Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Cottage Grove woman who told authorities it was “probably dope” inside a syringe cap in her purse is charged with felony drug possession.

Prosecutors charged Alexis Jade Hammond, 37, with fifth-degree methamphetamine possession after a sheriff’s deputy made contact with her at a Lake Elmo treatment facility in October 2014.

As Hammond was booked into the Washington County jail for outstanding warrants, authorities found a needle and two syringe caps that contained methamphetamine. Hammond admitted it was “probably dope,” according to the criminal complaint.

Hammond has an initial appearance in Washington County District Court on April 29.

SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) — Santa Cruz County and federal officials on Friday arrested a suspected large-scale distributor of heroin and methamphetamine in Santa Cruz after he had a child exit his vehicle and attempted to drive away from authorities, county officials said.sccsuspect04-20-15

The Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team Narcotics task force, along with the team’s Gang task force and agents of the Department of Homeland Security made the arrest after a months-long investigation into alleged heroin sales by Hilario “Cholo” Garcia, 41, of Santa Cruz, task force officers said.

At 3:30 p.m. Friday, officers executed a search warrant at Garcia’s last known residence in the 300 block of Ocean Street and upon seeing them, the suspect had an 8-year-old child get out of a vehicle and he tried to drive away at a high rate of speed, officers said.

During his attempted escape, Garcia almost crashed into a peace officer, then drove over a curb and threw containers of heroin out of the vehicle before officers stopped him a short distance away, task force officials said.

Officers recovered additional quantities of packaged heroin inside Garcia’s vehicle, they said.

When he was arrested, Garcia attempted to use an alias, Jose Luis Negrete Avalos, but when he was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail and fingerprinted, officers discovered his true identity, task force officials said.

Inside the residence on Ocean Street, task force officers located weighing scales, empty packaging that appeared to have contained a kilogram of heroin inside it and around 6.5 ounces of heroin packaged for sale, officers said.scccontraband04-20-15

Authorities executed a second search warrant at Garcia’s other residence, where his wife and infant child also resided, and seized more than $27,000 cash, they said.

Working well into the evening, officers located another vehicle belonging to Garcia that was parked several blocks from the Ocean Street residence and inside found about 6 pounds of heroin and nearly 3 pounds of methamphetamine that together had a street value of more than $300,000, officers said.

Garcia was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment, assault on a peace officer, felony evasion from a peace officer, possession of heroin for sales and possession of methamphetamine for sales, task force officers said.

Many of the investigators remarked that it was the largest local seizure of heroin in recent memory, they said.

The Gwinnett County fugitive who had been on the lam since fleeing a burning meth house that killed three young children four years ago has been apprehended, the sheriff’s office said Tuesday afternoon.2015045536c2dc5707f

Ivan Gonzalez was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail after being extradited from Mexico, sheriff’s office spokesperson Deputy Shannon Volkoday said in a news alert.

Gonzelez was wanted on charges stemming from a February 2011 house fire near Lilburn, where 21-month-old Stacy Brito, 3-year-old Jose Ivan Guevara and 4-year-old Isaac Guevara perished. Police said the house in the Spring Mill subdivision — which has since been demolished — burned after an explosion and resulting fire that was caused by a meth-making operation.

Gonzalez, who fled the scene before rescue crews arrived, faces three counts of murder, three counts of first-degree arson/endangering human life, and single counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in marijuana and possession of meth.

He was one of three adults in the suspected meth house at the time of the fire. The other two, mother Neibi Brito and Joseph Perez, have already accepted plea deals and were sentenced to 50 years in prison.2015045536c2dcdd453

The incident left an indelible mark on the community members, who found some closure when they watched the house get bulldozed to the ground a year later. Now, the once tragic scene is only a grass-covered empty lot at the entrance to the subdivision off Five Forks Trickum Road.

“Ivan Gonzalez came to this country illegally where he manufactured and distributed drugs, caused the death of three innocent young children and stained the neighborhood where he burned a house down,” Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway said in a statement. “Then, like the cockroach that he is, he fled back to his home country to avoid prosecution for the crimes that he committed here. I am glad to welcome him back to America, where I hope he spends the rest of his natural life behind bars.”

The arrest was the product of a joint effort between the sheriff’s office and the U.S. Marshals Office. More from the news alert:

Through the course of their investigation, investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office developed leads that Ivan Gonzalez had fled to the Apatzingan, Michoacan area in Mexico, his native country. Working with the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, investigators obtained a Provisional Arrest Warrant through the Department of Justice.

In September 2014, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office deputies received notification from the U.S. Marshals Service Mexico Foreign Field Office that Ivan Gonzalez had been taken into custody by Mexican authorities in the city of Uruapan, Michoacan.

“Today’s arrest was a direct result of the cooperation between state, local and federal law enforcement agencies,” U.S. Marshals Task Force Commander Keith Booker said. “We can’t change what happened, but we can make sure that those responsible are held accountable.”

At the time of the fire, police investigators found more than $192,000 in U.S. currency, 4,555 grams of liquid methamphetamine and about a pound of finished methamphetamine. Police estimated that four pounds of meth were burned in the fire.

Mountain Home Police Department released information Tuesday on two separate drug investigations made at one Mountain Home residence on 304 Foster Street. Within the span of two weeks, local authorities have arrested several people in connection to the two searches made at the house — one on April 9 and another on Monday.635652110031830932-Conner

In both instances, one Mountain Home woman was arrested on charges related to multiple drug violations.

Rebecca Sarah Conner, 34, is being held in the Baxter County jail on a $100,000 bond for two counts of possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver and two felony charges for possession of drug paraphernalia.635652386958657747-Taylor

The arrest comes after investigators continued to receive information about the use and trafficking of drugs at 304 Foster Street, according to Mountain Home Police Chief Carry Manuel. Along with Conner, three other individuals were arrested Monday.

