By: Alejandro Páez Varela | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat


On December 11, 2006, with the country turning the other way— the opponents of the president in a yell— a war was launched without ever having been consulted with by anyone. It’s been a decade, recalls the author of this text, and “on the streets, the Mexican Army continues and there is a widespread feeling that it operates with impunity, a war of extermination.  Crimes continue and armed la-guerra-en-mexico-700-1groups have diversified their income relying on impunity.  There is no effective state policy to compensate for damages to victims or to deter youths from armed groups.  The police have not been cleaned up and narco-politics seems to keep the reserves that it had before the start of the confrontation.  There aren’t major advances in the criminal justice system; torture, the UN says, is widespread; prisons are schools of criminals; money laundering operations continue to develop and now, all this time, a glimmer of light: the possibility that marijuana might at least be decriminalized.”

Mexicans, At The Cry Of War

Suddenly, as never before, the streets of many cities of our country lost a virginity that it had maintained since the 1910 Revolution: Mexican Army units were displaced but not to the barracks, not to any community in a tragedy by a hurricane or an earthquake. They came with their weapons in front to stay there, in the corners, on the sidewalks, where cops were before.

It wasn’t a minor change for a majority who were used to seeing soldiers on television. With them, from the night to the morning, bulletproof vests appeared, machine guns mounted in open vehicles, outlines of federal police.  And what seemed to be a temporary thing kept spreading for months, and then years.  Armored cars became common throughout the country while terms such as “executed”, “sicario”, “kidnapped”, “agitated”, “company”, or “decapitated” became part of the jargon of many in the media, of journalists and of the population in general.

In a few years, we added another term, which nobody knows whether it was coined in the press or in the streets, to that ominous language, but it clearly came from a new reality. “Narcofosas” (Narco-graves), for example, which refers to clandestine cemeteries scattered throughout the territory; “autodefensas”, which refers to the efforts of the citizens to defend themselves against criminals that seized physical territories and of the income of its inhabitants.  Extortion was just a word until now, when it became a reality spreading throughout cities and in huge urban sprawls, such as the State of Mexico surrounding the capital.  And among all the words that became common, a jarring: “kitchen”, and all its derivations: the verb “to cook” or the subject “the cook”.  It refers to the massive disappearance of bodies in acids or burned in 200 liter drums.  Bodies from the war between cartels or simply just victims of violence.

The sun became clouded for cities that were synonymous with relaxation and fun, like Acapulco, Morelia, or Cuernavaca. States with relative tranquility, such as San Luis Potosí or Guanajuato became restless lands.  Life became impossible in societies that were already permeated by the narco, such as Ciudad Juárez, Apatzingán, Tijuana, Chihuahua, Piedras Negras, Nuevo Laredo or Reynosa.

The pus of violence that came with the war spread throughout towns and villages, and at the dawn of this reality, names of new criminal gangs appeared and consolidated their presence at almost the same time that the federal government showed off the arrest of heads of drug trafficking groups.

The decapitated became common, as well as heads in coolers, mayors and journalists assassinated, police officers kidnapped and tortured. Entire towns entered psychoses, from north to south, while the hidden powers were sharpening up their tools they used to control: they dared to dictate, through social networks, “curfews”.

And it all happened in the blink of an eye.

If The Bugle With Its Bellicose Accent

Certainly, the war on drugs is not new and hasn’t lasted for a decade. History attributes it to Richard Nixon, who declared drugs as “public enemy #1” in the United States in 1971.  Mexico, a production and transit territory for a century, joined the late 20th century under pressure from Washington, particularly over allegation of corruption and omission that came from the agencies, in the Executive and Congress.

However, it was Felipe Calderón Hinojosa who first put on a green suit. During the next 10 years, Mexico would see terrible events as a result of the above, and there aren’t any indications that this, at times looking like a civil war, is ever going to end.  Organized crime, which we had become accustomed to operating silently, unleashed a counter-offensive and issued a challenge to the Mexican State.  The spectacular declaration of war of Calderón alerted criminals that operated openly and without great intelligence apparatuses for their company, also known with the authorities.

Perhaps Mexico is going through the longest civil war of the 21st century, sparked by what appears to be a tactical error. The government miscalculated, it seems, the forces that it faces.  It miscalculated the reaction of those who tried to intimidate.  It miscalculated because, many experts say today, it looked for a political benefit in the war and not give an answer to crime.

Historically, the presence of drug trafficking groups generated some tension in states such as Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Baja California, Sinaloa, Guerrero and Michoacán. But since that December 11, 2006, the phenomenon of violence associated with these criminal gangs was spreading throughout almost the entire country.

10 years after Calderón started this war, violence continues. And while we overcome from a tragedy, another one occurs, and we tremble because in a decade, there are many dead that have not been dug up.  And this is a reality, not a metaphor.  More than three years ago, 27,000 missing acknowledged and the federal government has stopped counting.

Mothers, fathers, entire families walk by foot in the fields in search for their missing; they open up the ground with their teeth, they dig. The State can’t return their children; the justice system, inundated, doesn’t give them any hope.  The police, corrupt, are not encouragement to anyone and so these families look for a bone, a hair, whatever gives them peace.  Whatever tells them that their loved ones are dead and can at least aspire for inner peace.

Ten years have passed and Mexicans can’t explain how we got here. Ten years in which it is impossible to even count how many tragedies.  Migrants shot; students who were swallowed up by the earth; kids assassinated for pyrrhic debts from their la-guerra-en-mexico-700-3parents; youths abducted by criminals who use them as sex slaves and for those that do well, return pregnant; men and women burned alive; a prison in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, with crematoriums to disappear entire families and tens of thousands that have fled their homes to be delivered to the hands of fate by the lack of a government that guarantees their safety.

A Tomb For Them Of Honor

Everything has a story behind it. Such is the case of the war launched by President Calderón.

Since mid-2006, Mexico was in a political shock. The country was basically divided into two: the supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and those of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.  Obrador, from the left, argued that there was fraud in the presidential elections and had taken the symbolic Paseo de la Reforma, in the heart of the Mexican capital itself.  Calderón, from the right, defended a victory that, according to official figures, was achieved with a difference of only .58% of votes.

That year was a tough and exhausting campaign. President Vicente Fox Quesada stuck his hands in the election to support his party and Calderón, he would later accept something expressly prohibited by election laws.  López Obrador accused robbery and was ready to fight.  Calderón responded pragmatically to those who question his legitimacy, “haiga sido como haiga sido” (regardless of how it may have been), he said.  The phrase would make history.

In this environment, faced with the country, Calderón entered the Chamber of Deputies through a back door taken by the opposition and among shoving and shouts of “fraud”, he put on the presidential sash. It was December 1, 2006.

In this atmosphere of political confrontation, his legitimacy questioned, 10 days after the embarrassing inauguration, Calderón Hinojosa announced, out of nowhere, the launching of the War on Drugs.

There is no public record that this war was planned well in advance. It was not in campaign speeches.  There wasn’t any consultations with scholars of the phenomenon of drug trafficking or organized crime.  There isn’t information confirming intelligence meetings with the various parties involved in an action of this magnitude, such as the United Nations, the U.S. government and its intelligence agencies such as the DEA.  There isn’t any record that Calderón consulted with his counterparts in other countries in the region.

On December 11, 2006, Calderón announced an operation in Michoacán. Federal police agents were taken to “contain” the bloodshed in the state, which suffered an outbreak of violence.  But members of the Mexican Army and the Mexican Navy also appeared, which until then, had not been specifically designed to take on tasks which had been constitutionally been responsible for the police.

From that day, President Calderón would make several appearances dressed in military uniform. He would boost the career of its main operator, Genaro García Luna, and his project of a super federal police.    He would also increase the budget for the armed forces, which involved one of the most questionable events in the recent history of the country, and with greater economic, political, and social cost.

The war would take its course even though after the first several thousand dead, dozens of opinion leaders from all sectors would ask the then president to review his strategy.

“President Calderón doesn’t listen,” many said, even within his party.

His apparent deafness of the problem, however, had a very high cost for Mexicans, who to this day, continue to pay, even with their own blood.

At The Resounding Roar Of The Cannon

Almost 10 years later, it isn’t difficult to summarize the War on Drugs in Mexico as a failure. Insecurity has spread throughout the country, according to official figures.  Consumption not only rose when Calderón was in power, but also with Enrique Peña Nieto.  The figures of kidnappings, homicide, and extortion increased.  The number of grieving families and the so-called “collateral victims”, a term used for civilians killed in armed actions, grew.  The areas for growing poppy increased, and in the United States, the main consumer of drugs produced or passed through Mexico, deaths from heroin became an epidemic in this decade.

When you get to the first decade of the conflict, with nearly 200,000 dead, tens of thousands missing and hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, human rights violations have put Mexico in the eyes of the world. The armed forces are accused of summary executions and forced disappearances; local police, are accused of being on the payroll of criminal groups.  In almost any great tragedy, in the great massacres of Veracruz to Sinaloa and from Chihuahua to Guerrero, there is at least one security force involved.  In other words: the justification for launching this war, which was to submit criminals and give strength to the State, has collapsed.

