A Kentucky coroner says an inmate who was restrained at a county jail died from methamphetamine intoxication.

Casey County jailers found 34-year-old Jerry Dale Hardwick dead in a restraint chair at the facility on July 5. Casey County Coroner Curt Demrow told The Advocate-Messenger (http://bit.ly/2bs38j3) that a toxicology report finalized last week lists methamphetamine intoxication as the primary cause of death. Demrow says Hardwick’s meth levels were “very high.”

He says ethanol withdrawal and dehydration were contributing conditions.

The Casey County Sheriff’s Office has said Hardwick was jailed on the day he died on charges of public intoxication, fleeing police, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. Demrow says Hardwick was placed in the restraint chair because he was combative.





Lake County – As residents of the tiny town of Lower Lake began returning to their destroyed or damaged homes, the man accused of setting the Clayton Fire appeared Wednesday in a packed Lakeport courtroom to face charges that he started not only that destructive blaze, but many others in the same vicinity.

Residents, reporters and television camera operators crammed into the courtroom as arson charges were formally read in Lake Superior Court against Damin Anthony Pashilk, 40, a construction worker with a history of criminal charges in Lake and Napa counties stretching back at least two decades, most either for drug possession or driving on a suspended license.DAMIN%20ANTHONY%20PASHILK

Pashilk entered the hushed courtroom shackled and hiding his face from the photographers, who filled seats four rows deep. He faces 19 charges, including aggravated arson, arson of forestland, and arson with damages in excess of $7 million. He also faces a count of methamphetamine possession and a charge of driving on a suspended license.

Pashilk did not enter a plea Wednesday. He is being held at the Lake County jail with bail set at $5 million. His next court appearance is Sept. 7.

Lake County prosecutors allege Pashilk set a dozen fires, including the Clayton Fire and July 2015’s Long Fire, set on forestland at Highway 20 east of New Long Valley Road, and attempted to set a 13th, all between July 2, 2015, and last weekend. Investigators have tallied the damage from the Clayton Fire at more than $7 million.

“We are very confident that this is our guy,” said Scott McLean, spokesman for Cal Fire, the agency investigating the blaze, at a news conference following the afternoon arraignment. He called Pashilk a “serial arsonist.”

“When something like this happens, it devastates us all,” he said.

Pashilk learned firefighting skills while serving time at the California Correctional Center in Susanville.

At the news conference, McLean acknowledged Pashilk received two months of fire training while in prison in 2007 on drug and firearms charges, but said the man “never went out on the line, never fought any fires.” The Cal Fire spokesman also brushed aside speculation that Pashilk’s training motivated the alleged arson.

“It may have given him knowledge of fire behavior,” McLean said, “but it’s not a motive behind the fire.”

McLean said Pashilk’s home burned in 2013, but did not specify the extent of the damage.

Anger is running high in Lake County, where some residents attending a community meeting Monday night in Middletown yelled “hang him” when officials announced Pashilk’s arrest.

Brian Martin, Lake County sheriff, said authorities “have concern for (Pashilk’s) safety. There are a lot of emotional responses, a lot of chatter on social media.”

Fire crews continue to gain ground on the blaze, which roared to life Saturday and Sunday and tore through the tiny, economically depressed town of Lower Lake, destroying 175 structures and forcing thousands of residents from their homes. Containment of the Clayton Fire was at 55 percent Thursday morning.

Some Lower Lake residents returned to their homes Wednesday to begin assessing the damage. The evacuation center in Kelseyville had just 15 people Wednesday, down from 60 on Tuesday.

As they returned, residents asked each other about reports of looting and tried to protect boats and cars that somehow escaped a blaze that consumed houses. So far, a heavy presence of firefighters and PG&E repair crews had reassured residents their properties were safe.

Jamie Gekas, 63, lost five houses and several barns on a 30-acre property that had been in his wife’s family since 1962. He built the family’s main house in 1985. It was a two-story Victorian-style home that had vanished from the landscape in the fire.

“We were more or less the library for the family,” keeping photographs and toys that had been in the family for generations, he said.

They’re all gone.

“Everything we wanted to keep is gone,” said his daughter, Tarin Benson, 36. “My kids won’t have anything for us to pass on to them.”

The family also lost one of its nine horses. Another miniature pony is at UC Davis veterinary hospital receiving treatment for burns and damage to his lungs.

Benson reached the horse Sunday while flames licked the family’s property. She brought water to the animals and held the injured pony for most of the night.

She’s the principal at Lower Lake Elementary School. One of its classrooms was destroyed and five more were damaged. Her staff members had a meeting Wednesday to prepare for the first day of school this week.

They’ve received donations of full backpacks stuffed with supplies from neighboring towns. It’s not clear yet how many of her students have been displaced by the fire.

The family met with an insurance representative Wednesday. They’re bracing for a long period of rebuilding but acknowledged they’re better off than some neighbors. “At least we have a daughter to take care of us,” said Gekas, who is staying at Benson’s home.


CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) – Two volunteer firefighters were exposed to a possible mobile meth lab when the vehicle crashed this morning in Craven County.

The Highway Patrol says the wreck happened around 7:00 a.m. on Highway 55 near Jasper Drive.trij54y90u35-0u5y904

The Jasper fire chief and a firefighters were exposed to the vapor coming from two plastic bottles with plastic tubing that they had picked up.

The Chevy pickup truck crashed when it ran off the road, went across Jasper Drive and then hit a ditch bank. The truck then overturned when it hit a concrete culvert pipe on a driveway, according to troopers.

Joseph Joyce, 35, of New Bern, has been charged with driving while license revoked and reckless driving. Troopers say Joyce was just released from prison last month.

Kellie Guy, 31, of New Bern, who was wearing a probation and parole ankle bracelet, was also injured and transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center.

The truck was held so it could be processed by the SBI Meth Lab Cleanup Team, while Craven County deputies are investigating possible meth charges in the case.





A former Dean Morgan Junior High campus supervisor pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter for causing the overdose death of a Casper man.

Authorities say Jon Patrick Freiberg caused the man’s death last year by putting methamphetamine in his drink. During his plea change hearing, Freiberg maintained Richard Serafin ingested the drug accidentally. Freiberg admitted he acted recklessly by not taking Serafin to a hospital when he showed signs he was overdosing.573ca792989c6_image3

Holding back tears, Freiberg entered guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. A plea agreement calls for Freiberg to be sentenced to up to 18 years in prison. He will be held in jail without bond pending his sentencing hearing.

Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said Freiberg and Serafin met through a smartphone application and agreed to meet in the early hours of Aug. 28 at the Days Inn in Casper. Blonigen said Freiberg offered the victim meth, but Serafin said he did not use drugs. Serafin did drink alcohol, however, and somehow ingested a large amount of meth, the prosecutor said.

Serafin began very quickly to have serious medical problems and Freiberg put him in a cold bath to try to revive him, Blonigen said. Freiberg also gave Serafin a small dose of additional meth in an attempt to help him, the prosecutor said.

Police found Serafin’s body about 6 p.m. inside a hot car parked outside the hotel, Blonigen said. Investigators later spoke to a teenager who said he saw Freiberg carrying Serafin and putting him into the car about 1 p.m.

An autopsy revealed Serafin died of cardiac arrest due to acute stresses of methamphetamine intoxication, the prosecutor said.

Freiberg said during the hearing that he had asked Serafin on several occasions if he needed to go to the hospital and Serafin had told him “no.” He also said he did not give Serafin a dose of meth and did not know what the prosecutor was referring to.

