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Federal law enforcement is focusing its efforts on combating the influx of methamphetamine coming into Guam through the postal service.

In response, postal inspectors have increased their presence on island and are ramping up efforts to raise awareness about the legal consequences of bringing drugs into Guam.Illicit drugs travel by mail

Federal court documents show the regular inspection and seizures of drugs from packages that were mailed to Guam.

In the past couple of years, various law enforcement arms have seized “as much as 100 pounds,” said Michael Puralewski, Drug Enforcement Administration resident agent-in-charge.

That’s equal to a little more than 45 kilograms.

Each kilogram, Puralewski said, has about 10,000 “dosage units.”

“Meaning that’s 10,000 hits,” he said. “So we do seize that amount. That shows you that there is a drug problem.”

He called the problem “severe,” but said that isn’t meant to compare it to anywhere else.

He said that while the volume of meth in Guam isn’t on the same scale as certain parts of the mainland where law enforcement sees “seizures of thousands of pounds,” the volume that is seized “is putting the island at risk.”

Puralewski said ice appears to be the “drug of choice” on island.

“It’s putting families at risk; it’s damaging the community,” he added. “And that’s what we’re here to hopefully do, to protect the community by disrupting these organizations.”

He also noted that law enforcement’s focus isn’t just on local drug users and distributors.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has been “very successful” in bringing cases against rings that mail drugs from the U.S. mainland to Guam, he said.

Drug cases

Recently, three people, two of whom are from Nevada, were convicted in the District Court of Guam of a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine on the island.

Francisco C. Arias and Eder J. Cortez-Zelaya of Nevada and Corinna M. Concepcion were found guilty of involvement in a drug operation in which packages containing methamphetamine were mailed between Las Vegas and Guam.

They are scheduled to be sentenced at the beginning of March, according to Pacific Daily News files.

In addition to those three, nine other defendants were charged in the case, but signed plea agreements.

While Arias and Cortez-Zelaya were convicted of sending the drugs from the mainland, they relied on a network of people here to receive the drugs and wire money back to the mainland.

Bill Corbett, senior supervising resident agent at the FBI, said that even though many people in these cases are just “average joes” who were manipulated into participating by either wiring money or picking up packages, the government still sees them as co-conspirators in the scheme.

Drug sources

Addressing drugs in the postal system also is providing indications of where drugs are coming from and who’s making them.

Puralewski said while there is a “problem” with the manufacturing of drugs in Guam, it’s not as pervasive as in other jurisdictions.

“Primarily, most methamphetamine is brought in from mainland or other international locations,” he said, adding it’s not just the mail system, but also through other entry points.

He said it’s hard to determine what the proportion of drugs is that comes in from the U.S. versus international countries but that the majority is from the mainland.

Puralewski said the methamphetamine in Guam is generally manufactured by drug trafficking organizations based in Mexico.

The drugs agents see have high purity levels, indicating it isn’t an amateur hobbyist cooking alone, he said.

“The purity levels that we see are very, very high for methamphetamine,” Puralewski said.

In some cases, they’ve approached 100 percent, giving law enforcement an idea about who’s making these drugs.

“The purity levels that we see are as close to 100 percent that you can get,” he said.

In fact, he said, lab tests have shown purity levels of 100 percent, “which is obviously going to be made by real chemists with a true background with actual equipment, not something that would be locally manufactured by somebody that learned how to make meth over the Internet or something.”

With high purity, he explained, come high addiction rates.

“And when that addiction rate comes in, we then have people that need to acquire the drugs and that involves property crimes,” he added.

Suspicious mail

Inspectors have a variety of ways to recognize a suspicious package.

In an affidavit filed in federal court, a postal inspector wrote that criminals attempting to send drugs often use Express or Priority mail to allow them to keep track of their packages.

Fictitious or misspelled return addresses also are indications of suspicious packages, possibly indicating the person who filled it out doesn’t live at that address.

U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco noted many crimes, such as home invasions, break-ins and property thefts all have connections to the drug trade and drug addiction.

“There is a … ‘domino effect’ when we talk about the nature of the problem and really the scope of it,” she said.

New measures taken

The postal service has taken new measures to stem the tide of drugs coming to Guam’s shores.

In 2012, said Rafael Nunez, who is the inspector in charge at the San Francisco division of the U.S. Postal Service, the investigation arm of the service received more information that drugs were coming here in the mail.

As a result of that information, the agency adopted new methods for tackling drug trafficking.

For example, agents brought more narcotics inspectors to Guam as well as specialists who focus on analyzing crime trends.

“And for the past few years, we’ve been very successful in curtailing the amount of meth and ice that are coming onto the mainland via the mail,” Nunez said.

Nunez said they were able to make headway in arresting both the senders and recipients of drugs.

Postal service investigations were able to identify seven different drug-trafficking organizations and arrest more than 35 people for trafficking drugs through the mail.

On top of that, through what Nunez called “Operation Thin Ice,” investigators have screened over 240,000 parcels inbound and outbound.

Nunez attributed the success to partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and especially with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Guam.

The postal service is installing posters in facilities to warn people of the dangers and legal ramifications of importing drugs.

Limtiaco noted the role all law enforcement agencies and the community at large have in combating drugs.

“When we have these campaigns, these awareness campaigns, I mean it’s multifaceted,” said Limtiaco. “It is to raise awareness, to have people ask questions.”

And by doing these campaigns, she added, law enforcers are empowering the community to ask questions and find out how to seek help for those who need it and solve the island’s drug problem.








Officers responded to a report of a disturbance on J Street at approximately 12:22 am Friday morning. Officers were advised that a neighbor had heard yelling and screaming coming from the residence.

When officers arrived, they witnessed a man, identified as 38-year-old Russell Yeik, sitting on a sofa cushion in the middle of the room, holding what appeared to be a methamphetamine pipe, preparing to smoke it, according to the report.

Officers waited for additional support before entering the residence.

Officers observed another person in the residence, identified as 37-year-old Vanessa Fuller, when she answered the door. The apartment belonged to Fuller, as she advised to officers that there was not a disturbance at the residence, according to the report.

During the officers’ observations outside, they witnessed Yeik stuff the suspected methamphetamine and pipe under the cushion. During questioning, they asked him what was under the cushion, to which he replied “drugs,” according to the report.

