A federal grand jury in Oregon has charged four Portland-area residents with selling methamphetamine through the defunct online black market Silk Road.

Prosecutors say the four — Jason Weld Hagen, 39; Chelsea Leah Reder, 23; Richard Egan Webster, 45; and Donald Ross Bechen, 39 — conspired to sell 17 pounds of meth for a total of more than $600,000. All four pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in a Portland court room on Wednesday.


The group made more than 3,000 meth sales between Aug. 25, 2012 and Aug. 3, 2013 to buyers in the United States, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy and the UK, according to the indictment from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

The indictment lists a variety of charges against the defendants, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine online, conspiracy to export a controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, plus 15 counts of domestic and international money laundering.

Hagen, the group’s apparent leader, used several aliases on Silk Road, most notably “hammertime,” according to the indictment.

The conspirators allegedly sold meth to undercover government agents on two separate occasions

The conspirators allegedly sold meth to undercover government agents on two separate occasions in December and January.

The group conducted its alleged transactions using the difficult-to-track digital currency Bitcoin, which remains standard operating procedure for online black markets. The members later converted the Bitcoin to cash and moved the money using PayPal, Western Union and prepaid debit cards, according to the indictment.

The Oregonian reports that all four defendants were apprehended Tuesday; Hagen and Reder were arrested at their homes in Vancouver, Wash., sheriff’s deputies arrested Webster in Aloha, Ore., and Bechen turned himself in.

The FBI seized the Silk Road mentioned in the indictment and arrested its alleged owner, Ross William Ulbricht, on Oct. 1. A nearly identical replica sprang up several weeks after the original Silk Road went down, and this new Silk Road is still in operation.

These arrests are the latest in a series involving alleged Silk Road dealers, eight of which occurred a week after the site’s closure.

Despite the string of arrests, law enforcement has only just scratched the surface of the one-time drug empire. FBI documents state that Silk Road consisted of 146,946 buyer accounts and 3,877 vendor accounts from Feb. 6, 2011 to July 23, 2013. The site presumably facilitated $1.2 billion in transactions during its two-and-a-half year run.

As for the latest arrestees, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Acosta ordered three of the four held in federal custody pending trial, only allowing Reder to go free under conditions of pre-trial supervision. The trial is scheduled to take place during a seven-day period beginning Feb. 18.

You can view the entire indictment against the four defendants below.

Indictment against four alleged Silk Road meth dealers



Inside the World of a Silk Road Drug Dealer

The Internet’s most popular drug marketplace is down for the count.

The FBI seized and shut down Silk Road and arrested its alleged founder, Ross William Ulbricht (previously known as “Dread Pirate Roberts”), on Tuesday. Prior to that, Silk Road operated in relative plain view for more than two years. The site used privacy software like Tor, which allows for anonymous Internet browsing, and the virtual currency Bitcoin in an attempt to make its users’ transactions and identities untraceable.

Over the past few months, Mashable communicated with several Silk Road vendors to gain an understanding of the site’s inner workings. Most dealers we contacted did not respond — all but two. One told us in great detail about his or her experience with Silk Road but would not let us quote from the interaction. The other, a user named “Angelina,” agreed to an online interview.

We communicated with Angelina using Silk Road’s internal messaging system. For the purposes of this interview, we will refer to Angelina as a female, although she declined to answer questions about gender. Even within the site, which is supposedly secure, Angelina insisted we encrypt our correspondence.

Angelina was rated as a five-star dealer on her user page, with approximately 1,000 postings from buyers who gave overwhelmingly positive feedback. One user called her the Silk Road “angel” for the quality of service she provided. Angelina made nearly 10,000 transactions over the course of a year and a half, selling marijuana and other drugs.

In the exchange with Angelina, we learned about her past business experience, privacy tactics and her approach to selling drugs (it’s just like any other online retail venture, she says). Below is a lightly edited transcript of the interview.

Mashable: Where are you based?

Angelina: I won’t reveal this directly, but will answer that we are a number of people and operate from several locations including out of country (we are multinational!). In a sense, we are an importer, manufacturer and pack-and-ship retailer.

