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PENNSVILLE TWP. — Police thwarted a major local delivery of methamphetamine in one of the largest seizures in county history uesday night, authorities said

The approximately six kilos of methamphetamine has an estimated street value of $169,000.


The arrest was announced Wednesday by Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan and Pennsville Police Chief Allen J. Cummings.

Juan Martinez-Figueroa, also known as Rudy A. Figueroa-Alvarado, 33, of Madras, Oregon, was arrested and charged with possession of controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a quantity of greater than five ounces with the intent to distribute.

Authorities said Pennsville police and Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration Camden Resident Office, received information that a large quantity of methamphetamine was to be delivered Tuesday night to a buyer at a spot on North Broadway in Pennsville Township.

Police were conducting surveillance when they saw Martinez-Figueroa driving a 2008 Freightliner tractor trailer at a commercial parking lot on North Broadway.

Authorities moved in, arrested Martinez-Figueroa and seized the methamphetamine, a total of approximately six kilos worth.

During the arrest police also seized Martinez-Figueroa’s truck. Authorities said he was a licensed truck driver, but was not on a delivery at the time of his arrest.

“This investigation by local, county and federal officers is a clear example of the success law enforcement can have when working collectively. It not only has an impact in Salem County but throughout the entire region,” said Lenahan.”

“This was an outstanding investigation by all agencies,” Cummings said. “A large quantity of (drugs) has been removed from the streets.”

Authorities say it was one of the largest seizures ever of methamphetamine in Salem County.

“This investigation resulted in a very significant seizure of narcotics,” said Carl J. Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Jersey Division stated. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep this poison out of our communities.”

Martinez-Figueroa is being held in the Salem County Correctional Facility, Mannington Township, on $250,000 cash bail.





The Chinese Northeast is flooded with meth from North Korea. But with crackdowns from the authorities, Chinese chemists are now cooking up their own batches. Many of the raw ingredients are produced domestically. Motherboard previously reported on the state of meth in China: just like in the US, there are plenty of open spaces in rural areas that are perfect for setting up makeshift meth labs. In a labor-intensive country where blue-collar workers need to work long hours and consecutive shifts, some see meth as a welcome stimulant that helps them earn overtime pay.

Purer meth is packaged as something a bit more luxurious. Visit a karaoke bar in China and you might be offered an “ice-skating” package. “Ice” is the common name for meth in China, and “ice-skating” is the common expression that means doing meth. Some karaoke bars are fronts for brothels, and since users insist that meth heightens their sexual arousal and strengthens their stamina, it’s no surprise that the drug has made its way into the escort and entertainment industries. Managers make extra cash by charging johns for narcotic voyeurism. Apparently, some men get off by watching young girls do meth.

Even though the meth karaoke girls of China undergo severe health risks to make money, they are not compensated well. Jingjing is from an agricultural village in Jiangsu, a province on the eastern coast of China. Like many young people in China, she had dreams of living in one of the major cities. After she turned seventeen, she made it to Shanghai, where a friend from her hometown helped her land a job at a legitimate massage parlor. But she wasn’t making that much money, and the bills were stacking up, so she moonlighted as a karaoke hostess at night. It wasn’t long until her manager was pimping her out as a meth girl, and once she was hooked, the karaoke lounge was the only place where she knew she could get meth. Every time she “ice-skated” with a client, she was paid ¥350 (less than $60). Falling deeper into addiction, she needed more than what she was getting at work. She located a meth dealer by searching online, and told her boss that she could start sleeping with clients for extra income.

Drug education in China is nearly nonexistent. The Department of Propaganda produces numerous “drugs are bad” banners, but they are summarily ignored as the countryside is blanketed by the same red cloth with screened slogans like “Park in a civilized manner,” or “One child is enough.” Information about narcotics comes in the form of dry statistics, like the number of arrests and quantities seized by the security apparatus, but the actual effects of harmful drugs are not commonly known. Jingjing said she had no idea what meth would do to her body because she never learned about it from her parents or teachers. Questions about drugs were met with responses like, “Don’t ask about bad things.” She didn’t know that once the euphoria wore off, she would be unable to sleep or eat. Her boss kept her groomed but she was losing a lot of weight. She was always tired, and the reason to show up for work was no longer to earn a paycheck, but to keep up with her addiction.

Jingjing said she was eventually fired for “not looking pretty enough.” Even though her boss was the culprit who introduced her to meth, he blamed her for losing weight and not keeping up with her appearance. “What man would want you?” he asked.

Ashamed to return home in her emaciated state, she became a camgirl to make ends meet. She met men online, who paid her to do meth with them via webcam.


In July, a Chinese journalist went undercover (link in Chinese) and managed to snap some photos of karaoke meth girls at work in Xi’an, the city that marks the beginning of the Silk Road.

Chinese authorities have been on a heavy crackdown, seizing stockpiles of meth wherever it’s found. A January raid in a southeastern village involved more than 3,000 police operatives who confiscated over three tons of meth. Last month, China executed two South Korean citizens who smuggled North Korean meth into China with plans to move it into their own country. In fact, China has singled out synthetic narcotics in their war on drugs, much to North Korea’s chagrin.

Jingjing was nabbed too. In my attempts to reestablish contact with her, I discovered that she was arrested by Chinese police in a sting operation. One of Jingjing’s old colleagues from the karaoke bar told me that a police officer posed as a john and enticed her to use meth on camera, then asked her to meet him at a hotel for sexual services. When Jingjing showed up, she was arrested. Responding to my enquiries by phone, a police officer in Shanghai said, “We can’t talk about this, but if she was using ‘ice,’ then she is a criminal. We can’t talk about criminals.” The police officer was unable to confirm whether Jingjing was actually charged with a crime.

There is no doubt that meth destroys lives, but the Chinese attach extreme stigma to drug addiction, so the punishment for users who are caught can be disproportionately severe. On paper, China abolished its “reform through labor” programs last year, but the reality is that the labor camps were converted into forced drug rehab centers where inmates perform unpaid factory work and can be incarcerated for years without trial—an arrangement previously reserved for those arrested for political or religious reasons.

Addicts in China are not offered rehabilitation or therapy. Instead, they are treated as enemies of the state—a fate that Jingjing will suffer until she is released from secretive incarceration.




SHERIDAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Multiple police agencies were preparing to execute a search warrant of a suspected methamphetamine cooking operation at a home in Newaygo County, when an explosion occurred from inside, setting the home on fire.


The investigation centered around a residence near 96th and Dickinson Road in Newaygo County.  As officers were assembling near the home, individuals were seen leaving.  Police questioned them, and they determined that the main suspect of the meth operation was still inside.

Police then attempted to make contact with the suspect, ordering him to exit the home.  While trying to talk him out, there was an explosion inside, causing the home to burst into flames.

No officers were close enough to the house to pose an immediate danger, and no public safety officials were injured.  The suspect, however, was found in the debris field and was transported to the hospital.  The extent of his injuries is unknown at this time.  A medical helicopter was requested to respond, but it was unable to land due to fog in the area.

The area remains blocked off as of 10:00 a.m. due to the nature of the situation.



WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Concern about drug and alcohol abuse by parents is the biggest reason hundreds of Kansas children are removed from their homes and placed in foster care each year, according to reports from the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

Statewide, nearly 750 children were removed from their homes because of substance abuse by parents in fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30, The Wichita Eagle ( ) reported. Of those, 93 were in Sedgwick County.

“It’s safe to say that drugs and alcohol play a significant role,” said Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett.

Substance abuse is a factor in 60 percent to 80 percent of all child-in-need-of-care cases, said Ron Paschal, a Sedgwick County deputy district attorney in charge of the juvenile division.

