Jeffrey Coley, 50, a former employee of Chick-fil-A, is accused of holding up a KFC drive-thru in Rock Hill, S.C. and speeding away with the cash register drawer containing $516.02.


A day later and after a bit of a car chase, Coley was arrested by police in his Plymouth Neon, where the cash drawer was sitting on the seat with a little less than a gram of methamphetamine.

Coley, married with one child, told the judge in his hearing that he is his family’s sole breadwinner, making $8.50 an hour at Chick-fil-A.

But Mark Baldwin, a Chick-fil-A corporate spokesman, told the Rock Hill Herald that Coley was fired from his job earlier this month because he didn’t show up to work two days in a row. Norman Dobson, a KFC area manager, also told the Rock Hill Herald that Coley has been banned from all KFC stores and from speaking to any of its employees.

“Neither one of these young ladies has worked since the incident,” Dobson told the Herald. “They’re terrified; they’re not getting a good night’s sleep. He’s turned their lives upside down. They’re out there trying to make an honest living and this is what they got.”

According to the Associated Press, Coley was charged by police with armed robbery, possession of a gun during a violent crime, failure to stop for police, and possession of methamphetamine.




With “marked” increases in statistics related to crystal meth use, is London “breaking bad”?

That’s three times the provincial average, and the increase happened while admissions for fellow stimulants crack and cocaine went down.

According to the report on drug use in London (item 3 on the May 15 board of health agenda), crack was the stimulant most likely to present at addictions services from 2009-12 until meth overtook it last year.

There was also a 40-percent hike in inpatient hospitalizations related to methamphetamines (14.4 per 100,000 residents in 2012 from 10.9 in 2008).

In 2009, the London Police Service seized three grams of methamphetamines. In 2012, they pulled more than a kilogram off the streets, 1,121 grams in all. The number of prescription pills seized increased 27.4 percent over the same period.

In May, the Ontario Provincial Police called reporters to their regional base to announce a bust that included 12 kilos of cocaine and 3.5 kilos of “100 percent pure” meth.

Dr. Andrea Sereda’s four years in family medicine have focused on the homeless. She has a “heavy” caseload of about 400 patients at the London Intercommunity Health Centre (LIHC) clinic within the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope and has seen a rise in meth use.

She said many patients present with “poly-addictions” with meth showing up that way as a second or third substance being abused at once, adding that she would tend to see more opiate cases because there are more strictly medical treatment options – there’s no methadone equivalent for meth.

“Overwhelmingly it was opiates as a presenting problem but stimulants are now either co-ingested or they’re a presenting problem (on their own),” she said. “I’ve only worked in London but I can say subjectively that yes, we’ve seen an increase. Many of those patients often have a poly-substance presentation that now contains meth whereas it didn’t necessarily when I started four years ago.”

According to Pam Hill, the director of clinical services at Addiction Services Thames Valley (ADSTV), at six percent meth is among the top five problem drugs for people 24 and younger who seek their help but that’s just half as many as seek help for cocaine, and a fraction of the 27 percent who ask for help with cannabinoid (marijuana) abuse.

But she admits ADSTV only sees the fraction of users who seek help. She said there are probably a lot more people who consider themselves recreational users because the consequences haven’t affected their life enough to appear to be a problem.

Like Sereda, she said meth is appearing as one of a number of drugs being abused at once.

She said a person who takes meth goes one of two ways: angry and violent or extremely happy and energetic. The drug has a dangerous potential to create long-term psychosis because it is so intense and takes a longer time to wear off than other stimulants like cocaine.

“It’s interesting because it really blends mental health and addiction together,” she said. “It’s often hard to tease out whether it’s a mental health or substance abuse issue.”

The high is followed by a very deep crash: Hill pointed to the case of a man whose arm was amputated because he literally fell asleep on it for three days, cutting off the circulation.

With obvious physical signs like weigh loss, tooth decay and sores, long-term meth users are more vulnerable to predators on the street.

“We’re trying to create safety for people,” she said. “We don’t have a strategy for meth specifically, but we’re observing trends. The biggest thing is getting to the underlying issues that will cause people to move to substance abuse.”

The Middlesex-London Health Unit’s CEO and medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said Wednesday (June 25) meth is a concern but with an opiate use rate well above the provincial and national averages, that’s where the focus has to be.

“It’s a really interesting problem (but) although it’s higher the provincial average it’s still down on the list and we’re trying to focus on the big ones.”

The biggest one saw a threefold spike in 2013: 41 people died from overdoses of prescription opiates, compared to 12 the year before. That was more than half of all fatal drug overdoses that year, putting opiates on par with alcohol-related deaths (55) and ahead of motor vehicle collisions (17) for deaths among two- to-40-year-olds.

Mackie hopes it’s an anomaly.

