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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.  — The State of Indiana continues to battle a very serious meth problem. In 2013, more than 1,800 meth labs were busted across the state. That’s compared to 1,700 in 2012. In 1995, there were only six meth lab busts.

These meth labs are dangerous, the chemicals used can be explosive and deadly.


Meth has even become the story line for hit television shows like AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” And while Hollywood is cashing in, a real life meth lab is anything but glamorous. In fact, the conditions are horrible.

FOX59 was given an exclusive tour of a lab in central Indiana. The conditions were disgusting, and our lives were in danger because we didn’t know what to expect, or what we’d step on.

“You can actually get needles on yourself, you know, get poked,” said Rick Held, operations manager for Crisis Cleaning. We’ll tell you more about his company a little later.

He says in meth labs, you have to be aware that something could explode at any second.

“You go in, you turn the light on, they got water in the light bulb and it explodes. you got needles,” Held said. “You saw bullets here.”

The only way we could be in the home was to be dressed in hazmat suits with paper masks, and even gas masks! We literally entered at our own risk. The setting for our tour was a home just outside Crawfordsville. The outside wasn’t the important part, it was the inside where the meth was cooked as the family was living. The family included young children.

“They’re so young, they have a weak immune system actually so by them crawling around, licking their fingers, and touching the walls and the floor, there’s still meth there,” Held said.

This particular meth lab was shut down, and the drugs were cleared out, but it needed to be cleaned and brought back to livable condition. That’s where Held’s company comes in. He and meth cleanup technician James Plessinger began the tough job of cleaning the house up.

“There’s a couple days to take out all the contents, and then the actual decontamination part will take two or three days. You know, we can walk in to a house and have it cleaned with in a week,” said Plessinger.

“We throw the contents out, because the meth is on the contents. We actually come in and we HEPA vac the walls, and after we HEPA vac it, we actually go in and we fog it,” said Held.

With the crew watching over me, I had a chance to try that fogging machine that sprays out a chemical meant to break down the meth. It can only be used while wearing a gas mask because that’s how strong the chemical is. Once that’s done, surfaces are tested at four different points to see if residue levels are at safe, state mandated levels. The samples are rushed to a lab, and if they’re returned at safe levels, the home is essentially considered liveable. The cost to clean the average three bedroom house is about $5,000. Crisis Cleaning has been doing this kind of work for about 12 years.

“We were at the sheriff shows, and they said there’s a need for meth cleaning, and we jumped on it and that’s what we did,” Held said.

And like the old saying, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

“We do meth, death, mold. We do a lot of dirty jobs,” said Held.

What if you’re looking to buy a home in Indiana? You’re covered because state law requires sellers to make it known that the home you’re buying was a meth lab.



Just hours after being sentenced to nine months in prison for drug supply, with a non-parole period of two, a Young grandmother and long-time foster mother has been granted bail after lodging an appeal.

Cecelia Hardman (also known by the last name Cruden), 47, pleaded guilty to four charges of drug supply (methamphetamine) and one charge of driving with an illicit substance in her blood at Young Local Court on Wednesday.


The court heard Ms Hardman was arrested as part of Strike Force Nandi, an ongoing investigation into the drug trade in Young formed in April last year.

Police gathered evidence over a period of months, which included recording phone conversations and undercover police operations.

Ms Hardman and the central figure in the investigation were observed and recorded supplying methamphetamine to an undercover police operative.

Police said she was an accomplice to the central player in the drug operation, who is in custody with her case still in the courts.

Her solicitor Rachael Power told the court Ms Hardman was embarrassed and ashamed following her arrest and “deeply saddened” that her children had been drawn into the situation.

The court heard she was a single mother of five, a grandmother to a further five and had cared for foster children for the past 26 years.

One foster child is currently living with her.

Ms Power said her client had usually been involved with drugs as a user and had kept her use away from the knowledge of her family and friends.

She said being caught was somewhat of a weight off Ms Hardman’s shoulders as her drug issues were out in the open and she was able to get help.

In sentencing, while considering the affect a custodial sentence would have on her children, local Magistrate Peter Dare S.C said there were no exceptional circumstances that could see her avoid jail time.

“I am satisfied having considered all possible alternatives, that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate,” he told the court.

“Someone unfamiliar with the more commonplace anti-social dynamics of this community and responding, no doubt, to a case not put before me, might be persuaded to release the offender on appeal or reduce the sentence.”

Ms Hardman immediately appealed the severity of the sentence.

She was granted bail, pending the outcome of the appeal, which will be heard at Wagga District Court on July 28.

Magistrate Dare said he would grant Ms Hardman bail as the length of the non parole section of her sentence was less than the time until the appeal would be heard.



A former Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officer has signed a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, admitting to his suspected role in a scheme to smuggle drugs into Guam.

Jayvin Wyll Ueda Remoket is the last of three suspects to enter plea agreements in the case. Remoket agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and giving notice of a search warrant. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the first charge and five years for the second charge.

The agreement states that while Remoket was a Customs officer, he assisted with executing search warrants. At one point, he agreed to tip off a suspected drug smuggler, Frederick Obak, about any investigation concerning him.

