Three Hagerstown residents face drug charges after suspected heroin and suspected methamphetamine with a street value of approximately $50,000 was seized along with $9,000 in cash and several firearms during a drug bust this week involving multiple agencies, officials said.


The Washington County Narcotics Task Force recovered approximately 188 grams of suspected heroin and 95 grams of suspected methamphetamine Monday from 807 Hamilton Blvd. in Hagerstown’s North End, according to Lt. Todd Kerns, who served as the task force’s director in 2013.

“That’s a lot of drugs,” Kerns said Wednesday in a phone interview.

The task force was assisted by the Washington County Special Response Team and the Hagerstown regional office of the Drug Enforcement Agency, according to an email from Kerns.

Breezy Jill Beckette, 22, of 807 Hamilton Blvd.; Cody William Grant, 26, of 826 Dewey Ave., Apt. 3, in Hagerstown’s North End; and Daniel Matthew Anderson, 28, of 1008 Security Road, Apt. E, all face drug charges, according to Kerns and online court records.

Grant was being held without bond Wednesday at the Washington County Detention Center. Beckette and Anderson were being held at the detention center Wednesday, each in lieu of a $50,000 bond.

The bust began in the late afternoon Monday as Grant was contacted to do a deal involving an informant, and was taken into custody inside the Sheetz on Potomac Avenue, Kerns said.

Grant briefly escaped, fleeing while handcuffed, and was captured a short distance away, Kerns said. While he fled, Grant fell and injured himself, Kerns said.

Grant was treated at Meritus Medical Center and released to authorities, Kerns said.

Grant was charged with five counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance that was not marijuana and two counts of distributing narcotics, according to online court records.

Grant also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of needles related to drugs; possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana; creating a common nuisance through distributing narcotics; and escape in the second degree, according to Kerns and online court records.

Shortly after Grant was taken into custody, the task force executed a search-and-seizure warrant at 807 Hamilton Blvd., Kerns said.

At that time, police apprehended Beckette, who was inside the duplex, Kerns said.

Police seized drugs, cash and weapons from the residence, Kerns said.

Several weapons were seized, including two stolen handguns, as well as rifles and shotguns, Kerns said.

Beckette was charged with three counts each of intent to distribute narcotics and possession of a controlled dangerous substance that was not marijuana, according to online court records.

Beckette also was charged with possession of a large amount of heroin (more than 28 grams); possession of a firearm in relationship to a drug-trafficking crime; creating a common nuisance through distributing narcotics; and theft of less than $1,000 in value, according to Kerns and online court records.

Kerns said Anderson was part of an investigation that occurred prior to the search warrant being executed. He was taken into custody Tuesday at his Security Road home, Kerns said.

Anderson was charged with distribution of narcotics and possession of a controlled dangerous substance that was not marijuana, according to online court records.

The narcotics task force is a joint operation of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Hagerstown Police Department.




SEPANG:  Two women from China were detained for smuggling Methamphetamine in  two separate cases at the Low Cost Career Terminal (LCCT) on Monday and Tuesday.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Customs director, Datuk Chik Omar  Chik Lim said 9.1kgs of the drug worth RM1.6 million were seized from them.

“A 19-year-old girl was arrested on Monday after 6.1kg of drugs worth RM1.1  million was found in her baggage at 2.50am,” he told a media conference at his  office here, today.

He said the second arrest on Tuesday at 1.30am involved a 29-year-old woman  who had three kilogrammes of Methamphetamine worth RM570,000 in two coils of  wire in her baggage.

He said syndicates from China used the same modus operandi, namely,  recruiting young and beautiful women, aged 19 to 29, to smuggle drugs.

The two cases are being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous  Drugs Act 1952 which carries the mandatory death sentence, if convicted.

Meanwhile, Chik Omar said the department had thwarted 67 attempts to smuggle  drugs involving 55 arrests and seizures of 809.9kg worth RM47.6 million last  year.