On the streets, the army remains, ten years later, and there is widespread feeling that it operates with impunity, a war of extermination. Crimes continue and armed groups have diversified their income relying on impunity.  There is no effective state policy to compensate for damages to victims or to deter youths from armed groups.  The police have not been cleaned up and narco-politics seems to keep the reserves that it had before the start of the confrontation.  There aren’t major advances in the criminal justice system; torture, the UN says, is widespread; prisons are schools of criminals; money laundering operations continue to develop and now, all this time, a glimmer of light: the possibility that marijuana might at least be decriminalized.  A decade later, Mexico is worse than before and the authors of this error called the War on Drugs have not been held accountable.

This December 11, 2016, on the date marked by history as the first decade of war in Mexico, there is much to regret and nothing to celebrate. Drug trafficking groups adjust themselves—comfortably– to their new reality, while citizens, as usual, pay the piper.




Source: Sin Embargo

Borderland Beat Reporter Valor Posted at 6:00 AM



Accused of rape, a 20-year-old Iron Range man was decapitated with a machete by the woman’s boyfriend, according to authorities.

David A. Haiman, of Hibbing, was killed last week in an ambush attack along a northern Minnesota road, his body left in one spot in the woods and his head dumped in another location, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Itasca County District Court.

Joseph C. Thoresen, 35, of Grand Rapids, Minn., is charged with second-degree 2HEAD063016murder. Before his arrest, Thoresen said he hadn’t been in touch with Haiman for the past two to three weeks, but the defendant’s cellphone revealed texts shortly before Haiman’s death.

According to the criminal complaint:

Thoresen’s girlfriend told authorities that Thoresen was upset when she revealed to him that Haiman had raped her in the couple’s apartment.

Haiman arrived at the apartment on June 21 or 22, and she confronted him in front of Thoresen, punching and kicking him. Thoresen also punched Haiman and said he should not have raped “my girl.”

The three left in Haiman’s vehicle and smoked marijuana in Deer River with other people and then smoked methamphetamine with a friend.

From there, they “drove around in the woods” near Ball Club and later stopped. Thoresen and Haiman were standing in front of the vehicle, when Thoresen hit Haiman with a baseball bat, and stabbed him in the back and abdomen.

Thoresen then took the machete, decapitated Haiman and threw the head in the woods.

Authorities located Haiman’s torso Sunday morning and his head about an hour later, both not far from where the decapitation occurred.

Haiman’s Facebook page listed him as an employee at an education and haimanDavid-1employment center in Hibbing and as having attended Cherry School and Northern Lights Community School. He also listed Thoresen on his Facebook page among his friends.

Haiman first came to the attention of authorities early last week when he failed to show up for work and was reporting missing, as was his vehicle.

After Haiman’s death, the vehicle was spotted late Friday night in Deer River, with an obstructed license plate and Thoresen in the passenger seat without a seat belt on, the complaint against Thoresen read.

Just as the Deer River officer was about to pull over the vehicle, the driver took off but was caught several miles later. Thoresen was briefly detained at the scene.

The driver, identified only by initials in the complaint, told the officer that Thoresen was threatening him with a knife during the pursuit and ordered him not to stop. The driver also revealed that Thoresen confessed to decapitating Haiman and stealing the dead man’s vehicle, according to the charging document.

Thoresen’s criminal history in Minnesota includes only minor offenses, including two misdemeanor convictions for disorderly conduct.



A Monett man charged with possession of a nine-gram meth rock in April has now been charged with rape following a more-than-two-month investigation into claims made by the victim in the case.

Randall Miller, 54, of Monett, is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and second-degree domestic assault. In the earlier case in April, he was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

According to a probable cause report filed by David Haskins, officer with the Monett Police Department, he was called to the 700 block of West Scott Street for a report of the victim approaching a residence wearing only men’s undershorts and stating an assault had occurred. The victim said she had been in a sexual relationship with Miller and lived elsewhere, but had been staying with Miller for three days.

The victim had needle marks she stated she was not aware of. The victim said she woke up the evening before or in the early morning hours to find Miller looking at her cell phone. The victim asked for the phone back and Miller said no, then Miller allegedly grabbed her by the throat, choked her and punched her in the stomach, according to the report. The victim said Miller than sat on her legs and propositioned her for intercourse, but she was crying and told him, “Just let me go, please.”

The victim said after some time, she pretended to pass out, and Miller allegedly injected methamphetamine into her twice without her permission before undressing her and committing the alleged rape and sodomy. The victim said the two did have a safe word when the acts were consensual, and she said the word, but he did not stop.

The victim said she later did pass out, and when she woke up, Miller was in another part of the house, allowing her to sneak out the back door.

In an interview with Miller at the Monett Police Station, Miller allegedly said he tried to have intercourse with the victim, but denied any such act occurred. Miller also alleged the victim injected herself with methamphetamine, and he never injected her without her permission, denying knowledge of how the victim received the needle marks. Miller also confirmed the safe word the two had agreed upon. He denied she ever said the word and denied ever choking her.

The incident allegedly occurred on April 8, and Miller was arrested then for an outstanding failure to appear warrant. Miller on that day allegedly admitted to having meth in his home, and upon a search of his residence on Eisenhower, police allegedly found a tin container housing a nine-gram meth rock, 100 small, plastic baggies and three spoons. Two other small baggies contained meth, and small scaled were also allegedly found in his bedroom.

For the drug charges, Miller’s original bond was $20,000 cash only, but it was reduced to $10,000 cash or corporate surety, which was posted on April 22. For this case, he has a bond forfeiture hearing scheduled for July 26 at 11 a.m.

For the rape, sodomy and assault charges, Miller is being held in the Barry County jail on a cash-only bond of $75,000. Booked into the jail on Sunday, a hearing has yet to be set.




54-year-old Monett man charged with meth possession after rape accusation

 A Monett man is being held in the Barry County jail after being arrested on drug charges following investigation into a rape accusation.

Randall Miller, 54, of Monett, is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

According to Det. Don Massengill, with the Monett Police Department, police were dispatched to Cox Monett Hospital’s Emergency Room in reference to an alleged rape. During the course of the investigation, detectives were informed of drug activity at the home on Eisenhower where the alleged incident took place.

Miller was arrested at the home for an outstanding failure to appear warrant in Lawrence County, stemming from a traffic violation, and while getting him a pair of shoes, officers allegedly located a glass pipe, commonly used for smoking methamphetamine, in Miller’s bedroom.

The victim told Massengill that Miller had assaulted and raped her, saying he shot her up with methamphetamine and described where the drugs were kept in Miller’s home.

“Upon interviewing Randall Miller for the sexual assault accusation, he admitted to having ‘a little’ methamphetamine in his house, along with scales and syringes, and [he was] using methamphetamine the night before,” Massengill said in the statement.

“When asked if he would give consent to search the residence, [Miller] stated he would talk all about the sexual assault charges being leveled at him, but he might have to get an attorney if he gave us consent to search his residence. He stated he did not want to get himself in trouble by having illegal drugs in his home.”

Police obtained a search warrant for the home, allegedly turning up a tin container with one large rock. approximately 1/2-inch wide and 1 inch long and weighing 9 grams, that tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as more than 100 small, plastic baggies commonly used for distribution of the drug, and three spoons also used for taking methamphetamine. There were also two small, plastic baggies in the case containing a white, crystal-like rock substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Small scales were also allegedly found in the night stand in the master bedroom.

Miller has been arraigned and is being held in the Barry County jail on a $20,000 cash-only bond. He has a disposition hearing scheduled for April 21 at 8:30 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Robert Foulke.

George Daoud, Monett police chief, said his officers have reinterviewed the victim concerning the rape allegation, and while he does not believe charges for that will be filed immediately, he said the case is still under investigation and has not been closed yet.



Randall Miller, 54, of Monett, charged with meth possession after woman accuses Miller of injecting her with Meth and raping her


Former playboy businessman and now convicted sex and drug offender Mark Lyon will remain behind bars after his appeal to overturn his convictions failed.

Sixty-year-old Lyon has been in prison since December 2014 after being found mark-lyon_jpg_hashed_b27776e8_desktop_story_inlineguilty of a range of sexual and drug-related offences including the supply of methamphetamine to underage girls in exchange for sex.

One of the most serious offences involved kidnapping a woman, who was then chained up in a room known as the dungeon and sexually violated.

Lyon claimed his trial lawyer, Mark Ryan, was negligent, failing to follow Lyon’s instructions during the trial.1467171773650

But the Court of Appeal didn’t agree.

Attempts were made to buy off witnesses before Lyon’s trial.

Documents submitted during his appeal show how Lyon arranged for a friend, a prominent Auckland gangster, to approach at least three of his female victims to change their stories. At least two were offered tens of thousands of dollars to do so.

The Court of Appeal judges found, “Mr. Lyon had knowledge that two complainants had changed their account of events from those originally given to police”.

In a revised statement to police one of his victims said, “After Mark Lyon was arrested I was visited by a friend of his [the gangster]. I was given $20,000 to do another statement about this case saying what I told the police wasn’t true. I took the money and in October 2012 I made an affidavit contradicting my original interview. I only did this because I had been paid”.