In January, postal inspectors intercepted a package containing more than a kilogram of methamphetamine and addressed to a person named Amos Ueda. When law enforcement prepared for a controlled delivery of a package containing more than a kilogram of methamphetamine, court documents said, Remoket agreed to participate in the delivery.

Remoket’s agreement states that while he was in the back seat of a vehicle, the Customs officer tipped off Obak that law enforcement was on its way.



COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Smurfing to get meth is a system that relies on dozens of people – sometimes unsuspecting and innocent – to help a cook get ingredients for another batch of meth.

WIS went undercover with a reformed meth cook to explore smurfing – waiting outside of a big box store and asking people walking by if they wanted to make a quick $20. If the person said yes, the former meth cook Todd McGill would then ask them to buy him allergy medication with pseudoephedrine in it. McGill said he used to get more than the state-allowed limit to make meth. Typically, McGill said eight out of 10 times, his method worked.


Pseudoephedrine is a crucial chemical for making meth that is found in common cold and allergy medicine.

“Smurfers, people who have bought the maximum daily or monthly limit or employing other people to buy more and more of these pills,” said Lt. Max Dorsey of the State Law Enforcement Division.

Under federal guidelines, a buyer can only purchase 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine based on cold medicine per day, and the person’s ID is logged electronically. Per month, 3.6 grams is roughly three boxes depending on the type of medicine.

For McGill, it was never enough medicine.

“I wouldn’t do it unless I could make three grams of meth, which would be one box – one big box of pseudoephedrine,” McGill said.

McGill had a system for approaching people in public when trying to get them to purchase cold and allergy medicine for him.

“Usually a 20- to 30-year-old black male because they’re not users of the drug,” McGill explained.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average meth user is Caucasian and under 25 years old.

When WIS went out with McGill to see how easy it would be to get shoppers to purchase the cold and allergy medicine, WIS discovered some did not know the medicine was used to make meth.

PJ Randhawa: “So were you actually going to go in and buy the medicine for him?”

Shopper: “No, I was just going to go shopping with my daughter and walk right out.”

Others WIS approached immediately denied the request to buy the medicine.

Shopper Troy Belton: “It sounds like I wasn’t about to do anything good, so I was just trying to stay out of trouble.”

PJ Randhawa: “He was going to ask you to buy Sudafed, the common cold medicine. Are you aware of what people are using that for?”

Belton: “I have no idea. What are they using that for?”

PJ Randhawa: “If you get enough boxes you can use it to make meth.”

Belton: “I wouldn’t even think he was using meth, but I guess you can’t tell from looking at somebody.”

Lawmaker and pharmacist Kit Spires, who runs a small drug store in Pelion, said most times you can tell when someone is using meth.

“You can tell generally,” Spires said. “In most cases, they’re on the meth when they come in. You can exhibit the anxiety, the nervousness. They get in front of everyone in the line. They’re very talkative, and they try to distract you by talking a lot.”

WIS producer: “Hey, can I ask you a quick question?”

Shopper Charles Frazier agrees almost immediately to buy allergy medicine for the producer, but says he doesn’t have his driver’s license.

PJ Randhawa: “Did you ever think an ingredient like that, used to make meth, would be in a superstore like that?

Frazier: “No ma’am. I don’t think it should be in any superstore. It should be prescription only.”

Then WIS got a “no” from a woman who knew what allergy medicine could be used for.

WIS producer: “Hey there, would you do me a favor and buy this allergy medicine? I met my limit and they want my ID. They won’t do it.”

April Platts: “No, I’m sorry. Ordinarily, I’d do it, but that’s illegal.”

Actually, it’s not illegal, unless the person asking tells the shopper it will be used for meth.

PJ Randhawa: “Is there anything he could have said to you that would’ve convinced you to get that medicine?”

Platts: “I don’t think so. I do think it should be illegal. It all rolls downhill. If I buy you something to make meth, you go make meth, you sell it to someone, someone dies … what’s my part in that?”

Since 2011, the National Pharmacy Monitoring System NPLEX has blocked the sale of more than 53,000 boxes of the drug in South Carolina. According to SLED, in 2012, there were 1,333,649 boxes of pseudoephedrine sold and 48,173 blocked sales. In 2013, there were 1,319,286 boxes sold and 53,635 blocked sales. According to SLED, 89 percent of South Carolinians did not buy any Sudafed last year.

“The NPLEX system is a wonderful system to use, but it’s not stopping meth labs,” Dorsey said.

Narcotic agents told WIS less than 10 percent of the meth labs they find are a result of the NPLEX system alerting them to suspicious activity. WIS also put that system to the test.

Reporter PJ Randhawa bought a box of Sudafed at one store and then went to a different one to try to buy another box. Her ID was flagged at the second pharmacy.

Spires said it’s an easy system to manipulate.

“You can have a fake ID to get meth,” Spires said. “You have to list a driver’s license number, but it’s not checked in the data system with the highway department. With computers, you can generate IDs that would pass.”

That’s why Spires is leading the charge in the State House to make South Carolina the third state in the nation to make pseudoephedrine-based medicine available by prescription only.

