Christiansburg, VA – Christiansburg Police have charged a woman with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

On Sunday, police searched a home in the 700 block of Montgomery Street and found items consistent with the making of meth, a news release said.


Rebecca Lynn Jones, 34, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of sodium hydroxide muriatic acid with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine and manufacture 227 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

Jones is being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail.





20-year-old Fredonia woman is being held pending her arraignment after a drug bust at 13 Washington Ave. in the village of Fredonia Monday morning.

According to a press release from the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, Jessica C. Fulmer, a tenant of 13 Washington Ave., was found to be wanted on bench warrants from Fredonia Village Court, as well as from two other jurisdictions in Erie County.

At about 11:10 a.m. on Monday, members of the Fredonia Police Department, STRDTF and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Clandestine Laboratory Team executed a search warrant at 13 Washington Ave. The search warrant had been issued based on information developed by the Drug Task Force and Fredonia Police officials.


Jessica Fullmer

The warrant was executed without incident and two residents of the location were found. Agents were able to seize items of evidence that indicate the location had been used for the production of methamphetamine.

The items seized will be taken to the laboratory for analysis and charges pertaining to the search warrant will be brought after the evidence is analyzed.

This incident is part of an ongoing investigation into the production and sale of meth in the northern Chautauqua County area. Additional information is being sought to assist with this investigation.

Another meth bust occurred in the area recently at 9587 Route 60 in the town of Pomfret on Jan. 18.

Three subjects were reportedly found inside that residence, along with two children under the age of five. Melanie Green, 37, of Silver Creek, Laura Lewetzski, 26, and Sara Tolbert, 35, both of Fredonia, have since been charged in the case.

The STRDTF is comprised of officers from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the Jamestown and Dunkirk city police departments. The members of the Drug Task Force continue to ask the public to call either its office at 800-344-8702 or the local police agency whenever narcotics-related activity is believed to be observed.




LAKEVIEW, Ore. – An autopsy performed on a Lakeview man who died in police custody found the cause of death to be probable acute methamphetamine poisoning.

Lake County Sheriff Phil McDonald reported the finding yesterday.

Two state troopers arrested 44-year-old David Turnbull at a grocery store parking lot after finding him with a knife and a pipe containing methamphetamine.


The handcuffed man collapsed shortly after midnight Thursday as the troopers walked him toward the Lake County Jail.

Turnbull, a convicted felon, died 30 minutes later at Lake District Hospital.

Lakeview is in south-central Oregon, near the California and Nevada state lines.




When law enforcement officers arrest somebody for manufacturing methamphetamine, it may seem that arrest is the end of the story and everything will go back to normal.

However, when it comes to cleaning up a home or apartment where meth has been produced, the arrest is just the beginning of that process.

Because of how toxic and dangerous the chemicals used to produce meth are, law enforcement has to take careful steps to ensure everybody remains safe while not only removing what’s left of the drugs, but decontaminating the residence as well.


Fort Dodge firefighters Cory McFarland, at left, and Devan Schipper demonstrate how they would begin the decontamination process for someone exposed to the chemical residue in a meth lab. The person in the bag would have to remove their clothing then be hosed down.

The job of removing the drugs themselves goes to law enforcement, according to Special Agent in Charge Todd Jones with the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.

“We remove most of the gross contamination, such as equipment they make meth with and any kind of product used to make meth,” Jones said.

When removing meth-producing materials, Jones said there’s a checklist that needs to be followed to make sure everything is accounted for.

“We have to follow an EPIC (El Paso Intelligence Center) form, which goes to the EPIC in El Paso, Texas,” Jones said. “They plot where all the meth labs in the nation are.”

Sgt. Luke Fleener, of the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, said locally it’s the responsibility of multiple agencies to make sure a house gets cleaned.

“There’s a decontamination process for individuals who are trained to go in and make the residence clean,” Fleener said. “We generally do that along with Hazmat (hazardous materials team) and work together in that process.”

Fleener said the process of cleaning up remnants of a meth lab can be dangerous.

“It can be extremely dangerous if we inhale the wrong chemicals or move something the wrong way,” he said. “That’s why we’re trained to know what to do and what not to do.”

That training includes attending schools to become familiar with Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines, as well as having yearly physicals.

Once the remaining drugs are removed or rendered, Fleener said a private company is called in to help make the homes safe to live in again.

One of those companies is the Grimes-based Iowa CTS Cleaners.

John Krusenstjerna, the owner of Iowa CTS Cleaners, said his company does at least one meth decontamination per week.

“Recently we’ve been getting called two to three times a week in regards to a house and to do a consultation on the property,” he said, adding the company is usually contacted by either law enforcement or someone who owns or lives at the property.

The process of cleaning up a meth house can be a long one, according to Krusenstjerna.

“We do a preliminary test to indicate whether there is meth on the property,” he said. “It won’t tell us if meth is in the entire house, but it’ll tell us if it’s present in the areas we’ve tested.”