“I never gave him any drugs,” Freiberg said. “The drugs in his cup that he drank was purely by accident. He had poured alcohol in a cup that had methamphetamines in it.”

Freiberg said he put Serafin in his car and gave him money for gas.

Freiberg initially told the judge he did not act recklessly. However, after conferring with his attorney, he said he should not have had meth in his room and should have made sure Serafin received medical attention instead of leaving him in a hot car.

Blonigen also asserted Freiberg sold meth to people in Casper. In January, an unnamed informant told Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents that Freiberg wanted to sell him meth, according to court documents. Authorities gave the informant money to buy drugs from Freiberg and put the man under audio and visual surveillance. When the man met Freiberg at the Natrona County Public Library to buy meth, Freiberg was heard saying he had put meth in a cup and Serafin had consumed it.

Freiberg worked for the Natrona County School District until Feb. 3, when he resigned, district spokesman Kelly Eastes said. Authorities had searched his car two days earlier and reported finding methamphetamine, court documents show.





CASPER, Wyo. (AP) – A Casper man accused of causing another man’s death by putting methamphetamine in his drink has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and a drug charge.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (http://goo.gl/pgzMpM ) Jon Freiberg entered his plea Wednesday and acknowledged he was reckless by not taking 46-year-old Richard Serafin to a hospital when he showed signs of an overdose.

Investigators say Serafin died last August after Freiberg put meth in a cup Serafin was drinking from. Freiberg maintained Wednesday that Serafin consumed the drugs accidentally.

An autopsy indicates Serafin died of cardiac arrest due to the stress of meth intoxication and other health issues.

A plea agreement calls for Freiberg to be sentenced to up to 18 years in prison.

Freiberg is a former campus supervisor at Dean Morgan Junior High.

Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com





Berkeley police on Wednesday arrested eight people at a Grand Central Parkway home used as a drug distribution and meth lab and charged them with numerous drug offenses, Police Chief Karin T. DiMichele said.

It was the second time in two months a search warrant was executed at the home, the chief said.

The raid took place in the early morning hours. Township police officers were accompanied by members of the Ocean County SWAT team for their safety, DiMichele said.

All eight of the suspects arrested were charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute, DiMichele said.

Those arrested include:

  • Karen Haspel, 50, Bayville
  • Samuel Mccurdy, 50, Bayville
  • Karl Lancaster, 28, Philadelphia
  • Michael Turner, 34, Philadelphia
  • Shannon Walpole, 32 Waretown
  • Richard Frommann, 28, Bayville
  • Amanda Morris, 27, Bayville
  • Nathaniel Small, 23, Brooklyn

Bail was set at $60,000 for Haspel, Mccurdy, Walpole Frommann and Morris. Bail was set at $70,000 for Small, Turner and Lancaster. All were taken to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, the chief said.

Detectives found large amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin throughout the house, along with prescription pills and marijuana, DiMichele said.

They also found evidence of large-scale packaging and manufacturing of narcotics, including new wax folds, glass vials, scales and paraphernalia, which could have produced thousands of individual doses of heroin and cocaine for weekly distribution, the chief said.

Detectives also recovered what they believe to be a small, portable facility suspected in methamphetamine. A large amount of cash and a 2003 Nissan Xterra were also seized.

Members of the Berkeley Township HAZMAT and the Bayville Fire Department responded to assess the potential for hazards and explosive chemicals associated with suspected methamphetamine production DiMichele said. They quickly determined no immediate threat was present.

“This successful operation was conducted in direct coordination with the Ocean County Prosecutors Office Special Operations Group, who greatly assisted in all aspects of this investigation,” the chief said.

More arrests are expected, DiMichele said.

Residents are urged to contact the Berkeley Township police to report suspicious activity. Anyone with any information is asked to call 732-341-1132 x611 TIPS can remain anonymous.





(MTN News-POPLAR) The state of Montana is home to some of the proudest residents, but there’s one county so deeply devastated by drug addiction that it’s people have been forgotten and left to die.11364890_G

Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick said methamphetamine is the big problem on the reservation.

“Everyone out there trying to get their fix, they’re breaking into communities, and it’s involved in the violent crimes too,” said Frederick.

“During the day, Poplar, Wolf Point, Frazier, Oswego, Brockton they’re all great places,” said Detective Ken Trottier, who works for the Fort Peck Justice Department. “Great people out, I call them the working class people. At night, when everyone is off work, and it’s time to go to bed, the good people go to bed, and our criminal element comes out at night.”

The drug itself breaks into homes and infiltrates families, destroying hope.

“We’ve had 70 year-olds test positive and kids as young as 12 and 13 test positive for meth,” said Trottier.

Trottier estimates that about 60 percent of Roosevelt County residents are addicted to methamphetamine, opioids, or both.

And those are the addicts who choose to use the drug.

On the Fort Peck Reservation, babies are born just as addicted as those who can walk the streets in search of their next fix.

Fort Peck Chief Judge Stacie Crawford Smith grew up on the reservation and said she’s witnessed the methamphetamine epidemic develop over the years.

“It has broken up families, we have children that are in foster care, and we have parents that can’t take care of themselves,” said Smith. “We have children who look 20 years older than they should.”

Smith is at the head of the tribe’s inundated justice system, which she says sees on average 15 methamphetamine cases each week.

That’s 45 percent more cases than Yellowstone County, which has ten times the population.

Trottier and Frederick say methamphetamine has played a direct role in four murders this year.

Addiction has also been a contributing factor in the abduction and rape of a young girl, as well as overdose deaths, too many to count.

“I’m concerned about what point will our people be looked at as incompetent, and think we didn’t do anything about this when we knew we had this problem,” said Smith.

It’s not for a lack of effort.

But law enforcement can only do what it’s asked, and tribal prosecutors were limited until now.

“Drugs have taken over our communities, and people are tired of it,” said Frederick. “They’re starting to take a stand. But we need the community to help us elected officials.”

Tribal Council, which has declared war on methamphetamine, recently voted to make possession of the drug a felony crime.

Before the vote, which initially did not pass in the council, possession of methamphetamine was a misdemeanor.

A felony charge carries up to three years in tribal jail and can be considered for federal detention.

“The point that we’re trying to get across to people with meth is the punishment has to be strict, swift, and we have to put teeth into our laws,” said Smith.

But the new tribal jail, which was built to house 97 inmates, is always full.

Smith admits more must be done.

“Jail isn’t going to hold them forever, and jail isn’t the answer, it’s not a cure,” said Smith.

Tribal leaders know treatment is crucial, but how and with what money are questions that have yet to be answered.

“Enforcement is a big issue right now. Treatment is a big issue,” said Frederick. “The problem with treatment is you can’t go away and come back here, and that’s the problem for a lot of people.”

Addicts return to the same sundown, the same familiar dark streets, and a drug easier to find than a high school diploma.

“There are larger things that can happen from this,” said Smith. “I don’t want my children to have to grow up and deal with this problem when we can do it now.”




Meth addiction devastates Fort Peck Reservation


Polk County Sheriff: Meth Is Biggest Drug Problem In County, Causing Increase In Other Crimes

In the last three years, the number of cases involving methamphetamine have tripled in a pocket of far northwestern Wisconsin.

In Polk County, 124 samples of the highly powerful and addictive stimulant were submitted to the state crime lab for analysis in criminal cases last year alone.methjkktkdtr

With the increase in meth has come an increase in crimes tied to it, including home burglaries, theft, and domestic violence and abuse, said Polk County Sheriff Peter Johnson.

