Hunting season is now upon us in Northeast Indiana, and with that in mind, the potential exists that some deer and small game hunters may come across trash left behind by those who have manufactured methamphetamine.


The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that this trash may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin.

Sergeant Mike Toles and Master Trooper Andy Smith, Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section, have identified some points for hunters to keep in mind.

  • Meth cooks are using a variety of containers to manufacture their product. A popular container is the one and a half gallon gas can. These cans appear to be new and have been found along the roadside by unknowing people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.
  • Other items to be aware of include battery casings, Ziploc style bags, empty blister packs, and containers (pop bottles, jars, etc.) that contain a granular material. They may or may not have a tube extending out of the top depending on whether it is a hydrochloric (HCL) gas generator or a one pot reaction. Both of these are extremely hazardous.
  • Be aware of any type of cylinder found in an odd place (middle of a field, ditch line, wooded area) that has a modified valve. The valve will typically be modified in some way and will have a bright blue color to it. These cylinders are used to store or transport anhydrous ammonia, which is an extremely dangerous gas when direct contact or inhalation has occurred.
  • Be aware of backpacks and nylon or plastic bags found in an odd place. These bags could contain hazardous chemicals used in the meth lab process. Often meth cooks will hide these items and come back for them at a later time or date. Don’t handle or open these bags. The bags can trap toxic vapors and, when opened, will rise striking the person in the face.

If someone comes across this type of trash, DO NOT handle it.

Please contact the Indiana State Police Post in Fort Wayne at (260) 432-8661 or (800) 552-0976 (Indiana only).

If anyone has knowledge of meth production or activity in their area, they are asked to call the Indiana State Police Meth Tip Line at (800) 453-4756. Anonymous tips are accepted.



WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) – Drug investigators in eastern Missouri are reporting the seizure of nearly nine pounds of crystal methamphetamine from a Texas trucker.

The Washington Missourian reports that the drugs were found Friday morning after a truck driver from Brownsville, Texas, completed a delivery to a business in Union. Local and federal narcotics agents arrested the man but did not immediately release his name.

Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit said the drugs had a street value of nearly $500,000.




KALAMAZOO, MI – It’s been a battle that law enforcement has been waging for more than a decade in Southwest Michigan, and officers who are on the front lines say the struggle against methamphetamine production is as bad as ever.

In the first half of 2014, Kalamazoo County police officers busted more meth labs than the totals in each of the past four years. In fact, Kalamazoo County’s 88 meth busts through the first six months of the year account for more than 40 percent of all meth busts in Michigan.

Meth labs are still running rampant out there,” said David Boysen, captain of the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team, a drug unit of officers from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety. “It’s been a steady pace where we are still busting a lot of labs.”

Kalamazoo County has far and away been the state leader in methamphetamine production in the past decade, accounting for about 28 percent of all meth labs, but the drug has a strong grip on surrounding counties as well.


In Allegan County, there have been 19 meth busts in the first six months of 2014, putting the county on pace to have the most busts since 2009 when there were 43. In Van Buren County, meth busts are down significantly with nine through the first half of 2014. But in the previous three years, the county had 130 busts, second only to Kalamazoo County.

Statewide, the number of meth lab busts has increased the past two years. The 342 meth busts in 2013 are the most since MSP began tracking those numbers in 2004. The 217 busts in the first half of 2014 are on pace to break that record.


Southwest Michigan remains the hotbed for meth activity, according to the most recent number from Michigan State Police. Seven counties — Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Van Buren — account for 64 percent of all the meth labs in Michigan’s 83 counties in the past 10 years, according to the MSP stats.

Simply put: “It’s as serious as we’ve ever seen,” said Allegan Police Chief Rick Hoyer.

The statistics for 2014 could look even worse by the end of the year, considering winter is a busy time of year for meth busts, Boysen said.

“It’s a seasonal thing,” Boysen said. “Summer time they tend to cook their meth outside in secluded areas. Colder weather will drive the cooks inside, so we get more complaints.”

Police attribute the rise in meth busts, in part, to the increased training for officers and a more educated public that is quick to call in tips.

“We try to have all our officers trained in meth awareness so they know what to look for. But the majority of tips that come in are from citizens,” Boysen said.


Boysen said about half the citizen tips KVET receives involve methamphetamine. And while the number of meth labs is increasing, the number of officers dedicated to KVET is decreasing.

“I could have my entire team of investigators working on just meth cases, and it would keep them busy,” Boysen said. “But we can’t ignore heroin, crack cocaine, guns on the streets.”

Boysen said due to the high number of meth tips, KVET has to prioritize its investigations based on the threat the meth labs present.

“Meth labs in multi-family structures, apartment buildings, if kids are involved, those cases take priority,” Boysen said.

“I could have my entire team of investigators working on just meth cases, and it would keep them busy,” Boysen said.

Those challenges are familiar to agencies in Allegan County.

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“Meth labs and meth investigations monopolize our drug investigators’ time,” Hoyer said.

Because meth investigations are so time-consuming, Hoyer said drugs like heroin and crack cocaine are on the rise in Allegan.

“The users know that we are working hard on meth, so they turn to other drugs,” Hoyer said.

Lawmakers have been trying to help in getting a handle on meth production.


In 2012, a law took effect that was designed to limit meth makers’ access to pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in producing methamphetamine that is found in cold medications such as Sudafed. The law caps the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can buy and requires buyers to enter their name in a law enforcement database.

But meth cooks have found ways around the law by recruiting and paying accomplices, known as “surfs,” to buy the product for them.

“It’s a market-driven thing. If you can get $50 for a box of pseudo, people are going to buy it,” Boysen said.

After a 2013 Kalamazoo Gazette investigation found that pseudoephedrine was still being purchased at a high rate in Southwest Michigan, more legislation was enacted to try to get a handle on the problem.


Public Act 218 targets smurfing by making the act of purchasing pseudoephedrine with knowledge that it will be used to make meth punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

But some law enforcement officials say the law will have little effect on the problem. Boysen said it’s a law that is tough to enforce, especially with dwindling resources.

“We have barely enough resources to go after heroin, meth labs, and guns. We just don’t have the resources to track down the people buying this stuff,” Boysen said. “We’re just trying to maintain and keep a lid on it.”

Hoyer said the anti-smurfing law doesn’t go far enough.

“It’s all window dressing,” Hoyer said. “It’s skirting the issue.”

Instead, Hoyer is among the proponents of making pseudoephedrine products available only by prescription.

“The answer is not more enforcement. The answer is making it prescription-only,” Hoyer said.

