Jazmen Nicole Hazelrigs was sentenced to serve 17 years with no probation for her role in the sudden death of her 4-month-old child last summer.

Harmony Breeze Hazelrigs was found unresponsive and blue around her mouth when authorities responded to the home on 105 Crawford Cir. on Sept. 7, 2015.hazelrigs1

On Friday morning, Hazelrigs pled guilty in a non-negotiated blind plea presented by the District Attorney’s office.

During the course of the plea, the court heard from several witnesses to the lifestyle Hazelrigs maintained over the course of the summer of 2015.

Brittany Parker spent several weeks at the residence with her five-year-old while she was pregnant. She testified that she and Hazelriggs used meth together frequently while their children were often left unsupervised.

Her remarks painted a picture of extreme neglect in the household. With Hazelrigs often feeling burdened by her children, she allegedly neglected their hygiene and care. Parker told the court that she found herself changing the diapers of Hazelrigs children and feeding them because it seemed like the right thing to do.

“Being a mom myself, I felt the kids were entitled to some attention and I didn’t want them to do without – going hungry and being dirty,” Parker said. “I believe she loved her children, but felt very frustrated and overwhelmed being a single mother to three kids.”

According to Parker, the meth use was incessant in the home. She testified that Hazlerigs was using meth every 20 to 30 minutes and would go days without sleeping.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 7, Parker said she saw Hazelrigs put Harmony down to sleep in her bassinet at 2:30 a.m. and the infant seemed to be in good health. When she awoke at 10:30 the next morning, she could hear Harmony crying and Jasmine talking on the phone.

Parker said she got the other children dressed and fed and wasn’t concerned with what was happening in Jasmine’s room. After feeding the children lunch, Parker recalled that the oldest child wanted to play outside, so she told him to ask his mother.

“He beat on the door, yelling for his momma, but she didn’t come to the door and it remained locked,” she recalled.

Shortly thereafter, Parker recalled being out of baby wipes and went to Hazelrigs room to get some. Again, she failed to answer the door.

“I banged on the doors, all the walls – just trying to get her to come to the door,” Parker said. “I even got a knife to try and unlock her door but that didn’t work.”

During the period where her door remained locked, Parker recalled hearing loud music coming from inside the room – “too loud to be in a closed bedroom with a baby.”

Around 2:30 p.m., Parker recalled hearing Hazelrigs screaming, but thought nothing much about it.

“I thought she was just on the phone with someone,” she said. “I became concerned when it didn’t stop and she started calling my name.”

Parker ran to the room where she was met by a sweaty, frantic Hazelrigs who kept repeating “My baby, my baby … what have I done?”

Inside the room, Parker found Harmony lying unresponsive on a large stack of pillows on the bed.

“It was clear she was dead,” Parker recalled. “I didn’t feel her skin, I just fell to the floor in tears.”

As the children came near the room, Parker took Jasmine to the hallway to keep them from entering the room to see the infant. Instead of calling 911, Parker called a friend.

While the kids remained on the sofa, the friend went upstairs to see what had happened. He called 911 and placed the call on speakerphone while the operator attempted to give instructions on how to revive the infant.

In a video recorded by Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk, Hazelrigs attempted to show how she found her baby lying in the bed next to her when she woke up.

In the subsequent drug tests performed after the death of Harmony, the 4-year-old son had a level of 9,822 picograms per milligram of methamphetamine in his bloodstream – roughly one third of the level that was found in Hazelrigs.

Assistant District Attorney Robert Mooradian stated that in the medical examiner’s findings, the cause of death remains undetermined.

“The autopsy disclosed a rare optical petechial hemorrhage, along with facial and oral marks, which raise suspicion,” he said. “However, they don’t provide a definitive cause of death.”

He also cited there were no definite signs of trauma and the toxicology of the infant came back as negative, but the sleeping environment poses a risk for asphyxial death which cannot be excluded.

While the autopsy did not state SIDS as the cause of death, it did say that it’s a possibility as much as foul play, according to Mooradian.

“These cases are becoming common,” said Mooradian. “Meth mothers are endangering their children and waking up with dead babies next to them. It’s serious and the court should consider what she’s pleading guilty to and the suspicious circumstances around the death.”

Public Defender Rick Samper stressed that no one ever saw Hazelrigs co-sleeping with her infant and that it was “a difficult case, filled with difficult facts.”

“I hate to say this, but continuing to live is often worse than death itself,” Samper said to the court. “Putting her (Hazelrigs) in prison won’t punish her any more than her waking up every day and thinking about Harmony.”

Samper pled with the court to enroll Hazelrigs in an RSAT (Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners) program to help get her life back on track and to grant first offender status.

In phone conversations recorded while Hazelrigs was incarcerated, she is heard talking about wanting to get high as soon as she’s out of jail. In another, she admits to her boyfriend that she’s “scared” about getting out and possibly failing again.

“In these conversations, we know that relapse is part of addiction,” Samper said. “In an RSAT program, she can be incarcerated, off the streets and getting the treatment she needs.”

In her remarks to Judge Sakrison, Jasmine said that she acknowledges she wasn’t the perfect mother, she had only begun using methamphetamine after her roommate won the lottery and made it available.

“It was free and it was there, but I know it doesn’t make it okay,” she said. “I know I can’t bring Harmony back, but I love my kids and want to fight for them.”

Judge Sakrison acknowledged that the case was extremely disturbing – taking issue with the reckless amounts of methamphetamine that the children tested positive for.

“I’ve heard a lot of excuses, but not much remorse,” he said. “This is not the type of case that qualifies as a first offender and you need to face responsibility for your actions in a significant way.”

“From everything I’ve heard, you’re very fortunate that you’re being allowed to plead guilty to something that isn’t a murder case.”







Original post

“Rather high” amount of Methamphetamine in system of 4-month-old girl found in dead in her mother’s bed in Newnan; Jazmen Hazelrigs, 22, arrested


HAMPTON FALLS — A man was arrested for allegedly poaching eels in the Hampton Falls River on Friday, as well as for alleged methamphetamine possession, according to New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Drew Hankins, 27, of Newbury, was arrested in the early morning and charged with illegally catching American eels after a foot pursuit by New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation officers and the New Hampshire State Police umdjdudrjnear Route 1, according to Fish and Game.

Catching American eels is not permitted in New Hampshire, but the animals sell for approximately $2,500 a pound in Asian markets, according to Lt. Michael Eastman, Seacoast district chief for Fish and Game’s law enforcement division.

Hankins was caught by a Fish and Game surveillance team from the department’s law enforcement division, aided by state police. The division regularly monitors freshwater rivers this time of year when eels begin traveling from saltwater bodies.

When a uniformed Fish and Game officer approached Hankins, Eastman said Hankins jumped into the river and began swimming across toward a culvert. When Hankins saw a state trooper waiting there, he swam back to the Fish and Game officer and turned himself in.

Hankins’ vehicle was searched, where police discovered equipment for taking eels, methamphetamines and large amounts of cash, officials said.

Hankins was arraigned Monday in Portsmouth District Court on six counts of taking American eels less than 9 inches in length, one count of taking American eels without a harvest permit, falsifying physical evidence, disobeying a conservation officer, and possession of a controlled drug. He was being held on $5,000 cash bail as of Monday.

Hankins had been previously convicted of illegally taking American eels in 2014. The fact that this was a second offense makes it a Class B felony, according to Fish and Game. Possession of a controlled drug and falsifying physical evidence are also Class B felonies.

Eastman said Hankins is the first arrest for eel poaching this year by Fish and Game in New Hampshire. Stricter regulations in recent years have caused the arrest numbers to drop significantly. In 2013, he said there were 22 people arrested for eel poaching in the state. In 2014 and 2015 each, he said there were only one or two, likely due to increases in fines.

Seabrook police also assisted Fish and Game with the incident.







Bobbi Nicole Fountain, 28, was arrested after an investigation into counterfeit operations by Lyons Police and Vidalia Police Department.

Fountain was stopped by the Vidalia Police on Hwy 292 in Vidalia after having passed counterfeit currency at Captain’s Corner restaurant also in Vidalia.Randall Holcomb-Vidalia Police

Investigators seized $3,247 in assorted denominations of counterfeit U.S. currency, electronics used in the production of counterfeit currency, as well as methamphetamine.

Police charged Fountain with 15 counts of first degree forgery and 80 counts of second degree forgery. Lyons Police charged her with one count of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

This is an on-going investigation with other parties involved and more charges expected to follow.







