Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/8/14) — Madisonville Police were dispatched to a Brown Lane residence in regard to a domestic disturbance Saturday, Sept. 6.stabbing-over-meth

According to a Madisonville Police report, Angela Jo Bruce, 31, Madisonville, stabbed her live-in boyfriend with a knife during a domestic dispute.

Bruce gave a verbal confession to police that she chased her boyfriend outside the residence across the lawn into a fence line and stabbed him in the leg, the report said.

The victim admitted to officers that he took some methamphetamine from her. Bruce also told officers that the victim took her money and pills, the report said.

The victim was transported to Baptist Health to be treated and was released.

Bruce was charged with assault in the second-degree domestic violence.





Pasadena man was recently arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamines from Mexico into Texas. According to a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol press release, agents seized 13 packages of methamphetamines with an estimated street value of $443,000 at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge Saturday (Aug. 30).


Rodney Xavier Figueroa, 20, was reportedly driving a 1982 Chevrolet pickup when his vehicle was selected for random inspection by an automated system. Evidence was discovered than led to a secondary search. According to federal court records, Figueroa told agents he was traveling back to Pasadena from Reynosa, Mexico where he visited his girlfriend.

Officers performed an x-ray inspection of the truck which showed an anomaly toward the front driver’s side area. On further inspection, officers reportedly found 13 bundled packages with a combined weight of 6.2 kilograms.

Figueroa was detained for questioning and eventually admitted to conspiring to smuggle contraband into the U.S. When agents told the suspect about the drug seizure, court documents state the suspect claimed he was told he would be smuggling money. Figueroa also told agents he had been offered $10,000 in return for driving the packages across the border.

Figueroa was arrested and later released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Harris County Criminal Court records show Figueroa was arrested May 15 by Pasadena Police for misdemeanor marijuana possession. He was later convicted and sentenced to three days in the Harris County Jail.




LITTLE FALLS – A 44-year-old Little Falls man was arrested Saturday after Morrison County Sheriff’s deputies seized 30.2 grams of methamphetamines and $720 in cash.

The sheriff’s office was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a woman, Mandy Marie Okerman, at Lealand Neal Siegel’s home about 9:45 p.m. on Fourth Street Northwest in Little Falls. Deputies made contact with Siegel and found the the methamphetamine and cash.

Siegel was arrested for controlled substance charges and a search warrant was obtained and executed at his residence. Additional paraphernalia and suspected methamphetamine were located in the residence. Charges are pending against Siegel in Morrison County District Court.

Investigators from the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force and officers from the Little Falls Police Department assisted in the execution of the search warrant.





BREMERTON, Wash. — A 43-year-old man high on meth repeatedly dangled his 6-month-old baby out a broken second-floor window after barricading himself in his apartment early Saturday in Bremerton, according to the Bremerton Police Department.


Officers were called to an apartment at 145 Bloomington Ave. around 4:45 a.m. in response to some sort of problem. According to police, they arrived to find Adam Patten holding his baby out a broken window.

Patten was reportedly sweating profusely and shouting, “You’re going to have to kill me” and “You aren’t taking my baby.”

According to police, the baby’s mother was inside the apartment screaming for Patten to put the baby down. But, she was unable to let officers inside the apartment because Patten had put metal bars across the door.

While one officer negotiated from the ground, two officers kicked a hole in the door and were able to crawl inside. According to police, officers pried the baby away from Patten as he sat in the middle of the apartment.

Once the baby was taken away from him, Patten reportedly fought with officers and had to be subdued with a Taser.

Patten was taken to Harrison Hospital, were he admitted to being “high and strung out” on meth, according to police. He was booked into Kitsap County Jail for investigation of assault, resisting arrest and possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.


“Sometimes officers have to make split second decisions,” Police Chief Steve Strachan said in a press release. “Officers Frank Shaw, Chris Faidley and Matt Thuring very likely saved a life with their quick actions.”








Police: Officers saved baby being held out broken window by father high on meth

BREMERTON — A 43-year-old man allegedly high on drugs will likely face charges of felony assault after holding his six-month-old baby hostage and nearly dropping the child out of a broken two-story window, police said.

According to Bremerton police, officers contacted the suspect around 4:42 a.m. Saturday after receiving a report of unknown problem at apartments in the 140 block of Bloomington Avenue.

When they arrived, police allegedly found the suspect “sweating profusely and shouting, holding a six-month-old baby aloft outside a broken second floor window,” officers said.

The baby appeared in significant danger as shards of glass pointed upward and downward from the window. Glass was also on the ground underneath the child. The baby’s mother inside the apartment told police the child’s father — the suspect — would not remove the baby from the window.

Police contacted the suspect and tried to negotiate with him to give the baby to the mother.  But the man refused to take the baby down, and allegedly shouted “You’re going to have to kill me,” and “You aren’t taking my baby,” Bremerton police said.

For a moment the suspect moved inside the apartment with the child. Feeling the baby was endangered, officers kicked in the door and contacted the suspect, police said. But the man still refused to give up the child and held it tightly to his chest.

Luckily, officers managed to pry the child from the suspect and bring him to safety. The suspect was Tased after the child was removed from his hands, police said, as he allegedly tried to fight officers.

Police said the baby was unharmed.

The suspect was arrested and transported to Kitsap County Jail.

He will likely face charges of felony assault, resisting arrest, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia following Saturday’s incident, police said.

Officers said the man was “high and strung out,” and a meth pipe was found in his pocket at the time of arrest.

It was not immediately known where the baby would be transferred, or if it was left in the care of the mother.




LINCOLN COUNTY, Neb. (KMTV) – More than $1.25 million-worth of meth was found in a traffic stop Saturday in western Nebraska, the Nebraska State Patrol says.


Troopers say they stopped an SUV heading east on Interstate 80 in Lincoln County, around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, because it was missing its front license plate.

That’s when officials say they searched the vehicle and found 27.5 pounds of meth and 1.5 pounds of heroin hidden in a compartment under the SUV’s windshield.

Troopers arrested the driver, 24-year-old Jose Juan Solorzano-Farias, of Las Vegas, and the passenger, 32-year-old Jose Arturo Solorio-Salinas, of Burnsville, Minnesota.

They are both charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Troopers say they had already taken meth off the road in a drug bust Friday in Lancaster County.

Investigators say they pulled over 27-year-old Ronnie Menter, of Marshalltown, Iowa, for speeding around 10:30 p.m. Friday.

A drug dog confirmed the presence of drugs, leading to the discovery of 3.8 pounds meth hidden in a spare tire in the trunk of the car, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

Troopers say they were able to connect two other people in another car, which was stopped nearby for following too closely, with the drugs.

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Menter, along with 22-year-old Blake Thomas and 25-year-old Jose Derreza, we all charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver.



NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. —A woman who was reported missing was found in the same location as a methamphetamine operation, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman’s mother called police to report her daughter missing around 12 a.m. Tuesday. She told officers her daughter was supposed to meet up with her, but instead called her and gave her some sort of code word that indicated she was in danger.

Deputies later found the woman at a home on Wesley Street. They also found chemicals used to make meth in the home

A man at the home was arrested and charged with trafficking.

