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A plan to smuggle drugs across state lines as Christmas gifts turned into one of the largest methamphetamine busts in Gila County history.

A jury last month convicted Amber Carlson, 37, of New Mexico, of wrapping six pounds of meth in wrapping paper to disguise them as gifts.Meth_bust_t670

Carlson and an accomplice drove all night Dec. 23 from New Mexico to the Valley, picked up the drugs and then headed back to Albuquerque, according to the Gila County Attorney’s Office.

Officer Larry Anthony of the Arizona Department of Public Safety stopped Carlson’s truck just east of Globe on Highway 60 because of illegal window tinting and a cracked windshield.

Anthony suspected that the pair might be hiding something and called on the Gila County Narcotics Drug Task Force, which brought K9 Ducco to sniff the vehicle for drugs.

Ducco quickly alerted officers to Carlson’s purse and a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag that contained Christmas gifts, which Carlson told officers were for her children.

Officers discovered the packages were not presents, but bundles of meth worth as much as $300,000. Carlson had a smaller amount of methamphetamine in her purse.

The bust is believed to be one of the largest in the history of Gila County, according to Gila County Attorney Bradley Beauchamp.

Judge Gary Scales will sentence Carlson Feb. 23 in Globe for transportation of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Carlson faces a mandatory prison sentence between five and 15 years.








DUNKRIK, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Dunkirk Police Special Response team along with parole officers were performing a routine check on probation clients Friday night when they entered Don’s Hotel on Lake Shore Drive, leading to the arrest of Joshua J. Hammer.dunkirk-meth-arrest

Police say Hammer, who was wanted on domestic violence related assault charges, had barricaded himself inside a room before being talked out by police. He was found in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun and had set up a methamphetamine lab inside the room.

Hammer was charged with unlawfully manufacturing methamphetamine and criminal possession of a weapon.

Hammer is being held at the Dunkirk Police Department without bail pending his arraignment.









Methamphetamine is the illegal drug of choice in Vanderburgh County. But rather than the popular home-cooked meth, the area is being flooded with meth from Mexico.

“There’s probably more meth here than there’s ever been, probably 10 times more meth than there’s ever been,” said a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office deputy assigned to work with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, who asked the Courier & Press to remain anonymous.EVmeth012_13147538_ver1_0_640_480

Crystal meth made by Mexican cartels is finding its way into Indiana, according to law enforcement. That’s one reason the number of meth lab busts is actually going down. Indiana State Police say they’re seeing more people starting to buy meth instead of cooking it. Still, the state is on track have the most meth lab seizures in the country for 2014. There were a total of 1,416 incidents involving meth labs last year.

“The numbers are still staggering,” said Indiana State Police Sgt. Philip Hensley. “When you consider that statewide we’re taking down almost four meth labs a day, every single day, that’s a tremendous number.”

Looking nationwide, not all the numbers have been crunched yet. But police say through September, Indiana had 1,112 meth lab seizures, Tennessee had 813 and Missouri had 800.

“This is a trend we believe is going to put us unfortunately first in the nation for the second year in a row,” Hensley told WDRB News. “We’ve been top five in the nation probably for the last decade.”

Even though Indiana will likely have the highest number in the country, it’s still down from 2013, when police reported more than 1,700 incidents involving meth labs.

“There’s a lot more methamphetamine coming in that’s being trafficked into the Midwest and Indiana and particular — mainly from states like California and other states in the Southwest,” Hensley said. “Kind of moves up from Mexico and then is trafficked over.”

Police say the crystal meth made in Mexico is more pure and stronger. It has a higher street value and is becoming more available.

“It’s easier for people, rather than go to the trouble and risk of manufacturing just to find a supplier, someone to buy it from, get what they need and move on,” Hensley said.

Police say they are much more proactive than they were 10 years ago. The state police unit that focuses on meth has grown. Troopers are also working to catch people moving drugs into the state.

If you suspect someone is using or trafficking in meth in your Indiana neighborhood, or want to report a possible meth lab site, call Indiana State Police at 800-453-4756.















JAKARTA: Indonesia National Narcotics Agency (BNN) seized and confiscated 840 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at Lotte Mart Taman Surya Park, Kalideres, West Jakarta here the other day.meth2ty4wy

This is the largest amount of illegal drugs ever confiscated by the BNN. “This was the biggest confiscation in BNNs history,” Deputy for Narcotics Eradication Affairs of the BNN Brig. Gen Dedi Fauzi said here the other day.

