A junior cadet has been charged with distributing a variant of methamphetamine and two other drugs at the Air Force Academy, according to court papers released Thursday to The Gazette.

Cadet Nathaniel Penalosa faces 10 counts of violating military drug laws for possessing, using and distributing the hallucinogen LSD, the sleep-fighting drug Modafinil and a methamphetamine derivative known as Molly. He’s also accused of manufacturing Molly, which is done through a often-dangerous chemical process similar to making methamphetamine.

A hearing to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to court-martial Penalosa is set for Monday.

A former enlisted airmen, Penalosa came to the academy through its Preparatory School and is known on campus for his military skill. Last fall, Penalosa was honored with a spot on the academy commandant’s list for his military prowess. At that time, prosecutors allege, Penalosa was deeply involved with drugs.

Court papers accuse Penalosa of using and distributing the drugs between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30, 2014. A lengthy investigation of Penalosa has been marked by legal wrangling. In April, the cadet sued the Defense Department in U.S. District Court in a bid to quash a subpoena for his bank records, court papers show.

The court let the subpoena stand, reasoning that the bank records could shed light on allegations that Penalosa was “suspected of trafficking illegal narcotics to USAFA cadets and civilians.”

Charges were issued against Penalosa on July 1.

Monday’s hearing could shed light on why the academy suspects Penalosa. Charging documents don’t say how much of any given drug he is accused of possessing or to whom he may have distributed the drugs. The papers also don’t state where Penalosa may have manufactured drugs.

One drug tied to the case is Modafinil, a prescription medicine often given to those suffering from narcolepsy. Because the drug can induce long hours of wakefulness but lacks problems associated with amphetamines, the Air Force initially tested it on fighter pilots. Later it came into wider use to keep troops awake during long combat missions.


WARSAW, Ind. (21Alive) — An early Wednesday morning traffic stop led to an active meth lab in a north side Warsaw apartment complex and seven arrests.

Around 1 a.m. Wednesday, an officer stopped a vehicle and found drug paraphernalia and information was given to him about the location of a meth lab at the Canterbury Apartment Complex.Warsaw+Meth+lab

Five suspects were detained and transported to the Warsaw Police Department for additional questioning.

The following suspects were taken and booked at the Kosciusko County jail on the following charges:

Aaron Case, 19 years old, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Manufacturing Methamphetamine, and Possession of Methamphetamine. He was also charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Stanley Cripps, 25 years of age, of Etna Green, was charged with the following felony offenses; Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors, Possession of Methamphetamine. He was also charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Daniel Holbrook, 20 years of age, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Dumping Controlled Substance Waste. He was also charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance, a misdemeanor.

Sergei Marthaler, 21 years of age, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Possession of Precursors, and Possession of Methamphetamine.

Terry Stearns, 20 years of age, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony Unlawful Sale of Precursors, and misdemeanor Visiting a Common Nuisance.

Officers received more information about another active meth lab at Suburban Acres Mobile Home Park on the north side of Warsaw.

Narcotics officers went to the 100 lot block of Suburban Acres and found two suspects at the mobile home. The search warrant led to the discovery of 3 grams of Meth and over 1 gram of Crystal Meth along with a one pot Meth lab and additional precursors.

Warsaw police charges the following two individuals:

William Marsillett, 55 years old, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession Methamphetamine, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.

Kira Tuttle, 33 years old, of Warsaw, was charged with the following felony offenses; Possession with Intent to Distribute, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.

Police say that more arrests stemming from this investigation are probable.

Any drug tips can be called into the Warsaw Police Department at 574-372-9540.


Bakersfield, California – U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers (District of North Dakota), North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton (Minneapolis FBI), Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller (Sacramento FBI) and Bakersfield Chief of Police Greg Williamson announced indictments of 22 individuals in western North Dakota and seven defendants in Bakersfield on drug trafficking charges.

The indictments are a result of an investigation by the North Dakota-based Bakken Organized Crime Strike Force, which was formed to address organized crime arising from the oil boom in the Bakken region in North Dakota.

According to court documents, from June 2014 until June 2015, defendants in Bakersfield and Minot, North Dakota conspired to bring methamphetamine and heroin from Bakersfield and distribute it in Minot. The seven defendants charged in the Eastern District of California were all arrested in the Bakersfield area by FBI agents and Bakersfield police officers Tuesday morning.

Acting U.S. Attorney Chris Myers stated: “The Strike Force was designed to work as one unit to identify, target and dismantle criminal organizations working in the Bakken and reach beyond the borders of North Dakota to ensure the entire criminal organization is brought to justice. After only a few months we are seeing the efficiency, strength and extended reach provided by the Strike Force model. The results here are exactly what we hoped for when we designed the Strike Force.”