More than a million dollars in narcotics – some of it concealed in plastic soft drink bottles – was seized in two traffic stops on Interstate 12 in St. Tammany Parish late Sunday (April 3) and early Monday. Three suspects were arrested and booked into the parish jail for possession of cocaine and liquid methamphetamine, according to State Police.

At around 10 p.m. Sunday, state troopers stopped a 2016 Mercedes-Benz for a traffic violation on the eastbound lanes of I-12 just west of the Madisonville exit. After the driver, Stephany Vergara, 25, refused to let troopers search the vehicle, a drug sniffing dog, “Reza,” was deployed. The dog detected a drug odor that resulted in the discovery of nearly four pounds of cocaine in the vehicle’s trunk, according to a State Police news release. Vergara was booked with possession of a schedule II narcotic over 400 grams.

At around 2:18 a.m. Monday, troopers stopped a 2013 Toyota Camry for a traffic violation in the same general area. Troopers requested and were granted consent to search the vehicle by the driver, 41 year-old Salas Veda, according to the news release.

During the search, troopers discovered approximately 90 pounds of liquid methamphetamine in plastic drink 20073661-mmmainbottles within the vehicle. Veda and her front seat passenger, 39 year-old Ever Estuardo Chimo, were both booked with possession of a schedule II narcotic over 400 grams, police said.







EASTON — The alleged head of a $1 million methamphetamine ring operating in Northampton and Monroe counties is back in Pennsylvania after six years on the run.steven-gerardo-reyes-jpg-20160404

U.S. Marshals arrested Steven Gerardo Reyes, 41, on March 10 in Yelm, Wash., according to The Olympian newspaper. Reyes was arraigned on 2010 charges Sunday night after being extradited to Pennsylvania.

Reyes was being held in Northampton County Prison under $200,000 bail.

Eleven people were arrested in the ring, which used the “one-pot method” to make methamphetamine in containers as small as a water bottle. Tom Corbett, the state attorney general at the time, said investigators had uncovered six meth labs that were part of the ring. Authorities said Reyes would teach dealers the method and reap the proceeds.

Reyes and the other suspects were charged by a state grand jury in 2010. He is charged with numerous drug offenses as well as participating in a corrupt organization.







EAST TEXAS (KLTV) – As part of an effort to put a dent in the sale of methamphetamine in East Texas, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Monday 17 people charged have been charged in a drug trafficking ring bust.

READ: 17 charged in Longview drug trafficking ring; 1 suspect at large

U.S. Attorney John M. Bales said in his opinion, methamphetamine is one of the worst drugs he’s ever seen.

“It enslaves the mind and the body of the user; the appetite for narcotics in America seems to be insatiable.” said Bales. “This is a national dilemma that we’re facing, and unfortunately law enforcement is only one part of the puzzle, and it’s not the solution.”

With demand for the drug on the rise, Bales called on society to understand why so many Americans like to get high.

In East Texas, treatment specifically for those struggling with methamphetamine addiction can be difficult to find.

Jessica Medcalf, facility director for Cenikor, says their inpatient center is one of the only in East Texas treating methamphetamine abuse.

“It’s not the same kind of damage that is done by heroin,” said Medcalf. “Heroin and opiates tend to attack the liver. Methamphetamines attack the brain directly.”

Medcalf said treatment for meth is unique because there’s no medication to help patients “get over it.”

“It requires having the body to have the opportunity to heal, and sometimes that requires them to literally just sit and do nothing for several days,” said Medcalf. “Unfortunately, when it comes to seeking treatment, individuals who use methamphetamine find it more difficult to come in to treatment because they have very very intense cravings, and the cravings typically result in them wanting to leave treatment or not seek it at all.”

Eric Burger, executive director of Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, has noticed treatment options declining in the area.

“There has certainly been a shift, we’re totally privately funded. Right now, there aren’t a lot of other options locally, except for the faith-based,” said Burger. “Our 10-month recovery program has everything from counseling, to Bible studies, and therapy, and then we get guys connected into a local church to give them new life beyond the mission.”

In their program, Burger said meth is one of the biggest drivers causing clients to seek help at their doors.

“People get hooked to it because it’s cheap, there’s weight loss, there’s energy, but man, it’ll mess you up,” said Burger.

One of Hiway 80’s recovery participants, Sam Hagemeier, said for him, faith and a controlled environment helped him fight his meth addiction.

“I didn’t even try to find help until I met Hiway 80; the hardest part is admitting [that you need help.]” Hagemeier said. “Here it’s the brotherhood and it’s the support.  If you ask for anything, they give it to you.”

For more information about these programs, contact the following organizations:

Cenikor Foundation: 1 (888) 236-4567

Hiway 80 Mission

3123 W Marshall

Longview, TX 75604

(903) 759-8101






Lexington woman has been charged in connection with a meth lab found during a mobile home fire Saturday night.

Firefighters were called to Maple Grove Mobile Park at 4130 Georgetown Road about 11:30 p.m. Crews put out the fire quickly but discovered the meth lab inside, Lexington police said Sunday.keller44

“They backed out and requested our assistance. Our meth lab team responded,” Lt. Matthew Greathouse said. No one was injured in the fire, and the mobile home park didn’t have to be evacuated.

Jenny R. Keller, 44, was charged Sunday morning with manufacturing methamphetamine. Police said Keller had at least two chemicals and two pieces of equipment to manufacture meth, according to her arrest citation.

Keller is to be arraigned Monday afternoon. Bond has not been set.








Dominic Falasco, a member of the Los Banos Unified School District board of trustees and a prominent criminal defense attorney, was arrested early Sunday on allegations of methamphetamine possession, Merced police confirmed.Falasco

Falasco, 48, was booked into the Merced County Jail at 3:32 a.m. on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of concentrated cannabis and possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana – all misdemeanors. He was released from custody at 6:19 a.m., according to booking records.

Dominic Falasco, a member of the Los Banos Unified school board and a prominent criminal defense attorney, was arrested early Sunday on suspicion of drug possession. Merced County Sheriff’s Office

Falasco was a passenger in a black Ford F-150 pickup truck stopped around 1:18 a.m. on a suspected traffic violation in the area of Yosemite Avenue and M Street, Capt. Bimley West said.

Police had received a call reporting a suspected drunken driver.

“The officers investigated and learned the driver was not DUI, but was on probation,” West said in a telephone interview.

The driver, Raylynn L. Wineland, was under a legal order to submit to police searches as part of her probation, West said.

“During the search, officers found methamphetamine in the truck and Mr. Falasco admitted that it was his and had some more methamphetamine on his person,” West said.

Police also found suspected marijuana and hashish. The exact quantities of the alleged drugs and marijuana could not immediately be confirmed.

Wineland was cited for driving without a license and the vehicle was taken to storage by police. She was not booked into the county jail, West said.

The well-known Los Banos-area criminal defense attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday. A woman who answered the telephone at his office in Los Banos said she would try to pass the message on to him.

Falasco was elected in 2012 as a trustee to the board of the Los Banos Unified School District, ousting longtime incumbent Colleen Menefee by 25 votes, according to Sun-Star archives.CP%20Schoolboard%20Falasco

Falasco is a certified specialist in criminal defense law, and in 2013 was vice chair of the Criminal Law Advisory Commission for the California Board of Legal Specialization.

He has been involved as a defense attorney in a number of high-profile cases over the years in Merced County. He defended Omar Cebrero, one of four defendants convicted in the 2007 kidnapping and burning death of Rosa Avina, a case that caught some national attention.

Four men, including Cebrero, received life prison sentences for kidnapping the woman and burning her alive because they believed she had stolen a pound of marijuana, according to Sun-Star archives.

The Falasco name in Los Banos also is attached to the city’s courthouse, an elementary school and the community arts center.

He received his law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and joined the state bar in 1992, according to California State Bar records.









A man has been indicted in a Laredo federal court for allegedly attempting to transport more than $6 million worth of methamphetamine to Austin.

A grand jury charged Felipe Cardona-Rodriguez Tuesday with one count of conspiracy to import methamphetamine and one count of importation of methamphetamine.

Cardona-Rodriguez was arrested March 5 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection office stationed at a local port of entry said it found about 70 pounds of methamphetamine in the vehicle he was driving.







