FORT PIERCE, Fla. –The US Attorney’s Office has announced the largest narcotics takedown in the history of Okeechobee and Highlands counties.

This morning, 29 people across four counties were arrested in Operation Certified.WPTV_METH_BUST_ANNOUNCED_1440790693948_23335498_ver1_0_640_480

Federal agents seized 18 pounds of methamphetamine with a purity between 95 and 100 percent. The street value is $800,000.

“We will not tolerate this behavior,” said Okeechobee County Sheriff Paul May. “Methamphetamine kills,destroys families. It’s a major threat to our way of life. We also want you to know if you deal in the illegal narcotics trade be prepared to pay the price.”

Among those arrested was the alleged ringleader, Steven Lee Oaks. He’s charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Another 15 accomplices remain at large and are facing both federal and state drug charges.

http://www.wptv.com/news/region-okeechobee-county/largest-meth-takedown-in-okeechobee-and-highlands-counties-history

We already know that North Korea has nuclear weapons, an insecure and possibly unstable leader, and a habit of lashing out with borderline-insane threats whenever it feels threatened. Now it has a crystal meth crisis. This can’t end well.

The recent admission of a British citizen that he had participated in a plan to move 100 kilograms of high-purity crystal methamphetamine from the hermit kingdom of North Korea to the U.S. raises all sorts of questions. But for most people, the first one that pops up is, “Wait, North Korea has a crystal meth problem?”Breaking-Bad-Kim-Walter

It turns out it does, and it’s pretty serious. According to reporting done by a number of international news organizations, the movement of crystal meth over the country’s northern border and into China reached epidemic levels earlier this year, causing a brutal crackdown by the government on one of the very few elements of the nation’s economy that the government doesn’t control.

The official response was not widely advertised, no doubt because the official line out of leader Kim Jong Un’s government is that there is absolutely no drug use in North Korea.

Reports in South Korean media, however, relying largely on the stories of defectors, tell a very different story. In a country where food is often scarce, crystal meth has in recent years become so abundant that a serious addiction problem has taken hold.

The crackdown is a recent phenomenon, but the production of crystal meth in North Korea has been known, if not widely discussed, for years. Last year, Vice News highlighted the country’s struggle with the problem, which apparently emerged from the government’s attempt to find new ways of raising funds in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Vice report relied heavily on a study by Dr. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, a Senior Fellow at the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and an Academy Scholar at Harvard University’s Academy for International and Area Studies. The report, Illicit: North Korea’s Evolving Operations to Earn Hard Currency, was sponsored by the Washington-based Committee on Human Rights for North Korea.

Among other things, Greitens presents evidence suggesting that the production of crystal meth, as well as heroin, was originally directed by the North Korean government and conducted in government-run facilities. Over the space of decades, North Korea became notorious in the diplomatic community for sending abroad “diplomats” who would use their privileged legal status to smuggle contraband across borders. In later years, according to Greitens, the drugs began moving through connections with organized crime syndicates from outside the country.

However, the problem with state-directed industrial-sized manufacture of illegal drugs is that it requires a substantial number of people trained by the state to make the drugs to bring that knowledge home with them and begin cooking meth in their own basements.

That is evidently what happened in North Korea, leading not just to addiction among the vast number of the country’s poor, but the adoption of crystal meth as a weight-loss aid by the country’s tiny minority of wealthy individuals.

It’s unclear how effective the crackdown will be, though the government’s near-complete control over the population creates the ironic possibility that a country so beset by problems that most advanced nations have largely conquered – like famine – might be able to conquer one that has bedeviled its more advanced neighbors: drug addiction.

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/08/28/North-Korea-Has-Meth-Problem-Unstable-Leader-and-Nukes

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) – Police say a naked man high on methamphetamine is to blame for ransacking a local business, leaving thousands of dollars’ worth of damage in his wake.

Security cameras were rolling as the man broke into a Wetumpka convenience store sans clothing and started tearing things 8677292_Gapart. He later told officers that he had no memory of his destructive rampage.

Brian Creamer, 34, of Jemison, was arrested Thursday for burglary, criminal mischief, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia and is being held in the Elmore County Jail.8677294_G

At 5:10 am, Wetumpka police received a call from a clerk at the Chevron at the corner of U.S. Highway 231 and Redland Road. She had arrived to open the store and noticed that things did not look right when she saw that a newspaper stand and garbage can outside had been moved. She went in and started about her routine, turning on the gas pumps and readying in the store for the day ahead. Suddenly, she saw a completely naked man standing on top of the ice machine outside. Scared, she ran to her car and drove to another nearby gas station to call the police.

Officers arrived within minutes and found the window near the ice machine shattered and Creamer behind the counter of the store, rummaging through things. When approached by police, Creamer threw his hands up and was arrested without incident.

It was then that authorities were able to survey the damage inside and outside of the business. Before the clerk arrived for her shift, police believe extensive damage was done to the exterior. Nozzles on gas pumps were removed from their cradles and put in trash cans and on the ground, causing a large gas spill when the clerk turned the pumps on. After the employee spotted Creamer and left in fear, officials believe he then broke the window and crawled through it and went about causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage inside.8673838_G

Lt. Ed Gumpf with the Wetumpka Police Department said the bathroom was destroyed and sinks were turned on, causing the store to flood. A large sink in the back room was filled up and electronic devices that were still plugged in were placed in the water. According to Gumpf, Creamer also damaged the thermostat, alarm system and security cameras, ripping them out of the walls.

Creamer also sprayed the fire extinguisher everywhere, leaving footprints in the residue since he was not even wearing socks or shoes.

Drinks were smashed and turned over inside the store. Fluorescent light bulbs were shattered out in the parking lot.

“It looked like a demolition crew came in,” Lt. Gumpf said.

Creamer’s car was found next door at a vacant gas station, and officials say they found drug paraphernalia and possible methamphetamine inside the vehicle, along with his clothes.

