Police have charged two men who they allege were the ringleaders of a drug syndicate in central Victoria.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said two men had been arrested in Alexandra, west of Lake Eildon, on Thursday morning as part of a long-term investigation into methamphetamine trafficking.

While investigators believe the men arrested were the leaders of the syndicate, Detective Sergeant Michael Engel said the operation would continue and more arrests were expected.

“Even though these arrests conclude the first phase of our operation, the community can be put on notice that there will be more,” he said.

“Regional Victoria is not immune to this deadly drug and just because we live in the ‘country’ does not mean criminals will evade prosecution.”

Police made the arrests after searching several homes in the Alexandra area about 8.30am.

Three firearms and a sum of cash were seized during the raids.

The two local men, aged 30 and 23, have each been charged with traffick amphetamines.

They are expected to face Seymour Magistrates’ Court on Thursday afternoon.

The investigation – dubbed Operation Downey – comes as a state parliamentary inquiry into the supply and use of methamphetamines convened its first public hearing this week.

On Monday, Ambulance Victoria regional services manager Tony Walker told the inquiry that ambulance calls related to ice use had risen 110 per cent – from 282 to 592 – between 2010-11 and 2011-12.

The state government this year announced a $1.1 million package to deal with the use of methamphetamine – commonly known as ice, in Victoria.







QUINCY, ILL. — A Quincy woman was arrested during a home search on Monday while a second subject developed a medical issue during the search and was taken to Blessing Hospital, police say.

According to M/Sgt. Patrick Frazier with the West Central Illinois Task Force, Lisa M. Hamann, 39, was arrested Monday on an Adams County warrant for failure to appear and for unlawful participation in methamphetamine production, unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, unlawful possession of methamphetamine and unlawful use of property.

PhotoLisa M. Hamann, 39

The second subject, who’s name has not been released, has charges of unlawful participation in methamphetamine production, unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, unlawful possession of methamphetamine and unlawful use of property pending, according to the report.

The shake and bake methamphetamine operation was discovered at 311 Cherry by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. The task force was in Quincy Monday looking for wanted subjects when officers smelled an odor associated with methamphetamine manufacturing, M/Sgt. Patrick Frazier said.

The West Central Illinois Task Force was called and a search of the property was conducted resulting in the seizure of numerous items consistent with the production of methamphetamine, according to the report. These items included numerous shake and bake manufacturing vessels, methamphetamine manufacturing materials and items associated with the use of the drug.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team assisted at the scene of the search.

Hamann remains lodged in the Adams County Jail.




Quincy woman, Lisa M. Hamann, 39, arrested on meth charges, outstanding warrants

Lisa Hamann was arrested in task force sweep

A shake and bake methamphetamine operation was discovered Monday afternoon during a warrant detail in Quincy. The United State Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force was in Quincy Monday looking for wanted subjects.

During the course of their duties they went to 311 Cherry Street. While at the location they smelled an odor associated with methamphetamine manufacturing.

The West Cental Illinois Task Force was called and a search of the property was conducted. Seized inside the residence were numerous items consistent with the production of methamphetamine, along with wanted subject Lisa M. Hamann, age 39, of the residence. Seized were numerous shake and bake manufacturing vessels, methamphetamine manufacturing materials, and items associated with the use of the drug.

Hamann, who was wanted on an Adams County warrant for failure to appear, was arrested on the warrant, and for Unlawful Participation in Methamphetamine Production, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine
Manufacturing Materials, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, and Unlawful Use of Property. Hamann was transported to the Adams County Jail were she remains lodged.

A second subject at 311 Cherry developed a medical issue during the search. The subject was transported to Blessing Hospital by Adams County Ambulance Service. Charges of Unlawful Participation in Methamphetamine Production, Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine Manufacturing Materials, Unlawful
Possession of Methamphetamine, and Unlawful Use of Property are pending against the unidentified subject.

Assisting at the scene was the Adams County Sheriffs Office and the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team.

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.






MISHAWAKA, Ind. — Mishawaka Police are at Milburn Boulevard and Burdett Street investigating a possible mobile meth lab explosion.

Police were called to the scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday after receiving an anonymous tip about a possible meth lab explosion.


They found a GMC SUV parked on Burdett Street and a man was inside the vehicle.

He was taken into custody.

The man is at the police station waiting to be questioned.

This explosion happened right across the street from an elementary school.

Residents say they have noticed a lot of problems recently and thought something like this was going to happen at some point.

“I had a feeling this place was going to get raided. I didn’t know if I wanted to come down here and beat the brakes off of somebody or take my lawn chair and sit back and watch it happen. I’m ecstatic and I think it’s great. Couldn’t be more pleased,” said Bobette Shuamber.

The Special Operations Unit received a warrant and searched the vehicle.

The car was towed away late in the afternoon and police cleared the scene.







NEW CASTLE, Del. – October 1, 2013 (WPVI) — New Castle County police have a suspect in custody after discovering a suspected meth lab. 

It all began around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon when a probation officer was checking a residence in the 700 hundred block of Ellen Drive in Bear.

