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Texarkana – It wasn’t the check that was in the mail, but cash and drugs, which resulted in a California man being sentenced in federal court here Wednesday for shipping some 50 pounds of methamphetamine through the mails to Arkansas.

Craig William Polite, 46, of San Francisco, Calif., who was under federal supervised release in California after serving 15 years in prison there from a previous conviction on drug trafficking charges, was sentenced Wednesday by Senior U. S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes to 17 and a half years in federal prison on one count of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Polite was also assessed a five year supervised release period in conjunction with the sentence.

Polite pleaded guilty to the single conspiracy count from a March, 2013, indictment and charge filed in the Western District of Arkansas by U. S. Attorney Conner Eldridge.

Polite’s indictment and arrest stems from an investigation by the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI and the Bi-State Narcotics Task Force in which a confidential informant was cooperating to track the movements of the drugs from California to Texarkana and cash from Texarkana to California.

According to court filings, some 50 pounds of methamphetamine in two-pound quantities was shipped in 25 mailings by Polite to Texarkana during the period from 2011-2013, with payments in exchange ranging from $16,000 to $36,000 each, or an estimated total between $400,000 – $900,000.

In March, 2013, an exchange was arranged which led to the identification by address of Polite as the shipper of the drugs and receiver of the cash, and federal agents subsequently arranged to have a shipment and supposed payment made, according to court documents.

As a result, federal agents tracked the exchange through the U. S. Postal Service mails to a predetermined address in Texarkana, where they subsequently retrieved the drugs and notified federal authorities in California. Polite was later identified by U.S. Postal Service employees as the recipient of the payment packages, and was identified by the confidential informant as the source of the drugs, according to court filings.

“Repeat offenders such as Polite demonstrate a lack of respect for both the criminal justice system and society in general,” Eldridge said in a press statement Wednesday. “This case is particularly noteworthy because of the large quantity of methamphetamine being shipped to Texarkana from California.”




An East Texas man is behind bars after being charged with multiple felonies.

On Wednesday the Nacogdoches County Sheriff Office executed a search warrant at a home on County Road 522 resulting in the arrest of a Nacogdoches man.


Sheriff Jason Bridges stated the sheriff’s office had an ongoing investigation on Scott McNeely, 42, for the distribution of narcotics. The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover purchase of methamphetamine from McNeely.

The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the residence due to having probable cause. Investigators found McNeely at his home Wednesday afternoon upon the execution of the search warrant. A search of the residence was conducted and 21 grams of crystal methamphetamine was found. Also confiscated was a firearm, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia. McNeely is a convicted felon and not allowed to be in possession of firearms.

McNeely was arrested at the scene and taken to the Nacogdoches County Jail. McNeely was charged with manufacturing or delivering of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and delivery of a controlled substance.

His bond was set at $125,000.



ELSMERE, Ky. – Northern Kentucky narcotics investigators arrested four people people in connection with the manufacturing of methamphetamine when they raided a home hiding in plain sight Thursday afternoon.

Investigators with the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force along with Elsmere and Erlanger police officers raided a working meth lab at 5 Eastern Ave., less than 200 feet away from Elsmere police headquarters. Inside they found 35 individual, small-batch labs, each capable of producing “several grams” of meth, investigators said.

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The more than six-month investigation netted the arrests of Charlotte Morris, 24, of Elsmere; Brittany Allen, 24, of Elsmere; Jonathan Ahlers, 24, of Villa Hills; and Medearis Northcutt, 23, of Fort Mitchell. Investigators seized meth and precursor. Initially, police detained six people, who are all in their 20s.

Armed with a search warrant and rifles, narcotics investigators entered the home at about 4 p.m. They also found digital scales. It was not known if any cash or weapons were retrieved.

The six that were arrested included one woman. Authorities have not released their identities, as they are still under questioning, investigators said.

“In my opinion, it’s a substantial operation,” said Elsmere Detective Dennis McCarthy, a 37-year veteran. “We found all the things that would be required for producing meth.

“Ninety percent of the time, it’s a long investigation to get it where we’re at today.”

McCarthy said that some of the meth and materials that were seized Thursday was a fresh batch. Investigators spent hours taking inventory and neutralizing material before they could take it away.

Elsemere police received complaints in recent months about suspicious and drug activity on Eastern Avenue and referred the information to the strike force, said Elsmere Police Chief Tim Thames.

Meth kind of faded away when we saw the rise of heroin, but it appears that it, too, is making a comeback,” Thames said.