Attorney General Bill Schuette told the Kalamazoo Gazette this month that he would be open to discussing the possibility of a prescription-only law but fell short of offering his support.

“I’m open to the review of it, to talk with law enforcement, work with the legislature and determine the best way to handle it,” Schuette said.

Hoyer said he fears Southwest Michigan has grown numb to its problem with methamphetamine.

“We’ve become tolerant and desensitized to it, because it’s been going on so long,” Hoyer said. “We have to realize that we are better than this.”




EAST JORDAN — Authorities arrested an East Jordan man amid allegations that he was running a mobile methamphetamine manufacturing lab out of his car.

Charlevoix County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Archie William Graham, 34, on Wednesday on four charges including: delivery/manufacture of methamphetamine, a 20-year felony; operating a drug laboratory for methamphetamine, a 20-year felony; possession of methamphetamine, a 10-year felony; and fleeing and eluding police; a two-year felony.

Graham is also being charged as a habitual offender, second offense, which increases the possible penalty for the respective charges by one and a half times.

According to a Charlevoix County Sheriff’s office affidavit filed in the case, the arrest grew out of a traffic stop that a deputy initiated on M-32 at Rogers Road near East Jordan at about 12:12 a.m. on Tuesday when the deputy noticed a vehicle with a broken tail light.

When the deputy turned around to make the traffic stop the driver sped away, at times reaching speed of up to 100 miles per hour, according to police. The vehicle finally stopped in front of the East Jordan fire/ambulance building just inside the city, according to police.

In the affidavit, police said the driver, identified as Graham, was acting strangely and didn’t have any identification, registration or proof of insurance with him. The deputy noted that in addition to the broken tail light, the vehicle had a broken back window, broken rear passenger window and was missing both side mirrors.

In the affidavit, the deputy said he performed sobriety tests on Graham and that Graham later gave him permission to search the front pocket of his sweatshirt in which the deputy said he found a coffee filter with a white powdery substance inside. The deputy said he looked into the back of the car and saw several items that are known to be used in the production of methamphetamine.

According to the affidavit, since Graham did not expressly give him permission to search the vehicle, the deputy impounded it for the remainder of the night at the sheriff’s office and later on Tuesday obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. When searching the vehicle, deputies, along with members of the Michigan State Police methamphetamine response team found many pieces of equipment and components that are often used in making methamphetamine and a substance that authorities said tested positive for methamphetamine.

Later on Tuesday, deputies said they returned to Graham’s home on Elm Street in East Jordan and during an interview in a deputy’s car, Graham allegedly admitted to making about a gram methamphetamine the night before at a river access site on Mount Bliss Road and smoking about half of it, according to the affidavit. Authorities said Graham also admitted that he has cooked methamphetamine between 100 and 200 times in the past, that he learned how to make it from a man he met in jail and that he makes it in car instead of at his house because of his children being in the house.

Graham also allegedly told police that he usually makes the drug somewhere on a two-track road and then burns the remains so no one will get hurt by it.

The methamphetamine production process and the chemical byproducts that remain after its production are known to be very dangerous.

Police said they found more evidence related to Graham’s alleged methamphetamine use and production at his home.

Graham has a prior felony conviction on a charge of unlawful driving away of an automobile from 2005 in Charlevoix County Circuit Court.

Graham, who remained in custody late Thursday in lieu of a $25,000 bond, was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges today, Friday.






While Breaking Bad has given us a multiyear tutorial on methamphetamine in America, many questions remain for policymakers and social scientists. Is meth use a growing problem and an emerging epidemic? Is it mostly a rural drug or a West Coast phenomenon? How is it that some places in the United States seem to have little to no meth use while others are inundated? Are meth markets different from those of other illicit substances, and if so, how?

Our four-year study of methamphetamine markets taught us that most of the questions about meth can be answered by understanding the dynamics of the relationship between meth markets and public policy. We found a complex, multifaceted, transnational industry. At one extreme, meth is produced in small batches for local use and sold to just a few people who know one another. At the other, we found a large, sophisticated business operated by international cartels that depend on locally known and trusted users, much like franchises, to sell their product to local customers.

Our research was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and our findings are reported in our recently released book, The Methamphetamine Industry in America: Transnational Cartels and Local Entrepreneurs, published by Rutgers University Press.

We studied meth markets from the perspectives of the people who participate in them and the people whose lives are directly affected by them. We surveyed police agencies in every state, conducted in-depth interviews with narcotics detectives, informants, meth users and dealers, drug treatment and prevention workers, family service providers, and others whose lives intersect with the methamphetamine industry in more than 28 cities and towns across the United States.

Alone or with a guide, we walked or drove through areas known to house meth users and dealers or to be places where meth transactions occurred. We attended community events where local citizens talked about personal and community issues and problems related to local meth use and markets. We toured the U.S.-Mexico border, guided by a member of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Everywhere we traveled, no matter what type of market organization or operation dominated the area or how good or bad the quality of the product sold, we found that relationships and transactions in methamphetamine markets are always personal. Wherever we went and whenever we asked where we would go to purchase meth in the area, the answer was always the same: “You can’t. You have to know someone.”

In an industry built on personal relationships, the picture of methamphetamine markets in the United States is one that is shaped, ironically, by the same regulations that were put in place to control them.

We found that restrictions in the United States on the ingredients needed to manufacture meth resulted in a windfall for international cartels that seized this market opportunity, flooding the United States with high-purity crystal methamphetamine, and displacing small mom-and-pop meth operations in areas not previously penetrated by international traffickers. Nevertheless, we also found that local mom-and-pop operations are still thriving and even dominating in some areas, especially across the Midwest, where international operators have had less success opening new markets.

Regardless of which type of market dominates in any particular area, people all across the country, particularly users and dealers and social service and family service providers, made clear to us that methamphetamine “is a family drug,” and challenged us that — if we wanted to understand meth markets — we also needed to understand the relationship of the markets to families and particularly children.

In the smaller operations, meth is frequently cooked with children present and exposed to the toxic chemicals and fumes and to domestic violence. We spoke to parents and grandparents who had introduced their children to the drug in what amounted to a bizarre form of family bonding. We spoke to parents and grandparents who told us they had introduced their children and grandchildren to methamphetamine so they would feel closer to them. We met a mother whose daughter took over the family meth dealing business at age 14 when the mother became too sick from using to continue. We listened as family service providers told us that they were “treating second and third generations” of the same family, children and even grandchildren. One woman we met told us how her dealer exploited her addiction to meth to encourage her to introduce her children to him so that he might start selling to them.

