The Border Patrol announced Friday that agents seized nearly $1.4 million worth of narcotics at the Interstate 5 checkpoint in San Clemente in the past week.3-27-15-Border-Patrol-Agents-Seize-more-than-1_3M-of-narcotics-on-I-5_photo-5-640x360

On Wednesday afternoon, a suspicious 2008 Toyota Camry was stopped at Crown Valley Parkway. A drug-sniffing dog alerted agents, who found 1.2 pounds of black tar heroin, 17.2 pounds of China White heroin, and 22.4 pounds of crystal methamphetamine. The drugs have an estimated street value of $574,000.

Just hours later, the driver of a 2001 Toyota Solara was stopped at the checkpoint. After a dog alerted agents, they discovered 69 packages of methamphetamine in the rear quarter panels of the vehicle.  The meth weighed 82.4 pounds and has an estimated street value of $824,000.

The two drivers and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicles were seized by the Border Patrol.

In the fiscal year ended in September, agents in the San Diego Sector seized more than 2,880 ounces of heroin and more than 1,790 pounds of methamphetamine.

“I was on the verge of losing everything — my family, my job, everything that was important to me— all because I made the decision to ‘just try’ smoking meth one time.”

That one decision led Terri down the darkest road she said she has ever traveled — one filled with drugs, deception, depression and despair. The Franklin County resident is being identified only by her first name.551773ffa8512_image

“I fell into a deep depression,” she said. “I wasn’t even the same person anymore. It had messed with my mind and turned me into someone I didn’t recognize. When I wasn’t at work, I was in bed. I withdrew from everything. It was a dark time, but it wasn’t nearly as dark as when I was actually still using. I really was a completely different person then.”

Terri’s story of the severe consequences of meth use is similar to others who are addicted to the drug with seemingly no way out of the downward spiral.

But how did Terri and others like her get to that point? Billboards feature the “faces of meth” depicting the negative physical effects the drug can have. TV ads spout statistics and facts about the dangers of meth. Local law enforcement agencies dispense information about the drug’s addictive nature. Pamphlets run down the list of chemicals involved in the manufacture of meth — the list of negatives stretches a mile long.

With all this information flooding media and awareness programs, why are there still people who choose to use this drug that has quickly become one of the most abused substances, especially in rural areas? There are no obvious answers.

“People usually assume that someone on meth has probably had a drug problem all their life, or they’ve been in a lot of trouble, and sometimes that’s true, but that isn’t always the case,” Terri said. “I had never done anything like that before in my life before my first time. I was a wife, a mother, a grandmother and I had a good job. People would have never thought I’d do something like that.

“But a co-worker asked me one day if I wanted to try it. She said it would make me feel good. I thought it couldn’t hurt to ‘just try it once,’ but I’ll tell you right now, I’ll promise you, I was addicted after that very first time.”

Strict laws having effect on meth labs

Franklin County Community Corrections officer Sheryl Plott said the warning that a first-time use leads to instant addiction is no myth.

“When you take meth, it releases a large amount of dopamine, which makes a person feel great and can have them hooked after the first use,” Plott said. “But methamphetamine attacks your dopamine receptors and can eventually destroy them until they’re almost impossible to repair. This can alter people’s moods and personalities and cause them to be severely depressed, so they keep using the drug to continue to feel good.”

The high the drug gives its users is hard to describe, Terri said.

“It makes you feel good physically and mentally,” she said. “It’s a very intense feeling that I can’t really put into words because I’d never felt anything else like it. You don’t worry about anything or feel like you have any problems. And it feels great at the time. That’s why so many people get on it and stay on it. That’s why so many people do it.”

Once meth use came to Alabama, studies show, it increased at a rapid rate. According to the El Paso Intelligence Center’s National Seizure System, the number of meth lab seizure incidents in Alabama increased from 204 incidents in 2007 to 610 incidents in 2009, which is an increase of 199 percent.

But since the Alabama Legislature passed several laws in 2012 aimed at combating the serious meth-use problem, reports have shown a steady decline in the reported number of meth labs found in Alabama. According to a report by the Alabama Drug Task Force, meth lab seizures in the state dropped from 720 in 2010 to 154 in 2013 — a 78 percent difference.

“The laws that were passed several years ago, like the anti-smurfing and precursor laws, they’ve really helped us be able to crack down not just on the users themselves, but it helps us crack down on the ones who are attempting to manufacture the drug,” Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver said. “The pseudoephedrine laws limiting the amounts you can buy, and recording when people buy this medication, have definitely helped.”

Smurfing is when a meth manufacturer tries to avoid buying large quantities of pseudoephedrine personally by hiring others to each buy smaller amounts.

Oliver said anti-smurfing laws help authorities “catch the people who are trying to beat the system. … Being able to catch people in the early stages of making meth has helped us tremendously.”

The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) reported 44,953 blocked sales of pseudoephedrine in the first seven months of 2014, which equaled 110,896 grams of pseudoephedrine that were blocked from being sold.

According to National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) data, in Franklin County in 2013, 436 boxes of PSE sales were blocked. This kept over 1,300 grams of PSE from potentially being used in meth production in Franklin County.

“The Franklin County Drug Unit has also been a big help since it was established,” Oliver said. “We now have officers who are solely dedicated to investigating drug cases from start to finish. They can follow up on community tips and take the time to investigate these cases fully.”

But though the meth trend seems to be declining, Oliver said the problem is still prevalent, especially in rural places like Franklin County.