Vickie Phillips, who has lived on the Eastern Avenue for 20-plus years, said she’s noticed some suspicious activity in recent months.

“I used to see people parking down the street away from the house and walk up to it and then leave 10 or 15 minutes later,” Phillips said.

Northern Kentucky Strike Force Director Bill Mark said the suspects produced meth using the “one-pot” method, cooking single batches at a time. Meth labs are becoming more and more mobile with the growing popularity of the “one-pot” method, he said.

“It was produced in small quantities, but done so on a pretty regular basis,” Mark said. “By no means do I think it’s an insult to Elsmere PD that this was across the street, rather these people were brazen that they thought they could get away with it.”

Mark said he doesn’t believe that the Eastern Avenue operation was part of a larger ring, but investigators are working to find out.

“When it comes to meth, we want to look into who’s supplied the raw materials to those doing the production,” Mark said. “The production is centered here.”

Thursdays raid was the third in the last year in Elsmere, he said.

Investigators said methamphetamine manufactures are turning to primitive processes to produce the stimulant. Methamphetamine is produced using an explosive cocktail of household goods and chemicals.

Methamphetamine is mainly made with diverted products that contain pseudoephedrine, Mark said, and it’s commonly found in over-the-counter cough medicine and decongestants.

Locally, one of the biggest challenges law enforcement agencies face is identifying small-time “cooks,” who may be just producing enough methamphetamine for a few days for use by a small number of people.

Small-time cooks use ether, paint thinner, Freon, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid and lithium taken from inside batteries in the production process, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.



MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Six people, including an Alabama state prison guard and two inmates, were charged Thursday in a federal investigation of a drug trafficking operation that stretched from California to Alabama.

Federal officials announced the arrests in Montgomery and said more are expected. The Drug Enforcement Administration agent in charge of Alabama, Clay Morris, described it as “a nationwide drug trafficking organization that had its base here in Alabama.”

He said the organization was getting supplies from California and Texas and is suspected of distributing 90 pounds of methamphetamine in Alabama.

Morris said the DEA began investigating methamphetamine supplies coming into Alabama in early 2012, and the investigation focused on Miguel Calles-Gutierrez, 42, of Birmingham.

He said that with the help of the Alabama Department of Corrections, the investigation expanded to include Calles-Gutierrez’s son, Gumaro Calles, 24, who is serving a 30-year sentence for first-degree assault and two counts of vehicular homicide from Jefferson County. He is at Staton Correctional Facility, a state prison in Elmore.

The investigation also expanded to include Alberto Trejo, who is an inmate at another Alabama prison, Bullock County Correctional Facility in Union Springs. Trejo, 31, is serving life sentence for a murder conviction in Jefferson County.

The DEA agent said the two are suspected of using contraband cellphones to run the drug operation from prison.

Trejo was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, while Calles-Gutierrez and his son were charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

Morris said Trejo is suspected of recruiting a correctional officer at Kilby State Prison in Montgomery, Phillip Burgin, to transport methfor the organization.

Burgin, 23, of Montgomery, was stopped in late April by Oklahoma state police with 30 pounds of the drug in his vehicle, and he is charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, Morris said.

Also charged with conspiracy to distribute were Stephanie Auban, 41, of Cullman, and William Thomas Crane, 36, of Crossville, who Morris said were connected to the 30 pounds of meth confiscated in Oklahoma.

The charges were based on indictments returned by federal grand juries in Montgomery and Birmingham.

Court records only listed an attorney for Trejo on Thursday, and he could not be reached immediately for comment. All six defendants are being held in jail.

During the roundup of the suspects early Thursday, Morris said officers seized another 6.5 pounds of methamphetamine and $50,000 to $60,000 in cash and the three firearms. That’s in addition to $230,000 seized earlier in the investigation.

“Clearly the organization was substantial. It was national in scope,” Morris said.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas drew praise from the DEA agent and U.S. Attorney George Beck for his help. “We are not going to stand back and allow illegal activity to occur in our correctional facilities,” Thomas said.





Crossville man among those arrested in major Methamphetamine case

Six people, including a Crossville resident, an Alabama state prison guard and two inmates, have been arrested as part of a bust of a huge methamphetamine ring.

William Thomas Crane II, 36, Crossville; Stephanie Auban, 41, Cullman; Phillip Burgin, 23, Montgomery; and Alberto Trejo were indicted by a federal grand jury in Montgomery for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Miguel Calles-Gutierrez, 42, Birmingham; and Gumaro Calles, 24, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Birmingham for distribution of methamphetamine.

