More than $2 million dollars worth of methamphetamine is off the streets following a bust by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

The seizure happened Friday, Aug. 24 at the Lincoln Juarez Bridge. Officers referred a 2005 Ford pickup truck to secondary inspection area and found 65 pounds of meth.T

he drug was seized and the driver of the truck was turned over to Homeland Security Agents for further investigation.

“During a time when technology is so vital in providing assistance in the detection of narcotics in an expeditious manner, this case brings to the forefront the importance of the basic skills that CBP officers utilize in processing travelers, in the detection of narcotics,” said Jose R. Uribe, Acting Port Director, Laredo Port of Entry.

Detectives arrested three area residents Sept. 1 after they purchased items commonly used to make methamphetamine, the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.

Officers charged the three suspects after a vehicle stop.


“We have made a significant impact on preventing methamphetamine production at its core,” Sheriff Len Hagaman said. “Meth cooks can’t produce methamphetamine without pseudoephedrine. By combating the items used to manufacture methamphetamine, we have cut down on meth production.”

Officers filed charges of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of meth precursors against: Carol Renee Main, 43, of 8529 Three Top Road, Todd; Kimberly Walker Greer, 50, of 8529 Three Top Road, Todd; and Sean Mark Stamper, 28, of 395 Phoenix Drive, Lansing.

Main also was served warrants from Ashe County for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. She was issued a $27,700 secured bond and was scheduled to appear in court Sept. 19.

Greer also faces a charge of possesssion of marijuana. She was issued a $25,000 secured bond and was scheduled to appear in court Sept. 19.

Stamper faces an additional charge for providing fictitious information to an officer and was served warrants from Ashe County for driving while license revoked. He was issued a $27,000 secured bond and was scheduled to appear Sept. 19.



PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – New York State police say they’re seeing a dramatic spike in meth labs and they’re hoping you can help them get a handle on the growing problem.

State police unveiled a new hazmat truck specially equipped to handle the dangerous and volatile chemicals used to make meth.

Police are also asking the public to watch out for the warning signs. They say alert police if you notice bottles of Drano, empty cold medicine packets or used coffee filters in the apartment building or neighbor’s trash because they’re all ingredients used to cook methamphetamine.


“It’s so addictive that once you have one, two, maybe three uses, you’re hooked. And so that’s my advice to anybody out there thinking about trying meth. You don’t want that nightmare,” said Sgt. Chad Niles, with New York State Police.

Troopers say in the past two years alone they’ve busted nearly 30 meth labs in Clinton County.




A Philadelphia man has been charged with misdemeanor charges public lewdness, indecent exposure and drug possession after Bensalem police say witnesses saw him walking naked in a motel parking lot on July 26.

Police arrived at the Sunrise Motel on Lincoln Highway on July 26 after onlookers called in reports of a man, later identified as Donald Hatton, 56, wandering through the parking lot with no clothing.

When officers approached Hatton, he went back into his room, police say. After police instructed him to come back outside, Hatton told the officer, “I did a stupid thing,” according to the affidavit.

An investigation of the motel room turned up three syringes with residue, two small plastic bags containing powdered substance and another small plastic bag with white residue, according to police.

Analysis from the Bucks County Crime Lab revealed the substances to be .03 grams of heroin, .02 grams of methamphetamine and the syringe held methamphetamine residue, the report says.

Hatton’s preliminary hearing before District Judge Joseph Falcone has been scheduled for Oct. 24 at 2:45 p.m.








 NEENAH – Two people are behind bars and more than $100,000 worth of methamphetamine is off the streets after a traffic stop in Neenah.

It happened around 10:45 Sunday night on Doctors Drive, near W. Peckham and S. Commercial streets.

Police say an officer noticed a car with its headlights turning off as it headed down the street. The officer pulled the vehicle over.

During the stop, police say the officer’s K9 indicated there were illegal drugs in the car.

A search of the vehicle uncovered three baggies containing a large quantity of meth, about $2,000 of cash, and a stolen handgun.

Search warrants for two residences uncovered more meth. In total about 13 ounces were seized, which is one of the largest single seizures in Northeast Wisconsin.

Police say two people, ages 29 and 31 years old, were booked into the Winnebago County Jail. Charges are being requested for possession with intent to deliver meth and possession of a firearm.



JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) – NewsChannel 5 is giving you an inside look at what gives Missouri a dubious title year after year. It’s not one to be proud of: methamphetamine capital of the United States. And one county in particular stands out.

“We’re boots on the ground. We’re the people actually out here combating it, fighting it,” said Corporal Chris Hoffman, head of the Jefferson County Drug Task Force.

They never know what the day will bring but it all starts like this.

“We have some very new intel information,” Hoffman told the task force.

The head of the task force calls a briefing to discuss the busy day ahead.

“The weatherman at Channel 5 says it’s gonna be about 97degrees today.”

No matter the heat, safety comes first. Hoffman and his team of undercover officers are trying to put a dent in a growing problem. Last year, the Show Me State led the country in meth busts. And it was a record year in Jefferson County.

“That’s why we get the moniker of the ‘Meth Lab Capital of the World’ is because we do actively combat it,” Hoffman said. “We are very proactive, as far as going out and hunting these people down.”

And today, just like every day, they’re hitting the road to clean up the streets.

After two unsuccessful stops, it’s on to the third. This time, someone answers the door of an Imperial home, and bingo.

