A 3-year-old child was removed from the scene of an active meth lab at a Warren County residence Tuesday morning.

Just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, a strong odor led to the uncovering of an active meth lab near Pence, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Timothy W. Hicks, 27, and Rebecca J. Van Pelt, 41, were arrested on suspicion of manufacturing methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a syringe, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a synthetic drug.


Rebecca J. Van PeltTimothy W. Hicks


Police say additional charges could be filed in the case.

Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Brooks responded to a report of a strong odor coming from a residence at 12:42 a.m. Tuesday.

Upon arrival, Brooks could smell the odor from the reporting party’s yard and saw evidence of materials commonly used to make meth through the open window of the residence.

Other officers arrived and, when the tenants gave consent to search the house, police discovered the meth lab.

Child Protective Services removed a 3-year-old child at the scene.

Assisting Warren County were the Benton and Fountain county sheriff’s offices and the Indiana State Police.






Spend some time in the courtroom of Commissioner Janene Beronio and the prevalence of methamphetamine use in Yolo County becomes clear.

Beronio oversees arraignments in Yolo Superior Court’s Department 9, which is where defendants – most wearing shackles and striped jumpsuits – make their first court appearance. Under Beronio, they hear the charges against them, are appointed a defense attorney, have their bail set and so on. A half-hour on no particular day yields two more people facing meth-related charges:

n Vincent Mitchell, accused of transporting 1.1 grams of methamphetamine, trafficking, possessing drug paraphernalia. His wife and two little girls look on from the seats.

n Daniel Ray Green, accused of transporting .33 grams of methamphetamine. Green, no stranger to Beronio’s courtroom, has his bail set at $140,000. It’s two more entries in a daily parade of inmates picked up because, authorities say, they either had meth in their possession, were trying to buy, sell or manufacture meth, or – just as often – were committing burglary or some other crime in order to get more meth.

Overall, the accused seem to be of no particular age, race or gender. In Yolo County, meth use does not discriminate.

Shawn Landry, executive officer of Yolo Superior Court, estimates that about 80 percent of adult felony cases in the county are drug-related – and that of those, between 90 and 95 percent are for methamphetamine.

That means roughly three quarters of all adult felony criminal cases in Yolo County are in some way connected with the use, transport, sale or production of methamphetamine.

“Meth is highly addictive, and it’s poison,” Landry said. “And once you’re on it, it’s very, very difficult to get off.”

The fight against methamphetamine begins at the street level, as police officers and sheriff’s deputies tackle not just the drug but its many associated crimes, like burglary and domestic violence.

“It definitely creates a lot of additional issues that we work on daily,” said Sgt. Steve Guthrie of the Woodland Police Department. “I would say there’s probably something that’s meth-related that your average officer deals with every day.”

That goes beyond simple drug busts, Guthrie said, to include violent crimes, thefts, fraud and other problems resulting from use or sale of methamphetamine.

Then there’s “meth-induced psychosis.”

That’s when a meth user goes on a two- or three-day bender, Guthrie explained, losing so much REM sleep that the person “tends to interpret things in a fantasy-type reality.”

A result might be that, instead of seeing a police officer before them, “They’re visually seeing or believing that we’re the devil,” Guthrie said. “That’s a common issue.”

It was just such a bender that led Brendt Volarvich to murder California Highway Patrol Officer Andy Stevens during a routine traffic stop in Woodland in November 2005. Volarvich was eventually sentenced to death for the killing.

However, Guthrie continued, “The biggest problem is all of the property crimes that stem from drug use. It’s extensive.” Meth users often are too dysfunctional to hold down employment, “so they turn to burglaries and property crimes” to fuel their addiction, he said.

In fact, several law enforcement officials said most property crimes in Yolo County can be traced to methamphetamine use.

Lt. Rogelio Orozco, an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office, said that once people become addicted to meth, “It just changes, I believe, who they are. … Addicts will steal from anybody, including family. And they will do practically anything to get the next trick.”

The recent statewide rash of copper thefts, he said, was due to meth addicts looking for a fix.

“You see a lot of arrests for petty thefts, burglary, possession of burglary tools, things of that nature,” he said.

Orozco dealt with meth addicts first-hand as a member of the Yolo Narcotics Enforcement Team, or YONET, a task force he served on for several years up until last February.

Created in the early 1980s, YONET is made up of agents from several Yolo County law enforcement agencies: the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Department of Justice, and several police departments including those of Woodland, Davis and West Sacramento.

No other government entity in Yolo County tracks illegal drug use as closely. And according to Orozco, a great majority of its cases are methamphetamine-related.

“I mean, there’s heroin the county, and we’ve seen that kind of rises and falls,” Orozco said. “Cocaine, same way. Marijuana, that’s pretty much everywhere now. At YONET we deal largely with the large-scale grows.”

“But the day-to-day operations of YONET, probably 75 percent of it is tied into methamphetamine, I would say.”

Orozco called The Democrat back later with statistics from YONET, and the numbers were even higher: 83 percent of the agency’s cases were meth-related in 2012. This year, meth is involved in 85 percent of YONET’s cases to date.

“The availability kind of goes up and down,” Orozco noted, often due to police activity as when large drug shipments are seized on the Mexican border. On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that 30 pounds of meth were seized July 10 in Anderson, Shasta County.

