The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday charged a Gerton man with multiple felony drug charges.

Chaz Daniel Rhodes, 26, of Cottage Hill Drive, is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to manufacture, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. Rhodes had less than a gram of methamphetamine and one 15 mg pill of oxycodone on Sunday, according to arrest warrants.

He was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Rhodes is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning. His bond was set at $2,000 secured.



Stockbridge-Munsee Police and the Shawano County Sheriff’s Department concluded an on-going drug investigation into the manufacture and sale of Methamphetamine with the arrest of a 27-year-old Bowler area man.

The man was taken into custody Saturday night around 8:45 pm after he delivered suspected drugs to an undercover officer in the Town of Bartelme on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation. The man fled on foot when confronted, but was apprehended and arrested within minutes.

He is currently being held at the Shawano County Jail.



NORTH PORT – Unable to post $33,000 bail, a homeless man remained in the Sarasota County jail on Sunday as he faced charges of amphetamine trafficking, possession of narcotic equipment and possession of a manufactured controlled substance.

James “CJ” Swore


North Port Police arrested James “CJ” Swore, 22, last week after they reportedly found 14.7 grams of methamphetamine along with tools and ingredients to make the illegal drug on his bike.

Police said Swore was carrying tubes, funnels, white powder, lithium batteries, Coleman Camp fuel and other materials for making methamphetamine tucked inside a canvas bag strapped to his bike.

An officer pulled Swore over after he ran through a stop sign on his bike, police reported.

Police said the officer had dealt with Swore before and knew that he sometimes did illegal drugs. The officer called for a police dog, which smelled a suspicious substance in Swore’s bags.

Police say they also found several syringes, a scale and empty plastic bags.

Officers handcuffed Swore, searched his clothes and found a black case with three bags filled with 1.6 grams of off-white, crystalline powder inside, resembling meth. It later tested positive for the illegal substance.

A blue water bottle Swore carried with 14.7 grams of liquid inside also tested positive for meth, police say.





Two Red Boiling Springs residents are wanted by the Macon County Sheriff Department for manufacturing methamphetamine, after a total of 29 one-pot meth labs were discovered in their residence at 296 Powell Road.


Fifteen one pot meth labs, as discovered by authorities at 296 Powell Road.

Fifteen one pot meth labs, as discovered by authorities at 296 Powell Road

On Thursday, August 1, Sheriff Mark Gammons obtained a search warrant for the home, which had been under surveillance by the department for some time. Gammons and five other Detectives and Deputies searched the residence and located fifteen labs, as well as small amounts of methamphetamine and all the components necessary to manufacture meth.

“We don’t know how much they’d already made,” said the Sheriff. “Some of the shake ‘n bake labs appeared to have already produced several amounts of meth.”

A cleanup task force was called in, as well as meth techs from the Macon County Sheriff Department. After the cleanup process, the residence was quarantined. The two suspects were not on the scene at the time of the search and have not been seen since. Arrest warrants were issued for each of them, under charges of manufacturing methamphetamine.

“At this time, these people are wanted by the Sheriff Department,” said Gammons. “Pending investigation, we are attempting to locate them.”

The following day, further investigation at the residence led to the discovery of fourteen more ‘shake ‘n bake’ one-pot labs, for a total of 29.



GREENWOOD, Del. — A woman and a man from Greenwood have been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine inside their home.

Police say they discovered the meth lab on Friday while serving a court summons on 36-year-old Jamie Craft. She was taken into custody without incident.

Police also found 31-year-old John Benchoff inside the home. Benchoff is a probationer and also had an active warrant.

After searching the home, police say they found waste associated with the manufacturing of meth, along with equipment and ingredients needed to make the drug. They also found a small amount of meth. Craft and Benchoff are both in custody on numerous charges.

METHAMPHETAMINE has overtaken heroin and even cannabis as the drug of choice among regular injecting drug users, a new survey shows.

The South Australian Drug Trends 2012 findings triggered calls for more prevention programs and education about long term damage from meth use.

