Comments Off on Breaking Bad drug flooding Irish jails: Crystal Methamphetamine ‘turning lags into walking zombies’

Lethal crystal meth is flooding Irish jails turning inmates into “walking zombies”, we can reveal.

A prison source said crystal meth – short for methamphetamine– can be bought for as little as €20 a bag in prison, which would typically give the user four to five hits.

The highly-addictive drug, which is smoked or injected, causes paranoia. It is considered dangerous as it causes addicts to need a hit every two hours.

The source said: “Crystal meth is only a recent phenomenon in prisons.

“Drugs such as heroin, cocaine and hash are the main drugs that are smuggled in.

“However, there has been an emergence of inmates who use drugs taking crystal meth.

“It’s extremely dangerous as it makes the user extremely paranoid. They are basically like zombies. It’s one of the most addictive drugs out there and users become extremely desperate and violent in some circumstances if they can’t get it.

“The fear is it will become increasingly more popular in time as it’s cheaper than other similar drugs like heroin.

“Despite there being good drug detection methods in place inmates still manage to get it in.

“They are constantly coming up with new ways of smuggling drugs and other contraband.”

Crystal meth was at the center of acclaimed American TV series Breaking Bad.

Addicts use the drug more regularly than they would an opiate like heroin.

A source last night said that the drug, which is also rife on the streets of Dublin, is primarily made abroad – mostly in Chinese meth labs – and smuggled in.

A similar drug increasingly more popular in jails is Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, or MDPV for short.

It is a psychoactive stimulant which causes euphoria, increased alertness, awareness, motivation and energy, as well as boosting sexual stimulation.

The drug’s effects last for six to eight hours and high doses have been known to cause panic attacks, sleep withdrawal and psychosis.

Users are at risk of blood-borne diseases, but there is also a lot of concern over the potential for mental health issues.





Police in Guangdong have incinerated a staggering 400 tons of crystal meth ingredients, almost a year after a massive police raid in southern China shut down a major production hub for the drug.  tpbje201401030eb_40103759

It took 15 trucks several days to ferry the cargo comprising crystal meth and its precursors – weighing the equivalent of 10 private jets – from police depots to pits in Lufeng city, Guangdong, the Southern Metropolis Daily said on Monday.

Local police could not be reached on Monday.

On Sunday, the 400 tons were incinerated, the newspaper said.

This is far larger than the 16.2 tons of crystal meth seized by Chinese authorities in 2012 alone, based on information provided by national authorities to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. Seizures have more than quadrupled over the preceding decade.

The incineration operation was meant to prevent the recirculation of the precursor material, which could have further spurred the booming production and trade of methamphetamines in southern China._pek02_40101761

China dismantled 228 clandestine laboratories producing methamphetamine in 2012, UNODC data shows.

Over the last years, police throughout China had traced meth precursor deliveries to villages near Lufeng, about 200 kilometers east of Hong Kong. In October last year, Guangdong police released a list of 109 wanted drug traders along with their residential addresses, all in Lufeng.

“In the past, everyone knew that they were producing crystal meth in the village,” a police official in Lufeng told the Southern Metropolis Daily. “It was impossible to get into the village and make arrests; one would be surrounded by villagers.”

The raid that led to the seizure on December 29 last year involved more than 3,000 paramilitary police. State media reported the arrest of 182 people in the operation and the seizure of almost three tons of crystal meth.

Village Communist party secretary Cai Dongjia was among those arrested in the raid for tolerating the drug cartel in the village.

Most of the white bags containing seized precursors burned on Sunday were filled with ephedra, a type of hemp, which contains key precursor chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.ephera

Used in the treatment of asthma and seasickness, the shrubs that thrive on Lufeng’s sandy soil can be easily turned into the profitable narcotics.

The burnt ephedra could have produced almost two tons of crystal meth, police estimated.





The Nov. 12 trial of a Portland-area man accused of using a website known as Silk Road — or the “eBay of drugs” to run a methamphetamine trafficking and money laundering ring began in U.S. federal court last week. His case was an example one of an unknown number of Portland-based criminals who used the site to sell drugs to customers around the region and around the world.jason_weld_hagen_360_382_90

Jason Hagen, 40, of Clark County Washington and his three co-defendants earned $607,220 selling a total of 17 pounds of methamphetamine on 3,169 occasions. The group allegedly shipped methamphetamine to buyers around the country and world after connecting with them online, according to court documents.

The site they used, Silk Road, operated behind a wall of encryption. Feds said the site allowed vendors to openly advertise their illegal goods and services, which included listings for drugs, guns, stolen credit card and PIN data, contact lists and hacking services for sale and murder-for-hire. The site was shut down in October 2013 and relaunched a month later as Silk Road 2.0, only to be shut down again earlier this month, according to authorities.

Feds claim that by September 2014, the site was generating approximately $8 million per month in revenue with over 150,000 regular users who believed they were visiting the site anonymously.

Peter Edge, the executive associate director of Homeland Security Investigations, said the site, and 27 other darknet sites that were seized in early November as part of Operation Onymous, created a safe-haven for illegal vices and, “allowed illicit black-market activities to evolve and expand,” meaning regular crimes are riding the cyber-wave.

Hagen obtained an Oregon driver’s license under a fictitious name and later used his fake identity to open a Chase bank account that he used to launder the profits from his business. He under the Silk Road website monicker “hammertime,” selling a gram of methamphetamine for around $1,000, according to court documents.

Hagen’s group deposited money into PayPal accounts in increments of $22,000 and accepted Western Union wires from Cambodia in increments of $2,500, and even accepted over $100,000 in prepaid debit cards, according to the indictment.

Hagen and his cohorts, however, are just a number of Portland-area online drug dealers and customers who used a website known as “the eBay of drugs.”

A review of online message boards revealed that a number of people involved in the online drug trade referenced Portland in their screen names used to visit the site. Some vendors who self-identified themselves as Portlanders achieved reputations as top-level dealers; like a Silk Road vendor known as “Roses Garden,” who allegedly shipped medical grade marijuana-infused foods.

Since the site has gone down, a number of drug dealers and customers have been scrambling for answers, or scrambling for their money.

One vendor wrote that they had lost over $45,000 in the seizure.

“We are almost bankrupted so there’s really nothing we can do,” the vendor wrote. “We’ll be starting all over again here mate.”

