Four people, ranging in ages from 18 to 65, have been arrested and charged in connection with a scheme to manufacture methamphetamine in Grainger County, Sheriff Scott Layel said Friday.

Those arrested were identified as Carroll Mayes, 65, Dylan Lusk, 18, and Marty Gratz, 47, all of Rutledge, and Christy Nicole Harris, 37, of Bean Station.

Each was charged with violating a state law that prohibits “initiation of a process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine.”

According to affidavit by Lt. Brandon Smith, items seized from a Thurman Watson Road address included ether, lithium batteries, ammonia nitrate, drain cleaner and dry ice

Also seized was a glass jar containing crushed or ground pseudoephedrine

Each item is “believed to have been used for the process intended to manufacture methamphetamine,” Smith stated in the affidavit.

The four suspects were taken to the Grainger County Jail. Bond for each was set at $50,000 each.

Five people are in Escambia County jail for allegedly running a meth lab in a Pensacola home with several children present.

Melissa Rae Anderson, 37; Richard Melcolm Anderson, 53; Hershel Keith Cranford, 31; Shelly Cranford, 27; and Camron Lechelle Hummel, 34, all of Pensacola, were arrested Wednesday night on drug-related charges.

Escambia County sheriff’s deputies responded to the Andersons’ home in the 8500 block of Acapulco Camino after receiving information of an active meth lab with children in the home, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office.

When they arrived, they discovered multiple materials commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, the release states.

Investigators also learned that four children were residing in the home — a 1-year-old, a 9-year-old, an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old.

The children were turned over to the care of other relatives, according to deputies, and a hazardous materials team was called to clean up the scene due to the reported presence of dangerous chemicals.

All five suspects have been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine with children present, producing methamphetamine, possession of drug equipment and possession of a chemical with the intent to manufacture.

They are each being held on a $86,000 bond.



MARION  — Police take out a pair of meth labs in 72-hours. The first, on Jefferson Street in Marion and on Thursday, an apartment on North Prospect Street.

Rick Cook, 40, was arrested and charged with the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

“These labs are very toxic and very dangerous,” Major Bill Collins of Marion Police said. “I encourage anyone with information about other suspected labs to contact law enforcement immediately.”

Police were tipped-off about the lab on Prospect Street following a related bust found in Richwood, Ohio.

Police ask to report any tips about other suspected labs in Marion due to the highly toxic and explosive chemicals involved in the manufacturing of the illegal substance.


FORT MILL —  A Fort Mill man who authorities say mixed chemicals in soda bottles and stashed tin foil and syringes in his house in an attempt to create a methamphetamine lab was arrested on Wednesday.

The arrest comes as York County officials report finding a growing number of meth labs. So far this year, seven labs have been discovered in the county, officials said. Ten were discovered in 2011 and 10 in 2012.

At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, agents used a warrant to search Terry Wayne Kimbrell Jr.’s Garys Circle home after agents made several undercover meth purchases at the house, said Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit.

While searching the home, agents found tin foil, syringes and full Gatorade and Mountain Dew bottles that tested positive for chemicals, Brown said. Some of the bottles also had a “crusty, white residue” on them, and one bottle contained what looked like a lump of baking soda.

A hazardous materials team removed the chemicals from the scene, while Kimbrell, 38, was charged with distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine within proximity of a school/park, and attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.

An active meth lab wasn’t found in the house, Brown said.

Last Friday, agents accused four people after searching a Mount Holly Road home in Rock Hill and recovering chemicals, pills and tools that can be used to make the drug.

Drug residue, Brown said, “was everywhere.”

Agents also found 75 pills of pseudoephedrine in the house, along with wet paper, plastic bags, different cold medications, digital scales, a large can of salt, Sudafed pills and 17 instant cold packs, he said.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant found in cold medicines that doubles as a key ingredient in meth.

According to a police report, agents also seized a laptop, Lithium batteries, more than 13 grams of pseudoephedrine and .8 grams of meth.

Police charged Smitty Ray Montgomery, 62, and Misty Nichole Brooks, 22, with possession of meth. On Tuesday, police found a third person who was at the house, Michael Brandon Ross Rash, 23, at a nearby home and charged him with possession of meth.

The fourth person, Kerry Lynn Riley, 42, was accused after authorities made undercover buys. She was charged with attempting to manufacture methamphetamine after agents say she was trafficking 98 doses of pseudoephedrine and had meth she intended to sell, the report states.

“She’s dodging us,” Brown said, adding that family members and friends have called her trying to convince her to turn herself in. “She knows we’ve got warrants on her.”

Riley had been arrested and charged previously with manufacturing methamphetamine and shoplifting. She was released on a more than $50,000 bond, according to court records.

Meth lab increase

Brown said the local increase in meth lab busts mirrors a statewide trend. Complaints have also increased, he said, although not every meth lab that officials check turns out to be active.

During a conference sponsored by the county’s All On Board coalition in March, Lt. Max Dorsey of the State Law Enforcement Division said agents seized 267 small meth labs in 2011.

A year later, officials shut down almost 540 meth labs throughout the state, and by March, they had seized at least 100 labs in 2013.

