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The Mono County Narcotics Enforcement Team (MONET), along with the assistance of the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, and the Inyo County Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET), concluded a narcotics investigation in the Town of Mammoth Lakes.


During the past couple of weeks, as part of a continuous narcotics investigation, MONET agents, along with the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, were following leads regarding a local methamphetamine distributor around the Town of Mammoth Lakes. With information of a pending narcotics sale, MONET agents observed Juan Manuel Vargas Gutierrez, age 21, of Bishop, CA, meet with a female, in his parked vehicle, in a parking lot. The female purchased one ounce of methamphetamine from Mr. Gutierrez and his mother, Maria Socorro Vargas Gomez, age 39, also of Bishop, CA. The transaction was completed and Mr. Gutierrez drove away.

Mr. Gutierrez then met with a juvenile in another parking lot, outside of his vehicle, and exchanged six (6) bindles of methamphetamine to the juvenile. Mr. Gutierrez returned to his vehicle and drove away. Mammoth Lakes Police Officers conducted a traffic stop on his vehicle. Mr. Gutierrez and Ms. Gomez were placed under arrest and transported to the Mammoth Lakes Police Department without incident.

Upon questioning of Mr. Gutierrez, he stated he and his mother had driven to Mammoth Lakes from Bishop with the intent to sell and distribute methamphetamine. He stated he had provided methamphetamine to the juvenile before, as the juvenile helped Mr. Gutierrez distribute the methamphetamine. A search warrant was obtained for the resident of the juvenile where the six (6) bindles of methamphetamine were discovered and recovered from inside the handle bars of the juvenile’s scooter. Juvenile probation was contacted and took the juvenile into custody without incident. A second search warrant was obtained by the Inyo County Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET), for Mr. Gutierrez’s resident in Bishop. INET agents discovered and recovered additional methamphetamine, a digital scale, and additional packing materials from the residence. The total methamphetamine recovered from this incident was approximately thirty (30) ounces. Mr. Gutierrez and Ms. Gomez were transported and booked into the Mono County Jail in Bridgeport without incident.

Juan Manuel Vargas Gutierrez, age 21, of Bishop, CA, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance; possession of a controlled substance for sale; transportation of a controlled substance; using a minor as a selling agent; and conspiracy to commit a crime. Mr. Gutierrez is currently in custody. Maria Socorro Vargas Gomez, age 39, of Bishop, CA, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance; possession of a controlled substance for sale; transportation of a controlled substance; and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The juvenile was arrested for possession of a controlled substance; possession of a controlled substance for sale; and transportation of a controlled substance.

All charges for this incident are pending with the Mono County District Attorney’s Office.




More commonly known by the street names speed, ice or crystal meth, both amphetamine and methamphetamine belong to a group of stimulant drugs called amphetamines.

Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world and the highest use among English-speaking countries. Around 2.5% of Australians over 14 years  – around half a million people – have used methamphetamine in the last year. This rate is three- to five-times higher than the USA, Canada (0.5%) or the UK (1%).

But what exactly is methamphetamine? And if so many Australians are using it, how is addiction or dependence treated?

Historical uses

Amphetamine was first synthesized in the late 1800s. No medical use was found until the late 1920s, after which amphetamines became widely available as an over-the-counter drug in the form of an inhaler, much like a ventolin inhaler is today.

Methamphetamine was first synthesized shortly after amphetamine in the late 1890s and was approved for use in the United States and other countries at the end of the second world war for treatment of a wide range of problems narcolepsy, mild depression, chronic alcoholism and hay fever.

War stockpiles of methamphetamine were released in the 1950s.


Both amphetamine and methamphetamine were used extensively in the second world war by both allied and axis forces to prevent fatigue in their combat troops.

The release of the war stockpile created the first amphetamine epidemic in the 1950s. Civilian users of both drugs began to see the recreational potential and the rise in use around the world caused many countries to ban or restrict production.

Today, amphetamines are prescription-only medicines used to treat attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy (a sleep disorder), and sometimes depression and obesity.

Occasionally prescription amphetamines, such as dexamphetamine, are also diverted to the illicit market.

Illicit use

The illegal manufacture of street amphetamines in Australia is almost exclusively methamphetamine.

Illicit methamphetamine is manufactured in local “meth labs” and also imported from South-East Asia.

The drug usually comes in powder or pills (speed) or crystalline (ice) forms. Although both can be used in many ways, speed is usually swallowed or snorted and ice is usually smoked or injected.


Methamphetamine in small to moderate doses increases energy and wakefulness, self-esteem and sociability and sexual arousal, and reduces appetite and lowers inhibitions.

Large quantities can result in paranoia and hallucinations, and a range of physical effects such as chest pain, dangerously high body temperature, muscle spasm, brain hemorrhage, heart attack and seizure.

Regular, long-term use of methamphetamine can result in dependence and neurotoxicity (damage to the brain). This is a particular risk of Australia’s 73,000 dependent users.

Crystal meth is manufactured locally in ‘meth labs’.


How it works

Methamphetamine increases the level of dopamine, the brain’s natural pleasure chemical, to ten times its normal levels. Very little else can increase dopamine like methamphetamine.

Over time, the brain stops being able to produce enough dopamine on its own. It then needs more and more to get the same high (tolerance).

When a person stops using methamphetamine, they may start to feel depressed because their dopamine system has been worn out from over-producing dopamine. This is part of the withdrawal process: when the brain misses having the drug in its system. Symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal include intense craving, anxiety, flat mood, decreased energy and motivation and problems sleeping.