The SilK Road marketplace was hosted on the “deep web—” a hidden part of the internet where all traffic is encrypted through the Tor network. Tor is an acronym that stands for “the onion router” because its encryption has many layers. The National Security Administration referred to Tor as the most secure way to use the internet, according to slides released by contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In the wake of the FBI and other agencies seizing the servers that hosted a number of online hidden markets including Silk Road, many Tor users are becoming increasingly concerned that the entire Tor network — which is also used for legal purposes by law enforcement officers, whistleblowers and journalists in danger — may be compromised.

Shortly after Silk Road 2.0 was taken down Nov. 6, another pre-existing drug market rebranded itself as Silk Road 3.0. With no shortage of people to fill the voids left when drug dealers go down, it may not be long before we see another Silk Road defendant in Portland federal court.






Comments Off on Floyd County Police: Methamphetamine needle found in bra of Debra Glen Thomas, 57, of Rome, after traffic stop


A Rome woman accused of having drug-related paraphernalia in her bra during a traffic stop in Silver Creek was arrested Saturday, according to Floyd County Jail records.

According to jail records:

Floyd County police officers arrested Debra Glen Thomas, 57, of 108 Black’s Bluff Road, during a traffic stop on Jack Street at Woodruff Street around 8:50 p.m.

She was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of drug-related objects and failure to maintain lane.

Police said Thomas was driving in the middle of the road when patrol officers stopped her.

During the stop, police discovered Thomas had a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine.

Thomas had a glass smoking pipe caked with a white crystal residue suspected to also be methamphetamine and a needle in her bra believed to be used to administer the drug.

In Thomas’s purse, officers found two pills believed to be the anti-anxiety medication, Xanax.




The days of mom and pop methamphetamine labs may be drawing to a close in the US. It’s not that meth is any less popular — consumption numbers remain steady — but the dwindling supply generated from the cottage industry is being quickly replaced by transnational Mexican cartels.mexicans1

The number of labs — think Breaking Bad-style motor homes in middle America — has fallen from almost 24,000 in 2004, to 11,573 in 2013, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) data reported by the Associated Press. The 2013 seizures are a slight increase of 363 from 2012. For the first time in more than a decade, the number of cooking operations in America’s meth heartland has shown a consistent decline, at least according to the stats the feds are publicizing. It now seems the drug is coming up from south of the border.

Meth seizures along the border have spiked, according to DEA seizure data obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request made by VICE News. In California, for example, the feds captured more than three and a half metric tons of the drug in 2013, up from 2012’s half a ton, and lesser amounts in years past.

Texas showed a startling increase as well — with the feds seizing one and a half metric tons, versus about 350 kilos in 2012. The trend continues through Arizona, where more than one metric ton was seized in 2013 compared with about 220 kilos in 2012.

New Mexico was the only border state where seizures have remained relatively flat in recent history, according to the DEA documents.

The spike in border seizures is likely the result of multinational crime syndicates dominating the American methamphetamine market, according to Sergeant Jason Grellner of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, the local law enforcement agency in a meth-plagued part of Missouri. The upshot, Grellner said, is that police are now devoting fewer resources to busting local labs.

‘There used to be predictable places to find meth cookers, but those spots have long been abandoned.’

“The good thing for the communities is this: meth is a horrible drug that decimates the user, and the labs are manpower intensive to destroy,” Grellner told VICE News. “With [mom and pop] labs, it’s like swatting mosquitoes in July. And now we can go back to working drugs in a traditional and effective manner.”

When cops destroy labs, they often have to wear hazmat suits, deal with extremely hazardous chemicals, and face imminent danger from meth addicts. According to Grellner, the labs are often chemically volatile, sometimes causing collateral damage when they burst into flames. Hospital burn wards in some states have been overwhelmed by meth addicts.

There are several reasons for the decline in the cottage meth industry, Grellner explained.

One is that the cartels have been improving their product for years. In late 2010, imported meth was about 55 percent pure, then 60 percent in late 2011, and in 2012 it was close to 100 percent pure. Grellener theorized that’s because the cartel chemists have managed to alter one of meth’s isomers, turning L-methamphetamine, which is commonly used to relieve congestion, into D-methamphetamine, which is the component that gets a person buzzed.

“They can split the isomers, and get rid of the L isomer, and so the meth coming in is just as good as what we’re making here. [The cartels] spent a lot of money in research and development,” Grellner said.

Because the cartels do not have legal access to pseudoephedrine — a common ingredient in cold medication in the US that is virtually illegal in Mexico — the development is a major breakthrough. The resulting price drop has flooded the market with cheap meth.

It’s also becoming difficult for American cooks to find cheap cooking ingredients, though still not impossible due to the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying efforts to keep pseudoephedrine available over the counter. Since small time chemists have been unable to readily replace that key compound in their recipes, it’s become increasingly difficult to compete with the high purity, low cost product the cartels have released on the black market.

Cartel meth isn’t restricted to middle America. The Southwest border region has long been a major trafficking artery for cartels moving product to major drug markets across the US and in Canada.

A law enforcement officer in Northern California, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized by his agency to talk to the media, said that a recent raid interdicted several pounds of pure meth that was in a vacuum-packed bag and wrapped in coffee grounds to hide the smell.

The discovery of Mexico’s first coca plantation could upend the cocaine business. Read more here.

The law enforcement officer explained that the meth he sees on the streets in the Bay Area is no longer the kind coming from a couple of guys cooking the drug up in a trailer. And it’s been years, maybe as long as a decade, since he’s seized low-purity, brown meth — commonly referred to as Anthrax or Thrax.

“There used to be predictable places to find meth cookers, but those spots have long been abandoned,” he said. “No one’s talking about tipping a joint with ‘Thrax’ anymore.”

Aside from the West Coast drug corridors, the DEA seizure data stats suggest large portions of the meth shipped to America’s heartland moves across the Texas desert. Grellner said Interstate 70, which runs through Kansas City, is serving as a distribution hub for the region, allowing the cartels to move their product to neighboring states such as Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

“Interdiction task forces continue to make arrests and seizures [of drugs from this trafficking route] in Iowa, and as far away as Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta is a huge hub for cartel meth,” Grellner said.

Considering the remarkable increase in meth seizures along the border and the corresponding drop in lab busts in the now-shrinking meth heartland, it’s clear the enforcement burden has shifted from local and state law enforcement to the feds. The problem, of course, is the that the porous border with Mexico has historically been difficult, if not impossible, to entirely police. Given the colossal failure of America’s war on drugs, it’s not entirely clear what — if anything — the authorities will be able to do about this new source of cheap, potent meth.






