PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- A DeSoto County man, who allegedly stopped his vehicle in the middle of SR-31 and fell asleep, was arrested after deputies located both methadone pills and several baggies of crystal methamphetamine in his pocket.

Derek Matthew Conrad, 40, faces charges of Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Distribute, Possession of Methadone and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


On Monday, just before 1:00 a.m., deputies were dispatched to the report of a man asleep in a vehicle parked in the middle of SR-31, south of Bermont Road. When they arrived, they found a gray Honda sedan with its brake light on sitting in the middle of the southbound lane.

The driver of the car woke up as soon as the officer spoke to him to check on him. He was checked by emergency medical personnel. According to the deputy, Conrad did not appear to be intoxicated, but was not able to say where he was coming from.

When asked, Conrad consented to a search of his person. During the search, the deputy found a bag in his front pants pocket that contained multiple other clear plastic baggies. One baggy had five small white pills that were found to be methadone. There were also five separate baggies that contained a total of 8.5 grams of a substance that tested positive for crystal methamphetamine.

Conrad was booked into the Charlotte County Jail and later released on a total $17,500 bond.






A convicted drug dealer and her beau are in jail on distribution charges after deputies discovered packaged methamphetamine and paraphernalia at their home.

Madison County sheriff’s deputies arrested Amanda A. Houart, 35, of Fredericktown, on Friday after discovering packaged methamphetamine, marijuana, paraphernalia and cash during the execution of a search warrant where she lived.

52c302685ffaf_preview-620Cash, drugs and paraphernalia were all confiscated when officers carried out a an undercover drug operation in Madison County. A convicted drug dealer reportedly sold methamphetamine to an informant, who paid with marked bills

New charges

• Amanda A. Houart, 35, with two counts “felony distribution of a controlled substance”

• Robert C. Myers, 29, with two counts “felony distribution of a controlled substance”, “possession of a controlled substance in a county jail”

Houart, on probation for methamphetamine distribution at the time of her arrest, now faces two new counts of class B felony distribution of a controlled substance. Her bond amount is $50,000 cash-only.

A man sharing the address, described by deputies as Houart’s “significant other,” is also in jail for his role in the suspected crime.

Robert C. Myers, 29, of Fredericktown, faces two counts of class B felony distribution of a controlled substance and a charge of possession of a controlled substance in a county jail. His bond is also set at $50,000 cash-only. Myers was on probation for assaulting law enforcement at the time of his arrest on Friday.

According to law enforcement documents, a confidential informant set up a purchase at the home of Houart and Myers. The informant, using marked bills, purchased $80 worth of a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine as authorities recorded the transaction.

Deputies secured a search warrant for the address and discovered a container with a high quality form of methamphetamine know as “ice” packaged for sale. The marked bills were found in Houart’s purse along with $1,269 in cash.

The search also revealed syringes, digital scales, methamphetamine paraphernalia, hydrocodone pills in an unmarked container, and packaged marijuana. Many of the items were located within the reach of two children present at the home, that according to deputies.







TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – A Cottondale man was arrested Monday morning by agents with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force after around 50 grams of crystal methamphetamine was found in the hotel room he was staying in, a spokesman for the task force reported Tuesday.Sgt. Brent Blankey, the public information officer for the task for and the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said agents were called to the Rodeway Inn on Skyland Boulevard around 10:30 Monday morning.

On arrival, hotel staff informed the officers that during their routine cleaning of a rented room, they’d discovered crystal meth inside a coffee coffee cup.

35-year-old Christopher Todd Herron has been charged with one count of trafficking methamphetamine and will remain in the Tuscaloosa County Jail pending a $100,000 bond.

As soon as the substance was positively identified as the highly addictive narcotic, agents obtained a warrant for the arrest of the man staying in the room.After agents waited more than nine hours, the suspect finally returned to the hotel room and was arrested around 7:45 p.m.

35-year-old Christopher Todd Herron was taken into custody and booked in the Tuscaloosa County Jail. He has been charged with one count of trafficking methamphetamine and will remain in the jail pending a $100,000 bond.








Ascension Parish Lt. Col. Bobby Webre reports multiple arrests following an investigation into the manufacture of methamphetamine at a local residence.

On December 27, 2013, the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division received information that Scott Roussel was manufacturing methamphetamine at the residence located at 14154 Mire Road, Gonzales.  Upon receiving the information the Narcotics Division began an investigation into the complaint.  Narcotics Detectives were then able to secure a search warrant for the residence.

