Drug crime in Victoria’s west has surged in a year as crystal meth continues  to creep into regional areas.

Police statistics show drug offences – including possession, manufacturing  and trafficking – more than doubled in some parts of the west last year.  Statewide, drug-related crimes rose by 12.3 per cent.

Social workers say increasing ice use is fuelling crime against property and  causing more mental illness and family breakdowns.

Data: Victoria PoliceData: Victoria Police

Crois O’Mahony, a spokesman for harm minimisation group Anex, said: ”You  can’t go anywhere where people aren’t saying, ‘There’s a lot of this going on in  my town.’

  ”It’s the same everywhere we go; people are at their wits’ end.”

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Lucinda Nolan said amphetamines, such as  ice, were a growing problem in the state, particularly in rural and regional  areas.

”It’s absolutely huge how it’s impacting on those families and those local  communities,” she said.

Drug-related crime more than doubled in the northern Grampians, up from 126  offences in 2012 to 280 in 2013. Spanning Ararat, Stawell, Warracknabeal and  Hopetoun, the region has a population of about 30,000.

Drug and alcohol treatment provider Grampians Community Health reported a  rise in amphetamine problems in recent years.

”Families have been on the verge of collapse, parents have suffered from  mental illness, and siblings have developed a hatred for their family member who  is dependent on the drug,” said counsellor Brendan Scale.

In the southern Grampians region, drug crime rates almost doubled in the  year, up from 94 to 183 offences.

Acting inspector Steve Thompson said that while most illegal drug activity  centred on the region’s main towns of Hamilton and Portland, residents of  smaller communities were increasingly under police scrutiny.

Cannabis cultivation had moved from large farm crops to indoor hydroponic  set-ups, he said, and many of the region’s drugs were trafficked from Melbourne  or over the South Australian border. Acting Inspector Thompson said soaring drug  crime was the result of police stepping up enforcement.

In Ballarat there was a 73.6 per cent spike in drug crimes, with 420 offences  last year.

Peter Cranage of UnitingCare Ballarat has seen a ”major increase” in people  treated for methamphetamine use in the past 12 months.

Mr Cranage said 193 clients from Ballarat and surrounding regions had  identified as ice users.

”There was probably only half those numbers the year before,” he said.  ”It’s just so accessible now in country areas. We’re seeing an increase in ice  and methamphetamines in all our programs.”

Mr Cranage said ice users were as young as 14 and parents were regularly  calling UnitingCare to discuss the effects of methamphetamines.

The devastating effects of the ice scourge is being examined as part of a  state government inquiry that has held sittings in regional towns.

The Law Reform, Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee is investigating supply  of methamphetamines, links to criminal organisations and ice culture,  particularly in rural areas.







The occupants of a vehicle stopped by police for traveling the wrong way on the one-way section of Beard Street were arrested Tuesday after fleeing from a vehicle, where police found methamphetamine and a revolver.
The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon in downtown Shawnee.
Police Chief Russell Frantz said Sgt. Heath Streater observed a vehicle going the wrong way on Beard Street and eventually made a traffic stop at 10th and Beard Streets.
The chief said the driver took off running from that stop but was nabbed a short distance away by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Kyle Winrow, who was in the area.
As Streater tried to get to the passenger, that suspect also “bolted,” the chief said, so a foot chase began. During that ordeal, that suspect tried to jump a fence, resulting in Streater getting kicked in the face as he gave chase, Frantz said.
Both suspects were apprehended and detained as police found a .22-calbier revolver and a large bag of methamphetamine in the vehicle, the chief said, along with other smaller bags and packaging for distribution.
The two suspects from the vehicle were identified as Cody Daniel Harjo, 23, and William Ray Larney Jr., 28.
Formal charges have not been filed, but both were being held in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center without bond Tuesday night.

Both were being held on complaints of possession of controlled substance and obstruction, while Harjo also was held on a complaint of possession of stolen property, jail records show. Both should make an initial bond appearance before a judge today.




HART COUNTY, Ky. – Police in southern Kentucky discovered two methamphetamine labs inside a car following a crash that sent four people to the hospital.

Kentucky State Police were called to the crash just after 11 p.m. Tuesday in the city limits of Munfordville in Hart County. Investigators said 19-year-old Cody Wills was driving his car with three passengers when he exited Interstate 65 Northbound and failed to stop at the end of the exit ramp.


The car traveled across both lanes of travel along US 31-W and struck a steel pole.

Wills and passenger Shawn Chapman were both transported to Caverna Memorial Hospital where they were treated and released.

Another passenger, 21-year-old Crystal Doyle, was transported to Hardin Memorial Hospital where she was treated and released. The third passenger, a juvenile, was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville with non-life threatening injuries.

During the investigation of the crash, police found two meth labs inside the vehicle.

Wills, Chapman, and Doyle were charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine 1st offense, Unlawful Possession of Meth Precursors 1st offense, Drug Paraphernalia, Manufacturing Methamphetamine 1st offense (Complicity), Unlawful Possession of Meth Precursors 1st offense (Complicity), Drug Paraphernalia (Complicity).

Wills was also charged with three counts of three Counts of Wanton Endangerment 1st Degree and DUI 1st offense (aggravated).


A mobile methamphetamine lab discovered at a carwash this week led to authorities finding 50 meth-making devices in Cleveland and Gaston counties, according to Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman.

The occupants of a vehicle at a car wash in Cherryville pointed authorities to locations where they discarded meth-making materials along several highways, Norman said.

Investigators from the sheriff’s office narcotics unit worked with Cherryville and Gaston County police departments to locate the dump sites, he said.