The first day of the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s Meth Summit was winding down when Ebony Tiger, a 17-year-old Yankton Sioux Tribe girl took the microphone to speak. Her testimony on growing up in a house dominated by a meth addicted mother was riveting – and heartbreaking.meth_overdose_-_istock

Held March 24 and 25 at the Ft. Randall Hotel and Casino near Lake Andes, South Dakota, the summit, hosted jointly by the tribe and the North American Inter-Tribal Task Force, began with perfunctory presentations on investigative and judicial procedure by representatives from FBI and U.S. Attorney field offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Tiger, from nearby Wagner, said: “I am here to tell you how methamphetamines have affected my life. My mother is an addict, and has been for most of my life. I’ve lived with demons on my back for so long …” Shaken, the teenager continued, “It’s not easy living in the shadow of my mother’s addiction … it takes a toll on my life … at one point, I became so depressed … I didn’t have the motivation to do anything…

“Every day was like living in a prison. I was left in the care of people I did not know … I never had a home … I never felt the love I saw being given to other children. Many bad incidents occurred between me and my mother because her addiction got the best of her. In 2014, one of these incidents ended very badly …”

Soon after that incident, Tiger met Jodi Zephier in her capacity as Unit Director for the local Marty Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Zephier, also current Vice Chairman of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, was well aware of the exploding meth problem among her tribe’s young adult and youth population. She founded an organization in November of 2014 called Native American Youth Standing Strong (NAYSS), dedicated to providing solutions and alternatives for the tribe’s most deeply meth-affected youth.

The morning of the second day of the summit, Zephier gathered several of NAYSS’s youth members to discuss meth’s devastation of their communities. The seven teenagers, five girls and two boys, all said that Ebony Tiger’s story was one they could all relate to.

One young woman, now vibrant and happy, said she was five years old when she was first in the presence of meth. “My mom and my dad would do it. I was seven when me and my sisters and brothers got taken away. Our house was busted – somebody snitched – we got taken away – and my mom went to prison.” Her story ends well. “Right now, my mom and my dad are 12 years clean,” she said with a smile. “But there’s still others in my family using, that’s why I joined this group.

Other NAYSS members have not been as fortunate. Zephier said she started NAYSS because there simply wasn’t anything else. “Boys and Girls Clubs nationally had a program called Meth Smarts, but for some reason it got discontinued. The following school year, at least half a dozen kids of various ages came to me and shared things with me – and it all had to do with meth.

“Things like ‘their lights got turned off,’ or ‘our parents sold all our EBT and we don’t have any food,’ ‘I was supposed to get basketball shoes, but my parents used the money for meth,’ those kinds of things,” she said.

The tribal vice-chairman believes that in the sad hierarchy of reservation pathologies, meth addiction replaced alcoholism as the number one enemy. Another young NAYSS member, quiet and thoughtful, described her addiction up until two months ago. “I could never sleep. I was always fidgeting. When I was coming off of it I couldn’t smell anything and I couldn’t eat – I was on it for two months … the withdrawals were terrible.”

Asked what percentage of their tribe’s members are affected by meth addiction the youth group members all agreed: “at least 90 percent.” Zephier said, “Everyone’s affected; everyone has a relative or a friend that’s meth addicted – someone they love – it might even be a grandparent; it’s an epidemic on our reservation, it really is, it’s like a wave that’s hit us and it’s overwhelming us – and no one wants to talk about it, and it’s growing in silence.”

“There’s dealers in every community,” an NAYSS member said. “We have three main communities and at least 15 dealers. Everyone knows who they are, even the tribal police chief, but we’re all related, and no one wants to tell on their own families.”

Among the most harrowing statistics revealed at the summit was the number 280. That’s the number of houses the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s SWA housing authority says it has had to vacate and subject to a thorough chemical wash designed to remove the lethally toxic residues built up into the wall, ceilings, floors and duct-work of houses where meth has been in regular use. Very often, a house has been vacated and cleaned several times.

During her presentation to start Friday’s afternoon session, North American Inter-Tribal Drug Task Force founding member Kelly King, a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, made a passionate plea. “Most importantly, our focus should be to rescue, defend, shelter and support our children … all drug endangered children are at risk. What we are seeing with children exposed to meth is damage to their genetic code.” King explained that the damage is trans-generational. “The damage to that child will show up in her grandchildren’s genes”

Citing a host of congenital developmental issues, King, a drug-endangered child and ICWA specialist, said: “These children have no choice in what is going on in their parents lives. A lot of them will not survive. These chemicals are so damaging to them that even if they do survive they face lives of severe physical pain and multiple surgeries undertaken to repair the problems caused by these drugs.

“The life of a drug endangered child is a life of chaos. Natural bonding and attachment patterns are severely disrupted. There are no boundaries or limits; they’re exposed to pornography; sexual and physical abuse …” King went on to recite a litany of social and criminal justice issues that await the drug endangered child as he or she goes through life.

Concluding, King pleaded with those in attendance: “The enemy is in our camp. We must take care of this! We’re the only ones who can!” Visibly shaken, nearly everyone in attendance gave King a powerful affirmation for speaking what they felt was an unvarnished truth. Several present asked how they could help.

James Iron Shell, Director of the North American Inter-Tribal Task Force, likened these “Methamphetamine Awareness Summits” to congressional field hearings. “These are just the opening forays. The road is a long and hard one. Right now we’re gathering information on the enemy.”

The March summit at Ft. Randall Casino was the third of its kind, following a January 14 summit held at the Wapka Sica Building in Ft. Pierre, South Dakota, and one held February 25 and 26 at the Spirit Lake Casino & Resort, Fort Totten, North Dakota. The February summit was sponsored and hosted by the Spirit Lake Tribal Council and tribal Chairwoman Myra Pearson.










Vernal, Utah — Four men face felony charges after they allegedly raped a 9-year-old girl while her mother was smoking methamphetamine in a garage with a friend she met in jail.

According to a statement of probable cause filed March 30, the alleged assault occurred Easter Sunday at a home in Vernal, Utah.four-men-raped-9-year-old-Utah-girl-670x670

The 9-year-old victim was with her mother at the home, and the mother was hanging out with a friend she met while incarcerated in jail. As the 9-year-old girl slept on the couch, her mother and that friend reportedly went into the garage and got high on methamphetamine.

When the mother returned, her daughter was on the couch but her clothes were in disarray and she seemed upset and wanted to go home. The next day, the girl reported that four men inside the home had taken her into a bedroom before taking turns raping her and then sodomizing her.

The girl reported that while one of the men was raping her, he told her he would kill her if she ever told anyone about what was happening.

The girl’s mother notified police, who responded to the home. One of the four alleged rapists was identified by the victim from a photograph, and 36-year-old Larson James RonDeau was taken into custody.

RonDeau told police that the other three men had traveled to Montana for personal business along with the woman who the girl’s mother had been there to visit, Glynda RonDeau. He told police he wasn’t sure when they would return to Utah.

“I want hardcore punishment for what they have done to this child, because that shouldn’t happen to anybody,” said the girl’s grandmother.

According to a press release from the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office issued Sunday, the other three men accused of the rape were arrested March 31 and April 1. Those men are 20-year-old Josiah RonDeau, 29-year-old Jerry Flatlip, and 26-year-old Randall Flatlip.

Officers executed a search warrant and located evidence relating to the sexual assault, such as bloodstained bedding, as well as marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Larson RonDeau was advised of his Miranda rights and agreed to answer questions without an attorney present, according to police. He verified the girl was in the home during the time when the alleged assaults occurred, but denied any involvement in the incident.

The police statement says he, “did proffer the other three men could have been involved, or responsible, but not him.”

Larson RonDeau was booked into the Uintah County Jail on one count of rape of a child and one count of sodomy of a child. Both charges are first-degree felonies.

The other three men have also been booked into jail and face one count each of rape of a child and sodomy of a child as first-degree felonies.

Uintah County Sheriff’s Office stated Sunday the 9-year-old victim is being cared for in state custody rather than remaining in the care of her mother at this time.


Four men from Uintah County in Utah have been arrested on charges of allegedly raping a 9-year-old girl, authorities confirmed on Sunday.

According to The Deseret News, The Uintah County Sheriff’s Office have arrested the four men who are aged between 20 and 36. The four have been identified as Jerry Flatlip, Randall Flatlip, Larson RonDeau and Josiah RonDeau. The youngest among them is Larson RonDeau, who is just 20-years-old. Randall and Jerry Flatlip are 29 and 26-years-old respectively, while Josiah RonDeau is 36-years-old. They were arrested between March 29 and April 1, a statement issued by the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office revealed. The statement, which was also posted on the official Facebook page belonging to the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office read as follows.