On December 27, 2013, the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division executed the search warrant at which time they were able to locate a methamphetamine lab.  Narcotics Detectives also located several precursors used to manufacture methamphetamine at the residence.  As a result of the search warrant Narcotics Detectives placed Scott Roussel, Seth Finley, and Kandi Pierre under arrest.  Narcotics Detectives then booked the subjects into the Ascension Parish Jail awaiting bond.

Kandi PierreSeth FinleyScott Roussel

Scott Roussel, 28, of 14154 Mire Road, Gonzales, was charged with creation of a clandestine lab, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of schedule IV CDS, and possession of a legend drug. His bond has been set at $101,085.

Kandi Pierre, 18, of 14154 Mire Road, Gonzales, was charged with creation of a clandestine lab, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of schedule IV CDS, and possession of a legend drug. Her bond has been set at $101,085.

Seth Finley, 28, of 1709 South Chuck Ave., Gonzales, was charged with creation of a clandestine lab, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of schedule IV CDS, and possession of a legend drug. His bond has been set at $101,085.

Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division at 225-621-8350 or by texting 847411 to our anonymous tip line from any cellular device or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).   To be eligible for a cash reward, you must call Crime Stoppers immediately.







Prosecutors have accused a registered violent offender of smoking meth and exposing himself to children and volunteers at a downtown church.

Ronald Fermin Mascarena, 43, appeared Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court where prosecutors charged him with felony drug possession and misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure and resisting arrest.


Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Julie R. Patten said that a witness to the incident heard Mascarena say he wanted to break into the church and rape Christian girls.

Judge Larry D. Herman set Mascarena’s bond at $15,000 consecutive to the bond Mascarena has posted for a separate drug charge.

Police arrested Mascarena after responding to a disturbance a little after 1 a.m. Saturday at First Congregational Church, 310 N. 27th St.

An officer found a man, later identified as Mascarena, who was attempting to pull up his unzipped and unbuckled pants outside the church, according to charging documents.

The man struggled with officers when they tried to handcuff him, the documents state. During the struggle, Mascarena’s knit cap fell off. An officer reported finding in the cap a glass pipe with crystalline residue that later tested positive for methamphetamine.

After the incident, police interviewed several adults who were at the church supervising children during an overnight Bible study. One chaperone told police the children had seen a man with his pants around his ankles outside the church and that the man was using profanity and talking about using meth.

Mascarena is registered as a violent offender in Yellowstone County for a 1999 felony partner or family member assault. Since then, he has been convicted of multiple misdemeanors and felonies.

His arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 7 before District Judge Russell C. Fagg.







Amy Downing, 51, Decorah, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class C felony, after the Decorah Police Department and Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search warrant at her 2474 Dogwood Road residence.

Evidence of a meth lab operation was found in the residence. Downing also was charged with possession of a drug precursor – pseudoephedrine and possession of a drug precursor – lithium, a Class D felony.

The Decorah Police Department and the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department were assisted by the Winneshiek County Attorney’s Office, the Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department, Iowa State Patrol, the Decorah Fire Department and the Winneshiek Medical Center Emergency Services.

Downing also was charged Thursday, Dec. 12, after Decorah Police and the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant that day at her residence and found evidence of a previous meth lab. At that time, Downing was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of a drug precursor (pseudoephedrine) and possession of a drug precursor (lithium).







(KTVI) – Missouri may no longer be number one when it comes to meth labs.

“You are looking at the State of Missouri finally getting out of the number one position after more than a decade of dominating that position, to second and maybe even third,” said Sgt. Jason Grellner, head of the narcotics unit for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.

You’ll get no argument that the downward trend is good, but when it comes to the reasons for it,  opinions differ.

Grellner believes it’s largely because of an increase in the number of communities making it illegal to buy pseudoephedrine without a prescription.

The ingredient, used in sinus medicine, is also used to make methamphetamine.

“When you are seeing 68 and 70 percent drops in 14 counties in southeast Missouri, it has an overall effect on the state,” Grellner said.

Counties in the St. Louis area with the prescription requirement have also seen a drop in meth busts between 2012 and 2013.

In Franklin County, there has been a 41 percent decrease. In Jefferson County, the number is down 47 percent.

Statewide the number has dropped by 38 percent.

But some who oppose the prescription requirement say they are not convinced the decreases are entirely the result of the prescription laws.

