Three people from Bowling Green face a court date on drug trafficking and animal cruelty charges in a case that began when deputies sought a suspect in an unrelated burglary.

Troy Lee Hahne, 26, and Heather Marie Webb, 24, both of 113 Rone Wolfe Road, and Chelsi Ann Day, 19, of 1759 Patrick Way, Apt. A, were indicted Wednesday by a Warren County grand jury on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a meth precursor, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and second-degree cruelty to animals.

Day is scheduled to be arraigned in Warren Circuit Court on Jan. 13 before Warren Circuit Judge John Grise. She is currently out on bond, having been released from Warren County Regional Jail on Oct. 23, eight days after being arrested.

Hahne and Webb remain in jail, where they are each being held under $10,000 cash bonds. They would be subject to 24-hour monitoring if released.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office arrested the three over the course of the day Oct. 15.

According to an arrest report prepared by Deputy John Angel, deputies went to Hahne’s residence that day to speak with Hahne, who was suspected of being involved in a burglary earlier that day.

Deputy Jason Richerson saw a man looking out the front door of the house. When the man saw the cruiser, he shut off the lights and would not come to the door, according to the citation.

Webb answered the door and consented to a search of the residence.

“As soon as deputies entered the residence, an active methamphetamine lab as well as several items associated with the process of manufacturing methamphetamine were located in plain view from the front door,” Angel wrote.

Webb and Day were taken into custody, and the house was evacuated.

Deputies searching the house found suspected hallucinogenic mushrooms in a container marked “to be sold,” as well as suspected marijuana residue in a metal marijuana grinder, according to the report.

Further investigation determined that Hahne had fled from his house, according to the arrest report. He was located at a Richardsville Road residence about 12 hours later and placed under arrest.

Five dogs inside the residence were also seized, and the animal cruelty charge resulted from authorities suspecting that they were exposed to chemicals associated with the making of meth, an addictive stimulant that is made through a volatile mixing process involving caustic materials.

Second-degree cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor.

Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney said that animal cruelty charges resulting from investigations into suspected meth labs have been “unusual” in his experience.



DEADLY crystal meth is  being cooked in homemade portable labs and sold on the streets this Christmas


The racket is similar to the one portrayed in cult TV crime series Breaking Bad.

Demand for the class A substance is growing on the back of the hit show in which a teacher makes millions by cooking up crystal meth.


Although still rare, it is being flogged on the black market in Manchester, Blackpool, Southend and London.

Our investigators were taken to a grimy “trap” house in the capital where we were offered a special deal of 3g for £100.

For legal ­reasons we were not able to buy the meth or have it tested.

Meth, also known as “ice” or “glass”, sells for £50 a gram since prices were forced down by a boom in production.

Asked how and where it was made, our dealer said: “It’s done in a portable lab. It can be set up on a kitchen table or in a small bedroom and can then be packed away and used in different places.

“The gear used to make it is mainly everyday stuff – kitchen utensils, pots and pans, plastic squeezie bottles and large olive oil drums used for catering. Plus matches, which give you the red phosphorus needed, nail polish remover, Epsom Salts, antifreeze and lantern fuel.”


“The dealer said the lethal meth we saw was made in Blackpool and distributed to other parts of the UK”

The dealer added: “The only thing we do not do is buy test tubes or glassware from stores – that’s where you will get nicked as the police are on to it. Plus you need a special licence. But there are ways around it.

“It’s cheap to make and once you’ve got it cracked you can make more and more.”

The dealer said the lethal meth we saw, which can be smoked, inhaled or injected, was made in Blackpool and distributed to other parts of the UK.

He said he could also get liquid meth, adding: “It comes as a gooey blue liquid which can be dripped on to the tongue. I’ve seen people taking that in ­Southend. I can get liquid meth for you in Essex if you want.

“One boy I met in Southend had his eyes popping out of his head. He said he’d been up on meth for three days.

“Another boy who took meth in east London broke his wrist, his ankle and another bone in his leg after jumping down some concrete steps. He was trying to get away from the police.

“He was able to carry on running ­because crystal meth is a powerful ­anaesthetic.” Meth – which is short for ­methamphetamine – has devastated communities in the US, New Zealand and Australia.
It is more widely used than heroin in the Czech Republic.

