NEW PARIS, Ind.— Police say a northern Indiana man has died after being badly burned when a methamphetamine lab caught fire in a car.

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department says 33-year-old Jeremy Graber of Nappanee died Saturday at a Fort Wayne hospital, a day after the fire on a county road near the town of New Paris.

A woman burned in the car also was taken by helicopter to a Fort Wayne hospital, but Lt. Travis Adamson said that he didn’t have information on her condition.

A state police meth team determined that materials being used to make methamphetamine caught fire in the car at the scene about 20 miles southeast of South Bend.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-in-fatalmethfire,0,5499460.story

A woman wanted for possession of methamphetamine and a felon in possession of a firearm was arrested Sunday.


Amanda Emma Marie Yeaney was taken into custoday after deputies responded to a tip about Yeaney being at a home in the 3400 block of 30th Avenue NE.

Detectives with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office had requested the public’s help in locating Amanda Emma Marie Yeaney.

Deputies had last contacted her during a traffic stop for a traffic violation in southeast Salem on May 26.

The stop yielded a .22-caliber handgun and 23.3 grams of meth, deputies said at the time.

Yeaney also had been driving without a driver’s license, deputies said on May 26.

Yeaney is being held in Marion County jail on charges of possession of a control substance, methamphetamine, delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

She is scheduled to appear in court at 3 p.m. today at the Marion County Annex.

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20110808/UPDATE/110808010/Wanted-female-felon-arrested-northeast-Salem?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CNews

Meth lab discovered in Benton

Posted: August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Lt. Russell of Benton PD has reported that 1.43 lbs. of methamphetamine was seized with a street value of approximately $45,000.

Three people were arrested today at an apartment near Tyndall Park in Benton for allegedly operating a methamphetamine laboratory.


Jarrod Holmes, 31, and Crystal Layton, 28, both of Benton, each face charges of manufacturing of methamphetamine; possession of methamphetamine; use of another person’s property to facilitate a crime; maintaining a drug premise; possession of drug paraphernalia; use of a communication device to facilitate a crime; and enhanced penalty for manufacturing of methamphetamine within a 1000 feet proximity to certain facilities (school, church, park, daycare centers, or any property were children or normally present).

Jessica Vonkanel, 25, of Helena also faces charges of possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

1-Year-Old Found In Home With Meth Lab

HASTINGS, Fla. — A Hastings couple was arrested early Saturday on charges of child abuse and producing methamphetamine.

The two suspects, 33-year-old Shannon Colley and 27-year-old Anna Buell, remain in the St. Johns County Jail with bail set at $15,000.
St. Johns County deputies said they joined Department of Children and Families investigators early Saturday after receiving word that there was an infant inside the home where the occupants were accused of “cooking” methamphetamine.
The DCF investigator and deputies were allowed to enter the home by a woman inside to check on the welfare of the other occupants, deputies said.
Deputies said Colley and a 1-year-old child were inside the home, along with several items used to produce illegal narcotics.
Deputies said there were enough precursor items to call for detectives to continue the investigation.
Investigators said they discovered a live meth lab in the master bedroom.
The DCF investigator took custody of the child, and the two suspects were arrested and booked into jail.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/28803107/detail.html

NILAND — A 24-year-old Mexican national was arrested over the weekend in connection with an alleged attempt to smuggle more than $370,000 worth of methamphetamine, a press release read today.

The arrest occurred Saturday at 7 a.m. when U.S. Border Patrol agents at the Highway 111 checkpoint found several packages of narcotics hidden within the back side of the driver and passenger seats of a Nissan Altima, the statement read.

The substance inside the package weighed about 5.2 pounds and tested positive for methamphetamine. The driver who was never identified was turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/quicknews/ivp-border-patrol-agents-uncover-methamphetamine-20110808,0,5866817.story

SISSONVILLE, W.Va. — A woman was arrested Sunday for allegedly making methamphetamine and police are still looking for her husband.

Susan Mitchell, 48, of Sissonville, was charged with attempting to operate and conspiring to operate a meth lab at her home on Skylark Lane, according to Trooper S.P. Demafke of the West Virginia State Police.

Demafke said when police arrived on the scene, near Sissonville High School, Leonard Mitchell fled with Deborah Rogers, another woman who was in the house.

According to police, Leonard Mitchell was allegedly making meth in the same area he made dentures for people. Demafke said Leonard Mitchell is a dental assistant.

Demafke said when Leonard Mitchell fled he left his driver’s license behind.