According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven, in 2011, 57 percent of all felony drug cases in Yolo County – 23 percent of felony cases overall – included a charge for methamphetamine possession.

In 2012, that number rose to 65 percent of all drug cases, or 29 percent of felony cases overall.

So far, 2013 is on track to beat last year’s numbers: 69 percent of all felony drug cases tried by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office have included a charge for methamphetamine possession, Raven said. That’s 34.5 percent of all felony cases to date.

That only shows the specific charge of 11377, methamphetamine possession, and does not necessarily include the many associated crimes that come with meth use.

“Most of our most violent crimes involve meth in some way,” Raven said. (He did note that charges of manufacture or sale of meth almost always include the possession charge as well.)

Raven also pointed out that although possession of methamphetamine is a nonviolent offense, “It is extremely rare for someone to go to prison on a meth charge alone.” Those charged only with possession often go to Drug Court first, where the focus is on treatment and kicking the habit.

If that doesn’t work, an offender gets probation, he said. “Then generally there are numerous violations of probation before that person gets a suspended prison sentence,” which still doesn’t land them behind bars. Usually, people in jail for meth possession are also there for other crimes.

Raven also noted that under the state’s AB 109 “realignment” law, a person convicted of felony methamphetamine possession can only do time in the county jail, not state prison.

As to why the number of meth-related cases seems to be going up, local enforcement around the state “is concerned about the increase of crime in general,” he said.








Round Rock school district officials said they are deciding whether to take disciplinary action against a nurse who was arrested this month after police found her driving a stolen vehicle and in possession of methamphetamine.

Tonya Baker, 54, has been with the school district since 2009 and has been a nurse at Pond Springs Elementary since 2010, officials said. She also worked for the district between 1998 and 2006.

Round Rock school nurse charged with theft, drug possession photo
Tonya Baker

Baker was arrested July 6 and charged with theft, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, according to arrest affidavits.

Round Rock police pulled over Baker, who was driving a grey Dodge Avenger that was stolen from a car dealership in Northwest Austin, the affidavit said. She told police that she bought the car on Craigslist for “very little.”

Police also found a glass pipe and almost 5 grams of methamphetamines that was found in the backseat floorboard of the arresting officer’s patrol car, the affidavit said.

“Anytime an employee is arrested, we look at charges, talk with the employee and take appropriate disciplinary action and … (that) can range from being put on administrative leave all the way to termination,” said district spokeswoman JoyLynn Occhiuzzi.

Occhiuzzi did not say how long the district would take to make any disciplinary decision on Baker.

In 2012, Baker was charged with driving while intoxicated, according to jail records.

“We have to look at each charge and the circumstances around it and how does that impact their ability to perform their job,” Occhiuzzi said. “If we feel that they become a danger to students or campus, then we take more severe actions.”

Baker was released from the Williamson County Jail on July 16 after posting bail of $52,500.







After a month-long investigation by Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Task Force member Trooper Brent Robinson, three Sullivan County residents have been arrested yesterday evening on meth related charges.


* Vickie Lunde, 64, Carlisle, on charges of possession of precursors with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, D-Felony, bond $8,000

* Jeremiah Nicklies, 35, Carlisle, on charges of possession of precursors with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, D-Felony; possession of a syringe, D-Felony; and possession of paraphernalia,

A-Misdemeanor, bond $20,000.

* Glenn Smith, 50, Carlisle, on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, B-Felony; possession of methamphetamine, D-Felony; possession of precursors, D-Felony; dumping a controlled

waste, D-Felony; maintaining a common nuisance, D-Felony; driving while suspended-prior, A-Misdemeanor; bond $66,000.

On Monday, July 22, at approximately 4 p.m. Meth Suppression Task Force member Trooper Brent Robinson was conducting surveillance on two subjects that after a month-long investigation he believed were manufacturing methamphetamine. Trooper Robinson observed suspects purchase pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, and instant cold packs from local Sullivan County retailers; all of which are precursors used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Trooper Robinson utilized members of the Sullivan County Sheriff Department to conduct a traffic stop on the subjects. The two suspects Robinson observed were arrested for possession of precursors with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. The driver of the vehicle was found to have a suspended license and was also arrested; a search of the driver’s person resulted in the driver being found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

Trooper Robinson then applied and was granted a search warrant for the home of the two suspects arrested for possession of precursors, Jeremiah Nicklies, and his mother, Vickie Lunde. Trooper Robinson was assisted by Troopers Shilo Raulston and Trooper Adam Edwards, members of the Putnamville Methamphetamine Task Force.

The search of the residence resulted in additional charges for Nicklies. Troopers then went to the home of Glenn Smith, the driver of the vehicle, and obtained consent to search the property; Troopers located two previous one-pot meth labs as well as numerous precursors used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Tips related to methamphetamine activity can be called into the Putnamville District at (765) 653-4114. Callers can remain anonymous.

Assisting were Sullivan County Sheriff Department, Carlisle Town Marshal, and Sullivan City Police.







PARK CITY, Ky. — On Monday at approximately 6:41, the Barren County Sheriff’s Department along with the Barren-Edmonson-Allen Drug Task Force responded to a home on Louisville Road in Park City in reference to a drug complaint.

