A North Texas man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after officers found a large quantity of methamphetamine stashed in his Tupperware.1297309084691_ORIGINAL

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that a Tarrant County jury convicted and sentenced Nicolas Guaderrama Thursday for possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver on Thursday.

Guaderrama was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

Grand Prairie police officers found nearly 500 grams of meth in his apartment after his then-girlfriend requested a police escort to remove her things from the home. It was stashed in the storage containers above his refrigerator.












Police have arrested a woman they say assisted in making methamphetamine at the Hotel Lafayette in Easton as well as a Bangor man who sold the drug, according to court records.

Police say Emily Ann Fatzinger, 22, of the 700 block of Princeton Avenue in Palmerton, was living with Richard Walterick III in a room at the Hotel Lafayette, 11 North Fourth St., where the pair allegedly cooked meth from Nov. 13 to Nov. 26.16555998-mmmain

Police encountered Walterick on Nov. 26 in the 300 block of Church Street while he was allegedly carrying a partial meth lab. A search of his room at the Hotel Lafayette revealed chemicals and equipment used to produce the drug, according to court records. He was arrested that day and charged with operating a meth lab and related offenses.

Police said they knew Fatzinger was involved in selling the drug. She was spotted Dec. 3 during a controlled purchase of one gram of meth for $100 in the 100 block of Murray Street in Bangor, according to court records. Members of the Northampton County Drug Task Force set up surveillance and say they watched Keith Allen Williams, 29, of Bangor, sell the drug with Fatzinger by his side. She was not charged with any drug distribution crimes.

The task force served a search warrant Thursday at Williams’ home and took him into custody on drug delivery charges. It wasn’t immediately clear how Fatzinger’s arrest took place.

Both were both arraigned Thursday night before on-call District Judge Jacqueline Taschner.

Fatzinger was charged with operating a methamphetamine lab, manufacturing drugs, possession of chemicals used to make meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy. She was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Williams was charged with selling meth, criminal use of a cell phone and drug possession. He was sent to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail.












A 16-year-old girl addicted to the stimulant methamphetamine was sent to a treatment centre following her conviction for drug and weapons offences in Sarnia court.

The girl was convicted for the November possession of a prohibited weapon and methamphetamine, along with being unlawfully in a home and violating a curfew.1297309084691_ORIGINAL

The court was informed that the girl was in a rental property owned by her parents but without their consent.

At the time, she had a knife that was considered a prohibited weapon and methamphetamine. There was methamphetamine residue on a drug-smoking pipe and a bag.

Two weeks before the new offences she had been caught with methamphetamine and placed on probation.

It is a serious concern that somebody of her age is found twice with the drug within weeks, said federal prosecutor Michael Robb.

While in custody, the forced abstinence from the drug has improved her mentally and physically, said defence lawyer James Guggisberg.

It is unusual to see a person so young using methamphetamine that quickly leads to an all-consuming addiction, said Justice Mark Hornblower.

A probation officer said the girl is anxious for treatment, and admission to a long-term residential treatment centre for teens could be done quickly.

A six-month custody order was imposed by Hornblower, who said he did not believe treatment could be accomplished if she was released into the community.

The custody will be followed by a year’s probation when she must stay away from a 30-year-old man with whom she had a relationship.

The man, also a drug user, was recently been convicted of assaulting her during a confrontation at a fast-food restaurant.

In accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the teen’s identity cannot be published.











An Australian woman could face the death penalty after being arrested carrying methamphetamines near the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, say reports.1418431696856

The 51-year-old was travelling through the country’s main international airport en route from Shanghai to Melbourne when she searched by police and found to be carrying 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, according to Channel Seven.

Authorities in Malaysia can hold a person for as long as 14 days without charges. She is scheduled to appear in court in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Carrying more than 50 grams of methamphetamines, also known as ice, can warrant the death penalty in Malaysia, as part of a decades-long campaign against drug trafficking.

Channel Seven also reported the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur has confirmed it is working to ensure the woman gets proper legal representation.

The arrest comes a week after two Australians were held in China on suspicion of smuggling a commercial quantity of the same drug in China. Kalynda Davis, 22, has since returned home.

An Australian charged with carrying slightly more than 160 grams of the drug was acquitted in September 2013. The Malaysian High Court ruled it would not appeal the acquittal of truck driver Dominic Bird in July 2014.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to an Australian woman who has been detained in Malaysia.

The arrest comes a week after two Australians were held in China on suspicion of smuggling a commercial quantity of the same drug in China. Kalynda Davis, 22, has since returned home.

Peter Gardner, 25, is a dual citizen born in New Zealand who has lived in Sydney for many years. He went to Richmond High School in Sydney’s north-west, and worked for a local building company.

New Zealand’s consul-general has visited Mr Gardner in a detention centre in Guangzhou and said he was being supported by his family and legal representatives.

It is not yet clear why Ms Davis was released but Mr Gardner wasn’t.

An Australian charged with carrying slightly more than 160 grams of the drug was acquitted in September 2013. The Malaysian high court ruled it would not appeal the acquittal of truck driver Dominic Bird in July 2014.

Sixteen people in South Australia were arrested and charged with methamphetamine smuggling across Australia, Malaysia and Singapore in November this year.

They were arrested as a result of operation Jackknife, which targeted two bikie groups. The Rebels and the Finks were allegedly involved in exporting the drugs to Malaysia, where local contacts would distribute the drugs throughout south-east Asia.

Two Australians, Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, were hanged in Malaysia in 1986 for trafficking heroin.












121314_n_mst_drugbust-webMORRIS – Federal drug charges have been brought against nine people in two states, including three with connections to , after an investigation into methamphetamine distribution in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The multi-state investigation led to the discovery of over 40 pounds of methamphetamine, worth about $2.5 million, that had been brought into and distributed throughout west central Minnesota over the last 18 months, the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

Stevens County Sheriff Jason Dingman said the investigation into methamphetamine distribution started locally in March 2013 after his department received complaints about drug sales in the community. Although the complaints did not provide enough information to immediately take action, they got the ball rolling.