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner remarked: “Cross-jurisdictional cooperation is essential for effective narcotics enforcement. We are grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota for its leadership in this case, and to our state and federal law enforcement colleagues in both states for their professionalism and assistance.”

SAC Richard Thornton said: “The FBI is committed to the security of the Bakken area of North Dakota. We will continue to aggressively investigate organized crime wherever it may be found. We will work with our law enforcement partners, through the ‘Bakken Organized Crime Strike Force’, to ensure that those who engage in this type of criminal activity pay a high price.”

Greg Williamson, Chief of Police, Bakersfield stated: “The Bakersfield Police Department is proud to have been a part of this investigation. Criminals pay no attention to jurisdictional lines, and when a criminal enterprise crosses several states, it can quickly exceed the resources of local agencies. That’s when the capabilities of the federal authorities become invaluable in making a difference in our city’s streets and neighborhoods. We are happy to have had this opportunity to work with our law enforcement partners in North Dakota and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We are looking forward to assisting the United States Attorney’s office in North Dakota in following through and seeing justice done in this matter.”

Two indictments charge seven Bakersfield residents in the Eastern District of California as follows:

Ricardo Cruz Gomez Jr., 23, conspiracy, distribution of methamphetamine; Marquiz Demitric Tucker, 44, conspiracy, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; Labrea Leshawn Davis, 29, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; Robin Lee, 25, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; Nina Johnson, 35, possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, racketeering; (Docket # 1:15-cr-209 LJO); and Michael Muniz, 43, and Ruben Valdez Jr., 37, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. (Docket # 1:15-cr-211 LJO)

Assistant United States Attorney Brian Delaney of the Bakersfield office is prosecuting these cases in the Eastern District of California.

If convicted, the defendants face a statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine for the conspiracy, up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, and up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for racketeering. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The indictment unsealed on Tuesday in North Dakota charges the following 22 defendants with trafficking methamphetamine and heroin, firearms offenses and money laundering:

Ronnie Ray Taylor, 43, Bakersfield; Terrance Darshay Lynn Peterson, aka Turtle, 42, Minot, North Dakota; Victor Murillo, aka Vic, 32, Bakersfield; Debra Meladore Davis, 49, Minot; Bryan Keith Davis, 48, Minot; Regina Rose Lehman, 43, Minot; Michael John Gietl, 43, Minot; Robert Raymond Althaus, 44, Minot; Peggy Lee St. Claire, 53, Minot; Jade Marie Backman, 33, Minot; Jody Lee Deharty, 25, Minot; Ricky Dean Strahan, 56, Minot; Gerald Wayne Osby Jr., 22, Minot; James Alex Locklear, 27, Minot; Alyssa Jo Schlienz, 21, Minot; Audra Dezzari Harris, 39, Minot; Gilbert Eugene Graim Jr., 21, Bakersfield; Teoshalashanae M. Songcuan, 24, Bakersfield; Deandre Trayvon Peterson, 24, Minot; Jimmy Dale Price, 42, Minot; Miranda Leigh Grant, 30, Minot; Rodney Lee Jackson, 49, Carson, California.

Assistant United States Attorney Rick Volk is prosecuting these cases for the District of North Dakota.

These cases are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Kern County Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bakersfield Police Department, Minot Police Department, Ward County Sheriff’s Office, Ward County Narcotics Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration, Metro Area Narcotics Task Force, North Dakota Highway Patrol, and United States Border Patrol, with assistance from the Kern County Probation Department.


GEORGETOWN, SC (WMBF) – A 70-year-old Newberry man was arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop for being accused of driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

Georgetown County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested William Danny Carpenter for possession of methamphetamine, 8554809_Gpossession of controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence, according to a news release from the GSCO. Carpenter is at the Georgetown County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

Just before noon, Carpenter was stopped on Pleasant Hill Drive in the area of the International Paper Canal because he was driving erratically.

After the sheriff’s deputy performed the proper tests on Carpenter, due to suspicion he was under the influence of an unknown substance, he was arrested for DUI of methamphetamine.

During the vehicle’s inspection, the sheriff’s deputy discovered some objects and foreign substances which raised his concern of a possible mobile meth lab.

The vehicle was secured and as a safety precaution the area on Pleasant Hill Drive was closed.

Georgetown County EMS, the Georgetown County Fire Department and the 15th Judicial Circuit Tactical Meth Enforcement Team were called to the scene.

After completing the investigation, it was determined the vehicle was not a mobile meth lab although methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia and other controlled substances were discovered in the vehicle, the release states.

Pleasant Hill Drive reopened around 3 p.m.


FAIRBANKS – A North Pole man faces multiple charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend and threatening her with a sword while high on methamphetamine Tuesday night.

Travis Lee Fugate, 34, is charged with two counts of felony second-degree assault, felony coercion and misdemeanor fourth-degree assault for the incident.

