Nearly 21 pounds of Methamphetamine was seized Sunday at the Dennis DeConcini crossing in Nogales, and a woman was arrested by federal officials.54a218219c7b4_image

Rachel Christine Chadwell, 28, a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to drugs within the rear seats of her 2003 Pontiac sedan, according to a news release.

The vehicle and drugs were seized, and Chadwell was processed for prosecution, officials said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://tucson.com/news/blogs/police-beat/meth-worth-seized-at-border-crossing/article_0355e316-8fce-11e4-89b5-9bb58e5dd81a.html

 

The case against a Casper woman accused of burning a baby’s face with a hot pan in September will go to trial, according to a Natrona County District Court judge.

Stephanie Shirts, 25, is charged with four counts of child abuse, four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of aggravated child abuse. District Court Judge Catherine Wilking scheduled Shirts’ trial for Feb. 2.541b68e3e1bea_image

Shirts allegedly rolled a hot saucepan on an infant’s face and shook the baby with enough force to require trauma care. She faces 65 years in prison if convicted on all nine counts prosecutors have charged her with. She pleaded not guilty in October.

Authorities also accuse Shirts of suffocating the 14-month-old girl with a blanket, according to an officer’s report. The infant was taken by Lifeflight in September to the children’s hospital in Aurora, Colorado, with a brain bleed and bleeding in the eyes.

She posted $100,000 bond earlier this year. However, Wilking revoked Shirt’s bond in October after the woman was arrested for shoplifting. Wilking reinstated bond at $250,000, and Shirts remains in custody.

Bobbi Humphreys, the infant’s mother, is charged with child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count of misdemeanor child endangering.

A man who lives with Shirts and Humphreys, Jason Cathcart, 37, is charged with four counts of child endangerment with methamphetamine and one count each of felony and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

Three other children, all under the age of 5, resided with Shirts, Humphreys and Cathcart at the time of their initial arrests. Police say the children did not have any injuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://trib.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/case-against-casper-woman-accused-of-burning-infant-s-face/article_a662b2e4-3c0b-5107-bf7a-be8c0ea81daa.html

 

Four years.

Sixteen agencies.

57 people convicted.

And 304 years in jail.

Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal announced Monday that officers and agents from local, state and federal agencies have finished a four-year methamphetamine conspiracy investigation that led to 57 people being convicted and sentenced in federal court.

He announced the final convictions and sentencings in a press release Monday.

The 57 defendants will spend a collective 304 years in federal prison for their convictions, according to WCSO Lt. Doug Gregg. He said the investigation began in 2010 on Bill Jones Road in Washington County, but continued to include areas of Sulphur Springs, Telford, Limestone, Jonesborough, Johnson City, Elizabethton, Erwin and Unicoi County as well as areas in North Carolina. Gregg said the inter-agency cooperation is necessary in these types of investigations because of the number of people involved in the operation who cross county and state lines to buy meth lab precursors used to make the highly addictive drug.

Gregg said 2014 was a better year for Washington County in terms of the number of suspected meth labs discovered and dismantled.

“We had a total of seven, which includes one in Jonesborough,” Gregg said. “That’s down from last year’s (2013) total of 27 worked by Washington County Sheriff’s Office alone.”

The number of labs in Washington County in 2014, to date, was 32 down from a countywide total of 43 in 2013. Other agencies within the county worked the remaining lab scenes.

Gregg said that of those 32 suspected meth labs this year, 11 were discovered by the WCSO through proactive investigations, rather than just merely responding to reports of meth labs found.

As investigations spread and grow, investigators interview defendants and gather more leads that end up helping eliminate more labs, Gregg said. He said it isn’t unusual to find that one meth cook has passed on the method to 10 other people.

That’s what allows the meth problem to spread so quickly, he said.

The final person charged in the investigation was sentenced earlier this month.

Those arrested, their original charges, and final sentences:

Anthony W. Maupin, 39, 458 Cash Hollow Road, Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, two county of distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Cory T. Maupin, 26, 201 Rich Hollow Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine X2, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Gary G. Richardson, 37, 660 Cherokee Mountain Road, Jonesborough; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Felicia A. Hopson, 28, 210 Parsley St. #12, Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months on supervised release.

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Randall L. Sliger, 43, Headtown Road, Jonesborough; Initial Charges: Distribution of 50 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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David Jay Yates, 50, 112 Robert Smith Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 115 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Brandon R. Fender, 31, 130 McInturff Cemetary Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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David H. Vestal, 36, 212 Creek Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 100 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Robert L. Gillis, 41, 104 Cooper Lane, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Jason R. Duncan, 36, 787 Bayless Road, Jonesborough; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 78 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Mark A. Gardner, 38, 137 Spring Brook Road, Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Savannah J. Williams, 21, 408 N. Mohawk Drive, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Christy N. Clouse, 31, General Delivery, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Nathaniel J. Effler, 25, 313 Lee Avenue, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Timothy F. Dunbar, 44, 900 Bumpass Cove Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Sandy M. Hodges, 45, 665 Princeton Road, Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 54 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Kenneth D. McCravey, 41, 533 Washington St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 36 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Jeffery H. Higgins, 44, 948 Spivey Mountain Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 52 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Brenda R. English, 41, 112 Robert Smith Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 27 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Douglas G. Gaskin, 54, 1435 Love Station Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 54 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Misty D. Potter, 37, 296 Blaine White Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 66 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Timothy W. Smith, 30, 940 N. Elm Ave., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sentenced to 92 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Crystal D. Williams, 41, 408 Mohawk Drive, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 90 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Angelia M. Robinson, 42, 24 Taylor Ridge Court, Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Rachel M. Edwards, 27, General Delivery, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Christy R. McVay, 33, 514 Rock Creek Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Jason D. Vestal, age 25, 616 Monroe St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Joshua R. Whitson, age 32, 107 Parsley St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 96 months in federal prison and 60 months on supervised release.

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Carl “Daniel” Ray, age 35, 110 Jean Davis Lane, Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Daniel R. Hopson, age 32, 210 Parsley Street #12, Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Joseph B. Banner, age 36, 160 Masters St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine X2. Sentenced to 170 months in federal prison and 96 months on supervised release.

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Jerry W. “Merd” Howell, age 47, 120 Deadrick St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Brandon Beals, age 29, 800 Broyles St. #B4, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance. Sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Ray Charles “Charlie” English, age 22, 499 Hickory Hollow Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Samuel “Mack” Sanders III, age 37, 221 ½ Dry Creek Road, Jonesborough; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance, Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Sentenced to 84 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Daniel “Scott” Smith, age 40, 112 Robert Smith Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance. Sentenced to 10 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Clinton C. Cooper, age 28, 1830 N. Main St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Spencer J. Yates, age 37, 578 Old Embreeville Road, Jonesborough; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 33 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Brian S. Smith, age 41, 121 Scott Road, Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Michael T. Smith, age 39, 154 Creek Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance, Distribution of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Donnie L. Hensley, age 41, 944 N. Main St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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David E. Gardner, age 53, 1159 Mountainview Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Robert C. Bennett, age 36, 353 Spice Hollow Road, Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance. Sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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George R. Thomas, age 31, 419 Walnut St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Timothy S. Franklin, age 37, 454 Hickory Hollow Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Stacy G. Black, age 44, 420 Walnut St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance X2. Sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Jarrod A. Hicks, age 33, 135 Virgie Hicks Road, Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance. Sentenced to 51 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Autumn M. McKinney, age 28, 206 Gay St., Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 42 months in federal prison and 46 months on supervised release.

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Jeffrey R. Casey, age 36, 136 M Coffey Lane, Jonesborough; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance X2. Sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Lisa C. Effler, age 44, 620 Mill Creek Road, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Jason A. Briggs, age 35, 4575 Old Asheville Highway, Flag Pond; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

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Darren L “Pooh” Hensley, age 29, 208 Williams Street, Erwin; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 75 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Richie J. Barnett, age 49, 911 Massachusetts Ave., Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Manufacture of a quantity of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 135 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Ruth N. Barnett, age 45, 911 Massachusetts Ave., Unicoi; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Manufacture of a quantity of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Kyle A. White, 35, 1201 E. 8th Ave. #4, Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials that would be used to manufacture a controlled substance, Manufacture of a quantity of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 114 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Dena V. Dugger, 30, 105 Hamilton St., Johnson City; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, Maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, and using methamphetamine. Sentenced to 60 months in federal prison and 48 months on supervised release.

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Tara N. Hill, 32, 169 Lovers Lane, Elizabethton; Initial Charges: Conspiracy to manufacture 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and 36 months on supervised release.

