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RENO-TAHOE, Nev. & Calif. ( & KRNV) — According to authorities in regional law enforcement, several arrests were made during New Year’s Eve festivities — but overall, the night was relatively quiet.


The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reports that the 2014-2015 New Year’s Eve celebration in the casino core area of Stateline, Nevada went as planned.

The celebratory crowd appeared small, likely due to bitterly cold temperatures. U.S. Highway 50 was closed to vehicle traffic at about 11:50 p.m. for public safety reasons as the celebrants flowed into the roadway as they celebrated the coming of the New Year. The Nevada side of U.S. Highway 50 was cleared of celebrants at approximately 12:15 a.m. and was reopened to vehicle traffic at approximately 12:22 a.m. after the crowd peacefully moved off the roadway.

Eight people were arrested in the downtown casino core area of Stateline, Nevada during the evening. Charges included battery, domestic battery, disorderly conduct, minor consuming alcohol and possession of a dangerous drug.

Another three people were arrested for traffic-related offenses and driving under the influence.

The Minden-Gardnerville area reported a similarly quiet evening; with five people arrested for DUI, domestic battery, resisting a public officer, intoxicated pedestrian and minor consuming.

There were no reported injuries to any public safety personnel.


Despite cold temperatures, thousands of people gathered in downtown Reno to bring in the New Year. Several officers from the Reno Police Department were also in downtown Reno to ensure the event was safe for all participants. A spokesperson for RPD reports officers mingled and interacted with the crowd all night long having mostly positive interactions which resulted in very few arrests.

There were a total of four arrests during the Downtown Reno New Year’s Eve Celebrations; two arrests for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, one arrest for Possession of Methamphetamine/Possession of Methamphetamine for Sales, one arrest for Disturbing the Peace, and one arrest for an outstanding warrant.

Five people were also detained for civil protective custody due to being intoxicated.


Between the hours of 2 p.m. on December 31, 2014 and approximately 1 a.m. January 1, 2015, the Sparks Police Department increased its patrol staffing for New Year’s Eve, according to a spokesperson with Sparks PD.

During these hours, officials say there were three arrests made; one for an outstanding warrant, one for possession of stolen property, and one for fraud.

There was also one call of a juvenile party involving alcohol in which one citation was issued and two referrals were made to the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center. Finally, officers made many traffic stops and issued 11 citations for various traffic-related offenses.








FOUR people are due to appear in court following the New Year’s Day discovery of explosives and drugs during a routine traffic stop in Mt Lawley.

The group of two men and two women were refused bail to appear in court on multiple drug offences.493735-378ca40e-9216-11e4-9f9e-62c4c493a0de

About 2am on January 1, police searched a silver Kia Cerato after it was stopped at a breath and drug bus operation on Beaufort Street.

It will be alleged in the boot about 11.5kg of power-gel and an unknown weight of methamphetamine was found and seized.

The driver of the vehicle, a 21-year-old North Perth woman, was arrested and taken to Perth Police Station.

A short time after she was arrested, the three passengers went to another vehicle parked nearby and were arrested after police seized what they will allege were several clip-sealed bags of a white crystal material believed to be methamphetamine.

Police then searched a hotel room on Adelaide Terrace, Perth, where more alleged methamphetamine and cash was found.

The 21-year-old North Perth woman has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and false details.

A 43-year-old Ascot woman has been charged with two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply, possession of heroin and unlawful possession.

A 27-year-old Henley Brook man has been charged with two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply, possession of heroin and unlawful possession.

A 31-year-old man of no fixed address has been charged with two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or supply, possession of cocaine with intent to sell or supply, possession of heroin, unlawful possession and unlicensed possession of dangerous goods.








The equipment and ingredients to make methamphetamine are easy to get and simple to put together. The process creates volatile chemical combinations that can explode, fumes that can debilitate, and finally, a drug that destroys lives.

This year, the number of meth labs continued to escalate.

In February, Coaldale police charged Jason John Shiffert, 33, with operating the meth lab at 11 E. Ruddle St.

In April, Mahoning Township police charged Todd Cermak with making meth at his Nis Hollow home.