Comments Off on Minnesota man, 24-year-old Edgar Cisneros Jr., charged with possessing nearly $500,000 worth of Methamphetamine

OWATONNA, Minnesota — Prosecutors have charged an East Bethel man with possessing nearly $500,000 worth of methamphetamine.

A state trooper arrested 24-year-old Edgar Cisneros Jr. with 10 pounds of the drug in his vehicle during a traffic stop Wednesday on Interstate 35 in Steele County, the Owatonna People’s Press ( ) reported. According to court documents, the trooper saw the vehicle didn’t have any visible registration and the driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The trooper noticed as he approached that the vehicle smelled of air fresheners and that several were hanging inside. Cisneros told the trooper he was coming from California and gave the trooper consent to search the vehicle.

The trooper found 10 packages, each containing a pound of methamphetamine, in the fenders. He also found paperwork in the glove box showing bank account numbers, wire transfer receipts and bank receipts totaling $8,600.

Owatonna police said the methamphetamine has a street value of about $100 a gram, so the 10 pounds of drugs the trooper found are worth about $453,592.

Prosecutors charged him with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance and importing a controlled substance across state lines. He faced a maximum sentence of 65 years and $2.25 million in fines if he’s convicted.

Cisneros was being held in the Steele County Detention Center on $250,000 bail. He was due to appear in court on Nov. 24.

The Associated Press contacted the detention center on Saturday and asked if Cisneros was available for comment. Officials there said they weren’t allowed to take messages for inmates and didn’t know if Cisneros had an attorney.



Comments Off on Tigard Police arrest two 15-year-old girls after chase in stolen minivan; 44-year-old Kelly Ferguson supplied the girls with Methamphetamine

TIGARD, Ore. – Tigard police arrested two 15-year-old girls accused of stealing a minivan early Thursday morning.

The girls stole the minivan from a convenience store parking lot just before 3 a.m. while the driver delivered newspapers to the store, according to Jim Wolf with Tigard police.

An officer spotted the van and the suspects pulled over after a brief pursuit on Upper Boones Ferry Road, police said. The officer took the girls to the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center.

The girls told police they were from the Medford area and they ran away from home. They said they met a man, later identified as 44-year-old Kelly Ferguson, who picked them up while they hitchhiked on Interstate 5.

The girls told police they spent a lot of time with Ferguson while he worked as a lighting repairman in Wilsonville, Tualatin and Tigard. They said Ferguson used methamphetamine and offered it to them.

Ferguson helped them find a car to steal so they could drive home to Medford, the girls told police.

Officers found Ferguson at one of his job sites in Tualatin and arrested him on charges including possession of methamphetamine and distribution of meth to a minor.

Police said the parents of both girls were notified about their arrest.



Comments Off on U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña: 37 white supremacists, associates from Mesquite, Rowlett, elsewhere face Methamphetamine and drug counts

Following a law enforcement operation led by the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division (DPS-CID), 37 individuals have been charged with federal offenses stemming from their respective roles in a drug distribution conspiracy that operated in North Texas and elsewhere from January 2013 to October 2014, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Defendants who were charged and who are in custody include:

  • George Pass, aka “Tennessee,” 40, of Desoto
  • Rhonda Long, aka “Queen Saltine,” 51, of Mesquite
  • Brandon Crow, 29, of Garland
  • Nia Reed, 27, of Rowlett
  • John Carl Hall, aka “Scooter,” 34, of Dallas
  • Cesar Zarate, 26, of Duncanville
  • Sarah West, 27, of Dallas
  • Bradley Wiltcher, 40, of Dallas
  • Michael Bass, aka “Sleepy,” 45, of Dallas
  • Patrick Penney, aka “Pacman,” 29, of Mesquite
  • Clifton Clowers, 36, of Mesquite
  • Michael McCoy, aka “Bam Bam,” 45, of Garland
  • Christopher Jacobo, aka “Taco Chris,” 39, of Garland
  • Jason Eastham, 34, of Mesquite
  • Cheyenne Miller, aka “CJ,” 36, of Mesquite
  • Christopher Arnold, aka “Phreek,” 40, of Denison
  • Sean Sharer, aka “Cowboy Sean,” 42, of Mesquite
  • Alysha Hayes, 22, of Rowlett
  • Jaclyn Hooker, aka “Queen Bee,” 36, of Mesquite
  • Francisco Coronado, aka “Frank,” 27, of Dallas
  • Kenneth Etter, 25, of Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Joseph Tenpenny, 29, of Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Dusty Bryant, 21, of Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Gregory Oldfield, aka “Casper,” 41, of Garland
  • Casey Rose, 35, of Mesquite
  • Matthew Hays, aka “Cody,” 32, of Richardson
  • Patricia Tucker, aka “Peppermint Patty,” 44, of Mesquite
  • Jeffrey Heathington, 37, of Point
  • Richard Garcia, aka “Charlie Brown,” 38, of Dallas
  • Michael Atkins, aka “Duke,” 38, of Garland
  • William McDowell, aka “Scout,” 33, of Mesquite
  • Christy McCellon, aka “90,” 38, of Quitman

The just-unsealed superseding indictment in the case charges each of the above defendants with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  In addition, each of the defendants, with the exception of Garcia and McCellon, is charged with one substantive count of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.  Penney is also charged with one substantive count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.   Crow and Garcia are also each charged with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Three other individuals, Eliezer Jarillo Gonzalez, 22, Alejando Ornelas, 33 and Javier Eduardo Dominquez, 23, all of Dallas, were also arrested and have been charged in a federal criminal complaint with their roles in the conspiracy.

According to the indictment, the defendants were members of, or associated with, various white supremacist organizations, including the “Aryan Brotherhood of Texas” (ABT), the “Aryan Circle,” the “Irish Mob,” and the “Dirty White Boys.”  Despite their differences, they would often collaborate for purposes of drug distribution or other illegal ventures.  The indictment alleges that since January 2013, the defendants conspired together, and with others, to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  According to the indictment, the defendants used stash houses and other locations to store the quantities of methamphetamine.  Each of the co-conspirators was linked to one another either directly or through another co-conspirator.  Certain co-conspirators acted as hubs for narcotics trafficking, supplying methamphetamine to numerous other co-conspirators. Throughout the investigation, over 16 pounds of methamphetamine and five firearms were seized.