A hazmat crew worked to clear the chemicals.

Deputies did not release the names of the man or the woman. They also did not reveal whether or not the woman was arrested.





COVINGTON — A couple fleeing from sheriff’s deputies threw bags of methamphetamine out their car window before crashing and running away from the scene, leaving a young child inside the car, according to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies received an anonymous tip Thursday afternoon that Covington resident Hal Hubbard and Danielle Ezell of Oxford, who both had active warrants for probation violation, were seen traveling along Ga. Highway 138 toward Walton County, said NCSO Sgt. Cortney Morrison.

“Deputies intercepted the Lincoln Town Car as it was traveling near 138 and Mt. Zion Road and attempted to initiate a traffic stop,” Morrison said.

The driver, who turned out to be 25-year-old Hubbard, refused to stop, so a chase ensued, with speeds topping 80 mph.

“During the chase, numerous bags of suspected methamphetamine were being thrown out of the vehicle,” Morrison said.

The chase ended on McCullers Road off Ga. Highway 20 in Loganville when Hubbard lost control of the car and crashed.

“The deputy pinned the car in with his patrol vehicle so they couldn’t leave, but both Hubbard and Ezell left the vehicle and a foot pursuit ensued,” Morrison said.

At that time, deputies then noticed that a 6-year-old girl was in the car. Morrison said the child was properly restrained, but because of her size, deputies did not know she was in the vehicle during the chase.

Hubbard and Ezell were later found and arrested without incident. Deputies recovered suspected methamphetamine, marijuana and scales from Ezell when she was arrested.

Hubbard, of 850 Navajo Trail in Covington, was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, suspension of driving privilege, reckless conduct, cruelty to children, and probation violation on the original charge of possession of methamphetamine.

Ezell, 25, whose address is 75 Northwood Creek Way in Oxford, has currently been charged with probation violation on the original charges of possession of marijuana and impersonating another; however, more charges are forthcoming, Morrison said.

Looking at recent news headlines, you’d be forgiven for thinking Australia was being overrun with methamphetamine, with reports of skyrocketing use. The focus is largely on crystal meth, also known as ice, which tends to be purer and more harmful than other forms of methamphetamine such as speed powder and “base”.

The political response has also been substantial. A Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry recently delivered a 900-page report on the problem. And the Labor party vowed to crack down on ice with stronger penalties if it wins the state election in November.

But while ice use in Australia is an important problem that needs to be addressed, we shouldn’t panic. The triennial National Drug Strategy Household Survey shows that any methamphetamine use has been stable at around 2% of the Australian population from 2007 to 2013.

This survey also shows that methamphetamine users are increasingly favouring ice as their main form of the drug: 50% in 2013 compared to 22% in 2010. So we’re seeing methamphetamine users shifting to ice rather than an uptake of ice use by non-users.

Among Australians who inject drugs, ice use remained stable over 2012-13, at around 55%. And among Australian ecstasy users, ice use fell from 29% to 23%.

But despite ice use staying stable or declining, there is evidence of greater harms, including increased methamphetamine-related ambulance call-outs and presentations for treatment.

These apparently contradictory trends are probably best explained by the increased purity of methamphetamine available in Australia, combined with stable prices. Essentially, people already using the drug now purchase much more actual methamphetamine for any given purchase size.

Scare campaigns won’t solve the problem

Typical responses to combat drug-related harms include population-wide social marketing campaigns, such as the Victorian government’s new What are you doing on ice? campaign.

The TV ads, posters and website show occasional users quickly becoming hooked; however, as noted in the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry, this is not the experience for most people who use the drug.

And with only 2% of the population actively using any form of methamphetamine, the problem doesn’t warrant population-wide approaches.

Not only are such campaigns costly and resource-intensive, experience from the United States suggests they’re unlikely to work. In fact, US campaigns such as the Montana Meth Project and Faces of Meth may even be counterproductive by decreasing the perceived dangers of drug use and increasing acceptability of methamphetamine.

The depictions of methamphetamine users in these campaigns rarely accord with the experience of most people. Instead, such images better reflect other health and social problems US users face, such as homelessness, poor access to health care, serious mental health issues and use of other drugs, such as crack cocaine.

Scare campaigns risk stigmatizing users and driving them further away from treatment.

Indeed, this stark stigmatization of methamphetamine users may actually prevent people who use the drug from seeking professional support when needed. Rather than population-wide scare campaigns, we need a considered response that targets those who are at risk of harm.

Targeted responses

A number of barriers prevent methamphetamine users from engaging with counseling, detoxification and rehabilitation services – and staying with them. Users may be unaware of the treatment options available, they may lack the motivation to engage with services or feel that they don’t need them.

On the treatment front, there is no approved pharmaceutical substitute therapy for treating dependence or withdrawal, like with methadone and Suboxone for heroin, and treatments tend to be one-size-fits-all.

So, what approaches are needed?

A number of strategies would be beneficial, starting with targeted education programs and more accessible treatment. Harm-reduction education programs should be established within current service systems and their delivery should ideally involve peer educators, with a focus on potency and toxicity.

Key populations that are more likely to use the drug, such as men who have sex with men, should be the focus of specific, tailored treatment initiatives and education. The Victorian AIDS Council is already leading the way with one-on-one and group-based counseling, and dissemination of information and harm-reduction techniques.

Methamphetamine is commonly smoked through a pipe and isn’t normally thought of as a disease risk. But blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C can be transmitted via cracked lips. To reduce this risk, sterile smoking paraphernalia should be distributed through existing services, such as needle and syringe programs, and possibly even vending machines in high-use areas.

Finally, research has shown that some health-care workers, such as GPs, lack knowledge about methamphetamine use and how to adequately address the needs of methamphetamine users. Education of frontline workers is essential and is already occurring in some parts of Victoria.

Rather than perpetuating stigma and stereotypes, we need to focus on evidence-based initiatives that engage and treat methamphetamine users and address the harms of problematic drug use.




A recent Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into the Supply and use of Methamphetamines, particularly ice, in Victoria indicates that postcode injustice is behind the patchy response to the drug in regional and rural Victoria. 

In 2013 Goulburn Valley CLC made a submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee. In it we shared our experience and stressed that substance abuse often goes hand in hand with offences involving dishonesty and violence, including family violence. We also noted that there was growing use of ice in our community and that existing strategies have been ineffective or inadequate and have contributed to the increased use of the drug within the Goulburn Valley. 

The Inquiry’s report released this month cites our Managing Lawyer, Kaz Gurney, who told the committee that methamphetamine use may be particularly associated with living in a rural area: 

“The Goulburn Valley area has a relatively high number of citizens who are continuously unemployed or obtain only seasonal work and therefore rely on welfare payments. Contributing factors include generational poverty, the loss of local manufacturing and food processing industries, the increased use of cheap itinerant labour for seasonal work, and the ongoing effects of the recent prolonged drought. 

