A call from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services resulted in the arrest of a Beatrice woman suspected of using methamphetamine in the presence of children Friday night.

According to Gage County Court documents, DHHS alerted Beatrice Police to an 1800 Scott St. apartment where it was believed Amanda S. Carel, 30, was using the drug with another.

Carel and another woman told police there were no drugs or drug paraphernalia in the apartment, but consented to a search of the apartment, court records state.

Police later found a light bulb with the metal cap removed and a white residue present inside the bulb. Testing the residue showed it was positive for methamphetamine.

Carel allegedly told police the light bulb belonged to her.

Officers arrested Carel for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia and took her to the Gage County Detention Center.

On Monday, a Gage County Court judge set Carel’s bond at $7,500. She is scheduled to appear again in court on Sept. 24.







CLEARLAKE — A Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) patrol deputy arrested a man following a routine traffic stop Saturday. Methamphetamine was reportedly seized at the scene.

At about 1 p.m., the deputy pulled over a gray Honda Civic on the 14000 block of Lakeshore Boulevard in Clearlake. The deputy cited numerous vehicle code violations as the reason for the traffic stop.




Michael David Burroughs, 35, of Clearlake appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance according to a press release from the LCSO.

Additionally Central Dispatch confirmed Burroughs did not have a valid driver license.

The deputy reportedly smelled marijuana and started to deploy his narcotics detection K-9. Burroughs allegedly admitted there might also be methamphetamine inside the center console. The deputy deployed the K-9, which reportedly produced a positive alert as soon as she approached the driver’s door, indicating the presence of a controlled substance. Once inside the vehicle the canine alerted on the stereo face plate, which was located in the center console. Once the stereo faceplate was removed, the deputy located a plastic bag, which contained a white crystalline substance he believed to be methamphetamine. The deputy tested a small amount of the suspected methamphetamine using a NIK kit, which immediately flashed blue, indicating a presumptive positive for methamphetamine, according to the press release from LCSO.

Burroughs was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance and for driving without a license. He was transported to the Lake County Hill Road Correctional Facility and booked.

Anyone with information to assist the task force is encouraged to call the anonymous tip line at 263-3663.







EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Indiana attorney general’s office and several industry groups are launching a statewide campaign to raise public awareness of criminals who purchase cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine to sell to methamphetamine cooks.

The practice is called “smurfing.”

The Indiana Pharmacists Alliance, the Indiana Retailers Council, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and other groups announced the anti-smurfing campaign Tuesday in Evansville.

The effort aims to inform consumers through signage at the point of sale that the simple act of buying certain cold or allergy product for a stranger can fuel Indiana’s methamphetamine problem.

The public-private partnership was developed by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a national association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines.


CINCINNATI – Two people are charged with illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

John Tonun and Samantha Snyder are charged after they decided to use a Clermont County parking lot for their mobile meth lab, according to police.

Investigators said the pair were cooking the drug in a vehicle in the Miami Township Meijer’s parking lot on Monday. Officials said they found Gatorade bottles inside the vehicle called “one pots”. They were cooking meth on the floorboard of the car.Two Charged with Illegal Manufacture of Methamphetamine.








MILFORD, Ohio — Two people were arrested Monday after authorities busted a mobile meth lab in the parking lot of a Meijer store in Milford.

Police were called to investigate a report of possible drug activity at the store, located at 1082 Ohio 28, just before 4 p.m.

Agents from the Narcotics Unit and the Miami Township Police Road Patrol conducted a stop of two individuals in a blue Honda Accord. Police said they located two Gatorade bottles, known as “one pots,” cooking meth on the front floorboard.

Police neutralized the chemicals and cordoned off part of the parking lot during the investigation.

John D. Tunon, 37, of Wilmington and Samantha Snyder, 33, of Lynchburg were arrested at the scene. Both were charged with illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

The incident remains under investigation.







The Baton Rouge Fire Department responded to a fire that started close to midnight at a home located on Carol Street. When firefighters arrived on scene, a bedroom was engulfed in flames. Investigators later discovered that a meth lab was to blame for the blaze.

Pietra BrocatoJoseph Garcia

          Pietra Brocato             Joseph Garcia 


Three people were inside the home when the explosion occurred. One man was taken to the hospital with what is described as severe burns on several parts of his body.

Joseph B. Garcia, 32, and Pietra M. Brocato, 32, were both arrested at the scene. Brocato is said to be the main occupant of the residence, but there was no indication if the two additional men were living in the home or visiting.

Two residents living in other apartments in the same building were displaced due to the fire. They are being assisted by the Red Cross.

Garcia and Brocato were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for Aggravated Arson and Creation or Operation of a Clandestine Lab.

The third individual who was hospitalized is expected to be arrested upon release.







Fort Lauderdale police investigating a disturbance on Sunday evening discovered a miniature methamphetamine lab in a motel room.

Officers responded to the Relax Inn at 1851 S. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale after being notified that a woman and two men were having an argument. 

The motel’s management asked the individuals to leave the premises. The trio agreed and management asked the officers to escort them to their rooms to gather their things. As the officers were escorting the individuals, the woman told them that one of the men was cooking meth in his room.

The officers discovered what looked like a small meth lab in the room and, as a precautionary measure, the other residents of the motel were evacuated. Detectives arrived on the scene and the three individuals were detained for questioning.

Drug Enforcement Agency clandestine lab team members arrived on the scene to secure the toxic chemicals. Charges are pending the result of the investigation.


Capt. Eben Bratcher of the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t mince words when it comes to methamphetamine, saying whether they know it or not, most of the people who are addicted to the drug here in Yuma County buy it from dealers who almost always carry it across the border themselves concealed in a body cavity.

“I would think that if more people realized this, there would fewer people addicted to meth,” Bratcher said.

