Though San Diego is no longer considered the “math capital,” the drug continues  to be a huge problem in the region, health officials and county leaders said  Tuesday

Though the use of methamphetamine continues to pose a major  problem in San Diego, county health officials and leaders say the city is no  longer considered the “meth capital” of the United States, according to the  latest statistics.

“San Diego County may no longer be the meth capital, but meth  continues to take its deadly toll. The statistics are very disturbing,” County  of San Diego Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacobs said Tuesday during a  press conference outlining meth use in the region.


According to Jacobs, as well as officials from the San Diego  County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), there were 217 meth-related  deaths in San Diego in 2012 – up from 140 in 2008. That marks a 55 percent  increase in local meth-related deaths.

Jacobs said the 2012 figure is the second highest since the  county’s Methamphetamine Strike Force – a group composed of approximately 70  local, state and federal organizations and agencies – first began tracking these  types of incidents in the mid-90s.

Still, today’s so-called “Meth Report Card” is better than it  was in 1996, when the County Board of Supervisors created the Meth Strike Force  to curb the large presence of meth labs operating out of the county.

“San Diego County had the dubious distinction of being the  meth capital [of the U.S.] and it was East County that was the hot spot,” Jacobs  recalled. “We have to continue to be vigilant.”

Joining Jacobs at Tuesday’s press conference were HHSA  director Nick Macchione, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis,  San Diego County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Jonathan Lucas and Eric Davis, a  recovery counselor and former meth user.

The group talked about indicators of the meth problem in San  Diego, including unintentional deaths, emergency room visits, treatment  admissions, arrests for possession and sales of meth and adult and juvenile  arrestees testing positive for meth.

While the county has implemented several programs to curb  meth use, the drug remains prevalent in San Diego.

DA Dumanis said law enforcement continues to fight the  battle against meth on a daily basis.

“Law enforcement’s commitment to the fight against meth  continues,” said Dumanis. “We will arrest and prosecute meth users and dealers.  Meth is a bad drug. It does bad things to your mind – it makes you violent. We  see it often in officer-involved shooting cases because [the suspect] acts in a  paranoid or bizarre way.”

Dumanis said 36 percent of adult arrestees in 2012 tested  positive for meth, compared to 24 percent in 2008.

“What this tells us, is that meth continues to be the drug  of choice for adults in San Diego, especially for people who are on probation,” Dumanis added.

On a positive note, the DA said the number of juvenile  arrestees who tested positive for meth dropped to 4 percent in 2012, down from  10 percent in 2008.

“Young people are not turning to meth at the same level as  adults,” she added.

While the number of meth labs in the county has drastically  dropped over the past decade, Jacobs said meth manufacturers are still finding  new ways to make and distribute the drug.

This includes smuggling liquid meth across the U.S.-Mexico  border, as well as using a potentially explosive meth manufacturing method  called “shake ‘n bake,” in which chemicals are mixed together in a 2-liter soda  bottle.

Jacobs urged anyone who suspects drug activity in their  community or anyone suffering from a meth addiction to call the Meth Hotline for  help at (877) 662-6384.

“Make no mistake, meth means death,” said Jacobs. “This  isn’t like something in a TV show like ‘Breaking Bad.’ Meth breaks lives.”

Health officials said the meth use numbers for 2013 have not  yet been released, but should be made public within the next few months.  Already, the HHSA confirms about 230 meth-related deaths in the county for 2013,  which comes out to about a 10 percent increase from the 2012 figure.




NILAND– Two suspected narcotics smugglers were arrested Tuesday morning after more than 13 pounds of methamphetamines were discovered in a vehicle at the Highway 111 checkpoint. The arrests occurred at 6 a.m. after U.S. Border Patrol agents referred a green 1995 Honda Accord driven by a 27-year-old U.S. citizen to secondary inspection.

The inspection revealed multiple individually wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden underneath the dashboard of the vehicle, according to a Border Patrol press release. The narcotics had a combined weight of 13.99 pounds with an estimated street value of more than $167,000.

Both the driver and passenger, a 47-year-old lawful permanent resident from Mexico, were taken into custody. The vehicle and methamphetamine were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation.




Officials predict number of meth labs found will increase this year

ROCK HILL — The ingredients were all there: gas,  Sudafed, Mason jars, coffee filters and lithium batteries.

Stored inside a room at Rock Hill’s Executive Inn on Monday night were the makings of a methamphetamine lab that authorities say was inactive. Along with the meth materials, police discovered more than 1 gram of meth stuffed in a couch cushion, heroin residue on a sink, hypodermic needles in a nightstand, parts to a rifle in a plastic bag and a stolen lawn mower in front of the bathroom.

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Police arrested Robert David Hawkins, 46, and Cynthia Snipes Burton, 32, both of Rock Hill, and Christopher Michael Watkins, 31, of Fort Mill, charging each with manufacturing methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine in proximity to a school and possession of heroin, according to police documents.

The Executive Inn, which saw 86 police calls for service within the past six months, is less than a mile  from Sullivan Middle School.

On Tuesday, Watkins and Burton were being held at the York County Detention Center; Watkins on a $14,652 bond and Burton on a $14,000 bond. Hawkins, also charged with possession of methamphetamine and shoplifting a lawn mower, was still at the Rock Hill jail awaiting transport to the detention center. Bond for the shoplifting charge was set at $4,000.

The lab was the fourth uncovered in York County this year, said Marvin Brown, commander for the county’s multijurisdictional drug enforcement unit. Officials last year dismantled 23 meth labs throughout the county – more than double the number they found in 2011 and 2012.

“I believe we’re in for another record year,” Brown said.

About 10 p.m. Monday, a police officer conducting a property check at the Executive Inn on North Anderson Road offered to help a woman in the parking lot find her daughter, whom she identified as Burton. After asking several hotel guests whether they knew Burton, the officer learned she was staying in a room with her boyfriend. Officers knocked on the door, and Christopher Watkins answered, inviting police inside when they announced they were looking for Burton, the report states. They found her lying on a bed.

A second man, identified as Robert Hawkins, was lying on a couch. Hawkins sat up and shoved his hand inside the couch cushion, the report states.  Burton gave police permission to search the room for drugs after an officer noted finding what he thought was heroin residue on the sink counter in the bathroom.

Police found hypodermic needles inside the nightstand. A county drug agent used a dog to sniff out a blue gym bag under a table; they found 6 ounces of ammonium nitrate, 1 gallon of ethanol, Sudafed, pill crushers , scales, Mason jars, coffee filters, lithium batteries and plastic tubes – all used in making meth, police say. Ammonium nitrate is an ingredient found in the cold and ice packs commonly used in meth production.

Watkins and Burton told authorities the gym bag belonged to Hawkins. Officers found more than 1 gram of meth in a baggie between the couch cushions. Police also found a plastic bag containing a rifle charging handle, a muzzle brake, a scope mount and a drill bit elsewhere in the room, and a “brand new” black-and-yellow Cub Cadet push lawn mower in front of the bathroom, the report states.

Hawkins told police that he paid $50 for the mower a man sold him a night earlier, the report states. Police called several hardware stores selling that brand of lawn mower, eventually reaching an employee at the Tractor Supply Company on Cross Pointe Drive. After police sent him a picture of the mower in the room, the employee confirmed that it was the same lawn mower stolen from an outdoor display of mowers at the store’s entrance.