In the UK the use of crystal meth is nowhere near as widespread but more Brits are asking for it. It is starting to enter the club scene and is increasingly popular among gay men.

Figures from the Home Office estimate that in the past year about 17,000 people aged 16-59 in England and Wales took methamphetamine. The dealer added: “Crystal meth is out there for anyone who wants it and has got a link-up.”

The side-effects of taking the drug can be horrific.

A spokeswoman for drug charity Cranstoun warned: “The potential consequences of taking crystal meth can be horrendous.

“They include severe psychosis, lesions from scratching away at ‘meth bugs’ (caused by hallucinations of insects crawling under your skin) and rapid ageing.”





A traffic stop on Highway 29 in Lake County led to the arrest of a Lakeport man and the seizure of 22.5 grams of methamphetamine found in a hidden compartment inside his pickup, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department said.

Antonio Flores Castellanos, 40, was contacted by the deputy who saw a GMC pickup travel over the fog line and veer back toward the center of the roadway three times in about 400 yards on Thursday night, Lt. Steve Brooks said.

The pickup, which also had an inoperative brake light, was stopped near the intersection of Highway 29 and 11th Street in Lakeport about 8:30 p.m.

The deputy asked Castellanos if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he replied that he was coming down from methamphetamine and was tired, Brooks said in a press release.

A police dog was called to the scene and indicated a controlled substance near the driver’s side door, Brooks said. Deputies located a hidden compartment containing four plastic bags, each holding a white crystalline substance determined to be methamphetamine. Castellanos said he had only owned the pickup for about four months and was unaware of the hidden compartment or its contents, Brooks said.

Deputies also found $2,766, which Castellanos said he had won at a casino, Brooks said.

Castellanos was arrested on suspicion of several controlled substance violations, and booked at Lake County Jail, with his bail set at $500,000.




Written by Fred HAMBURG

The headline for the Dec. 3 “Local Voice” column by Christopher Dixon was “Scare tactics don’t change the facts on pseudo laws.”

I couldn’t agree more. However, the article, itself, is a classic example of trying to prove a conclusion you’re already committed to by distorting truth and misrepresenting data.

Fred Hamburg

Examples of “scare tactics” quoted were a City Council woman’s quote that she “hope(d) it doesn’t take a dead child or family member for us to wake up and realize that we need to pass a law requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine.” Dixon doesn’t mention that this councilwoman spent more than 20 years in the county prosecutor’s office and is well aware of those consequences truly occurring from fires and explosions in meth labs. Scare tactic? — or realistic possibility?

Dixon then refers to another letter supporting prescription-only legislation, substituting his words “methamphetamine problem” for the author’s words “meth labs.” There is quite a difference between curbing methamphetamine usage and reducing local meth labs. None of the so-called “boogeymen,” as Dixon calls them, have said this law would reduce meth usage, but rather the number of highly dangerous methamphetamine  manufacturing sites — an important distinction.

Public safety is a necessary area for government action. Meth labs are undeniably dangerous to occupants, to individuals nearby, to police and fire fighters and to anyone who comes in contact with them. Cars used as meth labs can catch on fire and explode. “Cookers” can booby-trap meth labs with explosives to make it difficult for law enforcement agents to safely enter. We have no state or local law requiring dwellings used as meth labs to be cleaned of toxic residue before others can occupy them, though they pose serious health-risks. Missouri leads the nation in meth lab “incidents,” and has every year but one since 2003.

More than 70 Missouri communities, including many of our neighbors, have passed prescription-only legislation, but we seem not to be able to do anything statewide or in Springfield. The column parrots a drug company-sponsored “study” showing California having a simultaneous decrease in “incidents” without prescription-only legislation, “proving” that Oregon’s legislation didn’t cause the reduction.  The reason Oregon enacted this legislation was that, although other laws had reduced “incidents,” they were found to be less effective than requiring prescriptions.

So, why do I agree with the column’s title? Because drug company funded “robo-calls” and libertarian “think tanks” do use scare tactics to oppose effective legislation. When I started practicing pediatrics in 1971, prescriptions were required for pseudoephedrine, and patients had no problem or extra expense obtaining these prescriptions. That would also be the case today.

