Comments Off on Methamphetamine Use Silently Surges in Northeast Wisconsin

Police across Northeast Wisconsin are growing concerned about the sudden spike in methamphetamine use.

The latest example comes from Marinette, where authorities are cleaning up what they believe is a meth lab in a motel.

The North East Tri-County Drug Enforcement Group responded to the Marinette Inn Monday night as part of an ongoing investigation.

Officials say they suspected methamphetamines were being made in the one of the rooms.

The Department of Criminal Investigation was called in to handle the material.

Owners tell us the motel is open except for that one room.

Two men and one woman were arrested, and charges have been referred to the district attorney’s office.

While police have focused extensively on heroin abuse in the area over the last few years, there’s been a silent surge in meth use.


Authorities believe part of the answer comes from supply and demand and the ease of making meth at home.

Maps from the Wisconsin Department of Justice show only cases processed through the state crime lab, meaning there are likely a lot more, but it gives you an idea of what’s been happening the last few years.

In 2011, Brown County and much of Northeast Wisconsin were in the category signifying less than 10 cases.

In 2012, it jumped, showing between 20 and 29 meth cases.

You could also start to see a sharp increase in cases in the western part of Wisconsin.

By 2013, the most recent information the state has, Brown County jumped all the way to the highest category, with more than 30 cases. The maps also show the migration of the drug from the Twin Cities, through Wausau and into our area.

The Brown County Drug Task Force says it had stayed at that same level until about the last six months, when the amount of meth seized suddenly more than tripled.

The Task Force reports seizing 727 grams of meth in just the first four months of 2015.

That’s compared to 237 grams in all of 2014.

“Most notably, around October of last year we began seeing meth in much larger quantities, ounce quantities being sold and traded, and we started targeting numerous dealers,” says Brown County Drug Task Force Lt. Dave Poteat.

The arrests followed.

Poteat says 10 people have been locked up for delivering meth so far, compared to 28 last year.

Stimulants, including pills like Adderall, are blamed for sparking the addiction.

“It’s almost on par with heroin. It is extremely addictive. First time use, couple time use, people want to use it more,” explains Poteat.

Combine that with a price that’s dropped from as much as $300 a gram to $80, plus the ease of making it at home, and it’s a dangerous result.

“Now most labs are using what’s called a one pot method, and it’s self-contained,” says Poteat. He says they’re seeing fewer large scale meth labs and more small ones, which are harder for neighbors to detect, but still dangerous.

“The biggest risk with the one pot methods, absolutely by far is fire,” adds Poteat.

Signs to look for in a possible meth lab include broken lithium batteries, lots of camping fuel, especially the kind in the red container which has a blue tint to it. The Task Force also says you should look for used soda bottles with solids in the bottom, and people in general acting strange.

Poteat says they’ve seen cases where meth users have actually stayed awake for two weeks straight before crashing and sleeping for days.

Comments Off on Lloyd Lester Jose Cordova, 32, and passenger Shahram Malakooti, 31, arrested, allegedly had 660 grams of Methamphetamine in car in Mesa County

Two California men were arrested Thursday on Interstate 70 on suspicion of drug and forgery charges after more than 660 grams of methamphetamine reportedly was found in their vehicle, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Lloyd Lester Jose Cordova, 32, and passenger Shahram Malakooti, 31, were arrested near milemarker 15 on eastbound I-70 near Loma on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and several felony fraud charges when a drug detection dog triggered deputies to inspect the Ford Explorer, according to copies of Cordova and Malakooti’s arrest affidavits.

During the vehicle inspection, deputies reportedly found financial scanning devices, financial card making devices and credit cards with different names on them.

A make-up bag under the front passenger seat reportedly had four plastic baggies containing suspected methamphetamine and numerous baggies also containing suspected methamphetamine were found submerged in liquid inside a McDonald’s cup on the center console, the affidavits said.

The weight of the methamphetamine inside the vehicle was 663.6 grams, the affidavits said.

Cordova, the driver of the Ford Explorer, was additionally arrested on suspicion of identity theft, driving under restraint and a lane signaling violation.

A Laurel County woman has been arrested after sheriff’s deputies say she destroyed merchandise at the Corbin Wal-Mart while high on meth.7873528_G

Laurel County sheriff’s deputies responded to the Wal-Mart after a call indicating that an intoxicated female was damaging merchandise. Upon arrival, officials say they found Keresia Botner eating cabbage plants. When officers asked why she was doing this, she responded that she wanted to see if they tasted like cabbage.

Botner was also surrounded by women’s clothing.

As deputies investigated, they learned that the total merchandise destroyed totaled $160. In addition, Botner was found to be in possession of two syringes and admitted to shooting up meth prior to the incident.

Botner had been previously arrested for shoplifting at a Wal-Mart store in London and had been banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

Botner was charged with criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, driving on DUI suspended license,  improper parking in a fire lane, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center.