Last week, Paschal’s staff pulled 10 random cases from August. Of those, eight involved parents with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, one had maternal grandparents with substance abuse issues and only one involved parents with no records of drug or alcohol use.

There are no clear-cut state laws about what to do in parental substance abuse cases, Paschal said.

For example, the agency tried to remove 18-month-old Jayla Haag of El Dorado five months before she died of fatal head injuries in March 2012. A Butler County prosecutor thought the state lacked evidence, according to a timeline for the case from the agency.

Jayla tested positive for meth when she was born and when she died, according to an autopsy and a dismissed lawsuit filed against the state. The autopsy showed she also was suffering from malnutrition and was missing six teeth that had been forcibly detached from her lower gum.

Her mother, Alyssa Haag, is in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Justin Edwards, 31, Alyssa Haag’s boyfriend at the time of Jayla’s death, is facing a first-degree murder charge.

Under state law, medical staff are required to report babies who test positive for drugs at birth. A baby born positive to meth would more than likely result in a request for removal, said Brian Dempsey, the state agency’s director of protection and prevention services.

“The addiction for meth is so strong and hard to break,” he said. “Meth doesn’t stay in your system as long as other drugs, so testing positive (indicates) recent use.”




NORTHERN Tasmania’s 10-fold increase in the amount of amphetamine seized last year tells a story of changing drug habits, a pivot in police priorities and an attempt by criminals to fill a void. Northern CIB’s Detective Inspector Scott Flude and Senior Sergeant Johnathan Higgins

When Northern Criminal Investigation Branch effectively smashed the Launceston Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang in 2011 it set off a chain reaction that saw the bottom fall out of the methamphetamine market.

The deceptively titled Operation Dorothy disrupted a drug ring on a scale that authorities say is rarely seen in Tasmania.

Launceston Rebels boss and former state president Colin David Picard, the so-called apex of the operation, was jailed and the Youngtown club headquarters abandoned.

Seizures of amphetamine-type drugs in the North nosedived from more than four kilograms to less than a quarter of that.

The next year it dropped by a further two thirds.

And then last year came the attempted rebuild.

Filling the void left by the busted bikies was a group of younger criminals with no outlaw motorcycle gang links, but as the shootings throughout Launceston, demonstrated a propensity for violence.

Police seizures of amphetamine-type drugs soared 1000 per cent to nearly four kilograms in the North.

Among the seized drugs was a greater amount of ice, a crystallised form of methamphetamine which is more pure and addictive.

‘‘It’s a growing problem for us and we’re feeling the effects of it here,’’ Detective Flude said.

‘‘It has a significant impact on the community not only criminally but also health wise and with mental illness.’’

Detective Flude said Tasmania was starting to import the problems that regional cities on the mainland have witnessed.

So making large busts is ‘‘satisfying’’ for the CIB which has seen its priorities shift to a greater emphasis on targeting methamphetamine.

‘‘People on speed are more likely to go on a crime rampage … because once you get hooked you need a lot of cash to sustain the habit,’’ he said.

Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council chief executive Jann Smith said the increase in methamphetamine seizures meant a few things.

‘‘Number one, police have made concerted efforts to target producers and distributors,’’ she said.

‘‘I think we need to be careful about talking about it as an epidemic (but) the use of methamphetamine has been a concern across our sector for some time.’’

Ms Smith said new national drug treatment data showed an increase in the number of people seeking help for meth use.

She said the increase also demonstrated an opportunistic drug market.

‘‘Anecdotally … we’ve heard these drugs come in peaks and troughs,’’ she said.

In some regional areas usage might increase where a new drug dealer moves in and it leads to increased availability, she said.

Ms Smith said education about the health risks associated with using methamphetamine, especially intravenously, was critical.

‘‘It’s known that once people begin injecting it, it’s unlikely they go back to using it other ways.’’



A SENIOR member of the Hell’s Angels used a jumper to hide his face as he left court on drug trafficking charges today.


Zoran Nikolic, 48, of Andrews Farm, is yet to plead to one count of trafficking in a controlled drug, two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer and hindering police at Prospect last night.

Nikolic’s Andrews Farm property has been the target of several drive-by shootings, including an attack in 2010 when his dog was wounded from one of 20 shots fired into the home.

Opposing bail in the Adelaide Magistrates Court, prosecutors said Nikolic had about 100 grams of methamphetamine in his Hell’s Angel jacket when police pulled him over about 7.20pm.

They said he pushed an officer who fell to the ground and tried to escape but police were able to arrest him.

Eugene McGee, for Nikolic, said his client had not been in any trouble with the law for more than five years and the assault against the police officer was “fairly minor”.

Magistrate David Whittle granted Nikolic bail provided he post a $2000 surety.

He will also have to report to police weekly.

Nikolic will next appear in court in November.



Amanda Hammons
Police say they noticed kids not wearing seat-belts. Now, a western Kentucky woman is facing meth charges.
According to the Madisonville Police Department, 31 year-old, Amanda Hammons was stopped after officers noticed several children in the car were not buckled in properly.
After pulling her over, investigators say they determined Hammons was under the infuence of narcotics.
They say a search of her purse turned up a large amount of cash, along with several bags of suspected meth and marijuana.
Hammons faces several drug charges, as well as endangering the welfare of a minor.
Police say all of the children were released to a family member.
Hammons is being held in the Hopkins County Detention Center.

Christopher Fulton, 45, was allegedly high on meth and drunk on vodka when he broke into a Paradise Valley, Arizona, home on Thursday night, KSAZ-TV reported.


He was apparently so out of it that he didn’t even steal anything — the homeowner who discovered Fulton said the man was just standing shirtless inside the house, sweating profusely.

Fulton ran after the homeowner called the cops, but police quickly found him and brought him to jail, KSAZ reported.

That’s when things got really weird.

Fulton’s heart was racing, police said, and the combination of drugs and alcohol in his system apparently caused him to overheat, so he turned to a readily available source of water in his holding cell: the toilet bowl.


A police report indicates an explosion Sunday night .

Local emergency responders were called to what was described as an explosion and house fire in the 2300 block of North West 16th Street at about 10:20 p.m. Sunday, said Indiana State Police Trooper Bryan Rumple.

Rumple said the house was knocked off its foundation by the blast. The fire was almost completely out in 45 minutes.

No one was on the scene when firefighters arrived, Rumple said.

Rumple said Monday that Richmond Police Department officers are investigating the explosion as a possible meth-related incident. RPD said no new information would be released Monday.

At about 11 p.m. Monday in the nightly emailed media report of police activity from RPD, a listing said the blast had been determined to be caused by a meth lab.

Anyone with information about any illegal drug use in the Whitewater Valley may call the Indiana State Police’s Pendleton Post at (800) 527-4752 or the Indiana State Police Drug Tip Line at (800) 453-4756.



ap_biondo_lw-20140831231605173511-620x349Michael Short: Sam Biondo, welcome to The Zone and thank you for your time.

Sam Biondo: Thank you.

MS: You are the chief of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association which we will refer to as VAADA from here on in. You are here to talk about methamphetamine, into which the Victorian Parliament is conducting an inquiry right now. VAADA has had input to that process. Can we start please by explaining to people who might not be aware of what precisely methamphetamine is?

SB: Methamphetamine is essentially a chemical stimulant and can provide a sense of euphoria and excitement. It also keeps people awake for long periods of time. It is an appetite suppressant. Regular use can lead to a whole range of unintended consequences and longer term harms.

Treating methamphetamine dependence can be tricky, as the withdrawal phase is considerably longer than that for many other drugs.

