Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

•Acacia Bowers, 29, and Lacey Preston, 30, are charged with robbery, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of meth

•Police say they held up workers at Twin Perks Espresso in Portland, Oregon, last fall

•Detectives tracked down the suspects after they were spotted on footage from a security camera that captured the heist

•The footage shows one of the women walking up to the coffee counter and pulling a gun on a barista before making off with a wad of cash

•The second woman then pulls up at the stand in a vehicle and pretends to be a concerned patron who offered to call 911, police said

•But the emergency call was never made and police determined she was an accomplice trying to buy the robber getaway time

•The drive-thru coffee stand is one of a number in the area that is serviced by women in swimwear


Two women have been arrested for allegedly robbing bikini-clad baristas at gunpoint at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon.

Acacia Bowers, 29, and Lacey Preston, 30, are charged with robbery, unlawful use of a weapon and possession of meth after police say they held up workers at Twin Perks Espresso last fall.

Detectives tracked down the suspects after they were spotted on footage from a security camera that captured the heist.

But the emergency call was never made prompting investigators to conclude the woman was an accomplice trying to buy the robber getaway time.


Surveillance cameras caught the car’s license plate and detectives were able to identify the women.

The suspects have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Investigators believe the pair also robbed the Smokin’ Hot Java Bombshell Baristas a week prior. They are still trying to link them to that crime but they could face additional charges.


Twin Peaks Espresso owner Tracy Fields told that her swimwear-wearing staff were shaken up after the robbery.

‘It’s traumatizing,’ Fields said. ‘You can’t have a gun put in your face without walking away from it with some sort of damage.’

She added that she and her employees are thrilled police continued to follow leads since the robbery took place.

‘You don’t know what they’re going to do, so the (baristas) are extremely relieved (they’re caught),’ she said.

Fields said she’s confident her security system will deter prospective thieves.

‘We’ll get them every time. You just have to put the money in to protect your employees and make people understand this is not OK,’ she told the TV station.

‘It’s a bad idea to try and rob us.’


It might look like a simple styrofoam custard cup, but police say what it is used for is a recipe for disaster – a portable methamphetamine lab known as a “one pot” or “shake and bake” operation.

“The chemicals involved in a meth lab are highly combustible, highly explosive,” said Scott Bonno, St. Lawrence County undersheriff.


Authorities say meth lab seizures in St. Lawrence County are up 500 percent.

Officials have been gearing up in what they describe as a proactive attack on meth makers.

“The user who’s producing meth is even more dangerous because often times they’re high and they’ll knock over chemicals – creating fires, explosions or placing fumes into the community which are dangerous. The meth producers are equally dangerous to the community because they’re providing cheap drugs to users and it’s a very, very dangerous drug,” said District Attorney Mary Rain.

A total of five active labs have been found since January, including two found on the same day in Canton and Ogdensburg.

That is raising new concerns about the lethal drug’s availability, impact and safety not only for the meth-makers, but the public.

“We’re in fear of this becoming an epidemic, if you will, and we don’t want it. We had a heroin problem last summer and now we’re on to meth,” said Sean O’Brien of the county’s Drug Task Force.

Mixing cold pills containing pseudoephedrine with substances such as acid, toxic cleaners, lithium batteries and other ingredients in a plastic 2-liter soda bottle or small sytrofoam cup can make small batches of meth with little odor in a house or even a car as part of a portable or rolling lab.

The explosive fire from a portable meth lab is not only fast but dangerous.

County Drug Task Force members say the increase in meth manufacturing, using and distributing is a dangerous sign and needs to be addressed before the problem gets out of hand.

In addition to the meth labs being very dangerous, toxic and highly explosive, anyone convicted of the highest count of making meth can face up to 25 years in state prison.





Shawn Lindsey was bound and tortured by a group of men at a west Wichita auto shop before he was injected with a lethal dose of meth, a prosecutor told a Sedgwick County jury on Tuesday.

“They taunted him, they tortured him, and they shot him with BB pellets for their own amusement,” Assistant Sedgwick County District Attorney Tyler Roush said.

At one point, Roush said, the men wrapped an electric fence around Lindsey, and one of them fired pellets at the on switch.

Wichita police investigate him

Roush said it was all done because Lindsey owed money to the owner of the shop, Dang Sean – a man that a defense lawyer described as “a scary guy” with a volatile temper.

Sean, 33, and two other men, brothers Jason and Justin Jones, both 31, are charged with first-degree murder in Lindsey’s death. Jason Jones is the first of the three to stand trial.

Wichita police said Lindsey, 34, was killed on the night of Jan. 11, 2013, in an auto repair shop at 116 S. Vine. Police said his body was then taken to a wooded area near K-96 and Hillside and dragged into the brush, where it was found five days later by surveyors.

Wichita police investigate

Roush said police initially didn’t know the cause of Lindsey’s death.

“There was no obvious sign of trauma,” he said. “There was no bullet hole in head or anything like that.”

An autopsy later found meth in his system.

“The amount of methamphetamine is not just a lethal dose,” Roush said. “The amount found is eight to 10 times what you’d expect to find in an overdose.”

Defense lawyer Carl Maughn told the jury that everyone in the shop used meth. He said Lindsey was a former co-owner of the business who had been using the company credit card for personal expenses. He said Lindsey was a meth user and dealer who sometimes got his drugs from Sean even after their business relationship had ended.

Maughn said his client was at the shop on the day Lindsey was being tortured, but was not a participant.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the company of the wrong people doing bad things,” he said.