“It challenges the idea that illegal drugs aren’t as big a problem as many people think,” he said. “At 41 deaths it’s really catching up to other causes, which is totally new and puts a different perspective on things. I sincerely hope that’s an aberration.”

PANAMA CITY — A trial date has been set for a man accused of carrying 56 grams of methamphetamine while chasing his ex-wife and another man down U.S. 231 and firing a 9mm handgun at them.

Anthony Johnson, 33, was driving down U.S. 231 through Fountain in March 2013 at about 1 a.m. when a pair of bright headlights appeared in the rearview, gaining rapidly. A Toyota truck edged up beside him, gesturing for him to pull over. But he didn’t, fearing the driver’s intentions, Johnson stated in his deposition.


Tasha Gurganus, his passenger, recognized the driver as Jasper Gurganus, 32, her ex-husband. Tasha Gurganus and her two children were staying with Johnson until they could secure a place with her family in Georgia , she later told authorities.

Johnson tried to gun it when he heard what sounded to him like trash being thrown at his truck, he said.

“When I heard a bullet hit my tailgate, I realized he was shooting at me,” Johnson told investigators.

His Ford F250 had the weight to command the road, but a shoddy fuel injector made his engine chug at about 30 mph as broken glass from the rear window rained down on the two inside, and bullets sunk into the metal truck body, he stated.

“I thought a bullet had hit me in the shoulder, which, it might have been a piece of glass,” Johnson said. “At this point I was freaking out.”

Johnson said he weaved to keep the truck behind him and eventually rammed it into a ditch along Webber Road . A cacophony of gunfire continued until they parked at a friend’s house and fled on foot. Johnson told investigators he later dug a bullet out of his visor above where his head was, but neither person was hit.

Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Jasper Gurganus standing next to his truck with the firearm and several spent casings nearby, according to court records.

During an inventory, deputies also found a metal can of Fix-a-Flat with a false bottom in Gurganus’ truck. Inside deputies found $6,170, 56 grams of ICE methamphetamine, a glass pipe, plastic baggies, a cellphone and a digital recorder, according to arrest records.

Gurganus has been charged with two counts of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia.

Gurganus turned down the state’s offer of 40 years in prison for the two attempted murder charges in favor of a jury trial Oct. 13. If convicted, he would face a minimum mandatory of 40 years before the meth and paraphernalia charges are taken into account.




Two people are recovering from burns they suffered in what investigators believe may have been a small meth lab explosion in Lumberton.

Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins told 12News that officers were called to a home on Jenny Lane in Lumberton Sunday night for reports of a small explosion. When officers arrived, they smelled chemicals in the house and called Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, the Lumberton Fire Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Chief Sullins said investigators found chemicals used in the making of meth. He said a man suffered burns to thirty percent of his body while the woman suffered burns to her arms. The man was taken to Galveston for treatment.

Chief Sullins said he expects felony warrants to be issued for four suspects, including the two who were burned. Their ages range from 18 to 30-years-old.

Chief Sullins said the people who were living at the house were renting it.

BILLINGS – A man police say was found naked in a Billings rental house on Tuesday morning appeared in court Wednesday on felony drug and burglary charges.

Prosecutors have also charged the man, 49-year-old Dale Ron Carpenter, with two misdemeanors, alleging he had burglary tools and drug paraphernalia.


According to charging documents, police arrested Carpenter after responding at about 8 a.m. Tuesday to a reported burglary in progress on the 200 block of North 20th Street.

The man who made the report told police the alleged burglar wasn’t a tenant and didn’t have permission to be at the residence.

The door to the residence was locked, but police, with permission of the property owner, climbed into the house through a window.

Once inside, officers heard a noise coming from upstairs and announced their presence, ordering those in the house to show themselves.

“A naked man appeared at the top of the stairs,” charging documents state.

The man, identified as Carpenter, came downstairs and was handcuffed by officers, who searched the house and found tools that could be used for burglary.

Officers also said they found a baggie and spoons with methamphetamine residue, a metal pipe that smelled of marijuana, syringes and other paraphernalia.

Judge Pedro R. Hernandez set Carpenter’s bond at $15,000 and scheduled his arraignment for June 30 in district court.

A prosecutor said Carpenter has a prior felony drug conviction and numerous bench warrants for not appearing in court as ordered, including 15 warrants in 2010 alone.




HAMILTON – A Missoula man was arrested after allegedly bashing his girlfriend’s face into a steering wheel, punching her in the side and then strangling her after she accused him of using methamphetamine.

Chad Allen Fite, 36, appeared Wednesday in Ravalli County Justice Court on a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor charges of partner or family member assault, unlawful restraint, and theft.

chad fite

Court records said the alleged assault occurred on June 15 when Fite and his girlfriend of six years decided to take a drive from Missoula to the Bitterroot Valley to go on a hike.