BNN arrested nine suspected narcotics dealers. They were caught red-handed while conducting their transactions at Lotte Mart Taman Surya Park.

The nine suspects were four Hong Kong citizens, one Malaysian, and four Indonesians, known by their initials as SL, SN, TST, TSL, SEF, CHM, WCP, SJJ, and ADK, respectively.

The BNN confiscated 42 sacks that altogether contained 840 kilograms of methamphetamine.

According to Fauzi, the drug syndicates had been hunted for years by the seven countries of Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Indonesia.

Furthermore, Chief of the BNN Isp. Gen. Anang Iskandar stated in Jambi that the number of narcotics users in Indonesia is now 4.2 million.








BILLINGS (AP) –  A man who was stopped for driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 near Billings faces felony charges after officers found more than four pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle.

The Billings Gazette reports 37-year-old Philip Allan Morris was charged Wednesday with criminal possession with intent to distribute, criminal endangerment and misdemeanor driving under the influence.

Morris was arrested at about 3 a.m. Tuesday after someone reported a vehicle traveling west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 near Laurel.

Court records say the officer determined Morris was impaired. He obtained a warrant and a search turned up a 9 mm pistol with live rounds and containers of meth hidden in the engine compartment.

Morris did not enter a plea. His bail was set at $50,000 and his District Court arraignment was set for Feb. 13.








Amid rising costs of beef and a crippling drought, ranchers and cattlemen in the American West are facing the bizarre resurgence of an outmoded scourge from frontier times.

This week, Oklahoma officials arrested two of five identified suspects in a cattle-rustling ring that is believed to have sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen cattle over the past several months, making as much as $27,000 in a single sale. The arrests mark the latest in a growing trend of cattle theft across the region. cattle

According to the authorities, the vast majority of Oklahoma cattle thefts in recent years have been driven by a distinctly modern phenomenon — methamphetamine addicts seeking easy money to fund their habit.

“We’ve seen an elevated number of reported thefts, and certainly actual thefts over the past couple of years. What is very concerning is the link to drug use,” Michael Casey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, told VICE News. “Cattle theft is devastating to small, family farmer-ranchers, where the average herd size in Oklahoma is going to be around 30 head. So if you steal two, three, or four head, that’s a significant loss and major economic damage.”

According to data from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, reported thefts more than doubled from 2013 to 2014, from 13 to 30. Casey noted that the cases averaged about eight cattle per theft. Cattle rustling cost Oklahoma ranchers an estimated $4.5 million in 2014.

Observers say the increase can be attributed to various factors, including a severe drought in portions of the region that has forced farmers to cut their herds, driving the price of cattle up. Because a single animal can bring in as much as $3,000 at auction, cattle — which can be herded with relative ease — make attractive targets for thieves looking for quick cash.

Because Oklahoma does not have branding laws and does not require sellers to file paperwork documenting their ownership, stolen cattle are difficult to find once at auction.

“If I’ve got a 30-head of 700 pound steer that I’m going to sell at the market on Saturday, what happens Friday night is these old boys that are out here stealing cattle, they look for that kind of thing,” Jerry Flowers, chief agent of investigations for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, told VICE News. “They’ll back that trailer right up to the fence and load those cattle out and go. We’ve seen that happen numerous times.”

According to Flowers, roughly three in four arrests in Oklahoma for cattle larceny are linked to methamphetamine.

“What we’ve found on my side of the fence working these investigations is that a large portion — I’m talking 75 percent, maybe even more — of the individuals that we encounter that steal cattle are doing it to resupply their needs for illegal narcotics,” he said, “and one of the choice illegal narcotics in this state is methamphetamine.”

‘It only makes sense that the more Mexican meth is consumed in Oklahoma, we’re going to see more property crimes, whether it’s cattle or anything else to feed that addiction.’

Oklahoma has been a hotbed of meth use since the 1990s. A 2012 survey found Tulsa County to contain 979 meth labs — the most of any county in the country.

Thanks to tightened restrictions on precursor ingredients like ephedrine, meth production has dropped significantly in Oklahoma and across the country. But Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, told VICE News that diminished local output has given way to a flood of expensive foreign product.

“I can only speak for Oklahoma, but our partners in other states say the same thing, that while meth labs are down, meth addiction and meth use has never been higher because addicts are switching to Mexican meth that’s pouring across the border,” Woodward said. “We would comfortably say that only about 5 percent of Oklahoma meth that’s consumed here is cooked here.”

