Akron — On Sept. 25, around 100 community members gathered at the Akron-Summit Public Library for the second annual Meth Lab Community Forum.

This speaker series, focusing on the dangers of using crystal meth, was organized by Summit County Children Services, and takes place at a time when the number of police seizures of meth labs in Summit County is on an increase.

Chris Crokett, an Akron Police officer of 13 years, provided an in-depth presentation on the devastation that illegal meth use has caused the community.

The Akron Police Department has “recorded 150 meth lab seizures so far in 2013, more than double the amount from 2009,” said Crokett.

Crystal meth is the common street name for methamphetamine, a substance that is created by mixing several toxic chemicals. Crokett’s visual presentation included graphic “before-and-after” pictures people whose physical appearance have been mutilated by meth.

If pictures of men and women with rotten teeth did not drive home how dangerous crystal meth is, an Akron woman gave her personal account of how the drug almost ended her life.

Apryl Miller, 29, told the audience her story of how she became hooked on meth as a teenager.

“I got access to meth from guys who thought I was attractive,” Miller said. “I started doing crazy things because of the drug such as sleeping in my car and getting high at work.”

After several encounters with the police, her addiction to meth landed her in jail. It was during this time of solitude that she decided to seek help with her struggle with drugs. Miller underwent treatment and recovery and is now using her hard life experience to help others by working at the Interval Brotherhood Home. The program gives recovering addicts the physical and emotional support needed to function in society.

According to Miller, the drug is highly addictive and makes it difficult to do daily tasks such as eat or sleep. “When I was on meth I would hallucinate and see things that were not there,” Miller said. “If my family wanted me to go somewhere like Cedar Point or a birthday party I had to be high before I went.”

The Akron Police Department also set up a mock meth lab, comprised of a bedroom set and many of the household items that are used to cook meth including lithium batteries, lighter fluid and two liter Coke bottles. While these are all items that can be found in the average home, when mixed together they are highly flammable and extremely dangerous.

“People who make meth are basically taking their lives in their hands,” Crokett said. “Even a bead of sweat from a person making meth can cause a lab to ignite.

The police officers in attendance suggested a few warning signs to look for if you suspect that meth is being used or distributed in your neighborhood. Akron Police Department’s Lt. Brian Simcox shared that many houses where meth is cooked will be permeated with an ammonia like odor. Meth houses may also have a rundown appearance and windows open in all seasons for ventilation. Meth labs can be found in houses or discarded in parks and in dumpsters. Police warned community members that if they encounter a lab, do not touch it and get to safety.

 

 

 

http://www.thegatewaynews.com/news%20local/2013/10/10/meth-lab-community-forum-shows-the-ugly-side-of-meth-use

 

 

SALEM, Ohio – The increased use of a new method for manufacturing methamphetamine is putting the general public at risk. A recent case in Salem is a prime example.

In Columbiana County municipal court, 42-year old Christopher Neiswonger is arraigned on charges stemming from a search of his West Pershing Street apartment.

Pershing Street
Pershing Street

The Drug Task Force recovered chemicals and other evidence used to manufacture methamphetamine. The police chief says residents of other apartments in the building were evacuated.

“You know everybody in the building ends up being exposed to the chemicals,” said Chief J.T. Panezott.

The chief says with the one-pot method, authorities are seeing more meth being made in apartments, motel rooms and other small spaces.

“We’re seeing almost exclusively the one pot method, where they’re using a 20 ounce bottle, mixing the chemicals, and that bottle has to be vented every so often or it will build up pressure and explode,” Panezott said.

A representative of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency said that’s one of the reasons extra precautions are taken when dealing with meth labs.

“And when that bottle does explode it will spray those chemicals and acids which can burn and could cause death,” the DEA representative said.

There’s a further danger when these bottles, still containing harmful chemicals and acids, are discarded in the trash or on the street.

“People walking their dogs discover these and people collecting trash on the side of the road,” said the DEA.

The arrest of Neiswonger followed a seven month investigation.

He’s charged with production of a controlled substance and illegal assembly or possession of a controlled substance.

He remains jailed on a $250,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.

Authorities say anyone who has suspicions of methamphetamine activity should contact their local police.

 

 

 

http://www.wfmj.com/story/23661346/meth-arrest-shows-danger-to-public

 

 

On Wednesday the DEA, FBI and Odessa’s SWAT team executed a search warrant on the 1500 block of Whitaker in Odessa where they arrested 3 people, found 5 guns, 30 grams of crystal methamphetamine and a potential explosive device charge.

Braxton Stokes, Baili McCain and Christopher Harrington were arrested yesterday and were charged today with possessing over 5 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.  News of their arrest was shocking to some neighbors, while others say there weren’t surprised.

“Task force man come in and bust in the door, through a flash bomb in that door and in the door, all the cops swarmed the streets, I didn’t even know that Odessa had that many cops,” said neighbor of suspect Ruben Gutierrez

Some neighbors say that the people living here were up all hours of the night and didn’t ever seem to go to work, so when they were hardly surprised by the police’s raid.

“Them partying all the time, and always seeing a lot of movement at night time, there is always activity, I am always watching,” said neighbor of suspect, Jeremy Acosta.

While other neighbors say the arrests come as a shock, and that the arrested trio were always friendly, the kind of neighbors you could borrow sugar from.

“Yea it was shocking, yea yea it was shocking, Braxton he is a real good guy, a real good dude, he likes to play a lot of basketball,” said Ruben Gutierrez

Whether neighbors found the arrests shocking or not they all agreed that they are concerned of where their children are growing up.

“What I am concerned about is how it’s happening so close to our kids, we have to come home and that’s going on in our neighborhood, the people that are in danger is our children and that’s our future,” said Jeremy Acosta.

All of the suspects face a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 40 years behind bars as well as a million dollar fine.

 

 

 

http://www.permianbasin360.com/story/neighbors-react-to-narcotics-bust-in-odessa/d/story/CNE66FgyV0C9eqpHC9wjiA

 

 

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A local daycare went into lockdown Wednesday morning after a woman threatened staff with an ink pen, demanding someone give her a ride.

