TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The director of an addiction recovery center was arrested Thursday evening along with two women after police said they found meth in a hotel room.

According to WTHI, Jack Tanner, 56, of Terre Haute is the director of Freebirds Solutions Center, a “locally established, faith-based sober living facility.”

Police said they were called to a room at the Red Roof Inn on Thursday evening for noise complaints and the smell of smoke.

Tanner told police he rented the room for a woman, who was pregnant and had no place to go. Documents state police found methamphetamine and syringes in the hotel room.

Tanner was reportedly arrested for maintaining a common nuisance.

Jamie Brandenburg, 30, of Terre Haute was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, driving while suspended and maintaining a common nuisance.

Ginny Brandenburg, 31, also of Terre Haute, was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a syringe and maintaining a common nuisance.

All three were taken to the Vigo County Jail.

 

 

cbs4indy.com/2017/08/11/director-of-terre-haute-addiction-recovery-center-arrested-with-two-others-after-meth-found/

 

 

 

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The director of an addiction recovery residential facility in Terre Haute has been arrested along with two others.

Jack Tanner, 56 of Terre Haute, is the director of Freebirds Solutions Center. According to their website, “Freebirds Solution Center is a locally established, faith-based sober living facility.”

Tanner is facing a charge of maintaining a common nuisance.  According to police, they were called to a hotel room at the Red Roof Inn on Thursday evening for noise complaints and the smell of smoke.

Police say Tanner was in the room with two other women.

Tanner told police he rented the room for one woman, who was pregnant and had no place to go. Court documents state they found meth and syringes in a hotel room that was rented in his name.

All three were arrested and taken to the Vigo County Jail.

Jamie Brandenburg, 30 of Terre Haute, was arrested for maintaining a common nuisance, possession of methamphetamine, driving while suspended and operating with expired plates.

Ginny Brandenburg, 31 of Terre Haute, was arrested for unlawful possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of methamphetamine.

Both Ginny and Jamie are set to appear in court next week.

Tanner appeared in court Friday morning. He posted bail around 10:30 a.m. and is set to appear in court next week.

News 10 reached out to Freebirds Solution Center. At this time they are declining to comment.

 

 

 

cbs4indy.com/2017/08/11/director-of-terre-haute-addiction-recovery-center-arrested-with-two-others-after-meth-found/

 

Ashton Taylor Christian, 25, of Shadow Lane in Rickman was charged with possession of a controlled substance, tampering with or fabricating evidence and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia after a car in which Christian was a passenger was stopped by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Thursday night.

Trooper Mark Mahan stopped a black Ford 500 on Highway 111 when he observed the driver not wearing a seatbelt, according to the warrant.

A police drug dog alerted officers to the presence of illegal substances in the vehicle, and a search revealed a backpack with digital scales, a calibration weight, an uncapped used needle and a grinder containing leafy green residue.

Christian also was found to have a balloon of methamphetamine in his rectum, according to the warrant.

Christian was arrested and held with a $13,000 bond.

 

 

 

herald-citizen.com/stories/man-charged-with-having-sex-in-fair-bathroom,22659

 

 

One difference between an addict hooked on homegrown methamphetamine – or meth – and a person who abuses the more potent form of the drug called ice is the type of crimes they commit, Mobile’s top prosecutor says.

“Ice is so much more potent and powerful. I don’t know of any success story of someone getting off Ice once they become addicted,” said Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich.

Rich pointed to accused axe murderer Derrick Dearman as an example. “That was his drug of choice.”

Dearman, 27, of Leakesville, Mississippi, was indicted on May 3 by a Mobile County Grand Jury on six counts of capital murder for the five adults killed by firearm and/or axe at a secluded home in Citronelle on August 20, 2016 and death of the unborn baby carried by one of the adult female victims. He does not face drug charges.

Derrick Dearman man accused of murdering six people in Citronelle says “don’t do drugs”

“He (Dearman) was shooting up Ice. That’s no excuse to any crime but that was his drug of choice,” said Rich. “So, I can tell you we are seeing more violent crimes occurring under the influence of ice versus straight methamphetamine.”

From Meth to Ice

Ice, brought in to the Mobile area through a pipeline along the Interstate 10 corridor, and the home cooked methamphetamine version – or meth – as the drug causing headaches for local prosecutors for more than a decade. New sentencing guidelines and delays in getting forensic reports are among the obstacles district attorneys face in putting people in jail for possession or sale of meth.

Authorities in Mobile County have quietly reduced the number of methamphetamine labs, users and distributors in the area since the use of the drug spiked in 2006 and 2007.

Rich and Assistant District Attorney Lars Granade talked about the challenges the office faces in making sure offenders get stiff penalties. Granade supervises the Mobile District Court Assistant District Attorneys and prosecutes a lot of the cases.

He said the spike in meth cases from 2006 to 2008 stemmed from Mississippi passing a bill placing provisions on the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine – the main ingredients used to produce meth.

“It almost doubled our case load for meth cases having to prosecute offenders from Mississippi coming into Alabama,” Granade said.

Rich said until law enforcement launched their own campaigns fighting meth in 2008 and Alabama legislators passed House Bill 363 which went into effect in 2012, Mississippi residents were crossing state lines to purchase pseudoephedrine and ephedrine.

“So, we basically put them back in their own state,” said Rich. “We saw the same thing in 2008, 2009 and 2010 which prompted us to launch our ZeroMeth campaign which helped until the provisions took effect.”

That campaign earned the Alabama District Attorney’s Association a National Silver ADDY Award in 2011 for ‘Best Public Service Announcement in the USA’.

“We are still distributing ZeroMeth materials in schools,” said Rich.

Since then, the amount of meth cases her office has seen have fluctuated from year to year.

The most recent figures in 2016 show the DA’s office handling 227 total cases involving possession, trafficking, distribution, or the manufacturing of a controlled substance. The total number of cases are broken down into three different distinctions.

Depending on the amount of meth or any other controlled substance an offender may be found with during an arrest can put them into four separate classes of felony offenses: Class A, Class B, Class C or a Class D.

The bulk of the cases fall into the possession of a controlled substance category, which typically means the offender had less than 8 grams of the controlled substance at the time of their arrest.

But, if you were arrested before January 30, 2016, which was when the mandatory sentencing guidelines took effect, prosecuting the cases can get tricky, according to Granade.

“Prior to that possession was considered a Class C felony which started with a 1 to 10-year jail sentence,” said Granade. “Now possession is a Class D felony.”

Most of the cases in 2016 stemmed from arrests that took place in 2015, according to Granade.

Offenders arrested after the sentencing guidelines went into effect, without any previous criminal history, can avoid a 1 to 5-year jail sentence for a Class D felony. Offenders are put on probation, if they make bond.

“That’s not us. I don’t think that’s correct, but the sentencing requires us fill out a worksheet and they do not get jail time,” said Rich. “They always get probation. So, our hands are pretty much tied on a Class D felony.”

If the offender is arrested a second time and charged with a Class D felony the same rules apply, according to Granade.

“We can fine them more but we can’t give them any jail time,” said Granade.

It is not until the third time an offender is charged with a Class D felony that prosecutors can push for a jail sentence. But, getting that conviction is still a lengthy process.

Prosecution obstacles

After being arrested, an offender is entitled to receive a bond, a preliminary hearing and having their cases sent to a grand jury, if needed.

Rich said inside of that process, prosecutors must obtain a toxicology report from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences on the controlled substance to prevent having the case thrown out.

“We find somebody with drugs we package it up and send it to forensic sciences,” said Rich. “They’re working on cases from a year ago. They test the older cases first and rightfully so. Until they get to that case we can’t indict it.”

If the case goes to a grand jury prosecutors prefer having the report, which will strengthen their case.

“It pushes the defendant to more than likely plead guilty,” said Rich “But even if they don’t when the judge sets it for trial we’re ready. If we don’t have the toxicology report and we have to keep resetting it then we’re in jeopardy of losing the case.”

Class C Felonies

Although their hands are slightly tied on prosecuting Class D felony cases, things change once the charges brought forward start in the Class C felony range.

If an offender is arrested with more than 8 grams of a controlled substance it falls into the Class C felony range, which is possession with intent to distribute. Prosecutors can push for a 1 to 10-year jail sentence in that instance.

An offender caught with more than 8 grams of a controlled substance, but less than an ounce is considered a Class B felony, which has a 2 to 20-year jail sentence if the case is upgraded to a Class B felony.

The most serious offenders, arrested with more than an ounce of a controlled substance, would fall into the Class A felony range. Prosecutors can push for a 10-years to life sentence in jail without the presiding judge having to consider the mandatory sentencing guidelines.