Hawkins admitted to police that he took the mower and planned to sell it, the report states. He was charged with shoplifting, and cited for false information to police. The mower was returned to Tractor Supply Company.

Though the meth lab inside the motel was inactive, the three suspects having the materials to make meth is enough to charge them with manufacturing methamphetamine, which accuses anyone who “aids, abets, attempts, or conspires to” produce the drug, Brown said.

Lt. Max Dorsey with the State Law Enforcement Division said the state is “keeping a steady pace” when compared with how many labs were found by this time last year.

Monday’s lab is the second found in a York County motel this year, Brown said.

Location in a motel “sort of speaks to (the labs’) mobility,” Dorsey said. “People aren’t necessarily having to stay at home or stay stationary to cook this meth. Because of this mobility, because it’s so compact (and) these vessels are so small … you can virtually do it anywhere.”

“We’re finding them in hotels, motels, cars, boats, mopeds, ditches, in wooded areas and, of course, homes,” he said. “Hotels and motels get a lot of attention because that’s an area where innocent people are concentrated in one building. The activity by the people in one room is going to negatively affect everybody in that building.”

If someone were to tell you they could make you $1,000 on a $50 investment, most people would ask what the catch was or be very interested in finding out how someone could spend such little cash for such a high return.

It’s simple: manufacturing methamphetamine.

Glorified at times on television — especially in such programs as Breaking Bad — manufacturing methamphetamine has become a problem not just in Brown County but nationwide, although that secret has long been out in the open, just look around: signs of long-term meth use in people, such as the loss of teeth, scabs on the skin, and the “sunken in” look of the cheeks, are often visible. Meth will also damage your hair, nails, and other parts of your body.

Yet for a cooker of the illicit drug, all they see is dollar signs.

*“T” is a cooker. She explained to me how easy it is to come out with the products to make the drug and how it is not as sophisticated as what you might see on Breaking Bad. She uses a method known as “shake and bake” to yield the drug. Methamphetamine can be produced in a water bottle-sized container for around $50 and depending on the amount of pseudoephedrine you have, can yield hundreds of dollars in return.

The items used to make the drug come from around the house and are easily available and reasonably inexpensive. Coffee filters, lithium batteries, drain cleaner, lye and unfrozen ice packs cut open are just a few of the simple items needed to make the drug. A few items unfamiliar to most people would be Xylene and muriatic acid, which can easily be found in your everyday hardware store. The actual drug comes from turning pseudoephedrine into crystallized methamphetamine hcl.

“T” said she cooks twice per week and that she yields around $900-$1000 worth of the drug in street value. Someone purchasing all of the pre-cursors to the drug can usually be spotted out at whatever store they choose to shop at, that is why according to “T” there is a whole network of people who buy items to get the drug made. She told The News Democrat she has anywhere from 15 to 20 people who purchase or steal items for her “cooking.” The hardest item to obtain in quantity is pseudoephedrine and is the only ingredient that requires ID to purchase.

In 2013, 25 people were arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine by the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, up from 2012 where 17 people were arrested for manufacturing and the Sheriff’s Department has cracked down on producers of the drug. Each year more and more people are arrested on chargers and the Sheriff’s Department list the locations where methamphetamine has been founded being produced on their website.

Cookers like “T,” however are not afraid of going to jail. She said if she could work a job that would pay what cooking paid she would choose a different career path. Cookers are looking for a quick buck, those who use and cook want to get high to escape reality. Anyone can make the drug and it is getting harder to detect how it is made. For those who are experienced in “shake and bake” they may never get caught. No more need to intricate propane tanks and tubes to produce the drug.

Georgetown Chief Robert Freeland said the process is getting easier because the products are getting dirtier, but drug users only care about the end result. If someone sees someone buying the products to make meth and keying on those products, they will use other products to achieve the same results.

Meth is hard to locate and becoming easier to make. Cookers see the income potential rather than the residual effects it has on a community. Meth has been called the world’s most dangerous drug, but often times people do not realize that methamphetamine is a prescription drug in the United States under the trade name Desoxyn. Desoxy is used to treat ADHD and obesity but is not often prescribed because of the high potential of abuse.

It is a neurotoxin that changes the way the brain produces dopamine and serotonin. Both dopamine and serotonin are what makes humans feel good. Meth, both prescription and “shake and bake” increases the bodies production and long term abuse actually shuts down the bodies ability to produce them naturally.

Meth has a stronghold in many communities but law enforcement has stepped up efforts to try to track down those criminals who are producing the drug. The 25 people in 2013 and 17 people in 2012 may not seem like a lot, but in 2001 and 2002, only two were found manufacturing the drug by the Sheriff’s Department.

Efforts around the county continue to rid this drug from the streets.

*The name of this source has been changed to protect her anonymity.




TEGA CAY —  A North Carolina woman found undressing in the parking lot of Tega Cay’s Walmart was arrested on Friday after police found a plastic baggie of white powder in her jacket that she admitted was methamphetamine, authorities say.

At about 9:30 a.m., police were sent to the Walmart on Stonecrest Bouelvard after receiving calls about a possibly intoxicated woman sitting in a white Honda Accord removing her clothes, according to a report from the Tega Cay Police Department.

Police found the woman, identified as Christine Leigh Campbell, 25, of Monroe, N.C., sitting in the driver’s seat removing her shirt, panties and pants.

Campbell told the officer that she was undressing so she could “pop a cyst on her leg,” the report states. After confirming her identity, the officer placed a very-fidgety Campbell under arrest, charging her with public disorderly conduct because she undressed in public when she could have used Walmart’s restroom. While searching her, another officer found a baggie filled with white powder in one of her jacket pockets. When the officer asked Campbell what was inside the baggie, she told him it was meth.

Police additionally charged Campbell with possession of less than 1 gram of methamphetamine and cited for possession of drug paraphernalia after authorities found two glass pipes inside of an eyeglass case in her car, the report states. She was taken to the York County Detention Center and later released on a more than $10,000 bond.

The Buchanan County Drug Strike Force says the methamphetamine use in Northwest Missouri is still at a high, despite pseudoephedrine tracking programs.

“It’s probably the No. 1 drug that we’re fighting out on the streets,” Drug Strike Force Capt. Mike Donaldson said.

The Pseudoephedrine Control Law was implemented in 2005. The law removed pseudoephedrine, a cold medicine and a key ingredient in meth, from pharmacy shelves and put them behind the counter. Customers were limited on the amount they could purchase.

“We had a signature log and you had to sign it and put your address down, Social Security number,” Rex Robinson with Rogers Pharmacy said. “We would provide it to law enforcement officials if they were looking for something and it was pretty cumbersome.”

But it was effective. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says meth labs busts dropped 40.5 percent in 2005, the year the law was put into place. But in 2010 Missouri switched from the paper tracking method to an electronic database; a move that law enforcement says makes it harder to identify meth manufacturers.

“The process now is if you purchase a product that has pseudoephedrine in it, you have to present your driver’s license, that is scanned into the program that the state is sponsoring and if there’s a problem they either approve or deny it,” Mr. Robinson said.

But meth makers still find a loophole.