We were further surprised to hear stories told by former meth users across the country — eerily similar, paranoid accounts of hiding in their trailers, peering out of slightly opened window blinds, fearing that they were being tracked by sensors used by police, paramilitary, or other extraterrestrial forces. Surveillance cameras, they were sure, were everywhere, inside and outside of their trailers. Worried that their TV sets, DVD players, and other electronic gadgets were wired and watching them, they tore them apart, piece by piece, then added them to the growing pile of other electrical equipment heaped on their front or side porch. Outside, they heard and hallucinated about seeing black helicopters circling above, paratroopers landing in their yards in camouflage army fatigues. They told of snipers, wearing orange ski masks, perched in trees surrounding them. Coast to coast we heard similarly vivid stories of users staying up so long on the drug that they reported staring the Grim Reaper straight in the eye.

Breaking Bad may have gotten a lot of the story right, from the family nature of the drug to the penetration of the industry by Mexican cartels. Our research reveals new information about the personal nature of meth markets, the unintended consequences of legislation put in place to curb its manufacture and use, and the drug’s terrible impact on children. Now the challenge is to move from understanding the phenomenon to addressing the problem with informed policy and practice.





A Pickens city police officer has been arrested on child neglect charges, after methamphetamine was found in his home, according to warrants.


Christopher Aaron Gilbert, 35, of 385 Duncan Road, Travelers Rest, was charged by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office with three counts of unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person, according to arrest warrants.

The warrants say methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found in the room where Gilbert and his 14-month-old child sleep. They also say a loaded handgun was in the floor of the same room.

Investigators with the sheriff’s vice and narcotics unit went to Gilbert’s home, along with agents from the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, after an anonymous tip about drug use involving children, according to Deputy Drew Pinciaro.

“Vice and narcotics investigators observed methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in plain view,” he said. “At that point, a search warrant was obtained for the residence.”

Gilbert was in a bedroom asleep, Pinciaro said.

Two women who live there, Meghan Leaghia Tesner, 22, and Maranda Jeanette Dickerson, 26, were charged with possession of less than one gram of meth and three counts of neglect of a child.

Tesner is the mother of Gilbert’s 14-month-old child, and Gilbert also and two other children, ages 11 and 13, who live there, according to Pinciaro.

Investigators with the Greenville County Crimes Against Children unit assisted in the case, and the children were placed with an alternative caregiver by the state Department of Social Services, Pinciaro said.

According to Greenville County Detention Center records, Gilbert was being held Friday on a $10,000 bond.


RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) — Federal agents busted a large-scale crystal methamphetamine lab and a marijuana growing operation in Riverside, seizing more than $5 million in chemicals and drugs.


Seven men, all originally from Mexico, have been arrested. Six of the men, ages 22 to 51, are facing possible drug charges. The seventh suspect is being held for questioning in connection with an ongoing murder investigation in Sacramento.

The arrests were made after Homeland Security special agents executed search warrants at three Riverside homes.

Agents confiscated more than 40 gallons of liquid methamphetamine and about 40 pounds of finished crystal methamphetamine inside a home in the 19000 block of White Dove Lane. According to officials, the liquid methamphetamine was enough to produce approximately 250 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, which has a street value of up to $1,000 per ounce in California.

In addition to the methamphetamine, authorities said they found drug manufacturing equipment in the home, including two propane tanks hooked up to a makeshift stove for “cooking” the liquid methamphetamine and several freezers to crystallize the methamphetamine.

Investigators say that preliminary evidence indicates the methamphetamine was likely smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico in liquid form, and then converted to crystals at the home for distribution.

Authorities also searched two other residences, one of which housed a marijuana growing operation. At that home, located in the 17000 block of Twin Lakes Drive, investigators found 300 marijuana plants and 230 pounds of processed marijuana, which carries an estimated street value of approximately $1 million. Also seized were four firearms and $70,000 in cash.




HSI dismantles large-scale Los Angeles-area drug lab
Investigators seize nearly $5 million worth of chemicals, crystal methamphetamine and marijuana

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Seven men, all originally from Mexico, were arrested on state criminal charges Thursday following U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) discovery of a drug lab inside a residence in the Mission Grove neighborhood of Riverside and a related marijuana grow at another home nearby.

Six of the men, ages 22 to 51, are facing possible drug charges. The seventh suspect is being held for questioning in connection with an ongoing murder probe out of Sacramento. The men were detained after HSI special agents executed state search warrants at three Riverside residences. The case has been referred to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for potential prosecution.

At one of the homes, located in the19000 block of White Dove Lane, investigators recovered more than 40 gallons of liquid methamphetamine and approximately 40 pounds of finished crystal methamphetamine. The liquid methamphetamine would be enough to produce another 250 pounds of crystal meth, which currently sells on the street in California for as much as $1,000 an ounce.

Besides the cache of chemicals, the Mission Grove residence also featured other equipment consistent with a drug manufacturing operation, including two propane tanks hooked up to a makeshift stove for “cooking” the liquid meth and several freezers in an upstairs bedroom for use in completing the crystallization process.

“There’s no question this seizure has dealt a significant blow to the criminal organization behind this drug trafficking scheme,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of HSI Los Angeles. “Methamphetamine is a powerful drug that devastates entire communities. By keeping this dangerous contraband from reaching our streets, we’ve potentially saved untold lives.”

The probe into the drug manufacturing scheme is ongoing, but HSI special agents say preliminary evidence indicates the methamphetamine in the residence was likely smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico in liquid form, then converted into its crystalized form at the drug lab for subsequent distribution.

In addition to the home on White Dove Lane, HSI special agents also executed search warrants at two other Riverside residences, one of which housed a marijuana grow. At that location, in the 17000 block of Twin Lakes Drive, investigators discovered 300 marijuana plants and 230 pounds of processed marijuana. The processed marijuana has an estimated street value of approximately $1 million. Additionally, the operation resulted in the seizure of four firearms, including a stolen rifle, and $70,000 in cash.

HSI received substantial assistance with the enforcement action from the multiagency Inland Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team (IRNET); the Riverside and Fontana police departments; the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department; and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Channel 9 learned a Lake County teacher is on unpaid leave after being arrested on drug charges.


Brian Borkowski was a science teacher at Lake Minneola High School until police said they found him with a stolen license plate and methamphetamine at Sanford International Airport.

“It’s pretty disheartening. We send our kids to school and we trust the teachers,” said parent Joe Alaniz.

Alaniz was shocked when he learned about the serious charges against Borkowski.

The charges stem from an incident that happened at the end of May, while Borkowski was at the Sanford airport.