How old are you?

Ages range between mid-20s and late 30s.

How were you introduced to Silk Road?

I discovered the site accidentally while perusing a message board where it was mentioned. [I was] very curious about the technology in use (Tor and Bitcoin) and the open nature of commerce available, so I jumped in.

Do you think Silk Road is the future of selling drugs?

Of course — either SR [Silk Road] or something very similar.

There is a market for people who are willing to go to dangerous neighborhoods to buy or sell drugs

There is a market for people who are willing to go to dangerous neighborhoods to buy or sell drugs, risking law enforcement or violence. But there is a much, much larger market for buyers and sellers who are less willing to take those risks but will open their wallets without concern from the comfort of their home.


Where do you get your product?

We’ve negotiated wholesale relationships with several overseas manufacturers and distributors. This, in a sense, is how we actually make our money, as it’s critical to purchase at bulk pricing.

Did you deal on the street before this technology was available? If so, can you speak to the differences?

No way. My background prior to this was running a $2 million company which I sold nearly a year before getting into this after deciding I needed a major change of pace in my life.

What’s the closest you have ever come to getting caught?

This is difficult to answer, as it’s hard to know how well we are known or what level of interest there is in finding us. We use many techniques to maintain anonymity wherein the goal is to make it much more costly to find us than it would be worth.

Have you ever met anyone else associated with Silk Road in real life?

No, it is impossible to meet other people in person and still maintain enough anonymity.

Many people have ulterior motives or would compromise their ideals given the right set of circumstances.

Many people have ulterior motives or would compromise their ideals given the right set of circumstances.

Fairly closely. The hope is that the NSA does not possess a super computer that can crack our encryption fast enough for it to be worth it. In other words, by the time they put the required effort into decrypting and compiling enough data to advance, we will be long gone — either out of the business or on to better methods.

In a recent AMA on Reddit, someone claiming to be a former Silk Road dealer said he made hundreds of thousands of dollars before leaving the business because he had a child. How much money have you made using Silk Road? At what point would you consider leaving the market?

“Hundreds of thousands” is the beginning. As with any business, we have revenue and expenses. Many dealers have no business background or experience so couldn’t really tell you how much they are truly making after all of their expenses or risk aversion costs. We are in a business where demand exceeds supply and markups are in the 1,000% range for certain products. Our largest costs are in security and employing trustworthy people.

I would exit the market if it seemed that our security was at risk, or if the market were to become so saturated with small-time vendors that the margin began to dry up.

Do you think that at a certain point, drug dealing becomes immoral? If so, where do you draw the line?

We have chosen to only sell products which carry little risk of overdose or damage if taken improperly. I have reservations about vendors who would sell such products because of the extreme level of responsibility they have to market their product correctly and truthfully.

That being said, this is clearly an underground market where each person must make up his or her own mind about what is moral or immoral.

What else do you think people would be interested to know?


We are much less of a drug “dealer” than you might think, and more of an Internet retailer.

We are much less of a drug “dealer” than you might think, and more of an Internet retailer. We receive orders, process them, pack them, ship them. Day after day after day. We negotiate deals to obtain product at good pricing, research shipping methods and materials, and spend a lot of time comforting nervous first time buyers and tracking packages.


Can you provide any further information about how you run your business?

It runs like a small Internet retailer/packing and shipping company. We use accounting software to manage our finances and we pay taxes. We’ve built an order management system to track our inventory and shipping. We had to build the order management tool with a significant level of built in security — but that still let us get some visibility into how many days of inventory we have, whether business is up or down, where our costs are, etc.

There is some division of duties to help with the load and provide some elasticity to our workforce since we can experience significant order volume fluctuations.

As a day to day “job,” it feels much like it might feel to work at any other Internet retail company.

As a day to day “job,” it feels much like it might feel to work at any other Internet retail company.


Do you ever have to deal with Silk Road administrators? If so, can you describe those interactions?

Occasionally. I feel we have a good relationship with the admins and that they provide a fair service. Without the site or the admins, we’d be forced to also be in the website business, the security business and a number of other specializations.

Why did you decide to speak with me? Are you worried you might anger the Silk Road community?