A couple months later, officers connected with agents working with a federal Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force based in Fargo, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations to share intelligence and start putting the pieces together.

As a result of the investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the District of North Dakota charged nine people in federal court with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance.

All of the suspects were indicted by a grand jury and accepted plea agreements, Dingman said.

Craig Ray Johnson, 50, of rural Alberta, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, Lorelei Ann Dierks, 48, of rural Chokio, was sentenced to 68 months in prison, Darren James Ascheman, 45, of Alexandria, was sentenced to 17 years in prison and James Joseph Caswell, 30, of Fergus Falls, was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

Cynthia Marie Hoffman, 57, of Campbell, Minn., was sentenced to 12 months in an in-patient rehabilitation center.

Scott Andrew Anderson of Fargo, N.D., will be sentenced Jan. 6, and Mitchell Phillip Fink of Tenney, Minn., will be sentenced Dec. 15. Court proceedings are still pending on two other men indicted in the case. A tenth person was set to be indicted, but was the victim of a double homicide in Fargo in November 2013.

Because of their criminal histories, Ascheman, Fink, Anderson, and a fourth man have all been identified as career criminals which may carry a sentence of 360 months to life in prison.

Dingman said this is the largest drug case the sheriff’s office has worked on recently, and that many of the drugs that were part of the investigation were being handled by suspects in Stevens County.

Because the case was a “historical conspiracy” case, the investigation to put the pieces together took about 21 months. Officers did some drug buys, but primarily focused on interviews and investigations to build the scope of the case, Dingman said.

And there was also a little bit of luck involved. On Dec. 24, 2013, a South Dakota State Patrol officer conducting a routine traffic stop uncovered another 42 pounds of methamphetamine coming into the state for delivery to one of the defendants. That methamphetamine originated from a cartel in Mexico.

“To be quite honest, sometimes investigations like this take getting lucky,” said Dingman.

They also require help and patience from members of the community who provide information or express concerns and hope to see results, Dingman said.

Despite the extent of these indictments, Dingman said that he doesn’t believe methamphetamine is as big of a problem in the community as it was during the peak in the early 2000s.

Meth is still definitely here and causing problems, but there are also other drugs that, in my opinion, may be causing as much or more problems than meth,” said Dingman.

The Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, West Central Drug Task Force, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and a federal Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force based in Fargo were all involved with this investigation.












HUMPHREYS COUNTY, TN (WSMV) – Humphreys County detectives arrived at a New Johnsonville home thinking they would find some stolen property, but as they searched, they discovered more than just stolen goods.

“Had no idea what we were walking into,” said Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis.6189568_G

What they found tells a story of not just one methamphetamine cook but 20.

Davis said the meth was made in bottles, each time putting those cooking it and nearby neighbors at risk.

“It shows how somebody can pop up in a perfectly good neighborhood full of great people and start cooking meth and how quick that it can grow,” Davis said.

Deputies charged the couple living there. Both Joshua Tripp and Paul Estep were already behind bars for other crimes. Tripp is listed on the state’s sex offender registry.

Davis said deputies and state officers spent nearly 20 hours cleaning the home of the meth products.

He said they also found the stolen items they were looking for.

“This is not just a meth lab situation. This is a situation where these individuals were dealing other drugs, they where dealing in stolen property. They were just basically wrecking havoc in certain areas in our community,” Davis said.

Davis said they plan to present the drug charges to the next grand jury in February.















CEDAR RAPIDS — Cleaning up meth labs can be dangerous and costly.

That’s why the state is setting up a new program to help safely dispose of dangerous chemicals. The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Narcotics Enforcement, or DNE, is behind the effort.

Authorities said funding for the program comes from the federal government.

Teams have placed storage containers in five Iowa communities, including Cedar Rapids. The facilities will house the remnants of meth labs. The state placed them strategically where authorities respond to the highest number of meth labs.five new storage containers

“It’s not just a city problem. It’s not just a rural problem. It can occur anyplace that you have the ability to transport something as small as a liter pop bottle,” said Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.

Sheriff Gardner’s team is no stranger to meth labs.

“These days because of the one-pot method, we typically find less debris, less caustic materials. However, it doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous,” Sheriff Gardner said.

Labs can come in many sizes. Authorities in Jones County said a meth lab caused this fire earlier this year.

Dangers aside, the cleanup process can get very expensive for local tax payers.

“We’ve been pretty much inundated by clan[destine] labs and the average cost running about $2,500 to $3,000 per lab,” said DNE Special Agent in Charge Dan Stepleton.

Stepleton said this container would significantly reduce costs.

With it, local agencies won’t need to call a chemical contractor to dispose of the potentially dangerous chemicals every time officers discover meth supplies.

“By us picking up our own clan lab disposal items here in this area, and having this container system to store them in, we can store 10, 12, 15 labs in there. When it gets full then we call DEA, they call the chemical contractor, they come up, [and] empty it all out. Well, then you’ve only got basically one fee for transportation,” said DNE Special Agent in Charge Dan Stepleton.

Deputies and officers will soon start to receive training on how to safely transport lab items from the scene of the crime to the new containers with a designated trailer.

“If you can have a containment system in which to dispose of these items, then ship them someplace for ultimate safe disposal, that will certainly be helpful,” Sheriff Gardner said.

The DNE said Iowa averages between 200 and 300 labs a year. Stepleton expects this program could save Iowa tax payers more than a million dollars a year.














A drug “mule” has admitted having $18,200 worth of pure methamphetamine – known as ‘P’ – concealed inside her body on a flight from Auckland.

Kylie Natasha Puna, 27, agreed to have the package removed from her body two days after her drug run ended with a police chase and a crash in Yaldhurst Road on November 24.

By then she had been treated for injuries from the crash, and was being held under a detention warrant issued under the Misuse of Drugs Act.10919137

Puna admitted the charge of possessing methamphetamine for supply at an appearance before Judge Alistair Garland in the Christchurch District Court today. She is still using crutches after the accident.