MS: The very fact of the inquiry, Sam, reflects that there is increasing community concern about methamphetamine. There have been quite a lot of reports that it is having a very negative impact, for example, on rural and regional communities. What is the big picture?


SB: If we look at this problem on an international basis, it is a problem in many countries around the world. It is not just Australia. It is not just Victoria. There has been significant police activity and interventions which has highlighted the local manufacture of this substance.

There is a whole range of distribution networks that are able to filter it out into the community. Victoria is not immune from this. In fact, what we’re trying to grapple with in Victoria, and the Victorian government is correctly looking at, is what is the significance of this problem, where is it occurring and what can be done about it.

MS: We will come back to all of those points in a moment, but before we do can we just talk a bit about VAADA? This is to help people understand what VAADA is and what it does. Can you outline that please?


SB: The Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association is the peak body for the Victorian alcohol and drug treatment sector. The sector up until recently had 105 providers – 105 agencies that were funded and they are spread across Victoria. Recently, with the recommissioning of this sector, the number of remaining agencies has been reduced.

VAADA is the peak organisation for the Victorian system. Our member agencies deal with people who have drug and alcohol problems, and provide all sorts of support, from counselling to day programs to residential rehabilitation facilities. We have members who are doctors and specialists, nurses, clinicians, counsellors and youth workers, for example.

MS: Let’s look at some facts and figures, Sam. Can you please go over the size and scope, relative and nominal, of the use of methamphetamine? What research has been done and what do we actually know?

SB: We have been able to observe over the last 10 years that there has been an increase of the impacts of methamphetamine in Victoria. Some of the figures arising from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey Report indicate that, from 1995 to 2013, we have seen a growth in recent use of methamphetamine from 2.2 per cent of Australian adults in 1995 to 4.2 per cent in 2013.

On an Australian basis, there are similar trends. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently published reports indicated that the issue is impacting on all Australian states more or less to the same extent. In terms of the impacts on the ground, treatment services in Victoria saw an increase from 2918 treatment episodes in 2003-04 with amphetamines being the principal drug of concern; this has increased to 6778 in 2012-13.

This increase has had to be dealt with by changing systems and the introduction of special programs and activities to cater to the demand. This includes flexible models of detox and treatment, which cater for the particularities specific to methamphetamine. This necessitates, in many cases, extended periods in treatment; unfortunately, many funded agencies are not resourced to provide treatment for the duration necessary to derive optimal results. We’re also extremely concerned that the demand far outweighs the capacity of the system to deal with it. This is a constant issue of debate with government and with departments around the appropriate level of resources to meet community demands and needs.

MS: In that context then let’s look at the inquiry. Do you think that will lead to a good outcome? Will that help increase the resources? Should it?

SB: The inquiry should come up with a range of recommendations which have a positive impact on reducing the harms arising from methamphetamine.

However, if it follows in the footsteps of other similar inquiries on similar substances, such as the Victorian Parliament did with alcohol for example, or benzodiazepines, with many, many recommendations, none of which were adopted, then neither the individuals affected, nor the community or the treatment system will be any better off.

That this inquiry should be fitting into an election frame should indicate that there is some degree of seriousness. But the devil is in the detail and what gets rolled out.

We’re hopeful that we will actually get traction on this significant community issue, but we are concerned that what needs to be done won’t be done, and it simply becomes what is politically feasible that does get done. In terms of what is needed to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment sector in reducing the harms and spread of methamphetamine use, extended periods of withdrawal, reduced waiting times for treatment, flexibility to cater for extended duration of counselling and day and residential rehabilitation are required.

We also need to look at means of reducing the harms associated with consuming methamphetamine. It is a commonsense notion that some individuals will use drugs irrespective of any policing, treatment and prevention initiatives. In line with this, we need to look at means to reduce the harms associated with use, including access to sterile injecting equipment, alternate (less risky) means of administering methamphetamine and information on minimising the risk to physical and mental health. Some populations of methamphetamine users may not be cognizant of harm reduction messaging.

We need to extend the Drug Court to all Magistrate Courts throughout the state, which will divert many individuals with methamphetamine dependency away from the prison system and into treatment. This still punitive measure has the dual benefit of eliciting better health and wellbeing outcomes for the offender, and diverting people from the prison system, which is currently overburdened, ineffective, and a significant cost burden for the state.

MS: Are you confident about politicians’ understanding of the issues surrounding substance use in our community, and are you optimistic about and confident in their ability to facilitate, if not create, harm minimisation change?

SB: You would have to be a very narrow-sighted and ignorant person not to realise the impact that alcohol and drugs are having on our community. The problem as I see it in terms of political solutions and the role of politicians is that they are often risk-averse and fail to grasp what needs to be done in critical areas of social welfare and the health problems arising from these substances.

We know what the solutions are to reduce the harms and address the challenges associated with alcohol and other drugs. But there is an abject failure to address these issues because of political considerations, not because of a lack of evidence. The evidence is there. It is very clear. There are a range of effective measure to reduce harm which have been piloted, evaluated and proven to be effective. Many have been implemented and shown to work not only in other countries but also in other Australian states.

But there is often a failure to address these issues. We can look at examples of prison hepatitis C rates. Approximately 80 per cent of hepatitis C infections are the result of intravenous drug use. It is very significant. In Victoria we have 41 per cent of prisoners, according to the Ombudsman, who are infected with hepatitis C. Yet there are only three prisons out of 14 prisons that actually are delivering any hepatitis C treatment.

We have widespread injecting within these facilities, yet we are unable to introduce a needle and syringe program such as in the rest of the community. There is a concern that this equipment could be used to assault prison staff, however, this has not occurred in any other international jurisdictions which provide this vital, cost effective service. These people are being denied not only their human rights, but the same medical and harm-reduction facilities that exist in the community. We have been unable to stop the introduction of drugs into the prison system.

So we need to get real about some of these issues. If we put these issues on the table and individually went through what will make a difference there are solutions there for every single topic.

Yet there is a failure to try to implement what is required to be done. We could be saving hundreds and hundreds of people’s lives.

MS: At the political level and public policy level the response has been in Australia and elsewhere – although places, as you have indicated, have moved away from this in the face of the evidence, but we’re yet to – the main response has been prohibition.

It clearly does not work. What should the public policy response to the harm caused by substance abuse, abuse of illicit and illicit substances, actually be?

SB: Quite interestingly, Australia was the leader in the area of harm minimisation and harm reduction in the 1980s and 1990s. This has led to thousands upon thousands of people’s lives being saved. The changes which were implemented then, arose out of an abject fear of the impact of HIV and blood-borne disease in our community.

The courageous introduction of such harm-reduction measures has had a lasting benefit, not only for Australia but for many other countries where these programs have been introduced. So we can do it if we have the guts to do it, there are so many areas requiring attention. All it needs is political will and community support.

MS: What sort of programs in particular are you talking about?

SB: Needle and syringe exchange programs are a key feature. It has saved many thousands of lives, as have supervised injecting facilities.

MS: Do you think that illicit substances should be moved from the criminal justice system to the health system and should be decriminalised and regulated? This is not to say in any way that we’re talking about anything else than harm minimisation.


This is not about tacit endorsement of or encouragement of harmful use of substances. Do you think that decriminalisation is something that ought to occur?

SB: I think everything should be on the table. And that includes a discussion around decriminalisation. The United States is having a very interesting conversation at the moment around medical use of marijuana (as is Victoria). Now, people say that is a backdoor way to open up the floodgates for marijuana.

I say it is a recognition of the failure of prohibition over the years and a recognition by governments that it is futile spending so much money on criminal justice and policing resources to control a substance which for many the harm is minimal and for many has no real impact.