During the interviews, officers located a third person in the residence, identified as 43-year-old April Ernst, waiting for a ride. She stated that she was picked up by Fuller andYeik after they offered her a ride.

When they took Ernst in custody for allegedly hiding syringes filled with methamphetamine under the kitchen sink, she told officers that Fuller was hiding methamphetamine in her vagina, according to the report.

Yeik and Ernst were arrested for possession of a controlled substance and an additional charge of attempts/conspire was filed against Yeik, according to the charging documents.

Fuller was transported to the WMC where she allegedly removed the suspected methamphetamine from her person and attempted to throw it in the garbage, according to the report.

Officers located the methamphetamine next to the garbage in the hospital and arrested her for possession of a controlled substance and interference.








STEVENSVILLE – A community is shaken to the core and a 32-year-old man is behind bars without bond.

Several nights of sheer torture unfolded in the house on East Ninth Street in Stevensville under the noses of what many consider to be a very tight knit community.6724210_G

On February 6 the nightmare began. The sheriff says a young mom and Byron Craig Hall, Jr. met in January during Bitterroot College’s orientation. She reportedly invited him to her home.

She told deputies that when she mentioned Hall’s ex-girlfriend, it sent him into a rage. She says he strangled her until she passed out. When she came to, she says he was on top of her, and hospital officials saw signs on her body of methamphetamine injection and rape.

“We check on all of neighbors all the time. Everybody around here knows everybody so when I found out about this I was pretty well shocked,” said Jim Crews, who lives just three houses away from the victim.

Hall is no stranger to drugs. He was convicted in Flathead County for heading up a drug lab. He was sentenced to five years, but got out in 2014. He now faces several felony charges in Ravalli County, racking up a bond of $750,000. However, Hall won’t be out of jail anytime soon because he violated his parole.

“We’re saddened by it, but it also emboldens us to act together as a community, to be strong, and to keep things from happening again,” said Gene MimMack, the mayor of Stevensville.

The police report shows Hall told his victim she was “dirty like him now” and that she would get Hepatitis C from him.








STEVENSVILLE — Byron Craig Hall, Jr., is facing several charges after allegedly sexually assaulting a teen and then forcibly injecting her with meth.D31863AACC02FCD063FAEBBC102D0873_787_442

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman says that Hall faces several felony charges, including aggravated kidnapping, sexual intercourse without consent, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

Bond for Hall was set at $750,000, but Hoffman says Hall is being held without bond on a parole violation stemming from a 2002 conviction in Flathead County for operation of a clandestine drug lab.

Authorities were called to a home in the 300 block of 9th Street in Stevensville at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday for a report of a possible sexual assault.

Hoffman says deputies talked with the complainant, an adult Stevensville resident who knows the victim.

The complainant explained that she babysat for the victim on February 11, and that she noticed that there was something wrong with the victim’s demeanor, according to a news release.

The victim eventually told authorities that she had been forcibly injected with methamphetamine, and that she was then repeatedly raped over the course of several days.

The victim said that she had met Hall during orientation at the Bitterroot College in Hamilton on January 21.

Hoffman says Hall was found on Thursday in a Corvallis apartment and he was arrested without incident.








On Wednesday night, February 11, Ravalli County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home in Stevensville for a charge of sexual assault.

After further investigation, it was determined that a 17 year-old female, the mother of an eight month-old child, had been forcibly injected with methamphetamine and the  repeatedly raped over the course of several days at her residence.

“On February 12th, Ravalli County deputies arrested 32 year-old Byron Craig Hall without incident at his Corvallis apartment,” Hoffman said. “He is facing multiple felony charges including aggravated kidnapping, three counts of sexual intercourse without consent, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of child criminal endangerment, and one count criminal distribution of dangerous drugs along with one count of possession of dangerous drugs.”

Hoffman said Hall appeared in Ravalli County Justice Court on Friday.

Here is a copy of the Sheriff’s press release: Special-Press-Release-2-13-15

“Bond was set at $750,000, however, he is being held without bond on a parole violation which stems from a 202 conviction in Flathead County for operation of a clandestine drug lab.”

According to court documents, that while the victim was being held captive, Hall allegedly informed her that he had tested positive for hepatitis C. The victim consented to a search of her residence, and deputies found three used syringes, one metal spoon, and a small baggie with a white residue. The residue in the bag was field tested and was positive for the presence of methamphetamine.











CLARKSVILLE — Two men were arrested after an undercover officer claims the men were seen masturbating while inside Theatair X in Clarksville on Thursday night. 54de670448e6a_image

George Tunget, 57, Clarksville, and, Jay Tuggle, 74, Almont, Mich., were preliminarily charged with the class C misdemeanors of public nudity and public indecency.

Tunget faces an additional charge of possession of methamphetamine, a level 6 felony, which carries a penalty of 2 1/2 years in state prison.

Neither man has been officially charged as of press time.

Tuggle was released from the Clark County jail on his own recognizance Friday, and Tunget was discharged the same day after a $500 payment was made toward his $5,000 court-cash bond.

The Clarksville Police Department reports that undercover officers were used at Theatair X to “observe the theater room for any illegal activity that occurs … in the open, public view.”

An undercover officer reported that Tunget followed him into a theater room.

“While Tunget was standing next to [the undercover officer], he pulled his pants down below his genital area and began masturbating,” police reported.

After Tunget was taken into custody, police located a “small, green colored bag containing a whitish colored, crystalline substance, which field tested positive for methamphetamine,” according to the police report.

Tuggle was arrested after he exposed himself in plain view and masturbated in a theater room while seated about five feet from an undercover officer, police reported.

Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer said crimes occurring inside the adult theater was one of the primary complaints from residents when he was appointed to lead the department three years ago.

“We are going to continue to address criminal activity taking place in Theatair X,” Palmer said. “We will continue these types of operations until these crimes are not happening any longer.”

Palmer said his department has no interest in violating anyone’s right to visit Theatair X, but that he will not accept criminal behavior in the business.

Tuggle is scheduled to appear in Clarksville Town Court on Tuesday for an initial hearing. Tunget is expected to appear in Clark County Circuit No. 2 on Monday.







EASTERN OKLAHOMA (KFSM) –Drug agents and officers executed 43 arrest warrants Friday morning in eastern Oklahoma following a year-long investigation into a crystal meth ring. Authorities said 32 of the 43 suspects were arrested.

A Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics representative said agents and officers from several departments “fanned out” around 7 a.m. to execute the arrest warrants for defendants on suspicion of selling methamphetamine and prescription drugs in Clayton, Okla., and the surrounding area.

Most of the defendants live in Clayton, but several of them live in Pushmataha, Latimer and LeFlore counties, according to the bureau.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and local law enforcement began investigating the crystal methamphetamine and prescription drug ring centered on Clayton in December 2013.

“It is troubling that in Clayton, Okla., today, we arrested approximately five percent of the entire town population,” said Darrell Weaver, the narcotics bureau director. “It shows that methamphetamine problems and dealers do not just magically go away by themselves. It takes law enforcement in a cooperative manner to dismantle these groups that will devour our communities with addictive substances.”

Authorities continue to try to find the rest of the 43 suspects. One of them died of natural causes last year, according to the Bureau of Narcotics.

Most of the defendants arrested were booked into the Pushmataha County Jail on suspicion of several drug charges, including illegal distribution of controlled substances.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Clayton Police Department, Pushmataha County Sheriff’s Department, District 16 and 17 Drug Task Forces and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol all took part in the operation.

The list below shows who was arrested and who is still at-large, according to state authorities:


  • Joseph Barlow
  • Chelsea Boatner
  • Auboneigh Buchanan
  • Bruce Colvin
  • Randy Colvin
  • Kimberly Conley
  • James Ellis
  • Clifton Gilmore
  • Michael Hilliard
  • James Kilpatrick
  • Carolyn McGee
  • Grace Rendon
  • Booker Reynolds
  • Dora Reynolds
  • Stephanie Reynolds
  • William Reynolds
  • Billy Rogers
  • Dennis Rogers
  • Kenny Smith
  • Stephen Speers
  • Jerry Stamps
  • Marion Steely *already incarcerated*
  • Jimmy Taylor
  • Jared Turner
  • Marci Weedon
  • Michael Wilson
  • Tina Woods


  • Christopher Allman
  • Brian Blay
  • Joshua Cranford
  • Oliver Graham
  • Tyler Grijalva
  • Patricia Hopkins
  • Patrick Kiplinger
  • Dalton Lanning
  • Christina Jones
  • James Morgan
  • Angela Rogers
  • Anna Steely
  • Ardith Taylor *dead*
  • Roy Taylor
  • Sandy Wheeler
  • Christina Williams
  • Danny Williams
  • Monte Woods
  • Howard Young








San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Templeton woman Thursday for allegedly selling methamphetamine out of her car in front of Tree Man Nursery.1nf2ob_AuSt_76

At about 1:30 p.m., deputies responded to the business on the 2600 block of Ramada Drive for a report of a suspicious person possibly selling drugs.

When they arrived, they contacted Lisa Noelle Stemper, 45, and allegedly found more than two ounces of methamphetamine, cash and unspecified sales-related paraphernalia.

Sgt. Jeff Nichols said Friday that the Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the amount of the cash found.

Stemper was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of felony possession of a controlled substance for sale and being under the influence of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.

As of noon Friday, Stemper was not listed in custody, according to jail logs.










On Thursday at approximately 1:30 p.m. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call of suspicious circumstances in front of Tree Man Nursery located at 2630 Ramada Dr. in Templeton.

It was reported that a female in front of the location may be selling narcotics from her vehicle. Upon arrival, deputies contacted Lisa Noelle Stemper, 45, of Templeton. During the investigation, deputies discovered over two ounces of suspected methamphetamine. Additionally, US currency and other drug sales related paraphernalia were located along with the suspected drugs.

Stemper was arrested for possession of methamphetamine for sale as well as under the influence of a controlled substance, the sheriff’s office reports in a press release. Stemper was subsequently booked at the San Luis Obispo County Jail for the aforementioned charges.








Megan Huntsman appears in court in Provo(Reuters) – A Utah mother pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges she murdered six of her newborn infants over the course of a decade and stuffed their bodies into cardboard boxes in the garage of her home.

Megan Huntsman, 39, who will be sentenced on April 20, had confessed to suffocating or strangling the babies while she was suffering from methamphetamine and alcohol addiction, police said. She faces a maximum term of five years to life in prison on each of the six counts of felony murder.

“We’d be surprised if she ever gets out of prison,” District Attorney Jeff Buhman told reporters after the hearing, explaining that the state board of pardons was unlikely to grant her parole.

To his knowledge, Buhman said, Huntsman will be the only person serving time in the Utah State Prison, south of Salt Lake City, “who was responsible for six deaths.”

Huntsman is not eligible for the death penalty because the murders, which took place between 1996 and 2006, predate changes in the law that would have made the offense a capital crime in Utah.

She entered her plea as she stood downcast in a Provo, Utah, courtroom, her wrists shackled to her waist, her head bowed, softly uttering “guilty” to each of the six counts.

The six infants’ remains were found in April wrapped in old towels, shirts and plastic bags inside boxes in the garage in Pleasant Grove, a suburb just north of Provo. The body of a seventh infant was discovered disposed of in the same way but authorities have said they believe that child was stillborn.

Police have said Huntsman secretly gave birth to all seven without medical assistance at the house after apparently managing to conceal her pregnancies from the outside world.

Pleasant Grove police said the woman told detectives that she was hooked on methamphetamine and alcohol at the time, and killed the newborns because did not feel she could sustain her addictions while caring for the children.

The bizarre case of serial infanticide came to light when Huntsman’s estranged husband Darren West – later confirmed by DNA tests to have fathered all of the victims – stumbled upon one of the tiny bodies while cleaning out the garage and notified authorities.

Neither West nor any of Huntsman’s three surviving daughters – aged 14, 18 and 20 at the time of her arrest – were considered suspects in the case. Those three daughters continued to live at the Pleasant Grove address, with other relatives, after their mother left them to move into a boyfriend’s home in 2011.

At least one of the three, the youngest, was born during the period in which her sibling infants were slain. But authorities have offered no explanation for why she, too, was not killed.








CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas –  A woman is in the Chambers County jail after deputies found meth in her possession while arresting her for another offense.AnnetteBreauxMUG-jpg

Annette Breaux, 42, of Winnie was already being booked into the jail for possession of a controlled substance.

Sheriff’s deputies were patrolling Highway 124 Tuesday night when they found a vehicle blocking the driveway of a car wash.

