A Lawton man is behind bars after police say they caught him hauling a large amount of methamphetamine in his car this week.

Even more meth was stashed at his house, along with cash and several stolen guns inside a barricaded room, police said.

Court records show Timothy J. Benavides, 26, appeared in Comanche County District Court and was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and five misdemeanors  carrying weapons and drug paraphernalia, driving without a license or insurance and excessive window tinting  and ordered held in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

The excessive window tinting, according to an arrest report, is what caught the attention of police Detectives Mark Durham and Chris Hall around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday as they were on patrol near Southwest 25th Street and White Avenue.

The detectives initiated a traffic stop, prompting the driver to slam on the brakes, pull over to the right then slow down to about 5 mph, the arrest report said. However, the driver didn’t stop; he swerved all the way to the left curb, then back across the roadway before pulling into a driveway, according to the report.

Police approached the driver and immediately identified Benavides, who has had multiple encounters with law enforcement in recent years. Officers also knew Wednesday that Benavides’ license was suspended, and because they saw him fumbling around in the truck before stopping, they asked him to step from the truck. Benavides had a large knife clipped to his left pants pocket, police said. The window tint was not within the legal limit, and Benavides was arrested before police even found a secret compartment inside the vehicle.

According to an affidavit filed in court, detectives found the bench seat could be lifted to reveal a secret compartment. Inside, police found a stack of money ($388), casino cards, hotel room keys and a pouch with about 43 grams of meth. Benavides told police he had just bought the truck from a friend.

As if 43 grams of meth wasn’t a large enough find, investigators gathered more evidence and another arrestee when they went back to Benavides’ house, 2501 SW White, Wednesday afternoon with a search warrant.

There, police encountered another man, who has not yet been charged, and Benavides’ wife. After searching the house, police said they found one of the doors to a back bedroom had been locked and barricaded. Inside they found about 50 more grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a stolen shotgun, four handguns (one of which was stolen) an SKS rifle, more than 1,000 pounds of ammunition, 261 grams of marijuana, military gear, surveillance cameras and flat-screen TVs, according to the Lawton Police Department.







A Southern California beach business that hosts a popular kids’ summer camp was the distribution center for a local methamphetamine ring moving large quantities of drugs officials alleged Friday. 

Meth Biz Run at Summer Camp: DA
The water sports rental business is located along Mission Bay just north of San Diego.

The Mission Bay Sports Center and its owner Jason Boone were the targets of a year-long drug investigation titled “Operation Boone’s Farm.”

Investigators announced arrests in the case Friday accusing Boone and eight others of using the business, known to many San Diegans as a place to rent water equipment or take lessons, as a drop location for drug suppliers and buyers.

“It was a sophisticated use of the lockers at the Mission Bay SportCenter where the drug couriers were able to access those lockers and use them as a dead drop,” said prosecutor Jorge del Portillo.  “Meaning they would drop in money or pick up methamphetamine from those lockers.”

Boone (pictured below right) pleaded not guilty to 15 counts including transportation, sale, and possession for sale of methamphetamine.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced the arrest describing the 40-year-old business owner as a leader in the drug ring.

“The defendants in this case brazenly centered their drug-dealing operation out of a popular Mission Bay business where kids attended summer camp,” Dumanis said.

Law enforcement officials served a search warrant Thursday at the Santa Clara Place business.

About five pounds of methamphetamine along with heroin, marijuana and prescription pills were removed from the building officials said. They also found $48,000 in cash a bullet proof vest and a loaded .22 handgun.

Nine people have been charged in the case. Seven have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

Officials also arrested Vincente Garcia, 41; Jacquelin Miller, 32; Joe Bean, 52; Michael Gifford, 41; Janelle Shryock, 21 and Tamara Delar, 20.

Seven of the defendants will be arraigned in court Friday. More are expected to be arraigned on Monday. If convicted of the charges, their prison sentences range from 16 months to 10 years.

A DEA spokesperson said the investigation also involved San Diego police, San Diego County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Border Patrol agents.

During the warrant search, officials also found a firecracker and called out the San Diego Fire-Rescue bomb experts to handle.

The center offers summer camps, boat and water sport rentals and lessons ranging from standup paddleboarding to surfing or sailing.

On Friday, it was business as usual at the sports rental facility with customers renting equipment.

“Decisions people make do not affect us here. We were not involved,” said one staff member.

Employees told NBC 7 San Diego the summer camp will go on as scheduled Monday.

MISSION BAY, Calif. – Investigators have busted an alleged methamphetamine trafficking operation at a sports facility, which hosts a summer youth program.The multi-agency investigation landed the owner of Mission Bay Sportcenter behind bars. Jason Boone, 40, is charged with 15 counts including transportation, sale and possession of methamphetamine. Prosecutors said he was the operation ringleader.

