in a federal correctional facility for sexual offences involving girls under the age of 18, drug trafficking and breach of an undertaking.

Supreme Court Justice Gordon Campbell sentenced Arthur Francis McGuigan to terms of 1.5 years on each of two charges of sexual exploitation.

Those two sentences will run concurrently.

Campbell sentenced the accused to a further 1.5 years in prison, consecutive to all other sentences, for luring a person under 18.

Trafficking in methamphetamine earned McGuigan a further two years behind bars, again consecutive to all other sentences.

He received an additional six months, again consecutive, for breaching an undertaking by having contact with female persons under the age of 18.

The Crown had asked for a total of seven years.

Defense counsel suggested that sentence was too severe for someone with no prior criminal record.



5031101_GWORTH CO., GA (WALB) – A Worth County man is being treated for serious burns investigators say he suffered while making meth.

One other person was injured in that explosion.

Three people are in jail tonight.

Sheriff Jeff Hobby says meth is a serious problem in Worth County and now some of those contributing to that problem are behind bars.

Worth County authorities say that two people have been burned in what appears to be a Meth-making operation in the county.

Worth County Drug Investigators were called to the house at 131 Oakland Heights Road because of a explosion Friday night around 8:30 p.m.

“The call came in as a propane tank blew up,” said Sheriff Jeff Hobby.

During further investigation, it was determined it was a meth explosion. Six people who were renting the home were inside.


“They went to several drug stores here in the immediate areas, Albany, Sylvester, and Tifton and bought the precursors to make the chemicals to make the meth,”

Stephen Bedford, Terri Young and Mary Lawson were arrested and charged with manufacturing meth.

Neighbor Justin Beasley smelled the chemicals from his house. “My aunt was worried about it cause she didn’t know if they smell was going to hurt the kids’ lungs,” said Beasley.

He says he saw law enforcement shortly after the explosion. “They were lined up to about back there about halfway down the drive way,”

Beasley says he was over at the house but had no knowledge of meth being made inside the home at the time.

“They came over to question me, I guess they say I was over there. When it exploded I left. I didn’t know about it, we were over their playing cards,” said Beasley.

Two others inside the home received burns from the explosion. James Stoyle is being treated at the Augusta Burn Center for 40 percent burns on his body. Joshua Coxwell is recovering at home. Warrants are pending and they will be charged when they are well enough.


“This is a perfect example that people can get themselves hurt very bad without not counting the consequences of using the stuff” said Sheriff Hobby.

Sheriff Hobby says they are looking for one more person in connection to the meth explosion. He says the house will need to be condemned before anyone can go inside.

Lawson, Bedford, and Young traveled to Tifton where they were spotted by Tifton Police and brought back for arrest by Worth County deputies.

The Sheriff says the investigation is ongoing and right now it looks as of they meth was being made for personal use.




CLEARFIELD, CLEARFIELD COUNTY – People in one community were evacuated from their homes after a meth lab was discovered.

Suspected Meth Lab Forces Evacuations

Folks in the Leonard Grade complex at 501 East Market Street in Clearfield were evacuated after a suspected meth lab was discovered in the building.

It started Monday afternoon when parole officers identified what they thought was a meth lab. Now the attorney general’s officer and their clandestine lab are investigating.

The building has six to eight apartments and several businesses. The District Attorney says it is an ongoing investigation so they are not releasing the suspect’s name. But they believe that suspect was making methamphetamine in the building.

D. A. Bill Shaw says methamphetamine operations happen a lot in this part of the state, that’s why its crucial police can identify them and shut them down to keep people safe. He says it’s disappointing that they’re in Clearfield, but he’s glad his officers found it.

People were evacuated from the building while police are investigating. But Shaw doesn’t want to scare people in the area he says it is standard operating procedure to keep people safe.




DESPERATE meth cooks are storing their own urine and failed batches of cooked chemicals as they try to get their next hit.  662074-b71e8bf0-4a87-11e4-930e-e515789c51be

Drug detectives have told The Courier-Mail they are busting a record amount of meth labs in Queensland but rarely find drugs because addicts are getting high within hours of a cook.

The state’s synthetic drug operations team Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Marsh said police found litres of “reaction waste”, from failed cooks, during busts.

“They don’t throw it out because as their degree of skill increases they’ll revisit that reaction waste and they’ll commence the chemical processes again to try to extract the drug from the waste,” he said.

“I have found criminals who have stored their urine to extract the methamphetamine from their urine. I have seen about a dozen labs like this.

Many times as little as a gram or two would be cooked up with a portion sold.

“A gram of speed gives you 10 hits,” Snr Sgt Marsh said.

“The majority of time we find a lab, we don’t find any drugs.

“These labs we find are addiction based.”

Despite legislative restrictions on buying chemicals and other materials, meth cooks still found ways to produce methamphetamines, with prices and availability virtually unchanged in the past decade.

Drug cooks are using everything from fuel cans, light bulbs, plumbing tape and fertiliser to make their drugs which takes about eight hours.

Snr Sgt Marsh said cooks were trying to make their own hypophosphorous acid for the cook which they could get from fertiliser (phosphate).

“They are adding to it hydrochloric acid and they are making a 30 per cent hypophosphours acid.

“They are becoming more experimental to achieve the result.”

Police busted 340 labs in 2013-14, slightly higher from the previous year. The busts continued to be much higher than other states.

Snr Sgt Marsh said almost all of the methamphetamine produced in labs in Queensland was in a form that was injected.

Crystal methamphetamine or “ice”, oh high purity up to 80 per cent and usually smoked, was seized in Queensland but rarely made here.

It is usually sourced from overseas and sent to Sydney and Melbourne ports.


“Most of our jobs, when we move far enough up the chain it always goes interstate,” he said.

Purities varied but by the time it reached Queensland it may be 19-20 per cent, Snr Sgt Marsh said.

“The purity off the home cook should be anywhere from 61 to 67 per cent to 79 per cent,” he said.

“Sometimes we make purchases that are in the single digits of purity, because people want to make money out of it.

He said some cooks cut and cooked meth with dietary supplement MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) to fool users into believing it was ice, as it still formed crystals when cooked down with acetone.

“It looks like ice and they can sell it as ice.”

He said cooks needed laboratories if they wanted to produce ice.

“You couldn’t achieve that in a garage,” he said.

“We’re talking temperature control, atmospheres, the quality of the precursor needs to be good quality.”

Drug cooks moving between locations for a batch made it harder to bust them, but more than 400 general duty police are now trained in identifying labs as a result.

“They can be put together and dismantled in a period of four to five hours,” he said.

“When I was at Nundah CIB back in the early 90s I walked over a lot of stuff, I walked over labs to get to the bong.”

Snr Sgt Marsh said strong acids and bases created fumes which were highly flammable and it was fortunate nobody had been killed in Queensland.

“The environment is saturated with methylated spirits at one time … with acetone at another time. Small spark, bang.”

Meth threat is crystal clear

Queensland meth labs are being busted almost every day, with a new warning from police the drug is a “fast mark” and the greatest threat to the state.

Police uncovered 340 labs in 2013-14 as frontline officers faced violent and erratic behaviour from drug users every day.

