WALLA WALLA — The recent overdose death of a 20-year-old Waitsburg woman was probably related to illegal methamphetamine use, authorities said.

“What we have here is that it does appear … based on other evidence at the scene, that it would be methamphetamine,” Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John King said this morning.

Mariah Hofer, 20, was found unresponsive Tuesday in the bedroom of her home at 19391 E. Highway 12. Paramedics determined she was dead at the scene.

Also found unresponsive at the home was Richard Perez, 26, of Walla Walla., who was transported to Providence St. Mary Medical Center and is still being treated there, according to officials. Methamphetamine use is suspected in his case, too, King said.

Investigators report there is a criminal element to the two overdose deaths but have no suspects in custody or persons of interest.

An autopsy has been ordered, which will include a toxicology report on Hofer.

So far this year there have been three drug related deaths in Walla Walla County, according to Coroner Richard Greenwood.








REEDSPORT, Ore. – Two people face drug charges after police found 4 pounds of methamphetamine in cooler in their car early Wednesday morning.

The investigation started when a police officer stopped a car on suspicion of DUII.

The officer noticed drug paraphernalia in plain view as he talked to the driver, 18-year-old Sergio Llamas-Fernandez of Vancouver, Wash.

Neither Llamas-Fernandez nor his passenger – 33-year-old Ashley Dawn Gomez of Vancouver, Wash. – had valid driver’s licenses, police said.


During a search of the vehicle, police found 4 pounds of meth in a small cooler.

Police arrested both occupants of the car on charges of Possession/Delivery/Manufacture of Methamphetamine.

Llamas-Fernandez also has an INS detainer due to his immigration status, police said.

They are being held at the Douglas County Jail in Roseburg, Ore.








DeFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla Investigators with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit raided two DeFuniak Springs homes served probable cause search warrants at two neighboring homes.

These search warrants were obtained for 46 Jim Cotton Drive and 108 Jim Cotton Drive, after Investigators were able to determine several subjects at both residences were involved in the use, distribution, and manufacture of methamphetamine.


After a thorough search of 46 Jim Cotton Drive Investigators located red phosphorous, iodine crystals, and hydrogen peroxide which are all chemicals used in the methamphetamine manufacturing process.

Other items that were located include; methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and marijuana. This was the residence of Teresa Cotton Bishop.

The search conducted at 108 Jim Cotton Drive revealed suspected methamphetamine oil, methamphetamine, multiple utensils that have been used to manufacture methamphetamine, marijuana that was pre-weighed and packaged for sale, and several items of drug paraphernalia. This was the residence of Charles Lewis Alford.

A total of ten people were arrested during the execution of these search warrants, they are as follows; Charles Lewis Alford, 44, of 108 Jim Cotton Drive, Defuniak Springs, was charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Kaylee Nicole Schipper, 20, of 108 Jim Cotton Drive, Defuniak Springs, was charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Distribute, and Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription.

Charles Levi Alford, 25, of 108 Jim Cotton, Defuniak Springs, was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Theresa Lynn Williams, 53, 304 Reeves Street, Niceville, was charged with Possession of Marijuana less than 20 grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Stephanie Anne Johnson, 25, 2570 HWY 183 A, Ponce De Leon, was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Teresa Cotton Bishop, 45, 46 Jim Cotton Drive, Defuniak Springs, was charged with Possession of Listed Chemicals, Possession of less than 20 grams of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Robert Shelton Peters, 47, of 306 Ammons Drive, Defuniak Springs, was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Amanda Frances Drake, 28, of 64 W Clover Lane, Oakwood Hills, FL, was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Jeffery Sanford Clenney, 51, of 105 Swanee, Defuniak Springs, was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Jordan Maxwell Bishop, 25, of 105 Swanee, Defuniak Springs, was arrested on two outstanding warrants for Resisting Arrest without Violence, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, and Violation of Probation.

All of these suspects were arrested and transported to the Walton County Department of Corrections. Investigators anticipate more charges pending further investigation.







PROVIDENCE — Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration have arrested a Pawtucket man and charged him with trafficking and selling methamphetamine to undercover police officers in Warwick, North Smithfield and Newport.

Sean Costigan, 51, appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday afternoon and charged with four counts of trafficking methamphetamine. On Thursday, federal agents and Warwick police executed a court-authorized warrant and searched a room that Costigan was renting at the Pineapple Inn, at 372 Coddington Highway, in Newport.

Agents assigned to the DEA Clandestine Laboratory Tactical Team found and seized materials used in the manufacture and distribution of the highly-addictive methamphetamine.