“In my opinion, if there’s any meth use going on at all it’s a problem, but meth use is still pretty high around here,” he said. “I would say that arrests related to meth and prescription medication are what we see the most of. And a lot of our burglary, theft and even assault arrests stem from drug issues, too.”

Rural areas hit hard

In a report released by the Council of State Governments, the prevalence of meth use in rural areas was attributed to a tendency to have understaffed law enforcement agencies because of a lack of funding, easy access to ingredients and plenty of open spaces that would make production harder to detect.

“Being a rural county makes it somewhat easier to manufacture meth, and that knowledge will sometimes lead people to think they’re not going to get caught, which leads to even more meth labs and meth use than you would probably find in a more populated area,” Oliver said. “There aren’t as many neighbors close by who could see what’s going on and report it to authorities. Also, the ingredients needed to make meth are fairly cheap, which is appealing to people in a more rural community where average incomes are probably not as high as they would be in a big city. It’s more economical in that respect.”

So how do law enforcement agencies, especially rural agencies, go about combating the meth problem?

“You keep following up on community tips and you keep investigating suspicious behavior and you keep sending the message that drug use won’t be tolerated,” Oliver said. “It may seem like we’re fighting a losing battle at times, but every arrest, every time we get these drugs off the streets, it’s progress.

“I also think education is important — getting the message out there about the dangers, the hazards and the potential that meth has to completely destroy your life and the lives of those you love.”

Terri, who holds a steady job and regularly speaks to AA members about how she overcame her meth addiction and still fights to overcome it every day, said she also believes education about the drug is important to combating it.

“I honestly didn’t know much about meth when I tried it that first time,” she said. “But I’m trying to make sure people know the dangers and know how addicting it is up front because it’s better to not ever start.

“But if someone has already started and is stuck right in the middle of it, I want them to know there is a way out. You just have to make the decision that you’re not going to let it ruin your life and the ones of those you love. And then you have to fight, every single day, to keep that commitment and continue to remain clean.

“The drug is powerful and it will take over your life in a second, but you can get help and come out on the other side, I promise.”–hit-addiction-to-meth-no-myth/article_1be4c0e6-9267-51c8-89ab-ec9927694185.html

There are so many positive things the Bakken oil development has created in western North Dakota.

The Dickinson Press has been filled with stories of people finding a new start in life. Unprecedented wealth has filled the tax coffers of state government. New stores and restaurants once only located in larger cities have been built and are operating in western North Dakota.

Say what you will about the oil play, but for those who are willing to work hard, there have been unheard of opportunities.

That said, the oil development has certainly created challenges, such as a higher cost of living, increased traffic, a lack of affordable housing and employee shortages and empty store shelves. Still, most reasonable folks who live here have to admit things have slowly gotten better.

However, the one byproduct of the oil boom that has not improved is the crime rate, which has increased in recent years.

Human trafficking, assaults, burglaries, domestic violence and even murder paint the pages of The Press. Most of those crimes can be tied to the increase of drug use — meth, in particular — in western North Dakota, and sadly there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.

Over a two day-period in February, 11 pounds of meth was seized in what law enforcement described as the largest drug bust in North Dakota history. The street value of the drugs was more than a half-million dollars, and an immeasurable amount of misery.

Meth is one of the most dangerous and potent drugs. It’s a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. It is associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behavior and potential heart and brain damage. Highly addictive, meth burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug. The first experience might involve some pleasure, but from the start, meth begins to destroy the user’s life.

Meth addicts usually end up dead or jail.

Meth is a nearly impossible addiction to kick, even when treatment is available. Even more troubling is that there are nowhere near enough private or public services in North Dakota for what is needed.

Local law enforcement, courts and social services — despite their best efforts — are too understaffed and underfunded to combat the tenfold increase in meth activity in recent years.

The North Dakota Legislature needs to seriously address the needs of local agencies to combat what can only be described as an epidemic.

The Dickinson Press Editorial Board consists of Publisher Harvey Brock, Managing Editor Dustin Monke and News Editor April Baumgarten.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A Lufkin man who allegedly forced two teenage girls, ages 17 and 15, to use methamphetamine before he sexually assaulted them was one of the 66 people recently indicted by an Angelina County grand jury.7268760_G

Brandon Lee Pipkin is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on two first-degree felony sexual assault of a child charges, two second-degree felony delivery of a controlled substance to a minor charges, a third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance charge, and two revocation of probation charges for theft. Collectively, Pipkin’s bail has been set at $525,000.

Pipkin was booked into the Angelina County Jail on Dec. 2, 2014 after he was arrested by Angelina County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

According to the arrest affidavit, members of the ACSO Criminal Investigation Division were notified of a 911 call in which a 17-year-old girl told the dispatcher that she had been drugged and sexually assaulted by Pipkin.

The girl told the dispatcher that Pipkin had forced her to take meth and then sexually assaulted her. When the ACSO investigators spoke to the girl and another 15-year-old girl that had been at the same location said they would either smoke the meth or snort the substance in its powdered form, the affidavit stated.mugshot

Both girls allegedly told the investigators that Pipkin had told them on numerous occasions how sexually aroused he got when he was high on the meth. The 17-year-old girl also told the investigators that on Nov. 30, she and Pipken snorted meth, and she passed out, the affidavit stated.

