JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin man pleaded guilty this week in Jasper County Circuit Court to felony assault charges for firing a shotgun through a door at his father’s girlfriend.

Brent K. James, 26, changed his pleas to guilty Wednesday on charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action in a plea bargain with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office. The deal would cap the prison terms James might be assessed at 10 years and three years, and would dismiss a related count of unlawful use of a weapon while intoxicated.

Circuit Judge Gayle Crane delayed formal action on the plea agreement and ordered the completion of a sentencing-assessment report. She set James’ sentencing hearing for Feb. 27.

James was arrested Nov. 14, 2010, after a disturbance at his father’s house at 3026 N. Marion Ave.

The dispatch center for the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call from the address, with yelling and gunshots heard before the call was disconnected. Responding deputies met James coming out of the house as they arrived and detained him.

Tara Porter told deputies that James had taken money from his father’s wallet earlier in the night and left. When he returned, he was “tweaked out” on methamphetamine in her opinion, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

She told the deputies that James was yelling at his father, and went into a bedroom and came back out with a shotgun. He then allegedly struck his father in the head with the butt of the gun. The affidavit states that Porter was yelling at James, and he pointed the gun at her and threatened to kill her.

She ran down a hallway and hid in a laundry room, the affidavit states. James followed her, and when he was unable to open the door to the laundry room, he fired two shots through the door about head high, the document states. Both shots missed Porter, who had sought cover on the floor of the room, according to the affidavit.

James pleaded guilty to Class B felony assault, which carries from five to 15 years in prison. His plea deal would limit his punishment to no more than 10 years and calls for the two terms that he receives to run concurrently.


LACONIA — Acting on a tip generated earlier this week, city police working with the N.H. Clandestine Drug Unit arrested a local man for manufacturing methamphetamine in a downtown apartment building.

Capt. William Clary said yesterday police began working the tip Tuesday and by early yesterday morning had a search warrant for 614 Main St. Apt. 34.

Police said when they went to the apartment, the occupant, Jeffrey Waterman, 45, was actively making — or “cooking”— three small pots of methamphetamine, a highly volatile derivative of over-the-counter cold medicine heated and combined with various household chemicals.

This is the second time in seven months city police have closed down the core of downtown to apprehend a purported methamphetamine operation. In July, police apprehended James Joyce, 40, in front of the now-shuttered Colonial Theater which is across the street from yesterday’s raid.

Earlier this month, Joyce pleaded guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of being a felon in possession of brass knuckles. he is serving a 1-to-3 year sentence in the N.H. State Prison and was credited with 154 days of time served.

Lt. Matthew Canfield said because of the highly flammable nature of meth, the entire 614 Main St. building, plus some surrounding businesses, were evacuated.

In 2010, a three-apartment building in downtown Franklin was gutted when a meth lab exploded during a planned police raid.

Canfield said the technicians from the Clandiestine Drug Unit removed the hazard from the building to the rear parking lot visible from Pleasant Street and neutralized the chemicals.

He also said when the materials were taken off site for destruction, they caught fire when technicians poured water on them.

“Meth is very, very unstable,” Canfield said.

All of the apartments at 614 Main St. plus the Laconia Savings Bank and Goodwill Store shut down for about an hour during the 7:45 a.m. raid. Canfield said the bank was not forced to evacuate but, after management was appraised of the situation, volunteered to to do for the safety of its employees and customers.

Clary said most of the other apartments at 614 Main St. are occupied by elderly residents, many of whom were standing outside in the cold wearing their slippers, holding their animals and watching police and fire officials do their jobs. He also said the building’s owner told him that Waterman was not supposed to be on the property.

Canfield said all of the residents were allowed back home by mid-morning.

According to records made available yesterday afternoon by the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division, Waterman has had extensive run-ins with local authorities and had lived in a number of different communities since the 1990s, including Tilton, Moultonborough and Belmont.

In January of 2011, he was found guilty of aggravated driving while intoxicated and conduct after an accident after he struck a pedestrian in the Big Apple parking lot in Laconia on Nov. 22, 2010 and then refused to give his name to the victim or police when they arrived to investigate. A charge of marijuana possession was dropped.

Waterman also negotiated a plea in Laconia District Court to unauthorized possession of narcotics, 34 Oxycontin tablets, found by N.H. State Police following a traffic stop in the Weirs. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine and a $120 assessment.

In August of 2010, Waterman pleaded guilty to one charge of issuing a bad check to a Center Harbor company and was ordered to pay $107 in restitution and in January of 2010 he was found innocent of one count of giving a suspended drivers license to Meredith Police officer during a traffic stop in August of 2009.

In September of 2009 Waterman was found guilty of driving after revocation or suspension and paid a fine of $250.

Other records from the courts deemed him a habitual offender after a conviction for a second driving while intoxicated in June of 1990.

Waterman refused bail and will appear this morning in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division.


JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Tips from the public led Jackson County drug agents on a scavenger hunt, of sorts, for suspects that led to a meth lab near Oak Park Elementary in Ocean Springs. Six people were arrested during the search for Daniel Frazier, a man wanted in Moss Point.