Among the materials were bottles of Coleman fuel, batteries stripped of casings to remove lithium, ice packs to expose ammonium nitrate, tubes, salt, fertilizer and bottles. The authorities also seized a supply of manufactured methamphetamine.

Costigan was held overnight at the Warwick Police Department and made an initial appearance in federal court. Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan ordered him held without bail, pending his next court appearance.

According to an affidavit filed Warwick Detective David Verity, who was assigned to the DEA task force, the investigation into Costigan was launched last spring. On Oct. 25, an undercover police officer allegedly bought methamphetamine from the suspect at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1 Thurber St., in Warwick.

The officer bought $150 worth of the drug — 1.5 grams —  in the parking lot outside the hotel, the affidavit states. The same undercover officer returned to thee same parking lot on Nov. 8 and bought 1.4 grams of the drug for $100.

On Nov. 15, the undercover officer returned to the Hilton Garden Inn and bought a larger amount — 4.6 grams of methamphetamine for $350, according to the affidavit. The next transaction allegedly took place on Dec. 6 when the undercover agent said that he was interested in buying nine grams of the drug.

Costigan, the affidavit states, said that he was busy “cooking’’ the methamphetamine and needed more time to finish making the drug. This time, they met at the Traveler’s Motor Lodge, at 1210 Eddie Dowling Highway, in North Smithfield.

The undercover officer said that he “immediately detected the smell of burning chemicals … and smoke.’’  Two women, he said, were in the room with Costigan. The officer bought four grams of the drug for $400, the affidavit states.

The final buy came on Wednesday when Costigan allegedly contacted the undercover officer and told him that he had six grams of the drug for sale. He went to the Pineapple Inn on Thursday morning and met Costigan in the doorway of Room 132. That’s when a team of federal agents and local police officers arrested him.







JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau police seized almost $2 million in illegal street drugs in 2013 and noted an increase in the amount of Oxycontin and methamphetamine seized, a police official said.

Heroin seized decreased slightly during the same time period, the Juneau Empire (http://is.gd/U5e76g) reported Friday.

Lt. Kris Sell said she believes Oxycontin is making a comeback. Last year, 969 pills were seized, more than the usage in the peak years of 2010 and 2011, when about 927 pills were seized each of those years.

Oxycontin, a prescription painkiller, tapered off in 2012 after peaking in Juneau. The decrease came after manufacturers added chemicals that deactivated the active narcotic when it was crushed, Sell said. That year, only 274 pills were seized.

At the same time, local drug users turned to heroin, Sell said. The police department seized 78 grams of heroin in 2011 and 893 grams in 2012. Last year, the number dropped to 592 grams.

“Heroin use basically exploded between ’11 and ’12, and we were shocked by how popular heroin got,” Sell said. “It’s now moving back to Oxy.”

Oxycontin pills Juneau police are now seizing have modified formulas in which the narcotic ingredients are still active when crushed, Sell said. Those include pills from Canada, she said.

She is surprised to see an increase in seizures of methamphetamine, Sell said. In 2013, police seized 760 grams, compared to almost half that amount the previous year. In 2011, only 39 grams of meth were seized.

In Alaska, police and troopers are required to record their drug-interdiction statistics and provide the information to the state Department of Public Safety, which presents the data to lawmakers.

Sell said Juneau police also worked with federal partners last year to intercept drugs from Washington state en route to Juneau. In those investigations, 177 grams of heroin and 290 grams of methamphetamine were seized before reaching Juneau.

Those amounts are separate from the local drugs seized.







BANGKOK (IRIN) – Despite an aggressive crackdown on drugs, Thailand’s fight against methamphetamines is failing, activists say. With supply and demand rising, these highly addictive substances, commonly known as “meth”, are now the drug of choice.

“The punitive measures never work,” Bijay Pandey, chair of the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs, told IRIN. “I really don’t think the strategy addresses anything to promote the health and rights of those who use drugs.”


In fact, the drug in its pill form – locally known as “yaba” which means “crazy medicine” given its ability to keep underpaid workers going for long hours – has grown in popularity.

A 2013 report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says in 2012 more than 80 percent of the drug users who received help in treatment centres named meth as their primary drug.

Thai authorities, under pressure by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – a 10-member economic bloc – to achieve a drug-free region by 2015, stepped up efforts in 2011 to stem the upward trend of usage of meth and other amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS).