Maughn said Jones last saw Lindsey on the night of Jan. 11, 2013, when he was loading him into a pickup to be driven to the hospital.

“At that time, Shawn Lindsey was awake, alert, alive and talking,” he said.








Authorities on Saturday arrested two suspects at a Scotts Valley auto repair shop on suspicion of possession of controlled substances.

The suspects are Lonni Locatelli, a 52-year-old resident of Scotts Valley, and Lauren Lotz, 23, of Ben Lomond.


Locatelli was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a stun gun and ammunition, while Lotz was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled substances, Santa Cruz County sheriff’s officials said.

Members of the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team Gang Task Force and Narcotics Task Force, along with members of the Scotts Valley Police Department and the Santa Cruz County Auto Theft Reduction Task Force, made the arrests as they served a search warrant at about 11:05 p.m. Saturday at an auto repair shop in the 5300 block of Scotts Valley Drive.

Police had received various nuisance complaints about the property and the shopkeeper, Locatelli.

The auto repair shop was also found to be operating unlawfully, according to the sheriff’s office.



ROGERS COUNTY, Okla. — Small children were found living in a meth lab operation. Now, a dozen people are behind bars. FOX23’s Morgan Downing spoke exclusively with sheriff’s investigators about what they found on a rural Rogers County ranch. Of the 12 people arrested, six of the people were family members. Sheriff’s investigators say this meth addiction spanned over three generations and was growing. The Rogers County THUG Task Force had been investigating two homes on the Bates ranch for six months. Sheriff Scott Walton said there was a lot of illegal activity going on behind closed doors.

“They help a lot of people in this community feed their habit of meth addiction,” Walton said. Investigators served a search warrant on the homes and found a large amount of meth, marijuana and several guns. Walton says the most concerning thing was the small children, a 2-year-old and 8-month-old, who were living inside the home. “These people have no concern for small children whatsoever. Their focus is on feeding their addiction,” Walton said. The children are in DHS custody.

The lead investigator told FOX23 thanks to a database that tracks who buys pseudoephedrine, they knew exactly how much people were buying and bringing to the homes. In the last year, investigators say more than 150 packets of pseudoephedrine were bought and used to make meth at the homes; more than 15 packets just his month.

Deputies say Helen Bates, Marty Bates, Vicki Bates, Londa Bates, Derek Bates, Briana Bates, are all family members who played a role in the illegal operation. Nicole Noble, Warren Harper, David Thelin, Rosemary Burrows, Billy Bob Thornton and Travis Bitting were arrested too.

“Even while we were in the process of serving the search warrant, there was customers pulling up to the driveway and driving off. Some of them which we made contact with,” Walton said.



GREER, S.C.Greer police said they were flagged down in a Walmart parking lot Sunday night by someone reporting screaming toddlers left in a car.

An officer said as he walked through the parking lot on the Walmart on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Greer looking for the vehicle, he could hear a child screaming, even though the windows of the SUV were rolled up.


The officer said a male toddler in the back seat of the SUV was screaming continuously and rocking back and forth. A female toddler, who was also in the backseat, was unresponsive, the officer said. The SUV door was unlocked, and another officer who had arrived at the location opened the door to check on the children.

The officers said they were unable to awaken the girl, who they said was breathing shallowly at the time. The officers said the children were filthy and had soiled themselves, and they called for EMS.

When they searched the car to try to find identification they found drug paraphernalia including hypodermic needles and a glass pipe, and they also found a substance that appeared to be meth, police said.

Several minutes later, a woman, later identified as 37-year-old Audrey Thompson Atkinson, came out of the Walmart pushing a cart filled with items, police said.

Officers said they recognized Atkinson as a chronic drug abuser with whom they were familiar. She was taken into custody.

Police said as they processed Atkinson’s purse, they found items they determined had been shoplifted.

Investigators said that a Walmart loss prevention officer provided surveillance video showing Atkinson going into the store at 10:12 p.m. and coming out of the store at 10:50 p.m. The officer also provided video from inside that store that investigators say shows Atkinson shoplifting.

The police report said when Atkinson was later at the jail, she admitted she left the children alone in the car because they were sleeping and because she “had been using meth.”

After a Department of Social Services agent met with the toddlers’ father, they were released into his care.

Atkinson is charged with unlawful neglect of a child, shoplifting, possession of methamphetamine and having an open liquor container in her vehicle. She was being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center.


WATERTOWN — Police spent several hours Tuesday investigating a suspected methamphetamine lab in a duplex on William Street.

Detective Ronald E. Gatch of the Metro-Jeff Drug Task Force said the Jefferson County Probation Department got an anonymous tip about suspicious activity at 200 William St. and called the task force to investigate.

Firefighters patrol the front yardAn investigator works on the case ofAn investigator sifts through evidence

Detective Gatch said materials and equipment used in manufacturing methamphetamine were confiscated from the house. No one has been arrested, nor were police seeking anyone, he said. The property was turned back over to the tenants.

“It is an active investigation,” Detective Gatch said.

Unidentified tenants cooperated in the probe, which began about 10:30 a.m. and lasted until about 6:30 p.m. At one point, a dozen police cars, other vehicles and a state police meth team trailer lined the busy city street, while state police wearing black hazardous materials suits with respirators worked inside.

Tenants living in the suspected unit and apartment next door were evacuated because the production of meth can be dangerous and could cause an explosion or fire. A Watertown Fire Department pump truck was called to the scene as a precaution.

