Comments Off on ‘Chemical odor’ leads to Methamphetamine drug arrests of Joshua L. Jones, 31, and Quentin J. Reed, 30, both of Greensburg

553e44e96d9aa_imageGREENSBURG – A report of “a strong chemical odor” in a Greensburg neighborhood led to the arrest of two men late Thursday.

According to documents filed in Decatur Circuit Court, police arrested Joshua L. Jones, 31, and Quentin J. Reed, 30, both of Greensburg, on charges of possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a syringe. The former charge is a Level 6 felony; the latter a misdemeanor.

The men were arrested following an investigation by Greensburg Police following a report that a person in the 400 block of West North Street was manufacturing methamphetamine and that a man had recently given or sold methamphetamine to another person in the area.553e44e979599_image

Investigating officers said they “smelled a strong chemical odor” upon arriving at approximately 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the vicinity of the area in which the alleged meth manufacturing occurred.

Greensburg Police Patrol Officer Matthew Terkhorn said he encountered a man sitting in a truck near the intersection of West North and North Ireland Street, who quickly exited the vehicle and began walking toward a residence located at 401 West North Street, according to a police narrative summarizing the case.

An uncapped syringe and a small quantity of methamphetamine were subsequently located on the man, who was identified as Jones.

As the investigation continued, police discovered a tent located on the property of 401 West North Street which Reed told officers he occupied. Reed gave permission for officers to look inside the tent where they allege they discovered a syringe that appeared to have been used tucked underneath a mattress, and a spoon that contained a powdery substance.

Police said they found more syringes, drug paraphernalia and a powdery substance not identified in the report after searching the tent.

Both men were taken to the Decatur County Jail without incident. Both suspects made their initial court appearances Friday where preliminary pleas of not guilty were entered. Attorney Tamara Butler was appointed to represent Reed, and Attorney Steven Teverbaugh will serve as defense counsel for Jones.

Reed’s trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 24 in Decatur Circuit Court. No bond had been set for his release by Daily News press time Friday.

Jones remained jailed on a $750 cash bond Friday afternoon. His trial was set for 9 a.m. Aug. 25 in Circuit Court.

Comments Off on Miriam Landin, 18, from Texas, charged with trafficking $847K worth of Methamphetamine in Durham County

DURHAM, N.C. – Durham investigators have arrested an 18-year-old female from Texas on drug trafficking charges.

Officers arrested Miriam Landin Sunday after recovering 847 grams of crystal methamphetamine worth $847,000.

Landin was charged with two counts of level III trafficking meth and one count possession with intent to deliver.

Landin was placed in the Durham County Jail under a $2.5 million bond.








Comments Off on Methamphetamine Surge ‘Is Here Right Now’; Heroin Maintains Grip On Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Methamphetamine use has returned to epidemic levels in the Twin Cities not seen since 2005, according to a new research report. Meanwhile, more people than ever have been treated for heroin addiction.

The report, entitled “Drug Abuse Trends in Minneapolis/St. Paul: 2015″, was released Monday by Drug Abuse Dialogues. Carol Falkowski headed the research.

“The next methamphetamine surge isn’t looming around the corner — it is here right now,” Falkowski said.

In 2014, 11.8 percent of treatment admissions in the Twin Cities were due to meth addiction. That’s compared to 12 percent in 2005.

Meth busts by law enforcement are also on the upswing. In Ramsey County, 128 pounds of meth was seized in 2014. That’s compared to only 16 pounds in 2013.

Another alarming fact: a record 14.6 percent of treatment admissions were for heroin in 2014 – 37.5 percent of those being individuals between 18 and 25 years of age.

“We have yet to eradicate the heroin problem here,” Falkowski said. “And for the first time almost as many admissions were for heroin (3,208) as were for marijuana (3,246).”

Other highlights of the report include a small drop in treatment admissions for opiates and downward trends reported for synthetic drugs. Exposure of MDMA, however, has increased three-fold.

The full report is available here.

Comments Off on Ginger Butts and Michael Butts, 50, arrested, kept Methamphetamine near crib of sleeping toddler; Duane Smith, 44, also arrested

SPANISH FORK — A couple and their friend were arrested Sunday afternoon on charges related to possession of methamphetamine, which police reports state was kept near a toddler’s crib.

Officers conducted a narcotics search warrant Sunday afternoon on the residence of Michael and Ginger Butts. Their friend, Duane Smith, was living in a trailer on the property. Police documents state officers received reports that the three were selling methamphetamine from the property.

When officers arrived at the residence, Michael Butts, 50, was encountered outside in the yard. Police reports state officers found a bag with .6 grams of methamphetamine in his pocket. He was read his Miranda rights, and he told officers he smoked meth 30 minutes before, according to arrest documents.

As officers entered the residence, they found Ginger Butts in the kitchen. She was read her Miranda rights, and she too told officers she’d smoked meth earlier that day and that there was meth in their master bedroom, police reports state.

According to police reports, officers found 13.7 grams of meth in a nightstand in their master bedroom. Their 2-year-old grandson was asleep on the bed, just feet away from the meth.

A typical user amount of meth is about .1 to .2 grams, meaning there were more than 100 individual doses in the nightstand.

A baggie with 3.6 grams of marijuana was also found in the nightstand, police reports indicate. The couple has three children in the home, who, according to police reports, “could have easily accessed and consumed the drugs which were located in the residence.”

Duane Smith, 44, was found in the trailer parked in the driveway, and was arrested on an active warrant. Police searched the trailer and found a bag of one gram of meth in a sunglasses case, police reports state. Syringes, a digital scale and more baggies were found in the case.

Michael and Ginger Butts were both booked into Utah County on suspicion of one first-degree felony charge of possession of meth with intent to distribute, three third-degree felony charges of child endangerment, and one class A misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Duane Smith was booked on suspicion of one second-degree felony charge for possession of meth, and one class A misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Comments Off on Mark Cecil Hawkins, 49, of Eugene killed in 7-hour standoff with Salem cops; Wanted on Methamphetamine charges

What might have been the routine arrest of a Eugene man wanted for failing to appear in court on drug charges turned into a deadly shootout with Salem police officers.635655841717866525-hawkins

Before Friday’s tense, hours-long standoff ended with the gunman mortally wounded in a Wal-Mart parking lot, he had repeatedly fired his weapon at police while ignoring their demands to surrender, Salem police said.

His shots wounded a police dog in the head and narrowly missed a SWAT officer during the standoff before he was hit with a hail of police gunfire.

He was taken to Salem Hospital. Salem police said Friday night that he had died.

State police on Saturday identified the man as Mark Cecil Hawkins, 49, of Eugene. An autopsy conducted Saturday by Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson determined that Hawkins was shot nine times. The cause of death was gunshot wounds to the chest.

