CHARLESTON — A man could receive a prison sentence after he admitted making methamphetamine, causing a fire and damaging a Mattoon home last year.

Lewis D. Ferguson pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful use of property for methamphetamine manufacturing in connection with drug production that caused the fire on Aug. 9, 2013.

He was living in a first-floor apartment of the two-story home at 2512 Pine Ave. at the time and used the unoccupied second floor apartment for the methamphetamine production, according to records in his case.

Ferguson, 50, who listed a current address of “homeless” in court records, entered the guilty plea with no agreement on the sentence he will receive. The charge can result in a prison term of three to seven years, though prison time won’t be required.

The agreement reached in his case included dismissal of a charge of aggravated methamphetamine manufacturing, alleging the drug production took place in a “multi-unit dwelling.” A conviction for that offense would have required a prison sentence of six to 30 years.

Coles County Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick scheduled Ferguson’s sentencing hearing for Dec. 5. Assistant State’s Attorney Bryant Hitchings is prosecuting the case and attorney Jeannine Garrett represents Ferguson.

Also with the agreement, a charge of driving while license revoked in connection with a traffic stop on July 1 of last year was dismissed. That charge was a felony because Ferguson has prior license revoked convictions, including one in 2001 for which he received prison time.

Ferguson also has a prior felony drug possession conviction from Cumberland County, according to that county’s court records.

Records in Ferguson’s Coles County drug case indicate that he was already under investigation by police for suspected drug activity at the time of the fire.

Items related to methamphetamine manufacturing were found in the house’s second-floor apartment after the fire, the records show.




LANSING — A bill to help prevent the illegal production and distribution of methamphetamine was passed by the Michigan State Senate.

House Bill 5615 was introduced by Representative John Kivela back in June. The bill looks to amend the Criminal Enterprises Chapter of the Michigan Penal Code to include a provision for racketeering involving illegal methamphetamine production. This bill is part of a greater legislative effort to prevent the production and distribution of methamphetamine in Michigan, including a new meth offender registry which will block sales of products containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) for individuals appearing on the registry.

“I am proud that my colleagues in the Legislature could see the importance of this bill, and voted to send it to the governor for his signature,” said Kivela. “Meth is a growing problem in our state, and it is extremely important to act quickly to stop it from wrecking Michigan’s many wonderful communities.”

Earlier in this legislative session, the Legislature also passed House Bills 5089 and 5090, which work to tackle the practice known as “smurfing.” Smurfing involves a group of people purchasing the daily, or 30-day, per-person limit, of PSE, then combining the drug to make a larger quantity of methamphetamine. The two bills were signed by Governor Snyder and are now Public Acts 217 and 218, respectively.

“Illegal drugs have no place in Michigan, and this is one more way we can ensure our families and community members are protected,” said Kivela. “However, this is just one step in a great battle. I look forward to continue the fight with my colleagues to keep drugs off our streets.”



MORGAN COUNTY, Alabama–Two people are in jail after Morgan County deputies say they found a meth lab in a tree and ingredients for meth at a Priceville hotel Monday night.


Sheriff Ana Franklin said in a release that the sheriff’s department and Priceville police were called to the Days Inn Hotel on Marco Drive for a possible methamphetamine lab.

Hotel staff told deputies that several patrons saw someone running through the parking lot with a plastic bottle that was on fire, and then saw them throw the bottle behind the dumpster.

The Drug Task Force responded and found a one pot meth lab in a tree in a wooded area behind the dumpster, said Franklin.

According to the release, agents were then were directed to room 127, where they found Shawn Caudill, 27, and Sarah Moore, 27, with chemicals and materials associated in the making of meth being: acid, drain cleaner, cold packs, Lithium Batteries, Coleman Fuel and Claritin D which contains pseudoephedrine.

“Adjacent rooms above and below room 127 were evacuated due to the chemical hazard and explosive nature of methamphetamine laboratories,” said Franklin.

Caudill and Moore were arrested and charged with first-degree unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Bond was set at $500,000 each.





FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – Nearly nine pounds of crystal methamphetamine was intercepted late last week in Franklin County.


Det. Sgt. Jason Grellner with the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit says the drugs were seized by police after they were delivered to a Union business by an over-the-road truck driver from Brownsville, Texas, who was acting as a drug courier.