Much of the federal and state focus has shifted to fighting opioid abuse, Johnson said. But Gov. Scott Walker and other state officials aren’t forgetting about the biggest drug problem in Polk county — meth.

“They’re at least listening more,” Johnson said. “Everybody has financial issues to worry about, and the state is no different than the county, but at least they’re going out and attempting to find out what the real issues are.

Over the last few years, the state has seen a surge in heroin use and prescription drug abuse, but busts of meth rings and shake-and-bake meth labs have been making headlines more and more in Wisconsin.

The number of meth labs in the United States has dropped in recent years since drugs from Mexico are cheaper and more plentiful, according to previous WPR reports. Authorities believe methamphetamine has moved from Mexico to Minneapolis then to northern Wisconsin.

Johnson said there’s no silver bullet to stop meth use, but his department has been focusing more on prevention.

Another county in the region is also taking a look at how to address meth use. Chippewa County has a series of town hall meetings on methamphetamine scheduled.





A woman garnered some extra charges by trying to smuggle meth into jail after being arrested, police say.

According to the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department:

Jacqulyn Kristin Conway, 35, of Fairview Drive in Hixson, Tenn., was arrested Aug. 8 on charges of aggravated stalking, possession of meth, and crossing state/county guard lines with drugs. Her bond was set at $5,000.57b30e604e3e0_image

Deputies first encountered Conway around 8:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, at a Ringgold residence, where her ex-boyfriend was claiming she was in violation of a temporary protective order (TPO).

The ex-boyfriend stated Conway hadn’t lived at the residence for weeks, but alleged that she’d followed him around Ringgold throughout the day while he was running errands and subsequently followed him to the residence.

He also claimed she refused to leave and was trying to take some items from the residence, at which time he called 911, reports show.

Deputies eventually verified the TPO and arrested Conway for the violation.

During the booking process, jail personnel stated a plastic baggie containing methamphetamine fell from Conway’s bra during a routine strip search.

A second plastic baggie containing meth was found inside Conway’s inhaler after she told deputies during her arrest that she wasn’t in possession of anything illegal.






A 31-year-old man was arrested Monday after Lufkin police saw him standing naked in the street and attempting to cover himself with a piece of carpet.

An officer noticed Rickie Brimer at the intersection of Humason Avenue and 1471405225-BrimerNorth Timberland Drive when he heard a yell and saw the naked man in his rearview mirror, police said.

Police noticed Brimer was acting paranoid and twitchy and had bloody scratches on his arms and torso. He told officers he hurt his chest after falling off the roof of a nearby home while having sex with a woman, police said.

During the interaction, a neighbor went outside and gave Brimer some pants to wear. He admitted to having done K2 and methamphetamine that day, police said.

He was medically cleared, then booked into the Angelina County Jail and charged with public intoxication.






A Bixby man is being charged with malicious destruction of property, possessing methamphetamine and possessing drug paraphernalia after his arrest Wednesday.

Kristopher William Roberts, 50, reportedly flooded his room and surrounding rooms at La Quinta Inn and Suites in Stillwater.

He was found with drug paraphernalia, defined as syringes and methamphetamine.

All three charges, if convicted, could add up to 13 years in jail.

Roberts was jailed Wednesday but posted his bail of $5,000 the next day.

Roberts is set to appear in court Sept. 12 with an attorney.





(Stillwater, Okla.) – A Bixby man has been charged with causing extensive damage to a Stillwater motel room and adjacent rooms by flooding a room with water – along with possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia described as syringes, all on Aug. 10.

If convicted of malicious destruction of property located at La Quinta Inn and Suites on W. 6th Avenue in Stillwater, Kristopher William Roberts, 50, could be given a prison term of as much as two years and a $1,000 fine.

If convicted of possessing methamphetamine, Roberts could be imprisoned for two to 10 years and fined as much as $5,000.

If convicted of possessing drug paraphernalia, Roberts could be given a one-year jail term and a $1,000 fine.

Roberts was initially jailed on Aug. 10, but released the following day after posting $5,000 bond.

Roberts has been ordered to appear in court with an attorney on the three-count charge on Sept. 12, court records show.




A Bixby man who spent the night at La Quinta Inn and Suites in Stillwater on Tuesday night is accused of causing an estimated $250,000 in damages to the hotel during his stay, according to the Stillwater Police Department.

Capt. Kyle Gibbs said that Kristopher William Roberts, 50, was staying at the hotel at 5285 W. 6th Ave. and contacted SPD at about 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, paranoid that someone was trying to kill him. At 9:40 a.m., Stillwater Fire Department was called to the hotel because the water flow sensor in the second-floor stairwell had been activated.

Gibbs said that upon arrival, it was discovered that water was coming into the hallway from under the door of Roberts’ third-floor room and Stillwater Police were called to the scene to assist. They attempted to enter the room, but Roberts would force the door closed and began to barricade it out of paranoia.

Once SFD and SPD personnel were able to force their way in, they discovered that 4 inches of water covered the entire room. Roberts, the only occupant at the time, was discovered to have drug paraphernalia that included needles. The smoke detector had black residue on it, according to Gibbs, which set off the sprinkler system and began to flood the room. The incident caused $250,000 in damage to the room, some around it and rooms on floors directly underneath the one Roberts stayed in.

The Bixby man faces charges of malicious destruction of property, unlawful possession of meth and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in Payne County District Court. He is set to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 12 with legal counsel.





A Corvallis woman faces felony child endangerment charges after her mother called the sheriff’s office to report that her daughter was neglecting her 10-month-old twin daughters because of her drug use.57b39b34b2c4a_image

Raquel Ranae Murray, 20, appeared before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey on two counts of child endangerment and felony charges of criminal distribution and possession of dangerous drugs.

According to the charging affidavit, Murray’s mother called the Ravalli County sheriff’s office on Aug. 13 to report her concerns about Murray’s twin daughters.

The affidavit gave the following account:

The woman said Murray had been on drugs for “quite some time” and that she had attempted to intervene several times.

About two weeks before her call to the sheriff’s office, the woman said she had gone to her daughter’s home in Corvallis and found the door wide open. Inside, the house was “beyond trashed.” There was no place to walk due the garbage and clutter on the floor.

One of the twin girls was about to fall out of a swing. Murray’s mother said the young girl had the “worst” dirty diaper that she had ever seen.

Murray was found passed out in a back room by her mother. At that point, Murray couldn’t remember where the other child was. Later she remembered the girl “might” be with a babysitter, the affidavit said.

Murray told her mother that she was “deep” into drugs and that she needed to get them out of her house. Murray began to break all the needles in the home and asked her mother to take them out of the house so she wouldn’t be tempted anymore.

The woman told sheriff’s deputies that her daughter had lost 30 pounds in the last few months and that she had track marks all over her arms.

Murray’s mother left the home for about 30 minutes to drop the child off with a family member. When she returned, Murray was gone. Her mother believed she had left to buy more drugs.

At that point, Murray’s mother took custody of the children and removed the children’s possession from the home. She also took a black purse that contained syringes and baggies with drug residue.

Murray’s mother then reported her daughter to Child Protective Services and turned the syringes and other drug items over to the sheriff’s office.theathheateg

The items turned over the sheriff’s office included syringes inside a baby snack container, as well as a cooking spoon, baggies with methamphetamine residue inside and a meth pipe.