A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury.  A complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge; the government has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.

A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty.  If convicted, however, the statutory maximum penalty for each count of the drug trafficking conspiracy is life in federal prison and millions of dollars in fines.  The statutory maximum penalty for each substantive count of possession of methamphetamine or heroin with the intent to distribute is twenty years.  The maximum statutory penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm is ten years.  The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which would require the defendants, upon conviction, to forfeit all real or personal property derived from the proceeds of their offense.

The investigation is being led by the DPS-CID Gang Unit with assistance from the Dallas Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Garland Police Department Neighborhood Police Officer Unit, the Mesquite and Rockwall Police Departments and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney P. J. Meitl is prosecuting.





YUMA, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) – Border Patrol agents seized 100 pounds of methamphetamine at the Wellton Station on Thursday.drugs111414

According to, agents discovered a large cache of drugs during a traffic stop on Interstate 8 east of Yuma. Following a search of the vehicle, agents found a false compartment in the vehicle containing 79 packages of methamphetamine.

The vehicle, driver and drugs were taken to Wellton Station for processing.




Comments Off on Van Zandt County Constable’s Office: Lisa Powers, 27, used sex appeal to get men to steal for her to feed her Methamphetamine drug habit

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – Several burglary and theft cases have been cleared in Van Zandt County and authorities said they all lead back to one woman.5754632_G

The Van Zandt County Constable’s Office says Lisa Powers, 27,  used her sex appeal to get men to steal for her.

Stacks of paper fill Constable Pat Jordan’s desk. It’s all files on dozens of individuals thought to be connected to one woman.

“These young girls get caught up in the meth world and they pass themselves on, you know, where a guy gets locked up they go to what we call the next sack daddy,” Constable Jordan explained. “You know, who’s toting the sack of methamphetamines at the time.”

One of those young girls, he said, is Lisa Powers, who began showing up on Jordan’s radar in 2012. Since then, he said, she has been arrested several times for methamphetamine from Dallas to Bossier City.

A license photo shows Powers with blond hair and blue eyes.

“Lisa is an attractive girl. These guys they’ll just do anything for her,” Jordan said.5754050_G

In her most recent mug shot, when she was arrested for burglary last month, her hair has darkened and her eyes appear glazed over. But, Jordan said, it’s the men around her that usually do the stealing.

“They use that to their advantage because these guys are going to go out and they’re going to steal from them. They’re going to make sure they keep their girls in supply of drugs,” he explained.

His files include trucks and four wheelers stolen from Van Zandt County that are all cases with ties to Powers. Then a motorcycle stolen out of Waxahachie, he said, “it was a different group of guys and Lisa was involved in that.”

It’s just one story, all too common, he said, amongst the rampant meth community.

We ask if it would be safe to say that Powers is using these men to steal for her.

“That would be a term that, I guess you could say,” Jordan said.

It’s all to feed a drug habit and is something that goes both ways. Now, with her most recent arrest, Constable Jordan has hope of closing all the files on his desk.

“We catch her or we catch someone else and they cooperate with us eventually we start catching more and more, and more, and more, and then that puts a significant dent in crime,” he explained.

But, it’s not a theft problem, he said, it’s a drug problem and it’s East Texas wide.

Jordan said Powers has confessed to several crimes leading to the recovery of stolen goods. She is cooperating with authorities, which they said will help them in tracking down other criminals for a variety of crimes. Powers is currently being held in the Smith County Jail for a hearing on Thursday. Eventually she will be taken back to Van Zandt County to await hearings for other crimes there.




Comments Off on Kimberly Nichole Pomeroy, 21, arrested after shooting man in the face in the parking lot of the Value Place in Watford City; Pomeroy and 3 other arrested on Methamphetamine charges

A 21-year-old woman, Kimberly Nichole Pomeroy, is being held in the McKenzie County Jail with multiple charges, including Attempted Murder, after shooting a 27-year-old male in the face in the early hours of Nov. 8. According to Art Walgren, Watford City chief of police, the incident occurred at approximately 1:36 a.m., inside a vehicle at close range, .

Watford City Police officers, McKenzie County Sheriff’s deputies, and the McKenzie County Ambulance, were dispatched to the shooting. Upon arrival, officers learned that the suspect had fled the scene.

Pacer Joe Coleman of Alvarado, Texas, was identified as the victim and suffered substantial injury, including broken teeth. The victim was able to tell law enforcement that he was shot by a female acquaintance and provided her first name.

Coleman was taken by ambulance to the McKenzie County Hospital and then airlifted to Trinity Hospital in Minot, where he underwent emergency surgery, and is listed in unstable condition at this time.

Several hours later, law enforcement located Pomeroy at a residence in McKenzie County. She surrendered to officers, and the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered at that time.

It was learned during the course of the investigation that Pomeroy had contacted Kevin Andrew Kelly, informing him that she had just shot Coleman, and to come pick her up at the Value Place. Kelly drove to the location of the shooting and took the victim’s cell phone, before fleeing with Pomeroy. Kelly then destroyed the victim’s cell phone in order to avoid being tracked and caught.

In a search of the residence when Pomeroy was apprehended, additional firearms, thousands of dollars in cash, methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were also discovered.

It was found that Justin Scott Davis and John Dalton Abbott, also lived at this residence, along with Pomeroy and Kelly.

All four individuals were found to be involved with multiple aspects of a drug ring that had been taking place, which ultimately led to the shooting.

Pomeroy was then taken to the McKenzie County Law Enforcement Center where she is currently facing three felony charges including Attempted Murder, Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine, and Conspiracy to Deliver Marijuana.

Kelly is facing four felony charges including Tampering With Physical Evidence, Hindering Law Enforcement, Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine, and Conspiracy to Deliver Marijuana.

Both Davis and Abbott are facing two felony charges each that include Conspiracy to Deliver Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Deliver Marijuana.



Comments Off on Douglas County Sheriff’s Felony Interception Narcotic Detection Unit seizes $1M worth of Crystal Methamphetamine; Garcia-Contreras, 64, from Texas, arrested

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. – The Douglas County’s Felony Interception Narcotic Detection unit seized over $1M worth of crystal meth.

On November 9, Deputy David Gray of the F.I.N.D. Unit observed and stopped a 2006 Ford Freestar van driven by Jose Garcia-Contreras, 64, from Texas for a traffic violation.

After further investigation deputies located a false, man-made hidden compartment in the car, according to police.