These and other details from the daylong confrontation that took place in the Wal-Mart Super Center on Turner Road SE in South Salem began to emerge Saturday.

The incident was the first fatal shooting by Salem police since May 2014. One of the officers involved in Friday’s shooting, Officer Trevor Morrison — as well as police dog Baco — were involved in the earlier shooting, too.

According to court records, Hawkins had been wanted since December 2014 on a failure-to-appear warrant out of Lane County. He was originally charged with delivery of methamphetamine.635655194307629633-Shooter47321

Lt. Dave Okada, a spokesman for the Salem Police Department, said Saturday that the investigation of the shooting has been turned over the Oregon State Police, which is standard procedure. Any further details about the incident would be released by state police or the Marion County District Attorney’s Office.

Okada gave this account of Friday’s standoff:

It began shortly after 11 a.m. when Salem officers approached a man they believed to be wanted near the parking area of the Wal-Mart at 1940 Turner Road SE. The man was later identified as Hawkins.

During that initial contact, the man fled into a bus that had been converted into a recreational vehicle and refused to comply with commands to come out.

Morrison and Baco also responded to assist. The suspect came out of the vehicle, and there was an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and the officers. No officers were injured, but Baco was shot in the head. The suspect retreated back into the bus.

Baco was evacuated for emergency veterinary care as officers secured the area. Baco was released a short time later with only minor injuries.

Officers from Salem Police Department, Keizer Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police all responded to the scene to set a safety perimeter and assist.

The Salem Police Department SWAT Team responded, secured the area and immediately began negotiating with the man. Negotiators spoke with the suspect for several hours, trying to get him to surrender. During the negotiations, the man fired shots from the vehicle toward officers, at one time narrowly missing a SWAT officer.

As the negotiations and shots continued, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and Portland Police Bureau sent additional tactical officers and equipment to assist in the situation.

After several hours of negotiations, tactical officers used armored vehicles equipped with battering rams to rip open up the walls of the vehicle in order to be able to see where the suspect was and what he was doing. Once the inside of the vehicle was exposed, the gunman refused to comply and had a handgun.635655029202501669-SAL-standoff-FIVE

At that time, 6:28 p.m., officers fired at the suspect. He was struck several times and fell out of the bus, and he was taken into custody and transported to Salem Hospital.

The Salem Police officers involved in the initial incident were Officer Chad Galusha, Officer Robert Owings, Cpl. Tim Dezotell and Morrison. The tactical officers involved in the shooting of the suspect were Officer Joshua Edmiston, Officer Vincent Dawson and Officer Sean Bennett.

The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, which also is standard procedure.

At the Wal-Mart parking lot on Saturday, few clues of the tense standoff remained, except for police crime-scene tape. The bus had been towed to an impound lot, and a street sweeper was cleaning up small debris left over from the attempts to end the standoff by ripping open the bus.

Comments Off on Amy Lynn Gambill, 25, of Celina, Teddy Allen Christopher Hunt, 26, and Derek Allan Morrison, 25, both of Union City and Aaron Michael Sturgill, 30, of Bradford arrested in Methamphetamine drug raid at the Ambassador Motel

UNION CITY –  Four people were arrested when police staged an early morning drug raid at a Union City motel, seizing heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana.B9317109117Z_1_20150425124308_000_GPDAJRP79_1-0

Union City police said they entered Room 11 at the Ambassador Motel, 125 W. Chestnut St., about 1:25 a.m. Friday.

Arrested on preliminary charges of dealing in a narcotic drug, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of marijuana and reckless possession of paraphernalia were:

  • Teddy Allen Christopher Hunt, 26, 339 N. Main St., Union City.
  • Derek Allan Morrison, 25, 305 S. High St., Union City.
  • Aaron Michael Sturgill, 30, Bradford, Ohio.
  • Amy Lynn Gambill, 25, Celina, Ohio.

Morrison also faces a preliminary charge of obstruction of justice. A Union City police officer wrote in an affidavit that when officers entered the room, those found inside were ordered to get on the floor, but Morrison instead dropped “what was later found to be drug paraphernalia” in a toilet.B9317109117Z_1_20150425124308_000_GPDAJRP5C_1-0


The affidavit reflects police found “multiple individually packaged” bags of heroin.

Randolph County Prosecutor David Daly’s office on Friday was granted a 72-hour extension to file formal charges in the case before the defendants would otherwise be released from the Randolph County jail in Winchester.

Hunt was convicted of battery resulting in serious bodily injury in Randolph Circuit Court in 2007.

Sturgill, formerly of Winchester, has Randolph County convictions for attempted theft (in 2010) theft (2008) and driving while intoxicated (in 2007).

Morrison remains on probation for a 2013 possession-of-marijuana conviction, also in Randolph County.

Two Ohio men were arrested on cocaine-related charges at the Ambassador Motel in March.

Comments Off on Retiring judge, Supreme Court Justice John McKechnie, rues Methamphetamine misery

Ice is destroying lives and its pervasive use needs to be confronted by the community, says retiring Supreme Court Justice John McKechnie.431378509-1ajonrs

Stepping down from the bench this week to become head of the State’s corruption watchdog, Mr McKechnie said he had hardly dealt with a criminal case in the past 10 years that had not in some way been associated with methamphetamine.

In an interview with _The Weekend West _ after presiding in the State’s top court for 16 years, retiring as the Supreme Court’s longest- serving sitting judge, Mr McKechnie gave his views about the causes of offending, continuing resource issues and an unrelenting workload, the prohibitive cost of civil litigation and his strong belief in the jury system as a “great counter to tyranny”.

Mr McKechnie said by the time ice use led offenders to the Supreme Court, it was too late – even though by the time of sentencing they often had a genuine desire to stay off the drug.

“If they have committed a serious offence, judges do not regard the fact that it was committed while under the influence as worthy of much consideration,” he said.

“What I have observed is that methamphetamine is rife within the indigenous community and the cause of tremendous misery and hardship.

“The level of aggression in meth-fuelled violence is often of a higher order than that fuelled by alcohol.”

On WA’s high rate of Aboriginal incarceration, Mr McKechnie said there were too many societal issues that had not been adequately addressed and that applied to most offenders.

“It is worthwhile thinking occasionally about the causes of crime,” he said.

“Here are some in no particular order – poverty, lack of education, mental health issues, lack of positive male role models.

“There are far too many absent fathers, substance abuse and early exposure to sexual and other violence.”

Mr McKechnie, who managed the court’s dangerous sex offender list, said many repeat rapists and pedophiles dealt with by the specialist laws, which can hold offenders in jail or place them on supervision after they have served their full sentence, were significantly intellectually handicapped.

“For both of these classes of people I have constantly suggested a form of secure accommodation which can adequately protect the community while assisting their re-entry,” he said.

Mr McKechnie said in the Supreme Court’s civil jurisdiction, the high cost of litigation continued to put it beyond the reach of most ordinary people.

