A 2-year-old boy was high on methamphetamine Friday after his father brought him to a “dope house” where a resident was smoking the drug, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The father, Joseph Michael Ray, 22, of St. Paul, was charged with child endangerment.


According to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court:

Police were called Friday to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, where medics had taken him. Ray told police that the toddler had fallen asleep about 12:30 that morning and that Ray had slept next to him. Ray’s father woke him up at one point, asking where the boy was.

They pulled off his covers and found him “in a deep, deep sleep like he was drugged up,” Ray told police. The two shook him to wake him up.

Hospital staff said the boy was lethargic and unresponsive. He appeared pale and dehydrated, with chapped lips. “As officers spoke to Ray, (the boy) stared at police and didn’t speak.”

Ray said that the boy’s mother had abandoned them about five weeks earlier and that he and his son had been living at Ray’s grandmother’s house.

Police asked if it was possible that the boy had ingested something. Ray “eventually admitted” that he had taken the toddler to a house across the street from the grandmother’s residence in the 600 block of East Jessamine Street about two days earlier.

“Ray said one of the residents was smoking methamphetamine and he acknowledged that they shouldn’t have been there,” the complaint said.

After that, Ray said, a friend’s mother told him the boy looked “kinda sick” and suggested Ray give him a teaspoon of “liquid cherry Tylenol gel or something.”

Later that day, the boy looked even worse. He got “really sunk-eyed,” Ray told police.

Doctors determined that the boy was severely dehydrated. He tested positive for amphetamine.

Ray also was charged with violating a domestic abuse no-contact order; with him at the hospital was his girlfriend, whom he had made terroristic threats against in November. He had been given a suspended sentence for that crime Feb. 7.

Ray was being held Tuesday at the Ramsey County Jail.







Three people were arrested on drug charges Tuesday after the Lebanon Police Department discovered its fifth methamphetamine lab so far this year.

Candas Boatwright, 32, of La Vergne, and Jarrod Griffith, 34, of Gallatin, are charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture and manufacturing methamphetamine after police responded to a complaint of an odor coming from a room at the Travel Inn, 914 Murfreesboro Road.

Boatwright Courtesy Griffith Courtesy Roath Courtesy

The arrest is Boatwright’s third meth-related charge in Lebanon in about six months. Griffith was also cited for failure to appear in court on an unrelated charge.

Nick Roath, 41, of Lebanon, also was charged with drug possession. The room where Boatwright and Griffith were staying was registered to Roath. He was staying in a different room registered in his name.

According to the state’s methamphetamine task force, there were 18 meth labs found in Lebanon and Wilson County in 2013.

All three suspects were booked into the Wilson County Jail. Boatwright’s total bail was set at $25,000, Griffith’s at $22,000 and Roath’s at $2,750.






ELIZABETHTON — Carter County deputies said a father and son were arrested  Monday evening when they were caught red-handed manufacturing  methamphetamine.

Gary Carr Sr., top, and Gary Carr

Gary Scott Carr Sr., 54, who was described as homeless,  and his son, Gary Scott Carr Jr., 25, Maiden, N.C., were each charged with  initiation of the process intended to result in the manufacture of  methamphetamine and promotion of methamphetamine manufacture. Carr Sr. was also  charged with theft under $500 and criminal trespassing.

Deputies said  they made the meth lab discovery while they were on a routine trip to 203  Laurels Road, Johnson City to serve outstanding arrest warrants on the resident,  April Cassandra Fields, 24.






PHARR, TX  — Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr, Anzalduas and Rio Grande City International Bridges seized $6,452,000 worth of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin in four separate, unrelated incidents and arrested four persons in connection with these failed smuggling attempts.


“This was a busy and productive weekend for our frontline officers in the Rio Grande Valley area,” said (a) Director of Field Operations, Noel Sanchez. “These interceptions of hard narcotics at distinct international bridges reinforce the trend of drug smuggling organizations to continue their pursuit of attempting to cross these illicit drugs utilizing various concealment methods.”

The incident at the Rio Grande City-Camargo International Bridge occurred on Saturday morning, March 8 after CBP officers came in contact with a white 2001 Volkswagen Beetle. The driver, a 20-year-old male United States citizen from Washington state presented his U.S. passport and was referred to secondary for further inspection. In the process of inspecting the Beetle, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics hidden within the vehicle and ultimately six packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 6.63 kilograms (14.62 lbs.) were removed. CBP-OFO seized the cocaine which carries an estimated street value of $468,000.

The second incident occurred the same morning but at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge after CBP officers encountered a blue 2007 Honda CRV driven by a 43-year-old male Mexican citizen from San Nicolas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. After presenting his Mexican border crossing card, the driver and vehicle were referred to secondary for a more thorough inspection. During the secondary examination, officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the Honda’s seats. CBP-OFO removed and seized 18 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing approximately 29.54 kilograms (65.12 lbs.), nine packages of alleged cocaine weighing approximately 10.20 kilograms (22.50 lbs.) and five packages of alleged heroin weighing approximately 4.80 kilograms (10.58 lbs.). The estimated street value for the methamphetamine is $2,084,000; $1,058,000 for the heroin and $720,000 for the cocaine.