It was there that county police discovered hazardous materials in the residence – a suspected meth lab.

Four county police officers were treated and released from Christiana Hospital after inhaling some of the chemicals. 

Police and crews from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control spent most of the evening removing the hazardous materials.

Various charges are pending against the suspect whose name is not being released at this time.







Two Clarksville residents are facing several charges, including manufacturing meth, after leading Cheatham County authorities on a high-speed chase to Kentucky.

Dustin Hill, 26, and Natasha Pargellis, 29, are charged with manufacturing meth, tampering with evidence and evading arrest, said Cheatham County chief investigator Shannon Heflin.

Heflin said authorities were patrolling the West Cheatham area because of a recent rash of residential burglaries when he saw a vehicle authorities were trying to locate. Heflin initiated a traffic stop, but the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed.

Heflin said he chased the pair to Guthrie, Ky., where he lost them.

Hill and Pargellis were later located and arrested by Todd County, Ky., Sheriff Arthur Johnson.

Heflin said authorities retrieved a cooler and a backpack the pair had thrown out of the vehicle during the chase. The cooler contained an active meth lab, while the backpack was full of meth paraphernalia, he said.






COCOA BEACH, Fla. — A Winter Park man was arrested early Tuesday morning after Cocoa Beach police said they found a meth lab in his motel room.

Police said Jacob Rice, 29, was arrested when they found him with materials and chemicals used to make methamphetamine. They said he was about to start producing meth when officers found him.

According to police, officers were doing a property check at the Motel 6 in the 3000 block of North Atlantic Avenue when they smelled the odor of marijuana coming from one of the motel rooms. That is when they discovered the meth lab.

A portion of the motel was evacuated while Brevard County Fire Rescue Hazardous Materials Team cleared the scene.

Rice was charged with unlawful possession of listed chemicals and taken to the Brevard County Detention Center. He was jailed on a $30,000 bond.






  • Andrea Ruth Waldeck, 43, was arrested in April after tip off to police
  • Trial began on Monday and prosecutors say she faces firing squad if guilty
  • Worked for Gloucestershire Police until February last year

A former police community support officer who may face the death penalty after allegedly smuggling drugs into Indonesia in her underwear has appeared in court for the second day of her trial.

Andrea Waldeck, 43, was arrested by detectives who searched her hotel room and found crystal methamphetamine worth £3,000 taped to her stomach.

After leaving her job as a PCSO last year, Waldeck crossed the globe to become part of an ‘evil conspiracy’ involving an Indonesian drug-smuggling gang, according to prosecutors.


Andrea Ruth Waldeck, followed by her translator, entered the court room for the second day of her trial at the district court in Surabaya, in Indonesia's East Java province Andrea Ruth Waldeck, followed by her translator, entered the court room for the second day of her trial at the district court in Surabaya, in Indonesia’s East Java province


Andrea Waldeck, 43, was arrested by detectives who searched her hotel room and found crystal methamphetamine worth £3,000 taped to her stomach
Andrea Waldeck, 43, was arrested by detectives who searched her hotel room and found crystal methamphetamine worth £3,000 taped to her stomach


Waldeck was guided into the courtroom for the second day of her trial. She is accused is smuggling crystal meth into IndonesiaWaldeck was guided into the courtroom for the second day of her trial. She is accused is smuggling crystal meth into Indonesia



If found guilty, she will become the second British woman facing the firing squad in Indonesia for drug-smuggling.


Grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in January after cocaine worth an estimated £1.6millon was found in the lining of her suitcase.

Waldeck, who was led hooded into court today, has told authorities that she was ordered to deliver 3lb (1.47kg) of the highly addictive drug, known as crystal meth, to Indonesia by her boyfriend.

British woman faces death penalty in Indonesian court


Former Gloucestershire Constabulary PCSO Andrea Waldeck (right) appears at court in Indonesia, charged with drug trafficking

Former Gloucestershire Constabulary PCSO Andrea Waldeck, pictured yesterday on the first day of her trial, is charged with drug trafficking. She faces death by firing squad if found guilty


She is thought to have been living with the man, whose nationality is not known, in Dongguan in China before flying to Indonesia to meet drug-dealing gangsters.

Waldeck, who was declared bankrupt in 2009 with debts of more than £120,000, had previously lived and worked in Cheltenham. She left Gloucestershire Police in February last year.

Prosecutors say she initially evaded customs officials at Juanda Airport while hiding four packets of drugs in her underwear.

Andrea Waldeck worked as a PCSO for Gloucestershire Constabulary until she left the force in February last year
Andrea Waldeck worked as a PCSO for Gloucestershire Constabulary until she left the force in February 2012

Andrea Waldeck worked as a PCSO for Gloucestershire Constabulary until she left the force in February 2012


Andrea Waldeck pictured with prison guard Eru inside Medaeng Prison in Surabaya Waldeck, pictured with prison guard Eru inside Medaeng Prison in Surabaya, looked solemn on the second day of her trial


She was arrested in April at her hotel room in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city, after police received a tip-off.

