The coastal resort city of Acapulco has always been known for its beautiful beaches and sparkling waters. But in the last decade it has become a regional epicenter of drug war violence that Mexican authorities have been largely powerless to stop. The most recent wave of killings and kidnappings comes as a result of a turf war between multiple drug organizations that want control of the lucrative port city.AP_120322041530-640x480

Homicides are occurring every day in the Acapulco turf war. Five individuals murdered in a local restaurant on a single day, August 12. Guerrero State Governor Rogelio Ortega Martinez told the media the violence was affecting other parts of the state as well, but the string of Acapulco murders were a result of fighting between the Sinaloa Federation and the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG). Both cartels are not only battling for local control, but also trying to displace the Independent Cartel of Acapulco, a smaller regional drug trafficking group.

Ortega Martinez indicated the Coordination Group of Guerrero had met several times to discuss security policy and strategies for addressing this wave of violence. However, no security strategy used in the state in at least the last ten years has done much to curb drug-related violence.

As a major port city, Acapulco is a receiving site for a significant volume of precursor chemicals from Asia used to make methamphetamine. The Sinaloa Federation and smaller groups like the Knights Templar and La Familia Michoacana have focused heavily on meth production and distribution, partly as a way to hedge shifting demand for marijuana and cocaine. The CJNG used to be an armed wing of the Federation, but recently broke off as an independent organization and is leveraging production and distribution networks and contacts it used while affiliated with the Federation.

Similar waves of violence have afflicted Acapulco in the past, going back to at least 2005 when Los Zetas were initiating the trend of beheading and dismembering their enemies. Competition in the city has been fierce in recent years, with as many as six major criminal groups vying for control of territory there. As long as the demand for meth continues here in the US, the competition and resulting violence will likely continue in Acapulco.

A felony drug charge has been filed against a Knoxville woman for bringing meth into Marion County Jail.

25-year-old Christa Marie Norris has been charged with possession of contraband, a Class D felony, and possession of a schedule 2 controlled substance. She was arrested on a warrant Monday.Norris-Christa-Marie

According to court documents, Knoxville Police responded to a theft report at Wal-Mart on July 6th and Norris was taken into custody. She provided several stolen items that were concealed in her purse. An additional search at the scene discovered meth in her wallet and she was taken to Marion County Jail.

Once in a holding cell, Norris was observed moving around suspiciously and a second search revealed additional meth on her person.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday.

DICKINSON — Addiction to methamphetamine is tearing families apart in southwest North Dakota, an area substance abuse clinic director said.

Jan Kuhn, clinical director and licensed addiction counselor at Sacajawea Substance Abuse Counseling in Dickinson, said it’s challenging to work with the mothers she sees, most of whom have lost their children as a result of being convicted. For some, that’s not even incentive enough to truly want to change.

“It’s a really severe drug where you don’t get over this addiction,” Kuhn said.

She brushes on a silent part of the rising drug epidemic in the region.

As serious narcotics arrests have grown as a side effect of the oil industry in western North Dakota, one of the aspects not immediately apparent to the public is the human cost that befalls children of convicted offenders.

According to data from the North Dakota Department of Human Services, 59 children in nine of the southwest North Dakota counties were entered into foster care for parental substance abuse, alongside possible other contributing factors, as of June 30.

The data indicate this accounts for about 40 percent of children in foster care in those counties, said LuWanna Lawrence, spokeswoman for the Department of Human Services.

Stark County Social Services Director Rick Haugen confirmed that parental substance abuse is a major factor in children being entered into foster care. Last week, he said 45 of the 62 children in the system were there for at least that reason.

Forty-four of those cases are narcotics-related, he said, while the remaining one was for alcohol abuse.

“We take care of the kids, make sure they’re in safe homes,” Haugen said.

Custody orders for foster children are usually for 12 months. Unless the parents are able to achieve set sobriety goals during that time, Haugen said the children remain in the foster care system.

He said some parents are successful in getting clean.

“There are those cases,” he said. “We’d like to see it more.”

For Kuhn, most of the people who come to her clinic do so under court orders rather than on their own. This applies to many of the mothers she sees, “at least 90 percent” of whom she said were there because of meth addiction. It’s a requirement for them in regaining custody of their children, she said.

“The need (for addiction counseling) here is so great here for pregnant mothers” and those with children, Kuhn said.

She said the numbers of drug cases coming into her clinic have flourished since the oil boom. Drugs such as heroin and meth were rarely heard about then, she said.

Now, things have changed. The numbers of people coming through her doors with serious drug addictions has risen exponentially, Kuhn said.

There are specific treatment programs for addictions that did not exist beforehand.

Methamphetamine is right up there in the top,” she said.

Specific programs have arisen for different addictions, whereas before there were none.

Kuhn said the clinic has seen success stories with the mothers it encounters, though the path away from meth is particularly difficult. She said the only real way to overcome the addiction is deciding that “it just can’t be worth it anymore.”

“It’s a really sad drug,” Kuhn said.

However, she said there are two mothers in counseling who are doing well with treatment.

“They want their children, want their families,” she said.

DANSVILLE – A Meter Road resident whose home was the site of last weekend’s investigation by State Police was arrested Friday evening on felony charges relating to the manufacture and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine, or cooking meth.081415young01-1024x653

John Young, 30, was arraigned on Criminal Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the Third Degree, a C felony, and Unlawful Disposal of Methamphetamine Laboratory Equipment, an E felony, in Dansville Village Court Friday evening, for allegedly cooking meth in the presence of his three children at the home, who are all under age 16.

“I’m not currently working because our one son was recently diagnosed with cancer,” said Young to Judge Joshua Weidman. “My wife and I have been at Strong for months. Would it be possible to waive bail? My son is at Strong, severely sick.”

The charges, which also allege that Young disposed of three containers of meth in a fire pit, were brought by felony complaint from New York State Police based in Rochester.

Young’s wife, Emily Young, appeared in court to support her husband.

Judge Weidman said that as a result of Young’s 9 prior arrests, including failing to appear at court, 7 felony arrests and one felony conviction, he would be remanded to the Livingston County Jail on $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond.

According to the NYS Department of Correctional Services, Young served 1 1/2 years in prison starting in 2009 for an Attempted Burglary conviction out of Livingston County.

Methamphetamine gets into the air when it’s being cooked. It’s important to know that if you’re decontaminating a drug lab.

Meth and the chemicals used to make it, mostly solvents and acids, but sometimes the heavy metals mercury and lead, hang in the air, eventually settling onto the ground and clinging to any porous surface.

“The biggest concern is children crawling around on the floor of a meth lab, exploring the world with their hands and putting their hands in their mouth,” said Brett Sherry, the program manager of Oregon’s Clandestine Drug Lab Program.

“A child who’s crawling around on the floor in a meth lab could easily absorb enough methamphetamine to actually get a dose of the drug.”

Sherry is at the helm of the nation’s oldest and strictest state-run drug lab cleanup initiative, started in 1990. The program set the example for much of the nation. It has had 2,100 properties and 328 vehicles come through it. Of the 2,100 properties, 2,014 of those cases have been closed — a 95.9 percent success rate.

Decades ago, authorities on the West Coast were well aware of the growing methamphetamine epidemic and its strain on communities and police agencies. But the problem hadn’t traveled east yet. In many ways, Washington, D.C., is far from Oregon.