The third seizure occurred later, also on Saturday after CBP officers working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a 34-year-old male Mexican citizen from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico driving a grey 2011 Chevrolet Cruz. The driver presented his Mexican border crossing card and was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary, officers discovered 26 packages of alleged cocaine hidden within the Chevy. CBP-OFO seized the cocaine which weighed approximately 29.5 kilograms (65.04 lbs.) and carries an estimated street value of $2,082,000.

The last incident occurred on Sunday evening, March 9 also at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge. CBP officers came in contact with a 27-year-old male United States citizen from Pharr, Texas driving a silver 2014 Ford Taurus and after presenting his U.S. passport, was referred to secondary for continued inspection. CBP officers discovered packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the traveler’s luggage and subsequently removed and seized three packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing approximately 569.1 grams (1.25 lbs.). The estimated street value of the methamphetamine is $40,000.

CBP-OFO seized all of the vehicles involved in the failed smuggling attempts and also arrested all four associated travelers who were then released to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further investigation.






Calexico, California – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico ports of entry over the weekend foiled two separate alleged smuggling attempts after discovering approximately $31,000 worth of marijuana, and about $180,000 worth of methamphetamine stashed in two SUVs.

The first incident occurred at about 3:00 p.m. on Friday, when CBP officers referred a 48-year-old male Mexican citizen for further inspection after he arrived at the Calexico downtown port driving a 2003 Buick Rendezvous.

A CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the undercarriage, leading officers to the discovery of 20 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside a hidden compartment built into the rocker panels.

Officers removed a total weight of about 28 pounds of methamphetamine from the vehicle.

The driver, a lawful permanent resident and resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.

The second incident occurred on Sunday, Mar. 9, at about 1:00 p.m., when CBP officers at the Calexico East port of entry encountered a 26-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban.  The vehicle and driver were referred for further review.

During an intensive inspection, a CBP detector dog alerted to the rear section of the vehicle’s interior.  Officers continued searching the vehicle and subsequently discovered 31 wrapped packages containing about 69 pounds of marijuana concealed inside the gas tank.

The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI agents for further processing.

CBP placed an immigration hold on both suspects to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.

CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.







A North Liberty man is facing a serious felony drug charge after officers allegedly discovered him in the process of making methamphetamine at his residence during a probation check in December.

Christopher P. Ellis

According to a North Liberty Police Department criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Golfview Court on Dec. 12, 2013, to assist federal officers in a parole check of 45-year-old Christopher P. Ellis. Officers were conducting a routine check on Ellis when they located methamphetamine, according to the complaint.

A search warrant was executed at the residence and officers located tubing, pseudoephedrine, a digital scale, packaging material, acetone, glass Pyrex with meth residue on it, and individually packaged bags of about 8 grams of meth, according to the complaint. Police say that after the arrest, Ellis admitted to frequently making and selling meth.

Ellis has been charged with a controlled substance violation, possessing more than 5 grams of meth with intent to distribute, a Class B felony. Class B felonies in Iowa carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Ellis was booked into the Johnson County Jail at 2:57 p.m. Monday, according to online jail records. His bond has been set at $10,000 for the controlled substance charge.







JACKSON, MI – A mobile methamphetamine lab was found inside a car reported stolen Monday, March 11.

Jackson County Undersheriff Christopher Kuhl said the driver of the vehicle, a 35-year-old Jackson man, was arrested and lodged on a charge of maintaining and operating a methamphetamine lab. A passenger, a 31-year-old Jackson man, was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

Deputies located the vehicle about 7:20 p.m. Monday on Lansing Avenue near Van Horn Road after the owner reported it had not been returned.

During the stop, a deputy noticed a one-pot methamphetamine lab, which is typically a plastic bottle where the chemicals are mixed inside, Kuhl said.

“It creates a hazardous situation for the deputies responding. They have a dangerous, combustible lab within feet of them,” Kuhl said.

The Jackson Narcotic Enforcement Team was called in to properly dispose of the one-pot lab and collect evidence.

The case is being investigated by Jackson Narcotic Enforcement Team.







ANAMOSA (KWWL) – A basement meth lab in a rented home was the likely cause of a fire that destroyed a home in Anamosa on Friday.

Anamosa Police and Anamosa Fire were called to a house fire at 406 N. Sales St. in Anamosa at 10:22 p.m. Friday.

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Occupants of the home escaped the fire uninjured. The house was a total loss.

Firefighters found remnants of materials commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine in the basement of the house, according to the Anamosa Police Department.

The home was owned by Herb and Deb Carson of Anamosa. It was being rented to Ricky Finneman, Debra Pazour, Daniel Finneman and Joshua Finneman, according to police.

A fifth resident of the home — an acquaintance of the family’s — had been staying in the basement of the residence for the past three months, where the meth lab materials were found. That person was not named by police.

The investigation continues and criminal charges are pending results of Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation lab analysis.

