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Terrence Nelson, 69, and his daughter, Theresa, 34, were arrested by Williams County Sheriff’s Office deputies Tuesday after the department executed a search warrant at their home in Wildrose.

A search of the residence uncovered methamphetamine and multiple items of illicit paraphernalia. The sheriff’s deputies were assisted by the Northwest Narcotics Task Force and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.


Both Terrence and Theresa Nelson are charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of paraphernalia and two counts of misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Theresa Nelson was charged with felony resisting arrest for attacking Detectives Caleb Fry and Amanda McNamee during the arrest.

“I was kicked in the groin and Detective McNamee was also kicked,” Fry said. “We’re fine though.”

McNamee was kicked in the leg, he added.

This is the second time Theresa has been arrested in the last month.

She was arrested for driving with a suspended license May 23, and a subsequent search of her impounded vehicle uncovered marijuana, 30 morphine pills and three baggies of methamphetamine.







Winterhaven, California – Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Andrade port of entry Tuesday arrested a Yuma woman after discovering more than 25 pounds of methamphetamine concealed inside the rear doors of the SUV she was driving.

Twenty-five pounds of meth found concealed inside the rear doors of a 2001 Ford Escape.

The incident occurred shortly before 10 p.m., on June 17, when a CBP officer encountered the 32-year-old woman after she entered the port driving a 2001 Ford Escape. The officer referred the vehicle and driver for a more in-depth examination.

During the inspection, a CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the narcotics detector dog alerted to the driver’s side rear door. Officers continued searching and ultimately discovered 24 wrapped packages concealed inside both of the SUV’s rear doors.

The packages field-tested positive as methamphetamine and have an estimated street value of about $165,000.

The woman, a Mexican citizen and lawful permanent resident of the U.S., was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. She was later transported to the Imperial County Jail.

CBP placed an immigration hold on the woman to initiate removal from the U.S. at the conclusion of her criminal proceedings.

CBP seized the vehicles and the narcotics.




BRYANT, Ark., June 20 (UPI) –This sounds like a close encounter with a blurred mind…

An Arkansas man was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and disorderly conduct after he allegedly harassed a couple in a car because he believed they were cruising around in a spaceship. He also thought the driver was an alien.


When James Bushart was arrested, police allegedly found methamphetamine and a pipe that was used to smoke meth.

The alleged victims called police after Bushart began following them around and then pulled up in front of their Plymouth Prowler to demand that the “alien take his spaceship back to where they came from.” Bushart is also accused of making threatening gestures.

“That was my biggest problem with what was going on was how upset he was. I guess in reference to the vehicle was the only thing I could think,” driver Jay Ward told FOX 16. “I was a little upset about that mostly because I also had a passenger with me that was concerned for her safety as well.”

According to the police report, the 44-year-old was shaky and talking to himself while performing field sobriety tests. He also said he was interested in the Plymouth because “it looked like a futuristic machine” and later told police that “he was a very big deal and had 100,000 Asian flowers.”




It was in an Adelaide nightclub where an 18-year-old Amy had her first taste of crystal methamphetamine.

The drug was known by many street names, glass or crank, but that night, Amy came to know it as ice.

“I had just a tiny bit on the end of my finger and rubbed it into my gums.”

In the hours afterward, the teenager would feel amazing, relaxed and confident, all her troubles transported a world away.

“It was just an all-over feeling of not caring about anything.”

Chasing that feeling kick-started an addiction that would take control of a decade of Amy’s life.


It began simply enough – a recreational snort of methamphetamine or ‘speed’ with friends as a late night reward after finishing at her bar job in Mount Gambier, in South Australia’s South East.

Although she never sought the drug out, friends or work colleagues would have it freely available, lines out on the table.

Moving to Melbourne at 21, she landed herself a restaurant manager’s position, the money she earned going towards weekends in nightclubs and bars where the drug scene was open and obvious.

Amy found it easy to walk into a place and know who was on it.

“People’s eyes, the way they act, the way they talk, they’re drinking water or energy drinks, it’s easy to go up to someone and ask if they have anything.”

As she walked into a nightclub after work early one morning, she drew the attention of the bouncer on the door.

Invited upstairs by him to share some lines of speed, she saw people smoking with a small glass pipe, which she hadn’t seen before.

“I asked about it and he said it was ice.

“He said it was just like speed but a ‘bigger feeling’.”

Amy watched with fascination as tiny rock crystals were placed into the bulb end of the pipe, a flame melting them into liquid smoke, people inhaling with their eyes closed.

The man, whom Amy would later move in with, held the pipe up to her lips and lit it for her.

It was 1am. Amy smoked ice for the next 17 hours straight, arriving home at dusk the next day.

Amy described those first few seconds after smoking the drug as an ‘extreme rush’.

“I guess for some people it would be like having 10 coffees or 15 energy drinks all at once.

“All this energy comes into your body.”

After she moved in with him, the drug became a constant, her partner given ice to smoke and another supply to sell.

The purity of the drug varied, sometimes as ‘clear as glass’, but sometimes yellow, pink or even blue like the crystal meth made on popular American crime series Breaking Bad.

Amy became a heavy user rapidly.

Two months after moving in with the bouncer, they both lost their jobs, sometimes losing entire days to drug binges.

Amy said the longest she stayed awake for was nine days straight.

“Once your body stops, your brain doesn’t. As much as you want to sleep, you can’t.

Coming down, she would sleep for long periods, sometime crashing for up to multiple days at a time.

“One day, both of us got up and realised that we’d just lost three days.

“Pretty much everything went out the window for me.

“Everything else just didn’t seem to matter.”

‘Your 10-foot tall and bulletproof’

When high on ice, Amy’s preoccupation was cleaning.

She would put music on, separate things into containers, smoke and clean again, sometimes for entire days and nights.

“To me, it felt like everything had to be clean and organised – it almost became obsessive compulsive.”

Highly addictive, the drug has many side effects including psychotic behaviour, increased body temperature and violent outbursts, but Amy said one of the worst for her and her partner was paranoia.

She would walk into shops and feel like the shop assistant was watching her closely, judging her.

“You start questioning everyone, their motives, what they’re doing and thinking, all of that comes into your head.”

By this stage working bar shifts at the club with her partner, she would find men she had spoken to would be simply thrown out the door or taken out the front and beaten up.

“He thought I was sleeping with everyone who walked in the door.”

With her friend group now mainly consisting of users, Amy said she watched the effect the drug had on others around her.

“Their whole body, their attitude, everything changes.

“After a little while you feel like you’re bulletproof, like you’re invincible, that you can do anything.

Amy often saw her male friends go in search of a fight.

“They would have a couple of puffs and they seem to turn into the most angry, upset person – that was the scariest thing.”

“That’s why they call it a superman drug – you’re 10-foot tall and bulletproof.”

She said it was easy to see why the drug was linked to such horrible crimes such as the death of 10 month-old Zayden Veal-Whitting, who was bashed to death by an ice addict during a burglary in 2012.

“Some people think, that when you’ve just smoked it, you might be at your worst, but for a lot of people, the come down is actually the worst.

