Four Richland County residents were charged in separate indictments returned by a federal grand jury in Benton, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced February 8.

Timothy L. Garrard

Timothy L. Garrard, 32, of Olney, was charged in a three-count indictment.

Count one charges that from about October 2011 until about November 2012, Garrard conspired to manufacture methamphetamine.

Count two charges that from October 25, 2011, to October 29, 2012, Garrard possessed pseudoephedrine, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that the pseudoephedrine would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Count three charges that on November 4, 2012, Garrard possessed with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing hydrocodone.

On count one, Garrard faces penalties of up to 20 years of imprisonment, up to a $1 million fine, and at least three years of supervised release.

On count two, Garrard faces penalties of up to 20 years of imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to four years of supervised release.

On Count three, Garrard faces penalties of up to 10 years of imprisonment, up to a $500,000 fine, and at least two years of supervised release.

Brian Kelly Jenner

Brian Kelly Jenner, 50, of Olney, was charged in a two count indictment.

Count one charges that from on or about April 2010 to on or about September 2012, Jenner conspired to manufacture more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Count two charges that from April 23, 2010, to September 13, 2012, Jenner possessed pseudoephedrine, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that the pseudoephedrine would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

On count one, Jenner faces penalties of 5-40 years of imprisonment, up to a $5 million fine, and at least four years of supervised release.

On count two, Jenner faces penalties of up to 20 years of imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to four years of supervised release.

Carol R. Wille

Carol R. Wille, 44, of Noble, was charged in a one-count indictment.

Count one charges that from January 10, 2010, to June 1, 2012, Wille possessed pseudoephedrine, knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that the pseudoephedrine would be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Wille faces penalties of up to 20 years of imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to four years of supervised release.

Jeffrey T. Wimberly

Jeffrey T. Wimberly, 45, of Olney, was charged in a one-count indictment.

Count one charges that from February 2011, to on or about October 2012, Wimberly conspired to manufacture more than 50 grams of methamphetamine.

Wimberly faces penalties of 5-40 years of imprisonment, up to a $5 million fine, and at least four years of supervised release.

The investigation in these cases was conducted by Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force, Richland County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Clay County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney George A. Norwood.


Washington, D.C. (February 13, 2013) – The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) today responded to the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report on methamphetamine laboratories in the United States and the effectiveness of existing state laws designed to address the ongoing problem. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) requested the report in April 2011. Senator Feinstein is the chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control; Senator Grassley is the co-chairman.

The GAO report examines recent trends relative to domestic methamphetamine production as well as policy initiatives to strengthen controls of precursor materials used in the illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine. The report also compared two specific policy approaches: implementation of a prescription requirement for cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine—currently implemented in Oregon and Mississippi—and the pseudoephedrine illegal sales blocking system, known as the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), adopted by 25 states.

”Maintaining access to nonprescription pseudoephedrine is important to the 18 million American families who rely on these medicines,” said Scott Melville, president and CEO of CHPA. “The NPLEx system serves as a responsible alternative to a prescription requirement for cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, and the GAO’s findings strengthen our resolve to ensure that this technology provides law enforcement with the right tools to stop methamphetamine-related crime.”

“Consumers value medicines containing pseudoephedrine because they are effective, they keep consumers productive, and they reduce unnecessary and costly visits to the doctor. American families want and deserve continued access to these important cold and allergy medicines without having to visit a doctor,” Melville concluded.

CHPA has consistently sought to be part of the solution against domestic methamphetamine production. The organization recognizes the extent of the problem and will continue to help law enforcement officials, elected officials, and retailers make progress in the battle against the diversion of medicines to make methamphetamine.

To that end, CHPA has supported NPLEx since its inception and worked with lawmakers across the country to launch the proven system in 25 states. NPLEx is helping states fight methamphetamine-related crime, not only by blocking thousands of illegal sales but also by providing law enforcement with critical information that has led to numerous lab seizures, convictions, and arrests.

While there are many effective nonprescription cold and allergy medicines on the market, many consumers prefer medicines containing pseudoephedrine because of the 12- and 24-hour relief those products provide.  CHPA supports NPLEx because it is a responsible alternative to a prescription requirement that protects law-abiding citizens’ access to the cold and allergy medicines of their choice.

Contacts: Jenni Terry, 202.429.9260 (w) Elizabeth Funderburk, 202.429.9260 (w) or 202.256.5677 (m)

CHPA is the 132-year-old-trade association representing U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements.

Doreen Rivard couldn’t figure out why the light bulbs kept disappearing.

Was it that hard to replace them when they burned out?

And why was she finding the insides of pens all over the place? She asked her boys what they were doing with the pens.

“They said, ‘Shooting spitballs,’ and I believed them,” Rivard said.