In an unrelated case, Keith Richard Sines was arrested on warrants out of Wyoming. A search of his cell phone yield text messages between Murray and Sines in which Murray allegedly offered to sell methamphetamine for $50 in the parking lot of her residence.

Murray was located at about 6 p.m. while driving on the Eastside Highway. When she was pulled over, Murray asked the officer if she was being stopped as “an escort to see her kids.”

The deputy told her no and then arrested her for possession of dangerous drugs.

The officer asked Murray if there was anything illegal in the vehicle. Murray said yes and then allegedly turned over .75 grams of methamphetamine, 55 used baggies, a syringe, a cotton ball with residue, and other baggies with residue.

After being advised of her rights, the affidavit said Murray agreed to speak with the deputy. She allegedly admitted that she used about a half-gram of methamphetamine intravenously a day and that she dealt the drug to “make ends meet.”

A syringe was later located in Murray’s bra.

Bailey set bail at $10,000 with a requirement that Murray be monitored for drugs if released from detention.





HAMILTON – A Corvallis woman faces felony child endangerment charges after her mother called the sheriff’s office to report that her daughter was neglecting her 10-month-old twin daughters because of her drug use.

Raquel Ranae Murray, 20, appeared before Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey on two counts of child endangerment and felony charges of criminal distribution and possession of dangerous drugs. gtrqetg3q5tgqt

According to the charging affidavit, Murray’s mother called the Ravalli County sheriff’s office on Aug. 13 to report her concerns about Murray’s twin daughters.

According to court documents filed in the case, Murray’s mother reported her daughter to Child Protective Services and turned syringes and other drug items over to the sheriff’s office.

In an unrelated case, Keith Richard Sines was arrested on warrants out of Wyoming. A search of his cellphone yielded text messages between Murray and Sines in which Murray allegedly offered to sell methamphetamine for $50 in the parking lot of her residence.

Bailey set bail at $10,000 with a requirement that Murray be monitored for drugs if released from detention.




Three suspects are now in custody after nearly 17 pounds of methamphetamine was located in an occupied vehicle.

According to Sgt. Matthew Davis, the arrest occurred Tuesday morning at 7:05 when a deputy contacted the occupants of a vehicle parked in the northbound Dunnigan rest stop after noticing the vehicle had expired registration.

Davis reported the individual in the driver’s seat was unable to identify the registered owner of the vehicle but claimed the group was en route to Washington from Riverside to have repairs done on the car, according to Davis.

The deputy continued to investigate and eventually conducted a search of the vehicle, locating 16.67 pounds of a substance said to be methamphetamine concealed in the car.

Arrested were Ceciebel Ortiz, 27, of Riverside; Fernando Jimenez, 29, of Riverside; and Jesus Castro, 33, of Ontario. All were arrested and booked into the Yolo County Jail on charges including transportation of methamphetamine and conspiracy.

The substance was tested in the field and came up positive for meth.





SANDY — Police say they foiled an expensive drug operation when they recovered 68 pounds of meth while acting on a tip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.25979913

Federal authorities enlisted the help of the Unified Police Department on Tuesday, saying they had intelligence indicating a large load of meth was being transported through Utah. Around 5 p.m., a Taylorsville detective spotted the vehicle traveling through Sandy on I-15, Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell said.

Police stopped and arrested Blake Arcand, 56, and also discovered 68 pounds of meth in the car, Bell said. Arcand was allegedly transporting the meth from California to Canada.25979904

Unified police detectives believe a written list of cities found in his car may indicate that Arcand planned to drop off some of the drugs in Wyoming.

Bell called the discovery “just an unbelievable amount of methamphetamine to be in our state.”

“Really, I think a lot of officers in their whole career will never see a tenth of that,” he said.

According to Bell, it’s likely the meth originated from Mexican drug cartels. He said he was grateful Unified police could play a part in thwarting cross-country distribution.

“We couldn’t be prouder. It’s a great effort by everybody involved,” Bell said.

Arcand, who is a Canadian citizen, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of drug possession with the intent to distribute.






POPLAROn the night her son was stabbed to death, a Poplar mother knew something was gravely wrong.

“I was up pacing around in my kitchen. I just had a bad feeling, I really did,” said Leslie Jackson. “He was dead, I just felt it. There’s just so much death, so many young people dying.”

Duran Jackson was just 19 when he was killed outside a popular Poplar bar.11380004_G

His life is one of five others ended prematurely in Poplar this year at the hands of the methamphetamine epidemic.

According to the last U.S. Census Report, there were just more than 800 people living in Poplar.

Trottier said methamphetamine and alcohol fueled each one of the fatal crimes.

“We have deaths of tribal members that shouldn’t happen at this early of an age,” said Detective Ken Trottier. “The manslaughter case this year was a 21-year-old kid that happened to be my nephew. It hits home. A lot of what happens to people here, they die too young.”

The substances also ended lives directly, resulting in overdoses.

“I’m hoping this is just an odd year or a freak year, but it could be a look at what’s to come,” said Trottier.

If history is any indication, this trend should raise concern.

As substance abuse increasingly plagues this small community, violent crimes begin to touch even the most innocent victims.

“This abduction we had recently with a 4-year-old girl, that was really surprising, really shocking,” said Trottier. “That got to us, criminal investigators, law enforcement, and deputies. It was gut-wrenching and made everyone step back and think. I’ve never seen one case affect so many people.”

That child survives as a victim of sexual abuse, but 1-year-old Kenzley Olson’s life was ended [see link below].

“To us in law enforcement, we all have kids, and when you get that kind of trauma in our communities, it hits hard for us,” said Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick. “The first thing I did when I got home that night was hug my kids.”

Children of all ages are lost to violence and consumed by addiction.

“You either end up in prison or dead,” said Jackson. “Or you might be one of the lucky ones and go off to school or the service.”

Jackson was enrolled with the Army National Guard when he died.

He may not have been lucky, but Frederick said Jackson was one of the good ones.

“He was a great kid,” said Jackson. “That one’s a little too close to me.”

The death and the loss are felt by everyone in some way or another.

Last year, the average age of death in Roosevelt County was 60, according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

The county’s 24 cemeteries are full.

Local officials are aware of the problem, but say they need help from not only the community, but state and federal officials.

This community knows something has to change, but with each new day and life that passes, hope fades away.





Janelle Red Dog, 42, accused of beating to death Kenzley Olson, a 13-month-old baby girl under her care on the Montana Fort Peck Indian reservation and throwing the body into a dumpster; Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure believes Methamphetamine is to blame


Fueled by Methamphetamine, sex trafficking reaches ‘crisis’ on Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northern Montana


POPLAR, Montana (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Life on the remote Fort Peck Indian Reservation in northern Montana has all the ingredients for sex trafficking – poverty, isolation, joblessness and violence, topped with an epidemic of crystal meth addiction.

Drug users are selling their babies, daughters and sisters for the potent stimulant that is ravaging Native American communities such as the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes living on the desolate plains of Fort Peck, say community leaders, experts and federal authorities.

“We’re in crisis mode,” said Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure. “We have mothers giving their children away for sexual favors for drugs. We have teenagers and young girls giving away sexual favors for drugs.”

No numbers record specific rates of local sex trafficking, which can often be buried in crimes of sexual assault, abuse, prostitution, abandonment or kidnapping. But it is a crime, poorly documented and fuelled by drug abuse, plaguing Indian reservations across the United States.

The rate of meth use among American Indians is the highest of any ethnicity in the country and more than twice as high as any other group, according to the National Congress of American Indians.