Assisting at the fire were the Jones County Sheriff’s Office, Anamosa Ambulance, Monticello Fire, the Iowa State Fire Marshall, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Jones County Emergency Management and the Red Cross.







Authorities in Mexico say they have killed Nazario Moreno, leader of a notorious, if not peculiar drug cartel for the second time.

That’s right, the second time.


Moreno, head of the Knights Templar methamphetamine operation, was reportedly killed by police in a shootout back in 2010. But his body was never recovered following the incident.

Residents of the Michoacan state, which has been plagued by the Knights Templar, have said for the past few years that Moreno was still alive. Some even claimed to have seen him in person. The rumors of his survival fueled a perception of him as a mythical, legendary figure.

Mexican officials now admit that Moreno wasn’t killed four years ago. But they insist he is dead now, following another police raid, this time in Naranjo de Chila.

The operation last Sunday was carried out by the Mexican navy, and an undisclosed number of other people were killed or wounded. Government officials had been under increasing pressure to track down Moreno by citizen militias that have recently taken the law into their own hands against the cartels.

Mexico’s attorney general promises that thorough tests will be conducted to confirm that the body allegedly to be Moreno’s will be identified as such. However, authorities did not hesitate to characterize the killing as a major success in the government’s war against the cartels—“the most important blow to the criminal group that he headed.”

The dead-again tale is not the only peculiar part of this story.

A spinoff of the La Familia cartel, the Knights Templar is itself unique, as drug-fueled mafias go. Members distinguish themselves by wearing white cloaks emblazoned with red crosses, similar to Christian knights during the Crusades, and consider themselves holy warriors despite their peddling meth to drug addicts. They also worship the writings of Moreno, who considered himself something of a religious figure.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating after items commonly associated with meth labs were found Monday in the 6700 block of Heidi Road in Arlington.

According to JSO Sgt. Padgett, patrol officers were called to the area around 2 p.m. A JSO team that deals with clandestine incidents then responded to the area to assess the situation.

The items posed no apparent danger to the neighborhood, Padgett said, and there were no suspects in custody or reported injuries.

Heidi Road was blocked off from Bess Road to Rogero Road. Padgett would not say whether the items were found in an occupied or vacant area.







Tomas Cano, 32 and Bonnie Glenn, 51 were both arrested in the early morning hours Sunday on charges for possession of methamphetamines. Glenn has an additional charge of tampering with evidence.

P-303109971 Tomas Cano

According to the report, police were told by an individual that someone was in the woods on Swift Street. Police found Cano and Glenn parked.

Cano and Glenn told different stories on why they were out there. Glenn stated they were looking for something they lost while Cano said he was using the bathroom in the woods.

According to the report, police suspected criminal activity and searched Glenn’s purse where they found a red straw that had been cut and had a white powder residue consistent with methamphetamine.

Inside the vehicle, police found an orange and black key chain that contained seven baggies with methamphetamine powder inside according to the report. Both denied the drugs belonged to them.

Both Glenn and Cano were arrested and transported the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

Afterwards, the arresting officer checked his back seat and found a pink child’s sock with a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue inside. Glenn had attempted to conceal the item by shoving it up under the partition, the report said.






Late January’s methamphetamine lab bust within a Sawgrass townhouse neighborhood left some in the Ponte Vedra Beach community shaken.

The hazmat suits, tent and people being hosed off in a makeshift decontamination chamber were an unfamiliar sight in the development that’s known widely for its world-class golf courses.


Home inspection and building code specialist Wally Conway with HomePro Inspections thinks the “it won’t happen here” line of thought is shortsighted when it comes to meth production.

“The ‘not in my neighborhood’ thing is malarkey. They’re not looking at it from the right perspective. Do I want to check into some dive off of Philips Highway or make meth in an empty house in Sawgrass? You have to put yourself in the mind of the guy that does these goofy things. Is a person making meth going to be worried about breaking and entering?”

“The criminal says, ‘it’s dangerous conducting business in crack town. I’m going to the country club,’” Conway continued. “Frankly, the chances of being beaten or caught are dramatically less in Sawgrass.”

The Sawgrass lab wasn’t the first to be set up in the community. Last year, a hotel room at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach was used for meth manufacturing.

On the 1700 block of Hodges Boulevard, located across Atlantic Boulevard from Queens Harbour Yacht and Country Club, is the Woodhollow apartment complex, where a 2012 meth lab raid temporarily left four apartment units vacant and condemned over several months.

Conway noted that area desirability is the motivating factor behind cleanup.

“If it occurs in a more challenged part of town, the house sits in condemnation, which benefits no one. Nobody wants to write that check,” Conway said. “Getting it cleared so it can be listed or rented again is a serious pain in the behind.”

The EPA reports that decontaminating a meth lab site can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000; in many cases the least costly option is demolition.

Aleizha L. Batson, deputy director of communications at the City of Jacksonville, said that all residual clean-up after the discovery remains the responsibility of the owner.

“Initially, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department transports the chemicals from the site to a hazardous waste facility,” Batson said.