Ramona Lynn Taylor, 46, of Flippin, and Kevin Hutson, 34, of Melbourne, both were charged with possession with purpose to deliver methamphetamine, use or possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia to distribute and possession of controlled substances with the purpose to deliver near certain facilities. Taylor and Hutson remain in the Baxter County jail with their bonds set at $25,000.635652387724934659-hutson

William Brandon Hall, 25, of Mountain Home, was charged with possession with the purpose to deliver methamphetamine, use or possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia to distribute and outstanding warrants from Mountain Home and Gassville. Hall also remains in the county jail with bond set at $25,000.

According to MHPD, Conner was first arrested on April 9 with two other people after officers obtained a search warrant for her residence on Foster Street.

According to an affidavit filed April 13 with Baxter County Circuit Court, officers with MHPD, Arkansas State Police, 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Arkansas Department of Community Correction and Baxter County Sheriff’s Office first served a search warrant at 304 Foster Street on April 9. Officers found “a false ‘Arizona Green Tea’ ” can that contained approximately 10 grams of crystalline substance in multiple baggies.635652388630832466-hall

Another container officers found in a closet contained 2.9 grams of a white powder substance. They also found “digital scales and baggies, typically used for distribution of narcotics, used syringes and glass smoking pipes and drug paraphernalia.”

In the affidavit, officers reported that a bedroom used by Conner’s son was “littered” with paraphernalia and also contained two shotguns and a loaded pistol. A closet in the bedroom also had one marijuana plant growing, a high power grow light, plus an exhaust system into the attic and into the crawlspace, among other items.

The crystalline substance was field tested for meth, while the powder substance was tested for cocaine — both tested positive.635652111001845150-Dryden

Conner at that point was arrested and booked on multiple felony charges: possession of meth with purpose to deliver, possession of cocaine with purpose to deliver, manufacture of a controlled substance-marijuana, use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia to distribute meth and cocaine, use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, possession of meth and cocaine with purpose to deliver near certain facilities, and first degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

Conner was arrested on a $25,000 bond for the April 9 incident and released after posting bond. Officers also arrested at the Foster Street home John Thomas Dryden, 46, of Mountain Home, who remains in the county jail on a $25,000 bond, and a 16-year-old male from Mountain Home.

During the initial April 9 bust, Dryden was charged with parole violation, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of meth or cocaine with purpose to deliver, possession of a controlled substance and first degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

The 16-year-old male was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to MHPD.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WJCL) — Nearly 50 people have been arrested or are currently wanted following a lengthy investigation conducted by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT).



In October 2013, CNT, in a partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration Savannah, began investigating multiple people believed to be involved in the sale of crystal methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or ice, throughout Chatham County.slide5

Undercover CNT agents quickly identified various members of the organization and began making purchases of crystal meth from the members.  CNT continued making purchases through February 2015 to include purchases in Chatham, Henry, DeKalb and Newton Counties.

As the investigation furthered, CNT identified additional members including those connected to the dangerous prison and street gang, Ghost Face Gangsters, also known as GFG.

The Ghost Face Gangsters is an affiliate of the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang and crime syndicate in the United States.

It is believed to have more than 3,000 active members throughout the southeastern states.  The Ghost Face Gangsters are heavily involved in drug trafficking and most are career felons.slide6

During the course of CNT’s investigation, agents identified Christopher Henry, a high ranking member of GFG, as the top tier of the organization.  Throughout the investigation, Henry was in custody in Wilcox State Prison in Georgia where he regularly communicated with his wife, Regina Henry, also a member of GFG.

Regina Henry, who lived in Henry County during the investigation, regularly supplied large quantities of crystal meth that was then transported to Chatham County and distributed.

In January of 2015, CNT along with members of the Henry County, DeKalb County and Newton County sheriff’s office and DEA, executed search warrants at three residences.

During the search warrants, crystal meth, firearms and items commonly associated with the distribution of controlled substances were seized.slide9

No arrests were made by CNT at the time of the search warrants.

In early March 2015, CNT with the assistance of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) executed a search warrant of a residence located in unincorporated Chatham County.

There, agents seized nearly one pound of crystal meth.  One person was arrested and a newer model Chevrolet Camaro was seized.

Days later, CNT with assistance from CCSO, CCSO K-9, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department (SCMPD), SCMPD SWAT, Garden City Police Department and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office executed two search warrants in Garden City – one at a residence and one business – and one at a residence in Effingham County.slide10

Multiple people were arrested following the seizure of crystal meth, firearms and items commonly associated with the distribution of controlled substances.

Guadalupe “Pito” Villafranco, one of the main distributors in Chatham County, was arrested at a hotel in Beaufort, S.C. after attempting to flee from CNT. CNT arrested Villafranco with the assistance of the Hardeeville Police Department and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

On April 15, a total of 48 people were indicted by the Grand Jury of the Superior Court of Chatham County.  As outlined in the indictment, all people were involved with the distribution of crystal meth.

All people indicted were charged with attempt and conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, trafficking methamphetamine, sale of a controlled substance (Methamphetamine), possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and hindering apprehension.


Of the 48 people indicted, 32 had prior felony convictions and 29 had prior arrests in Chatham County.

During the course of the operation, nearly one kilogram of crystal meth was seized.  The seized meth has an estimated street value of up to $100,000.  Agents also seized 38 firearms, most from convicted felons, and nearly $24,000 in U.S. currency.


“This operation is a great example of how CNT protects the citizens of Chatham County and how CNT has the ability to see an investigation from beginning to end, even going beyond the borders of Chatham County,” CNT Director Everette Ragan said. “CNT conducts long-term investigations for the purpose of identifying both the organization as a whole and its source of supply.  By doing so, we are able to effectively shut down the entire operation.”

This is an ongoing investigation and additional arrests are expected.

The West Australian Opposition wants the Government to axe an advertising campaign and instead direct the money to stopping the spread of methamphetamine use.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan said the Bigger Picture campaign, which provides information about major government initiatives and projects, had cost taxpayers more than $8.5 million over the past five years.

