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This magic carpet ride landed behind bars.


Jon Farrald, 22, was found semi-unconscious in the  by Seaside Police officers responding to a report of a man who had possibly overdosed on drugs.

On arrival, police spotted a spoon of heroin and hypodermic needle next to Farrald, who was treated at the scene and his belongings were searched.

Among the discoveries were a loaded .357 Magnum-style revolver, a stolen Glock 9MM, an ounce of black tar heroin and a half-ounce of crystal methamphetamine.

According to a statement from the Seaside Police, Farrald was currently out on bail for similar charges. He was arrested and later booked at the Monterey County Jail.





SALT LAKE CITY – A man is recovering after his SUV collided with a truck hauling a taco stand.

Officials said the man in the SUV ignored a stop sign and hit the taco truck near 600 S. and 900 W. at about 12:30 a.m.

Police said the SUV was driving about 30 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

Officers said the impact forced open the SUV driver’s door and because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, he was thrown from the car.

He was rushed to the hospital in serious condition but has since been upgraded and is improving.

The driver and passenger in the taco truck only had minor injuries however the taco stand was badly damaged.

Police said they found meth in the SUV and said the driver will be charged for drug possession.

Officers said that driver may also face DUI charges.



BARTLESVILLE, OklahomaA Washington County man is in jail after he took methamphetamine stashed in his sock and ate it during a traffic stop, an arrest report says.


Wesley Mon’tray Randolph, 26, was pulled over for speeding on Washington Boulevard in Bartlesville on Wednesday about 1 a.m.

A Bartlesville police officer said Randolph was driving with a suspended driver’s license, so he put him in handcuffs and placed him inside a patrol vehicle while he took inventory of Randolph’s vehicle.

As the officer was searching the vehicle for evidence, a camera in the patrol car caught Randolph pulling something from his sock and attempting to stick in down the back of his pants, the report says. After a few moments of struggling, police said, Randolph put the bag up to his mouth.

Another officer reviewed the footage and read Randolph his Miranda rights, the report says.

Randolph then reportedly admitted to the officers he had a small baggie of meth in his sock initially, tried to hide it in his rectum, and after he was unable to maneuver with handcuffs on, he ate the meth instead.

During inventory of Randolph’s vehicle, officers said they found a pipe with residue that field-tested positive for meth.





BARTLESVILLE — A 26-year-old Bartlesville man who reportedly swallowed a bag of drugs after attempting to hide it in his rectum has been jailed with a $20,000 bond set in his case.

Wesley Mon’tray Randolph was charged this week in Washington County District Court with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding and driving with a suspended license. He returns to court Sept. 19.

Bartlesville police pulled over a vehicle Randolph was driving at 12:20 a.m. Wednesday for speeding, a court affidavit stated.

Randolph told police he had just gotten out of jail a few days before for driving with a suspended license, so officers handcuffed him and had him wait in a patrol car while they searched his vehicle, the affidavit stated.

A video camera in the patrol car recorded Randolph removing a baggie of methamphetamine from his sock and attempting to stick it up his rectum, the affidavit stated.

Randolph then appears to pull the baggie of drugs out of his pants, stick it his mouth and eat it, the affidavit stated.

After reviewing the video, officers questioned Randolph about what he had been doing and he admitted sticking the drugs in his pants, then pulling them out and eating them, the affidavit stated.

Special Judge John Gerkin entered a not guilty plea for Randolph on the charges, set bond at $20,000 and ordered him not to drive a motor vehicle.




In his time as supervisor of the Terrebonne Parish Narcotics Task Force, Maj. Darryl Stewart says he’s responded to dozens of reports of methamphetamine labs.

And at one of those labs where this increasingly popular drug was being made, he said he experienced one of the most frightening moments of his career.

and police personnel Aug. 8 in Galliano

“We responded to a meth lab a couple of years ago and when we were cleaning up the lab there was a flashover. The chemicals ignited. It was the first time we’ve ever experienced that. It was the most dangerous one we’ve ever responded to,” he said.

Another time deputies got ill from strong chemical vapors when they responded to a lab where meth was being manufactured, or cooked, at the time, Stewart said.

The dangers exist because area meth labs are not the sophisticated operations with beakers and tubing that are often depicted on television, said Sgt. Adam Dufrene of the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force.

“’Breaking Bad’ is a great show. That’s highly accurate in some of the ways they showed things. But in this area, the meth labs we see are one-pot meth labs. You can put everything in a backpack and ride around in your car and cook it. We’ve come across some people that had access to beakers and industrial chemicals, but the average meth cook here cooks in a Gatorade bottle,” he said.

These types of labs known as “shake-and-bake labs” require little more from manufacturers than a plastic 2-liter bottle, plastic tubing and a constant supply of battery acid, drain cleaner and over-the-counter medications, said Justin Leonard, Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force agent.

Because of their size, these labs can be found almost anywhere, Dufrene said.

“Pretty much every lab we’ve come across has poor conditions. We’ve found them in small sheds, abandoned boats, trailers, houses, you name it. These are usually in very deteriorating conditions where people would not expect to look. Inside you’ll find household chemicals, tubing, it doesn’t have to be complex, it just depends on what the cook has access to,” he said.

The hardest part in manufacturing meth in this manner is acquiring the necessary supplies, including pseudoephedrine, an active ingredient in over-the-counter congestion medications such as Sudafed that have state-mandated purchasing restrictions.

