YUMA, AZ – Border patrol agents in Yuma seized more than $1 million worth of cocaine and methamphetamine at a checkpoint Friday.

Agents reportedly stopped a man driving a Chevy Silverado at the Highway 95 checkpoint. During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered the drugs hidden in the gas tank.



A total of 42 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.2 pounds of cocaine were seized. The drugs were valued at $1,142,000, according to a report.

The driver and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.



Nearly 20 pounds of heroin and methamphetamine were seized last month in the Bronx and Queens, according to NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan and NY State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico. It’s believed that the four kilos (about nine pounds) of meth was produced in a Mexican megalab.


The meth has a street value of $960,000, while the four-and-half kilos of heroin is worth over a million. According to the authorities, the NY Sate Police Special Investigations Unit observed three men handing off three kilos of heroin (including “black tar” heroin) in the Bronx on April 9. Then the police busted the house the trio had left—a stash house in Corona Queens, where they found “a dresser with a hidden compartment containing the remaining 1.5 kilograms of heroin (over 3 lbs.) and the 4 kilos methamphetamine, as well as a 9 mm handgun and a loaded magazine clip,” plus “a ledger discussing “ice” transactions, $2,000 that had been hidden inside a vent, and equipment for packaging narcotics, including masks, grinders, a kilo-press and a scale.”

Miguel Mercado-Guelen (who was deported in 2003), Henry Nunez and Diego Estevez all face drug and conspiracy charges. Brennan said, “This seizure is typical of a pattern that we’ve seen developing in our narcotics investigations across the city. Methamphetamine is a homegrown product for Mexican cartels.

Clearly they are trying to promote the use and addiction to crystal meth here in New York City. The city Health Department data reflects a dangerous escalation in related hospitalizations. This case affirms our commitment with the New York State Police and our other law enforcement partners to curtail the distribution of this extremely dangerous drug.”





STANDISH, Maine — Already a dangerously accessible drug, experts say methamphetamines are easier to make than ever before, and because it can now be manufactured quickly and almost anywhere, specialized training to neutralize the toxic, explosive — and portable — chemicals is needed in Maine.

“All the stuff you see on TV, with beaker bottles and big labs, that’s old school,” said William York, CEO of the Gorham-based BioSpecialists LLC. “You could make 1 to 4 grams of methamphetamines in a backpack. No fancy glasswork, no lab coat and ‘Dr. Crazy’ [outfit], just a backpack. They’re doing it in campers, hotel rooms, trailers — anywhere. Somebody could walk into a [restaurant] restroom and not come out for an hour, and then that place has a major problem.”

Rob Hunt of Gorham-based BioSpecialists LLC applies a neutralization agent to the walls of a vacant Standish home Sunday as part of a meth lab remediation training.

Rob Hunt of Gorham-based BioSpecialists LLC applies a neutralization agent to the walls of a vacant Standish home Sunday as part of a meth lab remediation training

Meth has become a scourge in some states — Missouri, Indiana and Tennessee are among the statistically hardest hit — with addictions spreading like wildfire and users notoriously appearing in police mugshots with gaunt faces, pale skin and sunken eyes. It’s the closest thing America has to a real zombie plague, said Lee Surgener of Akron-based Ohio Clan Lab Neutralization Techs.

Surgener was in Maine over the weekend delivering a Saturday seminar for area law enforcement officials and first responders on how to spot signs of methamphetamine production in their communities, followed by a Sunday training for BioSpecialists technicians on how to apply chemical cleansers to a location where the drug has been “cooked.”

Once the drug has been produced, the process leaves behind an almost molecular-level residue on every surface, soaked in nearby fabrics and lingering in out-of-reach heating ducts, Surgener said.

According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, there were seven methamphetamine labs discovered by police in 2012. That’s the highest number on record and a significant increase compared with 2009′s figure of just one.

“It’s not a significant problem compared to other states,” Surgener said. “But it’s going to spread.”

Surgener said if Maine is anything like his home state of Ohio, the number of labs recorded is likely a tip-of-the-iceberg number. In Ohio, he said it took high-profile tragedies to get the public and state leaders to realize the scope of the problem. He said he hopes that won’t be the case in Maine.

“For every meth lab the [drug enforcement agency] is busting, you may have four to 10 that people don’t know about,” he said. “It took a toddler dying and a nursing home burning up in Ohio before people woke up.”

In February of last year, 17-month-old Patrick Lerch died of methamphetamine poisoning in an Akron case that saw four people, including the child’s mother, convicted of crimes related to the death. The next month, a fire at Park Haven Nursing Home in Ashtabula, Ohio, killed one person and was traced back to a portable meth lab set up by visitors in a second-floor room of the building.