So prohibition and the criminal justice system issues go hand-in-hand. In fact, prohibition has led to huge wealthy mobster cartels being developed. It has criminalised otherwise peaceful individuals who create no other harm but to themselves. The whole system actually sticks with this glue of prohibition and the impact of criminal justice on innocent people’s lives.

I think we should put it on the table and have a conversation and say what should we do with these resources. Why not put them into schools? Why not take it out of the prison system and put it into treatment facilities? Why not take it out of prison systems and put it into education and hospital systems? That is the sort of discussion we should be getting into.

MS: Part of the context of that discussion, is it not Sam, is that most people who use substances, licit and illicit, do so in the privacy of their own homes relatively harm-free?

SB: That is correct. Many people use substances and harm no one else. What I am really concerned about is that they may be using these substances in ignorance. They need to understand the potential impact to themselves and in the long-term to others and to the community. Those who use illicit substances need to be informed of the risks and importantly how to minimise these risks.

So I am an adherent to harm-reduction policies which inform people how to use safely, how not to impact on others. Society has no other option but to educate people and inform people what the hazards are and how to reduce the harms.

Otherwise, what do we do? Prohibition? Do we let people die on the streets, as they were at the turn of the century? Do we let people fill up jail cells? Do we put all our policing resources into an unwinnable war on drugs?

MS: Prohibition has created a very, very lucrative business for criminal gangs, has it not?

SB: Ironically, our pursuit of prohibition has distorted many things including what the evidence says. Our laws create perverse incentives, take resources away from schools, hospitals and needy communities and place ever increasing amounts into prisons and unwinnable wars on drugs. More often than not such an approach creates more harm than good. It’s clear that the current way of addressing many of the issues arising from prohibition has led to a range of dysfunctionality in the operation of our justice system.

Prohibition has led to huge money being made by cartels and criminal syndicates that have reinvested that money in other nefarious activity and it is nothing short of a vicious cycle. Let’s just deal with this in a completely different way for the benefit of our community, rather than persistently using a flawed single minded approach.

MS: With your use of the word there, Sam, corruption are you suggesting that some of the proceeds of this supply industry of illicit substances are being used to prevent enlightened policy by going directly into the pockets of lawmakers?

SB: To tell you the truth, I don’t know. I am in no position to be definitive about this and have no reason to believe this would be the case locally. But the money has got to end up somewhere. Occasionally the media report how well established and influential institutions such banks and other financial intermediaries come to be used to launder the proceeds of drug money. Obviously I am not the police. I do not know where the money ends up, but it has got to end up somewhere. Does it end up in building site or in yachts, cars and a range of others assets? Maybe it just ends up in banks that are controlled by very wealthy people which are publicly listed and accountable. I am fairly certain that sooner or later the money ends up back in the system somewhere. That is the sort of corruption I am seeking to raise.

MS: So when you’re talking about corruption you are talking about it corrupting our general system?

SB: Absolutely. If governments were honest they would see the negative impacts the prohibition approach is creating.

MS: OK, so part of the route to change here is transparency, facts, education. What would you say to parents who are concerned about drugs in general and methamphetamine in particular, given the increased potency of the methamphetamine on the street and the addictive nature of it, or the amount of dependency that is occurring?

SB: I think it is very important for parents and carers and loved ones to be aware of the impacts of this very powerful substance, methamphetamine. People need to know, the user needs to know, how the harms arise, what can happen, the signs to look out for, what to do, where to go, who to speak to.

We need to make sure that it is easy for an individual to pick up the phone and say ‘hey, I have been using this in this way what is going to be the impact for me?’.

MS: What are the signs to look for as a loved one or as a user?

SB: It depends on what stage you are at, how much you are using, how you are using it, what the symptoms are. For many people who use it sparingly there is not a great deal of effect at least initially. For people that get trapped into using it more often, then it does create considerable problems.

These include lack of sleep, weight loss, potentially even psychosis. It can become very dangerous for them. This goes for anybody out there in the street who thinks that casual usage is fine. Well, it may be for some people, but for others it can be very problematic, we see people all the time, that thought they had it under control.

It is obviously very difficult for parents that are watching their loved ones undergo a transformation. In the long term it is really important to keep the conversation going, to be there to assist when a person realises that its time to deal with the issues. And that does to a certain extent require courage, both on behalf of the individual user but also for the parent who is watching someone who is dabbling and going in and out of particular substances.

MS: Are you able to give some key indicators that people should be looking for about a problematic use, particularly of meth? You mentioned the potential for psychosis, sleeplessness, lack of appetite. They are clear signs. Is that the top of the indicators?

SB: Repeated and prolonged use is something that someone should be very careful about. I think signs of sleeplessness and delusional thought patterns and cravings are signs that people should be looking for, as well as paranoid behaviour.

MS: As we talked about over lunch Sam, The Zone is a little bit about ideas and a little bit about the people who have them. So let’s move to you. What is your personal story? What motivates you? Why do you do what you do?

SB: I suppose I have a very strong commitment to social justice. Irrespective of where you were born and what your education has been and what you have done in life, your opportunities should be the same as someone else’s. I believe in a system that treats people equally and is inclusive of all.

I have real issues about some of the debates I’m hearing currently that seem very exclusive about those that have and very critical of those that don’t. I think that actually indicates arrogance and a failure to look after the lot of people who’ve not had good life chances and opportunities.

And I would like to think that in the work that I have done and the work I am doing that I have been able to make a little bit of a difference. But it is along with many, many other people out there who make a little bit of a difference as well.

MS: Why do you believe in social justice? Is it something that is intellectual or is it something received from your upbringing or is it a bit of both, or is it just having a bit of a think about the world?

SB: Well, I suppose I used to hear stories of the misery that used to occur during the war years and the suffering that people experienced.

Being born to migrants, or refugees as you would call it, in a pretty small community and experiencing some of the issues of growing up different from everybody else, you get a certain perception of things that should not be impacting on people but are.

As you grow up you recognise some limited life chances you have had compared to others and you think that it would be good if the system was able to be equal in its distribution of opportunity to all.

MS: It is interesting to me that you say that, because so many people who have not been interviewed here in The Zone believe so strongly in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome, but quality of opportunity.

And I think that it is one of those unimpeachable first principles. I just cannot see any way you can not support that. With that in mind, can you identify some key turning points in your life?


SB: I had an opportunity when I was young to participate in some educational sessions at Melbourne University that were being run for kids. It was in about 1974 or 1973 and it opened my eyes to what existed for others and I thought it was great to have an opportunity there.

Then I started to realise it was kids from disadvantaged school environments and that sort of thing, so it actually heightened my awareness of the gap between where I was and where other people were. But it also created some heightened aspiration that if I worked hard I could get there.

That opened up my eyes to a different world. And it took a while to pursue it, and there were failures along the way, but that was one turning point. Another turning point was actually having the experience to work at a place called the Fitzroy Legal Service.

MS: How did that come about?

SB: That was originally a student placement, and then I was employed there as a social worker and a community development worker. That put me in contact with many, many issues around social justice and the failure of the system. Essentially the legal service was established out of the failures of the formal legal system.

It also, I assume, grew out of the New Left movement of the 1970s, where we were building a system that was fairer and more equitable and that led to a whole range of activities around domestic violence, the environment and welfare rights and numerous other social areas.

MS: The final question, Sam, to everyone in The Zone is what is the hardest thing you had ever had to do?

SB: Having to have a conversation about turning off someone’s life support.

MS: Do you want to talk more about that? Not necessarily about who it was, and I know who it was, but about what that meant for how you live your life?

SB: Well you certainly come to question the authority of people in different professions. And you come to realise that mistakes can be made. Failure to pick up simple things is really easy to do. And those simple failures can have enormous consequences.

