A man pulled over for a traffic stop Saturday afternoon near Lake Success was arrested after deputies discovered he was wanted on a warrant and reportedly found small baggies containing methamphetamine in the car.

Deputies reported pulling the car over for unspecified reasons at 5:44 p.m. on Highway 190, east of Porterville.

The driver, Gary West, 56, had an outstanding warrant on a charge of possessing methamphetamine. A sheriff’s report states that a search of the car turned up eight small plastic bags containing white crystal substances that were later determined to be methamphetamine.

Their combined weight was 3.7 grams, according to the report.

Deputies reported that West also had a glass pipe, the sort used for smoking methamphetamine.

Besides being arrested on the warrant, West also was booked into jail on suspicion of possessing drug paraphernalia, possessing methamphetamine for sale and transporting methamphetamine.







A Jennings County woman was arrested Friday evening on a drug charge after North Vernon Police responded to a report of a shoplifter who had fled from Walmart loss prevention officers on foot out of the parking lot into a nearby wooded area.

Sgt. Andrew Richmond, with the North Vernon Police Department, says officers saturated the area, but were not able to locate the suspect. Meanwhile, 32-year-old Maria I. Thompson, of North Vernon, was arrested and charged for possessing methamphetamine.

Richmond says Officer Chris Campbell returned to the Walmart parking lot and was told what vehicle Thompson had arrived in by Walmart Loss Prevention. Officer Campbell identified the owner of the car and she gave officers permission to search her vehicle.

Richmond added that during the investigation, he along with K9 Heros was called to the scene.

The K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. While searching, officers located a marijuana roach and a small amount of methamphetamine within the vehicle. Thompson was then arrested and charged for possessing methamphetamine.

Police were also able to identify the shoplifting suspect, but that person’s name is not being released at this time and charges are pending.

It was also discovered during the investigation that the suspect had driven Thompson’s car without permission. The second suspect has pending charges of theft from Walmart, auto theft and possession of marijuana.







Marijuana is still the most commonly used illegal drug in Richmond and Columbia counties, but the second most popular is changing.

Cocaine once held the second spot in Richmond County but has now been surpassed by prescription drugs. In Columbia County, methamphetamine is the second most popular.

Richmond County sheriff’s Sgt. Allan Rollins said officers are confiscating large amounts of prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, Percocet and Xanex. The drugs are making their way onto the streets through theft of doctor prescription pads, “doctor shopping,” faking illnesses to access medication and some “pill mills” that have been uncovered in the county.

“We focus on everything, but we go where the information takes us,” Rollins said. “Right now we seem to be getting a lot of information on prescription pills – people dealing them and selling them.”

In the past 12 months, narcotics officers have taken “thousands and thousands” of pills off the streets.

During that same period, investigators in Richmond County uncovered 24 methamphetamine labs, confiscated hundreds of pounds of marijuana, five to 10 kilos of cocaine, 183 guns, made more than 1,700 drug related arrests and issued 182 search warrants.

“In the past year, we’ve probably picked up more varieties of drugs than we have in a long time,” Rollins said.

In Columbia County, prescription pills and cocaine cases are not as frequent as ones involving methamphetamine.

Most of the meth investigators are finding in Columbia County is coming from outside of the area as evident from the higher purity of the product.

Police said other drugs are popping up more frequently.

Spice, a synthetic form of marijuana, is appearing in both counties and molly, a powdered form of ecstasy that provides a quicker high, has been found several times in Augusta.

“Spice is an aggravation,” Rollins said of the fairly new drug. “I really worry about people’s health with that … Anytime we run up on someone selling it, we do our best to put them out of business.”

The sheriff’s office has closed two businesses for selling spice. At one point, officer confiscated more than 7 pounds of the drug.

Whereas spice and molly are fairly new on the streets, older drugs such as heroin and hashish are reappearing in Augusta.

“It’s not significant,” Rollins said, “but it is something we’re looking at because all of a sudden it’s popped back up.”

Rollins said East Augusta, Harrisburg, Meadowbrook and Barton Village are problem areas.

“There’s no place that’s drug-free,” he said. “We would like for it to be, but it seems to go into every neighborhood.”

Both Harrisburg and East Augusta are being helped by potential drug homes being cleaned up or torn down and lots being cleared, Rollins said.

“Nothing can be solved overnight,” Rollins said. “The more we get in there, the more we enforce it, the more search warrants we do, the cleaner and cleaner it’s going to get. It’s a long haul.”







ROCK HILL A Rock Hill motel room is destroyed and an Arkansas man in jail after police say he was cooking methamphetamine in the room, resulting in an explosion that set beds, a television and his own leg on fire early Sunday.

York County drug agents have charged Ronnie Kenneth Brady, 35, with his third manufacturing methamphetamine offense, said Marvin Brown, commander of the county’s multijurisdictional drug enforcement unit.

Ronnie Keith Brady

Ronnie Keith Brady



At about 12:55 a.m., the Rock Hill police and fire departments responded to the Rock Hill Motel on Riverview Road after someone called about a fire in a motel room and parking lot, Brown said. When responders arrived, the room was ablaze.

Firefighters extinguished the fire in the second-floor room, as well as a burning can of Coleman fuel, according to a York County drug unit incident report.

The drug unit and the county’s emergency management department arrived to help evacuate several rooms in the motel, Brown said.