“This is the most dangerous drug on the planet,” York said. “Everything they need to cook this drug is available in a person’s hometown. … If they’ve got access to a drugstore and a hardware store, they’re in business.”

York said methamphetamines are popular among some users because the drug can be made privately using easy-to-find medicines, chemicals and instruments, allowing users to avoid meeting with dealers and keeping them another step away from possible detection by law enforcement. Also, he said the drug triggers a euphoric high that lasts between six and 16 hours. In comparison, cocaine users get a 30- to 60-minute high from that drug, York said.

But the process to produce meth covers the surrounding area with a toxic byproduct even after the operation has been disassembled and removed, Surgener said. The federal government has determined that any greater concentration than 0.1 micrograms per 100 centimeters squared is dangerous to be exposed to, he said.

That means less than a pinprick on the corner of a CD case can cause serious health problems, Surgener said, and items such as rugs and teddy bears can absorb 15 to 30 times that amount.

“You just can’t see it,” he said.

During Sunday morning’s training, BioSpecialists technicians mixed a chemical neutralizing agent and then sprayed the shaving cream-like substance over interior surfaces in a tax-acquired two-story home on Route 35 in Standish. Treatments such as that are necessary to make a home habitable again after methamphetamines are produced there.

State and local governments pay $15,000 to break down a lab and clean the surrounding structure, according to information posted online by Maine DHHS, but York said with proper training, private organizations like his may provide the service for less money.

The Standish home where Sunday’s training took place is vacant but was not actually the site of a methamphetamine lab. The training was agreed to by the town, said Ruth-Ann Labrecque, assistant to Town Manager Gordon Billington.

Surgener said larger scale meth lab operators often leave excess garbage around their properties, including bottles of leftover chemicals, and often can be identified by members of the public if they know what to look for.

“The telltale signs of what you’re looking for in a meth lab you can see without setting foot in the homes,” he said. “If the public gets informed, that goes a long way toward controlling the problem.”

Surgener added: “[Meth is] here. It’s not that it’s coming. It’s here now, and it’s not going anywhere.”





SMYRNA, Tenn. Police in Smyrna discovered a meth lab at a home on Saturday where two children were staying.

Officers were called to the home on Hazelwood Drive near Smyrna Middle School around 4:00 p.m. on a reported domestic disturbance.

When they arrived, officers found a non-working meth lab inside the home. The fire department and the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force removed the lab.

46-year-old Edward Wayne Tarpley and 45-year-old Tabitha Diane Tarpley were charged with initiation of a meth lab, promotion of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule 1 drug, and two counts of child abuse.

The two children in the house were put in the custody of their grandparents.





St. Louis ( KSDK ) — A man was severely burned in an explosion in a basement apartment Saturday afternoon in the 3600 block of Castleman.

Police were summoned to the scene after firefighters found what they believed were ingredients used to make methamphetamine.

The force of the blast blew the front door apart.

A St. Louis fire department spokesman says the man, in his mid 40’s, emerged from the heavily-damaged apartment unit with 2nd-degree burns, including to his face. But he was able to speak briefly before being rushed to a hospital.

No one else was hurt.





Prosecutors have charged a suspected drug dealer with driving under the influence of methamphetamine when he allegedly hit and killed a man with his van.

Ashton Lee Godfrey, 20, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with automobile homicide, as well as DUI causing death, in case the court determines there isn’t enough evidence for the former. Both are second-degree felonies that carry a sentence of one to 15 years in prison.

Godfrey was also charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, also second-degree felonies. He faces additional lesser charges, including four counts of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person and one count of drug-paraphernalia possession.

On March 7, Unified police responded to a report of a Chevrolet Astro striking a pedestrian at 3850 S. 1100 East in Millcreek. They arrived to find Larry Madison, 64, critically injured on the side of the road.

Madison was taken to Intermountain Medical Center and died that afternoon. He had spent 40 years as a programmer at MediaOne, which oversees printing and advertising for The Salt Lake Tribune.

Based on surveillance video, a witness and evidence at the scene, investigators said they determined that Godfrey, the driver of the van, had been going south on 1100 East when he crossed into the northbound lanes and kept drifting east until he hit Madison. The retired programmer had been walking in the shoulder of the road.

Godfrey stopped to offer assistance, but as an officer spoke with Godfrey, he concluded the man was under the influence, according to the charges. A test of his blood showed positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, the charges add.

Police said a search of the van turned up alcohol, methamphetamine, psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, a digital scale, plastic bags for drug packaging, a firearm with ammo and three knives.