The driver, identified as Juan Jiminez, was taken into custody and charged with trafficking.

Grellner says the crystal meth was going to be distributed around the area and has a street value of $500,000.





The Baton Rouge Police Department confiscated three dozen bottles of liquid methamphetamine early Monday from the suitcase of a Houston woman who was en route to Atlanta on a commercial bus.vanessahernadez

Vanessa Hernandez, 34, f

Police stopped the Tornado Bus Co. vehicle about 12:15 a.m. Monday on Interstate 12 between Airline Highway and Sherwood Forest Boulevard, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman, said Tuesday afternoon.

A drug-sniffing dog, Ruckus, searched the bus and alerted police to at least one suitcase in particular. In it, police found numerous soda bottles filled with clear methamphetamine in liquid form below a pile of clothes, McKneely said.

It is nothing new for methamphetamine to be found in liquid form, McKneely said.

However, the department believes Monday’s seizure was one of the largest confiscations of liquid meth in the country, McKneely said.

Police arrested Vanessa Hernandez, 34, following the seizure of the drugs. Hernandez, of 10161 West Park Drive, Houston, Texas, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on counts of possession of Schedule II narcotics in excess of 400 grams.

The 36 bottles of liquid meth have an estimated value of $700,000, McKneely said.

The department declined to say exactly why the traffic stop was initiated. However, such traffic stops generally are done either following a tip of some kind or because police periodically check commercial passenger vehicles as they are sometimes used to transport drugs, McKneely said.

The bus driver consented to the search, McKneely said.




A Colorado funeral home is hoping to get back the cremated remains of humans found in a Louisiana man’s vehicle last week.


The remains were found by a Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy after Louisiana Police arrested James Robert Lee II, 39, at his home on Prospect Drive for possession of methamphetamine and pipes to smoke it.

The story began to unfold on Tuesday, Sept. 23 when Lee arrived at city hall and told two officers out in the parking lot that his GPS showed that someone was following him.

At that time, a third officer observed Lee and “noticed he had signs of methamphetmine use such as constant movement, constant scratching and very small pupils,” according to a Louisiana Police probable cause statement.

The officer who wrote the statement went by Lee’s home at 3:48 p.m.  after Lee called the police dispatch to say someone was following him and near his house.

The officer met Lee outside the home and “he told me he believed a black Dodge Charger was following him around,” the statement said.

When the officer told Lee he knew he had methamphetamine, the defendant “reached in his right front poclet and handed me a pink pipe generally used to smoke methamphetamine,” the statement said.

That led to a search of Lee’s room, where “various pipes were found throughout,” the statement said. Also found were baggies scattered throughout the room, some of them with methamphetamine residue in them.

One baggy had a small amount of methamphetamine that Lee said he bought in St. Louis, the statement said.

Remains found

While two Louisiana officers were securing the evidence from Lee’s room and putting him in a patrol car, a sheriff’s deputy searched his vehicle, the statement said.

The deputy then walked up to the officer who wrote the statement and said “There are remains of four people in the trunk of the car.”

The cremated remains were in four plastic boxes with bags of powdered remains in them, the statement said. The labels on the boxes said Callahan-Edfast Mortuary, of Grand Junction, Colo.

The boxes had labels with the names of the deceased on them and dates of their cremation ranging from 2005 to 2008, the statement said.

Lee then told the officer that he worked at a funeral home in Colorado “and the ashes were to be scattered in the Rocky Mountains but in the interim he got fired and had them in his car for several years,” the statement said.

The officer called the funeral home and a spokesman confirmed that Lee had worked there as a funeral director.

Callahan-Edfast General Manager Gary Blackburn confirmed Lee’s employment there on Monday, Sept. 29. Blackburn said Lee had worked for a prior owner and he did not know exactly when.

Blackburn said the firm is trying to get the remains back from Pike County “so we can take care of what needs to be done,” by spreading the ashes in the Rockies. He did not think charges would be filed in Colorado against Lee.

Lee is now incarcerated at the Pike County Jail on a bail of $10,000  cash only, awaiting future court dates.



A Kona woman was charged with several narcotics offenses after she was found in a stolen vehicle in North Kona on Wednesday.


