In 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law a ban on the over-the-counter sale of Sudafed and other medications that contain the decongestant pseudoephedrine. The law was designed to make it harder for drug dealers to use the drug, which is effective in fighting nasal congestion, as the basis for manufacturing crystal meth – a devastating and highly-addictive stimulant that the National Institutes of Health reports nearly 5 percent of Americans over age 12 have used in their lifetime.
Walgreens pharmacy manager Sarah Freedman stands in her store in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

Walgreens pharmacy manager Sarah Freedman stands in her store in Washington



 The law made it harder for meth cooks to get their hands on pseudoephedrine – it mandated that an individual present an identification to purchase Sudafed and similar products and limited how much they could buy each month – but it did not stop them. Indeed, the legislation gave rise to a practice known as “smurfing,” in which multiple individuals purchase as many pseudoephedrine-based products as they can each month and then sell them to meth cooks.


A Nexafed tablet.

As lawmakers grappled with the problem, a pair of pharmaceuticals companies were developing what it hoped would be a better solution. Their approach was grounded in this question: What if instead of making it harder for drug dealers to get their hands on pseudoephedrine-based drugs, you make it harder, or even impossible, for them to convert those drugs into methamphetamine?

 That’s the concept behind Acura Pharmaceuticals’ Nexafed and Westport Pharmaceuticals’ Zephrex-D, both of which are designed to offer all of the benefits of Sudafed while also disrupting efforts to convert pseudoephedrine into meth.

 The products are not a panacea: The DEA estimated last year that meth from Mexico accounts for 80 percent of the meth supply in the United States. While Mexico has outlawed pseudoephedrine, cartels there have turned to a chemically-intensive production method to produce crystal meth on a large scale.

What the new formulations could do, however, is reduce the negative impact of small meth labs in American communities.

The Mexican meth-production process is “not easily replicable” by a small-scale American meth producer, notes Detective Sgt. Jason “Jake” Grellner of the Franklin County (Missouri) Narcotics Task Force, a Vice President of the National Narcotic Officers Association and an expert on methamphetamine. “It’s time intensive, it’s chemical intensive.”


12 Photos

Family sickened by home’s meth lab past

Brad Rivet, vice president of marketing at Acura Pharmaceuticals, said that if Nexafed can help keep high-school students from being pulled into “smurfing” and the meth industry as a whole, the product will have an important impact. “The burns and explosions and all of the problems associated with these one-pot meth labs are just a scourge on communities,” he said.

 Nexafed has become available in 1,400 pharmacies across the country since it was put on the market seven months ago, according to the company, with the highest concentration in high-meth states like Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. (The company estimates that there are 65,000 pharmacies in the United States, which means that the product is in roughly 2.2 percent of them overall.) In West Virginia, the Fruth Pharmacy chain is in the process of removing other pseudoephedrine-based products in favor of Nexafed.

 “It is somewhat of a risky move by us as a retailer considering other large chains such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Wal Mart continue to stock the standard formulations,” said Craig Kimble, Director of Pharmacy and Clinical Services at Fruth, in an email. But, he added, “[w]e think it is the right thing to do for our communities and to aid law enforcement.”

 The version of Nexafed now available can still be used to make meth, though the yield is far smaller than what a meth cook can get from Sudafed and similar products. Two weeks ago, the company announced an improved formulation that it said initial testing showed could not be used to make meth at all. The current version of Nexafed has already gone through FDA-level bioequivalence testing to demonstrate that it is just as effective as Sudafed, though the new version has yet to be submitted for such testing. The company hopes to bring it to market by the end of the year.

 Zephrex-D, meanwhile, is on store shelves in the Saint Louis area, including at some major chains like CVS and Walgreens. In May, Westport Pharmaceuticals announced that independent testing had found that meth makers would have to spend $450 on Zephrex-D to get enough pseudoephedrine to convert it into one dose of meth, which sells on the street for about $30.

 The science behind how all this works is a little complicated, but the simple explanation is this: When the tablets are dissolved, they turn into a thick gel or gummy-like substance that effectively traps the pseudoephedrine, making it difficult or impossible to isolate it for meth production. (A graphic from Nexafed is below.)


Nexafed TechnologyNexafed Technology 

 The new products will only be effective in fighting meth production, of course, if they lead to the reduction or disappearance of the traditional formulations from pharmacy shelves. There are two ways this could happen: one, Nexafed and Zephrex-D replace those products, or two, the new technology is integrated into them.

