Lured in with assurances that he would see his money multiply, the sugar cane farmer handed over 200 million rupiah ($15,000) to the sect.

But his cash disappeared, his political career stalled, and the leader of the group was arrested, accused of murdering one of Junaidi’s friends for threatening to unmask him.

“His promise was very tempting – that if I ran at elections, then I would win,” the 50-year-old sugar cane farmer said.

The case is the latest example of a shadowy sect playing on the widespread belief of the supernatural in Indonesia to allegedly swindle people.

Cult-like groups have long existed across the vast Indonesian archipelago, which is home to hundreds of different ethnic groups and where belief in local spirits and black magic are often fused with the dominant religion of Islam.

Belief in the supernatural is common across Asia. From China to Thailand, politicians often turn to soothsayers for advice.

But in recent times in Indonesia, the deep-rooted belief in the occult has taken a dark turn with several cases of sham cult leaders facing allegations ranging from murder to fraud and sexual assault.

The most high-profile has been the one that embroiled Junaidi, who was among thousands persuaded to join a cult led by Taat Pribadi, who gave himself the Indonesian royal title “Dimas Kanjeng”.

From former lawmakers to army generals and police officers, Pribadi managed to attract a huge and influential following to his cult in Probolinggo on Indonesia’s main island of Java, with members living in his palatial residence and nearby buildings.

He persuaded people to join the group with claims that he could bring them success – in Junaidi’s case by helping him win an election to head a small district on Java – and multiply money they gave him in an elaborate, supernatural ritual.

The case attracted huge attention when videos went viral of Pribadi dressed in flowing white robes sitting on a chair and performing the ritual that ended with him producing fistfuls of money and throwing it onto the floor.

His cult, which had existed for about 15 years, eventually fell apart when Pribadi was arrested in September for allegedly ordering the murder of two of his followers who had attempted to unmask him as a fraud.

He is scheduled to stand trial over the murders and police are also investigating fraud allegations against him.

“I never got my original money back, and certainly did not see it multiply,” Junaidi said.

The killing of his friend finally pushed him to leave the cult after four years as a member, he added.

Pribadi’s case followed that of another alleged sham cult leader, Gatot Brajamusti, who attracted followers – including high-profile female entertainers – by styling himself as an Islamic spiritual guru.

But he was arrested in August for allegedly sexually harassing his female followers and drug possession. Police say that he has admitted to engaging in sex parties and using crystal methamphetamine.

At times the belief in the occult in Indonesia has reached the highest levels of government.

In 2014, then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono recounted how he and his wife were attacked by mysterious black clouds while at home in an episode of black magic he described as like a “horror movie”.

Indonesian law even bans black magic, with violaters facing up to three months in jail or a fine of 450,000 rupiah, and the government is seeking to strengthen legislation against the practice.

Still, it will be hard to stop people turning to the occult in Indonesia. While most will not join cults, paying visits to spiritual gurus and faith healers is likely to remain popular.

Faith healer Ki Raksa Manggala, who operates from a dark basement in Jakarta and treats people for complaints ranging from headaches to problems in their love life, insists supernatural powers can be a force for good but concedes there are plenty of frauds in the business.

“As a patient you have to be smart, don’t be fooled by faith healers who want to trick you,” he said.


Mathew L. Dombrock, 30 of Tomahawk and Crystal L. Dean, 28 of Tomahawk- appeared in Lincoln County Circuit on January 26 facing charges stemming from a City of Tomahawk incident on January 24, during which officers initially responded to a reported altercation between the two.

According to court records, upon further investigation and cooperation from witnesses, numerous items of drug paraphernalia were discovered inside the residence where Dombrock and Dean resided. Included in discovered items were; gem bags containing a white powder residue which later tested positive for methamphetamine,  tourniquets and syringes; 10 of which were discovered uncapped in a child’s bedroom. Another 23 used syringes were reportedly discovered concealed inside of a stuffed animal in  the same bedroom, along with a glass pipe with charred residue, as well as a small amount of marijuana. Prescription medication belonging to another party was also reportedly discovered in the child’s bedroom.

As a result, Dombrock faces Misdemeanor charges of Neglecting a Child,  Possession of THC and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Dean faces a Felony charge of 2nd Offense Possession of THC as well as Misdemeanor charges of Neglecting a Child, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Disorderly Conduct. Dombrock was later released via $4,000 signature bond and Dean was later released via $5,000 signature bond.