Currently, the main treatment for methamphetamine dependence is cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). The main premise of CBT is that unhelpful thinking drives feelings and behaviour.

A methamphetamine user who has quit, for example, might think, “I can’t cope with these cravings,” and go back to using. CBT would teach them to identify and modify those thoughts that lead to relapse. A new thought might be, “these cravings are hard, but if I wait the feeling will go away.”

CBT has been show to be effective, even in small “doses” of two to four sessions.

However, methamphetamine users are often reluctant to seek treatment. The lack of an effective pharmaceutical therapy is considered a significant barrier to getting methamphetamine users into treatment.

Drug development

The search for a medicine to treat methamphetamine dependence has been ongoing for the best part of two decades. More than 18 different drugs have been trialed but none have been approved for methamphetamine treatment. While some of these medicines have shown some effects for some users, none have shown a big enough or widespread enough effect to be considered broadly useful.

One of the difficulties in finding an effective medicine is that methamphetamine can have a very complex action in the brain, affecting (and damaging) many systems, including reward pathways and multiple systems that control thinking, memory, attention and mood.

Now the US Food and Drug Administration has reportedly fast-tracked human tests of a potential new treatment after UCLA researchers conducted tests that showed that this new drug is safe for people who use methamphetamine, and seemed to reduce craving and improve brain functioning.

The new drug, ibudilast, is an anti-inflammatory substance that is used to treat asthma and stroke in Japan, and is thought to reduce reward from the activation of the dopamine system.

But the current UCLA ibudilast trial is in the early stages of development. Further investigations are still needed to see whether the medicine helps reduce or stop methamphetamine use, before it can be considered for general use.

The testing of any promising medicine is a crucial step forward for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence. Many drugs have previously looked promising and have made it through early testing but failed to show any significant benefits for dependent amphetamine users.



MAPLE HILL, NC (WECT) – Officers responded to a home to investigate a domestic dispute and found a meth lab inside of a home where a 6-month-old child was also living.

KD Dixon, 32, and Yvonda Jean Lewis, 29, live in a home off of Gurganus Rd in Maple Hill. When officers responded to a domestic dispute, they found a “One Pot” Methamphetamine Lab in clear sight.


Officers removed everyone from the home and called in the Narcotics Unit for help. They removed an active “One Pot” Meth Lab and several precursor chemicals from the house.

The infant was transported to the Onslow Memorial Hospital for decontamination and a physical examination.

Dixon and Lewis were both charged with:

  • Felony PWIMSD SCH II CS (Methamphetamine).
  • Felony Maintain Vehicle/Dwelling/Place for CS.
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Misdemeanor Child Abuse by Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals.



A Silt woman arrested at least twice last year for possessing methamphetamine was nabbed again Thursday night for the same offense, this time as she was reportedly on her way to sell the drug, authorities announced today.

Jennifer Hines, 27, was arrested by deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office’s Street Crimes Unit around 8 p.m. after deputies conducted a traffic stop in the 400 block of 30 Road. Hines was booked into the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and various traffic violations, the Sheriff’s Office said.


Deputies said Hines tried to hide more than 14 grams of meth inside a body cavity, then admitted she intended to sell it on Orchard Mesa for $600.

The Sheriff’s Office said Grand Junction police arrested Hines twice last year for possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. She was booked into the Mesa County Jail a total of five times last year.

In addition to her most recent meth possession charge, she was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on traffic violations and intent to distribute methamphetamine, a class 2 felony charge. Initially, Jennifer attempted to hide the more than 14 grams of meth in her body cavity, but self admitted she had it with the intent to sell it in Orchard Mesa, for an estimate $600.00, before deputies conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle she was driving in the 400 block of 30 Road, Grand Junction.

Jennifer was booked five times into the Mesa County Detention Facility in 2013. This is her first jail booking in Mesa County in 2014.


Middle Georgia Methamphetamine Organization Dismantled

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that a major methamphetamine organization has been dismantled on January 16, 2014, Shawn Foster Phillips, age 35, of Bibb County, Marty Bass, age 51, of Bibb County, and Jonathan McBride, age 39, of Houston County, appeared in federal court and entered guilty pleas to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Travis Walker McElhenny, age 40, of Houston County, entered a plea of guilty to possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine- John Rylander, age 32, of Houston County, entered a plea of guilty to possession of methamphetamine. Chad Minter, age 39, of Houston County, appeared in court on January 21, 2014 and entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. The guilty pleas were entered before U.S. District Court Judge Marc T. Treadwell in Macon, Georgia.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years confinement. The charge of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine carries a maximum penalty of a mandatory minimum of 10 years, up to life in prison. The possession charge carries a penalty of up to 12 months incarceration. The Court has scheduled sentencing for April 9, 2014 in Macon, Georgia.

As a part of their guilty pleas, the respective defendants admitted that between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012, Mr. Phillips traveled from Warner Robins, Georgia, to Atlanta, Georgia, to obtain methamphetamine from a source of supply. The drugs were transported by Mr. Phillips from Atlanta to Warner Robins where they were sold to Mr. Rylander, Mr. Bass, Mr. McBride, Mr, McElhenny, and others in the Warner Robins area. These men in turn sold the methamphetamine to street level dealers. Conservative estimates suggest that during its operation, the organization distributed more than 50 kilograms of methamphetamine. Federal and state authorities seized 250 grains of methamphetamine and three firearms. The Government anticipates that additional indictments will be filed targeting other members of the organization.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, and Houston County Sheriffs Department- Assistant U.S, Attorney Charles L. Calhoun is prosecuting the case.