“The smell is so bad in the house that we had to extract everybody from the house,” Hoffman said. “And then myself and two other detectives are going to have to put APR masks on so we can go in safely and remove it and process the lab.”

Investigators say they find meth lab materials in the home, in a vehicle, and in the woods out back. Four people are arrested, including one man who could not stop twitching.

“It’s just all the tell tale signs of a tweaker, of a hardcore meth addict,” Hoffman said.

Officers say they found the drug-making materials within reach of children.

“Four children had been staying there over the past week. Any child located in a home where a meth lab is discovered is against the law, obviously. So DFS was contacted,” said Hoffman.

This is the hardest part of the job.

“It upsets me. There’s other words I want to use because I’m a dad. It upsets me,” he said.

As for the four people who were arrested at the meth bust in Imperial, they were all released within 24 hours after the bust. It’s common for charges in these cases to take months. Lab reports are the hold up.
The drug task force often arrests the same person more than once while they’re awaiting charges for the first meth lab.

We’ll have more on the meth war in Jefferson County Wednesday on Today in St. Louis, including how a proposed change in state law could make a big difference in the fight against meth.



Six people were arrested early Sunday morning in West Monroe on charges of operating and creating a clandestine lab and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.


Mindy Jones

Mindy Jones

Barbara Watson

Barbara Watson

Devon Carl Hatten

Devon Carl Hatten

Donald Richard Jones

Donald Richard Jones

Gregory Lynn Hamilton

Gregory Lynn Hamilton

Mickle Dewayne Till Jr.

Mickle Dewayne Till Jr.




Facing charges are:

• Gregory Lynn Hamilton Jr., 24, 287 Tulane St., West Monroe. Bond was set at $15,000.

• Devon Carl Hatten, 234 Thompson Drive, Grayson. Bond was set at $8,500.

• Donald Richard Jones, 50, 287 Tulane Drive, West Monroe. Bond was set at $15,000.

• Mindy Dianne Lynett Jones, 24, 287 Tulane Drive, West Monroe. Bond was set at $7,500.

• Mickle Dewayne Till Jr., 44, 11 Charmingdale Road, Monroe. Bond was set at $7,500.

• Barbara Janine Watson, 37, 131 Ridgedale Road, Apt. 3, West Monroe. Bond was set at $7,500.

According to arrest affidavits, at around 12:35 a.m. Sunday, police observed two men later identified as Donald Jones and Hatten enter the Walgreens at 300 Thomas Road then exit after a few minutes.

Police checked a log in the store and saw Hatten had purchased psuedoephedrine — a key ingredient needed to manufacture methamphetamine.

Donald Jones drove away with Hatten and a woman later identified as Watson. A traffic stop was made after Jones failed to use a turn signal. Police questioned all three individuals, but all of their stories were different.

A search of the vehicle turned up the box of psuedoephedrine and a Walmart receipt for Coleman fuel dated from the previous Saturday night.

Watson said Donald Jones asked her to buy the psuedoephedrine for the purpose of making meth and would pay them $25.

West Monroe police obtained a search warrant for 287 Tulane St. and executed it at 3:22 a.m. Police found three subjects identified as Mindy Jones, Till and Hamilton in the residence. During a search, police found an active meth lab with all the precursor items needed to manufacture meth.

All six were taken to Ouachita Correctional Center. As of Monday afternoon, only Mindy Jones was released on bond.



Lollibaby is still adjusting to her new surroundings, but she’s looking better every day.

Morgan County officials rescued her from a meth house in Morgan County several weeks ago, and last week she moved into her new Rockwood home at the One Stop Pet Shop.

“We’re trying to get her back to health,” said pet shop employee, Joseph Clapp. “It’s going to be six to eight months, and it may take longer than that because we’re just not sure.”

At the pet shop, Lollibaby has moved into a much bigger cage and is eating regular meals. Her feathers are growing back very slowly, and she hasn’t shown signs of any other illness.

She is more likely to allow men to approach her than women, which pet shop workers guess is a behavior related to her previous home. Clapp says Lollibaby is another example of the dangers of meth.

“Imagine what [meth] does to children, and [with] birds and animals, it can still have an effect,” he said.

One of Tennessee’s greatest tools in the war on meth is now facing fresh scrutiny. In a report by the Tennessean, the TBI explains the state’s meth offender registry and the challenges of that data.

One Stop Pet Shop says Lollibaby will not be put up for adoption, but they are asking for help in her long and expensive recovery.

Anyone interested in learning more can contact the pet shop:

One Stop Pet Shop

109 South Front Street

Rockwood, TN

(865) 354-1297

NEW YORK STATEMethamphetamines have become increasingly more mainstream in recent years, partly because of the highlights in popular culture and also because of the ease of manufacturing.

“The production method is very prevalent on the internet. It’s very easy to look up how to make this stuff,” said Sergeant Chad Niles, with the New York State Police.


Police used to not disclose how to make meth, but now they say learning how the process works can help in public awareness and help stop the spread. Once the drug is introduced into a community, it’s hard to get rid of.

“It’s so addictive. Once you have one, two maybe three uses, you are hooked,” said Niles.

In fact, troopers say it’s nine times more addicting than cocaine. Ten years ago, police rarely found meth labs, but now they are finding more than 100 per year.