“We need to get Sudafed as a prescription, so we can regulate it,” Spires said. “So it’s easily accessible, and I don’t think the doctors would mind.”

Pharmacy company lobbyists fighting the legislation say restricting the drug would be futile.

“We’re not willing to totally eliminate our customers’ ability to buy this freely,” said Jason Puhlasky, lobbyist for Consumer Health Care Products Association. “The No. 1 most abused drug in the world is prescription pain killers in the United States of America. If you think that something becomes a prescription and you need to go to a doctor and it cannot be abused, you need to look up Rush Limbaugh and see if that’s the fact, because it’s not.”

McGill is now advocating for the legislation. He says if something like that were in place, it might’ve stopped him a long time ago.




NEW ALBANY, Ind. —A New Albany man is behind bars accused of being the ring leader in a major methamphetamine distribution network, and the amount of meth found is breaking records.

New Albany police said the drug bust is going down in the history books as one of the largest for the department.

“Victor Hugo Ramirez. Mr. Ramirez is 40 years old and he has been indicted by a federal grand jury,” said United States Attorney Joseph Hogsett.

That ruling came down this week against Ramirez, a man accused of being a ring leader in a methamphetamine distribution network.

“We allege that would have involved a significant amount of methamphetamine that was distributed by Mr. Ramirez, not only here in New Albany, but throughout the greater Louisville area,” said Hogsett.

But in March a joint effort by New Albany police and the local FBI task force shut it down.

Ramierez was pulled over near Seventh Street in New Albany where agents said they found a large package tightly wrapped in duct tape.

“At that time, the contents of a package contained in the vehicle was examined and found to contain nearly 720 grams of methamphetamine,” said Hogsett.

Powdered meth is usually sold by the gram about the size of a sugar packet, and that one packet can be used by four to five people.

So 720 grams is significant, about a pound and a half.

Authorities say a subsequent search found about two more pounds of meth in Ramirez’s possession, or 1,500 grams, a street value of $140,000.

New Albany Police Chief Sherri Knight said it’s the largest meth bust she can remember in the department’s history.

“We’re very proud of our officers and the work they’ve done and look forward to continuing our relationship with those federal agencies,” said Knight.

If convicted, Ramirez faces at least 10 years behind bars to life and up to a $10 million fine.

The federal indictment against Ramirez charges him with trafficking in meth.

Even though state charges are pending, they could be dropped due to the new federal charges.

Ramirez is currently being held in the Floyd County Jail.




A Bossier City woman was arrested by agents with the Caddo-Shreveport Narcotics Unit today after she was found operating a meth lab at a casino hotel, said Sheriff Steve Prator and Police Chief Willie Shaw.

Authorities were called to the hotel at 315 Clyde Fant Memorial Parkway after a fire alarm was activated on the 14th floor. Agents say the alarm sounded because of smoke from two suspects cooking meth in their hotel room.

Agents found an old lab inside the room and two active labs along with the components needed to make meth hidden in an air conditioning vent.

Agents arrested Dawn Meredith, 30, of the 2000 block of Oakley in Bossier City, and charged her with creation and operation of a clandestine lab and criminal property damage.

Authorities say their investigation is continuing. They are looking for at least one more suspect who fled from the scene.




Four people are facing drug charges after Clackamas County police seized more than 17 pounds of methamphetamine earlier this week.


Sgt. Nathan Thompson, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said the county’s Interagency Task Force conducted a lengthy investigation on a drug-trafficking ring that operated in Clackamas, Multnomah and Clark counties. He said the task force developed a solid lead that a large quantity of methamphetamine was moving through Clackamas County.

On Monday, with the help of sheriff’s deputies and a K-9 unit, members of the task force stopped a car on Interstate 5 near Wilsonville and seized 17.6 pounds of meth.


Arrested were:

•Corinne Elizabeth Shaver, 53, of Portland, accused of possessing meth and conspiring to deal meth. She is being held at the Clackamas County Jail, with bail set at $250,000.

•Florencio Morales-Calderon, 32, of Oregon City, accused of possessing meth and conspiring to deal meth. He is being held at the jail, with bail set at $250,000.

•Joseph Douglas Neth, 43, of Vancouver, accused of possessing meth. He posted a $4,000 security deposit against bail of $40,000 and was released from the jail, pending trial.

•Darren George Cornwell, 40, of Gresham, accused possessing meth. He posted a $4,000 security deposit against bail of $40,000 and was released from the jail, pending trial.



PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a couple arrested Wednesday on charges that included possession of methamphetamine when a search warrant was served at their house.

James Edward Thurston, 37, and Thea Michelle Psathas, 39, were each charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon as a result of the search.


At about 6:30 a.m. yesterday, deputies and detectives went to their residence on Hernando Avenue to serve a search warrant. After knocking on the door and announcing their presence several times with no answer, they forced a door open and entered the house. They located Thurston near the kitchen and Psathas in a bedroom. They were escorted out of the house and detectives read them the search warrant.

During the search, detectives allegedly found several pieces of plastic baggies that contained a residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as several smoking pipes and a scale. They also located ammunition for a firearm in the house. Both Thurston and Psathas are convicted felons and, therefore, prohibited from having possession of ammunition.