“That is a waste of money. It is political advertising designed to re-elect the Barnett Liberal-National government,” Mr McGowan said.

“That is inappropriate. It is wrong and it shouldn’t be happening and many of the ads are of little value to the public of Western Australia.”

He said that money would be better spent on advertisements designed to educate families and young people about the dangers of methamphetamine.

Mr McGowan said the problem with methamphetamines was out of control and more needed to be done.

“It’s clear that just prosecuting people is not working. It’s clear that criminal sanctions are not working. What we need is to do more to affect the demand for methamphetamines,” he said.

Labor wants the government to use money saved from abandoning the Bigger Picture campaign to fund a series of advertisements modeled on an award-winning program run in the US state of Montana.

The video advertisements realistically depict the violence, chaos and conflict associated with methamphetamine use, as a stark warning to families and young people.

Mr McGowan said Montana had ranked at number five among US states for methamphetamine use.

After the campaign, it dropped to 39th, he said.

With WA’s methamphetamine use at double the national average, Mr McGowan said a similar approach could work in the state.

“The Government should transfer the millions of dollars it’s spending on the Bigger Picture campaign into a massive methamphetamine education and advertising campaign,” he said.

He was backed by fellow Labor MP Mick Murray, whose daughter has battled methamphetamine addiction for years.

“It’s a tough drug to get off of and once you’re there, it’s probably too late,” he said.

“What I’m saying is let’s help the people who aren’t on it make a very, very sound decision by not ever, ever using it.”

Criticism of campaign rejected

In Parliament, the Premier Colin Barnett rejected the idea.

He said state and territory leaders had already committed to a coordinated national campaign when they met in Canberra for the Council of Australian Governments.

“Western Australia, like every other state and territory, will be contributing to that campaign. Didn’t you even read the newspapers?” he said.

Figures provided by the Government show it has spent just over $1.6 million in the past five years on its amphetamine awareness campaigns.

Mr Barnett also rejected Labor’s criticism of the Bigger Picture campaign.

He said the campaign had cost $8.6 million over five years, using money consolidated from advertising revenue previously used by a range of departments and agencies.

“Money that was probably being spent fairly inefficiently has been redirected into the Bigger Picture campaign,” he said.

Those agencies included WA Police, the departments of Education, Health and Regional Development, and the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.

Mr Barnett criticized the previous Labor government for advertising spending, which he said totaled $36.6 million, compared to his government’s total advertising spend in 2013-14 of just under $19 million.

Mr Barnett also rejected Labor’s claim the Bigger Picture advertisements amounted to political advertising.

He said the auditor-general had reviewed the program and concluded they were not political.

“The auditor-general’s report of June 2014, and I’ll just quote, ‘the auditor-general found all campaigns’, i.e. referring to the Bigger Picture, ‘all campaigns complied with strict advertising guidelines to educate and reform’. No campaign was political,” he said.

The auditor-general’s report examined the compliance of government-funded advertising programs with policy guidelines.

It concluded: “Campaigns generally complied with the policy, with some minor exceptions.”

The auditor-general scrutinized a Bigger Picture campaign that finished in June 2013, and focused on major infrastructure projects and their impact on traffic and access to the city.

But the report made no specific finding relating to the Bigger Picture program.

The ABC was unable to identify the passage quoted by the Premier in Parliament as the reported finding “no campaign was political”.

The Premier’s office subsequently advised Mr Barnett was reading from notes.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Three Mexican brothers and two other people on Thursday lost their final appeals against death sentences for drug trafficking in Malaysia, their lawyer said.

The Mexicans are from Sinaloa state, the cradle of their country’s drug trade, but have no criminal record at home. They were arrested at a secluded drug-making factory in Malaysia in 2008, and claimed they had been cleaning the place, not making drugs.e3fd2aa6314a7812740f6a7067007dbb_r620x349

Their lawyer Kitson Foong said a five-man bench in the Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest court, unanimously rejected their appeal. The defense has argued that the evidence was tampered with, but the judges said that they were satisfied the men were guilty, Foong said.

The brothers — Jose Regino Gonzales, 37, Simon, 40, and Luis Alfonso, 47 — were sentenced to death in 2012. The other two were Singaporean Lim Hung Wang and Malaysian Lee Boon Siah.

Foong said the brothers may seek a judicial review of the court’s decision. Drug trafficking carries a mandatory death by hanging in Malaysia.

The lower courts had previously rejected the defense’s contention that some evidence discrepancies amounted to tampering after a chemist testified that seven items he received for analysis looked different from what he had seen at the drug factory.

The prosecution denied there was any manipulation and said that traces of drug chemicals were found on the men’s clothes and stains on their underwear.

At the factory where the men were arrested, police found more than 29 kilograms (63 pounds) of methamphetamine worth 44 million ringgit ($12 million).

The men are the first Mexicans arrested in Malaysia on drug trafficking charges. They worked making and selling bricks in Mexico, and their family said they left for a job opportunity abroad. Relatives and neighbors insist there was no sign they were involved in the drug trade.

Malaysia’s government says it has hanged more than 440 people in the past 50 years, many of them for drug crimes, while some 900 are on death row.

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC  —  Kershaw County deputies seized two and a half kilos (five and a half pounds) of crystal methamphetamine following a traffic stop on I-20 near Camden last Friday.

Officers stopped a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck on I-20 near Camden on April 17, according to Sheriff Jim Matthews. The vehicle was occupied by two Hispanic men whose identify have not been verified.

During the traffic stop, a K9 officer was called to the scene, and the K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, Matthews said.

A roadside search of the truck revealed no narcotics, Matthews said. Narcotics officers obtained a search warrant for the truck, which was taken to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office where a more thorough search was conducted.

Deputies located a hidden compartment in the vehicle, which contained approximately two and a half kilograms (five and a half pounds) of crystal methamphetamine, Matthews said.