In 2012, 61 cases involving 68 arrests and seizures of 317.3kg of drugs  worth RM36.2 million were recorded at KLIA, Chik Omar added. — BERNAMA



BROOKPORT, Ill. (AP) — Two people in Massac County in southern Illinois have been arrested after sheriff’s deputies spotted drug-making equipment in the front yard of a house where they were staying.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan ( ) reports that 36-year-old Kristy G. Morrow and 18-year-old Matthew D. Skinner were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Massac County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Kaylor says deputies went to the house just outside Brookport on Tuesday after receiving a tip that a methamphetamine lab was there.

He says some drug-making equipment had fallen from a trash can in the front yard.  He says they later found other equipment used to make the drug behind the house, including cooking bottles, rubber tubing and drain cleaner.



AKRON, OhioSummit County in northeast Ohio is a hotbed of methamphetamine production, leading the state in the number of labs busted, authorities said.

The county sheriff’s drug unit found 85 meth lab sites in 2013, The Akron Beacon Journal ( ) reported Thursday.

The multi-jurisdictional group now has identified more than 900 meth labs and places where meth equipment was dumped since 2001 in Summit County. That’s more than in any other Ohio county.

The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network says in a new drug trend report that the availability of meth has increased in the Akron-Canton area, partly because the drug has become easier to make.

Meth can be created by mixing such items as lithium batteries, ammonium nitrate, drain cleaner and pseudoephedrine, and using nothing more than a 2-liter soda bottle to mix them, authorities said.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Clandestine Laboratory Register lists 395 meth sites in Summit. Highland County, in southwest Ohio, is a distant second with 58, followed by Ashtabula in far northeast Ohio (48) and Clermont near Cincinnati (45).

The drug report rates the availability of meth in the Akron-Canton area as a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.

Community and law enforcement officials here say they are much more aggressive in going after meth labs, and that has led to the misconception that it’s a bigger problem in Summit County than elsewhere. And the DEA lists only sites reported by local law enforcement — meaning the meth problem might seem better or worse in some communities than it really is.

“If you think your community is immune, think again,” said Eric Wandersleben, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services. “Addiction does not discriminate. It can impact anyone, anywhere, any time.”




EUNICE, N.M. (KRQE) – Agents in Lea County seized large amounts of meth, and a slew of other items including guns at a home in Eunice.

After executing a search warrant, authorities from multiple agencies found approximately 336 grams of meth.//

Agents arrested 31-year-old Juan Duran and 32-year-old Ramon Perez.



Both face trafficking charges, possession of firearms and a number of other charges.

According to authorities, the street value of meth they confiscated values at nearly $33,000.

Both are being held at the Lea County Detention Facility.





AN American man has been charged with allegedly importing 5kg of methamphetamine into Brisbane International Airport on Wednesday.

The 70-year-old man was searched by Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) officers after he arrived from Fiji.

ACBPS officers noticed the man’s bag was unusually heavy and full and it was X-rayed.

The X-ray allegedly revealed a concealment in the lining of the bag.

A white powder was allegedly found which tested positive as methamphetamine - also called ice.

Australian Federal Police charged the man with importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

AFP acting Assistant Commissioner Michael Chew said the operation had prevented a significant quantity of illicit drugs hitting Australian streets.

He said Australian authorities would continue to combat the movement of illicit drugs into Australia.

Further forensic testing will be conducted to determine the exact weight and purity of the substance.

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

The man was due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Thursday.



Two people were arrested Sunday after police responded at 1:30 a.m. to a report of people fighting with store security personnel, police said.

Tiffany Loraine Barnfield, 33, a transient, allegedly tried to leave the store pushing a cart full of stolen items before she began to fight with a Wal-Mart asset protection officer as he tried to stop her, American Canyon Police Chief Tracey Stuart said.

Her companion, Matthew Fritz Moran, 33, of Novato, ran up and allegedly attacked the Wal-Mart employee, Stuart said.

The store asset protection officer sustained unspecified injuries to his face, police said.

Barnfield admitted having methamphetamine in her bra, Stuart said. She was booked into the Napa County jail on a warrant and on suspicion of robbery and methamphetamine possession, Stuart said.

Moran was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of robbery and resisting arrest, police said.