“We often see these types of labs in rented properties where there may be co-habitants in adjacent apartments, etc., trailer parks and other single family residences,” said Major Richard Smith, commander of NYSP Troop B.

And being that close to a meth lab could put you or your family in harm’s way and that is why police are asking for your help.

Police say the byproducts of meth production are hard to disguise, so noticing suspicious garbage is one way you can help protect your community. Another is noticing people with suspicious amounts of the products used to make meth. Some of those include Sudafed, camping fuel, ice packs and drain cleaner.

When investigating possible meth labs, law enforcement officials look for the combination of these products in quantities that no average person would keep. State troopers say if you see anything suspicious, give your local barracks a call.



Here’s a FloriDUH First: A safe mobile meth lab.

But not ‘safe’ as in chemically st@ble or non-combustible.

A man is accused of driving around Deltona, in Central Florida, with a small safe in the back of his vehicle that housed his mobile meth lab.

> Sep 22 - florida tweakers busted with a "safe"mobile meth lab - Photo posted in BX Daily Bugle - news and headlines | Sign in and leave a comment below!

When deputies stopped Scott Shaw for allegedly rolling through a stop sign, they asked him what was in the safe in the back of his station wagon. Shaw reportedly told them, “A lab,” according to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office report.

Deputies said the 22-year-old man also made a point of telling them that all of the contents inside the safe had been packaged individually to ensure their safe transportation.

Whew! Doesn’t that make you feel better?

Inside the safe, deputies allegedly found salt, lighter fluid, cold medicine, batteries, a pipe cutter and plastic tubing — along with trash bag that contained pseudoephedrine (a common OTC drug used to treat nasal congestion) and a plastic soda bottle containing a white, powdery residue inside the car.

Scott and his pa##enger, 35-year-old Lindsey Chum, were both jailed. Scott was acharged with possession of the listed chemicals; Chum was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, records show.

Another hazard on the highway…removed.








The 9th District Court of Appeals released an opinion last Wednesday remanding a case to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas in order for the court to conduct a new sentencing hearing.

The defendant, Ronald Legg, was found guilty of the murder of a 17-month-old boy, Patrick Lerch.

On March 19, 2012 the Summit County Grand Jury indicted Legg and three co-defendants on one count each of illegal manufacture of drugs, illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

The charges arose from a meth lab that was found in the home of Legg’s brother, Randy Legg.

On April 5, 2012, the grand jury returned a supplemental indictment charging Legg and his co-defendants with numerous additional felonies, including murder and child endangering.

The appellate court did not provide a summary of the events leading up to the indictment but news outlets at the time reported that Patrick Lerch, the son of Randy’s girlfriend, was kept in a rat-infested basement until the time of his death.

According to court testimony, Patrick was killed when he ingested lethal amounts of meth.

Police reports stated that Patrick was found dead in the basement and that he had been dead for a couple hours before police dispatch received an emergency call.

Initially, Legg pleaded not guilty to the offenses but he appeared for a change of plea hearing in September 2012.

Legg proceeded to enter pleas of guilty to one count of endangering children, once count of murder and one count of illegal manufacture of drugs.

The remaining counts in the indictment were dismissed.

Legg also pleaded guilty to violating the terms of his community control in two prior cases.

The matter then proceeded to a sentencing hearing where Legg was ordered to serve an eight-year prison sentence for endangering children to run concurrent to his sentence of 15 years to life for the murder charge.

He was sentenced to a consecutive 10-year prison term for the illegal manufacture of drugs charge.

The trial court further ordered that Legg’s total sentence was to be served consecutive to the prison terms for violating community control in his two prior cases, resulting in an aggregate sentence of 27 years to life.

Upon a direct appeal to the 9th District, Legg argued that the trial court failed to properly analyze whether the offenses for which he was convicted were allied offenses of similar import.

Donna Carr, writing on behalf of the district’s three-judge appellate panel, upheld Legg’s assignment of error.

She cited R.C. 2941.25 which states, “Where the same conduct by defendant can be construed to constitute two or more allied offenses of similar import, the indictment or information may contain counts for all such offenses, but the defendant may be convicted of only one.”

In State v. Johnson, 2010-Ohio-6314, Ohio’s Supreme Court clarified the statute by stating, “When determining whether two offenses are allied offenses of similar import subject to merger under R.C. 2941.25, the conduct of the accused must be considered.”

According to the record, at the Legg’s plea hearing, the assistant prosecutor informed the court that the state and the defense had come to an agreement and asked the court to accept it for the purposes of sentencing.

The prosecutor asked that the charges for murder and endangering children be merged.

The state further noted that, pursuant to the parties’ agreement, Legg would be free to argue that the sentence for murder should run concurrent to the sentence for illegal manufacture of drugs.

At the outset of the subsequent sentencing hearing, the state emphasized the need for a “harsh sentence” to be imposed in Legg’s case and referenced the trial of one of his co-defendants, where “horrible photos revealed the what kind of suffering the victim endured.”

Before permitting Legg to make a statement on his own behalf, the trial court informed the defense counsel that it would not be merging the charges for murder and endangering children.

“The information made available to the court as the evidence has developed in these cases suggests that merger would not be appropriate,” the trial court stated. “There were many more acts involved here than merely manufacturing methamphetamine.”

The trial court proceeded to speak about the number of lives that were impacted by Legg’s actions as well as the factors the court had to consider in fashioning a sentence.