Police tell FOX 5 that inside the hidden compartment were a total of thirty-eight packages of suspected Crystal Methamphetamine.

Garcia-Contreras and his vehicle were brought to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation.

At the sheriff’s office the contents of the packages was tested and tested positive for Crystal Methamphetamine.

The total weight of the Crystal Methamphetamine was sixty-five pounds with a street value of over one million dollars.

Jose Garcia-Contreras was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and false compartment in a motor vehicle with no bond.






Comments Off on U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seize $939,000 worth of Methamphetamine and drugs in six separate incidents at the Port of San Luis, Nogales and Douglas over the weekend

TUCSON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrest smugglers attempting to smuggle a combined $939,000 worth of drugs in six separate incidents at the Port of San Luis, Nogales and Douglas over the weekend.

At the Port of Douglas, three male Douglas residents attempted to smuggle a combined $148,000 worth marijuana in two separate attempts on Saturday, Nov. 8.928F40C5B3266FF884E36F4FD25F0C72_787_442

A 25-year-old man was taken into custody after a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted the officers of more than 124 pounds of marijuana inside the cargo area of his Jeep SUV. The marijuana was estimated to be worth more than $62,000.

Later that day, the Port of Douglas officers arrested two 17-year-olds for trying to smuggle nearly 171 pounds of marijuana concealed throughout their GMC SUV. The marijuana was estimated to be worth more than $85,000.

At the Port of San Luis, four Somerton, Ariz. residents were arrested in separate attempts to smuggle contraband into the United States.

On Nov. 8, 24-year-old Christian Cedillo and his brother, 32-year-old Jose Luis Cedillo, were arrested after officers found 16 packages of methamphetamine, weighing nearly 13 pounds, in the transfer case of their Ford truck. The methamphetamine was estimated to be worth more than $38,000.

On Sunday, Nov. 9, 32-year-old Armando Zavala and his wife, 34-year-old Martha Zavala were apprehended after a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted the officer of 15 pounds of cocaine, weighing nearly 42 pounds, concealed inside a non-factory compartment behind the back seats of their Ford Truck. The cocaine was estimated to be worth more than $438,000.

At the Port of Nogales, a Mexican man and a Phoenix area man were arrested in separate attempts to smuggle hard drugs through the port.

On Nov. 8, 36-year-old Jorge Alberto Saracho-Velarde from Caborca, Sonora was arrested after a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted the Dennis DeConcini crossing officers of more than 26 pounds of cocaine in all the tires of his Chevrolet truck.

On Nov. 9, 26-year-old Diego Villalpando Valadez of Tolleson, Ariz. was apprehended after a CBP narcotics detection canine alerted the officers at the Mariposa crossing to six packages of methamphetamine, weighing nearly 14 pounds, in the rear bumper of his Nissan sedan. The methamphetamine was estimated to be worth nearly $41,000.

All the individuals were referred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The drugs and vehicles involved in the incidents were processed for seizure.




Comments Off on Henry Diaz-Escobar, 26, and Geraldo Grenados, 19, both of Central Point, jailed after five-pound Methamphetamine bust

CENTRAL POINT — Two men are in jail after police found more than five pounds of methamphetamine in their home, drugs the men are suspected of dealing to Rogue Valley residents, according to police.

Henry Diaz-Escobar, 26, and Geraldo Grenados, 19, both of Central Point, are held in the Jackson County Jail on charges of unlawful distribution and possession of methamphetamine. Diaz-Escobar is also held on a charge of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine. His bail was set at more than $1 million, while Granados’ is set at $520,000.

“This was a significant target that was taken out,” said Lt. Kevin Walruff of the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force. “We’ve been watching them over the last few months and know them to be selling in the Rogue Valley area.”

On Monday, the task force served a search warrant at a trailer occupied by the two men in the 12000 block of Blackwell Road after a two-month investigation into suspected drug deals. While large quantities of illegal drugs are often in the Rogue Valley temporarily while traveling on Interstate 5 to distribution hubs such as Portland and Seattle, this amount was meant to be sold locally, Walruff said.

“We believe they were put here specifically to deal those drugs here,” Walruff said. “We have had larger, but those are generally interdiction stops that are headed through to go to larger municipalities.”

During a search of the trailer, police found 5-1/2 pounds of methamphetamine, $17,000 in cash believed to be from drug sales, scales and packaging. The seized meth had an approximate street value of $100,000, task force officials said.





Comments Off on Michael Christen, 52, of Orem, suspected of raping teenage girl bound over on charges including Methamphetamine possession

PROVO — A man accused of raping a minor girl for a period of about four years appeared Wednesday in Fourth District Court, where his charges were bound over.

He will proceed now through typical criminal court proceedings.5464233035405_preview-300

The suspect, Michael Christen, of Orem, is accused of two counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of rape, and one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felony charges. He is also accused of one count of possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

The girl appeared in court Wednesday to testify against Christen, 52, who was living in the same home as the girl when the crimes reportedly took place. She said she was 13 at the time of the first offense.

She said Christen took her to a trailer near their Orem home, locked the door, pulled down his pants and showed her his penis. He then told her to take off her pants.

She said they did not engage in sex at the time, though she said a similar event happened a few weeks later and it was “the first time he tried having sex with me.”

She said Christen then had sex with her again on her 14th birthday. She said those three times were not the only times Christen sexually abused her.

Sometime later, the victim told her sister and her sister’s friend about what had been happening between her and Christen. They told her she needed to tell police about what was happening, though she had not yet told her mother.

She reportedly didn’t tell her mother because she was afraid her mother would hurt herself. Her older sisters had also experienced sexual assault, and said that if ever happened again, her mother told her she would want to die.

The girl spoke with police, and Christen was arrested June 9. The girl is now living with her sister and her sister’s friend in Provo.

Detective Kevin Mallory of the Orem Police Department testified in court that officers had also obtained a search warrant for the trailer on the day of the arrest. Officers reportedly found methamphetamine and a glass pipe in a little box in the trailer. Mallory also said Orem Junior High was within about 1,000 feet.

However, Jennifer Foresta, Christen’s attorney, does not believe proper measurements were made to see whether or not the home was indeed a drug-free zone, and said the house may have been just outside the required distance for charges to be enhanced.

Regardless, Judge Fred Howard ruled the evidence and testimony were sufficient to bind Christen over on his charges.

His arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 9, when he will enter his plea.







