Comments Off on All-time Record for Methamphetamine Related Incidents Continues to Grow in Maine

Mattawamkeag, Me – The record for methamphetamine incidents in the State continues to grow, the 51st was earlier today. This is seventh time in the past two weeks, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has responded to a methamphetamine incident – the latest an outside location in Mattawamkeag.Meth+Incident

Tuesday the MDEA meth lab response team was called to a wooded area behind a cemetery on Hathaway Road in Mattawamkeag. The items found were consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine and likely had been discarded there. Officers from the Lincoln Police Department had located the site, as part of ongoing investigation they were conducting.

Since last Tuesday, drug agents have worked on active meth labs inside houses in Brewer, Bangor and Wells, dump sites in Bangor and Paris, and a South Portland incident where the ingredients to make the drugs was found in a backpack. The Mattawamkeag incident is the 51st meth lab response this year by drug agents – an all-time record. There were 37 incidents in 2014.



Comments Off on ‘Night of horror’: Shavontae Green, 26, of Omaha, sentenced to decades in prison for rape, torture of 38-year-old woman over laptop – blamed Methamphetamine

An Omaha woman will serve at least 25 years in prison for her part in a “night of horror” that included the savage torture and rape of a woman over payment for a laptop computer.

Douglas County District Judge J Russell Derr sentenced Shavontae Green, 26, to 51 to 65 years in prison — a term that is cut in half under state law.54d4f97786dfa_image

Prosecutor Molly Keane said Green deserved a stiff sentence after helping her boyfriend, Ronald Ford, brutalize the woman “over a few dollars.”

“This case is horrendous,” Keane said. “Even calling it extreme is an understatement. What this woman went through is unbelievable.”

Green’s attorney, Mallory Hughes, said Green was under the influence of two things that night — Ford and methamphetamine.

Green and Ford had a 10-year relationship fraught with domestic violence, Hughes said. Green also had been using meth the day of the attack.

That doesn’t excuse her behavior, but it helps explain why she stood by as Ford brutalized the victim, Hughes said.

Keane said Green did more than just stand by — she took part in the assault and cover-up.

According to Keane:

Green’s boyfriend, Ronald Ford, had been upset — alleging that the woman’s boyfriend had shorted him on a payment for a laptop computer.

He and Green drove to the boyfriend’s house, hoping to collect. He wasn’t there.

They beat his 38-year-old girlfriend, then kidnapped her and took her to their home near 28th and Lothrop Streets.

There, they beat her some more, sexually assaulted her, made her perform a sex act on Ford, burned her with a cigarette butt, whipped her with a chain and sodomized her with a leg broken off from a table.

They assaulted her with chemicals, pouring boiling water over her shoulder and chest and bleaching her genitals.

Green then took the woman into her bedroom, where she put makeup on her before forcing her into the bathtub and pouring more bleach on her.

The victim’s boyfriend called police after he got home and saw the apartment had been broken into and his girlfriend was missing.

Officers surrounded Ford’s house. Green pushed the woman outside and eventually came outside, too. Ford was found hiding in a hole in the wall of a closet. He is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

Keane praised the efforts the woman made to recover — and the resolve she had to stick with the case. The woman suffered burns from the bleach and the chemicals.

“This obviously has affected her entire life,” Keane said. “She lives with this daily. She will never be the same.”



Comments Off on Crystal Methamphetamine: The ‘nuclear weapon’ of drugs

Since 2010, 22 people have been convicted for felony crystal methamphetamine trafficking, distribution or possession in the Wood River Valley. In addition, a handful of Blaine County jail inmates and Wood River Valley residents are currently awaiting court appearances for various methamphetamine charges.

    “Unfortunately, it still is a very accessible drug in the valley,” Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey said. “The Idaho Meth Project has been on an educational path for several years, but we still see it fairly often.”

While other drugs such as cocaine and marijuana often originate in Mexico or South America, Ramsey said he believes the crystal methamphetamine that is sold in Blaine County comes from the Boise area.

    “We haven’t seen it here, but in the Treasure Valley, people will rent a hotel room and make it in the bathtub,” he said. “I honestly don’t believe that much of it is coming from Mexico—they have their own trade and I think it is being manufactured right here in Idaho or in Oregon.”

Ramsey said that when he visited Tennessee recently, crystal meth seemed to be a problem there, as well.

    “People were transporting it right on the interstate,” he said.

Combating the problem

Idaho Meth Project Executive Director Adrean Cavener said the nonprofit organization’s goal is to prevent methamphetamine use among adolescents and teens through media campaigns and community outreach.

     “We do media school presentations, safe and drug-free activities for teens that include graduation parties for alternative high schools,” she said. “They don’t have parent teacher associations and booster clubs.”

Cavener said the organization has presented at Wood River High School assemblies for the past three years. She said the assemblies usually involve a presentation showing the negative effects of the drug on the human body, and former addicts share their stories regarding meth addiction.

    “We reach out to Idaho schools every year and they also reach out to us,” she said. “A lot of nonprofits say they are an Idaho organization but are just based out of places like Boise. We are truly all over the state.”

Idaho Meth Project commercials illustrate the horrors of crystal meth addiction, showing scenes in which teenage girls sell their scab-covered bodies to seedy, older dealers in exchange for the drug.

    “What we promised teens is that we will never sensationalize the drug world, but we’re not going to sugar-coat it either,” she said. “I think that teenagers have a finely tuned radar, so being candid is what we are about.”

According to data compiled by the Idaho Meth Project, 80 percent of the methamphetamine in Idaho comes from Mexico. In 2013, more than half of Idaho inmates attributed their incarceration to meth addiction.

    “Because we are importing meth, it is cheaper, more available and in higher purities than even five years ago,” Cavener said.

History and science behind meth

Meth use may have played a large role in the shaping of the modern world. In his recently published book, “Der Totalle Rush” (“The Total Rush”), German writer Norman Ohler alleges that Nazi air pilots and ground troops took a drug called Pervitin, essentially methamphetamine in a pill form, to stay alert and awake during combat operations. Ohler’s book claims the drug was sold over the counter in the first half of the 20th century in pharmacies across Europe and was eventually handed out to Nazi soldiers on the front lines of World War II.

According to the Foundation for a Drug Free World, a nonprofit organization that distributes drug information in pamphlets worldwide, large doses of methamphetamine were given to Japanese Kamikaze pilots before missions in the South Pacific during World War II. Shortly after the end of the war, large supplies previously stored for military use were made available to the public, and abuse by injection reached epidemic proportions in Japan. In the U.S. during the 1950s, methamphetamine was prescribed as an antidepressant and diet aid, but was generally outlawed in the 1970s. Motorcycle gangs distributed crystal meth in the ’70s and ’80s to consumers too poor to afford cocaine until Mexican cartels began to dominate meth trafficking and production in the ’90s.

Since the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 was enacted by Congress, American consumers are limited to the amount of nonprescription cold and allergy products they can purchase containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine. Those substances are used to make crystal methamphetamine, and buyers are required to show identification and sign a log book when buying the products.