The victim’s children were present in the home during the assault, according to charging documents.

Alaska State Troopers received a report from the victim’s employer on Tuesday morning that she had called in sick to work and seemed to be in distress, according to charging documents. The caller was aware the victim had problems with Fugate and was concerned he was holding her against her will.

Troopers responded to a North Pole address and the victim ran outside and said “thank God you guys are here,” according to charging documents. The victim was very emotional and said Fugate was high on methamphetamine and armed with swords.

Fugate appeared at the door and was unarmed. He exited the house at police command and was detained and read his Miranda rights, according to charging documents.

The victim told troopers she had gone to Fugate’s house the previous evening to have dinner. Fugate confronted her and accused her of conspiring against him online, then threw her to the floor. Fugate got on top of the victim and punched her, then drove his forearm into her neck when she tried to defend herself, according to charging documents.

The victim tried to roll over and Fugate placed her in a chokehold until she was unconscious, according to charging documents. She woke to find herself on the floor up against a wall with Fugate repeatedly punching her in the face.

Fugate grabbed a sword and put it to the victim’s neck and said this was the end for her, according to charging documents. The victim believed Fugate was going to kill her and begged him not to because her children needed her.

Fugate took the sword away and told the victim he would have killed her if it weren’t for the children.

The victim told troopers Fugate made her smoke meth with him by forcing her to breath in his exhalations after he took a hit off of his meth pipe. The victim said she inhaled about four or five hits of meth because Fugate told he would assault her if she didn’t.

Fugate told the victim she was going to stay at the house for one week, insisted on being within touching distance of her at all times and would not let her go to the bathroom without him present, according to charging documents.

Troopers found the victim’s three children playing video games in one of the bedrooms. They appeared to be safe and in good health, according to charging documents.

A meth pipe was found on a dresser in Fugate’s bedroom. A samurai sword was found under his bed and another samurai sword was found between the dresser and the closet. A set of brass knuckles was found on top of the bed.

The victim’s house keys and car keys were found in a seat cushion in the living room and her cell phone was found under Fugate’s bed, according to charging documents.


Two men were arrested Tuesday on complaints of manufacturing methamphetamine after an anonymous resident reported suspected drug activity to police.55cbc208826f0_image55cbc20898d51_image

Enid Police Department Lt. Tim Jacobi said Tuesday an anonymous person observed what appeared to be drug activity in and around room 141 at Knights Inn, 2901 S. Van Buren. The concerned resident checked the wooded area near the hotel and located an active meth lab.55cbc2086b76b_image

EPD narcotics officers responded and located the meth lab, Jacobi said. The investigation led to a search warrant for room 141 and a vehicle that had attempted to leave the scene.

“Officers located methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and numerous items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine in both the room and the vehicle,” Jacobi said. Two men, who were contract laborers for the Knights Inn, were arrested.

Enid Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Unit also responded to assist the narcotics officers in rendering the meth lab safe.

“This illegal drug activity may have continued, unchecked, without the help of this observant citizen,” said Narcotics Unit Sgt. Kevin Bezdicek. “We greatly appreciate their assistance.”

Robert Allen Patterson, 33, of Enid, was arrested on complaints of manufacturing methamphetamine, as well as Garfield and Alfalfa county warrants.

Justin Crim, 33, also of Enid, was arrested on complaints of manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and driving under suspension.


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The driver of the crashed Valisno Express bus tested positive for methamphetamine, the case investigator revealed on Thursday (August 13).

The crash on Quirino Highway on Wednesday (August 12) killed four people and injured at least 18 passengers.Valisno-Driver_CNNPH

Driver George Pacis fled from the scene after the accident, but was arrested at his home in Barangay Panginay in Balagtas, Bulacan on Wednesday afternoon.

He was then brought to the Scene of the Crime Operatives office at the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Station 10 in Kamuning for medico-legal examination and drug testing.

Passengers stated that Pacis was speeding and crashed at the concrete boundary marker separating Caloocan and Quezon City, Insp. Marlon Meman, commander of the QCPD Traffic Sector 2, who is investigating the case, said.

Meman said Pacis could be held liable for abandoning the victims, which is a violation of the Revised Penal Code.

He would also face charges of reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide, multiple physical injuries, and damage to property.

Valisno Express assured those injured and the families of those who died that it would shoulder hospital bills and burial assistance, respectively. It also promised to provide cash assistance.

On Thursday morning, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board confiscated the yellow plates of Valisno Express’ 62 buses, as part of its 30-day preventive suspension order.

Its drivers were also directed to take a road safety seminar, a drug test, and secure police and NBI clearances.

It was also ordered to undergo a roadworthiness inspection by the Land Transportation Office.


MINOT, N.D. — Two men and a woman have been arrested after a pound of methamphetamine valued up to $45,000 was found in the Minot post office.