Detectives say new methods are being used to make the drugs and meth cooks are moving to houseboats and hinterland properties to hide their game.

“Ice” or crystal methamphetamine — a higher purity form of the drug that is smoked — is becoming a drug of choice despite it being sourced from interstate.

The Crime and Corruption Commission has warned methamphetamines are the drug causing the greatest threat to Queensland due to market size and “entrenched presence” of organized crime.

In one operation, codenamed Lithium, police smashed a Queensland-based syndicate allegedly responsible for distributing ContacNT, which can be used to extract pseudoephedrine, which is used in making methamphetamine.

In a separate case a Gold Coast man living in a seniors’ home, Robert Turnbull, 62, is facing charges relating to precursors and equipment needed to make the drug.

He was kicked out of the home but told police he underwent bowel cancer surgery this year and claimed the boxes belonged to someone else.

Detective Superintendent Jim Keogh said people saw meth as a “fast mark” because of its availability and ease of making.

“It is certainly at this stage the greatest threat we see drug-wise in the community,” he said.

“The threat based on meth is brought about by the capacity of the person to look on the internet and produce it.”

Police say they are amazed no one has died in Queensland trying to cook the drug using volatile chemicals.

In the most dangerous case in the state, a man received 80 per cent burns to his body after a meth lab explosion in a garage in Robina on the Gold Coast in September.

“The explosion blew the door straight off, it’s a wonder he didn’t blow his head off,” Supt Keogh said.

Two patients at a hospital almost died in emergency after taking a bad batch of ice, according to police.

One man was found wandering naked with tubes hanging out of him and nurses and security were unable to detain him.

He was locked in a unit but shouldered the door off a hinge and staff used a battering ram to hold him down.

Police found about 40 per cent of the nation’s labs in Queensland last year.

Drug Squad synthetic operations team Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Marsh said almost all meth produced in Queensland labs was “addiction-based” and made in a form that was injected.

Crystal methamphetamine or “ice”, a drug of high purity up to 80 per cent and usually smoked, was seized in Queensland but rarely made here.

It is usually sourced from overseas and arrived via Sydney and Melbourne ports.

Snr Sgt Marsh said the dietary supplement MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) was sometimes cut with meth to fool users into believing it was ice.

He said cooks needed laboratories with temperature controls and quality precursors if they wanted to produce ice.

Figures released by the government show drug support services gave help on 64,800 instances — or 175 a day — relating to amphetamine use in Queensland in 2013.

Of the 29,000 who gave a specific type of drug they took, 91 per cent related to meth or crystal meth — the breakdown 50 per cent crystal meth and 41 per cent meth.

The department said an increase in the use of ice was observed in Queensland in 2013.

National trends show ice use more than doubled from 22 per cent in 2010 to 50 per cent in 2013.

Princess Alexandra Hospital emergency physician and clinical toxicologist Dr Colin Page said his unit dealt with people who had overdosed on drugs each week but meth was a lesser problem than alcohol.

“It’s probably true we are seeing a little bit more methamphetamine,” he said.

“Their whole life is often driven by their search to buy or acquire these drugs.

“Criminal activities, prostitution, they steal … to buy these drugs.”

Like dealing with the mentally ill’

Capsicum spray doesn’t work, up to eight officers need to restrain them, mothers with children “dispose” of their needles in their cars.

Frontline police say they are dealing with people high on meth who are violent, erratic and dazed every day.

“It is a drug I believe is out of control,” Rapid Action Patrol Group Constable Sean Swain said.

“I’ve seen ice users go off on it. You can’t reason with them. It’s like dealing with a mentally ill person.”

In one case a man at Broadbeach climbed around the outside of a building, moving from the 15th floor to the 10th floor.

“In his head he believed he was being chased by someone trying to hurt him,” Constable Swain said.

“Unfortunately he plunged to his death. That was witnessed by police.”


In a separate incident two officers tried to restrain a naked man “as strong as 10 men” in Broadbeach who was walking along a street.

Police tasered him and used ­capsicum spray but were unable to restrain him. “Because he was naked and sweating so profusely they couldn’t hold him,” Constable Swain said.

“He was that big we had to use two sets of handcuffs to cuff him.”

Once inside a cell they placed a sheet over him and held him like an animal in a “wildlife video”.

“That’s pretty much what we had to do when we were removing cuffs, we were all racing for the door,” he said.

In a separate case police found 29 used syringes in a mother’s car.

She was throwing those needles around like they were confetti,” Constable Swain said. “There were ­colouring-in books and toys in the car. You just shake your head in disbelief that a child is being driven around in this vehicle with this many needles.”

He said people using the drugs came from “all walks of life”.

“We find ice pipes under their driver’s seat, they come clean and say ‘my family doesn’t even know I’m on it, I was introduced to it by a friend and now I can’t get off it’.

“You just hear this hard luck story of how this person who has a normal job, normal family, nothing out of the ordinary, but somehow has got in contact with this meth and can’t get off it.”





The Washington County Juvenile Department is continuing to sponsor outings for youth offenders, according to officials, nearly three weeks after a 17-year-old boy allegedly raped a woman after slipping away during a department-sponsored trip to a Ducks game at the University of Oregon.

Speaking for the first time since the Sept. 13 incident, Juvenile Department Director Lynne Schroeder described the practice as a vital tool to help disenfranchised children overcome the problems that led them to crime in the first place.

“You have to provide opportunities for kids to gain skills, to make contributions and start being community members,” she said in an interview with The Oregonian. “Some of these kids have never been out of the communities where they live.”

Schroeder was careful not to discuss the Eugene incident specifically, citing state privacy laws and an ongoing criminal investigation. Rather, she offered more detail about the activities and goals of such trips, as well as data showing Washington County’s youth recidivism rate as lower than the statewide average.

Generally, Schroeder said, teens on outings to college campuses will visit the admissions office to learn about the process of getting into college. She wouldn’t confirm whether Jaime Tinoco, the teenager accused of sexually assaulting a 39-year-old woman, had done so the day he slipped away.

“When we do take kids to events and colleges, there’s a number of them that come away and say ‘what does it take to go it college? I want to figure this out,'” Schroeder said. “Many of them don’t have family members that have been to college. So it’s not something that’s been presented to them.”

Other activities have included trips to the coast, playing soccer and working on various community service projects, she said.

“Most juvenile departments in the state have embraced this ethics model of addressing the crime-driving behavior,” Schroeder said. “Most engage in involving kids in pro-social activities and providing other opportunities. That’s not a distinct function.”

County spokeswoman Julie McCloud said an administrative review of the incident will not begin until after court proceedings have concluded, and will evaluate whether supervisors were appropriately supervising Tinoco and other youth on the trip. The outings themselves will continue as planned, she said.

Tinoco, who is being prosecuted as an adult, pleaded not guilty to first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree assault during his arraignment in Lane County Juvenile Court. He is being held in the county’s juvenile detention center, and is next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 22.

At the time of his arrest, Tinoco had been on supervised probation in Washington County following convictions for burglary, unlawful possession of methamphetamine and harassment.