However, American doctors can still prescribe a form of meth, methamphetamine hydrochloride, for children and adults with attention-deficit hyperactive disorder and obesity.

Dr. Petros Levounis, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Medical School in New Jersey, said crystal methamphetamine is a far stronger than its pill cousins. He said it raises the dopamine levels of the nucleus accumbens, located directly behind the prefrontal cortex in the brain.

    “That is the center of the brain that is responsible for pleasure and reward,” Levounis said. “Most people hypothesize that crystal methamphetamine, in the way that it is smoked and used, probably jumps the dopamine level at 4,000 or more [percent] above its baseline.”

Levounis said an average dopamine baseline stands at 100 percent, sex raises dopamine levels in the brain to 200 percent and cocaine use raises an individual’s dopamine levels to 350 percent.

    “So, in a sense, crystal methamphetamine is the nuclear weapon in the brain, contrasted to conventional weapons of alcohol, cocaine and marijuana,” he said.

Crystal meth hijacks the pleasure reward pathways of the brain, Levounis said, making the drug the most important thing in a user’s life.

    “At the same time, it reduces the rational parts, specifically the cognitive centers found more in the frontal part of the brain,” he said. “That combination makes a person severely addicted to crystal methamphetamine.”

Levounis said meth users also experience a direct toxic effect on the neurons in the brain.

    “The toxic effect destroys parts of the neurons that do regenerate, but when they regenerate, they do so in a much more chaotic fashion,” he said. “That’s why we see that people who have abused crystal methamphetamine for a long time are quite likely to suffer from some kind of sequelae—loss of concentration, loss of short- and long-term memory and things of that sort.

“In general, we are amazed at how forgiving the body is to abuse of drugs. However, with crystal methamphetamine, that particular toxic effect seems to be irreversible.”

Not only will crystal meth cause long-term brain damage, Levounis said, but the physical effects of the drug’s use are also apparent in addicts. Many suffer from skin abscesses and poor dentition.

He said there exists effective medication for tobacco and opioid use, but there is no current medication that can help meth users kick their habit.

    “It has been the Holy Grail of my field to find something but we haven’t been able to,” Levounis said. “However, we do have very successful psychotherapies and psychosocial interventions for crystal methamphetamine addiction.”

Levounis said he has noticed that when a drug becomes popular in New York, it generally spreads to the West Coast, and vice versa. But with crystal methamphetamine, that wasn’t the case.

    “It became huge in the West and Southwest but not the New York area,” he said.

Meth is used on the East Coast primarily by gay men who consume the drug in conjunction with sex to enhance their experience, Levounis said. He said that when he spoke at a conference in Oregon a couple of years ago, nobody on the West Coast had heard of the drug primarily being used that way.

    “On the West Coast, and I assume Idaho as well, it’s not particularly a sexual drug, it’s more of a recreational drug,” he said. “It has a very different profile and suits men and women, gay and straight.”






Comments Off on Stealing cows for Methamphetamine: Oklahoma links cattle thefts to drug use

OKEENE, Okla. — It likely took thieves a bag of feed, a cattle trailer and 15 minutes to steal 20 cows from rancher Doug Barnes. It took about three months for him to find out.

“I could tell someone had been here, but I had a neighbor who had some cows out and I thought maybe they’d used my corrals to catch ’em,” said Barnes. “I found out later that wasn’t the case.”cattle

Twenty cows at about a thousand dollars a head means Barnes will have to take a bank loan to stay in business, and he’s not the only one. In the northwest corner of Oklahoma, authorities estimate that at least 100 head of cattle have gone missing thanks to the efforts of a cattle-rustling ring operating in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.

“Everybody’s watching everybody now,” said Barnes. “We’ve got neighbors driving the road at night trying to catch somebody.”

Cattle rustling may seem like an antiquated crime from the Wild West, but modern-day cattle rustlers have traded in their horses for pickup trucks and are stealing for a very contemporary reason.

“I could say that probably better than 70 percent of the people that we arrest are associated somehow with the illegal use of narcotics,” said Jerry Flowers, chief agent for the Oklahoma Agriculture, Food and Forestry Department. “That, in Oklahoma, is normally methamphetamine.”

Because of drought, beef prices have nearly doubled since 2009. Today, a single cow can fetch up to $2,700. Over the last two years, according to the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, livestock and agriculture producers in Oklahoma alone lost around $3 million in revenue to cattle rustlers, and on average, about 3,000 cattle are reported stolen in the state every year. Only about 45 percent get recovered by law enforcement.

Over the last four years the number of meth labs in Oklahoma has dropped significantly. Authorities shut down 930 clandestine labs in 2011. Last year, only 177 were discovered. However, during that same time period, officials saw meth produced in Mexico reach an average purity level of 90 percent while the number of meth busts at the border nearly tripled.

Much of the product that does get through ends up in the Sooner State.

“The only way to really describe what the meth situation is in Oklahoma is to call it an epidemic,” said Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. “These people stay high for days at a time. It often costs money to feed their addiction — [money] they don’t have — so they resort to impacting innocent people to get money, whether that’s through identity theft, cattle rustling, stealing trailers, or stealing copper off of construction sites.”

A typical cattle-rustling case looks a lot like an auto theft case. Investigators chase paper trails, interrogate suspects and follow leads. But the cattle market moves quickly, and a cow sold in Oklahoma City in the morning can be in South Dakota by nightfall. And when stolen cows go straight to slaughter, all evidence is effectively destroyed.

“We’ve certainly seen an increase in the number of reported thefts and reported theft investigations over the past couple of years,” said Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. “We think the primary reason for that is because the value of cattle has increased so much so over the past years.”

In 2009, the average price of beef to consumers was $3.89 per pound. In September of this year, that price tag had jumped to $6.07 per pound. The average cow weighs 1,300 pounds and after processing yields around 700 pounds of beef. Many farmers can’t keep 24-hour surveillance on their cows, and with some herds getting as large as 600, cattle rustling offers big rewards with little risk.

“It costs the farmer who lost ’em. It costs the court for all the court proceedings. It costs the state of Oklahoma for my investigators to spend days and weeks during the investigations,” Flowers said.

For ranchers like Doug Barnes, there’s little hope that his cows will be returned, and almost no chance he’ll receive restitution. Even if a suspect is convicted, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to repay Barnes the full $20,000. He says in lieu of restitution, he’ll settle for jail time for the thief.

“I hope they prosecute ’em,” said Barnes. “They need to pay a price.”



Comments Off on Methamphetamine lab found in van at gas station in Bettendorf; Erin Gehn, Robert Shannon, and Tyler Saunders, all of Davenport, and Brock Beert of Long Grove, arrested

Investigators said they found a meth lab and meth-making ingredients in a van at a gas station in Bettendorf, Iowa.

A tip led Scott County authorities to begin their investigation in Long Grove on Monday, November 23, 2015.  Their focus narrowed to a blue van, which they found traveling in Davenport at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, November 24.lab in va

Police said they followed the van after it was parked in a motel in northern Davenport, until it eventually stopped for gas at the Big 10 Mart gas station, on Middle Road at I-74 in Bettendorf.

