WAUSAU — Ron Glaman once saw a meth-addicted man, so high on drugs that he tore off part of his scalp with a screwdriver to get at the “meth bugs” that he was convinced were swarming over the top of his head.

When that didn’t work, the man poured gasoline on top of his head as a last resort, Glaman said. The gasoline didn’t make the bugs go away either, but high on meth, the addict felt no pain.

Glaman, a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and local police said they are seeing a resurgence in meth use across central Wisconsin after a lull during the past few years, and they preparing for the worst.

“Meth users are unpredictable, freakishly paranoid, violent and bizarre,” Glaman said. “This is a nightmare drug. You do not want your children to try it.”

Whether you smoke it, snort it or inject it, methamphetamine is a stimulant that produces a high like no other. Users first experience intense euphoria, a sudden increase in energy and sex drive; some users report staying awake for five straight days while taking the drug continuously; some stay awake even longer.

The rush lasts for a few minutes, followed by a high that can coast for up to 16 hours. Most users binge for several days, not wanting to come down. When the high wears off, a stage investigators call “tweaking,” that’s when the trouble usually begins, as paranoia and anxiety begin to creep in.

“When users are coming off the drug, they’ll do anything to get more,” Glaman said. “They’re getting paranoid; they think someone is out to get them. That’s the point when we in law enforcement have to handle them with kid gloves.”

When the drug wears off, users crash, often lying nearly comatose for up to three days.

“One woman who knew she was about to crash locked her children in the bathroom so she knew they were safe and not running around somewhere,” Glaman said. “Three days later, those kids were still in the bathroom. It happens.”

An explosion of cases

Meth addicts often are unwittingly lured into using the drug because users don’t always know what they’re trying, said Angela Greenfield, a substance abuse counselor and social worker at North Central Health Care in Wausau, a facility that offers outpatient drug treatment. Meth has a definite negative undertone that many Americans are acutely aware of through watching TV shows like the popular drama, “Breaking Bad;” dealers go out of their way to mask what they’re really selling.

“Somewhere today, someone is going to try meth for the first time, and they won’t even know what it is,” Greenfield said. “Dealers don’t call it meth. They call it ice, or glass, or some other cutsie name that young people don’t associate with meth. They just know they’re going to get high. Six months down the road, their life is destroyed. It happens all the time.”

Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Lance Leonhard, who prosecutes most of the major drug cases in the county, said prosecutors have seen a definite spike in meth-related cases in recent years. The District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 22 meth-related cases in 2011; that number nearly doubled to 43 cases in 2012 and it’s expected to spike sharply again in 2013, Leonhard said. A combined total of 31 meth possession and meth distribution charges already were filed before June 1, putting prosecutors on track to see roughly 75 cases this year.

But drug charges alone don’t tell the whole story, Leonhard said. Related criminal cases also are on the rise, thanks to drug users who shoplift, break into houses or commit other crimes to finance their drug habits, he said.

“It’s not only the drug cases that are the issue,” Leonhard said. “We also have burglaries, robberies, an enormous amount of retail theft, and most of that is related to drug use in some way. I’ve seen figures that say as much as 75 percent of our criminal cases are connected to drugs in some way, and, in my opinion, that’s not an exaggeration.”

A shift in the supply chain

Local, large-scale meth labs are nearly a thing of the past, investigators say, thanks to tight regulations on the sale of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient used in making meth. In the past, meth manufacturers would buy SUDAFED, or other cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine, in mass quantities and cook up huge batches of the stuff, often in an abandoned home, shed, barn or other outbuilding. In 2006, then-President George W. Bush signed into law new rules that require pharmacists to limit pseudoephedrine purchases to less than nine grams per month; pharmacists now keep track of which customers buy the drugs, and customers are required to show identification when they make a purchase, even with a prescription.

“Meth users used to steal entire shelves full of SUDAFED to cook up these huge batches,” Glaman said. “Now, pharmacists keep it behind the counter, so they can’t do that anymore. They just can’t make those big batches like they used to.”

The legislation set off a flurry of activity with Mexican drug cartels that were only too happy to begin smuggling meth created in “superlabs” outside of the U.S. to meet the demand. Drug cartels respond to the same market pressures as legitimate businesses; they often have business plans, create supplies to meet demands, and operate solely to make a profit, Glaman said.

Once in the country, the meth travels up a pipeline to Midwestern states; much of the meth found in central Wisconsin is filtered through Asian gangs in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, he said.

Marathon County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Schneck, who spearheads the county’s special investigations unit, said drugs imported from Mexico are relatively easy to get and cost about $100 per gram. The amount each user needs to get high varies widely; some have a habit that costs hundreds of dollars a day to maintain, he said.

“It’s all expensive,” Schneck said. “And, of course, it’s all a big waste of money.”

Meth is made “anywhere and everywhere”

While the old meth labs required hundreds of pseudoephedrine pills, investigators now are seeing most cookers using what they call the “shake and bake” or “one-pot” method, which requires only a few cold pills and is extremely portable.

In the one-pot method, pills are mixed with common, but noxious, household chemicals, along with lithium stripped from batteries, and then poured into an empty, two-liter soda bottle. The chemical reaction produces enough meth for the user — and, sometimes a friend — to get a few hits.

The recipe is simple, but potentially deadly; lithium can easily ignite, causing an explosion; pressure inside the bottle also can cause an explosion.

“Where is meth being made? It’s being made anywhere and everywhere,” Glaman said. “It’s in homes. It’s in hotels, motels, apartments and homes. It’s in public restrooms.”