In May, Nesquehoning police charged Eric Joseph Willing, 34, of 132 E. Railroad St., with operating a meth lab in his home.

In June, Lansford police, along with the Carbon County Drug Task Force and the state Office of the Attorney General arrested William Barnes, 36, for operating a meth lab out of his home at 237 W. Patterson St.

In July, Lehighton police charged Matthew Scott Haydt, 26, of 189 S. First St., with making the drug.

In October, authorities found a meth lab being operated by William McFarland, 48, in Lower Towamensing Township.

Also in October, the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Response Team was in Tamaqua after police discovered a meth lab in a vacant apartment at 130 E. Broad St.

People making meth in their homes endanger family members, often children, by exposing them to fumes and the possibility of explosions.

They also endanger firefighters and ambulance crews responding to the explosions. Meth addicts are often violent, and neglect their children. It’s almost impossible for them to hold down jobs, and so they depend on public handouts for food, shelter and medical care.

While the cost of making meth is cheap, the cost of caring for neglected children, cleaning up the hazardous waste resulting from meth manufacturing, the cost of keeping meth addicts jailed, and the hours spent by firefighters, police and ambulance personnel are expensive.








Six children were taken by Child Protective Services from a Linda home where a group of adults allegedly provided methamphetamine multiple times to a 16-year-old boy.

Bobbie M. Galloway, 30, Pamela J. Rister, 51, and Michael D. Elliott Jr., 41, were arrested Tuesday and booked into Yuba County Jail on suspicion of providing a minor a controlled substance and cruelty to child. Bail for each was set at $75,000.

Six children, ranging from 4 to 16, were found in the home in the 5800 block of Garden Avenue. They are now with CPS, according to Yuba County sheriff’s Sgt. Josh Jelsey.

Deputies were investigating Elliott on suspicion of fraudulent use of an electronic benefit transfer card, when he showed a deputy a video of adults smoking meth with the teenager.

Further investigation led deputies to believe the suspects provided methamphetamine to the boy regularly for the last year.

An additional suspect in the case is still outstanding.








Women’s refuges are reporting a spike in calls and are bracing for even more in the New Year after a quiet Christmas.

Lois Herbert, manager of the Christchurch-based Battered Women’s Trust, said its crisis line was quiet over Christmas but staff were “extremely busy” this week.

“It has picked up dramatically.

“Women have been staying where they are even if things have not been very good, sometimes for the sake of children. We have admitted women into our safe houses in the past two days . . . with [some] reporting significant assaults over the holiday period.”

Methamphetamine, or P, “seems to be an issue for many families at the moment”, Herbert said.

There was a problem with many women staying in violent homes and relationships because they were worried they would have nowhere to go if they left, she said.

The West Coast Women’s Refuge, in Westport, has received 27 police referrals since December 23.

“It is more than we’ve had previously in such a short space,” manager Heather Greer said.

Greer felt it meant more women were reporting violence.

Aviva, formerly the Christchurch Women’s Refuge, no longer runs a safe house (the Battered Women’s Trust took it over last month), but a spokeswoman said its telephone support line was “quite busy” pre-Christmas.

“The more sustained demand happens in January/February in terms of ongoing support. People generally try to hold it together through the Christmas period.”


* Need help? If you are in immediate danger, dial 111. For women’s refuge assistance, call 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843.








Police recovered meth and drug paraphernalia from a motel room in north Springfield where they suspect a man was selling drugs, according to court documents.

The seizure came days after the target of the investigation — who has no permanent residence — eluded police by switching motels, according to a search warrant.1405947477000-crime

The warrant says police seized meth and other drugs from a room at the Motel 6 at 2655 N. Glenstone Ave. on Dec. 12. The warrant says the room was being rented by Robert Woolery.

Woolery has yet to be charged in relation to this incident, but the search warrant says he has previous arrests for manufacturing a controlled substance and drug possession.

The search warrant says police believe Woolery does not have a home and lives in motel rooms day to day.

The warrant says police received information from multiple sources that Woolery was distributing meth in Springfield, so an officer set up surveillance outside of his room at a different motel, but Woolery moved before police could apply for a search warrant.