“Four men are in custody and are being held in the Uintah County Jail following a reported rape of a child that occurred on March 27, 2016.”

It further describes the incident that led to their arrests.

“On March 29, 2016, Uintah County Sheriff Deputies took a report of the rape. It had been reported that a nine year old female had been raped by multiple men at a residence located in Uintah County on March 27 while the child’s mother was visiting friends. According to investigators, while the child was sleeping on the couch, the victim’s mother went into the garage of the home and was smoking methamphetamine. During that time, the child was taken into another room in the home where she was raped by the four men.”

The report also has a contradictory statement. While the report initially says that the mother of the 9-year-old girl “was visiting friends” while the girl was asleep on the couch, the second part says that the mother went into the garage of the same house and was smoking methamphetamine even when the four alleged rapists where in the same home. The men allegedly took the girl to a separate room in the same home where they raped her.

The Uintah County Sheriff’s office has not revealed the names of the victim or of her mother due to the nature of the crime. The four men are currently being held in the Uintah County Jail and have all been charged with first-degree felony rape of a child and first-degree sodomy.

People reacted strongly once the word of the alleged rape spread. While many wanted the men to be given the harshest punishments possible, several others questioned what the mother was doing while her daughter was raped by the four men. They also wanted charges to be filed against the mother for failing her duty as a mother.

Loretta A. Hewitt, a commenter on the Uintah County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page urged everyone to fight for the young rape victim.

“Let’s fight for this child, the community let’s not allow her to be ashamed and put the shame where it belongs.”

She further added the following.

“The bad thing is, these men well probably walk free if they don’t have prior offenses with drugs robbery etc. Why can’t the courts realize that if they don’t have priors most likely they are concentrating solo on child sex abuse. How do we know these men may have sexually abused children in the past and may continue to do these crimes A slap on the wrist is not acceptable. Save our children!”

Meanwhile the Sheriff’s office also said that the 9-year-old victim is safe and that she is now in state custody.

There is no word if the mother of the 9-year-old rape victim would also be charged for neglecting her duties as a mother. As of this writing, it is also unclear if the four men have lawyers.



original story

VERNAL — A 36-year-old Vernal man was charged Friday with raping a child, and three others are also suspected in the attack which police say occurred while the child’s mother allegedly smoked meth with a friend in another room, according to charges filed Friday.Larson James Rondeau, 36

Larson James Rondeau, 36, of Vernal, is charged in 8th District Court with rape of a child and sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies, for the alleged incident involving a 9-year-old girl.

On March 27, the girl and her mother visited the home of a friend the mother had met in jail, court documents state. The girl later reported she had fallen asleep on a couch inside the home at 1088 S. 2000 West and was awakened, taken into another room and sexually attacked by four men in the home. The men allegedly performed multiple sexual acts on her.

The girl’s mother allegedly told police she was smoking methamphetamine with her friend in the garage nearby at the time. She told investigators her daughter “appeared to be upset and only indicated she wished to go home.”

The woman said she saw the girl’s dress “was pulled up past her waist,” court documents state. Two days later, the woman said she talked to her daughter again, at which time the girl said she was raped. The girl spoke with police later that day.

The other three men in question, whom the girl was not able to identify, were visiting the Vernal home for just a couple of days and have been “travelling to the state of Montana on personal business,” Rondeau allegedly told police.

No other charges had been filed in the case as of Friday. The girl’s mother has also not been charged.

Rondeau, who was being held in the Uintah County Jail, has no prior criminal history in Utah, court records show. His initial hearing is scheduled for scheduled for Wednesday in 8th District Court.


VERNAL — A 36-year-old Vernal man was charged Friday with raping a child and three others are also suspected in the attack which police say occurred while the child’s mother allegedly smoked meth with a friend in another room, according to charges filed Friday.

Larson James Rondeau, 36, of Vernal, is charged in 8th District Court with rape of a child and sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies, for the alleged incident involving a 9-year-old girl.

On March 27, the girl and her mother visited the home of a friend the mother had met in jail, court documents state. The girl later reported she had fallen asleep on a couch inside the home at 1088 S. 2000 West and was awakened, taken into another room and sexually attacked by four men in the home. The men allegedly performed multiple sexual acts on her.

The girl’s mother allegedly told police she was smoking methamphetamine with her friend in the garage nearby at the time. She told investigators her daughter “appeared to be upset and only indicated she wished to go home.”

The woman said she saw the girl’s dress “was pulled up past her waist,” court documents state. Two days later, the woman said she talked to her daughter again, at which time the girl said she was raped. The girl spoke with police later that day.

The other three men in question, whom the girl was not able to identify, were visiting the Vernal home for just a couple of days and have been “travelling to the state of Montana on personal business,” Rondeau allegedly told police.

No other charges had been filed in the case as of Friday. The girl’s mother has also not been charged.

Rondeau, who was being held in the Uintah County Jail, has no prior criminal history in Utah, court records show. His initial hearing is scheduled for scheduled for Wednesday in 8th District Court.


Sex trafficking — the manipulation and coercion of women and children into the commercial sex trade — is the biggest problem facing Topeka and Shawnee County law enforcement, Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor says.15233513

It is more serious than gang violence and drug trafficking, Taylor said.

“The human trafficking problem, in my opinion, is bigger than all those,” Taylor said. “We are pulling out all the stops on the strategies we are going to employ and deploy in battling this problem. We want this problem eradicated.”

Sex trafficking victims are juveniles, women and some men, Taylor said, adding that 13- to 16-year-old teens are susceptible to being drawn into trafficking.

U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom said sex trafficking victims are raped and beaten, suffering broken bones and broken spirits.

“As we speak right now,” Grissom said, “I’m confident there are people on I-70, in Topeka, Kansas City and in Wichita who are being trafficked.”

In Topeka, traffickers have turned up at the Topeka Rescue Mission to intimidate victims. The mission runs Restore Hope, a new division to coordinate help for trafficking victims.

“The people who are engaged in the sex trafficking business are very, very nasty people, make no mistake about it,” Taylor said. “They are intimidating because they are making a lot of money, and we are a threat to their way of life and their business model.”

According to Washburn University professor Sharon L. Sullivan, the U.S. Department of Justice says a trafficker can make $200,000 per year from one woman, “so it’s very lucrative for them.”

Sullivan, who has researched trafficking for 11 years, has taught the course Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery for five semesters.

Sex trafficking preys on victims ranging from children as young as 8 to adults in their 50s.

“This is ugly, what they do to people,” said Barry Feaker, executive director of the rescue mission. “My suspicion is that we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg with what we’ve seen so far.”

In 2015, Restore Hope assisted 45 sex trafficking victims, matching them with services for drug rehabilitation and mental health, and sometimes relocating them outside of Kansas, Feaker said.

Feaker, Taylor and Grissom agree sex trafficking is happening on Topeka streets.

“It’s one of those crimes that hides in plain sight,” Grissom said.

Sex traffickers and the victims they prostitute may be as close as the restaurant in which you eat, Grissom said.

“There are red flags for law enforcement to start asking questions, because what you have is human slavery,” Grissom said. “That’s what human trafficking is — it’s human slavery.”


Sarah, director of Restore Hope, has seen trafficking victims who have been tattooed to mark them as the property of a trafficker.

Identities of mission workers aren’t disclosed in these Topeka Capital-Journal stories about sex trafficking because of the potential danger to them.

The tattoos — called branding — appear on wrists or on their necks under an ear to warn other traffickers the woman is owned, Sarah said.

Grissom said the tattoos, which may resemble bar codes, signify the victims are “the property, the chattel, of someone else.”

“It’s like branding cattle,” Grissom said. “When it’s that debased of all morality, it shocks you on so many different levels.”


Sullivan said “100,000 to 300,000 U.S. children are prostituted” in the United States every year, according to estimates by the FBI and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The Justice Department estimates 1.2 million Americans are trafficked for sex in the United States annually, and of that number, probably 600,000 are children, Sullivan said.

Of the traffickers, 72 percent are men and 28 percent are women, Grissom said.

Kansas has “seen a notable increase in human trafficking cases in the Wichita area,” said Jennifer Rapp, public information officer for Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

In 2015, 65 sex trafficking cases were reported in Wichita, Rapp said, an increase from 29 reported cases a year earlier.