The rising cost of meth is motivating addicts to turn to crime to afford what was once the product of a largely DIY operation.

“It only makes sense that the more Mexican meth is consumed in Oklahoma, we’re going to see more property crimes, whether it’s cattle or anything else to feed that addiction,” Woodward added.

Ranchers are experiencing similar upticks in the number of missing livestock in nearby states like Texas, Missouri, and Colorado, where the rate of cattle theft nearly tripled from 2010 to 2011. Whether driven by an addiction to meth or simply a golden opportunity for quick cash, rustlers are crippling small ranchers who depend on livestock for income.

Mexican cartels are putting mom and pop meth cooks out of business.

“It was devastating,” B. J. Holloway, an Oklahoma rancher who had six cattle stolen last year, told VICE News. “That’s my life savings, you know, that I’ve been working, trying to have some all my life, and suddenly it’s gone.”

State lawmakers are considering measures in response to the spike in theft. Last month, two Oklahoma legislators filed bills to increase the penalty for cattle theft from three to 10 years imprisonment to between five and 15 years, and raise the financial retribution cap from $500,000 to $750,000.

“Something needed to happen,” Representative Casey Murdock, who sponsored one of the two bills, told VICE News. “I run cattle myself for a living, I’m not a hobby farmer. I put food on the table for my family by running cattle. You don’t recover as easily as if someone comes and steals a TV or steals your car.”









WOOSTER, Ohio – Officers in Wayne County discovered more than 40 methamphetamine labs in one Wooster home.1911742_880833771937112_3230577755707896958_n

While investigating a domestic disturbance at a house on West Vine Street on Wednesday, Wooster police found a possible meth lab. They arrested John E. Marlow, 54, for failure to appear in court on charges of aggravated menacing and obstructing official business.

The Medway Drug Enforcement Agency said they were called in to help and dismantled 32 one-pot meth labs. Agents returned to the house on Thursday and began cutting floorboards, where they found 11 more. The labs appeared to be used in recent cooks.

Agency director Donald Hall said this could be a type of super or mega meth lab because of the weight and amount of meth trash removed from the scene.

The Medway Drug Enforcement Agency is a task force involving cities and villages in Wayne County, Millersburg and Brunswick.








EVANSILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southwestern Indiana prosecutor says federal arrest warrants have been issued for more than 50 people allegedly involved in a meth-trafficking ring that funneled the drug into the area from four other states.

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann said authorities seized 74 pounds of uncut methamphetamine representing more than 134,300 single uses of the highly addictive stimulant during the course of their two-year investigation.

That meth is worth more than $3.3 million on the street, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

Eight of those named in the arrest warrants remain at large, including a Vincennes, Indiana, man who had been held in Georgia, but escaped federal custody this week while being returned to Indiana.

Prosecutors said six of those arrested have been charged with attempted murder after reportedly kidnapping a man in December and attacking him with a hammer at an Evansville intersection.

Hermann said the investigation focused on Evansville’s Jimtown neighborhood, just north of the city’s Lloyd Expressway, and authorities relied heavily on tips from residents.

While Hermann said he’s confident the probe has put a dent in the short-term supply of crystal meth in the Evansville area, he expressed concern that it may spur a surge of homemade meth, which had declined last year as meth flooded the region from outside areas.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Brookman, who works out of Evansville, said the individuals named in six federal indictments obtained meth from sources in Arizona, Georgia, Tennessee and California, and several of those indicted were residents of those areas.

Brookman said meth has become such a scourge in southwestern Indiana that the probe is just the beginning of efforts to combat the local meth trade.

“It’s a terrible, life-destroying drug. People become desperate and they are willing to do anything for it,” he said.









On Thursday, the Vanderburgh County Prosecuting Attorney’s office announced a multi-year investigation into a drug trafficking organization had netted over 40 arrests and 74 lbs of meth over a two year period.

Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nick Hermann said over 20 agencies were involved in the investigation. The Dubois and Martin County sheriff’s departments were part of the investigation.B9GzjAsCQAEOVCn

According to Deputy Stuart Wilson with the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department, the department’s narcotics officer passed information he had compiled to the investigating agencies involved in the larger operation.

Drugs were likely funneled into Dubois County through this organization, he said.