“I think we have to give credit to the electronic tracking system that is presently in place when someone goes to buy pseudoephedrine,” said Joy Krieger, Executive Director of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, St. Louis Chapter.

“I (also) think police deserve a lot of credit for perhaps getting an edge here in identifying repeat offenders and being on top of that,” Krieger said.

But Grellner says in communities where pseudoephedrine can still be bought over the counter, including St. Louis City and St. Louis County, the number of meth busts has generally been going up over the past few years.

He doesn’t expect things to change anytime soon, “Every time we try something in St. Louis City or St. Louis County, we are met by opposition from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association who seems to be five steps ahead of us,” Grellner explained.

“They are always there with more money. They are always there with more lobbying. They are always there with this parade of horribles of what it is going to happen if you pass this, that never happen,” Grellner said.

Meanwhile, State Senator David Sater, (R) District 29, has pre-filed a bill in the legislature that would restrict pseudoephedrine sales to the equivalent of a 30-day supply.

If passed, Sater says it would apply in both St. Louis City and St. Louis County, which has no prescription requirement, but that it would not supersede more stringent requirements already passed in other communities.








ELKO — In the summer of 2013, the Free Press ran a series on the problem of methamphetamine in the Elko community. According to Free Press files, as many as one in four arrests in Elko county are connected to drugs in some way.

“It’s a multi-faceted problem,” Elko Police Chief Ben Reed said, adding drug use can lead to domestic violence, burglary and child abuse.

Reed was not the police chief at the time the series was written, but he has seen the problem of meth causing property crime as well as violent crime in the community. He and Lt. Ty Trouten said it affects a lot of people, from users to family members to employers.


Trouten said even the smallest use of meth in a home creates a toxic film over every surface. Children who are taken out of a home with heavy meth use are treated for exposure to hazardous materials.

“If it’s bad for us, it’s really bad for the child,” Trouten said.

Trouten also said a lot of police officers are seeing multi-generational users. They often find themselves arresting the children of users they’ve arrested in the past.

Breaking the cycle of meth abuse is one thing Reed would like to focus on in the upcoming year. A new protocol called the Drug Endangered Children initiative is going to be implemented by the police in 2014. DEC has been tested in other states and proven successful, Reed said. It pools the resources of law enforcement, courts, Nevada Division of Child and Family Services and Partners Allied for Community Excellence Coalition.

Trouten said DEC provides recognition that drug use and the user lifestyle are harmful and acknowledges children are in danger in drug users’ homes. Children can be brought out of that situation and given the care they need.

Reed believes DEC is a significant step for Elko, but it only addresses one component of a big community problem.

Violence and incarceration

Other problems drugs bring into the community are a rise in domestic violence and an increased jail population, Undersheriff Clair Morris said.

The domestic violence is frustrating to Morris, since families and children are involved. He said Nevada has some of the toughest laws in the country on domestic violence, but it’s still a problem.

“I don’t see that improving,” he said. “I wish I knew how to stop it.”

The Elko County Jail is meant to hold 100 inmates, but it averages 120 to 130 during the week and can reach 150 during the busier weekends.

Morris said the jail releases non-violent and non-intoxicated offenders with a court date to keep the population down.

The county expects to break ground on a jail expansion in spring 2014, Morris said. The addition will include a two-story, 84-bed expansion and an upgrade to the existing womens bathroom facilities. But the jail may be in overflow again shortly after the expansion is completed, he said.

Present danger, future threat

Morris thought the message of the dangers of meth is getting out to more people. It’s not a recreational drug, he said, and people who abuse it can end up losing everything they have. However, he said a lot of people are still using meth, since it is easy to make and obtain.

Trouten agreed with Morris, saying most children learn in school that meth is something they don’t want to mess with. Unfortunately, Trouten said, teenagers are turning to abuse of prescription drugs. But prescription drugs are hard to obtain because they must be given out by a doctor and they can’t be made at home, as with meth, he said.

In some instances, a user will turn to heroin abuse because the highs are similar. Heroin is a very addictive and lethal drug. If it is taken by injection, there is also a risk of transmitted diseases from dirty needles. Trouten said Elko is seeing a resurgence of heroin abuse as well.


Undersheriff Clair Morris said the sheriff’s staff is too small to be proactive about drug enforcement. All of their actions are reactive.

One deputy works on the four-person Elko Combined Narcotics Unit in Elko, which is an inter-agency program with city, county and state officers. Morris would like to have another deputy on the task force if possible, but the sheriff’s officer doesn’t have the money for it.