Working under temporary white canopies, investigators processed evidence. One investigator carried evidence bags to his vehicle.

Several motorists driving by the duplex asked what was happening and said they were not surprised to hear police were investigating a meth lab.

It would be the fourth meth lab discovered in the city this year and about the ninth in Jefferson County since July, “which is kind of scary,” Detective Gatch said. It’s becoming harder to detect because it once took two or three days to cook meth and now it can be done in less than an hour, he said.

Detective Gatch could not say why there seems to be such an epidemic of meth labs in the county after more than a decade.

“Where there are addicts, there’s going to be people cooking up meth,” he said.



WARREN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) – The Warren County Sheriff’s Office said the Horseshoe Camp Modern Cottages on Louisville Road in Bowling Green were first reported to be on fire just before 4:00 Tuesday afternoon. Police said they heard three loud explosions that went off inside the building; Explosions they believed were caused by meth labs inside.

The current owner of the building is the sister of Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines along with her husband. The couple says it tears them apart to see a building with so many memories, go down so fast.


“She’s very emotional right now, which is why I’m talking and she’s not. She’s so emotional, having been born here and raised until she got her first professional job. She lived here for about 20 something years,” said Bud Tarry, Co-owner of Horseshoe Camp Modern Cottages

“A fella here was kind of suspicious and he started running. They deputies ran him down. They got to questioning him and he was high on something. After he got to talking, he started talking about another fella who was making meth up there in one of the old cabins. They’re looking for him now,” said Warren County Sheriff, Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines.

The sheriff’s office hasn’t released the name of the man arrested. They’re still searching for the other suspect.

The motel closed in the 1970’s, and was the second oldest motel in the county. It is considered a total loss.



MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – A vehicle stop conducted Friday afternoon resulted in three arrests and the seizure of 7 pounds of methamphetamine, reported to be the largest seizure of the drug by the sheriff’s office with an estimated value of more than $320,000.


Arrested following the stop were Santa Rosans Rosa Elvia Carrillo-Salas, 24; 24-year-old Artemio Rivera Sandoval; and 22-year-old Pedro Infante-Camarena, according to Lt. Steve Brooks.

At approximately 4:40 p.m. Friday, April 18, a deputy was traveling northbound on Highway 29 near Butts Canyon Road in Middletown behind a silver-colored Toyota sedan, which varied its speed between 38 and 50 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, Brooks said.

The deputy also noticed that the driver was continually tapping the brakes, causing the brake lights to illuminate for no apparent reason. Brooks said the deputy followed the vehicle for approximately three miles and noticed the driving pattern continued.

Brooks said the deputy also noticed by the time they reached Grange Road there were nine vehicles behind him due to the Toyota impeding the flow of traffic. The deputy conducted an enforcement stop of the vehicle which pulled into the Hidden Valley Food Mart.

The deputy contacted the driver, who was identified as Carrillo-Salas, and explained the reason for the stop and advised she needed to pull over to allow cars to get around her. Brooks said the deputy asked for Carrillo’s driver’s license. As she handed the deputy her California Identification Card, the deputy noticed her hand was trembling and she appeared nervous.

During the stop, the deputy also contacted the front seat passenger, who was identified as Sandoval and the rear seat passenger, identified as Infante-Camarena, Brooks said. Carrillo said she did not possess a driver’s license and advised the deputy that neither Sandoval nor Infante had a driver’s license or spoke English.

A K-9 unit responded to the scene and assisted the deputy with the enforcement stop. The deputy had Carrillo exit the vehicle and advised she was detained for driving while unlicensed. Brooks said she denied having anyone local she could call to drive her car home.

Because neither Carrillo nor her passengers had a driver’s license and there was no one readily available to drive the vehicle, the deputy requested a tow truck respond to the location, Brooks said.

Prior to conducting an inventory search of the vehicle, the deputy requested the K-9 officer use his partner to conduct a search of the vehicles exterior. The K-9 officer deployed his canine which provided a positive alert to the odor of a controlled substance, according to Brooks.

During a search of the vehicle, deputies located what appeared to be approximately four pounds of methamphetamine. Brooks said the methamphetamine was packaged into 1 pound bags and was located in the backseat area of the vehicle.


The Sheriff’s Narcotics Task force was notified of the enforcement stop and the large quantity of methamphetamine seized. Brooks said narcotics detectives responded to the scene and took possession of the methamphetamine.

Carrillo-Salas, Sandoval and Infante-Camarena were arrested for possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance. Brooks said they were transported to the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility and booked.



An Alabama man remains behind bars after reportedly being found in possession of $20,000 worth of methamphetamine during an April 15 traffic stop on I-85 near Hamilton Mill Road in Buford.

Rafael Pineda, 28, was traveling northbound on I-85 when a Gwinnett County Police officer noticed Pineda’s 1998 BMW had window tint which appeared to be darker than what is allowed by law. The officer conducted a traffic stop and, upon looking in the passenger side window of Pineda’s vehicle, noticed freshly opened air fresheners, air fresheners still in their packaging and two cell phones.

During the course of speaking with the officer, Pineda reportedly said he had come from Alabama where he had worked on a roof.

In the report, the officer noted Pineda did not fit the description of “your normal roofer.”

“His hands appeared undamaged and smooth, his clothes appeared to be designer style and he had two earrings in his ears,” the officer wrote in the report. “I also noticed the vehicle had no tools, which is very uncommon for your average roofer.”