“They want more gear, if they don’t have the money to do it, or know where to get it from or how to get it, that’s where crime comes in.

“They might be ready to kill people, hurt people, because they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it.”

Her partner kept a small arsenal of weapons at hand, switchblades, machetes and later invested in a handgun, sawn-off shotgun and a crossbow.

Amy said he would spend hours taking the guns apart, cleaning them, always watching her.

‘Just in case something happened’, metal pipes and a large hunting knife were hidden under the front seats in their car.

Amy said it was common for methamphetamine users to arm themselves.

“Even before they get those weapons they think they’re invincible, so when people get their hands on stuff like that, that’s when it goes bad.

The relationship with her partner lasted for eight months.

At the end the pair were smoking ‘all day, every day’.

Arguments escalated into physical violence as the pair came down from their chemical highs and Amy said her partner’s behaviour was growing progressively terrifying.

“The day before I left, he put one of the guns to my head.

“I knew I had to get out.

“Nothing was going to get any worse.

“I hated who I was, I hated the drugs…I needed to stop.”

“Was I a drug addict? No one likes admitting that they are, but yes. Absolutely.

“I knew it was getting on top of me.”




Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called attention to methamphetamine, also known as meth and crystal meth, earlier this year. The epidemic is statewide, he said, especially in rural counties.

collect evidence from a meth lab in the garage of a home in New Philadelphia in 2010.

When meth first appeared in Ohio, a full-blown laboratory was required to cook it. Now, “cooks” need just a 2-liter pop bottle to make meth. Throughout the Tuscarawas Valley — including Tuscarawas, Holmes, Harrison and Carroll counties — 161 meth labs were discovered in 2013. Already this year, more than 200 labs have been discovered. Last week, police found 77 pop-bottle meth labs in a house in Newcomerstown.

Much of the area’s activity, however, centers around New Philadelphia, which in some meth circles has been dubbed “Methadelphia.”

“It’s scary stuff, (and) it’s here to stay,” said New Philadelphia Police Chief Mike Goodwin, whose department during the past several weeks has encountered the remnants of meth labs tossed into residential trash cans on three city streets.

City police officers also encountered a meth lab in a Fourth Drive NW apartment twice in the past two months, and a vacant southside New Philadelphia house was the scene of an explosion and fire related to the chemical reactions of meth materials on Jan. 21.

Police Detective Capt. Shawn Nelson said at the time that police learned during interviews with two suspects that the fire was caused by an explosion of chemicals used in the making of methamphetamine in a hall closet on the second floor.

Goodwin said he is concerned with the dangers associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine and said it’s hard to believe that someone hasn’t died in an explosion or fire they may have caused while making meth.

Some of the ingredients used in the making of meth, such as white gas and xylene, “all of this stuff just sounds like it’s going to blow up, it’s very volatile,” Goodwin said. “And then you’re adding lithium and water, which is an explosive reaction — so any fumes you have there are going to explode.”

The most vulnerable, he said, is the person holding a 2-liter bottle, with such ingredients in it, shaking it and letting it cook. During the process, gas must be released from the bottle, and if the person waits too long, “then you have all of that stuff on your lap, and if this thing blows up, you’ve got burns all over your body from it.”

The reason Goodwin believes more meth lab activity is being seen in New Philadelphia is because “I think more people here are starting to tinker with it, to try it and see how easy it is to make,” he said.

“And once they make it successfully the first time, without blowing themselves up, then they realize they can do it, and they make it for themselves and for their friends. My fear, is now that it’s here, it’s going to be very hard for us to get under control,” Goodwin said.

The chief noted that he’s been in law enforcement for 24 years, and he thought he could go 25 without dealing with meth “because it’s been everywhere but here — but now that it’s here, we are going to have our hands full.”

Aside from the obvious effects of a meth lab, such as a fire that occurred in the vacant house in January, Goodwin said police are alerted by various means, including other people in the vicinity who smell the chemicals associated with the “cooking.”

A pizza delivery person is being credited with alerting officers to a meth lab on Bank Lane SW in November after he smelled it.

Prior to 2010, when a house on St. Clair Avenue SW was found being used as a full-scale meth lab, Goodwin said officers only occasionally found people with meth, and only occasionally found the remnants of meth labs in vehicles and motel rooms.

Goodwin also is concerned with meth labs, or remnants of meth labs, that are being left in area hotel and motel rooms.

“If there’s a fire, and it’s three o’clock in the morning, is everyone going to get out of there safe?” he asks.

Also, in addition to police officers being put at risk, because they usually are the first responders to such incidents “it’s just putting everybody into harm’s way,” Goodwin said.

While there seems to be a prevalence of meth labs in Tuscarawas County, New Philadelphia, Newcomerstown and Uhrichsville are being considered the primary areas.

Attorney Michael Ernest, an assistant Tuscarawas County prosecutor, said there is “no rhyme or reason” as to why there is more meth activity in one area than another.

Ernest attributes the abundance of meth-related incidents in certain areas to “a core group of persons involved in the making of methamphetamine,” and “it is a reflection of where this core group of people find a place to flop.”

Specifically, “There are people who cook, and people who go out and acquire the ingredients,” Ernest said, “in the end they all share in the meth.”




While numerous meth labs have been taken down by law enforcement in New Philadelphia — dubbed ‘Methadelphia’ in some meth circles — incidents also have occurred in the following locations in Tuscarawas County:

Goshen Township

• Eighth Drive NE, New Philadelphia (meth-lab remnants discovered in May)

• 4000 block Ridge Road NE, New Philadelphia (11 meth-related bags of trash, 111 soft drink bottles in May 2013)


Lawrence Township

• Tuscarawas County Water & Sewer District Pump Station, N. Orchard Road, (“shake and bake” meth lab remnants discovered, December 2013)

Mineral City

• S. High Street (meth-lab related items discovered in May)



• 320 W. Church St. (77 soft-drink bottle meth labs found and dismantled on June 17)


Port Washington

• S. St. Clairsville Street (two meth labs discovered, June 2012)



• 238 S. Water St. (multiple meth labs, about 65 separate labs in vacant residence discovered in February)

• 300 block S. Water St. (vehicle/mobile meth lab found in March)

• S. Water Street (meth residue and discarded components from a meth lab discovered June 18)

• 200 block Trenton Avenue (mobile lab discovered during traffic stop in February)

• U.S. Route 36, between Trenton Avenue and Water Street (mobile lab found during traffic stop, December 2013)

ª Best Western Hotel, 110 W. McCauley Drive (two labs in a room, October 2013)

• Garage, 1612 Roanoke Ave. (meth lab found in a garage, November 2013)

• Wolford Road (bag of meth-related items discovered in May)





Taylor C. Benedict, 27, became combative, police said, after he was spotted walking north in the center of the street in the 200 block of East 45th Street on Friday evening.

Two Garden City officers struck Benedict with Taser fire. He was taken into custody but continued to resist officers, police said.


Officers believe the suspect was under the influence of drugs. Paramedics were called to the scene to check him out.

Benedict had to be restrained when he continued to struggle. He was taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he was Tased again when he became combative with medical staff.

