BARTOW | A 43-year-old woman was sentenced Friday to six months in jail for bringing a pistol, stun gun and a bag of methamphetamine to Bartow Middle School when she had a meeting with her child’s teachers.

              Lisa Palmes

Circuit Judge William Sites also ordered Lisa Palmes to serve five years of probation following her release from jail.

Palmes repeatedly asked the judge to not send her to jail so she could continue to care for her two children who have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.

“I made a mistake,” she said. “I don’t want my kids punished for it. I was carrying a weapon for a reason.”

Palmes said she carried the handgun for protection from an abusive ex-boyfriend.

“I’m so sorry, but my kids really need me and it was a mistake,” she said.

Palmes said the methamphetamine didn’t belong to her and she put it in her purse so she could get rid of it later.

At the time of her arrest, Palmes did have a concealed weapons permit. However, under Florida law, there are some places where people who have such permits are still prohibited from taking their weapons, including schools.

Palmes’ lawyer, Jeffrey Holmes, argued that his client didn’t remember that she brought the handgun along when she went to a school meeting to discuss her child being bullied.

“She simply forgot she had it,” Holmes said. “It wasn’t like she was going to use it.”

A teacher attending the meeting on March 6, 2013, saw the pistol in the waistband of Palmes’ pants and told a school resource officer, Jason Griffith, who disarmed Palmes, according to investigative reports.

Griffith testified that Palmes didn’t make any threats and apologized for bringing the gun to school.

The .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol was in a holster that was tucked in the rear waistband of her jeans. The weapon was loaded with seven rounds in its magazine.

Griffith testified that there wasn’t a round loaded into the chamber of the pistol to make it ready to fire.

A search of Palmes’ purse revealed a stun gun, two more rounds of .380-caliber ammunition, a bag of methamphetamine and a straw as well as a pill for which she did not have a prescription.

Last month, she pleaded no contest to a variety of charges: carrying a concealed firearm into a prohibited facility, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a prescription drug without a prescription, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and possession of weapon during the commission of a felony.

Without a plea deal in place, her punishment was up to the judge to decide.

Palmes requested probation.

Prosecutors argued for incarceration, saying this wasn’t the first time Palmes brought a gun to a school.

Deputy Michael Hill testified that Palmes brought a handgun to a teacher meeting at Alturas Elementary School in December 2012.

Palmes told someone at the school that she forgot that she was carrying her gun, Hill said.

The deputy testified that he visited Palmes after he was told about this incident the next day.

He warned her that it was against the law to carry a gun to school, but she wasn’t arrested because no one actually saw the gun on her.

Hill testified that Palmes told him that she would not bring a gun to school again.

Assistant State Attorney Daniela Leavitt argued Palmes ignored the deputy’s warning and deserved 18 months in prison.

 

 

 

http://www.theledger.com/article/20140221/NEWS/140229875?p=3&tc=pg

 

The North Platte Police department has arrested a North Platte woman accused of using methamphetamine around her 3-year-old child. Teresa Graser faces felony child abuse charges.

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Officers discovered drug paraphernalia within reach of a toddler at a home in the 1400 block of West 14th Street. These items tested positive for methamphetamine.

The child was taken to the Bridge of Hope Child Advocacy Center where a hair follicle test was taken. The test later came back as positive for methamphetamine.

A North Platte man was also charged in this case. Hollis Littlefield, who was already in jail for other charges, also faces felony child abuse charges.

Investigators determined Littlefield was also living in the home where the child was exposed to drugs.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.1011now.com/news/headlines/North-Platte-Toddler-Tests-Positive-for-Methamphetamine–246559141.html

 

Sitting in a classroom full of firefighters from across the state of Iowa, I watched as John Ticer, special agent with Iowa Fire Marshal’s Office, flipped through a PowerPoint slideshow explaining the recipe and how to make methamphetamine.

Ticer taught Meth Lab Awareness, a class available to firefighters at Iowa’s 90th annual State Fire School in Ames.

Meth was synthesized in Japan in the late 1800s, and boomed from there. It was used as a stimulant during World War II by both the Axis and Allied powers, and in the 1970s it became a schedule II controlled substance. In the 1990s, instead of buying meth from Mexico, people in the United States began producing their own drugs via different recipes and methods.

Recently, the most popular method of methamphetamine production in Iowa is the shake and bake method. This method is the most efficient, easiest and dangerous of all methods.

I was glad I took Ticer’s class. Living in small-town Iowa the past 12 years, I’ve grown up assuming meth use has risen in the southern section of Iowa. However, what I did learn is while the number of labs has dropped, use stayed the same.

The most interesting part to me, though, is the danger of meth labs. In Iowa, the shake and bake method is the most popular. The shake and bake method involves the person making meth, or the cook, to dump all the ingredients into a large plastic bottle, close the lid and shake it, burping the bottle occasionally so the pressure escapes.

The dangers of this method are numerous because of lithium, one of the ingredients in meth. Lithium strips are removed from lithium batteries, torn into pieces and tossed in the mixture in the bottle. Lithium, however, has an extreme reaction to water and air. If the lithium in the bottle is exposed to moist Iowa air before it has been coated with the meth mixture, it will react. If the lithium is touching the plastic bottle when it’s being burped, it will react. These reactions cause fires that look like explosions.

I’m glad the Fire Service Training Bureau has a class available to firefighters to learn about this unique fire. Meth is dangerous in many ways, and when a firefighter is exposed to the drug without knowing it’s there, the consequences can be worse.

Classes like this allow firefighters to be able to immediately grasp the situation’s danger just by looking at the scene. This way, firefighters can be aware of the dangers and alert the proper authorities.

It’s important for all firefighters to know what exactly they can be up against. Even though the highest percentage of firefighter deaths are caused by heart attacks, meth-related health issues can be a killer in many ways.

