SHAMOKIN — Flames shot out of the second story of a home at 24 E. Sunbury St. Monday night, endangering a half dozen row homes in an address that was the sight of a inactive methamphetamine lab last week.

The three alarm fire, one of two fires within an hour or each other, drew firefighters from Shamokin, Coal Township, Mount Carmel, Sunbury and a host of other fire companies just after 8 p.m.56f9d77378024_image

The second fire, which started just before 9 p.m., destroyed the interior of a trailer home on Vindale Avenue in the Montandon Trailer Park.

The mother and son who lived there were OK, but one of their two cats died in the fire.

In Shamokin, firefighters stood on neighboring rooftops and in buckets of aerial trucks to drench the home while thick black smoke filled the neighborhood.

Firefighters were ordered to evacuate the building at one point.

Police scanner said all residents were out of the building during initial emergency call.

An inactive methamphetamine lab was discovered last week at the same address, where Shamokin police tracked Joshua Reichenbach, 33, a wanted man who allegedly fled to the attic following a brief scuffle with a patrolman.

Seven used plastic bottles with chemical residue, open packs of cold medicine, lithium batteries and household cleaners were among the paraphernalia discovered inside the house. Those are components for the “one pot” cooking method to produce methamphetamine, according to Shamokin police.

Firefighters were still on the scene just past 10 p.m., a Northumberland County 911 dispatcher said.

Fire units from Milton, Lewisburg, Potts Grove and Turbot Township were called out for the 8:52 p.m. Montandon alarm, according to a Union County 911 dispatcher.

Firefighters still were on the scene of that fire at 10 p.m.


SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A man sentenced to life in prison for making and selling methamphetamine in Springfield will be released from prison this summer, one of 61 drug offenders whose sentences President Obama commuted Wednesday.3c734b47-0cc4-4c47-8cba-b7d3475586eb-large16x9_1280x960_16033006W9IDL

George Michael Gray, now 63, was sentenced to life in prison in July 1995. He will be released July 28, 2016, from the federal prison in Sheridan, Ore., after serving more than 21 years behind bars.

Gray was sentenced on charges of conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; manufacture of methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; and possession of firearm in connection with drug trafficking offense.

The president also commuted the sentence of Christopher Michael Wright, now 42. Wright was sent to prison in May 2006 for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in Elmira, Ore.

Wright was scheduled for release from the federal prison in Sheridan in July 2020. He will also be released July 28, 2016.



Kaitlyn Werk had only been in her new house on Cleveland Street for a few days before things got weird. The back door she always locked seemed to open on its own, and the light in the unused storage room was notorious for flipping on when Werk wasn’t looking.

Werk, 20, had four roommates, and the first days they spent in the house were filled with friends and booze, a finale to a summer spent partying before another fall semester at the University of Montana.56f59e50b1dc0_image

Anyone could have unlocked the door to exit for a smoke break. Anyone could have found the storage room and taken a private tour. On this particular night, Werk was drained from a day spent floating the Clark Fork River. She didn’t have the energy to worry about ghosts.

When Werk woke up on Aug. 24, 2015 at 3 a.m., a stranger was standing over her bed watching her.

“My friend Stephanie used to live here,” the woman said to Werk when she opened her eyes. “I’m just checking the place out.”

Still half asleep, Werk could only see the outline of the small woman, maybe 90 pounds, standing at her bedside. Werk tried to stay calm. Maybe this woman was a friend of her roommate’s. Maybe she was just a drunk, lost college kid.

“Do you have an attic? I think there are people outside looking for me.”

Werk drowsily pointed the woman in the direction of her walk-in closet, or maybe the bathroom, and explained that she had just moved into the house and didn’t know where the attic was.

“Take a look around,” Werk said. “Let me call my roommate and see if he knows.”

As the woman wandered into Werk’s bathroom, Werk called Blake Osborne, the only other roommate sleeping in the house that night, and begged him to come downstairs.

Werk ran to meet him at the bottom of the basement stairs, starting to snap out of her sleepy haze.

“What’s going on?”

“There’s someone in my room.”

Osborne, 22, and Werk ran outside to call 911. Within minutes, Osborne said the Missoula police arrived with four patrol cars and five cops.

After a full search through the house, complete with yelling and flashing lights, the cops came out empty-handed. They told Osborne and Werk the back door was open, so the woman must have escaped.

Sleep was out of the question, so Werk called her mom to tell her the story. She advised her daughter to go into her room with Osborne and make sure the woman didn’t steal anything.

Before the roommates could check inventory, the Missoula police called Werk and said they picked up a woman in the neighborhood who fit the description Werk had given after the failed search.

When the cops showed up with the suspect, Werk hid behind a truck and got a good look at her. They had the wrong person.

Osborne and Werk went back inside, preparing to go back into the basement. Osborne grabbed a spare shower curtain rod from the laundry room.

“Just in case anybody pops out at me,” Osborne joked. He thought the house was safe. After all, the police had just searched the place up and down.

With the lights on in Werk’s room, she and Osborne found that nothing was stolen, but all the sweaters in her closet had been thrown on the ground. There was a pair of someone else’s wedges at the end of Werk’s bed, and a scarf in the corner she had never seen before.

Osborne glanced around the room before dropping to his hands and knees to look under the bed. Like a dad pretending to look for a monster but expecting to find nothing, he slowly lifted the bed skirt and peeked under, jolting as Werk screamed above him.

When Osborne swung his head up from under the bed, he was face to face with a woman who looked “like a meth billboard times 10” coming out of Werk’s sheets, clawing at his face.

Osborne’s first thought was to grab the woman and sit on her. It would have been easy. But as he pushed her away with the shower rod, he noticed the scabs and open wounds scattered across her arms and face. Osborne decided to avoid touching her at all costs.

Werk was already in the other room calling 911.

After a short shoving match, the woman threw Werk’s laptop at Osborne, giving her time to kick out the screen of the window and crawl outside to escape.

When the cops arrived again, they searched the house with Werk and Osborne, who found sunglasses and jewelry on the kitchen table next to a fresh glass of water. There was also a purse and jacket by the back door.

“Is this stuff yours?” Osborne asked Werk.

It wasn’t.

In the purse, Osborne said the police found a small bag of meth, syringes and pill bottles with a woman’s name on them. Osborne said the police recognized the name and said she was a “known tweaker.”

The police were unable to find the woman until she was caught stealing and arrested at Wal-Mart months later. One of the employees who caught her is a close friend of Osborne’s.

Osborne said police also found holes drilled into the air vents of the house and a trash can tucked away in a cubby that held respirators, soldering tools and a red substance that smelled like sulfur — scrapings from match tips is a common ingredient in meth.

They also found garbage and people’s belongings in the house’s crawlspace between the basement and main floor. That explained the voices Osborne and Werk’s roommate Kevin Curran heard but could never find when he was living in the house alone earlier that month.

Police later told Werk the woman, like many meth addicts, probably returned to the house because she had done meth there in the past.

As Werk would soon discover, meth hadn’t just been smoked in her house, it had been manufactured there. Werk had no idea her new, five-bedroom house was once host to a meth lab and, according to Montana law, her landlord had no legal obligation to tell her it was. It’s almost impossible to prove if Werk’s landlord knew about the meth contamination.

Because of Montana’s haphazard laws regarding meth-contaminated properties, people all over the state are unknowingly living in homes that have toxicity levels hundreds and even thousands of times over the legal limit. It’s these homes that go uncleaned and unnoticed for years that can cause serious harm.