Detective Clarence Reid said Creamer told officers that he got hot and thirsty as he headed to the Wetumpka casino from his hometown in Chilton County. He stopped at the vacant gas station and shed his clothes and ended up going to the Chevron when he realized the first gas station was closed. He reportedly has no recollection of committing the burglary or ransacking the Food Mart and gas station. He also had no idea where he was.

Reid says Creamer told him that he was high on ICE, a pure and potent form of methamphetamine. He was not injured as the bizarre burglary unfolded.

“The subject advised that he was on some ICE, which is a very potent drug that’s starting to frequent our area. The downfall of using drugs is that he can’t remember anything. He actually doesn’t remember doing any of the crimes he committed,” Reid said. “You don’t normally catch a lot of naked people breaking into buildings. Because of the way he did it, he broke the glass and crawled through the window so he took the risk of getting cut but at the time, he was not in his right mind.”

Creamer may not remember what happened, but police have the footage thanks to CNS Systems, a local company that installed the surveillance cameras.

As for damage estimates, police say it is so extensive, they cannot yet provide an amount. There was so much flooding inside the store, that water was coming through the bricks on the back wall.

The fire department was called to assist with the fuel spill.

As cleanup and repairs continue at the gas station, the owner, Sam Patel, had a message for his customers.

“It’s been a horrible day. We had an incident this morning which left a lot of damage to my property so we had to shut it down for a couple of hours but we’re on and working now so I would request all my customers to get back and give us all the business they did,” he said. “We’re open for business. We’re getting all the cleaning up done but we’re still open for business.”

http://www.wsfa.com/story/29896636/naked-man-on-ice-accused-of-destroying-wetumpka-gas-station

A Jackson County man was recently arrested after a veterinarian determined that his pet dog had ingested the drug methamphetamine, authorities said Wednesday.

Marty Allen Rogers took his small terrier-mix dog named Little Guy to a veterinary clinic in Hoschton on Aug. 17, according to a sheriff’s report.14675924

“It was sick and he took it to see if they could tell him what was wrong with it,” Jackson County sheriff’s Capt. Rich Lott said.

The dog was extremely nervous and was constantly pacing and panting, according to the report. The veterinarian did some tests and it showed the dog tested positive for meth.

Working with the Jackson County Animal Control, deputies obtained a warrant charging Rogers, 47, of Talmo, with cruelty to animals, Lott said.

Rogers also had a 4th Amendment waiver against him, which allows officers to search his home at any time, Lott said.

“When we went to serve the arrest warrant, we were able to search his residence and we found another quantity of meth along with a stolen motorcycle out of South Carolina,” he said.

Rogers was additionally charged with possession of meth and theft by receiving stolen property.

Animal control took possession of Little Guy, Lott said.

http://onlineathens.com/mobile/2015-08-26/jackson-county-man-charged-cruelty-after-pet-dog-eats-meth

A METH user threatened to kill his pregnant partner and their unborn child, then kicked the woman so hard in the stomach that it lifted her into the air.

At Ipswich District Court, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to contravening a domestic violence order and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Crown prosecutor Lara Soldi said a dispute between the 33-year-old and his partner escalated when the man struck her in the face with the back of his hand.

The assault immediately put the man in breach of a domestic violence order the 30-year-old woman had in place against him.

When woman told her partner that she was leaving, he responded by threatening to kill her and their unborn child she was 18-weeks pregnant with.

The man then kicked the woman and choked her with his hand.

He then punched her in the head, which caused her to fall on the ground.

At his partner lay on the floor, the man kicked her twice in the stomach.

A bystander, who tried to intervene, said the force of the man’s kick was so hard that the victim became “momentarily airborne”.

Police were called to the scene and arrived in time to witness the man strike his partner.

The victim suffered numerous injuries which included bruises to her face, stomach and leg as well as cuts on her body.

The incident took place while the couple were at the Helidon Natural Springs Spa Resort on April 24, 2014.

Prior to the attack, Ms Soldi said the man had been arrested and released on bail earlier that morning for offences of willful damage and public nuisance.

The arrest was made after the man became locked out of the cabin he was staying in, swore loudly at his partner, and then smashed a window to get back inside.

Each time the police tried to take the man into custody, he resisted arrest.

As a consequence, he was charged with a string of additional charges, which included three counts of assault or obstruct police.

Before he was brought into court this week, the man had spent 99 days in pre-sentence custody before he was released on bail under strict conditions.

Judge Sarah Bradley noted the man had breached domestic violence orders twice before, with offences against previous partners in 2010 and 2011.

“You have treated the women in your life very badly,” she told the man.

“This most recent assault on your partner was a serious example of domestic violence.

“It was a sustained attack… It seems almost miraculous this woman didn’t suffer more serious injuries and that the baby was unharmed.”

Defence barrister Steve Kissick said the man had complied with his bail conditions, which included reporting to police three times a week and attending counselling sessions.

Mr Kissick said his client had been diagnosed with a chronic mood disorder.

He said two weeks before the attack, his client had sought help to get over his anger issues but was unable to get proper assistance.

Mr Kissick said at the time of the offending his client was self-medicating on the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

The man and his partner had also been using methamphetamine.

As a result, Mr Kissick said his client had a limited recollection of the offending.

Mr Kissick said the man had used his time in prison and on bail as an opportunity to rehabilitate himself.

He said the man and his partner had reconciled and were still in a relationship together.

The man was sentenced to 12 months in jail and released on parole. His partner’s domestic violence protection order was extended by two years.

http://www.qt.com.au/news/pregnant-woman-kicked-in-the-stomach-by-her-partne/2755660/

An Edina man is facing a felony drug charge after he was found sleeping in his car in the Dalbo Wildlife Management Area.

Troy Donald Emmons, 37, was charged before Judge James Dehn Aug. 20 in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge with felony fifth-degree drug possession and misdemeanor driving with a suspended license.Troy-Donald-Emmons

Dehn set bail at $44,000 without conditions or $15,000 with conditions and his next court appearance for Sept. 2.