Shepparton in particular has been identified as containing an above average population of citizens who are suffering high levels of socio-economic disadvantage. Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre’s clients are primarily drawn from those same members of the community. Their situation is compounded by a range of associated issues such as unstable and unaffordable housing, poor education, low employment prospects, financial distress, relationship breakdown, and their consequent separation from the mainstream. Poor mental health is the almost inevitable consequence of living in such circumstances and the abuse of alcohol, other legal drugs and illicit substances [including methamphetamine] the perceived panacea for it.” 

Local Magistrate Ms Stella Stuthbridge noted an increase in the family violence lists in her courts where the violence is related to methamphetamine use: 

“I have observed a worrying increase in the level of family violence. A recent read of the ‘Police applied for’ intervention orders in Shepparton Court disclosed that ice featured in nearly every matter. A father’s uncontrolled rage at his young family when unable to access the drug, a young girl, post withdrawal, engaging in 6 weeks of extreme violence towards her mother, and young men terrorizing their partners and mothers to obtain cash. The litany of abuse and the level of uncontrolled violence are indescribable.” 

Herb Goonen from Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative noted that for young Aboriginal people ice was easier to get than alcohol: 

“It is actually not easy for a 16-year-old or a 15-year-old to get alcohol — not impossible, but it is not easy. Drug dealers do not ask for ID. They will sell straight to the kids if the kids have the money. We are seeing 15-year-old kids and 16-year-old kids who are easily using ice.” 

Kaz Gurney also noted that sentencing and treatment options are especially limited in rural areas. She told the committee that: 

“Not only are the grounds under the SSDTA [Severe Substance Dependence Treatment Act 2010] limited and the procedure for invoking it difficult and time consuming, there are also few facilities or resources available for working with mandated clients… De Paul House at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne is at this stage the only secure facility to cater for the treatment of involuntarily committed drug dependent patients.” 

It was heartening that among the Inquiry’s 54 recommendations were several that mirrored those contained in our 2013 submission, notably in relation to Therapeutic Justice, problem-solving courts and Justice Reinvestment. 

The Inquiry recommended that the government investigate how Justice Reinvestment could best be utilised in drug-related diversion and treatment programs. Under Justice Reinvestment, taxpayer funds that would otherwise be directed to prisons are redirected to early intervention and diversion programs in the local communities from where the offenders originate and to which they will undoubtedly return. Such an approach would require changes to bail, sentencing, parole and release policies that would see more low-level offenders (in particular) released into the community on programs. The resulting financial savings would be reinvested in improving their neighbourhoods, especially housing opportunities, and the provision of better health, job training, education and sporting facilities. 

The Inquiry noted that in the USA and the UK, Justice Reinvestment now attracts support from both progressive and conservative sides of the political spectrum due to a perception that “imprisonment is an inefficient and wasteful use of scarce public resources. The Committee believes there is merit in the concepts of justice reinvestment and therapeutic justice.” 

Recommendations 32 and 33 addressed the need to expand specialist drug and therapeutic courts. In 2013 we proposed a model of therapeutic jurisprudence for the Goulburn Valley, similar to the Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) – currently operating in the Melbourne, Sunshine and Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Courts – but driven by an external agency. While the Inquiry did not make a specific recommendation for our region, we believe that a recent funding submission we put to the Legal Services Board would allow us to establish a Therapeutic Justice partnership with Primary Care Connect that would make this approach a reality in our region. 

The Drug Court currently operates only in Dandenong. Recommendation 33 called for an expansion of the operation of the Drug Courts in Melbourne, Geelong, Sunshine and Gippsland. We would argue that any such expansion should also include Shepparton. 

While we welcome the Inquiry’s report, and endorse the Editorial in The Age on 8 September that praised the report for avoiding a populist law-and-order response, we note that the ball is now in the government’s court. 

However, an election looms. While the current government has promised to expedite their response to the report, their ability to deliver on that promise hinges on their re-election. Whichever party wins in November, we hope that they heed the Inquiry’s call to action and look for smarter ways to deliver justice in Victoria.





Sunday morning just after 6 a.m., a caller reported to Merrill police that suspicious vehicle had been sitting running, partially in the roadway for over an hour. An officer located the female driver and male passenger seemingly passed out at the location. A hypodermic needle was observed sitting on the back seat.
The two were awakened and exhibited clues of recent drug use. The driver was placed through field sobriety tests and was arrested for operating while intoxicated. When asked about the syringe, she admitted she used the needle to inject drugs. A search of her person revealed additional drug paraphernalia as well as a gem bag with methamphetamine in it. A search of the vehicle revealed numerous hypodermic needles (both used and new) and several additional items of drug paraphernalia. Schedule II narcotic prescription medication was also located.
The driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated, possession of methamphetamine, possession of schedule II narcotics, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sunday afternoon at 4:17 p.m., a caller reported to Merrill police that she observed a female in a vehicle parked at a local store injecting herself with something. The caller stated when she returned to her vehicle from shopping, the female was partially hanging out of the vehicle’s window and was “out of it.”
Officers noted the female driver and male passenger exhibited clues of recent drug use. A hypodermic needle with an unknown substance in it was observed lying inside the vehicle. The driver was placed through field sobriety tests and failed. She was arrested for operating while intoxicated (3rd offense) and cited for operating while suspended (4th+ offense).
The male passenger turned over a knife he possessed when he was asked if he had anything on his person. The knife handle was found to unscrew with a compartment inside which contained methamphetamine.
The driver admitted she had injected herself with heroin and methamphetamine which the passenger had provided her. She was arrested for operating while intoxicated, possession of methamphetamine and bail jumping. An additional charge of possession of heroin is pending analysis.
The male passenger was found to have provided a false name to officers and had provided the name and birthdate of a family member. As such, he was charged with felony misrepresenting identity to avoid penalty. He was additionally charged with delivery of methamphetamine, possession of THC (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Once his true identity was learned, it was found he had a warrant for his arrest through Kronenwetter PD and multiple open bonds. He was additionally charged with 12 counts of bail jumping.
It was later reported by Wausau PD the vehicle the two were found in was reported stolen out of Wausau. Additional charges for the two of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent are pending through Wausau PD. The passenger also faces a charge of delivery of heroin pending analysis of the substance in the hypodermic needle.



FRUITVALE, Texas (AP) – Texas authorities have arrested a Van Zandt County man who they say held two women at gunpoint for hours while high on methamphetamines.

The Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office charged 37-year-old Robert Walker on Saturday with two counts each of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon. He is also charged with possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

The women tell deputies Walker targeted them with the laser sight of a scoped .243 caliber rifle when they tried to leave his home. Deputies say one woman escaped through a bedroom window.

They say Walker surrendered after authorities deployed a mine-resistant vehicle to his house.

Walker is being held at the Van Zandt County jail. Online records didn’t indicate bond or an attorney.



It’s taken about a year for Brittney Boswell, 24, to kick an intravenous methamphetamine addiction that has plagued her since May 27, 2012. 540bdd1d952e5_preview-620

She hasn’t had meth for about 11 months. The triggers and cravings are still there, she said, but the pangs are weaker now.

Boswell is currently in treatment at the Rimrock Foundation’s program, Michelle’s House, which helps mothers with children younger than 12 beat their addictions.

She was sent to the rehabilitation facility by courts in Missoula County, where she has lived for more than a decade.

