BAKERSFIELD — Deputies arrested six people and confiscated over 40 pounds of methamphetamine on Tuesday during two major drug busts.

Bakersfield Law Enforcement Displays Seized Meth

The first, occurred in the morning of Aug. 21, when narcotics investigators from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Major Violator Unit pulled over three subjects suspected of being in possession of large amounts of methamphetamine in the 6900 block of Longford Court in south Bakersfield. Deputies said that they discovered 10 pounds of suspected meth located in a diaper box in the back seat of one of the two vehicles the suspects were driving.

Taken into custody were: Pedro Ochoa-Monzon, 45, of Phoenix, Ariz., Cecil Hernandez, 32, of Avenal and 23-year-old Elmar Ochoa-Hernandez of Los Angeles.

All of the suspects were booked into the Kern County Jail for possession of methamphetamine for sales, transportation of methamphetamine and conspiracy.

Immigration detainers were also placed on Hernandez and Ochoa-Hernandez after they were determined to be illegal aliens by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

The street value of the seized drugs is estimated at $363,200.00.

Later that same day, the Kern County Cal-MMET concluded a second, unrelated undercover investigation in a south Bakersfield restaurant parking lot where officers said they located approximately 22 pounds of methamphetamine in a sealed bag of dog food in the trunk of a car.

Officers arrested 47-year-old Milpitas resident, Diego Solis, Sandro Solis, 38, of San Jose and  Patricia Andrade, 26, from Porterville.

All three  were booked into the Kern County Jail for possession of methamphetamine for sales, transportation of methamphetamine and conspiracy.

According to police, an immigration detainer was placed on Sandro Solis, who was determined to be illegal.

Investigators later capped the bust with a search warrant at an apartment in the 900 block of Ohio Street in Porterville, where they found an active meth lab as well as an additional seven pounds of methamphetamine and approximately eight gallons of methamphetamine solution.

Additional charges of manufacturing methamphetamine will be requested with the District Attorney’s office for Sandro Solis and Patricia Andrade.

The street value of the methamphetamine is estimated at approximately $1,089,600.00.



RUSSELLVILLE-Seven arrests for Manufacturing Meth were made by the Franklin County Drug Unit this week after tips were received from concerned citizens. Evidence was then found that led investigators to obtain search warrants for 1287 Hwy 89, Phil Campbell, AL 35581 and 223 Ford Rd., Phil Campbell, AL 35581.

The following people were arrested after search warrant executed at 1287 Hwy 89, Phil Campbell, AL:

David Lewis Jamie Abbott



Danny-Glenn Wendy-Abbott


The following people were arrested after search warrant executed at 223 Ford Road, Phil Campbell, AL:

Sheila Randolph Cory guin Tracy Guin




These additional three arrests were made for purchasing Pseudoephedrine and providing it to individuals to manufacture Meth:

Patricia Abbott shannon Haney 2 Cindy leidy


“In all of these cases, children under 10 were at the residences involved. It is sad and of serious concern that people continue to manufacture drugs with children present. We ask for continued support of the Sheriff’s Office from our citizens. Please call with any information you may have because as theses arrests show, it does make a difference.”, Sheriff Shannon Oliver.




A Mountain View police dog named Zeus helped sniff out two pounds of methamphetamine on Wednesday hiding inside a secret car compartment.

Zeus was also part of a team who found cash and a handgun, all during a search of a home in San Jose.

K-9 Sniffs Out Meth in Secret Car Compartment


Lt. Chris Hsuing said $20,000 was recovered and three suspects arrested.

The search was conducted by the Santa Clara County Special Enforcement Team.




Two people are in jail for rape and meth charges in Meigs County, Ohio.

According to police, 39-year old Joseph Stewart was arrested Thursday and is charged with rape, illegal manufacturing of drugs and illegal assembly of chemicals used to manufacture meth.

Ohio couple arrested on drug charges in Meigs County
Ohio couple arrested on drug charges in Meigs County


Brenda Stewart, 43, was also arrested Thursday and is charged with illegal manufacturing of drugs and endangering children.

Police say deputies responded to 60 1/2 Cole Street in the Village of Middleport on an anonymous tip to the Meigs County Department of Jobs & Family Services concerning allegations of a methamphetamine lab and sexual abuse of a minor child.

While searching the residence, deputies located a one pot reactionary vessel and white powder, which tested positive for methamphetamine, along with chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine.

Due to the volatile situation presented by the meth lab, deputies along with the Middleport Police Department evacuated the apartment complex displacing several occupants from the complex.

Deputies along with Department of Jobs & Family interviewed a minor female whom indicated forced sexual abuse by her step father.

After interviewing the minor child’s mother along with the step father, it was determined sexual abuse had occurred.

Both Joseph and Brenda Stewart appeared in Meigs County Court Thursday.

Both their bonds are set at $500,000.