The investigation, dubbed “Operation Boone’s Farm” involved the District Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security and the Maritime Task Force.

According to investigators, undercover law enforcement officers purchased a half pound of methamphetamine during the operation.


“It was a sophisticated use of the lockers at the Mission Bay Sportcenter,” said Jorge Del Portillo, Deputy District Attorney. “Where the drug couriers would be able to access those lockers and use it as a dead-drop, meaning they would drop in money or pick up meth from those lockers.”

The D.A.’s Office said investigators seized five pounds of meth, $48,000 in cash, heroin, marijuana and prescription pills. They also said a search of Boone’s home turned up a loaded handgun and said 1 ½ pounds of meth was seized from his car.

Friday Boone pleaded not guilty before Judge David Szumowski. Alongside him in court were several other alleged drug dealers connected to the operation.

The District Attorney’s Office announced the defendants as: Susie Macias, 39; Spencer Edmonds, 32; Vincent Garcia, 41; Jacqueline Miller, 32; Joe Bean, 52; Michael Gifford, 41; Janelle Shryock, 21; and Tamara Delar, 20.

Macias and Gifford also both appeared in court, pleading not guilty. The others are expected to be arraigned as early as next week.

Portillo said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

“There was going to be a kids camp starting on Monday,” said Portillo. “And agents decided to take down this investigation before the kids would start their camp on Monday.”

Friday an employee at the Mission Bay Sportcenter said the youth camps would go on as planned. The employee would not say anything else about the investigation.

“Operation Boone’s Farm” was launched in November 2012.


A search of a home on Manor Drive in San Carlos resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, illegal prescription medication, and assorted narcotics paraphernalia.

A two-month investigation that resulted in the issuance of a search warrant of a San Carlos home, ended with four adults being taken into custody and four children being turned over to San Mateo County Child and Family Services.  

On Tuesday, the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force along with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office San Carlos Police Bureau concluded the two-month joint investigation into illegal narcotics activity in the 100 Block of Manor Drive in San Carlos.   



Paragould police arrested Jake Weaver Jr., 32, of Paragould, Monday on suspicion of rape and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

According to the probable cause affidavit, when interviewed by authorities on May 29, a 7-year-old female reportedly described an “act of rape” that occurred around May 2 in Greene County and the victim also disclosed “on-going sexual abuse that would constitute rape by statute that had been occurring since she got out of preschool at two separate residences located in Paragould.”






Learning something through reading about it will only take you so far, which is why Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver places an emphasis on hands-on-training and experience for his deputies.


Last week, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office hosted a 40-hour meth lab training class offered by the MERIT GROUP, a nationally recognized training organization based out of Erie, Penn.

Oliver said two members of the sheriff’s office, Nathan Weeks and Clint Holcombe, participated in the class along with officers from Walker, Jackson and Winston counties as well as from the Winfield, Bear Creek and Irondale police departments.

“We had originally contacted this group to see about having our two officers participate in the training sessions they offered, but we found out that we could host a class here in Franklin County that other officers from the surrounding area could participate in,” Oliver said.

“This ended up being a more cost-effective option, so the guys from MERIT have been here teaching the group different techniques for handling meth labs.”

Out of all the crime-related issues that occur in Franklin County, methamphetamine use and manufacture ranks right at the top, Oliver said.

“This is a major problem in our area and sometimes it’s something we deal with on a daily basis,” he said.

“We are constantly being called out to investigate a possible meth lab or to deal with a confirmed meth lab, so this is the kind of training our officers really need.”

Jake Kelton, CEO and founder of MERIT, said the week-long class teaches officers how to deactivate the chemicals in the meth labs and how to properly dispose of a meth lab in a way that is both safe and effective.

“These officers need to know how to be safe when dealing with a meth lab,” Kelton said. “If they go in without the proper protective equipment, they can get sick and they can get sick for years to come. It will tear up your throat and your lungs just breathing these chemicals.”

As part of the training, officers destroyed 30 meth labs on Friday that have been in secure storage after being discovered and confiscated in Franklin County.

Kelton said most of these are the ammonia-based “one-pot” labs that are the most dangerous because they are the most likely to explode.

“This is why having our officers receive this certification through this training was so important,” Oliver said.

“It is a benefit to our department to have officers trained in meth lab disposable so we don’t have to pay someone else to come in and clean it up and dispose of it. With the number of meth labs we deal with, it becomes costly.

“We can also cut down on the number of labs we have to store because we have officers who can get rid of them in a more timely manner.”