 Meth is now the drug of choice in South Australia, more popular than heroin and cannabis.

Meth is now the drug of choice in South Australia, more popular than heroin and cannabis



The study surveyed 93 regular injecting drug users likely to have good knowledge of the illicit drug situation, as well as experts working in the area.

“Interestingly, in 2012 methamphetamine overtook heroin as the drug injected most often,” the report notes.

More: Read the full report here

“Methamphetamine was the most commonly used illicit drug among injecting drug users, as well as the drug injected most often in the past month, overtaking cannabis and heroin respectively.

“In addition, there was an increase in the proportion of Drug and Alcohol Service SA clients who nominated amphetamines as their primary drug of concern.

“Given the negative health effects associated with prolonged methamphetamine use, it is essential education and harm reduction strategies continue to be disseminated among this population.”

The study found methamphetamines, heroin and cannabis were easy to obtain and prices were stable.

It also found 1-in-10 heroin users had overdosed in the previous year; two-thirds of the sample were at risk of psychological distress; and 81 per cent drove under the influence of drugs in the previous year.

Opposition mental health and substance abuse spokesman Duncan McFetridge said the report show the need for young people and substance abusers to be educated and encouraged to get help to curb their addictions.

“There are serious health and mental health consequences from using these illegal substances,” he said. “This is reflected in the increase in substance abuse related hospital admissions in South Australia and increasing numbers of young people presenting with mental illness.”



LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A drug raid at a hotel this July is the latest in a series of methamphetamine busts in La Crosse.

“So far this year we’ve had approximately 40 arrests for methamphetamine use. Both use and manufacturing,” said La Crosse Police Sgt. Randy Rank.

La Crosse police have seen significant an increase in meth arrests since 2011, partially because of the easy access to ingredients, Rank said.

Meth can be made out of common household items including drain cleaner, cold packs and camping fuel.

That leads to an increase in household and mobile meth labs, better known as shake and bake labs, according to Tom Johnson, investigative coordinator with the West Central MEG Unit.

“These people have figured out a way to put all the ingredients in one vessel – usually a 2-liter pop bottle or Gatorade-style bottle, something of that nature – and basically put all the ingredients in, and shake it, and start the reactions,” Johnson said.

Johnson collaborates with five counties in Western Wisconsin.

He said while meth use has increased in all of them, it’s difficult to give a specific number of meth labs he’s seen.

When the unit investigates, they generally look at how many cooks there are.

For example, when the unit investigated a meth lab in Sparta, they looked at the residue on each bottle and determined one lab did about 30 separate meth cooks, Johnson said.

While meth use is dangerous for the people using it or running a lab, Johnson said labs also put the public in danger.

“At the right moment you can actually look in one of these vessels and see flames,” he said. “So, the problem is they’re obviously not made for chemical reactions. They’re simply plastic soda bottles. And if the reaction gets out of hand, the pressure expands. If they don’t gas it, the vessel can fail and it can explode or burn right in their lap.”

Which was a police concern with a shake and bake lab found in a La Crosse hotel last month.

“(There’s a) possibility of people in adjoining rooms where if there would have been some type of explosion or a fire, or a reaction with these chemicals, these other people could be affected by the manufacturing of the meth at that location,” Rank said.

Law enforcement is being trained to better locate meth labs. With usage on the rise, they encourage the public to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity, too.

The number for La Crosse Area Crime Stopper’s anonymous tip line is (608) 784-8477.






CENTRAL VALLEY — Drug fads come and go in California. But not methamphetamine. This highly addictive, widely available, dangerous drug has been a 20-year scourge that shows little sign of abating, especially here in the Central Valley.

There are multiple ways to assess just how deep and wide is the chaos caused by meth in our community. Consider:

• 35 percent of the 2,034 people who entered licensed and certified treatment programs in the year ending in June named meth as their drug of choice. Stanislaus County’s meth rate was significantly higher than the statewide rate listed by people entering treatment. A top official with county Behavioral Health and Recovery Services said meth has held this dubious No. 1 distinction for many years.