“Due to the fact that no drugs were located during the roadside search, the two individuals were released at the scene of the stop. The investigation into the source of this methamphetamine is ongoing,” Matthews said.

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Hong Kong Customs seized about 309 grams of suspected methamphetamine at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point yesterday (April 21) and arrested a 25-year-old man. The market value of the drug was about $130,000.

Customs officers intercepted an incoming passenger at Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point yesterday afternoon and found the drugs wrapped in tinfoil bags in a paper box concealed inside a plastic bag carried by the arrested man. Upon searching the man’s residence, 1.81g of suspected methamphetamine and 1g of suspected ketamine were further seized.

The arrested man, claiming to be a transport worker, was charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug.

He will appear at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday (April 23).

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, drug trafficking is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.

SAFFORD — The Gila Valley’s drug problem is apparently so pervasive that it extends into the very institution drug suspects are sent to await resolution to criminal allegations.

On April 4, seven of the 15 inmates held in Housing Unit One tested positive for methamphetamine. Two of the inmates refused to be tested and the other six had negative results, according to a jail incident report.5536f1c46b2d5_image

The inmates had been in the jail for an extended period at the time of the testing and are alleged to have used the drug while incarcerated. They were identified as David Pannell, Cameron Honchar, Richard Gross, Rickey Chacon, Jimmy Flowers, Richard Hernandez and Franklin Nielson.

Inmates Britain Peters and Jacques Negrette refused to be tested. All of the inmates who tested positive or refused to take the test were removed from the dormitory-style housing unit and placed in two-person cells on lockdown except for Pannell, who was sent to Greenlee County Jail for his own safety, according to the incident report. Lockdown inmates are isolated and have limited time out of their cells, between one to three hours per day, according to Jail Commander Tim Graver.

Detention officers were informed by two inmates on two separate occasions the same day that there was methamphetamine in the housing unit and several inmates were on the drug. Graver told the Courier he believed an inmate on work release likely brought the methamphetamine back into the jail with him, but Graver declined to elaborate on the inmate because the case was still under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office. He did say that utilizing inmates on work release to bring contraband into the jail is a common occurrence. He added that every jail he’s ever worked at and every jail in the state deals with the same issues regarding drugs being smuggled inside the walls.

“Every jail in the state (has) meth in it, absolutely,” Graver said. “That’s not an unusual occurrence. I’ve worked (for) five different counties and one private prison, and they’ve all had dope in them. You just keep it to a marginal level.”

Graver said drugs make their way into the jail, but officers do their best to locate and deal with the contraband after it is inside.

“I can’t do a rectal search without a court order — I have to have probable cause — and that’s when they bring it in,” he said. “So there’s just no way to combat it except catch it once it gets in there.”

After the testing was complete, detention officers saved the urine that tested positive and turned the samples and all other information over to the Sheriff’s Office investigators. Undersheriff Jeff McCormies said charges could be forthcoming if the investigation proves fruitful.

“Obviously, you can’t bring that stuff into our facility,” he said. “So if we knew the answer to (how it got there) we would probably be dealing with it, and, hopefully, somebody would be in jail along with them or (have) additional charges.”

Graver said issues such as this case are sometimes simply handled in-house with a change of classification, but if there was enough evidence to make it worth the county attorney’s time, charges could be pressed for simply testing positive for using the drug. Inmates who have a history of bringing in contraband face likely classification on lockdown for their entire stay at the facility, according to Graver.

JACKSON TWP. – Township police and Stark Metro Narcotics Unit officer raided a township motel where they found materials used to make meth.CJISRebecca A. Stump

They arrested Akron residents Jason D. Eiseman, 30, and Rebecca A. Stump, 21, Stark County Jail records said.

The officers went to Room 131 at the Motel 6, 6880 Sunset Strip Ave. NW just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, seizing Coleman fuel, pseudoephedrine-based tablets and lithium batteries which are typically used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, the jail records said.Jason D. Eise2

Eiseman and Stump were both jailed, each charged with assembly or possession of chemicals to manufacture illegal drugs.

Summit County court records show Eiseman went to prison last year for aggravated drug possession and in 2008, 2009 and 2011 for aggravated drug possession and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals used to make meth.

Court records also show a warrant was issued March 26 for Stump’s arrest on a felony drug trafficking charge. No hearing has taken place.

Eisman and Stump remained jailed early Wednesday. Eiseman was held in lieu of $100,000 bond and Stump was held without bond pending hearings in Alliance Municipal Court.

LYNDEN — A Whatcom County man has pleaded guilty to three counts of child molestation, after his first trial verdict was overturned and the second ended in mistrial.

Raymond Rosarro Abitia, 51, of Wiser Lake Road, knew the girl and started sexually abusing her when she was younger than 14.

Then in April 2011, she was at a birthday party in Mount Vernon when the host went upstairs and opened up a bedroom door to find Abitia breathing hard, sweating and shaking, while the girl sat on the edge of the mattress with one leg out of her pants. According to the victim, Abitia had given her methamphetamine and started to have sex with her, but he told her to get dressed when he heard someone approach. The incident was reported to police.

Eventually the girl told detectives there had been other instances of sexual abuse, for example once in Abitia’s home and another time at an abandoned house in Birch Bay.

The case first went to trial in 2012. A jury found Abitia guilty of child rape in the second degree and delivery of a controlled substance, meth, to a minor. Judge Ira Uhrig sentenced him to a minimum of 11 years and four months in prison, and up to life behind bars.

However, the state Court of Appeals overturned the verdict when it found statements made by an expert witness for the prosecution, Joan Gaasland-Smith, tainted the fairness of Abitia’s trial. Two general statements she made about sex offenders — “Oftentimes people who do this kind of thing don’t tell the truth,” and, “It’s most common to find out that a lot more happened than the child ever told” — struck the higher court’s judges as prejudicial.

The case returned to Whatcom County Superior Court for a second trial in October 2014. Judge Charles Snyder warned the deputy prosecutor, Eric Richey, that the party host could testify about what she saw, such as the girl in a state of undress, but she could not say what she suspected had been going on. That is, rape.

