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PHOENIX – A grandmother is facing several charges after she was found to have been under the influence of meth during a crash in February.KNXV%20Lycrecia%20Vernon_1429901313179_17269453_ver1_0_640_480

Lycrecia Vernon, 60, was reportedly driving erratically near 35th Avenue and Greenway Road, weaving through lanes and oncoming traffic in the early afternoon of February 18. She collided with a car driving the opposite direction near Beverly Lane, causing her car to roll and the victim’s car to catch fire.

A sample of Vernon’s blood found amphetamines, methamphetamines and alprazolam in her system.

Her 3-year-old grandson Lucious, who was in the car with her at the time, died nearly a month later after being on life support. He had been improperly buckled in the vehicle and suffered a severed spine, according to court documents.

The driver of the other vehicle had life-threatening injuries including several broken bones and internal complications. She had to be placed on a ventilator.

Vernon was arrested Thursday on counts of manslaughter, child abuse, aggravated assault and endangerment.

A Thurston County judge set bail at $70,000 for Frank K. Knoblock Jr., a Lacey man accused of kidnapping and assaulting a Thurston County Narcotics Task Force informant.

Knoblock was arrested Wednesday and booked in the Thurston County Jail. He appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor on Thursday.

Tabor found probable cause for three proposed charges: first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and felony harassment.

Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Thompson said Knoblock has a criminal history including nine felony convictions and 20 misdemeanor convictions.

Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detectives began investigating the suspect after a confidential informant reported that she had been kidnapped and assaulted by Knoblock during a controlled methamphetamine buy, according to court documents. The informant said she had climbed into a car with Knoblock and a female suspect in an attempt to buy methamphetamine, and they drove off with her inside. They took her to a house.

The informant reported that Knoblock held a handgun to her head while Knoblock and a female suspect questioned her about an attempted controlled buy earlier in the month. Knoblock told the informant that if he found out she was a snitch, there would be a bullet with her name on it.

The female suspect then drove the informant to a grocery store near her home, according to court documents.

kenneth-copeTwo Dassel men are charged after a report of a sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl who one met through social media, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Anoka County Sheriff’s office about the assaults. An investigation led to the search of a home on the 500 block of Maple Street in Dassel on April 22. Officers found drug-related items and about eight grams of methamphetamine, which they say are related to the alleged sexual assault.michael-rarer

Michael Rarer, 22, and Kenneth Cope, 48, both of Dassel were charged with first-degree criminal sexual assault. Rarer is charged with second-degree control substance crime and Cope is charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

According to the criminal complaint, Rarer met the 12-year-old girl at a shopping center in Coon Rapids and then drove her to his home in Dassel, where they started drinking with Cope on April 20. Rarer then brought the girl into his bedroom and had sex with her. He then left for work about 11 p.m.

The complaint states Cope and the girl continued to drink until he brought her into his bedroom and had sex with her and performed “oral sex” on the girl. The next morning Rarer returned from work and the victim reported to Rarer that Cope had sexually assaulted her. Rarer then gave a friend $20 to drive the girl to St. Cloud.

Rarer admitted to investigators he kissed the girl and she performed “oral sex” on him. He said he thought the girl was between 17 and 20 years old.

Cope told investigators Rarer brought home a girlfriend and they went to the liquor store to buy a case of beer and whiskey and started drinking. Cope said when Rarer left for work he kissed the girl and he had sex with her. Cope said the next morning Rarer made comments about how they both had sex with the girl. Cope also said he thought the girl was between 17 and 20.

Dassel is about 55 miles west of the Twin Cities.

553ade689b859_imageBAMBERG – An investigation into possible illegal activities involving narcotics culminated in the arrest of two Bamberg residents on April 20.

William Adam Jones, 31 and Vivian Dania Jones, 34, both of 61 Azalea Avenue, were arrested on multiple charges related to the discovery of a meth lab at their home, according to a Bamberg Police Department incident report.

Numerous tips and complaints about activities at the Jones’ residence alerted police, who made contact with William Adam Jones and informed him they had received complaints of the possible manufacturing of methamphetamines in his residence.

Police had also acquired documentation related to the amount of Sudafed Jones and his wife had purchased.553ade68d123c_image

Two small children were present in the home when police arrived. Both the man and the woman denied having purchased the Sudafed for any reason other than use as medicine. The man became increasingly nervous in his behavior as he was being interviewed and also when officers asked if he had any objection to them looking around the house.