It happened around 8:15 a.m., according to an arrest report, at Patches Playmates on Millers Lane in Valley Station.

Emily Muncy, 21, of Louisville, was found down the road from the daycare.

Emily Muncy (Source: LMDC)
Emily Muncy

She was manifestly under the influence of a controlled substance, police said, and was a threat to herself and others.

A search of her pockets turned up a marijuana cigarette, a syringe and what police think to be methamphetamine.

 

 

 

http://www.wave3.com/story/23656357/daycare-goes-on-lockdown-after-woman-makes-threats

 

 

The first time “Bob” took methamphetamine, he was trying to increase his alcohol tolerance, he said.

(Photo)

A meth lab in Missouri

 

 

 

“I went to jail … on a DWI, and I’m sitting in there at the Cape County pokey, and I’m talking to several inmates,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I said, ‘I love to drink beer, and I’m running with a couple of guys, and I always pass out, and it seems like they’re going strong.'”

A fellow inmate recommended crank, a street name for methamphetamine.

“Everything the inmate said happened. I drank a case of beer, never got drunk. I was wide awake. I was on top of the world,” Bob said.

He was hooked.

Bob eventually lost everything — his business, his home and his family — but nearly four years ago, he regained his sobriety.

Meth in Missouri

 

Bob’s recovery offers a small vessel of hope amid a sea of dismal statistics that seems to be deepest in Missouri.

According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Missouri led the nation in clandestine methamphetamine lab incidents last year.

The administration includes labs; dumpsites; and chemicals, glass or equipment associated with methamphetamine production in its annual count.

In 2012, DEA reported 11,210 such incidents nationwide. Of those, 1,825 — more than 16 percent — were uncovered in Missouri.

The good news: Efforts to disrupt the supply seem to be helping, said Cpl. Clark Parrott of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“From the standpoint of the sizes of the labs, I think they have shrunk. People aren’t doing large production. I think it’s just more of the small, single-pot method, or the ‘shake and bake,'” in which producers make small amounts of the drug by shaking ingredients together in a plastic soda bottle, he said.

In July 2005, a state law went into effect limiting access to pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in methamphetamine — and in 2010, the Cape Girardeau City Council passed an ordinance requiring the medication to be sold by prescription only. Several other municipalities have similar laws on the books.

“I think those efforts have helped,” Parrott said.

Ups and downs

 

(Photo)

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers fluctuate from year to year, but the total has dropped since 2004, when Missouri had 2,913 of the 23,829 methamphetamine lab busts in the United States.

Neighboring states have seen similar patterns. In 2004, Oklahoma had 899 busts; that number decreased to 326 in 2005, after a state law went into effect, restricting consumer access to pseudoephedrine, but after dropping to 114 in 2007, the number began climbing again, reaching a high of 997 in 2011.

Missouri’s biggest decrease came between 2005, when the DEA reported 2,313 labs, and 2006, when the number dropped to 1,317.

As in Oklahoma, Missouri’s drop coincided with the implementation of pseudoephedrine regulations and lasted only two years.

Changes in manufacturing methods can affect the numbers, said Detective Sgt. Branden Caid of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department.

New methods have made methamphetamine production less conspicuous, so in some areas, lower numbers could mean more labs are escaping detection, Caid said.

“Ten years ago, you could run around in certain neighborhoods and track the chemical smell back to the house,” he said.

Today, strong-smelling chemicals such as ether or anhydrous ammonia no longer are used to manufacture the drug, Caid said.

The number of methamphetamine labs also may drop when a new law takes effect, only to rise as producers find ways around it, he said.

“I’m sure that the laws helped drastically for a time, but the people who were big into it and wanted it still found ways of getting the products they needed,” Caid said.

Supply and demand

 

Part of the problem is the illegal methamphetamine industry — like any other business — is based on supply and demand, Parrott said.

“As the supply chain is interrupted, the demand is still there,” he said. “I would say it’s probably as high as it’s been.”

As long as demand for methamphetamine remains high, dealers have an incentive to supply it, Parrott said

“You won’t get rid of the demand; I promise you that,” said Bob, the recovering addict. “You can have the courts try to change your life around, put the pressure on you. It ain’t gonna work.”

The addictive nature of the chemical makes it difficult for users to give up, Parrott acknowledged.

“First time you hit it, it’s just over the top, and then they start chasing that high,” he said. “Your second high won’t be as big as the first. Your third won’t be as big as your second.”

Eventually, the high is gone, but users are so dependent on the drug, they become ill without it, Parrott said.

Physical addiction isn’t the only issue, Bob said.

“Mine was when I done it, I was peppy. I didn’t lay around. I was always on the go. And mentally, I felt like people didn’t like me without being screwed up, so what I did when I used, I’d manipulate; I’d jive talk. I felt like I fit in when I was screwed up,” he said.

Related crimes

 

Methamphetamine presents unique dangers to law enforcement, both in its production and its effect on users, police said.

Caid said he once stopped a driver on a taillight violation, and as they talked, an unfinished batch of meth in the back of the car exploded.

“It built pressure and actually blew up in the car while I was talking to the driver,” he said.

He also recalled toxic vapors literally knocking down an officer who was executing a search warrant.

“All of those secondary elements come with the meth lab that don’t come with other drugs,” Caid said.

Because the drug is a powerful stimulant, users may go several days without sleep, which creates its own set of hazards, Parrott said.

“We try to make a traffic stop on them, and they’re so paranoid that bad things can happen,” he said.

One local officer broke his thumb in a fight with an addict he was trying to arrest, and he said other addicts have shared elaborate conspiracy theories involving everything from tunnels under the city to underground helicopters.

“One thing with meth is you’re real paranoid. You think people are watching you, but they’re really not. You’re very alert,” Bob said.