 

 

 

 

http://www.crestonnewsadvertiser.com/2014/02/17/how-meth-has-slowly-changed-the-firefighting-game/cvdbyg3/

 

Police discovered a crystal meth laboratory in a house on a west London street after being called to a “scuffle” between the landlord and a tenant.

Officers swooped on the four-bedroom house in Hanwell and discovered equipment used to make the addictive class A drug which featured in the hit US TV series Breaking Bad.

Dozens of police and specialist officers in breathing apparatus have spent four days searching the semi-detached property in Cawdor Crescent.

Police were called at 4pm on Tuesday after a dispute between the owner of the property and a tenant. A witness said a scuffle broke out, leading to the police being called. A large blue forensic tent has been set up in the small front garden of the property, and another in the back garden.

A neighbour who entered the house with the landlord last week claimed that one tenant had attempted to convert a room into “a crystal meth lab”.

Airport worker Raj Shivraj, 59, said the man, said to be Iranian, had torn away pipes from the household plumbing and there was a “heavy smell of paint stripper in the air”.

methlabEquipment: some of the household items used in the meth production seen outside the house (Picture: Nigel Howard)He said: “The landlord lets out several rooms individually through an estate agent and neither of them had any idea what was going on. This guy moved in a few months ago and from what I saw wanted to start his own crystal meth lab business.

“He was very unsociable and the landlord had previously come round after this tenant blocked the drains with chemicals. When I went inside last week with the landlord and his son, the house was really messed up and all the stuff was set up where the tenant lived. The furniture was destroyed and the house smelled of drugs, like a heavy smell of paint stripper in the air.

“The kitchen had a lot of stuff out of place and pipes had been removed from the sink. The tenant was kicked out and they were trying to change the locks to stop him getting back in.”

A witness who did not want to be named said: “There was a scuffle before the police came. That’s the reason they turned up. Police started asking questions to the landlord and the tenant.”

methlab4Scene: police are conducting an ongoing investigation into activity at the house (Picture: Nigel Howard)Officers wearing breathing apparatus were seen in the back garden yesterday working in the forensics tents to dismantle furniture from the house, including a bed and mattress.

Today, police continued work in a tent in the front garden, which had plastic jerry cans, buckets and full black bin bags lined up outside.

Cases of crystal meth — or methamphetamine — are relatively unknown in the UK, with Home Office figures showing 17,000 users took it in 2012, fewer than any other drug.

The drug’s notoriety has been fuelled by the acclaimed Breaking Bad, about a high school chemistry teacher who starts making crystal meth with his drug-addicted former student.

Police said a man had been arrested on suspicion of producing methamphetamine hydrochloride and remained in custody at a west London police station.

 

 

 

 

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/breaking-bad-in-hanwell-police-uncover-crystal-meth-lab-on-quiet-residential-street-9143373.html

 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In two years, a state fund set up to help the victims of violent crimes has paid out $1.2 million to clean up West Virginia’s meth mess.

Last year, the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund distributed $849,146 for methamphetamine lab cleanup costs, up from $378,404 in 2012, according to a Charleston Gazette analysis of Court of Claims data.

Out-of-state landlords who own meth-contaminated properties in West Virginia received more than $100,000 of those payouts for cleanup expenses since January 2012. Payments went to property owners in Kansas City, Mo.; Surfside Beach, S.C.; Arlington, Va.; and Cincinnati.

West Virginia is the only state that reimburses property owners for meth lab cleanup costs through a crime victims compensation fund.

Meth labs are having a substantial financial impact across the state,” said Delegate Don Perdue, D-Wayne. “The numbers are accelerating.”

In 1981, state lawmakers set up the West Virginia Crime Victims Compensation Fund to help “victims of crime, particularly violent crime.” The fund typically pays for crime victims’ medical and funeral expenses.

Six years ago, as meth labs began to proliferate in West Virginia, the Legislature passed a law that allows property owners to file claims with the state to help pay for meth cleanup.

Perdue said the drain on the Crime Victims Compensation Fund should alarm all West Virginians — even those in counties with no meth labs.

“There have been arguments represented this is a very localized problem,” Perdu said. “Irrespective of whether a county has meth labs or not, its citizens are losing the opportunity to access victims fund monies because it’s being depleted by meth lab claims. This is proof positive that it’s a statewide issue for taxpayers.”

The crime victims fund will only pay for cleanup expenses if landlords didn’t know that meth was being manufactured on their properties. The program’s purpose is to make rental properties livable again.

Initially, the fund paid $5,000 for cleanup costs. State lawmakers raised the reimbursement amount to $10,000 two years ago.

Since 2012, the fund has paid more than $668,000 directly to companies that specialize in meth cleanup, according to the Gazette’s analysis.

Simon Environmental, a Jackson County company, collected $423,845 for cleanup expenses — five times more than any other firm.

Global Environmental of Kearneysville was paid $81,526, followed by Astar Abatement of Sissonville ($56,495), Affordable Cleanup of Scott Depot ($54,139), and Meth Lab Cleanup LLC of Athol, Idaho ($35,612). Several other firms received smaller amounts.

The remaining meth lab payouts went to landlords, including 16 who live outside the state but own property in West Virginia. Out-of-state property owners and meth cleanup companies are eligible to receive money from the victims compensation fund.

To pay for the increase in meth lab claims, the Court of Claims has tapped a reserve fund for the past several years. The reserve account was set up to pay out injury claims after a catastrophic event, such as a school shooting or terrorist attack.

Because of meth lab claims, the reserve fund has dropped from $6 million to $3 million during the past four years.

West Virginia law enforcement authorities seized 533 meth labs last year, nearly double the 288 labs found in 2012. Police busted meth labs in 45 of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

The Crime Victims Compensation Fund is on pace to pay more than $1 million on 200 claims during the current fiscal year, which ends in July.

“In so much as the cleanup costs are going up and the number of labs are going up, it’s only logical to assume that other costs, like children going to foster care and hospitalizations, also are going up,” Perdue said.