On Wednesday afternoon, Kona Patrol Officers stopped a vehicle on Maiau Street in the Kaloko Light Industrial area after the vehicle was reported to be stolen, according to the Hawaii Police Department. Within the vehicle officers located the operator, a juvenile, as well as 20-year-old Andrew Osoro, 35-year-old Sharon Pihi, and 36-year-old Davy-Ann Gouveia, all of Kailua-Kona. The four individuals were placed under arrest and taken to the Kona police cellblock as Area II Vice Officers continued the investigation.

Upon executing a search warrant on the vehicle, Hawaii Police Department officers reportedly located 1.5 ounces of a crystalline substance, 24 various prescription pills, 6.7 grams of a dried green leafy substance, and paraphernalia associated with narcotics distribution and use. Officers also seized for forfeiture currency totaling $850.00, according to police.

The juvenile was released, pending further investigation on Wednesday afternoon, according to police.

Osoro was released, pending further investigation on Thursday evening and Gouveia was released, pending further investigation on Friday morning.

Also on Friday morning, Vice officers charged Pihi with methamphetamine trafficking, promoting dangerous drugs, promoting harmful drugs, promoting detrimental drugs, and drug paraphernalia. Her bail for those offenses was set at $302,000. Pihi was also arrested and charged for revocation of probation; bail for that offense was set at $25,000. Pihi remained at the cellblock until her initial court appearance on Monday.





A 24-year-old West Salem woman was charged Friday with possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine after jailers discovered nearly 2 ounces of the drug in her bra. 542989157e284_image

Police were called Wednesday to the Shadow Run Lodge in Onalaska where the innkeeper said that people were in and out of one room and wanted the occupant removed.

According to a criminal complaint, Melissa Ozleplebici let them into the room, where police saw a digital scale and a large quantity of gem bags and a small bag with what appeared to be meth at her feet.

Ozleplebici refused to let officers search the room until they returned with a search warrant, which turned up a meth pipe and Adderall and oxycontin pills.

As she was being booked into jail, a jailer heard a crinkling plastic sound coming from Ozleplebici’s bra, and she eventually produced two bags containing a total of 53 grams of meth.

In addition to possession of meth, Ozleplebici was charged with possession of narcotics, drug paraphernalia and an illegally obtained prescription as well as felony bail jumping for violating the conditions of bond in an earlier drug case.

The meth charge carries a prison term of 1 to 25 years and up to 15 years on supervision.

Ozleplebici is being held on a $10,000 cash bond.





A La Crosse man was busted for drugs when he fell asleep before he managed to get high, authorities reported.

According to a complaint, someone called police early Saturday to complain about a man sleeping on a table surrounded by drug paraphernalia in the Giant Wash laundromat on Charles Street.

Police found Cheng Xiong, 30, sitting in a chair with his face on the table with a ziplock bag of meth by his foot.

When woken, Xiong said he came to the laundromat around 11 p.m. to smoke meth but passed out. Police confiscated 1.1 grams of meth and a pipe. He was charged Friday with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor bail jumping.

A $5,000 warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court.




COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Behind the mug shots and crime scene tape that surround busted meth labs are the faces not seen. These young faces have seen things far beyond their years.


“I was pregnant when I was 15 and had (a baby) when I was 16, so we kind of grew up together. I started using crack cocaine when I was 17,” said a recovering meth addict who only wants to be identified by the name Michelle.

Michelle and her son went down a path that kept them going into and out of motels.

“We went from hotel to hotel,” she said. “I let him do drugs. He knew that I was doing drugs. He was pretty much on his own at 14 years old.”

Soon, Michelle found herself using meth and making it.

“All day, looking for ingredients and people to help with ingredients,” she said. “I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating. It was very obvious that I was on something. He knew what I was doing.”

Michelle was stuck living with the consequences when something went terribly wrong.

“Um, basically the way meth is made now, you basically build a bomb,” she said. “The whole thing exploded. I spent my 31st birthday in a hospital in Augusta in the burn center. The whole left side of my body and my abdomen and both of my legs were burned pretty bad.”

But there’s more than one way meth can disrupt a childhood.

“When I saw it on the news, I laid down on the floor and started crying,” said Summer Reynolds, a daughter of a former meth addict.

Summer’s mother, Shannon Gleaton, said she did her best to shield her children from her meth addiction, which meant telling her children lies.

“I mean they know when they are not coming first,” Gleaton said. “And they know when their parents are sick.”

