Comments Off on Angelica Yarnell-Ross, 48, of Coquille, tried to smuggle Methamphetamine into the Coos County Jail hidden in bar of soap

COQUILLE, Ore. – A woman faces accusations she tried to smuggle a bag of meth into the Coos County Jail concealed inside a hollowed-out bar of soap, narcotics detectives said.

That incident happened May 26, according to the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team.

Detectives stopped the suspect’s vehicle June 16 in Coquille.

During the stop, the Coquille Police K-9 Kara alerted handlers to the presence of methamphetamine inside the car, police said.

Officers found a small bag of suspected meth and $925 in cash, according to police.

Police took the suspect – 48-year-old Angelica Yarnell-Ross of Coquille – into custody on charges of Supplying Contraband, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine and Delivery of Methamphetamine.

Deputies located additional meth hidden in her clothes as Yarnell-Ross was booked into the jail, police said.



Comments Off on 44 pounds of Methamphetamine found during traffic stop in Tulsa – Kevin Jameson, 58, arrested

Tulsa police seized 44 pounds of methamphetamine after an officer stopped a man for an alleged traffic violation on U.S. 169.

Kevin Jameson, 58, failed to signal a left turn onto the highway Sunday afternoon, according to Tulsa Police Officer Jeanne MacKenzie.

After his vehicle was pulled over, a K-9 officer alerted other officers that the car smelled of drugs, MacKenzie said.

Officers found the meth during a search of the vehicle, she said.

Police arrested Jameson on complaints of aggravated trafficking of methamphetamine and failure to signal a left turn. He was booked into Tulsa Jail in lieu of a $25,100 bond.


Comments Off on Methamphetamine, Synthetic Drug Escalation a New Threat for Asia Communities

The United Nations says it sees an escalation in the production and use of amphetamines and synthetic drugs as a new threat for communities in Asia.

In northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, the weekend seizure of almost two million methamphetamine pills came as traffickers attempted to breach a police checkpoint.

Thai policemen display some of 226 kilograms (498 pounds) of crystal meth and 8 kilograms (18 pounds) of heroin during press conference in Bangkok ,Thailand , Thursday, March 24, 2016. The commissioner of Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau, Police Lt. Gen.Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak said authorities acted on a tip that couriers would attempt to transport a large quantity of drugs on the train traveling from the Thai capital to Malaysia on Wednesday night.

One trafficker was shot dead as a combined force of soldiers and police confronted the traffickers near in the infamous Golden Triangle region of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar.

News of such large seizures of methamphetamine and potent synthetic drugs and heroin come with increasing frequency, even for a region long known at the frontline of drug trafficking.

A recent assessment by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) highlighted a massive escalation in methamphetamine production and seizure rates.

“A total of 287 million methamphetamine tablets were seized in East and South East Asia in 2015, a more than two-fold increase compared to 2011,” the UN report said.

But synthetic drugs, also known as new psychoactive substances, are also evident and a major contributor to a drug overdose epidemic.

The UNODC said Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam had also “perceived an increase in the use of methamphetamine tablets in 2015”.

Cambodia, China, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam also all reported increases in use and trafficking of crystalline methamphetamine – a liquid form of the drug that is injected.

The production and trafficking of methamphetamine and heroin within and from the region generates an estimated $40 billion annually and UNODC data show the flow of illicit drugs continues to rise across the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Methamphetamine – known in Thai as ‘ya ba’ – has long been a staple in the illegal drugs trade.

The new threats in synthetic drugs include fentanyl, which the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says is “50 to 100 times” more potent than opioids such as morphine.

From clandestine laboratories in Asia, synthetic drugs reach markets as far away as North America, where the U.S. is witnessing up to 60,000 deaths a year from opioid drug overdoses.

Inshik Sim, a UNODC information analyst in Thailand, said the trends towards synthetic drugs are “alarming.”

“If you compare seizures of drug types between the opiates and synthetic drugs, basically seizures of methamphetamine increased by nearly sevenfold over the last decade – while those of heroin are virtually stable,” Sim told VOA.

He said increases in methamphetamine use have also raised concerns in China, Singapore, and Malaysia.

“Overall at the regional level now we can say that methamphetamine has become the primary drug of concern in the region,” he said.

Olivier Lermet, a UNODC regional advisor, said the factors driving the escalation in amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) use reflect changing economic circumstances.

Lermet, in an email to VOA, said ATS drugs were easy to produce, with clandestine laboratories based at strategic locations close to markets, “plus the increased inter connectivity of the ASEAN region enables a fast flow of goods and persons.”

An emerging middle class and rising incomes have also led to “more consumers” – both in urban and non-urban regions – with consumption by men and women, and not limited to the youth market.

The UNODC said crime syndicates, including those in northeastern Myanmar and eastern China as well as in Taiwan, play “a significant role in methamphetamine manufacturing and trafficking in the region.”

Traffickers target high income markets, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. “In fact, seizures of crystalline methamphetamine at the borders of these four nations have increased rapidly in recent years,” the UNODC said.

The UN has led calls for countries to take on a more “balanced response to drugs, with a robust health pillar as a fundamental element of national policies. ”

But Southeast Asia has been slow to adopt reforms and has doubled down on the so-called “war on drugs.”

In the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte, more than 7,000 people have been killed by police and unidentified gunmen.

In Thailand up to 70 percent of all 300,000 prisoners in jail have been sentenced on drug related charges and Indonesia has declared a “narcotics emergency.”

But civil society groups say there is need for reform to combat drug use.

They say existing programs of compulsory centers for drug users (CCDUs) should be phased out towards comprehensive systems of voluntary community-based treatment and complimentary health, harm reduction and social support services.

In Thailand’s slum community of Klong Toey, Joe Maier, a Catholic priest who runs charity projects in the area, said there has been little government support to assist communities to provide alternatives against illicit drug use.

“They never have put money into anything. So it’s nothing new. They never have dumped huge amounts of money into sports. The government does not see sports fields, athletics and sport programs and sports heroes as combating drugs,” Maier said.

Comments Off on Philippine military finds Methampetamine worth more than $2.77 million in terrorist-held Marawi City

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) – The Philippine military found methamphetamine worth between US$2 million and US$5 million (S$2.77 million and S$6.91 million) while clearing rebel positions in besieged Marawi City, officials said on Monday, boosting suspicions Islamist militants are being funded by the narcotics trade.

The 11 bags of shabu, the local name for methamphetamine, were recovered on Sunday (June 18) along with four assault rifles in the kitchen of a two-story concrete house believed to be occupied by fighters from the Maute militant group.

“This strengthens our findings that these terrorists are using illegal drugs,” Major-General Carlito Galvez, military commander of western Mindanao, said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who launched a ruthless ‘war on drugs’ after coming to power a year ago, has said the Marawi fighters are being financed by drug lords in Mindanao, an island the size of South Korea that has suffered for decades from banditry and insurgencies.