Godfrey has no prior criminal convictions, according to a search of Utah court records.







HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) – Homewood police announced Friday they’ve arrested a 19-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico on drug and weapons charges after pulling him over in a traffic stop. Police believe he may be connected to a Mexican drug cartel.

Homewood officers pulled over Juan Alberto Canedo at the intersection on Valley Avenue and Greensprings for a traffic violation on Tuesday, May 14.

Juan Alberto Canedo. Source: Homewood Police Department.

Juan Alberto Canedo 

Homewood police confiscated 30 ounces of red, white and blue methamphetamine from Juan Canedo as well as an automatic pistol. Source: Dennis Washington
Homewood police confiscated 30 ounces of red, white and blue methamphetamine from Juan Canedo as well as an automatic pistol

Homewood police held a press conference on Friday to discuss the case. Source: Dennis Washington

Homewood police held a press conference on Friday to discuss the case

Police say a K-9 unit recently added to the department detected the drugs in a hidden compartment in the car. Officers found more than 30 ounces of red, white and blue crystal methamphetamines plus an automatic pistol.

With a street value of around $127,000, this is the most meth ever confiscated in Homewood, Police Chief Jim Roberson said.

Roberson believes 19-year-old Canedo is likely a mule, or transporter of drugs, in the Mexican drug cartel. Police say around 80 percent of the meth trade in the U.S. has been taken over by the Mexican drug cartel due to a crackdown on meth by states.

“We are desperately trying to stem the tide of illegal drugs into our country in general and in Homewood specifically,” Roberson said.

Homewood mayor Scott McBrayer congratulated his officers. McBrayer says the arrest demonstrates the city’s commitment to fighting drugs.

“Homewood is watching and it’s not something our residents and businesses will tolerate. Thankfully we’ve got a community that will back that up,” McBrayer said.

Canedo is charged with trafficking methamphetamine, carrying a pistol without a permit and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. Canedo, who is originally from Tijuana, Mexico, is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on no bond. He is considered a flight risk.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement are working together with Homewood police on this case.







Police on Saturday arrested three Hmong tribesmen and seized drugs with an estimated street value of more than 450 million baht at Chatuchak market.

The haul included 1.45 million methamphetamine pills and eight kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, said officers.

Police said they had received intelligence reports that the three men had rented a stall at Chatuchak market, ostensibly to sell Hmong bags and handicrafts.

Officers staked out the area, believing the drugs were on the scene.

About 5am Saturday, the three suspects came to the stall. While one of them was opening a locker, police arrested the three. When officers searched the stall’s back room they found the “ya ba” pills and the “ya ice”.

Charged with possessing illegal drugs for sale were Kasama Charoenman, 37, Anuchon Laojang, 20, and Panya Wangtrakul, 25.

Police said the suspects admitted they had been paid 380,000 baht by a Hmong drug ring in a northern border province to transport the illicit drugs to Bangkok.







SAN LUIS, Ariz. – An Arizona man was arrested Thursday for attempting to smuggle 34 pounds of cocaine into the United States.

Customs and Border Protection officers arrested 29-year-old Guillermo Nunez Villa after a narcotics detection canine alerted to drugs in his gas tank.

Meth in the bumper

Meth in the bumper


Cocaine in the gas tank

Cocaine in the gas tank

Officers found 17 packages of cocaine worth $310,000. Nunez was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Wednesday, officers arrested a 28-year-old U.S. citizen for attempting to smuggle 25 pounds of methamphetamine across the border.

CBP officers referred Juan Antonio Ruiz-Espinoza for an inspection of his Oldsmobile sedan as he tried to enter the states. A drug-sniffing canine alerted to the presence of drugs, and a routine X-ray noted an anomaly in the front bumper.

The drugs and vehicle were seized, and Ruiz was turned over to ICE-HSI.



A British woman could face the death penalty in Indonesia after being arrested for allegedly smuggling crystal methamphetamine into the country from China, an official said Saturday.

The woman, identified only by her initials AR, was arrested at a hotel in the city of Surabaya, East Java province, last month with 1.47 kilogrammes of the drug, the national narcotics agency said.

“Because she smuggled drugs weighing more than five grammes, she could face the death penalty,” agency spokesman Sumirat Dwiyanto told AFP.

He declined to give further details about the woman, who is being held in Jakarta, or when she was likely to be charged.

A British embassy spokesman confirmed the news: “We are aware of the arrest of a British national… We are providing consular assistance.”

The case comes just months after British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle $2.4 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali.

In the latest case, AR, who lives in China, admitted after her arrest on April 29, that a Nigerian had asked her to bring the drugs to Indonesia, the agency said. The Nigerian was still at large, it added.