That leaves children with unanswered questions.

“Sometimes I would wonder where she was living,” said Vivian Sheppard, Gleaton’s daughter.

Eventually, the S.C. Department of Social Services stepped in and removed both Michelle and Gleaton’s children. Both mothers soon found themselves behind bars.

“They showed up at a hotel, and they took him that day,” Michelle said. “I remember that day. That was a really bad day. There was nothing that I could do. I knew that the situation that we were living in was not good.”

Gleaton remembers DSS’ involvement in her family as well.

“They said someone called DSS on me,” Gleaton said. “They gave me a hair follicle, and I didn’t pass it.”

Vivian remembers leaving her mother.

“It was hard,” she said. “They didn’t tell me anything, but my Dad put me in my Aunt Jessie’s place, and I just stayed there.”

Summer wondered when she would see her Mom again.

“I always hoped that she would come back,” she said. “I knew she would. I figured she wasn’t just going to abandon all her kids.”

Michelle and Gleaton had to fight to get their children back in their care. And the impact of what their children saw and the contaminants they were exposed to may have consequences far beyond what doctors or social workers can gauge.



WINONA, Minn. — Winona County officials say two people have been taken into custody and one of them has been hospitalized for suspected methamphetamine ingestion following a high-speed chase.

Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude told KTTC-TV ( ) Monday a Minnesota City gas station clerk reported a car had stolen gas multiple times in the past week. Deputies followed the car when the clerk called again Sunday.

The chase reached 100 mph before Wabash County authorities used spike strips to disable the car.

Ganrude says authorities found a scale and a small bag of meth outside the car. He says the driver told officials he had eaten some of the meth. The man’s condition worsened and he was flown to a hospital, where he was in custody.

The passenger was arrested on a previous warrant.




PRICEVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Deputies in Morgan County arrested two people on meth-related charges.

The arrests come after law enforcement authorities say they found materials used in a meth lab at a Days Inn in Priceville.

Police responded to the hotel just after midnight to check on a guest.

Officers smelled a meth lab coming from the guest’s room.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and drug task force were then called to the scene.

Law enforcement authorities say they found the materials used in a meth lab in the room and behind the hotel.

Deputies arrested Shawn David Caudill and Sarah Nicole Moore.

Both are charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance.




Meth is a huge problem across the nation, as highlighted by the plethora of methamphetamine-related news stories that flood the Internet every day.

This powerful, illegal substance can affect individuals and families in ways they might never suspect, as homes that were former meth labs are now being made available to the public. So-called “meth houses” may be offered at a steal of a price, but they aren’t necessarily every flipper’s or homeowner’s cup of tea.


Understanding the Issues with Meth Houses

While the meth and hardware used to produce it might be long gone from a house, the toxins that were used as part of the meth-creation process will always remain. These substances embed themselves into the walls, carpet, air ducts and even the ceiling. Not only can these dangerous substances linger for years, but they can cause serious illnesses to the inhabitants – or even the rehabbers – of a property that was formerly a place where methamphetamine was made.

Consequently, people cannot hope to purchase a former meth lab and simply move in. To be certain that the structure is safe, steps have to be taken to remove all the toxic materials from the home. This process is neither efficient, nor is it cheap; it can cost up to $25,000 to comprehensively rehab a home (or much more) and properly dispose of biowaste.


Three Considerations Before Rehabing a Meth House

Aside from the necessity of cleaning a place where meth was produced, it’s important to consider some other factors, including:

  • How you will find the right people to thoroughly clean and properly dispose of the materials. Many companies may claim to have the inside scoop on fixing meth homes, but that doesn’t mean they do. Be very careful; if you sell a known meth house and it isn’t healthy, you could be sued if the new owners become ill.
  • It may be tough to re-sell your investment because you will have to disclose it was a meth house to any potential investors. While some families feel comfortable living in this type of residence after it has been gutted and cleaned, others will not.
  • Some meth houses are located in neighborhoods where non-meth homes are tough to sell. If this is the case, you may be better off turning your former meth house into a rental property. You’ll still have to get a clean bill of health, but you won’t have to worry about trying to woo buyers who would rather not purchase this type of home. Plus, in some states, landlords do not have to disclose that their rental properties were meth houses.