“It’s really our only effective way of combating (drugs) in Elko,” he said. “With the resources they do have, they do a good job, and they’re very productive.”

Morris said the task force does the best with what they have, but it’s still not enough. They’ve just reached the tip of the iceberg in his opinion.

Officers from both departments say drug enforcement is an important part of their job, but lack of funds mean the problem is far from over.








A 32-year old single lady, Chizoba Anya Vivian is currently being quizzed by anti-narcotic officers for allegedly excreting wraps of substance that tested positive for methamphetamine on board a Qatar Airline Flight from Malaysia.

On arrival at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos, three wraps of methamphetamine was found in her possession.

According to the NDLEA, the suspect was said to have aroused suspicion following her frequent visit to the toilet.

NDLEA commander at the Lagos Airport, Mr Hamza Umar, who said that the suspect while under observation excreted two additional wraps, further declared: “the suspect was found with three wraps which she excreted in the aircraft. While she was under observation at the Lagos airport, she excreted two additional wraps of drugs. The five wraps which tested positive for methamphetamine weighed 80 grams”.

Preliminary investigation also revealed that the suspect left Ghana where she ingested the drugs to Malaysia where she was denied entry and made to board another flight back to Nigeria. She started excreting the drugs at the airport in Malaysia.

The suspect in her statement said she was offered half a million naira to smuggle the drugs to Malaysia saying: “I was promised the sum of half a million naira but my problem started when I had immigration problem in Malaysia. I was denied entry and made to return to Nigeria after two days. While in the aircraft, I excreted three wraps and two other wraps in the NDLEA office”.

Vivian, who hails from Onitsha and said that she just completed her Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Administration at the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State, stated: “I just completed my HND programme and I am from a very poor family. I wanted to use the money they promised me to assist my siblings by smuggling the drug to Malaysia”.







ATHENS — Acting on an anonymous tip, Athens Police have charged two men and one woman with manufacturing methamphetamine.


“Sunday morning the department received an anonymous call about a possible meth lab at 1308 Tommy Lane,” said Police Chief Floyd Johnson. “Shortly before 10 a.m., investigators and arrived at the residence. In their investigation they located methamphetamine and multiple ingredients used in the production of methamphetamine.

“Although investigators didn’t locate a working lab at the time of their search, they located four different labs that had been used to produce the drug.”

Robert Linder, 43, of 1308 Tommy Lane, Athens, was charged with first-degree manufacturing and possession of a Controlled Substance; Darla Deanne Bunn, 31, of 11345 Pulaski Pike, Toney, was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance, and Jason Wade Jackson, 22, of 1201 Wray Branch Road, Minor Hill, Tenn., was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

All three defendants were booked at the police department and transferred to the Limestone County Jail. Bail is set for both Bunn and Jackson at $56,000, and for Lindner at $55,000.






A Woodbury woman has been charged with selling more than 20 grams of methamphetamine to an undercover informant earlier this year.

Kayla Rene Olson, 22, is charged with first-degree sales of cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine, a felony with a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Olson was initially charged on Sept. 20, but failed to appear at a hearing on Oct. 31. Authorities issued an arrest warrant, which was served on Olson on Dec. 23.


According to the criminal complaint, Dakota County sheriff’s deputies made arrangements on Feb. 13, 2013, for a confidential informant to buy methamphetamine from Olson in the parking lot of a Woodbury hotel.

Deputies provided the informant with $1,050 in pre-recorded buy funds, and audio and video surveillance equipment. The informant drove to the hotel and met Olson, who got into the informant’s vehicle.

Olson gave the informant a plastic bag containing methamphetamine, and the informant turned over the $1,050. Officers then stepped in and arrested Olson.

The methamphetamine was tested and found to weigh 20.75 grams, according to the complaint.

Following her arrest, Olson admitted to authorities that she had sold the methamphetamine to the informant, the complaint charges.

Olson has been released from custody on a $15,000 bond. She is scheduled to make an initial appearance on the charge Jan. 9 in Washington County District Court.







The Police Department’s Vice Unit executed a search warrant in the 1800 block of Akers Street on December 27. While executing the search, investigators located items consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

John Calvin Price, 30, was arrested and charged with possessing hydrochloric acid and pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, methcathinone or amphetamine; conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, its salts isomers, or salts of it isomers; manufacturing methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers; knowingly or intentionally possessing controlled substance classified in Schedule 2.


was arrested and charged with conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers and one count of knowing or intentionally possessing a controlled substance classified in Schedule 1 or 2 not obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of a professional practice.

