Police have charged two people after drugs, cash and a firearm were found during a search warrant on a property in South Guildford.

Organised Crime Squad Detectives found around 350 grams of what they believe is methamphetamine, cocaine and MDMA as well as one-hundred-thousand dollars cash and a firearm.

A 27-year-old man appeared in the Midland Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with a string of offences.

He will appear again at a later date.

A 26-year-old woman is due to appear in court on June 21.

An Audi and a BMW have been seized as part of the investigation.







A woman remained in jail Thursday and faces drug charges after a traffic stop in Shannon, according to Floyd County Jail reports.

According to the report:

Karen Colleen Stewart, 29, of 309 Wax Road, Silver Creek, was found with two glass smoking devices and a bag of suspected methamphetamine in her purse. She claimed ownership of all items.

Karen Colleen Stewart
Karen Colleen Stewart

Stewart was charged with felony possession of meth, a probation violation and misdemeanor possession of drug-related objects. She was being held without bond.


A Clearlake man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine after Lake County Sheriff’s detectives observed him acting strangely.

Martin Guzman Pantoja, 49, was seen acting in a “bizarre” way while walking through the parking lot of Twin Pines Casino in Middletown. deputies said in a news release. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Narcotics Task Force conducted field sobriety tests with Pantoja and determined he was under the influence of methamphetamine.

During a search, five grams of what is suspected to be methamphetamine were found in Pantoja’s sock, according to investigators. Detectives determined the street value to be $500.

Pantoja was booked into Hill Road Correctional Facility for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale. Bail was set at $25,000.







People cooking meth continue to endanger police officers and the health of the general public.

Robert W. Wilson, 26, of 1314 Findlay St., Portsmouth and Josiah J. Ford, 25, of 19743 Ohio 772, Waverly, are facing charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs, a third degree felony, after being arrested early Friday morning. Police said they also arrested Christopher R. Erks, 33, of Portsmouth, who was also inside the house, on a Probation violation.

Portsmouth police officers responded to 1314 Findlay St. at around 4:52 a.m. in reference to a complaint of subjects manufacturing methamphetamine. Officers noticed a strong chemical odor eminating from the house when they arrived. Upon arrival, officers said Wilson and Ford ran from the house but were detained.


<p>Josiah Ford</p>

Josiah Ford

Four arrested in meth lab discovery

In the kitchen, police found a backpack containing a box of coffee filters, wire cutters, a plastic bottle that contained a substance believed to be a by-product of methamphetamine and a brown plastic bag that contained white pellets. On the kitchen table they found a container of salt, a green container with seven syringes and lithium batteries as well as drain cleaner, a glass jar with a milky substance inside and a can of starter fluid with a hole in it.

In front of the stove, officers found a plastic bottle with a tube coming out of it that contained a white substance. Officers said they recognized it as what is known as a generator.

Captain Lynn Brewer said a fourth subject was later identified as being involved in the lab and a case will be presented to the Scioto County grand jury seeking indictment for the manufacture of the drugs. The juvenile located inside the residence was transported to their home and released to their parents. A case will be presented to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office Juvenile Prosecutor for consideration of charges against the juvenile.

A team of experts from the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation that is specially trained in the disassembly of Methamphetamine Labs was called to the scene to make the area safe.

Brewer said the arrests and the shutting down of a potentially lethal Methamphetamine Lab was made possible by the involvement of a concerned citizen. Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said anyone with information concerning any possible criminal activity is encouraged to call their local law enforcement agency and report the activity.

The adults arrested were taken to the Scioto County Jail.


The Greenwood County Drug Enforcement Unit arrested a man with a meth lab in his home after serving a search warrant at the residence on Thursday night.

According to a report from the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, DEU agents went to the residence of Wayne Yount  Jr., 32, located at 220 Trotter’s Eight, Thursday night at about 8:30 p.m. Agents identified themselves and entered the home through the front door. Yount was found inside the home.




According to the report, several components and ingredients of a meth lab were found in the home. There was a white sludge in several bottles located in the home which field tested positive for ephedrine and methamphetamine.

Yount has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of ephedrine in an altered state and improper disposal of methamphetamine waste.







ADELPHI, Ohio – Two men are behind bars after sheriff’s deputies found items used to make methamphetamine inside a Ross County home.

According to Ross County Sheriff George Lavender, deputies were dispatched to a home on Chestnut Street in Adelphi on a welfare check for a 51-year-old man at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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Lavender said a concerned neighbor said they feared that the resident, Bernie Rossiter, was being abused. The neighbor also said they suspected drug activity in the home.

Upon arrival, deputies made contact with Rossiter, who claimed he was fine and showed no signs of physical abuse.

While at the home, deputies detected a strong chemical odor and saw materials inside the home consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamines.

Deputies secured the scene and contacted the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force, and a search warrant was obtained.

During the search, investigators said they collected evidence that was sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for testing.

Rossiter was arrested and charged with permitting drug abuse.

Michael D. Gierhart, 35, of Laurelville, was at the home and also arrested. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Both suspects were transported to the Ross County Jail.

Additional charges are pending lab results.







CHILLICOTHE — The head of the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation drug unit said Thursday his agency is seeing record levels of methamphetamine labs, despite continuing efforts with municipalities to combat the problem.

Scott Duff, special agent supervisor in BCI’s narcotics division, met with members of the city’s Meth Lab Committee to discuss his role in dealing with meth labs in Ohio, saying BCI responds to incidents as needed.

“We make the labs safe … and deal with chemicals on scene,” Duff said. “We don’t remediate — we clean up.”

Dennis Lowe, a BCI agent who also deals with meth labs, told committee members that his role involves processing and collecting evidence at scenes, in addition to providing training to fire departments. Duff said BCI has “made a concerted effort that we provide every effort to local law enforcement” for help.

City Councilwoman Alicia Gray said the numbers being reported in Ohio aren’t necessarily representative of what’s actually occurring, a point Duff said he agrees with. Local law enforcement has found numerous meth labs in Chillicothe this year.

“Are we underreported? Yes,” he said. “But we’re really close to where we should be.”

Many police and fire departments in the state — including those in Chillicothe — have received the training that makes them self-sufficient in dealing with meth labs without BCI having to be dispatched.

“Generally, if we don’t respond, we’re coordinating those responses,” Duff said.

Still, Gray said she would like an educational component to the committee’s efforts to crack down on meth labs. The committee was formed nearly a month ago to look at the meth problem in the city by working with various governmental and law enforcement agencies. The four-member panel is developing legislation that would seek to recover costs from property owners for cleaning up sites where meth activity takes place.

Mayor Jack Everson said educating the public is something he also wants to see as soon as possible.

“I think it’s imperative,” Everson said.

Councilwoman Pat Patrick, who is chairwoman of the committee, said a draft of the proposed ordinance will be reviewed by City Law Director Sherri Rutherford by the end of June. Patrick said city council members could vote on the proposed law sometime in early July.







Four people are arrested as nearly 400 grams of possible methamphetamine are found from a phone tip

A tip from a Hemet resident prompted four arrests and the seizure of an estimated $50,000 worth of suspected methamphetamine, police say.

A 911 call at 7:40 a.m. Monday, June 10, told of two men walking around a house along the 600 block of Zinnia Street.

An officer found 35-year-old Rene Sandoval, of San Jacinto, standing near an open garage door at the house.

The officer previously had heard that Sandoval might be armed and selling meth, Cpl. Michael Mouat said in a written statement.

After a struggle, Sandoval was detained and found to be carrying a gun and more than 100 grams of suspected meth.

Officers learned Sandoval had been staying at a nearby motel. Ultimately, three more people were arrested and an additional 300 grams of the drug were confiscated.

Sandoval and 22-year-old John Marks, of Hemet, were arrested for investigation of possessing drugs for sale, according to the statement. Sandoval also was held on suspicion of possessing a concealed gun and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

Two Hemet women were taken into custody on misdemeanor arrest warrants.







SAN BERNARDINO — Deputies arrested a San Bernardino man twice in one week accusing him of possession of methamphetamine for sale..Anthony Hernandez, 35 of San Bernardino, was arrested Tuesday at a home in the 1500 block of Kingman Street suspected of possessing 1.5 pounds of methamphetamine for sales, according to a sheriff’s news release.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s narcotics detectives were conducting a follow up investigation related to two medical marijuana dispensaries and several residences, including the Kingman Street location, that were raided on May 30.

Hernandez was arrested during the previous raid suspected of possessing methamphetamine, a loaded semi-automatic handgun and over 300 pounds of illegal fireworks, sheriff’s officials said.

After his May 30 arrest, Hernandez was out of custody on bail with a pending court date.

Hernandez was booked into the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino and is being held in lieu of $750,000 bail.








BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Investigators seized one quarter pound of meth during a probation search at a Bakersfield hotel.

On Wednesday, June 12, 2013 investigators assigned to the Kern County California Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team and the Kern County Major Violator Unit conducted a probation search at hotel located in the 2300 block of Wible Road.



During the search detectives found evidence of drug sales and approximately one quarter pound of suspected methamphetamine, which has a potential street value of about $14,260.00.

Two Bakersfield residents were detained inside the hotel room. They were identified as 30 year old Annabelle Miller, who was the subject of the probation search, and 41 year old Benjamin Mendoza.

Both were arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail for possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sales, and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.







COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – It’s a cheap high that leaves a much higher bill. Last year more than 500 methamphetamine labs were discovered across South Carolina. Each one costing around $2,500 to remove the most obvious contaminants.

Then there’s the opportunity cost to narcotics officers, firefighters and EMS.


But the dollar figure isn’t Laura Hudson’s biggest concern. She’s the Executive Director of the South Carolina Crime Victims Council.

“I can’t imagine not knowing what’s happening to me,” she said. “Having a parent who’s totally addicted to something and not really caring about what happens to me. That’s the plight many of our children find themselves in.”

Hudson’s talking about the kids who are often discovered along with their parents’ makeshift labs.
“Those children tend to be abused and neglected,” said Hudson. “They’re not fed properly, not clothed properly not cleaned properly.”

And there are a lot of them.

SLED’s meth expert  Lt. Max Dorsey says last year more than 100 kids were taken from meth lab situations and put into the custody of DSS for at least some time.  Many will need to be monitored for health issues.

“One pot labs have been seized in homes and several years later tests have been performed on the home and meth residue has been found,” Dorsey said.
“When they inhale the meth residue, they can have psychological problems developmental problems, things that affect all humans but children are more susceptible to that.”

Right now there’s no standard practice when it comes to handling a child taken from a lab. Hudson is working to change that.

And Dorsey continues to drive home the price of the labs. A process as corrosive to our economy as it is to the users.

“The public, if they knew how much time money and effort it took, I think it would concern more people,” he said.

Hudson is calling for support of a bill that would make pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in these shake and bake labs, a Scheduled 3 drug, meaning you would need a prescription to get it.

Dorsey said Oregon passed a similar law and saw their presence of meth labs cut by more than 90%.

That bill didn’t make it through this legislative session. Hudson is hopeful it could gain traction when the next session begins in January.








MIDDLETOWN, Calif. – Narcotics task force members arrested a Clearlake man on Wednesday for charges related to use and possession of methamphetamine.

Martin Guzman Pantoja, 49, was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale, according to Lt. Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Martin Guzman Pantoja, 49, of Clearlake, Calif., was arrested on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, for being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for sale

Brooks said Lake County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force detectives were walking through the parking lot of Twin Pines Casino in Middletown on Wednesday when they observed Pantoja walk out of the casino and through the parking lot.

Pantoja was acting bizarre, displaying signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance, Brooks said.

Detectives contacted Pantoja in the parking lot and, after conducting several field sobriety tests, determined that he was under the influence of methamphetamine, according to Brooks.

Brooks said detectives arrested Pantoja, searched him and located a plastic bag containing 5 grams of suspected methamphetamine hidden in his sock.

Pantoja told detectives that he had recently purchased the methamphetamine and that he was a methamphetamine user. Brooks said Pantoja denied that he planned to sell the methamphetamine.

Detectives estimated the methamphetamine had a street value of $500, according to Brooks.

Brooks said detectives later tested the suspected methamphetamine using a narcotic identification kit and received a presumptive positive result. The suspected methamphetamine was sent to the California Department of Justice for further testing.

Pantoja was booked at the Hill Road Correctional Facility, with bail set at $25,000. Jail records indicated he remained in custody on Thursday evening.







Five people have been indicted on charges that they were making methamphetamine at a Bronson Street residence.

Joel R. Gillespie, 32, Kellie L. Belcher, 31, Edgar L. Richardson II, 35, and Shawn L. Exford, 22, all of Watertown, and Daniel L. Merritt, 37, LaFargeville, are each charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of the precursors to methamphetamine and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

The charges were contained in grand jury indictments handed up Thursday in Jefferson County Court.

It is alleged that the five were involved in a methamphetamine lab discovered by Watertown police May 26 at 675 Bronson St. Police charged them with possessing a liquid substance containing methamphetamine with an aggregate weight of about 4 ounces.







CAMDEN COUNTY, GA – Camden County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies and officers from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Kingsland Police Department (KPD) executed a search warrant at approximately 7:30 this morning at 110 Cottonwood Grove in Kingsland where the believed an active methamphetamine manufacturing lab was operating. Inside they found and arrested Emily Marie Rankin, 22, Rhonda Rene Catoe, 54, and Joey Allen Pierantonis, 34. All three suspects are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and sale of methamphetamine. Additional charges are pending.



The lab was located in a subdivision off Wildcat Drive near Camden County High School.  Investigators will determine if the lab was operating within 1,000 ft. of the school. If so, the three suspects will also be charged for that violation.

The arrests highlight the growing problem of meth labs in our communities and is the second lab to be shut down this month. Members of the CCSO Drug Task Force were recently certified in identifying and clearing the hazardous labs.










Investigators in Lincoln County arrested three people in connection with a possible methamphetamine lab on Biggerstaff Road.

Deputies also removed three children from the home and placed them with family members.

Angela Morrissette, 20, and Sara Elizabeth Jackson, 23, were both charged with felony possession of a meth precursor and a misdemeanor count of child abuse. Carissa Rae Morrissette was charged with possession of a meth precursor and with carrying a concealed weapon. A fourth suspect is expected to be charged later Wednesday.

Lincoln County narcotics investigators were assisting Maiden Police on an open investigation when they located a suspect vehicle on Biggerstaff Road, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. They asked to search the vehicle and found precursor chemicals used in “One Pot” methamphetamine production.

In the one pot method, meth producers combine all the ingredients in one container, usually a soda bottle, in a certain order. But like other methods of meth production, it produces volatile chemicals that can explode.

After searching the car, investigators applied for a search warrant for the home and found other materials used in making meth including: drain opener chemicals, pseudoephedrine, camp fuel and cold medication packs.

Samples of the materials were taken to the State Bureau of Investigation’s lab for testing. Then deputies neutralized the chemicals and stored them in a secure location.


POCATELLO — Four eastern Idaho residents were arrested this week on federal  firearms violations and methamphetamine distribution charges.

U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced Thursday that Marilee T. Love, 44, of  Terreton, Rodney L. Hall, 54, of Lewisville, Harold T. Barker, 58, of Rexburg,  and Gary W. Hoffman, 50, of Rigby, were indicted by a federal grand jury on May  29.

Indicted together, Love and Hall have been charged with conspiring to  distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana  between February 2011 and February 2012. The two have also been charged with  three counts of distributing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a  firearm silencer. Love has also been charged with two counts of unlawfully  selling firearms to a person she knew was prohibited from legally possessing  firearms.

Barker has been charged with unlawfully possessing a sawed-off shotgun,  distributing methamphetamine on two occasions and four counts of unlawfully  selling firearms to a person he knew was prohibited from legally possessing  firearms.

Hoffman, convicted of felony possession of methamphetamine in 2004 in  Bonneville County, has been charged with unlawfully possessing three firearms  between May and October 2012 and with distributing methamphetamine. Hoffman is  prohibited from possessing firearms due to his prior conviction.

The defendants are scheduled to be arraigned in United States District Court  in Pocatello at 1 p.m. Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush.

If convicted, Love, Hall, Barker and Hoffman each face up to 20 years in  prison, a maximum fine of $1 million and at least three years of supervised  release.

The investigation has been conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,  Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement  Administration, Idaho State Police, sheriff’s offices in Madison, Fremont,  Jefferson, and Bingham counties and police departments in Rexburg, Rigby and  Blackfoot.







Aiken authorities are asking for help in locating two people wanted for dealing methamphetamine out of an Aiken motel near a state university.

Christopher Lewis, 29, and Lisa Williamson, 30, were charged May 28 by the Aiken Department of Public Safety for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine within a ½ mile of University of South Carolina Aiken.

Williamson  SPECIALLewis  SPECIAL

Williamson                                                                        Lewis



Since then, both suspects have been on the run, said Master Cpl. Jeremy Hembree, the spokesman for the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

“We do not have any information they have the left the area,” Hembree said. “The suspects are known to frequent hotels within the Aiken-Graniteville area.”

Hembree said investigators initially arrested Lewis on a charge of paraphernalia possession, after receiving a tip of a possible methamphetamine lab at the Econo Lodge on Richland Avenue. Lewis posted bail and was released, jail records show.

As the investigation unfolded, more weapons and drugs were found, Hembree said. Williamson was identified as a suspect and Lewis’ charges were upgraded to also include possession of a pistol by a convicted felon, possession of a stolen pistol, and possession of prescription drugs.

Lewis is described as 5feet 11 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. Williamson is listed as 5 feet tall and 100 pounds.

Anyone with information on the two can contact CrimeStoppers of the Midlands at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372). Callers will remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.







Two people were arrested on methamphetamine charges after deputies went to a Chesnee home to look for a wanted person.

Kimbrell Elizabeth Bishop, 29, and Justin Rea Williamson, 35, both of 161 Michael Drive, Chesnee, were charged Wednesday with manufacture/distribution/possession of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute drugs near a school, according to online jail records.


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An incident report states that deputies went to 114 Kirby St. in Landrum and found Bishop, who was wanted in Polk County, N.C. Deputies found duffel and bags containing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia associated with methamphetamine use and sales, the report states.

Williamson remained at the Spartanburg County Detention Facility Thursday on a $10,000 bond. He was also charged with an unrelated bench warrant, with a $237.50 bond.

Bishop was released from jail on a $5,000 bond.







Wednesday, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Department of Children and Families, responded to 1420 North 1st Street in DeFuniak Springs in reference to a welfare check of the children in the home.

Items conducive with the manufacture of methamphetamine were observed during the visit.

The WCSO Vice/Narcotics Unit responded and a search warrant for the residence was obtained and subsequently executed.

A methamphetamine lab was discovered in the residence including an excess of 14 grams of methamphetamine oil, finished methamphetamine powder and marijuana.

32 year old Chad R Graham and 24 year old Tasha A Pettit were both arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine in excess of 14 grams, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia and child neglect.

Both subjects were transported to the Walton County Department of Corrections.







AMANDA — Two people were arrested after authorities discovered a meth lab on the 9000 block of Chillicothe-Lancaster Road.

Deputies responded to 9635 Chillicothe-Lancaster Road at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday after receiving an anonymous tip on a possible methamphetamine lab, according to a news release from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Once on scene, Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit Street Crime Reduction and Apprehension Program deputies made contact with a man and woman who were manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of an infant, the release said. The lab was neutralized.

Deputies also located an AK-47 assault rifle and two other rifles, the release said.

The man and the woman were arrested and taken to Fairfield County jail, where they await felony drug charges and child endangerment charges.

The infant was placed with a family member.

Two other adults were present and could face charges.







MONTREAL — About 40 raids beginning at 5 a.m. last Tuesday — carried out in  12 municipalities, mostly north of Montreal — produced “a record seizure” for  Laval drug investigators, that city’s police force announced Thursday.

Evidence confiscated included 1.17 million pills; enough methamphetamine to  produce an additional 850,000 pills; eight firearms; and 48 kilograms of  pot.

Investigators seized 46.2 kilograms of methamphetamine in powder form, “more  than 200 kg of raw material” used to produce pills and three hydraulic presses  of the kind used to stamp them out.

 One of three hydraulic presses, used for pill production,  seized during raids on a drug ring Tuesday, June 11, 2013. About 40 raids  beginning at 5 a.m. — carried out in a swath of 12 municipalities mostly north  of Montreal — produced “a record seizure” for Laval drug  investigators


Cash amounting to $483,000 and 3.2 kg of cocaine, along with a bulletproof  vest, completed the inventory listed in a news release.

About 385 officers from Laval and 11 other forces participated in what they  called Projet Moisson. The drug network was believed to have been operating from  locations in Laval, Montreal, Boisbriand, Ste-Thérèse, Blainville, Mirabel,  Deux-Montagnes, Terrebonne, St-Hyppolite, Val-Morin and Lavaltrie.

Investigators said the ring targeted young people, and suggested its  operators had links to the Mafia, biker gangs and street gangs.

The 43 suspects arrested face charges including drug trafficking; drug  possession for the purposes of trafficking; and weapons possession.

Pills were being retailed for between $5 and $20 a hit, in areas close to  schools, and at raves and after-hours clubs, Insp. Dany Gagnon of Laval police  said.






LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC —  Five people are facing drug charges, after Lexington County officers found an alleged meth lab in a Gaston area home.

Officers with the Multi-Agency Narcotics Enforcement Team on Tuesday arrested Gaston residents Christopher Albert Huggins, 29, of Sharpes Hill Road, Nancy Renee Krantz, 37, and Olivia Lessie Mason, 37, both of Blackville Court, along with Robin Farris Krantz, 30, of Head Street, Columbia, and Jimmy Ferney Johnson Jr., 38, of Holly Drive, Sumter.


Albert Huggins

Jimmy Ferney Johnson

Jimmy Ferney Johnson

Nancy Renee Krantz
Nancy Renee Krantz

Olivia Lessie Mason
Olivia Lessie Mason

Robin Farris Krantz
Robin Farris Krantz

Sheriff James Metts said Huggins is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine and possessing marijuana; Johnson, with manufacturing methamphetamine; Nancy Krantz and Mason with manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawfully disposing of waste from a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory; and Robin Krantz with third-offense manufacturing methamphetamine and third-offense possession of methamphetamine.

Officers executed a search warrant at about 7:49 p.m. Tuesday at a home at 1220 Blackville Court, where Nancy Krantz and Mason reside, Metts said, after receiving a tip about a possible meth lab there. Officers found items at the home used to manufacture meth, along with small amounts of meth and marijuana.

Huggins was released from the Lexington County Detention Center Wednesday June 12 after posting bail totaling $35,000, Metts said. The other four were still at the detention center Thursday on various bail amounts.

BAD AXE — After deliberating for an hour and 10 minutes, a jury found a 33-year-old Bad Axe man guilty of all four charges stemming from a Feb. 21 methamphetamine lab bust in the city of Bad Axe.

Tears streamed down the face of Ronald Hartman Jr. on Thursday after the jury pronounced he was guilty of operating a lab involving methamphetamine; operating a lab involving methamphetamine near a specified place (such as a church, residence, school or business); manufacturing a controlled substance-methamphetamine; and possession of methamphetamine.

The charges came after police executed a search warrant at 215 W. Butler St., and discovered a number of ingredients and equipment used to make meth. Originally, officers obtained the warrant after establishing probable cause that drugs were being sold in the home through three controlled buy operations. In those operations, officers caught 21-year-old Thomas Conley selling heroin from the home, with the most recent transaction happening Feb. 21.

But, police didn’t discover heroin during their search of the home later that evening. Instead, the search resulted in what officials called the county’s first meth lab bust. Both Hartman and 31-year-old Ryan Welshans, who resided at the home and rented portions of it to Hartman and Conley, were charged with multiple drug violations. In addition to the same four charges Hartman was convicted of Thursday, Welshans also faces an additional charge of maintaining a drug house. His jury trial is scheduled for June 25.

During Hartman’s trial, which began Tuesday and reconvened Thursday, prosecutors portrayed Hartman as a meth user, not seller. Huron County Prosecutor Timothy J. Rutkowski relied on testimony from Conley that indicated he witnessed Hartman make meth at least five times in the 215 W. Butler residence. The defense counsel, Jill Schmidt of Bad Axe, tried to discredit Conley — repeatedly noting that he was testifying as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange for pleading guilty to three counts of delivering heroin and testifying against Welshans and Hartman, prosecutors agreed not to charge him with additional counts.