Deputies say they made contact with Brad Barnhart, 52, and Crystal Vaughn, 34.

After speaking with the subjects, the DTF says it obtained a search warrant for the residence.

The DTF asked Barnhart if there was anything in the residence that could harm officers. They say he stated that there was not.

The DTF and the Barren County Sheriff Deputies say they searched the residence and discovered a methamphetamine lab, an HCL generator, chemicals and equipment used to manufacture meth, used and exposed hypodermic syringes, spoons and other paraphernalia items along with suspected methamphetamine.

Deputy David Houchens was slightly injured at the residence and went to T.J. Sampson and was treated and released.

The DTF charged Barnhart with manufacturing methamphetamine 1st offence, Trafficking in a controlled substance 1st, Wanton endangerment 1st – Police Officer – 3 counts and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Vaughn was arrested and charged for outstanding warrants.

Both subjects were transported to T.J. Sampson and then taken to the Barren County Jail.







KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Excelsior Springs man contacted the Ray County Sheriff’s Office last week to alert authorities that a man was threatening him. Upon investigation, the original complainant, Anthony T. Grayson, 29, has been arrested in addition to two others, Glenn DiFalco, 50, and Clarissa N. Cooper, 44, for conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Left to Right: Glenn DiFalco, Anthony Grayson, Clarissa Cooper

Left to Right: Glenn DiFalco, Anthony Grayson, Clarissa Cooper



When Grayson called the authorities he expressed that DiFalco had threatened him and he knew he owned a gun. Police met Grayson about a half-mile from his residence he had fled and gave them consent to enter the home to arrest DiFalco. In the midst of their discussion, DiFalco and Cooper approached them in a Dodge truck and abruptly turned around.

Officers pursued the vehicle to a dead-end cul-de-sac where Cooper fled on foot and was apprehended after a short chase. DiFalco was also arrested and his truck was searched.

An affidavit said that officer found an airsoft gun, drug paraphernalia and suspected crystal methamphetamine during the initial search. Officers had to impound the truck because it was thoroughly consumed by clutter. When they looked through it the next day, a search yielded: 79,669 30mg pills of Cold Buster, three bags of yellow powder believed to be pseudoephedrine hydrochloride pills, smoking pipes, a butane torch and numerous handwritten recipes for various methods of methamphetamine manufacturing.

After the search of DiFalco’s truck they returned to Grayson’s residence that he had previously consented to a search of. They did not enter the previous day due to the flee and capture of DiFalco and Cooper. The release said that police saw numerous incriminating items in plain view including: 53.2 grams of a crystal-like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, tubing, written instructions for pseudoephedrine pill conversion and a suspected explosive device which was later identified as a ‘booby-trap” device.

Court records show that all three are currently housed in the Ray County Jail with $50,000 cash only bonds affixed to their names. In addition to the meth charges, DiFalco and Cooper are both charged with resisting/interfering with arrest and DiFalco has also been charged with the unlawful possession of an explosive weapon.







MISSISSAUGA — Peel Regional Police are still trying to determine how much methamphetamine has been seized in what’s been described as a massive drug lab found in the area of Dixie Rd. and Eglinton Ave. E. last week.

Two Toronto men are facing drug production charges in connection with the July 17 discovery of the lab on Sismet Rd. It’s next door to an industrial unit where a massive meth lab was found nearly five years ago. Officers have yet to say if the two cases are connected.

Hoahong Ly, 36, and Frank Hien, 35, of Toronto, have been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance.

Const. Lilly FitzPatrick confirmed that more than $117,000 of crystal meth was found, but that a large quantity of liquid meth was also taken from the site which hadn’t been dried as of yet.

“It’s a significant seizure,” she said, adding more than 10,000 Claritin tablets, a common ingredient in homemade methamphetamine, were found on the site.

Concerns for public safety prompted Peel police to be extra cautious with dismantling the lab, taking three days to remove the contents.

Due to the volatility of the chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine, police were concerned of a potential chemical explosion.

“Concern for the safety of our officers and the public at large is paramount and we don’t want to see anybody get hurt,” Peel Sgt. Matt Small said.

The Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services Hazardous Materials Unit (HAZMAT) was on scene helping out last week.

“We’re there as a sort of back up team that can provide rapid intervention if needed,” Platoon Chief Daniel Ennamorato said.

Back in the spring of 2008, Toronto Police and Peel Regional Police seized 4,000 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 400,000 tablets of ecstasy from a lab located at 1645 Sismet Rd., with a potential street value of more than $160 million.

People who work in the area are wondering why drug dealers are choosing Sismet Rd. to set up shop.

“Its good that the cops are keeping this stuff off the street, but knowing you’re right next to a ticking time bomb isn’t a great feeling,” said a man who only wanted to be identified as Matt, who works at nearby Frontenac Machine and Tool Ltd.







BOISE, Idaho — Two California residents are jailed with bond set at $2 million each after Ada County deputies found 10 pounds of methamphetamine in their car.

Ada County officials say 24-year-old Oscar Gutierrez-Chavez and 19-year-old Areli Mejia are charged with trafficking. Their preliminary hearings are set for Aug. 3.

Prosecutors say narcotics investigators began the case in early July and agreed to buy 10 pounds of the drug at $12,000 a pound.