Kansas is an originating state, Sullivan said, meaning victims are coming from the state. Interstate highways coursing across Kansas are a benefit to travelers but a problem when dealing with sex trafficking, prosecutors said.

Anything illegal moving east and west on I-70 or north and south on I-35 has a 65 percent chance of rolling through Kansas, Grissom said.

Sex traffickers and “johns,” prostitutes’ clients, take advantage of the interstates. For instance, Grissom said, a trucker could find a trafficking victim online and call ahead to meet her at a truck stop.


Traffickers use brutal means to keep victims in line, Taylor said.

A trafficker’s traditional method of controlling a victim is drug addiction, he said. One method is forced methamphetamine addiction, in which the drug is administered through an anal suppository, he said. But drugs also damage the “property” — the victim — by aging her and thereby making her less valuable to the trafficker, Taylor said.

Traffickers also may control victims by threatening a child or other family members.

In one scenario, a female victim becomes pregnant, and once the child is born, the trafficker uses the child as leverage to control a victim if she wants food, shelter and care for the child, Taylor said.

“It’s every bit of ugliness that you can imagine,” Taylor said of the trafficker’s use of the baby to manipulate the mother into working in sex trafficking.

Grissom said, in a sting operation in Lenexa, a trafficker brought in a group of young girls and young women. He forced a girl to handle 11 customers per day, despite having a significant venereal disease. He pistol-whipped another girl who tried to escape.

“Those are the kind of folks that are out there,” Grissom said.


Social media factor into luring the child away from home, especially if the child doesn’t have a responsible adult present to monitor him or her, Sarah said.

If a responsible adult is present, Sarah said, he or she needs to ask the child: “Who are you talking to? Who are you going to meet?”

“I would say most of what’s going on now occurs through connections done through social media and friends on social media introducing a vulnerable child,” Sarah said.

It also can evolve from a child being dropped off at the mall without adult supervision, where a trafficker can groom the youngster, Sarah said.

In grooming, the trafficker builds trust with the would-be victim online and in person, giving her things and showering her with attention.

Laptops and cellphones are intertwined in trafficking, Grissom said.

On some websites, a john can shop for the girl he wants by physical attributes, then order the girl.


Victims are from all races, socio-economic groups and genders.

A victim likely will be someone lacking family love, attention, someone who cares about her and a place to live, Grissom said.

“Any child is vulnerable,” Sullivan said, “but especially runaways, because they don’t have an adult looking out for them.”

Of the runaways, two out of three return home, while one in three is picked up within 48 hours by a pimp or a john, Sullivan said.

According to the Justice Department, the average age of children entering prostitution is 12 to 14 years old. Often, Sullivan said, they are dead by 19 or 20.

The FBI says the average life expectancy after a person begins being prostituted is seven years.

“That’s an average, and some live longer, and some don’t make it a year,” Sullivan said.

Traffickers look for kids without confidence in themselves and who don’t have parents watching them.

Violence is a “significant factor” contributing to the short lives of trafficking victims, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, untreated or chronic medical problems from violence, asthma or diabetes, and sexually transmitted diseases, Sullivan said. Traffickers won’t spend money on medical treatment if they don’t have to, Sullivan said.

If a sex trafficking victim wants to leave, she may not know how to do anything else to earn money, Sullivan said. A girl who starts at 13 and now is 23 doesn’t have other work skills, or even basic life skills.

Often a victim doesn’t have a driver’s license, birth certificate or Social Security card and doesn’t know how to open a bank account or rent an apartment, Sullivan said.

“They don’t have the things they need, so they do what they know how to do,” Sullivan said.

Foster children, who may lack close emotional ties after having been shifted from home to home, are particularly vulnerable, Sarah said, adding “those are the kids who have fallen through the cracks.”

A trafficker “comes alongside and says, you’re beautiful, you’re worth it, let me give you some food, a cellphone, a car, clothing,” Sarah said. “The trafficker is really building on the insecurities and fragility of the child.”

After establishing that connection to build trust, Sarah said, the trafficker says: “Make good on that debt. We’ve provided this for you. Now pay it back.”

It is tricky to say how long the grooming lasts, Sarah said. In one case, a man groomed a younger girl for four years before the relationship changed and the girl was prostituted.

“A lot of times, it will turn very violent,” Sarah said, “but it also can be very manipulative,” because the trafficker makes the victim feel she made a choice to take the things he has offered her.

The girl is made to believe she made the decision to be prostituted, Sarah said.

“I bought into this relationship with this ‘boyfriend,’ ‘dad’ or ‘family,’ ”

Sarah said, and that is a “huge ploy.”

The victim won’t tell people outside the trafficking group she is being prostituted because she accepted all that, Sarah said.

“They play on the naivete of the young girl,” Sarah said.

“It’s not overstating to say the victim has been brainwashed,” Sarah added. “I think that is exactly what is occurring. You have to get to a certain point of being brainwashed to endure that over and over and over and over.”


How do parents fight sexual trafficking of their children, especially the child who has low self-esteem?

There are steps to short-circuit a trafficker’s recruiting run at a prospective youngster.

“The most important step for parents to know is who their kids are communicating with on the Internet and on their smartphones,” Taylor said.

In other words, is someone trying to recruit their child?

Also, a trafficker will make promises that sound great to a youth.

“Mom and Dad say I have to go to school,” Taylor said. “This person says I don’t.”

When it comes to recruiting children and teens, “that’s what we have to be very, very, very mindful of,” Taylor said.

Jane, a Kansas woman who spent 20 years in the world of sex trafficking, said parents should give their daughters personal attention.

“You don’t want the streets to raise your daughters,” Jane said.






LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, MI — The Michigan State Police found a meth dump site on state land in Wexford Township.

The state police’s Cadillac Post was tipped off by a citizen who reported coming across suspicious bottles on the state property near Seeley Road in Liberty Township.

The trooper who investigated determined the bottles were used to manufacture methamphetamine, an addictive illegal drug.

The Traverse Narcotics Team was called in to clean up the site, and disposed of the bottles.methmapjpg-bf308fc7feafe8fb

Police are warning people who find suspicious bottles or items that could be used for making meth, not to touch them. Instead, the police should be called to have the items removed.

Michigan law enforcement agents seized 494 meth labs last year, up from 351 in 2013, according to MSP. There were 861 total meth-related complaints — including labs, dump sites and glassware seizures — easily topping the previous record of 760 in 2010.








Wellton Border Patrol agents arrested a woman Thursday morning for allegedly attempting to pass through the Border Patrol immigration checkpoint on Interstate 8, east of Yuma, with methamphetamine hidden in her vehicle.

According to a news release issued by agent Richard Withers, of the Yuma Sector Communications Division, a Border Patrol agent and his drug-sniffing dog were conducting inspections at the checkpoint when the canine alerted to her vehicle.56fefc0ac0a23_image

When agents searched the vehicle they found 28 pounds of methamphetamine valued at more than $83,000.

Agents arrested the driver, a lawful permanent resident alien female, and processed the vehicle and drugs per Yuma Sector guidelines.

Yuma County residents can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.







Blount County authorities charged three Maryville residents this week after they reportedly held down a 17-year-old girl and forcibly injected her with methamphetamine.

Samuel Thomas Hill, 29, Butterfly Gap Loop Road, Maryville; Michael Eugene Hill, 32, Butler Mill Road, Maryville and Felicia Faith Hannah, 18, Butler Mill Road, Maryville, were all arrested Friday on a charge each of felony reckless endangerment.56ff2e6fc2038_image

Samuel and Michael Hill, who are brothers, were being held on $25,000 bond each, while Hannah was being held on $3,000 bond. All three are scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Friday hearings in Blount County General Sessions Court.

Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong announced the arrests Friday in a news release, stating an investigation was launched Tuesday morning when the 17-year-old victim reported the incident.

The victim said she was at Samuel Hill’s residence on Butterfly Gap Loop Road earlier in the day when he called her into a bedroom. The Hill brothers and Hannah then held her down and injected her with methamphetamine, she said.

The Sheriff’s Office said the girl had bruising on her arms and tested positive for methamphetamine at the hospital.

Sheriff’s Office detectives are continuing to investigate.







VERNAL — A 36-year-old Vernal man was charged Friday with raping a child, and three others are also suspected in the attack which police say occurred while the child’s mother allegedly smoked meth with a friend in another room, according to charges filed Friday.Larson James Rondeau, 36

Larson James Rondeau, 36, of Vernal, is charged in 8th District Court with rape of a child and sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies, for the alleged incident involving a 9-year-old girl.