Thurston and Psathas were transported to the Charlotte County Jail. They are both being held without bond.



CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) – Four people were arrested Wednesday after police took apart a methamphetamine organization in Shreveport.

Agents with Caddo-Shreveport Narcotics Unit and the DEA Task Force arrested Tia Madden, 42 of Bethany, LA; Stanford Hughes, 35 of Bethany, LA; Aaron Weaver, 36 of Bethany, LA; and Travis Reynolds, 21 of Doyline, LA after they were linked to the crime.


The short-term investigation included two search warrants at hotels in the 5000 block of Monkhouse Drive where agents found 106.3 grams of suspected meth, a digital scale and drug paraphernalia.

Madden is charged with possession of schedule II (narcotics) over 28 grams, distribution of schedule II and criminal conspiracy. Hughes is charged on a Caddo Parish probation warrant and with possession of schedule II with intent.

Weaver and Reynolds were both charged with possession of schedule II over 28 grams, distribution of schedule II and criminal conspiracy.

All four are being held at the Caddo Correctional Center.



A California man accused of running a large methamphetamine trafficking network in Southern Indiana and Louisville was indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Indianapolis, U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced Thursday.

Victor Hugo Ramirez, 41, of Fresno, Calif., is expected to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in New Albany next week on a single charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He’s currently being held in the Floyd County Jail on an Indiana charge of felony dealing in meth.

Hogsett said Ramirez had been under investigation after a FBI task force that includes New Albany police learned he was working in the area. He was arrested by New Albany officers on March 28 after they stopped Ramirez’s white Jeep Cherokee on Culbertson Avenue near Fifteen Street.

A Kentucky woman at the wheel of the Jeep with California tags explained the vehicle owner didn’t have a driver’s license. The woman stumbled when asked the name of her companion in the front passenger seat. First she told officers his name was Vic, then Santiago, according to Floyd Superior court records.

Police determined that the man was Ramirez, though he first provided a Mexican identification card with his correct birth date and photo bearing the name Santiago Hernandez, records show.

A search of the vehicle led police to a large silver package wrapped with a rope and duct tape beneath the rear passenger seat. Inside they found a vacuum sealed clear bag containing meth.

Court records also showed Ramirez admitted he passed the fake ID and also was the owner of the meth found in the Jeep.

Investigators later seized an additional cache of 1.5 pounds linked to Ramirez, Hogsett and New Albany police chief Sherri Knight said during a press briefing Thursday morning at the federal courthouse. Both declined to specify how it was recovered. The street value of the drugs exceed $140,000, Hogsett said.

More arrests may be coming, he said, adding that the pending felony charge in Floyd Superior against Ramirez probably would be dropped in favor of the federal prosecution.



A meth house in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood raided by police last month and feared by neighbors was scheduled for condemnation Thursday by the city’s problem properties unit.

The condemnation — which was to take effect at midnight Thursday — means no one can live in the house at 5137 Abbott Av. S. until all health and safety problems at the property are fixed.


That seems unlikely to happen, according to an e-mail sent to neighbors this week. Owner Sara Shenton told a police investigator that she cannot afford to make the repairs and will instead sell the house and move on, according to an e-mail that crime prevention specialist Jennifer Waisanen sent to a neighbor of the property.

Shenton “would be willing to take any contact information from the neighbors for a real estate company to purchase the home,” Waisanen wrote.

Shenton was not home during the raid. She must meet with police on May 26 to tell what she knows about the meth lab at her house, according to Waisanen’s e-mail.

At the time of the raid, the house smelled like chemicals and the first officers to arrive said their eyes began to itch and burn. Several people inside the house were taken away for questioning, including a 37-year-old Coon Rapids man who was wanted on a drug warrant.

The meth discovery was out of place for the neighborhood, which has a median income of about twice that of the city as a whole, but several neighbors said they had suspected something illegal was brewing at the house. Late-night visitors and a trash-filled back yard alarmed people living nearby, said one woman, who asked not to be named out of fear of Shenton.

Shenton has a felony drug possession charge from 2012 in Ramsey County, according to public records. A call placed Thursday to a phone number listed under her name rang once and then was immediately disconnected.



MCGREGOR (May 15, 2014) A McGregor man was named in a three count indictment Wednesday charging possession of child pornography.


The McLennan County Grand Jury indicted Justin Rafael Cordero, 23, in connection with a February incident in which he was arrested that involved sexual assault of a child, child pornography and possession of methamphetamine.

McGregor police Investigator Joe Coy told News 10 patrol officers arrested Cordero after they spotted a car parked late at night on February 9 in Amsler Park.

As they were investigating they identified a 16-year-old girl who later made an outcry that she had been having sex with an older man at the park.

Police also confiscated a small amount of methamphetamine and a cell phone, on which they found several inappropriate photographs of the 16-year-old, Coy said.

The girl also told police the man she had been with had asked her to send him nude photographs over the cell phone.

Cordero remained in the McLennan County Jail Thursday in lieu of bonds totaling $220,000, charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of possession of child pornography and without bond on a possession of controlled substance and a parole violation, online jail records showed.