Today, meth manufacturing has mostly been quelled within western states by regulating precursor pharmaceuticals used to make meth. (There’s still a problem of meth importation from Mexico, but that’s a different story.) Clandestine meth manufacturing moved east where regulations were weaker. What had been Oregon’s problem now belongs to Florida, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.

Other states are looking to mirror Oregon’s success when it comes to stopping meth manufacturing by adopting drug lab cleanup programs and maintaining public lists of contaminated properties. Sherry often gets phone calls from other state agencies whose workers are looking for advice.

Cold-medicine rules pioneered by Oregon curb meth labs

The Clandestine Drug Lab Program’s mission is simple but not easy — to oversee drug lab cleanups for any illicit drug ordered by state law. It’s run on just shy of $75,000 a year and has only two part-time employees, Sherry and Dan Cain, a program analyst.

Where it’s especially difficult for the program is in compliance. A decontamination can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and for some property owners, it’s too much — they never complete the cleanup at all. There are four properties within Marion and Polk counties that have never completed the cleanup process, and they’ve been lingering on the Clandestine Drug Lab Program’s case list for more than a decade.

The owner of one such property is Beverly Baxter of Wilmington, Delaware. She’s a part-owner of 6331 Liberty Road S in Salem.

From the street, the property doesn’t look like much more than a dirt path blocked by a chain. A tattered sign hangs from the chain, blowing in a slow summer breeze. It reads: PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING. Behind it, the dirt road disappears into seemingly endless brush thickets. But 6331 Liberty is also the location of a former meth lab. The 115-acre parcel has been on the Clandestine Drug Lab Program’s public list of contaminated sites since February 2003.

“It’s a huge property. We’re talking about a lot of money with this property,” Sherry said. “And the fact that it’s been sitting like this for so long is kind of baffling to me.”

Baxter said she wasn’t aware her property was on the list until she was contacted for this story. What she made clear, though, was that having a drug lab on your property can be an expensive mess of debris and paperwork.

To say the least, Baxter was not happy to learn a meth lab had been in her house.

“I was really ticked, royally ticked. I was beyond ticked,” she said.

Her nephew was supposed to be taking care of the property. Instead, he rented the house to a friend, who began to cook meth there. Baxter said there were even communication wires coming from the upstairs bedroom, one of the cook sites, to outbuildings on the property.B9317991856Z_1_20150816020107_000_GMLBK86CN_1-0

The police soon raided the house. It sat empty, though likely contaminated.

“We hired somebody that was on the state’s list to come in and do an evaluation of how extensive it was and what we needed to do to address it,” Baxter said.

“After we had that study done and we were evaluating who would do the cleanup, the house burned down.” Transients had entered the property and set it ablaze.

According to Clandestine Drug Lab Program records, although cleanup was started, it was never completed after the fire.

“We were told on our side, the meth lab, any traces of it were gone because of the fire,” Baxter said.

Sherry said fires often happen at former lab sites, and it’s a common mistake for owners to think a fire absolves them of cleanup responsibilities.

The property still needs a cleanup to get its Certificate of Fitness from the state. Baxter said she had no idea of that, let alone that the property has been publicly listed as unfit for more than a decade.

“No one, no one, no one has ever contacted us. Ever,” she said.

Sherry said that more often than not, when a house sits on the unfit-for-use list, it’s because the owners don’t want to complete the cleanup process.

“We do make attempts to reach out. We send letters,” he said. “We’ve actually had cold-case specialists in the past that worked full time trying to go after the old cases to remind folks that their property is still on the list.”

Specialists like those aren’t around anymore now that the program has downsized following its success.

There’s also a national list of methamphetamine lab locations, the National Clandestine Laboratory Register, and it has its own litany of problems. Reporting to the list by local police agencies is voluntary, so the list isn’t complete, and it’s not checked for accuracy.

In just one example of inaccuracy, DEA spokesman Special Agent Joseph Moses said a house in California was listed after meth-making ingredients were found in the back alley.

“Of course, you have to put an address down,” Moses said, even though that house was not connected to the dump site. That address was removed after complaint, and similar incidents have since been avoided by taking in better data, Moses said.

To get off the DEA’s list, property owners have to have the law enforcement agency that sent their information in to begin with send in a request to remove the address. The register is one arm of several national initiatives aimed at combating meth manufacturing.

Congress passed the Methamphetamine Remediation Research Act of 2007, which ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and update voluntary guidelines for methamphetamine lab cleanups. Sherry continues to be a contributor to these guidelines, which are mostly for states that have no official drug lab remediation program.

As the meth manufacturing problem quieted down in Oregon, so too did activity at the Clandestine Drug Lab Program.

Meth isn’t the only kind of drug lab they handle though. Increasingly, police find other illicit and equally dangerous drugs are being manufactured. The Clandestine Drug Lab Program, by statute, also oversees cleanup of labs producing other drugs like Ecstasy; GHB, commonly known as a date rape drug; DMT, a powerful psychotropic known to cause strong hallucinations; and even mescaline.

“Those numbers are certainly increasing. Years ago I would say that about 99 percent of our labs were meth labs. And that’s definitely changing over the past about five, six years,” Sherry said.

It’s the drugs other than meth that are contributing to a slight rise in drug lab seizures in Oregon. In 2014, the Clandestine Drug Lab Program received eight cases. So far this year, it has gotten 10. All drugs manufactured at clandestine labs go through the same cleanup process, except marijuana, which is exempted by statute in Oregon.

But if a property owner doesn’t have a decontamination completed, the Clandestine Drug Lab Program can’t do much to compel compliance.

“Sometimes people sort of ignore it,” said Cain, the program’s other staff member. “The owner will walk away, and our office doesn’t have a compliance component.”

According to the Clandestine Drug Lab Program’s flowchart, if there is no action by an owner, they can be forced to decontaminate the property under state or local nuisance abatement laws. The Clandestine Drug Lab Program does not force cleanups.

There’s also a procedure Sherry calls a “clean and lien” where a city or county pays for a cleanup and puts a lien on the property to recoup costs.

The good news is, Cain says, there’s something to be done about uncleaned properties.

“Pretty much anybody who lives or works in the county can take someone to court to compel the cleanup,” Cain said. “That can be a neighbor, the city, the county.”

As for 6331 Liberty, Baxter said that now she’s aware the property is on the list, she’ll look into completing the cleanup.

“There’s still a big mess to clean up at this property. The house did burn down, which is a shame, because it was kind of an historic house, but there’s still some sheds and huge piles of garbage and debris from folks,” Sherry said.

“I’ve passed by there a few times over the years, and it’d be great to check that one off the list,” Sherry said. For him, properties strewn with debris or detritus make him think of their potential danger to children that might have been there.

“Looking through photos where there are children’s toys and stuffed animals, and that’s sitting right next to a bunch of used hypodermic needles, those are the ones that are hardest to deal with,” he said. “Obviously somebody who wants to make the decision to cook meth or use meth, that’s one thing. But when you have a child that’s exposed to that, they don’t have a choice but to live in that kind of environment. That’s the most upsetting.”

A multi-county investigation in Sampson County yielded the seizure of 3 pounds of methamphetamine, said by sheriff’s officials to be the largest single meth bust the county has ever seen.web1_arriga

Agents with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Division and Fayetteville Police Department conducted a search warrant at 4635 U.S. 421 North on Thursday in reference to an ongoing investigation, according to reports from sheriff’s officials.