The 17-year-old victim explained that she was wearing less clothing than she had been when she passed out. She also told the ACSO investigators that even though “everything that had occurred was extremely blurry,” she remembered having sexual intercourse with Pipkin, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, the 15-year-old girl told investigators that sometime during the week of Thanksgiving, she snorted meth with Pipkin, the affidavit stated. She said she was intoxicated enough that her body felt “very heavy and weak.” At that point, the girl laid in the bed with Pipkin, and he allegedly began touching her inappropriately over and under her clothes.

A SANE exam conducted on the 17-year-old victim revealed that she had injuries consistent with recent sexual intercourse, the affidavit stated. In addition, a toxicology test taken on the day she made the 911 call revealed that she had methamphetamine in her system, according to the affidavit.







GEORGETOWN, SC – Three children — including 2 infants — were found in a meth lab house with 2 guns and teen girls were among those arrested on Friday, Georgetown County Deputies say.7271214_G

Agents with the 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) assisted by the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, the 15th Circuit Tactical Meth Enforcement Team and the North Myrtle Beach Police Department executed a Search warrant on a Methamphetamine Lab, and served several drug related arrest warrants Friday in the 700 block Garrison Road in Georgetown County.

Agents arrested the four residents: Shawn Wayne Cooper, 40 years of age, Hunter Brandy Haselden, 19 years of age, Kayla Paige Cooper, 19 years of age and Billy Newman Perritt III, 23 years of age, officials say.

The four were charged on Methamphetamine production Conspiracy arrest warrants before transporting them to the Georgetown County Detention Center.7271212_G

When Agents entered the home early Friday morning they found three minor children (ages 15 years, 24 months and 5 months) along with evidence of Methamphetamine manufacturing, according to a press release from deputies

Several dozen “One Pot” meth cooks were found along with other paraphernalia linked to methamphetamine manufacturing, deputies said.

“Agents discovered evidence indicating the residents attempted to burn the remnants from the Methamphetamine production as well,”officials said in a press release.

In addition to the Methamphetamine production materials Agents recovered approximately 7.6 grams of Methamphetamine in addition to over 12.2 grams of marijuana, scales and packaging materials indicating sales of both marijuana and methamphetamine.

Agents also found a loaded 9mm Beretta pistol and a 9mm Hi-Point rifle “that had been illegally cut down and painted white,” officials said.

All four  residents were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Manufacturing Methamphetamine in the presence of a minor Child, Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana and Unlawful disposal of Methamphetamine waste.


Shawn Cooper was additionally charged with Possession of a sawed off-rifle.

The two infants were transported to the Georgetown Hospital for evaluation before being turned over to DSS. The 15 year old was turned over to the Juvenile authorities.

This is believed to be the first investigation, resulting in the dismantling of a meth lab, in Georgetown County and was the result of a two-month investigation by DEU Agents assigned to the Georgetown office.

The arrestees were transported to the Georgetown County Detention Center and are awaiting formal charges.








Five persons were  busted in Rhinelander Wednesday on drug charges. Arrested are 40 year old Michael Stienmetz, Jr., 38 year old Jamie Rickert, 35 year old Jesus Fernandez, 47 year old Carrie Stienmetz and 36 year old Crystal Schirmacher. All five were arrested for alleged use, manufacture, and delivery of methamphetamine.

Last fall, Stienmetz was sentenced as part of a high-profile human trafficking case. HumanTrafficking charges were dismissed against her , but one sex charge was deferred, and  she was sentenced on two other lesser sex charges.  After a jail sentence, she is on state supervision. The new charges include bail jumping from previous court actions.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, Rhinelander Police, North Central Drug Enforcement group and the state Department of Justice were involved in the bust.









BILLINGS — Three arrests have been made in connection with the murder of Juan Antonio Guerra-Torres. Murder charges were filed March 26th in Park County, Wyoming.

Guerra-Torres’s headless body was found on January 9, 2014, by duck hunters. The body was in a creek drainage along the north side of Little Sand Coulee Road east of Clark, Wyoming.

Authorities said Guerra-Torres was decapitated and he was also missing his left arm form the should and his right hand.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that 27-year-old Sandra Garcia of Powell has been charged with the murder. She is said to be the girlfriend of Guerra-Torres at the time of his murder, and the mother of his children.

The second suspect is 28-year-old Pedro Garcia Jr., who is the brother of Sandra. Also taken into custody was 51-year-old John Louis Marquez.

Sandra Garcia and Pedro Garcia are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and aiding murder.

Marquez faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder, and first degree murder.

According to court documents, while being interviewed Pedro Garcia Jr. told authorities that in December of 2013 Sandra Garcia approached him looking for help with her “situation.”

She explained that Guerra-Torres owed people in Mexico between $30,000 and $40,000. Sandra Garcia asked Pedro to “help take care of him.” Pedro Garcia said he declined.

In January of 2014, Sandra Garcia reportedly approached Pedro Garcia a second time asking him to help kill Guerra-Torres.

Sandra Garcia allegedly said people from Mexico were going to kill her and the family because of his debt.

She later described Guerra-Torres as “very deep into the drug world,” and said that he owned money to a man in California known as “Don Cheto.”

She also described taking Guerra-Torres to meet a man known as “Crocodile” near Cody, and she believed Crocodile worked for Don Cheto.

Sandra Garcia described Guerra-Torres as being “mentally, emotionally and physically abusive,” court records state.

Pedro Garcia said he became worried about the family and agreed to help his sister. He said he would find someone to assist with the murder.

Pedro Garcia explained that he called Sandra Garcia to set up a meeting between them and John Marquez in Powell. The meeting was set up so Sandra Garcia could tell Marquez how she needed proof that Guerra-Torres was dead to show the people in Mexico.