Advocates warn that the drug trade has not been deterred by strict tactics that have led to staggering arrest figures, stiffer penalties for drug offences, heightened stigma for drug users, and an upsurge in compulsory drug treatment. The United Natios has criticized this as ineffective, with high relapse rates and a threat to detainee health and human rights.

“The policy has no positive benefits toward drug users, and there’s no benefit to society as well, because it doesn’t actually solve the problem,” said Sakda Puakchai, chair of the Thai Drug Users Network.

In East and Southeast Asia, Thailand ranked first in drug-related arrests, of which more than 90 percent involved meth, the UNODC report says. In 2012 the country was second only to China in seizures of meth pills.

Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) revealed that in 2013 there were almost 50,000 more drug arrests and about 40 million more meth pills seized, compared to 2012.

Meth has become cheaper and easier to obtain because levels of manufacturing and trafficking from Burma continue to increase as a result of opium eradication efforts there, advocates say. A single meth pill costs as little as US$4 on the street in Thailand.

“If it’s about controlling the [illegal drug] market, it has been a complete and utter disaster,” Pascal Tanguay, a programme director with the NGO, Population Services International in Thailand, said of the government’s anti-drug policy.


Rights abused

A 2013 report by the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS found that drug abuse and corruption is also widespread among Thai police, and is affecting the country’s war against drugs.

Many drug users claim they have had drugs planted on them, have been beaten, forced to take an unlawful urine test, or have had to pay a bribe to police officers, who have also been known to sexually assault female drug users, advocates claim.

“There needs to be a policy that makes drug users feel comfortable about accessing health services,” said Tanguay, whose NGO promotes harm reduction services intended to prevent the dangers associated with drug use.

War on drugs in Thailand
Total drug-related arrests* 2011: 224,000 2012: 386,000 2013: 431,000
Total drug treatment admissions* 2011: 203,000 2012: 560,000 2013: 485,000
Methamphetamine seizures 2011: 55 million pills 2012: 83 million pills 2013: 120 million pills
*Although an exact breakdown was not available for each year, Thai officials say that the vast majority of arrests and treatment admissions were for meth and other ATS drugs. Years represent fiscal years from October to September. (Source: Thailand’s Office of the Narcotics Control Board)

Thai drug enforcement officials deny that the policy is heavy-handed, but admit the meth issue is a deepening concern. “Methamphetamines remain a serious problem, but the government has tried its best to control supply and demand reduction,” said Ratchaneekorn Sornsiri, deputy secretary-general of the ONCB. “It’s a long-term process.”

Thailand is a major trafficking destination, as meth and other ATS drugs flood in from neighbouring countries – particularly Burma, with which it shares an 1,800km border – to feed high domestic demand. Sornsiri said she believes regional cooperation is vital in halting the illicit trade.

HIV risk

Although meth is traditionally taken orally, an International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) report published in November 2013 said research in Bangkok showed that one in three injecting drug users were doing so with meth.

Thailand has more than 40,000 injecting users, with an HIV prevalence of 22 percent among them. However, needle and syringe exchange programmes are run by NGOs without any government funding.

The number of government sites providing methadone treatment for addiction almost doubled from 10 locations in 2012 to 19 in 2013, while state-run harm reduction services remain focused on heroin users, which account for less than one percent of drug treatment visits.

“We think they can be treated with ordinary methods,” Sornsiri said of meth users. “We encourage them to go to treatment to change their behaviour.”

Thailand’s Ministry of Justice announced in August that it would consider decriminalizing kratom, a tropical tree in the coffee family that can have stimulant effects at low doses. Kratom could serve as a substitute in drug dependence programmes and help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

“I think it’s very interesting that Thailand is going in that direction,” Tanguay said. “There’s an opportunity for substitution treatment and also a possible economic market for it [kratom].”








Indiana State Police arrest a Knox County couple after they allegedly find drugs and nearly a dozen meth labs inside their home in Bicknell.

52-year-old Robin Chambers and 61-year-old Howard Chambers are facing several charges tonight including making meth and drug possession. Troopers assisted the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force on serving an arrest warrant on one of their children just after midnight.
Also arrested for allegedly visiting a common nuisance are 19-year-old Samuel Chambers, 43-year-old Ronnie Chambers who’s the man named in the warrant, and 57-year-old Paul McGriffen. We’re told McGriffen is the only one in the investigation who has since been released on bond.

MUNCIE — Another day, another multi-arrest methamphetamine raid in Muncie.

The setting early Thursday was the Best Western Hotel at 3011 W. Bethel Ave.