Later that week, police received information from a confidential informant that Woolery was operating out of a room at the Motel 6 on North Glenstone Avenue, so they set up surveillance there and observed numerous people coming into the room and leaving after a short stay, the warrant says.

Police obtained a “no knock” warrant on Dec. 12 at around 11 p.m. and entered the motel room shortly thereafter, at which time they recovered the drugs, according to the search warrant.








The McPherson County Sheriff’s Department says a traffic stop led to the seizure of about 7 pounds of methamphetamine.

Sheriff Larry Powell says the drugs were found after a vehicle was stopped Monday on Interstate 135 near Moundridge.

Deputies found drug paraphernalia in the pickup and impounded the vehicle. The deputies then found the meth in the truck.

Powell estimated the value of the drugs at $1.75 million dollars.

One person has been arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.







According to Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, an ongoing collaboration between area law enforcement officials has resulted in the conviction in a methamphetamine conspiracy of nearly 57 defendants with the possible subsequent federal sentence of more than 300 years.

The arrest, prosecution and convictions involved the work of Erwin and Unicoi County investigators working with the Washington County Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force Officer and assisted by: 1st Judicial Drug Task Force, Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Elizabethton Police Department, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson City Police Department, Kingsport Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy, which involved multiple cells, began with an investigation in 2010 on Bill Jones Road in Washington County, but continued to include areas of Sulphur Springs, Telford, Limestone, Jonesborough, Johnson City, Elizabethton, Erwin and Unicoi County as well as areas in North Carolina.

According to Graybeal, inter-agency cooperation is a necessity in these types of investigations due to numerous individuals who cross county/state lines in order to procure meth lab precursors used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

The last individual in this conspiracy was sentenced earlier this month.

More than 30 methamphetamine labs were encountered during the investigation. Due to the risk involved with meth labs and the unpredictability of the individuals who cook and use methamphetamine, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team was also utilized to serve a portion of the arrest warrants.

Several of the defendants had criminal history prior to the investigation.

In further information provided by the Sheriff’s Office:

Meth labs worked inside Washington County by Washington County investigators (including one inside Jonesborough town limits) totaled seven to date in 2014.

The number of labs was down from last year’s total of 27 worked by Washington County.

Total number of meth labs in Washington County in 2014, to date, was 32 — down from 43 in in 2013.

Eleven of the meth labs discovered by Washington County Sheriff’s Office during the 2013-2014 time period are due to proactive investigations rather than just merely responding to reports of meth labs found.

Upon arrest and interview of defendants, more leads are often developed which leads to ongoing methamphetamine conspiracy investigations. It is not unusual to find that one meth cook teaches 10 others to cook, thereby spreading the methamphetamine lab problem to epidemic proportions if not kept in check by law enforcement actions.

Anyone having any knowledge of a methamphetamine lab is asked to contact your local law enforcement agency.

If any item is found that is believed to be a one pot meth lab or a chemical used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, you are asked not to touch it, as a slight disturbance is sometimes all that is needed to cause a chemical reaction that could result in death or serious bodily injury.








LEHIGHTON, Pa. –  Police have arrested and charged a mother in Carbon County with the death of her six-week-old baby.

Tory Lyn Schlier, 20, of Lehighton, was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children.

The baby, Brayden Allen Cummings, died on Oct. 17 at a home in the 200 block of North Seventh Street in Lehighton, according to police.

According to court paperwork, Schlier had an opiate addiction and was prescribed methadone. The baby was also prescribed methadone.

At approximately 8:58 a.m. on Oct. 17, police responded to the home for a report of an unresponsive male infant. Schlier told police she had fed the baby a bottle in her bed sometime between 7:30-8 a.m., then fell asleep with the baby in bed.

Her fiancee’s mother woke her up and discovered the baby was unresponsive, court papers say.

The baby was taken to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:15 a.m.

The mother told police she had given the baby his methadone dose on Oct. 16 at 10 p.m., police said, and she told police she had only taken her prescribed methadone and was not under the influence of any other substances during this incident.

Police executed a search warrant on Schlier and a sample of her blood was sent for lab analysis.