MS: Do you think that has made you a more thoughtful and careful person?

SB: I would hope so. I’m generally someone who deals with big issues and big problems but I know the consequences can be different for different people. And as much as I try to be sensitive to all positions, I do take a position in terms of some of the guiding principles.

Now, if one is talking about harm reduction for an individual but someone who is continuing to use, a parent or loved one might not understand that position, because they just want someone to be abstinent.

But if you look at the nature of addiction on a continuum, there are many positions you can be on and the mere fact that you keep someone alive on that continuum is a success. But if you insist on abstinence and that leads to death, it is a failure.

So there is all sorts of shading on this continuum with a whole range of different impacts for different people. It is a very difficult circumstance and hopefully we can have that conversation with people with different positions on this, but hopefully also lead to a better end result for all parties concerned.

MS: Well, let’s hope that our collaboration today might be a small part of that. Sam, thank you so much for your time.

SB: Thank you.



Former Head Of Suriname’s Counter-Terrorism Unit Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Attempting To Support Hezbollah, Narcotics Trafficking, and Brandishing a Rocket Launcher.

NEW YORK — Dino Bouterse, the son of the President of Suriname and previously head of Suriname’s Counter-Terrorism Unit, pled guilty Friday in Manhattan federal court in connection with his attempt to provide material support and resources to Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization, along with narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses. Bouterse, who was arrested in Panama on August 29, 2013, and arrived in the United States on August 30, 2013, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin.
“Today, a supporter of terrorism, who was in a position of national power in Suriname and presented himself as an opponent of terrorism, has pled guilty. In addition to conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, Dino Bouterse has acknowledged that he attempted to provide material support to Hezbollah. Now he faces, at a minimum, 15 years in prison,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Bouterse’s father, Dési Bouterse, is a former army officer and military dictator who was elected to office in 2010. After a 1980 coup, Lt. Colonel Bouterse had ruled Suriname behind a series of puppet Presidents until a new constitution was passed and democracy restored in 1990.

According to the Indictment and other documents, in 2013, Bouterse used his position to assist individuals he believed were members of Hezbollah who intended to conduct terrorist attacks against American interests. In exchange for a multimillion-dollar pay-off, Bouterse agreed to allow large numbers of purported Hezbollah operatives to use Suriname as a permanent base for, among other things, attacks on American targets. In furtherance of his efforts to assist Hezbollah, Bouterse supplied a false Surinamese passport to a purported Hezbollah operative, who in actuality was an undercover law enforcement officer, for the purpose of clandestine travel, including travel to the United States, began determining which heavy weapons he could provide to Hezbollah, and indicated how Hezbollah operatives, supplied with a Surinamese cover story, could enter the United States.

In June 2013, Bouterse and his co-defendant, Edmund Quincy Muntslag, met in Suriname with DEA confidential sources (the “CSs”), in a local government office, to discuss importing cocaine into the United States using commercial airline flights. During the meeting, Bouterse showed the CSs a rocket launcher and a kilogram of cocaine.

Approximately one month later, Bouterse and Muntslag worked to provide transportation and security for cocaine being sent through Suriname to the United States. As a test run, Bouterse and Muntslag sent 10 kilograms of cocaine on a commercial flight departing from Suriname. Bouterse personally verified the arrangements for the 10-kilogram cocaine shipment in a text message. The cocaine was intercepted by law enforcement officials after it departed Suriname.

In July 2013, Bouterse met with one of the CSs to discuss opening Suriname to the CSs’ purported Hezbollah associates.

Later that month, Bouterse met in Europe with one of the CSs and with two other men who purported to be associated with Hezbollah. During this meeting, Bouterse discussed initially hosting 30 to 60 Hezbollah members in Suriname for training and operations. He also indicated that he wanted a Hezbollah cell in Suriname, in part, to act as a personal armed force.

Bouterse confirmed his understanding that the purported Hezbollah operatives would operate in South America against American targets, and he agreed to supply Surinamese passports to the operatives — and to assist with their applications for visas to travel from South America into the United States. In addition, in response to a request for surface-to-air missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, Bouterse stated that he would need “two months” and that he would provide a list of what he could supply.

Finally, at the July 2013 meeting in Europe, Bouterse agreed to create a false Surinamese passport for one of the purported Hezbollah operatives, so that Bouterse and the Hezbollah operative could travel to Suriname to inspect the facilities that Bouterse had agreed to prepare for the Hezbollah contingent.

At a subsequent meeting in August 2013, Bouterse delivered a Surinamese passport with false identifying information to a purported Hezbollah operative. As had been discussed at the July 2013 meeting in Europe, the purported Hezbollah operative was to use the fraudulent passport to travel to Suriname. Bouterse indicated that everything was ready in Suriname for the arrival of the purported Hezbollah members, and that some “toys,” or weapons, would be available for inspection.

Muntslag was arrested on August 29, 2013, in Trinidad and Tobago, and is pending extradition to the United States to face a narcotics importation charge in the Indictment.

Bouterse, 41, pled guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, one count of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States, and one count of carrying a firearm in connection with the conspiracy to import cocaine. Those charges carry a maximum term in prison of life, and a mandatory minimum term in prison of 15 years.

The charge against the remaining defendant, Edmund Quincy Muntslag, is merely an allegation, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

In 2000, Dino Bouterse’s father, President Desi Bouterse, was himself convicted in absentia of drug trafficking by a court in the Netherlands. He has always denied the charges.

Wikileaks cables released in 2011 reveal that the elder Bouterse was involved in drug-trafficking until atleast 2006. The cables report the connection between Bouterse and top Guyanese criminals Roger Khan and Eduardo Beltran. Khan was believed to help Bouterse’s financial situation by giving him the means to supplement his income through narcotics trafficking. According to the cables Bouterse met Roger Khan several times in Nickerie at the house of MP Rashied Doekhi, who is a prominent member of Bouterse’s political party. The cables also report that Bouterse and Khan were plotting to assassinate then minister of Justice Chan Santokhi and attorney general Subhaas Punwasi.

Khan who is known as the Guyanese Pablo Escobar and is believed responsible for almost 200 murders in Guyana was arrested in Paramaribo in June 2006 in a sting operation by the Surinamese police. By order of then Minister of Justice Chan Santokhi, Khan was deported to the United States of America where he was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment on charges of smuggling large amounts of cocaine into the United States of America, witness tampering and illegal possession of firearms.


The Government of the Republic of Suriname wishes not to react to the recent developments in the court case of the United States of America against Dino Bouterse.

The Government, however, wishes to emphasize the following:

    1. At no point in time and in no manner whatsoever have terrorist organizations been active within the territory of the Republic of Suriname. Court documents reflect that this was an undercover operation in which only US agents and informants were involved, neither of whom were terrorists or drug cartel members.
    2. Dino Bouterse has never held the position of Head of the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU). During the start up phase of this unit, Bouterse was merely appointed as trainer and instructor. To date, the only, and first, person to hold the position of Head of the CTU is Captain Giovanni Nijbroek. Hence, Dino Bouterse lacked at all times the authority and capability to lend support to setting up terrorist bases and camps in Suriname.
    3. Suriname and the United States of America, together with international organizations, have consistently been working closely in the area of counter terrorism and intelligence sharing. Suriname unequivocally continues this cooperation in the future.