In Louisiana all products containing pseudoephedrine are required to be kept in a locked cabinet behind the counter in stores. Additionally residents have to present a valid ID when buying the medication and are limited to purchasing no more than 3.6 grams in a day or more than 9 grams in a 30-day period. All sales of the medication are logged by pharmacies, the records for which are kept for two years.

These laws require meth cooks to have a network of people willing to purchase the ingredients for them, Dufrene said. They’re usually paid in cash or in meth from the cook.

“A box of medication with pseudoephedrine will have about 2.6 grams of actual active ingredients. The rest is just binders and starches. On average you need two or three people buying medicines for you so that you can get 5 grams of medication,” he said.

Once the ingredients and necessary supplies are in place, all a manufacturer needs to know is how to proceed with the cooking, Leonard said. Instructions are readily available online but are often passed down from local manufacturer to manufacturer.

“Sometimes a recipe you find online, you don’t know if you can trust that recipe. But if your friend Justin shows you how to cook, he must know what he’s doing because he hasn’t caught himself on fire, so you just follow his recipe,” Dufrene said.

Because of the volatile nature of the chemicals and the often dubious methods of production and recipes, these shake-and-bake labs can turn dangerous quickly, Leonard said.

“Most of the meth cooks we come across aren’t your college graduates with Ph.D’s. Some of them have dropped out of middle school. They’re not scientists, and if you don’t show the proper care to these things they can explode on you. Ultimately it’s a fireball in your house if it decides to blow,” he said.

It takes drug task force agents anywhere from six to eight hours to properly dismantle and clean a lab, Leonard said.

So far this year, Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force agents have responded to 10 meth labs. In Terrebonne, Narcotics Task Force agents have responded to seven labs.

The number of meth labs found in the area is up slightly from 2013, but down from the peak period of around 2011, agents said.

Police say they believe the number of area meth labs will continue to rise as demand for the drug increases.

Meth is blowing up, along with heroin. It’s one of the up-and-coming drugs that we’re seeing a lot more of lately. Cocaine can only keep you high for 15 minutes, but the feeling of euphoria from meth can last you six to eight hours,” Leonard said.


The damage done by drug abuse and drug-related crime is enormous, and continues to radiate across American communities. Heroin deaths have recently captured national headlines. Another drug with devastating impact is methamphetamine. We need to think about ending the meth crisis now, because thanks to DEA, Congress, and the advance of science, we are getting closer to being able to do that. There are no panaceas, but we need to take the next step toward reducing the proliferation of meth labs.

Meth is produced by thousands of so-called “mom and pop” labs across the United States, and it is having a devastating influence on this country. It is affecting public safety every day from Missouri to Massachusetts, Georgia to California. These labs bring young lives to a sudden, tragic end, and leave others with extreme brain damage. The secondary effects can be horrific, from spewing toxins into the community and causing houses to blow up to funding gangs, destroying families and spiking violent crime.  In short, small-time meth production is now a major national quandary.

Understanding how we got to this point, and how we get out of it, is now the responsibility of Congress and the DEA. While in Congress, I focused on the drug issue – and did so in a bipartisan way. One outgrowth of that focus was formation of the Bipartisan Drug Policy Working Group, which I co-chaired with Congressman Charles Rangel, and which was eventually taken over by Speaker Dennis Hastert.  About a decade ago, after I had served in Congress, the sitting president and Congress tried to address the meth issue with a new law. That law was intended to help curb use of pseudoephedrine by these small meth producers. The goal was laudable, but our means were limited. At that time, there were no scientific technologies available for making pseudoephedrine tamper resistant and extremely difficult to use for meth making. Congress and that administration took the next best approach: they imposed limiting quantities and requiring people sign for pseudoephedrine products when buying them.

For a time, this approach worked. But then the statute floundered. The small time, one-pot meth producers have – in the past decade – learned ways to circumvent the laws by having multiple people with multiple fake identifications purchase the amounts of pseudoephedrine needed to fuel their meth labs. This is commonly called “smurfing,” and it has exploded. The problem has been that we had, until now, no scientifically reliable way to prevent the production of meth via pseudoephedrine. We were stuck.

We are no longer stuck. It is time that we catch up with these small-volume producers and shut them down. In 2014, we can – but DEA needs to know this is a congressional imperative. Science has now caught up with the problem. We have options now. The options vary, but science is now able to render pseudoephedrine products impractical for street producers of meth, and we can put today’s meth cooks out of business. As a nation, this should now represent an urgent, bipartisan priority. We have been bipartisan before, and we need to be again.

Recently I have seen public statements by those who have, as I have, pushed to make this issue a priority. I observe that former U.S. House Speaker Hastert, who led much of the anti-drug legislation in his era, has pressed our national leaders in both parties to take the meth problem more seriously.  I agree with him, and with those of both parties, trying to do so. Meth abuse reportedly costs the American people more than 20 billion dollars a year. That is the dollar cost. But think about the personal costs, in lost lives, broken families, violence and fear of violence. A meth-resistant form of the leading precursor used to make this illegal narcotic, to the extent that it exists, should now be our priority.