 The latter appears more likely, in no small part because existing pseudoephedrine products generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year. Pfizer, which owned Sudafed until 2006, previously spent $15 to $25 million in an effort to make pseudoephedrine extraction impossible before it gave up. “The tough lesson that we learned is, as fast as we could do things, following all of the rules — the FDA guidelines and things that make drugs appropriately safe — well, the meth cooks could move a lot more quickly,” Pfizer executive Steven Robins told Frontline in 2005. “So every time we would try to create an enhancement that would block them, they changed their process so they could extract it.”

 Acura CEO Bob Jones acknowledged that meth cooks will do everything they can to find a way to extract pseudoephedrine if Nexafed technology takes hold. He said the company monitors websites where meth cooks publish workarounds for efforts to disrupt extractions.

 “Your average meth cook probably is not trying to figure this out – they’re simply following a recipe,” he said. “But the true innovators in this industry are some very smart chemists. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they were already working on this.”

 Rivet, the VP of marketing said his company is “in dialogue” with “several” large pharmaceutical companies about Nexafed, though the conversations appear to be preliminary. According to Jones, those companies are taking a “wait and see” approach to see how meth cooks respond to the product.

 If the new formulation survives scrutiny, he said, “I think they’re going to be forced to either add similar technologies to their products or think about removing their product from the market.” (Pfizer has already licensed another Acura product, Oxecta, which is being marketed as an abuse-deterrent alternative to OxyContin.) Representatives for Johnson and Johnson, the parent of the company that manufactures Sudafed, did not respond to requests for comment.


44 Photos

Meth’s devastating effects: Before and after

Grellner, an advocate for requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine in its current form, sees the new products as potentially bringing the era of homemade meth labs to an end. 

“Pseudophedrine is the key to ending the meth lab problem here in the United States,” he said. “It is not the key to ending the methamphetamine problem. That’s a problem of addiction.”



PEABODY — A Peabody man has been arrested by federal agents on charges that he had set up a methamphetamine lab inside the Holiday Inn on Route 1 last summer, a lab that was discovered after an explosion in a hotel room.

Joseph Penachio, 35, was arrested on Lynn Street early yesterday morning by a team that included federal agents, Peabody police and a SWAT team from the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

He was charged in an indictment last week with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, endangering human life while doing so and possession of precursor chemicals with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

The investigation was touched off by an explosion that happened in Room 119 of the Holiday Inn and Suites on Route 1, near the junction of Routes 128 and 95, on July 29, 2012.

Nearly 200 guests, including 25 children, and employees were evacuated from the hotel, where fumes were emanating from the room, police said at the time.

Investigators found indications that the room was being used as a meth lab, and a team from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s clandestine lab enforcement team opened an investigation.

If convicted, Penachio could face up to 40 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. Prosecutors are also seeking forfeiture of any assets Penachio may have that are linked to the alleged crimes.

Penachio made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston yesterday afternoon, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is scheduled to be back in court today for a detention hearing in the case.



WHITE LAKE — A multi-agency effort, spearheaded by the White Lake Police Department, led to the arrest of four individuals on numerous drug charges.

According to the investigative report, White Lake Police Chief Bruce Smith and Investigator Terry Fell responded to a “suspicious activity” call on Leisure Lane on Wednesday. When they arrived, a woman inside was unable to give the name of the owner but, when contact was made with the owner sometime later, the officers were given permission to search the residence.

When the house was searched, four individuals were inside and, moments later, a meth lab was located in a cabinet.

A search warrant was quickly issued for the house and the meth lab was processed.

All four individuals were arrested. They were:

— Brent Ray Jones, 31, of Lillington. He was charged with two counts of manufacturing meth, two counts of possession of meth precursors, conspiring to sell meth, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a weapon of mass destruction, resisting a public officer, possession of a firearm by a felon, fictitious information to an officer, larceny of motor fuel, no operators license and operating a vehicle without insurance. Additional charges are pending. He remains in the Bladen County Jail under a $197,000 secured bond.

— Virginia Marie Osborne, 20, of Erwin. She was charged with manufacturing meth, possession of meth precursors, conspiring to sell meth, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and felony conspiracy. She remains in the Bladen County Jail under a $155,000 secured bond.

— Holly Leighann Bass, 20, of Dunn. She was charged with manufacturing meth, possession of meth precursors, conspiracy to sell meth, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. She remains in the Bladen County Jail under a $140,750 secured bond.

— Weston Don Flowers, 25, of Lillington. He was charged with manufacturing meth, possession of meth precursors, conspiracy to sell meth, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and failure to appear. He remains in the Bladen County Jail under a $110,000 secured bond.

White Lake police were assisted in the case by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, State Bureau of Investigation officers and N.C. Ale agents.



Two Lafayette men were arrested Thursday after West Lafayette Police Department found an active one-pot method meth lab in one of the men’s backpack.