Almost like a daily fix, Bratcher said deputies are routinely arresting meth users and seizing their drugs. Since the drug is so easy to buy, he added that he can only assume there is a lot out on the streets. One thing is for certain though – deputies are taking more drugs off Yuma County’s streets than ever before.

Two men were arrested and more than $40,000 worth of methamphetamine seized (seized) Aug. 19 during two separate incidents at the Port of San Luis. Smuggling meth in from Mexico is very common, and much more popular than cooking the drug at labs in the U.S.


So far this year, the sheriff’s office has seized 12.29 kilograms of methamphetamine, or about 27.9 pounds. The approximate street value of those drugs is estimated around $270,380.

Bratcher said drug sales here in Yuma County are conducted much the same way they are in other places. He explained that the local dealers, for example, will buy a pound of methamphetamine in Mexico and smuggle it back into the country. They then cut the meth into smaller portions and sell it to the smaller street-level dealers.

These smaller dealers, who often have their own crews or are associated with street gangs, will then cut the meth into the ¼ gram, ½ gram, 1 gram and 3.5 gram increments it is commonly sold in and sell it to the addicts looking to buy drugs.

“It is that easy to get it here. It is produced and sold with impunity in Mexico,” Bratcher said. “And it is going to stay that way until (the Mexican and U.S. governments) can figure out a way to keep it from coming across the border. So far, they haven’t been very successful.”

Bratcher explained that a majority of the methamphetamine his agency is seeing is being produced in labs in Mexico, which can make hundreds of pounds of the drug each month.

As for the City of Yuma, Sgt. Leanne Worthen, of the Yuma Police Department, says their officers seize on average about 40 to 50 pounds of methamphetamine annually. The value of those seizures, she estimates, ranges from between $360,000 to $450,000.

Because the drug has become so proliferous, Worthen said keeping it off the streets has become a never-ending battle for officers.

“We get some of it off the streets, but drug users are consuming more than we can get,” Worthen said. “We aren’t going to stop, though. We are going to keep going after whatever we can get.”

Supervisory officer Teresa Small, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection, reports there has been an increase this year in the number of methamphetamine seizures and arrests, compared to some of the other hard narcotics, such as heroin and cocaine.

“We are seeing hard narcotics being smuggled more frequently than marijuana, which is what we would see in the past,” Small said. “In years past, it would be rare that we would see hard narcotics. It’s actually now flipped.”

Small said most of the methamphetamine smuggling in Yuma County is being attempted through the San Luis Port of Entry, through two types of methods known as “deep concealment” and “body carriers.”

The deep concealment method is most often used in vehicles, she explained, where the methamphetamine is hidden in specially built compartments in common places such as the gas tank, drive shaft, seats, tires, dashboard, engine and roofs.

The other method, she continued, is what is known as the body carry method, where the methamphetamine is packaged tightly and either strapped to a person’s body or hidden in something they are trying to carry across.

“Our officers do a superb job of catching smuggling attempts. We are, however, human and not going to be able to capture 100 percent of the drugs coming through,” Small said. “Our officers use all their skills and experience to prevent drugs from entering our country.”

She explained that methamphetamine and other hard narcotics such as cocaine and heroin are easier to conceal than marijuana because they can be hidden in smaller areas. These narcotics also have a higher profit margin for drug smugglers.

While both methods are regularly used by drug smugglers, Small said officers are seeing a noticeable increase in the number of body carry attempts being made.

According to CBP statistics, officers seized 1,979 pounds of methamphetamine this fiscal year at the state’s ports of entry. The figure represents a 54 percent increase over the 1,283 pounds seized in fiscal year 2012.

There has also been a slight increase in marijuana seizures this fiscal year, Small said. In fiscal year 2012, CBP seized 75,165 pounds of marijuana, compared to the 79,366 pounds so far in 2013, roughly a six-percent increase.

On a positive note, there has been a been a 51 percent decrease in the amount of cocaine seizures during the past fiscal year as well, with 2,432 pounds seized in 2012 and 1,192 in 2013. Heroin seizures have also declined with 523 pounds seized in fiscal year 2012, compared to 349 in 2013, a 33 percent reduction.

Figures were not available for individual ports.

Agent Kyle Estes of the Yuma Sector Communications Division said the Yuma area is more of a “transit point” for the methamphetamine being produced in Mexico, rather than a “destination point.”

He explained that Yuma is a known corridor drug that smuggling organizations attempt to use. Most of the drugs that successfully make it through are destined for other major cities across the country such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Estes also said the majority of the methamphetamine being seized by Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents is being carried across the border and through the desert like marijuana is. It actually occurs at the checkpoints on Interstate 8 and Highway 95.

According to statistics from the Yuma Sector, agents seized 342 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at $6,940 so far this calendar year, compared to 276 pounds last year.

Agents have also seized 84 pounds of cocaine so far this year, valued at $2,824, compared to 548 pounds last year. Additionally, 27 pounds of heroin, valued at $535, has also been seized by through the month of July, compared to 121 pounds last year.

As for marijuana, agents have confiscated 38,493 pounds, that had an estimated street value of $29,333, compared to last year when agents seized 36,262 pounds.

Small said ultimately, there is no verifiable way to quantify how much drugs make it through, or how much is out on the streets.

“The only way would be to gather all the drug trafficking organizations at a table and have each one of them gives us a summary of how much they were able to get past us,” Small said. “I don’t ever see that happening.”





CINCINNATI – Two people are charged with illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

John Tonun and Samantha Snyder are charged after they decided to use a Clermont County parking lot for their mobile meth lab, according to police.

Investigators said the pair were cooking the drug in a vehicle in the Miami Township Meijer’s parking lot on Monday. Officials said they found Gatorade bottles inside the vehicle called “one pots”. They were cooking meth on the floorboard of the car.Two Charged with Illegal Manufacture of Methamphetamine.