TaraNHill_s

In addition to the WCSO, agencies that participated in the investigation were: Erwin Police Department, Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office, 1st Judicial Drug Task Force, Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Elizabethton Police Department, Green County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson City Police Department, Kingsport Police Department, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Anyone having any knowledge of a methamphetamine lab is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency. If any item is found that is believed to be a one-pot meth lab or a chemical used in the manufacture of methamphetamine you are asked not to touch it, as a slight disturbance is sometimes all that is needed to cause a chemical reaction that could result in death or serious bodily injury.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/article/123174/multi-cell-meth-ring-bust-brings-304-years-in-prison-for-67-people-in-multiple-northeast-tennessee-counties

 

LEONI TWP., MI – A 46-year-old man went to the hospital Sunday, Dec. 28, with burns suffered in what police said was methamphetamine-related spill or small explosion on Larch Drive.

The man had been allegedly cooking meth in the basement of his father’s house, burned his hands and sought his own medical treatment, Blackman-Leoni Township public safety Deputy Director Jon Johnston said. He went to Allegiance Health. From there, he was transferred to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

Johnston did not have an update on the man’s condition, but said his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

A couple hours later, the man’s father arrived home, found remnants of meth production and called police shortly before 9 p.m.

Blackman-Leoni authorities contacted the Jackson Narcotics Enforcement Team, which handles meth lab clean-ups.

Officers found items used to make meth in the basement, said Michigan State Police Detective Lt. Dave Cook, commander of the team. He said officers spotted lithium batteries, sulfuric acid, Coleman fuel, lye and other evidence of meth creation. Burn marks and some charred remains made it clear there had been a fire.

The man’s 76-year-old father and another person were at the home, but they were not thought to be involved and were not arrested, Cook said.

Police likely will later ask the prosecutor’s office to charge the injured man, Cook and Johnston said.

The investigation, in its early stages, is continuing, Johnston said.

Members of the narcotics team cleaned up the components, which are taken to a secure container until they are hauled away for safe disposal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2014/12/man_burned_while_allegedly_coo.html

 

Springfield police recovered meth, marijuana and a pair of guns from the home of a known Southwest Honkey gang member earlier this month, according to court documents.

Officials have previously said the gang is responsible for dealing meth across the state.

A search warrant says that police seized the drugs and guns from a home at 1441 W. Calhoun St. in Springfield on Dec. 11 after they received a tip from a confidential source that drugs were being sold out of the house.

One of the residents of the house, Calvin Jones, is a self-admitted member of the Southwest Honkey gang — a group known to sell meth in southwest Missouri — according to the search warrant.

The other residents of the house are Stephen Arata, Krystal Jones and Timothy Murray, the search warrant says. While all four residents have criminal records, none has been charged in relation to this investigation.

The search warrant says police conducted surveillance on the home after receiving the tip. An officer observed numerous people coming and going from the residence, which is a possible sign of illegal drug sales, and the residence was equipped with a motion light and a surveillance camera, the search warrant says.

Police followed a pickup truck after it stopped at the residence and one of its occupants went inside the house for less than two minutes before driving away, the search warrant says.

An officer stopped the truck for having a defective license plate lamp and then received consent to search the vehicle. During the search of the vehicle and its occupants, police recovered syringes and a baggie of meth, according to the search warrant.

Police served a “no knock” warrant two days after the traffic stop and recovered a .22-caliber rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, pills, marijuana, meth, baggies, a scale and numerous pipes, according to the search warrant.

Springfield police recovered guns and meth from the home of three other Southwest Honkey gang members in February, and another member of the gang was arrested for leading police on a car chase with two children in his car in August, according to court documents.

Authorities said in March that Joplin police, in particular, have been following the Southwest Honkey gang.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2014/12/28/court-documents-meth-guns-found-home-southwest-honkey-gang-member/20985847/

 

FOR five years, Mark Curtis was earning $600 a day drilling on the mines and coming home to a binge-fest of drugs and booze.

Methamphetamines were among his drugs of choice, having first tried “ice” in 1994.

“It fools you into thinking you’re having a good time, life is great and everything’s fantastic,” Mr Curtis said.

“It helps you connect with other people doing the same thing and you’re excited, you can stay awake for days.”

He would sleep through the comedown for a couple of days to get clean before his next swing — going back to the mine site broke.

His partying then spiraled into addiction after a workplace car crash in 2007. His injuries made him unable to work and in 2010 he received $540,000 in worker’s compensation. His addiction became so bad he had the drugs delivered to his door.

By the start of 2012, he had blown it all.

“I was living on the streets. I blew the whole lot, and I lost my partner, my dog, all of my belongings,” Mr Curtis said.

During a drug-induced psychosis police surrounded his house after he locked himself inside threatening he had a bomb.

“The TRG were running around the house. They had red dots on me through the window. It was unbelievable, and then I assaulted one of them when I got arrested,” he said.

Mr Curtis decided to turn his life around after becoming suicidal in jail. He eventually found a sense of belonging in the prison Christian fellowship and was accepted into the Salvation Army’s rehabilitation program in June 2012.

He finished the program in January last year.

“For a few months (when I started the program) I was in denial, thinking I could still dabble, but you can’t,” Mr Curtis said.

The 45-year-old has been sober for two-and-a-half years and is now volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Harry Hunter rehabilitation centre and men’s homeless shelter.

“I think it’s a blessing that I lost all of that money,” he said.

“If I hadn’t blown it, I would have continued doing the same thing.”

NEW POLICE SQUAD FOR WAR ON ICE

A PERMANENT new police squad has been formed to smash clandestine drug laboratories in WA.

PerthNow can reveal the new team started work this week tasked with halting the “dramatically increasing” supply of methamphetamine in metropolitan and regional WA.

The team of seven senior detectives has been ordered to crack down on the manufacture and production of methamphetamine — including highly purified and addictive crystal “ice” — before it reaches dealers and hits the streets.

Serious and organized crime squad boss, Detective-Inspector Chris Adams, confirmed the new unit was operational and said it would scrutinize every person in the state who bought big quantities of laboratory equipment, glassware and chemicals that were commonly used in suburban clandestine labs to “cook” methamphetamine and ice, which fetches up to $360,000 a kilogram.

He said the new team would operate within the existing improvised drug manufacturing investigation (IDMI) unit, a key anti-drug division of the serious and organized crime squad.

It is the latest move in a shake-up of the serious and organized crime squad that also included the formation in October of a specialist “district response team” — also with seven dedicated detectives — to bring down drug-dealing syndicates operating across one or more police districts.

“With these two teams, we’re specifically attacking it from both ends. At the distribution point and at the manufacture point,” Det-Insp Adams said.

New figures released to The Sunday Times show in nine months the district response team carried out 75 search warrants and charged 96 people with 346 offences.

It seized $477,000 in cash, 6700 rounds of ammunition, 20 firearms, 41 other prohibited weapons and drugs including 14kg of MDMA, 5kg of methamphetamine, 178 cannabis plants, 21kg of cannabis, 13kg of synthetic cannabis and 3kg of steroids.

Acting Detective-Senior Sergeant Grant Barber, who heads up the IDMI unit, and Detective-First Class Constable Rebecca Brandham, a new member of the district response team, put drug dealers and manufacturers on notice this week, saying more raids were “imminent”.

Det-Insp Adams said ice induced violent behavior that led to domestic assaults, road trauma and violent crime. It also led to high-volume property crime and burglaries as users tried to pay for their habit.

While drug cooks were being blitzed within WA, Det-Insp Adams conceded amphetamines were also flowing into the state by land, sea and air as syndicates cashed in on “huge demand”.

But he said record seizures were coming because WA Police had forged “very close ties” with Australian Crime Commission, Federal Police and Customs and Border Protection operatives.

“Five years ago we were seizing ounces. Now we’re seizing kilos … multiple kilos,” he said. “Significant quantities of meth are coming into Sydney from Asia, particularly China and Vietnam, and then being couriered into WA.

“It costs between $5000 and $10,000 to produce a kilo of meth in China which sells for $200,000 in Sydney and up to $360,000 in WA.”

The organized crime squad boss said traffickers were also using the postal system in a “shotgun approach to drug smuggling, posting 20 parcels each with 500 grams of meth on the assumption that 18 or 19 will make it through”.

National Drug Research Institute director Professor Steve Allsop said he had seen a “definite spike” in the use of ice.

Carol Daws, who runs Perth drug rehab centre Cyrenian House, said ice destroyed relationships, led to psychosis and paranoia, and was “now one of the most common substances that people are seeking treatment for”.

Researchers say ice has also penetrated the regions. In Busselton, where the fly-in, fly-out population is growing, drug convictions are up 67 per cent this year and in Margaret River convictions have risen by a third.

It comes as the Australian Crime Commission’s Illicit Drug Data Report warned ice had become a national “pandemic”.