That search warrant yielded over 3 pounds of methamphetamines having a street value of over $200,000, as well as a firearm. As a result of the investigation, two adults and one 15-year-old male suspect were taken into custody.

Noemi Cruz, 40, of 5635 Hobbton Hwy., Clinton, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and maintaining dwelling for the storage of a controlled substance. Jacinto Daniel Arriaga, 22, of 2321 William R. King Road, Newton Grove, listed as Jacinto Javier Arriga in jail records, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and carrying a concealed gun.

The teenager, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, received the same meth trafficking charges, Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith noted.web1_meth-2

Bonds for Cruz and Arriaga were set at $150,000 secured apiece.

“This is the most meth seized locally,” Smith said Friday, adding, “The investigation is ongoing.”

In the wake of the large drug seizure, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton praised the officers involved in the investigation and had strong words for those who would use Sampson as a haven to mule their illegal drugs.

“This was the result of a joint investigation with a lot of dedicated manpower and hard work that has removed a large amount of meth poison from our streets,” Thornton stated. “This is less drugs that will fall in the hands of our youth. These officers should be commended for their hard work and the drug dealers and users should take heed, because we are coming after all of them and we won’t stop until they and their poison are off our streets.”

An Old Fort woman faces a drug charge, the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office said Friday

Deputy Jason Cook charged Sunny Marie Cooley, 33, of Falling Waters Drive in Old Fort, with felony possession of methamphetamine.55ce29b1bcc9f_image

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, Cook and Old Fort police officers stopped Cooley’s truck after receiving a report that she was involved in a larceny.

They questioned Cooley, and a subsequent search of her automobile turned up .20 gram of methamphetamine.

The victim in the larceny case was referred to the magistrate’s office for possible charges.

Bond was set at $7,500.

BANGOR, Maine — A Superior Court judge on Friday set bail at $50,000 cash for a man who allegedly told police he had made methamphetamine at least 100 times over the past seven months.Nicholas Champagne

Nicholas Champagne, 23, of East Millinocket, was charged Thursday with Class A aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and violation of bail after local police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency shut down Champagne’s alleged methamphetamine lab on Main Street.

MDEA Commander Peter Arno said Friday in an email the call from East Millinocket police for assistance was the 30th time this year officers have responded to a “meth-related incident.” In 2014, MDEA agents assisted in 37 such incidents, he said.

Champagne remained Friday night at the Penobscot County Jail on the bail violation charge. He is accused of violating his bail on a methamphetamine possession charge that stemmed from an incident in July. A hearing on that charge is scheduled for next week. Once the bail violation charge is resolved, Champagne would have to post $50,000 cash to be released.

In a separate case, three people arrested earlier this week in Brewer for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine 390 feet from St. Teresa’s Park on South Main Street also made their first appearances Friday before Justice Ann Murray.

Jennifer Beaulieu, 21, and Benjamin McGary, 22, both of Brewer, and Adam Freeman, 29, of Hampden, were arrested Wednesday and charged with aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs. It is a Class A crime because the alleged meth lab was so close to a park, which is considered to be a “safe zone.”

Brewer police began investigating activities at the house after neighbors reported a lot of activity there at odd hours, according to the affidavit. On Tuesday, police went through the trash for that address and found items used to manufacture methamphetamine, including cut lithium batteries, empty blister packages for pseudoephedrine, empty Coleman fuel containers and empty muriatic acid containers.

Police searched the residence the next day and arrested the trio.

Bail on Friday was set for Beaulieu, McGary and Freeman at $25,000 cash.

None of the defendants were asked to enter pleas to the charges because they have not yet been indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury. Their next court dates are in October.

If convicted on the Class A trafficking charge, Champagne, Beaulieu, McGary and Freeman all face up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000.

MCDONOUGH COUNTY, ILL. — Blaire M. Pontiff, 44 of Bushnell, was arrested on Friday from a long, ongoing methamphetamine investigation.blairepontiff

During the investigation at an undisclosed residence in McDonough County, deputies located all the ingredients needed to manufacture methamphetamine.

Pontiff was already in custody at the McDonough County Jail on an unrelated charge.

Pontiff was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine under 5 grams, Unlawful Procurement of Methamphetamine Precursors, Unlawful Disposal of Methamphetamine Waste, and Possession of Methamphetamine Manufacturing Materials.

GULFPORT, Miss. – A Sept. 29 sentencing date has been set for a Mississippi man accused in scheme to traffic large quantities of meth from California to various areas in Jackson County.

The Sun Herald reports Scott Joseph Houska, 48, of Gautier, is facing a sentence of up to 40 years in prison on a 635751480884616167-Scott-Joseph-Houskafederal charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of meth. He pleaded guilty in June.

A federal grand jury indicted Houska; Michael Wayne Hanzik Jr., 27, of Pascagoula, Mississippi; and Marques Deanthony Payton, 36, of Fresno, California, on one count each of conspiracy to distribute meth in the case. In addition, Houska and Hanzik were indicted on a charge of possession with intent to distribute meth. In exchange for Houska’s plea, the government dismissed his conspiracy charge.

Court papers identified the three as major meth distributors in Jackson County.

The DEA, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, George County deputies and agents with the South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team took part in the investigation.

The federal probe began after authorities received information identifying Payton as a major meth supplier in Jackson County. Buyers wired money to bank accounts in Fresno to pay for the drugs, records say.

Hanzik was the first taken into custody after authorities received a tip identifying him as a meth distributor known to conceal the drugs inside tennis balls. On March 24, agents watched as he pulled into a Mississippi 63 store for a drug deal.

When he was arrested, he had a plastic bag containing a half-ounce of meth in his mouth and 4 grams of meth in tennis balls in his car.

Also, a Federal Express package intercepted in California that contained a pound of meth was addressed to his Pascagoula home.

DEA agents the same day monitored a call to Payton, during which he expressed his frustration over unpaid drug payments. He later identified two people who needed to pay for their drugs in text messages authorities found.

Hanzik and Payton are scheduled to go to trial on the Sept. 8 court calendar. Payton’s attorney has filed a motion requesting the trial be delayed until a later date.

LEONARDVILLE, Kan. (WIBW) — Riley Co. police say seven search warrants in four cities landed a total of ten people and netted drugs, guns, cash, and explosives.

RCPD executed five search warrants in Leonardville and on Bala Road, north of Manhattan, on Thursday as part of an ongoing drug investigation. They say related warrants were served in Clay Center and Wichita.

Over seven pounds of methamphetamine were seized as well as cash and several AR-15-style rifles, police said.

Here’s the list of suspects arrested as provided by the RCPD:

Bryce Williams, 33, of 107 S. Nevada Street in Leonardville, Kansas was arrested for the offenses of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), and possession of marijuana. Williams was given a bond of $10,000.00 and at the time of this release he was confined at the Riley County Jail. Williams was arrested while at 111 W. Barton Road in Riley County.

Cody Brown, 29, of 122 S. Erpelding Ave., Leonardville, Kansas was taken into custody for the offenses of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), and possession of marijuana. Brown was issued a bond of $10,000.00 and at the time of this release was confined.

Police arrested Sara Boatman, 24, of 122. S. Erpelding Ave., Leonardville, Kansas for the offenses of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), and possession of marijuana. Boatman was confined at the time of this report in lieu of $10,000.00 bond.