I’m certain our story is like many other sellers on the site. There is a negative public image of Silk Road but also a strong fascination. I think it’s good for business to keep the site in the public’s eye. The “illicit substance industry” has been around a long time, but traditionally run by shady characters, thugs and outright criminals. This site enables customers and sellers who would never associate with dangerous people to just get down to business and transact whatever they want without a lot of fear.











A Gaston woman was arrested late Tuesday after a Delaware County sheriff’s deputy sent to her home reported finding methamphetamine and “plastic smoking devices” in her possession.

Jaimie Lynn Goodyear

Jaimie Lynn Goodyear, 36, was preliminarily charged with possession of both meth and paraphernalia.

The deputy responded to a report of a possible overdose at a home in the 6500 block of West Delaware County Road 950-N and reported finding Goodyear “laying on the bed in the fetal position with no covers and no clothes, shaking and rolling around.”

Another resident of the home reported Goodyear had been “acting very strange” for more than a day. An empty prescription bottle that had contained suboxone, frequently prescribed for opiate addiction, was also found near the bed.

The Gaston woman was examined at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital before being taken to the Delaware County jail.

Goodyear, then of Muncie, was convicted of possession of meth in 2011. She also was convicted of driving while a controlled substance in her system in Randolph County in 1999.








Police found a methamphetamine lab inside an Independence home Tuesday night after an hours-long SWAT standoff.

The standoff began about 6:15 p.m. after police say 38-year-old Joseph Wagner barricaded himself inside a home in the 3900 block of Pathfinder Court, said Capt. Tony Lucas, Independence Police spokesman. Wagner, of Covington, had a shotgun with a shortened barrel and threatened to harm himself, Lucas said.

Joseph Wagner

Authorities had been called to the vacant home by the owner who was having work done on the home. Wagner had been working on the home, Lucas said.

The Kenton County SWAT Team and Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force responded. After several hours of negotiations, Wagner was taken into custody without incident.

He underwent an evaluation at St. Elizabeth, police said. Wagner was charged with wanton endangerment and possession of a control substance. He was also likely to face manufacturing methamphetamine charges to be filed by the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force and federal firearms charges from the ATF, Lucas said.

Wagner was expected to be booked into the Kenton County jail Wednesday afternoon.

BILLINGS — 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 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, Calif., 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.






Right before one of the busiest shopping days of the whole year, the Nicholasville Police say they found a man cooking Meth inside a Walmart bathroom.

At about 8:30 AM Wednesday, Walmart employees called police and asked them to check on an incoherent man who had been in the bathroom a long time.  When police arrived they say they found James Prater passed out, holding Meth, and making it,”

“When they searched his backpack that he had with him they saw what appeared to be a mobile Meth lab actively cooking in his backpack, which obviously was a potentially volatile situation,” said Sgt. Scott Harvey, Nicholasville Police.

Police evacuated the store, and shut it down for two hours while detectives cleaned up the Meth lab.  Customers were shocked, in disbelief, and also inconvenienced.


“Waiting in line, and everybody was told to leave the facility, leave the building, so I had to leave my cart and everything else,” said one shopper.

Police say Prater was using the “One pot” method,” which usually stays self-contained, but it’s still a safety threat.

“These small one cook, one method lab are dangerous, if vapors escape from them, but it’s pretty small, but it’s just one of those things if one person gets affected, then it’s too many,” said Sgt. Harvey.

Police say they don’t know much about Prater’s Past, and if he had cooked inside the Walmart before.   The police charged Prater with manufacturing Meth, possessing Meth, and possessing drug paraphernalia.







ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany Dougherty drug agents say they’re losing the battle against methamphetamines. They’ve seized three times as much meth this year as they did last year, and much of it may be coming from Mexico. Drug agents say a purer, cheaper form of meth has made its way to Southwest Georgia. And it could become a major epidemic.

A small packet of crystal meth that has a street value of a few hundred dollars could be the beginning to a new wave of narcotics.   “It’s a trend that we’ve been talking about that would come.  And not so much seeing more meth labs, but what we’re seeing is more meth product,” said Major Bill Berry, Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit.