Burmese authorities claim to have discovered over US$1.3 million worth of methamphetamine tablets buried by the late drug kingpin Naw Kham near the Thai-Burma border.

State media reported on Sunday that heavy rain in Tachilek, eastern Burma, had unearthed a blue container with 650,000 stimulant tablets inside.

Naw Kham (R) is sentenced to death for murder at a court in Kunming, Yunnan province in November 2012 (Reuters)

Naw Kham (R) is sentenced to death for murder at a court in Kunming


A police review later concluded that it had been buried a year and a half ago by the trafficking gang led by the drug warlord Naw Kham, who was executed by Chinese authorities in March after a high-profile and controversial trial.

Naw Kham, known as the “Godfather of the Golden Triangle”, led a notorious drug trafficking ring which smuggled vast quantities of methamphetamine and heroin from Burma’s eastern Shan state to Thailand, Laos and China since the mid-1990s.

The gang was broken up in early 2012 as part of a joint police operation conducted by China, Laos, Burma and Thailand. It followed the murders of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River, which was pinned on Naw Kham and his crew, although some reports have also implicated Thai security forces.

The Golden Triangle, where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, has long been a transit route for illicit smuggling, including opium and heroin, and increasingly methamphetamine or “ya-ba” tablets.

According to UN estimates, over 1.4 billion ya-ba tablets – worth over US$8.5 billion – are produced every year in the region for consumption across Asia.

Despite repeated promises by the Burmese government to crack down on drug trafficking, Burma remains the largest exporter of opium – the main ingredient in heroin – in the world after Afghanistan. It is also the largest methamphetamine producer in the region.







The chemical was disguised as cooking oil.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, has prevented the illegal shipment of four containers of liquid methamphetamine to South Africa.

The narcotic, weighing seven kilogrammes, was disguised as vegetable oil and was discovered at the cargo section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, the NDLEA said in a statement on Monday.

A clearing and forwarding agent, Ugochukwu Okoroji, accepted ownership of the drug in his confessional statement, the anti-narcotics agency said.

“This is the first seizure of liquid methamphetamine. There were six containers in all but only two were found to be vegetable oil while the remaining four contained liquid methamphetamine,” said the NDLEA Airport Commander, Hamza Umar.
“With the assistance of our forensic personnel, we were able to extract the crystallized methamphetamine which weighed 7 kilogramme,” Mr. Umar added.

Mr. Okoroji said that he had been working as a clearing and forwarding agent for five years.

“Since 2003 when I came to Lagos, I have been struggling to make ends meet,” said Mr. Okoroji, who hails from Owerri West local government area of Imo State. ”I told the NDLEA officers before the examination that the consignment belongs to me. I felt bad when the drug was found and I was apprehended.”

The NDLEA’s Chairman, Ahmadu Giade, said that the agency’s “superior counter-strategies” would always void drug barons’ fresh tactics.

“We shall continue to prevent illegal drug trade through effective drug law enforcement as well as anti-drug trade through advocacy campaigns,” Mr. Giade said.

The agency said that the suspect would be charged to court soon.








Two adults and one juvenile were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of assault, resisting arrest and possession of methamphetamine after a brawl involving a half-dozen people and Napa police.

Hector Martin Perez, 29, his sister Edith Perez, 25, and a male juvenile were taken into custody just before midnight Friday at a residence in the 1700 block of Pueblo Avenue.

Upon arrival, one subject later identified as Hector Perez fled the area. He returned to the scene while officers were conducting an investigation.

When officers tried to detain Perez, he allegedly ran from officers. When officers caught up with Perez, he physically resisted arrest, wrestled and fought with several officers. When officers were trying to handcuff and get Perez under control, his brother, a juvenile, came to his aid by charging officers with a bat.

His sister, Edith Perez, also came to Hector’s aid by grabbing one of the officers wrestling with Hector. Edith is also on probation in Napa County. Officers on scene called for more assistance.

Edith Perez was arrested but the juvenile had fled on foot when other officers approached. He was taken into custody a short distance away.

After Hector Perez was arrested he was allegedly found to be in possession of suspected methamphetamine.

Hector and Edith Perez were booked at Napa County Department of Corrections.

The juvenile was booked at Juvenile Hall.


A 27-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and shoplifting at the Lucky’s Store on California Boulevard in Napa and on possession of methamphetamine.

Jose Luis Sanchez was taken into custody at about 1:30 p.m. Friday.

At that time, Napa police were dispatched to the Lucky’ s store on California Boulevard for a report of a shoplifter who had entered the store twice to steal items.

The suspect, later identified as Jose Luis Sanchez, first entered the store riding his bicycle (rode his bike through the store) and stole several wine coolers, police said.

He exited the store, left the wine coolers outside, re-entered the store and stole a dessert item.

When officers arrived, Sanchez rode up to one of the officers on his bike.

Sanchez matched the description of the responsible. He was in possession of cake from Lucky’ s.

Surveillance tapes inside Lucky’s identified and confirmed Sanchez was responsible for the thefts.

Sanchez was arrested for burglary. After Sanchez was arrested, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.

Sanchez was booked at NCDC.







Seven patched Mongrel Mob members and 15 others have been arrested today after an eight-month police operation targeting the gang’s drug activity.

This morning police executed simultaneous search warrants on the addresses of Mongrel Mob members in Blenheim, Picton, Nelson, Hokitika, Christchurch, Lower Hutt, Auckland, Havelock North and Palmerston North.

The warrants covered six police districts and involved about 100 police and drugs dogs, police said. The operation focused primarily on alleged serious drug offending by Mongrel Mob members across Marlborough.