Burgin was a prison guard at Kilby State Prison in Montgomery, while Calles and Trejo are incarcerated at Staton Correctional Facility in Elmore and Bullock County Correctional Facility in Union Springs, respectively.

Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Clay Morris said an investigation began in 2012 into an drug ring that was bringing meth to central and north Alabama. He said Calles and Trejo were believed to be using cellphones to aid their distribution operation from prison.

Burgin was stopped in Oklahoma with 30 pounds of methamphetamine in his vehicle. Morris said the state prison system helped with the investigation.

“Drug dealers spread poison for profit,” U.S. Attorney George L. Beck Jr. said. “They addict children for profit, they destroy families for profit, and they infect communities for profit. There are countless victims of drug dealing. We need to remember and attempt to help these victims, and need to continue to do all that is possible under the law to punish these poison pushers.”

If convicted Ausban, Burgin, Crane, Miller and Trejo face a sentence of at least 10 years in prison and a maximum prison term of life. Calles-Gutierrez and Calles each face a sentence of no more than 20 years in prison. In the federal system, there is no parole.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alabama Department of Corrections.







Four Taiwanese visitors to New Zealand have been charged with importing 11 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

Customs officers found the methamphetamine concealed within heavy metal boxes at the Air Cargo Inspections Facility at Auckland International Airport on Tuesday.

Three men and a woman have appeared in Auckland District Court charged with the importation and supply of the drug,

Detective Senior Sergeant Lloyd Schmid from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency says two of the men, aged 19 and 29, arrived in New Zealand on March 24.

Mr Schmid says the methamphetamine seized during the investigation has a street value of more than $11 million.




WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WTKR) — A mobile meth lab was discovered late Monday night after state police troopers pulled over a woman on I-64 near Lightfoot.

Virginia State Police troopers say a woman driving a 2005 Chrysler hatchback was driving erratically on I-64 near the 234 mile marker. They say she was speeding up, slowing down and weaving.

Troopers pulled the woman over on suspicion of driving under the influence.

However, troopers say they discovered that the vehicle was actually a mobile meth lab and that the woman was cooking as she was driving.

The situation prompted a HazMat investigation by York County Fire and Rescue, which shut down the interstate for several hours early Tuesday morning.

“The biggest concern when we’re talking about mobile meth labs is a flammable or explosive situation because of the nature of the chemicals that are being used,” says Lt. Rich Burgess of York County Fire Rescue and Safety.

The woman, identified as 39-year-old Christie Ann Smith, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, false identity, no valid operators license, driving while suspended, and manufacturing methamphetamine.

Smith was taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail where she received no bond.



One person was arrested after a methamphetamine operation was uncovered Wednesday at an Escambia County motel.

About 10:30 a.m., Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the American Best Motel at 7200 Plantation Road in response to an anonymous tip about possible narcotics activities.


Once inside the motel room deputies noticed material that is used in the manufacture of methamphetamines and called for the ECSO Narcotics Unit to take over the investigation.

Brett Randall Wilt, 38, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a listed chemical and production of methamphetamine. He remained in the Escambia County Jail Thursday morning with bond set at $46,000.




FORT MYERS, FLDeputies caught three people manufacturing methamphetamine in a Fort Myers motel Tuesday.

A patrol deputy was tipped off about what was going on in Room 270 of the at 4811 S. Cleveland Avenue and headed to the room to talk to the occupants.

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Along the way, the deputy encountered three men in Room 268, who spoke to the deputy with their door wide open and smoke, which had a cleaning chemical-type odor to it, rolling out the door.

The arrest report says the deputy could see a syringe sitting on a refrigerator and a bottle of liquid drain opener. He could also see a clear soda bottle with what appeared to be residue left behind after making meth using the “shake and bake” production method.

The deputy asked about the bottle, and the men, two of whom were later identified as brothers 43-year-old Denny Newman and 42-year-old Gordon Newman, said it belonged to the woman staying in Room 270.

So the deputy knocked on that door and a man opened it. That room also had a strong chemical smell coming from it, according to the arrest report.

Inside, the deputy spotted a plastic bottle that had been cut in half, the inside of which had a white, chalky residue on it consistent with methamphetamine.

The deputy asked the man who opened the door, later identified as 31-year-old Jeremy Mayne, and a woman inside the room about the bottle. Both said they knew nothing about it, but it might belong to a woman staying in Room 272.