According to the press release, police noticed three “suspicious subjects meet” at the entrance of Parkway Apartments, located at 2501 Soldiers Home Road.

Clayton Jean

Clayton Jean

Scott Tomasko
Scott Tomasko

Police searched the backpack and the belongings indicated 20-year-old Scott Tomasko as the owner. He was arrested for suspicion of possession of an illegal drug lab.

Police found Clayton Jean, 20, had meth in his possession and was also arrested.

Throughout the last six months police have received an increased number of complaints and WeTips calls concerning the three Parkway Apartment complexes, said Lt. Troy Harris in the press release.

Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Unit responded and dismantled the lab.



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has arrested two men in connection with an active meth lab found Thursday in the Paradise Village Mobile Home Park.

Police were initially called to the park, located at 10201 W Beaver Street, at 11:30 a.m. to reports of a possible meth lab, according to JSO Public Information Officer Melissa Bujeda.

Uniformed officers approached very slowly and found there was something that needed to be investigated further. The lab was behind one of the trailers.

The two suspects, who have not yet been identified by JSO, were found to be in the woods, Bujeda said..

The cul de sac where the meth lab was found had about six to seven mobile homes around it. JSO’s Hazmat team was in the process of cleaning up the lab late Thursday afternoon.



PIKE COUNTY, ILL. — — Four men found themselves behind bars Wednesday when the Pike County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant in Pike Station along US 54.

Kyle A. Pressnall, 27, of Pike County; Kyle B. Smith, 24, of Pearl; Shawn P. Gillman, 26, of Vandalia and Travis L. Wooldridge, 22, of Pearl were arrested and according to police, numerous items were seized as a result of the search including methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and stolen property. The stolen property involved burglaries in Pike County and Calhoun County in Illinois.

Pressnall faces charges on an in-state warrant of arrest for theft, possession of methamphetamine and burglary.

Smith is charged with possession of methamphetamine and burglary.

Gillman is charged with possession of methamphetamine and intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Wooldridge’s charges are possession of methamphetamine and burglary.

Police say officials are continuing to investigate and the suspects involved in the burglaries are believed to have committed them over a period of two years. The number of burglaries exceeded 30 and most of them occurred in the Calhoun County area.

According to the Pike County Sheriff’s Department, officers seized evidence from a burglary that occurred within the past several hours which had not been reported to the authorities at the time of the search.

“This particular investigation involves several separate time periods of criminal behavior and at times included separate groups of the persons involved which can be extremely time consuming to determine who, what, when and where. Those deputies involved in the investigation are committed to identifying all victims and their property so that an accurate and true case can be made against those responsible. I commend the commitment to resolve these cases not only for the victims, but for the prosecution. It will be our goal to work closely with Calhoun County officials as the majority of this crime spree has occurred in their jurisdiction,” Sheriff Paul F. Petty stated.

All four men are lodged in the Pike County Jail pending a court appearance.

An attempt by Ardmore police to serve an arrest warrant Monday took an unexpected turn, resulting not in the arrest of the suspect for which they were looking, but two others on methamphetamine charges.

Sgt. Ryan Hunnicutt, APD public information officer, said officers went to a residence located in the 1000 block of D Street SE. They went into the house in search of the suspect. They found 19-year-old Brittanie Christian and 28-year-old Jonathan Davoult, both in possession of methamphetamine. The pair was arrested without incident and booked into the Carter County Detention Center.

Tuesday the couple was formally charged with felony possession of a controlled dangerous substance, as well as misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Court records also show Davoult faces outstanding warrant charges for failure to pay fines and costs in a series of misdemeanor cases.

Both made initial court appearances before Special District Judge Thomas Baldwin Tuesday afternoon. Bonds were set at $10,000 each.

Wednesday CCDC records showed both remained detained pending the posting of bond.

Preliminary conferences are set for 9 a.m. Sept. 17.



Wednesday, deputies with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Davis Drive in DeFuniak Springs.

The driver, 37 year old Ronnie D Wilson Jr of Glendale, Florida was arrested when deputies located methamphetamine in his vehicle.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics investigators responded to the scene and learned that Wilson was manufacturing methamphetamine in a camper located at 62 Magnolia Street.


The information obtained gave investigators probable cause and a search warrant was issued.

During a search of the residence, investigators located items used in the “Shake and Bake” method of manufacturing methamphetamines.

Investigators also located methamphetamine, digital scales and paraphernalia used to ingest methamphetamines.

Ronnie Wilson was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wilson was booked at the Walton County Jail.