Susan Mitchell was being held in the South Central Regional Jail on Sunday. No bond had been set, according to the jail’s website.

http://wvgazette.com/News/201108071499

A teacher at a Van Buren middle school, who has since resigned, was arrested Wednesday after police found drugs and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle during a traffic stop.

Fort Smith police officer Carson Addis arrested Wesley Christopher Warnock, 34, on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of hydrocodone, possession of methadone, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent and a misdemeanor complaint of possession of a controlled substance, a police report states.

Merle Dickerson, superintendent of Van Buren School District, confirmed that Warnock resigned Thursday but declined further comment.

Warnock was a teacher at Northridge Middle School, 120 Northridge Drive in Van Buren, according to a 2009-10 Arkansas Science and Technology Authority mini-grant awards list. According to Warnock’s Facebook page Friday afternoon, he had been employed with the Van Buren Public School District since 2005. By Friday evening, the page was no longer active.

According to the police report, Addis was patrolling near North 50th Street when he saw a Toyota Camry being driven by Warnock stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, a man – later identified as Eric Pledger, 34, of Alma – leaned out of the passenger door and spit on the road, but because he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, Addis pulled the vehicle over, the report states.

While running their identifications and insurance for the car, Addis stated he became nervous because both men were “moving around a lot,” according to the report. He asked Warnock to step out of the vehicle, and, while performing a pat down, Addis found nine suspected hydrocodone pills, five suspected methadone pills and about 11⁄2 grams of marijuana with rolling papers in his front pocket, according to the report.

Addis also found about a gram of marijuana in one of Pledger’s pockets, according to the report. After Warnock gave Addis permission to search the vehicle, a “glass pipe that is commonly used to smoke methamphetamine” and a bag with a third of a gram of meth was located, the report states.

Pledger was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use and a misdemeanor complaint of possession of a controlled substance.

Both were transported to the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, and both were released on $5,000 bond.

http://www.swtimes.com/week-in-review/news/article_9e607ca0-c041-11e0-af5c-001cc4c03286.html

A Council Bluffs man accused of bestiality could face additional charges stemming from his status as a registered sex offender.

Gerardo Martinez, who turned 30 Thursday, was arrested on suspicion of bestiality, cruelty to animals and indecent exposure after allegedly performing a sexual act with a cat before throwing the cat out of a seventh-story window.

Officers responded to the Bennett Building, 405 W. Broadway, Wednesday morning and spoke with Martinez, who allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine and attempting a sex act with the animal. Witnesses also allege that he stood in the window naked after throwing the cat to the street.

Chief Deputy Jim Matthai of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday that Martinez is registered on the state of Iowa’s Sex Offender Registry. The sheriff’s office is responsible for monitoring all registered sex offenders in Pottawattamie County.

The registry lists Martinez’s residence on North 32nd Street, while police reports indicated he lived at the Bennett Building.

Matthai said anytime someone on the Sex Offender Registry is placed in jail, he is notified. He said an investigation into Martinez’s residence is underway and additional charges could be filed.

Martinez remained in jail this morning on a $10,000 bond.

http://www.southwestiowanews.com/articles/2011/08/05/council_bluffs/doc4e3c1214936da771516001.txt

A woman calling herself a “witch” when she helped her “true demon” boyfriend kill a family man in a Palm Springs condo while acting out a horror script was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison.

But she won’t have to serve any of that time behind bars due to the time she’s already spent in county jail, thanks to California’s efforts to reduce the state’s prison population.

Cara Williams-Covert, 39, was ordered by Riverside Superior Court Judge William S. Lebov to be released immediately on parole.

Lebov directed her to report to the Riverside County parole office in Indio within five days.

He also set a restitution hearing for Aug. 18.

The victim’s family, in statements read at the sentencing, objected to the outcome, saying Williams-Covert received only a “slap on the wrist” and was just as guilty as her boyfriend.

Williams-Covert had enough credits for time in custody — 1,104 days — so she does not have to serve time in state prison, Deputy District Attorney Pete Nolan said.

On June 23, Williams-Covert pleaded guilty to a felony accessory charge for aiding Dale Farquhar in the killing.

In September 2010, Farquhar was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the Nov. 13, 2009, murder of Larry Fisk.

Nolan said the accessory conviction could carry a sentence of 18 months to three years.

Lebov said at the sentencing the court believes three years was appropriate because the underlying charge was murder, and “as demonstrated by comments from the family, murder has a devastating affect on the family of the victim.”