Perdue supports legislation (SB6) designed to reduce meth labs and their cleanup costs. The bill would require people to secure a prescription before they could buy most cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient sold under brand names such as Sudafed and Claritin-D.

The legislation exempts so-called “tamper-resistant” pseudoephedrine products — Zephrex-D and Nexafed — which can’t easily be converted to meth.

The Senate Health and Human Resources Committee advanced the bill last week, and the Senate Judiciary Committee could take up the legislation within days.

Drug industry lobbyists oppose the bill, saying it would inconvenience consumers and drive up health-care costs.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse has recommended that state legislators pass a pseudoephedrine prescription law. The panel released its final report last month. Council members gave more votes to the prescription requirement than any other proposal designed to curb substance abuse in West Virginia.

 

 

 

http://new.loganbanner.com/news/news/3086983/Meth-lab-claims-drain-crime-victims-fund

 

 

WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) –  Two North Carolina residents have been charged after Oconee County deputies seized 4 pounds of meth during a traffic stop on Interstate 85 on Wednesday.

Jimmy Watt of the sheriff’s office said they stopped a 2007 gold Chevy Tahoe around 11 a.m. near Exit 4 on I-85 north.

The driver, 32-year-old Maria Herrera, told deputies she and the passenger were on their  way to Asheville from Gainesville, GA, according to Watt.

Deputies became suspicious when Herrera’s story conflicted with the passenger, Yair Ortega-Guzman’s story, according to Watt.

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Watt said deputies received consent to search the car where they found a Ziploc bag with a pound of meth in the floorboard.

According to Watt, Herrera and Ortega-Guzman’s stories continued to conflict.

Deputies then found another container wrapped in a laundry basket in the cargo area that contained another 3 pounds of meth, Watt said.

The 4 pounds of meth has a street value of $180,000, according to Watt.

Watt said deputies discovered the drugs were picked up in Atlanta and were being transported to Asheville.

Herrera and Ortega-Guzman have both been charged with trafficking and conspiracy, according to Watt.

“We are between two hubs for drug activity, which are Atlanta and Charlotte,” said Capt. Ken Washington of the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff’s Office. “You want to get be able to get that type of quantity of meth, because it is going to be dispersed into smaller weights.  454 grams equals 1 pound and typically, a gram of meth can be sold for up to $100.”

 

 

 

 

http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/24779231/deputies-4-pounds-of-meth-seized-in-i-85-traffic-stop

 

MOULTRIE — A suspect in a domestic violence case was arrested Tuesday at a Moultrie motel, and subsequent investigation tied him to the distribution of methamphetamine, law enforcement officers said.

Billy Buchanon Slocumb III, 29, 2021 S. Main St., was charged with battery (family violence) on an outstanding warrant, according to Inv. Jim Sellers of the Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team.

When deputies went to the Cocomo Inn on First Avenue Southeast to arrest Slocumb, they found several items used in the distribution of methamphetamine as well as a quantity of the drug in his possession, Sellers said.

DET agents searched the vehicle that they believe he drove to the motel in, and they found chemical agents and other items commonly associated with the manufacture of meth, Sellers said.

Slocumb also faces charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, manufacture of meth and possession of tools during the commission of a crime.

 

 

 

 

http://www.moultrieobserver.com/local/x2039929965/Family-violence-suspect-now-faces-meth-charges

 

 

Kennewick — Joshua H. Hunt sobbed as he testified Thursday about pointing a revolver at a Richland teen’s chest and pulling the trigger.

Hunt, 19, told a Benton County jury that his heavy drug and alcohol use hours before the shooting clouded his judgment.

“I was the highest I’ve ever been,” said Hunt when he took the stand in his first-degree murder trial to tell a Benton County jury about the day Josh Snapp was killed.

Hunt said he started smoking methamphetamine several times a day in the weeks leading up the murder. He also was smoking about an ounce and a half of marijuana a day and he had a cooler in his car filled with liquor bottles.

1gtVy4_AuSt_13

On the day Snapp, 17, was shot, Hunt smoked methamphetamine and marijuana and was drinking liquor.

He admitted to shooting the Richland teen early July 4 in a remote desert area near Beardsley Road and Horn Rapids. Investigators claim he and co-defendant John C.I. Young thought Snapp owed them money and was an informant.

Shane Silverthorn, Hunt’s attorney, has suggested Hunt’s drug and alcohol use affected his ability to understand what he was doing.

Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller claims Snapp’s murder was premeditated, noting that Hunt can remember everything that happened leading up to and after the shooting.

On the stand Thursday, Hunt gave many details about the night before the murder and the early morning July 4.

Miller said Hunt’s memory of certain details, including dropping friends off, conversations with Snapp in the desert and what happened after the shooting prove he knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger.

Miller peppered the teen with questions about why he could remember details about the night and next morning but not about the actual shooting. Hunt admitted he remembered certain things before and after the shooting.

“So the meth didn’t do too bad a job on your memory, did it?” Miller asked.

Hunt paused for a moment before replying, “No.”

Hunt showed remorse as he told the jury of four men and 10 women his story of how the shooting happened.

Hunt said he smoked drugs and drank alcohol during the day July 3 before heading to work at a restaurant. He got off about 9 p.m. and met friends at a skate park, where he continued to use drugs and drink liquor.

Hunt said he picked up Young, 19, at 10:30 p.m. and smoked more meth before heading to an apartment complex parking lot. Hunt and a few friends drank and smoked marijuana outside.

“I was high,” he said in court. “I was starting to get a good buzz.”

The group left the apartments and headed to an impromptu party on Williams Boulevard in Richland. At the party, Hunt continued drinking and smoking marijuana, and smoked methamphetamine at 3 a.m.

The party died down and Hunt drove his car to drop off a few friends about 4 a.m., he testified. He said he doesn’t remember dropping two friends off but remembers dropping a girl off, including the roads to get there.