Officers found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in Benedict’s personal belongings.

Following treatment, Benedict was taken to the Ada County Jail and books on possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence of illicit drugs in public and resisting arrest.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Ada County Court.





CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A judge on Thursday sentenced a former Colorado sheriff to 15 months in prison for repeatedly violating his probation in a meth-for-sex case, saying the lawman, who was once regarded as a hero, had exhausted his opportunities to reform.

Patrick Sullivan was sentenced two years after pleading guilty to plying young men with methamphetamine in exchange for sexual favors. The 71-year-old was once named the nation’s top sheriff and won praise for his leadership of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department in the Denver suburbs.

“I have a drug problem, and I have had a drug problem for some time,” Sullivan said in court on Thursday, apologizing before Judge William Sylvester issued his sentence. “I have only myself to blame.”

Sullivan was arrested in December 2011 after authorities arranged a sting that revealed he was trading methamphetamine for sex. Months earlier, a 911 caller reported Sullivan was at his house trying to get three recovering addicts back on drugs.

He later pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and solicitation of a prostitute. Sylvester sentenced him to 30 days in jail and two years’ probation.

The courtroom erupted in applause on Thursday as deputies handcuffed Sullivan and took him into custody, though some had hoped for a harsher sentence.

Sullivan told the judge he was benefiting from an in-patient drug treatment program he recently enrolled in after missing or failing dozens of drug tests.

But his probation officer, Hallie Miller, said his purported efforts to reform were a front, and he continued to lie and make excuses for his risky behavior. He blamed positive meth tests on everyone from a doctor who prescribed him pills to a neighbor who he said drugged him at a barbecue, Miller said.

In January, Sullivan left the state without permission. In May, he tested positive again for meth.

“He sees himself as above the law,” Miller said.

Before his arrest, Sullivan was known as an anti-drug crusader with a record so distinguished the county named its jail after him. The National Sheriffs’ Association tapped him as its “top sheriff” in 2001, and he continued to command respect even after he resigned the following year to oversee security for a school district.

In 1989, Sullivan was hailed as a hero. During a gunman’s rampage, he rescued two deputies after crashing his truck through a fence and protected them while they were loaded into the vehicle.

But his court case revealed a darker picture. He would develop relationships with vulnerable young men, help them find jobs and get out of jail, and then provide them the drug.

Unlike other addicts, Sullivan was “on the forefront in the 1990s as one of the most vocal critics of the meth epidemic,” said First Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro. “He of all people, the first time he tried it, knew it was nothing more than a poison. … Mr. Sullivan chose this substance for no good reason whatsoever.”

His attorney, Kevin McGreevy, argued he had been unfairly scrutinized by probation officers because of his position.

Some who had worked with him hoped that probation would let him redeem his tarnished image.

“I’m not shocked anymore,” former Boulder County Sheriff George Epp said Wednesday. “What it tells me is a switch flipped somehow and it hasn’t flipped back.”




Oregon police are still searching for a woman whose 6-year-old daughter tested positive for methamphetamine.

The girl is currently in protective custody while Tigard police continue to search for Leslie Von Wald, 44, who is wanted for distributing meth.


Von Wald was indicted by a Washington County grand jury earlier this month.

Part of a six month investigation, police executed a search warrant and found a pound of meth in her home, drug paraphernalia and nearly $4,600. Von Wald was found sleeping with her daughter. In another room was her 16-year-old son and his friend.

Both children were removed from the home and placed in foster care.

A simultaneous search at a related location uncovered heroin, drug paraphernalia, a handgun and more than $5,600. Two women at that residence, 40 year-old Stephanie L. Matsuura and 51 year-old Lisa L. Lewis, were arrested.


Tigard police spokesman Jim Wolf said Von Wald’s daughter later tested positive for meth, but it is unclear how it got into her system.

“We are not aware of specifics at this time,” Wolf wrote in an email last week. “The child may have ‘absorbed’ meth simply from constant exposure. However not to be ruled out since the drugs were accessible — the child may have ingested some. Nothing clearly evident as you see.”

Von Wald is still on the run. Police said she could be driving a while 1998 Volvo 870 with Oregon license plate WTV-025 and a “bogus temporary tag.” Tigard Police ask anyone with information to call the tip line at 503-718-COPS (2677).



NEWCOMERSTOWN – Charges are pending against two Newcomerstown men, ages 19 and 30, who were taken into custody Tuesday night following the dismantling of 77 meth laboratories in one house.

Police Chief Gary Holland said the meth labs, which consisted of 77 soft drink bottles, hoses and equipment associated with the production of methamphetamine, were in a house at the rear of 320 W. Church St.

77 meth labs

The chief said the meth-related equipment, and the finished product — methamphetamine — were found after officers executed a search warrant, based upon previous information, at the residence at about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted with the search warrant.

After Newcomerstown officers secured the premises, and arrested the two men, Holland contacted the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, which deployed its Meth Lab Containment Team to the village.

In addition to the 77 meth labs, Holland said the team recovered drugs, drug paraphernalia, fuels for making meth and other items. He expects formal charges to be filed by today, with arraignments in Tuscarawas County Court in Uhrichsville.



SEATTLE, June 19 (UPI) –A Seattle man is in custody after allegedly ingesting a drug cocktail and going on a rampage on Tuesday night.

While the unidentified man was going wild, his pants were nowhere to be found.

According to a police report, a man in his 30s wearing only a t-shirt was seen throwing rocks at cars, and officers were called to investigate.

When police arrived on the scene, the man provided them with a fake name. It was also apparent that he had torn out patches of his own hair. He then allegedly took off running and got rid of his shirt in the process.

Officers eventually caught up with the completely naked man and took him into custody. “I could feel his heart racing just while I was holding his arm to brace him,” Officer Jay McNeil wrote in the arrest report.

The man said he had taken cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD and other drugs. Officers had difficulty identifying the man because he “was unable to provide police with his real name or home address.”




ALLEGAN, Mich. (June 18, 2014) — It’s a drug that law enforcement battles throughout west Michigan daily, and now it’s popping up in a new form.

Normally crystal is the form you find meth, but now it’s coming as a liquid. It’s a trend popping up out west and down south that detectives want to stay ahead of.


Users and dealers are disguising it as a beverage in some cases, hiding it in pop bottles and even laundry detergent.

It’s an old tactic, but still hard to police.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Department said that 40 percent of the inmates at their jail are locked up on meth related charges. Allegan law enforcement said that it spends as much as 90 percent of their time investigating meth cases.

Sergeant Eric Speese with the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department said that criminals have caught on that budget cuts in law enforcement have opened a window of opportunity to increase home-grown production of methamphetamine, and that crooks are turning to an old method of disguising the narcotic as a liquid.


As a liquid, the drug is easy to transport.

“We’ve seen people smuggle in meth in their cars in various different containers in their cars, including their windshield wiper fluid container. They will empty it all out and you can put your liquid meth in there,” said Speese.

Speese said that most meth users in Allegan are making it themselves, and are seeking pseudo ephedrine from area pharmacies.