Once it’s determined there is meth on the property, they meet with the property owner to discuss the decontamination plan, which includes going over potential costs and what will be done.

Krusenstjerna said not including testing, the decontamination process can take between three to four days. Testing itself can take between five to six days.

“Typically from the time we go in to the time we do the post-test, it can be as much as three weeks,” he said.

He added the testing starts at $125, but once everything is done it can be anywhere between $3,000 and $15,000.

“That depends on what we’re doing and the level of contamination,” he said. “The testing lets us know what we’re doing and whether we have to decontaminate the whole house or if it was contained to just one room.”

For example, Krusenstjerna said if someone was using meth in a bedroom on an upper floor, they would decontaminate that bedroom as well as the room below it. They also go through the ventilation system so no toxic materials drift around the house.

“We’ve got a chemical product that we can actually spray on the walls to scrub and decontaminate within the house,” he said. “Depending on the levels of meth and how much it’s contaminated, we may have to remove drywall.”

He added that it is the homeowners’ responsibility to inform future residents that meth had been produced in the home.

Fleener added if someone sees something they believe to be a meth lab, they shouldn’t touch it.

“There could be hazards,” he said. “Moving around the bottles and containers could agitate it. Call us and let us deal with it.”






After the North Korean coal mine where she worked stopped paying salaries, Park Kyung Ok tried her hand at business.

Buttons and zippers, candy and dried squid, fabric, plastic tarpaulins, men’s suits and cigarettes.

“I sold just about everything,” said Park, 44.

But it wasn’t until she started hawking methamphetamine in 2007, she said, that she was able to earn a living.

Methamphetamine, known as orum or ice, is a rare commodity manufactured and sold in North Korea, where most factories sit idle, the equipment rusted or looted.

The North Korean government once produced the drug, and others that are illicit in the West.

Resourceful entrepreneurs have since set up their own small facilities, and evidence suggests that they are distributing the drug beyond the nation’s borders.

Last month, five alleged drug smugglers – Chinese, British and Thai men among them – appeared in federal court in New York, extradited from Thailand in a plot to smuggle nearly 100kg of crystal meth to the United States. They said that their product originated in North Korea.

A Harvard University researcher, Sheena Chestnut Greitens, has tracked 16 drug busts from 2008 to the present in China involving crystal meth from North Korea in quantities of up to 10kg.

Meth is a product you can make in bathtubs or trailers,” Greitens said. “You have a wide range of people involved in production and trafficking.”

Park, who tittered nervously when recounting her own audacity, said she got into the meth business fresh from a divorce, while struggling to support her children and a disabled sister in Hoeryong, a hardscrabble mining town of 130,000 on the Chinese border.

Park used to travel to another North Korean city, Chongjin, to buy meth that she would carry back hidden in a candy box. She would sell it behind the counter at a bicycle parts store at the public market. Hidden among the spare parts were metal plates, burners and other drug paraphernalia.

She usually paid the equivalent of US$17 for a gram of high quality product, which she would then cut with cheaper meth and divide into 12 smaller portions to resell for a few dollars’ profit.

“It was just enough money that I could buy rice to eat and coal for heating,” said Park, who was interviewed recently in China and, like most North Korean defectors, used an assumed name.

North Koreans say there is little stigma attached to meth use. Some take it to treat colds or boost their energy; students take it to work late. The drug also helps curb appetites in a country where food is scarce. It is offered up as casually as a cup of tea, North Koreans say.

 “If you go to somebody’s house it is a polite way to greet somebody by offering them a sniff,” said Lee Saera, 43, of Hoeryong, also interviewed in China. “It is like drinking coffee when you’re sleepy, but ice is so much better.”

Despite its draconian legal system, North Korea has long been easygoing about narcotics use.

With analgesics scarce, opium paste is commonly sold for pain relief. Marijuana (called “mouth tobacco”) is legal and frequently grown at home to be mixed in with rolling tobacco.

Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug that was first developed in Japan in the late 19th century, made from chemicals such as ephedrine and distributed as a stimulant.

Through the 1990s, the North Korean government ran the production of opium, meth and other drugs for Office 39, a unit raising hard currency for late leader Kim Jong-il, according to narcotics investigators.

But the North Korean government has largely gone out of the drug business, according to the US State Department’s 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.

When the North Korean government controlled the business, the drugs were strictly for export. Privatisation made the drugs more widely available within North Korea.

North Koreans say meth first appeared on the streets around 2005 and that it came from Hamhung, the one-time centre of the nation’s pharmaceutical and chemical industry, and thus a city filled with unemployed scientists and technicians. The industry then spread to Chongjin and the capital, Pyongyang.

“North Korean people learn fast to reuse their skills,” said Kim Yong Chol, 58, a truck driver who fled North Korea in August.