Comments Off on Two-year old child safe after 100-mph car chase up I-5 ends in arrests of Kyler Wayne Lawrence, 21, and Devin Lee Hoffman, 21, both of Tacoma, on Methamphetamine and other charges

A two-year old child was safe Saturday night after a 100-mph chase up Interstate 5 ended with Oregon State Police arresting two men from Tacoma.17905210-mmmain

The two year old was unrestrained in the back seat of a 1998 gold Mercedes that was stopped for speeding Saturday evening near Aurora.

As the trooper approached the car, it sped away. The trooper returned to his car and pursued the vehicle Northbound at speeds exceeding 100 mph. The Mercedes merged onto I-205 Northbound, but was forced to pull off at the Stafford Road exit when the car began smoking and having mechanical problems.

The driver, 21-year old Kyler Wayne Lawrence of Tacoma, fled on foot into a thick patch of blackberry briars and refused to come out. He was later apprehended by a K-9 unit, taken to a hospital for injuries received in the process, then booked into Clackamas County Jail on multiple charges, including reckless driving, endangering another person and possession of methamphetamine.


Police also arrested a passenger, 21-year-old Devin Lee Hoffman of Tacoma, for endangering the welfare of the two-year-old, who was unrestrained in the back seat. The child was taken to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for evaluation and was later released to a family member.

Comments Off on Methamphetamine lab found in basement of Dayton home

Remnants of a meth lab, including two-liter bottles and gloves, were found in the basement, according to a fire official at the scene.FullSizeRender--6-

Hazmat officials are on the scene of an apparent meth lab in Dayton.

Crews were called for a reported chemical spill inside a home in the 300 block of Ritchie Street around 9:20 a.m.

Police and firefighters are blocking Ritchie and Bickmore Avenue, but no one has been evacuated from the area.

Comments Off on No ‘happily ever afters’ when it comes to Methamphetamine

Following is Part IV of a letter written by Henry Thompson, a Fayetteville man who made the front page of The Times in May 2010 after leading authorities on a high-speed chase. That chase ended with him crashing. Today, as Thompson continues to serve a 21-year sentence, he shares his story in the fourth and final of a series of articles from behind prison walls. 


I’ve always believed that apologies are more for bringing the offender comfort than the offended. After all, what good are words when someone has truly been hurt or offended. However, apologies are all I have to give. I found out the hard way there are no victimless crimes. I left many in what I assumed would be a victimless crime, from perfect strangers to the very people who loved me most.

For this reason, I would like to apologize to all the citizens of Lincoln County. Moreover, I would like to apologize to those who were personally affected by the crimes I committed, such as the people whose property I took personally or that was found in my possession at the time of my arrest. I’m very sorry – I was raised better. I hope that you can find some solace in the fact that I was sentenced to prison, and I am paying for my crimes in that way. I would also like to apologize to my extended family members, as well as my brothers, sister and my mother and sister-in-law, as well. I’m sorry for disappointing you all and also for any embarrassment I may have caused any of you. I hope that you can all forgive me.

To my mother, I’m so very sorry for the pain and shame I’ve caused you in a season of your life that should be spent enjoying the accomplishment of your children. I love you, Maw. My actions are in no way a reflection of the morals you instilled in me. My actions and the consequences lie squarely on my shoulders. Please never question yourself in that way. I’m blessed to have you.

To my wife and daughter, there are no words that can express the guilt, shame and loss that I live with every minute of every day knowing the many ways I failed you. I hope that one day you can forgive me and remember the person I was before I went crazy. I love ya’ll. To anyone in my life I have ever offended in any way, I’m sorry.

I would like to say a few words to the meth cooks of today in Lincoln County. As much as meth is a world of paranoia, fantasy and insanity, prison is a world of violence and brutality. In the last five years, I’ve been in no less than six institutions in four states. The violence I’ve seen is unimaginable to decent folks. If you think federal prison is a place of tennis courts and salad bars, my friend, you are in for a rude awakening. I’m 6’2” and weigh 200 pounds, and I’m a small guy here. Although I mind my own business, I’ve had at least seven confrontations with other inmates, two of them being because I called the wrong person brother. Soon as I walked through the doors here, someone wanted my mat. I’ve seen blood splattered all over the walls and on the ceilings, and at times, had to wade through it in order to use the restroom.

In the last two years, two inmates have lost their lives here because of inmate on inmate violence. You have to stay in a state of readiness. You don’t want to be the injured gazelle in the jungle of lions. The guys who patted you on the back yesterday will literally stab you in the back today.

As bad as that may seem, for me it’s not the prison, nor the inmates housed here that are my enemies. These are things you expect when you come to prison. My enemies are guilt, remorse, shame, knowing that I abandoned by family, left my daughter fatherless, shamed my family and let down anyone who ever cared for me. The fear of something happening to someone you love while you’re away – your mother, siblings or wife, or God forbid, your children. These things are the hard part of prison, not the prison you live in, but the feelings and self-loathing imprisoned inside of oneself.

I tell you these things because if you are using meth, Mike Pitts knows. If you are cooking meth, he knows you by name. There are no happily ever afters when it comes to meth. You’re not that smart, and sooner or later this is where it all ends. You don’t have to believe me. I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about a drug that has the power to destroy anybody.