“The culprits would use the one-pot method and discard the after product on the side of the roadway,” Norman said. “Meth is dangerous, regardless of where you discard it. There are people who clean the sides of roadways and the discarded meth labs could be toxic to them.”

The one-pot method, authorities have told The Star, is a simplified meth production process that involves products like soda drink bottles, batteries, pseudoephedrine medication and camping fuels.

Authorities have said the method has become increasingly common for meth production in Cleveland and surrounding counties.

Norman said no arrests had been made as an investigation continues.

He said authorities were still identifying which roadways near the Cleveland-Gaston counties line were used as meth dump sites.







A methamphetamine organization that reached from Mexico to central Nebraska has been dismantled, United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced Tuesday.

The widespread law enforcement investigation identified and then dismantled an organization that brought meth from Mexico through Arizona, Colorado, and eventually into Nebraska, Gilg said.

Investigators discovered the money from narcotics sales was transferred back to Mexico by wire or personal couriers.

This investigation began as a joint effort of local agencies with the FBI, through their office in North Platte, Gilg said.

Members of cooperating drug enforcement (CODE) agencies in central Nebraska and the western Nebraska intelligence and narcotics group (WING) task force went undercover to purchase methamphetamine from an individual in the Ogallala area in late 2012 and early 2013.

CODE and WING task force members utilized undercover agents and officers to make purchases, conduct surveillance, execute search warrants and make arrests.

Undercover investigators made approximately 29 narcotics buys of methamphetamine.

Initially, the undercover agents bought gram-quantities of meth, but amounts increased over time. Gilg said 18 of the buys were of 1 ounce quantities or more.

In all, the controlled drug buys recovered nearly 23 ounces of methamphetamine.

Seventeen people were arrested.

Gilg said the distribution organization brought pound-quantities of meth into the Julesburg and Sterling area and then spanned a larger area of operation from Sterling to Lexington — a distance of approximately 200 miles.

Before the investigation was over, 33 law enforcement organizations were involved in Nebraska and Colorado.

In addition to the law enforcement agencies in the Nebraska task forces, officers cooperated across federal judicial districts, Gilg said.

She said the investigation overcame legal hurdles of crossing jurisdictions.

Gilg credited the Assistant United States Attorney, who worked with the investigative task force at all hours of the day, seven days a week, coordinating activities.

“The outstanding cooperative efforts in this case were remarkable and necessary in order to achieve the undoing of this distribution network over such a vast geographic area,” Gilg said. “It is a tribute to the cooperation and coordination of efforts we have in the heartland of America.”

Members of the CODE and WING drug task forces received a regional High Intensity Drug Trafficking award for their work.








SALTON CITY — Border agents arrested a woman on suspicion of trying to smuggle 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine near Salton City Tuesday afternoon.

8.8 pounds of methamphetamine

At about 1:30 p.m., the 21-year-old woman approached the Highway 86 checkpoint in a 2000 Mitsubishi Montero, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

Agents inspected the SUV and found the meth inside a fake compartment under the floorboard in the back seat.

The meth has a street value of $57,200, according to the agency.

The suspect — a United States resident — was turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.







A drug raid at a house in Easton’s West Ward on Wednesday turned up about  $600 worth of methamphetamine  and materials to package it for sale, police said.

The city’s vice and special response units executed a search warrant at 1406  Butler St. about 6 a.m.

Police have charged Jacob Boyd, 34, and charged him with possession and  possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. He was sent to Northampton  County Prison under $45,000 bail, according to court records.







BOZEMAN — A methamphetamine lab is suspected as the cause of a small  explosion in a room at a Bozeman motel.

Bozeman Police Capt. Steve Crawford says officers received a report of a  possible explosion and fire at the Continental Motor Inn at 8:50 p.m.  Tuesday.

Crawford says the small explosion blew out the window and slightly damaged  the door of a second-floor room. He says there was no fire damage and no one was  hurt.

The Missouri River Drug Task Force is investigating. No arrests had been made  by Wednesday morning.







  • Weight loss a factor in meth-taking for 30 percent of female addicts
  • Ice suppresses the user’s appetite, but can also lead to psychosis and death
  • Experts say there is a resurgence of the ‘Breaking Bad drug’ among women

Crystal methamphetamine, street name ice, is  known for its terrible side effects – psychosis, paranoia, ‘meth mouth’ in which  a user’s teeth decay and crack, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, and sores,  which result from a user picking at their skin because they feel like bugs are  crawling all over it.

But it seems that for a large number of young  women, one side effect makes all the others worth it – weight loss.

An estimated 30 percent of female meth users  take the ‘Breaking Bad drug’ or do not want to give it up because it helps them  to lose weight.


Despite the harmful side effects of the drug, one third  of women who use crystal meth report weight loss as a key reason they take  it

Julie* took up crystal meth as a teenager.  She entered a treatment program in her native Canada and was able to quit the  drug.

‘She managed to abstain for many, many  years,’ said Bob Hughes, the Executive Director of ASK Wellness Centre in  British Columbia, who worked with Julie in the program.

After quitting, Julie, now 24, gained 35  pounds (15kg). Her unhappiness about her weight gain was a key factor in her  taking the drug up again.

‘She returned heavily back to crystal and a  huge part of that was body image,’ said Mr Hughes.

Mr Hughes, who has worked with addicts for  many years, says that crystal methamphetamine, which has received significant  attention in the last few years due to the television show Breaking Bad, is  still a ‘niche drug’.

But it is one that it is seeing a resurgence  in recent years, particularly among young women.