One-pot meth labs, which take shape in Gatorade bottles, 2-liter soda bottles or any other “small vessel,” are condensed meth labs that are more mobile than their predecessors, Dorsey said.

Users fill the bottles with chemicals that react on their own and produce the meth in its liquid form, he said. The manufacturers then use another vessel with salt and acid to solidify the drug into a compound they drain through a filter to produce the finished product.

“They’re manufacturing it as a ticking time bomb,” he said. “In the pots, you have a bomb, potentially.”

Once meth, a highly addictive street drug, “gets a hold of you, you can’t shake it,” Brown said.

Unlike heroin and cocaine, which users have to buy, meth can be cooked at home, he said.

“Almost every cook has an addiction,” Brown said

He said he has learned from interviews with suspects that it’s not uncommon for addicts to cook meth every day or every other day.

SALTON CITY – U.S. Border Patrol found packages of methamphetamine wrapped on a 16-year-old’s body Tuesday, according to a press release.

Around 3 p.m., a 53-year-old male taxi driver with a 16-year-old female passenger approached the checkpoint located between Westmorland and Salton City.


As agents placed her under arrest, they noticed a large bulge near her lower back and found seven packages of methamphetamine plastic-wrapped to her body.

The methamphetamine had a combined weight of 2.8 pounds and is estimated to be worth more than $66,000. The teenager and drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration while the taxi driver was released.,0,5393334.story

Police say she was a major supplier of meth in the Parkersburg area.

A Parkersburg woman is arrested.

Stephanie McIntyre-Eldred was arrested at her home on Pike Street in Parkersburg around 5 yesterday evening.

She was arrested on a felony warrant for delivery of Methamphetamine, stemming from a controlled purchase made by Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force Agents.

While in the home, agents saw items commonly used in the manufacturing of meth.

They got a search warrant and found even more items, including reaction vessels, Pseudoephedrine boxes, tubing and needles.

She was then charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug lab – a felony.

She was unable to post her $150,000 bond.

She is in the Wood County Holding Facility.

Police say she was a major supplier and manufacturer of meth in the Parkersburg area.



PARKERSBURG – A Parkersburg woman described as a major supplier was charged Thursday afternoon by agents of the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force.

Stephanie McIntyre-Eldred, 1211 Pike St., was arrested at 5 p.m. at her residence, first charged with delivery of methamphetamine, a felony, stemming from a controlled purchase made by the agency, and then with operating a meth lab, the task force said.

While in the house, agents saw components in plain view that are known to be used to manufacture methamphetamine, the task force said. The residence was secured and a search warrant for the home was obtained, the task force said.

Stephanie McIntyre-Eldred, 1211 Pike St., was arrested at 5 p.m. at her residence, first charged with delivery of methamphetamine, a felony, stemming from a controlled purchase made by the agency, and then with operating a meth lab, the task force said.


A search of the residence found a substantial amount of additional components, including four trash bags containing 10 reaction vessels, numerous pseudoephedrine boxes, tubing and needles, the task force said.

McIntyre-Eldred was then charged with operating or attempting to operate a clandestine lab, a felony, the task frorce said.

The investigation by the agency indicates McIntyre-Eldred was a major supplier and manufacturer of methamphetamine in the Parkersburg area, the task force said.

Bond was set at $150,000, which McIntyre-Eldred was unable to post, and she was remanded to the Wood County Holding Facility, the task force said.

The task force is comprised of officers from the West Virginia State Police, Wood County Sheriff’s Office and the Parkersburg and Vienna police departments.


Two men and two women are in custody after a methamphetamine lab was discovered Thursday in a room at the Days Inn, at 935 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy.

Agents of the Third Judicial District Drug Task Force received information about a possible meth lab in a hotel room.

Task force members responded, assisted by officers from the Greeneville Police Department and deputies from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

They found “several components of a methamphetamine lab along with a small amount of methamphetamine inside Room 209,” a drug task force agent said in a report. Charged with manufacturing methamphetamine are Stacy Yvette Jett, 44, of Knoxville; Ronnie Gene Murphy, 41, of Knoxville; Jena Ann Wilson, 24, of Lenoir City; and Albert Boyd Manis, 41, of Knoxville


HASTINGS, Minn. – A Dakota County man is charged with a handful of felonies after authorities discovered a large stash of methamphetamine inside his home.  

Albert Morris Johnson of Burnsville was charged Friday with two counts of controlled substance crimes in the first degree, one count of felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm with altered/removed serial number.






The charges were filed against Johnson in connection with a large seizure of methamphetamine from his home during the execution of a search warrant on May 1, 2013.

Officers from the Dakota County Drug Task Force executed the warrant at Johnson’s Burnsville home at 1:10 a.m. on May 1st. They discovered 12 pounds of a controlled substance which field tested positive for methamphetamine. The estimated street value of the meth exceeds $400,000.

“This case involves a large quantity of methamphetamine,” said Backstrom in a written statement. “We are pleased that law enforcement has been able to seize this significant quantity of an extremely dangerous illegal drug and keep it from being sold on the street.”