Bamberg’s K-9 Gracie was brought to the scene and immediately responded to the back bedroom, where officers found a trace amount of marijuana and what appeared to be meth manufacturing equipment. After donning protective gear, officers searched the rest of the residence and located numerous items related to the manufacture of meth. In addition, meth manufacturing waste was found outside in the back of the home.553add0383f0b_image

William Adam Jones and Vivian Dania Jones were both charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, disposal of methamphetamine waste and two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a minor.

JACKSON, Miss. — Sen. Thad Cochran’s office manager in Washington has been arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and allegedly told authorities he was exchanging drugs for sexual favors.635655129314493013-AP-SENATE-MISSISSIPPI-CAMPAIGNS-65279368

Fred W. Pagan, 49, a longtime Cochran staffer, is also accused of illegally receiving shipments from China of GBL, a controlled substance that’s often abused as a recreational drug itself or used to make the “date rape” drug GHB.

U.S. Customs agents allegedly detected GBL in a package from China addressed to Pagan’s home in Washington. On Thursday morning, Department of Homeland Security agents and D.C. police raided Pagan’s home, allegedly finding 181.5 grams of methamphetamine in plastic bags.

An affidavit by a Homeland Security agent said Pagan admitted he had received previous shipments of GBL from China, and that he had received the methamphetamine in a shipment from California — intending to exchange both drugs for sexual favors.

Pagan made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in D.C. on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and released on his own recognizance Friday afternoon, pending a May 14 hearing.

After his court appearance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “a grand jury returned an indictment charging him with one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of importation of a controlled substance. The first charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 40. The importation charge carries a maximum of 20 years.

The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking a money judgment from proceeds from the alleged crimes.

Congressional staff records at show Pagan was paid $160,000 last year.

Cochran spokesman Chris Gallegos on Friday said Cochran was informed late Thursday afternoon that Pagan had been arrested on a drug-related charge, and that Cochran was headed to Mississippi late Friday.

“Sen. Cochran is disturbed and deeply saddened by the arrest of his long-time aide Fred Pagan,” Gallegos said, “and is suspending him of all duties pending the outcome of this case.”

United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that on April 24, 2015, an Indictment was unsealed charging Nicole Lynn Zabel, a/k/a Nicki Lynn Zabel, age 41, and Kenneth Ali Carman, age 42, both of Lincoln, with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine between January of 2010 and April of 2015.

The charge carries a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment, followed by at least five years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $10,000,000.

Both are scheduled for initial appearances in federal court in Lincoln on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

This case was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Drug Task Force.

Montgomery County deputies say they found meth labs inside of a mobile home that exploded Friday night.

Investigators say Christopher Tatum went to a Roanoke hospital to get treatment for his injuries.

We’re told the investigation is ongoing, and criminal charges are pending.

Here is the release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office:

On April 24, 2015, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a complainant in reference to a male subject that was on fire at 1960 Burkette Road in Elliston, Virginia. Deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Offie along with Elliston Fire Department and Shawsville Rescue Squad responded to the scene. The male subject was identified as Christopher Rogers Tatum, 37 years of age of 1960 Burkette Road. Christopher Tatum was flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The investigation into the cause of the fire and explosion at the residence was conducted by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit with assistance from the Christiansburg Police Department and Blacksburg Police Department. A search warrant was executed at the residence. The investigation found that the occupants of the residence were manufacturing methamphetamine. The search located numerous methamphetamine precursor chemicals and 2 One Pot methamphetamine labs. The investigation is still on going at this time and criminals charges are pending. Any addition questions can be forwarded to Chief Deputy Robbie Hall of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.


Emergency crews are at the scene of a home that exploded in Montgomery County.

Investigators say the explosion happened inside a mobile home on Burkette Road in Ironto.

A man was flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with severe burns.

Investigators are executing a search warrant to see if meth caused the explosion.

Standing outside a northwest Brownwood home Friday morning, sheriff’s investigator Scott Bird wryly noted the condition of the home’s front door. 553aa85c443aa_image

The white metal door at 1617 Lane bears two sets of dents. One set occurred on March 13, when the sheriff’s office’s tactical team including Bird bashed in the door to serve a search and arrest warrant. Deputies seized 100 grams of methamphetamine and arrested John Salazar, 49.

The other set occurred at 8:50 a.m. Friday — exactly six weeks later — when the tactical team returned to the home to serve a search and arrest warrant. This time, deputies seized 57 grams of methamphetamine and arrested Salazar once again, sheriff’s Capt. Vance Hill said. Deputies also seized cash, Hill said, declining to say how much.

Salazar, who was free on $40,000 bond from the March 13 arrest, was taken to the Brown County Jail after Friday’s raid. He had not been booked into the jail as of Friday afternoon.