It took months before she could understand and accept the truth: her teen boys and their friends were using the pen tubes and light bulbs to smoke methamphetamine in her home in Star Prairie in St. Croix County in northwestern Wisconsin.

Rivard’s nightmare started in 2004 when methamphetamine was spreading like a rash into western Wisconsin from Iowa and Minnesota. St. Croix and Polk counties along the Mississippi River were among the hardest hit, according to state Department of Justice data.

Methamphetamine still is a problem in that area, said Steve Kirt, the behavioral health administrator with the St. Croix County Human Services Department, but it’s a different kind of problem than it was five years ago.

“It receded into the shadows, so to speak,” Kirt said.

A recent methamphetamine bust in Beloit prompted The Gazette to call Rivard, Kirt and others to learn how methamphetamine use compares to heroin, a highly addictive drug that burst on the scene in Rock County in 2008 and has held tight since.

Police in January intercepted a 17-ounce package of methamphetamine on its way to Beloit from Shanghai. Police think the methamphetamine was for local distribution, Rock County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Todd Christiansen said at the time.

The bust at the home on Ninth Street is the first major methamphetamine seizure in the county in collective memory, Christiansen said.

The seizure is a concern, but it is not necessarily a sign that methamphetamine use is on the rise in Rock County, said Dave Spakowicz, the director of eastern region field operations for the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

None of the people interviewed said methamphetamine was harder on a community than heroin.

“They’re both just devastating,” Spakowicz said.

Two ends of the spectrum

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that keeps users awake for 36 hours or more. They stay high until their bodies can’t take any more, and then they sleep for hours on end.

Methamphetamine users are violent and unpredictable, Spakowicz said. They pose a safety threat to police and others, he said.

Methamphetamine is hard on a person’s body, Spakowicz said. It is a synthetic drug manufactured from household or industrial chemicals. Among other things, it contains lye, Coleman fuel, lithium from batteries and iodine.

It’s caustic and leaves people scratching at the feeling of bugs crawling on their bodies, Spakowicz said.

Why would anyone try such a drug?

In the beginning, the stimulant effects of methamphetamine make people feel they can accomplish anything, Kirt said. Attorneys use it to work longer hours. Students use it to study more. Housewives use it to multitask, he said.

Heroin’s effect is the opposite. Heroin users typically are not violent. Heroin depresses the central nervous system, and users tend to stay put until it is time to find cash for their next use, Spakowicz said.

Heroin users are more likely to fatally overdose than methamphetamine users, he said. They are harder to identify than methamphetamine users, who tend to be agitated and often have rotting teeth or sores on their skin.

Methamphetamine users are out and about more, Spakowicz said. A meth user would be more likely to conduct a home invasion or an armed robbery, Spakowicz said.

“The opiate abuser thinks, ‘I’ll just go to Home Depot, steal a drill and get four bags of heroin,” he said. “They’re two ends of the spectrum.”

Kirt thinks addiction is addiction, no matter the drug. The best thing a community can do is educate children to avoid tobacco, alcohol or drugs, he said. Focusing on one drug such as methamphetamine won’t solve the problem, he said.

“Janesville may never have a meth problem, but they’ll have their own version of it,” Kirt said. “That’s not going to end.”

‘Meth just scares people here’

For the time being, southern Wisconsin remains under a “bubble” of limited methamphetamine use compared to other parts of the state, said Sgt. Nate Clark, a Wisconsin State Patrol supervisor with the Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. That is a federally funded program that allows the state patrol to partner with local law enforcement agencies. HIDTA covers much of southeastern Wisconsin including Rock County.

“Southeastern Wisconsin has been exempt from the scourge that is plaguing the rest of the nation, including northwestern Wisconsin,” Clark said.

Clark thinks people learned about the dangers of meth before the drug dug in.

“Generally, the individuals we talk to—drug dealers and users—they were aware of how bad it was,” Clark said. “Meth just scares people here. It didn’t get here in time before people found out how deadly it was.”

When law enforcement agents find methamphetamine in southeastern Wisconsin, it tends to be in small amounts for personal use. They occasionally find small samples inside large shipments of cocaine or marijuana, Clark said.

“Dealers are getting free samples from distributors,” Clark said.

It will take continued work to keep major methamphetamine use out of southeastern Wisconsin, he said. In the Milwaukee HIDTA, training and focus this year will be on methamphetamine the way it was on heroin in previous years, Clark said.

From his perspective as a law enforcement agent who focuses on narcotics, the threat of methamphetamine is a big deal, he said.

“As soon as we see meth show up, we zone in on it like it’s the biggest threat out there,” Clark said. “The truth is we will fail if the public doesn’t fight back. We truly will.”

‘You find another way’

In northwestern Wisconsin, the primary reason for the change in the methamphetamine scene has been legislation controlling the purchase of over-the-counter pseudoephedrine, Kirt said. When the methamphetamine ingredient became harder to get starting in 2005 in Wisconsin, many of the local labs disappeared, Kirt said.

