Reported house fire in Lost Creek leads to discovery of Methamphetamine lab – William D. Radcliff, 43, arrestedPosted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized
Methamphetamine has been found in Winnebago County for a number of years, but authorities have seen an increase in its use and manufacture and expect to see those numbers continue to rise.
While heroin remains the drug that tops the list of list of drugs that concern local law enforcement, authorities are also seeing an increase in the use and manufacturing of methamphetamine in Winnebago County.
Methamphetamine has been found in the area for a number of years, there has been an increase this year in the number of meth labs uncovered by law enforcement.
“It’s here,” Oshkosh Police Sgt. Joe Framke said. “It’s in the entire Fox Valley region.”
The Lake Winnebago Metropolitan Enforcement Group, which covers Winnebago, Outagamie, Fond du Lac and Calumet counties, seized just 2.8 grams of meth and no labs in 2009. Seizures by law enforcement grew gradually, with the MEG seizing 19 grams and four labs in 2012. However, that number jumped to six labs and 529 grams in 2013.
No statistics are available for 2014, but authorities have discovered three labs in the Winnebago County area in the last month. Two labs were raided in the town of Utica on July 7 while Oshkosh Police located a lab at a residence in the 1500 block of Central Street on June 27.
“It’s always been here,” Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz said. “We’ve always had seizures in the four-county area, but we have seen a marked increase in the first six months.”
Two Pickett residents are now facing criminal charges in connection to the Utica meth labs.
Holly Morriss and Andre BP Morriss, both 37, were each charged in Winnebago County Circuit Court with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of the drug and maintaining a drug trafficking place. Andre Morriss was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia to manufacture, compound, convert, produce or store methamphetamine.
If convicted, Holly Morriss faces 32 years in prison and $120,000 in fines, and Andre Morriss faces 32 years, six months imprisonment and $130,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaints, authorities with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, the MEG and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Clandestine Lab Enforcement team executed a search warrant at the couple’s residence in the 200 block of Country Trunk M in the town of Utica on July 7.
Inside the residence they found items associated with the manufacture of meth using the “one-pot method,” including a green plastic bottle used as a reaction vessel that contained a “granular sludge-like material” that tested positive for the presence of the drug and various chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine.
A stimulant that is similar to cocaine, methamphetamine is available in two forms. Crystal meth typically originates from a large-scale clandestine lab and is shipped into the area while the meth that is made locally using what authorities call a one-pot method, said Framke.
While authorities are concerned about the use of methamphetamine and the health hazards it poses, they also worry about the impact the one-pot method can have on community safety.
Due to the combination of chemicals used to produce the drug, toxic gases, toxic waste and contamination is produced. There is also a risk of explosions, which can cause injuries and fire, said Alan Hunsader, an agent who works with the DOJ’s Clandestine Lab Enforcement Team.
“The challenge is that with a one-pot method, you can take a small Gatorade bottle and that’s your manufacturing lab,” Framke said. “Think how easy it is to conceal, transport and move that item around.”
In Pickett, one of the labs was located in a vacant farm building in the town of Utica. Matz said he urged town residents to check little used buildings to ensure no labs were operating in them.
Mom On Methamphetamine, Hope Langly, 26, Kills One-Week-Old Newborn Baby Girl, Then Mails Him To ‘Dead Beat Dad’Posted: July 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
An admitted crystal meth user did the unthinkable to her little baby girl after an argument with the baby’s father. Hope Langly, 26, tortured her 1 week old baby to death by throwing her into the washing machine because the baby’s father would not bring her more drugs. Langly, already high on meth, put her newborn baby in with the dirty clothes and let her drown and spin through the entire wash cycle. As if that was not enough, she then wrapped the baby in bubble wrap and took her to the UPS store for overnight delivery to her father.
Larry Douglas, 27, had a gruesome surprise the following day when he received the delivery from UPS.
“I had ordered some items from Amazon.com, so thought nothing of it when the package came”, said the tearful father. “When I opened the box, I saw another box so I opened that one too. When I did, the smell was horrible! All I could see was bubble wrap. I reached in and unwrapped it. I can’t even tell you the rest. It was heart wrenching.”
Douglas immediately called the police.
The authorities immediately arrested Langly and charged her with first degree murder. On the day of the murder Douglas said they had an argument. Douglas, who is a recovering meth addict, said Langly got upset when he would not buy her the drugs she was begging for. Langly considers Douglas a dead beat because, according to her, he will not “Give her money to support her baby.” But Douglas insists that he bought things he baby would need because Langly spent every penny he would give her on meth. Langly was charged with second degree murder and sentenced to only 12 years in prison.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 1.2 million people used meth in 2012; the Meth War is far from over. This dangerous drug has ruined too many lives to stop combating its use, especially among young adults. The variety of knowledge and tools we have today help us educate people about meth, and keep them from using this highly addictive drug.
The NIDA describes methamphetamine as a “white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.” It can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or smoked depending on the user’s preference. Once ingested, it increases the release of certain brain chemicals, namely dopamine and norepinephrine, and disrupts the breaking down of those chemicals. At normal, healthy levels those chemicals trigger the brain’s reward system which, among other things, affects motivation and the experience of pleasure. Meth rapidly floods the brain with these chemicals, and inhibits the brains ability to reabsorb them, causing a euphoria, or ‘rush’. Think of the happiest moment of your life and increase it ten fold. This is possibly what being on methamphetamine feels like.
The euphoria of meth comes at a heavy price. Meth alters brain chemistry that affects mental psycohological, mental, and biological well-being. Most people become addicted to meth after their first use. In addition they experience increased anxiety, depression, sleep loss, extreme weight loss, obsessive behavior, psychosis and hallucinations. These conditions give those who abuse meth a distinct appearance, even over a short period of time. It is possible that this rapid change in appearance is the most effective tools in the Meth War.
The internet has numerous heartbreaking photos and videos of individuals who once looked healthy. Photos, often mug shots from multiple arrests, chronologically show how meth destroys a person. The individuals look far older than their age, are obscenely skinny, have marks from obsessive skin picking, have missing and rotten teeth, and a sunken jaw (“meth mouth”). A powerful weapon of the Meth War is computer software that can imitate the effects of meth on a healthy person’s photo now exists. Such innovative persistent psychosis, cardiovascular problems, and Parkinson’s disease because of meth use, nothing is quite as powerful as seeing yourself wither away.
For some of those who have brain chemical imbalances, methamphetamine can be medically useful when taken properly, but when abused, it is a devastatingly destructive drug that takes a tremendous toll on a meth addict’s body and mind. Meth has become such an insidious drug because many addicts make their own with commonly found substances. As a result, we now have to show ID and sign for pseudoephedrine-based products, such as some cold and allergy products, and many have lost their homes or lives to the unstable chemical interactions in meth labs. While difficult to treat, the right rehabilitation program can manage the difficult withdrawal process and hopefully reverse the meth addiction. As with any chemical substance abuse, the Meth War will most likely persist, but with some knowledge and innovative thinking, we are making significant progress, one person at a time.
TUPELO – When a Realtor in found drug paraphernalia in a house he was trying to sell he called Certified Industrial Hygienist Joe Drapala of Hazclean to inspect the home for methamphetamine contamination.
Mississippi has seen a dramatic dip in the number of active and obvious meth labs in recent years but Drapala said that doesn’t mean the problem of meth-contaminated homes and vehicles has been eliminated.
Many states have passed laws requiring clandestine meth labs to be cleaned to a certain standard before the property can change hands or be inhabited and while Mississippi requires a disclosure when selling, no cleanup is mandated.
In 2008 the Mississippi Real Estate Commission began requiring anyone selling their home through a realtor to state on the property condition disclosure statement if the home has been the site of a meth-cooking operation.