Breaux was one of the people inside the vehicle. Deputies said she and another man were nervous and evasive when being questioned.

Deputies searched Breaux’s purse and found Lorazepam, a controlled substance for which she did not have a prescription, so they arrested her.

During the booking process, deputies searched Breaux and found she also had crystal meth.

She is now booked for possession of a dangerous drug.








BERTHOLD, N.D. – The arrest of three people here during a traffic stop Wednesday led to the capture of 11 pounds of meth, three handguns and about $20,000 in cash in what is believed to be one of the largest seizures in the state’s history, Berthold police said Thursday.

Police Chief Al Schmidt stopped a vehicle for erratic driving here on Wednesday and arrested according to a statement released by Berthold police.

Schmidt said he found a pound of meth in the vehicle plus about $20,000 cash, then took the trio to Ward County Jail for interviews that police say led to the seizure of 10 pounds of meth, a handgun and $900 in a room at the Days Inn in Minot.

On Thursday, one of the three tipped off Schmidt to a package at the Best Western Inn in Williston, where a Bureau of Criminal Investigation Task Force found two more handguns included in a Valentine’s Day box next to chocolates and teddy bears, police said.








VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A drug use epidemic is wide-spread across Indiana and the Wabash Valley. Many of the methamphetamine use involves adults.

But unfortunately, it’s a growing trend among teenagers now as well. Indiana Youth Institute partnered with Indiana State Police Thursday to talk to local youth workers at a meeting Wednesday at Gibault School.

According to a 2014 Indiana Prevention Resource Center study, nearly 2 percent of high school seniors in western Indiana report trying methamphetamine. That doesn’t sound like a large number but study shows most teens try because of their parents. And the average age they start is 13.

Shilo Raulston of the Indiana State Police meth suppression team explained this to Wabash Valley youth workers Thursday.

“The majority of all other drugs across the board are abused by men at almost a 70 to 30 percent ratio. But when it comes to methamphetamine, it’s nearly half and half. The men are 50.7. The women are 49.3 percent.”

These local youth workers have a lot on their hands keeping their eyes glued for signs. And unfortunately, sometimes teens don’t realize the horrible effects.

Meth is a central nervous system stimulant. It gets into your system and releases dopamine.

“If you take a cup full of dopamine, it takes about seven years to fill that cup up. All the dopamine your body will manufacture. But with the first hit of meth, that entire amount of dopamine is dumped into the system at once.”

Compare that to other levels of dopamine released into the body. Morphine releases 200 units. Cocaine releases 340 units. Methamphetamine, 1,050. That high has quite a few physical effects on the body.

“You can have nasal damage and bleeding, especially if they snort meth…The people who have really bad teeth is generally because they smoke the meth…they have dry, itchy skin, acne and sores,” said Raulston. “A lot of this is caused by poor hygiene. Whenever people use meth, you’ll hear them say they don’t want to shower because when you shower, you sweat, you’re sweating out the meth.”

Meth is a highly addictive, physically damaging drug nd teens are using right in our community, not understanding these dangerous and life-altering problems.

For help for youth with substance abuse issues, check out this website.








Doctors who admitted a 17-month-old girl to the hospital in Arizona thought her tremors and other symptoms were due to a scorpion sting. Only later did they realize the real cause of her condition was that she’d consumed methamphetamines, according to a new report of her case.

The young girl in the case recovered and was discharged from the hospital a week later.scorpion-crawling-150213

People who have been stung by scorpions of the species Centruroides sculpturatus, which is common in Arizona, often have some of the same symptoms as the girl, said Dr. Farshad Shirazi of University of Arizona College of Medicine, who was one of the doctors who treated the child and a co-author of the case report.

The case highlights the similarity between the symptoms of a scorpion bite and those of drugs like methamphetamine, the researchers wrote in their case report.

“These [symptoms] include some movement disorders, and movement of upper and lower extremities, and some foaming at the mouth,” Shirazi said.

When the girl arrived at the emergency department of a hospital in Tucson, Arizona, she was agitated, twitching throughout her entire body, sweating profusely and salivating excessively. Her doctors had previously seen such symptoms in patients bitten by the Arizona bark scorpion, which is endemic to this region of the United States.

The girl’s mother said she had indeed seen scorpions many times at their home, so the doctors suspected that the girl had been bitten, and treated her by administering three vials of anti-venom.

This treatment put a stop to the girl’s uncontrollable eye movements and salivation, but she continued to experience the tremors. The patient also had a fever, and her heart rate was too high. Meanwhile, the doctors were not able to find any physical indication of a scorpion sting by examining the girl’s skin.

The patient’s mother eventually revealed that the girl’s grandmother temporarily left the tot alone with an aunt who used methamphetamines. The doctors then tested the child’s urine and found she had indeed ingested the drug. This was confirmed several weeks later by the results of a blood test. However, it was not clear exactly how the ingestion occurred, the report said.

After receiving treatment for methamphetamine intoxication, the girl recovered.

There have been other reports of children in Arizona ingesting methamphetamines and developing symptoms mistaken for those of scorpion envenomation. One likely reason for this phenomenon is that getting bitten by this type of scorpion is not uncommon in the southwestern United States, the researchers said.

At the same time, “there is a predominance of methamphetamines in the same geographic area of the U.S., as the endemic locale of the C. sculpturatus,” the doctors wrote in the report. In 2012, a little less than 11,000 kilograms (24,250 lbs.) of methamphetamine was seized along the southwestern U.S. border with Mexico, which was the highest amount ever recorded, the authors wrote.

“Arrestee data show stable rates of testing positive for methamphetamines in the western and southwestern United States versus the rest of the country, which reveals [their] geographic predominance and areas with higher rates of use,” according to the report.

The researchers are also currently investigating why some of the girl’s symptoms improved following the administration of the anti-venom, even though the real cause of her symptoms was methamphetamine intoxication. One possibility is that the protein present in the anti-venom bonded with the methamphetamine and led to the improvement, but the exact mechanism is not completely clear, they said.

The report was published in the January issue of the journal Case Reports in Emergency Medicine.








A Dupo woman has been charged with endangering two children by making meth in the home where they lived.

According to court records, Nicole E. Moore is accused of aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and meth-related child endangerment.

The first count is a Class X felony. The second is a Class 2 felony.