• What are the reasons for Modesto’s repeat appearance at the top of the national list for auto theft? Meth is a big factor. “There’s a notorious methamphetamine problem in this state,” said Frank Scafidi of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “Where you have a lot of drug problems, police will tell you, you have a lot of property crimes. It’s like peanut butter and jelly.”

• In May, during a question-and-answer interview on multiple topics, JoLynn DiGrazia, executive director of Turlock’s Westside Ministries, was asked what she saw as the biggest challenges facing her area, particularly its youth. Her response: “The continual battleground is methamphetamine use. The property crimes go along with it.”

• In Modesto alone, there were 1,618 meth-related arrests in the last two years, according to the Modesto Police Department.

• In the first six months of 2013, the Stanislaus County district attorney’s office filed charges in about 6,700 cases. Of those, 1,807 — nearly 27 percent — involved what are known as schedule 3, 4 and 5 drugs, of which meth is by far the most common, said District Attorney Birgit Fladager. Of those drug cases in the first half of the year, 1,008 were for simple possession, 96 were for possession for sale, 59 for selling or transporting drugs and 14 for manufacturing drugs.

The drug case count is up from the same period in 2012, when there were 1,582 cases filed with drug-related charges.

Fladager and Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson both say that the drug cases don’t tell the full story, because a meth addiction might be what motivates a person to steal a car or commit a burglary. If the person does not possess meth when arrested, it won’t show up as a drug case, even though that’s the root cause.

“It’s safe to assume there’s an element of meth in many of the crimes we investigate, primarily property crimes,” Christianson said.

Compared with 2000, when the McClatchy newspapers in California teamed up on a special report called “A Madness Called Meth,” there are fewer big busts today and fewer labs causing major ground pollution problems. The reduction in labs is partly due to state laws that have the precursor drugs, notably pseudoephedrine, harder to purchase — a change that also has made it less convenient for the average consumer to buy cold and allergy medicines.

While there are fewer labs producing meth in the valley, it is readily available. Most is brought in from Mexico.

The demand also hasn’t subsided because meth is relatively cheap, especially compared with a drug such as cocaine. Street dealers, many gang-related, sell meth for $20 to $30 for a “teener” (one-sixteenth of a gram).

Meth also is virulently addictive. An undercover agent told The Sacramento Bee that people get addicted so fast and some get so desperate that they will fry their own urine in a pan to extract meth crystals.

Tweakers — those who use meth day after day — exhibit poor judgment, strange sleeping patterns, agitation, confusion, anxiety, paranoia and sometimes violence.

Stories of the extreme behavior of people on meth make the news, such as an armed man who confronted a parishioner at Sacramento’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, taking his cell phone and wallet. He was “experiencing a mental episode” as a result of using meth. A woman driving under the influence of meth ran over and killed a 6-year-old boy walking to school and injured his 8-year-old brother. In May, a 31-year-old Oakdale mother was sentenced to nine years in prison for using methamphetamine while she was breast-feeding, which resulted in the death of her infant daughter.

The collateral damage from meth use is routinely visible to social workers from Child Protective Services. A Stanislaus Behavioral Health official says meth use has become so commonplace that officials don’t talk about its prevalence.

Meth reaches across the demographic landscape: urban and rural; men and women; white, black, Latino and Asian. Experts who deal with the effects of meth agree that we need a three-pronged approach: prevention, treatment and disrupting the market by going after the manufacturers and distributors.

All came under hard times during the Great Recession. Police and sheriff’s departments downsized or shuttered their narcotics units.

Voter-approved Proposition 36 in 2000 diverted those convicted of nonviolent drug possession offenses to drug treatment, but the money ran out after five years. Others challenge whether Proposition 36 was ever a wise strategy because participants took the treatment option so casually. Drug court has been a much more effective strategy because the convicted addicts are closely monitored and faced graduated sanctions for relapses.

People who commit crimes need to be held responsible for their behavior, but people with substance abuse problems also should have treatment options available as part of the consequences.