“They’re not making the purchases themselves … they’re just using more people,” Mr. Donaldson said. “What it’s hard to do is connect one individual and all the other individuals that they’re using to purchase the pseudoephedrine with them.

“Now if we can make that connection, then we can track that through the log and then we can start to add up how much that individual is getting.”

Though meth manufacturers have found a way around the system, Mr. Donaldson says tracking has reduced the number of meth labs in Northwest Missouri.

However, the drug is finding another way in.

“The only explanation I can come up with is that we’re receiving more of the imported stuff through the drug trafficking organizations,” he said.

A not-so-simple 2 liter bottle found by a woman on Hip Pocket Road late Sunday morning led to a hazardous material team collecting the bottle and other ingredients found in the street that may have been used to produce methamphetamine drugs, Peachtree City police said.

The woman found the trash on the northern section of the road inside a bag at about 11:20 a.m., police said. After picking it up, she noticed a suspicious substance inside the bottle and called 911, police said.

Officers who responded determined the material could be extremely hazardous, said Lt. Mark Brown of the Peachtree City Police Department.

Because of the hazardous nature of such materials, a special remediation agent was used to remove the items, police said.

An investigation into the origin of the suspicious material is ongoing, police said.



It was a case that District Attorney Scott McKee hoped would send a message to those that ingest methamphetamine, and late last Wednesday afternoon, after an hour and a half of deliberation, a Henderson County jury of 10 women and 2 men found Lola Amelia Thompson guilty of Assault on an Emergency Service Personnel. Thompson, who is 38 years old and formerly of Kemp, had been indicted by a Henderson County Grand Jury for punching an ER Nurse at East Texas Medical Center in Athens. The charge is a Third Degree Felony and carries a punishment of up to 10 years incarceration. The verdict came at the conclusion of a three day trial in Judge Dan Moore’s 173rd Judicial District Court.


Assistant District Attorneys Nancy Rumar and Justin Weiner prosecuted the case on behalf of Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.

Over the course of the two day trial, the jury was presented with evidence of events taking place while ETMC staff attempted to care for Thompson. On July 25, 2012 Thompson was taken to the emergency room by family members after she had become severely intoxicated and attempted to cut herself. Eye witness testimony detailed a struggle to get Thompson medical attention that she needed but did not want. A family member drove Thompson from her home where evidence showed that she had ingested a gallon of whiskey, taken a large number of prescription pills, smoked marijuana, and had consumed amphetamines/ methamphetamine. Thompson then cut her forearm and was in need of sutures

When an attempt was made by a family member to unload Thompson just outside the ETMC Emergency Room at the breezeway she instantly became combative and violent. Thompson then head-butted a family member, breaking his nose. Multiple witnesses presented by the District Attorney’s Office stated that they could actually hear a loud popping noise when the man’s nose was broken by Thompson. At that time video surveillance and testimony presented to the jury described a dangerous situation as Emergency Room Personnel attempted to aid Thompson. She continued her violent rampage and then targeted the hospital’s staff. Thompson struck an ETMC Emergency Room Charge Nurse in the face 4-5 times with a closed fist. Ben Bailey, also a member of the ER staff, had to pull Thompson off of the nurse who was there attempting to provide medical care to Thompson.

Sgt. Jason McEntire and Officer Dustin Cook arrived on scene and attempted to detain Thompson. It ultimately took three officers to restrain Thompson who continued to punch, kick, and scream. Thompson would later have to be sedated by medical personnel so that she could be treated and cleared to leave the hospital. An emergency room physician testified at trial that it took nearly three times the normal amount of sedation required for an average person to get Thompson to a treatable state.

“I really appreciate the hard work of our lawyers in prosecuting this case”. Said 1st Assistant District Attorney Mark Hall. “My daughter is a registered nurse, and she and her husband are expecting what will be our first grandchild. I know from experience the hard work, dedication and long hours nurses put in treating their patients, and often consoling their families. Doctors, nurses and other medical providers should not have their own safety and well being put at risk while carrying out those tasks, and I commend the jury for standing up for them by rendering their verdict in this case.”

District Attorney Scott McKee said that as a community we can’t let people hide behind their methamphetamine addictions as an excuse to hurt others. “Assistant DA Weiner asked the jury to stand up and protect those that care for us and the jury responded with a swift verdict.” McKee stated that we were very blessed to have ETMC in our community. “As District Attorney I’ll do everything in my power to protect our medical professionals from people who ingest methamphetamine and other substances and take out aggression on those that try to help them.”

A sentencing hearing has been set for March 18, 2014 at 9:00am in the 173d Judicial District Court.




Police who discovered two children living in a Christchurch drugs-lab house found chemicals so hazardous they could spend only moments inside

The boy and girl, aged 12 and 13 at the time, had signs of chemical exposure, rashes, skin lesions and methamphetamine residue in their hair. 

The kitchen was set up like a commercial kitchen, and the food the family was eating was in the same cupboards as the beakers and pots used for methamphetamine

The children’s  mother, 32, was jailed for two years and nine months yesterday on charges of permitting the Linwood house to be used for methamphetamine production and two charges of neglecting her children by exposing them to danger from the drug-lab. 

She was granted name suppression to protect the identity of the children, who are now in the care of a relative and Child Youth and Family. 

The case has appalled Police Minister Anne Tolley, who said methamphetamine “has no place in our communities”. 

Latest statistics held by her office showed 26 New Zealand children were found living in P-labs in 2011 and 28 in 2012. 

“It destroys lives and families. Any case where children have been exposed to this horrible drug is shocking and just heartbreaking,” she said. 

Police raided the Linwood home in 2012. Detective Oliver Rose, the officer in charge of the case, said the smell of toxic chemicals  was “overwhelming“. The boy and girl were home at the time. 

 It was “always shocking” to find children living in such an environment, but keeping drug equipment next to food in kitchen cupboards was “about as bad as it gets”, Rose said. 

Toxic vapours and fumes could fill a house. The smell in this particular home was so unpleasant officers effectively “got in and got out”. 

It was a sad reality that children were living in similar situations across New Zealand, Rose said. “It shouldn’t happen, but it does.” 

The woman’s children were doing better now they were out of that environment. 

At the sentencing, Judge Jane Farish said the mother’s offending had been “a self-serving, selfish act” and she had failed her children “abysmally”. 

She had put them at risk of death or serious chemical burns. The effects of the methamphetamine could cause chronic disease and behavioural development problems, some of which the children had, she said. 

The woman’s son was found with significant skin lesions. Her daughter was “seriously disturbed” and it was not all due to methamphetamine. 

She was now settled and stabilised, and the woman should do nothing to upset that, Farish said. 

Defence counsel Mark Callaghan said the woman was no longer a drug user and she had taken steps to be rehabilitated. She had lost custody of her children, although she still had contact with them. 

CYF operations manager Marion Heeney said children’s safety was the agency’s “top priority”. 

As well as health matters, children living in homes where methamphetamine was manufactured were at risk of neglect and isolation from the wider community. 

At the same sentencing yesterday, a 25-year-old man was sentenced to seven years four months’ prison with a non-parole period of three years four months for using the woman’s home to manufacture methamphetamine, setting up another kitchen for manufacture and possession of equipment and utensils. 

He was also sentenced on charges of assault, threatening to kill and receiving.