A Catoosa County man who authorities say threatened to kill police if they tried to arrest him is in custody facing federal charges.

Wesley Gage Weldon is charged with meth distribution.

Authorities said he shot one man in the leg with an assault rifle because he believed he had stolen a large quantity of meth from him.

They said he had another man stripped naked, pistol whipped and beaten severely for allegedly stealing money or meth from him.

In November 2015, the TBI initiated an ice methamphetamine investigation targeting Leslie Byerley-Strickland, who was reportedly capable of supplying ounce quantities of ice methamphetamine.

On Jan.y 8, 2016, a TBI special agent acting in an undercover capacity began negotiating with Ms. Byerley-Strickland to purchase three pounds of ice meth. During the negotiations, she said the price of the ice meth was $10,000 per pound.

Agents said negotiations continued and on Jan. 11, 2016, the agent arranged a controlled purchase of an ounce of ice meth from Ms. Byerley-Strickland. She agreed to meet the agent at the Walmart in Brainerd.

She showed up  in a red Ford F- 250 pickup truck with “Gage” in the vehicle. He was identified as Wesley Gage Weldon.

Authorities said the agent was not able to learn their source of supply or arrange a large purchase of meth, but he did buy a smaller quantity for $500.

Agents found that the pickup truck was registered to Thomas D. Weldon, 3032 Three Notch Road, Ringgold.

Agents followed the pickup truck to Dalton, where it was going to pick up more drugs, but backed off before finding the exact location of the pickup.

Weldon was arrested on Aug. 12, 2016, in Catoosa County for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after shooting the individual with the assault rifle.

Catoosa County detectives executed a search warrant at his residence, resulting in the seizure of a small quantity of methamphetamine, morphine, and LSD.

Weldon was on bond in the shooting case when on Jan. 13 there was a possible kidnapping and aggravated assault in Catoosa County.

Authorities said, “Further investigation obtained by the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office revealed that the victim, who had been badly beaten and pistol whipped after being stripped naked and restrained with electrical tape, had been at Weldon’s residence at 1179 Potts Road, Ringgold, with Weldon and three other suspects prior to the incident.

“Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office detectives learned that while at the residence, Weldon believed that the victim had stolen meth and/or money from him. Weldon is believed to have directed the three other suspects to take the victim to another location and beat the victim in an effort to determine who had stolen the drugs. The victim was subsequently taken from Weldon’s residence to property approximately 150 yards away, on Potts Road, where the assault occurred.”

This property is owned by several partners, including Thomas Weldon, who is Weldon’s father, it was stated.

Last Monday, Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office detectives obtained arrest warrants for Wesley Gage Weldon for criminal attempt murder, false imprisonment, kidnapping, and aggravated assault with bodily injury.

Authorities said Weldon, through his attorney, had agreed to tum himself in. Hhowever, on Wednesday, he called Alan Norton, assistant district attorney at the Catoosa County District Attorney’s Office and told him that that he would not tum himself in and that they (law enforcement) would have to go find him.

That same day, Weldon also called the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office and left a message stating that “if law enforcement tried to arrest him for something that he felt like he did not do, he would fight.”

Weldon then stated that they (law enforcement) would have to kill him and that he did not want to “kill anyone else.”

Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies then responded to Weldon’s residence in an attempt to apprehend him. Deputies arrived and observed a person fleeing on a motorcycle, but were not able to identify that person as Weldon.

Deputies also encountered a message that was spray painted on an exterior outbuilding next to Weldon’s residence which read “F— you DTF U Don’t have to look 4 me I’m coming 4 you.”

On Thursday, Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office detectives learned that Weldon had stolen three firearms and an undetermined amount of cash from his father’s residence, it was stated.

The United States Marshals Service, with assistance from other local law enforcement agencies, subsequently located Weldon in Rossville. He attempted to flee in a vehicle and was subsequently arrested.


(LINTON) – Linton Police arrested two people Thursday after they discovered they were shipping meth through the mail.

According to Linton Police Department press release, officers arrested 54-year-old James D. Welch and 25-year-old Lindsay Anne Staten, both of Linton.