According to the lab results, police said her blood contained amphetamine, methamphetamine, alprazolam and methadone.

On November 5, documents show Schlier contained state police at Lehighton via the warden of the Carbon County Correctional Facility, where she was detained on a probation violation.

Police interviewed her for a second time, and according to court papers, when confronted by her lab results, she admitted to taking two bars of Xanax (alprazolam), which she was not prescribed, in the afternoon of October 16.

She told police she was ‘high’ when she gave the baby his methadone dose, and also admitted to taking methamphetamine, which she was not prescribed, but didn’t recall when she had last taken it.

She also told police she was ‘fuzzy’ while still under these substances the morning of Oct. 17 when she brought the baby to bed and fell asleep holding him alongside her body, papers show.

An autopsy performed on Oct. 18 determined that the cause of the baby’s death was asphyxia or overlay while co-sleeping.  The manner of death was ruled a homicide.








Chinese authorities have detained 15 South Koreans for alleged drug-smuggling as they were about to board a plane to Australia.

The Xinhua news agency said suspects were caught on Sunday with about 33 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine – also known as ice – at Baiyun airport in the southern city of Guangzhou while trying to board a flight to Melbourne.

Chinese authorities have recently launched a high-profile crackdown on drug use, detaining a number of celebrities including the son of kung fu superstar Jackie Chan.

In January last year, police seized three tons of crystal methamphetamine during raids near Guangzhou.

Methamphetamine is the second most popular drug in China after heroin, according to a report last year by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which estimated that sales of the two drugs in China and South East Asia totaled more than $US30 billion ($36.7 billion) in 2012.

It also estimated Chinese seizures of crystal methamphetamine rose 13 per cent that year to 16.2 tons.








Police charged a Mills man with burglary, vandalism and other crimes after he broke into a downtown thrift store last week, according to court records.

Not surprisingly, Thomas William Branstetter also was high on methamphetamine when officers caught him carrying a purse, and wearing a pink dress and black coat but no shoes while running from the Rescued Treasures Thrift Store the day after Christmas.Thomas-William-Branstetter-12-29-14-630x420

Branstetter, 51, heard the charges — two felony counts of burglary and property destruction, and two misdemeanor counts of simple assault and drug possession — during his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Monday.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen set Branstetter’s bond at $15,000 cash or surety. Branstetter will have a preliminary hearing within a few weeks to determine whether his case will be bound over to district court for trial.

The case began late Dec. 25 when Branstetter obtained and used methamphetamine, walked around the city, and looked for shelter when the weather turned cold. He found his way to a box truck belonging to a man who has property near the store at 330 N. Durbin St., according to interviews of him and other witnesses reported in a police affidavit filed in circuit court.

Branstetter spied on the man until he left the area. Police later searched the truck and found a pair of women’s underwear and other items. Branstetter told police he didn’t know anything about them.

He used a metal rod to break a window and enter the thrift store. He brought inside a duffel bag with a sleeping bag, personal toiletries and a tablet computer.

Branstetter was trying on women’s clothing and applying makeup when he realized he left his cell phone in the box truck, according to the affidavit. “Branstetter advised he was barefoot when he retrieved cell phone and returned to the building but could not remember if he was wearing his own clothing or female clothing.”

At 7:30 a.m. Friday, an employee arrived at the store, saw items near the building’s entrance that seemed out of place, and noticed a light on in the bathroom and movement inside the bathroom.

Branstetter then began placing his belongings in a purse he found on a counter.

The employee yelled she was going to call police, but Branstetter confronted her. He knocked the phone from her hand, pushed her against a wall, and held a fire extinguisher above her head as if he were about to hit her. He then fled the building.

Meanwhile, the nearby property owner came by, saw the apparent burglary and called police. Branstetter was running from the store, saw the man and deliberately ran into him.

Police arrived, gave chase, and took Branstetter into custody.

The purse he took contained two sex toys, a phone charger, two wallets, tampons and other items. Branstetter said the toys must have been in the purse before he put his own belongings in it.

He also denied damaging any of the items in the store including furniture, windows and mirrors, clothing, a cash drawer, mannequins and dolls.

The employee was greatly frightened by the incident, and she closed the store for the day because of the damage.