On Tuesday, Washington County Commissioners are scheduled to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Oregon Department of Human Services, one of the first steps toward receiving as much as $2.4 million in federal reimbursement dollars to “reduce Juvenile delinquency, increase offender accountability, and rehabilitate juvenile offenders through a comprehensive, coordinated, community-based Juvenile probation system,” according to county administrative documents.

The federal entitlement program, provided under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, is aimed at helping state and local child welfare services to reduce youth incarceration and recidivism rates.

Schroeder said several counties have long been working with the state Department of Human Services to secure the funding, which reimburse county staff for time spent coaching at-risk youth.

Washington County has consistently reported a greater percentage of success with youth than the statewide average since 2002 — that is, fewer being returned for subsequent offenses — which officials cite as evidence of the department’s effectiveness. In 2011, 74 percent of Washington youth who had completed their probation programs were not referred back to the department within the next year. Oregon as a whole had a 71.5 success rate that same year.

A Multnomah County judge assembled a task force to reevaluate the state’s juvenile justice system last month in response to FBI data showing Oregon has the second highest youth drug arrest rate in the nation and 12th highest youth property arrest rate.

“These are disenfranchised kids and they’re going to continue to offend if they stay disenfranchised,” Schroeder said. “It’s the whole picture, and then that we have to keep evaluating how we’re doing.”

But, she added: “Of course we’re not 100 percent successful. There’s things we don’t know until we know them.”



A Rome woman and man were arrested at a convenience store Sunday on drug charges, according to Floyd County Jail records.


According to jail records:

Amanda Lynn Dempsey, 33, and Lawrence Lawson Carroll, 39 — both of 39 Pierce Hill Road — were arrested during a traffic stop at the Kingston Highway Quickmart, 1994 Kingston Highway, by Floyd County police officers.

Police originally stopped Carroll in his vehicle for a busted windshield, but when they searched the vehicle, officers found a bag of suspected methamphetamine.

Officers also found several needles used to administer the drug and empty bags with suspected methamphetamine residue.

Carroll and Dempsey were each charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and misdemeanor possession of drug-related objects.


Carroll was also charged with a misdemeanor cracked windshield violation.

No bond was set for the duo.



Family became sick months after spending thousands of dollars remodeling home

HOUSTON – Thousands of Americans have unknowingly bought or rented homes contaminated with toxic meth, but there are some simple steps you can take to avoid an expensive and dangerous home-buying mistake.

Jennifer Nugent and her husband spent thousands of dollars remodeling a home before moving in with their three children. A few months later, they began getting sick.

“I feel like I put them in harm’s way more so than I ever could have just staying where we were. I regret moving so bad. It just got to a point where we couldn’t stay well,” Nugent said.

Nugent’s concern turned to panic when her new neighbors shared some disturbing news: The home’s former owner was a meth user.

Nugent immediately had her home tested and results confirmed high levels of contamination.

“That’s when we knew it was bad and I was so grateful we did not return,” she said.

The Nugents moved out and are now working with a certified company on the cleanup.

When making or smoking meth, nothing escapes contamination. A string of toxic chemicals saturates carpets, walls, duct work, ceilings and furniture, forcing cleanup crews to throw away just about everything. Exposure to even small amounts of those poisons can cause serious health issues.

Rick Held, a certified meth inspector, explained how his company is helping.

“If you just think mold’s bad, know meth is worse. We’re trying to put the family back together by putting the house back together,” Held said.

Law enforcement agencies discovered more than 11,000 meth labs across the country last year, but that represents only a fraction of the number of homes where meth is made or used.

Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said this is not just a rural home problem.

“You can find them in suburban lovely homes to million-dollar penthouses. So you want to be aware of the dangers of a home that’s had a meth lab in it and be sure that you’re doing all of your research before buying,” she said.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Hicks recommends you talk to neighbors before you buy.

“Knock on doors. Introduce yourself as looking at the house down the street and find out what you can. You’ll be amazed at the information they may be able to provide you,” Hicks said.

If you’re house-hunting, consider purchasing a meth test kit. It costs about $50. The cost of decontamination is much higher.

Check with the local police department for any arrests at the address and contact the health department to see if the home is listed on any reports with the agency.

The U.S. Justice Department maintains a list of known meth houses. You can search the list when you’re house-hunting. The list is limited and should not be relied on as the only source for information.


You can search the database here. Click here to view the Nationwide Methamphetamine Incidents 2014 report.





KALAMAZOO, MI — A Kalamazoo man, who federal investigators say was the leader in a crystal methamphetamine trafficking operation with ties to Mexican drug cartels, has been found guilty of multiple federal offenses.


On Thursday, a jury found Francis Damien Block, 45, guilty of one count of conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver at least 50 grams of meth and one count of possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of meth, according to court documents. Block was also found guilty of conspiracy to tamper with a witness through intimidation or threats and witness tampering through corrupt persuasion.

The trial began Monday at U.S. District Court in Kalamazoo, during which Block’s co-conspirators, Jeffrey Starrett and Michael Head, testified against him.

According to court documents, Kalamazoo Public Safety’s drug unit, Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team (KVET), has been investigating the methamphetamine trafficking operation for several years. In January 2013, KVET officers executed a search warrant at Block’s home in Cooper Township and seized meth lab components, $29,800 in cash and multiple firearms. Later that year, investigators learned from confidential informants that Block had ties with meth suppliers linked to Mexican cartels, according to the prosecution’s trial brief.

KVET officers then began surveillance on Block’s vehicles and saw him making brief trips to and from several venues in and around Kalamazoo, documents show.

“The brevity of the trips and the travels patterns appeared to officers to be indicative of drug trafficking,” wrote U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles Jr.

On Oct. 8, 2013, using an informant, officers conducted a controlled buy of 56 grams of crystal meth from Block, documents show. About a week later, a police informant bought another 56 grams from Block. On Oct. 23, 2013, Block was arrested, when he brought 112 grams of crystal meth in a Taco Bell bag to another controlled buy with officers.

Officers used digital audio recording devices to record the drug deals between Block and police to use as evidence against him.

Police then obtained search warrants for a home on North Arlington Street and a Stadium Drive storage unit, leased to one of Block’s co-conspirators. At the home, police found more than a pound of crystal meth, handwritten drug ledgers and about $20,000 in cash, documents show. At the storage unit, officers seized nine pounds of crystal meth and a pill bottle, bearing Block’s name.

According to the prosecution’s trial brief, Block admitted to being a meth dealer in an interview with investigators. On Nov. 7, 2013 a grand jury indicted Block, along with co-defendants Jeffrey Starrett and Michael Head. Head and Starrett both reached plea deals, which required them to testify against Block during his trial.

Court documents allege that in February 2014, officers discovered that Block was calling friends and family telling them to contact witnesses that were expected to testify against Block. Police say Block told friends and family to collect drug debts owed to Block and post bond for Block’s fellow inmate, who had agreed to intimidate and threaten potential witnesses.

These conversations from jail were recorded by police and were used as evidence against Block during trial, court documents show. During the trial, the prosecution also showed the jury more than four kilograms of seized crystal meth.

Crystal methamphetamine or ICE is high quality and extremely pure, according to KVET Captain David Boysen.

One-pot meth labs, in which people use household ingredients to produce the drug, have plagued the Kalamazoo-area for years. But recently there has been a high demand in Southwest Michigan for meth with more purity, like that which is produced in Mexican super labs, Boysen said.