Once again, to you all I say I am sorry, and once again, I say it doesn’t make me feel any better having said it. I would like for you all to know I was a better man than the one I became, and every day I put forth the effort to become even a better man than I was before. If you feel I owe you a personal apology or if you would just like to tell me how much you hate meth cooks my address is as follows: Henry Dwayne Thompson, #43775-074, F.C.I. Forrest City – low, P.O. Box 9000-low, Forrest City, Ark., 72336.

Comments Off on 12 women and men arrested in Arkansas Methamphetamine- and drug-trafficking investigation

NEWPORT, Ark. (AP) – Twelve people have been arrested after a year-long undercover investigation of drug trafficking in Arkansas.

According to a news release, the 12 people are residents of Batesville, Diaz, Newark and Newport and were charged with various counts of delivery of methamphetamine, cocaine, hydrocodone and alprazolam.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ( ) reports several law enforcement agencies were a part of “Operation Ice House,” which targeted dealers of methamphetamine, cocaine and prescription medication.

The investigation included 43 law enforcement officers under the direction of the Third Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, which is composed of Jackson, Lawrence, Randolph and Sharp counties.

Comments Off on Santa Barbara Police Say Methamphetamine and Pot Use on the Rise – May be Tied to a Increase in Residential and Auto Burglaries

Methamphetamine and marijuana use is on the rise in Santa Barbara, and may be tied to a spree of residential and auto burglaries, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Meth use is up possibly because of its relatively low cost on the street compared to heroin and cocaine, Sgt. Alex Altavilla said during a recent City Council budget hearing.

“Santa Barbara is a really, really beautiful place, but we always recommend that you go ahead and lock your home when you leave,” Altavilla said. “And when you leave your car, try not to leave anything inside that’s in plain view, and go ahead and lock your vehicle, too.”

Heroin right now is $1,000 to $1,200 an ounce, Altavilla said.

Methamphetamine is $350 to $500 an ounce, which it makes it something everyone is kind of interested in because of the low cost,” he said.

Santa Barbara experienced 21 unusual residential burglaries between Feb. 3 and March 6.

“We do know that there is a subset of people that use narcotics that actually go out and do burglaries,” Altavilla said.

He also noted that applications for marijuana dispensaries are on the rise.

Altavilla was one of the several speakers who gave updates during the Police Department and Fire Department budget presentations.

The department is also struggling to increase its staffing levels.

“We’re hurting for people,” Police Chief Cam Sanchez said.

The Police Department is down between nine and 12 employees from injuries, he said.

Sanchez also temporarily suspended the use of a school resource officer.

“I feel the pain of not having a school resource officer, but to deplete patrol would not be a good thing,” Sanchez said.

The department has seven vacancies and expects to lose about seven more through retirements or to other police departments, according to Capt. Gil Torres.

He said he hopes to hire 15 people out of the police academy over the course of the next year.

Torres said the Police Department is competing with heavy recruitment efforts from places such as the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, which advertises starting salaries of $75,000 to $105,000, about $14,000 higher than the Santa Barbara Police Department at the high end.

Fire Department officials also spoke at the meeting, with Fire Chief Pat McElroy saying the department is looking to improve its 9-1-1 dispatch efforts by installing a computerized version of the existing flip chart that allows dispatchers to quickly offer assistance on how to treat the person calling.

McElroy also said the department wants to develop a Spanish-language certified training program to increase accessibility to the Spanish-speaking community.

He said the volume of Spanish-speaking calls is “not an insignificant number.” He also said that many of the calls that come in are from European tourists.

“We have a tremendous amount of people from Europe, from all over the world, especially during high tourism season,” McElroy said. “There’s a lot of languages we are running across.”

Comments Off on United Nations warns that Mexican drug cartels are targeting Australia Methamphetamine trade

The United Nations warns that Mexican drug cartels are targeting criminals in Australia to import ice into the country.

A report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says cartels involved in methamphetamine trafficking have actively sought partners in Australia.A supplied image obtained Friday, April 4, 2014 of amphetamine (Ice) which part of a $3.5 million drug seizure conducted by Strike Force Siddon. Six people were arrested following raids in Sydney and Canberra yesterday.  AAP image/NSW Police) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The report says ice usage in Australia has risen to 50 per cent of drug users aged 14 years or older from just 22 per cent in 2010.

UNODC Asia Pacific regional representative Jeremy Douglas said transnational criminal gangs overseeing the synthetic drug trade pose a rising challenge for governments.

An Australian Senate Committee this week reported a sharp rise in smuggled seizures of ice into Australia at 2.9 tons in the current financial year, compared with 1.8 tons in the previous year.

China is the main source, the committee said.

Seizures of ice – crystalline methamphetamine – in China doubled from 4.5 tons in 2009 to 8.0 tons by 2013, making up over 50 per cent of seizures in the Asia-Pacific region.

Across Asia-Pacific, ice seizures reached 42 tons in 2013 from 11 tons in 2008.

Ice was the most frequently seized form of meth with over 1.2 tons trafficked from China in 2012-13, with Hong Kong and Thailand also sources in Asia.