So the deputy went to Room 272 and talked to two women inside, both of whom said they had no items in Room 270 except bags of clothing.

The deputy got all those involved out of their respective rooms and turned the investigation over to a narcotics detective.

Items found in rooms 268 and 270 tested positive for meth, according to deputies.

When asked, the brothers said they had let Mayne use their room while they left to go to a shop down the street. They told the detective their mother had rented the room for them

But when deputies went to that shop to check surveillance video to see if they had been there, investigators say the Newmans changed their story a few times.

The sheriff’s office seized 1,473 grams of liquid meth from Room 268, where the brothers were staying, and another 617 grams of liquid meth from Room 270, where they found Mayne..

The Newman brothers and Mayne were arrested on charges of production and trafficking of methamphetamine.

Deputies determined the women were prostitutes and released them.




For too long Hezbollah has been able to conduct its illegal operations unhindered by the threat of a direct response from the United States.

The jihadist group originally established by Iran has expanded its reach and shifted its strategy to operate in virtually every corner of the world including Latin America and Europe.

Designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1995, Hezbollah is responsible for the largest number of American deaths overseas by a terrorist organization second only to al Qaeda. Its deadly global reach has included bombing U.S. targets in Lebanon during the 1980s, Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina in the 1990s, and recent attacks in Europe and Southeast Asia.

Other than direct donations, a significant portion of Hezbollah’s profits are earned through drug trafficking in Latin America and worldwide. In 2011, the U.S. government seized hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits linked to Hezbollah. The group also relies on a series of front companies to fund its global terrorist activities.

Hezbollah is notorious for using charities and front organizations to hide its funding sources. The Al-Aqsa International Foundation, for example, is a known front organization for Hamas with ties to Hezbollah that has been blocked from participating in financial markets by the U.S., Germany and Great Britain. The Al-Mabarrat Charity Association is another example of an identified charity that funnels money to Hezbollah’s terrorist activities. There are numerous other such organizations worldwide, including here in the U.S.

This financial network is Hezbollah’s Achilles’ heel. Knowing this, I am working with the House Foreign Affairs Committee to advance legislation to block Hezbollah’s access to these resources.

On Monday, I introduced the first-ever legislation that simultaneously goes after Hezbollah’s criminal component and terrorist operation, along with my colleagues House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., ranking Democrat Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill.

The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act (H.R. 4411) broadens financial sanctions against the group, targets its propaganda television station al-Manar, and urges the president to define Hezbollah as a “global drug kingpin,” giving the administration another weapon to cripple Hezbollah’s operations. The bill also codifies into law the policy of the United States to prevent Hezbollah’s global logistics and financial network from operating.

This legislation requires individuals and entities that knowingly do business with Hezbollah to cease or be frozen out of U.S. financial operations. We must send the message to these individuals that as long as they continue to knowingly do business with Hezbollah, they are as culpable for attacks against innocent civilians as the terrorist group itself.

Additionally, this legislation requires the president to report to Congress within 30 days of the bill’s enactment to determine whether Hezbollah meets the criteria to be designated a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker as well as a Transnational Criminal Organization. These two important classifications will ensure that Hezbollah and its associates are denied access to the U.S. financial system.

Both of these designations would significantly undermine Hezbollah’s attempts to brand itself as a charitable and political organization, while empowering U.S. law enforcement agencies to counter Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises.

Hezbollah poses a great threat to the world—and particularly to our great ally, Israel.



MESICK — Two Mesick residents face charges in Wexford County of operating/maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory in Springville Township.

Jessica Larae Wentworth, 21, and Matthew Robert Peer, 26, each face multiple felony drug charges in Wexford County. The charges come following a four-month investigation by the Traverse Narcotics Team, according to Team Commander Detective Lt. Dan King.

The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated, King said.

A 48-year-old University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center pathologist has been indicted on three illegal-drug counts involving methamphetamine and a date-rape drug.

Robert Brian Yost of the 600 block of Crumbaugh Road, Georgetown, was named in an indictment citing two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance-more than two grams of methamphetamine and one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance-more than 10 doses of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).






Ithaca authorities say they confiscated multiple bottles of methamphetamine found near the Green State parking garage Sunday.

According to Ithaca City Firefighters, city police officers responded to the scene around 1 p.m. Sunday, April 6 and found approximately a half-dozen clear bottles filled with an unknown substance. Officers said the substance within the bottles appeared to be reacting, emitting gas.