Officers raided her room after she rang an associate in China to arrange for someone to pick up the crystal meth, it is alleged.

On a Facebook profile, which appears to have been set up by Waldeck in July, she apologised to family and friends: ‘I’m so very sorry I’ve disappointed you all’.

Last month Indonesia's Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for grandmother Lindsay SandifordLast month Indonesia’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for grandmother Lindsay Sandiford

Prosecutor Deddy Agus Aktavianto said Waldeck will face execution by firing squad if convicted, due to the quantity of drugs she was allegedly carrying and the likelihood of trafficking.

Her trial began this week at Surabaya district court and Waldeck is expected to give a statement next Monday, he said.

Her brother Mark Waldeck, of Brecon, Powys, said yesterday: ‘We don’t want to talk about it until the trial is over.’ He said his sister is being assisted by London-based legal charity Reprieve.

The British Embassy has been aware of Waldeck’s case since shortly after her arrest and has provided consular assistance.








The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was able to end a two-month investigation Tuesday with the arrest of Jessie Don Woodhull following a vehicle stop on I-85, just inside Rowan County near the Cabarrus County line.

They were assisted by the Davie County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation, which began in Richmond County.

On Aug. 5, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the NC SBI investigated a mobile methamphetamine lab which had caught fire. Woodhull was burned during the fire and was admitted to a burn center. Woodhull was discharged from the burn center prior to warrants being served and fled the area.

Jessie Don Woodhull
Jessie Don Woodhull

On Aug. 21, investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the Granite Quarry Police Department and the NC SBI investigated a methamphetamine lab located at 1018 Church St., Faith. During this investigation, investigators arrested Joshua Eran Tarlton, charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and identified Woodhull as a second person involved in manufacturing methamphetamine there.

On Sept. 25, investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the NC SBI conducted an undercover operation in which Woodhull sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer. When officers attempted to stop a vehicle Woodhull was leaving in, he escaped on foot and remained on the run until Tuesday.

On Tuesday, investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office learned that Woodhull would be at the Pilot truck stop on Lane Street in Kannapolis. Investigators followed his vehicle onto I-85 and stopped it just inside Rowan County.

Woodhull was arrested and charged with the following crimes in Richmond County: manufacture methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and two counts of possession of meth precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

He was also charged with the following crimes in Rowan County: manufacture methamphetamine, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, sale of methamphetamine and possession of meth precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

Woodhull was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $200,000 secured bond for Richmond County and a $200,000 secured bond for Rowan County, pending a first appearance in court today.







Investigators seized about 10 pounds of methamphetamine Friday during a raid on two storage units by the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force.

The search was sparked by information obtained in Sept. 19 raids of three Vancouver residences and Hazel Dell commercial sites, according to a press release by the task force. Police, who had made controlled buys of the drug, arrested five people for their alleged involvement in the trafficking organization.

Drug investigators allege the organization was based out of auto repair businesses in Hazel Dell and was bringing a large amount of methamphetamine from Mexico to Clark County, where it was distributed by people through the shops.

The following people were arrested: Daladier Torres Ambriz, 33, Felix Eduardo Ambriz Rodriguez, 26, Jose B. Toscano, 20, Jose Gabriel Aguilar, 21, and Beningo Blasquez Moreno, 18.

During the Sept. 19 raid, police seized $30,000, documents referring to cash transfers to Mexico, five cars allegedly used to deliver the drugs, cellphones, laptops, a handgun and more drugs, among other evidence. Evidence seized at the commercial locations included six handguns, one of which was reportedly stolen in a burglary, two ounces of methamphetamine, a drug scale and drug packaging materials.

On Friday, detectives searched a storage locker at Additional Self Storage, 4901 N.E. Minnehaha St., where they found nine pounds of meth, law enforcement said. The second search warrant was served at A-Z Storage, 7523 N.E. Highway 99, where police said an additional pound of meth was found.








A 28-year-old mother of a 2-year-old was jailed Monday morning after police showed up at her Norfolk apartment.

Tanianna Krivolavek, 28, Norfolk, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and child abuse. The child was taken into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Capt. Mike Bauer said the Norfolk Police Division was dispatched on Monday at 8:41 a.m. to 922 Syracuse Ave., Unit 3, regarding the welfare of a 2-year-old child.

Police had contact with Krivolavek. During the investigation and a search of the apartment, officers located drug paraphernalia associated with the ingestion of methamphetamine and found white powder residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, Bauer said.

She was housed in the Norfolk city jail and later transferred to the Madison County jail.







Now that “Breaking Bad” has run its course, a nation of TV viewers is experiencing the first stages of withdrawal.

The award-winning hit AMC drama, for the uninitiated, followed the story of Walter White, a brilliant but fumbling high school chemistry teacher who, at the beginning of the series, is diagnosed with lung cancer. White teams up with a former student to produce and sell methamphetamine in order to secure his family’s finances. The product they cook up is the purest meth ever to hit the streets of Albuquerque: crystal blue and scarily addictive.