Price is being held on $5,000 bond in the Montgomery County Jail. Henley has been released on $5,000 bond.







Authorities discovered what they are calling a mobile meth lab after responding to a domestic incident in Rome.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Office says deputies made the find after responding to 6282 Lamphear Road. After obtaining a search warrant, more meth and methamphetamine manufacturing materials were discovered in a vehicle on the property, deputies said.

Anthony Armstrong, 47, has been charged with the unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, a class-D felony.


The case is pending further investigation, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.







Sheriff deputies located a meth lab in Greenfield and have sent the case to the county prosecutor.

The Highland County Sheriff’s Office received information that a male wanted on an active misdemeanor warrant was at 431 Waddell Street in Greenfield. Deputies also received information that subjects at the residence were producing methamphetamine.

On Dec. 25 at approximately 1 a.m., deputies responded to the Waddell Street address to investigate the tip. Deputies detected chemical odors associated with the production of methamphetamine coming from the residence, and after failed attempts of making contact with a resident, deputies made entry into the residence to locate the source of the odors.

Deputies located Joey Hall and resident Byron Dunn inside the home. Deputies located a one-pot meth lab inside the residence and additional chemicals and ingredients used to produce methamphetamine.

The scene was processed and neutralized by the Sheriff’s Office, and evidence was collected. The evidence will be submitted to BCI&I in London.

The case will be submitted to Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins for review presentation to the Highland County Grand Jury.







A man who allegedly took a bag containing only a small amount of methamphetamine into Wal-Mart with him faces several misdemeanor citations. The culprit, who’s name is not being released because an arrest was not made, allegedly went into the Old Fort Parkway store and stole about $200 worth of merchandise and then attempted to return it.

After a loss prevention worker at the store realized what was going on, he called the police. A responding officer issued the suspect multiple citations after finding not only the merchandise in question, but also the meth, Xanax and Hydrocodone. The man was then escorted off the premises with his citations in hand.

Despite the fact that a physical arrest was not made, misdemeanor possession of a drug like meth is considered a Class A offense for first time offenders. In some cases, a judge can impose up to a one year jail sentence for such a charge.







The woman caught cooking meth in her purse at a Missouri Wal-Mart while shoplifting has been identified, and arrested again. Jennifer Vaughn-Culp, 32, now infamous for her early June meth cooking escapade that shut down a Wal-Mart for seven hours, has been caught cooking meth again, this time outside a U-Mart, located, incidentally, just three miles from the Wal-Mart.


According to St. Louis County Police, they responded to a call about a suspicious person lurking outside a U-Mart. When they arrived, they found Vaughn-Culp in the parking lot. She threw something into a dumpster, which police retrieved and found to be a portable “one-pot” meth lab, just like the one she had in her purse at the Wal-Mart. Vaughn-Culp was charged Tuesday with several counts of possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine.

The photo shown here is Vaughn-Culp both in her mugshot and from her Facebook page, presumably from several months ago.








Police have just released dramatic video of an Easter incident in which an allegedly drugged-out Haamid Ade Zaid, 33, of San Jose, California, crashed his red Oldsmobile Cutlass into the doors of a Wal-Mart and drove through the store before jumping out and bludgeoning four people with a metal object. He was wrestled to the ground and held by security and angry shoppers.


Zaid is charged with two counts attempted murder, four counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of felony vandalism. Though only four people were injured, one was seriously injured, and police are hoping that the release of this video will help them identify more witnesses, specifically anyone who had to dive out of the way of the rampaging Zaid.

Unfortunately for him, this just another in a string of five meth-related arrests in the last two years. Most of the others involved misdemeanor offenses. For example, on July 8, 2011, and again on January 21, 2012, a terrified, “paranoid” and “hallucinating” Zaid, according to police, called 911 allegedly high on meth and got himself arrested both times. Again on  October 12, 2012, he threw a chair through the window of an Irish pub at about 2 a.m., and on Valentine’s Day 2012, Zaid  was arrested for  being under the influence of drugs and providing false information to a peace officer after standing in the middle of a street in Campbell, California, and “aggressively approaching passing vehicles,” according to police.