After Marquez agreed to murder Guerra-Torres, court documents state Marquez and Pedro Garcia smoked methamphetamine together and planned Guerra-Torres’ murder.

Sandra Garcia and Guerra-Torres made plans to meet John Marquez and Pedro Garcia on a dirt pullout near the Badger Basin Highway.

Sandra Garcia had lied, telling Guerra-Torres that a narcotics deal would take place.

When they arrived, Pedro Garcia said Marquez shot Guerra-Torres several times when he got out of the vehicle.

Sandra Garcia then left the scene. Pedro Garcia and Marquez proceeded to load Guerra-Torres’s body into the back of Marquez’s pickup truck.

The two men drove to Little Sand Coulee Road where they planned to dispose of the body. That’s where Pedro Garcia said he saw Marquez removing body parts with an axe.

Marquez reportedly placed the body parts into a black plastic bag and left the scene.

Pedro Garcia said he later paid Marquez $700 and three grams of methamphetamine taken from Guerra-Torres’ body the day he was killed.

Pedro Garcia later sent Marquez more payments through three wire transfers totaling $400.

Sandra Garcia was taken into custody in Effingham County, Georgia. Marquez was arrested in Bonham, Texas. Pedro Garcia has reportedly waived extradition back to Wyoming due to unrelated charges. Marquez is being held in Texas.

The investigation included several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.









A Florida drug dealer died from an overdose after he swallowed his stash to avoid arrest, police said.

Michel Antoine Rodriguez was allegedly delivering meth in Oakland Park, Miami, on Wednesday when he realized undercover cops were moving in, reports the Sun-Sentinel.104737541

The 38-year-old reportedly gobbled up the narcotics as Broward County Drug Task Force detectives walked up to detain him.

Officers tried to stop him from ingesting the drugs and called for medical rescue, reports The Ledger.

Rodriguez was rushed to Holy Cross Hospital but soon went into cardiac arrest and died.

An investigation into his death has now been launched, said Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright.

Records show Rodriguez had no prior drug charges.

But he had been arrested twice in Miami-Dade County on charges including aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reports the Sun-Sentinel.








Ubon Ratchathani:- A wife has filed a police complaint charging her husband for physical assault and citing her 13-year-old daughter’s video clip as evidence.

The wife said in the latest incident on Wednesday’s night, her husband severely beat her after hearing that she had no money to give him for buying illicit drugs.

Since the beating frequently happened between her mother and stepfather, the daughter said she wanted to help her mother.

She told police that she had used her mobile phone to record a short video clip of the beating so that there would be proof of the temperamental and violent-prone stepfather.

When police arrived at the scene, the husband refused to go to the police station and was subdued and handcuffed.

In his initial statement, he said he was not drug abuser and that he did not beat his wife.

Confronted by the stepdaughter’s clip, he changed his statement and admitted to using drugs and to the physical assault charges.

The wife told police that she and her husband have been living together recently.

When she allowed him to move into her family’s home, he was “nice”. She did not suspect that he was drug addict.

About a month ago, he began to get drunk frequently and to refuse to get any job, she said.

She said she suspected he took her money to buy methamphetamine, known as “yaa baa”.

In the last few weeks, he beat her no less than 10 times. He also hit at her daughter sometimes because she “got in the way”, she said.

Police have initiated legal proceedings against the husband and asked social workers to intervene and assist the mother and the daughter as victims of domestic violence.








NEW SHARON, Maine — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested a man and a woman from New Sharon on Friday after agents found a methamphetamine lab in their home at 545 Farmington Falls Road, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Both Daniel Villacci, 38, and Tabatha Schoubroek, 30, are charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a child, McCausland said.

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has been called to assist with the care of two young children who also live at the residence.

According to McCausland, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s lab team is now at the home on Route 2 and will dismantle the lab and gather evidence.

The lab was discovered at the ranch-style home on Friday by MDEA and Franklin County sheriff’s deputies after they went to the residence to follow up on a tip from Farmington police. Villacci was out on bail on previous drug charges.

The couple are each being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Also assisting with the meth lab clean up at the house were the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the New Sharon Fire Department.

The New Sharon meth lab is the sixth discovered in Maine so far this year, McCausland said.








A motorcyclist with warrants for his arrest led CHP officers on a 21-mile pursuit late Wednesday until the bike began to break down and he surrendered, authorities said.

Andrew Stiefel, 41, was being held without bail Thursday at the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of evading police; possessing stolen property, methamphetamine and an illegal knife; and driving without a license, Officer Jon Sloat said. He also had outstanding warrants for his arrest for burglary and parole violations, according to Sloat.

An officer initially tried to pull over Stiefel, who was riding a Triumph motorcycle, at about 10:15 p.m. on Sebastopol Road, Sloat said. As Stiefel pulled out from Roseland Avenue onto Sebastopol Road, the officer noticed the bike had a stolen license plate, he said.

But Stiefel did not stop, heading onto eastbound Highway 12 and then city streets, despite the patrol car following with lights and sirens, Sloat said.

Stiefel continued past Santa Rosa, traveling east on Bennett Valley Road to Warm Springs Road near Glen Ellen where an officer reported seeing him throw something into the front yard of a residence, later found to be an 8-gram bag of methamphetamine, the CHP said.

Stiefel surrendered when the bike began to break down on Arnold Drive in the Sonoma Valley, Sloat said.

Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies, who were called to assist the CHP, removed an 8-inch fixed-blade knife from Stiefel’s possession, Sloat said.