Fighting in Marawi City erupted on May 23 after a bungled raid by security forces on a Maute hideout, with gunmen owing allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seizing bridges and buildings and taking hostages.

Duterte responded by declaring martial law in Mindanao.

The army said nearly 350 people, including 257 militants, 62 soldiers and 26 civilians, have been killed in four weeks of fighting.

The fighters were prepared for a long siege of Marawi, stockpiling arms and food in tunnels, basements, mosques and madrasas, or Islamic religious schools, military officials have said.

Bundles of banknotes and cheques worth about US$1.6 million were also discovered earlier this month in an abandoned rebel position.

Jo-Ar Herrera, a military spokesman, told a media briefing the militants were also using commercial drones to monitor troop movements.


Comments Off on Amanda Dawn Armstrong, 27, of Bessemer City, Elizabeth Mary Buchanan, 27, and Robert Gregory Wray, 40, both of Gastonia, arrested for having one-pot Methamphetamine labs in car

Three people are facing felony charges after Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies found three active one-pot meth labs inside a vehicle.

Robert Gregory Wray, 40, and Elizabeth Mary Buchanan, 27, both of Gastonia, and Amanda Dawn Armstrong, 27, of Bessemer City, were arrested early Wednesday morning following a traffic stop on Salem Church Road in Lincolnton.

Deputies said Wray, the driver, gave consent to search the vehicle. Deputies found a black bag in the rear passenger area that was smoking and smelled strongly of chemicals. Inside the bag were three plastic bottles that were being used to cook methamphetamine, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Wray was charged with one felony count each of manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count each of driving while license revoked, failure to dim high beam headlights and driving left of center. Wray was issued a $100,000 secured bond.

Armstrong and Buchanan were charged with one felony count of manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance. Armstrong was issued a $20,000 secured bond and Buchanan was issued a $30,000 secured bond.

Wray has prior Gaston County convictions for breaking and entering and larceny over $200 in 1998, attempted breaking and entering, possession of drug paraphernalia and larceny in 2004, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2009, driving while impaired in 2012 and felony obtaining property by false pretenses, possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of stolen goods and larceny in April, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records. He was also convicted of larceny in Cleveland County in 2010. Wray served prison sentences in 1999, 2005, 2010 and 2013 and is currently on probation.

Buchanan was convicted of misdemeanor school attendance law violation in April and is listed as currently being on probation.


Comments Off on Amber Howard, 33, of Briensburg, on multiple Methamphetamine and drug charges during traffic stop

MARSHALL CO, Ky – A woman faces multiple charges, including trafficking a controlled substance, after a traffic stop Friday afternoon.

Kentucky State Police say 33-year-old Amber Howard of Briensburg was pulled over on Highway 68, near Holland Road. During the stop, the trooper located several baggies of suspected methamphetamine, numerous pills and drug paraphernalia.

She was arrested and charged with First Degree Trafficking a Controlled Substance 1st Offense (Methamphetamine), First Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance (Hydrocodone), Third Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance (Alprazolam), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Prescription Controlled Substance not in Proper Container.

Howard is being held in the Marshall County Jail.


Comments Off on Megan Marie Ohara, 40, of Lady Lake, lands behind bars for Methamphetamine after refusing to check out of the Quality Inn of Leesburg

A 40-year-old Lady Lake woman landed behind bars after refusing to check out of a local hotel.


An employee of the Quality Inn of Leesburg contacted police after Megan Marie Ohara of 220 Forest Park Lane refused to check out of Room 111 on Thursday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. In the room, officers recovered syringes, including one full of a liquid substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Ohara is already on parole on charges of exploitation of the elderly and possession of methamphetamine.

She was booked without bond at the Lake County Jail.



Comments Off on 16-year-old girl charged after crystal Methamphetamine seized in New Glasgow

A young woman is facing a drug possession charge after police seized crystal meth from a home in New Glasgow Friday afternoon.

The Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Enforcement Unit searched a home on Muir’s Lane at around 3 p.m.

Police seized a quantity of crystal methamphetamine and arrested a 16-year-old young woman from New Glasgow. She is facing one count of possession of a controlled substance.

She’s been released from custody and will appear in youth justice court at a later date. Charges are also pending against a New Glasgow man.

Police continue to investigate.



Comments Off on Nurse at the South County Jail in Frostproof, Andrea Sarvey, 32, accused of smuggling, having sex with inmate Aubry Pettus, 29

FROSTPROOF – Deputies in Polk County say a jail nurse has been fired and arrested for sneaking cigarettes and coffee to an inmate and secretly having sex with him on the job.NURSE arrested_1497646644743_3578080_ver1.0_640_360q

According to her arrest affidavit, Andrea Sarvey worked as a nurse for Corizon Health, providing health care for inmates at the South County Jail in Frostproof.  Detectives believe it was sometime in March that she began having a relationship with Aubry Pettus, who was behind bars for trafficking meth and violating his probation.

A tip led deputies to check recordings of their jailhouse phone calls, and that’s when they discovered the two allegedly discussed bringing in contraband for Pettus.

Friday, detectives confronted Sarvey when she reported to work. During the interview, they say, she admitted bringing in cigarettes, coffee, and envelopes. She explained that she would place the coffee or cigarettes in a pass-through window from her medical station to the dorm for Pettus to receive. NURSE arrested_1497646644743_3578080_ver1.0_640_360f

The nurse said Pettus would tell her, “If you love me, you will bring me this.”

Deputies say a search of her vehicle turned up “numerous” love letters from Pettus, along with a box of stamped envelopes.

Sarvey also told detectives she and Pettus would engage in sexual acts while she was on duty, but out of sight of other staff members.

Sarvey, 32, was fired immediately from her job with Corizon and arrested on several charges, including introducing contraband into detention facility.

Pettus, meanwhile, has been charged with conspiracy to introduce contraband. Deputies say the 29-year-old has an extensive criminal history, including 29 felony and nine misdemeanor charges and has been sentenced to Florida State Prison four times.



Comments Off on Gregory A. Kopelke, 31, of Wisconsin Rapids, charged with homicide in deaths of Barbara Baldwin, 71, and Louise Hemenway, 74, two sisters from New Lisbon – had Methamphetamine in his system at time of fatal crash

A Wisconsin Rapids man was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine when he caused an accident killing two New Lisbon women and severely injuring a third last October.594456e5caf21.image

Gregory A. Kopelke, 31, was charged June 7 with two counts of homicide by vehicle under the use of a controlled substance and one charge of injury by use of vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Kopelke also faces felony charges for knowingly operating with a revoked license, causing death and causing great bodily harm. If convicted, Kopelke could face more than 70 years in prison.