“In imposing these sentences, the trial court did not discuss the specific conduct at issue in this case, nor did it mention the allied offenses standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Johnson,” wrote Judge Carr.

Legg contended, and the state conceded, that there were no facts in the record for the trial court to justify refusing the merger his offenses for the purposes of sentencing.

“We agree with the contention of both parties that this matter must be remanded for the trial court to analyze in the first instance whether Legg was convicted of allied offenses of similar import,” wrote Judge Carr. “While the trial court stated in its sentencing entry that it had conducted an allied offenses analysis pursuant to Johnson, the absence of a presentation of facts pertinent to Legg’s case rendered the trial court unable to undertake the Johnson analysis in its entirety.”

The appellate panel ruled that, because there was no statement of facts before the trial court, there was no basis in the record to substantiate the court’s decision to reject the parties’ stipulation that the offenses should be merged,

“It follows that this matter must be remanded for the trial court to conduct a new sentencing hearing,” Judge Carr concluded.

Presiding Judge Carla Moore and Judge Eve Belfance joined Judge Carr to form the majority.

The case is cited State v. Legg, 2013-Ohio-3905.




THREE RIVERS, MI — A Climax woman pulled over for speeding Friday night is now facing methamphetamine-related charges.

The 41-year-old woman was stopped in Fabius Township, near Three Rivers, for speeding at about 10 p.m. Deputies found meth, meth components and paraphernalia used to smoke meth inside her vehicle, according to a St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office news release.

The woman resisted arrest, but deputies were able to detain her. She is lodged at St. Joseph County Jail, awaiting arraignment on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possessing a fake driver’s license, and resisting and obstructing a police officer.

The vehicle was seized under the Michigan civil drug forfeiture act.






A four-year-old child has allegedly been caught with methamphetamine at a child care centre in Perth.

The substance was tested and initial indications returned a positive result for methamphetamine, police said.

Inquiries are continuing with the family of the youngster and the Department for Child Protection has also been notified.

A spokeswoman for the child care centre declined to comment on the matter.




Redding police early Sunday morning arrested a 22-year-old mother on suspicion of methamphetamine possession and child endangerment after they say she incorrectly reported her son’s diaper rash – allegedly the result of her neglecting him – as sexual abuse from her boyfriend.

Cpl. Jon Poletski said officers went to Shasta Regional Medical Center shortly before 5 a.m. to check out a reported child molestation.

Poletski said Zara Crank, 22, had called 911 saying her boyfriend sexually assaulted her 4-year-old son, and she requested officers to meet her at the hospital to investigate.

But officers noticed what appeared to be a container of methamphetamine coming out of Crank’s shirt, Poletski said, and he said the woman appeared to be high on meth.

When officers asked her about the suspected drugs, Poletski said Crank told them the substance they saw was indeed meth, and she’d taken it the night before. Crank then admitted she’d been up four days and had not been taking care of her son, Poletski said.

Officers eventually realized that the boy’s apparent injuries were actually just diaper rash resulting from Crank’s lack of care for her son, Poletski said.

The boy was taken from her by Children and Family Services, Poletski said. He said it’s still unknown whether anyone was ever at Crank’s apartment at the time of the supposed abuse, or she was “paranoid from the drug abuse.”



HARRISBURG —  A Harrisburg couple were arrested for stealing a vehicle shortly after 6:30 a.m. Tuesday at an address on Skaggs Street.

Police arrested Monica Renaeh Gibbs, 19, 2 N. Skaggs St. Apt. 702, Harrisburg, 11:55 a.m. Sept. 17 on charges of theft over $500, theft over $10,000, possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials and possession of drug paraphernalia; and Forest Allen Holloway, 23, 437 W. Church St., Harrisburg, noon Sept. 17 on charges of theft over $500 and theft over $10,000.


They were both charged with stealing a pickup truck from the Economy Inn on Poplar Street at sometime after 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to Police Chief Bob Smith.

The vehicle’s location and time of theft were determined by an onboard GPS navigation system added to the pickup after purchase. The stops that were made by the vehicle after it was stolen led police to the Skaggs Street location where the arrests were made and drug equipment found.





Jennifer Elaine Autry of Lithia Springs was charged with public intoxication Sept. 11.

Autry is accused of being under the influence of crystal meth. According to the warrant, Autry’s eyes were dilated, nose was red, she talked for 40 minutes nonstop, could not control her hand movements and she displayed excited behavior. Reportedly, when Autry was asked about her drug consumption she would not admit to what she was on, but stated that it was illegal.

She is in the custody of Cobb County police and her bond is $1,000.




Two Houston teens were arrested in Lufkin Thursday after selling more than a pound of crystal meth to undercover Texas Department of Public Safety narcotics officers at a Lufkin hotel.

Eric Rubio, 17, and Jose Gutierrez, 17, were taken into custody around 8:45 p.m. on charges of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance following the DPS investigation, according to DPS spokesman Trooper David Hendry. Rubio was also charged with possession of marijuana after officers found less than two ounces of the illegal substance on him. Officers also seized $1,373 in cash, Hendry said.



  • North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine – or ‘crystal meth’ – it has been revealed
  • Vast quantities are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs
  • It has created a ‘catastrophic epidemic’ back home – with up to 50 per cent of people in some parts of the country reported to be hooked

A small army of women, identical in long yellow dresses and clutching golden fans, enter the vast stadium to the adulation of thousands of awed spectators.