Welch is charged with a Level 2 felony of dealing meth and Staten is facing a Level 6 charge of possession of a hypodermic syringe and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The two were arrested after Linton police became aware that meth was being shipped to Welch’s home through the mail.

“A package containing eight ounces of methamphetamine was intercepted and delivered by USPS Inspectors to 840 E Street NE,” the release states, which is the address where both Welch and Staten live.

A search warrant was executed at the home, where police found the package of meth, marijuana, the syringe and other drug paraphernalia.

Police say the estimated street value of the meth is $16,000.

Welch and Staten are being held in Greene County Jail. Welch is being held without bond. Staten is being held on a $4,500 cash bond with ten percent allowed.

LPD Sgt. Logan Hobbs was the investigating officer. Assisting on the case were LPD Officers Paul Clark, John Agan, the Indiana State Police, Greene County Drug Task Force and the United States Postal Service Inspectors.


SULLIVAN CO. – On Jan. 27 around 3:30 p.m. Lt. William Snead conducted a traffic stop on S.R. 159 near Pleasantville.

According to a press release issued by Sullivan County Sheriff Clark Cottom, while speaking with the occupants Lt. Snead developed suspicion, which led to an eventual search of the pickup.

Found inside the vehicle was methamphetamine, marijuana, syringes, digital scales, pipes and other drug paraphernalia, along with a 45 cal. semi automatic handgun.

The driver, Adam Decoursey of Edwardport, was taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine – level 6 felony, possession marijuana – B misdemeanor, Driving while suspended prior – A misdemeanor, 3 counts possession of a syringe – Level 6 felony, carrying handgun without a license – A misdemeanor and possession of paraphernalia – C misdemeanor.

A passenger, Jessica Nelson of Bloomfield, was taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine – Level 6 felony, possession marijuana – B misdemeanor, possession of syringe – level 6 felony and possession of paraphernalia – C misdemeanor.

Indiana State Police Trooper Brent Robinson assisted the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.

Both suspects were secured in the Sullivan County Jail.


A man who assaulted a pregnant woman last year was fined $1500 and placed on an intensive supervision order following an appearance in Esperance Magistrates Court in January.

Malachai Joseph Humphrey was charged with aggravated common assault in relation to the October 23 incident which happened in Bandy Creek.

The court heard Humphrey, who pleaded guilty to the assault, pushed his female victim in the left eye, causing bruising and swelling.

Humphrey’s victim reported the incident as domestic violence two days later and on November 4 the 30-year-old was arrested and interviewed by Esperance police.

During the interview Humphrey denied hitting the woman and said the contact involved “a very hard push to the face”.

The court heard at the time of the interview Humphrey had been intoxicated.

According to the witness’s statement to police on October 25, she was pregnant at the time of the assault.

In court Humphrey said he had acted “in the heat of the moment” and he had been on methamphetamine at the time.

“I accept the fact that what I’ve done is wrong,” he told Magistrate John O’Sullivan.

“It was the wrong thing to do your honor.”

Humphrey has no prior assault-related convictions.

On top of the fine Humphrey was ordered to pay $99.50 in court costs.

His order will be in effect for 12 months.



Sonora, CA – Tuolumne County Sheriff’s officials report the suspect was taken into custody after a traffic stop and she was also found to have heroin, cocaine and marijuana on her.

Early Thursday morning on the Highway 108 westbound ramp, a deputy pulled over a Nissan Altima for speeding and a windshield with an obstructed view. A records check showed the driver, 38 year old Brandy Barrett from Delhi had a suspended license and also had no proof of insurance. Barrett and her passenger, 34 year old Lynn Thomas of Ripon, were both on parole out of Stanislaus County for possession of methamphetamine and stolen property allowing for the vehicle and women to be searched.

Barrett admitted to hiding marijuana in her bra. She also had a credit card belonging to someone else on her. K9 Zeus was called to the scene and sniffed out a syringe containing heroin inside the car.

The pair was arrested. Once at the Tuolumne County Jail, Barrett also admitted to having a methamphetamine pipe in her panties and swallowing meth. Sgt. Andrea Benson elaborates, “The deputy noticed that she was chewing on something so, she definitely needed to get medical attention to make sure she was okay. Approximately three grams of methamphetamine was in her mouth, she ingested it to attempt to conceal it, a pretty large amount to conceal like that – very dangerous.”