Fisk’s wife, Michelle, and her three daughters read statements about Fisk at Williams-Covert’s sentencing.

Michelle Fisk said the hardest thing she ever had to do was tell her daughters their father was dead.

And one of the daughters recalled her father’s death coming near the holiday season.

“Thanksgiving was two weeks after my dad was murdered,” said Fisk’s youngest daughter, Brittany. “Christmas was especially hard.”

“In a way, it would have been better if he was more suspicious of people and was not so trusting, but then he wouldn’t have been the Larry I knew and loved,” said Michelle, who said she was married to Fisk for 27 years.

Fisk, a motorcyclist, had stopped in Palm Springs on his way to Arizona and met Williams-Covert in a bar.

The prosecution contended last year that Farquhar and Williams-Covert had been acting out a horror script.

During Farquhar’s trial, Sterling said Williams-Covert called herself a “witch” and Farquhar identified himself as a “true demon” and a “sociopath” in a journal found in their condo.

The prosecution alleged that the couple came to Palm Springs to write the horror script and commit mass murder.

In the script, Farquhar played a transsexual character in an open relationship with a “witch” named Cat, according to the prosecution.

Williams-Covert was playing the role of Cat, who supposedly was strung out on methamphetamine and lured men back to their condo for sex, prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors believe Williams-Covert was acting out the script when she allegedly lured Fisk back to a Palm Springs condo where Farquhar shot him.

Following the shooting, Williams-Covert told police she saw Farquhar drag the victim’s body to the front of a vacant condo and helped clean up the blood stains, according to trial testimony.

She also admitted to helping Farquhar dispose of Fisk’s belongings in a desert lot about a mile from the condo, according to the prosecution.

Denise Shaw, Williams-Covert’s attorney, said at the sentencing her client felt remorse about what happened “and wants to express to the family how sorry she is.”

Prosecutors filed first-degree murder charges four times against Williams-Covert and were denied by a judge each time.

Lebov tossed out the prosecution’s fourth attempt at pursuing a murder charge against Williams-Covert earlier this year, saying prosecutors did not follow proper legal steps in filing the criminal complaint.

Fisk’s wife and daughters said Williams-Covert is just as guilty as Farquhar, even though she was sentenced to less time in prison.

“While she sits there and smiles and gets to see her dad, I won’t get to see mine,” said Fisk’s daughter Tabitha McDonald. “We are not OK with her getting such a small amount of time.”

http://www.mydesert.com/article/20110806/NEWS0801/108060308/Woman-convicted-being-accessory-murder-sentenced-then-released?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFrontpage

PLANADA — Two men were taken into custody Friday in the 9000 block of Stanford Avenue on suspicion of possession of a destructive device — a hand grenade — and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

The hand grenade was found by the Merced Police Department’s gang violence suppression unit and the Merced County Sheriff’s Department when they were conducting a search of two homes where they believed Norteño gang members were selling drugs. Samao Reynaldo, 18, and Julian Cortinas, 35, both of Planada, were arrested at the second home. Reynaldo was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance for sale and is a documented Norteño gang member, according to Merced Police Lt. Tom Trindad. Cortinas was arrested on suspicion of possession of a destructive device.

The gang unit had learned that Norteño gang members were living in two residences in the Planada area and had secured a search warrant to search those residences, he said.

In one house, they found 6 ounces of methamphetamine and more than $3,000 in cash, said Trindad. In the second house, officers located two firearms and a hand grenade, he said. The Merced Bomb Squad was called. “They determined it was an active explosive. The bomb unit had to destroy it on scene for safety reasons,” Trindad said.

http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/08/05/1995269/possible-hand-grenade-found-during.html

PICKENS — A Pickens couple are facing charges of unlawful neglect of a child after their 9-month-old daughter tested positive for methamphetamine, court records show.

Brandon Dale Whitmire, 25, and his wife, Leana Sue Smith Whitmire, 23, were arrested Thursday. They were each released the same day from the Pickens County Detention Center after posting $10,000 personal recognizance bonds.


According to arrests warrants, the Whitmires ingested methamphetamine throughout the day on July 15 in their presence of their daughter, Hannah, while visiting at a house on Tillman Street in Liberty.

While the child was being examined for a possible head injury on July 20, urine and hair-strand tests detected methamphetamine, the warrants say. Urine tests on both parents also came back positive for the drug, the warrants say.

