LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) – Investigators believe a fire that destroyed a Logansport home Saturday afternoon was the result of an active meth lab inside.

At approximately 3:52 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a home located in the 500 block of West Linden Avenue. When they arrived on the scene, the homeowner was spotted exiting the home. He was identified as John J. Rose, 65. Rose told firefighters there was no one else inside the home.

House fire blamed on active meth lab found inside

Arrested: John J. Rose

John J. Rose, 65, was arrested following a fire at his home. Investigators found items to make methamphetamine inside and believe the fire was caused by the meth lab.

Firefighters entered the home but had to get out due to extreme heat. During the time they were inside the home, they claim to have found several items that were associated with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Firefighters continued to work to contain the fire from the outside. The Logansport/Cass County Drug Task Force along with the Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team was called in to investigate the possible meth lab. A search warrant was obtained.

The search led to the discovery of more than 100 one-pot cooking vessels, 155 HCL generators and more than 20 45 gallon bags of meth trash. Indiana State Police said in a news release that it took more than seven hours to collect all of the evidence from inside the home.

Investigators said evidence indicated the house fire occurred while meth was being manufactured. The house is a total loss. The homeowner, Rose, left the scene before the fire was out. Around 5:30 p.m., he was arrested at his girlfriend’s home in Logansport. He was taken to the Cass County Jail. He faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance.

“In my 15 years of law enforcement I have never encountered a drug lab this large,” said Deputy Pat Zeider of the Logansport/Cass County Drug Task Force. “We are fortunate no one was injured considering there were over 100 one pot cooking vessels and a house fire.”

If you know or suspect meth activity, you are urged to contact the local law enforcement agency in your community. You can also make an anonymous report by calling the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Tip Line at 1(800) 453-4756.







An Augusta couple was arrested Sunday after police discovered methamphetamine and marijuana in a vehicle in which their two children were passengers.

According to an incident report, the vehicle’s driver, Kelly Scott Keffer, attempted to flee from police, who approached the “suspicious vehicle” in the parking lot of Super 8, 2137 Gordon Highway, around 10 a.m.

After capturing the suspect, police searched the vehicle to find two bags containing materials used in the production of methamphetamine, methamphetamine stuffed into the air vent, rolled marijuana cigarettes and drug paraphernalia.

Police said Leslie Atwood, 34, and a 10- and 15-year-old were passengers in the vehicle.

Keffer, who told police he ingested several grams of meth before their arrival in an attempt to hide it, repeatedly struck the windows of the police vehicle during his arrest.

Keffer and Atwood, who reside at the motel, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and presence of children during manufacturing of meth. Keffer was also charged with leaving the scene and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.








Mesquite Police S.W.A.T. Officers executed search warrants on two local residences in conjunction with arrests made by Mesquite Detectives and Agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Friday morning April 5th.

Luis Delarosa, 28, Carlos Delarosa, 26, and Bethany Barnum, 22, of Mesquite were arrested on Federal Drug Charges by MPD and DEA in St. George, Utah after a several month long Federal Investigation by the DEA and Mesquite Drug Unit for high level trafficking of Methamphetamine.

During the execution of the search warrants, Mesquite Detectives recovered guns, narcotics, and U.S. currency from both the Delarosa’s residence in Mesquite.

Arrested in Mesquite were Jose Camarena, 19, Mayra Baltazar, 25, Melissa Hernandez, 22, and Silvia Gonzalez-Navarro, 48, who are currently facing state charges and could possibly be facing federal charges at a later date.

A total of 778.2 grams of Methamphetamine were seized during the investigation with an estimated street value of over $77,000.

“The Mesquite Police Department is committed to keeping drugs and the violence associated with them off our streets,” said Chief Troy Tanner. “We will continue our efforts in working diligently with State and Federal agencies to honor that commitment.”







A McDowell man is arrested twice in one week on meth charges.

James Woodard was arrested Monday when deputies found him to be is possession of a 38-caliber revolver, methamphetamine and more than $1600 in cash.

Woodard was released on a $10,000 dollar bond.

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The next day, deputies arrested him again after they pulled over a car in which he was riding in.

When he was searched, deputies found meth, a pipe and three syringes in his pocket.

Woodard is facing several felony drug charges.







A Rapid City police officer fired his Taser twice early Monday morning to subdue a man who was later charged with possessing methamphetamine.