Hunt then decided to head out to the remote desert area with Snapp and Young under the guise of planning to do more drugs.

Once there, Young got out and pulled a gun on Snapp, calling him a “f-ing snitch” and firing two warning shots, Hunt testified. Hunt recalled Young walking off and he and Snapp sat down and talked for about 20 minutes.

Hunt said Snapp looked scared and the pair talked about what had happened and how they wanted to stop using drugs.

Young apparently came back and Hunt took the gun and put it in his shorts, Hunt testified. Hunt told the jury everything had “cooled down” and the three teens smoked marijuana before Young started calling Snapp a snitch again.

On Thursday, tears began to run down Hunt’s face as he described what happened next.“The next thing I know, the gun is in my hand. I shot him in the chest,” Hunt said.

Hunt claims he started crying and walked away as Young grabbed the gun and also shot Snapp.

Hunt said he never planned to shoot Snapp and has had a lot of time in to jail to think about it.

“When I smoked meth I didn’t really know what I was doing,” he said.

Hunt then recalled driving to Benton City, putting the revolver and other items in a backpack and throwing it into the Yakima River while Young went inside a convenience store to use the restroom.

Young reportedly told the clerk to call police because he had seen a shooting. Hunt testified he spotted a sheriff deputy’s car, grabbed the backpack and threw it in the river.

Hunt, who can’t swim, said he then contemplated jumping in the river and trying to kill himself. He thought about his family and couldn’t go through with it.

“I (felt) like s–t because I just shot my friend for no reason,” he said.

The jury is scheduled to hear closing statements today before possibly starting deliberations.

Young is charged with the same crime. His trial is set for March.

ROCK HILL — A Rock Hill man who deputies said shot a gun in the air during a fight with his brother wound up in jail when authorities discovered he carried methamphetamine in his pockets and a duffel bag, according to a York County Sheriff’s report. His mother was also arrested, deputies say, after she tossed his meth-encrusted pipe over a fence.

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Authorities were sent to a Hall Spencer Road home at about 8:40 a.m. Sunday after receiving calls about two brothers fighting, one of whom was armed with a gun, the report states. Deputies met with one brother, 44, who told deputies that Chad Hyatt, 37, became upset with him and started a fight, during which he pulled out a handgun. When his brother took away his handgun, Hyatt allegedly grabbed a shotgun and began to shoot it.

Deputies went to Hyatt’s home, where they found his mother, Vicki Hyatt, standing near the garage, instructing her son, still carrying the shotgun, to go back into the house, the report states. Hyatt went into the house and grabbed a gray duffel bag and a book. He dropped the items in the carport and walked toward deputies, who detained him and found him with a glass pipe, encrusted with crystal methamphetamine residue.

Vicki Hyatt grabbed a glass pipe found by officers and threw it over the fence, the report states. A deputy spotted her and charged her with obstructing justice.

Deputies also found a bag of meth in Hyatt’s back pocket, and several baggies of the drug in his duffel bag.

Deputies charged Hyatt with use of firearm while under the influence and distribution of methamphetamine. He released from the York County Detention Center on a $12,500 bond. Vicki Hyatt was released from jail on a $3,000 bond.

Seven people were shot dead in an operation against illegal drug dens by police in southern Philippines, law-enforcement officials said.
Thirty-six people including a South Korean were arrested in the raid on 26 houses believed to be selling the banned drug methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as “ice” or “shabu,’’ said Emerson Rosales, the regional chief of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
About 200 police and other lawmen took part in the biggest anti-drugs operation this year, he added.
Thirteen firearms, assorted explosives and banned drugs were also seized in the raid on the major trading city of Davao, he added.

“This part of town is notorious for drug pushers and many of them are armed,” Rosales said.

He defended the high number of fatalities, saying the suspects tried to shoot back.
In the past, Philippine police have been accused of illegally “rubbing-out” suspects and then saying they were killed while resisting arrest.
In July, two policemen were charged for killing two gangsters in their custody while 14 others were charged with trying to cover up their crime.

 

 

 

 

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/breaking_news_detail.asp?id=46549&icid=4&d_str=

 

EVANSVILLE —A jury Wednesday convicted Evansville resident Andrew Wedge of two counts of dealing methamphetamine and other charges.

In March, police found 135 reaction vessels for meth-making in a Maxwell Avenue storage garage rented by Wedge, according to the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office.

andrewwedge_t160

The Vanderburgh Circuit Court jury listened to a day and a half of testimony and deliberated until 10:30 p.m. Wednesday before finding Wedge guilty of dealing the drug, as well as methamphetamine possession, maintaining a common nuisance and a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.

Circuit Court Magistrate Kelli Fink will sentence Wedge at 9 a.m. March 19.

 

 

 

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2014/feb/20/evansville-man-found-guilty-of-dealing-meth-had/

 

 

 

Calexico, California – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry over the Valentine’s Day weekend seized $368,000 worth of methamphetamine in two separate incidents.

The first incident occurred shortly before 6 a.m. on February 14, when CBP officers encountered a 2000 Ford Explorer, driven by a 28-year-old male U.S. citizen as he waited in line for inspection. During the inspection the officer determined the driver and vehicle needed an in-depth examination.

A CBP canine team screened the vehicle and the detector dog alerted to the engine. An intensive search revealed one wrapped package of methamphetamine, weighing 10 pounds, hidden within a non-factory compartment inside of the intake manifold.

The narcotic has an estimated street value of $115,000.

The driver, a resident of El Centro, Calif., was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents (HSI) for further processing.

The second incident occurred at about 4:20 a.m., on February 17, when a CBP canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection. The detector dog alerted to a 1999 Chevrolet S-10 pick-up. The officers escorted the pick-up truck and driver, a 24-year-old male Mexican citizen, for further examination.

During the inspection, officers discovered 20 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed inside the gas tank of the vehicle.