Unlike most drugs, which have more male  addicts than female ones, Mr Hughes estimates that 60 percent of crystal meth  users are female.

‘You’ll find that a lot of young women take  it because it suppresses the appetite,’ he said.

article-2568929-1BDF057F00000578-739_634x383 Crystal meth differs from other drugs in that a higher  percentage of its users are female than male


Side effects of crystal meth use include psychosis,  paranoia, decaying and cracked teeth, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, and  ‘formication’, the sensation that bugs are crawling all over your skin

Mr Hughes estimates that among young female  addicts, 30 percent use the drug, which is a powerful appetite suppressant and  allows people to function for days without needing to eat, in part because of  its weight loss effects.

His estimation tracks globally. A 2011 study  from the Burnet Institute of Medical Research in Australia found that 30 percent  of female meth addicts reported that weight loss or weight maintenance was a key  factor in them taking the drug.

Because the body has been starved during the  period of drug-taking, after someone has kicked their drug habit the body  responds by storing fat in anticipation of future periods of starvation. Because  of this, ex-addicts, like Julie who gained 35 pounds after quitting, often  quickly regain any weight they lost after kicking their meth habit.

For many of these young women, the fear of  gaining weight is a serious obstacle to them seeking treatment and a key reason  they take up the drug again after quitting, as users try to balance drug use and  body image.


Unlike almost all illicit drugs, more women are addicted  to ice than men

‘The thinking is: “I look a lot better when I  use crystal, if I can just find that perfect balance between still using, but  not using too much,”’ said Mr Hughes.

Methamphetamine has been prescribed by  doctors as a weight loss since the 1970s and is still prescribed as a medication  for the treatment of ADHD and obesity in the form of the drug Desoxyn  (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in the United States. There are strict controls  in place around the Desoxyn’s use, which people are told should not be used for  more than a few weeks at a time.

A UN report released in 2008 reported that  24.7 million people worldwide used crystal methamphetamine during  2006-2007.

In the English-speaking world, Australia has  the highest use of illicit methamphetamine. Around 2.5 percent of Australians  over the age of 14 – approximately 500,000 people – used the drug in the last  year. This is three times higher than use in the USA and Canada (0.5 percent)  and the UK (1 percent).







Cook County Sheriff’s Police arrested a 21-year-old La Grange Highlands man after the makings of a methamphetamine lab was found in his home, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said today.


Daniel Kowalski has been charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials, and possession of methamphetamine precursors, which are all felonies. He also was charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

At approximately 6:45 p.m. on Monday, Sheriff’s Police narcotics officers went with members of the Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring Unit to perform a home check at his residence, a coach house in the 1000 block of 61st Street in unincorporated La Grange Highlands, after narcotics officers received information that Kowalski may be trying to cook methamphetamine.

Inside the residence, officers found glass beakers, burners, chemicals, and instructional materials for making controlled substances. The lab was not active.

Officers also found 12 jars of psychedelic mushrooms in the residence.

Kowalski is on electronic monitoring.

Sheriff’s Police had arrested him in July after they found a suspected methamphetamine lab at his home at that time.

Two other men were located inside the residence during the home check on Monday. They were taken into custody and later released without charges.

An Illinois State Police Clandestine Lab removal team responded and removed the chemicals and lab equipment.

Kowalski is scheduled to appear this morning for a bond hearing at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.







SAN ANTONIO — One woman was taken into custody Tuesday evening in connection with a suspected meth lab explosion at a downtown motel near the Alamo.

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San Antonio Police Department spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar said the explosion happened at about 6 p.m. at the Days Inn Alamo/Riverwalk in the 900 block of East Houston Street, one block from the Texas shrine.

Kevin Davis, who was standing at the intersection of Bowie and Houston streets when the explosion took place, said he heard a blast and saw a window pane fly from the building’s façade — landing in the middle of a parking lot.

Davis said two men and a woman then ran from the room, brushing glass from their hair and faces before fleeing in the direction of Interstate 37.

They fled carrying several bags that possibly contained volatile chemicals used to cook methamphetamine, police said.

The room that housed the supposed lab suffered significant damage, and surrounding rooms were also affected, Salazar said. No injuries were reported by other motel guests.

Police were able to apprehend the female suspect, whom they have not yet named. She had visible wounds — likely from the explosion — on her face, according to police. She was in possession of one or two of the bags the trio carried as they fled, authorities said.

Officers are still searching for the two men seen running from the motel and additional bags possibly containing chemicals.

The way the trio was transporting materials was far from ideal, Salazar said, urging anyone who sees a suspicious bag to call 911 immediately.







SPANAWAY — People in one quiet Spanaway neighborhood had no idea that a  sophisticated drug ring was operating out of a house on 198th Street East until  the bust happened early Monday morning.

“We heard cops say, ‘Get down on the ground!’ And went and looked outside and  there was probably about 15 SWAT guys pointing guns two houses down,” neighbor  Rich Renteria said Tuesday.

Investigators say the crew arrested was smuggling meth and black tar heroin  in from out of state and selling it on the streets of Western Washington.


“This is a very significant bust.  This organization is moving multiple  pounds of meth, which is a highly addictive drug, here in the Pacific Northwest.  What they were doing was transporting, smuggling the drugs up in liquid form,  allowing it to evaporate, taking the crystalized methamphetamine and then  washing it out with acetone so they can sell it on the street,” DEA Special  Agent Douglas James said.

The feds raided a total of 15 separate locations in Spanaway, Tacoma,  Lakewood, Milton, Graham, Puyallup and Kent.