Court records show Emmons has a second-degree controlled substance conviction from Kanabec County in June 2001, which was discharged in 2009; a fifth-degree drug conviction in Carlton County from June 2011; and a fifth-degree drug conviction from Ramsey County in May 2015.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Aug. 18, 2015, at 6:06 p.m., Isanti County Deputy Chad Meyer was on routine patrol in the area of the Dalbo Wildlife Management Area, near 7400 – 421st Avenue Northwest.

Meyer observed a vehicle backed into the corner of the WMA parking lot that was peculiar to Meyer as there are no hunting seasons currently open. Meyer drove into the parking lot and he was able to see movement in the back seat of the car. Approaching on foot, Meyer further observed Emmons in the driver’s seat sleeping and a juvenile female in the back seat playing with markers.

Meyer knocked on the window of the car and Emmons woke up. He rolled his window down and Meyer immediately observed Emmons was missing teeth, had sunken cheeks, pupils were pinpoint, voice was shaky, was extremely nervous and he spoke very fast. All of these are indications of methamphetamine use based on Meyer’s training and experience.

Emmons indicated he did not have a license and it was suspended. Meyer verified Emmons’ license was suspended and he was also on probation. He returned to the vehicle and requested Emmons exit the vehicle to speak.

Outside the vehicle, Meyer asked Emmons about his probation status and he replied he had a drug possession and firearms charge and that his drug of choice is methamphetamine.

Meyer explained his observations and concerns that Emmons was under the influence and requested consent to search the vehicle. Emmons granted consent to search. Prior to the search, Meyer performed a pat-down for officer safety and allowed the juvenile female to stay in the car. Emmons asked for his cell phone, which Meyer found for him, and allowed him to make a call.

The glove box was locked and Meyer used the ignition key to open it and he found two glass pipes with residue consistent with methamphetamine use. Both pipes were wrapped up in a paper towel indicating recent use. Both pipes field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Meyer allowed Emmons to arrange for someone to come and pick up the juvenile in the car before proceeding further. After the juvenile was picked up, Emmons was placed under arrest.

On field sobriety testing, Meyer observed vertical nystagmus in both eyes, lost balance, stopped while walking, and used arms for balance on the walk and turn test; but no clues of impairment on the one-leg stand test.

http://isanticountynews.com/2015/08/27/man-found-sleeping-in-car-in-dalbo-township-charged-with-felony-drug-possession/

A Princeton woman charged in mid-August with felony drug possession was back in court Aug. 21 for failing to follow her conditions of release.

Nichole Josephine Bieringer, 30, was charged Aug. 12 before Judge Amy Brosnahan in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge with two counts of felony fifth-degree drug possession; misdemeanor possession of hypodermic syringes-needles; and misdemeanor driver must carry proof of insurance when operating motor vehicle. Brosnahan set bail at $14,000 without conditions or $3,000 with conditions.

As part of her conditions of release, Bieringer was ordered to submit to an initial-base urine analysis and failed to do so. As a result, she appeared before Judge James Dehn for an Aug. 21 bail hearing where bail was set at $20,000 without conditions or $5,000 with conditions and a violation hearing for Sept. 3.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Aug. 10, at 3:10 a.m., Isanti County Deputy Noah Heiller was on routine patrol on 309th Avenue Northwest near Heather Street in Bradford Township when he witnessed a vehicle northbound on Heather, stop at 309th and signal right before turning.

Heiller turned around and additionally observed the vehicle weaving within the traffic lane and traveling under the posted speed limit. Heiller ran the plate on the vehicle and learned it was registered to Bieringer. Heiller stopped the vehicle on Highway 47, between 317th and 325th Avenue Northwest.

As Heiller approached, he noticed the driver, Bieringer, making exaggerated movements within the vehicle and that she was dressed very lightly for the 64 degree temperature. Bieringer indicated her name, and she did not have her driver’s license on her. She also indicated she had insurance, but did not have proof with her.

Heiller asked her to step out of the vehicle as he continued to observe she was speaking very fast and moving around a lot. Heiller was concerned she was possibly under the influence of a controlled substance.

Heiller first asked Bieringer to stand with her feet together with her hands at her sides and eyes closed. Heiller asked Bieringer to estimate in her head the passing of 30 seconds. She did so in 20 actual seconds, which was indicative of the influence of a stimulant, such as methamphetamine, on her central nervous system.

Isanti County Deputy Vander Vegt arrived to assist and when he looked into the passenger vehicle he noticed a syringe in plain view on the front driver’s seat and Bieringer was placed under arrest.

In the probable cause search of the vehicle, three more syringes were located under the arm rest; one field tested positive for methamphetamine. In the trunk, a backpack was located which contained a pink zippered pouch as well as Bieringer’s wallet and credit cards.

Inside the zippered pouch was a sock that was wrapped around a glass pipe with a crystal-like substance inside; this also field tested positive for methamphetamine. Another syringe was also located in the pink pouch.

http://isanticountynews.com/2015/08/27/princeton-woman-faces-felony-drug-charges/

Meth lab injuries are on the rise in some parts of the U.S., according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Unlike drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin, which come from plants, methamphetamine (meth) is made from other chemicals, often in makeshift home laboratories. But when things go awry in a meth lab, it can lead to fires, explosions, injuries and environmental contamination, according to the report released today (Aug. 27).

These labs put not only the people who produce the drug, but also the general public and law enforcement officials, at risk of injury, according to the CDC.meth-crystals

The researchers looked at data from five states — Louisiana, Oregon, Utah, New York, and Wisconsin — and found that meth-related chemical incidents increased from 2001 to 2004 as the drug initially gained popularity. But then incidents sharply declined from 2005 to 2007, as lawmakers began to limit access to the drugs needed to make meth, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the researchers said.

