MUNCIE — A Muncie man was in effect a mobile meth lab when arrested in recent days, police said.

Kenneth Ray Sheppard II, 32, was preliminarily charged with dealing in meth, dumping controlled substance waste and possession of precursors. He remained in the Delaware County jail on Tuesday under a $20,000 bond.B9316894412Z_1_20150407150748_000_GV2AEK8CG_1-0

A city police officer wrote that he observed Sheppard riding a bicycle, and pulling another bicycle behind him, in an alley in the 1400 block of South Hoyt Avenue about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Finding the bicyclist standing next to a trash container, the officer said he asked an “increasingly nervous” Sheppard what he was doing, and eventually received permission to search the man’s backpack.

Upon opening the backpack, the officer wrote in an affidavit, he was “overcome by a strong chemical odor that is consistent with (meth) production.” A state police meth suppression scene was called to the scene.

Among the items found inside the backpack were two “one-pot” meth generators, empty containers of lighter fluid, an empty bottle of drain cleaner and used coffee filters.

Since 2007, Sheppard has been convicted of possession of a controlled substance, residential entry and driving while intoxicated.

The Longview Street Crimes Unit seized methamphetamine, drug packaging materials and scales, cash and eight firearms and arrested two people while serving a search warrant Tuesday at 1646 North Pacific Ave. in Kelso.

The following people were arrested and booked into Cowlitz County Jail:

Travis Lee Glovka, 31, and Rose M. W. Market, 37, were arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and eight counts each of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Teresa Ann Walker, 51, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Casey A. McCann, 24, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.

SPRING, Texas – One woman says a traffic stop became a nightmare. She claims she was handcuffed and forced to have sex with a deputy constable, who pulled her over.

The woman says it happened near Plaza Verde Drive at Greens Crossing Boulevard.

KHOU 11 News knocked at the door of the Tomball home Monday night of the accused deputy, who is now out on paid leave pending an investigation.

“It’s always easy to allege things happened. It’s very easy. It’s a little harder to prove sometimes,” said Debbie Pierce, whose daughter lives down the street.

She says he’s been nothing but nice.”At Christmas we were trying to unload some things and he was very kind to help us.”

But the search warrant obtained by KHOU 11 News says he wasn’t kind during the recent traffic stop.

It says the deputy pulled a woman and her friend over and found marijuana in her purse.

The friend was sent off with another deputy while the woman was handcuffed, driven to a dark industrial area near Greenspoint and sexually assaulted.

“If he’s done any of the things he’s alleged to have I’d be very disturbed,” said Ron Hickman, constable for Harris County Precinct Four.

Documents show he dropped the woman off at this Walgreens and told her to walk home.

Hickman added that “it’s so frustrating and disheartening and disappointing that you’ve given them that trust.”

Precinct 4 is also doing its own investigation into mishandled evidence. Folks in Tomball want to reserve judgment.

“It’s very unfortunate because they do serve our communities in so many better ways we don’t report on,” Pierce added.

According to the search warrant, investigators seized Xanax and Crystal Methamphetamine from the deputy’s possessions. The deputy has been on the force for a year.

The following is a press release issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force:EP-150409882

Today at approximately 7:15 a.m., agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, with assistance from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant at 833 H Street, Apartment #1, Eureka, CA. This search warrant was in response to complaints of drug trafficking occurring at the apartment complex, specifically from apartment #1. This was the second search warrant served at the Floyd Squires owned apartment complex in one week.

During the service of the search warrant, agents contacted Tasha Ticheal Jantz, 41, at the residence. Jantz told agents she was the manager of the apartment complex. During a search of the residence, drug paraphernalia, two digital scales, prescription pills, marijuana, counterfeit U.S. currency and a small amount of suspected heroin was located. While at the residence, agents sought an additional search warrant for two vehicles that belonged to Jantz. A Humboldt County Superior Court judge issued an additional warrant for the vehicles.

During a search of the vehicles, agents located approximately 58 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 50 grams of suspected heroin.

Tasha Ticheal Jantz was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of heroin for sales, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana and possession of prescription medication without a prescription.

Anyone with information for the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office at 707-444-8095.

High from a four-day drug binge, a man sparked a flurry of calls to emergency services after allegedly going on a violent rampage south of Wollongong on Sunday.

At least six members of the public called Triple-0 around 3pm on Sunday, reporting a man wearing an orange t-shirt and black shorts lashing out violently at others in an Unanderra street, Port Kembla Local Court heard on Monday.

Police allege Richard John Glynne Dutton was high on ice after a four-day drug binge when he went on a violent rampage in Kotara Crescent, kicking an elderly neighbor in the face and punching another man, who was in his front yard.