CALEXICO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a Mexicali woman and her 19-year-old daughter after finding about $450,000 worth of methamphetamine hidden in their vehicle Wednesday.A canine team screening vehicles at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry around 11:30 a.m. alerted to a red 2007 Dodge Caliber, according to a CBP press release.

Officers escorted the vehicle and occupants to secondary inspection for further examination.

Officers then found 20 wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden in the rear seats and quarter panels of the vehicles. The narcotics had a combined weight of nearly 30 pounds.

The driver, Maria Lydia Jimenez-Murakami, 53, and her daughter Lydia Lizeth Ocampo-Jimenez, 19, both of Mexicali, were turned over to custody of Homeland Security Investigation agents.

The pair had advised CBP officers that they were on their way to go shopping in Calexico, according to the case complaint. The daughter denied knowledge of the methamphetamine hidden in the car, the complaint reads.

Both were later transported to Imperial County Jail to await arraignment. CBP seized both the car and narcotics.


Steamboat Springs — Police say they found 149 grams of methamphetamine Wednesday in a Steamboat Springs hotel room where a 40-year-old man was staying.

Cory Alexander Sohonyay was arrested at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday on an unrelated arrest warrant for failing to appear in court. Once he was taken into custody, officers with the All Crimes Enforcement Team drug task force got a search warrant for a room at the Holiday Inn of Steamboat Springs as well as a motorcycle. A judge has sealed the search warrant, so details about the ACET investigation are not known.

Photo detail

Cory Alexander Sohonyay


ACET Commander Marvin Cameron wrote in an arrest affidavit that he searched a backpack in Sohonyay’s hotel room and found two bags containing 5.2 ounces of a substance that later tested positive as methamphetamine. Investigators think Sohonyay was going to sell the drug.

The search also revealed a prescription bottle with about 50 pain pills.

The Routt County District Attorney’s Office has formally filed charges against Sohonyay. He has been charged with possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance, a Class 3 felony. He also was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Class 6 felony related to the oxycodone.

Sohonyay appeared before Routt County Judge James Garrecht on Thursday by video conference.

Routt County Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle argued a high bond should be set, partly because of Sohonyay’s 17-page criminal history that included a 1997 methamphetamine drug trafficking conviction that led to a prison term.

Prindle also argued Sohonyay was a danger to the community because of the methamphetamine police say they found in his hotel room.

“Mr. Sohonyay was about to introduce that drug into our community,” Prindle said.

Sohonyay asked that a reasonable bond be set so he could possibly post it and take care of personal matters before facing the consequences related to the charges.

“I’m not a threat to anyone except myself,” Sohonyay said.

Garrecht set his bond at $300,000 and told Sohonyay to get a lawyer.

“The charges you are facing have some significant consequences, so the sooner you can get an attorney, the better off you will be,” Garrecht said.

Sohonyay is due back in court at 1 p.m. Wednesday.



REDLANDS — A middle school teacher was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and being under the influence of a stimulant, according to police.

The Redlands Police Department’s narcotics team took Jennifer Krogman, 40, into custody around 3 p.m. at her home in the 1600 block of Apollo Way in Beaumont, according to Redlands police Lt. Travis Martinez.

Jennifer Krogman

“We received a report that she was packaging methamphetamine to be mailed,” Martinez said, adding that she was packaging a “small amount” of the controlled substance to be shipped out of state.

Krogman teaches physical education, dance and health sciences at Clement Middle School.

She was taken to Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, where she was cited and released early Thursday.

Redlands Unified School District was unable to be reached for comment Thursday evening, but the district reportedly released a statement saying once drug allegations have been confirmed, it is district policy to place the employee on paid administrative leave when she returns from summer break on Aug. 14.

Krogman is at least the second district teacher to be arrested during this summer break. About six hours before Krogman was arrested, former high school teacher Laura Whitehurst pleaded guilty to six felony counts of illegal sex acts with three minors who attended Redlands high schools.


SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) – Two Eldorado men and a woman are facing drug charges after a traffic stop this week in Saline County. And, a Raleigh man faces meth related charges after officers searched his home and reportedly found the drug.

According to Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown, Matthew B. Wood, 31, of Eldorado, was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors.

Christina Rector, 24, was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors.


David Rector (Source: Saline County SO)

David Rector


Christina Rector (Source: Saline County SO)

Christina Rector

Jason Potts (Source: Saline County SO)

Jason Potts

David M. Rector, 28, of Eldorado, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, officer found meth materials after a search of a Raleigh man’s home on July 29.

Jason B. Potts, 39, of Raleigh faces charges of participation with meth manufacturing, unlawful possession of anhydrous ammonia, meth-manufacturing waste and possession of meth.

The Southern Illinois Drug Task Force was assisted by the Illinois Meth Response Team.