The woman also identified two other people she had been planning to pass the drugs to in Surabaya and Jakarta, and they were also detained, the agency said.

It did not say what their nationalities were. They are also being held in Jakarta.

Foreigners are regularly charged with drugs offences in Indonesia, which has some of the toughest anti-narcotics laws in the world, but most are caught in Bali.

Sandiford, 56, was sentenced to death in January after being caught with cocaine as she arrived at Bali airport, in a shock verdict after prosecutors recommended 15 years in jail.

She lost a first appeal against the sentence last month, and has since lodged a last-ditch appeal to Indonesia’s top court.

Death row convicts in Indonesia rarely manage to get their sentences lifted. Most spend years in jail before being taken to an isolated location at night and executed by firing squad.







The West Central Illinois Task Force served a search warrant at 201 S. 3rd Street, room # 222 in Quincy late Wednesday night.

Arrested on the charges of Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine was Richard Lee Huddleston, age 45. Arrested for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine and Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine Precursors was Marilyn Kathleen Brewer, age 28. Both Huddleston and Brewer was transported to the Adams County Jail were they were lodged.


Marilyn Brewer

Marilyn Brewer

Richard Huddleston

Richard Huddleston


M/Sgt. Patrick Frazier of the Task Force reports a five year old child was taken into limited custody by the Task Force at the time of the warrant and was turned over the Department of Children and Family Services.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.







A police officer facing a raft of drug-related charges shed a tear while standing in the dock during a court appearance today.

Peter Pakau, 36, who was arrested this morning, is facing 27 charges in total, including using the police computer system for dishonest purposes, conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and supplying methamphetamine.

ONE News reporter Kate Lynch said the father of five appeared visibly shaken while standing in the dock at Waitakere District Court.

When he failed to secure name suppression, Pakau shed a tear, she said. He was remanded in custody until June 6.

Pakau, who is based in Henderson, graduated from Police College in 2008, and has previously received the Police Association’s prize for greatest contribution in his student group.

Pakau’s wife Dianne, a Waikato clinician, and seven others aged between 25 and 59 were also arrested today.

She faces one charge of receiving $2000 from her husband, allegedly knowing that it had been obtained by crime.

Members of the Headhunters motorcycle gang were among those who faced serious drug charges in court today.

Detective Inspector Bruce Scott said the arrests were the culmination of a detailed investigation and reflected the police’s commitment to reducing the harm caused by drugs in the community.







OKLAHOMA CITY —An Oklahoma man was arrested on multiple charges Wednesday after deputies said he admitted to using methamphetamine.

William Talbott, 32, was arrested on complaints of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of stolen property and other charges.


An Oklahoma County Sheriff’s deputy was driving in the 7600 block of Northwest 234th Street in Edmond about 8 a.m. Wednesday when he said he noticed a white Dodge pickup parked on the side of the road. The deputy approached the vehicle and said he found Talbott inside passed out.

According to investigators it took Talbott several minutes to wake up and the deputy said in noticed the vehicle was running without a key in the ignition. According to the deputy, Talbott thought that he was in Shawnee and admitted to using methamphetamine around 3 or 4 a.m. that same day.

Inside of the truck the deputy said he found a zip lock bag with what appeared to be a crystal like substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine as well as a syringe.

The truck Talbott was in had been reported stolen out of Oklahoma City on Monday.

Talbott was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center. His bond has been set at $8,500.00.



BRUNSWICK, GA. | In what appeared to be an episode of the hit show “Breaking Bad,’’ Glynn County-Brunswick narcotics officers found a methamphetamine lab in a motor home.

Brunswick police answering a call to a fight at a Player Street residence about 7 p.m. Thursday learned that two men had been fighting in beside a motor home in the driveway, the Glynn/Brunswick Narcotics Enforcement Team said in a prepared release.

The owner of the house and motor home asked police to check out the camper because he had seen suspicious activity in and around it, the release said.

When officers entered the motor home, they found what appeared to be an active methamphetamine lab, the release said.

The narcotics enforcement team, the Brunswick and Glynn County fire departments and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation responded and investigated, the release said.

Because of the possibility of dangerous chemicals, the Brunswick Fire Department decontaminated the first three city officers who entered the motor home without protective clothing and six other individuals who had been inside it.

Officers arrested Shawn Gailey, 28, and Dara Holder, 21, both of Brunswick, on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine. They are being held without bail in the Glynn County jail.

In the AMC series “Breaking Bad,’’ main character Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher, produced methamphetamine in an old motor home.