According to Batson, properties deemed as “illegal drug manufacturing” sites can be condemned by the Municipal Code Compliance Division “after a determination of the presence of meth precursors are made” by the Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office. The City of Jacksonville’s website maintains an “Unsafe for Use” property listing, with the earliest entries made in 2011. Currently, the list includes 21 addresses.

Meanwhile, St. Johns County Code Enforcement suggests that owners hire an environmental cleaning company after a positive result on a contamination test.

The Special Investigations Unit in St. Johns County had investigated eight meth lab cases in the first two months of 2014. Last year, 19 cases were investigated. In 2012 and 2011, 22 and 29 meth lab cases were investigated, respectively.

“Our Special Investigations Unit, [which] investigates the meth houses, reports each lab to County Property Appraiser’s Office and to the Clerk of Courts for recording,” said Media Relations Officer Kevin Kelshaw with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. “The cleanup is handled by the County Code Enforcement Department, and if the property is remediated to standards, Code Enforcement notifies the other entities.”

However, state laws in Florida have long omitted cleanup regulations and disclosure of former meth labs to potential renters or sellers of such properties. While real estate agents abide by a code of ethics that bind them to communicate any issues that could decrease property value to buyers, there are no disclosure guidelines or well-defined legal penalties if they fail to do so.

Since 2004, the discoveries of meth labs, dump sites and equipment in Florida has dipped and mounted, hitting a peak of 527 cases in 2010, and a year later in 2011, bottoming out at 160. In 2012, the most recent year of reporting, there were 284 cases.

A contributing factor to the creation of methamphetamine labs is the availability of vacant structures.

A 2013 Census Homeownership and Vacancy survey showed that Jacksonville makes the top 10 list of metro areas with the highest rates of vacancy. In October, the vacancy rate was 11.7 percent, compared to April 2000’s vacancy rate of 1.7 percent.

Conway said he tests surfaces in houses with swabs similar to those found in a pool testing kit.

“It’s similar. You break a vial and swab a chemical on a suspected surface,” he said, and noted that, in the past, he’s done 15 to 20 inspections for the presence of methamphetamines.

“It comes up about once a quarter that someone sees something on television and might think it was a little close to home for them, so they call us up,” he said. “This can happen in any neighborhood.”







Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz announces the details of a series of drug raids.

The Muskingum County Sheriff’s office and Zanesville Police Department’s joint drug task force searched the mini storage units on Greenhouse Road on Monday in connection to a drug raid on 1238 Melrose Avenue on Friday. During the raid on Friday a resident at the home, Jamie Mayle was taken into custody.

869664-97878 869664-97880 869664-97879 869664-97881

“He is currently locked up on four different felony counts of trafficking methamphetamine, I believe we have two counts of F3. a count of F4 and a count of F2 trafficking against him,” said Lutz.

Sheriff Lutz says while searching the residence, investigators found an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, cash and marijuana. During the search Sheriff Lutz says the task force was looking for items they believed were purchased through drug money.

“Clothing items, I don’t know for sure what all we’ve taken so far there is some furniture items here, we have taken a couple of televisions,again things we believe were purchased with drug proceeds, ” said Lutz

Sheriff Lutz says that the next step is to officially indict Mayle and investigate other suspects believed to be involved in the distribution of drugs.








CHESAPEAKE – Police said they seized materials for a methamphetamine lab from a barn in the 700 block of Indian Creek Road.

About 3 p.m. Sunday, police went to the building after a call from the owner, according to a police news release. The caller said there were hazardous materials inside.

The department’s Special Investigations Unit was called to the scene and determined that the materials “were consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.”

Virginia State Police and the Chesapeake Fire Department collected the materials from the barn.

Police are asking anyone with information about the materials to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.







COOKEVILLE — An investigation into drug activity at a local hotel uncovered a  meth lab discarded in the dumpster behind the building and vehicles containing  meth making materials.

Janine Renea Savage, 33, of Carthage, Jason Travis  Chism, 33, of Carthage and Christopher James Randolph, 42, of Cookeville, have  all been charged with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of drug  paraphernalia and simple possession in the case.

IMSM_JanineSavage5DJZ_JasonChism 9YIU_ChristopherRandolph

Police reports indicate  a drug investigation Friday morning at the Days Inn on Walnut Avenue led police  to the three individuals in a room there.

Police obtained permission to  search a red van belonging to Chism parked there, a blue vehicle belonging to  Randolph and the room that the three had been staying in.

In Savage’s  purse, two scales and a needle were found, the report indicates.

The  scales had residue that officer’s field tested and determined was  methamphetamine.

In the backseat of Chism’s vehicle, a backpack  containing items commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine was  reportedly located.  Police also had information that Savage had discarded a  back pack in the dumpster behind the hotel.

Inside that backpack was a  discarded meth lab, police say.

During a search of the hotel room a  baggie of marijuana, a needle, empty baggies of different sizes, a spoon with  white residue, cold tablets, lithium batteries and receipts from the purchase of  drain cleaner and muriatic acid were found, according to reports.

In  Randolph’s vehicle, another back pack containing meth making items was located  and pharmacy records that show pseudophed purchases for all three subjects were  obtained, police say.

Several hundred dollars in cash were seized from  Savage and Randolph.