In December 2012, however, just four months before the Easter incident, Zaid reportedly blew through a red light, broadsided another vehicle and kept going until he smashed his car through the doors of a gas-station convenience store and drove on in “destroying several food/beverage stands (and) missing two employees inside the building,” according to the police report.







Solo, Central Java. A female Islamic Law student from a Jakarta university was arrested at the Adi Soemarmo International Airport over the weekend for attempting to smuggle almost one kilogram of methamphetamine, a customs official said on Monday.

The student, only identified as J.N., is a student in a magister program at an Islamic state university in Jakarta. She was caught with 946 grams of methamphetamine hidden in three hollowed out books inside of her carry-on bag shortly after arriving onboard a flight from Singapore.

Nirwla Dwi Heryanto, the head of the customs office for Central Java and Yogyakarta, told a press conference that the drugs, divided into plastic bags, were detected when the bag went through an X-ray machine.

“The meth has a value of Rp 1.8 billion [$147,420],” he said. ”We have just handed over J.N. to the Boyolali Police for further questioning.”

The student, according to Nirwala, claimed that the meth belonged to her friend in Cambodia who she had gotten to know through Facebook. She left Cambodia for Singapore on Dec. 22, and then flew to Solo on Dec. 28.

J.N. lives in Ciputat, Tangerang, just southwest of Jakarta.

Adj. Comr. A.A. Gde Oka, who heads the Boyolali Police’s narcotics division, said that the police were currently looking into whether a syndicate was involved in the smuggling attempt.

On Dec. 2, customs officials at the Adi Sutjipto International Airport in Yogyakarta arrested a female Indian national arriving from Singapore. She was caught with 2.8 kilograms of methamphetamine estimated to be worth Rp 5.6 billion.







MABLETON — After responding to dozens of calls on reports of drug manufacturing and harboring fugitives at one Mableton residence throughout 2013, Cobb police arrested the home owner on charges of maintaining a disorderly house.

Kinsey Charles Edward, 65, was arrested  Dec. 7 by Cobb police on a misdemeanor charge and released a few days later on a $5,000 bond.

According to the Cobb County Tax Assessor’s office, Edward is the owner of a three-bedroom ranch home built in 1979 on Oak Hills Road, less than a mile northeast from Mableton Elementary School and South Cobb Regional Library.

According to police reports, in 2013 Cobb police responded 39 times to that location for various calls.

According to a warrant, police found methamphetamine inside the house on Feb. 11. Fourteen days later, an arrest was made at the home on charges of possession of methamphetamine and Xanax, as well as simple battery, according to Cobb police.

“Eleven arrests have been made at the residence with charges varying from simple assault to sales of methamphetamine,” the warrant stated.

On April 24, an arrest was made on two outstanding warrants, which was the second time a wanted person had been apprehended at the home, the police report stated. There were 10 other attempts to locate wanted persons at the home in 2013, according to Cobb Police.

“It is commonly used to harbor fugitives,” the warrant stated.

The last call

Multiple police and fire units from around Cobb County were called to the house on Dec. 6, which became a hazmat incident that required further investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Cobb Fire spokeswoman Denell Boyd said it did not take long to put out the house fire, but about 10 Cobb Fire vehicles with 22 responders remained at the scene because of a strong chemical smell.

At the time, Boyd said she could not confirm the house was a meth lab, “but it all points to looking that way.”

The incident resulted in the street being evacuated for five hours based on the chemical odor coming from the smoke.

“These incidents have disturbed orderly citizens and the tranquility of the neighborhood,” and even become a danger and hazard to the area, the warrant stated.

According to Cobb police, Edward, who was listed on the arrest record as having a scar from a gunshot wound on his abdomen and a scar on his neck, confessed to the police that people living in his house make and use methamphetamine.






Dec. 28–One firefighter suffered minor injuries Friday morning when a methamphetamine lab exploded in an abandoned house in Hamblen County, officials said.

Hamblen County Chief Deputy Wayne Mize said the firefighter, whose name was not released, was treated at the scene.

Neighbors on St. Paul Road called Hamblen County E-911 dispatchers at about 6:30 a.m., saying they heard an explosion, Mize said.

The chief said fire was discovered in the basement at the back of the empty house.

“The South Hamblen County Volunteer Fire Department determined it was a meth lab in progress,” Mize said. “One of the firemen, he got a whiff of it, and EMS checked him out and he didn’t have to go to the hospital.”

The chief said the fire was contained to the back of the basement, which has cinder block walls.