Meth never had better marketing than “Breaking Bad.” It was, to use the marketing term, authentic. The show was a warts-and-all depiction of the drug: You probably wouldn’t want to be any of the people making, selling or taking it in the show. But does the simple fact that it figured so prominently on one of TV’s coolest shows mainstream – or even glamorize – meth?

Some people seem to think so.

“While ‘Breaking Bad’ may not glorify meth in the sense of making it attractive to the average viewer, it does normalize the idea of meth for a broad segment of society that might otherwise have no knowledge of that dark and dangerous world,” Blake Ewing, an Austin-based assistant district attorney, wrote on Time.com last week. ”I’ll continue to wonder about the long-term effects of mainstreaming such a dangerous drug into popular culture.”

And mainstream the drug, it has. A toy company called Citizen Brick recently released a $250 LEGO-style play set called “Superlab,” with which kids can build their very own meth den – just like on TV! The company faced all-too-predictable outrage, but so far, folks like Ewing needn’t worry. The facts don’t support their concern.

According to the most recent data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 440,00 people age 12 and older were users of methamphetamine in 2012. That represents just 0.2 percent of the population and a significant drop from 2006, two years before “Breaking Bad” premiered, when the number of users was 731,000.

“The numbers go up and down and up and down over the years, but generally speaking, it’s never reached the 2006 levels,” said SAMHSA spokesman Brad Stone.

So maybe the show – gritty and gruesomely violent at times – has been an effective deterrent to would-be tweakers out there?

Don’t count on it, says Barbara Carreno, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Agency. She credits the dip in meth use to the fact that it’s harder than ever to get the ingredients that go into meth.

“We believe the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which put Sudafed and other drugs that contain pseudoephedrine behind the counter, is probably the biggest thing that made an impact,” she told Digiday.

With the act, Congress changed pseudoephedrine and ephedrine’s status from over-the-counter chemicals to scheduled, listed drugs. That’s why you can’t buy Sudafed without getting carded any more. And it’s also why “Breaking Bad” – a powerful show to be sure – is unlikely to have moved the needle in any direction on the prevalence of meth use in this country.

In fact, not only is it harder to make crystal meth these days, more meth producers are being caught than ever before. In 2008, the year “Breaking Bad” show premiered, officials seized 2,241 kilograms of meth in the Southwest, where the show is set. In 2012, they seized 10,137 kilograms, according to the DEA. The show has been praised for its “uncannily accurate” depictions of the brutality of the meth trade, but officials would not comment on whether its popularity has had any impact on meth use.

“We’ve gotten many, many, many calls about ‘Breaking Bad,’” Carreno said. “We’re not commenting on ‘Breaking Bad.’ ‘Breaking Bad’ is fiction.”







A St. Paul woman set a shed near the Reach Inc. building on fire, police said, because she was angry her travel companion took money from her purse.

The companion told police he believed the woman also set a nearby garage on fire because she was jealous of him talking to another woman.

The shed fire spread to and destroyed the nearby Reach Inc. building on Eau Claire’s west side. Reach Inc. provides a variety of services to people with disabilities.

Brandy K. Harrington, 27, was charged Monday in Eau Claire County Court with three felonies: two counts of arson of a building and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Harrington’s travel companion, David G. London, 29, also of St. Paul, is charged with methamphetamine possession and a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer.

Judge Paul Lenz set a $10,000 cash bail for Harrington, who returns to court Oct. 8 for a preliminary hearing. As conditions of bail, Harrington cannot possess fire-making materials or have contact with London.

A $4,000 cash bail was set for London, who also returns to court Oct. 8 for a preliminary hearing.

According to the criminal complaint:

The shed fire at Reach Inc., 2125 Third St., was reported at 3 a.m. Friday. The garage fire at 1827 Whipple St. was reported 3 1/2 hours later.

London told police he and Harrington came to Eau Claire to visit her father and her incarcerated husband. Her father kicked them out because they stole a cellphone. London then got permission for the couple to sleep on a couch outside a residence on Bellinger Street.

Early Friday morning London and Harrington went to Kessler Park and then to the Reach Inc. shed because they were cold. London and Harrington smoked meth in the shed, which contained gas cans and charcoal lighter fluid.

After Harrington passed out, London took money from her purse to pay for a cab to transport the couple. London came back to get Harrington after finding a cab. However, the driver kicked them out of the cab because they were arguing.

Harrington became angry because she realized London took money from her purse. She walked to a convenience store while Harrington headed in the other direction. Harrington subsequently met London at the store and told him she lit the shed on fire.

Harrington left London a second time when London stopped on Platt Street to talk to another woman.

London noticed the fire on Whipple Street when he returned to the Bellinger Street residence where he and Harrington were staying.

When authorities spoke with Harrington on Friday, they noticed her shoes smelled like lighter fluid. Harrington’s father told police Harrington called him Friday morning and said she lit a building on fire, burning herself in the process.

Police found methamphetamine in Harrington’s purse and a meth pipe in London’s pocket. London attempted to flee police when they found the meth pipe.

If convicted of both arson charges, Harrington could be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.








