Comments Off on Christine Sue Myers, 41, of Dowagiac and Jason Edward Vroma, 37, of Kentwood charged for February Methamphetamine lab explosion at the Walker America’s Best Value Inn & Suites motel

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) – Two people with a history of drug abuse have been charged with running a methamphetamine lab at a Walker motel that resulted in an explosion and small fire in February.635641120330752994-myersmeth

Jason Edward Vroma, 37, of Kentwood and Christine Sue Myers, 41, of Dowagiac are charged with running a hazardous methamphetamine operation. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Both have prior meth-related convictions.

Walker police and fire were called to America’s Best Value Inn & Suites at Alpine Avenue and Three Mile Road NW after an explosion and fire was reported in a bathroom of room 102 on Feb. 24.

By the time police arrived about 12:15 a.m., the pair had fled and the fire was out. Police discovered a one-pot meth lab in the bathroom shower, which included ammonium nitrate, Coleman camping fuel and lithium batteries. Police arrested Myers in Cass County. She admitted to cooking meth, court records show.635641119443569620-vromameth

Myers, who is on parole for a 2012 meth-related conviction in Van Buren County, told investigators she drove Vroma to a second getaway car after they fled the motel, court records show.

Vroma was identified on surveillance video buying ingredients used to make meth. The Kent Area Narcotics Team and the Michigan State Police Meth response Team also assisted at the scene.








Comments Off on Michigan’s Methamphetamine incidents surge to all-time high

LANSING – When Tim Haney saw yellow police barrier tape surrounding a building in downtown Charlotte two years ago, he joked to himself that a meth lab must have gone bad.B9316884590Z_1_20150408130641_000_G2FAEJJ4R_1-0

It only took a few minutes for this former addict — now 11 years clean — to find out that a real meth lab had exploded and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage near City Hall and the Fire Department.

“You know there are addicts,” said Haney, a 47-year-old married father of two. “But I just had no idea that something going on here was on the same level as bigger cities.”

Since 2013, Michigan police officers have found more than 1,500 meth labs and dump sites for lab equipment and the dangerous chemical byproducts that come from producing the highly addictive stimulant.

The number last year, 861, was a record and adds to the Great Lakes State’s reputation as one of the fastest growing areas for production and distribution of the drug.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Steven Spink describes Michigan’s meth crisis as “a real nightmare” that’s stretched state and local public safety budgets to the limit. No community appears safe.

Meth is nasty stuff,” Spink said. “We’ve seen people that have gone to the hospital because they’ve been burnt while trying to cook it, and they start cooking it again the day they’re out.”

State Police found 23 meth labs in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties last year and more than a dozen sites with lab equipment or dumped chemicals.

Charlotte’s meth lab explosion in 2013 took place in a second floor apartment on the same block as City Hall and the Fire Department.

The blast damaged the west wall of the structure and forced tenant Derek Ayers to pay more than $18,000 in restitution. He pleaded guilty to two counts of operating a meth lab and was sentenced to at least three years in prison.

Labs are a year-round problem in Michigan, and April is typically the month where dumping sites start popping up along highways, residential streets, parks and other public spaces.

It’s not uncommon for police officers to find dangerous chemicals used to cook meth stored in coolers, backpacks, trash bags and soda bottles just a few miles away from where the drug was cooked, Spink said.

“April showers bring May flowers,” said Spink, one of at least 350 state officers trained for meth cases. “But they also bring dump sites. And you just can’t leave them alone.”

Cleanup costs for a meth lab or dump site can range anywhere from $500 to $2,500

Since federal funds to cover some meth-related cleanup have ebbed in recent years, it adds more pressure at the state and local levels to find answers.

“The cost is what is hurting everybody,” Spink said.

Michigan’s 1,240 townships compose at least 96 percent of the state and have been hit hard in the fight against meth for at least a decade because of cuts in state revenue sharing, said Catherine Mullhaupt of the Michigan Townships Association.

But townships are still finding ways to work with State Police and county sheriff departments to find answers. Townships aren’t mandated to provide public safety services to their residents.

Mullhaupt said prevention of meth-related incidents is not only a crime issue, but one tied to economic development that isn’t limited to a community’s size or location.

“There are places all over this state where people and communities are hurting, and they need help,” Mullhaupt said.

Tracking OTC drugs

The Michigan Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder set limitations last year on availability of cold and allergy medications that can be used to create meth.

A law went in effect Jan. 1 that limits the purchase of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine or a mixture of the drugs to no more than 9 grams within a 30-day period. The law also prohibits a person from possessing more than 12 grams of either chemical or a mixture of the two.

Michigan is one of 27 states that uses a real-time online tracking system called NPLEx to monitor the purchases of cold and allergy medications at pharmacies and stores.

Mullhaupt, Spink and Haney all agree that educating the public about meth, its production and distribution, and the hold it can have on addicts is one of the most proactive ways to address the problem.

Spink estimates that State Police officials give about 500 presentations a year to business owners and other groups who could be affected by production of the drug. Mobile homes, portable toilets and even septic tanks can get in the wrong hands, he said.

“What’s frightening is that you often don’t know who is doing this,” Spink said.

Haney is an outpatient counselor at Michigan Therapeutic Consultants in Lansing who has seen the number of clients trying to recover from meth, opiates and other drugs rise from 75 to over 160 in the past year.

Haney has plans to open a new recovery center in Charlotte within two weeks because of the that community’s growing need.

Meth’s grip on Michigan is easy to understand; it’s cheap to make and always in demand because of its euphoric effects, Haney said.

“When you first start using it you feel like you’re invincible and that nothing can stop you,” said Haney, who was an addict for nearly eight years. “Then you realize you haven’t been to sleep for three days, you’re seeing crazy things and you’re hearing voices.”

Tutt Gorman, Portland’s city manager, said poor code and ordinance enforcement in a community could make it an easy target for makers and addicts of the drug.

Portland has a population of nearly 4,000 residents. The last arrest for methamphetamine possession in the city was less than three weeks ago.

State Police discovered eight meth labs in Ionia County last year — a county record.

“You just have to be diligent because the recidivism rate for meth is huge,” said Gorman, a former city attorney and prosecutor. “People can change; they can get back on the wagon (and stay clean), but then get right back off.”

The State Police encourage residents to call its anonymous tip line at (866) 638-4847 to report suspicious activity they believe could be meth-related.

Comments Off on Methamphetamine distribution ring from Indianapolis to Terre Haute dismantled

INDIANA (WTHI) – The U.S Attorney’s Office released Wednesday afternoon of a methamphetamine distribution ring ranging from Terre Haute to Indianapolis was dismantled after a year-long case.

United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced 14 defendants were arrested on various gun and drug-related charges after federal agents along with state and local officers served warrants in Marion, Vigo and Morgan counties early Wednesday morning.

Most defendants face charges related to the distribution of methamphetamine.

“The violence and social devastation that methamphetamine brings to our communities is a problem that law enforcement needs to address.” said Minkler. “Preventing violent crime through dismantling drug trafficking organizations, remains a top priority of my office and I will use every available federal resource to help keep our communities safe.”

According to the indictment, the conspiracy began in June 2014 and continued until Wednesday.

The defendants used mobile phones to facilitate the methamphetamine distribution and often used coded messages and texts to discuss prices and quantities of the drug.

Those arrested include:

Honan M. Rivera Bonilla, 25, Indianapolis

Ramon E. Rivera Bonilla, 21, Indianapolis

Charles G. Talley, 33, Mooresville

Thresa A. Talley, 44, Mooresville

Larry A. Key, 27, Indianapolis

Amanda S. Sims, 34, Martinsville

Brian E. Ridener, 42, Martinsville

Brandon L. Ross, 33, Terre Haute

Amanda M. Dill, 30, Dubois, IN

Osman R. Diaz-Reyes, 41, El Salvador, Central America

Joshua B. Camplin, 34, Martinsville

Michael A. Bones, 39, Terre Haute

Martin Gonzalez, Jr., 26 Indianapolis

Ronald L. Woods, 42, Indianapolis

The indictment further alleges that Charles and Thresa Talley received large quantities of methamphetamine from Honan and Ramon Rivera Bonilla and Key.

The Talley’s then distributed the methamphetamine to Sims, Ridener and Ross for redistribution throughout the Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Mooresville and Martinsville areas. Diaz-Reyes, Camplin and Woods were also charged with possessing firearms in furtherance of their methamphetamine-related crimes.

As a result of this investigation led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Indiana State Police, Vigo County Drug Task Force, Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office and the Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office, law enforcement seized 24 firearms and 13 pounds of methamphetamine.

“The FBI will continue to combat drug trafficking organizations with our local, state and federal partners in order to keep the citizens of Indiana safe,” said Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mathew Lasher who is prosecuting this case for the government, all defendants face decades in prison if convicted.

An Indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Comments Off on UPDATE: Female defendant, “Leticia” 33, of Fort Worth, FOUND GUILTY of trading sex with a 12-year-old girl for Methamphetamine

FORT WORTH  —  A woman accused of letting a convicted felon sexually assault a 12-year-old girl in exchange for methamphetamine was convicted Wednesday evening of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The woman, whose first name is Leticia, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. She elected to have state District Judge Scott Wisch sentence her. He will begin the punishment phase of the trial on Thursday, prosecutors said.

The Star-Telegram is using only the defendant’s first name to avoid identifying the girl because the newspaper generally does not identify sexual assault victims.

The man who sexually assaulted the girl is Thomas Crick, who told the girl he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. He assaulted her for almost four months beginning in September 2012.

Thomas Crick, 31, is serving 30 years in prison for engaging in sexual conduct with a child. A relative of the child is on trial on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Crick sent the child home with free methamphetamine for Leticia in exchange for her blindness to the child’s situation, prosecutors said.

Crick, now 31, of Fort Worth, was sentenced in September to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to trafficking of a child/engaging in sexual conduct.

Prosecutors blamed Leticia for delivering the girl into Crick’s hands.

“Thomas Crick is a creep of the highest degree,” Wes Ball, Leticia’s attorney, told the jury in a closing statement Wednesday. “He’s a convicted felon, a meth user and he molested the girl. That’s not in dispute.”

What was in dispute was whether or not the state had proved its case against Leticia, Ball said. Where is the proof that Leticia’s need for drugs was so bad that she continued to “pimp out” the child in her care? Ball asked.

Crick was on parole for aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of a weapon. He disabled his ankle monitor prior to his arrest, according to authorities. Crick had been out of prison for less than a year before he was charged with this new offense, said prosecutor Eric Nickols.

Leticia led relatives to believe that Crick was the girl’s babysitter, which was a lie, Nickols said. The girl often cared for her younger brothers and could take care of herself, according to witness testimony.

“Her innocence was the price for Leticia to get high,” Nickols said.

White Settlement police officers testified Wednesday that they seized drug residue and two glass pipes typically used by people who smoke methamphetamine after a search of the residence where Crick lived with a roommate. Police testified that they also found condoms, an empty morning-after pill package and a blue nightgown small enough for a child.

Crick’s roommate declined to be interviewed by police because he “feared Thomas [Crick] and his connection to the Aryan Brotherhood,” according to testimony from Detective Steven Person.

On Tuesday, the girl testified that she has four brothers and lived with three, but none of them was ever asked to go to Crick’s house. Leticia slept most of the day and would retreat to a closet to smoke methamphetamine, the girl said.

She testified that she never told anyone she was having sex or smoking meth with Crick because she was afraid she would get in trouble and also because she came to have feelings for Crick during her abuse.

The girl testified that she does not have those feelings for Crick anymore.

After the girl spent a first night with Crick, Leticia asked if he had touched her or done anything inappropriate, and the girl told the jury that she said no.

“She never asked again,” the girl testified.

Female defendant, “Leticia” 33, of Fort Worth, accused of trading sex with a 12-year-old girl for Methamphetamine

FORT WORTH  —  The defendant cried Tuesday after hearing testimony by the girl whom she is accused of prostituting for methamphetamine.

The girl cried, too.

The defendant, Leticia, 33, of Fort Worth, and the girl, now 14, had not seen each other in two years until Leticia’s trial began in state District Judge Scott Wisch’s courtroom.CRICK_Thomas

Leticia is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14. Authorities say she turned a blind eye to the sexual assault in exchange for the meth that the assailant provided.

The maximum sentence is life in prison.

The Star-Telegram is using only the defendant’s first name to avoid identifying the girl because the newspaper generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

The girl’s assailant, Thomas Crick, 31, of Fort Worth, was sentenced in September to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to trafficking of a child/engaging in sexual conduct.

In January 2013, authorities separated Leticia and the girl and arrested Crick after relatives of the girl began to suspect that Crick, who was supposed to be baby-sitting the girl, was sexually assaulting her.

The girl, then 12, told investigators that Crick had raped her repeatedly since September 2012. She said that he was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood but that he was trying to get out of the group.

The girl first visited Crick’s Fort Worth home in September 2012 with Leticia. When the girl and Leticia returned home, the girl testified, she was told to pack a bag and prepare to spend the night with Crick.

The girl testified that she and Crick had sex that night and every night they spent together for nearly four months. Many of those nights, they smoked meth, the girl testified. Sometimes she stayed at his house for a week.

Sometimes Crick used a condom and sometimes he did not, according to an investigator’s report based on a Jan. 31, 2013, interview with the girl. Crick’s mother sometimes took the girl to a drugstore to get a morning-after pill so she would not get pregnant, the girl testified.

The girl told an investigator that the meth made her “feel weird” and that she “would have a tingle feeling in her arms and legs and that Thomas [Crick] would give it to her before they would have sex,” the report said.

Crick gave the girl the same drug to take to Leticia, the report said. Leticia never gave the girl money to give to Crick in return, the report said.

The girl described for the investigator an “Aryan Pride” tattoo on the back of Crick’s head and another across his back that said “something versus demons.” Crick also had a “Nazi sign” tattooed on his upper left arm and a picture of Hitler on his stomach, she told the investigator.

The girl told two aunts what was happening, and the aunts called authorities. One aunt took the girl to Cook Children’s Medical Center for a sexual assault examination and reported that her niece was disoriented.

“She reeked of drugs,” the aunt testified. “She was tired because she had been up all night before.”

“This is a sad reality in the life of some children. Their parents are not there to protect them,” said prosecutor Melinda Westmoreland, who is presenting the case with prosecutor Eric Nickols.

Leticia’s attorney, Wes Ball, told jurors in his opening statement that Leticia did not know about the drugs or the sex.

“Where’s the proof that she knew?” Ball asked the jury. “For a conviction, you have to know that the offense was committed and you have to know that the offense will continue to be committed.”

Testimony is scheduled to continue Wednesday.

Comments Off on Chelse Layne Montgomery, 23, of Longview, and Jessica Leigh Test, 29, of Hallsville, arrested for Methamphetamine possession; Montgomery tried to bring Methamphetamine into correctional facility

LONGVIEW (KYTX) – Gregg County jailers caught an inmate trying to bring methamphetamine into the facility Monday afternoon.

According to an arrest affidavit, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper arrested two women during a traffic stop on Craig Street in Longview moments before 4 Monday afternoon. Chelse Layne Montgomery, 23, of Longview, and 29-year-old Jessica Leigh Test, of Hallsville, were jailed, after the trooper found meth in each of their purses.

montgomery test

While being processed at the jail, workers found meth concealed under Montgomery’s clothing. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance, and of a prohibited substance inside a correctional facility. She’s being held on $15,000 bond.

Test, who was charged with possession of a controlled substance, was released from jail this afternoon on $5,000 bond.

Comments Off on Aimee Lynn Carlson, 32, of DuBois, Accused of Possession of Methamphetamine

DUBOIS – A routine check by probation officers has a DuBois woman accused of drug possession and related charges.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Patrick Ford’s office March 27, Aimee Lynn Carlson, 32, 302 S. State St., DuBois, is charged by the DuBois City police with manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the affidavit, officers from the Jefferson County Probation Office had gone to Carlson’s home to check on Carlson. The probation officers noticed a purse beside Carlson, which she said was hers.

The officers checked the purse and found a white vial containing a substance the probation officers believed to be methamphetamine and a large baggie filled with the same substance. The probation officers contacted the police.

After obtaining a waiver of search warrant, signed by Carlson, the police officers searched the residence and located several items of drug paraphernalia, baggies for packaging, pipes, vials, spoons containing drug residue, a syringe and a scale.

Tests on the suspected substance turned up positive for methamphetamine.

Comments Off on Methamphetamine lab stench ‘overwhelming’ in Dayton; Alysha Swearingen, 26, Michael Coulter, 31, and Thomas Coulter, 57, arrested

The stench of a meth lab discovered on Montgomery Road in Dayton was “overwhelming,” according to law enforcement officials and three individuals were arrested in connection to the lab. 55244741da7c9_image

Michael Coulter, 31; Thomas Coulter, 57; and Alysha Swearingen, 26, all of Dayton, were arrested on Sunday, March 29, and are facing a variety of drug-related charges.

The arrest reports were released to The Herald-News on Monday.

At around noon on March 29, sheriff’s deputies responded to a Montgomery Road home in Dayton on reports of possible drug activity.

When deputies arrived at the house, the report states they saw Michael Coulter “poke his head out of a little shack” behind the residence.

“I advised Mr. Coulter to come outside, and when he opened the door, the strong odor of a methamphetamine lab struck me in the face,” Rhea County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Davin Payne said. “The smell of a methamphetamine lab was overwhelming.”

The report states that deputies saw Michael Coulter put a small canister in his pocket, but he handed over the canister when deputies asked for it.

“Inside was a small bag tied in a knot with white powder believed to be methamphetamine,” Payne said.


Deputies received consent to search both the shack and residence, where they found Thomas Coulter and Swearingen. After searching the property, deputies allegedly found a working meth lab, as well as various items used to manufacture methamphetamine such as fertilizer, lithium batteries and muriatic acid.

The report also states that they found several hypodermic needles in Swearingen’s purse.

“Mr. Coulter and Ms. Swearingen both had marks on their arms consistent with hypodermic needle use,” Payne said.

Payne said that RCSD Investigator Charlie Jenkins, who is a certified meth lab technician, was called to the scene as well the state’s Methamphetamine Task Force to safely dismantle the lab.

Michael Coulter, Thomas Coulter and Swearingen were booked into the Rhea County Jail.

Michael Coulter and Thomas were charged with possession of a Schedule II controlled substance for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Their bonds were each set at $75,000, and they were still incarcerated as of press time Tuesday.

Swearingen was charged with violation of probation, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Her bond was set at $70,000, and she was also still incarcerated as of press time Tuesday.

Comments Off on Unidentified woman and man allegedly cooking Methamphetamine while fishing in Guernsey County pond

Charges are pending against an unidentified male and female following their arrest Monday night at a Bluebell Road location where they were reportedly manufacturing methamphetamines in a one-pot, “shake and bake” operation while fishing at a rural pond.

Authorities declined to release the identities of the suspects pending the filing of formal charges.

Guernsey County sheriff’s deputies located the pair after receiving a tip regarding the manufacture of methamphetamines in the Bluebell area.

According to sheriff’s detectives, deputies were working in close conjunction with the Noble County Sheriff’s Office after receiving the tip regarding the suspected illegal drug activity.

Deputies located the suspect’s vehicle at the pond on Bluebell Road (Route 146) near the intersection with Crane Run Road in southern Guernsey County at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Deputies observed the male fishing in the pond and when they approached him, he attempted to carry the meth lab back to his vehicle. He was stopped by deputies and ordered to put the one-pot lab on the ground.

The male and his female companion were taken into custody.

Guernsey County deputies who were recently trained and equipped to neutralize and clean up meth labs were able to neutralize the lab and remove the components from the scene.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Pleasant City Volunteer Fire Department assisted at the scene.

No injuries were reported.

The male and female suspects remained incarcerated in the Guernsey County Jail as of press time Tuesday.

Comments Off on Michigan State Police Are Finding Several Makeshift Methamphetamine Labs

If you see a pop bottle on the side of the read, police are asking you to think twice before you pick it up.

Now that the snow has thawed, police are finding a number of makeshift meth labs in the grass.

It’s called a one pot meth lab. meth+ingredients1oo

“You can take something as simple as a 2 liter plastic bottle such as Mountain Dew bottle; and, you can put the ingredients in the bottle and then basically they call it a shake and bake. You shake it and it cooks the meth,” explained Lt. Brian Bahlau of the Michigan State Police.

Lt. David Cook of MSP added, “Once they’re done with that, the liquid in there would be the meth oil where they use a gas generator to gas it off and get their product with it.”

And when they’re done with it, police said the creator dumps the bottle.

“What they’ll do is just drive along and throw their trash out the window. When the snow melts, that’s when you find them on the side of the road,” said Lt. Bahlau.

You’ll know the bottle is part of a one pot meth lab because the bottom will be melted and there will be a hole drilled into the cap.

Don’t touch it. There’s a team trained to handle the dump site.

“You have your tank on the back, it gives you fresh air. And, then we have a protective suit that’s protective against hazardous material and also against flames or fire retardants,” Lt. Bahlau explained.

That’s why police don’t want you anywhere near the bottle.

“The off gasing from those chemicals, in addition to the contact to bare skin can cause burns,” said Lt. Bahlau. “But, the biggest concern we have is the inhalation hazard from the chemicals combined that can cause permanent lung damage.”

“You don’t want to pick it up. If somebody suspects it’s a meth lab, they want to call 9-1-1,” Lt. Cook added.

Police have been receiving those calls all too often recently.

Lt. Cook told News Ten, “Probably one or two a week easily.”

“It’s no longer a chemist in a lab with the glassware and everything,” said Lt. Bahlau. “Once you get it down, it’s a pretty simple process.”

Sometimes because the one pot has sat in the snow or rain, it’s harder to trace it back to the culprit. But, Lt. Bahlau said their team takes every dump site seriously.

And they go to great lengths to attempt prosecution, especially if the one pot is made out of glass because the bob squad is called in to handle those dump sites.








Comments Off on Muncie Police: Bicyclist Kenneth Ray Sheppard II, 32, was mobile Methamphetamine lab

MUNCIE — A Muncie man was in effect a mobile meth lab when arrested in recent days, police said.

Kenneth Ray Sheppard II, 32, was preliminarily charged with dealing in meth, dumping controlled substance waste and possession of precursors. He remained in the Delaware County jail on Tuesday under a $20,000 bond.B9316894412Z_1_20150407150748_000_GV2AEK8CG_1-0

A city police officer wrote that he observed Sheppard riding a bicycle, and pulling another bicycle behind him, in an alley in the 1400 block of South Hoyt Avenue about 1:30 a.m. Friday.

Finding the bicyclist standing next to a trash container, the officer said he asked an “increasingly nervous” Sheppard what he was doing, and eventually received permission to search the man’s backpack.

Upon opening the backpack, the officer wrote in an affidavit, he was “overcome by a strong chemical odor that is consistent with (meth) production.” A state police meth suppression scene was called to the scene.

Among the items found inside the backpack were two “one-pot” meth generators, empty containers of lighter fluid, an empty bottle of drain cleaner and used coffee filters.

Since 2007, Sheppard has been convicted of possession of a controlled substance, residential entry and driving while intoxicated.

Comments Off on Longview Street Crimes Unit finds Methamphetamine, guns, arrests four women and men

The Longview Street Crimes Unit seized methamphetamine, drug packaging materials and scales, cash and eight firearms and arrested two people while serving a search warrant Tuesday at 1646 North Pacific Ave. in Kelso.

The following people were arrested and booked into Cowlitz County Jail:

Travis Lee Glovka, 31, and Rose M. W. Market, 37, were arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine and eight counts each of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Teresa Ann Walker, 51, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Casey A. McCann, 24, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine.

Comments Off on Woman accuses Pct. 4 deputy constable of sexual assault near Plaza Verde Drive at Greens Crossing Boulevard in Spring, Texas; Methamphetamine seized from the deputy’s possessions

SPRING, Texas – One woman says a traffic stop became a nightmare. She claims she was handcuffed and forced to have sex with a deputy constable, who pulled her over.

The woman says it happened near Plaza Verde Drive at Greens Crossing Boulevard.

KHOU 11 News knocked at the door of the Tomball home Monday night of the accused deputy, who is now out on paid leave pending an investigation.

“It’s always easy to allege things happened. It’s very easy. It’s a little harder to prove sometimes,” said Debbie Pierce, whose daughter lives down the street.

She says he’s been nothing but nice.”At Christmas we were trying to unload some things and he was very kind to help us.”

But the search warrant obtained by KHOU 11 News says he wasn’t kind during the recent traffic stop.

It says the deputy pulled a woman and her friend over and found marijuana in her purse.

The friend was sent off with another deputy while the woman was handcuffed, driven to a dark industrial area near Greenspoint and sexually assaulted.

“If he’s done any of the things he’s alleged to have I’d be very disturbed,” said Ron Hickman, constable for Harris County Precinct Four.

Documents show he dropped the woman off at this Walgreens and told her to walk home.

Hickman added that “it’s so frustrating and disheartening and disappointing that you’ve given them that trust.”

Precinct 4 is also doing its own investigation into mishandled evidence. Folks in Tomball want to reserve judgment.

“It’s very unfortunate because they do serve our communities in so many better ways we don’t report on,” Pierce added.

According to the search warrant, investigators seized Xanax and Crystal Methamphetamine from the deputy’s possessions. The deputy has been on the force for a year.

Comments Off on Tasha Ticheal Jantz, 41, of Eureka, arrested on suspicion of Methamphetamine and heroin drug trafficking from her apartment

The following is a press release issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Task Force:EP-150409882

Today at approximately 7:15 a.m., agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, with assistance from the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant at 833 H Street, Apartment #1, Eureka, CA. This search warrant was in response to complaints of drug trafficking occurring at the apartment complex, specifically from apartment #1. This was the second search warrant served at the Floyd Squires owned apartment complex in one week.

During the service of the search warrant, agents contacted Tasha Ticheal Jantz, 41, at the residence. Jantz told agents she was the manager of the apartment complex. During a search of the residence, drug paraphernalia, two digital scales, prescription pills, marijuana, counterfeit U.S. currency and a small amount of suspected heroin was located. While at the residence, agents sought an additional search warrant for two vehicles that belonged to Jantz. A Humboldt County Superior Court judge issued an additional warrant for the vehicles.

During a search of the vehicles, agents located approximately 58 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 50 grams of suspected heroin.

Tasha Ticheal Jantz was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of heroin for sales, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana and possession of prescription medication without a prescription.

Anyone with information for the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force Office at 707-444-8095.

Comments Off on Man goes on violent rampage south of Wollongong after four-day Methamphetamine binge

High from a four-day drug binge, a man sparked a flurry of calls to emergency services after allegedly going on a violent rampage south of Wollongong on Sunday.

At least six members of the public called Triple-0 around 3pm on Sunday, reporting a man wearing an orange t-shirt and black shorts lashing out violently at others in an Unanderra street, Port Kembla Local Court heard on Monday.

Police allege Richard John Glynne Dutton was high on ice after a four-day drug binge when he went on a violent rampage in Kotara Crescent, kicking an elderly neighbor in the face and punching another man, who was in his front yard.

According to witness statements presented to the court by police, Dutton approached a number of neighbours and told them: “You have to go with me or you’re all going to die”, allegedly becoming violent when they asked him to leave.

The 29-year-old is accused of then turning that aggression towards some children and allegedly kicking a 73-year-old neighbor in the face when he tried to intervene.

When police arrived Dutton allegedly fled, jumping over a series of fences and attempting to gain entry to a house before he charged at the pursuing officer and was pepper-sprayed in the face.

Police allege he kicked out at officers’ legs and continued to yell, “Everyone is going to die, I’m going to die, I’m going to die” as officers handcuffed him and struggled to move him into the back of the police vehicle.

Dutton later lashed out and tried to bite an officer’s hand when they tried to remove the handcuffs, before eventually calming down and admitting to police he had been on a four-day drug binge and had smoked methamphetamine, police facts tendered to court said.

He was charged with assaulting police, resisting police, affray and drug possession, after police allegedly found a bag containing 7.69 grams of cannabis on him.

On Monday, Dutton told Port Kembla Local Court he had no memory of the events and would be willing to report twice daily and abide by a curfew if released on bail.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Anna Comer opposed his release, noting Dutton was on parole for a break, enter and steal offence at the time of the alleged incident.

He also has a lengthy criminal record, including several matters of violence, the court heard.

Registrar Kathy Frost refused Dutton’s bail and adjourned the matter until Tuesday.

Comments Off on Jessica Hodges Turner, 35, and Benjamin Allen Turner, of Franklin County, face charges tied to death of Jessica Turner’s father; Also charged with possession of precursors to Methamphetamine

A Franklin County woman and her husband have been indicted on charges related to the death of her father, whose partially decomposed body was discovered in their basement on New Year’s Day.

Jessica Hodges Turner, 35, is charged with one count of elder abuse leading to death, one count of concealing a body, possession of precursors to methamphetamine and 12 counts of fraud.

Six fraud charges involve Virginia Retirement System benefits and six involve Social Security payments, according to Franklin County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Nix.

The fraud charges stem from bank deposits made beginning Aug. 1 and running through Jan. 2, he said.

Nix said Benjamin Allen Turner has been charged with elder abuse leading to death, concealing a body and possessing precursors to methamphetamine.

As of late Monday afternoon, the couple had not been taken into custody, according to a deputy at the Franklin County Jail.

The indictments come several months after the body of Jerry Cleo Hodges, 69, was found in the basement of the Turners’ home on Mount Airy Road.

“The body of Hodges was discovered inside a free-standing Rubber Maid style closet wrapped in plastic sheeting and blankets,” an investigator wrote in a search warrant last month, adding that when the body was observed Jan. 4 at the Roanoke Medical Examiner’s Office, it “was a skeleton with little flesh or skin.”

The warrant said Jessica Turner told police that “Hodges lived in the basement of the Turner residence next to the room where his body was found. Hodges died sometime between September and October of 2014.”

That search warrant, filed in Roanoke County Circuit Court, sought details from Hodges’ insurance provider regarding his medical care history over the past three years. It said he had suffered from poor health and had required frequent and regular medications — specifically insulin to treat his diabetic condition.

In January, Franklin County sheriff’s Lt. Phillip Young said deputies — prompted by calls from relatives — had performed a well-being check at the Turner home and found Hodges’ body in the basement.

The relatives who reported Hodges missing had previously handled his finances and doctor visits, but the warrant said they last saw him in July 2014. More recently, Hodges had been living with the Turners for an undisclosed period of time.

“Neglect played a big role in his death,” Young said Monday.

The initial search warrant on the house, filed Jan. 5 in Franklin County Circuit Court, was sealed by a judge for a 90-day period and recently resealed, according to the clerk’s office.

Comments Off on Kittens, cats rescued from Round O mobile home covered in Methamphetamine chemicals; Shelley Pafford, 28, Ashlyn Wiedenbach, 21, and Ronald Juliano, 48, arrested

Nearly 20 kittens and four cats were rescued from a Round O mobile home that was covered in chemicals involved in the making of methamphetamine, according to officials.

ashlyn weidenbach shelly pafford

A woman called the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office on Monday after a woman outside her home told her she had been contaminated by a “red phosphorous methamphetamine lab spill” at 623 Cannon Road, according to a news release.

Fire and rescue crews were initially dispatched to the home for an explosion, but Colleton County Fire-Rescue Director Barry McRoy said there was no evidence that an explosion occurred.

He added, however, that the interior of the mobile home, located down a dirt road, was covered in chemicals and “full of cats.”

Investigators who responded to the residence found two more individuals and a suspected methamphetamine lab/cooking lab on the back porch, the release states.

Ronald Juliano, 48, and Shelley Pafford, 28, both of Cannon Road, and Ashlyn Wiedenbach, 21, of Pierce Road in Cottageville, were decontaminated by firefighters and then arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiracy to violate South Carolina drug laws.

The trio is awaiting bond hearings at the Colleton County Detention Center.

Colleton County Animal Control took possession of the kittens and cats and must keep them for 30 days because the owner could still technically petition to get them back.Ronald Juliano2

Director John Glass described the animals as “in fair shape,” and said they were currently being treated, but not for anything serious.

He added that the kittens were very young and some have not opened their eyes.

This is the third meth lab found at 623 Cannon Road since 2013 that has been dismantled by the Sheriff’s Office. Other incidents have involved charges against different individuals.

Comments Off on Are 80,000 Victorians using Methamphetamine?

A huge spike in the availability and use of the drug ice is causing alarm across the country.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says ice is “evil”, and on March 5 he announced $46 million in new funding to treat and rehabilitate addicts.

Announcing the funding, Mr Andrews said that a large number of Victorians were taking the drug.

“Our recent data shows about 80,000 Victorians used ice in the previous year,” he told reporters.

What is ice?

Methamphetamine is a man-made stimulant drug which is a more potent form of the drug amphetamine. It was first synthesized in 1918 and used during World War II.

A report published on March 25 by the Australian Crime Commission, The Australian Methamphetamine Market. says amphetamine-type stimulants, such as methamphetamine, are the second most widely used illicit drug in the world after cannabis. Crime groups in China, Burma, Indonesia, Mexico and Iran are among the world’s largest producers of methamphetamine.

The drug comes in a number of forms but is primarily known for two:

  1. Speed is methamphetamine in powder or pill form
  2. Ice is methamphetamine in a crystalline or crystal form

The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey released in July 2014 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says ice is the purer form of methamphetamine and the “high” experienced from ice is much more intense than from other forms of the drug.

This intensity causes powerful responses from the user and the potential for addiction is much higher, the report says.

Associate Professor Peter Miller from Deakin University told Fact Check the surge in use of ice is “a huge concern because it causes greater psychological and physiological problems in people who use it”.

He says the high purity generally allows people to stay awake longer and consume more drugs which can cause many more problems.

Ice users increasing

The report of the national survey, conducted in the second half of 2013, estimates that 2.1 per cent of Australians aged 14 and over used methamphetamines in the previous 12 months.

While the report says methamphetamine use has been stable over the past three years, there has been a change in the way the drug is being taken. Ice has replaced powder as the main form for taking methamphetamines, its proportion more than doubling from 2010 to 2013.

At the same time the number of people using speed as the main form of taking methamphetamines decreased significantly. Its proportion dropped from 51 per cent to 29 per cent over the same period.

The report says: “Methamphetamine users who mainly used ice were far more likely to use ice on a regular basis with one-quarter (25 per cent) using it at least weekly compared with only 2.2 per cent of those who mainly used powder.”

Why is ice use increasing?

Traditionally ice has been supplied from labs within Australia, but since 2010 there has been a considerable increase in the amount being seized at the borders, indicating organized crime is at play, according to the Australian Crime Commission’s report.

Associate Professor Miller says when a drug becomes cheap, available and strong, people will use it.

What are the numbers of Victorian users?

Mr Andrews’s office told Fact Check that he was basing his numbers on the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

Dr Brendan Quinn from the Burnet Institute told Fact Check the survey had the most up-to-date data available on methamphetamine use.

The survey says 1.9 per cent of the Victorian population aged 14 and over used methamphetamines in the previous 12 months. This is slightly below the national average of 2.1 per cent.

The survey breaks users into categories based on which drug they usually take. The different forms of the drug include powder, crystal, tablet, capsules and prescription amphetamines.

To get an estimate for the number of people who mainly used ice, Fact Check took population estimates for Victoria published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2013 for the same time period when the AIHW collated its survey data.

The ABS estimate in June 2013 for the Victorian population aged 14 years and above was 4,750,990.

On this basis the estimated number of all methamphetamine users, 1.9 percent of this number, would be 90,269.

The 2013 survey says under half of all Victorians who used methamphetamines – 43.9 per cent – mainly took them in the form of ice.

This means an estimated 39,628 Victorians took methamphetamine mainly in the form of ice in the year before the survey.

Are the figures reliable?

Associate Professor Miller says the survey response rate for young and often aggressive drug users is not good, making the number of users in the 2013 report very likely to be under-represented. He says this is a common problem with drug surveys.

Dr Quinn says while there are other studies that look at users in particular communities, there are no good figures for ice users in Victoria apart from the AIHW survey.

However the data from the survey does not say exactly how many people used ice. It only asks respondents: “In the last 12 months, what was the main form of meth/amphetamine that you used?”

This does not identify a definitive number of users.

The Premier’s response

A spokesman from Mr Andrews’s office said he used the figure from the survey that roughly 2 per cent of Victorians aged 14 and over used methamphetamines. This figure was about 90,000 in 2013 by Fact Check’s calculation.

When asked whether Mr Andrews had taken into consideration that only 44 per cent of these people had primarily used ice, the spokesman said experts told the Premier’s office that drug users often use more than one form of the drug.

Dr Quinn said everyone who uses methamphetamines does not use ice, and said the 80,000 figure used by Mr Andrews “was an overestimate” based on the figures from the 2013 household survey.

The verdict

While it is known that ice is more readily available and more people are using the substance, it’s impossible to know the number of Victorians who used the drug in the last year. The data is simply not available.

However the best data available says roughly 90,000 Victorians used methamphetamine in the last year. It appears unlikely that 8 out of 9 of these people used ice. The figure used by Mr Andrews is rubbery.


Comments Off on Ionia County Sheriff’s Office shuts down ‘several active Methamphetamine labs’

IONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Several active methamphetamine labs were discovered at a residence on East Blue Water Highway (M-21) Monday afternoon, according to the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office.

ICSO and CMET report that they executed a search warrant around 4:30 p.m. at the residence on a tip received that the occupants of the residence were producing methamphetamine.

Officers report that the search turned up “several active methamphetamine labs.” Two subjects were also located at the residence and the investigation is continuing as to their involvement.

Anyone who suspects methamphetamine production should contact the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office at 616-527-5737 or Silent Observer at 616-527-0107.

Comments Off on Amber Benton, of Crockett, drove around with child hanging out window, Methamphetamine in car

HOUSTON COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – According to an arrest affidavit, a deputy with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Crockett woman on Friday after he spotted a woman driving around with a small child with her upper body hanging out of an open window on the car.7376373_G

Later, when the deputy searched the vehicle, he allegedly found a marijuana cigarette inside a Sonic cup and a plastic bag containing methamphetamine in her purse.

Amber Benton is still being held in the Houston County Jail on three state-jail felony charges – two counts of endangering a child and one possession of a controlled substance. No bail amount information was available.

According to the arrest affidavit, a HCSO deputy was on patrol on Loop 304 in Crockett when he noticed a silver sedan driving north with a small child standing in the rear seat “with the upper portion of her body hanging out of the window with her arms out by her side.”

Fearing for the little girl’s safety, the deputy turned on his lights and pulled the driver, who was later identified as Benton, in the parking lot of Crockett’s McDonalds.

When the deputy approached the car to talk to Benton, he noticed that in addition to the unrestrained child in the back seat, there was a second little girl in the front seat who was also not buckled in either, the affidavit stated. In addition, the deputy allegedly noticed the smell of burned marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The deputy asked Benton why her kids weren’t properly restrained and one of them was hanging out of a window of her car, and she told him that the little girls had refused after she had ordered them to sit down and put their seat belts on.

The deputy learned that the children’s ages were 6 and 4.

Later, the deputy asked Benton to remove her children from the car after she gave him permission to search her vehicle.

According to the affidavit, the deputy found what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette with a burned end in a Sonic cup containing a cold, red liquid in the center console. In addition, the deputy found a small plastic baggie with a crystal-like substance that resembled methamphetamine in the side pocket of Benton’s purse, which was located on the passenger seat where the 6-year-old had been sitting, the affidavit stated.

At that point, the HCSO deputy took Benton into custody and asked her to explain how the drugs got into her car. The affidavit stated that Benton told the deputy that she had recently bought the drink from the Sonic in Crockett and didn’t know how the marijuana cigarette had gotten in her drink. She also allegedly said that she had recently borrowed the purse from a friend and didn’t know that it had the meth in it.

The deputy contacted Child Protective Services, and they told him to take the two little girls to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office, where someone from their agency would pick them up, the affidavit stated. Benton was taken to the Houston County Jail.

Comments Off on Ora Janelle Carpenter, 35, of Lindale, charged with Methamphetamine possession

55222b06d1c93_imageA Lindale woman remained in jail Sunday with no bond after being arrested at America’s Best Inn when officers found drugs on her, according to Floyd County Jail reports.

According to reports:

Ora Janelle Carpenter, 35, of 212 Avenue D, Lindale, was involved in a fight at America’s Best Inn on U.S. 27 South on Sunday at noon. When officers arrived, they found her with a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine and a glass pipe.

Carpenter was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug-related objects.

Comments Off on Wichita Falls Police: Large Amount of Methamphetamine Found during Warrant Arrest of 29-Year-Old Joseph Humphreys

Officers serving a warrant arrest say they ended up finding the suspect and a large amount of methamphetamine.Joseph Humphreys

Wichita Falls police say they arrested 29-year-old Joseph Humphreys at the intersection of Avenue E and Monroe. They say they searched him and found a bottle with a milky white substance in his backpack.

Police say that tested positive for meth and weighed more than 175 grams. In addition to the drugs, officers say Humphreys had zip lock baggies and syringes in the backpack. He’s charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance and is being held in the Wichita County Jail. His bond is not yet set.

Comments Off on Richard Portanova, 35, and four other people arrested in Oxnard after Methamphetamine found in home

OXNARD, Calif. – Five people were arrested in Oxnard on Wednesday in connection with various narcotic violations, police said in a news release.

Police said narcotics investigators with its West County Street Team received a several complaints about a home along the 200 block of Collins Street.

They tried to stop a man, Richard Portanova, in reference to a search warrant that had been issued for him, police said.

Police said Portanova ran from them and into a nearby store where they found methamphetamine on him while he was in the store.

Police later searched Portanova’s home and said they found more methamphetamine there.

Police later arrested another four people at Portanova’s home for various narcotics violations.

Portanova, 35, is charged with possession, for sales and transportation, of methamphetamine, for maintaining a home for narcotic activity and resisting and delaying an officer, police said.

Comments Off on Pinellas County Sheriff’s Detectives see more ‘one-pot’ Methamphetamine manufacturing

The popular image of methamphetamine cooking is a high-tech scene straight out of Breaking Bad. But lately, Tampa Bay law enforcement authorities say they’ve seen manufacturing better fit for a used Gatorade bottle than primetime television.

The “one-pot method,” detectives say, is still dangerous — though it may not result in explosions that sometimes occur in big-time meth operations. Recipes are simple and easy to learn, never further away than a Google search.

As of mid March, Pinellas County sheriff’s Capt. Mark Baughman said, county investigators had identified six lab sites, with a total of 40 one-pot cooking vessels. In all of 2014, he said, deputies uncovered 13 labs in Pinellas.

Baughman said a rise in one-pot cooking might be the result of people spreading the method by word of mouth.

“I always think of it as kind of like a vampire,” he said. “One guy comes in who knows how to do it good, and what do they want to do? They want to show someone else to do it.”

One-pot cooks manufacture powder (not crystal, which more often comes from Mexico) that gives users the same hours- and sometimes daylong highs. They generally work in small groups, making just enough for them and their friends.

“These people typically are their own best customers,” Baughman said. He estimated a gram of meth (about 0.04 ounces) on the street is worth about $80 to $100.

Large-scale meth production requires red phosphorus and an outside heating source. One-pot cooking, also known as the shake-and-bake method, requires neither.

Cooks simply mix a number of potentially harmful chemicals together in a small container and monitor it as the substances react. Ingredients include lithium, which is stripped from batteries; ammonia nitrate, which comes from cold packs; Coleman fuel; sodium hydroxide; pseudoephedrine, a decongestant used in Sudafed; and water.

It’s a dangerous cocktail that could fit “in a kid’s backpack,” said Pinellas Park police Detective Christopher Ryan.

Baughman said he once saw a man handling a meth pot while riding a bike. Each pot is essentially one individual lab, he said. Sometimes manufacturers rent cheap motel rooms, and other times they make meth in homes.

“People are making it in their garage, bedrooms, sheds,” Ryan said. “There’s not much ventilation, you’ve got kids living in there, you’ve got a couch right next to where you’re cooking it.”

Gases and heat buildup in the bottle, requiring cooks to “burp” it, opening the cap a little to let pressure escape, Baughman said. Lithium and water are an especially volatile match, and sometimes the chemicals react too severely, producing a flame that burns through the bottle.

The biggest challenge is obtaining pseudoephedrine. To help prevent meth production, federal law limits the amount a person can buy to 9 grams in 30 days. One-pot cooks frequently work with other users known as “smurfs,” sending them to stores to pick up 96-count packages of Sudafed on a rotating schedule, Baughman said.

Investigators learn about labs in several ways. Sometimes a person facing other charges will cut a deal and turn on a cook. Other times, officers entering a home for other reasons stumble upon an operation and occasionally citizen complaints or tips will lead detectives there.

Last month, authorities said, drug investigators found a meth producer in a house at 2500 19th St. N in St. Petersburg. Baughman said the residents were stripping batteries in their driveway. According to a search warrant, an inmate at the Pinellas County Jail told authorities about the meth lab in mid February. Detectives later found boxes of pseudoephedrine, a gas mask, cold packs and drug paraphernalia inside.

In Hillsborough, sheriff’s Capt. Frank Losat said deputies had investigated nine meth labs in 2015 as of mid March. In 2014, vice investigators responded to 32 reported labs.

Police officials in Tampa and St. Petersburg said meth manufacturing is more rare in city centers. St. Petersburg police Maj. Antonio Gilliam said his department seized 6 grams of meth in December, 3.5 grams in January and 2 grams in February.

Gilliam said if a neighbor is manufacturing methamphetamine in a densely populated area, residents might be able to smell it and call police. Baughman said other signs that a meth cook and users live inside a house are half-finished building projects and machinery discarded in front yards.

“You’ll see a lot of power tools lying around because they love to look at things that run faster than they do,” he said. But when asked if cooks were concentrated in one particular area in Pinellas, he said, “Not right now.

“I think they’re everywhere.”

Comments Off on Task force official says most of the Methamphetamine in Floyd County is coming from Mexico now, not local labs

Most of the methamphetamine in Floyd County is coming from Mexico now, according to Rome-Floyd Metro Task Force officials.

“The Mexican cartels are flooding this area with cheap meth and people are buying that and local meth labs are not as much of a problem as they used to be,” said Barry McElroy, assistant commander of the unit. “In Mexico, they have lots of big labs and they can easily get the ingredients. Mexican meth seems to have killed the need for labs around here.”

In the 1990s and early 2000s, there were more local labs, but for the last few years, if people have been cooking meth, they are mostly doing it in small quantities for personal use, McElroy said.

“It is called the one pot cook method,” he explained. “People use a liter Coke or Pepsi bottle and make some and then toss those bottles.”

Another reason for the decline in meth labs is that the ingredients are being more strictly regulated and monitored, McElroy said.

In the last two years, McElroy said his unit has been called in on “maybe two labs” and those were not even full-sized, active labs.

“One, someone had tossed the stuff out of a car trying to get rid of it and it was part of an old lab,” he said. “The other was not a complete lab either. You still see some of that in the West and Midwest part of the country and even in Tennessee, but not so much around here.”

McElroy said he is glad to see the meth labs disappearing, even though the meth problem is not.

“They are very dangerous,” he said. “I’ve always hated working meth labs, because there is always a chance for an explosion. People can drop dead just from breathing in the gases produced when it’s cooked.”

The South as a whole is not as troubled by meth labs as it once was, added McElroy.

“You go to Kansas, Missouri, Arizona now, they still have a big meth lab problem,” he said.

Three men on the Metro Task Force are certified to work meth labs, he said.

“We go in and package everything up and then the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crews come in and take the materials and chemicals and burn them.”

Before the GBI stepped in a few years ago, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration would do all of the chemical handling, he said. The DEA would contract teams to come in to help local law enforcement agencies clean up the site and safely dispose of the chemicals.

Because everything in a meth lab is considered toxic waste, except for the product itself, the process of clearing a site could be complex, he said.

“Georgia does not have a law where it condemns the site,” he said. “Here it is up to the property owner. We would contact them and let them know a meth lab was found and it was up to them how they chose to handle the property after we cleared the chemicals and lab out.”

McElroy said that a meth lab can contaminate a whole house.

“Anything in a house is ruined if meth was cooked in it,” he said. “The sheetrock, the flooring, the carpet, everything. If the people cooking chose to dump chemicals outside, then the ground was contaminated.”

The best solution would be to demolish the house, he added.

The one pot cook method is also dangerous, he said.

“That can still blow up on you, but it doesn’t cause nearly as much damage as the full-sized lab would,” said McElroy.

Comments Off on Traffic Stops On I-24 In Coffee County Net 4 Pounds Of ICE Methamphetamine; Leonel Garcia, Antonio Pena Morales and Arnulfo Sastre Cordova, Arrested

Two traffic stops on I-24 in Coffee County on Monday yielded four pounds of ICE meth.

Authorities made three arrests from the two vehicles.

Leonel Garcia, Antonio Pena Morales and Arnulfo Sastre Cordova are facing meth charges in Federal Court in Chattanooga.

Agents said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper George W. Stephens stopped a black Dodge Journey on I-24 westbound.

The vehicle was occupied by the driver Garcia. After Trooper Stephens approached the passenger side of the vehicle and explained why he had stopped the vehicle, the driver presented a Tennessee ID. Trooper Stephens went back to his patrol car and called BLOC (Blue Lighting Operation Center) to run the driver through its data base. BLOC advised Trooper Stephens that Garcia was revoked out of Oklahoma. Garcia was placed under arrest.

While conducting a search of the vehicle, officers located a cardboard box behind the driver’s seat. The box contained approximately four pounds of Methamphetamine ICE that was packed in four plastic containers.

Approximately one mile east of the traffic stop by Trooper Stephens was Trooper Brent McCawley. Trooper McCawley stopped a white Nissan Armada on I-24 westbound for speeding and following too close. The vehicle was occupied by the driver. Morales, and passenger Cordova.

It was found that Morales did not have a license to drive.

Cordova said that he had made three trips to Georgia including this trip. He said Morales would pay him a couple hundred dollars to make the trip. He said he was paid $200 the first trip and $300 the second trip.

Cordova said he, Morales and Garcia met an Hispanic male at the farmers market in Atlanta,  and the male gave Morales a cardboard box on Monday.

He said Morales instructed him to place the cardboard box in the back floorboard of the Dodge Journey, which he did. Garcia was the driver of the vehicle containing the methamphetamine.

Garcia said he had made two trips to pick up methamphetamine including this trip. He said he was going to make $1,000 to drive the methamphetamine back to Smyrna, Tn.