“I couldn’t quit using when I was pregnant,” Boswell said. “It was either going to jail or coming here.”

She was turned into authorities by her mother, who was concerned about the welfare of Boswell’s unborn twins.

Her mother now has custody of all four of her children, Boswell said. The 10-month-old boy and girl are healthy and developing normally.

While the drug has sapped nearly three years of her life, getting hooked on meth didn’t take long, she said. “All it took for me was that first time.”

Her path to addiction didn’t begin in 2012.

In high school she had tried marijuana and cocaine, but that didn’t really do much for her, she said.

Her first encounter with addiction began when she was prescribed Lortabs after a miscarriage. The painkiller is a mixture of hydrocodone and Tylenol.

“Before I knew it, my prescription was out, and I couldn’t get it refilled,” she said.

She began buying pills from dealers in Missoula, but she didn’t see anything wrong with it.

“I didn’t think I had a problem,” she said. “I had a nice apartment, my bills were paid.”

The first time she tried meth was after the death of her nephew, she said. “I was willing to do anything to make that go away.”

Her husband, whom she started dating at age 16 and married at 21, was a five-year-sober IV drug user, and he relapsed with her.

“Within the first month, I lost my apartment, I lost my job, I lost my two kids,” she said. “Even though I lost everything, I still thought I had everything in control.”

The two jumped from couch to couch or stayed at the home of her mother-in-law.

She tried to battle the addiction and managed to get away from meth for a month, but she simply replaced the drug with alcohol and would eventually relapse.

Nothing could break the addiction cycle, not even when Child and Family Services took custody of her children.

“After my daughters were taken from me, I remember shooting up and crying so hard, I couldn’t shoot up” she said. “I wanted the help, but I couldn’t take it.”

It took the threat of jail to break her out of the addiction.

Now after spending time at Rimrock, she has been able to develop stronger relationships with her children and her parents, she said. She has managed to get a job as a cashier at Wal-Mart.

The independence has boosted her confidence.

“It feels so good,” she said. “I feel like I’m a contributing member of my family.”

After she is discharged, she hopes to find a sponsor and transfer to a Wal-Mart store in Missoula.

She thinks about how living in the place where she used to purchase and use drugs could cause her to relapse, but she believes Rimrock has prepared her to fight those triggers.

“If I wanted drugs, I could get drugs,” she said. But, “I also know where to find a meeting.”

Her family’s support, her responsibility to her children and a strong Narcotics Anonymous fellowship will help keep her away from drugs, she said.

She hopes her story is an inspiration to others, especially her children.

“I hope that just knowing how hard I’ve worked for this, that will inspire them,” she said. “With my kids, I hope it stops with me.”




Eustis police officers have charged a quarreling couple with running a meth lab out of their motel room after being called to the Cara Mar Motor Lodge to break up a domestic argument.

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According to a Eustis Police Department press release, Mary C. Witsman, 23, and George A. Mayer, 42, were arrested and accused of trafficking in methamphetamine more than 20 grams, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, less than 20 grams, and possession of paraphernalia.

Police went to the motel at 1414 S. Bay St., Eustis, Sunday and found what the release said was an active meth lab in the room where Witsman and Mayer were. The release said Mayer has been accused of narcotics violations in the past and has 10 active warrants for his arrest in Lake County.


Argument leads to discovery of meth lab

Police responding to a domestic argument at a Eustis motel on Sunday spotted evidence that methamphetamine was being manufactured there, leading to the eventual arrest of the feuding pair.

George Mayer, 42, and Mary Witsman, 23, who were staying at the Cara Mar Motor Lodge on Bay Street, each were charged with trafficking in methamphetamine more than 28 grams, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both defendants have a criminal history with narcotics, said Senior Office Robert Simken, public information officer for the Eustis Police Department.

In addition, Mayer had 10 active Lake County warrants, Simken said.

Witsman remained jail Monday in lieu of $61,000 bond. Although Mayer has the same bond on the drug charges, he has no bond on a series probation violations.

Simken said the meth lab was discovered when police returned to the motel with a search warrant.

“The adjacent rooms were evacuated to ensure the safety of the motor lodge occupants and no injuries occurred,” he said. “(The) Lake County Sheriff’s Office Hazardous Chemical Unit assisted in the decontamination of the defendants before transport and the collection of the chemicals.”


Methamphetamine: The facts

Posted: September 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

Two people were arrested in Paris last week for possession of Methamphetamine. If you follow the arrests reports, you know that is not uncommon here in Paris. It’s not uncommon anywhere.


But it is especially common in rural America.  Unfortunately, it is easy and cheap to produce.  Ingredients found in local stores such as solvents from paint, lithium from batteries, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, antifreeze and over-the-counter cold medicines like Sudafed are used for cooking meth.

But what exactly is Methamphetamine? Methamphetamine is a very potent central nervous system stimulant. The drug works directly on the brain and spinal cord by interfering with normal neurotransmission, often leading to brain damage and even death.

Known also as ice, speed, chalk, crystal, glass, crank, yaba, fire tina,tweak, uppers, trash yellow bam, stove top and go fast.

What does it look like? It can be a white or yellowish crystalline powder, crystals or even a pill.

Methamphetamine may be inhaled, smoked, injected or swallowed.

Now there is also liquid meth. Last fall a group of 8th grade girls at Texas City middle school were caught with a new form of meth. Authorities say that small paper squares had been soaked in liquid meth and then wrapped in foil. The girls had placed the stamp on the tongue and allowed it to dissolve.

When someone starts using methamphetamine, they have increased energy, feelings of euphoria, decreased appetite, and decreased need for sleep. They also experience increased heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, restlessness, and anxiety.

How can you tell if someone is using Methamphetamine? They will lose large amounts of weight due to decrease in appetite, they may appear unusually active, can seem nervous and anxious, may be sweating more than normal, their pupils may be dilated and often the user will not sleep for long periods.

Heavy users tend to experience hallucinations and delusions. Some users develop sores on their face or body when they have been picking at their skin, thinking that there are bugs crawling under their skin that they can’t see.  Also since the drug dries up the flow of saliva, a meth addicts teeth may get rotten and brown. This is referred to as “meth mouth.”

The most dangerous stage of methamphetamine abuse is known as “tweaking.” This is characterized by an abuser who has not slept in 3-15 days and is very irritable and paranoid. They often will behave or react violently.

Meth is extremely addictive, possibly more than any other substance. It has a very long recovery period after users stop taking it. And some former addicts never completely recover due to permanent brain damage. Other long term effects can be fatal kidney and lung disorders, permanent psychological problems, liver damage, stroke and death.

However, the risk to kids is not just teens who experiment with the drug, but the increasing number of children found neglected and abused living in homes that are also “meth labs.” These children often test positive for meth, due to inhaling the constant fumes or second hand smoke from the adults using meth.

How to spot a meth lab? It is often described as smelling like ammonia or “cat urine”, ether, lighter fluid, auto parts cleaner or rotten eggs. There is often excessive trash and unusual behavior, like people coming and going at all hours of day or night. If you suspect a meth lab report it to local law enforcement.