The case is still under investigation.



Police in Weber County say they have arrested 14 people and seized $400,000 in a four-county methamphetamine bust.

On Tuesday, the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force wrapped up an investigation that began in 2012 and arrested four people accused of being at the top of the delivery chain. Two men in Taylorsville and West Jordan are accused of dealing large amounts of meth to another West Jordan man, who would allegedly delivered it to a man in Uintah City. The man in Uintah City then broke the pounds of meth into smaller quantities and sold it to distributers in Utah, Davis, Weber and Cache counties.

In June, officers arrested seven accused distributors in Ogden, Brigham City, North Ogden, and Thayne, Wyo. On Tuesday, they served search warrants at the suspects homes in West Jordan, Taylorsville and Uintah City as well as an address in Layton, police wrote in a press release Wednesday.

The four suspected dealers were arrested, along with a woman who allegedly was in possession of methamphetamine at one of the West Jordan homes and the father of the accused Uintah City dealer, who is suspected of trying to destroy evidence when the search warrant was served.

Three pounds of meth was uncovered, police wrote.

The FBI also was involved in the investigation.



KENDALLVILLE — A strong chemical odor led police to an active meth-making operation with several one-pot meth labs inside a Pleasant Street house Tuesday night, resulting in the arrests of five Kendallville people on drug charges, Kendallville police said.

Those arrested on drug charges including manufacturing methamphetamine were: Robert Williams Jr., 40, of the 1800 block of Oak Tree Road, Kendallville; and Holly Coleman, 37, Jeremy Coleman, 41, Shannon Sizemore, 37, and Heather Smith, 35, all of the 400 block of Pleasant Street, Kendallville. All were booked into the Noble County Jail.



BEDFORD - 30-year-old Jeremy Hanners was arrested on a warrant Tuesday on allegations that he was with two others at Wilson Park dealing meth.

Hanners has been charged with dealing meth, possession of meth, possession of a chemical agent or precursor with the intent to manufacture meth and possession of marijuana.



According to a probable cause affidavit in the early morning hours of June 23 a Bedford Police officer noticed a dark-colored vehicle stopped in the circle of Wilson Park near the horseshoe pits.

The officer drove toward the vehicle to notify the driver the park was close, but as that officer approached the vehicle the driver began to drive away, but then suddenly stopped on the west side of the circle and pulled to the side of the road.

That is when the officer pulled the vehicle over to tell the occupants the park was closed.
According to the probable cause affidavit, the driver Andrew Wilson told police he was having car trouble.

Hanners was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle and got out to help work on the vehicle.
Another passenger in the vehicle, Frankie Meadows. When police checked for warrants they discovered Meadow was wanted.

Officers also discovered Wilson had a suspended license with a prior offense.
And both were arrested at the scene.

Before taking Wilson to jail, officers searched him and found eight alprazolam pills, used to treat anxiety, he did not have a prescription for. They also discovered marijuana in Wilson’s underwear, meth and three .pseudoephedrine pills.

Hanners was not wanted on any warrants so he was allowed to leave.

Before having the vehicle towed, officers took inventory of the contents and that is when they found bottles with a white substance inside, as well as Coleman camp fuel, a common ingredient for making meth.

The Lawrence County Drug Task Force and Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Team were called to the scene.

ISP troopers collected evidence and found four one-pot meth labs and one generator, along with several precursors used to make meth. They also found marijuana and meth and pseudoephedrine.

They then requested an arrest warrant for Hanners.



ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – Three people were arrested on meth charges after a search warrant was executed at a home in Taylorsville, according to the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.

The search warrant was executed on July 27, at a home on Blue Jay Drive. Officers said they seized “a quantity” of methamphetamine from the home.

Tonya Moore Ferguson, 41, was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, maintain a dwelling for controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell and deliver a scheduled II controlled substance. Her bond was set at $85,000.


Jennifer Denise Vanhorn, 36

Jennifer Denise Vanhorn, 36

Tonya Moore Ferguson, 41

Tonya Moore Ferguson, 41


Joel Stephen Carter, 49

Joel Stephen Carter, 49

Joel Stephen Carter, 49, was arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver a scheduled II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $8,000.

Jennifer Denise Vanhorn, 36, was also arrested. She was charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver a scheduled II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, and given an $8,000 bond.

All three were given a trial date, set for July 29

Medan Customs and Excise Office have foiled an attempt to smuggle 10.3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, known locally as shabu-shabu, from Malaysia into Indonesia via newly opened Kuala Namu International Airport in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra.

The office claimed that the abortive attempt to smuggle the crystal meth worth Rp 20 billion (US$1.9 million) was the biggest drug smuggling bust in Indonesia so far this year.

“This was also the first ever drug smuggling attempt foiled by the office since the Kuala Namu airport opened last week,” North Sumatra Customs and Excise Office’s head Harry Mulya said on Wednesday afternoon.

Harry said the smuggling attempt was discovered when an official inspected luggage being carried by a female passenger on an AirAsia aircraft from Malaysia which had landed at Kuala Namu at 7:45 a.m. local time on Tuesday.

Officials found the 10.3 kilograms of crystal meth packed in 14 different plastic bags. “The packages were hidden in the walls of two cardboard boxes,” said Harry.

In questioning, the suspect identified only by her initials WA said she planned to bring the crystal meth to Batam.

Harry said both the suspect and evidence had been handed over to the North Sumatra Police for further investigation.

“We are still searching for the suspect’s husband who is allegedly involved in drug smuggling from Malaysia,” said the police’s head of narcotics division, Adj.Sr.Comr.Yustan. (ebf)


 On Tuesday afternoon at approximately 4:30 Plymouth Police Officer Jeremy Enyart responded to the residence at 110 North Walnut Street in reference to a tip of a possible meth manufacturing operation at the residence.


Officer Enyart made contact with 32 year old Susan M. Suire who resides at the residence. She and her two children were transported to the Plymouth Police Department for an interview. At that time she gave both verbal and written consent to search the residence at 110 North Walnut Street.


As Officers searched the residence, material used for one pot meth lab operations were located in a container outside of the home. That container had a large amount of meth sludge that was still in its active stage and releasing fumes.

35 year old Donald W. Smith of Walkerton was at the residence and admitted to disposing of the manufacturing items in the outside container. Smith was taken into custody and booked for dumping controlled substance waste. He was held on a $1,505 cash bond.

Susan Suire was transported to the Marshall County Jail and booked in for dealing, delivering and or manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or housing unit. She was also booked for the illegal drug lab and neglect of a dependent-endangering life or health charges and was held on no bond.

Suire’s 21 month old son and 9 year old daughter were removed from the home and placed in the care of relatives by the Department of Child Services.

The Indiana State Police Clandestine Team responded to the location and assisted in the dismantle and disposal of all the hazardous material.



A 31 year old Crawfordville man was arrested Tuesday for operating a meth lab out of his home.

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit arrested Benjamin Franklin Graham, Jr. after an investigation that began in May.
Officers were able to purchase marijuana and methamphetamine from Graham, which allowed them to obtain a search warrant which was executed Tuesday morning.
During the search, deputies discovered an active chemical reaction in a bathroom and an active “gas generator” located in a tub.
All of the items located in the bathroom were necessary components for the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Deputies also found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and approximately 40 grams of marijuana along with a surveillance camera, computer and televisions.
Graham was charged with possession of methamphetamine, sale of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and sale of marijuana.
Graham was transported to the Wakulla County Jail without incident.
He is being held in the jail under a $250,000 bond.
Additional charges are anticipated.


Two other adults and five juveniles inside the home were taken out of the home for safety reasons.

 The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office yesterday charged a man with Manufacturing Methamphetamine after an early morning arrest. 45-year-old Charles Ray Griffin of 6125 Whitmire Highway, Clinton was arrested Monday morning and held for a warrant.

In the Manufacturing Methamphetamine charge served later in the day, Sheriff’s Cpl Nicholas Moye states that on July 29th one Charles Ray Griffin had in his possession items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine at 6125 Whitmire Highway, Clinton. During arraignment, a Surety bond was set at $15,000. Charles Griffin remained in the Johnson Detention Center earlier today.


PANAMA CITY -A man who bragged from theBayCountyJail of being the best at cooking crystal meth was sentenced to seven years in prison after making a deal with prosecutors to help his mom out of trouble, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

Billy James McMullen, 31, pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges on the eve of trial after prosecutors charged his mother with perjury in an official proceeding. McMullen changed his plea when prosecutors told him the charge against his mother would be reduced to a misdemeanor from a felony.

McMullen was arrested in June 2012, after a property owner entered their barn on North Berthe Avenue and found him shaking a meth lab. He ran from the scene and left his batch of meth, which was still cooking when the law arrived. He wasn’t arrested immediately, but when he was, officers found him cooking meth.

In the jail, McMullen was recorded in telephone conversations saying he “never met nobody better than him” at cooking meth.

Earlier this year, in an evidentiary hearing, McMullen’s mother testified that he was living with her, as his probation required. That turned out not to be true, as she later admitted in a recorded jail call, and she was charged with felony perjury.



Authorities in Lexington, South Carolina arrested six people over the weekend for their alleged involvement in operating an illegal meth lab.