Napa Special Investigations arrested six Vallejoans Thursday night on suspicion of a variety of drug charges after finding a suspected methamphetamine manufacturing operation in a house in the 100 block of Martin Street.

About 9 p.m. bureau agents conducted a probation search at the residence in North Vallejo, just south of the American Canyon city limits after getting a tip residents there might be providing methamphetamine to individuals in that city, according to the Napa Sheriff’s Office.

They found seven adults inside the house and some were making a small batch of methamphetamine, Sheriff’s Captain LeRoy Anderson said.

Agents found about 1 gram of finished methamphetamine as well as chemicals used in the production of the drug, plus a loaded shot gun, Anderson said.

Six of the occupants were arrested on a variety of drug related charges and booked at the Napa Department of Corrections.

Taken into custody were Joseph F. Caryle, 47, of Vallejo on suspicion of manufacturing and selling a controlled substance, plus being under the influence of a controlled substance; and Shawn Anderson, 46, on suspicion of manufacturing and selling a controlled substance

Also arrested were Diana Anderson, 48, and John Silvestri, 47, on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance; and Jana Wells, 38, and Paiva Baker, 43, on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.







Havana — Already facing two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in March, a 24-year-old Manito man now faces four serious methamphetamine-related charges, as well.

Joshua J. Hall, being held in the Tazewell County Jail pending the posting of $20,000 of his $200,000 total in bond, now faces six felony counts and three misdemeanors counts.



Hall has been charged with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for making sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl March 15, according to court records.

Mason County State’s Attorney Roger Thomson said Hall has claimed the contact was consensual, but that the girl has said he forced himself on her. Not only was the alleged victim between the ages of 13 and 17, but she was also more than five years younger than Hall

Hall also faces misdemeanor charges for contributing to the delinquency of a child and two counts of unlawful delivery of alcoholic liquor to a person under the age of 21 for allegedly bringing alcohol over to the home of a teenage girl March 14 and drinking with her and another underage person.

Hall’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for Thursday, but his appearance for that matter was precluded by a reading of four new charges that were just recently filed.

The charges against Hall are for participating in meth manufacturing Dec. 24, aggravated delivery of meth to a person under the age of 18 Dec. 29, possession of meth-manufacturing materials Dec. 31 and possession of meth Dec. 31.

A consolidated preliminary hearing for all of the charges against Hall has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 23.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Meth has been around since the 1970s, but it’s only in the last few years that it’s become a pop culture staple. There are hit TV shows, websites and slick Public Service Announcements.

But First Coast resident Amy Cline learned about meth the old-fashioned way.

“It was my best friend who started me on it,” she explains.

Amy didn’t even do drugs — any drugs — until she was married with children. But when she started, she went straight for the hard stuff — “massive amounts,” she said, “every day.”

Her drug problem didn’t really spiral out of control until she met Zach. Amy’s marriage was headed for divorce, Zach was grieving the death of a close friend.

“We were both kind of at low points,” Zach said. “So our low points pulled us even lower.”

The pair began using bath salts. When those became illegal, they returned to snorting meth — and hit it harder than ever.

Amy kept her drug use secret for many years. Even after things got bad, she did her best to hold it together for her three children.

“I would hide from my older two kids,” she said, “because they know me so well, all they have to do is look at me and know something was wrong. My little girl, I’d fake a smile and pretend everything was OK.”

But last summer, the drugs took their their toll. “I couldn’t get out of bed,” she said. “I couldn’t take it anymore. Every day, I wanted to die. I didn’t want to live anymore.”

Amy’s kids never missed school, they didn’t go hungry. But living around drug abuse can be damaging to a child.

Dr. Randall Alexander, chief of the Department of Health’s Statewide Child Protection Team, has seen kids in terrible circumstances from meth — sometimes so contaminated that they need immediate medical care. Even when they aren’t directly exposed, he said, there is almost always some fallout.

“People in meth houses aren’t paying great attention to their kids,” he says. “So neglect can happen, physical abuse — there can be other kids of abuse, because meth enables it. Neglect is the big one. And the deadly one.”

In some cases, the worst happens. Stories of meth moms fill the headlines — moms whose kids have been injured in meth lab blasts, kids who’ve ingested meth.

Amy insists things never got like that for her kids. She never smoked meth around them, never cooked it. But she’s under no illusion about what her addiction cost her family. “I felt like a horrible mother,” she said, “absolutely a horrible mother.”

In the end, the couple said their salvation was nothing short of divine intervention. On Aug. 8, 2012, they kicked it, cold turkey.

“It was God, obviously. I can tell you that straight up,” said Zach.