During the course of the investigation agents seized:

* 66 lbs. crystal meth

* 2 gallons liquid meth

*  2.5 lbs. black tar heroin

* 25 vehicles

* 7 firearms

* $ 300, 000 cash.

Major drug ring bust
Major  drug ring bust

Neighbors are still shocked that there was no indication anything illegal was  happening.

“I didn’t know anything was going on next door. I just see a couple of guys,  but that was it,” neighbor Milvilin said.

James said other drug organizations in Washington are now on notice.

“We want to let the criminal organizations out there know that your days are  numbered.  We’re going to use all of our investigative resources at our  disposal to identify you and come after you,” James said.

The DEA says the crystal meth they seized had a street value of more than  $2.5 million.







Kayce Bullock is the CASA Coordinator for North Star CASA. She works at Virginia’s House in Graham, and though she has no specific data, she estimates that roughly 80 percent of the cases her organization works with involving children removed from their homes are removed because of the meth addiction of a parent or guardian.

“Certainly meth has devastating effects on the community and on the family, but I think ultimately it is children who suffer the most,” Bullock said. “The risks to the safety and well-being of children who are under the care of meth-abusing parents are numerous. We are seeing babies born with meth in their systems and children testing positive for meth.”

Bullock said that she does not see high success rates involving children being returned to meth-addicted parents or guardians. She explained that in addition to the immediate risks and effects of meth exposure in children, there are many long-term emotional and behavioral problems that can occur because meth changes the wiring of the brain.

According to Bullock, children often come to the attention of Child Protective Services (CPS) because they are found alone and wandering the streets. After getting high, meth users can sleep for several days, leaving any children in the house unsupervised. These children are forced to fend for themselves, and in some cases are trying to fill the caregiver role and find food and other necessities for younger siblings.

“The most heartbreaking meth cases are those that result in a child death,” Bullock said. “This is a very real, very dangerous problem, and it’s happening right here in this community. Day in and day out, CASA volunteers are seeing and dealing with the effects of meth on children and families.”







CHARLESTON, West Virginia –  A couple from Charleston, WV is behind bars after deputies said they found meth ingredients in the taxi the couple was riding in after wrecking their truck.

According to court documents, deputies were dispatched to a single vehicle accident in a field on Casdorph Road in Sissonville Tuesday afternoon. When deputies looked up the license plate information, it came back as have been stolen out of Charleston, WV.


A witness proceeded to tell deputies that she saw a male and female leave the scene in a C & H taxi.

Deputies began searching for the taxi in that area and located it parked at a Go Mart. Court documents say  two people, matching the suspect’s description, were getting back into the cab.

Deputies asked the male suspect, identified as Randy Donahue, to get out. Deputies said the smelled a meth-like odor as he walk walking towards them.

The female suspect, identified as Holly Willis, also exited the cab. Willis smelled like meth, according to the documents, and had syringes in the front pockets of her coat.

A search of the taxi was performed, and a blue cooler was located in the trunk. Inside the cooler, deputies found numerous meth-making materials. Methamphetamine also was found wrapped in coffee filters, and several bags of marijuana were seized.

Deputies said both suspects have a long history of meth-related charges.

Both Donahue and Willis appeared in magistrate court Tuesday night.  They are being held at South Central Regional Jail.








ROCK HILL — There were no suspects in sight when police found many of the materials commonly used in manufacturing methamphetamine labs in the woods near a makeshift campsite in Rock Hill Monday afternoon, authorities say.

At about 3:30 p.m., a man called police to complain about potential trespassers living in the woods on his property, according to a Rock Hill police report. While clearing brush in the nearby wood line, the property manager found two abandoned tents in the area between Church and Mill streets, off Dave Lyle Boulevard.

Police searched the area and, 30 feet away from the road, discovered materials from a recently-used one-pot meth lab, the report states. Officials have said that one-pot meth labs, typically taking shape in soda or Gatorade bottles, are gaining popularity as the most common types of meth labs cooks and addicts use to manufacture the addictive drug.

Officers found several Walmart bags containing used coffee filters filled with white residue, the report states. One of the department’s street crimes officers found clear tubing, a bottle of Coleman camping fuel, one small bag of salt, wire mesh, a bottle of Drano, clear bottles filled with clear liquid and residue in them with tubing protruding from the top and an empty package of cold and sinus medicine. Pseudoephedrine, a common decongestant found in over-the-counter cold medication, is a key ingredient for making meth.

Police continued searching the area, finding four tents total.

No suspects were on scene at the time, the report states. An agent with the county’s multijurisdictional drug enforcement unit responded to the scene and confirmed that the materials were ingredients for an inactive meth lab. A hazmat team was called to clean up the chemicals.

Last year, law enforcement uncovered 22 total meth labs in York County, doubling the number found in 2011 and 2012. Officials expect that trend to continue this year, and most likely exceed the number of labs they found in 2013.

Several people were driving down Cromwell Road in 1999 making meth when there was an explosion. The people escaped the vehicle and attempted to dispose of the evidence by throwing it over the side of a concrete bridge. Three people were badly burned and transported to Iowa City for medical care.


According to Creston Police Sergeant Eric Shawler and Afton Police Chief John Coulter, this fire was an uncommon incident in Union County.

But, the cause — methamphetamine — is a common problem.

“It’s easy to make. Everything you need is right here,” Coulter said. “You can drive in towns and hit every small place and buy pseudo(ephedrine), … come back and you have enough to make enough meth for yourself.”

Coulter said methamphetamine is prevalent in Union County to a wide demographic.


Methamphetamine, a psychostimulant, is an illegal drug across the country. It is easy to manufacture because the ingredients are locally sold.