Although he dismissed as bravado some users’ stories of seeing monsters or other hallucinations, Bob said long periods of insomnia also can affect an addict’s vision.

“Your eyes start to dilate, and you’ll see dark spots,” he said. “You can sit there and stare at something for the longest time, and eventually, you’ll see a shadow.”

Sobriety

 

Sometimes an arrest is the best thing that can happen to an addict, Parrott said.

That was the case for Bob, who considers his arresting officer a good friend and said he wouldn’t hesitate to report another user.

“Right now, I’m not ordered to do it, but if I got a neighbor using dope you bet … I’d snitch … because I know what it done to me,” he said.

Even after prison time and a period of sobriety, recovering addicts fight a “daily battle” to stay clean, Parrott said.

Bob uses daily prayers and meditation to put himself in the right frame of mind to deal with whatever problems arise.

“You’ve got to change everything about you,” he said. “I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m a hell of a lot better today than I was on my best day of drinking or using.”

 

(Photo)

 

 

 

 

http://www.semissourian.com/story/2012798.html

 

An Inland narcotics task force seized more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine and other drugs Wednesday, Oct. 9, worth nearly $6 million.

The California Attorney General’s Inland Narcotic Crackdown Allied Taskforce arrested four people during a sting Tuesday evening in Fontana related to a Mexican cartel.

The INCA taskforce was investigating the La Familia Michoacana drug trafficking organization since Sept. 13, Attorney General’s spokesman Steve Utter said. Take force agents displayed bags of white crystallized methamphetamine piled on a table with bricks of cocaine. Each bag was worth about $10,000, officials said.

Authorities say the drug ring planned to sell meth, cocaine and heroin throughout the Inland Empire. La Familia imports methamphetamine from Mexico and distributes the drugs throughout California and the western states, according to the Attorney General’s office.

Attorney General's officials show more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin seized Tuesday during a bust in Fontana.

Attorney General’s officials show more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin seized Tuesday during a bust in Fontana

An undercover officer with the taskforce arranged a meeting about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in a parking lot near Interstate 10 and Sierra Avenue in Fontana. The undercover officer agreed to buy 30 pounds of methamphetamine at $7,000 per pound, totaling $210,000.

Through a series of meetings and phone calls, La Familia members agreed to deliver the drugs from Modesto.

Task force members saw a Dodge Caravan and Honda Pilot pull into the parking lot where four men were carrying a cardboard box full of about 10 pounds of methamphetamine. Task force agents swarmed the vehicles and arrested the four men.

Authorities served a search warrant at a nearby home where they found an additional 95 pounds of methamphetamine, four kilograms of cocaine, six ounces of heroin and $27,500 in cash.

Authorities arrested Jesus Aramando Cardena-Selem, 25, Ramiro Gil Guerra, 40, Sergio Mercado-Vasquez, 32, and  Juan Gabriel Angulo Cabrera, 37, on suspicion of drug trafficking charges.

All four men are scheduled to be arraigned in San Bernardino County Superior Court on Thursday.

http://blog.pe.com/breaking-news/2013/10/09/fontana-four-arrested-in-6-million-drug-bust/

MOULTRIE, GA — According to the Moultrie Observer drug agents found a suspected methamphetamine cooking operation and methamphetamine packaged for sale.

Officers found burnt blister packs that contained medicine in a garbage can outside of Timothy Summerlin’s residence on Indian Lake Drive.

Photo

 

Summerlin had active arrest warrants on probation violation charges and officers said his name appeared on a list of recent purchasers of medication containing pseudoephedrine; one of the main active ingredients in methamphetamine.

Summerlin was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of tools for the commission of a crime and two counts of probation violation.

 

 

http://www.mysouthwestga.com/news/story.aspx?id=957067#.UlhSw4Ao6Uk

 

 

Cape Coral police arrested a brother and sister after they discovered the two were operating a meth lab out of their Cape Coral home.

Detectives were able to gather sufficient probable cause and obtained a search warrant for 708 SE 4th Terrace, Unit A– which they served Thursday.

The search of the residence revealed paraphernalia and chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including 3.1 lbs. of “meth oil.”

Police arrested 32-year-old Darren Fretwell.  Fretwell was charged with possession of a structure for trafficking in or manufacturing a controlled substance with a minor present and child neglect.

Also arrested was his sister, 31-year-old Michelle Fretwell. Fretwell was charged with child neglect due to the fact that she was aware of her brother cooking methamphetamine while making no attempt to remove her children to a safe place.

Michelle Fretwell
Michelle Fretwell
Darren Fretwell

Darren Fretwell

The Cape Coral Fire Department HAZMAT responded and the location was decontaminated and made safe.

The Department of Children and Families was notified and four children were taken from the home and placed into foster care.

DCF officials say they have had prior involvement with the family.

In a statement, the department said, “It is an unfortunate situation when children are involved in their parent’s illegal activity, especially related to dangerous drugs.”

The brother of the two suspects says his sister and brother have been involved with drugs for some time now. When police searched the home they found tools and chemicals used to cook meth and more than three pounds of meth inside.

“It was my brother and sister who have had a problem with drugs,” said Kevin Fretwell, the brother of the siblings arrested. “I hope this will stop them, I hope this will.”

He says his siblings cooked meth on the back porch of their 92-year old grandmother’s home — tonight, she’s left with nowhere else to go.

“I’m doing everything I can so that she’s taken care of now,” he said.

Kevin says Michelle’s two kids lived in the house — one was inside when the meth was being cooked. The Department of Children and Family tell us they took four children from the house in custody today.

Gloria Pena lives across the street. She told us in Spanish that this worries her because she has grandkids who come to her house daily.

Since this is the fourth meth house bust in the city of Cape Coral this year, law enforcement is concerned this is a growing problem.

“Meth is obviously a lot more difficult as from an evidentiary stand point, as far as clean up, so yes,” said Captain Lisa Barnes.

And Kevin hopes this teaches his siblings a lesson.