Their recovery wasn’t easy. When they first arrived in Jacksonville, they were broke. “We first got here were waiting in line at Salvation Army for food,” says Amy. “I sat on sidewalk and bawled.”

But they stuck it out. And today, nine months clean, they consider themselves living proof that there is life beyond meth — and an example they hope others follow.

“That’s what he keeps telling me,” said Amy. “If you can save one person in the same shoes you’re in, then why wouldn’t you do it?”







Police arrested a man Monday after they believed a boat he was operating was being used as a meth lab while on Lake Erie near Newport.

Lt. Phil Menna of the Monroe Area Narcotics Team & Investigative Services (MANTIS) said it was the first time his unit has come across a possible floating meth lab.

“This is new territory for us,” he said.

The investigation began around 3 p.m. when members of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service were conducting a controlled burn to eliminate excess brush. They came across two boats along a beach at the end of Toll Rd.

Reports said it appeared suspicious, so they contacted police. Monroe County sheriff’s Deputies David Raymond and Michael McClain responded and walked through 300 to 400 yards of thick brush to reach the beach, where they found a 31-foot boat on shore and a 17-footer tied offshore.

The deputies were given permission to board the larger vessel, reports said. While on board, one spotted what appeared to be a homemade pipe and other evidence that led him to believe that the boat was being used as a meth lab.

Everyone immediately was ordered off the boat due to the possibility of dangerous chemicals aboard. Lt. Menna said a police cleanup specialist arrived to remove any dangerous chemicals that may have been on the boat.

Other evidence was collected, he added.

A 39-year-old Newport man was arrested at the scene and lodged in the county jail. His uncle, 56, complained of chest pains and was taken to the hospital for treatment. Their names are not being released until charges are filed. The investigation is continuing.

Lt. Menna said there have been reported cases of meth labs being created in vehicles to avoid police detection but not on boats.







A woman driving up Highway 101 on her way to San Jose was arrested this week after a San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy and his K9 “Jack” say they found 13 pounds of meth floating in her gas tank.

Deputy Al Barger said he noticed a car making several abrupt lane changes Monday and when he ran the plate he found the car’s registration was expired.

K-9 Finds 13 Pounds of Meth in Gas Tank

Jack poses with the meth he helped find inside a modified gas tank


Barger said when he pulled the car over he found a 32-year-old driver and three children inside.

The driver, identified as Maria Guadalupe Garcia, had a prior criminal history of transporting drugs so Barger asked if he could search her vehicle. Barger said Garcia consented to the search and had her three children leave the car.

Jack then took over and sniffed around. Jack indicated he found something in the back seat.


Further investigation found a loose back seat, an exposed metal plate and several floating plastic bags in the gas tank.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s department said a total of 13 one-pound packages of methamphetamine were in the tank. The street value of the drugs is estimated at $228,000, according to investigators.

Garcia was arrested and booked for possession of a controlled substance for sale and transporting a controlled substance. She was also charged with three counts of child endangerment.

Garcia’s bail is set at one million dollars. Her three children, ages 15,12 and 5 were turned over to Child Protective Services.







MEYERSDALE — After three drug arrests in connection with two Meyersdale-area methamphetamine labs, Somerset County authorities said they hope a strong message is being sent to drug manufacturers and dealers operating in the region.

A different kind of message – one of awareness and prevention – is to be delivered to the community later this month.

State police, in conjunction with the Somerset Single County Authority for Drug and Alcohol and Somerset County Drug Free Communities, will host a Methamphetamine Community Awareness Event at 6:30 p.m. May 29 in the Meyersdale Area High School auditorium.

The free program is designed to educate parents, teachers, landlords and community members on the warning signs of meth manufacturing and abuse.

“The use is rising,” said Erin Howsare, director of Somerset County’s drug and alcohol authority. “We already have four times the number of people (coming) into our treatment office (compared with) last year.”

“If it’s not in Cambria County yet, I’m assuming it will get there,” she said.

But Detective Kevin Price, who heads the Cambria County Drug Task Force, said that meth abuse is nothing new to the region, and he doesn’t view it as a rising trend.

“Do we have meth here in Cambria County? Yes, we do,” Price said. “Is it as widespread as in other areas? No, it’s not.”

For years, he’s helped put on programs similar to the Somerset meth awareness seminar for church groups, local faculty members, administrators and medical practitioners.

Spreading as much information as possible is important, Price said, because the days of stereotyping drug addicts are over. Social class, school district and other societal or environmental factors can no longer be attributed to drug abuse or be used to identify abusers.

“If you look at some of the investigations, arrests or even overdose deaths, they’re coming from all types of families,” Price said.