Also seized during this search were three handguns, one of which was loaded and another of which had a destroyed serial number, and over $16,000 in cash.

Albert Johnson was previously convicted of second degree assault in Sherburne County in 2009 and is therefore ineligible to possess any firearms.



On Sunday, a drug-sniffing dog working at the Mariposa Port of Entry led officers to a million-dollar discovery: 61 pounds of methamphetamine hidden throughout a Mercury sedan.

The discovery and subsequent arrest of the car’s driver was just the latest of what has been an increasing number of meth busts at the Nogales ports of entry and immigration checkpoint on Interstate 19. Authorities blame a rising flow of meth from the Sinaloa Cartel’s super-labs, which can churn out hundreds of pounds of the highly addictive and destructive drug each month.

“There has been a noticeable increase in meth coming through Santa Cruz County, especially in recent months,” said Eric Balliet, assistant special agent in charge of the Nogales station for U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, which processes many of the people busted at local ports and the checkpoint.

In most cases, the county is “more of a transit point” than a destination, Balliet said, with the meth that passes through the area headed for cities and towns across the United States.

Meth 1 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection



The county is not the only area seeing a proliferation of meth smuggling. Statewide, seizures of meth have increased from 414 kilograms in fiscal year 2009 to 1,935 kilograms in 2012, according to information provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The increased flow of meth from Mexico is largely the result of a crackdown on production labs in rural areas of the U.S. and restrictions placed on the purchase of pseudoephedrine, a precursor ingredient for meth, said DEA spokesperson Ramona Sanchez.

As a result of those efforts, the number of meth labs in the U.S. “has fallen dramatically,” she said. In their place, meth labs in Mexico have increased in number, especially the large-scale clandestine labs controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel, she said.

The meth is taken from those labs and funneled along already established smuggling avenues, Sanchez said, “so it’s just like adding another lucrative product or commodity to their smuggling route.”

In many cases, those super-labs are supplied with precursor ingredients shipped from East Asia to the Port of Guaymas, located in the state of Sonora directly south of Nogales on Federal Highway 15, said Jesus Lozania, a special agent with ICE and supervisor of the Santa Cruz County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force.

The shipments of precursor ingredients to ports on Mexico’s Pacific Coast are controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel, which is a key reason why the organization run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman dominates the meth trade, Lozania said.

Meth is an attractive commodity for smugglers because of its “exceptionally high” profit margin, Balliet said. While cocaine, heroin, and marijuana are derived from cultivated crops, often in South America, meth can be manufactured quickly from chemicals in labs located anywhere, he said.

In addition, drug-sniffing dogs have a harder time finding meth than more aromatic drugs like marijuana, Lozania said.

“Even a 15-year-old dog is going to be able to smell a load of marijuana,” he said.

Smuggling strategies

Attempts to smuggle meth into the U.S. generally follow two patterns: “deep concealment” and “body carriers,” Balliet said.

The deep concealment tactic is most often used in vehicles, he said, where the meth is hidden in driveshafts, axles, tires, and roofs. “You name it, they can basically create a compartment out of it,” he said.

Examples of deep concealment attempts abound in recent reports of CBP busts.

On Jan. 25, a half-million dollars worth of meth was discovered in packets hidden throughout a car at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry. On March 24, a drug-sniffing dog helped customs officers find 12 pounds of meth hidden in the floorboards of a pickup truck at the Mariposa Port of Entry. Three days later, 15 pounds of meth was found in the dashboard and center console of a Toyota sedan.

In the body carrier method, the meth is packaged tightly and either strapped to a person’s body or hidden in a carrying case, Balliet said.

Again, examples of this tactic abound.

On March 27, a man tried to smuggle a pound of meth in his pants as he walked through the DeConcini port, an attempt that was repeated by another man on April 25.

Perhaps the most bizarre example of body carrying was a bust on Feb. 21 in which six pounds of meth were found in buckets of chicken.


While local meth smuggling attempts are concentrated at federal facilities and, as authorities say, involve shipments meant for sale and use outside of Santa Cruz County, the uptick still has local ramifications.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix says that their prosecution of meth distributors in southern Arizona has held steady in recent years at 100-125 cases annually. Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz County Attorney’s Office has seen an increase in the number of meth-related cases they’ve handled, with 23 such cases since last July, said Deputy County Attorney Liliana Ortega.

Punishment for meth-smuggling convictions, whether in state or federal court, can be stiff.

On Nov. 26, 2012, Judge Anna Montoya-Paez of Santa Cruz County Superior Court sentenced Cesar Torres Burruel, a 23-year-old sushi seller from Nogales, Sonora, to 3.5 years in state prison for trying to smuggle 1.1 pounds of methamphetamine into the United States through the Morley pedestrian gate.

And on March 12, 2012, Judge James A. Soto, also of Santa Cruz County Superior Court, sent Ruben Barnett-Leal, 40, of Nogales, Sonora to prison for four years after a Nogales Police Department K-9 officer and his dog discovered more than 22 pounds of methamphetamine hidden on Barnett’s pickup during a traffic stop on I-19.