The lack in cleaning regulations can be partly attributed to the fact that clandestine meth labs have given way to smaller and often-times mobile cooking methods that leave behind much less obvious toxic waste, and also due to the unfair burden cleanup costs could be to unsuspecting property owners or taxpayers.
Lt. Eddie Hawkins, methamphetamine coordinator for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, said many of the instances of meth labs they have seen are people in rural areas who sneak onto someone else’s property, like a camp house or old trailer, to cook the drug.
“I’ve had 21 incidents in the state this year and only two of those were active cooks,” Hawkins said. “Before, in 2009, we had 692 total incidents and 349 total labs.”
The incredible decrease in meth cooking, much due to the need to have a prescription for pseudoephedrine, is good news in Mississippi, but daily meth arrests show it is still being smoked and in many cases made by other methods.
Drapala said any amount of methamphetamine smoking or cooking, no matter the method, will leave residue on the surrounding surfaces and cause exposure to those around the surfaces.
“What they’re doing is reacting very volatile chemicals,” he said. “It’s not in a modern pharmaceutical lab or what you saw on ‘Breaking Bad.’ You’re looking at drug users making their own drugs and they’re not going to be safe. They’re going to be sloppy and they will spill ingredients.”
In Minnesota, a state with mandatory cleanup laws, the department of health warns chronic exposure to the chemicals used to cook meth can cause liver and kidney damage, neurological problems and increased cancer risk. Shorter exposures can cause dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, burns, chemical irritation and, as with any particularly toxic chemical, death.
Another reason law enforcement is seeing fewer home meth labs is because of a popular and often mobile production method – the shake-and-bake method – which can be done by combining ingredients in a two-liter soda bottle.
Hawkins said they see this method done often in vehicles while the vehicles are being driven down the road.
“We don’t have a way to test to see if the vehicle is clean,” he said. “If we seize one of those, what do we do? If we auction it off and someone gets sick we are liable. We can’t put an agent in it or sell it.”
Drapala also said studies at National Jewish Health in Denver have shown most nonporous surfaces can be mostly cleaned of meth residue with a thorough 409 scrubbing. Similarly, clothes sent through the washing machine can be mostly decontaminated of second-hand meth exposure.
The problem is when meth residue is absorbed into materials like Sheetrock or car seats.
“I just did a house near Tupelo and it was contaminated and we recommended to the people who were handling the home it would be best to remove and replace the interior walls,” Drapala said. “It wasn’t a cook house to my knowledge, it was just a situation where they wanted to know and we did a field test that came back positive.”
Hawkins said his department often ends up donating the possibly contaminated vehicles they seize to fire departments to practice putting out vehicle fires before then disposing of them as scrap.
To help cope with the problem of meth residue inside homes and other enclosures, many companies are producing home testing kits. The test kits are readily available online and work much like an at-home drug test, but for a house.
Another set of tools for property owners in states that don’t have mandatory meth lab remediation laws are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s voluntary cleanup guidelines. Those guide property owners and contractors on cleanup.
Signs of an area where meth is being used or made are dead vegetation around septic tank areas, used cold medicine packaging, lithium batteries that have been torn apart, empty chemical containers with puncture holes (like antifreeze, ether, freon, lye, drain openers, paint thinner) and plastic soda bottles with tubes or holes near the top. Since no one can be sure what was in a home before, Hawkins said anyone suspicious of their property or a property they plan to purchase should contact a company like Hazclean to have it tested.
“You can use soap and water and wash the house down but I don’t know if that renders it safe because we don’t know what was used before we got there,” he said.
Kelly Wakefield, 27, and her boyfriend, convicted felon Michael Drury, charged in Methamphetamine-related explosion, fire in Madison at the Alta Loma Apartments on Crestview drivePosted: July 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two people were charged in a meth-related explosion and fire that took place in Madison Saturday afternoon.
Authorities said 27-year-old Kelly Wakefield and her boyfriend, convicted felon Michael Drury, sustained minor injuries during the incident at the Alta Loma Apartments on Crestview drive.
The duo reportedly admitted to being inside their apartment while meth was being manufactured.
The process resulted in an explosion inside, igniting a two-alarm fire.
The blaze destroyed eight apartments and displaced around 75 people. Red Cross is assisting the victims.
Both Wakefield and 22-year-old Drury were charged with manufacturing meth and aggravated arson. Each is being held on $150,000 bond.
Officials said Drury has previous convictions for both robbery and burglary, while Wakefield has previous convictions for theft.
Police in Gaylord confirm there was a suspected meth lab that caused an explosion inside a storage unit early this morning.
The storage unit was part of a larger complex near the Sled Shed facility off of South 27. The explosion took place around 5 AM.
Police are still investigating the scene.
Cartersville woman stopped early Saturday for traffic offenses was found with suspected methamphetamine, Floyd County Jail reports state.
Jessica Harlee Pinion, 20, of 38 Bishop Road, is charged with possession of methamphetamine, driving with a suspended license and failure to maintain lane, records state.
According to jail reports:
Pinion was at U.S. 27 and Darlington Drive about 12:30 a.m. Saturday when an officer said she had a suspended license and failed to stay in her lane. Suspected meth was then found in her 2005 Mazda.
Pinion remained in jail Saturday without bond.
Chesnee mom, Nakisha Louise Kite, 30, charged with neglect after newborn tests positive for MethamphetaminePosted: July 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
Chesnee woman is accused of using methamphetamine while pregnant, and authorities say it’s not the first time drug use has impacted her children.
Nakisha Louise Kite, 30, of 3250 Henry Cash Road has been charged with child neglect.
According to an arrest warrant, Kite used meth during her pregnancy between Nov. 1, 2013 and Feb. 14. Kite and her newborn both tested positive for the drug.
A deputy was notified by the state Department of Social Services that Kite’s baby tested positive at birth for methamphetamine.
The DSS caseworker told a deputy Kite could not explain why she and the infant had the drug in their systems, according to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office report. The caseworker also told the deputy that Kite’s other children had been removed from her custody in North Carolina and that she was previously charged with child neglect due to drug use.
Kite is also charged with attempting to obtain $2,000 or less of property by false pretenses from the Dollar General store at 1915 Old Furnace Road in Boiling Springs on Jan. 12.
Kite was jailed Friday.
Diana L. Vanconey and Robert C. Vanconey, of Hawesville, charged with Methamphetamine and drug crimesPosted: July 20, 2014 in Uncategorized
A Hawesville couple were charged Friday with growing marijuana and trafficking and manufacturing methamphetamine after an investigation by the Kentucky State Police.
Robert C. Vanconey was charged with cultivating five or more marijuana plants, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and second-degree manufacturing methamphetamine. Diana L. Vanconey was charged with cultivating five or more marijuana plants, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and manufacturing methamphetamine.
FOR five years, Mark Curtis was earning $600 a day drilling on the mines and coming home to a binge-fest of drugs and booze.
“It fools you into thinking you’re having a good time, life is great and everything’s fantastic,” Mr Curtis said.
“It helps you connect with other people doing the same thing and you’re excited, you can stay awake for days.”
He would sleep through the comedown for a couple of days to get clean before his next swing — going back to the mine site broke.
His partying then spiralled into addiction after a workplace car crash in 2007. His injuries made him unable to work and in 2010 he received $540,000 in worker’s compensation. His addiction became so bad he had the drugs delivered to his door.
By the start of 2012, he had blown it all.
“I was living on the streets. I blew the whole lot, and I lost my partner, my dog, all of my belongings,” Mr Curtis said.
During a drug-induced psychosis police surrounded his house after he locked himself inside threatening he had a bomb.
“The TRG were running around the house. They had red dots on me through the window. It was unbelievable, and then I assaulted one of them when I got arrested,” he said.
Mr Curtis decided to turn his life around after becoming suicidal in jail. He eventually found a sense of belonging in the prison Christian fellowship and was accepted into the Salvation Army’s rehabilitation program in June 2012.