Werk and Osborne’s parents asked their landlord, John Hirsch, if there could have been a meth lab in the house. Osborne said the landlord seemed “freaked” by the accusation. Hirsch said even if he knew the house was contaminated with meth; there wasn’t much he could do for the tenants.

Osborne’s dad immediately called Lee Yelin, president and founder of Water Rights, Inc., to test the house for meth contamination.

Yelin has been sampling and cleaning meth-contaminated properties for years and his results have helped many families successfully pursue agencies that failed to disclose the presence of meth toxicity in court.

When Yelin walked into the Cleveland Street house on Aug. 28, Osborne said he took one look around and determined the home was once a lab.

“I can smell it and all the signs are here,” Yelin said according to Osborne.

The test came back positive for 1.9 micrograms of meth per 100 square centimeters of surface material. The legal limit of meth toxicity allowed in a house in Montana is .1 micrograms per 100 square centimeters.

Although Osborne and Werk’s house was contaminated 190 times the legal limit of meth toxicity, Yelin said this amount is rarely harmful.

“I wouldn’t let my grandkid in there until I cleaned it and painted it,” Yelin said. “But that unit doesn’t scare me at all.”

According to a 2009 study by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, meth toxicity in a home begins to affect people’s health at about 1.5 micrograms per 100 square centimeters, which is why 1.5 is the legal limit of toxicity in California. Yelin said many states have their limits set at .5 while others allow each county to decide their limits.

Montana’s limit is set so low because the other laws around meth-contaminated homes are so lenient, Yelin said. But cleaning a meth contaminated home down to .1 micrograms of meth per 100 square centimeters is costly and unnecessary when meth toxicity isn’t harmful until 150 times that amount.

It is also difficult to clean these homes, Yelin said, because he can’t legally use various chemicals and cleaners that other states can, including household bleach. Yelin said he and his crew usually use Dawn dish soap, and vinegar with steel wool to decontaminate a meth house.

When Osborne, Werk and their three roommates discovered their home was contaminated with meth, they found a new house and broke their lease with Hirsch.

The five are in the process of suing their former landlord for their security deposits with the help of ASUM Legal Services, but they can’t sue him for leasing out a meth-contaminated home.

“According to the law, if he is going to withhold any amount of our security deposits, he needs to give us a list of what the damages are and give us a 24-hour period to remedy those issues,” Osborne said. “He never did that or gave us any money back.”

Although Yelin said many people are often successful in getting their money back — landlords would rather pay people to shut them up than deal with the $30,000 hassle of cleaning a meth-contaminated house — Osborne and Werk’s landlord probably won’t be charged for not disclosing that the house was toxic.

According to Montana House Bill 60, if a property has not been deemed by a law enforcement agency as a meth lab, it does not have to be listed on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website that lists meth-contaminated homes in Montana.

Even if the contaminated home has tested positive for meth, Yelin said the only agencies who have authority to put the property on the DEQ’s website are law enforcement. If a home is not on the DEQ’s list, the landlord does not have to tell their tenants the property has been home to a meth lab. Yelin said this includes close to 90 percent of all contaminated homes in Missoula County.

House Bill 60 says a property owner shall “notify in writing, before agreement to a lease or sale of the property that is known by the owner to have been used as a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab, any subsequent occupant or purchaser of that fact if the property has not been remediated by a certified contractor to the standards established by the DEQ.”

But if the house was never busted by law enforcement, or even if it was busted, but before 2005, it’s not on the DEQ’s list and it’s nearly impossible to prove that a landlord knew the property was once a meth lab. Once a home has been cleaned, it is removed from the DEQ’s list.

Yelin said in most states, if a home tests positive for meth, it is shut down and boarded up until it’s cleaned.

In many cases, Yelin said meth-contaminated properties will be rented out for years before it causes a problem. Meth has to be digested or dissolved through skin in order to impact a person’s health, so it rarely affects adults.

“A lot of these properties are rented and everything is fine. It’s been 12 years since the bust, five different renters and everything is going along fine,” Yelin said. “Then somebody comes in with a toddler and the toddler gets sick. Everything goes in their mouths. That’s the only time we start hearing about these good lawsuits.”

In one Montana Supreme Court case, a family moved into a new home that was busted as a meth lab in 2002. When the family discovered their home was a former lab, they moved out, left all their contaminated possessions behind and sued Lewis and Clark County law enforcement.

Although the law enforcement agency legally didn’t have to put the home on DEQ’s website because it was busted before 2005, the jury ruled in favor of the family, awarding them almost $600,000 in restitution and damages.

Renters currently live in Werk and Osborne’s old meth-contaminated home, which is not on the DEQ’s list of toxic homes.

Yelin said the biggest issue with Montana law is that homes where meth has been smoked out of foils and pipes over a long period of time are not reported and listed on DEQ’s website.

Those homes are some of the most toxic, yet only former meth labs are reported.

“Until we start putting the properties where people smoke on the list, we’re never going to get a handle on this,” Yelin said. “We don’t see as many labs in Montana because most people are buying it and bringing it into the state as opposed to making it.”

Yelin said the most toxic home he has ever tested was just off Russell Street and had 365 micrograms of meth per 100 square centimeters. That’s 3,650 times the legal limit. That home is still not listed on DEQ’s website.

“It is a huge epidemic that everybody is ignoring,” Yelin said.

Meth cases prosecuted in Missoula County are up 15 percent from 2014, and 137 percent from 2013, according to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office 2015 report.

Jason Marks, chief deputy county attorney, said the obvious reason there are more meth cases in Missoula is because of the increase in availability of meth in the community.

Although the recent effort to stop production of meth in the U.S. was largely successful, Marks said the drug is now being trafficked into the country.

“Now we have a flood of meth coming in from Mexico,” Marks said. “The regional Task Force is very focused on this issue, which is why we’re seeing a lot of cases.”

While many adults living in meth-contaminated homes remain unaware and unharmed, Osborne and Werk were not.

Werk said she woke up in terrors thinking someone was in her room for most of fall semester. She would turn her lights on and search her entire bedroom. Osborne said Werk still won’t do laundry in the basement unless another roommate is home.

“As soon as the case is over,” Osborne said, “I’m going to make sure everybody in this valley knows that landlord’s name and knows what a shitty person he is, because he rented that house back out after he knew it was a meth lab, and we know he didn’t do the mitigation necessary to clean it up.”

But Hirsch said he did clean the house. After Osborne and his roommates left the house, Hirsch said he paid thousands of dollars to have the home decontaminated before leasing it to the current tenants. He did not provide documents to confirm this.

Hirsch also said he feels badly about what happened to the students and agrees that Montana’s meth laws need to be changed for everyone’s sake.

“It certainly is a horrific problem,” Hirsch said. “There are some challenges and things that certainly need to be addressed on how it’s treated. It affected me miserably as well, between the thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache and sleepless nights.”

Osborne still hasn’t gotten his security deposit back, though, and said he thinks Hirsch assumes Osborn, Werk and their roommates will eventually give up the fight.

“We’re not going to,” he said.



(ABC 6 News) — A traffic stop resulted in an arrest after police say they discovered nearly one pound of methamphetamine.

A police officer stopped 34-year-old Bonnie Sutton for erratic driving around 3:10 bonnie-suttonMonday morning. Police say they discovered 28.5 grams of meth in the vehicle.

