Comments Off on Another drug overdose in Murfreesboro – This time Methamphetamine

A 26 year old Murfreesboro woman was found partially under a car on Hazelwood Street having convulsions. When paramedics arrived and the woman regained consciousness, she told them that she had just taken meth and had a negative reaction to the drug.

The case was labeled as a drug overdose and is being investigated.

The incident happened in front of the C building at Ashwood Cove apartments in Murfreesboro. A full recovery is expected.



Comments Off on Jackie and Shea Byrd, of Caldwell County, busted for having large amount of Methamphetamine, again

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. – Investigators in Caldwell County arrested Jackie and Shea Byrd for a second time in just weeks, again accusing them of trafficking meth.

Three pounds of meth was found in the pickup truck the two were driving, investigators said. The street value is more than $214,000.

Earlier this month, deputies said they found 1.5 pounds of meth inside the Byrds’ home.







Comments Off on Operation: Room Service: Holmes County Sheriff’s Office sting nets Methamphetamine at Bonifay Economy Lodge, resulting in arrests of 10 women and men

BONIFAY – A month-long undercover operation by investigators with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest of ten suspects and the seizure of several ounces of methamphetamine Friday.

“Over the past several months, we have received information about illegal drug activity going on at one of our local motels in Bonifay,” said Holmes County Sheriff John Tate. “We received complaints that drugs were being sold out of several rooms.”

Dubbed “Operation: Room Service,” an undercover drug investigation was launched, with investigators making several controlled sales and purchases from two of the motel rooms at the Economy Lodge, located on State Road 90 in the City of Bonifay.

Investigators also executed two search warrants in two separate rooms, where they seized what reports called a “considerable amount” of methamphetamine package for sale. Investigators identified a third room suspected to be used by dealers for drug transactions, and a search of that room resulted in the seizure of more methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

The investigation also led investigators to a residence located at 602 West Kansas Avenue, where “trafficking amounts” of methamphetamine was located.

In all, investigators seized several ounces of methamphetamine, about a half ounce of marijuana, more than $1,000 in cash, a 1999 Lexus sedan, several prescription pills, including Xanax, a fake firearm carried by one of the would-be methamphetamine buyers, and assorted drug paraphernalia, including syringes, scales, glass pipes, and spoons containing suspected methamphetamine residue.

“We will continue to aggressively pursue illegal drug dealers and users in Holmes County,” said Sheriff Tate. “We also hope that those needing help overcoming addiction will take advantage of rehabilitation programs made available to them through the criminal justice process and the judicial system.” Sheriff Tate also expressed his appreciation to the Holmes County State Attorney’s Office for their assistance.

The street value of the seized narcotics totals more than $3,000.

Arrested and charged were: Mark Lucious of Marianna, Michael Gainey, Shonda Butler-Beaver, Grady Taylor AKA “Shady Grady,” Harold Rodriquez, Brittany Meyers, Juan Martinez, Jeffrey Golob, Lori Pierce, Dustin Bruner, all of Bonifay.

The investigation is still ongoing, and more arrests are anticipated.



Comments Off on Murder suspect, Nathaniel Z. Symonds, 19, of Dover, recently treated for Methamphetamine, mental issues

A man arrested Friday in a fatal shooting in Pope County had been committed for psychiatric and drug treatment in Little Rock last month after overdosing on methamphetamine and swallowing drain cleaner, according to court documents.

A judge in Russellville set bail at $250,000 for Nathaniel Z. Symonds, 19, of Dover at a probable cause hearing Monday. Symonds was being held in the Pope County jail on a charge of first-degree murder.

Symonds is accused of shooting Ronald Dean Esserman Jr., 42, of Dover with a shotgun Friday afternoon on Oak Meadows Road in Dover, about 10 miles north of Russellville.

A probable cause statement by Pope County sheriff’s office Lt. Jacob Yarbrough said officers were called to 245 Oak Meadows Road, where they found Esserman dead of apparent gunshot wounds in the front yard of a mobile home. Symonds was found in a home down the street and arrested.

According to the statement, Symonds told investigators that Esserman attacked him, hitting and kicking him until Symonds was able to get away.

Symonds went to his grandfather’s home about 100 yards away and got a shotgun, the statement said. He walked back toward the mobile home and fired a warning shot in the air. Symonds told deputies that he encountered Esserman in the front yard of the mobile home and shot him.

“He said the victim fell to the ground and exclaimed ‘I’m gonna die.’ [Symonds] said the victim began to crawl away from him and [Symonds] shot him several more times. [Symonds] said he then walked up to the victim and shot him in the head,” Yarbrough’s statement said.

Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons said he believed formal charges would be filed against Symonds in two or three weeks.

Records show that a petition was filed Feb. 8 in Pulaski County Circuit Court to involuntarily admit Symonds to CHI St. Vincent Infirmary’s Behavioral Health Unit.

The petition said Symonds, whose address was listed as 249 Oak Meadows Road in Dover, was admitted to the Little Rock hospital on Jan. 31 on a 72-hour hold. The petition said he overdosed on methamphetamine and ingested Drano that caused “severe mouth and upper airways burns.”

He had to be intubated and put on a breathing machine in intensive care before being admitted for psychiatric treatment, according to the petition.

He signed a voluntary commitment Feb. 1 but had to be placed on a 72-hour hold Feb. 6 “because he wished to leave in the face of persisting suicidal thoughts,” the petition said.

The petition said he had a history of post-traumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse, methamphetamine addiction, and depressive disorder with past suicide attempts.

Circuit Judge Morgan Welch ordered on Feb. 10 that Symonds be held for inpatient treatment at CHI St. Vincent for no more than 45 days. The records in the court file didn’t show when Symonds was released.



Comments Off on Two Women Attempt to Smuggle $300K in Methamphetamine, Heroin Past Riverside County Station Border Patrol through the state Route 86 checkpoint

INDIO, CA – Border Patrol agents working out of a Riverside County station had a busy Saturday, nabbing two women within one hour of each other who allegedly tried to smuggle narcotics into the United States, the agency reports.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s El Centro Sector office, agents from the Indio station captured the suspects allegedly trying to pass through the state Route 86 checkpoint with nearly 60 pounds of drugs hidden inside their cars.