Stiefel was scheduled to appear in court Friday afternoon.








SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) – A man was arrested on Thursday after Customs and Border Protection officers seized $31,000 in methamphetamine.Methengine

U.S. Customs and Border Protection tells KGUN9 that 23-year-old Jesus Garcia-Mendez was arrested when officers found more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in the engine of his SUV.

Garcia was referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.








Driving through some of the most beautiful scenery Oklahoma has to offer, few consider the dangers they may be driving past. Along local roads, inmates have found expended mobile methamphetamine (meth) labs — bottles with unknown liquids, tubing, foil and other discarded paraphernalia. 5515620b622d9_image

It’s roadside trash that could harm humans and animals that stumbled upon it.

Mobile meth labs, also referred to as “shake and bakes,” are bottles or other mobile containers used to manufacture meth.

The discovery of roadside meth labs has alerted law enforcement. Each roadside meth lab becomes a crime scene for officials who are called out to tag evidence.

There are two trash detail work crews provided by the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) — one covers the turnpike and one county roads. Thus far, a total of 15 meth containers have been found north of Claremore. Nine have been processed and destroyed.

“We have found a lot of drug paraphernalia, smoking devices and leftover meth labs that are non-active — some are over a year old,” said Rogers County Deputy Chris Houston. “A lot of the time, the inmates will find a bag, raise their hand and we will come over to look at it. We send an investigator out, mark the bag and make further determination on the disposition.”

Inmates opportunities to reduce fines and time while incarcerated in the Rogers County jail.

A partnership with Rogers County District 1 and District 3 has opened up more opportunities for inmates at the jail to knock off $50 a day from fines by being part of a work crew. The amount is regulated by statute. The length of sentences can also be reduced by 50 percent.

“They cannot be violent offenders or have any violent history. They need to have trustee status to make the crew. Those who do not want to participate but clean up at the jail earn $25 a day towards their unpaid fines. If the inmate is sentenced a year, they stay a year. If they are part of a work crew, then they only have to serve fifty percent of their time,” said Houston.

Inmates must meet certain criteria in order to become trustees. The officers pick the crew based off on inmate history. Inmate workers cannot display negative behavior or pose a threat to the public, employee or other inmates.

“The inmates are not forced to work. They choose to work. They have been well trained and want to do this. They would not risk their trustee status by committing a felony while doing the program. Tax dollars feed these inmates and in turn, they pick up trash,” said Sheriff Scott Walton.

Walton added, “This is a good, healthy program. Commissioners Dan Delozier and Ron Burrows have fully supported the program and want to be a part of this. It is good for the inmates, too. Instead of being confined, this gives them a chance to breathe fresh air and make some money. These are not penitentiary-bound guys — maybe they just did not have money to pay their fines.”

Deputies supervise inmates during the waste detail. An inmate security check is done before, during and after work performed.

Since the crews walk one to two miles, drivers are cautioned when traveling county roads.

“We do not have a shoulder to pull off on and have to travel at speeds of two to three miles an hour and sometimes we have to stop. We are working on getting signs to put on the side of the road to alert drivers that we are on the road ahead. Meanwhile, expect someone may be ahead and be prepared to slow down or stop,” Houston said.








Children were found “playing in and around” an outbuilding and home that was used to cook methamphetamine on Thursday, according to law enforcement officials. 5515c2e462ece_image

Three Dayton individuals were arrested in connection with the meth lab, according to Rhea County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Charlie Jenkins.

James Weeks, 32; Randy Skiles, 45; and Kerry Higdon, 43, are each facing several drug-related charges as well as one count of child endangerment, according to arrest reports

At around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jenkins said he saw a motor scooter on Black Oak Ridge Road that he had “previously given a warning to not be on the roadway and driving with no registration.

Jenkins said he stopped Weeks, the driver of the scooter, and noticed an “odor of marijuana.”

“I asked if he would empty his pockets and he did, where he had a marijuana smoking pipe and stated he had been smoking marijuana,” Jenkins said.

Law enforcement officials received consent to search the property on Black Oak Ridge Road and said they found marijuana, methamphetamine and various drug paraphernalia. They also found two small children playing “in and around” the property, according to an arrest report.

During the search, Jenkins said both Skiles and Higdon came out of an outbuilding located near the home and detected a “strong odor that is consistent with a methamphetamine lab.”5515c2c6d4650_image

Upon searching the outbuilding, Jenkins said investigators found several items used to cook meth, including an active shake bottle, muriatic acid, coffee filters and lithium batteries.

“Mr. Skiles stated that he started cooking meth last night,” Jenkins said.

All three individuals were arrested and booked into the Rhea County Jail on Thursday.

Weeks was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of both methamphetamine and marijuana, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and child endangerment. Weeks’ bond was set at $80,000, and he was still incarcerated as of press time Friday.5515c2a8e3219_image

Skiles was charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Skiles’ bond was set at $80,000, and he was still incarcerated as of press time Friday.

Higdon was charged with promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment. Higdon’s bond was also set at $80,000, and she has since bonded out of the Rhea County Jail.








A Madison County man has been charged in connection with a rape which reportedly occurred March 7.

Mathew W. Page, 27, is charged with first-degree rape or attempted rape and first-degree sodomy or attempted sodomy. Both charges are unclassified felonies. Page has also been charged with distribution, delivery, manufacture, or production of a controlled substance, which is a class B felony and three counts of the class C felony possession of a controlled substance except 35 grams or less of marijuana.Mathew W. Page

Page is currently out on bond. His next court date is set for May 28.