Some users throw the mixture into a ditch along the highway; in 45 minutes, Glaman said, they return to collect the bottle.

“If the bottle didn’t explode, they’ve made their meth, and they didn’t even have to be there to make it,” Glaman said.

Treatment vs. incarceration

Despite the dramatic brain damage meth use causes, recovery from meth addiction is possible, but users have a tough road ahead of them to stay clean. Most meth addicts show impulsive behavior and have difficulty with any kind of delayed gratification; they are commonly unemployed and are in poor physical health, said Dr. Randy Brown, director at the Center for Addictive Disorders at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.

“Treatment depends on a number of factors,” Brown said. “Mental illness can play a role. Their history of drug use can play a role. But really what matters is having a good, solid support system that can make recovery much more successful.”

Meth dealers don’t give up on their customers easily, Greenfield said, because they don’t want to lose business; their aggressiveness often hampers an addict’s efforts at recovery.

“Dealers are relentless,” Greenfield said. “They come to your work. They knock on your door. They just don’t give up.”

Leonhard said his office takes a tough stance on drug crimes, but recognizes that addicts need treatment, sometimes more than they need incarceration.

“Possession of methamphetamine is a felony, but our first option is always to try for probation and treatment,” Leonhard said. “Never in my seven years in this position have I sent someone with a first-offense drug possession charge to prison. Never. Our goal is to get someone treatment first.”

A typical first-time offender charged with possession of methamphetamine is placed on probation, but some addicts choose to turn down probation and spend four to nine months in jail instead, Leonhard said.

“Probation isn’t easy; there is always a treatment component and there’s some kind of drug monitoring,” Leonhard said. “That being said, some people don’t want to quit. They don’t want treatment. And it takes no effort whatsoever to sit 180 days in jail.”










CARLINVILLE — Fighting methamphetamine has become the No. 1 objective for the  Carlinville Police Department, Chief David Haley said last week.

Within the past few weeks, Carlinville police have busted three suspected  meth labs and arrested six people on meth-related charges.

So far this year, Carlinville police have handled 11 cases involving meth,  compared to just three in 2012.

The effort is part of a larger crackdown to rid the community of  methamphetamine, Haley said.

He said authorities noticed a spike about six months ago after a number of  convicted drug users settled in Carlinville after being released from  prison.

In response, he said, he took an officer off patrol duties to dedicate full  time to busting meth operations. The department of 11 full-time and a dozen  part-time officers now has two to three officers working drug cases full time,  he said.

Some of the recent arrests were the result of officers simply knocking on  the doors of two homes in Carlinville where meth was suspected, Haley said.

“We’re going to continue and try to get it out of our community,” he said.  “Meth is definitely the No. 1 target for us right now.”

One of the biggest concerns is that experienced manufacturers will start  teaching novices in the community how to make meth, Haley said.

Since production of the drug boomed in the early 2000s in rural areas like  Macoupin, Montgomery and Christian counties, the way meth is made has evolved.  Many “cooks” now use a process called “shake and bake” because it’s done in  two-liter soda bottles.

All the ingredients, including ammonium nitrate, lithium batteries, water  and pseudoephedrine, are shaken in a bottle and poured out through a filter.  Ammonium nitrate has replaced anhydrous ammonia, a volatile chemical fertilizer  that often was stolen from farmers’ tanks left in the field around harvest  time.

Five years ago, meth was typically cooked on a stove in larger batches,  which required dozens of boxes of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. That  prompted new laws to regulate the amount that could be purchased at drugstores  at one time.

According to Macoupin County Sheriff Don Albrecht, authorities aren’t coming  across the drug much outside of Carlinville. He did say he’s seen a rise in  heroin recently.

“It’s still a daily battle for us to try and keep drugs off the streets,”  Albrecht said. “The ones addicted seem to get it one way shape or form.”

In Christian County, Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said authorities have noticed a  resurgence in meth the past few years.

Like in Carlinville, he said, former convicts released from prison have  returned to Christian County and taken up making meth again using the  shake-and-bake method.

Earlier this year, Kettelkamp said he assigned an additional officer full  time to drug investigations.

“All people need now is a box and a half of pills to make a batch,” he said.  “We’re going to keep at it every day.”








KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A more-than-five-hour standoff ended Saturday night with at least two people arrested.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers tell Newschannel 3 it started around 4:30 p.m. Saturday as they responded to a report of a methamphetamine lab in the 500 block of Egleston.

When officers got on scene, one man jumped out of a window and was arrested on outstanding warrants.

Two men were still inside the home and refused to leave.

Police say the two men were believed to have multiple firearms on them at the time.

The Kalamazoo Metropolitan SWAT Team was called to assist in the situation. The negotiators were able to get one man to surrender. But the second refused to leave.

He was surrendered only after police released a chemical irritant in the home.

Officers searched the home and found a large and complex methamphetamine lab inside along with a shotgun.

Officers remained on scene for several hours disposing of the lab.

Both the 26-year-old man and 24-year-old man were taken into custody at the Kalamazoo County Jail on several outstanding warrants. Additional charges for the meth lab and weapons violations are pending.

Animal Services also took away at least one dog.







GRAVES COUNTY, KY (KFVS) – Five people were taken into custody after agents confiscated more than 50 pounds of crystal meth along with guns and around $90,000 after an investigation in western Kentucky and Tennessee.

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon calls it one of the largest crystal methamphetamine seizures in ever in Kentucky. He says the methamphetamine seized in this case has an estimated street value of $2,400,900 at street value of $100 per gram.


Abbie G Jones, 53, of the Water Valley community was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in marijuana over five pounds and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was taken to the Graves County Jail.

Abbie Jones (Source: Graves County SO)
Abbie Jones

John C. Slingland, 69, of Water Valley faces federal charges of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. He was taken to the Christian County Jail.

John C. Slingland (Source: Christian Co. Jail)
John C. Slingland

Jamie Readnour , 34, of Ringo, was charged with DUI, possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. She was taken to the Graves County Jail.

Jamie Radnour (Source: Graves County SO)
Jamie Radnour

Richard Omar, 55, of Fulgham, was charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and possession of handgun/firearm by a convicted felon. He was taken to the Hickman Co. Jail.

Jeffery Creason , 50, of Fulgham,  was charged with trafficking marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and possession of handgun/firearm by a convicted felon. He was taken to the Hickman Co. Jail.

The Graves County Sheriff’s Office says additional charges and arrests are likely in the near future.

Agents confiscated more than 50 pounds of crystal meth along with guns and around $90,000 (Source: Graves County SO).
Agents confiscated more than 50 pounds of crystal meth along with guns and around $90,000

The joint drug trafficking investigation was by the Graves County Sheriff’s Department, McCracken County Sheriff’s Office, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Hickman County Sheriff’s Office and Carlisle County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

Redmon says law enforcement had gotten information alleging John Slingland and Abbie Jones were involved in the upper level distribution of methamphetamine. In addition, it was alleged that Richard Omar was also involved in trafficking illegal drugs as well as the trading of guns. Both Slingland and Omar are convicted felons with prior drug offenses.

During the course of the investigation, detectives found Slingland and Jones’ residence in southern Graves County and other properties in which they had an interest. Omar’s home and another possible location of illegal drugs and guns were also found in Hickman and Carlisle Counties.

The investigation quickly progressed to the respective agencies buying quantities of crystal methamphetamine from Slingland and Jones. The location of properties in Tennessee and Kentucky were again confirmed during this course of the investigation.

On the Friday, October 4, law enforcement the Kentucky State Police, US Marshals, and the DEA executed a search warrant at Slingland and Jones’ home on Kingston Road in southern Graves County.

During the warrant, Redmon says Slingland tried to hide from officials, but was taken into custody. After searching the property,  two pounds of crystal methamphetamine, more than five pounds of marijuana, and 25 firearms and over $50,000, believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales, was seized. Law enforcement also seized five vehicles from Slingland and Jones that were believed to be used to distribute the methamphetamine in Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois.

As law enforcement continued the search, a vehicle driven by Jamie Readnour was seen in the area on a number of occasions. Graves County Sheriff’s Deputies later stopped the vehicle and Readnour was taken into custody charged with DUI. After searching the vehicle, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found, according to Redmon.

As the investigation continued agents went to a home  in northwest Tennessee and confiscated an additional 51 pounds of highly concentrated crystal methamphetamine. The stash house was identified as a piece of property that had been rented by Slingland and Jones to aid their drug trafficking, according to Redmon.

Later in the day,  law enforcement continued to follow leads from their investigation as a Kentucky State Police drug detective issued a search warrant for Richard Omar’s home on State Route 703 in Clinton.

During that search, more than $38,000, over five pounds of marijuana, 16 guns, and more crystal methamphetamine were found by law enforcement.  While at the home, detectives took Jeffery Creason, a brother to Richard Omar into custody.  Detectives found Omar hiding in a garage on Moss Road in Hickman County.

Later that night, law enforcement conducted a subsequent investigation at another location on Bugg Road in Hickman County and confiscated a shotgun and short barrel assault rifle believed to be owned by Richard Omar.







BOONE, NC (WBTV) – Deputies in Boone have arrested two men they say were trafficking methamphetamine.

On Monday, narcotics detectives from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the Boone Police Department executed a search warrant on the 100 block of Long Street in Boone, according to a news release from the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office.

Baxter James, left, and Robert Phillips, right
Baxter James, left, and Robert Phillips, right

During the course of the search warrant, detectives located and seized 254 grams, just over a half pound of crystal methamphetamine. The methamphetamine had an estimated street value of $30,480.

Baxter Smith James, 69, of Long Street, was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and distribute methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling/place/vehicle for a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

James is currently being held at the Watauga County Detention Facility under a $1 million secured bond and is scheduled to appear in District Court on July 29, 2013.

Robert Hill Phillips, 48, was also charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, PWISD methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling/place/vehicle for a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Phillips is currently being held at the Watauga County Detention Facility under a $75,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in District Court on July 29, 2013.

Both James and Phillips have pending court cases in Watauga County for Methamphetamine related incidents.







LADY LAKE — Two men are behind bars after authorities said they were making meth in a Ford Bronco.

Summerfield resident Denis Campbell, 60, and 58-year-old William Verticelli, who lives in the mega Villages retirement community, face charges for trafficking and manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. They both were booked into the Lake County Jail with bonds set at $150,500.

The men were leaving a Walgreens drugstore parking lot and heading south on Rolling Acres Road around midnight Sept. 30 when an officer pulled them over after noticing Campbell did not have a registered tag for the sports-utility vehicle, according to an arrest report by the Lady Lake Police. Officer Shane Barrett said in the report he was doing an inventory on the Bronco before having it towed away when he spotted a “Gatorade bottle with a multi-layer liquid and black strips” tucked between the driver and passenger seats.

“Through my training and experience this is known to me to be a method used to manufacture methamphetamine,” Barrett said.

He said the Sheriff’s Office assisted with the cleanup of the “active cook.” Officers later found several chemicals and equipment used to manufacture meth, bottles of camp fuel, tubing, plastic bags and a digital scale in the Bronco, Barrett added.


A Sedalia woman was arrested after officers found she was manufacturing meth in a local motel room.

According to reports, at 12:04 a.m. Thursday, officers with the Sedalia Police Department’s STING Unit, Pettis County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol served a search warrant at a motel in the 4700 block of South Limit Avenue and found meth, baggies and digital scales.

Jessica M. Pruitt, 22, of the 500 block of South Lafayette Avenue, was charged with two counts of manufacturing a controlled substance and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. She is currently being held at the Pettis County Jail on a $100,000 bond.







A mother riding in a car with five children and methamphetamines faces endangerment and drug charges after a run-in with police, a New Braunfels Police Department spokesman said.

Jessica Marie Hernandez, 26, was booked Thursday morning at the Comal County Jail for one count each of abandoning or endangering a child criminal negligence and manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group 1, between 4 grams and 200 grams, NBPD Capt. John McDonald said.








A backpack found abandoned in a vacant home led to the arrest of a Region 8 man.

On Thursday Baxter County sheriff’s deputies arrested Terry William Stacy on felony burglary and drug charges.

A property owner told investigators that on Sunday, Sept. 29, he found the 46-year-old man inside a vacant rental property in the 200-block of Cranfield Road.

Forgotten backpack loaded with meth leads to man's arrest

Terry Stacy



The owner said he escorted Stacy from the premises then locked the building.

According to a report by the sheriff’s office, Stacy asked the owner if he could be allowed back inside to retrieve a backpack; but, the owner refused.

The property owner told investigators he saw Stacy a short time later trying to get into the home.

After being confronted by the owner, the sheriff said Stacy left the scene on a bicycle.

The property owner then retrieved the backpack from the home and discovered a syringe inside, the report stated.

When deputies searched the bag further, they found about 2 grams of methamphetamine as well as drug paraphernalia, according to the report.

Stacy is charged with residential burglary, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond at the Baxter County Detention Center.  He’s scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on October 24.







FRESNO – Authorities raided a house in northwest Fresno on Wednesday and discovered a methamphetamine lab capable of producing $1.5 million, or roughly 100 pounds, worth of ice in a single week.

West Birch Avenue, Fresno



Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers have spent the last seven months investigating the possible lab, which they say was being run by drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and Southern California.

A search of the home, located in the 5900 block of West Birch Avenue, revealed 100 pounds of methamphetamine, several handguns, and assault weapons.

Authorities say the lab rendered the house insanely combustible and that even the slightest of incendiaries would have blown it sky high.

They went on to mention that taking out the organization will impact the availability of meth on Fresno streets.

In addition to clearing out the lab, authorities arrested 13 men and women, respectively. Taken into custody were Manuel Macia 28; Edgar Cornejo, 24; Carlos Pedraza-Cornejo, 20; Juan Prado, 34, Orlando Delfin Lara, 21; Laura Taylor, 36; Jeremy Berg, 40; and James Farnham, 37.








There are two updates to an accident in that happenedThursday afternoon. That accident sent a man to Ruby in a helicopter.

Police say 21 year-old Joseph Kelley is in a medically-induced coma, but he is listed in stabile condition.

Police also told 5 News that they found the materials needed to make meth in Kelley’s car, as well as empty beer cans.







SEATTLE — A Seattle woman says an unknown man slipped meth into her beer while she was at a Summer Solstice party in Fremont.

According to the Seattle Police Department’s report for the incident, the victim came into the Southwest Precinct last Saturday to report the incident that occurred four months earlier.

The victim told officers she was at a party at a friend’s house in the 600 block of Northwest 45th Street. She said she had been to many parties there throughout the year because he is a friend of her ex-boyfriend.

According to the report, she had been at the party for an hour and a half and was on her second beer when an unknown man in his 20s sat down next to her and started flirting with her and asking who she was at the party with.

The victim told officers she saw the man’s hand leave her beer but didn’t think much of it, assuming he had simply mistaken her beer for his. She said she took a drink of the beer, and the man got up and left.

According to the report, the victim noticed the man and another man watching her intently and talking, and a few minutes later she started feeling sick.

The victim left the party and walked a few blocks before collapsing and starting to vomit.

She told officers two women noticed her and sat with her for three or four hours while she vomited on the side of the road.

The victim was taken to Virginia Mason Hospital for treatment, and a urine test eventually came back positive for methamphetamine. She told officers she has never tried meth.

The victim said she has tried to get information about the man who was flirting with her from other people at the party, but they won’t tell her anything about him.








A man trying to make methamphetamine in his home had his meth cook fail, spewing toxic chemicals and fumes in the bathroom and the home, police said.

Police said the bathroom included children’s bath toys and products because he shared the bathroom with his two children, ages 4 and 7.

Allen Keith Goreham, 42, of St. Charles County, was charged with making a controlled substance and two counts of endangering a child.

Allen Keith Goreham, 42, of St. Charles County, was charged with making a controlled substance and two counts of endangering a child

Allen Keith Goreham, 42, of the first block first block of Elmtree Drive near O’Fallon in St. Charles County, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing meth and two counts of child endangerment.

During a search of a home Oct. 1, St. Charles County Regional Drug Task Force said they discovered:

  • A syringe of methamphetamine on the bathroom sink
  • A baby jar in the refrigerator that was full of a chemical used to finish meth
  • Fuel inside a Mason jar on the bathroom sink
  • A variety of ingredients used to make meth
  • A burn pile outside with the remains of a discarded meth cook

Goreham brought a plastic bottle in which he was cooking meth inside the bathroom and it failed, spewing fumes and toxic chemicals all over the bathroom, according to a court document.

The home has been condemned.

Goreham and his wife have two children, ages 4 and 7.

Police said that even 12 hours after the bottle failed, the bathroom and the home had “an overwhelmingly strong chemical stench.”

According to a court document, Goreham admitted that he and his wife use meth.

Goreham told an officer he knew making meth inside the home was a threat to his children’s health and safety, police said.

An officer asked Goreham “why he would risk his children’s safety?”

Goreham replied, “Stupidity.”

He is being held in the St. Charles County jail. Bail was set at $30,000, cash only.







LECANTO, Fla – After responding to a residence in reference to a stolen  vehicle, Citrus County deputies say they discovered a whopping 24 one-pot meth  labs at a nearby double-wide mobile home in Lecanto.

Theodore Benfield , 37, and Lesle Benfield , 35, of 678 Fairlane Terrace,  were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine with children under  16 present, possession of a listed chemical with intent to manufacture a  controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.


Lesle Benfield


Three children, all under the age of 16, were removed from the home by  DCF.

“I’ve never seen this many one-pot methamphetamine labs in a single home,”  remarked Tactical Impact Unit detective Aidan Marshall.

The “one-pot” method, also known as “shake and bake,” has become popular in  recent years because it was designed to get around laws restricting the sale of  ingredients used to make meth, deputies say.

They added, by using something as simple as an empty two-liter soda bottle,  common ingredients are combined to produce a chemical reaction which results in  crystalline powder that users smoke, snort or inject.

According to deputies, the process poses a huge risk to those producing meth  and anyone near one-pot cooks due to the buildup of pressure inside the “pot”  and the subsequent exposure of certain ingredients to the air.

These reactions cause explosions, fires and potentially fatal chemical  inhalation.

“TIU methamphetamine detectives and Fire Rescue hazmat operators could not  even enter the residence without protective breathing apparatuses due to the  fumes.  The conditions inside the home were absolutely deplorable and it is  unbelievable that parents would subject their children to those extremely  hazardous conditions,” Marshall added.

Deputies say to date, the CCSO has never encountered a meth operation this  large.

“I have said it before and I will continue to say it, we will not tolerate  meth production in this county, ” said Sheriff Dawsy.








Ouachita Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested a Winnsboro man after he reportedly tried to hide methamphetamine during a traffic stop in Monroe early Friday morning.

Jeffery Rider, 34, 1703 Highway 15, Winnsboro, was arrested at Highway 165 and Delouche Street and charged with possession of methamphetamine.

According to the arrest affidavit, a deputy stopped Rider after he failed to signal while switching lanes. The deputy ordered Rider to step out of the vehicle, but was uncooperative when asked to reveal his hand from under his shirt. When the officer physically placed Rider against the vehicle, a plastic bag containing a white substance fell from his left hand and onto the ground, according to police.

Rider admitted that the substance was methamphetamine. He was arrested and booked in the Ouachita Correctional Center.







Over the last two months, the importation of drugs into Dillingham has claimed the lives of at least five citizens and has raised a considerable amount of concern. The presence of methamphetamine and black tar heroin has been casting a darker shadow than usual on the community of Dillingham, and the citizens, the Dillingham Police Department, and the city councils from Dillingham and the surrounding communities say they are all well aware of the growing drug problems and are pitching in to take a stand against this new influx of illegal drugs.

“It’s affecting a lot of people, and it’s changing the community,” said Patrick Patterson Jr., the president of the Naknek Native Council. “For heroin and methamphetamine, this is the worst that I’ve seen it. Back in the 1980s, the biggest problem was cocaine, and now there’s a huge presence and a huge problem with heroin, methamphetamine and prescription pills.”

In November 2012, the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team division of the Naknek Police Department confiscated two packages addressed to a Robert Martin of Naknek. The contents of the packages included 30.8 grams of methamphetamine and 39.3 grams of cocaine. The packages were addressed to Martin and were mailed from Concord, Calif. Martin told investigators that he was aware of the contents of the packages and that he was instructed to deliver the contents to a Jerry Foster, Jr., also of Naknek. Martin also told the investigators that there had been 10 to 12 similar packages containing illegal drugs that had been delivered to him in the past and had passed to Foster, who had circulated the drugs throughout the Naknek and King Salmon communities. Martin said that he would receive drugs from Foster as payment for his collaboration in the importation of the drugs. Last week, as part of the ongoing investigation into Martin and Foster’s drug operations, the Anchorage Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team in cooperation with the Bristol Bay Police Department arrested Martin and charged him with two drug related felonies.

Also last week, Vaughn Clark, 37, of Dillingham, a suspect in an ongoing investigation for the importation of heroin into Dillingham was arrested in Anchorage. Clark was pulled over this past Wednesday for a traffic violation, and after the arresting officer ran his record, he found a warrant for Clark’s arrest after Clark had refused to turn himself in last week. He was arraigned on Friday afternoon with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday.

During the arraignment hearing, Cherilyn Serradell, 27, the woman who was arrested in the suspicion of being in collaboration with Clark in the importation of between $6,000 and $10,000 of black tar heroin, more than 20 local citizens of Dillingham showed up in court in support of the Dillingham Police Department and the ongoing and seemingly uphill battle to combat the presence of drugs in the community.

Both of these recent arrests represent a start in the cracking down on the importation of drugs into the Bristol Bay Borough, officials say, but significant strides are still needed to undo the damage that the presence of these highly addictive drugs are having on local communities.

“The Police Departments are doing a good job, but they need help. We know that having a few dogs would help, but it’s hard to afford that,” said Patterson. “What they really need is help from the district attorney and have less slaps on the wrist for offenders to create more fear of getting caught.”

According to the 2012 Annual Drug Report by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit, the number of methamphetamine labs that have been seized by law enforcement in that state of Alaska has been declining every year since 2010, recording 11 labs seized in 2010, eight in 2011, and only three in 2012. However, the pounds of methamphetamine that have been seized has been increasing annually since 2010, recording 4.53 pounds in 2010, 6.20 pounds in 2011, and a whopping 35.19 pounds in 2012. In the report, the 2011 National Drug Intelligence Center Drug Threat Assessment claimed that methamphetamine continues to be the greatest threat to the Pacific region, including Alaska.


Three women were arrested in Visalia on suspicion of identity theft and commercial burglary during a probation search Friday.

During the search at 600 N. Locust St. #B, Visalia police discovered the women forged numerous checks in August and September. Police found 150 blank checks, 15 forged checks, counterfeit currency, 14 pages of identify theft profiles and five grams of methamphetamine.

The women had numerous felony warrants and were on probation.

They were booked into Tulare County Jail for allegedly committing commercial burglary, check fraud, forgery, counterfeiting, identity theft and possession of methamphetamine, police said.

ST. GEORGE — Less than 20 people make up the Washington County Drug Task Force, but despite it’s small size, the task force made 440 felony drug-related arrests and seized .21 pounds of heroin, 26.4 pounds of cocaine, 40.2 pounds of marijuana and 125 pounds of methamphetamine in 2012.


The task force was formally established in 1997 when former St. George Police Department Deputy Chief Russell Peck — a captain at the time — oversaw three SGPD detectives and one Washington County Sheriff’s Office detective.

Now the task force is comprised of two sergeants and 11 detectives from the WCSO, SGPD, Washington City Police Department, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department, Hurricane City Police Department, the National Guard, Adult Probation & Parole and the Washington County Attorney’s Office. The task force also works closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Peck said during his three and a half years in the task force, methamphetamine was the most prevalent drug in the area.

Marijuana seized in a 2011 bust at the St. George Airport is stacked by members of the Washington County Drug Task Force. In 2012, the task force seized 26.4 pounds of cocaine, 40.2 pounds of marijuana and 125 pounds of methamphetamine.

Marijuana seized in a 2011 bust at the St. George Airport is stacked by members of the Washington County Drug Task Force. In 2012, the task force seized 26.4 pounds of cocaine, 40.2 pounds of marijuana and 125 pounds of methamphetamine



“It was crazy back then because we basically had a myriad of meth labs,” Peck said. “In fact, we had one of the highest per capita numbers in the nation for meth labs in a county. I would estimate we would have pretty close to one (meth lab takedown) a month.”

After legislators approved the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996, changing the regulation of methamphetamine ingredients such as red phosphorous, pseudoephedrine and iodine, Peck said the task force saw a “huge difference” in the number of meth labs they were seeing.

“Meth labs were probably our foremost drug and focus back then, and I think we still see a lot of meth, but I think it’s imported from out of our area,” Peck said.

Changing drug trends

Task force supervisor and SGPD Sgt. Jared Parry said it is “impossible” to predict what drugs and the amounts that are within Washington County at any given time because task force members can’t account for all the drugs in the community. Parry also said keeping up with drug trends can be difficult for task force members because they must constantly adapt to state and federal laws, as well as staying current on different “designer drug” compositions such as Spice and bath salts.

“There are some drugs out there like methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and some of those more common and well-known drugs that haven’t changed much,” Parry said. “With these new designer drugs, it can be extremely tough.”

Parry said, in his experience, one investigation may lead task force members to a group dealing one particular drug while another could lead detectives to another group dealing a completely different drug.

“From time to time we’ll hear from people who are using drugs that say it’s hard to get a certain drug here,” Parry said. “I think we feel a little bit of success at that point. It’s just impossible to know what the trends are, and it’s due to the fact we just don’t know what’s out there.”

SGPD Chief Marlon Stratton said since the task force takes a proactive policing approach, it is able to reduce other crimes such as thefts and burglaries that are committed by drug users looking for money to purchase drugs.

“We believe a significant amount of crime is attached to drugs, and if they have a $1,000 a day habit, where are they going to get it?” Stratton said. “They are going to commit the thefts and the robberies.”

Stratton said he can’t measure how “great” the work is done by task force members.

High risks and long hours

Peck said he remembers working 24 to 36 hours straight during some investigations.

“We had a big takedown on a search warrant one time for someone dealing meth, and we were basically there all that day preparing for the following morning,” Peck said. “We actually had three locations we had to hit simultaneously, and by the time the smoke cleared, it was a pretty crazy and chaotic scene. We’d been attacked by some dogs, we had to use our firearms, and after the smoke had cleared and we were coming back into town, there had been a robbery that had taken place.”

Peck and other task force members responded to the robbery call and were able to apprehend the suspect.

“By the time we finished up, it was the evening of the next day,” Peck said. “By then your adrenaline is on Mach 5, so it’s hard to go home and go to sleep.”

Parry said task force members must factor in the safety of citizens as well as suspects and officers involved when investigating a drug case.

“As a supervisor, you always worry about that,” Parry said. “You do the best you can during planning, and you always plan for contingencies. There are some things that can happen, but you have to be prepared to deal with them properly.”

Parry said the one thing task force officers have no control over is what citizens or suspects decide to do.

“A lot of times we have to react to that as law enforcement officers,” Parry said. “In a situation like that, we don’t necessarily move until they make a move, but we have to be prepared to make the right move.”

Working on the task force helped Parry become aware of the risks that task force officers face as well as patrol officers who, he says, are more exposed at times.

“As a new task force detective, I remember coming across guns and drugs and coming across people that I would deal with in patrol, but I was not really aware of the magnitude of what’s going on,” Parry said. “In the task force you plan very carefully, and cases are put together very methodically with officer, citizen and suspect safety at the front of that. As patrol officers go out and do their jobs, they are just thrown into whatever they’re called into, but a lot of times they’ll deal with a dangerous situation and never know it.”

Most times, task force members will work long hours and overtime in addition to the hours they serve at their departments to investigate drug cases, task force supervisor and SGPD Capt. Kyle Whitehead said.

“There are a lot of things (officers) have to follow up on, so they work long hours,” Whitehead said. “We try to focus on the larger dealers and those supplying drugs into the area. Unfortunately it’s such an epidemic that we only scratch the surface.”

Collaborative efforts

Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher said the unity among the county agencies is what makes the task force so successful.

“Drug problems don’t just stay within jurisdictional boundaries,” Pulsipher said. “For me, the drug task force, with its unity between all the agencies working together for a common goal, is the biggest success that we have.”

Peck said because the task force was formally established and includes multiple agencies, they were able to apply for the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area grants in 1997. Both of still fund the task force today.

“I like the fact we can bring to bear those same resources anywhere in the county by cooperating,” Peck said. “It’s a lot better synergy than if each individual agency tried to tackle it on their own.”

Parry said although citizens may feel “frustrated” when they leave tips with the task force and they don’t immediately see results, it doesn’t mean that it is going unnoticed.

“We have limited resources, so we look at what we can accomplish and we deal with the problem,” Parry said. “One thing we all have are the rights this country affords us. For us to put together an investigation, it can be very lengthy and very tedious, and it certainly has to be 100 percent legal. If it’s an investigation we’re working, there is a little bit of frustration because we’re not able to take care of the problem as fast as they’d like us to, but our solution may be more permanent.”

Stratton said law enforcement officers are “certainly not perfect,” but officers “try hard” to accomplish as much as they can.

“Officers go out there and put their lives on the line and work those crazy shifts and hours, and it’s all because of the quality of life we love here,” Stratton said.






On Thursday evening, investigators from the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff’s Office went to 4637 Vienna Church Road in order to serve a Violation of Probation arrest warrant for Dwayne Howell. While inside the residence the investigators discovered an active methamphetamine lab operation, finished methamphetamine product and three small children inside the home.

Tavarius Kirk

Cornelious Howell

Dwayne Howell

Michael Antonio Reed

The children were removed from the home and turned over to their mother, who was not at the residence. The children do not live at the residence. A thorough search of the home was conducted and a quantity of methamphetamine was recovered. Also while searching; investigators located a quantity of bagged methamphetamine product on Cornelius Howell’s person. Also located was a small quantity of marijuana and digital scales for weighing the finished methamphetamine product.

The active lab was dismantled by investigators from the Sheriff’s Office who have been specially trained in the mediation of such labs.

The four arrested persons were taken to the Lowndes County Jail and booked on the listed charges. They will appear in the Lowndes County Magistrate Court this afternoon for an arraignment hearing where a bond will be considered.

Sheriff Prine is asking that anyone with information on this case, or any other case to contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at {229} 671-2950 or anonymous tips can be provided at {229} 671-2985 or on line at http://www.lowndessheriff.com.







Calexico, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico downtown port of entry Monday discovered approximately $110,000 worth of methamphetamine concealed inside a hidden compartment built into the undercarriage of a vehicle.

Shortly before 8 a.m. on September 23rd, CBP officers encountered a 2001 Volkswagen Passat, driven by a 27-year-old male U.S. citizen, and referred the driver and vehicle for a more in-depth examination.

During the inspection, officers utilized a detector dog who alerted underneath the vehicle.  An intensive search revealed a non-factory compartment in the vehicle’s undercarriage that contained 10 packages of methamphetamine.  The narcotics weighed 5.73 pounds, with an estimated street value of $110,000.

The driver, a resident of Coachella, California, was arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents for further processing.

The subject was transported to the Imperial County Jail for arraignment.

CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.





More than 10 million viewers tuned in to the much-anticipated finale of Breaking Bad last Sunday night, according to CBS News. As the epic Walter White saga came to a close, fans said goodbye to what is quite possibly the greatest show ever to air on television.

Since its premiere in 2008, creator Vince Gilligan has captivated audiences with a string of unique and complex characters and an abundance of suspense in each episode. Gilligan and his team of writers have redefined the nature of the medium in a manner that is nearly impossible to duplicate or surpass. Not surprisingly, the finale is as good as one could hope for.

Walter White




Coming into this episode, there were many unanswered questions and unresolved conflicts, so it begged the question: would this be an open-ended conclusion or a resolute one?

Gilligan’s decision to tie all the loose ends of the story together was not merely a good decision, but a perfect one as the result is flawless.

When we last saw Walt (Bryan Cranston), he had taken the last name Mr. Lambert, which was his wife’s maiden name, and was living in isolation in New Hampshire. Desperate to get his hard-earned drug money to his wife Skylar (Anna Gunn) and son Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte), an idea came to mind after Walt saw his old colleagues being interviewed on Charlie Rose.

Yet in addition to making amends with his broken family, the chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin must also avenge the death of his brother-in-law Hank Schrader (Dean Norris). With his former partner and student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) now being held captive by these Neo-Nazis, nothing stood between them and the machine gun in the back of Walt’s car.

Looking back at how the series evolved during the course of its five-season run, its most definitive aspect has always been the development of Walt’s character. Gilligan himself has described it as a “Mr. Chip to Scarface” transformation. Now that the actions of this antihero have destroyed his friends and family, his inevitable demise was the most appropriate way to conclude his story.

When the show first aired, no one could tell where it was going to go—all that was certain among viewers was that it was like nothing they had ever seen before.

Then, as characters such as Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) became increasingly popular in seasons three and four, it was clear that the show had become the next Sopranos.

Felina, the finale’s title, signifies the outcome of one man’s obsession and how his relentlessness brought about his downfall. While his entrance into the world of crime and drugs began with a single batch of methamphetamine, it ended with Walt being consumed by his inner demons.

Both written and directed by Gilligan, this episode ranks among episodes such as Face-Off and Dead Freight. Watching Cranston’s unforgettable character go from Walter White to Heisenberg to Mr. Lambert, viewers are left mesmerized by the undeniable cleverness of this show in its purest form.

Some fans complained that Jesse’s story was given less closure than expected but to me, Gilligan ended it perfectly. The closing shot of Walt is what defines this episode, and will go down as one of the most pivotal moments in the entire series. For Jesse, we can guess that he goes free and finally has a chance to start over and seek a decent life. Killing Todd (Jesse Plemmons) was clearly depicted as his final act as a criminal.

Describing the significance of this show upon our culture is like trying to assess the impact of figures such as Abraham Lincoln in American history. Breaking Bad is nothing short of greatness, and it has maintained that status from beginning to end. For a pop-culture guru such as myself, I’m eager to see its legacy live on.







A drug user who blew up a Perth house while attempting to manufacture a batch of methamphetamine – seriously injuring a four-year old boy in the process – has been imprisoned for five years.

The boy, who was in a nearby bedroom at the time, suffered serious burns to his face, hands and feet in the blast, requiring weeks of hospital treatment.

Dennehy was also badly injured, suffering burns to his legs, arms and face.

But as he was being taken to hospital, he told emergency services the blast had been caused by a gas heater exploding.

The house was virtually destroyed, with damage estimated at about $300,000.

Perth’s District Court was told the youngster had made a good recovery, but would bear the scars to his face for life, needed psychological counselling, and was alive only by “the grace of God”.

Judge Kevin Sleight said Dennehy had exposed his neighbours, emergency services, and most significantly the child to serious risk.

“You must surely have been aware of the risk, but you selfishly ignored the risks and selfishly exposed others to harm,” Judge Sleight said.

Dennehy becomes one of the first people in Western Australia to be jailed under new laws that mandate a minimum sentence of 12 months for anyone convicted of manufacturing a prohibited drug in circumstances that cause bodily harm to a child under 16.

He admitted to manufacturing methamphetamine, injuring a person under 16 while attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, and criminal damage.

Dennehy was made eligible for parole in three years, and ordered to pay compensation of $231,000 to the company that insured the house.







Gainesville Police arrested three people Wednesday morning on Interstate 75 after finding more than two pounds of meth in their car.

Officers arrested Jesseca Wedekind, 34, of California, as well as Trinidad Madrigal, 42, and Guillermo Alcazar, 36, on charges of trafficking more than 14 grams of methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, according to a GPD arrest report. 

At about 8:15 a.m., Alcazar was pulled over on I-75 south of Gainesville for driving behind a tractor-trailer too closely, according to the report. The officer observed that Wedekind seemed nervous, and each person had a different story about their travel plans and relationships to each other.

A police dog smelled drugs coming from the car, according to the report. Upon searching the car, police found 2.7 pounds of meth in the trunk under the spare tire.

A dashboard camera video showed Alcazar telling Wedekind and Madrigal that he was going to prison because of the dope in the car, according to the report. He asked one of them to bail him out.

During questioning Wedekind told police they’d been smoking meth during the trip out of a bag in the trunk.

Officers booked Wedekind, Madrigal and Alcazar into jail at about 3:30 p.m. Wedekind and Madrigal remained Thursday night with a $600,000 bond each. Alcazar was transferred to a different facility.







PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — A Portales woman has been sentenced to two years in prison for selling drugs.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Latisha Shipley was sentenced Thursday after being convicted by a jury in August of possession with the intent to traffic methamphetamine.

She will be on five years of probation after completing the prison term.

Portales police say they confronted Shipley on the Eastern New Mexico University campus where she was a student at the time.

Shipley allegedly admitted to officers that she sold meth and they say she produced two baggies of the drug packaged for sale.

Police say telephone records also showed that Shipley was involved in the sale of methamphetamine.







DIEHLSTADT, MO (KFVS) – The Scott County sheriff says a woman is facing meth related charges after an investigation.

Evelyn Vanwinkle, 49, of rural Diehlstadt was charged with attempting to manufacture a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Evelyn Vanwinkle (Source: Scott County SO)
Evelyn Vanwinkle

Sheriff Rick Walter says investigators learned that Vanwinkle was using and manufacturing methamphetamine at her home on Highway 77 outside of Diehlstadt.

While a deputy was at Vanwinkle’s home to investigate the allegations, the officer found items associated with making meth inside a burn barrel, according to Sheriff Walter.

The sheriff says investigators applied for and got a search warrant for the home before deputies found a number of utensils, chemicals and paraphernalia commonly present at an active methamphetamine lab.

Investigators also found a number of items that contained a white powder that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to Walter.

Vanwinkle was taken to the Scott County Jail. Bond was set at $50,000