According to witness statements presented to the court by police, Dutton approached a number of neighbours and told them: “You have to go with me or you’re all going to die”, allegedly becoming violent when they asked him to leave.

The 29-year-old is accused of then turning that aggression towards some children and allegedly kicking a 73-year-old neighbor in the face when he tried to intervene.

When police arrived Dutton allegedly fled, jumping over a series of fences and attempting to gain entry to a house before he charged at the pursuing officer and was pepper-sprayed in the face.

Police allege he kicked out at officers’ legs and continued to yell, “Everyone is going to die, I’m going to die, I’m going to die” as officers handcuffed him and struggled to move him into the back of the police vehicle.

Dutton later lashed out and tried to bite an officer’s hand when they tried to remove the handcuffs, before eventually calming down and admitting to police he had been on a four-day drug binge and had smoked methamphetamine, police facts tendered to court said.

He was charged with assaulting police, resisting police, affray and drug possession, after police allegedly found a bag containing 7.69 grams of cannabis on him.

On Monday, Dutton told Port Kembla Local Court he had no memory of the events and would be willing to report twice daily and abide by a curfew if released on bail.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Anna Comer opposed his release, noting Dutton was on parole for a break, enter and steal offence at the time of the alleged incident.

He also has a lengthy criminal record, including several matters of violence, the court heard.

Registrar Kathy Frost refused Dutton’s bail and adjourned the matter until Tuesday.

A Franklin County woman and her husband have been indicted on charges related to the death of her father, whose partially decomposed body was discovered in their basement on New Year’s Day.

Jessica Hodges Turner, 35, is charged with one count of elder abuse leading to death, one count of concealing a body, possession of precursors to methamphetamine and 12 counts of fraud.

Six fraud charges involve Virginia Retirement System benefits and six involve Social Security payments, according to Franklin County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Nix.

The fraud charges stem from bank deposits made beginning Aug. 1 and running through Jan. 2, he said.

Nix said Benjamin Allen Turner has been charged with elder abuse leading to death, concealing a body and possessing precursors to methamphetamine.

As of late Monday afternoon, the couple had not been taken into custody, according to a deputy at the Franklin County Jail.

The indictments come several months after the body of Jerry Cleo Hodges, 69, was found in the basement of the Turners’ home on Mount Airy Road.

“The body of Hodges was discovered inside a free-standing Rubber Maid style closet wrapped in plastic sheeting and blankets,” an investigator wrote in a search warrant last month, adding that when the body was observed Jan. 4 at the Roanoke Medical Examiner’s Office, it “was a skeleton with little flesh or skin.”

The warrant said Jessica Turner told police that “Hodges lived in the basement of the Turner residence next to the room where his body was found. Hodges died sometime between September and October of 2014.”

That search warrant, filed in Roanoke County Circuit Court, sought details from Hodges’ insurance provider regarding his medical care history over the past three years. It said he had suffered from poor health and had required frequent and regular medications — specifically insulin to treat his diabetic condition.

In January, Franklin County sheriff’s Lt. Phillip Young said deputies — prompted by calls from relatives — had performed a well-being check at the Turner home and found Hodges’ body in the basement.

The relatives who reported Hodges missing had previously handled his finances and doctor visits, but the warrant said they last saw him in July 2014. More recently, Hodges had been living with the Turners for an undisclosed period of time.

“Neglect played a big role in his death,” Young said Monday.

The initial search warrant on the house, filed Jan. 5 in Franklin County Circuit Court, was sealed by a judge for a 90-day period and recently resealed, according to the clerk’s office.

Nearly 20 kittens and four cats were rescued from a Round O mobile home that was covered in chemicals involved in the making of methamphetamine, according to officials.

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A woman called the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office on Monday after a woman outside her home told her she had been contaminated by a “red phosphorous methamphetamine lab spill” at 623 Cannon Road, according to a news release.

Fire and rescue crews were initially dispatched to the home for an explosion, but Colleton County Fire-Rescue Director Barry McRoy said there was no evidence that an explosion occurred.

He added, however, that the interior of the mobile home, located down a dirt road, was covered in chemicals and “full of cats.”

Investigators who responded to the residence found two more individuals and a suspected methamphetamine lab/cooking lab on the back porch, the release states.

Ronald Juliano, 48, and Shelley Pafford, 28, both of Cannon Road, and Ashlyn Wiedenbach, 21, of Pierce Road in Cottageville, were decontaminated by firefighters and then arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiracy to violate South Carolina drug laws.

The trio is awaiting bond hearings at the Colleton County Detention Center.

Colleton County Animal Control took possession of the kittens and cats and must keep them for 30 days because the owner could still technically petition to get them back.Ronald Juliano2

Director John Glass described the animals as “in fair shape,” and said they were currently being treated, but not for anything serious.