24254598_BG1 24254598_BG2

Agents say they’ve seen an increase in highly addictive drugs like ice stemming from Mexico. Last October, they seized 492 grams of the purer narcotic, the largest they’ve ever had at one time.

“Southwest Georgia has become a hub.  Meth has become a very big product.  North Georgia’s been eat up with this for several years now,” said Berry.

Berry estimates 75-to-80 percent of other crimes like theft, robberies and prostitution are connected to drugs as addicts look for ways to support their habit. And agents can’t keep up.

“It’s changing.  It’s a simpler process to make.  It’s easier to make.  It’s quicker to make.  And so it draws the attention.  I mean you don’t spend but a few hundred dollars and you make a few thousand.”

While meth is becoming more common on the streets, Berry says another monster could soon move in.

“It’s become a huge problem.  Not just meth, but everything.  There is so many varieties and so many different accesses to get from pills to spice to heroine is gonna become a problem before long.”

He says increasing prices for pills could catapult meth use and a market for cheaper heroine.     “People cannot afford to pay 30 and 40 bucks for a pill and all, when they can pay that much and get enough heroin for a day or so.”

And the public, he says, can help with the war on drugs by cooperating with law enforcement.     Major Berry says agents seized one-Million-dollars of drugs off the streets last year. But he estimates it may only represent a fifth of what’s actually out there.

Officers urge the public to immediately report any unusual activity in their neighborhoods to authority. They say all tips will remain anonymous.








RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) – Mobile meth lab busts have more than tripled within the last two years, according to data released by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

 Sheriff Leon Lott said statewide the use and manufacturing of methamphetamine is on the rise, specifically labs found in motels.

So far this year, the sheriff’s department has received 23 calls of reported meth labs, 6 of which were at hotels and 3 included deputies being exposed to hazardous chemicals, Lott said.

Fifteen meth labs were reported last year in Richland County and 7 labs were reported in 2011, according to data.

“The proper clean up of these labs and dumps is not occurring and is posing additional risk to the community,” Lott said. “Without proper clean up, there are residual contaminations capable of causing serious injury or death.”

Lott said the department is aggressively working to stop methamphetamine use, sale and manufacturing because of the extreme dangers associated with it.

“Human exposure to the ingredients, used to create this drug, can cause severe illness or death,” Lott said. “Normally, human exposure causes respiratory problems because of the acids, ammonias, lithium and ether that are used in its creation. They also pose a flammable or explosive danger.”

Lott added that sometimes labs are cleaned improperly leaving behind chemicals that are extremely dangerous and due to the danger of improperly handled clean ups, the sheriff’s department is working closely with the Richland County Fire Marshal’s Office and Richland County Emergency Services Division.

“In an effort to raise awareness to these dangers deputies, fire marshals and emergency services personnel will begin labeling locations where clandestine meth labs have been found,” Lott said.

Anyone who may see or smell a possible meth lab is asked to report it to authorities.








House was also site of apparent murder-suicide

A little blue house that used to be on Queen Road is now a pile of debris.

The destruction was a relief to some neighbors.


More than 40 meth labs have been found in St. Johns County since 2011 in cars, apartments, houses and hotel rooms, among other places.

“We’re so happy it’s gone,” said Leslie Doucette, who remembers when the Queen Road property was the site of a fatal shooting and multiple methamphetamine lab investigations.

Meth labs or items used to make meth had been found on the property more than once, and the house was deemed unsafe for human habitation and ruled a hazard to the community, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s office detective said one lab test showed the contamination inside the house was 1,800 times the level considered dangerous. Another meth-contaminated residence was torn down on Powell Road in March.

In September 2010, 207 Queen Road was the site of an apparent murder-suicide. According to police reports, Francisco Gutierrez, 47, fired multiple rounds outside the home as Harry Lee Brano, 71, tried to leave in a vehicle. Brano was found dead and slumped over a wheel, and a SWAT team found Gutierrez dead inside the home.

After the murder-suicide, the neighborhood got some unwanted attention, said Dale Pickett. He spoke with about a dozen people afterwards who came around looking for the “murder house.”