Court records say the pair picked up the drugs in Northern California and drove them to Boise.

Undercover officers met with Gutierrez-Chavez and Meja in Boise on July 18 and found the meth hidden in their car. The car and $800 in cash also were seized.

In June, deputies arrested a Southern California man in Boise and seized nearly 12 pounds of meth.







A 20-year-old woman is being held in the Jackson County Jail on over $500,000 bail after local and federal police say they caught her smuggling about 3 pounds of methamphetamine through the Rogue Valley inside a fire extinguisher Monday.

Police reported Maria De Jesus Beltran-Leon, 20, no address given, is held in the jail on charges of unlawful delivery and possession of a controlled substance, with bail set at $510,000.

Officials from the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement — MADGE — Team, received a tip about Beltran-Leon’s whereabouts, directing police to a public bus passing through Phoenix. The agency received assistance from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations. Police said they found Beltran-Leon on the bus with the fire extinguisher and arrested her after finding the drugs inside the fire extinguisher.







VAN BUREN, Mo. — Already serving federal and state prison sentences, former Carter County sheriff Tommy Adams will appear in a Carter County courtroom next week after he was charged Friday with multiple felonies, including burglary and arson.



Adams, 33, of Ellsinore, Mo., was charged with first- and second-degree burglary and three counts of second-degree arson by assistant attorney general David Hansen.

Adams is accused of entering the home of Robert Boone on Aug. 31, 2010, and remaining unlawfully in the home of Ronald Pasley between Aug. 1, 2010, and Oct. 1, 2010, while Pasley was there.

Adams also is accused of damaging his own modular home by fire Jan. 16, 2010, as well as the Ellsinore homes of Ben and Michelle Turner on Feb. 6, 2010, and Donnie Kearbey on Dec. 18, 2010.

Associate Circuit Judge Don Henry issued a warrant for Adams’ arrest and ordered his arraignment for 9 a.m. July 30.

Adams, who has been held in the Butler County Jail since July 2, pleaded guilty in mid-June to distribution of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance in Jefferson County, Mo.

He had been accused of distributing methamphetamine to a confidential informant and possessing cocaine.

At that time, Adams was sentenced to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on the distribution charge and seven years on the possession charge. The judge ordered the sentences to run concurrently with each other and with the 10-year federal sentence Adams already was serving.

Adams pleaded guilty in July 2012 in federal court to two counts of possession of a stolen firearm, one count of sale of a stolen firearm and one count of being a drug user in possession of firearms.

Those charges, as well as the new charges Adams is facing, stem from an investigation by the Missouri State Highway Patrol into suspected illegal activities involving Adams, who resigned as sheriff on the day of his arrest in April 2011.

According to patrol Sgt. Jeff Heath’s probable-cause statement, several firearms were stolen from Boone’s residence during the August 2010 burglary.

“Boone told investigators he was in Barnes Hospital in St. Louis having surgery at the time of the burglary,” Heath said.

Boone, Heath said, had contacted Adams requesting extra patrol around his rural Ellsinore residence as he was going to be out of town for surgery.

During the patrol’s investigation, Heath said, it was “discovered Adams was involved in the burglary and stealing at Boone’s residence.

“Adams had [two men] and Steffanie M. Kearbey burglarize and steal property from Boone’s residence,” Heath said. “Adams had [the three] enter Boone’s residence unlawfully and stealing property therein.”

Heath said officers also found Adams allegedly was involved in the burglary of Pasley’s Endeavor apartment at Ellsinore in which methamphetamine was stolen.

“Adams had [a man] go to Pasley’s apartment and verify he had methamphetamine,” Heath said. He said once the man told Adams that Pasley had methamphetamine, Adams went to the apartment.

“When Pasley opened the door, Adams walked in to the house without being invited.”

Adams, Steffanie Kearbey, who was then a Carter County deputy, and another deputy “searched the house and located the methamphetamine,” Heath said. “Adams took the methamphetamine for personal reasons.”

Heath said the suspected methamphetamine never was put into evidence and no report was made.

Steffanie Kearbey, who was arrested the same day as Adams, faces the same burglary charges as Adams in connection with the alleged crimes.

The 25-year-old Ellsinore woman also is charged with the felonies of receiving stolen property and stealing.

Steffanie Kearbey, who is to stand trial on the charges Aug. 22 and 23 in Carter County, is serving a five-year federal sentence after having pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen firearm and one count of sale of a stolen firearm.

Heath said officers also found “Adams was involved with arsons within Carter County. Adams directed Gary Bender to burn three residences in Carter County.”

Bender pleaded guilty in June to four counts of second-degree arson and two counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

The 48-year-old Ellsinore man was sentenced to seven years on each of the arson charges and 10 years on each drug charge. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

In addition to being accused of the arsons, Bender had been accused of distributing methamphetamine to a confidential informant and an undercover officer.

Bender also was indicted Feb. 28 on a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury.

The indictment alleges from 2008 to 2011, Bender and others “acting in concert with him devised and executed a fraud scheme to obtain Medicaid reimbursement for in-home services that were not rendered.”

From about May 2010 to April 2011, the indictment says, Medicaid paid Endeavor Home Care LLP at Ellsinore almost $15,000 for in-home services that were never provided to Bender.