The affidavit states Branstetter is a suspect in several recent burglaries and thefts, including an incident where he had stolen women’s clothing, dresses and two mannequins. He also has been convicted of kidnapping, aggravated assault, and escape from a detention facility.




Rescued Treasures Thrift Store needs your help to recover from the damage and the loss of inventory, according to a news release from its owner the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission.

While sad about the damage, Mission director Brad Hopkins said the store is now open for business, according to the news release. “He is asking for community support to replace the damaged goods and is requesting especially gently used furniture and linens.”

Donations can be delivered to the store from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday through Saturday. To donate large items, call 577-7793 for a pickup.

The store and mission also are receiving cash donations, which may be made online at, or mailed to P.O. Box 2030, Casper, WY 82602.

For more information, call Sarah Kennah at 268-4474.











Medford, Ore. — Two Yreka residents are in the Jackson County Jail tonight after officers say they found a pound and a half of meth on them.12_31%20Lawhorn_Wilson_526ab48955afd2f2d229b3ef6cbbdc2e

Acting on a tip Medford Area Drug & Gang Enforcement officers arrested 53-year-old Jeffrey Lawhorn and 25-year-old Amanda Wilson in the parking lot of the south Medford Walmart yesterday.

MADGE officers believe the two brought the drugs up from northern California to distribute in the Rogue Valley.

$20,000 in cash was also found in their car. Both Lawhorn and Wilson face meth related charges.

Detectives continue to investigate, looking for others who may be involved.











Faces of Methamphetamine

Posted: January 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KGO) —  A Fairfield woman was arrested Tuesday in connection with the death of her 2-month-old baby over the summer.456335_800x450

Shelby Frederick, 21, was arrested on charges of assault of a child causing death after investigators determined the infant died from acute methamphetamine poisoning.

The baby was taken Northbay Medical Center on June 18 with symptoms, which included choking and difficulty breathing. Health officials tried to administer care, but the baby passed away. The infant was then released to the Solano County Coroner’s office.

Based on results from the Solano County Coroner’s office, Fairfield police began an investigation into the death of the infant. The investigation included the search of a home on the 2500 block of Baltic Drive in the City of Fairfield.

Police determined that Frederick had full custody of her child at the time of its death. She was booked into Solano County Jail. She is currently five months pregnant.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Detectives located her today in Vallejo where she was arrested and later booked into Solano County Jail.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Police Department’s major crimes unit at (707) 428-7600, 24-hour tip line at (707) 428-7345 or Solano County Crime Stoppers at (707) 644-7867. Callers can remain anonymous.








Residents of a small Florida town already rife with methamphetamine labs were displaced after another illicit drug dens exploded early Tuesday morning.

Bryan Houck, Denise Hamilton-Lahmadi (top-right) and Krystal Gerhardt. were among those arrested in the 2 bustsBryan Houck, Denise Hamilton-Lahmadi (top-right) and Krystal Gerhardt. were among those arrested in the 2 busts

At least 35 people in the town of Stuart in Martin County were evacuated from homes near the explosion at 45 SE Sedona Cir. around 3:30 a.m., according to Martin County Fire dispatch.Two alleged meth labs were shut down in November by the Martin County Sheriff's Office

Although initial reports described the blast as a meth lab explosion, investigators later determined that the firestorm happened after a suspect in the home attempted to extract THC from marijuana, triggering a butane tank explosion.of a drug-related explosion in Martin County

Witnesses told police they saw the woman who lives at the home flee in her car as the place burned, authorities told WPTV 5 in West Palm Beach.

Police and fire marshals responded to the scene, but nobody was reported injured.

The explosion is the latest in a string of drug-related problems to befall Stuart, where in November the Martin County Sheriff’s Office shut down two labs in one neighborhood in the same of explosion

The busts, which resulted in five arrests, followed the take-down in March of a lab just one block away from the other two.

As soon as we find out about a meth lab we move as fast as we can,” Sheriff William Snyder told WPTV5.

“This is in every county in the state of Florida,” he added. “We’ve been very aggressive about pursuing leads.”