Reflecting on what he would miss after moving to the Corruption and Crime Commission, Mr McKechnie commented with both the sense of humor and deep sense of respect for the rule of law for which he has become known on the bench.

“There are the obvious things,” he said. “When I walk into the room, everybody stands and everybody laughs at my jokes.

“Seriously though, I will miss most the collegiality and friendship of my fellow judges.”







Comments Off on Butte District Judge Brad Newman admonishes Jeri Phillips, 26, over her Methamphetamine use

A Butte district judge told a 26-year-old woman using methamphetamine since she was a teen that she was on a dead-end road at her sentencing Thursday.

Jeri Phillips received a two-year sentence with the Department of Corrections with a recommendation for placement in a drug-treatment facility followed by pre-release after care.

Judge Brad Newman ruled Phillips had violated the terms and conditions of her probation and revoked her previously suspended sentence for the criminal possession of dangerous drugs.

State Probation and Parole Officer Charlie Martin testified Phillips had done poorly, was terminated from her place of employment and had possessed meth and marijuana. He cited her “continuous use of meth” and a custody case involving her children as indicators Phillips needed to take care of herself to help her to care for her family.

“Our goal is to keep her out of prison,” Martin said. “She needs a treatment program.”

Newman said he shared Martin’s concerns, adding a sentence without drug treatment “doesn’t do anybody good.” Phillips would return to the community with the same issues, he said.

“Ms. Phillips, you haven’t hurt anyone other than yourself. … You haven’t left any victims in your wake. You’re on a dead-end road,” Newman said, adding the sentence would give her at least one more chance to be reunited with her children.

Comments Off on Methamphetamine arrests have occurred in every Utah County city in 2015

UTAH COUNTY — “I started really young. … I started using meth when I was 17,” he said.

“From there, I liked it too much. You come to this point where you start feeding the addiction, not the high.”

Methamphetamine is, according to statistics from arrests made within Utah County, one of the most widely abused drugs in Utah County, along with heroin.

In 2015, someone was arrested for dealing meth in nearly every city in Utah County. And even more have been arrested for possession, according to arrests.

Zach, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, used to be among those who regularly used meth and other drugs to “feed the addiction.” He started at 17 and got sober in 2011.

“Once you get really heavily involved in it, it gets to the point where you get sick unless you do it,” he said.

“People need to be aware that it is a dangerous drug,” said Sgt. Scott Rich of the Orem Police Department. “When people become addicted to meth, it’s a hard lifestyle.”

Health effects

According to the Foundation for a Drug Free World, methamphetamine stands out from many drugs in that it is a synthetic, further enhancing its volatility. Meth is commonly made using cold remedies or other common drugs as a base. These are then mixed with other chemicals, such as battery acid, antifreeze or even lantern fuel, to deliver the hazardous substances to the user via syringe or inhalation.

Bruce Chandler with Utah County Health Department helps with the treatment and prevention of drug addiction every day. From what he’s seen, health effects from meth abuse begin immediately after consumption.

“It has pretty marked health consequences pretty quick,” he said. “It’s like putting rocket fuel in a Volkswagen.”

Chandler said the energy spike is a central, initial appeal of meth.

“It gives you boundless energy,” Chandler said. “You lose weight, you feel like you’re on top of the world and can accomplish anything.”

But the side effects of the energy high are incredibly harmful. Chandler said meth can cause one to refuse food for days, refuse sleep and have panic-related hallucinations.

Once the high wears off, then comes the crash. The user will typically sleep for a few days, all the while not eating and furthering the unnatural weight loss.

“I could barely sleep at all,” Zach said. “I would wake up in the middle of the night, drooling, my muscles would be tensed up. It was gross.”

Chandler said all the side effects combine to make the drug more abused by women than men.

“This is the first drug where there were more women than men [abusing],” he said. “That energy, that thought that you can be super-mom, that sort of thing, was pretty appealing.”

But that’s just the short term effects.

Unlike heroin, meth use cannot kill, Chandler said. He said it can lead one to make poor decisions, which may result in death, but it cannot kill. But it can decay one’s life.

The following is a list of the long-term health consequences of meth abuse, provided by the Foundation for a Drug Free World:

  • Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain, high blood pressure leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
  • Liver, kidney and lung damage
  • Destruction of tissues in nose if sniffed
  • Respiratory (breathing) problems if smoked
  • Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
  • Malnutrition, weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Disorientation, apathy, confused exhaustion
  • Strong psychological dependence
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Damage to the brain similar to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and epilepsy

“From the inside out and the outside in, it really nails people,” Chandler said.

How the drug came to the U.S.

Meth is not new to the country, despite its recent popularity. It was actually used in World War II to keep troops awake on both sides. In the 1950s, it was prescribed to people as a diet aid and anti-depressant.

But in 1970, it was made illegal in the country, and 20 years later, Mexican drug cartels built their massive laboratories near the California-Mexico border, bringing meth to the community.

“Anyone that wants to get into it can access meth fairly easily,” Rich said.

“It’s disturbing to me to know that our country has such an insatiable appetite for these drugs,” said Lt. Dennis Harris with Utah County Major Crimes.

Harris said in addition to the large-scale labs, mom-and-pop meth shops were common 20 years ago.

“People were making methamphetamine in their bedrooms and their kitchens,” Harris said. “We as a task force were responding weekly to numerous meth labs.”

But Utah legislators banned many of the means and methods “cooks” used to make meth, making the kitchen labs uncommon.

Prior to this ban, Utah was one of the biggest distributors of precursor chemicals in the country, Harris said.

Its presence in Utah now

Since kitchen labs became less common, meth is primarily obtained through dealers, Rich said.

“Most of the meth we’re seeing is coming out of Mexico,” Rich said. “We used to have more homegrown labs. Every once in a while, we’ll have a lab, but usually they go to Salt Lake, get meth, come down here and deal.”

Salt Lake City, Rich said, is not only the capitol of the state but also the capitol of the meth underground. Many contacts from Mexico live in Salt Lake, he said, which may be why it is a hot-bed for drug distribution.

“I think you have, for a lack of better term, a better connection,” Rich said.

Meth-related arrests have occurred in every city in Utah County in 2015. The Provo/Orem area has more total arrests, but when it comes to arrests per capita, the cities are right on par with most of the county, according to statistics from arrest records.

But oftentimes, arresting a user, or even a dealer, is just scratching the surface of the meth business.

“Many times, we’re only hitting the tip of the iceberg,” Harris said. “[Distributors] may be distributing to 20-30 different people.”

“Utah is the crossroads of the West, literally,” Chandler said. “A lot of drugs, regardless of the flavor, that are made in Mexico come right up through here.”

Police prevention

Combating meth abuse is a constant battle as drugs seem to appear out of nowhere across the county. The major crimes task force works with other county agencies to fight crime in every city.