Kelton said after taking the 40-hour training course, the officers would be capable to handle several different scenarios involving meth.

“I’d put these guys against anyone in the country,” he said. “They’re very well-trained and a great asset to the community.”






A Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s deputy who pulled over a man driving without a license plate allegedly found the driver to be in possession of a methamphetamine pipe, according to a crime report. 

The deputy spotted the vehicle driving west on the Foothill (210) Freeway just before 4 a.m. on Monday, the report states. He stopped the 2002 Honda Accord at Ocean View Boulevard and found the driver, 29-year-old Daniel Flores of Montrose, to be on probation for burglary, according to the report. 

Two men detained for trespassing near an illegal marijuana grow on private timber land were arrested June 3 after officers discovered methamphetamine and weapons.

Deputies were called to private timber land near mile marker 13 on Branscomb Road by two private security personnel with LEAR Asset Management. The security officers were investigating an illegal marijuana operation on the private timber land “when they encountered two men walking along a trail from the grow site,” says MCSO Sgt. Matt Kendall. Deputies were called at about 3 p.m.

Richard Geiger, 26, of Laytonville, was armed with a loaded semiautomatic handgun in a shoulder-style holster when the security officers detained him. Deputies found .38 caliber ammunition on Martin Scott, 50, of Laytonville but no weapon. Scott, a convicted felon, is prohibited to possess either ammo or a weapon. Deputies recovered 26 grams of methamphetamine after searching both suspects and a backpack. Deputies later found a loaded .38 pistol in the area where security first detained the two men.

Geiger was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of a dangerous weapon and being armed in the commission of a felony.

Scott was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of methamphetamine for sales and being armed in the commission of a felony.







Two were formally charged Friday in connection with a Wednesday night raid that allegedly resulted in members of the Tri-County Drug Task Force finding a methamphetamine lab.

Jennifer F. Young, 27 — who lives at 603 E. Race St., where the raid was conducted — is charged in Jay Circuit Court with dealing in methamphetamine, a Class A felony carrying a standard 30-year prison term, and three Class D felonies, each with a standard 18-month sentence: Maintaining a common nuisance and two counts of neglect of a dependent.

Jonathan L. Clubs, 22, 952 S. Bridge St., is charged with dealing in meth, a Class A felony.

Three other men — Jesse Steed, 21, and Michael Butchtel, 25, both of Portland, and Fort Wayne resident Erick Gutierrez — were also arrested at the scene on preliminary charges of dealing in meth. Formal charges had apparently not been filed against them as of Friday.







UPDATE – Arrest affidavit: Lufkin woman used meth in presence of 3 kids


LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Texas Department of Public Safety troopers arrested a 34-year-old Lufkin woman on a Diboll Police Department warrant Friday for abandoning or endangering a child. Amanda Mae Harris allegedly used methamphetamine while her three children were present.

Harris is still being held in the Angelina County jail on state-jail felony charges of abandoning or endangering a child and possession of a controlled substance less than one gram. No bail has been set at this time.

Amanda Harris (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Amanda Harris

According to the arrest affidavit, a Diboll PD detective and a representative from the Department of Family Protective Services spoke with Harris on May 16 in reference to an incident that occurred 100 Hendricks Street.

Harris allegedly admitted to using meth in the presence of her three children. After the Department of Family Protective Services requested that a drug test be done on Harris and her children, one of her kids tested positive for meth, the affidavit stated. The child that tested positive is under the age of 15.



A Lufkin mother was released from the Angelina County Jail Friday on a $22,000 bond after her toddler tested positive for methamphetamine.

Lufkin mother arrested after toddler tests positive for meth

Amanda Mae Harris, 34, is being charged with state jail felony child endangerment and possession of meth, according to a complaint filed by the Diboll Police Department. She was arrested Thursday by Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brandon Boulware, jail records state.


San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis today announced felony drug charges against nine adults in connection with an undercover operation that focused on a well-known water sports business in Mission Beach. The local methamphetamine ring was distributing large quantities drugs out of the Mission Bay Sports Center, a business that hosts a summer youth camp.

Undercover law enforcement officers purchased a half pound of methamphetamine during the operation. Nine defendants have been charged; seven have been arrested and will be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court today at 1:30 p.m. in Dept. 12 of the downtown courthouse. More are expected to be arraigned on Monday. Defendants face charges ranging from transportation of methamphetamine to possession of methamphetamine for sale. If convicted of the charges, their prison sentences range from 16 months to 10 years. The defendants include Jason Boone, 40; Susie Macias, 39; Spencer Edmonds, 32; Vincent Garcia, 41; Jacqueline Miller, 32; Joe Bean, 52; Michael Gifford, 41; Janelle Shryock, 21; and Tamara Delar, 20.