The couple stopped in Florence at a gas station. The woman told officers later that Fite was acting “very unusual” when he came outside. She accused him of using methamphetamine.

He responded by allegedly becoming upset and pushing her head down into the steering wheel of the car.

Despite the altercation, the couple continued their trip and their argument about Fite’s use of the drug. At one point, the woman said she saw some of the drug in Fite’s pocket and reached for it.

In turn, he pulled behind Hamilton’s Verizon store and punched her in the side with his closed fist.

The woman told officers that Fite then put both hands around her neck and started to strangle her while pinning her to the headrest of the driver’s seat. She felt lightheaded and thought she was about to pass out so she dug her fingernails into Fite’s cheek.

Fite let go of her.

She got out of the car and called 9-1-1. Fite drove away.

When officers found the woman, she had two black eyes and red marks on her throat and bruise on her right side.

Fite was arrested in Missoula on a warrant that included information on a 1998 conviction for sexual intercourse without consent. On the state’s sex offender registry, Fite’s was listed a Missoula transient in lieu of an address.

Acting Justice of the Peace Jennifer Ray set bail at $10,000.






The beach is a place for surf, sun and sand — not meth making.

However, a man in St. Petersburg, Florida, is facing drug charges after allegedly cooking up methamphetamine in his truck at Gandy Beach.


Charles J. Tapp, 24, was arrested June 14 after deputies in Pinellas County noticed a dark colored Chevy Silverado parked along the beach’s tree line.

Tapp was in the truck as were several needles. An investigation of the vehicle turned up other items that indicated the suspect was making meth in it, WTSP TV reports.

Tapp was arrested on charges of possessing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine and hydrochloric gas, chemicals used to make methamphetamine.

Police said that Tapp admitted to manufacturing meth during questioning, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

He was taken to the Pinellas County jail, and later released on $10,000 bail, according to the jail’s website.



— Five defendants facing federal drug and firearms charges will appear in front of Judge Jacquelyn Austin Friday at 11 a.m. for a detention hearing to determine whether or not they will receive bond.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, a federal grand jury has charged Rory Severin, 45, William Scott Powell, 40, Chad Edward Moore, 42, Marie Higgins, 36, and Angel Miranda-Luna, 24, for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute in excess of 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.

The release said Powell, Moore, Higgins and Miranda-Luna have also been charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking charge. It also said that Moore is charged with felon in possession of a firearm.

The investigation was carried out by several law enforcement agencies including Homeland Security, the Douglasville Police Department from Georgia, the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

The investigation concluded on two separate dates. In April 22, 2014 law enforcement officers arrested Severin, Powell, Moore and Higgins and seized in excess of two pounds of methamphetamine and four firearms.

Then on May 5, law enforcement officers stopped Miranda-Luna, who also went by the alias of Luna-Miranda, on a routine traffic stop in Atlanta. Officers discovered nearly 26 pounds of methamphetamine and, $90,000 in cash and a firearm Miranda-Luna was using to protect the drugs and drug proceeds.

If convicted, the defendants face a sentence of 10 years to life imprisonment.

Andy Moorman, an assistant attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will prosecute the case.





RANGOON — To mark World Drug Day, Burmese authorities organized drug-burning ceremonies on Thursday that destroyed seized illegal drugs said to be worth a combined US$130 million.

But as piles of opium, heroin and methamphetamine went up in smoke, UN officials warned that illicit drug production in Burma continued to rise in order to supply a growing Asian market. They noted too that there had been “relatively little” heroin seizures in the country, in remarks that raise questions about Burma’s anti-narcotics efforts.


Opium production in Burma was “in 2006, at the lowest point, representing roughly 7 percent of the global production, it is now 18 percent. So it has increased year on year,” said Jeremy Douglas, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Southeast Asia representative. “The bulk of that is produced in Shan and Kachin states; southern Shan has the greatest problem.”

In the Southeast Asia and China “region we have seen a seven-fold increase in methamphetamine seizures in recent years… the highest levels ever recorded. We’re looking at 240 million pills recorded and seized last year. The source of those pills is Shan State,” he told a press conference held at Rangoon’s Drug Elimination Museum to mark the launch of the annual UNODC World Drug Report.

“For crystal methamphetamine, a more purified form, seizures have also been rising to record levels… It’s now a mixed methamphetamine market,” Douglas said, adding that the precursor chemicals used for meth production in Shan State were being supplied from India and China.

Comparing the scale of heroin seizures in northern Burma with other opium-producing regions such as Afghanistan, Douglas said, “Oddly, with 18 percent of opium production taking place in the Golden Triangle, there have been relatively little [heroin] seizures… The explanation for that will have to come from the government.”