He noted instead the shifting focus toward easily obtainable drugs that mimic the meth high.

“We’re definitely seeing a rise in bath salts activity as far as use and arrests,” Price said.

Twenty-year Pennsylvania State Police Cpl. Dennis Ulery, who will be the program’s main presenter, oversaw vice units for the state police Troops B and C. He has spent 14 years of his career undercover and participated in a meth abuse seminar in Harrisburg earlier this month.

“He is the most up-to-date person on methamphetamines, pretty much in this region,” Howsare said.

According to Ulery, the current underground economy for meth trafficking involves satellite cookers who manufacture the “precursors” used in meth-making – ammonium nitrate, sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid taken from lithium batteries – in exchange for a portion of the finished meth.

He said the most obvious signal of nearby meth cooking – a strong smell similar to cat urine – is no longer a reliable indicator.

“The way they’re cooking it now, there’s really no smell that gives off that would go anywhere past where they’re at,” Ulery said.

This nearly odorless variant adds to the elusive nature of meth manufacturing enforcement. One of the main underlying problems is that the dissemination of knowledge needed to cook methamphetamines can never be stemmed and the ingredients are too easily obtainable.

“You don’t need a prescription for pseudoephedrine,” Ulery explained, because it’s a substance commonly found in over-the-counter cold medications. “Everything else is household chemicals. They don’t need to go to a drug dealer, per se, to get meth.”

Ulery has presented meth awareness events for local police, fire and EMS responders, but this will be the first time he’s addressed at a community event. He expects to be asked why meth is so popular, and will highlight the drug’s extremely addictive nature.

“We have people we’ve arrested who are out on bond and back to cooking,” Ulery said.

Howsare said her office gets multiple meth-related calls from concerned residents throughout the course of the week.

“They’re calling (our office) and asking, ‘What does it smell like? What should we look for? What does somebody look like when they’re using?’ ” Howsare said. “The normal ones we always get are ‘How can I get somebody in treatment?’ ”

The authority also facilitates discreet rehabilitation services for abusers who want to get clean.

“Everything’s completely confidential. If they don’t have insurance, we pay for their treatment,” she said. “That’s why people go to treatment – because they know we’re not going to tell anybody.”

How to obtain treatment might be the most valuable answer of all, but Price said his awareness programs try to reach as many people as possible – everyone can make use of the information.

“It doesn’t matter who shows up,” Price said. “If we prevent one person from going down that road, that’s a good thing.”







A garbage can filled with 12 gallons of brown liquid could put two Port St. John cousins in prison for life – it tested positive for methamphetamine.


Brevard County Sheriff’s Agents served a search warrant on a house near Deer Land and Holden Road this evening. According to Agent John Jeffreys, they found evidence of a meth lab: plastic bottles, acetone, cold medicine, acid, camping fuel. They haven’t determined the exact composition of the liquid in the trash can, but the field test kit indicated it contained high concentrations of meth. Jeffreys estimated it could be used to produce up to five ounces of finished meth, worth about $6,500.


“This is certainly one of the largest finds for us, in regards to the liquid form,” Jeffreys said.

The cousins – Jordan and Shawn McQuarrie – were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing listed chemicals and trafficking in over 400 grams of meth, which is a capital felony that could bring a life sentence. Jordan is 32 and Shawn is 30.

Ariel Stickelmyer, 22, was arrested and charged with child abuse after agents found her at the home with her two-year-old daughter. Jeffreys said the Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident.

Jason Lewis, 33, was also at the house. He was arrested and charged with possessing a controlled substance and violating probation he was serving for crimes in Louisiana – Jeffreys said he’ll likely be extradited back to that state.

Jeffreys explained that meth labs create a variety of public safety concerns. Meth cooks are known to steal the components for their labs including pseudoephedrine, glassware and plastic tubing. The gases created by the chemical process can be deadly if inhaled, and in the final stages of meth production the lab could cause fires or explode.

“It’s the war on drugs,” said Sgt. Brian Neal of today’s operation. “It’s a victory for the people of Port St. John.”







A Garden City woman was arrested on drug-related allegations Wednesday.

Tatiana Arredondo, 18, 3501 Campus Drive, was arrested Wednesday on allegations of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a school, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, no Kansas drug-tax stamp and possession of the proceeds from the sale of controlled substances.

According to a press release from the Garden City Police Department, members of the Garden City/Finney County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at 2904 Fleming St., Apt. 5D, at about 12:01 p.m. Wednesday, as part of an investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine from the residence.