The report found methamphetamine was manufactured by organized crime gangs in China, Iran and West Africa and shipped via South-East Asia to the Eastern States hidden in products like tinned fruit, pots, toys and shampoo bottles.

Twenty tons of illegal drugs worth $2.7 billion was seized nationally last year and more than 10,000 people were arrested for drug offences.

THE FAST ROAD TO ADDICTION

For the past 10 years Major Colin Medling had been the manager of The Salvation Army’s Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre in Gosnells.

“It’s an insidious drug (methamphetamines) and the real problem is you don’t know how pure it is,” he said.

By the time addicts come to Maj Medling they have been battling the demons for years.

The average age of the male and female clients at ‘Harry’s’ is 36.

They have to complete a three-week assessment and dry-out period at Bridge House in Highgate before they are deemed stable enough to take part in the 15-week program.

“Once they come here, they are all treated the same. Addiction is addiction, is addiction,” Maj Medling said.

About 50 per cent of those who come through Harry’s complete the program.

During their stay, clients are taught about boundaries, anger management, spirituality and responsibility.

Maj Medling said giving the addicts trust and responsibility was one of the reasons why the program has a high success rate.

“When you’re looking at addicts, they’ve never even trusted themselves before,” he said.

THE IMPACT ON HEALTH SERVICES

YOU need five people to hold down a person in the grip a methamphetamine overdose.

But the emergency department at the Royal Perth Hospital gets a lot of practice.

“You need one staff member for each limb, one staff member for the head, one staff member to draw up the drugs, and one to administer them,” emergency department toxicologist Dr Kerry Hoggett said.

The emergency room might see one or two people in that state each day, down a few presentations a week from the peak in 2006.

Dr Hoggett said alcohol still accounts for the majority of emergency presentations, and opiate use is on the rise.

But neither drug makes its users as difficult to treat as methamphetamine does.

“It tends to make you quite agitated and panicked, so often we will see people come in being escorted by police because they have been involved in something else before that,” Dr Hogget said.

“They often appear to be hallucinating. They can be psychotic.”

Opiate use, she said, produces much less “resource intensive” hospital patients.

“They are really sedated and will stay in one spot,” she said.

“Whereas people who are on methamphetamines will take a lot of staff — a lot of security staff, a lot of hospital staff and police — so we can get them sedated so we can treat them.”

Ambulance officers, working in smaller teams, do not have that support.

One long-time St John Ambulance officer, who did not wished to be named, said paramedics were faced with “violent” and “dangerous” methamphetamine addicts on a nightly basis.

Often a person’s “terrified” family or friends will call 000, when they see the erratic behavior typical of a methamphetamine overdose.

 “The violence towards first responders, in particular ambulance officers, is escalating and very dangerous,” the ambulance officer said.

He said the number of methamphetamine overdoses had “dramatically increased” in recent years.

The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, released this week said methamphetamine use in Australia was not increasing — but it was switching from powdered forms of the drug to the even more addictive crystal meth or ice.

And the frequency with which people use meth has also increased — 25.3 per cent of crystal meth users took the drug daily last year, compared to 12.4 per cent in 2010.

James Pitts, chief executive of drug rehabilitation centre odyssey House, has seen first-hand the horrors of ice.

He had to retrain staff to handle ice addicts because they are so much more dangerous and difficult to deal with than other drug users.

“With amphetamine-type stimulants, particularly ice, there is a completely different action because it acts on the central nervous system as a stimulant,” he said.

“So the users initially have a heightened sense of wellbeing and confidence. They have an, ‘I can rule the world’ feeling.

“The problem with ice is that kind of wellbeing, that sense of confidence, converts after a period of time into paranoia, agitation and feeling that people are trying to do things to you.

“That’s where the violence aspect comes in. Either a person becomes overly aggressive because of a comment somebody may have made or there is a perception that somebody is trying to harm them in some way and violence ensues.

“The biggest negative with ice is the fact that it doesn’t allow people to sleep and you need sleep so you can maintain some kind of sense of psychiatric balance. Because ice users are up for two or three days or more at a time they have a distortion of reality.

“They have a propensity to hear voices and display delusional behavior. They become agitated, anxiety sets in and they are prone to violence.’’

THE ICE JOURNEY TO WA

  • Organized crime gangs in Iran, West Africa and China have been identified by the Australian Crime Commission as the biggest sources of ice or crystal methamphetamine production on the planet.
  • The ice is then exported in significant quantities to South-East Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, usually hidden in sea containers loaded on cargo ships. These countries are targeted for domestic ice consumption and for shipping onto other international markets.
  • Drugs are shipped from South-East Asia to Australia, most commonly in sea containers bound for Sydney and Melbourne. Virtually all the biggest ice seizures in the past year came from sea container busts, with the drugs hidden in items such as tinned fruit, furniture, terracotta pots or shampoo bottles.
  • Biker gangs and other crime groups buy the drugs and take charge of distribution to WA. This is done by road, with ice commonly packed aboard trucks or in cars, again hidden in other items. There is no border control between New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or WA and police concede it is possible to check only a tiny fraction of freight.
  • Drug barons in WA buy the drugs once they reach the state and smaller quantities are sold to mid-level and low-level drug dealers through a chain of supply that stretches from Perth to Kalgoorlie, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, Broome and beyond.
  • Biker gangs and drug dealers also make their own ice in “meth labs” in their homes or rental properties.
  • Local drug users purchase the drugs from their dealer and take the drugs in their home, at parties or during a night out on the town.

BREAKING AUSTRALIA’S ICE IMPORTS

The biggest seizures of ice and amphetamine-type stimulants in Australia happened in the Eastern States. Typically ice is landed there before being moved by land to WA. Busts in 2012-13 included:

  • 585kg of crystal meth hidden in sea cargo going from China to Sydney
  • 363.8kg of liquid meth suspended in 96 bottles of carpet cleaning products via sea cargo from China to Melbourne.
  • 306kg of crystal meth concealed in 3,200 terracotta pots via sea cargo from Thailand to Sydney.
  • 200kg of crystal meth hidden in truck tyres and seized in Melbourne.
  • 75kg of crystal meth concealed in sofas and chairs via sea cargo from China to Sydney.
  • 72.9kg of liquid meth concealed and suspended in shampoo and conditioner via sea cargo from China to Sydney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/special-features/inside-the-battle-against-was-meth-addiction/story-fnmx16d1-1226991844416

In an interview with This Day Live, Hamza Umar, the Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in charge of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, talks about the improvements in the fight against drug trafficking.

Umar speaks on the numerous breakthroughs, new methods traffickers have devised in transporting their products as well as the rise in the production of meth.Hamza-Umar-0-Dec-2014-BellaNaija_com-01

On arrests made just in 2014: “Yes, what I am going to tell you would shock Nigerians, because it is not a good omen something worth celebrating. If you are fighting a war and you see people committing the same crime and you will begin to ask yourself, what is the problem? What happened? But you will be surprised from January to date at this particular airport; we have impounded more than 400.26 kg of hard drugs. The breakdown shows 97.02 kg of cocaine, 51.01 kg of heroin, 95.77kg of cannabis.

But the highest drug that is very new in part of Africa is methamphetamine. It is a new drug being produced here in Nigeria and in other West African countries. And its price is twice or thrice more than cocaine. So, you can see what is attracting them to it. And they carry this substance mostly to Asia and Pacific and they don’t take it to Europe or America. December has just begun but we have removed out of circulation 400.6kg of hard drugs in this Airport. When I mean by hard drugs, I mean class ‘A’ in United Nations classified hard drugs.”

Speaking on new methods, devised by individuals in trafficking drugs, Hamza Umar said,

“They do a lot of methods. One is concealment, as you know. Two, they do ingestion. Three, they do what we call insertion. This insertion is what they hide in private parts, while some put them in their anus. They also, conceal it in their hair, wigs or fake breasts. You will see a lady and you will say this one is blessed, but there is no blessing in that and instead, it is a concealment method.

Don’t you think your officers and men are compromising by taking bribes in the course of their duties?

Well, if I tell you that, I am not being objective. For me to stand up and tell you that none of the officers and men takes bribes, but we have few cases and they are very negligible. We have an internal procedure for disciplining our officers and men who err. You should be aware recently how an officer was convicted for seven years. I would not and would never, but I want to say that I have 100 percent control over my officers and men. And we have established procedures to deal with such cases.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.bellanaija.com/2014/12/28/breaking-bad-naija-rise-in-meth-production-trafficking-through-fake-female-breasts/

 

Two women have been arrested in connection with the investigation into a rash of mail thefts that plagued Bear Valley Springs prior to Christmas — and the juvenile previously charged with mail theft has been re-arrested on additional charges.Nancy L. Booth

On Dec. 22 Bear Valley Police previously reported the arrest of a juvenile in connection with the thefts. At the time of the arrest, Bear Valley Police recovered evidence linking the juvenile to 42 mail thefts.