The remarks are in line with a drop in drug seizures by Burmese authorities that was reported by The Financial Times on Monday. It said new police figures showed that seizures of methamphetamine pills fell from 11.9 million in 2013 to 204,000 in the first five months of 2014, while heroin seizures fell from 238 kilo in 2013 to just 16 kilo in the year to May. From 2012 to 2013, the scale of drug seizures had also dropped.

Along drug-trafficking routes in neighboring countries, however, authorities have made huge seizures. The paper cited an anonymous senior police officer as saying that drug traffickers were shifting tactics and smuggling out smaller shipments, while stepping up production in lawless conflict areas.

On Thursday, to mark the occasion of World Drug Day, Burmese authorities put on a show with the results of their efforts, inviting reporters to join drug-burning ceremonies in Rangoon, Mandalay and Taunggyi to destroy drugs with a reported combined value of US$130 million

Home Affairs Minister Ko Ko, senior police offers and US Drug Enforcement Agency officials and Chinese anti-narcotics officials attended the ceremony in Rangoon’s Mawbe Township, which set a light $19 million worth of drugs, including 48 kg of opium, 1.6 kilo of heroin, 3.4 kg of cannabis and 3.4 kg of methamphetamine.

Authorities announced that in 2013, they seized 2,356 kilo of opium, 238 kilo of heroin, more than 10 million amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) pills, along with precursor chemicals caffeine, 13,482 kilo, and pseudoephedrine, 3,580 kilos.

Police Maj. Khin Maung Thein acknowledged that authorities’ efforts were doing little to stem the rampant drug trade in Burma, adding that ongoing tensions with various ethnic groups in northern Burma were the cause of the drug trade.
“We found that opium growing has increased year after year,” he said “Our actions did not have effect as we have arguments with each other.”

“Our police seized a lot of drugs in Shan State. In this area there is poppy growing and opium production. It is close to the border areas and [that’s why] it is hard to stop and crackdown on it,” Khin Maung Thein said during a brief exchange with reporters.

He added, “We need more education on drug awareness for our people because we found that their knowledge [of the dangers of drugs] is very weak. Methamphetamine is easily spread among young people, when they take it they think it’s fun.”

For many years, northern Burma has been the hub for opium and methamphetamine production in Asia and the trade is directly tied to the country’s decades-old ethnic conflict, which continues to fester in many parts of Shan and Kachin states.

Between 2006 and 2013, the area under opium poppy in Burma rose from 24,000 hectares in 2006 to 58,000 hectares in 2013, the UNODC estimated late last year.

Tens of thousands of poor ethnic farmers grow the opium. All parties involved in the ethnic conflict—rebel groups, the Burma Army and pro-government militias—are taxing the drug trade to fuel the war, while some militias and rebel groups are directly involved in drug production and trade, researchers have said.

Drug production fell from 1998 to 2006, after some armed groups and the then-military regime came under growing international pressure to stem the flow of drugs, but the production resurged in southern Shan State.

The Home Affairs Ministry acknowledged last week that a 15-year drug elimination program started in 1999 had failed, and it announced plans to extend the deadline for eliminating all drugs in Burma to 2019.

Jason Eligh, UNODC Country Manager for Burma, told reporters that the deadline is “a nice political goal but it’s not a realistic law enforcement goal.

“It is possible though investment, increased capacity building of law enforcement, through attaining peace in a place like Shan State to begin the process of containing problem, but certainly five years is not enough to achieve a massive reduction in drug production.”

A joint drug-elimination program involving the UNODC, law enforcement authorities, the Burma Army and an armed ethnic group, the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), has made little progress since it began in October 2012, showcasing the complexities of dealing with the drug trade in Shan State’s remote, conflict-affected regions.

“It’s basically a trust-building exercise between the actors. It’s important to find a point of trust, a beginning, where people can agree on something—that one thing is actually drugs,” said Jason Eligh, UNODC country manager in Burma. “The RCSS recognizes that drugs are a threat to the people to the people of Shan State, the government recognizes this as well of course.”

He noted, however, “We are moving much slower than expected … [and] are at a point where the only thing we are waiting for is the start of the implementation of the activities.

“It’s now waiting on approval from the Tatmadaw [Burma Army], to be honest, and that’s proved a stickier point than we thought it would have been, but we are making progress nonetheless.”





A Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department captain was arrested in Yulee early Wednesday with methamphetamine, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and Times-Union news partner First Coast News.

Joseph E. Acosta, 48, was charged with possession of the drug after deputies found 0.4 grams of crystal meth and a glass pipe inside his truck, a Sheriff’s Office report said.

Deputies stopped Acosta on U.S. 17 and Crady Lake Drive for having an unsecured load about 5 a.m.

The officer noticed beer cans in the back seat of Acosta’s truck and asked if there was an open container in the vehicle. Acosta said yes and consented to a search, the report said. The deputy found the meth and a pipe in a backpack on the floorboard, according to the report.