After many years of not needing to worry, the Boston area is now seeing an increase in drug incidents related to methamphetamine use. Although a major problem in other parts of the country, notably the West Coast, the Boston area has seen little of this very damaging drug up until now. In 2011, in the West, 73% of the drug threat was attributed to meth, whereas in New England, it was only 1.3%. However, year after year data shows a steady increase in the quality of meth available and a steady decrease in the price of the product.

Within the past few weeks in the Boston area, there have been shootings, chases and arrests of methamphetamine users and producers.

In Plymouth, on Sunday authorities busted a meth production lab. In a quiet residential apartment building neighbors noted suspicious activities and smelled chemicals and notified the authorities. Upon investigation they found evidence of a “small methamphetamine lab”. The tenant of the apartment , 38-year-old Kerri Mahoney, was arrested Sunday night.

Dr. Mel Pohl shares what women should know about methamphetamine and why it is such a problem.


In Middleton, in August two members of a bike gang apparently shot each other in the dark, mistaking each other for attackers after ingesting quantities of meth and becoming paranoid. Witnesses related that the men had been threatened by unknown parties a few days previously and were worried that the threats might be acted upon. They apparently spent the better part of the day in the house doing lines of meth and scanning a video monitor for the possible return of the assailants. When they thought they noticed something outside they apparently exited the house with weapons and thought they were shooting at their assailants when they were actually firing at each other. Both men received non life-threatening injuries and were hospitalized.

And in Beverly yesterday, police arrested a man for possession of meth and other drugs after meeting with him on the street to discuss another ongoing investigation. Hector J. Rodriguez, 19 walked away from the police officers and entered a nearby store on Rantoul Street. He was observed ducking behind counters and officers determined he may have been secreting items on the store shelves. After he left the store, the shelves were searched and two bags of meth were found.Upon his arrest Rodriguez was also found in possession of marijuana.

So, after many years, it appears that the methamphetamine problem has finally reached the Boston area.







CADILLAC — A Cadillac man has pleaded guilty to drug charges in connection with the discovery of a suspected methamphetamine laboratory at his home only a few blocks from Cadillac High School.

Junior Ace Porter, 40, pleaded guilty in 28th Circuit Court to two counts of delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine, according to court records. Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. Porter also pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug house.

Charges from two other cases were dismissed as part of Porter’s plea.


Dismissed was a count of operating/maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory, also punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, punishable by two to 40 years in prison. An unrelated case of non-sufficient funds for three checks presented for payment in 10 days also was dismissed.

Porter’s wife, Misti Marie Porter, 40, was sentenced in June to 270 days in jail after pleading guilty to operating maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory at the home near the school but now faces new charges of operating and maintaining a methamphetamine laboratory in Haring Township in November 2012, according to records from 84th District Court. 

Given a habitual offender, second notice, Misti Porter could face up to 40 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000 if convicted.








VANCOUVER – A drug trafficking ring was busted by a Clark County police task force, resulting in five arrests and the seizure of more than 12 pounds of meth.

A 10-month-long investigation into the meth distribution ring led to the arrests on Sept. 19, according to Cmdr. Mike Cooke of the Clark-Vancouver Regional Drug Task Force.

The seizure was the biggest methamphetamine bust of the year so far in Clark County, Cooke said.

The main suspect, Dalaier Ambriz, 33, was believed to be bringing large amounts of meth from Mexico to Clark County for distribution through auto repair businesses on Northeast 95th Street.

The others arrested were Jose Toscano, 20, Jose Aguilar, 21, and Daladier Ambriz and Felix Rodriguez, both 26.

12 pounds of meth seized in Clark Co. bust

12 pounds of meth seized in Clark Co. bust


“Although these businesses appeared to be legitimate, they were in fact simply fronts for a large drug trafficking organization,” said Cooke. “Although they may have repaired a few cars here and there, the main business was trafficking methamphetamine.”

Two-and-a-half pounds of meth were seized during the initial bust. Police also seized $30,000 in cash, four cars, guns and evidence of money transfers to Mexico.

Based on information from the arrests, police searched two storage lockers, Additional Self Storage on 4901 NE Minnehana St. and A-Z Self Storage on 7523 NE Highway 99 last week.

Ten additional pounds of meth was found in those storage lockers. The total street value of the meth seized was approximately $140,000.

The suspects were taken to the Clark County Jail on charges related to the drug activity. Ambriz was also charged with leading organized crime.

The investigation was ongoing, police said.






CARLINVILLE — Three people face charges after police carried out searches of two residences that turned up evidence of meth labs, authorities said Monday.

Carlinville Police Chief David Haley said officers from his department and the Illinois Department of Corrections-Parole Division did a “knock and talk” about 12:15 p.m. Friday at an apartment in the 500 block of West First South Street. Haley said methamphetamine materials and an active meth lab were found in the residence. 

Denzil W. Ridenour Jr., 44, was arrested at the residence. Macoupin County State’s Attorney Jennifer Watson filed one count each of unlawful participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material. Bond was set at $75,000. Ridenour was held at the Macoupin County Jail in Carlinville.

