A 25-year-old Santa Maria woman was arrested yesterday morning for attempting to smuggle drugs into the Santa Barbara County Jail and for child endangerment, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.


Deputies say they intercepted a methamphetamine-laced postcard from Banesa Gutierrez to her boyfriend, 29-year-old Anthony Solis, on Dec. 1.

Solis is an inmate at the jail and a defendant in the Anthony Ibarra murder trial.

An investigation was subsequently launched, the Sheriff’s Department said. An arrest warrant for Gutierrez and a search warrant for her residence were issued.

At about 9 a.m. Tuesday, detectives served the search warrant at Gutierrez’s home in the Tanglewood area of Santa Maria.

During the search, sheriff’s detectives discovered a small amount of marijuana, about two grams of methamphetamine, methamphetamine smoking pipes which contained methamphetamine residue and marijuana smoking pipes which contained marijuana residue in Gutierrez’s bedroom. The bedroom was shared with her two daughters, ages 3 and 5.

Detectives also found children’s coloring books and toys inside the same piece of low-lying furniture that was accessible to children, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The children were removed from the home by Child Welfare Services and taken to a local hospital to determine whether or not they have sustained narcotics exposure.

Gutierrez was booked into jail on charges of possessing methamphetamine, sales or furnishing methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit a felony, child endangerment, attempting to bring narcotics into a custodial facility and possession of methamphetamine paraphernalia.

Her bail has been set at $100,000.

Solis was re-booked at the Santa Barbara County jail with additional charges of sales and furnishing methamphetamine, attempting to bring narcotics into a custodial facility and conspiracy to commit a felony with a bail of $25,000.

Sheriff’s Gang Investigations detectives will be conducting further investigation to determine if the attempt was committed for the benefit of or in association with a criminal street gang.








Calexico, California – Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry on Sunday discovered approximately $76,800 worth of methamphetamine concealed inside a vehicle battery.

Shortly after 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, a narcotic detector dog alerted to the engine compartment of a 2001 Volkswagen as it waited in line for inspection. Officers referred the 26-year-old female driver and her 42-year-old female passenger to a secure area for an in-depth examination.

CBP officers conducted an intensive inspection and discovered a specially-built compartment in the vehicle’s battery that concealed a single wrapped package of methamphetamine.

The narcotics weighed approximately four pounds.

The women, both U.S. citizens and residents of Arizona, were arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. They were both later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await their arraignment.

CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.







PORTLAND, Oregon — Two southwest Washington residents and two Portland-area residents accused of selling methamphetamine online to customers as far away as Europe and Australia have been indicted on federal charges.

The four are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine via the Internet and related counts. They pleaded not guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The indictment names 39-year-old Jason Hagen of Ridgefield, Washington; 23-year-old  Chelsea Reder of Ridgefield, Washington; 45-year-old Richard Webster of Aloha, Oregon, and 39-year-old Donald Bechen of Aloha. They’re accused of using the now-shuttered black market website Silk Road to sell more than 17 pounds of meth between August 2012 and August 2013 in exchange for virtual currency that can be exchanged for cash.

The Oregonian reports ( http://is.gd/RpaDHH )  prosecutors say the group made more than $600,000 in more than 3,000 transactions.


Four Dexter residents are behind bars in the Stoddard County Jail after a recent raid on a Dexter home.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in a Stoddard County court by Sheriff’s Deputy Garry Brady, the raid occurred on Dec. 15, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.

Brady, along with deputies Keith Haynes, Andrew Johnson and James Powers, arrived at the residence located at 14007 Northtown Dr. in Dexter. The initial plan was to speak to the owner of the home regarding a report of possible drug activity at the residence.

Upon their arrival, Joe Shaffell Jr. answered the door. He was informed there had been a report of drug activity at the residence and that the officers were requesting consent to search the home.

Shaffell is reported to have told the officers that he was unable to give such permission, but offered to locate the homeowner to ask permission.

The homeowner, Paula Johnson, came to the door and was informed of the deputies’ intent to search the residence. Johnson then gave her permission and let the officers into the residence.

Haynes and Brady entered the residence and walked into the kitchen, which is attached to the front room, where they discovered two clear bottles lying in the trash can with clear tubing sticking out. The bottles had a black residue with a milky liquid substance inside. Another bottle also had a hole melted through its side.