Marlborough Area Commander Inspector Simon Feltham said the operation had resulted in the arrest of all of the senior members of the gang in the province. “It sends a very clear message to their associates that they are not, and never will be, welcome here,” he said.

Nationally 20 search warrants were executed and 22 people arrested, including seven patched Mongrel Mob members, police said. That included nine Marlborough addresses where 14 people were arrested. A clandestine drug laboratory was located at an Auckland address and cannabis grow-rooms were found in Hokitika and Wakamarina. At a Nelson address, a large quantity of plastic bags with Mongrel Mob insignia printed on them, that police said were commonly used for the distribution of methamphetamine, were recovered.

Quantities of cash, about one kilogram of dried cannabis and 24 plants, more than nine grams of methamphetamine, a firearm, stolen computers and drug utensils were also recovered, police said.

A total of 250 charges have been laid, including possession of class A and C drugs for supply, conspiring to supply or deal methamphetamine, conspiring to supply or deal class C and B drugs, offering to supply methamphetamine, offering to supply class B and C drugs, possession of class B and C drugs, theft, and burglary.

Police said further charges and arrests were likely. Police said young children were present at some addresses and police have made three referrals to Child Youth and Family. Feltham said a team of police in Blenheim had put in an enormous amount of work gathering evidence about the gang’s alleged drug-dealing and that had led others being identified outside the Marlborough area.







A Vallejo woman was arrested Sunday on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine after she was caught shoplifting at the Walmart in American Canyon.

Officers detained Tianna Berry, 30, after she left the store without paying for several items, which were worth less than $25, said American Canyon Police Sgt. Craig Nickles.

Officers searched Berry pursuant to her arrest and found methamphetamine in her possession, Nickles said. She was booked into the Napa County jail.







When “Breaking Bad” debuted in 2008, I was 27 years removed from a methamphetamine addiction. But if I thought about the drug, I could still smell it exactly: Medicinal and metallic and crude and burning.

I know fans will be sad when the show ends its sixth and final season later this year, but not me. For me, the show can’t end soon enough.

I lived

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in “Breaking Bad”


My meth addiction begins back when meth was cool. Like most tales of addiction, mine is a glorious delusion of grandeur. I’d arrived in Dallas in the mid-1980s and had the good fortune of meeting Mark, whose partner Don worked the door and dealt the meth at the Starck Club, the city’s answer to New York’s Limelight. (Their names, like all names here, have been changed.)

Simply calling my early meth use “euphoric” does not do it justice. Imagine standing naked and looking up into a downpour as you involuntarily lose your bowels. Sensations are all around you: visual, mental, physical. Time stood still in that cavernous cement basement. I was wittier, better looking, charming, all-knowing, even taller. We ruled the night, sniffed through the day and lived off $20 bags. Drank lots of milk, chain-smoked and stored our meth in rice to keep it fresh as I skimmed money from the far-away parent company of my low-level writing job. Even after fainting in the shower, I fancied myself a latter-day Aldous Huxley, searching for my proper circle of avant-garde intellects.

After a while, of course, time stood still too long and you’d eventually turn inward. But I knew the secret! And clung to the belief. Everybody had it wrong, as I was the superior being. It’s not that stupid refrain that people keep doing drugs to relive their first great high. No, that’s not it at all. The secret is if you can manage the drug, you can stay on it forever.

But meth will turn you into an animal sooner or later — and that’s an insult to animals.

Along the way my friend Billy died of AIDS, we were all high at his memorial, and his partner Bill took to shooting it in his neck while I pursued a series of fractured “relationships” with girls and drove Bill to the People With AIDS free pantry so I could steal food. I was still months away from my low point.

But why? Why is meth so debasing and strong? The UN World Drug Report called it the most addictive drug on Earth; the National Association of Counties called it their No. 1 crime problem and a DEA agent called it “crack times ten.”

As Bryan Cranston’s Walter White would tell us, it turns out that methamphetamine shares a similar chemical structure to dopamine — the brain’s main neurotransmitter, which releases feelings of pleasure and reward. They are perfect for each other as binding and bonding agents. The brain and the drug fall in love, but too much meth and the brain stops producing its own dopamine, and the only way to find motivation to get out of bed is more meth.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it takes 12 hours for 50 percent of the “pure” meth you take to be metabolized out of the body, versus just one hour for cocaine. And that’s why we called coke “bubble gum” for its inability to bring the slightest high. Waste of time and money, for that $20 worth of meth would keep you up all weekend. But that also helps explain why getting off the drug can be so nasty. It stays in your system.

“If you are deprived of food for five days and you see a corpse of a rotting animal you will eat it,” says NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow. (I would have.) “Not out of pleasure but an intense motivational drive by the brain. You will be unable to control it, and that’s what happens to someone addicted. The dopamine increase is the heart of all addiction, and meth’s pharmacological potency is its effect on dopamine. You get massive increases in dopamine that natural reactions cannot compete with and normal pleasures are not pleasurable. Just getting the drug is.”

NIDA research into neurology notes that dopamine released via drug abuse is stored in the brain’s amygdala, the part of the brain that houses memories. That’s why I can still smell it. And why I still desire it, despite what it did to me. Or I did to me. We did together.

Back when I was using, meth was far away from mainstream culture, aside from a throwaway line in “Taxi Driver” and some Lou Reed liner notes. But eventually Hollywood took a shot with the release of two films in 2002. “Spun” was stylistically over the top but had flashes of reality and a base understanding of the drug’s appeal. Val Kilmer got it somewhat right in the more poignant “The Salton Sea.” But both films reinforced a dismissive attitude toward meth, and the crazy losers who used it, and did little to raise consciousness or interest at the box office.

Not surprisingly in another film genre — pornography — meth was a hit in many ways, as chronic sexual behavior is arguably the drug’s main byproduct. Director Jim Powers (“Meatholes,” “American Bukkake”) puts it as bluntly as his misogynistic, abusive films that arose throughout the 2000s. “Nobody does a better anal than a good meth user.”

It took the homemade meth movement of the mid-2000s to get the national media to pay attention. “Meth mouth” entered the language, and cold and sinus medicines were taken off shelves, since ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are primary ingredients in cooking meth in backyard labs, and teen girls entered treatment due to the “Jenny Crank diet.” By “Breaking Bad”’s debut in 2008, the drug’s use had more or less peaked, with the numbers stabilized at a suspected 11 million experimenting or hooked.

Since 2008, the homegrown meth movement has mostly been replaced with bulk distribution out of Mexico, where in early 2012, for example, 15 tons lying in wait were discovered. So abundant and accessible is the drug and so powerful its hold, the greatest hope in combatting it has become medicinal blockers or vaccines. Two firms in 2012 announced initial research trials of antibodies to intercept the drug at a molecular level before it hits the brain, one funded in part by Volkow’s NIDA.

The end of meth came for me slowly, then abruptly, with the awful realization that the drug was managing me. Turning ever-inward the superior being became selfish, judgmental, obsessive, fearful, broke and increasingly isolated. But still on the make.

One day, trying and failing to blend in on the tony campus of Southern Methodist University, I became overwhelmed with rage at what I had become, that feeling of lowness amplified by the normalcy and success I saw all around me and which I’d once thought was mine. I fled to my car. Hands adjusting the wheel and foot gunning down on pedal, I thought: I’m going to do it. I came very, very close to plowing my car into a group of students. Hard to think about now.

A few nights later, I consolidated all the meth I had, abandoned my studio apartment with its furniture made out of newspaper stacks, silently placed everything else in the Dumpster and fled under the cover of the night I had once relished. I was thankful I had a place to escape to. So many don’t. I have no idea what ever happened to Mark and Don and Bess and Suzanne and Robin and Bill and others I can picture but not name.

Still, the “Breaking Bad” years have been galling and haunting. I know there are dealers and users who see it as validation and a source of creativity and yes, a way of life. I probably would have.

Maybe the show does raise awareness of the horrors and acts as a deterrent. I honestly couldn’t say. I’ve never watched a single episode. I even turn away from the promos. The real secret? It’s all too tempting. Terrifying.


Study Published in American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Shows NEXAFED(R) Significantly Disrupts the Extraction and Conversion of Pseudoephedrine to Methamphetamine, While Demonstrating Bioequivalence to the Leading Pseudoephedrine Brand
PALATINE, IL , Sep 03, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. /quotes/zigman/108745/quotes/nls/acur ACUR +2.74% today announced a study, published in the September issue of the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, that validates the ability of NEXAFED(R) to uniquely disrupt the extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine (PSE) into methamphetamine (meth) and confirms that NEXAFED delivers the same efficacy compared to other similar pseudoephedrine (PSE) products. The article, “The Advent of New Pseudoephedrine Product to Combat Methamphetamine Abuse,” also affirms the benefits of widespread adoption of tamper-resistant PSE products that offer effective therapeutic relief for nasal congestion.

“NEXAFED(R), with its unique IMPEDE(R) technology, was specifically developed to address two key issues: to treat nasal congestion and to fight illicit meth production,” said Albert W. Brzeczko, PhD, lead study author and Vice President, Technical Affairs with Acura Pharmaceuticals. “With the outcome of this research, we are pleased to confirm that it is effective on both fronts.”

To test the therapeutic equivalence of NEXAFED, Acura Pharmaceuticals and an independent research laboratory conducted an open label, randomized crossover study of 30 healthy adults. Participants were given a single dose of two 30mg tablets of either NEXAFED or Sudafed(R) on two separate occasions, and provided blood samples over a 24-hour period to chart how the pseudoephedrine was processed in the blood stream. The data confirmed there is no significant difference in the rate and extent of drug absorption between the two groups. We believe this will give pharmacists confidence to recommend NEXAFED knowing their patients will get the same nasal congestion relief they’ve come to expect from older PSE products.

“The advent of new pseudoephedrine products with deterrent technologies, such as NEXAFED(R), provides a significant value to cold and allergy sufferers, pharmacists and law enforcement officials in the fight against meth abuse,” said Robert B. Jones, president and chief executive officer of Acura Pharmaceuticals. “We are very proud that NEXAFED, available in independent and chain drug and grocery stores nationwide, provides effective relief from cold and allergy symptoms while at the same time helping keep our communities safer.”

For more information about NEXAFED, which is currently distributed through national and regional drug wholesalers to chain and independent drugstores nationwide, and for updates on the rollout of the new IMPEDE 2.0 technology, visit JOIN-FIGHT.COM.

About NEXAFED(R) NEXAFED(R) [pseudoephedrine hydrochloride] is a 30 mg immediate-release abuse-deterrent decongestant. The next generation pseudoephedrine tablet combines effective nasal congestion relief with IMPEDE technology, a unique polymer matrix that disrupts the conversion of pseudoephedrine into the dangerous drug, methamphetamine. IMPEDE technology forms a thick gel when the tablets are dissolved in solvents typically used in the pseudoephedrine extraction or methamphetamine production processes, trapping the pseudoephedrine or converted methamphetamine to resist its isolation or purification.

About Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Acura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing to market safe and effective products intended to address medication abuse and misuse. As a leader in abuse-deterrent technology, Acura Pharmaceuticals has successfully developed a prescription drug product that addresses abuse and which is licensed to and marketed by a major pharmaceutical company. Acura Pharmaceuticals is committed to addressing the needs of local communities by investing in ongoing research and development to drive improvement in abuse-deterrent technology.

Forward Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, the timing of our ability to successfully develop and launch our next generation NEXAFED Tablets, the market acceptance of and competitive environment for any of our products, the willingness of wholesalers and pharmacies to stock NEXAFED Tablets, expectations regarding potential market share for our products and the timing of first sales, the adequacy of the results of the laboratory and clinical studies completed to date, the sufficiency of our development to meet over-the-counter, or OTC, Monograph standards as applicable, adverse safety findings relating to our product candidates, our exposure to product liability and other lawsuits in connection with the commercialization of our products, the increasing cost of insurance and the availability of product liability insurance coverage, and whether our IMPEDE technology, including our NEXAFED Tablets, will disrupt the processing of pseudoephedrine into methamphetamine, including whether NEXAFED will prove resistant to methamphetamine conversion methods that may be utilized in the future by clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” indicated,” “estimates,” “projects,” “predicts,” “potential” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. We discuss many of these risks in greater detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


YUMA, AZ (AP) – Federal authorities say they have seized nearly $600,000 worth of methamphetamine and arrested two smuggling suspects at the Port of San Luis.

The Yuma Sun reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made the seizures this week.

A 29-year-old man trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico was found with meth valued at more than $180,000 and a 31-year-old man was found with $412,000 worth of the drug, officers said.

The two men, both Mexican citizens, were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.








BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Baton Rouge Fire officials say a meth lab is believed to be the cause of a fire that severely injured one man and displaced two others who lived in a different unit in the apartment building.

It happened around midnight on Carol Drive, near the intersection of South Acadian and Government Street.


Officials with the Baton Rouge Fire Department say firefighters arrived on the scene to find a bedroom of one of the units engulfed in flames. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found what appeared to be components of a meth lab.

One man was taken to the hospital with severe burns to much of his body.

Two other people were arrested at the scene. Joseph B. Garcia, 34, and Pietra M. Brocato, 32, were charged with aggravated arson and creation or operation of a clandestine lab. The man who was injured is expected to be charged with the same offenses when he is released from the hospital. His name has not been released at this time.

HazMat and the Red Cross were called to the scene.

The fire is still under investigation.







CONWAY, TEXAS — The Texas Department of Public Safety conducted a traffic stop Sunday on I-40, yielding over five pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $180,000.

On September 1, 2013 at approximately 12:58 a.m., a DPS trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2004 Ford Taurus passenger car traveling eastbound on I-40 for a traffic violation near Conway in Carson County.


The Texas Department of Public Safety conducted a traffic stop Sunday on I-40, yielding over five pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $180,000




The driver of the Taurus was identified as 28-year old Daniela Gandarencinas, of Los Colorado, Mexico. During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered four bundles of methamphetamine in the firewall. The driver was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance, a first-degree felony, and booked into the Carson County Jail. The illegal drugs were allegedly being transported from Mexico to Oklahoma City.











Methamphetamine abuse and addiction continues to  plague the Yuma community, with about 80 percent of all property crimes  committed being linked in some way to the illicit drug, according to the Yuma  County Sheriff’s Office and the Yuma Police Department.

Property crimes include thefts, burglaries, robberies  and fraud. Stolen items can be traded for cash in order to buy drugs or bartered  directly for drugs on the black market.

And the process is a vicious cycle. Individuals under  the influence of the highly potent drug may be more likely to commit crimes  because they are mentally, psychologically and physically unstable.

“There is no firm prediction of what an individual is  or isn’t capable of while under the influence,” said Sgt. Marty Raebel  with the Yuma Police Department narcotics unit. “By nature of the drug  being a stimulant, the probability an individual will be more aggressive and/or  violent is a given. Individuals under the influence become fearless and  empowered to do anything they might want to do while on a  ‘high.'”

Law enforcement agencies face a constant battle when  dealing with the prevalence of meth.

“Methamphetamine is readily available in our community  due to our proximity to Mexico,” Raebel said.

Each year, YPD and YCSO seize an average of 40 to 50  pounds of meth worth an estimated $360,500 to over $450,000.

Two Somerton women were arrested and over $1 million worth of methamphetamine (seen here) seized during two separate incidents Aug. 18 at the Port of San Luis. A majority of the meth on the streets of Yuma comes from Mexico, and has become higher in purity than in previous years



The meth has also grown in potency over the years –  giving users bigger highs for less money. One form of meth, known as “Ice,” can  have a purity level into the 90 percentile range. The meth available in the  past, commonly referred to as “butterscotch,” was not nearly as pure.

While the Yuma Sector Border Patrol has made large  gains in stopping the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. through Yuma County,  smuggling is still big business. Even though there is a risk of being caught, it  is still more popular to smuggle in drugs from Mexico than to cook it in labs in  the Yuma area.

According to the U.S. Customs and Enforcement (ICE)  Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office in Yuma, meth labs are uncommon  along border communities because it is much easier to import from Mexico where  meth is produced on a factory scale.

Occasionally labs will pop up, but these are typically  small-scale one “one-pot” cooks that utilize the “shake and bake” method. By  2010, about 80 percent of all labs busted by the Drug Enforcement Administration  in the U.S. were using the one-pot method.

The method gained popularity because meth can be  manufactured in small amounts in highly convenient and portable containers,  including two-liter soda bottles. The meth can be cooked anywhere, even inside a  vehicle. But this process can be extremely dangerous due to the combustive  nature of the chemicals involved, which may include brake fluid, drain cleaner,  lithium, anhydrous ammonia and ephedrine derived from cold medicine.

Law enforcement has also discovered locations where  meth smuggled in from Mexico, sometimes dissolved in water, is reconstituted and  then mixed with ingredients such as B vitamins to increase the volume of the  drug, which in turn increases the profit. This process is called “stepping  on it” or “cutting it.”