The New York State Police C-CERT team and the Tompkins County Sheriff were called down to assist, as well as the Ithaca Fire Department Haz Mat Team.

Technicians from the responding agencies tested the substance and confirmed it was methamphetamine, firefighters said. An outside, private commercial clean-up company was called in to safely dispose of the substance, and Bangs Ambulance stood by during the event.

The investigation is ongoing at this time and anyone with information is asked to contact the Ithaca Police Department at 607-272-3245.




Auburn, N.Y. — Auburn troopers arrested a suspect after a raid of his garage turned up methamphetamine, police said.

State police, executing a warrant, searched a garage in the town of Sempronius, located at 2287 State Route 41A.


Police arrested Richard D. Casterline, 38, and charged him with with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and first-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine, both felonies.

Casterline was arraigned on the charges and is being held at the Cayuga County Jail without bail.

Emergency responders from the state police and Sempronius Fire Department also responded to the garage where it is alleged that methamphetamine was produced.



LINCOLNTON, N.C. — Lincoln County’s fourth meth lab of the year has been found in a public housing unit.

The sheriff’s office says detectives used an internet tool to track pseudoephedrine purchases. They were able to identify several people who bought methamphetamine precursors.

Detectives found the suspects Tuesday afternoon at an apartment in the 200 block of Mauney Drive in Lincolnton.

Police say the people inside consented to letting deputies search the residence. They found evidence of a one pot meth lab, according to the sheriff’s office, like empty packs of pseudoephedrine and lithium batteries.

Three suspects have been arrested:

  • Kimberly Nicole Parker, 22: one felony count each of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Schedule II, Possession/Distribute Meth Precursor, and Maintaining a Dwelling for a Controlled Substance. She also faces one misdemeanor count of Child Abuse. Bond for Parker was denied and she has a first appearance in court today.
  • Carl Lloyd Almany, III, 20: one felony count each of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Schedule II and Possess/Distribute Meth Precursor. He is also being held without bond with a first appearance in court today.
  • Pedro Salazar Pardo, Jr., 31,: one felony count each of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance Schedule II and Possess/Distribute Meth Precursor. He is also being held without bond with a first appearance in court today.


RICHMOND — A methamphetamine lab bust at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond led to the arrest Wednesday morning of five people.

Anthony Debord, 44, Carolyn Eckler, 33, and Bobbie L. Evans, 30, all of Richmond, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Douglas Pearson, 24, and Amber Dean, 21, also both of Richmond, were charged with complicity to manufacturing methamphetamine.

Carolyn EcklerAmber DeanBobbie EvansDouglas PearsonAnthony Debord

Richmond officers were sent at 12:40 a.m. to the Bel Air Motel, 1509 Lexington Road across from Arlington House, after receiving a report that meth was being made there, according to an RPD report.

When they arrived, the officers reported making contact with an occupant of one of the rooms and finding several one-step meth labs in plain view.

Officers secured the premises and detained several people believed to be involved in the manufacturing operation, the report stated. The RPD meth lab cleanup team, Richmond Fire Department and EMS units were summoned to the scene to assist. The clean up and processing of the scene continued until late morning.


The officers determined that one of the suspects had rented three rooms at the motel, including the room were the labs were discovered, according to the report.

The five suspects were decontaminated and examined at Baptist Health Richmond prior to being taken to the Madison County Detention Center.


Additional charges

One of the suspects in the meth lab operation, Anthony Debord, also was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging him with flagrant nonsupport. The warrant was issued in December and alleges that Debord owes $40,085 in child support dating back to March 1998.

Another suspect in the meth operation, Bobbi L. Evans, was arrested on an outstanding warrant charging her with passing a counterfeit bill in February. The manager of Red Roof Inn reported Feb. 4 that Evans presented a counterfeit $100 and asked for change. Evans was an employee at the hotel at the time, the report stated. The manager told police he questioned the authenticity of the bill but was assured it was valid currency.

When the bill later was taken to a bank, it was determined to be counterfeit. Evans did not return to work after the incident, the report stated.





Richmond Motel Evacuated After Meth Lab Discovered In Room

A Madison County motel was evacuated Wednesday morning after a meth lab was discovered in one of the rooms overnight.

Police say it appears a group of people rented out one motel room at the Bel Air on Lexington Road to house their meth-making operation. The group also rented out both neighboring rooms in what detectives suspect was an attempt to create a buffer between their operation and any other guests.