Over the course of the investigation approximately 74 lbs of meth and about $400,000 was seized along with 20 firearms and two vehicles. According to Hermann, 74 lbs of meth is about 134,384 single uses of meth.

Early 2013, detectives with Evansville/Vanderburgh Joint Task Force began an investigation into the organization operating primarily out of Vanderburgh County.

Through the work of detectives, a number of key individuals in the organization were identified. The investigation culminated originally with a series of arrests made in May of 2014. In spite of those key individuals being arrested, detectives continued working to crack the large ring.

Detectives then received information indicating that a number of the individuals arrested in the May takedown had posted bond and rejoined the organization. The organization’s operations also increased.

Over the course of the next six months, detectives were able to identify a large number of the individuals involved in the drug trafficking organization. They made several arrests in August, September and November of 2014 that directly impacted the supply of methamphetamine as well as the organization’s structure.

During those arrests, approximately 20 lbs. of methamphetamine was seized.

Then, detectives received information that a principal member of the organization was bringing an extremely large quantity of methamphetamine into Vanderburgh County. On December 25, 2014, approximately 17 pounds of methamphetamine was seized as it was making its way back to Vanderburgh County, Indiana.

In late December, 2014, detectives received information from multiple sources that individuals involved in the operations within the organization had abducted and assaulted one individual and had planned to do the same to another.

On January 6, 2015, state and federal arrest warrants were executed with the help of a multiple law enforcement agencies on several individuals. The federal arrests were made for methamphetamine dealing and/or trafficking related offenses.  The state arrests were made for conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, criminal confinement and conspiracy to commit criminal confinement.

Over the course of the investigation, methamphetamine tied to this organization was seized on multiple occasions through the collective effort of the law enforcement agencies that have participated in this investigation.

Today marks a culmination of the diligent investigation undertaken by all involved law enforcement agencies into this methamphetamine drug trafficking organization.

Acting United States Attorney Josh Minkler said, “Methamphetamine has been a scourge in the Southern Indiana area for many years.  My office continues the use of federal law to intervene in any way possible and help make our communities safe from meth dealers. I am very pleased with cooperation and teamwork displayed by our local law enforcement partners and the good work of Mr. Hermann and the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office.”

The arrest warrants that were judicially issued yesterday and today related to the individuals involved in the drug trafficking organization are for the following individuals:

State Charges:

  • Eva Buck – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (A)
  • James Ling – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (A)
  • Robert Robertson Jr. – Attempted Murder / Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (A)(1)
  • Edward Nance – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (A)
  • Montrako Bradley – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (A)
  • Joseph Wagner – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (A)
  • Bonnie Kay Wangler – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (B)
  • Eric Tanksley – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Blake Selby – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Mark Darnell – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Jamar Hooser – Attempted Murder / Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (1/2)
  • Amy Robertson – Attempted Murder
  • Jason Greenlee – Attempted Murder
  • Tavon Clark – Attempted Murder
  • Royce Calvin – Attempted Murder
  • Joshua Brown – Dealing in a Synthetic Cannabinoid
  • Meko Levels Jr. – Dealing in a Synthetic Cannabinoid
  • Freddie Wiggins – Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon (4)
  • Michelle McGoin – Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
  • Allen Fox – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Roger Streete – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Michael Kline – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Stephen Kline – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Stephen Hart – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Sheila Taylor – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Nathan Robertson – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Jerald Clark Jr. – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Roy Durham Sr. – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Carolyn Sapp – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Richard Catt Jr. – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Aaron Ray – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • David Cobb – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Tony Sikes – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Chad Pate – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)
  • Troy Durham Sr. –Dealing in Methamphetamine (4)
  • Melanie Martin –Dealing in Methamphetamine (4)
  • Nick Clingerman – Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (2)

Federally indicted:

  • Eric Tanksley
  • Terrence Cosby
  • Eric Stinson
  • Eva Buck
  • Brian Tucker
  • Gregory Frankenberger
  • Sean Killion
  • Steven Barnett
  • Rosario Ramirez-Ayala
  • Marcelo Ramirez-Ayala
  • Brian Tucker
  • Sean McClain
  • Michelle Pippin
  • Jayson Hayes
  • Jamar Hooser
  • Lyron Miller
  • Patrick Pate
  • James Hezel
  • Timothy Ritzler
  • Michelle Pippin
  • Sean McClain
  • James Ling
  • Sean Killion
  • Steven Barnett
  • Eva Buck
  • Jamar Hooser
  • Robert Robertson Jr.
  • Amy Robertson
  • Gregory Tincher








GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, MI – Police are investigating after materials to make methamphetamine were left in a bank’s drive-through lane.16195445-large

The materials were found in a plastic bag around noon Wednesday, Feb. 4, at a Huntington Bank branch near Grand Traverse Mall in Garfield Township.