“Our surveillance people at times will be sitting by pharmacies and you know they think they recognize someone that goes into the store. They can have the pseudo ephedrine log pulled up,” said Speese.

Closely monitoring who is buying what and where they might take it, Speese said that last year Allegan County had the second most meth busts in the state. Kalamazoo County ranked number one.

“We’ve dealt with many people who have burned themselves up. If you go down to Kalamazoo’s burn ward, they will say the majority of their people are in there for meth lab fires,” said Speese.

Speese said that after years of cracking down on meth, nothing surprises him about the lengths users will go to get their high. This means often times sacrificing the well-being of the drug’s most innocent victims.

“You’ll have trash on the floors, small children still in diapers that haven’t had a diaper change in several days, kids that haven’t eaten in several days,” said Speese.

Law enforcement said that making meth in Allegan County isn’t an elaborate set-up. Speese said that users typically make it in a two-liter bottle, and that it is something that can even be done inside a car. The waste is often times dumped in public places.

Speese said that he’s seen first-hand how the toxic waste can become a hazard to children who live in the area, when a child found waste and brought it to him.

“He said, ‘Oh I found these cool bottles down by the river.’ Again that was one of those, had to call the parents and said, ‘You probably have to take your kid to the emergency room to make sure his lungs weren’t affected by this,’” said Speese.

Speese said that the best way to combat methamphetamine in Michigan would be to make psuedo ephedrine illegal to buy without a prescription. He said that is something that became law in both Washington in Oregon in recent years, which he said has decreased their meth use by 90 percent.




WAYNESBORO – A routine traffic stop led to one of the biggest methamphetamine seizures for Waynesboro Police in recent history, according to Sgt. Brian Edwards in a press release.

Luis Alberto Rivera Garcia, 21, of Augusta County faces a felony charge of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and other traffic related charges.


On Tuesday at about 10 p.m., officers stopped the 2005 Chevrolet Equinox that Garcia was driving near the intersection of East Main Street and North Delphine Avenue. When he could not produce a driver’s license or any identification, he was taken into custody.

When officers searched him and the vehicle, they found over 100 grams of methamphetamine, paraphernalia used for drug distribution and $1,100 in cash.

The vehicle Garcia was driving is registered to Gustavo Cruz, who was arrested earlier this year and has ties to the Sureno 13 street gang. Waynesboro Police are still investigating the link between the two men.

Garcia is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.



NOGALES, AZ (CBS5) – Apparently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are trying hard to exhaust the means by which traffickers can smuggle drugs into the country.

The Mexican driver of a semitractor was in custody after CBP officers said they found 69 pounds of hard drugs in the tractor’s smoke stack mufflers Saturday, according to a CBP news release.

The 27-year-old driver of the Kenworth tractor headed into the U.S. was pulled over for additional inspections at the Mariposa crossing in Nogales, according to the release.

Inspectors removed the mufflers and found 44 pounds of methamphetamine and 25 pounds of black and brown heroin. The drugs had an estimated street value of $485,000, according to the release.

The driver was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.





The liquid drug may be harder for law enforcement to detect, but it is by no means new, said Cary Quashen, founder of ACTION Family Counseling, which operates several drug and alcohol treatment centers in California.

The only thing that’s changed is the sophistication of the smugglers, he said.

Now, instead of stashing the drug in the trunk of the car, where it would be clearly visible to a border patrol agent, the drug is often stored in sealed tequila bottles.

In January, NBC reported that a 17-year-old boy from Mexico was arrested the San Jose International Airport after officials found more than a gallon of liquid meth hidden inside five tequila bottles.

While the use of meth is on the rise in the Santa Clarita Valley, the liquid variety has not shown up in the area.

“(It’s) a development that we will experience, but we have not had it yet,” said Sgt. Bob Wachsmuth of the Juvenile Intervention Team at the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

This is because the liquid drug is primarily used for smuggling purposes and is turned back into a crystal before it is sold, Quashen said.

But he wanted to emphasize that meth, in any of its forms can kill.

The multiple overdose deaths in the SCV have drawn attention to heroin in recent years, but meth is just as dangerous, Quashen said.

“The kids say, ‘I won’t use heroin; it kills. But, what about crystal meth?’” according to Quashen.

“Is crystal meth as dangerous as heroin? Yes it is,” he added.

Methamphetamine is an emotionally addictive drug that causes increased respiration, rapid heart rate, irregular heart-beat, increased blood pressure, increased body temperature and a short-lived high, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

When used long-term, it can lead to anxiety, psychosis and schizophrenia.

The key to tackling heroin and meth use in the Santa Clarita Valley is cracking down on the gateway drugs that lead to addiction, specifically prescription opiates, Quashen said.

The community needs to “pay attention to gateway drugs,” he said, “attack that at a younger age, so we can stop the need for crystal meth and heroin at an older age.”

No one wakes up and smokes meth or shoots heroin, he said.





DALLAS — Mexican drug gangs are flooding Texas with more and more cheap, pure methamphetamine, according to law officers, drug criminals and statistical data assembled by The Dallas Morning News.

Clandestine Mexican laboratories operating on an industrial scale produce meth in liquid form. Traffickers smuggle it across the border, convert it into crystalline form and set up drug houses in small and large cities. The distributors sometimes pose as normal families and expose their children to dangerous chemicals used to convert the meth from liquid to crystal.

The meth trail often ends in a spasm of human misery.

Addicts go to prison or die from medical complications. Social service agencies take their children away. Some addicts bottom out and seek a return to normalcy at places such as Wellspring House, an eight-bed residential recovery center nestled in a quiet Irving neighborhood.

That dozens of Mexican syndicates control the retail meth market throughout Texas comes as no surprise to Brian Lane and other addicts who help each other maintain sobriety at Wellspring House.

“My dealer was a Hispanic female with a connection to people from Mexico,” said Lane, who recently celebrated two years of meth-free living. “We were getting really good stuff.”

Federal drug enforcement analysts estimate that more than 90 percent of the meth in Texas comes from Mexico.

“Jeff,” an articulate and likable 19-year-old addict, bounced his leg nervously as he told his story. He had been dealing meth and injecting it for three years by the time he arrived at Wellspring House.

“We got it from the Mexicans, diluted it with a cutting agent to stretch 1 ounce into 2 ounces, and then sold it to white guys around East Texas,” said Jeff, who would only talk to The News if his real name wasn’t used in this story.

“The drug house looked like a rundown shack. Inside, there were pounds of dope and stacks of money. You felt lucky to go in there and even luckier to make it out.”

Lane’s love affair with meth, a powerful stimulant, almost ended a decadelong relationship with his life partner, Jonathan Boyd. By the time Lane’s addiction reached its worst point in 2012, he wanted to die. Sometimes, Boyd wanted him to die, too.

A cousin had introduced Lane to meth in 2008.

“I suddenly developed so much energy,” he said.

Boyd had smoked pot one time and drank an occasional cocktail or glass of wine. But he was naive about the dark world of drug addiction and manipulative addicts.

“My credit cards went on vacation,” he recalled. “They would disappear at night and return in the morning.”