The Ward County Narcotics Task Force received information on Tuesday that Joseph Tuchscherer, 38, of Kenmare, was picking up a package from the post office which contained methamphetamine.

A U.S. Border Patrol canine was used to verify the package addressed to Tuchscherer contained meth, said Minot police..

At about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday a controlled delivery of the package was conducted and three suspects were arrested in the incident.

Also arrested were Seth Dorscher, 20, of Des Lacs, and Jessica Christenson, 24, of Minot.

All three face possible charges of criminal conspiracy to possession of meth with intent to deliver and also possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tuchscherer also had almost $3,000 cash with him, said Minot Police Capt. John Klug. He also said the Kenmare man had ties to Minot and Bismarck.


SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – A Salisbury woman has been charged by police for having material used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.8540213_G

Christie Michelle Myers, 27, was arrested at the probation office on Kerr Street Monday night and booked into the jail at around 7:30 p.m.

Myers is charged with possession of immediate precursor chemicals, drug possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $25,000.

Myers has a criminal history in Rowan that includes larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault, and driving with a revoked license.


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A judge has ordered a man held for trial for allegedly killing a man, stuffing his body in a suitcase and dumping the luggage in the weeds near Philadelphia International Airport.

Two witnesses who had either detention center or cellblock conversations with the defendant, 25-year old Thomas Brennan, testified on Tuesday that he confided that the victim, 40-year-old Scott Bernheisel, either pressed him to have sexual relations or sell methamphetamine.thomas-brennan

When he refused, one of them says, the victim lunged at Brennan with a dumbbell, and during the struggle, Brennan took it away and struck Bernheisel twice in the head.

Both testified that Brennan then “stuck a knife through” the victim’s throat to make it look like a drug-related Mexican gang or Italian Mafia hit.

Defense lawyer Perry de Marco Sr. agrees that it may be for a jury to decide, but he maintains “it’s a clear cut case of self-defense.”

“He was a guy who had sexual designs on my client,” de Marco Sr. says. “He was trying to force my client to have sex with him, and in exchange he promised him drugs.”

Assistant District Attorney Gail Fairman says Brennan was trying to manipulate the cell mates and a homicide detective to whom he gave a statement.

“He’s trying to control the information,” she says, “and spin the murder in a light most favorable to himself.”

The altercation happened in May at a house both frequented in South Philadelphia.


COFFEE COUNTY, GA — A 44-year-old woman has been arrested after police say they found multiple drugs at her residence.GaskinsMugshot81115

Investigators with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office say they responded to a fight at a residence on Clyde Kirkland Road Monday evening.

Further investigation into the situation on scene revealed methamphetamine, syringes filled with methamphetamine, two different strengths of Lorcet, Xanax, bags commonly used for packaging illegal drugs and scales.

Verdie Lynn Gaskins has been arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and three separate counts of possession of a controlled substance.


INTERLACHEN, Fla. — A Palm Coast couple was arrested after police found a baby and a mobile meth lab in their car Monday.20150811_Claudia_Payes

A Putnam County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant stopped Louis James Vetrano II for driving with a suspended license in a shopping center in Interlachen. Claudia E. Payes was in the passenger seat.

A K-9 officer named Zeke alerted deputies to illegal drugs in the back seat of the car.

Vetrano told police that there were syringes in the driver’s side door and was arrested.

Drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine were found in the back seat.

Police also found a baby beside a methamphetamine bottle known as a “gasser” that can release dangerous hydrochloric acid gas, which is dangerous for infants.

The lieutenant on the scene dismantled the gasser. The baby boy is in the care of an investigator with the Division of Children and Families. The car was towed from the scene.20150811_Louis_Vetrano

Vetrano and Payes were both charged with possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle used in the process of manufacturing a controlled substance, child neglect without great bodily harm, possession of chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Vetrano was also charged with driving with a suspended license while being a habitual traffic offender. He was booked into the Putnam County Jail without bond.


Authorities arrested a Palm Coast couple early Monday on charges of possession of methamphetamine after investigators found a baby in their car with a bag of the drug and portable meth lab container next to the child, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Meanwhile, investigators found a 32-year-old man in Interlachen who was wanted for months on multiple warrants after methamphetamine and hydromorphone were sold to undercover detectives in the Palatka area, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The first incident occurred about 9:30 a.m. in Interlachen when Louis Vetrano and Claudia Payes, both 34 and of Ruth Drive in Palm Coast, each were charged with meth possession, possession of drugs and drug manufacturing equipment, and production of drugs, the Sheriff’s Office said. Both also were charged with child neglect. Payes remained in jail on $23,000 bail while Vetrano is in without bail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A sheriff’s lieutenant stopped Vetrano in a shopping center for driving with a suspended driver’s license. During the traffic stop, K-9 “Zeke” alerted deputies to drugs in the car. Syringes were found in the driver’s door, with other drug paraphernalia, chemicals to make drugs and methamphetamine in the rear seat, investigators said. Found next to the baby was the methamphetamine bottle, known as a “gasser,” which can emit hydrochloric acid gas, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The couple’s infant son was turned over to a Division of Children and Families investigator while Vetrano was also charged with driving while license suspended for being a habitual traffic offender, investigators said.

Meanwhile, Calvon Estmond Jones was arrested early Monday afternoon in Interlachen on warrants for two counts of sale of methamphetamine, two more for sale of hydromorphone and one for failure to appear in court on a suspended license charge, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Jones was initially charged in May after a county-wide undercover investigation called “Operation Spring Cleaning” that targeted neighborhood drug dealing, the Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators couldn’t find him until Monday, when drug and vice detectives learned he was hiding in a Magnolia Street home.

When detectives got to the scene, they found Jones inside a locked metal shed refusing to come out, the Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives forced their way in and arrested Jones.

He remains behind bars on no bail, according to jail records.

Border Patrol agents seized three bundles of methamphetamine that had been hidden in a bus toilet Monday during one of the two investigations that day that turned up almost 16 pounds of the drug.

During a traffic stop at the Highway 86 checkpoint at 4:30 a.m., agents searching the commercial bus found a plastic bag containing three bundles of methamphetamine wrapped in tape hidden in the bus’s toilet.

The bundles contained 6 pounds of methamphetamine worth an estimated $60,000.

Agents were unable to determine who put the drugs in the toilet and turned the investigation over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Later in the day, drug-sniffing dogs alerted to a Nissan Sentra being driven through the same checkpoint by a 20-year-old female U.S. citizen.

During further investigation of the car, agents found nine packages of methamphetamine wrapped in black tape and hidden in the front rocker panel of the car.

The methamphetamine weighed 9.9 pounds and was worth an estimated $99,000.


HONOLULU >> A package mailed from Las Vegas containing a Golden Nugget casino sweater, a pillowcase and six pounds of methamphetamine led authorities to a man’s Aiea apartment, where he allegedly kept another 14 pounds of crystal meth, a large amount of cash and a revolver, according to court documents.

Authorities intercepted the package last week and a postal inspector posing as a mail carrier delivered it to the Kaonohi Street apartment building. The inspector called the unit from the call box and a man asked that it be left at the front desk, said the criminal complaint filed in court.

Agents keeping surveillance watched as Bryant Iwai later picked up the package and went in the elevator to the unit. Authorities knocked on the door, announced “police,” waited for a few minutes when there was no answer and then entered the unit, the documents said.

Officers detained Iwai, who was walking toward them in the living room.

The .38-caliber gun was in “plain view” in the living room, along with the 14 pounds of crystal meth, according to the complaint signed by a Drug Enforcement Administration officer. There was cash was in a kitchen cabinet. There was also a digital scale and other drug dealing-related items.

Iwai told agents this was his third drug parcel he received from Las Vegas and that he paid $60,000 for the meth, which he planned to sell. “He related that this is his job since he’s unemployed and he would sell all the methamphetamine in small amounts to make a huge profit,” the complaint states.

A pound of crystal meth has a Honolulu street value of about $20,000.

About $30,000 in cash was seized from the apartment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Inciong said in court Tuesday at Iwai’s detention hearing. He urged the judge to order Iwai jailed because of the “extraordinarily large amount” of meth involved.

Iwai’s parents, who watched the hearing from the front row of the courtroom gallery, are willing to pay a cash bond for their son to be released to their custody and have him be monitored by a GPS device, Iwai’s federal public defender, Salina Althof, told the judge.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang ordered Iwai to a halfway house, when bed space and GPS monitoring equipment are available. He must also post $50,000 bond.


BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Local and federal agents arrested more than four dozen people Tuesday as part of a two-year investigation into alleged drug trafficking and gun violence in northeastern Arkansas.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer and others said 70 people were named in 40 indictments handed up last week and unsealed Tuesday. More than 500 law officers took part in the arrests.

Between January 2014 and June 2015, agents bought drugs and/or guns 160 times. Prosecutors said they seized more than 19 pounds of methamphetamine, 89 illegally possessed firearms and 10 ounces of crack cocaine.

“It has been evident for some time that drugs and guns are overrunning the entire Arkansas Delta in general, and Mississippi County in particular,” Thyer said.

Prosecutors said 50 people were picked up Tuesday, including 11 already in custody on other charges. After the sweep, 20 of those charged remained as fugitives.

The IRS said it conducted two search warrants as part of the investigation with the hope it could disrupt drug operations. The subject of the search warrants was not among those indicted.

Charges in the indictments unsealed Tuesday include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of crack cocaine and cocaine, use of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm and use of a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking crime.