Australia and New Zealand are key regional markets in meth trade, which also includes the tablet form.

The report also said Asia-Pacific represents an increasing share of the global ecstasy market, with imports largely from Asia, but also Western Europe, South Africa and South America.

Law enforcement authorities in Australia and Myanmar reported multi-ton ecstasy seizures in 2014, the report said.

Comments Off on China’s Growing Methamphetamine Addiction

In the summer of 2013, a 50-year-old chemistry professor in the Chinese province of Xi’an apparently decided to emulate “Breaking Bad.”  Teaming up with a Mr. Chen, Professor Lu (full names haven’t been released) straddled between his classroom duties and a growing methamphetamine business — at least until last week, when law enforcement swept down on the pair and their employees, seizing 128 kilograms of finished product, more than 2,000 liters of semi-finished product, and 5 million yuan in cash (approximately $806,000). As of a week ago, their sales network, which stretched across China, is no longer in operation.620x349

Lu’s was a short, spectacular run at one of China’s fastest growing business opportunities: the manufacture of methamphetamines and other synthetic drugs.

According to data released last week by China’s National Narcotics Control Commission, China was home in 2014 to 14 million drug addicts (a number that the agency acknowledges is a serious undercount). Of these, 2.955 million are registered with government agencies (for the purpose of treatment and monitoring by public agencies, including law enforcement), and more than half — 1.459 million — were recorded as users of methamphetamine. According to the government, the ranks of synthetic drug users are growing 36 percent every year.

Of course, China isn’t the only country that has struggled to deal with a drug epidemic. But there are several reasons meth will likely prove to be an especially stubborn scourge for the Chinese government.

The first problem is easy supply. China is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of the chemical precursors necessary to make licit and illicit drugs. China tries to strictly control the distribution of these chemicals, but ambitious meth entrepreneurs can often find crooked chemical and pharmaceutical factories that are willing to evade regulations. Directly sourcing large volumes of ingredients allows meth producers to produce large batches and benefit from economies of scale.

In that way, it’s no accident that Guangdong Province, home to the bulk of China’s chemical industry, is also home to some of its biggest methamphetamine busts. In January 2014, for example, 3,000 paramilitary and police descended on a village of 14,000 devoted to meth production, where they shut down 77 meth labs, and seized more than 100 tons of meth-making ingredients.

China is also dealing with a complicated demand problem. Consider Guangdong, which has some of China’s highest rates of methamphetamine use. (That’s according to an innovative 2014 study that measured illicit drug levels in the sewage of major Chinese cities and found meth “in every single sample analyzed.” The provincial government’s data confirms the high rate.)

What differentiates Guangdong from other parts of China? Li Xiaodong, a member of the board of the China Association of Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, has suggested the province’s high rates of drug use are linked to its high rates of migrant labor. (The area attracts tens of millions of laborersevery year from other parts of China.) Li recently told the South China Morning Post that more than 60 percent of Guangdong’s drug users were originally from other provinces, and it’s not hard to imagine why that group might find its way to drugs. Migrants often lead lonely lives — many leave their families behind when they set off to find work — and they’re said to suffer from high rates of depression.

Studies suggest that migrant labor also takes a toll on the family members who are left behind. Studies have shown that China’s biggest base of drug users is the country’s poor rural youth. According to a 2011 report in the Global Times newspaper, 87 percent of rural Chinese drug users were under the age of 35, including many whose migrant laborer parents were no longer at home. (Meanwhile, a handful of studies and plenty of anecdotes suggest that drug use — especially cheap drugs like meth — are on the rise among working class Chinese more generally. In 2012, for example, a fatal truck crash caused by a meth-using driver inspired the national authorities to drug test truck drivers nationally and suspend more than 1,400.)

The government has made efforts to push back against these trends. Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has undertaken a very public campaign against recreational drug use. In 2014, the Narcotics Control Commission claims that law enforcement “cracked” 146,000 drug-related cases, convicted 109,000 drug-related suspects, and seized 69 tons of “illegal substances.” And the government has also undertaken prosecuted celebrities, including the son of film star Jackie Chan, on drug charges.

But laudable as these efforts are, they don’t address the root of China’s methamphetamine problem. The country’s growing demand and near endless supply for meth production means that, for the foreseeable future, there will likely be many more people vying to become the country’s next Walter White.

To contact the author on this story:   Adam Minter at

Comments Off on Methamphetamine seizures quadruple across much of Asia-Pacific according to a United Nations report

Methamphetamine seizures across much of the Asia-Pacific region have quadrupled over five years, the UN said Tuesday, citing rising wealth as one reason for a boom in production and consumption.

Growing economic integration across the region was also enabling cross-border criminal networks to cooperate in peddling amphetamine-type stimulants and so-called “legal highs”, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report.3795fd1eff20b62363dd9d51816a37c3f783226d

The study, which was released in Bangkok, covers Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania, but excluded South Asia.

Between 2008 and 2013, the last year covered by the UNODC figures, regional seizures of methamphetamine — known colloquially as meth — rose nearly four-fold from 11 to 42 metric tons.