In addition, deputies found a blue bag sitting on a chair at the kitchen table that contained multiple items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Some of the items included coffee filters, clear tubing, a bottle of Drain-O, funnels, measuring cups, a baggie of ammonium nitrate and a Mountain Dew bottle containing a clear liquid.

Brady then entered the west bedroom where he spoke with Mike Malone Jr. and Felicia Krah. While speaking to the pair, Brady observed a yellow bottle of liquid heat lying on the water heater and a glass jar containing a clear liquid sitting on a shelf in the room.

Brady also discovered a bag containing multiple pairs of pliers on a shelf, along with a spoon containing a white residue lying on the head of the bed.

In the bedroom trash can, deputies are reported to have found several Alavert 12-D blister packs and a pharmacy bag containing a receipt for the purchase of syringes, a bag of coffee filters and lithium batteries.

The four subjects were then arrested and taken to the Stoddard County Jail.

Joseph E. Saffell Jr., 32, of 204 E. St. Francis St. in Dexter, is charged with the Class B felony of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance. His bond has been set at $50,000 cash only.

Paula Renae Johnson, 48, is charged with the Class B felony of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance. Her bond has been set at $75,000 cash only.

Michael Shea Malone Jr., 23, is charged with the Class B felony of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance. His bond has been set at $75,000 cash only.

Felicia Mae Krah, 20, is charged with the Class B felony of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance. Her bond has been set at $75,000 cash only.

All four suspects remain in the Stoddard County Jail and will be arraigned before Judge Joe Z. Satterfield on Thursday, Dec. 19.







BILLINGS, Montana — A Lockwood man whose son is charged with shooting him during an argument over a drug debt has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for dealing methamphetamine.

U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy sentenced Walter Jack White on Monday to nine years for possession of meth for distribution followed by three-and-a-half years on weapons charges, The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/1gDGfZp) reported.

Molloy held White responsible for the distribution of 32 and-a-half pounds of meth, a quantity he called “extraordinary.”

“He ended up getting shot by his son,” Molloy said. “Thirty two-and-a-half pounds of methamphetamine coupled with guns and violence is as about as serious as you can get.”

White, 53, told Molloy he got addicted to meth and when he tried to get out of selling it, suppliers threatened him.

White acknowledged getting meth from Tomas Alvarado of Turlock, California, who is serving a 30-year prison sentence for his role in the conspiracy.

White’s son, Brandon White, is charged with assault with a weapon and jailed on $150,000 bond. Court records say Brandon White told investigators he shot his father in the back in January during an argument over a $10,000 debt.

Walter White was arrested in March after law enforcement officers investigating the shooting searched his residence and found four ounces of meth, valued at about $10,000, two handguns and more than $15,000 in cash.

The investigation into the shooting netted several arrests in a string of storage unit break-ins by defendants who told investigators they were trying to raise money to pay debts they owed Walter White.








A trio of suspects, who where apprehended in a drug raid last week in Linton, were formally charged with multiple drug-related felony counts Tuesday morning in Greene Circuit Court

The raid was the result of a telephoned Crimestoppers’ tip received in November that two of the suspects were actively manufacturing methamphetamine in a mobile home located at 687 NW 11th Street in Linton.

Christie Lynn Rupp, 30, who lives at the site of the raid in Linton, is charged with dealing methamphetamine, a class B felony; possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony; maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony; possession of  two/more chemical reagents/precursors with the intent to manufacture controlled substance, a class D felony; and unlawful sale of a precursors, a class D felony.

Rupp’s bond was set at $19,000 cash only.

A pre-trial hearing was set for April 23 and a trial by jury was scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 13, 2014.

Chief Public Defender Alan Baughman was appointed to represent Rupp in upcoming court proceedings.

Raul Sepulveda, Jr., 33, formerly of Bloomfield and now listed as homeless, is charged with manufacture/deliver or finance the manufacture or delivery of methamphetamine, a class felony; possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony; and possession of  two or more chemical reagents/precursors with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, a class D felony.

Sepulveda was also arrested on a petition to revoke bond in another case, an outstanding arrest warrant in a third case, and a warrant issued out of another county for alleged contempt of court in a civil matter.

At an initial hearing Tuesday morning by video teleconference from the Greene County Jail, Sepulveda’s bond was set at $27,000 cash only due to an extensive criminal background and several current pending cases.

Chief Public Defender Alan Baughman was appointed to represent Sepulveda in upcoming court proceedings.