Meth was ideal for budding North Korean entrepreneurs because it could be cooked in small “kitchen laboratories”, with chemical precursors readily available across the border in China, which has laxer control than many other countries.

The finished product finds its way back across the border, carried by smugglers who also traffic in mobile phones, DVDs and cash.

Sensitive about their traditional political ties with the communist country, the Chinese don’t often complain publicly about North Korean drugs and Chinese news reports do not mention the neighbouring nation.

“The stories would often say they arrested somebody named Kim from the border of a foreign country, so you could figure it out,” Greitens said.

In Yanji, a Chinese border city of 400,000, the number of drug users increased nearly 47 times from 1995 to 2005, according to a paper published in 2010 by Cui Junyong, a professor at the Yanbian University School of Law in China.

“Smuggling of North Korean drugs into China hurts the health of the province and the region and endangers the stability of the region,” Cui wrote.

The case in a New York court last month involved a gang reportedly working out of Thailand and the Philippines. The drugs never reached the United States, but samples provided to undercover agents proved to be 99 per cent pure, according to the indictment filed in US District Court in New York.

Those arrested said they were the only remaining providers from North Korea.

“The NK government already burned all the labs. Only our labs are not closed,” a Chinese citizen who was one of the gang reportedly boasted to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Because of the purity of the meth seized by the DEA, experts believe it might have been stockpiled and left over from the days when the North Korean government ran the drug manufacturing.

The drugs produced by private entrepreneurs are of lower quality, according to Greitens.

It is unclear how serious the North Korean government is about cracking down on the drug trade, or if it is merely trying to reassert control over a lucrative business.

Lee, released in 2011 from a North Korean labour camp where she was sentenced for illegal border crossing, said that of 1200 inmates, up to 40 per cent had been arrested for trafficking meth.

Park, the self-described former dealer from Hoeryong, said, “If you are caught once or twice, with only a small amount like me, you can get away with it if you have connections. But a third time, you will be in real trouble.”

She said she soured on the meth trade after a few years. In her inminban, the neighbourhood committee by which North Korean society is organised, there were two or three people who were serious meth addicts.

“Mostly men, they would get crazy and fight with knives,” Park said.

She was distraught when her teenage daughter admitted she sniffed meth to concentrate on her studies.

“I was doing bad things because everybody else was doing bad things,” Park said.

She quit the meth trade in 2009, she said, and left North Korea the following year in hopes of rebuilding her life.





Tangerang, Banten province (ANTARA News) – The Customs and Excise officials at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Wednesday seized 4,568 grams of methamphetamine, worth Rp6 billion, concealed inside 11 womens footwear, stated an official.


“The 11 shoes belonged to a Thailand national, with the initial J.S., who had fled China and was on her way to Bali via the Soekarno-Hatta Airport,” Chief of Soekarno-Hatta Airports Custom and Excise Office Okto Irianto remarked here on Wednesday.

Okto added that the officials at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport found the unattended bag containing methamphetamine, which belonged to the Thai national. The officials failed to arrest her, as her flight to Bali had already taken off.

Retrieving the suspects information from the baggage claim, Soekarno-Hatta officers then called the Customs Office personnel at the Bali Airport and urged them to arrest the suspect once she landed in Bali.

According to police investigation, the suspect was a member of an international drug dealer network from China. She was assigned the task of delivering the drugs to several drug dealers across Indonesia.

The suspect was charged with Regulation Number 35/2009, which carries a sentence of 10 years in jail and a fine of Rp10 billion. However, she may be given death sentence, as according to the Indonesian law, anyone arrested in possession of more than 5 grams of drugs can be awarded a death sentence. The police are still investigating this case and tracing the suspects local buyers.



CHESTER —  Two children were removed from a methlab in Chester County where authorities arrested five people only to later uncover another meth lab on the same street Monday, deputies said.

At about 7:30 a.m., Sheriff’s Office narcotics deputies, along with agents with the State Law Enforcement Division, executed a search warrant on a home on Lancaster Highway in Fort Lawn, where they found several items related to manufacturing methamphetamine, according to a Chester County Sheriff’s report. Agents also found five adults in the house, along with two small children.

The state Department of Social Services took custody of the children. The ages and genders of the children were not immediately available.

The adults were all charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, the report states. Those charged included: Melissa Hope Gambrell, 23; Harvey Fowler Jr., 24; Fred Garland Coulter, 49; Dusty Lewis Faile; 27 and Robin Ashley Lucas, 24.

Thirty minutes later, deputies served a second search warrant on a Lancaster Highway home just down the street, where they found two men inside the house along with several items used to manufacture meth, deputies reported. Charles Robert Day, 43, and Cameron Isaac Bunkley, 25, were both charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

It’s unclear exactly what items deputies found in the homes, but pseudoephedrine, lighter fluid, gas masks, ice packs and lithium batteries are common household items law enforcement often finds when uncovering meth labs.