MORGAN CITY, LA (WAFB) – On Saturday, August 8, 2015, narcotics investigators with the Morgan City Police Department searched a home on Cypress Street and found children living in dirty and unsanitary conditions, starving animals caged outside of the home, drugs and stolen guns. The house is located in a drug-free school zone.8531632_G

Four adults and three children ranging in age from infant to three years old were found in the home. Two adults who live in the home have been identified as 22-year-old Jeana M. Domangue and 32-year-old Jacob P. Domangue.

During the investigation, investigators found two children, ages two and three years old secluded in a separate room.

“The conditions inside the room were found to be dirty and unsanitary. The room was gated and found to have what appeared to be feces on the floor and walls of the room,” said officials with the Morgan City Police Department.

The Department of Child Services were called and responded to the scene.

Officers found several small, caged animals outside of the home. “The animals were found to be emaciated and without shelter, food or water. An animal control officer with the Morgan City Police Department responded to the scene.”

Witnesses told police the children have been living in squalor for some time and on occasion, Jeana and Jacob Domangue held some of the children in animal cages inside the home.

The Louisiana Department of Child Services took custody of the children where they were evaluated and given the proper care.

Detectives found methamphetamine and evidence that the drugs were being sold from the house. Officers also located two handguns, a 9mm and a .380 cal., one of which was discovered to be stolen.

The Morgan City Police Department is continuing to work with the Louisiana Department of Child Services during the investigation. The investigation is continuing.

Jenna Domangue has been charged with possession of schedule II CDS-methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, transactions involving proceeds from illegal narcotics activity, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of uniformed controlled dangerous substance law-school zone, keeping a disorderly place, cruelty to juveniles, cruelty to animals, illegal use or carrying of a weapon, illegal use of controlled drug in presence of persons under the age of 17, and illegal possession of a stolen firearm. Her bond has been set at $475,000.

Jacob Domangue has been charged with possession of schedule II CDS-methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, transactions involving proceeds from illegal narcotics activity, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of uniformed controlled dangerous substance law-school zone, keeping a disorderly place, cruelty to juveniles, cruelty to animals, illegal use or carrying of a weapon, illegal use of controlled drug in presence of persons under the age of 17, illegal possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond has been set at $500,000.

Courtney J. Smith, 28, of Morgan City was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana under 16 grams, resisting an officer, illegal use of controlled drug in presence of persons under 17 years of age, and violation of uniformed controlled dangerous substance law.

Deborah Francois, 32, of Morgan City was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana under 16 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of uniformed controlled dangerous substance law, and illegal use of controlled drug in presence of persons under 17 years of age.


VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) – Deputies used Tasers three times on a man who was high on meth when he got into a fight with two of them at a convenience store.

According to a report, a clerk called 911 when a man wouldn’t pay for a bottle of water, and would not leave the store on Saturday.8535847_G

The man, later identified as 21-year-old Terry Allen, spoke to a deputy who responded to the store, and told him that he didn’t have enough money for the bottle of water.

The deputy paid the remaining price for the water, and told Allen to move on out of the store.

But officials said that’s when Allen got aggressive and began fighting with the deputy.

Moments later another deputy arrived on the scene and tried to restrain Allen, who was becoming violent, the report read.

A deputy warned Allen, and then Tased him, but he leaped over the counter and continued to struggle with the deputies, and was Tased a second time.

He continued the fight until he was Tased a third time, which deputies said slowed him down enough to be handcuffed.

Allen told the deputies he had taken Methamphetamine and “Molly” prior to the incident. They called an ambulance to the scene, and he was taken to South Georgia Medical Center to be evaluated, but was released and taken to the Lowndes County Jail.

The two deputies were also treated and released from the hospital for injuries received during the fight.

Sheriff Chris Prine he was grateful that no one was seriously injured, but expressed concern that incidents like this could become more frequent as synthetic drugs become more prevalent.

“These drugs can ruin a person’s life because it affects their decision making capabilities and certainly their behavior,” he said.

Terry Allen was expected to appear in the Lowndes County Magistrate Court Monday for a bond hearing.


MT VERNON, IL (KFVS) – A Mt. Vernon sex offender has been arrested and taken into custody and is facing charges related to methamphetamine production.

On Saturday, officers from the Mt. Vernon Police Department went to the 1302 Wescott to conduct a compliance check on William Flanders.8527924_G

Flanders is a registered sex offender, so officers routinely check to verify all sex offenders in Mt. Vernon are in compliance with the terms of their sex offender registrations.

While at the home, officers made observations indicating methamphetamine was being produced there.

After further investigation officers located items used in the making of methamphetamine inside the home.

A child inside the home was taken into protective custody and transported to a local hospital for a check up.

Flanders was taken into custody on charges of possession of drug equipment, possession of methamphetamine, child endangerment, possession of methamphetamine manufacturing chemicals, possession of methamphetamine materials, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste, and participation in methamphetamine production.