They are both being held in the Middleport Jail.



Methamphetamine is tightening its grip on Ohio as the number of seized meth labs continues to grow faster than ever in the state.  Compared to just five years ago, authorities have seen a 467 percent increase in the number of seized meth labs this year.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) tracks meth lab seizures by the federal fiscal year, which runs from October 1 through September 30.  Through June 24 of this year, police reported finding 635 labs, and they expect to find more by the end of the fiscal year.


Last year, officers revealed through a voluntary reporting process that they found 607 labs.  Summit County was considered to be the worst area for meth lab seizures in the state, where 191 labs were seized.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said that authorities are seeing a “continuous spike”, primarily because it is now easier for people to make the drug.  DeWine says, “We used to talk about ‘meth houses’, or places people would make this. Well, today, you can make it in a pop bottle.”

The number of meth labs in Ohio has fluctuated for some years. In 2005, there were 444.   In 2007, Ohio began to limit the amounts of the cold medication pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth, that can be purchased at stores and pharmacies.  This seemed to at least temporarily reduce the number of meth labs in Ohio, and in 2008 authorities found just 112 labs.  However, the number tripled again the next year as meth lab operators found ways around the limitation, often recruiting several people to purchase the cold medicine from several different stores.  In 2009, the number tripled and the numbers have been steadily climbing ever since, with 607 labs found in 2012.

The increase in meth labs in the state appears to be directly related to the relative cheap cost of producing the drug, and the ease with which it can now be made.  Meth used to involve the use of red phosphorous, which left a noxious odor and destroyed the homes and bodies of those who manufactured it, but now it is much simpler.  Called the “shake and bake” method, meth cookers can now make meth in cars and out of the backs of trucks.  The old method used to take several hours, where as this method takes just 15 minutes to a half-hour to mix.  The new meth is mixed in 2-liter pop bottles, and once finished, the makers discard the containers and bottles along highways, leaving a chemical mess behind.




DENVER – Fifteen people linked to a Mexican cartel have been indicted by a grand jury for bringing liquid meth into Colorado inside factory-sealed water bottles with the liquid colored to look like flavored water or sports drinks.

“The importance of a factory seal is to protect it from oxygen to keep it from crystalizing,” Attorney General John Suthers explained during a Thursday briefing announcing the results of “Operation Thirst Quencher.”

The liquid inside the bottles were colored to mask the milky color of the meth, which were also transported inside the windshield washer fluid reservoirs of vehicles, Suthers said.

Bottle of liquid methMeth in bottle

Windshield reservior full of methCar full of meth

Meth processing


Photographs showed during the news conference included a 1.5 liter Be Light bottle that was seized on Feb. 5 at a border crossing in El Paso, Texas. Investigators allege it was being imported to Denver.

“The group used U.S. citizens to walk the bottles of meth across the border on a weekly basis,” Suthers said.

Barbara Roach, special agent-in-charge of the Denver division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said a pair of brothers living in Denver ran the organization. She identified them as Jose and Jesus Vargas-Gonzalez.

“The organization is linked to a powerful and very feared cartel called ‘The Knights Templar,'” she said. “The Knights Templar has aligned itself with probably one of the most powerful trafficking organizations, that’s the Sinaloa Cartel.”

On May 17, a traffic stop in Frisco, Calif. found six liters of liquid meth inside the windshield wiper fluid reservoir of a Chevrolet Tahoe. The drug in this case originated in Tijuana and was also allegedly being taken to Denver.

“Once the liquid meth was brought to Colorado, it was processed into crystalized meth by locally-based members of the enterprise,” Suthers explained.

Other provided photographs documented the search of a Denver home on July 2. Investigators found five pounds of the liquid drug, 1.5 pounds that had already been crystalized, $17,700 and a gun.

In that instance, the drug allegedly originated in Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico and entered the United States through a border crossing in El Paso, Texas.

A DEA task force supervisor, Rob Saccone, said one gallon of the liquid could potentially yield four pounds of solid methamphetamine. Lab tests found the drug is approximately 90 percent pure.

“It’s certainly very powerful and folks at the street level may not know how pure the drug is that they’re ingesting,” he said.

He also said it could be worth $10,000 or more per pound in Colorado. The street value could increase if it was transported from Colorado to the east coast.

Suthers said 11 of the individuals indicted as a result of the seven-month operation are currently in custody in the Denver area. The remaining four are still wanted.

Fourteen of the defendants face two counts of racketeering. Suthers explained that they face sentences of up to 24 years in prison for each count.

Suthers also alleged that, in one instance, two kilograms of cocaine were concealed in the oil pan of a Jeep by the same trafficking group.