August 13, 2014 US Indicts Son of Suriname’s President for Drug Trafficking

Click here to read the Wikileaks Cables Linking Father President Desi Bouterse to Drug Trafficking

US v Dino Bouterse Indictment 14 August 2014 by Latin American Herald Tribune

U.S. v. Dino Bouterse and Edmund Quincy Muntslag Indictment August 13 2013 by Latin American Herald Tribune


Room 121 at Economy Inn in south Au­gusta looks just like the 40 others available for lodging off Deans Bridge Road.. The bed is made, there are fresh towels in the bathroom and an empty refrigerator is ready.


But for four months, no one has stayed inside the one-bedroom unit, where police say the last occupants made methamphetamine.

Augusta code enforcement has deemed the room unsafe until the motel spends upwards of $2,000 to hire a certified contractor experienced in hazardous waste removal to clear the toxic chemicals and vapors that possibly permeate drywall, furniture, insulation and air ducts.

At $36 a night, the room’s cleaning bill would wipe out two months’ rent, a hit the inn’s manager said he cannot afford to take.

By law, he doesn’t have to.

“There are no cleanup guidelines for Geor­gia,” Nancy Nydam, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Health, said of meth lab cleanup. “The only issue is potentially tiny amounts of actual drug residue. We recommend tenants or landlords use common sense and due diligence.”


Reports show national chains often pay to clean up after meth labs are discovered. The Centers for Disease Con­trol and Prevention says the byproducts of meth labs can damage the respiratory tract, mucous membranes, eyes and skin.

In February 2012, Motel 6 on Boy Scout Road used a two-step process to decontaminate Room 219, which had been used as a meth lab, according to a report filed with Augusta Code Enforce­ment. The document stated that the process included the use of cleaning and disinfecting compounds on all hard surfaces in the room. Tests for volatile chemicals and toxic vapors came back negative.

On Aug. 12, 2013, Super 8 on Gordon Highway disinfected all surfaces with a cleaning solution, replaced the air-conditioning filter and removed all waste in Room 322, including the mattress, clothing, empty containers and needles. The room was allowed to sit overnight, and a neighboring room was checked to ensure it was safe for occupancy.

Hepaco, the contractor that performed the cleanup operations, declined comment, citing a confidentiality agreement with the federal government.

Larry Lariscy, a senior inspector for Augusta code enforcement, said all hotel rooms used for meth labs are condemned for occupancy until the business submits a decontamination report.

“We have no way of testing other than the sheriff’s office confirming an active methamphetamine lab and then based on the extent of the operation, we will determine what type of remediation, if any, is necessary,” Lariscy said.

About 20 states have tried to strengthen meth lab cleanup laws for hotels and apartments by requiring lead and mercury targets in their rules, but in Geor­gia, remediation is voluntary under Environ­men­tal Protection Agency guidelines published in 2008 and revised last year.

Nydam said all chemicals used in meth lab production are common household and agriculture products, and as a result, there are no hazardous waste site issues under state cleanup requirements for environmental protection. The chemicals vary depending on the process but can include ammonia, drain cleaners, paint thinner, metallic lithium, hydrochloric or sulfuric acids, starter fluid and camping fuel.

Under the most extreme circumstances, contractors who enter a former meth lab go in dressed in protective equipment. But, Lariscy said, “that does not happen an awful lot.”


According to EPA procedures, making a former meth lab a safe area requires an eight-step process.

  1. Ventilate the structure, taking steps to protect nearby structures from contamination.
  2. Perform a preliminary assessment to develop cleanup and waste disposal plans.
  3. Remove contaminated materials, including personal belongings.
  4. Vacuum walls, floors and other hard surfaces using a HEPA filter vacuum.
  5. Complete an initial washing of the walls and floors to remove the majority of contamination.
  6. Clean and seal the ventilation system.
  7. Use a detergent solution to wash ceilings, walls, floors, nonporous furniture and other items.
  8. Ventilate the structure and flush the plumbing once more after indoor cleanup is complete.




A group of meth-users destroyed the home they used to make the drug during a meth-induced state of destruction this week, officials say.


The New York Daily News reports that someone delivering newspapers in the Sneads, Fla. neighborhood heard screaming coming from the house on Monday morning. Police were summoned, and eventually discovered 18-year-old Madison Douglas, 21-year-old Damian Hines, and 30-year-old Matthew McDaniel screaming that they were being held hostage.

Convinced they were under attack, the hallucinating trio had hurled everything from the kitchen sink to a toilet out of the home’s window and stockpiled weapons including a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle. Police eventually coaxed the group outside by assuring them that the area was secure, but that’s when they found evidence of a “shake and bake” meth lab and finished product.

Douglas, Hines, and McDaniel were hospitalized prior to being jailed and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of meth, attempt to manufacture meth, and criminal mischief.








NORTH BEND, Ore. — The log truck driver involved in a multi-car crash that blocked the McCullough Bridge for hours on Tuesday is now facing methamphetamine charges, authorities said.

According to Oregon State Police, Richard Wilson, 57, of Bandon, was driving a semi towing a loaded log truck north on Highway 101 when at around 1:50 p.m. he failed to stop for a light at the north end of the McCullough Bridge.

The log truck rear-ended a commercial truck pulling a semi-trailer, causing a chain-reaction crash between a utility truck and two passenger vehicles that blocked the bridge, Oregon State Police said.

Wilson was trapped inside as the logs shifted forwarded into the back of the truck. Firefighters pulled Wilson from the truck and he was taken to a Coos Bay hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The drivers of the passenger cars received minor injuries; one refused hospital treatment.

Log+truck+causes+chain+reaction+crash+on+McCullough+Bridge+-+02 Log+truck+causes+chain+reaction+crash+on+McCullough+Bridge+-+01


The South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team said it found methamphetamine later that evening when conducting a raid at Wilson’s home on NE Ohio Ave. in Bandon.

Authorities arrested 34-year-old Kenneth Wilson and 34-year-old Jenny Lucas on drug charges while conducting the raid. Richard Wilson also faces a possession of meth charge.

The Oregon Department of Transportation closed Highway 101 for nearly two hours while working to clear the roadway. Crews transferred the logs to another truck before both the damaged semi trucks and trailers were towed from the scene.







MEIGS COUNTY, OHSeveral people were arrested in a series of meth busts in Meigs County, Ohio.

According to a news release issued by the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, 25-year-old Joseph A. Kimes, of Middleport, along with 26-year-old Timothy Dexter and 26-year-old Samantha Gilbert, both of Shade, were arrested in two separate meth busts on Tuesday, August 19.

The news release says that police were investigating a report of a possible meth lab in Middleport.  When police received permission to search a residence on Broadway Street in the village, they found materials used to make meth and then neutralized the items.  In this incident, Kimes was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and illegal possession of chemicals to produce methamphetamine.

Both Dexter and Gilbert were arrested after police searched their residence and found materials used to make meth.  They were also charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, as well as illegal possession of chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine.


The news release goes on to say that on August 25, more meth busts were made in which more people were arrested.

When police responded to a suspicious person call on Side Hill Road and Carpenter Road, they found 31-year-old Missy Priddy (Walker) and 38-year-old Shannon L. Nitz in a Ford Ranger, where they found numerous items that are used to make meth.  Both Priddy and Nitz were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and illegal possession of chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine.  The news release also says that Priddy was already out on bond for the same charges in a previous case.


Also on August 25, police responded to a residence in regards to a possible meth lab on Vance Road, in which 38-year-old Jonathan Vance, 33-year-old Laine Vance, 62-year-old Bobby Vance, and 18-year-old Anthony Vance were arrested.

The news release says that Jonathan Vance ran back into the residence, but was ordered out and was then arrested.  Laine Vance was arrested outside of the residence, while Bobby Vance was located in a camper beside the residence and was arrested, and Anthony Vance later arrived, in which he was also arrested.

When police searched the property, they found several meth labs and materials used to make meth.  All of the items were neutralized.