Local television station WOLO reports that when authorities arrived at the suspected home, they were able to smell a strong chemical odor associated with meth. Once they got inside the residence, they noticed a thick haze filling the home.

The State reports that the lab, which was discovered on Friday night, is just one of 44 meth labs broken up by authorities in Lexington this year. So far, including the six that were just arrested for their alleged involved in this lab, authorities have arrested 66 people for meth related charges in 2013.

The six arrested individuals were all taken to area jails and are being held on bail.



MOORE — A Moore couple was charged Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court after police found methamphetamine and paraphernalia in the family’s vehicle after a traffic stop.

Stephen Dewayne Cope, 40, and Martha Suzanne Cope, 31, were both charged with possession of controlled substances in the presence of minors. Stephen Cope also faces a charge of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Stephen, Martha and their three children were all in the vehicle during the stop at Northwest 12th Street and Broadway Street in Moore. The children ranged in age from 4 to 11.

Martha Cope was placed under arrest immediately after police found out she had an outstanding felony warrant for her arrest in Oklahoma County. When police asked about her drug use, she admitted to ingesting methamphetamines the day before, according to the affidavit filed with charges. When the officer concluded the traffic stop, he then asked Stephen Cope about his drug activity. He admitted to injecting and smoking methamphetamines several months ago, the affidavit said.

After the admitted drug use from both parents, police asked to search the vehicle. When the couple consented, the officer found a plastic bottle containing a glass methamphetamine smoking pipe, a plastic bottle containing jewelry baggies with a crystal-like substance and a defaced prescription bottle, the document said. All of the items were found tucked underneath the center floor gear shift frame on the driver’s side, records show.

Along with the numerous jewelry baggies, a baggie containing about one gram of the same crystal-like substance was found in the plastic bottle. The prescription bottle contained a pill later identified as Tramadol, a Schedule IV drug, records show.

Police then arrested Stephen Cope and he admitted to owning the substance. He also told police that Martha uses the meth from the clear plastic container that was found in the vehicle, the affidavit said.

The children were released to a family member who responded to the stop. Both of the parents have been previously convicted of possession of controlled dangerous substances in Oklahoma County.



More than 60 percent of all inmates in the Franklin County Jail are incarcerated due to methamphetamine-related offenses, according to Sheriff Tim Fuller.

Additionally, half of all pseudoephedrine sales in the county are not being used for allergy and cold symptoms, said Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young.

“Fifty percent of all products that contain pseudoephedrine sold in Franklin County are purchased by those connected to the production of methamphetamine,” he said. “This is not acceptable here and shouldn’t be accepted by our society.”

To push back on meth production, five Franklin County cities recently passed a law requiring a prescription for cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in meth.

Two cities in neighboring Grundy County have also followed suit and the city of Manchester, after considering similar action, tabled a motion by vice mayor Ryan French on the advice of city attorney Gerald Ewell.

Five Franklin County cities recently passed laws requiring a prescription for cold medi-cines containing pseudoephedrine. Tullahoma officials have said they will wait until a de-cision on the law’s legality is issued by the state’s attorney general. -- Staff Photo by Ian Skotte

Five Franklin County cities recently passed laws requiring a prescription for cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Tullahoma officials have said they will wait until a decision on the law’s legality is issued by the state’s attorney general.


According to the Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association, these ordinances may have gone too far too soon, and cities that ban over-the-counter pseudoephedrine sales could be opening themselves up to possible lawsuits.

And, all that legislation could be null and void.

“We believe that it is likely that a court considering the legality of a local jurisdiction’s attempt to require a prescription for an immediate methamphetamine precursor would find that the local measure is superseded by and/or contrary to the State statute and, therefore, void,” according to an opinion written by Michael Hess with the legal firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC.

“The firm cannot decide that any ordinance requiring a prescription would be in violation to state law; however, we do believe it likely that a court could reasonably rule to such effect.”

Fuller and Young disagree.

“It takes a grassroots effort to get something like this done,” said Fuller.

“We are totally within our rights,” added Young, who said he has worked with Winchester’s lawyer to ensure they are on legal ground with the ban.

“We are fighting the pharmaceutical companies who don’t want the sale of pseudoephedrine to stop,” he said.

“It’s got to stop.”

State Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet calls the legislation by cities like Winchester, “bad public policy.”

Beavers is the author of the “I Hate Meth Act,” a law that won’t allow pharmacies to sell to a person more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine per day or more than 9 grams per 30-day period, unless the person has a valid prescription.

Pharmacies also have to log information that has to be sent at least every 24 hours to the Tennessee Meth Information System database operated by law enforcement.