Some of the prosecutor’s questions skirted and, at one point, crossed the line of being admissible, and Deputy Public Defender Leanne Stogsdill made three requests for a mistrial in the first five hours of witness testimony. Snyder allowed the trial to go on until the prosecutor asked the party host about a conversation shortly after she’d walked in on Abitia and the girl.

Richey asked, “Go ahead, what did you say?”

“I said I think Ray was raping her,” the host replied.

That afternoon Snyder declared a mistrial.

“I take full responsibility for that,” Richey said last week.

At both trials the victim took the witness stand.

Abitia pleaded guilty in Judge Uhrig’s courtroom last week to three counts of child molestation in the second degree. A meth delivery charged was dropped in the plea bargain. Uhrig approved the deal, ordering the defendant to spend six years and five months behind bars. He has served about four years already.

Court records show Abitia, who worked as a painter, has a long rap sheet: possession of stolen property, exhibiting a weapon with intent to intimidate, unlawful possession of a firearm, malicious mischief in the third degree, driving under the influence, negligent driving, hit and run, violating a no-contact order, two counts of domestic violence assault in the fourth degree, possessing marijuana while in jail, disorderly conduct, several petty thefts and more than a dozen probation violations in the two years leading up to his incarceration.

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A Utah woman who pleaded guilty to killing six of her newborn babies and hiding their bodies in her garage was sentenced to up to life in prison Monday in a case that drew national attention and sent shockwaves through her quiet community.

Judge Darold McDade handed down the term for Megan Huntsman, who told police she was too addicted to methamphetamine to care for more children.Megan Huntsman

Huntsman, 40, pleaded guilty to six counts of murder in February. She said in court papers she wanted to take responsibility in the deaths.

The judge gave her the maximum sentence – at least 30 years and up to life in prison. A parole board will decide her release date later.

The sentence brings closure to a case that shocked residents of Pleasant Grove, the mostly Mormon community where Huntsman stored her babies’ tiny bodies for more than a decade. Pleasant Grove is about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City and has a population of 35,000.

Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, found the bodies in the garage in April 2014. A seventh baby found there was stillborn.

Authorities say West was the newborns’ father. The couple has three other children together.

Police say Huntsman gave birth to the babies over 10 years, from 1996 to 2006, and strangled or suffocated each child immediately after birth.

She wrapped their bodies in cloth, put them in plastic bags and packed them in boxes. She left them behind when she moved out of the house.

West found the bodies shortly after he finished an eight-year federal prison stint on meth charges. He lived with Huntsman during the decade when the babies were killed, but police have said they aren’t investigating him in the deaths. West has not spoken publicly about the case.

It remains unclear how Huntsman concealed the pregnancies, births and murders from family members and friends.

She agreed to plead guilty rather than go to trial under an agreement that reduced her minimum possible sentence to five years but left fewer options for appeal.

A parole board will make the final decision on how much time Huntsman spends in prison. Prosecutors say she is likely to spend the rest of her life behind bars.

MORE than six months after The Northern Star revealed ice, ketamine, cannabis and other drugs were being sold and traded locally through online personals networks, the practice continues.

Posts on a popular US-based site, which usually refer to drugs by street names such ‘sweet puff’ (ice), also offer drugs in exchange for sex.

We decided not to name the site in our August, 2014 report, but a recent article published by News Limited outed Craigslist.

Meanwhile, Northern Rivers’ police have continued to deal with an influx of ice (crystal methamphetamine) in northern NSW and its accompanying social damage.

One example of the drug deals occurring on the site was an advertisement for ice posted on April 11, with Tallai listed as the location.

“Hey I got the sweet (LEgGZz) movin fast,” it began.

“Hey got wat u needing :) sweet (LEGGZZ) movin fast any size u wanting can delever if not to fat so if u wanting get at me can go from there :).”

Another post from April 10, which listed Lismore as the location, demonstrated how sex has been traded for drugs.

“Puff & play in Lismore. My shout,” it read.

“In Lismore for a look around. Any cool sexy chicks wanna smoke some rock, hang out & pleasure each other all arvo?? I’m new to this area. Will need a hook up. I’ve got the cash. Let’s play…”

Detective Acting Inspector Bernadette Ingram, Richmond Local Area Command’s crime manager, was unable to reveal whether police had made any recent arrests in relation to online drug dealing.

However, she warned those responsible that police would be monitoring the situation.

“You never know when someone’s going to tap you on the shoulder and tell you its time to face up, you’ve done wrong,” she said.

Det Act Insp Ingram said local police often worked with relevant Federal and State authorities to combat online crime.

ONEIDA — Manufacturing of methamphetamine caused two camping trailers and a home to be destroyed by fire in the Town of Boonville.

On April 19th, Troopers from the Remsen Barracks were dispatched to a report of a suspicious fire at 8102 North Pfendler Road.untitled(7)

Investigation at the scene revealed that a residence and two camping trailers had been totally destroyed in the fire.  The residence was occupied by three adults and a 15-year-old child at the time of the fire.

No one was injured in the fire.

It was determined after an investigation that the fire was caused due to the unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine, which was occurring in the camper.

31-year-old Timothy Mooney was identified as the person who had been living in the camper.

Mooney was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal possession of marijuana.

MINEOLA, N.Y. – (AP) — A former Long Island college dean has admitted to taking meth before his pickup truck slammed into a disabled car two years ago, killing two men.

Newsday reports that 52-year-old Robert Beodeker pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of drugs.

Police say 76-year-old John Elder and 65-year-old Edward Ross were tending to a disabled car when Beodeker’s GMC pickup truck struck and killed them in 2013.

District Attorney Madeline Singas says the men found themselves in the path of a driver “impaired by crystal methamphetamine.”

Beodeker was an associate dean at Suffolk County Community College. He was suspended after the crash and resigned last year.

His attorney says he wanted closure for the families. Beodeker faces four to 12 years in prison.