The Attorney General’s office provided this partial list of the indicted suspects:

-Josue Castenada

-Joshua Cooke

-Rodolzo Lewis

-Mario Munoz

-Gustavo Ramirez

-Jesus Patricia Salas-Lucero

-Harland Schug

-Ana Rosa Vargas-Hernandez

-Jose Antonio Vargas-Gonzalez

-Jose Manual Cantano-Acosta

New drug charges are pending against one of four people arrested in connection with a suspected meth lab inside a Bethlehem home rocked by an explosion and fire earlier this year, according to court records.

Jeffrey Caulfield, 29, of the 400 block of Old Forge Drive in Bath, was arraigned today before District Judge James Narlesky on felony counts alleging he sold methamphetamine twice since January, including on the day before the March 8 fire at the home at 1965 Greenleaf St. in northeast Bethlehem.

Caulfield was also scheduled today for formal arraignment in Northampton County Court on charges including five felonies accusing him of a role in the alleged meth lab in Bethlehem.

jeffrey caulfield
A Bethlehem police officer leads Jeffrey Caulfield into court earlier this year for his arraignment on methamphetamine charges

Caulfield has been free on 10 percent of $50,000 bail on the Greenleaf Street charges. Narlesky released him on $1,500 unsecured bail today on the new counts of possession with intent to deliver drugs and delivery of drugs.

Caulfield is newly accused of selling meth at 4:44 p.m. Jan. 31 and 10:05 a.m. March 7. On March 7, authorities observed him exiting the Greenleaf Street home, driving directly to a planned meeting, selling meth, and then driving back and entering the home, according to court records.

Seven people, including two police officers, were injured in the Greenleaf Street explosion and fire, which occurred hours before a planned police raid. Also charged in connection with the alleged meth lab there were Daniel Houser, 39, who lived in the home; homeowner Elaine Noone, 65; and Davina Bowler, 39. Houser has said in court he was the only one cooking meth there.

Caulfield’s attorney, James Heidecker Jr., said earlier his client may have been seen coming and going from the Greenleaf Street home, but there was no evidence he made the drug. Heidecker was not immediately available for comment today.




Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Tuesday the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office served two marijuana related search warrants in the Garberville area.

The first search warrant was served on a 40 acre parcel of property located off the 3200 block of Perry Meadow Road in Briceland at about 10 a.m. Officers located an outdoor marijuana garden on the property. Officers seized 599 marijuana plants that ranged in size from 2 foot to 3 feet. Officers located methamphetamine, cocaine and psilocybin mushrooms in the residence.

Officers located an AR-15 type, .223 caliber assault rifle with two high capacity magazines, a 12 gauge shotgun and a .45 caliber handgun. Officers located $40,000 dollars in cash in the residence that was seized for possible asset forfeiture.

Officers arrested two suspects located on the property, who were identified as Jesus Guillermo Grass Martinez age 35 and Juan Canas age 23. Martinez was arrested for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana, possession and possession for sales of methamphetamine possession of cocaine, possession and possession for sales of psilocybin mushrooms and for being armed in the commission of a felony. Martinez’s bail was set at $125,000 dollars.

Canas was arrested for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana. Canas also had an immigration hold placed on him for being in the United States illegally. A third suspect identified as Carrie Watcher-Martinez age 40, who is Jesus Martinez wife, was cited and released at the scene for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

The second search warrant was served in the 9000 block of Wilder Ridge Road Ettersburg at about 2:30 p.m. This property was under the control of Jesus Martinez. Officers located 195 outdoor marijuana plants growing on the property that ranged in size from 5 foot to 8 feet. There were no suspects located on the property.

This case remains under investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.

If anyone wants to report drug related activity they can contact Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095.



BEAUMONT, Texas — Federal prosecutors say a 49-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to her role in a criminal enterprise that orchestrated a killing and distributed methamphetamine in East Texas.

Vicki Stark-Fitts of the Liberty County town of Hull admitted Thursday to multiple racketeering charges. Authorities say she was associated with a gang called SWS, an acronym that often stands for Separate White State.

Stark-Fitts and three others were named in a federal indictment returned Aug. 7. The other three have each pleaded guilty to murder. The indictment targeted members of SWS and also the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

Prosecutors say the four conspired to kill a fellow SWS member who earlier had shot an ABT associate. The member was killed to prevent retaliation against SWS by ABT.

Stark-Fitts faces life in prison.



Two people were arrested in Meigs County, after deputies received an anonymous tip concerning an alleged meth lab and sex abuse of a minor, according to a news release from the Meigs County Sherrif.

of Middleport was arrested and charged with first degree rape, illegal manufacturing of drugs and illegal assembly of chemicals used to manufacture meth.

Deputies, along with officials from the Department of Jobs and Family, said they interviewed a minor female whom indicated forced sexual abuse by her stepfather.

After interviewing the child’s mother, it was determined sexual abuse had occurred.

While searching the residence, deputies said they found meth-making equipment, which tested positive for methamphetamine. Due to the volatile nature of the situation, the apartment complex was evacuated.