But drug dealers are becoming harder and harder to identify for police officers and even harder to track down.

“We’re always trying to stay a step ahead,” Rich said. “It’s tough because the people who bring it in are knowledgeable about their trade and they try to keep us a step behind.”

Rich said people who bring drugs into Utah County are very knowledgeable about the laws and about the parameters that they can work in. Those parameters, Rich said, are the most difficult part of the job.

Getting clean

Zach said he had an epiphany one day, after overdosing on several different drugs, that his life was going nowhere if he kept using.

“It just scared me so bad that I didn’t want to be living that life anymore,” he said.

This surprised him, because he never believed he could get clean.

“I was so far gone,” he said. “I never even thought when I was in the thick of it that I’d have the strength to stay clean for so long.”

Zach celebrated four years of sobriety on April 24. Zach went cold turkey when he got clean, but it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Zach went through intense cravings, and he said it felt like his body was in a constant hunger for drugs.

“The craving is really, really tough,” Chandler said. “The withdrawal from meth is actually pretty easy. … But getting over the craving is the hard part.”

Chandler said neurologically, the craving is damaging because of the intense emotions connected to memories of getting high. He said users remembered those highs and crave them, deeply.

But if the user can get clean, Zach said the hardest part was looking at who he was as an addict.

“I think the scariest thing was that you feel like you’re living in the world, but you have no sense of reality,” he said. “And you don’t realize that until you get sober when you realize how wrapped up you were.”


Zach said he has a lot of friends who still use drugs, and it hurts him to know there’s little he can do. He said the more one pushes, the greater the chance their loved one may push away.

“That’s the hardest part,” he said. “Obviously, you know what’s best for them and you just want them to get clean. But the decision must come from them.”

Harris said he tries to keep perspective to never lose hope in those he arrests.

“The thing I do understand is these people are someone’s child,” he said. “They are loved. There’s someone who deeply cares for them.

Rich said people need to recognize the signs of drug use and abuse to help prevent further damage to a user.

Though drug use within Utah County is statistically lower than more populous areas in the state, methamphetamine use still permeates through Utah County with people becoming addicted every day.

Meth is out in the public,” Rich said. “It is what it is. It’s highly addictive and it’s highly dangerous.”

For those addicted to meth, Zach urged that they find treatment as soon as they can.

“The longer it goes on, the harder it is to quit. The more people you’ll lose, the more relationships you wreck,” he said. “It will give you nothing but pain.”

Comments Off on Indiana leads nation in Methamphetamine lab busts, a growing concern for Indiana State Police officials

INDIANAPOLIS (March 31, 2014) — Indiana may be the new meth capital of the country. In 2013, the state led the nation with more than 1,700 methamphetamine busts, which outranked last year’s leader, Missouri.

Indiana made the top of the list last year, followed by Tennessee. Missouri is now ranked third, with Ohio and Illinois right behind.

Indiana State Police aren’t surprised by the numbers but called the issue a big concern. Officials attributed the spike in meth seizures to better policing and partnerships with communities.

However, those who make and deal meth are using new techniques to get around the law.

“They’re making more meth and more often,” said 1st Sgt. Niki Crawford, Commander of ISP’s Meth Suppression Section. “They’ve got somebody coming through their door on a regular basis with a box [of ingredients], and all they need is that box.”

It is a drug culture unlike any other — a world where dealers are addicts and make their own product. The key ingredient of meth, pseudoephedrine, is also cheap, easy to find and legal. It’s commonly found in cold and flu medicine on store shelves.

“We’ve got this whole culture that’s been created to subvert these laws,” said Crawford. “You’ve got people who will go out and spend $8 on a box of pseudoephedrine and in return will get $50 in drugs or cash.”

State laws limit the amount of pseudoephedrine each person can buy and require pharmacists to check IDs, but Crawford said those are not preventative measures.

Instead, groups of individuals known as “smurfs” will buy the maximum amount legally and add it together for large-scale production.

“What we have in the books should be there. The problem is they figured out ways to get around it,” said Crawford. “Just like any other crime, we are going to continue to fight.”

Other states like Oregon and Mississippi have taken extra steps to limit the sale of pseudoephedrine. They’ve enacted laws classifying the drug as a controlled substance, which would require a doctor’s prescription. Both states have seen a drop in meth seizures recently.

Comments Off on Multi Area Law Enforcement Task Force warning Ohio citizens of Methamphetamine lab dump sites on area roads

DEFIANCE, Ohio – The (MAN) is asking northwest Ohio citizens to be aware of possible methamphetamine lab dump sites along roadways.meth%20mgn

Individuals who manufacture methamphetamine often dispose of the cooking vessels and gas generators along roadways to avoid detection, posing explosion, fire and inhalation dangers to travelers and those picking up debris.

The MAN Unit requests citizens and organizations that pick up roadway debris use caution. Grabbers, chemical resistant gloves and fire resistant gloves should be used. Use adult supervision and educate the youth on what to look for. Those items include any bottle containing white granular substances with dark or metallic pieces mixed in. Also, any bottle with a rubber hose attached to the cap or with a lid that has a hole drilled in it with salt like substances inside.

The MAN Unit seized 95 meth labs in Williams, Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Putnam Counties in 2014.

If these bottles are located, contact your local law enforcement agency. You can also contact the MAN Unit at 419-782-8709.

Comments Off on Some addicts using Methamphetamine to aid them in their workplace performance – until it eventually catches up to them

188337-5c0a85a2-e7e4-11e4-9321-13d21702e16cMETHAMPHETAMINE is the new target of Australia’s police and drug agents as the country wrestles with an “ice epidemic.”

But despite the devastating effects, some are even turning to the drug to give them an edge in their professional pursuits. With the high pressure and fast paced environment of many workplaces, a competitive advantage can be appealing. No matter how extreme.

Tim is the director of a removalist transport company. He used ice for many years while at work. “I found that I could stay awake longer and get much more work done,” he told

Paula, aged in her 40s, previously worked for Microsoft as a software development engineer and admits she used the drug in a dangerous bid to boost her performance.

“I discovered meth in my early 30s and quickly realized the potential benefits to my career,” she told

While clean and sober now, she said she initially turned to the drug “due to the highly competitive environment and insane deadlines I faced on a daily basis.”

Earlier this month Tony Abbott announced a special task force to tackle the growing problem of methamphetamine addiction.

“As a citizen and as a parent I am appalled at what is happening on our streets and in our homes,” he said. But the Prime Minister made no mention of the workplace, where methamphetamine’s stamina kick is appealing to those desperate to get ahead.

Earlier in the month, an investigation by Victorian police revealed that one-in-12 truck drivers in Victoria are using the drug ice to fight off fatigue and keep driving longer. Last year 156 truck drivers were caught with methamphetamine in their systems and that number has already increased by 20 per cent this year.