A drug ring which was distributing crystal methamphetamine in Clinton, Highland, Fayette, Greene and Brown counties was busted following an investigation that began in October 2013, according to the Wilmington Police Department.

Chief Detective Josh Riley of the WPD said two people were arrested when a search warrant was served Monday at 231 S. College St. in Sabina.

Ronald Young, 37, of Ripley, and Dwayne Baker, 50, of Sabina, were arrested and charged with aggravated possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs, Riley said. They were incarcerated in the Clinton County Jail.

Stanley Irwin Ronald Young

Four alleged co-conspirators are still being sought by local authorities and federal agents, Riley said. They are Stanley Irwin, 37, of Sardinia; Jason Faul, 37, of Wilmington; Anthony Mullins, 34, of Sabina; and Katherine Young, 34, of Ripley.

The raid was the culmination of a drug trafficking investigation which involved the United States Postal Inspection Service, Sabina Police Department, Wilmington Police Department, Warren County Drug Task Force and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.

“The investigation focused on a multi-person drug trafficking group which stretched from San Diego, Calif., to the Wilmington and Sabina areas,” Riley said.

“The group utilized the U.S. Postal Service to send packages of crystal methamphetamine,” Riley said. “During the investigation, several packages were intercepted by law enforcement throughout Sabina and Wilmington. Over 500 grams — or more than one pound — of crystal meth was seized from this group.”

Riley said crystal methamphetamine is commonly smuggled in from South America and is a solid form of methamphetamine.

“This drug was locally referred to as ICE, glass and glass cleaner by users and dealers,” Riley said. “It can only be ingested by smoking which in turn has an 80 percent addiction rate after using it twice, thus creating a high demand for crystal meth.”

Riley said the case information and search warrant application were presented to Clinton County Prosecutor Rick Moyer and Assistant Prosecutor Andrew McCoy. Clinton County Municipal Court Judge Chad L. Carey approved and signed the warrant for investigators.

According to Riley, the investigation into this organization is continuing at the local, state and federal levels.

Anyone with information regarding this drug trafficking organization or its members is encouraged to contact the Warren County Drug Task Force at 513-336-0070 or


After nearly a year of investigation in a joint effort between the LaGrange Police Department and The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s west metro task force, 20 people were indicted in the Troup County Grand Jury last week on conspiracy to commit trafficking in methamphetamine charges, one of which being a primary supplier in the area.

William Eugene Thomas

William Eugene Thomas Jr., of LaGrange was arrested in September 2013, when a search warrant was issued and officials found a little over 18 ounces of methamphetamine.

According to Sgt. Mark Cavender, officials began the investigation last year around May or June.

Thomas has allegedly been responsible for purchasing and distributing large amounts of methamphetamine, Cavender said.

Thomas would allegedly purchase the supply from outside sources like Atlanta and with the help of a ring of co-conspirators, would distribute in the county. The distribution also reached to Panama City, Florida.

After Thomas’ arrest, his daughter Laci Shea Thomas, of LaGrange allegedly continued the enterprise.

Since the investigation, arrests have been made in LaGrange, Franklin, Alabama and Panama City.

Those arrested were allegedly involved in the purchasing, distribution, transportation, money-handling or other informant sources such as arranging deals.

Cavender said all those involved stemmed off Thomas’ enterprise.

Those indicted are Adam Lee Arrington, Kimberly Ann Brown, Crystal Deanna Bunn, Shelly Harrington, Michael Christopher Hubbard, James Eric Landers, Leslie Ann Moman, Ronald Corey Moss, Tara Strickland, Wayne Clyde Terry, Laci Shea Thomas, Amber Brooke Tucker and Kimberly Lynn Phelps, all of LaGrange; Kyle Garver and Brad Gosa of Columbus; Christopher Bryan Hyatt of Roanoke, Ala.; Barry William Petty Jr. and Lacy Betty Petty of Franklin; and Destiny Dawn Locklear of Panama City, Fla.

Between all parties, 10 counts were brought against them including conspiracy to commit trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a schedule III controlled substance with intent to distribute, criminal attempt to influence a witness, computer invasion of privacy, and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.



The bottles an Allentown fisherman brought today for Bethlehem police inspection at a city Wawa were in fact “a worn out meth lab,” according to Detective Sgt. Mike Martinko.

Police were approached by the man at the gas station at Eighth Avenue and Schoenersville Road in West Bethlehem and were able to quickly determine bottles were used for the production of methamphetamine, Martinko said.

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Some residue in one of the bottles was giving off a small amount of gas, Martinko said. Members of the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Laboratory Team responded to the gas station and were able to determine the mobile meth lab was days old, Martinko said. What the Allentown man found was just the garbage left over from the process, he said.

A 68-year-old man, who declined to provide his name, was questioned by officials and taken into an ambulance before being released.

After grabbing a pack of cigarettes from the store and lighting one, the man said he was fishing Tuesday at Archibald Johnston Conservation Area on Bethlehem’s border with Bethlehem Township, Pa., and found the bottles in a bag with others items.

The man, who was wearing a camouflage shirt and baseball cap, suspenders and jeans, said one bottle looked like it had white sand it in, but there were small brown spots mixed in.