Fire department spokesman Tom Francis said Acosta has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The arrest follows a recent audit that noted the fire department didn’t follow proper accounting in regard to narcotic drugs it keeps.


A Rome man and woman were jailed after officers discovered methamphetamine and other items following a high-speed pursuit on U.S. 27, according to Floyd County Jail reports.

According to the report:

Cody Shane Garrett, 23, and Christina Lynn Garrett, 24, both of 2528 Kingston Highway, are each charged with felony possession of methamphetamine.


Cody Garrett was driving Wednesday when the vehicle reached speeds in excess of 80 mph before stopping around Old Summerville Road. He was found with digital scales and two bags of methamphetamine that he said were for sale.

Cody Garrett is also charged with felony counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, and fleeing or attempting to elude officers, along with misdemeanor counts of possession and use of drug-related objects, reckless driving, speeding, driving while license suspended or revoked, and driving with a tail light out.

He is being held on probation violation and two counts of failure to appear.

Christina Garrett was released on $5,700 bond.



NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — A Mexican man is in custody for allegedly trying to smuggle 4 1/2 pounds of methamphetamine into Arizona in an accordion.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers say 18-year-old Eloy Renteria-Ortiz was arrested on Monday at the Port of Nogales after being searched at the Morley Gate crossing.

Officers say nearly $13,600 worth of meth was found wrapped in black tape and stashed in the center of the accordion that Renteria-Ortiz was carrying.

The drugs and instrument were seized and Renteria-Ortiz was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

His hometown in Mexico wasn’t released and it wasn’t immediately clear Thursday if Renteria-Ortiz has a lawyer.




BEIRUT: The US House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday passed an amended version of H.R. 4411 aimed at preventing Hezbollah from receiving financing through international institutions.


The Hezbollah International Financial Prevention Act of 2014 was introduced by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

The Committee Chairman Ed Royce said, “The threat posed by Hezbollah’s global operations has exploded. Underpinning that development is a financing and logistical network. In 2011, we saw the tip of the iceberg when a massive Hezbollah drug and money laundering operation was uncovered. To deter dealings with Hezbollah, the bill targets those financial institutions that knowingly do business with what has been called the “A-team” of terrorists.”

The Committee drafted the law against Hezbollah on April 3. Lawmakers at the time said Hezbollah continued to “pose a threat to the United States, our allies and interests throughout the Middle East, and well beyond.”

The U.S. announced last August that it was sanctioning Hezbollah over its support for the Syrian regime, a largely symbolic move as the group has been subject to financial restrictions since it was classed as a terrorist group in 1995. In September, the U.S. imposed further financial sanctions against Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah for giving assistance to Assad.

The U.S. has repeatedly taken a stance against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and the backing by Hezbollah since the Syrian uprising began in 2011.





A Nevada man remains in the Ellis County Jail after a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper found more than 70 pounds of methamphetamine and an unspecified amount of cocaine in the car he was driving.

The KHP isn’t releasing many details about the incident, but Trooper Tod Hileman said the traffic stop was made Friday in the eastbound lane of Interstate 70 approximately a mile east of Vine.

The vehicle, bearing a Missouri license plate, was being driven by a Nevada man, but Hileman declined to identify him because of the ongoing investigation.

Only one inmate is being housed in the Ellis County Jail for the Kansas Highway Patrol. The log identifies that man as Tomas Serrato Jaimes.

Hileman said the vehicle was stopped for a traffic infraction, and the trooper making the stop ultimately discovered “a large amount of methamphetamine and cocaine” in the vehicle.

Hileman declined to detail the quantity involved, but other sources put the amount of methamphetamine discovered at more than 70 pounds. It’s not clear how much cocaine was discovered.

“It was a large quantity,” Hileman said of the drug bust.

Although the man was booked and remains in the Ellis County Jail, charges are expected to be filed through federal court.

“It’s an ongoing investigation,” Hileman said.




PLYMOUTH, Ind.— A Plymouth woman convicted of manufacturing meth and neglect of a dependent was sentenced today.

Amanda Heeter, 24, of Plymouth received 10 years imprisonment for manufacturing meth, and an additional 4 year term for neglect of a dependent.


The sentences are to be served concurrent with one another.

Heeter was also ordered to undergo intensive drug rehabilitation while incarcerated, and to be placed on two years probation upon her release.

Heeter admitted in court that she conspired with two other individuals, Brock Biddle and Kelly Cowger, to manufacture meth at her house on Loon Court in Plymouth.

She also admitted that manufacturing the meth put a dependent child in danger.

They were caught after an investigation found that Heeter and Biddle were frequent purchasers of pseudo-ephedrine based products, according to the national NPLex log.




“She was quite rebellious,” Sarah* smiles as she recalls her then, teenage daughter.

“She had a mind of her own, into music, dark clothes, we knew she was going to be different when she got older.”