Puna wanted the case transferred to Auckland where she lives, and where she may eventually be allowed to undergo a residential drugs rehabilitation course, but Judge Garland decided it should stay in Christchurch for sentencing.

Puna will be sentenced in the Christchurch District Court on February 25.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Scott said the Christchurch Police received information that an unidentified person was transporting methamphetamine to the city and would be picked up at the airport by two known male associates.

Puna arrived at 4.35 pm on November 24, and left the airport in a vehicle belonging to one of the two men.

Police stopped the car with vehicles positioned immediately in front and to the rear, but Sergeant Scott said the car rammed the patrol car in front and then reversed into the one behind before driving off.

It then crossed the centre line in Yaldhurst Road and crashed head-on into another car, causing serious injuries to the three elderly occupants.

A witness said the chasing police car clipped the fleeing vehicle, sending it spinning into the elderly people’s car. One of the three elderly remains in hospital in a comfortable condition.

Cash totaling $17,000 was found in the fleeing vehicle.

Puna was detained for a drug search but was transported to Christchurch Hospital because of her injuries. She initially used her sister’s name, and had identification belonging to her sister.

A medical examination indicated a package hidden internally, and she was detained on a warrant after her discharge from hospital. On November 26 she agreed to a medical examination in which the package was removed.

Sergeant Scott said it contained 18.2 g of methamphetamine. The drug sells for $100 for 0.1g in a “point bag”, so the drug shipment would have had a street value of $18,200.

Puna declined to make any comment to the police.












matuy_AWQHPolice in central Vietnam arrested on Wednesday two women who allegedly traded nearly 2,600 methamphetamine tablets.

Tran Thi Bich Hang, 31, was caught red-handed at her house in Son Tra Dist., Da Nang City while she was selling 1,959 tablets to Mai Nu Le Quyen, 30, one of her retail dealers.

Search at Quyen’s house in Hai Chau Dist. found 600 tablets, the police said.

Hang is suspected to be a big drug pusher in the northern city of Hai Phong before moving to Da Nang after her boyfriend, a drug addict, was forced into a rehabilitation center there.

Hang only sold the drugs to known dealers and used six mobile phones to contact them, the police said.

The police said they are looking for more suspects involved in the case.












ABINGDON, VA (WJHL) – Twenty-three people were charged in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Va. Thursday following a federal criminal complaint about a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in multiple states.

According to a Department of Justice news release, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy announced Thursday that a multi-agency investigation related to methamphetamine trafficking led to arrest warrants being issued for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

A total of 23 people were charged for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in California, Arizona, South Carolina and Virginia.

Following arrests made Thursday morning, law enforcement officers from federal, state and local agencies executed seven search warrants in Virginia and South Carolina, which led to the seizure of methamphetamine and money.

According to the release, Washington County, Va. Sheriff’s Office, Russell County Sheriff’s Office, Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Smyth County Sheriff’s Office, Bristol, Va. Sheriff’s Office, Abingdon Police Department, Bristol, Va. Police Department, Virginia State Police, U.S. Marshals Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Drug Enforcement Administration.













Deputies are making a strong effort to combat the meth trade in Spartanburg County.

Sheriff Chuck Wright announced Wednesday the results of a year-long operation of making undercover buys with known methamphetamine manufacturers and dealers in the county.Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office had netted 36 arrests out of 59 suspects facing mostly distribution and trafficking charges.

“Operation Ice Storm” was developed after the Sheriff’s Office began receiving a multitude of tips from those in the community, Wright said. The agency began using deputies and confidential informants to make undercover buys to identify suspects, investigators said.

About 40 deputies were tasked with rounding up the suspects throughout Wednesday. Investigators said they hoped to have about 75 percent of the suspects in custody by the end of the day. Three suspects were brought in, patted down and cuffed during a short afternoon press conference at the Sheriff’s Office on Howard Street.

Several handcuffed suspects sat along the conference room wall as Wright made the announcement.

“It’s a bad disease, man. … People don’t realize,” said Michael Jay Shirley, 33, who added that he would do his “best” to change. Shirley is charged with possession with the intent to distribute.

Wright said methamphetamine is one of the most common drugs found in the county and most parts of the region. He said the drug gives users one of the most difficult addictions to fight.

Meth is a hard drug to get off of. Maybe this will be a good, clean start for them. Maybe these people can get their lives started again,” Wright said.

According to several Sheriff’s Office incident reports related to Operation Ice Storm, the operation was done through confidential informants wearing video cameras to record a drug transaction with a suspect. The confidential informant would purchase methamphetamine from a dealer, then bring the product back to authorities and confirm what had happened.

Other cases involved deputies discovering amounts of methamphetamine or paraphernalia while investigating other crimes, according to incident reports.

The operation brought about 100 charges in total. Charges ranged from possession with the intent to distribute to trafficking. Deputies netted 400 grams of methamphetamine from a seizure in one case, Wright said.

The street value of methamphetamine is currently around $1,800 per ounce, investigators said.

“I’m not going to tell you that meth is gone, we’re not even close to that,” Wright said. “But our deputies did a good job. It’s a continuous effort.”

According to data from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Spartanburg County had 229 reported meth labs from July 2011 to June 2014, the second highest amount in the state next to Greenville County.

Deputies said not only does the suspect roundup impact the meth trade, but that it also impacts property crimes since several busts included seizures of stolen vehicles, motorcycles, and firearms.

Wright asked the public to keep calling in tips to CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC if someone suspects a neighbor is making or selling methamphetamine.

Tips from community members are one of the best methods to help “rid the community of meth trafficking,” he said.












CONROE, Texas – Two people were arrested after investigators served a narcotics search warrant at an apartment in Conroe Wednesday evening.conroe-narcotics-warrant-served-jpg

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the unit was located in the 3300 block of Loop 336.

Law enforcement officials said they found an electronic money counter, digital scales, drug ledgers, a .380 semi-automatic pistol, an AK-47 assault rifle, $3,100, computers and 1 kilogram of methamphetamine packages at the location.