Meanwhile, police found Brady with burns on his left leg at the corner of Riverview and Celanese roads after he fled the scene, Brown said.

According to the report, it appeared that he had been cooking meth when the one-pot lab –a soda bottle– went up in flames.

The gallon can of Coleman fuel, a petroleum-based gas, apparently caught fire, Brown said. Brady then threw the burning can into the parking lot, according to reports.

His leg caught on fire, Brown said, when he tried to stomp out the flames. He was treated by EMS.

The room itself suffered extensive damage as mattresses, television set and telephone caught on fire, Brown said.

“The room’s a total loss,” he said. “The ceiling is completely black.”

No other injuries were reported, and no estimate was available on how much damage was caused at the motel. Officials examined other nearby rooms, but did not report finding any other drug paraphernalia.

Motel management, staff and several guests declined to comment.

One pot meth labs, which take shape in Gatorade bottles, 2-liter soda bottles or any other “small vessel,” are condensed meth labs that are more mobile than their predecessors, said Lt. Max Dorsey with the State Law Enforcement Division last week.

Users fill the bottles with chemicals that react on their own and produce the meth in its liquid form, he said. The manufacturers then use another vessel with salt and acid to solidify the drug into a compound that they drain through a filter to produce the finished product.

“They’re manufacturing it as a ticking time bomb,” he said. “In the pots, you have a bomb potentially.”

Last year, 33-year-old Jason Alan Johnson, also known as “Convict,” was sentenced to 28 years in prison after police say he cooked 60 grams of meth in a room at the Rock Hill Motel in 2011.

Johnson’s co-defendant, Cory Seth Catoe, was also arrested and pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth. He was sentenced to two years in prison followed by two years’ probation.

On Tuesday, Catoe, 29, was behind bars again after deputies serving a family court bench warrant on him found that he and his girlfriend, Brooklyn Barrett Brandon, 26, had a 32-ounce Gatorade bottle they used for cooking 100 grams of meth on the windowsill of an Ebenezer Avenue Extension duplex.

Investigators searched the apartment, confiscating several chemicals. Both Catoe and Brandon remain jailed at the York County Detention Center without bond.


A joint investigation by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Greenwood Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency into the alleged dealing of methamphetamine led to the arrest of a Greenwood couple Friday on drug charges.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office says 35-year-old Timothy E. Duncan Jr. was charged with dealing methamphetamine while 36-year-old Amanda L. Longfellow was charged with possession of paraphernalia. They were both taken to the Johnson County Law Enforcement Center.

Timothy E. Duncan Jr.

 Amanda L. Longfellow
Greenwood Police say an officer pulled the couple over during a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, the officer found a large amount of purported methamphetamine – 21 grams of ICE/Meth – the couple admitted came from the lot at the mobile home park for a payment of $2,000 in cash.

A search warrant was also obtained for the home where police found methamphetamine and marijuana along with numerous electronic devices that were deemed evidence and necessary parts of the ongoing investigation into Duncan’s methamphetamine distribution.







AMARILLO, TXThe Panhandle Mothers Against Methamphetamine hosted its first Ride for MAMa’s event Sunday afternoon to help raise money for the organization.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2009, 1.2 million Americans age 12 and older had abused methamphetamine.

The Panhandle Mothers Against Methamphetamine provides support for families dealing with methamphetamine problems and spreads awareness of the dangers of the drug.

The motorcycle run started at Tripp’s Harley Davidson off I-40 West and ended with a celebration at Buzula Furniture Outlet. The celebration included live music, raffle prizes and food.


“This ride here is a good cause for the mothers and the families that have had to deal with the meth problems in their lives,” said local biker Larry Place. “It’s great because we all like to ride our bikes and stuff and be out in the element.”

Spokeswoman of the Panhandle Mothers Against Methamphetamine, Jody Jones said fundraisers for non-profits organizations like them are always needed, but this event held a special purpose for members.

“We lost a dear, dear board member about a year and a half ago,” said Jones. “He loved motorcycles so we kind of dedicated this to him.”

For more information on The Panhandle Mothers Against Methamphetamine, visit www.panhandlemamas.com








In 1962, at the Carlyle Hotel in New York, a man “peeled off his clothing and began prancing around his hotel suite.” His bodyguards were cautiously amused, until the man “left the suite and began roaming through the corridor of the Carlyle.”

The man in question was delusional, paranoid and suffering a “psychotic break” from the effects of an overdose of methamphetamine.

He was also the president of the United States.

The reason for John F. Kennedy’s bizarre behavior was that, according to an explosive new book, the president was — unbeknownst to him, at first — a meth addict.

Jacobson injected meth repeatedly into the president and stars like Marilyn Monroe (below)

Jacobson injected meth repeatedly into the president and stars like Marilyn Monroe (below)


The man who supposedly made him so was Max Jacobson, a doctor who had invented a secret vitamin formula that gave people renewed energy and cured their pain, and was given the code name “Dr. Feelgood” by Kennedy’s Secret Service detail.

This formula was actually methamphetamine, and over the course of a decades-long practice, Jacobson became doctor to the stars, making unknowing drug addicts out of a long list of the famous and distinguished, including JFK and his wife, Jackie, Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Fisher, Truman Capote and many more.

In “Dr. Feelgood” (Skyhorse Publishing), authors Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes allege that Jacobson had an incredible effect on world events, influencing Kennedy’s election, the Cuban Missile Crisis, even Roger Maris’ 1961 home-run record.