Police said they noticed his car had a stolen tag and when they questioned him about it, he admitted putting it on his car because his was expired.

While police were investigating, they said they discovered three bags of methamphetamine in the car.

Borkowski had been working as a science teacher at Lake Minneola High School, but once the district found out about the charges, he wasn’t allowed to return the school, and he was suspended without pay.

Borkowski is scheduled to face a judge on the charges next week.

Officials with the school district said they have found a replacement.

They said they have to see how the case plays out in court before they can officially fire him.

If he’s found not guilty, they’ll have to allow him to come back to the school district.





Two Missouri women have been indicted on federal conspiracy and other drug-related charges after a Potter County deputy found 8 pounds of methamphetamine in their rental car during a traffic stop this month.


Danielle Nicole Crider, 25, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting; possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to indictments issued in Amarillo’s U.S. District Court.

Christine Marie Endsley, 36, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting.

On Sept. 5, a deputy spotted a gray 2014 Chevrolet Camaro traveling eastbound on Interstate 40 and clocked it on radar traveling at 84 mph in a 75 mph speed zone.

The deputy stopped the Camaro and identified the driver as Endsley, and confirmed that the passenger in the vehicle was Crider, according to a federal court records.

The deputy talked to Endsley, informed her she would receive a warning ticket and directed her to his patrol car. While interviewing Endsley, the officer noticed that she appeared very nervous and parts of her story did not make sense, according to a criminal complaint.

The deputy also spoke to Crider about her trip, and her story about the trip differed from Endsley’s account. The officer again talked to Endsley, and asked her if she had anything illegal in the vehicle.

The officer then named several narcotics by name, and Endsley answered “no” to each item the deputy inquired about.

When the officer asked Endsley if she had any methamphetamine, her answer was spoken under her breath, which was different from her answers to other questions.

The deputy then asked to search the Camaro, and Endsley refused to permit the search and began crying.

A canine unit called to the scene alerted on the Camaro, and deputies searched the car.

Inside the vehicle, officers found five packages containing methamphetamine wrapped in black electrical tape. Officers also found three pistols and two large plastic baggies of methamphetamine in a plastic container.

A forfeiture allegation filed in the case states that if she is convicted, Crider must forfeit a .40-caliber pistol, a .45-caliber pistol and a .32-caliber pistol.




PERRIS (AP) — A Perris city councilman is facing five methamphetamine-related charges after he summoned police to a hotel to report a stolen iPad.


The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office charged 28-year-old Julio Cesar Rodriguez on Thursday with three felonies, including possession of methamphetamine.

He was also charged with two misdemeanors, including being under the influence of meth.

The councilman called police to a hotel in June to report his city-issued iPad had been stolen.

Investigators determined that Rodriguez was under the influence of meth and three glass smoking pipes were located in the motel room.

Investigators say the theft report stemmed from a dispute between Rodriguez and two men involving meth and store merchandise.

Rodriguez’s attorney told the Riverside Press-Enterprise he thought the case involved a small amount of drugs.




SURRY COUNTY, N.C. —A pregnant woman and her boyfriend face multiple meth-related charges following a weeks-long investigation in Surry County.


Ericka Faith Hawks, 22, and Timothy Dwayne Wall, 35, were arrested Thursday following a search of their home on North Main Street near Prison Camp Road in Dobson. They also face a charge of child abuse due to Hawks’ pregnancy, Surry County deputies said.

Deputies allege Hawks and Wall both sold methamphetamine to undercover investigators. A search of their home uncovered a small amount of meth, scales, smoking devices and other paraphernalia, deputies said.

Both face charges of selling and delivering meth, possession with intent to sell and deliver meth, conspiracy to sell and deliver meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were held under $100,000 bonds in the Surry County Detention Center pending Friday court appearances.




BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Alabama lawmen haven’t won the war against methamphetamine but legislation passed two years ago has drastically cut down on clandestine meth labs statewide, authorities said today.


“When I came into office a little over three years ago, meth was an epidemic in the state of Alabama,” Attorney General Luther Strange said in a press conference held outside the Jefferson County Jail. “Hundreds and hundreds of labs were raided across our state every day.”

“We now have the toughest laws against methamphetamine in the U.S.,” Strange said. “Alabama is literally a role model for addressing this scourge.”

Lawmen are still battling meth made in Mexico and smuggled across the borders.

“It goes to the importance of securing our borders,” Strange said. “It’s not just about illegal immigration, it’s also about illegal drugs. As long as we have a porous border, it makes it easier for people to bring in these drugs and it’s now up to about 80 percent of the problem.”

Among those attending today’s press conference were: Strange, Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale, former Rep. Blaine Galliher, who sponsored the 2012 legislation, Etowah County Drug Task Force Commander Rob Savage and Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall, who is the former president of the District Attorneys Association.

What authorities describe as the nation’s toughest ant-meth legislation passed in Alabama in 2012. Much of it focused on restrictions in the sale of certain cold and allergy medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, used in the manufacturing of meth.

Included in that law is: the establishment of a drug offender database; enhancement of the drug paraphernalia laws to allow prosecution of intent even if pseudoephedrine is absent; reductions in the monthly allowable amount of pseudoephedrine that any one person can purchase; establishment of a felony charge for anyone convicted of being involved in smurfing, which when a person or group of people person or group of people that go from one store to another in order to gain enough pseudoephedrine to make meth; restitution of expenses incurred in prosecution of meth lab.

The law also made smurfing — going to multiple stores to acquire meth ingredients — a felony crime in Alabama.

Lawmen and lawmakers also credit the implementation of the NPLEx system in Alabama for reducing fewer precursor ingredients used to make meth ending up in the hands of manufacturers. NPLEx is the electronic point of purchase monitoring system that restricts the sale of certain cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine. All Alabama pharmacies are required to use the system and make a digital record of purchases and attempted purchases of pseudoephedrine.

Proof of the success, they say, is in the numbers.

  • The Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force says meth lab seizures statewide decreased from 720 in 2010 to 154 in 2013.
  • In Jefferson County in 2013, NPLEx blocked the sale of 9,845 boxes of pseudoephedrine. That kept more than 24,321 grams of the pseudoephedrine from being used to cook meth.
  • Also in Jefferson County, meth lab seizures dropped 50 percent.
  • The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center reports that the sale of 106,657 boxes of pseudoephedrine was blocked statewide in 2013. The blocked sales resulted in more than 257,816 grams of the precursor chemical being kept of the streets.
  • In Chambers County, there were 44 meth lab busts in 2010. There was only one in 2013.
  • In Marshall County, the sale of more than 46,000 boxes of the precursor chemical was stopped.