About 1:15 p.m. Friday, officers from the Collinsville Department did another knock and talk at a residence in the 900 block of Crittenden Street, after a continuing investigation. Based on information received and evidence recovered, Watson filed charges against two people there.

Randy L. Cairns, 28, and Ashley N. Crenshaw, 23, were charged with one count each of unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material, possession of methamphetamine precursor and unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Bond was set at $75,000 for each, and both defendants were held at the County Jail.

The Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team was called in to remediate the scenes at both residences.







IVINS — A 25-year-old Ivins woman was arrested Tuesday morning after she reportedly fled from police on foot and was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and Clonazepam, according to Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department officials.

According to a probable cause statement, an officer observed Kassandra Dawn Dittmer and a man walking south on 75 East in Ivins at approximately 1 a.m. Tuesday.

Kassandra Dawn Dittmer

Kassandra Dawn Dittmer


“I turned on my spotlight to illuminate them, and they both took off running,” the officer wrote in the statement. “I had my window down and was approximately 15 feet from them, and I yelled, ‘Police! Come here.’ They continued to run into the side yard of a house and kneeled in the bushes.”

Dittmer and the man reportedly refused to come out from behind the house, so the officer located them and returned them to his patrol car.

According to the statement, Dittmer told a Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy who assisted the officer that she had marijuana in her purse.

“I searched her purse and located a loaded syringe, a bag containing suspected methamphetamine, numerous pills, marijuana and two types of paraphernalia,” the SCIPD officer wrote. “Dittmer told me that the syringe contained methamphetamine.”

The pills were identified as Clonazepam and another amphetamine combo, which are schedule II controlled substances.

SCIPD Officer Chad Holt said the male was cited with a misdemeanor charge of failure to stop at a police officer’s command and was then released.

Dittmer was charged with failure to stop at an officer’s command, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a schedule II controlled substance and two charges of possession of paraphernalia. She was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on $13,304 bail.

Dittmer made her initial appearance in 5th District Court on Tuesday afternoon, and a roll call date was scheduled for next Monday.








Complaints to police about suspected methamphetamine sales at a Sebastopol home have resulted in the arrests of two people, police said Tuesday.

Officers searched a home off of High School Road, finding methamphetamine, sales paraphernalia and about $1,400 cash, said Sebastopol Sgt. Mike Nielsen.

They arrested residents Dale Fred Bettinelli, 62, and Ruth Ann Privitt Estrada, 55, on suspicion of possessing drugs and selling drugs, both felonies. Both suspects live in an unincorporated area near Sebastopol.

The pair were booked into the Sonoma County Jail and both were released early Tuesday after posting bail, according to jail records.

Months ago, officers began receiving information about possible narcotics dealings from the home, Nielsen said. Officers launched an investigation and obtained a search warrant this week.

They went to the home at 8 p.m. Monday and arrested the occupants.







During the early morning hours of Sept. 17, Cleveland Police Department Patrol Officer J. D’Abbraccio conducted a traffic stop for defective vehicle equipment on US 59 near SH 105.

While speaking with the driver, Officer D’Abbraccio observed several inconsistent statements that raised the officer’s suspicions. The driver showed increasing nervousness as the conversation continued.

Cleveland Police find methamphetamine hidden in coke can

Ashley Garza was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance.


Cleveland Police find methamphetamine hidden in coke can

Meth was found inside of a fake coke can during a traffic stop by Cleveland Police Department




A later search was made of the vehicle of which officers located several items used as drug paraphernalia – one of the items being a glass pipe used to smoke illegal narcotics.

Officer D’Abbraccio and Officer Deliphose discovered a Coca-Cola can that felt heavier than a normal coke can. A closer examination found that the coke can had a false top and contained an inner compartment which held a large amount of methamphetamine. Next to the methamphetamine were several smaller baggies which are used to distribute the methamphetamine on local levels.

The driver was charged with manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group one, which is a first degree felony.

The driver was identified as Ashley Garza, 28, who resides in Splendora, Texas.








MOORESBURG — In response to complaints of drug activity near a Cherokee Lake access road in Mooresburg, Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office deputies recently stepped up patrols in that area, resulting in a meth arrest Saturday afternoon.

Substation Road is a dead end leading to Cherokee Lake in the Mooresburg community of far western Hawkins County.

Increased patrol of Cherokee Lake access road results in meth arrest

Matthew Charles Burchett



Sheriff Ronnie Lawson said Monday that drug complaints from that area recently centered on activities that take place at the end of Substation Road.

HCSO Deputy Mark Harrell was patrolling that area Saturday afternoon when he reportedly observed a red Chevrolet Blazer pulling out near the dead end.

Harrell reportedly stepped from his patrol car, at which time the vehicle stopped and the driver spoke with Harrell.

The driver was identified as Matthew Charles Burchett, 22, 110 Coward Road, Mooresburg.

“Mr. Burchett allegedly appeared extremely anxious and nervous during his brief conversation with Deputy Harrell, and he was determined to have a suspended driver’s license,” Lawson said. “Mr. Burchett then opened the passenger door in order to retrieve the vehicle’s registration, at which time Deputy Harrell observed a loaded syringe lying beside the passenger seat.”