Curtailing meth labs by prescription-only pseudoephedrine legislation is associated with less crime, less danger, less expense and fewer children entering foster care. It’s time for our City Council to do the right thing by passing, not tabling, this legislation.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is investigating West Virginia Rite Aid stores and their sales of cold medications used to make methamphetamine in clandestine labs.

“Rite Aid is aware of an investigation and is fully cooperating with the government,” said Ashley Flower, a Rite Aid spokeswoman.

The DEA’s Tactical Diversion Unit recently requested scores of records from the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy dating back to 2006. The electronic records document Rite Aid’s sales of pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient.

“They asked for historical data. It was a lot of information,” said Mike Goff, a pharmacy board administrator who oversees the state’s controlled-substance monitoring program. “They apparently found some questionable Sudafed sales.”

The DEA requested the Rite Aid sales data last month, after The Charleston Gazette reported that several Rite Aid stores were among the top sellers of pseudoephedrine products in West Virginia. Pseudoephedrine is sold under brand names such as Sudafed and Allegra D.

Rite Aid’s Kanawha City store has sold more than 7,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine this year, the second-highest total in the state, according to an electronic tracking system data. For several months, the Kanawha City Rite Aid was selling six times the number of boxes of pseudoephedrine as a CVS pharmacy in the same neighborhood four blocks away.

The South Charleston Rite Aid ranks fourth in pseudoephedrine sales in West Virginia this year, with more than 6,900 boxes sold.

Rite Aid stores in Belle and on Charleston’s West Side also rank in the top 10. The Cross Lanes Rite Aid had the 11th-highest pseudoephedrine sales total.

Rite Aid, which has 104 stores in West Virginia, sold more 123,500 boxes of pseudoephedrine, more than any other pharmacy in the state this year. Walmart’s 37 stores in West Virginia have sold 104,000 boxes.

Last year, a former Rite Aid pharmacist told a legislative committee that the chain drugstore awarded bonuses to pharmacists in West Virginia based on pseudoephedrine sales. Pharmacists alleged that Rite Aid dedicated specific cash registers for sales of the cold medicine. Rite Aid has denied the allegations.

“Rite Aid does not award bonuses to pharmacists or pharmacy techs based on pseudoephedrine sales,” Flower said. “Rite Aid does provide bonuses to pharmacists based upon overall store performance metrics.”

David Potters, executive director of the state pharmacy board, said DEA agents didn’t disclose what allegations they’re investigating.

“I knew the DEA was looking for some things,” Potters said, “but I don’t know what they’re specifically looking for.”

A DEA spokesman responded to a request for comment but provided no information about the Rite Aid investigation in West Virginia.

Mahantech Corp., a company that works for the pharmacy board, downloaded Rite Aid’s pseudoephedrine sales records — taken from a database called “RxData Track PSE” — onto a data-storage device. The information was handed over to special agents from the DEA’s Charleston field office. The pharmacy board used the Mahantech software to track pseudoephedrine purchases before switching over to a new drug-industry-funded system called the National Precursor Log Exchange, or NPLEx.

In early November, Rite Aid announced that its West Virginia stores had stopped selling cold medications such as Sudafed 12 Hour and Sudafed 24 Hour, which have pseudoephedrine as their only active ingredient. Meth cooks demand the single-ingredient medications because they produce potent methamphetamine without byproducts. Rite Aid stores still stock cold medications, such as Claritin-D, that combine pseudoephedrine with other drugs.

Law enforcement authorities and health advocates praised the company for the decision.

After the change, Rite Aid’s pseudoephedrine sales in West Virginia dropped 37 percent between September and November. Last month’s statewide sales dropped by half, compared to January, according to NPLEx data.

Some Rite Aid pharmacists started addressing the problem before the chain drugstore’s corporate office directive, sales data suggest. In March, for instance, the Rite Aid on Charleston’s East End reported 826 pseudoephedrine transactions — the third-highest-selling store in West Virginia that month. In September, the East End Rite Aid sold 17 boxes, and in October, just 14 boxes.

That particular Rite Aid store then stopped selling pseudoephedrine products, except for Zephrex-D, a tamper-resistant version that can’t be converted to meth.