During their investigation, police learned that she had a room at the Rodeway Inn on the edge of Austin.

Police chief Brian Krueger said police executed a search warrant on a room at the motel and discovered another three-quarters of a pound of meth.

Investigators say the meth could be worth approximately $45,000 on the street.

Sutton was taken to the Mower County Jail to await formal charges.



A Payson woman has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs when she fatally injured an 8-year-old boy riding a skateboard earlier this month.

Tabatha Ann Magoon, 37, was charged Friday in 4th District Court with second-degree felony automobile homicide and class A misdemeanor use of methamphetamine for the dt_common_streams_StreamServertgegedeath of Kaydon Delroy Sillitoe.

The felony count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. An initial court appearance was set for Tuesday.

On March 20 at about 2:35 p.m., Sillitoe was struck and critically injured while riding his skateboard in the intersection of 1000 West and 680 South in Payson.

Charging documents state that Magoon made a right-hand turn to go west at the intersection, but took the turn wide and ended up left of center in the eastbound lane, where Sillitoe was riding his skateboard in the street.

Magoon’s car drove over the boy, who died shortly after his arrival at Mountain View Hospital in Payson.

A urine test showed the presence of amphetamines, methamphetamine, opiates and Oxycodone in Magoon’s system, charges state.

She later told police she had smoked methamphetamine earlier that day, charges state.



ASHEVILLE – A 19-year-old man was arrested Monday and charged with raping a 15-year-old in January and delivering a controlled substance to the minor.

Justin Harley Goode, 19, of 49 Hidden Acres Drive, is accused of raping a minor on Jan. 29 and delivering methamphetamine to the victim, according to arrest warrants with the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.

Goode is charged with one felony count of selling and delivering controlled substances to a minor and one felony count of statuary rape of a child age 16 years or younger but older than 13 years of age, arrest warrants state.

The warrant states Goode, at the time of the offense, was more than four years but less than six years older than the victim.

Bond was set at $180,000 secured. Goode also faces four misdemeanor charges of violating his probation, pushing his bond to $200,000 secured.



MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two women from the Twin Cities are accused of being involved in the possession and sale of methamphetamine in Little Falls, according to charges filed Monday in Morrison County Court.

Sara Harrison, 28 of Minneapolis, was charged with one count of second-degree fyukfuckpossession of a controlled substance in the case. Jamie Tapia-Morrow, 30 of Brooklyn Park, was charged with first-degree sale of a controlled substance in the case.

According to the charges, officers with the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force assisted the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension after it was learned a woman identified as Tapi-Morrow would be selling methamphetamine to a confidential informant. An investigation showed she would be meeting the informant for the sale at a Walmart in Little Falls. Officers later learned the purchase would actually take place at a Holiday gas station on the east side of the city.

The complaint states officers on surveillance duty watched the informant get into the suspect vehicle, which traveled around the city and several businesses before ending up back at the gas station and the informant get dropped off. The informant confirmed with officers that they had purchased methamphetamine from Tapia-Morrow.

The complaint states during the purchase, another woman entered and exited the suspect vehicle with five children.

According to the complaint, the suspect vehicle was stopped on Highway 10 in Morrison County and the drive was identified as Tapia-Morrow. The passenger was identified as Harrison. They were both arrested for participating in the sale of methamphetamine.

Harrison admitted to police that she was in possession of methamphetamine and that it was in her vagina. A female correctional officer did a search and recovered the bag. It tested positive for about 14.4 grams of methamphetamine. An investigation showed the drugs sold to the informant tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed about 27.3 grams.

If convicted, Tapia-Morrow faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Harrison faces up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.



Two people have been charged with possessing precursor chemicals to make methamphetamine, said Iredell Sheriff Darren Campbell.

Avery Michael Bostian, 23, of Deepwater Lane and Samantha Marie Ewart, 18, of Rockwell were charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of 56f980e7ad3fb_imagemethamphetamine precursors. Bond was set at $20,000 for each.

Campbell said the charges were the result of a traffic stop Friday near the Iredell-Alexander line. Deputies, he said, discovered what appeared to be an active mobile meth lab inside the car.

The area was sealed off and detectives with the Iredell County Narcotics Investigation Unit, who are specially trained to handle methamphetamine labs, responded to the scene. They deemed the chemicals located in the vehicle safe in their current state, Campbell said. The items were used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, he said.

After a search of the vehicle, two bags of methamphetamine were located, Campbell said.

Bostian and Ewart were arrested.



GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.– Sex, drugs, and alcohol are just a few pressures our young high school and college students face on a regular basis. That’s why Grand Junction Police are inviting parents and their kids to have an open conversation next week. GJPD hosting sexual assault discussion for parents, students

“You see it more now with people bringing in drugs and methamphetamine busts,” said mother Denise Heizer. “It’s out there. You have to really make your kids aware of what’s going on.”

Heizer witnessed the effects of sex, alcohol and drugs in her daughter, and said they are becoming all too common among our youth.

“One of my older daughters got into the wrong crowd and got mixed up with some stuff…so yeah, you see it,” Heizer said.

Police said reports show sexual assault is often linked to drug- and alcohol involved situations.

“It’s a problem,” said Grand Junction Police Department information officer Heidi Davidson. “We don’t want it to be. We want to believe our kids are making good decisions and so many of our kids are, but what we need to be prepared for are those complicating factors.”

Sexual assault is a tough conversation to have. However, it’s a talk police want parents to have before it happens to their child, to help them recognize dangerous situations.

“It’s also important for our youth to be able to protect themselves and the people they care about by making decisions that can affect them for the rest of their lives,” Davidson said.

Parents said it’s scary, when the influence of mom or dad outweighs pressures of a child’s friends or classmates.

“Alcohol, drugs, things like that, are all things that they can get into or be peer pressured into, causing them to want to experiment with things,” Heizer said.

Which is why GJPD is working with parents and their teens, to empower our youth to stand up and be strong, while offering tips to keep our youth safe.

“Anytime young people are going out as a group, they should have a designated decision maker,” Davidson explained, as something she learned in last year’s meeting. “Someone who is sober, who is not going to be drugs and is making sure they are being accountable for themselves and the group of friends around them.”


“Sex Assault: A Frank Discussion” will be held at the Grand Junction Police Department on Wednesday, April 6th. RSVP to, or by calling (970)549-5114.



A northwest suburban man is facing several charges after officers busted a meth lab Monday in his room at a north suburban hotel.

Martin P. Bloomberg, 40, was charged with possession of meth manufacturing material, possession of meth, aggravated participation of meth production, aggravated meth bloombergmethmanufacturing, possession of meth precursor, participation in meth manufacturing, possession of pills and possession of false ID, all felonies, according to Illinois State Police.

Officers from the Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group were tipped off that there was a methamphetamine lab at the Comfort Suites at 1775 E. Belvidere Rd. in Grayslake, police said.

The suspect, later identified as Bloomberg, told investigators he had meth and meth precursors in his hotel room, and officers also learned there may have been anhydrous ammonia in the room, police said.

The hotel was evacuated as Grayslake police and fire officials, and the ISP Meth Response Team cleaned up the scene.

Bloomberg, a Palatine resident, was taken to Lake Forest Hospital after making suicidal statements, police said.

He was treated and released, and on the way to the Lake County sheriff’s office, he began hitting his head against the inside of the squad car and again making suicidal statements.