Investigators reportedly found a one-pot meth lab and various ingredients used to make methamphetamine in the van.   Robert Shannon, Tyler Saunders, and Erin Gehn, all of Davenport, Iowa, were arrested and each charged with one count of meth manufacturing.  Genn was already on probation for a previous methamphetamine conviction, according to police.

A fourth person, 24-year-old Brock Beert of Long Grove, was also arrested and charged with meth manufacturing.  Jail records showed Beert was held in the Scott County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

The van was towed from the scene just before 10 a.m.



Comments Off on Hawaii rehab centers see influx of older Methamphetamine addicts

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Lani Higaki admits he’s in pretty bad shape.

“In June, I went to the hospital. I got pneumonia. I couldn’t breathe,” said Higaki, a 54-year-old methamphetamine addict.

Over the past year, Higaki has had two heart surgeries. Now he’s in a nursing home so he can concentrate on his recovery.

“Right now I’m tired. You know I’m tired of being sick. Meth makes me feel alive,” said Higaki.

Higaki is among a growing number of aging meth addicts in the islands. Emergency rooms are seeing more patients fitting his profile, and the state Department of Health reports that the number of people over 50 9330605_Ggoing to rehab for meth has nearly doubled over the next five years.

“Two years ago it started being way more noticeable,” said Alan Johnson, president of Hina Mauka treatment center.

“Usually it’s between 50 and 75 years old.  But we see a few people between 75 and 85. I believe what we have is a crisis of chronic illness in the United States here.  So many people are having pain issues.  Some elderly people are turning to drugs to manage their pain,” said Johnson.

Higaki said he was in his 20s the first time he used meth. His mom had just passed away. Higaki eventually lost his apartment but managed to get clean on the street. He was sober well over a decade when he decided to try it just once more at age 52.

“I tell myself it’s for the high.  But I think it’s the addiction of wanting something to make me not feel like I normally feel.  Sick and down,” said Higaki.

Johnson says when doctors stop filling prescriptions many times people are forced to get their pills on the street.  When that gets too expensive, methamphetamine is a cheap and easy alternative.

“When you first take meth it works, then very quickly it’s bad news,” said Johnson.

Higaki said after trying meth again once, he was hooked again.

“I think it was remembering the good feeling. The immediate high. Feeling invincible that kind of kept me attracted to it. You can feel your heart just pumping which is really bad for me,” said Higaki.

Three months ago, Higaki was admitted back into the hospital. Since then he’s managed to stay clean. He says he’s committed to kicking his habit but knows it won’t be easy.

“I’d like to say I’m 100 percent, but because I did it once I’ll never be able to say I’ll never do it again. That’s just the way it is,” said Higaki.

Johnson says treating an older population for their addiction is tricky. A lot of times they’re too sick with other ailments to be admitted into traditional rehab. And doctors won’t prescribe them medication because of their addiction.





Comments Off on Michelle Lynch, 43, and Ashley Lynch 18, mother, daughter, charged after two children found in suspected Akron Methamphetamine lab

AKRON, Ohio — A mother and daughter are among five people charged after police said they found two children inside a suspected meth lab.

Michelle Lynch, 43, is the mother of the children. She is charged with first-degree felony count of manufacturing meth, two second-degree felony counts of child endangering and fourth-degree charges of possessing meth and meth-making chemicals. She is being held in the Summit County Jail on $50,000 bond.-8446e8b049da6558-a060399399893be1

Her daughter, Ashley Lynch 18, and three others — Michelle Workman, 41, Daniel Lynch, 48, and Eric Archaul, 40– are also charged with first-degree felony making meth at the home in the 1100 block of Hinman Court.

Ashley and Daniel Lynch and Michelle Workman are all jailed on $50,000 bond. Archaul managed to sneak away from the home during the police investigation and has not yet been found. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

Two 7-year-olds, a boy and a girl, were found inside the home.

Akron police went to the home to check on the children after someone called about a possible meth lab at the home.-fd0bc259c05505b2

Michelle Lynch invited officers inside the home. Officers checked several rooms and found chemicals and items used to make the drug in Ashley Lynch’s bedroom, police reports say.

Officers found a small amount of the drug and more meth-making materials in an upstairs bathroom, according to police. Archaul initially hid from police in a bathroom and later left.

The other four all admitted to police to making meth at the home, according to police reports.

Summit County Children Services took custody of the two 7-year-old children.




Comments Off on Jessica Barber, 27, and Michael Locher, 37, arrested in Scioto County for running Methamphetamine lab in home with two-year-old

SCIOTO COUNTY, OH – Two Scioto County residents were arrested Nov. 20 for making meth while law enforcement officials were looking for a man in violation of his parole.

Scioto County Probation officers went to a mobile home on the 1300 block of Main Street West in Portsmouth, Oh, while searching for Michael Locher, 37, who was in violation of his parole.9314130_G

While searching for him, Locher, as well as Jessica Barber, 27, tried to escape, but were arrested.  Officers noticed a smell commonly associated with the making of meth and investigated further, finding an active meth lab.

Detectives with the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force found out the pair had recently finished making a batch, and that a two-year-old child was living at the home.

The pair is being charged with Illegal Manufacture of Methamphetamine with-in 100 feet of a juvenile and Illegal Assembly of Possession of Chemicals for the Manufacture of Methamphetamine.

Additionally, Locher is charged with violating felony probation, and Barber is charged with violating parole, according to a news release.

They are being held at Scioto County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing and could result in more arrests, according to a news release.



Comments Off on Kimberly Huff, 35, and Jimmie Butler, 51, of Autryville, severely burned in possible Methamphetamine lab explosion in Sampson County

AUTRYVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and the Sampson County Fire Marshal are investigating a possible meth lab explosion that left two people severely burned Monday morning in Autryville.

The fire was reported at approximately 5:20 a.m. at 1920 Leroy Autry Road. Before the structure fire call came in, Sampson County EMS responded to a home at 2312 South River Road in Salemburg regarding two burn victims.

The homes are about six miles apart.

The two injured have been identified as Jimmie Butler, 51, and Kimberly Huff, 35, both of Autryville. They were located at the home and transported to the hospital with severe burns.

The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said they’re investigating the incident as a possible meth lab explosion.




Comments Off on Zane Paul O’Neal, 22, of Midland, pleads guilty in Methamphetamine drug intoxication death of Sandy Brooke Franklin

A 22-year-old Midland man faces an agreed sentence of 23 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Thursday to his role in a woman’s methamphetamine intoxication death, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas. 55bc0c407ee66_image

Sandy Brooke Franklin died July 29 at Midland Memorial Hospital after exhibiting signs of illness while being held at Midland County jail for an outstanding warrant.

By pleading guilty, Zane Paul O’Neal admitted to giving Franklin about 3 grams of methamphetamine so she could hide it from law enforcement during a traffic stop on July 27, according to the release.