Madison County deputies arrived March 8 at a house listed in the rape complaint. According to the report, Page opened the door for the officers. He then ran into the rear of the home and returned a short time later to begin speaking to the officers.

Deputies reportedly noticed a strong odor of marijuana. Page continued to talk to the officers as they moved into the kitchen. Once there, a deputy noticed items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Page was reportedly asked about the items and admitted to smoking marijuana just before officers arrived.

The reports indicate officers made a request for permission to search the home. Their request was reportedly denied and Page immediately became agitated, screaming and grunting loudly. He was taken into the custody.

After obtaining a search warrant, deputies completed a search of the home. During the search several items were seized by the deputies, including weapons (seven rifles and three handguns), medications (Hydrocodone tablets and Lidocaine patches), meth, meth precursor chemicals, drug paraphernalia and marijuana.

Also seized were plastic bags containing a white powdery, crystallized substance which field tested positive for meth, along with baggies and containers with a green leafy substance which field tested positive for marijuana.

According to the reports, equipment used to manufacture controlled substances – such as glass beakers, glass dishes, tubing, mason jars, and lithium batteries – contained drug residue. Items commonly associated with the distribution of controlled substances when found with related items – such as plastic baggies, scales, sales ledger, and cash – were confiscated.

Officers also confiscated a large variety of paraphernalia including smoking pipes, straws, razor blades, hemostats, mirrors, tweezers and butane torches.

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents had sex parties with prostitutes in Colombia that were paid for by drug cartels, according to a new inspector general report released by the Justice Department.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, vowed to immediately look into the new findings and possibly hold hearings.

He said in a statement:

The allegations set forth in today’s DOJ OIG report are truly stunning. Let there be no mistake, this is a national security threat.  While the vast majority of employees do quality work, the bad apples highlighted in the report taint their service. We need to hold them accountable and, given the clear evidence in the OIG report, they should be fired immediately. The gross misconduct of DEA agents follows a disturbing pattern of risky and improper behavior afflicting Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. We need to weed out those who risk our national security, embarrass the county, and skirt the law. We need to find the root of the culture and management problems inside these agencies that allow such behavior to be left unchecked. This needs to end. We must take active measures to restore these agencies to prominence. The IG has prepared a remarkable report and the Oversight Committee will pursue this vigorously.

Peter Doocy reported on the bombshell news on “The Real Story” today, highlighting that the Inspector General’s report stated that the sex parties occurred in “government-leased quarters” where agents’ laptops, mobile devices and other equipment were present.

The report said the agents were potentially exposed to “blackmail, extortion and coercion.” Colombian police officers were actually tasked with guarding the equipment while the parties took place, the report stated.

The misconduct was found to have occurred from 2005 to 2008.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the “wild and reckless” behavior by some federal law enforcement officers must stop.

“Once again, some federal law enforcement agents are acting like they belong in a college frat house rather than at a taxpayer-funded law enforcement agency tasked with interdicting illegal drugs. It’s extremely troubling that federal drug agents lacked the common sense to know that engaging with prostitutes hired by drug cartels was a bad idea.”

Two women face misdemeanor charges after authorities say they exposed their four children to methamphetamine at a Fall Creek residence.Millen-Rebecca-032715-1

Jennifer A. Komp, 35, of Cameron, and Rebecca J. Millen, 26, 110 S. Liberty St., Fall Creek, are charged in Eau Claire County Court with three counts and one count — respectively — of child neglect.

Komp and Millen are free on $2,500 signature bonds and return to court May 7. As a condition of bond, neither woman can have contact with their children without the approval of the Eau Claire County Department of Human Services.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Feb. 25 authorities searched Millen’s residence in connection with a retail theft case. While inside the residence, authorities found marijuana and various types of drug paraphernalia commonly associated with methamphetamine use.

Social service officials were then contacted concerning Millen’s 10-year-old son and Komp’s four children, who range in age from 4 to 11. Komp and her children had been living in the Fall Creek residence at that time.Komp-Jennifer-032715

Komp admitted to using methamphetamine but denied that the methamphetamine authorities found in the kitchen and a bedroom of the home belonged to her.

Millen told police a lot of “drug stuff” was kept in her bedroom and that was the only location in the house where an individual would have the privacy to use drugs.

Millen’s son told police numerous people have come to the house and stayed for short periods of time. He also once witnessed his mother smoking something from a plastic pipe.

Komp’s 7-year-old son told police children were not allowed to play with or touch some items in the house. If a toy fell in a part of the house where he was not allowed to touch items, an adult had to retrieve it.

The boy said his mother, Millen and adults who visited went into a bedroom and locked the door. The boy said he was scared of these visitors.

Hair follicle tests showed Millen’s son and three of Komp’s children were exposed to methamphetamine at levels authorities felt exposed them to danger.

Police officers all across America are dealing with a disturbing increase in the amount of crystal methamphetamine being manufactured. The dangerous drug poses a serious threat to both users and law enforcement. The police officers and other enforcement officials in the Battle Creek, Michigan area are finding themselves in a similar situation, with many dump sites appearing where trash left over from the manufacturing operations has been thrown away.crystal-meth-is-a-dangerous-drug-that-police-are-working-to-remove-from-the-streets

Law enforcement officials in Calhoun County, Michigan have been seeing a massive increase in the number of crystal methamphetamine dump sites in recent weeks. It seems that as the snow melts, more and more of these sites are being uncovered and found by police and civilians alike.