“The DA’s Narcotics Division worked closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and shut down this meth trafficking operation,” DA Dumanis said. “The defendants in this case brazenly centered their drug-dealing operation out of a popular Mission Bay business where kids attended summer camp.”

Operation Boone’s Farm was launched in November 2012. During the course of the investigation, agents determined Mission Bay Sports Center was being utilized as a drop location for drug deliveries and payments between suppliers and customers. Business owner, Jason Boone, who has been arrested and charged with 15 counts including transportation, sale, and possession for sale of methamphetamine, was a leader in the drug ring. He coordinated with multiple drug couriers having them pick up supplies at his Mission Bay business.

“DEA and its law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring the safety of San Diegans from drug traffickers,” said DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman. “The arrogance of running a drug trafficking operation where so many of our citizens send their children for summer camps and go themselves to enjoy the beauty of our city, makes the culmination of this investigation very rewarding. Our citizens can be assured that we have removed this criminal element from the Mission Bay Sports Center and have completely dismantled this dangerous drug trafficking organization.”

Law enforcement cooperation has long been a model in San Diego County.

“This is another example of the positive relationship San Diego Law Enforcement has in working together to eradicate the blight of drug abuse in San Diego, said San Diego Police Executive Assistant Chief David Ramirez.”

About five pounds of methamphetamine and $48,000 in cash and assets were seized in addition to a bullet proof vest, a loaded .22 handgun, heroin, marijuana, and prescription pills. Many law enforcement agencies helped make Operation Boone’s Farm a success in addition to the to the District Attorney’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration. They include the San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sherriff’s Department, Homeland Security and the Maritime Task Force participated in the operation.







GONZALES — An Ascension Parish couple was arrested Thursday at a Gonzales motel on counts of operating a methamphetamine lab and related drug violations, sheriff’s deputies said Friday.

The arrests came after state Probation and Parole agents went to the motel to take the husband into custody on a parole violation and found illegal drugs in the motel room, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office reported in a news release.

The agents, along with sheriff’s narcotics detectives later called to the scene, found methamphetamine, Xanax, precursors used to manufacture methamphetamine, other prescription pills and drug paraphernalia in the room.

 Loni Babin 



Thomas and Loni Babin, both 31, of 17244 Joe Boy Road, Prairieville, were sharing the room, deputies said. Deputies did not identify the motel Friday.

Thomas Babin was booked into the Ascension Parish Prison two counts of illegal possession of a prescription drug, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, creation/operation of a clandestine lab, and probation violation, deputies said.

Loni Babin was booked on counts of possession of Xanax, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and creation/operation of a clandestine lab, deputies said.

Both defendants were awaiting bail to be set Friday.







HUNTINGTON — A man found to be squatting at a downtown Huntington apartment building has been charged with cooking methamphetamine inside of the high-rise facility.

The Huntington Police Department filed court documents charging Matthew Scott Hill, 32, with three felony counts of operating a clandestine drug lab. He was jailed without bond due to an unrelated indictment.



Investigators found three meth labs Wednesday in a 10th floor apartment where the man had been staying. The high-rise building is located in the 600 block of 9th Street in downtown Huntington, according to documents filed with Hill’s arrest.

Huntington Police Capt. Rocky Johnson described the meth labs as single-bottle operations, sometimes referred to as shake-and-bake labs. Investigators believe meth was cooked inside of the apartment, including one batch that was finished shortly before the officers’ arrival.

Such meth operations continue to be rare in the city. Johnson indicates a possible reason is the close proximity to neighboring residents, meaning the odor produced by a meth lab is easier to conceal in rural locations. He believed the 9th Street lab benefited from it being on the 10th floor with open windows that vented the odor.

“You’ve got a guy on the 10th floor of a 13-floor building mixing highly flammable chemicals,” Johnson said. “It could cause an explosion, cause the building to catch on fire and put everybody else in that building in harm’s way.”

It became a nearly 12-hour operation Wednesday that involved police investigating their initial tip and processing Hill’s arrest, along with collecting evidence and cleaning up the scene, Johnson said.

The captain explained his officers sealed the apartment to prohibit future entry. That order will stand until state officials can complete necessary testing and deem it safe for re-entry.

Unlike meth discoveries at other area motels and apartment buildings, police deemed other units within the 9th Street facility as safe and ordered no further evacuation Wednesday. Johnson said that is dependent on further testing by state officials.

Hill was not the apartment’s listed tenant, according to Johnson and building owner Shane Polan. Both said it had been rented to a woman. Johnson said she paid adequate rent and later abandoned the residence, allowing Hill to stay in her absence.