Narcotics detective Robert Ramirez conducted the investigation and obtained the search and arrest warrant that led to Friday morning’s raid, Hill said. “Entry was forced into the residence and the defendant was taken into custody without opposition,” Hill said.

Hill declined to reveal details of the investigation that led deputies back to Salazar’s home, but said, “just because we put somebody in jail doesn’t mean we stop investigating them.”

Deputies found the methamphetamine in two locations on the property, Hill said. He would not elaborate.

Deputies remained at the property for about two hours after making the entry, searching inside the home and outside, also looking through vehicles on the property.

Salazar remained in a holding cell as of Friday afternoon awaiting booking, deputy Jim Cornelius

This week we’re exploring the Blind Spot, a look at teens who are abusing substances, but aren’t being caught by the system set up to help them. In this story, KSKA’s Anne Hillman spoke with a couple relying on each other to end their methamphetamine addiction.

Two young women sit in an empty classroom, their hands entwined. A knit cap is pulled low over Madison’s shaggy hair, and a Batman belt holds up her baggy pants. Kylie wears a pastel hoodie over her thin body and tight jeans. One of them is still a minor, so their names have been changed here.

More than a year ago, before ever meeting, they had both dropped out of school. But recently they re-enrolled.

They met when Madison joined her friend for dinner at Kylie’s dad’s house. Madison remembers the meal going well. “They had meatloaf,” she recalled, before adding, “and I met her.”

By then, Madison had already started using meth.

“I was downtown Anchorage, in the JC Penny stairwell,” Madison said, recalling her first hit. “Believe it or not, a lot of people do drugs in all those places. So if you ever see people standing in the stairwell: they’re probably doing drugs.”

But then, after meeting Kylie, Madison stopped. She knew Kylie had grown up in a house where her father and older siblings often used drugs. Madison didn’t want her to have to deal with a girlfriend who was using, too.

Then Madison relapsed. With Kylie’s dad. And that was when Kylie decided it was time for her to try it, too. Part of the reason was she’d felt cut out of the family for not using. “I was closer to my family if I did it,” Kylie said.

Younger siblings were allowed to stay around when drugs came out because they didn’t know what was going on. Kylie, however, was older, and kept away when meth was around. But when she started using, she could stay.

That started Madison Kylie on a six-month bender with friends and family members. They estimate they used thousands of dollars worth of drugs, but paid almost nothing for them. The meth made them escape.

“It makes you feel cut off from your emotions,” Madison explained. You just kind of get lost in this different world.”

The two of them would go days forgetting to eat or sleep. For Kylie the whole thing started with wanting to try it one time.

“And six months later you’re like 100 pounds and nobody—your own family—doesn’t want to be around you,” Kylie recalled. “It’s awful.”

They didn’t even like each other. Madison is whiny when she’s high, according to Kylie. Although Kylie is annoying in her own ways. “She’s just everywhere and then she’s not everywhere. And she’s always writing letters. Always writing, writing,” Madison contends. “And then she never sends the letters anyway.”

But when Kylie is off drugs, she’s a completely different person, a person Madison loves.

“She laughs a lot and she’s really goal-orientated, too, when she’s sober. She wants to get things done,” Madison said. “She looks out for herself.”

On the days they didn’t use meth, that’s the person Madison would see. And she detected a similar change in herself. She’d always known using meth was a bad idea, but it was seeing those differences in the people around her made her realize she needed a change if she was ever going to reach the goals she made for herself.

So Madison set an ultimatum for Kylie: If they were ever adults with a family they never wanted their kids to have a mother who was as messed up as she herself had been.

“It sounds really harsh,” Madison chimed in.

“But it’s the truth,” Kylie added. “She said that we didn’t need to set goals for when we had kids, we needed to do it before, so we were ready to have kids.”

Madison wanted to show Kylie a better life than she’d had. But Madison is also the one who first prompted Kylie to try meth. So why does Kylie still trust her?

“Nobody’s ever told me that they supported me or they believed in me,” Kylie explained, “but she has.”

In order to get clean the young couple had to get away from everyone who was still using, so they went to live with friends in Wasilla.

“If you try to quit and you’re still around all those people that do drugs”—Kylie starts.

“–It makes it a thousand times harder,” Madison swoops in, finishing the sentence for her. It’s part of an increasingly normal relationship between the two of them, squabbling over housework, and supporting each other through intensely personal choices.

“You have to make the decision to leave and get better for yourself,” Madison says. Although knowing that does not make it easier. Madison has relapsed since trying to get off meth. But she knows that is part of the process.

Both women say it’s hard, but that together they’re trying.