Both of those cases were adjudicated through plea agreements. Claudio Romo-Chavez, a 38-year-old Mexican national who was caught trying to smuggle more than 12 lbs. of methamphetamine through the DeConcini port in his vehicle’s gas tank, was later convicted by a federal jury of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and importation of methamphetamine.

In September 2010, a judge at U.S. District Court in Tucson sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison.



ROSS COUNTY, Ohio – A Ross County man is in jail after deputies allegedly found a methamphetamine lab inside his residence.

According to the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a home in the 700 block of Valley Road shortly after midnight Friday in reference to a disturbance.

Upon arrival, deputies made contact with 30-year-old Nathan J. McCoy. Deputies said McCoy was acting nervous, and that they observed him throw a wad of coffee filters on the ground outside the residence.

Nathan J. McCoy
Nathan J. McCoy

Deputies also reported smelling a strong chemical odor coming from the residence.

McCoy was secured in the rear of a patrol cruiser, and after being read his Miranda Rights, he allegedly told deputies that he had just finished cooking methamphetamine inside the home.

McCoy was arrested and transported to the Ross County Jail, pending arraignment on a charge of illegal manufacture of drugs.

The scene was cleaned up, and evidence was processed to be sent to the laboratory for testing.

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office reports the arrest of a Bonifay man for manufacture of methamphetamine.

On Thursday, May 2, investigators with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Florida Department of Corrections K-9 unit, were conducting a warrant round-up, during which they went to arrest 53-year-old Thomas Wayne Carter at his residence on Henry Grey Road, Bonifay, for a violation of probation warrant.

Thomas Wayne Carter 

Thomas Wayne Carter


After making contact with Carter, investigators observed signs of the manufacture of methamphetamine around his residence. Investigators then obtained consent to search from Carter and located items used to manufacture methamphetamine, paraphernalia and a small amount of meth oil.

Carter was transported to the Holmes County Jail and was charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Holmes County Sheriff Tim Brown asks anyone with information on suspected drug activity to contact HCSO at 850-547-4421 or



MIDDLEPORT — One person has been arrested following a two month investigation into the possible manufacture of methamphetamine.

Richard A. Hill Jr., 42, of Middleport was arrested on Wednesday evening about two hours after a search warrant was executed at his residence on North Second Avenue.

Hill was not at the residence when Middleport Police Officers executed the search warrant.

During the search officers found all of the precursors to manufacture methamphetamine, including pseudoephedrine and other chemicals, paraphernalia associated with methamphetamine manufacturing. Also found at the residence were heroin, prescription pills, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia.

Hill was located two hours after the search and was arrested following a short foot pursuit.

Hill is housed in the Middleport Jail and charged with illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals used to manufacture drugs. Further charges are pending according to Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift.

Sgt. Frank Stewart of the Middleport Police Department served at the lead investigator on the case.

The Meigs County Sheriff’s Office and the Middleport Fire Department assisted on the scene Wednesday


(HealthDay News) — Teen girls have a more difficult time kicking their methamphetamine habit than boys, according to a small new study which suggests that new methods are needed to treat methamphetamine abuse in girls.

The study included 10 girls and nine boys, average age of 17, with methamphetamine addiction who were receiving counseling and were given either the antidepressant bupropion or a placebo.

The teens who took bupropion provided far fewer methamphetamine-free urine samples than those who took the placebo, which suggests that bupropion did not work as a treatment for methamphetamine addiction, the researchers said.

They also found that boys in both groups had more than twice as many methamphetamine-free urine drug tests than girls in both groups, according to the study, which was published in the April issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“The greater severity of methamphetamine problems in adolescent girls compared to boys — combined with results of studies in adults that also found women to be more susceptible to methamphetamine than men — suggests that the gender differences in methamphetamine addiction observed in adults may actually begin in adolescence,” study lead author Dr. Keith Heinzerling, a health sciences assistant clinical professor of family medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a university news release.

The findings indicate the need for research to develop new ways to improve addiction treatment for girls, the researchers said.



Deputies looking for suspects in an earlier pursuit arrested one man and found about 10 pounds of methamphetamine in a pickup the culprits abandoned Wednesday, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Enriquez said the narcotics unit told patrol deputies about a suspect vehicle containing a large quantity of narcotics. Deputies spotted the vehicle, a Ford F-150, on Gale Avenue around 4:45 p.m.

The driver was seen making several traffic violations, Enriquez said. Deputies tried to pull over the pickup but the driver didn’t stop.

The suspects pulled into a gas station at Azusa and Temple avenues. Enriquez said the driver used the pickup to push another occupied vehicle.

At Valinda and Merced avenues, he said the pickup sped up to 70 mph. Enriquez cancelled the chase because it could be dangerous to the public.

The pickup truck headed to West Covina, where it was abandoned on Gaybar Avenue. The two suspects ran.

Enriquez said one of the suspects, a man in his 20s, was arrested in the area on suspicion of possessing narcotics for sale and assault with a deadly weapon.

The estimated street value of the seized methamphetamine is well over $40,000, officials added.