But the best and least expensive answer is education and prevention — steering people, especially youngsters, away from meth by making them fully understand that it is a dangerous and destructive drug that can ruin their lives.

With attention and focus on front-end strategies that work, Californians and the valley can take on this 20-year scourge — a quality-of-life issue for us all and a life-and-death issue for far too many.

A child and three law enforcement officers were treated for chemical exposure, and one man was taken into custody after a meth lab blew up in a Dexter home in the early morning hours of Thursday, prompting firefighters to be summoned clear the toxic smoke from the residence.


Items are shown from the meth lab that ignited Thursday morning when police entered a Dexter home.

According to Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner, an ongoing investigation by his office, along with members of the SEMO Drug Task Force, Dexter Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol prompted a search warrant to be served at the Dexter residence of Terry Wayne Wilkerson, 46, at 1213 E. Elk Street on Thursday, Aug. 1.


Terry Wilkerson


Upon entering the residence, a male subject, later identified as Wilkerson, reportedly attempted to dispose of some drug activity evidence by pouring an active methamphetamine lab down the kitchen sink of the home.

“When an active ingredient (lithium metal) in the meth lab came into contact with the water that was in the drain of the sink,” Hefner explained, “it ignited causing the other ingredients to explode and burn.”


A three-year-old child was asleep in a bedroom of the home when the chemicals ignited. Officers quickly removed the child from the home and evacuated the residence. The Dexter Fire Department was summoned to clear the residence of the toxic smoke and fumes.


“Dexter firefighters are well-trained,” Hefner noted. “They knew exactly what to do under these circumstances, and acted accordingly.”

One Stoddard County deputy, along with the child and two Dexter police officers, were transported to SoutheastHEALTH of Stoddard County, where they were treated for eye and lung irritation from the chemical exposure. All were released following emergency treatment, and the child was placed into protective custody.

Terry Wayne Wilkerson is charged with the Class B felony of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance and the Class C felony of endangering the welfare of a child. There is no bond set at this time, the sheriff stated Friday, and Wilkerson remains in the Stoddard County Jail.





Another discovery of a methamphetamine lab in a local motel surfaced  last week, after three people were arrested on petit theft charges for a botched robbery of a CVS pharmacy in Brandon, according to a report  from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff’s office report, the day started badly for Jamie Gay and Colleen Cooke on Tuesday, July 30, when they wrongly chose to rob the  CVS pharmacy at 715 Brandon Blvd. Bad turned to worse after they  reportedly passed “all points of sale” without paying for “Scar Jel,” Culture Digest and a pair of sunglasses.

Colleen Cooke. Photo credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff
Colleen Cooke
Nicole McCall. Photo credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff
Nicole McCall
Jamie Gay. Photo credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.            

Jamie Gay

Gay, 32, of 2108 East 99th Ave., Tampa, and Cooke, 46, of 617 Auxerre  Circle, Seffner, then allegedly passed the stolen items on to Nicole  McCall, 22, of 15055 Citrus Way, Brooksville, who re-entered the store  in hopes of returning the items as if she had bought them.

“The store manager realized that the items were stolen and would not accept the items for return,” notes the report.

Gay, Cooke and McCall reportedly left the scene in a Maroon 1996 Ford  Explorer. Deputies conducted a traffic stop and confirmed that the  driver, Gay, had a suspended driver’s license. “A search subsequent to  the arrest the defendant had five counterfeit U.S. $20 bills in his  front right pants pocket,” the report continues. “At the time of the traffic stop, the defendant falsely identified himself as Donald White,” 33.

The report continues: “It was learned that the defendants were staying at the Motel 6 located at  Falkenburg Road and Highway 60. Deputies responded to the hotel and a  search of the room they were staying in revealed that the defendant  Jaime Gay was manufacturing methamphetamine in the motel room.

Gay is  also charged with violation of probation.”




A  Kiowa County woman, Teresa Jones, has been charged with distribution of a  controlled substance and other counts after allegedly giving her son methamphetamine while law enforcement officers were attempting to execute a  search warrant on her property.