Another of Lyon’s victims said her “revised” statement was provided to her by the gangster, who then took her to court to sign it.

Lyon’s lawyer told the Court of Appeal that before the trial started Lyon was confident, telling him “these people aren’t going to turn up” to give evidence.

In the end they all testified, leading to Lyon’s 15-year sentence with a minimum non parole period of eight years.



From millionaire property developer to the drug-addled owner of a sex dungeon … Scion of a well-to-do family and a former high flyer in Auckland’s property market, Mark Lyon has seen his world tumble from riches to rags, from inner-city penthouse to a seamy underground world of drugs, sex and violence. Here’s how it happened.

Mark Lyon slipped down the ladder of society, bouncing off every rung, until he came to a stop in Auckland Prison’s cell block D.

Master of the universe, property developer, millionaire, would-be gangster, drug addict and sexual deviant – Lyon transformed as he fell, submerged in the muck of increasingly dark and dirty worlds.

Sentenced to 15 years in prison, aged 59, his prospects have gone from ripe to rancid.

Alone in his cell at night, inmates say he screams when the lights go out. Whatever SCCZEN_A_16022011NZHNSLYON8_620x310haunts Lyon in his cell, he’s left plenty of nightmares outside it.

The Auckland Grammar boy was born blessed, raised in a family buoyant on the success of patriarch and business supremo Cliff Lyon.

Mark Lyon finished school well enough. He was bright, with a flair for English and science, leaving for a marketing job in a publishing house.

But his money – and there was plenty – would come from property. He became part of Chase Corporation’s development team, then struck out on his own.

The first millions came age 25, before the 1987 share market crash. Where others drowned under the financial tsunami, Lyon rose to the surface and then walked on it.

Lyon was tall – almost two meters – and handsome, flush with money and hungry to make more.

Through the 1990s, in his 30s, he bought and built and leased and rented property, creating a portfolio of wealth that would fuel his addictions in the years to come.

He created Mission Corporation, lived in the penthouse of an inner-city apartment and greeted callers with a phone message saying: “Welcome to the Twilight Zone.”

Lyon bought Queen St’s Mid-City Centre, filling shops with tenants, and developed Vulcan Lane. He had dozens of commercial tenants in Newmarket, then in other parts of Auckland.

Media-shy and part of the city’s inner circle, Lyon was friends with Eric Watson, now a billionaire, and in 1998 outbid his rival for a lunch date with Kylie Bax and Donald Trump. The $50,000 went to charity and Lyon went to New York, with his eye on the property magnate rather than the supermodel.

He loved it wild, though.

One-time friend and sometime bodyguard Jamie Lockett remembers Lyon tossing him the keys to an AMG Mercedes, newly bought. “He said ‘take me for a ride’,” jumping in the passenger seat as “hard-out petrol-head” Lockett tore around Auckland at speed.

By 2000, Lyon had swapped his swanky friends for the darker side of the city life.SCCZEN_A_1306NZHBPLYON5_620x310 When the Chancery opened that year with its designer shops and fine restaurants, Lyon’s best years were behind him.

“Just too much money,” says Lockett, 53, of Lyon.

Thinking on the money, Lockett sounds a little wistful. He’s walked against the tide for years and just lost his latest hope for a balanced life – a 60-foot boat seized and being auctioned to pay bills.

“He was spending $20,000 a day,” says Lockett.

That was 2002. Lyon had a magnificent home in Omana Ave, on the slopes of Mt Eden and neighboring Government House. It was opulent – velvet curtains, a grand piano, sports cars in the garage.

When it came to parties, though, things were a little different from over the fence.

There was booze, drugs and there were hookers and the carnage would go on for days. Lockett recalls people with P pipes in one hand and pistols in the other. “How come you didn’t do something about it,” he was asked, replying: “Why should I put my life at risk?”

Lifelong criminal and hard man Petar Vitali was there too. He always liked guns. One bedroom was for a senior Head Hunter. Other gang members were often present for parties.

It was a place where, eventually, there would be disaster.

In September that year, fire destroyed Lyon’s home. Lockett – in bodyguard mode – kept the curious and light-fingered at bay for a few days with extreme menace and a samurai sword.

Eventually though, Lyon’s decadence was there for anyone willing to take a look.

Amid the ruin, his bedroom was the most striking sight. There was a huge double bed with a large ornate iron clock behind it. On it, what would be Lyon’s tragic signature – a painstakingly-created montage of pornographic images clipped from magazines – it was an effort repeated in home after home for years to come.

Methamphetamine, studies have found, fires sexual arousal. For Lyon, 1698e43160b87a2f96f09462c6850f1f91b2dc61_620x311his addiction to methamphetamine was entwined with a hunger for sex.

One circled the other as Lyon sank further and further down.

“Such a beautiful home,” Lockett recalls.

In the wake of the loss of Omana Ave, Lyon slipped out of normal life into its feral underbelly.

Home – for a brief period – became a basement area in the Chancery carpark, the development he had financed before it all went crazy. It was completely sealed off from the sun. Dangerously, a large sheet of iron balanced above the only entrance. At the time, Lyon was facing charges of possessing a pistol and was haunted by those seeking him, drugs or money.

Inside, the stark concrete bunker was furnished with salvage from the mansion. Much of value had been taken – an estimated $500,000 of belongings. At one end of the cavernous room, furthermost from the door, was a mattress.

When Lyon walked around town, he wore dirty, ragged jeans held up by string and T-shirts washed less often than they could have been. He would wear wigs – there was a blond mane, like his own, and later, a bizarre set of dreadlocks. Strikingly, his front teeth were missing.

Solace was sought in Rarotonga. A residence permit was granted and a good behavior bond – said to be $150,000 – paid, in an arrangement the Cook Islands regretted within months.

Despite the calming presence of his then-partner Susan, the party went on. Rarotonga is a clean island, but Lockett claims there were drugs and wild times.

Lyon shipped across White Lightning, a 2000 hp speedboat which produced an ear-splitting racket and infuriated locals. In a bizarre stunt, Lyon and partner blasted off into the Pacific, aiming for the distant island of Mangaia.

At top speed, they covered the 204 km in just a few hours before ripping the bottom of the boat out on a reef and having to walk the final meters to shore.

On top of the parties, cars driven into the sea and White Lightning, there were complaints from young women about Lyon’s behavior.

The generally relaxed locals marched in protest, Lyon left and returned to Auckland where he was given a last chance on existing charges.

Judge Philip Recordon gave Lyon a community work sentence where he had expected prison, hearing the millionaire had wanted to help gang members but had become entangled in their lifestyle.

The judge told Lyon he was a “poor little rich boy” who was “out of his depth and hooked on drugs”.

For Cliff Lyon, watching from the back of the court with Lyon’s two brothers, it must have seemed the end of a chapter.

For Lyon, though, nothing changed except for the worse.

From the outside, the montage of pornography could be clearly seen lining the 50cb0e380ccdbafb1475fcd1557cc772f237518b_620x310windows of Lyon’s waterfront apartment.

Different place, same story.

He wandered Fort St, winding up in a coma after an altercation left him face down with his skull cracked. In brothels in the area, he was known for his drug abuse and the desire it created.

He was also known for thwarted desire. For Lyon, P abuse meant he had an itch no scratching would satisfy, and frustration at his inability would be directed at the women he had hired.

There were a constant smattering of charges – police arrested Lyon minutes after he thrust a paintball gun into the face of a man drawing cash from an ATM at 7.30 am in September 2005. “Drug-induced”, a judge later called it.

The same month Lyon took a samurai sword and a large hunting knife and went to visit his estranged partner and her two children, going into the house at 6 am to find two men in a sitting room.

Two head butts to the face of one man earned him a new assault charge.

There was a spell in prison after the 2004 community sentence was appealed. Sentenced to 15 months in Hawkes Bay prison in 2006, his time was spent lodging numerous papers with the courts in an attempt to get out as quickly as possible.

When Lyon was released, he found parts of his fortune had slipped from his hands.

In 2007, he alleged in court that a commercial structure created to distance himself publicly from his fortune had been used to remove about $6 million of it. It was the first of two such cases. In the other, in 2014, he claimed to have been cut out of a deal worth $10 million to him.

Between the two cases, Lyon slipped further into the grey and murky netherworld in a constant search for that which would satisfy his addictions and desires.

From 2009, at least, Lyon had come to prey on the vulnerable. He owned a 29-apartment building called Artizanz in Eden Terrace, filling units with an entourage of the desperate and dissolute.

As at Omana Ave, although far less grandly, the parties went on forever. There were women – prostitutes – Lyon had known for years and, with them, he used methamphetamine like a leash. For others, he used it to bait a trap.

His co-accused, a woman in her early 20s with her name still suppressed, would find girls as young as 14, targeting those grappling with a new-found P addiction.

They would be brought to Lyon, who gave them methamphetamine in return for sex.

Detective Sergeant Andrew Saunders, who led the investigation, says: “She was effectively his pimp, if you like.”