According to court documents, on Oct. 25, 2016, Kopelke’s vehicle crossed the center line while going around a curve along Highway 80 in the town of Dexter. His Jeep Cherokee struck a Pontiac Vibe head on, killing driver Barbara Baldwin, 71, and passenger Louise Hemenway, 74, and traumatically injuring another 73-year-old passenger. The second passenger allegedly suffered several fractured ribs, spinal and sternum fractures, a broken left elbow and leg, along with a broken clavicle and collapsed lung. All three victims were sisters.

Through a blood test, authorities confirmed Kopelke had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the accident. He had previously been charged twice with operating a vehicle with a revoked license and both cases were open when the accident occurred.

Capt. Shawn Becker, who oversees the patrol division at the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, said Kopelke was in court June 15 for his initial appearance. He will have a preliminary hearing and arraignment June 30 at 3:15 p.m. inside Wood County Circuit Court.

Due to the complexity of the case, Becker said it took several months for Kopelke to be charged.

“In any case like this where we have a fatality, or in this case multiple fatalities in a car crash, we have a reconstruction that takes place,” Becker said. “Usually the State Patrol helps out with a lot of those cases so it took awhile to get a lot of that information put together. What also took some time was to get the toxicology results from Kopelke. Once we got the results of his blood test, we were able to move forward with referring the criminal charges to the district attorney’s office.”

During Kopelke’s initial appearance, Judge Todd Wolf set a $20,000 cash bond, which Kopelke was unable to pay. Becker said Kopelke remains in custody.

“That bond is pretty significant, which it should be for this type of case when we’re looking at three victims, two that lost their life as the result of him driving under the influence,” Becker said. “The preliminary hearing is basically a probable cause hearing. The court will hear testimony from officers and investigators who were at the scene, determine whether there is probably cause to proceed with the case and then from there we’ll go to trial.”

With methamphetamine addiction growing throughout rural Wisconsin, Becker said last fall’s deadly accident puts another spotlight on the perils of using the drug.

“It’s not just exclusive to Wood County or the state, it’s everywhere and it does bring a lot of attention to it when we have a situation like this where two people died,” Becker said.


Comments Off on Police arrest 6 men, confiscate Methamphetamine during SWAT raid in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Police arrested six people in connection with a meth investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies in Columbus.

The Columbus Police Department SWAT team confiscated methamphetamine and two firearms during the operation, which also involved Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team detectives, Greensburg police and Indiana State Police.columbus-meth-arrests-june-16-cbs4

Officers served a search warrant at a home in the 1900 block of Dawnshire Drive. Investigators learned the people inside the residence were armed and requested help from Columbus SWAT.

Officers recovered 50 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, heroin and two handguns. One of the suspects suffered a dog bite during the raid. All six suspects arrested were taken to the Bartholomew County Jail.

The suspects arrested were:

David Michael Hardin, 43, Columbus

  • Dealing in methamphetamine greater than 10 grams
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Maintaining a common nuisance
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

Donald R. Shirley, 53, Clifford

  • Obstruction of justice

Colten D. Shirley, 24, Mooresville

  • Visiting a common nuisance

Robert W. Goodin, 46, Seymour

  • Visiting a common nuisance
  • Possession of heroin
  • Possession of a legend drug injection device

Michael A. Goodin, 26, of Columbus

  • Visiting a Common Nuisance

Randall W. Garris, 45, Columbus

  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Visiting a common nuisance


Comments Off on The epidemic that’s hurting us all: Methamphetamine

On my most recent telephone town hall with 28,000 Montanans, nearly 95 percent agreed that meth is a problem in Montana. Certainly, Barbara from Billings knows this to be true – she shared with me that her son is currently recovering from meth.

One third of the record 3,400 children in Montana’s foster care system are there because of methamphetamine use by their parents. In 2016, 53 percent of the Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation Narcotics Bureau investigations involved meth. And the national number of drug overdose deaths involving meth more than doubled in a span of four years, from 1,388 in 2010 to 3,728 in 2014. One monetary estimate of meth’s cost, just to the state of Montana, is 78 million dollars. The cost of broken families, lost futures, and missed opportunities, however, is immeasurable. And the numbers are growing. It’s a sad truth – every corner of the Treasure State has scars left by meth. We’ve seen the reports – mothers and fathers beating their children to death, boyfriends murdering their girlfriends, high speed car chases, stolen property and drug busts across the street from elementary schools.593732c8a7cde.image

For those who have already fallen victim to meth, we need to provide care. Meth ruins lives – not just the lives of the user, but also their loved ones. Those who use meth soon find themselves making meth their number one priority over their loved ones, their communities, and their jobs. Once addicted to meth – a deadly cycle begins.

And too often, children are the ones left in the wake of meth’s crash. They are abandoned, abused, and sadly sometimes even hooked on the drug themselves. Exposure to meth at any age is horrible, but when young, impressionable children are exposed to drugs, it is heartbreaking.

To those of us aware of meth’s effects, it seems hard to fathom why anyone would choose this drug’s path of destruction. Once beautiful faces riddled with sores, once life-giving smiles full of rotting teeth and once bright personalities suddenly dulled by anxiety, confusion and violence. But that’s just it, those who are addicted to meth aren’t aware of meth’s effects.

They don’t know that meth is a slave maker driving its victims to steal from, lie to, and hurt loved ones just to stay within its grips. They don’t know that using meth may increase risks for other diseases like Parkinson’s, HIV and hepatitis.

Which is why we need to do more to raise awareness about the meth epidemic in our state. For those of us who do know the risk associated with meth, it is incumbent upon us to share that information with those who don’t.

Twice, I have spoken with Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly about the issue of meth being brought into the U.S. through our southern border. We must do everything we can to keep meth from coming into our country and getting into the hands of our children and I will continue to work with Secretary Kelly and press for greater border security to fight against drug smuggling. Secretary Kelly agrees, however, that stopping the demand for meth is of the utmost importance and called for a holistic approach: border security, internal U.S. law enforcement, partnering with Mexico and decreasing demand.

The meth fight will be challenging, but we can win and we will win. It is imperative that all forms of government work together. I commend the efforts by our state officials and local law enforcement to combat this growing epidemic.

Community involvement, education, prevention, and treatment – these are the tools we need to defeat meth in Montana and I am committed to bolstering these efforts so we can kick meth out of Montana once and for all. I’m asking for you to share your story if you or a family member has been impacted by meth addiction. Here is the website:


Republican Steve Daines is a U.S. Senator for Montana. 


Comments Off on Estimated $2.8 million of Methamphetamine marks largest bust in Coweta history

In what authorities describe as the largest drug bust in Coweta history, investigators said an estimated $2.8 million worth of methamphetamine was seized from a home in north Coweta County Thursday.20170616-Meth-4.jpg

In a joint operation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Atlanta, members of the Coweta County Sheriff’s office entered the residence of 210 Shell Road, just off Tommy Lee Cook Road, on Thursday morning where 300 pounds of methamphetamine was found – allegedly a byproduct of a “superlab” operating on the property, according to Sheriff Mike Yeager.