Jacobson, born in 1900 and raised in Berlin, began experimenting with strange concoctions in the 1930s, when he would consult with Carl Jung, whose guidance “led him to first experiment with early psychotropic, or mood and mind-altering, drugs.”

Experimenting on “animals, patients and himself,” Jacobson “looked for ways he could mix early mind-altering drugs with vitamins, enzymes, animal placentas and small amounts of hormones . . .” and believed that these drugs could not only cure disease, but could “effect remedies on a cellular level.”

The doctor’s concoction — which evolved to become a mixture of methamphetamine and goat’s and sheep’s blood — caught the attention of Germany’s National Socialists, who demanded the formula. Jacobson, who was Jewish, later said that his drug was fed to Nazi soldiers, making them more vicious. He also believed that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun eventually became addicted to his formula.

Escaping the Nazis, Jacobson had a brief tenure in Paris — where he took on celebrity client Anais Nin — then wound up in New York in 1936, establishing a practice on East 72nd Street and Third Avenue. In the years to follow, he’d hone his formula; reconnect with celebrity patients he’d served in Europe such as Nin, director Billy Wilder and author Henry Miller; and take on many new ones, including Nelson Rockefeller, Maria Callas, Bob Fosse, Ingrid Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Tennessee Williams, director Cecil B. DeMille and writer Rod Serling, who, the authors say, was high on Jacobson’s meth when he furiously wrote “The Twilight Zone” series.







MARIETTA – A Marietta man was arrested Friday on a meth-related charge by the Major Crimes Task Force.

Upon receiving information that a local resident has obtained items utilized to manufacture methamphetamine, task force agents obtained and executed a search warrant at the residence of Brandon S. Walters, 30, at 715 Greene Street Apt. A, Marietta, on Friday, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

In addition to pseudoephedrine, agents allegedly discovered other chemicals Walters said he purchased in order to resell to a friend to manufacture methamphetamine, Mincks said. Walters allegedly admitted successfully making a small quantity of methamphetamine at the same residence in October 2012 and stated the pseudoephedrine he purchased earlier in the day was to be used to make methamphetamine.

The items seized during the search warrant are commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine using the “one pot” or “shake and bake” method.

Walters was arrested and charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine within the vicinity of a school, a first degree felony, and illegal assembly of drug making chemicals within the vicinity of a school, a second degree felony, Mincks said.

Walters was placed in the Washington County Jail without bond pending his initial appearance in Marietta Municipal Court on Monday.

NOGALES, AZ (CBS5) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers at the Nogales Port arrested a 21-year-old man Wednesday for attempting to smuggle a combined 18-plus pounds of black tar heroin and methamphetamine into the United States.Benjamin Fornes, of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, was referred for inspection of his Toyota SUV. During the inspection, CBP officers found almost 15 pounds of heroin and nearly 4 pounds of methamphetamine inside the vehicle’s spare tire.

The drugs and vehicle were seized






El Paso, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers working at the El Paso port of entry seized 3.1 pounds of crystal methamphetamine on Tuesday. A 20-year-old man was arrested and is currently detained without bond at the El Paso County jail.

 click for hi-res
CBP officers found four methamphetamine filled packages strapped to the waist of the man and another two on his legs.

“This seizure was the direct result of CBP officer expertise,” said Hector Mancha, CBP El Paso port director. “An officer noted the peculiar behavior of a border crosser and took appropriate action.”

The seizure was made just after 4 p.m. when a man entered the pedestrian inspection area at the Paso Del Norte international crossing. A CBP officer at the primary inspection station initiated an exam and felt bundles around the waist of the subject. The man was detained and CBP officers continued their exam in a secure area. CBP officers found four methamphetamine filled packages strapped to the waist of the man and another two on his legs. The drugs weighed 3.1 pounds.

CBP officers arrested the pedestrian, 20-year-old William Horacio Pavia of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. He turned over to and arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement HSI agents in connection with the failed smuggling attempt.

While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.






Two people were arrested Wednesday after police served a search warrant at a Sioux Falls home.

While serving a warrant to Dale Shogre at 1905 S. Bahnson Avenue #2, officers observed methamphetamine and methamphetamine paraphernalia.

The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force was contacted. They found several active One-Pot meth labs, along with approximately 20 used ones, chemicals, gas generators, methamphetamine, paraphernalia, and marijuana.

The Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Haz-Mat team and Rural Metro Ambulance assisted the task force in their respective roles. Three children, a four-year-old and two five-year-olds were taken into protective custody.

Those arrested were:

Dale Shogren for warrant service, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a residence where drugs are used/stored, drug-free zone violation, causing a child to be present where methamphetamine is used/stored, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jennifer Leffring for possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, inhabiting a place where drugs are used/stored, and causing a child to be present where drugs are used/stored.







JAMESTOWN – Two men were arrested Friday in a raid on methamphetamine manufacturing facility, while a third suspect remains at large, Jamestown police said.

City officers, joined by investigators from state police and the Department of Homeland Security, targeted 181 Barrows St. about 5 p.m. Friday, after obtaining a search warrant.

They seized materials used in the production of the drug, and arrested Joseph A. Snyder, 28, and Dustin R. Verrett, 23, both of the Barrows Street address, authorities said. Each was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substnace and third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

An arrest warrant also has been issued for Donald W. Dean, 38, of Jamestown, who is believed to have been involved in the drug operation and also is wanted on other charges, police said. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the Jamestown Police Department’s confidential tip line at 483-8477 or the police desk at 483-7537.