In one dump site, located in the woods along M-37 near Bedford Township, officials found 8 bottles used to manufacture the deadly drug. They also located 18 more bottles and approximately 26 pounds of waste in another dump site, near Burlington. According to the Battle Creek Enquirer, there is more of this material to be found in rural and urban areas alike.

Officer Scott Marshall, of the Battle Creek Police force, says that, “Under the leaves, and with the snow melting, there are things sitting out there since winter and we are now just finding the stuff.” He also pointed out that there is a constant supply of fresh waste material being dumped along rural roads where people may find it.

According to Marshall crystal methamphetamine has hit every neighborhood in the area. He says, “It is in urban neighborhoods and all the way to rural neighborhoods. There is no place this drug hasn’t touched.”

Crystal methamphetamine usage has taken off over the last two decades. The signs of a heavy user are very apparent, with rapid aging and tooth decay being the most noticeable symptoms. The demand for the drug has fueled a rash of “meth labs” popping up around the country, and towns in every state are dealing with the aftermath.

Locating and destroying the methamphetamine manufacturing stations has proven to be a daunting and dangerous task. Several police officers in different states have died over the last decade when meth labs exploded while they were attempting a raid or trying to dismantle them.


ATLANTA (CBS46) – Atlanta police said they conducted the largest methamphetamine raid in the city’s history Wednesday night.

Authorities executed two search warrants at the same time for locations in the 2300 block of Nelms Drive SW, according to a spokesperson with Atlanta police.7258993_G

The spokesperson said a fully operational meth lab was found at one location, while a “substantial amount of methamphetamine in various stages of production” was discovered at the other location.“Through focused investigations and hours of hard work by law enforcement, we were able to disrupt a major meth operation that will prevent dangerous drugs from reaching our communities,” said Deputy Chief of Criminal Investigations Darryl Tolleson.

According to police, 41 lbs. of crystal methamphetamine and 50 gallons of liquid meth were found with a total street value of $10.8 million.

Police say that converting 50 gallons of liquid meth would produce about 250 lbs. of crystal meth.

More than $35,000 in cash, a gun and three vehicles were also recovered in the bust.

Armando Ayala was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was taken to the Fulton County Jail.

PROVO — A woman reportedly high on methamphetamine was arrested early Thursday morning after she broke into a man’s house before getting punched in the face.

Officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress near 100 South and 800 West in Provo. The caller met police at the door and said the suspected burglar, Deborah Dant, had just left the residence.551422790d07a_preview-620

According to police reports, the caller woke up in the middle of the night and saw a light flash on and off in his kitchen. He got up and found that a door he usually keeps open was closed. He looked inside and didn’t see anything suspicious. While he was looking around his apartment, the door he just opened was closed again.

He opened the door, looked behind the door and reportedly saw Dant hiding. The caller was startled by Dant, 39, and reportedly punched her in the face twice. Dant then ran out of the apartment and hid.

The caller said he didn’t know Dant.

Officers reportedly found Dant curled up in a ball, trying to conceal herself, near a fence bordering the residence.

Police reports state Dant was arrested immediately and appeared “extremely intoxicated and high.” As officers were taking her into custody, they reportedly found a small bag and syringe, which both tested positive for meth. She also had a loaded syringe in her bra when she was booked into the Utah County Jail.

Dant was arrested on suspicion of the following charges: one second-degree felony charge for possession of meth, one third-degree felony charge for burglary, and one class A misdemeanor for possession of paraphernalia.

Dant has an extensive criminal history and has been arrested for drug-related and burglary incidents several times in the past few years.

DANVILLE, W.Va. — Boone County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Danville man Thursday and charged him in connection with a Sept. 2014 traffic accident that killed two adults and two children.Frank Gene Thompson

Chief Deputy Chad Barker said Frank Gene Thompson, 40, was high on meth when he wrecked the pick-up truck on U.S. Route 119 at the intersection of Bradley Road. Thompson survived the crash but his four passengers did not.

“It’s really unspeakable,” Chief Deputy Barker told MetroNews Thursday. “You can’t imagine what that accident was like. You can’t put yourself in those family members’ shoes.”

The victims were Betty Holstein, 31, Rebecca Bias, 46, Alyssa Bowman, 5, and Nathaniel Thompson, 1. Frank Gene Thompson is charged with four counts of DUI causing death.

“My heart really goes out to the family of the 5-year-old little girl and 1-year-old little boy. It’s just a terrible, terrible situation,” Barker said.Crosses_Boone-474x350

Nathaniel Thompson was Frank Gene Thompson’s biological son and Alyssa Bowman his stepdaughter.

Chief Deputy Barker said it took six months to complete the interviews and get the toxicology test results back on Thompson, showing he was under the influence of meth. Barker said deputies were suspicious right from the start.

“We began this process that morning, one o’clock in the morning, we were going down that road, it’s just taken six months to get to the point where we are. We’ve been gathering facts along the way,” Barker said.

Thompson is being held in the Southwestern Regional Jail on $500,000 bail.

Officers checking on a tip about drug activity at the Gretna home of a parolee found an active, bubbling methamphetamine lab, authorities said. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office provided the tip about Bertrum Daigle, 38, to officers with the state Department of Probation and Parole, according to Jefferson District Administrator John Reeves.17364531-mmmain

Daigle is on parole until May 23, 2016 for a drug-related conviction out of St. Tammany Parish, said Pam Laborde, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. He was staying with relatives at 1902 Hancock St., Gretna, according to Gretna Police Deputy Chief Anthony Christiana.