The incident began when an officer pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation about 12:30 a.m. Monday near the intersection of Anamosa Street and Farlow Avenue.

According to police, Christopher Block left the vehicle and was attempting to flee from the officer when he was caught, and the two began fighting. During the struggle, the officer used his Taser twice on the man.

Block is being held in the Pennington County Jail on a $25,000 bond and facing charges for possession of methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, resisting arrest, obstructing police, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without a license, no insurance and an outstanding warrant for a burglary charge.




ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) — A traffic stop in Monroe County Friday lead to the arrest of a man on drug charges.

Sheriff’s officials say Vincent Miles, 55, of Aberdeen is charged with possession of methamphetamine (ICE).

Authorites say deputies and Agents with the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit stopped a fish delivery truck on Highway 8.

They say several grams of the drug were found on Miles, who is the owner of Miles Fish and Seafood on Doss Drive in Monroe County.

Miles is currently being held in the Monroe County jail.







SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Three people have been charged in the biggest methamphetamine bust in Sioux Falls.

The Argus Leader reports (http://argusne.ws/Zih6p6) that 42-year-olds Regina Renee Johnson and Robert Raymond Jackson and 28-year-old Jeffrey Harley Strom were indicted by a federal grand jury last week. The three have been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance after authorities seized nearly 9 pounds of methamphetamine and more than $90,000 in cash.

A federal charge of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance carries a mandatory minimum sentenced of 10 years in prison.





 OKLAHOMA CITY —Two people were arrested Monday after Jones police served a search warrant at the Garden Walk Apartments.According to investigators, they found nine grams of ICE, a smokeable form of methamphetamine estimated to be valued at $1,000 along with several tablets of Xanax.


Rocky Hanover

Two people including Rocky Hanover were arrested after Jones police found meth and Xanax at the Garden Walk Apartments.

Tura McLaughlin and Rocky Hanover were arrested on three complaints of possession with intent to distribute, three counts of possession with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a school, three counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.






BOLEY — Denver and Martha Holloway never had to smoke methamphetamine to become casualties of the meth epidemic.


photo - Denver and Martha Holloway were shot to death March 8 in their home near Boley. Photo provided

Denver and Martha Holloway were shot to death March 8 in their home near Boley
Ross Alan Holloway Holloway confessed to shooting his parents after smoking meth. He hung himself March 29 in his jail cell.

Ross Alan Holloway Holloway confessed to shooting his parents after smoking meth. He hung himself March 29 in his jail cell.


The Holloways were shot to death last month in their home near Boley. Their son, Ross Alan Holloway, confessed to shooting his parents in a disoriented state after smoking meth. He hung himself March 29 in his Okfuskee County jail cell shortly after being charged with their murders, a spokesman with the state medical examiner’s office said.

The Holloways’ deaths illustrate the insidious nature of meth and the collateral damage it has on Oklahoma communities, said Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control.

“Oftentimes we want to believe that the addict is just hurting themselves,” Weaver said. “But if meth use continues, it will eventually affect someone innocent.”

Hooked on meth

Friends of the Holloways described Ross Holloway, 32, as a good kid who got hooked on meth and let it ruin his life.

He had been living with his parents for two years. According to an affidavit filed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of investigation, Ross Holloway told an agent that on the night of March 8, he drank three beers and smoked meth.

He dozed off on his bed with a Ruger .22 caliber magnum revolver in his lap. He awoke as his bedroom door opened and he heard loud voices yelling at him. He saw people in the doorway and “unloaded” the revolver on them.

When Holloway discovered he had shot his parents, he got in his Jeep and left.

He was arrested about 4:15 a.m. March 9 in Panama, after a Le Flore County sheriff’s deputy pulled over the Jeep. The deputy suspected Holloway was under the influence and found drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Holloway told the deputy he had smoked meth in the Jeep a few hours earlier.

Officers also found meth in Holloway’s bedroom at his parents’ home.

‘Salt of the earth’

Denver and Martha Holloway were small-town people. Martha, 53, grew up in Areplar, near McAlester. Denver, 54, managed a ranch and worked as a mechanic and farm manager before that.

“He was a farmer,” friend Keith Grissom said. “He was a very quiet man. When he spoke, you listened.”

Martha was the outgoing one, always laughing and in good spirits.