After determining Pineda did not have a valid driver’s license, the officer placed him under arrest for driving without a license.

Pineda advised he did not have anyone who could retrieve his vehicle, so the officer requested a wrecker for impound. During the impound inventory of the vehicle, the officer discovered a paper bag in the rear seat behind the driver’s seat. Inside the bag, the officer found another bag containing a crystal-like substance which later field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

The officer read Pineda his Miranda rights and questioned him about the methamphetamine. Pineda allegedly admitted it was “ice” and that he had paid $20,000 for the 1.14 pounds of drugs. Pineda reportedly explained he needed the money for his family and sold the methamphetamine to provide for them. Upon further questioning, Pineda declined to provide additional information indicating “they” would kill him.

Pineda was booked into the jail on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine and driving without a license. He is also being detained on an immigration hold.

In one photo, an 8- or 9-year-old Synthia Varela is dressed in a Brownie uniform, a beret atop her head, hair braided neatly to the side.

Other photos from the same era show her at her dining room table, pondering homework; gleefully sitting inside a vintage toy pedal car; relaxing along a mountain lake in Switzerland; and standing among ruins in Jordan. The photos of this seemingly happy child were taken when Synthia was about the same age as her son, Omaree Varela at the time he died allegedly at the hands of his mother – now Synthia Varela-Casaus.


A  young Synthia Varela grew up in a middle-class family in the Northeast Heights with professional parents. The family lived overseas for a while and traveled extensively, affording Synthia and an older sister a larger world view.

As she got older, Synthia’s world shrank as her drug addictions grew. Last December, the 38-year-old mother of four was arrested for Omaree’s death and commented while being led away by police: “I was disciplining him and I kicked him the wrong way. It was an accident.”


The autopsy on Omaree, however, indicates the boy was savagely beaten. He had multiple injuries and his body bore signs of previous abuse.

In the months since his death, the Journal has learned that:

  • Omaree was born while his mother was in prison on drug trafficking charges;
  • Biological father Christopher Clewis, no stranger to the criminal justice system, claimed Synthia shut him out of the boy’s life;
  • Synthia’s current husband, Steve Casaus, recently arrested for drug possession, has a long criminal history and, according to a 911 recording, was verbally abusive toward Omaree;
  • The Children, Youth and Families Department, as well as the Albuquerque Police Department, missed opportunities to remove Omaree from, or prevent Omaree from returning to, his abusive home environment. CYFD has confirmed that there were nine referrals concerning Omaree or his family, but only two could be substantiated; and
  • Before Omaree was born, Synthia gave her father and stepmother custody of her much older first-born son who, in contrast to Omaree, led a normal and apparently happy life. He sports a tattoo that reads: “Truly Blessed.”

What went wrong?

Contemplating why Synthia – a once “very happy child” who was offered so many opportunities – chose a path in life that brought her to such a dark place is an exercise her stepmother says she has engaged in often since Omaree’s death. Part of the answer lies in “abandonment issues” Synthia has harbored since her father and biological mother divorced soon after Synthia was born in 1975, she says.

The father began raising the two girls with the help of his mother – the girls’ paternal grandmother. Synthia and her sister seldom saw their mother after that, she said.

The father and the girls’ now stepmother met in 1976 when they both worked as engineering technicians for the Army Corps of Engineers. They began dating about 1981, when Synthia was 6 and her sister was 11. They married in 1983, the same year their government jobs took them to Saudi Arabia.

The children went along, a family adventure that allowed them to live in and experience another culture for a couple of years. Family life was good, and there were other excursions, including vacations to Jordan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Amsterdam, Italy, Hawaii, Singapore and Hong Kong.

“I think the girls appreciated it and understood how lucky they were to have those cultural experiences,” she said.

Synthia Varela, on a 1983 family vacation, visits the ruins at Jerash in Jordan. (Courtesy of the Varela family)

Synthia Varela sits at the kitchen table doing homework in Saudi Arabia in 1983. (courtesy of the Varela family)

Back in Albuquerque, the girls were raised as “not particularly strict” Catholics, but they did go to church regularly and attended public schools. Her stepmother said Synthia had always been a high-energy child with a willful and independent streak, “a rebellious nature” and a penchant for “questioning authority.”

In high school, those character traits led to “behavior problems.” Synthia got kicked out of Sandia High School, then La Cueva. At age 15, she ran away from home, was picked up by police, and placed in group homes in Albuquerque and Santa Rosa. “She fled those places, too, and eventually ended up in the juvenile detention center,” said her stepmother.

“My husband went to juvenile court all the time, trying to stay on top of it. Synthia wasn’t yet 18, and we wanted to get her into the right environment to get her help, but, by the time she was in the D-home, she was already pregnant.”

Synthia turned 18 in June 1993 and she was released from juvenile detention in October, just before her son was born.

Also by this time, Synthia had begun accumulating a lengthy list of arrests that over the years has come to include shoplifting, disorderly conduct, concealing identity, failure to appear in court, contempt of court, failure to comply with the conditions of her probation, aiding illegal activity, multiple arrests for prostitution, and a host of drug-related arrests for such things as possession, distribution and trafficking.

Not all the cases resulted in convictions and many were dismissed, but a printout of her Bernalillo County Person History Report, generated by the Metropolitan Detention Center, fills 28 pages.

Both Synthia’s father and older sister declined comment for this story.

Her public defender, Todd Farkas, said that his office hasn’t yet received all the information and evidence from the state and state agencies relating to the case against Synthia and the death of her son. “It’s important to remember that these are allegations only and she is innocent until proven guilty.”