A recorded phone call from Franklin to O’Neal a few hours after her arrest revealed that he had given her the drug and told her to ingest it. He did not notify authorities of her condition, according to the release.

O’Neal remains in federal custody.





Comments Off on Methamphetamine found inside overturned pickup truck on Route 202 near the Shutesbury town line; Police search for man and woman who ran into woods after crash

PELHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A state police helicopter was used in the search for a driver and passenger who ran away after their rented pickup truck overturned Friday, but the search was unsuccessful. According to Pelham police, more than one ounce of suspected methamphetamine was found inside the U-Haul pickup truck, which rolled over on Route 202 near the Shutesbury town line Friday afternoon. Pelham Police

Pelham Police Chief Gary Thomann told reporters that three people witnessed the crash and stopped to help the man who was driving the pickup and a woman who was also inside. The witnesses said that once the two heard police sirens approaching, they ran off into the woods.

Police dogs, as well as a state police helicopter searched for them, but they were unsuccessful.

Thomann said that as of Monday morning, they still have not been found, though he said that they believe they have identified the woman who was inside the truck.





Comments Off on Kiristien Joyner, 26, and Leeanna Treece, 24, of Carbondale, charged with Methamphetamine-related crimes

Two Carbondale women were arrested Sunday on methamphetamine charges.

Kiristien Joyner, 26, and Leeanna Treece, 24, both of Carbondale were charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of hypodermic syringes.

About 6:45 a.m. Sunday, Energy Police stopped a 1995 Oldsmobile for a traffic violation and discovered the drugs and syringes in the vehicle.

Joyner and Treece were taken to Williamson County Jail.





Comments Off on Rochester police seize three pounds of Methamphetamine at FedEx airport terminal; Jose Tafolla Rojas, 26, of Hacienda Heights, arrested

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A California man was arrested at a Rochester hotel after receiving a package in the mail containing three pounds of methamphetamine.635839110138030094-TafollaRojasJose

According to KTTC-TV, officers were called to the FedEx terminal at Rochester International Airport on Friday to investigate a suspicious package.

After a K-9 indicated the package contained something suspicious, police got a search warrant and opened the package to find three pounds of methamphetamine worth about $127,000.

Officers arranged a controlled delivery to the recipient at the Kahler Grand Hotel. It was there officers arrested Jose Tafolla Rojas, 26, from Hacienda Heights, California.

Investigators believe the Mexican drug cartel is involved in the drugs’ shipment.




Comments Off on MILF declares war on drugs in Philippines south, particularly Methamphetamine, or “shabu”.

The Philippines’ one-time largest Muslim rebel group has declared a war against drugs in southern provinces where it is seeking autonomy in talks with the government, while communist insurgents have launched a similar campaign in their nearby strongholds.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has ordered its field commanders to engage in a campaign against illegal drugs in Maguindanao and other areas covered by a government-MILF ceasefire agreement, reported Sunday.thumbs_b_c_09b22f8d784aa3e805c609c1fab52583

The central committee of the MILF, which signed a 2014 peace deal with the government, has adopted a resolution supporting the order aimed at combating drugs, particularly methamphetamine hydrochloride, or “shabu”.

The group has placed posters across Maguindanao warning that “illegal drug is the root of all evil.”

An editorial posted on the MILF’s official website this week said that drug addiction caused by methamphetamine “has hit all sectors of society and does not recognize any boundary, race or religion”.

It especially warned about the negative impact on poor community members, saying that some “resort to criminal means to get money to buy drugs” whereas users from families with financial resources may have access to rehabilitation services.

“As a menace, shabu is the enemy of all and, therefore, should be fought together. A common enemy calls for a united front approach,” the editorial said.

It added that the campaign was supported by local politicians including Governor Esmael Mangudadatu and Vice Governor Lester Sinsuat, both leaders of the Alliance of Lumad, Iranun and Maguindanaon organization for local tribes.

Underlining that the MILF is well-suited to the task due to its “vast knowledge of the population and… good information of the dealers and users”, it referred to the “many success stories” of an MILF-government initiative against kidnap-for-ransom groups operating in southern Mindanao island.

Meanwhile, the communist New People’s Army (NPA) has reportedly executed four suspected drug dealers as part of its separate campaign — moves denounced by local authorities and police. cited unnamed police sources as saying that gunmen who identified themselves as rebels shot the four men dead in Compostela Valley province. They had reportedly not heeded letters by the group calling on local drug suspects to appear at a nearby NPA camp.

Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy told the website Friday that he believed the killings, which took place hours apart Tuesday in Pantukan, were meant to “discredit” local police.

“It’s extrajudicial killing,” said Uy. “We condemn it.”

The NPA — to whom some drug dealers have reportedly reported and received stern warnings — has yet to issue a statement.

The use of methamphetamine hydrochloride — also known as “crystal meth” or “ice” — is widespread in the southern Philippines.

In the predominantly Christian city of Zamboanga and the neighboring island province of Basilan, authorities are struggling to fight against the prohibited drug, arresting dealers and users on a near daily basis.

For years, Philippine officials have been gathering information about the involvement of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf — a militant group with strongholds in Sulu and Basilan — in drug trafficking.

The group is notorious for its regular attempts at kidnapping and extortion to raise funds for the acquisition of firearms, explosives and ammunition to be used in its struggle for an Islamic state.




Comments Off on A recovery in her mother’s honor: Salvation Army helps Chastity Hollis, 41, of Linda, stay clean and sober from Methamphetamine and other drugs

Living a roller-coaster life of being on and off drugs since age 9, being in and out of recovery homes and having one of her five children in prison, Chastity Hollis is done with the chaos.

Hollis, 41, of Linda, has been clean and sober for more than two years and is grateful for the help and support she got, and is still getting, from the Salvation Army – Yuba Sutter Corps.5652c05261827_image

“I’m done with that kind of life; I’m truly done,” said Hollis, who lives in the Salvation Army’s transitional housing. “The Salvation Army has given me my life back. They’ve done so much for me in my time here it makes me realize there are some good people out there.”

Hollis, who has been clean and sober for two years and nine months, recently landed a job with Pathways, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Yuba City.

She’s apartment hunting and hopes to move out of transitional housing with her 4-year-old son, Ayden.

The challenges began for Hollis when she started smoking marijuana at age 9, and by age 15 she was doing methamphetamine, selling drugs and getting into fights at school.

“I dropped out of high school after getting in trouble, and from then on, my drug use progressed,” said Hollis, who shortly thereafter had her first child, a girl, at age 18. Due to Hollis’s chaotic lifestyle, her parent’s took over guardianship of the child.

“Seven years later, I had a son and I used drugs through the whole pregnancy,” said Hollis. “I was shooting meth intravenously at the time, and my son tested positive when he was born.”

Hollis said when it was time for her to be discharged, she kidnapped her newborn son from the hospital.

“That night, the cops and CPS came to my mom’s house and asked me to admit him back into the hospital in case he went through withdrawals,” said Hollis, who complied and was granted supervised visits.

That wasn’t enough, so she took her son on the run and went to Modesto. Eventually, she got a call from her mother saying CPS had taken her daughter.