“Denver and Martha were the salt of the earth people,” Grissom said. “They were very nice, down to earth. The world would be a better place if it were all Denvers and Marthas.”







Authorities in Northampton borough said Monday morning that two people are in custody after the discovery of a methamphetamine lab at a home.

The home is located in the 2600 block of Main Street. Authorities say two are in custody in connection with the lab and are expected to be arraigned later today.

The lab was discovered after an investigation by the Northampton County Drug Task Force. Authorities say the incident involved state police, Northampton Borough police, Lehigh and Moore township police.







FARGO – Local and federal authorities are seeking to apprehend Richard Lee Dietrich, who is wanted on a Cass County felony arrest warrant for two counts of delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school.

According to an East Central Judicial District court document, one charge was filed March 29, 2012, and the second was filed May 9, 2012. Both of the incidents have been charged as AA felonies.


Height: 6’1”Weight: 145 Eyes: Green Hair: Brown Race: White Age: 51

Dietrich’s case was filed with the court Feb. 22, 2013.

If you have information regarding Dietrich, contact the U.S. Marshals Service at (701) 297-7325 or contact your local law enforcement agency.







A Rocky Mount will serve 21 months of a 15-year prison sentence for distribution of methamphetamine. 

John Terry Scott, 51, was sentenced to five years on each of three distribution offenses, but all except 21 months of the prison time was suspended. 

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Scott was convicted in January. Through a plea agreement, one charge of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute was dismissed. 

The offenses occurred on April 26 and 27, 2012, when the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office organized purchases from Scott. 

Scott was also ordered to pay restitution of $400 to the sheriff’s office for the money that was used to buy the drugs. 

Scott was also sentenced to five years probation after he is released, and he was also ordered to be of good behavior for 15 years.







LAREDO — More methamphetamine is being smuggled into the United States, and much of the illegal drug is coming across the across the Texas-Mexico border, hidden in cars or taped to bodies.

The biggest spike in smuggling can be found in South Texas.


“A good 80 percent of the seizures involving narcotics here in the passenger environment, passenger vehicles, deal mostly with methamphetamine,” explained Customs and Border Enforcement spokesman Phil Barrera.

Along the stretch of border from the Rio Grande Valley to Del Rio, agents seized a record 2,200 pounds of meth last year — a 100 percent increase.

“They’re really pushing it, for whatever reason,” Barrera said.

When it comes to meth, Mexican cartels have a clear advantage:

  • well-established smuggling routes on the border
  • access to chemicals
  • access to superlabs

But the big question is: Will the cartels push even more meth if more U.S. states decriminalize the use of marijuana, Mexico’s biggest illegal cash crop?

As it turns out, Mexico’s biggest cartel is also the leading meth producer.

“It’s being smuggled in from south of the border,” said Angelica Becerra of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

Her agency is also starting to see more meth in the outlying areas. “Compared to last year, it’s been a huge jump,” Becerra said.

Authorities up and down the border may see another record-setting year when it comes to meth from Mexico.







The 65-year-old owner of the house that burnt on Linden Avenue Saturday afternoon was arrested Sunday on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance.

meth.jpgRose mug.jpeg

On Saturday, first responders crossed paths with John J. Rose, owner of the home at 515 W. Linden Ave. He said there was no one inside the home. Firefighters struggled with the blaze because of the heat caused by more than 100 potcooking vessels, 155 HCL generators, and over 20 55-gallon bags of methamphetamine trash, according to a press release from Indiana State Police. It took officers more than seven hours to collect all of the evidence, the release states.

Police officers from the Logansport/Cass County Drug Task Force as well as the Logansport Police Department assisted in the fire with the Logansport Fire Department. Evidence indicated the house fire was ignited during the manufacturing of methamphetamine, according to the release. Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy Pat Zeider, of the Logansport/Cass County Drug Task Force, arrested Rose on Sunday at the suspect’s girlfriend’s home in Logansport, police said. He was incarcerated in the Cass County Jail to face felony charges.

“In my 15 years of law enforcement, I have never encountered a drug lab this large,” Zeider said. “We are fortunate no one was injured considering there were over 100 one-pot cooking vessels and a house fire.”

Citizens are encouraged to call local law enforcement agencies with any information about the possession, distribution, or manufacturing of methamphetamine. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756.







NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Friday, April 5 on County Road 702 where they found 8 grams of methamphetamine.