A couple of years later, deputies found an active meth lab on the property. Six months later, after serving a search warrant, deputies found an inactive meth lab.

Eventually, the house was boarded up and signs were posted outside warning people to stay out.

Pickett, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 20 years, said after the house was boarded up, people came to the property all the time.

“The cops were always over there chasing people off,” he said.

He hopes another house will be built on the property.

Nancy Hollingsworth has lived in the neighborhood for 31 years.

“It’s sort of a mixed feeling,” she said about the demolition.

She knew the original owners, and said they were nice people. Then the house was sold. Once the meth lab was discovered, the “peaceful neighborhood” wasn’t the same.

“It was unnerving,” she said.

Other than 207 Queen Road, the neighborhood has been quiet, she said.

“It’s strange,” she said as she stood in her driveway near the pile of debris.

“It’s gonna be different when it’s all gone.”

Doucette, who has lived on Queen Road for 20 years, remembers her husband being evacuated as police surrounded 207 Queen Road during the murder-suicide. She also remembers what happened over the next few years before the house was boarded up — people yelling in the front yard and awake at strange hours.

Doucette spoke from her driveway, groceries in hand.

“It’s sad that it had to come to this,” she said.







South Korean prosecutors have indicted a drug ring comprised of four North Korean defectors. They have been charged with smuggling methamphetamine worth about US$1.7 million into the country.

SEOUL: South Korean prosecutors have indicted a drug ring comprised of four North Korean defectors. They have been charged with smuggling methamphetamine worth about US$1.7 million into the country.

The drugs were hidden in the battery compartment of a laptop.

According to prosecutors in the southern city of Ulsan, the drugs were originally from North Korea, and smuggled into Canada before making their way to South Korea.

About 600 grams of the methamphetamine — also known as ice — were seized and are estimated to have a street value about US$1.7 million.

This is the first time all the suspects are defectors from North Korea. The country has for a long time been accused of being a major player in the lucrative narcotics trade — producing and trafficking illicit drugs — as a source of hard currency.

Choi Chang Ho, a prosecutor in South Korea, said: “The distribution of methamphetamine has become common there. And if they get caught, they can get away with it by bribing authorities.”

There are about 25,000 North Koreans who have defected to the South, and prosecutors are now investigating further to see if more drugs have been smuggled in the past.

Of those defectors, many said ice was often used back home as a palliative when there was no prescription medicine.

Despite the watchful eye of the North Korea’s authoritarian regime, the drug is said to be easily available on the black market and smuggled through China before being distributed throughout the world.

It is difficult to know how much the North Korean government generates through illegal activities such as drug sales and arms trades, but reports said they are generating millions of dollars — which is used for the country’s nuclear and missile programs.







A woman was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop at about 12:30 a.m. near American Canyon on suspicion of being in possession of stolen mail and methamphetamine, according to the American Canyon Police Department.

Delinda Morales 29, of Vallejo, was stopped near Corcoran Avenue and Borges Lane. He had a warrant for her arrest, Chief Tracey Stuart said.

In her backpack, an officer found suspected stolen mail, driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine, Stuart said.

Morales was booked into the Napa County jail on the warrant and on suspicion of drug possession and possession of stolen property, Stuart said







Seven suspects were arrested in connection with five meth labs found throughout Berkeley County on Dec. 9 and 10. All were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.


The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit uncovered the labs, according to a statement released by BCSO. All the Berkeley County labs utilized the “one-pot” method of meth-making.

The busts were part of a regional effort dubbed the “Lowcountry Methamphetamine Blitz” involving the Berkeley, Dorchester, Charleston and Colleton county sheriff’s offices.

On Dec. 9 in Berkeley County three arrests were made in separate incidents at three labs.

Richard Anthony Shultz, 41, was taken into custody following a search of his residence at 2660 Mudville Rd. in Cross. Deputies found several components and material consistent with the “one pot” or “shake and bake” method of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Deputies also found a bag that contained a white powder substance that field tested positive for meth. Shultz was charged with possession with intent to distribute and manufacturing methamphetamine. Schultz’s total bond was set at $60,000.