Schmidt described Hartman as a pawn in the home, where Welshans was housing drug users and drug dealers. She alleged Welshans, Conley and another individual, were the main players in the drug activities at that location — and that Hartman had no control over what was going on.

But Rutkowski claimed Hartman’s defense was not backed by evidence, and there was evidence that supported Conley’s testimony. For instance, he repeatedly referenced a question and answer form from the Bad Axe Police Department that Hartman signed to be true. And he signed it after he signed two different copies of forms acknowledging he was given his Miranda rights. In the question and answer form, he admitted to living in the upstairs bedroom that police found padlocked closed. Once forced open, police found a number of meth making ingredients and equipment in that bedroom. In the question and answer form, Hartman admitted he made meth once in the room, and thoroughly described the process of manufacturing meth. Prosecutors used pictures taken of sores on Hartman’s body as proof of his using meth, and other pictures were used to show the 215 W. Butler home is well within 500 feet of a nearby residence.

Schmidt stressed the fact that police did not uncover any meth on Feb. 21, nor did they find Hartman to be in possession of meth when he was arrested Feb. 22. But Rutkowski told the jury to consider the circumstantial evidence, which included that ingredients used to make meth were in Hartman’s bedroom, as was equipment that tested positive for chemicals that are indicative of manufacturing meth. He said the evidence, along with Hartman’s statements to police and Conley’s testimony, all prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hartman was guilty of the four offenses sometime between the period of Jan. 1 to Feb. 21.

During the opening day of trial, Hartman took to the witness stand. He denied ever making meth in the home, and testified that statements from a cashier from Ace Hardware who stated he purchased an acid used to make meth Feb. 21 were false. He also said testimony from police officers who said he admitted making meth in the home were false. He denied living at the 215 W. Butler home at the time of the raid, calling it a place he would stay at from time to time, but by mid-February, he was living in a Port Hope area home.

Rutkowski countered that evidence seized during the Feb. 21 raid included Hartman’s wallet. Hartman’s defense argued his wallet was locked in the bedroom, and Welshans wouldn’t let him back in the home because he owed him money and Hartman wasn’t of any further use to Welshans. But this contradicted statements Hartman gave to police, saying he put the padlock on the door because people were stealing his things when he would leave the home. Hartman said he never read the question and answer form he signed as a true statement Feb. 22. He noted he was distressed that day, as he was woken with guns in his face and an officer yelling at him that he was under arrest for manufacturing meth.

“I wish I would have read that,” he said on Tuesday, in reference to the question and answer form that he signed.

The counts of operating a lab involving meth; operating a lab involving meth near a specified place; and manufacturing a controlled substance-meth, each are punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and the charge of possession of meth is punishable by 10 years incarceration. However, Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock explained that because the sentences will be served concurrently, the most Hartman could be sentenced to is 20 years in prison. His sentencing was set for Aug. 12, and he remains lodged in the Huron County Jail.

Following Thursday’s verdict, Rutkowski told the Tribune that there are more meth cases his office will be pursuing in court.

“It’s unfortunate that we have meth as an issue in our community, but we will address these issues by going to court on these cases,” he said. “… The issue of meth doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.”







BAKER COUNTY, Fla. — Four people are arrested in Baker county on methamphetamine charges following a DCF welfare check.

It happened Wednesday at a home on Clet Harvey Road.

A DCF investigator said they were headed to the home to conduct a child endangerment investigation after being informed that the owners of the home routinely manufactured methamphetamine while children were present. Due to the possibility of a methamphetamine operation being present Baker county sheriff’s deputies also went to the home.

Investigators say that when they approached the home they saw four men running in and out of a shed located about 150 feet from the home.

Sheriff’s deputies say one of the suspects, Jason Oralls, allegedly tossed a plastic jug on top of a grape vine. Oralls is also accused of burning multiple objects in a fire pit.

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As this was happening Bradford county sheriff’s deputies detained three men: Jason Dupree, Allen Yonn, and Russell Rooker. Jason Oralls was then detained as sheriff’s deputies went to investigate the shed and to see if Oralls had allegedly burned evidence.

Upon further investigation sheriff’s deputies say they found numerous items used to manufacture methamphetamine. Investigators removed the items from the fire pit and found a coffee filter that contained a white substance believed to be methamphetamine. A field narcotics test provided positive results for the presence of methamphetamine.

Sheriff’s deputies then obtained consent to search suspect Russell Rooker’s vehicle. Inside sheriff’s deputies say they found a pseudoephedrine package behind the driver’s seat.

Jason Dupree, Allen Yonn, and Russell Rooker were then arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine. They were transported to the Baker county department of corrections.

Jason Oralls was interviewed at the Baker County Sheriff’s Office. There sheriff’s deputies say Oralls denied having manufactured methamphetamine Wednesday. According to investigators, Oralls said the items discovered at the home were from a recent “cook” he had completed.

Jason Oralls has since been arrested for possession of methamphetamine, manufacture of methamphetamine, and destruction of evidence.


NEW ALBANY —  Two arrests were made by New Albany police after responding to an abandoned home suspected of methamphetamine activity May 31.

Ricky S. Robb Sr., 47, of 317 W. Fifth St. in New Albany, and Alice Berryman, 49, of Marengo, were both found in the home along with an active methamphetamine lab, which was located under a bathroom sink, police reported.

When police arrived about 12:30 p.m. the home was clearly an abandoned property, as its electric box had been removed, the yard was not manicured and several large branches and debris were scattered about. The two responding officers also noticed there was no running water or electricity at the home.

“As [the officers] made their approach, a very strong chemical odor was detected near the front of the residence,” according to the affidavit. “Both [officers] immediately recognized the odor to be associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.”

While examining the property, the officers reported hearing voices coming from inside the home.

Before trying to enter the home, additional officers were called to the scene to provide back-up.

With reinforcements in place, an officer knocked on the front door of the home and gave verbal commands for the home’s occupants to exit the residence.

No one came to the door, police reported, but one of the officers saw a male, later identified as Robb, through a window, but still no one exited the home.

Police then decided to force entry into the residence, and once inside directed Robb and Berryman to floor, and both were placed into handcuffs. No one else was found in the home.

“During the security sweep, officers located several items commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine in plain view,” according to the affidavit.

Robb told police that he did not know who owned the residence, but he had been staying there for about one month.

“[Robb] agreed that he is currently trespassing and only moved into the residence because he had no other place to live,” according to the affidavit.

A Chevrolet S-10 pick up truck spray painted black was found parked in front of the residence, which police investigated and determined to be stolen. It was without a license plate and had been reported stolen 10 days earlier.

Robb told police he had driven the vehicle about four days before, “but had nothing to do with the theft of the vehicle.”

The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Response Team was called to the home for safe disposal of the active methamphetamine lab and several other inactive labs or old labs that had been placed in a garbage receptacle outside of the home.

After the ISP arrived and identified the active lab, the New Albany Fire Department was called to the scene for possible assistance with the volatile lab.

“This lab was unable to be transported to another location due to its instability and was destroyed at the scene,” according to the affidavit.

After the home was deemed safe by ISP, New Albany police located an off-white, pasty substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, a set of digital scales, a glass smoking pipe with burn marks and a straw, both commonly used to ingest methamphetamine.

Robb told police he had no involvement in the production of the methamphetamine, but was aware that another man was cooking the substance in the home.

“Robb stated he was not a ‘snitch’ and would not tell me who the other male involved was,” according to the affidavit.

After an apparent change of heart, Robb then provided police with the name of a man who he said was responsible for the active methamphetamine lab.

He said the man was at the home hours earlier and had left after “starting the lab,” and that he sometimes sleeps in the living room of the home.

Robb told police that he sleeps in a bedroom of the home, where police found several items used in the manufacturing and ingestion of methamphetamine.

Robb also told police that Berryman does not live at the home, but only comes by occasionally and brings him food.

“Robb also stated that if he were to be drug tested he would fail due to the fact he has ingested methamphetamine and marijuana,” according to the affidavit.

Robb has been charged in Floyd County Superior Court No. 1 with possession of methamphetamine, a class B felony; receiving stolen property and maintaining a common nuisance, both class D felonies; and possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

Berryman was charged with visiting a common nuisance, a class B misdemeanor.