Kiowa County   —  A Kiowa County resident, Teresa Jones, has  been charged with one count of distribution of a controlled substance which  results in great bodily harm and other counts after allegedly giving her son  methamphetamine while law enforcement officers were attempting to execute a  search warrant on her property on July 26.

Besides distribution of a controlled substance to another, Jones,  who was arrested July 26, has also been charged with possession of  methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent  to distribute, contributing to a child’s misconduct, obstruction and aggravated  endangerment of a child, said Kiowa County Attorney J. Scott James who filed the  charges on July 29.

A $100,000 bond has been set for Jones. The child remains  hospitalized at a regional hospital in Kansas, James said.




Sarasota, Florida — A man has been fleeing from authorities after his mom found him cooking methamphetamine in their garage.

According to reports, last month Sean Flavell was found cooking metheamphetamine his the garage by his mother. Flavell fled the scene before deputies arrived.



Upon arrival, deputies discovered Flavell was using a one pot method to manufacture significant quantities of meth.

Detectives located Flavell on August 1 and was arrested and charged with trafficking and manufacturing methamphetamine.




Cincinnati Police are investigating an explosion at a possible methamphetamine factory in Mt. Auburn.

Authorities responded to reports of an explosion around 7:35 p.m. on Friday night in the 2200 block of Vine Street.  Here, fire crews were able to extinguish a small fire.



Upon arrival, fire department personnel observed chemicals consistent with methamphetamine production. A hazmat team was called to remove and neutralize the chemicals.

Police say that no one has yet been charged in the incident. However, authorities say one person was taken into custody for questioning.





In a document filed on Tuesday, indictments were filed against a total of 28 individuals, with 16 directly related to methamphetamine.

Christopher R. Ball, 33, and Jamie N. Roberts, 37, have been indicted on one count illegal manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the first degree), one count illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the second degree), and two counts endangering children (felony of the third degree).

Ball and Roberts were arrested on June 13 at a residence on Curtis Hollow Road in Reedsville following the execution of a search warrant. Deputies found two, one-pot reactionary vessels and the precursors for the production of methamphetamine at the residence.

Timothy R. Ball, 46, Tommy D. Boso, 52, Aimee L. Young, 40, and Glenn F. Young, 48, have been charged with illegal manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the second degree) and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the third degree).

The four were arrested on June 23 at the residence of Boso on Portland Road. Deputies from the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office located methamphetamine labs Portland Road while assisting the Adult Parole Authority on a probation home visit for Glenn Young when a one pot reactionary vessel was seen through the window.

At the residence, deputies located four one-pot reactionary vessels and 19 generators. Also located were precursors for the production of methamphetamine, firearms and drug paraphernalia.

Two weeks later Sheriff’s deputies responded to four methamphetamine labs in a six day span.

Matthew T. Gilmore, 18, and John A. Ward, 48, are charged with one count illegal manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the first degree), one count illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the second degree) and two counts each endangering children (felony of the third degree) stemming from a lab located on July 10 in Harrisonville.

The lab was located in a vehicle on the property where Ward lived on Township Road 1004.

Two days later, deputies discovered a four-pot methamphetamine lab at a residence on Story’s Run Road near the Gallia/Meigs county line.

Ashley L. Hamilton, 29, Corbett E. Ratliff, 45, and Norma J. Ratliff, 39, have been charged with illegal manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the second degree) and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the third degree) in connection with the lab.

On July 14, deputies arrested four individuals in connection with chemicals for the manufacture of methamphetamine at a Union Avenue residence in Pomeroy.

Dusti J. Belcher, 29, Kimberly D. Haley, 34, Kelly M. Marcinko, 39, and Jennifer K. Morris, 32, have now been indicted on one count each illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the third degree) in connection with the case.

The twelfth methamphetamine lab of 2013 investigated by the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office was found the following day in the Antiquity area near Racine.

Mark A. Parsons, 51, has been charged with one count illegal manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the second degree) and illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of methamphetamine (felony of the third degree) in connection wit the eight pot lab and chemicals found in Antiquity.