If you really want to scare your teens away from ever trying meth, show them all the “before and after” photos on the internet. The faces of meth are truly scary.

From one mom to another,

Jenny Wilson





A Pulaski County woman was arrested Friday after Police say she left her daughter alone in a motel room where methamphetamines were being manufactured.


Kimberly Canada, 35, was arrested for public intoxication, unlawful transaction with a minor, and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Police responded to a call at the Knight’s Inn Motel, room 136 for a manufacturing meth complaint. Upon arrival officers talked to Canada’s daughter who said she was looking for her mother.

The girl told police that she smokes marijuana and her mom allows it. She said that she smoked it as a child.
She’s been taken to a hospital to be checked out and will remain in her grandfather’s care. Officers say when Canada came back to the motel she was under the influence. She showed signs of being on drugs and admitted to shooting up crystal meth.



  • Farrow pleaded to guilty to importing a marketable quantity of crystal methamphetamine
  • The former swimwear model has requested a contested facts hearing to reduce her sentence
  • She claims some of her employees, who had control to her bank and phone accounts, ran a drug ring under her name behind her back
  • The court heard evidence from her alleged Australian dealer

Former model Simone Farrow has pleaded guilty to importing crystal methamphetamine into Australia but has denied having being the ringleader of the international drug ring.

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Instead, the 39-year-old has claimed in court she was unknowingly set up by some employees who had obtained complete control of her bank, phone and email accounts and ran the drug ring behind her back.

Despite the former Penthouse Pet pleading guilty at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court, she has requested a contested facts hearing in an attempt to obtain a lesser sentence, according to the Sunday Telegraph.


Ms Farrow’s lawyer told the court that if buyers believed she was behind the syndicate, it was because her employees would have imitated her way of speaking in order to pass off as her.


The Australian Federal Police arrested Ms Farrow in 2012 at the Gold Coast before extraditing her to Sydney. Prosecutors maintain that she controlled the drug ring while pursuing a career in the United States as Simone Starr.


Prosecutors claim they have video footage of Ms Farrow smoking drugs and claimed in court she personally intimidated buyers who owed her thousands of dollars by threatening to send bikies to manhandle them.

The court also heard from a number of Farrows buyers who claimed they dealt directly with her, paying her $7000 per ounce.

A man said to be her drug dealer and whom he claims she referred to as ‘dad’ told the court: ‘no one would [know to] call me “dad” [besides her] and no one would know the things we know,’ the Sunday Telegraph reported.


He claimed the former swimsuit model was always asking him for more money and exploited their business relationship.

Mr Muratti, another witness from Melbourne who allegedly bought ice from Ms Farrow, and also claimed to have spoken directly to her.

He told the court that the drugs were shipped to him concealed as bath salts, although he conceded much of that period was a ‘blur’.






Hollywood swimsuit model in handcuffs after DEA busts Penthouse Pet as ‘head of global drugs ring’

The fugitive international swimsuit model accused of being the head of a global drugs ring has faced cameras for the first time since her arrest.

Former men’s magazine pin-up Simone Farrow, 37, was found hiding out in a cheap motel on Queensland’s Gold Coast after a month on the run from the DEA.

Head bowed, blonde waves spiraling down from a white hoodie, Farrow turned away from the cameras as she made her way through the domestic terminal of Sydney Airport led by two federal officers on Wednesday.

Farrow is accused of trafficking the drug meth in bags of bath salts from a posh apartment in Hollywood and police claim she has at least 19 aliases.

She is expected to appear in court this week after being extradited to Sydney.


She has been on the run for a month, fleeing $160,000 bail, which she claims was because ‘someone was trying to murder me’.

Court documents reveal an extraordinary alleged life of crime behind the glamour of the modeling world which had set up blonde Farrow, voted one of FHM magazine’s ‘sexiest women in the world’, for a jet-setting life of luxury.

But it will be claimed that as the years went by Farrow became involved in drugs, stand over men and other criminal enterprises in the U.S. and Australia.

She worked her illicit operation from an apartment near Sunset Boulevard. It was there she was kept under watch by U.S. authorities.

Police claim Farrow organized for high-grade crystal methamphetamine, which was often piled up on desks in the apartment, to be mailed to New South Wales and Victoria hidden in parcels containing ‘bath products’, ‘pants’ or ‘small fountain kits’.

Buyers sent cash to Farrow through the post or made deposits at National Australia Bank branches into her bank account, the court heard.

After her arrest Farrow was bailed when a Moss Vale woman she met in jail put up $320,000 surety. That was dropped to $150,000, put up by barrister Anthony Renshaw and doctor Joseph Grech.

As a condition of her bail Farrow was to reside at Renshaw’s Double Bay apartment before that was altered to allow her to live in Grech’s Paddington property.

But that money was put at risk when Farrow failed to appear at two scheduled court appearances last month and went on the run.

One member of the drug syndicate, Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph revealed today, committed suicide in a Hollywood motel the day after being contacted by investigators.





EL DORADO – A traffic stop nets an ounce of methamphetamine in El Dorado.

Police say two women were pulled over for a seatbelt violation on Friday.  After running the driver, Lisa Hollingsworth’s information, police found she had a warrant out for her arrest.

Clara SmithLisa Hollingsworth

A subsequent search of the car found an ounce of meth and other drug paraphernalia.

Both Hollingsworth and the passenger, Clara Smith were arrested and taken to the Union County Sherriff’s office.

Both women have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.



A 32-year-old Midland resident was arrested Thursday for possession of a controlled substance, according to court documents.

Ashley Cochran was being held on a $15,000 bond for a state jail felony charge for possession of a controlled substance of less than 1 gram. 540bb5ddaddd2_image

A Midland police officer was called out to the 3200 block of Kansas Avenue on Thursday in response to a disturbance. A man, according to court documents, complained that Cochran was in his residence causing problems. He also told the officer that she was in possession of methamphetamine.

The officer made contact with Cochran, who confirmed that she had methamphetamine in her purse concealed within a cigarette box. She also told the officer that she had three needles in a side pocket within her purse.

Cochran, according to court documents, was placed into handcuffs and put in the back of the patrol car. The officer then performed a search of the purse, locating a small blue bag of methamphetamine within the cigarette box and the needles. He also found another small blue bag of methamphetamine within the bag. A field test on the drugs returned positive.

Cochran was transferred to the CDC without incident.

If convicted Cochran faces up to two years in jail for the state jail felony charge.




THE past week has been a sobering reminder for all Victorians of the evil of methamphetamines such as “ice” and of their capacity to reach across the state.

This dangerous drug ruins the lives of those who become addicted, leaving families devastated. The scale is unprecedented, as is the despair it can cause — and there is no quick fix to the ice problem.


It has to be attacked from every angle and that is what the Napthine Government is doing.

The response involves education, prevention, law-and-order initiatives and rehabilitation for those wanting help.

We have revealed our approach to tackling methamphetamines, starting with three key measures: stopping their manufacture and sale, protecting people from drug-related crime and helping victims to overcome their addiction.