A South Carolina Department of Social Services employee referred the case to the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office on July 27. Sheriff’s Detective Rita Burgess obtained the arrest warrants for the Whitmires on Tuesday.

http://www.independentmail.com/news/2011/aug/05/pickens-couple-charged-neglect-child-tested-positi/

Following a tip on suspicious activity near Foxwood Apartments and Mercado Los Gavilanes, Hermiston police recovered 4.7 pounds of what appeared to methamphetamine in a trash bin Wednesday.

According to a press release from the Hermiston Police Department, officers ramped up patrols in the area roughly a month ago following reports from local business owners of possible drug activity.

On Aug. 3 at approximately 5:38 p.m., officers responded to a report of a Hispanic male carrying “a white bag,” near Mercado Los Gavilanes.

According to police, the man fled on foot before police arrived. Shortly afterward police discovered multiple bags of what appeared to be drugs during a search of the area.

“Officers located several packages of white crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine,” Lt. Jason Edmiston said.

Police recovered 4.7 pounds of meth with an estimated street value of $82,250.

“This is a classic example of a local business owner trying to better the community by working with the police department and providing valuable information,” said Edmiston, stressing the value of having community members being alert for and reporting suspicious activity.

Blue Mountain Enforcement Narcotics Team leader Sgt. Rick Jackson, of the Pendleton Police Department, said the drug task force is working with Hermiston police on the case.

“It is a good case,” Jackson said. “It’s a substantial amount.”

In May, BENT arrested 11 mid-level drug traffickers in Hermiston and Echo following several months of investigation. A week following the BENT arrests, Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested four more people on drug charges in the Hermiston area.

No arrests have been made in the current investigation.

http://www.hermistonherald.com/news/hermiston-police-grab-pounds-of-meth/article_b0617080-bf88-11e0-852c-001cc4c002e0.html

TRACY — A 32-year-old Tracy man who was found with more than 90 pounds of methamphetamine last month has been indicted on a federal drug charge, police said.

Arturo Antonio Campa was pulled over for speeding July 21 on Highway 99 in Stanislaus County, said Sgt. Tony Sheneman. Inside his truck, there was 91.75 pounds of methamphetamine, which has an estimated street value of about $1 million.

When officers searched his Tracy home they found two handguns, one was an unreported stolen weapon, and $5,000 in cash.

An ongoing investigation by Tracy Police Department, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Sacramento’s Street Task Force and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents led to Campa’s arrest, Sheneman said.

Sheneman could not say how long the investigation has been underway to protect the integrity of the investigation and the eventual prosecution.

Campa was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday, Sheneman said. He could face up to life in federal prison if convicted of the possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18625415?nclick_check=1

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A San Luis Obispo County woman who killed a California Highway Patrol officer while high on methamphetamine has been convicted of second-degree murder.

A jury on Friday also convicted 23-year-old Kaylee Ann Weisenberg of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in last year’s death of Officer Brett Oswald.

The 47-year-old officer was standing next to his squad car waiting for a tow truck when Weisenberg’s Toyota Corolla crashed into him near Paso Robles.

Prosecutors say the level of methamphetamine in Weisenberg’s blood was twice the amount necessary for someone to be considered legally intoxicated.

She faces 15 years to life in prison when she is sentenced on Sept. 8.

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/05/3819594/calif-driver-convicted-of-killing.html

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (KPTM) – Gerardo Martinez, 30, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was arrested Wednesday morning for a crime that many are calling disturbing.

Council Bluffs Police believe Martinez killed a cat by throwing it out of a 7th-floor window.

Police said witness called 911 after they saw Martinez naked on West Broadway and saw him throw a cat out of an apartment window near 4th Street and Broadway.

When Police arrived at around 7:30 AM Wednesday, they said Martinez was naked, admitted to using methamphetamine and said he performed a sex act on the cat before throwing it to its death.

Police said the cat was thrown out the window with other pornographic materials.

Martinez changed his mind about an interview with FOX 42 News Thursday afternoon after talking with his attorney. He is being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail with a 10-thousand dollar bond.

http://www.kptm.com/story/15213818/residents-react-to

A Saline County Sheriff Deputy discovers a mobile methamphetamine lab during a traffic stop.

I 135 / I 70 Drug Task Force Commander Lt. Jim Norton says that a deputy on Tuesday evening made a traffic stop at North 9th Street and Interstate 70. The driver of the car had an outstanding municipal court warrant, and was arrested. He is identified as 26-year-old Matthew Mounce.