Justin Bulk, 23, of 204 W. Graham, Leonardville, Kansas was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia (felony), and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor). Bulk’s bond was set at $4,000.00 and at the time of this release he was no longer confined.

Randy Siebold Sr., 54, of 17350 Bala Road, Riley County was given a bond of $7,000.00 when arrested on the offenses of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor). He was no longer confined at the time of this release.

Kevin Siebold, 51, of 17350 Bala Road, Riley County was also arrested on the offenses of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor). He was given a bond of $7,000.00 and at the time of this release he was confined at the Riley County Jail.

Tony Dugan, 35, of 205 N. Arizona Street, Leonardville, Kansas was arrested on the offenses of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia (felony), criminal use of a weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor), and possession of marijuana. Dugan was given a bond of $20,000.00 and at the time of this release was also confined.

Katelyn Lovgren, 24, of 5393 Marlatt Ave. in Manhattan was arrested while at 205 N. Arizona Street, Leonardville, Kansas and given a bond of $4,000.00 after her arrest for the offenses of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor). Lovgren was no longer confined at the time of this release.

In Clay Center, Riley Co. Police executed a search warrant with the assistance of the Clay Co. Sheriff’s Office and Clay Center Police Dept. They seized a homemade explosive device, which was identified as a pipe bomb. It was rendered safe by the Riley Co. Police Dept. bomb team.

Vance Mossburgh, 44, of 1313 8th Street, Clay Center, Kansas was arrested as a result of this search warrant. Mossburgh was arrested for the offenses of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, criminal possession of an explosive device, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was given a bond of $150,000.00 through the Clay County District Court.

Working with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Riley Co. Police Dept. served a search warrant in Wichita.

Police arrested Anthony Moore of 1306 S. Timber Ridge Circle, Wichita, Kansas for drug related offenses at the federal level. Moore was given no bond

The Riley Co. Police Dept. said their investigation is still ongoing and they did not release any other information.

Eagle Pass, Texas (CNN)—Cesar was 15 when he thought that, finally, he had turned his life around.

Just 15, but he already had much he wanted to distance himself from: drug trafficking, human smuggling, murder. He even blamed himself for the death of his toddler brother in a tragic accident outside their home in Texas.

But now he was staying out of trouble, going to school, working with his dad on construction sites.

And then he got a phone call that reminded him his past was very much still his present.

It was September 25, 2013. A Wednesday. At 8:05 p.m.

He texted his girlfriend to say goodbye. He updated his Facebook status in a mix of Spanish and English to say his life was over.

“It all had to end like this. Yo sabia que tarde o temprano, me iba tronar. Dios, cuida a mi familia.” I knew that late or early, I would die. God, take care of my family.

He sent a text to his probation officer: “I have a feeling I will not make 16 don’t tell my mom I’m telling you this whenever I die let her know that I always loved her.”

The phone call had been from a drug cartel telling him he was needed for a job. We are coming for you. No need to hide.

Cesar didn’t want to do their business any more. He thought he’d gotten out of gang life. But the cartel had been explicit: Cesar would pay if they didn’t get what they wanted.

Despite the threats, he was steadfast. He was done with it. He wanted to rest. So he made peace with what was coming; he thought he would die that night.

“Straight up this is the end of my story,” he texted his probation officer.

This is where it stops. This is where it ends.

His probation officer called the sheriff, and officers were sent to his house. They found Cesar armed with two kitchen knives to defend himself against his killers. Under his bed they found a safe and a bulletproof vest.

Cesar was taken into custody and given a psychological evaluation. At first he wouldn’t talk. And then he revealed the death threats against him and a little of what he’d been through. He was diagnosed with a nervous breakdown. At the age of 15.

Cesar was brought to Eagle Pass, Texas, from Mexico by his parents when he was 3 years old. They were undocumented but his father, Juan, was able to find enough construction jobs off the books to support his family, even in Eagle Pass, where poverty and dirt roads outnumber jobs and opportunities. He and his wife, Ester, a devout Christian, provided a stable, loving home for Cesar and his three siblings who would be born later.

Cesar enjoyed school and loved sports. He played on the football and baseball teams, collecting trophies, until junior high, when his own undocumented status meant he couldn’t go to out-of-town games.

Cesar’s house is about a mile from the Mexican border and Cesar and the neighborhood children often scrambled up the hills to look from Eagle Pass across the Rio Grande to Piedras Negras on the Mexico side.

The two towns now linked by bridges for vehicles and pedestrians each have a colorful history. Piedras Negras claims to be “where the nacho was invented” while a slogan for Eagle Pass says it’s “Where Yee-haw meets Olé.” On the American side, bus companies advertise rides to San Antonio, the nearest big city, about 140 miles away, while Border Burger touts the “best burger and taco special in town.”

Mexican and American influences abound in this border town in the language, cuisine and culture of its 28,000 or so residents. But so does the dark side of the modern border — the smuggling of drugs and people. It’s all around, waiting to impact, perhaps destroy lives, even that of a boy.

Sometimes the gang life emerges on those overlooks, where one of the children will say to another, would you like to make some easy money?

For Cesar, it was a direct introduction from a boy he thought was his friend.

Leo was a little older than Cesar but lived in the same neighborhood and they started to hang out. He always seemed to have money.

The summer after sixth grade, 12-year-old Cesar was at a party with Leo when he was introduced to another boy, Alejandro.

Two days later, Leo called Cesar to pass on a message from Alejandro: Do you want to work for Los Zetas?

Cesar said no, even when Alejandro came by to ask him in person.

But a couple of days later, Alejandro called Cesar and told him to go with Leo on a job for Los Zetas, then and now one of Mexico’s most violent, vicious and powerful gangs.

He said Cesar would be sorry if he didn’t go.

So Cesar went.

Leo and Cesar drove a truck away from town down El Indio Highway and pulled off to the side.

Eight or so masked men ran from the surrounding fields to the vehicle, opening the door and throwing in eight sacks of marijuana.

The door was closed and the boys drove back to Eagle Pass. Not a word had been spoken.

They dropped off the truck with Alejandro, were given a ride to the mall and a down payment of $1,000 in cash with $6,000 more to come.

That scenario played out again and again, with Alejandro assigning jobs to Cesar and Leo. Cesar said he always told Alejandro he wanted no part of it but Alejandro’s reply was that Los Zetas were impressed by him and that more senior cartel members wanted to meet him.

And he kept going along.

One day, outside Eagle Pass Junior High School, Cesar got in a truck to be told that after one more job, he would belong to Los Zetas forever.

Even as he said he protested, they gave him a cell phone and told him they would call soon.

He refused to answer the calls, and then a man came to his house, saying he was the boy’s commander.

“You work for me. You do what I say when I say it and how I say to do it. Without any errors or I will kill you.”

The “work” started that same night, with Cesar ordered to drive a truck 20 miles to a ranch where it was stripped, packed with cash and reassembled for Cesar to drive back to Eagle Pass.

For that he was paid $15,000 in cash, handed to him through a car window by someone he never saw.

He hadn’t even started seventh grade.

There was no way out.

Perhaps Cesar wasn’t looking for that way out, for he was also beginning to enjoy the trappings of gang life. In return for smuggling drugs and moving people he got pay and perks.

“Money, protection, parties,” he said later — those were the good things. He went to parties in clubs and at ranches in San Antonio and Houston, and across the border in Puebla, Guanajuato, Monterrey and Sinaloa. If anyone truly bothered him, he knew he could make a call and have them warned, scared or worse.