“It’s very prevalent,” Coulter said. “I think in the age group 30 to 70, that it’s very much the drug of choice.”

In the past five years, the method of choice for methamphetamine manufacturers is the shake and bake method. This method is easier to produce than the standard Birch method because all ingredients are mixed in one small bottle and shaken.

Afton man Adam Roan was charged with conspiracy to produce methamphetamine and possession of precursors February 2013 after 50 shake and bake meth labs were found in his basement.


Meth, unlike other drugs, spans across the demographic board, according to Coulter.

“It’s cheaper than cocaine,” Coulter said. “The other side of that is prescription drug use is up real high, but it’s generally the same people are doing it to cushion their manic drug episodes.”

Results of meth use include paranoid schizophrenia, rapid weight loss, damage to fine motor skills and sensitivity to loud noises and bright lights.

“As far as socioeconomic, it covers all strata,” Coulter said. “In our community, we had a jeweler that had a very lucrative jewelry business that was involved.”

Another issue Coulter said was a person’s will power may not be strong enough to avoid addiction.

“A lot of people think that their will power is strong enough that they can use it without getting addicted, but it is so psychologically addictive,” Coulter said. “It’s a very small number that can quit cold turkey and never go back to it, and they’ll tell you, the crazy is still there.”

However, the amount of people actually using meth may not be known because people avoid talking to police, even during an incident.

“If we don’t know about it, they won’t tell us about it,” Shawler said. “Even if they get burned, they’ll get treatment by themselves, so most of your meth lab incidents, chances of them calling 911 are very slim.”


Recently, studies have been done across the country showing some drug prevention programs don’t work.

“They have found DARE does not work. The research done by the Department of Justice in recent years shows it does not have any significant impact on drug usage,” Coulter said. “Now, I don’t know that anybody is doing any (drug prevention) because there’s no funding for it other than officers going in and talking with individual groups.”

Coulter said there used to be staff at Green Hills Area Education Agency with training in drug prevention, but there hasn’t been any recently.

Even containing a methamphetamine lab after a fire is difficult, as firefighters and police cannot do hazardous material response.

“Mostly it’s evacuate the area, seal it off and let the meth lab response team come in and they’ll do the search warrant,” Coulter said.

Coulter said there used to be staff at Green Hills Area Education Agency with training in drug prevention, but there hasn’t been any recently.

Even containing a methamphetamine lab after a fire is difficult, as firefighters and police cannot do hazardous material response.

“Mostly it’s evacuate the area, seal it off and let the meth lab response team come in and they’ll do the search warrant,” Coulter said.








CARLSBAD >> A Loving man awaits trial on federal drug trafficking charges after authorities found 25 pounds of methamphetamine and 31 firearms scattered throughout his residence.

Glenn McDonald, 34, faces charges of knowingly being in possession with intent to distribute meth and carrying a firearm in a drug trafficking offense in U.S. District Court.

According to a criminal complaint with the U.S. District Court in Roswell, McDonald told officers that he had about half a pound of meth stashed away in the glove box of his truck, as well as a loaded semi-automatic pistol, when he was pulled over for a routine traffic stop by the Carlsbad Police Department on the afternoon of Feb. 12 on the Loving Highway.

McDonald was immediately escorted to an Eddy County Sheriff’s Office facility where he agreed to allow a special agent from the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force to search his residence on 37 Cottontail Road in Loving for more drugs and weapons.

Investigators found stacks of currency stored inside a safe within his house that McDonald admitted was money earned from meth sales, along with large quantities of the crystalline drug and a mixture of rifles and pistols.

The meth was stored in an outdoor shed near McDonald’s home and was immediately detected with the help of a police canine. McDonald was placed under arrest after the search according to a criminal complaint filed to the U.S. District Court.

McDonald admitted that approximately four or five of the weapons seized by the PVDTF were exchanged in trade for meth.

Task force Commander James McCormick said he couldn’t speak about the arrest or the investigation, referring all questions to the U.S. Attorney.

Former Eddy County Sheriff Ernie Mendoza said the bust is among the larger finds he’s heard of in Eddy County’s recent history.

“I would say that it’s a big plus because not only will it affect people in our area, but (the meth) also won’t make it anywhere else and make it out on the streets,” Mendoza said.

In January, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force arrested 40 people around Eddy County as part of a year-long drug trafficking investigation.

Elizabeth Martinez, the public information officer and assistant U.S. Attorney, said the McDonald arrest was unrelated to the prior drug sweep.

McDonald previously pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia in 2011 in Carlsbad Magistrate Court and was required by the judge to enter drug rehab at the Carlsbad Mental Health Center.

“I can’t say that I’m surprised but I’m just thankful that it’s off the street right now,” said Eve Flanigan, program manager for the Carlsbad Anti-Drug and Gang Coalition. “It’s an example of how pervasive the drug problem is in our part of the state. We’re thankful for the job law enforcement does, as well as the folks who are less heard of that take place in drug treatment and prevention programs.”







THREE RIVERS, MI — A weeks long police investigation into methamphetamine production led to the arrest of three men in a Three Rivers Meijer parking lot on multiple meth related charges Tuesday, according to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office.


Investigators said St. Joseph Area Narcotics had been conducting a “several week” investigation of methamphetamine delivery and production, which led to the arrest of the three men on charges of delivery of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine precursors.

One of the men also had an outstanding warrant for operating/maintaining a methamphetamine lab, the report said.

The names of those arrested are being withheld at this time, pending arraignment.

Deputies are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call SCAN at 269-467-9045 ext. 245.