He finished the program in January last year.
“For a few months (when I started the program) I was in denial, thinking I could still dabble, but you can’t,” Mr Curtis said.
The 45-year-old has been sober for two-and-a-half years and is now volunteering at the Salvation Army’s Harry Hunter rehabilitation centre and men’s homeless shelter.
“I think it’s a blessing that I lost all of that money,” he said.
“If I hadn’t blown it, I would have continued doing the same thing.”
NEW POLICE SQUAD FOR WAR ON ICE
A PERMANENT new police squad has been formed to smash clandestine drug laboratories in WA.
PerthNow can reveal the new team started work this week tasked with halting the “dramatically increasing” supply of methamphetamine in metropolitan and regional WA.
The team of seven senior detectives has been ordered to crack down on the manufacture and production of methamphetamine — including highly purified and addictive crystal “ice” — before it reaches dealers and hits the streets.
Serious and organised crime squad boss, Detective-Inspector Chris Adams, confirmed the new unit was operational and said it would scrutinise every person in the state who bought big quantities of laboratory equipment, glassware and chemicals that were commonly used in suburban clandestine labs to “cook” methamphetamine and ice, which fetches up to $360,000 a kilogram.
He said the new team would operate within the existing improvised drug manufacturing investigation (IDMI) unit, a key anti-drug division of the serious and organised crime squad.
It is the latest move in a shake-up of the serious and organised crime squad that also included the formation in October of a specialist “district response team” — also with seven dedicated detectives — to bring down drug-dealing syndicates operating across one or more police districts.
“With these two teams, we’re specifically attacking it from both ends. At the distribution point and at the manufacture point,” Det-Insp Adams said.
New figures released to The Sunday Times show in nine months the district response team carried out 75 search warrants and charged 96 people with 346 offences.
It seized $477,000 in cash, 6700 rounds of ammunition, 20 firearms, 41 other prohibited weapons and drugs including 14kg of MDMA, 5kg of methamphetamine, 178 cannabis plants, 21kg of cannabis, 13kg of synthetic cannabis and 3kg of steroids.
Acting Detective-Senior Sergeant Grant Barber, who heads up the IDMI unit, and Detective-First Class Constable Rebecca Brandham, a new member of the district response team, put drug dealers and manufacturers on notice this week, saying more raids were “imminent”.
Det-Insp Adams said ice induced violent behaviour that led to domestic assaults, road trauma and violent crime. It also led to high-volume property crime and burglaries as users tried to pay for their habit.
While drug cooks were being blitzed within WA, Det-Insp Adams conceded amphetamines were also flowing into the state by land, sea and air as syndicates cashed in on “huge demand”.
But he said record seizures were coming because WA Police had forged “very close ties” with Australian Crime Commission, Federal Police and Customs and Border Protection operatives.
“Five years ago we were seizing ounces. Now we’re seizing kilos … multiple kilos,” he said. “Significant quantities of meth are coming into Sydney from Asia, particularly China and Vietnam, and then being couriered into WA.
“It costs between $5000 and $10,000 to produce a kilo of meth in China which sells for $200,000 in Sydney and up to $360,000 in WA.”
National Drug Research Institute director Professor Steve Allsop said he had seen a “definite spike” in the use of ice.
Carol Daws, who runs Perth drug rehab centre Cyrenian House, said ice destroyed relationships, led to psychosis and paranoia, and was “now one of the most common substances that people are seeking treatment for”.
Researchers say ice has also penetrated the regions. In Busselton, where the fly-in, fly-out population is growing, drug convictions are up 67 per cent this year and in Margaret River convictions have risen by a third.
It comes as the Australian Crime Commission’s Illicit Drug Data Report warned ice had become a national “pandemic”.
The report found methamphetamine was manufactured by organised crime gangs in China, Iran and West Africa and shipped via South-East Asia to the Eastern States hidden in products like tinned fruit, pots, toys and shampoo bottles.
Twenty tonnes of illegal drugs worth $2.7 billion was seized nationally last year and more than 10,000 people were arrested for drug offences.
THE FAST ROAD TO ADDICTION
For the past 10 years Major Colin Medling had been the manager of The Salvation Army’s Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre in Gosnells.
“It’s an insidious drug (methamphetamines) and the real problem is you don’t know how pure it is,” he said.
By the time addicts come to Maj Medling they have been battling the demons for years.
The average age of the male and female clients at ‘Harry’s’ is 36.
They have to complete a three-week assessment and dry-out period at Bridge House in Highgate before they are deemed stable enough to take part in the 15-week program.
“Once they come here, they are all treated the same. Addiction is addiction, is addiction,” Maj Medling said.
About 50 per cent of those who come through Harry’s complete the program.
During their stay, clients are taught about boundaries, anger management, spirituality and responsibility.
Maj Medling said giving the addicts trust and responsibility was one of the reasons why the program has a high success rate.
“When you’re looking at addicts, they’ve never even trusted themselves before,” he said.
THE IMPACT ON HEALTH SERVICES
YOU need five people to hold down a person in the grip a methamphetamine overdose.
But the emergency department at the Royal Perth Hospital gets a lot of practice.
“You need one staff member for each limb, one staff member for the head, one staff member to draw up the drugs, and one to administer them,” emergency department toxicologist Dr Kerry Hoggett said.
The emergency room might see one or two people in that state each day, down a few presentations a week from the peak in 2006.
Dr Hoggett said alcohol still accounts for the majority of emergency presentations, and opiate use is on the rise.
But neither drug makes its users as difficult to treat as methamphetamine does.
“It tends to make you quite agitated and panicked, so often we will see people come in being escorted by police because they have been involved in something else before that,” Dr Hogget said.
“They often appear to be hallucinating. They can be psychotic.”
Opiate use, she said, produces much less “resource intensive” hospital patients.
“They are really sedated and will stay in one spot,” she said.
“Whereas people who are on methamphetamines will take a lot of staff — a lot of security staff, a lot of hospital staff and police — so we can get them sedated so we can treat them.”
Ambulance officers, working in smaller teams, do not have that support.
One long-time St John Ambulance officer, who did not wished to be named, said paramedics were faced with “violent” and “dangerous” methamphetamine addicts on a nightly basis.
Often a person’s “terrified” family or friends will call 000, when they see the erratic behaviour typical of a methamphetamine overdose.
“The violence towards first responders, in particular ambulance officers, is escalating and very dangerous,” the ambulance officer said.
He said the number of methamphetamine overdoses had “dramatically increased” in recent years.
The 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, released this week said methamphetamine use in Australia was not increasing — but it was switching from powdered forms of the drug to the even more addictive crystal meth or ice.
And the frequency with which people use meth has also increased — 25.3 per cent of crystal meth users took the drug daily last year, compared to 12.4 per cent in 2010.
James Pitts, chief executive of drug rehabilitation centre odyssey House, has seen first-hand the horrors of ice.
He had to retrain staff to handle ice addicts because they are so much more dangerous and difficult to deal with than other drug users.
“With amphetamine-type stimulants, particularly ice, there is a completely different action because it acts on the central nervous system as a stimulant,” he said.
“So the users initially have a heightened sense of wellbeing and confidence. They have an, ‘I can rule the world’ feeling.
“The problem with ice is that kind of wellbeing, that sense of confidence, converts after a period of time into paranoia, agitation and feeling that people are trying to do things to you.
“That’s where the violence aspect comes in. Either a person becomes overly aggressive because of a comment somebody may have made or there is a perception that somebody is trying to harm them in some way and violence ensues.
“The biggest negative with ice is the fact that it doesn’t allow people to sleep and you need sleep so you can maintain some kind of sense of psychiatric balance. Because ice users are up for two or three days or more at a time they have a distortion of reality.
“They have a propensity to hear voices and display delusional behaviour. They become agitated, anxiety sets in and they are prone to violence.’’