He further said that “based on early investigation and background research,” he expects issues to emerge concerning “the physical facts of Omaree’s injury and death; serious mental and physical conditions affecting Synthia’s behavior; improper police extraction of a so-called ‘confession’ from a mentally and emotionally vulnerable woman”; and other matters and mitigating circumstances linked to his client’s case.

Drugs ruled

Her stepmother summed up the root cause of Synthia’s bad choices and destructive lifestyle in one word: “Meth.”

“It just ruined her life. She hung around meth dealers and pimps. That became her whole life. There were a few months when she’d get sober and we’d be in contact again, but then she’d go back to using meth and disappear.”

Shortly after her oldest son was born, Synthia began living with an Albuquerque man, Alan Waseta, also 18, and a known drug dealer, police said at the time.

In February 1994, officers raided the home while Synthia was preparing a bottle to feed her baby. According to newspaper stories and Bernalillo County Sheriff’s incident reports, as deputies entered the home’s front door, Waseta grabbed a briefcase, pushed Synthia out the back door with him, then exchanged gunfire with a deputy. Waseta was struck in the torso and fell on top of Synthia. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, had surgery and survived.

The briefcase contained money, drugs and a gun. Inside the home, officers found more drugs and weapons, including a submachine gun – and the uninjured baby.

Synthia was also taken to the hospital, where doctors examined her, and found she had numerous burns and other marks. She eventually conceded that Waseta abused her.

Waseta was later sentenced to one year in prison, five years on probation and ordered into a two-year residential drug treatment program.

The baby was immediately taken into CYFD custody. Fearful she would never see her son again, Synthia agreed to have the child placed in foster care with her father and stepmother until they could formally adopt him.

It was something Synthia came to regret for the rest of her life, said her stepmother. Synthia had three more children, Omaree being the oldest of that trio. Steve Casaus is not the father of any of the children, although he was married to Synthia and in prison at the time the two younger ones were born, the stepmother said.

“Synthia always regretted her decision to give up (her first-born child) and she hated us for it. Because of that, she was careful to never give up control of the other kids.”

Children as collateral damage

As her drug addiction ebbed and flowed, she would agree to place the kids with family or friends acting as guardians. If the guardians got too attached or attempted to make the placement more permanent, “she would rush in and reclaim the kids” – something she learned she had a legal right to do.

“When he was 5, Omaree lived with Synthia’s older sister for about seven months. The cops came in the middle of the night and took him out of his bed. Synthia wanted him back. Her whole thing was control. Later, she did the same thing to that Essie woman.”

Essie Sotelo was an older woman who had befriended Synthia, and began taking care of Omaree and, later, his younger sister when Synthia failed to return home for extended periods of time and care for the kids herself. In September 2009, CYFD’s Protective Services Division recommended that Sotelo remain as guardian of the two kids. Synthia subsequently gave Sotelo a letter granting her permission to take the children to Phoenix, where they were going to live with Sotelo and her daughter, Shana Smith.

In March 2011, two months after they moved to Phoenix, a CYFD caseworker contacted Sotelo and said Synthia wanted her children back and they were to be returned to a CYFD office in Albuquerque. The family complied.

Over the years, Synthia would periodically show up on the doorstep of her father’s and stepmother’s home asking for money, “or she’d go to the neighbors’ homes and make up stories about how she needed money for daycare, and promising them that me and her dad would pay them back later,” said the stepmother. Synthia usually came without Omaree or his siblings and was deceptive about where the children were. “She was a pathological liar. It was just constant.”

The stepmother said she only recently got to see Synthia’s two younger children for the first time. After Omaree’s death, they were removed from the home where they lived with their mother and Steve Casaus, and are currently in CYFD custody.

Casaus got out of prison in 2010, where he had been incarcerated on a multitude of charges, including drug trafficking and possession, and transfer of stolen vehicles.

While trafficking in drugs was part of their criminal history, the stepmother said she can’t recall that Synthia or Casaus ever held a job. The family did, however, get some public assistance, the stepmother said. Synthia had gotten Omaree qualified for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, and the family received food stamps and were on other programs, though she wasn’t sure what those were.

“So he (Casaus) gets out (of prison) and all of a sudden they’re one big happy family,” the stepmother said. “That’s when they rented that house on Comanche” – the house where Omaree Varela was found cold and unresponsive by police after allegedly being stomped to death by his mother.

“Do you know what it’s like to sit in a funeral home making burial arrangements for a 9-year-old child? It’s the most horrible thing we’ve ever had to do. I think about it all the time. I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning asking myself, ‘How the hell did this happen?’ ”



ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Despite telling people he’d rather “shoot it out” with law enforcement than return to jail, an armed Steve Casaus was arrested Monday and charged with a host of violations — some of which may result in federal prosecution.
Casaus, 41, is the stepfather of Omaree Varela, the 9-year-old boy who was allegedly kicked to death by his mother last December, and who was caught during a recorded 911 emergency call last June directing an abusive and obscenity-laden verbal tirade against the child.
At the time of his arrest on Monday, Casaus had an active felony warrant for a probation violation. A convicted felon, he also had in his possession a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun, a quantity of methamphetamine and $17,000 cash, according to Albuquerque Police spokeswoman Tasia Martinez.
APD narcotics detectives received information that Casaus was selling methamphetamine, was armed and had told several people that he would “shoot it out” with officers before returning to jail.
APD set up an undercover purchase that resulted in his arrest at 4:30 p.m. near the intersection of Juan Tabo and Menaul NE.
Also responding to the scene were agents from Homeland Security Investigations. Agency spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa said the arrest was part of a “border enforcement security task force investigation.” She could not provide further details.
Casaus was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center and booked for being in possession of a controlled substance, and for the outstanding warrant for failure to comply with the terms of his probation stemming from a drug arrest in March.
Casaus remained in jail Tuesday on a $5,000 cash or surety bond.
Martinez said the case will be forwarded to the US Attorney’s Office for review and possible federal prosecution.
In addition, a police case against Casaus in connection with the death of Omaree Varela has been submitted by APD investigators to the District Attorney’s Office in Bernalillo County. That case is currently under review, DA Office spokeswoman Kayla Anderson said Tuesday.