He added that the kittens were very young and some have not opened their eyes.

This is the third meth lab found at 623 Cannon Road since 2013 that has been dismantled by the Sheriff’s Office. Other incidents have involved charges against different individuals.

A huge spike in the availability and use of the drug ice is causing alarm across the country.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says ice is “evil”, and on March 5 he announced $46 million in new funding to treat and rehabilitate addicts.

Announcing the funding, Mr Andrews said that a large number of Victorians were taking the drug.

“Our recent data shows about 80,000 Victorians used ice in the previous year,” he told reporters.

What is ice?

Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant drug which is a more potent form of the drug amphetamine. It was first synthesized in 1918 and used during World War II.

A report published on March 25 by the Australian Crime Commission, The Australian Methamphetamine Market. says amphetamine-type stimulants, such as methamphetamine, are the second most widely used illicit drug in the world after cannabis. Crime groups in China, Burma, Indonesia, Mexico and Iran are among the world’s largest producers of methamphetamine.

The drug comes in a number of forms but is primarily known for two:

  1. Speed is methamphetamine in powder or pill form
  2. Ice is methamphetamine in a crystalline or crystal form

The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey released in July 2014 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says ice is the purer form of methamphetamine and the “high” experienced from ice is much more intense than from other forms of the drug.

This intensity causes powerful responses from the user and the potential for addiction is much higher, the report says.

Associate Professor Peter Miller from Deakin University told Fact Check the surge in use of ice is “a huge concern because it causes greater psychological and physiological problems in people who use it”.

He says the high purity generally allows people to stay awake longer and consume more drugs which can cause many more problems.

Ice users increasing

The report of the national survey, conducted in the second half of 2013, estimates that 2.1 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over used methamphetamines in the previous 12 months.

While the report says methamphetamine use has been stable over the past three years, there has been a change in the way the drug is being taken. Ice has replaced powder as the main form for taking methamphetamines, its proportion more than doubling from 2010 to 2013.

At the same time the number of people using speed as the main form of taking methamphetamines decreased significantly. Its proportion dropped from 51 per cent to 29 per cent over the same period.

The report says: “Methamphetamine users who mainly used ice were far more likely to use ice on a regular basis with one-quarter (25 per cent) using it at least weekly compared with only 2.2 per cent of those who mainly used powder.”

Why is ice use increasing?

Traditionally ice has been supplied from labs within Australia, but since 2010 there has been a considerable increase in the amount being seized at the borders, indicating organized crime is at play, according to the Australian Crime Commission’s report.

Associate Professor Miller says when a drug becomes cheap, available and strong, people will use it.

What are the numbers of Victorian users?

Mr Andrews’s office told Fact Check that he was basing his numbers on the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

Dr Brendan Quinn from the Burnet Institute told Fact Check the survey had the most up-to-date data available on methamphetamine use.

The survey says 1.9 per cent of the Victorian population aged 14 and over used methamphetamines in the previous 12 months. This is slightly below the national average of 2.1 per cent.

The survey breaks users into categories based on which drug they usually take. The different forms of the drug include powder, crystal, tablet, capsules and prescription amphetamines.

To get an estimate for the number of people who mainly used ice, Fact Check took population estimates for Victoria published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2013 for the same time period when the AIHW collated its survey data.

The ABS estimate in June 2013 for the Victorian population aged 14 years and above was 4,750,990.

On this basis the estimated number of all methamphetamine users, 1.9 percent of this number, would be 90,269.

The 2013 survey says under half of all Victorians who used methamphetamines – 43.9 per cent – mainly took them in the form of ice.

This means an estimated 39,628 Victorians took methamphetamine mainly in the form of ice in the year before the survey.

Are the figures reliable?

Associate Professor Miller says the survey response rate for young and often aggressive drug users is not good, making the number of users in the 2013 report very likely to be under-represented. He says this is a common problem with drug surveys.

Dr Quinn says while there are other studies that look at users in particular communities, there are no good figures for ice users in Victoria apart from the AIHW survey.

However the data from the survey does not say exactly how many people used ice. It only asks respondents: “In the last 12 months, what was the main form of meth/amphetamine that you used?”

This does not identify a definitive number of users.

The Premier’s response

A spokesman from Mr Andrews’s office said he used the figure from the survey that roughly 2 per cent of Victorians aged 14 and over used methamphetamines. This figure was about 90,000 in 2013 by Fact Check’s calculation.

When asked whether Mr Andrews had taken into consideration that only 44 per cent of these people had primarily used ice, the spokesman said experts told the Premier’s office that drug users often use more than one form of the drug.

Dr Quinn said everyone who uses methamphetamines does not use ice, and said the 80,000 figure used by Mr Andrews “was an overestimate” based on the figures from the 2013 household survey.