Brenda Stewart, 43, was also arrested and was charged with illegal manufacturing of drugs and endangering children.

Both were arraigned in Meigs County Court and taken to Middleport jail, with bond set at $500,000 each.

Middleport police and fire department and Athens County Sheriff’s deputies assisted in neutralizing the chemical



Investigators arrested four people earlier this week and accused them of manfacturing and selling methamphetamine, according to the Opelika Police Department.

A news release sent out by the department states that on Tuesday, investigators served a search warrant at 1306 West Point Parkway in Opelika and found a number of items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Investigators also found several syringes, a digital scale and a several firearms, the release states.

Officers arrested Alyssa Jessica Johnson, 23, of Auburn; Brittany Nichole Parker, 24, of West Point, Ga.; Dennis Wayne Caldwell, 48, of Opelika; and Patrick Lavon Sims, 21, of Valley.

Parker was charged with drug trafficking. The other three were charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance and drug trafficking.

All four suspects are being held in the Lee County Detention Facility. Palmer is being held on a $50,000 bond The other three, on $150,000 bond.


The Idaho State Police conducted a traffic stop on eastbound I-84 at milepost 28, west of American Falls, and arrested , California for the possession of ¼ pound of methamphetamine.  The street value of the drug was $4,000.00.

Dehart was arrested on trafficking methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving without privileges.

Dehart is currently being held in Power County Jail.



A New Braunfels woman was arrested Wednesday for allegedly possessing methamphetamines.  Officers were called to the 400 block of North Business 35 at the Riverside Lodge for reports of a disturbance between 3 roommates.


Two male roommates were apparently in the process of evicting the 3rd roommate, a female, and when officers arrived they discovered drug paraphernalia in her purse, which led them to search her other personal belongings, leading to a usable amount of what appeared to be methamphetamines.


The substance later field tested positive for meth, and 31-year old Lanette Fagan of New Braunfels was arrested and taken to the Comal County Jail.  Bond was set at 78-hundred dollars and at last check she remained in custody.





A 39-year-old cyclist was arrested Saturday afternoon near the Napa County Library after police found two baggies of suspected methamphetamine stashed inside the tubing frame of his bike, police said.

Mark Allen Harris, a transient, was stopped at 5 p.m. for failing to stop at a stop sign in the 500 block of Coombs Street, police said. Harris was on probation with search and seizure terms. Officers found two baggies with .2 grams and .1 grams of suspected methamphetamine.

Harris was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of being in possession of a controlled substance, police said.




Officials in Clermont County say they may have found a meth lab after responding to a fire at an apartment complex in Union Township.

Crews were called to Yarrabee Terrrace about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night after a report of a fire. They were able to get the fire out quickly. Investigators then found possible chemicals involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine in a dumpster. Tests are now being run to confirm that.

Some people in the apartment building had to be evacuated until the scene could be deemed safe. The man who lives in the apartment where the fire started left the area. Police are now looking for him.



MIDDLETON — In the days leading up to Sunday’s double shooting outside a Middleton home, things were getting strange, witnesses told police.

Michael MacMullin, 24, and Kevin Wolff, 27, were at MacMullin’s home, along with other members of the Red Devils motorcycle gang and some of their girlfriends.

A couple of nights earlier, on Friday, two unknown individuals showed up, making threats and assaulting one of the other men in the home. Later, they returned and poured gasoline on the motorcycles parked outside, the witnesses told police, according to court papers.

MacMullin and Wolff spent part of the following day, Saturday, doing “lines” of crystal methamphetamine and, believing the assailants were going to return, growing more and more paranoid, the witnesses told police. They kept thinking they saw things on the home video surveillance system they had set up.

At one point, Wolff was standing outside with a flashlight, a gun in his hand, scanning the nearby woods and walking around his garage. Sometime after that, he called for MacMullin to come outside and look at something.

Moments later, the friends heard gunshots, 15 to 20 in total. By the time it was over, both men had been shot. Wolff was found lying near an SUV, bleeding from wounds to his torso; MacMullin had run to a relative’s home nearby, with a wound to his arm.

Three vehicles also had bullet holes in them, according to court papers.

Both men remain hospitalized, and MacMullin was arraigned his bed at Lahey Hospital in Burlington yesterday on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.

He pleaded not guilty, according to the Essex district attorney’s office, which had sought bail of $100,000 cash.

Judge Robert Brennan set bail at $10,000 cash, but ordered that if released, MacMullin must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, remain confined to his home, surrender all of his weapons, not consume any drugs or alcohol, submit to random screens, and have no contact with Wolff or any members of the motorcycle gang.

Police are continuing their investigation. According to court papers, investigators have been unable so far to speak to Wolff. Investigators have not said whether he will face any charges.

MacMullin, questioned by police at the hospital, recalled being handed a gun by someone inside the home, going outside and shooting someone, but said he didn’t know who.