Border Patrol said the first woman, a 33-year-old Mexican citizen, was caught at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when drug dogs alerted agents to her 2004 Ford Fusion.

“At secondary inspection, a Border Patrol detection canine team alerted to the vehicle,” officials said in a news release. “After an intensive search, agents discovered 35 packages of narcotics hidden inside the front and rear seats of the sedan.”

Those packages contained 37.53 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $120,096, officials said. The woman was arrested and the vehicle and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

About an hour later, a 58-year-old woman referred to as a lawful permanent resident was inspected while approaching the checkpoint in a 2002 Ford Windstar, Border Patrol officials said. After a canine alerted to her vehicle, she was sent to a secondary inspection site.

“After an intensive search, agents discovered five packages inside the rear seat of the vehicle,” the agency said. “Two of the packages tested positive for the characteristics of methamphetamine while the other three packages were determined to contain heroin.”

The 7.24 pounds of methamphetamine had an estimated street value of $23,168, while the 15.061 pounds of heroin had an estimated street value of $165, 671.

That woman was also arrested and turned over to the DEA, along with her van and the drugs, according to border officials.

According to Border Patrol officials, the El Centro Sector, which includes the Indio and Riverside stations, has seized more than 632. 1 pounds of methamphetamine and 38.61 pounds of heroin in the 2016-17 fiscal year.


Comments Off on Charges upgraded to murder for mother, Kylie Brewer, 19, boyfriend, Jon-Paul Bogdanowich Jr., 22, and friend, Kaylie Gossett, 19, accused in death of 6-month-old Wyllow Brewer in Pima County

A trio of suspects previously charged with child abuse in connection with the Feb. 19 death of 6-month-old Wyllow Brewer are now facing murder charges, officials said.

The child’s mother, Kylie Brewer, 19, was one of three people arraigned Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and two separate counts of felony child abuse, said Deputy Pima County Attorney Alan Goodwin.

Kylie Brewer’s boyfriend, Jon-Paul Bogdanowich Jr., and Kaylie Gossett, a friend of the couple, were arraigned on the same charges, Goodwin said.

Gossett, 22, is being held in the Pima County jail on a $10,000 bond, but Brewer and Bogdanowich, 19, were not listed on the jail’s online inmate database.

Authorities also issued an arrest warrant for a fourth person in connection with the case, but Goodwin declined to release the name until an arrest has been made.

Pima County Sheriff’s deputies went to Brewer and Bogdanowich’s home, located in the 2900 block of West Katapa Trail, on Feb. 19 for reports of a child that had stopped breathing, according to a search warrant return filed in Pima County Superior Court.

Deputies noted that Wyllow was blue in color and had blood in her nose and mouth. She was taken to Banner-University Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased.

Physicians’ reports showed that Wyllow had a bruise on her head and fractures to both her arms and legs, including a right arm that was “grossly displaced,” according to the document.

Although Brewer and Bogdanowich told deputies that they found Wyllow unresponsive in her crib, a search of the home indicated that the crib appeared undisturbed. The search also revealed hypodermic needles and other evidence of drug use, and the couple told detectives they’d used methamphetamine a few days before, the document said.

Brewer said that she’d recently been in the hospital for pneumonia, during which Gossett and another friend stayed at the home to watch Wyllow. When she returned home on Feb. 18, they continued to watch Wyllow while Brewer was at work but left when she returned home at about 10 p.m.

Brewer and Bogdanowich told detectives they’d seen evidence of abuse after Gossett had previously watched Wyllow, including bruises and bite marks. Brewer also said that Gossett periodically refused to let Brewer see the child, threatening to tell the police that she was abusing drugs and her daughter, the document said.

The child’s autopsy revealed bruises all over her body, including her head, torso arms and legs, although there was no evidence of bite marks, according to one of the detectives who observed the procedure.

“The pathologist did tell me that the baby (had) a fractured humerus and that she had a severe infection on her arm,” the warrant return said. “I was told that the baby would have been in a lot of pain due to the trauma.”

Bogdanowich told detectives that on Feb. 14, the baby’s shoulder had been dislocated after getting caught in the crib and he’d popped it back into place.

Gossett, who admitted to using and selling methamphetamine, denied ever hurting Wyllow.

A case management hearing is set for April 17 in Pima County Superior Court, said court spokeswoman, Krisanne LoGalbo.


Comments Off on Chinese police move to tackle rise of ‘white-collar’ Methamphetamine drug producers

In a development that echoes TV’s Breaking Bad, some Chinese chemistry professionals have begun producing and selling illegal substances.

The manufacture and distribution of illegal narcotics is undergoing a transformation in China.

While a large part of the problem remains the involvement of criminal gangs and street thugs who control the localized trade, the emergence of sophisticated labs and international distribution networks set up by white-collar entrepreneurs is presenting a new challenge for the authorities.

At present, the most abused illicit drug in China is methamphetamine, also known as “ice”. In 2015, methamphetamine was available at about 50 to 100 yuan ($7 to $14) per 0.1 gram, according to the Beijing police authority. At the end of the same year, there were 2.3 million registered drug users in the country, official data show.

In June last year, Wang Hua, a chemistry graduate who attended the prestigious Peking University in Beijing, was arrested for producing methcathinone, a highly addictive stimulant drug known by street names such as “meth cat”, “jeff”, or “bathtub speed”.

In 2005, the recreational drug, which produces a similar effect to methamphetamines or amphetamines, was included in the list of controlled substances by the China Food and Drug Administration.

In April 2014, in a move that has echoes of the global TV hit Breaking Bad, Wang quit his job at a pharmaceutical company in Shanghai and set up his own company in Huanggang, Hubei province. The 30-something put his cousin in charge of methcathinone production and asked his wife to purchase the raw materials and liaise with buyers.

Wang was found to have mailed 630 kilograms of methcathinone, stashed in the tubes of light-emitting diodes, to buyers overseas through courier services. The Hubei police seized 55 receipts for sales between Oct 1, 2015, and June 8 last year, which generated an estimated profit of more than 10 million yuan.

Third generation

Wang is just one in a long line of chemistry professionals who are producing new psychoactive substances, also known as NPS, a type of illicit narcotic regarded in China as “third generation” drugs.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines the new drugs as “substances of abuse, either in a pure form or a preparation, that are not controlled by the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs or the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, but which may pose a public health threat”.