Hamilton and Haley are scheduled to be arraigned on Friday morning. It is unclear when the remaining individuals will be arraigned.




A Napa man was arrested Tuesday in the 2000 block of Second Street in Napa, where Napa Special Investigations Bureau detectives seized suspected methamphetamine, according to the bureau.

The detectives seized 4 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale and two methamphetamine pipes, Napa Police Lt. Gary Pitkin said. Two residents were arrested and booked Tuesday afternoon into the Napa County jail without incident.

Arthur Hersom, 57, was booked on suspicion of methamphetamine possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and an outstanding traffic warrant, according to the investigations bureau.

A second resident, Sammie Lee Lavrar Jr., 57, of Napa was arrested and booked into the Napa County jail on an outstanding traffic warrant, according to the bureau.




Delaware State Police are investigating the discovery of a portable methamphetamine lab found in a Felton residence on Friday night, Sgt. Paul G. Shavack said in a release.

Troopers were called to a residence in the 9000 block of Canterbury Road at about 7 p.m. after an occupant found soda bottles in the home with an unknown substance, Shavack said.

He said troopers determined the bottles were active “One Pot” portable meth labs used to manufacture meth.

Troopers then found additional bottles with waste associated with manufacturing meth, as well as components and key ingredients for making the drug, Shavack said.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office and specialized local volunteer fire company teams helped with the dismantling of the portable labs, cleanup and waste disposal.

Shavack said no evacuations were ordered as it was determined that there was no immediate threat to nearby residents.






PICAYUNE — An anonymous complaint of a possible methamphetamine lab at the Pines Apartments led to two arrests for possession of precursor chemicals.

The complaint was of a possible methamphetamine lab in apartment room #105, said Jeremy Magri, assistant to the chief of police.

Officers made contact with the three occupants, Macile Darby, Robin Ballard and Michael Parks, and consent to search the residence was given, said Magri.

“Darby stated that the only thing she was aware of in the residence was her marijuana pipe,” Magri said.

Darby told officers where the marijuana pipe was located in the residence and she was issued a “post arrest release citation for possession of paraphernalia,” he said.

The search of the residence resulted in discovering a second pipe containing a burnt substance and a plastic storage bag behind a bedroom dresser that contained an unknown brown liquid believed to be methamphetamine oil, said Magri.

In the residence, officers found lithium batteries, “scratched and cut in an apparent attempt to remove the lithium strips,” Magri said.

Officers also found a propane torch, butane torch and a bottle of rust stain remover from under a bed, said Magri. In the same bedroom, a bottle of lighter fluid was found.

SUSPECT— Robin Ballard, 37, was arrested for possession of precursor chemicals, possession of paraphernalia and possession of counterfeit currency

SUSPECT— Michael Parks, 38, was arrested for possession of precursor chemicals and possession of paraphernalia 



Officers found a counterfeit $100 bill in Ballard’s purse.

Ballard, 37, and Parks, 38, were then arrested for possession of precursor chemicals and possession of paraphernalia. Ballard was additionally charged with possession of counterfeit currency said Magri.

Sarasota, Florida — Two brothers have been arrested for making methamphetamine at a homeless camp in a wooded area east of Cattlemen Road.

John Bedford and David Haring were found cooking meth in their tents in the woods east of Cattlemen Road and Webber Street.

According to reports, detectives received information from their counterparts at the Sarasota Police Department that the brother were cooking meth in their tents. Their suspicious were confirmed after Haring bought one of the main ingredients, Pseudoephedrine, on Wednesday and Bedford purchased more on Thursday.

Undercover detectives and deputies from the Tactical Unit went to the campsite just before 9:00 p.m. on August 1 and found all the materials necessary to cook meth and significant quantities of the drug.

Both men admitted cooking meth and were charged with manufacturing and trafficking in methamphetamine.




A traffic stop in Madison County led to the discovery of a meth lab Friday afternoon.