The local labs were big, had to dispose of a lot of unique waste and smelled bad, he said. They weren’t terribly hard to find.

When a lab was busted, one or two people would be arrested for methamphetamine production or distribution. As part of a plea agreement, they would give up the names of another 15 or 20 people involved, he said.

Fewer busted labs means fewer arrests, Kirt said. That doesn’t mean people are no longer using methamphetamine, he said.

“You don’t just stop because the drug’s unavailable,” Kirt said. “You find another way of getting it.”

These days, dealers are getting methamphetamine shipped from out of state, usually from the Southwest or Mexico, he said.

Alternatively, they make it in small batches using what’s called a “one-pot” method. These labs are harder to find, Kirt said.

“They don’t have the odor or the disposal of cans that you had with the earlier methods,” Kirt said.

In 2011, out of 31 labs, busted in Wisconsin, 17 were one-pot labs, Spakowicz said. In 2012, out of 32 labs busted, 28 were one-pot labs, he said.

In April 2012, a long-time town of Beloit resident was charged with manufacturing methamphetamines using the one-pot method in his garage on West Alpine Drive. At the time, authorities called it an isolated incident.

“In the mom and pop labs, they would make up to an ounce at a time,” Spakowicz said. “With one-pot, you’re making two to three grams at a time, but it adds up.”

Rivard said the change in the production scene lead to a false sense that things were getting better.

“For a while, it seemed like meth was sort of going away,” Rivard said. “You didn’t hear a lot about it, not like between 2004 and 2007. Now, it’s very prevalent here again.”


Rivard’s sons had been living at home when they were using, she said. The signs were all around her, but she never saw them.

One son used methamphetamine for at least 18 months. Another used for several years and turned to alcohol abuse, she said.

Rivard was blindsided when her oldest son overdosed on methamphetamine in 2004. She mistakenly thought he would quit using after that.

In 2005, her second son was arrested in a drug raid. He was 17 when Rivard knew for a fact he was using methamphetamine.

This time around, Rivard was ready to accept facts.

“I didn’t learn very much from my oldest son’s experience,” Rivard said. “With my youngest son, I learned really quick. I’d never been to court before. I didn’t even know anyone who’d been to jail before.”

Rivard started going to court weekly to watch drug cases. She read armloads of books. She attended group meetings and founded Moms and Dads Against Meth, an advocacy group.

When her neighbor’s son, who had been a methamphetamine user, killed himself, local parents decided they weren’t doing enough, Rivard said.

Rivard in 2007 helped found Butterfly House, a transitional living facility for women in St. Croix Falls in Polk County. They started the project with $245, she said.

Rivard has lived at the facility since it opened, she said. She still goes weekly to observe drug court in Polk County, she said.

Most of the women who go to the facility are recovering methamphetamine addicts. She has had clients from 17 to 59 years old, Rivard said.

“I would say there is not a typical meth user,” she said. “I was kind of surprised at the large amount of women in their 40s that came in.”

A handful of Butterfly House clients are addicted to opiate-based prescription painkillers. An even smaller number are recovering heroin addicts, and many of those are from southcentral Wisconsin, including Janesville, she said.

Rivard’s description of the drug climate in Polk County is the opposite of how many might describe the scene in Rock County.

“What I keep hearing about heroin is that it’s around, it’s coming and it’s not going to be good,” Rivard said. “Still, though, our biggest problem is meth. We’ve gotten a couple women recovering from heroin at the house, but they have come from down by you.”

Rivard said she wishes someone had told her to learn about methamphetamine before it came into her life.

“I would like everyone first of all to learn about it before it happens, because you think it will never happen to your kids,” she said. “I made myself so sick with not knowing.”




Endicott police have charged a Village man with manufacturing methamphetamine- a class D felony.

Officials say while on partol Saturday morning, they saw 46-year-old Robert Ricci carrying a black safety lock box and grocery bag.   When they stopped Ricci, they found he was in possession of the drug and the contents of the lock box and grocery bag contained the components of a portable meth lab.

Ricci was taken into custody and remains behind bars at the Broome County Jail.



A convicted felon from Hemet was arrested in San Jacinto Wednesday, Feb.14, on suspicion of drug offenses.

Jeremy Patrick Reynolds was taken into custody at 6:45 p.m. during a traffic stop in the 500 block of East Main Street in San Jacinto, according to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department news release.

Jeremy Reynolds

Having been previously convicted of possessing a loaded firearm, Reynolds was suspected of being under the influence of and possessing methamphetamine, and of being in violation of parole and probation, the release said.

Reynolds was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.



OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, MI — A 34-year-old Kalamazoo man was arrested Thursday when he was found to have a meth lab under his coat, authorities said.