“I hope this will stop them; I hope this will. I mean, they’ve both been in and out of jail and they’ve never really done any long-time, so hopefully this will open their eyes,” he said.

The Cape Coral Police Department has several narcotics investigators certified in cleaning up meth. The department also works with an environmental service company.

 

 

 

http://www.abc-7.com/story/23659228/brother-and-sister-arrested-in-meth-lab-bust#.UlhcEYAo6Un

 

 

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — An Ormond Beach woman’s claim that she was being held against her will resulted in two people being arrested on methamphetamine charges Wednesday.

Krystal Doerschuk and Daniel Jackson
Krystal Doerschuk and Daniel Jackson

Volusia County sheriff’s investigators said that when Ormond Beach police responded to a call from a house in the 1200 block of Gallaten Road, they found that the woman’s situation wasn’t as serious as she told them on the phone.
Investigators said when police and deputies arrived at the home, they found Krystal Doerschuk, 33, outside the front door. Investigators said there had been previous drug-related complaints at that address.
Investigators said Doershuk allowed them inside the house, where they found equipment and chemicals commonly used for meth manufacturing. They said they also found 96 grams of meth oil, which they said is “just a step or two from becoming the final drug and is valued at about $100 a gram.”
Deputies said Daniel Jackson, 28, was found with in the bedroom where the equipment was discovered.
According to investigators, two children, ages 10 and 14, were in the home and turned over to a family member.
Doerschuk and Jackson were arrested and booked into the Volusia County Jail.  Jackson was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and manufacture of methamphetamine.  Doerschuk was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and manufacture of methamphetamine with a child present.

Two people were arrested at about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday at Walmart Supercenter in American Canyon after they were stopped on suspicion of shoplifting, according to court records.

Police then found suspected methamphetamine and a methamphetamine smoking pipe in one of the suspect’s car, according to the American Canyon Police Department.

Rolando Herrera, 36, of Petaluma, who allegedly stole a music player, was suspected of being under the influence of a controlled substance, police said.

He was charged Thursday in Napa County Superior Court with burglary, methamphetamine possession, being under the influence, drug paraphernalia possession, all with special allegations because of prior drug-related convictions, according to court documents.

Lacey Glisson, 27, of Novato, the other suspect, allegedly stole cosmetics, a doggy Halloween costume and over-the-counter medication, according to police.

She was charged with burglary, according to the complaint. Both were booked into the Napa County jail, according to jail records.

 

 

 

http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/pair-arrested-at-walmart-supercenter-after-alleged-shoplifting-incident/article_6fe107ba-3208-11e3-b42e-001a4bcf887a.html

 

Six Mexican immigrants have been arrested on charges of trafficking  methamphetamine and cocaine from Berks to Montgomery counties.

The investigation — dubbed “Operation Breaking Bad” — began in December 2012  with Jose Dejesus Montilla, a suspected drug trafficker.

According to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Montilla sold  $1,800 of crystal meth to an undercover detective at a farmers’ market in  Gilbertsville.

The detective later arranged to purchase more than a pound of the drug from  Montilla and another man, according to the arrest affidavit.

The group was based in Reading, according to the affidavit. They are charged  with conspiracy and gun offenses in addition to the drug charges.

Montilla, 37, and four of his codefendants were in the country  illegally.  The other was a legal permanent resident, according to the  affidavit.

Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.

 

 

 

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/montco_memo/Six-immigrants-arrested-in-alleged-meth-ring.html

 

 

SYDNEY: Australian police said Friday they have seized methamphetamine with a street value of A$200 million (US$189 million) concealed in the tires of a truck from China.

The 200-kilogramme (440-pound) bust was made at Port Melbourne with three dock workers arrested.

 

Police said the operation involved taskforces in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with the shipment identified as high-risk ahead of its arrival at the port on October 1 and subsequent raids on a factory and properties in the city.

“This seizure has prevented more than A$200 million of this substance from being on the streets of our towns and cities in Australia,” said Australian Federal Police Commander Scott Lee.

He said methamphetamine — which is also known as crystal meth or “ice” — was recognised as “one of the drivers of violence in our community and for recidivist offending”.

“Through our combined commitment to combating this crime type, we are working across jurisdictions and borders to deal significant blows to crime syndicates,” he added.

The men have been charged with various offences including importing a commercial quantity of a controlled drug and attempting to possess an illegally imported drug.

The offences carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

No arrests have been made in China so far with investigations continuing.

Earlier this year, police warned that wealthy Australia had become a key target for traffickers due to the relative strength of the Australian dollar.

 

 

 

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/australia-seizes-big/843932.html

 

 

More than 70 percent of methamphetamine illegally trafficked into the U.S. passes through U.S.-Mexico border crossings in the San Diego area. That’s despite laws in both countries designed to crack down on the drug.

Customs and Border Protection agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry face a tough balancing act. Facilitating international trade and travel on the one hand. On the other, trying to stop drugs and other illegal cargo from getting into the U.S.

In recent years, they’ve seen a dramatic increase in one particular drug. Methamphetamine seizures at San Diego’s ports of entry have risen by more than 300 percent since 2008.

San Diego has a long and troubled history with meth. During WWII, meth spread among many American service members stationed in the Pacific theater. When they came back to the U.S., primarily through San Diego, they brought their addictions with them.

And they helped spawn a domestic meth industry.

Joe Garcia, Deputy Special Agent In Charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego, says “Gangs, biker gangs usually controlled the meth production and distribution, and Mexico used to provide the precursors.”

Precursors being the chemical ingredients that go into meth.

In the 1990s, San Diego became known as the meth capital of the country.

Rampant abuse led to several high profile crimes. There was the man who hijacked a tank and drove it down the highway. And the couple who scalded their four-year-old niece to death in a bathtub.

The damage caused by the highly addictive drug spawned a crackdown on domestic meth production. Garcia says with continued demand, and restricted supply, organized crime saw a big opportunity.

“Especially the Sinaloa cartel, has looked at this and said, “why are we the middle man? Why aren’t we producing this ourselves?”

Now, Garcia says, more than 80 percent of the meth seized in the U.S. is made in Mexico. And that’s despite Mexico’s own attempts to curb its production.

Much of that meth comes through San Diego in part because it’s home to the busiest land crossing between the U.S. and Mexico. More legal traffic tends to come with more illegal traffic.

But history and geography also play a role.

“One of the major criminal organizations working with meth has historically been based in the Pacific Coast area of Mexico, the Colima region, the so-called Colima cartel,” says David Shirk, an expert on Mexican drug trafficking at the University of San Diego.

In the late 90s, that cartel first established a major meth trafficking route north, 1,500 miles up the coast to the California border. Now, the powerful Sinaloa cartel controls the majority of the meth trade.

“So it makes a lot of sense that this would be moving through San Diego through the newly established, or newly consolidated networks of the Sinaloa cartel,” Shirk says.

Most meth comes across the border in passenger cars, in ever more elaborate hiding places. On a recent morning at San Ysidro, Customs and Border Protection Agents called in a mechanic to detach and then slice open the gas tank of a white Jeep Cherokee. Inside, they pulled out 23 packages of marijuana, some of them soaked in gasoline. In all, the stash weighed 52 pounds.

Heightened border security has made smuggling riskier, but the profits are extraordinary, says Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego, Linda Frakes.

“We’ve had expert testimony in our cases where the range is, at a conservative level, between $14,000 and $19,000 a pound when it comes into San Diego,” she says. “And that price pretty much doubles from what a pound is in Mexico to what a pound is in the United States just by crossing the port of entry.”

It’s very difficult to know just how much Mexican meth is making it through San Diego ports of entry, but public health workers say meth use in San Diego county is again on the rise.

Still, border authorities think part of the reason drug seizures have increased is because they’re doing a better job of detecting drugs.

 

 

The long lines at San Ysidro give drug sniffing dogs time to weave in and out of the cars and alert officers to hidden stashes. Powerful x-ray machines can spot packages hidden in secret panels and gas tanks.

Still, Agent Garcia is realistic about authorities’ chances of finally beating the traffickers.

“They’re not going to go away, they’re going to do something else. But we’re trying to get them to go away from meth because meth just ravages any user.”

 

 

 

 

http://kuow.org/post/san-diego-biggest-entry-point-mexican-meth

 

Methamphetamine makes people high, but chronic meth use also heightens the risk for dental destruction. “Meth mouth” typically involves rampant tooth decay, dry mouth, cracked teeth, and gum disease, and it can rob meth users not only of their smiles but also of their ability to chew.

Meth mouth: Inside look at icky problem (15 graphic images)

 

 

What does “meth mouth” look like? Keep clicking to see 15 scary photos, courtesy of the American Dental Association and Dr. Brett Kessler, a dentist in Denver, Colo.

 

 

 

http://www.whas11.com/news/slideshows/227152011.html

 

 

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Jade Winslow says her family got sick after moving into an apartment that tested positive for meth contamination.

Winslow had her suspicions the day she moved in, and talking to a neighbor made it worse.

“She said that people were coming and going all the time, that there would be 20 or 30 of them in there at a time and that they would be smoking cigarettes and meth,” Winslow said.

Winslow wants to alert people to potential dangers when they move into new units at any complex, because she believes the meth residue left in her home made her family ill.

“We started coughing,” she said. “I started coughing the day after we moved in.”

Winslow ordered a testing kit online and the samples came back positive. Then she hired Theresa Borst of BioClean, Inc., to get further proof.

“We pulled some samples and all of them came back well above Washington state clean-up levels,” Borst said.

Mom says meth residue in apartment made her family sick

Winslow also shared a series of photos she says she took in the apartment that shows corrosion on metal surfaces. Borst says that is often a tell-tale sign that methamphetamine might have been cooked in the apartment at some point.

As of Wednesday, the apartment remains vacant. In an email, the property manager for Enchanted Woods Apartments said they conducted separate tests, which “came back negative for the presence of meth residue in the unit.”

The email went on to say that they interviewed neighbors “who denied every having witnessed or suspected illegal drug activity. Finally, the turn-over process and move-in inspection by the housing authority did not disclose any evidence of illegal drug use.”

Darren McDonald, the senior portfolio manager for Guardian Management LLC, the property management company, added that “in light of the new allegation of a second positive test by an inspector hired by the resident, Guardian has scheduled another, state approved, testing service to inspect and test the unit. If evidence of illegal drug use is found, Guardian will comply with all legal requirements related to clean-up.”

As for Winslow, she feels she fought this fight alone, and it cost her thousands of dollars in moving and storage expenses. She wants future tenants to know the risks going in, no matter what complex they are considering.

“It’s hard to explain because they put my whole family at risk,” she said. “I mean we’re all asthmatic. Living there could have killed us.”

 

 

 

 

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Mom-says-meth-residue-in-apartment-made-her-family-sick-227157121.html

 

An alleged theft investigation turned into a meth lab bust Tuesday, resulting in two arrests, including a 16-year-old, on drug charges, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.

Detectives said they located an active “shake-and-bake” lab inside an outbuilding at 1244 Hull’s Grove Church Road in Lincolnton while responding to a larceny call at a nearby property.

Kenneth Michael Ingle, Emmanuel Watts and Robyn Michelle Mellon
 

Deputies said they became suspicious after spotting a person leaving an outbuilding at the residence.

The individual confessed to officers he had an active lab inside the building.

Narcotics investigators responded to the scene a short time later to take over the investigation, which the Sheriff’s Office said is the 20th meth lab bust in the county this year.

The number of Lincoln County busts not only far outweighs meth statistics this year in any other North Carolina county but also exceeds the number of meth labs located in one year throughout agency history.

 

Officials with the State Crime Lab assisted in cleaning up the drug precursors which the Sheriff’s Office said included Drano, lithium batteries, muriatic acid, ammonium nitrate cold packs, lye and pseudoephedrine.

Those charged in the bust included resident Kenneth Michael Ingle, 28, and Emmanuel Watts, 16, of 7294 Chambers Lane in Vale.

Both face one felony count each of manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance and possession and distribution of meth precursors.

A second resident was served outstanding warrants in connection with an unrelated crime.

Deputies said they charged Robyn Michelle Mellon, 39, also of 7294 Chambers Lane in Vale, with breaking into four tractor-trailers on Cat Square Road in August.

She faces one felony count each of buying and receiving stolen property and possession of stolen goods and has since posted a $3,000 secured bond.

Ingle and Watts each remain behind county bars under a $20,000 bond and are set to appear in court today on the charges.

Detectives M. Burgess and J. Propst investigated Tuesday’s incident.

 

 

 

 

http://www.lincolntimesnews.com/2013/10/09/deputies-meth-lab-busts-continue-to-rise-in-lincoln-county/

 

PARK CITY — Three people tied to a Mexican drug cartel were arrested and more than 17 pounds of meth seized Saturday.

The bust follows a three-month undercover investigation into a major drug trafficking unit in Park City and more arrests are pending, according to Park City police. The Mexico-based Sinaloa Cartel has been called one of the most powerful drug-trafficking groups in the world by U.S. Intelligence agencies.

Julio Cesar Perez-Vargas and Francisco Javier Romero-Barajas were arrested Saturday for investigation of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Vanessa Barron-Ballardo was also arrested Saturday and is being investigated for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and child endangerment.

The drugs, nearly $17,000 cash and an SUV were seized in the arrest.

“The arrest of these individuals sends a strong message to the drug traffickers in Park City and Summit County,” Summit County Sheriff David Edmunds said. “You are not welcome here, and we will use the full force of the law to bring you to justice.”

The operation was a collaboration between the DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force, Davis Metro Narcotics Strike Force, Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Park City Police Department.

 

 

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865588008/3-arrested-17-pounds-of-meth-seized-in-Park-City-bust.html

 

 

 

Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3

PARK CITY — A place most commonly known for its snow is now known for meth. Police busted a drug ring that ended with three arrests from a major Mexican drug cartel.

The investigation started with the help of the Davis Metro Narcotics Unit. Sgt. Brady Fitzpatrick says his unit got intel on a drug cell working out of Park City. Fitzpatrick immediately notified the department, who started an investigation right away.

Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3Police bust Mexican cartel meth ring in Park City, arrest 3

 

 

During the three month investigation, 17 pounds of meth were discovered that has a street value of approximately $170,000. Park City Police department says this bust is tied right to Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.

The Park City police chief says it made sense because drug-related crime had spiked in the community. Summit County Sheriff David Edmunds says this bust is only the start of their work to crack down on drug trafficking in the area and that they have powerful resources to help them.

The cell they took down the ring that branched in northern Utah, Colorado and finally Mexico. They were distributors and transport for the drug.

On Saturday police arrested Julio Cesar Perez-Vargas, Francisco Javier Romero-Barajas and Vanessa Barron Ballardo. Vargas and Barajas were charged with conspiracy to posses methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. Some of the drugs were found hidden in a diaper.

Federal workers like the DEA also had a major hand in the case, but couldn’t address KSL-TV Wednesday because of the government shutdown.

There is still an active investigation for other people possibly involved, but police say this will put a major dent in the transport operations in the area.

 

 

 

 

http://www.ksl.com/?sid=27180406&nid=148

 

ROMANCE (KATV) – Jessie Brittain, 32, of Romance was arrested on a federal warrant for Conspiracy to Distribute 500 grams or more of Methamphetamine.

The arrest happened in White County on September 28. The warrant was the result of a joint investigation between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Central Arkansas Drug Task Force (CADTF), 20th Judicial District Drug Crime Task Force (DCTF), Conway Police Department (CPD), White County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma authorities.

Jessie Brittain, 32
Jessie Brittain, 32
 
 
 

The investigation which began in May 2013 resulted in the seizure of approximately 34 pounds of methamphetamine (Ice), approximate street value is $1.5 million dollars. Authorities also found $155,057.00 in cash.

A spokesperson with the CADTF tells Channel Seven the street value of a gram of meth is $100. That is how they’re able to determine the dollar value of the 34 pounds of meth recovered in this case.

Brittain has since been released from federal custody.

 

 

 

http://www.katv.com/story/23649094/15-million-in-meth-located-in-romance-ar

 

 

District attorneys in Montgomery and Berks counties announced the arrests of Mexican nationals in ‘Operation Breaking Bad.’

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams announced the arrest of six Mexican nationals for their alleged participation in high-level trafficking of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine in Berks and Montgomery counties, including in Gilbertsville near Zern’s Market, at a Tuesday morning press conference in Norristown.

Ferman, who spoke in a conference room at One Montgomery Plaza, shared information about how the efforts of law enforcement in “Operation Breaking Bad” culminated in the arrest of Hector Hugo Cucuas, Jose Dejesus-Montilla, Alder Hernandez-Solorio, Juan Carlos Morales-Soria, Eloy Soloria-Flores and Alejandro Ruiz Cabrera.

Charges against the men include delivery, and/or possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, corrupt organization, criminal conspiracy and firearms not to be carried without a license, amongst other charges. All the men but Eloy Soloria-Flores are in the U.S. illegally, authorities said.

According to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office, the men maintained a hub in Reading, in Berks county, and trafficked the drugs in Montgomery County. Adams said that they believe that the drugs are being manufactured in Mexico.

Jose Dejesus-Montilla. Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Jose Dejesus-Montilla

Juan Carlos Morales-Soria. Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Juan Carlos Morales-Soria
Alder Hernandez-Solorio. Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Alder Hernandez-Solorio
Alejandro Ruiz Cabrera. Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Alejandro Ruiz Cabrera
Eloy Soloria-Flores. Credit: Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Eloy Soloria-Flores
 
 
 
 

Berks county and Montgomery county worked together with homeland security, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the state police, and local police departments in an operation that spanned from December 2012 through Oct. 7, when the last man allegedly involved in the trafficking organization was arrested.

“Unless we work together, we are not going to make a difference, and this is a great example of working together to make a difference,” said Adams.

During the investigation, the men from Mexico allegedly attempted to sell cocaine and crystal methamphetamine to an undercover detective. At one point, Montilla is alleged to have agreed to sell 1.5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine for $43,000. Some transactions are said to have occurred around Zern’s Farmer’s Market in Gilbertsville.

According to Ferman, authorities have not seen a widespread use of crystal methamphetamine in Montgomery county, but they have seen that some individuals with ties to Mexico are trying to develop a need among locals, which is difficult to exterminate when it has taken hold: “There is very little competition for them and they are looking to create a demand for this poison in the community.”

A gun taken as evidence. Credit: Nicole Foulke
A gun taken as evidence
 
 

Five of the men were scheduled to be arraigned at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Magisterial District Court in front of Judge Maurice Saylor at 12:30 p.m., in Gilbertsville.

 

 

 

http://perkiomenvalley.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/gilbertstvillearea-crystal-meth-cocaine-ring-busted-authorities

As Billy Owens’ trial began on Tuesday, the jury heard intricate details about the inner workings of Owens’ alleged methamphetamine empire in Williams County.

Owens is in court because he allegedly ordered a hit on associate Kenneth Moore in May 2012 that left Moore paralyzed and in a wheelchair for life.

The hearing was guided by attorneys Nathan Kirke Madden, representing the state, and Nicole Ellan Foster, representing Owens. All of the witnesses called on Tuesday were from the state’s side.

After testimony from the police on their process at the crime scene, Moore spoke of Owens’ “temper” when things didn’t go his way. Moore sold meth on the streets for Owens for “about four months” prior to the shooting, he said.

The empire

The distribution of labor in Owens’ empire went like this: Owens, or someone connected to Owens, would manufacture the methamphetamine and then Owens would sell it to Moore and others. Moore as well as Owens’ other dealers would sell it to customers and take a cut of the profits.

“The first time we exchanged, he just gave me drugs,” Moore said. “After a few more exchanges, we partnered up to sell together. I’d take my cut. I sold [crystal meth] for $200 a gram.”

Moore said he saw Owens daily and would have a quota of crystal meth to sell each day. He sometimes went to Owens’ residence in Williston and reported seeing “quantities” of the drug there before it was bagged.

According to Moore, Owens often became upset at him when he did not reach his quota for selling methamphetamine.

“He would threaten to kick my ass,” Moore said. “Or threaten to raise prices on me.”

Sometimes, Owens would give Moore more meth than he could unload in the given day-to-day schedule. If Moore could not sell the correct amount, Owens would “become angry.”

Moore, addicted to both crystal meth and heroin and without a place to call home, got desperate. He sold Owens some electronics he had including a TV, with Owens promising to pay him around $5,000 for it — with some of that sum involving drugs.

“I had nowhere to live,” Moore said. “I needed cash.”

However, Owens did not pay Moore. Seeking payback, Moore went to Owens’ residence and broke in.

“I went back to his place and repossessed some items,” Moore said. “He found out. I got a call from him. He said he knew that I broke in, that I had it coming. He said I was done for.”

Arrested in Idaho

Owens was in Idaho at the time Moore was shot by Paul Huckstep on May 10. After hearing about the warrant out for his arrest, Owens eventually gave himself up in a liquor establishment in Haley, Idaho.

When Det. Corey Weatherly of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office in Haley saw Owens being carried off in handcuffs, he asked Owens if he could speak to him. Owens replied, “You know I will.”

Weatherly, who has worked as a law enforcement officer for 12 years, has known Owens for 10 of those years.

So the two sat down for an informal “interview” in which Owens told Weatherly he “wouldn’t have someone killed.”

“He was emotional,” Weatherly told the court. “He said he wouldn’t do this, wouldn’t have someone killed, wouldn’t use weapons. He said he was a rowdy guy, that he liked to fight, but he wouldn’t do something like this.”

During their talk, Owens also made vague references to crimes of some nature, saying “Yeah, Corey, I’ve been involved in what you know.” He also reportedly said something along the lines of “they may be able to charge me with conspiracy, but not the real act,” in reference to the shooting of Kenneth Moore.

Foster emphasized the point that Owens had not been read his Miranda rights at the time.

However, during a second interview at a later date, Weatherly did read Owens his Miranda rights. In this interview, Owens told a “broken story” that alluded to some of the events that led up to Moore being shot.

“He told me he wasn’t in North Dakota,” Weatherly said. “He told me he was in Idaho when he learned his trailer was burglarized. He knew about the items being taken. He said he didn’t know for sure who had shot Moore, but if he admitted anything, he didn’t want charges against him.”

Today, the state will continue to present witnesses.

 

 

 

http://www.willistonherald.com/news/witnesses-outline-alleged-drug-empire/article_017bf44e-30f8-11e3-b624-0019bb2963f4.html

 

 

GUADALUPE COUNTY — A Rio Grande City couple was caught allegedly trying to transport nine pounds of methamphetamine to Tennessee.

Following a traffic stop Tuesday morning, deputies found nearly $126,000 worth of methamphetamine, also known as Ice, in a hidden compartment on a car, said Guadalupe County Narcotics Investigator Lt. Eddie Flores.

Irasema G. Bazan

Irasema G. Bazan

Lee B. Leal

Lee B. Leal

 

It was driving violations and uncorroborated stories that caught the attention of a deputy on Interstate 10, Flores said.

“K9 Deputy Dustin Crawford advised that a silver Nissan Sentra was following too close to another vehicle and was driving on the improved shoulder,” he said. “They were eastbound on Interstate 10.”

Crawford conducted a traffic stop and began speaking with both the driver and the passenger, Flores said.