The Blind Spot: Spaces Between Statistics

The Blind Spot: A System of Order Over Chaos

The Blind Spot: Harm Reduction at the Transit Center

The Blind Spot: Beyond No-Man’s Land

Anne Hillman and Zachariah Hughes received Alaska Press Club data journalism fellowships, which helped them produce this story. The training program was funded by the Alaska Community Foundation and Recover Alaska.

Krystal%20ScroggsWARRENSBURG, Mo.  —  A Pleasant Hill woman was found guilty Thursday of second-degree murder in the October 2013 death of her newborn baby from methamphetamine intoxication.

Authorities searching for drugs found the baby weeks later entombed in a tub of concrete in the family’s garage.

A Johnson County, Mo., jury, which heard the case after a change of venue, also convicted Krystal Scroggs, 30, of endangering the welfare of a child and abandonment of a corpse. All are felonies. Her husband is still awaiting trial on the same charges.

As Judge R. Michael Wagner read the verdict, Scroggs stood quietly with her hands clasped behind her back.

The baby died because Scroggs did not seek medical attention for him, Cass County assistant prosecutor Jamie Hunt argued during the trial. Scroggs feared authorities would learn of her drug use if she sought medical care, Hunt said.

“She knows when that baby is born, it will have methamphetamine in its system,” Hunt said during closing arguments. “Questions will be asked, tests will be run. … It was more important to her to protect her secret (drug use) than to protect her child’s life.”

Scroggs’ defense attorney, John Picerno, contended that the state did not prove that the baby would have survived had he received medical care because of the elevated levels of meth found in his system.

“You tell me how a baby is supposed to survive that,” Picerno said during his closing argument. “It’s impossible.”

Under the law, Scroggs could not be tried for the damage her drug use did to the baby while it was in her womb. But after he was born, Scroggs became legally responsible for his well-being.

Scroggs delivered the baby on the floor of her bedroom. He struggled to breathe initially, according to the prosecution. Shortly after giving birth, Scroggs fell asleep. When she later awoke, the baby had died.

Her husband, Matthew Scroggs, allegedly placed the corpse in a large, rope-handled tub along with items such as a baby bottle, pacifiers and infant formula and filled the tub with concrete. The prosecution pointed to that as evidence the couple wanted to hide the baby.

“If the defendant … had her way, nobody would have ever known (the baby) even existed,” Hunt said.

Pleasant Hill police found the tub while searching the garage for drug paraphernalia.

Diane Peterson, a forensic pathologist for the Jackson County medical examiner, found that the baby had 751 milligrams of methamphetamine in his system, which is enough to kill a non-addicted adult.

When the jury left the courtroom to begin its deliberations, Scroggs asked permission to hug her grandmother. She was allowed to do so. Scroggs thanked her grandmother for coming and told her she loved her.

The jury deliberated for about four hours.

Scroggs’ sentencing was scheduled for 10 a.m. June 15. She faces up to life in prison. Her bond was enhanced to $500,000 following the conviction.

Scroggs also is charged with four additional counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree because it was discovered that her four other children had traces of methamphetamine in their hair. A trial date for those charges has not been set.

Those children are in the custody of extended family.

Matthew Scroggs is charged with second-degree murder, five counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, abandonment of a corpse and first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle. His trial is set for June 1.

Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient found in cold medications – and in methamphetamines. Federal regulations set the following limits on sales of drugs with those ingredients to individuals: 3.6 grams per day and 7.5 grams per 30 days. Stores and vendors are also required to keep them in a locked cabinet, examine photo IDs and train employees. These are big changes from years ago.37981

 “We used to get bottles of 100 tablets, 30 milligrams, 100 tablets. And it would be kept on the shelf, just like Benadryl or anything like that,” said Supervising Pharmacist at Lourdes Pharmacy Todd Landry.

But law enforcement says meth cookers are finding ways around these regulations.

 “They commonly use a technique called smurfing. They employ a group of people who go to pharmacies throughout the area and they all obtain that maximum amount of pseudoephedrine that they can,” said Detective Sgt. Matt Cower of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

These smurfs can take many forms – some taking part in meth production knowingly, and some not.

 “The cooks themselves will actually obtain their legal amount of pseudoephedrine and then they’ll also employ users. They’ll give them money sometimes. Sometimes they’re using people who are elderly. They’ll just give money and say, ‘Hey, can you purchase a package of pseudophedrine for me? I have a cold.'”

Pharmacists, like those at Lourdes Pharmacy, use a computer database, scanning IDs to keep track of people’s purchases of medications with these ingredients. Along with high-tech tools, police say educating the public could help keep key ingredients out of the hands of meth cooks.