The verdict

While it is known that ice is more readily available and more people are using the substance, it’s impossible to know the number of Victorians who used the drug in the last year. The data is simply not available.

However the best data available says roughly 90,000 Victorians used methamphetamine in the last year. It appears unlikely that 8 out of 9 of these people used ice. The figure used by Mr Andrews is rubbery.


IONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Several active methamphetamine labs were discovered at a residence on East Blue Water Highway (M-21) Monday afternoon, according to the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office.

ICSO and CMET report that they executed a search warrant around 4:30 p.m. at the residence on a tip received that the occupants of the residence were producing methamphetamine.

Officers report that the search turned up “several active methamphetamine labs.” Two subjects were also located at the residence and the investigation is continuing as to their involvement.

Anyone who suspects methamphetamine production should contact the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office at 616-527-5737 or Silent Observer at 616-527-0107.

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – According to an arrest affidavit, a deputy with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Crockett woman on Friday after he spotted a woman driving around with a small child with her upper body hanging out of an open window on the car.7376373_G

Later, when the deputy searched the vehicle, he allegedly found a marijuana cigarette inside a Sonic cup and a plastic bag containing methamphetamine in her purse.

Amber Benton is still being held in the Houston County Jail on three state-jail felony charges – two counts of endangering a child and one possession of a controlled substance. No bail amount information was available.

According to the arrest affidavit, a HCSO deputy was on patrol on Loop 304 in Crockett when he noticed a silver sedan driving north with a small child standing in the rear seat “with the upper portion of her body hanging out of the window with her arms out by her side.”

Fearing for the little girl’s safety, the deputy turned on his lights and pulled the driver, who was later identified as Benton, in the parking lot of Crockett’s McDonalds.

When the deputy approached the car to talk to Benton, he noticed that in addition to the unrestrained child in the back seat, there was a second little girl in the front seat who was also not buckled in either, the affidavit stated. In addition, the deputy allegedly noticed the smell of burned marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The deputy asked Benton why her kids weren’t properly restrained and one of them was hanging out of a window of her car, and she told him that the little girls had refused after she had ordered them to sit down and put their seat belts on.

The deputy learned that the children’s ages were 6 and 4.

Later, the deputy asked Benton to remove her children from the car after she gave him permission to search her vehicle.

According to the affidavit, the deputy found what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette with a burned end in a Sonic cup containing a cold, red liquid in the center console. In addition, the deputy found a small plastic baggie with a crystal-like substance that resembled methamphetamine in the side pocket of Benton’s purse, which was located on the passenger seat where the 6-year-old had been sitting, the affidavit stated.

At that point, the HCSO deputy took Benton into custody and asked her to explain how the drugs got into her car. The affidavit stated that Benton told the deputy that she had recently bought the drink from the Sonic in Crockett and didn’t know how the marijuana cigarette had gotten in her drink. She also allegedly said that she had recently borrowed the purse from a friend and didn’t know that it had the meth in it.

The deputy contacted Child Protective Services, and they told him to take the two little girls to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, where someone from their agency would pick them up, the affidavit stated. Benton was taken to the Houston County Jail.

55222b06d1c93_imageA Lindale woman remained in jail Sunday with no bond after being arrested at America’s Best Inn when officers found drugs on her, according to Floyd County Jail reports.

According to reports:

Ora Janelle Carpenter, 35, of 212 Avenue D, Lindale, was involved in a fight at America’s Best Inn on U.S. 27 South on Sunday at noon. When officers arrived, they found her with a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine and a glass pipe.

Carpenter was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug-related objects.

Officers serving a warrant arrest say they ended up finding the suspect and a large amount of methamphetamine.Joseph Humphreys

Wichita Falls police say they arrested 29-year-old Joseph Humphreys at the intersection of Avenue E and Monroe. They say they searched him and found a bottle with a milky white substance in his backpack.

Police say that tested positive for meth and weighed more than 175 grams. In addition to the drugs, officers say Humphreys had zip lock baggies and syringes in the backpack. He’s charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance and is being held in the Wichita County Jail. His bond is not yet set.

OXNARD, Calif. – Five people were arrested in Oxnard on Wednesday in connection with various narcotic violations, police said in a news release.

Police said narcotics investigators with its West County Street Team received a several complaints about a home along the 200 block of Collins Street.

They tried to stop a man, Richard Portanova, in reference to a search warrant that had been issued for him, police said.

Police said Portanova ran from them and into a nearby store where they found methamphetamine on him while he was in the store.

Police later searched Portanova’s home and said they found more methamphetamine there.

Police later arrested another four people at Portanova’s home for various narcotics violations.

Portanova, 35, is charged with possession, for sales and transportation, of methamphetamine, for maintaining a home for narcotic activity and resisting and delaying an officer, police said.