By the age of 21, Amy had become a full blown ice addict, living with a dealer in Melbourne.


Sarah, who was quietly watching her daughter’s erratic behaviour grow, said she had never heard of crystal methamphetamine.

“I didn’t know that ice and crystal meth and all the other names it had were one drug and there were different ways to smoke it.

“I’d never smoked drugs ever and no one in my family had.

“I was pretty naive.”

When in the grip of the drug, Amy would answer her mother’s calls, telling her she’d been up cleaning all night and working hard, always quick to get off the line.

But one morning, Amy spoke to her mother for two hours and confessed.

“She ended up saying to me, ‘I have to tell you the truth, I’ve been doing drugs’.

“I thought it was just something pretty low-key, then she said, ‘no I’ve been taking ice and I need to come home, tell the rest of the family and I need help.”

Sarah was reasonably positive about Amy’s disclosure, thinking giving up the drug would just be as simple as giving up smoking.

But the day after returning home and telling her family, Amy took off back to Melbourne, leaving many questions still unanswered.

Sarah tried to call her daughter, but on the rare times Amy would pick up, she would struggle to get any sense out of her.

“I was still naive – still not knowing how deep she was into it.

“I knew her partner at the time was using it, but it took a little while for us to realise there was a reason she wasn’t making contact.”

Two months later, Amy came home only to flee back to Melbourne again, her appearance causing increasing awareness with her family that something was seriously wrong with her.

“She looked shocking,” Sarah said bluntly.

“She had scabs all over her face…her arms, she was scratching all the time.

“She was very thin, no fat, no muscle, just skin and bone.

“Her hair was dry and lank and dirty looking, she had big black circles under her eyes.”

Paranoid from her constant drug use, Amy told her family she had hidden her mobile phone because she thought there were people going through her messages.

After her daughter again fled back to Melbourne, Sarah described the following six week period as one of the worst times of her life.

“I felt like I was in the middle of a bad movie… I had no idea whether she was alive or dead.”

Amy no longer answered her phone and her mother had to ask a friend of hers for her daughter’s address.

She rang police and begged them to find her, but they said their hands were tied and they could not help her.

Sarah hoped police would arrest her daughter, as she believed she would be safer in custody.

“I thought it was better that she was arrested and go to jail than die from taking the drugs.”

Sarah spent those six weeks in a depressed state and constantly in tears, feeling the burden on her shoulders.

“I had no idea what to do – I was totally lost.”

Amy had moved in with an ice dealer, abandoning her old flat, leaving her mother to have to travel to Melbourne to clean it out and pick up her daughter’s possessions.

“I cried the whole weekend, the way over, the way home.

“I felt like I was packing up her life and saying good bye…like she had died and I was never going to see her again.”

At this point, she began grieving for her lost daughter.

“Not because she had died but because I expected her to die.

“I’d seen what she was like, her behaviour, she wasn’t healthy, she was aggressive.

“I didn’t think she’d get back to being the person she was before.”

“We were hiding all sorts of things.”


“It was September when we got her out for the last time,” recalls Sarah.

Travelling to Melbourne to pick up her daughter, Sarah searched high and low for a detox centre that would take her, or that the family could afford.

“We found one place in Melbourne that could get her in straight away but wanted a deposit of $6,000. We just couldn’t afford that.”

Amy had seen two counsellors in the South East but could not get further treatment locally.

Eventually finding a place at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital that would take her in a week’s time, Sarah said her daughter was at this point determined to give up her toxic lifestyle.

But the family watched her closely, hiding anything that could enable a return to Melbourne.

Sarah slept with Amy’s phone under her pillow, so she couldn’t get it to ring her former partner.

“We were hiding all sorts of things – money and the car keys so she couldn’t take off.”

Amy was supposed to remain at the detox facility for weeks, but counsellors said she was ready to go after just a few days of intensive group and one-on-one therapy.

Returning home to Mount Gambier, Amy made plans to move to a small town in country Victoria.

“She wanted to start again, get clean, get work and build a life with new friends who weren’t going to get her into trouble.”

Years passed and Sarah said she saw a huge change in her daughter, particularly when she fell pregnant to her new partner.

“She just started to glow, she was happier than I’d seen her for a long time.

Amy was doing all the right things while pregnant, said Sarah, eating well and stopping smoking.

“She was very clucky – it was beautiful.”

When Amy’s daughter was born, Amy devoted her life to her baby girl, and seemed content with her new life.

Each year, Sarah sent a text message to Amy – on the anniversary of the day she got clean.

“I always remembered the anniversary when she got out of Melbourne.

“It was a big deal to me that she had come clean and I always wanted to remind her because it was about her birthday.”

Sarah didn’t know one year after sending her message of support, that Amy had smoked ice two days before. Sarah didn’t learn the truth for another year.

Amy’s behaviour began to become erratic again, her visits home rare.