Firefighters were called out to the motel around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning on reports of a chemical smell. Once they arrived, they found seven people across three motel rooms contaminated by “hazardous materials,” firefighters said. Officials said there were several one-step meth labs in plain view inside a room.

Those people were taken to the hospital to be decontaminated, and then taken to be questioned by authorities. Meanwhile, others in the motel also had to be removed as firefighters began cleaning up the room where the meth lab had been set up.

“I don’t think they were actively cooking,” said Richmond Police Assistant Chief Bob Mott. “There were several reaction vessels that had been in there. Looks they had been cooking over a period of days at least, maybe even longer than that.”

Authorities say most of those who were decontaminated will likely be charged. No others staying at the motel were contaminated, say Richmond Police.

Anthony Debord, 44; Carolyn Eckler, 33 and Bobbi L. Evans, 30, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Douglas Pearson, 24 and Amber Dean, 21, were charged with complicity to manufacturing methamphetamine.




AUBURNDALE | An Auburndale man was arrested Tuesday after detectives found 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of methamphetamine in the bushes outside of his home.

John Matthew, 53, of 2262 Lake Ariana Blvd., was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and other charges.

John Matthew

Detectives assigned to the Polk County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force were watching Matthew’s home when they saw him trying to reach something in the bushes, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives approached Matthew and found methamphetamine behind the bushes. He was also carrying a digital scale, baggies with methamphetamine residue in them and a drug ledger.

They also found other drug-related objects in his house.

Matthew has 10 previous arrests in Polk County on 31 charges.




Two Alamogordo residents face child abuse charges after police allege the suspects left their methamphetamine out where four children had access to it, according to Otero County Magistrate Court records.

According to court records obtained by the Daily News, Amanda Nye, 30, and Dustin Bolden, 29, are each charged with one count of third-degree felony child abuse, one count of fourth-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and one count of special penalty misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bolden is also charged with misdemeanor battery on a household member for allegedly battering Nye, court records show.

Police responded to a residence in the 1600 block of Aspen on April 3 in reference to a physical domestic dispute in progress, according to court records.

Once on scene, police allegedly found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on the ground outside the residence, which Bolden allegedly said had been inside the home within reach of four young children, court records indicate.

Police allege Bolden attempted to pull Nye through a window during the domestic dispute, according to court records.

Nye was jailed at the Otero County Detention Center in lieu of a $21,000 no-10 percent bond pending her appearance in court. Bolden was also jailed at OCDC on a $22,000 no-10 percent bond pending his appearance in court, according to court records.

The children were released to a family member, Alamogordo Police Department Sgt. Tracy Corbett said.



MOULTRIE — For the second time in as many weeks, law enforcement has seized suspected crystal meth in the county, with investigators saying this purer form of methamphetamine is turning up more frequently.

On Tuesday night, Moultrie police said, they stopped a car on a traffic violation, smelled marijuana and found suspected pot, methamphetamine, bags of pills and a pistol.

Moultrie Police Department reports said that an officer stopped a 1978 Ford pickup truck driven by Nathan Keith McClelland at about 12:10 a.m. because of a faulty tag light. When McClelland pulled into a parking lot at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Tallokas Road, he told police he did not have a license and the officer smelled the aroma of marijuana, the report said.

When one of the two passengers got out of the truck, a second officer noticed two syringes in the floorboard, police said. A search of McClelland and the passengers, a male and female, turned up nothing illegal, but a search of a black bag inside the truck revealed several bags of suspected marijuana and multiple bags of suspected crystal meth.

Also inside the bag, police said, were a bag containing pills, scales and a black semi-automatic pistol.

On April 1, the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office found suspected crystal meth , marijuana and prescription drugs, as well as more than $2,000 in cash and a pistol. They also arrested Joseph Paul French, 27, during an investigation at the former Wilkes Nursery building after a jogger flagged down a passing deputy’s car to report suspicions of several cars parked there.

The methamphetamine seized in the area typically has been the homemade variety made in plastic drink bottles using household ingredients including batteries, lantern fuel and lye. It has only been in the last couple of years that the purer form with the signature clear crystals has started to turn up in the county in any quantity.

“We’ve seen it a few times recently,” police Inv. Steven Colgan said.

The sheriff’s office also has been seeing the purer form of the drug.

Colgan said he could not speculate on where the methamphetamine seized on Wednesday came from.

“That’s part of the investigation,” he said.