All four were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of chemicals to produce methamphetamine




Authorities in Coffee County arrested a suspect Sunday wanted in Lebanon for a methamphetamine lab found in a car parked in the Walmart parking lot earlier this month.

But Jamie Lee Smotherman, 40, of Brush Creek will have to wait to face local charges because he was released to Smith County authorities Tuesday to face a laundry list of meth-related offenses there.


According to Coffee County authorities, Smotherman was charged Sunday with criminal impersonation, possession of a prohibited weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Tuesday, Smotherman was released to Smith County deputies in exchange for time served.

A Smith County court clerk said Smotherman had five active warrants there. The first includes charges for driving on a suspended license, no proof of insurance and driving a non-registered vehicle. The second warrant includes charges of initiation of process, two counts of possession of schedule II drugs, simple possession of drugs, possession of a firearm with the intent to go armed and possession of drug paraphernalia. The third warrant includes charges of promotion of meth manufacture, initiation of process, possession of schedule II drugs and possession of a weapon while eluding. The fourth warrant includes two counts of possession of schedule II drugs charges. The fifth warrant includes charges of possession of schedule II drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lebanon police issued a warrant for Smotherman for manufacture of meth, initiation of process, simple possession of schedule II drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and reckless endangerment.

Police Sgt. Joe Nokes responded to a shoplifting call at the Walmart Supercenter on Aug. 12 at around 2:30 p.m. According to Nokes, the store’s loss prevention team saw Smotherman and a woman, believed to be his girlfriend, Tiffany Mullins, take cold compresses and batteries out of the store without paying for them.

Nokes said lithium in batteries and ingredients in cold compresses are commonly used to make meth.

He said the couple tried to get into a red Saturn car, but the loss prevention members stopped them. The woman got into another waiting vehicle and left, but Nokes cited Smotherman for misdemeanor shoplifting before he left on foot.

Nokes said he called in a K9 unit, and the dog alerted officers to the presence of drugs in the Saturn.

An active “shake-and-bake” meth lab was found in the trunk of the car. Police meth technician Chris Luna was then called to the scene, along with firefighters and public safety officials to secure the area surrounding the car.

Luna said the lab was active. Officers said they also found two additional jars filled with liquid that tested positive for meth, along with ingredients commonly used to make meth, in the car.

Officers also found a prescription pill bottle with a Smotherman’s name on it that matched the name he gave for his police citation. Police couldn’t hold him at the time on the misdemeanor charge.

State meth task force agents were called in to properly dispose of the lab and ingredients.

Luna said this situation could have turned deadly, but officials handled the situation the best they possibly could.

“The bottle and lab in the car was about the size of the lab that blew the wall out of the Travel Inn,” Luna said.

Two men caused a meth lab explosion at the Travel Inn motel in October last year.

“The problem with mobile labs is below the meth and metals of the car is usually a gas tank,” Luna said.

Luna said Lebanon police have discovered about a dozen meth labs this year, and two or three of those were mobile labs. He said anyone who suspects the presence of a meth lab should get away and notify police.

Mullins, who remains on the loose, could possibly go by Tiffany McDonald. It’s unknown when Smotherman will face charges in Wilson County.

(WORTHINGTON) – An Avon man was arrested on drug charges Tuesday night after police found him partially dressed and asleep on a park bench.


Worthington police arrived at the park just before 7 p.m. to find 27-year-old Marinko Tanaskovich lying in a grassy area beside the park’s mortars and cannons.

Tanaskovich was curled up in the fetal position and wearing only a black t-shirt, a pair of blue underwear, and a pair of black socks.

Two men told police they attempted to wake Tanaskovich, who they saw lying in a different part of the park earlier.

Police woke Tanaskovich. According to probable cause affidavit Tanaskovich seemed to be under the influence of a narcotic or a controlled substance because he could not stand still, was sweaty and jittery, and at times seemed disoriented, incoherent, and confused.

But Tanaskovich told police he was just tired. When police asked Tanaskovich where he was he replied Bloomington.
Police then told him he was in a city park in Worthington. Tanaskovich then argued with police saying he was in Bloomington.

Tanaskovich, who was not drunk, was then checked by Greene County EMS.

Police also found Tanaskovich’s SUV in the parking lot, along with a pile of clothing outside of the vehicle and two floor mats, and a pair of steel-toed work boots.

Police found a plastic pill bottle with a blue paper napkin with a glass smoking pipe wrapped inside with a white-powdery substance. They also found a plastic straw with white residue and a ziplock baggie containing a white crystal-like substance.

The substance tested positive for meth.

K9 Layla alerted officers that a suitcase in the vehicle also may contain narcotics. Inside that case officers found a book titled “Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture 8th. Edition,” by Uncle Fester.

Tanaskovich was taken to Greene County General Hospital, for a medical evaluation and he submitted to a blood draw. He refused to give a urine sample stating – “I’m a human being and I demand to be treated like one. I’m not an animal and I’m not peeing in a cup for you, I want you to start treating me like a person and not an animal!'”

At the hospital, Tanaskovich told police he was just tired because he was up for three days and didn’t understand why he was in the hospital.

When asked if he had been doing meth, Tanaskovich admitted to doing the drug before he had left work, saying he had smoked and snorted it.

Tanaskovich was medically cleared at the hospital and then taken to the Greene County jail on felony charges of possession of meth and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.



For those of us who’ve been raising alarms about both the jihadist threat and the national-security vulnerability created by the Obama administration’s non-enforcement of the immigration laws, this is not a surprise — particularly less than two weeks before September 11. But it is nonetheless jarring to read. Judicial Watch has just put out this statement:

Islamic terrorist groups are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle born improvised explosive devices (VBIED). High-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources have confirmed to Judicial Watch that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued.  Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat.

Specifically, Judicial Watch sources reveal that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is confirmed to now be operating in Juarez, a famously crime-infested narcotics hotbed situated across from El Paso, Texas. Violent crimes are so rampant in Juarez that the U.S. State Department has issued a number of travel warnings for anyone planning to go there. The last one was issued just a few days ago.

Intelligence officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the terrorist groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to one JW source.  “It’s coming very soon,” according to this high-level source, who clearly identified the groups planning the plots as “ISIS and Al Qaeda.” An attack is so imminent that the commanding general at Ft. Bliss, the U.S. Army post in El Paso, is being briefed, another source confirms. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not respond to multiple inquiries from Judicial Watch, both telephonic and in writing, about this information.

The disturbing inside intelligence comes on the heels of news reports revealing that U.S. intelligence has picked up increased chatter among Islamist terror networks approaching the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While these terrorists reportedly plan their attack just outside the U.S., President Obama admits that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to combat ISIS. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” the commander-in-chief said this week during a White House press briefing. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”

The administration has also covered up, or at the very least downplayed, a serious epidemic of crime along the Mexican border even as heavily armed drug cartels have taken over portions of the region. Judicial Watch has reported that the U.S. Border Patrol actually ordered officers to avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting. In the meantime, who could forget the famous words of Obama’s first Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano; the southern border is “as secure as it has ever been.”

These new revelations are bound to impact the current debate about the border crisis and immigration policy.



WALHALLA — A Westminster woman is charged with child neglect.

Authorities tell local media outlets that 36-year-old Bridgette Delanea McCall was booked into the Oconee County jail at around 6 p.m. Wednesday on a child neglect charge.

Warrants show McCall is accused of exposing her 1-year-old child to methamphetamine. Authorities say the child tested positive in a drug panel screening.

The investigation began July 9 when a sheriff’s deputy spoke with a South Carolina Department of Social Services employee. Deputies say the child was removed from McCall’s care and placed with family members.