Granade said in that case, the federal authorities may get involved.

“It would have to be an amount significantly larger than just a couple of ounces of meth before the federal authorities get involved,” said Granade.

Class A felony cases usually involve the trafficking of a controlled substance. Rich said they have a working relationship with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Mobile you can impose stiffer penalties.

 “A lot of our trafficking of meth we do send to the U.S. Attorney’s office,” said Rich. “Typically, if they will take the case we like to send the trafficking cases to them because they get more time.”

Federal prosecutions

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Marshal said their office will look at the size or quantity of the trafficking of a controlled substance involved before they take on a case from the DA’s office.

“Meth cases are really no different than any other case,” said Marshal. “But there are questions as to whether there are extenuating circumstances. Is the drug trafficking being carried out with some kind of violence where there were guns involved?”

Marshal said the U.S. Attorney’s Office are estimating that 42 cases, that include 60 defendants, in south Alabama will be handled by their office once their fiscal year ends on September 30.

It represents a 48 percent increase of methamphetamine cases filed and a 71 percent increase in defendants when compared to 2016.

“In the last few years it’s been on the upswing again,” said Marshal. “We had a good bit of activity in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and for whatever reason they tapered off a little bit. But this year is going to be the most number meth cases that we have filed.”

He said in 2014 about a 25 percent of their drug cases were meth-related. In 2015 and 2016 it increased slightly to about 33 percent of the case load. In 2017, he said almost 50 percent of the 42 cases are meth-related.

“Our role in this process is to take the cases as they come in the door,” said Marshal. “And there are multiple defendants in these cases as well.”

But, as law enforcement, prosecutors and law makers shifted their strategies to combat meth in south Alabama, a new form of the drug has rose to prominence since 2014 called ‘Ice’.

A July 2015, intelligence report released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency showed the connection of Mexican Drug Cartels in each U.S. state. The report linked the Sinaloa Cartel, Cartel Jalisico Nueva Generacion-Los Cuinis and the Beltran-Leyva Organization with drug trafficking ties in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

Marshal said when they take on Ice trafficking cases they want to find out how the offender got the drug and how it made its way into the south Alabama region.

“Under the federal sentencing guidelines, they are higher sentences for Ice,” said Marshal. “But you’ve got to prove the purity of the substance. So, there are some prosecution burdens on us to be able to prove that through forensic analysis. These cases can be pretty involved.”

Rich said the factory produced version of methamphetamine is a more purer form of the drug. Since the base drug in Ice is still methamphetamine, and not sent to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the sentencing guidelines for the DA’s office remain the same.

Rich says going forward pushing for legislation to battle Ice would be a good way to help their initiatives combatting meth use to evolve.

“It would be great if we had legislation that would make stricter penalties for ice,” said Rich. “Because the addiction level to me is so much greater. But it’s got to happen at the legislative level. Until then we’re stuck with the laws we have.”

 

 

 

al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/08/as_law_enforcement_clamps_down.html

 

A Grand Forks woman is facing four charges including second-degree drug sales and driving while intoxicated after police pulled over a vehicle she was driving with a suitcase full of drugs in the trunk. Whitney Jo Peltier, 26, also faces driving after suspension and failure to provide insurance.

According to the court complaint, on July 29, an East Grand Forks police officer was on routine patrol when he observed a gold Mercury Grand Marquis parked in the parking lot of Arbor Glen Apartments. The officer had received information the previous night that an individual observed a black male selling drugs out of a vehicle at the apartments and the officer had received photos of the transaction from the reporting party. He observed the vehicle move, which had multiple occupants inside, and he followed them. When they failed to activate their turn signal 100 feet prior to turning, the officer activated his emergency lights and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle.

The officer observed three occupants inside and asked for the driver’s identification. She, who was later identified as Whitney Jo Peltier, stated that she did not have any identification and that she wasn’t sure whose vehicle she was driving. When asked where they were heading, Peltier turned her head to the front seat passenger and asked, and he replied saying they were going to his residence in Grand Forks to get a computer cable. The front and back seat passengers, who were minors, identified themselves to the officer and then the officer conducted a search of the vehicle.

Inside the trunk, the officer found a red suitcase and inside it was a large plastic baggie containing multiple designer-style baggies containing a light purple powdery substance, said the complaint. Also located in the trunk was a blue medical glove with a small baggie located inside one of the fingers of the glove and inside the baggie was a white substance.

The officer then placed all three vehicle occupants under arrest and transported them to the East Grand Forks Police Department. He also called for a tow truck to tow the vehicle to the station.

While at the station, officers field tested the white substance from the glove and it came back as positive for cocaine, and weighed 2.8 grams. They also field tested the purple powder substance and it tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed 15.2 grams.

During voluntary statements, the two minors said they came to the area from St. Cloud to meet up with some girls and they didn’t know anything about the drugs in the vehicle. During voluntary urine samples from the minors, one tested positive for THC and the other positive for THC and meth. One of the minors, known as S.D.B., asked to speak to the officer again and stated that he met Whitney at the Super 8 Motel, had sex with her, purchased $40 of weed from her and that he believes Whitney is a meth user and engaged in both dealing drugs and prostitution. He said he rode around with Whitney while she made 10 stops around Grand Forks and he believed they were drug deals.

 

 

 

 

crookstontimes.com/news/20170811/polk-county-court-news—woman-charged-after-suitcase-full-of-drugs-found-in-trunk

 

RICHFIELD — A registered sex offender from Richfield has been convicted of sexually assaulting two girls, ages 13 and 16, while also providing them with methamphetamine, police say.

The events happened just seven months after the court was informed that Jared Patrick Brian was making “excellent” progress while on probation from his previous conviction.

Brian, 34, is scheduled to appear in 6th District Court on Sept. 12 for sentencing on his latest case.

Brian was convicted last month of aggravated sex abuse of a child with a prior conviction, a first-degree felony; and unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-year-old, a third-degree felony. By pleading guilty to those charges, additional charges of rape of a child, sexual exploitation of a minor, drug distribution and another count of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16-year-old were dismissed, according to court records.

In November, a 13-year-old girl reported that she had been sexually abused by Brian, who also provided her with methamphetamine and alcohol on multiple occasions, according to charging documents.

The girl said she had a 16-year-old friend who had also been sexually abused by Brian and that at least one of the incidents was recorded on Brian’s cellphone, the charges state.

The next day, police served a search warrant at Brian’s residence where they found drugs, drug paraphernalia and seized at least six cellphones, a flash drive and a video camera, charging documents state. Investigators found several videos of Brian having sex with a girl on one of the phones, according to the charges, and were able to identify the girl as a 16-year-old.

In 2014, Brian was convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and given a suspended prison sentence. In a progress report filed on March 30, 2016, to update the court on Brian’s probation — just about seven months before the new allegations were raised by the 13-year-old — it was noted that Brian was making great progress.

“This agent feels Mr. Brian has made huge lifestyle changes in his life,” the report states. It also indicated that Brian had been using meth everyday for five years until that point.

“Mr. Brian stated he was done with the drug lifestyle, which this agent felt would be difficult for him with the severity of his drug use over the past five years. Mr. Brian has proven he is done with the drug game,” the report states. “Mr. Brian has stated numerous times that jail and probation has saved his life. Mr. Brian’s overview of probation would be considered ‘excellent.'”

 

 

 

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When the Mobile Police Department recently announced the arrest of 35-year-old Nicole Vasquez, following a raid by the Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team, it dubbed her “the Ice Queen.”

Some of the details were particular to the case – officers reported seizing five ounces of crystal methamphetamine, $620 cash and a variety of “paraphernalia associated with drug distribution.” But the last line of the news release had a familiar ring: “The raid was part of MCSENT’s long-term investigation into the trafficking of crystal methamphetamine from out of state into the Mobile area.”

The “Ice Queen” bust didn’t appear to involve violence or weaponry. But a case from a year earlier had shown the public how dangerous that “long-term investigation” could be: When an armed and armored meth trafficking suspect attempted to flee a bust in the wee hours of April 1, 2016, the situation devolved into a shootout that left one officer critically injured. His identity wasn’t made public – in part, police leaders said, because the revelation might have tipped off other targets.

That big investigation doesn’t follow a clean arc from a launch to a clear conclusion. It’s really more of a sustained effort shaped in part by the changing nature of the threat. Leaders such as Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran and Mobile’s executive director of public safety, James Barber, have said that in recent years, home-grown meth labs, with all their attendant danger, have faded away in favor of “pipeline trafficking.” A pure form of meth called Ice, for its crystalline appearance, flows into the Mobile area, and through it, along the I-10 corridor.