As for Tim, his company has over 100 employees and he managed to conceal his habit from them, as well as his friends and family for three years.

Tim has been a self-described, “casual drug user” for most of his life. He first tried meth four years ago at the age of 32, when he was unable to purchase cocaine one evening.

“It was very compelling,” he recalled.

He said the stimulant allowed him to enjoy partying without cutting into his work life and eventually began using the dangerous drug to aid his performance on the job.

Tim’s senior role means he spends a lot of time in the office, sitting at his computer. “My e-mail inbox is my work life,” he joked.

When he needed an extra hit of energy, he was able to duck off with his pipe.

“I would be smoking a pipe in the toilets and blowing the smoke out the window,” he says.

“At the beginning I was strong and could use the extra focus.” But after a while “I was working longer but not better.”

He stopped going to the gym but would make sure to “eat well and take lots of vitamins” to prevent his appearance from diminishing too badly.

After three years of using the drug, Tim came clean to company management in what he says was a “terrifying” moment.

“The hardest part was the social stigma and finding specific and appropriate help for my privileged situation,” he says.

He eventually attended a Thai rehabilitation retreat called The Cabin, and was able to overcome the drug that he had been using as a professional crutch for so long.

The face of a methamphetamine user is becoming increasingly middle class and stories of high functioning addicts like Tim are not entirely unique.

“A high functioning addict denies they have a problem because of what they are achieving on a daily basis,” said psychologist Cameron Brown.

“They consider their substance abuse a reward or coping tool and a boost to help get them through their demanding day.”

Given the historical use of the drug, it’s not surprising that people have attempted to harness amphetamines (of which meth is a more potent version) to assist them.

In the 1930s, amphetamines became widely available in America in an over-the-counter inhaler used for nasal congestion, marketed under the name Benzedrine.

During the Second World War methamphetamine was used by both sides to allay fatigue in troops.

Today, variants of the stimulant can be found in prescription-only medicines used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy, according to the Australian Drug Foundation.

But the more pure and more potent version of methamphetamine can wreak havoc on the human body. Among the many harrowing physical long term effects include increased anxiety, paranoia, depression, heart and kidney problems and an increased risk of stroke.

The brutal murder of 10 month old baby Zayden during a Bendigo burglary in 2012 shows the depths of horror that can be 187377-bd03df28-ea39-11e4-bd2f-54c4d1c998c8brought about by using ice. Addict Harley Hicks was jailed for 32 years for beating the infant to death during a burglary spree while high on the drug.

It is an incredibly destructive substance and one police have called the biggest challenge facing them today.

Comments Off on Grandmother Lycrecia Vernon, 60, on Methamphetamine at time of Phoenix crash that killed her 3-year-old grandson Lucious, seriously hurt another woman

PHOENIX – A grandmother is facing several charges after she was found to have been under the influence of meth during a crash in February.KNXV%20Lycrecia%20Vernon_1429901313179_17269453_ver1_0_640_480

Lycrecia Vernon, 60, was reportedly driving erratically near 35th Avenue and Greenway Road, weaving through lanes and oncoming traffic in the early afternoon of February 18. She collided with a car driving the opposite direction near Beverly Lane, causing her car to roll and the victim’s car to catch fire.

A sample of Vernon’s blood found amphetamines, methamphetamines and alprazolam in her system.

Her 3-year-old grandson Lucious, who was in the car with her at the time, died nearly a month later after being on life support. He had been improperly buckled in the vehicle and suffered a severed spine, according to court documents.

The driver of the other vehicle had life-threatening injuries including several broken bones and internal complications. She had to be placed on a ventilator.

Vernon was arrested Thursday on counts of manslaughter, child abuse, aggravated assault and endangerment.

Comments Off on $70,000 bail set for Frank K. Knoblock Jr., a Lacey man accused of kidnapping and assaulting a female Thurston County Narcotics Task Force informant during a controlled Methamphetamine buy

A Thurston County judge set bail at $70,000 for Frank K. Knoblock Jr., a Lacey man accused of kidnapping and assaulting a Thurston County Narcotics Task Force informant.

Knoblock was arrested Wednesday and booked in the Thurston County Jail. He appeared before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor on Thursday.

Tabor found probable cause for three proposed charges: first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and felony harassment.

Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Thompson said Knoblock has a criminal history including nine felony convictions and 20 misdemeanor convictions.

Thurston County Narcotics Task Force detectives began investigating the suspect after a confidential informant reported that she had been kidnapped and assaulted by Knoblock during a controlled methamphetamine buy, according to court documents. The informant said she had climbed into a car with Knoblock and a female suspect in an attempt to buy methamphetamine, and they drove off with her inside. They took her to a house.

The informant reported that Knoblock held a handgun to her head while Knoblock and a female suspect questioned her about an attempted controlled buy earlier in the month. Knoblock told the informant that if he found out she was a snitch, there would be a bullet with her name on it.

The female suspect then drove the informant to a grocery store near her home, according to court documents.

Comments Off on Michael Rarer, 22, and Kenneth Cope, 48, both of Dassel, Charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, Sexual Assault of 12-Year-Old Girl at Dassel Home

kenneth-copeTwo Dassel men are charged after a report of a sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl who one met through social media, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Anoka County Sheriff’s office about the assaults. An investigation led to the search of a home on the 500 block of Maple Street in Dassel on April 22. Officers found drug-related items and about eight grams of methamphetamine, which they say are related to the alleged sexual assault.michael-rarer

Michael Rarer, 22, and Kenneth Cope, 48, both of Dassel were charged with first-degree criminal sexual assault. Rarer is charged with second-degree control substance crime and Cope is charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

According to the criminal complaint, Rarer met the 12-year-old girl at a shopping center in Coon Rapids and then drove her to his home in Dassel, where they started drinking with Cope on April 20. Rarer then brought the girl into his bedroom and had sex with her. He then left for work about 11 p.m.

The complaint states Cope and the girl continued to drink until he brought her into his bedroom and had sex with her and performed “oral sex” on the girl. The next morning Rarer returned from work and the victim reported to Rarer that Cope had sexually assaulted her. Rarer then gave a friend $20 to drive the girl to St. Cloud.

Rarer admitted to investigators he kissed the girl and she performed “oral sex” on him. He said he thought the girl was between 17 and 20 years old.

Cope told investigators Rarer brought home a girlfriend and they went to the liquor store to buy a case of beer and whiskey and started drinking. Cope said when Rarer left for work he kissed the girl and he had sex with her. Cope said the next morning Rarer made comments about how they both had sex with the girl. Cope also said he thought the girl was between 17 and 20.

Dassel is about 55 miles west of the Twin Cities.

Comments Off on Vivian Dania Jones, 34, and William Adam Jones, 31, both from Bamberg, arrested in Methamphetamine lab bust, had two small children in home

553ade689b859_imageBAMBERG – An investigation into possible illegal activities involving narcotics culminated in the arrest of two Bamberg residents on April 20.