Rite Aid stores also now limit customers’ pseudoephedrine purchases to one box per visit.

“Rite Aid takes the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine seriously,” Flower said. “We are committed to taking appropriate action to help address the methamphetamine problem in West Virginia.”



Two Edwardsville women, arrested recently for keeping methamphetamine at their home in the Ebbets Field subdivision, may also lose their cars to the local drug agency that arrested them.

Kelly A. Thomas, 30, and Kaenin M. Thomas, 34, were living at 3312 Karros Court when  agents with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois obtained a search warrant for their home and reportedly confiscated about 17 grams of crystal meth found inside.

Eight grams of the drug were found in the bedroom and bathroom that police say Kaenin Thomas shared with her boyfriend, Steven Sweningsen; nine grams was found in the basement bedroom area where they say Kelly Thomas stayed with her boyfriend, Gerald Provencher.

Sweningsen, 42,  and Provencher, 24, are being held at the Madison County Jail on $100,000 bail. They have requested a public defender to represent them.

Kelly and Kaenin Thomas each posted $7,500 cash and were released.

Police began looking into the case after allegedly learning that Sweningsen and Provencher were buying heroin and meth in south St. Louis and bringing it back to Edwardsville.

When Sweningsen was interviewed, he reportedly acknowledged that he had driven Kaenin Thomas’ 2008 Honda Accord several times in the past month to buy the drugs, according to a sworn statement from M.E.G.S.I.

The statement was included in a request for forfeiture that has been filed by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s office. The agency is seeking the Accord under the Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Procedure Act, and other acts including the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.

The forfeiture hearing will be heard by a judge. Such cases often take months, and sometimes years, to resolve.

M.E.G.S.I. is also seeking Kelly Thomas’ 2012 Kia Optima.

Police say that Sweningsen also reportedly told them that he and Provencher took the Optima to south St. Louis to buy heroin and bring it back to Karros Court. “Thomas confirmed that she and Provender use crystal methamphetamine on a regular basis,” Illinois State Special Agent Matt Evers wrote in the sworn statement used to support the forfeiture. “Thomas also confirmed that she is unemployed and that her parents pay all her bills.”

Kelly and Kaenin Thomas face preliminary hearings at 1 p.m. on Dec. 19. Provencher and Sweningsen face preliminary hearings the following day.



After years of being addicted to methamphetamine, Victorene “Vicki” Hampton-Tubridy is celebrating the holidays with her family, including her 11-month-old son, Ayden, the child she nearly lost because of her addiction.

She and her children are planning to have Christmas with other family members at her mom’s house in American Canyon. It will be a celebration after months of uncertainty, struggles and at times despair.

5282b15c5fe7c_preview-620NAPA, CA – Victorene Hampton-Tubridy was addicted to methamphetamines for 20 years and lived along the banks of the Napa River near Trancas Street for a couple of years starting in 2003. She would jump over the guard rail she is sitting on to get to her campsite. She has the feet of her youngest child and his birthdate tattooed on her chest. The date is also her clean date, the last day she used drugs. She has been clean for nearly 10 months


A few days after using methamphetamine on her 37th birthday last January, Hampton-Tubridy gave birth to Ayden, her sixth child, at Queen of the Valley Medical Center. She had relapsed after being clean for 18 months.

Ayden was born prematurely, at 32 weeks. He weighed 4 pounds, 6 ounces.

“We both tested positive for methamphetamine,” Hampton-Tubridy said.

Before she went home, a Napa County social worker came to visit her at the hospital where Ayden was expected to remain for weeks. “She said, ‘You can’t take your baby home,’” Hampton-Tubridy recalled.

Ayden would be placed in foster care and eventually adopted, she remembers hearing. She might never see him again. Her mother, who had become guardian of her other children over the years, would not be able to help her out this time.

“It was unbelievable,” said Hampton-Tubridy, struggling to explain how the prospect of losing custody of her baby boy deeply touched her soul.  “I don’t think that I can ever explain it.”

“I sat in my bed for two days and really thought and thought and thought and thought — what can I do, what can I do? I can’t allow this to happen to me and to my children. It all came to me.”