Lawson said a small plastic baggy containing an off-white powder-like substance believed to be meth was allegedly found in Burchett’s pocket, along with a piece of a cigarette filter, which is commonly used as a filter for intravenous drug use.

Burchett allegedly admitted that the baggy from his pocket and the loaded syringe both contained meth.

He was charged with possession of meth, possession of meth while driving, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license.

As of Monday Burchett remained held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond due to being free on bond from a different county at the time of his arrest Saturday.






BEVERLY — Police say a man was arrested on drug charges Saturday after he walked away from an interview with officers and hid bags of methamphetamine in the pet food aisle of a store on Rantoul Street.

Hector J. Rodriguez, 19, of 27 Home St., Beverly, was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute class B methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute class D marijuana, according to a department press release.

The incident began as officers in the area of Rantoul and Pleasant streets were attempting to conduct field interviews of two males “believed to be involved in a previous incident that is currently under investigation,” police wrote.

During the interview, one of the males — Rodriguez — walked away from an officer and went into the One Stop Market at 174 Rantoul St., police wrote.

After they finished the interview of the other male, officers went to the market and observed Rodriguez “duck down in between an aisle in the store,” according to the statement.

“After observing this, officers attempted to talk with Rodriguez, who had ducked down in the pet food aisle of the store and initially ignored officers before finally engaging them in conversation,” police wrote. “Rodriguez told officers he went into the store to get a snack.”

Rodriguez was allowed to leave the store, but an officer searched the area he had been in, suspecting he might have “secreted something in the aisle where he had been ducking down,” police wrote.

Police say the officer found two bags of methamphetamine in the store. Later on, five bags of marijuana were reportedly found on Rodriguez himself.









Walter White may have ended his run as a meth producer on television Sunday night, but in Bethlehem the story of meth producers and dealers keeps rolling on.

Two days before a high-profile case involving the meth lab explosion that rocked Greenleaf Street in March came to a close in court, Bethlehem Township policearrested another alleged meth maker working out of a shed behind a Sixth Street home.

The front window of 1965 Greenleaf Street was blown out after a basement lab exploded there in March. (Patch File Photo)

The front window of 1965 Greenleaf Street was blown out after a basement lab exploded

Davina Bowler, 39, of Palmer Township—the last defendant from the Greenleaf Street explosion—pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of possessing ephedrine in Northampton County Court on Friday and was sentenced to six months of probation, according to The Morning Call.

The cases have been closed on Bowler’s three co-defendants, with 40-year-old Daniel J. Houser taking the brunt of the punishment—a 4½ to 11-year prison sentence handed down in July.

Houser claimed after one hearing that he acted alone in cooking meth at 1965 Greenleaf St. in the city’s northeast neighborhood.

Nonetheless, co-conspirator Jeffrey Caulfield, 29, got a one-to-two year prison sentence and homeowner Elaine Noone, 65, also pleaded guilty to possession of ephedrine and is serving three months of probation, according to the newspaper.

The explosion and fire, which resulted in six injuries, happened about three hours before police had planned to conduct a drug raid there. The home had been a target of a city and township police investigation of local meth trade.

Two days before Bowler’s guilty plea, township police raided a shed behind 1450 Sixth St., where they allege Thomas Stocker, 31, has been cooking meth. Stocker told police he has also been living inside the shed.

Police also arrested 51-year-old Dawn Marie Stocker, 51, who lives inside the Sixth Street home.

In another high-profile case, Anthony “Skinny” Serratore of Bethlehem was sentenced in May to five to 10 years in prison for being one of the leaders of a Valley-wide meth ring that distributed as much as a pound of meth every week, a quantity with a street value of $90,000.

Gary Kuehner, 32, of Bethlehem was charged in April with being a leader of a meth ring that stretched from Mexico to the Lehigh Valley and allegedly distributed $7 million worth of drugs over the past five years.







COLUMBIANA, Alabama — For anyone who thinks Shelby County doesn’t have a methamphetamine problem, Sheriff Chris Curry pointed to a clandestine lab bust by Pelham police officers at a motel that happened less than a month ago.

“Three officers just doing a routine response to a call ended up having to have medical treatment” for exposure to a lab, Curry said about the Sept. 9 discovery in a motel room at the Oak Mountain Lodge.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg as we see meth cooks in homes and apartments where there are children and we see the damage to the lifestyle and the families,” Curry said. “We should all know that we have a real problem with meth. Alabama has that problem and Shelby County has that problem.”

At a press conference this morning at Davis Drug in Columbiana, Curry along with Shelby County District Attorney Robby Owens, state Sen. Slade Blackwell of Mountain Brook and pharmacy owner Jim Davis Jr. spoke about changes to state law that help limit access to ingredients used to make methamphetamine.

“Alabama is actually leading the nation in our campaign against meth and smurfing,” Blackwell said, referring to the term used to describe the purchase of the common over-the-counter allergy medicine pseudoephedrine for use in making meth.