William Adam Jones, 31 and Vivian Dania Jones, 34, both of 61 Azalea Avenue, were arrested on multiple charges related to the discovery of a meth lab at their home, according to a Bamberg Police Department incident report.

Numerous tips and complaints about activities at the Jones’ residence alerted police, who made contact with William Adam Jones and informed him they had received complaints of the possible manufacturing of methamphetamines in his residence.

Police had also acquired documentation related to the amount of Sudafed Jones and his wife had purchased.553ade68d123c_image

Two small children were present in the home when police arrived. Both the man and the woman denied having purchased the Sudafed for any reason other than use as medicine. The man became increasingly nervous in his behavior as he was being interviewed and also when officers asked if he had any objection to them looking around the house.

Bamberg’s K-9 Gracie was brought to the scene and immediately responded to the back bedroom, where officers found a trace amount of marijuana and what appeared to be meth manufacturing equipment. After donning protective gear, officers searched the rest of the residence and located numerous items related to the manufacture of meth. In addition, meth manufacturing waste was found outside in the back of the home.553add0383f0b_image

William Adam Jones and Vivian Dania Jones were both charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, disposal of methamphetamine waste and two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a minor.

Comments Off on Fred W. Pagan, 49, Senator Thad Cochran’s office manager in Washington, accused of distributing Methamphetamine for sex

JACKSON, Miss. — Sen. Thad Cochran’s office manager in Washington has been arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and allegedly told authorities he was exchanging drugs for sexual favors.635655129314493013-AP-SENATE-MISSISSIPPI-CAMPAIGNS-65279368

Fred W. Pagan, 49, a longtime Cochran staffer, is also accused of illegally receiving shipments from China of GBL, a controlled substance that’s often abused as a recreational drug itself or used to make the “date rape” drug GHB.

U.S. Customs agents allegedly detected GBL in a package from China addressed to Pagan’s home in Washington. On Thursday morning, Department of Homeland Security agents and D.C. police raided Pagan’s home, allegedly finding 181.5 grams of methamphetamine in plastic bags.

An affidavit by a Homeland Security agent said Pagan admitted he had received previous shipments of GBL from China, and that he had received the methamphetamine in a shipment from California — intending to exchange both drugs for sexual favors.

Pagan made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in D.C. on Friday, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and released on his own recognizance Friday afternoon, pending a May 14 hearing.

After his court appearance, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “a grand jury returned an indictment charging him with one count of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and one count of importation of a controlled substance. The first charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 40. The importation charge carries a maximum of 20 years.

The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation seeking a money judgment from proceeds from the alleged crimes.

Congressional staff records at show Pagan was paid $160,000 last year.

Cochran spokesman Chris Gallegos on Friday said Cochran was informed late Thursday afternoon that Pagan had been arrested on a drug-related charge, and that Cochran was headed to Mississippi late Friday.

“Sen. Cochran is disturbed and deeply saddened by the arrest of his long-time aide Fred Pagan,” Gallegos said, “and is suspending him of all duties pending the outcome of this case.”

Comments Off on Nicole Lynn Zabel, a/k/a Nicki Lynn Zabel, age 41, and Kenneth Ali Carman, age 42, both of Lincoln, indicted for conspiracy to distribute Methamphetamine

United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that on April 24, 2015, an Indictment was unsealed charging Nicole Lynn Zabel, a/k/a Nicki Lynn Zabel, age 41, and Kenneth Ali Carman, age 42, both of Lincoln, with conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine between January of 2010 and April of 2015.

The charge carries a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment, followed by at least five years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $10,000,000.

Both are scheduled for initial appearances in federal court in Lincoln on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

This case was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Drug Task Force.

Comments Off on Methamphetamine labs found in mobile home that exploded Friday night in Montgomery County; Charges pending for Christopher Rogers Tatum, 37

Montgomery County deputies say they found meth labs inside of a mobile home that exploded Friday night.

Investigators say Christopher Tatum went to a Roanoke hospital to get treatment for his injuries.

We’re told the investigation is ongoing, and criminal charges are pending.

Here is the release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office:

On April 24, 2015, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a complainant in reference to a male subject that was on fire at 1960 Burkette Road in Elliston, Virginia. Deputies from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Offie along with Elliston Fire Department and Shawsville Rescue Squad responded to the scene. The male subject was identified as Christopher Rogers Tatum, 37 years of age of 1960 Burkette Road. Christopher Tatum was flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The investigation into the cause of the fire and explosion at the residence was conducted by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Street Crimes Unit with assistance from the Christiansburg Police Department and Blacksburg Police Department. A search warrant was executed at the residence. The investigation found that the occupants of the residence were manufacturing methamphetamine. The search located numerous methamphetamine precursor chemicals and 2 One Pot methamphetamine labs. The investigation is still on going at this time and criminals charges are pending. Any addition questions can be forwarded to Chief Deputy Robbie Hall of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.


Emergency crews are at the scene of a home that exploded in Montgomery County.

Investigators say the explosion happened inside a mobile home on Burkette Road in Ironto.

A man was flown to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with severe burns.

Investigators are executing a search warrant to see if meth caused the explosion.

Comments Off on Brown County Sheriff’s Deputies make return visit to Brownwood home, seize 57 grams of Methamphetamine; John Salazar, 49, arrested for second time in six weeks

Standing outside a northwest Brownwood home Friday morning, sheriff’s investigator Scott Bird wryly noted the condition of the home’s front door. 553aa85c443aa_image

The white metal door at 1617 Lane bears two sets of dents. One set occurred on March 13, when the sheriff’s office’s tactical team including Bird bashed in the door to serve a search and arrest warrant. Deputies seized 100 grams of methamphetamine and arrested John Salazar, 49.

The other set occurred at 8:50 a.m. Friday — exactly six weeks later — when the tactical team returned to the home to serve a search and arrest warrant. This time, deputies seized 57 grams of methamphetamine and arrested Salazar once again, sheriff’s Capt. Vance Hill said. Deputies also seized cash, Hill said, declining to say how much.

Salazar, who was free on $40,000 bond from the March 13 arrest, was taken to the Brown County Jail after Friday’s raid. He had not been booked into the jail as of Friday afternoon.

Narcotics detective Robert Ramirez conducted the investigation and obtained the search and arrest warrant that led to Friday morning’s raid, Hill said. “Entry was forced into the residence and the defendant was taken into custody without opposition,” Hill said.

Hill declined to reveal details of the investigation that led deputies back to Salazar’s home, but said, “just because we put somebody in jail doesn’t mean we stop investigating them.”

Deputies found the methamphetamine in two locations on the property, Hill said. He would not elaborate.

Deputies remained at the property for about two hours after making the entry, searching inside the home and outside, also looking through vehicles on the property.