The number of drug cases on Indian lands nationwide rose seven-fold from 2009 to 2014, and crime rates on some reservations are five times higher than national averages, according to a federal Drug Enforcement Administration report.

On Fort Peck, a reservation of some 10,000 people, six newborn babies tested positive for meth in just two weeks in April and were taken to a hospital 300 miles away, said Howard Bemer, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Superintendent for Fort Peck.

Meth use and other crime exploded with the tapping of reserves in the Bakken oil fields to the east and south of the reservation in the last decade. The boom brought tens of thousands of workers, flush with cash, to the region.

With the drop in world oil prices, many of those workers are gone but the crime has not, said Melina Healey, a trafficking expert at the Child Law Policy and Legislation Clinic at Loyola University Chicago.

“The boom brought problems that don’t disappear when the boom disappears,” she said.

The drug trade helps incite sex trafficking, as people exchange themselves, family members or friends to get high, she said.

“If someone is addicted to meth, they’re not in their right mind. It is much easier to get them to do things that they never would have done if they weren’t addicted,” she said at a recent anti-trafficking conference in Poplar, the reservation’s tribal headquarters.

Drug debt is a forceful driver of trafficking, and dealers threaten users to pay up by any means, said Sgt. Grant Snyder, a trafficking investigator with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Maybe it’s your 12-year-old daughter, maybe it’s your 5-year-old daughter,” he said.


A harrowing number of victims are trafficked by their own family members.

“Traffickers are not just scary men who drive around in Cadillacs in their leather trench coats,” said Healey.

“A trafficker can be a parent or guardian. A trafficker can be an aunt or an uncle or it can be a boyfriend or another friend.”

The often close relationships between abuser and abused present a web of problems such as forcing victims to leave home for their protection, experts said.

Victims may fear the community and authorities won’t believe them and will instead defend the trafficker, said an Indian Health Service social worker who did not want to be identified.

“Nobody wants to go after a family member,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

On the bleak, windswept reservation along the Missouri River just 20 miles from the Canadian border, more than half the children live in poverty and jobs are scarce.

Most people work in ranching, mining and farming, but one in three is unemployed. The largest communities are Wolf Point and Poplar, rundown hamlets that are little more than crossroads with a smattering of stores, gas stations, bars and fewer than 4,000 residents between them.

Outside of town, dirt roads link the weathered houses and tumble-down trailers that dot the seemingly boundless grasslands.

Demand for foster care for children removed from homes due to substance abuse is showing a sharp increase, said Courage Crawford, a program director at the Spotted Bull Recovery Resource Center in Poplar which offers rehabilitation programs.

“There aren’t a lot of places in the country that have a perfect storm of both being this rural and this under served of basic services … and also such high rates of poverty and also such rates of abuse,” Healey said.

Last month, the reservation was mourning the death by beating of a 13-month-old girl. A woman responsible for caring for her, while the child’s mother was in jail, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

A memorial service program showed a photograph of the smiling chubby-cheeked girl with shining eyes and a flowered headband.

“With the loss of this child I think we’ve hit the bottom of the barrel,” said Azure, the tribal chief.

Also this year, a Wolf Point man was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl grabbed at a local playground.

Meth is blamed for 40 percent of crime on native land, and most tribal police say domestic violence and assault has increased as a result of addiction, according to the NCAI.

Just thirteen tribal police patrol Fort Peck’s 3,200 square miles, according to the local Journal newspaper.

Across the country, fewer than 3,000 tribal and federal officers patrol more than 56 million acres of Indian country.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)



Janelle Red Dog, 42, accused of beating to death Kenzley Olson, a 13-month-old baby girl under her care on the Montana Fort Peck Indian reservation and throwing the body into a dumpster; Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure believes Methamphetamine is to blame


Methamphetamine has Chippewa County in grip

Posted: 17th August 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Brian Cole was a hardened criminal and drug user. But all it took was one time taking methamphetamine, and he was hooked.57b3c13439b28_image

“Meth is different. Because it doesn’t matter how old you are. This is one drug where…and a lot of us know, you take one hit and you’re done,” Cole told Tuesday’s town hall meeting about methamphetamine at the Heyde Center for the Arts.

The drug has swept over Chippewa County, trapping the lives of adults and their children in its wake.

“Meth is a highly addictive and destructive drug,” Matthew Kelm, Chippewa Falls Police chief, said. “The entire community is affected. The costs to all of the community are really astronomical.”

For example, meth use in Chippewa County is costing the county’s Child Protective Services $1.2 million a year.57b3c133870e0_image

That’s just the cost of cases and the process it takes to keep children safe, Nicholas Schneider, a social worker for the county’s Human Services Department, said.

The number of children referred to Child Protective Services because of adult meth cases has gone from 28 in 2014 to 58 last year and 64 as of June 30 this year.

“In just a couple of years we nearly tripled,” he said.

Children are in houses where the parents use meth, and the kids can absorb the meth through smoke in a house’s ventilation system or through clothing. Other youngsters unknowingly put meth in their mouth.

On the street meth is known as “ice,” “crystal,” “shards” and “tweak,” Stephen McMahon, an investigator for the West Central Drug Task Force, said.

“You can snort it, you can smoke it, you can inject it,” McMahon said.

Meth is not cheap. It can cost $50 for a half-gram. A full gram can cost $100 to $200.

“We do have some meth labs. Primarily they are using the ‘shake and bake’ method,” McMahon said.

That involves shaking the ingredients until a chemical reaction starts.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, that’s where the explosions come from,” he said.

But most of the meth locally was made in Mexico and funneled through Minnesota.

“We have kids who are 15 and 16 years old who are using meth. We’ve had 70-year-olds injecting meth,” McMahon said, adding they want the euphoria they get from the drug.

For Cole, after using meth for three months he went from 185 to 135 pounds. He would stay up for days if not weeks at a time. He convinced his wife to use meth and she became addicted.

He convinced a friend to use meth and that friend died.

“It took a long time for me to forgive myself for that,” Cole said.

His life changed on Jan. 6, 2009 when his residence was surrounded by the drug task force. He went through a faith-based health program and changed his life.

He guessed that drug agents catch only about 1 percent of meth users.

“Can you imagine the number of our children that are affected by this drug?” he asked.






Wichita Falls police arrest an Archer City woman for possession of  drug paraphernalia, then after  further investigation charged her with  delivery of meth when she pulled two bags of meth from a body cavity.ukdtgkdtkkg

33 year old Stacie Quisenberry is jailed on a $15,000 bond. Police say they stopped a car at 13th and Broad driven by a man who didn’t have a valid license.  They say the first search  of Quisenberry revealed the paraphernalia.

They say when asked if she had any drugs concealed, she admitted she had put two bags of meth inside her private area when they were pulled over and that she was  holding it for the man to sell.
She removed the bags at the jail and police say it tested positive for meth.





KNOXVILLE – Hazel Ketner couldn’t understand why she felt so bad.

She went to the doctor. She entered one hospital and then another. Months passed. The 81-year-old still felt poorly.meth2_1471124570967_5190300_ver1_0

Then, she took a test that gave her a shock.

Ketner came back positive for suspected methamphetamine.

The Powell woman said she doesn’t use meth.

But Ketner and her daughter Janice Clifford wonder if someone else in the house did.

In July, tenants Sonia Tindell, 47, and Jonathan Stevens, 46, were evicted from a lower apartment in the home where Ketner lives. They’d lived there about 18 months. According to Ketner and Clifford, the couple fell behind on the rent.