The NPS are easily synthesized in labs, rather than being obtained via natural sources such as opium poppies, which means production costs are far lower, said Hua Zhendong, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security’s drug-testing laboratory.

The lack of regulation has led to these new narcotics becoming known as “designer drugs”, “legal highs”, “herbal highs”, “bath salts”, “research chemicals” and “laboratory reagents”.

The new drugs mimic the effects of controlled substances, such as cannabis, amphetamines or heroin, and are sometimes traded alongside them as the makers exploit loopholes in drug control legislation.

Lucrative business

A number of Chinese chemistry professionals have been unable to resist the lucrative business opportunities offered by NPS, which, although widely abused in other countries, are almost unknown in China. That means some of them have slipped below the radar of the nation’s drug authorities, according to Hua, from the ministry.

Zhang Zhengbo, 45, a former chemistry professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, used to be one of China’s leading manufacturers of NPS. During his time as a visiting scholar in Australia, Zhang discovered that some countries have huge markets for NPS, and realized that some of the new drugs widely abused overseas were not classed as controlled substances in China.

The 45-year-old and Yang Zhaohui, a former classmate, established a chemical company. They registered as a producer of pharmaceutical intermediates, but instead manufactured methcathinone and sold it in the United States and Europe under the guise of regular chemical products.

In June 2015, Zhang and seven of his employees were arrested and charged with selling more than 300 kg of methcathinone to buyers overseas. The case has been handed over to the prosecuting authorities.

Ministry in action

At present, there are no coordinated international controls on NPS, although several countries have established permanent measures for cracking down on certain substances and others have issued temporary bans.

In recent years, the Ministry of Public Security has stepped up international collaboration efforts to crack down on the production of NPS.

In Zhang’s case, the ministry contacted authorities in more than 20 countries and reported 1,144 clues that will assist in their investigations of cases within their jurisdictions.

In the latest move, the ministry has added four types of synthetic opioids – including carfentanyl, a widely used elephant tranquilizer – to its list of controlled substances.

On March 1, four types of fentanyl-based substances were added to the list of Non-pharmaceutical Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Drugs under Control, raising the number of controlled substances in China to 134.

Last year, police found 66 samples of fentanyl-based substances nationwide, a marked rise from the six unearthed from 2012 to 2015.

“More than 10 people suspected of producing NPS have been detained and more than 800 kg of substances has been seized since the beginning of last year. More than 1 metric ton of these, as yet, uncontrolled substances was also seized,” said Yu Haibin, head of the department at the ministry that is tasked with curbing the production of illicit drugs.

However, a lack of testing equipment outside of big cities means the police face challenges uncovering NPS abuse.

According to Hua, most local police stations lack equipment to test for NPS, so when police officers decide to test people suspected of using drugs in a public place, they have to collect urine samples and then send them to the ministry’s national-level laboratory.

“It takes time to send the results back to the local police, and it takes even longer to enact legislation to ban newly discovered substances,” he said.

“In addition, simply by altering the chemical structure of an existing substance, a new psychoactive substance can be produced to circumvent the controls on drugs,” he noted, adding that when one drug becomes subject to strict controls, a new, modified substance can quickly be created by fast-acting chemists looking to stay one step ahead of the law.


Comments Off on Christine Maier, 31, stopped by Boca Raton Police, throws needles into back seat with 2-year-old child; Also arrested for Methamphetamine

A woman was arrested Tuesday after police say she threw needles intended for drugs into the backseat of a car where a 2-year-old was sitting.

Boca Raton Police say 31-year-old Christine Maier was seen by an officer conducting a hand-to-hand drug transaction in a Marathon gas station parking lot on West Glades Road just before 3:30 p.m.

Officers said Maier was seen meeting an unidentified man in the parking lot, where he gave her a plastic bag, according to the police report. The man returned to his car, and Maier got in the passenger seat of another car. Police say the two vehicles drove off in different directions.

Boca officers stopped Maier’s car after the driver failed to stop at a stop sign and had a nonfunctional side brake light. The police report states that Maier was seen frantically moving about the car as it came to a stop. The driver, identified by police as William Bennett, complied with officers when asked to step out of the car and provide identification. Police also say Bennett gave the officers permission to search his car after police told him they witnessed the drug transaction.

According to the arrest report, as police searched the car, they found a plastic bag containing two hypodermic needles on the floorboard behind the driver’s side. Police also found a third needle on the rear driver side seat. The police report states that all three needles were close to where the toddler was sitting, with one needle being within arms reach.

Officers noticed a fresh open cut on the bridge of the child’s nose. Maier told officers that the child fell down the day before but that one of the needles could have caused the injury, according to the report. Police also say the child was not in any type of car seat or booster seat while in the vehicle.

Police say that Maier told officers that she panicked when she saw the police lights and made a “stupid mistake” by throwing the needles into the backseat.

Police continued to search the car and also found a sunglasses case containing a small plastic bag filled with a white crystal-like residue and two additional hypodermic needles. Maier told police the items in that case did not belong to her, according to the report.

Upon discovery of these items, police said Bennett became “visibly infuriated” and began yelling at Maier. He told officers that he had no idea what she was retrieving from the man she met in the parking lot and that he had only known her for about a month. Bennett also told police he drove her because he had just gotten out of jail and that “it’s been a while since [he] had a girl,” police say. Maier told police that she met the man to get needles for a friend.

Police say the residue found in the sunglasses case tested positive for methamphetamine.

Maier was arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail. She faces charges of neglect of a child, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Department of Children and Families took custody of the child.




Comments Off on Jason Young, 29, of Hodgenville, accused of smoking Methamphetamine with young teenage girls, also charged with rape

A man accused of smoking meth with teenage girls was indicted Wednesday on first-degree rape charges as well as drug-related charges.

According to criminal complaints previously filed in the case against Jason Young, 29, the Hodgenville man was accused of meeting up with at least one 15-year-old girl on more than one occasion and smoking crystal meth.

Young was arrested Feb. 19 and at the time only faced drug-related charges, though investigators said more charges could be possible.

On Wednesday, Young was indicted on two counts of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor less than 16, two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor less than 18, one count of distribution of obscene matter to minors and one count of first-degree rape.

According to the indictment, Young is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with another person by the use of forcible compulsion on or about Dec. 10, 2016, while in Nelson County. The indictment does not specify the age of the victim.