THE ICE JOURNEY TO WA
● Organised crime gangs in Iran, West Africa and China have been identified by the Australian Crime Commission as the biggest sources of ice or crystal methamphetamine production on the planet.
● The ice is then exported in significant quantities to South-East Asian countries including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, usually hidden in sea containers loaded on cargo ships. These countries are targeted for domestic ice consumption and for shipping onto other international markets.
● Drugs are shipped from South-East Asia to Australia, most commonly in sea containers bound for Sydney and Melbourne. Virtually all the biggest ice seizures in the past year came from sea container busts, with the drugs hidden in items such as tinned fruit, furniture, terracotta pots or shampoo bottles.
● Bikie gangs and other crime groups buy the drugs and take charge of distribution to WA. This is done by road, with ice commonly packed aboard trucks or in cars, again hidden in other items. There is no border control between New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia or WA and police concede it is possible to check only a tiny fraction of freight.
● Drug barons in WA buy the drugs once they reach the state and smaller quantities are sold to mid-level and low-level drug dealers through a chain of supply that stretches from Perth to Kalgoorlie, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Karratha, Broome and beyond.
● Bikie gangs and drug dealers also make their own ice in “meth labs” in their homes or rental properties.
● Local drug users purchase the drugs from their dealer and take the drugs in their home, at parties or during a night out on the town.
BREAKING AUSTRALIA’S ICE IMPORTS
The biggest seizures of ice and amphetamine-type stimulants in Australia happened in the Eastern States. Typically ice is landed there before being moved by land to WA. Busts in 2012-13 included:
● 585kg of crystal meth hidden in sea cargo going from China to Sydney
● 363.8kg of liquid meth suspended in 96 bottles of carpet cleaning products via sea cargo from China to Melbourne.
● 306kg of crystal meth concealed in 3,200 terracotta pots via sea cargo from Thailand to Sydney.
● 200kg of crystal meth hidden in truck tyres and seized in Melbourne.
● 75kg of crystal meth concealed in sofas and chairs via sea cargo from China to Sydney.
● 72.9kg of liquid meth concealed and suspended in shampoo and conditioner via sea cargo from China to Sydney.
Eight members of the same family charged in theft, Methamphetamine manufacturing case in Tallapoosa CountyPosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
NEW SITE, AL (WSFA) – New Site police arrested eight members of the same family on charges ranging from theft to manufacturing meth.
Police Chief John McKelvey says the eight suspects would use one another to buy cold medicines from pharmacies in Tallapoosa County. The medicines are a key ingredient to make meth.
McKelvey says most of the “cooking” of meth took place inside the family’s mobile home on Day Road.
“There were times they were getting 500 pills in a day or two,” McKelvey said.
Police have identified the suspects as:
- Rolland Mancilla, 32
- Melissa Mancilla, 30
- James Ronald Colley, 35
- Kathy Colley, 35
- Dustin Foreman, 24
- Wendy Wheeler, 31
- Marcus Smith, 24
- Christopher Sanford, 27
The chief said they started getting tips from residents and area pharmacies.
The group is also accused of stealing lawnmowers and 4-wheelers to fund their meth manufacturing.
Chief McKelvey says most of the suspects confessed to their involvement. Some are out on bond, others remain in the Tallapoosa County Jail. The suspects have not had their first court appearances yet.
Investigators say this undercover investigation started seven months ago and came to a head last week.
Dozens Arrested for Methamphetamine trafficking and other charges in “Operation Tangled Web” in Brown CountyPosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs held a press conference Friday afternoon announcing the arrests of dozens of suspects in an early morning law enforcement operation entitled, “Operation Tangled Web.”
According to Sheriff Grubbs, early Friday morning, July 18th, approximately 65 law enforcement officers began serving arrest warrants, seeking 45 defendants on charges including engaging in organized criminal activity and other drug trafficking related charges in Brown County. In addition, one search warrant was executed and an additional 8 defendants were arrested for drug and other offenses during the roundup. Various amounts of drugs were seized as officers detained or arrested defendants, Grubbs said.
As of mid-afternoon Friday, 41 defendants had been arrested and booked into Brown County Jail. The total number of suspects has risen to 53 defendants on 62 charges with 12 defendants still at large. One defendant was charged on a weapon offense as a small sawed-off shotgun was also seized in the operation.
Operation Tangled Web began approximately two years ago with investigators Carlyle Gover and James Stroope working the investigation along with their everyday case loads, according to Grubbs. The operation specifically targeted a number of methamphetamine traffickers in Brown County.
“Methamphetamine is an especially dangerous drug and is the catalyst for a number of violent and theft related crimes in Brown County and across the state,” explained Grubbs. “This drug is particularly devastating to the human mind and brings about life-long mental dysfunction in most users. Use of methamphetamine is primarily introduced by marijuana and also other drugs such as cocaine or heroin.”
Grubbs stated that deputies used a number of investigative strategies including undercover, surveillance, technology, and suspect debriefings to target suspects. The investigation was dubbed as “Tangled Web” because of the unique and complex connectivity of suspects and the drugs trafficked in Brown and surrounding counties.
“The primary traffickers in ‘Tangled Web’ were capable of selling up to a pound of methamphetamine per week to a significant number of buyers. This investigation is ongoing and as information develops, additional suspects will be targeted, investigated and arrested. Over half of the suspects have been or are currently on felony probation for various felony offenses,” Grubbs reported. “As is common with methamphetamine trafficking, many of the suspects have extensive criminal histories which include violence, weapons, and prison gang affiliations. Unfortunately, children are victims of persons involved in drug abuse. In this investigation, CPS Investigators assisted deputies in the handling of six children.” No ages of the children were available, according to Grubbs.
Various amounts of drugs were seized, totaling more than 50 grams of methamphetamine and approximately ¼ pound of marijuana. The operation was focused on methamphetamine distributors that Grubbs labeled “mid-level players.”
“These are mid-level players, the major players are in the DFW and Waco area,” explained Grubbs. “These guys are the distributors around here, the ones that put it out on the streets and into the kids’ hands.”
The defendants ranged from 17 to late 50s or early 60s, explained BCSO Captain Tony Aaron. Most were from the Brown County area where they were arrested Friday, with a few others from surrounding counties. The whereabouts of those considered at large are being investigated and Grubbs stated that he expected many to be in custody by the end of the weekend.
Grubbs and BCSO employees extend great appreciation to the agencies that adjusted manpower and schedules to assist in the arrests of these suspects. These agencies included Brown County Sheriff’s Office (leading the investigation), Brown County District Attorney’s Office, Early Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Brownwood Police Department, Brown County Adult Probation Department, Bangs Police Department and Texas Department of Family & Protective Services – Child Protective Services.
Grubbs commented on the scope of this operation and the methamphetamine problem in the county as being a common problem across the state and in many other states.
“Brown County is a great place to live and raise a family, but unfortunately, as in other good communities, there is a drug problem. Because drug abuse fuels most of the crime we face today, we resolutely address the drug problem. If not, it will erode the many reasons we love and believe in our community. Over the past few years our successes in these operations have always made a significant impact on local criminal enterprise,” said Grubbs. “With the many police functions we do so well, criminal enforcement is clearly where we strive to do our best in order to make our county a safer place for our citizens. We will continue to be aggressive on drug traffickers and other criminal law violators with professional and proactive law enforcement.”
Pictured at top is Sheriff Grubbs during the press conference Friday afternoon with photos of those arrested and sought on the wall behind him.
Pictured below are the defendants named in the roundup as released by the sheriff’s office.
Terra Nicole Allen, 30, charged with smoking Methamphetamine in a North Augusta gas station restroomPosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
A Warrenville woman was arrested and charged with smoking meth in a North Augusta gas station restroom on Thursday.
North Augusta officers were called to Circle K, 1014 Edgefield Road, around 2:45 a.m. for a suspicious woman who had been there for about two hours and in the restroom for the past 30 minutes.