So far McClelland, 25, 1637 Bob Taylor Road, has been charged with possession of crystal meth, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of tag light required, driving with license suspended and possession of marijuana.





Kern County Sheriff’s Department deputy Steven Battistoni said methamphetamine was discovered inside a day care facility.

At about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers from the California Multijurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team, with assistance from the Southern Tri County HIDTA Task Force and the Kern Narcotics Enforcement Team executed a search warrant in the 400 block of F Street in Wasco.

Wasco is about 30 miles northwest of Bakersfield, Calif.

The search warrant concluded a narcotic investigation that was instigated after public complaints regarding the sales of narcotics coming from the home that serves as a day care.

During the search, officers said they found just under a half of a pound of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of just over $20,000.

Officers had determined that there was a day care being ran out of the home and served the warrant prior to any children arriving.

Officers have notified state licensing agents of their findings.

Arrested at the scene was 24-year-old Wasco resident Angel Soto.

Soto was booked into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Jail on various narcotics related charges, destruction of evidence and participation in a criminal street gang charges.



It’s one of the least populated portions of Virginia.

Yet communities like Pulaski, Giles, Wythe, Carroll and the 11 other counties that make up division four of the state police have one of the Commonwealth’s biggest problems.


“There’s no easy answer in trying to deal with the meth problem here in Southwest Virginia,” said Sgt. Michael Conroy with the Virginia State Police.

Methanphetamines, or meth for short, have gone from a blip on the radar to one of the biggest problems facing police in our area today.

Conroy is one of several troopers who regularly work meth busts.

“Every year it seems that our responsibilities in terms of meth labs is growing,” he said. “Sometimes the budget issues don’t catch up with the cost involved.”

It’s a claim the numbers back-up.

Statewide, there were 28 meth busts in 2009.

In 2013, that number sky-rocketed to 408 busts, with 85 percent of those happening in Southwest Virginia.

Conroy said the drug’s addictiveness and how easy it is to make are causing it to spread rapidly.

“We have followed people when they have been released from custody and they’re out buying Sudafed again or going to another lab.”

Now the problem is beginning to spread east.

Montgomery County saw its meth lab busts jump nearly five times in 2013.

Communities like Roanoke and Bedford are seeing a rise as well.

Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Whitt said it’s a growing concern for deputies.

“I think it’s jumped almost to the epidemic portion at this time,” he said.

The General Assembly instituted a monitoring system for certain ingredients used to make meth.

Lawmakers are asking for patience with the new system.

But with more resources needed and more money being spent, patience is a luxury many departments are running out of.

“(It’s) the compensatory time, the overtime,” Whitt said. “The dedication of trying to ensure that we’re as safe as we can be here in Montgomery County.”

If the number of meth busts continue on the current pace, there will be close to a 50 percent jump statewide in 2014.

So far, 80 percent of those busts have been here in Southwest Virginia.


Meth labs are a growing problem across the Commonwealth and new numbers show the majority of the problem is here in Southwest Virginia.

In 2013, police busted more than 400 meth labs across Virginia.

85 percent of those came from Southwest Virginia.

State Police say the problem has been spreading from west to east, with the current problem coming from Tennessee.

For all of the dangers surrounding the drug, users are not the only ones effected.

“You do see a lot of children that have been exposed to these meth labs,” said Sgt. Michael Conroy with the Virginia State Police in Wythe County. “It is very frustrating because the children are innocent victims, and you have their caregiver or parents addicted this powerful stimulant.”

Coming up tonight at 6 on WSLS 10, we dig deeper into Southwest Virginia’s meth problem and the impact it’s having on local and state police.



 Medford police last week arrested a pair of Medford sisters for packaging and selling methamphetamine inside a house across the street from Wilson Elementary School, authorities said.

Following a monthlong investigation, police on April 3 raided the house at 1524 Corona Ave., and arrested Kayci Nichole Miller, 30, and Haley Rianne Miller, 31, of the 300 block of Chestnut Street, according to a Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement news release.

Miller, Haley RianneMiller, Kayci Nichole

Police recovered a half-pound of methamphetamine, a pound of marijuana, packaging materials and scales from the residence, the release said.

Medford police Sgt. Ben Lytle wouldn’t disclose how police were alerted to the drug house, but he said police were happy to “interrupt their business.”

Kayci Miller was charged with possession, manufacture and delivery of methamphetamine, delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, delivery and manufacture of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and three counts of first-degree child neglect, Jackson County Circuit Court records show.