“But there was enough wood on fire, we had to drag it out and that’s when we found all kinds of apparatus where they were cooking meth,” he said.

Mize said no one was found at the scene.

“From what we saw at the scene, they were there and had to leave immediately,” Mize said. “We called all the area hospitals to let us know if anybody comes in with burns indicating they had been cooking meth, but we haven’t heard from anybody yet.”

The chief said the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force responded and provided hazardous materials suits and respirators to clean out the basement.

“We’ll have to pay for disposal of the meth,” he said. “It gets expensive. It is around $2,500 to do this.”

Mize said the number of meth labs reported in Hamblen County has been on the decline recently, in part because users can buy it more cheaply than they can make it.

“Doing it in an abandoned house on a country road, they must have felt it was less of a risk than getting caught buying it on street,” he said.







Four people have been arrested following the discovery of a methamphetamine laboratory in an isolated rural property on the Coromandel Peninsula.

The arrests came after two police officers travelling on the 309 Road, south west of Whitianga late yesterday afternoon noticed a woman astride a quad-bike and a man in a utility in the driveway of a supposedly unoccupied rural property.


“The pair claimed to be at the property checking security but then the male, who had gotten out of his vehicle to speak to the officers, ran back to the utility and was seen throwing an object out the window,” said Detective Sergeant Dave Grace.

“A subsequent search established the object thrown was a jar containing methamphetamine and the officers also located a .22 pistol, some scales, close to $5000 in cash and a meth pipe.”

Mr Grace said the man and woman were arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine for supply and unlawful possession of a firearm.

“The officers decided they had better check the property was secure and when they reached the house they were surprised to find two men inside operating a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

The two men were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

All four appeared in the Hamilton District Court today where they were all remanded in custody.

Mr Grace said the isolated property was secured by an armed offenders squad overnight while an Auckland-based methamphetamine team cleared the property today.

The group will appear in court again tomorrow.







Detectives from the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team uncovered a “One Pot” meth lab Thursday.

Deputies from the Delta County Sheriff’s Department asked for UPSET’s assistance in identifying a possible meth lab at a Ford River Township residence off of M-35. Officials from both agencies executed on a search warrant upon arrival, and seized a “One Pot” cooking device and other components used for manufacturing Methamphetamine. UPSET detectives then transported the hazardous waste to an approved holding site.


A male and female subject were arrested at the scene on unrelated charges. The report will be forwarded to the Delta County Prosecutor’s Office for review and additional charges.

UPSET detectives were assisted in the operation by the Delta County Sheriff’s Department, the Ford River Township Fire Department, and Escanaba Public Safety.







CLAREMORE — A Claremore man gave new meaning to the term “meth mouth” when he attempted to conceal an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine inside his mouth last week, according to Claremore police.

“Around 2:30 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 26), I observed a vehicle on Sioux Avenue, south of Blue Starr which had a passenger in it who looked similar to someone we’re currently seeking in connection with a meth lab investigation,” said Lt. Steve Cox, Claremore Police Department. “I continued to follow (the vehicle) and when the driver failed to signal for a turn, I pulled him over on Dorothy Avenue, near the smoke shop.

“At that time, we took the driver — Jerry Don Willyard — in as he was driving under suspension,” Cox continued. “When he was being booked into the (Rogers County) jail, the jailers observed him putting something in his mouth, seemingly to swallow it, so he was taken to the hospital as a precaution.”

As it turned out, Willyard hadn’t swallowed anything, but rather, had sought to hide an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine in his mouth, which was later found to still be under his lip, near his cheek, according to Cox.

“Some of the meth had dissolved as Mr. Willyard had it in his mouth for some time (at that point), but enough was retrieved to include it in charges against him,” he said.

As of Friday afternoon, Willyard, 41, was in Rogers County Jail, held on charges of bringing contraband into jail. Bond was set at $5,284.

Lt. Cox said Willyard’s passenger was questioned and released.










“Breaking Bad” was TV fiction. So was “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Their themes converge in methamphetamine production in Tennessee, but with real-world outcomes: Meth destroys health and lives of thousands of Tennesseans, and sometimes kills. And local sheriffs and police officers must try to stop it, even when they get no help from the state capitol or anywhere else.

Officials at the state level know that Tennessee has the nation’s worst meth addiction. They joined a national registry intended to track and prevent purchasing patterns for cold medicines that contain the critical ingredients for making meth.

It’s not working.