The popular image of methamphetamine cooking is a high-tech scene straight out of Breaking Bad. But lately, Tampa Bay law enforcement authorities say they’ve seen manufacturing better fit for a used Gatorade bottle than primetime television.

The “one-pot method,” detectives say, is still dangerous — though it may not result in explosions that sometimes occur in big-time meth operations. Recipes are simple and easy to learn, never further away than a Google search.

As of mid March, Pinellas County sheriff’s Capt. Mark Baughman said, county investigators had identified six lab sites, with a total of 40 one-pot cooking vessels. In all of 2014, he said, deputies uncovered 13 labs in Pinellas.

Baughman said a rise in one-pot cooking might be the result of people spreading the method by word of mouth.

“I always think of it as kind of like a vampire,” he said. “One guy comes in who knows how to do it good, and what do they want to do? They want to show someone else to do it.”

One-pot cooks manufacture powder (not crystal, which more often comes from Mexico) that gives users the same hours- and sometimes daylong highs. They generally work in small groups, making just enough for them and their friends.

“These people typically are their own best customers,” Baughman said. He estimated a gram of meth (about 0.04 ounces) on the street is worth about $80 to $100.

Large-scale meth production requires red phosphorus and an outside heating source. One-pot cooking, also known as the shake-and-bake method, requires neither.

Cooks simply mix a number of potentially harmful chemicals together in a small container and monitor it as the substances react. Ingredients include lithium, which is stripped from batteries; ammonia nitrate, which comes from cold packs; Coleman fuel; sodium hydroxide; pseudoephedrine, a decongestant used in Sudafed; and water.

It’s a dangerous cocktail that could fit “in a kid’s backpack,” said Pinellas Park police Detective Christopher Ryan.

Baughman said he once saw a man handling a meth pot while riding a bike. Each pot is essentially one individual lab, he said. Sometimes manufacturers rent cheap motel rooms, and other times they make meth in homes.

“People are making it in their garage, bedrooms, sheds,” Ryan said. “There’s not much ventilation, you’ve got kids living in there, you’ve got a couch right next to where you’re cooking it.”

Gases and heat buildup in the bottle, requiring cooks to “burp” it, opening the cap a little to let pressure escape, Baughman said. Lithium and water are an especially volatile match, and sometimes the chemicals react too severely, producing a flame that burns through the bottle.

The biggest challenge is obtaining pseudoephedrine. To help prevent meth production, federal law limits the amount a person can buy to 9 grams in 30 days. One-pot cooks frequently work with other users known as “smurfs,” sending them to stores to pick up 96-count packages of Sudafed on a rotating schedule, Baughman said.

Investigators learn about labs in several ways. Sometimes a person facing other charges will cut a deal and turn on a cook. Other times, officers entering a home for other reasons stumble upon an operation and occasionally citizen complaints or tips will lead detectives there.

Last month, authorities said, drug investigators found a meth producer in a house at 2500 19th St. N in St. Petersburg. Baughman said the residents were stripping batteries in their driveway. According to a search warrant, an inmate at the Pinellas County Jail told authorities about the meth lab in mid February. Detectives later found boxes of pseudoephedrine, a gas mask, cold packs and drug paraphernalia inside.

In Hillsborough, sheriff’s Capt. Frank Losat said deputies had investigated nine meth labs in 2015 as of mid March. In 2014, vice investigators responded to 32 reported labs.

Police officials in Tampa and St. Petersburg said meth manufacturing is more rare in city centers. St. Petersburg police Maj. Antonio Gilliam said his department seized 6 grams of meth in December, 3.5 grams in January and 2 grams in February.

Gilliam said if a neighbor is manufacturing methamphetamine in a densely populated area, residents might be able to smell it and call police. Baughman said other signs that a meth cook and users live inside a house are half-finished building projects and machinery discarded in front yards.

“You’ll see a lot of power tools lying around because they love to look at things that run faster than they do,” he said. But when asked if cooks were concentrated in one particular area in Pinellas, he said, “Not right now.

“I think they’re everywhere.”

Most of the methamphetamine in Floyd County is coming from Mexico now, according to Rome-Floyd Metro Task Force officials.

“The Mexican cartels are flooding this area with cheap meth and people are buying that and local meth labs are not as much of a problem as they used to be,” said Barry McElroy, assistant commander of the unit. “In Mexico, they have lots of big labs and they can easily get the ingredients. Mexican meth seems to have killed the need for labs around here.”

In the 1990s and early 2000s, there were more local labs, but for the last few years, if people have been cooking meth, they are mostly doing it in small quantities for personal use, McElroy said.

“It is called the one pot cook method,” he explained. “People use a liter Coke or Pepsi bottle and make some and then toss those bottles.”