Salazar remained in a holding cell as of Friday afternoon awaiting booking, deputy Jim Cornelius

Quitting Methamphetamine Alone, Together

Posted: 24th April 2015 by Doc in Uncategorized
Comments Off on Quitting Methamphetamine Alone, Together

This week we’re exploring the Blind Spot, a look at teens who are abusing substances, but aren’t being caught by the system set up to help them. In this story, KSKA’s Anne Hillman spoke with a couple relying on each other to end their methamphetamine addiction.

Two young women sit in an empty classroom, their hands entwined. A knit cap is pulled low over Madison’s shaggy hair, and a Batman belt holds up her baggy pants. Kylie wears a pastel hoodie over her thin body and tight jeans. One of them is still a minor, so their names have been changed here.

More than a year ago, before ever meeting, they had both dropped out of school. But recently they re-enrolled.

They met when Madison joined her friend for dinner at Kylie’s dad’s house. Madison remembers the meal going well. “They had meatloaf,” she recalled, before adding, “and I met her.”

By then, Madison had already started using meth.

“I was downtown Anchorage, in the JC Penny stairwell,” Madison said, recalling her first hit. “Believe it or not, a lot of people do drugs in all those places. So if you ever see people standing in the stairwell: they’re probably doing drugs.”

But then, after meeting Kylie, Madison stopped. She knew Kylie had grown up in a house where her father and older siblings often used drugs. Madison didn’t want her to have to deal with a girlfriend who was using, too.

Then Madison relapsed. With Kylie’s dad. And that was when Kylie decided it was time for her to try it, too. Part of the reason was she’d felt cut out of the family for not using. “I was closer to my family if I did it,” Kylie said.

Younger siblings were allowed to stay around when drugs came out because they didn’t know what was going on. Kylie, however, was older, and kept away when meth was around. But when she started using, she could stay.

That started Madison Kylie on a six-month bender with friends and family members. They estimate they used thousands of dollars worth of drugs, but paid almost nothing for them. The meth made them escape.

“It makes you feel cut off from your emotions,” Madison explained. You just kind of get lost in this different world.”

The two of them would go days forgetting to eat or sleep. For Kylie the whole thing started with wanting to try it one time.

“And six months later you’re like 100 pounds and nobody—your own family—doesn’t want to be around you,” Kylie recalled. “It’s awful.”

They didn’t even like each other. Madison is whiny when she’s high, according to Kylie. Although Kylie is annoying in her own ways. “She’s just everywhere and then she’s not everywhere. And she’s always writing letters. Always writing, writing,” Madison contends. “And then she never sends the letters anyway.”

But when Kylie is off drugs, she’s a completely different person, a person Madison loves.

“She laughs a lot and she’s really goal-orientated, too, when she’s sober. She wants to get things done,” Madison said. “She looks out for herself.”

On the days they didn’t use meth, that’s the person Madison would see. And she detected a similar change in herself. She’d always known using meth was a bad idea, but it was seeing those differences in the people around her made her realize she needed a change if she was ever going to reach the goals she made for herself.

So Madison set an ultimatum for Kylie: If they were ever adults with a family they never wanted their kids to have a mother who was as messed up as she herself had been.

“It sounds really harsh,” Madison chimed in.

“But it’s the truth,” Kylie added. “She said that we didn’t need to set goals for when we had kids, we needed to do it before, so we were ready to have kids.”

Madison wanted to show Kylie a better life than she’d had. But Madison is also the one who first prompted Kylie to try meth. So why does Kylie still trust her?

“Nobody’s ever told me that they supported me or they believed in me,” Kylie explained, “but she has.”

In order to get clean the young couple had to get away from everyone who was still using, so they went to live with friends in Wasilla.

“If you try to quit and you’re still around all those people that do drugs”—Kylie starts.

“–It makes it a thousand times harder,” Madison swoops in, finishing the sentence for her. It’s part of an increasingly normal relationship between the two of them, squabbling over housework, and supporting each other through intensely personal choices.

“You have to make the decision to leave and get better for yourself,” Madison says. Although knowing that does not make it easier. Madison has relapsed since trying to get off meth. But she knows that is part of the process.

Both women say it’s hard, but that together they’re trying.

The Blind Spot: Spaces Between Statistics

The Blind Spot: A System of Order Over Chaos

The Blind Spot: Harm Reduction at the Transit Center

The Blind Spot: Beyond No-Man’s Land

Anne Hillman and Zachariah Hughes received Alaska Press Club data journalism fellowships, which helped them produce this story. The training program was funded by the Alaska Community Foundation and Recover Alaska.

Krystal%20ScroggsWARRENSBURG, Mo.  —  A Pleasant Hill woman was found guilty Thursday of second-degree murder in the October 2013 death of her newborn baby from methamphetamine intoxication.

Authorities searching for drugs found the baby weeks later entombed in a tub of concrete in the family’s garage.

A Johnson County, Mo., jury, which heard the case after a change of venue, also convicted Krystal Scroggs, 30, of endangering the welfare of a child and abandonment of a corpse. All are felonies. Her husband is still awaiting trial on the same charges.

As Judge R. Michael Wagner read the verdict, Scroggs stood quietly with her hands clasped behind her back.

The baby died because Scroggs did not seek medical attention for him, Cass County assistant prosecutor Jamie Hunt argued during the trial. Scroggs feared authorities would learn of her drug use if she sought medical care, Hunt said.

“She knows when that baby is born, it will have methamphetamine in its system,” Hunt said during closing arguments. “Questions will be asked, tests will be run. … It was more important to her to protect her secret (drug use) than to protect her child’s life.”

Scroggs’ defense attorney, John Picerno, contended that the state did not prove that the baby would have survived had he received medical care because of the elevated levels of meth found in his system.

“You tell me how a baby is supposed to survive that,” Picerno said during his closing argument. “It’s impossible.”

Under the law, Scroggs could not be tried for the damage her drug use did to the baby while it was in her womb. But after he was born, Scroggs became legally responsible for his well-being.

Scroggs delivered the baby on the floor of her bedroom. He struggled to breathe initially, according to the prosecution. Shortly after giving birth, Scroggs fell asleep. When she later awoke, the baby had died.

Her husband, Matthew Scroggs, allegedly placed the corpse in a large, rope-handled tub along with items such as a baby bottle, pacifiers and infant formula and filled the tub with concrete. The prosecution pointed to that as evidence the couple wanted to hide the baby.

“If the defendant … had her way, nobody would have ever known (the baby) even existed,” Hunt said.

Pleasant Hill police found the tub while searching the garage for drug paraphernalia.

Diane Peterson, a forensic pathologist for the Jackson County medical examiner, found that the baby had 751 milligrams of methamphetamine in his system, which is enough to kill a non-addicted adult.