We cannot afford to keep tricking ourselves into thinking we are winning against meth with current policies — we are not. If there is a way to make pseudoephedrine or any other legal medical substance available while reducing the risk that meth producers will use it for making meth, we should be pursuing it. If Congress can reaffirm that DEA has authority to do that, we will all be better for the effort.  If DEA can press science into the field, we will now save lives we could not before.

In my years of supporting law enforcement while in Congress, we seldom saw genuine game-changing innovations. We saw drug-related tragedies in every state. Meth and other illegal drugs were the source of many of these tragedies. Over the past ten years, tens of thousands of young Americans have been damaged by meth. Meth-related murders and other homicides have topped 4,000. So, the question is this:  If we can prevent such tragedies by harnessing science and helping law enforcement — why not do so?  In short, if we can end today’s small volume meth lab crisis with meth-resistant precursors, let’s do it.

William Zeliff is a former Member of Congress, former co-chairman of the U.S. House Bipartisan Drug Policy Working Group, and shared responsibility for framing much of the law enforcement support legislation that emerged during his tenure.  





GOBLES, MI — A Van Buren County man is facing methamphetamine and domestic violence charges after his alleged victim was found during a traffic stop.

Van Buren County Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Calhoun conducted a traffic stop at about 9 p.m. on Sunday and noticed the female driver had bruising on her face and legs, according to a news release. Calhoun determined that the woman was a victim of domestic violence, the release said.

Police then went to the home of the suspect, a 46-year-old Pine Grove Township man. When officers arrived at the home in the 24000 block of 2nd Avenue, they questioned the suspect.

The man was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and admitted to having an active one-pot meth lab in his home, along with marijuana, police say.

After obtaining a search warrant, police found the drugs inside the home. The suspect was then jailed in Van Buren County on charges of domestic violence and possession of methamphetamine. The incident remains under investigation, and more charges may follow, police say.



Someone left a plastic bag of what seemed to be methamphetamine in the women’s restroom at a local gas station.

Staff at the Town Pump at 2305 Continental Drive called police Thursday morning to report a small bag filled with a white, crystal-like substance. Authorities are not sure how the suspected drugs ended up on the bathroom floor.


A Coplay woman and three men face drug charges in federal court after agents raided a Berks County motel Thursday and found nearly five pounds of methamphetamine.

Paige Baldwin of Coplay, Shane Savitsky of Pottsville, Moises Cruz and Andrew Auger, both of Marietta, Ga., appeared Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry S. Perkin in Allentown and were jailed until formal hearings next week.

They are each charged with possession with intent to distribute about four pounds of methamphetamine, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gallagher said.

According to court documents, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents obtained a warrant to track Baldwin’s cell phone and followed its signal to a Microtel Inn near Route 61 and Interstate 78. Agents located vehicles that were being used in suspected drug trafficking in the motel’s parking lot.

After stopping several people, including Auger, as they left the motel, and learning that more people and drugs were inside two rooms in the motel, federal agents obtained a search warrant. They found a safe in one of the rooms containing a bag with about 4.7 pounds of meth, according to an affidavit.

One of the people agents stopped leaving the motel rooms said that Baldwin and Auger had obtained the meth from Cruz and that they transported it from Georgia to Pennsylvania where they planned to distribute it, the affidavit says.

Baldwin also agreed to speak to agents and identified Cruz, who is from Mexico, as the person in charge of the drugs, the affidavit says. Baldwin admitted making two trips to the Pottsville area with small amounts of meth and renting one of the cars used to transport the drugs.

Savitsky also made a statement in which he admitted arranging a meeting between another man and Cruz to sell a half-pound of meth.



WINTER HAVEN | Undercover detectives arrested a doctor Thursday who they say wrote prescriptions for friends out of his home, sometimes in exchange for methamphetamine.

Gregory Gooden, 61, of 400 El Camino Drive, No. 207 in Winter Haven, is facing five counts of obtaining a controlled substance via a scheme and five counts of conspiracy to traffic in hydrocodone, both felonies, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

After his arrest, Gooden, who specialized in cardiology, told deputies he is no longer practicing medical care. He has been licensed in Florida since August 1987, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies started investigating Gooden in June after receiving information from 33-year-old Dennis Holt, the Sheriff’s Office said. Holt told deputies the doctor wrote him five prescriptions for hydrocodone between January and June in exchange for either methamphetamine or money.

Holt said Gooden never gave him any type of medical exam nor was he ever one of the doctor’s patients. Their relationship was strictly to trade prescription drugs for methamphetamine, an arrest report states.

Holt said he first met Gooden at a hotel in Winter Haven and has seen the doctor write prescriptions from his home. Holt also said he has seen Gooden use methamphetamine, the report states.

In August, deputies learned of a second person who said she received prescriptions from Gooden that were written from inside his home.

Michelle Gilbertsen, 33, was arrested Aug. 6 on charges of motor vehicle theft after Gooden reported his car stolen, the report states. While investigating the incident, Gooden told deputies he is friends with Gilbertsen and he has written her prescriptions, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies then talked with Gilbertsen, who said she met Gooden through mutual friends and did not have medical insurance at the time, so she went to Gooden for medication.

Gilbertsen first met with Gooden at his home, where she said he took her blood pressure and checked her heart. He then prescribed her alprazolam and Gilbertsen paid him $70, the report states.

Gilbertsen told deputies that she met with Gooden several more times, but she never paid him again. They became friends and would smoke “weed” and drink alcohol, the report states.