Police entering a guest’s room there about 1:45 a.m. reported finding meth, numerous materials used in the production and ingestion of the substance — and a sleeping 8-year-old boy.

hotel meth raid in room

Officers said they found Jessica Danielle Reed — the room’s registered guest — and Amanda Nichole Morris, both 31 and of Muncie, in the room, along with Reed’s child.

According to an affidavit, when police knocked on the door, Morris ran to the bathroom and began flushing materials down the toilet.

Arrested outside the motel in a vehicle were two other Muncie residents, Jeremy Douglas Reed, 37, and Brian Michael Dalton, 31.

A plastic bag containing what was determined to be meth was found inside the vehicle, an affidavit said.

Jessica Reed and Morris were preliminarily charged with possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance, neglect of a dependent and possession of paraphernalia.

Jeremy Reed — apparently the father of the boy found in the room — was preliminarily charged with possession of meth and neglect of a dependent. Both Reeds were also charged with maintaining a common nuisance and taking a child to a common nuisance.

Dalton — whose criminal record includes a 2011 conviction for robbery — faces charges of possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance and visiting a common nuisance.

Morris — convicted of possession of paraphernalia in 2012 — was also charged with obstruction of justice.

Child Protective Services workers were called to make custody arrangements for the boy.

Police reports reflect authorities went to the motel in search of another person, reported to be staying in Reed’s room, who was apparently not found.

All four defendants were being held without bond Thursday in the Delaware County jail. Some of the drug-related charges could be enhanced due to the motel’s proximity to Ball State University.







SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Santa Clara County is proudly showing off its drug-busting canine.

Zeus is a narcotics dogs assigned to the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team (SCCSET).


He used his highly-trained nose to locate more than two pounds of methamphetamine in a vehicle last Friday.

The bust resulted in the arrest of seven adults and one juvenile suspect.

Zeus is a Labrador.

Santa Clara County officials say Zeus’ message is, “Stay away from drugs” and “if you hide it, I will find it.”








CROMWELL, Ky. (WBKO)– The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance and drug complaint at a home in Cromwell Tuesday night.

Police found two juveniles alone at the residence who said there had been a fight, and everyone involved had left.


While deputies were still on the scene, Lori Miller returned to the residence, told them about the fight, and said there was damage to her front door.  When miller opened the door, deputies detected a very strong chemical order commonly associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Police searched the residence and uncovered what they believe to be the largest meth lab in Ohio County to date. Also found in the residence were marijuana, drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine, and prescription pills.

Miller was booked into  the Ohio County Detention Center on multiple drug-related charges.

A Seymour woman has been arrested on a number of drug charges.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Carothers says 31-year-old Shannon R. Eisenmenger was arrested Tuesday after a three month investigation led by Detective Ben Rudolph. Eisenmenger was booked in the Jackson County Jail on three felony charges of dealing in methamphetamine. She is being held pending an initial hearing in Jackson Circuit Court.

This marks the second meth dealing arrest in as many days. Carothers praised the Seymour Police Department, as well as Jackson County Prosecutor Amy Marie Travis and her office for their help in obtaining these arrests.







In what is being hailed as one of the biggest drug raids in county history, police on Thursday announced 17 arrests and the seizure of more than $18 million worth of narcotics, weapons and cash from a criminal drug trafficking organization in West Contra Costa County.

The two-year investigation known as Operation Crystal Lens began yielding arrests in November, after a narcotics team known as West-NET was assembled to work with the FBI, San Pablo Police Cmdr. Jeff Palmieri said Thursday.

It resulted in the seizure over the past two months of approximately 475 pounds of methamphetamine, 158 grams of cocaine, several guns with high-capacity magazines, cars and motorcycles used in the operation and more than $950,000 in cash, he said. The methamphetamine alone was worth a street value of approximately $17 million, he said.

“This is big,” Palmieri said. “When you look at the totality of what the units were able to accomplish, it’s one of the biggest seizures of narcotics in West Contra Costa County history.”

Police did not identify the suspects arrested but said they were connected to the Norteno street gang. One suspect, identified as Gabriel Urtiz, remains on the loose, Palmieri said.

The operation revealed that the narcotics were provided by the Mexico-based Sinaloa drug cartel. The cartel also has been called the Federation and Blood Alliance and at various times has been considered the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world.

The investigation revealed that drugs and weapons were trafficked, and that the proceeds were laundered by the criminal street gangs, Palmieri said.

Police have not revealed the locations where the raids and investigation took place over the past few months, only saying there were multiple sites in West Contra Costa County.