Two suspects were arrested last week after Dyer County Sheriff’s deputies found an alleged meth lab in the attic after executing a search warrant at a residence on St. John Avenue.

Shane Vaughn, 40, 2466 St. John Ave., Dyersburg, Tenn., and Dena Clark, 37, 320 Victory St., Dyersburg, Tenn., are charged with initiating methamphetamine manufacture and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance.


According to Dyer County Sheriff Jeff Box, deputies received information about alleged methamphetamine activity taking place at Vaughn’s residence on St. John Avenue in Dyersburg. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, deputies went to the residence to execute a narcotics search warrant.  Upon entering the residence, deputies were met at the front door by a white male and Clark was sitting on a couch in front of the front door. Vaughn had reportedly left the residence to go to a fast-food restaurant, but was found by deputies and returned to the house.

After Vaughn returned to his residence, deputies began their search and discovered a meth lab in the attic. Inside the residence were numerous items commonly used in the manufacturing of the drug. Also, deputies found a gas generator outside the residence, which is also used during the meth-production process.

The couch where Clark was sitting was moved and several coffee filters were found containing a white substance. Deputies tested the substance and it tested positive for methamphetamine. Vaughn and Clark were taken into custody and charged with initiating methamphetamine manufacture and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance. The two were taken to the Dyer County Jail where they were decontaminated and booked in. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force arrived at the scene and took possession of the components of the meth lab and the other ingredients.

After their court appearance, Vaughn was issued a $10,000 bond and Clark was issued a $20,000 bond. Vaughn was able to make his bond, but Clark remains in custody. Box stated Vaughn was arrested the previous week on a DUI charge. Clark has had numerous charges in the past and has been booked into the Dyer County Jail over 20 times on charges such as: possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, forgery, and vandalism.

Box stated arrests such as Vaughn’s and Clark’s are necessary in reducing crime in the community.

“These locations where people are cooking meth are also known to draw other types of criminal activity,” said Box. “These arrests send a message we don’t want this drug here and we will we tolerate the illegal activities associated with it.”


SAN LUIS – Friday, a local teen was arrested on suspicion of attempting to bring more than one-half pound of methamphetamine through the San Luis Port.

The 14-year-old male was found to be carrying a package of meth with a street value of $9,000 taped to his thigh. The methamphetamine was seized and the teen was referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.








DOBSON — Months of undercover investigation came to fruition Monday morning as deputies initiated a county-wide drug violator round-up, dubbed Operation Manic Monday by officers.

According to Sheriff Graham Atkinson, more than three dozen officers met for a pre-bust briefing at the sheriff’s office at 6 a.m., and by late morning more than 16 suspects were in custody. Atkinson said the round-up targeted 34 suspects on 173 charges.

And more suspects are expected to be taken into custody soon, according to the sheriff.

“We knocked on a lot of doors trying to find them today,” he said, “and while there are 16 in custody at the moment, there are others who have indicated their willingness to turn themselves in. Everyone else is entered into a criminal database and if they’re caught anywhere in the country for any reason they’ll be brought back here.”

Atkinson said the investigation began several months ago and involved the suspects selling narcotics to undercover officers.

“We didn’t have to get any search warrants because we’ve made these cases and have the suspects good and solid,” he said, noting that the drugs range the gamut from marijuana to crack cocaine, prescription narcotics and even morphine.

He added that the investigation targeted suspects from “all over the county.”

“A lot of these people are repeat offenders that we’ve had to deal with over and over,” he said. “Hopefully, by doing the hand-to-hand buys it will make it easier to get them out of the community for an extended period of time. Some of these suspects go back to the beginning of my career and they were targeted because they are continuing problems. Others have done fairly lengthy prison sentences and they have gotten out and gone right back to doing the same things again.”

The sheriff added that there were multiple charges of trafficking in narcotics involved in the drug round-up, charges he hopes will result in more lengthy sentences for those convicted.

“We think that is significant,” he said. “There are more trafficking charges, which involve larger amounts of the drug, than charges of sale and delivery.”

For Atkinson, the drug sweep is part of an effort to protect the community by responding to complaints.

“When we get complaints about these people and how they’re making their communities and neighbors miserable, we try to get them out of the community,” he said. “It sometimes takes a little while, but we try.”

He added that his job would be much more difficult without the support and help of the community at large.

“We appreciate the people who continue to give us information, and a lot of that information was very useful,” he said. “This is obviously not the end of this, the investigation is continuing, along with other investigations, and we hope that will bring some further relief in the future. If the name of the person you’re complaining about isn’t on the list, there will be another list shortly.”

Those charged, and the charges against them, include:

Carroll Elwood Bowman, 39, of 562 Lori Lane in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, sell and deliver methamphetamine and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Gene Bowman, 48, of 147 West Popular Street in Mount Airy. Trafficking by sale Oxycodone, trafficking by delivering Oxycodone, trafficking by possession Oxycodone, trafficking by sale Hydrocodone, trafficking by delivering Hydrocodone, trafficking by possession Hydrocodone and two counts of maintaining a drug dwelling.

• Betty Cox Brown, 59, of 571 Bethania Rural Hall Road in Rural Hall. Conspiracy to sell and deliver Hydrocodone, conspiracy to sell and deliver Morphine and conspiracy to sell and deliver Oxymorphone.

• Theodore Roosevelt Burcham, 41, of 183 Woltz Atkins Road in Mount Airy. Two counts of the possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, two counts of the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, two counts of maintaining a drug house and two counts of the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Teresa Koehler Cecil, 42, of 523 Worth Street in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver Oxymorphone, sale and delivery of Oxymorphone.