(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Cushing woman — who was twice convicted of possessing methamphetamine in 2005 – has been jailed on $50,000 total bail from two recently-filed drug charges pending a Jan. 6 appearance in court.


In her latest case, Laurie Darlene Bacon, 41, was arrested by Payne County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Nack for allegedly possessing marijuana and a smoking pipe across the street from Cushing High School on Dec. 17.

At the time, Bacon had been free on $10,000 bail on a charge of  possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at her residence in the 500 block of S. Little Street on Nov. 21, court records show.

After she was arrested on Dec. 17, she was jailed and her bond was revoked — which made her new total bail $50,000, court records show.

In 2006, Bacon had been convicted in two separate Cushing cases of possessing methamphetamine in the presence of a child – and possessing substances with intent to manufacture the same drug, possessing a drug within 1,000 feet of a minor and having a drug without a prescription, all in 2005.

She was placed on 10 years’ probation with a requirement that she complete a one-year in-patient program at Jordan’s Crossing Treatment Center in Oklahoma City in lieu of drug court.

However, eight months after she went into that residential treatment program, she was discharged for having contraband in the facility, state Department of Corrections Community Sentencing Specialist Dee Miller wrote in a report to the court in August 2006.

Three months later, then-District Judge Donald Worthington revoked part of her probation and gave her a three-year prison term of which she apparently served nine months, court records show.

When she was arrested about six weeks ago at her residence in Cushing, Larry Steven Wallace Jr., 36, of Cushing, was also arrested for alleged possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. He was freed on $1,000 bail pending a Jan. 15 court appearance.

In that Nov. 21 case, a team of Payne County sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant at Bacon’s residence, which had “a hang-out type room, with tattoo equipment throughout the room,” Nack wrote in an affidavit.

In the tattoo room, from which Wallace emerged, a set of gravity scales was on the top of an end table, which contained a drawer with a small baggy having methamphetamine residue and two white prescription pills, the affidavit alleged.

    “One loaded syringe with approximately 15 cc’s of clear liquid was located inside a wooden end table. Two additional used syringes were located in the trash can of this room rolled up with sandwich baggies,” the affidavit alleged.

In Bacon’s bedroom, the deputy found three small yellow baggies, two of which contained residue field-tested as positive for methamphetamine, the affidavit alleged. A spoon with cotton had a small marijuana-type pipe, the affidavit alleged. Three more used small yellow baggies were in her trash can, the affidavit alleged.

If convicted of both of her current drug charges, Bacon could be incarcerated for 42 years and fined $22,000, due to her prior criminal record.

If convicted of his charges, Wallace could be incarcerated for 11 years and fined $6,000, court records show.



EDWARDSVILLE — Authorities have taken a first step toward seizing a house worth upward of $500,000 in an upscale Edwardsville subdivision after police found an alleged methamphetamine distribution operation in the house.

The Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a court document in an effort to seize a home in the 3300 block of Karros Court in the Ebbets Field Subdivision.

Police searched the place Dec. 5 and found a total of 17 grams of crystal meth in the house, along with drug paraphernalia.

Four people were arrested and charged with unlawful distribution of methamphetamine.

A sworn statement filed in connection with the case said state police obtained a search warrant and found the methamphetamine in a bedroom in which one of the suspects and her boyfriend were staying. About 8 grams of the drug were found in a bedroom/bathroom area where two others were staying.

The officers took a digital scale and plastic bags as evidence. One of the suspects, Steven W. Sweningsen, 42, admitted that he had made trips to south St. Louis to trade meth for heroin, according to the statement. All of the home’s occupants admitted to using crystal meth on a regular basis, the document stated.

In addition to Sweningsen, Kaenin Thomas, 34; Kelly A. Thomas, 30; and Gerald E. Provencher, 28; were charged with unlawful possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Bail on Provencher was set at $100,000. Bail on the other three suspects was set at $75,000.

Ebbets Field is a subdivision featuring large homes worth between $400,000 and $1 million. It was developed by prominent businessman Robert Plummer, of Edwardsville, a Dodgers fan. Streets are named after famous Dodgers, such as Duke Snider and Sandy Koufax.