The effort to combat such trafficking involves cooperation between agencies at various levels, from the local officers to make street-level busts, to the federal agents who pursue connections across state lines and sometimes out of the country, trying to stop the supply at its source.

In the Mobile area, MCSENT is arguably the tip of the spear when it comes to the fight against meth. Sgt. Larry Toland, who along with Lt. Karl Reed is one of two Mobile Police officers who lead MCSENT, said the unit definitely does work closely with other agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security, but has its own specific mission.

“We focus our efforts locally here,” he said. “That’s our priority, keeping drugs out of Mobile.”

MCSENT’s letterhead lists a dozen partner agencies: police departments in Bayou La Batre, Chickasaw, Citronelle, Creola, Dauphin Island, Mt. Vernon, Prichard, Saraland and Satsuma, plus the Mobile County district attorney’s office, the Mobile Airport Authority police and the University of South Alabama police. James Barber, Mobile’s executive director of public safety and a former Mobile police chief, said the unit was formed partly to foster cooperation among local agencies fighting drug networks that often cross municipal lines, and partly because such units are eligible for grants and other support through the federal High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program (motto: “reducing the threat by addressing the flow”).

According to information provided by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there are 28 HIDTA zones in the U.S., covering “18.3 percent of all counties in the United States and a little over 65.5 percent of the U.S. population.” The Gulf Coast HIDTA designation spans Mississippi and Alabama’s coastal counties and the western tip of the Florida Panhandle, plus other scattered portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

According to a governmental website for the zone, “The Gulf Coast HIDTA is situated between major drug corridors along the Southwest Border and lucrative distribution markets along the East Coast and in the Midwest … The interstate highway system that traverses the four states, including I-10, I-20 and I-40, are used as their primary corridors,” providing connections to four north-south interstates as well.

If that seems abstract, Toland said the influx of Ice over the last few years has been real. It first began appearing in the southwestern part of the county, he said, in communities such as Grand Bay and Bayou La Batre, and then “it slowly made its way from west to east into the city.”

“It’s highly pure in many cases,” he said, and samples sent off for laboratory analysis often are found to be 100 percent pure or close to it. For users, he said, that purity makes it an attractive option to the “dirty meth” made in local labs from over-the-counter cold medicines and toxic reactants.

“They’re still out there, but we’re not seeing them nearly as much,” Toland said of the local labs.

Toland said that to some extent, MCSENT was able to meet the threat as it emerged, rather than trying to clean up an entrenched distribution network. “It’s something we’ve been able to stay on top of,” he said.

When the unit makes a big bust, he said, “”We can immediately notice an increase in price.”

But that doesn’t mean the status quo is easy.

“It takes a dedicated police officer,” Toland said. “We come in early, we stay late.” “you’ve got to keep business hours and drug dealer hours at the same time.”

“Our investigations span the full spectrum from street work to analysis of data that’s available from federal partners,” he said. “”We’re always looking for whatever threat is out there … I can’t compliment my guys enough. They’re dedicated guys who do a dangerous job.”

The April 2016 bust showed just how dangerous it could be. MCSENT officers had made some arrests on May 30 and had continued their sweep with more on the evening of May 31. After midnight, in the early morning hours of April 1, they planned to capture 32-year-old Ryan Burkhardt in the Grand Bay area.

Burkhardt attempted to flee on a motorcycle, wrecked, and was tackled by officers in a field near a gas station. But as he struggled with officers on the ground, he began firing, hitting one twice: once in the thigh, once in the abdomen under his bulletproof vest.

“The officer who got shot was one of mine,” Toland said. “I was right there with him.”

Toland said that as Burkhardt came back up off the ground and opened fire on the other officers rushing in, “it took several seconds to take him down,” a span of time that seemed like an eternity. “It all happens before you’re able to fear.”

After the fact Barber, then police chief, said it was fortunate no one had been killed. It turned out that Burkhardt was carrying multiple handguns and wearing a bulletproof vest of his own. That absorbed several shots and his motorcycle helmet deflected a couple more, Barber said. “This was a very sophisticated criminal who had much the same armor and weaponry as our police units,” Barber said.

Burkhardt was wounded and was initially in critical condition, but recovered to face charges. In April, he entered a guilty plea to charges of attempted murder and possession with intent to distribute crystal meth. Police reported that he committed suicide in Metro Jail on July 14, 2017.

Toland said that Burkhardt’s rise and fall both reflect the pressure MCSENT puts on the local meth scene. Because the unit has been successful and shutting down distributors, he said, that creates a vacuum that an aggressive newcomer such as Burkhardt can exploit, at least in the short term.

“Burkhardt was a major player who had come on the scene fairly recently,” Toland said. “In six months he went from basically nothing to one of the most significant players” in local meth distribution.

When such a newcomer begins to make a splash, Toland said, MCSENT quickly becomes aware of it. Investigative work begins, building toward an eventual confrontation – which, hopefully, won’t be as violent as the one in the Burkhardt case.

“One of the particular dangers of crystal meth, they become extremely paranoid,” Toland said. “A lot of times we’re interrupting these people right when they’re the most scared and most paranoid” because they know they’re vulnerable during a deal.

In some cases, Toland said, officers know a suspect has said he’d rather die than go back to jail. “You know that about them, and now you’re in an undercover car following right behind them” a few minutes from a confrontation, he said.

With dirty meth, Toland said, “if a meth lab blows up, that’s pretty much the end of the story.” With the ice coming in from the west, “it’s a continuous process of moving up to the next level.”

MCSENT stays at a local level, he said, though it does work closely with similar units in Mississippi.

“Ultimately … you have to kind of step above the rivalry,” Toland said. “Some days the headline is going to be made in Mississippi … We remember what they do for us, they remember what we do for them.”

Toland praised the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama for “outstanding” cooperation. “The feds have been really strong on prosecuting crystal meth,” he said. “We’ve been able to kind of stick a wedge in that revolving door.”

A few years back, a clampdown on bulk purchases of over-the-counter cold medicine helped shut down the local labs, prompting the shift to pipeline trafficking. Maybe the future holds another major shift. . “Is there anything that’s going to change the core dynamic? I don’t know,” Toland said. “From our perspective, I don’t know what that would be.”

So MCSENT continues its ongoing effort, and continues to look for other threats. Spice came and went, Toland said. Like other local authorities, he said abuse of prescription opiates and heroin hasn’t flared in southwest Alabama the way it has in other regions, but law enforcement agencies are keeping a wary eye out for warning signs.

“Our plans are to treat it just like crystal meth. As soon as we see it, we’ll get on it,” he said. “As soon as that mole sticks his head out of the hole, we’re going to whack him.”

 

 

al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/08/undercover_danger_whack-a-mole.html

 

Over three dozen people are facing drug and weapons charges after a methamphetamine trafficking bust this week in Comal County.

Law enforcement officials say it’s the culmination of a 5-month-long investigation involving multiple agencies.

Officers executed search warrants Wednesday morning in the New Braunfels/Canyon Lake/Comal County area for what they’re calling “Operation: Crystal Lake.” A total of 38 people are in custody.

Investigators say officers seized 11.5 pounds of meth, approximately one pound of cocaine, over 40 grams of heroin, approximately $5,000 in cash, eight firearms (including two recovered stolen), and three vehicles (including one recovered stolen).

The combined special task force involved in the bust consisted of members of the D.E.A., the Comal County Metro Narcotics Task Force, the New Braunfels Police Department, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office, the New Braunfels/Comal County G.O.N.E. (Gang Offender Narcotics Enforcement) Unit, the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Marshals – Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.

 

 

 

news4sanantonio.com/news/local/38-people-in-custody-after-large-meth-trafficking-bust-in-comal-co

 

EYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Cartel gunmen continue spreading terror throughout this border city with two separate grenade attacks in as many days.

The most recent incident took place this week when cartel gunmen threw a grenade at the public safety building in Reynosa. The explosive device landed on the roof of the building and detonated, information provided to Breitbart Texas by Tamaulipas law enforcement officials revealed.

While no injuries were reported, officials surrounded the building while investigators surveyed the damage and spoke to neighbors. Local residents pointed to seeing a young man running out of an alley behind the law enforcement building. On the same day of the attack, Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Cabeza de Vaca was in Reynosa for various public events, however, he was not in the security building when during the attack.

The most recent attack comes days after a group of cartel gunmen threw a grenade outside of a local hotel to target law enforcement personnel staying there, Breitbart Texas reported.

Since early May, Reynosa has turned into a battleground where rival factions of the Gulf Cartel continue to fight for control of lucrative drug smuggling and drug trafficking routes, Breitbart Texas reported.  The rivalry between the cartel factions led to more than 100 murders, regular shootouts, executions, kidnappings, extortions, and highway robberies.