When she did come home to Mount Gambier, her parents saw that Amy was losing weight.

Sarah said she didn’t want to believe the obvious.

“Probably the first six months afterwards, we were double checking everything that she told us.

“It just seemed too easy that she’d come clean cold turkey.”

Sarah had made up her mind to question her daughter about her strange behaviour when she went to visit her one day.

Amy confessed to her mother that she was smoking crystal methamphetamine again on a regular basis.

“I was sad… betrayed that she was doing that, lying again.

“This time I didn’t think she was in it as deep as before.

“I thought it was just an occasional smoke.”

“Disappointed, disgusted, angry.”


One day Amy called her mother saying said she had to leave town because the police had raided her house looking for stolen goods and her partner was involved in criminal activity.

Sarah took Amy home and found out the true extent of Amy’s drug use, including the news that her partner had been dealing.

“When I found out I was really disappointed, disgusted and angry that she would do that when she had a little girl in the house.

“That she would go back to taking drugs when she knew how it affected her life before.”

Sarah threatened to take her granddaughter away.

“I said to her, ‘if you don’t get clean, I will go to the courts and take her off you, because you don’t deserve her’.”

“We’re starting to trust each other again.”


Amy has now been clean for six months but Sarah said she is aware her daughter will forever be in danger of returning to her previous life.

“She’s a drug addict and she knows she’s a drug addict.

“She just has to take it day-by-day.”

As time continues, their relationship is healing and growing.

“We’re starting to trust each other again.

“I think she knows now that she can come to me with anything, she really can’t shock me anymore.

“I want her to be happy and healthy and I want her little girl to have a happy life.

“I try not to preach to her, but to see her blossoming now is the best thing in my life.”

Sarah hopes the counselling course Amy has been accepted into will teach her how to deal with the stresses of daily life, something that her daughter had struggled with before.

Sarah says she now understands the motivators behind her daughter’s addiction.

“Sometimes she has things going on in her life which just get the better of her and she goes back to the drugs.

“That’s how she handles stress and tension.

“We’ll be watching, we’ll be aware of it this time, if it ever happens again.

“There’s nothing she could do to make me push her away.

“I love her too much, I would hate to see it happen but I would stand by.


*Names have been changed to protect identities.






Myrtle Beach Police busted a meth lab Tuesday night at the Hurl Rock Hotel located along the 2000 block of South Ocean Blvd.

Captain David Knipes with Myrtle Beach police confirms three arrests were made and 89 grams of meth were seized.

Further details are not available at this time.



NEW PHILADELPHIA  – A 30-year-old resident of a New Philadelphia apartment complex where two 2-liter pop-bottle methamphetamine labs were dismantled Tuesday has been charged.

Police charged Ashley M. Bates of 233 Fourth Drive NW, Apt. 2, on Wednesday with one count of illegal manufacture of drugs, a second-degree felony.

Ashley M. Bates of

Bates is being held in the Tuscarawas County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond established by Judge Nanette DeGarmo VonAllman during Bates’ video appearance in Municipal Court.

VonAllman appointed attorney Vernon Infantino of Canton to represent Bates. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Municipal Court at 11:15 a.m. July 3.

The charge filed Wednesday states that Bates on or about Tuesday “did knowingly manufacture or otherwise engage in any part of the production of a controlled substance, and the drug involved in the violation was methamphetamine.”

Bates was arrested Tuesday after a search warrant was executed at the residence. Police found the two meth labs after receiving a telephone call from an anonymous person who reported the odor of meth being cooked at the apartment.

Police contacted the Holmes County Meth Lab Containment Team, which dismantled the two meth labs Tuesday afternoon. One was in the apartment and the other was in a bag along with trash in front of the apartment complex.

Sgt. Tim Stryker of the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, who also is a member of the Meth Lab Containment Team, said hydrogen chloride generators were found in bags along with the meth lab bottles.

Stryker said both meth labs were used and were “meth trash, the aftermath.” And, although they weren’t smoking, both still were very dangerous, he noted.


Police were called for assistance to a routine traffic stop that turned into a drug arrest.

Thirty-four-year-old Jade Wondercheck is charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic equipment, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


After being pulled over with two other females, Wondercheck placed her purse on the sidewalk. She asked an officer if she could get her cigarettes out so she could smoke.

The officer asked Wondercheck if he could check her purse before she grabbed the cigarettes, and she agreed. The officer then found a clear glass pipe with a white substance which tested positive for methamphetamine.

A purple marijuana grinder was also located in her purse.

She was placed in handcuffs and transported to the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center.





TOWN OF VIRGILA Town of Virgil woman is arrested and charged after a meth lab is found.


The Cortland County Sheriff’s Department received information on a possible meth lab on 2526 Route 11 in the Town of Virgil. During the investigation, evidence of a meth lab was found and an environmental clean up agency was called to clean up the hazardous material at the scene.