In a news release on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 28, Police Chief Rod Walthers said that after the arrest, Bear Valley Police furthered their investigation which led police to submit and receive a search warrant of the juvenile’s residence located in the 26000 block of Ironwood Court in Bear Valley Springs.

On the morning of Dec. 26, Bear Valley Police executed said search warrant and found the juvenile in possession of an illegal loaded firearm along with ammunition, methamphetamine, possession of stolen property, and more mail thefts.Susan B. Little

In addition to the juvenile being arrested, the juvenile’s mother, Nancy Louise Booth, 50, was also arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Booth’s roommate, Susan Brittany Little, 27, who was residing in the house during the investigation, was found to be wanted on felony “Assault with a Deadly Weapon” charges from California City. She also was taken into custody.

After the arrests, Walthers said, the juvenile was booked at Bear Valley PD on the additional charges and then transported to Juvenile Hall located in Bakersfield. Little was booked at Bear Valley PD on the outstanding bench warrant and then transported the Kern County Jail in Bakersfield. Booth was also booked at Bear Valley PD; however due to Prop. 47, she was issued a misdemeanor citation and released.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.tehachapinews.com/news/local/x1494739754/Juvenile-charged-with-mail-theft-in-Bear-Valley-re-arrested-along-with-mother-and-her-roommate

 

WA recorded almost a quarter of the 1000 deaths across Aust­ralia linked to stimulant drug abuse over a five-year period.    242424-d9014dcc-8f04-11e4-8ac7-a81af5c46aa9

The country’s drug epidemic is revealed in figures commissioned by The Sunday Times, showing amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine are connected to fatalities at an unprecedented rate.

Causes of death included accidents such as road smashes, falls, suicides and crimes of violence. The greatest influences were amphetamine products like ice, listed as a factor in 917 of the deaths.

The figures, compiled by the National Coronial Informat­ion System, show that the drugs were a primary or ­secondary contributor in the deaths of 1049 Australian ­victims.

And despite WA having a far smaller population, its 250 fatalities represented an extraordinarily high 23 per cent of deaths across the country.

That compared with 300 deaths in New South Wales over the same five-year period to 2012, and 207 in Victoria.

National Drug Research ­Institute director Steve Allsop, who is based in WA, said there were not necessarily more stimulant drug users today than previous years, but more potent forms of drugs were available.242450-b2958a04-8f04-11e4-8ac7-a81af5c46aa9

“What is happening is those who use these drugs are using a more potent form,” he said.

Crystal methamphetamine has become much more common . . . of those who use, they are using stuff that is more likely to get them into a mess.

“There has been a doubling of the number of people who end up in treatment in some states.

“People continue to underestimate the dangers of these drugs . . . they cause so much damage and grief for a lot of people.”

The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found methamphetamine use was higher in WA – at 3.8 per cent – than in any other ­jurisdiction.

“This is not just a phenomenon that affects the Perth metropolitan area . . . these drugs are also having an impact in many of our remote areas like the Pilbara,” Prof Allsop said.

“A particular challenge for WA, I think, lies with some of our fly-in, fly-out mining community where there has been some evidence recently concerning methamphetamine use.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/wa-recorded-almost-a-quarter-of-the-1000-deaths-in-australia-linked-to-stimulant-drug-abuse/story-fnhocxo3-1227169246478?nk=0873458911e76e78f2bc19fcc5d47cfc

 

A South San Francisco man who police said lewdly exposed himself to two people in front of a downtown Palo Alto business on Friday afternoon was arrested minutes after the incident.39909_main

Palo Alto police received a call shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday about an indecent exposure that had occurred on the 400 block of Florence Street. Officers responded and located the suspect at Bryant Street and Lytton Avenue. The man, 46-year-old Terrell Jackson, was reportedly arrested without incident.

Police said Jackson had been standing in front of a Downtown North business with his penis showing. One employee of the business, a man in his 40s, reportedly asked Jackson to leave. Jackson allegedly remained on the sidewalk and temporarily obstructed the path of another employee, a woman in her 50s, who was was trying to get into the building.

After the woman stepped past him and walked inside, the man locked the door and told Jackson through the door to go away, police said. Jackson allegedly responded by grabbing his penis and shaking it at the man, who promptly called the police.

Once Palo Alto officers located Jackson, they determined that he had four active probation grants out of San Mateo County for possession of narcotics, and two active probation grants out of Santa Clara County for possessions of narcotics paraphernalia and for being under the influence of narcotics. When officers searched him, pursuant to his probation status, they reportedly found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on him.

Jackson was booked in the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony indecent exposure, a felony probation violation, misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of narcotics paraphernalia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2014/12/28/man-arrested-for-indecent-exposure-downtown

 

 

The  newly elected  state government is to be congratulated for  recognizing that 2015 is the year it will need to tackle a  growing threat to the well-being of many Victorian communities – crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as “ice”.

While the extent of Victoria’s ice problem is still being debated  – whether it is  an “epidemic”  or whether it is still largely contained to rural and a handful of outer-suburban communities – there is increasing evidence that its use is becoming more normalized, with increasingly drastic consequences for users, their families and those unfortunates who cross their paths.

In May, a drug agency told The Age ice was affecting “every part of the population” in country Victoria, “from white-collar professionals to amateur football team members”. When the town of Kerang held a community forum on the ice problem, 700 people attended; a similar forum in Cohuna attracted half the town’s population. “It is, without a doubt, the single biggest problem in our community,” a  Mildura police officer told The Age. Another senior officer told us in November that authorities “couldn’t have predicted it would continue to grow the way it has”. An anonymous user told The Age: “It will take a genius to get rid of it. It’s like cane toads. They were introduced and weren’t expected to grow this big.” Magistrates who once might have asked whether alcohol or drugs were catalysts in the cases before them now say: “Is ice involved?”

A pure and potent form of methamphetamine, ice makes users feel energetic and overconfident, lowers inhibitions and increases libido. It is highly addictive and can also make users feel anxious, paranoid and psychotic. It’s a uniquely destructive cocktail. An ice user is likely to make poor decisions, such as driving a car under the influence. Recent data showed a record number of road deaths linked to the drug; similarly, most drivers who tested positive during a recent drug-driving blitz tested positive for ice. Crimes such as family violence and  murder are increasingly being linked to ice.

Recognizing the growing problem, Parliament’s law reform, drugs and crime prevention committee held an inquiry into ice use, spending nearly a year interviewing experts, visiting ice-affected communities, reviewing academic literature and collecting public submissions.

In September it released a comprehensive report, which concluded that ice was “having a significant impact on the social fabric of local communities” and there was evidence it was becoming increasingly “normalized” for some young people. It recognized that stemming the ice scourge would be difficult, complicated and require a sophisticated, multi-pronged approach with an emphasis on harm reduction. It provided 54 detailed recommendations, drawing on successful strategies already implemented in New Zealand.

Premier Daniel Andrews has acknowledged the problem his government has inherited and should be given credit for already acting on his election pledge to form and head an “ice action taskforce” that has a deadline of 100 days to come up with a plan for reducing demand and supply of the drug. The Age has two concerns, however, over Mr Andrews’ approach.

First, his commitments to date suggest a headline-friendly “tough on crime” emphasis over less-dramatic harm-minimization measures. He has introduced four new ice-specific offences and $15 million for new drug and booze buses, but just $500,000 to fund local ice action groups.

Second, we hope the taskforce does not start from scratch but instead immediately moves to implement many or all of the recommendations of the law reform, drugs and crime prevention committee.

Ice was barely known in Victoria seven years ago; clearly our current measures have proved ineffective against it. The time for the wringing of  hands is over: we now need to act.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/we-need-a-year-of-action-on-ice-threat-20141228-12ermv.html

 

Maine drug officials are confronting a startling rise in the number of methamphetamine labs across the state.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney says it busted 28 meth labs this year, up 12 over last year and more than six times as many as three years ago.DEA

Officials say dismantling labs can cost more than $10,000 each. The raids are taking a toll on the agency’s resources and distracting them from other work. They say it’s difficult to pinpoint why the labs are on the rise.

They hope a $900,000 federal grant will help the state stem the tide. The grant, announced in October, will provide funding for two years for four new drug agents and specialized equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Maine-Confronting-Rise-in-Meth-Lab-Busts-286922771.html

 

 

When Robert Steward III was arrested for municipal warrants he left behind a methamphetamine lab in a two-liter Pepsi bottle.