AIRPORT authorities arrested on Saturday another Nigerian who was found in possession of three kilos of high-grade methamphetamine hydrochloride, valued at around P30 million, in his carry-on luggage.

It was not a lucky day for a West African national who arrived at the NAIA on board Thai Airways flight TG624 from Bangkok after he was intercepted by an alert custom examiner carrying over 3 kilos of high-grade shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) with estimated value of over P30 million concealed in a false bottom of his carry-on luggage.

Busted mule. Nigerian passenger Sunday Michael Owobodore wacthes as aitport authorities uncover the three kilos of metamphetamine hydrocholoride that was hidden in a false bottom of his carry-on bag. He was enroute to Bangkok, Thailand.  JULIE FABROA

Busted mule. Nigerian passenger Sunday Michael Owobodore wacthes as aitport authorities uncover the three kilos of metamphetamine hydrocholoride that was hidden in a false bottom of his carry-on bag. He was enroute to Bangkok, Thailand

Customs examiner Irene Alla said Sunday Michael Owoborode, a 40-year-old Nigerian, was acting suspiciously at the customs declaration line at the pre-departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where he was to board a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok.

Subjecting the Owoborode to full inspection, Alla found the contraband in the false bottom of his carry-on bag. Customs police tested the powder via a cobalt thiocyanate test and it was found to be  shabu. Owoborode is detained at the jail of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

Owoborode was arrested only a few days after drug enforcers in other countries noted a declined in the number of Nigerians who are being used as “mules” by international drug syndicates.

In Malaysia, Narcotics Commissioner Noor Rashid Ibrahim said there has been a drop in the number of Nigerians and Iranians who are being employed as mules as shown by the number of arrests since the start of the year.

“In 2011 and 2012, we saw lots of drug smuggling by the Iranians and Nigerians but suddenly there is a drastic drop,” Ibrahim was quoted as saying by the Malaysian newspaper The Star. “Cases of Indian nationals involved in smuggling drugs into Malaysia have risen sharply. We suspect that Nigerian syndicates have begun working together with the Indians.”

Ibrahim said Indian nationals now top the list of suspected drug smugglers, overtaking Iranian and Nigerian syndicates, but Malaysian authorities suspect Nigerians may be working with Indians in their smuggling operations.

He said Indian syndicates usually smuggle ketamine while Iranians specialize in methamphetamine and Pakistanis in heroin. Nigerians, he said, deal with a variety of drugs.


The Indonesian Supreme Court on Saturday sentenced a Malaysian national to death for the possession of more than 350,000 ecstasy pills and 48.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.

“The court decided to give him the death penalty,” Ridwan Mansyur, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, told Indonesian news portal Detik.com on Saturday.

Kweh Teik Choon was arrested by Soekarno-Hatta Airport police in January 2012 at his apartment in Taman Anggrek, West Jakarta, after a tip off by Fitri Ezadi, another Malaysian drug trafficking suspect.

The police seized 358,000 pills of ecstasy and 48.5 kilograms of methamphetamine stashed inside seven pieces of luggage in his apartment.

Fitri received 20 years in prison, which was heavier than the prosecutors’ initial request for seven years.

Prosecutors at the Tangerang high court in Banten demanded the death sentence for Kwei during his trial in August 2012, though he was given 20 years imprisonment. The sentence was later annulled, with the court declaring that Kwei only had to serve 12 years.

Following the conviction, though, prosecutors filed an appeal to the Supreme Court, and Kwei was subsequently sentenced to death.

Ridwan previously said in February that the Supreme Court would ensure that Kwei would get the sentence he deserved.







The Chipley Police Department received information Wednesday of possible drug activity being conducted in a home that a methamphetamine lab had been dismantled in just eight days prior.


2013April10KathysCamera 038trail ride (2)

Members of the Washington County Drug Task Force, which consist of the Chipley Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the suspected residence located at 844 8th Street, Chipley.


Upon arriving task force members observed methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia sitting on a table just inside the front door.  Investigators gained consent to search the residence.  Investigators found that, Leonard Paul Pouncey, 33, of Chipley was in possession of several grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.  Also located at the residence were several “Shake and Bake” bottles used in the production of methamphetamine.


Although Pouncey was not present at the time the first Methamphetamine lab was discovered, investigators were able to link him to it during the investigation into the second lab.  Pouncey was transported to the Washington County Jail where he was booked on charges following the completion of a week long investigation and a search of the residence.


This was a job well done by all Officers involved.







Already behind bars, a Section, Ala., woman was charged Thursday with three drug-related crimes.

A day after police arrested Romana Jean Willbanks, 50, members of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Section Police Department searched her home and found two methamphetamine labs, some marijuana, drug paraphernalia and chemicals sometimes used to make methamphetamine, a news release states.

Officers charged Willbanks with manufacturing controlled substances, marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession.

The day before, according to the release, Jackson County Sheriff’s Officers stopped Willbanks, who was on the way home from Wal-Mart, and found pseudoephedrine pills and syringes. They arrested her on charges of drug paraphernalia possession and a violation of the Alabama Meth Act.

Officers booked Willbanks in the Jackson County Jail, originally on an $8,000 bond. After the police search of her home Thursday, Willbanks’ bond increased to $20,000.