A “superlab” is defined as a laboratory capable of producing 10 pounds or more of methamphetamine within a production cycle, usually a 24-hour period.

“This is the largest operation we’ve ever seen and possibly the largest in the state,” Yeager said. “They were putting a lot of product out here on the street.”

Two labs were found on the property –  a “superlab” found in an outbuilding behind the house, and a smaller operation inside the home, according to Lt. Col. Tony Brown with the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office said it had received numerous complaints regarding possible drug sales and discharging of firearms from the residence. The house, which sits around 400 yards off the road, was known to be heavily armed, so approaching the residence with caution was a primary precaution during the bust, Brown said. 20170616-Meth-3

However, the raid ended without incident, according to Brown – only a man, his wife and their three children were at the residence at the time. Just the man, whose name has not been released, was taken into custody by the DEA.

Along with the 300 pounds of meth, investigators also allegedly seized $15,000 in cash and several high-powered firearms and state-of-the-art surveillance equipment, Brown said.

Members from the Coweta County Fire Rescue assisted in the raid by helping to ventilate the building and handle all hazardous materials.

“We appreciate the DEA, and it was a good working cooperation between the two agencies,” Yeager said. “We’re glad to be able to shut down an operation like this and get them out of business.”




Comments Off on Suspected Methamphetamine lab explosion in Connellsville sends 3 people to hospitals

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. – Three people were taken to hospitals early Sunday morning after a suspected meth lab explosion in Fayette County, officials said.

The explosion happened shortly before 3 a.m. at a duplex on South Carnegie Avenue in Connellsville.yjryjyjfjrtjr

The blast blew out a window to a second floor bedroom where a man a woman were. Broken glass and pieces of a mattress were seen on the street outside of the duplex.

Police said the man and woman suffered suspected chemical burns and were flown to a Pittsburgh hospital. A third person was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

“Catastrophic event. There was glass on the road. There was commotion inside. Our officers went inside, extracted people and began our investigation,” Connellsville police Cpl. Bryan Kendi said.



Comments Off on U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrest a French citizen and companions at the Los Angeles International Airport after finding Methamphetamine in underwear

Federal agents have arrested a man in Los Angeles for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly four pounds of crystal methamphetamine in his underwear.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the drugs were seized Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities say the man, a French citizen, was trying to return to his home in French Polynesia when he was found to have packages of meth hidden in the areas of his groin and upper thigh.

The man’s companions were removed from a plane and their baggage searched.

Authorities say more meth was found in the carry-on luggage of a man and woman and in the lining of the woman’s underwear.

Both also were arrested.


Comments Off on Summer Stark, 28, of Carrollton, arrested after her own 8-month-old baby boy overdoses on Methamphetamine

A mother in Kentucky is facing charges after police say her 8-month-old child swallowed meth and overdosed, police said.

Summer Stark, 28, was arrested after the child was admitted to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville on Friday after she ingested the drug at a residence in Carrollton, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.170613-mother-child-overdose-meth-feature

The 8-month-old boy and another child, a 10-year-old girl, were removed from the home by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, police said.

“There’s been stories throughout my travels in the state of children finding illicit substances and things of that nature, but not one 8 months of age that had to be hospitalized,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Josh Lawson told WLKY. “It’s in the home and it’s readily accessible for a child less than a year old to get access to. It’s pretty horrifying.”

Stark, who is charged with wanton endangerment, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, remains held at the Carroll County Detention Center, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

One of Stark’s neighbors said hearing the accusations was heart-breaking.

“I mean, how could anyone have that around little kids?” Rita Welch told WLKY. “This is a small town, so you hear about it everywhere. But for a little child? You hear [about] adults and teenagers, but a baby? Oh no. I just can’t believe it. It’s sad.”



Comments Off on Christopher Collins, 31, of Mountain Home, arrested for ‘sickening and scary’ sex crime against underage girl

A 31-year-old Mountain Home man faces multiple felonies after he allegedly stalked an underage girl in the Internet, went to her eastern Newton County home, snuck in and had sex with the girl, according to a news release from Newton County Sheriff Keith Slape.636329483655064006-Christopher-Collins

Christopher Collins was arrested on felony charges of sexual assault, residential burglary, internet stalking of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was arrested June 10 and was released from the Newton County jail June 12 after posting an unspecified bond.

A woman housesitting in the eastern portion of Newton County called authorities there and reported she went into her niece’s bedroom around 5 a.m. and found a man naked in bed with the girl.

The woman said the man, who appeared to be in his 30s, fled the room through an open window upon seeing the aunt enter the room.

Newton County authorities contacted the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division and Grandma’s House Child Advocacy Center. Officials with those agencies joined the investigation and the girl was interviewed.

The girl told authorities she came into contact with Collins through Facebook Messenger. Collins then reportedly helped the girl join adult oriented sites. The pair exchanged messages and pictures, according to the news release.

During conversations, Collins reportedly scheduled a rendezvous with the girl at her home. He reportedly instructed her to leave her window open so he could access the residence.

After Collins was discovered in the girl’s room and fled, he later contacted the girl through Facebook Messenger. At that point, authorities had yet to identify Collins.

Investigators were given access to the alleged victim’s social media accounts and proceeded to set up a meeting with Collins, who thought he was corresponding with the victim.

Collins reportedly arrived at the agreed upon location, driving a vehicle that matched the description he’d given to the ‘girl’ and had items he promised to bring, in the vehicle with him.

Authorities conducting surveillance at the site said Collins arrived at 3 a.m. and was taken into custody.

“Reading the correspondence between the actual girl and Mr. Collins was both sickening and scary,” said Newton County investigator Glenn Wheeler. “The way he was able to convince her to leave her window unlocked so a 31-year-old man she had never met could sneak in and have sex with her is just unsettling. The potential of what could have happened to this young lady is wide open. Parents really need to be very aware of what their children are doing online.”

Sheriff Slape said the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Grove Township Constable also assisted in the case and that his office will request the assistance of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office as the investigation moves forward.

“This operation is a great example of agencies working together and having the dedication and patience to spend several late nights seeing this through,” the sheriff said. “It is also a message to sexual predators that law enforcement in Newton County is willing to put in the time and effort needed to stop them from preying on our kids.”

In Baxter County, Collins currently faces a felony possession of drug paraphernalia charge after a deputy reportedly found a light bulb used to smoke meth inside Collins’ car during a traffic stop.



Comments Off on Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies seize 600 pounds of Methamphetamine-laced lollipops

Police investigating a reported burglary have seized almost $1 million worth of methamphetamine-laced lollipops.