“I observed a two-liter Pepsi bottle with a yellow liquid filling the lower fourth of the bottle and a white powdery substance at the bottom,” Salina Police Chief Justin Hokett stated in his incident report. “I also observed on the floor in plain sight a small clear plastic baggie which had been cut in half. Inside this baggie I saw a few pieces of a white powdery substance which I suspected to be methamphetamine.”

Just outside the bedroom, Hokett found an empty plastic bottle with a tube protruding from the top, labeled for hydrochloric acid.

Law enforcement seized these items and Steward’s phone as evidence. Officers allegedly found a burnt metal spoon containing the same white powdery substance in Steward’s vehicle. This too was seized as evidence.

Hokett, according to the report, then received a search warrant for Steward’s phone.

“From the totality of these text messages it is very evident that Steward has been selling methamphetamine and also purchasing methamphetamine from individuals in and around the City of Salina,” Hokett wrote in his report after recounting numerous text message conversations.

Officers returned to Steward’s residence again and found a cut straw that field tested positive for meth, two lengths of tubing with yellow resin and white powder in a shirt pocket and a pouch of ammonia pellets hidden in a work boot.

Steward was arrested and booked into the Mayes County Jail where Hokett interviewed him. In the interview, Steward allegedly stated there were no meth labs in Salina.

“He stated that the city council was not far from it, that the council is involved on the lowdown,” according to Hokett’s report.

Steward allegedly told Hokett that talking to Hokett was “going to make him dead.”

Steward allegedly said “the bar was at one time a meth ring that was slinging and as of right now they are building it back, and that a city council member was slinging.”

Steward was charged with a felony count of indecent exposure in 2008 but the charges were dismissed. He was charged with first-degree rape in 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.pryordailytimes.com/news/crime_and_courts/salina-pd-arrests-sex-offender-on-meth-charges/article_067e7344-8d5a-11e4-aae8-2f7de4faa33b.html

 

Kidnapped Border Patrol – U.S. federal authorities are investigating a claim that a Border Patrol officer in Texas has been kidnapped by the Mexican drug cartel.kidnapped-border-patrol-mexican-drug-cartel-threatens-to-kill-abducted-border-patrol-agent

Reports indicate that a Mexican man claiming to be a member of the drug cartel called a small Texas town police department on Thursday around 7.p.m.threatening to kill a U.S. Border Patrol Agent he has kidnapped.

According to local reports, the threat, which was made in Spanish, has gotten the attention of federal authorities. The FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and the La Joya Police Department are working together to authenticate the claim that an agent has been kidnapped.

Authorities say there have been no official reports of a missing Border Patrol agent out of its 3,100 agents working in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas.

Investigators have reached out to and have so far accounted for more 3,000 agents assigned to the Rio Grande Valley sector. However, only all on-duty officers have been accounted for, investigators are having a difficult time confirming the whereabouts of off-duty agents because of the holiday season.

“Until we rule it out, we treat it as a true kidnapping,” said FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee.

The incident initially started on Thursday morning after the suspect called police in La Joya to report some illegal activities across the border.

“Someone called in and started out reporting some sort of activity, and the call then turned into threats against law enforcement, threats against the dispatcher, and ultimately threats against law enforcement in general,” said Chris Cabrera, a representative with the National Border Patrol Council.”He then claimed to have an agent that was kidnapped that he planned to kill, and he claimed to work for one of the cartels.”

Authorities have not disclosed if the suspected kidnapper gave the name of the Border Patrol agent he has under his custody.

“We are closely monitoring development in the possible abduction of a Border Patrol Agent in the Rio Grande Valley. This incident is a reminder of how dangerous this job is. Every day, our Border Patrol Agents put their lives on the line to protect our nation and our neighborhood from drug cartels, criminals and terrorists,” a statement from the RGV Border Patrol Union read.

There are no records of a Border Patrol Agent being kidnapped by the drug cartels in the recent past. However, there have been many threats and several unsuccessful attempts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.jobsnhire.com/articles/16264/20141227/kidnapped-border-patrol-mexican-drug-cartel-threatens-to-kill-abducted-border-patrol-agent.htm

 

Glenn Lagrew sat in Portland City Hall wearing a freshly pressed light-green shirt, a tie tight on his neck. In the packed council chambers, people embraced, slapping each other on the back and giving long, drawn-out hugs.-40e09e236296af19

The day of celebration — June 26, 2014 — saw 19 men and women graduate from the Service Coordination Team, a city program designed for chronic drug offenders.

Lagrew was among them.

“I aspire to be a better man,” the 49-year-old told the group when presented with his certificate. “I want to make amends to the city and be a role model so my son … will make it out, too.”

Lagrew’s addiction to methamphetamine, his drug of choice and one that fueled a habit hard to kick, led him to 17 years behind bars, mostly on theft and narcotics charges. His frequent visits to Multnomah County Jail landed him in Faces of Meth, the campaign he learned about a decade ago – and discovered he was part of — when an Oregonian reporter called him.

“I knew that my life was going to change drastically at that point,” he said. “That campaign destroyed a lot of people.”

Problems began at a young age. By ninth grade, Lagrew was getting into trouble, rotating through Portland-area high schools. He lived in group homes. He started trying drugs.

“I was uncontrollable,” he said. “My mom couldn’t control me, and my dad was not in a position to be much of a help, either.”

As an adult, he became familiar with the streets, a powerful drug and the criminality that came with it.

Lagrew’s four mugshots, dating from 1993 to 2004, show his face growing increasingly creased and weathered. It’s those images that still haunt him, he said, recalling the time a St. Johns bar — which had a Faces of Meth poster displayed – refused him service.

“Everybody kept saying, ‘That’s him. That’s him,'” he said. “Finally they asked me to leave. It was not a campaign against methamphetamines; it was an attack on people.”

Faces of Meth made him recognizable, allowing strangers to judge him, he said. His response was to give in.

“Before I didn’t care. I didn’t care about the consequences of my drug use,” he said. “I didn’t care about my family.”

A decade later, Lagrew still resents the campaign’s creator, Deputy Bret King, and The Oregonian for writing about it.

But at his graduation, a smiling Lagrew took photos of friends collecting diplomas.

When asked who had secured a job, Lagrew shot up his hand proudly. He has two — one in a warehouse and another delivering spas.

Recently Lagrew was offered a house manager position with the nonprofit Bridges to Change. He hopes to work as an addictions counselor in the future.

“I failed as a drug addict, I failed as a criminal, and I can’t fail at this,” he said. “This has got to work.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/12/faces_of_meth_10_years_later_i_1.html

 

549ba7130e66f_imageShe started using marijuana at 6 and turned to methamphetamine at 15 when her nightmares persisted after being raped for the second time in two years.

Now 25, Ashley Greylock has three happy children and a career and has been drug-free for more than three years.

As a young girl, Greylock saw her parents abuse drugs and alcohol.

She said her mother was an addict, her stepfather wasn’t involved and her father was in and out of prison.

She basically raised her younger brother and sister — who were twins — from the time she was 8-11.

When she was 13, her aunt and uncle moved her from Sutter to Utah just as Child Prote tive Services came to take the children out of the unstable home environment.

She saw her siblings one more time and talked with them a few other times before contact was cut off.

She hasn’t seen or heard from them in a decade.

“I want them to know that I love them and think about them,” Greylock said. “It breaks my heart that I don’t know them like I should.”

While Greylock was living in Utah from age 13-16, she became a methamphetamine dealer.

She later earned her high school diploma while living with her grandmother in southern California.

Once she moved back to Yuba-Sutter, she continued using and began dealing again.

“Hustling was easy money and an easy way to make it,” Greylock said.

All of that came to an abrupt end in July 2011 when police raided her Yuba City home.

“Seeing the look on my oldest’s face when CPS ripped her out of my arms is what made me realize I needed to get clean,” Greylock said. “My kids deserved better than what I was giving them.”

She checked into Progress House, a recovery home that helped her with her substance abuse, for the next seven months.

She then got married and checked into the Salvation Army Depot in Marysville, where she would spend the next year — six months inpatient and six outpatient — staying clean and learning strategies to prepare herself for a successful transition to the outside world.

The rehabilitation center tested her commitment.

“When I came there, I thought I knew it all,” Greylock said. “They are pretty strict, but that’s what I needed.”

She bonded with counselors and said Steve Cordova helped out a lot.

“There were times I got upset and wanted to leave, and Steve talked me out of it,” Greylock said. “Those people are willing to love you until you are willing to love yourself.”

Now coming up on three years since she first checked into the Salvation Army Depot, Greylock is giving back.

She is the chairperson of the weekly Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, and she is the sponsor for three others who are going through the program.