Agents searched a residence at 504 Broughton Rd. near Moncks Corner and arrested Jennifer Atkinson, 31, after discovering several items used to manufacture meth inside and outside the residence. She was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and exposing a child to methamphetamine.

In the Bonneau area, agents uncovered multiple components consistent with a meth lab along with a bag that contained methamphetamine in a residence at 1056 Long Acre Dr.

William Clifford Casselman, 42, of that address, was arrested and charged with manufacturing, possession of methamphetamine and simple possession of marijuana.

On Dec. 10 deputies searched a residence at 273 Frankie Ln., Summerville, just off Royle Road, and found an inactive meth lab. There were precursors and materials there used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Joshua Rockwood, 34, and Kari Curtis, 38, residents of that address, were both arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Bond was set at $75,000 for Rockwood.








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.







ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A home in an upscale Orange County neighborhood was hiding a million-dollar methamphetamine operation, officials said Tuesday.
Federal agents and deputies said they got a tip the drugs were stashed on Kristen Park Drive in Lake Nona, so they set up surveillance and made the bust last week.
Neighbors who spoke with Channel 9 said they were shocked to hear of the arrests. They said the neighborhood is tight-knit and people feel safe there.
Investigators said they pulled over Jose Calvillo when he left the home, and found $120,000 worth of meth in his truck.
When agents returned to the home with a warrant, they arrested 44-year-old Jose Martinez-Romero.
Inside, agents said they found 80 pounds of meth worth $1 million hidden in a closet under the stairs.

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In all, the meth could have provided more than 140,000 quarter-gram doses, but those drugs are now off the streets, officials said.

Both Calvillo and Martinez-Romero remain in federal custody without bail.

Investigators haven’t said where the meth came from, but when Homeland Security does a drug case, it often involves narcotics crossing borders, so it’s possible it’s an international operation, WFTV found out.

Court documents indicate Martinez-Romero is from Mexico.

No one answered the door when Channel 9’s Jeff Deal knocked Tuesday.

In  the driveway was a car with a stuffed Walter White toy. Actor Bryan  Cranston played White on the television show “Breaking Bad.” Fans of the  show know White as the “master cook” who cooks crystal meth with his  partner, Jesse Pinkman.







At approximately 12:51 a.m. this morning, December 17, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a vehicle that had an equipment violation. A traffic enforcement stop was initiated and the vehicle was pulled over in the 900 block of Edison Street, near the Chumash Casino. As the Sheriff’s Deputy approached the vehicle, he observed the driver making movements toward the center console. As the contact continued, the front passenger, 20-year-old Roman Valdez of Santa Maria, was found to be on parole for weapons related offenses and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. A search of the car was conducted and 98.5 grams of methamphetamine, which has an approximate street value of $3,000, was discovered inside. Deputies also found 46.5 grams of marijuana, nearly $2,000 in cash, drug paraphernalia and a loaded .25 semi-automatic handgun which was located in the center console.

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The driver, 30-year-old Michael Aragon of Santa Maria, and Valdez were both arrested on a myriad of felony charges ranging from possession of methamphetamine for sales, transportation of methamphetamine for sales, possession of marijuana for sales and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon.

Both were booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail. Valdez is being held without bail while Aragon’s bail is set at $35,000.









Prosecutors on Monday charged a Glendale man for allegedly possessing 15 pounds of methamphetamine, which were found inside a Long Beach home.

Mario Cuellar, 25, and another man, 50-year-old Frank Gutierrez of Reseda, face a felony charge of possessing methamphetamine in connection with Dec. 12 drug seizure, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.

Cuellar is also charged with allegedly transporting and selling the drug.

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Glendale narcotics detectives were conducting a drug investigation when they saw two vehicles pull into a store parking lot on Firestone Boulevard in Norwalk, Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot said.

Cuellar and Gutierrez exited the vehicles and exchanged a black bag, which detectives suspected was narcotics, she added.

Moments later, the pair were detained as detectives searched one of the vehicles’ trunks.

Inside the trunk, detectives found the bag, which contained a pound of white powder resembling methamphetamine, Lightfoot said.