They arrested Avian Walter Sengstock, 36, and Heather Elaine Meek, 36, at the scene. Sengstock is charged with aggravated possession of a controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm. Meek is charged with aggravated possession of a controlled substance.DSC-0001-jpg

MCSO said this search was part of an ongoing investigation involving trafficking of drugs by members and associates of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang.











Mexico and the Politics of Terror

Posted: December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

A new chapter of Mexican history began in 2006, when former President Felipe Calderón declared war against the country’s powerful drug cartels. Thousands of military troops were sent to the streets of Mexico’s border cities, where drug cartel activity had rapidly increased in the previous decades. The turning of cities into battlefields unleashed unprecedented levels of violence, where civilians became the main victims. In a country defined by entrenched corruption, the infliction of terror became the key mechanism through which drug traffickers and military forces maintained their power and advanced in the dispute. The fear of being shot, threatened, kidnapped or tortured paralyzed entire communities, who were helplessly absorbed in the conflict.

It soon became evident that Mexico’s drug problem could not be solved by the capturing of drug cartel leaders. The truth was that local authorities, institutions and the military forces were all – at some level or another – involved in the trafficking of drugs. But by then, the drug war had spiraled out of governmental control and seemed unstoppable. Violence expanded from the northern cities of Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez and Reynosa, to the central town of Cuernavaca and reached the southern coast of Acapulco.  Local newspapers started reporting on the appearance of mass graves, abandoned beheaded bodies and narcomantas (large sheets with threatening messages displayed in public spaces) on a daily basis. By the time Calderón left office in 2012, the rate of killing was 1 person every half hour.

Since then, Mexico has operated under a politics of terror. While the term terrorism is not usually employed in a Mexican context, it certainly fits the bill; violence and intimidation are consistently used for political ends, and the population is wracked by fear. Power belongs to those who intimidate and kill ­– regardless of whether they are criminals or the military. Pervasive fear prevails in Mexican society.

Though this recent chapter of violence began in 2006, drug trafficking has a longer history that can be traced back to the 1980s. Since the end of Mexican Revolution in 1929 and until the year 2000, the same political party governed Mexico: the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). While Mexico was officially a democracy during this period, scholars have described the situation as a camouflaged dictatorship due to PRI’s monopoly on power. The government enabled drug trafficking and even colluded with illegal traders. While this was far from ideal, the arrangement ultimately limited violence.

During the 1980s, however, Mexico underwent a political shift, which disrupted the long-standing relationship between drug cartels and the PRI. New autonomous cartels now had the opportunity to enter the market without governmental subordination.

Two other conditions influenced the increase of drug-trafficking activity in Mexico in the coming decades.  Firstly, the collapse of the extremely powerful Cali and Medellin cartels of Colombia in the 1990s encouraged the formation of new cartels in Mexico. The US demand for cocaine and marijuana did not diminish after the clash of Colombian cartels and served as a stimulus for Mexican drug cartels to quickly take over the market. Furthermore, as the neighboring country of the United States, Mexico had a clear advantage on drug transportation.

Of even greater relevance was the role of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1994, Canada, Mexico and the United States signed the NAFTA to form a trade bloc economy. The promotion of a neo-liberal economic agreement unintentionally bolstered illegal trade, with increased freedom across the borders. Within a few years, the US-Mexico border region became the ultimate gateway for drug trafficking. The increase of opportunity accelerated drug cartel formation and prompted competition for the control of the market. Drug cartel rivalry quickly turned violent.

Ironically, NAFTA’s policies for the economic opening of the US-Mexico border resulted in its physical closure. A 640-mile long fence was erected to contain the overwhelming influx of migrants escaping from violence in Mexico.

The profound levels of social inequality in Mexico also provide an essential context for the outbursts of violence and terror. On the year that Felipe Calderon implemented the war policies, six percent of Mexico’s total income was shared by the lowest 20 percent of the population, while 50 percent of income was retained by the upper 20 percent of Mexicans. This disparity generated an environment of great social tension, which easily translated into violence. Despite the fact that every one in three Mexicans is under 29 years old, the government has done very little to support its youth. Considering the limited access to education and employment for Mexican youth, the drug cartels and their powerful station hold an appeal. “A good short life is better that a long, penurious one” has become the popular saying among young Mexicans joining the drug forces.

The circumstances of Mexico’s drug problem dramatically changed when the army was sent to the streets. Death and kidnapping of civilians increased, as cartels targeted innocents to intimidate the military.  At the same time, military troops started identifying innocent civilians as criminals, subjecting many innocents to torture or “disappearance.” Terror was inflicted from both sides at a chilling rate: By 2012, an estimated of 85,000 civilians were killed while another 40,000 went missing.

Women working in maquiladoras at the border city of Ciudad Juarez were especially vulnerable, with 2,764 killed during 2012. Fear also controlled the media. In the state of Chihuahua, journalists published an editorial in the local newspaper declaring that it was impossible to fulfill their duties. Primary schools in the states of Guerrero and Tamaulipas were shut down, as teachers and students feared for their lives. The existence of entire indigenous communities in the most war-affected states, such as the Tarahumaras, was threatened. Many of these communities economically depend on tourism, which significantly declined with the increase of violence.

Pain has its limits. The first massive civilian reaction against drug war violence came when in 2011, the son of Javier Sicilia, an acclaimed Mexican poet, was murdered by gang criminals. This event gave birth to the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity and the No + Sangre (No More Blood) movements, where thousands of Mexicans came together to demand the end of the drug war. In the state of Michoacán, “policias comunitarias” or self-defense groups formed to directly combat the cartels, as state police forces were not reliable. Still, to the disappointment of Mexicans, the arrival of Peña Nieto’s administration in 2012 did not change the war policies and the number of deaths did not diminish. Only in 2013, 22,732 murders were reported.