According to an incident report, Terra Nicole Allen, 30, came out of the restroom but immediately went back in after seeing the officer. The officer stated Allen flushed the toilet several times before exiting and telling the officer she was having stomach issues.
The report stated the officer entered the stall to find the toilet water still moving but he did not find “anything indicative of the bathroom recently being used for its intended purposes.”
The officer located a glass smoking device and a small bag of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a trash can under numerous unused toilet seat covers.
The officer said Allen told him, “That’s not mine,” and “I don’t smoke meth,” before he asked her about the drugs.
She later admitted to being addicted and using drugs in the restroom. She also told the officer she had flushed a pill down the toilet.
Allen was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center on charges
Methamphetamine Cooks Videotape Themselves in the Act – Melanie Sykes, Jessica Lanier, Christopher Mosely, and Wesley Lanier arrested in Effingham CountyPosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA – It seems like everyone is into selfies these days, even criminals.
But one set of suspects in Effingham county took it to the next level, videotaping themselves in the act.
“Let me tell you something, that right there will put a motor on your back.”
That motor he is talking about in the video is meth.
It was the main topic of a home video made by four people, Christopher Mosely, Melanie Sykes, Wesley and Jessica Lanier.
Investigators say it was made inside the Lanier’s garage, where they were manufacturing the dangerous drug.
“I’ve smoked a lot of — in this world but nothing like this gives me that taste. you know what im saying?” one man explains on video.
But these werent just meth cooks. The video, obtained from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Drug Suppression Unit, shows Lanier taking several hits.
“That is the best you are going to get. You are high now. You aren’t supposed to be high,” you could hear on the tape.
Then later on the tape, Lanier’s wife took her turn on the pipe.
Drug suppression agents found the video on a cell phone right after they busted the lab, which was surrounded in the yard by old, buried one pot labs.
“One of the bottles in the video was used a gas generator was located in one of the burial sites,” said Investigator Steve Blunt of Effingham County Sheriff’s Drug Suppression unit. “So there’s no denying the person holding that bottle was involved with what was buried in the yard.”
Investigator Steve Blunt says these cooks cockiness may have led to their downfall.
“They are quite conceited about their role in the manufacturing process,” said Blunt. “They consider themselves rock stars in their little community. So for them to film themselves doing it was surprising they were that stupid, But it doesn’t surprise me that they wanted a video of them doing it.”
All four suspects are facing charges connected to manufacturing meth.
Sheriff’s investigators say this bust took a major meth operation off the streets, and expect the video to lead to jail time for everyone involved.
Grandson, Jeremy Crowe, charged after Methamphetamine lab found in 81-year-old grandmother’s Boyle County homePosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (WKYT) - Police found a meth lab in the home of an 81-year-old woman and arrested her grandson who they say was cooking the drug.
A home health worker, worried about the condition of the elderly woman, called adult protective services to do a welfare check. When they arrived Thursday afternoon they brought police with them.
“One they were inside law enforcement personnel noticed what was a meth lab,” said Junction City Police Chief Merl Baldwin.
Baldwin says the woman’s grandson, Jeremy Crowe, was responsible for that lab. Neighbors who know Crowe say at first they had no idea why police were at his home.
“I was in shock, didn’t know what was going on,” said Jessica Hogue. “I thought it was a car wreck.”
Crowe was decontaminated at the scene and taken to jail. His grandmother was taken to the hospital to be checked out.
Police say they found two different labs inside the home.
“It was in the process of cooking at the time,” Baldwin said. “They are what we call one step labs, ingredients inside of a soda bottle.”
Police dismantled the two meth labs and took them as evidence. The home was declared contaminated and uninhabitable. The woman who lived there is now staying at a relative’s home.
Crowe is charged with making and possessing meth. He’s also charged with five counts of wanton endangerment because police say he exposed his grandmother and police officers to dangerous conditions.
ALBANY, GA (WALB) – South Georgia drug agents say they’re noticing a big increase in methamphetamine this summer.
Thursday night agents raided a meth lab hidden in the woods in east Albany.
Drug agents say that meth lab, cooking in the woods near a neighborhood, posed a great danger to the community.
Drug agents say meth has suddenly surged into prominence in South Georgia.
Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Commander Major Bill Berry said “We’re seeing a lot more meth. Last month our meth seizures exceeded all others combined. So it’s growing. It has been.”
Drug agents were tipped that a meth lab was operating in the woods off the 2800 block of Rosebrier Avenue. When agents raided the area, they caught 44 year old Ben Brooks and found an inactive meth lab.
Berry said “There were bottles. There were ingredients. So there had been what looked like the remnants of former cooks and reactions from meth.”
Drug agents say that meth lab was small, using the one bottle cook method. But all the chemicals, just laying out in the woods, could have led to tragedy for any kids or curious person that stumbled upon it.
Berry said “They could open something up and cause a chemical reaction. Or get the vapors off of it and it could make them sick. So yes, it’s dangerous.”
Drug agents also seized Brooks truck and were waiting today for a search warrant to check it. Brooks was charged with manufacturing meth, and more charges could be pending on what they find in that truck.
Drug agents urge people who suspect a meth lab could be operating in their neighborhood to call them, saying they are a real danger.
The first meth stimulant was developed in 1919 by a Japanese pharmacologist. It produced feelings of well-being and alertness and alleviated fatigue. But does meth have any therapeutic medical uses? How does meth use affect the body? We review here, and invite your questions about meth or how you can help a meth addict at the end.
Today, meth is rarely used in medicine. While methamphetamine salts can be prescribed by a doctor to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other conditions (sleeping disorders, for example), meth has been classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled.
Meth uses and side effects
Generally, methamphetamine is taken orally, smoked, snorted, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected. Because the pleasure fades quickly, users often take repeated doses, in a “binge and crash” pattern. But this drug creates havoc on the human body, affecting both body and brain. There are many negative side effects to meth use, but we’ll take a look at the most important ones.
First of all, meth rapidly releases dopamine in “reward regions” of the brain, generating the euphoric “rush” or “flash” that many users experience. But every pleasure comes at a price. Long term methamphetamine use has many negative consequences for physical health, including extreme weight loss, severe dental problems (“meth mouth”), and skin sores caused by scratching. Additionally, long term meth effects on the brainn can include:
- emotional and cognitive problems
- impaired verbal learning
- reduced motor skills
When it comes to the body, meth abuse can be recognized by symptoms which can include:
- decreased appetite
- increased blood pressure
- increased body temperature
- increased physical activity
- increased respiration
- irregular heart beat
- rapid heart rate
Also, people who use or abuse methamphetamine over the long term may experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and mood disturbances and display violent behavior. They may also show symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions (for example, the sensation of insects crawling under the skin). Further, a high tolerance to meth can indicate major problems with meth use and can require longer term treatment.
Illegal meth use
Meth has been used illegally since the 1950’s, when truckers, homemakers, college students and athletes used it to stay awake or keep active. This practice continued in 1960’s in subcultures such as outlaw biker gangs and students, which cooked and used the drug.
The penalties for meth possession, sale, and manufacture vary, depending on where the case was prosecuted (federal charges carry the same penalties, no matter where in the country the prosecution occurs, but each state has its own sentencing provisions). A meth conviction can result in punishments ranging from a fine, a misdemeanor jail term, or a lengthy prison term for a felony conviction. The greater the amount of meth possessed (usually measured in terms of weight), the longer the potential prison sentence tends to be. Even greater penalties apply if a person is convicted not simply of possessing meth, but of possessing it with the intent to sell or traffic it.
Most of the methamphetamine abused in the U.S. comes from foreign or domestic superlabs, although it can also be made in small, illegal laboratories, where its production endangers the people in the labs, neighbors, and the environment. The most common ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. Through a cooking process the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is chemically changed into meth. The ingredients that are used in the process of making meth can include: ether, paint thinner, Freon®, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid, and lithium (taken from inside batteries).