According to a news release from the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team,  officers from the Community Outreach Problem Solving Division encountered the man leaving the residence in the 5500 block of Coddington Lane in Oshtemo Township when they arrived to execute a search warrant there at about 3 p.m..

The man was also found to be in possession of finished methamphetamine, marijuana, and a digital scale. A search of his vehicle revealed several methamphetamine lab components as well.

A 32-year-old woman and her two children lived in the home, where methamphetamine, packaging equipment, scales, and methamphetamine paraphernalia were located.

The man was arrested and jailed on an outstanding warrant and faces possible charges of operating/maintaining a methamphetamine lab, possession of methamphetamine and  possession of marijuana.  The woman will be facing methamphetamine possession charges in the near future. Child Protective Services  removed the children from the home.



A Newport-area mother and daughter were arrested Tuesday at a Newport-area residence by detectives from the Lincoln Interagency Narcotics Team (LINT), with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies, related to a methamphetamine investigation.

Kattie Sutherland

Kattie Sutherland

On February 12, 2013, LINT detectives assisted by Newport Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and Department of Human Service (DHS), served a narcotics-related search warrant in the 200 block of NW 8th Street, a residential area adjacent to a baseball sports complex. Detectives seized small amounts of methamphetamine, packaging materials, and other evidence.

Present at the residence were Dianna Denise Sutherland, age 47; Kattie Irene Sutherland, age 23; and, four children ages 8 years, 5 years, 3 years, and 10 months. The four children were taken into protective custody by DHS.

Kattie Sutherland is the mother of three of the children and related to the fourth child.

Both women were taken into custody and lodged in Lincoln County Jail.



MILL CITY — A 23-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman were arrested Thursday at their residence on drug and child neglect and endangerment charges.

Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller provided this account:

As the result of an investigation, sheriff’s detectives and members of the Linn Regional Swat Team, went to 876 S.E. Third Ave. with a search warrant. They arrived at 8:55 a.m.

Kami Lou Weaver, left, and Keith James Rupert


Two adults and four juveniles were located. All lived at the residence with the exception of a juvenile who was visiting.

Detectives seized dealer amounts of methamphetamine, digital scales, packaging material, two firearms, methamphetamine and marijuana drug paraphernalia and stolen property.

The Department of Human Services was called to the scene and placed the three juveniles — two 4-year-olds and a 14-year-old who lived at the residence — into protective custody. DHS released the fourth juvenile, age 14, to family friends.

Keith James Rupert, 23, was arrested on charges of unlawful delivery of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm, first-degree child neglect and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Kami Lou Weaver, 42, was arrested on charges of unlawful delivery of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, first-degree child neglect and endangering the welfare of a minor.

Both were lodged in Linn County Jail. Security was set at $35,000 for Rupert and $29,000 for Weaver.

Rupert and Weaver were scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sweet Home, Lebanon and Albany police departments.




ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – The Angelina County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges and arrested a Diboll woman after her three-month-old child tested positive for meth.

Jennifer Welch Hebert, 32, is charged with state-jail felony endangering a child.


Jennifer Hebert (Source: Angelina County Jail)

Jennifer Hebert


Angelina County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Tom Matthews says Child Protective Services reported a suspicion of meth use in the home.

Hebert tested positive for meth in a hair panel test on January 29 and the three-month-old tested positive in the same test on Feb 7.

“Just by simple touching the child’s face, touching the child, holding the child, feeding the child, she was also using drugs during the pregnancy of the child, so the child could have also been exposed through the birthing process,” said Matthews.

Matthews obtained a warrant for Hebert’s arrest on Monday. She was booked into the Angelina County Jail on Tuesday, where she is waiting for her bail to be set.



BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A federal grand jury in Fresno returned an indictment today charging 36-year-old Enrique Reynosa, of Calexico, with possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine following a traffic stop made by the California Highway Patrol in Kern County.



Court documents indicate that Reynosa was stopped on Highway 99, south of State Route 119, for a traffic violation.

Six pounds of meth and eight pounds of cocaine were found inside the car after Reynosa provided consent to search the vehicle.

If convicted, Reynosa faces 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.

Reynosa is scheduled for arraignment on the indictment on Feb. 19.



Golf course workers  in Purcell, Okla. were surprised to find out that outhouse outlaws had  commandeering one of their Porta Potties in order to create a makeshift meth  lab.

Shocked golf course workers discovered a different kind of 19th hole when  they found a makeshift meth lab inside a Porta Potty.

In a scene straight out of “Breaking Bad,” the disguised drug den was  uncovered on the course in Purcell, Okla., on Tuesday.

Cops found chemicals made to use the powerful narcotic inside strangely  colored sports drink bottles.

Purcell police  sealed off the  portable toilet with tape and say they already have a lead on one suspect:   Fingerprints were recovered from the scene.

The alleged criminals were using the “shake and bake” method to manufacture  the substance — which had led to two of the three bottles exploding.

Purcell Police Department’s Scott Stevens told WCSH 6: “If someone had been in the Porta Potty when  (the bottles exploded), they might have gotten hurt by the flying plastic and  the chemicals.”

Officers sealed off the portable toilet with tape and say they already have  a lead on one suspect. Fingerprints were recovered from the scene.

OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – A 34-year-old Kalamazoo man was arrested Thursday afternoon in Oshtemo Township when police found a  “one-pot” methamphetamine lab concealed inside his coat.

He also had finished meth, marijuana and a digital scale in his possession, according to a news release from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Police searched his vehicle and found several meth lab components.

The bust occurred as Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team officers from the Community Outreach Problem Solving Division (COPS) executed a search warrant at a residence in the  5500 block of Coddington Lane. A 32-year-old woman and her two children were located in that residence, police said, as well as meth, packaging equipment, scales and meth paraphernalia.

Children’s Protective Services was called to the scene and removed the kids from the home.

The male suspect was taken to the Kalamazoo County Jail on charges of operating/maintaining a meth lab, possession of meth, possession of marijuana, and an outstanding warrant. The female resident will be facing meth possession charges in the near future, police said.

Anyone with more information about this incident is asked to call COPS at 269.337.8880 or  Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.


Officials say drugs worth about $1M

Mid-Iowa Drug Task Force  deputies arrested three people in connection with the case: Nicholas  Ramirez-Martinez, 44, of Marshalltown, Rene Fernandez, 49, of San Luis, Ariz.,  and Francisco Salgado-Aguirre, 47, of Yuma, Ariz., the Times Republican  reported.

Authorities told the  newspaper that they seized 20 pounds of methamphetamine and $60,000 in cash.

Ramirez-Martinez is  charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver, failure to affix drug  tax stamp and prohibited acts.

Salgado-Aguirre and  Fernandez were charged with conspiracy to distribute meth.

Marshall County deputies  said it’s one of the largest, most significant drug seizures in decades. The drugs were worth about $1  million.

However, the seizure is  also proof that the meth problem in rural Iowa is still an issue.

“It’s probably the worst  drug on earth as far as we’re concerned,” Marshall County Sheriff’s Office Chief  Deputy Burt Tecklenburg said.

The operation was the  result of an 18-month investigation by the Mid-Iowa Drug Task Force.

On Friday, agents said  Ramirez-Martinez met the two Arizona men at a truck stop in Des Moines.

Reed Alan Berget, 52, of Willmar, was charged with felony drug possession after law enforcement received a request to remove an unwanted party from Grand Casino.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Mille Lacs County District Court, security staff found Berget sleeping in a chair in the lobby. Law enforcement determined that there were two warrants for Berget’s arrest.

Berget told officers they would find methamphetamine in a pocket in his jeans. They found marijuana in his pocket and in a search of his backpack found plastic bags containing a substance that tested positive for meth, the complaint states.

The charge against Berget carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.



Methamphetamine is quickly becoming the drug of choice for  Mexican cartels, according to new statistics obtained by NBC 7.


Meth Smuggling on the Rise Via Mexican Cartels
Many meth smugglers are pedestrians, who tape the drugs  to their person, while attempting to cross the border.


A top officer involved with border security spoke exclusively  to NBC 7 about the current meth smuggling trend. Turns out, over the past few  years, the number of drug  seizures involving meth has increased dramatically.

“[Meth] is highly addictive. Some reports show that if you  use it once, you’re already addicted,” Deputy Special Agent Jose Garcia with  Homeland Security/ ICE told NBC 7.

Garcia says this addictive quality is why there is such a  high demand for meth in the United States.


Last year, a record 190  teens – ages 18 and under – were caught smuggling drugs along the San Diego  County-Mexico border, according to federal investigators. NBC 7’s Tony Shin  reports.

New Smuggling Trend Teen Girls
New Smuggling Trend Teen  Girls

Border Busts

$2.1M in Pot Stashed in Bus
$2.1M in Pot Stashed in Bus

The special agent spends his days in charge of Homeland Security investigation. His team’s  top priority is to stop drug smugglers along San Diego County’s border with  Mexico.

“Eighty percent of the meth consumed in the U.S. is made and  manufactured in Mexico,” explained Garcia.

According to statistics obtained by NBC 7, there’s been a drastic increase in border seizures involving meth since 2008.

In fact, last year’s total number – 642 seizures – is only  about 250 less than marijuana seizures.

For years, marijuana has been the No. 1 smuggled drug — but  there’s a big downside to cartels when it comes to smuggling pot across the  border.

“They have to smuggle large amounts to realize good  profits,” said Garcia.