“I thought they were marijuana seeds,” he said.

Another bottle had fertilizer in it and the man said he thought it might have been kids trying to grow marijuana, so he took the bottles so other kids wouldn’t find them, and he put them in his SUV.

The man said he was at the Wawa this morning when he saw a police officer inside and asked the cop to take a look at what he found. Then the commotion started, he said.

The man said he felt fine and even had his girlfriend in the SUV and they both didn’t notice anything wrong.

The man’s SUV was cordoned off behind yellow caution tape and he waited with city police and fire crews as they waited to take action. Streams of people kept coming into the front of the store for coffee, food, gas and cigarettes. A couple of the officers grabbed some coffee while they waited, too.

A little before noon, one of the officials at the scene put on an air mask and gloves, took two white buckets with lids and picked up the items that were sitting in the parking lot and put them in the buckets, them sealed them.

After putting one of the buckets in the back of an unmarked vehicle, the man left. The emergency tape came down and the fire trucks and police cars started leaving.

“He was trying to do a good deed,” Martinko said of the man. “He obviously had nothing to do with it.”

Martinko said no one was hurt.

Martinko said it’s not unusual to come across these type of devices, especially in secluded, wooded areas. He said anyone who finds such suspicious bottles should call authorities and not handle any of the material themselves.

“There’s potentially acid from the process still in there,” he said. “These things can still be giving off acid vapors. Just call police.”

Martinko said it’s highly unlikely police will be able to pull any fingerprints off the bottles since they’ve been contaminated and handled by others already. But he said the investigation remains open. He urged anyone with information about the incident to contact Bethlehem police at 610-865-7187.




It’s probably in the back of your mind every time you leave for vacation.

“Will my home be safe from criminals while I’m gone?”

One New Mexico man found out the hard way, it wasn’t.


It happened in a calm and quiet neighborhood in Artesia.

“This neighborhood is quiet, did we know that was going on in our neighborhood?” said Betty Clark. “Not one of us knew.”

But this week, neighbors were in for a surprise.

“No idea whatsoever of something like that taking place in our neighborhood,” said Cathy Pennington.

The homeowners were out of town.

But the home was not empty.

Neighbors alerted the homeowners about seeing something suspicious.

They called police.

Drug Task Force agents say inside of the garage they found indicators of a meth lab.

Police believe squatters moved in while the homeowner was away.

Police say the squatters left materials used to cook meth behind, they also stole things from the home.

Evidence of the meth lab was bad enough, but right across the street from the home is an elementary school.

“I have kids walk back and forth across this street on a regular basis going and coming to school,” said Clark.

The owners were not home when we stopped by.

Police say they’re usually out of town for long periods of time.

“It’s just shocking to know that something like this was taking place three houses down,” said Pennington.

Police say they do have some suspects in the case.

So far they haven’t arrested anyone.



TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa County Sheriff’s deputies shut down a meth lab in a west Tulsa house Tuesday, but one of the three women accused of operating it wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

Deputies went to the house to look into drug activity, but one of the women tried to get away by jumping out of one of a second-floor window. She didn’t get too far.

James Snider wasn’t too surprised when he saw a bunch of deputies parked next door to his house.

“The way today’s world is, you know, it’s all messed up. Nothing I have not seen in the past,” he said.

In fact, it wasn’t the first time he saw flashing lights at the house. In 2008 there was a fire there.

“Had a feeling it might could be some meth or something. I don’t know,” he said.

Deputies say a meth lab is what brought them back there Tuesday.

But when they went in, one of the three people inside jumped out a window and took off.

Several deputies joined the search for her through several blocks, near Mark Twain Elementary.

Parents are furious she took her attempt to escape so close to their kids.

“You know, if they’re going to do that kind of stuff take it somewhere else, not around the school,” said Robert Davis, a concerned parent.

Davis said any number of things could have gone wrong and affected his daughter and other kids here.

“Seeing somebody run from a cop, you know, that’s gonna scare some kid,” he said.

He also worried the woman could have tried to hide evidence from the alleged meth lab along the way.

“Somebody could toss a syringe out there where the kids play, you know, and a kid loses his shoe or runs out of his shoe and gets stuck. Then what?” said Davis.

It’s something he’s already seen here before.

“When I’ve parked along the curb, you know, I’ve seen syringes,” said Davis.

Janie Clark hates to imagine what would happen if her granddaughter or one of her friends were to find something like that.

“She knows not to pick up stuff like that, but some of these other little kids…there’s kids even smaller than her that don’t know that. And they would get in trouble or could get hurt with it,” said Clark.

Police found the woman not far from the scene.

“I was flagged down by a citizen on the street saying that someone was running through the back yards of houses,” said Sgt. Travis Jones of the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

With that tip, they cornered her in yard.

“Ran towards us and turned to run away and she was tased, at which time she went to the ground and was taken into custody,” said Jones.

Deputies arrested two women and a man and cleared out a working meth lab from the house.

Snider said he tries to keep to himself, but Tuesday’s bust is a perfect example of what’s happening in his neighborhood.

“The drugs are a big problem. Like I said, I don’t know what all is going on, but I know it has to do with drugs or something,” he said.