“We have seen in each of our jurisdictions throughout the state a dramatic reduction in the number of meth labs which means we’ve done a better job of protecting our children, we’ve done a better job of devoting our resources not to meth lab cleanup but to the ICE that’s coming across the border and allowing us to more effectively reduce this problem in our community,” said District Attorney Marshall.

Sheriff Hale said he’s thrilled with the reduction numbers. “Those are lives saved, and those are less crimes committed,” he said. “Once they get on meth, they’re totally dedicated and they can’t get off it.”

“It really does lead to a life of crime,” the sheriff said. “I have a jail full of those involved in meth and the crimes that are a direct result.”

Galliher described meth as a devastating drug. “I have worked in drug recovery for years and I have seen firsthand not only the impact it has on the user, but also the family, the husbands, mothers, brothers and sisters,” he said. “Meth is a drug that doesn’t discriminate.”

Galliher sponsored the 2012 anti-meth legislation. “When I look back over my life in the legislature, this is certainly to me a legacy bill,” he said. “It may not be one that will go down in the hall of fam as far as legislation that would make you famous, but it’s one that means a lot to me personally and it’s one that I think will help people for years to come.”

Savage, Etowah County’s drug task force commander, has worked in narcotics for more than two decades. A situation seven years ago drove home the danger of meth. “We entered a meth lab residence where a 2-week-old child was laying on the sofa having just undergone open heart surgery. Ten feet away was an active meth lab on the dining room table,” he said.

That sight hit investigators hard. “On that day, we all recommitted,” he said.

“For the first time we have laws in place now that give us the upper hand. We’ve not won this war, perhaps this war is not winnable, but this is a better state today because law enforcement has the tools necessary to address these problems.”





Agents found about six pounds of methamphetamine and $1,700 in cash in a downtown Billings motel on Tuesday, and two California men are accused of bringing the highly addictive drug here for redistribution.


Paul Theodore Alarcon, 47, of Azusa, Calif., and George Garcia Villa, 47, of Tulare, Calif., each waived a preliminary hearing on criminal complaints during a hearing Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby.

The complaints charge the men with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and with conspiracy.

Last year, officers with federal drug task forces were investigating a drug organization out of Tulare and seized more than a pound of meth from a Billings woman, who implicated others and was later convicted on federal drug charges, court records said.

In recent weeks, agents received information that the organization was still trafficking meth in the Billings area. On Tuesday, an informant told an agent that Alarcon and Villa had just brought a large quantity of meth to Billings from California, court records said.

The investigation led to the Western Inn Motel, 3311 Second Ave. N., where agents contacted staff, set up surveillance and watched the comings and goings of people from a room Alarcon had rented.

After getting a search warrant for the room, agents found Alarcon and Villa inside. Villa waived his rights and confessed to trafficking meth with Alarcon, court records said.

During the room search, agents found a large plastic bag of meth in a nightstand drawer, several smaller bags of meth and a shoe box containing four large packages wrapped in duct tape, court records said.

An officer cut open one of the packages and found meth that was double-wrapped in vacuum-sealed bags and covered with axle grease, which is commonly used to hide the odor from drug-detecting dogs.

They also found $1,700, a digital scale and other items.

The case will be presented to a grand jury for indictment. If convicted, the men face a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison and up to a $10 million fine. Ostby ordered the men to remain in custody pending requests for detention hearings.

Sgt. Brian Korell, supervisor of the City/County Special Investigations Unit, told The Gazette recently that meth can be bought wholesale from Mexican cartels for $200 to $300 an ounce. By the time that same ounce arrives in Billings, it goes for $2,000 to $2,400.

By applying that math, the drugs seized on Tuesday could be sold for between $192,000 and $230,400.




Two Belle Chasse men affiliated with the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang were arrested last week on kidnapping, second-degree battery, false imprisonment, methamphetamine manufacturing and weapons charges, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Lonnie Greco announced Thursday.


Gregory Blanchard, 37, and Michael Hahn, 30, both of the 100 block of East Walker Road, ran the LA Riders – Plaquemines Parish Chapter, an affiliated support motorcycle club of the Bandidos, officials said. Bandidos members use their clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises, such as drug and weapon trafficking, according to national and local authorities.


Blanchard’s wife, Amanda Blanchard, 33, also was booked on a charge of operating a clandestine methamphetamine lab. Gregory Blanchard is the president of the LA Riders – Plaquemines Parish Chapter and Hahn is the chapter’s sergeant-at-arms, according to the Sheriff’s Office.


The Bandidos in part “are involved in production, transportation and distribution of methamphetamine,” along with transporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal authorities say the group in part works by “members of supporting clubs, known as ‘puppet’ or ‘duck’ club members” who “have sworn allegiance to another club but who support and do the ‘dirty work’ of the mother club.”


Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Becnel said on Thursday that the department has been coordinating with federal and state agencies this week to share information on the Bandidos gang and that the sheriff waited to release information on their arrests until Thursday to prevent jeopardizing that ongoing investigation.

Blanchard and Hahn in part are accused of kidnapping and beating Blanchard’s 18-year-old nephew on Sept. 17.

Earlier that day, Blanchard’s nephew, whose name was being withheld by authorities fearing reprisals by other affiliated Bandidos gang members, was helping a man, David Bruce, 38, a few blocks down Walker Road – a remote area of Belle Chasse – with some automotive work.


Bruce confronted the teenager about being high on the synthetic marijuana Mojo and when Bruce called Blanchard about it, Blanchard said he’d come over and resolve the matter, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The nephew then called the Sheriff’s Office in fear for his safety. As the 18-year-old waited for deputies, Blanchard and Michael Hahn arrived, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Blanchard punched his nephew three times in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, and Hahn kicked him in the stomach, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

They then forced him into a barn, where he was tied to a chair and eventually strangled by Bruce until he lost consciousness, according to what the nephew later told authorities. Bruce, who is wearing a firefighter polo shirt in his booking photo, is a volunteer firefighter with the David Crockett Fire Department in Gretna, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

When a deputy arrived, Bruce told the officer that he was at the wrong place and sent him to another site, according to the Sheriff’s Office. However, the deputy persisted and eventually found the victim in the barn.