Two Rehab Options

If you do decide to purchase and rehab a meth house, your costs will vary depending on how you decide to clean out the biowaste.

The less expensive option is to hire an experienced professional to clean the air ducts and wipe down every surface with a special meth cleaner. Make sure to test every room and the garage to confirm that all biowaste has been removed.

The second way to rehab a meth house is to completely gut the home. You will still want to do a detailed cleaning with a special meth cleaner before you gut the home. Flipping a meth home can be very profitable and new home owners will like that it is brand new inside.

Should you be tempted to invest your money in a meth house, it may be best to talk to other buyers who have expertise in this arena. That way, you can ensure that the process will go as smoothly as possible, and you won’t spend more time than is necessary making the property inhabitable and safe.




Alaska State Troopers reported that a 42-year-old Kodiak woman had been arrested on numerous charges of misconduct involving a controlled substance when investigators discovered she was concealing $24,000 worth of heroin and $2,500 worth of methamphetamines inside her body as she tried to board a plane from Anchorage to Kodiak.

Investigators with the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team contacted Tamra M. Jones at the Anchorage airport Saturday “as part of a long term narcotics investigation,” troopers wrote in an online dispatch. After contacting Jones, investigators obtained a search warrant and took her to a local hospital, where a scan was performed and “revealed that Jones was concealing in her body a balloon with smaller items inside it,” troopers said.

“Jones voluntarily removed the item which was turned over to law enforcement.”

Troopers said the balloon contained more than 24 grams of heroin and more than 8 grams of methamphetamine, and alleged the drugs were intended for sale in Kodiak.

Jones was taken to the Anchorage Jail, where her bail conditions were set at $25,000 and supervision by a third-party custodian.




LEE CO., GA (WALB) – Investigators announced six indictments Monday that stem from arrests of some of the biggest meth traffickers in South Georgia.

Amanda Mason, Melissa Hall, and Earnest Ware and Christie Phillips and Braxton Collins were all indicted by a federal grand jury last week in Macon.

They were all charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine.

The charges stem from arrests made in March and May of this year, when Mason and Ware were taken into custody.

Officials said more than a half-pound of meth was confiscated in their arrest, valued at $22,000.

According to a report, Hall was denied bond by the federal magistrate.

Ware and Mason will have a detention hearing Tuesday to decide if they will get a bond.

In addition, Kenny Thornton of Bonifay, Florida was indicted by a previous federal grand jury for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine.

Thorton, Mason, Hall, and Ware were all involved in the distribution of methamphetamine in the Lee County and Albany area.

Mason was first arrested in March for distribution of methamphetamine, bonded out then was arrested again June 19th during a traffic stop.

34 year-old Earnest Ware was arrested June 12th during a road block, after investigators learned he was on his way back from Atlanta.

Photos of Braxton and Collins were not immediately available.

Investigators said they expect more federal indictments to be made.



A 17-year-old Manning man was arrested Saturday by the Manning Police Department after allegedly selling more than $10,000 of his father’s property through use of the Internet.

James E. King III of LeGrand St. in Manning was charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent greater than $2,000 for allegedly selling the property through use of Craigslist, according to MPD Chief Blair Shaffer.

King’s father is James E. King Jr., who was denied bond Aug. 21 for charges of manufacturing methamphetamine; possession of methamphetamine; exposing a child to methamphetamine; manufacturing methamphetamine within a half-mile of a park; disposal of waste from the production of methamphetamine; and assault and battery.

The elder King allegedly manufactured methamphetamine in his home, and video taken by the younger King of this activity led to the father’s arrest.

“Essentially, since his father’s been gone, this young man has been posting his father’s property on Craigslist and selling it,” Shaffer said.

According to reports, the theft was discovered by the boy’s grandfather, who noticed several items missing from the home.

The younger King was granted a $5,000 personal recognizance bond shortly after his arrest. The elder King was taken from the jail to his home to assess what was sold.