The obscene matter charge relates to an accusation that Young knowingly sent, exhibited or distributed an obscene photograph to a victim.

Young’s bail was set at $100,000 cash only, plus conditions. He will be arraigned in court April 6.


Comments Off on Hawkins County-based ‘Chicken Head Mafia’ member, Steven Dwight “Rabbit” Hopkins, 46, of Mooresburg, gets 20 years for Methamphetamine trafficking

GREENEVILLE — A key member of the Hawkins County-based “Chicken Head Mafia” meth trafficking syndicate had his wings clipped Thursday by U.S. District Judge R. Leon Jordon, who sentenced him to 20 years in a federal penitentiary.

Steven Dwight “Rabbit” Hopkins, 46, of Mooresburg, reportedly admitted to federal authorities that he had been cooking meth since 2000 and that he was responsible for at least 1.5 kilograms of meth ($150,000 street value), but less than 4.5 kilograms of meth ($450,000) street value).

Hopkins’ 20 year sentence is the result of an ongoing federal investigation targeting him and other members of the Chicken Head Mafia.

According to a press release issued Friday by U.S. Attorney Nancy Stallard-Harr, in August of 2014 Hopkins was arrested following a traffic stop in Whitley County, Ga., while on his way to obtain a quarter-pound of meth as a representative of the group.

According to sources in law enforcement, the self-named Chicken Head Mafia consisted of a group involved in trafficking meth and other narcotics, mainly in Hamblen and Hawkins counties.

According to police, a slang term for newly cooked powder meth is “chicken feed.”

Police said the group gave itself the name as an inside joke.

Hopkins and other members of the Chicken Head Mafia reportedly looked out for and protected one another during their meth trafficking conspiracy.

Hopkins, a member of the Copperhead Motorcycle Club, admitted that he obtained eight to 10 ounces of meth per week from co-defendant Rick Munsey, 48. Munsey is listed as a resident of Del Rio, Tenn., but police say he spent most of his time in Mooresburg.

Authorities said Hopkins admitted to selling meth to a large customer base in and around Hamblen County.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office, Morristown Police Department, Third and Fourth District Judicial Drug Task Forces. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.


Comments Off on Five Women and Men Arrested After Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents Raid Motel on Fortuna’s Main Street; Methamphetamine, Heroin, Firearms Discovered

On 03-15- 17 at about 0820 hours Agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force assisted by members of the Fortuna Police Department served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant on two motel rooms located in the 800 block of Main Street in the city of Fortuna.

In one room Agents located 47 year old Jennifer Fuentes and her 9 year old son. A search of the room revealed 7 grams of suspected methamphetamine packaged for sales as well as a glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine. Both the suspected methamphetamine and glass pipe were located in areas accessible to the child. As a result of this Jennifer was arrested and booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility possession of methamphetamine, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia and child endangerment. The child was released to another family member.

In the second room Agents located 22 year old Rebecca Baker, 27 year old Robert Cullen, and 29 year old Terrisa Graham. During a search of that room Agents located approximately 1 ounce of suspected methamphetamine, 11 grams of suspected heroin, several syringes loaded with suspected heroin, packaging materials, and a digital scale. In addition they found a loaded 44 Magnum revolver, and a loaded .22 semi- automatic pistol with a high capacity magazine.

While conducting their investigation Agents noticed a subject they recognized as a wanted felon, 26 year old Jason Sherman exit an adjoining motel room. Jason was detained while Agents confirmed he had a felony warrant for his arrest. Jason’s warrant was confirmed as Agents learned that Rebecca had a misdemeanor warrant for her arrest.

Based on the evidence located in the second motel room Robert was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a loaded firearm while possessing a controlled substance. Terrisa was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. All subjects were transported to the Correctional Facility where they were booked and housed for the above listed charges.

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to this investigation or other narcotics related crimes are encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444- 8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-268- 2539.


Comments Off on Methamphetamine: Cheap to make, expensive to clean up

LAKE GENEVA —The fire alarm screeched as officers Aaron Greetham and Caleb Tracy pressed through a smoky hallway at The Cove of Lake Geneva hotel.

“I remember specifically the smell and the taste of the smoke. It wasn’t like the bonfire smoke you have at home,” Greetham said more than two months after the incident. “It was sharp and sour tasting. It burned to breathe in.”

Just after 3 a.m. Jan. 9, the two Lake Geneva police officers entered Room 314 to find the reason for the alarm, which was first called in as people smoking in their room.

Tracy rushed to take Patrick McBean out of the room. McBean had been standing, looking confused, his facial hair burned off.

Greetham pulled his turtleneck over his nose to protect his lungs and kept searching for the cause of the smoke.

Then he stepped into the bathroom.

“The bathroom looked like a grenade had gone off inside. It had blood on the floor, and there was just burned stuff everywhere. The toilet bowl itself looked like it had blown up. There was black water in the tub,” Greetham said. “It was a miracle that place didn’t burn down.”

They would later learn the cause of the damage was a methamphetamine explosion, they said.

The two officers were treated at a hospital for chemical smoke inhalation.

Their treatment cost $708, Lt. Ed Gritzner said.

Meth is a cheap drug to make–as little as $50 for a batch.

The cost of clean-up can be high. The incident at The Cove cost the hotel and responding agencies at least $24,000.

Meth is spreading in Walworth County and statewide, leading officials to dread its costs to users and the community.


The incident at The Cove prompted a large response from emergency workers.

Only three Lake Geneva police officers are on duty at the time of the explosion, so another six officers were called in or immediately assigned when their shifts started, Gritzner said.

The incident cost the Lake Geneva Police Department $4,000 in labor costs, Gritzner said.

Eight departments and agencies assisted.

Here is how the costs break down:

  • $15,000 to $20,000 for the hotel to refurbish the damaged bathroom. The hotel room did not sustain serious damage, according to a manager at the hotel.
  • $4,908 for the Lake Geneva Police Department for staff hours, equipment and medical costs.
  • $3,100 for the Lake Geneva Fire Department.
  • $736 for the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office for a deputy and drug unit Sgt. Shannan Illingworth to respond to the hotel at 5 a.m. that day. Illingworth said she went to St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee to take pictures for Lake Geneva police of the woman, Melissa Kuen, who was sent there with burns from the incident.
  • $160 for the town of Linn Police Department, which sent an officer to assist.
  • $100 for the city of Lake Geneva Public Works Department for dropping off some blockades and barriers.
  • $50 in estimated costs for Walworth County Public Health, which provided some protective equipment.