Police secured the scene and contacted Traverse Narcotics Team to assist in the cleanup and investigation. Police are trying to determine how and when the materials were left there in an effort to identify those responsible.

Anyone with information is asked to call TNT at 231-922-0993 or the Sheriff’s Department at 231-995-5000.








Amanda Foley and Mark Dorson were ordered held on $100,000 bail after their 7, 3, and 11-month-old kids were found abandoned in a ramshackle house of horrors, Lake Stevens police said. The couple’s youngest had to be treated for hypothermia and dehydration and was described as on the brink of death.seattle6n-6-web

A pregnant mother of four accused of padlocking her youngest three in a feces- and rat-filled home reportedly admitted to smoking meth before her kids were discovered — one allegedly on the brink of death.

Parents Amanda Foley and Mark Dorson, both 33, were ordered held on $100,000 bail Wednesday for felony criminal mistreatment and abandonment charges after Saturday’s disturbing discovery outside Everett, Wash., KIRO-TV reported.seattle6n-5-web

Their children, ages 7, 3, and 11 months, were found behind padlocked doors by Lake Stevens police after a call from a concerned woman.

“They were surrounded by animal feces and garbage with no heat or food present,” police said after breaking into the ramshackle house of horrors. “It is unknown how long the children were left unattended, but the parents did not show up at the residence and had to be tracked down by investigators.”

The abandoned baby was suffering hypothermia and dehydration when found in an upstairs crib, said police.

“Police said the baby would have died had it not been for us calling police that night,” Sarah Parsley, who called authorities after failed attempts to reach Dorson.

Foley broke down in tears during her first court appearance Wednesday, a day after her arrest, after a judge told her she would not have contact with her children.


“She should be crying. She should feel bad,” Becky Hensley, the stepmother of Foley’s oldest daughter, who lives with her.

“How can you be a parent and treat your kids that way, and call your daughter once every three months? I have five kids; they’re my life,” she said.

The mom and dad each have criminal records as well as a history of Child Protection Services complaints and Health Department and Code Enforcement issues, police said.









TAMPA — State regulators announced Thursday they have barred a former Sebring cardiologist from prescribing controlled drugs, amid charges that he did so in exchange for cash and methamphetamine.

Gregory Gooden, 61, lists a Tampa apartment address in Department of Health records but has older ties to Polk County, where he faces criminal charges, including aiding and abetting hydrocodone trafficking.

“Dr. Gooden poses such a grave danger to the State of Florida that nothing short of the immediate restriction of Dr. Gooden’s license would be sufficient to protect the public from the danger that he poses,” Florida Surgeon General John H. Armstrong said in a Jan. 20 order.

In addition to prohibiting Gooden from prescribing controlled drugs, an emergency measure, the state began formal disciplinary proceedings.

When Gooden was arrested last fall, the Polk Sheriff’s Office said he lived in Winter Haven and had been working at Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center in Sebring.








FAYETTEVILLE, AR (KNWA) – A Fayetteville woman is in jail, accused of exposing her child to drug abuse, methamphetamine vapors and violence.Karri Krogman

Police say Karri Krogman injected herself and others with meth in front of her 5-year-old. They also say Krogman and her boyfriend smoked methamphetamine around the child.

According to the police report, the child told officers he recently found Krogman unconscious on the floor, and was frightened because he thought she was dead.

In one incident, investigators say Krogman’s boyfriend put his hands over the child’s nose and mouth, suffocating the child.

Krogman faces charges of permitting abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor. She has a criminal history that includes drug, fraud and endangering the welfare of a minor charges.








Palm Springs – A man is in custody accused of failing to register as a sex offender after being arrested in Palm Springs.2-5-booking-Branch-jpg

Police say moved to Palm Springs from Massachusetts and didn’t notify authorities.

Along with being charged with failure to register as a sex offender, police say Branch also had methamphetamine on him at the time of his arrest.








ST PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Brian Fitch Sr. was collecting on methamphetamine debts when he shot and killed Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick last July.