Much of the increase is down to an explosion in production of meth tablets, known in parts of Asia as “yaba”.

The drug, a potent stimulant, tends to come in two forms, a powerful crystalline variant known as “ice” or crystal meth, and the usually less pure tablets.

Between 2008 and 2013 crystal meth seizures doubled, from seven to around 14 tons.

But meth tablet seizures grew eight fold, from 30 million tablets in 2008 to more than 250 million in 2013.

Long popular in the poorer Mekong region countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam as an affordable high — often for people working long hours such as truck drivers — yaba is finding new consumers in wealthier countries.

South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore have all reported recent seizures of meth tablets, the UNODC said, although it is thought intended customers are likely to be labourers from the Mekong region rather than locals.

“This significant increase of seizures might partly be the result of effective law enforcement measures, ” the study said.1d7ea9dea8bd3625ca3dee701d209a2a63b118e5

But the rise “also points to expanding manufacture and an increase of trafficking to and through the region as the synthetic drug market is becoming increasingly interconnected with other regions.”

Legal High

The UN’s research also reported a significant increase in the production and consumption of new psychoactive substances — often colloquially referred to as “legal highs”.

These are laboratory produced chemical compounds that mimic the effects of popular recreational drugs like ecstasy and cannabis but are not yet controlled by international drug conventions.

In 2009 the number of reported new substances on regional markets was 34. By November 2014 that number had jumped to 137, with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan reporting the largest number of new substances.

Both southern China and Myanmar remain major regional synthetic drug production hotspots.d315fd41d1ee6a6d1dabee070cbb6e4e

Tun Nay Soe, UNODC program coordinator for East Asia, highlighted a village in southern China’s Guangdong province where a police raid in December 2013 netted three tons of meth and 260 kilogrammes of ketamine.

The same community was raided again in February this year and a further 2.4 tons of meth was uncovered along with precursor chemicals.

“Both crystal methamphetamine and also methamphetamine pill seizure are continuing to increase and based on the data we have received we don’t believe the momentum is going to stop at the moment,” he said.

Comments Off on Stolen Phone At Knott’s Berry Farm Nets 6 Female and Male Suspects In Hesperia Methamphetamine Drug Bust

HESPERIA (  —  Hesperia Police say a woman’s stolen phone inadvertently led them to a THC lab and the arrest of six suspects.

The victim called police to say her cellphone had been stolen while she was at Knott’s Berry Farm. She was able to track her phone to a residence in Hesperia.

Deputies were dispatched to the location around 1 a.m. Saturday  — a home in the 11000 block of 4th Avenue —  and found a known parolee by the name of Bobby Turner, 39, of Hesperia.

Police said Turner was in possession of drug paraphernalia, needles and methamphetamine.

Meanwhile, the homeowner — 49-year-old Stacey Shelton — allegedly admitted to stealing the phone from the victim.

Deputies uncovered a THC extraction lab inside the home after executing a search warrant.

The stolen phone was recovered. A fully-operational drug lab, meth, marijuana and more drug paraphernalia were also uncovered, officials said. The marijuana was allegedly found in a 13-year-old’s bedroom.

Police said Stacey and Michael Shelton, 47,  admitted to smoking pot with their minor child on numerous occasions. Children and Family Services was dispatched to the location and removed the child from the premises.

The THC extraction process is extremely dangerous due to the use of large amounts of flammable chemicals during the extraction process. This chemical process is illegal and is a violation of California’s Health & Safety Code.

In addition to the Sheltons and Turner, three other associates (Michael Walker, 22, of Hesperia; Dina Gorman, 51, of Rancho Cucamonga and Michael Funderburg, 49, of Rancho Cucamonga) were arrested on various charges.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs / Narcotics Division at (909)890-4840.

Comments Off on Maria Vallesillo, 26, of Omaha, arrested on Methamphetamine charge

A 26-year-old Omaha woman was arrested Friday afternoon for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

When Maria Vallesillo was stopped in Waverly for having fictitious plates on her vehicle, Lancaster County Sheriff’s deputies say they discovered she had 3.4 grams of meth on her as well as $7,000 in cash.

After a more thorough search on her vehicle, authorities say they discovered 56.5 additional grams of meth and a handgun found in the glove compartment.

A search through Vallesillo’s phone records revealed several conversations discussing sale of the drugs, authorities said.

Vallesillo was taken to the Lancaster County Jail and cited for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, felon in possession of a firearm and several traffic violations.







ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. – Police discovered a meth lab strapped to a moped after they tried to make a traffic stop Saturday night. It happened on Railroad Street near Hindman St. in West Pelzer.7871108_G

Upstate Drug Enforcement say these types of mobile meth labs could be going undetected on South Carolina roads.

“In my mind I would think of [them in] a shack or something really creepy,” said Will Black. “I heard they explode. That scares me.”

Boats, cars and now, a moped are all places drug enforcement says working meth labs have been found before. Because of the flammable chemicals used to make the drug, officers say it’s very dangerous to have on our roads. If the lab is shaken enough, it could catch fire or explode.