Comments Off on Angelica Tighe, 18, of Salem, Hospitalized and Jailed for Using Methamphetamine, Krokodil Mix

DENT COUNTY, Mo. – A Salem teen was hospitalized and jailed after injecting herself with a mix of methamphetamine and possibly Krokodil, a flesh-eating and highly-addictive drug.Angelica Tighe, 18, of Salem

According to the Dent County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to a residence in the 2000 block of CR4110 on Nov. 10 on a call of a woman experiencing medical difficulties from the drugs.

The woman, identified as Angelica Tighe, 18, of Salem, told police she thought the meth she injected was mixed with Krokodil.

When deputies arrived they found drugs and drug paraphernalia in plain view. During an investigation, deputies say Tighe presented a knife in a threatening manner.

Tighe was arrested and taken to a local hospital, and later to the Dent County Jail. She is being held under a $20,000 cash-only bond for charges including possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, and felony assault on a law enforcement officer.

An initial arraignment is scheduled for November 20 at 9 a.m.






Comments Off on Cortland County Sheriff’s deputies charge Corrie C. Ryan, 32, and Chelin Kash, 22, with making Methamphetamine in a travel trailer

HARFORD, N.Y. — Two people are charged with making methamphetamine in a travel trailer, the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.16323242-mmmain

Deputies were called at 9:40 a.m. Tuesday to Scutt Hill Road where they found an empty, older travel trailer about 30 yards off the road, officials said.

Two people, Corrie C. Ryan, 32, and Chelin Kash, 22, walked out of the surrounding wooded area shortly afterward and were interviewed by police. Officers said they found lab equipment and other ingredients used to make methamphetamine around the trailer, leading to the two people’s arrest.

Officials searched the trailer after obtaining a search warrant and called the Environmental Services Agency in Syracuse to help secure and clean the area surrounding the scene.

Ryan and Kash are each being charged with unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and unlawful disposal of meth lab material, both felonies. They were arraigned in the Town of Harford Court.

Ryan, of Groton Avenue in Cortland, is remanded without bail. Kash, Grove Street in Homer, is remanded on $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bond.

Officials said additional charges are possible in this case because the investigation is ongoing.





Authorities said they believe a Gainesville man shot his live-in girlfriend Wednesday morning, with the bullet grazing her forehead.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 5:32 a.m. call at 44 Branch St. in the New Holland area to find Jamie Macdonell shot. She was taken to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.Steven_Keith_Murphy

Following interviews with those there at the time of the shooting, Steven Keith Murphy, 27, of Gainesville, was arrested.

Murphy is charged with aggravated assault, cruelty to children and possession of methamphetamine. Macdonell’s children were at the residence when the shooting occurred, according to the warrants, and the Division of Family and Children Services has been contacted.

Murphy was listed as the “primary aggressor” in the aggravated assault in the warrants.

Sheriff’s office deputies found methamphetamine in Murphy’s bedroom, according to the warrants, at the time of the incident.

Murphy is at the Hall County Jail with no bond awaiting his first appearance, according to the sheriff’s office.






Comments Off on German, Czech Police Break up Huge Crystal Methamphetamine Gang

Authorities have seized 2.9 tons of a chemical used to produce crystal meth in an operation that brought 15 arrests in Germany and the Czech Republic, German police said Thursday.

The chloroephedrine seized in the eastern German city of Leipzig last week could have been used to produce 2.3 tons of crystal meth with an estimated street value of 184 million euros ($230 million), the Federal Criminal Police Office said.

Seven suspected members of the drug-producing gang and a suspected customer were arrested during raids in Leipzig last week and cash, ammunition and stolen identity papers seized. Czech authorities arrested another seven people, seizing firearms and cash.

The suspected ringleader, a 32-year-old chemical and drug trader from Leipzig, had chloroephedrine produced elsewhere in Europe and delivered to Germany, police said. From there, it was transported in quantities of 20 kilos (44 pounds) or less across the Czech border for use in producing crystal meth, which was then delivered back to Leipzig.

Police office chief Joerg Ziercke said that chemicals for large-scale drug production were until now “almost exclusively” procured from China, and that a German having them made in Europe was “a novelty.”





Comments Off on Jaclynn Alexis Hartmann, 20, and Jeremy James Larsen, 23, arrested for Methamphetamine in Sioux Falls

A Sioux Falls man wanted for violating his ex-girlfriend’s protection order tipped off police officers during his arrest about methamphetamine the woman was hiding in her car.

Jeremy James Larsen, 23, was arrested on charges aggravated eluding, violating a protection, reckless driving and running a red light. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia after police found methamphetamine on him.

While being arrested, he told officers that his ex-girlfriend, Jaclynn Alexis Hartmann, 20, also had methamphetamine, police spokesman Sam Clemens said.

Police said officers found meth during a search of her car, and she was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The incident started about 2 p.m. when Larsen called police to report a reckless driver on Minnesota Avenue. The driver, who was pulled over at Sixth Street and Minnesota Avenue, turned out to be Hartmann.

“She told officers that she had a valid protection order against Jeremy and she was driving that way to get away from him because he was following her,” Clemens said.

Larsen drove past while officers were speaking with Hartmann, Clemens said. Larsen refused to stop for officers, who eventually terminated a chase because of speed and dangerous conditions.

“There were a couple of red lights he did not stop for along Minnesota Avenue,” Clemens said.

Later, Larsen called Hartmann. An officer was still with her and answered the phone.

Clemens said the background noise from Larsen’s end matched what the officer was hearing around him. Larsen was spotted watching them from the Kum-N-Go, a block north and was arrested.






Comments Off on Drug trafficker, Roland Da Breo, 35, jailed after massive Methamphetamine lab bust on Sismet Road in Brampton

BRAMPTON — A Superior Court judge has sentenced a Brampton drug trafficker to six years in jail for his role in what’s believed to be one of the largest drug labs ever discovered in Peel.

Roland Da Breo, 35, was convicted of possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking earlier this year and was sentenced today in Toronto court.

His sentence comes just a few months after Ramprit Goswami, 36, was convicted of the same offence and jailed seven years.

Earlier this year, another man arrested in the sting, Velle Chanmany, 32, of Kitchener, was jailed nine years in relation to the massive methamphetamine and ecstasy lab discovered in east Mississauga.

Calling Chanmany a major participant in the “high-level, wholesale delivery of a very dangerous drug,” Justice Michael Dambrot said he had to send a strong message to deter Chanmany and others from high-level drug trafficking.