Barrett was taken to Sonora Regional Medical Center where ER staff found a small baggie of cocaine and a pipe also hidden in her panties.

Sgt. Benson reports Barrett did recover and now faces charges of bringing a controlled substance into the jail, destroying or concealing evidence, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, along with traffic violations.

Thomas is charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.


Floyd County police arrested a local woman on a felony drug charge following an investigation at her home.

According to Floyd County Jail reports:

Jessica Lee Ingram, 30, of 405 Strawberry Lane, Lindale, was arrested Friday afternoon at her home and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession and use of drug-related objects.

Police report that a glass-smoking pipe with a quantity of methamphetamine residue was found at the home.

Ingram was released from jail Saturday on a $5,700 bond.


CORUNNA — An Owosso woman pleaded guilty to a number of drug charges Friday in 35th Circuit Court, but took one step toward the Shiawassee County Drug Court program, where she could receive inpatient drug rehabilitation treatment.

Alexis Marie Smith, 28, who prosecutors have previously referred to as a “smurf” in a countywide methamphetamine ring — and not a dealer — appeared before Judge Matthew Stewart Friday and pleaded guilty to a number of drug charges as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.


HEBER CITY, Utah — A Heber City man is behind bars and facing numerous charges after he allegedly threatened the lives of several family members and tried to kidnap his wife while under the influence of marijuana and methamphetamine.

According to information from the Heber City Police Department released Friday, 51-year-old Rodolfo Humberto Acosta was allegedly on marijuana and methamphetamine when he threatened to kill his wife, his adult child and his sister-in-law with a machete.

According to police, Acosta’s “18-year-old child intervened, thwarting his kidnapping attempt to take [his wife] to Mexico with him.”Acosta made the threats and then drove to his wife’s workplace, where he allegedly tried to force her into his vehicle.

Acosta has been booked into the Wasatch County Jail on the following charges: DUI, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, three counts of cohabitation abuse/disorderly conduct, threat of violence, carrying a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, two counts of cohabitation abuse/aggravated assault, and one count of felony kidnapping.



UNION, SC (WSPA) – Union Police say they were called to Arthur Blvd. on 1/26 around 5 p.m. for a report of a woman passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Dispatch told officers that the woman was trying to leave.

Police identified the woman as Blair Elaine Fox, 29.

Officers asked Fox to get out the vehicle and noticed that she had something in her hand.

They say it was a baggie with a small crystal-like substance that tested positive for meth.

Fox said she didn’t know what it was, according to the report.

Police say they arrested her and found more meth in her car after a search.

She has been charged with Possession of Meth.


PORT HURON, Mich. – A 30-year-old Port Huron Township woman was charged Friday after police said she was found in her home , suffering from a drug overdose, with her 2-year-old son.

Police said they found Michelle Joly at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at her home in the 400 block of Dove Road.

Joly was taken to a nearby hospital and her son was turned over to relatives and Child Protective Services.

A deputy trained in methamphetamine laboratory detection said there were several items in the home connected to a meth lab. Members of the St. Clair County Drug Task Force arrived and executed a search warrant.

Officials found 13 one-pot meth labs, finished methamphetamine, meth lab components, gas generators, drug packaging and scales.

The methamphetamine was seized and the labs were dismantled and disposed of in specialized containers.

Joly is charged with operating and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory, operating and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory in the presence of a minor, fourth-degree child abuse and maintaining a drug house.

Joly is being held at the St. Clair Intervention and Detention Center on $10,000 bail. She is scheduled to return to court for a probable-cause hearing Feb. 7.



HORACE, N.D. (KFGO) – A janitor at Horace Elementary School has been fired after a lockdown and the discovery of drugs in the building.

Cass County Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Tim Briggeman says the custodian has been tied to methamphetamine. He says she’s been interviewed, but not arrested. He calls it an ongoing investigation.

The school was placed in administrative lockdown. The West Fargo School District said it was a personnel matter and children were never in danger.


A Ferndale man must serve 6½ years in prison for trying to cross the Canadian border to have sex with a preteen girl, a U.S. federal court judge in Seattle ruled Friday.

Christopher David Johnston, 40, posted an ad last year on Craigslist’s casual encounters section looking for a “young lady to spoil,” according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court. He got a response from a Homeland Security agent posing as a 12-year-old girl from Abbotsford, British Columbia.