Six hundred pounds of the homemade candy-drug mixture melted into various shapes — including Batman and “Star Wars” figures — were discovered in a Houston home. Police said the drugs had a street value of almost $1 million.
A concerned neighbor called police Monday to report that a house was being burglarized. When officers arrived on the scene they discovered a male and female removing the lollipops from the home, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.
“They had so many narcotics in their vehicle they couldn’t close the back hatch of their car,” Lt. Ruben Diaz said during a press conference Tuesday.
Police believe the female suspect had at one time stayed in the home.
The seizure is the first of its kind for the area, Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Cedrick Collier said.
The house was the place they manufactured the drug,” he said.
“It was evident they were making these in the kitchen.”
Diaz said the design of the lollipops had raised concerns that the drug is being marketed to children.
“It hits home and affects the entire community when someone is targeting children like this,” he said.
Comments Off on Methamphetamine in Minnesota requires an unrelenting, organized response

Methamphetamine has returned to Minnesota. No corner of the state is untouched.

The data regarding methamphetamine (meth) show increases that surpass the topmost levels reached in 2005 at the height of the last meth epidemic. To better meth_mainunderstand this resurgence, let’s flash back to 2005 when methamphetamine abuse was at its peak.

By 2005, Minnesota had endured five years of devastation attributed to meth production, distribution, abuse and addiction. Media outlets told gruesome stories of child abuse and neglect at the hands of meth-addicted parents. Makeshift meth labs wreaked havoc on the environment in rural and urban areas alike, while law enforcement agents scrambled to shut them down at risk of great bodily harm. Minnesota courts realized the consequences of meth addiction and production, as did our correctional and health-care systems. Minnesotans drove by billboards featuring people whose faces and teeth had become horrifically disfigured by meth addiction.

Meth addicts flocked into treatment centers in record numbers, as distraught families feared that there was no effective treatment for this special type of addiction. Communities, big and small, convened town hall meetings in church basements, high school gyms, and civic auditoriums.

Laws restricting the over-the-counter retail sale of products containing pseudoephedrine (a key ingredient used to make methamphetamines), were passed in Minnesota and 34 other states, before the federal law was passed in 2005, spearheaded by our then-Sen. Norm Coleman.

Relief was short-lived

That federal law, heralded as one of the most effective legislative responses to the drug abuse problem in this country, seemed to swiftly and significantly curtail both small, mom-and-pop meth labs and super labs. Multiple indicators of meth abuse and addiction precipitously declined. Gradually people breathed a sigh of relief.

Yet the significant declines were relatively short-lived. Meth made in Mexico gradually replenished the supply. Starting in 2009, the indicators quietly began to rise again and now surpass those 2005 peak levels. Again methamphetamine casts its looming shadow across Minnesota and America.

What’s different now? With this wave of methamphetamine abuse and addiction there are fewer meth labs. We are also in the midst of a burgeoning opioid epidemic, an onslaught of increasingly deadly synthetic drugs, and the illicit sale of counterfeit pills. In terms of our mostly widely used illegal drug, marijuana smoking among adolescents exceeds cigarette smoking, and more Americans than ever (60 percent) favor its legalization.

Meth is plentiful; use is widespread

What remains the same is that the methamphetamine supply is plentiful and its use is widespread. Confiscations of meth by law enforcement are again breaking records. Once again Minnesota treatment centers are filled with meth addicts seeking help. And yes, meth addiction is treatable.

People take drugs to feel good or feel better. It is that straightforward. The likelihood of any individual developing addiction is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some prefer stimulant drugs like methamphetamine, while others prefer depressant drugs like opioids and alcohol.

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that changes the structure and function of the brain and is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Yet unlike other chronic diseases with behavioral components, such as diabetes, hypertension or asthma, most addiction goes untreated, thereby threatening the public safety and damaging individuals, families and entire communities.

Headlines disappeared; meth stayed

Let this resurgence of methamphetamine serve as a reminder that even though a certain drug disappears from the headlines, it does not disappear from our streets. Meth is a long-acting stimulant drug that heightens alertness and suppresses appetite. The lure of these effects has not diminished over time, nor has the desire of people to feel good or feel better.

The illegal drug business is ruthless and profitable, organized and unrelenting. It is always seeking new customers.

We need to be equally unrelenting and organized in our prevention, law enforcement and treatment responses. When it comes to effectively curbing drug abuse, it’s everyone’s business.

Carol Falkowski is the CEO of Drug Abuse Dialogues, a training and consultation business. She is the former director of the alcohol and drug abuse division of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, former director of research communications at Hazelden, and has been part of nationwide drug abuse epidemiology network since 1986. Her most recent report is Drug Abuse Trends in the Twin Cities [PDF].


Comments Off on Methamphetamine surpasses heroin as most seized drug in Madison County

While heroin and other opioids continue to draw headlines and the attention of political figures, methamphetamine has made a comeback in Madison County.

Mexican drug cartels are sending a flood of methamphetamine into the United States, 53d826f576bb1.imageMadison County Drug Task Force Commander Robert Mott told the fiscal court Tuesday.

The large volume and high quality of the Mexican meth has lowered prices and led to the decline of crude, local meth labs, Mott said.

In 2016, law enforcement in Madison County seized four meth labs, only one in 2015 and none so far in 2017, according to figures Mott presented. A few years earlier, seizure of four local meth labs a month was not uncommon, he said.

Meth stats

In 2015, 232 grams of meth were seized in Madison County, but almost seven times that amount, 1,563 grams, was taken in 2016.

In the first three months of 2017, the amount was 537 grams. If that rate continues, meth seizures in Madison County could reach 2,150 grams by year’s end.

Heroin stats

While meth was multiplying in 2016, heroin was declining. While 1,053 grams of heroin were seized locally in 2015, the number fell to 794 the following year.

However, heroin appears to be making a comeback in 2017. In the first quarter, 442 grams were seized. At that rate, the number could total nearly 1,770 by year’s end.

Heroin remains the leading cause of drug overdoses and overdose deaths, Mott added.

Other stats

Oxycodone seizures totaled 4,711 pills in 2015, fell to 943 in 2016 but had reached 1,633 at the end of March 2017, as it also appeared to be making a comeback. If that trend continues, 2017’s total could reach 6,532.

The tide appeared to have turned in the battle against prescription pills in 2016, but was showing an uptick in 2017.

While 3,209 were seized in 2015, that number fell to 367 the following year. In the first quarter of 2017, however, 165 were seized. If the next three quarters follow suit, the total would be 660.

Cash seizures totaled $695,221 in 2015 and $30,940 the following year. They were up to $98,334 in the first quarter of 2017.

Firearm seizures totaled 112 in 2015, fell to 30 in 2015, but like other seizures, increased in the first quarter of 2017. The 23 seized in this year’s first three months would reach 92 by Dec. 31, if the trend continues.