Some things may be changing, however. After the recent disappearance of 43 students from the Rural Training School of Ayotzinapa, national outrage spurred international media attention. As the national situation becomes more and more tense, Mexicans hope that an end is in sight. On a national level, Mexico should look to redirect the gigantic military budget to the educational sector. Attention should be given to a profound revision of institutions, which largely perpetuate and collaborate in war violence. Furthermore, Mexico must come to terms with its human right violations, so that justice is given to victims and tension is released. On an international level, drug users must consider the origins of their products, avoiding the purchase of drugs coming from Mexico. The US in particular should be attentive to the fact that 90 percent of its cocaine supply comes from the drug war and that 80 percent of guns that drug traffickers use are purchased from Mexico.

The lesson of the drug war is clear: violence only breeds more violence. The cycle will not be broken by more military offensives. Instead, collaborative civilian action should push for deep systemic changes. While fear paralyzes, Mexicans have understood that they do not deserve more state-sponsored terror and have started mobilizing.

This piece is part of BPR’s special feature on terrorism. You can explore the special feature here









BEIRUT (Reuters) – Women in headscarves and men in tatty clothes puff on a glass pipe as smoke swirls around their faces. The pictures published by Iranian media and blogs in recent months are a sign of a new drug epidemic: shishe, or methamphetamine.

Shishe means “glass” in Farsi, a reference to the appearance of the drug in some of its purest forms.

In less than a decade, methamphetamine use has skyrocketed in Iran to the point where now about 345,000 Iranians are considered addicts, according to official statistics.

Seizures of methamphetamine soared 128 percent between 2008 and 2012, topping all other countries in the region, according to figures compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Last year alone, the government of Iran confiscated 3.6 tons of shishe.

A top official from the Iran Drug Control Headquarters said last year that shishe could be found in Tehran in “less than five minutes,” according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

Shishe addicts in Iran are mostly urban, middle class and young, experts say. Notably, there are a large number of women who abuse shishe, too.

One of the main reasons why shishe use has spread quickly in Iran is a lack of information about the drug, which has led casual users to believe, erroneously, that it is not addictive, experts say.

Struggling university students have begun abusing it to stay up longer and try to boost their performance in school. Women have been sold the drug in beauty salons with the promise that it will help them lose weight, according to local media reports.

“We really had a hard time convincing people that this is addiction,” said Azaraksh Mokri, a psychiatrist who teaches at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences and has dealt extensively with the issue of shishe addiction.

Opium addiction has long been a problem in Iran partly because of a tolerance for its use even in conservative rural areas, and also because of the country’s long border with Afghanistan, for decades one of the top opium producers. Opium is still the most abused drug in Iran, according to official statistics.


Shishe began to make inroads in the country about a decade ago, luring users who preferred its effects as a stimulant to the more soporific opium, which was seen as a drug of the poor and elderly.

That shift has been characterized as a change between drugs which are known as sonati, or traditional, and those that are sanaati, or manufactured, according to local media.

The use of shishe was partly driven by increased development in the country and more complicated and faster-paced lifestyles, experts say.

Initially, the drug was imported but it later began to be produced locally. UNODC figures show that the domestic use of pseudoephedrine, one of the key ingredients for making shishe, jumped from five tons in 2006 to 55 tons in 2012.

Drug use and addiction is so prevalent in Iran that it is the second highest cause of death in the country after traffic accidents, a senior official from the Iran Drug Control Headquarters said in early November, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran has some of the harshest drug laws in the region, regularly executing smugglers and drug peddlers. At the same time, the country has had a degree of success in the treatment of addiction, experts say.

“Shishe is something that in a short time, in comparison to other things, has very severe effects on behavior,” said Said Kafrashi, an advisory physician and therapist at the Aayandeh addiction rehabilitation clinic in Tehran.

The clinic often tries to bring families of shishe addicts into the rehabilitation process in order to examine all the social factors that may have led to the drug use.

“The family plays a role here,” said Kafrashi. “In light of the individual’s behavior, the family needs to change their behavior too.”

Still, despite some success in the treatment of shishe addiction, Iran’s battle with the drug is far from over.

“We need to do something so that they don’t die, don’t kill themselves, don’t kill others, and don’t get psychosis so they can mature out and get out,” said Mokri.












A 50-year-old Bryan woman has been arrested on a felony warrant after police linked her to about $14,000 worth of methamphetamine548133c7e6909_image

Lorie Ann Dillon was charged with first-degree felony manufacture and delivery of meth, which is punishable by five to 99 years in prison, following an August investigation at a College Station Howard Johnson motel. She was taken into custody on Tuesday.

College Station police were called to the motel in the 3700 block of Texas 6 just after midnight on Aug. 14 for reports of suspicious activity.

According to court documents, a motel guest had seen men and women coming in and out of a room while the women wore wigs and provocative clothing.

As they watched the parking lot, police said Dillon walked outside, told them she had been visiting a friend and was allowed to leave the scene. Officers later learned that the room had been rented to Dillon, according to the probable cause affidavit for her arrest.

Officers were able to search the room when the motel clerk asked the non-registered guests to leave and found 38 grams of meth, police said in the affidavit. At that time, two of the occupants were arrested on unrelated warrants and were later heard, in patrol car video, discussing something “behind the toilet,” authorities said.

Police returned to the motel on Aug. 20 for reports of a man trying to break into a room. With consent from the current guest, police searched the room again to find 83.6 grams of methamphetamine behind the toilet, according to the report.

Dillon remained behind bars Thursday in lieu of $30,000 bail. It was unclear if the other two guests would be facing charges.










GUELPH–The influx of the crystal methamphetamine street drug has authorities concerned as they watch addiction set in and the community afflicted with spinoff effects.

“It’s a very bad drug,” Guelph federal prosecutor David Doney said Monday. “This is a very serious and dangerous drug.”

He’s increasingly encountering it in the justice system.

“It seems to be becoming more prevalent,” Doney said.B821789846Z_1_20141204211456_000_GQJ1CJLCJ_2_Gallery

Local drug enforcement officers are equally concerned. “(It’s) highly addictive. Very dangerous,” Guelph Police Service drug unit head Det. Sgt. Ben Bair said.