All three were booked into the Putnam County jail  with a bond amount set at $26,000 each.







Sunday traffic stop to warn a motorist in Johnson County about a blown headlight turned into a drug-dealing arrest.

About 8:30 p.m., a deputy stopped a silver Jaguar with  one working headlight on Ind. 37 north of Stones Crossing Road in Greenwood, according to a police report.


The driver immedi­ately admitted to having a suspended license, police said. Then the deputy noticed a glass smoking pipe in the car.

A search of the car revealed a “large amount of white crystal rock in (four) clear plastic bags,” according to the police report.

When asked about it, the driver said it was methamphetamine and he was getting paid $500 to deliver it to someone in the parking lot of a Martinsville  Wal-Mart. He also told  the deputy that he had additional meth in his sock, the report said.

Police tested and weighed the substance, which turned out to be 234.5 grams of meth,  the police report said.

Police arrested Timothy L. Bridgeman, 52, West Newton, on preliminary charges of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license with prior offenses.







Charles Blowers loaded a syringe, plunged it into a Lincoln woman’s skin and injected her with what turned out to be a fatal dose of meth, prosecutors say.

When Blowers woke the next morning, May 26, 2011, Latrice Shaner was dead in his bed.


Now, nearly three years later, he’s on trial for delivery of methamphetamine and manslaughter for allegedly causing her death unintentionally as a result of that unlawful act. He faces as many as 70 years if he’s convicted.

Before the case is over, Blower’s attorney, Timothy Sullivan, will dispute what Dr. R.E. Bowen, the pathologist who did the autopsy, found: that methamphetamine toxicity caused her death.

In his opening statement, Sullivan told jurors they would hear from Dr. Mathias Okoye, a forensic pathologist who reached a different conclusion.

“The evidence is going to show there’s another cause of death here,” Sullivan said, without disclosing what.

Deputy Lancaster County Christopher Turner said the evidence — the autopsy and witnesses — all point to methamphetamine. The question was how it entered her body, he said.

Turner said witnesses say Blowers, now 50, shot Shaner up.

In May 2011, Shaner, a 26-year-old recovering meth user, relapsed. Turner said Blowers called a Lincoln woman the night of May 25, 2011, and arranged to take syringes to her house, where he and Shaner split 1 gram of meth with her and another man.

They told police Blowers loaded the syringe with meth and injected Shaner.

The next day, Blowers woke about 10 a.m., and Shaner wasn’t breathing. He called 911, but Turner said he made two other calls first.

She was pronounced dead in his apartment near 25th and Vine streets.

Matt Shaner said his wife had their third son in 2010. Before that, he testified on Monday, she’d gone through drug court and gotten clean. Things were going well, he said.

The jury saw a photo of her, taken in December 2010, with a bright smile on her face.

But early in 2011, she started using again.

“I tried to help her as much as I could,” Matt Shaner testified Monday. But it was the fastest he’d ever seen her go downhill.

After three months, he filed for divorce. They had their first court hearing a week before she died.

It was the last time he’d see her alive, he said.

Blowers’ trial is set to continue Tuesday.







If you’ve listened to the news lately, you might think that Australia is overrun with uncontrollably violent people on crystal methamphetamine. This may be true of those in crisis, but the bigger picture of meth use is much more varied.


Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world and the highest use among developed nations. Around 2.5% of Australians over 14 years (around half a million people) have used methamphetamine over the past year, compared with around 9% who have used cannabis and more than 4% who have used ecstasy.

Methamphetamine comes in a number of forms, mainly powder/pills (speed), crystal methamphetamine (crystal meth or ice) and a sticky paste (base).

The majority of users favour the lower-potency powder or pill form, which can be swallowed, snorted or injected; a smaller proportion use the crystalline form, which is usually injected or smoked. All forms of methamphetamine have a similar chemical makeup but crystal meth is much more potent.

Who uses meth?

Users of methamphetamine come from across the spectrum of society but a number of groups have higher than average rates of use. Very few people under the age of 20 use the drug, but those aged between 20 and 29 years have the highest rates of use at around 6%, though this actually decreased from 7.3% between 2007 and 2010.

As with most illicit drugs, men tend to use at higher rates than women and those in paid employment tend to use at higher rates than those not in paid employment. This may surprise some people, because of the unhelpful stereotypes that are perpetuated of the “down and out” illicit drug user.

However, the majority of people who use illicit drugs do not use regularly or in large quantities. A relatively small proportion (for methamphetamine, around 10-15%) of users go on to become dependent and need treatment.

hwz5wrks-1394501242Around 2.5% of Australian’s over 14 years have used methamphetamine in the last 12 months


Some industry groups have higher than average use as well. These include hospitality (6.1%), construction (5.5%), media and telecommunications (5%), mining (4.4%) and finance (4.0%). Gay men and men who have sex with men are also reported to have a higher-than-average rate of use, as are sex workers.

There have been recent reports of increases in use of crystal methamphetamine, but it is unclear whether existing users are switching to the more potent form or new users are taking up the drug.