“We took down a large organization that was shipping multiple pounds of ICE from Mexico. The product was moving very well, because it was in high demand,” Boysen said. “This shut down a huge source of meth in this area for years.”

Block is scheduled to be sentenced on January 20, 2015 at U.S. District Court in Kalamazoo. He faces up to life in prison and a $10 million fine.




COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, MI– Several “one potmethamphetamine labs discovered during the execution of a search warrant have led to the arrest of a Kalamazoo resident.

Several meth labs were discovered, authorities say.

At 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5 sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Portage Department of Public Safety searched a home in the 5600 block of East Michigan Avenue, and found the labs, methamphetamine and components used in its manufacture, according to a news release from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office.

The person in the home, whose age and gender were not identified, was arrested and faces multiple charges.





PEKIN – Federal charges, and the harsher prison terms they carry, now confront two Tazewell County men who were caught allegedly running a meth-making business out of an East Peoria home in August.James Webb, Jason Begeman, Jacob

One day after James Webb of East Peoria and Jason Begeman of Pekin were charged with conspiracy to manufacture the highly addictive drug, Jacob Reagan of rural Manito pleaded guilty to the charge in a separate case last week.

In yet a third meth-related case prosecuted in federal court, Stacy Maneno was ordered Thursday to stand trial Dec. 15, nearly two years after she was charged with taking part in a methamphetamine conspiracy while working as a Pekin city custodian assigned to police headquarters.

Their cases are all the product of Operation Copperhead, now deep into its third year of assault on meth in Tazewell, Mason and Fulton counties through local and state police investigations and federal prosecutions.

While many defendants who supply meth-makers with the prime ingredient for the drug by purchasing cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) have been prosecuted in state courts, conspiracy leaders have found themselves in Peoria’s U.S. District Court.

That was the case last Tuesday with Webb, 48, and Begeman, 32, who were arrested with four others in a Copperhead raid Aug. 14 at Webb’s home at 339 Matheny Road in rural East Peoria.

Both face up to life in federal prison if convicted due to their prior drug-related convictions in state courts. Begeman’s total sentences in his state cases since 2000 totaled 22 1/2 years. Webb received 13 years in two cases.

Bryan McCoy, 29, of East Peoria, was sentenced last week to 48 months’ probation after pleading guilty to supplying PSE. State prosecutions continue against the three other people arrested in the raid at Webb’s home, where police allegedly found meth and remnants of the lab used to make it in a burn barrel outside the residence.

Reagan, 33, became the third of six people charged in his meth conspiracy case to plead guilty, joining Aaron Perkins, 26, also of rural Manito, and Kyle Sebree, 23, of Pekin.

He indicated in his court appearance that he hopes to lower the minimum 10-year term he faces when sentenced Jan. 28 by cooperating in the prosecution of the three alleged fellow conspirators in his case still awaiting trial — John Reagan and Timothy Grens, both 40 of Pekin, and Courtney Sykes, 23, of rural Manito.

Maneno, 39, of Pekin, has been permitted to remain free on bond since her federal case began in January 2013. A pretrial court appearance was set last week for Nov. 20.

She is accused of using her custodian position to obtain information within the Pekin Police Department on investigations of other Copperhead meth suspects, including her former husband, while taking part in a separate meth conspiracy.


ABC 6 News) — United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the indictment of 11 individuals charged with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Minnesota. The indictment is the result of a two-year investigation, and a collaborative effort among members of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Office of Special Investigations (DOC-OSI), and several other local law enforcement partners.


According to the indictment, from approximately January 2012 through September 2014, the defendants conspired to possess and distribute methamphetamine. DANIEL SEGURA, JR., and SAGE OLLERMAN are charged with distributing approximately 26 pounds of methamphetamine in Minnesota on one occasion. MARK THOMAS BUSKOVICK, JEREMY JOSEPH HUNT, JAMIE LEE HUNT, JASON ORTEGA, JOSHUA ORTEGA, SALVADOR ORTEGA, and DANIEL SEGURA, JR., are charged with conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in Minnesota and elsewhere. Each of the other defendants is charged with conspiring to distribute additional quantities of methamphetamine.

This case is the result of a joint investigation, which is ongoing, including law enforcement efforts from the DEA, ATF, IRS-CID, Minnesota BCA, Minnesota DOC-OSI, the South Central Drug Investigation Unit (SCDIU), the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force (MRVDTF), the Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force (SMNGTF), and the Rochester Police Department Narcotics Unit, with additional assistance from the Steele County Attorney’s Office, the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office, the Prairie Island Police Department, the Red Wing Police Department, the Owatonna Police Department, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department Street Crimes Unit, and the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Slaughter.


Defendant Information: 


Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Fresno, Calif.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 3 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 5 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession of Methamphetamine and Cocaine, 1 count



Rochester, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count


Five people were arrested after the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force raided locations in Fort Collins, Longmont, Lakewood and Arvada.

Investigators seized over 12 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $8,800 in cash, cocaine, prescription pills, and one firearm during the raids, said Lieutenant David Pearson, Commander with the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force.

Five suspects were arrested on various charges, including twin brothers Darrick and Darren Heimann. Dean Duran, Richard Maddox and Gerald Moore were also arrested.

It was part of a long-term investigation into methamphetamine distribution in Larimer County, Pearson said.




In a labyrinthine shantytown in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, an impoverished community is awash in crystal methamphetamine, or “ice,” a cheap and highly addictive drug being peddled from family homes and used by residents as young as 12.


Police made more than 50 arrests in the area last month, but community members say the kingpin is a high-level official and that local authorities collude in the drug trade.

Just across the road from Preah Kosamak hospital, Trapang Chhouk village in Toek Thla commune is obscured from sight, but each narrow alley off the street is an entry point into a rickety maze of wooden walkways and dead ends connecting some 200 corrugated huts that totter over a rubbish-clogged drainage pond.

It is no secret here that the floating village is a crystal meth den. The wooden planks, littered with empty “baggies” and other evidence of drug use, are patrolled by a gang of gaunt teenagers, who offered to supply reporters with “whatever you want.”

“Be careful. The people in there, they sell drugs like they are selling fish,” said a moto-taxi driver parked nearby, who like all interviewees spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

Inside the neighborhood, members of two families whose huts stand about a meter apart across the narrow walkway described an open market where ice is sold from most doorways. They said that the ubiquity of the drug’s use foretold a bleak future for their children. They also admitted to selling the drug.

“Drugs are distributed here all the time, every day and night,” said the 45-year-old father of one family. His neighbor, a woman in her forties, estimated that at least 80 percent of all families in the community sell crystal meth to supplement legitimate sources of income.

The woman’s 12-year-old daughter said children as young as her are habitual users and that young people from surrounding neighborhoods were flocking to the area.

“If you want to buy drugs, you just need $5. I can get it for you now,” the girl said.


‘Big Fish’

Police and local authorities say they are doing their best to clean up the village. But carrying out raids in the area is logistically difficult, they explain, as dealers use lookouts to evade arrest, leaving only users and low-level distributors for police to sweep up.