 

 

Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “A.C. Del Angel” from Tamaulipas.

 

 

 

 

breitbart.com/texas/2017/08/11/narco-terror-mexican-cartel-grenade-attacks-continue-near-texas-border/

 

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Opioid abuse and addiction is still a big issue here in the United States.

In Kern County, there is not only have an opioid epidemic, but also methamphetamine addictions are the number one issue.

U.s. National Poison Data System records show that three Americans every minute call the Poison Control Center because they made a medication error.

Four out of 10 mistakes involved painkillers, hormone therapy prescriptions or heart medication.

However, in Kern County there is a bigger case of methamphetamine addiction over opioid.

“The opioid addiction problem is certainly still an epidemic here in Kern County, however, it is not to the level that it is in the east coast. What we see primarily here is we have a higher rate of issues with methamphetamine than we do with the opioid problem,” said Elizabeth Bailey a Substance Use division supervisor for Kern Behavioral Health Services.

According to the Kern Behavioral Health Services, meth is the number one issue in Kern County.

Meth is easily accessible it is also quite inexpensive whereas pills and heroine and stuff is much more expensive so we don’t generally see that,”Bailey said.

The epidemic is being addressed through the drug medical waiver as well as an expansion of adolescent services.

“We have a number of initiatives and projects, one being Kern Stop Meth Now has worked with providing prescription drop boxes in all corners of Kern County, there will be 10 placed throughout the county this fall,” Bailey said.

 

 

 

turnto23.com/news/local-news/opioid-methamphetamine-epidemic-in-kern-county

 

 

There’s been a great deal of attention on the misuse of opioids in Windsor-Essex, but a number of local agencies are reporting a different kind of narcotic is still the drug of choice in Windsor, crystal meth.

Dr. Paul Bradford, an emergency physician with Windsor Regional Hospital, tells CTV Windsor “It’s a huge problem for us, and it seems to be getting worse in the community.”

Dr. Bradford says patients on crystal meth often become violent.

We did some research looking at the management of violent patients and our medication us, and it’s really sky rocketed in the last three years,” claims Bradford.

Dr. Bradford says it’s often the meth users erratic or dangerous behavior that lands them in the hospital.

The Downtown Mission and the Salvation Army both report seeing more drug induced psychosis in clients.

“I think it’s an epidemic, and I don’t use that phrase lightly” says Ron Dunn, the Executive Director of the Downtown Mission.

The drug has many short and long term health consequences and Dr. Bradford tells CTV Windsor there’s fewer treatment options for meth users in the community.

“We’ve had success with methadone programs and other programs for opioids, we just don’t have that for crystal meth yet,” concedes Dr. Bradford.

Dunn and Dr. Bradford say the recent focus on opioids has been effective in drawing attention to addiction issues, but they both say more needs to be done in Windsor to stop crystal meth.

“Until we have a strategy as a community, I don’t see it getting better” adds Dunn.

Windsor police confirm that crystal meth is dominating the local drug culture right now.

The Canadian Mental Health Association also reports seeing more people with meth addiction.

 

 

 

windsor.ctvnews.ca/opioids-dominate-headlines-but-meth-still-drug-of-choice-in-windsor-1.3540629

 

 

An Osakis couple face felony charges for allegedly leaving methamphetamine paraphernalia in the home they share with their three young children.

Jessica Jean Wagner, 28, and Dustin Kalo Wagner, 29, were charged in Douglas County District Court on Aug. 3.

The Osakis Police Department obtained a warrant and searched the Wagners’ house at 705 Lake Street in Osakis on Aug. 2. The Wagners have three children, aged 4, 6 and 9.According to the criminal complaint:

Officers found a syringe on top of a refrigerator that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

In one child’s bedroom, an officer saw a mattress on the floor with pink blankets and toys on it. In front of a closet, the officer found a syringe on the floor that appeared to have the rubber portion removed.

Next to the bed, the officer looked through a milk crate that was being used as a toy box and found children’s toys, multiple used syringes and a broken piece of glass that was consistent with that of a meth pipe.

In a dining room, officers found additional syringes and small baggies containing crystal residue.

In the basement, officers collected 12 syringes, two plastic baggies containing meth residue, five Buprenorphine pills — an opioid medication used to treat narcotic addictions — two scales and three meth pipes.

Officers found a total of 28 hypodermic needles. They also found several torch-style lighters throughout the house.

After officers read Jessica Wagner her rights, she denied using meth and said she was unsure if her husband used it, according to court documents. Officers took photographs of her arm, which appeared to have track marks, according to the complaint.

The children were removed from the home and placed in the care of a family member, according to Osakis Police Chief Chad Gulbranson.

Jessica Wagner posted bail and was released. She posted bail for Dustin Wagner, who was then picked up by Benton County authorities on an outstanding warrant. Jessica’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 14. A court date for Dustin Wagner hasn’t been set yet.

The charge, storage of methamphetamine paraphernalia in a child’s residence, carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

 

 

bemidjipioneer.com/news/4310506-minnesota-couple-face-charges-after-allegedly-leaving-meth-needles-kids-toys

 

NILAND, Calif. – El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents working at the Highway 111 immigration checkpoint arrested a woman suspected of smuggling methamphetamine Tuesday afternoon.

Agents said the 31-year-old woman was stopped at the checkpoint at about 2:45 p.m. while driving a GMC Yukon. A Border Patrol canine alerted agents to her vehicle and she was sent to the secondary inspection.

After inspecting the vehicle, agents said they discovered 30 packages containing methamphetamine hidden inside the Yukon’s spare tire.

The total weight of the methamphetamine was 31.91 pounds with an estimated street value of $111,685, according to the Border Patrol’s news release.

The woman was identified as a United States citizen. She was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency along with the vehicle and methamphetamine as the investigation into the suspected smuggling continues.

Agents have told us in the past that spare tires are one of many locations favored by drug smugglers as they try to hide drugs from law enforcement.

Since fiscal year 2017, which started Oct. 1, 2016, the El Centro Sector has seized more than 1,141.39 pounds of methamphetamine.

 

 

 

 

kesq.com/news/crime/woman-arrested-after-border-patrol-finds-31-pounds-of-meth-hidden-in-spare-tire/602056843

 

  • Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead in West Hollywood, CA on July 27
  • Moore died at the home of Ed Buck, a high-profile Democratic donor
  • LA Coroner’s Office said he died of an accidental overdose of methamphetamine
  • Family believes that Moore’s demise was more sinister that revealed
  • Moore’s mother believes that Buck liked watching black men do drugs
  • Ed Buck is not a  suspect in Moore’s death or any other police investigation

A 26-year-old man was found dead at the home of a well-known Democratic party donor late last month of a drug overdose.

The incident occurred on July 27 around 7.22pm at the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck, a high-profile political activist and wealthy contributor to the California and Los Angeles County Democratic Party. 

The Los Angeles County Coroner declared Gemmel Moore’s death an ‘accident,’ due to a ‘methamphetamine‘ overdose, the WeHo Times publication reported.

But Moore’s family believes that foul play was involved in the hours between Gemmel’s arrival at Buck’s home and his fatal overdose.

During a phone interview with the WeHo Times last week, Gemmel Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, said that her son had been involved with sex-work for the past few years.

 ‘I called one of my son’s friends and was like, “who the hell is Edward Buck?'” Nixon said, speaking from her home in Spring Texas. ‘And my son’s friend was like, “oh my God, that’s that white guy, that wealthy white politician guy… he was like “oh my God…’”

A one-time registered Republican, Buck began getting involved in Southern California politics in the early 1990s.

Buck became a successful businessman, pioneering in computer technology, specifically in electronic information services, in Arizona before moving to Los Angeles.

He was also a candidate for a councilman seat in West Hollywood and a prominent AIDS activist in the community, according to a smartvote.org profile in 2007.

During Nixon’s conversation with her son’s friend, a darker picture of Moore’s life began to emerge, with Buck allegedly playing a role.

‘When he calmed down, he told me that Ed Buck was one of my son’s clients and that Ed Buck was one of his clients as well,’ Nixon said. ‘[Buck] would have my son to go out to… Santa Monica Boulevard looking for young gay black guys so he could inject them with drugs, see their reaction and how [they] would react and take pictures of them.’

 A phone call place to Buck for comment was not immediately returned. Buck is not a suspect in Gemmel Moore’s death or any police investigation at the moment.

Nixon said that investigators with the West Hollywood Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department notified her that no drugs or paraphernalia was found at Buck’s home following her son’s death.