The three men said Blanchard’s nephew had a drug-induced seizure from smoking the synthetic marijuana. The nephew first went along with that story, later telling sheriff’s officials that he feared retaliation if he told the truth, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

But the next day, Thursday, Sept. 18, the victim discussed the beating with authorities, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

When detectives went to interview Blanchard on Friday, Sept. 19, they found possible evidence of a methamphetamine laboratory. After investigators with the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division obtained a search warrant for Blanchard’s residence, they collected items commonly used to manufacture methamphetamine, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators also seized two pistols and two assault rifles, one of which was sawed-off.

Both Blanchard and Hahn were booked on charges of simple kidnapping, false imprisonment, second-degree battery, operating a clandestine methamphetamine lab and possession of firearms with a controlled dangerous substance. Hahn also was booked on a charge of possession of a sawed-off rifle.

Bruce was booked on a second-degree battery charge.

Investigators also learned that Blanchard’s residence was commonly occupied by Lyndsey Fannin, 33, Brandon Franklin, 19, and Amanda Blanchard, 33. Each of them was booked on a charge of operating a clandestine methamphetamine lab.




The Feilding man who shot an unsuspecting motorist with a shotgun was fearful for his family and high on methamphetamine at the time – and will go to prison for his actions.


Hayden Tui Te Oka, 28, was sentenced in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday to three years and two months in prison for firing a gun with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and unrelated dishonesty offences.

He shot Marton man Lester Stantiall, who was driving his Subaru WRX past Te Oka’s father’s house at the time, in the hand.

He was driving slowly down Makino Rd about 9pm on August 9, looking at letterbox numbers so he could find a friend’s house.

Little did he know Te Oka was sitting in a shed, armed with a shotgun he had borrowed.

He fired at Stantiall’s car as it slowly drove past, spraying it with pellets.

Stantiall first thought something was wrong with his car, before realising he had been shot and getting to Palmerston North Hospital.

Defence lawyer Fergus Steedman said Te Oka’s life had well and truly gone off the rails since he was convicted last year of assaulting a rugby coach during an under-11 game of rugby.

He had been taking drugs for a number of years, but his drug of choice for the past 18 months had been methamphetamine.

While impaired by the drug at the time he used the shotgun, Te Oka would have used it regardless, because of family matters, Steedman said.

Someone had seriously assaulted a family member the day before the shooting – that incident was not reported to police – and the rest of the family were worried about their safety.

Te Oka felt he had to do whatever he could to keep his family safe, Steedman said. He had been told which cars the people alleged to be seeking his family would be driving.

One of them was a Subaru.

“Someone totally innocent was driving the wrong Subaru at the wrong time.”

Crown prosecutor Michele Wilkinson-Smith said the crime was serious.

Stantiall had suffered a “shocking” experience, she said.

The wound needed surgery, he was at risk of losing his finger, and he lost his job because he could no longer do it.

Judge Stephanie Edwards said the methamphetamine would have severely impacted Te Oka’s judgment, making the situation more dangerous.

His reasons for offending were not mitigating.

“Vigilante actions, whatever form they take, are unacceptable.”

The judge ordered Te Oka to pay $3611 in reparation to Stantiall.

Stantiall previously told the Manawatu Standard he had accepted an apology from Te Oka, and that his hand had been healing well.




AUBURN | The last year has not been easy for Kelly Leeson.


Over the past 12 months, the 27-year-old Genoa woman has been arrested six times in Cayuga County and charged with a slew of offenses ranging from driving while impaired by drugs to criminal mischief.

And on Thursday morning in Cayuga County Court, she pleaded guilty to four of the approximately 16 charges.

In exchange for a promised sentence of two to six years in prison and one year of post-release supervision, Leeson admitted using a stolen credit card to purchase tobacco on one occasion and making meth on another.

Leeson, of 10055 Route 90, told the court she used a stolen credit card to buy about $500 worth of cigarettes this winter. She also admitted helping a co-defendant make meth in Auburn this summer during an unrelated incident.

“I purchased Sudafed to manufacture meth — coffee filters, Coleman fuel, drain filters and bottles,” she said, her shackles clinking as she jiggled her legs.

For the Jan. 31 incident, Leeson pleaded guilty to first-degree identity theft and second-degree forgery. For the July 12 incident, she pleaded guilty to third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and second-degree criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material.

When she is sentenced on Nov. 20, Leeson is expected to receive an order to participate in the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment program.




CHATSWORTH, GA (WRCB) – A Chatsworth woman was busted in Gordon County for her alleged role in a major meth trafficking operation.


Deputies say they’ve been investigating a conspiracy to traffic meth in eastern Gordon County for a month now.

An undercover agent bought several large quantities of meth from Jana Bishop of Chatsworth and Mackenzie Dare of Marietta. During the investigation, deputies seized 8 thousand dollars worth of meth.

Bishop was arrested Tuesday at a secluded location on Hightower Loop where she planned to meet with an undercover officer. Dare was arrested Wednesday at a separate location on Red Bud Road. They were charged with trafficking methamphetamine and sale of methamphetamine.

A warrant has been issued for a third suspect.





GCSO busts ‘major meth distribution conspiracy’ in Eastern Gordon County

Following a month long investigation, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested two women and issued warrants for a third person in a “major methamphetamine conspiracy, trafficking operation in eastern Gordon County,” Sheriff Mitch Ralston said in a press release.

Beginning in early September, deputies developed information regarding a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine into eastern Gordon County by a Chatsworth woman and a Marietta woman. Following many hours of surveillance and intelligence gathering, an undercover deputy met with both defendants on a number of separate occasions in locations in and about the eastern part of the county, where the deputy purchased several large quantities of methamphetamine.

Deputies Tuesday afternoon arrested Jana Diane Bishop, 25, of Chatsworth, as she arrived at a secluded location on Hightower Loop to meet with the undercover officer. The following day, deputies arrested Mackenzie G. Dare, 19, of Marietta, when she arrived for a meeting with the undercover officer near Red Bud Road and U.S. Highway 411.

Arrest warrants have been issued for a third defendant who is being actively sought.

Deputies assigned to the case describe Bishop and Dare as the “principle defendants” and have reason to believe that the two women were involved in the distribution of methamphetamine on a wide scale in Gordon County for some time.

During the course of the investigation, deputies seized more than $8,000 worth of processed methamphetamine packaged for resale.

Bishop and Dare have both been charged with conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and sell of methamphetamine. Both defendants are being held in the county jail pending bond proceedings.




GREAT FALLS — Anne Margaret Cassidy of Vaughn has been charged after allegedly stealing college money from her step-daughter to buy meth.


Court documents state that the step-daughter had received a $3,600 scholarship to attend college and had placed the money in her wallet.

When she noticed the money was missing, she asked Cassidy, who the victim said has a history of drug use.