Investigators did not release the suspect’s name Thursday , citing the ongoing investigation and search for the second suspect



Firefighters with the Farmington Fire Department and surrounding departments responded to an apartment building blaze early Wednesday morning. Now police say the fire was the result of a methamphetamine operation.

The initial call came in to St. Francois County Central Dispatch at 5:05 a.m. Within a couple minutes the first crew had arrived at the U-shaped apartment building on South Washington Street, between Second and Third streets just a couple blocks from the downtown business district.

Firemen clean up following an explosion and fire which swept through an apartment on South Washington Street. Police say the cause of the blast and resulting blaze was a meth cooking operation. A severely burned man was seen running from the scene. Police were still looking for the suspect as of Wednesday afternoon




Dispatchers initially reported smoke coming from the building. At one point there was a question of whether someone was trapped inside.

Farmington Fire Chief Todd Mecey said when firemen arrived there was a “working fire” in one of the apartments. The blaze was fully extinguished within about 15 minutes.

When firemen and police arrived they were told one of the residents of the burning apartment was seen running away. Since there were reportedly two people who frequented the apartment there was some concern initially of maybe the second person still being inside.

Lt. Jeff Crites, Farmington Police, said later in the day that the department was searching for two males. One, he added, was believed to be severely burned. There was no evidence indicating the second man had suffered any injuries.

Mecey said no one was found inside the home. But when firemen squelched the flames they discovered the remnants of a meth-cooking operation.

The fire chief had said early Wednesday morning that the police department was investigating the cause of the fire, as was be the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office. By 5:30 a.m. police were already on hand and canvassing the area looking for the person seen running away. The state investigator had just been notified as well.

While residents of the other apartments in the building were disrupted for a time, no one was reported injured.



LINNEUS, MO. — We’ve already looked at how big a problem methamphetamine is in the state of Missouri, but we wanted to take it one step further and examine the impact it has on users.

KTVO spoke with several past addicts and their story will paint a vivid picture of damage and despair.

”You will die and that is no joke you will die if you do not quite using it, “says Valerie Slatton, recovering addict.


KTVO spoke with several past addicts and their story will paint a vivid picture of damage and despair

Valerie was 18 years old when she was first introduced to methamphetamine and instantly, she became an addict.

“It’s like cancer. It kind of spreads through your body and doesn’t let go,” said Slatton

Recovering addict, ‘Chantelle’ was only 12 years old when she exposed her body to this powerful stimulant. “I knew it was wrong. My role model was my older brother and he kind of had a problem with it too, so I wanted to be like him,” said Chantelle.

“I would stay up 24 hours, but I was also an extreme user, I was going through at least, in drug terms, at least 8 balls a day,” said Slatton.

Both Slatton and Chantelle say they were young moms and felt meth gave them courage and energy to take care of their children. Chantelle lost custody of her son when he was only 2 years old. She said her addiction broke her entire family apart.

“…but at the time it seems like the best drug there is,” Slatton said. This dynamic drug effects the central nervous system so much, it was the wake up call for Slatton. She said it was a normal day, she had gotten drugs from her supplier and then the unthinkable happened.

“Whenever I passed out in my front yard and almost died in front of my house,” Slatton said, was the moment she knew something had to change.

“I have children… I guess you have to, you know, think that you want to be alive for them.”

For the rest of her life, Valerie now has to suffer with congestive heart failure. She has been clean for 8 years and said she is done.

“…and the consequences keep coming year after year, the sooner you get off the drug the better of you are, ” Valerie said.

Valerie packed everything she had and moved her children out of Brookfield, Mo.

“They even tell their friends meth is wrong. ‘I mean look at my mom. She’s strong enough to do everything, but her body is giving out because nobody tells you when you start using the drug that it’s going to kill you later.'”

Valerie is happily married and is now actually living a life that she enjoys.

“…after I left I was done, none of them was allowed around me, we still have not contact whatsoever. This is my life now and they are no a part of it anymore.”

Chantelle has also been clean for 19 months. She got her son back in March 2012. He is now 8-years-old, and she tells us her life has changed a lot, she now has a stable job and has a lot more confidence.



An Oregon family who unknowingly bought a house that was used as a meth lab has settled with Freddie Mac, the seller of the previously foreclosed home, and is working with lawmakers to require disclosure about whether a home has been tested for contamination.

The Hankins family thought they had a good deal when they bought a foreclosed home in Klamath Falls, less than 20 miles north of the California border. A realtor showed them the home, which was sold through HomeSteps, a listing service for Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored housing organization. They purchased it for $36,500.

Jonathan Hankins, 33, and his wife, Beth, 29, started renovating the home in early June and moved into the two-bedroom 850-square foot home before the end of the month.

After three weeks of living in their home, however, they started having severe headaches. Their son, now 3, also became sick.

“We mostly experienced extreme dry mouth and had mouth sores, making it extremely painful to even drink water,” Hankins had said.

The Hankins were not sure why they were sick until neighbors told them they suspected the home may have been a former illegal methamphetamine drug lab.