HONG KONG: Hong Kong Customs arrested a 43-year old woman who was found with three kilograms of suspected methamphetamine at Lo Wu Control Point. The drugs worth $1.2 million market value.172806-a43202e2-6879-11e3-bdad-d26236de09de

Customs officers intercepted an incoming passenger at Lo Wu Control Point yesterday morning and found the drugs concealed inside the bedding carried by the arrested woman.

The arrested woman, claimed to be a salesperson, was charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug. She will appear at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts.

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





MCPHERSON, Kansas — The McPherson County Sheriff’s Department says a traffic stop led to the seizure of about 7 pounds of methamphetamine.

Sheriff Larry Powell says in a news release that the drugs were found after a vehicle was stopped Monday on Interstate 135 near Moundridge.

Deputies found drug paraphernalia in the pickup and impounded the vehicle. The methamphetamine was then found in the truck.

Powell estimated the value of the drugs at $1.75 million.

One person was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.








SAN DIEGO – A young man whose body was discovered in Mission Beach last month died of drowning due to methamphetamine intoxication, a medical examiner determined.Scott_Bowles_new_pic_1415678812636_9547899_ver1_0_640_480

Scott Bowles, 37, had been missing for a week when a kayaker came across his body.

Bowles had moved to San Diego from Arkansas at the beginning of 2014 and was living in Ocean Beach at the time of his death. He often visited his daughter, who lives in Julian.

His father, John Bowles, told the medical examiner that his son had begun having problems with recreational drugs, including bath salts, three years ago.

Scott Bowles was a Navy veteran who had worked on submarines. He was preparing to begin a new career as a heavy equipment operator for a company in Lakeside.








FAYETTEVILLE — Three men and one woman were arrested Monday in the Magnuson Grand Hotel in connection with possession of methamphetamine with the purpose to deliver and several other drug and weapon charges.55290495_FN-METH-BUST-PARSONS-12-31_t300

Lisa Selvey of Centerton and John Hensley, Tommy Maples and Don Parsons, all of Fayetteville, were arrested about 5 p.m. Monday in connection with possession of meth and other controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. Hensley also was arrested in connection with possession of a defaced firearm, simultaneous possession of firearms and drugs, and theft by receiving.

All were being held Tuesday in the Washington County Detention Center.

Hensley was the original target of a 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force search warrant, according to preliminary arrest reports. Fayetteville officers suspected he was selling meth from a hotel room. When the officers arrived, they found at least four weapons, meth, several pills, marijuana and other items, according to the reports. Hensley was being held in lieu of $3,500 bond.

Officers found the three others in the room next door with a similar stash, according to the reports. Parsons is the youngest at 19, Hensley and Selvey are 23 and Maples is 28.

The meth was a large-crystal variety called “ice,” which suggests it was imported from Mexico or elsewhere instead of being made locally, Sgt. Craig Stout said. Investigators have seen increasing amounts of the imported variety in recent years as local production has fallen.

Drug task force members wouldn’t say if they were looking for others related to Monday’s arrests, but more arrests are always a possibility, Stout said.







City doctors have warned that consumption of drugs is going to rise steeply on New Year’s Eve. And they have appealed to youngsters to stay off any white powder.

Psychiatrists say the use of methamphetamine (Crystal Meth) and mephedrone (M-Cat) is bound to be rampant in New Year parties. “M-Cat and Crystal Meth have taken over weed and cocaine in the past six months. Their consumption has reached epidemic proportions in Mumbai. M-Cat is a chemical to be wary of as it is freely available and effectively marketed,” said Dr Harish Shetty, city-based senior psychiatrist.

Shetty sees close to 100 patients every month suffering from drug addiction and substance abuse. “Of these, 20% alone are on M-Cat. The patients range between as young as 14-years-old to 40-somethings,” he said.

“M-Cat, which gives an instant rush, makes a person impulsive, aggressive and hyperactive. The risk of driving rashly or meeting with an accident is worse under the influence of this drug than under the influence of alcohol.”

The first addicts of heroin were noticed near the Gateway of India in 1978. Post the inlays of heroin in Mumbai, it took close to a decade for the number of users to reach an estimated 1 lakh.