Items included a Craftsman reciprocating saw valued at $300; a Ryobi weed eater valued at $175; and Echo string trimmer valued at $269; a utility trailer valued at $400; a Craftsman cut-off tool valued at $150; an industrial drill valued at $200; Bostich sockets valued t $75; a floor fan valued at $350; an Echo blower valued at $269; a Murray string trimmer valued at $125; a Makita adjustable polisher valued at $500; a chain saw valued at $100; a skill saw valued at $75; a Tennant vaccum valued at $500; a lawn mower valued at $100; a cordless drill valued at $45; two ozone machines valued at $1,000; an industrial come-along valued at $800; attachments for string trimmer valued at $450; cleaning chemicals valued at $1,000; four shop vacuums valued at $800; two hand trucks valued at $200; a floor jack valued at $75; a Dremel tool with attachments valued at $250; wheel barrow valued at $100; assorted Craftsman tools valued at $2,000; an Igloo cooler valued at $50; a Jig saw valued at $75; a Kobalt power supply valued at $200; and a mini-air compressor valued at $75.




A 26-year-old man will face court after allegedly breaking into a number of rooms at an Alice Springs hotel.

Detective Acting Superintendent Peter Malley said it is alleged a number of rooms were unlawfully entered between September 28 and September 29.

“Police were called to the scene when staff members located a majority of the stolen items in one guest’s room,” Detective A/Superintendent Malley said.

“Police seized a number of the recovered tools and televisions and arrested the 26-year-old man at the location.”

The man has been charged with seven counts of unlawful entry, seven counts of stealing, possessing methamphetamine, possessing a trafficable amount of a schedule 2 drug and administering a dangerous drug to self.

He was arrested yesterday, remanded in custody overnight and will face court today.



CARRABELLE, Fla. (WTXL) — Franklin County Deputies say a recent meth bust at a local mayor’s home is helping to have a significant impact on the drug trade in the area.

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Carrabelle Mayor Wilburn “Curley” Messer says he was surprised when a joint task force of Franklin County deputies and Carrabelle Police officers came knocking September 19 on his door at his home on Third West Street. It’s where law enforcement served a search warrant and eventually arrested Mayor Messer’s grandson, Justin Massey, and a second person, Sylvia Keith, on a series of drug charges.

At the same time, law enforcement served search warrants at a second home on Carlton Millender Road where they arrested Dennis “Lake” Beebe and Lake Ann McCullar.


Mayor Messer told WTXL that his grandson would “come and go” from his home, but was unaware of his grandson’s drug activity. Captain Creamer says they also do not believe Mayor Messer had any involvement in Massey’s alleged drug activity.

All four arrests at both homes, Captain Creamer says, are related.

Captain Creamer says they did not find any evidence of meth being cooked at Mayor Messer’s home, however a search of both homes combined did turn up methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine, hydrochloride, marijuana, digital scales, lithium batteries, coalman fuel, acetone, a propane blow torch, ammonium nitrate, a syringe, empty pseudoephedrine packs, and glass smoking pipes.

Investigators say these items are consistent with the manufacture, sale, and use of Methamphetamine.

Police records show a 2006 Hummer was seized as contraband from the residence on 3rd West Street.

Justin Massey and Sylvia Keith were arrested from that address.

Occupants of the Carlton Millender Road home, Dennis “Lake” Beebe and Lake A. McCullar, were arrested as well.

The arrest report shows all of the subjects were detained while the searches were conducted.

Charges include Possession of Listed Chemicals, Manufacture of Methamphetamine, Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Legend Drug without Prescription, Cultivation of Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.




Pomona police recovered about 150 pounds of marijuana and several ounces of methamphetamine when they went to a Pomona residence in response to a call from the neighborhood, police said Monday.

Officers went to the home in the 300 block of East Bonita Avenue at 6 p.m. Sunday to check out a report of possible marijuana cultivation and found “several large marijuana plants growing in the rear yard of the location,” said Pomona police Corporal Manny Ramos.

“As officers were conducting their investigation, the occupant of the location began to destroy the marijuana plants,” Ramos said. Officers secured the location while they awaited a search warrant.

After the warrant arrived, officers recovered “approximately 150 pounds of marijuana, several ounces of methamphetamine, miscellaneous possible stolen property and a large amount of ammunition,” he said.

Forty-year-old Gary Lewis was arrested at the scene and booked at the Pomona City Jail, with bail set at $30,000, Ramos said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s inmate records indicate Lewis is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 30.



WHEN government closes a window, the market opens a door. Sadly, this describes the methamphetamine problem in Oklahoma.


This state has been a national leader in the meth manufacturing crackdown, finding ways to restrict the purchase of ingredients used to cook meth. But as fewer meth “labs” are being found and shut down by state authorities, the number of meth-related overdose deaths continues to rise.