MODESTO — A forensic psychologist on Monday testified that a defendant was experiencing “methamphetamine-induced psychosis” when he fired an automatic rifle, killing two people and seriously injuring a third inside a west Modesto home.

Tou Vang Xiong’s defense doesn’t dispute the fact that he fired the shots that killed his girlfriend, Gao Sheng Her of Merced, and his friend, Nhia Yang, of Modesto. His defense attorney says his client had used a lot of meth and thought he was firing an AR-15 rifle at demonic tigers on July 20, 2009.

Xiong, of Atwater, is on trial accused of two counts of murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the incident at a home in the 1700 block of Radley Place, a few blocks east of Paradise Road. The victims were shot at close range about 5:20 a.m. inside the small, cramped detached room behind the main house.

Forensic psychologist Alex Yufik said he reviewed police reports, the autopsy report, toxicology results, crime scene photos, a video of investigators interrogating Xiong and the defendant’s mental health evaluation. He also questioned Xiong for more than five hours in jail, conducting a clinical interview and a forensic evaluation.

Yufik determined that Xiong has severe anti-social personality disorder, along with substance-abuse disorder. He testified that Xiong, around the time of the shooting, experienced the meth-induced psychosis, which results in an intense paranoia.

“They lose touch with reality,” Yufik told the jury about meth addicts experiencing the psychosis.

Previous testimony in the trial has indicated that Xiong spoke of “killing two tigers” moments after the shooting. Yang’s sister testified that “tiger” is commonly used in Hmong culture as a derogatory term for people they dislike.

The forensic psychologist said in court that some severe cases of meth use result in psychotic behavior, such as delusions, hallucinations of ghosts, demons and angels, and auditory hallucinations like voices in your head. He says these are the classic symptoms of meth-induced psychosis.

Yufik’s credibility as a meth expert was challenged during cross-examination. He used the fifth edition of a standard guide on mental disorders to reach his conclusion in the Xiong case.

He admitted that the guide on mental disorders has changed and its first edition listed homosexuality as a disorder, and the fourth edition listed Asperger’s syndrome, while the latest edition doesn’t list the developmental disorder.

The Xiong trial is the second time Yufik has testified about his findings in court; the first was not too long ago in Fresno. He told the jury that sometimes attorneys on either side don’t call him to testify because his findings don’t benefit their case.

Yufik is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California in courses surrounding the psychology of criminal behavior. He also sees patients, conducts forensic evaluations in criminal and civil cases, and works for the State Bar of California at the Lawyers Assistance Program, where he supervises other clinicians and conducts evaluations of attorneys who require monitored recovery and treatment from substance abuse or mental illness.

He explained that meth floods the prefrontal cortex with dopamine, which alters the front part of the brain used for decisions, planning and judgment.

The trial is expected to continue today in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

For the second time in as many days, a pair of Hollister men holed up in a motor home were arrested on suspected drug charges, according to the Hollister Police Department.

Mark Cockfield, 51, and Donald Gemette Jr., 50, were arrested at 7:13 p.m. during a probation search of a motor home parked on the 800 block of Prospect Road. Inside the vehicle, the officer said he found methampetamine and hypodermic needles.

Donald GemetteMark Cockfield

The day before, both were part of a six-person bust inside the same motor home. At the time, an officer said he found methamphetamine, heroin and prescription drugs.

Cockfield and Gemette Jr. were transported back to San Benito County Jail and booked on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine and hypodermic needles.

Anyone with information related to the case is urged to contact the Hollister Police Department at 831-636-4330. To remain anonymous, call 800-78-CRIME.



AMARILLO, TEXASA mother of a student at Bivins Elementary School found bags of methamphetamine like substances on the school’s playground.

Jerry Neufeld, spokesperson for the Amarillo Police Department, said they were able to determine the substance was meth after doing a field test.


“At this point now, it’s determining who dropped it, who left it…That’s where it’s going to become difficult,” Neufeld said.

He also said other empty bags were found in the area when officers were investigating. Both officers and drug dogs inspected the area and have found it to be safe for the children.

For parents, this is an alarming incident.

Winslow Ellis is the father of two students who attend Bivins Elementary School.

“We were pretty shocked, we know drugs are everywhere but actually have it right in your front yard or across the street anyways was a little scary because our kids play over there all the time,” Ellis said.

He said this served as an opportunity to speak with his children about the dangers of drugs.

Ellis also spoke with the principal of Bivins Elementary School to see how the school was handling the situation.

In a statement released to Pronews 7, the Amarillo Independent School District said, “We are concerned anytime we learn a controlled substance may have been found around a school in a drug-free zone. Over the weekend, the entire property at Bivins Elementary was searched and no drugs were found. School administrators have and will continue to cooperate with police while they investigate this matter.”

Aside from conversations at home, School Resource Officers are placed in districts to speak with students about topics regarding drug awareness and use.

Tim Nguyen, a Potter County Sherriff’s Office SRO, said topics and conversations depends on who he’s talking to.

“On young kids, some of the things we found successful is hitting the bigger stuff, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, prescription pills are a big one. If you see something don’t touch it,” Nguyen said.



A mum jailed today for almost three years for raising two kids in a clandestine P lab was blasted by a judge as being an “abysmal failure” as a mother.

The 32-year-old drug addict let her family home in Linwood, Christchurch be used for the commercial-scale manufacture of methamphetamine.

She admitted child neglect charges by endangering the health of her son and daughter by having them grow up in such conditions between August and October in 2012.

A judge granted her permanent name suppression solely to protect the identity of her two children – now aged 13 and 15 – who are still at school. They’ve been taken in to Child, Youth and Family (CYF) care.

Her son saw her and others smoking meth at the house, which Judge Jane Farish said “was almost like a commercial kitchen set up for the manufacture of drugs”.

The child told police the strong smell of chemicals being used to make the drugs would linger for days.

Both youngsters were found with skin rashes from exposure to the chemicals stored in the kitchen pantry alongside food being used by the kids. Methamphetamine residue was found in their hair.

Judge Farish said the woman encouraged and benefited from the drug manufacturing happening in her house, exposing her children to the risk of death by explosions in the volatile operation. She highlighted the recent case of a Northland man who died in a P-lab explosion while cooking the illegal drug.

The children now face short and long-term physical effects from the exposure to toxic chemicals, Judge Farish said.

They were both exhibiting emotional or behavioral problems and face increased risk to acute or chronic diseases, including cancer.

“You placed your children at serious risk of death and serious physical harm,” Judge Farish told her as she sentenced her to two years, nine months imprisonment at Christchurch District Court.

The judge added that her actions were “completely self serving and selfish”.

“You failed abysmally as a mother,” she said. “You really have no idea of how to parent.”

Defence counsel Mark Callaghan said the woman, who has one previous drug conviction, had been using meth at the time, but is “no longer a drug user as such” and has taken some steps to be rehabilitated.

Judge Jane Farish didn’t accept that, however, saying: “You just don’t stop using methamphetamine overnight. She’s been using it since 2011.”

Mr Callaghan said her “foray into criminal offending … has had a devastating effect on her and her children”.

She now has “very little contact with them”.

The woman’s co-accused, a 25-year-old drug addict and her partner at the time, was jailed for seven years, four months, with a minimum non-parole period of three years, four months, after admitting drugs charges, receiving a $2500 stolen car, assaulting his mother and intimidation.