Freddie Mac recently settled with the Hankins over their home and agreed to review their policies. The Hankins bought another home about 25 miles away from Klamath Falls.

PHOTO: Jonathan and Beth Hankins discovered their home was a former meth lab.

Jonathan and Beth Hankins discovered their home was a former meth lab

“After speaking to the Hankins and hearing their concerns first hand we were able to work closely together and come to a mutually agreeable resolution,” according to a statement by Freddie Mac. “We will continue to review and update our policies to protect our buyers and their confidence in HomeSteps homes.”

After neighbors informed the couple about the home’s history, the Hankins said they contacted contractors who advised them to have the home tested for meth residue. They bought a kit for $50 and swabbed their home. After submitting their results to a lab, they learned that they had 38 micrograms of methamphetamine residue. The Oregon Health Authority’s minimum to require a homeowner to clean up their home is 0.5 micrograms per square foot.

The family contacted Freddie Mac, trying to get answers about why they were not informed about the home’s history. The problem is the local authorities did not contact the Oregon Health Authority, as is customary, because there were no recent drug-related enforcement actions related to the home.

The couple started a petition on to “stop selling former meth labs to unsuspecting buyers,” garnering over 212,000 signatures. They delivered the petition to Freddie Mac in October and were on a national media circuit since October, trying to spread awareness about an issue that homes across the country have experienced.

“We’re certainly grateful for and all of our supporters. We don’t feel like we would have gotten this far without them. We’re also thankful to Freddie Mac to working with us once they were aware of our concerns,” Jonathan Hankins said about the settlement.

Freddie Mac said last October that they bought the home in an “as-is” condition, saying they and the listing agent did not have information about the home’s history.

“If we had, such information absolutely would have been disclosed,” Freddie Mac previously said. “We strongly encourage buyers to inspect homes and to conduct any tests they want to before making a purchase decision.”

Freddie Mac said it encourages “home shoppers to see if the addresses of homes that interest them are on the registries state and federal agencies keep of known clandestine meth labs.”

The federal registry can be found on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Clandestine Laboratory Register website.

Freddie Mac also said “concerned home shoppers can also check an address with local law enforcement.”

The Hankins had said Freddie Mac encouraged them to test the structural integrity of the property. Their home is not on registries because there was no enforcement on the property.

Though the Hankins have settled with Freddie Mac and have moved into their new home, they are continuing to raise awareness about this topic by testifying in front of the Oregon state legislature on Wednesday.

“Our goal is that we will be tireless advocates for future homebuyers so they don’t have to face the same nightmare that we have,” Jonathan Hankins said.

Republican state representative Gail Whitsett has introduced house bill 3499, which asks for foreclosed or auctioned homes to be tested for methamphetamine or to have a posting on the house that indicates a home has not been tested.

“A lot of people don’t think about it,” Whitsett said. “If you buy a home, it’s not something that comes to the forefront. You don’t necessarily think about methamphetamine.”

Whitsett said she hopes to standardize methamphetamine testing in the same way that lead and mold testing is required in the state, especially for homes that are not listed by the previous owners.

She said there are over 800 homes scheduled for auction in 30 of Oregon’s 36 counties that likely have little or no information about their history.

Only five percent of methamphetamine labs have been discovered by authorities, according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.

Brett Sherry, program coordinator for Oregon Health Authority’s Clandestine Drug Lab program, said the number of homes that local authorities refer to him have fallen dramatically since the program started in 1990.

Police refer homes that were illegal labs for any number of drugs, though most are producing methamphetamine.

Sherry said he did not have a record of the Hankins’ home.

“It’s very possible the property was used for manufacture or meth use,” he said. “If someone smokes methamphetamine, that can contaminate the surface with meth residue.”

The busiest year was 2001, when the program saw tested 324 labs.

In the past three years, only 10 labs have been referred to the program per year.

So far this year, seven homes have been reported to the program.

There is no single common symptom if someone is sick from methamphetamine residue, Sherry said, but it is wise to get a home tested, if you suspect it is contaminated. Otherwise, a family could be exposed to any number of toxic chemicals, like sodium hydroxide, which is normally used in drain cleaners to dissolve materials.

“The example we typically use is a child crawling on floor,” Sherry says. “It’s very easy for them to absorb methamphetamine residues.”



LANCASTER — About 100 city employees received training Thursday on how to spot a possible methamphetamine laboratory and the common household ingredients used to manufacture meth.

“It’s important for our employees to know what to look out for for their own safety,” Lancaster Service Safety Director Mike Courtney said. “We’ve got personnel in utilities and housing inspectors going near and into people’s homes, and we have sanitation people picking up trash. They need to know what to look out for and when it is dangerous.”

Jack Mattlin, Lancaster’s assistant fire chief, said the department has been going out to explosions and working with the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit in dealing with potential meth labs throughout the city.

“It is very dangerous for people who are trained to handle it,” Mattlin said. “We don’t want people accidentally being injured near these labs.”

For the training, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office sent Dennis Lowe, senior special agent with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“In 2000, we had 18 lab seizures in Ohio. By 2011, it was over 350,” said Lowe, who is a supervisor of the Bureau’s Clandestine Laboratory Unit.