“Honstly I just wanted to say hi and give u props for a hella legit ad,,,im prolly 2 young but still wanted to at least say props 4 keepin in reals,” the agent wrote.

Over the weeks that followed Johnston exchanged sexually charged emails and texts that grew more and more graphic. He asked for sexual pictures, and described in lurid detail what he wanted to do to the girl. Over text Johnston said being with a young girl is “all I think about and all I want,” the charges state.

Transcripts of the disturbing conversations take up most of the 14-page criminal complaint.

On May 20, 2015, he arranged to meet the girl for sex at a hotel near Abbotsford. U.S. border authorities kept him under surveillance all day as he caught a ride to the Northwood Casino, and rode his bike east to a hayfield where a barbed wire fence marks the international boundary.

“this border crossing things a challenge, and I don’t wanna get caught I can see Canada from where I’m sitting right now I’m about 100 yards from the border,” Johnston texted at 11:04 a.m. “I’m just watching to see when I can bust a move and cross safely.”

Ten minutes later he was arrested, about 60 feet from Canada. He was charged in federal court in Seattle, and last fall he pleaded guilty to attempted travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

“Even where there is careful oversight by parents, children are vulnerable to those seeking to use the ubiquity of social media and the internet to victimize and exploit them,” federal prosecutors wrote in Johnston’s sentencing memorandum. “These same tools also provide predators ample opportunity to meet, share strategies, and validate their darkest desires. Johnston’s sentence should be a cautionary tale for those who find themselves similarly tempted.”

On Friday U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones ordered 6½ years in prison and 10 years probation, and recommended drug and sex offender treatment, as suggested by prosecutors.

Johnston must register as a sex offender when he is released from prison.

Local court records show Johnston has been convicted of at least 10 felonies, for drug possession, burglary, forgery and several counts of theft. His last prison sentence was for breaking into the IT department at St. Joseph hospital in 2009.

At the time of his arrest in May, he had five pending felony cases in Whatcom County, where he was accused of check fraud, theft, methamphetamine possession and the burglary of $10,000 in tools. Those cases have not been resolved.


BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – Two Carteret County residents are charged after the discovery of a meth lab in Newport as well as their connection to additional labs found in the county over the last six weeks.

Deputies and Newport Police officers responded to an address on Roberts Road in Newport on January 17 about possible activities related to a meth lab. When they got to the scene, they noted what was believed to be precursor materials used for the production of methamphetamine. That’s when detectives were called in.

Because of the chemicals involved, an elderly handicapped woman had to be removed from the home, where a plastic bottle with tubing coming from the cap was located on the rear porch. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was brought in once it was determined the meth lab was active. It was safely dismantled.

A lengthy investigation linked the suspects to the Roberts Road meth lab and additional meth labs, the most notable of which was discovered on December 29, 2016 in a restroom of the Crystal Coast Visitor Center located in Morehead City. That one resulted in
a fire.

A third meth lab connected to the suspects was discovered in Newport on December 19. The meth lab was concealed in a gym bag., located a short distance

28-year-old Jordan Ashley Piner of Beaufort and 25-year-old Rhianna Nichole Day of Newport were charged in connection with the labs. Piner was charged with three counts each of manufacturing of methamphetamine and possession and distribution of methamphetamine precursors in relation to the three meth lab locations. Day was charged with two counts each of manufacturing of methamphetamine and possession and distribution of methamphetamine precursors in relation to only the Newport locations.

Piner was placed in the Carteret County Detention Center under a secured bond of $75,000. His first court appearance was on Thursday. Law enforcement officials are actively searching for Day who remains wanted.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Day, please contact your local law enforcement agency.


CORRY – A 39-year-old Corry woman was arraigned Friday on drug charges after police accused her of operating a suspected methamphetamine lab at a residence in the 100 block of West Columbus Avenue.

Hope M. Edwards, a resident of the aforementioned address, was arraigned Friday on charges of criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, liquefied ammonia gas precursors and chemicals, operating a methamphetamine lab and illegal dumping of methamphetamine waste, manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine.

Police discovered the suspected meth lab Thursday morning.

Edwards was placed in the Erie County Prison on $40,000 bond.


A Horse Creek Park Road woman faces multiple charges after Greeneville police say she attempted to shoplift Thursday evening.