Since many hazardous chemicals are used in its  creation, meth continues to be extremely toxic. It is highly addictive and takes  a serious toll on the mind and body, with users having to consume more and more  to maintain a high and to stave off the extremely unpleasant feeling of “coming  down.”

In addition to horrible physical and mental side  effects, meth can also ruin relationships, finances, employment, health and  can ultimately cause a person to lose their freedom if they are jailed or  imprisoned for possession of the drug or for committing a related  crime.

And meth is not just found in poor gang infested  neighborhoods. Users come from all races, social classes and  backgrounds.

With the constant menace meth imposes on the  community, YPD, the Yuma County Sheriffs Office, and other local and  federal agencies will continue to “work together to combat methamphetamine sales  and use,” said Sgt. Leanne Worthen, YPD spokeswoman. “Methamphetamines are a big  problem here and in other cities across the country. It will take ongoing  partnerships with our community and its resources, education and law enforcement  to try and stop the use of this drug.”



Meth a routine part of gang activity:

Gangs in Yuma routinely use and sell methamphetamine  as part of their criminal enterprise system.

“Methamphetamine use is common amongst gang members;  they commit many of the same crimes as non-gang member  criminals,” said Sgt. Marty Raebel with the YPD narcotics  unit.

“Additionally, gang members will sell methamphetamine  and other drugs to establish an income source for which those monies can be  utilized to purchase vehicles, weapons, or other needs of the individual member  or gang itself. There are common threads between street gangs, prison gangs and  drug trafficking organizations to further the greater drug trafficking needs in  a given area of operation.”

According to the YPD Gang Unit, there are currently  about 65 documented street gangs operating in the Yuma area with a low estimate  of about 3,500 members. However, only about 20 gangs are currently  active.

The entry-level gangsters in the active gangs are  often tasked with running tasks in support of their particular gang’s meth  business.

“Most local gangs are not that organized. However,  younger gang members are often requested to do ‘business’ for the gang such as  collecting debts for monies owed on drug transactions,” Raebel said.









Two women were arrested Saturday after an investigation by the Caldwell Parish Sheriff’s Office yielded a half-pound of methamphetamine.

CPSO deputies stopped at 2002 Chevy truck driven by Carmen B. Hutto, 45, 176 Thompson Drive, Grayson. Amber P. Malcomb, 24, 318 Thompson Drive, Grayson, was the passenger.

The Caldwell Parish Sheriff's Office recovered a half-pound of methamphetamine as part of an ongoing investigation.

The Caldwell Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered a half-pound of methamphetamine as part of an ongoing investigation


Detective Tony Childress said the stop was part of an ongoing investigation. A search warrant was signed and executed on the truck.

The search yielded a half-pound of methamphetamine with an exitmated value of more than $20,000 and drug paraphernalia.

Childress said investigators believe the pair intended to sell the drugs from Hutto’s home in Grayson.

Hutto was arrested on charges of possession of more than 200 grams of schedule II CDS (methamphetamine), possession of schedule II CDS with intent to distribute, modified exhaust and drug paraphernalia.

Malcomb was arrested on charges of possession of more than 200 grams of schedule II CDS (methamphetamine), possession of schedule II CDS with intent to distribute and drug paraphernalia.

“This is probably one of the largest dope seizures we’ve had in Caldwell Parish,” Childress said.

The investigation, Childress said, started two weeks ago with the assistance of the Louisiana Levee District Police and more arrests are expected.








AN INCREASING use of methamphetamine, known as “ice”, is leading to a rise in violent crimes as users look to fund their addictions, Macedon Ranges police say.

Inspector Ryan Irwin said the drug was the “next big thing” among mostly young drug users locally as well as across the state.

“Our intelligence has identified a small group of residents in the Macedon Ranges have an addiction to this horrible drug,” he said.

He said ice usage has been driving some crimes, including property crime.

The Macedon Ranges PSA is involved in Operation Disrupt, a Loddon Mallee-wide police operation targeting the supply and use of ice.

Insp Irwin said a think tank including paramedics, medical experts and rehabilitation services would be held in Bendigo in coming months to look at the issue.

“The feedback we are getting from some people who have been arrested is that they are trying to support their habit and ice is also being linked to assaults.”








ONE in four women nightclub patrons admits taking methamphetamines, according to a study that exposes the culture of drug use in Adelaide venues.

People line up to enter HQ nightclub on Hindley St.

People line up to enter HQ nightclub on Hindley


Overall, 21 per cent of all patrons admit using methamphetamines, while almost one in three fears drink spiking.

Flinders University researcher Dr Andrew Groves found the use of methamphetamine among club-goers is about four times the rate of use in the general population and almost half of the 460 people he surveyed had seen a drug deal take place.

City traders say drug dogs should be allowed into nightclubs and overdose victims should face charges to help stem the widespread abuse of illicit drugs.

Dr Groves found the Government’s “zero-tolerance” approach to drugs is demonising and authorities need to try harm-minimisation strategies like rehabilitation and treatment.

His research included questionnaires being completed by patrons aged 18-25, randomly selected from waiting queues at five popular city nightclubs – HQ, Savvy, Electric Circus, Red Square and Sugar.

People loiter on Rosina St, next to Red Square nightclub, near Hindley St in the city.

People loiter on Rosina St, next to Red Square nightclub, near Hindley St in the city.

The results, released this month, show:

TWENTY-ONE per cent of all clubbers said they used methamphetamines, including 26 per cent of women.

ONE-THIRD had used other illicit drugs.

ALMOST half of patrons said they had seen illicit drugs deals.

HALF of the patrons said methamphetamines were the most popular drugs taken at nightclubs and one in three said ecstasy.

ONLY 3 per cent stated they thought Adelaide nightclubs were drug-free.