US Attorney Michael Moore stated, “My office will continue to target and dismantle these types of drug trafficking organizations. Methamphetamine use and distribution poses a significant threat to the public and must be vigorously prosecuted.”



HIGH FALLS — A meth lab has been destroyed in the High Falls community in Moore County, just a few miles from where an indoor marijuana-growing operation was discovered last week. Authorities say there is no connection and the locations were only incidental to each other.


Moore County Sheriff’s investigator Capt. Charles Ritter said Moore, Randolph and Chatham counties were working together to investigate an increased number of crime reports in the Bennett area where the three counties intersect.


The methamphetamine lab was located at 108 Hall Lane, Bennett, on Jan. 22. Two residents of the mobile home, Scotty Lee Hall, 34, and Melissa Ann Nelson, 34, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of possession of methamphetamine precursors, possession of methamphetamine, trafficking opium, possess with intent to sell/deliver Schedule II oxycodone, maintaining a place to keep controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hall is in the Moore County detention center under a $250,000 secured bond and Nelson received a $175,000 secured bond.

Capt. Ritter said this is the first meth lab found in Moore County this year and was part of an investigation involving the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Agents from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation Clandestine Lab Unit, NCSBI Fayetteville Field Division; Moore County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Response Team; Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms; High Falls Fire & Rescue; and Moore County Public Safety assisted in the investigation and search.

At the residence on Hall Lane, officers seized items to manufacture methamphetamine, a small amount of methamphetamine, nine Oxycodone pills and items of drug paraphernalia.

Ritter said investigators were unable to determine how long the lab had been in operation nor where the meth might have been distributed.

Even though the residence was in a mobile home park with close neighbors, Ritter said there was no danger to the neighbors from fumes or chemicals. Meth labs are volatile and can explode.

A Hazmat team neutralized the chemicals used to manufacture the methamphetamine on the scene so the substances could be safely transported.







Probe uncovers that Australians were unknowingly aiding laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars abroad.

Australia’s largest money-laundering investigation reveals that Hezbollah and  other terrorist groups are gaining some of the profits from illegal drug  sales.

The investigation, called Project Eligo, uncovered that  Australians were unknowingly aiding the laundering of hundreds of millions of  dollars, according to a report on Thursday in the Sydney Morning  Herald.

“It was just never-ending…We were regularly finding bags of  $500,000 and $400,000,” said Australian Crime Commission’s acting operations  manager Col Blanch.

So far authorities have seized $26 million in cash,  $30m. in assets, and over $530m. in drugs.
Jonathan Schanzer, vice  president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and former  terrorism finance analyst at the US Department of the Treasury, told The  Jerusalem Post that “there are many other operations like this around the world.  Some have been discovered – including a handful two years ago in Latin America  and West Africa that even had a link to businesses in the United States – but  many have not.”

“These schemes have been of increased importance to the  group in recent years as Iran’s disposable income has dried up, due to financial  sanctions imposed in response to the Iranian nuclear program,” Schanzer  said.

He went on to add that “the nexus between organized crime and drugs  represents a real liability,” as it is “difficult to claim one is fighting in  the name of God while simultaneously engaging in mafia activity.”
This  could become a public relations liability, Schanzer said.
The overlap  between organized crime and terror financing of radical Islamic groups has long  been a known fundraising method.
Matthew Levitt, author of Hezbollah: The  Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God and a senior fellow and director of  the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Stein Program on Counter-  terrorism and Intelligence, writes that the Shi’ite group is able to tap into  the Lebanese diaspora for financial and logistical support.
For example,  its operations in Africa “operate with near impunity because crime and  corruption are endemic to Africa,” he says.
“In several African  countries, a 2010 US Federal Research Division survey found, Lebanese with  suspected or known ties to Hezbollah were associating themselves with key  military and government officials and even heads of state, to become financial  advisers and confidants,” said Levitt.



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a house where the former owners went to jail for making methamphetamine and one the city was planning to tear down.

Now neighbors are wondering why the Cedar Hills home is being renovated.

A sign outside the house reads, “Condemned. Do not enter.” However, city permits say putting a new roof on the home is OK, even though the city said last summer the house was going to be torn down.

Neighbor Frank Pagington said months ago he was fed up with the home.

“I made the statement that I would burn the house down,” Pagington said. “Yes, I would totally burn it down.”

He said the reason is that since the city raided the house and arrested its residents on meth charges, nothing had happen. The lawn became overgrown and a big mess.

At that time the city said the house was slated for demolition. But instead of seeing bulldozers, Pagington said now he’s been seeing hammers as workers have been fixing up the house.

Pagington said he hopes the house doesn’t become a problem again.

“I want somebody to come in and buy this building and be good neighbors, but right now I’ve seen this happen so many times over and over again,” he said.

Pagington said when he checked with the city’s Code Enforcement Office, it was not aware of what was going on.

According to records with Duval County Property Appraiser’s Office, the home is now owned by JWB Real Estate, and a division of that company is doing the renovations on the house, which was sold in November for $7,500.

City records show the house was taken off the demolition list in October, but it’s unclear why.

Pagington said he still has his doubts and hopes this time the house will turn around.