However, rates increased again from 2008 to 2012, as people found ways to work around the new restrictions, the report said.

According to the report, there were a total of 1,325 meth-related chemical incidents in these five states from 2001 to 2012. In 7 percent of these incidents in which injuries occurred, 162 people were hurt, including 26 children.

Two people died in the incidents: one adult who was found dead in a meth lab, and one law enforcement official. Among the other injured people, 36 needed to be hospitalized, including 19 children. The most commonly reported injuries were respiratory irritation, burns, eye irritation and skin irritation, according to the report.

Burn injuries began to increase in 2008, when producers of the drug started using a method called “shake-and-bake,” the report said. This involves shaking the chemicals in a 2-liter plastic bottle, but the bottles frequently burst, causing burns, according to the researchers who wrote the report, from the CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Law enforcement officials made up a large percentage of those injured in meth-related incidents. Forty-two law enforcement officials were injured in meth lab incidents, according to the report. The most common injury for law enforcement officers was respiratory irritation, the researchers said.

To reduce injury to law enforcement officials, the researchers suggested increasing training to help them recognize risks, as well as using personal protective equipment.

The researchers also cautioned that a state-by-state approach to reduce meth production may not be effective. The problem was illustrated after Mississippi introduced “prescription-only” laws for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in 2010, the researchers said. While the law resulted in fewer meth labs seized in Mississippi, meth-related incidents increased in neighboring Louisiana, they said.

As an alternative, the Office of National Drug Control Policy has suggested a regional approach, which includes implementing stricter laws limiting access to the chemicals, tracking the people who are buying the chemicals with electronic monitoring systems, and maintaining a database with information about offenders, the researchers said.

http://www.livescience.com/52005-meth-lab-injuries-rising.html

The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport Police have seized 112,189 ecstasy pills and 94 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of Rp 206.5 billion (US$14.8 million), from four Chinese nationals.

“We pursued the case from Aug. 9 to 21, and have eventually arrested four suspects,” Soekarno-Hatta Police chief Sr. Comr. CH Patoppoi said on Thursday, adding that the suspects allegedly worked for the Guangzhou drug ring.

He added that the suspects, identified as YMCB, CSW, PCP, and NKF, had been arrested in different locations and at different times.09CH_img_assist_custom-511x344

The police first began investigating the case on Aug. 9 when the Soekarno-Hatta customs office reported 6 kilograms of crystal meth found in the suitcases of Guangzhou-Jakarta flight passengers YMCB and CSW, according to Patoppoi. He said that the smugglers were planning to deliver the drugs to PCP and NKF, who were already in the country.

With the information, the police nabbed PCP and NKF in West Jakarta and Central Jakarta, respectively, and confiscated 88 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 189 pills of ecstasy and 300 kilograms of sodium hydroxide.

Having interrogated PCP and NKF, the police said that the drug ring involved a big Chinese ecstasy player, CWY, who has an apartment in North Jakarta. The police also combed CWY’s apartment and found 112,000 pills of ecstasy. CWY is still at large.

Based on the police reports, the suspects were paid between Rp 16 million and Rp 50 million for smuggling and selling the drugs.

The four suspects will be charged with violating Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics with a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of Rp 10 billion.

Aside from YMCB, CSB, PCP and NKF, the Jakarta police had previously arrested other suspects allegedly involving an international drug-ring based in China.

Earlier this month, the police nabbed three drug-smuggling suspects, including a 26-year-old Nigerian and seized 37 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, with an estimated value of Rp 56 billion.

“The drugs came from Guangzhou, China, through a shipping service,” Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said at that time, adding that the smugglers also belonged to the Guangzhou-Jakarta international drug syndicate, which operates in Indonesia, China, and Nigeria.

Its members inserted the drugs inside 28 women’s bags and shipped them from Guangzhou to Medan, North Sumatra, before transporting them to Jakarta through a shipping service, Tito added.

In July, the Jakarta police captured the country’s second-biggest drug haul this year.

They confiscated 360 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth Rp 574.4 billion ($42.5 million) from two drug traffickers, one of whom was a Hong Kong resident.

The biggest drug bust in terms of confiscated contraband occurred in January this year when the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) arrested a syndicate in a wholesale market in Kalideres, West Jakarta, for possessing 840 kg of crystal meth.

To smuggle the crystal meth from Hong Kong to Indonesia, one of the suspects, known as Wong Ching Ping, packed the drugs into 1 kg coffee containers and then mixed it with real coffee. (agn)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/28/chinese-nationals-nabbed-smuggling-94-kg-meth.html