The investigation continues and additional charges are possible.


HICKORY — Reports of a man looking into apartment windows led to police charging a Hickory resident with trafficking methamphetamine early Sunday morning, officials said.

Donte Rassan Gore, 32, of Hickory, was charged with one felony count of trafficking methamphetamine, one 55c9004f8536a_imagemisdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, one felony count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or other place for a controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked, according to an arrest report.

He was given a $105,300 secured bond.

Police responded to an apartment complex in the 1800 block of 20th Avenue Drive NE in Hickory after receiving reports of a man walking behind the apartments and attempting to look inside them, Hickory Police Department spokeswoman Chrystal Dieter said.

When police arrived at the apartment complex at about 2 a.m. Sunday, the suspect left the scene in a vehicle.

Officers then stopped the vehicle and saw a clear, plastic bag containing what looked like a controlled substance in the car.

A search of the suspect and the vehicle yielded eight units of oxycodone, $1,058 in cash, and 29.6 grams of methamphetamine, Dieter said.


A 63-year-old Nicholson woman remained in the Jackson County Jail on Monday following her arrest Friday on illegal drug charges.

Investigators searched Connie Beth Parr’s home at 1978 Cabin Creek Road, where they located a quantity of methamphetamine and packaging products for the distribution of the drug, along with some stolen property, according to Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum.

Deputies charged Parr with possession of meth with intent to distribute, possessing tools for the commission of a crime and theft by receiving stolen property. She may face more charges, Mangum said.

Parr’s arrest followed a lengthy investigation after deputies received information about drug activity at her home, Capt. Rich Lott said.

“We did some undercover purchases of illegal drugs from her,” he said, which led deputies to seek a search warrant for her home.


BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — The Benton County Sheriff’s Office arrested a bail bondsman Monday (August 10) after he entered the sheriff’s office while intoxicated on methamphetamine, according to the sheriff.

Joshua Bradley, 29, came to the sheriff’s office to bond out a client when a clerk at the jail noticed he was displaying signs of someone under the influence of drugs, Sheriff Kelley Cradduck said. Deputies then searched Bradley’s vehicle and found he was carrying shotguns and other weapons, according to Cradduck.

When Bradley was brought inside for booking, deputies also found a small bag of methamphetamine, the sheriff said.

“They took off his socks and about a gram to a half a gram of methamphetamine fell out of his sock,” Cradduck said. “His life is now changed forever.”

Bradley is facing felony charges of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of a controlled substance, as well as misdemeanor charges of DWI drugs and public intoxication, according to the sheriff’s office.

“I am grateful for the fact that we had a deputy and a clerk that noticed his actions were so strange that they confronted him and did not allow him to leave before he could hurt himself or someone else,” Cradduck said.

Bradley is also a former Conway County deputy and was carrying a badge, which he should not have, the sheriff said.

“Maybe this [arrest] gets his life back on track,” Cradduck said. “If he was an officer before, he had interest in helping people and being a bondsman, maybe this is something that will help him.”

Jail records show Bradley’s bond has not yet been set.


A 21-year-old Montegut woman was arrested Monday in connection with methamphetamine possession during a routine traffic stop, Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman said.Chauvin

Police spotted Taylor Chauvin, of Reynold Street, driving with only one brake light on Prospect Boulevard near West Main Street. Over the course of their conversation, officers determined Chauvin was under the influence of drugs.

A subsequent K-9 search showed that Chauvin had drug paraphernalia and plastic bags with suspected methamphetamine in her car. Her driver license was also found to be suspended.

Chauvin is charged with possession with intent to distribute CDS I (methamphetamines), possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under suspension and operating a vehicle without two brake lights. She remains in the Terrebonne Parish jail.


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) – The Branch County Sheriff’s Department says a man and a woman were burned in a meth lab explosion Sunday morning at a residence in Ovid Township and there could possibly be other victims as well. 9-1-1 Central Dispatch took a call at 5:50 a.m. yesterday about the explosion at 675 Jo Jo Lane. On arrival deputies found a 26 year old man in the driveway with the majority of his clothing burnt off with severe burns on his body. In the residence was a 24 year old woman with burns on her upper torso.

Deputies assisted Life Care Ambulance and the Lakeland Fire Department in treating the man and woman. The female was transported to the Community Health Center of Branch County and the male went to Parkview Hospital in Ft. Wayne. No names have been released and there’s no word on their conditions.

The preliminary Investigation shows 4 adults were sitting in a car in the driveway manufacturing methamphetamine when the meth cook blew up. Deputies said it appears two of the subjects then fled the scene on foot. Child Protective Services was summoned to the scene for a five year old that was sleeping in the residence.