Officers from 10 local agencies made up the West-NET team, which was supervised by a California Department of Justice task force commander working in tandem with the FBI, Palmieri said. The agencies involved included the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and Probation Department; the Hercules, Kensington, Pinole, Richmond and San Pablo police departments, and the Northern California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

“Anytime you take that much narcotics from an organized criminal structure, it’s a great thing,” Palmieri said. “It’s not going into our streets, and it curbs violence. This is very significant.”







Recently we learned that efforts to curtail the availability of methamphetamine nationwide have not been particularly successful.

A Drug Enforcement Administration study found while efforts to curb local meth labs have had some success, the supply of meth has increased as Mexican cartels have moved in to fill the void.

As long as there is demand, there will be supply.

Now, a group of researchers at the University of Louisville in Kentucky may have discovered one factor that influences the demand for meth: the availability of alcohol.

Their research, presented this month at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia, looks only at Kentucky. But Kentucky has local-option laws similar to Alabama’s and those of many other states [including Louisiana].

That means it has “dry” counties [parishes in Louisiana] where alcohol sales are prohibited, “wet” counties where they are not, and “moist” counties, which are dry but contain wet cities.

The researchers found that Kentucky could reduce its number of meth lab seizures by 17 to 30 percent per year if all its counties were wet.

Citing previous studies on the impact of various alcohol and drug prohibitions and regulations, they further suggest that the decreased number of meth lab seizures results from diminished demand.

So, to summarize, wet counties have fewer meth lab seizures than dry counties because they have fewer meth labs. They have fewer meth labs not because of pressure on supply but because of a lower demand for meth. And they have a lower demand for meth because alcohol, a substitute good, is easier and less expensive to obtain.

Of the Alabama counties that border the Tennessee River, only two are wet: Madison and Colbert. But only two counties statewide, Clay and Blount, are completely dry.

Most north Alabama counties are moist, a relatively recent development coming from a slew of recent local-option votes everywhere from Moulton to Cullman to Scottsboro. With the Great Recession lingering like a nasty hangover, the prospects of liquor tax revenue have trumped other concerns.

According to the University of Louisville researchers, moist counties already have fewer meth lab busts than dry counties. But they could have fewer still by going wet.

What is the point of a county remaining dry when it contains wet cities, anyway? It’s mostly just for show, although it does still result in the occasional arrest for “illegal possession of prohibited liquor.”

All the moist counties, including Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence, should go wet. You have nothing to lose but your meth labs.







A police pursuit in Warsaw ended with one person in the hospital and meth-related items littering the course of the chase, Warsaw police said.

About 2 p.m. Wednesday, police said, officers attempted to stop a green Honda near Winona Avenue and Indiana Street when all three passengers bailed out and the car took off.

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According to a statement issued Thursday by police, undercover officers nabbed the passengers while the Honda went down McClellan Street and Country Club Road – the driver tossing evidence out the window – before stopping near Country Club Drive South.

Narcotics officers located the items, which included an active one-pot meth lab contained in a fire extinguisher, police said. More items were found inside the car, police said, including a generator and a spent meth lab.

The driver, Randy R. Woods, 33, of Silver Lake, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of chemical reagents/precursors with intent to manufacture meth, resisting/fleeing law enforcement and being a habitual traffic violator. He was being held on $5,000 bond.

The investigation led to an apartment in the 300 block of North Lake Street, where officers reported finding finished meth, another generator and other items used to make meth.

One of the passengers, Michael S. Harris, 49, of Warsaw, had an active warrant out of Kosciusko County on a forgery charge. He was booked into jail on the warrant and was also charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of chemical reagents/precursors with intent to manufacture meth, police said. He was also being held on $5,000 bond.

Another passenger was admitted to an area hospital after taking unprescribed narcotics, police said. They said he will also face charges.








Two people have been charged after a vehicle stop in Albany led to the  discovery of an alleged drug lab.

On Thursday, police stopped a car on York Street and located items used to  manufacture methamphetamine in the boot.

A WA Police spokeswoman said officers discovered a female passenger in the  car had purchased cold and flu tablets containing pseudoephedrine just prior to  being stopped, with empty packets of the tablets inside the vehicle.

Officers raided a home in McKail and discovered more items used in the  manufacture of methamphetamine, including a possible ammonia generator.

  It is the sixth drug lab uncovered in WA since January 1.

A 25-year-old Katanning man has been charged with one count of attempting to  manufacture a prohibited drug and will appear in Albany Magistrates Court on  Friday.

A 21-year-old McKail woman was released on bail to appear at Albany  Magistrates Court on January 30.