Gooden was booked into the Polk County Jail on Thursday and is being held until his first court appearance.

A Benham couple is facing multiple drug charges following their arrest on Thursday.

Tonya G. HillTravis White

Travis White, 31, and both of Benham, were arrested by Benham City Police Officer Ryan Shepherd following a traffic stop.

“After I stopped the vehicle, I walked up and the operator was Travis White,” said Shepherd. “Everyone in the vehicle was acting really nervous.”

Shepherd said White agreed to a sobriety test.

“He presented more than four indicators when the HGN test was performed,” said Shepherd. “He had indicators including slurred speech and instability … he did give me consent to search his vehicle.”

Shepherd said he found a pack that included two syringes and various amounts of suspected narcotics.

“He had what is believed to be Sudafed inside the vehicle,” said Shepherd. “He also had in a hidden compartment just under the center console two full boxes of prescribed Sudafed.”

According to Shepherd, a large amount of materials that can be used in the production of methamphetamine were also located.

“We pretty much recovered everything you need to make a meth lab,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd said Hill was also under the influence.

“She had a purse sitting next to her … I asked her for consent to search her purse,” said Shepherd. “There was a ton of narcotics. Numerous syringes, pills, prescription medication that was not belonging to her. She also had a substance called Liquid Fire.”

“It’s one of the main ingredients to activate a meth lab,” said Shepherd.

Shepherd was assisted by Benham Police Chief Drew Woods, Cumberland Police Officers Mark Saylor and Cody Bargo, Lynch Police Officer John Brown and The Harlan City Police Department.

White was charged with no registration plates, no registration receipt, failure of non-owner operator to maintain required insurance, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, manufacturing methamphetamine, second-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a meth precursor and failure to register transfer of motor vehicle.

Hill was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, second-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and public intoxication by controlled substance (excludes alcohol).

White and Hill were lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.

The case is under investigation by Shepherd.



JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A man and a woman were arrested and charged with dealing meth from their home in St. Johns County Thursday.

1409947148000-methmugsThe two suspects, 25-year-old Daniel Lewis Kirkland Anderson and 22-year-old Dakoda Brooke Collins, were allegedly selling methamphetamine from a home in the 1000 block of Cherry Tree Road, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

Members of SWAT stormed a travel trailer found on the property and found an inactive meth lab, over 9.4 ounces of methamphetamine oil and drug paraphernalia, according to SJCSO.

An anonymous tip led to the arrests.

Both were charged with trafficking meth, maintaining a drug dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia. Anderson is being held on a $31,000 bond and Collins’s bond is $21,000.




Nogales, Arizona – A Mexican national is in custody following a drug seizure of methamphetamine at the Port of Nogales on September 1.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing referred Ana Luisa Salazar-Ortega, 41, of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, for additional inspection of her Pontiac Sport Utility Vehicle.

A routine inspection of the vehicle led to the discovery of 30 packages hidden in the rear quarter panels. The packages contained more than 33 pounds of methamphetamine worth an estimated $100,000.

Officers seized the vehicle and drugs, and referred Salazar to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.




TACOMA, Wash. — A 41-year-old woman was arrested Wednesday after starting a fire in a Tacoma courthouse restroom, according to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office. And, yes, there was meth involved.

The County-City Building was evacuated around 9 a.m. after a fire was set inside a trashcan in a second-floor restroom.

After the Tacoma Fire Department put out the fire, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies reviewed surveillance footage, which reportedly showed 41-year-old Charlotte Clark entering and exiting the restroom twice before walking into a nearby courtroom.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, deputies found Clark still hanging around the courtroom. She reportedly gave them a fake ID while failing to hide her meth from them.

Clark was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail for investigation of criminal impersonation, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and reckless burning.

“This was more than a prank,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a press release. “It was a major, expensive and dangerous disruption to courthouse business.”




SHERIDAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) — State Police say the man injured when his house exploded early Wednesday morning remains in the hospital with significant burns.1409775681000-Newaygo-Meth-House-Explosion---Jon-Mills

The explosion happened on 96th Street near the Newaygo-Muskegon County line, just as police were about to search the home. Officers had information that the man was making meth and were about to execute a search warrant just before the house exploded.

After the explosion the man was found on the ground, surrounded by debris.

Detectives are preparing an incident report to present to the county prosecutor for a decision on criminal charges. Police say making meth is dangerous for both the person manufacturing it and others living nearby.

There is a list of meth making warning signs available on the Michigan State Police website. Indicators include strong chemical odors, discarded cooking paraphernalia, empty aerosol cans of starting fluid, and empty bottles of cold medicine.




MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) –  The Tennessee Bomb and Arson Squad dealt with some big flames Thursday in McMinn County. 4659302_G

It was a controlled explosion at a landfill in McMinn County.  It’s part of an anti-meth commercial being shot by the State Bomb and Arson Squad and the Bingham Group.

Spectators were allowed to watch,  but were kept a good distance away from the flames. The county had seized the trailer months ago in a meth bust.



OCONEE COUNTY, S.C.Parents of an 8-year-old and a newborn are facing charges after deputies said the children tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

The children’s father, 40-year-old Christopher Warren Vissage, of Pickens Highway, and mother, 35-year-old Eva Karey Hudson, of Marvs Drive, turned themselves in to deputies Thursday morning.