Just this week David Winter, who engaged St. Louis Park police in a shootout near a popular grocery store, was known to law enforcement as someone who made meth.

It is also the drug that was behind a recent electronics theft ring in Grand Forks that traded stolen merchandise for methamphetamine in the Twin Cities.

“If there’s any perception out there, that meth is no longer a problem, it still is,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said.

Choi said that after a brief decline around 2010, meth remains Minnesota’s illicit drug of choice. It is especially a problem in outstate counties where there are fewer resources to attack both the manufacture and use of the drug.

“Across the state of Minnesota, if there’s a drug of people being convicted of felonies, its methamphetamine,” Choi said.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, since 2010 the nation’s number of methamphetamine users is up sharply. Confirmed use has risen from 353,000 users in 2010 to some 595,000 in 2013. That is an increase of more than 60 percent.

“I was a daily user,” said former meth addict, Derrick.

He has been clean now for nearly a year.

“On the days I didn’t use or have my drugs, I was sleeping, but as soon as I was rested I was back,” Derrick said.

He is getting help at Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. Staff there is well aware of the drug’s highly addictive nature and how those manufacturing and selling it will find a way to get it to their customers.

“There’s different ways people are creating it and manufacturing it,” said Teen Challenge program director Adam Pederson. “We need to discover them and find ways to curb it.”








A 33-year-old U.S. Postal Service employee was on “a two-year meth bender” when he stole more than 30,000 pieces of mail bound for residents throughout much of Portland, said his defense attorney Thursday, just before a judge sentenced the carrier to three years in prison.barrettosburnjpg-a51397458b53e374

John Paul Osburn grew up in eastern Oregon and had no criminal history when the Postal Service hired him in June 2013 as a back-up mail carrier who would fill in for other carriers when they were sick or on vacation. But within months, he and his girlfriend were stealing bundles full of birthday cards with cash inside, gift cards, credit cards, mail-order medications and DVDs to help fuel their drug habit, investigators say.

They also stole voters’ mail-in ballots, DMV registrations, official legal mail from Multnomah County Circuit Court, billing statements, medical-test results and financial documents, though the items had little value to the pair.

“It’s important for him to know these incidences, they are going to sideline him, they’re not going to ruin him,” said Jason Steen, Osburn’s defense attorney. “He’s still a young man. He still has his whole life ahead of him.”

Osburn declined to make a statement when the judge gave him a chance. He pleaded guilty to seven felonies and two misdemeanors — including first-degree official misconduct, identity theft and mail theft.

He could be released from prison before his three years is up if he enters into an alternative incarceration program that will connect him with drug treatment.

Osburn’s girlfriend, Shawna Marie Deweese Barrett, was sentenced earlier this week to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to mail theft and other charges.

Authorities say Barrett rented a storage locker that was piled 5-feet high with heaps of stolen mail from Osburn’s jobs at the Lents Post Office and later the Rose City Park Post Office. The mail was stolen from thousands of victims in ZIP codes 97213, 97266, 97212, 97205, 97215, 97211 and 97233.16942801-large

Police found out about the mail theft operation after a man who bought the contents of the unpaid storage locker at auction called police last September. That led investigators to Barrett’s home, at Southeast 143rd Avenue and Brooklyn Street, where they found more stolen mail.

Barrett and Osburn were arrested in late September during a traffic stop. They had their then-1-year-old child in the car with them — as well as a loaded semi-automatic rifle and mail that Osburn admitted stealing from his most recent shift.

Osburn told police that he and Barrett used methamphetamine daily, and that he didn’t feel bad about stealing mail because he needed money to feed himself and his child, according to the probable-cause affidavit.

Osburn and Barrett weren’t charged with any federal crimes. Gerri Badden, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon, said prosecution decisions are made “case by case,” but couldn’t say what specifically led to the decision in this case.

The Postal Service painstakingly combed through the many bags of stolen mail. The last of it is expected to be delivered this week, with notes to recipients explaining that they were victims of mail theft.

Kevin Demer, the Multnomah County prosecutor who handled the case, said a small number of victims reported missing mail to the Postal Service. The monthslong theft could have been detected much earlier if more victims reported their mail as missing, he said.

“People need to report it,” Demer said. “If you don’t get it, report it.”








Murfreesboro Police responded to a call in regards to unidentified chemicals found in a trash can at the Vista Inn off Westgate Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon.