An unidentified source who claims that he and Gemmel Moore shared Buck as a client told the WeHo Times that the former city councilman also supplied him with drugs.

In one account, the anonymous source said that Buck asked him if he’d ever ‘slammed,’ a street term for intravenous meth use.

‘I told him no, and that would take more money,’ the source said, describing Buck’s reaction as ‘excited,’ adding he seemed to ‘get off on getting you higher and higher.’

Nixon told the WeHo Times that her son’s troubles may have had their start over a year ago, when he gave her a call in a panic.

‘He filed a police report because he said that Buck had held him in his apartment or whatever and had shot him up with a needle with something he didn’t’ know what it was,’ Nixon said,

‘He called me crying. Three minutes on the phone hollering and I’m like “What the hell is going on?”‘

‘He said “This man, he shot me up with something I don’t even know what it is,” and I’m like, my son is having a breakdown or episode. But he sent me pictures of his arm, his arm was red.’

The WeHo Times reported that at the time of publication, they had yet to obtain a copy of the police report.

No pictures of the alleged red markings on Moore’s arms have been produced, said WeHo.

‘Gemmel got scared and at the urging of relatives and few close friends who knew of these outrageous encounters; my son came home to me in Texas to get away,’ Nixon continued. ‘Yes, my son was an adult and didn’t live a fairy tale perfect life, but he didn’t deserve to die this way.’

Buck in 2015 gave Hillary Clinton $2700 and another $250 a year later, the WeHO Times reported, adding that Buck has also given thousands of dollars to Democratic incumbents in the state.

Other photographs found on his Facebook page show him with celebrities and high-profile California politicians, including Governor Jerry Brown.

The WeHO Times said that it placed numerous phone calls and emails to Buck, all of which has gone unanswered.

 

 

 

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4776112/Mystery-swirls-death-gay-sex-worker.html

 

 

SEATTLE – When 45-year-old Raymond Salo found himself accused of drugging and raping a woman in his custody for five days, he wanted her gone.

That’s what King County prosecutors say in charges filed Friday, alleging that Salo offered to pay an undercover detective posing as a hitman to kill the 28-year-old woman.

After being jailed on unrelated warrants, Salo confided in a fellow inmate at Snohomish County Jail about the woman who reported his attacks on her and expressed that he wanted her “swimming with the worms,” investigators claim.

That inmate cooperated with authorities to set Salo up with a fake hit against the woman, reports say.

King County Sheriff’s Office deputies reported spotting Salo getting out of a vehicle with stolen license plates with the alleged victim on July 9 in Lake City.

When stopped, the woman claimed she met Salo five days earlier when he offered to take her to the store, but he forced her to stay with him. According to charging papers, she told deputies he repeatedly assaulted her, even sexually, and that on one occasion he injected her with methamphetamine against her will and raped her.

Authorities booked Salo into King County Jail on two outstanding Snohomish County warrants. He was transferred to Snohomish County Jail in Everett two days later.

The woman underwent a forensic examination looking for signs of rape and was found to be covered in bruises, according to court records.

A Seattle detective fielded a phone call July 24 from an attorney representing a Snohomish County inmate who became acquainted with Salo, reports indicate. The attorney said her client wanted to speak with detectives.

The inmate claimed he had bonded with Salo and began taking notes on their conversations, including one in which Salo described his desire to get the alleged victim out of state so she could not testify against him in a rape case. Salo reportedly asked the inmate if he could have someone find her and the inmate he said he had friends who could do it.

According to police, Salo then handed the inmate a letter, which the inmate turned over to detectives. The letter says, in part, “she needs to recant take back what you said to Seattle/lake city pd goodwill [sic] parking lot.” It also describes where to find the woman and that his family is willing to pay the woman off with up to $25,000, according to the Seattle Police Department.

During the next week, however, Salo’s intentions reportedly became more violent, including repeated statements that she needed to “swim with the worms.” He also reportedly said she should be taken to Mexico and “sold to a donkey show” and that he wanted the inmate to “broker a contract to dispose of her,” according to the inmate’s notes.

Salo reportedly posited to the inmate July 22: “If I give you $10,000, would you make her (expletive) disappear?”

He allegedly added, “I don’t give a (expletive) if she’s dead, swim with the worms.” He also said, “if there is no victim in the case there can’t be a trial and he will be let go,” according to the incident report.

The inmate was getting out of jail in a couple weeks, putting him in a position to find the woman.

Detectives met with the inmate again July 27, when the inmate reported Salo had a plan to kill the woman. Because she was allergic to heroin, he allegedly proposed giving her a “hotshot,” or a lethal dose of heroin. Detectives told the inmate to let Salo know that his “friend” — an undercover detective — would meet with him in two days.

The detective, pretending to be the friend, met with Salo at the Snohomish County Jail on July 29. During that conversation, Salo allegedly described the woman’s heroin allergy and described her in detail, including where she hangs out and who her friends are. They settled on a $10,000 payment.

Later that night, Salo called his mother from the jail and when she asked how things were going, he reportedly said, “It could have been really bad, but I think I am going to fix it … I mean like really bad … I think I fixed it. That’s all I can say about that right now.”

During the next several days, Salo made unsuccessful attempts to raise money, according to Seattle police.

The undercover detective returned to meet Salo on Aug. 2 to show him photos of some girls, including the woman targeted. Salo verified that the photo of the alleged victim depicted the woman he wanted dead, reports indicate.

Prosecutors filed charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and solicitation to commit first-degree murder on Friday. He remains held in Snohomish County on $1 million bail.

 

 

 

 

komonews.com/news/local/charges-rape-suspect-wanted-accuser-to-disappear-and-swim-with-the-worms

 

 

Charges have been filed against Krista Wilhelm in Los Alamos Magistrate Court after Los Alamos Police Department removed some 50 hypodermic needles Aug. 1 from her home.

LAPD officers responded to an address on Orange Street for a criminal trespass complaint involving Kevin Herring and reportedly observed “methamphetamine related drug paraphernalia throughout the home”, including multiple needles, methamphetamine cooking spoons, two “loaded needles” and multiple suboxone on the floor.

The statement of probable cause filed by Det. Ryan Wolking said Cpl. Jemuel Montoya reported to him that both Herring and Wilhelm appeared “high” as if they had recently consumed methamphetamine. Wolking later in the day obtained a search warrant and searched the residence along with Det. Sgt. James Rodriguez and Det. Matt Lyon.

Wolking’s report indicated the detectives found 48 needles scattered throughout the home, on floors, boxes and dressers. Wolking allegedly found two additional needles on the floor mixed with children’s toys and clothes.

Wilhelm has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Her arraignment is set for Aug. 25 before Magistrate Judge Pat Casados.

 

 

 

ladailypost.com/content/krista-wilhelm-charged-possession-drug-paraphernalia-including-50-hypodermic-needles

 

Crews were called to a kitchen fire in Wexford County Wednesday morning, but they ended up finding a meth lab.

The fire started at a home on May Street, across from the Wexford County Courthouse.

According to Traverse Narcotics Team Detective Dan King, the fire was started by a meth lab.

TNT found chemicals, components and tools to make meth in the home.

The house was not destroyed, but the kitchen was heavily damaged.

King says they believe they know who the suspects are, but they haven’t been arrested yet.

 

 

 

 

upnorthlive.com/news/local/crews-find-meth-lab-after-kitchen-fire-in-wexford-county

 

 

With almost 30 years in law enforcement, Mobile’s executive director of public safety sees something familiar about current trends in methamphetamine trafficking.

“Actually, it’s a transition back to the way it was,” said James Barber, who previously served as chief of the Mobile Police Department before taking his current post earlier this year.

In the ’70s and ’80s, he said, outlaw motorcycle gangs had a reputation for making methamphetamine and distributing it across the United States. But starting in the ’90s, the Internet facilitated the rapid spread of various methods of making the drug.

That led to an era of do-it-yourself labs. While these used a variety of hazardous chemical processes, they all tended to involve hazardous chemicals, explosion-prone processes and toxic byproducts. Rural sites often were used because chemical odors were a potential tipoff, but smaller “shake and bake” labs could be operated in moving car.

Barber, echoing comments by Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran (also a former chief of the Mobile Police Department), said the balance began to shift about 10 years ago when the state started to impose restrictions on the purchase of cold medicines containing ephedrine and pseudophedrine, used in popular manufacturing processes.

It got harder to make meth locally. But there was an alternative: “Ice,” a version coming in from Mexico. Its distinctive appearance – big slabs of crystal, or smaller shards – became synonymous with purity.

“Trafficking switched back over to pipeline trafficking,” Barber said.