The woman who ran had to be treated by EMSA for injuries she got from jumping out of the window.





INDIANAPOLIS – The number of methamphetamine lab seizures in Indiana has increased in each of the last seven years, hitting a record high in 2013, and 2014 could be close to another record.

The RTV6 digital team’s analysis of data made available by Indiana State Police showed three years of decreasing meth lab seizures from 2004-2006, with the number of meth labs discovered more than doubling between 2006 and 2013.

In 2006, there were 803 meth labs seized in Indiana, ISP said. By 2013, 1,808 labs were found. ISP began a mass suppression effort in 2006, and that’s part of the reason for the increase.

“It really has a lot to do with enforcement efforts, because if you’re not looking, you’re not going to find,” said ISP 1st Sgt. Niki Crawford. “There’s a lot of officers out there being very proactive in their communities.”

Crawford said the ease of obtaining supplies to manufacture methamphetamine and cooking methods have changed in recent years, too.

“With the changes we’ve seen in the cook process, it’s become more dangerous,” she said. “We’re seeing more injuries. If you look at the injuries that have occurred from 2000 through the end of 2013, about 60 to 65 percent of all injuries have occurred in just the last four years. We really attribute that to the one-pot labs and the fact they’re mixing incompatible chemicals inside one container.”

A county-by-county breakdown showed that between 2001 and 2013, Bartholomew County had the highest number of meth lab seizures, with 635 in that 13-year period.

Other hotspots for meth lab activity included Jennings, Decatur, Vigo, Knox and Vanderburgh counties in the southern half of the state.

Noble, Elkhart and Marshall counties had a higher prevalence of meth lab seizures in northern Indiana during that same 13-year timeframe.

The trend so far in 2014 indicates a slight decrease in meth lab seizures.

“We’re not down anywhere where we can start celebrating a big change,” Crawford said. “It’s not really sustained.”



DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Authorities in Dunkirk say they found out about a meth lab when a woman dropped it off to them at the police station.

The woman told officers the items in her truck came from a house in the Town of Sheridan. The drug task force and HAZ-MAT team had to come to remove the materials and decontaminate the truck and woman.

First responders say the items are too dangerous for most people to handle.

Dunkirk City Fire Lt. Gary Katta said, “Hazardous materials. It’s volatile. Right now we don’t know the amount of the substances that are in there. Any contact with the skin, you can become seriously sick. It’s a contamination hazard.”

After being decontaminated, the woman was brought to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for further treatment.

Authorities are now gathering additional evidence at the home on Straight Road.




TUCSON, AZ (CBS5) – Federal officials working in the Tucson area found $13,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden under the lining of a baby’s car seat.

U.S. Border Patrol agents conducted an inspection of a passenger shuttle van on May 6 at the Interstate 19 checkpoint.

Agents found the package of contraband concealed under the lining of a baby’s car seat.


The passenger responsible was arrested on charges of narcotic smuggling.

Over the past week, agents working in southern Arizona seized more than $1 million worth of drugs.


They also made 20 arrests.

In another case, agents found nearly 100 wrapped bricks of marijuana hidden in the cabin and door panels of the sedan they were driving near Tombstone.

Two U.S. citizens were arrested.




Continuing coverage on that meth lab explosion Monday afternoon in Albion.
It happened in a public housing complex that houses elderly people, and people with disabilities.
And it’s left a lot of people wondering if it’s safe for the residents to return to their apartments?

It’s no secret, the chemicals used to make meth are very hazardous. Anhydrous ammonia, lithium, iodine, and more.
So it’s understandable that Monday’s meth making explosion has many of the residents very worried.


We heard a lot of concerns from residents of the Barnett building, a public housing complex in Albion.
After a Methamphetamine explosion in one of the apartments, many are concerned.
With those nasty chemicals in meth, and after a smokey flash fire in an apartment, just how safe is it for those residents?

Dennis Tobin, Director of Narcotics Investigations for the Attorney General’s office says the specific apartment where the explosion happened has been contaminated.
And Tobin says any place, or room in a home where meth was being cooked, needs to be thoroughly cleaned, meaning carpets ripped up, furniture tossed, etc., “When you’re cooking meth inside of a building, you’re contaminating the wood, you’re contaminating the floors, you’re contaminating the curtains, you’re contaminating the ceilings,” said Tobin. ” Everything in there where you’re cooking we consider to be contaminated,” Tobin added.

Tobin says in most situations, the contamination is confined to the area where the meth was being cooked, in this case, just the one apartment.
However, as Tobin explains, individuals can spread the contamination, “Once they go outside of that area, their clothing is going to be contaminated. Or if children are in that home, wherever you take those children to, they’re going to be contaminated,” Tobin explained. “So the contamination can leave the area where the cooking was taking place. And it would leave by being on the skin or on their clothing,” Tobin added.

The Erie County Housing Authority owns the apartment building, they are responsible for cleaning up the apartment.
“In a dwelling that a meth lab is found, and we know there had been (meth) cooking in that dwelling, we’re going to consider that dwelling contaminated,” said Tobin. “Anytime a space has been contaminated it’s going to have to be decontaminated and that’s the responsibility of the building owner and the management of that building,” Tobin added.