Defence counsel Elizabeth Bulger said the man, who also has name suppression, is seeking treatment for his “significant” drug addiction and wants to become a good father.

“When Child, Youth and Family became aware of the accused’s arrest, we worked with the family to secure safe care arrangements for the children,” said CYF southern regional director Chris Harvey.

“We take their health concerns seriously. Children living in methamphetamine homes are at risk of inhaling, absorbing and ingesting harmful chemicals. They may also be injured by caustic materials used in the manufacture of the drug.”



INDIANAPOLIS –Legislation that would require disclosure of property previously used to produce methamphetamine passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Monday.

The bill, authored by Rep. Wendy McNamara, R- Mount Vernon, requires that property that was once a site for meth labs or a dumping ground for the drug be listed on a website until 90 days after it was certified decontaminated.

One provision of the bill shifts the control and maintenance of the methamphetamine laboratory website from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to the Indiana State Police.

Rep. Karlee Macer, D- Indianapolis, urged support for the bill during House discussion.

“Anything that we can do to, of course, help the safety of our families and make sure that we are more aware of what’s happened in the homes previously is very important,” Macer said.

The bill passed unanimously and heads to the Senate for further consideration.



The mother of Corey Shane Lindsey, who was charged last week by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for a methamphetamine lab was also charged this week.

Vickie Ruff Lindsey, 53, of 127 Wolfe Branch Drive, Mill Spring was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled substance (all felonies), and misdemeanor simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance (prescription pills), simple possession of schedule VI (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff’s office.

Corey Lindsey, 26, also of 127 Wolfe Branch Drive, Mill Spring, was charged last week with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon (all felonies), and misdemeanor simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance (prescription pills), simple possession of schedule VI (marijuana) possession of drug paraphernalia possession of a firearm by a felon, according to sheriff reports.

The sheriff’s office discovered a meth lab on Thursday, Jan. 30 at the 127 Wolfe Branch Drive residence during a probation search of the residence.

Corey Lindsey is currently on probation after serving a sentence in prison on a possession of methamphetamine conviction from a May 2013 arrest, according to sheriff reports.

The sheriff’s office said Corey Lindsey was released from prison approximately one month ago.

Investigators discovered one small meth lab in a plastic bottle, that was no longer active but had recently been cooked, sheriff’s officers said.

Last week’s meth lab discovery was the third in Polk County so far this year as two others were also discovered by the sheriff’s office in January.

The county’s largest meth lab in recent history was discovered in Green Creek on Jan. 9 with officers coming into the residence while cooking was occurring.

Officers found the active lab as well as approximately 15 old labs at 315 Scoggins Road, Green Creek and arrested Billy Lawrence Carr and Harold Dean Bailey, according to sheriff reports.

The sheriff’s office also found a meth lab dump site on John Weaver Road, also in Green Creek on Jan. 1.

Vickie Lindsey was still being held in jail as of Monday, Feb. 3 under a $92,000 secured bond.

Corey Lindsey was still being held under a $108,000 secured bond.




A 26-year-old Great Falls woman faces several charges after one of her children tested positive for methamphetamine last week.

Jessica McKinley has been charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and a felony count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.


Police were sent to a residence Jan. 26 for a report of narcotics activity. According to court documents, McKinley and Tyler Goodsell-Bright lived there with five minor children.

McKinley was home with two of the five children and police searched the residence, finding a syringe with a clear substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to court documents.

The Department of Family Services removed the children from the residence and took hair samples of each child. The youngest tested positive for methamphetamine and McKinley was arrested Feb. 2, court documents state.

The state requested bond be set at $5,000.


North Korea is experiencing a methamphetamine, or crystal meth, epidemic so large that the Los Angeles Times reports meth “is offered as casually as a cup of tea.”

A Los Angeles Times article defines methamphetamine as “a synthetic drug that was first developed in Japan in the late 19th century, made from chemicals such as ephedrine and distributed as a stimulant.”

The fact that meth can be made conveniently in bathtubs, trailers and kitchens, according to the article, has led to its dangerously booming production.

Crystal meth is gaining popularity in many areas throughout the globe, but it is especially sought after in North Korea. The Washington Post reported that North Korea’s meth problem started in the 1990s when the country was ravaged by a famine.

A small amount of black-market trade brought in food and prevented the collapse of the country. Not only were the people of North Korea starving, but they were also without health care. Medicine ran out, which led to a nonexistent health care system. During this time, North Koreans began to produce meth in “big state-run labs.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that narcotics investigators said the North Korean government controlled the production of meth and opium, as well as other drugs, in the 1990s in order to bring in “hard currency” for Kim Jong Il, the late North Korean leader.

The government was engaging in the drug trade in order to save and improve its economic state as a nation. I do not by any means agree with the actions North Korean government chose to take. Instead of tending to its people’s health issues, it chose to spread life-threatening drugs throughout the world.

In such a heavily government-dependent political system, the people have no hope to turn to a government official and ask for help. Individuals and families turned to the drug in times of desperation, leading to many North Koreans becoming fervent methamphetamine addicts. This situation is devastating and should not be overlooked.
According to CNN, a majority — two-thirds to be exact — of the North Korean population has used methamphetamines. It is reportedly accessible in restaurants and has “become the drug of choice of high-ranking officials and the police.”

The fact that government officials are using meth regularly makes me uneasy. This could be potentially dangerous to our country; what if these leaders choose to act irrationally, in regard to foreign policy, while on a mind-altering drug?
According to World News on, North Korean-produced meth was produced mainly for export. It gets shipped to China, where it is then distributed around the world.

Vice reports that “American officials now estimate that 80 percent of the meth consumed in the US is Mexican-made — with ingredients from China.”

This statement provides evidence that this dangerous drug is making its way into the U.S. where it could ravage citizens. In September 2013, five men were arrested after they were caught trying to bring North Korean-made, 99-percent pure crystal meth to undercover agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Luckily, these men were caught; but, I can’t help but wonder who has not been caught? Is it possible that this highly addictive drug will become a larger problem here in the United States?There will always be some form of illegal drug trade going on in the world. It is inevitable, but North Korea’s meth addiction is spiraling out of control, and we may have to suffer the consequences here in the U.S.




PEKIN – City police cashed in on their latest investigations into meth making and sales in the Pekin area with four arrests last week. More will come soon, they said.
In all, nine persons were charged last month in Tazewell County with meth-related crimes, including one with allegedly operating a conspiracy to make the highly addictive and damaging drug.
WatkinsFernandez Jones Smith
Charges filed last week revealed three suspected methamphetamine conspiracies that remain under watch by local, state and federal investigators, who expect to make more arrests soon, said city police Public Information Officer Mike Eeten.
“Some of (the defendants) are tied together, some aren’t, but they’re all tied to Operation Copperhead,” he said, referring to the ongoing multi-department effort against meth in Tazewell and Mason counties that’s produced more than 100 state and federal prosecutions over the past two years.
Michael Fernandez, 34, of 269 Derby St., was charged in Tazewell County Circuit Court last week with operating a meth conspiracy. He remains in custody on $100,000 bond pending a Feb. 20 preliminary hearing.
He was a “meth cook” who used several different people to purchase an over-the-counter cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), a key ingredient in meth, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit.
Timmy Jones, 33, of 208 Henrietta St., was charged last week with possession of meth precursors, which he allegedly supplied to Fernandez through December.
Megan Watkins, 22, of 119 Crest Lane, Manito, was charged last week with supplying PSE to Aaron Perkins, 25, also of Manito. Perkins and four other people were charged with meth-related crimes in Tazewell County earlier in January.
Watkins told police after her arrest that she had allowed Perkins and others to make meth in her home in the past.
Charles Smith, 20, of 1612 N. Fourth St., was charged last week with possessing PSE, which he allegedly sold over the past two months to another man who has not yet been charged.
The most recent arrests again revealed a key tool that investigators use to track down meth manufacturers. Stores that sell cold medicines containing PSE are required by state law to record the names of purchasers. By monitoring customers’ buying patterns, investigators develop lists of people whom they suspect are supplying PSE to meth makers.
Watkins and Jones also are scheduled for preliminary hearings Feb. 20. Smith will next appear in court on Thursday.