“The offence of possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking is of increasing prevalence in this province, and has come to be recognized as a most serious offence. Methamphetamine is consistently referred to as a hard drug. It causes enormous harm to individual users, and significant harm to the health and safety of the community,” the judge said in his ruling. “It has been said that in many respects, the destructive consequences of crystal methamphetamine mirror those of two other hard drugs, heroin and cocaine…in addition, the methamphetamine offence committed by Chanmany is a particularly serious one. Seven kilos of methamphetamine is a very large quantity indeed.”

Chanmany was convicted of possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of Canadian currency that was the proceeds of crime.

Chanmany and Goswami were two of 36 people arrested in spring 2008 in connection with a joint-forces investigation dubbed Project Blackhawk, which was sparked after a traffic stop in Toronto led police to the drug lab they eventually dismantled on Sismet Rd., near Dixie Rd. and Matheson Blvd., on April 29, 2008.

Toronto Police and Peel Regional Police seized 4,000 kilograms of methamphetamine and more than 400,000 tablets of ecstasy from the Sismet Rd. lab, with a potential street value of more than $160 million.

In convicting Chanmany, Dambrot rejected Chanmany’s argument that Toronto drug squad officers falsely claimed to have seized seven kilograms of crystal meth from his SUV.

Defence lawyers argued that Toronto officers were motivated to fabricate evidence out of frustration and anger after failing to collect proof of his cocaine dealing during a major drug investigation.

But Dambrot did not believe Chanmany, whom he called a “lazy and greedy young man who had an aversion to work,” and said there was nothing raised by the defence that undermined the police evidence.

Of the officers involved in the case, Dambrot said, “There is nothing in this that logically would have led them to do what the defence alleges.”

Sismet Rd. has been a hotbed for drug labs, with four being discovered on the street, made up largely of industrial units and warehouses, in the last five years. The most recent was this past February when a $1.5-million marijuana lab was found.







  • Jamison was found dead two months ago at his home in Memphis
  • It had previously been reported that the 63-year-old had suffered a heart attack
  • Autopsy says he died of a hemorrhagic brain stroke, with ‘acute methamphetamine intoxication contributing’
  • The singer had joined Survivor in 1984 just after their biggest hit Eye of the Tiger, although he sang on Burning Heart from Rocky IVautopsy report has revealed that

An autopsy report has revealed that the death of Jimi Jamison, the lead singer of 1980s rock band Survivor, was partly caused by methamphetamine use.

Jamison died on September 1 aged 63 at a home in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the report released by the Shelby County medical on Tuesday.

It had originally been reported that Jamison – who sang on Survivor hits such as Burning Heart and Is This Love – died of a heart attack.

The autopsy says Jamison had cardiovascular disease and narrowing of the arteries.

The report says he died of a hemorrhagic brain stroke, with ‘acute methamphetamine intoxication contributing.’

Because meth was determined to be a contributor, and the circumstances leading up to the death were not suspicious, the coroner ruled Jamison’s death as an accident.

The singer and songwriter joined Survivor in 1984, after the band had already become known for Eye of the Tiger, the theme song to the Sylvester Stallone film Rocky III.

After Jamison replaced vocalist Dave Bickler, the band had several more hits and recorded three more albums until they disbanded in 1989.

singer and songwriter joined SurvivorJamison also co-wrote and sang

The group reformed in 1993 with Bickler as lead singer, but Jamison eventually rejoined Survivor also and they remained a popular touring act in recent years.

Jamison, who also was a member of Target and Cobra, also co-wrote and sang I’m Always Here, the theme to Baywatch.







Methamphetamine lab seizures are on the rise in US cities and suburbs as makers of the lethal drug have been moving their now-portable labs into more populated areas and increasing production.

Methamphetamines used to be produced most frequently in rural areas, where abandoned buildings and farmhouses offered an ideal location for a hidden lab. With fewer authorities to combat the problem and wide open spaces that makes it difficult to find rural meth labs, the drug makers more often chose to operate production from the countryside. Anhydrous ammonia, a key ingredient in producing meth, can also be found more frequently in rural areas, since farmers use the chemical as fertilizer.afp-photo-asfouri-nicolas_si

But a rise in portable labs has made it easier for meth makers to move to US cities and suburbs, especially since the portable labs lack the odor that once forced the drug makers to the countryside. The deadly drug can now be made in someone’s car using a bottle of soda. This ‘shake-and-bake’ method produces the drug in smaller quantities, but doesn’t make production any less dangerous: the chemical reaction can still cause a large explosion, even if it is produced in container as small as an empty water bottle.

With easily accessible recipes on the Internet and cheap ingredients available in many US stores, more people have begun to produce their own meth. Cold pills, battery acid and drain cleaner are some of the substances required to produce the lethal drug.

“Bad guys have it figured out,” Rusty Payne of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency told the Associated Press. “You don’t have to be as clandestine – you don’t have to be in rural country to lay low.”

AP found meth lab seizures had increased in a number of cities, including St. Louis, Kansas City, Nashville and Evansville. Inner city gangs have also become involved in meth production and distribution, which they previously had little involvement with when the drug was primarily produced in rural America.

“No question about it – there are more labs in the urban areas,” said Tom Farmer, coordinator of the Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force. “I’m seeing car fires from meth in urban areas now, more people getting burned.”

Drug makers who are producing purer and less expensive versions of meth are also bringing labs into the US from Mexico.

In St. Louis County, lab seizures increased from 30 in 2009 to a predicted 142 in 2012. In Jackson County, Mo., which includes Kansas City, seizures have increased from 21 in 2009 to about 65 this year. In Nashville, the numbers have tripled in just two years, while Evansville saw a 500 percent increase.

And with a rise in meth production comes a rise in meth addicts: Users from all socio-economic levels have begun to use the drug.

“Lower class all the way up to middle class,” St. Louis County meth detective Ed Begley told AP. “We’ve even had retired folks who have become addicted. It’s a brutal drug.”





Lab busts of domestic methamphetamine manufacturing have dropped by 40 percent, but use remains high – and Narcotics experts say that is because users are increasingly relying on cheaper, meth from Mexicometh_si

Domestic manufacturing of methamphetamine peaked 2004, when 24,000 labs were seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration. In 2011, the seizures were just under half of that at 11,573. Through stricter laws and enforcements, less meth is being made in America.