People don’t fall victim to the whole idea of, ‘Hey, can you take some of my money, will you go in and buy me some pseudoephedrine. The general public doesn’t understand that is one of the main ingredients, precursors to meth,” said Cower.

SAVANNAH, GA. | Described as a high-ranking leader of a 3,000-member white supremacist prison gang, Christopher Henry has spent the last three years inside Wilcox State Prison.christopher-henry

But 36-year-old Henry’s imprisonment inside the medium security facility within the city limits of tiny Abbeville, Ga., has done little to hinder his ability to run a large-scale drug operation outside the prison system.

All it really took, said Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team Director Everette Ragan, was an illegal cellphone, a web of criminals and a dedicated wife.

In October 2013, the narcotics team and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration began an investigation into the distribution of crystal methamphetamine within Chatham County. The investigation quickly took agents outside of Coastal Georgia, Ragan said.

Eighteen months after the initial investigation — dubbed Operation Fire and Ice — began, nearly 50 people from across the state have been indicted on drug conspiracy charges, and Henry’s meth ring has been dismantled.

“This ranks as probably one of the very best methamphetamine investigations we’ve had,” Ragan said Wednesday during a news conference at the counter narcotics team’s Headquarters.

“This operation is a great example of how [Counter Narcotics Team] protects the citizens of Chatham County and how [Counter Narcotics Team] has the ability to see an investigation from beginning to end, even going beyond the borders of Chatham County.

Ragan’s agents not only infiltrated the drug organization, but also tailed distributors to metro Atlanta and eventually conducted undercover purchases of the synthetic narcotics. Continued investigation through a partnership with more than a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies revealed the connection to Henry, his wife Regina Henry and other members of the Ghost Face Gangsters, a gang of white supremacists mostly in southeastern U.S. prisons and jails affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood and known for using violent tactics and distributing methamphetamine, Ragan said.

Henry is serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault in Newton County, his third state prison sentence since 2005.

Over the course of the investigation Counter Narcotics Team agents with partner agencies executed search warrants in Chatham, Effingham, Henry, DeKalb and Newton counties and seized about $100,000 worth of crystal meth, nearly $24,000 in cash, 38 firearms and a car. Nearly all of the guns were in possession of a convicted felon, CNT spokesman Gene Harley said.

On April 15, the Chatham County Grand Jury indicted Christopher and Regina Henry and 46 others associated with their meth operation on charges of attempt/conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, trafficking methamphetamine, sale of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and hindering apprehension.

Six of the people who were indicted remain at large and are believed to be in the Coastal Georgia area, Ragan said. They are David Cary, Deborah Hall, Lisa Michelle Davis, Jessica Kight, Ashleigh Craig and Dennis Rauch. Of those indicted, 32 had previous felony convictions, Harley said, adding that 29 had prior arrests in Chatham County. Those indicted could face additional charges, including charges under the state’s gang statute.

At least one of the suspects has already pleaded guilty, Ragan said.

Zachary Hughes, a mid-level dealer officials said was connected to Regina Henry, agreed to a 25-year prison sentence with 10 years to serve. He had no prior criminal record, Ragan added.

Others indicted in Chatham County face prosecution in other parts of the state. Regina Henry is being held in the Newton County jail on racketeering charges related to Ghost Face Gangster activity including meth distribution and conspiracy to commit murder.

Ragan said he has concerns the operation could pick back up inside the state’s prisons. He said law enforcement officials were working hand-in-hand with the Georgia Department of Corrections to keep drugs and phones out of prisons.

“Phones in prison is a very common thing,” he said. “Drug sales being worked and negotiated … out of prison was very common in this case. So we still have our partners taking a lead in that part of investigation.

“This is a continuing investigation that we’re working very hard on to keep our citizens safe and keep these drugs and weapons out of our community.”

Belmont County, Ohio – Law enforcement agencies discovered several one pot meth lab bottles along the side of the road Thursday in the Neffs area.7548127_G

Troopers from the Ohio State Patrol Investigation Unit say they were walking the road side of  SR 149 between mile markers 3 and 5, following up on an ongoing investigation of meth lab dumps. While walking, they say they discovered five one pot bottles of meth along with some of the components that go with them.7548217_G

An officer with the Belmont County Drug Task Force was contacted and assisted the troopers in the disposal of all bottles and components.

Authorities say a syringe was also found at a separate location.

The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE: Three people are arrested in the meth lab investigation.  Deputies say when they arrived to the apartment, they found items that are used to make meth.7551470_G

Authorities in St. Landry are investigating an active meth lab in a building outside Opelousas on the Interstate 49 Service Road.

St. Landry District 3 Fire Chief Ray Mendenhall said they were dispatched to a fire on Kenneth Boagnie Drive.