Whatever free will his addicted victims might have had was irrelevant to Lyon, the jury found in the case of one victim. Judge Russell Collins, who sentenced Lyon, said “when she did not willingly provide (oral sex), you took what you believed you were entitled to.

“In the broadest summaries, you played on addiction to methamphetamine or a desire on behalf of others for drugs for your own sexual gratification.”

One victim in her mid-20s, called “K” in court, was believed by Lyon to have stolen money and drugs. She was taken from the street, “desperate for methamphetamine and brought to Lyon. There, the court heard, Lyon had her taken to a room he called the “dungeon” where she was shackled with a collar around her neck, fastened to a device which left her hunched and unable to move freely.

Lyon forced her to carry out oral sex for what she said “felt like a couple of hours“.

At one point, the court was told, she begged Lyon to rape her so it would be over. Lyon told her she was more beautiful when she cried, the court heard.

Lyon’s “pimp” was co-accused and victim in one, says Saunders. She was also the reason the offending stopped when it did.mark-lyon-1200

One day, for whatever reason, she approached a youth aid officer on Karangahape Rd. Mark Lyon was using her to get girls, she said, and “someone was going to die” if he wasn’t stopped.

In thrall to Lyon, she disappeared back into his world. That one piece of information would have to be enough.

“She knew what she was doing and knew it was wrong, but she had her own dependency issues,” says Saunders.

It took police work. A plan was hatched, with a three-month timetable; it took four months to crack.

There was a raid, arrests, and again, Lyon’s signature montage of porn. Then came the difficult task of tracking down victims who would testify. Young girls and working prostitutes, living at the edge of society with methamphetamine addictions, were not willing witnesses.

“You’re asking young girls to stand in front of a bunch of strangers and tell them very personal things,” says Saunders.

Five complainants showed up at court. “There’s probably another six or seven we identified,” he says.

It took two-and-a-half years for the case to come to trial. The victims needed SCCZEN_A_2312NZHDFLYON1_620x310constant support, particularly after some reported approaches from “associates of Lyon” with offers of cash if they pulled their testimony.

There was never any connection identified between the offer and Lyon.

“Those girls had been through enough.”

The father of one of the girls agrees, describing his daughter as devastated by Lyon.

“She’s depressed, she suffers from anxiety.” The aftermath saw her successfully complete a drug rehabilitation, only to have tertiary study derailed by the court case.

The father encountered Lyon when he wound up working at the place where his daughter’s abuser was receiving rehab treatment. Horrified, he went home, got drunk “and went to take a gun out of my gun safe. I just wanted to go around and shoot him”.

In a moment of clarity, he rang the police and begged them to come and take his guns away.

“He’s had so many chances from the judiciary in the past,” says the father. “He’s gone off into this world of perverted sex and drugs and firearms and gangs. I just see him as the devil.”

He sat there in the Victim Support room, watching his girl leave to testify in court – proud of her courage and terrified at the ordeal she faced.

Distant from his own father, he had pledged at his daughter’s birth to give her everything he had missed out on.

“It turns out I’ve failed her. I failed to protect her from this scum.”

The father is pained beyond the comfort offered by Justice Collins, who told the court he hoped “as a society we have matured to the point where we can understand those sort of things are well beyond the control of even the best of parents and the best-intentioned parents”.

There is little comfort, too, for Lyon’s father, Cliff, so distant now from his son.

Through the Weekend Herald, he offers an apology and sympathy “to any innocent people who may have been affected” by his son.

“Our family are deeply saddened at these 2012 charges and the changes to Mark’s personality and conduct that appear to be brought about by the use of methamphetamine.”

On bail, Lyon rented an apartment from car dealer John Murphy. Immediately, he bought cameras and had them installed to watch outside the apartment. Iron bars were put in to keep people out.

Inside, Lyon recreated his mad, mad world.

“I’ve had people who have been around to his house,” says Murphy. “There’s a mountain of methamphetamine. Young kids would go in there for days on end.”

One morning, Murphy found a young girl – about 16, 17 – slumped outside the apartment.

“Her eyes were going backwards in her head. He just left her there like a piece of rubbish.”

The tenancy ended badly “with a trashed building and a police raid and nothing but aggravation”. Again there was the porn montage. In the rubbish, multiple prescription packets of Viagra-style drugs – the itch which can’t be scratched.

One of Lyon’s sons visited. Murphy recalls him saying: “This is just another event. This is how it ends up.”

Murphy hopes prison will help but “he’s just a drug addict”.

Without Lyon and his money, the entourage will need to find somewhere else to buy drugs and some other way to pay.

The hangers-on, the money, the parties – Murphy says: “I truly believe Mark Lyon is the biggest drug distributor in Auckland.”

He knows people on the other side of the law, does Murphy. Lyon, he says, is “what they call a screamer” in prison.

“Every night before he’s going to sleep, he screams.”

The party is over.


  • NZ Herald



Mark Lyon’s porn pigsty and his massive unpaid clean up bill

FORMER PROPERTY tycoon turned P-addict Mark Lyon is out from behind bars – and already fresh trouble is brewing.

The chronic 58-year-old methamphetamine addict, once renowned for his love of Versace, was arrested in May last year on weapons and explosive charges after an early-morning police raid on his rented Greenlane property.

The heavily-secured property, occupied by Lyon and his revolving door of transient young girlfriends, was a pigsty before the cops arrived – after they left it resembled a bomb site in war torn Beirut.

The owner of the property, car dealer John Murphy, is holding Lyon liable for all the damages – estimated to be upwards of $15,000 – and has now hired former champion boxer Sean Sullivan to recover the debt.lyon4-630x420

Sullivan – best remembered for pushing two-time world super middleweight champion Anthony Mundine to the wire in 2003 – is now making a living chasing toe rags like Lyon and if nothing else, he is relentless. He’s also earned a reputation of using slightly unorthodox methods to recover money, but this time round he’s having to play everything by the book.

That has meant going directly to Lyon’s ‘lawyer’ Rick Phillips to get the matter resolved, but that’s proving more difficult than expected – as we found out for ourselves when we called the undischarged bankrupt for comment this week.

Phillips did confirm he was acting for the former multimillionaire property developer, but that was as far as he was prepared to go. He wouldn’t confirm speculation that Lyon had been bailed to a supposed ‘half-way house’ in Henderson – where the only 12-step program is the one from the front porch to the letterbox to get the newspaper in the morning.

He also wouldn’t confirm any knowledge of the debt to Murphy or the fact Sullivan was chasing the money.

He wouldn’t even answer questions about how Lyon was doing since being released on bail from jail – or whether he’d kicked his P addiction.

Phillips hung up on us before we had a chance to get him to explain how he managed to keep his ticket as a solicitor despite being bankrupt.

Murphy said the whole situation was ridiculous.

Regardless of what Lyon’s ‘cozy’ bail arrangements were, the fact remained he was on serious charges and had trashed the property he’d rented him.

Aside from turning the place in a den of sexual depravity, Lyon had also left holes in the walls, broken windows, smashed doors… the list goes on.

Lyon would have pornographic DVDs playing round the clock and friends say he’d often masturbate for hours on end, completely oblivious to those coming and going. After Lyon moved in, the property also became a frequent target by the gangs who would turn up at all times of the day and night to collect their pound of flesh.

What Lyon does from here is unclear, but the likelihood of him being back behind bars soon looks fairly certain…

Murphy, meanwhile, just wants his money back. “He’s made one hell of a mess there and I want him to do the right thing for a change and deal with it. Why should I be out of pocket?”

Sullivan agreed:

He said he wouldn’t be giving up on recovering the cash from Lyon, even if that meant waiting 12 months.

Lyon is the son of businessman Cliff Lyon and part of the family which once ran the Goodman Fielder Wattie Empire, Lyon had made $5 million by the time he was 25.



Hunger for meth fix drove woman to act as pimp for property tycoon and sex fiend Mark Lyon, feeding his appetite for underage girls


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville Metro Police say they’ve arrested a man after he committed a sex act in front of several children while at the water feature at Waterfront Park.

It happened Monday, just after 4 p.m., in the 200 block of E. Witherspoon Street, near N. Brook Street, at the park.10868593_G

Police say they were called to the water fountain area after someone reported that a man was committing a sex act in public. When officers arrived, witnesses allegedly told them that they saw 40-year-old David Fox committing the act while inside the water park area.

According to an arrest report, one witness had her 6-year-old and 9-year-old sons with her at the time, and they saw the incident. Another witness had an 11-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 7-year-old, a 1-year-old and a 7-month-old with her — all of whom saw what happened. A third witness had her 9-year-old nephew with her, who also saw the incident.

Police say they searched Fox and found four small plastic bags of marijuana, as well as a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine, and three small bags of suspected methamphetamine.

Fox was arrested and charged with second degree indecent exposure, first degree sexual abuse, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance, according to the arrest report.

He is currently being held at Louisville Metro Corrections.



DALLAS CO., AL (WSFA) – Fed up residents helped authorities take down active meth labs in Dallas County.