Cassidy admitted taking the money and using it to buy meth.

A Cascade County Sheriff’s Deputy investigating the theft at the home on Wednesday night noted that Cassidy appeared to be under the influence of meth, and she admitted to the officer that she was an addict and that she had taken the money to buy meth.

When the officer asked if she had meth on her, she reached into her back pocket and pulled out a bindle containing a white substance which tested positive as meth.

Cassidy is facing charges two felony charges: theft, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.




DENVER — Hailed as “one of the largest single incidents of methamphetamine seizure” by Colorado law enforcement, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office said Monday, Sept. 22, that 17 people were indicted as part of “Operation Cargo” on suspicion of trafficking meth.


In working with the West Metro Drug Task Force, the Adams County D.A.’s Office, and Thornton and Denver police, Attorney General John Suthers announced that a statewide grand jury had indicted 17 people alleged to be involved with the meth trafficking, with 64 counts of violations of the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion.

“After conducting five wiretaps over five weeks, fifty-five pounds of meth was taken off the streets,” said Suthers. “The brazenness of this ring was astounding. For example, customers could literally walk up to a food truck and order a side of meth with their taco.”

The 17 individuals named in the indictment were allegedly part of the Gonzalez Drug Trafficking Organization, which law enforcement officials say has been importing meth and cocaine from Mexico into California and transporting it to Colorado.

“This investigation has put a significant dent in the meth trade in Adams County,” said Adams County District Attorney Dave Young. “A massive amount of meth has been seized, keeping these lethal drugs out of our community.”

Oscar Ruvalcaba is accused of being the “load car” driver who transported the drugs into Colorado and delivered them to Juan Carlos Gonzalez. In August, DEA and the West Metro Drug Task Force seized 55 pounds of meth, some of which Ruvalcaba hid in the floor of a red Mini Cooper. That incident netted one of the largest amounts of meth ever confiscated in a single bust in Colorado.

According to the indictment, upon receipt of the drugs, Gonzalez would distribute them primarily through his aunts, Monica Gonzalez and Luz Gonzalez as well as to others in the ring to sell. Maria Arellano is accused of selling the meth out of her taco trailer located at 8th and Federal Avenue in Denver.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Barbra M. Roach stated that, “Guns, money and record amounts of crystal methamphetamine were seized during this multi-agency investigation. Today’s arrests represent the final dismantlement of the apex of this organized transnational criminal activity operating in Colorado.”

The allegations outline how Jennifer Seipp and Juan Carlos Gonzalez conspired to evade paying taxes and engaged in a pattern of racketeering to hide the money.



On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Patricia A. McLain, 54, of Benton, was taken into custody on tentative charges of possession and distribution of methamphetamine, said a press release from the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department.


According to the press release, at around 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Lafayette County Sheriff’s deputies, members of the Richland-Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force and the Iowa County K-9, Rosko, executed a search warrant at a residence in the village of Benton, where McLain was taken into custody. During the search, a significant amount of methamphetamine was recovered, said the press release.

According to Lafayette County Sheriff, Scott Pedley, the amount of meth seized was 256.5 grams, which with a street value of approximately $80-$100 per gram, makes for an estimated worth of between $20,500 to $25,000 total street value.

Based on a tip, Lafayette County detectives requested assistance from the Richland -Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force to investigate a location in Iowa County, which then revealed the involvement of McLain, explained the press release.

McLain is facing four counts of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, along with misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines on each felony charge if convicted.

A preliminary hearing on the matter is scheduled in Lafayette County Circuit Court on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 10:30 a.m.




BLOOMFIELD, Mo. — A Dexter, Missouri, restaurant owner is scheduled to appear in court today after being charged with possessing methamphetamine.

After an investigation by the SEMO Drug Task Force and the Stoddard County Sheriff’s Office, Robert Lay, 45, owner of The Grill off Business Highway 60 on the western edge of Dexter, was arrested at the restaurant on Friday. He posted bond Monday.

Deputy Keith Haynes, who also works on the Task Force, served Lay with an arrest warrant at the business, according to a probable-cause affidavit. Lay complied with emptying his pockets, and among the items in his possession was a “short red snort straw.”

At that point, Lay was advised of his rights, and he gave Haynes permission to search the restaurant’s office area.

In a desk drawer, Haynes found a plastic baggie containing a solid rock of what appeared to be crystal methamphetamine.

Lay subsequently was charged with meth possession and was transported to the Stoddard County Jail, where his bond was set at $20,000 cash only.

That bond was later amended to 10 percent cash or surety.

Lay is scheduled to appear before Judge Joe Z. Satterfield at 9 a.m. today.




  •  Baby is being kept alive by a life support machine after being fed potent drug
  • Silvia Strnadova, 26, and husband Miroslav, 30, arrested by Slovak police
  • Crystal meth has deeply unpleasant side effects and is dangerously addictive
  • Father had reputation for being dangerous and ‘best crystal meth cooker’


A four-month-old baby is fighting for his life after his drug addict parents fed him crystal meth to stop him from crying.  1411575269344_wps_65_Pic_shows_Woman_Silvia_St

Silvia Strnadova, 26, and husband Miroslav, 30, took the unconscious child to hospital but he was left brain dead and is only being kept alive by a life support machine.

The parents from the town of Prievidza in the north-western Slovak region of Horna Nitrawere were arrested after police discovered that they had given the infant a strong dose of the potent drug.

A hospital spokesman said: ‘They came into the waiting room with the unconscious baby in a pram and demanded to see a doctor.

‘When we carried out checks it became apparent the child was in a critical state and had been given a strong dosage of drugs.’

Head doctor Anna Moracikova added: ‘The child’s brain is severely damaged and he is clinically dead. His chances of survival are minimal and he is being kept alive by a life support machine.’

The drug crystal meth – made notorious by the popular US drama Breaking Bad – is a powerful stimulant known for its fast and long-lasting effects.

It delivers a euphoric high, but has deeply unpleasant side effects and is dangerously addictive. It can keep users awake for days, followed by a severe come-down.

Referred to as ‘ice’ or ‘glass’, crystal meth – a form of methamphetamine – can be consumed orally, sniffed, smoked or injected.



In its most popular crystalline form it resembles glass shavings or a crystal rock but is also available in pills and powder.

Across the US, where there are thought to be a million users, before and after pictures of users are often used to emphasize its ravaging effects, such as tooth decay.

Across Europe, seizures of methamphetamine have increased from 30kg in 2000 to 1,582kg in 2011.

Neighbors reacted with shock at the news but say the pair were well-known for their drug abuse.