• Christopher Loyd Cox, 29, of 130 Gilda Avenue in Mount Airy. Two counts of the possession with intent to sell and deliver Methamphetamine, two counts of the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, two counts of maintaining a drug dwelling and two counts of the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Randy Dale Crouse, 43, of 207 White Street in Dobson. Trafficking in Percocet by sell, trafficking in Percocet by delivery, trafficking in Percocet by possession and trafficking in Percocet by transportation.

• Jeffery Dwayne Dawson, 23, of 668 Orchard View Drive in Mount Airy. Trafficking in Vicodin by sale, trafficking in Vicodin by delivery, trafficking in Vicodin by possession, conspiracy to traffic by sell Vicodin, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, sale and delivery of marijuana, conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Luis Fernando Delarosa, 47, of 1787 Stony Knoll Road in Dobson. Two counts of the possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, two counts of the sale and delivery of marijuana, two counts of maintaining a drug house, and two counts of the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Gabriel Delgado, 31, of 132 West Crosswinds Drive in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug vehicle and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Terrell Lekendric Dixon, 28, of 157 Kingfisher Way in Dobson. Possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, the sale and delivery of crack cocaine, conspiracy to sell and deliver crack cocaine, maintaining a drug house and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Jordan Terry Easter, 23, of 409 East Devon Drive in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver Klonopin, the sale and delivery of Klonopin, maintaining a drug vehicle and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Kimberly Darlene Epperson, 36, of 161 wards Gap Road in Cana, Va. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine and the sale and delivery of methamphetamine.

• Glenda Kaye George,38, 155 Cone Lane in Mount Airy. Two counts of the possession with the intent to sell or deliver crack cocaine and two counts of the sale and delivery of crack cocaine.

• Zackary Vanquail Goins, 25, of 316 Galloway Street in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, the sale and delivery of crack coocaine and maintaining a drug house.

• Portia Felts Goss, 38, of 223 Spaugh Street in Mount Airy. Trafficking in Oxycodone by sale, trafficking in Oxycodone by delivery, trafficking in Oxycodone by possession, the possession with intent to sell and deliver Alprazolam, the sale and delivery of Alprazolam, maintaining a drug house, and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Antawan Bernard Guest, 35, of 1256 Newsome Street in Mount Airy. Two counts of the possession with the intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, two counts of the sale and delivery of crack cocaine and two counts of maintaining a drug dwelling.

• Jeremy Hunt, 31, of 169 Catamount Road in Holly Hill, S.C. The sale and delivery of crack cocaine, conspiracy to sell and deliver crack cocaine and maintaining a drug dwelling.

• Terry Wayburn Johnson, 54, of 163 Pond Valley Road in Ararat. Two counts of the possession with the intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, two counts of the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug dwelling and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Justin David Lambert, 25, of 1809 Grassy Knob Road in Pilot Mountain. Possession with intent to sell and deliver Alprazolam and the sale and delivery of Alprazolam.

• Jimmy Mack Long, 32, of 552 North Wilson Road in Lowgap. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, the sale and delivery of methamphetamine and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Eric Antyion Penn, 46, of 960 Pipers Gap Road in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, the sale and delivery of cocaine and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• William Joseph Reed, 35, of 176 Joe Reed Trail in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, the sale and delivery of marijuana, maintaining a drug house and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Misty Dawn Sechrist, 31, of 571 Bethania Rural Hall Road in Rural Hall. Possession with intent to sell and deliver Hydrocodone, the sale and delivery of hydrocodone, conspiracy to sale and deliver Hydrocodone, possession with intent to sell and deliver morphine, the sale and delivery of morphine, conspiracy to sell and deliver morphine, possession with intent to sell and deliver Oxymorphone, the sale and delivery of Oxymorphone and conspiracy to sell and deliver Oxymorphone.

• Kevin Jarrell Shannon, 28, of 341 Franklin Street in Mount Airy. Conspiracy to sell and deliver crack cocaine, the delivery of crack cocaine and maintaining a drug dwelling.

• Jacob Aaron Shinault, Male, 19, of 773 Maple Grove Church Road in Mount Airy. Trafficking in Vicodin by sell, trafficking in Vicodin by delivery, trafficking in Vicodin by possession, the sale and delivery of marijuana and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.

• Johnny Carlton Snow, 42, of 191 Willis Road in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, conspiracy to sell and deliver methamphetamine and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Misty April Snow, 40, 191 Willis Road in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, conspiracy to sell and deliver methamphetamine and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Joseph Craig Tilley, 48, of 116 Barton Lane in Mount Airy. Possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, the sale and delivery of methamphetamine, maintaining a drug house and the manufacture of methamphetamine.

• Gary Dwayne Wheeler, 27, of 327 Cherry Street, Apartment 1, in Mount Airy. Trafficking in Hydrocodone by sale, trafficking in Hydrocodone by delivery, trafficking in Hydrocodone by manufacture, trafficking in Hydrocodone by possession, two counts of the possession with the intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, two counts of the sale and delivery of crack cocaine, the possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana, the sale and delivery of marijuana and three counts of maintaining a drug dwelling.

• Joshua Shaun Wiles, 29, of 168 Apple Blossom Lane in Elkin. Possession with intent to sell and deliver LSD, the sale and delivery of LSD, possession with the intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, two counts of maintaining a drug vehicle and two counts of the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Mitchell Dean Willard, 37, of 233 Forkner Road in Mount Airy. Two counts of the possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana, two counts of the sale and delivery of marijuana, two counts of maintaining a drug dwelling and two counts of the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Andrea Sian Williams, 21, of 157 Kingfisher Way in Dobson. Possession with the intent to sell and deliver crack cocaine, the sale and delivery of crack cocaine, conspiracy to sell and deliver crack cocaine, maintaining a drug dwelling and the possession of drug paraphernalia.