“It can be extremely hazardous for people to innocently come upon it and not know what it is,” said Lt. Baker, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.7871112_G

7 On Your Side asked drug enforcement how easy is it to detect these mobile meth labs. They say it’s pretty hard, because meth can be made in small, plastic bottles and put in small places like a trunk.

Some call them “shake and bake” meth labs. It’s a cheaper, easier option to make the drug by mixing ingredients together in a bottle.

“[If a] van explodes. there could be school children on the side of the road,” said Black. “Just horrible things can happen.”

Experts say the chemicals can be harmful even if the meth lab isn’t active. They can burn your skin and put your health at risk.

“The chemicals are extremely hazardous,” said Lt. Baker. “The aftermath could be potentially hazardous if it’s not handled properly.”

Law enforcement usually find mobile meth labs during traffic stops or accidents. When they do, they’re told to immediately back away and call in a hazmat team, as police did Saturday night in West Pelzer.

We asked law enforcement how common these mobile meth labs are in the upstate. The Anderson County Drug Unit say they don’t see as many as they do meth labs inside homes or other buildings.

Law enforcement do tell us that meth labs overall are on the rise in the Upstate. So far this year, Spartanburg County and Anderson County say they have busted about 28 meth labs.

In Greenwood county, law enforcement has found 15. They were not able to tell us how many of those were mobile.

Comments Off on Alfio Anthony Granata, 47, sentenced to 17 years in Melbourne over 6-week rape ordeal of 21-year-old Dutch woman after smoking Methamphetamine

Melbourne – An Australian man who repeatedly raped and degraded a terrified Dutch tourist during a six-week ordeal, including carving a cross into her forehead, was sentenced to 17 years in jail Monday.

Alfio Anthony Granata, 47, pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including multiple rapes, threats to kill and intentionally causing serious injury over a six-week period in 2012.

Victorian County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo said Granata’s behavior was “vile and repulsive” and had dehumanized his 21-year-old victim.

“The victim was in constant pain,” he said. “She was degraded and humiliated.”

An earlier hearing was told Granata and his former partner Jennifer Peaston met the young bisexual backpacker at a party in Melbourne and they became friends, having consensual sex while smoking the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine.

Granata later became obsessed that the two women were having sex behind his back and turned violent, threatening to kill the young woman if she left the hotel room where he and Peaston were living.

He was accused of attacking her, with the help of Peaston, with objects including a rolling pin, vacuum cleaner and a gas torch lighter in a pattern of escalating attacks.

The Melbourne Age said that on one occasion Granata carved a cross into the victim’s forehead, saying it meant she belonged to him and was “marked for death”.

In another bizarre ritual, Granata sealed her photograph, fingernail and hair clippings and blood in an envelope and poured hot wax over her body.

The harrowing ordeal culminated in the tourist stabbing Granata as he slept and then attempting to kill herself. Granata and his girlfriend panicked and called emergency services, bringing an end to events that the judge said would scar the woman for life.

Police said Granata shot extensive video footage of the attacks and it had taken officers six months to sift through it all. Chains, blindfolds and sex toys were also seized from the hotel room.

The defense argued that the offences were linked to Granata’s ice addiction, but the judge rejected this.

Earlier this year Peaston avoided jail after pleading guilty to two charges of intentionally causing injury. She was placed on a good behavior bond after the court decided that she too had been the victim of sustained abuse.

Comments Off on Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Deputies say Mariah Ne’Shelle Brewington, 19, of Cowpens, exposed child to Methamphetamine

A Cowpens woman is accused of exposing a child to methamphetamine and marijuana.

Mariah Ne’Shelle Brewington, 19, of 1050 Double Branch Road, has been charged with child neglect.Mariah Ne'Shelle Brewington

The state Department of Social Services opened an investigation into the child’s family amid allegations of the use and sale of illegal drugs, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office report.

The child was placed in the care of Brewington and Brewington’s girlfriend, but both refused to take drug tests, the report states.

They later moved from their residence and DSS was unable to find them and the child. DSS officials notified law enforcement.

The suspects and child were located at a Spartanburg restaurant. The child was removed from Brewington’s custody and a drug test revealed she had been exposed to methamphetamine and marijuana. Brewington tested positive for methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, a report states.

Brewington’s girlfriend refused to be tested.

Brewington was booked and released from the Spartanburg County jail Wednesday, according to online jail records.

Comments Off on Jackson Firefighters discover Methamphetamine lab at house fire

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) – Jackson fire investigators discover a meth lab during a house fire Friday night.7866969_G

Jackson Fire Department Division Chief Cleotha Sanders Jr. said the fire on Hampton Street initially started from a cigarette that was disposed of improperly.

Units responded to the scene just after seven p.m.

There were reports of a possible explosion.

Investigators found a meth lab at the home.

The fire was contained to one room.

Sanders said the case has been turned over to MBN for further investigation.

No word on arrests at this time.

Comments Off on Five People Accused of Packaging, Selling Crystal Methamphetamine from Yorktown Home

A long investigation into the sale of methamphetamine in northern Westchester culminated when police searched a house at 1660 Hunterbrook Road in Yorktown Heights.