Bender is to appear in federal court at 10 a.m. Aug. 21 for a pretrial motion hearing in his case.







MOULTON — Amard Martin said people who are supplying pseudoephedrine for the manufacturing of methamphetamine are just as guilty as the ones making it.

“Buying it and supplying it, to me is just as bad as making it,” said Martin, director of the Lawrence County Drug Task Force.

Lawrence County officials said suspicious purchases of pseudoephedrine is what led agents to arrest a Lawrence County man and his nephew on drug charges.

James Daniel Byars III, 23, of Trinity, and Jason Clark Byars, 49, 3386 Lauderdale 108, Town Creek, are in the Lawrence County Jail on charges of second-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said.

Uncle, nephew face meth chargesUncle, nephew face meth charges

                                           James Byars                                                             Jason Byars



He said Jason Byars also is charged with two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Agents said an investigation began after they learned of large purchases of pseudoephedrine.

Mitchell said James Byars is accused of selling a box of pseudoephedrine to his uncle.

“We had prior dealings with Jason,” Martin said. “We got him a couple of years ago on the same charges. He was making meth then.”

Martin said during questioning of Jason Byars, agents found a pill container in his pocket that had a mixture of pills that he could not provide a valid prescription for.

The sheriff said agents also discovered a number of text messages between James Byars and his uncle.

“These indicated that both men were involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine,” Mitchell said.

James Byars is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on bail of $10,000. His uncle is being held on bond of $60,000.







Investigators with the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force responded to the Princess Motel in Maryville on two “one pot” method meth labs today, according to the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
Task Force investigators responded to the Princess Motel on U.S. Highway 411 South at about 1:30 p.m. and discovered the meth labs in a Dumpster outside of the motel. They also discovered other components used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Drug Task Force investigators neutralized and inventoried the ingredients, and the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force arrived to dispose of the hazardous materials.
Evidence showed the meth was cooked very recently. Investigators also quarantined one of the rooms at the motel.
It is the second meth lab Drug Task Force have responded to at the Princess Motel this year, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Maryville Fire Department and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service also responded to the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

GREENSBURG – A joint investigation conducted by the Greensburg Police Department and the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section led to the arrest of two Greensburg residents and the seizure of $28,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine and $20,000 in cash.

Police arrested John D. Cline Jr. and Courtney A. Seaborn Monday morning on preliminary charges of conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine (more than three grams) within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, and maintaining a common nuisance., according to a press release sent to the Daily News Monday evening by Greensburg Chief of Police Stacey Chasteen.

The arrests and subsequent drug seizures occurred in room 210 of the Baymont Inn and Suites located at 2317 North State Road 3 in Greensburg. Police had received information the suspects had been staying there and were engaging in the illegal sale of methamphetamine.

Law enforcement officials received a search warrant from the Decatur Superior Court and executed it at the inn with the assistance of the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section Monday.

Officers discovered and seized in excess of 350 grams of crystallized methamphetamine estimated to have a street value of $28,000. Police also found $20,000 in cash believed to be proceeds from dealing in methamphetamine and a variety of packing materials typically associated with its sale.

GPD K-9 Officer Krieger alerted authorities to the presence of illegal drugs in the room.“We would like to thank the residents of the City of Greensburg and Decatur County for their continued input and tips,” Chief Chasteen said through a press release.





Two men faced methamphetamine possession charges during a Recorder’s Court hearing Monday after they were arrested near River Road with about 0.5 grams of meth.

David Winters, 23, faced charges of possession of meth and possession of marijuana. Robert Martin, 32, faced charges of possession of meth. Judge Michael Cielinski heard both men’s cases during a Recorder’s Court hearing at 9 a.m.

An officer told the court that Winters and Martin were stopped near the intersection of 39th Street and River Road at about 11:48 a.m. after police noticed the two seemed to be avoiding a nearby patrol car. Police also allegedly saw one of the men put something to his mouth and act like they were trying to conceal something.

Robert Martin

            David Winters                   Robert Martin



When police searched Winters and Martin, they found 0.2 grams of meth in a plastic bag, 0.3 grams of meth in a plastic bag with a bulldog design and three grams of marijuana. Winters had one Xanax pill in his possession. The total estimated value of the confiscated items was $100.

Both men were transported to Muscogee County Jail.

Judge Michael Cielinski stated during court that Winters had been out on bond since May on possession of meth charges. He set his bond at $15,000.

Cielinski said Martin also had a prior conviction for a meth possession charge. He set his bond at $5,000.


Bond was set for the two charged in connection to a mobile methamphetamine lab found in the trunk of a car Saturday in eastern Sioux Falls.

The two charged were passengers and the driver hasn’t been found, police spokesman Sam Clemens said.

The black car jumped a curb and struck a light pole at 18th Street and Bahnson Avenue at about 1:30 p.m. Passengers Christina Lynn Vincent, 34, and Damion Osean Franklin, 38, were standing outside the car when police arrived, Clemens said.

From left, Christina Lynn Vincent and Damion Osean Franklin.

From left, Christina Lynn Vincent and Damion Osean Franklin.



Police found components for a mobile meth lab in the car’s trunk, Clemens said. Clemens said a small amount of meth was found in Vincent’s purse and marijuana was found on Franklin.