Moore participated in the manufacture of more than 400 grams of meth, according to St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. A boy who had his fourth birthday in January and a girl who is about six months old were living in the home.

Bail was set at $75,000.







THOMASVILLE — An Albany man and a Pelham woman are charged in a meth bust at a Thomasville motel.

After receiving information about drug activity at the U.S. 19 motel, Thomas County Narcotics/Vice Division agents ran a check on a tag on a truck parked at the location and learned Randy Humphries, 43, 311 Gillard Road, Pelham, was staying in the room where the vehicle was parked.

More than one agent had received information that Humphries was involved with methamphetamine, said Kevin Lee, narcotics/vice commander.

As agents watched, a woman loaded objects into the truck, an older-model Chevrolet pickup.

The woman, Amanda Rae-Sue Jenkins, 27, 1680 Christopher Cove Road, Albany, gave consent to search the truck, where officers found hypodermic syringes.

“When asked about the syringes, the woman became nervous,” Lee explained. He said Jenkins admitted having methamphetamine in her purse.

Agents found two bags of ice methamphetamine in Jenkins’ purse, along with three other bags that had contained the drug, Lee said.

Humphries had a syringe in his pocket that had been used to ingest methamphetamine, he added.

Jenkins is charged with methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute.

Humphries is charged with possession a a drug-related object.








VERDIJ, Iran — Iran is breaking bad.

Officials say methamphetamine production and abuse of hard drugs are skyrocketing in the country despite potentially lethal criminal penalties for users if they are caught. The increase is partly because of Iran’s status as the gateway for the region’s top drug exporter, Afghanistan — and partly because Iranian dealers are profiting so handsomely from sales to overstressed students and exhausted double-jobbers.

Ghazal Tolouian, a psychologist who treats dozens of meth addicts at a therapy camp in a mountain village northwest of Tehran, says most of her clients fall into two categories: students “who want to pass university entrance exams successfully,” and “people who have to work a second and third shift to make ends meet and earn more money.”

Anti-narcotics and medical officials say more than 2.2 million of Iran’s 80 million citizens already are addicted to illegal drugs, including 1.3 million on registered treatment programs. They say the numbers keep rising annually, even though use of the death penalty against convicted smugglers has increased, too, and now accounts for more than nine of every 10 executions.

Parviz Afshar, an anti-narcotics official, said for every lab they detect, two more might spring up, often involving small-scale “cooks” operating in residences where meth production is particularly hard to detect. He said police found and destroyed at least 416 meth labs in the 12-month period up to March, up from 350 in the previous 12-month period.

Iran’s health ministry was slow to finance rehabilitation clinics nationwide, but a growing network of private camps has sprung up that partly receive state financing, some of them run by former or recovering addicts.

“When I set up this shelter, authorities didn’t support me. But after several years of hard work, they were convinced that it’s better to provide care and shelter to addicts,” said Majid Mirzaei, manager of a Tehran shelter for drug addicts and a former addict himself. His facility provides free food, syringes, condoms, medical care and a place to sleep to addicts in a crowded neighborhood in south Tehran.

“Drug addiction is a fact. It can’t be eliminated but you can manage it correctly,” Mirzaei said as he changed a bandage on an addict’s wound.

Officials say Iran’s taste for illegal narcotics is certain to expand into greater abuse of heroin, simply because next door is Afghanistan, maker of three-fourths of the world supply.

Abbas Deilamzadeh, whose Rebirth Society organization runs dozens of rehabilitation centers, predicts that more people currently experimenting with meth soon will be using heroin, simply because Iran is the main route for Afghan heroin dealers to export the drug worldwide.

The United Nations drug agency said the total area under opium poppy cultivation in neighboring Afghanistan in 2014 was estimated at 224,000 hectares (864 square miles), a 17 percent increase from 2013, producing about 6,400 metric tons (7,054 tons) of opium. Most is grown in the often-lawless Helmand and Kandahar provinces in the south.

Those at the clinics tell tales of their profoundly misguided notions about taking meth, specifically that it would help them stay awake and wouldn’t become addictive.

“I used to work on board a train and had to stay up every night until morning,” said Javad, a meth addict who didn’t give his last name to protect his identity.

Javad said he used meth for six years in hopes of earning more money by working longer hours. But last year, he collapsed on a train midway through one night’s work and was fired. For the past four months, he’s been getting help at a Tehran clinic.

Javad says he had no idea how badly his life would become as an addict. “At first,” he said, “it was a lot of fun to use.”

Iran has also stepped up a public awareness campaign to prevent and slow down the dangerous trend.

“Increasing public awareness about the dangers of illicit drugs is the best remedy,” said Homayoun Hashemi, the head of Iran’s State Welfare Organization.








MIAMI COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Three people were arrested after police discover a meth lab that caught fire leaving the home filled with meth smoke while two children were inside.

A criminal investigation by officers from the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Team, led to the arrests of 37-year-old Aaron Vance and 35-year-old Wendy Walsh, both from Denver, Ind., as well as 30-year-old Arnold Bowen, of Peru, Ind.

ISP officers, with assistance from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, went to a home on W. Harrison Street in Denver early Thursday morning to serve a search warrant. When officers arrived at Vance and Walsh’s residence, they discovered a smoke-filled dwelling.

Investigators said Bowen was allegedly in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine in the home’s basement. Officers said Bowen made a mistake causing the meth lab to catch fire. The fire was extinguished prior to the arrival of law enforcement. ISP said they do not believe this was an attempt to destroy evidence.

While searching the home, detectives allegedly found methamphetamine, remnants of a methamphetamine lab and drug paraphernalia.

Two girls, ages 16 and 12, were inside the home at the time of the incident. They were checked for exposure to the meth smoke and released into the care of the Miami County Division of the Indiana Department of Child Services. Two officers and one deputy were treated and released for exposure to meth smoke.

Vance, Walsh and Bowen were taken to the Miami County Jail on preliminary charges.

Vance and Walsh face criminal charges for manufacturing methamphetamine, dealing methamphetamine, two counts for neglect of a dependent, possession of an illegal drug lab, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bowen faces a criminal charge for manufacturing methamphetamine.








CERRO GORDO – The Piatt County Sheriff’s Office says that an investigation into reports of methamphetamine production in Cerro Gordo has resulted in charges being filed against 12 central Illinois residents.