,” Cesar said. “Because not any [teenager] can say ‘Oh, if you mess with me, I can kill you.’ Not me but I can send people to kill you and your whole family.”

He certainly didn’t tell his parents; he was too embarrassed and knew they would disapprove. Juan and Ester were doing their best to bring their American dream to their children. They worked hard to maintain their blue-collar lifestyle without seeking any government assistance and unlike many on their block, they didn’t resort to drugs.

So Cesar hid his cartel life, walling that part of himself off, even as he was beginning to feel he deserved it. “I chose this life. Now I have to live it … face the consequences. Anything that happens.”

There were other boys in Eagle Pass working for Los Zetas, including Eduardo, who was about 15 and had been smuggled from Mexico to work for the gang.

One day Cesar, Leo, Eduardo and some other youths were ordered to go to Mexico. Los Zetas had a favored route across the Rio Grande where the river was nearly dry and you could cross the border unmolested without even getting your feet wet. And they also had a number of Border Patrol agents in their pocket, paid to look away if teens were seen crossing the river, Cesar said.

The boys had been told there would be a party but when they arrived, armed men rushed them, hitting Eduardo in the back of the head and throwing him on a truck.

The other teens were loaded on another vehicle and taken to a ranch where they were told to line up.

All except Eduardo.

“This is what happens if you don’t do what we say,” the boss said as Eduardo was pulled off the truck and forced to kneel.

The boss pushed Eduardo’s head back and cut his throat with a “huge knife,” Cesar said.

Then another man took Eduardo’s body to one side and chopped off his head with an ax.

Cesar said he’d been told Eduardo had been called on to do a job but replied that he couldn’t do it at that exact moment.

Because of that, Eduardo was killed.

And from then on, Cesar did exactly what he was told.

His main role was to pick up vehicles packed with cocaine and marijuana that had been smuggled into the United States and drive them with other youths three hours away to San Antonio.

Completing job after job without getting caught won him credibility, and more work.

His boss came to trust him and introduced him to more senior cartel members, once at a ranch on the Mexico side of the border.

Cesar said he was scared but one comandante told him he had “heard good things” about him and he and other chiefs gave Cesar their cellphone numbers, telling him to call if ever he needed to.

Before he left the ranch, a man accused of stealing $325,000 was brought in. When he denied the theft, the commander became angry, pulled out his gun and shot the man three or four times in the head.

It’s possible Cesar, now 13, was becoming inured to the life and death around him. But then death came to his home.

It was May 12, 2011, and Cesar was out of school, suspended for three days for talking back to a teacher.

The silver lining was that he could spend the day with his beloved 2-year-old brother, swimming and watching TV.

Their mom checked in on them after work before heading to a Zumba class, returning about 9:30 p.m.

The toddler heard his mom’s voice and ran outside. At the same moment a neighbor was pulling her truck into the driveway.

He was struck and died later in the hospital, two months before his third birthday.

No one blamed Cesar – except Cesar himself, who thought if only he hadn’t left the gate open.

He couldn’t move on. Now he felt there was nothing good in his life, not one redeeming factor. He thought he was no better than the cartel and that should be his life. But with the complex emotions of adolescence, he also began to chafe against the cartel authorities.

That same year, Cesar’s chief was replaced. His new boss was violent and explosive, killing for any reason, even once burning a bus with children and adults inside it, Cesar said.

Cesar was no longer a favored son and the pressure increased.

“I told him that I didn’t want to work for Los Zetas anymore and that I would rather be killed than to continue to work under him,” Cesar said he declared after one night of constant text orders.

The new boss called at 5 a.m. and told Cesar he was coming to pick him up to kill him.

They met outside Cesar’s house. The man pointed a gun at Cesar’s face.

Then, he started laughing.

He told Cesar he wasn’t going to kill him. But that he would keep working or his family would be killed. He had been working with the cartel for too long. He would have to work again that morning.

That job was moving marijuana again. But this time, the Border Patrol was waiting and Cesar was arrested for the first time – with 240 pounds of marijuana, then worth an estimated $192,000.

Like most children arrested for drug trafficking, Cesar was taken to a detention center. He was released 10 days later and was assigned a probation officer.

Later, Cesar said one of the comandantes he’d met in Mexico called and asked him what happened.

“I told him everything — how I had told [my chief] that I didn’t want to work anymore and how he had come to my house, pointed a gun to my face, and forced me to work saying that he would kill my family if I didn’t. [The comandante] told me that I could leave Los Zetas now and that he would take care of my boss. And that was it for me with Los Zetas. I took the opportunity to leave as soon as it was given to me.”

Cesar said he had won favor and the right to get out because he’d been so successful for so long.

In July 2011, about a year after his first Zetas job, the cartel discharged him.

For two years, he started to rebuild his life. Working at school, working with his dad, staying away from the cartels.

Until that phone call from a rival gang, Cartel del Golfo, which was taking over territory from Los Zetas.

They’d been trying to recruit him for a few weeks, saying how much they liked his work for Los Zetas and how valued he would be, especially since he could give them inside information on their rival.

And if the flattery didn’t work, maybe the threats would.

Cesar knew his age would be no reason he would be treated kindly. He wouldn’t even be the first 15-year-old to disappear from Eagle Pass and turn up dead. Officials here can rattle off three other cases of boys dead or missing in recent months, with suspicions falling on the cartels.

But still, Cesar couldn’t say yes, so he prepared to be killed.

The actions of the probation officer, the sheriff’s deputies and the medical staff saved Cesar that night and in the days after.

For them, he’s one of many. The probation officer says he and his colleagues have become involved with about 100 children used as drug couriers for the Zetas since Cesar was arrested four years ago. Others likely go undetected, as Cesar did for so long.

But the probation officer also sees a special chance for Cesar, even now as he sits as a 17-year-old in a detention center awaiting a deportation hearing triggered after he was taken into custody for a violation while he was driving. That official is supporting Cesar’s family’s efforts to gain legal status.

Cesar still has the support of both parents and his siblings. Doctors say his mental and physical scars can heal with time and treatment. And he wants to get better, to enjoy life and to contribute.

He wants to regain the sense of purpose and optimism he had. When he was 15.

A 24-year-old woman whose family has questioned whether she received adequate medical attention before she was found unresponsive in a South Dakota jail cell died of a meth overdose, the state’s attorney general announced Thursday.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said an autopsy on Sarah Circle Bear, of Claremont, found acute methamphetamine and amphetamine toxicity in her blood.

Circle Bear was being held in the Brown County Jail on a bond violation following a minor car accident when she was found unresponsive in her cell July 5. She died later the same day at a local hospital. Jackley said the autopsy showed no evidence of injury that would have caused or contributed to her death.

A spokeswoman for Jackley said autopsy reports in South Dakota are not available to the public.

Circle Bear’s relatives said they were surprised by the findings and said they didn’t know her to use methamphetamine.

Her father, Terrance Circle Bear, said Thursday that a fellow inmate told him his daughter was suffering and repeatedly asked jail employees for help but was ignored. He declined to identify the inmate but said he is working with an attorney to examine his daughter’s case.

“I’m getting justice for a native girl that was crying and they didn’t want to help her,” he said.

Brown County Sheriff Mark Milbrandt said he couldn’t comment on the situation while the attorney general’s office continues to investigate.