The stop happened on Main Street in Richmond. Officers say they discovered the meth lab in the floorboard of the passenger vehicle.


The road was completely shut down while crews cleaned up. Two people were arrested, but police have not yet released their names.



OGDEN — Charges filed against several people accused of heading one of the largest methamphetamine distribution rings in the area shed light on how the ring allegedly operated.

Timothy Nelson, 30, David Chacon, 31, Jalatt Siripathan, 39, and Shane Osborn, 44, were charged Thursday in 2nd District Court in Ogden with various felonies, and court documents identify them as the leaders of the drug operation.

According to probable cause affidavits, Nelson was the “primary source” of the meth and used Chacon as a go-between to transfer the drugs to Siripathan, who in turn delivered the meth to Osborn. Police say Osborn then broke up the meth into ounces and oversaw a large distribution network throughout northern Utah.

The probable cause affidavit for Osborn’s arrest said police determined Siripathan supplied Osborn with drugs at least 14 times between June 22 and July 21.

Police arrested the four Tuesday as part of a multi-agency bust that netted 14 total arrests and around $400,000 in cash and assets.

Court documents show Nelson was charged with engaging in a criminal enterprise, a first-degree felony. Chacon faces two second-degree felony counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

Siripathan faces a first-degree felony count of engaging in a criminal enterprise and 16 second-degree counts of distribution of a controlled substance. Osborn was charged with a second-degree felony count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, as well as possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, both class B misdemeanors.

According to a Wednesday news release from the Ogden Police Department, the investigation into the drug ring is ongoing and police are still trying to arrest others involved.




West Lafayette police said an increase in complaints and incidents at Parkway Apartments has triggered an increase in patrols over the past six months and played a role in the arrest Thursday of two Lafayette men on suspicion of meth crimes.

Lt. Troy Harris, investigations commander with the West Lafayette Police Department, said officers observed three suspicious subjects meet at the entrance of 2501 Soldiers Home Road on Thursday.

Upon further investigation, he said, officers found an active one-pot method meth lab in a backpack belong to one of the men.

The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Unit responded and dismantled the lab. The ISP team provided West Side officers with the proper evidence and transported the hazardous waste from the scene.

Scott Tomasko, 20, was arrested for suspicion of possession of an illegal drug lab. Police said Clayton Jean, 20, had meth in his possession and was also arrested.

Clayton Jean

Clayton Jean


Harris said complaints and WeTip anonymous hotline calls have increased significantly in the past six months at three Parkway Apartment complexes just north of Sagamore Parkway West and west of Soldiers Home Road.

Recent numbers from the West Lafayette Records Management System show that officers have responded to more than 800 calls in the past year and a half at 2501 and 2601 Soldiers Home Road and 2410 Happy Hollow Road, Harris said.





Easton police say they uncovered two meth labs in the city Friday morning, part of a series of drug raids that also focused on a recent shooting.
According to police, the city’s vice and special response units, along with the state police special response team, served four search warrants around Easton at 6 a.m.



Even after stricter laws regulating pseudoephedrine, the average amount of seized clandestine meth sites in Jasper County is seven per year.

Starting in 2005, pharmacies were required to record and report the purchase of pseudoephedrine products. All pharmacies were reporting to the National Precursor Log Exchange by Sept. 1, 2010. Since that time, 34 clandestine meth labs have been seized in Jasper County, six so far this year.

Brad Shutts, east commander for the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, said pseudoephedrine tracking laws work, and have had some success in Jasper County, with the help of the task force.

“Jasper County used to be one of the largest meth lab areas in the state,” Shutts said. “The support that you get out of all the 16 agencies is really helpful.”

Polk County averages 24 seizures per year, while Dubuque County averages 27 seizures a year.

Shutts noted clandestine labs aren’t necessarily mass production labs, but are usually “shake and bake” labs that require a small amount of pseudoephedrine and generate only a single dose of meth.

“The thing is these shake and bakes are so hazardous. They’re so flammable,” Shutts said. “You’re using lithium in a chemical reaction inside a plastic bottle. It just takes one screw-up and a garage or house or any structure is gone.”