(U) Overview

(U) Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) pose the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them. These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks. They control drug trafficking across the Southwest Border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.1-4f8ffaa183
(U) Background
(U) These maps reflect data from the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Consolidated Priority Organization Target (CPOT) program to depict the areas of influence in the United States for major Mexican cartels (see Figure 1). A review of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) information on Mexican CPOTs as of May 2015, identified the following cartels that operate cells within the United States: the Sinaloa Cartel, Gulf Cartel, Juarez Cartel, Knights Templar (Los Caballeros Templarios or LCT), Beltran-Leyva Organization (BLO), Jalisco New Generation Cartel (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion or CJNG), Los Zetas, and Las Moicas. The pie charts seen on the maps show the percentage of cases attributed to specific Mexican cartels in an individual DEA office area of responsibility.
Figure 1: Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations within DEA Field Offices
(U) Details
(U) Since 2014, the Arellano-Felix Organization, LCT, and the Michoacán Family (La Familia Michoacán LFM) cartels have been severely disrupted, which subsequently led to the development of splinter groups, such as, “La Empresa Nueva” (New Business) and “Cartel Independiente de Michoacan” (Independent Cartel of Michoacan) representing the remnants of these organizations. In those areas of the United States still linked to the former LCT organization, illicit drugs continue to be sourced to organizations from the Michoacán, Mexico area. (U) In Figure 2, an additional layer of color shading was added to depict the dominant TCO in each domestic DEA Field Division (FD), relative to other active TCOs in the same geographic territory. The shading also displays general U.S. population density and is not indicative of quantifying the number of TCO members in various parts of the United States. Instead, the population density shading is intended to depict potential high density drug markets that TCOs will look to exploit through the street-level drug distribution activities of urban organized crime groups/street gangs.(U) As indicated in Figure 2, the Sinaloa Cartel maintains the most significant presence in the United States. They are the dominant TCO along the West Coast, through the Midwest, and into the Northeast. While CJNG’s presence appears limited to the West Coast, it is a cartel of significant concern, as it is quickly becoming one of the most powerful organizations in Mexico, and DEA projects its presence to grow in the United States over the next year. In contrast, Mexican cartels such as the Gulf, Juarez, and Los Zetas hold more significant influence closer to the Southwest Border, but as shown on the map, their operational capacity decreases with distance from the border. As mentioned above, splinter groups from the disrupted LCT organization continue to traffic drugs from the Michoacán, Mexico area into the United States.
(U) Figure 2: United States: Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations
The BLO, former transportation experts for the Sinaloa Cartel, is most active along the East Coast and is also responsible for the majority of heroin in the DEA Denver FD area of responsibility. Las Moicas is Michoacán-based organization with former LFM links, but remains a regional supplier in California and operate on a smaller scale relative to other major Mexican TCOs.(U) The shading found on the last map (Figure 3) is representative of 2013 heroin overdose death data from the National Center for Health Statistics/Centers for Disease Control (NCHS / CDC). According to DEA’s 2015 National Heroin Threat Assessment (NHTA) Summary, heroin is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths than previous years. In 2013, 8,257  Americans died from heroin-related overdoses; nearly triple the number in 2010. Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug abusers using heroin.(U) According to the 2015 NHTA Summary, Mexican traffickers are expanding their operations to gain a larger share of eastern U.S. heroin markets. The heroin market in the United States has been historically divided along the Mississippi River, with western markets using Mexican black tar and brown powder heroin, and eastern markets using white powder (previously Southeast and Southwest Asian, but over the past two decades almost exclusively South American) heroin. By trafficking South American heroin and increasing production of white powder heroin in Mexico, Mexican DTOs have been able to enter the lucrative white powder heroin markets in the Midwest and Northeast. Mexican organizations are now the most prominent wholesale-level heroin traffickers in the DEA Chicago, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington FD areas of responsibility, and have greatly expanded their presence in the New York City area.
(U) Figure 3: Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations with 2013 Heroin Deaths by State
 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/276570928/2015-Mexican-Cartels-U-S-Areas-of-Influence

Deputies say a Springfield woman who was nine months pregnant and desperate for money to purchase meth stole a man’s car — and his pants.

Ashley Miller was charged Sunday with tampering with a motor vehicle. According to court documents, the victim was at Walmart on Aug. 3 when he saw Miller, who he said was an acquaintance.B9318603842Z_1_20150826152455_000_GIOBO3CAF_1-0

Miller asked if she could have a ride, and the victim agreed. Miller began giving directions to the victim, who became concerned when he realized she was leading him to a remote location.

When the victim asked where they were going, court documents say Miller pointed what appeared to be a gun at him. The victim, fearing for his life, continued following Miller’s directions.

When they reached a dead end near Fellows Lake, documents say Miller told the victim to get out of the vehicle and remove his pants. Miller then took his pants, which still had his wallet in them, and drove off in his car.

The victim then walked to Fellows Lake and got someone to call 911.

Deputies say the car was located on Aug. 6, in the possession of Tony Scott. Scott told authorities that he had borrowed the car from Miller on Aug. 4.

Springfield police say they contacted and arrested Miller on Aug. 22. Court documents say she told police in an interview that she had asked the victim for a ride, and then parked and entered an abandoned house.

Miller then said the victim took off his pants and began making sexual advances toward her, so she left in his car. Miller also told police Scott had allegedly taken the car without her permission.

Later, court documents say Miller allegedly told police she was using meth — while nine months pregnant — and was desperate for money to buy more, so she decided to steal the victim’s money and car.

Miller told police she did not have a gun with her at the time, and said she knew the victim’s wallet was still in the abandoned house.

When authorities searched the abandoned house, they found the victim’s wallet, missing money the victim said was in it at the time of the theft.

Miller’s bond was set at $5,000. She has three pending cases in Missouri courts, and is on probation in three separate cases, according to court documents.

http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2015/08/26/deputies-pregnant-woman-stole-mans-car-pants-buy-meth/32420681/

AVON PARK — A search for a burglary suspect led to an unrelated arrest on drug charges, according to an arrest report released Wednesday.

Hannah Megan Headley, 19, 313 E. Walnut St., Avon Park, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug equipment.Hannah Megan Headley

The arrest report said a deputy was canvassing the area following a burglary and encountered Headley, who agreed to a search.

Her purse contained a metal container with mirrors coated with methamphetamine, the report said. Also inside the purse were several zip-lock style jewelry bags commonly used to transport drugs and a syringe cap, the report said.

Inside Headley’s bra was a bag with five hypodermic syringes, two straws, several baggies, with two of them containing methamphetamine, the report said

http://www.highlandstoday.com/hi/local-news/woman-arrested-on-drug-charges-20150826/

Chemicals used to make methamphetamine and explosives were found inside a home in Arvada.

The bomb squad was at the home on Chase Drive at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday. That’s near Sheridan Boulevard and West 84th Avenue.Bomb_squad_responds_to_hazmat_situation__3342740000_23216818_ver1_0_640_480

The Denver Police Department confirmed officers were looking into a car theft last night and that investigation led them to the home in Arvada.

Investigators found hazardous substances inside the home. That’s when they called the bomb squad and other agencies, including the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Arvada Fire Department and Arvada Police.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the case.