The sheriff’s department says complaints from the community led to recent busts and continue to fuel efforts to combat the county’s meth problem.10874695_G

The agency discovered two labs in two days, leading to four arrests.

“Over the past several weeks, we’ve had the public come forward about some meth labs that they suspected were being done in their neighborhoods,” said Captain Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

The first bust took place on June 23 at a home on County Road 269 in Valley Grande.10874667_G

Investigator Dewayne Sanders with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Unit says information was received that Keith Neeley and another person were making meth at the house. A search was conducted and Neeley and a woman named Audra Tate were arrested.

“Our office responded to one particular incident where a citizen called in and they smelled a particular odor and they thought a meth lab was being cooked. We responded and found two suspects that were involved in cooking the meth. It was an active meth lab,” Cpt. Granthum revealed.

Neeley and Tate were charged with trafficking methamphetamine, unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.10874703_G

Two days later, and not far away, a call from a citizen with a report about suspicious activity led authorities to a shed behind a home on County Road 63 in Plantersville.

“Another citizen called in just a couple of days after that not too far from there with the same type of complaint. We responded and found another meth lab that was in the process of being cooked,” Granthum said.

Tony Mitchell and Misty Sanders were arrested and charged with trafficking 10874709_Gmethamphetamine, unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Narcotics investigators say in both cases, the “shake and bake” method was being used to make the meth. Plastic bottles are used to mix the ingredients.

It’s quicker, easier and cheaper and has become the most common process.

“They’re very dangerous. They’re highly explosive. There’s not a year that goes by that we don’t have people in the ER that have been burned by these meth labs,” Granthum added. “People are just tired of this kind of activity going on in their neighborhood and that’s what it’s going to take. In Dallas County, we have seen a rise in meth use. It’s a cheap drug. It’s readily available and it’s relatively easy to make.”

Residents said they’re supportive of the work that’s underway to tackle “shake and bake” labs in the county. The sheriff’s department says their crackdown is ongoing.

“They really need to stay on it because it’s bad in Dallas County and Chilton County,” said Pamela Hirras.

As for the suspected meth makers who were arrested, the sheriff’s department is looking to see if they could be tied to other local crimes, including burglaries and thefts.

“A lot of people think this is only about drug use but there’s much more to it. These people are stealing to support their habits. They’re breaking into houses. It just leads from one crime to another,” Granthum said. “We need people to call in and tell us the things that are going on. We can’t make arrests by ourselves. It takes the whole community to do this and people are starting to help flush these meth heads out.”

According to the sheriff’s department, all four suspects remain in the Dallas County Jail on their charges.

A Bibb County hazmat cleanup crew was brought in to dismantle both of the meth labs.


Okmulgee, Okla. — When you’re making meth inside your residence, it’s probably not a good idea to steal a lawnmower from the police.8o76y07j8907-0

Okmulgee police chief Joe Prentice says Tommy Lepley reportedly did just that on Tuesday. When officers tracked the lawnmower back to his house, they also found one-pot meth labs in every room of the home.7ohn7otyo9y9oy

“There was a bunch of them and we’re not anywhere close to being finished,” Prentice said during the search of the home.

When all was said and done, officers recovered 38 one-pot meth labs.

No word on why Lepley allegedly stole the lawnmower from the police department.



SULLIVAN, N.Y. (WSTM/WTVH) – A joint investigation by members of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the NY State Police has led to the arrest of 3 men for making meth close to an elementary school.c4c3379f-55d3-48ca-aeba-7fb2b159cc6c-large16x9_gorman

Authorities executed a search warrant at 9075 North Road in the Town of Sullivan late last week. The search warrant lead to the arrest of 3 suspects.

52-year-old Michael Gorman, pictured in his mugshot with what appears to be flame tattoos on his eyebrows, was charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the 3rd degree, a class D Felony, criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the 2nd degree, a Misdemeanor, and conspiracy in the 5th degree, a class A misdemeanor. The suspect was arraigned in Sullivan Town Court and taken to Madison County Jail on $15,000 cash bail of $30,000 bond. He’s due back in court today, June 28th.

59-year-old Jeffrey Burchell of Bridgeport was charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the 3rd degree, a class D Felony, and conspiracy in the 5th degree, a misdemeanor.

Lastly, 26-year-old Michael Brocious of Georgetown was charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the 3rd degree, a class D Felony, criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the 2nd degree, a misdemeanor, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 2nd degree, a Felony, and conspiracy in the 5th degree, a misdemeanor. Brocious was arraigned at Sullivan Town Court and taken to Madison County Jail on $35,000 cash bail or $70,000 bond. He’s due back in court today, June 28th.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley says that efforts were made to shutting down the operation diligently and quickly due to the area’s proximity to the elementary school. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office worked with the school to make sure no children were in the building when the search warrant was executed.



TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) – A Twin Falls man was arrested Monday after allegedly being high on methamphetamine and attempting to gain entry to a local hospital’s helipad.

Michael L. Ray, 43, of Twin Falls, was arraigned in court Monday on charges of Michael+Raymisdemeanor trespassing, assault, resisting and obstructing an officer, and being under the influence of a controlled substance. He’s being held on a $10,000 bond. A pretrial conference is set for Aug. 23 at 2 p.m. before Judge Calvin Campbell at the Twin Falls Count Courthouse.

On Monday at about 1:48 p.m., Twin Falls Police were dispatched to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center for a reported suicidal patient, running around the parking lot, high on methamphetamine and attempted to enter the hospital’s helipad.

When officers arrived, hospital employees were standing between Ray and the helicopter, court documents said. Ray was pacing back and forth in the sprinklers and would walk toward hospital employees in an aggressive manner.

A pastor who brought Ray for treatment following an incident the day before and a bout of aggression earlier in the day, stepped between Ray and the employees, court documents said. The officer said Ray displayed signs of someone being on a central nervous system stimulant like methamphetamine with his pacing, agitation, grunting, and clenched teeth and fists. The officer asked Ray to sit several time to no avail.

Allegedly Ray later jumped the fence and headed toward the emergency entrance where a crowd had gathered. The officers followed Ray, and commands for him to stop and sit down were ignored. According to court documents, when Ray allegedly began to charge toward the second officer as if he were going to tackle him. Another officer deployed his Taser, which stopped Ray.

Ray was then taken into custody. Court document said Ray admitted to using drugs that day. Once he was medically clear, Ray was taken and booked at the Twin Falls County Jail.



Windsor police say they have again arrested a determined criminal after they caught him with the same stolen motorcycle twice in one week.

The 32-year-old man was first arrested June 20 after police pulled him over while he was allegedly driving a stolen U-Haul with a stolen motorcycle in the back.

He was released from jail on Friday. On Monday, police said, they arrested him again — along with another man — after finding him with the same motorcycle.

Police first arrested the 32-year-old man June 20 as part of the ongoing investigation into the U-Haul and motorcycle. Officers found the truck around 4:30 p.m. and pulled it over near Prince Street and Queen Streets.

After arresting the driver, police said they found 0.4 grams of methamphetamine along with a stolen motorcycle and stolen license plate inside the stolen truck. The man was released from custody on Friday.

Then on Monday around 5:30 a.m., there was a break-in at a business in the 5900 block of North Service Road. Police said a motorcycle, motor scooter and other items were stolen.

Around 2 p.m., officers with the Target Base Unit saw a 35-year-old man riding a motorcycle to a home in the 1600 block of Ford Boulevard.

Police later saw a 32-year-old man riding the same motorcycle near Westminister Boulevard and Reginald Street. When that man got off the bike, officers moved in and arrested him. They searched him and allegedly found methamphetamine.

Police said the motorcycle the 32-year-old was riding is the same one they arrested him with last week.

Officers also arrested the 35-year-old man near the house on Ford Boulevard. They allegedly found more methamphetamine and the scooter.

Michael Palanacki, 32, from Windsor, is charged with break and enter, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and two counts of breach of recognizance.

He is also charged with possession of methamphetamine and three counts of possession of stolen property stemming from the first arrest.

Robert Graham, 35, from Windsor, is charged with break and enter, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, breach of recognizance and breach of probation.



U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers this weekend seized more than $686,000 in alleged methamphetamine during a routine examination at the Laredo Port of Entry.

“As the summer temperatures edge ever higher, our CBP officers continue to 5772dfc12fc19_imagemaintain their vigilance and seized a significant load of alleged methamphetamine this weekend at the port of entry,” said Gregory Alvarez, director of the Laredo Port of Entry. “Their commitment to keeping our border secure is illustrated through this enforcement action.”

The seizure occurred Saturday at Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge. CBP officers referred a 2015 Honda Fit driven by a 25-year-old male U.S. citizen to secondary for further inspection. Using all available tools and resources, CBP officers conducted an intensive examination and discovered 52 packages containing a total of 34 pounds of alleged methamphetamine. The drugs carry an estimated street value of $686,953.

CBP officers seized the vehicle and narcotics. CBP officers arrested the driver and the case was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations special agents for further investigation.



Posted by DD republished from the Toronto Star

By John M. Ackerman*

This time it is impossible to look the other way. The Mexican government is normally adept at managing public opinion so the responsibility for the violence and human rights violations ripping apart the country falls on the shoulders of local officials or organized crime groups. But on June 19th that narrative was broken under the heavy weight of the facts. The press originally reported a “clash between teachers and police” in the town of Nochixtlán in the southern state of Oaxaca. The tq3t0pyu8wt-w4tauthorities claimed their agents were unarmed and the protesters had fired on them first. The new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, was carefully neutral in her first public evaluation of the incident, stating simply that she “lamented the loss of human lives.” But during the ensuing days the awful truth has trickled out. Thanks to the reports of journalists on the scene, the Mexican government has been forced to accept that the police were in fact heavily armed. And the evidence now points to the commission of a brutal massacre by federal forces against peaceful protesters. These forces are under the command of Mexico´s President Enrique Peña Nieto and receive significant funding from the United States government under the Merida Initiative.

It all began when a group of rural, elementary school teachers closed a highway that runs through the small, mostly indigenous town of Nochixtlán. They were protesting the government´s neo-liberal education reforms and in favour of the release of two top teacher union activists, who had been taken as political prisoners a week earlier.

Instead of negotiating with the protesters, or using limited force to liberate the highway, the federal government decided to violently quash the uprising. Peña Nieto sent hundreds of masked police officers armed with high-powered automatic rifles and tear gas to run off the protesters. In response, the surrounding communities called for reinforcements. Church bells ran, a form of SOS call to the surrounding villages, and hundreds of residents appeared on the scene in support of the peaceful teachers. Although some of the reinforcements did throw rocks and launch fire crackers at the riot police, none of the protesters were armed nor were the lives of law enforcement officials put at risk.

The police acted with desperate vengeance. According to eyewitness accounts, plain clothes police first set fire to buses and cars in order to create the impression of chaos and thereby “justify” the upcoming brutal attack. The uniformed agents then opened fire on the innocent crowd. Nine protesters were killed, dozens wounded and many others arbitrarily arrested by law enforcement, who grabbed anyone they could get their hands on. Amid the chaos, the police even interrupted a family funeral taking place in the town cemetery to haul off to jail dozens of the attendees who had no connection to the protests.

The federal police also indiscriminately launched dozens of tear gas canisters from land and air during the assault. One of them landed in the patio of a health clinic, which was attending to the wounded, forcing it to close down and thereby putting numerous lives at risk.

Such attacks by Mexico´s highly militarized federal police on the civilian population are not rare.

Excessive use of force has become commonplace in recent years, especially since the beginning of the Peña Nieto administration in December of 2012. Civilian deaths are normally presented as the result of frontal combat with narcotraffickers or “criminals.” In fact, local and international government and non-governmental organizations have unveiled the systematic abuse of human rights by security forces in Mexico.

But this time the violation of human rights is particularly glaring. The victims cannot be presented as “criminals” even by the most creative imagination. They were all peaceful protesters, teachers and community members, standing up for their rights. In response, the government turned a sleepy, rural town into a war zone.

Mexico has erupted in protest. Teachers have taken to the streets throughout the country, even in regions such as Monterrey where such activism is rare. Tens of thousands of students and doctors have also mobilized in solidarity. The indigenous communities of Oaxaca have taken action and highways remain blocked throughout the state. This Sunday there was an enormous protest march in Mexico City organized by the principal opposition party, Morena. The international solidarity movement, in Argentina, Spain, France, England, Canada and the United States has also jumped into action. Both the National Human Rights Commission and the United Nations Human Rights Commission have initiated investigations of the attack.

Meanwhile, official diplomatic circles in the United States and Canada have remained silent, pretending as if nothing has happened. This is particularly worrisome given the fact that this Wednesday Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto will meet in Ottawa for their first “Three Amigos Summit.” three_amigo_summt

Obama has been an adamant defender of the Mexican President and has not dared to call him out once for the grave human rights violations and corruption scandals, which have marked Peña´s presidency from day one. Trudeau has made the positive step of offering to remove the visa requirement for Mexican visitors to Canada imposed by Stephen Harper in 2009, but also seems to be disconnected from what is actually happening on the ground in Mexico.

In the face of the silent complicity of the U.S. and Canadian governments, civil society in all three countries should use the opportunity of this week’s summit to make their voices heard. They should forcefully condemn the violent repression and democratic breakdown taking place in Mexico and reach out a helping hand to their brothers and sisters south of the Rio Grande.

  • John M. Ackerman is a professor at the Institute for Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), editor-in-chief of The Mexican Law Review and a columnist at Proceso magazine and La Jornada newspaper. , Twitter: @JohnMAckerman


Borderland Beat Reporter dd Posted at 8:22 PM


A methamphetamine lab was uncovered in Utica after a home check conducted by the Herkimer County Probation Department.

Utica Police say there were notified on Friday of the clandestine lab at 113 Clinton Place. Marissa DeAngelo, 23, and Kellan Winslow, 32, are each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine, both felonies.

The New York State Police Special Operations Response Team were requested to dg,epagkwetg-3a=-respond to the scene to assist with rendering the clandestine lab safe. During that time period police had to block of the street and request that electrical power to the residence be shut off for the safety of the first responders and neighborhood residents, police said.






TOMAHAWK, Wis. (WSAU) — Tomahawk police have confirmed an arrest on Methamphetamine related charges last week.

Police Chief Al Elvins says that 31-year-old Ashleigh M. Wright had been arrested on June 24th.

He said, “We had information that we received from anonymous sources that indicated that a female was selling Methamphetamine out of her residence. We initiated several undercover buys from her and subsequently ended with a search warrant on her residence.”

Wright was taken into custody on felony charges of delivery and possession of 1f5a3330b4d08b03ed73584bee98cfdeMethamphetamine, possession of meth paraphernalia, and maintaining a drug dwelling.

Chief Elvins does not believe that Wright is alone. He indicated she was a part of a larger drug ring in the Tomahawk area.

“It’s a larger conspiracy. We’ve been working Methamphetamine up here for, I know the four years that I’ve been here. It seems to be getting progressively worse and more and more meth is making its way from either Chicago, the Twin Cities, or even Wausau up to us,” said Elvins.

On a positive note, Elvins said that since the department began cracking down on any and all drug dealers in the area, the crime rate has noticeably decreased.

The investigation lasted roughly 90 days and was a joint effort with the North Central Drug Enforcement Group.



A woman currently on probation from a 2013 case in which she attempted to sell fake methamphetamine made from salt and glue was arrested Saturday with methamphetamine.

Tiffany Ailene Johnson, 21, was pulled over after a deputy who knew she had an 5771bd143e9ad_imageoutstanding warrant saw her driving in Missoula. Johnson allegedly voluntarily told the deputy that there was a half-gram of methamphetamine in a bag in the car. The deputy, assisted by a K9 dog, found the bag, which contained two lighters, a scale, two glass pipes and a plastic bag with meth inside.

After being transported to jail, Johnson allegedly told law enforcement she had a drug addiction, and smokes around a gram of meth per day. Police say she told them the drugs and paraphernalia found in the bag belonged to her.

Johnson had previously been arrested in April 2013 and charged with a pair of felonies for manufacturing and intending to distribute imitation drugs. She had been using glue and salt to attempt to make a fake version of methamphetamine. She and an accomplice had been putting the imitation drugs into plastic bags with the intent to then sell it.

In August 2014, after entering into a plea agreement with prosecutors, District Court Judge Ed McLean gave Johnson a three-year deferred sentence.

On Monday, deputy county attorney Selene Koepke requested a $5,000 bail on the new charge in addition to the $25,000 Johnson is also being held on after paperwork was filed to revoke the previous sentence.

Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech allowed the $5,000 amount, but set it concurrent to Johnson’s other case.



A Slate Belt woman is accused of selling crystal methamphetamine in Plainfield Township.

Jennifer N. Darrohn, 41, of the first block of East Central Avenue in East Bangor, shortly after 8 p.m. on Feb. 26 allegedly sold the drug to an informant who was working with Slate Belt Regional police. Court records say the controlled buy occurred in the 1000 block of Mountain Avenue.

The informant called Darrohn to set up the meeting, police said. Darrohn then exchanged the meth for cash through the driver’s side window of the Nissan she was driving, according to police.

Police said Darrohn had three other people with her, including her son seated in the front passenger side of the vehicle.

Darrohn is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

She was arraigned Friday before District Judge Richard Yetter III, who set bail at $75,000. In lieu of bail, Darrohn was taken to Northampton County Prison.

The judge ordered Darrohn enroll in Pretrial Services, refrain from drug and alcohol use and submit to random drug screening. The judge allowed 10 percent of $75,000 bail if Pretrial Services approved it.



DALLAS — On Monday, the U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Texas announced 19 defendants have been charged in a federal indictment with various felony offenses stemming from their respective roles in a meth distribution conspiracy.

The Dallas Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety worked in a joint operation to arrest the 19 suspects. The investigation on this drug trafficking organization started in early January 2016. The defendants operated out of the Pleasant Grove, Seagoville, and Balch Springs areas of Dallas County.