The Department of Social Services notified the Sheriff’s Office on June 26 that the couple’s children had tested positive for methamphetamine.  The case was then turned over to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hudson and Vissage are both charged with unlawful neglect of a child in connection to the 8-year-old.  Hudson faces the same charge in connection to the newborn.

DSS has placed the children in protective custody.

Hudson and Vissage are being held in the Oconee County Detention Center with bond set at $20,000 each.



Sixteen people were arrested Thursday in Escondido and San Marcos in sweeps by the county’s multiagency Methamphetamine Strike Force.

It was the 16th time the task force has conducted “Operation Tip the Scale” since forming in 2009. The operations are intended to reduce drug-related crime and provide treatment options for offenders to get help and stay clean.

Like the two previous operations, this one targeted young adults ages 18 to 24 who often commit crimes to support a drug addiction, task force spokesman Jeff Stinchcomb said.

More than 50 law enforcement officers and drug-treatment professionals took part, including sheriff’s deputies, Escondido police, county probation officers and North County Transit District officers.

Drug counselors were available at the operation’s command post. Four probationers arrested were transported to local treatment programs.

The sweep included compliance checks for offenders on probation or parole, warrant searches and saturation patrols in areas known as hot spots for drug-related crime.

Many of the arrests were for drug-related parole violations, including possession of a controlled substance or being under the influence, Stinchcomb said. Three people were arrested for outstanding warrants.

One person was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs for sale after being found with baggies of methamphetamine and marijuana, methamphetamine pipes and cash.

In addition, deputies and social workers rescued eight children from residences “too risky to leave them in” because of drug activity or neglect, the spokesman said.

Officials have said methamphetamine use among people arrested in San Diego County is an increasing problem, with deaths related to use of the drug at a record high in the county.

Targeting young adults for intervention is important, Escondido police Chief Craig Carter said in a task force statement.

“We want to touch base with young people before they get in too deep, in terms of drugs and crime,” Carter said. “If we do it right, we might save them a lifetime of trouble.”

County residents can report meth-related crimes or get information about treatment options by calling the meth strike force hotline at (877)-NO-2-METH (877-662-6384) or online at

Life in Iran’s capital Tehran might seem stodgy — think angry ayatollahs, black chadors and mobs exhorting “Death to America.” That’s real, but so is the less visible side of Tehran: the illicit drugs, hipster fashion and outraged bloggers.


That side of the city is on display in City of Lies: Love, Sex, Death and the Search For Truth in Tehran, the latest book from Iranian author Ramita Navai.

Navai introduces us to a handful of unlikely Tehran residents. They’re composite characters, because sharing personal details with a reporter is still a very risky business in Tehran. “The regime does not want outsiders to see Iran in all its glory and all its color,” Navai says.

But they’re all based in fact, she insists. The book starts with the story of a man whom Navai calls Dariush, a man in his 20s who leaves a comfortable life in the US to join the underground opposition in Iran — for love.

He bungles his attempt to assassinate a local police chief, resulting in what Navai describes as “a comedy of errors.” We meet others, including Leyla, a beautiful working-class woman who falls into prostitution and meets her end in a hangman’s noose.

Navai says that flawed individuals leading these sorts of lives — neither good nor evil — are rarely seen in reporting about Iran. “It has social problems and the regime wants to hide some of the social problems,” she says.

But, true to Navai’s theme, even the regime has nuance. “The regime can also be quite liberal about some of its social problems,” she says. “So, for example, the regime has got quite liberal attitudes toward drug rehabilitation. There are crystal meth drug rehab centers, there are needle exchange centers, methadone centers. Condoms are given out to prostitutes.”

The complexities and contradictions of life in Iran forces many Tehran residents to lead double lives. They show public faces to please authorities and live private lives that are far different.

Navai argues that people who live in Tehran need to live a lie to survive. She describes meeting civil servants, for example, who pretended to pray in the office, despite their limited knowledge of the Koran.

But she also sees changes, in part due to Tehran’s growing youth culture. “They are striving to live a life that’s more true to themselves,” she says. “I think you can see this in a real sexual awakening that’s happening in Tehran that spans all social classes. Young people are kind of behaving in a freer way as regards to sex and as regards to relating to each other. And I think this will have a trickle-down effect.”

She admits that she lives the lie, as well: “You lie about going to parties, you lie about alcohol being consumed at parties, you have to lie about certain people you may hang out with.” But she’s hopeful the changing culture will change her need to lie: “I think this will mean — hopefully, maybe I’m being optimistic — but fewer lies.”

In a certain way, though, Navai sees the lies as “a very positive thing because [Iranians] are so obsessed with being true to themselves — you know, it’s really part of our culture, it’s in all our poetry, it’s in our literature — they are intent on living the lives that they want to live, even if that means they have to lie to do so.”




LANCASTER — Police in Lancaster and Chester counties have swept up three dozen alleged area drug dealers and methamphetamine producers and cookers after a yearlong undercover operation dubbed “Fantastic Shakers,” police announced Thursday.


Officers from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, Chester County Sheriff’s Office, and state drug agents cooperated to “put a huge dent” in the meth production and dealing trade that has plagued the area in recent years, said Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile.

Of the 37 indicted by the state grand jury Thursday as part of the drug ring, 36 have been arrested and jailed, police said.

Most of those indicted are Lancaster County residents while a handful of others reside in Chester, York and Kershaw counties.