The narcotics weighed approximately 22 pounds with an estimated street value of $253,000.

The man, a resident of El Centro, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of HSI for further processing.

CBP seized the vehicles and narcotics.

 

 

 

Police were called to Cawdor Crescent in Hanwell on Tuesday afternoon to reports of a dispute between a landlord and a tenant.

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During the investigation the officers found equipment believed to be involved in the making of the drug.

A man was arrested on suspicion of the production of methamphetamine hydrochloride. He remains in custody.

A cordon has been put around the property and officers remain at the scene.

 

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26286082

 

 

PRAIRIEVILLE, Louisiana — Ascension Parish sheriff’s narcotics agents shut down two methamphetamine labs and arrested seven people this week on drugs and other counts after a monthlong investigation.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1jUyKPl ) agents obtained a search warrant for a home after they stopped and arrested four people Feb. 14 on drug counts as they were leaving a Prairieville mobile home. Three others were arrested on Tuesday.

Deputies say a search of the home turned up two methamphetamine labs, an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, marijuana, hydrocodone, clonazepam, Xanax and Adderall and a handgun.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/f037c6af826f49369f33eef552eb066a/LA–Ascension-Drug-Raid

County sheriffs and state lawmakers held a joint session in Augusta for an overview of the state’s illegal drug scene.

 

AUGUSTA — A manyfold increase in the number of makeshift laboratories making methamphetamine. Hundreds of babies born addicted to drugs. A nearly threefold jump in overdose deaths attributed to heroin.

Those facts, and more, make up part of the drug scene in Maine. Law enforcement on Thursday sketched that picture for lawmakers who gathered for the Maine Sheriff’s Association Legislative Breakfast Series at the Senator Inn & Spa.

“I’m learning a lot about all of this,” said Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop. “I never knew the extent of the problem.”

Maine Drug Enforcement Agent Jason Pease offered grim details of that problem, beginning with the number of makeshift methamphetamine laboratories cropping up around the state, particularly in rural Aroostook County. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency last year dismantled more than 20 laboratories used for making methamphetamine.

“Years before, we in the single digits,” he said.

Each of those laboratories, which create a potentially deadly cocktail of gases and heat, poses a threat to those operating them, and those such as Pease who are assigned the task of dismantling them. Maine DEA Director Roy McKinney said it can cost up to $12,000 to dispose of each laboratory. That cost does not include the $1,000 suits worn by law enforcement, which are supposed to be worn only three times before being tossed out.

“We’re trying to stretch that as much as possible,” McKinney said.

Despite the potential dangers, the market for methamphetamine continues to lure manufacturers. Pease said there has been an increase in people from out of state moving to Maine to set up shop. Pease ran into one person who left an Indiana prison only to come to Maine and teach people how to make methamphetamine. Even those who do not use the drug are building laboratories in hopes of making extra money, Pease said.

“A lot of people are experimenting with it,” he said.

That includes users. Pease said one case involved a utility worker who was logging long hours. The worker used methamphetamine to stay alert, but the drug also produces wild hallucinations. When a sheriff’s deputy asked the lineman where he had been, the lineman, who was alone in the truck, told the deputy to ask his friends in back.

“The paranoia is huge with these people,” Pease said. “Sometimes they become very violent. Other times they’re very meek and mild.”

Lt. Chancey Libby, of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, said opiate abuse is increasing markedly in his county, as it is in Kennebec County, including abuse of pharmaceuticals, such as OxyContin, and heroin.

“Heroin has pretty much taken over because the pharmaceuticals are so high,” Libby said, adding that a single pill sells for about $40 in Oxford County.

There has been a marked increase in the number of heroin-related overdoses and overdose deaths in Maine because purity levels of heroin can vary greatly, and because people build up a tolerance to drug, causing them to use more to feel the same effect. The state attorney general last month announced that of the 163 overdose deaths in 2012, 101 were related to opiate use. Of those, 28 were attributed to heroin, four times the number of heroin deaths in 2010 and 2011.

The heroin market, like that for methamphetamine, is being infiltrated by out-of-staters who can sell heroin for more in Maine than they can in their own states.

“They’re coming up here because there’s more of a profit,” Libby said.

Pease said in his area along the midcoast about 90 percent of the abuse is connected to the commercial fishing industry. Fisherman return from a trip to sea flush with cash they can use to buy drugs, he said. Those who fish from ports in Massachusetts often return with friends, some of whom belong to gangs looking to crack the Maine market. Gangs, as they have for years, hold a presence in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland; but they have expanded their territory, Pease said. Many of those involved have lengthy criminal records that include violence, he said.

Gang activity is now present as far north as Houlton and is taking hold in the capital. In December, MDEA arrested 10 people on trafficking charges in Augusta after searching a home at 1 Penley St. Seven of those arrested listed Pennsylvania addresses. Police said at the time the Chicago-based Almighty Black P. Stones used the house to funnel illegal drugs into Maine.

Seized during the search at the home in the Eastern Avenue neighborhood were 45 grams of heroin, with an estimated street value of $10,000, and about 5 grams of what authorities believed to be methamphetamine, according to the Maine DEA.

“Augusta is our problem area with organized crime,” Pease said. “It’s nonstop.”

Libby said the gang dealers move around and the gangs will send replacements if they feel law enforcement closing in.

“A lot of times by the time we hear about it, they’re taking off,” Libby said.

Besides heroin and methamphetamine, police also are seeing an increase in bath salt use. The synthetic hallucinogenic can cause users to stay up for hours on end and behave erratically.

“Bath salts make people do crazy things,” Pease said. “When it comes into an area, you know it.”

Profit, as with heroin and methamphetamine, is an enticement to dealers. Five pounds of bath salts purchased through the mail for about $300 then sell for as much as $30,000, Pease said.