Neither Tindell nor Stevens has been charged with making meth or using it in Ketner’s home.

“I just don’t even know what drugs are,” Ketner said. “And definitely, I wouldn’t even know what to start to think about meth. Where you get it, what do you do? Is it something you smell, something you drink? I know nothing. Nothing.”

On Monday, Stevens said it was “beyond ridiculous” to suggest he had used or made meth in the apartment. He said Ketner came down to the apartment often while he and Tindell lived there and she never complained about any smell other than cigarettes.

10News also spoke Friday with Tindell at her Northwest Knoxville apartment.  She’s charged with forging an acquaintance’s name in June on checks, one of which was intended to pay rent to Clifford, records show.

Tindell was convicted last year of possession of drug paraphernalia and has prior convictions for DUI and driving without a license, records show.

In June, a Knox County judge passed for six months a domestic assault charge against Tindell in which she allegedly scratched Stevens on the face while they were living in May in the Powell home.

Tindell told 10News it was “an absolute, unfathomable lie” that she had used meth while living below Ketner. She said she’s “never done meth.”soniatindell16x9_1471311790833_5321148_ver1_0

When asked if Stevens had used meth, she said he’d “never done meth in front of me.”

When asked if he’d used meth, she said: ““I’ve been engaged to him for seven years, so, no, that would be my answer.”

Stevens is awaiting prosecution on a domestic assault charge. He is alleged to have hit Tindell in December 2015 during a fight while they lived below Ketner.

Stains and substances

After Tindell and Stevens moved out this summer, Clifford said she found numerous “stains and foreign substances,” residue on the carpet, “white stuff” on the walls. She said she also found holes in walls, a split door frame and cracked tiles, according to a report she filed with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

For Clifford, “the light went off” in July when results came back from a drug screening her mother had taken while at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Ketner had tested positive for meth use, Clifford said.

Could it be the house? Clifford asked a doctor. Get her out of there promptly, she was told.

She applied a home-test kit that she said showed the presence of methamphetamine. Another test was negative.

Everything Ketner owns except for the clothes she had on when she moved out remains meth7_1471125166370_5190534_ver1_0at the Powell house. It will all stay there because Clifford fears it could be contaminated.

At Clifford’s request, a Knox County Sheriff’s Office detective came out to the house, after they’d begun clearing it out and making repairs. Because of the condition of the house, the detective had no way of determining if meth had been made in the house, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley.

He gave Clifford the names and and phone numbers of private companies that test for meth and for companies that clean up meth-contaminated homes, Dooley told 10News.

‘Sick for no reason’

Ketner said Tindell and Stevens was always cordial to her, calling her “Ms. Hazel.” Tindell cooked and brought food to her.

When asked if she knew that Ketner had been ill, Tindell replied that she loved Ketner.

“I pretty much tried. I cooked her three meals a day every day that I could. I took her to and from. Visited her in the hospital. I did everything possible I could. Never did anything against Ms. Hazel. (Clifford) is the problem.”

Clifford, however, said Tindell didn’t visit her mother in the hospital.meth4_1471124654184_5190522_ver1_0

She said a doctor told her he thought her mother had gotten such a “high exposure” of meth that she’s been going through withdrawals.

Ketner over the course of the last year and a half or so lost about 30 pounds.

“It’s crazy. I just couldn’t understand why I’ve been so sick for no reason,” she told 10News.

In addition to testing positive for the suspected meth, Ketner also tested positive for oxycodone, which a doctor had prescribed after she fell seriously ill.

Contamination precautions

TBI Special Agent in Charge Tommy Farmer, however, can understand. He cited situations where, because of meth contamination, new tenants or owners have moved into a home only to become sick or for their children to become sick.

Farmer oversees the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force, based in Chattanooga, and the Governor’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication.

The Dangerous Drugs Task Force works, among other things, to curtail use and availability of methamphetamine in Tennessee, which until recently had a reputation for being among the worst for the drug in the country.

It works with police on identifying meth makers, offers training on how to respond to meth manufacturing and is a resource for police about meth offenders.

Farmer said just using meth in a residence can lead to transfer of the chemicals within a home. Chemicals from meth use – not just its manufacture – can cause widespread contamination, he said.

Many variables control contamination, he said, such as a building’s type of wall and floor construction. Meth residue can also stick around for a long time unless professionally removed.

The TBI’s Tommy Farmer oversees a state dangerous drugs task force. His work includes identifying and catching meth users and alerting law enforcement about suspected meth makers.

“If the ventilation system is all connected, all on one duct work so the return is pulling all the air out,” Farmer said. “Can those returns be contaminated? Yes, they can, which would lead to the transfer of the chemicals. It doesn’t even have to be an adjoining room. It could literally be transferred throughout.”

Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the effects of contamination because their health tends to be more vulnerable, the agent said.

Farmer said it’s his experience that home “presumptive” meth tests can be reliable. But he recommends that a property owner also use a trained professional.

A clean-up contractor or industrial hygienist who has been approved and certified by the state has undergone formal training, he said. An industrial hygienist also understands how chemicals work and how contamination can occur in a residence.

Clifford wants to have formal lab testing done on the Powell house. But she said it costs about $1,400. She doesn’t have that right now, and she said her insurance company doesn’t cover it.

Janice Clifford said she found what she suspects was chemical residue in the carpeting of a basement apartment removed after two tenants were evicted.

“And then, after that, if there is meth in the house, it’s tens of thousands of dollars in cleanup,” Clifford said.

In the meantime, her mother is “stuck in limbo.” Ketner lives with her in her home nearby.

“I can’t let her anywhere near that house on the chance that it is still contaminated,” Clifford said.






On Aug. 11, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department applied for and was granted two separate narcotic related search warrants in the county.

At 12:40 a.m., members of the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department along with members of the Prairie du Chien Police Department executed a search warrant at Debra Wetzel’s residence at the Golden Acres Apartment Complex in Soldiers Grove. Wetzel, 59, has been a person of interest in several narcotic related investigations for many months.

Items found during the search of her residence were numerous items of drug paraphernalia including syringes, smoking devices and straws. A digital scale, liquid methamphetamine, powdered heroin and opiates and marijuana were also found and seized.

Wetzel was arrested and possible charges have been referred to the Crawford County District Attorney’s Office. Requested charges include delivery of methamphetamine, possession of heroin, possession of meth and meth paraphernalia, possession of opiates, and possession of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia. Wetzel is being held in the Crawford County Jail on a $5,000 cash bond.

Later in the day at 2:38 p.m., the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department along with members of the Prairie du Chien Police Department executed a narcotic related search warrant at the Tina Alexander residence located on Hemlock Street in the village of Soldiers Grove. Items found during the search were opiates and items of drug paraphernalia suspected to be used in the consumption of opiates.

Alexander, 44, is being held in the Crawford County Jail. Requested charges include possession of schedule 2 narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia. Alexander is awaiting a bond hearing.





A Bettendorf couple faces charges after investigators say they found methamphetamine, packaging materials and other items in their home.

Kelly Lee Wolfe, 41, and Valarie Lynn Wolfe, 49, face charges of child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor, possession of methamphetamine, a serious misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.57b23eea1f284_image

Kelly Wolfe also faces one count of controlled substance violation, a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

He posted $10,000 through a bail bond company and was released from the Scott County Jail Saturday. Valarie Wolfe posted $2,000 through a bail bond company and was released Friday.