Police arrested 34-year-old Maryam Jeddy outside a Family Dollar, off the U.S. 11E, who admitted to concealing items in her purse, according to the police report.

Inside Jeddy’s purse, police say they found drugs, including about a pound of methamphetamine, 1.7 grams of marijuana and a pill grinder with suboxone.

A 3-year-old, with Jeddy at the time of the arrest, was turned over to a family member. Police called the Department of Children’s Services, according to the report.


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) A planned meeting of the Oglala Sioux Housing Authority took a turn Friday.

A last minute agenda change put the focus on the methamphetamine crisis that is engulfing the Pine Ridge Reservation, KOTA Territory — and beyond.

Tribal housing, public safety and child protective services officials met today in Rapid City with federal prosecutors and FBI agents to hash out an action plan for confronting the meth wave that is associated with violent crime.

There were 12 homicides on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 2016 — up from two in 2015. New tribal President Scott Weston says the time for action is now.

“This meeting is a start of a plan so that we can start fixing where we lack (solutions),” he said. “It’s just a big brainstorm. … No more talk. Let’s start doing. Let’s start working on what we need to work on and take care of our people.”

The meth epidemic is hitting all across South Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed new funding for addiction treatment in the budget he proposed to the Legislature.


One man was arrested Wednesday after he was stopped by police and found to have drugs in his vehicle and alcohol in his system.

Raydene Little Jr., 31, of 1135 Oak Forest Dr. in Morganton, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver schedule two substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while impaired, possession or consumption of alcoholic beverage in passenger area of vehicle and failure to maintain lane control, according to a police report.

According to information from MDPS, this is the third time that Little Jr. has been charged with trafficking in drugs.

Public Safety Officer S.J. Huffman with Morganton Department of Public Safety stopped Little on Wednesday night for suspicion of DWI, the report said.

Once Little was stopped, Huffman could smell an odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle, and noticed Little had “red, glassy eyes and slurred speech . ” He also had an open glass container of alcohol partially hidden under the passenger seat, the report said.

Huffman asked Little to exit his car and give him a breath sample in an alcosensor, which gave a negative reading.

Due to the previous drug charges, his slurred speech and very slow movements Huffman was led to believe that Little was impaired with more than alcohol. Huffman’s K – 9 partner Shrek was brought out to conduct an open air sniff, the report said.

Shrek lead officers to the driver door to the center console and passenger seat where they found 35.8 grams of methamphetamine and a set of digital scales with crystal residue on them. Little also was found with $1,674 in his front pocket, the report said.

Little was then transported to a local hospital for a blood sample and then taken to the magistrate’s office.

He was placed in the Burke-Catawba jail under a $150,000 secured bond, the report said.

Back in 2014, Little was charged with felony armed robbery. In 2015, he was charged with misdemeanor first-degree trespassing, according to previous News Herald articles.

Responding agencies were MDPS and Burke County Narcotics Taskforce.

Fargo, ND—It’s the biggest meth bust in Fargo history.

This week, Fargo Police recovered the drugs, thousands of dollars and collared nine suspects.

In Glyndon is where the police stopped one of the suspects in a vehicle Wednesday.

Investigators followed the person here from a local hotel where they recovered a small amount of drugs and cash, it then led them to a much bigger haul.

Ultimately, Fargo Police seized almost 13 pounds of meth and more than $17,000.

It started with information from an ongoing investigation.

From the traffic stop the Narcotics Unit searched the hotel and found meth and money.

One suspect tried to flush the drugs when detectives arrived.

That evidence brought police to another hotel on Thursday where they recovered more drugs and cash.

While detectives were investigating they caught more suspects delivering another supply of meth.

In all, more than 9 people were arrested in the case.

The suspects come from here in the metro to as far away as California.

They’re all facing at least possession charges.

SISAKET — Police arrested a monk Friday in Si Saket province after he hosted one too many teen drug parties at his temple.

Police said they moved in on 37-year-old Phra Prakong Punyavaro after the governor’s office received complaints from residents about his regular drug parties at the Ban Krapho monastery.

Officers searched Prakong’s residence and said they found a small amount of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The monk was defrocked and charged with possession of Category One narcotics.

According to police, local residents said they often saw youths visiting Prakong’s monk residence to buy and take ya ba, which they said caused much nuisance in the community.
Prakong reportedly confessed to the charges.