Combating the drug industry requires a multi-pronged approach. Pease said he supports Gov. Paul LePage’s plan to add 14 new drug agents, but the judicial end of law enforcement also must change. Pease said it is discouraging to spend countless hours on a case and get a trafficking conviction, only to have a judge impose a light sentence.

“When someone gets a slap on the wrist or a deferred disposition … they’re not really being held accountable,” Pease said. “We need to figure out where we’re going in the future of drug enforcement.”

Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said most of the crime in Maine is driven by illegal drug use. Habits can cost as much as $600 a day to sustain. The cost to the system is equally staggering and comes in the form of health care, law enforcement and incarceration. Liberty, who also supports LePage’s plan to increase the number of drug agents, said the state must take a three-pronged approach that includes education, enforcement and treatment.

Eliminating or even merely curbing the illegal trade is a monumental challenge, Liberty said. Drug abuse cannot be tied a particular economic or social class. While officials have a solid grasp of how drugs are brought into the state and dispersed, clear explanations for why people begin using drugs in the first place proved much more elusive.

“A lot of people like to experiment,” Libby said.

He said young people will experiment with drugs and gradually to move to more potent substances. Peer pressure sometimes leads to those first tentative steps. Often the young people are simply imitating their parents’ behavior. Libby said he has made it a habit to ask users how they got hooked.

“A lot of them tell me they started in high school,” he said. “I think it starts at a young age.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Heroin__methamphetamine_abuse_on_the_rise_.html

 

PIERRE PART, LA (WAFB) – Narcotics agents said a man suspected of selling crystal meth almost passed out when he was handed a warrant to search his home Monday.

The Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office said Brian Metrejean Jr., 24, of Pierre Part, was arrested on charges of possession with intent to distribute crystal meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $75,500.

24772396_BG1 24772396_BG2 24772396_BG3

According to Sheriff Mike Waguespack, Metrejean broke out in a sweat to the point that beads of perspiration were falling from his face after being handed a copy of the search warrant. The suspect allegedly got very pale and almost collapsed. Waguespack added deputies had to help him to a chair to prevent him from falling over.

Investigators said the search turned up many items related to the trafficking of narcotics. They reported finding several plastic bags and containers with what they believed to be crystal meth inside them. They added the suspected drugs were packaged for sale.

Detectives said scales and instructions on how to create a “shake and bake” meth lab were also seized as evidence.

The investigation is ongoing.

Waguespack added a reminder for people about reporting suspicious activity, especially if that activity is related to labs or chemicals. He stated the dangers of fire and explosion those chemicals can pose, along with the affects of fumes and physical contact.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wafb.com/story/24772396/sheriff-suspected-meth-dealer-almost-passes-out-when-deputies-hand-him-search-warrant

 

AFFTON, Mo. – St. Louis County police officers found a meth lab in Affton Wednesday afternoon after they responded to a report of Wednesday afternoon after they responded to a report of an explosion.

Officers were called to the 4800 block of Hannover shortly after 2 p.m., and found evidence of an active meth lab.  The meth lab had been abandoned by the time police arrived.

An employee at a nearby business says police asked workers to stay inside their building and not to linger outside if they leave.

The St. Louis County Meth Unit is on the scene investigating.

 

 

 

 

http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/crime/2014/02/19/affton-meth-lab-explosion/5617157/

 

Make no mistake. The drug War in rural Texas is all about Mexican methamphetamine, a potent stimulant known on the street as Ice. It’s made in Mexico, smuggled across the border as a liquid and reprocessed into shards that resemble ice. This press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas is typical of what is happening every day. Drug gangs based in the Mexican state of Guerrero send entire families to rural Texas as if they were pharmaceutical company sales reps.

meth288

Apolinar Carbajal Abelardo, identified as a 42-year-old illegal immigrant, set up shop in Marshall, Texas, a Northeast Texas community of 28,000 people. He operated from November 2009 to October 2012, according to court documents.  He got busted after selling more than 50 grams of meth and will serve 225 months in federal prison. Agents seized several parcels of land, eight firearms and several vehicles from him and his co-conspirators.

I wanted to ask some questions about Abelardo’s operation but Allen Hurst, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted him, did not return a phone call left at his Tyler office Wednesday afternoon.

One aspect of the case is particularly troubling. The indictment alleges that Abelardo bribed a local police officer to protect his drug operation. It says he paid the officer a total of $5,000 in $1,000 increments over several months. But the indictment provides no details and does not name the police officer.

The public corruption allegation raises the specter that Mexican drug gangs are importing more than drugs to Texas. Bribing police officers in Mexico has been a way of life for generations. And federal agents report that they are finding more Texas law officers taking money from drug dealers.

The North Texas High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, an association of law enforcement agencies based in Irving, names methamphetamine as the number one drug threat in our area of Texas. Meth is horribly addictive and destructive for users, and many of them steal to support their habit.

Tim Cariker, an assistant district attorney in Marshall, sees the problem every day. He told me that 90 percent of the low-level drug cases in Harrison County (population 75,000) involve meth possession or sales. And many of the theft cases he prosecutes — stealing oilfield equipment or things like copper tubing from HVAC units — involve meth users “who are trying to get money for a meth hit.”

Cariker, an assistant DA for 11 years, said efforts to cut off the supply are not working. Jail time for meth users is not working, either. They get busted for small amounts, serve a few months, get out of jail and resume their old habits. Special court programs that divert users away from jail and funnel them into rehab programs may be the answer, Cariker said.

“Maybe we need to try to cut off the demand at the lowest level,” he said.

 

 

 

http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2014/02/its-all-about-meth-a-dispatch-from-the-front-lines-of-the-drug-war.html/?nclick_check=1

 

 

On Tuesday, 2/18/14 at approximately 1:17pm the Lake City Police Department responded to the Gateway Inn, located at 3783 NW US Highway 90 in Lake City regarding a request for a well-being check on a resident. Employees of the Gateway Inn stated that they were cleaning Room 35, which had already been checked out. When cleaning staff went to remove bedding from one of the beds, they discovered a white male, later identified as Brandon Turner, unresponsive under the sheets.