“I have seen this happen so many times before and it does not get fixed,” he said.

The owner of the company that owns the house said it did put on a new roof and maybe should have waited until it got clearance.

But as for those inside, he said they are people who are certified and that should not be a problem. He said some tests came back earlier that showed contamination but they are cleaning it up now.



SWANTON, Vt. - A fight in Swanton led police to an alleged meth lab. The men involved were working on the Vermont Natural Gas Pipeline. Court papers claim that drugs may have been on site and that pipeline workers were allegedly high on the job.

What began as an argument between two roommates led police to a meth lab in Swanton.


“Disagreement broke out between Mr. Davis and Mr. Hollis, and Mr. Davis assaulted Mr. Hollis. Mr. Hollis brought that to the attention of the police, and that led to them both being arrested,” Franklin County State’s Attorney Jim Hughes said.

Dustin Hollis, 25, and Charles Davis, 45, were already being monitored by Vermont State Police since November for allegedly buying lithium batteries, household lye, drain opener and other common ingredients to make meth. But it was a fight between the two men and Hollis’ call to police that eventually led investigators to his home.

“That led to an interrogation, and then led to a search warrant of the home and the vehicles, where some other materials that are used in the cooking of methamphetamine was located,” said Hughes.

The out-of-state men were living in a rented home in Swanton while in Vermont for work. Court papers show that the men were making meth out of the basement. Hughes says the operation was small.

“It’s not typically a big money maker; it’s to supply habits. So it looks like these guys were cooking and using. And potentially supplying other people that were working on the job site,” said Hughes.

At the time of their arrests, both Davis and Hollis were working for C&G Pipeline, a company contracted by Vermont Gas to build the natural gas pipeline through Franklin County. Vermont Gas says both men were working on the pipeline, one as a welder and the other as an welding assistant.

The two men may not have been the only ones on the crew allegedly using drugs. According to court papers Davis’ girlfriend and co-worker, Adonia Grant, claims that most of the people working the pipeline were using meth.

Grant also claims that Hollis was fired from the job but was rehired after he agreed with the C&G foreman that he would make him more meth.

“We’re obviously disappointed that this would happen. The project is too important,” said Marc Teixeira, the vice president of operations for Vermont Gas.

Vermont Gas officials say the company is now calling in a third party to investigate the allegations about drugs use, and make sure the natural gas pipeline stretching five miles from St. Albans to Georgia has not been compromised.

“We already have protocols in place when we build the pipeline that look over what the welders do. Everything from the visual inspection of the weld, then we have a third party not associated with the contractor come and examine the weld,” said Teixeira.

In a statement received by WCAX News, C&G Pipeline says the company is conducting an internal investigation to make sure all safety protocols were followed. The company also says that any claims that workers were on meth is just not true.



GRAYSON CO., Va. – Another meth lab bust that shows methamphetamine is a problem in nearly every region of our viewing area.

The Grayson Inn and Suites in the tiny town of Independence is where the latest meth arrest took place.

Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughn spoke with me inside his office.


“Most of our meth in this area is trafficked in from super-labs in Florida and Mexico and we see a great deal of it,” Vaughn said.

Methamphetamine is a blue collar drug, meaning it’s cheap to make; Draino, lantern fuel, anti freeze and battery acid.

Police say last Friday, a police dog sniffed out that drug smell from the motel room.

“We called in a canine officer,” said Vaughn “and searched the outside area of the motel and it hit on a motel room. During a search warrant we ended up seizing 3 ounces of methamphetamine.”

Inside the room, police say they found meth and prescription pills.

Tabitha Phipps, Tara Kennedy, Angela Clontz, Timothy Clontz, and Bradley Cox were flushing the drugs down the toilet. All were arrested and hit with drug charges.

Last month, a gas station in Christiansburg was sealed off until hazardous material teams removed meth found inside a car.

Statistics show most meth-heads are white, working-class folks. Sheriff Vaughn said meth has been a steady problem in his county.

“You know sometimes we’ve made major methamphetamine busts of up to two pounds of methamphetamine just right here in Grayson County,” Vaughn said.

That was within the past couple of years, according to Vaughn.

So how did investigators retrieve the evidence the suspects flushed down the toilet?

Vaughn said maintenance workers pulled out the commode and the drugs were right there, clogging up the toilet.


Five suspects have been arrested on drug charges at a Grayson County motel. Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan said in a news release that county deputies recently observed suspicious activity during the early morning hours at Grayson Inn & Suites on Rainbow Circle in Independence. Cpl. Alan Graham, along with deputies Jordan Johnson and Eric Testerman and drug-sniffing dog Gauge, investigated the case further. Suspects tried to dispose of meth, but police seized clogged toilet. Vaughan said that, while conducting exterior sniffs of motel room doors, Gauge gave a positive alert for the odor of narcotics coming from one of the hotel rooms. Investigator Adam Horton obtained a search warrant for the room. While knocking on the door, officers heard the sound of running water and the commode flushing. Once inside the motel room, it was determined that the commode was stopped up. Vaughan said the commode was removed by members of the Grayson County Maintenance Department, and three ounces of methamphetamine were recovered. The Twin County Drug Task Force responded to the motel to assist with the investigation. According to Vaughan, the investigation netted the arrest of five subjects, the seizure of three ounces of meth, seizure of prescription medication and drug paraphernalia and more than $1,200 in cash. Five suspects were arrested and transported by the New River Valley Regional Jail, including: • Bradley Evan Cox, 31, of Powerhouse Road, Independence • Timothy Eric Clontz, 33, and Angela Danielle Clontz, 30, both of Gooseberry Lane in Fries • Tara Danette Kennedy, 34, Old Quaker Road, Galax • Tabitha Rose Phipps, 33, Beaver Dam Road, Independence. Cox was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a schedule II drug (meth), the Clontzes each were charged with attempted possession of a controlled substance, Kennedy was charged with one count of possession of a schedule II drug, and Phipps was charged with one count of attempting to sell schedule III narcotics. “I would like to commend everyone involved with this case,” Vaughan said. “Everyone from the initial officer that started the investigation to the members of the Twin County Drug Task Force that investigated the case further did an outstanding job.” Vaughan also commented that he hoped a new bill now before the General Assembly would pass. House Bill 676 would raise the punishment for possession with the intent to distribute more than 28 grams of methamphetamine to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in the Virginia Department of Corrections.