Christy Cole Vinson, who officers say was with Willbanks on Wednesday, was also charged with a violation of the Alabama Meth Act. Vinson, 35, of Section, later left jail after paying a $5,000 bond.







NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC — A house in the Sumter National Forest was raided Friday after “a series of citizen complaints,” about drug activities at the location, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Department said. The house at 252 Adam Tesenair Road, off highway 121, was home to an extended family including two toddlers, and the setting for an operational methamphetamine laboratory, authorities said.

During the raid, authorities discovered two children in the house, a 2-year-old and an 11-month-old. Because they had been exposed to meth fumes, which can be toxic, the children were given a medical examination and then placed in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. Authorities said the living conditions in the home were”deplorable.”

A certified cleaning crew was mobilized to ‘safely dismantle’ the meth making equipment. Six people were arrested, including 6 members of one family. Charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and exposing a child to meth were: Amber Tesenair,23; Heather Anderson, 23; Jeffrey Tesenair, 51; Kelly Tesenair, 42; Meghan Tesenair, 19; and Nicholas Tesenair,26. A bond hearing for the six is expected to be held Saturday.





Like a scene out of TV’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ methamphetamine makers are using vehicles to churn out the highly addictive drug. Law enforcement across the United States say a jump in the so-called ‘shake and bake’ method for cooking meth is contributing to an increase in lab incidents — and endangering communities.
An example of a car in Tennessee that was found to have ingredients used in meth production. Tennessee authorities have seized more than 207 meth labs in the first 30 days of 2013, a 35% increase from the same time last year. 
An example of a car in Tennessee that was found to have ingredients used in meth production. Tennessee authorities have seized more than 207 meth labs in the first 30 days of 2013, a 35% increase from the same time last year
Walter White wannabes are taking meth manufacturing on the road — and they’re using a method that’s exploding at an alarming rate.

The highly addictive drug is being easily cooked thanks to a so-called “one-pot” technique, which allows users to whip up the stimulant in a single serving.

And because it doesn’t require an elaborate arrangement, covert cooks are setting up shop in cars and going undetected.

“At home, one of their buddies might rat them out,” said Joe Mazzuca, CEO of operations for Idaho-based Meth Lab Cleanup LLC. “But in a car, they’re driving around. No one knows where they’re at.”

The remains of a vehicle destroyed in a shake-and-bake meth lab accident in Clarksville, Tenn., in August 2011. A police dashboard camera caught the vehicle on fire (inset). 
The remains of a vehicle destroyed in a shake-and-bake meth lab accident in Clarksville, Tenn., in August 2011. A police dashboard camera caught the vehicle on fire (inset).

While federal agencies don’t specifically track the number of mobile meth labs, total meth lab incidents nearly doubled from 6,951 in 2007 to 13,530 in 2011, according to the latest U.S. Government Accountability Office report.

The drug has been especially devastating in the Midwest and South, although other states are grappling with a sharp rise. New York’s meth lab incidents, for instance, climbed from 13 in 2007 to 46 in 2011.

Law enforcement experts trace the spread to the one-pot method, also referred to as “shake and bake,” which involves mixing together meth’s toxic ingredients in a 2-liter bottle. About 2 to 6 grams of meth is produced in a couple of hours.

This RV was found stolen in Olive Branch, Miss., in December 2012. Residue inside of it tested positive for methamphetamine. 
This RV was found stolen in Olive Branch, Miss., in December 2012. Residue inside of it tested positive for methamphetamine

“It requires very few ingredients,” said Tommy Farmer, the Meth Task Force director in Tennessee, home to the nation’s most meth lab seizures in 2011. “The majority of our lab seizures are small labs — and they get very mobile.”

The types of vehicles that are used vary from pickup trucks to tractor-trailers. RVs, such as the one used by high school chemistry teacher Walter White in the TV drama, “Breaking Bad,” are also popular choices, Mazzuca said.

“We’ve been in business 10 years, and this last year has been the majority that we’ve seen of these cases,” he added. “We get alerts all the time, so it’s shocking how many cars police bust involved in shake and bake.”

The inside of a stolen RV in Olive Branch, Miss., that tested positive for methamphetamine. 
The inside of a stolen RV in Olive Branch, Miss., that tested positive for methamphetamine

It can be difficult to detect a car doubling as a meth lab, said Sgt. Niki Crawford, who heads the Indiana State Police’s meth suppression unit.

“You might get a smell of ammonia or another strong chemical smell, but that doesn’t necessarily hang around,” Crawford said. “You’d have to catch someone as they’re (manufacturing) it.”

The recipe requires pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant found in certain cold medicines, along with various household items, including water, first-aid cold packs and lithium batteries.

Drug paraphernalia, including spoons and needles, found in a stolen RV in in Olive Branch, Miss.
Drug paraphernalia, including spoons and needles, found in a stolen RV in in Olive Branch, Miss.

Given the criminal element attached to meth making, the cars involved are sometimes stolen, Crawford said, and cops later come across them during police work.

Authorities also find the cars when the ingredients are handled improperly — causing an explosion that can seriously injure the cook.

Cars seized in a meth bust can be impounded as evidence or, in the case of a stolen vehicle, released back to the owner.

To protect consumers, eight states have laws requiring car dealers to inform buyers whether a vehicle has possible meth residue. They are: Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and West Virginia.