The drug making and dealing of what is called “crank” or “meth” crossed county lines as many of those involved in the scheme to dominate the meth market locally would try to buy materials in neighboring counties to avoid law enforcement detection, police said.

Many of the 37 people from area counties were charged with felony trafficking of more than a half kilogram of meth that can carry sentences as long as 30 years in prison. Some of the indictments in the case allege the orchestrated plot has been going on for more than two years.

“I think this is a huge success for Lancaster and Chester counties,” Faile said. “Anytime you can get 30 people selling methamphetamine off the street, it will make a huge impact.”

The operation was dubbed “Fantastic Shakers” because meth is made partly by shaking up over-the-counter chemicals that when combined are sold on the black market as exotic stimulants that can have deadly side effects.

Charges range from possession to trafficking and include men and women ranging in age from early 20s to people in their 50s.

One of the people indicted is Nicole Edwards, 23, of Rock Hill. Edwards was one of five people arrested in May after Lancaster County drug agents found a methamphetamine lab in Lancaster near Starcliff Circle.

Methamphetamine distribution and production has been a growing problem in South Carolina over the past few years, said both Faile and Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood at a news conference Thursday announcing the arrests.

Arrests in drug crimes can lead to reduced numbers of burglaries, larcenies, and other crimes, Faile said.

Defendants from areas near Lancaster County’s borders – including seven from Chester County near the Catawba River – also face multiple felonies.

Underwood, the Chester County sheriff, vowed to “keep drugs off our streets” at the news conference and the partnership will continue among agencies to destroy the meth trade.

Most meth supplies can be bought legally, but the production, possession and use of the combined drug is illegal.

One group of people in the drug plot would buy supplies and others would cook the drugs in home labs, police said.

Some of those arrested would “jump from county to county” to try to keep a low profile from law enforcement, said Capt. Frank O’Neal of the State Law Enforcement Division. A second group would cook at a rotation of houses in Lancaster, Chester and neighboring counties, O’Neal said.

Some of the people charged are accused of crimes related to the improper and illegal disposal of the waste products from the labs.

The result was a potential child endangerment and environmental calamity, O’Neal said, as meth labs leave behind dangerous chemicals and are prone to explosions.

The methamphetamine dump sites left uncovered by the suspects “deplete our water, and the children (can be) exposed to these meth labs,” O’Neal said.

The scheme involved local production and distribution and is not believed to be connected to a larger meth distribution problem in the state with ties to the southwest and Mexico.

More than 1,700 methamphetamine labs have been found across the state since July 2011, including dozens in York County and a growing number in Chester and Lancaster counties, police said.





Over the last year the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office has investigated an increased number of methamphetamine complaints.

The Sheriff’s Office has arrested multiple people and charged them with methamphetamine possession, manufacturing, and unlawful disposal of the methamphetamine waste.

During those investigations it became apparent that many of the involved suspects were working and conspiring together to produce the methamphetamine.

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office contacted the State Attorney General’s Office about the case and began working with their office, the State Law Enforcement Division, Lancaster City Police Department, and the Chester County Sheriff’s Office to further those investigations.

During this investigation it was determined that the involved individuals did conspire and work together to purchase precursors, possess methamphetamine, manufacture methamphetamine, distribute methamphetamine, traffic methamphetamine, or dispose of methamphetamine waste.

The case was presented to the State Grand Jury.

Thirty people were indicted in Lancaster County and seven people were indicted in Chester County.

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force Team and Agents from the State Law Enforcement Division began serving the indictments on Sept. 3rd, 2014.

Those who have been arrested thus far were transported to the Lancaster County Detention Center and jailed where they are awaiting a bond hearing.


Frightening rates of young gay men are using methamphetamine and undertaking risky sexual behavior, according to a report released on Wednesday by the State Government which included over 50 recommendations on how the State should tackle the so-called ‘ice epidemic’.


The Victorian Methamphetamine Strategy report contained several recommendations with the LGBTI community in mind, including implementation of education and information programs and tailor-made training for frontline workers.

The report explored several studies that looked into the use of methamphetamine, commonly known as ice, in men who have sex with men (MSM).

The report also acknowledged that a lot of drug trade was happening online, and said there needed to be a focus to crack down on such trade.

Hook-up apps, such as Grindr and Scruff, are increasingly being used for the advertisement of methamphetamine use, and in some cases, even the trade of drugs including cannabis and methamphetamine.

The use of smoke emoticons and profile names with ‘pnp’ (‘puff and play’) and ‘w1r3d’ (wired, a colloquial term used when using drugs such as ice) are ways gay men are using the apps to find people to have explorative sex with under the influence.

Grindr is well aware of the problem, and told MCV they treat illegal activity and crime very seriously.

“Grindr is not to be used for any illegal purpose, or in violation of any local, state, national, or international law.

“We have a dedicated team monitoring for users who violate our Terms of Service and we do put them on probation or ban them permanently – depending on the situation.”

The representative from Grindr also told MCV they encourage users to report cases of abuse to ensure the safety of our community.

A main concern arising out of the report was the amount of young gay men using methamphetamine, which studies have found is a vehicle for greater sexual risk taking.

“[We] are seeing exactly that nexus of methamphetamine that has resulted in very, very unsafe sexual practices,” Jenny Kelsall, Executive Officer of Harm Reduction Victoria, told the committee.