MOUNT CARMEL — It took meth lab suspects more than two hours to call 911 Saturday night following a double box-cutter stabbing, and only after a woman attempted, and failed, to sew up a serious cut with a needle and thread.

The stabbing occurred in a residence at the Valley Village mobile home park, on Wolfe Lane just off of Carters Valley Road in Mount Carmel – at a residence where meth was allegedly being manufactured.

Donald Eric Estes

The stabbing suspect, Donald Eric Estes, 33, 1439 Wolfe Lane, Lot E-20, Mount Carmel, has been charged with two counts of attempted second degree murder, initiating meth manufacture, and resisting arrest.

Witnesses told police that Estes went to his neighbor’s trailer to receive a quantity of meth he’d been promised for his part in their alleged meth manufacturing operation.

Estes reportedly  became enraged when he was told there was no meth for him there.

According to a report filed by MCPD Lt. Kevin Ewing, witnesses stated that Estes was arguing with Coy Allen McMurray, 37, when Michael Neil McCann, 39, stepped in between the two men.

At that point Estes, “pulled a folding box-cutter type knife from his pocket and began slicing and stabbing the two victims,” Ewing said.

Estes then fled the scene.

McCann was cut near his kidney and arm. McMurray suffered a more serious cut across his lower left abdomen, and reportedly had internal organs protruding from his wounds.

Police and EMS were called around 11:43 p.m., but the actual stabbing reportedly occurred more than two hours earlier.

One of the witnesses, Tara Leigh Woods, 28, 1557 Greenfield Avenue, Kingsport, reportedly went to a Walgreens drug store and purchased sewing needles and thread, hydrogen peroxide, and gauze — with the intent of sewing up McMurray’s wound. Apparently she started sewing, realized that wasn’t going to work, and called 911 for an ambulance.

Shortly after responding to the residence where the stabbing occurred, several officers went next door and found Estes in his bedroom, where he was arrested following a brief scuffle.

The box cutter was found on an ironing board near Estes’s bed.

“The investigation showed that Estes, both victims, and both witnesses had been involved in the used and production of meth at the residence where the stabbing occurred,” Ewing said. “Two ‘one pot’ methods, and a ‘gasser’ were recovered at the original scene. Documentation showed Estes had purchased psuedoephedrine on numerous occasions to assist in the manufacture of meth.”

Woods was charged with initiating meth manufacturing and tampering with evidence.

Timothy Birk Ratliff, 49, 1439 Wolfe Lane Lot 2-E, Mount Carmel, was charged with initiating meth manufacture, tampering with evidence, and maintaining a dwelling where narcotics are manufactured or sold.

Ewing added, “During the time between when the stabbings occurred and when the original 911 call was made, Ratliff and Woods removed evidence of the meth labs from inside the residence.”

Estes was being held in the Hawkins County Jail Sunday on $750,000 bond.

Ratliff and Woods were also in jail Sunday with a bond amount still to be set. All three will be arraigned Monday in Sessions Court.

McMurray and McCann both underwent surgery early Sunday morning the Holston Valley Medical Center and were each listed in good condition as of Sunday afternoon.

Meth related charges are pending against both McCann and McMurray.




Dubai: A waitress has been accused of consuming methamphetamine with friends during a birthday party that she threw at home in October 2013.

The 35-year-old Filipina waitress, E.T., was said to have invited four friends to the birthday party, during which they all consumed methamphetamine and amphetamine brought by a 27-year-old Filipino student, L.P.

Drugs prosecutors accused E.T. of allowing her friends to consume drugs and mind-altering substances at her residence in Al Muraqqabat.

L.P. was accused with providing E.T. and others methamphetamine for personal consumption.

 According to the charge sheet, E.T. was also charged with consuming methamphetamine and amphetamine.

L.P. was additionally charged with possessing 0.75 grams of methamphetamine for consumption purposes and consuming methamphetamine and amphetamine.

The defendants entered a guilty plea when they appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday.

The waitress admitted that she opened her house for friends to consume drugs and mind-altering substances when she defended herself before presiding judge Mohammad Jamal.

The student also confessed that he provided others with drugs for consumption purposes.

Drugs enforcement officers raided E.T.’s residence following an informant’s tip-off that the defendants possessed and consumed banned substances.

Records said four Filipinos were referred to the Dubai Misdemeanour Court where they are being prosecuted for consuming a mind-altering substance.

Prosecution records cited the waitress admitting that she and her friends consumed banned substances during the birthday party after she invited them over to her place. Meanwhile L.P. was quoted admitting that he provided others with methamphetamine and amphetamine for free.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — His ex-wife gave him $25 for gas. She didn’t need to. But she did. Somehow he had to get to court tomorrow. His borrowed Jeep was out of gas. And as was often the case these days, Scott Moyers was out of money and long ago out of options. So his ex-wife agreed to help. She didn’t want any more missed hearings. No more arrests. No more excuses. He was going to go before that judge and take some measure of responsibility for all that he’d done.

That was the plan, at least. But tomorrow was still far away.

So Scott got a ride from his neighbor Don up to his ex-wife’s house, where his family lived, what used to be his home, in a nicer part of town, up on the hill there, a place where he could sit on the back deck and breathe. Just breathe. But the house wasn’t his anymore. The understanding wife — a doctor — was now his ex. The kids — two boys and a girl — were distant. The job covering crime and courts for the Southeast Missourian newspaper was gone. And so was the money, at least $250,000. He lost it all. In less than a year.

Still, he held that $25 in cash and thought about taking it down to score some meth, speed, a little go fast. Hard to shake those thoughts. Even now. Maybe even more so now.

But he held. He fought the pull. He put $3 into the gas can and gave Don $5 for the ride and drove his Jeep to a gas station, where he bought a pack of smokes and sunk the rest into the tank. He was broke again. His day in court was coming.


Scott said he hadn’t used in days. He was not sure he believed it himself.

“For right now, I want to quit more than I want to use. It’s …” he said, slowing to hunt for the word, “… tenuous.”

It was dark out. Scott was driving around the town they call Cape. Not The Cape. Just Cape. A small city of 50,000 along the Mississippi River. Home of the Limbaughs. The Gateway to the Bootheel, as he liked to call it. He grew up here. Lived almost his entire life within a five-mile radius.