Focus on importers

The task force focuses its efforts on organizations that import drugs into the community, not street-level dealers, Mott explained.

However, that may frustrate those who report suspected dealers and want immediate action, he acknowledged.

In some cases, police informants may make multiple purchases of drugs from a street-level dealer and not make an arrest for months because they hope to build a case against those in that dealer’s supplier chain.

The task force made 109 arrests in 2015, 102 in 2017, and 34 in the first quarter of 2017.

When interstate traffickers are caught, their cases usually are prosecuted in federal court, Mott added. Such arrests may escape local attention because suspects often are turned over to federal authorities who may try them in cities as far away as Chicago, Detroit or Atlanta.

The task force has successfully prosecuted large-scale dealers under a federal statute that called for sentences of 20 years to life for suppliers of drugs that can be tied to an overdose death, Mott noted.

The task force opened 123 cases in 2015, with a jump to 179 in 2016. For the first quarter of 2017, new cases totaled 33.

Effort is local, state, federal

Madison County Sheriff Mike Coyle said he and former sheriff Jerry Combs were blamed when funding for the previous county drug task force ended. However, with the help of U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a new federal grant was secured in 2014 for a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

One requirement of the current grant is involvement of federal as well as state and local agencies in the task force, Coyle explained.

In addition to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, which contributes two detectives, Richmond Police Department, two detectives; Berea Police Department, one detective; and the Kentucky State Police, the task force includes agents of the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm Agency and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“The drug epidemic has changed us all,” Coyle said, not just law enforcement. He compared law enforcement’s effort to fighting a forest fire, specifically comparing it to the 2016 forest fire that destroyed much of downtown Gatlinburg, Tenn.

The sheriff said 85 percent of local crime, including thefts, can be traced to the drug epidemic. He called it the worst wave of criminal activity in his four decades as a law officer.

The stress has contributed to the high rate of turnover in all local law enforcement agencies, Coyle added. His office has lost five deputies in the past six months, but has been able to replace them.

Two deputies left to join the state Department of Criminal Justice Training, one joined the Eastern Kentucky University police force and two joined the KSP.

His deputies stepped up to work longer hours while three fellow deputies were on leave for heart procedures, the sheriff added.

Both Coyle and Mott said they initially opposed the needle/syringe exchange the Madison County Health Department will begin operating next month. However, they were persuaded it may help prevent the spread of chronic disease and reduce the chances of law officers being pricked by a suspect’s hidden, dirty needle.




Comments Off on Los Angeles Methamphetamine Crisis Escalates Alongside Opioid-Heroin Epidemic

LOS ANGELES (CN) – The RV tearing through the Arizona desert in the opening to “Breaking Bad” introduced us to television anti-hero Walter White, a cancer-ridden school teacher transformed by the end of the series into a mostly heartless meth cook and criminal kingpin.

The image of actor Bryan Cranston’s character touting a pistol and dressed in white undies and a bright green dress shirt has endured, along with the concept of the mobile meth lab embodied in his Fleetwood Bounder – even as domestic production of real-life meth has become increasingly anachronistic.

“Folks, they see the show ‘Breaking Bad,’ and they still have this vision in their head that there’s meth labs all over the U.S., and they’re pretty rare,” said investigative journalist Scott Thomas Anderson in a phone interview. Anderson has written extensively about meth addiction, including the book “Shadow People: How Meth-driven Crime Is Eating at the Heart of Rural America.”

The reality is that homegrown meth labs have gone the way of the cable subscriptions and DVD box sets that were popular when “Breaking Bad” debuted almost a decade ago.

But that doesn’t mean meth production has dwindled. According to Drug Enforcement Administration officials, the Sinaloa Cartel is the leading player in a poly-drug trade that has largely shifted south of the border. Cartels produce and distribute massive quantities of meth into the U.S. through a route that starts in Southern California, moves northwards and then hooks to the east and into the heartland.

But while the nation and the media focus on the worsening threat of opioids and heroin, some law enforcement officials in Southern California see methamphetamine as a greater threat.

At a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting in May, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the opioid and heroin crises gripping eastern and northwestern cities had touched Los Angeles but that he was more concerned about meth.

Methamphetamine is something that exacerbates folks that have mental illness issues, and it’s a combination that I think is something that we address every day,” Beck said. “It’s a very cheap, very long-lasting, very cumulative effect drug. It’s one that can have a hugely detrimental impact to somebody that deals with mental health issues. I think that it all ties into what we see and impacts what the department has to deal with.”

The LAPD exposed those impacts in its Use of Force Year-End Review for 2016.  A toxicology analysis of suspects in officer-involved shootings revealed that nine out of ten people who died had tested positive for methamphetamine. The partial 2016 percentage represented a six-point increase compared to the four out of nine decedents who had tested positive for methamphetamine in 2015, the report states.

During an interview in City Hall, Police Commission President Matthew Johnson said that while he did not believe that methamphetamine was an issue unique to LA, officials had seen a “huge spike” in its use.

“It is definitely a crisis. It’s something that we’re very concerned about. It is the drug of the day, unfortunately. Drugs and crimes have gone together forever, and unfortunately the police are not equipped to deal with the underlying issues of drug abuse. The police end up having to deal with the consequences of drug abuse,” Johnson said.

In the 1990s, cartels gained a foothold in Los Angeles and the surrounding counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, with the rise of Inland Empire “super labs” capable of producing up to 50 pounds of meth at a time. Alongside them, so-called “mom-and-pop” labs thrived and fueled users, according to a DEA intelligence official who asked not to be named.

But the drug’s current stranglehold on Southern California can be linked to a well-intentioned law that stymied domestic meth production.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act, enacted in 2006, regulated over-the-counter sales of ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine, legal asthma and sinus medications that are also the key ingredients in a meth maker’s cookbook. The new rules included daily limits on purchases and other regulations that tracked sales at drug stores to ensure compliance. When it became harder to obtain precursor chemicals through over-the-counter products like Sudafed, the law squeezed domestic production and cartels stepped in to fill the void, experts say.

That’s when many of the homegrown labs went out of business and production shifted to Mexico.

Dr. Ralph Weisheit of the Criminal Justice department at Illinois State University said the law was effective but allowed the cartels to corner the market on a product that is easier to produce than plant-based drugs such as heroin, marijuana or cocaine, which are vulnerable to changes in weather.

“It’s not that lawmakers are stupid,” Weisheit said in a phone interview. “It’s not always easy to see how this new problem would pop up. But when you’re talking about drugs, you’re talking about two things working in concert. One is the business, the fact that it is enormously lucrative. But on the other hand, you have people who become incredibly dependent on them, and when you have those two things working together, you’ve got a market force.”

In the process, Mexican drug cartels infected rural America’s bloodstream, says Anderson. The journalist talked to hundreds of meth users and did not remember one who believed their drugs were homegrown.