They bow in military unison, turn and kneel to a staggering trompe l’oeil: a burning sun emerging in triumphant blaze over snow-clad mountains.

The glorious North Korean dawn plays out across what appears at first to be a colossal screen the entire length of the stadium.

In fact, it is 20,000 well-drilled children turning pages of books with brightly-coloured paper in perfect synchronicity.

The mass games of Pyongyang, capital city of the most closed and repressive state in the world, are twisted propaganda.

Last weekend, I became one of the few Westerners to have witnessed epic scenes that would have made Goebbels weep with pride.

For 90 minutes, a bizarre blend of acrobatics, dancing, martial arts and music unfolds in a frenzy of precision choreography involving 100,000 performers.

Thousands of young women in short-skirted army uniforms dance nimbly with swords held aloft. Then long lines of black-belted men throw judo moves before joining forces to hoist up a huge national flag.

Minutes later, massed ranks of small children spin in somersaults to the crowd’s delight. Giant pigs give birth to dancing piglets while chickens twirl with eggs. Human cannonballs high above our heads fly across the entire stadium – the first through a blazing hoop.

Anthems are sung with evangelical zeal: one supposedly written by the last leader.

They praise nuclear weapons, promise to unify divided Koreans and scorn American imperialists.

Tyrant: Current leader Kim Jong Un surrounded by generals on a recent trip to inspect border defences at the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment in North Korea Tyrant: Current leader Kim Jong-un surrounded by generals on a recent trip to inspect border defences at the Wolnae Islet Defense Detachment in North Korea


And, from start to finish, this show promotes the fascistic ideology of a pure people surrounded by evil enemies, demanding unflinching obedience to their rulers.

It is undeniably spectacular – but as a tribute to a successful modern nation, it’s a monstrous fraud.

North Korea has been imprisoned in a dark past by three generations of a despotic gangster family.

There is no mention of death camps holding an estimated 200,000 slave labourers, of families tortured for watching foreign soap operas, of mothers forced to drown their own babies – atrocities all documented in a disturbing United Nations investigation.

 Investigators catalogued horror stories in last week’s report – such as children condemned to a life in prison for the alleged misdeeds of their parents – and compared the regime’s vile crimes to those carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the Nazis.

But now another extraordinary revelation is emerging slowly from defectors: that North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine – or crystal meth, the addictive drug cooked up by a chemistry teacher in the dark US drama Breaking Bad.

'Catastrophic': North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine - or 'crystal meth' (above) - similar to those cooked up by a chemistry teacher in the US drama Breaking Bad‘Catastrophic': North Korea is pumping out massive quantities of methamphetamine – or ‘crystal meth’ (above) – similar to those cooked up by a chemistry teacher in the US drama Breaking Bad


A new study reveals vast quantities are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs in a country desperate for hard currency.

Inevitably, it has ended up creating a catastrophic epidemic back home. In some parts of the country up to 50 per cent of the population are reported to be hooked.

The study discloses drug abuse has reached ‘remarkable proportions and keeps growing, engulfing new social groups and regions’.

The inquiry, by two South Korea-based academics, is based on interviews with 21 recent defectors. It confirms earlier evidence from the US and China, where there are soaring levels of crystal meth addiction in border regions with North Korea.

In parts of the country, 50 per cent of people are now hooked

Perhaps most remarkably, the trade began as a state-sponsored exercise.

The nation, hit hard by the collapse of the Soviet Union which supported it with aid, began making methamphetamine in large laboratories in its poorer northern regions for export.

These were scaled down about eight years ago as the drug began flooding back into the country.

But instead of slowing down production, this sparked explosive growth in crystal meth manufacture.

Jobless scientists and technicians created their own ‘kitchen labs’, teaming up with smuggling gangs that blossomed during a deadly famine in the Nineties.

‘They were rather old people and their lives were tough,’ one defector told the report’s authors. ‘Private entrepreneurs began to look for such people and employ them.’

Users include soldiers in the world’s most militarised state, women taking it for weight control and sick people unable to access medicines in a country with such chronic healthcare that doctors use old beer bottles for hospital drips.



‘People in North Korea do not realise what the side effects will be,’ said Professor Kim Seok-Hyang, who co-authored the report. ‘They think it is a good thing to relieve their pain. A cure-all medicine.’

Parents even offer it to children to help them concentrate – with no inkling of the consequences.

 Repressed: North Korea has been imprisoned in a dark past by three generations of a despotic gangster family. Above, Kim Jong-Un rides a horse as he inspects the training ground of a horse riding company under the Korean People's ArmyRepressed: North Korea has been imprisoned in a dark past by three generations of a despotic gangster family. Above, Kim Jong-un rides a horse as he inspects the training ground of a horse riding company under the Korean People’s Army

‘One mother I interviewed gave it to her 11-year-old daughter so she could study for her exams to go to an elite middle school,’ said Prof Seok-Hyang.

The word ‘munlan’ has appeared to describe those who have seen their lives wrecked and health suffer because of the drug.

Meanwhile, experts estimate up to 40 per cent of North Korea’s foreign earnings now come from illegal activities.

No visitor, of course, can probe at first-hand this sordid underbelly of North Korea. Journalists are barred from the country under threat of jail. So I posed as one of the few Western tourists visiting the country – who must all accept constant supervision.