In fact, it seems the database isn’t even making a dent in meth-lab production throughout Tennessee. Earlier this year, state Department of Safety and TBI officials expressed some frustration, especially after Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons and TBI’s Mark Gwyn had made destruction of meth labs a priority, but have seen labs resurging, whether they are the prototypical backwoods shack or a 2-liter soda bottle stashed in a parked car.

And these labs are deadly not only for the drugs they produce, but also for their volatility. Meth makers and family members, including small children, have received severe burns when labs explode.

Backers of the state legislation that instituted the meth offender registry will say that the law is working, but it’s just a lot of noise. The eyewitnesses to meth production, local law enforcement, have been supporting municipalities across Tennessee and other states in passing ordinances that have had a real impact in stopping meth: making cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine available by prescription only.

At least 19 cities in Tennessee have banned over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine, which by no means includes all cold remedies. In the city of Winchester, there has been a 70 percent drop in meth labs and a 14 percent reduction in the overall crime rate.

The one problem: This and similar ordinances may be in violation of the Tennessee Constitution. That is the opinion of state Attorney General Bob Cooper, and while the local ordinances already enacted may still be in force, his opinion has halted the spread of similar ordinances in the face of state-level ineffectiveness.

It is easy to see what must be done: Change state law to require prescriptions for products that contain ingredients for meth. Representatives for pharmaceutical companies oppose this, and they say that it doesn’t work.

But it does. Fed up with its high level of meth crime, Mississippi enacted a prescription requirement in 2010. Since then, the number of operational meth labs there has declined 97 percent, according to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

Pharmaceutical industry reps say that meth is still present in Mississippi and Oregon (the only other state courageous enough to pass a prescription requirement) if only because meth also crosses state lines and is brought in from other countries. That may be, because the numbers in cities like Winchester don’t lie. If meth availability and associated criminal activity are substantially reduced, isn’t it worth it?

Consider not only the lives saved from meth use, but also the other problems that law enforcement would be able to devote to more time to solving.

Lives and the safety of entire communities in exchange for a slight inconvenience at the drug counter for cold sufferers: What do you think our state legislature should do?

The General Assembly will not adopt the prescription requirement on its own; too many legislators are generously compensated from within the pharmaceutical industry. These lawmakers need our encouragement to take the only step that has been shown to be effective against meth: Pass the Rx.










There is little question methamphetamine has its grips on a segment of the population. The drug once again was in the news plenty this year. The word “methamphetamine” appeared in the pages of the Herald-Whig on an average of just over one time per issue this year.

The West Central Illinois Task Force, a special drug-fighting unit made up of officers from the state, county and local levels, was as busy as ever. In Adams County alone, the group had seized 70 labs through the middle of December. That will put the group just shy of the 77 labs they seized in the county last year. When the state of Illinois compiles its statewide statistics early next year, Adams County once again figures to be among the leaders when it comes to meth lab seizures.


One case the task force worked on wound up trumping all others. On April 26, task force officers arrested John Grotts after searching his residence at 207 Walker in Ursa. At the time of his arrest, Grotts was the Adams County Probation Department’s representative on the county’s drug court program and was found to be living with a recent graduate of the program. Grotts was arrested on charges of possession of less than 5 grams of meth and unlawful use of property. Devin Lawton, 36, was arrested on an outstanding warrant for illegal possession of meth precursors.

Grotts’ arrest proved to be a temporary setback to the drug court program. He was fired from his position on May 9 and the program did not evaluate candidates for a few weeks after his arrest. There was just one drug court graduation ceremony this year. In every year except the program’s initial year in 2007, there have been two graduation ceremonies.

Grotts’ case was eventually taken over by the federal government. According to a federal affidavit, task force officers found a one-pot shake-and-bake meth lab among a number of other items of meth manufacturing waste. Cannabis and a cannabis pipe were found in a bedroom. In the basement of the residence, officers found a book on growing marijuana, four boxes of starting plugs, two scales, a water pump, three boxes of empty capsules, and a number of totes that contained more than 100 blue bags of plant material. Agents seized 11 guns from throughout the house.

Lawton, a May 2012 drug court graduate, was sentenced to seven years in prison after she pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of meth and unlawful possession of meth precursors.

“I have a sickness to meth,” Lawton said at her sentencing. “Hopefully this will knock some sense into me.”

Grotts has pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises on Oct. 23. The federal government will recommend probation for Grotts at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 24. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison.