PALM CITY, Fla. —A suspected methamphetamine lab caused an explosion at a Palm City apartment complex.

It happened Tuesday morning at an apartment complex on Southwest Sunset Trace Circle.


The blast blew up the front of the apartment.

WPBF 25 News has learned one man was flown to a hospital with severe burns to his body.

“This is just about as dangerous an enterprise as someone could be involved in,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said. “We have a situation where even the smallest meth lab can do extreme damage, and the bigger the meth lab, of course, the more potential for catastrophic damage.”



MOULTRIE — A Pavo toddler tested positive for methamphetamine recently, and her mother has been charged in connection with the case.

Teri Ann Hardy, 29, 492 Lawrence Road, Pavo, was charged with cruelty to children, Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office jail booking reports said.

Teri Ann Hardy

Charges were filed after Colquitt County Department of Family and Children Services did an investigation, which included a blood test of the 2-year-old girl, David Corona, an investigator with the Moultrie-Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team, said Tuesday.

“At this time we don’t know how she ingested it,” Corona said. “They did a test on the child and it came back positive for meth.”



OGDEN — Maxine McNeeley, 74, claims that within three months of settling into her apartment on lower 27th Street, she began to feel uncharacteristically weak.

After two years in her second floor unit of the Valencia Apartments complex, McNeeley’s daughter grew concerned about her mother’s deteriorating condition and on a hunch, tested the place for methamphetamine contamination.

The kit showed a level of 3.6 micrograms, well above the state’s 1.0 microgram standard that triggers the need for decontamination.

At that point, a state-certified inspector was called in to conduct an official test that yielded 3.7 micrograms.

“I went from walking several miles a day to only half a block before getting worn out,” said McNeeley, who doesn’t own a car. “I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me to recover my health.”

McNeeley, who has a Section 8 rent subsidy, was recently relocated to a different apartment complex. But most of her worldly belongings were left behind at Valencia pending cleanup.

Maxine McNeeley, 74, of Ogden, posed for a portrait among her contaminated possessions at her apartment at the Valencia Apartments on 27th St., on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. McNeeley, who resided in the apartment for two years, began to feel weaker and weaker just after three months of living there. At the request of her daughter she had the apartment tested for meth. The result was 3.6, 2.6 points over the legal limit. (BRIANA SCROGGINS/Standard-Examiner)
Maxine McNeeley, 74, of Ogden, posed for a portrait among her contaminated possessions at her apartment at the Valencia Apartments on 27th St., on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. McNeeley, who resided in the apartment for two years, began to feel weaker and weaker just after three months of living there. At the request of her daughter she had the apartment tested for meth. The result was 3.6, 2.6 points over the legal limit.

On Tuesday, McNeeley returned to pick up a few things, including the ashes of a daughter who died in 2010. However, her mattress, box springs and a hide-a-bed might not be salvageable.

Meth contamination affects people differently, said Brian Cowan, deputy director of environmental health at Weber-Morgan Health Department.

“There’s so much variability,” Cowan said, noting that some will develop head and body aches, fatigue and respiratory distress.

“But it’s worse for the elderly, children and people with immuno-compromised systems.”

The apartment owners, Salt Lake City-based LaPorte Group, are currently putting together a remediation plan.

“They’ll submit it to our department for our review, and then we’ll issue a permit to begin clean-up,” Cowan said, noting the owner is legally responsible to cleanse the floors, walls and ceilings.

After the cleanup is finished, the health department will conduct another test to assess whether the decontamination has been successful. If it has, a letter wil be issued to say the unit has been remediated and is safe for occupancy, Cowan said.

From indicators inside the apartment, Cowan said the contamination likely stemmed from meth use rather than production.

Tim Price, executive director for the Ogden Housing Authority, said such incidents are rare but “alarming.”

“Those meth units are bad, obviously, and we certainly don’t want to see any of our tenants go into them,” Price said.

Travis James, special programs manager for the Ogden Housing Authority, said the agency learned of McNeeley’s predicament within the past week and immediately required the landlord to perform a certified test.

When it registered higher than minimum contamination levels, the housing authority issued McNeeley a voucher to move and canceled the contract with Valencia for that particular unit, James said.

Once the health department gives clearance that the apartment is meth-free, the unit can go back on the housing authority’s list for subsidized tenants.

“The landlord has been really proactive and was surprised when the test came back positive,” James said.

According to Cowan, Valencia Apartments has a zero-tolerance rule regarding drug use.

“So they’re working to get the problem addressed,” Cowan said. “We don’t see it on a regular basis, but it does happen.”

Attempts to reach the LaPorte Group or Valencia’s attorney, Kirk Cullimore Jr., were unsuccessful.

Homegrown meth labs spiked in Utah between 2003 and 2005, driving tighter regulation of the drug’s precursors. In 2004, state lawmakers passed decontamination legislation that was amended in 2008 to include residual effects caused by methamphetamine use.

As for McNeeley, she’s happy to be relocated.

“The meth kit could have saved my life,” she said.

Whether her former landlord will help with any of her personal costs remains to be seen. But she hopes that her experience can help someone else.

“Sometimes you have to stand up and face the machine,” McNeeley said. “I’m not doing it for myself, I’m doing it for others.”

Two Killeen residents are behind bars after police said they found them in possession of more than 60 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Police charged Tiffany Diane Pierce, 23, and Shawn Michael Walker, 29, with possession of methamphetamine, 4 grams or more but less than 200 grams, a third-degree felony,

 Killeen police arrested Pierce and Walker on Sunday after responding to a call of an armed person in the 300 block of Root Avenue in an older model white van.

When police arrived, they found Pierce and Walker in a van and ordered them out of the car. Officers saw a crystal-like substance on the floor of the van, which they believed to be methamphetamine. Police searched a laundry bag and found 62 grams of a crystalline substance that field tested positive as methamphetamine, according to an arrest affidavit.

At the city jail, Pierce refused to remove her clothing for a strip search. However, an officer observed what she believed to be an item protruding from Pierce’s vagina.

Police then took Pierce to Metroplex Hospital. When they arrived, an officer found nine small plastic bags in the back of a patrol vehicle containing 4 grams of suspected methamphetamine. Officers said they found 0.3 grams of suspected methamphetamine in Walker’s pants pocket.

Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin arraigned Pierce and Walker on Tuesday, setting their bail at $40,000 each. They remained in Bell County Jail on Tuesday night.

Potvin arraigned Jerrall Darnell Talley, 29, on an unrelated charge of possession of a controlled substance, 1 gram or more but less than 4 grams. Talley’s bail was set at $75,000.




Two drivers were arrested Friday and Saturday in separate incidents near Calistoga for alleged drug-related offenses, both with the help of a patrol dog, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

In the first incident, Thomas Sean Lennon, 52, of Clearlake was arrested Friday near Petrified Forest and Forest Boulevard after a deputy, riding with his K-9, Nash, stopped his car at about 4 p.m. because the car’s registration was expired, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Nash indicated the presence of drugs, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy then found an ounce of suspected meth, including some of it packaged, in the trunk of the 2000 Buick LeSabre, authorities said. The deputy also found five bags of processed marijuana and a vial of suspected hashish oil, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Lennon was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of methamphetamine possession, methamphetamine possession for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, marijuana possession with intent to sell and other allegations, according to the jail logs.

In the other incident, on Saturday, a K-9 riding with his handler came across another vehicle at about 4:20 p.m. on Tubbs Lane near Calistoga, authorities reported. The van was stopped for having a broken windshield, a broken brake light and an expired registration, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office. The deputy smelled an odor of marijuana and the dog was brought out. A usable amount of suspected methamphetamine was found in the van, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver, Victor Torres, 27, of Santa Rosa was arrested and booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of drug possession and drug paraphernalia possession, according to the jail logs.



Local and federal agencies in Palm Beach and Marion counties worked together to catch a Mexican national accused of trying to sell thousands of grams of crystal methamphetamine to local buyers.

Hernan Mojica Rentaria, also known as Felipe Jesus Mendoza and Ernan Rentaria, was taken into custody Oct. 24 in Marion County when he was on his way back from Georgia and en route to Palm Beach County, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration criminal complaint.

Federal agents with the help of a confidential source established surveillance of Rentaria at the Hot Wok restaurant at 5096 Forest Hill Blvd. on Oct. 22. The source said Rentaria was trying to negotiate a meth sale and then gave Rentaria’s number to the undercover agents to use.

Two days later, the undercover agent called Rentaria and said he collected “the newspaper” which meant he had the money to purchase the drug. The undercover agent asked when they could meet to talk about how many kilograms of meth the agent would be buying. But Rentaria said he wasn’t in town and expected to be back in town that afternoon or night and they could meet the next day.

The undercover agent tried talking with Rentaria about prices, however Rentaria said he didn’t want to talk about that on the phone.

Agents received a tip that Rentaria was coming back from Atlanta and that he was in Ocala. A Marion County Sheriff’s deputy saw a white Lincoln Navigator pull out of the Waffle House in Ocala. The driver, who was later identified as Rentaria, didn’t stop before entering the roadway. Based on that and a tag violation, the deputy pulled Rentaria over.

Rentaria handed over a Mexican identification card with the name Felipe Jesus Mendoza on it and said he didn’t have a drivers license. He initially told the deputy he was heading to Palm Beach and then said he was coming from Palm Beach to Ocala.

The deputy did a computer check and found that his real name was Ernan Renteria, that he’s a Mexican national and that he was previously removed from the United States.

During the traffic stop, police dogs found four bundles of crystal meth, weighing about 4,488 grams.

Rentaria faces charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, attempted distribution of 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and illegal re-entry after deportation.



PREBLE COUNTY — Four people have been charged after deputies say they found a meth lab and weapons at two Camden-area addresses.

Deputies say they found equipment and chemicals used in the manufacturing process of methamphetamine, as well as pseudoephedrine, and liquid anhydrous ammonia at 511 and 513 Oxford Germantown Road, just south of Camden. They say they also found several grams of methamphetamine. Deputies also removed several firearms from the property.

Investigators say eight people were on the property at 11 p.m. Monday, when they executed a search warrant. Four of those people were arrested.

Robert A. Tony Wallace, 41, of 513 Oxford Germantown Road was charged with illegal manufacturing of drugs, illegal assembly of chemicals and having weapons under disability.

WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - Four Charged Following Drug Bust in Preble County

Top left, Robert A. Tony Wallace, 41; top right, Jade L. VanWinkle, 21; bottom left, Jamie J. Wyatt, 34 and Anthony L. Mondello, 43.

Jade L. VanWinkle, 21, of 513 Oxford Germantown Road was charged with illegal manufacturing of drugs and illegal assembly of chemicals.

Jamie J. Wyatt, 34, of 513 Oxford Germantown Road was charged with possession of drugs (Methamphetamine).

Anthony L. Mondello, 43, of Oxford was charged with drug paraphernalia.

They all were taken to the Preble County Jail.



KATV) – Dozens of homes in Pulaski County, according to a state list, are contaminated with methamphetamine and a handful of them are being rented to unknowing tenants. Two families were shocked when we showed them the list saying their properties once housed meth labs.

ADEQ’s register of methamphetamine contaminated homes lists two properties in particular, one at 8504 Herrick Lane and another at 3610 ½ Rocky Lane in Little Rock. Those two properties are being rented by landlords and the two families living in the homes said they had no clue they were catalogued as being contaminated with meth. 


The landlord on Herrick Lane, W.C. Looper, claims he didn’t know about the contamination. According to county records he may be telling the truth. Looper bought the property over a month after the bust at the home was made in April 2009.


“This house was a burnout,” said Looper. “I have no idea what made the house a burn out.”

“We totally remodeled it, had to do everything to city code, completely rebuild it,” said Looper. “I mean we could have probably built a house easier than what we’d done.”

The home on Rocky Lane was also bought post meth bust, but landlord Randy Wright, who now owns the property said he knew that a bust had occurred on property.

Contaminated Home at 8504 Herrick Lane
Contaminated Home at 8504 Herrick Lane

“I was aware that there was a bust there,” said Wright. “I wasn’t aware that there was manufacturing or that there was a list that the house was put on because of meth being in the house.”

According to county records, the house was sold to Wright by the Rocky Group LLC. The limited liability company is now dissolved – once owned by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Busselle and Dennis Campbell.

Wright said he talked to Campbell after KATV informed him the home in question was on ADEQ’s list of methamphetamine contaminated properties. Campbell told Wright he too had no idea the home was on that list. However law enforcement places placards denoting contamination on these homes. But Wright comes to Campbell’s defense wondering why it’s only a note on the door.

Contaminated Home at 3610 1/2 Rocky Lane
Contaminated Home at 3610 1/2 Rocky Lane

“I get certified letters about seven inches of grass,” said Wright. “Can they not send us a certified letter about meth?”

Even if Campbell knew about the potential contamination on Rocky Lane, Arkansas law doesn’t require seller to seller to disclose that sort of information upon sale.

Wright said the home, much like the home on Herrick Lane, was completely gutted and renovated – but not by a certified clandestine lab remediator. He said the family he rents to at 3610 ½ Rocky Lane is one of his employees.

“He’s someone I love as dearly as family,” said Wright. “I would have never put someone that I care about in there if I had thought there was a hazardous situation.”

The Rocky Lane landlord claims he is now planning on having the home tested for contamination and if necessary will have the home remediated, but he said he doesn’t feel that it’s fair for someone who owns the property to clean up after someone who rented and made a mess.

“To burden us with the other end of it, the clean up, I don’t know if that’s right or not,” said Wright. “What’s wrong with the criminal taking care of the mess he made?”



COLUMBUS (Tara Morgan) — Police across Ohio are seeing more mobile meth labs on the roads and interstates.

Ohio State Highway Patrol noted a 137% increase in methamphetamine seizures this year compared to last.

“They might not actually be cooking at that point in time they have the components of a working meth lab or maybe they’re on their way to do that or maybe they’re taking it back to their home,” said Lt. Anne Ralston with OSHP.

In one recent case in Washington Courthouse, police say they were tipped off to a mobile meth lab by people who were concerned about a suspicious purchase at a store.

Police say red flags you should watch out for including people buying large quantities of batteries and matches.

The President of Maryhaven, a facility that treats drug addictions, says their patient numbers have gone up too.

“A slight uptick in patients who are telling us that they are using methamphetamine as a drug they use and possibly as their first drug of choice,” said Paul Coleman with Maryhaven.

Coleman says they’ve seen meth use in most of their patients but older men tend to put themselves at most risk.More Mobile Meth Labs on Ohio Roads



GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Jose Sierra-Villegas, considered the source of the state’s largest methamphetamine seizure, was sentenced Monday, Oct. 29, to more than 27 years in federal prison.

Sierra-Villegas, 39, of Kansas City, Mo., received the harshest sentence of five defendants linked to the crime.


Jose Sierra-Villegas


Police say he was responsible for 23 pounds of crystal methamphetamine seized in August 2012 in Van Buren County.

“The evidence showed that defendant Villegas was the organizer of the large loads of crystal meth from Arizona, which was the source of the meth sold both in Kansas City and in Michigan,” Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bruha wrote in court records.

“He had the connection in Arizona, arranged the trips, and provided instructions for the drivers on where to go.”

He asked that Sierra-Villegas be sentenced to life in prison based on the amounts of methamphetamine he was moving.

Defense attorney Brian Patrick Lennon said the case against his client was built on the “uncorroborated testimony of co-defendants – all of who were either caught ‘red-handed’ or faced ‘mandatory life’ in prison because of their prior drug convictions, and most of whom initially lied to investigators … .”

Earlier, Jon Jeannin, Jr., 33, of Kansas City, was sentenced to 11½ years in prison, while Thomas Streich, 59, of Lawton, was sentenced to 10 years, eight months in prison.

Brent Kellerman 25, of Kansas City, was sentenced to nine years. Alejandro Garcia, 45, of Grand Junction, received nine years.

Sierra-Villegas is the father of six. Born in San Luis, Mexico, he moved to the U.S. in 1989 as a resident alien. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011.

He was the only defendant to go to trial.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations acted on information in June 2012 that methamphetamine was being smuggled into the country, then sold in West Michigan. Federal investigators, including U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents, along with state police, worked the case.

A confidential informant told authorities that meth was being smuggled into the U.S. in hidden compartments of vehicles and sold by Sierra-Villegas.

An undercover officer, posing as a potential buyer, met with Garcia. Police kept the defendants under surveillance.

Eventually, police arrested the defendants after stopping a vehicle in Paw Paw and finding drugs and cash. Police also found meth during a search of a Van Buren County barn, police said.



Ada — Law enforcement arrested an Ada man after he allegedly led them in a vehicle pursuit through the streets of Ada Monday.

Arrested was 35-year-old Jerry Dave Malone.

The alleged incident started when District 22 D.A. Drug Task Force agents attempted to arrest Malone at a residence on 14th Street.

Agent Heath Miller said Malone had warrants for suspicion of unlawful distribution of methamphetamine and unlawful delivery of methamphetamine.

Miller said Malone was outside and when task force agents approached, Malone jumped in a vehicle and allegedly sped away.

Miller said Malone hit an agent with the vehicle while fleeing.

The agent did not suffer serious injuries. Law enforcement from several agencies chased Malone down city streets and set up two roadblocks, which Malone sped through, Miller said.

Malone allegedly fled toward and then down Mississippi to Kerr Lab, west on 32nd Street to Broadway, north on Broadway to 16th, back to Mississippi where drove south, Miller said.

Miller said Malone stopped and fled on foot near a trailer park on S. Mississippi and allegedly ran toward the bike trail where he surrendered to Ada Police Officer Richard Hubble who cut him off.

Malone was arrested on suspicion of having a warrant, felony eluding, running a road block, driving under suspension, no insurance and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Miller said the chase lasted only a few minutes and credited the response of all agencies involved which included Ada police, Pontotoc County sheriff’s deputies, Chickasaw Lighthorse police and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers, as well as task force agents.

He said the pursuit ended sooner and without crashes or injuries to officers because area law enforcement work very well together to corner Malone and leave him with no place to go.

“That helped tremendously,” Miller said. –


Malaysia insisted Wednesday two Iranian women sentenced to death for drug trafficking must face “due process” despite a warning from Tehran that their executions would harm bilateral relations.

Shahrzad Mansour, 31, and Neda Mostafaei, 26, were sentenced to death in September for smuggling methamphetamine into Malaysia in December 2010. Defence lawyers are appealing the case.

The two Muslim nations both use the death penalty against drug traffickers.

But Iran’s foreign ministry warned last week that executing the women would have a “negative effect” on bilateral ties, and called for them to be spared.

In a statement sent to AFP, Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said that while it valued relations with Iran it could not tolerate “illegal activities, which are detrimental to Malaysia’s image and security”.

“Any infringement of the laws, whether committed by foreigners or Malaysian citizens, will be dealt with in accordance with Malaysian laws,” it said.

“Malaysia assures Iran of the independence of the judiciary system… It is in this context that we hope for Iran to understand that any decision of our courts is carried out in accordance to the due processes of law,” it added.

More than 200 Iranians are jailed in Malaysia, mostly for drug-related offenses, the statement said.

About half of the 200 have been convicted, with 70 either serving a life sentence or on death row, it added.

The two women were arrested on arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The court was told that drug traffickers had promised them a free trip to Malaysia in exchange for transporting “food items” that were filled with methamphetamine without their knowledge.

The Malaysian judge in the case dismissed that defense as a “fairy tale”.

Though hundreds of people are on death row in Malaysia, the country has carried out few executions in recent years.

Iran has one of the world’s highest execution rates, with more than 500 cases last year and almost the same number so far this year, according to human rights watchdogs.

Malaysia is a predominantly Sunni Muslim country while Iran is predominantly Shia.



A Dyersburg man and an Arkansas woman are facing meth-related charges in Dyersburg after a meth lab and meth-making materials were found in a local motel room.



Martie Bennett, 36, 30 Adams St., Wilson, Ark., and Billy Wynn, 37, 1229 Sorrell Chapel Road, Dyersburg, Tenn., are charged with initiating methamphetamine manufacture and promotion of methamphetamine manufacture.

According to Dyersburg Assistant Chief of Police Steve Isbell, a person renting a room at the Colonial Inn, 1140 US Highway 51 S Bypass, reported finding meth-making materials underneath a bed. Officers with the Dyersburg Police Street Crimes Unit arrived and confirmed the items were used to make methamphetamine. They dismantled the lab and called the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force to dispose of the hazardous materials.

After disposing of the materials, the officers began working the case and collecting evidence to see who may have left the materials behind in the room. Their investigation lead them to several stores throughout Dyersburg, Memphis, and Osceola, Ark. The officers were able to determine Bennett and Wynn were responsible for purchasing the items to make the meth and warrants were issued for their arrest. It turned out the couple was recently arrested by law enforcement in Arkansas on separate charges and being held there. Bennett was extradited to Dyersburg last week, while Wynn remains in jail in Arkansas. Dyersburg Police have a hold placed on Wynn and he will be charged the same as Bennett. Bennett is being held on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear next in Dyersburg City Court on Monday, Nov. 4.

Isbell commended the officers for the extra effort they put forth in bringing about the suspects’ arrest.

“The officers really did a good job in investigating this case,” said Isbell. “These are serious charges and they went the extra mile to identify the suspects and build a case against them.”



WESTON — Three Weston residents are facing a single count each of operating or attempting to operate a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory after a Monday night raid.

Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy said deputies, Weston Police and State Police found materials to make meth at an apartment on McGary Avenue in Weston.

Jazmen Call

Jazmen Call

Nicholas Reed Lawson

Nicholas Reed Lawson

Briston Edward Skidmore

Briston Edward Skidmore



The methamphetamine disposal technician for the Sheriff’s Department was called in for safety purposes, Gissy indicated.

Charged by Deputy Frank Turansky were: Jazmen Necole Call, 20, Nicholas Reed Lawson, 21, and Briston Edward Skidmore, 24, all of Weston.

Call’s bond was set at $100,000 by Magistrate Michael R. Gissy. The magistrate set bond for Lawson and Skidmore at $50,000.



LAREDO, Texas (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection says agents have seized 114 pounds of crystal methamphetamine worth more than $3.6 million at a South Texas port of entry.

The agency says the seizure occurred Sunday when a 33-year-old Mexican national living in Duluth, Ga., approached the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge in Laredo.

Agents found two containers of crystal meth hidden in the driver’s Dodge Avenger.

The driver was arrested and the car confiscated along with the drugs. The man was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

CBP agents in Laredo say Sunday’s confiscation of crystal meth was the month’s largest. More than 300 pounds has been seized in October.



The Bossier Sheriff Office and the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force are seeking the public’s help in locating a wanted man they have been hunting for nearly a year for distributing methamphetamine.

Jackie Cole, 30, of the 200 block of Peach Street in Haughton, is wanted on two counts of distribution of Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance (methamphetamine) in 2012. His bond is set at $100,000.

Jackie Cole

Jackie Cole




Cole is a black male, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and has brown eyes and black hair. He is on state probation/parole until July 2016 for possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, forgery and possession of cocaine. His last known residence is at the 200 block of Peach St. in Haughton, but he frequents Shreveport and East Texas.

Cole is also known to ride a motorcycle, unknown description.

Anyone with information that can lead to Cole’s arrest is asked to call Bossier Crime Stoppers at 318-424-4100. They can also submit a tip via the Bossier Crime Stoppers website Persons who contact Crime Stoppers are reminded they may remain totally anonymous.



WATSONVILLE — Two women and a man were arrested in Watsonville on Thursday after authorities found 5 ounces of methamphetamine in their car.

A California Highway Patrol officer stopped Maria Guadalupe Gutierrez-Moreno in a speeding, 2011 Nissan Altima near West Beach and Locust streets about 3:30 p.m., said CHP officer Brad Sadek.

Veronica Macias Lopez and Saucedo Lopez Reyes also were in the car.


Maria Gutierrez Moreno
Veronica Macias Lopez
Reyes Lopez Saucedo

The CHP officer and his K9 officer, Rocky, searched the car. Authorities said they found $15,000 worth of meth in a Thermos on the rear floor of the car.

The Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team also assisted in the stop.

The trio were arrested on suspicion of possession of meth and possession of meth for sale, said Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy Ryan Kennedy.

Saucedo Lopez Reyes is 30 and Maria Guadalupe Gutierrez-Moreno is 39. Veronica Macias Lopez is 39 and told authorities she is a field worker.

All three suspects are from Watsonville. Authorities announced the arrests on Monday.



IOWA CITY, Iowa — Police said they discovered evidence of meth use in an Iowa City apartment.

On July 29, members of the Iowa City Police Department and Johnson County Drug Task Force searched an apartment unit at 628 N. Linn St. in Iowa City’s Northside Neighborhood. Police said they had received multiple complaints about the use or manufacturing of meth in that apartment unit.



Police seized two hollow tubes in the bedroom that later tested positive for methamphetamine.

On Monday, police arrested the occupant of the apartment, 39-year-old Kenneth J. Emerson and he faces charges of possession of methamphetamine – third or subsequent offense and keeping a drug house. Police said Emerson was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2001, 2004 and 2009.

 KINSTON, N.C. – A meth lab exploded inside a home in Lenoir County, sending one man to the hospital.

Lenoir County Sheriff Chris Hill says it happened around 10:15 Monday night on Tully Hill Road in Kinston.
That road was closed and 9 On Your Side had a crew on the scene shortly after it happened.


Crime scene tape was up around the house and deputies were investigating into the early morning hours.

Deputies say five people were inside the house at the time of the explosion and the fire was quickly put out.

One person, 43-year-old Chad Williams, went to the hospital with second degree burns to his legs.

Sheriff Hill says that 48-year-old Gary Taylor rents the house and deputies will make arrests in the coming days.

The SBI and Hazmat teams were called in to investigate and clean up the meth lab.


WAYNESBORO, Va. —There have been a few meth lab busts in Waynesboro this year and currently the city has to pay for the clean up.

City leaders are trying to have the offenders pay for the chemicals they leave behind.

A public hearing will be held regarding this change Monday night.


The ordinance will later be voted on by council members at the first business meeting in November, there is no set date yet.

The clean up costs vary, depending on the lab.

The city outsources the clean up due to the unstable nature of meth labs, which can sometimes add up to $5,000.

Leaders would like to change the city code so that people convicted of manufacturing meth would have to pay the costs themselves.

Sgt. Brian Edwards said that there’s no budget for cleaning up labs, and that people who are convicted of making meth may not have the funds to pay it all back,

 “They’re looking at long incarceration times, they’re looking at fines and costs that go with court. They may not have a lot of resources. So let’s say the possibility of getting money from them, it’s kinda slim.”

The change wouldn’t cover clean up costs for land owners who rent property to the convicted criminal.



WATERLOO, Iowa – Investigators in Black Hawk County with the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force have their hands full with a surge of crystal meth or “ice.”

The agency said last year it seized less than a pound, or about 2.8 ounces. That’s worth about $12,000 on the street. This year, investigators have seized 25 pounds. That’s worth about $1.7 million dollars.

Investigators said ice is a pure form of meth that’s typically manufactured in what they call “super labs” outside of the Midwest.

October, in particular, has been a busy month for the Task Force, which covers both Black Hawk and Bremer Counties.

Earlier this month law officers arrested seven people on meth related charges. They range in age from 21 to 70. Four of them are from Iowa, while three others are from California, Nevada and Mexico.

Lt Corbin Payne works with the Waterloo Police Department and is assigned to the Tri-county Drug Enforcement Task Force. He said he believes the new meth activity is all part of a bigger drug ring out of southern portions of the U.S.

“This is for transportation, possession with intent to deliver. This is a very uncommon amount we’ve seen here in the Cedar Valley area,” Lt. Payne said as he pointed to a pound of meth ice that was recently seized during an investigation.

The agency said there’s more demand for the purified meth as other forms are phased out.

“We are seeing a lot of decrease in our, I’d say our mom and pop, one-pot methods of our meth labs, the big meth labs we used to have here,” Lt. Payne said.

The Director of Pathways in Waterloo said for the past ten years, meth has been one of the top three drugs abused by clients. The organization provides services to help people overcome their addictions.

“The effects of methamphetamine on individuals are fairly comprehensive and very quickly debilitating,” said Pathways Executive Director Chris Hoffman.

One woman, who asked to keep her identity hidden, knows the power of meth. She used it in all different forms.

“Pretty much any kind, shake and bake, ice.”

Now that she’s getting help, she doesn’t want more people to fall victim.

“I would never want my son to have the addiction that I have or anyone’s children. I so much wish for a drug-free community that my son could grow up in.”

Keeping meth ice out of the community is exactly what investigators are working on.

“Hopefully this is a warning sign or a down trend that we are enforcing this,” Lt. Payne said.

The task force said it’s working several cases and leads to continue to stop the sale and transportation of crystal meth in Black Hawk and Bremer counties. Agents also said Eastern Iowa wasn’t alone in seeing the ice increase, it’s happening all across the Midwest.


JONESBORO, Ill. — A grand jury has indicted two East Prairie, Mo., residents on drug charges related to ephedrine or pseudoephedrine purchases they are accused of making, Union County State’s Attorney Tyler Edmonds announced Monday.

Tamatha J. Gottschall and James R. Charles, both 37, were indicted on one count each of unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors and unlawful participation in methamphetamine production, Edmonds said in a news release.

The pair are accused of purchasing products that contain ephedrine or pseudoephedrine 80 times during 2012 and 2013 for the purpose of making methamphetamine, the release said.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by the Union, Jackson and Johnson County, Ill., sheriff’s departments, with assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the release said.

Gottschall and Charles both are being held at the Jackson County Jail in Murphysboro, Ill., in lieu of $100,000 bond, the release said.

Unlawful participation in methamphetamine production is a Class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years in prison. Unlawful possession of methamphetamine precursors is a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison.



Logging workers discovered three sites in Brown Township that officials said were being used to manufacture methamphetamine and dispose of hazardous waste left over from the process.

According to a news release from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, workers who are part of a logging operation notified of authorities about possible drug activity after finding suspicious items Monday morning.

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Around 9 a.m., officers found the three locations with “hazardous waste left behind from apparent methamphetamine manufacturing as well as devices and equipment used to manufacture the illegal drug.”

Carroll County Sheriff Dales Williams said the items appeared to have been there for quite some time in the wooded area off Lee Road. Members of a specialized unit from the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office removed the items so the materials can be safely disposed of.

Other agencies assisting in this investigation include the Multi-County L.E.A.D. Drug Task Force, the Carroll County Emergency Management Agency, and the Carrollton Village Fire Department.

Williams said that even though the items appeared to have been in those areas for some time, “methamphetamine manufacturing unfortunately continues to be a growing problem throughout the state as well as the surrounding counties.”

No arrests had been made as of Monday afternoon and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police or the NEWS9 Lauttamus Security Crime Busters Tipline at 800-862-BUST.



KATV) – Busts of physical meth laboratories are down across Arkansas, but the amount of homes that once housed a meth lab remains practically unchanged. The State of Arkansas maintains a list of homes where meth busts occurred, the Methamphetamine Contaminated Properties list. A KATV investigation found many of the homes listed are still being inhabited.

The list is long – 770 properties in total make up the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality’s list of Methamphetamine Contaminated Properties. Sixty-one of those properties lay within Pulaski County. 


“When a law enforcement agency anywhere in the state makes a meth bust, they report that information to us and we maintain the list,” said Katherine Benenati, spokesperson for ADEQ.


ADEQ started maintaining the list after Act 864 was passed by the Arkansas General Assembly back in 2007. Many of the properties on the list made it onto the list in 2008 and 2009 and since then, according to the list, still haven’t been cleaned up. According to ADEQ it is up to the property owner to make sure the home is able to be lived in.

Contaminated Home at 11015 Ironton Road

“It is the property owner’s responsibility to clean it to an acceptable level,” said Benenati. “They would need to use a certified contractor to do that.”


According to the state inventory of contaminated homes, 18 properties with Little Rock mailing addresses are listed as contaminated; most are outside the city limits. Out of the 16 homes out in the county, nine of those are still being inhabited with is illegal.

Contaminated Home at 11703 Hilaro Springs
Contaminated Home at 11703 Hilaro Springs

The man who helped make inhabiting those homes illegal is former State Senator Shane Broadway who helped to craft Act 864.

“If they knew the things we learned about it throughout that process [of making the law] in terms of what goes into the manufacturing of methamphetamine and what residue that it leaves behind, I can’t imagine why anybody would want to live in those circumstances,” said Broadway.

Act 864 made living in a contaminated home a class B misdemeanor. So if it’s illegal, whose responsibility is it to make sure no one’s living there? ADEQ says it’s not their problem.

“We’re just making sure that the list is up to date,” said Benenati. “That’s really more of a law enforcement issue. As far as posting the properties or making sure that they are not inhabited, that is a law enforcement responsibility.”

But Lt. Carl Minden, spokesperson for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office says constantly checking these homes to see if they’re occupied is not a law enforcement priority. He also questions if sheriff’s deputies were constantly checking and enforcing the rule, what would those officers actually be able to do?

“Even if we went over there and charged you, yes that’s going to court,” said Minden. “But ultimately if it ends up not being contaminated or deemed not to be contaminated by some expert and we would have evicted you, we just took you unrightfully out of your house. I don’t know if we have that authority.”

And Act 864 doesn’t really spell that type of authority out for law enforcement or for ADEQ.

“It may be time to go back and look at what was done and how it’s working or not working and see if there are things that may need to be adjusted,” said Broadway.

The flaw in the law is that many of the homes on the list may not actually be contaminated. Law enforcement slaps a contamination sticker on a home they found meth production tools in whether or not meth was being produced at the time.

Still, it is up to the property owner to prove the home is contaminated or not. Homeowners have to hire a commercial contractor to come and test the home and if it is actually contaminated they need to hire one of those licensed contractors to clean it up.



 man has been charged with manufacturing meth after allegedly using a Travel Inn hotel room as a meth lab.

The DeKalb Police Department responded to a call on Oct. 27 in regard to suspicious items found in a dumpster. The items were determined to be methamphetamine paraphernalia. After interviewing suspects and witnesses, it was learned that suspects were manufacturing methamphetamine in a hotel room at the Travel Inn, 1116 West Lincoln Highway, according to a news release by the city of DeKalb. 

Thomas M. Wilkenson, 29, was charged with aggravated participation in meth manufacturing, participation of meth manufacturing, meth manufacturing materials, meth delivery and possession of drug Paraphernalia.

The Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team was brought in to assist with the cleanup of the materials.

“That stuff’s explosive, it’s hazardous,” said DeKalb Lt. Bob Redel.

Redel said this was the second methamphetamine manufacturing related bust in the city in the past six months.

Only Wilkenson has been charged so far, but the police department expects more charges to come from this incident.

The Illinois State Police, the DeKalb Fire Department, the DeKalb Police Department responded to the call.