Short-term highs

Methamphetamine dramatically increases the level of dopamine, which regulates many systems in the brain, including feeling pleasure, motor control and cognitive processes such as attention and working memory.

Dopamine is released any time we do something that feels good, but methamphetamine makes the brain release up to 1,000 times the normal level of dopamine. Very little else, including other drugs, releases so much dopamine, and over such a long period of time, as methamphetamine.

With short term use, the brain’s dopamine reserves are emptied, and users of methamphetamine may feel tired and irritable for a few days while the stores build up again.

Long-term lows

After regular use, the brain’s dopamine system effectively wears out, and over time the brain stops being able to produce enough dopamine on its own.

When a person stops after a long period of use, they may feel depressed and lack motivation because they are unable to produce any more dopamine – at least for a while. They may also have strong cravings for sugary or starchy food because they are unable to get pleasure from anything else.

Methamphetamine also releases high doses of another brain chemical, noradrenaline, activating the “fight or flight” system. People using high doses can be anxious, jumpy and hypervigilant (flight) or suspicious and aggressive (fight).

Other effects occur in the frontal area of the brain that controls thinking, planning and decision-making, personality and appropriate social behaviour. The prefrontal cortex takes the information from the emotional centre of the brain and decides whether to act on it or not.

By disrupting dopamine activity, methamphetamine reduces the influence of the thinking parts of the brain, enabling the emotional parts of the brain to go unchecked.

Road to recovery

As a result of the effect of these chemicals on the brain when intoxicated on methamphetamine, users can be anxious, hypervigilant, aggressive and show signs of psychosis.

If someone is intoxicated on methamphetamine, telling them to calm down, or trying to restrain them is not a good idea – they may be scared and paranoid because of the drug effects. Try to calmly get them to a quiet place with reduced stimuli, but don’t put yourself in danger.

After long periods of regular use, changes to the dopamine system can mean users appear flat, unmotivated, and have such strong cravings that relapse is hard to avoid.

Understanding that the recovery process may be long and difficult because of these brain changes can assist long-term users to stick to their treatment program and can assist their family and friends to be patient.

Although the brain eventually recovers, these brain changes can last for months or years after stopping use, which is one of the reasons that recovery can take a long time, with many relapses along the way. It can take 12 months or more for a methamphetamine user to start to feel “normal” again.







A child’s worried phone call prompted sheriff’s deputies to remove 5.6 ounces of methamphetamine from the streets.

According to jail records, Javon Demar Manning, 32, was arrested by Sgt. Ronnie Endsley for possession of more than four and less than 200 grams controlled substance Penalty Group 1; possession less than two ounces of marijuana; assault causes bodily injury family violence; unlawful carrying a weapon; possession of drug paraphernalia; and unlawful possession of firearm by felon. Manning was released on $32,250 combined bond.

Chief Deputy John Depresca said around 12:40 a.m., Sunday, March 9, the sheriff’s office received a call from a child who said his mother and a man were fighting at their home on Highway 79 North near County Road 338.

“When they arrived they were told that Javon Manning had run into the woods prior to their arrival,” Depresca said. “They asked to check on the child who was OK. The female was identified as Jennifer Lemieux who had some scratch marks on her face and neck.”

Deputy Chris Welk and Sgt. Ronnie Endsley noticed a white Ford Expedition unoccupied in the backyard with the engine running.

“When they looked inside they saw a clear plastic bag holding marijuana, a loaded 45 caliber handgun, loose ammunition on the floor, several one hundred dollar bills, and some digital scales,” Depresca said. “Further check of the vehicle disclosed a clear plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamines.”

At this time, Manning was arrested after reappearing from the woods, Depresca said.

In all, police confiscated half-ounce of marijuana, 5.6 ounces of methamphetamines, $4,165 in cash, the guns, scale, and the Ford.

“If the state can prove that the property was obtained because of the sale of narcotics that’s where the seizure comes in, but that has to be decided by a judge or jury,” Depresca said.







An Iowa City woman faces charges for child endangerment and hosting a gathering for drug use after police allegedly found meth and pot in her apartment.

Caryn M. Freeman

Iowa City Police responded to a caller who indicated that 27-year-old Caryn M. Freeman was using drugs in the presence of her six-year-old son in her Lucas Street apartment, according to police complaints.

Upon contact with Freeman and three other unnamed adults at the apartment at about 11 p.m. Sunday, police noticed hypodermic syringes and prescription pills lying on the floor and marijuana and meth residue on low tables, within reach of the child, according to police.

A search of the apartment, of which Freeman and her child are the only occupants, turned up additional quantities of meth, pot and prescription pills, police say.

Police also searched Freeman’s car and found more meth and paraphernalia, according to police.

Freeman has been charged with a class D felony count of gathering for use of drugs, a serious misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance and aggravated misdemeanors for child endangerment and keeping a drug house.

Freeman is being held in the Johnson County Jail.










Dubai: A nurse and an employee have denied possessing a tiny quantity of methamphetamine for trading purposes.

The 34-year-old Filipina nurse, J.T., was accused of possessing 0.53g of a mind-altering substance (methamphetamine) for trading purposes.