The reason is that the domestic supply disruption has been met with a foreign supply influx. This isn’t a new development, but the latest numbers are startling. Meth demand isn’t going down, but the supply chain has added more links to Mexico.

Meth labs shut down by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) fell from 830 in 2012 to 421 in 2013. Meth overdose deaths rose from 140 in 2012 to 167 last year.

Meth users are buying product brought in by Mexican cartels. This is happening partly in response to the home-grown meth lab crackdown. Also, the Mexican stuff’s quality is apparently improving.

“The Mexican cartels are filling the void left by these people who still need meth but can’t cook it anymore,” said Mark Woodward, spokesman for OBNDD.

Fewer labs mean fewer accidents such as explosions and fires that destroy property and harm people not involved in the meth cook itself. That’s the good news. The bad is that such labs still exist and users are dying at an increasing rate: The 167 meth overdose deaths last year compares to 40 in 2008.

Meanwhile, a legislator is pushing a registry for those convicted of meth manufacturing. State Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, likens this to the sex offender registry. In principle, citizens can learn whether any registered sex offenders live near their homes. In practice, though, this method has shortcomings. Resources must be found to keep track of offenders, to make sure they report address changes. Also, the system can concentrate offenders in certain areas in which landlords look the other way when renting residential space. Such concentrations expose nearby residents to a higher risk if they can’t move to a safer area.





SALT LAKE CITY – Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly used a baseball bat to assault a woman and later assaulted an officer after being confronted while smoking methamphetamine inside of a vehicle Saturday night.

The suspect is believed to be the same person involved in two incidents involving two police agencies.

Salt Lake City police responded to a woman Saturday around 7 p.m. who had been assaulted by a man, reported to be her ex-boyfriend, wielding a baseball bat. The assault occurred at a Top Stop, 1309 Foothill Drive. The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Sgt. Chamberlin Neff of the Utah Highway Patrol said a short time later he was responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked not far from the location of the first incident in the area of 1700 South and Foothill Drive. He said at that time he was unaware of the first incident involving SLC PD.

He said he approached the vehicle, which is when the suspect escaped and assaulted the officer in the process.

“Walked up, approached the male–who had been smoking methamphetamine in his driver’s seat,” he said. “The male attempted to flee. The male was tased. The male was successfully able to flee on foot.”

The suspect escaped through the passenger’s side of the vehicle and fled on foot.

Neff said he is OK but declined to provide further details relating to being assaulted by the suspect. Sgt. Todd Royce with UHP said at some point during the encounter the suspect’s vehicle went into reverse and struck a police vehicle. He said dash camera footage of the incident could be released later this week.

Police set up a containment in the area and searched for several hours but were unable to locate the suspect.

The identity of the man is known to police, however Neff said they are not releasing his name at this time. He is described as being a white male who stands between 5-feet 8-inches tall and 6-feet tall. He was last seen wearing jeans and a white hoodie. He was barefoot, and Neff said the man had scrapes on his face.

The suspect is likely to be armed, and Neff said anyone who sees the man or who has knowledge of his whereabouts should call police at 801-887-3800.




 ST. GEORGE — Two 19-year-olds were arrested on drug charges Wednesday afternoon when St. George Police officers responded to a drug complaint at a house in St. George and could smell marijuana emanating around the garage.


St. George Police officers responded to a drug complaint at the residence of 695 N. 500 West in St. George and came in contact with Kaden Amon Silvia, who said he was one of the renters of the house, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Officer Cameron McCullough. They also encountered Hunter Riley Winn, another renter of the house.

“I could smell the distinct odor of raw Marijuana coming through the cracks of the garage door,” McCullough wrote in the statement.

McCullough wrote in his statement that he asked Silvia if there was any marijuana in the house and Silvia said no. Further, that officers asked Silvia for consent to search the house and Silvia said no. Officers then requested a search warrant for the house from 5th District Judge Jeffrey Wilcox, who granted the warrant, and officers proceeded to conduct a search of the house.

During the search, officers located a black safe under a pile of clothes in Silvia’s bedroom. McCullough asked where the key was and Silvia pulled the key from his pocket. Inside the safe were four glass pipes, a bundle of baggies containing suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale and a propane torch.