HAVANA -  A 64-year-old Topeka man faces serious methamphetamine production charges after neighbors complained to the Mason County Sheriff’s Office about the chemical smells coming from the man’s house.
Responding to the smell complaint, a sheriff’s office detective and a deputy knocked on the door at 21990 Hickory St. Sunday after learning that the owner of the house, Gary R. Bookout, had purchased pseudoephedrine cold pills from a Havana pharmacy Jan. 14.
Topeka man faces man's house
According to court records, Bookout answered the door but refused to produce the container of pills to show that he still had them. When told that a search warrant was being prepared, Bookout said it was unnecessary and consented to show the officers his lab.
Beneath the man’s computer was a bottle filled with a smoking material, which was apparently a meth batch that was still cooking. In a closet was a cooler filled with everything needed to cook meth: lye, cold pack, ammonium nitrate, coffee filters, funnel, spoon, pliers, drain cleaner, lithium batteries and sea salt. Bookout said the cooler belonged to 24-year-old Jacob Morris, who is in jail on unrelated meth possession charges. Bookout told the officers that Morris came over about once a week to cook meth.
The officers found a video monitor connected to a camera that was trained on Hickory Street, court records said. Due to the presence of the surveillance system, Bookout has been charged with aggravated unlawful participation in methamphetamine production, which is a Class X felony that comes with a possible prison sentence of up to 30 years upon conviction. He has also been charged with simple unlawful participation in meth production and unlawful possession of meth manufacturing materials.
According to court records, Bookout constantly thanked the officers for finding him and saving his life by catching him and preventing him from doing more meth. He reportedly said he had been on the drug for six years and he wanted to stop.
In other Mason County meth news, 32-year-old William M. Bollegar of Havana faces nine counts of using a false identification to acquire meth precursors and one count of resisting a peace officer. October through January, Bollegar allegedly used a fake identification to purchase pseudoephedrine from a Havana drug store. The charges are all Class 4 felonies, each of which carries a possible prison sentence of one to three years.

A man who was allegedly high on meth grabbed the wheel of a Greyhound bus en route from Los Angeles to Dallas last night, crashing it and injuring 24 passengers.

Police are claiming that Maquel Donyel Morris, a 25-year-old man from Los Angeles, started punching the bus driver and grabbing the wheel, creating a terrifying scene where the driver and passengers tried to wrestle control of the bus away from Morris, the Los Angeles Times reports.


“He was actually hitting the bus driver—hitting him hard to the face,” passenger Gregory Frost said, according to NBC 4.  “[The driver] was saying, ‘Help me, help me. Somebody come up here and help me.’”

The bus crashed through a dirt median and stopped jest before encountering oncoming traffic on I-10 in Tonopah, Arizona, which is about 50 miles away from Phoenix, the Times reports. After the bus crashed, Morris and his girlfriend took off into the desert. They returned about a half hour later, where they were arrested by police.

Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said that Morris’ girlfriend told police that he “smoked a lot of meth” before the bus trip, City News Service reports.

Overall, 24 passengers were hurt, and three of them had to be airlifted to local hospitals.

Morris faces a long list of charges—48 counts of felony endangerment, 24 counts of assault and three counts of aggravated assault, NBC 4 reports.





PEKIN  – Another four months may pass before Stacy Maneno — the alleged meth conspirator also accused of spying on Pekin police investigators while cleaning their office — goes to trial in federal court.
Stacy Maneno
Her former husband and another man, however, have begun the prison sentences they received last week for their own conspiracy to make and sell the highly addictive and damaging drug.Chad Maneno, 42, was sentenced to five years in federal prison and Terrance Watson, 32, received a 10-year term for their roles in operating the conspiracy in Tazewell County for at least a year prior to their arrests in fall 2012.
Two others also pleaded guilty in that case earlier this month. Terry Coen, 31, remains free on bond pending his sentencing scheduled for April 23. Sentencing for Ailene Maneno, 31, Chad Maneno’s current wife, was deferred and she was accepted into the federal Central District of Illinois’ new treatment program designed to keep non-violent drug offenders from prison.
Stacy Maneno, 38, was scheduled to be tried next month in her separate federal case. The trial was continued Thursday to May 19, with a pretrial court hearing May 8. Federal prosecutors did not object to the continuance request by Maneno’s attorney.
She was arrested 13 months ago for allegedly conspiring with unidentified others to make and sell as much as 500 grams of methamphetamine. Details of her alleged drug affairs have remained general in federal court records as the case has progressed.
Within days after her arrest, however, police and prosecutors revealed their claims that Maneno not only took part in the conspiracy while working as a Pekin city custodian assigned to police headquarters, she also collected information about meth-related investigations that was left on detectives’ desks and a whiteboard in the department’s conference room.
After she was charged in federal court last January, Maneno was permitted to remain free on bond but under strict home confinement monitored by a GPS tracking device attached to her ankle.On Thursday U.S. District Judge James Shadid granted a prosecutor’s motion to remove the device.
By obeying her bond restrictions throughout the year, including home confinement and no alcohol or other drugs, she has shown federal probation officers they can remove the ankle bracelet and assign it, along with the time needed to monitor the device, to another case, the prosecutor told Shadid.
“I don’t do this lightly,” Shadid said, noting the allegations of spying on police against her. “I caution you to continue complying with all of the (bond) conditions so that I don’t have to deal with this again.”

CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. — The fourth quarter report by the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group (LANEG) shows authorities found more meth—but less marijuana—compared to the previous quarter.

From Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2014, LANEG reports officers seized 6,148.5 grams of methamphetamine, compared with 538 grams in the third quarter (July – September).

By comparison, marijuana seizures amounted to 230 grams—down from 6,235 grams in the previous quarter.

LANEG also reported seizing 11 firearms and disassembling nine meth labs between October and December.

The group credits its success to cooperation from local and surrounding law enforcement agencies and the public.

The Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group (LANEG) is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force which serves Camden, Crawford, Gasconade, Laclede, Maries, Osage, and Pulaski Counties. Additionally, the task force serves the cities of Lebanon, Osage Beach, Camdenton, Cuba, Steelville, Bourbon, Conway and Belle. The task force encompasses seven counties with an approximate population of 200,000 residents. LANEG employs four Task Force Officers and is coordinated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who additionally supplies one Trooper to the task force.



Two people were arrested on methamphetamine possession charges Monday in South Lake Tahoe after they drove their Jaguar sedan into a street post and a police K-9 found drugs in their car, a police news release says.

South Lake Tahoe police were first called to a report of a Jaguar sedan driving off Lake Tahoe Boulevard near Tata Lane and hitting a fence and street post.

The driver, 22-year-old Marleni Feuntes-Perez, of San Mateo, Calif., then switched seats with passenger Jesus Cruz-Torres, 28, South Lake Tahoe police say. The two were found moments later stopped in a nearby church parking lot, police say.

K-9 Quattro was called

Police K-9 Quattro was called to assist with the search of the vehicle and found more than 12 ounces of methamphetamine, police say.

Feuntes-Perez and Cruz-Torres were booked in El Dorado County Jail on charges of hit and run, conspiracy to commit a crime and transportation of meth.



Federal authorities have charged a Lufkin man with drug trafficking in a Jan. 17 Interstate 40 traffic stop that uncovered 42 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $2 million.

Eduardo Enriquez was charged Wednesday with possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.


On Jan. 17, Potter County sheriff’s deputies stopped a gray 2004 Cheverolet Tahoe on Interstate 40 in Potter County for following too closely to another vehicle, according to a federal criminal complaint.

After stopping the Tahoe, deputies noticed numerous criminal indicators that led them to suspect Enriquez, the sole occupant in the Tahoe, was involved in drug trafficking. When deputies were finished with the traffic stop, one of them asked for consent to search the SUV, and Enriquez agreed to the search.

A drug-sniffing dog sniffed around the Tahoe, but did not alert to the presence of narcotics. Another deputy, the complaint said, used a density meter on all the vehicle’s tires, including the spare. The spare tire indicated a high density reading, and deputies noticed it felt unusually heavy when they bounced it on the pavement,

Deputies, according to the complaint, transported the SUV to a Potter County holding facility and discovered 41 bundles of methamphetamine inside.

A DEA task force office responded to the location and read Enriquez his rights, which he agreed to waive, according to court records.

Enriquez told the officer he was in a bad economic situation and that “he only did this to make some money,” according to the complaint.

Enriquez told investigators he did not know what was in the Tahoe, nor where it was located, but clarified that he knew there was something illegal inside the vehicle.

When the DEA officer asked Enriquez for specific details, Enriquez asked for the interview to be stopped.

Enriquez will remain in custody until a bond hearing later this week.

An accidental phone call led to the arrest of five people for making meth.

McMinn Co Sheriff Joe Guy said a call came into 911 early Tuesday morning from a home on County Road 527 near Etowah.  The dispatcher could hear people talking on the other end of the line.

“It appears it was an accidental phone call,” said Sheriff Guy, “but the people around the phone were talking about their drug use, drug manufacturing and drug transactions.


Deputies were sent to the home to to check it out, and they saw meth lab components on an outside porch. No one would answer the door, but officers could see people moving around inside.  They got a search warrant, and a tactical team entered the house around 7 am.

Five people were arrested: Donna Russell, 46; John “Eddie” Dawson, 43; Danny Dawson, 42; Nicolas Smith, 26; and Jerry Moses, 52.

Inside the residence, officers found traces of methamphetamine, as well as numerous components used to make meth.  Several items of stolen property were also recovered and returned. The house was quarantined due to recent meth manufacture.

“We get very few meth lab reports from citizens compared to a few years ago,” said Sheriff Guy. “But it’s still here, and we will continue to be aggressive in stamping it out.”