Polan, who understood any meth at the apartment to have been cooked elsewhere, said the actual tenant was a former instructor of his son. He had reason to believe she would be responsible.

“I’m doing everything I can,” he said. “I screened the tenant. The tenant was fine, and obviously she had something else in mind … I think unfortunately we’re just living in a society now that seems like about 70 percent of the people have drug issues.”

The investigation that led to Wednesday’s arrest started with officers acting on an anonymous tip to the Huntington Police Department tip line. It led police to North Staunton Road. They found valid evidence of a nuisance, however not enough to merit an immediate arrest. A person there told investigators Hill had been cooking meth at the 9th Street apartment building, according to a search warrant affidavit used for the apartment.

A records check then revealed Hill had two active arrest warrants, one stemming from a recent indictment and the other for failure to appear in court in relation to driving on a suspended/revoked license, the search warrant affidavit states.

Officers went to the 9th Street apartment building, located Hill’s apartment and knocked several times with no response. A maintenance man let them inside, the affidavits state.

Officers said they found Hill sleeping in the living room with an unidentified woman, according to the affidavit. It further states Hill was in possession of 20 pseudoephedrine pills, a key ingredient for meth.

A further search for other occupants revealed numerous plastic bottles, according to the affidavit. The criminal complaint states officers found one meth lab in the bathroom and two elsewhere in the apartment. They also found a generator and chemicals necessary to make the drug.

The criminal complaint further charged Hill had purchased more than 9 grams of pseudoephedrine in the past 60 days. Johnson said such information was confirmed through area pharmacy records.

The woman found next to Hill was interviewed and released, Johnson said. She was not the woman who paid to rent the apartment.







A Rochester man was arrested Thursday after allegedly going to his probation appointment with methamphetamine in his car.

The 28-year-old was found to have violated his probation while at the appointment, said Sgt. Tom Claymon of the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office. A subsequent search of his vehicle — parked in front of the government center — turned up 57 grams of meth, the report says.

He remains in jail pending formal charges. The Post-Bulletin typically doesn’t name suspects until they’ve been charged.







NILES, MI – The Cass County Drug Enforcement Team seized almost 50 one-pot methamphetamine labs Wednesday night inside a rental property near Niles, authorities said.

Narcotics detectives went to the house at about 8:30 p.m. in the 29000 block of Follmer Road in Milton Township after the landlord of the property called sheriff’s dispatchers and reported that he had found what he believed to be a meth lab inside the house, according to the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives searched the house and “uncovered numerous items that had been used and were being used to manufacture (meth) for sale use and sale,” investigators said in a news release.

Among the items detectives found was a small amount of meth and “47 ‘one pot’ meth labs, 56 gas generators,” according to the news release.

Detectives said a man and a woman were arrested at the scene and taken to the Cass County Jail where they were lodged on charges in connection with “the manufacturing, sale and use of methamphetamine.”

Police did not release the names of the two suspects, pending their arraignments Friday in Cass County District Court.

Detectives said their investigation is continuing and asked anyone with information to call the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team at 1-800-462-9328 or go to www.ccso.info.







Five people faced methamphetamine trafficking charges during a 9 a.m. Recorder’s Court hearing Friday after they were arrested at the Extended Stay Hotel on Armour Road.

Brad Harden, 43, Jennifer Howze, 33, Keisha Campbell, 39, Kristopher Carver, 26, and Kayla Price, 25, were charged with trafficking meth, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of drug related objects.  Price was additionally charged with possession and use of drug related objects and possession of marijuana.

Keisha Campbell

 Keisha Campbell
Kayla Price
Kayla Price
cJennifer Howze
Jennifer Howze

Brad Harden
Brad Harden 


Police Capt. Gil Slouchick said officers confiscated 6.83 ounces of meth Thursday while executing two search warrants: one at the Extended Stay Hotel room where the five people were arrested, and one at an Uncle Bob’s Self Storage unit which was rented in Price’s name. The meth is valued at more than $19,000.

Two stolen guns belonging to officers were also uncovered. One was a standard pistol used by Columbus Police officers. The other was an AR-15 Bushmaster which belongs to a Phenix City police officer, Slouchick said. It was found loaded in the storage shed.

Total bond amounts were not available for the Haden, Howze, Campbell, Carver and Price Friday morning. More information will be added as it becomes available.

A Tennessee High student missing since mid May was found Wednesday night by U.S. Marshals in New Hampshire, the agency said Thursday.