Kelsall continued to say that young gay men who use methamphetamine were particularly difficult to target with campaigns, as they don’t identify as drug users.

“I think part of the problem with getting to methamphetamine users with education or anything else, including treatment…is that a lot of ice users do not identify as drug users.

“They do not want to be labelled as a drug user. That is not their identity, and that is the problem within the gay community.

“The people who are using ice and even injecting it do not identify as drug injectors, and so we have to design very nuanced information and education to work with this particular group,” she said.

The Victorian AIDS Council has already started workshops, named Rewired, in regards to methamphetamine use and the MSM community, accommodating long-time users and those who are starting to experiment.

Simon Ruth, CEO of VAC, told MCV that although they have recognised there is a problem and are starting to act on it, they are not adequately equipped to tackle the epidemic within the community.

“We’re not currently funded to do any health promotion around drug use,” he said.

“The VAC and VAADA (Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association) both recommended to the Victorian Government that they need to look at specific health promotion campaigns for gay men around drug use and methamphetamine use in particular.

“We know that gay men use methamphetamine, particularly as they get older, and I think men living with HIV over forty are thirty-five times the rate of the general community [to use ice].

“We also know that drug use is more normalised in the gay and lesbian community, so we need a very different response to the fear campaigns that they are running elsewhere.

Ruth said the community needs campaigns that talk about HIV risk and talk around the club scene.

“We need a very different targeted campaign around drug use in general, but more particularly methamphetamines.”

MP Simon Ramsey, who headed the report, was unable to respond to MCV‘s requests by the time this story went to print, however told Fairfax during the week that: “Our report recognises that we must attack this problem from every angle.”

Shadow Minister for Health, Gavin Jennings, told MCV Labor welcomed the parliamentary report and will use it to help inform their Ice Action Taskforce.

“Labor will involve the community and listen to the experts, including those from the LGBTI community, and we also need to end the youth unemployment crisis and get young people back on track.”



 THE use of methamphetamines — which include the deadly stimulant ice — has jumped more than 55 per cent in just a 12-month period in Adelaide, alarming tests have revealed.

The drug testing of wastewater at Adelaide’s four sewage collection stations also reveals that while heroin and cannabis use has increased, it has not been as steep in the same period.

Professor Jason White, head of the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at UniSA, said the testing figures were a valuable “very near real time’’ record of the increased level of methamphetamine use in Adelaide.

“It is very much something that is spreading at a rate that does cause alarm, that would be fair to say,’’ he said.

“We did not have any prior hard evidence that methamphetamine use had increased, but there was a general impression from police in particular and health people there were relatively large amounts of methamphetamine around,’’ he said.

“What this does is provide us with the hard evidence and enables us to quantify the changes that are occurring.’’

Studies by both the Australian Crime Commission and the National Drug and Alcohol Resource Centre suggest the use of ice, which began emerging in Australia a decade ago, has increased dramatically in recent years, and that users of less potent amphetamine-based drugs such as “speed” are increasingly switching to it.


This year’s ACC report into illicit drugs indicated the number of Ice seizures was up more than 300 per cent in one year.

Ice get its name from its crystallised form, which can be smoked rather than injected, and which can cause violent rages and dramatic health problems in regular users, as well as death from overdoses.

Surveys of Adelaide club patrons have suggested that as many as one-in-five have used methamphetamines including Ice, which is cheap and seen as a party stimulant, allowing users to go without sleep for extended periods, sometimes days. It is extremely addictive.


The Adelaide sewage testing reveals that between August 2013 and June this year, 857 doses per week per 1000 people were consumed — compared with 547 doses in the corresponding period a year earlier — which equates to a 56.5 per cent increase. Each dose is measured as 30 milligrams of pure methamphetamine.

Professor White said the magnitude of the increase in methamphetamine use had been a surprise because it was thought some of the other monitoring methods may have picked up the rise.

“The magnitude is probably greater than we expected,’’ he said.

“Certainly over one 12-month period to another it is quite a substantial increase.’’

The testing has been conducted every two months since 2011 at Adelaide’s four sewage treatment stations — two at Bolivar, and at Glenelg and Christies Beach.

The two Bolivar plants collect and treat the effluent from over half of Adelaide — the northern, north-eastern and eastern suburbs and the central city.

Professor White said that “any increase in methamphetamine use is of concern’’ considering the drug was responsible for significant medical and social problems.

“It is a drug that causes a number of problems. It can cause health issues for people, they can be short-term ones, there is a risk of cardiac arrest for example, it causes psychiatric problems,’’ he said.

The most recent test results indicated the rise may be levelling out, but it was too early to be definitive.


Professor White said the figures for methamphetamine use at weekends showed an average 20 per cent increase over weekdays, indicating recreational use was higher at weekends.

“It is much less of a weekly pattern that you would get with ecstasy or cocaine, which is predominantly used on weekends,’’ he said.

And while methamphetamine use was constant, cannabis appeared to be seasonal, with an increase recorded every April. Opiate drug use, which includes many painkilling medicines, also increased slightly in winter, most likely because of illnesses.

The cannabis increase was attributed to being when cannabis grown outdoors matured and availability in the marketplace increased.

The figures show 5307 cannabis doses were recorded in the latest period, compared with 4797 in the previous period.