A map showing the number of meth lab incidents in 2012, according to the El Paso Intelligence Center. Numbers may vary from other sources.
A map showing the number of meth lab incidents in 2012, according to the El Paso Intelligence Center. Numbers may vary from other sources

A similar mobile meth-lab bill is being considered in Indiana, where incidents jumped 76% from 2007 to 2011. If passed, sellers who fail to notify consumers could be required to pay for the car’s decontamination and up to $10,000 in damages.

Mazzuca said rehabbing a meth-tainted car could run $3,000 to $7,000, including the cost of replacing the interior upholstery.

But more action is needed to slay the meth monster nationwide, law enforcement agencies say.

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	A display of items used in the ‘shake-and-bake’ method of manufacturing methamphetamine. The new technique uses far less of the drug pseudoephedrine than traditional methods.</p><br />
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A display of items used in the ‘shake-and-bake’ method of manufacturing methamphetamine. The new technique uses far less of the drug pseudoephedrine than traditional methods

Although an estimated 80% of meth sold in the United States comes from “superlabs” in Mexico, the small-time operators can be hobbled if the government turns pseudoephedrine into a prescription-only drug, said Rob Bovett, the district attorney in Lincoln County, Ore.

Oregon did so in 2005 and has seen meth lab incidents dwindle from a high of 614 in 2002 to only 11 in 2011.

Mississippi in 2010 became the second state to do so, and meth lab incidents there fell from 937 that year to 321 in 2011, federal data shows.

Most states have some type of law regulating pseudoephedrine, although not as strict as Oregon and Mississippi.

Authorities wear Hazmat suits to investigate a mobile meth lab parked outside of a Walmart Supercenter in Springfield, Tenn., last year.
Authorities wear Hazmat suits to investigate a mobile meth lab parked outside of a Walmart Supercenter in Springfield, Tenn., last year

“Congress has spent the last 30 years putting Band-Aids on a gaping wound, and kowtowing to the pharmaceutical industry and their surrogates, who use power, influence and money at the direct expense of public health and safety,” Bovett charged. “The industry should be ashamed, but they have no shame.”

Over-the-counter cold remedies remain a lucrative market, with Americans spending an estimated $4.2 billion a year on such products.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, an industry trade group, said that while it supports some legislation, such as blocking the sale of Sudafed to convicted meth heads, it doesn’t believe the medicine should be harder to get.

The toxic ingredients of methamphetamine require investigators to wear protective suits. Authorities had arrested a driver in connection with a mobile meth lab in Springfield, Tenn., last year.
The toxic ingredients of methamphetamine require investigators to wear protective suits. Authorities had arrested a driver in connection with a mobile meth lab in Springfield, Tenn., last year

“We are looking for effective solutions that punish criminals, not law-abiding citizens,” said association spokeswoman Elizabeth Funderburk.

Farmer, the Tennessee task force official, said as meth continues ravaging American communities, lawmakers shouldn’t delay making pseudoephedrine a controlled substance.

“I’ve never seen another drug come down the pike as devastating as this,” Farmer said. “We’re already off to a gangbuster year.”



Law enforcement agencies arrested nearly five dozen people over the last two days on methamphetamine and pseudoephedrine related charges. 


Many of the arrests targeted persons involved with drug groups dubbed “The Village Group”, centered around “The Village” area of Forrest Street and Lakeview Avenue in Cantonment; and “The Ayers Group” for a group centered around Ayers Street in Molino.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said Friday afternoon that 56 of 76 people targeted by Operation Blister Pack 2 had been arrested. In addition, the sheriff said 19 meth labs had been destroyed this year, along with 47 last year. Morgan said the investigation is still ongoing in the operation, with the possibility of more arrests.

“We intend to vigorously prosecute these cases,” State Attorney Bill Eddins said at an afternoon press conference. “Many of them have resulted in charges that will require a mandatory minimum seven years in prison. And some have also committed sufficient acts that we have charged them with crimes that will result in a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison.”

“Methamphetamine…is a very bad drug that effects not only these defendants, but their families as well,” Eddins said.

“It is surprising to us that anyone uses this drug because, again, the physical effects are so debilitating,” Morgan said, after discussing “meth mouth”, premature aging and other dramatic dangers of meth.

The arrests, targeting meth operations based in Cantonment and Molino, are expected to have a significant impact on methamphetamine in North Escambia and the rest of Escambia County.

“This is a pretty major group; this should make a large impact on that area,” Investigator Ken Tolbirt said.  Many of those arrested, Tolbirt said, are “smurfs” that go out and purchase quantities of pseudoephedrine and other ingredients need to manufacture  methamphetamine.

“They trade it to that person. If they give them a box, then they give them a percentage of what was cooked from the pseudoephedrine,” he said.

“They are just worker bees,” Morgan said. “Pharmacies track the amount of that compound that is sold.”

A dozen suspects were also arrested on federal charges as part of Operation Blister Pack 2. For details about the federal cases, click here.