Our strategy over the past four years — and our strategy for the next four — is to hit the ice scourge hard, drawing on expertise and resources across law and order, justice, health, education, community services, prevention and mental health. We will tackle the issue at the grassroots and smash the supply chain.

That is a key reason why we have a record budget of $2.43 billion for police services, a 22 per cent increase since being elected. In the past 18 months, Victoria Police resources have been strengthened by an extra 1700 officers, many of whom have been deployed on to the streets and into specialised drug taskforces. Their impact has been evident, with 248 drug labs producing ice smashed in metro and regional Victoria.

More than 90 per cent of drug labs found and destroyed by Victoria Police in the past year manufactured ice. Ice manufacturers, dealers and, distributors need to know the next phase has begun. Make no mistake — if you make or deal drugs, you will be caught.

Our elite drug taskforce is undertaking further operations aimed at dealers and manufacturers.

And once caught, offenders can expect no mercy. New forfeiture laws have been introduced, stripping major drug dealers of assets and there is now 14-year baseline sentencing for large-scale commercial trafficking.

We have announced the introduction of another 11 passive alert detection dogs, with eight to be deployed in regional Victoria to bolster Victoria Police’s capacity to carry out search warrants. That means all those warrants will be executed with sniffer dog assistance in the city and in the hotspot regional areas.

Highway patrol vehicles will have the capability to drug-test drivers, meaning the number of tests will more than double to 100,000 a year. If you drive on ice, you will be caught.

Education and prevention is an important part of our strategy. In partnership with the Penington Institute, we have launched the “What are you doing on ice?” campaign. It is part of a $38 million investment to tackle the use of illicit drugs, including ice.

It presents a grim and realistic picture of the downward spiral caused by ice. From occasional use to damaging addiction, the campaign provides information on where to get help and the website,, offers information about support services.

That is backed by a $2 million investment in ice prevention grants, designed to help local communities implement their own ideas. We are also working with schools to teach young Victorians about the consequences of risky behaviour. Run jointly by the Royal Melbourne and Alfred hospitals, the Prevent Alcohol & Risk-related Trauma in Youth program introduces students to an emergency department and intensive care unit, giving them first-hand experience of the harsh reality of traumatic injuries.

We are also investing $3 million across 10 Victorian mental health services to help them respond to the rising number of people on ice.

A parliamentary committee has delivered its report into the impact of ice across the state.

The comprehensive report contains some alarming facts about the use of the drug and makes more than 50 recommendations about how best to tackle it. Each will be considered in detail as part of the strategy to defeat this enemy.

A significant battle lies ahead as we all work to rid Victoria of the scourge of ice. The Government will stand shoulder to shoulder with all Victorians until the battle is won.

Kim Wells is the Minister for Police and Emergency Services




Ashley Lewellen was excited to learn she was approved to move into a Crawfordsville duplex she wanted. After moving into her new home, her excitement quickly turned to sickness and despair.

“Within just a few days I started getting headaches and my eyes became very irritated,” she said. “Soon I started experiencing an upset stomach and developed an intestinal problem. After that, I started getting really dizzy at work and lost my appetite. I did not sleep for three days and all this happened within one week of moving into my new home.”

Unbeknown to her, Lewellen had moved into a home that had previously been used to produce methamphetamine, the illegal drug commonly known as meth, and it cost her dearly.

Montgomery County Health Sanitarian Amber Reed said there are hazards associated with living in a residence that has had meth produced, or used, inside.

“The residue from meth is very dangerous and it hangs on everything,” Reed said. “I liken it to pan frying chicken. You can smell the frying chicken all over the house, meth moves into every room the same way. The chicken odor goes away, but the grease remains around the cooking area. Meth residue does not go away either and it adheres to everything. The residue is toxic.”

Lewellen started to search for information on her computer about what could be causing her problems. With the help of a friend, she discovered her health problems were the exact symptoms of being overwhelmed with meth residue.

“Once I read about the problems and health hazards of meth residue in homes, I knew that was my problem,” Lewellen said. “I immediately went to the police department and also contacted the county health department.”

She also contacted her landlord, who said he had no idea of the problem in his duplex.

“I know the landlord was surprised and he took it very seriously,” Lewellen said.

Once she reported the problem to the health department, the remediation process began. Reed condemned the property and the landlord hired a contractor to test the residence for meth residue.

“The lab tests came back and it was the worst we had seen,” Reed said. “The most dangerous room was in the bedroom and that is where Melissa was trying to sleep. She thought she was resting, but in fact, she was in the middle of a haven of meth.”

Lewellen said her sleeping ritual only compounded the problem.

“When I sleep, I close the bedroom door and turn a fan on that is pointed right at me,” she said. “Not only was I in the worst meth room, I was also stirring the residue up and making it worse.”

Lewellen moved in with her aunt and waited for her next move. About three weeks after discovering the problem in her home, the nightmare grew worse. She was told she was would lose most of her belongings.

“You really cannot clean meth residue off of a lot of things,” Lewellen said. “I was able to keep my clothes and bed linens because they could be washed in a special chemical and I could keep some pots and pans. Everything else I owned had to be thrown away.”

Lewellen had to watch as all of her furniture, electronics and floor coverings were pitched into a Dumpster.

“It was really upsetting to see all I owned being tossed away,” she said. “I never imagined at the age of 22 I would be starting all over again. I am single and proud of the fact that everything I owned I had purchased. I had worked for those things, like my two televisions, dining room set and living room furniture. All of a sudden I owned nothing.”

Lewellen felt sorry for herself, but her friends and church helped her understand a basic truth, even among a horrible experience.

“I did learn that things we own are not really important,” she said. “The fact that I am here is what matters. I can replace my things, but I cannot replace my life. I am feeling healthy again and I thank my family and church friends for helping me through this horrible ordeal. I am still amazed how everyone stepped in to help me.”

Lewellen’s relatives and her church, Rock Point, helped her replace many personal items.

She also learned another valuable lesson.

“People need to check out where they are moving to and even what they are buying at yard sales,” Lewellen said. “We cannot be too careful and remember that meth is a problem that sticks around anything it comes in contact with.”





Treatment providers are seeing an increase in the number of people who need help for methamphetamine addiction — an affliction that is challenging to treat and devastating for families.540bac53ae966_preview-620

And myths persist about treatment for meth addiction: Many still believe that it causes permanent brain damage and that there is no effective treatment for addicts.

Neither is true, according to Dr. Brenda Roche, a neuropsychologist.

She is the director of clinical and evaluation services at the Center for Families and Children, which works with 30 to 40 families a week who are dealing with meth addiction.

Roche and other treatment providers, like law enforcement officials, are reporting an increase in meth use over the last 12 to 18 months.

“We are seeing a bit of an uptick (in meth use), which is distressing,” said Lenette Kosovich, chief executive of Rimrock, a comprehensive treatment center in Billings for people with addictions and mental health issues.

If the right level and length of treatment is provided, Roche said, outcomes for meth addiction are the same as for addiction to alcohol, cocaine and other controlled substances.

But the recovery process is longer for meth addiction than it is for other substances.

When asked how difficult it is to overcome meth addiction, Roche laughed dryly. “How I would explain it is you have to change everything about your whole life,” she said.