Jana Trznikova, 36, said: ‘Really weird people kept going to their apartment. I always worried about letting my children play outside because you never knew what would happen.


‘She’s well-known for not settling down and already has two other children with different men.

‘He was known locally as the Crocodile on the drug scene, with a reputation for being the best crystal meth cooker, and because of his bad temper and the fact that he was dangerous.’

Social workers have also come under fire over their failure to take the child away from the pair.

Ms Trznikova said: ‘They should never have been allowed to keep that poor baby.’

A police spokesman said: ‘The man admitted giving the baby the meths in order to stop him crying. He has been arrested for neglect and for causing harm to a minor.

That may change if the child dies. He is in custody, while the woman has for the time being been released. We are still investigating her for failing to stop her partner giving the child the drug.’




Area law enforcement officials say methamphetamine use remains prevalent in the area, but it’s not solely a local problem.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of meth,” Garfield County Sheriff Jerry Niles said. “Methamphetamine is the driving force behind a lot of our crime.”


Niles said people attempting to support a habit turn to criminal means.

“A lot of our theft, our property crimes, is people fighting addiction,” he said.

The sheriff said the majority of the methamphetamine his deputies find is coming from across the border in Mexico.

“We are finding large quantities of methamphetamine being transported or smuggled into the state,” Niles said. “Predominately, it’s being imported because of our porous southern border.”

Enid Police Department Narcotics Unit Sgt. Eric Reddick said he and other detectives are seeing larger quantities of the drug.

In May, law enforcement agencies dismantled a suspected multi-county methamphetamine and heroin trafficking ring operating mostly in the Enid area.

The operation was believed to be responsible for importing a pound of methamphetamine into the area every week.

“It’s still here,” Reddick said of the drug. “That’s pretty much all we are seeing, is that and high-grade marijuana.”

He said a recent search warrant found one man was in possession of 4 ounces of methamphetamine. Less than 10 years ago, finding such a large quantity would not have been the case.

“It was common for users to have a gram of meth,” Reddick said. “If someone had an ounce you had found a major dealer. The ounce has become the new gram in today’s drug world.”

Oklahoma’s law restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine has limited the manufacturing of methamphetamine but also is for increasing its importation.

“The meth we are purchasing and seizing with search warrants and arrests, it’s all ice, or the crystal meth, that comes from Mexico,” Reddick said. “When we got the pseudo law passed, the Mexican cartels essentially flooded the market with it, and we were off to the races.”

Reddick said methamphetamine was not a problem unique to the Enid area.

“It’s everywhere”, he said. “It’s not just Enid.”



A Sorrento husband and wife were arrested Monday on suspicion of operating a large-scale methamphetamine dealing operation out of their home.


Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives, with help from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, made arrangements to buy a “large quantity of methamphetamine” from 36-year-old Donald Sanford at his residence on the 8200 block of Pond Street in Sorrento.

They then conducted a search of the home, where they found meth, four handguns, two bulletproof vests, marijuana, methamphetamine pipes, scales, and $92,961 in cash, officials said. Sanford and his wife Chelsea’s 4-year-old child was present at the home, and was released to relatives.

Donald Sanford was arrested on suspicion of distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, four counts illegal carrying of weapons, illegal use of controlled substances in the presence of a person under 17, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts illegal possession of body armor, and four counts possession of firearms by convicted felon.

Chelsea Sanford, 22, was arrested on suspicion of being a principal to distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, four counts illegal carrying of weapons, illegal use of controlled substances in presence of person under 17, possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts illegal possession of body armor. Chelsea Sanford has no prior criminal history.


The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office noted that Donald Sanford has a lengthy criminal history, and has been arrested 13 times since 1996 on charges ranging from robbery, to burglary, to stalking.





  LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) – After an 18 month investigation into what law enforcement is calling “Operation Ice Storm” in Clinton, 49 suspects have been arrested on charges involving possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and weapons possession.49 Arrests Made 3

Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; along with David Downing, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); 20th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland; and Van Buren County Sheriff Scott Bradley announced an investigation into a large-scale drug trafficking organization based in Clinton resulted in the early-morning arrests of multiple defendants on charges involving possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, and
weapons possession. Ten of the defendants were already in state custody on separate charges.

“Today, a major drug trafficking organization in Van Buren County was dismantled,” stated Thyer. “This organization put the citizens and children of Clinton and the surrounding community at risk every day. Through the efforts of law enforcement at all levels, we have brought federal charges against these drug-dealing criminals to get them off and keep them off the streets for years to come.”

Methamphetamine destroys the lives of its abusers and has far-reaching negative effects in the communities where it takes hold,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Downing. “By targeting local distribution networks in Arkansas, DEA and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners are working to reduce overall crime and improve the quality of life for area residents. The numerous arrests and seizures in this investigation are the result of our close cooperation and part of our on-going efforts to ensure that drug traffickers are held responsible for the harm they cause.”

Prosecutor Cody Hiland added, “today’s arrests are the culmination of an 18 month criminal investigation that began with a local tire shop in Clinton. I think today’s operation certainly highlights the value of our local drug task forces and the virtue of working with other state and federal law enforcement agencies in helping make our communities more safe. The operation today is historic in scope and size and its impact on the illegal drug trade in Van Buren County will
continue to be felt in the years to come.”


49 Arrests Made49 Arrests Made 2

The DEA and 20th Judicial Drug Task Force investigation began in January 2011. Multiple undercover operations and numerous other law enforcement actions, including multiple seizures of methamphetamine were used during the investigation. All told, the Task Force purchased and seized more than 6 pounds of methamphetamine from the Jeffery Weaver drug trafficking organization (DTO) through controlled purchases and search warrants. The DEA and Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) also seized a total of 52 firearms. In addition, the defendants charged in the indictment are responsible for distributing or possessing over 300 pounds of methamphetamine.

The indictment, unsealed this afternoon, was handed down by a Federal Grand Jury on September 11, 2014. The indictment charges 34 defendants in 45 separate counts. The counts include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, aiding and abetting the distribution of methamphetamine, felon in possession of firearms, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and the use of telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine each defendant will face a sentence of not less than 10 years to life imprisonment. The investigation and prosecution of this case is a coordinated effort through the David G. Wilhelm OCDETF Strike Force and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and was conducted by the DEA and the 20th Judicial Drug Task Force with assistance from several law enforcement agencies including the ATF, Arkansas State Police, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas National Guard, Conway Police Department, and the United States Marshal Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kristin Bryant and Stephanie Mazzanti.

An indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.