The following arrests were reported on state charges by Friday afternoon:

  • Heather Nichole Harris, 32, Forrest Street, Cantonment
  • Dawn Cheree Brooks, 33, Forehand Lane, Cantonment
  • Katherine Leigh Glass, 32, Forehand Lane, Cantonment
  • Anthony Trevor Buttitta, 32, Frand Ard Road, Cantonment
  • Todd Michael Packard, 33, Old Chemstrand Road, Cantonment
  • William Bradley Edmonson, 25, Booth Avenue, Cantonment
  • Lindsey Marie Murphy, 32, Muscogee Road, Cantonment
  • Henry Allen Miller, 38, Muscogee Road, Cantonment
  • Jonathon Michael Argerenon, Jr, 34, Forrest Street, Cantonment
  • Brandy Suzanne Tucker, 39, Lakeview Avenue, Cantonment
  • Nicholas Lawrence Ray, 22, Tate School Road, Cantonment
  • Jonathan Paul Kite, 39, Belmont Avenue, Cantonment
  • Nikki Lynn Kight, 45, Lakeview Avenue, Cantonment
  • Danielle Suzanne Lowery, 18, Lakeview Avenue, Cantonment
  • Jennifer Dianne Kelly, 33, Ayer Street, Molino
  • Clinton Keith Edmonson, 22, Molino Road, Molino
  • Shawna Reche Carnley, 23, Chestnut Road, Molino
  • Kelly Ann Eddins, 26, Jefferson Avenue, Century
  • Jeffery Gene Brown, 32, South Pine Barren Road, McDavid
  • Lane Robert Edmonson, 17, address unavailable
  • Tanya Suzette Carver, 46, Cranbrook Avenue, Pensacola
  • Mark Avery Ard, 33, London Avenue, Pensacola
  • Margaret Lorene Ard, 51, London Avenue, Pensacola
  • James Ellis Roley, 27, London Avenue, Pensacola
  • Katrina Maria Griffin, 25, Amberway Drive, Pensacola
  • John Dale Highfield, 24, Aquamarine Avenue, Pensacola
  • Clinton Michael Gant, 26, Aquamarine Avenue, Pensacola
  • Heather Noel Reed, 31, Lillian Highway, Pensacola
  • Lori Esther Cabuyao, 34, Stafford Lane, Pensacola
  • Sonya Lee Weekley, 46, North “R” Street, Pensacola
  • Monica Louise Rutherford, 32, Tower Ridge Road, Pensacola
  • Thomas Richard Nowling, 26 Mobile Highway, Pensacola
  • George Steven Andrews II, 43, Chisolm Road, Pensacola
  • Sebron Anthony Aikens Jr, 28, North “K” Street, Pensacola
  • Clinton Dwayne Nowlin, 25, Chemstrand Road, Pensacola
  • Sylvia Marie Rutherford, 35, Tower Ridge Road, Pensacola
  • Sheila Diane Quinlan, 48, Suwanne Road, Pensacola
  • Wilbur Arvid Petersen, 57, Bowman Avenue, Pensacola
  • Lisa Michelle Petersen, 48, North “S” Street, Pensacola
  • Samantha Rose Petersen, 26, Bowman Avenue, Pensacola
  • Robert Harold Fulater 32, Bowman Avenue, Pensacola
  • Cindy Kay Morgan, 31, Bush Street, Pensacola
  • Donald Michael Morgan, 35, Bush Street, Pensacola
  • Susan Ann VanDyke, 45, Tower Ridge, Pensacola
  • Joseph Matthew Davis, 35, Action Street, Pensacola
  • Tony Curtis Simmons Sr, 48, Twinbrook Avenue, Pensacola

Pictured top:  A suspect is taken into custody on a meth related warrant by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and an undercover ATF agent. Pictured top inset: State Attorney Bill Eddins (left) and Sheriff David Morgan discuss the operation. Pictured bottom inset: Investigator Ken Tolbirt explains the Molino and Cantonment drug groups. Pictured below: Of those arrested Thursday and Friday on state charges stemming from Operation Blister Pack II, 19 individuals provided North Escambia addresses when booked into the Escambia County Jail.








A mobile methamphetamine lab was discovered after the device began leaking toxic vapors inside a vehicle, according to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.

Three men were arrested and one was transported to the hospital after the “one-pot” meth lab was found, said Sheriff Alan Norman.
Norman said three men were in the vehicle traveling on the 1700 block of Airport Road when the lab – known as “one-pot” because of its typical production in a plastic soda bottle with pseudoephedrine and several other ingredients – began releasing vapors.
“Some of the vapors escaped and was inhaled by one of the individuals,” Norman said.
He said the men pulled off to the side of the road and began dismantling the product in the nearby woods.
The sheriff’s office narcotics and patrol division responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle.
Three men were charged with possession of meth and possession of a meth precursor.
They were Clinton Andrew Barnes, 21, of 4715 Fargo Trail in Vale, who is being held under a $50,000 secured bond; Joshua Pinkney Mears, 22, of 2509 N.C. 150 in Crouse, held under an $85,000 bond; and Michael Andrew Stager, 32, of 3179 Laboratory Road in Lincolnton, who has a $75,000 bond.
Norman said the man who was taken to the hospital was treated and then released back into law enforcement custody.
All three are being held in the Cleveland County Detention Center.
“We participated, and the SBI was called to dismantle the product and…take the toxic elements away from the location,” Norman said.

CHILLICOTHE — A Ross County grand jury indicted two men Friday on felony charges related to an alleged methamphetamine lab found during a burglary investigation in February.

Jonathan M. Bray, 29, of 2411 Spargursville Road, Bainbridge, and Nicholas Babbs, 31, of 44445 Upper Twin Road, South Salem, were indicted on one count each of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs and burglary.