However, when it comes to smuggling meth, it’s different  because cartels don’t have to smuggle a lot of the drug to make a big  profit.

That’s why many meth smugglers are pedestrians – who tape a  few kilos to their body.

And, as NBC  7 reported first a few months ago, an increasing number are teenagers.

“I can tell you that some of the kids that we arrested were  getting paid as little as $200,” said Garcia.

The agent says that’s exactly why the risk is not worth the  reward.

“The definition of a felony is a year and a day; you could  get way more than that depending on the quantity of the narcotics you were  smuggling,” he added.

ICE investigators say that the methamphetamine that does  make it into San Diego is typically quickly taken to Los Angeles. From there,  it’s transported all over the country.


SAN DIEGO — Twenty-seven people arrested in a yearlong probe of methamphetamine trafficking in San Diego County have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and drug charges.

U-T San Diego ( ) says they appeared in federal court Wednesday.

The arrests were made on Tuesday as a task force of federal, state and local authorities raided homes around the county. They seized 19 guns, 26 pounds of meth and more than $150,000 in cash.

Three other people are being sought and three already are in state custody.



Three women are facing drug charges after they were arrested Wednesday night  during a traffic stop on Chulio Road, according to Floyd County Jail  reports.

According to the reports:

Elaine Renae Brown, 41, of 880  Turner Road, and Amanda Jean Nails, 28, of 2669 Reeceburg Road, Cedartown, were  charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine  with the intent to distribute after police found methamphetamine and scales in  the vehicle in which the women were riding.

Elaine Brown

Elaine Brown
Amanda Nails

Amanda Nails
Anna Huckaby

Anna Huckaby


Brown is facing additional  charges of possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance, possession of  a schedule I or II controlled substance with intent to distribute and sale of a  schedule I or II controlled substance. According to warrants, Brown sold four  oxycodone pills at a Presley Street address on July 19 of last year.

Another person in the vehicle Anna Elizabeth Huckaby, 27, of 309 Perkins  St., was charged with possession of methamphetamine. Police found the drug in  her purse, the reports said.


Chico police say they found methamphetamine on an 18-year-old arrested Tuesday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Deshawn Dean, a Chico resident, was wanted in Butte County when police found him with the illegal substance, said Chico police Sgt. Rob Merrifield.

Dean was spotted by a police officer in Children’s Playground next to Bidwell Presbyterian Church, Merrifield said.

Police chased Dean through residents’ backyards to Bidwell Park after he realized he was being followed, according to a Chico police press release.

Officers booked Dean on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance as well as the original suspected assault with a deadly weapon, Merrifield said.



BANGKOK – Thai police have seized nearly 2 million methamphetamine pills from smugglers near the country’s northern border in one of this year’s largest drug busts.

Police Col. Panudet Boonruang said Friday that authorities arrested three ethnic minority Hmong men after chasing two pickup trucks near the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Rai province Thursday night.

Police confiscated 1.97 million tablets of methamphetamine and 20 kilograms of crystal meth hidden in one of the pickups.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung said Friday that Thai authorities will ask Interpol to help trace the drugs producers in Myanmar.

Thailand is a transit country for illegal drugs entering the international market, with more than 15 million methamphetamine pills smuggled through the northern and northeastern borders in 2011.




Methamphetamine is an illegally manufactured drug known by a variety of street names, including meth, crystal meth, ice, crank and speed. Once it enters the bloodstream, the drug drastically alters normal function inside a part of the brain called the limbic system. One result of methamphetamine-related change in this system is a feeling of intense euphoria, and meth addiction typically begins when users repeatedly seek this euphoric state. However, use of the drug also alters normal function in a specific part of the limbic system that processes emotions such as anger and fear. As a result of this alteration, people using methamphetamine can easily develop paranoid, aggressive, or violent states of mind.

The Limbic System

The limbic system is a collection of brain structures that includes the hippocampus, hypothalamus and amygdala. It sits between the upper portion of the brain, called the cortex, and the lower part of the brain, called the brainstem. The hippocampus plays a vital role in normal consciousness by converting unstable short-term memories into stable long-term memories. In addition to a wide array of other functions, the hypothalamus acts as the origin point for a number of different emotions and sensations, including pleasure, thirst, hunger, anger, aggression and varying degrees of sexual satisfaction. The amygdala shares in tasks performed by the hippocampus and hypothalamus, including storage of long-term memories and the generation of pleasure, fear, anger and other emotional states.

Pleasure levels inside the limbic system are regulated by a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) inside the brain called dopamine. Generally speaking, relatively high levels of this chemical translate into an increased experience of pleasure, while relatively low levels translate into a decreased experience of pleasure. Like most other commonly abused drugs, methamphetamine triggers euphoria by boosting the limbic system’s dopamine levels. However, while some drugs produce relatively modest dopamine increases (two to four times above normal), methamphetamine produces an extreme dopamine boost (12 to 13 times above normal). This extreme effect largely accounts for the highly addictive nature of the drug.