• David Shane Wolfe, 37, of 1855 Hwy 268 West in Pilot Mountain. Possession with the intent to sell and deliver marijuana, the sale and delivery of marijuana, maintaining a drug dwelling and the possession of drug paraphernalia.








MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY) – Three people were arrested Monday after deputies said they found meth and marijuana in a Morgan City home.

Sheriff Ana Franklin said deputies and drug task force agents served two arrest warrants for Dennis Dewayne Malone, 45, at a home on Seagroves Road. The warrants were for drug possession.

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Franklin said they found methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a short-barreled rifle in the home.

After the home was searched, deputies also charged Malone with possession of methamphetamine and a short-barreled rifle.

Authorities arrested two other people in the home. Brandis Pugh, 29, was charged with providing a false identity. Franklin said Pugh also had warrants for failure to appear on a drug paraphernalia possession charge and for failure to provide insurance.

The other person at the home, Deborah Jett, was charged with meth possession.







A Spartanburg couple face child cruelty charges after admitting to smoking methamphetamine in their vehicle overnight while their two young children were with them.

Alphalena Jo LittlejohnJeffrey Miller Wallace

Jeffrey Miller Wallace, 36, and Alphalena Jo Littlejohn, 30, both of 204 Fernwood Park Drive, were found sitting in their vehicle in front of Mary Black Memorial Hospital on Skyline Drive Tuesday morning after a sheriff’s deputy responded there for the report of a disturbance.

The couple and their two children, ages 6 and 1, had sat in their vehicle in the parking lot throughout the night with no food or water or warm clothing, Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Tony Ivey said in a statement.

The two had admitted to smoking methamphetamine, but Wallace said they stepped outside of the vehicle to smoke since their children were sitting inside the vehicle, according to an incident report.

The report states the deputy also found an open can of alcohol in the center console of their vehicle.

Wallace and Littlejohn were taken to the Spartanburg County jail and charged with cruelty to children.

The children were turned over to the Department of Social Services and placed in emergency protective custody. The couple already had an open DSS case on them, Ivey said in the statement.








Guam – More than a half-million dollars worth of crystal methamphetamine was confiscated from several suspicious packages sent to Guam from Washington and California. According to search warrant returns filed with the District Court, local and federal law enforcement found more than two pounds of the drug Ice hidden in two packages sent to two different addresses on Guam.

In one package sent in January to a P.O. box in Hagatna, authorities found approximately 502 grams of meth hidden in vacuum sealed bags with 8 black shirts in one package. In a package sent to a home on Kinney Drive in Mangilao in December, agents found 420 grams of methampethamine stuffed into a flat rate box that contained two shirts and a mug.

Documents filed with the District Court today indicate that several other search warrants were executed on mail parcels turning up a large quantity of Spice, a marijuana-like substance.

There’s been no indication if authorities made any arrests in connection with these search warrants.








Columbia, SC (WLTX)  In separate investigations, officers with the Lexington County deputies seized three methamphetamine labs at three separate homes in Lexington county.

Lexington County sheriff James Metts said NET officers arrested Brad Joseph Koon, 44 of Swansea on charge of manufacturing meth in connection with the operation of a meth lab that officers found in an abandoned home adjacent to Koons.


Ronnie Dale Stevenson Taylor Michele Hatchell Diane Poole Gay Brad Joseph Koon Sr. James Elliott Smith Jr.

Deputies went to Koon’s home early Sunday morning to investigate a verbal dispute involving Koon and his wife.  While there, according to deputies, found a black duffel bag in the abandoned home and determined that the bag contained a reaction vessel, which was being used to manufacture meth.  Deputies then request help from NET officers to further investigate and safely dispose of the lab.

Currently Koon is being held on a $15,000 bond at the Lexington County Detention center.

In a separate investigation, NET officers arrested Taylor Michele Hatchell, 24 and James Elliot Smith, 31 both of Pelion in connection to a meth lab that was being operated outside the home where they live, according to Metts.

Deputies had gone to the home early Sunday morning in order to help the South Carolina Highway Patrol investigate a motor vehicle collision and deputies and state troopers found one plastic soda bottle in a large plastic box outside the home that was being used as a reaction vessel to manufacture methamphetamine.  Deputies and state troopers called in NET to help investigate.

Officers arrested Hatchell on charges of manufacturing meth, possessing meth, unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a meth lab.  Officers arrested Smith on charges of second-offense manufacturing meth, second-offensive possessing meth, unlawfully altering pseudoephedrine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a meth lab. Both were being held at the Lexington County detention center, Hatchell’s bail is $50,000 and Smith’s bail was set at $70,000.

Lastly, Sunday afternoon, NET officers arrested Diane Poole Gay, 54 and Ronnie Dale Stevenson, 52 of Leesville in connection with a meth lab that was found outside their home.

Deputies had gone to the home in Leesville to investigate a verbal dispute between Gay and Stevenson when they found several plastic soda bottles in woods outside the home that were being used as reaction vessels to manufacture meth.  Deputies then called for NET officers to investigate.

Both Gay and Stevenson were charged with manufacturing meth, possessing meth, unlawfully altering pseudoephedring and unlawfully disposing of waste from a meth lab.  Both are being held at the Lexington County Detention center on bail totaling $50,000 each.