I entered by train from Dandong, one of the key Chinese towns used by smuggling gangs.



As dusk fell over the riverside frontier, a dishevelled man dancing manically outside a shop playing piped music was pointed out as a probable crystal meth abuser.

The difference between the two countries is striking. On one side of the river, a rapidly growing forest of skyscrapers and bustling Chinese commerce; on the other, military watchtowers, rusting boats and two rather tragic theme-park rides. Symbolically, the lights on the bridge linking the two nations end midway over the river.

Our train stopped for two hours as border guards searched bags. They checked my iPhone and flicked through my books. Fortunately, I had been warned to scratch the GPS sign off my camera or it would have been confiscated.

Concerns: Experts estimate up to 40 per cent of North Korea¿s foreign earnings now come from illegal activities. Above, Kim Jong Un inspects the Wolnae Islet Defence Detachment in North Korea's western sectorConcerns: Experts estimate up to 40 per cent of North Korea¿s foreign earnings now come from illegal activities. Above, Kim Jong-un inspects the Wolnae Islet Defence Detachment in North Korea’s western sector


The journey offered a rare chance to mingle freely with North Koreans – a group of whom invited me to share their lunch of fresh crab, fiery cabbage and tasteless tripe, washed down with potent rice wine.

They could name only one living Briton: David Beckham. The film Bend It Like Beckham is among four Western films permitted on the propaganda-drenched TV station, alongside The Sound of Music, Home Alone and Titanic.

A middle-aged man said he had never met a Westerner before. He refused to let me take his picture, then relented because he wanted a snapshot of me. ‘Don’t let the soldiers see it,’ he warned.

Arriving at Pyongyang, two ‘guides’ attached themselves and remained at my side until they put me on a plane four days later. The pair even stayed at my huge slab of a hotel, stuck on a well-guarded island in the Taedong river, and followed me to the lavatory on excursions.

Mass production: A new study reveals vast quantities of crystal meth are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs in a country desperate for hard currencyMass production: A new study reveals vast quantities of crystal meth are being made for export by state-trained scientists in collusion with corrupt officials and criminal gangs in a country desperate for hard currency

My minders were friendly yet stuck rigidly to their party line. ‘May I leave the island on my own,’ I asked? ‘That is not advisable,’ came the reply. ‘People are not used to foreigners. You will stand out. It is for your own safety.’

These are the well-educated children of the elite, permitted to live in the pampered capital unlike most citizens, and trusted to mix with outsiders.

Yet their lack of awareness of life outside their hermetic world made for surreal conversations.

One played electric guitar but had never heard of The Beatles, hip-hop or even South Korean superstar Psy. I tried to explain the Gangnam Style video, but floundered since he could not grasp the concept of YouTube.

Their explanations about the nation’s detachment from the 21st century sounded absurd.

When I asked why there were no cars on the Pyongyang streets last Sunday, I was told public-spirited families dislike causing unnecessary pollution.

In fact, less than one per cent of the 24 million population have cars – and laws restrict Sunday driving due to fuel shortages.

Permission is needed to drive after 6.30pm on other days. Infrastructure is decrepit, with bumpy roads and shabby blocks of flats.

A visit to one celebrated sight was cancelled because a bridge had collapsed. Tourists are shuffled around special shops, bars and restaurants.

Needless to say, I was told there were almost no drugs in North Korea – and that if anyone did use them, they would be ‘corrected’ by their family or workplace committee.

Trying to explain gay marriage also proved a forlorn task. ‘I would kill my children if they did that,’ responded one astonished man.

Huge meals are served, as if to banish suggestions of shortages. One included an entire chicken and rice cooked in ginseng, followed by soup, squid, fish, duck, noodles, seaweed, stewed bracken, potato croquettes, pickled cabbage, fried egg and more rice. It was all just for me.

But recent reports reveal more than a quarter of North Korean children under five are stunted by extreme malnutrition, while rural poverty remains endemic.

I get masses of food – while a quarter of the nation’s young are starving

The propaganda is remorseless. Everyone wears a red badge with a picture of either a grinning ‘Great Leader’ – Kim Il-sung who founded the personality cult around which this repressed nation revolves – or his simpering son Kim Jong-il, the ‘Dear Leader’ who died in 2011. Some display both images on their breast.



The portraits adorn homes, public buildings, roads, the underground. There are none of Kim Jong-un, the Swiss-educated, 30-year-old latest supreme leader.

He is loosening the economy a little but is also reported to have had an ex-girlfriend machine-gunned to death last month in front of her family.

I pointed out one tower block with a huge red flower painted instead on its roof, only to be told it was a ‘Kimjongilia’ – a type of begonia named after the late leader that I then started seeing everywhere.

No expense has been spared ramming home the paranoid ideology of the regime and the legacy of its dead leaders. There are 65ft-high bronze statues, monuments to their contorted creed, museums glorifying their deeds and a massive mausoleum displaying their embalmed bodies.

Action: People in North Korea praise nuclear weapons, promise to unify divided Koreans and scorn American imperialists. Above, Kim Jong-Un presents a memorial automatic rifle while visiting Unit 1973 headquarters at an undisclosed locationAction: People in North Korea praise nuclear weapons, promise to unify divided Koreans and scorn American imperialists. Above, Kim Jong-un presents a memorial automatic rifle while visiting Unit 1973 headquarters at an undisclosed location

When I visited this tomb, the size of a small airport, I was joined by 40 busloads of officials from the state communications department allowed a rare day in the capital. Travel is heavily restricted, with permits needed to move around and frequent roadblocks.