He was taken to Vista Hospital for evaluation, treated and released, and was taken back to the sheriff’s office, where he is being held pending a bond hearing.



An investigation into a multi-state drug ring is believed to have led to the largest-ever single seizure of methamphetamine in Southern West Virginia, according to federal authorities.$1M in meth recovered in WV busts

About 13 pounds of methamphetamine was recovered inside the spare tire of a vehicle parked outside a Huntington hotel on March 18, according to court documents. A source close to the investigation said that is the largest amount of meth recovered at one time in the Southern District of West Virginia.

About a week later, on Saturday, law enforcement officials in South Charleston pulled over two women whom they say were driving from Los Angeles. Nearly 6 pounds of meth was recovered in the stop, according to charging documents filed against the women.

In all, eight people have been charged in federal court in Charleston with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

The total street value of the meth seized in the two busts is close to $1 million, the source estimated.

Jose Alonso Morales, also known as “A,” Miguel Tafolla-Montoya, Miguel Alejandro Robles-Ibarra and Marcos Antonio Bojorquez-Rojas were charged last week by criminal complaints in federal court.

According to the complaints filed against the men, a person who had been receiving meth to sell from Morales started cooperating with law enforcement in January.

The informant allegedly said he or she would get the drug from Morales, or others working with him, and then distribute it in and around Kanawha County.

The informant helped police set up the bust in Huntington earlier this month, an FBI agent wrote in the complaints.

Morales allegedly told the informant that a female driver would be delivering 10 pounds of meth to Huntington on March 18. She would leave it in a blue Kia Sportage that was to be parked in a lot outside the Super 8 Motel on Hal Greer Boulevard, the complaints state.

Morales allegedly instructed the informant to exchange the spare tire in the Kia with another spare tire. The informant allegedly told Morales that they would send a friend to pick up the meth.

On March 18, an undercover law enforcement officer went to the Super 8, located the Kia and exchanged the tires. Inside the tire, the complaints state, the officer found 10 packages of meth hidden inside. It was determined to be about 13 pounds, the charging documents state.

A warrant for Morales’ arrest was issued. Meanwhile, he allegedly told the informant, who he thought had picked up the tire, that he would arrive in Huntington on the morning of March 19 to obtain payment.

The informant owed $125,000 to Morales for the meth, the complaints state.

Law enforcement arrested Morales at the Coach’s Inn, in Huntington, on March 19.

In separate criminal complaints filed Monday, an FBI agent wrote that law enforcement began working with another informant on March 19.

That informant allegedly told them that Rafael Garcia Serrato and Cesar Garcia “are involved in a large-scale drug distribution network, which has been distributing crystal methamphetamine and other drugs in the Southern District of West Virginia and elsewhere,” the federal filing states.

The informant has gotten drugs directly from Serrato and Garcia, he or she allegedly told law enforcement officials, and also has participated in the collection of drug proceeds with the men. Those proceeds would be split between the three of them, an affidavit written by an FBI agent states.

On March 20, the informant placed phone calls to Serrato to arrange for him to send drugs from Los Angeles to Charleston — about 10 pounds of methamphetamine and two kilograms of heroin, the federal filing states.

Serrato allegedly indicated that Garcia would arrange the details of a delivery of meth and heroin to West Virginia.

Garcia told the informant that two women would drive the drugs from California to Charleston, and that he would fly from Los Angeles to Huntington on March 25 to collect the proceeds, the filing states.

Danielle Dessaray Estrada and Rachel Arlene Garay, who allegedly had told the informant they would arrive in Charleston on Saturday evening, were pulled over by police in South Charleston on Saturday.

The women were placed under arrest and five large packages containing nearly 6 pounds of meth were found in their car, charging documents against them state.

Law enforcement then located Garcia in a hotel in Huntington and arrested him.

On Monday, Serrato, who is Garcia’s father, was arrested in Los Angeles.




FALFURRIAS, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector seized more than $4.3 million worth of methamphetamine Friday at the Falfurrias Checkpoint on U.S. Highway 281 North.

Agents said a man approached the checkpoint in a commercial moving truck. During an immigration inspection, a Border Patrol K-9 alerted agents to the truck. Agents found 113 bundles of meth, with a weight of nearly 140 pounds, hidden inside the truck.

The case was referred to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Our priority is to keep our communities safe,” said Chief Patrol Agent Manuel Padilla Jr. “Through hard work and constant vigilance, our agents stopped this dangerous drug from reaching our streets and possibly our children. Drug smugglers are callous individuals with no regard for the danger narcotics pose to our communities.”



DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Deputies in Isabella County said they arrested a naked man who was running in and out of traffic and claimed to be on meth at the time.

Sheriff’s deputies said several 911 calls were made by drivers who saw the man running through traffic on M-20 Saturday afternoon. Deputies said they later learned the man attempted to get into two vehicles driving in the area. A family of four, including a 3-year-old child and 3-month-old infant were in one vehicle. A woman in another vehicle told authorities the man was yelling at her while fondling himself.

When police arrived, the 32-year-old man refused orders to get on the ground and approached a deputy who attempted to tase the man.

The taser missed and the suspect walked aggressively toward a second deputy who successfully tased the man, according to a release from the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities said the man was “aggressively resisting” arrest after being brought down to the ground and later told deputies he was on meth.

The man’s name is not being released until his arraignment.




DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI — Police on Saturday, March 26, arrested a man they say ran naked through traffic and attempted to enter two occupied vehicles.

Isabella County sheriff’s officials allege the man, whom deputies arrested after twice deploying a Taser, said he was under the influence of methamphetamine.

Sheriff’s deputies about 1 p.m. Saturday responded to reports of a “disorderly, naked man” running in and out of traffic in the area of West M-20 and Winn Road in Deerfield Township, according to an Isabella County Sheriff’s Department news release.

Deputies learned the 32-year-old man, whose name is withheld pending charges and arraignment, attempted to enter two vehicles that were traveling in the area, the release states. The first vehicle was occupied by a husband, wife, a 3-year-old child, and a three-month-old infant, the release states.

The driver refused to open the door despite the naked man’s demands, drove away, and called 911, police stated. He told authorities the man fell and that he may have run over his foot, the release states.

The release alleges the naked man approached another vehicle and yelled at the female driver while grabbing his penis.

When deputies found the man, they commanded him several times to get on the ground so they could safely restrain him, but he refused and began to walk away, the release states. After taking a few short steps, he turned toward one of the deputies and started walking toward him, the release states.

A deputy told the man he would use a Taser to subdue him if he did not comply, police stated. The man then told the deputy to use the Taser, the release states.

The deputy deployed the Taser “after failed verbal attempts and aggressive behavior,” but it did not make adequate contact with the man and did not have any effect on him, the release states.

The man then began to aggressively approach the second deputy, the release states. The second deputy deployed his Taser, bringing the man to the ground, police stated. Both deputies attempted to handcuff the man, who was aggressively resisting, the release states.

During the struggle, the man told them he was on methamphetamine, the release alleges. Eventually, deputies restrained him in handcuffs and placed him in the rear seat of a patrol unit. After the man banged his head on the windows, deputies restrained him further to protect him, the release states.

The deputies were not injured during the altercation, but one suffered damage to his uniform, the release states.

A deputy and a Michigan State Police trooper checked the man’s residence, which was located nearby, the release states. They entered the home “for health and safety reasons” and found a broken window, an open door, a “large sum of cash” and a cell phone on the ground, the release states.