Jackley’s office said it is trying to find out where the methamphetamine came from. The attorney general said he was asked by the Brown County Sheriff’s Office to review Circle Bear’s death and said this office will release more information once they finish their investigation.

Federal and local authorities arrested six people and seized $13,000 worth of methamphetamine and other drug-related items amid their hunt for fugitive Brian Allen Romain Wednesday.

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Sgt. Casey Baker said deputies teamed up with the Tahlequah Police Department and U.S. marshals from the eastern district of Oklahoma to look for Romain.55ccc25919b6b_image

Romain, 29, is a convicted sex offender who signed off on a plea agreement with prosecutors last week on drug- and firearms-related charges. As part of his deal, he was to check himself into the Cherokee County Detention Center by 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, to serve a 15-year state prison sentence. Special District Judge Larry Langley stipulated that should Romain fail to show up, his sentence would be bumped up to 25 years.

Romain failed to check in, prompting Langley to issue three new arrest warrants.

Baker said authorities went to a home in the Eldon area east of Tahlequah Wednesday morning, acting on information that Romain might be at a residence there. They learned Romain had once been at the home, but wasn’t there Wednesday.

Tips gathered at that home then led authorities to a home in the 600 block of Rolling Hills in Tahlequah.

As investigators checked for Romain at the home, they gathered information that allowed them to secure a search warrant. Romain was not there, but authorities did discover a bag of methamphetamine that weighed 111 grams. The addition of a few smaller baggies of meth brought the total weight to 121 grams, worth an estimated $13,000.

Authorities also seized a vehicle, marijuana, digital scales, pipes, cash and other drug paraphernalia.

Investigators said several people were arrested: Kristen Hammons, 18, who was jailed for aggravated trafficking; Mike Matthews, 40, booked for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and drug paraphernalia; Chase Vann, 22, jailed for possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute; William Jumper, 40, jailed for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Misty Sanders, 25, who was jailed on a $10,000 warrant.

Authorities also found Joshua Mouse, 33, at the home. Mouse, a convicted felon, had allegedly removed his ankle monitor and was being sought by officials from the Department of Corrections. Aside from his warrants, Mouse was also jailed for aggravated trafficking, according to investigators.

Authorities consider Romain to be armed and dangerous. He is also considered to be an unregistered sex offender.

Romain’s attorney, Doak Willis, filed a request this week to withdraw Romain’s plea deal, suggesting he, as a result of “some medication,” had “incoherent thoughts” when he signed off on the deal.

Investigators said they will continue to follow up on tips that could lead them to Romain. Anyone with information about Romain’s location is asked to call the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at 918-456-2583.

A inmate who was allegedly carrying more than 8 grams of methamphetamine Tuesday afternoon inside the jail had a first scheduled General Sessions Court appearance on Wednesday.

Rebecca L. McCandless, 26, of 560 Rambo Road, was charged with a felony count of possession of a Schedule II drug and introduction of drugs into a penal facility.

Deputies received information from other inmates “about possible narcotics being present in (the) E Pod housing unit,” sheriff’s Sgt. Matthew McCamey said in a report.

Four inmates were removed from the pod and searched by K-9 Unit police dog “Sig,” the report said.

“Alerts were given on all subjects” who were searched and taken to Laughlin Memorial Hospital for X-rays, the report said.

Three inmates received X-rays that showed negative results, the report said.

McCandless, who was the last person to have received an X-ray, told a corrections officer “that she was in possession of an illegal substance,” the report said.

McCandless removed a clear plastic bag containing another plastic bag, the report added.

“(She) did make an utterance of being high after she had been informed her heart rate was over 160 beats per minute,” it said.

Deputies did a field test on the contents of the plastic bag. It tested positive for meth, the report said.

McCandless was allegedly carrying 8.3 grams of meth, the report said.

A Spokane County man faces animal cruelty charges after seven videos allegedly showing him having sexual contact with three dogs and a horse were turned over to law enforcement.

Travis A. Joy, 45, was arrested Wednesday on investigation of animal cruelty. He also faces harassment charges for 8561192_Gallegedly threatening to kill the people he believed reported him to law enforcement, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Mark Gregory said.

Joy’s bond was set at $50,000 during a brief court appearance Thursday. He is also banned from owning animals or being around animals.

According to a search warrant filed July 15, Joy left a video camera with the recordings on it behind when he moved out of a house in Elk. His roommate found the footage on July 10 and turned it over to SCRAPS.

Investigators used the scenery shown in the videos to track down owners of the animals and develop probable cause to charge Joy. Tattoos visible in the video match the tattoos that Joy has on his arms, according the court documents. Detectives were able to determine that the incidents occurred in the Hillyard and Elk areas.

Gregory said one of the dogs in the videos belonged to Joy. That dog, and another one owned by Joy, have been turned over to SCRAPS.

Another dog Joy is accused of molesting has since died. According to court documents, the dog’s owners reported that they once left Joy alone with the dog for several hours and when they arrived home the dog was cowering in a corner, shaking and bleeding from her genital area.

People who know Joy told police that he has been living in his car or with friends for several years and is addicted to methamphetamine, according to court documents. The animals Joy reportedly molested belonged to people who allowed him to live at their homes.

On Wednesday, just before 8 a.m., one of the victim dog owners reported Joy was at that person’s property in North Spokane County. Deputies arrested Joy at that time.

Joy reportedly admitted he recorded himself having sex with the animals so he could view that and not need to repeat the acts, according to court documents.

Joy has a prior felony conviction for assault. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison in 1997 after pleading guilty to two Spokane bank robberies.

MOSSY HEAD — Deputies monitoring speeds in a school zone ended up finding a mobile methamphetamine lab after pulling over a driver for going 11 mph over the limit.

The vehicle was westbound on U.S. Highway 90 when he caught the attention of deputies running radar as part of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office’s newest initiative to protect students, according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Corey Dobridnia.

Deputies stopped the car after the driver failed to drop his speed to 45 mph as he entered the active school zone on the highway for Mossy Head School.

He pulled off into a nearby gas station and additional units were called out, Dobridnia said.

A canine was called and it detected narcotics. A search of the white Pontiac Grand Prix revealed an active meth lab in the trunk.

This marks the first criminal arrest since the Operation Blue Bird initiative was kicked off Monday.

Sheriff Mike Adkinson said his goal by placing deputies near the schools at the start and end of the day was to raise awareness about reduced speeds in those hours.

“Slow down,” he said. “Just slow down.”

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Police shut down an alleged methamphetamine lab on Main Street for the second time in 10 months and charged a local man with manufacturing the illegal drug Thursday.

Nicholas Champagne, 23, of East Millinocket, was charged Thursday with Class A aggravated trafficking (manufacturing) in Schedule W drugs and violation of bail, police said.Nicholas Champagne, 23,

Police Chief Cameron McDunnah was among several police who visited Apt. 2 at 81 Main St. on Thursday afternoon to search Champagne for possible violations of bail conditions. Champagne was out on bail in connection with a methamphetamine possession charge from an arrest in July, police said.

Police said they saw several items in the apartment typically used in the “one pot” or “shake and bake” method of methamphetamine manufacture. They took Champagne into custody and notified members of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Agency members got a search warrant and dismantled the alleged methamphetamine laboratory, police said.