Another witness questioned by police said she saw both men holding guns, then saw MacMullin fire at Wolff, who returned fire.

After MacMullin fled, another person in the home retrieved the guns and took them inside, where he wrapped them in a towel and left them on the bar.

Police later executed a search warrant and found a gun safe in the home.

A probable cause hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 18 in Salem District Court.



INA — A case in Jefferson County shows the dangers of battling meth, after an officer spends days in the hospital for being exposed to toxic chemicals.

Police raided the home of Jonathan Cooper, 41, of Ina Friday night. He was immediately arrested for possession of meth with the intent to deliver.

“We took every precaution possible and that’s what’s so disheartening,” said Ina Police Chief Travis Allen.

An officer got sick after breathing the chemicals on Cooper’s clothes while taking him to the jail. That officer was released from the hospital five days later. It’s a situation Allen says sickens him and won’t be tolerated in the small community.

Ashley Lehman, 18, of Marissa moved to Ina last Monday and within days, she started noticing a lot of police activity around her apartment. “Thursday there were just cops that would keep coming by and coming by,” she said.

The next day she was surprised to see what was happening on her neighbor’s property. “I came outside and there were the guys that looked like they were in the space suits and I had no idea what was going on,” she explained.

Authorities stepped in to Jonathan Cooper’s home in the 200 block of Maple Street to find multiple active meth labs, dozens of syringes, and roughly nine pounds of methamphetamine.

“To think that I just moved here in this, quiet, little small town and there’s a giant meth bust right next door,” said Lehman.

Allen says officers took all the necessary steps to stay safe as they entered the home with help from the state police hazmat team.
“We completely gloved up, we had on the proper uniforms, we had on our gas masks and we hit the house. We got the subject, we had him out in the fresh air for approximately 20 minutes before transporting him,” he explained.

But it still wasn’t enough. An officer suffered respiratory problems from exposure to the meth chemicals while transporting Cooper to the Jefferson County jail.
“The guy we arrested had burns all over his face,” said Allen. “You can imagine if my officer is exposed to this for 15 minutes driving him to a jail facility, what his lungs must be like.”

Allen insists, his department is taking a zero tolerance stance against meth because his community doesn’t deserve to have the poison in their neighborhoods.
“I thank God every day you know, we were able to get that house shut down before it exploded, before it caught fire and you know, could have hurt some innocent people,” Allen added.

Cooper is in the Jefferson County jail on $150,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to 60 years in prison. The Ina police chief says other arrests in the case are likely.


Aug. 12 – A man on River Rd. in Columbia Falls told deputies someone was after him over a drug bust and had a torture chamber set up. A deputy advised the man he was suffering from meth paranoia and should stop using the drug.



A recent study by the North Korea Review reported that some northern provinces of North Korea are seeing a noted spike in crystal meth use, even calling the surge of recreational speed ingestion an “epidemic.”

“Almost every adult in that area [of North Korea] has experienced using ice and not just once,” a co-author of the study told the Wall Street Journal, “I estimate that at least 40 percent and 50 percent are seriously addicted to the drug.”

Why did North Korea get into this drug problem, and how did a country with such tightly regulated markets enter the crystal game?

According to the Washington Post,  it started in the 1990s, when Pyongyang opened its usually-sealed-up economy to attempt ending a famine that plagued most citizens of the country. North Korea struck up a black market deal with China that would bring food in to nourish the hungry. Since then, the black market trade with China has been so lucrative that closing it down seems like it wouldn’t help either country.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un

Two key events took place following the opening of the black market: Pyongyang’s health system almost completely folded, and North Koreans started making meth in huge labs run by the state.

Apparently, the government was shuttling meth into China and giving the cash back to the manufacturers in Pyongyang.

Inevitably, some of the state-made meth began trickling back into North Korea. Citizens of the country began using, and the North Korea Review’s report even said that some civilians were making their own meth in home labs.

When the healthcare system collapsed, medicine became even more difficult to come by-prescription drugs are pretty rare in North Korea. But meth is not only widely available, it is also cheap, and considered a cure for a number of ailments.

The issue has ballooned into a serious problem, especially in areas like North Hamgyung-a town that has seen most of the issues associated with this upsurge in meth use.

But according to the Washington Post, since the health system in Pyongyang is so stunted, “North Korean addicts, whatever their numbers, are on their own.”



CLEVELAND, Ohio — Fueled by a quick brewing chemical stew, the scourge of meth is growing faster than ever in Ohio.

Authorities have seen a jump of 467 percent in the number of seized methamphetamine labs this year, compared to five years ago, according to state records.

“It’s killing us,” said Larry Limbert, the leader of the Portage County Drug Task Force. “It’s highly addictive. The people I’ve interviewed over the years say they just can’t get away from it.”