Medical personnel transported the man to a McLaren emergency room for evaluation and injury assessment, the release states.



  • Sydney man Peter Gardner faces execution in China for drugs
  • The former building worker will soon learn if he will get the death penalty
  • Drug smugglers face the firing squad for more than 50g of heroin or ice
  • Gardner was carrying a massive 30kg of ice in superglued suitcases
  • The 26-year-old told a Chinese court he thought he was carrying steroids
  • Gardner flew to China last year with Sydney girl Kalynda Davis, 22
  • After secret negotiations Ms Davis was freed and flew home in 2014

Sydney construction worker Peter Gardner will soon learn if he is to face death by firing squad for trying to smuggle $25 million of methamphetamine in suitcases through Guangzhou Airport in China.


Gardner, 26, has been in a Chinese prison since he was arrested in November 2014 trying to board a flight to Australia with his then girlfriend, 22-year-old Sydney woman Kalynda Davis.

The pair, who had met via the dating app Tinder, were arrested after airport officials found 30kg of ‘ice’ packed in 60 ziplock bags inside two suitcases which had been superglued shut.

Last year, Mr Gardner faced trial where he pleaded not guilty to smuggling ice. He is due to hear the verdict and his sentence in April, Fairfax News reported.

A court in Guangzhou, southern China hear he thought the suitcases contained peptides, which are legal, but prosecutors said that his DNA had been found on the packaging around the drugs.2863E29500000578-3071215-Ex_Sydney_cop_Larry_Davis_and_his_daughter_Kalynda_pictured_crie-m-41_1430968555860

Mr Gardner and Ms Davis made international headlines after her father, former NSW police officer Larry Davis, flew to Guangzhou and with the help of Australian Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop, managed to secure his daughter’s release.

Strictly confidential diplomatic talks convinced Chinese officials that Kalynda Davis had known nothing about the suitcase contents and saved her from the possible death penalty.

Ms Davis, who had been held in Guangzhou women’s detention centre where she was shackled and had her long blonde hair cut into a prison bob, was freed and and returned home to Sydney with her father on December 9, 2014.

Consular efforts on behalf of Mr Gardner, who had lived in Sydney for 18 years but was still a New Zealand citizen, were unsuccessful.

Death by firing squad is the fate drug traffickers face if they attempt to smuggle more than 50g of heroin or methamphetamine, as China cracks down on its drug problem.2863E2C400000578-3071215-image-a-42_1430969093423

The 30kg of methamphetamine found in Mr Gardner’s suitcases was the largest single haul of ice headed overseas ever seized by Guangzhou customs.

Mr Gardner told a Chinese court during that trial he had believed he was carrying steroids, which were legal.

A panel of three judges heard that he had previously made a journey in September 2014 to bring back the legal, performance-enhancing peptides.

He returned in November with Ms Davis after the pair had travelled to New Zealand and then flown to Guangzhou where they spent three days in the city before boarding the flight to Sydney.

He said he had paid his supplier around $13,000 for a peptides and tanning agents which were popular among Sydney football players and bodybuilders.

Gardner told the court he was assured by an Australian man named ‘James’ that the packages contained steroids.

Gardner said the man told him to go to Guangzhou’s Hilton Hotel where he was to be greeted by two Chinese men.

The men dropped off the two black suitcases containing the drugs at the hotel where Gardner and Davis were staying, just hours before their flight home.

Each bag was zipped shut and sealed with superglue, which meant Mr Gardner hadn’t checked the contents, but he was unconcerned.

‘It should have been peptides,’ he said. ‘I was stupid. I thought it was so easy. I got ahead of myself,’ a tearful Mr Gardner told the hearing which was attended by his parents, Russell Gardner and Sandra Cornelius.

Prosecutors rejected his argument, saying it was ‘against common sense’ that Gardner would not check the bags for his goods having spent the money he claimed.

Further, his DNA was found on the packaging around the methamphetamine. Gardner’s lawyer Richard Zhang said customs officials had contaminated the evidence.

‘I’m really sorry, I really regret it… I have broken the law and there’s no getting out of it,’ Mr Gardner said.

Mr Gardner is among at least eight Australians detained in southern China after allegedly being caught up in international drug networks, against which the Chinese Government has launched a crackdown over the last 18 months.

Chinese authorities have recorded a sharp increase in the arrest of foreigners involved in drug crimes, with figures from 2013 showing that a total of 1,963 foreign drug suspects were arrested and 5.9 tonnes of drugs confiscated.2863E26F00000578-3071215-image-a-25_1430966512038

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s narcotics control bureau put down the increase down to the cheapness of drugs like ice in provinces like Guangdong, where foreign drugs gangs were active.

Many of the incarcerated foreigners are African nationals, but among them are inmates from many other countries, including the Australians who are being assisted by the Australian Consul General in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province, which is notorious for being the meth manufacturing hub of China.

On the streets of Guangzhou, where Mr Gardner and Ms Davis spent three days in November 2014, African sellers commonly approach foreigners to trade drugs, a source told Daily Mail Australia.

Following Mr Gardner’s arrest, his former school friends described him as a gentle, friendly guy. He has an unblemished criminal record in NSW, apart from a drink driving charge.

‘He is a really great guy, really caring, nice and softly spoken, I guess he just got tangled in a bad way of life,’ one friend from Richmond High School said.

‘Every time I talked to him he was always genuine and never seemed like he would get involved in that.’

Following his 2014 mercy dash to collect his daughter from her Chinese prison and fly home, Larry Davis described his the relief and the horror.

‘When I saw her for the first time, I just collapsed,’ he told the Western Weekender. ‘She kept saying “I’m sorry Dad, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it”.

‘Her and I are close, as close as any father and daughter could be. I never once thought that she had done anything wrong. When we hit the tarmac in Sydney, we both just cried.’


The Iron/Garfield/Beaver Narcotics Task Force arrested a Cedar City woman after she allegedly sold methamphetamine to an informer.

Chantel Jensen, 28, was charged Wednesday with felony distribution of methamphetamine.635945954956632310-Chantel-Jo-Ann-Jensen

The sting began when an informant contacted the task force and said a controlled buy could be set up, according to the probable cause statement filed in the case.

“The informant was searched for contraband — no contraband was found,” the arresting task force operative wrote in the statement. “The informant was given recording equipment and a pre-determined amount of task force money for the controlled buy. The informant was given a ride to the area of the controlled buy by IGBNTF agents.”

The informant arrived at the undisclosed Cedar City location while under supervision by task force operatives by way of GPS coordinates, court records stated. “The informant met with Chantel Jensen and gave her the pre-determined amount of task force money,” the agent wrote. “A few minutes later the informant was given a white crystal substance which was consistent with methamphetamine. Once the controlled buy was completed, surveillance was done on the informant until we met at a pre-determined location.”

The substance tested positive for meth, according to court papers.

“The informant was positive that it was Chantel Jensen that set up the sale of methamphetamine and the one that was given the money,” according to the statement. “The recording equipment was collected and the informant was released.”

Jensen was booked into the Iron County Jail on $10,000 bail.



A Kingston woman remained in jail Sunday without bond after being accused of having a stolen pistol and methamphetamine.56f8abbadcf05_image

According to Floyd County Jail reports:

Mende Maureen Wilson, 40, of 59 Old Rome Road, was arrested Saturday at 8:13 p.m. on Youngs Mill Road after police found methamphetamine, a glass pipe and a stolen pistol in her possession.