A woman on bail was arrested Tuesday at about 5:30 p.m. in the 700 block of Third Street in Napa during a probation search, according to court records.

Amber Renee Redman, 26, of Napa, allegedly had a drug pipe containing a usable amount of suspected methamphetamine, according to the Napa Special Investigations Bureau. Drug agents also found a scale with a usable of suspected methamphetamine, according to NSIB. She was booked into the Napa County jail.

Redman was charged Thursday in Napa County Superior Court with possession of a controlled substance, possession of an injection device, possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana and a special allegation, according to court records.







PHOENIX (CBS5) –  The U.S. government has frozen the assets of a senior lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel syndicate suspected of coordinating the purchase and movement of cocaine and methamphetamine into Arizona and California on a monthly basis.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is unsealing an indictment against a high-ranking member of a Mexican drug cartel.

The DEA said Jose Guadalupe Tapia-Quintero, 42, was indicted by a federal grand jury in February on drug possession and money laundering charges.


Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero

DEA officials said Tapia-Quintero is from Sinaloa, Mexico, and owned several businesses, including bus and tractor-trailer companies in Mexico. Authorities say he used that business to move meth across the Mexican border into Arizona.

DEA officials have made three arrests in connection to Tapia-Quintero and seized 148 pounds of meth, 30 kilograms of cocaine and more than $770,000.

Jose Guadalupe Tapia Quintero, of Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for his role in the drug trafficking activities of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada Garcia and for playing a significant role in international drug trafficking.

Besides freezing assets he may have under U.S. jurisdiction, the Tapia Quintero’s designation generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with him.

“Our actions will focus on their financial nerve points as well as the underlying logistics which are essential to their day-to-day operations such as the transportation network that we are taking action against today,” said Treasury’s Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control  Adam Szubin.

Tapia Quintero also transports methamphetamine, using semi-trailers, on behalf of a drug trafficking cell affiliated with Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera from Sinaloa to Tijuana, Baja California.

“We’re relentlessly following the financial trail to deprive these traffickers of their assets, draining the lifeblood from their criminal enterprises,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman.

CBS 5 News is getting reaction from Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and we’ll have that report Friday during the 10 p.m. news.






A 35-year-old New Orleans man was jailed Thursday (Jan. 16) after New Orleans police discovered a crystal meth den when they served a search warrant on his 7th Ward apartment, police said.


Jonathan Martin Dean was arrested on charges of distributing crystal meth and other drugs from an apartment in the 1400 block of North Miro Street, during an 8th District undercover operation, police said. About $12,000 worth of crystal meth and other drugs were found in the apartment, according to the NOPD.

NOPD detectives recently conducted a controlled crystal meth buy at the corner of Bourbon and Dumaine streets, where they got  information that drugs were being sold from the North Miro Street apartment, police said. Detectives got a  search warrant, and served it on Thursday about 2:15 a.m., police said.

Inside the apartment, detectives said they found 5 ounces of methamphetamine, 1 ounce of hydro marijuana, LSD tablets, Ecstasy pills and GHB, as well as more than $4,600 in cash. There were also many items of drug paraphernalia. The street value of the seized narcotics was more than $12,000, police said.

Dean was booked with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute clonazepam, distribution of marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute LSD and possession of drug paraphernalia.






MURRIETA – In January 2014, the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) infiltrated a Mexican drug trafficking organization based in Hemet.

On Jan. 10, suspects Donaciano Ramirez-Guerra, Jovanny Aguirre and Jorge H. Guzman were arrested by members of the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) and the Murrieta Police Department Special Enforcement Team after they delivered 50 pounds of methamphetamine (gross weight) to an undercover task force officer.

The operation took place in the City of Murrieta.

Ramirez-Guerra, Aguirre and Guzman were booked into the Southwest Riverside County Adult Detention Center pending the filing of charges for H&S 11379 – Transportation of Methamphetamine, Possession for Sales of Methamphetamine and PC 182- Conspiracy.

Bail was set at $1,000,000 for each suspect.

The street value of the 50 pounds of methamphetamine is estimated at $5,000,000. The Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force (INCA) is a multi-agency task force with participation by federal, state and local agencies targeting major Colombian and Mexican drug cartels within the Inland Empire region of the Los Angeles High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

The Murrieta Police Department currently participates on the task force. This seizure represents the significant achievements that can be obtained when local, state and federal law enforcement partners work together to keep communities drug free.