Night after night, after Boyd fell asleep, Lane would rifle through his wallet, sneak out of the house and spend the night gambling in seedy, windowless gaming parlors stuffed with electronic slot machines.

“The places all had security cameras and doorbells you rang to get inside,” he said. “They checked you for weapons and that was about it.”

Bags of dope exchanged hands. People smoked it in bathroom stalls. Lane, glassy-eyed and wired, sat on a stool for hours, feeding $5 bills into a slot, repeatedly punching the “Play” button and watching the machine’s icons spin.

Lane’s dealer nicknamed him “White Boy” and “Casper.” As his addiction deepened, he grew more erratic.

Boyd often came home from work to find his partner maniacally disassembling garage-door openers, entertainment-center remotes and other electronic devices, pieces scattered everywhere. Sometimes, the meth so debilitated him, he could barely feed himself.

“I was high all the time,” said Lane, who says he stole thousands of dollars from Boyd during his three years of meth abuse. He also stole Boyd’s tools and hocked them at pawn shops.

One night, Lane and his dealer made a mistake. She took him to a drug warehouse where gangsters converted the liquid meth into “ice” and sold it to distributors. The house — actually a small apartment building — sat on a cul-de-sac behind a shopping center just off Interstate 20 in Arlington.

Armed guards weren’t happy that the dealer brought Lane to the drug house. They started yelling and tried to block Lane’s car from leaving the property. The dealer jumped out of the car to explain, and Lane had to drive over a curb to escape into the night.

“It was terrifying,” he recalled. “The only reason they didn’t kill her is she moved so much dope for them.”

Boyd finally got fed up with his partner and threatened to end their relationship unless Lane went to rehab. They chose Caron Texas, a treatment center in Princeton, a small town in Collin County.

“When I dropped him off at the treatment center, I really was planning on never picking him up,” Boyd said.

Dr. John Dakin, clinical director at Caron, convinced Boyd that he, too, needed treatment because of emotional trauma caused by his partner’s addiction. His attitude evolved during counseling and he stuck with Lane despite the repeated betrayals.

“The cost and toll of meth on our society is well-documented,” Dakin said. “It’s probably not going to stop.”

After rehab at Caron, Lane enrolled in a sober living program at a residential treatment center. And the idea for Wellspring House came to him and Boyd. They bought the two-story home in Irving, got trained for the program and opened in 2013.

Currently, six of eight Wellspring House residents are battling meth addiction. They stay as long as they want, but they must be employed, or enrolled in college or a trade school, or engaged as full-time community volunteers.

“Dennis,” 20, said he began using Adderall, a stimulant made to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Then he graduated to meth.

At first, he felt invincible. He lost weight and felt brilliant. His apartment was immaculately clean. He scrubbed bathroom grout with a toothbrush at 3 a.m. But as his tolerance to the drug increased, he spent more and smoked more in a futile attempt to recapture the initial euphoria.

Like many recovering addicts, Dennis relies on a 12-step program with a spiritual component.

“I have a disease that is chronic and it kills me,” said Dennis, who also requested that his real name not be used. He’s been sober for seven months. “The drug tells me I can control it. It tells me I can use it successfully. But I stayed in rehab for 93 days and got clear enough to see the truth.”

Evidence of the Texas meth epidemic is everywhere if you know where to look: the gaming parlors that hooked Lane; communal bathhouses that attract seekers of anonymous sex; a teacher’s purse, a lawyer’s briefcase or a roughneck’s thermos.

Tim Cariker, an assistant district attorney in Marshall, estimates that nine out of 10 low-level drug cases in his East Texas county involve meth possession or sale.

And those aren’t the only meth-related prosecutions. Other defendants face theft charges for stealing oilfield equipment or copper tubing to finance their addiction. Other cases involve domestic abuse and child neglect. The meth problem, as described by law enforcement, is much the same throughout North and East Texas.

Cariker, a prosecutor for 11 years, said current anti-drug strategies are not working. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies can’t cut off the supply. Jail time for convicted users doesn’t seem to work. They emerge from behind bars to use meth again.

Maybe the answer is increased funding for special court programs that divert users into rehabilitation programs, Cariker said.

“Maybe we need to cut off the demand at the lowest level,” he said.

Congress passed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 because domestic meth cookers had gotten out of control. They could walk into any grocery store and buy cartons of cold pills containing pseudoephedrine, mix them with other chemicals and process the noxious brew into methamphetamine.

The new federal law put tight controls on pseudoephedrine and other so-called precursor chemicals used to cook meth.

And the law worked.

“We saw meth production go down starting in 2006,” recalled Jane Maxwell, a senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin who has tracked the illegal drug market since the 1970s. “But then it started back up in 2008.”

Mexican drug cartels noticed the lull in U.S. meth production. They saw an opening and began establishing networks in Texas cities, where they also sold marijuana, black tar heroin and cocaine.

But meth became their special product, and they committed resources to it in a big way. The other three crop-based drugs were vulnerable to government eradication programs and weather conditions that affected harvests.

Cocaine required the Mexicans to share profits with Central and South American drug gangs that control the coca fields and processing labs. A lot of the American heroin market is controlled by trafficking groups in Asia and Europe.

“What Mexicans can control is the methamphetamine market,” said Ben West, a drug market analyst for Stratfor, an Austin-based “global intelligence” company that analyzes world events for its clients.

No one knows for sure, but some analysts estimate that as many as 150 Mexican drug gangs, many of which have splintered off from major cartels, have established operations in Texas. The situation resembles America during Prohibition, when criminal gangs sprang up to fight each other for control of the illegal whiskey industry.

The evidence suggests that drug gangs based south of the border are slowly extending their distribution networks by establishing relationships with Texas criminals.

Take the case of Jerry Don Castleberry, 72, a former member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang. Every so often, according to federal court records, he made the 200-mile round trip from his East Texas home in Longview to pick up a few ounces of meth from his Mexican distributor in Dallas.

Castleberry sometimes traded firearms for meth. But he got arrested and is now serving a long prison sentence.

Federal agents often seize big batches of meth before street dealers like Castleberry can dilute the drug to maximize profits. In some cases, the agents are finding purity levels exceeding 95 percent. High quality suggests abundant supply, which means Mexican labs are churning out their product 24/7.

Some statistics suggest that a focus on meth has led Mexican drug gangs to cut back on cocaine smuggling into Texas. The amount of cocaine seized at the border dropped from 16,908 kilograms in 2011 to 7,143 kilos in 2012 — a 58 percent decrease.

Many drug users who prefer stimulants say Mexican meth is better than crack cocaine for several reasons. It’s cheaper and provides a longer-lasting high.

So, business is booming for meth, not so much for cocaine.

Lane and Boyd, both 42, got through their meth crisis and are now considering buying another home in Irving and converting it into a second Wellspring House.

“Our lives together are changed,” Boyd said. “When I dropped Brian off at rehab two years ago, I never wanted to deal with another addict. And now I’m surrounded with them.”

During a recent conversation in the spacious living room at Wellspring House, Boyd and several addicts talked about the meth subculture — how they teach each other to score dope, how to steal to finance their habits, how to soften coming down from the high when the meth runs out.