Norton says that the car was towed and impounded. As items in it were being inventoried, the deputy discovered drug paraphernalia in the front of the car, and what appeared to be a meth lab in the trunk.

The drug task force responded to deal with the meth lab, which consisted of tubing a gassing generator, sulfuric acid, rock salt, and ether. After evidence was collected, the lab was disposed of via the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s meth waste disposal program.

Norton says that the lab had the potential to be “very toxic” had it leaked out of the container it was in.

Mounce was booked into the Saline County Jail on felony drug charges that could include attempt manufacture of methamphetamine.

Mounce is also facing similar charges in Reno County. Back in April he was arrested in Hutchinson in connection with a meth lab that was found in a camper.

http://www.ksallink.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=18510&format=html

A Walmart shopper was hit by more than falling prices after police discovered a mobile meth lab in his backpack

Steve McLeroy, 40, of Newnan, is charged with with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, obstructing officers and reckless conduct, said Peachtree City police in a press release.

Investigators were called to the store on Ga. 54 at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a report of a suspicious person in the store, police said.

After speaking with McLeroy, police searched his backpack and found a small amount of marijuana and a homemade device used to make methamphetamine.

McLeroy attempted to flee but was quickly apprehended, police said.

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s Clandestine Lab Team assisted with the investigation because of the potential exposure to hazardous chemicals used in meth production.

McLeroy is being held at the Fayette County jail awaiting bond.

http://www.ajc.com/news/fayette/police-walmart-shopper-had-1075904.html

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A prosecutor says a woman charged with murder was driving recklessly while high on methamphetamines when she struck and killed a California Highway Patrol officer standing alongside his squad car near Paso Robles.

Jurors begin a first full day of deliberations Thursday in the trial of 23-year-old Kaylee Ann Weisenberg, who is charged with second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for last year’s crash that killed CHP Officer Brett Oswald.

The 47-year-old officer was waiting for a tow truck when Weisenberg’s Toyota Corolla struck him.

The San Luis Obispo County Tribune (http://bit.ly/rbjMkw) says prosecutor Lee Cunningham told jurors during his closing on Wednesday that Weisenberg’s blood test showed a methamphetamine level double the amount for someone under the influence.

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/04/3816757/jury-weighs-murder-for-woman-charged.html

Blue Ash police say they found an apparent methamphetamine lab in a semi-secluded area behind a business on Deerfield Road when officers and members of the Blue Ash Fire Department were dispatched there about 3:15 p.m. Aug. 3.

“An employee of the business located therein had reported finding a backpack with components of a meth lab lying by an outbuilding,” said police Capt. James Schaffer, who did not name the business. He said it is south of Cornell Road.

“The owner of the business, cooperating fully with police, sent employees home early,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer said a certified methamphetamine lab specialist from the Green Hills Police Department was summoned to the scene to search the contents of the bag.

“Investigation revealed precursors used in the manufacture of methamphetamine as well as a yet-to-be determined amount of suspected methamphetamine product,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer said no arrests have been made and that the Blue Ash police continue to investigate.

A hazardous materials disposal company will be summoned to clean up the site, he said

http://local.cincinnati.com/community/Story.aspx?c=100044&url=http://cincinnati.com/blogs/northeastnotes/2011/08/03/blue-ash-police-say-they-are-investigating-apparent-meth-lab/

The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office has filed a murder charge against a 26-year-old Loleta mother based on allegations she killed her 6-week-old son by feeding him methamphetamine-laced breast milk.

Maggie Jean Wortman was held to answer to charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment July 20 at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing, but the DA’s office believes evidence presented during the hearing supports a murder charge.

”I think the conduct was just, in itself, so intentionally reckless that it rises to that level,” said Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin, adding that his office has been mulling the decision since the conclusion of Wortman’s preliminary hearing.

Wortman, who is scheduled to be arraigned today, was free after posting $50,000 bail in the case but was arrested again in April for allegedly violating her probation by testing positive for methamphetamine use. She is currently being held in the Humboldt County jail without bail.

The murder charge seems to set an arduous path for prosecutors, as few cases stemming from similar allegations in California have resulted in murder charges and even fewer have ended with convictions. Told of the DA’s decision Tuesday, Wortman’s attorney M.C. Bruce said the facts of the case simply don’t support the charge.