Problems with meth
There are many ways of identifying a meth addict. The most common signs are physical symptoms, mentioned earlier: decreased appetite, increased physical activity, anxiety, shaking hands, nervousness, increased body temperature and dilated pupils. These are early signs of meth use, which progress over time.
People successfully recover from crystal meth addictions via both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. However, as this stimulant is a highly addictive drug, some people need to recover in a stable environment that’s free of opportunities to use. It’s important that you review your options and choose the program that gives you the best chance at success.
Outpatient treatment – There are two types of outpatient treatment programs. A daily check-in program only requires you to meet with a drug abuse counselor once per day, while a day treatment program requires you to stay at the treatment facility for eight hours per day. Since both programs allow little interruption to your normal life, you can continue to work and spend time with your family.
Inpatient treatment - Inpatient treatment programs allow you to recover in an environment that’s free from temptation. The centers have medical staff on hand to help you through the detoxification process. During a stay at the facility, your day revolves around your recovery. A typical day could include group therapy sessions, individual therapy sessions, recreational activities designed to teach you how to have fun without drugs and educational lectures about drug abuse.
Meth use questions
Still have questions about meth and its use or abuse? If you or someone close to you have meth problems, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Christina Walter, 32, Johnson City, Latasha Fridley, 22, Hampton, Weston George, 24, Jonesborough, and Ronald Lee Ledford, 39, Johnson City, arrested on Methamphetamine-related charges after lab found at Unicoi Budget Inn hotelPosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
UNICOI — Four people were arrested by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department early Thursday morning for their alleged involvement in the manufacture of methamphetamine at a Unicoi County hotel.
• Weston George, 24, 147 Old State Route 34, Jonesborough, was charged with maintaining a dwelling for drug use, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, promoting methamphetamine manufacture and possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Christina Walter, 32, 2520 Cherokee Road, Johnson City, was charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
• Latasha Fridley, 22, 142 Birdy Lane, Hampton, was charged with possession of a schedule VI drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.
• Ronald Lee Ledford, 39, 617 Mountain View Road, Johnson City, was charged with facilitating a felony, promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine and driving on a suspended license.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said sheriff’s department officials received a call Wednesday afternoon from someone who reported an “odd smell” coming from one of the rooms at the Budget Inn hotel in Unicoi. Officers responded and met with the hotel’s manager. After speaking to the manager, officers went to the room in question and talked to one of the occupants, Hensley said.
“At that time, they did not see anything that raised any suspicions,” Hensley said.
After officers left the scene, Walter, who was visiting the room rented by George, was observed carrying a container and running to a dumpster on the property, Hensley said. The sheriff said after Walter disposed of this container and left in a vehicle driven by Ledford, the hotel’s manager lifted the lid of the dumpster and observed a bottle he believed was being used to manufacture meth.
Officers returned to the scene and found the bottle to be an inactive meth lab, Hensley said. According to the affidavit written by UCSD Chief Deputy Frank Rogers, officials made contact in the hotel’s parking lot with George, who was renting the room, and George gave consent to search the room. There, officers found items of drug paraphernalia, including scales, aluminum foil with burn residue and a pipe, according to the report.
“I asked Weston George if he had purchased pseudoephedrine in the recent past, he stated that he had not purchased pseudoephedrine in two months,” Rogers’ report said. “Investigators ran the report maintained by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force and discovered that Weston George had purchased pseudoephedrine on the day prior. When confronted, the defendant admitted that he had lied to investigators.”
Fridley, who was present with George, also consented to a search, and officials found scales, a blister pack and a bag containing marijuana, according to Rogers.
“Latasha Fridley stated that Christina Walter had been staying at the room with her and Weston George and that she had received methamphetamine from Christina Walter a couple of days prior,” the report states. “Purchase reports reveal that Latasha Fridley has purchased pseudoephedrine within the last twenty-four hours and twice within the past three months.”
At approximately 1 a.m. Thursday, while officials were still working the scene and dismantling the lab recovered from the dumpster, Walter and Ledford returned to the hotel, undeterred by the officers there, Hensley said. Hensley also said sheriff’s department officials had previously come into contact with Walter on previous visits to the hotel and were aware she was staying there.
“While we were there — we have the ambulance there, we have the fire truck there, we have the Meth Task Force there, several cruisers there — her and this boy came pulling in,” Hensley said. “Lo and behold, she’s carrying an active meth lab on her person with a substantial quantity of methamphetamine.”
Aside from the bottle used to manufacture meth and the drug itself, Walter was found to be in possession of scales, a syringe, a pipe and lithium batteries (used in the production of meth), according to Rogers’ report.
“(A) search of Christina Walter at the jail produced a bag of crushed pseudoephedrine extracted from a commercial product that had been modified for the purpose of methamphetamine production,” Rogers’ report states.
The pickup truck driven by Ledford was seized, and two receipts were found inside that showed Ledford had also purchased pseudoephedrine, according to the arrest report. During transport to the jail, Ledford told deputies that all parties arrested “get together to use methamphetamine,” Rogers’ report said.
Hensley said officials cleared the scene at around 2:30 a.m. Thursday.
All four of those arrested are scheduled to appear in Sessions Court on Aug. 21.
A Ford City woman was arrested on drug trafficking charges after a probation searched led to the discovery of a substantial amount of methamphetamine, some marijuana and drug paraphernalia., the Kern county Sheriff’s Office reported.
Deputies conducted the search at the home of Christa Coffee, 50, at 408 Harrison.
Wednesday about 10:20 p.m.
The deputies found 7.8 grams of methamphetamine with a street value of roughly $800, 2.9 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, packaging material, and digital scales, according to a news release.
Coffee was arrested and charged with possession of controlled substances for sale; possession of marijuana; and for possession of drug paraphernalia.
Coffee is being held in the KCSO central receiving facility in Bakersfield on $22,885 bail.
In an effort to to promote awareness of the horrifying effects of methamphetamine abuse, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office of Oregon have released the photos of repeat meth offenders to show the world how quickly the side-effects of meth use destroy the user’s physical appearance. In a partnership with Faces of Meth, Multnomah Sheriffs believe the before and after photos of consistent meth abuse is shocking enough to dissuade people from using.
According to Rehabs.com, methamphetamine physically alters one’s facial appearance through the physical and psychological side-effects. The illicit manufacture and use of methamphetamine has been on the rise since 1996, with more than 13 million people over the age of 12 having used methamphetamine in the U.S. 529,000 of those are regular users.
Even light methamphetamine use can cause widespread acne due to the drug’s effects of dry skin and extreme itchiness. Coupled with the common sensory hallucination factor of ‘bugs crawling beneath the skin,’ this often promotes obsessive scratching, picking, and resulting in many small sores and facial scarring. The pale skin color can be explained by physical stress and frequent illnesses common of a meth addict, which is caused by the drug weakening the immune system. Smoking of any type of drug actually cures the skin, just like leather, causing skin to wrinkle and gain a rough, coriaceous texture.
Because methamphetamine, like cigarettes, suppresses appetite, it can lead to undernourishment for long periods of time. Eventually, when weight loss has become dramatic, the body begins to consume muscle tissue and facial fat, giving meth users a gaunt, skeletal appearance.
Meth addicts will often lose their teeth abnormally quickly, regardless of how they administer the drug, though most severe in those that inject the drug. According to the American Dental Association, meth mouth is probably caused by a combination of the drug’s effects, both physical and psychological. Addicts will often experience xerostomia (dry mouth), extended periods of poor oral hygiene, and bruxism (teeth grinding) which when combined together, can lead to tooth decay.