“Police and local authorities know all about the drug distribution,” said another resident and small-time dealer, 46, adding that most people pay officers bribes to avoid arrest.

“The ‘big fish’ is a high-ranking general, and when police come, they do not arrest dealers based here, just users and outsiders,” he said.

Tann Navin, the commune chief since 2009, denied that local authorities were involved in illegal activity. But he admitted that a high-ranking military police official was suspected of backing the supply and distribution of crystal meth in Trapang Chhouk.

“I think it’s true that a high-ranking officer is behind this, which makes it hard to suppress, as dealers are warned ahead of time and we can only arrest users,” he said. “Also, the users often come back a few days later because punishment for using is slight.”

Many of the families who live in the impoverished community lost their original homes in a 2008 fire. When authorities failed to relocate them, they built crude shelters over the wreckage. According to Mr. Navin, the area also houses a number of transient renters, which makes it difficult to estimate how many people actually live there.

“We know there are about 200 houses, but we can’t control the number of people who are moving in and out,” he said, adding that building on the swampy land is illegal as it is privately owned. He said he did not know who the owner was.

Sen Sok district police chief Mak Hong dismissed accusations that officers were colluding with drug dealers as pure rumor and blamed commune authorities for tolerating illegal construction that had created a haphazard warren that is difficult to access and navigate.

“Neither police nor any other authorities are involved with drugs there, so we cannot accept the residents’ accusations blaming us for the problem,” he said, adding that police are continually carrying out raids in an effort to flush out dealers.

“The location of the area is too complex, and some of the houses are built right in the water, so when authorities crack down, dealers can jump into the water, and some hide in the water underneath the floor.”

Mr. Hong suggested greater cooperation between commune and district officials to identify and monitor the neighborhood’s residents.

“Those houses must be shut down or people must be forced to register…because the drugs are being brought into the area from elsewhere and the dealers are unknown,” he said.

“If the houses were not there, there would be no drugs. But it is not the police’s responsibility to close this place.”

Bann Sopheap, chief of the municipal military police’s anti-drug department, whose unit has led most of the recent raids in Trapang Chhouk, said rumors that the community was being lorded over by a high-ranking military official were untrue and that purging the area of dealers was a work in progress.

“We are not stopping our crackdown on either drug users or smugglers there, and our officers are there every day investigating to find the ringleaders,” he said. Three men arrested in the area were sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday and charged with using and distributing crystal meth, he added, while 11 more had been placed in pretrial detention.


Tip of the Iceberg

Dave Harding, a technical advisor for drug programs at the NGO Friends International, said the situation in Trapang Chhouk is just the tip of the crystal meth iceberg in the country.

The fact that drug abuse, and associated criminal activity, is flourishing in certain impoverished urban communities—which are not lucrative markets in the global drug trade—suggests that the volume of narcotics available in the country is significantly greater than authorities are willing to admit, he said.

“When a community is this isolated, it can become a no-go area, and often crime operates like a spider web on the ‘bong thom,’ or big brother, network, with a well-connected person at the center and the people on the outer edges get picked up by now and again by police,” he added. “[T]he person at the center won’t be touched.”

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith and City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche both declined to comment on the situation in Trapang Chhouk.

A European Union security report on Southeast Asia and China released in April found that in Cambodia, corruption within police ranks was impeding proper enforcement of drug laws.

“Law enforcement capacity remains limited in Cambodia. Corruption within a handful of law enforcement officials should be addressed with further efforts to reduce drugs trafficking and abuse,” the report says.

In its annual report released in March, the International Narcotics Control Board found that in 2013, Cambodia had become a regional hub for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine trafficking, and expressed concern that methamphetamine was also being produced in the country for a domestic market.

The report also criticized the government for failing to pursue major drug traffickers.

“Lower-level drug traffickers and drug abusers continue to be the primary targets of drug control efforts in Cambodia,” it says.

A 54-year-old resident of Trapang Chhouk, whose son is currently serving a prison sentence for using and distributing small amounts of ice, lamented this injustice.

They will never target the big dealers or a three-star general,” he said. “It is easier to arrest people like my son.”



A 35-year-old man was arrested at the Royal Inn in Ocala on Saturday morning and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of probation.

According to Marion County Sheriff reports, Deputy Roman Gabriel went to the Royal Inn at 2900 S. Pine Ave. at about 8:20 a.m. Saturday to serve a felony warrant on Randy Dale Solt, who was staying in room 26 at the inn.

Solt opened the door and said he wanted to put on his shoes. Not wanting to lose sight of Solt, Gabriel followed him into the room, which was hazy and had a chemical odor. In addition to seeing a glass pipe, other items used in making methamphetamine were in clear view, and the drug unit was called.

Solt subsequently was arrested on the warrant. He was being held at the Marion County Jail on Sunday on no bond on the violation of probation and a total of $25,500 bond on the other charge.




FORT BERTHOLD INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. – Tribal police Sgt. Dawn White is racing down a dusty two-lane road — siren blaring, police radio crackling — as she attempts to get to the latest 911 call on a reservation that is a blur of oil rigs and bright-orange gas flares.

Troy Yazzie

“Move! C’mon, get out of the fricking way!” White yells as she hits 102 mph and weaves in and out of a line of slow-moving tractor-trailers that stretches for miles.

In just five years, the Bakken formation in North Dakota has gone from producing about 200,000 barrels to 1.1 million barrels of oil a day, making North Dakota the No. 2 oil-producing state, behind Texas, and luring thousands of workers.

But there is a dark side to the multibillion-dollar boom in the oil fields, which stretch across western North Dakota into Montana and part of Canada. The arrival of highly paid oil workers living in sprawling “man camps” with limited spending opportunities has led to a crime wave – including murders, aggravated assaults, rapes, human trafficking and robberies – fueled by a huge market for illegal drugs, primarily heroin and methamphetamine.

Especially hard-hit are the Indian lands at the heart of the Bakken. Created in 1870 on rolling grasslands along the Missouri River, Fort Berthold was named after a U.S. Army fort and is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation – known as the MHA Nation, or the Three Affiliated Tribes.

‘Like a tidal wave’

“It’s like a tidal wave, it’s unbelievable,” said Diane Johnson, chief judge at the MHA Nation. She said crime has tripled in the past two years and that 90 percent is drug-related. “The drug problem that the oil boom has brought is destroying our reservation.”

Once farmers and traders, the Mandan was the tribe that gave Lewis and Clark safe harbor on their expedition to the Northwest but was decimated in the mid-1830s by smallpox. Over many years, the 12 million acres awarded to the three tribes by treaty in 1851 has been reduced to 1 million.

The U.S. government in 1947 built the Garrison Dam and created Lake Sakakawea, a 479-square-mile body of water that flooded the land of the Three Affiliated Tribes, wiped out much of their farming and ranching economy, and forced most of them to relocate to higher ground on the prairie.

“When the white man said ‘This will be your reservation,’ little did they know those Badlands would now have oil and gas,” MHA Nation Chairman Tex “Red Tipped Arrow” Hall said in an energy company video last year. “Those Badlands were coined because they’re nothing but gully, gumbo and clay. Grass won’t grow, and horses can’t eat and cattle or buffalo can’t hardly eat … but there’s huge oil and gas reserves under those Badlands now.”