Methamphetamine-Driven Changes Inside the Amygdala

Normal function inside the amygdala is controlled by another portion of the brain, called the pre-frontal cortex, or PFC. Much of what we think of as our “selves” comes from activities inside this brain region, including specific expression of personality, the ability to make complex plans, the ability make judgments or decisions, and the ability to act in accordance with established social norms for behavior. In effect, the links between the PFC and the amygdala form a bridge between rational thinking and emotional response. When people habitually use methamphetamine, the UCLA Brain Research Institute explains, they destabilize normal function in the pre-frontal cortex. In turn, this destabilization disrupts the pre-frontal cortex’s control over the amygdala; it is this loss of control that triggers the erratic emotional states often found in chronic meth users.

The Onset of Paranoia

Methamphetamine-related changes in amygdala function commonly produce an increased sense of paranoia in an affected individual. Characteristics of this emotional state center on an untrue or exaggerated belief that “someone is out to get you.” Specific threats that a paranoid person may mistakenly perceive include a belief that someone is spreading false rumors; a belief that someone intends to steal money, or damage or steal property; and a belief that someone intends to cause serious or fatal physical harm. Depending on the individual and the type of paranoid thinking in progress, the outcome of these beliefs can be volatile emotional states such as fear, terror, panic, or anxiety, or a combination of two or more such states.

Aggression and Violence

Together with decreased behavioral control inside the pre-frontal cortex, the presence of anxiety, fear, terror or panic set the stage for unpredictable episodes of aggression and violence in habitual meth users. The potential for these behaviors is also tied to the onset of a disorder called methamphetamine-induced psychosis. People with this disorder develop psychotic symptoms that can include auditory (sound-based) or visual hallucinations, as well as various forms of delusional thinking. In some cases, this delusional thinking involves paranoid fixations, and people in the grips of psychosis have a clear capacity to turn aggressive or violent.

Methamphetamine-induced psychosis is an officially recognized psychiatric disorder that can last for a period of days, months or (in relatively rare cases) years, even in the absence of continued meth use. However, the brain changes associated with habitual meth use also appear in people who don’t develop clinical psychosis, and any long-term methamphetamine user can experience bouts of paranoia-fueled aggressive or violent behavior.



NASHUA – A Nashua man and his wife were arrested and their apartment condemned after he was burned last month while “cooking” methamphetamine inside their home and in front of their children.
Raymond Champagne, 34, formerly of 11 A Amory St., was arrested Wednesday on a charge of manufacturing methamphetamine and two counts of prohibited conduct, for making the drug in the presence of his children, ages 12 and 4. His wife Melissa Champagne, 32, is also charged with two counts of prohibited conduct.

Originally, police went to the couple’s apartment on Jan. 15 after a 911 call for an ambulance for a man suffering from burns to his body. Raymond Champagne was burned while trying to manufacture or cook methamphetamine using a “one pot” method, police said.
Lt. David Bailey of the Narcotics Intelligence Division said the batch of methamphetamine exploded while Raymond Champagne was making it, burning him. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of serious burns.
“It’s very dangerous,” Bailey said about of the way methamphetamine is made.
Police secured the premises because of the volatile nature of chemicals used in making the drug. Members of the city’s Narcotics Intelligence Division and the DEA Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team also were called to the scene.

Investigators obtained a warrant and searched the apartment, which then was condemned by housing code enforcement inspectors.
Bailey said the state Department of Children, Youth and Families are involved in the case with respect to the care of the children.

Manufacturing methamphetamine is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of not more than $500,000 or both.

Prohibited conduct is punishable up to five years in prison with a fine of not more than $10,000 or both per count.
What’s next: Melissa Champagne is free on $10,000 cash/surety bail pending a March 5 arraignment in 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division. Raymond Champagne was arraigned on the felony charges and is detained in jail on $15,000 cash/surety bail.


OROVILLE — An Oroville man was arrested Tuesday after deputies found 12.58 grams of suspected methamphetamine in his belongings.

Butte County Sheriff deputies and the Butte Interagency Narcotics Task Force went to the 1200 block of Fourth Street to locate a wanted person at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to a BCSO press release.

Once there, deputies contacted Steve Patten, 51, of Oroville, who was on a searchable probation. Deputies found the methamphetamine and $4,078 in cash allegedly in Patten’s belongings during a search.

Patten was arrested on suspicion for possession of a controlled substance for sale and booked into Butte County Jail.



A 56-year-old Mesa man was arrested Friday near the corner of South McClintock and East Randall Drives on suspicion of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia possession and driving with an open container of alcohol, according to a police report.

A police officer stopped the man driving faster than the posted speed limit and not having the license plate properly lit, police reported.