“That law gave the Mexican drug cartels a financial stake in rural America that they really didn’t have before. It opened up a huge new market to them because it created this vacuum by knocking out all these domestic mom-and-pop meth cooks,” Anderson said. “These criminal organizations that had marketing veins all through urban America for 25, 30 years, they now were expanding those marketing veins into very rural, very remote areas that they never had any business in before.”

Before meth is loaded into hidden compartments in SUVs and shipped to Ohio or Montana, however, drugs are consolidated in Los Angeles, a trans-shipment hub for meth.

Just this month, the Justice Department announced that it charged 22 Sinaloa Cartel associates in Los Angeles as part of a two-year federal investigation. Prosecutors said that the associates had stored drugs in stash houses across the San Gabriel Valley and then distributed the narcotics across the United States. Proceeds were then sent back to the cartel in Mexico.  As part of the takedown, authorities seized drugs with a street value of $6 million, including almost 290 pounds of methamphetamine, 280 pounds of cocaine, 30 pounds of heroin and 81 pounds of marijuana. They also seized 33 firearms, three vehicles with hidden compartments and $1.3 million in cash, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in LA said.

At the retail level, the prison gang the Mexican Mafia controls the flow of narcotics to a group of street gangs that have banded together under what is known as the Sureños alliance, according to the DEA intelligence official. Before arriving in the Los Angeles area, the cartels smuggle drugs into the U.S. using cartel-affiliated transportation companies and drug mules.

Seizures along the United States-Mexico border have swelled in recent years. In the DEA’s National Drug Assessment Summary published late last year, the agency said it had seized 16,283 kg (35,898 lbs.) of the drug in 2015, compared to 4,024 kg (8,871 lbs.) five years before. Sixty-eight percent of methamphetamine seizures in the calendar year 2015 happened in California, according to the summary.

Dealers sell the drug – which has become cheaper and remains highly potent – to users in its crystal form, under the street name “ice.” Wholesale prices of the drug are between $1,800 and $3,500 a pound. Ten years ago, meth would have sold for between $8,000 and $10,000 per pound, DEA spokesman Timothy Massino said.

Potency is in excess of 90 percent, the agency says, which means even a very small amount of meth will affect the user.

Psychiatrist Jeremy Martinez, director at the Matrix Institute for Addiction in Los Angeles, said he has seen an increase in methamphetamine users in emergency rooms, and “waves” or “surges” of meth use in different parts of the city, including Venice Beach and Skid Row. Matrix’s Mid-City clinic was seeing more meth users, too, he added.

A “traditional user base” in the Los Angeles area, combined with the city and surrounding area’s status as a distribution hub could explain more encounters with law enforcement, said the DEA official.

But Martinez suggested that meth users are more likely to encounter police officers than heroin or opioid users. Meth is a stimulant, while opioids and heroin are downers.

“I think it just comes to the attention of law enforcement more than other drugs because of the nature of what happens when you’re on a stimulant,” Martinez said in a phone interview. “When someone’s taking an opioid, they get slow and tired and tend to stay at home. Whereas when somebody’s high on methamphetamine, they’re more likely to be out on the street causing trouble.”

Martinez said meth users could appear mentally ill. They may experience drug-induced psychosis that includes delusions revolving around law enforcement. A user might believe that the FBI is following him. Martinez believes it is important for law enforcement to educate officers on how to handle people who appear to be mentally ill and get them proper treatment.

“It’s hard to tease out in some situations who’s a mental illness patient and who’s a substance abuse patient. So, I think that’s one of the big challenges,” Martinez said.

From his experience watching meth users, Anderson said those addicted to the drug might go three or four days without sleeping. Meth-induced psychosis is more likely if a user injects the drug or smokes it, he said.

“They’ve been putting nothing but Diet Coke and meth into their bodies for hours and hours on end, and some of them that are in that state do lose touch with reality and are experiencing various forms of hallucinations,” Anderson said. “They can be dangerous, and they can draw a lot of attention from the public in terms of folks calling the police.”

Chief Beck said other forces could be at play. He pinned some of the blame on the current malaise created after Californians passed Proposition 47 to reduce crowding in state prisons.

The law turned six drug and theft crimes into misdemeanors, which Beck said has stripped courts of the ability to force offenders into drug treatment programs.

“That’s a huge issue and it’s affected policing across California. There’s really no police agency that hasn’t seen an increase, and I think a lot of it is because we lose our ability to force addicts into treatment,” Beck said at the May 9 meeting at LAPD headquarters.

A user referred to a drug court for treatment has to be facing a felony conviction, and under court supervision, Martinez said. Because misdemeanor crimes are not eligible, he said the courts were limited in their power to enforce treatment. He has seen offenders addicted to drugs who were resistant to the treatment center’s drug court program, but then reaped the benefits of a prolonged period of sobriety and saw improvements in their lives.

“Now that Prop 47 has reduced the severity of any of these substance-possession crimes, it really ties the legal hands of the ability to mandate treatment,” he said.

In the 2016 National Drug Assessment Summary survey, 31.8 percent of responding agencies stated that methamphetamine is the greatest drug threat in their jurisdictions.

“The majority of responses, 34 percent, indicate that methamphetamine is the drug that most contributes to violent crime,” the summary states.

The threat was even more pronounced in the southwest region of the country, including Southern California. Seventy-one percent of respondents in the area rated meth as the greatest drug threat.

Anderson said he believes that meth is behind incidents involving violence, burglary rings, and identity theft. His neighborhood and law enforcement contacts would likely say that methamphetamine rather than opioids is the “main driver” for violent crime, he said.

“I don’t know if existentially this is an issue where our nation can only focus on one drug crisis at a time, but the meth crisis in America hasn’t gone away and hasn’t got any better just because a new crisis has risen up with heroin and opiates,” he added.


Comments Off on Kaara Broesch, 32, of Evansville, sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex crimes against child – says she had a Methamphetamine problem

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) – An Evansville woman has been sentenced in a sex crimes case that started in January.

Officials with the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office say 32-year-old Kaara Broesch was sentenced to 30 years in prison.14126257_G

Police say the victim, who is under the age of 14, was interviewed at Holly’s House. They say Broesch admitted she forced the girl to perform sex acts with Frederick Rogers while being video taped.

The police report says the victim was also forced to watch Rogers and Broesch have sex, and watch other pornographic videos.

Police say Broesch told them she did it because she has a meth problem, and was scared of Rogers.

Officers say Rogers denied the claims at first, but then confessed.

Rogers’ case is still pending.