He’s 41. He still looked a faint bit like he retained membership in that world of upper-middle-class ease. But he no longer owned a single pair of khakis or a white collared shirt. He wore stained jeans, a T-shirt, thin beige fleece. His rectangular eyeglasses hung askew on his scruffy face. He had a scratch mark above one eye. His brown hair was uncombed.

“I don’t feel like I deserve a second chance. I just want one,” he said now, like he’d been ruminating on it all along. “And I feel like if I can manage to just hold on to a few more days …”

So much has been said about the meth epidemic and its labs, junkies, tweakers, its Breaking Bad. Passing judgment is easy, the distance is safe. But meth holds the power to take you down through there. Scott knew that, too. He was a reporter covering crime, which meant he really covered meth. He knew the cops. He knew the judges. He wrote about addicts getting in trouble. He covered the desperate towns limiting sales of sinus cold pills. He was part of an in-depth project for the newspaper called “Life or Meth.”

He knew from his own family. His two brothers were meth addicts. The youngest was in prison right now on a drug charge. The other brother, Pat Moyers, was three years clean. It was Scott who dragged Pat to rehab that first time almost 20 years earlier. Scott was always the good brother, Pat said. A bit nerdy.

“I just don’t get it,” Pat said. “He was writing about the things he’s doing.”


Scott pointed out the newspaper building downtown. He stopped to run up to a ground-floor window and stare at his old desk, careful to not be seen by a former co-worker to whom he owed money. The empty lot across from the new casino — that’s where he grew up, the house long gone. He pointed out the places he discovered chasing his fix.

“I’ve learned so much more about crime since I’ve left than I did watching it from the wooden benches in the courthouse,” he said.

He loved the crime beat. “I always felt a connection to that,” he said, giving a knowing laugh. “I love talking to people who had tragically fallen and somehow picked themselves up. I just liked that — those flawed people who would tell you just anything.”

He didn’t touch drugs until he was 30. A little coke. Then a lot. Then crack. That was a mistake. He was always chasing.

He switched to pills — opiates, then benzos. Followed briefly by heroin. Followed by methadone. Followed by cold turkey. Four stints in rehab. In and out. But through it all, he kept it largely together. Held on to the wife and the kids, the job and the life where he was, if not respected, then at least tolerated. He was somebody in Cape.

Until about two years ago.

He tried meth. Snorted it at first, then loaded it in a syringe. Heightened awareness, that’s what it felt like. Amped. The buzz lasted, too. He’d disappear for hours, using his job as a reporter as an excuse, telling his wife he needed to go check out something he’d heard on the police scanner. Meth also brought on mood swings and paranoia. Things got tense at home. His work suffered. But meth was a forgetting drug. A drug to blot out all the hurt he caused. It happened so fast it was hard to sort it out.

He divorced his wife last March. She tried to help, but he wanted to be free. He got a lump settlement of $250,000. That same month, he wrote his final story for the paper. He was fired. He didn’t care. He focused on getting high. He bought a house. He partied a lot. He dated a girl half his age. Her name was Angel.

“I thought life was good,” he said.

He was in the house just three weeks before the regional drug task force kicked down the door. Scott was charged with felony possession of meth. That didn’t slow him. He sold the house and moved into an apartment. Kept using. In October, he skipped a court hearing. He was a wanted man. The next day, police stopped Scott with more than 2 grams of crystal in his pocket. He had caught his second felony drug charge in six months. He faced 14 years in prison.

He was spiraling down.


The night before court, after having gotten $25 from his ex-wife, Scott fought for sleep.

It felt like the nights he was gorked out of his mind back at the house on the hill, when he’d pretend to be asleep next to his wife. He’d always felt like he was faking it. Like he was “Nicolas Cage, the worst actor in the world.” When the drugs made him droopy, he’d give himself pep talks, “You can do this! You can do this!” But people knew. Darin Hickey, a Cape police officer, visited Scott in jail after the first arrest and warned him he was not cut out for that life.

Scott didn’t fit in with the junkies, either. He looked like a snitch. He was seen as he was in the beginning, before the fall, a man with a nice truck and nice clothes and the doctor wife, a man who hung out with cops and was always writing things down. Nothing good came from writing things down, not in that world. When he first started buying on the street, he had to raise his shirt to prove he wasn’t wearing a wire.

But he was desperate to fit in, like he was a teen back at Central High. He made jokes that no one got, drew blank stares with references to Faulkner and Twain. “Things that people know,” he explained, “but not out here.” He tried to learn the lingo, writing down the expressions he heard in a notebook. He felt like Jane Goodall. He learned “That’s what’s up” meant figuring something out. “I ain’t got no ’plex” meant you didn’t have a problem. And “Get up in your feelings” meant you were letting something bother you.

That morning, with court coming, Scott was up in his feelings.

He was thinking about rehab. He should’ve gone by now. The judge would’ve liked that. Seen that he was serious about change. But Scott hated rehab. Didn’t like listening to the soft-spoken counselors telling him, “Fake it till you make it,” and the group talks about triggers and real vs. imagined fears.

“I just want to outthink this thing,” he said. “And I know if I sit and contemplate on it and reflect on it long enough, I can figure out how I (messed) up and not do that anymore.”

He smiled at the notion. “And that hasn’t worked,” he said. “At all.”

Scott sat on a mattress in his one-room apartment. The place rented for $130 a week. His ex-wife footed the bill. The white walls were blank except for a strand of Christmas lights and a large clock. Pictures of his kids rested on top of a bureau. Dirty dishes sat in the sink. The tiny microwave didn’t work. The black futon was stained with pink gum. A small lamp, its cord cut, sat on a table across from an incomplete set of encyclopedia volumes.

At 8 a.m., Scott heard a knock on the metal door.

“It’s Don, man,” said a gravel-filled voice.

Scott opened the door for his neighbor.

“Get my note?” Don asked.

“Yeah. My brother wants to go to court. I don’t have his number.”

“I’d seen him, said he was worried about you, wants to know that you’re all right.”


“Because I told him I didn’t think you have enough gas to get over there,” Don said.

“I think I do.”

“Figure out how to get ahold of him,” Don told him. “He’s worried about you.”

“I will. Talk to you later, Don.”

Scott jumped in the shower. He shaved a weeks-old beard into a goatee. He put on jeans and a T-shirt. He couldn’t find any socks. He tucked his bare feet into black tennis shoes.

Court was at 1 p.m. He had hours to kill. He decided he needed to find his girl, Angel. He wondered where she was.

He drove to a mobile home park, idled outside, hoping to see her. The gas gauge glowed with an orange “E.” He stared out the window. Minutes passed. It didn’t look like Angel would be coming out. He drove back to his apartment, then to find a friend on the other side of town and then to his brother Pat’s place. He needed socks.

His brother’s house was empty. Scott stood in the front yard.

Scott Moyers stops by his brother’s house as he makes his way to court in Cape Girardeau, Mo., in January 2014.

“Everything is off,” he said.

He lit a cigarette.

“No socks, no Angel,” he said. He took a drag. “I sound like Rain Man.”

He jumped back in the Jeep.

“I just don’t know how to do ordinary things anymore,” he said.


A few blocks away, the Jeep sputtered. He pulled into a parking lot. He stared at the steering wheel. Scott was getting up in his feelings again.