Prosecutors claim the property is subject to forfeiture under the state controlled substances act and the methamphetamine control and community protection act.

Names in the state’s request are Jon S. Thomas and Joanne M. Thomas, as trustees, and Kaenin Thomas and Kelly Thomas as beneficiaries.

The property is held in a land trust with Jon S. Thomas and Joanne M. Thomas as trustees and Kaenin and Kelly Thomas as the sole beneficiaries.

The law enforcement sworn statement alleges Joanne M. Thomas told authorities she was aware of Kaenin and Kelly Thomas’ alleged drug use and past history with criminal drug charges in California.




Cameron County deputies seized 40 pounds of methamphetamine found inside car batteries.


Sheriff Omar Lucio says they received a tip about the drugs and when they tried to stop the driver he fled from authorities, drove into some trees and ran away.

Deputies arrested the passenger, Arcadio Granados Gomez, 40, and charged him with possession of a controlled substance.

The drugs have a street value of $1.2 million.



PINEY FLATS — A Sullivan County home was quarantined Tuesday after sheriff’s deputies allegedly found an active methamphetamine operation inside.

The discovery was made when Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a residence located at 5609 Bristol Highway to notify a domestic violence victim that the suspect in their case was pending release from jail, SCSO Public Information Office Leslie Earhart said.

Deputies reportedly found both doors to the home open when the arrived. Earhart said officers knocked several times without response before deciding to enter the home and check on those inside.


Once the officers were inside, Earhart said they found an active meth operation and two individuals who appeared to be “extremely intoxicated.”

At that point, Earhart said the SCSO Vice and Narcotics detectives and members of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force were called in to take over the investigation.

Inside the home, investigators allegedly discovered eight “one pot” meth labs, 13 gas generator bottles and a variety of other items used to manufacture the drug.

The individuals inside the residence reportedly told authorities that the meth labs belonged to Dallas Young, who was arrested Monday evening by SCSO deputies on domestic violence charges for allegedly assaulting his father.

Young has not yet been charged in connection with the meth labs found in the home.

Earhart said the investigation was ongoing Tuesday night and that charges in the case are pending.




CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. — A man led Cleveland County Sheriff’s Deputies on a chase throughout the county on Monday afternoon that ended with officers recovering nearly $12,000-worth of methamphetamine.

Officers with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics unit attempted to pull over a vehicle they believed to be delivering drugs in the county around 4 p.m. on Monday.


With lights and sirens engaged, the vehicle failed to stop and led officers on a 14-mile chase through the county, finally ending on Pete Mauney Road in the northern end of the county, officials say.

The driver, Ronald Keith Goode, was taken into custody on numerous charges at the scene.

A later search of the vehicle turned-up 118 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of $11,800, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Goode is charged with trafficking methamphetamine, fleeing to elude arrest, failure to heed blue lights and sirens, reckless driving to endanger, no operators license, speeding, driving left of center, failure to stop for stop sign/flashing red light and resist, delay or obstruct a public officer. His bonds total $52,500.



LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) — A University Medical Center nurse and her boyfriend were arrested Thursday on suspicion of selling prescription medications, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Ursula St. Clair, 38, and Alex Fernandez, 43, were taken into custody Thursday following a police undercover operation and a search of their apartment and car.

The investigation began in early December when police received information that a nurse known as “Miriam” was selling controlled substances and methamphetamine, according to an arrest report.

Metro police arranged three undercover buys of controlled substances in December. In each case, officers exchanged cash for drugs, the report states. The drugs later were tested and found to be methamphetamine, hydrocodone and marijuana.

After the third buy, officers obtained a search warrant for the suspects’ apartment and car. On Thursday, they witnessed the suspects leaving their apartment complex at 3450 N. Hualapai Ave.  in the same white Toyota they had been  seen driving in each of the undercover buys, the report says. They took the couple into custody and searched the car and apartment where they found more controlled substances. A 4-year-old and 5-year old were removed from the apartment.

Clair and Fernandez were interviewed and then taken to the Clark County Detention Center.  They face charges of trafficking, possession and selling a controlled substance and conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substance Act.

The two made their first appearance in court Wednesday.



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.