Cost estimates could not be obtained from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Racine County Hazardous Material Team, which also responded.

The Racine Fire Department sent six people, Battalion Chief Paul Madden said in an email.

Walworth County sheriff’s Capt. Robert Hall, who oversees the drug unit, previously called meth “a poor man’s drug” because it is cheap and easy to produce. But he said the costs associated with investigating and cleaning it are “astronomical.”

Gritzner said the only situation comparable in cost to The Cove meth lab explosion was a missing child case last year that cost the department about $16,000 over two weeks.

Meth lab cases cost more than other drug busts because of the cleanup expenses, Gritzner said. Tracy said meth cases “definitely hands down” cost more than other cases in terms of manpower.

“Certain cases we have evidence on, we bag that evidence ourselves and we put it in our evidence room,” Gritzner said. “This stuff’s toxic. So the only evidence is going to be photographed because it has to be destroyed for health reasons. It’s not like we walk that stuff into court down the road at trial.”

At the scene of The Cove explosion, law enforcement reported finding Sudafed tablets, batteries, camp stove fuel, drain cleaner, a water bottle with melted liquid, a gas generator, a bottle of a white powdery substance and other materials used or produced by meth manufacturing, according to a criminal complaint filed against McBean.

Meth clean-up costs statewide totaled $235,000 from 2014 to 2015, according to the Feb. 9 Wisconsin Methamphetamine Study presentation prepared by FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo.

The state Department of Justice received a $1.5 million grant for the COPS Anti-Methamphetamine Task Force in December for “reimbursement of overtime costs and purchases of expensive equipment used to conduct methamphetamine lab related investigations,” according to Feb. 9 testimony from state Attorney General Brad Schimel at the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

From that, the Southeast Drug Operation Group, to which the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office Drug Unit belongs, will receive $20,000 per year for two years, according to a January news release from the sheriff’s office.


Meth is on the rise in Wisconsin. Meth use in the state went up at least 250 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to Schimel’s testimony.

“Although I’ve made the fight against prescription drug abuse and heroin the hallmark of my administration, it’s time we also turn our sights to methamphetamine,” Schimel said. “It’s time we begin fighting on a second front.”

Meth investigations nearly tripled in Walworth County between 2015 and 2016.

Law enforcement agencies are now preparing officers to deal with meth if they come across it.

Gritzner said they recently started training patrol officers on how to identify it. Detectives and other officers assigned to the drug unit get more extensive training.

“For instance, say you’re in a kitchen and there’s camp fuel and lithium batteries in a cupboard in the kitchen. You know right away usually your camping stuff is in the garage,” Gritzner said. “It’s just to look for those oddities.”

Beyond internal training, Lake Geneva police are inviting the public to a Tuesday, April 11, workshop on meth awareness. The event’s Facebook page said it will be a “great presentation for employees of convenience and hardware stores, hotels and motels, pharmacies and healthcare.”

The Cove General Manager Dick Schwalbenberg is scheduled to give a presentation.

Tracy said because he and Greetham thought The Cove incident was just a fire, they did not use protective equipment they carry in their squad cars.

“We were just going in to get everybody out,” Tracy said. “And then when you’re in there and you realize it’s something more, you’re not going to stop what you’re doing to run back to the squad car.”

Greetham said this was the first big meth incident he’s been involved with. Now, he knows better and has received more training.

“They show us videos in the training what happens when it goes wrong,” Greetham said. “I saw the aftermath of it, but when you watch it actually explode you’re like, ‘Well that makes sense.’”

Greetham said even with identification training, identification often means officers are close enough to see or smell the materials directly, which could be hazardous.

“Every time we show up to anything, we got to try to be safe, and usually being safe is as easy as being tactical in where you stand when you talk to people, how you park your car.

“In this (meth) situation, you don’t really know what you have until you’ve already found it,” Greetham said. “There’s nowhere you can position yourself. There’s no way you cannot come into contact at least a little bit before you find it.

“And that’s why it’s so scary.”


Comments Off on Jessica Crandall, 27, and Justin Crandall, 28, of Sidney, indicted in sexual exploitation and ‘torture’ of a 17-month-old girl

A Sidney couple face new charges after a federal grand jury Friday indicted them in what a prosecutor called the sexual “torture” of a child.

Justin Crandall, 28, and his wife, Jessica Crandall, 27, pleaded not guilty in February after the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Binghamton filed child sexual exploitation charges. On Friday, the grand jury in federal court handed up a seven-count indictment against the couple.

The indictment brings the following felony charges against the Crandalls: one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child, along with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child. In addition, Justin Crandall was indicted on a felony count of distribution of child pornography.

Arraignments will be scheduled in federal court, as a result of Friday’s indictment. The Crandalls are being held in the Delaware County jail.

Court papers say Justin Crandall’s alleged abuse of the victim, a 17-month-old girl, were tied to his methamphetamine addiction. His wife, Jessica Crandall, stands accused of participating in the abuses, which allegedly spanned between November in 2016 until Feb. 13, 2017.

The indictment also says the Crandalls allegedly victimized the child on five separate dates in January and February, engaging sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing one or more “visual depictions” of such conduct.

Justin Crandall is also accused of sending a sexually explicit image of the victim over the internet by use of a cellphone, according to the indictment.

When the Crandalls were initially brought to federal court on Feb. 17, Assistant U.S. Attorney Miroslav Lovric said both defendants conspired to “sexually torture” the victim.

A criminal investigation by state police and the FBI resulted in their arrests and court papers describe the allegations in graphic detail.

Law enforcement were alerted Feb. 11 after a witness reported receiving an image depicting a female toddler engaged in a sex act, which Justin Crandall had allegedly sent via cellphone, according to court papers. The child was being babysat by Jessica Crandall at the couple’s Sidney residence, officials said.

Justin Crandall was then brought to the state police headquarters in Sidney to be interviewed by investigators.

In court papers, the FBI stated, “(Justin) Crandall admitted he touched the minor female child in a sexual manner while he was under the influence of methamphetamine.”

Court papers say Jessica Crandall was later questioned by state police and she admitted she and her husband engaged in “repeated sexual activities” involving the child going back to the previous December.

If convicted of the federal charges, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison.





U.S. Attorney’s Office in Binghamton charges Jessica Crandall, 27, and Justin Crandall, 28, of Sidney, in sexual abuse of 17-month-old girl

Comments Off on Grey Lynn sex attack victim: ‘He’s going to kill someone if we don’t catch him’

A woman subjected to a near-fatal sex assault in an Auckland carpark fears her attacker will kill if he is not caught.

The woman was attacked in Grey Lynn in the early hours of the morning on September 25.

Police have been hunting for her attacker since, and went public with the investigation this week in a bid to flush him out.

The woman was working as a prostitute the morning she was attacked and at 4.30am was walking on Hereford Street towards Karangahape Road.

Prostitution has been legal in New Zealand since 2003.

She was approached by a man in a van and he offered her the drug methamphetamine in exchange for a “minor” sexual service.

The woman told police that the man was “clean cut” and van was tidy – so she did not believe she would be in danger if she agreed to the deal.

She willingly got into the van and the man drove her to the Grey Lynn Library on Great North Rd.

Detective Anthony Darvill said the man’s demeanour suddenly changed and he started demanding “quite a violent sexual act” from the woman.

“She’s made it clear to him she wants no part in that whatsoever,” he said.

“He’s taken that decision from her, he’s quite violently sexually assaulted her.”

Darvill, appearing on the television crime show Police Ten 7, said the woman suffered “quite a serious injury”.

“These are potentially life threatening injuries that she’s suffered and she’s concerned that this might happen to someone else if he’s not caught,” he said.

“Her words to me are: ‘he’s going to kill someone if we don’t catch him’.

After the attack the woman asked to be driven to a friend’s house in New Windsor.

The man agreed and drove her along Great North Rd through Waterview, stopping once at the intersection of Blockhouse Bay Rd and St Jude St in Avondale.

“I believe that this was because he was concerned about the amount of blood that was in the back of his van,” Darvill said.

The attacker dropped his victim off near her friend’s house and took off.

Darvill said the attack was “horrific” and it was crucial the man was found.

“The victim’s given us a really good description of the van and i think that’s the key to solving this,” he said.

The man was driving a late model “candy apple red” van similar to a Nissan Caravan or Toyota Hi-Ace.

“The van had a mattress with a green sheet set up in the back and it’s quite clear to her that this wasn’t a tradesman’s van – it was very tidy,” said Darvill.

The attacker was described at Caucasian with short light brown hair.

Darvill appealed to anyone who knows the man to come forward.

“Meth is not a cheap drug and for him to be just throwing it around using it as currency, that’s going to stand out to someone,” he said.

If you recognize the man or van, or have information about this attack contact the Auckland City Police on 09 302 6400.


Comments Off on Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team raids Butler house for Methamphetamine, Arizona Department of Child Safety takes custody of 2 small children

KINGMAN –Butler residents might’ve been treated to a drug bust sideshow Wednesday morning.

Eight Kingman residents were arrested after detectives with the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at a home in the 1500 block of Northfield Avenue.

Brian Lee Pintarich, 40, was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, possession of narcotic drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, all felonies.

Joyce Lorraine Trichell, 51, was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ronald Charles Trichell Jr., 27, was arrested for possession of narcotic drugs, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and vulnerable child abuse-reckless, felonies.

Whitney Lee Vanslyke, 26, was arrested for possession of narcotic drugs, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and vulnerable child abuse-reckless, felonies.

Michelle Lynn Bristol, 29, was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs, possession of narcotic drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia, felonies, along with a failure-to-pay fines warrant issued by Kingman Justice Court.

Shawn Afton Lancaster, 45, was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence and a parole violation warrant issued by Arizona Department of Corrections, felonies.

Vernadena Mischell Hogan, 49, was arrested for possession of dangerous drugs.

Richard Alan Chisholm Jr., 46, was arrested on a probation violation warrant issued by Kingman Municipal Court and a failure to pay fines warrant issued by Kingman Justice Court, both misdemeanors.

According to sheriff’s spokeswoman Trish Carter, Pintarich was found in the driveway with an alleged quarter-ounce of methamphetamine along with packaging material and an electronic scale. Bristol, allegedly in possession of methamphetamine and heroin, was with Pintarich and was found to have a warrant for her arrest.

During a search of the home, Lancaster was found allegedly attempting to break a syringe loaded with methamphetamine. He was arrested and found to have a felony warrant for his arrest.

Joyce Trichell was found to be in possession of about three-quarters of an ounce of methamphetamine as well as empty baggies and a scale. She lives at the home and allegedly admitted to selling methamphetamine.

Vanslyke and Ronald Trichell, her boyfriend, also live at the home with their two children, ages 5 and 8. Marijuana, marijuana wax and paraphernalia were reportedly found in their room within reach of the children. Vanslyke allegedly admitted knowing Joyce Trichell was selling methamphetamine out of the home while her kids were living there.

Hogan was found in the home and admitted to using methamphetamine prior to the search warrant being served.

Chisholm was sleeping in the residence and was found to have two valid warrants for his arrest.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety responded and took custody of the children. There was no information available on the total amount of drugs found or their approximate street value. All suspects were transported and booked into the Mohave County jail without incident.

MAGNET, DCS and Mohave County Sheriff’s Animal Control Officers were involved in drug bust in Mohave Valley on Tuesday leading to the arrest of two people.


Comments Off on Jamestown home filled with needles and Methamphetamine waste condemned

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) – A house in Jamestown has been condemned after police discovered a meth lab filled with hazardous waste and used needles.

Thursday, Jamestown Police and Fire Departments were called to 212 W. 6th St. on a report of a possible meth lab in operation. Firefighters determined that the upper apartment of the house was being used as an active meth lab.

Police say the entire house had to be condemned due to multiple housing violations and extreme health risk as the apartment also contains hundreds of discarded needles strewn all over the apartment and attic.

Jacob H. Tunison (Currently on Probation), 27, Cody E. Reichenbach, 23, and David S. Soderberg, 28, have been charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and other charges.

Investigators believe the trio were using the attic of the home to dump used needles and other trash used for the use of and manufacture of methamphetamine.