Impact on families

Roche said that meth addiction is “devastating” for families and has a tremendously powerful grip on users.

It causes a spike in dopamine, a neurotransmitter that relays pleasure, in the brain. For perspective, she explained that a good meal might give a 150 percent spike in dopamine, sex might give a 200 percent increase, cocaine might give a 300 percent boost in dopamine — and meth can increase dopamine levels by 1,200 percent.

There’s nothing else we have, even in combination, that we can get that high with,” she said

Roche described a typical pattern of methamphetamine use by the people she works with like this: One or both parents use the drug for one to three days, sometimes without sleeping or eating.

“(They) can get very psychotic, very paranoid, really aggressive,” she said. “There’s a high level of sexual activity that goes on during that time, as well, that the kids are all exposed to.” Add to that the potential for domestic violence, other criminal activity and child neglect.

After that, there’s a crash period of one to two days.

And meth addiction can prove especially traumatic for female users, Roche said. “They don’t have to have money to get the drug.”

Exchanging sex for methamphetamine is “extremely common” among female users, Roche said. “That’s 98 percent of the moms I work with.”

“Thinking about a child, witnessing all of those things can be very scary,” she said. “So there’s a lot of trauma for the kids we work with, but I haven’t met one kid yet that doesn’t love their mom or dad.”

And once law enforcement and Child Protective Services get involved, the children of meth users are often placed in foster care.

“That’s a whole other traumatic event for them even though it’s for their safety,” she said. “They’re losing their parent. Our goal and objective is permanent well-being for the child. Part of that goal is, if possible, to reunite parents and children.”

A long road

A first step in treatment is often a stay at a center such Rimrock. Inpatient treatment there, depending on a person’s needs, can cost $13,000 to $15,000 for a 28-day stay, Kosovich said.

Inpatient treatment is important because patients “don’t necessarily need to be medically monitored during detox in the early stages,” Roche said. “They’re not going to die from detoxing from it, but they’re going to feel awful, and so they’re going to seek out drugs.”

And during the first six months of abstaining from meth, recovering addicts’ brain functions actually worsen. In the sixth month, their brain function is comparable to someone who has had a traumatic brain injury, she said.

After inpatient care, recovering addicts need as much as 30 hours of intensive outpatient care for 12 to 18 months, followed by months of after care and relapse prevention.

All kinds of things — running into a friend you used to use meth with, something on TV, driving by an older dealer’s house — can trigger the need to use meth, according to Roche.

Recovering addicts can also have dreams about the drug, dreams so intense they wake unsure if they’ve used or not, for years after being clean.

She said she’s often had clients call up saying something like, “Brenda, can you get me cleared to do a UA (urine analysis) because I don’t know if I used last night.”

‘On the edge’: The importance of treatment

Despite the challenges, Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said that treatment needs to be a part of dealing with the methamphetamine problem in Billings.

Typically, for users — but not dealers — with limited or no criminal history who are convicted for meth possession, “They’re going to get a probationary sentence where the focus is to try to funnel them to whatever treatment the Department of Corrections has available in the community,” he said.

Those same people may also have a shot at going through one of the county’s drug treatment courts, the first of which Roche helped found in 2001.

“To really give them a shot, that would be my goal,” Twito said. “They’re on the edge of the cliff. They’re on the edge of getting into property crimes and the violent crimes to support their habit.”





On a recent Monday afternoon, Billings Police Officer Matt Frank pulled over an 18-year-old driver on Main Street.

Frank stopped the driver, Jesse Robert Hill, at about 2:10 p.m. on Aug. 28 because the car, a white Monte Carlo, appeared to have a modified temporary license tag.

Hill had constricted pupils, lethargic movements and couldn’t understand basic questions, Frank said. The officer also noticed the smell of marijuana.540bac55657a2_preview-620

After getting a warrant, a search of the car turned up a marijuana pipe — and two plastic sugar-packet-sized bags, one of which had about a quarter gram of little white crystals.

Officer Seth Foster dumped some of the crystals in a small container called a NIK kit, a field test for methamphetamine. The liquids combined with the white crystals and the mixture turned bright blue — indicating the presence of meth.

More meth use in Billings

Finding a quarter gram of methamphetamine in a car may not seem noteworthy — Hill was arrested on possible charges of DUI and possession — but it’s part of a trend: more meth use in Billings, which fuels other kinds of crimes.

“I truly do think it’s the No. 1 threat to public safety in our community,” Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.

Last year, prosecutors filed 365 felony drug possession charges in Yellowstone County District Court, up from 210 charges in 2012 and 213 charges in 2011.

Of those charges, more than half were for meth, Twito estimates.

And meth appears to have been involved in several recent high-profile crimes.

Zachariah James Wiseman, Kelly Dee Megard and Justin Wesley Delacruz, men charged in three unrelated homicide or attempted homicide cases in June and July, were either high on meth or had meth in their possession at the times of the alleged offenses, according to investigators.

The county attorney said he doesn’t yet have enough data to say meth is driving up the number of violent crimes, “but I can certainly tell you more often then not … it is involved in violent crimes.”

And he’s working to track whether there is a connection. About two months ago, his office started tracking whether meth is a factor in all felony cases presented for prosecution.

Meth fuels thefts, burglaries and robberies — offenses known as “property crimes,” said Twito and other law enforcement officials.

Sgt. Shawn Finnegan, a 16-year veteran of the Billings Police Department, said meth addicts often break into cars and homes looking for property they can pawn for cash or trade directly to dealers.

Those kinds of crimes are on the rise, according to Finnegan and other officers in the patrol division of the department. They would know — they’re on the front lines.

The ‘meth influence’

Methamphetamine makes people irrational and unpredictable, Officer Todd Clyatt said, recounting a recent incident at North Park when a man who appeared to be high on meth pointed what appeared to be a handgun at him.

At about 7:30 a.m. on July 27, a Sunday, Clyatt was on patrol when he saw two people at the center of North Park. He went to investigate after seeing open alcohol containers and trash near the pair.

One of the two, later identified as 28-year-old Bryon James Hemming, started running away while holding a large, silver pistol, court records say.

Clyatt yelled for Hemming to stop, but the man continued running. He used his patrol car to cut Hemming off and radioed for backup. As Clyatt approached, Hemming turned and pointed the pistol at him, charging documents state.

Hemming eventually dropped the gun, but continued running, records say. Police chased him on foot, and he turned and took a combative stance. He was taken to the ground, but continued to resist arrest even after being shocked with a Taser.

A detention officer later reported finding a smashed glass pipe in Hemming’s pocket. He claimed it was broken bottle of cologne, but the broken glass tested positive for methamphetamine.

The firearm, a BB gun, was retrieved and appeared to be an exact replica of a stainless steel Beretta 92 pistol, court records say.

“It looked very real to me,” Clyatt said. “You know, we almost shot him. He was tweaked out on meth — paranoid. That was absolutely meth influence.”

‘Knock and talk’

On the morning of Aug. 18, three marked police cars were parked in front of a motel on the edge of downtown Billings.

Clyatt, Officer Robert Miller and Sgt. Shawn Finnegan had information that people had been using and possibly dealing meth at the motel.