Sheriff Jason Bridges says his office had been conducting an on-going drug investigation which gave deputies enough probably cause for a search warrant of the residence there.


Source: Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office 


Jerry Wayne Stotts, 45, of Nacogdoches was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. A 2nd degree felony.

Authorities found methamphetamine, digital scales, hypodermic needles and other drug paraphernalia in the mobile home.

Stotts is in the Nacogdoches County Jail.







Methamphetamine use is growing across Florida, and that trend is reflected in St. Johns County where the number of meth busts has increased for the past few years.

St. Johns County’s first meth bust came in the 1970s, and meth labs weren’t discovered regularly again until the early 2000s, according to previous stories.

Deputies started finding a few meth labs a year in 2008, said St. Johns County Sheriff’s Cpl. Mike Hartsell. In 2011 and 2012, the Sheriff’s Office found more than three dozen meth labs.

“It’s not gonna slow down,” Hartsell said.

Meth labs have been found across the county in hotel rooms, homes, backpacks and cars. Many of them are clustered in and around the city limits, but labs have also been found in Hastings, Elkton, Ponte Vedra Beach and off County Road 210 and 208, according to Sheriff’s Office records.

Most of them are small-scale, one pot labs, that are highly mobile and produce enough meth for personal use.

The same is true statewide. Most labs fit in a Gatorade bottle, small enough so that someone could “start making meth in one county and drive through three counties before it’s done,” said David Gross, special agent supervisor with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which monitors trends in drug use.

The increase in meth lab discoveries is also happening across the state, but meth is already a nationwide problem, Gross said. Meth has been in Florida since the late 80s or early 90s, but use and production started to pick up in 2008.

In 2008, law enforcement agencies across the state reported 180 meth labs, Gross said. That number rose steadily. In 2011, 676 meth labs were found. There were probably more since multiple areas in the state did not file reports. Reporting is on a voluntary basis.

In 2012, 930 meth labs were reported statewide.

In May 2011, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team formed to better respond to the growing problem. The team is made up of deputies trained in handling meth labs. Hartsell supervises one of those teams.

When the Sheriff’s Office meth team arrives at a scene, officials suit up and remove the lab from the home. That takes four to six hours and costs from $500 to $2,000 depending on the size of the lab, Hartsell said.

Meth cooks endanger not only the people cooking them, but surrounding communities. The gases used in the cook are toxic and highly flammable and explosive. In 2010, a Sheriff’s deputy had to be taken to the hospital for an inhalation injury after breathing in the toxic fumes during an investigation, Hartsell said.

Meth use also increases criminal activity, affects surrounding communities and costs the county money. As with other drugs, people often steal to support their habit, Hartsell said.

Meth labs are toxic to people and homes.

Cooking meth or smoking it creates gases that seep into walls, carpets and furniture, he said. If a building is not cleaned properly, the residual gases are still there, and it’s a health risk.

Depending on the extent of meth use, decontaminating a building could mean ripping out walls and throwing away furniture, costing thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. Sometimes houses are so badly contaminated that they need to be demolished.

St. Johns County Code Enforcement officials recently demolished a mobile home at 1990 Powell Road because meth had been cooked in the home. Two labs had been found there over the past few years. The property owner opted to have the building torn down instead of paying for the clean-up.

Officials said meth use will continue to be a problem in the state and the county despite efforts to fight its spread.

“Right now that’s the future of narcotics in our county,” Hartsell said. “At least for the time being.”

A few facts about meth

Methamphetamine facts from the Drug Enforcement Administration:

Street names: Batu, Bikers Coffee, Black Beauties, Chalk, Chicken Feed, Crank, Crystal, Glass, Go-Fast, Hiropon, Ice, Meth, Methlies Quick, Poor Man’s Cocaine, Shabu, Shards, Speed, Stove Top, Tina, Trash, Tweak, Uppers, Ventana, Vidrio, Yaba and Yellow BamLooks.

How it’s done: Meth can be swallowed, snorted, injected or smoked.

Affects: Meth creates an intense rush with highs that can last for half a day. The drug releases high levels of dompamine into the pleasure areas of the brain. Long-term abuse can cause addiction, violence, anxiety, confusion, insomnia, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions. Dopamine-producing brain cells and serotonin-containing nerve cells can be damaged by exposure to meth.

Overdose: Taking too much meth can cause a heart attack, stroke and multiple organ problems as the body temperature is raised to dangerous levels. Overdosing also can cause convulsions.