It’s a sordid topic. Outsiders might wonder why decent people should care about addicts and the drug gangs that supply their meth.

“Drug addiction or alcoholism touches everyone,” Lane said. “With meth, you often can’t see it, even when they are using. You might live in a gated community, but the reality is that it’s slipping in your back door in the form of a neighbor, family member or a service provider.”






(Reuters) – Police arrested a couple in New Mexico on suspicion of child abuse after their 22-month-old daughter was found to have methamphetamine in her system, authorities said on Monday.

According to a criminal complaint, an anonymous tipster told police on Friday that a child had ingested drugs at the home in Albuquerque, where officers found a squalid scene of drug paraphernalia, food, dirty diapers and dried feces on the floor.

Police said three children were taken into custody by New Mexico’s Department of Children, Youth and Families Department and were transferred to the University of New Mexico Hospital.

The other two children did not test positive for drugs, police said, adding that all three were dirty but none showed signs of physical or sexual abuse.

The couple, James Benson and Denise Clark, originally from California, appeared in court Sunday and were charged with child abuse.

  •    Robert Stone, 64, was on parole for a previous meth bust when police pulled him over
  • Being on supervised release allowed cops to search his car
  • The discovery of drugs in the vehicle led them to search his home


A routine traffic stop led police to uncover a meth lab in a Fresno retirement community.

Robert Stone, 64, was found Saturday evening to have about half a pound of methamphetamine between his car and home.


Cops searched the senior citizen’s car after a background check revealed he was remarkably on parole for a previous meth bust.

‘It’s shocking, I would never guess that anything like that would go on at a senior citizen village,’ neighbor Robin Schramek told KFSN.

Police made the surprising discovery only because state law allows them to search the car of a suspect under supervised release.

‘When the officers searched the car they located four ounces of methamphetamine in the car, which is a lot of methamphetamine, so that’s consistent with somebody who’s selling,’ Fresno police Lt. Joe Gomez told the station.

Officers also found plastic bags and an electronic scale in the vehicle, authorities told the Fresno Bee.


A subsequent search of his apartment led to police finding more crystal meth, heroin, and the ingredients needed to cook more of the drugs, sources said.

The total street value of the bust was about $1,700, police said.

Images of the home show the blinds drawn and several signs warning people to go away and give Stone his privacy, but it never occurred to anyone it was because a meth lab was inside.

‘Just shocking someone that age would do that, but actually a perfect place to do it, right? Retirement village, who would suspect it going on there?’ Gomez added.

Stone mostly kept to himself and was not very well known by the normally social community, neighbors said.



He only moved in about three or four months ago, according to Schramek.

The ex-con was hauled back to jail and hit with multiple drug charges.




BILLINGS, Montana — A 72-year-old convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing methamphetamine.

The Billings Gazette reports ( ) that Thomas Edmond Van Haele, of Hysham, entered his plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in Billings.

The plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend concurrent five-year sentences on each count. If U.S. District Judge Susan Watters doesn’t follow the agreement at Van Haele’s Oct. 9 sentencing, he can withdraw his plea and go to trial. He remains jailed.

Prosecutors say Van Haele twice sold meth to an undercover agent in Billings in June 2012. His record includes criminal possession with intent to sell drugs in 1982 and two sex offenses involving a girl in 1992.

His wife, Karen, was sentenced to probation after pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor possession charge.





Three Corbin residents have been charged with endangering police officers and a three-year-old after a methamphetamine lab they were allegedly operating caught fire at an apartment complex in Knox County.

Twenty-eight-year-old Norma Brock, 46-year-old Barbara Morrison and 43-year-old Edward Cosgrove were arrested after firefighters and police were called to the scene at Creekside Apartments just before 4 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the fire department incident report firefighters initially responded to a call of a structure fire.

“On arrival FD was met by a younger male stating the fire was out,” firefighters stated, noting the male, later identified as Cosgrove, appeared to have breathing difficulties. “He did not want FD to investigate nor would he tell us anything.”

Firefighters went to the apartment and while the fire was out, having been put out with a dry chemical extinguisher, the kitchen area had suffered significant damage, particularly near the stove and sink.

“When the lab caught fire, they had thrown it at the kitchen sink and the back wall caught fire,” Jones said.

Firefighters found a working meth lab along with several precursors that had been thrown into an outside dumpster.

Corbin Police were contacted to investigate.

According to the arrest citation, Officer Steve Meadors performed a safety sweep of the apartment during which he observed cold packs that had been cut open, lithium batteries that had been cut open, plastic tubing, drain cleaner, lye and other items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Meadors sought treatment for repertory trouble from breathing the air inside the apartment.

“Later we were notified by Social Services that a 3-year-old child was injured at the hospital that had been exposed to the lab,” Meadors stated.

Jones said Thursday that the child, Morrison’s grandson was treated for his injuries and then released to the custody of his grand father.

“She can’t see him without supervision,” Jones said.

The other residents in the building were evacuated as firefighters set up a decontamination area and Corbin Police Capt. Coy Wilson secured the meth lab.

Brock was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, third-degree controlled substance endangerment to a child and tampering with physical evidence and lodged in the Knox County Detention Center. She is being held in jail on a $25,000 cash bond.

Cosgrove was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, first-degree criminal mischief, first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer, third-degree controlled substance endangerment to a child and tampering with physical evidence and lodged in the Knox County Detention Center. No bond has been set in this case.

Morrison was charged with third-degree controlled substance endangerment to a child. She is being held without bond in the Knox County Detention Center.




Dawn had yet to lighten the sky May 21 when investigators believe a woman and at least one man came to Brock Atkins’ rural Tontitown home near the northeast edge of the Ozark National Forest. The woman, Leann Frazier, was dead by sunrise.

Atkins, a slight 19-year-old charged with capital murder, told investigators he was falsely accused of stealing methamphetamine and was ordered by another man to kill Frazier or be killed himself, according to court documents.

Detectives believe Lewis Anthony Hedges Jr. suspected the woman was a “snitch” to police and encouraged Atkins to kill her. Hedges pleaded not guilty Wednesday to being an accomplice to capital murder.

The common motive: meth, a highly addictive stimulant that brings several hours of an all-consuming high and still has a foothold in Northwest Arkansas.

Ozarks meth production today is a small fraction of its heyday in 2004, when Arkansas law enforcement found more than 1,300 labs. Last year, 72 labs were reported by the Drug Enforcement Agency, often big enough for personal use only.

Despite this, law enforcement officials and others across the area say use of the drug is as high as ever. Related killings, accidents and trafficking rings found each year back them up.

“I don’t really feel like it’s on the decline at all,” said Sgt. Jason French, operations coordinator with the 4th Judicial District Drug Task Force, which includes officers from most Washington County towns. “We see it in large quantities here in Northwest Arkansas.”

The task force has seized about a pound of the drug so far this year — enough for more than a thousand hits and comparable to 2004 levels. Benton County doesn’t have its own task force, but Sheriff’s Office deputies have seized almost as much, a spokeswoman said.