SOLOMON — A Salina woman was arrested in Solomon on April 14 on numerous drug crimes.

According to a news release from the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office, Melanie Jo Smith, 29, was arrested after a Dickinson County drug enforcement agent witnessed an alleged methamphetamine sale in the 300 block of East Fourth Street in Solomon.

Officers searched the vehicle Smith was in and found cash, digital scales, baggies of marijuana and more than 5 grams of meth packaged for sale.

Smith was arrested on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of meth with intent to sell, possession of meth, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor possession of meth, possession of marijuana, unlawful use of a telecommunications device, receiving drug proceeds and three counts of failure to obtain a Kansas drug tax stamp.

She is being held in the Dickinson County Jail. More arrests are possible, according to the news release.

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – Willoughby Police said a driver is lucky that her car didn’t explode after she loaded the trunk with the makings of a meth lab.

Kristi Reis, 34, was arrested after police said they discovered the mobile meth lab in her trunk.

A Willoughby police officer patrolling early Sunday morning spotted a drug deal taking place in a parking lot of a motel, police reported. That officer followed one of the drivers onto Route 2. Police said the officer activated his lights and sirens but the driver would not pull over.

Police describe the chase as slow speed. According to police, when Reis finally stopped, she admitted to buying heroin and her driver’s license had been suspended.

When police searched the car, they found all the parts needed to make a mobile meth lab, said to Det. Lt. John Schultz. “It’s extremely dangerous,” said Schultz.

“The driver, she is lucky that nothing happened to the chemicals while she was driving and there wasn’t an explosion in her vehicle,” added Schultz.

The other person who was involved in the drug deal, police said, is 19-year-old Ralonte Brown. Both Brown and Reis made their first court appearance on Monday.

According to police, more charges will be filed against Reis in connection with the mobile meth lab.

Law enforcement agencies have long wondered why methamphetamine, which ravaged so many American communities from the 1990s until the mid-2000s, didn’t take hold in New York City.

Because the New York City metropolitan area is the largest illegal drug market in the country, and because demand has been so high elsewhere in the U.S., the city’s law enforcement for decades “has always been anticipating a meth outbreak,” explains James Hunt, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division.

“We’ve just never seen it take off to the same degree,” Hunt tells Newsweek.dgdgdfgdg

Heroin, cocaine and marijuana remain the mainstays of the city’s illicit drug economy, while meth has stayed on the fringes of the club scene.

When there have been arrests for distribution of meth, they have mainly peaked at one or several pounds, and often occur in the city’s West Village neighborhood, officials say. Moreover, the rate at which meth has flowed into the city has been more of a trickle than a steady stream, given that it’s historically arrived in small quantities through the mail or occasionally via individuals traveling from the West Coast on airplanes.

So it was notable that authorities earlier this month collared near the Holland Tunnel a driver who, they allege, had 25 kilos of meth in his trunk. Officials believe the meth to be of Mexican origin, they tell Newsweek. Of course, one big bust does not a trend make, let alone serve as evidence of a potential drug “epidemic.”

It’s worth pointing out, though, that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) meth seizures in New York have surged since fiscal year 2012. The DEA seized six kilos that year, but the total shot up to 44, 55 and 66 kilos in fiscal 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. And high-quantity busts, once scant, have picked up in this same period.

As in the rest of the U.S., New York’s meth now mostly hails from Mexican cartels, and the confiscated product isn’t like the trailer-based crank of yore. These cartels’ super-lab production model (yes, like in Breaking Bad) turns out meth that’s incredibly pure: in the mid- to high 90 percent range. Meanwhile clandestine, or “clan,” labs in upstate New York produce meth that’s 60 percent to 75 percent pure.

The Mexican cartels traffic the powerful stimulant on the same routes they use to transport heroin and cocaine from Central and South America into the U.S., with tractor-trailers and individual vehicles traversing official border crossings. Mexican cartels started gaining ground in the U.S. market in the mid-2000s. One factor contributing to the cartels’ rise was a U.S. law limiting access to pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient of meth.

In addition, law enforcement agencies intensified their crackdown on mom-and-pop operations, further contributing to this shift away from domestic production. Many cartels are involved, but the Sinaloa cartel, widely considered to be one of the most violent drug organizations, dominates the trade.

“They’re basically flooding the market,” Hunt says. “They’re sending more meth here, probably more than the market demands right now, but they’re trying to create a market.” He adds, “They want a big addict population.” Bridget Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, tells Newsweek that seizures of Mexican-distributed heroin have overtaken those of Colombian-distributed heroin. This shift has also been visible in the meth trade here: Authorities recently started seeing Mexican meth alongside heroin in local drug takedowns, she says.

“It would lead you to believe that the Mexican cartel is diversifying its product line and trying to cultivate a new user group,” Brennan says, explaining that the target customers include not only New Yorkers but also other Northeasterners who could see greater access to the drug due to their proximity to the transportation hub.

One might wonder whether this is a good business move for the Mexican cartels, considering that recreational drug users in New York City have historically been underwhelmed by the product.

A glut of meth in the drug marketplace, coupled with wan demand, could result in a lot of very cheap product on the street. Hunt notes that such market conditions could allow potential users to try it without taking much of a financial hit, with some perhaps even being enticed by free samples. If they develop an appetite for meth or an addiction, and if the user base grows due to these financial incentives, the cartels could get a hefty return on investment. Because it’s so cheap to make, failure to establish a market here wouldn’t be too harmful to their bottom line.

However, there are some very important caveats in this drug economy scenario. Because the drug market is illegal, there isn’t much data about supply or demand. In other words, nobody knows for sure how many drugs are out there, how many people do them or to what extent.

Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer in economics at Harvard and senior fellow at the Cato Institute, tells Newsweek the lack of data largely stems from problems in reporting. Population-wide estimates based on self-reporting might skew low due to cultural taboos, or high if a drug attracts a lot of media attention. Emergency room visits and overdose deaths also don’t paint a perfectly accurate picture, given that this information is also dependent on the accuracy of those who report it.