The resident, 28-year-old Ashley M. Huss, was arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine in the third degree and Unlawful disposal of Methamphetamine laboratory material.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are possible.

Ashley was arraigned in the Town of Virgil Court and sent to jail on $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond. She is due back in court July 1st.




A woman whom officers initially contacted as a suspicious person was arrested after they found methamphetamine and evidence that she was dealing the substance in her vehicle, Alameda police said.

Along with methamphetamine, the 47-year-old woman, who was arrested about 12:45 a.m. June 21 in the 2100 block of Shoreline Drive, had more than $800 in cash, a digital scale and plastic bags, according to police.

A man, also 47, who was with the woman was arrested on suspicion of possessing less than one ounce of marijuana, police said.





A Perris councilman was arrested Tuesday after he called police to report a theft but appeared to authorities to be under the influence of drugs.

Julio Rodriguez, 28, called officers about 7:30 a.m. to investigate a theft at a hotel in the 500 block of Redlands Boulevard, according to the Perris Police Department.


As officers investigated the theft, they noticed Rodriguez appeared to be under the influence of drugs, so they arrested him. Officers then searched his hotel room, where they found drug paraphernalia and a small amount of methamphetamine, police said.

Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, as well as possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to the Police Department.

Rodriguez was elected to the Perris City Council in 2012. His term expires November 2016.

His bail was set at $5,000.

Police said they still plan to investigate the reported theft.



A man was arrested Saturday after a deputy with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office discovered he was transporting a large amount of methamphetamine in his truck.

At 4:15 p.m., Sgt. Jeff Bugg with the Crime Suppression Unit stopped a Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck around the 2500-block of East Highway 34 for an illegal window tint violation, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the sheriff’s office. Bugg identified the driver as William Mark Vining, 44, and Vining gave Bugg consent to search both himself and his vehicle.

Bugg first searched Vining, and in Vining’s front right pocket he found a clear plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance suspected to be methamphetamine, Yarbrough said. Bugg then searched the vehicle, and inside a toolbox he found a black plastic bag that contained a bag of Takis snack food.

According to Yarbrough, whatever was inside the Takis bag did not feel like chips to Bugg, so he opened it and found a large plastic zip bag containing many more suspected methamphetamine crystals. The bag was weighed at 535.9 grams, or 1.181 pounds – according to Georgia Law, any amount of methamphetamine more than 28 grams is considered trafficking, and any amount more than 400 grams carries a mandatory sentence of 25 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine.

Vining was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and a window tint violation, and he was transported to the Coweta County Jail.






A woman led Des Moines police on a high speed chase early Tuesday morning before jumping out of the stolen car and fleeing on foot, officials said.

Officers spotted a black GMC Envoy with no license plates traveling in the 3500 block of an alley near Oxford Street around 1 a.m. and tried to stop the vehicle, according to Des Moines police reports.


The driver, later identified as Alexandra Venus Lene Gealow, 22, continued to drive slowly down the alley, despite several attempts to stop her by officers to activating their sirens, police said.

Once the SUV got to Oxford Street, it accelerated and went south, running a stop sign at Oxford Street and Hull Avenue, authorities said. Gealow continued south on Second Avenue, then east on Interstate Highway 235, police said.

She took the exit for East University Avenue and continued down that street until she turned north on East 32nd Street, officials said.

Speeds during the chase exceeded 100 miles per hour, police said.

In the 1200 block of East 32nd Street, the SUV was boxed in by squad cars and a parked vehicle. The SUV rolled as Gealow jumped out of the passenger side and fled on foot, authorities said.

She was caught and arrested a few houses away, police said.

Officers found out the vehicle was stolen and asked Gealow if she knew that.

Police said Gealow responded, “When you pay for a vehicle with meth, you don’t ask questions,” according to the police report.

Officers also found 55 pills of Diazepam and a small bottle of clear liquid Gealow said was morphine.

Gealow was charged with eluding, interference with official acts, second-degree theft, possession of Schedule IV and Schedule V drugs, failure to affix a drug tax stamp, driving without a valud license, failing to have a license plate and failing to obey traffic control devices.

She remains in the Polk County Jail on a $21,964 bond.




The Ada County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a motorcyclist who seemed to have misplaced a bag full of meth on Amity Road.

Two motorist reported to police that on Friday morning they saw a motorcyclist who was driving a “sport” bike going about 80 mph on Amity Road between Eagle and Locust Grove on Friday, June 20th.


According to witnesses, a bag fell from the motorcycle and landed on the road. When a motorist went to retrieve the bag, they found a bag of white powder containing 72.5 grams of methamphetamine.

The motorists didn’t get a good look at the driver because he was going so fast.

Anyone with information should call Ada County Dispatch at 377-6790.