Sgt. Aaron Nyberg said Saturday that the driver is thought to be Jason Oldehoff, a parole absconder.

Vincent and Franklin were charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute in a drug free zone and possession of drug paraphernalia. Franklin was also charged with possession of marijuana.

The crash was near Cleveland Elementary.

A judge set Vincent’s bond at $25,000 and Franklin’s at $15,000, both cash or surety.







SOMERVILLE — A Somerset County man with seven prior felony convictions is facing a host of new charges after being caught with methamphetamine, cocaine and a handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets, authorities said Monday.

Eric Black, 35, of London Place in the Somerset section of Franklin Township is charged with first-degree possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, second-degree possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, three second-degree weapons offenses and a fourth-degree charge of possession of hollow-point ammunition, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court.

A detective working with the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Burglary Task Force noted that he executed a search warrant on a silver Acura located on the 200 block of East Main Street Friday to find the drugs, two digital scales, more than $1,650 in cash and multiple cell phones, the filing indicated. A second search warrant of a silver Mitsubishi nearby turned up a Ruger P89 semi-automatic handgun loaded with the hollow-point bullets, authorities said.

In a statement Black, who is the owner of both vehicles, claimed ownership of the drugs and the gun, saying that he sells drugs and uses the gun for protection, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Bail for Black was set at $150,000, cash only.







Officers arrested a Lincoln man in connection with a stabbing Monday morning, and found a methamphetamine laboratory.





A Lower Hutt drug dealer may have died from heart disease and his methamphetamine habit, not a recent assault, a Wellington jury has been asked to accept.

Two men are on trial in the High Court charged with the manslaughter of Michael Mulholland, 52, who died on September 20, last year.

Desmond Leaf, 31, and Harlem Rawiri Turi, 32, have pleaded not guilty of manslaughter and a less serious alternative charge of injuring Mr Mulholland with intent to injure him.

Turi is also charged with robbing a woman of $100 when she went to buy drugs at Mr Mulholland’s house in Farmer Crescent, Pomare.

The trial began last week and the Crown today called its last witness.

The defence is calling a pathologist and an expert on the role of methamphetamine as a cause of death.

Defence lawyer Christopher Stevenson, for Turi, said methamphetamine could not be discounted as having caused Mr Mulholland’s fatal heart attack.

Mr Mulholland’s heart was already damaged from chronic methamphetamine use.

The Crown could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that the assault, and not some other cause, had stopped Mr Mulholland’s heart, Mr Stevenson said.

Mr Mulholland had not seemed to be suffering the consequences of the assault, he said. He got into his car and drove a short distance before he stopped the car, collapsed and died.

Mr Stevenson said it was not for the defence to prove what had killed Mr Mulholland.

The Crown had to prove that the assault was a substantial and operating cause of death before Turi and Leaf could be found guilty of manslaughter.

The trial is continuing.







KNOXVILLE — The discovery of two single-pot meth labs at a Blount County motel Monday marked the second visit there by a drug task force this year, authorities said.

Blount County’s Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force found the methamphetamine labs in a trash bin outside the Princess Motel on U.S. Highway 411 South on Monday afternoon, according to a Blount County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Investigators found evidence that meth was cooked there very recently, and quarantined one room in the motel.

Personnel with the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force disposed of the hazardous materials.

No arrests were announced.







WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – On Saturday, Wood County deputies responded to a 911 call from the Brookhaven addition off of Farm to Market Road 2869. When they arrived, deputies found a man with knife wounds to his throat and chest.

According to the Wood County Sheriff Jim Brown, a father and son got into an argument about who owned an amount of methamphetamine and a fight ensued. During the fight, the son stabbed the father in the chest and cut his throat.

The father was transported to a Tyler hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery. The son was also taken to the hospital and treated for an overdose on methamphetamine and cocaine.

Investigators recovered a weapon and other evidence from the crime scene. The case is still under investigation and charges are expected to be filed.







The Waynesboro Police Department has arrested a Waynesboro man after a search warrant at his residence revealed a lab for making methamphetamine. Coty Grey Johnson, 24 years old, faces four felony charges involved with the operation of a meth lab.

Coty Grey Johnson

Coty Grey Johnson


On July 18, an officer responded to a call for service in the 700 block of 14 speaking with several individuals including Johnson about the theft, the officer determined there was evidence of possible drug use and manufacturing at the residence, 701 14 is a duplex.

Officers and the Virginia State Police’s Clandestine Lab Team returned to the residence with a search warrant and seized several items including a meth oil, packaging, and other items used in the manufacture and distribution of meth.

There were also three small children (aged one year, three years and five years) in the residence; all of whom were Johnson’s. Johnson has been charged with one count of manufacturing of schedule I or II drug and three counts of knowingly allow a minor under the age of 15 to be present in a dwelling during the manufacture of methamphetamine. For each of the latter charges, Johnson faces the possibility of imprisonment for not less than 10 or more than 40 years, pursuant to §18.2-248.02 of the Code of Virginia.

He is being held without bond at MRRJ.