Miron says one should be very careful in calling alleged upswings in drug use “epidemics,” arguing that the overall use of these substances remains relatively static in a population.

“I certainly don’t mean to say that there’s no fluctuation in drug use—just as with any other good, there can be certainly be fluctuations in use,” he says. “But over time, there doesn’t seem to be radical variations.”

Javier Osorio, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says law enforcement efforts also have an impact on reporting, and thus the perceived breadth of the drug market.

“The number of drugs seized or confiscated depends on two things: the flow of drugs and how stringent are security procedures,” he says.

The war on drugs, Osorio says, can be compared to fishing. Intensifying the anti-drug efforts is akin to casting a wider net, so it would stand to reason that officials take more drugs into custody.

“That does not necessarily mean more drugs are floating,” he says. “It doesn’t mean there are more fish under the water.”

Officials also posit that New Yorkers might be too snooty for meth, which would undermine growth in the user base.

“When we’ve talked to people who are involved in rehab treatment and all that, or users of other drugs, there is a stigma attached to meth use among New Yorkers,” Brennan says. Many city dwellers think that it’s for “people in the trailers or out in hillbilly country or whatever” and that they’re “too sophisticated” for meth, she says, paraphrasing their comments.  “They don’t view it as a ‘New York’ drug,” she adds.

And Brennan is just fine with that haughtiness—or “wisdom,” as she puts it—if it keeps meth from developing a cachet.

“That’s OK with me,” she says. “Whatever works.”

TAURANGA, New Zealand (AP) — AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd pleaded guilty in a New Zealand court Tuesday to a charge of threatening to kill a man who used to work for him. He also pleaded guilty to possessing methamphetamine and marijuana.17ec9ef4de284511740f6a7067000f5e_r620x349

Rudd faces up to seven years in prison on the threatening to kill charge, although his lawyer Craig Tuck said the prosecution case boils down to an angry phone call, and he is seeking a remedy that would involve no legal consequences for Rudd.

Rudd acknowledged in a court summary of facts that he’d offered large amounts of cash, vehicles and a house to an associate after asking him to have the victim “taken out” and that he’d also directly said to the victim he was going to kill him.

The 60-year-old drummer was released on bail pending a June sentencing hearing.

Rudd arrived at the Tauranga court house in a sports car wearing sunglasses and a red tie, and didn’t say anything during his brief appearance other than to enter his guilty pleas.

It’s unclear whether Rudd has a future with the Australian rock band he’s been part of on-and-off for almost four decades. The band intends to use Welsh drummer Chris Slade for its upcoming “Rock or Bust” album tour but hasn’t said if that’s a long-term arrangement.

By agreeing with prosecutors to enter the guilty pleas, Rudd avoided the need for a trial which was due to begin Tuesday. Prosecutors agreed to drop a second charge of threatening to kill. Earlier, citing a lack of evidence, prosecutors had dropped a murder-for-hire charge.

According to the court summary, the dispute began in August on the night that Rudd released his solo album, “Head Job.”

Rudd threw a party at his marina restaurant, Phil’s Place, to celebrate the launch. He was the toast of the town that night, and even the mayor of Tauranga attended. But as the night progressed, Rudd became concerned that security wasn’t tight enough.

“The defendant was angry that the album launch did not go well,” the court summary said. “As a result he sacked a number of people from his employment and professional team. This included, among other people, the victim who he was particularly angry with.”

About four weeks later, Rudd called an associate, who was on vacation in Australia. Rudd told the man he wanted the victim “taken out,” according to the court summary. When asked to clarify, Rudd said he wanted the victim “taken care of.”

In another call, according to the court summary, Rudd offered the associate “$200,000, a motorbike, one of his cars or a house,” which the associate took to mean as payment “for carrying out his earlier request.”

Two hundred thousand New Zealand dollars is equivalent to about $153,000 U.S. dollars.

The morning after calling his associate, Rudd called the victim directly, saying “I’m going to come over and kill you,” according to the court summary. He tried to call the victim again a couple of times after that but the man didn’t pick up.

“As a result of threats made by the defendant, the victim was genuinely very fearful of his safety,” the summary of facts stated.

Rudd’s defense appeared to be making the argument that only Rudd’s call to the victim remained relevant because prosecutors had dropped the murder-for-hire charge.

“What we can see now was that this matter was just essentially an angry phone call,” Tuck said after the hearing. “They turned up at his home, nine police officers, a dog, media …”

The summary also outlines the Nov. 6 search of Rudd’s home when police found the drugs. When police arrived, Rudd was wearing jeans but no shirt, according to the summary.

“While being spoken to by the police, the defendant reached out to move a container containing cannabis crumbs from the coffee table and place it on the floor out of sight,” the summary says.

Police found methamphetamine in Rudd’s jeans pocket and in his bedroom and marijuana in several places, according to the court summary. In all, police found 0.48 grams (0.02 ounces) of methamphetamine and 91 grams (3.2 ounces) of marijuana, according to the summary.

Tuck said he would be seeking a discharge without conviction in the case.

New Zealand law gives a judge the discretion not to enter a conviction even in cases where a defendant has pleaded guilty. A judge can do this if he or she thinks the consequences of a conviction outweigh the seriousness of the crime, a move which can allow a defendant to keep a clean record.

The judge in the case, Robert Wolff, said he would not enter a conviction against Rudd before hearing Tuck’s arguments.

Tuck took over the case after Rudd dropped his previous attorney, Paul Mabey.

Tuck said the case had done enormous damage to Rudd’s reputation and he was looking into legal remedies for that.







KINGMAN — A Superior Court judge ruled Friday to continue to hold a Bullhead City man without bond for allegedly raping a 21-year-old woman.