Dr Yusuf Merchant, president, Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation and Research Centre, said, “Within a year alone, users of M-Cat have reached to nearly 30,000. It is being brought from China in kilos, hoarded and sold in black market.”

While for every 100 men, one woman consumes heroin, and for every 20 men, one woman uses cocaine, more women are getting high on M-Cat than ever. “For every three men I see using M-Cat, one woman uses the drug. At this rate, the risk of transmitting STDs like HIV/AIDS is high,” warned Merchant.

Shetty said, “What is even more appalling is that there is no concentrated effort by the police to track from where the drugs are being bought. While peddlers are being temporarily arrested, there are no large hauls or busting operations of clandestine labs.”








MUMBAI: The reason Mumbai’s youth consume the deadly meth or M-cat is simple: in the short-term, these drug release high levels of neurotransmitter dopamine. A hormone, dopamine is associated with pleasure that one draws from happy activities such as eating one’s favorite dish, watching a favorite movie or being in the company of a loved one and so on.

The reason doctors are worried about meth and other such “middle-class cocaine alternatives” is also obvious: these lab-drugs are highly addictive and cause a host of physical and mental problems. ‘Meth mouth’, characterized by tooth decay and fall, is one of the obvious side-effects. Psychosis, along with hallucinations, is another big worry. Newer research in the US where meth was banned long back show structural changes in the brain areas associated with emotions and cognition.

 “Around 80% of addicts admitted for rehabilitation in state government-run GT Hospital near CST as well as Masina Hospital in Byculla are meth addicts,” said psychiatrist Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla. He said many of the addicts become prone to lung infections because of rampant meth and M-cat usage. The show of aggression, the frequency of nose bleeds and the odd convulsions is the price that many of these addicts pay, said Dr Matcheswalla.

“In the early eighties, we saw brown sugar addiction. Now, it is addiction to the amphetamine family of compounds such as crystal meth or M-cat,” said psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty. “It was previously believed that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop, but nowadays an empty house is a devil’s workshop. Youngsters look for such empty houses because they get access to drugs, games and porn,” he added.

Doctors say these lab-grown compounds are cheap to make: literally cooked in a pressure cooker and dried in the open. “Having a mephedrone fix costs Rs 15 which is equivalent to buying vada pav,” said Dr Yusuf Merchant who runs the NGO Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation and Research Centre (DAIRRC).

At a press conference held on Tuesday, he said M-cat had become popular because “it is legal in India, it doesn’t have to be smoked but can be sniffed or eaten. It is a sexual stimulant. It is cheap costing Rs 150 for one gram.” Dr Merchant estimates that 30,000 teenagers in Mumbai alone are addicted to mephedrone. Dr Shetty saw six youngsters on Monday who want to break the habit. “Today, I saw three more with a similar request,” he said.

DAIRRC has petitioned the government to add drugs such as M-Cat and meth to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act). Last week, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state would appeal to the Centre to add such drugs to the Act. At present, the Mumbai police book those found with this substances under section 328 of the IPC that forbids the consumption, possession or transportation of a poisonous substance.






A federal meth investigation first reported earlier this month has resulted in the indictment of 12 area people, all of whom could be sent to prison for life.

The yearlong investigation resulted in several Thanksgiving Day arrests and the recovery of what officials say was possibly more than 10 pounds of meth and more than $150,000.

The 12 are charged with a variety of three different drug crimes, but all face the most serious charge of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a minimum sentence of 10 years.

The defendants include Kenneth R. Friend, 44; Kenna M. Harmon, 36; Eric M. McClanahan, 35; Nelson “Diego” Olmeda; 24; Anthony J. Van Pelt, 36; Anthony M. Massoni, 41; Anthony A. Hatfield; 31; Cheryl D. Paluczak, 47; Melody W. Carpenter, 32; Bonnie L. Amodio, 29; Donette C. Davis, 41; and Joseph R. Allen, 40.

Don Ledford, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Missouri, said he could not speak specifically about the case due to legal and ethical restrictions, but said an indictment with 12 defendants is a significant, though not unusual, size of case for the office.