The children’s mother was present but doesn’t presently face any charges. In addition to the Waynesboro Police Department, Virginia State Police, the Waynesboro Fire Department and the Waynesboro First Aid Crew, Child Protective Services responded to the scene and placed all of the children in the care of family member of the mother. The VSP Clandestine Lab Team deemed the home uninhabitable until further notice.

Additional charges are pending.







A California couple is being held in the Ada County Jail on $2 million bond each after they reportedly sold an undercover detective ten pounds of methamphetamine last week, according to Ada County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Patrick Orr.

Oscar Gutierrez-Chavez, 24, and Areli Mejia, 19, are both charged with trafficking a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and are awaiting a preliminary hearing on Aug. 3.


“Narcotics detectives began the investigation in early July. They agreed to buy ten pounds of the drug at $12,000 a pound and eventually met with the Gutierrez-Chavez and Mejia in Boise July 18,” Orr stated. “The pair had picked up the drugs in Northern California and drove them to Boise, arriving just before midnight Thursday.”

Ada County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Gutierrez-Chavez and Mejia a short time later, after they went to a Boise-area home to allegedly finish the deal. That’s where narcotics detectives say they found ten sealed one-pound bags of meth hidden inside their car.

Detectives also seized the Volkswagen Passat the pair drove to Idaho and more than $800 in cash.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force worked with Ada County Sheriff’s narcotics detectives on the case.

Gutierrez-Chavez is also on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold at the Jail, which indicates he may be in the country illegally.

The crime of trafficking in methamphetamine is punishable by up to life in prison.







MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (7/22/13) – SurfKY News and Muhlenberg County Sheriff Curtis McGehee have partnered in an attempt to raise awareness of the Meth problem that is currently going on throughout the state of Kentucky. Sheriff McGehee has agreed to submit a weekly article series in which we will share knowledge of the issue, and ways to put a stop to the constantly growing Meth production, sales and usage.

The following is the first in this series of articles by Sheriff McGehee.

Some time ago I had spoken about the dangers associated with using methamphetamine and someone approached me when the presentation was over and mentioned that she wasn’t familiar with the drug, and though she knew it was in the area; she didn’t realize that it was so common.

I explained that she wasn’t alone, and the community in general is often unaware of meth, short for methamphetamine, and its effects upon our society. While most of us have some knowledge of the drug, I doubt that any of us fully realize just how dangerous that it is.

It is my desire that this weekly article will help readers to become well informed of the drug and its negative impact on the community.

Methamphetamine is often found in a powder or crystal form. For years the most common form of meth in Muhlenberg County was the powder type, sometimes referred to as anhydrous dope, by meth cooks (those that manufacture the drug). This type of meth is a fine powdery substance that will vary in color. Cooking methods vary, and so do the color of the cold pills that are used, so meth may not always look the same. I have seen white, reddish to reddish brown, and yellowish to cream colors, all confiscated in Muhlenberg County.

The powder form of the drug continues to be manufactured in this area. However, new state laws now limit the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine (ingredients found in some cold and allergy medications) to seven grams per person each month. This makes it more difficult to produce the drug in large amounts.

Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is just the beginning of the lists of ingredients found in the meth recipe. Starting fluid, anhydrous ammonia, lithium battery acid and drain opener, are commonly used in this concoction that is sometimes called a “witches brew.” It is worth noting that, while ingredients previously mentioned are the most common in this area, other recipes include a list of toxic chemicals that may include, but would not be limited to; red devil lye, iodine, heet, camping fuel, paint thinner, sulfuric acid and even gun blue.

Meth labs, by nature, are volatile and should be considered highly toxic and potentially dangerous.

The other form of meth that has increased in popularity in our area is crystal meth. Before the laws regulating the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were in place, it was very uncommon to find methamphetamine in crystal form here in the county. This type of meth is most often developed in super labs in Mexico and occasionally in California. It is now common to find the crystal form of meth in this area and across the state, as it is being imported in large quantities. Some drug officers feel that even though production of the powder drug is down in this area, the use of meth is still a problem. The powder drug is simply being replaced by the crystal form, in many instances.

Crystal meth, as one might imagine, often looks like small pieces of crystal, or pieces of glass. It may be known as glass, crystal, ice, rock candy, etc.

Methamphetamine, regardless of form, is not just another drug; it is lethal and should not be underestimated. Most users are addicted the first time they experience it. Because of its addictiveness and the fact that it is easily accessible, it has increased in popularity.

Methamphetamine will not just go away. It must be challenged. Working together as a community we must take steps to overcoming this critical drug situation. I strongly encourage our community to become well-informed, and to get involved.

You can report illegal drug activity by contacting your local law enforcement agency.

In Muhlenberg County, you may call 1-888-959-8477 or report a tip on line at www.muhlenbergcountysheriff.com.







A 43-year-old man has allegedly confessed to strangling a 22-year-old friend of his daughter after the woman mocked him for being impotent.

Muang district resident Don Nakhua was arrested when he returned home after disappearing for four days, BungKan provincial police chief Monthon Thipjan said on Sunday.

Mr Don admitted kicking Siriporn Yothakong into a pond near his rubber plantation where they had taken methamphetamine together, the police chief said.

Mr Don told police he and Siriporn wanted to have sex but he could not achieve an erection.

The woman insulted him and he lashed out, Mr Don allegedly told police. After kicking her into the pond, Mr Don then jumped in to strangle and drown her, Pol Maj-Gen Monthon said.