Comments Off on Pregnant Woman, Joelen Christine Bendzak-Demarco, 28, of Chattanooga, Facing Charges After Methamphetamine Use

Police said a woman arrested for meth use and possession is pregnant.

Joelen Christine Bendzak-Demarco, 28, of 7155 Shepherd View, was charged with reckless endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and burglary.

Police said they responded to 7710 E. Brainerd Road for a possible overdose. They found Ms. Bendzak-Demarco with the resident of the apartment, Candace Stallings. Ms. Stallings, 31, had to be transported to Erlanger Hospital.

Police said she would be facing charges.

Officers said Ms. Bendzak-Demarco was in possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.


Comments Off on Kelsey Kritzer, 23, and Luis Lira, 22, arrested after 3 a.m. Methamphetamine-related shooting at Sioux City Wal-Mart

SIOUX CITY | Two people were charged with first-degree robbery Wednesday in connection with a shooting in the parking lot of the Singing Hills Wal-Mart last week.

At 3 a.m. on March 9, Kelsey Kritzer, 23, arranged to meet two subjects at the store to collect money for a previous drug debt, court documents said.

The Sergeant Bluff woman asked Luis Lira, 22, also known as “Lil Cholo,” to come with her during the collection.

When the subjects arrived, Lira walked up to the passenger side of the vehicle and told them to roll down the window and demanded the money, the documents said.

When the window was down three inches, Lira pointed a pistol at the victims, which caused them to speed away.

Lira then fired the pistol at the fleeing car. The documents said one bullet entered through the rear window and struck the driver in the back of the right shoulder.

The documents did not say the severity of the victim’s injuries.

Lira, of Sioux City, was arrested Wednesday morning following a traffic stop. A glass pipe, a scale and 1.5 grams of meth were found inside the car.

Lira was booked into the Woodbury County Jail for a number of drug charges and first-degree robbery, reckless use of a firearm and a felon in possession of a firearm. His bond amount is $300,000.

Kritzer was also arrested and booked Wednesday evening on charges of first-degree robbery and driving on a suspended license. Her bond has been set at $100,000.

Both have court dates on March 27.


Comments Off on Judge John Manydeeds to Anissa M. Eck, 41, of Eau Claire: ‘This is your last option’

An Eau Claire woman accused of making fraudulent checks in the name of an Eau Claire business will spend four years on probation and one year in jail.

Anissa M. Eck, 41, 3219 E. Clairemont Ave., pleaded no contest Wednesday in Eau Claire County Court to six felony counts of identity theft.

Judge John Manydeeds went along with a joint sentencing agreement by prosecutors and Eck’s defense attorney. As a condition of probation, Eck must successfully complete Drug Court.

“This is it. This is your last option. You’re getting a huge, huge break here,” Manydeeds told Eck. “You’re lucky you were admitted to a treatment court.”

Eck told Manydeeds she wants to turn her life around after an addiction to methamphetamine. She said her children are grown and she will be a grandmother later this year.

Being accepted into Drug Court “is a blessing to me. I’ll have more tools and resources to help me keep sober,” Eck said. “I have no desire to go back to using.”

Defense attorney Matthew Krische said Eck has spent the past 139 days in custody.

“We have a good start on sobriety already,” he said, adding that Eck wants to go back to school to earn a degree in counseling.

“She has personal experience with drug addiction,” Krische said. “She wants to help others.”

Some of the fake checks were used by some of Eck’s acquaintances without her knowledge, police said.

According to the criminal complaint:

Eau Claire police investigated a series of cases concerning Eck, who fraudulently produced checks from Williams Diamond Center, 2823 London Road.

Police interviewed Eck, and she admitted producing and possessing multiple checks from the jewelry store. She admitted getting the routing and bank numbers for the business and using that information to order a book of fraudulent checks that displayed the name of Williams Diamond Center and its routing number.

Another person deposited one of the checks into that person’s personal bank account for $700 on Sept. 24. A second and third person did the same thing on Sept. 26 and 28, respectively, for $150 and $200.

Eck issued several checks herself in varying amounts in September to banks and at least one Eau Claire convenience store totaling $1,330.

Eck told police the checks she made using Williams Diamond Center information were in her room at the Garton Motel in Eau Claire. She said she passed the checks until she was arrested and placed in jail on another matter.

After that, Eck believed other people took checks from her room and used them. Several people would come and go through her room due to her drug use, she said.

Eck said she did not give the other three people the checks they used, but they were made by her.


Comments Off on Twenty-nine year old Esperance woman found with Methamphetamine, refuses drug test

An Esperance woman was arrested for allegedly driving on a suspended licence and possessing meth on Wednesday afternoon, March 15.

Police searched the car and found drug paraphernalia and a magnetic box filled with a number of sealed bags allegedly containing meth.

The 29-year-old woman was taken to Esperance Police Station where she refused a drug test.

The woman will appear in Esperance Magistrate Court on April 5.



Comments Off on Three women and men from Buena Vista arrested for suspected possession of Methamphetamine

Three Buena Vista residents were arrested at a South San Juan Avenue address March 15 for suspected possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

“Officers of the Buena Vista Police Department seized a substantial quantity of suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia from this residence,” a press release states.

Alva Maria Alvey, 39, Jason Scott Hays, 37, and Ora Michelle Earl, 19, all of Buena Vista, were arrested.

Investigator Sam Livingston, with BVPD, said the substance had undergone a presumptive drug test and the BVPD believes it to be real.

“We will continue to maintain our vigilance to find methamphetamine in the community and to keep our citizens safe,” Livingston said.

Alvey was arrested for unlawful distribution of a schedule II controlled substance, unlawful possession of a schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, child abuse and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

Hays and Earl were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, child abuse and unlawful use of a controlled substance.

The Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.


Comments Off on Joseph Hirsch, 59, of Redwood City, accused of posing as dentist, allegedly cooked Methamphetamine in office

SAN CARLOS — A California felon is accused of practicing dentistry without a license in an unsanitary office where he allegedly cooked meth. Joseph Hirsch, of Redwood City, is being held in San Mateo County jail on $500,000 bail after authorities received a tip about his alleged crimes, Mercy News reported.