“She is a big help,” Cordova said of Greylock.

While she was living at the Depot, she stayed out of trouble and attended the classes, Cordova said.

“When I get clients that really want to change their lives, it makes my job much easier,” Cordova said.

Greylock has worked the past 21⁄2 years for In-Home Support Services, a state program that provides assistance to disabled, blind, or those over 65 who can’t remain in their homes safely without assistance.

Greylock is grateful for all that she has and she hopes to be a positive example to her children.

“Life is way better than it was,” Greylock said. “As long as I keep doing the next right thing, things keep falling into place.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/giving-and-receiving-mother-turns-her-life-around-after-losing/article_8d5fd64a-8bf8-11e4-b1e6-2f094b908ae6.html

 

Police say following the felony narcotics arrest of a Shoals man on Christmas Eve, they found drugs along with several thousands of rounds of ammunition, guns, military grade armor and a police radio at the suspect’s residence.

On Dec. 24, Daniel Jackson was arrested by Trooper Lents of the Indiana State Police.

Later that day, deputies from the Martin County Sheriff’s Department say they gained further intelligence of Jackson’s criminal actions and the Martin County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at Jackson’s residence.

During the search, officers report they located over 70 grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, controlled substances, several thousand rounds of ammunition with several guns, military grade body armor and a police radio.

The Shoals man was arrested by Corporal Joshua Greene for dealing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, maintaining a common nuisance and unlawful use of a police radio.

Jackson is currently being held in the Martin County Security Center without bond.

Deputies were assisted by the Indiana State Police and Shoals Police Department according to the Dubois County Herald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.washtimesherald.com/news/local_news/shoals-man-arrested-for-drugs-found-with-weapons-ammo-and/article_9feb092f-fb25-5d70-a8ac-dd35b43aa1db.html

 

The Faces of Meth

Posted: December 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Jail Deputy Bret King wanted to get a look at the woman’s face, but she was a blur, bouncing around a holding cell, kicking and clawing at the air.

Ramped-up on methamphetamine, her hair a sweat-drenched mop, the woman wrestled a demon only she could see. Through the cell’s thick glass, King heard her shriek at the invisible beast, “Go away in the name of Jesus.”

Curious, the deputy turned to a computer in the Multnomah County Detention Center’s booking area and pulled up her mug shot.

The image was as chilling as the woman’s drug-induced psychosis. At 20, youth had vanished from her skeletal face. She was the picture of self-destruction.

During that scream-filled graveyard shift in early October, King started collecting what he calls “the faces of meth.” Using jailhouse photos, King is creating a slideshow that reveals in full, unflattering color how methamphetamine ravages its users over years, months and even weeks.

 “I’ve made it my business to go through the mug shot system every day,” the 39-year-old King said. “I’ll admit it: I’m looking for the most extreme faces.”

King plans to take his fast-growing collection on tour to Oregon schools next year, hoping to frighten youths away from the synthetic drug. Oregon treats more meth addicts per capita than any other state, and use among teens is rising.

It’s a game of comparisons. He takes two mug shots of the same addicts, taken at different times, and shows them side by side. Some of the faces appear to be caving in, some are riddled with open sores, some stare up from dark bags under their eyes, looking lost and paranoid.

 “Look at this gal here,” King said, displaying two mug shots of the same woman, snapped five years apart. “It looks like she’s aged 20 years.”

Although many educators question the effectiveness of scared-straight programs, some drug-prevention experts say fear is an inseparable part of teaching youths about meth.

 “It’s an honest tactic,” said Max Margolis, director of Oregon Partnership’s YouthLink prevention programs. “The damage to the body, the rapid degeneration — those are realities of the drug.”

Death rate rises

Meth use is becoming increasingly deadly in Oregon.

In 2003, the state medical examiner recorded 78 meth-related deaths, a 20 percent jump from the year before, and 56 percent higher than in 2001. Only heroin, with 100 deaths, claimed more lives last year.

State Medical Examiner Karen Gunson said meth users often die as the result of psychotic behavior brought on by the drug, rather than from overdoses.

 “We look at the entire case, the toxicology, evidence from the scene, the actions of the person before their death,” Gunson said. “But in many of the cases, we suspect meth right away.”

People high on meth have jumped off bridges and out apartment windows, walked in front of cars, driven their cars into storefronts, and incited brutal beatings.

After driving to death scenes, medical investigators often learn that the deceased was shouting and acting crazy. The bodies are typically emaciated and missing a row or two of teeth — both symptoms of meth addiction.

Smoked, snorted, ingested or injected, meth is a cheap, powerful stimulant that produces a high that can last hours. It boosts brain levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing pleasure and increased energy.

Addiction is quick. And so is the destruction of mind and body, said Richard Rawson, a neuropsychiatrist with UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs. Time-lapse jail photos give only a hint of what the drug is doing to the user’s insides, starting with the mind, he said.

Using brain-imaging techniques, researchers have found that meth’s toxic chemicals eat away at brain tissue, eventually robbing addicts of the ability to feel pleasure without the drug. With each hit, meth changes the way the brain works, impairing judgment, giving rise to psychosis and aggravating any existing mental illness, Rawson said.

Meth also boosts heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Over time, a user’s eyes and mouth dry up. Teeth fall out. The body stops craving food, and only wants meth.

Depending on the intensity of the “rush,” a user’s body temperature can spike up to 107 degrees, Rawson said. “A lot of emergency rooms keep ice beds now,” he said. “Overheating is the primary reason for meth deaths.”

Portland emergency rooms create beds on the spot, with ice packs, fans and plastic cooling blankets. “Even bringing them down to 102 is doing them a favor,” said Deborah Robertson, a Legacy Good Samaritan emergency room doctor.

Waking nightmare

After five years of taking meth, Theresa Baxter says she has experienced everything but death. She says being on meth is the closest thing to being a zombie, a member of the living dead.

Indeed, Baxter’s two mug shots offer what is perhaps the most dramatic juxtaposition of health and hell in King’s collection.

The first picture dates to 2002, when she was arrested for identity theft and fraud. The second comes from November. In nearly 3-1/2 years, she has gone through an eye-rubbing metamorphosis. Forty pounds lighter. A loose bandage covering a cyst on her cheek. A road map of deep wrinkles. She looks nothing like her former self.

 She’s 42.

 “It’s scary,” Baxter said, sitting inside the Multnomah County jail. “There are no words to describe it” — she began to sob — “I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.”

She is serving a five-month sentence for theft and drug possession. Baxter said she understands why someone would want to use her face in a prevention program.

She opened her mouth as she cried. All but the two front teeth are missing on top. One of the pair, the gray one, is about to fall out. If it’s like the others, she said, it will crumble with a bite of food.

A former heroin user, Baxter said she began using meth to escape depression. It was cheaper and better. And like many addicts, she would take repeated hits, allowing her to stay up for days. The longest run? “I remember 14 days, straight through,” she said.

She couldn’t eat because the drug amplified her senses, making the smell of food unbearable, and played with her head.

 “I would cook meat for my boyfriend,” she said, “and I’d get it in my mind that it was a mouse in the pan. I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.”

When Baxter was high, she couldn’t handle anything touching her, including water. So, she didn’t shower.

Every binge ended with a couple days sleep. She didn’t fade. She crashed. “You close your eyes once,” she explained, “and you’re out. People could dance on you and you wouldn’t know it.”

“Dope dreams”

James Hibbs, 28, also is in King’s lineup.

Four months separate his mug shots. A meth user since he was 15, he has five remaining teeth.

The way Hibbs tells it, meth kept him too busy to eat. He would stay up for days, working on his bike. When he needed money for another hit, he would pick up his bolt cutters and prowl for bicycles to steal. Sometimes he sold meth.

He is reaching the end of a six-month sentence for violating probation. He’s clean, but the craving isn’t gone.

 “I still have dope dreams,” he said. “I dream of getting high. I wake up in a sweat, rushing really hard, like I just got high. They seem real. You’d be surprised how real.”

Trawling for new pictures, King starts his shifts by checking daily booking logs for criminal charges typically linked to meth addiction — identity theft, forgery, fraud, drug manufacturing, drug possession, child neglect. Glenn Lagrew, 38, one of the faces in the collection, is accused of selling packets of meth placed on a 5-week-old boy in a baby carrier. Police say Lagrew told a cop making an undercover buy in downtown Portland on Dec. 3 to lay his money on the baby before taking the drugs.

King has started asking meth addicts coming through the booking center if they would be willing to be interviewed on video for his prevention project.

Most say no, but a few shared tragic and desperate tales that King plans to weave into his presentation.

He pulled one of the videotaped interviews up on his computer screen. The man, in his late 30s, is Cobey Kempre. He and King went to Troutdale’s Columbia High School together.