He started by showing people how to identify possible areas of trouble, including some warning signs to look for with people, their homes and their property.

“These people experience a euphoric high that they want to get over and over again,” Lowe said. “I used to see people who would stay up for three or four days getting high, but now it’s 13 or 14 days these people have been up.”

Lowe said people on meth show increased levels of paranoia, act jumpy and experience severe mood swings. Meth users can get very sad and depressed. People who have been using meth throughout an extended period of time often exhibit missing teeth, loss of hair and scabs on their faces and arms.

“These can be very dangerous people,” Lowe said.

Lowe said there might seem to be a lot of meth labs in Fairfield County, but there are the same amount of meth labs operating across the state.

“But here in Fairfield County, there are very aggressive police investigations dealing with reports of meth labs,” Lowe said. “That’s why you hear about them a lot in Lancaster and Fairfield County.”

Some possible signs of a meth lab include pop bottles with holes in the lids or lines or pipes coming out of them. Bottles could have layers of different colored liquids or solid materials on the bottom.

“If you see a lot of lithium battery packs, household cleaners out where you would never keep them, or cold medicine packets, it’s a sign it could be a meth lab, and you should just leave and call someone,” Lowe said.

He said the bottles can be hazardous after the meth cooks are finished with them. They often contain leftover toxic gases and chemicals that could explode when picked up or put in contact with something as simple as water.

“So what do you do with it? You step away and call someone,” Lowe said. Don’t try to pick it up or move anything. You could be putting yourself and others at risk. It’s not worth the risk. You are not paid to take those chances, so call the police or fire and let us handle it.”

Lancaster sanitation supervisor Paul Martin said the training was especially important to the employees that go out in the neighborhoods and deal with the public.

“We had a fire in one of our trucks just last week,” Martin said. “It may have been from a battery, but we have them every now and again and don’t know what the cause may be. But after going through this training, (I realized) some of those fires may have been bottles used to make meth and then just thrown in the trash. It was very important for the guys who pick up the trash with their hands to go through this and realize how toxic and dangerous this could be for them.”

Lowe said that in addition to training the city employees, he wanted them to go out and tell their friends and family about the signs of possible meth labs.

“These people who are operating meth labs are putting our communities at risk,” Lowe said. “The more people know what to watch out for, the safer we will all be.”



(Newser) – First we learned the exploded Texas fertilizer plant was lacking in basic fire safety protection, then that it didn’t report several hundred tons of ammonium nitrate to Homeland Security. This week’s revelation: West Fertilizer Co. was a repeat target of thieves stealing anhydrous ammonia and tampering with tank valves, which led to ammonia leaks, Reuters reports. Anhydrous ammonia is commonly used to cook methamphetamine. At least 11 burglaries and five ammonia leaks were reported to police over the past 12 years. In 2002, a plant manager told cops that burglars were making off with four to five gallons of anhydrous ammonia every three days.

An investigators carries a piece of debris amid the destroyed fertilizer plant in West, Texas.
An investigators carries a piece of debris amid the destroyed fertilizer plant in West, Texas.

There is no indication that the blast that killed 14 was somehow tied to these thefts—experts say ammonium nitrate is the likely culprit, reports the Dallas Morning News, and the four tanks that held anhydrous ammonia were still standing after the blast. But it’s yet another sign that safety and security were a problem at the plant, which had no security fence, alarm system, or guards. “Regardless of what triggered this specific event, the fact that there were lots of burglaries and that they were after ammonia clearly shows this plant was vulnerable to unwanted intruders or even a terrorist attack,” says a chemical safety expert.



PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A Portland woman arrested in a crash on Northeast Lombard Street had a baggie of meth in her mouth while she was being booked into jail Tuesday, court documents show.

Officers arrested Jessica Peterson on charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving and assault after she crashed into a motorcycle rider, then struck a car late Tuesday night.

Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson



Police said Peterson admitted to using marijuana and pain medication that day, and an officer determined she was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash. The motorcycle rider, 26-year-old Chase Ivey, suffered three compound fractures in his leg and also shattered his elbow.

When it came time to book Peterson into jail that night, Multnomah County deputies noticed Peterson making strange movements with her mouth. When the deputies asked Peterson if she had anything her mouth, she said she didn’t, but then spit a baggie of methamphetamine onto the ground, court documents said.

Peterson now faces a charge of possession of meth in addition to the crash-related charges.


SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) — Simi Valley narcotics detectives recently seized about 70 pounds of methamphetamine in Riverside County as part of an extensive multi-jurisdictional investigation.

Officials from the Simi Valley Police Department said the meth has an approximate street value of $2.8 million. Detectives also seized $20,000 in cash.

Simi Valley narcotics detectives recently conducted an investigation leading to Riverside County, where they seized approximately 70 pounds of meth and $20,000 in cash.

Simi Valley narcotics detectives recently conducted an investigation leading to Riverside County, where they seized approximately 70 pounds of meth and $20,000 in cash


No other details were released at this time, but officials and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information about a drug-related problem was asked to contact the Narcotics Tip Line at (805) 583-6210.