The Housing Authority did not return our phone calls seeking comment.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two men, one an illegal immigrant, were charged with drug trafficking after 22 pounds of methamphetamine were confiscated from a residence in the 4400 block of Sterling on Tuesday.

Valdemar Rivera-Madrigal, 21, of Kansas City and Cesar Omar Rivera-Valencia, 24, of Montebello, Calif., were arrested Tuesday morning. A 16-year-old at the home was turned over to juvenile authorities.

The Jackson County Drug Task Force and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department seized the methamphetamine with a street value of $2 million from a car parked in the garage of a house that sits 500 feet from Northwood Elementary School.


The Drug Task Force believed the home functioned as a drug stash house. They had been watching the area for the last couple of months after they received an anonymous tip concerning suspicious activity.

“This is a major blow for the methamphetamine supply in Jackson County and the Kansas City metro area,” David Cummings said, officer with the Jackson County Task Force. “When you take $2 million off the streets in one swoop, you put a huge dent in it.”

Cummings said they believe the individuals were high-level drug traffickers and believe the drugs came from Mexico based on their packaging.

Neighbors were home at the time of the raid and were surprised to hear about what police discovered.

“It concerns me because you just know there’s stuff going on that shouldn’t be. The police always come every time and they tell us what’s going on so we’re aware of what’s going on out here,” Doris Budenbender said. “I’m still going to be right on top of watching. I’m not going to quit watching.”




$2M worth of Methamphetamine seized in massive drug bust

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A tip from a concerned citizen has led to a methamphetamine bust totaling $2 million.


Jackson County prosecutors said 20-year-old Valdemar Rivera-Madrigal, of Kansas City, and 23-year-old Cesar Omar Rivera-Valencia, of Montebello, CA, now face charges of second-degree drug trafficking, a class A felony under Missouri law.

The neighborhood watch sign should have been a warning for two suspected drug traffickers.

But investigators say they still set up shop using the house for their criminal operation – that is until it was raided Tuesday.

During a recent sweep by the Jackson County Drug Task Force and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, officers recovered 22 pounds of meth.

Investigators with the Jackson County Drug Task Force received a tip three months ago about suspicious behavior around a home near East 43rd Street and Sterling Avenue. That tip led to the investigation and subsequent bust.

“There were helicopters. There was a lot of police activity for about a couple hours,” neighbor Debbie Bottorff said.

Eventually, authorities got a search warrant and drug dogs got a hit on a car at the home.

“This a major blow for the methamphetamine supply in Jackson County and the Kansas City metro area,” said Dan Cummings, officer in charge for the task force. “When you take $2 million off the streets in one swoop, you put a huge dent in it.”

Cummings said the drugs were found hidden inside the fender, bumper and dashboard. All this happened directly across the street from a school.

“It is our belief that these individuals were pretty high-level drug traffickers. So I wouldn’t want my child going to school across the street from a drug trafficker,” Cummings said.

Cummings believes this meth stash came from Mexico based on the way it was packaged and the fact that the car had California plates.

Neighbors and authorities are glad it’s off the street.

“Hopefully it will send a message to whoever else is in the neighborhood that it won’t be tolerated,” Bottorff said.

Prosecutors requested the men’s bond be set at $100,000.


INDIANTOWN, Fla. – Deputies arrested a 9-time convicted felon on drug charges after the man was found with a “bizarre bulge” in his pants that turned out to be a stash of cocaine and methamphetamine.


Deputies with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office say what started out as a routine traffic stop for 63-year-old Ben Smith of Indiantown ended in an arrest after Smith was allegedly found with 10-baggies of rock cocaine, 18 baggies of powder cocaine, 16 baggies of crack cocaine, and 45 methamphetamine capsules all stuffed into the homemade pocket in the front area of his underwear.

Deputies say when they pulled Smith over he pulled a large amount of money from his pants pockets and told deputies they were free to search him. Deputies inquired about the bulge and discovered the drugs.

Smith is currently on federal probation. He was arrested and charged with several counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell. The underwear, drugs and money were placed into evidence. His bond is $55,000.



ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man on meth charges.

Officers say they were serving three warrants on Joshua Dewane Ridenour for contempt of court and violating probation on Monday and noticed several items used to make meth at his home in Andersonville.


Investigators with the Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit responded and found a large number of meth making items along with 14 “one pot” bottles, two of which were active and cooking meth.

Ridenour admitted to often cooking meth inside his residence.

He was arrested and is currently in jail on $50,290.00 bond. The $290.00 is on the Contempt of Court warrants.

The scene was cleaned up by our investigators and the residence was quarantined.

He has some arrest history with us dating back to 2005.




DECATUR (WHNT), Ala. – Police arrested two people last night after discovering an active meth lab in their hotel room.

The bust occurred at the Motel 6 on 6th Avenue.


Police received a call about possible drug activity in a motel room located at the back of the complex.

When Officers opened the door they found a working meth lab.

Police arrested the two people and took them to the Decatur City Jail.

The Morgan County Drug Task Force, along with Decatur Fire and Rescue were called to decontaminate the room and dismantle the meth lab.

No other rooms were evacuated during the bust.