  • Rusty Smith threw rocks at two women and  a man and then attacked the man with a bed frame
  • Cops arrived to see him holding a brick  wrapped in a shirt
  • He admitted to being high on methamphetamine during his frenzied attack

Police say a drug addicted  ex-con with a history of violence attacked three people with rocks and a bed  frame while high on methamphetamine.

Rusty Smith, 37, of Mesa,  Arizona, is sobering up in jail after the bizarre drug-fueled attack Wednesday afternoon that led to his arrest.

Mr Smith was arguing with  two women in a seedy part of town when an unidentified man tried to break up the  fight, according to a police report cited by AZ Central. Things quickly  escalated.

article-2541076-1ABABBA500000578-801_306x423 article-2541076-1ABAC0F700000578-755_634x374

The disturbed man began throwing rocks at all three of his helpless victims, striking the man across the  bridge of his nose, police said.

Mr Smith then ran to a  nearby dumpster, grabbed a bed frame and wildly swung it at the man, hitting him  in the legs and chest, the report said.

Police may have arrived  just in time to save the at least man’s life, if not the lives of all three of  his victims.

Cops say they observed Mr  Smith holding a brick wrapped in a shirt while shouting at them as they  arrived.

He admitted to being high  on methamphetamine while during his violent outburst and that he was a daily  user, authorities said.

The drug addled ex-con was  booked on three counts of disorderly conduct, a charge of aggravated assault  dangerous incident and violation of a court order, according to AZ  Central.

Mr Smith’s arrest violated  the terms of his probation stemming from a March 2013 release after serving six  years behind bars for auto theft, records showed.

He also has multiple drug  and assault convictions, as well as repeated violations of an order of  protection placed against him.








SALTON CITY- Border Patrol agents seized about 34 pounds of methamphetamine and arrested a suspected narcotics smuggler at the Highway 86 checkpoint on Wednesday.

Around 5:30 a.m., U.S. citizen David Gonzalez, 44, of Mexicali approached the checkpoint driving a gray 1994 Jeep Cherokee, according to the court complaint.

A Border Patrol Canine Detection Team alerted to the vehicle, and it was referred to secondary inspection. During inspection, agents found 32 packages containing a total of about 34 pounds of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $670,080.

After being read his rights, Gonzalez said he was to be paid $3,000 to transport the narcotics from Mexicali to an Indio Greyhound station where he was to leave the keys in the vehicle’s gas cap compartment and return on a bus, according to the court complaint.

Gonzalez was taken into custody and, along with the vehicle and narcotics, was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.








TOPEKA — Susan M. Henks, 60, La Crosse, was indicted on drug trafficking charges recently.

Henks is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

She was one of four people charged, including Jamie L. Herron, 34, Wichita; Cory L. Poulter, 37, Halstead; and Roy L. Scott, 47, Sedgwick.

Herron is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, eight counts of distributing methamphetamine, and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Poulter is charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and four counts of distributing methamphetamine.

Scott is charged with six counts of distributing methamphetamine.

Upon conviction, the crimes carry the following penalties:

* Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine: not less than five years and not more than 40 years in federal prison and a fine up to $2 million.

* Distributing methamphetamine: A maximum penalty of 20 years and a fine up to $1 million.

* Possession of methamphetamine: A maximum penalty of one year and a fine up to $100,000.

The Newton Police Department, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Wichita Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster is prosecuting.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.








EPHRATA – A Moses Lake man reportedly raped a 14-year-old girl while she was waiting for a ride from her father.

Prosecutors charged Richard B. Ruff, a 28-year-old man, in Grant County Superior Court with rape in the second degree and rape in the third degree.

The victim reported her father told her to wait at Ruff’s Canterbury Lane home for a ride on Nov. 10, according to Moses Lake police. When the victim arrived, Ruff allegedly escorted her to his bedroom. When they were in the room, Ruff reportedly smoked some methamphetamine before raping the victim.

After the alleged attack, Ruff received a call, told the victim he needed to leave to help steal some items, and escorted her to the garage. The victim reported she fled the garage, running to a family member’s home.

The victim told her mother about the attack, who later told police.

Ruff reportedly denied the rape, saying they had consensual sex.







Casper Police this week charged five people they tied to thefts of guns and electronics and drug trading last fall.

The police investigation followed a string of burglaries in September and October.

Michael Austin Wood and Kyle Steven Barrus were charged with burglary and James Lynn Johnson was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary stemming from multiple incidents last year, according to police affidavits.