There are no visible smoke or flames and firefighters are not acting like there is a fire in the structure.

Mendenhall said they are waiting for a hazardous materials unit from State Police to arrive on the scene before they enter the building.

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office is also on scene investigating.

According to Yuma Sector Border Patrol, a detection canine alerted agents to a suitcase in the backseat of a vehicle stopped at the Wellton checkpoint on Wednesday morning. Agents inspected further and found four bundles containing a total of 2.5 pounds of methamphetamine, worth an estimated $12,000.

The driver, vehicle and drugs were processed per Yuma Sector guidelines.

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Authorities have seized over $120,000 in methamphetamines during a drug bust in Georgia.

WTVM-TV reports authorities raided Advanced Tax Service in Columbus on Wednesday and found 2.6 pounds of meth, $4,000 in cash and a .45 caliber handgun. 46-year-old Clarence Martin of Phenix City, Alabama, was arrested on trafficking and possession charges. Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor says the meth was in a powder form called Ice and is stronger than street-grade meth.

Martin a long criminal history including attempted murder of a police officer and trafficking methamphetamines. He is being held without bond. It is unclear if Martin is being represented by an attorney.

When police officers in California stopped a driver for a minor traffic infraction, they never expected it would lead to a drug bust where illegal guns were also found.11188182_1051936248155341_8325002516318375047_n

The traffic stop by Richmond police developed more when the driver was found to be unlicensed. Upon impounding and searching the car, detectives, “much to their surprise,” found a pound of methamphetamine in a sandwich bag that was hidden in an orange safety vest. In its news release, the police station valued the drugs at $45,000. The driver was searched and found to have nearly $1,300 in cash on him.

But it didn’t end there. The department called upon narcotics detective Mauricio Canelo, who obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s home where more drugs and illegal firearms were found.

“RPD K-9 Officer Caine responded with his partner Ranger and searched a Honda that was parked at the residence. With Ranger’s powerful nose, they located more drugs,” the department said. “This time, it was all hidden under the top portion of the dashboard of the car. Detective Canelo recovered 3 1/2 pounds of methamphetamine, street value of $157,500, and 3 ounces of heroin, street value of $8,500, all under the dashboard.”

The detective also found AK-47 ammunition, a 9mm pistol with its serial number removed and an unregistered .380 caliber pistol.10451892_1051936258155340_5154211855197534246_n

“The department is proud of the tenacity that each of the involved detectives possess and also how they all worked collaboratively as a winning team,” the department said. “Because of their good work and Ranger’s good sniffing nose, the RPD team recovered over $200K worth of illegal drugs! GREAT job detectives!”

WEST TEXAS – Crime scene tape, flashing lights, and wailing sirens; it’s a familiar sight in the Permian Basin with a growing number of aggravated robberies, home invasions, and even homicides. But what do most of these crimes have in common? They’re all drug-related. “We had 10 homicides here in Odessa last year and I believe 8 or 9 of those were drug-related,” Steve LeSueur, the spokesperson for the Odessa Police Department, said.

Marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine are constantly being trafficked through West Texas, making their way into town for retail and consumption. Where that habit is, is the need to feed that habit.

Thousands of pounds of drugs are seized at the Mexican border every year, and what slips through the cracks often makes its way through West Texas. Both cocaine and marijuana are the top drugs that are being smuggled through the Permian Basin for distribution to other parts of the country.

“Now on the other hand, on the consumer basis, we have a large increase of methamphetamine trafficking into the area for distribution consumption in the area,” Dante Sorianello, the resident agent in charge for the DEA office in Midland, said.

Stephen Linneman, the owner of Drug Screen Compliance, says he’s seen an increase in positive test results for methamphetamine for the last five years.

“When the increase of population happened with our oil boom, we also got an increase positivity rate, so along with that increase came the increase of drugs and the increase of positives that we saw in our community,” Linneman said.

When the narcotics make it into the town, so do the bad habits that come with them. Soon it’s crime fighting crime, violence against rivals competing in sales, and those who are addicted who just keep wanting more.

“Lower level, desperate drug abusers, drug addicts, they need to feed that drug habit,” Sorianello said. “And if they have gone to a level where they’re not employable or they’re not employed, they may commit crimes, sometimes acts of violence, to get money or items they can sell or trade to get their narcotics.”

“A lot of the burglaries we have here are committed by criminals who are simply trying to get money to feed their drug habits,” LeSueur said.

Many have noticed a rise in crime when the oil prices started to drop and the layoffs were announced, which in turn brought many people to applying for new jobs and heading to the drug lab.