Such street drugs tend “to lead toward street violence,” Bair continued. That’s because the relatively cheap, long-lasting meth gains control over individuals and puts them at personal risk when they run out of means to pay for their supplies or turn to crimes such as theft, burglary and prostitution.

Bair said police have found evidence of such spinoff crimes when executing search warrants at crystal meth houses, notably stolen property and evidence of the sex trade.

Meth falls under the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. There were 433 occurrences recorded in Guelph in 2013, outlined in the police service’s just-released annual report. That’s up almost eight per cent from the previous year.

The focus on crystal meth corresponds with a drop in drug seizures in general, to $731,000 last year from $1.77 million the year before. Bair said while that’s a reflection of the lower street value of meth, police are targeting the drug because it’s a danger.

Bair recalls a time when crack cocaine swept through the region two decades ago, leading to an increase of arrests and seizures.

“Right now, crystal meth is doing the exact same thing,” Bair said, of Guelph and much of southern Ontario. Police forces outside Guelph are feeling it, he added.

Sanguen Health Centre, the regional drug treatment facility operating out of bases in Kitchener and Guelph, has seen an increase in people seeking help for crystal meth addiction, community co-ordinator Jan Klotz said.

She concurred with Bair crystal meth is readily available and inexpensive, with youths of both genders increasingly attracted to the illicit drug for these reasons. Once they’re regular users, getting off the drug is a challenge without counseling.

“It’s very addictive,” Klotz said.

Treatment is available and some crystal meth users pursue it, but getting others to accept help is difficult because extended use of the stimulant makes them wary of others, Klotz said.

That paranoia can be pronounced, Bair said.

Methamphetamine comes in several forms, with crystal meth referring to the smokeable form. Others can be taken orally, snorted or injected. Meth can come in the form of off-white chunks, a coarse powder called “speed” and the crystalline form from which crystal meth takes its name.

It’s different from the speed available in the 1960s, being more pure — and thus more powerful — and cheaper.

It’s easily ingested as smoke and, thus, rapid-acting, Bair said. The nearly immediate high reminds users of a similar stimulant — crack cocaine. But because it’s lower in cost and longer lasting, some drug users are switching to meth from coke, the head of the drug unit said.

Extended use can lead to hallucinations and other strange behavior. Bair said some committed users have open sores on their faces from scratching themselves repeatedly, believing they’re infested with bugs. Paranoia can lead to irritation and aggression.

Bair said whereas cocaine is imported, meth can be made regionally, though he’s not convinced Guelph is home to many meth labs.

Yet contrary to popular perception, meth can be easily made in makeshift setups, like a single large pop bottle and some tubing. Bair is warning residents to be wary of large pop bottles, perhaps sporting rubber tubes, containing an unknown substance with the consistency of oatmeal. Chemical reactions in the bottle can produce heat and pressure, turning the bottles into fire and explosion hazards.

“Any meth lab is a dangerous lab.”

Those encountering them should flee and call police immediately.

“We’ll investigate,” Bair said.









A 25-year-old who threatened to kill his wife with a carving knife and was later stabbed by her has been sentenced in a court in Western Australia’s Mid West to four months’ jail.

Police said Jye Gerhard Picking held the large knife to his partner’s throat following ongoing arguments at their property in the seaside town of Dongara in April.5947396-3x2-340x227

The Geraldton Magistrates Court was told Picking eventually released the blade from his partner’s neck when she made mention of their children.

Police said Picking slashed two tires of a car so his wife was unable to travel to Perth and also damaged her mobile phone.

The court also heard that during a scuffle out the front of the property, Picking’s wife grabbed the large knife and stabbed him a number of times in the hands.

Picking, who is serving a three-year sentence at Hakea for attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, also used his car to hit a parked vehicle that had a 10-month-old baby inside.

The baby was not injured.

In court today, Picking’s lawyer Kate Fry said her client had become angry because his wife had come home with methamphetamine and he had been trying to stay off the drug.

Ms Fry told the court the couple had a “volatile” relationship and said Picking’s wife had also held a knife to her client’s throat.

Magistrate Geoff Lawrence described Picking as a “poster boy” for what “methamphetamine could do to a person’s life”.

He told Picking that the addictive drug had caused “a lot of grief in your life and others’ lives and your business has suffered because of it”.

Magistrate Lawrence said he hoped others could learn from Picking’s case.

“This is what methamphetamine can do … ruin your life,” he said.

Picking pleaded guilty to seven offences and was fined $600 and given a four-month prison order, which will be served alongside his existing three-year jail term.










A three-month investigation into cocaine and crystal methamphetamine distribution in the Nashville area led local detectives to arrest two California men Wednesday night, and to seize four pounds of cocaine and more than two pounds of crystal methamphetamine, according to police.B9315380793Z_1_20141204221258_000_GPQ9AP7AB_1-0

Narcotics unit undercover detectives with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department purchased cocaine and crystal methamphetamine on seven occasions, police said, from Salvador Sanchez, 40, and Jamie Santacruz, 44, both of California.

Police said the men were in Nashville Wednesday and were taken into custody after detectives purchased a pound of crystal methamphetamine and more than a half-kilo of cocaine.

Santacruz and Sanchez each face seven felony drug charges. Both are being held in lieu of $525,000.B9315380793Z_1_20141204221258_000_GPQ9AP79R_1-0

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation.











Port Huron police are asking for residents’ help in recognizing and reporting suspected methamphetamine labs.

The request was prompted by an increase in the discovery of methamphetamine labs in the past 30 days, according to a statement from the Port Huron Police Department.B9315368817Z_1_20141204163711_000_GOP9AHRDK_1-0

“We’ve gone from seeing a couple of them here and there, a spattering of them, to about five in the past 30 days,” said Port Huron police Capt. Jeff Baker.

Meth labs have been found in the 400 block of 10th Street, the 800 block of 16th Street, 1300 block of 10th Avenue, the 1000 block of 17th Street and the 1000 block of Poplar Street.