She had to leave Ayden behind at the hospital (he would remain there for more than a month). “It was a horrible experience. I knew then that I had a problem that I couldn’t fix on my own,” Hampton-Tubridy said. “I mean, I always knew I had a problem — I didn’t think it was that serious.”

The day she left the hospital, Hampton-Tubridy asked her mother to take her to the Napa County Mental Health offices on Old Sonoma Road to seek help. She was determined to regain full custody of her son.

In the meantime, two children who lived with her in south Napa moved in with her mother in American Canyon, where her eldest child also lives. A teenage son lives with her brother, while another teen boy lives in a group home.

After an assessment, Hampton-Tubridy was enrolled in Napa County’s adult outpatient treatment program, where she followed all the suggestions she was given, she said. She underwent daily sessions, including group drug counseling, therapy and Narcotics Anonymous meetings as she started court proceedings to regain custody of her baby son.

“I had to jump with both feet and get on the winning side,” Hampton-Tubridy said.

She had to cut ties with addicted friends she had met over the years — men and women who could lead her down the bad road again.

She learned to say “Hi!” but kept moving whenever she ran into them in Napa. “And that was hard to do,” she said.

Hampton-Tubridy, who said she also suffers from bipolar disorder and anxiety, had to become honest with herself, get rid of resentments and regrets, and share her story with others.

“It hurts, you know, and it’s embarrassing and it’s humiliating,” she said. “It’s like a cleansing process.”

One of four children, Hampton-Tubridy never finished high school. Growing up in Rohnert Park and later in Napa, she always felt different from her peers and never fit in. Learning was difficult. At 16, a boyfriend introduced her to methamphetamine. And for the first time, she said, she felt fulfilled. “It was amazing to me.”

It was also addicting. “It was an amazing feeling because I felt so different and so yucky my whole life that it felt amazing to me. And that’s what attracted me to it and that’s what kept me searching for it and searching for it and searching for it and doing it and doing it.”

She became defiant, disrespectful. “She was mean. Just plain mean,” remembered her mother, Victorene Chase.

Hampton-Tubridy stayed with men to feed her habit. She had babies with them as they supplied her with methamphetamine. Her oldest child, Ana Castro, is now 19.

Hampton-Tubridy was arrested and jailed for a variety of offenses, including drug possession, being under the influence and driving on a suspended driver’s license. In 2010, she was jailed in Solano County for stealing two cars she planned to sell for drugs.

Over the years, she underwent inpatient and outpatient treatment in Napa, Vallejo and Benicia. But it was all for the wrong reasons, she said. “That was my get-out-of-jail card.” she said. “I did it for the wrong reasons.”

Her mother raised her children as Hampton-Tubridy struggled with her addiction. Hampton-Tubridy lived in homeless camps along the Napa River when she could not stay clean and stay with her mother. “She’d stay away for days at a time,” her mother said.

Now 70, Chase recalled bailing her daughter out of Juvenile Hall and jail multiple times.

That was a mistake that hindered her daughter’s chances to get clean, she now believes.

“I did everything I could possibly do and then some,” said Chase, who lost her husband two decades ago. “I didn’t want to accept she had a problem.”

“The kids always came first in my life,” said Chase, who worked as a waitress and cosmetologist to support the family. “They were my life. My kids come first. And that included my grandkids. I did everything I could for them.”

Chase was all smiles in November as she snapped photos of Hampton-Tubridy and Ayden after her daughter graduated from Napa County’s outpatient treatment program on Old Sonoma Road. Ayden’s foster mom was also there, smiling.

Months into the journey, Hampton-Tubridy, who is on disability, continues to attend group therapy and NA meetings. She is now on Step 4.

She touches base weekly with her sponsor by texting her or calling her.

They meet in person every other week.

In November, Hampton-Tubridy started working a part-time job for Goodwill in Napa. She now works the retail floor up to four times a week.

After being allowed to see Ayden under supervision, then a few hours three times a week over a period of months, Hampton-Tubridy was able to regain custody of Ayden in early December on a trial basis. A hearing to award permanent custody is set for January.

Chase said she is proud of her daughter’s ability to battle her addiction. So is her eldest child, a Napa Valley College student. “I just hope that my mom can be a mom again,” Ana Castro said.