Deputies will be submitting warrant requests to the Branch County Prosecutor’s Office for numerous felony charges involving the use and manufacture of methamphetamine for all four subjects. The incident remains under investigation. Also assisting Sheriff Deputies was a meth technician from the Coldwater Police Department.


Fourth Judicial District Judge Sharon Marchman has seen an alarming trend within drug court lately — an increase in women who are addicted to drugs and pregnant.

About 11 percent of babies nationwide are born to mothers with substance abuse other than nicotine and alcohol.

The rise of prescription drug addiction has resulted in more babies born to women addicted to narcotics compared to just two decades ago, when infant addiction was associated more with street-level drugs.

A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found the number of newborns addicted to painkillers tripled in just 10 years. The study indicated 3.4 out of every 1,000 babies born suffered from withdrawals associated with narcotic pain medications. From 2000 to 2010 there was a fivefold increase in the number of pregnant women who used or abused opiates, according to the study.

“I have seen a tremendous uptick in the number of drug-exposed newborns we have in our community. I’m getting calls from child protection services right and left about mothers who continue to use during their pregnancy. They are having babies prematurely, and they’re actually having babies who have drugs in their system,” Marchman said.

She said they face long-term consequences as a result of their mother’s decision to use drugs while pregnant. The majority of pregnant women are using methamphetamine, Marchman said.B9318359592Z_1_20150809172512_000_GMOBIMIOK_1-0

Neonatal abstinence syndrome can occur in infants whose mothers use and abuse narcotics during pregnancy. Depending on the type of drug, how often and when the drug was used, symptoms can range from excessive crying, poor feeding, irritability, seizures, trembling and vomiting.

The impact on infants depends on the type of drug, dosage and how long a mother abused it during her pregnancy. The mother’s prenatal health also is a factor.

Jonathan Phillips, University Health Conway’s director of clinical ancillary services, said there’s a difference between an infant having a positive drug screen with no signs of addiction and neonatal abstinence syndrome, where an infant is born addicted.

As of last month, Conway reports numbers below average for mothers who test positive for drugs.

“Infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome is rare here, but it does occur. It can occur from the mother’s habitual use of opiates, narcotics and alcohol. Illicit drug use is also a factor with a rise from young mothers addicted to methamphetamine,” Phillips said.

During prenatal visits at Conway, screenings are done with mothers to assess for drug use and educate them as needed. They also are referred help to address addictions through the hospital’s social services department.

University Health Conway Nursery and NICU manager Diane Terry said all mothers who deliver at Conway are screened, and if they test positive, the infant is screened.

If an infant is positive for a toxicology screening or if the newborn shows signs and symptoms of withdrawals, the child is monitored, and every two hours nurses conduct an abstinence score.

In extreme situations physicians will give medications like morphine and methadone in small doses.

St. Francis Medical Center sees mostly pregnant women using marijuana, methadone or prescription drugs.

St. Francis neonatal nurse practitioner Kim Allen has seen a “large increase” in mothers testing positive for drugs and having babies test positive through a urine test.

“There has been a huge increase in numbers of drug-addicted babies that require treatment. We have on average at least two to three infants at a time that require some sort of drug-related treatment,” Allen said.

While many babies test positive for drugs, they are not symptomatic and therefore do not require treatment, Allen said. Symptomatic babies require medication to treat the drug withdrawal depending on the drug used by the mother. It can take weeks of treatment for symptomatic babies to be treated for withdrawals.

Local health care officials agreed the best preventive measure is education to get mothers off drugs before any pregnancy.


Federal investigators say they arrested a “multiple pound distributor” of meth in southwest Missouri.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Western Missouri, Jeronimo Juarez, 47, was B9318392698Z_1_20150809165551_000_G47BIUD1P_1-0caught with meth twice in less than two weeks this summer.

Documents indicate Juarez lives in Joplin, but the criminal complaint was filed in Greene County.

According to the complaint, Juarez was stopped while traveling along I-40 in central Oklahoma on July 27. Authorities searched his vehicle and found about six pounds of meth, the complaint says.

Juarez was charged in Canadian County, Oklahoma and released on bond, the complaint says.

Nine days later, Juarez was involved in another traffic stop. This time, authorities set up surveillance outside of his home in Joplin and stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation shortly after it pulled away from the residence, according to the complaint.

Juarez was the passenger in the vehicle, and authorities found about two ounces of meth in his pocket, the complaint says.

In an interview with authorities, Juarez said he had recently received a shipment of about five pounds of meth from California, the complaint says. Authorities searched his house and found 5.7 pounds of meth in the bedroom in addition to four weapons, the complaint says.

The complaint says Juarez has a prior conviction from 2007 for being in the United States illegally. Court documents do not say where he is from originally.

Federal investigators say they believe there is probable cause to charge Juarez with possession of meth with intent to distribute.

Online records indicate Juarez is being held in the Phelps County Jail.