“We still see a consistent problem. The drugs have not been eliminated or decreased in their use and in fact I would say we even still see an increase in our rates,” Linneman said.

So what’s being done to stop the retail and consumption of deadly drugs in our area? Well, according to law enforcement, a lot.

“We constantly make drug arrests. Not just for misdemeanors, but for felonies. We constantly make felony drug arrests, all the time. Every single day here,” LeSueur said.

The Midland DEA office, which is in charge of nine counties, has arrested more than 120 drug offenders in the last six months. In January, multiple agencies worked to bring down two different drug rings that were operating in Midland and Odessa. One of which even used an ice cream shop to front their sale for cocaine. This is just one of the many investigations they’re working on to bring down some of the biggest organizations.

“Our focus is to target the traffickers at the very highest levels,” Sorianello said.

A 16-year-old girl was drugged, raped and sold for sex for four weeks while under the control of a registered sex offender living in a tent in the Marysville river bottoms, police said Wednesday. 553890b9b3a6d_image

Keith Eugene Crouch, 42, and his girlfriend, Esther Rose Campbell, 36, were arrested at their camp east of the E Street Bridge on Tuesday and booked into Yuba County Jail.

Crouch was booked with no bail on suspicion of human trafficking, along with furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, forcible rape, molesting a child, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, and attempted lewd acts with a minor.

Campbell was arrested on suspicion of forcible acts of sexual penetration of a minor. Campbell’s bail is set at $630,000.

The Yuba County District Attorney’s Office said they plan to file charges Thursday. Sex crimes are handled by Deputy District Attorney Shiloh Sorbello, who is currently involved in a trial for a forcible rape case that allegedly occurred near the same area in the river bottoms.

Crouch, who was ordered to register as a sex offender because of a child molestation conviction in 1988, allegedly had sex with the girl several times a day.553890baee2de_image

Crouch allegedly solicited other men for money and drugs in exchange for sex with the girl. He provided her with methamphetamine and heroin and threatened her with violence two times when she tried to escape from his tent and his car, according to a statement released from the Marysville Police Department.

The victim reported that Crouch claimed to be a tattoo artist, and drew on her genitals with ink pens for personal pleasure, police said.

Police first came into contact with the girl Feb.19 when a patrol officer stopped a sedan driven by a 60-year-old man leaving the Budget Inn on E Street and found it suspicious that the two claimed they didn’t know each other. The girl was released to Child Protective Services.

A month later Marysville police received a call from a detective in Idaho who said the same girl was reporting numerous crimes that occurred in Marysville between January and February, including rape, sex trafficking, and the furnishing of drugs to a minor.

Detective Sgt. Chris Miller and a Yuba County Victim Witness advocate boarded a plane and flew to Boise, Idaho, to interview the victim, where they learned she had come to the Marysville area after she’d fled from a life skills facility in Denver.

She lived with her uncle in Olivehurst for a week, then with her aunt at the Budget Inn until she saw Crouch and Campbell at a Marysville restaurant. She knew Campbell as a friend of her dead father and had lived with her before, according to police.

She went with them to their camp, where she was provided with an injection of methamphetamine. Several hours later, Crouch allegedly injected the girl with Dilaudid, an opioid pain medication. When she became sedated, the couple raped her, police said.

On Tuesday, officers were called to the river bottoms for a report of gunshots being heard in the area. They discovered Campbell and later found Crouch hiding in his tent. Both were arrested without incident.

Crouch has a significant criminal record both in and out of state.

In Yuba County, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 1994, failure to register as a sex offender in 2007, burglary in 2011, and violation of community supervision in 2012. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in Oregon in 2014.

The details of his 1988 child molestation case were not immediately available.

POTSDAM — A pair of Winthrop residents were charged Tuesday with manufacturing methamphetamine following the execution of a search warrant at 16 State St., according to Potsdam police.Fetcie

Kevin D. Campbell, 35 and Heather Fetcie, 23, were each charged with third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, officers said.

Both subjects were reportedly taken into custody on Howard Street in Massena by the Massena Police Department.

During the search police said they found several components required to manufacture methamphetamine as well as evidence of at least three separate one pot cooks. A large quantity of hypodermic needles was also reportedly found.

Campbell was remanded to St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility without bail, police said.Campbell

Fetcie was remanded to the correctional facility on $15,000 bail or $30,000 bond, officers said.

Potsdam police said they were assisted during the investigation by Potsdam Village Code Enforcement, St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force, State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team, Homeland Security Investigations, Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department and Potsdam Volunteer Rescue Squad.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —A woman called for help to get something out of a hotel safe, but that something turned out to be meth, according to deputies.Jodi-Williams

Santa Fe County deputies said Jodi Williams forgot the combination to the safe and called security. The officer opened it and said a pipe and a plastic bag full of meth were inside.