Another reason for the decline in meth labs is that the ingredients are being more strictly regulated and monitored, McElroy said.

In the last two years, McElroy said his unit has been called in on “maybe two labs” and those were not even full-sized, active labs.

“One, someone had tossed the stuff out of a car trying to get rid of it and it was part of an old lab,” he said. “The other was not a complete lab either. You still see some of that in the West and Midwest part of the country and even in Tennessee, but not so much around here.”

McElroy said he is glad to see the meth labs disappearing, even though the meth problem is not.

“They are very dangerous,” he said. “I’ve always hated working meth labs, because there is always a chance for an explosion. People can drop dead just from breathing in the gases produced when it’s cooked.”

The South as a whole is not as troubled by meth labs as it once was, added McElroy.

“You go to Kansas, Missouri, Arizona now, they still have a big meth lab problem,” he said.

Three men on the Metro Task Force are certified to work meth labs, he said.

“We go in and package everything up and then the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crews come in and take the materials and chemicals and burn them.”

Before the GBI stepped in a few years ago, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration would do all of the chemical handling, he said. The DEA would contract teams to come in to help local law enforcement agencies clean up the site and safely dispose of the chemicals.

Because everything in a meth lab is considered toxic waste, except for the product itself, the process of clearing a site could be complex, he said.

“Georgia does not have a law where it condemns the site,” he said. “Here it is up to the property owner. We would contact them and let them know a meth lab was found and it was up to them how they chose to handle the property after we cleared the chemicals and lab out.”

McElroy said that a meth lab can contaminate a whole house.

“Anything in a house is ruined if meth was cooked in it,” he said. “The sheetrock, the flooring, the carpet, everything. If the people cooking chose to dump chemicals outside, then the ground was contaminated.”

The best solution would be to demolish the house, he added.

The one pot cook method is also dangerous, he said.

“That can still blow up on you, but it doesn’t cause nearly as much damage as the full-sized lab would,” said McElroy.

Two traffic stops on I-24 in Coffee County on Monday yielded four pounds of ICE meth.

Authorities made three arrests from the two vehicles.

Leonel Garcia, Antonio Pena Morales and Arnulfo Sastre Cordova are facing meth charges in Federal Court in Chattanooga.

Agents said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper George W. Stephens stopped a black Dodge Journey on I-24 westbound.

The vehicle was occupied by the driver Garcia. After Trooper Stephens approached the passenger side of the vehicle and explained why he had stopped the vehicle, the driver presented a Tennessee ID. Trooper Stephens went back to his patrol car and called BLOC (Blue Lighting Operation Center) to run the driver through its data base. BLOC advised Trooper Stephens that Garcia was revoked out of Oklahoma. Garcia was placed under arrest.

While conducting a search of the vehicle, officers located a cardboard box behind the driver’s seat. The box contained approximately four pounds of Methamphetamine ICE that was packed in four plastic containers.

Approximately one mile east of the traffic stop by Trooper Stephens was Trooper Brent McCawley. Trooper McCawley stopped a white Nissan Armada on I-24 westbound for speeding and following too close. The vehicle was occupied by the driver. Morales, and passenger Cordova.

It was found that Morales did not have a license to drive.

Cordova said that he had made three trips to Georgia including this trip. He said Morales would pay him a couple hundred dollars to make the trip. He said he was paid $200 the first trip and $300 the second trip.

Cordova said he, Morales and Garcia met an Hispanic male at the farmers market in Atlanta,  and the male gave Morales a cardboard box on Monday.

He said Morales instructed him to place the cardboard box in the back floorboard of the Dodge Journey, which he did. Garcia was the driver of the vehicle containing the methamphetamine.

Garcia said he had made two trips to pick up methamphetamine including this trip. He said he was going to make $1,000 to drive the methamphetamine back to Smyrna, Tn.

People’s Armed Police in Lincang city, Yunnan province China’s have found 1.6 kg of crystal methamphetamine concealed in a shipment of pumpkins, the China News Service reports.pumpkin-smash

The police at a highway cargo checkpoint stopped the truck packed with pumpkins at about midnight on Sunday. Police became suspicious when they found the truck was bound for Hubei, hundreds of kilometers away.

As the low-worth cargo would not justify the road transport cost for such a long journey, police ordered a thorough inspection they yielded six hollowed pumpkins containing the drugs. Another bag was found in a gap between the pumpkins.

Two suspects were arrested on the spot.

SAN JOSE — Officers uncovered a suspected methamphetamine lab inside a South San Jose apartment after a neighbor smelled something suspicious in the building Friday morning, according to San Jose police.

A resident of an apartment complex in the 4900 block of Cherry Avenue called police about 10:10 a.m. to report a strong odor from a nearby unit, police said.