The pair was arrested and taken into custody.

As the investigation continued, detectives discovered a home on 57th Street in Long Beach they believed was tied to drug activity and sales involving Gutierrez and Cuellar, she said.

Detectives obtained a warrant and searched the home, where they reportedly found more than a dozen pounds of methamphetamine inside a bedroom.

While searching the home, detectives also found drug packaging materials, a large amount of cash and a 9-milimeter gun.

Cuellar and Gutierrez are scheduled to appear Dec. 23 in the Los Angeles Superior Court in Norwalk.

Gutierrez has previous drug convictions as well as convictions for assault with a deadly weapon and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records.








TUBAC, Ariz. — Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents working at the checkpoint on Interstate 19 Monday night seized nearly 30 pounds of methamphetamine.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted to a Mercury sedan driven by a female U.S. citizen, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.

Agents discovered 27 packages of methamphetamine wrapped in clear packaging tape between the back seat and trunk of the car.

The drugs were valued at more than $460,000.

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Agents arrested the driver and seized the vehicle.

Report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. Callers can remain anonymous.







Two suspected drug dealers were arrested Monday after members of the Coweta Crime Suppression Unit caught them red-handed selling methamphetamine, authorities said.

Around 2:55 p.m., investigators and officers with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office CSU recorded a drug deal involving the suspect, Kelly Denise Keys, 31, at the Marathon gas station on Highway 34 West, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the sheriff’s office. According to Yarbrough, while the CSU members watched and took photos, Keys sold $120 worth of methamphetamine.

After the exchange, officers quickly followed and pulled over Keys on the highway, Yarbrough said. A passenger, Michael Jeffrey Duncan, 45, was also in the vehicle. Both Keys and Duncan were taken into custody, and investigators searched the vehicle to find about 12 grams of methamphetamine in the center console, Yarbrough said. Keys and Duncan were also searched, Yarbrough said, and investigators found more methamphetamine and a misdemeanor amount of marijuana tucked into Keys’ bra.

Because Duncan was in the car during the drug deal and the 12 grams of methamphetamine was in the center console, both he and Keys were charged for the possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and for the sale of methamphetamine, Yarbrough said. Keys was also charged for the possession of marijuana, and both were transported to the Coweta County Jail.







CALEXICO – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized about 4 pounds of methamphetamine at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry on Sunday.

Arizona resident Shontae Murray, 26, approached the Calexico downtown Port of Entry driving a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta with passenger and Arizona resident Jeanette Valenzuela, 42, according to the court complaint.


A detector dog alerted to the Jetta, and the vehicle was referred to secondary inspection. Officers found a package hidden in the vehicle that contained about 4 pounds of methamphetamine estimated to be worth about $76,800, according to a CBP press release.

During a pat-down of Murray, an officer also found 1.3 grams of marijuana hidden in Murray’s bra, according to the complaint. After being advised of her rights, Murray “stated she was going to get paid $1,000 to deliver the drug-laden vehicle to Phoenix, Ariz.”

During a pat-down of Valenzuela, an officer found 5.2 grams of methamphetamine inside a silver package hidden in the woman’s body cavity, according to the court complaint. After being advised of her rights, she denied knowledge of any drugs in the vehicle.


The women were booked into Imperial County jail, and CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.








MUNCIE – A Muncie woman was jailed early Tuesday on methamphetamine-related charges after an “explosion” was reported at her near-downtown apartment.


Brandy Star Williams, 32, 519 S. Liberty St., is preliminarily charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth and maintaining a common nuisance.

The incident was reported just before 4:20 p.m. Monday. According to dispatch traffic, a caller reported hearing a “loud pop” that “sounded like an explosion.” They said it “shook their apartment” and that a “foul smell” had overtaken the building.

Fire and police crews arrived to find no flames visible.


According to police reports, officers found several materials in or outside the apartment commonly used in the production of meth, including fuel, a lighter and aluminum foil. Also found by responding Indiana State Police troopers was a green plastic bottle that was described as a “one-pot” meth lab.

Reports indicate officers are possibly looking for other suspects in this case.