Wilson is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and theft by receiving stolen property and misdemeanor possession of drug-related objects.



SANTA PAULA, Calif.– Authorities in Ventura County say a 29-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty after allegedly swinging a rabbit around by its ears then lighting it on fire.

Police in the city of Santa Paula say the suspecttold investigators Saturday that the rabbit was already dead when he found it and that he lit a piece of paper on fire, not the animal.524769_1359890057369785_1357131536988773887_n

The Ventura County Star newspaper reports veterinary technicians at the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center determined the rabbit died of blunt force trauma to the head.

In additional to felony animal cruelty, Lemus could also face charges including arson, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of methamphetamine.

It wasn’t immediately known if the Santa Paula resident has a lawyer.




Press Release

On March 26, 2016 at approximately 7:52am, Santa Paula police officers were dispatched to the area of the 200 block of March St. for a call of a male subject swinging a rabbit in the air by its ears, and then lighting it on fire. The male subject then fled the area on a bicycle. Officers located a subject matching the suspect’s description in the 300 blk S. Steckel Dr. The subject was identified as Juan Lemus, age 29 of Santa Paula. Lemus told officers that he found a rabbit in the street and was already deceased. Lemus told officers that he lit a piece of paper on fire, and not the rabbit. The rabbit was subsequently found in a dirt lot, lying next to a pile of smouldering paper. The rabbit was transported to SPARC for evaluation. The veterinary technicians examined and x-rayed the rabbit. It was determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Lemus was taken into custody for 597(a)PC- Animal Cruelty, 451PC- Arson, and 459PC- Burglary. Upon being taken into custody, Lemus was found to be in possession of a methamphetamine pipe, and was also charged with 11364(a)HS- Possession of Drug Paraphernelia. An evaluation of Lemus was also conducted to determine if he was under the influence of a controlled substance. The evaluation showed that he was under the influence and was arrested for 11550(a)HS- Being Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance. Lemus was later transported to Ventura County Main Jail.

The Santa Paula Police Department would like to thank the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center for their assistance in this case.

If anyone has information regarding a missing rabbit, please contact Det. Sgt. Madison at (805) 525-4474 x220.



MISSOULA – A spike in crime involving children has the Missoula District Court struggling to keep its head above water.

Officials say the violence and neglect can be linked to methamphetamine abuse.

“There’s been a fairly dramatic rise in criminal cases and even more, more dramatic increase in child abuse and neglect cases,” said Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath. “Frankly, its related to drugs — methamphetamine abuse in particular.”

The backlog is attributed to a spike in child abuse and neglect cases because they jump to the top of the court’s priority list and often take a long time to prosecute.

The rise in child abuse and neglect cases is linked to a surge in methamphetamine abuse over the past several years. The Missoula District Court filed 83 child abuse and neglect cases in 2009, but so far this year, the number is at 215.

“This child abuse and neglect increase, its affected every part of the criminal justice process, from law enforcement to prosecutors, to judges, everybody is working at capacity, and until we get the cause of the problem under control, we’re going to continue to see things operating at a loss,” Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst said.

Child and abuse and neglect cases take priority, followed by juvenile delinquency cases, general criminal cases then adult cases. Not until all these cases are prosecuted are civil cases are heard. Pabst says some people wait years.

The state legislature will address the shortages in the next session.



Two transient individuals were arrested by Provo police officers Friday morning after reportedly being found with methamphetamine and sleeping in a stolen car.

Police reports indicate a Provo police officer was dispatched Friday morning to the Boulders Apartments on a report of two individuals sleeping in a stolen Mitsubishi Spyder, reports state.56f59b1ec204d_image

The officer arrived on scene and when he ran the plates, the plates were listed for a car under a different make, model and color, reports state. When officers verified the VIN, the vehicle itself was listed as stolen, reports state.

The officer woke up the two individuals in the vehicle, reportedly Whitney Hubert and Jeffery Cowles, and handcuffed them outside the vehicle. As Cowles, 27, was escorted out of the vehicle, police report seeing a glass pipe with residue in the driver’s seat.

Police contacted the vehicle owner, who confirmed they knew Cowles and said that he wasn’t supposed to have the vehicle, reports state. Cowles told police he found the vehicle, knowing it was stolen, because the victim told him to look for it, reports state.

However, Hubert, 28, gave a different story that contradicted Cowles’s.

Hubert was searched and a syringe cap was found inside her bra. Hubert told police the cap came from a syringe she used the night before to shoot up meth, reports state.

Hubert was booked into Utah County Jail on suspicion of one second-degree felony charge of receiving a stolen vehicle and one class B misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cowles was booked on suspicion of the same charges, and another class A misdemeanor charge of meth possession.



CLINTON — A Clinton woman is charged with one felony and three misdemeanor charges resulting from a traffic stop.

Samantha B. Houston, 28, 122 1/2 S. Second St., is charged with possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, namely morphine, a Class C felony; carrying weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor; possession of a controlled substance, namely methamphetamine, a serious misdemeanor; and possession of a controlled substance, namely clonazepam, also a serious misdemeanor. Arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. April 7.

According to the affidavit, at 8:40 a.m. March 19, officers were traveling south on North Second Street in the eastbound lane. As they passed a black Dodge Ram, the officers observed a female, who was identified as Houston, driving the truck. An officer believed she was not valid to drive. Dispatch advised that Houston’s driver’s license had been suspended.

The affidavit states the officers performed a traffic stop on the truck in the 300 block of Third Avenue North and made contact with Houston. Dispatch advised Houston was suspended in Iowa with 10 withdrawals in effect and a most recent conviction for driving while suspended on Oct. 27. The officer explained to Houston that she was going to be placed under arrest for driving while suspended. Houston allegedly grabbed her purse and walked to the front of the officer’s car.

The affidavit continues that an officer removed Houston’s purse and secured her in handcuffs. The officer placed Houston in the rear of his squad car while a separate officer searched her purse.

The affidavit states that while searching Houston’s purse, an officer allegedly located a pink Sabre brand 800,000 volt stun gun, a purple pouch with a pink glass pipe with white residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, a black and pink case with several syringes, a small clear plastic bag with five blue tablets that were identified as prescription-only clonazepam, a schedule IV controlled substance, a black zip-up case with a digital scale in one pocket, a small black case in another pocket that contained a glass pipe with white residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, 27 small seal-able plastic baggies with lips printed on them, four small plastic bags with lip prints containing a total of approximately 30 pills identified as a schedule II controlled substance, morphine, which is available by prescription only and a small plastic bag with lip prints containing three chunks of a hard white substance that tested positive for amphetamines and weighed 1.9 grams with packaging.

The affidavit states that during a towed vehicle inventory that was performed due to Houston allegedly not having any insurance, an officer located another small plastic bag with lip prints and containing approximately 10 morphine pills in the dash by the radio. Houston was subsequently arrested for possession with intent to deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession of amphetamines, carrying weapons, unlawful possession of prescription drugs, driving while license suspended and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also cited for no insurance.



Humboldt County Superior Court jury has heard details of crimes committed nearly 30 years ago, but they’re not being asked to decide a defendant’s guilt or innocence: Richard Thomas Stobaugh, the serial “Ski Mask Rapist,” terrorized Eureka in the late 1980s.

What the six men and six women on the jury and the woman serving as an alternate must decide is whether Stobaugh, 59, fits the criteria under California law to be classified as a sexually violent predator.