With the combination of skin issues, facial muscle loss, hygiene neglect, and oral decay, a meth addict’s estimated age can appear far more exaggerated. A general theory suggests that because the immune system is in constant battle with drug toxins infiltrating the bodily systems, prolonged use can weaken the immune system to the point of making it very ineffective against illness and injury. When a body system is consistently distressed, and barely able to heal itself, premature aging sets in as the total viable lifetime drops.
Another factor to consider in the degradation of a meth addict’s appearance is the fact that many users also heavily abuse alcohol and tobacco. This further increases the level of toxins and the premature aging side-effects, escalating the aging process even more rapidly.
Meth users should not wait to seek treatment
While many physical symptoms can be reversed with proper treatment, the advanced aging effects and tooth decay are difficult to reverse, and the damage often permanent. Furthermore, methamphetamine use can cause psychosis, or psychotic behavior, in which users lose contact with reality and experience strong delusions, paranoia, hallucinations and obsessive behavior that prevents them from truly realizing the damage they are doing to themselves. It is imperative that the addict reach out and find help immediately, or suffer these physical and psychological effects, and other commons symptoms such as destroyed relationships, financial destitution and criminal charges.
Two men were cooking Methamphetamine at grandma’s house on East Liverpool Road just outside of LisbonPosted: July 19, 2014 in Uncategorized
LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – A methamphetamine lab was raided Friday afternoon .
Neighbors said they were shocked to learn of the operation. But the woman who owns the house where the raid took place, Janet Gibson, said she was even more shocked to learn who the suspects were: Her two grandsons.
The Columbiana County Drug Task Force said they found several “one pot” operations in the garage and around the property.
“They just told me it could be very dangerous and it’s very flammable, which is not good,” Gibson said.
She said she was in Lisbon at the time the drug task force was searching her house for methamphetamine, and she was shocked to see officers in front of her house when she got home.
“And it caught me by surprise. I knew nothing about this and I had no idea what they were here for,” Gibson said.
She said her two grandsons are in their late 20s and have a history of drug addiction. She said she has tried to help them get their lives on track, but this latest incident was just too much for her to handle.
“Yeah, it makes me pretty angry, pretty upset. But we just have to deal with it and go on,” Gibson said.
No one was arrested during the raid and charges are pending in the case.
The investigation led to many one-pot labs being found around the property. The one-pot labs are essentially mini labs being made inside of empty plastic bottles.
The Columbiana Drug Task Force also found digital scales and chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine.
METH: THE NEW MOLD – New Markets in Clandestine Laboratory Clean-up [published in IEC 4/30/04]
Jason K. Dobranic, Ph.D. & Scott VanEtten
Clandestine labs have become prevalent across America. They are used for the illicit production of illegal drugs, mostly methamphetamine, PCP, GHB, or MDA (Ecstasy). Some labs have even been found with the raw materials used to concoct homemade bombs. Law enforcement departments have seen a significant rise in occurrences over the last ten years. The hazardous materials found on these premises have to be properly cleaned up. In a three year span between 2000-2002 there were over 7500 removal jobs totally over 150,000 kg of hazardous materials. These labs have been discovered in such structures as single family dwellings, mobile homes, vehicles, hotels, open air structures; in both urban, suburban and rural areas. A thorough understanding of the many challenges involved in working at these sites and properly abating the hazards
Types of hazards associated with clandestine labs Individuals usually operate these makeshift labs with little to no training in chemistry. They employ crude, homemade equipment to accomplish complex chemical
reactions. Due to the nature of the chemicals involved there is significant risk of explosion, fire and exposure. Clandestine lab operators have also been known to carry firearms and use booby traps; due to the paranoid delusions associated with meth usage.
The chemical agents used in the production of illegal drugs can include common household products such as methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane, toluene, muriatic acid, sodium hydroxide, table salt, and ammonia. Some of the uncommon household items used include anhydrous ammonia, red phosphorus, iodine, and reactive metals. The poor handling, disposal, and mixing of incompatible chemicals leads to significant hazardous conditions. Once these chemicals are mixed and used in the making or “cooking” process, the production of other potentially harmful chemicals ensue.
Oftentimes, abatement workers focus strictly on the chemical hazards. However, there may be drug addicts and other visitors coming to the lab expecting it to still be operational. Wandering meth users tend to be dillusional, paranoid and desperate. Your personal protection can be at stake.
Health effects related to exposure
Working in clandestine drug labs poses significant dangers that one must be aware of or serious health effects could develop including the most extreme case of death. Knowledge of basic toxicology is crucial. The effect of a chemical can differ significantly depending on how it enters the body. Entry routes include inhalation, dermal absorption, and ingestion. Inhalation is the most common route of entry since we are continuously breathing. Noxious chemicals that are breathed in can rapidly enter the circulatory system (blood) and get transported throughout the body. Since we are performing manual labor during abatement of the lab our respiratory rate is higher leading to greater exposure. Inhalation exposure also depends on the size of the inhaled particles and the properties of the exposed chemical. Chemicals with higher solubilities tend to get absorbed into the blood system faster. Toxins can also be absorbed through the skin. Although one may not feel pain or discomfort when the chemical contacts the skin, once it is absorbed it can travel throughout the body in the blood. Ingestion is the least likely exposure method but workers should be wary of eating and drinking within the confines of the lab.
Solvents such as acetone, ether, freon, hexane, methanol, and toluene target the eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, liver, and kidneys causing such symptoms as irritation to skin, eyes, nose and throat; headache; dizziness; central nervous system depressant/depression; nausea; vomiting; and visual disturbance. Corrosive chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide (lye),
sodium thiosulfate, sulfuric acid (drain cleaner) target the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract causing symptoms such as irritation to upper respiratory tract; cough; eye and skin irritation, inflammation and burns; gastrointestinal disturbances; thirst; chest tightness; dyspnea; muscle pain; syncope; and convulsions. Metals such as iodine, lithium metal, red phosphorus, yellow phosphorus, sodium metal used in the process can target the eyes, skin, respiratory system, central nervous system, liver, kidneys, blood, cardiovascular
system causing irritation to eyes, skin, nose and respiratory tract; lacrimation; headache; chest tightness; cutaneous hypersensitivity; abdominal pain; and jaundice.
Sampling and laboratory analysis (basic, short and sweet)
Many States have specific guidelines for clearance testing associated with clandestine laboratories. For clandestine methamphetamine operations, the clearance contractor is usually required to wipe surfaces and send the samples to an accredited laboratory. NIOSH and OSHA have not published validated methods for the analysis of methamphetamine in air. OSHA has published a CSI (Chemical Sampling Information) procedure that utilizes gas chromatography with flame ionization detection (GC/FID). However, most states require gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Detection limit requirements are sub microgram methamphetamine per wipe.
Samples can be taken from kitchen areas of the home where cooking activities are intensified. The clearance contractor should take samples from the refrigerator (inside and out), the stove/oven, and the gap between the counter and the stove where those nasty little toast crumbs build up.
Testing should also be performed where a wall or floor meets a cold/warmer exterior. The meth will tend to crystallize out at these temperature transition interfaces. HVAC ductwork should be inspected as well for settled residue. The vehicles used in transportation, if clearance is required, may need wipe testing. Dashboards and seats can be wiped and submitted for testing.
When searching for testing services, it is important to make sure your laboratory is aware of the clearance testing requirements for your State’s program. Also, make sure that the required instrumentation is available for use. Lastly, make sure the detection limits will meet your clearance needs.
Other types of laboratory testing may also be required that are related to the chemicals used in the manufacture of the illegal drug. The alchemist cooker may have used a variety of solvents and reactive metals to produce his/her illicit powders. Be sure to consult RCRA and State regulations regarding the testing and disposal of drummed wastes, building materials, carpet, wallboard, ceiling tiles, furniture, and appliances.
There may be toxic materials buried or dumped in the surrounding grounds. A thorough investigation of the entire property is required.