On March 27, the girl and her mother visited the home of a friend the mother had met in jail, court documents state. The girl later reported she had fallen asleep on a couch inside the home at 1088 S. 2000 West and was awakened, taken into another room and sexually attacked by four men in the home. The men allegedly performed multiple sexual acts on her.

The girl’s mother allegedly told police she was smoking methamphetamine with her friend in the garage nearby at the time. She told investigators her daughter “appeared to be upset and only indicated she wished to go home.”

The woman said she saw the girl’s dress “was pulled up past her waist,” court documents state. Two days later, the woman said she talked to her daughter again, at which time the girl said she was raped. The girl spoke with police later that day.

The other three men in question, whom the girl was not able to identify, were visiting the Vernal home for just a couple of days and have been “travelling to the state of Montana on personal business,” Rondeau allegedly told police.

No other charges had been filed in the case as of Friday. The girl’s mother has also not been charged.

Rondeau, who was being held in the Uintah County Jail, has no prior criminal history in Utah, court records show. His initial hearing is scheduled for scheduled for Wednesday in 8th District Court.








VERNAL — A 36-year-old Vernal man was charged Friday with raping a child and three others are also suspected in the attack which police say occurred while the child’s mother allegedly smoked meth with a friend in another room, according to charges filed Friday.

Larson James Rondeau, 36, of Vernal, is charged in 8th District Court with rape of a child and sodomy on a child, both first-degree felonies, for the alleged incident involving a 9-year-old girl.

On March 27, the girl and her mother visited the home of a friend the mother had met in jail, court documents state. The girl later reported she had fallen asleep on a couch inside the home at 1088 S. 2000 West and was awakened, taken into another room and sexually attacked by four men in the home. The men allegedly performed multiple sexual acts on her.

The girl’s mother allegedly told police she was smoking methamphetamine with her friend in the garage nearby at the time. She told investigators her daughter “appeared to be upset and only indicated she wished to go home.”

The woman said she saw the girl’s dress “was pulled up past her waist,” court documents state. Two days later, the woman said she talked to her daughter again, at which time the girl said she was raped. The girl spoke with police later that day.

The other three men in question, whom the girl was not able to identify, were visiting the Vernal home for just a couple of days and have been “travelling to the state of Montana on personal business,” Rondeau allegedly told police.

No other charges had been filed in the case as of Friday. The girl’s mother has also not been charged.

Rondeau, who was being held in the Uintah County Jail, has no prior criminal history in Utah, court records show. His initial hearing is scheduled for scheduled for Wednesday in 8th District Court.







Robeson >> A Pottstown woman was arraigned this week on drug charges following a traffic stop in Robeson Township last month.

Angela Appleton, 39, of Pottstown, was charged on March 24 following the March 13 incident. According to court documents, police stopped a blue 2002 Chrysler with a brake light that wasn’t functioning at around 11:30 a.m. The vehicle was occupied by a Pottstown man in the driver’s seat and a Pottstown woman, later identified as Appleton, in the passenger seat.

Upon making contact with the driver, officers told him about his brake light, during which time he told officers that he was aware of the problem and that he attempted to fix it by placing red tape over it, police said.

During a conversation with officers, the driver agreed to allow police to search the vehicle. While searching, officers located methamphetamine, 69 unused plastic bags used for packaging, a digital scale and cash. Police then confirmed that they belonged to Appleton when she admitted that she distributed methamphetamine to support her drug habit, according to court papers.

The suspected methamphetamine was later tested and produced a positive result.

Appleton is being charged with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and intent to possess a controlled substance. She was arraigned on March 30 before District Judge Nicholas M. Bentz Jr. and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before District Judge David E. Glass on April 19. Bail was set at $10,000 unsecured.





A Mesa woman was arrested March 19 at West Southern Avenue and South Priest Drive on suspicion drug paraphernalia and dangerous drug possession, according to a police report.

When officers approached the woman in the passenger seat of a stopped car, they smelled marijuana inside, police reported.

The car’s driver gave a false name, and said there was some weed inside the front passenger door, according to the report.

During a routine search, officers found a bulbous glass pipe and two green containers containing marijuana, police reported.

On her way into the Tempe City Jail, the woman told police that she had a baggie with meth and “three blue pills in her panties,” according to the report.

The woman said the blue pills originally belonged to the car’s driver, police reported.

She also said the meth and pipe were her boyfriend’s, though the marijuana was all hers, according to the report.

The woman was transported to Tempe City Jail, where she was booked and held to see a judge, police reported.






YUCCA VALLEY — Sheriff’s deputies say they found a wanted woman driving a car with pipe bombs, other homemade destructive devices and methamphetamine Friday morning.

Deputy S. Ables pulled over a vehicle with expired registration driven by 45-year-old Christina Stanford, of Joshua Tree, around 10 a.m. Friday on Twentynine Palms Highway at Balsa Avenue.

Ables discovered that Stanford did not have a driver’s license, but did have an active arrest warrant, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Stanford was carrying methamphetamine, a sheriff’s news release alleges.

Deputies also found several homemade destructive devices resembling pipe bombs when they searched her vehicle, according to the report.

The sheriff’s arson and bomb detail responded to the scene to safely detonate the explosives.

Stanford was arrested and booked at the Morongo Basin Jail on suspicion of possession of a destructive device and possession of methamphetamine and on her outstanding arrest warrant. She is being held on $650,000 bail.

Stanford was sentenced to three years of probation for felony burglary last year. In exchange for her plea, the judge dismissed a charge of growing marijuana.

She has a slew of traffic tickets in her history, and a warrant was issued for her on March 2 after she missed her arraignment for a December charge of driving on a suspended license.

She was also charged with driving on a suspended license and without insurance or registration in January, according to court records.






MADRAS, Ore. – Residents living in the Ponderosa Drive neighborhood of Madras said Friday they still can’t believe a meth lab was brewing so close to their homes.

Police arrested Jeremiah Leach, 24, after they found a half-ounce of methamphetamine on him during a domestic violence call on Wednesday.Madras neighbors in shock after meth lab discovered

Investigators served a search warrant Thursday at a home on the 500 block of SE Ponderosa Drive. Police said other people were living in the home where the meth lab was found.

Neighbor Beverly Hurley, who has lived in the neighborhood for several years, said the news was alarming as there is a school nearby.

“If that meth lab in the house had blown up, you have all those school kids that are not far away, and you have the little one in the house — and this so dangerous,” Hurley said.

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team was called in to help with the chemicals and wore haz-mat suits to avoid exposure.

Investigators say meth labs in Central Oregon have decreased over the years since a ban on the over-the-counter sales of medicine with pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make the drug.

Currently, no one is allowed to live in the home until the cleanup is done.

“We’ll just keep a close eye on the community, and if we see a lot of people going back and forth out of a house, that might raise an alarm that we talk to somebody,” Hurley said.

Leach faces several drug charges and is scheduled for arraignment next Thursday.







PHOENIXMethamphetamine remains one of Arizona’s most pervasive drugs, with law enforcement authorities seizing nearly 6,400 pounds of methamphetamine last year — a 294 percent over the last six years, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The highly-addictive stimulant has surpassed cocaine, which now is more difficult to get.heroin

Erica Curry, a spokeswoman for the Phoenix Division of the DEA, said officials are seeing larger amounts of methamphetamine compared to heroin.

“You can use heroin in smaller quantities than you can methamphetamine,” she said. “Methamphetamine, heroin, number one and number two without a doubt.”

Meth seizures have increased steadily from 1,613 pounds in 2010 to 4,884 pounds in 2013 alone, according to the DEA.

Curry said meth and heroin now are recognized by the DEA as the most prevalent drugs as Mexican cartels have shifted their cocaine trafficking to more profitable European markets.

“With the decreasing availability of cocaine in the states, people are still looking for their stimulant,” she said. “So they’re transitioning to methamphetamine.

Curry said there is more profit in methamphetamine because it’s controlled by the Mexican cartels for both manufacture and distribution.

Many former users, including Kim Haney, said their addiction meant using meth every few hours to maintain their high.

“I was a smoker, I smoked it, so every 30 minutes you’re smoking on the pipe, even at my job,” she said. “Even at my job, I would find bathrooms around the Valley that had keys so I could lock myself in the bathroom, smoke meth and then go out and finish my mail route.”