Police and MDEA investigators raided an apartment at that same address on Oct. 21, seizing 3 or 4 grams of methamphetamine and charging Beau Pelletier, 31, and Cyntha Burley, 33, with Class B trafficking in Schedule W drugs.

Neighbors around the apartment building said they suspected criminal activity was occurring there. They said the apartment was being visited frequently by individuals for short stays at all hours.

Champagne was not involved in the October incident, police said.

The Oct. 21 raid followed another raid the night before at a Lake Road home in Monticello in which Matthew Thibodeau, 27, of Monticello was charged with Class B trafficking in Schedule W drugs and Class B possession of scheduled drugs.

It was unclear whether those two meth lab operations were connected. The disposition of the charges against Pelletier, Burley and Thibodeau could not be determined late Thursday.

Champagne is being held without bail at Penobscot County Jail in Bangor. He is due to appear in court at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Friday, a jail spokeswoman said.

A junior cadet has been charged with distributing a variant of methamphetamine and two other drugs at the Air Force Academy, according to court papers released Thursday to The Gazette.

Cadet Nathaniel Penalosa faces 10 counts of violating military drug laws for possessing, using and distributing the hallucinogen LSD, the sleep-fighting drug Modafinil and a methamphetamine derivative known as Molly. He’s also accused of manufacturing Molly, which is done through a often-dangerous chemical process similar to making methamphetamine.

A hearing to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to court-martial Penalosa is set for Monday.

A former enlisted airmen, Penalosa came to the academy through its Preparatory School and is known on campus for his military skill. Last fall, Penalosa was honored with a spot on the academy commandant’s list for his military prowess. At that time, prosecutors allege, Penalosa was deeply involved with drugs.

Court papers accuse Penalosa of using and distributing the drugs between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30, 2014. A lengthy investigation of Penalosa has been marked by legal wrangling. In April, the cadet sued the Defense Department in U.S. District Court in a bid to quash a subpoena for his bank records, court papers show.

The court let the subpoena stand, reasoning that the bank records could shed light on allegations that Penalosa was “suspected of trafficking illegal narcotics to USAFA cadets and civilians.”

Charges were issued against Penalosa on July 1.

Monday’s hearing could shed light on why the academy suspects Penalosa. Charging documents don’t say how much of any given drug he is accused of possessing or to whom he may have distributed the drugs. The papers also don’t state where Penalosa may have manufactured drugs.

One drug tied to the case is Modafinil, a prescription medicine often given to those suffering from narcolepsy. Because the drug can induce long hours of wakefulness but lacks problems associated with amphetamines, the Air Force initially tested it on fighter pilots. Later it came into wider use to keep troops awake during long combat missions.

WARSAW, Ind. (21Alive) — An early Wednesday morning traffic stop led to an active meth lab in a north side Warsaw apartment complex and seven arrests.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, an officer stopped a vehicle and found drug paraphernalia and information was given to him about the location of a meth lab at the Canterbury Apartment Complex.Warsaw+Meth+lab

Five suspects were detained and transported to the Warsaw Police Department for additional questioning.

The following suspects were taken and booked at the Kosciusko County jail on the following charges:

Aaron Case, 19 years old, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Manufacturing Methamphetamine, and Possession of Methamphetamine. He was also charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Stanley Cripps, 25 years of age, of Etna Green, was charged with the following felony offenses; Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors, Possession of Methamphetamine. He was also charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Daniel Holbrook, 20 years of age, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Dumping Controlled Substance Waste. He was also charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Sergei Marthaler, 21 years of age, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession of Precursors, and Possession of Methamphetamine.

Terry Stearns, 20 years of age, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony Unlawful Sale of Precursors, and misdemeanor Visiting a Common Nuisance.

Officers received more information about another active meth lab at Suburban Acres Mobile Home Park on the north side of Warsaw.

Narcotics officers went to the 100 lot block of Suburban Acres and found two suspects at the mobile home. The search warrant led to the discovery of 3 grams of Meth and over 1 gram of Crystal Meth along with a one pot Meth lab and additional precursors.

Warsaw police charges the following two individuals:

William Marsillett, 55 years old, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.

Kira Tuttle, 33 years old, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Possession with Intent to Distribute, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.

Police say that more arrests stemming from this investigation are probable.

Any drug tips can be called into the Warsaw Police Department at 574-372-9540.

Bakersfield, California – U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers (District of North Dakota), North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton (Minneapolis FBI), Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller (Sacramento FBI) and Bakersfield Chief of Police Greg Williamson announced indictments of 22 individuals in western North Dakota and seven defendants in Bakersfield on drug trafficking charges.

The indictments are a result of an investigation by the North Dakota-based Bakken Organized Crime Strike Force, which was formed to address organized crime arising from the oil boom in the Bakken region in North Dakota.

According to court documents, from June 2014 until June 2015, defendants in Bakersfield and Minot, North Dakota conspired to bring methamphetamine and heroin from Bakersfield and distribute it in Minot. The seven defendants charged in the Eastern District of California were all arrested in the Bakersfield area by FBI agents and Bakersfield police officers Tuesday morning.

Acting U.S. Attorney Chris Myers stated: “The Strike Force was designed to work as one unit to identify, target and dismantle criminal organizations working in the Bakken and reach beyond the borders of North Dakota to ensure the entire criminal organization is brought to justice. After only a few months we are seeing the efficiency, strength and extended reach provided by the Strike Force model. The results here are exactly what we hoped for when we designed the Strike Force.”

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner remarked: “Cross-jurisdictional cooperation is essential for effective narcotics enforcement. We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota for its leadership in this case, and to our state and federal law enforcement colleagues in both states for their professionalism and assistance.”

SAC Richard Thornton said: “The FBI is committed to the security of the Bakken area of North Dakota. We will continue to aggressively investigate organized crime wherever it may be found. We will work with our law enforcement partners, through the ‘Bakken Organized Crime Strike Force’, to ensure that those who engage in this type of criminal activity pay a high price.”

Greg Williamson, Chief of Police, Bakersfield stated: “The Bakersfield Police Department is proud to have been a part of this investigation. Criminals pay no attention to jurisdictional lines, and when a criminal enterprise crosses several states, it can quickly exceed the resources of local agencies. That’s when the capabilities of the federal authorities become invaluable in making a difference in our city’s streets and neighborhoods. We are happy to have had this opportunity to work with our law enforcement partners in North Dakota and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We are looking forward to assisting the United States Attorney’s office in North Dakota in following through and seeing justice done in this matter.”

Two indictments charge seven Bakersfield residents in the Eastern District of California as follows:

Ricardo Cruz Gomez Jr., 23, conspiracy, distribution of methamphetamine; Marquiz Demitric Tucker, 44, conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; Labrea Leshawn Davis, 29, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; Robin Lee, 25, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; Nina Johnson, 35, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; (Docket # 1:15-cr-209 LJO); and Michael Muniz, 43, and Ruben Valdez Jr., 37, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. (Docket # 1:15-cr-211 LJO)

Assistant United States Attorney Brian Delaney of the Bakersfield office is prosecuting these cases in the Eastern District of California.