Police tried to contact anyone inside the apartment, but it appeared to be unoccupied.

“Officers made entry into the apartment after there was no response at the front door,” police said in a news release. “Officers secured the apartment and, while doing so, they discovered material and chemicals consistent with a possible methamphetamine laboratory.”

The San Jose Fire Department’s hazardous materials team was summoned to tend to the chemicals.

A tenant for the apartment was not immediately identified or located, police said. The case remains under investigation.

28-year-old Shawnta Love Kirby of 37th Street SW in Hickory was arrested Friday (April 3) by Hickory Police Officers. She’s charged with felony possession of schedule I controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. 48e3e562fc488555ca60e6ad7b3cfbe9_S

Following the arrest, Kirby was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $21,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (April 6).

MINOT (AP) — Authorities have issued a warrant for a Minot woman accused of using meth and giving the drug to four other women while in jail.

Chelsea Nelson, 22, failed to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

Nelson is charged with possession of a controlled substance by an inmate, a Class A felony that carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence.

Corrections officials in the town of New England ordered an investigation last fall into possible drug use by inmates at the Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehabilitation Center. Nelson and the other women tested positive for meth during the investigation.

Nelson had been released without posting bond on the condition that if she did not appear she would owe the state $10,000.

MIDDLETOWN — Police and fire crews are on the scene of a suspected meth lab at the Dixie Motel, in the 2700 block of Cincinnati Dayton Road.Motel-Meth-Lab-040315

Authorities were dispatched to the address about 2:15 p.m.

We have a crew on scene. We will update this report as we get information.

SAN ONOFRE – Nearly 42 pounds of methamphetamine was found in separate vehicle stops this week at or near the , authorities said.

Both busts were made on Wednesday, according to Payam Tanaomi of the Border Patrol’s public affairs office.sanonofre1

At around 10:30 a.m., agents patrolling north of the checkpoint stopped a 2008 Dodge Caliber driven by a 20-year-old man, who was later found to be carrying six packages of around two pounds each in the engine compartment, Tanaomi said.

Later that day, a drug-sniffing dog alerted agents staffing the checkpoint to a 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by a 39-year-old man, Tanaomi said.

The car was was flagged for a more intense inspection, which turned up nearly 30 pounds of meth in packages hidden in the passenger seat and rocker panels, Tanaomi said.

Tanaomi said both drivers were arrested and were turned over, along with the drugs, to Drug Enforcement Administration personnel. The methamphetamine seized in the two busts was valued at more than $418,000.–298598201.html

This stuffed Easter Bunny may be one of the strangest drug mules police in Oklahoma have ever nabbed.

Tahlequah City police on Friday intercepted the rabbit stuffed with a pound of meth, street value around $30,000.bunnyinternal151551

“We’ve intercepted narcotics in the mail before,” Police Chief Nate King told Fox23 in Tulsa. “The Easter Bunny I thought was a strange touch.”

Police hopped on the case when they learned the rabbit was in a package addressed to Carolyn Ross in Tahlequah.

A police dog in Tulsa County sniffed out the methamphetamine before the package was to be delivered to her home.

The station said an officer posed as a delivery man and went to Ross’ home to give her the package.

Ross allegedly confessed to knowing about the meth and is being held on $75,000 bond.

More people are trying to cheat their drug test in Hawaii and meth use is also on the rise.

According to results from workforce drug testing performed by Diagnostic Laboratory Services, synthetic urine use doubled from first quarter 2014 to first quarter 2015, but remained steady at 0.9 percent from last quarter 2014.

Synthetic urine is marketed as a way to mask drug use in tests.

“We are a little surprised to see the rising level of synthetic urine use because it dropped significantly after we found a way to detect it in 2010. I can only guess that there are new brands on the market, and people are believing the hype,” said Carl Linden, scientific director of toxicology at Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc.

Amphetamine use, more commonly known as meth, is up to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent from last year, but did not show an increase from fourth quarter 2014 to first quarter 2015.

“It’s a disappointment. You see one drug go up, another go down, you know, it doesn’t ever seem to go away,” Linden said. “That’s one issue. Substance abuse doesn’t seem to go away.”

Marijuana use, the result that most frequently shows up in workforce drug testing, remains the same this quarter as last quarter 2014 at 2.5 percent. Opiate use was down from 0.4 percent to 0.2 percent, and cocaine has stayed in the 0.2 to 0.3 percent range for five straight quarters.

DLS’ quarterly sample size typically includes between 7,000 to 10,000 drug tests.

In 2012, Hawaii banned several categories of ‘legal’ synthetic drugs, such as bath salts, but they cannot be tested for in workplace drug testing according to federal and state law. However, if a physician orders it, tests for synthetic drugs can be performed.

Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc. is a medical testing laboratory that offers a comprehensive range of routine and esoteric testing services and the most sophisticated forensic toxicology and substance abuse testing services in the State of Hawaii. The company employs more than 500 people and has locations throughout Hawaii, Saipan and Guam.

SAN JOSE — Wearing loose sweatpants and sneakers, mothers Samantha Roberts and Beatrice Rodrigues kicked and pranced to a 30-minute kick-boxing video at Parisi House on the Hill, struggling to keep up with the perfectly toned bodies of the fitness instructors on the television screen in front of them.

It wasn’t just fitness or a slimmer figure that motivated their sweaty workout. This is their last chance to keep their children after repeated failures to quit drugs.i-PtjsPLj-L

When House on the Hill opened 15 years ago to help young mothers overcome drug and alcohol addictions, counselors employed traditional psychological therapies. But an uptick in methamphetamine abuse by young women has forced a change in the center’s approach. Many young women turn to methamphetamine in part because it suppresses appetite and helps them keep a slim figure. The workouts offer an alternative.

“I had a big, emotional reason for coming here,” said Rodrigues, 32, who lives at House on the Hill with the youngest of her five kids. “My kids were almost taken away from me.”

When Santa Clara County health officials recently looked into the drugs of choice of young mothers accepted for outpatient treatment for addiction, 57 percent named methamphetamine. Not even alcohol, marijuana or heroin came close in popularity. The survey from 2011 to 2014 looked at women 20 to 30 years old during pregnancy or around birth.

Terrie Miller, the Parisi center’s clinical supervisor, said she noticed the troubling change in their clientele about four years ago, with young mothers showing up oddly underweight.

“The girls we were getting were skinny,” Miller said. “Some of them wore size one or zero.”

But there are serious health dangers for those abusing the drug.

House on the Hill executive director Debbie Miranda said appetite loss and poor diets are common signs of “meth” abuse, as well as deterioration of the gums and teeth known as “meth mouth.”

“If they were eating anything at all, it was fast food and garbage,” Miranda said. “A lot of the girls already have bad teeth when they come here.”

Methamphetamine is a chemical drug that can be smoked, swallowed or injected. It often induces a sense of euphoria, increased energy and concentration.

Cheryl Berman of the Santa Clara County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services said methamphetamine emerged five or six years ago in the county.

“It’s a problem in certain pockets around the country,” Berman, “and we are one of those pockets.”

Rodrigues was only 15 when she first took meth to deal with a sister’s death, and used the drug on and off right through her last pregnancy only two and a half months ago. Because she had failed to see a doctor leading up to the delivery, the hospital asked for a blood test. The baby boy tested positive for meth.

“I guess I let them test the baby because I knew, deep down, that I couldn’t keep going on like that.”

Young mothers admitted to House on the Hill, which is almost always full and claims a recovery rate of 65 percent, stay from four to six months. Their daily routines include personal therapy sessions with counselors and group sessions on how to control anger, stay off drugs and raise children in a healthy way. The women can leave the center only for medical, court or other approved appointments. Cell phones and junk foods are not allowed.

To meet the meth challenge, the center moved the aerobic workouts to a multi-purpose room in a new residential building funded by San Jose businessman Joe Parisi.

The young mothers don’t seem to mind pushing couches out of the way or exercising on a carpet meant more for toddler play than kick-boxing. Most of them are exercising regularly for the first time since grade school.

Samantha Roberts didn’t have much of a choice.

She is on her second visit to House on the Hill after relapsing once and nearly losing custody of her two children.

“I was 125 to 130 pounds on meth,” said Roberts, who now weighs 160 and got hooked on meth when she was only 12. “I thought I looked good. It makes you more outgoing. It gives you energy, makes you more likeable. It’s the drug that does the most, especially for young girls.”

Supervisor Miller said the toughest challenge is getting meth-addicted mothers to realize that the thin bodies, energy and euphoria they enjoyed on meth were not normal. In fact, Miller said, the drug tricked them into thinking they were prettier, stronger and better mothers than they really were.

“In reality, they were creating a big mess,” Miller said, by failing to complete every chore or responsibility, from cleaning house to showing up for post-natal care.

House on the Hill counselors hope the young mothers will leave the center with a better understanding of the science behind the center’s approach: In basic terms, the synthetic drug works its magic by triggering hormones and nervous system mechanisms that control emotions. But prolonged use eventually diminishes or destroys the body’s natural ability to do the same. What’s left is a depressed woman inside a skinny body.

The problem is that boyfriends remember and prefer the thinner girlfriends they knew on meth.

“Weight and relationships are relapse triggers,” Miller said. “If they leave here bigger, there’s a possibility that the boyfriends won’t want them anymore.”