The caller, identified as Steve Collins, 58, stated that as he when he was attempting to take the garbage out of the outdoor trash can he noticed “a dark bag inside the trash can and observed chemicals.” Collins advised that he “left the bag alone” and contacted police.

Murfreesboro Police arrived on the scene at 12:05 p.m. and “observed items known for making meth, along with a bottle of clear liquid.”

According to the police report, meth lab technicians arrived on the scene and contacted the meth clean up truck to come collect the items.

The room in question was found to have been rented by Cory Foster, 28. According to the police report, Foster’s room was said to contain needles, homemade pipes and coffee filters.

It is unknown at this time if Foster is the owner of the meth lab.








When New Smyrna Beach police responded to a call regarding a woman who may have been held against her will inside a motel room on North Dixie Freeway, they instead found a meth lab under the bathroom sink, according to a police report.Richard Williams

When police arrived after 9 p.m. Tuesday at Room 9 at the Paradise Inn, 1157 N. Dixie, they were met at the door by Richard Williams, the report states. Police asked Williams if a woman named “Heather” was in the room and if they could speak to her. When the officers walked in the room, they spotted a glass pipe on a table with white residue at the end of it. The officer recognized it was a pipe used to smoke meth, the report shows. Police then noticed a cabinet under the bathroom sink that had it’s door open slightly.

When officers shined their flashlight into the cabinet, they saw a plastic water bottle with pink sludge in it, the report states. The bottle also had a metal nozzle attached to the opening to act as a pressure valve, police said.

Other paraphernalia and ingredients to make meth — this was a typical one-pot method according to police — were found in the motel room, as well, police said. One of the officers noted in the report that he recognized Williams from seeing him at a residence on Phyllis Avenue that was known for meth manufacturing, the report states.

Both Williams and Heather Pilling were handcuffed, but only Williams was arrested, according to the report. The 44-year-old suspect was charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of listed chemicals and possession of paraphernalia. Williams was being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $75,500 bail.








 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —An 8-month-old baby and four adults were injured in a meth lab explosion near Daytona Beach on Wednesday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

An 8-month-old baby and four adults are injured in a meth lab explosion near Daytona Beach on Wednesday, deputies say.


Deputies said the explosion happened around 11:30 a.m. at a home in the 1200 block of 10th Street, near Daytona Beach.

George Wiggins, 25, and his wife, Laura Wiggins, and the baby were inside the home at  the time of the blast, deputies said.

Investigators said the couple had an active meth lab in the house. Investigators recovered the potentially explosive materials, some of which were in the baby’s room.

The people inside and two deputies, who were exposed to a heavy cloud of chemical fumes, were taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, in Daytona Beach, to be evaluated and receive medical treatment.

George and Laura Wiggins were both booked into the Volusia County Jail on charges of child neglect and manufacturing meth.

The infant was released from the hospital Wednesday night and is with relatives, investigators said.








Chinese police seized 2.4 tons of methamphetamine in one of the country’s largest drug busts, authorities in the eastern city of Shanghai said Thursday.

Twenty-eight people were arrested in the joint operation with police from the southern province of Guangdong, where the drug lab was discovered, Shanghai police said in a statement on their official microblog.

They said the hunt began with the discovery of a drug dealer in August and that evidence led police to the lab in Guangdong.

Illegal drugs remain a major problem in China despite tough laws, including the death penalty for offenders.

Last year, Guangdong police used 3,000 armed police officers in a drug sweep that seized nearly 3 tons of methamphetamine and 23 tons of raw materials to manufacture the stimulant drug.









OSWEGO, N.Y. — An Oswego man and woman were charged last week with sexually abusing an 11-year-old, police said.

Michael P. Whittaker, 42, and Jennifer L. Schumaker, 32, both of the front apartment at 253 W. First St., were each charged with felony first-degree sex abuse and misdemeanor acting in a manner injurious to a child.

Whittaker was charged with two counts of each and Schumaker was charged with one count of each.

Whittaker and Schumaker had sexual contact with an 11-year-old between Tuesday and Wednesday, police said. Police did not say whether the victim was male or female.

The two people were also each charged with one count of criminal possession of precursors to methamphetamine. They possessed a chemical agent used for making meth, police said.

Both were held at the Oswego County Jail. Schumaker has been released under court order. Whittaker remains in jail.








FAIRFIELD — A Vacaville man who allegedly inflicted routine horrific violence on his live-in girlfriend was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on 10 felony charges. Prosecutor said they soon expect additional charges to be filed.