The oil boom could potentially bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the tribes, creating the opportunity to build new roads, schools, and badly needed housing and health facilities. But the money is coming with a steep social cost, according to White, her fellow tribal officers and federal officials who are struggling to keep up with the onslaught of drugs and crime.

“We are dealing with stuff we’ve never seen before,” White said after leaving the scene of the latest disturbance fueled by drugs and alcohol. “No one was prepared for this.”

The 20-member tribal police force is short-staffed and losing officers to higher-paying jobs on the oil fields. Sometimes, there are only two tribal officers on duty to cover the whole reservation, including part of the North Dakota Badlands. There is only one substance-abuse treatment center, with room for only nine patients at a time, to help the soaring number of heroin and meth addicts.

Over the summer, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy singled out drug trafficking in the Bakken oil patch as a “burgeoning threat.” Violent crime in North Dakota’s Williston Basin region, which includes the reservation, increased 121 percent from 2005 to 2011. The Bakken is also experiencing a large influx of motorcycle gangs, trying to claim “ownership” of the territory and facilitating prostitution and the drug trade, according to a federal report.

“Up until a few years ago, Fort Berthold was a typical reservation struggling with the typical economic problems that you find in Indian country,” said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota, whose office prosecutes violent crime on the reservation.

“But now, boom – barrels of oil mean barrels of money,” Purdon said. “More money and more people equals more crime. And whether the outsiders came here to work on a rig and decided it would be easier to sell drugs or they came here to sell drugs, it doesn’t make any difference. They’re selling drugs. An unprecedented amount.”

‘Worst tragedy’

Hall, the longtime chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, called it the “worst tragedy” on the Fort Berthold reservation in his memory.

On a November afternoon two years ago, an intruder burst into a home in New Town, the largest town on the reservation, and shot and killed a grandmother and three of her grandchildren with a hunting rifle. A fourth grandchild, a 12-year-old boy, survived by hiding under his slain brother’s body and pretending he was dead.

The young man responsible for the killings slit his own throat hours later in a nearby town. He was high on meth, according to federal officials.

On the same day, in an unrelated incident, Sgt. White stopped a motorist who was wanted on an outstanding warrant. As she grabbed the handle of his car door, the driver, who had drugs in the vehicle, took off, dragging her on the ground for half a block and sending her to the hospital with a concussion.

It seemed as though big-city drug violence had arrived like a sudden storm.

Purdon and the FBI teamed up with White and other tribal officers, focusing on a large-scale drug-trafficking ring led by two brothers from Wasco, Calif. – “Happy” and “Oscar” Lopez. In the summer of 2013, in an investigation dubbed Operation Winter’s End, Purdon indicted 22 people, including the Lopez brothers as well as members of the tribes, for dealing heroin and meth on or around Fort Berthold. The drugs came from Mexico through Southern California, officials said.

Since then, Purdon has indicted more than 40 other people who have all pleaded guilty to felony drug charges in the Winter’s End case, with a large amount of the meth and heroin also coming from gangs in Chicago or dealers in Minneapolis.

Investigating crime on Fort Berthold is more difficult than most places because the reservation sits in six different counties each with its own sheriff – some of whom do not have a good relationship with the tribe, according to tribal members. If the suspect and perpetrator are both Native American, the tribal police or the FBI handle the arrest. But if the suspect is not Native American, in most cases the tribal police can detain the suspect but then have to call the sheriff in the county where the crime occurred. Sometimes they have to wait several hours before a deputy arrives to make the arrest. In a murder case, the state or the FBI might be involved.

In the quadruple murder, for example, all four victims were white. But police didn’t immediately know whether the perpetrator was white or Native American, so there was initial confusion among law enforcement officials about who was in charge of the investigation.

“Can you imagine the idea that we didn’t know the race of the shooter, so we didn’t know at first who had jurisdiction over the homicide?” Purdon asked. “That’s not something your typical county sheriff has to deal with.”

The killer was later identified as a 21-year-old Native American.

In the front seat of her cruiser, White, an Army veteran who grew up in Fort Berthold, carries an eagle feather and a photograph of the rodeo-champion grandfather who raised her.

Volk calls her “the eyes and ears of the reservation,” a cop who is able to find anyone. Her fervor to save her people from the ravages of heroin and meth gives White the fortitude to arrest even tribal members she knows well.

“I put the uniform on,” White said, “I have no family. I have no friends.”

Before she sets out on patrol, she lights the end of braided sweet grass, a tradition of the Plains Indians to drive away bad spirits. White, a mother of three, places it on her dashboard for protection.

White also carries a set of pink handcuffs, a personal signature that she says represents “girl power.”

Housing shortage

Responding to a call, White pulls up to the reservation’s 4 Bears Casino and Lodge to check on a call about a small child who was left inside a car while her mother went inside to gamble.

Lined up outside the casino’s hotel are four other police cars. They are not the cruisers of officers who have come to investigate the child. They belong to several new recruits who have no place to live.

The housing shortage has forced officers to move with their families into casino hotel rooms until homes are built for them.

Three Affiliated Tribes Police Chief Chad Johnson said he needs at least 50 more officers.

“I get a lot of applicants from all over,” Johnson said. “The first thing they ask is if we have housing available. We’ve been putting them up in the casino, but some of them have families and they don’t want their families living in a casino.”

Johnson, the judge, has the same problem recruiting prosecutors. “We can’t get them to come to the MHA Nation because of the lack of housing and the community is becoming so unsafe,” she said. “It is extremely dangerous to live here now.”

While Fort Berthold needs more police officers, housing for recruits, more tribal prosecutors and judges, and additional drug treatment facilities, some residents say their leaders have made questionable purchases, including a yacht. Just behind the casino on the lake sits a gleaming white 96-foot yacht that the tribe purchased last year to be used for a riverboat gambling operation.

While some federal officials have questioned the tribe’s financial priorities, tribe members have called for an investigation into their leader’s business dealings.

Earlier this year, the seven-member tribal business council led by Hall voted to hire a former U.S. attorney to examine Hall’s private oil and gas business dealings on Fort Berthold – including his relationship with James Henrikson, a man who was arrested on felony weapons charges and was indicted recently on 11 counts, including murder-for-hire of an associate.

Hall, who served as chairman for 12 years, lost his re-election bid the same week. In a statement, he has denied “affiliation with any gangs” and said he is cooperating with federal investigators in the Henrikson case. Another member of the tribal council, Barry Benson, was arrested this year on drug charges.

Federal officials have sent more agents and resources to the Bakken, tripling the number of prosecutions in what Purdon calls a “robust response” to the crime wave.

But, he added, “it’s not for me to talk about what the appropriate response is by the state of North Dakota, or these counties and the tribe.”

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., last month created a task force of North Dakotans to focus on the increase in drug-related crime and human trafficking in the Bakken, including Fort Berthold.

The state “could absolutely do more,” Heitkamp said in an interview, pointing to the need for more mental-health services, drug treatment facilities and drug courts. “We are blessed with a growing economy and the country’s lowest unemployment rate, but there was a 20 percent increase in drug crimes in North Dakota last year,” Heitkamp said. “A better-coordinated response from the state would be helpful. The lack of roads, housing and law enforcement has stretched this small rural reservation to the max.”