The law allows for civil proceedings to determine whether the state can confine sexually violent predators in hospitals if they have a mental abnormality that makes them a future risk to repeat their criminal behaviors.

On Monday, Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads and Owen Tipps, an attorney in the Public Defender’s Office, will deliver their closing arguments before Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles.

The jury has heard graphic details of horrific crimes Stobaugh committed in Humboldt County. They’ve heard competing opinions from forensic psychologists, experts in applying the science of mental illness to questions relating to the legal system.

California is one of 20 states with the law, which was a result of public demands for a way to keep the highest risk offenders out of society even after their prison terms ended. The Sexually Violent Predator Act, enacted in 1996, established a new category of civil commitment for sex offenders who are found to pose an extreme danger to society upon their release.

To receive the classification, offenders are screened by evaluators with the Department of Mental Health. Then, a court process in the county where they committed their crime must conclude they are predators who need to be locked up until they are well enough to be released.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that sexually violent predators who already have served their criminal sentences can be subject to civil commitment, which is not punitive in nature but used for the purpose of treatment.

The petition to commit Stobaugh was filed in February 2012 by Allan Dollison, a prosecutor for former District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Both attorneys are now in private practice, so the responsibility for pressing the petition fell to Maggie Fleming, Gallegos’ successor.

Stobaugh, Dollison wrote in his petition four years ago, “has been convicted of a sexually violent criminal offense against one or more victims, and he has a diagnosed mental disorder that makes him a danger to the health and safety of other in that it is likely that he will engage in sexually violent and predatory criminal behavior.”

Stobaugh was imprisoned after he was convicted of raping a Humboldt State University student in 1981, and paroled six years later, according to Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections. Stobaugh’s parole was revoked in March 1988 and he was returned to custody, Sessa said.

Stobaugh was later convicted in a series of rapes in Eureka, some of which he committed while wearing a ski mask, earning him the nickname. The rapes, burglaries and Stobaugh’s methamphetamine and marijuana use have been retold in frighteningly vivid detail during his current trial.

Stobaugh bound some of his victims, and he threatened to use a handgun stolen during one of his burglaries or knives he collected after entering the homes of his victims. The victims were women he happened upon during numerous burglaries he committed to fuel his drug habit.

Stobaugh was paroled in 2012, and since then, he has been at the Coalinga State Hospital, California’s newest state mental hospital in Fresno County.

The Coalinga facility opened in 2005 and began treating committed patients, mostly sexually violent predators. The self-contained 1,260-bed psychiatric hospital was constructed with a security perimeter. Sexually violent predators make up three-fourths of the population.

As they approach the end of their prison terms, inmates who meet the criteria receive a probable cause hearing and are placed in a state hospital pending full commitment. A trial confirming their status can result in commitment to a state hospital for an indeterminate period.

Dollison’s petition says Stobaugh had been evaluated by forensic psychologists who work with the Department of State Hospitals and the Department of Mental Health’s sexually violent predator and mentally disordered offender units. Three of the four experts at that time found he met the legal and clinical criteria for commitment as a sexually violent predator.

The Stobaugh jury heard from additional experts who disagreed about whether Stobaugh met the criteria.

Bruce Yanofsky, a San Diego forensic psychologist, was called by Eads, who acted as the petitioner, not a prosecutor, because the legal action is a civil proceeding. Yanofsky found that Stobaugh suffers from paraphilia.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders says paraphiliacs have “a sexual desire or behavior that involves another person’s psychological distress, injury or death, or a desire for sexual behaviors involving unwilling persons or persons unable to give legal consent.”

Yanofsky based his diagnosis in part on the fact Stobaugh was glib about his victims, the speed at which he reoffended after his release from prison in the 1980s and Stobaugh’s failure to take part in sexual offense therapy.

“If Mr. Stobaugh doesn’t qualify for high risk, I don’t know who does,” Yanofsky told the jury. “Other than aging, I don’t see anything that affects his risk factors at this time.”

Defense expert Brian Abbott, a San Jose forensic psychologist, said Stobaugh did not fit the criteria because he did not engage in a high level of violence or any scripted behavior such as trophy taking. Abbott said Stobaugh’s behavior was more the product of a methamphetamine-fueled sex drive that elicited a callous indifference toward his victims.

During cross-examination, Eads listed the details of Stobaugh’s crimes against women, some of whom awoke to him in their bedrooms with a knife or gun. Eads challenged Abbott to explain how that could be classified as anything other than sexual sadism.

Abbott countered that Stobaugh ended at least one attack because the victim started bleeding, and a sexual sadist would have become more aroused in that situation.

“There’s no correlation between the sequencing of sex acts and sexual sadism,” Abbott testified. “There’s different reasons for why someone acts during a rape, and that’s what has to be discerned.”

Whichever way the jury decides, Stobaugh will be required to register as a convicted sex offender with the state Department of Justice under Megan’s Law.

His current status is listed as “incarcerated.”



MICHIGAN CITY — The precautions against the proliferation of pseudoephedrine took up much of the discussion at a 2016 Legislative Update from the Minority Health Coalition of La Porte County on Thursday.

Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, and Eric Evans, public policy specialist for the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, both gave updates about bills of interest in the past legislative session of the Indiana General Assembly.56f5c13888a1b_image

Albertine Allen, director of the local coalition, said she wanted a town hall-style meeting at City Hall for this update because methamphetamine presents an emerging crisis in Michigan City.

Besides the danger of the drug, meth creates safety and behavioral risks for the children in the homes of others who use it, she said.

Pelath said he thinks the legislature came to a good balance between controlling pseudoephedrine, which can be used to cook meth, and the need to have it available for those who are congested.

Pseudoephedrine has created immense harm in rural Indiana, he said. He said the state needs to fight meth aggressively, and more control of pseudoephedrine means good news for both law enforcement and addicts.

This bill will leave some access for anyone to purchase pseudoephedrine at pharmacies, but, without a prescription, the pharmacist will be able to deny a purchase if no relationship is on record with that pharmacy or if the sale is judged to be suspect.

Pelath noted that Gov. Mike Pence is in the process of signing bills, so the passed legislation is not all law yet.

Pelath said he understood the concern about possible profiling entering the judgments of what is suspicious, but he said something has to be done. People are dying every day.

“That drug is the devil,” he said.

Nevertheless, he suggested it was a good compromise, since the alternative action meant people would have no access to the drug’s medical usage without a prescription. He noted that the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus supported the bill.

Allen encouraged everyone who goes on a trip to prepare the documentation so a prescription can be sent remotely in case the person becomes ill. Everyone who has insurance should also have a doctor to give a prescription, she said.

“We’ve got to learn to be proactive,” she said.

Attorney Kim Kiner noted that people in good health sometimes do not have a doctor to call.

Regarding the possibility of profiling, Harlan Williams, La Porte Metro operations coordinator, said 99.9 percent of people abusing pseudoephedrine for meth are white.

A particularly dangerous form of meth has appeared in Elkhart and will probably eventually come to La Porte County, he said.

The purchases here have often been legitimate, he said. La Porte County ranks in the top 5 percent of counties for pseudoephedrine purchases, but ranks in the bottom 10 percent of counties for meth abuse.

However, cooking meth has occurred in the county. Two fires caused by cooking meth have recently damaged homes in the county.

Evans said the pharmacist cannot deny a purchase if the person has a prescription. Also, if the customer does not have a prescription, a similar decongestant without pseudoephedrine will be offered.