Seized chemicals from methamphetamine raid



The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation tracks meth lab seizures by federal fiscal year, meaning from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Through June 24, police reported finding 635 labs. They expect to find more by the end of September.

Officers, through a voluntary reporting process, said they found 607 labs last year. Summit County, the epicenter of meth in Ohio with a deep underground of drug cookers, led the state with 191 seized labs.

“We’re seeing a continuous spike,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “It is easier (for people to make the drug). We used to talk about ‘meth houses,’ or places people would make this. Well, today, you can make it in a pop bottle.”

For years, the number of meth labs in the state fluctuated. It reached 444 in 2005. Then, in about 2007, Ohio began cracking down on the amounts of cold medication pseudoephedrine that can be purchased at stores and pharmacies. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in cooking the drug. Once the state tightened its grip on the way the drug was sold, the number of seizures appeared to slow.

But that didn’t last long, as meth cookers often recruited several different people to buy boxes of the drug from several different places. In 2008, for instance, police reported finding 112 labs. But the next year, the number of labs tripled, to 348, according to state records.

The yearly figures slowly climbed until last year, when agents and police found 607 labs. The numbers appear to have everything to do with the drug’s cheap cost and how it is made.

Records from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addition Services show the drug sells on the streets for about $80 to $120 for a gram, based on its purity The stimulant stays in the body much longer than crack cocaine and its effects are longer lasting.

For years, most cookers made meth in their homes, apartments and hotel rooms, using red phosphorus.

It left a noxious vapor that sickened nearby residents and rotted walls and staircases. Not to mention the bodies of the cookers. They lost weight and their teeth and gums deteriorated.

In recent years, a new form called one-pot cooking developed to allow dealers to make meth in cars and out of the back of trucks. The brew, using pseudoephedrine, lithium and other household materials, takes 15 minutes to a half-hour to mix, as opposed to the old method of several hours. The brew is mixed in 2-liter pop bottles, and it often is called “the shake-and-bake method.”

Once finished, the makers dump the discarded containers and bottles along roadsides and drive off with their product, leaving behind a chemical nightmare.

DeWine said his office gave 110 seminars with police, road crews and workers for the Ohio Department of Transportation about the dangers of the chemical trash. He cited the fact that members of a Boy Scout troop, picking up trash, were burned from the chemical waste of meth.

And Limbert, of Portage County, said a county worker mowing grass about a year ago drove over a bag that contained meth waste, sparking a fire.

“It scared the living daylights out of the poor guy,” Limbert said.

In July, Portage County sheriff’s deputies found a man walking with a smoking backpack. They found that it contained chemicals used in making the drug. Later, agents arrested a nearby couple and accused them of making the drug in a home where children ages 6 and 16 lived.

CRESTVIEW   —  A Crestview man is in jail after police found a “Shake and Bake” meth lab on him.

It started when Crestview police responded to a verbal altercation at the Super 8 Motel Tuesday afternoon.

When they arrived, 19 year old Michael Stephens fled on foot.
He was eventually captured in Mack’s Automotive parking lot.

When police found a homemade meth laboratory on him, they evacuated Mack’s and closed the road until it was dismantled.

Stephens is charged with resisting arrest without violence, trafficking and manufacturing methamphetamine.



OROVILLE — Seven people who are suspected of importing large quantities of methamphetamine into Butte County were arrested on federal charges Wednesday morning by federal and local narcotics officers.

Ten pounds of meth was seized Wednesday.

A 10-month joint investigation by the Butte County Interagency Task Force and Federal Drug Enforcement Administration culminated with about 90 law enforcement officers serving numerous federal search and arrest warrants in the Oroville area.

“This organization has been pumping pounds and pounds of methamphetamine into the county,” BINTF Commander Jeff Smith said Wednesday by telephone.

Most of the drugs were brought into the Oroville area, he said.

Arrests included Frederico Sandoval Aguilar and Alejandro Lopez-Corona of Biggs and Manuel Garcia Navarro, who was already in custody. Arrested Oroville residents included Rafael Morfin-Medina, Rickey Lee Xiong, Sou Xiong and Cindy Lee Hunter.

Five more suspects — Guillermo Ventura-Lopez, David Milton Eleazar, Neng Chue Xiong, Pao Thao and Jaime Dominguez — were not located and are considered fugitives, according to a press release from the DEA.

The complaint alleges Aguilar was the head of an organization distributing methamphetamine in Butte County and elsewhere in California.

The organization was identified through confidential sources, surveillance of organization members, drug purchases by undercover officers and court-authorized wiretaps of Aguilar and his associates.

The case began with information gathered by BINTF, which asked the Sacramento DEA office to join the investigation.

In addition to the meth, law enforcement officers seized guns, including one stolen weapon, and more than $70,000 in cash from drug proceeds.

The complaint alleges couriers transported pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico into the county, and under Aguilar’s direction, sold the illegal drugs to local associates for further distribution and sale.