“A soon as I got the call, I went back and turned my son into CPS to try and get both of them back,” Hollis said.

Hollis said she went to rehabilitation programs and graduated, but as soon as she got out, she relapsed.

“I blew it. I wasn’t going to visits and when I did I tested positive,” said Hollis, whose two children were with CPS at the time. “I didn’t have any responsibility and a lot of freedom.”

She continued to use drugs and eventually lost all chances at seeing or getting custody of her children, who were all adopted by the same family.

“I knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to drag them through the mess that I was in and I continued to live that life,” Hollis said. “At the time, I wasn’t grateful to the family that adopted my children, but I am now.”

Two years later, she was still using and got pregnant, again with a boy. Hollis said she stopped using part way through the pregnancy and both she and her son were clean when he was born.

“I went out of town to Oroville to have him so I could keep him out of the system so that Yuba County CPS didn’t know I had a kid,” Hollis said.

She started using drugs again after her son was about a year old and was sharing visitation with the father after they split up. While the boy was in the father’s custody, the father got arrested in a methamphetamine lab. The child was taken from the father and Hollis wasn’t notified.

That child was also eventually adopted by the same family as her other children.

“After that, I continued to run the streets fighting, stealing cars, stealing from family and friends,” Hollis said. “I was basically a homewrecker and thought that was the coolest thing.”

In 2005, she got busted for possession, transporting and selling methamphetamine and was sentenced to a year in county jail. She served nine months and was sent to a Salvation Army program in San Francisco.

“I was there a couple of months and started seeing a guy who was an employee and ended up getting pregnant again,” said Hollis of her fourth child. “They kicked me out. I told someone at Salvation Army that I thought I was pregnant.”

After being back home in the Yuba-Sutter area, Hollis was restless and wanted to get out. A friend from Texas sent money so she hopped on a Greyhound bus and was off to the Lone Star state.

“I was there about a month and came home and probation was at my sister’s house,” Hollis said. “I violated my probation, turned myself in and got three years in prison at Valley State Prison.”

Five months pregnant and looking at three years in prison, Hollis was desperate. She asked her sister and her husband to adopt her child once she was born, and they did.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen to me after I had her in prison and after I got out of prison what my life would be,” Hollis said.

Once out of prison, she was briefly at a treatment facility in Fresno but didn’t like it and came back to live with her sister and husband, who had adopted her daughter.

She lived with them for more than a year, had two jobs and eventually got her own apartment — but it wouldn’t last.

“I started drinking, and it got so bad that within a year and a half I was waking up and drinking a bottle of vodka,” Hollis said. “That’s what got me up in the morning.”

She continued to drink, relapsed on methamphetamine and got pregnant with her son Ayden.

“I used a little and drank for the first part of the pregnancy, lost my apartment and checked myself into the Garden Valley Progress House in El Dorado County,” Hollis said. “I was there throughout my pregnancy and we were both clean and sober.”

After Ayden was born in 2010, they stayed at the facility and she continued to work the program and graduated successfully. She became an on-site staff member for about three months.

“My oldest daughter found me on her own, and we were reunited,” Hollis said. “I was fearful because I was always afraid of what she would say to me if we ever met. She told me she loved me.”

She relapsed again and moved to a sober living environment in Chico for a few months before going back to the Garden Valley Progress House and eventually got a job at a residential program in Woodland.

“After that, I moved back to Chico and relapsed again before moving in with Mom and Dad,” Hollis said. “It wasn’t long before I got into a physical altercation with my mom, and that’s what got me clean and sober.

“I came to the realization that if I could put hands on my own mom, there’s no telling how far I’d go.”

She moved in with her oldest daughter and was at the house for about a week when her daughter found her drug kit and turned her in.

“My daughter turned me into CPS for my son’s safety, and they gave me the option to go to the Salvation Army Depot and I said ‘yes,'” said Hollis. “I didn’t go in kicking and screaming. I trusted the process and surrendered to God.”

Since February 2014, Hollis has been living in transitional housing, and her son is in preschool.

“I worked at Habitat for Humanity and Factory 2 U to build my resume and in October, I got a job with Pathways,” Hollis said. “Now I’m looking for my own apartment.

“I recently lost my mom in September, so for the rest of my days on Earth I’m doing my recovery for my mother,” Hollis said. “She and Ayden were inseparable — they were two peas in a pod. My recovery is in her honor she wouldn’t want it any other way.”




Comments Off on At the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau – Methamphetamine addict-turned-convict, Rayda Tegen, 46 : ‘We are the unwanted’

Rayda Tegen had a husband, five children and a $40,000 a year job in Tooele, Utah, for the nearly 20 years she was clean.

It’s a stark change from where she sits now, wearing a yellow prisoner outfit and shackled in handcuffs inside a no-contact visiting room at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau.14913934

“It wasn’t that I woke up one day and said, ‘I have a beautiful family, why don’t I screw that up?’” she said. “I didn’t say, ‘I have a beautiful marriage of almost 20 years, why don’t I throw that down the tubes?’ And I didn’t say, ‘I have a great job and a great life, I’m really sick of living like this.’ Some stuff happened, and I relapsed.”

Tegen, 46, is serving a three-year prison sentence for trying to bring in about a pound of methamphetamine and heroin into Juneau last October. She was arrested at the Juneau International Airport.

If that makes her reviled in the capital city, which is battling an alarming and deadly heroin crisis, she wants you know she feels the same way about herself.

“It’s a good thing I got arrested,” she said. “Because maybe someone would have died from something I brought in, and I couldn’t have lived with that. I couldn’t live knowing that I gave someone something that killed them.”

She added matter-of-factly, “Or, I could have ended up dead.”

Tegen’s story about why and how she turned to drugs and the battles she’s faced since is one that rings true of many drug addicts in Juneau, even though she’s not from Alaska. She’s wracked with guilt, remorse and embarrassment, and now must figure out how to go on as a convicted felon — in a state where she has no one.

“I would take it back in a second, I would take it back in a heartbeat,” she said, sober now for the year she’s been behind bars. “I lost everything, and I’m not talking financially — you lose that as well, but I lost my family. My kids still love me, I’m still a part of their life, but I destroyed the life we had.”



Back in Utah where she was running a Best Western motel in the mid-to-late-2000s, a police officer walked into her office and asked if she had watched the news on TV that day. She hadn’t.

He told Tegen that one of her son’s elementary school teachers had been arrested for molesting multiple students in his class. One of the victim’s was her son.

For Tegen, it was too much to handle. All of a sudden traumatic memories of her own childhood sexual abuse — perpetrated by a trusted family member, every summer since she was 8 years old until she was 13 — came rushing back.

“I thought I didn’t have problems with it,” she said. “I thought, you know, I’ve heard people say they have flashbacks, they have nightmares. I didn’t have any of that until my son got molested. Then I had flashbacks, I had nightmares.”

When Tegen learned about her son’s molestation she had been clean for 18 years, her former crack addiction well behind her. She began using the street drug at 16 years old.