McCall is in jail on $10,000 bond. It wasn’t known if she had an attorney.



Nacogdoches County Deputies were able to stop a drug deal ending in three arrests Friday morning.

Around 11:30 a.m., following a call from a home located on Paradise Drive, deputies arrived on the scene and became suspicious of three suspects at the residence. During the investigation it was discovered two people had just arrived at the scene to deliver methamphetamine.

Deputies were able to search the residence and vehicles parked outside. During the search, officials found over six grams of crystal methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia. Deputies also found methamphetamine located on a motorcycle parked outside of the home.

April Carey, 33, Allan Stevens, 34, and Christopher Gilliam, 39, were arrested at the scene for engaging in organized criminal activity and delivery of a controlled substance.

The suspects were booked into the Nacogdoches County Jail.





Two men have been arrested and charged after a meth lab was found on a moped Wednesday evening.

James%20Polson Robert%20Polson

James Franklin Polson, 60, of Darlington, was arrested and charged with Distribution of Methamphetamine 2nd offense and Robert Wayne Polson, 56, of Marion, was charged with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine and two counts of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Marion County Major Brian Wallace said that James Polson already had warrants out for his arrest when he was seen stopped in traffic due to a motorcycle wreck on Highway 76 Wednesday evening.

Deputies working the wreck noticed items on James Polson’s moped that were consistent with that of a mobile meth lab, Wallace said.

After James Polson was taken in to custody, deputies went to a home and arrested his brother, Robert Polson, Wallace said.

James Polson is currently in the Marion County Detention Center on a $10,000 surety bond.

Robert Polson is currently in the Marion County Detention Center on a $30,000 surety bond.



LAKE CITY — The Missaukee County Sheriff’s Department and Michigan State Police troopers executed a search warrant at a Lake City home that resulted in the arrest of two adults on charges related to manufacturing methamphetamine and the removal of a 4-year-old child from the residence.

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Police conducted the search Thursday, Aug. 28, at a house on North Al Moses Road, according to Detective Lt. Dan King of the Traverse Narcotics Team.

Investigators discovered numerous chemical components and paraphernalia used to manufacture methamphetamine both inside and outside the home, King said.

Ronald Wayne Hahn, 50, Dawn Marie Hahn, 44, both face numerous felony counts.

Each have been charged with operating and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory while also possessing a firearm, an offense punishable by up to 25 years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000, or both.

They also have been charged with delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine, operating/maintaining a meth lab in the presence of a minor, maintaining a drug house, receiving and concealing stolen firearms, and possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony, including a Stevens Savage .22 rifle and a Ruger .22 single-six pistol.

Marijuana, prescription medication and drug paraphernalia also were seized. Both were charged with possession of marijuana. Additional charges will be sought pending a continued investigation, King said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Missaukee County Sheriff Jim Bosscher at (231) 839-4338 or King at (231) 779-6005.

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 (Bernama) — Police detained a 39-year-old Filipino at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Thursday, on suspicion of trafficking in 3.1 kg of crystalline substances believed to be methamphetamine worth RM620,000.

Bukit Aman Narcotics CID director Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the suspect who was arrested at 7.35 am, had arrived from New Delhi, India.

“The substances in five plastic packages, were concealed under a pile of clothes at the bottom of her suitcase,” he told a media conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters here Friday.

He said police also seized Malaysian, US, Indian, Philippines and Thai currencies from her.

The suspect has been remanded for seven days to facilitate investigations under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, he said.

Noor Rashid said it was the suspect’s first arrival into the country and was to be paid RM5,000 for the alleged deal.

He attributed the success of the arrest to sharing of intelligence between his department and international narcotics enforcement agencies.






ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 29, 7:05 A.M.: U.S. Border Patrol agents from the San Clemente checkpoint are giving Orange County law enforcement at their various sobriety checkpoints a run for the money lately, only the feds are catching alleged drug smugglers instead of alleged booze hounds.


Now comes this: Two separate busts at and near the same San Clemente checkpoint on Tuesday. First, agents said they smelled marijuana in a 2006 Chevrolet Impala passing through and had the driver, a 22-year-old U.S. citizen, pull over to a secondary inspection area, according to a Border Patrol statement.

The driver said he and his female passenger, also an adult citizen, had just come from Oceanside, say agents, who go on to allege a canine officer sniffed out a duffel bag in the trunk with several pounds of marijuana inside. The unidentified man said the pot was his and he and the herb were turned over to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Border Patrol.

A larger bust happened around 5:30 p.m. not at the checkpoint but a nearby rest stop along the 5 freeway, when patrolling agents approached two men in a parked 1996 Ford Mustang. Again, it was a canine officer that alerted human handlers, who were allegedly told by the 21-year-old driver that he previously had an empty container of marijuana in the console.

Let’s just stop right here for a moment and ask if this excuse has ever worked.

“Oh, you previously hit pot in the car?” asks the agent. “Great, no need to search any further. Carry on.”

Agents did search the car and, lo and behold, there was an empty container, just like the dude said. But nine bundles of methamphetamine also turned up hidden inside the spare tire and eight more bundles were stashed inside a speaker box in the trunk, according to the Border Patrol.

Weighing in at 18.63 pounds, the 17 bundles have an estimated street value of $186,300, say the agents, who turned the meth and two fellows–both Mexican nationals–over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Border Patrol seized the Mustang.

UPDATE, AUG. 29, 8:14 A.M.: Agents made another double play Wednesday, stopping a 2005 Nissan Sentra and 2004 Dodge Ram truck with more than $1 million in heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine hidden inside them, according to the Border Patrol.

Around 2:15 p.m., the Sentra accelerated without stopping at the San Clemente checkpoint, prompting agents to halt the car and conduct an inspection, according to the Border Patrol, which adds the driver presented “questionable identification” that led to his being directed to a secondary inspection area.

If you read the original post, you know where this is going: the canine officer alerted handlers to areas of the car, and a search produced 15 bundles inside the passenger side panel, 13 bundles inside the driver’s side rear-door panel and five bundles in the rear wheel wells, agents said.

The 33 bundles–seven of which were filled with heroin and 26 with meth–weighed 48.32 pounds and had an estimated street value of $519,880, according to the Border Patrol.

Next, during a search of the “suspicious” Ram truck near the checkpoint around 6:30 p.m., the canine again alerted agents, who found 15 bundles of cocaine hidden in the dashboard, according to the Border Patrol, which reports the narcotics weighed 38.36 pounds and had an estimated street value of $498,680.

The 44-year-old driver of the Sentra and 33-year-old driver of the Ram, both unidentified Mexican national men, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration to face narcotic smuggling charges, while the Border Patrol seized the vehicles.




Three people in Florida were so high on meth that police say they imagined their home was under attack, tossing a toilet and bathroom sink out the window at imaginary “intruders.”


Jackson County sheriff’s deputies also found numerous windows shot out and multiple holes in the walls.

They were called to the home by reports of suspicious noises and cries for help, the Dothan Eagle reported.

Matthew McDaniel, 30, Damian Hines, 21, and Madison Douglas, 18, had to be convinced that the “attackers” had left before emerging from the home.

Officers found a small amount of meth and a “shake-and-bake” meth lab inside.

According to the police report:

“(The suspects) completely removed a large rear window from the house on the second floor and threw the bathroom sink at the imaginary attackers. Chunks of sheetrock, wood, firearm parts and anything they could tear out of the residence was thrown outside, including the toilet, which was ripped from the floor. In total, more than $10,000 damage was done to the residence.”

All three now face charges of possession and attempted manufacture of meth, as well as felony criminal mischief.