However, usage remains high, and it is because meth is increasingly being made in Mexico where it is cheaper and purer.

“The great news is that meth from Mexico doesn’t explode, doesn’t burn down your house and your neighbor’s home, doesn’t contaminate your property, doesn’t kill your children the way meth labs have done here in the US for decades,” Joseph Grellner, chief narcotics officer in Franklin County, Missouri told The Associated Press.

Federal and state lawmakers began limiting the sale of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient for meth, in the mid-2000s, thus making it hard to make large batches of the drug. As a result, meth-making operations became more localized – and more dangerous.

Two years ago, portable labs were in high use, making it easier for meth producers to move to US cities and suburbs, with labs disrupting the order that originally forced drug makers to the countryside. This was called the “shake-and-bake” method, which produces the drug in smaller quantities but can be made in someone’s car using a bottle of soda. The production is still dangerous and can lead to explosions. Recipes also changed because of the drug restrictions, with cold pills, battery acid and drain cleaner becoming some of the substances used to make the drug.

“Bad guys have it figured out,” Rusty Payne of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency said to AP. “You don’t have to be as clandestine – you don’t have to be in rural country to lay low.mexico

The DEA website lists thousands of national clandestine lab homes contaminated by meth. In New York State alone, the list is four pages long. The same holds true in a state like Arizona.

According to the DEA, Mexican cartels are producing a higher-end product that it is also cheaper. They have refined the process to the point where the meth is both more potent, and its purity increased from 39 percent in 2007 to 100 percent in 2014.

The Mexican meth cookers are relying on an old recipe known as P2P – which first appeared in the 1960s and 1970s – and uses the organic compound phenylacetone, which is banned in the US but obtainable in Mexico.

Prices, meanwhile, have fallen from $290 per pure gram to around $100 per pure gram, said Jim Shrobe, a special agent for the DEA’s office in St. Louis.

“If they’re smoking weed or doing heroin in small-town America, there’s going to be a market for methamphetamine, too,” he added.proxy

Mark Woodward from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics said the reduction in meth labs has a collateral benefit because they can turn their attention to stopping trafficking.

“We all know that if we get a handle on meth labs, we will still have meth addicts who will work very hard to get their drug,” Niki Crawford, Indiana’s meth suppression commander, told AP. “This is where the Mexican cartel meth will fill the void.”




Comments Off on Mexican Mafia, Methamphetamine, and Murder Plans – Santa Barbara’s Grand Jury Hands Down Indictment Against Alleged Gang Bosses

mexicanmob_t479Edgar “Playboy” Cordova and Benny “Conejo” Ybarra, two shot callers for Santa Barbara’s Eastside street gang allegedly working for the more powerful Mexican Mafia prison gang, were indicted this week for conspiracy to commit murder. Law enforcement officials declined to comment on the charges, but the unsealed Grand Jury indictment offers at least a glimpse into the planned killing.

On August 14, 2013, Cordova reportedly spoke to Ybarra about where the intended victim lived and advised Ybarra, known to carry a .32 caliber handgun, to “creep up” on him. Later that day, after the pair failed to locate their target, Ybarra told Cordova, “I’m gonna get that fool, dog.” The two are being held in County Jail on $1.2 million bail each and are scheduled to appear in court on December 22.

Ybarra and Cordova were also indicted on charges of extortion and conspiracy to commit extortion, along with five other defendants similarly accused of shaking down legal businesses and area drug dealers. Jesse “Loco” Enriquez, Ulisses “Silent” Guzman, Arturo “Frosty” Renteria, Ruben “Evil” Regalado, and Sarah Elizabeth Montoya are all named in the indictment; Cordova and Regalado are charged with methamphetamine sales and transportation as well. A $600,000 arrest warrant has been issued for Montoya, who remains at large.

The allegations appear to align with warnings from authorities over the past year and a half that the Mexican Mafia — also known as La Eme — is digging deeper into Santa Barbara’s crime scene. The notorious syndicate often pulls the strings of Latino gangs, like the Sureños around Southern California, from behind prison walls, controlling drug sales and transportation through intimidation and force. While Santa Barbara County is home to a number of smaller neighborhood gangs, or “cliques,” they generally operate under the umbrella of the Sureños.

Phone calls and text messages among the defendants in the summer of 2013 and detailed in the indictment shed light on the organization’s inner workings. (A 16-month investigation leading up to the filing included the use of informants and wiretaps.) The group makes introductions and discusses collection methods, specifying who owes debts and in what amounts. The participants also organize payments with bank account info and MoneyPak purchases.

In one phone conversation on July 16, Cordova allegedly told Enriquez that every ” ‘hood” — Lompoc, Santa Maria, Goleta, and Santa Barbara’s Eastside and Westside — had to pay $500 a month to Mexican Mafia boss Michael “Boo” Moreno, who until his August 2013 arrest, controlled the gang’s activities in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. In another conversation in early August, Cordova and a fellow gang member “discussed how to use violence to get individuals to pay taxes,” the indictment states.

Cordova, 29, was arrested last month at the San Diego border as he attempted to re-enter the United States from Mexico. He reportedly felt his arrest was imminent and wanted to avoid incarceration in a Mexican prison. A member of the Eastside Traviesos gang, he was sentenced to six years in prison in 2005 for driving the car used in a drive-by shooting of Westsiders. Ybarra, 36, has a rap sheet that dates back to 1997 and includes felony drug and burglary charges. Both were implicated in the Santa Barbara Police Department’s massive gang crime crackdown last year, which was named Operation Falling Dawn as a subtle dig at the side of the city where the sun rises and its stronger gang resides.

Last month, Judge Rogelio Flores made a ruling that limited the amount of hard copy materials defense attorneys can provide their clients behind bars. Prosecutor Stephen Foley successfully argued that the safety of individuals named in discovery documents could be jeopardized by such free access. Defense attorneys have challenged the protective order, saying it’s unreasonable to expect them to read thousands of pages of evidence by themselves and that their clients are being denied the right to due process by not being able to adequately participate in their own cases. That issue is still being litigated.

Raymond “Boxer” Macias — a top tax collector who used to report directly to Moreno, and whose June 2013 arrest precipitated much of the evidence collecting in the current case — was convicted in September 2014 for his role in the kidnapping and torture of a Lompoc man over a drug debt. As of press time, he was scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison without parole. Enriquez had reportedly taken over collection duties from Macias before his own arrest last month.