Neighbors told reporters that at least one child lives in the home.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/bomb-squad-at-arvada-home-early-wednesday-morning

A Lake County deputy uncovered a cache of Native American artifacts inside a Lower Lake man’s van, the result of a new training program designed to combat a longstanding problem with looters in a region dotted with ancient archaeological sites.

The suspect, Brian Gene Smith, 41, is now facing felony criminal charges for allegedly collecting and possessing Native dt_common_streams_StreamServeriiAmerican artifacts, along with being under the influence of methamphetamine and marijuana, Lake County sheriff’s officials said.

The artifacts were discovered Saturday while the deputy was investigating the suspect for allegedly sending an inappropriate letter to a 14-year-old girl. The deputy noted that Smith appeared to be under the influence of drugs and subsequently uncovered marijuana, methamphetamine and the artifacts in his van.

The deputy had completed a course on archaeological crimes just two days earlier, during which he and other attendees learned that Lake County has several hundred known Indian cultural sites and a big problem with looting those sites. The issue has been exacerbated by the drought, which has exposed several Native American archaeological sites around the shores of Clear Lake, the Sheriff’s Office noted.

As a result of the three-day course, the deputy recognized the artifacts in the van were historically significant and likely associated with burial sites. He also knew that removal of the artifacts was a public offense and that desecration of a burial site is a felony, the sheriff’s office reported.

The artifacts found in the van included obsidian points, which can include arrowheads, and clay pottery bowls. Some of the artifacts were attached to index cards, which described the items and when and where they were collected, sheriff’s officials said.

Smith told the deputy he was writing a book on artifacts and planned to return the items to local tribes, officials said.

Lake County is among the richest when it comes to Native American cultural sites, said John Parker, a Lake County archaeologist who has conducted extensive studies of the area.

He said he’s been asked to help law enforcement determine the significance of the seized artifacts and the amount of damage caused to the cultural sites by their removal.

“Lake County has one of the highest densities of cultural sites,” Parker said Wednesday.

It’s largely because of Clear Lake, which, at an estimated 2.5 million years old, is quite likely the oldest lake in the Americas.

“So the very first people that came to the New World set up shop around Clear Lake,” Parker said.

As a result of its rich cultural heritage, Lake County also has a significant and longstanding problem with looting, he said.

“I’ve got photographs of looters looting sites along Cache Creek in the ‘70s,” Parker said. “And they continue to loot them as you and I are speaking.”

The National Antiquities Act, aimed at protecting archaeological sites on federal land, has been around since 1906 and there also are state laws protecting cultural sites and artifacts.

But they’re typically not laws about which local law enforcement officers receive training, Parker said.

Representatives of the Koi Nation, descendants of the ancient Pomo Indian tribes who lived along Clear Lake, lauded the Sheriff’s Office for the arrest and to other county departments for participating in the archaeological crimes course and their interest in protecting the area’s tribal history.

“We look forward to continued collaborative efforts to thwart these crimes,” Dino Beltran said in a statement.

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/4392942-181/lake-county-man-suspected-of?page=0

Andre Agassi’s brush with drug use is no secret. In his 2009 autobiography ‘Open’, the 8-time Grand Slam champion admitted to using the highly addictive drug crystal methamphetamine, known colloquially as crystal meth, during a tumultuous 1997. The use reached its peak just a year before he won the 1999 French Open.

Agassi even confessed that he lied to tennis governing body ATP when a positive report came out against him, so as to avoid a ban. He revealed in his autobiography that he took the highly addictive drug to keep his mind away from his poor 1398784-1440606682-800performances and his impending marriage to supermodel Brooke Shields. The American’s addiction would be a factor in the breakdown of their marriage.

The Career Slam winner was hooked to crystal meth during his slump in form in 1997, which reached its nadir when his ranking plummeted to a lowly No. 141. And the way Agassi describes his first tryst with substance abuse is as chilling as it is stark.

“Slim [Agassi’s assistant] dumps a small pile of powder on the coffee table. He cuts it, snorts it. He cuts it again. I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I’ve just crossed,” Agassi wrote in the book, which has been serialized by British newspaper The Times.

“There is a moment of regret, followed by vast sadness. Then comes a tidal wave of euphoria that sweeps away every negative thought in my head. I’ve never felt so alive, so hopeful — and I’ve never felt such energy,” Agassi added.

The story is even murkier when you parse the details. In an attempt to absolve himself of all blame, Agassi would write a letter to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), stating that he had ingested the drugs by mistake after taking a sip from assistant Slim’s spiked soft drink.

In the book, Agassi recounts, “My name, my career, everything is now on the line. Whatever I’ve achieved, whatever I’ve worked for, might soon mean nothing. Days later I sit in a hard-backed chair, a legal pad in my lap, and write a letter to the ATP.”

“It’s filled with lies interwoven with bits of truth. I say Slim, whom I’ve since fired, is a known drug user, and that he often spikes his sodas with meth – which is true. Then I come to the central lie of the letter.

“I say that recently I drank accidentally from one of Slim’s spiked sodas, unwittingly ingesting his drugs. I ask for understanding and leniency and hastily sign it: Sincerely. I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it,” Agassi goes on.

After Agassi sent in his letter, the ATP, who took it to be true, dropped the case. Given a second lease of life, Agassi would proceed to clean up his act. He committed himself to getting back among the tennis elite, and that’s exactly what he achieved.

After using meth during the 1997 season, he pulled out of that year’s French Open and did not even practice for Wimbledon. But he saw a turnaround in form the following year, winning two Grand Slams. He claimed the French Open in 1999 and added the US Open title – the second of his career – the same year.

A legend of the sport, Agassi is married to one of the greatest players of all time – 22-time Grand Slam winner Steffi Graf. His ex-wife, supermodel Brooke Shields, also spoke publicly about her displeasure with Agassi’s drug use.

Agassi also revealed in his autobiography that he hated tennis and was forced into it by his father, whom he described as a monster and someone who was “always angry”.