The first burglary occurred on Sept. 25, when Wood, Johnson and a third man, River Dean Walsh broke into a Casper residence and stole several items including two rifles, according to a police affidavit. Walsh was charged with receiving/obtaining stolen property worth more than $1,000 and conspiracy to receive/obtain stolen property.

As Wood and Johnson prepared to enter the residence through a garage door between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Sept. 25, Johnson reportedly told Wood that he had to use the bathroom “really bad” and “took off running,” according to statements the men made to police.

Wood and Walsh then entered the house and observed someone sleeping on a couch in the living room, according to Wood’s account made to police during later questioning.

They proceeded to steal two rifles, a longbow, multiple wallets and a lunch box they believed contained marijuana, though it did not, according to an affidavit. According to Johnson’s account to police, he returned to the group after defecating in a nearby alley, and the group, all of whom are listed as homeless, slept behind the Showboat Motel.

A second burglary detailed in multiple affidavits released Tuesday occurred on Oct. 7. According to police, Walsh, Andre Bryson and a 17-year-old whose name is redacted in the affidavit were at the 17-year-old’s grandfather’s house smoking methamphetamine when the group decided to steal from the house.

The group stole five guns, including a .38-caliber Pink Lady Revolver, an LCD television, various other electronics, multiple pieces of gold jewelry, a collection of 50 state quarters, and a plastic orange juice container holding $150 in change, according to the grandfather.

Bryson was charged with receiving/obtaining stolen property worth more than $1,000 and conspiracy to receive/obtain stolen property.

The group traded the stolen goods from both robberies to Barrus for methamphetamine on several occasions, according to police.

On Oct. 9, after receiving information from the unnamed 17-year-old source, the police executed search warrants on two addresses where the group had allegedly met Barrus to trade the stolen goods for meth. At one of the addresses, Barrus, Walsh and three other people were taken in for questioning and several of the stolen items were recovered.

Later in October, an unnamed source appears to have tipped off police as to who was involved in each burglary, and Walsh, Wood and Bryson were all taken into custody during the following week.

During interviews with police that are outlined in the affidavits, each of the men admitted involvement in the crimes and provided details of them.

Bryson and Wood reportedly also wrote apology letters while in custody, each of which were logged into evidence, according to police.

According to an affidavit, Wood’s letter – addressed to the owner whose house was burglarized in September – read:

“I Michael Wood am really sorry about going in your house like an ideat [sic] and helping someone who sas [sic] there [sic] my friend but could care less about me. I wish I could take it back but I can’t and I am truly sorry I would do anything for you to forgive me for the wrong I have caused and all the hurt to [sic].”







MANSFIELD — Two boys, ages 5 and 8, were in an apartment with a suspected methamphetamine lab Tuesday night, police said.

Nicholas R. McHugh, 34, was charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs, a first-degree felony. The charge was enhanced because of the presence of the children. Richland County Children Services was contacted.

bildeCAR3PNKY ingredients for a suspected

“The lab wasn’t active when we were there,” METRICH Sgt. Joe Petrycki said. “He had been cooking earlier in the day.

“Had it been an active cook, it would have been highly dangerous. The materials are very combustible. They can explode and catch fire very fast.”

Acting on a tip to Officer Ryan Anschutz, patrol officers and detectives from the METRICH Enforcement Unit went to the second-floor apartment of 87 Lexington Ave.

Consent to search was given and the meth lab was found in the attic. The building was evacuated and sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Nicholson, a member of the Clandestine Lab Response Team, neutralized the chemicals and ingredients.

Petrycki said a trash can was full of materials used to make meth. He said the chemical fumes from a meth lab can be noxious and harmful to anyone exposed to them. Some signs of meth lab chemical exposure include itching or burning of skin and eyes, difficulty breathing or tightness in the chest area.

“Kids get a hold of that, they can inhale the remnants,” he said. “It’s just an overall bad situation, especially with the kids.”

Richland County Children Services spokesman Carl Hunnell said he could not comment on specifics of this case.

“In cases like these, we would have a caseworker respond to check on the health and safety of the child,” Hunnell said. “If needed, we would obtain medical attention for the child. We would then try to locate a safe, alternative and temporary home for the child, perhaps with other family members if possible.”

McHugh had a $100,000 cash bond set Wednesday morning. If he posts bond, he will be on electronic monitoring. McHugh has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 23. Attorney Gregory Tarkowsky was appointed to represent him.

“It’s just poor judgment,” Petrycki said.

Residents are encouraged to report suspected drug activity to the METRICH crime tip hotline at 419-52-CRIME (419-522-7463) or 419-755-9728.