Legal: Meth is a Schedule II controlled substance and is prescribed, in very limited use, to treat obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Where it all started: Mexico produces most of the meth that is imported into cities in the US. Many meth labs found in the U.S. are small scale labs.

What’s been done: The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 requires businesses that sell non-prescription products that contain major ingredients in meth — pseudoephedrine, ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine — to make customers show ID and sign a logbook to purchase the products. They must also keep the products in a locked cabinet.

■ Florida has its own laws regarding the sale and purchase of ephedrine and its related compounds. The State Legislature passed a law in 2010 that controls the sale and purchase of the chemical, and created an electronic database for sellers and law enforcement to keep track of who is buying and selling, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.






EPHRATA – A Moses Lake man was arrested March 27 after reportedly leading Moses Lake police on a chase before being apprehended.

Edward McIntosh, 53, was charged with possession with intent to manufacture or deliver methamphetamine near a bus stop, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, attempting to elude a police vehicle and third-degree possession of stolen property.

A $10,000 warrant for McIntosh was issued by Grant County Superior Court Judge Evan Sperline on April 2.

Members of the Inter-agency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET), Grant County deputies and Moses Lake Police officers waited outside of McIntosh’s Dusty Street residence in preparation to serve a search warrant on the premises, according to court documents.

Law enforcement waited until McIntosh left the residence before serving the warrant because they were worried he would try to dispose of any evidence, court documents said.

Eventually, McIntosh was observed leaving the residence and officers moved in to perform a traffic stop. The suspect allegedly failed to yield to officers and led them on a chase until being stopped at the intersection of Peninsula Drive and Marigold Street where he was taken into custody and transported to the police department.

When officers searched the Dusty Street residence they allegedly found 65 items that appeared to be stolen, according to the police report. Some of the items included televisions, car stereos, cell phones and laptops. Methamphetamine, marijuana and other drugs allegedly were also found inside the house.

Authorities also served a warrant to a Columbia Avenue residence registered to McIntosh where more drugs and drug paraphernalia allegedly were found.

McIntosh allegedly had a .45 caliber handgun and drugs in the trunk of the car he was driving. Methamphetamine and $1000 were also found on him when he was searched by police.







EVANSVILLE—U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this morning the arrest of 12 defendants in what are alleged to have been two significant methamphetamine trafficking operations from California and Arizona into the Evansville area. According to the federal charging documents, the drug trafficking allegedly involved the use of local drug couriers who would transport large quantities of methamphetamine across the country using personal and rental vehicles.

“The scourge of meth has taken a heavy toll on communities in our state, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is redoubling efforts to combat organized drug activity in Southwestern Indiana,” Hogsett said. “I hope the penalties facing these defendants sends a message as to how seriously federal law treats those who help bring these terrible drugs to Hoosier neighborhoods.”

In the first case announced this morning, an investigation of Andrew Bastain, August Hirsch, and Adan Vasquez began in October 2012. Based on information obtained through the use of several cooperators, the three men were suspected of being responsible for the distribution of illegal drugs in the Evansville area. This investigation ultimately resulted in wiretaps of multiple cell phones used by the three suspects and their alleged associates.

Earlier this month, law enforcement agents began intercepting phone and text message activity between the defendants and suspected associate Jesus Torres-Flores, who allegedly used code language to discuss the trafficking of drugs into the Evansville area. Law enforcement also intercepted information allegedly discussing a planned road trip to California by defendant David Haas. In January 2013, investigators had tracked Bastain and Hirsch as they allegedly made a trip to San Jose, California.

On March 17, 2013, law enforcement allegedly observed Haas leave a rental car location at the Evansville Regional Airport. From March 18 through March 20, 2013, federal agents tracked the location of the vehicle Haas was allegedly driving as it traveled from Evansville to San Jose, California. When the vehicle arrived in San Jose, federal agents allegedly observed Haas exit the vehicle and check into a hotel near the San Jose Airport.

It is alleged in the complaint that over the course of the next day, Torres-Flores picked up the vehicle Haas had driven to California, replacing money that was hidden in the trunk compartment with pounds of methamphetamine. Law enforcement agents observed Haas leaving the hotel the afternoon of March 21, at which point he was allegedly observed meeting defendant Bobby Bass at a gas station, who was driving a truck with Indiana license plates. The vehicles departed together, at which point a traffic stop and search of both vehicles took place.