Now five men, three of whom police say lived there face felony and misdemeanor drug charges.

  • Peter A. Laquer, 66, of Yorktown
  • Brian T. Zignego, 43, of Yorktown
  • Robert Mandry, 53, of Yorktown
  • Akihiko Nitta, 51, of New York City
  • Connor Schloop, 22, of Cheekatowga, NY

Yorktown police officers, the Westchester County Northern Drug Task Force and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety executed a search warrant.

it was the culmination of a long investigation into the packaging and distribution of crystal meth throughout Westchester, police said.

“This is a perfect example of multiple law enforcement agencies working together to combat the drug epidemic that is gripping our community,” said Lt. Robert Noble, the Yorktown Police Department Patrol Division Commander.

Zignego, Mandry, Nitta and Schloop are due in Yorktown court June 4. Laqueur was scheduled for a court appearance May 19.

Comments Off on Methamphetamine house horrifies mother, Kadon Captain, in Whangaparaoa

A solo mum and her two children have been forced out of their rented home after tests for P residue revealed levels of the drug 25 times above safety limits.

The four-bedroom villa at Fairway Ave, Red Beach, Whangaparaoa, is owned by large-scale methamphetamine dealer Brett Campbell Bogue, who was jailed for more than nine years in November.SCCZEN_130515HOSDSP3_480x270

But when Kadon Captain rented the house for $720 a week in January she had no idea about its past.

She rented the property through a North Shore letting agency. Bogue’s mother, real estate agent Janice Bogue, was the acting landlord, and his sister, Krishla, was Captain’s initial point of contact for any property issues.

On Thursday, Captain appeared in the Tenancy Tribunal seeking compensation from Janice Bogue, who in return is counter-claiming, seeking $6,582 in alleged unpaid rent from Captain.

Captain became aware of the property owner’s history after being informed by a neighbor two months after moving in.

“I was horrified,” she told the Herald on Sunday. “I know residue from that drug is toxic and I had real worries for my family’s health.”

Captain told the tribunal she contacted Janice Bogue at the end of March about the possibility of contamination.

Two weeks later, Bogue indicated she would organize a meth test, but nothing happened, Captain said. She went ahead with private testing, conducted by MethSolutions.

“Results showed the lower part of the house was 25 times Ministry of Health guidelines for decontamination,” Captain said. “My teenage son was staying there.”

Miles Stratford, director of MethSolutions, was alarmed at the results. “There can be short-term symptoms such as skin rashes, eye irritation and headaches. Longer term, people are at increased risk of cancer, lung disease, stroke and birth defects,” he said.

“If you are living in houses with meth contamination in them, but have no resistance to P because you don’t use the stuff, you can still get a mild meth effect.”

Captain reported her concerns to the police and contacted Environmental Health at Auckland Council. Her insurers, State Insurance, are carrying out tests on her family’s possessions for contamination.

The hearing will continue next month when Krishla Bogue is due to give her side of the story. Janice Bogue was not at Thursday’s hearing.

Meanwhile, further testing at Bogue’s house – which has a 2014 CV of $600,000 – was conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and State Insurance this week.

Etienne Dyssel, acting manager of Environmental Health at Auckland Council, said if a rental property returned methamphetamine levels exceeding Ministry of Health guidelines, council would serve the owner with a cleansing order.

Brett Bogue, 44, a former award-winning real estate agent was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland after pleading guilty to six charges covering class-A drug offending and unlawful possession of a pistol.

Comments Off on Welfare check leads police to seize Methamphetamine lab in Oswego

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Police officers who responded to an apartment Saturday to check on someone ended up discovering a methamphetamine lab.

Oswego police said around 8:30 a.m. officers responded to a second-floor apartment at 200 W. First St. for a “check the welfare complaint.”

When the officers arrived, however, they found indications that there might be a methamphetamine lab in the apartment, police said. Officers secured the scene and two people in the apartment were treated by the Oswego Fire Department for unknown medical conditions.

Police said the sidewalk in front of the apartment on West First Street was closed off and the state police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team was called in. Officers seized a one-pot methamphetamine lab.

All units had left the scene and the sidewalk had been opened by 12:30 p.m.

Police said they are continuing to investigate and that arrests are possible, but that no other information will be released until next week.

Comments Off on Stolen electricity in the Town of Union leads to Methamphetamine arrests of Michele Drossos, 48, and Peter Drossos, 53

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Two people were arrested Thursday on several charges, including criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material.

On Thursday, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol Division responded to a theft of services complaint on Zeggert Road in the Town of Union.endicott+meth+web+333

Deputies said the complaint stemmed from the residents of 1006 May St. stealing electrical service from a residence on Zeggert Road, which is located directly behind the May Street residence.

The investigating deputy followed the extension cord back to 1006 May Street, and saw a meth operation through an open window of the home.

The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force was contacted to continue the investigation. Members obtained a search warrant for the residence.

Broome County SIU Task Force members and members of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol Division searched the residence for anyone inside, with negative results, and were able to render the scene safe for the night.