Authorities say the investigation began in September 2014, and involved the Piatt County Sheriff’s Office and the Cerro Gordo Police Department.  Information gathered during the investigation included the names of five alleged methamphetamine cooks who were working together in Cerro Gordo.  A search warrant was executed by the Illinois State Police – Methamphetamine Response Team, the Piatt County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cerro Gordo Police Department on December 18, 2014.

Police say when the search warrant was executed, two individuals who resided there, Natasha Barnes and Russell Durham, were arrested.  Further investigation resulted in the arrests of Joseph Robertson and Laura West.  Authorities say their investigation revealed that a total of 12 individuals had allegedly participated in several violations of the Methamphetamine Control Act.

Authorities say

  • Natasha Barnes (22),
  • Ashley Murray (27),
  • Laura West (21),
  • Joseph Robertson (35),
  • Shawn Cain (42),
  • Brandon Murray (37),
  • Russell Durham (40),
  • Robert Cripe (31),
  • John Henry III (25),
  • Nicholas Bryson (32),
  • Kirk Ballard (33), and
  • Justin Peyton (21)

have been charged with Methamphetamine Conspiracy as a result of this investigation.  West faces additional charges of methamphetamine possession, and Robertson faces additional charges of methamphetamine possession and participation in methamphetamine production.














By now, most of us have seen the shocking before and after pictures of people addicted to methamphetamines. Exactly what is happening inside each cell to cause such striking changes to a person’s face and body? Meth, scientists from the Italian Institute of Technology and UC Irvine say, causes abnormalities in the fat metabolism of cells and this triggers a rise in a type of molecule which promotes cell death. Understanding this, they say they can prevent the drug’s radical effects.meth-faces

Physical Effects

Users say meth creates a feeling of euphoria along with increased energy and reduced appetite. A psychostimulant, meth is highly addictive despite, or perhaps, because of the fact that it causes profound and long-lasting damage to the brain. Post-mortem studies link the drug to diseases of aging, including coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and pulmonary fibrosis (scar tissue in the lungs). Something is happening at the cellular level to cause these strange physical effects, but what is it?

For the current study, experiments on rats and mice allowed the researchers, in their own words, “to investigate the molecular mechanisms of systemic inflammation and cellular aging related to methamphetamine abuse.” Specifically, they focused on the ways meth induces abnormalities of lipid metabolism in select regions of the brain and peripheral organs and tissues. Through experimentation, the scientists observed how meth accelerated “cellular senescence” — arrested cell growth — and influenced inflammation and other processes of cell regulation.

The chemical cascade caused by meth within each cell involves a specific protein, known as nuclear factor kappa beta. Under healthy conditions, this protein helps regulate other proteins that keep our bodies functioning. However, as each individual cell is overwhelmed by meth-induced signaling, nuclear factor kappa beta begins its own excessive signaling, which triggers a dramatic increase in the production of ceramide. Normally, this lipid molecule regulates energy production and nutrient use within a cell, so when it’s suddenly amplified, every aspect of metabolism speeds up as well.

“We found this signaling process to be key for advanced cellular aging,” Dr. Daniele Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in the Neurosciences at UCI, stated in a press release.

Having identified meth’s effects on cells, Piomelli and his co-researchers decided to figure out a possible way to prevent the drug’s effects on the body. If we can stop nuclear factor kappa beta, they reasoned, by increasing the body’s natural inhibitors of that protein, then we can limit the production of ceramide. This, in turn will prevent the harmful effects of meth — fast-forwarded cell aging and systemic inflammation.

“These results suggest new therapeutic strategies to reduce the adverse consequences of meth abuse and improve the effectiveness of abstinence treatments,” said Piomelli, who is working with colleagues at the Italian Institute of Technology to create new drugs targeting the specific cellular mechanisms identified in this research.

Source: Astarita G, Avanesian A, Grimaldi B, et al. Methamphetamine Accelerates Cellular Senescence through Stimulation of De Novo Ceramide Biosynthesis. PLOS ONE. 2015.








SIOUX FALLS, SD – Whenever we tell you about a big meth bust, it’s easy to think the drug is making a comeback in South Dakota. But the sad reality is meth never went away. Laws limiting access to over-the-counter meds used to make meth have helped put the squeeze on illegal labs here. But dealers are simply finding another source by going global. It’s a meth pipeline that extends from South of the Border to South Dakota.

Toni Harmon of Lower Brule first tried meth, on a whim, a year and a half ago.

“Two girls came and asked me if I wanted to try it and I said sure,” Harmon said.

Harmon’s spur-of -the moment choice, quickly turned into a full-blown addiction.

“I went from smoking it to using the needle and became very addicted to it, got into legal trouble through that,” Harmon said.

Harmon’s legal trouble landed her in the Hughes County Jail. That’s where she spent three months detoxing from meth.

“Waking up with cold sweats, depression, I was really sick, I lost so much weight when I was using I couldn’t eat at first and it was all kinds of things my body was going through, Harmon said.

Harmon went from jail to the Glory House in Sioux Falls, where’s she’s in the midst of a four-month treatment program.

“This is the first time I’ve been in meth treatment, and I really like it. I’m in an intensive meth treatment and I really enjoy it and I enjoy my classes and I’m getting a lot out of it,” Harmon said.

Meth’s iron grip on users is keeping demand high and the waiting list of addicts is long.

“I’ve been doing the meth treatment since 2006 here. Once and a while the numbers fluctuate but generally, I have a waiting list for treatment,” Glory House Meth Counselor Sally Holiday said.

Laws designed to limit access to meth ingredients have made it tough for large labs to thrive in the state. Smaller operations, the so-called “one-pot” labs don’t produce enough meth to meet demand, so dealers reach out to super-labs in Mexico.

“It just comes down to the pseudoephedrine laws that we have, not only in South Dakota, but across the country. They don’t have those types of restrictions in Mexico.  The cartels that are running the shows down there, they know that there’s a lot of money to be made in it and they can produce huge quantities that we’re not seeing anywhere in the states anymore,” Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Department said.

South Dakota’s meth connection with Mexico involves a sophisticated network of smuggling that spans several states.

“We hear stories about tunnels across the border. There are people that will fly it over, or throw it over the border. Once it crosses the border, those big quantities get divvied up into smaller quantities and head out across the nation and some of that ends up here,” Clemens said.