The complaint alleges that law enforcement located 11 different one-pound containers of methamphetamine within the vehicle driven by Haas, as well as eight different one-pound containers of methamphetamine within the vehicle driven by Bass. After being questioned by federal agents, Haas allegedly admitted that both he and Bass had been hired by Bastain to drive to California and purchase methamphetamine for distribution in the Evansville area.

The defendants named in the complaint have all been arrested and are in federal custody:

  • Andrew Bastain, age 27, of Evansville, Indiana
  • August Hirsch, age 28, of Evansville, Indiana
  • Adan Vasquez, age 35, of Evansville, Indiana
  • David Haas, age 43, of Evansville, Indiana
  • Bobby Bass, age 40, of Evansville, Indiana
  • Jesus Torres-Flores, age 41, of East Palo Alto, California

In the second case unsealed today, it is alleged that a similar, but separate, methamphetamine trafficking operation was busted by federal law enforcement in the last week. In this case, prosecutors allege that six defendants engaged in a scheme between June 2012 and March 2013 to import large quantities of illegal drugs from a source in Arizona into the Evansville area.

The scheme allegedly involved the leadership of William Elder, who was responsible for obtaining the methamphetamine from various sources of supply. He was allegedly assisted in this by defendants Everett Tarr and Michael Clark, who helped arrange the deals and acted as couriers between Arizona and Evansville. Clark was assisted by defendant Brenda Deer when he would transport the drugs. Once the drugs were delivered to Elder, the methamphetamine would allegedly be distributed by these individuals, as well as two other local distributors, Terry Ward and Lauri Cupp.

All of the defendants are now in custody in this case, and Hogsett noted that the arrest of Clark and Deer took place on February 21, 2013, after a high-speed chase with local law enforcement. The pair are alleged to have run a red light while speeding, nearly causing an accident, before throwing a quantity of methamphetamine out the window of their car.

The defendants named in the indictment include:

  • William H. Elder, age 71, of Posey County
  • Everett C. Tarr, age 56, of Evansville
  • Terry L. Ward, age 61, of Posey County
  • Michael L. Clark, age 54, of Evansville
  • Brenda G. Deer, age 47, of Evansville
  • Lauri A. Cupp, age 45, of Posey County

These investigations were the result of outstanding law enforcement work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Evansville, as well as Texas and California. Local partners included task force officers from the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force and the Posey County Sheriff’s Department.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthias D. Onderak and Lauren Wheatley, who are prosecuting the two cases for the government, all 12 of the defendants face 10 years to life imprisonment if they are found guilty. Many of the defendants also face sentencing enhancements that could possibly raise their minimum sentence to 20 years. They also face significant fines and the possibility of years of federal supervision after their prison terms are served.

Informations, indictments, and criminal complaints are only a charge and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.







ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State and federal authorities say four people are facing charges following a two-month investigation into a drug trafficking ring.

Authorities with a regional drug enforcement task force say large amounts of methamphetamine were being trafficked in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties.

This week’s bust netted officers almost a pound of meth that was valued at $12,000, along with an ounce of cocaine, two stolen handguns and more than $4,200 in cash.

The investigation also turned up evidence related to several property crime cases in Santa Fe.

Authorities identified those facing charges as 38-year-old Christopher Candelaria of Albuquerque and Santa Fe residents 34-year-old Regina Cole, 30-year-old Justin Jameson and 31-year-old Angelo Rotunno.


MODESTO, Calif. (KCRA) —Modesto police have arrested a man after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration agents at the Modesto airport because of a “suspicious bulge in his clothing.”

Police say Homero Santamaria, 30, was arrested after he was caught carrying 40 ounces of methamphetamine and 3 ounces of cocaine in tight-fitting shorts.

“That’s more methamphetamine than probably one person can consume in one day’s trip to Hawaii,” said Sgt. Steven Stanfield of the Modesto Police Department.

Investigators said Santamaria booked a round-trip ticket to Hawaii to return 24 hours after he planned to leave Modesto.

Police said they were called to the airport after a TSA agent conducted an initial pat down.  

Santamaria was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail.

Police say it’s the second  time recently a suspect was caught with drugs trying to board a plane from the Modesto airport.