Kaara R. Broesch, 32, and Fredrick U. Rogers, 41, of Evansville, accused of sex crimes against preteen girl

Comments Off on Eva Villarreal, 36, and Juan Robert Garza, 37, from Salem, charged with attempted murder, kidnapping of woman

A Salem couple is facing attempted murder charges after allegedly driving a woman to the countryside, cutting her, strangling her, hitting her on the head with a flashlight, attempting to tie her up with zip ties and throwing her in a car trunk.636328954778914891-55175

Eva Villarreal, 36, and Juan Robert Garza, 37, were charged with attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.

In an affidavit for arrest warrant filed in Marion County, the victim gave the following account of the attack:

The evening of May 10, Garza picked up the victim at her friend’s house to give her a ride home. The victim told Marion County detectives that Villareal and Garza were married, and she had known them since middle school.

Garza did not take the woman home. Instead, he drove out to the countryside, ignoring her pleas to stop and let her out.

As his car neared Lardon Road NE and 82nd NE east of Salem, Garza stopped and Villarreal sat up from where she was hiding in the back seat.

Garza shoved his forearm at the victim’s neck and Villarreal began hitting the woman in the face. Garza dragged her from the car and continued to strangle her.

Garza then told Villarreal to grab some zip ties. The pair tried to restrain her hands then attempted to put her in the trunk of the car.

During the attack, Garza repeatedly hit her in the head with a flashlight. When she pushed her arm or leg up to stop the trunk from closing, Garza would strike her again with the flashlight.

The woman also said at one point, Garza tried to stab her. Trying to stop him, she grabbed the knife and cut her thumb.

She told the detective she could not breathe and felt like she was dying.

As Villarreal began driving away, the woman broke out of the trunk and staggered to a nearby home. The occupants of the home called the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The woman was taken to Salem Health hospital, where she later met with a Marion County detective.

The detective noted that the woman had several cuts and bruises, including a cut on her forehead that required stitches, bruising around her eyes, marks around her throat and bleeding in both of her eyes consistent with hemorrhaging.

A warrant was issued for Villarreal’s arrest on May 12, and she was taken into custody on Sunday. Garza was arrested by police in Provo police officers in Utah on May 23. He is currently being held at the Utah County jail.

Villarreal was also arrested on suspicion of stealing a vehicle on May 19.

Previously, she was arrested on methamphetamine possession and firearm charges in 2013, delivery of methamphetamine in 2011 and delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school, delivery of methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a child in 2009.

Garza was convicted of delivery of methamphetamine, methamphetamine possession and two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon in 2010.

At her arraignment Monday, Villarreal was deemed to be a danger to the public and a flight risk and was denied bail. Her next hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on June 21.



Comments Off on The Utah Highway Patrol seized 316 pounds of Methamphetamine in past 6 months

MURRAY — The Utah Highway Patrol says it has seized 316 pounds of meth over the past six months during highway traffic stops — a 31 percent increase from last year.

“Over the last two years, we’ve seen a huge increase in methamphetamine, not only coming into Utah, but also being transported through the state of Utah,” UHP Sgt. Steve Salas said Monday.26229649

“We’re just in a geographical location where we’re seizing a lot of meth that’s going to the East Coast.”

Salas added that the amount of meth seized last year was also significantly higher than previous years. Officers seized more than 100 pounds of meth between January and July of 2016.

“Not only do we have a huge number of the population that is using methamphetamine, but we have three major interstates that originate out of Southern and Northern California where a lot of methamphetamine is being transported through our state,” Salas said.

An estimated 24.6 million Americans age 12 and older used illicit drugs during a recent month, according to a 2013 study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Salas said currently the price of meth is cheap near the border and parts of California, and dealers can potentially double or triple their profit if the drugs are transported to the Midwest and East Coast.

Nearly 1,643 pounds of marijuana was also seized so far this year, along with 6 pounds of heroin and 15 pounds of cocaine.

“Our plan is just to continue doing what we’re doing — traffic enforcement,” Salas continued. “We recognize the indicators of criminal behavior, and we’re going to pursue those legally. We’re going to deploy the dogs when we get the chance, and if we can seize it, we’re going to.”

The amount of heroin seized this year decreased by 60 percent, though Salas said heroin is still out there, just not being intercepted on highways.

“There’s usually not large quantities that are being moved in a vehicle,” he said.

The department has also seized 12 guns during traffic stops. Most were confiscated along with narcotics inside the vehicle.

“Over the last two years, we have seen a huge increase in guns that are primarily being seized with narcotics during traffic stops,” the sergeant said.

Canine units are strategically placed along three major Utah highways — I-70, I-80 and I-15 — to help during suspicious traffic stops.

“They’re priceless to us,” said Sgt. Jimmy Banks, UHP’s canine coordinator. “To be able to help us, to be able to get those drugs off the street, is priceless.”

UHP is currently training two new canines, Gus and Chapo. Both are 18 months old and started their training a month ago.



Comments Off on Feds charge 5, including a mother and daughter from Phoenix, two brothers and a third man in Omaha, for over 35 pounds of Methamphetamine headed up I-80 near Lincoln

A mother and daughter from Phoenix, two brothers and a third man in Omaha face federal charges in connection with the 35 pounds of meth found in a traffic stop near Lincoln last week.

Blanca Avila De Vega and Melissa Vega, Alejandro Buendia-Ramirez, Carlos Alberto Valquier and Alfredo Valquier appeared in U.S. District Court on Monday on criminal complaints accusing them each of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

In an affidavit for their arrests, Andrew Vincik, a special agent with Homeland Security, said based on his training and experience he believes they were all members of a significant meth-trafficking and money-laundering organization based in Mexico.

“Based on the large quantities involved, I conclude that this organization has done this many times before, as most drug-trafficking organizations increase volume only when comfortable with their couriers and distributors,” he said.

Vincik said the scheme also showed a level of sophistication.

It started with a Lancaster County Sheriff’s deputy stopping a rented SUV on Interstate 80 on the morning of June 7.

Avila De Vega, 43, and her 18-year-old daughter, Melissa Vega, ended up arrested after a search turned up 35 one-pound bags of crystal meth hidden in suitcases in the cargo area.

The drugs have a street value of $1.5 million.

Investigators came to believe 15 pounds of the meth was headed for Omaha, and that Avila De Vega had transported meth from Phoenix to Omaha several times since the spring of 2016, according to court records.

Vincik said Avila De Vega and Vega agreed to continue on to Omaha as scheduled in an attempt to do a controlled delivery with drug investigators watching.

He said Buendia-Ramirez was arrested leaving a hotel room along L Street in Omaha after exchanging $92,500 for what he thought was 15 pounds of meth, but was mostly sham.

Vincik said officials also arrested Carlos Alberto Valquier, who had been paid $500 to drive Buendia-Ramirez there, as well as his brother, Alfredo Valquier, at a rental house in Omaha near Interstate 80 used to stash drugs and drug money.

A search of the house turned up $19,000.

The rest of the meth was to be taken to Minneapolis, according to court records.