According to the statement, methamphetamine is an odorless, white crystalline powder that is bitter tasting and is smoked, taken orally, snorted, or dissolved into liquid and injected.

Meth is an addictive stimulant drug that causes a euphoric feeling.

Effects of meth use include decreased appetite, rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and increased blood pressure, body temperature, wakefulness, and respiration.

According to the statement, people who take meth often have “meth mouth” or severe dental issues, skin sores and weight loss.

Residents can recognize possible meth manufacture operations by looking for solvents, lithium batteries, fertilizer sticks, plastic soda bottles with tubing, acids, and cold medicine packets.

Baker said cleaning up the labs can be hazardous and requires a police officer specially trained in meth disposal.

“A lot of these things are household components, but when you put them together they are volatile,” Baker said.

“They can cause a fire when they’re put in the trash; they can start a fire at the landfill, and in the truck that’s picking them up.”

People who find some or all of these items together should call police.

“They have to be disposed of properly,” Baker said.

Anyone with information about possible meth activity can call the Port Huron Police Department at (810) 984-8415, or the CAPTURE line at (810) 987-6688.

Submit tips at http://www.porthuronpolice.org by clicking the TIPSOFT link.

People who are manufacturing meth, or allowing its manufacture at their home, will be charged criminally and made to pay for cleanup, police said.









SAN DIEGO — Seven people, including the last known Mexican Mafia gang member believed to be living outside of prison in the county, have been charged in a drug trafficking conspiracy that included plans to kill three people, the FBI said Thursday.

During the three-month investigation, investigators with an FBI-led violent crimes gang task force seized 49 firearms and several pounds of methamphetamine, authorities said. The operation culminated Tuesday and Wednesday with seven arrests, including Robert Marin, 66, an alleged member of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, who also goes by “Tawa” or “The Barber.” The powerful, highly organized gang is known for directing criminal enterprises both inside and outside of prisons in California.

The investigation began in September as an offshoot to a probe into Sureños gang activity, the FBI said. A methamphetamine trafficking ring, allegedly led by Ernesto Erding, was using the power and authority of Marin’s Mexican Mafia ties to distribute drugs throughout the county, the FBI said. Marin, in return, is accused of receiving a portion of the profits, as well as extortion payments from drug customers.

Erding and others are also accused of plotting to kidnap and kill a San Diego resident over unpaid drug debts, as well as solicit the help of the prison gang to kill one of Erding’s crew over unpaid debts, according to court documents.

Officials say some defendants provided guns to San Diego street gangs.

Several agencies aided in the arrests and search warrants this week, including tactical teams from San Diego police and the Sheriff’s Department.

Six of the seven defendants pleaded not guilty in San Diego federal court on Wednesday and Thursday, while one has yet to appear in court.










A new study shows Wyoming teens are more aware of the dangers of using methamphetamine and are less likely to try the drug even once.Wyoming teens are

The study compares the results to 2008 when they first conducted the study… But the survey suggests Wyoming teens find the availability of meth and other drugs lower today than in 2008.

The survey asked middle school and high school students a variety of questions about their perception of meth and it found meth is now less socially acceptable than it was in 2008.

One in four teens say meth would be easy to find… Which is down from just one in three.

Even the survey shows one in ten Wyoming teens say they have close friends who use meth… Which is less than a few years ago.

Jean Davies of Wyoming Meth Project says, “So many kids when I talk to them in the state know what meth does, they’ve had a relative or a friend. It’s pretty amazing how much kids know. Adults tend to say oh that’s not in our neighborhood.”

Dean Braughton of Natrona County School District says if a student is caught using or selling drugs on school grounds, the student would most likely be suspended or expelled.

The study also showed four out of ten teens say they’ve discussed the dangers of meth with their parents in the past year.










A police dog in the K9 unit of El Cerrito, California, was sniffing for drugs in a drug search at a traffic stop last week when he accidentally snorted a bunch of “suspected cocaine.”police-dog-back-after-sniffing-meth

Sure, buddy—accidentally. Just like my small town’s three cops used to accidentally lose all the weed they confiscated from high-schoolers from the evidence room.

Anyway, after no doubt getting absolutely psyched out of his mind for a brief period, Koda (pictured above) was taken to the emergency room at a veterinary clinic where he tested positive for methamphetamine.

“Depending on the dosage, how their body responds to it, it could be fatal,” said Joshua Del Prado of El Cerrito PD, which, incidentally is the same way dogs respond to chocolate.

Koda stayed overnight at the vet and was released the next day when he stabilized. He’s now back in action on the force, jacked up and ready to get back on the mean streets.

Mone’ Sellers, 29, of San Pablo, was arrested for meth possession as a result of Koda’s detective work.










EDMONTON – An Edmonton man who ran half-naked through freeway traffic before repeatedly punching a police dog in the head was scolded by a provincial court judge Wednesday.10437805

Paul Leclaire-Logan, 26, bowed his head in the prisoner’s box as court heard about his methamphetamine-fuelled night in July that ended with his hand between the jaws of a German shepherd on the median of Wayne Gretzky Drive.

Meth makes people do bizarre and strange things,” provincial court Judge Steven Bilodeau told court.

Around 10 p.m. several motorists noticed Leclaire-Logan running through traffic.

“He had no shoes on, he had no shirt,” Crown prosecutor Christian Lim told court. “He was running around haphazardly. He was uttering things that didn’t make sense.”

One driver parked his Ford Escape on the roadside and attempted to get the confused man to safety. Moments later, Leclaire-Logan tried to steal the man’s vehicle.

“He was trying to help you,” Bilodeau reminded Leclaire-Logan.

Too high to start the Ford, Leclaire-Logan fled to a nearby apartment complex, picked up a stick and broke two windows.

Court heard he ran toward Rexall Place as witnesses followed and a police helicopter hovered overhead. A police officer and his service dog, Ryker, caught up to Leclaire-Logan when he was stymied by a chain-link fence.