Drug enforcement officers were said to have seized the methamphetamine, which was hidden in the nurse’s underwear.

Meanwhile her 33-year-old countryman, R.J., was accused of possessing 0.46g of the same banned substance, also for trading purposes.

The nurse was solely charged with consuming methamphetamine and amphetamine.

Drugs prosecutors have asked for the defendants to be given a life sentence and a maximum fine of Dh200,000.

“Of course not… I did not posses any substance for trading purposes. I did not consume any banned material,” said J.T. before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Monday.

R.J., also entered a not guilty plea before presiding judge Urfan Omar.

The employee was cited admitting, according to prosecution records, that he purchased the methamphetamine from the nurse.

Meanwhile the nurse was quoted confessing, according to prosecution records, that she obtained the methamphetamine from a person called Louis and then sold it to R.J. for Dh4,500.


A drug enforcement officer testified to prosecutors that an informant alerted them that R.J. was in possession of a mind-altering substance that he intended to sell for Dh2,500.

“We arranged with the informant to set an appointment with the defendant and we provided him with money to purchase the methamphetamine. We photocopied the money to use as future evidence against the suspect in court. The informant met the defendant in front of a mall in Al Muraqqabat. As soon as the informant sealed the deal with R.J., police raided the location and arrested the Filipino employee. The police money was seized in his right hand. Upon confrontation, he immediately admitted that he sold the banned substance to the informant,” said the officer.

A policewoman testified that she arrested J.T. in Ajman. “When I searched her, I found two plastic pouches that contained methamphetamine hidden in her underwear,” the policewoman told prosecutors.

Presiding judge Omar said the court will appoint two lawyers to defend the suspects when it reconvenes on March 31.







A growing German craze for crystal meth is spreading to stressed-out workers and students, a government study suggests.

School pupils and university students are among a growing number of groups outside the typical drug scene found to be regularly using crystal meth, according to the health ministry study out this week.


In the first government commissioned survey of its kind, scientists from the Hamburg Interdisciplinary Centre for Addiction Research asked 400 crystal meth users to list their reasons for taking the drug, Der Spiegel reported on Monday.

Beyond the “pleasant effects of the substance,” half of those asked listed stress caused by their jobs or studies as the reason for using it, the magazine said.

One third of participants said “school and studies” was a motive for using it. Stressed parents were also at risk of sliding into drug addiction, the study said.

The highly-addictive synthetic stimulant is known to cause serious, long-term health problems and can have devastating effects on regular users’ physical appearance.

The drug, the use of which several studies have indicated is becoming more widespread in Germany, attacks the nervous system.

Long term, it can lead to nerve damage, memory and concentration problems as well as heart problems and psychosis.

  “We need more information [on use of the drug],” Marlene Mortler, the government’s commissioner for drug related issues told Spiegel.

There is “evidence that the drug has spread from the German-Czech border into other regions, especially larger German cities,” she added.

Figures indicate growing numbers of crystal users in Germany in the past few years, with 2,556 new users coming to the attention of authorities in 2012 – a 51-percent increase on the year before according to Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) numbers.







Youth outreach workers and counsellors say they aren’t surprised an increasing number of young Albertans are seeking help to overcome addictions related to crystal meth.

Data provided by Alberta Health Services shows that 1,116 people between the ages of 12-24 sought treatment for meth-related addictions during the 2012-13 reporting period, a spike of 45 per cent over the four-year average.

pouch containing crystallized methamphetamine

Calgary police, meanwhile, also encountered meth more often in 2013, with 122 cases involving the drug compared to 90 the year prior.

Danene Lenstra, a program lead at the Alex Youth Health Centre, said she’s seen a substantial increase in clients addicted to meth in recent years. She said the drug is often used as a “coping mechanism” or “escape” but often leads users down an even darker path — paranoia, aggression and inability to sleep are just some of the short-term side effects.

“The kids I’ve seen over the longer term I would say are absolutely changed forever,” she said. “Even when I’ve seen them cleaned up, they were never the same.”

Calgary police have consistently come across increasing amounts of meth in recent years. Total cases involving the drug have jumped 335 per cent over the past half-decade when you consider meth was encountered just 28 times in 2009. But investigators have suggested some of the increase could be attributed to stiffer crackdowns on dealers and traffickers.

In September, city police touted a meth bust that saw $1.2 million worth of the drug taken off city streets, making it the single largest seizure of the substance in the city’s history. Investigators followed up that haul with a $210,000 bust the following week.

But answers as to why the dangerous substance appears to be more popular in recent years among young adults and even minors are tough to pinpoint, according to those helping people combat addictions.

“Ultimately, I just think it’s curiosity,” said Peter Baka, program co-ordinator with The Last Door Recovery Society, which aids clients from across North America. “Other kids are doing it, they want to see what it’s like so they experiment.

“The problem is you don’t really know you have a problem until you do,” he continued. “That’s the pitfall of someone experimenting with drugs.”

Alberta meth addiction clients ages 12-24

  • 2008-09: 811
  • 2009-10: 681
  • 2010-11: 726
  • 2011-12: 851
  • 2012-13: 1,116







MUNCIE — Four people were arrested at a downtown Muncie apartment Sunday afternoon after a methamphetamine lab was discovered.