Gregory Livingston, 31, and Stalatus Grundy, 42, both of Texarkana Ark were arrested in Foreman after Arkansas State Police and South Central Drug Task Force officers were working in Foreman for the purpose of purchasing methamphetamine.

According to the report, Livingston and Grundy allegedly delivered one ounce of methamphetamine to a cooperating individual in Foreman.

After the delivery was made the subjects were stopped and arrested by officers with the Arkansas State Police and Little River County Sheriff’s Office.

At the time of arrest Officers seized $1735 dollars from the suspects which included the $1300 which was used to purchase the methamphetamine.

Both Livingston and Grundy were charged with Delivery of Methamphetamine and a$50,000 bond was set on each suspect.

On Tuesday, April 8, both suspects appeared in Little River County Circuit Court for a first appearance.

Both suspects are still incarcerated at this time.



GOLDSBORO, N.C.Deputies arrested a Newton Grove woman following an investigation into the illegal manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine in the Goldsboro/Wayne County area.


31-year-old Wanda Larue Long is charged with 7 counts of Possess / Distribute Methamphetamine Precursor.

Long is accused of purchasing pseudoephedrine and using it to manufacture methamphetamine.

She was arrested and placed in the Wayne County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond.



City de-addiction centre registers first female meth addicts; parts of Kothrud, Kalyani Nagar, Shivaji Nagar and Aundh have caught the attention of the narco dept

I was bored with brown sugar. It made me drowsy. I wanted to be perked up and concentrate on my studies better,” said 18-year-old Heeba (name changed), a girl from Mumbai’s upmarket neighbourhood of Versova. Today, completely wasted, anorexic, dark circles under her eyes and mumbling broken sentences, she is one of the first female addicts of methamphetamine to surface in Pune’s de-addiction centres. “I took to meth (methamphetamine) eight months ago.

Heeba and Ameera at the de-addiction centre on Tuesday

Unlike brown sugar, meth helped me concentrate on my studies, kept me alert, happy and increased my thinking ability. Before I knew it I was an addict. I spent between Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000 a month on procuring the drug, with it costing Rs 2,500 a gram,” Heeba added. But the abuse cost her far heavier than the money she was expending.

“On days I could not access meth, the reality of my health confronted me. I started skipping meals, living off fruit juices that helped to energise me,” she recalled. Methamphetamine, clearly, the new substance in town, has been making its presence felt only in the past one year with a trickling in of addicts at the detoxification centres, most of them male.

Heeba, who regularly comes to the city, came to Practical Life Skills Mental Health and Rehab Centre at Pashan, accompanied by her fellow addict Ameera (name changed), another resident of Andheri. In fact, it was Ameera who introduced Heeba to meth. “I started doing meth nine months ago after breaking up with my fiance, who along with his family had duped my parents of Rs 2.5 crore.

Unable to cope with my depression I took to drugs and moved to meth. It made me euphoric,” Ameera explained. With her parents never questioning her spending habits she was spending Rs 1 lakh a month on the drug. Alarmed with Heeba’s deteriorating health her parents sat her down for a talk. Convinced she needed help, she turned to Ameera and coaxed her to join in with her detox efforts.

Ameera’s parents were informed too. Soon, on the advice of their Pune friends, they landed at Pashan. Heeba and Ameera used to largely source their supply of meth from agents lurking in nooks and crannies of Millat Nagar but when in Pune their friends at Koregaon Park were not short on supply. The two insist that the friends too procured the substance from Mumbai.

But Sunil Tambe, police inspector (PI), anti-narcotics cell of Pune police’ crime branch, confirms that white powder that is snorted by addicts is doing the rounds in the city too. “We received a circular just six months ago from the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai, mentioning a new drug becoming popular with the youth. This was methamphetamine.

We are yet to seize the drug in the city but have identified pockets in Kothrud, Kalyani Nagar, Patil Estate of Shivaji Nagar and Aundh for surveillance and are looking to spring surprise raids,” Tambe told Mirror. “Methamphetamine is a drug that stimulates one’s central nervous system. It is popularly referred to as speed and is very akin to cocaine. Its severe adverse effects (SAE) include anorexia and dermatological complications.

Also overdose can lead to cardiac arrest,” informed Indrajit Deshmukh, project head at the Pashan Centre. It also leads to insomnia, psychological aberrations such as paranoia, hallucination and hyperactivity. “In the last five years that we have been around we have not had any cases,” said Prafulla Mohite, the project coordinator at Nishigandh, the women’s wing of Muktangan. She, however, added that Muktangan’s experience with meth-addicts has also been limited to a few in the past year.