Earlier this year at a tribal conference in Bismarck, N.D., which Purdon and Attorney General Eric Holder attended, White was presented with an award for her work trying to eradicate drug trafficking at Fort Berthold. She choked back tears as she walked to the podium, where she dedicated her award to her Native American grandparents who raised her.

She spoke about the time she has spent away from her three children because of her job.

“I sacrifice because this is the only place I’m going to be a cop, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation,” White said, her voice cracking.

“This is the last of what my people have,” White said. “Our people have survived so many things in history. The methamphetamine use, the heroin use, is just another epidemic like smallpox and boarding schools. And the last of the last are going to have to survive. And I want to be in the front lines because that was my vow – to protect my people.”




Back in June, we lamented from this very space, two arrests that had happened in just a matter of days from one another, both having to do with possession and potential sale of methamphetamine here in Steele County or certainly within Minnesota. In one of the cases, a Nebraska couple was stopped on Interstate 35 between Geneva and Ellendale with 20 pounds of the drug — something that would have the street value of about $900,000.

It would have been nice to say that those two arrests would have wiped the scourge of meth from the streets of Steele County.

Unfortunately, we can’t. Indeed, if the events of this week teach us anything they teach us that meth use and abuse is strong here.

On Wednesday, several different law enforcement agencies — local, statewide and federal — began serving warrants, eventually arresting 11 people connected to what is said to be a large drug-trafficking operation based in Owatonna. The operation, which has been present here for what law enforcement says is a “long time,” has been operating in several states in addition to Minnesota.

It doesn’t take much to realize the danger of meth. Just pop on the Internet and look at the physical devastation that meth inflicts on users in a year or so — sometimes just in a matter of months — and you will see how dangerous of a drug it is. Or just read a list of its ingredients — ingredients such as battery acid, antifreeze or drain cleaner.

Clearly, this is a dangerous drug.

In the early to mid-2000s, Minnesota did well in cracking down on meth labs through both its increased enforcement and legislation that made it more difficult to obtain some of the essential ingredients for manufacturing — or “cooking” — the drug. And for a while, it worked.

That’s when the dealers found another way of securing and selling the product — importing it from outside. And no doubt about it, it’s coming back, and if the arrests this week tell us anything, they tell us it’s coming back here.

We’re thankful that the law enforcement agencies worked together over the past year and a half to make the arrests and help crack down on this dangerous drug. But we are not so naïve to think that this means the end to the scourge of methamphetamine in our communities.

In fact, when we asked law enforcement agencies for more details about the arrests, they remained quite tight-lipped. Why? Because, they said, the investigation is ongoing.

In other words, stay tuned. The story isn’t over yet. There may be more warrants, more arrests and more prosecutions in the near future. And that means just one thing — there’s more meth out there.

This should frighten any Minnesotan who knows the effects of methamphetamine and should compel us all to press for even tougher laws and enforcement.




ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — A woman is behind bars after police said they found methamphetamine in her purse during a traffic stop.4985943_G

Cindy Romero, 35, of Zumbrota was pulled over Thursday around 8:30 p.m. on the 100 Block of 6th Avenue SE for a traffic stop.

A Rochester Police Department spokesman said she was acting very nervous and told the officer the purse in the car was not hers, even though the officer did not ask about her purse.

Goodhue County had issued a warrant for her arrest.

Police said a police K-9 found 1.6 grams of methamphetamine in her purse, and she was taken into custody



Five men were arrested Sept. 26 when the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force served five search warrants as part of a long-term investigation into methamphetamine distribution in Larimer County, according to a news release provided by Lt. David Pearson, drug task force commander.

The warrants were served in Fort Collins, Longmont, Lakewood, and Arvada.

Over the course of the investigation, more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $8,800 in cash, cocaine, prescription pills, and one firearm were seized.

Five men were arrested on various charges. Those arrested were: Dean Duran, 53; Richard Maddox, 54; Gerald Moore, 50; Darrick Heimann, 47 and Darren Heimann, 46. Details about specific charges and the men’s addresses was not released.

SWAT teams from Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County, Weld County, and Jefferson County served the warrants with assistance from the Criminal Impacts Unit from Fort Collins Police, the Fort Collins Police Services Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Department of Correction – Parole Division, and detectives from Loveland Police Department and West Metro Drug Task Force.

The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional team staffed by personnel from the Loveland Police Department, Colorado Adult Parole, and Fort Collins Police Services.



An early morning domestic dispute uncovers a marijuana growing operation and meth lab inside a Loogootee home.

Indiana State Police and Loogootee Police were called to the 300 block of Bloomfield Road in Loogootee shortly after midnight for a couple fighting.
Officers later received information that the homeowner, Edward McLoskey, was growing marijuana in his basement.
Investigators obtained a search warrant and searched the home Saturday morning. They say they found 30 marijuana plants growing in the basement.
They say they also a meth lab, precursurs to make meth and other drug paraphernalia scattered throughout the house.
McLokey was arrested on a long list of drug related charges.

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — One man from Rochester and nine from Owatonna are among eleven indicted Friday by a grand jury in a major methamphetamine crackdown in southeastern Minnesota. It caps a two-year investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies of what was called the Ortega drug trafficking organization.

U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the grand jury indictments. Authorities accuse the eleven of conspiring to distribute meth in Minnesota from January, 2012 through September of this year.  Two of the men, Daniel Segura Jr. and Sage Ollerman, are being charged with distributing about 26 pounds of meth.   Seven others are being charged with distributing more than 500 grams of meth.

The Rochester Police Narcotics Unit and Street Crimes Unit, Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, the South Central Drug Investigation Unit, the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force and the Owatonna Police Department were among a dozen law enforcement units said to have played a role in the multi-agency investigation, a collaboration led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Other SE Minnesota agencies involved included the Olmsted, Steele and Goodhue Sheriff’s offices, and the Prairie Island and Red Wing police departments.  The Olmsted and Steele County Attorney’s offices were also active in the investigation, and even the IRS had a hand in it.

Those indicted:


Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Fresno, Calif.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 3 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 5 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession of Methamphetamine and Cocaine, 1 count



Rochester, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count






More than 400 Kansas children died in 2012, the most recent report from the state’s child death review board shows.

The Kansas State Child Death Review Board’s annual report, released last week by Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office, shows 418 children died in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s one less than in 2011. The report covers deaths of children from birth to age 17.

Eighty-nine of the children were Sedgwick County residents.

Thirteen of the children who died statewide in 2012 were victims of homicide, including Jayla Haag, an 18-month-old from El Dorado who died, an affidavit says, after longtime abuse. Her mother, Alyssa Haag, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter/reckless in her daughter’s death and is in prison. Her mother’s boyfriend at the time faces a charge of first-degree murder in the girl’s death.

The number of homicides among children in 2012 was the lowest since 2005, the report says.

“Every death of a child is a tragedy,” said Theresa Freed, communications director for the Kansas Department for Children and Families. “Until there are no preventable child deaths, we as a community still have work to do.”