Brandon+Turner

Officer Louis Troiano, the first to respond to the scene, found the room door open and observed Turner lying in the bed and did not appear responsive. After shaking the bed several times and announcing himself as a Police Officer, Turner awoke and sat up. Troiano told Turner that he was in the room past checkout and that he needed to leave or make arrangements to stay longer with the hotel. Turner got up from the bed and began to gather his clothing. While he did so, Troiano noticed a plastic bag sitting on the other bed in the room. The bag contained coffee filters and a clear jar with a strange looking liquid inside. He also noticed a propane tank next to the bed.

Troiano asked Turner about the items and their purpose. Turner replied that the items were not his, and then ran from the room. Turner fled across the parking lot, disrobing and dropping his remaining clothing in the process. He ran into the nearby woods, and was unable to be located. Turner also dropped a cigarette pack that was recovered and found to contain two bags containing a green leafy substance and a white powdery substance. Field tests of both substances later showed positive for the presence of cannabis and methamphetamine, respectively.

Officers from LCPD’s Criminal Interdiction Unit, as well as the Columbia County Joint Drug Taskforce, responded to the Gateway Inn where they observed items consistent with the clandestine manufacture of methamphetamine as well as hypodermic needles and a Pyrex dish containing residue in plain view. A Search Warrant was obtained and was served at approximately 5:00pm. Meth lab response personnel, equipped in full HAZMAT protection suits, entered the room and removed several materials and items from the room. Residue and powders found tested positive for Methamphetamine.

Later that same evening, at approximately 11:00pm, Officer Garret Register responded to an address a few blocks away regarding a report of a domestic disturbance that was turning physical. Upon arrival, he made contact with the victim who stated that her ex-boyfriend and father of her child was following and harassing her. She stated that she was attempting to walk home from work when he found her and began begging to stay with her that evening. He told her that he was homeless since the hotel room she had rented for him nearby was no longer available. Investigation into the case revealed that her boyfriend was Turner.

The victim stated that she walked quickly in an attempt to evade Turner telling him to leave her alone. When she did, Turner ran and caught up with her and, according to the victim, struck her several times in the back of the head. The victim, who had a black eye that was in the process of healing at the time of the report, stated that it had also been caused by Turner several days prior. Officer Register was able to determine that Turner had waited for the victim outside of her work, stalked her, and battered her on her way home. He was arrested for Domestic Violence Battery. While processing Turner, Register realized that he was the same subject from the earlier incident at the Gateway Inn.

Turner was transported to the Lake City Police Department where he was interviewed by narcotics detectives. After being advised of his rights, Turner agreed to an interview in which he admitted to smoking and snorting methamphetamine the previous night, before passing out in the bed. He stated that his next memory was of being awoken by Officer Troiano.

Turner was transported to the Columbia County Jail and charged with various drug charges including possession and manufacturing and resisting arrest. He was also charged with Domestic Violence Battery. Turner is currently being held on a $15,000 bond.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/246256321.html

 

West Virginia woman accused of trying to kill a  police officer during a gunfire-riddled chase that ended with her alleged  accomplice killing himself was charged on Wednesday with operating a  methamphetamine lab.

Jessica Lynn Phillips, 28, of Buckhannon was held for  trial on homicide and drug charges, along with 40 other criminal counts, at a  preliminary hearing before North Union District Judge Wendy Dennis.

Police said Phillips and the late Donald Brown, 53,  fled a secluded area along the Youghiogheny River in Dunbar Township on Sept. 27  when a state ranger found them with a suspected mobile meth lab.

The pair allegedly led state troopers on a chase  south into North Union Township — firing shots out a rear sliding window on  their pickup — before the truck crashed into a North Gallatin Avenue home.

Police allege they broke into a nearby home on Center  Avenue. Phillips quickly surrendered. Troopers tried to reach Brown for about  nine hours until they found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot about 9 p.m.

On Wednesday, Ranger Kip Hursh of the Department of  Conservation and Natural Resources testified he found the two at 11:45 a.m.  camped at Wheeler Bottom. They said they were homeless.

Hursh testified he was going to inspect a trailer at  the campsite when the two overheard a radio transmission indicating troopers  were headed to the area. The pair fled with Brown at the wheel.

Trooper Nathan Swink testified he followed the truck  at speeds up to at least 80 mph along West Crawford Avenue from the Sheetz in  Connellsville to North Gallatin Avenue, where the truck wrecked. As the truck  passed Sherwood’s Bar in Dunbar Township, Swink said, he saw the silhouette of a  person holding a handgun.

“I heard a distinct sound that I immediately  recognized as sounds like gunshots,” Swink testified. He did not see who was  holding the handgun or if it was pointed in his direction, but he “assumed they  were being shot at me.”

He told Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kelley  he “felt like these people were dangerous, and they were shooting at me.”

Swink feared another motorist might be hit.

Trooper Tonya Wroble testified she and another  trooper used patrol cars to block Bute Road. But she was forced to move her car  at the last second when the fast-moving truck drove between the police cars,  missing them by inches.

Swink testified that after the truck crashed, he  discovered the driver’s side tire of his patrol car had gone flat. A bullet  fragment from a .380-caliber weapon was discovered in the tire, testified  Trooper Joseph Panepinto.

Panepinto said Phillips discussed the shootout during  phone calls and visits at the Fayette County Prison. During a visit that  authorities recorded, Phillips said a .380-caliber handgun was fired at the  patrol car.

In another recording, Phillips told a visitor that “what’s really getting me is shooting at the cops.”

Cpl. Dennis Ulery of the state police Clandestine  Laboratory Response Team testified drain opener, pseudoephedrine tablets, sodium  hydroxide, lithium metal and other chemicals discovered at Wheeler Bottom are  used to cook meth.