During the investigation, law enforcement confiscated 6,700 grams of meth, about 13.2 kilograms of meth oil, 62 grams of marijuana, 2.5 grams of heroin, and 20 ml of GHB (a powerful sedative often used as a date-rape drug). Officers also took 12 firearms and $12,379 in cash.

Each defendant has been charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of meth. 16 of the 19 defendants were also charged with one substantive count of either distribution of meth or possession with intent to distribute. Two of the defendants, Segovia and Connolly, are also charged with a firearms offense.

The 19 defendants are as followed:

  • Josue Tijerina, aka “J,” 30, of Dallas
  • Christina Bruffy, aka “Christine Bruffy,” 47, of Mesquite
  • Stephanie Laza, 44, of Mesquite
  • Rebecca Grimes, 31, of Dallas
  • Stephanie Hernandez, aka “Stephanie Kinney,” 27, of Dallas
  • Luan Vo, 40, of Irving
  • Shelby Wiggins, 24, of Greenville
  • Katy Anderson, aka “Kay Scott,” 35, of Garland
  • Deborah Uribe, aka “Deberah Uribe,” 45, of Kaufman
  • Oralia Acosta, aka “Oralia Morris,” 51, of Dallas
  • Guadalup Segovia, aka “Sleepy,” 43, of Mesquite
  • Carson Baker, 23, of Mesquite
  • Earvin Gibson, 45, of Dallas
  • Tina Connolly, aka “Tina Connlly,” 55, of Dallas
  • Edgar Fallad-Martinez, aka “Edgar Fallas-Martinez,” 28, of Dallas
  • Tiffany Gundermann, 26, of Waco
  • Michael Ramos, 20, of Mesquite
  • Leo Najera-Padilla, 29, of Dallas
  • Joshua Diaz, 27, of Dallas

If found guilty, the conspiracy count carries a statutory penalty of minimum 10 years to life in federal prison, as well as a fine of up to $5,000,000. Distribution of meth along with possession with intent to distribute meth results in a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Being a felon with possession of a fire arm is 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.



Pekin – Thanks to a popular TV series, a Creve Coeur teenager knew a meth lab when he saw one in his mother’s garage last March.

His discovery led to charges filed Friday that could put an East Peoria man in prison for up to 30 years for allegedly making the drug by dangerous methods where the 16-year-old youth lived.

Ricky Gumm, 37, remained in custody Monday on the $50,000 bond set with his charge of manufacturing methamphetamine in a residence where a child was present, a Class X felony. Another man, the boyfriend of the teen’s mother, has not yet been charged in the case.

The youth and his mother wasted no time after he discovered the meth lab in his home’s garage on March 24, according to a prosecutor’s court affidavit.

He was home ill from school that day with the boyfriend when Gumm paid a visit. After those two left a short time later, the youth noticed a strong chemical odor which he followed to the garage, the affidavit stated.

There he found two liter bottles connected by tubing, one element of a meth lab. The youth said he recognized it from watching the former HBO series, “Breaking Bad,” which depicted meth manufacturing, the affidavit stated.

He took a photo of the alleged lab, sent it to his mother and then refused to let Gumm and the boyfriend back into the home when they returned.

The youth’s mother and aunt also came to the home and detected the odor, as did police officers the mother called to the home, the affidavit stated.

A detective with the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team found numerous items in the garage typically used in meth labs, as well as meth residue on some of the items. Police also recovered receipts from recent purchases of cold medicines, containing a key ingredient for meth, allegedly made by Gumm and the boyfriend, the affidavit stated.

Gumm was not arrested that day. He later told his employer that he “might be in trouble” over the alleged meth lab, the affidavit stated.

Gumm, who has no prior felony record in Tazewell County, will next appear in court on July 14 in his case, which also includes a charge of possessing meth precursors.


San Diego: Addicted To Methamphetamine

Posted: 28th June 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Methamphetamine is dangerous.

If you want proof, just go to the San Diego County morgue.

In 2014, county records show 262 deaths from meth-related causes. That’s more than the number of people who died from the flu and homicides combined that year.sd_county_morgue_t800

Dr. Jonathan Lucas, the county’s chief deputy medical examiner, said his office sees meth-related deaths almost every day.

“The last couple of years have actually been records for us,” Lucas said. “We’ve seen more methamphetamine-related deaths in the last couple of years than we’ve ever seen in the last 20 years.”

He said meth abuse isn’t confined to young people. It’s killing people of all ages.

“For example, in 2014, our youngest meth-related death was a 17-year-old girl that jumped out of a second-story window while intoxicated with methamphetamine,” Lucas said. “Our oldest was a 70-year-old man who had heart disease, but he was intoxicated with methamphetamine.”

Lucas said meth can make underlying health conditions worse. People with heart problems who use the drug, for example, are at even higher risk of dying from a heart attack or a stroke.

But he said the the high number of meth-related deaths don’t tell the whole story.

“The people that come to this office are really just the tip of the iceberg, a small proportion, a small piece of the pie of the methamphetamine problem,” Lucas said.Overdose_Deaths_In_San_Diego_County_Methamphetamine_Heroin_Cocaine_chartbuilder_t800

The overdose death numbers do not include drug-related suicides, homicides or other causes of death in which drugs were involved

Hospital emergency rooms are where the meth problem is even more visible.

In 2011, patients with meth-related problems accounted for 3,700 ER visits. That number jumped to more than 10,000 in 2014.

Dr. Danielle Douglas works in the county’s busiest ER, at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. She said the number of meth cases that come through there wears on doctors.

“I mean, yeah, at the end of a shift, and I’m just beat down, and it’s another meth addict?” Douglas said. “And you just kind of want to say, ‘What the hell’s going on here?’”

What’s going on is the meth that’s being sold on the street is extremely potent and highly addictive. Long-term meth use also alters the brain, and can cause severe mood swings, violent behavior and delusions.

And overdoses and deaths.

How meth affects the brain

Video – The effect of meth on the brain –

So what’s the attraction?

The high from methamphetamine is incredible, said Tom Freese, director of training for UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.

“When it goes inside the brain, it stimulates a release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical inside the brain, that’s really unparalleled,” Freese said. “There’s really no other way, from either natural or chemically induced kind of phenomenon to reach that peak of dopamine.”

Freese said methamphetamine also affects the serotonin system, another emotional regulator in the brain.

Meth also alters a person’s inhibitory control.

“That ability to say, ‘I want to do that, but I’m not gonna do that,’ and to put the brakes on a particular activity,” Freese said. “That seems to be damaged, as well, as part of that overall prefrontal cortex, or the front part of the brain, that helps us make good decisions from bad decisions.”

Jose Escobedo of National City started smoking meth when he was 11.

Later on, he snorted it. But Escobedo said the best high was when he injected it.

“Shooting up drugs was like bouncing up and down, like it gave me like 10 times more than with smoking,” Escobedo said. “So it was like a new experience, like a new thing that took over my life.”

Escobedo was addicted to meth for more than 20 years. At his peak, Escobedo shot up six times a day.

“‘Cause it was like one after another after another. It wasn’t just to get high. It was just a habit,” he said. “I just wanted to see it being drawn into the blood, I just wanted to see it going into my veins, I just wanted to feel it. I guess I was chasing my first high.”

He’s now a recovering meth addict.

Where the meth comes fromcustoms_t800

Cars are shown lined up at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, April 27, 2016.

When Escobedo first started using more than 20 years ago, most of the meth in San Diego County came from makeshift labs. Many of them were in East County.

These days, it’s a different.

The methamphetamine on San Diego’s streets today is largely produced in Mexican super labs controlled by the drug cartels.

A lot of it is smuggled through the nation’s busiest land border crossing in San Ysidro, where an estimated 60,000 cars and 30,000 pedestrians cross every day.

Sidney Aki, director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, said his agents have found meth hidden in virtually every part of a vehicle, from the trunk to the battery. They’ve even discovered liquid meth in gas tanks.

And pedestrians?

“It was a female,” Aki began. “She actually had a brassiere formed out of narcotics, and actually used as a brassiere, walking across our border.”

Meth seizures up at the border

In 2010, customs agents seized just over 2,500 kilos of meth at the San Ysidro border crossing.

In 2014, they confiscated more than 5,800 kilos.

Here’s another way to look at it:

One hit of meth is about a quarter of a gram — 5,800 kilos equals 5.8 million hits.

That’s how much was confiscated. Nobody knows how much is getting in.

What’s worse is the methamphetamine that’s coming across from Mexico is stronger than ever, and the price on the street is lower than ever. That leads to more meth use and more meth-related problems.

Meth users filling jail cells

Meth users also are taking up a lot of space in the county’s jails.

According to the San Diego Association of Governments, in 2014, of the people arrested and jailed in county, 53 percent of the women and 40 percent of the men tested positive for meth.

San Diego County 2014 Arrestee Drug Use

Drug Male Female
Methamphetamine 40% 53%
Marijuana 45% 31%
Cocaine 5% 6%
Opiates* 13% 15%

*A positive opiate drug test could indicate use of opiates other than heroin, including morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and Codeine. Source: 2014 Adult Arrestee Drug Use in the San Diego Region from SANDAG

These people aren’t casual users when it comes to methamphetamine, said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG’s director of research.