Hirsch, 59, is accused of possessing and manufacturing controlled substances, possessing brass knuckles and possessing ammunition as a felon, the report said. Authorities said it was unclear if any patients had been harmed as a result of treatment allegedly provided by Hirsch.

Authorities arrested Hirsch after serving a search warrant at Thermo Dental and a three-month investigation involving California’s Department of Dentistry and the state’s Department of Justice, Mercury News reported. The office is allegedly surrounded by warehouse businesses and auto-repair shops.

A news release revealed authorities discovered a “crude dentist office,” with an x-ray machine and dental tools, as well as narcotics and equipment used to manufacture narcotics. A man who answered the phone at Thermos Dentistry told Mercury News he had no comment on the arrest.


SAN CARLOS — A felon has been arrested after purportedly working as an unlicensed dentist and cooking meth at his “crude” San Carlos office, authorities say.

Joseph Hirsch, 59, is being held in San Mateo County jail on $500,000 bail on suspicion of offenses that include possessing and manufacturing controlled substances, possessing brass knuckles, and possessing ammunition as a felon.

Agents with the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force arrested Hirsch on Tuesday after a three-month investigation that grew to involve state Department of Dentistry investigators, who work under the state Department of Justice. But the site of the arrest had been under suspicion since January 2016 when someone tipped off authorities.

They served a search warrant at Thermo Dental, in the 600 block of Old County Road, located in an industrial area of San Carlos across from the city’s Caltrain station. The site is flanked by auto-repair shops, textile wholesalers and other warehouse businesses.

“As a result of this search, narcotics and equipment commonly used to manufacture narcotics” were seized, according to a news release from the task force. The news release did not specify the drug involved, but the warrant affidavit mentioned methamphetamine.

Agents also discovered what they described as a “crude dentist office” complete with a dentist’s chair, x-ray machine and dental tools.

“It is suspected that Mr. Hirsch was providing dental treatment to various patients without a license,” the news release said.

What wasn’t clear was whether any patients were injured as a result of their treatment, or how long Hirsch was purportedly treating people. An investigator with the Department of Dentistry did not immediately return a request for comment.

A man who answered the phone at Thermo Dental, which has been operating for about six years according to public records, said he had no comment about Hirsch’s arrest.

Additional details were not immediately available. Anyone with information about Hirsch or for the investigation can contact the county narcotics task force at 650-573-3991.


Comments Off on Siblings of 9-year-old Indiana boy who was starved to death also test positive for Methamphetamine

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Four people jailed in a 9-year-old Indiana boy’s starvation death face new charges involving two other children exposed to methamphetamine through their use of the drug.

The Tribune-Star reports that neglect of dependent charges were filed Wednesday against Cameron Hoopingarner’s two guardians and two other people.

Hoopingarner had cerebral palsy and weighed only 15 pounds when officers found him Feb. 21 at a home near Fontanet, about 60 miles west of Indianapolis.

The adults in the home originally were charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death and other counts. Additional drug-related charges were filed after tests revealed the boy had meth in his system.

Tests showed the other children — ages 5 and 2 — also tested positive for methamphetamine. They have been removed from the house.





A disabled 9-year-old Vigo County child, Cameron R. Hoopingarner, who weighed less than 15 pounds when he died had Methamphetamine in his system


Comments Off on Donald Gene Beckmann, 59, of Wells, charged for child pornography, Methamphetamine possession

A Wells man who allegedly possessed child pornography last week is facing multiple felony charges in Faribault County District Court.

Donald Gene Beckmann, 59, was charged on Wednesday with two counts of possessing child pornography, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of fifth-degree meth possession.

Court documents state Beckmann was charged when Wells police officers found nearly 5 grams of methamphetamine in baggies in a vehicle Beckmann was driving after a K-9 searched the vehicle.

A .38-caliber revolver and parts of a .22-caliber pistol were reportedly found in a duffel bag, along with two glass scales and a glass smoking device that tested positive for meth.

Officers allegedly found pictures and video of pornography involving girls ages 8 to 12 in a search warrant of a Verizon tablet.

A search warrant of Beckmann’s home reportedly found a glass smoking device with residue that tested positive for meth. Ammunition was also found.

Additional electronic devices found at the residence were to be searched by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Beckmann was convicted of felony controlled substance offenses in 2003, 2006 and 2014.

Tracy Lee Rathai, 53, of Wells, a passenger in the vehicle, is charged with four counts of gross misdemeanor meth possession in connection with the case.

District Court Judge Michael D. Trushenski set conditional bail for Beckmann at $100,000 on Wednesday.

Beckmann’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 27.

Being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Possessing child pornography carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.


Comments Off on Stephanie A. Pingel, 27, of Weyauwega, arrested twice for Methamphetamine

Prosecutors recently filed two felony cases against a Weyauwega woman.

Stephanie A. Pingel, 27, is charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana following a March 3 arrest.

She faces the same charges plus a count of possession of drug paraphernalia following a Nov. 13, 2016, traffic stop.

On the morning of March 3, Waupaca Police Officer Nate Nelson was following up on a drug investigation. A woman who had medications that were not prescribed to her told Nelson she obtained them from a home on Granite Street.

Nelson went to the home to speak with the resident.

When Nelson entered the living room, he reported seeing Pingel grab a syringe and place it under the seat cushion of the couch where she was sitting.

Nelson told Pingel to stand up and walk away from the couch.

After the resident signed a Consent to Search form, Nelson found a loaded syringe and a gem bag with a white crystal-like residue under the cushion.

According to the criminal complaint, police found a small amount of marijuana in her backpack.

On the night of Nov. 13, Marion Police Officer Eric Krause was informed that a vehicle suspected of being involved in drug activity in Shawano County was last seen traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 45 toward Marion.

Krause located the vehicle on Main Street and stopped it near Quarterline Road.

Pingel was the driver and Krause asked her if there were any drugs or drug paraphernalia in her vehicle.

Pingel initially denied having any drugs, the complaint says. Then Krause told her there was security video of her at the casino, and he had a drug-detection dog in his squad car.

Pingel then reportedly admitted to smoking methamphetamine and marijuana that evening.

Krause reported Pingel removed a plastic container from her pocket. There were three small plastic bags, one of which had a small amount of white powder, while the other two had marijuana residue, the complaint says.

A small amount of marijuana was also reported found in a locked metal case under the front passenger seat.