Haley Miller was charged with possession, manufacture and delivery of methamphetamine, and delivery and manufacture of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school, records show.

Lytle said drug investigations involving residences in close proximity to schools take priority for MADGE because of the potential for violence associated with drug deals, higher chance of intoxicated drivers and the frequent visits drug users typically make to a property.

Both suspects were lodged in the Jackson County Jail following their arrests but were released on their own recognizance the following day after being arraigned in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Three children of Kayci Miller, who were living at the residence, were taken into the custody of the Department of Human Services, Mak said.

Devices to monitor houses for illegal drugs are starting to appear in Waikato rental properties but agencies say the demand isn’t great – yet.

The MethMinder is a smoke detector-sized monitoring and alarm unit which can detect gases given out in the P cooking process and use the digital cell network to send a message to monitors.

One was installed several weeks ago at Amy Maynard-Hassett’s rented home in Silverdale.

The 26-year-old and her fellow tenants – mostly family members – had been in the house about four months and were a little surprised to find the monitor was for drugs.

But they had nothing to fear, she said. “It was basically like . . . ‘Install away. You’re not going to find anything’.”

Later, they asked friends to see if anyone else had a similar monitor in their properties but no-one had.

Auckland-based MethSolutions sales and marketing manager Nicky Stratford said the “highly sensitive” monitor had been on the market for around five years.

“Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s about protecting the asset [property] but also protecting the health and safety of the tenants and the future tenants going into the property.”

She estimated that about 30 monitors had been installed in the Waikato area and said interest was “growing by the day”.

Installation outside Auckland cost around $200 and yearly lease costs started from $440.

Property owners were becoming more aware of the possibility of meth manufacturing in their properties but there had been few requests for monitors so far, Hamilton rental agencies said.

Natasha Metcalfe-Black of L J Hooker Hamilton predicted they would become far more popular and said she would want a meter installed if she were a landlord.

“It’s going to be more popular for landlords to ask for that in some of their houses. Maybe especially places like Ngaruawahia and Huntly.”

So far the agency had just one request and a monitor was installed in a Raglan property.




MASSILLON – A fire that sent one man to the hospital appears to have been caused by a meth lab just before midnight Monday.


Firefighters responded at 11:33 p.m. to a house fire at 914 Ninth Street SW. A man was found behind the house complaining of shortness of breath, and he told firefighters the fire was in a closet on the second floor, according to Assistant Chief Chris Bunnenberg. The man was treated at the scene and then taken to Affinity Medical Center. He was transported to the burn unit at Akron Children’s Hospital.


The fire was under control at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, Bunnenberg said. Ohio Edison was called to remove the electric meter. The gas company also had to be called even though the house did not have a gas meter. Someone had tapped into a bypass, which made gas come into the house.


A Perry Township medical unit and an engine from Jackson Township were on standby. The Stark County Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Team was called because materials for manufacturing meth were found inside the house.


The cause of the fire is listed as accidental. The building sustained about $15,000 damage. The fire department was on the scene until 3:45 a.m.




SOUTH ROXANA, Ill. (AP) — Four southwestern Illinois men face methamphetamine-related charges following the February death of a woman whose body was found in a rental van.

The Belleville News-Democrat ( ) reports that Madison County prosecutors charged two of the men with aggravated unlawful participation in methamphetamine manufacturing. All four are accused of unlawfully disposing of meth manufacturing waste.

Authorities say 42-year-old Frances Ragan of East Alton was found dead Feb. 8 in a South Roxana store parking lot.

South Roxana police Lt. Bob Cole says the official cause of Ragan’s death was ruled to be hypothermia, though methamphetamine was found in her system.

Cole alleges the four men manufactured and dealt meth, and that Ragan partook in it.




 A man will appear in court today (Wednesday) facing more than 100 charges relating mostly to drug supply following a police raid on a home at Broken Hill.

In December 2012, officers attached to Barrier Local Area Command formed Strike Force Ipel to investigate drug supply in the Broken Hill area.

The execution of a search warrant at a North Broken Hill home yesterday (Tuesday) was the result of those investigations, police say.

Officers say the raid turned up a small quantity of methamphetamine, drug utensils, packaging, a number of samurai swords and electrical items and equipment believed to be stolen.

A 30-year-old man was arrested at the premises and taken to Broken Hill Police Station, where he was charged with more than 100 offences, predominantly relating to the supply of methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine and property theft.

He was refused bail to appear before Broken Hill Local Court today.