Laken Seats, 17, was reported missing on May 19 from her aunt’s home in Bristol, Va., her mother Theresa Stout told the Bristol Herald Courier Thursday evening, and was recovered by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force at 300 Village Circle Way in Manchester, N.H.

Laken Seats

Laken Seats, 17, of Bristol, Tenn



“We are just so glad she is here with us now,” Stout said in a telephone interview. Stout and other family members left early Thursday morning for New Hampshire to pick-up her missing daughter who was in the custody of state juvenile officials.

A working methamphetamine lab was discovered during the operation to recover Seats along with three other individuals who had transported the girl to New Hampshire. Those included Michael Fleenor, 48; Jackie Barr, 45; and Cody Vinson, 22 all of Bristol, Va.

According to Stout, Vinson was the girl’s boyfriend and helped the girl run away last month.

Fleenor is charged with possession and manufacturing of methamphetamine by Hillsborough County, N.H. Sheriff’s Office, according to the report.

Barr and Vinson are being held on fugitive from justice charges stemming from outstanding warrants filed in Bristol, Va. and Tenn., the report said.

The teen had been entered into a database run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The agency received information about Seats’ location in the Manchester area and worked with the U.S. Marshals Task Force in her recovery, officers said.

“We are pleased that we have recovered this endangered runaway who was in a difficult situation and can now be reunited with her family,” U.S. Marshal David Cargill, Jr. said in a release.







Four people were indicted by the grand jury for making meth out of a home on Osbourne Street in Rainelle.  Owen Adkins, 30, of Marfrance; Matthew Bennett, 30, of Rainelle; Jessica Cooper, 27, of Quinwood and James Malcomb, 38 of Rupert were all arrested in April.

They face of laundry list of charges, including Exposure of Children to Methamphetamine Manufacturing and Child Neglect Creating Substantial Risk of Serious Bodily Injury or Death.  Those charges were in connection to two children who were found living at the home.  Deputies said the group was using two different methods of creating meth.







MEADVILLE — If you hear someone talking about a “shake-and-bake” lab, the odds are extremely good that they’re not talking about scientific chicken. And a conversation about “smurfing” may well have nothing to do with short blue characters romping about in a charming manner.

In the world of methamphetamine, things may not always be what they seem.

In a “shake-and-bake” meth lab, to cite just one example, the humble 2-liter soda bottle replaces an entire room full of filthy containers giving off foul odors and noxious fumes from toxic contents simmering over open flames.

This isn’t new. Back in 2009, The Associated Press was reporting that “This is the new formula for methamphetamine: a 2-liter soda bottle, a few handfuls of cold pills and some noxious chemicals. Shake the bottle and the volatile reaction produces one of the world’s most addictive drugs.”

While the formula for soda-bottle-based manufacture requires a relatively small quantity of pseudoephedrine pills — a popular decongestant — and other ingredients that can be carried in a knapsack, it still packs a devastating wallop, capable of producing powerful explosions if the bottle isn’t shaken just right. And if all goes as planned and the chemical reaction produces the crystalline powder that can be smoked, snorted or injected, the bottle now contains what AP describes as “a poisonous brown and white sludge.”

The contents left in the bottle are so toxic that anyone finding a soda bottle looking like it might contain dirty water discarded along a rural road is advised to leave it there and advise authorities of its location. Ditto for any suspicious-looking or nasty-smelling containers, regardless of their size.

As for smurfing, that’s the term used for purchasing ingredients used in “cooking” meth, including pseudoephedrine pills such as Sudafed, from a number of different stores in order to avoid arousing suspicion.

Educating the greater Meadville area

Until recently, the manufacture of methamphetamine was pretty much regarded as someone else’s problem for residents of the greater Meadville area. However, recent incidents in the City of Meadville and nearby West Mead and Union townships have local residents concerned.

In response, Fairview-Fairmont Outreach and the residents of Fairview-Fairmont Apartments, where three individuals were arrested in early May in connection with an alleged meth lab in one of the apartments, sponsored an awareness-raising session at Meadville’s First Presbyterian Church Thursday night.

Elaine Surma, senior supervisory special agent with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, acquainted the more than 30 area residents attending the session with the harsh realities of methamphetamine use.

“Back in 2000, we thought we were blindsided in northwestern Pennsylvania when meth came in,” Surma said. “We weren’t expecting it.”

Using meth, Surma explained, isn’t about being passed out from too much alcohol or a drug overdose that can be taken care of in a hospital emergency room. The effects of meth use — both on the user and the entire surrounding community — can only be described as devastating.

From an environmental perspective, Surma explained, every single pound of cooked meth produces six pounds of residual toxic waste. “Toxic waste is thrown out — everywhere,” she said.