After he refused to surrender, Leclaire-Logan was bitten by Ryker, but managed to escape by pummeling the animal in the head, Lim told court. The man and dog grappled with each other through more traffic on Wayne Gretzky Drive before Leclaire-Logan gave up once they reached the median.

“The dog was OK,” Lim said.

Defence lawyer Marshall Gourley said his client had stopped taking medication for his bipolar disorder, “which amplified the problem.”

Leclaire-Logan told court he wasn’t a criminal and hadn’t meant to hurt Ryker. “I was on meth for about four days. I don’t usually stay up that long. I didn’t have any water or food.”

He pleaded guilty to mischief, wilfully causing pain to an animal, attempted theft, possession of a weapon and obstructing a peace officer.

Bilodeau sentenced Leclaire-Logan to six months in jail, time he has already served in custody. He was also banned from owning pets for a year.

“When violence is used against police service dogs, the court must send a clear, strong message,” the judge said.










The Santa Barbara Police Department (SBPD) reported that methamphetamine has become more prevalent on the streets of Santa Barbara as compared to other illegal drugs abused in the region such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

SBPD’s Narcotics Unit released arrests records over the past year that show methamphetamine-related arrests have exceeded arrests related to all other drugs and that at one point in the year, there were six times more meth arrests than those for cocaine and heroin.

According to SBPD Narcotics Unit supervisor Sergeant Dan McGrew, methamphetamine is currently manufactured more efficiently in Mexico than in previous years, causing an increase in supply and a decrease in the drug’s price. McGrew said he attributes the increased emergence of methamphetamine to its currently low price.

“Now [meth] is cheaper, more available and people are addicted to it,” McGrew said.

McGrew said the upsurge of methamphetamine in Santa Barbara makes SBPD anxious that property crimes will rise given that statistically, addicts are disproportionately involved in crimes such as theft, burglary or vandalism.

“[The increase in meth usage] should be concerning to everybody,” McGrew said. “There’s concern that there’s going to be an upsurge in crime rates across the board.”

SBPD spokesman Sergeant Riley Harwood said police officers often find children living in drug houses, making the increase in methamphetamine a particular threat to local youth. Harwood also said drugs such as methamphetamine are often found in places accessible to young children, which is an issue SBPD is making a priority to address.

“A thing that has been a focus for us is children that we come across in a lot of these drug houses,” Harwood said. “We’ve been very aggressive about pursuing cases of child endangerment.”

According to Harwood, SBPD aims to focus on arresting distributers of moderate quantities of methamphetamine in response to the recent drug increase.

“Generally, our plan of action is to go after mid-level drug dealers who supply street-level drug dealers,” Harwood said. “We’ve been very proactive about that.”

McGrew said SBPD Narcotics detectives plan to decrease methamphetamine’s prevalence by limiting its influx into Santa Barbara.

“We want to make it difficult to bring in drugs,” McGrew said.

McGrew said he advises residents to help decrease methamphetamine usage by working to get family members treated who are afflicted by the drug.

“If you have family members that are addicted, work toward getting them off,” McGrew said.

Alcohol & Drug Program Director Jackie Kurta said treatment for methamphetamine addiction is lengthy due to its consequent mental and physical damage to its abusers.

“Treatment is intensive and often involves a detoxification process,” Kurta said. “It tends to be the kind of drug that is a very highly addictive and highly toxic substance.”

According to Kurta, addicts experience a dependence on the substance that supersedes all other basic needs such as food, bathing and sleep. She said other side effects include aggression, hyperactivity, loss of teeth and skin sores.

“No good comes out of this drug,” Kurta said. “It destroys families and societies.”










Michael-OkaforAsaba based music producer, Micheal Okafor was caught by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) alongside three other Nigerians based in South Africa namely, Obi John Chukwuenyem, Gilbert Kelvin and Deborah Ifeoma with banned drugs weighing 41.625 kilograms comprising 36.675kg of methamphetamine and 4.95 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of over N374,625million.

They were all arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) departing and arriving Nigeria. Obi John Chukwuenyem who is 48 years old was arrested with 21.695 kilogrammes of methamphetamine found inside his bag; Gilbert Kelvin, 37 years old with 9.980 kilogrammes of methamphetamine concealed inside solar security lamps; Deborah Ifeoma who is a mother of seven and a 40 year old with five kilograms of methamphetamine packed inside foodstuff while Okafor Michael, the music producer was with 4.95 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside silicon sealants.

When interrogated, some of the suspects said they were not aware the drugs were concealed in their goods. Obi John who lives in South Africa, said he ventured into the business so he could pay his children’s school fees

 “I struggle to feed my family by selling foodstuff. Now, the business is near-moribund. A friend met me on my birthday and introduced me into drug trafficking. He promised to pay me 15,000 South Africa rand. My children are out of school because of my inability to pay tuition fee. This is the first time I would deal in drugs and I regret everything. I pray to be out of this problem” he said.

Gilbert, who claims to be into importation and exportation of phones and clothes, said he has five children from three women and has suffered major loses in his business

“My business is grounded and I now live from hand to mouth. My South African friend for over ten years gave me solar lamps where the drug was found. He used to assist me financially and he also promised to pay my children’s school fees.”

Deborah who is a mother of seven said, “I take care of my seven children from selling foodstuffs. I came to Nigeria to buy foodstuffs like melon, vegetables and other local spices. I approached a man in South Africa for financial assistance to enable me expand my business. He called me that somebody would give me some food items for him. When I got to the airport, NDLEA officers detected methamphetamine in the package given to me by the man. This was how I found myself in this situation”.

For the Asaba based musician who was coming into Nigeria from Brazil when he was apprehended, said he was not aware the hard substances were in a bag a friend gave him to deliver to someone in Nigeria.

“I am a music producer. I traveled to Brazil to promote my music label and to partner other producers. I had a successful deal but on my way back, I accepted a bag from a friend I met in Sao Paulo to take to Nigeria. When I got here, NDLEA demanded to search and 29 out of the 34 sealants were found to contain cocaine. This is a major setback for my career and I feel very bad.”