Circuit Judge Eric Allen set a pre-trial conference for May 7, 2014 and a trial by jury on May 27, 2014 at 9 a.m.

Brandy Marie Bailey, 36, of Linton, is charged with possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony; unlawful sale of a precursor, a class D felony; and possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

Bailey’s bond was set at $15,000 surety with 10 percent cash allowed.

Public Defender Luke Rudisell was appointed by the court to represented Bailey in the court proceedings.

ISP Trooper Richard Klun noted in the probable cause affidavit filed with the court that police received information on Dec. 12 that Sepulveda and Rupp and Brian Campbell had made together 28 purchases of pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the Bloomington Walmart and a CVS store in Bloomington dating back to January 17.

Video surveillance tape showed that on Nov. 30, Campbell, Sepulveda and Rupp all purchased PSE at the Bloomington Walmart within about 46 minutes of each other. The tape also showed they were driving a white colored mini van.

At about 7:44 p.m. on Dec. 11 the same white van, owned by Campbell, was observed at a NW 11th Street address in Linton.

Shortly after 8:05 p.m., officers approached the residence to conduct a ‘stop and knock’.

Troopers Klun and Josh Allen approached the front door, while Linton Police Department officers Josh Goodman and Jason Wilson covered the rear entrance.

A strong odor of an organic substance was present as the officers approached the residence, Klun wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

Trooper Allen announced the presence of police knocked on the door. There was no immediate response.

Trooper Klun noted that they could hear people moving about inside there residence while they waited.

After about two minutes Allen and Klun made entry.

Sepulveda was observed walking toward the front door from a back bedroom. He was placed on the floor and handcuffed. In the bedroom, police found Rupp and Bailey.

A search warrant for the residence was sought after Trooper Allen found various items in the bedroom that are used in the one-pot methamphetamine manufacturing. Rupp refused when officers had initially asked to have consent to search the residence.

A search warrant was obtained from Greene Superior Court and it was executed at 10:44 p.m.

According to the probable cause affidavit a number of methamphetamine precursors, ingredients, equipment and packing material was found in the master bedroom, the bathroom, kitchen and the living room of the residence.

A pen tube containing a white powdery substance — that field tested positive as methamphetamine — was found inside a purse that contained an identification card for Bailey, according to court records.

According to the probable cause affidavit, during an interview with police Sepulveda said he had manufactured ‘meth’ at the Bailey residence two other times.

Sepulveda also told police that earlier in the evening, Rupp and Bailey had asked him why the house smelled so badly. He replied to them that he was cooking chicken, Trooper Klun wrote in the probable cause affidavit.


A sessions court on Tuesday framed charges against six accused in one of the biggest cases of narcotics smuggling racket busted by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ahmedabad, two years back.

The court framed charges against Sujal Patel, Babubhai Sharma alias Baka, Abhijeet P Konduskar, Kumud Drugs Pvt Ltd, Pramod Narhari Manjrekar and Kapil R Arora. They all have been booked under Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985. The three other accused, including two foreign nationals Paul Charles Nally and Greig, and Alok K Srivastva are absconding.

DRI official had on December 3, 2011 seized a consignment of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride weighing more than 37 kg and 10 packets of Ketamine Hydrochloride weighing a little over 9 kg from Air Cargo Complex at Ahmedabad’s international airport, believed to be worth Rs 500 crore in the international market. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride is commonly known as “Ice, Glass or Speed”.

The consignments were being sent to United States and United Kingdom by Babubhai Sharma – an employee of Anshanu Exports, a courier company own by accused number one Sujal Patel. Two days later, DRI seized Alprazolam tablets worth Rs.7.72 lakh in the illicit international market.

The investigation led to the biggest seizure of banned drug in which Central Excise officials seized 432 kg Methamphetamine Hydrochloride from Sangli in Maharashtra from the factory of Kumud Drugs Pvt Ltd run by Konduskar. The consignment was worth Rs. 469 crore in the international market.

The DRI found out that Sujal Patel used his courier service to smuggle drug consignments concealed in food packages to UK and US. Investigation found out that he used to charge Rs.1 lakh for one kg of Methamphetamine and Rs.30,000 to Rs.40,000 for one kg of Alprazolam tablets.

Nally, a resident of London, and Srivastva, an Indian residing in London, allegedly worked together in the smuggling racket. Greg is also a resident of London who ran a courier firm Natbro, near Heathrow Airport.