DEA public information officer Karl Nichols said from the San Francisco office by telephone the organization imported literally pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico into this county every day.

The suspects will probably appear in the U.S. District Court in Sacramento today, Nichols said.

At some point, the court will unseal the records, and the court will make the complaint and search warrant affidavit available to he public, he said.

Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that severely affects health and is a motivating force behind much violence and criminal activities, DEA special agent in charge Bruce C. Balzano said in the press release.

“We will support our law enforcement partners and provide resources to prosecute those who endanger the honest and hard-working citizens of Butte County,” Balzano said.

BINTF is a cooperative effort between the California Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation, Butte County Sheriff’s Department, Butte County District Attorney’s Office, Butte County Probation Department, California Highway Patrol, Chico Police Department, Gridley Police Department, Oroville Police Department, and the Paradise Police Department.



INVERNESS — Kevin Shields sat on the stand Wednesday and recalled the day last December when Byron Boutin and Crystal Brinson showed up at Shields’ house in Floral City.

Brinson was jumpy and said they had something to tell him. She said 18-year-old DeAnna Stires had freaked out, ransacked Boutin’s house and stolen his methamphetamine.

“She said, ‘I had to whoop her ass, Kevin,’ ” Shields recalled. “I said, ‘Where the hell is DeAnna?’ and she says, ‘She’s in the trunk of the car.’ “

The first witness on the second day of Boutin’s murder trial, Shields seemed to bolster both sides. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Boutin, but defense attorneys say Brinson is responsible for Stires’ death.

Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino told jurors during opening statements that Boutin, 42, and Brinson, 36, were angry that Stires had stolen Boutin’s methamphetamine, and Boutin told Brinson to “do something about it.” Magrino said Boutin is guilty of first-degree murder even if it was Brinson who hit Stires in the head with Boutin’s handgun and injected her with morphine.

Wednesday was the second day of Byron Boutin’s trial.

Wednesday was the second day of Byron Boutin’s trial



Defense attorney Charlie Vaughn hopes to convince jurors that Boutin just wanted Stires out of his Homosassa mobile home on Dec. 26, 2012, and Brinson took matters into her own hands.

Vaughn repeated what Boutin told investigators after his arrest:

He and Brinson had left Stires alone for about an hour and returned to find drugs missing, the trailer in disarray and an agitated Stires. He said Brinson pistol-whipped Stires after finding the meth in her purse and injected her with a shot of morphine. Boutin said he thought the shot was consensual.

Boutin claims that Stires, who lived in Brooksville with her father, was snoring when Boutin and Brinson put her into the back of his Lincoln Continental and drove to his father’s house west of Brooksville. Hoping she would sober up, they bound her to a table in the garage, taped her mouth shut and left. He said they returned a short time later to find her dead. Boutin admitted to dumping Stires body in a remote wooded area of Levy County a couple of days later.

A medical examiner testified Tuesday that Stires died of acute morphine intoxication.

Shields said he did methamphetamine with Stires in Brooksville on Christmas Eve before Boutin and Brinson came to pick her up. When the pair showed up at his house two or three days later, he said, Brinson was clearly in control.

“There was nothing mentioned by the defendant about permanence or loss of life,” said Shields, who has known Boutin for about 20 years. “Miss Brinson did all of this.”

Later Wednesday, forensics experts testified that Stires’ blood was found in the trunk of Boutin’s car and on the rear passenger door.

Brinson faces the same charge as Boutin and has yet to stand trial.




BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) – Police in Bossier City and Bossier Parish have made more than 30 arrests in a drug warrant roundup dubbed “Operation Summer Sweep.”

Most of the nearly 3-dozen people arrested Tuesday were wanted on felony drug charges of possession and distribution of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine and were mostly unrelated, according to Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington.

The sweep was conducted by the Bossier Combined Narcotics Task Force, and in addition to 32 arrests, agents also recovered 17.1 grams of methamphetamine and $400 cash.

32 people were arrested on drug charges Tuesday in Bossier City and Bossier Parish as part of Operation Summer Sweep.
32 people were arrested on drug charges Tuesday in Bossier City and Bossier Parish as part of Operation Summer Sweep

All arrestees, except for two who were already incarcerated, were taken to the Bossier Maximum Security Facility for booking.