A Long Battle

Chemists first synthesized meth a century ago, but its production exploded in the 1990s and 2000s after cooks found ways to make it in smaller labs with household ingredients.

These methods transform the decongestant pseudoephedrine into meth by removing a single atom from each molecule of the medicine.

Labs spread like fire after this development, especially in the forested hills of the Ozarks and the Appalachians. They peaked in 2004, when the DEA recorded almost 25,000 labs nationwide.

Addicts often began caring more about the next high than their children or physical health. Long-term use can cause delusions, paranoia and aggression. The labs were dangerous, costly and time-consuming to clean up.

“You stop eating, you stop sleeping,” said Circuit Judge Cristi Beaumont, drug court judge for the 4th District, which includes Madison County. “It starts eating away at yourself.”

In 2005, the federal government followed the lead of several states and sent pseudoephedrine behind pharmacy counters, its purchases limited and tracked. Labs nationwide fell by three-fourths in two years.

It wasn’t long before they crept back. Cooks embraced the new “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method, allowing production in minutes in soda bottles, according to a 2013 report from the Government Accountability Office. Labs again surged, doubling in Arkansas from a low of 368 in 2007 to more than 800 in 2010.

In 2011, Arkansas passed its own law saying anyone who wanted to buy pseudoephedrine needed a prescription or a state driver’s license. Walmart went further, stopping all nonprescription sales in the state. The number of labs plummeted to fewer than one per county on average.

That means less time and money spent cleaning and less danger to neighbors and officers, officials agreed.

“We’re to a point now where I can’t tell you the last time I prosecuted an anhydrous ammonia or red phosphorous lab,” said David Reading, deputy prosecutor for Benton County, referring to the larger labs. “As far as possession of meth and sale of meth, those cases have stayed pretty constant. I haven’t seen those cases dip down since 2006.”

Outsourcing Production

Traffickers now import hundreds of pounds of meth from Mexico, the Southwest and elsewhere, officials said.

For example, the state DEA and Arkansas State Police in 2007 seized about 5 pounds of meth during highway stops, DEA Special Agent Mike Davis said. By 2013, that number swelled to 184, enough for hundreds of thousands of hits.

“With us having the two main interstates like 40 and 30, and of course Highway 59, we’re getting a lot of meth coming through Arkansas, destined for Arkansas and passing through,” Davis said, referring to roadways that connect Arkansas to San Diego, Dallas and Tennessee, another meth-heavy state.

The increase isn’t because of more officers, he added. Meth is on the move.

“It’s still the No. 1 abused drug in Arkansas,” Davis said, adding the state’s center and northern corners are hotspots. “It’s our main threat.”

French, with the drug task force, said about 1 percent of the meth detectives have found this year has been in homemade powder form. The rest has been “ice” or “crystal” from much larger Mexican labs.

The varieties’ relative potency depends on the cook, French added, but imported meth has the advantage of lower costs and risk.

The number of users is unclear. Hundreds of inmates are being held in Benton and Washington county jails on possession charges, but how many arrests are related to meth specifically is unclear because the charges don’t specify which drug. At least half of the 350 people in the counties’ drug courts were arrested in connection with meth, their judges said.

Nationwide, more than a million people use meth per year, according to 2012 estimates from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Proportionately, Arkansas is home to at least 10,000 of them.

Users have left their mark, violent and otherwise. From summer 2012 to summer 2013, about 100 babies in Arkansas were born to — and taken from — mothers who tested positive for meth, according to the Department of Human Services.

Besides the Tontitown stabbing, at least three other people have been killed in Washington County in connection with the drug in the past decade. They include Ronnie Lee Bradley, who was beaten to death two years ago by a man who’d been taking meth for several days, and Kevin Benish, who was shot to death in Greenland by his meth-making partner in 2004.

In Benton County, meanwhile, more than a dozen dealers have been arrested in the past year, including 11 in a Mexico-based operation in Siloam Springs and three others in Bella Vista with 200 one-pot labs.

“We still have a problem with methamphetamine here,” said Scott Vanatta, a Bella Vista patrol officer. Most of the meth found there was imported from Missouri instead of Mexico, he said.

Cleaning Up

Courts often impose decades-long prison sentences for drug manufacturing and violence, which some officials said feed a cycle of drug use and crime. Drug court and private counselors in Benton and Washington counties instead work with dozens of users, using detox, behavioral therapy and, if necessary, jail time to help people get clean and stay clean.

The process is tough, said Michelle Barrett with the Benton County drug court, an austere brick building in Bentonville with large windows and high fences. Barrett is one of the court’s three substance abuse counselors.

Many users begin meth thinking they’ll use it sparingly for the energy or weight loss, she said, and find themselves addicted. Meth withdrawal, on the other hand, brings depression and lethargy.

“You don’t want to live like that, either, and you know what will fix it: just a little bit of meth,” Barrett said. “It does take a good year — a year to 18 months — for your body to get balanced out, so to speak.”

Anyone can become a user, French said, despite stereotypes of backwoods poverty. He pointed to Justine McDuffie, 44, who worked as a substitute teacher in Fayetteville before being arrested in March in connection with possession and intent to deliver meth. Her trial is set to begin July 8.

“You have people from unfortunately all walks of life that seem to get into it — all races, all age groups,” French said.

The majority of drug court graduates don’t get re-arrested, Barrett said, a sign of the program’s success. Beaumont said court counselors have proved successful nationwide and more of them may help the persistent problem. She’s working on adding a fourth counselor or psychiatrist to her court.

“I think drug courts are the way to stop it,” Beaumont said. “If you stop the need, the dealers don’t have anyone to sell to.”




Well, it appears that Forbes is at it again.

After posting articles online on 11/04/13 and 02/20/14, Forbes posted another online article on 05/08/14 titled “Three bouts of meth hysteria illustrate the politics of panics and the need for speed” to downplay the dangers associated with methamphetamine and the extent of meth use.

The article, authored by Jacob Sullum, is in the format of a review of the book “Meth Mania,” written by Nicholas Parsons, a sociologist at Eastern Connecticut State University. The purported purpose for this book was to “explain why public alarm about methamphetamine bears little or no relationship to objective measures of use or abuse.” Sullum reports that Parsons claims that other news organizations, such as Newsweek, resort to “yellow journalism” and “scaremongering” in an attempt to create policies that promote “draconian prison sentences and precursor restrictions that bolstered murderous drug cartels while treating cold and allergy sufferers like criminal suspects.”

I don’t know what the true agenda for Forbes is. It appears that Forbes is intent on downplaying the true dangers associated with methamphetamine as well as the extent of use of this insidious drug. I’m sorry, but this attitude makes me very angry.

Sullum, Parsons and the like refer to government data to prove their point. Well, let’s take a look at how these data are collected. SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. You know them, the government entity responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act.

So, how does SAMHSA collect data on methamphetamine?

They conduct interviews with a representative sample of the population at the respondent’s place of residence.”

The interviewer sends a letter of inquiry to an address selected at random, and this is followed by a face-to-face meeting between the interviewer and resident. So the interviewer sends a letter and arrives on the doorstep of a house where meth is used (and possibly even manufactured). What are the chances that the meth user will even open the door? I have talked to a lot of meth users, and every single one describes the intense paranoia that accompanies her meth use.