The consequences of childhood abuse can have lasting negative psychological and metal health impacts, which can lead to hard drug use, alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, poor self-esteem, suicide attempts and eating disorders, all well into adulthood. (Victims of child abuse and neglect are also more likely to commit crimes as juveniles and adults.)

Tegen just recalls not caring about anything at that time and wanting to party. That’s how she met a guy — eight years older than she was at 16 — that introduced her to crack at a party.

She spent the next six years getting off of it, with help from her parents — both of whom are drug and alcohol counselors. She’s the sixth of eight children, raised just outside Salt Lake City.

She was able to get off drugs and was in a stable place by her early 20s. At 21, she met a man in the Air Force who had never used drugs; by 23, they were married. She never touched the stuff again.

“I married him, and I stayed clean for 18 years, 12 of them I didn’t smoke a cigarette,” she noted. “I didn’t even drink caffeine.”

But news of her son’s molestation shook Tegen, then 39, to the core. She went to see a counselor, who then referred her to a psychologist who prescribed her with two anti-depressants and sleep medication such as Ambien and Lunesta.

“Suddenly, I’m taking all these drugs, which are OK because it’s a doctor giving it to you,” she recalled.

Tegen said she made it through her son’s teacher’s legal proceedings — the teacher pleaded guilty and is serving a 30-year sentence, according to news reports — but shortly afterward, things fell apart. Her husband was deployed to Afghanistan, leaving her alone with her children. One night, she went out drinking with friends. One of them offered her methamphetamine and she tried it.

“And I loved it because guess what?” she asked. “I could stay up all night long. I could stay up for days and days and days, and I didn’t have to worry someone would come in our house and hurt me or our children while I was asleep.”

She smoked meth a couple more times that year, but things didn’t get too bad until 2010. Her husband had returned from overseas and they began having issues at home and decided to separate. She moved in with a person she had smoked meth with, a huge mistake she realized too late.

She began smoking meth regularly, touching off an addiction that would ravage her life for the next five years, landing her in jail multiple times, and in an out of treatment.

At the time she began using regularly, Tegen lived paycheck to paycheck — she had moved jobs and was working as the office manager of the Tooele County landfill, where she was in charge of hiring, firing and a $2 million budget. She’d buy drugs in bulk to make sure she never ran out. Sometimes, she’d sell it to her friends for cheap.

She was able to hold on to the county landfill job for about a year. Then, they announced they would begin drug testing. She resigned, knowing she would fail.

She continued using, even when her 11-year-old son found a baggie of drugs in her jewelry box, which led to a family confrontation.

“I remember the first year, and you would think that it would have stopped me, I remember so many times my kids saying, ‘We just want our old mom back,’” she said, crying. “That should have been enough to stop me.”


‘We are the unwanted’

At 41 years old, Tegen got her first criminal conviction since she was a teenager. She was driving in an unlicensed, unregistered vehicle and had a $200 warrant out for a few parking tickets she hadn’t paid. The police officer pulled her over, searched her car and found a baggie of drugs with residue in it, enough for a possession charge.

She spent six weeks in county jail, but only lasted two weeks in a court-ordered drug treatment program.

“It took me a month to find the way to that (detox) place that was 15 miles away,” she smiled, shaking her head. “I did stupid stuff that made myself end up in prison. They found a syringe in my jail cell, so then the judge just had enough of me. He was done. I was an idiot. And I deserved it.”

The judge gave her seven months in the slammer. When she was released, she found herself woefully unprepared for sober living.

“The whole time I was in there, all I could think was when I get out, I just want to hug my kids, I want to be home and cook some spaghetti, or you know, you think about everything you want, and life is going to be perfect the minute you get home,” she said.

Instead, she stayed in bed for days. Her kids worried, and told her they feared they would find her there dead.

“I was so depressed,” she said. “I kept thinking I wish I was back in prison! I was happier then.”

“Nothing prepares you for the fact that you’re going to get out, and you are now a loser,” she said with a straight face. “You’re a felon. People used to come to me offering me jobs. Nobody’s going to do that. Even worse, my children have friends whose parents no longer want them hanging out at our house because ‘she’s been to prison.’ Suddenly, you see yourself through other people’s eyes, and maybe even more critical than they do.”

In an interview at LCCC, she threw out a hypothetical: What if your sister came home, and said something like, “I just met this great guy! He works with me, and he’s been out of prison for eight months, and he’s doing really good.”

“What are you going to say?” Tegen asked. “You’re going to say, ‘Hell no, what is wrong with you?’ You’re going to slap her upside the head. We are the unwanted. You go to prison, you go to jail, everyone forgets you but the ones who truly loved you.”


Drug binge

Depressed, Tegen began using again. After a while, she came clean to her kids (three of whom were grown, one who was still in high school, and the youngest in junior high) and told them she had relapsed. They rallied behind her, and the family moved to a small town in southern Utah, close to Tegen’s mother.

But things didn’t get better.

The school system found out that Tegen was a meth addict, and had left her 16-year-old daughter at home for two days alone while she traveled to northern Utah with one of her sons.

Tegen lost custody of her children. She said she didn’t feel like she had anything to live for anymore.

“I don’t even know how I survived the next two months after that,” she said. “I was doing massive amounts of drugs.”

She went on a “drug binge from one end of the state to the other” during that time in 2013, and eventually realized she was going to end up in prison again or dead. She took one of her brother’s up on an offer to stay at his ranch in Oklahoma. It was there she got clean again.

But then, she got a call from an old friend — one who lived in Juneau with his two daughters. He was undergoing knee surgery. Would she mind coming up and helping him recover post-surgery?


Tegen arrived in Juneau with one of her sons. Long story short, her friend was using pills and she began using meth again. They got engaged, which was a bad idea, she said.

She began to realize she needed to leave Juneau, but she didn’t have any money left. An opportunity presented itself — someone offered her money to fly to Utah, pick up drugs and bring them back to Alaska.

It would have gone according to plan. With the drugs stuffed in her purse and in her bra (“I’m chesty, so they didn’t notice,” she said), somehow she made it through security in Utah and Sea-Tac.

But unbeknownst to her, someone else had been arrested four hours before she was and tipped the authorities off that Tegen would be importing drugs to Juneau that day.

Law enforcement officers were at the airport waiting for her. Her friend was waiting for her at the airport and watched. He later sold all her stuff and used it for drugs. Her 17-year-old son was stranded here. The family retrieved him shortly afterward.

At first, Tegen was in denial.

“I kept thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll be out of here in a minute, … and then I realized I wasn’t going to be out of here in a minute.” she said of her time in jail. “It takes a little bit before you start thinking with a clear brain.”

Reflecting, behind bars

During an interview at Lemon Creek, it’s clear Tegen is smart, educated, charismatic and funny.

But she struggles with an overload of emotions. She said all addicts have a hard time loving themselves.

She said she feels guilty about what she put her family through, especially her children, whom she said she “exposed to a world they never should have been exposed to.”

“I’m 46 years old,” she said. “I mean, come on. You should have it all together by now.”