A 44-year-old Houston man has been sent to federal prison after he was convicted of drug smuggling and tampering with witnesses in the case.

Julian Luna-Nieto, 44, was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in prison for each of the two charges, methamphetamine trafficking and conspiring to tamper with witnesses through intimidation and threats, federal officials said.

The sentences will run concurrently.

Federal authorities said Luna-Nieto was a passenger in a vehicle attempting to enter the country in Brownsville when agents discovered about 27 pounds of crystalized methamphetamine hidden inside the vehicle.

Luna-Nieto admitted he had received the loaded vehicle in Mexico and arranged to transport the narcotics to Houston.

While he was in custody and after being indicted on the narcotics charges, Luna-Nieto and other inmates prepared a threat letter to a witness in the case, federal officials said. The U.S. Marshals Service found the letter. Investigators also learned of another threatening letter meant for a different witness.

Luna-Nieto admitted his role in preparing the letters.

When he handed down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen noted the threats Luna-Nieto had made and that he was the leader of a group smuggling very pure methamphetamine.



Authorities say they found four children living in a home where they discovered an active meth lab.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office found the working meth lab inside a home in the 8500 block of Acapulco Camino. Inside the home with four children, deputies reported finding numerous materials commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

The children – ages 1, 9, 11 and 13 — were turned over to other family members for care, and a hazardous materials team was called to clean up hydrochloric acid and other chemicals.


Melissa Rae Anderson, 37; Richard Melcolm Anderson, 53; Hershel Keith Cranford, 31; Shelly M. Cranford, 27; and Camron Lechelle Hummel, 34, were each charged with manufacturing methamphetamine with a child present, two counts of producing methamphetamine, possession of narcotics equipment, and two counts of possession of a chemical with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine.

They were booked into the Escambia County Jail with bond set at $86,000 each. All five remained in the Escambia County Jail early Friday morning.


Over 2,000 litres of the chemical used to make methamphetamine was disguised as soy sauce and seized by border officials in Vancouver, The Canada Border Services Agency announced earlier this week.

The discovery was made April 19 inside of a marine container shipped from China, the CBSA said. While investigating the 384 pails inside of the container, officers noticed “discrepancies in the load.”

Containers seized by the Canada Border Services Agency, which claimed to contain soy sauce but actually contained precursor chemical Hypophosphorous Acid. (Photo courtesy of the CBSA)

Containers seized by the Canada Border Services Agency, which claimed to contain soy sauce but actually contained precursor chemical Hypophosphorous Acid

Upon closer investigation and laboratory tests of the liquid, officers discovered that 139 of the pails actually contained hypophosphorous acid. The acid is considered a Class A precursor chemical used in the making of methamphetamine, and listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

The investigation continues, and no charges have yet been laid.

This isn’t the first time precursor chemicals have been disguised as soy sauce. In 2004, a shipping container arriving in Vancouver was intercepted after its shipping manifest claimed it contained 450 cartons of rice noodles and 400 cartons of soy sauce, according to the Vancouver Province and cited in a report prepared for the Department of Public Safety Canada. Instead, 66 of the soy sauce jugs actually contained enough precursor chemicals to produce over 21 million doses of ecstasy.

And in July of 2011, a ship from China containing drug-making chemicals disguised as soy sauce was seized in the Netherlands, according to the South China Morning Port.

In February of this year, over 4 kilograms of suspected heroin was seized from an air cargo shipment sent from Vietnam to Vancouver, which the sender had declared as “name-brand coffee whitener.”

And drugs weren’t only smuggled with food products, either. In May of last year, two men flying from South America to Toronto, were stopped after an X-ray of their baggage showed the baby bassinets they were carrying contained over 5 kilograms of suspected cocaine. And in June of last year, CBSA officers at a mail processing centre in Montreal seized over $300,000 worth of suspected cocaine hidden inside of mascot costumes.


RALEIGH — Two men have been charged in connection with what police allege was trafficking in methamphetamine.

The arrests, on Wednesday, were the second involving trafficking in the drug in just over a week.

Lindsey Scott Thompson, 44, of 7409 Sandy Creek Drive in Raleigh was charged with trafficking based on his having between 28 and 200 grams of methamphetamine, police said in an arrest warrant.

Darryl Lee La Face


Lindsey Scott Thompson WAKE COUNTY SHERIFF

Lindsey Scott Thompson


Thompson also was charged with conspiring with Darryl Lee La Face to traffic in the drug.

La Face, 62, of 10421 Rosegate Court in Raleigh was charged with conspiring with Thompson.

Thompson was being held on $250,000 bail for a court appearance Thursday.

La Face’s bail was set at $150,000, and he also was being held for a court appearance.

On April 24, police charged Kevin John Campbell, 32, of 4904 Six Forks Road and Douglas Russell Bellue, 38, of 3920 Westra Drive with two counts each of trafficking in methamphetamine in what police said was Bellue delivering the drug to Campbell.

Officers said they seized 47 grams of the drug in that case.

It was not known if the two arrests stemmed from the same investigation or were unrelated.