Police believe the suspect thought he could get through security easier at the small facility, where only a handful of TSA agents are on duty at a given time.  Police say the smaller airport size actually helps security screen passengers better.

“This morning there probably wasn’t that many passengers.  They have time to do a more thorough search and these TSA agents were on the ball,” Stanfield said.

TSA agents could not comment on the incident.


Two teenagers were detained on drug charges school, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

The incident happened at South Aiken High School on March 20.

The assistant principal told officers he received a tip that 18-year-old Ja’Quan Shyheim Harrison may have some drugs on him, according to the report. Harrson was searched, and a tightly rolled napkin containing “rock like” material was recovered.

Harrison told officers he found the rocks on the bathroom floor, according to the report.

The substance tested negative for cocaine but tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine, the report stated. Harrison kept telling police he could not say where he got the rocks “because he feared for his mother,” the report said.

A juvenile student was also detained after school officials got the student’s name “as being involved,” according to the report. The assistant principal searched the student and found a bag containing a zipper bag and razor.

Inside the zipper bag was a white rock that weighed about 30 grams, according to the report. That rock also tested positive for amphetamine.

Harrison was placed in the Aiken County detention center for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The juvenile was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and released to his parents, according to the report.


When he first tried methamphetamine, Robert Spengler knew he had found his drug.

“You have Satan and you have the demons that he controls. All the other drugs are pretty much the demons. Methamphetamine is Satan itself,” he said. “I mean, I don’t think you can get any more evil than meth.”

Robert Spengler

A first time quickly spiraled into a meth addiction that damaged his relationships, sent him to jail and left him with third-degree burns over half of his body.

Spengler, 35, shared his story one morning at Palatka’s Riverfront Park. There is a human cost to the rise in meth use in Northeast Florida and across the state, and his story is one example.

Meth addiction damages brains, drastically changes bodies and endangers communities, officials say. It has sent people to jail and lured parents away from their children. And the presence of meth, one of the most addictive drugs available, is spreading in St. Johns County.

“It is becoming a bigger and bigger problem that people really don’t know about,” said St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Mike Hartsell, who has been investigating meth labs since 2004.

During the interview, Spengler wore a black T-shirt, leaving uncovered the tattoos on his forearms and the dimpled skin from a skin graft that snakes around his elbow.

His left arm represents where he has come from: tattoos of flames, cell bars and a hypodermic needle. The right arm, which has a cross tattoo, will be the good arm, a reminder of his power to choose good, he said. He wants to add verses from the Bible.


The beginning

When Spengler received divorce papers in the mail, he was looking for a drug to make him numb.

He went to a friend’s house where people were getting high, and he snorted meth for the first time, he said. Spengler has tried heroin and prescription pills. He has done cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.

But nothing compared to meth.

“It went from one minute I didn’t have a reason to live, because of the divorce and all, to I didn’t even think about the divorce … a euphoria. That’s what hooked me,” he said. “The very first time I tried it, I, I remember saying, ‘I found my drug.’”

Within six months he started injecting the drug, and he never did it another way.

“And it just spiraled downhill really quickly. within like two years, I was burnt … I was destroying friendships, relationships. Stealing from people. Stealing from family. Whatever I had to do to satisfy my drug habit.”

“I never thought when I was younger that I’d be a needle junkie …,” he said, “putting meth in my arm — never. And lo and behold one day I was there. I was that person I did not want to be.”

People chase the intense rush meth offers, but it doesn’t take long for people to get hooked and for damage to be done.

“They’ll go as far as doing it in front of kids and putting their whole family at risk by exposing their young children … to people making it and people using it,” said Karen Burns, a licensed mental health counselor and clinical director and prevention director at EPIC Behavioral Healthcare in St. Johns County. “It’s a very addictive substance.”

Most people don’t come into EPIC for help on their own, but are referred. Some people are working to get their children back, she said.

Burns oversees treatment for people addicted to methamphetamine and other substances. Users often say a friend or a family member introduced them to the drug.

“It’s sort of like a cocaine high,” she said. “But the long term, it doesn’t even take that long, are mood disturbances, violent behavior. Confusion.”

“They tend to get addicted quite quickly, and they take a downward direction significantly in a short period of time,” she said.



For Spengler, paranoia came within the first 24 hours of injecting the drug. Fear and delusions would drive him to the woods for hours after taking meth. He thought the police were looking for him, and he tried to find a quiet, safe place.