“I can tell you the water pressure is dropping right now because people are flushing stuff,” Clyatt said, as he stood outside the motel.

The secondhand information about meth dealing wasn’t enough to apply for a warrant, which the officers needed to legally be able to enter without permission.

Clyatt decided to do a “knock and talk,” approach with the people in the room and ask for permission to search their room — something the tenants have every right to deny.

Clyatt walked up the worn, squeaky motel steps to the second-story room in question. A handful of people, some smoking cigarettes and others talking on cellphones, were milling around the parking lot below, watching what was happening.

Clyatt politely chatted with a man and woman who were staying in the room with two young children. He talked to them individually for about 10 or 15 minutes each, getting to know them a little, before addressing the reported meth activity.

“I’m not standing here calling you a dope dealer, I’m just telling you that people have gone into that room and come out with methamphetamines,” Clyatt told the man, who admitted to using meth in the past.

The man and woman both denied knowing anything about the reported meth use and eventually agreed to have the room searched.

The search didn’t turn up any meth or related paraphernalia; no arrests were made. But Clyatt seemed OK with that. Before he left, the woman asked for his card and thanked him for his concern for her and her children.

“Talking a lot of times is our best tool,” Clyatt said after walking back to his patrol car. “I know she’ll call.”

The day before, a similar “knock and talk” with a man at the same motel did turn up meth paraphernalia — syringes, a digital scale that appeared to have meth and marijuana residue, a propane torch, two wooden clubs and two glass pipes used to smoke meth.

“They call them lokers on the street,” Finnegan said, looking over the pipes and other items with Clyatt.

Lokers are made by heating glass containers, often empty cigar cases, and blowing the enclosed end of the container into a bulb and poking a small hole in it.

Finding a propane torch in a hotel room is always a red flag. “What are you going to use that for in a hotel room? Smoking meth,” he said, adding that “chronic” meth users often have burn marks on their fingers.

“This is just universal; everywhere you go you’re gonna get stuff like this,” he said, looking at the two wooden clubs. “And they don’t hesitate to lump the crap out of each other on a regular basis.”

“It’s like a whole underground world of drug dealing in our community,” Finnegan said.



San Luis, Arizona – A pair of Reno, Nevada women and a San Luis, Arizona man were caught with more than 3.6 pounds of methamphetamine during unsuccessful smuggling attempts over the last few days at the Port of San Luis.

On Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers selected a Honda sedan for additional inspection and discovered the driver, Jennifer Lee Evans, 28, and her passenger, Brittney Leigh Youngberg, 23, each were carrying more than eight ounces of methamphetamine within their crotch (body cavity). The meth has an estimated value of more than $3,000.

On Aug. 29, officers referred Evaristo Pereda, 18, for further inspection as he attempted to enter the United States through a pedestrian lane. Officers then searched Pereda and found almost two pounds of meth wrapped around his inner thighs.  The meth has an estimated value of nearly $6,000.

Officers seized all drugs and the Honda sedan. All subjects were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.



Methamphetamine users might not look like you’d expect them to, says Care Esperanza, CEO of Acadiana Addiction Center, which treats addicted people across Louisiana.

Though many people think of meth users as belonging to low socioeconomic groups with sunken eyes, stringy hair and sores on their faces and arms, the reality is much different, Esperanza said.

Kully Griffin,

“A meth user is anybody,” she said. “I have seen doctors on meth. I have seen nurses and attorneys on meth. I have seen housewives and people of lower socio-economic groups on meth. Meth users are offshore workers and teachers. They’re anybody.”

What starts as a way to unwind and have a good time often ends in a long-lasting addiction, Esperanza said.

“A lot of them start out just to party or just to stay up all night or to lose weight. But once you’ve used it a few times it’s going to get you addicted. It’s the nature of the drug,” she said.

The drug’s addictive qualities may be why it’s so often manufactured and sold in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, police said.

Little of the meth produced in the 17 meth labs found locally so far in 2014 is sold in the area, police said.

Local meth is produced in labs often referred to by police as “shake-and-bake labs” because they are small and portable and take little more than a 2-liter bottle and some tubing to operate.

This simplicity means that meth is easier to produce and purchase than ever before, police said.

These labs only produce around 5 grams a cook, taking anywhere from 45 minutes to six hours to produce depending on the skill level of the manufacturer, Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force Sgt. Adam Dufrene said.

The quantity of meth produced in these types of labs, which are far more common in the area than larger more sophisticated “Breaking Bad”-style labs is often only enough for the manufacturer to use, leaving little to sell.

“A majority of the suspects we arrest for meth admit that it’s a personal demon of theirs and they manufacturer it to get their own fix. They do it this way to save money. They’ll bring in family members to unknowingly buy the medicine for them to make it,” Dufrene said. “They mostly just do it for themselves. That way they can take meth and be high and stay awake all night so they can make more meth.”

When meth from local labs does hit the streets, police are usually able to trace it back to the lab it originated from and effectively shut down the entire operation, drug agents said.

“One person that cooks meth teaches another 10 people how to cook meth. When we arrest one person they’ll tell us that someone local taught them and we arrest both of them,” Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force Agent Justin Leonard said.

Meth found in someone’s possession can sometimes be tracked back to the source by its specific qualities caused by the ingredients or methods used to cook it, Dufrene said.

It isn’t always easy to track down where the meth sold on local streets comes from because it is often trafficked in from other countries, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter said.

“We still have people using meth, but a lot of it’s not being cooked up here because it’s getting harder to do because of the lockdown by all the pharmacists of the drugs needed to make it,” he said.

Most of the local meth can be traced back to countries where the purchase restrictions on pseudoephedrine drugs needed to produce meth aren’t as strict, Larpenter said.

“A lot of the meth here is being transported through Mexico because they can easily get the ingredients needed. It’s all brought through here,” he said.

This meth produced in larger batches is often sold for $120 to $150 a gram and is often of purer quality than meth produced in smaller labs, Dufrene said.

“The purity is far greater than what you would have from your one pot lab. It’s more powerful, and it’s on the rise,” he said.




Seeing how everything from farming to tomb sweeping is experienced vicariously online, it was only natural that ‘meth prostitution’ follow suit. Yes, China’s meth-heads are now getting off by simply watching women do meth on camera.

pekingbad2According to Vice, the rise of ‘meth prostitution’ has resulted in many karaoke girls getting fired for their emaciated appearances caused by repeated methamphetamine use. As they possess few other skills, these ‘meth prostitutes’ resort to performing their erotic ‘ice’-capades on the web. Vice tells the story of one rural girl who came to Shanghai and ended up an online ‘meth Madame’:

Like many young people in China, she [Jinling] 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. 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.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.

Unfortunately, due to the outdated attitudes towards drugs in China, drug-addicts are lumped in with drug-peddlers as a scourge to be eradicated, rather than people who need to rehabilitated. So while China’s drug enforcement agencies are clamping down via random piss-tests, mass seizures, and cooperation with the US DEA, there’s very little in the way of rehabilitation or drug education to balance it out. As a result, they could be going down the same path as the US’ ill-fated ‘War on Drugs.’