He appeared very nervous to the officer and looked down when he spoke, according to the report.

After the officer saw a can of Busch beer in a vehicle cup holder, the man told the officer it was his, but it was empty, police reported.

The officer checked the can, and it was half full of beer, according to the report.

The man was told to step out of the vehicle, which he did, and a canine handler arrived with a drug-sniffing dog, police reported.

The dog alerted to the officers of a cigarette box containing a glass pipe with white residue and plastic baggies with methamphetamines, according to the report.

After the man was read his Miranda rights and complied, he said he bought the methamphetamines for $20, was given the pipe and was going to smoke the drug later, police reported.

The man was transported to Tempe City Jail, booked for the open container and released pending drug charges, according to the report.




EDWARDSVILLE – A Cottage Hills man was charged Wednesday with two felonies for allegedly starting a weekend fire while making methamphetamine in his home.

John L. Piper, 41, of the 1300 block of Seventh Street, was charged in Madison County Circuit Court with aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine manufacturing waste.

John L. Piper



About 9:27 p.m. Sunday, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Cottage Hills Fire Department responded to a fire at Piper’s residence, which they found fully engulfed in flames. Deputies met with another occupant of the residence, who had gotten out and confirmed there was nobody else inside. It took the Cottage Hills Fire Department about an hour to 90 minutes to extinguish the fire.

The other resident, who is handicapped, told deputies he had been asleep in his bedroom when he heard a loud pop, and when he went out of the bedroom, he found the home was on fire.

Sheriff’s Department officials said evidence developed during the investigation revealed the fire likely was caused by a clandestine methamphetamine drug lab. Sheriff’s investigators requested the assistance of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team.

Investigators identified Piper as an occupant of the residence and learned he had fled the home prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.

On Tuesday, investigators located Piper at a business in Wood River. Piper was questioned and detained at the Madison County Jail in Edwardsville. The investigation allegedly revealed Piper was producing methamphetamine at the residence when the fire started.

Circuit Judge Kyle A. Napp signed the felony warrant and information against Piper. Bond was set at $100,000.



Effingham County sheriff’s investigators say they made the largest methamphetamine bust in county history Wednesday morning at a McLaws Road home.

Dayrl Westenbarger, 56, and Donald Wilt, 61, both of Guyton, were arrested following a search warrant served about 10:30 a.m. at the home in the 400 block of McLaws Road.


Dayrl Westenbarger

Dayrl Westenbarger


Donald Wilt

Donald Wilt


Photo courtesy of Effingham County Sheriff's Office Effingham County Sheriff's Office investigators arrested two men Wednesday in the largest methamphetamine bust in county history. Over 100 one-pot meth labs were found inside the home in the 400 block of McLaws Road. 150 pounds of meth product were also found.

Effingham County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested two men Wednesday in the largest methamphetamine bust in county history. Over 100 one-pot meth labs were found inside the home in the 400 block of McLaws Road. 150 pounds of meth product were also found.
Photo courtesy of Effingham County Sheriff's Office Effingham County Sheriff's Office investigators arrested two men Wednesday in the largest methamphetamine bust in county history. Over 100 one-pot meth labs were found inside the home in the 400 block of McLaws Road. 150 pounds of meth product were also found.

Effingham County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested two men Wednesday in the largest methamphetamine bust in county history. Over 100 one-pot meth labs were found inside the home in the 400 block of McLaws Road. 150 pounds of meth product were also found.

The arrests came after an almost 4-month investigation, Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.

Deputies discovered 136 one-pot meth labs, 42 generators and several products to manufacture methamphetamine, including camp fuel, pseudoephedrine and 150 pounds of product testing positive for methamphetamine, Ehsanipoor said.

Meth is frequently made in a single container, such as a 2-liter soda bottle, and referred to as a lab.

Ehsanipoor said once investigators separated out the lab bottles and other chemicals, 24 pounds of pure methamphetamine were found.

The quantity of methamphetamine found makes it the county’s largest bust “by far,” Ehsanipoor said.

“There were also three active labs,” Ehsanipoor said. “They were cooking meth when deputies arrived.”

The second largest meth bust in Effingham County also occurred in 2011 on McLaws Road, just a few doors away from Wednesday’s arrests. Investigators found 62 one-pot meth labs in that case.

Westenbarger and Wilt have both been charged with trafficking methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of tools during the commission of a crime.

Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said Wednesday’s arrests will help get meth off the streets of Effingham County.

“This is a huge success for us in the battle to eradicate this dangerous drug from our community,” McDuffie said. “Drugs are in all surrounding areas, but we feel it is the public’s right to know what goes on in our county whether good or bad. We depend on the community’s support to fight all crimes in the county.”

Westenbarger and Wilt are being held in the Effingham County jail without bond.