We were stripped of all belongings and rode travelators – along marble-clad corridors lined with endless photographs of the two leaders – for at least ten minutes while sombre music droned from speakers.

Finally, we went through wind tunnels to blow away any specks of dust, then into a darkened room where we lined up in rows of four to bow to the first body under the eye of armed soldiers and security officials.

Women in traditional costume cried as they moved around the glass cases, bowing three more times; it was impossible to tell if the tears were genuine. I could not help but notice the shoddy application of hair dye on Kim Il-sung’s corpse.

After viewing his car and train, we repeated the performance for the second deceased leader. Each also had a room displaying medals presented by foreign governments and official bodies – depressingly, I noticed one awarded by Derbyshire County Council.

Breaking Bad: In a scene from the TV series, Walter White (portrayed by Bryan Cranston) sits in front of huge heaps of money and crystal methBreaking Bad: In a scene from the TV series, Walter White (portrayed by Bryan Cranston) sits in front of huge heaps of money and crystal meth


That evening, I joined the same besuited officials bused in to a special performance of the state circus. Unfortunately, the daring of amazing acrobats was diminished by the debasement of skating bears and baboons.

Propaganda bombarded me even on the flight back to Beijing. Screens showed a gig by the nation’s answer to the Spice Girls, handpicked last year by the new leader and whose hits include Drink To Victory, Fluttering Red Flag and Let’s Meet At The Frontline.

It was a relief to land back in the modern world after my brief glimpse behind the rusting Iron Curtain of North Korea.

For those millions condemned to be left behind, one can only hope the sun will soon set on this most bloodstained, most dangerous and most revolting regime.







The Florida woman who decapitated a pet bunny rabbit in front of her children while strung out on meth will not go to prison after pleading no contest to animal cruelty and child abuse Friday.

Tina Sandlin, 36, will go directly from jail — where she has been for about a year — to an inpatient drug rehabilitation center, reported The News Herald of Panama City.

Tina Sandlin told her husband she killed the rabbit because she was bored, cops say

Bay County Sheriff’s deputies say they arrested Sandlin September 25 last year after they found her holed up under a mobile home in Southport.

Sandlin went into hiding after she invited her children into her bedroom home so they could see her cut off the rabbit’s head with a knife in mid-July, authorities said.

The children later told police that their mother held the rabbit by the ears as it kicked its legs in a failed effort to free itself. The kids did not immediately tell anyone about their pet’s bloody death but eventually alerted their father, according to local NBC-affiliate WPTV.

Her husband told officers that Sandlin merely shrugged her shoulders and said she slaughtered the pet because she was bored, when he confronted her. He added that their children, now 7 and 4, had nightmares about the incident.

Sandlin left the house and did not contact her family for about a month. Officers say she admitted to the killing after they took her into custody.

Judge Elijah Smiley sentenced her to five years’ probation, including 18 months on drug offender probation. Her probation may be terminated after 30 months if she meets a set of requirements, according to The News Herald.

Sandlin is forbidden from contacting her husband or children while in the facility. She may be able to have contact with the kids again after being leaving rehab and remaining sober for 90 days. But the children’s counselor will establish the terms of the visitation, local media reports.

New York State Police say they have been responding to more reports of clandestine methamphetamine labs.
State Police say they found more than 100 meth labs last year, double the number the year before.
So far in 2013, troopers have been called to 93 clandestine labs or incidents and they’re looking for the public’s help in dealing with the growing problem.
Trooper Jennifer Fleishman, a state police spokeswoman, says police are typically finding “one-pot meth labs,” unlike the larger-scale operations depicted on the cable television show “breaking bad.”

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — Four West Columbia residents have been arrested in connection with the Friday seizure of methamphetamine laboratory at a residence just outside the city.

Officers with the Lexington County Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team seized about 8 grams of meth from a lab that was being operated at a home on Kensington Court near West Columbia, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.



Arrested were Tonya Marie Holland, 31, of 121 Kensington Court, West Columbia; Eddie Mart Jordan, 49, of 121 Kensington Court, West Columbia; Kayla Elizabeth Mattoni, 31, of 2830 Oakwood Drive, Unit 6, West Columbia; and Paul Edward Worrell, Jr., 38, of 121 Kensington Court, West Columbia.

At about 8:14 a.m. Friday, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies went to 121 Kensington Court to investigate a lead that a meth laboratory was being operated at the residence, the Sheriff’s Department said. Deputies detected a strong chemical odor coming from the home and saw white smoke flowing from a bedroom window at the rear of the house.

Jordan and Mattoni are charged with manufacturing meth and possessing meth with the intent to distribute. Holland and Worrell are charged with manufacturing meth. All four were being held on Saturday at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.


A report of a chemical odor coming from a neighbor’s house led to the discovery of a meth lab, police said.

Bruce W. Albright, 55, of 3125 Central Ave., was arrested Friday on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, a Class C felony.

He also is charged with unlawful possession of a syringe and possession of an illegal drug lab, both Class D felonies.

The neighbor who complained of the smell coming from the Mead Village home where Albright lives had suspected possible drug activity, Columbus Police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said.