After receiving the tip about drug activity at the house, Daigle’s parole officer, Ardiel Washington, and Officer Douglas Black went to the residence with members of the West Bank Major Crimes Task Force for a compliance check on Wednesday about 11:30 a.m., Reeves and Christiana said.

“Mr. Daigle led them through the house, and during the trip, they saw what appeared to be drug paraphernalia, including the components of a meth lab,” Reeves said.

Officers found plastic, 2-liter soda bottles containing a bubbling liquid. Daigle was using what authorities refer to as the one-pot method or a “shake and bake” lab. The smaller labs are easier to conceal, Christiana said. Officers also recovered an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, an arrest report said.

Authorities called in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office narcotics division and its meth team, officers trained to dismantle and collect evidence from the toxic, unstable labs, Christiana said. Officers noted that there were at least three others in the residence, including a 1-year-old boy. It’s not clear if the other residents knew about the drugs.

Daigle was booked with creation of a clandestine lab, drug possession, use of an illegal drug in the presence of a minor, violation of drug laws, parole violation and being a fugitive from another jurisdiction.

Daigle was still being held Thursday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna. Bond on the drug-related charges was set at $141,000. But he was being held without bond on the fugitive and parole violation charges.

A long standing Hakea prison officer has been charged after a criminal syndicate was thwarted by authorities from importing one kilogram of methamphetamine into WA.1427443111841

Police allege a 72-year-old Thornlie man, a prison officer of 37 years, met with another person at the Crown Casino in Burswood before allegedly exchanging $100,000 as a down payment for the drugs.

Police conducted searches of the homes of the people connected to the syndicate and allegedly found evidence of criminal activity.

The drug sting was undertaken by the Western Australian National Anti-Gangs Squad, the Department of Corrective Services and the Corruption and Crime Commission.

A 72-year-old Thornlie man has been charged with one count of conspiracy to sell methamphetamine and dealing with the proceeds of crime.

A 48-year-old Thornlie woman has been charged with one count of conspiracy to sell methamphetamine.

Both have been remanded in custody after appearing in the Perth Magistrates Court on March 27.

Corrective Services Director of Investigations Steven Norris, said his department works closely with the WA Police and the CCC to tackle serious and organised crime and corruption.

“Late last year, WA Police and the Department of Corrective Services formally commenced a dedicated joint agency prison team commenced a dedicated joint agency prison team,” he said.

“This team includes specialist Departmental intelligence analysts and investigators who work together with police, to create a safer and more secure community.”

Corruption and Crime Commission Director of Operations Kim Paplia said the CCC may “speak softly” but carries a big stick in relation to jurisdictional powers.

“This is what we bring to the table when we enter into cooperative investigation, targeting serious organised crime and corruption in the public sector,” he said.

“The outcome of this investigation has identified serious matters that are now before the courts.”

PRESTON, Iowa — Police say three people have been charged after an active methamphetamine lab was found and destroyed in a Preston apartment.

The Preston police chief says Clyde Squires, Kelly Lucy and a 17-year-old were arrested following a search of the apartment last week.

Squires faces several charges that include manufacturing methamphetamine. Lucy is charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine and gathering where drugs are used.

The 17-year-old is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Court records show the teenager has lived with Squires for the last two years.–Meth-Lab-Charges

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCIV) — A Charleston couple is charged with making meth and child endangerment after an explosion at an extended stay motel Wednesday night.7252676_G

Authorities confirm it was a “one pot” meth lab that exploded at the InTown Suites on Savannah Highway in West Ashley. Usually a “one pot meth lab” is meth making chemicals inside of a soda bottle.

Joshua Earl Lantz, 37, and Jamie Lynn Lantz, 33, are both charged with two counts of unlawful conduct towards a child, two counts of child endangerment, and manufacturing or distributing ice, crack or crank in the first degree. Joshua Lantz has an added charge of neglect of a child.

Josh Lantz was given a $500,000 bond Thursday afternoon, $100,000 for each charge. Jamie Lantz was also scheduled to appear, but was not present in bond court.

Residents said the explosion came from one of the upper floors of the building. Police confirmed it happened in the bathroom of room 337.

Justin Pierce, who was staying in the motel, said a manager knocked on his door and told him a meth lab had exploded. Pierce said he saw smoke billowing out of a room down the hallway, so he grabbed several personal items and left.7254631_G

According to the incident report, the guest in the adjacent room said he was watching TV when he felt the building shake and heard a loud noise as if something had hit the wall between the two rooms. He said he walked outside and saw a large amount of dark grey smoke filling the balcony in front of room 337. He said he heard someone say “Don’t call the cops” but he immediately dialed 911.

Police officials said one officer was taken to a nearby hospital after inhaling the chemicals in the motel room, but the officer is expected to be OK.

According to officials at the scene, there were two adults and two children in the room where the explosion originated.

The two children had taken shelter at their mother’s request in another guest’s room before they were taken away in an ambulance shortly before midnight. That guest lives in the hotel and knew the family living in room 337. Officials say the children were not hurt.

The guest said Jamie Lantz soon followed her children into the room. She was wearing only a shirt and underwear and reportedly said “the chemicals got me” and that her legs felt like they were on fire.

The Lantz’s were taken to the hospital. One officer was taken to Medical University Hospital for fume inhalation.

The American Red Cross was called in to assist the residents and emergency crews working at the scene. Guests of the hotel were moved to Saint Andrews Middle School early Thursday morning. They were allowed to return to the hotel around 7:30 a.m.