Joshua D. McClellan

Arrested were Heather R. Miller, 36, Bobby J. Strunk, 37, Joshua D. McClellan, 38 and Benjamin J. Nixon, 35, at an apartment at 619 N. Madison St. at 12:10 p.m. Sunday after being found with an active “generator” and meth precursors on the second floor of the residence.

County officers stand outside

An investigation into the location of Heather R. Miller, wanted in connection with a variety of charges including possession of illegal substances, led county officers to the Madison Street apartment where Miller was staying.

According to police, a ”burned marijuana” smell was emanating from the apartment while Miller was being questioned at the front door, prompting police to search the building for evidence of illegal substances.

Upon entering the apartment, a chemical smell consistent with meth cooking was apparent, and items commonly used to manufacture meth led police to the discovery of the active meth lab.

After chemical testing, state police confirmed Nixon had methamphetamine in his pocket at the time of his arrest.

All four suspects were preliminarily charged with dealing meth.




Four arrested after meth bust in Muncie apartment

MUNCIE — Police say a methamphetamine lab was found cooking in an apartment across the street from a Muncie church in the middle of its Sunday school services.

The incident was reported just after noon Sunday at an apartment at 619 N. Madison St., where Delaware County sheriff’s deputies were reportedly looking to serve an arrest warrant on Heather Renee Miller, 36.

According to a probable cause affidavit, police were greeted by Miller at the front door of her apartment, which was emitting a “strong odor” of marijuana. As she was taken into custody, Miller requested officers take her upstairs to put on some shoes, and when they got to the second floor, they found three men:  Joshua D. McClellan, 38; Bobby J. Strunk Jr., 37; and Benjamin J. Nixon, 35.

Upon clearing the apartment of other possible occupants, police reported finding an active methamphetamine lab, as well as “materials … consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine” in a room upstairs.

The Indiana State Police’s Methamphetamine Suppression Unit was called to the scene to properly dismantle and dispose of the meth materials. The incident occurred while The Ambassador’s of Christ church was conducting its Sunday school services across the street, Deputy Anthony Johnson wrote.

According to court documents, all four of the subjects inside the house had purchased pseudoephedrine – the key ingredient in meth – at least once this year.

When interviewed by police, Miller allegedly admitted she was “attempting to cook a batch of meth” on Sunday, but “she wasn’t able to get the meth to ‘cook off.’” She’s preliminarily charged with dealing and possession of meth, possession of meth precursors, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a syringe and possession of marijuana.

McClellan, 1808 S. Mulberry St., is preliminarily charged with dealing in meth and visiting a common nuisance. According to the report, McClellan allegedly told officers he had purchased pseudoephedrine because he was sick, but police noted the pack in his possession had not yet been opened. McClellan said “he was so sick that he was not able to take the tablets because he ‘went to sleep’ after he bought the pills,’” Johnson wrote.

Nixon, 1920 E. DePauw Ave., is preliminarily charged with dealing and possession of meth, possession of marijuana and visiting a common nuisance. He allegedly admitted to police he had purchased pseudoephedrine and went to Miller’s apartment “for an hour while (they) produced methamphetamine.”

Strunk, 11613 W. Ind. 28 in Redkey, is preliminarily charged with dealing in meth and visiting a common nuisance. According to the report, Strunk allegedly admitted he had used meth and purchased pseudoephedrine recently to make meth, but denied being involved in the production of meth Sunday.

Miller (no bond), McClellan, Nixon and Strunk ($50,000 bonds) were each being held Monday at the Delaware County jail.







TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – A multi-agency task force dismantled a Terre Haute methamphetamine ring Saturday that was responsible for distributing more than $1 million worth of the drug across Indiana, according to police.

Officers from the Indiana State Police, DEA and the Vigo County Drug Task Force arrested five individuals Saturday as the result of a fourth month investigation, police said.


Marcus McKinley Pizzola, 35, of Terre Haute, is accused of importing 4-pound shipments of methamphetamine twice a month from suppliers in Georgia, according to police. Pizzola then transported the meth to Vigo County for distribution by mid-level and street-level dealers.

State police say Pizzola distributed more than 50 pounds of meth, with an estimated street value in excess of $1.1 million, over the past eight months.

Pizzola was arrested Saturday on U.S. 41 in Vigo County on a return trip from Atlanta, Georgia. Inside his vehicle, police say they found 3-and-a-half pounds of methamphetamine and one pound of marijuana.

Police also executed search warrants on four accused associates of Pizzola, netting a total of 4 pounds of methamphetamine, five pounds of marijuana, $12,000 and 12 firearms. The marijuana was estimated at a street value of $16,000.

Along with Pizzola, suspects preliminarily charged with felony dealing methamphetamine were: Stacy L. Holden, 32, Terre Haute; Robert E. Richey Sr., 54, West Terre Haute; Steven Scank, 42, West Terre Haute; and Jon Bryan, 48, Terre Haute.

Additional charges were expected to be filed against all five, according to police.