►► We are yet to seize the drug in the city but have identified pockets for surveillance and are looking to spring surprise raids

KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich (April 22, 2014) – Officers from several law enforcement agencies say 13 suspected ‘one-pot’ meth labs were found in a garage in Comstock Township following a Tuesday morning raid.

According to a release, deputies obtained a search warrant for a home in the 4200 block of North 26th Street after receiving information of possible meth production.

Deputies were assisted by Portage Public Safety, Kalamazoo Township Police and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers during the search.

Multiple byproducts of meth production were also found during the search, according to officials.

Deputies say charges are going to be submitted to the Prosecutor’s office for a Kalamazoo resident once the investigation is completed. The person’s name hasn’t been released.


Four children — all age 15 or younger — have been placed in the custody of the Department of Social Services after Moore County Sheriff’s investigators found them in a home where methamphetamine was being manufactured, according to a release from sheriff’s office.


On April 21, detectives from the sheriff’s office narcotics unit arrested Steven Lee Summers, 39, and Deborah Kay Summers, 44, both of 245 Lakeview Lane, Cameron. Both were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, 3 counts of possession of methamphetamine precursors, 3 counts felony conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possess with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver methamphetamine, maintain a place to keep/manufacture controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of Schedule II (Oxycodone) and four counts of child abuse.

Steven Summers was also charged with 3 counts of exceeding or attempting to exceed Federal Pseudoephedrine Compliance Laws.

Deborah Summers was also charged with 8 counts of exceeding or attempting to exceed Federal Pseudoephedrine Compliance Laws.

Steven Summers received a $75,000 secured bond and was placed in the Moore County Detention Center.

Deborah Summers received a $105,000 secured bond and was placed in the Moore County Detention Center.

The arrest stemmed from an investigation in which detectives went to 245 Lakeview Lane, Cameron with arrest warrants on two individuals for exceeding or attempting to exceed the Federal Pseudoephedrine Compliance Law. While Detectives were at the residence Detectives observed items to manufacture methamphetamine, according to the news release.

Moore County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and discovered the individuals had been manufacturing methamphetamine inside the residence.

During the investigation it was determined that four children, from one year of age to 15 years of age, were in the residence with the individuals during the times Methamphetamine was being manufactured. The children were not related to the individuals who were arrested. Currently the children are in the care of Moore County Department of Social Services.

Agents from the North Carolina State Bureau Investigation Clandestine Lab Unit, NCSBI Fayetteville Field Division, Moore County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Response Team, Moore County Emergency Medical Services, Cranes Creek Fire Department and Moore County Department of Social Service assisted in the investigation and search.

During the investigation Officers seized items to manufacture methamphetamine, a small amount of methamphetamine, one Oxycodone prescription pill (schedule II controlled substance) and items of drug paraphernalia.



A 28-year-old man who moved to the Rogue Valley almost two months ago allegedly to sell methamphetamine locally faces drug charges after a police raid at his White City house netted nearly $120,000 worth of methamphetamine, authorities said.

Victor Galvan-Solorio was taken down after a nearly two month investigation during a Friday raid at his house on the 8000 block of Division Road, where 6 pounds of methamphetamine was seized, police said.

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“This individual set up shop in town to deal these drugs in the Rogue Valley,” said Lt. Kevin Walruff, who oversees the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team investigating the case.

“Normally, when we see this amount of methamphetamine, it’s passing through,” Walruff said. “This is a significant amount for in this valley.”

Galvan-Solorio was arraigned this afternoon in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of possession, manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance. Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ravassipour set his bail at $1 million and ordered Galvan-Solorio back in court for a preliminary hearing April 28.

Galvan-Solorio remained held today to the Jackson County Jail, where he has been since Friday’s arrest.

Galvan-Solorio showed up on MADGE’s radar screen about 1 1/2 months ago, Walruff said. Their subsequent investigation led to the serving of Friday’s search warrant, he said.

Also seized were $30,000 cash and police found scales and packaging at the residence, according to MADGE.

Methamphetamine is selling on the street in the Rogue Valley for $18,000 to $20,000 per pound, Walruff said.

Also at the scene were two cars that contained traps for hiding drugs during transport, Walruff said. The traps, which he declined to describe, were rendered inoperable but the vehicles were not seized, he said.

Galvan-Solorio was from the Southern California area and the methamphetamine traveled into Oregon from California, but its exact origin was not yet known, Walruff said.

MADGE detectives are still running down leads developed from the search, Walruff said.

Federal customs and Homeland Security Investigations joined MADGE detectives in Friday’s raid.

Deputies with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department apprehended two alleged meth cooks after they fled during a meth lab raid on Monday, according to law enforcement officials.

Michael Duane Smith, 23, of Logtown Road in Dayton, and William Dean Langston, 24, of Ann Street in Dayton, were both apprehended Monday after deputies received a call about possible drug activity at a vacant lot in the Morgantown area.

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“We did receive information on suspicious activity at a vacant property,” RCSD Deputy Charlie Jenkins said. “When officers arrived, [Smith and Langston] ran out of the back of an outbuilding on the property.”

After deputies gave chase, Jenkins said Smith was apprehended almost immediately after attempting to flee into some nearby woods. However, Langston was not apprehended until nearly 10 minutes later.

Jenkins said Langston was arrested after he exited the woods and was found on property near the vacant lot.

“[Langston] stated he was scared and that’s why he ran,” Jenkins said.

After searching the two suspects as well as the outbuilding, deputies found an active meth lab and called officials with the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force to assist with cleanup.