The charges stem from a Feb. 21 call to the Ross County Sheriff’s Office of suspicious activity at a vacant home on the 200 block of Kinzer Road. Deputies responded to the home and allegedly found Bray and Babbs inside. A check with the owner revealed no one should have been at the home and the last person to live there had moved out two months before.

Before confronting Babbs and Bray, deputies allegedly had spotted Babbs place what was later determined to be a one-pot meth lab behind a microwave. During a search of the home with the aid of the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, officials allege they also found a one-pot lab under a sink, the ingredients used to make meth and a homemade acid gas generator that is used in the manufacture of meth.

The men were arrested at the scene. Babbs remains in jail on a $25,000 bond with a 10 percent provision while Bray is free on the $25,000 bond. The charges are third-degree felonies, which carry a prison sentence of one to five years if convicted.







West Monroe police arrested a woman Thursday accused of drug possession.

Melissa Young, 39, of 1290 Griggs Road, Calhoun, was booked into Ouachita Correctional Center on charges of possession of marijuana (second offense), possession of methamphetamine, possession of Hydrocodone and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an arrest affidavit, police were called to the 2500 block of North Seventh Street in reference to a woman passed out in a vehicle.

When police arrived, they found the vehicle and identified the woman as Young. She said she was sleeping in the vehicle because she had not slept for a few days.

During a search, police found a pipe with suspected methamphetamine residue inside. They also found another pipe with suspected marijuana inside it.

The search also revealed four tablets of suspected Hydrocodone.

Bond was $8,000.







“Smurfing” is buying cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine in order to sell it to meth cooks. Attorney General Chris Koster joined forces with public officials to kick off this effort in the St. Louis region.

KMOX’s Kevin Killeen wanted to know what St. Louis Chief of Police Sam Dotson was doing in Ladue. Another reporter asked Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster if a press conference targeting in Ladue targeting the meth problem meant methamphetamine had found its way to this part of the county.

No, Koster said.

“Our meth problem is all over the state,” he said at a conference at Ladue Pharmacy Thursday to launch an anti-smurfing campaign throughout St. Louis. “Ladue Pharmacy was just gracious enough to be the host of our announcement.”

“Smurfing” is the practice of purchasing cold and allergy medicines containing pseudo-ephedrine for the purpose of selling to methamphetamine cooks. A parade of public officials spoke before the cameras, creating a level of awareness to fight this problem.

Koster was flanked by Chief Dotson; Ron Fitzwater of the Missouri Pharmacy Association, Carlos Guitierrez of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and Ladue Pharmacy owner Rick Williams.

The attorney general has teamed with these officials to create a public awareness campaign to combat smurfing.

“Missouri law enforcement officials will tell you that smurfing is one of the biggest challenges they face in the battle against meth production and abuse,” said Koster.

Koster thinks public education is an essential step in the fight against meth cooks and dealers.

This is the law in Missouri: “If you purchase the ingredients in the state of Missouri with the intent to produce meth, you are guilty of a Class D felony. Your involvement rises to an additional level where you can be charged as an accomplice, then you will be guilty of a Class B felony.”

Some think the ingredients should be sold on a prescription-only basis. Koster said that people involved in law enforcement have differing views on how that should be handled. Koster feels the dialogue should continue as everyone takes steps forward on this very important issue.

“Missouri is the No. 1 state in the nation in methamphetamine production and effects every corner of the state of Missouri. “Everyone from local pharmacies to big box stores is involved in the sale of these products,” he said.

Chief Dotson knows first hand how terrible these products can be abused.

“Those of us involved with law enforcement in St. Louis have seen the effects of meth first hand. We are familiar with the terrible consequences associated with smurfing,” concluded the police chief.






A former local law enforcement officer pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

Jackie Lynn Thompson, formerly an officer with the Odessa Police Department and former reserve officer with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office, could face between 10 years and life in federal prison, according to statutory minimum and maximum laws. Statutory regulations on sentences set out the highest and lowest sentence a judge is allowed to give out under federal law.

Magistrate Judge David Counts told Thompson during the sentencing hearing that a pre-sentencing report will be created, giving District Judge Robert Junell a sentencing guideline within the statutory minimum and maximum.

Jackie Thompson

Jackie Lynn Thompson


Thompson is accused of receiving 500 grams of methamphetamine on a regular basis and having two other men charged in the indictment deliver the methamphetamine for him.

According to the plea agreement, detectives began investigating a methamphetamine distribution group in Midland and discovered a man who was a source of supply to various individuals.

Through the investigation, using an undercover officer to make purchases and a wiretap, agents confirmed that Thompson was receiving methamphetamine from the supplier.

The man admitted to supplying Thompson on numerous occasions more than 500 grams of methamphetamine on each delivery.







SAN LUIS, Ariz. (AP) – Federal authorities say a San Luis woman is in custody for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine and methamphetamine into southern Arizona.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Thursday that 40-year-old Norma Bernice Vidal was arrested after a narcotics detection dog smelled drugs in a side quarter panel of her sedan.

Officers say they found 10 packages of cocaine and three packages of meth.

They say the nearly 25 pounds of cocaine has an estimated value of $231,000 while the more than three pounds of methamphetamine is valued at $51,000.

The drugs and vehicle were seized and Vidal was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for prosecution.

Authorities didn’t know Thursday if Vidal has an attorney yet for her case.