Meth produces its intense euphoria, at least in part, by increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. And it turns out that paranoia and psychoses are also mediated, in part, by an excess of dopamine. So a meth user, already paranoid that someone will find and steal/confiscate her meth will likely be extremely reluctant to discuss her meth use with a representative of the U.S. government. No wonder the SAMHSA numbers are so artificially low!

Current and former users of the drug claim that meth is “everywhere.” So do physicians, law enforcement personnel and treatment providers. Meth users stay in the shadows due to the paranoia associated with their meth use.

They only use with people that they know and trust, and they keep the numbers of people that they use with relatively small. Furthermore, when someone injects meth, he/she only has one thing on his/her mind — sex. Sex is personal, and people are often embarrassed/ashamed to openly discuss their sex lives with strangers (interviewers from the government), and this reluctance plus the user’s paranoia makes it very unlikely that an interviewer will obtain an accurate representation of meth use.

I do not know what the agenda for Forbes and authors like Sullum and Parsons really is, but they have to face the fact that methamphetamine use has become a world-wide problem that we are all going to have to address sooner rather than later.



A Newton man was charged with rape Friday and more charges could be pending, according to officials.

Troy Daniel Hamilton, 36, was charged with first degree rape and first degree sexual assault following an investigation that began Monday, Newton police said.

The incident was reported by the 32-year-old alleged victim, according to officials.

During their investigation, detectives said they found several precursors of methamphetamine production, and more charges could be pending.

Hamilton was taken to the Catawba County Detention Center and is being held under $100,000 secured bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 2.







HOLBROOK, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities have seized more than $2.6 million worth of crystal meth after a truck was stopped on Interstate 40 in northeastern Arizona.

Navajo County Sheriff’s officials say deputies pulled over the vehicle Wednesday near Holbrook and a drug-sniffing dog located 58 pounds of crystal methamphetamine inside an air compressor.

They say the meth was divided into several bundles, wrapped in cellophane, then dipped into grease to try to hide the odor.

Authorities say the grease-covered bundles were put into dozens of plastic containers and then placed inside a heavy-duty metal air compressor.

Sheriff’s officials say 32-year-old Erasmo Aguirre-Padilla was driving the truck and arrested.

He’s being held on suspicion of transportation of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, and possession of drug paraphernalia.



FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — In methamphetamine’s seedy underworld, traffickers are disguising the drug as a liquid to smuggle it into the United States from Mexico.

Dissolved in a solution, it’s sealed in tequila bottles or plastic detergent containers to fool border agents and traffic officers. Once deep in California’s Central Valley, a national distribution hub, meth cooks convert it into crystals — the most sought-after form on the street.


Tough policing has driven the highly toxic super-labs south of the border where meth is manufactured outside the sight of U.S. law enforcement, but the smaller conversion labs are popping up domestically in neighborhoods, such as one in Fresno where a house exploded two years ago.

People inside the home had sealed it tightly so the tale-tell fumes didn’t give them away.

“These guys, they don’t have Ph.D.s in chemistry,” said Sgt. Matt Alexander of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. “They’re focused on not getting caught.”

Investigators say it’s impossible to know how much liquid meth crosses the border, but agents in Central California say they have been seeing more of it in the past few years.

A California Highway Patrol officer in late 2012 pulled over a 20-year-old man on Interstate 5 who said he was headed to Oregon from Southern California and seemed nervous. The officer found 15 bottles in the trunk full of dissolved meth but labeled as Mexican tequila.

The man pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and received a federal prison sentence of 46 months.


Three men were indicted in late 2013 and await trial after a drug task force found 12 gallons of liquid meth in a Fresno house along with 42 pounds of the drug ready for sale, four guns and 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

Officers raided a Madera home earlier this year, finding a lab used to convert liquid meth into 176 pounds of crystals with a street value over $1 million. Nobody was arrested, but agents said the bust dealt a blow to the organization behind the lab.

Mike Prado, resident agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigation’s Fresno office, said law enforcement agencies are always on the lookout for creative ways cartels smuggle meth.

“We’ve become better at detecting certain things,” Prado said. “When they catch on to that, they modify their methods.”

The super-labs driven south to Mexico are notoriously toxic to people and the environment, but Prado said the small conversion labs in the Central Valley are more dangerous. His agents have found them in densely populated apartment buildings and foreclosed homes in quiet neighborhoods where children play on the street.

In the conversion process, cooks evaporate off the liquid and use highly combustible chemicals such as acetone to make crystals. The fumes are trapped inside. “A spark can turn this into a fireball,” Prado said.

That’s what happened in 2012, when a home in a middle-class area of Fresno was blown off its foundation. The blast shot the air conditioner into a neighbor’s yard; another neighbor had to replace a roof rippled by the concussion. Two men ran from the home, and investigators said a third was seriously injured.

Central California’s interstates and proximity to Mexico make it an attractive distribution hub for cartels, officials say.

John Donnelly, until recently in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Fresno office, said agents all over the country have tracked meth to California’s Central Valley. “We’re the source point for Seattle, Portland, Alaska and as far east as the Carolinas,” Donnelly said.

Not all the meth travelling north makes its way to Central California. Two men were arrested last month in San Bernardino when investigators found a conversion lab, 206 pounds of crystal meth and 250 gallons of the liquid capable of producing 1,250 pounds of crystals.

The seized drugs, which investigators suspect came from Mexico, were valued at $7.2 million.

Not all liquid meth makes it across the border. Last year, a 16-year-old from Mexico was stopped at the crossing near San Diego. He volunteered to take “a big sip” to convince inspectors the liquid he had was only apple juice, not meth. The teenager began screaming in pain and died within hours.

Eric L. Olson, a Latin America researcher at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C., said he witnessed agents seize liquid meth disguised in soda bottles during a 2012 tour of the border crossing at Laredo, Texas.

Liquid meth is just the latest innovation for transporting drugs for profit, he said. Smugglers have used tunnels, submarines, drones and once, Olson said, a 90-year-old farmer was used as a decoy.

“There’s no end to the creativity to getting the drug to market when there’s demand,” he said of the turn to liquid meth.





A Mexican-national woman with a child inside her truck was arrested on Interstate 5 for smuggling methamphetamine Thursday morning.

At approximately 7 a.m., agents became suspicious of a 41-year-old woman driving a 2007 Ford F-150 on Interstate-5 and referred her for a secondary inspection.

A K-9 performed a sniff of the vehicle, resulting in a positive alert. Agents searched the vehicle and discovered 15 bundles of methamphetamine hidden behind a rear-seat backrest. When agents notified the driver of their discovery and attempted to arrest the woman, she resisted and placed her 9-year-old U.S. citizen daughter between her and the arresting agent. Nearby agents responded to help the agent quietly handcuff the woman and calm the child.

The bundles of meth weighed 24.14 pounds and are valued at $241,400.

The woman was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration and agents contacted County of San Diego Child Welfare Services, who took custody of the child. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.