In recent years, whenever a meth bust has been announced by the Mobile Police Department or the multi-agency Mobile County Street Enforcement Narcotics Team (MCSENT), it’s become common to see hints of a bigger picture. To quote a MCSENT release from January, “A search warrant was executed … as part of an ongoing large-scale investigation into the trafficking and distribution of crystal methamphetamine in the Mobile area.”

I-10 Pipeline

That “ongoing large-scale investigation” isn’t a single narrative with a clean beginning, middle and end, Barber said. Instead, it’s a sustained multi-agency effort to combat a longtime enemy whose tactics continuously evolve. There are some constants, thought, and one of them is the fact that Interstate 10 makes Lower Alabama a crossroads for traffickers.

“I-10 has always been a huge pipeline because it gives access to Houston, which was a big hub for cocaine,” Barber said. He said it’s often an inefficient system: Back in the day, cocaine might pass through the area in bulk, bound from Houston into Florida, then portions of it would be brought back into Alabama for local use.

With meth, some of the same holds true, he said. “The amount of drugs passing through the area far exceeds the amount stopping here,” Barber said.

The immediate concern of the Mobile PD is to stop the meth coming into Mobile. But the department is also a part of bigger efforts to interrupt its flow farther to the east, working with agencies such as the FBI and DEA as investigators try to trace drugs from street dealers back to their wellsprings. “Inter-agency cooperation is paramount,” said Barber.

A sentencing that took place in Mobile’s federal courthouse in late June is illustrative. The short version is that the U.S. Attorney’s office prosecuted Jenna Kathleen Fitzhugh-Thomas of Pensacola for a scheme to mail 37 pounds of meth to Fairhope. Aside from the odd contrast between scenic, upscale Fairhope and the violence and squalor implicit in 16.9 kilos of meth, the case produced a sentence of 12-1/2 years.

There’s more to it: A postal inspector in Mobile intercepted the package, with help from a Mobile PD K-9 officer named Aron. The DEA got involved, exploring a multi-state conspiracy that involved shipments coming out of southern California, coordinated by suppliers based in Washington State – where FBI agents executed a search warrant in Vancouver, Wash. In addition to the conviction of defendants in multiple states, the case involved the interception of a 7.8-pound meth shipment in New Orleans, as it was carried eastward by an Amtrak passenger.

“This case represented the quintessential example of the partnership between different federal law enforcement agencies as well as the cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies,” Steve Butler, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, said at the time.

Even a big win doesn’t end the game, though.

Threats come and go. After an intense period of activity a couple of years ago with synthetic marijuana, “we’ve seen spice drop off almost completely.” Barber said police are keeping a wary eye out for upticks in heroin-related activity, though so far it hasn’t taken hold in southwest Alabama the way it has in other areas. Fentanyl is another concern, an “incredibly powerful drug, incredibly dangerous,” he said.

Prescription opiates are a more insidious problem, because overdoses might be classed as medical matters rather than criminal. “One of the big problems with opiates, we don’t really know how many people are dead,” Barber said.

Recently Mobile police, along with the administration of Mayor Sandy Stimpson, celebrated a long-term win over another problem drug, crack cocaine. Two years ago, police shut down what Barber called the city’s “last open-air drug market,” a home at 1076 State Street that had been a hot spot for decades. According to information released by the Mobile PD, officers once documented more than 650 drug transactions at the site in a single two-month span.

It was demolished. On July 22, city officials had a celebration in the Campground community. The occasion served as the groundbreaking for a new house, funded by the federal HOME program, that will provide new, affordable housing on the site.

That doesn’t mean crack has gone away, Barber said. And despite some big busts, neither has meth. The ongoing investigation continues.

Barber said that as long as the demand for a drug remains, “it usually doesn’t take long for a new supplier to step in.”

 

As meth arrests dropped in Mobile County, ice moved in

Prior to 2008, walls being blown out of apartments, mobile home explosions and flash fires from methamphetamine labs became too common of a crime scene in Mobile County.

It prompted Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran to act in the Alabama State Legislature and on the ground, to curb meth use and distribution.

“When we first started in 2008 it was widespread,” said Cochran. “Drug labs were being found. Fires were being caused from mini explosions. Many people would have it blowing up in their face.”

Cochran said to understand how to combat the explosion of homemade meth labs popping up around the county, first, his department had to understand how everyday people were obtaining powerful drugs in large quantities.

At the time, there were not any restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephederine, key ingredients to make meth, at the hundreds of pharmacies and drug stores in the county. You could even walk into a convenience store and buy the drugs.

“At that time, Mobile County was the number one seller of all 67 counties in the state for pseudoephedrine,” said Cochran. “It was even larger than Jefferson County.”

When they launched their meth initiative in 2008, former federal Drug Enforcement Agency Agent, Joe Bettner, was hired to lead the MCSO’s Narcotics team.

At the inception of the program, sales of pseudoephedrine were averaging around 17,000 per month.  Compare that number to 2017 sales of pseudoephedrine, which are around 5,678 per month – a major drop.

“About a year ago (June 2016) we dropped down from number one to number three with Jefferson and Madison Counties,” said Cochran.

He credits that drop to House Bill 363, that went into effect on April 12, 2012.

 “As part of our initiative we tried to get a law passed in the legislature to require pseudoephedrine to be a prescription drug,” said Cochran. “We were quickly met with resistance by the drug manufacturers lobbying against us. We found out quickly they were more powerful than we were.”

He said states like Mississippi and Oregon had passed similar bills and saw sharp reductions in meth related arrests and accidents. He convinced state legislators to pass House Bill 363 that created new provisions on the sale of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, but it did not go into effect immediately.

“Arrests went up real high in 2008 and has steadily declined with the law changes began taking effect over the years,” said Cochran.

The bill increased regulation of over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, implemented an electronic drug offender tracking system and expanded the crime of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

“They would have to sign for it and produce an ID,” said Cochran.

He said once the bill limited the over-the-counter sales to licensed pharmacies and capped the quantity to 2 boxes of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine per month for each customer, criminals became creative.

“It was called, ‘Smurfing,’ where people would pull up in a car and maybe four people get out and all four buy two boxes,” said Cochran. “We did a lot of operations where we would arrest people for doing that throughout the county. We would arrest 16 to 18 people in one evening at drug stores.”

That arrest trend continued from 2008 to 2012 when House Bill 363 went into effect and the electronic monitoring program kicked in.

“Every drug store had to subscribe to it at no cost to them,” said Cochran. “So when someone goes in to buy it, now they have to have a state driver’s license, U.S. ID or passport and it’s those specific ones.”

The electronic monitoring system let’s pharmacies know if they can sell or not sell the drugs to the customer. The system caps the sales at 2 boxes per month (7 grams) of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine.

“That started denying a bunch of sales,” said Cochran. “Also, if you were a convicted drug offender your name is put into the system by the state and you can’t even buy it. If you were guilty of possession for some other type of drug your put in the system for 7 years. If you’re convicted for dealing or trafficking your put in the system for 10 years.”

Bettner, who heads the MCSO’s Narcotics team, said the decline was a predictive result when they decided to launch the initiative.

“In making precursor materials so difficult to obtain we have taken the labs out of our neighborhood, cars and motel rooms effectively making our community safer,” said Bettner.

The number of meth lab explosions and the number of labs discovered also dropped significantly since 2008. The MCSO’s most recent data shows that 13 labs were discovered in 2015, 16 were found in 2016 and only 9 labs have been found so far in 2017.

Prior to that, Cochran said they were averaging at least 3 working labs per week.

“It’s not a huge lab or big operation. It was purely a numbers game we were chasing,” said Cochran. “It’s kind of like they use it themselves and make it themselves and sell some of it. They’re small time operators, but they’re selling it, exploding it, and causing harm to others.”

He said the biggest threat, at the height of meth consumption in Mobile County, was the backlogging of patient’s at local hospitals.

“The biggest threat in reality was the threat to the hospitals and the burn units being inundated with people with severe burns,” said Cochran. “Also, the injuries to the innocent children that would be caught up in the fires and explosions.”

Cochran said with all the strides they’ve made in containing methamphetamine in the county, a new form of the drug has risen.

“What we have seen though is more Ice coming in from Mexico,” said Cochran. “The super labs in Mexico make a purer form of methamphetamine and they refer to it as Ice. It has sort of took over that market.”

A July 2015, intelligence report released by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency showed the connection of Mexican Drug Cartels in each U.S. state. The report linked the Sinaloa Cartel, Cartel Jalisico Nueva Generacion-Los Cuinis and the Beltran-Leyva Organization with drug trafficking ties in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

According to the report, all three of the organizations control drug trafficking across the Southwest U.S. border and are moving to expand their share, mostly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets.