If convicted, the defendants face a statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine for the conspiracy, up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for racketeering. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The indictment unsealed on Tuesday in North Dakota charges the following 22 defendants with trafficking methamphetamine and heroin, firearms offenses and money laundering:

Ronnie Ray Taylor, 43, Bakersfield; Terrance Darshay Lynn Peterson, aka Turtle, 42, Minot, North Dakota; Victor Murillo, aka Vic, 32, Bakersfield; Debra Meladore Davis, 49, Minot; Bryan Keith Davis, 48, Minot; Regina Rose Lehman, 43, Minot; Michael John Gietl, 43, Minot; Robert Raymond Althaus, 44, Minot; Peggy Lee St. Claire, 53, Minot; Jade Marie Backman, 33, Minot; Jody Lee Deharty, 25, Minot; Ricky Dean Strahan, 56, Minot; Gerald Wayne Osby Jr., 22, Minot; James Alex Locklear, 27, Minot; Alyssa Jo Schlienz, 21, Minot; Audra Dezzari Harris, 39, Minot; Gilbert Eugene Graim Jr., 21, Bakersfield; Teoshalashanae M. Songcuan, 24, Bakersfield; Deandre Trayvon Peterson, 24, Minot; Jimmy Dale Price, 42, Minot; Miranda Leigh Grant, 30, Minot; Rodney Lee Jackson, 49, Carson, California.

Assistant United States Attorney Rick Volk is prosecuting these cases for the District of North Dakota.

These cases are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kern County Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bakersfield Police Department, Minot Police Department, Ward County Sheriff’s Office, Ward County Narcotics Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, Metro Area Narcotics Task Force, North Dakota Highway Patrol, and United States Border Patrol, with assistance from the Kern County Probation Department.

GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) – A 70-year-old Newberry man was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop for being accused of driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

Georgetown County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested William Danny Carpenter for possession of methamphetamine, 8554809_Gpossession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence, according to a news release from the GSCO. Carpenter is at the Georgetown County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Just before noon, Carpenter was stopped on Pleasant Hill Drive in the area of the International Paper Canal because he was driving erratically.

After the sheriff’s deputy performed the proper tests on Carpenter, due to suspicion he was under the influence of an unknown substance, he was arrested for DUI of methamphetamine.

During the vehicle’s inspection, the sheriff’s deputy discovered some objects and foreign substances which raised his concern of a possible mobile meth lab.

The vehicle was secured and as a safety precaution the area on Pleasant Hill Drive was closed.

Georgetown County EMS, the Georgetown County Fire Department and the 15th Judicial Circuit Tactical Meth Enforcement Team were called to the scene.

After completing the investigation, it was determined the vehicle was not a mobile meth lab although methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia and other controlled substances were discovered in the vehicle, the release states.

Pleasant Hill Drive reopened around 3 p.m.

FAIRBANKS – A North Pole man faces multiple charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend and threatening her with a sword while high on methamphetamine Tuesday night.

Travis Lee Fugate, 34, is charged with two counts of felony second-degree assault, felony coercion and misdemeanor fourth-degree assault for the incident.

The victim’s children were present in the home during the assault, according to charging documents.

Alaska State Troopers received a report from the victim’s employer on Tuesday morning that she had called in sick to work and seemed to be in distress, according to charging documents. The caller was aware the victim had problems with Fugate and was concerned he was holding her against her will.

Troopers responded to a North Pole address and the victim ran outside and said “thank God you guys are here,” according to charging documents. The victim was very emotional and said Fugate was high on methamphetamine and armed with swords.

Fugate appeared at the door and was unarmed. He exited the house at police command and was detained and read his Miranda rights, according to charging documents.

The victim told troopers she had gone to Fugate’s house the previous evening to have dinner. Fugate confronted her and accused her of conspiring against him online, then threw her to the floor. Fugate got on top of the victim and punched her, then drove his forearm into her neck when she tried to defend herself, according to charging documents.

The victim tried to roll over and Fugate placed her in a chokehold until she was unconscious, according to charging documents. She woke to find herself on the floor up against a wall with Fugate repeatedly punching her in the face.

Fugate grabbed a sword and put it to the victim’s neck and said this was the end for her, according to charging documents. The victim believed Fugate was going to kill her and begged him not to because her children needed her.

Fugate took the sword away and told the victim he would have killed her if it weren’t for the children.

The victim told troopers Fugate made her smoke meth with him by forcing her to breath in his exhalations after he took a hit off of his meth pipe. The victim said she inhaled about four or five hits of meth because Fugate told he would assault her if she didn’t.

Fugate told the victim she was going to stay at the house for one week, insisted on being within touching distance of her at all times and would not let her go to the bathroom without him present, according to charging documents.

Troopers found the victim’s three children playing video games in one of the bedrooms. They appeared to be safe and in good health, according to charging documents.

A meth pipe was found on a dresser in Fugate’s bedroom. A samurai sword was found under his bed and another samurai sword was found between the dresser and the closet. A set of brass knuckles was found on top of the bed.

The victim’s house keys and car keys were found in a seat cushion in the living room and her cell phone was found under Fugate’s bed, according to charging documents.

Two men were arrested Tuesday on complaints of manufacturing methamphetamine after an anonymous resident reported suspected drug activity to police.55cbc208826f0_image55cbc20898d51_image

Enid Police Department Lt. Tim Jacobi said Tuesday an anonymous person observed what appeared to be drug activity in and around room 141 at Knights Inn, 2901 S. Van Buren. The concerned resident checked the wooded area near the hotel and located an active meth lab.55cbc2086b76b_image

EPD narcotics officers responded and located the meth lab, Jacobi said. The investigation led to a search warrant for room 141 and a vehicle that had attempted to leave the scene.

“Officers located methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and numerous items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine in both the room and the vehicle,” Jacobi said. Two men, who were contract laborers for the Knights Inn, were arrested.

Enid Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Unit also responded to assist the narcotics officers in rendering the meth lab safe.

“This illegal drug activity may have continued, unchecked, without the help of this observant citizen,” said Narcotics Unit Sgt. Kevin Bezdicek. “We greatly appreciate their assistance.”

Robert Allen Patterson, 33, of Enid, was arrested on complaints of manufacturing methamphetamine, as well as Garfield and Alfalfa county warrants.

Justin Crim, 33, also of Enid, was arrested on complaints of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and driving under suspension.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The driver of the crashed Valisno Express bus tested positive for methamphetamine, the case investigator revealed on Thursday (August 13).

The crash on Quirino Highway on Wednesday (August 12) killed four people and injured at least 18 passengers.Valisno-Driver_CNNPH

Driver George Pacis fled from the scene after the accident, but was arrested at his home in Barangay Panginay in Balagtas, Bulacan on Wednesday afternoon.

He was then brought to the Scene of the Crime Operatives office at the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 10 in Kamuning for medico-legal examination and drug testing.

Passengers stated that Pacis was speeding and crashed at the concrete boundary marker separating Caloocan and Quezon City, Insp. Marlon Meman, commander of the QCPD Traffic Sector 2, who is investigating the case, said.

Meman said Pacis could be held liable for abandoning the victims, which is a violation of the Revised Penal Code.

He would also face charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries, and damage to property.

Valisno Express assured those injured and the families of those who died that it would shoulder hospital bills and burial assistance, respectively. It also promised to provide cash assistance.

On Thursday morning, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board confiscated the yellow plates of Valisno Express’ 62 buses, as part of its 30-day preventive suspension order.

Its drivers were also directed to take a road safety seminar, a drug test, and secure police and NBI clearances.

It was also ordered to undergo a roadworthiness inspection by the Land Transportation Office.