On Oct. 1, 2012, the state became the first to launch an anti-smurfing campaign to raise awareness of the illicit practice, Blackwell said. Smurfing happens when “people come into drug stores like here and they buy pseudoephedrine, and they take that and turn that into meth, which is very addictive and hurting our society,” he said.

Meth presser in Shelby County.jpg

Speakers at a press conference on Shelby County’s methamphetamine problem on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, at Davis Drug in Columbiana include state Sen. Slade Blackwell of Mountain Brook, Sheriff Chris Curry, pharmacy owner Jim Davis Jr. and District Attorney Robby Owens




Although the act of buying pseudoephedrine for use in making methamphetamine is a felony, pharmacies throughout Alabama utilize a tool that helps the businesses, as well as law enforcement and prosecutors, curb illegal purchases of the allergy medicine.

The statewide database, known as NPLEx, or the National Precursor Log Exchange, tracks pseudoephedrine purchases made by customers, who are limited to 7.5 grams per month.

“You have to present an ID, a driver’s license or properly accepted ID, and they enter the information in the database for other pharmacists to see it,” Owens said about how the system works. As a result, pharmacists like Davis are “able to go into that database and be sure the person is not buying more” than allowed under law.

Davis said the system helps him determine whether sales of the medicine are legal to customers. “As a pharmacist, my main job is to perform a service in the community,” he said. “It’s comforting to know we have friends in law enforcement we can turn to when questions arise of illegal activity.”

The database is “simple to use and offers immediate confirmation whether or not to sell,” Davis said.

Curry said the database helps with law enforcement investigations as methamphetamine continues to change in how it’s made.

“It’s undergone a lot of changes. The actual meth and producing the meth has changed, becoming much simpler, much more mobile,” Curry said, noting that manufacturing can happen in a cooler in the back of a car.

“What’s driving this is the availability of meth is easier to make so our choice is to make it harder to get. If we can limit access to necessary ingredients,” that can help curb use and production, he said.

According to a subcommittee report of the Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force, Shelby County remains one of the top 10 in the state for selling pseudoephedrine.

From January through March this year, Shelby County was fourth highest with roughly 46,282 grams of the medicine sold. At the same time, there were almost 2,265 grams blocked for purchase, according to the database figures and the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Commission.

By comparison, Jefferson County had almost 102,313 grams sold and 7,184 grams blocked for purchase, while Mobile County had 95,013 grams sold and 8,937 grams blocked, according to the report.

“Yes, there’s meth all over Shelby County,” Curry said. “Does the usual citizen, the normal citizen … see meth? No, they don’t, but it’s there and it’s affecting the health of our community and it’s affecting the economy of our community.”







ALLEGAN, MI — Drunken driving and juvenile delinquency cases have dramatically declined in Allegan County.


According to Prosecutor Frederick Anderson’s annual report, last year there were 459 cases of drunk driving in Allegan County, down from 530. But from 2003 to 2006, Anderson’s statistics show drunken driving cases ran in the high 600s and 700s, with the worst year being 2006 with 777 cases.

Anderson attributed some of the decline to more people being aware of changes in the law. “The penalties for drunk driving are substantial,” Anderson told the Allegan County Board of Commissioners in delivering his annual report Thursday, Sept. 26.

Another decline has been in juvenile delinquency cases. There were 516 cases last year. That compares to just over 500 cases the year before, but just under 900 back in 2003.

Anderson credits the county’s diversion programs designed to reduce repeat offenses. “I’d like to think we’re successful because the numbers are going down,” he said.

He also said there’s been a lot of financial savings to the county in court time and supervision.

While juvenile offenses and drunken driving cases are on the decline in Allegan County, methamphetamine is not, according to the prosecutor. Meth labs discovered in the county jumped from a low of six in 2007 to 54 in 2012, and meth-related convictions have increased, Anderson said.

“It just inundates our court docket,” he said.

The number of criminal sexual conduct cases has rose from 88 in 2011 to 117 in 2012. “This is the most we’ve ever had in my 21 years as prosecutor,” Anderson said.

“They’re very severe in nature,” the county prosecutor said of sex assault cases. “They involve children” as well as the developmentally disabled, he said.

Numbers of CSC cases for previous years were 75 in 2010, 76 in 2009, 83 in 2008 and 63 in 2007, according to the report.







SANTA ROSA BEACH — A man and woman were arrested Friday in a meth lab bust at 504 Musset Bayou Road.

Law enforcement officers arrived at the home at about 8:30 p.m., according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. They had a warrant to search the premises.

Brett Phillips, 32, and Robin Cooper, 28

Brett Phillips, 32, and Robin Cooper, 28



Several individuals were inside but wouldn’t come to the door. SWAT team members were called in, and when they entered the home they discovered methamphetamines had been cooked in the kitchen.

During the more than six-hour search they also found a shotgun, ammunition, marijuana, methamphetamines and a stolen blue scooter, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Brett Phillips, 32, and Robin Cooper, 28, who live at the home, were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamines, possession of methamphetamines, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Phillips was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.