”This is overcharged,” he said, adding that he plans to immediately file a motion to have the charge reduced. “There is nothing in the preliminary hearing to support this. … My client continues to maintain her innocence. I am hopeful that a good jury that listens to the facts and applies the reasonable-doubt standard appropriately will exonerate her.”
Wortman was arrested after a two-month investigation into the death of her son, Michael Phillip Acosta III, who was transported to a local hospital in November 2010 because he was not breathing. He was pronounced dead later that day.

According to court documents, Dr. Neil Kushner determined Michael’s cause of death to be “methamphetamine toxicity,” and a hair follicle sample taken from Wortman’s then 19-month-old daughter also tested positive for methamphetamine, prompting Child Welfare Services to take her into protective custody.

According to an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed in the case by Sheriff’s Office Detective Kyla Smith, Wortman received prenatal care while pregnant with Michael and tested positive for methamphetamine use when six months pregnant. Wortman allegedly admitted to smoking methamphetamine during pregnancy and doing so approximately three times after Michael was born, according to Smith’s affidavit. The document also states that Wortman exclusively fed Michael through nursing.

The allegations facing Wortman are similar to those Bakersfield’s Karen Henderson faced in 1994, when the then 21-year-old stood trial for murdering her daughter. In that case, prosecutors alleged that Henderson’s 2-month-old son, Jason, died in September 1993 from his mother’s breast milk.

A jury ultimately deadlocked in the case, 11-1 in favor of convicting, but found Henderson guilty of felony child endangerment.

The prosecutor in the case, now Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green, said she remembers the case well, even though she tried it 17 years ago. Green said one of the challenges in the case was that Jason was found to have very low levels of methamphetamine in his system, and the defense argued that he died of sudden infant death syndrome. She suspects this was the stumbling block for the sole juror who voted to acquit.

Green said she felt strongly about the case but decided against retrying Henderson.

”We really gave it our best shot the first time,” she said. “There was one person we just weren’t able to convince.”

In 2002, Riverside County prosecutors tried Amy Leanne Prien on a murder charge after her 3-month-old son was found to have died of acute methamphetamine intoxication. After multiple trials — including one that saw a murder conviction that was overturned by an appellate court — Prien pleaded guilty in 2006 to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Green, who said she has seen a number of murder charges in these types of cases over the years, said the concept of “implied malice” is a key component of effectively prosecuting the case.

”That’s crucial,” she said.

”Implied malice” holds that if you knowingly commit an act that is inherently dangerous to human life — and someone dies as a result — then you are guilty of murder. The “knowingly” is the key.

In Henderson’s case, Green presented evidence that the mother had been counseled on the dangers associated with prenatal and post-natal drug use and consequently knew her actions were inherently dangerous to human life.

McLaughlin said he plans on prosecuting Wortman under the theory of implied malice.

In a previous interview with the Times-Standard, Smith said she reviewed information and pamphlets routinely given to pregnant mothers at the place Wortman went for prenatal treatment.

”There was a lot of information about drugs and how it affects you and your child, be it born or unborn,” said Smith, who testified at Wortman’s preliminary hearing.

Part of the inherent challenge in prosecuting these cases is that there is a dearth of medical information on the subject of passing methamphetamine through breast milk.

Health officials generally agree that breast feeding is not recommended for mothers who are using methamphetamine recreationally, but there isn’t a whole lot of information available on the effects of doing so nor on the rates at which methamphetamine can be passed to nursing children. No controlled studies have been done on the matter due to ethical concerns of giving recreational methamphetamine to nursing mothers.

One study on the website Drugs.com — which cited data from two mothers — found the women did pass methamphetamine through their breast milk after using the drug intravenously, but did so at relatively low levels. There is also very little available information as to what constitutes a lethal dose of the drug in an infant, also due to the ethical concerns of conducting studies on the topic.

McLaughlin said he realizes this may be a tough case.

”I think it might be an uphill battle, but it’s sort of a fight worth fighting,” he said. “I think it’s an important case because, hopefully, it would discourage people from engaging in similar conduct when they know the punishment can potentially be very severe.”

Bruce said it seems like the DA’s office is just piling on.

”I, as her attorney, am going to use all the resources available to me to prove that this woman does not deserve to go to jail,” he said. “For heaven’s sake, this woman has lost her child. For the DA to charge her with murder is completely inappropriate, and I wonder why they’ve made that decision.”

http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_18606930?nclick_check=1

Byron Nesmith faces slew of charges; his brother was arrested Monday in a similar situation

LACEY’S SPRING, AL—
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office continues to break up methamphetamine labs, and sadly, more and more of these are in homes where children live.