Despite his bombshell revelations, the ATP did not take action against Agassi, and chose instead to cover the whole story up. The Agassi crystal meth saga highlights everything that’s wrong with the drug-testing process in sports, and the need for a much higher level of transparency.

At the same time, Agassi’s tale of highs and lows is a stark reminder of how even superstar athletes can sometimes take the worst possible decisions, which have a terrible effect on their professional as well as personal lives. How they come out of such troughs speaks volumes about the resilience of the human spirit, and also the importance of self-assessment.

http://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/andre-agassi-history-recovery-crystal-meth

TULSA, Oklahoma – Tulsa Police confiscated 22 pounds of methamphetamine worth $1 million during a traffic stop on I-44 near Yale on Tuesday.8669984_G

Officers working a meth trafficking investigation with the department’s special investigation division stopped a car for speeding. They found the meth hidden inside a compartment above the rear bumper.

Police arrested two people; 35-year-old Felipe Sanchez and 32-year-old Veridzanna Carranco-Hernandez.

They booked the two into the Tulsa County jail on complaints of trafficking in methamphetamine.

Police said they also have confiscated two other vehicles connected to this investigation.

http://www.newson6.com/story/29891247/tulsa-police-find-22-pounds-of-meth-hidden-next-to-cars-bumper

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington says agents with the Bossier Sheriff-Police Narcotics Task Force arrested a Bossier City woman today on methamphetamine charges following a month-long investigation involving the distribution of meth.

Narcotics agents executed a search warrant at the residence of Jill Green, 46, at the 2400 block of River Street in Bossier 8654432_GCity. Inside the residence, agents located more than an ounce of methamphetamine (31 grams), a small amount of marijuana and multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia, including syringes, baggies, spoons and a digital scale. They also seized $305.00 in cash.

Agents began their investigation after they received numerous citizens’ complaints about possible illegal activity involving narcotics at the residence.

Green was charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Schedule II (Methamphetamine), Possession of Schedule I (Marijuana) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and transported to the Bossier Maximum Security Facility around noon today; her bond is pending.

The Bossier Sheriff-Police Narcotics Task Force comprises deputies with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and officers with the Bossier City Police Department.

http://www.ktbs.com/story/29878001/alleged-meth-distributor-arrested

HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested two men after they reportedly gave methamphetamine to juveniles as young as 14 years old.

According to a HCSO news release, deputies were called to 282 Richards Road in reference to a possible trespasser at an unoccupied home.caldwelldishnera vehicle at the home and called law enforcement.

When deputies arrived, they made contact with Michael James Caldwell, 24.

Caldwell told deputies that he was homeless and had been staying at the home for around five weeks.

An investigation revealed a one-pot methamphetamine lab outside of the home and Caldwell admitted to knowing about the lab and said it was two to three weeks old.

Deputies searched the home and located Kyle Thomas Dishner, 21, 140 Beechwood Hills, Lot. 19, a 17-year-old boy and two 14-year-old girls.

According to the release, deputies found and seized approximately 1 gram of methamphetamine packaged in six individual bags and numerous empty gram size baggies.

The sheriff’s office’s narcotics unit was called to the scene and determined that Dishner and the three juveniles had come to the home to visit Caldwell.

Deputies said the juveniles appeared to be under the influence of a drug and all three later admitted to smoking and/or snorting methamphetamine with the adults.

One girl was found in possession of methamphetamine during the investigation, and both Caldwell and Dishner admitted to knowing that three others will them were juveniles.

According to the release, Dishner told deputies the methamphetamine and baggies were his and said he delivered it to the home.

The three juveniles were arrested and taken to the Johnson City detention center.

Caldwell was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and criminal trespassing.

Dishner was arrested and charged with delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Caldwell was being held on $50,000 bond and Dishner was being held on $75,000 bond in the Hawkins County Jail.

http://wjhl.com/2015/08/25/hawkins-co-deputies-arrest-pair-for-giving-meth-to-juveniles/

During a traffic stop early Tuesday morning the Erath County Sheriff’s Office found Lily Maxwell, 24, of Brown County, to be in possession of 3.8 grams of methamphetamine.55dcbf31d1b26_image

“After being placed under arrest Maxwell attempted to conceal the methamphetamine in the rear seating area of an Erath County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle,” a press release stated.

Maxwell was taken to the Erath County Jail charged with possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence, both third-degree felonies. No bond had been set by press deadline.

“We are taking a proactive approach to narcotics users and dealers in Erath County and Sheriff (Tommy) Bryant wants them to know they are not welcome here,” Sgt. Cameron Ray, narcotics investigator, wrote in an email.

Maxwell has allegedly been transporting narcotics in Brown and Erath counties.

The arrest and seizure was a combined investigation between the Erath County Sheriff’s Office and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office.

http://www.yourstephenvilletx.com/news/local/woman-tries-to-hide-meth-in-patrol-vehicle-after-arrest/article_1fbb905d-507a-5f1d-a44c-bd804443000f.html

JACKSON COUNTY — A man found with meth and children in his vehicle claimed he is a youth football coach, Sheriff’s Capt. Curtis Spiers said.

Randall Everage Caudell, 44, of Biloxi, said he was taking children home after a game in Biloxi on Monday night when he was arrested in Jackson County on a charge of possession of meth.nokjW_AuSt_77

Sheriff Mike Ezell, in a press release, said Caudell’s vehicle was stopped about 8:30 p.m. for a possible switched tag on LeMoyne Boulevard near Laura Acres Drive.

Caudell identified himself as a youth coach, Spiers said, and in the initial press release it was mistakenly assumed he is a D’Iberville coach.

Officials aren’t sure why Caudell identified himself as a youth coach.

Caudell is not affiliated with the D’Iberville Youth Football League, said Ben Sanders, president.

Nor is he affiliated with the Biloxi league, but has a son who plays in a Biloxi youth league, said Sherry Bell, Biloxi parks and recreation director.