When the jury left the courtroom to begin its deliberations, Scroggs asked permission to hug her grandmother. She was allowed to do so. Scroggs thanked her grandmother for coming and told her she loved her.

The jury deliberated for about four hours.

Scroggs’ sentencing was scheduled for 10 a.m. June 15. She faces up to life in prison. Her bond was enhanced to $500,000 following the conviction.

Scroggs also is charged with four additional counts of endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree because it was discovered that her four other children had traces of methamphetamine in their hair. A trial date for those charges has not been set.

Those children are in the custody of extended family.

Matthew Scroggs is charged with second-degree murder, five counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, abandonment of a corpse and first-degree tampering with a motor vehicle. His trial is set for June 1.

Comments Off on Staying a Step Ahead of Methamphetamine Cookers

Pseudoephedrine is a common ingredient found in cold medications – and in methamphetamines. Federal regulations set the following limits on sales of drugs with those ingredients to individuals: 3.6 grams per day and 7.5 grams per 30 days. Stores and vendors are also required to keep them in a locked cabinet, examine photo IDs and train employees. These are big changes from years ago.37981

 “We used to get bottles of 100 tablets, 30 milligrams, 100 tablets. And it would be kept on the shelf, just like Benadryl or anything like that,” said Supervising Pharmacist at Lourdes Pharmacy Todd Landry.

But law enforcement says meth cookers are finding ways around these regulations.

 “They commonly use a technique called smurfing. They employ a group of people who go to pharmacies throughout the area and they all obtain that maximum amount of pseudoephedrine that they can,” said Detective Sgt. Matt Cower of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office.

These smurfs can take many forms – some taking part in meth production knowingly, and some not.

 “The cooks themselves will actually obtain their legal amount of pseudoephedrine and then they’ll also employ users. They’ll give them money sometimes. Sometimes they’re using people who are elderly. They’ll just give money and say, ‘Hey, can you purchase a package of pseudophedrine for me? I have a cold.'”

Pharmacists, like those at Lourdes Pharmacy, use a computer database, scanning IDs to keep track of people’s purchases of medications with these ingredients. Along with high-tech tools, police say educating the public could help keep key ingredients out of the hands of meth cooks.

People don’t fall victim to the whole idea of, ‘Hey, can you take some of my money, will you go in and buy me some pseudoephedrine. The general public doesn’t understand that is one of the main ingredients, precursors to meth,” said Cower.

Comments Off on Officials say white-supremacist gang leader, Christopher Henry, 36, ran massive Methamphetamine ring from his Georgia prison cell inside Wilcox State Prison

SAVANNAH, GA. | Described as a high-ranking leader of a 3,000-member white supremacist prison gang, Christopher Henry has spent the last three years inside Wilcox State Prison.christopher-henry

But 36-year-old Henry’s imprisonment inside the medium security facility within the city limits of tiny Abbeville, Ga., has done little to hinder his ability to run a large-scale drug operation outside the prison system.

All it really took, said Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team Director Everette Ragan, was an illegal cellphone, a web of criminals and a dedicated wife.

In October 2013, the narcotics team and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration began an investigation into the distribution of crystal methamphetamine within Chatham County. The investigation quickly took agents outside of Coastal Georgia, Ragan said.

Eighteen months after the initial investigation — dubbed Operation Fire and Ice — began, nearly 50 people from across the state have been indicted on drug conspiracy charges, and Henry’s meth ring has been dismantled.

“This ranks as probably one of the very best methamphetamine investigations we’ve had,” Ragan said Wednesday during a news conference at the counter narcotics team’s Headquarters.

“This operation is a great example of how [Counter Narcotics Team] protects the citizens of Chatham County and how [Counter Narcotics Team] has the ability to see an investigation from beginning to end, even going beyond the borders of Chatham County.

Ragan’s agents not only infiltrated the drug organization, but also tailed distributors to metro Atlanta and eventually conducted undercover purchases of the synthetic narcotics. Continued investigation through a partnership with more than a dozen local, state and federal law enforcement agencies revealed the connection to Henry, his wife Regina Henry and other members of the Ghost Face Gangsters, a gang of white supremacists mostly in southeastern U.S. prisons and jails affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood and known for using violent tactics and distributing methamphetamine, Ragan said.

Henry is serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault in Newton County, his third state prison sentence since 2005.

Over the course of the investigation Counter Narcotics Team agents with partner agencies executed search warrants in Chatham, Effingham, Henry, DeKalb and Newton counties and seized about $100,000 worth of crystal meth, nearly $24,000 in cash, 38 firearms and a car. Nearly all of the guns were in possession of a convicted felon, CNT spokesman Gene Harley said.

On April 15, the Chatham County Grand Jury indicted Christopher and Regina Henry and 46 others associated with their meth operation on charges of attempt/conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, trafficking methamphetamine, sale of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and hindering apprehension.

Six of the people who were indicted remain at large and are believed to be in the Coastal Georgia area, Ragan said. They are David Cary, Deborah Hall, Lisa Michelle Davis, Jessica Kight, Ashleigh Craig and Dennis Rauch. Of those indicted, 32 had previous felony convictions, Harley said, adding that 29 had prior arrests in Chatham County. Those indicted could face additional charges, including charges under the state’s gang statute.

At least one of the suspects has already pleaded guilty, Ragan said.

Zachary Hughes, a mid-level dealer officials said was connected to Regina Henry, agreed to a 25-year prison sentence with 10 years to serve. He had no prior criminal record, Ragan added.

Others indicted in Chatham County face prosecution in other parts of the state. Regina Henry is being held in the Newton County jail on racketeering charges related to Ghost Face Gangster activity including meth distribution and conspiracy to commit murder.

Ragan said he has concerns the operation could pick back up inside the state’s prisons. He said law enforcement officials were working hand-in-hand with the Georgia Department of Corrections to keep drugs and phones out of prisons.

“Phones in prison is a very common thing,” he said. “Drug sales being worked and negotiated … out of prison was very common in this case. So we still have our partners taking a lead in that part of investigation.

“This is a continuing investigation that we’re working very hard on to keep our citizens safe and keep these drugs and weapons out of our community.”

Comments Off on Several 1 Pot Methamphetamine Lab Bottles Dumped on Roadside in Neffs Area

Belmont County, Ohio – Law enforcement agencies discovered several one pot meth lab bottles along the side of the road Thursday in the Neffs area.7548127_G

Troopers from the Ohio State Patrol Investigation Unit say they were walking the road side of  SR 149 between mile markers 3 and 5, following up on an ongoing investigation of meth lab dumps. While walking, they say they discovered five one pot bottles of meth along with some of the components that go with them.7548217_G

An officer with the Belmont County Drug Task Force was contacted and assisted the troopers in the disposal of all bottles and components.

Authorities say a syringe was also found at a separate location.

The investigation is ongoing.