The incident occurred about 7pm on July 2.

The next afternoon, Mr Don allegedly returned to the pond to retrieve Siriporn’s mobile phone and slippers and dispose of them elsewhere.

The woman’s body was found on July 12.







After several months of investigative work and search warrants prepared and executed, involving 12 drug dealers and drug users in Stokes County, who were arrested and charged with 65 charges.


The Stokes County Sheriff’s Office extended special appreciation to the Narcotics Unit of the King Police Department, who provided assistance to the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office in the investigative undercover work of this operation, and also to the State and Local Law Enforcement Officers from Carroll County Virginia.


On June 25, the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office kicked off “Operation Firecracker,” which involved a search warrant conducted by Virginia State Police Task force and Carroll County Sheriff Office in Carroll County, Virginia.


Officers from the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating suspects in Stokes County buying pre-cursor chemicals to make methamphetamine.


The investigation led to Carroll County, Virginia, where Virginia authorities executed a search warrant at on Childrens Lane in Cana, Virginia, where they located an active meth lab, cooking with more than 227 grams of methamphetamine. Virginia authorities arrested two suspects, Melissa Ibarra and Jessie Chance.


On June 26 and June 27, officers with the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office met for a briefing at the sheriff’s office and were divided up into arrest teams and dispersed, to apprehend specific individuals named for warrant service in this operation.


Sheriff Marshall stated, in a press release prepared by the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office: ” I cannot express how thankful we are for the assistance of all the different law enforcement agencies who helped us in Operation Firecracker. I wish to express a Special Thanks to the Narcotics Undercover Officers from King PD and the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office. These Officers work long and unusual hours helping develop the necessary information which eventually leads to making arrests in cases like this one. This continues to prove that there will be success each time law enforcement agencies work together.”


Sheriff Marshall further stated: “I wish to also thank all the Officers of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office, who many times, work long hard hours to bring drug dealers and other criminals to justice. As I have stated many times, as long as there are drug dealers and illegal drug users, we will continue these types of operations as long as it takes.”

  • Bennie Lee Hopper, 42, of Madison Road, Madison, charged with four counts possession with intent to sell & deliver cocaine, four counts selling and delivering a schedule II substance (cocaine), three counts maintaining a drug vehicle, two counts possession of a schedule II substance (cocaine), four counts conspiracy to sell and delivery a schedule II substance (cocaine), possession with intent to sell and delivery a schedule III substance (xanax), sell and delivery of a schedule III substance (xanax), and two counts possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $85,000.
  • Ricky Lee Garland, 42, of Madison Road, Madison, charged with two counts possession with intent to sell and delivery a schedule II substance (cocaine), and two counts conspiracy to sell and deliver cocaine. His unsecured bond was set at $25,000.
  • Renee Hopper Long, 37, of Madison Road, Madison, charged with trafficking schedule II by possession (oxycodone), maintaining a drug dwelling, conspiracy to sell and deliver cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia. Her secured bond was set at $7,500.
  • David Allen Stephenson, 21, of Merrydale Court, King, charged with possession of a marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. His unsecured bond was set at $2,500.
  • Donald Gray Johnson, 52, of Lemons Road, Walnut Cove, charged with two counts trafficking by selling a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), two counts trafficking by delivery of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), maintaining a drug dwelling, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $30,000.
  • James Martin Windham, 19, of Gene Martin Road, Walnut Cove, charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. His unsecured bond was set at $2,500.
  • Patrick Chase Slate, 26, of Hwy 311 N, Walnut Cove, charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His unsecured bond was set at $2,500.
  • Mitchell Edward Manson, 27, of Moorefield Road, Danbury, charged with manufacture of a schedule VI substance (marijuana), possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and delivery a schedule VI substance (marijuana), maintaining a drug dwelling, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $15,000.
  • Steven Matthew Manson, 24, of Moorefield Road, Danbury, charged with possession of a schedule IV substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. His secured bond was set at $1,000.
  • Joanna Payne Duncan, 44, of Rengo Drive, King, charged with obtaining controlled substance by fraud and forgery, trafficking by possession of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), trafficking by transportation of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone), and trafficking by delivery of a schedule III substance (Hydrocodone). Her unsecured bond was set at $25,000.
  • Cortez Devon Walls, 24, of Rookwood Lane, Winston-Salem, charged with possession with intent to sell and delivery a counterfeit controlled substance, sell and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance, creating a counterfeit controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and delivery near a child care center, maintaining a drug vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His secured bond was set at $25,000.
    Courtney Brooke Parrish, 21, of Merrydale Court, King, charged with possession of a Schedule VI substance (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling. Her unsecured bond was set at $1,500.



Arrested in Cana, Virginia

  • Melissa Gwynn Ibarra, 36, of Childrens Lane; Cana, Virginia; charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), manufacture of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), conspiracy, possession of precursors, and possession of more than 227 grams of methamphetamine. She had no bond set.
  • Jessie Allen Chance, 35, of Childrens Lane; Cana, Virginia; charged with possession of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), manufacture of schedule I or II drugs (methamphetamine), conspiracy, possession of precursors, and possession of more than 227 grams of methamphetamine. He had no bond set.