“He first began interviewing Lee Bustos Leal, 44, and then his wife, Irasema Garza Bazan, 42. They had conflicting stories,” Flores said.

The couple gave the deputy consent to a search of the vehicle, Flores said.

While looking over the outside, Crawford noticed something off, Flores said.

“During the search he noticed the undercarriage had a lot of mud sprayed on there on the back part of the vehicle, but the front wasn’t,” he said. “With it not being safe to climb under the vehicle on the interstate, the deputies asked consent to move the vehicle from the highway and bring it to the maintenance building.”

Once there, Leal changed his mind about consenting to the search, Flores said.

“Once the vehicle came up to the lift, the driver withdrew his consent and stated that he did not want them to search any further,” he said. “The K9 was utilized to do an open air sniff and alerted on both sides of the vehicle.”

The alert by the dog gave deputies probable cause to search the vehicle further, Flores said.

“The mud that was sprayed on the vehicle was scraped off and a lead-lined compartment was found,” Flores said. Flores added that lead compartments are made to avoid detection from X-ray machines at the border crossings.

After discovering the compartment, deputies looked inside, locating six plastic containers, wrapped in black electrical tape and filled with methamphetamine, Flores said.

“They had all kinds of foam, trying to seal it in and mask the smell of the drug,” he said.

During a later interview, Leal admitted to being paid to transport the narcotics, Flores said.

“Once that was obtained, the driver (Leal) did confirm that he was getting paid to drive the load to Tennessee from Rio Grande City,” he said.

Leal and Bazan were arrested for manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, penalty group one, more than 400 grams and booked into Guadalupe County Jail, where they are being held on $100,000 bond.

“K9 Deputies Crawford and (Paul) Easterling did a great job with this case,” he said. “They went the extra step in scraping off the mud, locating the lead-lined compartment and then the narcotics. I appreciate their hard work and dedication.”

 

 

http://seguingazette.com/news/article_1526d952-3146-11e3-b840-001a4bcf887a.html

 

 Bell County grand jury indicted a 52-year-old man Wednesday who was allegedly found with a large quantity of suspected methamphetamine during a traffic stop in September.

Nasser Assed was indicted on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, more than 200 grams, a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Police found a little more than 200 grams of methamphetamine under the front seat of Assed’s car after he was pulled over in the area of Rancier Avenue and Twin Creek Drive in Killeen. Police stopped Assed on Sept. 27 after he made several turns without signalling, according to an arrest affidavit. After refusing a request to search his car, officers brought in a drug sniffing dog that alerted on the vehicle.

Assed has a 1984 conviction in Bell County for possession of marijuana, more than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds. He pleaded guilty to the charge.

Assed was released from the county jail Oct. 3 after posting $100,000 bond.

 

 

 

http://kdhnews.com/news/crime/man-faces-possible-life-sentence-after-drug-indictment/article_105ece28-316b-11e3-91e8-001a4bcf6878.html

 

 

Police busted eight people Tuesday during a raid at a well-known drug den in Northeast Portland, officials said.

Cops stormed the depraved digs at the Arbor Lodge Mobile Home Park on Northeast Killingsworth near 64th Avenue about 9 a.m., officials said. Four men and four women left the home in handcuffs.

10.8pdxdrugarrest.jpg

Patrick Henry Murphy, 69, Jack Daniel Lowe, 45, and Kenneth Stocks, 50, each face multiple charges on dealing and possessing methamphetamine, police said.

Police charged Brittany Ulrich, 23, with heroin possession. Meanwhile, Kim Chee Eng, 50, Michelle Murphy, 39, Vicki Hibdon, 49, and Nannette Hibdon, 48, were each collared for frequenting a place where narcotics are sold.

Tormented neighbors have complained for months about the unruly residence, Portland police said.

Since July, cops have served four search warrants at the home and arrested multiple people. They’ve also seized more than a pound of heroin and methamphetamine from the home and taken a two-year-old child into protective custody.

 

 

 

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/10/eight_arrested_during_raid_at.html

 

 

Four people from the southern panhandle have been arrested as part of a bust by WING Drug Task Force.

Yesterday afternoon, WING investigators served a search warrant on Rose Street in Sidney and seized methamphetamine, marijuana, LSD, and cash.

A total of four people were arrested on the following charges:

42-year-old Lynette Robertson: Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of drug related money

34-year-old Amanda Portillo- Delivery of methamphetamine

30-year-old Becky A. Pounder: Possession of a controlled substance

42-year-old Martin L. White: Possession of a controlled substance

When investigators weighed the white substance, which totaled to be 12.8 grams and tested positive for methamphetamine.

Cheyenne County Deputy Attorney Jonathon Stellar says presentment of charges for these 5 individuals will take place either Wednesday or Thursday.

In an unrelated incident, another woman was also arrested for possessing methamphetamine.

During a traffic stop near Cabela’s a Nebraska State Trooper stopped a car for speeding. Upon further investigation, officers found a sock wedged into the passenger seat with a marijuana joint setting on top. Inside the sock there was a methamphetamine pipe. 23-year-old Lakota M. Daw was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (meth) .

 

 

 

 

http://www.kotanow.com/story/23647793/several-meth-arrests-made-yesterday-in-cheyenne-county

 

(KMOV) – Authorities said two suspects are in custody after police found multiple methamphetamine labs at a home in Carlinville on Tuesday.

Jesse Shaw, 62, and Ronald Chapman, 24, were both charged with methamphetamine manufacturing, possession of methamphetamine precursor and possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material.

According to police, officers were investigating a home at 510 Orange St. around 1:45 p.m. when they saw someone run toward a shed in the back of the property.

Authorities followed them and smelled a strong chemical odor coming from the shed. That’s when they saw chemicals used to make meth in plain sight.

Officers got consent to search the shed and found two active meth labs.

Both suspects were arrested and taken to the Macoupin County Jail on a $75,000 bond.

 

 

 

http://www.kmov.com/news/editors-pick/Meth-arrests-carlinville-227095861.html