Officers also noticed a 5-gallon paint bucket with a solid cardboard rectangle taped to the top of it. Underneath the cardboard were multiple baggies used for holding methamphetamine and a glass pipe. The baggies matched the baggies that were found in the black safe.

While being interviewed, Silvia admitted that he distributed meth to his friends in exchange for money. Silvia’s cellphone received a text message while officers were in his room, the text message was from someone asking Silvia if he could spot him a bag, McCullough wrote in the statement.

Through further investigation, police officers located within a drawer of Winn’s dresser: two methamphetamine pipes; a spoon with suspected heroin; multiple syringes; and tin foil with track marks, according to the statement. In the garage, a red tool box with Winn’s initials written on the side of it was found. Winn told officers where the key was which was located in Winn’s bedroom.

The tool box contained additional drug paraphernalia including multiple syringes, a clear small baggie with suspected meth in it and tin foil with track marks, according to the statement; and inside a box of books, officers found a blue glass pipe containing suspected burnt marijuana.

Silvia and Winn were arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Silvia was charged with a second-degree felony for possession of meth with intent to distribute and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia. According to bookings information Silvia’s current bail stands at $10,680.

Winn was charged with a third-degree felony for possession of heroin, a third-degree felony for possession of methamphetamine, a class A misdemeanor for possession of marijuana and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia. According to bookings information Winn’s current bail stands at $12,630.

Winn and Silvia both had their initial court appearances Thursday.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.





ELLWOOD CITY — A complaint to police about a mysterious odor led to the discovery of a “one pot” methamphetamine lab Thursday in Ellwood City.

Michael Joseph Tomasello, 55, of 423 Spring Ave., Apartment 1, Ellwood City, was charged with operating a methamphetamine lab and other offenses Thursday morning. According to a criminal complaint filed with District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright Jr., Ellwood City police responded just after 10 p.m. Thursday to a report from a neighbor of a strong chemical smell in the building.

Officers arrived at Tomasello’s apartment and confirmed the chemical smell and located a type of acid commonly used in the production of methamphetamine. The officers received permission to search Tomasello’s apartment and contacted the state police’s Clandestine Lab Response Team to assist.

Items found in the search included used coffee filters, two packages of an over-the-counter medicine that contains pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries and charcoal starter fluid — all items commonly used in the production of “one-pot,” or small, batches of methamphetamine.

Police took Tomasello into custody after the search. During questioning, he said he and two other people were manufacturing the methamphetamine, police said.

In addition to operating a methamphetamine laboratory, Tomasello was charged with delivery or possession with intent to deliver, using ammonia gas-related chemicals, conspiracy to manufacture with intent to deliver, conspiracy to operate a methamphetamine lab, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arraigned before District Judge Melissa Amodie and placed in the Lawrence County Jail after failing to post $10,000 bail.





Two people headed to a drug-treatment program in California were stopped in Wilsonville with methamphetamine, heroin and a neglected snake in their car, according to deputies.


Deputies responded to a report of suspicious people in a car at the Chevron station near 95th and Elligsen at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The deputies learned the two people in the car, identified as Lacey Kiser, 22, of Marysville, WA, and Jacob Stoner, 19, of Arlington, WA, were heading to a rehab program in San Bernardino, CA.

A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of meth, heroin and a snake, according to investigators.

The deputies reported the snake appeared to be in distress and called an expert from International Reptile Rescue to respond to the scene.

The expert said the ball python was in distress, “severely neglected” and its life was in danger.

The owner of the snake, Stoner, was charged with animal neglect, as well as possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine.

Kiser was arrested on the charge of possession of a controlled substance-heroin.

They were both booked in the Clackamas County Jail.

The snake was placed in the care of International Reptile Rescue.





MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A “one bottle meth lab” was discovered in an apartment on South Ocean Boulevard.

Myrtle Beach police received a tip that led them to the Shady Rest apartments Saturday.

Officials did a knock-and-talk with the renters but were denied consent to search the room, according to the police report.

The renters were then evicted by the property manager who searched the room for damages and found a hidden bottle.

Myrtle Beach officers contacted drug enforcement units who confirmed the bottle appeared to a “one pot lab,” according to the report.

According to police, a field test was done and the substance in the bottle tested positive for methamphetamine.

Samples were collected and sent to SLED for testing.