Tuesday, Byron Nesmith was arrested at his home on Amherst Drive in Lacey’s Spring. Investigators went there after receiving information from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and New Hope Police that they would find stolen property there. They did. They found a stolen trailer, lawnmowers and a pressure washer, among other items, that had been stolen from people in Madison County.

Investigators also quickly noticed 11 separate meth labs on Nesmith’s property. They also noticed a number of children’s toys, and talked with neighbors to confirm children did indeed live there.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said Nesmith was arrested at the home and taken to the Morgan County Jail. He faces the following charges:

Unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine, 1st degree
Unlawful possession of a controlled substance
Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia
Chemical endangerment to a child
Receiving stolen property, 1st degree

Sheriff Franklin said Nesmith’s girlfriend, Amber Nicole McBride, pulled up to the home after Nesmith was arrested. She had her two children in the vehicle. Deputies spoke with her about the situation and also charged her with chemical endangerment of a child.

Sheriff Franklin said McBride may also face charges for buying drugs containing ephedrine that were used to cook meth.

http://www.whnt.com/news/morganandlimestone/whnt-laceys-spring-man-charged-after-deputies-find-11-meth-labs-on-amherst-drive-20110802,0,6096131.story

Byron Nesmith’s brother, Chadrick Nesmith, was arrested Monday on meth charges at another location. He and Tasha Allison are both charged with unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and chemical endangerment of a child.

A Kathleen woman was sentenced to 40 years in prison for manufacturing and trafficking methanphetamine.

Janet Maria McCullum, 50, pled guilty to the charges in Houston Superior Court Monday.

Judge Edward Lukemire sentenced McCullum to 40 years with 12 of those years to serve in the Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole. Upon release, McCullum will be subject to drug offender conditions including testing, treatment and warrantless searches. Janet McCullum is banished from both Houston and Peach counties, and forbidden from possessing methamphetamine precursors, firearms, surveillance equipment, and firearms. She was also fined two hundred thousand dollars.

On April 19, 2010, Janet McCullum was a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident on Highway 127 and Farm Estates Road. Both Janet McCullum and the driver, Hansell McCullum abandoned the vehicle near the accident and fled on foot. The trunk of their vehicle contained a functional methamphetamine lab and in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine, well over fifteen times the minimum trafficking amount.

Gas masks, powerful acid, ether, and other assorted ingredients of methamphetamine production were found adorning the mobile meth lab in the trunk. Charges are pending against husband/co-defendant, Hansell “Junior” McCullum.

“My office will continue to aggressively prosecute these extremely dangerous meth labs. The chemical by-products of these labs are nearly as toxic to our community as the effects of the end product methamphetamine. Methamphetamine trafficking and manufacturing will not be tolerated in Houston County, ” said DA George Hartwig.

http://warnerrobinspatriot.com/bookmark/14922411-Kathleen-woman-sentenced-for-manufacturing-Meth

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A 29-year-old Vermont man is going to federal prison for more than five years after being convicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Federal prosecutors say Robert Wolf of St. Johnsbury was arrested last August after he made five controlled sales of the drug to people working with the Vermont Drug Task Force.

Wolf has been in custody since his arrest on Aug. 31 of last year. He was sentenced Monday.

The drug task force conducted the investigation with the help of the St. Johnsbury Police Department.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/a7781e605ae94465bcf1638b9bff8d75/VT–Meth-Sentence/

Two people were jailed Monday night after a traffic stop on Interstate 64 led to the discovery of a methamphetamine lab in Perry County.

According to Indiana State Police, a K-9 unit discovered methamphetamine, marijuana, several controlled substances and a handgun after police stopped 37-year-old Mark A. Casper of St. Croix, Ind., for an unsafe lane movement while traveling west near the 85 mile marker of I-64 in Crawford County about 9:45 p.m. (EDT).

Casper, and his passenger Pamela D. Brian, 47, of Louisville Ky., were arrested and transported to the Crawford County Jail.

Troopers also executed a search warrant for Casper’s home, located at 11448 Odyssey Road in St. Croix, where they found a methamphetamine lab as well as more methamphetamine, marijuana and controlled substances. Troopers also reported seized 12 handguns from the residence.