From a human perspective, the impact on children is especially painful. “When adults start to abuse meth, taxpayers have to deal with a drug-impacted child,” she explained.

Then there’s the impact on the users themselves. “Even if you’ve never seen a meth lab, you’re paying for its effects with your tax dollars,” Surma said. Describing meth as “highly, highly addictive,” Surma said that physical changes can be painfully apparent in no more than 30 days, the effect on the brain is life-changing — or life-ending — and the success rate for meth rehab is about 5 percent.

The evening featured the showing of a short documentary titled “Tweaked,” which told the story of the extremely violent death of a 4-year-old who died from treatment received at the hands of two adults out of their heads on meth.

“In some areas, 80 percent of domestic crimes are committed by meth addicts,” Surma said as members of the audience shook their heads in disbelief.

Surma called on residents to be alert to signs of the presence of meth in the area — and to report suspicious activities. “This is something that has god-awful chemicals in it that we would never want near our bodies — and we’re ingesting them,” Surma said.







Lately, on average, the Mitchell Police Division has had a new case involving methamphetamine every five days.

“We’ve never had that before,” said Mitchell Police Detective Lt. Don Everson. “It just seems like meth cases are increasing in number this year, for whatever reason.”

In response, Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers has decided to begin offering rewards between $200 and $1,000 for tips leading to arrests involving the possession or distribution of meth. Crime Stoppers is an anti-crime program run by a citizen board of directors together with the Mitchell Police Division and Davison County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve decided to do whatever we can to have more meth arrests,” Everson said.

It’s the first time Crime Stoppers has offered a reward for a specific type of crime. The Crime Stoppers board chose to be proactive because of the devastating impact meth can have on the lives of users, and anyone around users, Everson said.

“We’re hoping that we’ll get a lot of tips that will end the distribution of this drug and end in the arrest of those using it as well,” he said.

Everson couldn’t say exactly why the Mitchell area has seen a spike in meth-related crime recently, but thinks it might have to do with how simple the drug can be to make.

“It’s easier to make methamphetamine now than it has been in the past,” he said.

Mitchell’s meth numbers are part of a statewide trend. There were 669 arrests statewide for meth in 2012, compared to 162 arrests for meth in 2008, according to statistics from the South Dakota High Intensity Drug Task Force.

Within a week, Crime Stoppers will begin an advertising campaign to spread the word about the new program. Some reward money has already been set aside for meth-related tips and, if that runs out, there are plans to raise additional money, Everson said.

“This is a new venture for us,” he said. “We’re going to see where it goes.”

Most of the money used by Crime Stoppers to pay rewards comes from residents, groups, organizations and businesses in the Mitchell area.

To be eligible for a reward, tips must go through Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers, which can be contacted anonymously at 996-1700. There are no caller IDs attached to the phone line.

To send a crime tip via text message, text “MITCS” plus a message to 274637. Tips may also be submitted by email at mitchellcrimestoppers.org.

“We hope by offering money that people will come forward when they might not have before,” Eversons said.

Anyone convicted of possessing or distributing meth in South Dakota faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.








Border officers found $378,000 of methamphetamine hidden in the doors of an SUV being driven into Arizona on Monday, officials say.

A drug dog alerted to the Ford at the Nogales border crossing, and officers found 16 packages – about 24 pounds in total – of methamphetamine hidden in each of the vehicle’s four doors, a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says.

The unidentified men – 26 and 29 years old – are U.S. citizens. They were referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the release said.

The drugs and vehicle were seized.





Four people were taken into custody late this afternoon  after a rolling methamphetamine lab was discovered in the parking lot of Walgreens on South Hall  Road in Alcoa.
The 5th Judicial Drug Task Force was dispatched at approximately 5:15 p.m.,  and found hazardous materials to make meth inside two vehicles parked at Walgreens. A finished meth  product, along with pills and other drug paraphernalia, were also found in the  vehicles.
Officers with the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, along with the Alcoa  Fire Department Hazardous Response Unit, decontaminated the suspects, including two men and two  women.
The meth lab was the second find Thursday, as authorities found three meth  labs in an area in the 3100 block of Piney Level Road in Maryville earlier this  afternoon.
One suspect faces multiple meth charges as a result of these labs, as well as  others in the area over the past few weeks.

Paragould police arrested Jake Weaver Jr., 32, of Paragould, Monday on suspicion of rape and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

According to the probable cause affidavit, when interviewed by authorities on May 29, a 7-year-old female reportedly described an “act of rape” that occurred around May 2 in Greene County and the victim also disclosed “on-going sexual abuse that would constitute rape by statute that had been occurring since she got out of preschool at two separate residences located in Paragould.”