She has low self-esteem and is hard on herself. She refers to herself constantly as a “piece of crap” or a “s—head.”

Still, she’s also optimistic about her future. She writes and receives letters from her parents and children almost every day, talking to them on the phone when she can. Her family never shut her out.

“I’m lucky, I’m truly lucky I have family that is still reaching out to me, and is still willing to love me in spite of myself,” she said.

Tegen said now that she’s had time to reflect, she realizes she has a full-blown addiction, one that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life.”

“If you put a dog in this room,” she said, “and you’ve starved them for two weeks and you put some rotten meat up there and you open the cage with that rotten meat sitting right there, what’s he going to do? He’s going to go eat that rotten meat. Even though it doesn’t smell good. That dog has been starving for two weeks. He’s going to tear apart anything in his way and go eat that. That’s what a drug addict is. That’s what it feels like.”

She said she’s confident she can stay clean — she’s done it before.

“I chose to use,” she said. “I can honestly say this: I really loved to get high. I really do, but I really love my kids. And so, I will just have to spend every day, for the rest of my life, fighting for my life.”





Comments Off on Angelina Guajardo, 28, Thomas Spangler, 49, and a 52-year-old Hartford man arrested after search turns up Methamphetamine drugs, stolen women’s underwear

HARTFORD, MI – Police arrested two fugitives Sunday night in Hartford and also took another man into custody who they say was in possession of stolen women’s underwear.

The arrests were made after deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Hartford and Pokagon Tribal police departments received a tip that two wanted fugitives were at a house in the 100 block of North Maple Street in Hartford.-4d09e82c8512ee08

At the house, police found several people including Thomas Spangler, 49, and Angelina Guajardo, 28, both of Hartford, who were each wanted on outstanding warrants, according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office.

When deputies and officers tried to arrest Spangler, “he was not cooperative and he resisted arrest,” investigators said in the news release.

During the investigation inside the house, police arrested a 52-year-old Hartford man who “was found to be in possession of methamphetamine as well as stolen women’s underwear,” according to the news release.

During a search of the house, investigators found meth components, a gram of marijuana, six grams of meth, drug paraphernalia, five grams of hashish, a cellphone with a police scanner app and $56 in cash.

“It was found that the suspects had been monitoring police radio traffic on a police scanner,” investigators said in the news release.

Deputies said Spangler, Guajardo and the 52-year-old Hartford man were each arrested and taken to the Van Buren County Jail. Once at the jail, the 52-year-old, whose name has not been released, was found to have additional meth on him.-01244c4d7d8a091f

Spangler was arrested on outstanding charges of felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor contempt of court. He is facing new charges of operating/maintaining a meth lab, possession of meth, marijuana and hashish, and resisting and obstructing police, according to the news release.

Meanwhile, Guajardo was an outstanding misdemeanor charges of failing to appear in court and is facing new charges of operating/maintaining a meth lab, possession of meth and marijuana, and possession of a police scanner in the commission of a felony.

The 52-year-old man is being held in the jail on charges of meth possession, larceny in a building and smuggling contraband into a jail, according to the news release.




Comments Off on Oregon State Police I-5 stop turns up 24 pounds of Methamphetamine; Teri L. Baker, 55, of Kent, Wash., arrested

EUGENE, Ore. – A Washington state woman pulled over for speeding on Interstate 5 in the Eugene area Friday night was found by a drug-sniffing police dog to be carrying more than 24 pounds of crystal methamphetamine hidden in her SUV, Oregon State Police said.24-pounds-of-meth-Teri-Baker-OSP-1123-jpg

An OSP trooper stopped a 2003 Honda Pilot around 10 p.m. for going 73 miles an hour in a posted 60 miles an hour zone, troopers said Sunday.

During the stop, the trooper “observed signs of criminal activity” and with the help of a Springfield police drug-detection canine, a hidden compartment was found in the SUV.

Troopers seized about 24.4 pounds of methamphetamine and arrested Teri L. Baker of Kent, Wash., who was lodged at the Lane County Jail on drug possession and delivery charges.

According to the website Narcotics News, methamphetamine sells in the Eugene area for $9,000 to $16,500 a pound.

Troopers said the investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available.




Comments Off on Tempe Police: 48-year-old Mesa woman steals underwear at Wal-Mart, hides Methamphetamine pipe in bra, Methamphetamine in her purse

A 48-year-old Mesa woman was arrested Nov. 13 in the 800 block of East Southern Avenue on suspicion of shoplifting and dangerous drug possession and use, according to a police report.

The woman had stolen numerous bras, panties and makeup from Walmart that totaled $160.43, police reported.

Store workers saw the woman walk past the registers and out the door without paying for the items, according to the report.

A search revealed that the woman had a glass pipe concealed in her bra with a few small baggies of meth inside her purse, police reported.

The woman told police that she had smoked some of the meth prior to the incident, according to the report.

The woman was transported to Tempe City Jail, where she was booked and held to see a judge, police reported.




Comments Off on Homeless mother, Jessica Hardy, 38, has new life after Methamphetamine drug addiction

Jessica Hardy said her methamphetamine habit caused her to lose it all – her employment, home, automobile and daughter.

Her life is back on track thanks to a program at the Modesto Gospel Mission called New Life.

“I was out in the world doing drugs and had nowhere else to turn,” said Hardy, who stays with other women in a 15-bed dormitory at the mission on Yosemite Boulevard.

The New Life program tries to break the cycle of homelessness for men and women through temporary housing, spiritual and emotional support and education and vocational services.

Hardy’s progress allowed her to reunite with her 13-year-old daughter, who had been staying with a grandmother. The 38-year-old mother has other children who live with their father.

The Modesto resident said she used meth for 10 years, but classes on goal-setting and positive thinking have helped transform her mind.

She attends a faith-based recovery program and also has taken classes on parenting, computers, job search and self-esteem.

Hardy works as a caregiver for an older man, cleaning his home, making sure he eats well and taking him to medical appointments and exercise. She attends church services on Sunday, and says faith is an essential part of her new life.

“It really has connected me with God,” Hardy said.

Trying to do it on my own does not work. Jessica Hardy

Hardy will soon graduate from the yearlong program and begin the next stage – transitional living. She and her daughter will move into an apartment near the gospel mission.

The client said she will pay $400 a month for housing and utilities, but 75 percent of rental payments are returned to clients after six months, enabling them to save money for a permanent apartment. It’s done that way so clients can re-establish some credit.

This transitional stage of the program supports participants while they learn to live on their own.

Hardy said she’s learning to forgive herself and believes she is ready for the next step.

“I am excited about it,” Hardy said. “I know the drug life is not for me, because of what it has taken from me.”


About the agency

Address: 1400 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto, 95354


Fields of interest: Education, health and human services, neighborhoods and communities, youths

Mission: We exist to serve those in need by providing programs and services that help individuals restore, rebuild and transform their lives through the love and power of Jesus Christ.