Kempre talks about the day he was tweaking on meth and thought bugs were burrowing into his skin. He kept scratching at them. Covered in blood, he went to his parents’ house for help.

He gave them tweezers and a magnifying glass, but his parents told him they couldn’t see anything.

 “My dad broke down in the front yard,” Kempre says in the video. “He knew what was going on.”

He had never seen his dad cry before. The sight, he said, made him “snap out of it” for a few seconds. He told his father he was sorry. He then grabbed for one of the imaginary insects. “But wait,” Kempre said he told his father, “there’s one right here.”

They were scared, he said.

 “I could see they were thinking, ‘God, how can this be a product of us?’ “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2004/12/the_faces_of_meth.html

 

-7e8870da0095724a

Ten years ago, The Oregonian published eight people’s mugshots as part of a story on the Faces of Meth, an anti-drug campaign based in Portland.

The campaign, which launched in 2004, used side-by-side, before-and-after mugshots of those who frequented Multnomah County Jail, usually on methamphetamine-related charges. Their photos showed in shocking clarity the devastating effects of the drug — blistered faces, severe weight loss, missing teeth, extreme aging within a matter of months.

The Faces of Meth campaign proved to be life changing for those featured in it. Their mugs circulated nationwide — on posters, in schoolbooks and on the Web — as the campaign gained traction.

In the story to be published Saturday on OregonLive.com and Sunday in The Oregonian, we bring you up to date on the people whose faces defined the campaign. Where are they now? How did their lives unfold over the past 10 years? How did Faces of Meth affect them?

Join us here on OregonLive.com on Tuesday to hear from the Faces of Meth campaign’s creator, Deputy Bret King, and one of men featured in the campaign, Glenn Lagrew. King will answer your questions from 12-12:45 p.m. Lagrew will answer questions from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Reporter Kasia Hall will also be available to answer questions.

For Bret King, the sheriff’s deputy who created the compilations, the mugshots held the promise of deterring youths from trying the drug or compelling them to stop using it. We talk to him again and explore how his campaign unfolded over the years and what he’s doing with it now.

A decade since the campaign debuted, some of the faces are in prison, some still can’t shake their demons and some are clean. But all can agree that the Faces of Meth campaign weighed heavily on their lives.

Read The Oregonian’s original story on “The Faces of Meth” from 2004 and its Pulitzer-finalist investigation “Unnecessary Epidemic.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/12/the_oregonian_revisits_the_fac.html

 

smugglerAMARILLO: The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has conducted a traffic stop on here the other day, and stopped the car on traffic violation during the checking DPS seized 100 pounds of marijuana valued at over $360,000 and 11 pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $131,000.

At approximately 11:15 am here the other day, a DPS trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe traveling eastbound on IH-40, for a traffic violation, near Conway in Carson County.

The driver of the Tahoe was identified as Carlos Alberto Ruiz-Alamo, 32, of Fontana, Calif. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered 100 bundles of marijuana and 10 bundles of methamphetamine in the Tahoe.

Ruiz-Alamo was placed under arrest for possession and delivery of marijuana over 50 pounds but less than 2000 pounds, possession of a controlled substance over 400 grams, both charges a first-degree felony, and booked into the Carson County Jail. The illegal drugs were allegedly being transported from Fontana, Calif., to Oklahoma City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://customstoday.com.pk/texas-dps-seizes-111-pounds-of-marijuana-methamphetamine-worth-491000/

 

DOBSON — With two major busts in the past week, Surry Sheriff Graham Atkinson thinks headway is being made in battling the county’s methamphetamine problem — but the war is not over.Meredith

“There’s other stuff that’s still out there,” Atkinson said Wednesday of meth activity in Surry.

Yet he acknowledges that one of the busts in the past week was “significant” in efforts to curtail a substance the National Institute of Drug Abuse defines as an addictive stimulant that is long-lasting and toxic to certain nerve terminals.

Also known as speed, meth, chalk, ice, crystal and glass, methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting powder that is taken orally or by snorting or injecting, or as a rock “crystal” that is heated and smoked.

One of last week’s busts targeted Melissa Atkins Meredith, 39, of 140 King Fisher Way, Dobson, which resulted from an investigation into methamphetamine sales in that area.

Narcotics officers said they made undercover buys of meth from Meredith at her residence. A subsequent search of the home allegedly turned up a small quantity of that drug in addition to various types of pills including Xanax, Suboxone and Dilaudid.

Several items of drug paraphernalia, including digital scales, packaging material, smoking pipes and hypodermic needles, also were located throughout the residence along with a .22-caliber rifle.

Meredith was charged with two counts each of possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine and sale and delivery of methamphetamine; three counts of maintaining a drug house; possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (Dilaudid); possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule IV substance (Xanax); possession of a Schedule III controlled substance (Suboxone); possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Dobson woman was jailed under a $150,000 secured bond and was still in custody Wednesday.

Atkinson’s department also announced the arrests of three other persons on meth-related charges in the past week.

They included Brian Daniel Regn, 59, of 136 Coachlight Lane, Dobson; Jack Edward Jackson Jr, 35, of 123 American Lane in Mount Airy; and Megan Elizabeth Berrier, 20, of 230 Valentine Leonard Road, Cana, Va.

The arrests occurred in conjunction with a search of Regn’s home, where officers said they arrived to find the three actively cooking methamphetamine using what is commonly called the “one-pot” method.

Atkinson explained Wednesday that a notable find at the Regn residence was about a half-kilo of meth oil, which is the end product of the manufacturing process before the oil is synthesized into methamphetamine.

“So that was significant,” he said of the scope of the meth oil discovered. “That was an unusually good (bust).”

The sheriff added that the apprehension of Regn and the other two individuals was an “extension” of arrests made about two years ago involving Donald Ray Beck and his wife, Angela Michelle Beck, of Ararat.

“We knew there had been a lot of activity surrounding him (Regn) over a long time, and we were looking for him for a long time and the time was right,” Atkinson said of last week’s bust involving that man and his associates.

The removal of prominent meth makers such as Regn and the Becks is noteworthy because smaller operators still around are forced to obtain the pharmaceutical ingredients needed to manufacture meth more often, including ephedrine, than is the case with the larger variety.

“It leaves them more exposed,” the sheriff added.

County narcotics officers are investigating other alleged meth manufacturers and will be building cases against them “over time, I’m sure,” Atkinson said.

“We didn’t get to the point we are with meth overnight, and we’re not going to be able to solve it overnight.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.mtairynews.com/news/home_top-news/50925053/Sheriff-believes-progress-made-in-meth-problem

 

WATERTOWN — Four people were charged by city police Thursday morning after officers received a tip about a methamphetamine lab operating at 502 Academy St.safe_image66

Police charged Stephanie M. Ebdon, 24, of 502 Academy St., Apt. 2; Aaron M. Peabody, 25, of 16406 Route 11; George J. Lewis, 33, of 661 Factory St., Apt. 32, and Randall J. Bell, 42, of 933 LeRay St., Apt. 59, with third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine at 1:45 a.m.

Mr. Bell also was charged with seventh-degree possession of a controlled substance, police said, because he had methamphetamine inside a small container in his left front pants pocket.

Police said the suspects were arraigned before City Judge Catherine J. Palermo and held at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building. Bail was set at $20,000 each.

More charges against the subjects are probable, Sgt. James A. Romano said Thursday. No additional suspects are being investigated, he said.

Sgt. Romano said police received a tip from an anonymous caller at 12:46 a.m. about several people making methamphetamine at the residence. According to the police report, the suspects possessed equipment used for the production of methamphetamine: multiple two-liter plastic bottles, a gas generator, lighter fluid, tubing, coffee filters and chemical reagents including sodium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate. Traffic was detoured around the 400 and 500 blocks of Academy Street until about 11:30 a.m. Thursday for police to clean up the scene, Sgt. Romano said.

City police were aided at the scene by state police and the Watertown City Fire Department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20141226/NEWS03/141229208

 

Fred Shafer sat in a downtown park deciding if today was the day he should die.

He had walked there from the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, where he had watched the Missouri River below. One smack, he thought. One smack and it’s all over.549cbc8813192_image

It was a beautiful day. Sitting in the park, he thought about returning to the bridge. But then he met a woman who came and went, as if in a cloud. She left behind a card, and a word she had written on it told Fred he would live.

Fred kept that card with him in his backpack, first to jail and then in rehab. All he knew was that the woman went to Omaha’s Grace University, and as Fred started the road to getting clean, he wished he could find her and tell her she saved his life.

* * *

Fred was tired of being high, and he was looking for a sign.