Abatement & Hazardous Materials Handling Guidelines
Only trained personnel should be handling any chemicals. These individuals must be able to recognize chemical names and understand the effect of chemical combinations. Separating any incompatible chemicals can reduce the risk of explosion. Ventilate all confined spaces thereby limiting the concentration of explosive fumes and turn off any heat sources. Make sure all the lab equipment is turned off and no longer heating the
Household materials, including carpets, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, upholstery, and draperies, may become contaminated with chemicals requiring abatement. During cleanup and removal of contaminated materials, workers should have personal protection equipment. This includes eye, hand, and foot coverings. Disposable gloves and a Tyvek jumpsuit are good precautions for direct contact exposure but if toxic fumes are suspected
then a suitable breathing apparatus is needed. More often then not, abatement includes removal of contaminated materials, and scrubbing and painting solid surfaces. Depending on the site and extent of contamination, soil and groundwater may need extensive cleanup. There are no official regulations that dictate how a former clandestine lab needs to be cleaned up but the general steps involved are:
1) Airing out the Building. This will help dissipate any noxious fumes that have accumulated inside allowing safer conditions for removal crews. Depending on the particular situation this may include several days of airing out before, during, and after the remediation process. Using exhaust fans will help the process.
2) Removal and disposal. Clandestine lab operators are not the cleanest or most meticulous people on the planet. Chemicals will be splashed, dripped, and spilled haphazardly around the lab. Any items that are visibly contaminated should be double-bagged and removed. Many of the chemicals will be designated as hazardous materials, falling under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and need to be disposed of properly. Consult with your state department of environmental protection for more information.
3) Inspect surfaces. Walls, counters, floors and ceilings can retain some of the hazardous chemicals long after the lab is shut down. Any surface that has visible contamination, stains, or gives off odors should be completely removed. Any appliances or household equipment used in the processing of any chemicals should be disposed of and replaced.
4) Inspect plumbing. Most of the waste and chemicals are disposed of crudely down the household plumbing system (sinks, toilets, and drains) by the lab operators. The plumbing system may be collecting some of these chemicals and off gassing. A professional plumbing contractor should be contacted to properly address the problem.
5) Encapsulate surfaces. Painting the surfaces of any area that has been remediated will help seal in any residual chemicals that were missed during the cleanup. This effectively reduces the chance of releasing any chemicals back into the air.
6) Clean HVAC system. Chemicals and residues can collect in the HVAC system so they should be properly cleaned. This would include cleaning the ductwork, vents and air returns, and changing air filters.
We hope this gives you an appreciation of what is involved in the abatement of clandestine drug labs. This may be an avenue to further expand your companies business. Unfortunately, due the strong demand for these illicit drug there are surely going be a steady stream of labs discovered and shut down.
Christian, Donnell R., 2004, Forensic Investigation of Clandestine Laboratories. CRC Press.
Georgia State Patrol: Amanda Lynn Pardue, 34, of Gainesville, the driver in 5 person-fatality head-on wreck was on high on MethamphetaminePosted: July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
GAINESVILLE – The Gainesville woman driving the SUV in which five people were killed in Hall County on June 30 had drugs in her system at the time of the crash.
A Ford Explorer driven by Amanda Lynn Pardue, 34, of Gainesville crossed the raised median while traveling north on Georgia 11/U.S. 129 (Athens Highway) and collided head-ontrailer truck.
Pardue and three of her passengers died at the scene, while the fourth died later that day.
Results of blood tests performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation State Crime Lab were released by Sgt. 1st Class Chad Johnson of the Georgia State Patrol late Wednesday night.
“One of my other supervisors, Cpl. Rhett Parker, spoke with one of the analysts at the crime lab and they gave the verbal results of positive for methamphetamine, positive for amphetamine and some other drugs within her system,” Johnson said.
Johnson said troopers don’t have the quantitative amounts of the other drugs in Pardue’s system yet, but “they did say that the methamphetamine that was in her system was at a very high level.”
In addition to Pardue, the wreck claimed the life of 53-year-old Robbie Hollis of Gainesville, 2-year-old Eli Emfinger, 8-year-old Kayliegh Emfinger, and 13-year-old Dalton Martin.
The driver of the tractor-trailer suffered only minor injuries.
Johnson said troopers are nearing the finalization of the investigation and their reports since the driver and all other occupants of the vehicle were killed in the crash.
“Anything after this point would be more or less some type of civil litigation,” Johnson said. “We’ll complete our report showing that the driver was impaired with the substances that I mentioned.”
Driver in fatal wreck tested positive for meth
GAINESVILLE — A Gainesville woman behind the wheel in a June wreck that killed five people, including three children, had methamphetamine in her system according to a report released by the Georgia State Patrol.
Amanda Lynn Pardue, 34, died in the June 30 wreck when the Ford Explorer she was driving crossed into the path of a tractor-trailer on Athens Highway at Oak Grove Road.
Results of blood tests by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab showed Pardue tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine and other drugs.
“She had a high level of methamphetamines along with other prescription medications,” said Gainesville GSP Post Commander Chad Johnson.
The report by the Georgia State Patrol reads that Pardue tested positive for methamphetamine levels “higher than the highest caliber of 800 micrograms per liter.”
Robbie Adams Hollis, 52, also died in the wreck, along with three children: Dalton Martin, 13, Kaleigh Emfinger, 8, and Eli Emfinger, 2.
“It definitely makes me very sick to my stomach,” said Janice Martin, Dalton’s stepmother, when learning of the GSP report.
Eli and Kaleigh were Pardue’s children. Martin was Hollis’ grandson.
The tractor-trailer driver, Eric Franklin Eberhardt, 34, of Commerce, has been treated for his injuries.
5 killed in Hall County crash
The crystal meth epidemic that hit rural America years ago has not disappeared. Meth has simply spread out of the country and into the suburbs where more women are getting hooked than ever before. Know the signs of meth use in women, understand the motivations and the risks and be aware of how much damage this drug can do to you or someone you love.
What Is Meth?
Meth is short for methamphetamine and also goes by the names crystal meth, ice, speed and crank. Methamphetamine is a controlled substance and not illegal. It can be prescribed by doctors, although it is not used very often, for obesity and narcolepsy. Crystal meth, which is usually made in a home lab, is the crystallized version of methamphetamine and can be abused by smoking or by injection after dissolving it in water.
Why Are Women Using Meth?
A decade ago, the number of people using and getting addicted to meth was skyrocketing. Dealers had figured out how to make it in a fairly simple home lab setting and meth labs proliferated around the country as demand grew. Tight restrictions on the over-the-counter cold medicine needed to make meth, as well as crackdowns on meth labs, helped to slow and even turn around cases of meth addiction. Today, however, women are still using the drug, more so than men.
Both methamphetamine and amphetamine, a similar drug that is often sold as a prescription for ADHD, have the effect of reducing the appetite and speeding up metabolism. These combined factors cause meth abusers to lose weight. This is one of the main motivations for women, especially young women, to abuse the drug. Many also refuse to give up using the drug because of fears of weight gain. Suburban moms are often falling prey to the lure of increased energy that meth gives its users.
What Are the Effects of Using Meth?
The health effects of using meth can be devastating. In the short term, meth causes a euphoric feeling along with increased energy and alertness, but it also causes diarrhea, sweating, insomnia, paranoia, agitation, increased blood pressure and heart rate and tremors. Over the long term, the health effects are even more serious. Users can lose dangerous amounts of weight, experience psychosis, develop sores and scabs because of a crawling sensation on the skin and their teeth can rot. This last symptom is one of the most noticeable and disturbing effects of the drug and treatment for meth mouth can require years of dental work.
Meth is a serious drug that is highly addictive, very dangerous and susceptible to abuse by women in particular. All women should be aware of the consequences of abusing meth to get more energy or to lose weight. Those mild benefits are not worth the extreme risks of using this drug.