Nowadays, South Dakota law enforcement has to cast a much wider net to stop dealers and stem the flow of meth from Mexico.

“A lot of that can be information-sharing and so if we get information from one drug bust about drugs that happened in another area, we can pass that onto other agencies and that happens on the other end as well,” Clemens said.

Trying to seal-off the Mexico to South Dakota meth pipeline is a far-reaching, long distance border battle that strikes close to home for addicts like Harmon. She completes her treatment in May and wants to return to Lower Brule, but knows the easy access to meth on the reservation will test the coping skills she’s learning at the Glory House.

“My goal is to go home and live a sober life, off of meth, off of drugs, everything that I was doing before,” Harmon said.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, more than 70-percent of meth in the country is smuggled in from Mexico.

Clemens says marijuana remains the top drug trafficked in Sioux Falls. That’s followed by prescription meds, then meth.








Juan-Manuel-MunozPolice arrested two men after finding about 4.6 pounds of methamphetamine in their car outside a Round Rock restaurant, according to an arrest affidavit.

Juan Manuel Munoz, 26, of Austin, and Servando Nieto-Rodriguez, 29, of Manor, were both charged with possession of a controlled substance.

A police officer had been observing Munoz for two months in connection with narcotic activity, the affidavit said. The officer had Munoz under surveillance on Tuesday when Munoz left his house in Spicewood and drove to Austin, the affidavit said.

Munoz drove to a location known as a “gameroom” business near North Lamar Boulevard and Braker Lane, it said. He parked next to a black Lexus that a “reliable source” had observed in the same parking lot within the past two weeks with several pounds of methamphetamine inside of it, according to the document.

The officer saw Munoz walking from the gameroom to the Lexus with Nieto-Rodriguez both carrying a “grocery-type” plastic bag that a confidential informant had said they used to transport narcotics, it said.Servando-Nieto-Rodriguez

Munoz and Nieto-Rodriguez both got into the Lexus and Munoz drove it to the Twin Peaks Bar and Grill in Round Rock, the affidavit said. Police stopped Munoz and Nieto-Rodriguez after they left the restaurant and before they tried to get back into the vehicle, the document said.

Officers searched the vehicle and found three plastic bags containing a total of 2,104 grams of methamphetamine, it said.

Munoz and Nieto-Rodriguez were being held Wednesday at the Williamson County Jail with bail set at $100,000 for each.

Possession of 200 grams or more of methamphetamine is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison.







LISBON — A Lisbon woman is being charged with manufacturing methamphetamine following an investigation that began with a suspicious garbage bag in Canton.

St. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies Wednesday charged Jessica E. Dodd, 35, of 21 Sandburg Circle, with felony third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Mrs. Dodd was charged following an investigation that began with Canton village police receiving a call about 7 p.m. Tuesday, Chief Lori A. McDougal said.

“There was a report of a suspicious bag in a garbage can next to the Redbox outside of Price Chopper,” Ms. McDougal said. “Officers checked the bag, which contained meth-making material, and we tried to determine who deposited the bag.”

St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force members, during their assistance at the Canton scene, made a connection through evidence and interviews that led them to the Sandburg Circle trailer in the Morning Star Village, Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Brandon L. Storie said.

“Just before noon, investigators came to the scene to do an interview,” Mr. Storie said. That interview led to the execution of a search warrant at 4 p.m. and the discovery and recovery of several components “cooking” meth throughout the house consisting of what Mr. Storie said was “a one-pot, shake-and-bake lab.”

The state police Contaminated Crime Scene Response Team responded to the scene and removed the combustible and hazardous materials from the trailer. Among the lab component items lined up on a folding table outside the trailer was a Sunkist soda bottle with rubber tubing coming out of it. Detectives and troopers moved about the lab items between the trailer and the St. Lawrence County Unified Command Center Wednesday afternoon as the temperature dropped with the sun and the wind picked up.

“The investigation is ongoing with additional charges and arrests pending,” Mr. Storie said. That includes the arrest of Mrs. Dodd’s husband, Darrell P., 31, of the same address, Mr. Storie said. He is also facing a count of felony third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine.

“This is the seventh (meth bust) this year already,” Mr. Storie said. “Last year we had 18 and this is already seven.”

Mr. Storie said detectives are crediting the increase in the meth labs popping up to the ease of making the drug with the “one-pot method.”

“It’s so simple to make because the materials can be bought locally and separately, so it makes it hard to detect and locate,” Mr. Storie said.

But while detectives are keeping track of who is purchasing Suphedrine through the National Precursor Log Exchange, a system used by pharmacies and law enforcement to track sales of over-the-counter cold and allergy medications containing precursors to meth, Mr. Storie said police are still looking for the public’s assistance.

“So we are asking people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities,” Mr. Storie said. “If you see something, say something, right.”








U.S. customs officers seized more than five and a half pounds of liquid methamphetamine from a passenger at Dulles International Airport Saturday.dulles+meth

Officers discovered two plastic bottles and a plastic bag containing brown liquids which tested positive for methamphetamine during a routine luggage inspection, customs authorities said.

Customs officers found the drugs in courier bags belonging to an El Salvadoran woman who is a U.S. permanent resident. Officials determined the woman was a “legitimate courier,” and she was not charged, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Officers said the methamphetamine had a potential street value of $33,000.








Storm Lake Police announced the arrest of seven people in connection with a five-month investigation into the sale and use of methamphetamine and marijuana in Storm Lake.

On Sunday evening police stopped a vehicle driven by Keomanivanh Senesoury, 35, of Storm Lake, near the intersection of W. Milwaukee Ave. and Geneseo Street. Police allege that over a five-month period they arranged for the purchase of methamphetamine on four occasions and marijuana on one occasion from Senesoury.

On Sunday evening, when police stopped Senesoury’s vehicle they allegedly located and seized methamphetamine and cash believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales.

At 3 a.m. on Monday police executed a search warrant at a residence at 725 Hickory Lane. Police found several people inside, including two people reportedly smoking methamphetamine. Police took six people into custody inside the residence. 53648%20A%20SENESOURY,%20KEOMANIVANH

During the search warrant police seized multiple bags of methamphetamine packaged for resale, marijuana packaged for resale, multiple items of drug paraphernalia, documents believed to be linked to illegal drug sales, packaging materials and cash believed to be acquired from illegal drug sales.