Deputies said Williams admitted that the pipe and meth were hers. She was booked over the weekend, but was released Monday after posting a $2,500 bond.








NORFOLK, Va.  — A Samurai sword was the weapon of choice for one Norfolk woman.

According to the Norfolk Sheriff’s Department, Kristen Emmons used the sword to attempt to rob her two roommates of crystal meth and money. Emmons admitted to using the sword, but says that she wasn’t trying to steal the drugs, she was trying to give them back.kristen-emmons-stab-cut-wound-with-malicious-intent

“He [a roommate] had left me in the apartment and so I went into his room and there was a duffel bag in there, and I just threw it out the window,” Emmons told WTKR.

Emmons said she wasn’t in her right mind when she threw the duffel bag of drugs out the window. Once she realized what she did, she said she feared for her and her family’s safety and confided in the first person she saw — a man on the beach.

“The guy I met on the beach had a Samurai sword and he gave me the sword to protect myself, and he came back with me to my apartment and so I came there to bring the drugs back,” she said.

Emmons said when she was back at the apartment, her roommates began attacking her even though she was armed with the sword — that’s how one was injured. She also said the man who gave her the sword got in the middle of the action and was hurt. Court documents paint a different picture.

The search warrant states that Emmons wanted to rob her roommates of drugs and money. It says she started swinging the sword the moment her roommates walked in, also striking the man who gave her the sword in the calf.

Her roommate declined medical attention, but the man who owns the sword had to get 10 stitches.

Emmons admits that she should have just called the police, but says at the time she didn’t think it was an option.

“I guess the best idea would have been for me to bring the drugs back and leave them at the apartment. Now that I think of about it afterwards, I could have gone about it differently. I just felt like I had to protect myself. I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Emmons said.

Emmons was taken into custody and has been at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail since the incident. She is scheduled to appear in court in June.

FAIRVIEW, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Fairview Police Department and other law enforcement agencies taught a class to several officers and trucking companies about the methamphetamines.

The class came to fruition after a trucking company contacted the department and wanted to be involved because there are many incidents of rolling meth labs, including some in tractor trailers.img_5224

It consisted of a PowerPoint presentation and explanation of items commonly seen in the making of meth in rolling labs.

Fairview police said they were glad the trucking company was proactive in trying to get ahead of the game.

Authorities hope such companies will take what they’ve learned and help identify areas of concern if any rolling meth labs are found within their own businesses.

DES MOINES, Iowa —State officials said they’re seeing more child abuse cases where children are exposed to illegal drugs at an early age.

The problem has grown so much that Wednesday Gov. Terry Branstad proclaimed an awareness day to draw attention to the issue.

Just last week, a 1-year-old boy living in a Newton apartment tested positive for methamphetamine. The couple charged with caring for the baby were arrested and charged.

Also this month, Deshawn Trombone was arrested and charged in connection with the drug overdose that killed a 5-year-old girl in the Vine Street Lofts in downtown Des Moines.

Blank Children’s Hospital Child Protection Center deals with the young, innocent victims.  They see new victims exposed to drugs every day.

Young children can grab and ingest the drugs or be exposed to the smoke or chemicals.

State official said they are seizing more candy that contains illegal drugs, especially after the legalization of marijuana around the country.

Last year, Iowa Drug Enforcement Task Forces referred 300-cases to the Department of Human Services. DHS reports 1,334 cases of drug related child abuse. The children were often neglected in deplorable living conditions.

Iowans are being urged to call authorities immediately if you suspect a child may be in danger due to drug use.

ROCK HILL  —  A North Carolina woman is facing drug charges after Rock Hill police found methamphetamine hidden in a cigarette pack.

Connie Lynn Carringer, 44, of Andrews, N.C., faces charges of methamphetamine possession and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, according to the arrest report.Connie%20Carringer

At 8:26 p.m. Tuesday, Rock Hill police investigated two women in a car parked in front of a Cherry Road liquor store after receiving calls about a possible intoxicated driver. The officer found an open vodka bottle on the floor of Carringer’s seat, the report states. She had already gone inside the store.

A search of Carringer’s purse reportedly uncovered a meth pipe. Officers also found 0.32 grams of meth wrapped in cellophane inside a cigarette pack in the purse. Police then called for a drug-sniffing dog to be called to the scene, but a sniff of the car did not uncover any more drugs.

Carringer was taken to Rock Hill City Jail. Another woman in the car was also cited for open container when another vodka bottle was found in the car’s back seat.