Haney, who has been sober for nearly eight years, now is a manager at Mandalay Recovery Village, a quiet half circle of houses filled with recovering addicts where Haney used to be a client. She lives in a house with her dog, Booger, and spends most of her time sitting outside smoking cigarettes and talking with the clients.

“You think you get a lot of stuff done,” Haney said of her meth addiction. “When I first started I would be up for four days at a time.”

Haney said her addiction completely took over her lifestyle.

“You never sleep, you don’t eat — that’s a huge one, you get skinny, it’s like a diet,” she said. “You think you look great, but you’re 80 pounds soaking wet.”

Haney said her meth supplier brought the drug from Mexico to sell to people in the Phoenix area.

Domestic meth labs are now rare in the United States because of restrictions on the amount of chemicals like the decongestant pseudoephedrine. Pseudoephedrine, which used to have no over-the-counter restrictions, is a commonly used ingredient in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

The Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006, limited the amount of pseudoephedrine that any one person can buy each month and is tracked by checking IDs.

“Because of that, the manufacturing of methamphetamine has transitioned completely to Mexico, where you can get pseudoephedrine in large quantities to manufacture multi-hundred pounds of methamphetamine, pure profit for the Mexican cartels,” Curry said.

The meth finds its way to Arizona, where former addicts such as Sara Harmon would buy it on street corners.

Harmon, 22, said she started smoking meth at 17.

She said she was homeless for about two years in south Phoenix, smoking meth and stealing food and clothing to support her habit, before friends picked her up and took her to Chapter 5 Recovery in Prescott.

“I didn’t feel human anymore,” Harmon said. “Meth came before eating, came before sleeping, came before friends that passed away from overdoses, it came before their funerals, it came before everything.”

She has now been sober for nearly three years.

According to a report from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there were 569,000 current users of methamphetamine in the United States in 2014.

“It’s cheap. And it’s easily accessible,” said Jamie Born, a former addict and therapist at Chapter 5 Recovery in Prescott. “I also think that there’s some community and society values that methamphetamine actually supports.”

Born said methamphetamine supports its users at running off of little sleep with lots of energy.

“If you can do it faster you can do it better and you get more,” she said. “Then, that equals good.”

Harmon described her meth addiction as “an animal state of being.”

“You go into strictly survival,” she said. “You do enough to keep yourself alive but other than that, it’s all drugs.”

Curry said smugglers are getting more creative. Agents find meth in toys and even liquefied into lotion and shampoo bottles that are turned back into crystal meth in the states.

“This disease is very unforgiving,” Born said. It’s unrelenting. It’s a death sentence if it’s not treated.”






A new kind of patient has been showing up in the emergency departments and sexual clinics of London and Manchester in recent years, usually men having sex with men who are suffering physical or psychological problems as a result of participating in a phenomenon known as chemsex in Britain and as party and play in the United States.

The terms mean using recreational drugs in a sexual context, often in group sex parties that can last for hours or days. It is difficult to quantify the extent of the problem because those who partake are often afraid of being involved with the police or are just unwilling to talk, said Janos Peter Baombe, MD, an Original_00132981-201604000-00005_FF1emergency medicine consultant at Manchester Royal Infirmary in the United Kingdom, who discussed the issue in the St. Emlyn’s blog, a virtual hospital run by a team of emergency physicians. (stemlynsblog.org/chemsex/.)

This movement comes in waves and gets attention at different times, said Josh Riley, LPC, NCC, a behavioral health manager for addiction at Whitman Walker Health, a full-service community health center in Washington, D.C., which came to prominence as a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDs in the 1980s. “Getting intoxicated and having sex is timeless. But the addition of methamphetamine to the constellation of drugs used in this context is slightly new,” he said. “If you work with LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual] folks in HIV, this is not a new thing. It started on the West Coast and is moving across the sea. It’s getting more attention in Europe now,” and, in fact, Dr. Baombe wrote in his blog post that similar parties go on in Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, and Amsterdam.

“The problem is such that we have dedicated chemsex clinics in Manchester and London, for example,” he said. “There is need for little imagination only to conclude that San Francisco or New York City are probably not spared, although I suspect the drugs used might be different.”

Cocktail of Drugs

Adam Bourne, PhD, a lecturer at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the lead author of the The Chemsex Study, said chemsex is usually shorthand for using a cocktail of drugs before having sex with another man. (Sigma Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. March 2014; http://bit.ly/1QtSyV4.)

“This is a significant issue for a small number of people,” he said in a podcast released with the study, noting, though, that the use of methamphetamine is a new phenomenon. Many of the men who take part had self-confidence issues, he said.

“They took the drugs to escape self-doubt or mask those issues. Men were using drugs to facilitate a sense of sexual adventure. It allowed them to have sex for longer and allowed them to have sex with more people.” The drugs that are typically used in chemsex include crystal methamphetamine and mephedrone, which are physiological stimulants that raise blood pressure and heart rate, as well as GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) and GBL (gamma-butyrolactone), which are powerful psychological disinhibitors and mild anesthetics.

The drugs sustain sexual arousal and induce a feeling of instant rapport with partners, wrote Hannah McCall, RN, a senior nurse at the Central and Northwest National Health Service Foundation Trust in London, in an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal. (2015:351:h5790.)

“We have a duty of care for our patients presenting to us,” Dr. Baombe said in an email. “Of course, the initial approach should be the universal approach of resuscitation. These drugs cause myriad symptoms, and the treatment is mainly symptomatic. Other problems linked to the use of drugs (like rape, exposure to STIs [sexually transmitted infections], and physical injuries) are secondary after the life-threatening symptoms have been addressed. Emergency contraception, pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV, booster or accelerated vaccination against hepatitis B, and, more importantly, appropriate follow-up with sexual health clinics are essential.

“Because of the sexual disinhibitions, sexual acts can last hours or days, resulting in repeated exposure to STIs,” he told EMN. “Because of mucosal ulceration, the likelihood of acquiring infections is considered to be higher than with traditional sex. In short, any kind of STI can be acquired — from HIV, viral hepatitis to gonorrhea or syphilis (which were in decline following successful campaigns for condom use).”







The recent arrest of four Mexicans allegedly involved in a methamphetamine manufacturing operation in Nigeria points to the increased global popularity of the drug, which has created opportunities for Mexican gangs abroad.

In early March authorities in Nigeria arrested four Mexicans along with several Nigerians, after discovering a substantial methamphetamine laboratory in Asaba, capital of the state of Delta. Nigerian officials also 16-04-01NigeriaMethLabseized 1.5 kilograms of meth in the operation. Terming it a “super lab,” Nigerian authorities said it was capable of producing up to 4,000 kilograms of the drug per cooking cycle.

A spokesman for the Nigerian anti-drug agency, known as the NDLEA, said that the Mexicans were technical experts hired to refine the production process at the facility. It is unclear if they are linked to any ongoing criminal enterprise in Mexico, though it would not be surprising if their presence was indicative of a large Mexican criminal group’s expansion into West Africa.

This is not the first time that Mexicans have been arrested in foreign operations targeting methamphetamine production. In the most famous case, three Mexican brothers from Sinaloa were arrested in Malaysia for allegedly operating a meth lab. The trio received death sentences despite arguments that they were merely in the wrong place at the wrong time, though the case remains open on appeal.

US officials have also targeted Mexican-run production networks in the northeastern part of the country. Local and federal law enforcement officials told Newsweek in 2015 that Mexican traffickers were working to foment a stronger market of meth addicts in the New York region. With labs located in remote areas of New York and New Jersey, the groups have reportedly partnered with mafia families whose roots in the region’s underworld date back more than a century.

InSight Crime Analysis

The stories from Nigeria, Malaysia, and New York indicate that Mexican groups are attempting to carve out a larger role for themselves in the global methamphetamine supply chain, feeding a market that has grown substantially in recent years. The UN reported in 2014 that the total number of global crystal meth seizures soared from roughly 25,000 kilograms in 2008 to more than 100,000 in 2012. Europe’s market, though smaller than that of the US, has long been substantial, with the Czech Republic often fingered as a key link in the chain. The UN has also reported that the drug’s consumption has recently soared in Oceania and East Asia.