Program list

  • Provide shelter, clothing, meals, Bible study, life-skills classes
  • GED and adult high school classes
  • Employment assistance
  • Addiction recovery
  • Medical assistance
  • Funding needs
  • Provide support to help shelter, feed and clothe the homeless and help provide the education needed for those seeking their GED or high school diploma
  • Medical care for those who need it


Comments Off on Man dies after setting self on fire making Methamphetamine under bridge in Palm Springs

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Police say the man, still unidentified, died of his injuries at a regional burn unit.

A man was taken to the hospital in critical condition after police say he accidentally set himself on fire while trying to make a methamphetamine-type substance underneath a bridge in Palm Springs.11-20-manonfire2-jpg

Police Lieutenant Mike Kovaleff said authorities were called to the Ramon Road bridge, located between Landau Boulevard and Crossley Road, just after 3 p.m. Friday.

A Riverside County sheriff’s deputy and another person in the area spotted the man fully engulfed in flames. They tried to extinguish the flames and emergency crews rushed the man to Desert Regional Medical Center.

Officials on scene told News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 the man suffered second and third-degree burns to 70 percent of his body.

A Riverside County Hazardous Materials Team tested substances underneath the bridge. The preliminary investigation indicated the fire was accidental and was caused when a combination of chemical ignited while the man tried to make a form of methamphetamine, Lt. Kovaleff said.

The man hasn’t been identified at this time.

Emergency crews were on scene for over three hours. Eastbound traffic was diverted for about an hour, but lanes were open in both directions.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Palm Springs Police Department at 760-323-8116.



AKRON, Ohio — A postal service worker went to deliver a nine-pound package of crystal meth as part of a drug-dealing scheme, according to court records.

Jalila Stoudemire, 26, was employed with the U.S. Postal Service when she tried to deliver the package Nov. 13 to a home in the 600 block of West Exchange Street.-83c6ced1e7b1e4e7

She is jailed without the possibility to make bond. Her case will likely end up being prosecuted in federal court, according to court records.

Stoudemire was hired as U.S. Postal Service employee in March 2014. She was assigned to the Fairlawn office, according to U.S. Postal Service Inspector General spokesman Scott Balfour.

Balfour said that Stoudemire is being investigated by Akron police, the postal service’s inspector general and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Two men —  Damar Ruffin, 31, and Daemetrice Smith, 33— gave the package to Stoudemire near the West Exchange Street post office to deliver to the home of Wesley Tucker, 35, according to court records.

U.S. Postal inspectors and undercover Akron drug detectives arrested the trio. They took the package and tried to deliver it to Tucker.

Tucker, however, jumped out of a window and fled. He has not been arrested and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Tucker, Ruffin, Smith, Stoudemire and Tucker all are charged with first-degree felony drug possession.

The wholesale price for a pound of crystal methamphetamine in northeast Ohio is $11,000 to $16,400, according to Narcotic News.



Comments Off on Robert Lewis LeClaire Arrested For Allegedly Trying To Sell Methamphetamine To 12-Year-Old Child In Enid Over Facebook

ENID, Oklahoma – A man is behind bars after police say he tried to sell meth to a 12-year-old using Facebook.

The boy’s mother spoke with News 9 and has a word of warning for all parents.

“I was going to have his Facebook deactivated for punishment,” she said. “When I was going to deactivate the Facebook account, the message pops up.”9300780_G

This mother does not want to use her name, but she does want people to know what a man tried to do when he messaged her 12-year-old.

“The messages started getting weird, and I’m like, ‘OK. I’m going to follow this out to see what they’re really talking about.’ And it turned out he was trying to sell my son meth,” she said.

She kept the conversation going and then turned it over to police.

“I was sick to my stomach,” she said. “How did my son know this guy? A hundred things were running through my head.”

Detectives went back and forth with Robert Lewis LeClaire and pretended to be the boy. They set up a time and place to meet LeClaire.

“He was wearing exactly what he said, and they made contact with him,” Enid Police Captain Jack Morris said.

Police say LeClaire had two grams of meth on him, and was ready to sell.

“He saw the picture of the kid on Facebook, thought he used drugs and thought he was about 15 or 16,” Morris said. “So, he started messaging him,”

“Please. Constantly check your children’s cell phones, social media, tablets,” the boy’s mother said. “I never thought that this would come across on my son’s Facebook.”

LeClaire was arrested and is facing several charges.


A detective with the Bakersfield, California, Police Department (BPD) was arrested Friday and charged with abusing his position as a police officer to traffic illegal drugs, among other charges, according to a Justice Department press release.

Damacio Diaz, 43, was indicted on 16 different counts, including charges of conspiring with a narcotics dealer to distribute methamphetamine.

Per the Department of Justice:

The indictment charges that Diaz, in exchange for bribes from the dealer, provided the dealer with intelligence on law enforcement practices and activities, disclosed the names and identities of police informants, tipped the dealer off as to police investigations and attempted to provide the dealer protection from search, seizure, arrest and prosecution.

The indictment also charges Diaz with bribery, retaining seized narcotics on multiple occasions for his own unlawful gain, disclosing contents of a wiretap investigation and two counts of filing false tax returns.

“No one is above the law,” said Special Agent Monica M. Miller of the FBI’s Sacramento Division. “The alleged criminal activity put law enforcement officers at grave risk and significantly undermines public trust in law enforcement.”

“The FBI is committed to working with its enforcement partners to root out officers who have abused their trusted role, and we thank the Bakersfield Police Department, DEA and IRS for their assistance with this extensive investigation,” she said in a news release.

Diaz has been on paid administrative leave since the investigation started. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted on conspiracy charges, he faces a maximum sentence of life behind bars. He also faces 20 years to life in prison for charges of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, plus 10 years for each of his three bribery charges, five years for charges of intentionally disclosing wiretap information to interfere with a criminal investigation and three years for charges of filing false income tax returns.




Comments Off on Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Combined Anti-Drug Task (C.A.T.) Force Team arrest Amanda G. Chapman, 34, and Jason K. Smith, 39, duo after finding Methamphetamine lab in Moss Bluff home

MOSS BLUFF, LA (KPLC) – The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Combined Anti-Drug Task (C.A.T.) Force arrested a man and woman following a complaint of a possible methamphetamine lab inside a Moss Bluff home.9307365_G

9307363_GKim Myers, spokeswoman for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, said 39-year-old Jason K. Smith and his girlfriend, 34-year-old Amanda G. Chapman were arrested after authorities were dispatched to the home and detected a strong chemical odor emitting from the front door of Smith’s home on East Telephone Road.

“Detectives also observed several main components that are associated with operating a methamphetamine lab on the porch outside of the residence. Detectives secured the residence and obtained a search warrant for the home. Detectives located approximately eleven one-pot meth labs along with numerous hazardous chemicals once inside the home.” Myers said in a news release.

Smith and Chapman were booked with operation of clandestine lab, possession of CDS II with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. Judge David Ritchie set both their bonds at $155,000 each.

The Lake Charles Fire Department and the Louisiana State Police Haz-Mat Team assisted on the scene. Environmental Response Services was called to dismantle and clean up the meth labs.