 Adelaide West End Association president Andrew Wallace at western end of Hindley Street.

Adelaide West End Association president Andrew Wallace at western end of Hindley Street.

Adelaide West End Association president Andrew Wallace said police drug dogs should be allowed into venues to detect dealers and users and should patrol Hindley St more often.

“These are extremely concerning figures given that we know what the effects of long-term amphetamine use are,” he said.

“No responsible venue wants people taking pills, becoming ill, violent or even dying.

“I believe taking illegal drugs has become extremely normalised in night clubs, and people have no idea who is making them or what is in them.”

Mr Wallace said the association was still grappling with the effects of “bad” batches of ecstasy that last month left two revellers unconscious, 21 in hospital and others engaging in bizarre behaviour like licking the ground.

“You can still hear people on phones ordering drugs openly on Hindley St,” he said.

Club-goers line up outside a nightclub on Hindley Street.

Club-goers line up outside a nightclub on Hindley Street.

Dr Groves found the use of methamphetamines at the nightclubs was much higher than the rate of one 20 in the general population, and was favoured by nightclub patrons because it was cheap and because of “increased wakefulness, mood and physical activity, and decreased appetite”.

Dr Groves reported that club management co-operated with the researchers but two of the nightclub owners would not comment.

Nightclub owner and anti-drug campaigner, Tony Tropeano, said he was not surprised by the findings that one in five revellers were on methamphetamines, based on anecdotal reports from security guards who were trained to filter out drug-affected patrons at front doors.

Mr Tropeano, who is part of the West End Traders Association, said police should start charging anyone caught with illegal drugs in their blood when the presented to Adelaide hospitals after using.

“Police are taking the wrong approach by warning about so-called “bad batches” of drugs and they should be charging these people that turn up sick at the hospital like the 20 a few weeks ago,” Mr Tropeano said.

He said signs outside some venues – including his – warned drug users could be searched inside the venue and were not welcome.

Hindley St in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

Hindley St in the early hours of a Sunday morning.

SA Health chief medical officer Professor Paddy Phillips warned methamphetamines stimulated the central nervous system and the side effects ranged up to death.

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant that can be taken as a tablet, snorted or injected.

“Amphetamine use can have a number of serious health consequences including irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, convulsions, overdose and even death,” he said.

“People who use amphetamines on a regular basis may experience psychosis and, if dependent, they are likely to experience withdrawal and strong cravings to use the drug.”

Dr Groves found harm minimisation strategies like rehabilitation and treatment needed to be used as alternatives to the current “zero tolerance” approach.

But these strategies were being pushed aside because of the “law and order” agenda within South Australia.

Nightclub owner Tony Tropeano.

Nightclub owner Tony Tropeano.

“A key consequence of a zero-tolerance approach is that it considers all drug use problematic, ignoring the diversity inherent in the extent and nature of people’s drug use and thus criminalising and demonising drug users as ‘others’, somehow different from the rest of society,” Dr Groves’ report states.

“These policies have further impact in that the war against drugs can all too easily evolve into a war against drug users which I argue has occurred in Australia.

“The concern engendered by such a shift in perspective is that Australia’s drug policies become underscored by punitive frameworks that marginalise alternative harm reduction approaches like rehabilitation and treatment.”









Sturgis, Mich.- The St. Joseph Area Narcotics Team executed a search warrant  on Saturday for a meth production at the Country Hearth Inn in Sturgis.

When they got to the motel, investigators found two inactive meth labs and  products to make more. The person who was staying in the room, a 43-year-old  Sturgis resident, was arrested without any problems and is being held at the St.  Joseph County Jail.

The man could be facing charges of operating and maintaining a meth lab,  possession of meth, and maintaining a drug house. If you have tips on any drug  activity in your area, you can call the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department  at 269-467-9045.









DUNCAN — Six people were arrested in Friday morning in a task force raid at Elm Terrace Apartments following a three-month investigation centered around the methamphetamine trade.

Led by Stephens County District 6 Drug and Violent Task Force, the sweep was the result of the investigation, said District Attorney Jason Hicks. Outstanding warrants are also issued for two other individuals. The investigation included participation from the DA’s Task Force, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, Duncan Police Department and Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Those arrested and booked into Stephens County Jail were:

Richard Allan Laviolette, 34, of Duncan, four felony counts — distribution of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) after former conviction of a felony (AFCF); and three counts of endeavoring to distribute CDS/AFCF. Laviolette’s charges are for the alleged distribution or endeavoring of distribution of methamphetamine. A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Nov. 13, and bail set at $200,000 for Laviolette.

Jimmy Shan Bates, 39, Duncan, was arrested for distribution of CDS of marijuana. Bail set at $50,000.

William Patrick Chiumento, 33, Duncan, faces three charges. One is for distribution of CDS for alleged distribution of marijuana and meth; and the other two are solely for methamphetamine distribution. Bail set at $100,000.

Eddie Joe Jernigan, 48, Duncan, is charged with possession of CDS (meth) with intent to distribute. Bail set at $50,000.

Breanna Marie Melton, 28, Duncan, is charged with two counts of distribution of CDS of meth. A preliminary hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Nov. 13, and bail set at $75,000.

Jimmie Lee Johnson, 42, Duncan, faces two CDS (meth) distribution charges. Bail set at $50,000 on each of the two charges.

All six are scheduled to appear in court 9 a.m. Nov. 13 for preliminary hearings.

According to the public On Demand Court Records, outstanding warrants have been issued for Jermaine Damion Greer, 38, of Oklahoma City for distribution of CDS/AFCF of 2 ore more; and for Cory Lee Mann, 18, of Duncan, for distribution of CDS.

Greer’s bond amount is set at $10,000, and Mann’s is set at $25,000.