Arrested were: Jared P. Awbrey, 19, of the 100 block of Roy Hale Dr. in Doyline, charged with possession with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Jeffery L. Brazzle, 30, of the 100 block of W. Washington St. in Haughton, charged with distribution of methamphetamine and three counts of distribution of marijuana.
Melissa H. Childs, 26, of the 1800 block of Lee St. in Bossier City and currently incarcerated in federal prison in Texas, charged with distribution of methamphetamine.
Teresa Cody, 52, of the 800 block of Lee St. in Benton, charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Brenda M. Cohen, 45, of the 2200 block of Beauregard Pl. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of marijuana and possession of Lortab.
Jerome Cohen II, 25, of the 2200 block of Beauregard Pl. in Bossier City, charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Jimmy J. Ebarb, 31, of the 100 block of N. Maple St. in Haughton, charged with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine and failure to appear.
Antavious O. Franklin, 21, of the 400 block of Adair St. in Bossier City, charged with three counts of distribution of crack cocaine and marijuana.
Corey J. Giddens, of the 1300 block of Highway 527 in Elm Grove and currently incarcerated at the Bossier Medium Security Facility, charged with distribution of methamphetamine.
Judson Hall, Jr., 53, of the 3000 block of Gaines St. in Bossier City, charged with two counts of distribution of marijuana.
Michelle Hart, 43, of the 4800 block of Shed Rd. in Bossier City, charged with possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and fugitive warrant from Bossier City Police Department.
Laishawnquinik Jamison, 30, of the 200 block of Waller St. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of marijuana.
Kenneth G. Laborde II, 31, of the 4900 block of O’Keefe St. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of Subutex, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Steve Matlock, 55, of the 2900 block of Patricia Dr. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of methamphetamine.
Howard L. Moore, 56, of the 80 block of Shirley Rose Rd. in Haughton, charged with distribution of Lortab.
Rachel Murray, 34, of the 600 block of Carrolton St. in Bossier City, charged with 60 counts of prescription fraud.
Stephen Nelson, 49, of the 6200 block of E. Texas St. in Bossier City, charged with possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
Jay Peschel, 36, of the 600 block of Rome St. in Bossier City, charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Donna H. Poole, 49, of the 18 block of Amanda Ln. in Haughton, charged with distribution of Lortab.
Summer Rankin, 20, of the 4800 block of Shed Rd. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of crack cocaine.
Renissa Seekings, 22, of the 1400 block of E. Third St. in Bossier City, charged with possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Charman Y. Shackleford, 42, of the 100 block of Victory Acres Dr. in Princeton, charged with possession of marijuana.
Andre D. Sheppard, 37, of the 500 block of Joannes St. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of cocaine and five counts of failure to appear.
Jeremy T. Sheppard, 24, of the 500 block of Camp Zion Rd. in Haughton, charged with distribution of Lortab, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Gerrica Stewart, 20, of the  600 block of Rome St. in Bossier City, charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Katherine M. Stover, 51, of the 1200 block of Norris St. in Bossier City, charged with three counts of distribution of marijuana and possession of marijuana.
Kami P. Thorn, 38, of the 7200 block of Winderweedle Rd. in Shreveport, charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of Suboxone and drug paraphernalia.
Diane L. Tubbs, 54, of the 30 block of Academy in Haughton, charged with two counts of distribution of Methadone.
J.B. Washington, 53, of the 1300 block of Burchette St. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of crack cocaine.
Tyrone B. Wiley, 35, of the 500 block of Princeton in Princeton, charged with distribution of marijuana.
Jacobi T. Williams, 25, of the 1100 block of Bellevue Rd. in Haughton, charged with possession of marijuana.
Eddie M. Wilson, 25, of the 1600 block of E. Third St. in Bossier City, charged with distribution of marijuana.

The Bossier Combined Narcotics Task Force comprises agents of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and the Bossier City Police Department.  The team was established in October 2012 by Sheriff Whittington and Chief McWilliams as a combined effort to combat illegal drug activity and associated crimes all throughout Bossier Parish.


Two men who allegedly manufactured methamphetamine inside a 2000 GMC Jimmy face several drug charges.

Mansfield Police stopped the truck on Aug. 20 in the Mansfield Commons Parking Lot and, when they searched it, allegedly found methamphetamine as well as items used in the manufacture of the drug.

The SUV’s owner, Charles Wilcox, 46, of Hackettstown, and passenger, Daniel McCart, 27, of Glen Gardner, were arrested the following day and charged on several counts.

They were each charged with maintaining a controlled dangerous substance manufacturing facility, a first-degree offense; manufacturing methamphetamine in a quantity less than one ounce; and unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
The first-degree offense carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in state prison.

McCart was also found to have outstanding warrants from Passaic County, which he was held in custody on previous to the drug charges.
McCart is being held in the Passaic County Jail with bail set at $200,000. His first court appearance is being scheduled while his transfer to Warren County is also being arranged.

Wilcox is being held in the Warren County Correctional Center with bail set at $200,000. His first appearance before a Warren County Superior Court Judge is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22, in the Warren County Courthouse.

The Jimmy was impounded at the Washington Collision Center in Washington Borough (Warren County).

The investigation included the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, the Warren County Hazardous Materials Response Team, the New Jersey State Police Hazardous Materials Unit, Mansfield Township Fire and Rescue, Washington Borough Fire and Rescue, and the Drug Enforcement Administration Clandestine Lab Unit.