The book has finally been closed on a gruesome Tasmanian drug murder with the jailing of the killer’s wife.

He dumped the body in a ditch, burned it and then asked his 23-year-old mistress to dispose of the ashes in a river.

Percy took his own life in prison while awaiting trial last year, aged 40.

His wife of 18 years and the mother of his three children, Shelly Anne Percy, has been jailed for 15 months for failing to report the killing, perverting the course of justice, and dealing in drugs.

Justice Peter Evans told the Tasmanian Supreme Court Shelly Percy had contributed to the “devastating impact” on Mr Marriott’s family by failing to report the crime after she became aware of it.

He said she had removed evidence of the manufacture of methamphetamines and delivered a “secret stash” to complete a sale.

The judge said Shelly Percy’s humiliation had been increased by her husband’s deception in maintaining a relationship with Anna-Lyce Maree Olding.

Olding was sentenced to 30 months’ jail in December for failing to report the killing, perverting the course of justice, and manufacturing methamphetamine.

During her plea hearing, the court heard she had stored a bucket of ashes given to her by Noel Percy in her garage.

She later emptied its contents into a river, but police found residue consistent with burned bones and teeth.

Shelly Percy will be eligible for parole next year.








Among the extremes methamphetamine users will go in order to make sure they will be able to get their “next” high is filtering their own urine.

Coffee County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ronnie Whitworth recalled several bottles of urine found at a residence where a meth user resided. A large amount of the drug is disposed from the body through urine, and a filtering system can save some of the chemicals for reuse.

It is a method known as urine extraction and hard-core meth addicts collect their urine and even that of other users, consuming it to get the high from the drug still in it.

Meth users are from all walks of life, but often they end up in the same place. Cleanliness does not become a priority and the residences of those addicted to the drug are more often than not ridden with filth and items such as clothes, boxes, pots and pans began piling up.

Whitworth recalled an instance when a meth lab was busted at a residence with 13 microwaves lined up along a bar to help in the cooking process. At the end of the bar was a young child eating cereal. On other occasions, residences have been found with active meth labs and young children with no food.

Whitworth said one thing he has found in many meth residences has been some sort of a collection, such as coins.

Mood changes are something law enforcement look for with suspected drug users.

Whitworth recalled one of the first times he encountered a meth addict in the 1990’s. A woman had pulled up to Whitworth’s unit, saying that somebody was after her and she was afraid to drive to her house. Whitworth told the lady he would follow her to make sure that she and the young child in the back seat got home safely.

As he began to follow the woman, she began driving fast, exceeding 120 miles per hour. When they got to the residence the woman was arrested. Somewhere along the way, she thought in her mind that the law was the “bad guy” chasing her.

“I remember when I was police chief at Elba and went to a conference where a guy was talking about meth,” Whitworth said. “He said, ‘If you’ve never heard of it, you’re going to. It’s coming.’ He was right.”







Each day at work, I sit next to the police scanner. Usually, it’s pretty mundane. Occasionally some serious breaking news happens, and sometimes it’s pretty hilarious.

Last week, I overheard on the scanner that someone called police about a woman who was outside, handcuffed to a barbecue.

My ears perked up. If true, it could be a big story of some poor woman held captive. I continued to listen as police officers and dispatchers talked back and forth on their radios. Police wanted a description of the woman, and exactly where she was and where the caller was.

The dispatcher replied with the caller’s location. He could see the woman from his bedroom window, the dispatcher said.

Another officer chimed in on his radio and said he saw a woman, leaning against a barbecue, smoking. No handcuffs.

In the newsroom, we were relieved. No one was in danger.

But the story wasn’t over.

A few days ago, I was going through new court cases and found one where the story sounded familiar.

“Police dispatch received a phone call from a male identified as Randell Zimmerman,” the report says.

Zimmerman told dispatch that he was looking outside his window from his home in the 200 block of Heyburn Avenue and could see a woman handcuffed to a barbecue in the front yard of his neighbor’s house.

“As I was speaking to Zimmerman, I suspected that he was under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant, specifically methamphetamine,” an officer wrote.

Zimmerman then walked an officer up to his bedroom window, where he pointed out the place he had seen the handcuffed woman.

“I did not see anyone,” the officer wrote.

Eventually, after talking to other people in the house, police found a small baggie of meth near the stairwell leading to Zimmerman’s room, the report says. Other officers saw bags of meth in plain sight in Zimmerman’s bedroom.

Zimmerman declined to let officers search his room for more drugs. Officers arrested him on a charge of possession of methamphetamine.

Was the barbecue scene a meth-induced hallucination? Police say it probably was.