They reveal heroin use increased to 240 doses per week per 1000 people in the latest period, up from 101 in the corresponding previous period. A sharp rise was recorded at Glenelg in December last year, which accounted for most of the increase.

The drug testing figures are provided to both police and the Health Department to enable them to tailor treatment and intervention strategies.

Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Dickson said the wastewater testing figures supported police figures from several sources, including drug-driver testing, general detections and arrests.

The usage figures were also reflected in the number of illegal laboratories police had been discovering. They had increased from 58 in the 2011-12 financial year to 80 last financial year, but a change in reporting methodology also contributed slightly to that increased number.

“There has been an increase locally that has been reflected nationally which has seen the number increase from 353 in 2003-04 to 757 in 2012-13,’’ he said.

“We are fully aware of the increase and have implemented a number of strategies as a result,’’ he said.

Originally published as Sewer tests reveal surge in Adelaide’s meth addiction




AZTEC — A 38-year-old Farmington man was arraigned in district court on Tuesday on allegations that he repeatedly raped his fiancée during a three-day methamphetamine binge.

Courtesy of the San Juan County Detention Center David Ray Davis

David Ray Davis was charged in Aztec Magistrate Court on Aug. 4 with first-degree kidnapping and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual penetration.

Deputies from the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched on Aug. 7 to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners’ Farmington office to investigate an alleged rape, according to Davis’ arrest warrant affidavit.

A woman told investigators she got into a fight with her fiance and caretaker, Davis, shortly after he was released from jail on Aug. 3. She said the next day she was either knocked unconscious or had a seizure at the couple’s trailer.

She alleges in the affidavit that Davis found her, brought her to his bed and proceeded to rape her over the course of several days using various objects, including a television remote control. She said he tied her up and became more violent after injecting methamphetamine.

The woman told police that she managed to call state authorities on Aug. 7, when Davis took her vehicle and left the trailer, the affidavit states. She was transported to the sexual assault investigation center to speak with examiners, the affidavit states.

Davis was convicted in 2002 of felony possession of a controlled substance and convicted in 2004 of distribution of a controlled substance, according to court records.

Judge Trudy Reed-Chase found probable cause on Aug. 8 that the crimes alleged were committed, and the case was referred to district court.

Court records do not indicate when Davis will next appear in court.



A Sandy landlord is accused of beating, raping, and trying to drown a woman who was renting a room from him — and police say she may not be the man’s only victim.

In charges and jail documents filed Wednesday, police wrote that a woman at about 2 a.m. Monday appeared on the front porch of a home near 10900 South 700 East, crying and asking for help. The resident called police, who arrived to find the woman lying on a concrete step of the porch, crying, with “many injuries” visible on her body.


The woman, 40, told police she had been kidnapped and attacked in a house around the corner. The woman had met a man she knew only as Roger — later identified as Vratislav Roger Bilek — at the Colonial Hotel in Salt Lake City, where he offered her a room to rent at his home, police wrote.

After the victim moved in Sunday, she and Bilek used methamphetamine and began to argue, police wrote. Bilek told his new tenant to leave, but she found the front door locked, police wrote. When she went back up to her room, he punched her in the face and threatened to kill her, police wrote.

In the course of the fight, Bilek choked the victim and shoved her face into a filled bathtub, trying to drown her, police wrote. He allegedly told her he wouldn’t let her out of the bathroom unless she showed her breasts to him; he then grabbed them, police wrote.

As the woman tried to run downstairs, Bilek “jumped on her back and ‘rode her’ down the stairs,” investigators wrote.

Bilek then held the woman at gunpoint and threatened to kill her if she did not have sex with him, jail documents state. The victim tried to crawl away, but Bilek stabbed her in the arm, charges state.

Bilek raped the victim with multiple objects, including the handle of a sledgehammer, while the victim “begged him to stop,” police wrote. She fled to the neighbor’s house as Bilek threatened to kill her, police wrote.

After the victim escaped, police searched Bilek’s home, investigators wrote. The layout of the home was as the victim described, and blood was found throughout the house, police wrote. Officers also found a sledgehammer, methamphetamine, a gun and other items the victim had described.

Bilek was charged with aggravated kidnapping, rape and three counts of object rape, all first-degree felonies; possession of a controlled substance and two counts of aggravated assault, third-degree felonies; and misdemeanor sexual battery.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Tyler police, ATF agents and  DEA agents worked together on a drug seizure in a hotel parking lot Tuesday evening.4643993_G

Tyler Police Sergeant Matthew Leigeber tells KLTV 7 that a cleaning crew called police Tuesday afternoon, after finding guns and prescription drugs in a room at the Sleep Inn, located across from Premier Fitness on Donnybrook Avenue.

The room belonged to 27-year-old Robert William Zandstra. He gave police, and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, permission to search the room, and his car.


In the room, officers and agents found two AR-15 rifles, a Walther P22 handgun, another revolver, several gun suppressors (silencers), and parts to manufacture more suppressors. They also found assorted prescription drugs.

Leigeber tells KLTV 7 that the car was a “mobile meth lab,” containing between one and four grams of meth, and an unknown type of pills. They also found three bottles of volatile chemicals commonly used in making meth.


Robert Zandstra was arrested, and charged with possession of a controlled substance, between one and four grams, in a school zone. That’s a second-degree felony. Leigeber tells KLTV 7 that more charges could be filed by the ATF and DEA.