PITMAN — A borough father and son are accused of attacking another man with a paintball gun, and the father also faces a methamphetamine charge after a fight on East Holly Avenue Jan. 17.

Joseph Reinek Jr., 48, was charged with aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia. His son, 23-year-old Joseph Reinek III, was charged with aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Both are scheduled to appear in Mantua Township Joint Municipal Court.

Police were dispatched at 2:15 a.m. on a report of a fight with possible gunshots fired. Cpl. Jon Streater and Ptl. Nick Barbetta were directed to the 300 block of East Holly.

There, they reported finding a 50-year-old man on the side of a home with what they called a severe cut to the forehead and a wound on his right arm.

Police said the elder Reinek had fired the paintball gun several times toward the victim and may have struck him in the arm.

His son allegedly struck the victim in the forehead with the stock of the paintball gun.

A female on the scene was charged with obstructing the administration of law and possession of methamphetamine. She, too, is scheduled to appear in the Mantua court.




CHILLICOTHE — City leaders are expected to take action next month on legislation intended to crack down on methamphetamine labs in Chillicothe.

The city’s Meth Lab Committee met Thursday afternoon to discuss a final draft of a proposed ordinance reviewed by Law Director Sherri Rutherford. If approved, the law would allow the city’s chief building official to issue an order to a property owner to pay for hazardous material cleanup and recovery efforts resulting from a meth lab on the property once it is identified by law enforcement.

Evan Steele, left, and Alan Gossman

The proposed ordinance also indicates that property owners would be required to contract with a firm for environmental testing and assessment at the site in question within 14 days once a declaration of public health hazard has been issued. In addition, property owners would be required to pay for costs incurred by agencies in identifying and testing clandestine sites, neutralizing them, paying for laboratory fees and handling cleanup services, among other items.

City Councilwoman Pat Patrick said the legislation would give the city the power needed to clean up meth labs and to let neighbors know what is occurring, in addition to making any potential renter or homeowner aware of the risks. Property owners would be forbidden to sell or lease any property considered to be a public health hazard without disclosing it.

Patrick said the main goal of the law is to “make the property owner responsive to what goes on at the property” where alleged meth activity takes place. In such instances, the city can either bring in a firm to clean up the property that would be ultimately paid for by the property owner or the property owner can do it themselves.

“Any city services involved in the declaration of a public health hazard at one of these properties, then they have to set up a fee schedule that would basically see how much it would cost in labor, in materials, to abate these nuisances,” Patrick said. “That property owner, once they’re provided with that listing, an itemized list, they’re responsible. If it’s a rental situation, they can go after the tenant to collect the money if they were the ones who caused the issue.”

The costs linked to cleaning up a meth lab vary, depending on its type and the amount of contamination, but Patrick said in cases where properties need to be condemned, property owners would be responsible for those costs as well under the proposed law.

“It legally holds them responsible to do something,” Patrick said.

The committee, which was formed last May, looked at how other cities have dealt with meth labs and met with officials from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and firms specializing in cleaning up meth lab sites.

Patrick said meetings with the public are expected to be scheduled to educate the community about the issue, which she called “a dangerous situation.”

“It’s all over the city and the fact that they can do it in vehicles now, they can do it in backpacks. It’s an issue, a tremendous issue,” she said.



PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A driver on meth left a woman severely brain damaged after a 2010 crash, and now her family is suing Clackamas County and the city of Portland for $42 million.

Cayla Wilson was five months pregnant when she was hit by a car driven by Jack Whiteaker. Police said Whiteaker was high on methamphetamine at the time.

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He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Doctors gave Wilson a 1 percent chance of survival following the crash. She survived, but it left her in a permanent vegetative state, according to her attorneys.

Her family filed a lawsuit against Clackamas County, blaming probation officers for not revoking Whiteaker’s probation, even though he failed to follow the terms of his release.

The city of Portland is involved in the lawsuit because Wilson’s lawyers contend that Portland police responded to two 911 calls involving Whiteaker hours before the crash, but officers never detained or arrested him.

The trial got through opening statements in court Wednesday.

Wilson’s daughter, Jaikyla, was born three months early because of the crash. Wilson’s parents described their daughter coming home after two years in a rehab center during an interview with Fox 12 in 2012.

“The hardest part is, she wants her mom to respond to her more. And Cayla though, she’ll watch her,” Denise Wilson said. “She’ll just watch her the whole time.”

She also described more positive moments.

“The first time she smiled after she came home I couldn’t believe it, I had to run and get Bill,” Denise Wilson said. “Oh my gosh, she smiled.”


After two years in a rehab center, crash victim Cayla Wilson finally returned home last Monday.

Jack Whiteaker was high on meth when he crashed his car into Wilson, who was pregnant at the time. Her daughter was delivered three months early and Wilson was left severely brain damaged.

Whiteaker is serving 11 years in prison.

Cayla Wilson returned to her Gresham home to be reunited with her parents, Bill and Denise Wilson, and daughter, Jaikyla Wilson, who is now almost 2 years old.

“It’s like the heart is warm again and my blood’s flowing again. It was just so held back the last two years… Just not knowing where my child’s at, who’s caring for her or what they’re doing with her,” Bill Wilson said. “We feel whole now. We feel like we can be a family again.”

Doctors gave Cayla Wilson a 1 percent chance of survival after Whiteaker crashed his car into her in 2010. Bill and Denise Wilson expect her to keep improving now that she is home. Every improvement is thrilling.