The Broome County Sheriff’s Office Highway Patrol Division monitored the home throughout the night until morning.

Because of the volatility of the meth that was being manufactured, the task force called for the assistance of the New York State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team (CCSERT).

On Friday, task force members and CCSERT executed the search warrant on the residence and located approximately five fluid ounces of methamphetamine oil, packaged heroin, controlled substance pills and an indoor marijuana grow operation.

An inspector from the Town of Union Code Enforcement Office responded to the scene and deemed the house unsafe. The property was condemned.

Peter Drossos, 53, and Michele Drossos, 48, both of 1006 May St., were arrested and arraigned in the Town of Union Court Thursday night. They were taken to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force was assisted on the scene by the West Corners Department and the Union Volunteer Emergency Squad.


Peter Drossos, 53

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance, second degree, class A-II felony
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, third degree, class D felony
  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material, second degree, class A misdemeanor
  • Two counts, criminal possession of a controlled substance, seventh degree, class A misdemeanors,
  • Growing of the plant known as cannabis by an unlicensed person, class A Misdemeanor -Unlawful possession of marihuana, a violation.

Michele Drossos, 48

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance, second degree, class A-II felony
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, third degree, class D felony
  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material, second degree, class A misdemeanor
  • Two counts, criminal possession of a controlled substance, seventh degree, class A misdemeanors,
  • Growing of the plant known as cannabis by an unlicensed person, class A Misdemeanor -Unlawful possession of marihuana, a violation.

The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force is comprised of members of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Binghamton Police Department, the Village of Johnson City Police Department, and the Village of Endicott Police Department.

Comments Off on Candida Velazquez, of Groton, charged in 2 Methamphetamine lab busts in one year

Candida Velazquez has pleaded guilty to felony third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine. She was scheduled to be sentenced Friday but could not find transportation to Ithaca from her Cortland home.

Records state that Velazquez was charged at 8:20 a.m. on Oct. 24 at 177 Main Street in Groton after police say they found materials used to make methamphetamine in her home.

Court records show that police found the following:

  • 96 pills of pseudoephedrine
  • Drain opener with sulfuric acid
  • 24 ounces of sea salt
  • sterno cooking jelly
  • a digital scale
  • Other materials such as tubing, a funnel and residue crusted blender

She and her co-defendant and boyfriend, Kenneth O. Bush, admitted to the making methamphetamine, police said in court records.

Velazquez was also convicted of felony third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine June 7 in Cortlandville, according to WGN.

She and her husband Ramon Velazquez were pulled over by a police officer saw contraband and methamphetamine in the vehicle, the report says.

Court records show that her sentence will be served concurrently with her Cortland County charge.

Comments Off on Ashley Jordan Sigmon, 23, and Marcus Otto Gienger, 47, of Newton, Arrested On Methamphetamine Charges

23-year-old Ashley Jordan Sigmon and 47-year-old Marcus Otto Gienger, both of the same Thomas Drive, Newton b31a1e0cb6278e5bc3b5270b10883131_XLaddress, were arrested by Newton Police Officers. They’re both charged with possession of methamphetamine. Sigmon is also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Following their arrests, both suspects were detained this morning (Friday, May 22) in the Catawba County Detention Facility. Sigmon’s bond was set at $10,000, Gienger’s bond was set at $15,000. They’re both scheduled to appear in District Court today.

Comments Off on After brief struggle, Tuscaloosa police arrest Christopher Adam Blake, 31, of Alabaster, caught with 40 grams of Methamphetamine

After a brief chase and struggle, narcotics agents arrested a 31-year-old Alabaster man accused of trafficking methamphetamine Thursday afternoon.17887370-small

Sgt. Brent Blankley, a spokesman for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, said agents with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force met a 31-year-old man in McCalla around 4:30 Thursday for a drug buy.

Blankley said officers surrounded the man in the 21000 block of Highway 11 North. The suspect tried to flee on a motorcycle, he said, but was subdued after a brief struggle by officers on foot before he could escape.

When the searched the man, agents found 40 grams of methamphetamine, 7 grams of methadone, steroids, alprazolam powder, approximately 8 ounces of GHB and drug paraphernalia.17887317-mmmain

Officers arrested Christopher Adam Blake and charged him with two counts of trafficking in illegal drugs, one for possession of a controlled substance, one of attempting to elude police, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Blake is in the Tuscaloosa County Jail, where his bond was set at $1,020,000 bond.

Comments Off on Fake IDs used to purchase Methamphetamine ingredients in Orangeburg

An Orangeburg man was arrested on drug charges after law enforcement alleged he purchased pharmaceuticals to make methamphetamine.

A 50-year-old faces misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and attempting to obtain pseudoephedrine by fraud, according to Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Lt. John Caddell.

An ODPS incident report says the man and a woman purchased pseudoephedrine from the John C. Calhoun Drive and Chestnut Street Walgreens Monday using other people’s identification.

The drug is a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Law enforcement asked the man to turn his leftover meth into the agency’s narcotics office and he did so voluntarily. The total amount of meth turned in was .42 grams.