According to an arrest affidavit filed by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office in support of the criminal complaints:

Deputies searched the couple’s home in the 4400 block of State Street at 2:37 p.m. Friday. Deputies found seven individually packaged bags of methamphetamine, methamphetamine paraphernalia, packaging materials, handguns, rifles and a cutting agent for methamphetamine.

Some of the methamphetamine was located in the kitchen refrigerator that was accessible to the couple’s 5-year-old grandson, who lives with them, according to the affidavits.





Early this morning, jury selection began for the State of Texas versus Eric Severo Escobedo case. At around 3:00 p.m., 12 jurors were selected to determine Escobedo’s guilt or innocence on two different offenses. Including these two offenses, Escobedo, 32, has been arrested 28 times in Tom Green County.

During this trial, Escobedo faces an undecided felony charge as well as a second degree felony charge. Escobedo’s undecided felony charge consists of the defendant intentionally and escobedoknowingly possessing, with the intent to deliver, a controlled substance, Methamphetamine, in an amount by aggregate weight, including adulterants and dilutents of more than 400 grams.

The defendant’s second degree felony charge is due to intentionally, knowingly and recklessly causing bodily injury to a female victim. According to court documents, he struck her in the face and body with a handgun, causing injury.

To begin the trial, five males and seven females took their seats in the jury section. No alternates were chosen for this case.

Judge Barbara Walther began the trial by introducing District Attorney Allison Palmer and the defendant’s attorney, Jimmy Stewart.

Palmer and Stewart both gave their opening statements. Palmer told the jury, “At this point, you will begin to hear facts.

Stewart stressed that two people with the last name of Escobedo will be mentioned in this case. According to the defense, John Escobedo owns the home where the Tom Green County Sheriff’s deputies apprehended the defendant, and found and seized drugs.

On September 18, 2015, a search warrant was issued for a residence located at 421 E. 24th St.

“The evidence will show that the residence is John Escobedo’s,” Stewart stated.

Today, Palmer called upon two witnesses. The first witness was Aaron Sachs, an expert Forensic Scientist from the Texas DPS Laboratories, who explained his process of testing the narcotics found at Escobedo’s residence.

The second witness was Andrew Alwine, Sergeant Investigator for the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office. Palmer asked Alwine to recall the actions that took place on the day of September 18. Alwine told the court that he drafted the search warrant the evening of the 18th.

As officers waited for the search warrant, Alwine said several officers waited outside the residence in a surveillance of the premises. While officers did so, they saw Escobedo exit the residence, while two other males remained in the house. Escobedo and two females were later pulled over during a traffic stop and arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

During the execution of the warrant, Alwine said he approached the residence from the east side. He was positioned at the window while a tactical team attempted entry from the front.

To gain entry of the residence, officers had to breach a metal screen door as well as a wooden door with the dead bolt locked and the door knob locked. After breaking through the doors, the officers also found a couch had been put in front of the door as a blockade.

“Two males ran from where the doors were being breached. They then ran into the bedroom,” said Alwine.

Alwine noted that when he had entered through the bedroom window, the two males were on the ground as instructed. Afterward, officers began searching the residence.

They searched the bedroom where Alwine entered through, the living room and the kitchen area.

“I searched underneath the bed. I found a semi-automatic gun and one ounce of methamphetamine,” Alwine said.

Alwine found items consistent with the manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance under the bed, and additional items were found in a padlocked closet. Officers had to use bolt cutters to access the closet. Inside the closet, officers found PVC pipes, small scales and methamphetamine in small baggies.

Overall, there were about 800 grams of methamphetamine found in the home. The street value in San Angelo is approximately $80,000, said Alwine.

As the explanation of the events took place, Escobedo sat next to his attorney and kept dozing off until Walther called a short break.

Tomorrow, Escobedo will be back in court to continue the discussion of the drug case, as well as the Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge.









HOUSTON – Police said they have responded to several reports of drivers who appeared to have overdosed on crystal meth.

Police responded to a call about a reckless driver on Aug. 7 at 8:16 p.m. on East Parkwood Avenue. The driver had reportedly slowly driven off the road and into a grassy area near a Walgreens.

Police arrived to find Ivan Glen Murphy, 36, unresponsive but breathing, with a quantity of crystal meth and a syringe.

Murphy was taken to a hospital and later charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Police said he was found in possession of 19.4 grams of crystal meth.

Police said Marla Springer Summerson, 39, crossed over into oncoming traffic on West Parkwood Avenue and hit a vehicle head-on July 25. As she was trapped inside her vehicle, she was caught trying to hide her crystal meth when police arrived. She is charged with possession of a controlled substance.

A man was reported Thursday being slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle in a parking lot in the 100 block of West Parkwood Avenue. When emergency medical service personnel and police arrived Daniel Austin Strickland, 31, who was conscious and breathing, told police he had taken two Hydrocodone.

Police said Strickland was taken into custody for public intoxication and his vehicle was inventoried. During the inventory, crystal meth was found in the vehicle.

Strickland was charged with possession of a controlled substance.






A terrorist suspect in U.S. government custody has affirmed that the Islamic State (ISIS) has “sleeper cells” in Mexico presumably preparing to infiltrate the United States and conduct terrorist strikes, according to the conservative group Judicial Watch.

A Mexican soldier crouches inside a tunnel found under the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

A Mexican soldier crouches inside a tunnel found under the Mexico-U.S. border in Tijuana.

The report appears to corroborate an article in the Italian website il Giornali in April in which an ISIS leader reportedly made the same claim, boasting that he could get a group of men into the United States “and kill thousands of people in Texas or Arizona within hours,” CBN News reports.

The il Giornali article claims that the ISIS is working with Mexican drug cartels. If true, the cartels could easily transport ISIS fighters and weapons across the border to launch a deadly attack on the United States, according to CBN News.

Sheik Mahmood Omar Khabir, the ISIS leader, claimed that he was training thousands of men to fight from an ISIS base on the U.S.-Mexico border near Ciudad Juárez, just a few miles from El Paso.

The existence of the ISIS base has apparently been confirmed by Erick Jamal Hendricks, the 35-year-old terrorist suspect who was arrested and charged in Ohio last week.

The Justice Department has charged Hendricks with conspiring to provide ISIS with material support, stating that the suspect created a sleeper terrorist cell with at least 10 members. Hendricks tried to “recruit people to train together and conduct terrorist attacks in the United States,” according to the government’s criminal complaint.

Earlier this year, Judicial Watch revealed that the ISIS has already set up camps just a few miles from El Paso, Texas in an area just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Despite the evidence provided by high-level law enforcement, intelligence and military sources on both sides of the border on the existence of Islamic terrorist cells operating in Mexico, the Obama administration has publicly denied it, according to Judicial Watch.

The group says it has also verified that Mexican drug cartels are smuggling foreigners from countries with terrorist links to areas in a rural Texas town.







Each Saturday a long line of women dressed in black snakes around the cracked concrete facade of the decrepit Basra police station where the city’s anti-narcotics force has its home. Two police officers are posted to maintain order, but the women – who shelter from the stifling sun in the walls’ narrow shade – are silent and subdued. They patiently wait to visit their sons, husbands and brothers jailed inside.

The inmates range from petty dealers to gang members pushing drugs in bulk. Three fbdnzhgfhundred people are crammed into three cells where metal bunks overflow and the floor is strewn with half-naked bodies lined head to toe like sardines. The stench from an adjacent sewage lagoon mixes with sweat and hangs heavy in the air.