According to his presentation, new legislation will allow Medicaid to cover opioid and alcohol dependence and methadone treatment. Both minorities and rural communities have greatly suffered from opioid dependence, he said.

People should be cautious of a strong ammonia smell coming from a house and trash burning in a backyard, Williams said.





More and more Californians are abusing methamphetamines or crystal meth.

As such, the state has seen a steadily rising number of Californians seeking crystal meth treatment in CA. While many think that crystal meth treatment is more like the treatment of other illicit substances such as heroin, cocaine, and other addicting drugs which people with substance abuse issues use, crystal meth treatment unfortunately is unlike any other.

The main difference in crystal meth treatment from other illicit substance is the degree of severity and extent of its psychological withdrawal symptoms. While other illicit substances have mainly physical withdrawal symptoms or complaints which can be effectively managed by medications, the withdrawal effects of crystal meth are more of psychological in nature. And just like any other psychological problem, its management may not necessarily include medications. While there are some medications that can help people with mental health conditions, a great majority of these medications are addictive themselves. So, while crystal meth addiction is being treated, you are essentially running the risk of developing abuse and addiction for another type of drug. This is why crystal meth treatment is a lot trickier than other illicit drugs.

Nevertheless, crystal meth treatment will still require detoxification as the fundamental approach to managing the whole addiction. Detoxification is needed in order to flush the crystal meth out from the body. Now, since the major problem is the occurrence of psychological withdrawal symptoms with the removal of crystal meth, some treatment centers use a more gradual, step-down approach to detoxification. While the whole crystal meth treatment process can take a significantly longer time to complete, it is nevertheless one of the most effective ways to eliminate crystal meth from the body in a much safer manner without endangering the individual’s life. This is also the reason why crystal meth treatment and detoxification should always be done in an inpatient setting. While it is understandable that some individuals may choose an outpatient setup, healthcare professionals will really recommend on an inpatient treatment methodology to make sure that close, careful monitoring of the individual’s progress is done.

Crystal meth treatment will ban heavily on psychological therapies including cognitive restructuring and behavior modification. Counseling will often be the cornerstone of these crystal meth treatment programs as the individual is guided through the different phases of thought pattern recognition and reorganization. Once this has been achieved, behavior modification as a crystal meth treatment method can be initiated. Changing one’s behavior towards the use of crystal meth requires the recognition and understanding of the effects of crystal meth on someone’s life including the people around him. This realization must lead to acceptance in order to be motivated to seek the most appropriate crystal meth treatment. Healthcare professionals can then design and implement the crystal meth treatment plan.

Technically, in an ideal drug treatment setting, the individual is an active partner in the development of a truly patient-centered plan of care. This provides a sense of propriety for the individual and makes him feel that his voice is important as well especially in making decisions as to what kind of crystal meth treatment he needs.



Methamphetamine already is Cape Girardeau County’s most prevalent hard drug, and it’s gaining in popularity.

The Cape Girardeau Police Department already has made more arrests for methamphetamine — 22 — in January and February of 2016 than in all of 2011. The number of arrests have steadily increased during that five-year period: 33 in 2012, 34 in 2013, 47 in 2014 and 83 in 2015,

“It’s definitely going up,” said Adam Glueck, Cape Girardeau Police Department public information officer. “No doubt about it.”

The SEMO Missouri Drug Task Force investigated 181 cases involving methamphetamine in 2015, which include undercover buys. The task force was involved with 107 possession cases, 29 distribution cases and six manufacturing cases.

We could buy meth every day of the week and twice on Sunday,” SEMO Drug Task Force director Mark McClendon said. He added a major difference between methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine is the latter two drugs hardly ever show up in towns smaller than Cape Girardeau. “Meth is just everywhere.”

Ryan Essex, chief operating officer at the Gibson Recovery Center in Cape Girardeau, reported 26 percent of the clients at the center said methamphetamine was their primary drug from July 1 through Wednesday. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, that number was 18 percent.

By comparison, alcohol is the primary reported substance (other than clients that use multiple drugs) at 31 percent of clients. Cocaine, the closest stimulant in comparison to methamphetamine, was at 4 percent of patients. Those figures are different from 2010: 38 percent for alcohol, 10 percent for methamphetamine and 8 percent for cocaine.

“There might be a couple of reasons,” Essex said of the increase of methamphetamine users. “Availability has something to do with it. Technically, you can make methamphetamine. Maybe it’s because the focus isn’t on methamphetamine. Eight to 10 years ago, everybody talked about it in the treatment field. As a field, we’re focused on heroin overdoses. There’s a greater risk of overdose with heroin.”

Cape Girardeau Prosecuting Attorney Chris Limbaugh could not break down the number of possession and distribution cases by drug. His office prosecuted 279 cases of felony possession of a controlled substance and 57 felony distribution cases in 2015; 269 possession and 77 distribution cases in 2014. However, he confidently said the majority of those cases are methamphetamine and prescription pills, split about evenly. He said there are several new methamphetamine possession cases every week.

“When people are on these types of drugs, (the drugs) are so mind altering that it leads them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Plenty of our bad assault cases, driving under the influence — I can safely tell you it’s involved as a factor in plenty of other crimes.”

Even the Jackson Police Department, which is dealing in much smaller numbers, saw an increase in methamphetamine-possession cases from 2014 to 2015 — from two to four. Jackson also has had one possession case in 2016.

According to McClendon, one of the biggest changes in the way methamphetamine is distributed is the local lab is basically a thing of the past. He said there still are a few die-hard cooks (three people were busted cooking methamphetamine in December in an apartment in Cape Girardeau, for instance), but the drug primarily is imported over the Mexican border.

It would be logical methamphetamine would be more costly with these shipping restrictions and more rare. But McClendon said the price of methamphetamine is dropping, at least when buying an ounce or more. McClendon said an ounce of methamphetamine used to cost $2,200 to $2,400.

“It’s staying the same at the gram amount,” McClendon said. “You can get an ounce for less $1,000.”

McClendon said he has not seen any slowdown of methamphetamine trafficking from the Mexican border. Often the drug is transported by a variety of vehicles on interstates. McClendon said it comes to Southeast Missouri from the south through Arkansas or north from Kansas City, Missouri, which lies on the Interstate 35 corridor.

McClendon added there is a reason for the demand from users.

“I can only tell you what I’ve heard — it’s a really strong high,” McClendon said. “They want to revisit that high, but they’ll never get back to that. … They keep chasing it.”



Two people were arrested Thursday after investigators conducted a drug enforcement operation in Little Falls in which children were being used to help sell the drugs, according to authorities.635945235240498137-ComboUntitled-1

Members of the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force, Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force were conducting the operation in east Little Falls.

Jamie Tapia-Morrow, 30, of Brooklyn Park, was arrested after selling a large quantity of methamphetamine and several prescription drugs, according to a news release from Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen and Little Falls Police Chief Greg Schirmers.

Sara Harrison, 28, of Minneapolis, was in the vehicle with Tapia-Morrow and had in her possession approximately 14 grams of methamphetamine, according to the news release.

They could face charges of drug possession and drug sales.

Five children younger than 18 also were in the vehicle with the suspects. The children were helping sell the drugs, according to the news release. The release didn’t say how old the children were.

All five children were placed in protective custody.

Tapia-Morrow and Harrison are being held at the Morrison County Jail pending formal charges that could include child endangerment.