Addiction had made Fred a felon and cost him his family. Years of meth use were wearing him down. Even if he wanted to stop, he knew his options were limited because he was already banned from two Omaha shelters: one for using drugs during his treatment and another for a manic outburst while he was off his medication.

Even other drug addicts — friends who offered a couch here and there — had sent him back on the street with an admonition: You’d better clean up and find God.

Whole days would pass in a blur, leaving Fred with only the image of a billboard reading “Jesus Loves You.”

A friend suggested Fred try to get locked up again, because he had found his religion during a five-year stretch in federal prison.

“I knew I would die in my addiction. I would die a junkie,” Fred said. “I couldn’t go on the way I was.”

On that morning in October, someone passed him a bag lunch as he sat with a friend at Gene Leahy Mall, across the street from the W. Dale Clark Library. Inside the bag, besides a ham sandwich and fruit, Fred found a card signed “Yeshua, a.k.a. Jesus.”

He wanted to know more about the woman who brought it. Was she from a church? Why did she sign it “Yeshua”?

She told him she was studying the Bible in her classes at Grace. “That’s Jesus,” she told him.

Fred already knew. In federal prison for manufacturing methamphetamine, he had studied all the religious books he could get his hands on. He became a Messianic Jew — a religion once called Hebrew Christianity, whose members consider themselves Jews but believe Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah. Fred set out expecting it to be all wrong, but he found truth there instead.

Church groups were always bringing food to places Fred hung out. He never heard the word Yeshua come from their mouths, so he never felt like they were preaching to him.

But the card in the lunch bag shouted right at him: Give up the drugs and stay alive.

“At that moment,” Fred said, “I knew I’d walked away.”

* * *

Fred moved into the Open Door Mission in November, after he served a couple of weeks in jail on an old warrant for marijuana possession. He brought that card.

Fred stood out in Bible classes at the shelter, said his teacher, Tara Rye. He got deeply involved in Bible discussions and asked hard questions in class.

One day she mentioned that her day job is dean of women at Grace University, a small Christian college on top of a hill in the Little Italy neighborhood near downtown. Shafer ran up after class, clutching the card.

“Can you tell me who this is from?” he asked. “A girl gave it to me who was a student at Grace.”

It’s a small school, with just 450 students, but Rye didn’t know them all and she could find no clues in the card. Fred remembered she was short, African-American, with a big smile and an exuberant personality. And he held his hands up around his head — spiky hair, he said.

“Try,” Fred pleaded. “I don’t care how long it takes.”

Less than a week had gone by when Rye stopped a student, who fit Fred’s description, walking past her office. Rye doubted it could end up being this easy, but she asked anyway.

* * *

Taking food to homeless people is not the sort of thing LaQuana Billingsley usually does.

She has volunteered at homeless shelters and with missions, but always with some kind of school or church group. On that morning in October, though, the idea came to her to take some food downtown on her own.

LaQuana said she heard it, loud and clear, from God’s mouth to her ears. She felt awkward about the whole thing, but God was speaking. She wanted to listen.

As she made sandwiches in her north Omaha kitchen, LaQuana agonized over the details. How do I know they will like ham? Should I use mustard or mayonnaise? Am I going to offend anyone? She enclosed a card with each meal, and she scrawled words of faith and encouragement in red marker. She hoped she would be able to drop the bags and run.

She had to make the delivery before class at Grace. The mother of two is working toward a bachelor’s degree in communications.

She walked through the library, seeking out people who looked hungry.

“My flesh was nervous,” she said. “I was trembling.”

She passed out a few lunch bags inside and went out the door to the park across the street, where she asked Fred if he was hungry. He was clearly homeless. He looked tired and dirty. After he read the card, he asked over and over about Yeshua and why she wrote it. LaQuana wasn’t entirely sure why, aside from her mind being on her biblical classes.

LaQuana wrote about her experience in her journal, but she didn’t tell anyone at Grace she’d gone. She didn’t think it meant much. So when Rye stopped her weeks later to ask about it, her first thought was that she must be in trouble.

“Did you go downtown last month to bring some food to the homeless?” Rye asked her.

Rye told her that she knew Fred, and that her card was the trigger that sent him into treatment. LaQuana immediately remembered the man who wanted to talk about Yeshua.

“I don’t know why,” LaQuana said, “but that little man had stayed on my heart.”

After she absorbed the news, LaQuana pulled out her phone to show Rye a conversation she had with a friend. On the same day Fred was asking Rye to find her, she had been watching news coverage of protests and riots, wondering where God was.

“Why is God so silent with us?” she had asked her friend in a text.

God sees you, Rye told her. He sees Fred, too.

* * *

Last week, LaQuana drove to the mission to formally meet Fred, who was then a little more than a month into drug treatment. When he came into the room — heavier, smiling, maybe even glowing — she started to cry. When he told her the whole story of the day they met in the park, how he had been contemplating suicide, she sobbed.

“He says he’s in debt to me,” LaQuana said. “I feel like I’m in debt to him.”

Her whole life she has tried to go where God has led her, and sometimes that has left her with more questions than answers.

When the Arkansas native first came to Omaha, waiting for a job to open up, she lived in her car. She lost a job years later for lacking a bachelor’s degree. That drove LaQuana, now 35, to go back to school. She chose Grace, she said, because it feels like God lives in the very fiber of the campus.

She jokes that she might just need to become a professor, if only to stay in those halls forever. Fred hopes he can spend some time in the library there and maybe take classes, too.

LaQuana had been searching for a spiritual home, and listening to Fred talk about his faith drew her to his Messianic synagogue. She recently went to a Saturday service, where a woman gave her a Jewish Bible. She brought it to show Fred.

What this all means to Fred is hard for him to put into words, aside from it all feeling meant to be. He has tried to stay clean before, but this time feels different. He is 36 years old now. He is ready, he said, and this time he is doing it with God.

Every day during his morning meditation, he focuses on a portion of Psalm 51: “Hide Thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/i-knew-i-would-die-a-junkie-homeless-meth-addict/article_c7d30b48-2ac4-5e1a-a53c-017c96850ff2.html

 

MIDKIFF – “The worst I’ve seen in my career,” was how Chief Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy J.J. Napier described the scene at a meth bust in the Midkiff area last week. According to a criminal complaint on file in Lincoln County Magistrate Court, deputies worst ever 2responded Monday evening, December 15, 2014, following a tip regarding a home at Court Side in Midkiff. According to the information provided to the sheriff’s office, children were understood to be living at the home in extremely rough living conditions.

When the deputies arrived at the home, contact was made with the accused at the front door. She was named as Jessica Dawn Gray, 42. According to deputies, there was a strong chemical odor coming from the inside of the residence recognized as being associated with the production of methamphetamine. Gray is said to have given permission for the deputies to search the home, and told them nothing was going on and that she had no idea what the smell would be. When the deputies entered the home, they noticed a large amount of animal feces covering the floor of the living room, kitchen, and bedroom where Gray and two children sleep. Napier later told The Lincoln Journal that he observed several instances of animal waste being covered with a paper towel but not removed.worst eber

Upon further searching of the home, the deputies noticed a large trash bag beside the front door on the outside of the home. Inside the bag, the deputies found what are alleged to be many materials used to make meth, including gasser bottles with tubing, cotton balls, various burning plates, all with meth residue. Two pill bottles were also found during the operation, one containing a suboxone strip, the other containing 16 Adipex. Suboxone is a semi-synthetic opioid used to treat pain pill addiction. Adipex is a psychostimulant drug of the phenethylamine class, similar in composition to amphetamine. It can be used as an appetite suppressant.

Gray is said to have told deputies that she did not know where the meth labs keep coming from, but admitted to burning three labs in the past. Chief Napier also found a Gatorade bottle and coffee filter with meth residue inside the living space.

Gray was taken into custody and was later being held at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville. Charges for Gray included child neglect resulting in a risk of injury, felony conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab, and obstruction. Bail was set at $50,000. The matter was expected to come before a Lincoln County magistrate in due course. Chief Napier was joined in the operation by Deputy Ashworth, Deputy Bryant, and Deputy Shephard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://lincolnjournalinc.com/worst-ive-seen-chief-on-meth-bust-home-p12461-1.htm

 

Sharyn%20LienemannWILLET — A Cortland County woman is facing animal abuse charges following an investigation by the Cortland Community SPCA.puppy%201

47-year-old Sharon K. Lienemann was hit with five counts of animal cruelty following an investigation from October of this year. Lienemann was already in custody on meth manufacturing charges. One dog and two cats were removed from the home at 1361 Route 41 in Willet when police arrested Lienemann on the meth charges.

The animals appeared to have been burned by a caustic substance, according to the CCSPCA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://fmhotd.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=post