“We started seeing more Ice in Mobile County in 2014, 2015 and going forward,” said Cochran.

He said recently they’ve stopped drug traffickers in Mobile County with 2 to 3 kilos of Ice.

“This gets back to your traditional narcotics investigations,” said Cochran. “We’ll catch people in possession and try to work our way up to see where they got it from.”

He said the Ice investigations require a multi-agency approach with neighboring states and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The MCSO also has a joint operation with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office called the ‘Crime Interdiction Unit.’
They assist agencies like the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency with drug trafficking investigations on the Interstate and local highways.

“We’re taking down wanted suspects, drug traffickers, currency traffickers and things like that,” said Cochran.

He said ice traffickers typically leave Mexico with a shipment that runs between Texas and Atlanta, Georgia once it’s inside the U.S.

“The interstates between those cities runs straight through Mobile,” said Cochran. “We also know some of the traffickers will divert around the interstate and take some of the other highways.”

Once the Ice shipment gets to Atlanta, Cochran said it gets redistributed to other areas including Mobile County. He said it mirrors the pattern of cocaine distribution that would originate in Miami, Florida, in the 1980’s.

“Initially it doesn’t make sense, but then it does. Dealing in drugs is just like selling groceries,” said Cochran. “You have a shipper who ships to the warehouses and the warehouses redistribute. Someone in Mobile might be buying or selling drugs from Atlanta and a month before the drugs were driven right through Mobile.”

Now, the MCSO is transforming its’ meth initiative into something that can help curb the distribution and use of Ice.

The meth text hotline, ‘839863’ or phone number 251-574-3784, that was once used by residents to send information on meth labs, can be used for information related to Ice traffickers.

“Many people are sending us in tips for meth, other drugs or other types of crimes there and on our social media platforms,” said Cochran. “So I guess you can say we’ve transitioned those tipsters into people who can help us with Ice investigations.”

 

 

al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/08/as_meth_arrest_trend_downward.html

 

 

Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Noreste article

Subject Matter: Territorial expansion of the CJNG
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

(Otis: this article makes some fairly big claims about CJNG, and should promote some good discussion in the comments section.)

 

The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion will dispute more territory with the Sinaloa Cartel after breaking its alliance with El Mayo Zambada, and taking control of Fuerzas Especiales de Los Damaso.


The Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion is vying for control of the entire national territory. Unofficial sources from the Centre for Research and National Security (CISEN) presume that the break up of the organization led by Nemesio Oseguera Gonzalez, El Mencho, with the faction of the Sinaloa Cartel headed by Ismael Zambada Garcia, El Mayo, with whom he had an alliance after the recapture of Joaquin Guzman Loera, El Chapo, in January of 2016.

The breakup of the two cartels, the two most important in drug trafficking in Mexico, could have been motivated by the recent delivery to the US authorities of Damaso Lopez Serrano, El Mini Lic, head of the Los Damaso faction of the Sinaloa Cartel, after the capture of his father, and head of the Fuerzas Especiales del Damaso. FED had allegedly been transferred to the control of the CJNG.

The hypothesis that the CJNG has broken their alliance with the Sinaloa Cartel was reinforced by a Manta hung last week in Saltillo, Coahuila, in ehich the CJNG places all cartels operating in the border area of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon with the warning that they must “leave the state in a maximum of 72 hours….”.

To that narco manta were added others in the states of Colima, Guerrero, Veracruz, Baja California, Baja California Sur and Nayarit, which warn of the arrival of the CJNG to take control of the plazas dominated by the Sinaloa Cartel.

The current narco map

The CJNG’s claim to expand its presence throughout the national territories not only announces an open war against the Sinaloa Cartel, but also confrontation with other groups. At least this is established by the narco manta in hung in Saltillo, where the members of Los Zetas, the Cartel del Golfo and Cartel Del Norte are warned of the intention to appropriate their territories.

According to an official response issued by the Transparency for Open Government Unit of the Attorney Generals Office, the predominance of the Sinaloa Cartel is concentrated in Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Baja California Sur, Baja California, Sonora, and of course Sinaloa.

The Los Zetas Cartel, according to the PGR, maintains its preponderance int he North of Tamaulipas, while the Cartel del Golfo predominates in the south of Tamaulipas and in Quintana Roo.

Until the last survey by the PGR last year, the CJNG registered full domain in Colima, MIchoacan, Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Morelos, Veracruz, but now intends to expand to at least nine other states, which would be 17 states in total under its control.

Of all the Cartel that remain active in the country, it is the CJNG that, according to sources from the PGR – registers a greater presence in national territory, since its cells currently extend to all states, including Mexico City.

Minor but important alliances

In order to fulfill its mission, the CJNG has begun to use local alliances with armed groups and gangs that at the time acted as executing arms of the previous dominant cartels which it now faces.

In Chihuahua, the CJNG was annexed to the local groups before serving the Sinaloa Cartel, such as La Gente Nueva, Los Cabrera and Los Artistas Asesinos. He also had agreements with a dissident section of La Linea, Los Linces, and the Nueva Cartel de Juarez.

In the states of Durango and Coahuila, the CJNG succeeded in severing the self proclaimed group from the Poniente del Poniente (CDP) and or De La Laguna (CDL), from Sinaloa; In Baja California and Baja California Sur he supported the groups of El Tigre and Los 28 from FED formerly led by El Mini Lic.

In Sonora the groups of Los Salazar and Los Memos, former allies of Sinaloa are now estimated to be on the side of the CJNG to dispute territory with El Mayo Zambada.

The economic power of the CJNG, has also surfaced in Tamaulipas, where CISEN sources estimate that it already controls factions of Los Zetas, such as Zetas Operative Group (GOZ), and the Zetas Special Forces (FEZ), as well as Los Metros and Los Dragones, who were at the service of the Cartel del Golfo.

He also added Los Pelones and Los Talibanes, who in the last three years were in the service of the CdG in Quintana Roo.

Also against Los Chapitos

The differences between the CJNG and the family of El Chapo had already been marked since August of 2016, when an armed group from CJNG, on the orders of El Mencho, abducted in Puerto Vallarta, Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, children of Joaquin Guzman Loera.

The fact had been endorsed by the CJNG in the Saltillo manta, ” we are people who know how to respect the population and we are not like you… we do know how to work and you Mayo and Los Menores, should be ashamed of how your organization has fallen….”, which points to a more open confrontation between CJNG and the relatives of El Chapo, who still maintain some degree of control in some sections of the Cartel.

.According to CISEN sources, the CJNG already manages most of the local gangs that once were with the children of El Chapo.

CJNG growth plan

Below are some of the strategies of the CJNG to compete for new plazas.

An alliance with the remains of the Knight Templar in Michoacan, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Queretaro and Tlaxcala.

Forge an alliance in Nuevo Leon with the Knights Templar to face Los Zetas and Cartel del Golfo.

With LFM, it has consolidated in the southeast, mainly in Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas and Campeche to confront Cartel del Golfo.

Has gained a presence in State of Mexico and Mexico City in collaboration with LFM and local groups such as La Empresa, Guerreros Unidos, Cartel de Tlahuac and La Banda de El Gallito.

Dispute territories with the Sinaloa Cartel in Puebla and Veracruz by joining with the Totonacapan Cartel, the band from El Tonin and split from El Bukanas group.

Original article in Spanish at Noreste.net

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2017/08/cjng-is-going-for-control-of-all.html

Hellertown woman arrested by police serving a search warrant at her home repeatedly tried to assault a police officer, according to court records.

Theresa A. Bowen, 48, was found awake and in bed with a bag of suspected crystal methamphetamine when police searched her home April 6 in the 400 block of Main Street, police said.

She was arraigned Monday night on felony and related counts and sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail. Court records do not detail why she was arraigned four months after the alleged incident.

Police serving a search warrant say they also found in the home glass pipes commonly used to smoke meth, packaging materials, plastic containers used to store the illegal stimulant and 8 grams of suspected meth, records say.

While handcuffed in police custody, Bowen kicked a stool at a Wilson Borough detective assisting in the search then attempted several times to head-butt and kick him, records say.

She was arraigned before District Judge Jacqueline Taschner on a felony county of drug possession with intent to deliver in addition to misdemeanor drug possession, resisting arrest, possession of drug paraphernalia (three counts) and summary disorderly conduct.

She faces a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled Aug. 21 before District Judge Elizabeth Romig-Gainer.

 

 

 

 

lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2017/08/woman_in_bed_with_meth_tried_h.html

 

 

Saskatoon police charged a 16-year-old girl after she was found to be in possession of a firearm on a Mayfair neighborhood lawn.