“The meth lab was dismantled, and the hazardous materials were disposed of,” Jenkins said.

Smith was charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and evading arrest.

Langston was charged with criminal trespassing, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and evading arrest.

Both Smith and Langston were booked into the Rhea County Jail, where bond was set at $75,000 for both of the men, according to jail records.

They were still incarcerated as of press time Tuesday.



A Washington man was found allegedly carrying $15,000 worth of methamphetamine in a backpack aboard the Southeast Alaska ferry system on Monday morning.

Charging documents said that Alaska State Troopers got a call around 6:45 a.m. Monday from the Alaska Marine Highway System regarding “suspected drug activity” involving Kenneth R. Bradley of Washington state and his traveling companion aboard the M/V Kennecott heading from Bellingham, Wash., to Ketchikan.


Troopers found that Bradley, 49, had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest for a 1996 reckless endangerment charge in Anchorage. When the ferry reached the Ketchikan terminal, troopers boarded the ship and arrested him.

Just before his arrest, Bradley tried to discard a glass “crack pipe,” which was located where he had been standing moments before, the charges said. Bradley allegedly admitted the pipe was his, and said he had been smoking crack cocaine prior to boarding the ferry. A test of the pipe came back positive for cocaine, according to the charging documents.

Bradley carried two black backpacks aboard the ferry. He told troopers that they belonged to his traveling companion and he just had clothing in the bags, while his companion said the bags belonged to Bradley. A K-9 sniffed the backpacks and indicated there were controlled substances inside, so troopers obtained a search warrant for the bags.

Inside one of the bags, troopers found a cellophane-wrapped ball hidden among socks and clothes. Inside the ball was a bag containing more than two ounces of a substance identified as methamphetamine, along with 32 small plastic baggies, each containing suspected meth. Troopers weighed four of the baggies and found each contained a third of a gram of the suspected drug. The total estimated value of all the seized drugs was $15,000, according to the charging documents.

Bradley was charged with two felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance, and faces an arraignment in Ketchikan.

Bradley has 20 Oregon felony convictions between 1997 and 2004, a felony warrant out for his arrest in California for “dangerous drugs” in 2007, a felony conviction in Washington for controlled substances in 2008, and 24 misdemeanor convictions in Alaska between 1983 and 1994, the charging documents said.



NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Police discovered illegal drugs inside a Goodlettsville motel room following reports of drug activity in the area.


Police executed a search warrant on a room at America’s Best Value Inn on Rivergate Parkway. They found meth in several forms, including inside a hypodermic needle, as well as four bags of marijuana.

Three people were arrested, including one woman during a traffic stop. Names were not immediately known.




A St. George woman was charged with second-degree felony child endangerment on accusations that she used meth while pregnant.

In charges filed Monday, police wrote that the woman, 24, delivered the baby last week after 39 weeks of pregnancy.

“Being that her child was only 39 weeks gestational age, it was surmised that the use of methamphetamine caused [the woman] to go into labor,” police wrote.

The baby was delivered by emergency C-section due to medical problems.

The mother admitted to medical staff and police that she is addicted to methamphetamine and used the drug while pregnant, according to charges.

Police did not discuss the health of the baby. Blood was drawn from the mother and the baby and may be tested for drug levels.

Dallas police arrested a man and woman on drug charges Sunday after a traffic stop in Pleasant Grove turned up methamphetamine.

Blake Long, 26, and Megan Archer, 25, were pulled over around 3:30 p.m. in the 6000 block of Hollis Avenue for not having a front license plate, police reports said.


Officers searched Long’s 2000 gold Saturn after finding a baggie containing what appeared to be meth in the front pocket of his pants, according to a police report.

“These aren’t my pants,” he told police, records show.

Officers also found three large baggies of meth in a Manzanita Sol bottle, along with multiple empty baggies and a scale.

Long and Archer were charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance and were being held in the Dallas County Jail. Long’s bail was set at $100,000, while Archer’s is pending.




A Dodge County couple who told police they were trying to escape from Fremont because the town was sinking into the earth pleaded guilty to meth charges Monday in Dodge County District Court.

Robert Radin, 26, and Rochelle Radin, 28, both of Fremont pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a Class IV felony.

Dodge County Attorney Oliver Glass told the court that around 3:45 a.m. March 15 a deputy with the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office on a routine patrol near Old Highway 275 and Morningside Road observed a purple Mustang parked for a period of time in the middle of a gas station parking lot. Glass said the deputy noticed there were two adults and two children in the vehicle when he went to check on the welfare of the occupants.

When the deputy made contact with the driver, later identified as Robert Radin, Radin told the deputy he was trying to get his family out of Fremont because it was going to sink into the earth.

When the deputy took Radin to a cruiser, his wife, Rochelle Radin gave authorities a metal dish containing meth. The couple later admitted they used meth between March 14 and 15.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered in each of the defendants’ cases, and, pending their application to drug court, a sentencing hearing was scheduled for June 23.





An Aiken man said he found bags containing materials to make methamphetamine near the back of his home, according to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies were called to a home on the 100 block of Missy Lane at about 2 p.m. on Sunday, according to a sheriff’s report. The homeowner told them he found a backpack and a duffel bag “with products in them to make drugs.”

The homeowner said the bags belonged to a male suspect, who has been living with his daughter in a shed at the back of the home, police said. The two suspects have reportedly been seen in a wooded area near the back of the home late at night and early in the morning.

The case has been turned over to narcotics investigators.