He said federal drug cases tend to have many defendants because they don’t investigate “street-level drug dealers,” but rather drug organizations.

The complaint, filed before a grand jury indicted the suspects, said agents used wiretaps to intercept phone calls and text messages discussing drug transactions.

According to the complaint, the first interaction with a suspect came on Nov. 3, when officers arrested Carpenter with 4 ounces of meth, paraphernalia and a loaded automatic pistol. Soon after, on Nov. 6, agents intercepted a planned transaction between Friend and McClanahan. Highway Patrol officers stopped McClanahan’s truck, searched it and found 2 pounds of meth, documents say.

The bulk of the arrests, however, occurred on Nov. 27, when officers arrested Friend and Harmon as the two were allegedly planning to meet each other for a sale.

The indictment includes fewer details, but does outline amounts of money and vehicles recovered which investigators believe were either obtained via drug sales or used to facilitate sales.

Between six forfeiture allegations in the indictment, officials are trying to obtain approximately $170,000, nine vehicles and a property in Halfway. If the defendants are ordered to forfeit that property, a percentage would go to the agencies involved in the investigation, for use in purchasing equipment or vehicles.








LAWTON, Okla._Lawton police arrested two people Saturday morning after they were tipped off about a meth delivery.


Detectives were told about a delivery containing eight ounces of methamphetamine, who had it and where it was going. The detectives arrived at the suspected location on Northwest 62nd Street and saw a silver Nissan van in the driveway. The driver, Julian Tello-Gonzalez, and his wife, Guadalupe Lopez, were removed from the vehicle and a K9 unit was called in.

Kano, the K9 unit, gave a positive alert on the vehicle. Officers found a large bag hidden under a panel near the shifter. The bag contained approximately 232 grams (8.18 ounces) of suspected methamphetamine. The bag’s contents were field tested and gave a positive result for being methamphetamine.

Tello-Gonzalez and Lopez were arrested on a complaint of trafficking methamphetamine.








CALIPATRIA – A 54-year-old woman visiting Calipatria State Prison was arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana into the prison on Friday.54a1a99082a43_image

Cynthia Elrod of Big Bear was schedule for a two-day family visit with her son, inmate Mike Canales who was convicted of second-degree murder, when staff noticed the strong smell of marijuana coming from her, said Lt. Everardo Silva, prison public information office/administrative assistant.

Elrod appeared nervous and evasive when questioned by staff and later informed staff that she did have contraband on her.

Elrod relinquished one bindle during a search, and that bindle contained four smaller ones.

Two bindles contained a total of 22 grams of methamphetamine with an estimated prison value of $22,000. One bindle contained 21.5 grams of heroin with an estimated prison value of $15,750 and the last bindle contained a little more than six grams of marijuana with an estimated prison value of $1,525.

If successfully smuggled in, the drugs would have had a total estimated prison value of more than $39,000.

Evidence collected linked Canales to the crime, and he was placed in the prison’s administrative segregation unit which is a jail within the prison.

Elrod was booked into Imperial County jail and if convicted, faces three to five years in prison.









CAMERON COUNTY – Federal authorities are pressing charges against two Guatemalan men who were caught smuggling liquid methamphetamine.

Federal agents found about 100 gallons of liquid methamphetamine inside a semi-truck’s fuel tank.

The load was discovered at the Los Indios Point of Entry in Cameron County. Federal agents have strong evidence to show that Guatemalan natives Juan Garcia and Hector Monzon tried to move the contraband into the U.S.

The incident happened the day after Christmas. Garcia was driving a 1998 Freightliner tractor trailer over the border.

A K-9 unit alerted customs officials to the presence of narcotics in the truck’s fuel tank. Upon further inspection, they determined the tanks contained 100 gallons of meth.

The following day, Monzon approached Border Patrol agents to inquire about the truck Garcia was driving. Monzon later admitted he was the registered owner of the truck and paid Garcia $100 to drive the truck.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that comes in many forms – powder, crystal and liquid.

This drug has become increasingly popular to smuggle through the Rio Grande Valley borders because it is easily produced and sold for a high profit.

Garcia and Monzon face federal drug charges. A court date has not been set.