“The first time she smiled after she came home I couldn’t believe it, I had to run and get Bill,” Denise Wilson said. “Oh my gosh, she smiled.”

In addition to feeding and bathing Wilson, her parents also deliver her the 24 medications she takes and move her every two hours.

Although her parents are excited about Cayla Wilson’s homecoming, her mom said she wishes Cayla and Jaikyla could interact more.

“The hardest part is, she wants her mom to respond to her more. And Cayla though, she’ll watch her,” Denise Wilson said. “She’ll just watch her the whole time.”

Over the next couple weeks, Cayla Wilson’s family is expecting to get some in-home nursing care to help them out, as Bill Wilson plans to return to work.

The family said they are happy Cayla Wilson is finally back where they know she belongs.




Six people were arrested today and a seventh is sought in connection with recent burglaries in Woodland.

The city experienced more than 100 burglaries during November and December, and patrol officers and detectives, through their investigation, developed probable cause for six search warrants, according to a Police Department news release.


At 6 a.m. today, Woodland officers, in conjunction with West Sacramento and Davis police, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Yolo County Probation and the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, served all six search warrants at homes in Woodland. The searches resulted in the recovery of stolen property and six arrests. The property recovered included firearms, household items and tools, police said.

Arrested and booked into Yolo County Jail were:

• Mark Lasonde, 28, on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and a warrant.

• Kimberly Lalley, 24, on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and a warrant.

• Jose Garca,, 37, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and a warrant.

• Blanca Hernandez, 30, on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.

• Elia Garcia, 22, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and possession of stolen property.

• Salvador Villa, 34, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine.

Another suspect, 23-year-old Mario Lopez (pictured) is still outstanding and should be considered armed and dangerous, police said. He is wanted in connection with the ongoing burglary investigation. Lopez is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the Woodland Police Department’s dispatch center at (530) 666-2411.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Police Department’s investigations division at (530) 661-7800.

A physician was arrested in Scott County Thursday and charged for trafficking controlled substances.

Dr. Robert Yost, 48 of Georgetown was charged for selling methamphetamines and the prescription drug known as GHB.

Kentucky State Police received a complaint back in December 2013 stating that a physician in Scott County was selling crystal methamphetamine.

After conducting several controlled buys from Dr. Yost, a search warrant of his residence was executed and illegal narcotics were seized.

Dr. Yost was lodged in the Scott County Detention Center.

The investigation is continuing by Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement Special Investigations Branch.



Two men and a woman were arrested Thursday evening after Cayce Public Safety officers discovered a mobile methamphetamine lab.

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Officers responded to a shoplifting call at the Dollar General at 2441 Charleston Highway at 6:50 p.m., and store employees gave them a description of the shoplifting suspects’ vehicle.

The officers found a vehicle matching the description at the intersection of Charleston Highway and Frink Street and said they found a meth lab in production in the vehicle, which was producing smoke and fumes.

Officers of the Cayce Methamphetamine Lab Removal Team and State Law Enforcement Division were called to the scene to gather evidence and dispose of the materials safely.

Brandi M. Joiner, 25, of Columbia; James W. Gleaton, 28, of Graniteville; and Rodney L. Williamson, 33, of Gaston were arrested and face multiple charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine as well as shoplifting a package of undergarments.

Investigators ask anyone with information about the suspects to contact Crimestoppers.



A Santa Maria couple with gang ties was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment Tuesday after authorities followed up on a tip that a parolee-at-large was staying at the couple’s apartment in the 1900 block of South Lincoln, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Rafael Ceja, 26, and Mayra Quintinar, 24, active gang members, were taken into custody and charged with felony child endangerment and possession of methamphetamine for sale following a search of their apartment, where investigators allegedly found a quarter pound of methamphetamine in the children’s bedroom, police said.

The couple’s two children — a 1-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl — were taken into protective custody by Child Welfare Services and turned over to a grandparent. Both children had easy access to the methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, which was located on the floor in their bedroom, intermixed with food items and toys, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators responded to the apartment after receiving information that Jorge Cortez, 29, a wanted felon, was staying at the apartment. When officers arrived at the apartment, Cortez jumped out of the second-story window and fell about 20 feet, breaking his leg, police said.

He was treated at a local hospital and booked at Santa Barbara County Jail for a violation of his parole terms.

Ceja and Quintinar also face charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and a criminal street gang enhancement.



LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette’s Metro Narcotics Task Force and law enforcement agencies across Acadiana cooperated on a three-day operation to target areas of suspected crime and drug activity.

The operation, which ran from Jan 14 to Jan. 17, resulted in 251 arrests, 179 citations and almost $97,000 of recovered narcotics.

Agencies also recovered more than $34,000 worth of stolen property and more than $21,000 worth of property, such as vehicles and money, used in illegal activities.

One vehicle and four guns were seized.

Officials say cocaine and methamphetamine were the top two drugs seized, with more than $52,000 in cocaine recovered and more than $26,000 in methamphetamine.

Marijuana accounted for more than $12,000 of narcotics confiscated.

The operation, called “A New Resolution,” was a joint effort by agencies in Lafayette, Acadia, St. Landry, St. Martin, Vermilion and Iberia parishes that focused on taking down buyers and sellers in drug deals on the street.

That drug activity often spawns other crimes, either violence associated with the drug trade or thefts and robberies committed by drug addicts trying to pay for a fix, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said.

“Street-level sales drive our crime rate,” he said.