Casper and Brian are preliminarily charged with dealing and possessing methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia and a controlled substance. Casper also faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of a firearm by a felon. Brian faces additional preliminary charges of possession of marijuana and visiting a common nuisance.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/aug/02/no-headline—ev_statepolicestop/

Washington, DC – John P. Gilbride, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and New York State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico announced Monday that a grand jury has voted the indictment of a New York City-based drug kingpin Jose Mauro Mota and three fellow drug traffickers following the record-breaking seizure of 51 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of heroin worth approximately $6.5 million.

This is the region’s largest seizure of the methamphetamine, “crystal meth,” in recent years. The shipment would have sold for approximately $4.8 million and was five times the size of the total amount of methamphetamine seized by the DEA’s New York Field Division in all of 2010. Meanwhile, the heroin in this case was extraordinarily pure and carried an estimated street-value of an additional $1.75 million. Purity levels of both drugs tested at over 90 percent.

Drug Enforcement Task Force Agents and Officers seized the massive load at the Vince Lombardi Service Area off Interstate 95 (I-95) last month following a two-week wiretap investigation by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, Group T-33, which is composed of DEA agents, members of the NYPD and New York State Police investigators.

Originating in Mexico, the drug shipment was first transported to Texas, where it remained for several weeks, and then trucked across the country. Mota was arrested on July 3, along with Deivis Rafael Ceballos, Cesar Primitivo Lara and Romedi Lara-Serrano, as the drugs were being transferred from a tractor trailer to a car at the I-95 service area in Ridgefield, N.J.

At the outset of the investigation, agents developed intelligence identifying Mota as a New York City-based drug trafficker who acted as a major distributor for the eastern seaboard. By listening to his phone conversations, which were recorded pursuant to a court-authorized wiretap, agents learned that Mota was waiting for a large shipment of drugs in mid-June.

The load had already crossed the border from Mexico into Texas at the time the investigation began. Ceballos, a resident of Spring, Texas, was in charge making the transportation arrangements. An employee of an Iowa-based trucking company, Ceballos used his position to identify drivers who would be willing to transport the load of drugs. In the meantime, Cesar Lara kept watch over the drugs in a hotel room in El Paso.

By the end of June, the drug traffickers’ plan was set in motion. Agents tracked the shipment as it moved from Texas to New Jersey. On July 3, Mota and Lara-Serrano travelled to the I-95 rest stop in order to oversee delivery of the load. The pair watched from a distance as Lara and Ceballos met the truck driver in a parking lot.

Lara and Ceballos carried a suitcase packed with 41 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of heroin from the cab of the tractor trailer to their car. Agents arrested them as they placed the suitcase in the car’s trunk.

Mota and Lara-Serrano were arrested moments later. The truck driver, Kenneth Strahorn, was also arrested. His case is being prosecuted by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

A search of the truck’s cab yielded the remaining ten pounds of methamphetamine. The truck’s trailer contained bulldozer parts.

Both Mota and Ceballos have been charged under New York’s kingpin statute (Operating as a Major Trafficker), which is the only felony narcotics charge in the state that carries a possible life sentence.

All of the four defendants under indictment by the Special Narcotics Prosecutor are charged with Conspiracy in the second degree, one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree.

“Over 700,000 glassine bags of methamphetamine and 150,000 bags of heroin – worth over $6.5 million – were taken off of our streets. This is one of the largest and highest purity methamphetamine seizures with the end destination – the Big Apple,” said Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA New York Field Division. “The New York Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor worked collaboratively in order to disrupt this multi drug smuggling organization and arrest those responsible for dealing meth in and around NYC.”

“This case shows the direct link between drug trafficking in New York City and the Mexican cartels. A methamphetamine seizure of this size in rare in New York,” said Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor. “It appears that the Mexican cartels are now attempting to directly distribute this dangerous drug in the New York area. Also remarkable is the purity level of the heroin in this case, ranging from 90 to 93 percent pure. In seizing this load the DETF maximized impact by cutting off the supply close to the source.”

“The arrests and indictments of these four individuals is welcome news for people who want to keep highly addictive illegal drugs like methamphetamine and heroin out of their neighborhoods,” said New York City Police Commissioner Kelly. “I commend the NYPD detectives, State Police, DEA and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for their efforts in shutting down these drug traffickers.”

“These indictments and seizures are a direct result of the combined efforts of Federal, state, and local law enforcement to rid New York of a significant methamphetamine and heroin trafficking operation,” said New York State Police Superintendent D’Amico. “This sends a strong message to drug dealers throughout the country that New York State will not tolerate drugs in its communities.”

The charges and allegations contained in the indictments are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.