Geoffrey Eugene Burbank, 42, is charged with felony sexual assault and failure to comply with sex offender registration requirements in one case and possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia in another case. He is being held in custody on a $20,000 bond for the drug charges.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Jacob Cote called Bullhead City Police Detective Charles English to the stand to testify that on March 13 the victim said she drank about a half-dozen beers and several shots of whiskey before passing out.

The victim told police she woke up to find a naked Burbank on top of her on the floor in her room with his hands to her throat, which caused bruising to her neck. She said she was not romantically involved with the defendant.

English also said the home’s owner, who had earlier helped the intoxicated victim to her bed, later heard a noise and went to check on her. She found Burbank on top of the victim having sex with her. The suspect gathered his belongings and left the house on a bike.

Cote argued to hold Burbank without bond, saying that there was no consent because the victim had passed out from being heavily intoxicated.

Burbank’s attorney, Eric Beiningen, asked the detective if the witness was in the room at the time of the alleged rape. He also said the bruise on the victim’s neck could be described as a hickey. The defense attorney claimed that his client had consensual sex with the victim and that the victim initiated the contact by kissing him.

Superior Court Judge Steven Conn ruled to continue to hold the defendant without bond since the evidence could be used to suggest that the defendant committed a crime.

Burbank’s next hearing is set for today.

Bullhead City police officers responded to a Bullhead City hospital March 13 about a report of a possible rape. Burbank reportedly lived at the residence for about a month before the incident. Officers located and arrested him March 16. Burbank was allegedly in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at the time of his arrest, leading to the charges for the separate second case.

A 47-year-old man is on trial accused of strangling a drug dealer and then dumping her in a pond in a cemetery in Baldivis, south of Perth, four years ago.

Alan McIntosh has pleaded not guilty to murdering Diana Matthews, 46, whose body was found at the Rockingham Memorial Park in April 2011.

It is alleged he and a woman formed a plan to rob Ms Matthews of drugs and cash she was carrying, and he used a piece of wire to strangle her as she was driven to a park.2707346-3x2-340x227

Prosecutor Alan Troy said it was the state’s case Ms Matthews was rendered unconscious but she was still alive when her body was placed in the pond.

Mr Troy said a post-mortem examination also found a “very high” concentration of methamphetamine in Ms Matthews’ body and it was “possible” it played a role in her death, although he said that was a matter that had to be determined by the jury.

The court heard Ms Matthews was a methamphetamine dealer and Mr Troy urged the jury members to put aside any prejudices it may have about the use of illicit substances.

“You may have strong views on the use or sale of illicit drugs … and the harm it causes … but this is not a case about the lawfulness of drug use,” he said.

“The fact Ms Matthews was a fairly prolific drug dealer does not in any way justify or excuse her death.”

Charged after conversation secretly recorded

The court was told McIntosh and the woman were flagged as suspects early in the police investigation, but were not charged until 2013.

Mr Troy said that was a result of a conversation secretly recorded by the woman, in which it was alleged they discussed Ms Matthews’ death.2707358-3x2-340x227

The recording will be played to the jury but Mr Troy said it included McIntosh saying “I did nothing” but later saying “it was only meant to scare her”.

He was also alleged to have said “you did society a favor. The only good drug dealer is a dead drug dealer”.

Mr Troy said there was no forensic evidence linking McIntosh to Ms Matthews death and her clothing had been burnt at the mortuary because an order was not made to keep it.

The jury was told one of the key witnesses will be the woman who was with McIntosh.

“Her credibility is very much at issue in this trial,” Mr Troy said.

OXFORD — An Oxford woman faces a multitude of charges after allegedly selling methamphetamine to a police informant.Theresa M. Vance

According to Johnson County Sheriff’s Office criminal complaints, Theresa M. Vance, 57, met with a “confidential source” on Oct. 24 in Coralville and sold the source an eighth-ounce of meth for $310. Police said Vance also sold meth to an informant Jan. 13 and March 10. In each instance, Vance communicated with the informant via cellphone about the drug deal, police said.

Authorities served a warrant at Vance’s residence March 18 and found 14 grams of meth, 2.6 ounces of marijuana, packaging material, a digital scale and other drug paraphernalia. Vance allegedly admitted that she sold meth.

Vance has been arrested and faces three counts of controlled substance violation, Iowa drug tax stamp violation and keeping a drug house.










A 29-year-old Salina woman remained behind bars Monday in Dickinson County after she was busted last week in connection with selling methamphetamine in the town of Solomon.

According to Dickinson County sheriff’s officials, drug enforcement agents on April 14 observed Melanie Jo Smith selling methamphetamine in the 300 block of E. 4th Street in Solomon, a town of 1,100 people located 11 miles west of Abilene.

A search was conducted and Dickinson County sheriff drug enforcement found U.S. currency, digital scales, baggies, marijuana and more than 5 grams of methamphetamine that was packaged for sale and distribution.

Smith was booked into the Dickinson County Jail in connection with multiple offenses, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, possession of meth with intent to sell, possession of marijuana, unlawful use of a telecommunications device and failure to obtain a Kansas drug stamp.

Methamphetamine is a drug that has been around for decades. Meth is also stronger and longer lasting than cocaine. Meth is very addictive.

This drug is used by people of all ages and races, in all parts of the country. A growing number of meth users are young.

There are many slang names for methamphetamine. The most common are meth, crystal meth, Tina, ice, and glass. Methamphetamine is smoked, injected, snorted, swallowed, or put into the anus or vagina.

Results from use of Meth are: more alert, greater movement, decreased hunger, faster breathing, rapid heart rate, uneven heart-beat, higher blood pressure and body temperature.

Long time methamphetamine use does many harmful things to the body. Some are: great weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), and skin sores caused by scratching. It makes changes in the brain and can cause loss of memory, movement and learning. The ingredients are also very flammable, and have dangerous fumes. Meth is cheap to make but costly to clean up. The cost to clean up one Meth lab can be more than $4,000.

Take a timeout to talk to your kids about Meth.

If you know someone using or making meth, call the Meth Hotline at 1-800-742-9333. Learn more at: or