Not surprisingly, the Sinaloa Cartel appears to be at the forefront of Mexican participation in the global methamphetamine industry. Evidence of the organization’s preeminence in the meth trade feeding the US market dates back a decade. Zhenli Ye Gon, the Chinese national and naturalized Mexican whose Mexico City mansion was discovered with more than $200 million cash in 2007, allegedly made his mark turning ephedrine into methamphetamine. Ignacio Coronel, Joaquín Guzmán’s late lieutenant, made his mark manufacturing meth in the Jalisco region, earning the moniker the King of Ice before his death in a shootout with federal troops in 2010. Mexican authorities have regularly seized shipments of scores of tons of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in Mexican ports controlled by the Sinaloa Cartel, especially Manzanillo.

Mexican influence in the cocaine trade predates their role in methamphetamine, and in effect, the Mexican groups appear to be seeking to apply their success in the former trade to the latter. In the case of cocaine, organizations like the Sinaloa Cartel, the Zetas, and the Gulf Cartel leveraged their essential role in slipping illicit merchandise past US border controls to become a key global player, working with foreign criminal groups in South America, Europe, and elsewhere around the globe.

The fact that Mexican gangs have managed to establish a toehold in the global cocaine trade, even in flows that don’t involve the United States, is in one sense remarkable. The Mexican gangs are not geographically close to production centers in South America, and while they are good at sneaking past US border controls, they have no obvious natural role in sneaking contraband into Europe. Yet Mexican gangs have used their centrality to the US cocaine market, which is the largest in the world, and all the skills they developed in the Western Hemisphere, to amplify their global stature.

The Mexican groups are well positioned to do the same with methamphetamine, with one additional advantage compared to cocaine: they are world leaders in production, and have been for years. They have shown they can supply consumer demand by linking with local distributors or setting up their own networks, and have demonstrated adaptability in responding to changing regulatory conditions with regard to meth precursors. This experience likely will grant Mexican groups more staying power, should the global appetite for methamphetamine continue to expand.







Meth in the News – April 1, 2016

Posted: 1st April 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

When I started writing this Meth in the News column, and started talking to meth users one-on-one, I learned something that really surprised me. Many of the women that I spoke with told me that they first started using methamphetamine with their mothers, another family member, or a close family friend.

Oftentimes, they would start using meth when they were as young as 15, 14 or even 13 years of age. I was shocked when I first learned about this and that it happened to so many girls.

But when you think about it, they grow up around meth and other drugs, and when their mothers, fathers and other visitors to their homes were high on meth, they probably did not use the best judgment. Her mother may have decided that it was finally time for her little girl to come of age, so to speak, once she reached her teen years.

And when the girl became an active participant, they may have decided that they did not have to worry about her telling anyone about what goes on at home.

But who really knows what the true reasons may have been in cases like these?

I was also surprised to learn that oftentimes these young teen girls were injected intravenously with meth as their initiation into drug use.

That’s so unfair – so tragic. Adolescents’ brains have not fully developed yet, especially with respect to reason, judgment and decision making. These girls were basically robbed of their childhood.

You see, when someone injects meth, within seconds they experience a rush of pleasure unlike anything that they have (or likely will) ever experienced. Brain levels of the pleasure chemical dopamine are increased 10 times more than they are when someone eats her favorite food or engages in some other natural pleasurable behavior.

Meth can be more pleasurable than any other drug, and unfortunately, the pleasure is also sexual in nature.

That is probably why I so often read about pedophiles who use injections of meth to lure teenage girls into their sexual traps. They use the pleasure that meth produces to convince the girls to engage in sexual activities with them. Just conduct a quick search on my Website and you’ll see that this happens time and time again.

And I hear some of the readers thinking, “Hey Doc, don’t tell everyone that meth produces so much pleasure! Then everyone will try it.”

But my friends, they already know. Women and girls tell other women and girls what meth can do. Why do you think that, in contrast to most other drugs, meth is as likely to be used by a woman as a man?

However, the problem with this pleasure-producing drug is, at least, twofold. First of all, the pleasure is artificial and typically the first time is the best. As with most other drugs, the user continues to “chase” that first high.

The second problem is the development of tolerance. Long-term meth use results in a depletion of dopamine in the brain, so the user has to use more and more meth to achieve that high. Eventually the user has to inject meth just to feel normal.

And of course, people will do things when high on meth, or to get more meth, that they would never consider doing otherwise.

You can tell I am very passionate about this, and I could go on and on. If you want to hear more, or share your experiences with me, please feel free to contact me. But for now I should get to this week’s report, which as you will soon see, prompted this extended prologue.

This case was reported on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, and occurred in Elsberry, Mo. Elsberry is located in Lincoln County in eastern Missouri and has a population of just under 2,000 people.

A 16-year-old girl from Florida was taken to a home in Wentzville, about 35 miles south of Elsberry, during the third week of March to spend a weekend with Erika Oppeau, 33, who is said to be a family acquaintance.

On March 19, however, the frightened teen called her mother from a gas station in Elsberry where she had been dropped off. She then told her mother about the nightmare that she had just endured.

After arriving in Wentzville, the girl went with Ms. Oppeau and her boyfriend, William A. Hope, 42, to the home of Christopher B. Bove, 29, in Elsberry.

It’s unclear how this “family acquaintance” convinced the girl to go with them.

However, once at his home, Mr. Bove injected the girl with methamphetamine and forced her to engage in unwanted sexual acts with him.

And instead of looking out for the welfare of the frightened teen, and the daughter of a family friend, Ms. Oppeau is alleged to have repeatedly injected the girl with meth so she could perform unwanted oral sex on the teenager. She also forced the girl to perform oral sex on her.

Ms. Oppeau also encouraged the 16-year-old girl to have sex with the men, including her boyfriend.

Mr. Hope also allegedly injected the girl with meth and molested her.

The girl said that she was unable to leave Mr. Bove’s home because she was overcome by all of the meth that they had injected into her.

Lieutenant Andy Binder of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department said, “The victim didn’t have the ability to leave the residence. She’s here from out of town. She doesn’t know where she’s at. She’s in the country somewhere along the river, didn’t have a vehicle and being in a narcotic state she was in, didn’t have the capacity to leave anyways.”

When her mother heard what had happened to her daughter, she drove her to a hospital. A rape kit confirmed that an assault had taken place, and a blood test revealed that meth was also in her system.

Lt. Binder went on, “Sexually assaulted her through various means and various methods over a two day period. It’s horrifying to have to listen to the accounts of what took place and what was actually being done.”

“These are disgusting people,” he said. “They do disgusting acts on children and they need to be held accountable. That’s our job.”

Mr. Bove is charged with three counts of second degree statutory sodomy, statutory rape, and endangering the welfare of a child involving drugs. He was being held in the Lincoln County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash-only bail.

Ms. Oppeau is charged with felony statutory sodomy and endangering the welfare of a child involving drugs. She was being held in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bail.

Mr. Hope is charged with child molestation and endangering the welfare of a child involving drugs. He was being held in lieu of a $25,000 cash-only bail.

They are not allowed to have contact with one another, with the victim, or the victim’s family.

I am sure that God has a special place for people like this, especially the family acquaintance, Erika Oppeau!

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case. If you search my Website you will find other cases where women were active participants in meth-induced sex crimes against minor girls.

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at nickgoeders@gmail.com. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

MOSS LANDING — A 19-year-old Santa Cruz woman facing manslaughter charges following a car crash in Moss Landing that left two people dead was released from Stanford Hospital and is being held in Santa Clara County Jail in lieu of $3 million bail.20160331_075922_hernandez

Lynnea Hernandez faces two charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and one charge of DUI causing injury, both felonies. She also faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine, a misdemeanor, according to California Highway Patrol officer Oscar Loza.

If Hernandez fails to post bail, she will be transferred to the Monterey County Jail, Loza said.

The crash occurred at 12:10 p.m. on March 21 on Highway 1 near Molera Road, south of Moss Landing.

Loza said Hernandez was driving a Lexus SUV with six female passengers when she threw a cigarette out the window, and then collided with a Mazda 3 driven by 24-year-old Nikolas Agustin Malliarodakis of Prunedale.

Malliarodakis was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lilian Scott, 22, a passenger of in the SUV driven by Hernandez, died two days later, the CHP said.

Hernandez, who suffered a pelvis injury in the collision, told authorities that she had taken a prescription medication about 10 minutes before the crash and had also smoked marijuana, Loza said.

CHP officers said they are still seeking witnesses to the crash. Anyone with information is asked to call the Monterey Area CHP office at 831-796-2100.