Sean T. Needham faces felony aggravated mayhem, torture, false imprisonment and assault charges for what he allegedly did to his girlfriend between the time she moved into his Marshall Road home in 2012 and when she escaped the home in February 2014.

Among the atrocities detailed by the ex-girlfriend during Needham’s probable cause hearing was his allegedly jamming a screwdriver into one of her ears, damaging her eardrum; knocking out one of her teeth during a beating; and repeatedly putting out lit cigarettes on nearly all parts of her body.

Needham’s defense attorney disputed prosecutor Julie Underwood’s characterization of Needham leaving bruises “all over” the victim’s back, prompting Judge Wendy G. Getty to point out that police photos of the woman’s back show bruising the “size of dinner plates.”

Needham also allegedly forced the woman to inject methamphetamine, ripped her hair out of her head, repeatedly cut her with a knife and regularly choked her until she would pass out.

“The hitting was virtually nonstop,” the woman testified, saying she was held a virtual prisoner in Needham’s bedroom and could not leave the room without his permission, even to go down the upstairs hallway to the bathroom where she said she regularly wiped her blood off her body.

Needham’s mother and father, who were living in the house with their son between 2012 and 2014, have attended all of his court appearances.

Getty ordered Needham to return to court Feb. 17 when dates may be scheduled for a jury trial. He has been in jail since shortly after the girlfriend fled the house and ran to a neighbor’s home and the police were called.









COLDWATER — A check of pseudoephedrine purchase logs resulted in the arrest of two woman — Gretchen Aldredge, 39, and Amy Burnett, 45, — last week for meth violations.

Branch County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Deputy Steve Foster found Burnett, of Union City, had been blocked from further purchases because she exceeded the state limit.

At her home, Burnett admitted she had marijuana. Armed with a search warrant officers found a fire safe that contained scales, along with five bindles of meth with residue.

Burnett was charged with possession of the drug, a 10-year felony. She was held under a $25,000 bond pending preliminary exam.

Aldredge was charged with possession of meth lab components, a 20-year felony, and possession of the drug, after items were found with residue on them.

Two sources told officers there were meth labs in Aldredge’s South Centennial Road home. When her name appeared on pseudoephedrine purchase logs in November, police went to her home to talk, and two men who were there with her.

Aldredge allowed the officers inside, where they saw numerous items used in “cooking meth.”

Alreadge was held under a $20,000 bond, with 10 percent allowed for release, pending preliminary examination.








TACOMA, Wash. — Two Buckley men allegedly caught with a large amount of drugs and nearly $100,000 in cash were charged Tuesday in Pierce County court.

Augustin Gutierrez-Valencia, 24, and Gerardo Danesta Dias, 25, were arrested Monday and charged Tuesday with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Following what prosecutors call an “extensive investigation,” police served a search warrant Monday on the Buckley home the men share. Officers found 425 oxycodone pills, several ounces of meth and heroin and $91,000 in cash inside the home.

Police also searched an SUV and found more than 31 pounds of meth inside a hidden compartment.

Prosecutors believe Dias and Gutierrez-Valencia used the SUV to transport drugs from Los Angeles to Washington State.

“This was a major drug bust in an ongoing effort to stop the methamphetamine pipeline from Mexico,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a Tuesday news release.

Both men pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. Gutierrez-Valencia is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, and Danesta Dias is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.








BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) – Benton County deputies recovered methamphetamine, $4,323 in cash and a semi-automatic pistol during a traffic stop early Saturday morning in Bentonville.benton-county-drugs-on-table-feb-2-cropped

Rafael Munoz was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms. He was booked into the Benton County Jail shortly after his arrest, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy pulled Munoz over near South Walton Boulevard and Southwest Eighth Street in Bentonville around 1:55 a.m. Saturday after noticing the suspect’s left brake light was out. During the traffic stop, the deputy noticed the driver had a suspended license and a warrant out for his arrest on suspicion of failure to appear for a court date, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Benton County.

The deputy arrested Munoz and searched his car, finding about four ounces of methamphetamine, $4,323 in cash and a loaded .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun.munoz-mugshot

Munoz during a subsequent interview with detectives admitted to owning the drugs and said the pistol was given to him by his drug supplier for protection, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Munoz told deputies he has a resident alien card and is from Mexico. His criminal history includes previous arrests on suspicion of two counts of obstructing government operations, contempt of court and failure to appear, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.