“We find that on average, arrestees report that they’ve been using meth for about 16 years,” Burke said. “We know that they use it for an average of five days at a time, that they’re using a gram. Many of them smoke it. About one in four report that they’ve injected it.”

Besides U.S. Customs and Border Protection, other law enforcement agencies involved in the fight against meth include the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the county District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Justice Department.

But Laura Duffy, San Diego’s U.S. attorney, said others also need to step up.

“We are not going to be able to tackle this problem through law enforcement efforts alone,” Duffy said. “This is a community problem. This is a health epidemic problem that we all need to come together and put resources towards.”

Drug court

Escobedo, the recovering meth addict, has one thing to show for his more than 20 years of using the drug: a rap sheet — assault with a deadly weapon, DUI, hit and run, burglary.

His latest arrest came in January 2014 when he was on parole.

The prosecutor on his case gave him a choice: go back to prison for 12 years or try to kick his habit through the county’s Drug Court.

So Escobedo gave Drug Court a shot.

In March, Escobedo attended the court’s 12-step meeting with other hard-core meth addicts. All of the men had criminal records. As part of the recovery process, they’re encouraged to be brutally honest about their addiction.

“My addiction is to heroin and methamphetamine,” one man with heavily tattooed arms said.

“My focus was getting high, my focus was being around people who are getting high,” another addict said.

After the men shared their stories, Arturo Molina, the lead substance abuse counselor in the Chula Vista Drug Court, weighed in.

“In Drug Court you want to learn how to live life without using drugs,” he told the men. “But not only that, OK? Drug Court is like a new way of life.”

Daniel Stone, the program manager at the Chula Vista court, said it’s a different approach to getting people off of drugs.

“The concept of the Drug Court programs is a collaborative, team approach that involves a San Diego Superior Court judge, district attorney, public defender, and case management and treatment team, and law enforcement,” Stone said.

People convicted of non-violent drug offenses are eligible for Drug Court. There are four of the courts in San Diego County, and more than 1,600 nationwide.

These are not Hollywood celebrity country-club rehab programs. In Drug Court, addicts go through 18 months of hard work and constant supervision.

They’re required to go to 12-step meetings five days a week, get individual counseling and get a job. They’re frequently drug tested.

And if they test dirty? They go to jail.

The length of their jail stay “depends on how many times it’s happened,” Stone said. “Sometimes it’s a weekend. Sometimes it’s three weeks.”

If they screw up enough times, addicts have to serve their original sentence.

County officials say 90 percent of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free two years after completing the program.

Escobedo said Drug Court has given him the tools and support to clean up his act. He said there were “a lot of things I needed to do.”

“You can’t be in denial about things,” Escobedo said. “You can’t fight the program. You can’t cheat the program. ‘Cause you’re not actually cheating the program. You’re cheating yourself.”

The Chula Vista Library auditorium is packed for graduation night for nine Drug Court participants. The court’s judge welcomes each graduate to the stage.

The crowd of family members cheered loudly.

Some of the graduates cried, incredulous that they actually made it through the program.

Then Escobedo took the stage and talked about success. For the first time since he was a little kid, he’s gone 18 months completely clean and sober.

“I have my family here as a witness. I hurt them a lot,” Escobedo said. “I plan on staying clean and doing what I gotta do to stay clean, and just keep making them happy. They’re all here: my wife, my kids, ma, my sister Erica, Israel.”

In his closing remarks, Escobedo talked about a new way of life.

“I’m happy with everybody who’s in the program. I was able to interact with a lot of people, you know what I mean, and make clean friends,” he said. “And it’s something different than going back to the old people, neighborhood, old ways, old ways of thinking. It’s a new way of life, and I plan on staying, and I will be staying clean. And I thank you guys all.”

Amid thundering applause, Escobedo walked off the the stage with a big smile on his face.



PFLUGERVILLE, TEXAS – When police pulled over an allegedly drunk driver Friday and found a woman in the passenger seat along with a 10-year-old girl in the back seat, both adults were arrested and charged with endangering a child and possession of a controlled substance, among other charges.

According to the affidavits for both adults, police received a 911 call reporting a thumbnail_castillomugs_1467048070811_3491536_ver1_0reckless driver traveling along Pflugerville Parkway at around 11 p.m. The driver, Daniel Salvador Murillo, had trouble maintaining his balance and had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath. The woman in the passenger seat, Crystal Lynn Castillo, was also seen swaying and stumbling, according to police.

Castillo told police the girl sitting in the back seat of the vehicle was her 10-year-old daughter. When police officers spoke with Castillo and Murillo, they both admitted to drinking multiple Corona beers.

Officers searched the vehicle and found several open Corona beer bottles, a black semi-automatic handgun in the passenger side door pocket and a large duffel bag with two large clear plastic baggies. Police later discovered the baggies were full of almost 300 grams worth of methamphetamine. Police also found about 40 Xanex pills.

Murillo told police he was on his way San Antonio from Dallas.

According to online records, Castillo and Murillo are both in custody as of Monday morning.





Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin says a Gadsden woman has been arrested for endangering the life of her unborn child through drug use.

Brandi Diane Thomas, 21, has been arrested for chemical endangerment of a child.brandi-thomaspng-d3869f117a8e8d10

Thomas was arrested June 22 after she failed a drug screening and told investigators she used methamphetamine while pregnant.

Thomas was booked into the Etowah County Detention Center with a $10,000 cash bond. As a condition of the bond, she must successfully complete a drug treatment program and will be supervised by Etowah County Community Corrections.

She is also being detained on two felony warrants for possession of a forged instrument.





ROYALTON—A tip about a stolen truck and camper led investigators to two arrests and the seizure of counterfeit money and methamphetamine.

The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office reported at 1:36 a.m. Thursday, deputies were asked to assist the Royalton Police Department with a possible stolen vehicle at an0625sheila-dawn-meyer apartment building in Royalton. The police department received a tip there was a stolen Dodge truck at the building and a stolen camper trailer at a residence in rural Stearns County.

The Royalton Police Department and Morrison County Sheriff’s Office checked the Birch Villa Apartments and located a Dodge truck with altered license plates belonging to a 28-year-old man. During the investigation, it was learned the truck was reported stolen from Detroit Lakes.

Located inside the truck was a fake ID with the photo of a 26-year-old Royalton woman and several fake check blanks. A Morrison County investigator and a Royalton police officer later made contact with the woman, which resulted in her arrest for receiving stolen property. A search warrant was executed at her apartment, where several counterfeit bills were seized along with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office located a camper trailer that was reported stolen from Motley. Found inside the camper was the same 28-year-old Royalton man whose license plates were located on the stolen truck. The man was taken into custody and is awaiting charges in Stearns County.



According to the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department, the incident happened just after midnight, when a deputy saw an SUV pull off the roadway and turn on its hazard lights. Deputies say the vehicle stopped on Sheehan Bridge Road and the 7551fd43-517d-44a4-b094-9177ed272dd5passenger in the vehicle, 33-year-old Melissa Byrne, of Paducah, appeared very nervous.

Deputies say Byrne gave them a false name and had warrants for her arrest. Byrne allegedly gave consent to a search, and when they got to her wallet, deputies say they located a plastic baggie containing one gram of methamphetamine, and several paraphernalia items.

Also reportedly found in the vehicle was a plastic baggie containing marijuana, and a glass pipe with drug residue.

Byrne was arrested and booked into the McCracken County Regional Jail on charges of possession of methamphetamine, three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and giving an officer a false name or address.



MUNCIE – An Alexandria woman convicted of dealing in methamphetamine in 2013 now stands accused of possession of heroin.

Ashlee Kayla Pierce, 32, was arrested after city police received an early-morning B9322686149Z_1_20160622185340_000_GN9EPDAHO_1-0report of an unconscious woman in a vehicle parked outside the Taco Bell, 2201 S. Madison St.

An officer reported he was unable to rouse the woman by shouting at her, but that she woke up after he pounded on a window of her SUV.

After a police K-9 indicated there were narcotics in the vehicle, police found a pouch containing five syringes, a burnt spoon and a folded piece of paper determined to hold a rock of heroin.

The Madison County woman was taken to the Delaware County jail, preliminarily charged with possession of a narcotic drug. She has since been released.

Pierce received a six-year prison term in 2013 after she was convicted of dealing in meth in Delaware County. She was apparently released in 2015.

A former Richmond resident, Pierce has also been convicted of drug felonies in Wayne and Madison counties.



An Old Fort woman was arrested with 43.6 grams of methamphetamine, according to arrest warrants.

On Sunday, Black Mountain Police arrested Anna Maria North, 50, and charged her with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle for keeping and selling methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, according to arrest warrants.

North was using a 1994 gold Toyota vehicle to store and sell meth, according to the warrants, and she was carrying a glass smoking pipe.

Trafficking charges for methamphetamine apply to any amount over 5 grams, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, and the minimum penalty for trafficking an amount under 50 grams is five years in prison.

North was released from the Buncombe County Detention Facility on a $48,000 secured bond.