In the last three years a drugs epidemic has swept through the southern Iraqi city as Iranian-produced krystal – the local name for methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth – floods across the porous border. Police say consumption is doubling year on year as the drug is marketed to both Basra’s impoverished districts where religious militia rule; and its university students, who are sold it as a sexual performance enhancer. The officers tasked to tackle the trade are badly resourced, forced to fund small-scale operations from their salaries and fearful of ambush if they are betrayed.

Down the corridor in the police station, in a small room jammed with a metal desk, a bunk, two chairs and a filing cabinet, sits Captain Najem, one of the three officers running the Basra narcotics force.

Gaunt and narrow shouldered, he says the prisoners are only half of those his men have arrested. The rest are dispersed in other stations for the lack of space, and in any case, he says, are just a small fraction of the city’s dealers. “There are so many of them that I don’t care about users anymore,” he said. “I don’t have space.”

His targets are men like Abdullah, one of Basra’s dealers, who is busy each night peddling krystal. He rarely goes to bed before day break. Along with other members of his clan, Abdullah lives in a newly-built neighborhood on the salty waste planes north of Basra, not far from where the Tigris and Euphrates meet to form the lush green waters of the

Before drugs there was oil. In the shadow of Basra’s wells, Abdullah’s clan built a reputation as ferocious bandits and shrewd entrepreneurs, smuggling oil after the British occupation, while others became commanders in the militias vying for power in the city. Later the clan made a fortune selling drilling rights to an international oil firm and moved into the new drugs market.

“No one smuggles oil anymore.” Abdullah said. “Krystal is the new oil.”

It was late in the afternoon and Abdullah was still groggy having just woken up. His first client would soon arrive to collect the white powder, consumed in Basra in pipes improvised from a light bulb and a straw.

Most of his clients are residents of the city’s poor districts, stifled by unemployment and religious rule, where there are few prospects for young people other than joining a militia. Restrictions on alcohol mean young people have drifted into cheaper and more easily concealed substances.

“All the kids in my area smoke it,” Abudullah said. “They used to drink. Now they smoke. A gram costs 20,000 Iraqi dinar (£13) and lasts for a whole day. It’s cheaper than four cans of beer and it leaves no smell.”

Demand is luring the young to become dealers themselves, he said. “You cross to Iran, bring a kilo of krystal and you can double your money in a week.” For others Basra is a hub on the opium run from Afghanistan through Iran to the richer Gulf countries of vbdbzdSaudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Both the swampy borderlands, where the drugs come in, and Basra’s poor districts are no-go areas for the regular police. Najem relies instead on a team of undercover detectives who run sting operations and a network of informers.

“Some do it out of religious duty, others want to curry favour with or hurt competitive dealers, but mostly do it for money,” he said of the informers. The money came from a fund the detectives pooled from their salaries at the start of the month.

Sting operations are similarly improvised. “We watch foreign movies to learn, but I dream to have the recourses of the American police in these movies,” said one detective.

Donning traditional Arab dresses, buying and sometimes even consuming drugs, they lure traders into series of traps. “We get a name of a dealer from one of our contacts,” said the detective. “First we buy half a kilo, we pay the money and let him go. Then, a week later, we buy another kilo and we also let him go. A month later we ask for 10 kilos and that’s when we arrest him.”

The unit had also conducted an illicit operation in Iran, kept secret from all but those involved for fear of getting “chewed”, a local expression meaning betrayed. A dealer in Khoramshaher who shipped to Iraq was paid for half an order, and the detectives then waited night after night in the marshes outside Basra for the drugs to arrive.

“They crossed the river and we captured them. The Iranian coastguard opened fire and we fired back,” a second detective said. “We captured 17 kg, our biggest, but instead of being thanked we were reprimanded for opening fire on the Iranians.”

In the first six months of the year, Najem’s team brought in 5 7kg of hard drugs. The detectives show photographs of men lined up next to boxes of opium and bags of krystal, but like the men in the police station jail, it is just a small fraction of the total.

“What we catch represents less than 10% of the market in Basra. There are people dealing in tons, but we don’t have the money to go after the big guys in large operations,” said Najem.

At night, he and two detectives sat in his office plotting a raid to capture a mid-level dealer. The rest of the force gathered in the station yard, a dozen men in jeans and T-shirts, smoking and chatting while pulling on flak jackets over their bulging bellies.

Two of the force’s three vehicles had broken down so Najem, his men, their guns and ammunition packed into one pickup truck and the two detectives followed behind in their own car. Such is the distrust within the force that only the captain and the two detectives knew the target.

“Ninety-five percent of the security forces in Basra are corrupt, so if they know what we are working on we will be shot here in the middle of the street,” said one of the detectives, who survived an ambush earlier in year. “Those men you see in front of you don’t know because we can’t trust them.”

They drove through the dark empty streets to rendezvous with a Swat force. The air was still warm and sultry, and packs of dogs picked through rubbish scattered in the streets.

The convoy left the city and headed south as the lights of Iranian cities glittered across the Shatt al-Arab. After almost an hour the vehicles drew to a halt. The detectives pointed to a small side street descending towards the wide river.

The vehicles creaked as they moved down the dirt road, towards a house on the edge of a reed swamp. Eerie silence filled the air.

The Swat team jumped first and ran to the house, followed by the police. The two detectives parked their car slowly, lit cigarettes and walked to the building.

Inside, policemen and soldiers flipped mattress and blankets, sifted through wardrobes and examined the contents of tin boxes. “Sir, he must have been here and fled. The lights were on and the tea is still warm,” said a policeman. The raid yielded just one old hunting rifle.

As the police and Swat team returned to their vehicles, the detectives walked among the reeds towards a narrow network of creeks connecting the house to the river. One pointed to the road the men had come in on and the headlights of a distant car: “Look at that car. He can spot any car heading his way from his window,” he said.

“He spotted our lights from two kilometers away,” agreed his colleague. “He is a drug dealer, not someone selling tomatoes that you can just send a police car to capture. The state is laughing at us.”







MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) – A mother-of-two died just weeks after reaching out publicly for help with a drug addiction.kljl.glkgllg

Ashley Selby posted the desperate call for help on the community Facebook page “Hip Mt. Juliet” on July 21.

In her post, she wrote about her battle with drug addiction.

“This is a little embarrassing to ask, but I am in need of a rehab program. In a week I have lost my children, my home, my family (this is my fault), my car, my boyfriend, my best friend, and my dog,” she says.

She died last week.

On Monday, her family spoke with News 2 about the obstacles she faced when she tried to get help.

Her family said there was a waiting list at the state-funded facilities she tried to check into.

“The first place she was going to be able to get into was on Aug. 11, and she went into the hospital on Aug. 8 when she collapsed,” said her cousin Kayla Holbert.


Someone who saw Selby’s Facebook post reached out to Addiction Campuses in Nashville to try and help.

“Unfortunately, by the time we got word of Ashly’s cry for help, it was already too late,” said Brittany Meadows the director of communication for Addiction Campuses.

“Especially with state-run facilities that rely on government money, waiting lists can be months and months to years,” Meadows explained.

Addiction Campuses has a call center dedicated to helping people who want to check into a treatment facility but can’t find one with openings.

“It’s a bigger and bigger problem. I have been in the recovery field for four or five years, and it’s continued to get worse and worse. More and more beds taken up, less and less opportunities for people,” said John Mabry, who works at the call center.

If you or some you know needs help finding a treatment center call 1-888-614-2251 and learn more at AddictionCampuses.com.