In a recent editorial, Beavers wrote, “I can personally attest that this law was intended as a comprehensive response to our state’s meth problem, with the secondary function of supplanting any attempt by localities to act on this issue in the future. The localized piecemeal approach taking place right now is exactly what we were trying to avoid with the passage of the act.

She quotes a Drug Enforcement Administration report that found 80 percent of all the country’s meth comes from Mexico.

“She’s drinking the Kool-aid,” said Young. “She isn’t listening to law enforcement because the meth isn’t coming from Mexico…it’s all right here.”

Laws passed by cities in Franklin and Grundy counties, according to Beavers, are a violation of existing law.

“The main concern is that cities do not have the authority to do this,” said Dennis Huffer, a member of the Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association.

Huffer recommends any other city wait for authoritative advice from the state attorney general before proceeding to do something they possibly can’t do.

“The state law appears to leave little ground for cities to act in this area,” he said.

Manchester is currently waiting for the attorney general to opine on the law before moving forward with any laws on its own.

“We could fix this with one strike of the pen,” said Young. “The state is losing $1.6 billion every year to fight meth. Our towns are losing $4.5 million every year just to clean up meth.

“By making meth prescription only, we could stop children from being subjected to pain…It’s a no-brainer for me.”

Sheriff Fuller said residents would still be able to obtain medication for their allergies.

“There are more than 137 types of over-the-counter medications for cold and allergies that don’t contain pseudoephedrine,” he said.

Oddly, some of the towns don’t even have a drugstore.

“At this time we do not have a pharmacy open in those jurisdictions, but it’s still imperative that we cover all of Franklin County to make sure we don’t leave a back door open,” said Young.

ST. JOHN’S COUNTY, Fla. — Police responded to a suspicious vehicle report on July 29 around 6:30 a.m.

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office police found a male and female in possession of an active “one pot meth lab” with several instruments used in the production of methamphetamines.

According to SJCSO police reports, a green Nissan Xterra was backing out of an empty overgrown lot at 2661 Juarez Avenue, and when Deputy T. Evans drove up behind it with his spotlight on, the driver immediately put his hands outside his window.

Christina Spivey, 32

John Stone, 30



Evans approached the vehicle, and noticed a marijuana pipe in plain view on the dash, according to his report. Upon asking the female passenger to exit the vehicle, he saw what he believed to be an active meth lab, based on his training and experience.

Evans witnessed a clear soda bottle with an unknown liquid and lithium strips bubbling on the passenger floorboard, according to his report.

Both suspects, John Stone, 30, and Christina Spivey, 32, were detained and separated for further investigation. The Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team and the Special Investigation Unit were notified and responded to process the scene.

It was revealed that Stone was wanted in Jacksonville on outstanding warrants and in an attempt to not “catch another charge,” according to Evans’ report. Stone called him over and spit a white baggie out onto the ground in front of Evans and Deputy D. Christie.

Evans field tested the white powder substance in the bag, and it was positive for methamphetamine, the release detailed.

The “one pot meth lab” was removed from the vehicle and the St. John’s County Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team disassembled the lab and field tested the bottle with the fluid, which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The team also processed the metal pipe from the dash with residue, pipe cutters, a black lock box, a red funnel, salt in a plastic jug, lithium batteries, ammonia pellets in a plastic bag, unknown residue in a coffee filter, unknown pills in a cigarette pack, a clear baster, two tubes with residue and scissors, all found in the vehicle, according to Detective R. Smith’s report.

Local DNA Index System swabs were taken from a bottle of sulfuric acid, Coleman fuel, and an unknown powder in a white bottle. Each suspect also consented to a LODIS swab, and their fingerprints were taken.

The team was decontaminated by Fire/Rescue Personnel and removed from their suits. All the hazardous chemicals and materials were photographed and properly disposed of.

Post Miranda, Stone admitted that he had been “cooking” meth and the bottle located in his vehicle was the vessel he had utilized. He also admitted that the substance in the plastic baggy that had been in his mouth was methamphetamine, according to Smith’s report.

Spivey stated that she has purchased pseudoephedrine several times in the past month “so John could make meth”, according to Smith’s report. She stated in her affidavit that she was bringing her boyfriend the ingredient and knew he was going to manufacture methamphetamine.

According to Evans’ report, Spivey bought the materials because she was afraid of Stone, who allegedly abused her and she stated that she asked Stone not to bring any materials in the vehicle. Stone told Evans that everything in the vehicle was his and that she had nothing to do with it.

Stone and Spivey were arrested and transported to the county jail. They were charged with second degree felony of production of methamphetamine, first degree felony of possession of methamphetamine and second degree felony of distribution of listed chemical for manufacture.