The jail docket Tuesday showed Caudell also is charged with DUI other substance and failure to signal for a lane change.

Officials said Caudell had five children in his vehicle, including his children, when deputies searched the vehicle and found the drugs and paraphernalia. He was arrested and the children were released to parents.

The case is being turned over to the Jackson County MET Team.

Caudell was held at the Jackson County jail pending a court appearance.

The jail docket Tuesday showed he had received no bond yet on the felony, a $1,000 bond on the DUI charge and a $300 bond on the traffic charge.

The felony carries maximum penalties of eight years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 769-3063 or Coast Crimestoppers at 877-787-5898 or text CSTIP and your message to 274637.

http://www.sunherald.com/2015/08/25/6381969_sheriff-diberville-youth-football.html?rh=1

LAKESIDE — Two women were arrested and drugs were seized after sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant early Tuesday in Lakeside.

The warrant was served about 6:15 a.m. at a residence on Wintercrest Drive, near Winter Gardens Boulevard.

Deputies from the Santee station seized methamphetamine, marijuana, marijuana wax, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and cash, sheriff’s officials said.

The women, ages 52 and 53, were booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility on charges of possession and sale of drugs and drug paraphernalia, sales of controlled substances, being a felon in possession of ammunition, maintaining a place for trafficking in controlled substances, and manufacturing a controlled substance by chemical extraction.

The residence was condemned as uninhabitable after a county hazardous materials team found chemical residue from methamphetamine, officials said.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/aug/25/twi-women-arrested-drugs-seized-lakeside/

29-year-old Miranda Williams Cherry of Villa Woods in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (August 24) by Caldwell County 890d19872129f9ccce5abd5c3a213615_SSheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony counts of manufacture methamphetamine and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine. Cherry was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for August 31.

http://www.whky.com/archive/item/7723-granite-falls-woman-arrested-on-multiple-meth-charges#.Vd4cz-ZRGUl

HESPERIA, MI — A 35-year-old Hesperia woman has been charged with a number of felonies for her alleged role in a meth lab discovered in Oceana County.

According to a press release from the Michigan State Police, Ricky Marie Hall was arraigned on delivery/manufacturing methamphetamine; operating and maintaining a laboratory involving methamphetamine; and operating and maintaining a laboratory in the presence of a minor.18619635-mmmain

The most serious charges are felonies, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine. Hall is currently lodged at the Newaygo County Jail.

According to the press release, her charges stem from the discovery of a meth lab in March.

Detectives from the drug enforcement teams, SSCENT, CMET, and troopers from the Michigan State Police Hart Post, executed a search warrant in March in the 7300 block of Loop Road in Oceana County’s Newfield Township.

Several items used in the production of methamphetamine were located inside of the home, the press release stated. The site was cleaned up by the Michigan State Police Methamphetamine Enforcement Team which was called in to dismantle the laboratory and remove the hazardous materials from the residence.

CMET (Central Michigan Enforcement Team) is a multi-jurisdictional task force that covers Newaygo, Osceola, Montcalm, Mecosta, and Ionia Counties.

SSCENT is a multi-jurisdictional task force that serves Manistee, Mason, Oceana, and Lake Counties. Anyone information about drug activity can be passed on to SSCENT at (800) 994-8477 any local police department.

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2015/08/hesperia_woman_charged_with_fe.html

A quartet of criminals who imported packages of methamphetamine disguised as chocolates inside a chocolate box from the United States have each been sentenced to jail.

Toa Te Ranginui Tahau, 31, of Hamilton, appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Wednesday, where he was sentenced to five years and two months’ imprisonment by Judge Richard Earwaker.

Tahau was the last of the four to be sentenced, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to import methamphetamine, importing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for supply.

His co-accused, Luke Taylor, Hira Hawea, and Kaihika Herbert were earlier sentenced to six and a half years, six years and four years respectively on similar charges.

The court heard that New Zealand Customs staff had intercepted a package of chocolates, each of which had been individually wrapped inside the box.

Closer inspection found some of the chocolates’ wrapping being held together by black electrical tape, and inside these a total 164 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of around $60,000 was hidden.

Customs data revealed three previous importations had been made from the US to an address in Hamilton, between February 1 and April 8 this year.

Analysis of cellphone data revealed Tahau to have had an active role in the planning and execution of the importations.

Methamphetamine is a very dangerous, very destructive drug. Those who seek to profit from it will be punished accordingly,” Judge Earwaker said.

The judge noted that Tahau and his partner Hawea had four children and, with both of them now jailed, their offspring had to be placed in the custody of other family members.

He urged Tahau to take advantage of the rehabilitative programmes on offer before he was eventually released back into the community.

“If not for you, do it for your kids.”

From a starting point of seven years’ imprisonment, Earwaker made deductions for what he deemed “genuine” remorse and an early guilty plea, arriving at a final sentence of five years and two months’ jail.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/71483511/drugs-hidden-inside-box-of-chocolates

(CNN)—Two men tried to hide methamphetamine worth more than $1 million in the gas tanks of two vehicles, but were thwarted by drug-sniffing dogs over the weekend, the U.S. Border Patrol said Monday.

The two men were stopped hours apart at two checkpoints as they drove north through California. One was a 23-year-old American who was asked Saturday morning to pull to the side for further inspection at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint about 25 miles east of San Diego.

A K-9 zeroed in on the gas tank of the 1998 Camry the man was driving. Inside agents say they found 72 pounds of methamphetamine in 30 packets. The methamphetamine has a street value of $720,000, authorities said.

At another Border Patrol checkpoint an hour north of San Diego, agents discovered 75 pounds of methamphetamine worth $750,000 in the gas tank of a Chevy Silverado. CNN affiliate KSWB reported the driver is a 39-year-old Mexican citizen.

Authorities didn’t release the identity of either man and didn’t say the two cases were connected. They were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/25/us/methamphetamine-hidden-in-gas-tank/