When officers entered the residence, Arredondo and another adult woman were present. When officers searched the home, they found 122 grams of suspected methamphetamine, items of drug paraphernalia consistent with the use and distribution of illegal drugs and $1,180 in cash.

Arredondo is being lodged in the Finney County Jail.







ZANESVILLE — Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz said the investigation that ended this past week in the seizure of more than two pounds of methamphetamine has led detectives to think the drugs, known as “ice,” were manufactured in Mexico.

Lutz said hundreds of drug investigations are being conducted by the joint MCSO/Zanesville police drug unit.

The MCSO joint drug unit seized approximately two and one-half pounds of mthamphetamine, eight pounds grams of marijuana, and one loaded firearm. The street value of these drugs is more than $216,000.

The MCSO joint drug unit seized approximately two and one-half pounds of mthamphetamine, eight pounds grams of marijuana, and one loaded firearm. The street value of these drugs is more than $216,000

The May 7 arrest of Benjamin T. Ortiz, 38, at his home marked the conclusion of more than six months of investigative work through the drug unit. Lutz commended the work of all the departments involved in the investigation — MCSO, the South Zanesville Police Department, Zanesville Police Department, Central Ohio Drug Task Force and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office — and described how the work has paid off.

“When people out in the public don’t see splashes every day about drugs busts, they think sometimes that we’re not doing anything or that there are no drugs in our community,” Lutz said. “But these investigations take a lot of work. They take a lot of time and energy by our narcotics team, but in the end we’re taking huge amount of illegal drugs off the streets.”

Ortiz has been charged by Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox with one count each of possession of drugs, a first-degree felony; trafficking drugs, a second-degree felony; and having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony.

Authorities seized almost two and a half pounds of meth and more than eight pounds of marijuana. Lutz ranked the severity of the seizure as a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe.

“The volume of drugs we believe this guy was getting in, the distribution component, I think all those things play a part in how dangerous this situation is,” Lutz said.

The drug unit responsible for the bust is comprised of three members from MCSO, and one from the Zanesville Police Department. Lutz said the detectives work together to maintain a constant watch over the hundreds of open cases they’re responsible for.

More than eight pounds of marijuana was confiscated by the MCSO drug unit during its investigation of Benjamin Ortiz.

 More than eight pounds of marijuana was confiscated by the MCSO drug unit during its investigation of Benjamin Ortiz


“It is a never-ending situation,” Lutz said. “We know where a lot of these drugs are at. It’s just a matter of being able to get to them. This was a case where … everything fell into place.”

Ortiz had been under investigation since fall 2012, when 85 grams of methamphetamine was seized from a U.S. mail package in Zanesville.

Detective Matt Wilhite said the particular variety of drugs seized is known on the street as “Mexican ice” or “Crystal ice,” and requires a large lab to manufacture. The drug can be sold for up to $200 per gram. Wilhite said locally-made methamphetamine is a more powery type of substance of a lower quality.

Lutz described the situation as a major bust, involving a major dealer.

“The volume of drugs we believe this guy was getting in, the distribution component, I think all those things play a part in how dangerous this situation is,” Lutz said.

Lutz confirmed that the suspect was from outside the Zanesville area, but said he could not release additional information until the case is closed.

Ortiz is facing eight years in prison if convicted. He remains in Muskingum County Jail on $1,000,000 bond.

“It’s a huge hit for our drug unit,” Lutz said. “These guys are relentless.”







An Arlington man was charged with Methamphetamine possession after a friend overdosed in a hotel room on Tuesday morning, according to police.

Boston Police officers responded to a report of an unconscious man at 10:40 a.m. at the Howard Johnson hotel at 1271 Boylston Street on May 14.

By the time police arrived, EMTs had treated the man, who had reportedly overdosed on methamphetamine. He was transported to Brigham and Women’s Hospital for further treatment.

The man allegedly told police that he and another man had been taking methamphetamine and there was more in the refrigerator in the hotel room. Police said the man opened up the refrigerator and took out a cookie bag with two plastic baggies with meth in them. One EMT also found an open syringe in the suspect’s pocket, and officers found four needles in a backpack.

Officers placed the other man, Douglas Rose of 125 Palmer St. Arlington under arrest and charged him with possession of a Class A substance.






YAKIMA, Wash. — A driver who was high on methamphetamine when he hit two boys waiting for a school bus in Yakima was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in prison.

Benjamin Lea McKenzie pleaded guilty to vehicular assault in a plea bargain with prosecutors who dismissed drug charges against the 32-year-old.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports ( http://bit.ly/16pEGJT) the boys – 10-year-old Chris Sanchez and his 11-year-old brother Israel – are recovering from broken bones they suffered in the October accident just outside their home.