An El Paso man was arrested at his home last week in connection with a child pornography case out of California, police said Thursday.

Harold Eugene Smith, 28, was arrested Jan. 18 after investigators allegedly found that he had a “rock” of methamphetamine on him and more than 40 sexually explicit photos of a teenager from California on his cellphone and computer, police said.

Investigators from the El Paso Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested Smith at his home in the 7300 block of O’Toole Drive in the Futureland neighborhood in far Northeast El Paso, police said. The task force is made up of El Paso police detectives and FBI agents.

Smith was wanted in Ventura County, Calif., on warrants on charges of lewd act upon a child, sending harmful matter and luring. Ventura County investigators were present when Smith was arrested in El Paso.

Smith was booked into the El Paso County Jail Annex on local charges of possession of child pornography and possession of meth with a $80,000 bond. He is being held without bond on the charges from California.


A Browning man accused of giving meth to a 12-year-old girl with whom he was in a relationship pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Bengamin Ray Yellowowl, 25, pleaded not guilty to felony child endangerment, unlawful transactions with children, a misdemeanor, and sexual abuse of children, a felony. If convicted, he potentially faces more than 110 years imprisonment and a maximum $60,500 in fines. He is currently being held on $200,000 bond.

Yellowowl was arrested after a Jan. 11 traffic stop in which an officer found the victim driving Yellowowl around in his car at about 2:30 a.m., according to court documents. Documents state that the girl was fidgeting so badly that officers immediately suspected stimulant use. Yellowowl told officers he had taken several shots that night and that he and the victim were not dating.

An ambulance crew took the victim to the hospital, where she eventually admitted to using meth and drinking alcohol with Yellowowl, according to charging documents.

The third charge, sexual abuse with children, was later added after Yellowowl allegedly told officers he and the victim were dating for about a month, and that they had been having sex since October. Documents state Yellowowl said he was against the relationship at first because of her age, but proceeded into a sexual relationship.

Yellowowl reportedly agreed to speak with police the morning of Jan. 11 without a lawyer present.

“People see me and think I am an evil person,” he reportedly told police.

After their initial interview with Yellowowl, police reported receiving a photo from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, allegedly depicting Yellowowl injecting the victim with methamphetamine. Detectives also believe the girl was being used to traffic drugs.

Yellowowl said nothing in court on Thursday aside from the words “not guilty” and a simple “yes” or “no” to District Judge Elizabeth Beth’s questions inferring if he understood the charges.

Yellowowl’s next hearing has been set for March 8. A trial date has been set for May 22.


A northeast Arkansas man who had been accused of holding a runaway teenage girl as his “sex slave” has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to court filings.

Jacob M. Gibson, 22, of Cave City entered a negotiated guilty plea earlier this month on a charge of second-degree sexual assault. He initially faced three counts of rape, one count of kidnapping and one count of trafficking of persons.

Gibson was arrested after his mother responded to a “frantic” phone call Sept. 4 from the 17-year-old victim and “raced home” to find the girl locked in a shed, according to an arrest affidavit.

The mother told the girl it was not right “for anyone to keep anyone else as a sex slave,” Sharp County Deputy Cody Bailey wrote in the affidavit.

Authorities said Gibson repeatedly raped the teenager while she lived with him and his family on Brickle Springs Road in Cave City, Arkansas Online previously reported.

The two had met when the girl was unable to meet up with her biological father in Washington, and they then traveled to Arkansas together, the affidavit reads.

The living conditions at Gibson’s house became worse, the victim said, when Gibson increasingly used methamphetamine.


Jacob M. Gibson, 22, of Cave City, accused of holding runaway teen girl as ‘sex slave’ while he used Methamphetamine

Two women now face drug charges after deputies say they found meth and prescription pills during the execution of a search warrant.

Tammy Lynn Chandler and Lisa Darlene Campbell both face felony charges of possession of methamphetamine. Chandler also faces felony charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office said they had been investigating the residence at 16 Lump Town Road in Marshall for several months.

Authorities say when they searched the home, they found methamphetamine, hydrocodone and alprazolam pills.

A child was removed from the home and placed into custody with the Department of Social Services.

Chandler was also charged with felony maintaining a vehicle/dwelling place for a controlled substance. Additional charges for Campbell include possession of Schedule IV and possession of Schedule II.