Storm Lake Police charged the following:

Keomanivanh Senesoury, 35, of Storm Lake was charged with four counts of delivery of methamphetamine, a class C felony; two counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, a class C felony; delivery of marijuana, a class D felony; possession with intent to deliver marijuana, a class D felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Keomanivanh Senesoury was booked into the county jail on a $50,000 bond.

Kaisone Navongsa, 30, of Storm Lake, was charged with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, a class C felony; possession with intent to deliver marijuana, a class D felony; gathering where controlled substances are used, a class D felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia. Navongsa was booked into the county jail on a $50,000 bond.

Khonsavanh Navongsa, 29, of Storm Lake, was charged with gathering where controlled substances are used, a class D felony; possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Navongsa was booked into the county jail on a $5,000 bond.

Thavone Navongsa, 33, of Storm Lake, was charged with gathering where controlled substances are used, a class D felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia. Navongsa was booked into the county jail on a $5,000 bond. The following people were charged with gathering where controlled substances are used, a class D felony.

All three were booked into the county jail on a $5,000 bond each.

  •  Tommy Navongsa, 20, of Storm Lake
  •  Chanthala Satibanchong, 40, of Storm Lake
  • Alex Senesoury, 26, of Storm Lake

WASHINGTON — Experts at a National Defense University (NDU) conference warned that the Iranian-backed narcoterrorist group Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, has expanded across Latin American and into the United States.

The Shiite movement group, which is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, generates millions of dollars through drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal activities in the Americas, the experts said during a conference at NDU entitled, “Beyond Convergence: A World Without Order.”hezbollah-AP-640x480

Iran is considered a state-sponsor of terrorism by the U.S.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration has reportedly conceded to most demands in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

In written testimony recently prepared for lawmakers, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) expressed concern about the movement of “special interest aliens” in Latin America.

Special interests aliens refers to immigrants from countries such as Iran, which have been officially linked to terrorism by the United States.

Breitbart News reported that U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended at least 474 aliens from terrorism-linked countries attempting to sneak into the United States illegally last year.

“Outside actors are increasingly seeking to challenge the U.S. as the defense partner of choice in the [Latin American] region,” testified the defense intel agency.

Some speakers at the NDU conference identified Russia, Iran, and China as “outside actors” in Latin America.

The experts’ comments at the conference concerning Hezbollah’s spread in Latin America came on the heels of reports that an explosive device allegedly linked to an Iranian diplomat was found by the Israeli embassy in Uruguay.

Dr. Matt Levitt, director of the Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, pointed out that Iran has “created a foreign Shiite legion” that includes thousands of members of Hezbollah and the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

He compared the manpower behind Iran’s “Shiite foreign legion” to estimates of foreign militants fighting for the Sunni jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.

“We are completely fixated and for good reason on the Sunni foreign fighters — some 20,000 foreign fighters from around the world… and about 5,000 from the West,” said Dr. Levitt. “That should get your attention, but there are at least as many Shiite foreign fighters.”

“These guys are not going to simply hang up their coats and go back to being farmers or what not because, at the end of the day, this is something that Iran is going to have in its back pocket — that’s its network to leverage horrible kinds of things at the end of the day,” he continued.

Dr. David Asher, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, explained that Hezbollah exemplifies a convergence between terrorism and criminal activities such as drug trafficking.

“Hezbollah has morphed from being a terrorist organization and resistance movement to becoming a transnational criminal resistance organization fueled by a huge illicit financial and business apparatus,” said Dr. Asher.

“I consider Hezbollah today to be one of the largest exporters of illicit narcotics from South America and certainly one of the largest facilitators of the export of illicit narcotics from South America to West Africa and into Europe,” he added. “And they are probably the world’s largest money laundering organization.”

U.S. officials had indicated that Hezbollah presence in South America was limited to the region’s tri-border area, which includes Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

However, Dr. Levitt said the group has expanded beyond that region to other parts in Latin America.

Dr. Asher added that Hezbollah draws part of its memberships from the Lebanese diaspora in Latin America and the United States, which includes thousands of individuals.

He cited illicit criminal activity linked to the group in U.S. courts.

“In Latin America, transnational threats such as drug- and arms-trafficking and special interest alien transit, coupled with porous borders, have increased insecurity and challenged stability and prosperity,” the U.S. defense intel agency told lawmakers.








Two Santa Rosa men were arrested after police stopped their speeding vehicle in Novato and found more than 5 pounds of methamphetamine in the car, the California Highway Patrol said.

Leny Romero-Moya, 18, and Juvenal Mondragon, 20, were booked into Marin County Jail with bail set at $250,000.

The incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Monday on northbound Highway 101, where the CHP saw a speeding Mercedes near the South Novato Boulevard offramp. The Mercedes was traveling at more than 80 mph in a 65 mph zone, said CHP Officer Andrew Barclay.

Police stopped the car just south of the downtown Novato exit. Romero-Moya was identified as the driver and Mondragon the passenger, and neither had an active driver’s license.

Police arranged for the Mercedes to be towed and conducted a search of the car. When police found a large bag of suspected meth in the car, they moved to arrest the two men.

After Romero-Moya was handcuffed, Mondragon ran off and darted through an opening in the fence next to the highway, Barclay said. Mondragon ran toward the nearby medical campus, where he was eventually found hiding in a stairwell inside Novato Community Hospital.

Romero-Moya was booked on suspicion of drug possession for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, driving while unlicensed, failure to provide proof of insurance and speeding.

Mondragon was booked on suspicion of drug possession for sale, transportation of a controlled substance and resisting police.

The suspect remained in custody Tuesday while the Marin County District Attorney’s Office reviewed whether to file charges.








WELLS — A woman who thought someone else was in her car was apparently under the influence of drugs, which led to her arrest on Sunday afternoon.

Samantha L. Green, 30, of Twin Falls, Idaho, flagged down Elko County deputies while they were patrolling in Wells, Undersheriff Clair Morris said.54da971205c20_preview-620

Green claimed someone was either in the back seat or the trunk of her car and asked the deputies to search it. However, they didn’t find anyone, Morris said.

Green left, only to return saying she could still hear someone in the car.

Again, deputies found no one, but they did reportedly discover a drug pipe and a small amount of methamphetamine in the car. As a result, Green was taken into custody.

Green was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bail was listed at $5,637.