“But wherever you go, it doesn’t matter how quiet it is, you still hear things, and your mind starts playing tricks on you,” Spengler said.

He would binge on meth for days until his body could not take it any more. He had to force himself to eat. Once he woke up, the cycle would begin again. He would do 1 to 3 grams of meth each day, and he has nearly overdosed. “I would go straight past the euphoria and I would go straight to, to vomiting. Intense pouring sweat. Uh, you feel like your heart’s fixin’ to come out of your chest,” he said. “At some point you just think, ‘Oh my God, could I have just done too much?’”

After going days without sleep, he would see things that weren’t there, black spots and floating shadows.

He started skipping work at an auto shop in Interlachen. When he did go to work, co-workers could tell something was wrong because he was going “90 to nothing.”

Within six months of trying meth for the first time, he lost his job, and he sunk deeper into addiction. By the time he was burnt, Spengler weighed about half of what he does today because of his meth addiction.


The accident

On Feb. 1, 2010, a meth cook went wrong in Spengler’s home, and chemicals ignited in his lap.

“I was like a ball of flames,” he said.

Spengler had third-degree burns over 45 to 54 percent of his body, both legs from above the knees down to the ankles. It took a medically induced coma and five skin graft surgeries within 30 days before he was able to be released.

“The pain is undescribable,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything in this world that could be more painful than a burn and a skin graft surgery.”

“I was lucky enough not to have the iodine scrub because they took all my skin off,” he said. “I could hear people over and over getting the iodine scrub. … They do not quit screaming.”

After the burn, his home was demolished because of the chemicals. He lost visitation rights with his son and has not seen him again. Spengler got out of the hospital, recovered with family and quit meth for a while.

Then Spengler got in trouble. He violated probation and went on the run, hiding out with people he knew. That’s how he got back into meth again, and once more it took over his life. He separated from society.

Then, one day, he got caught with meth. He had spent a day wandering around in the woods trying to avoid the police. Putnam County deputies found him hiding under a house.

“I got some pretty bad charges. They wanted to send me to prison for four years,” he said. “Luckily I’ve got drug court which has helped me tremendously.”

Spengler spent several months in the Putnam County jail before he joined the county’s drug court program that allows users a second chance if they follow the rules.

“I’ve been doin’ straight ever since,” he said.

Spengler is focused now on getting through drug court and continuing to live drug free, and his main goal is repairing his relationship with his son.

Several of Spengler’s friends are buried in a cemetery near his home because of drug use. He said he wanted to share his story as a warning to people, especially young people, who are considering taking drugs. He also wanted people to understand how destructive meth is, and how much his addiction to meth took from his life.

“I don’t know of anybody that has taken that drug and walked away from it,” he said.







Columbia, SC. (WLTX)- Columbia Police investigators are looking for a man accused of making methamphetamine inside a home.

CPD is looking for 36-year-old Jerry Galloway (DOB: 9-28-1976)


CPD Officers responded to the 3000 block of Lincoln Street last night after receiving a Crimestoppers tip about drug activity at that location.

Once the officers arrived, they received consent to search the home from the owner.

Officers found an ‘active cook’ inside a plastic, 2-liter bottle and ingredients that are typically used to make meth. The contents field tested positive for meth.

The homeowner is not expected to be charged at this time since he was not aware of the active cook.

Once arrested, he will be charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine.







STOCKTON – Three people were arrested after a routine traffic stop led authorities to a large amount of drugs, money and guns, police said.

Community Response Team officers and members of the multiagency San Joaquin County gang task force stopped a vehicle near East 4th and Aurora streets about 7 p.m. Thursday, authorities said. Officers found that a passenger in the vehicle was in possession of methamphetamine, police said. Authorities found more methamphetamine, heroin, more than $5,500 in cash and two handguns when they conducted probation searches at the homes of the driver and the passenger, police said.

Francisco Lupian, 26, Savanah Salazar, 26, and Henry Rodriguez, 27, were arrested on suspicion of gun and drug possession, authorities said.






BOONE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Investigators seized 12 pounds of methamphetamine following a traffic stop at a Wendy’s in Lebanon Thursday.

According to our Indianapolis sister station, WISH-TV, charges against those arrested were pending in Clinton County.



WISH’s partner in news, The Lebanon Reporter , reports the 12 pounds of drugs has an estimated street value between $450,000 and $1.75 million.