(BEDFORD)- Two Bedford women were arrested after police found meth at a home in the 400 block of N Street Saturday night.

According to Bedford Police Chief Dennis Parsley officers were called at 11:47 p.m. to the area after a report of a parking problem.

When police arrived they found a vehicle blocking a driveway with a purse on the roadway next to the car.

“At that time Rebecca Lake came out of the house and told police she didn’t know who threw the purse in the roadway or who it belonged to,” Parsley says. “Then later, Miss Lake handed officers a small bag that contained meth and one pill.”

Police then asked for permission to search the purse, which Lake admitted was hers.

“Inside the purse officers found a syringe that had blood on it and that was filled with meth,” Parsley added.

Lake then allegedly told police there were more drugs inside the home at 414 N Street.

“She told officers that her and Deanna Jones, the homeowner, had flushed some of the drugs when they saw police pull up to the house,” Parsley says.

Jones gave police permission to search the home and officers found another small bag of meth inside.

Lake, 45, of 3939 Washington Ave., and 45-year-old Deanna Jones, of 414 N St., were both arrested on charges of possession of meth and maintaining a common nuisance.



If you’d like to spend a few minutes saying, “Wait a second, that doesn’t sound right,” I invite you to read Anita Wadhwani’s story over at the Tennessean about all the ways our database of people convicted of meth-related crimes is not actually keeping pseudoephedrine out of the hands of said convicts.

Just 65 of Tennessee’s 95 counties have reported meth convictions to the TBI this year, Farmer said. Some reports come into his office without the necessary information, while other counties that do report to the registry are reporting only a fraction of their cases. 

Adding to the problem is that many meth offenders are convicted under broader state drug laws, making it difficult for criminal-court clerks, who are required to report the convictions to the TBI, to distinguish meth crimes from marijuana, cocaine or other offenses.


So, the deal is that the clerks are supposed to report the convictions to the TBI, which then updates the registry that pharmacists are supposed to check against. But it’s not always clear which convictions are specifically for meth and some counties don’t bother to report it.

Here’s my list of questions:

1. Did we really pass a law requiring the state keep a list of people convicted of meth-related crimes, but provide no mechanism for compelling various counties to participate?

2. Did lawmakers really not talk to the clerks who would have to do this or lawyers or anyone before passing this law in order to discover that it might be impossible for a county clerk to tell which convictions are for meth-related crimes and which are for crimes related to other drugs?

3. If it really is so difficult to tell meth-related crimes from the crimes related to other drugs, what’s going on with the counties who are providing information to the TBI that doesn’t seem inadequate? Someone’s bullshitting here. Either it’s hard to tease out the meth convictions from the other drug convictions, in which case, all counties’ numbers should be much lower than the TBI might expect or it’s not that hard and the excuse is hollow.

4. Special Agent Tommy Farmer who heads the TBI’s Tennessee Meth and Pharmaceutical Task Force. Wadhwani reports “‘No registry, no matter how good it is, is going to stop meth,’ said Farmer, who believes the only effective way to combat the epidemic is to return pseudoephedrine to prescription-only status.” Pseudoephedrine is completely banned in Mexico. Does Agent Farmer think that Mexico doesn’t have a meth problem?

5. Along those same lines, under what circumstances would the TBI not advocate for making pseudoephedrine prescription-only? We’re failing to keep people from making meth. Better make pseudoephedrine harder to get. But don’t we all know that, if somehow our “war” on meth were working, that would be evidence that we needed to just get tougher and wipe out the scourge once and for all?

Don’t get me wrong. Meth is terrible. And we have a lot of folks in Tennessee ruining their lives and the lives of people in their community with it. But there’s also not a single case of prohibition in our country actually working. Addiction is a health issue. You’ve literally changed the way your body functions and the way your brain is wired. You can’t make it illegal to have a health issue and expect the health issue to care. If that were so, lord almighty, outlaw cancer today.

And I just don’t see that we can ever make the production of meth so difficult that folks just give up on it. I don’t know what the solution is, but what we’re doing isn’t working. And doing the same thing, but better, doesn’t seem like it can work, either.



LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Police say a meth lab caused an explosion at a local assisted living complex in Fairdale.

Police say around 5:30 Sunday evening an explosion occurred in the 500 block of Mt. Holly Road.

The location was at Jude’s Place Apartments, a center for the disabled and elderly.

56-year-old Michael Lyle was charged with 'manufacturing meth'.
56-year-old Michael Lyle was charged with ‘manufacturing meth’.


MetroSafe dispatchers say an explosion was reported around 5:30 p.m. Sunday and windows were blown out of a building.

MetroSafe dispatchers say an explosion was reported around 5:30 p.m. Sunday and windows were blown out of a building



A neighbor tells WDRB there have been multiple meth incidents this year.

56-year-old Michael Lyle was charged with ‘manufacturing meth’. Police say a warrant also served for ‘Receiving Stolen Property over $500′.


LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Authorities were on the scene of a meth lab explosion. Crews were called to the 500 block of Mt. Holly Road in Louisville, according to MetroSafe..

MetroSafe dispatchers say an explosion was reported around 5:30 p.m. Sunday and windows were blown out of a building at Jude’s Place Apartment, which is intended for disabled or elderly people with a need for assisted living.

According to Louisville Metro Police Department, their team is processing the scene. No injuries have been reported yet and no arrest has been made at this time.