“Based on the ingredients I saw there … it was an  active, one-pot lab,” Ulery testified.

Police found funnels, clear tubing, coffee filter  packages and fluid-filled bottles, testified Panepinto. In the truck, police  found multiple firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun and three stolen  handguns.

Panepinto said damages to the Center Avenue house,  where police lobbed tear gas through windows and used a robot to break down the  front door, amounted to $67,675.

Homeowner Norma Sherlock, 85, was not home when Brown  and Phillips forced their way inside, police said.

Sherlock attended the hearing but did not testify.  She said her house reeked of tear gas.

“The fumes were so bad,” Sherlock said. “The house  was a wreck.”

Sherlock said her insurance company paid for her to  stay in a hotel for three months while her home was repaired.

Phillips’ mother and sister attended the hearing, but  declined comment. She is being held in the county prison in lieu of $1 million  bond.

 

 

 

 

http://triblive.com/news/fayette/5624994-74/police-testified-phillips#axzz2tsMZTU37

 

TAHLEQUAH — A Tahlequah woman remained in jail Tuesday after her arrest on shoplifting charges led officers to methamphetamine and marijuana. 

Tasha Degase, 20, was booked into jail Sunday afternoon. Employees at Walmart told Officer Thomas Donnell that Degase was caught stealing baby formula and clothing in the store. 

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Donnell confronted Degase and found a can of baby formula in her purse. Donnell said Degase first denied that she had any drugs in her purse, but told officers she did have items in her possession. She allegedly revealed a small bag of marijuana that was in her hooded shirt, and officers measured more than 28 grams. 

She also gave police two small bags of methamphetamine, totaling just over 2 grams, that were in the same pocket of her shirt. 

Degase was booked into jail for possession charges and shoplifting.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.tahlequahdailypress.com/local/x1811675590/Shoplifting-case-evolves-into-meth-pot-charges

 

MASON — Officials have released video of a police chase last week that led to a man and woman being charged with multiple counts involving meth.

Christopher Allen James, 26, and Tara Louise Everts, 36, are charged in 55th District Court with possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine components, unlawfully driving away an automobile and resisting/obstructing police. Everts is from Ovid, and James is an Eaton Rapids resident, court records show.

41075352001_3222692092001_video-still-for-video-3222546250001Christopher Allen James

Officials said James and Everts were among four people in a pickup that was pulled over for a traffic violation at about 1:40 a.m. Feb. 13 in Delhi Township.

As a deputy was speaking with two of the occupants outside the pickup, officials said Everts climbed from a rear seat into the driver’s seat and drove away with James.

Deputies said they pursued the pickup, which eventually became stuck in the snow at the intersection of Smithville Road and Barnes Highway in Eaton County. James and Everts were arrested after the video shows James trying to run away. Police learned the vehicle was reported stolen. Both suspects are each being held in Ingham County Jail on $150,000 bonds.

 

 

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20140218/NEWS01/302180022/Video-shows-police-chase-suspect-falling-while-trying-flee?nclick_check=1

 

 

 

PANAMA CITY BEACH — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division confiscated 10 ounces of a form of methamphetamine known as “ice” and $3,400 in cash in a drug bust Monday on Panama City Beach.

During an investigation, narcotics investigators developed Todd Jason Kaminski as a suspect in the distribution of methamphetamine in Bay County, BCSO said in a press release. When Kaminski was located at a business on Panama City Beach, investigators were able to make contact with him in the parking lot.

todd-jason-kaminski

Kaminski was found to be in possession of about 10 ounces of ice, as well as xanax and marijuana, BCSO said. Kaminski was arrested and charged with trafficking more than 200 grams of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute xanax, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.newsherald.com/news/crime-public-safety/meth-cash-confiscated-in-arrest-1.280285

 

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies found a 2-year-old child inside a home Tuesday night, where methamphetamine was being manufactured, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

SJSO arrested a man and woman on several charges after a meth lab was found inside the Gorda Bella Avenue home.

Randall Jay Mashburn 37, and Regina Rose Dimsdale, 24, were each charged with possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug dwelling, production of methamphetamine, posession of drug paraphernalia and child neglect.

Regina Dimsdale 1392837625000-Randall-Mashburn

After receiving reports of a strange smell coming from the residence, deputies was sent to the home.

Dimsdale came to the door and deputy noticed that the chemical smell had intensified.

The Sheriff’s Office Clandestine Lab Response Team responded and confirmed that there was a reason to believe meth was being manufactured out of that home.

Everyone inside were decontaminated including the 2-year-old child.  The child was then taken into the custody of a D.C.F. investigator.

Investigators found numerous items used to manufacture the meth including evidence of recent cooks.

Mashburn and Dimsdale remain in the St. Johns County Jail.

Mashburn is being held on bonds totaling $96,500 and Dimsdale on bonds totaling $70,000.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/crime/2014/02/19/meth-lab-found-inside-home/5611503/

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal charges were filed Wednesday against a couple arrested after police found a large amount of methamphetamine in their vehicle.

Miriam Machado, 36, and Benito Urbina, 33, each were charged in federal court with drug distribution.

On Feb. 9, the two were pulled over by the Utah Highway Patrol. With the assistance of a police K-9, detectives found more than 16 pounds of methamphetamine in a hidden compartment and more than 2 pounds of heroin, according to court records.

Machado’s 5-year-old daughter was also in the car at the time, court documents state. Urbina and his girlfriend told investigators they were transporting drugs from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. Machado said she had made a similar drug delivery the week before, hiding heroin in a toy giraffe, according to the federal complaint.

Machado told investigators she transported contraband as a way of making money to support herself and her family, court records state. Her daughter was taken into protective custody.

An initial court appearance was scheduled for Thursday. If convicted, each defendant faces a minimum of 10 years in federal prison and could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

 

 

 

 

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865596876/Couple-faces-federal-charges-in-large-meth-bust.html