There were five homicides in Sedgwick County, the report says. Two occurred in Wyandotte County and one each in Chase, Ford, Gove, Saline and Shawnee counties. One occurred out of state.

It’s hard to say what’s responsible for the statewide decline in homicides, said Diana Schunn, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.

But increased awareness after eight child homicides in Wichita in 2008 – including the formation of the Wichita Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention – and educational campaigns such as “The Period of Purple Crying,” might be making a difference, she said.

Schunn obviously would like to see no homicides.

“Any time there’s a child death related to any kind of trauma it’s too many,” she said. “It’s a good sign that the numbers went down in 2012.”

Of the 13 homicides, 46 percent of the victims were under age 4, and 42 percent were 15 to 17 years old. Child abuse was to blame for all of the deaths under age 4, with crying the suspected trigger in 40 percent of those cases, the report says.

Of the six children who died from child abuse, four were killed by the mother’s boyfriend who was left alone to care for the child, the report said.

Seventy-five percent of the perpetrators, the report says, had a prior criminal history, and drugs played a role in half of the cases. Children living in environments where drugs are present “are at increased risk of abuse, neglect or death,” the report says.

Methamphetamine played a big role in Jayla Haag’s life and death, investigators say.

Alyssa Haag told the investigator that her boyfriend and others smoked methamphetamine around her daughter. Jayla tested positive for the drug when she was born and when she died.

Her boyfriend, Justin Edwards, struck the girl and repeatedly choked her, Alyssa Haag told an investigator, according to an affidavit filed in Butler County District Court.

The majority of the 418 children who died in 2012 – 256 – died of natural causes such as prematurity, congenital conditions and disease.

Unintentional deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes, drowning or fire totaled 81. More than half – 48 – were motor vehicle fatalities, which marked a 45 percent increase from 2011.

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, was responsible for 25 deaths. An unsafe sleeping environment was a factor in 98 percent of the cases, and 60 percent of the children were sleeping with adults and/or other children at the time of their deaths. The majority, 84 percent, were less than 4 months old.

There also were 19 suicides involving children. The vast majority of children who died from suicide – 84 percent – were male.

The manner of death for 24 child fatalities was undetermined.

The lowest number of child deaths since the board was created in 1992 occurred in 1995, when there were 404. Ten years ago, there were 498 child deaths, and there were 514 five years ago.




FAYETTEVILLE — A woman faces drug-related charges after hiding methamphetamine in her belly button and a man faces felony charges after fleeing from police during a traffic stop.49531856_FN-GUNS-&-METH-SANDERS-10-5_t300

Derrick Scott, 31, of 112 Virginia St. in Springdale was arrested Saturday in connection with felony possession of a firearm by a certain person, theft of property, fleeing and failure to pay child support.

Misty Sanders, 37, of 1146 W. Cato Springs Road was arrested Saturday in connection with felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police pulled Scott’s vehicle over as he left Fast-Trax on the corner of 15th Street and School Avenue for a light on his vehicle being out, according to arrest reports.

Scott opened the vehicle door and fled behind a nearby building and then back toward the vehicle where police arrested him, according to the reports. When asked why he ran, he told police he had a warrant for his arrest for not paying child support.

Police said Sanders tried to hide a bag with one-fourth of a gram of methamphetamine in her belly button. Sanders told police she had methamphetamine, two hypodermic syringes and a spoon in the vehicle, according to the reports.

Police dogs were used to search the area where Scott fled. A 9mm handgun, ammunition, a magazine and a holster were found, according to police.

Scott told police he stole the gun earlier in the night from a friend and he ditched the gun because he isn’t allowed to have firearms.

Scott was being held Saturday in the Washington County Detention Center in lieu of a $7,000 bond, and Sanders was being held in lieu of a $2,500 bond.



16008595-smallAn Oregon State Police traffic stop Friday afternoon along U.S. 97 north of Madras led to the arrest of a California man after a trooper found approximately 20 pounds of liquid methamphetamine concealed in a rental car.

The state police Drug Enforcement Section is continuing the investigation, according to information provided by the Oregon State Police.

At approximately 3:57 p.m. Friday, a senior trooper stopped a rented 2013 Hyundai Elantra displaying California license plates for a speed violation in a construction zone on U.S. 97 near Northeast Elm Lane in Jefferson County. During the traffic stop the driver was identified as Silvestra Rivera Fernandez, 25, from South Gate, Calif.

Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led the trooper to discover three  vacuum sealed bags concealed in the vehicle with a substance that was determined to be liquid methamphetamine. Total weight of the liquid  was approximately 20 pounds, which can later be converted to a solid form of methamphetamine. Estimated value is pending confirmation.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and lodged in the Jefferson County jail for unlawful possession and delivery of a controlled substance.

State troopers from the Madras and Bend offices were assisted by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s drug enforcement section.




HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Eight people were booked into the Madison County Jail in connection to three separate methamphetamine manufacturing busts made between Thursday afternoon and early Friday. STAC and Madison police officials say meth is an ongoing problem in the area that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

STAC officials responded to complaints about meth activity at a home in the 3600 block of 7th Avenue in Huntsville on Thursday afternoon. Investigators said they found a meth lab as well as a quantity of finished product. Both people inside, 31-year-old Jackie Allen Gibbs and 37-year-old Jennifer Reinnia Shurley, were charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance. Both also showed charges of probation violation.


The next bust was an unexpected one that occurred within Madison city limits shortly before midnight. Madison Police Department spokesman Capt. John Stringer said patrol officers pulled a vehicle over for a routine traffic violation and, upon talking with the two people in the vehicle, learned there was marijuana inside. More investigators responded and said they also found the precursors of a meth lab.

Ronald Anderson, 50, and Staci Rene Bentley, 38, were each charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


STAC and Huntsville police responded to a third bust just a few hours later at Kings Inn at 11245 South Memorial Parkway. STAC investigators said observation and interviews with people at the motel led them to a room containing a meth lab plus finished meth. Skye Randall Davis, 28, Ashley Dawn Griffin, 29, Monica Lea Madaris, 46, and Crystal Nicole Peppers, 31, were all charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance. Madaris was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.



Officials said Kings Inn has had several instances with meth labs in the past, as have many areas in the county and cities’ limits. They described this as an ongoing problem with more frequent occurrences. STAC agents said many of the suspects listed above have been in jail on meth-related charges before.

“People get just as addicted to cooking meth as they do to taking it,” said Stringer.

This was the area’s second multi-bust in just over a week. STAC agents said they responded to three other back-to-back meth busts last Thursday. They said in Huntsville they found meth labs at Shelby Motel at 2209 North Memorial Parkway and in a vehicle outside a home in the 100 block of Empire Lane. They also found a lab in a home in the 200 block of Hunter Road in Hazel Green. Agents said the mother and father arrested at that one were cooking meth a few feet away from a sleeping child.

Stringer said meth is as much a local problem as it is a nationwide one. He until people “lose that desire” the manufacturing will persist. has reached out to treatment facilities to find out more about options available for meth addiction.

STAC officials explained the requirements for a first-degree charge of manufacturing of a controlled substance. The offense must fulfill two of the following requirement: manufacturing within 500 feet of a residence, having finished product present, having a child on the premises, the presence of a booby trap or having a firearm there.