More commonly seen in the Western region of the U.S. and Mexico is red phosphorus labs, which produce larger quantities of meth. Mexico’s restrictions on red phosphorus are lax.

In the U.S., drug tracking laws nationally and at the state level have curbed drug production, but not use.

“There are always loopholes,” Shutts said. “There’s always ways to get around the laws.”

Shutts said people will either slowly stock up on cold and allergy medicine to produce meth or have several people, who are called Smurfs, purchase the medicine for them. Shutts said that while the laws have helped the problem, the only way to truly eliminate meth production in the U.S. is to pull pseudoephedrine off the shelves completely.

“The world can survive without ephedrine but it’s a money maker for these pharmaceutical companies,” Shutts said.

Rep. David Loebsack said he’s worked closely with law enforcement and has worked as a legislator to remove meth, both production and use, from the streets.

“As a parent, it is heartbreaking to see the impacts meth, synthetic drugs, and other narcotics have had on far too many Iowa youth,” Loebsack said. “That’s why I helped beat back cuts to vital support for our local law enforcement to take drugs off our streets, shut down production, and make arrests. Iowa has taken significant steps to limit access to pseudoephedrine to those who use it to make meth while still ensuring medicine is available to law abiding Iowans.  Production of meth is both a safety and health threat to our communities, and I will continue to work with our local law enforcement to shut down production in Iowa, stop importation from outside our state, and keep our kids safe.”

Shutts said the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Task Force is looking forward by removing children from homes that have been affected by meth. The Iowa Alliance for Drug Endangered Children helps transition families and children who are affected by meth by removing the children from the home.

“We do what we can and we try, and we hopefully, make differences in people’s lives but it’s out of control,” Shutts said. “Ephedrine is the key. There’s other cold medicines.”

Steve Lukan, director of the Office of Drug Control, said the Drug Endangered Children program has benefits and applies not only to instances involving meth.

“We certainly think it’s been an overlooked issue. It’s very important for law enforcement and social services to work together and look inside these homes,” Lukan said.

In 2011, more than 400 children were removed from their homes and placed in safer locations. Lukan said he believes it’s had a big impact across the state.

“I’m big believer that if we keep youth away from drugs, the taxpayers get dividends for life,” Lukan said.



CARSON CITY  — Authorities in Carson City say an improper lane change provided the opportunity they needed to pull over a suspect in an ongoing drug investigation.

They say they found more than 2 pounds of methamphetamine in the car after the Thursday night stop. Three people were arrested.

The Nevada Appeal reports the street value of the drugs is estimated at $67,000.

The Carson City sheriff’s office says Steven Gillim, 57, was pulled over around 8 p.m.

Authorities say they also found 2.8 grams of heroin, a gun silencer, night-vision glasses, drug paraphernalia and about $3,600 cash.

Gillim was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges.

Also arrested were 41-year-old Eric Weber and 45-year-old Melinda Paetz.

The Appeal reports all three were jailed on $250,000 bail.

Calexico, California – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico, Calif. downtown port of entry arrested two Mexican citizens after discovering approximately $450,000 worth of methamphetamine concealed within their vehicle.

The incident occurred July 31, at about 11:30 a.m. when a canine team was screening vehicles that waited in line for inspection. The team’s detector dog alerted to a red 2007 Dodge Caliber and CBP officers escorted the vehicle and its occupants to the secondary lot for further examination.

While conducting an intensive inspection, officers discovered 20 wrapped packages of methamphetamine hidden in the rear seats and quarter panels of the vehicle. The narcotics weighed 30 pounds.

The driver, a 53-year-old female, and her 19-year-old daughter, both residents of Mexicali, Baja California, were turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agents for further processing. Both subjects were later transported to the Imperial County Jail where they currently await arraignment.

CBP placed an immigration hold on the Mexican citizens to initiate removal from the United States at the conclusion of their criminal proceedings.

CBP seized both the vehicle and narcotics.