He called a friend, one of the few he had left, to ask for help. The friend said he’d come with a gas can on his lunch break.

“Well,” Scott told him, “that’ll give me time to reflect.”

He looked at the blue digital clock on the dash. It was 11:45 a.m. Missing court again would almost certainly mean jail time.

The idea of rehab terrified Scott. He bartered with himself. Did it make sense to go if he was going to prison anyhow? That’d be three weeks in rehab for no reason. Maybe he should spend that time doing something else.

The minutes flashed by on the Jeep’s clock.

“Now I’m getting apprehensive about court,” he said.

At 12:20 p.m., his friend’s car pulled up. And Scott was off.


Scott Moyers finds his name on the docket sheet at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse in Jackson, Mo., in January 2014.

Heading to court, Scott pulled out his phone. He dialed the local rehab center and asked for the first available bed. He got it. Four days away. He’d start a 21-day stint in rehab in four days.

Scott thought the judge would approve. He pulled into the courthouse square with 15 minutes to spare. He knew exactly where to go. He’d been here hundreds of times as a reporter. He scanned the day’s docket sheet pinned outside a courtroom. He found his name.

His attorney, Gordon Glaus, pulled Scott aside to go over the plea paperwork. “You’ve seen it before. You’ve seen it a million times,” Glaus told him. Scott faced up to seven years in prison on each count. But the prosecutor — who Scott had known for years — agreed to recommend five years of probation, a common sentence for a first-time drug offender.

Scott told his attorney about landing a rehab bed. “Is it still pretty necessary?” Scott asked.

“It could be the one thing that pushes the judge to take the SIS,” said Glaus, referring to a suspended imposition of sentence.

They walked into the courtroom, past a chain gang of inmates in orange jumpsuits. Scott sat in the second row. A woman in a trench coat walked past, pad and pen in hand. Scott recognized her as the newspaper’s new court reporter. Scott sat on his hands, his legs bounced.

“I’m still not sure about this rehab thing,” he said quietly. “I know I can be different.”

He looked down at his feet. “I wish I were wearing socks.” He tugged at the cuff of his jeans. “It’s so disrespectful. What kind of person comes to court without socks?”

It was time for State vs. Moyers. He stood in front of the judge. Scott knew him a bit. The plea deal was hammered out. The judge set sentencing for late February, several weeks away. Then the judge made sure the old reporter understood what was happening.

Scott nodded. He was done.


He was free. The day was young. He walked into the sunshine and bitter chill. His brother never showed. His wife never came. His Angel wasn’t waiting for him on the courthouse steps. Scott stood alone.

Soon, he would return to his apartment and he would talk to Angel, who would be all happy and giggling, and she would say, “We can do this. We can stay sober.” And he would be so relieved, believing her. Then four days later, Scott would let his bed at the rehab center slip away unclaimed. He would say he was too busy, that he could do this himself, plus he had a line on a job down in Mississippi. A second chance. He just had to hold on.

All of that was coming. Right now, outside the courthouse, Scott climbed into his Jeep, where the gas gauge was again perched on “E.” He was thinking about getting high. Then he drove off, unsure exactly where he was headed.




If the month of January is any indication, the making of methamphetamine (meth) could be a problem for Polk County this year.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office discovered the county’s third meth lab this month on Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Sunny View community.

Corey Lindsey, 26, of 127 Wolfe Branch Drive, Mill Spring was arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm by a felon, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/ place for a controlled substance, which are all felonies, and simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance (prescription pills), simple possession of schedule VI (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the sheriff’s office.

Lindsey recently was released from prison on a conviction of possession of methamphetamine stemming from a May 2013 arrest, according to sheriff reports.

The sheriff’s office arrested Lindsey last week during a probation search of Lindsey’s residence. Investigators discovered one small meth lab in a plastic bottle, that wasn’t active, but was likely cooked in the 12 hours before the discovery, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office has discovered two other meth labs in the county so far this year. The county’s largest meth lab in recent history was discovered in Green Creek on Jan. 9 with officers coming into the residence while cooking was occurring.

Officers found the active lab as well as approximately 15 old labs at 315 Scoggins Road, Green Creek and arrested Billy Lawrence Carr and Harold Dean Bailey, according to sheriff reports. The sheriff’s office also found a meth lab dumpsite on John Weaver Road, also in Green Creek on Jan. 1. Lindsey was still being held in jail Friday, Jan. 31 under a $108,000 bond.

He was scheduled for his first court appearance Jan. 31.



U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Calexico, California downtown port of entry Tuesday discovered approximately $265,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine concealed inside the cargo area of an SUV.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Jan. 28, CBP officers encountered a 2005 Ford Escape, driven by a 20-year-old male U.S. citizen, and referred the driver and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.


During the inspection, officers utilized the port’s imaging system and a detector dog that alerted to the rear seats and cargo area inside the vehicle. An intensive search revealed 10 vacuum-sealed packages of crystal methamphetamine inside plastic containers stored under the cargo area of the vehicle. The narcotics weighed almost 14 pounds.

The driver, a resident of El Centro, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. The subject was transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment and CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.





RUPERT • A 48 year-old Rupert woman is charged with two felony drug counts after allegedly trying to convince a female jailer to flush meth down a toilet.

Melanie Dawn Simmons was arrested on Jan. 14 when detectives with the Minidoka County Sheriff’s deputies and a Minidoka County probation officer arrived to do a home visit. Simmons had failed to comply with treatment requirement for a 2012 possession charge.

Deputies wrote in a report that Simmons arrived in her vehicle at her residence after the officers had arrived. Simmons’ vehicle and handbag were searched for contraband. A small metallic container was found in Simmons’ handbag containing a small plastic baggy with a white residue.

Simmons was arrested and transported to the Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center in Burley. Court Records say that at the jail, a female officer conducted a thorough search of Simmons for additional contraband.

The officer discovered a plastic syringe filled with liquid. According to the report, Simmons had asked the jailer to flush the syringe’s contents down the toilet and asked that it not be reported.

Simmons later admitted to officers that the metal container, baggy and syringe belonged to her and that they had contained methamphetamine.

The residue from the baggy and the syringe’s liquid tested positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines.

Simmons’ arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. at the Minidoka County Courthouse.



GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Two sisters from Minnesota are accused of dealing large quantities of methamphetamine in North Dakota.

Jacqueline Weiss, 22, and Jennifer Weiss, 25, of Zimmerman, Minn., are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of meth. They appeared Friday afternoon in federal court in Grand Forks.

Authorities say the sisters were arrested Dec. 13 after travelling to Grand Forks to make a drug deal. Police say they found 420 grams of meth in 15 baggies that were hidden in an electric heater one of the women brought into a hotel.

Court documents show that a police informant had arranged to buy 11 ounces of meth from the suspects worth about $12,000. The informant set up the meeting by asking Jennifer Weiss if she wanted to “get together for lunch,” which was a drug code they used for exchanging a load of meth.

Police said the informant admitted to meeting with Jennifer Weiss about every three weeks. The informant would then distribute the drugs to customers in Grand Forks and Walsh counties.

Court documents show both sisters have felony convictions for receiving stolen property.

Jacqueline Weiss waived her right to a detention hearing. A bond hearing for Jennifer Weiss has not been scheduled.

A spokesman from the federal public defender’s office could not be reached for comment.