At around 12:30 a.m. CT on Aug. 6, officers were called to 1700-block of Avenue B North for reports of woman who was shouting.

Police arrived to find the teenager lying on the grass.

She was searched and found to be in possession of a sawed-off rifle, ammunition and meth.

The teen’s charges include careless use of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon obtained by the commission of an offence and possession of meth.

 

 

 

globalnews.ca/news/3656475/saskatoon-teenage-girl-lawn-rifle-meth/

 

 

 

A woman was arrested in a drug bust during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning in the Fair Play area, according to public information officer Jimmy Watt, with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.

Watt said Tabitha Ann Hammond, 36, of Seneca, was arrested after a car she was in was pulled over on Durham Road after a deputy noticed a defective brake light.

A deputy said the driver of the car appeared to be nervous and did not have a driver’s license or information about the car, Watt said.

The driver gave the deputy permission to search the car and the deputy found drugs in a bag under Hammond’s seat, Watt said.

Hammond said the drugs, and a large amount of cash that was found in a separate bag, were hers, Watt said.

The Narcotics Division of the Sheriff’s Office had agents come to the scene to investigate, Watt said.

The driver of the car was issued citations for defective equipment and drug paraphernalia that was found under the driver’s seat and was released, Watt said.

Watt said the car was towed.

Hammond was arrested and transported to the Oconee County Detention Center, where she was charged with one count of trafficking in methamphetamine and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, Watt said.

Watt said deputies seized around 5.3 pounds of meth which has a street value of around $242,000.

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate, Watt said.

 

 

 

wyff4.com/article/woman-arrested-after-5-pounds-of-meth-found-during-traffic-stop-deputies-say/11655011

 

FLORALA, AL (WSFA) – A Florala man and his wife have been arrested after drugs and an explosive device were found inside the home they share with their two children.

Chief Sonny Bedsole says his assistant chief and DHR officials went to a home on 7th Avenue Monday around 2 p.m. to follow-up on a domestic violence case and ended up charging Kelly Hardy and his wife, Carrie, after their house was searched and alarming items were discovered. 

While authorities were interviewing family members, one of them disclosed that Kelly Hardy had made a bomb and showed the device to the assistant chief. A photo was taken and sent to Chief Bedsole, who has had training in explosives during his law enforcement career. He immediately recognized that it was a dangerous bomb.

According to the chief, Kelly Hardy was read his Miranda rights. He then agreed to a search of the home. Officers recognized items used to make methamphetamine and a search warrant was obtained.

The Dothan Bomb Squad was called in to assist because family members indicated there could be other explosives on the property. Only the one bomb was found. It has since been disposed of.

Chief Bedsole says the couple had pseudoephedrine separation underway and other items like nail polish remover, lighter fluid, and coffee filters making meth. The finished product was also found.

The bomb and meth bath were in the master bedroom, the chief added. Kelly Hardy also had a recipe book for making meth using the “shake and bake” method.

As for the bomb, the chief says it was six inches long and contained gun powder, shrapnel (nails and screws) and a source to ignite it.

“They just wanted to see if they could make one. He didn’t know it was illegal,” the chief said, adding he found out how to make it from online.

Kelly Hardy was charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and unlawful possession or manufacturing of an explosive device. He is in the Covington County Jail on a $560,000 bond.

Carrie Hardy was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $13,000.

The couple’s children were left in the care of DHR, police said.

Bedsole said he was relieved that the situation inside the Hardy’s home was discovered and dismantled by authorities, making the neighborhood safer.

“One mistake on Mr. Hardy’s part with the components of that bomb, with homes on each side of him, could have been very bad. The explosive device was on the floor next to the meth lab in their bedroom. All of that is extremely dangerous. The neighbors were very upset and concerned and we hope they can rest easier now,” the chief added.

 

 

 

wsfa.com/story/36088259/south-al-couple-arrested-after-bomb-meth-lab-found-in-bedroom

 

TULSA COUNTY, Okla. (KTUL) — A Tulsa County woman is in jail after the sheriff’s office says her baby tested positive for methamphetamine.

Tephanie Maxwell was booked early Monday morning for child neglect.

According to the sheriff’s office, Maxwell told deputies her 9-month-old daughter found meth crumbs while crawling on the floor.

Maxwell’s bond is $50,000. Jail records show she’s due in court Aug. 14.

 

 

 

 

 

ktul.com/news/local/tcso-woman-jailed-after-baby-tests-positive-for-meth

 

A Sperry woman was arrested early Monday on a child neglect complaint after her baby tested positive for methamphetamine.

Tephanie Maxwell, 26, is accused of exposing her 9-month-old daughter to methamphetamine while Maxwell used the drug in her home.

An arrest report says a Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy talked to a Saint Francis Hospital nurse who notified him that the infant appeared to be suffering from the effects of methamphetamine. A urinalysis yielded a positive result for the drug in the baby’s system, the report states.

Maxwell and her daughter had been brought to the hospital by ambulance after Maxwell reported the baby was having a seizure. She reportedly told the deputy that the only way she thought the child could have ingested methamphetamine is if she came across crumbs while crawling.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services took the baby into custody, the arrest report indicates. Maxwell remained jailed Monday evening in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Tulsa World archives show Maxwell was arrested in Osage County on July 24 for violating the terms of her parole on a 2014 drug-related conviction. Court documents say her release from incarceration in 2015 was conditional upon her completion of a drug treatment program.

pressreader.com/usa/tulsa-world/20170808/281749859447958

The uncle of the baby who was killed in a Tower house fire last week has been charged with second degree manslaughter and more. 

Jesse Lee Bonacci-Koski was supposed to be watching Bentley Joe Lewis Koski, his 11-month-old nephew. When he was arrested, he told authorities he left the child at home to go buy controlled substances. 

Bonacci-Koski is charged with two counts of second degree manslaughter, one count of motor vehicle theft, and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

Bentley’s grandmother, Pam Swanson, told Eyewitness News in a message, “He was greatly loved by our whole family. He was the whole world to his parents and family.”

Police were called to the structure fire at 813 Third Street North in Tower at about 7:45 a.m., Tuesday, August 2. An hour later, after the fire was contained, a Tower firefighter found Bentley in a crib in a bedroom on the second floor. He was unresponsive, and emergency personnel could not revive him. 

According to the criminal complaint, the medical examiner determined the baby had soot in his esophagus, stomach and “upper and lower airways.” 

The parents had been gone for the night, and they told authorities they left Bentley with the father’s brother, Bonacci-Koski. 

A couple hours later, police got a call about a suspicious person at Benchwarmers Bar and Grill in Tower. The caller reporter he was muddy and wearing a green shirt and camouflage pants, the complaint says. He left a dog behind, which authorities say was the Koski family dog. 

Authorities say Bonacci-Koski stole a Jeep Cherokee, abandoned it in a ditch and went into the woods in Pike Township. He came out of the woods in front of a St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputy and was arrested. 

He had outstanding felony warrants for probation violation and a restraining order violation. 

According to court documents, Bonacci-Koski let officers search his backpack, where they found a syringe and spoon with residue of “controlled substances.” Bonacci-Koski tested positive for methamphetamine 

He told them he had left Bentley at home for about two hours, and when he saw firetrucks heading toward the home, he went back. When he saw firefighter there, he allegedly turned and left without speaking to any of them. 

St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin told Judge Gary Pagliaccetti he would seek more time than Minnesota sentencing guidelines because of the “particular vulnerability” of an 11-month-old child.

Bonacci-Koski told the judge in court Monday that he is not employed, he has no income and he is receiving medical assistance.

Authorities have not released the cause of the fire but said it is not believed to be arson.

His criminal record includes previous convictions for second degree assault, fifth degree assault and fleeing police. 

Bail was set at $200,000. Bonacci-Koski is expected to appear in court again Aug. 21. 

 

 

 

wdio.com/news/tower-baby-death-house-fire-uncle-charged/4565970/

 

A 21-year-old Etowah County is in jail accused of using drugs while pregnant.

Destiny Bree Stipes, of Altoona, is charged with one count of felony chemical endangerment of a child, said Investigator Brandi Fuller.

Stipes initially was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear in court on previous drug charges. While jailed, she told a detention center employee she was pregnant and admitted to using methamphetamine and Suboxone, even though she knew she was pregnant, investigators said.

She is being held in the Etowah County Detention Center on a $10,000 cash bond for the chemical endangerment warrant. As a condition of her bond, she must successfully complete a drug treatment program and will be supervised by Etowah Community Corrections upon release.

Stipes does not have a bond for the failure to appear warrant and is also facing charges from another agency.

 

 

 

al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/08/21-year-old_woman_jailed_for_u.html