Daniel Frazier (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

Daniel Frazier

On Tuesday, the Jackson County Narcotics Task Force received several complaints that Frazier had been asking people to shop for pseudoephedrine and precursor chemicals for him to cook methamphetamine. So agents set out to find him.

Their first stop was at River Reach Apartments on Brazil Street in Pascagoula. Frazier wasn’t there, but agents did arrest two others on misdemeanor violations.

Bayou Village Apartments on Martin Bluff Road in Gautier was the next stop. Again, the suspect wasn’t around, but agents did find precursor chemicals and drug paraphernalia in on apartment’s bedroom. Tiffany Marie Savage, 28, was arrested for possession of precursor chemicals.

The third time was the charm when agents stopped at a home on Bills Avenue in Ocean Springs. As they were talking to the homeowner, 50-year-old Jim Suttles, their wanted man stepped out into the living room. Agents said Frazier was aggressive, holding a long black object and screaming obscenities at them. After a brief struggle, Frazier was taken into custody.

Investigators said they saw enough evidence at the home to get a search warrant, after which they seized methamphetamine, precursor chemicals, methamphetamine labs and assorted methamphetamine related items both inside and outside the residence.

The homeowner, Jim Suttles; Mary “Frankie” Ward, 36; and Daniel Frazier, 29, were all arrested at the home, which is within 1500 feet of Oak Park Elementary School. All three were arrested for possession of a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of precursor chemicals, generation of hazardous waste and manufacturing a schedule II controlled substance (methamphetamine) within 1500 feet of a school.

Frazier also had outstanding warrants through the Moss Point Police Department.

The suspects were taken to the Jackson County Adult Detention Center where they were awaiting an initial court appearance.

Authorities said a hazardous materials clean-up crew was at the home on Bills Avenue until about 4:30am Wednesday morning cleaning up the meth lab.


MAUMELLE, Ark. — Authorities say a teacher has been arrested on drug charges on the Maumelle High School campus.

The Maumelle Police Department says 35-year-old Brittany Burns was arrested Thursday morning during a traffic stop. Police say methamphetamine and prescription drugs were found in Burns’ car, and she faces several felony charges.

Police say Burns is a physical education teacher at Maumelle High School and also serves as assistant coach for the girls’ basketball team. The Pulaski County School District declined to comment specifically on the case.–Teacher-Arrested/


VANCOUVER — B.C. medical officials have linked an ecstasy death in the Lower Mainland to tainted drugs.

The provincial health officer said Thursday the death was caused by paramethoxymethamphetamine-tainted ecstasy.

Five people in Alberta and three in B.C. have died in recent weeks after taking the drug.

 U.S. Customs File Photo

Ecstasy pills

On Wednesday, Alberta’s chief medical examiner confirmed “paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA) and methamphetamine — not previously associated with street drugs sold in Calgary as ‘ecstasy’ — was present in toxicology results for each of five recent Calgary-area street-drug deaths,” according to a news release issued by Alberta Health Services.

“It was reported that each of the recent overdose victims thought they were ingesting ecstasy (MDMA), not PMMA or methamphetamine,” the news release stated.

MDMA was also found in the victims’ systems.

The new compound is believed to be five times more toxic than traditional ecstasy, health officials said.

What we’re finding in this case is that people were getting something very different than what they thought they were,” said Dr. Mark Yarema, medical director for the Poison and Drug Information Service and a Calgary emergency room physician.

Three people in B.C.’s Lower Mainland have died from reactions to ecstasy in recent weeks: a 17-year-old girl from Abbotsford, B.C., a 22-year-old Vancouver woman who took the drug at a house party and another 22-year-old Vancouver woman who was hospitalized after taking ecstasy on New Year’s Eve and died on Friday.

A 24-year-old Abbotsford woman who took the drug Jan. 2 remains in critical condition.

The majority of ecstasy found in Calgary originates from B.C.’s Lower Mainland, according to Calgary police.

Toxicology results typically take between two and three weeks in B.C., where there is only one toxicology lab used by the coroners service.

The B.C. Coroners Service has reported 10 to 24 ecstasy-related deaths per year from 2007 to 2010, according to Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.’s chief medical health officer.

Canada has been a hotbed for producing ecstasy in past years because it was easier here than in the U.S. to access the precursor chemicals, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, said Sgt. Duncan Pound of the RCMP’s drug enforcement division.

However, a recent amendment to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act now makes it a crime to possess the tools of synthetic drug production.


FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) – Vanessa Rincon was sentenced to life in prison for premeditated attempted murder Wednesday morning.

“It was awful, horrible. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” Delia Sanchez, Vanessa’s mom, told KMPH News. “She was in total shock about it, just trying to understand it. She didn’t understand the sentencing issues and how long she was going to be incarcerated.”

 Stabbed boy upgraded, mother booked

Vanessa Rincon, 30, of Fresno was sentenced Wednesday, Jan. 11, to life in prison with possible parole for stabbing her 3-year-old son


“We feel that it was unjust just due to the fact that Vanessa had no priors,” Christina Esqueda, Vanessa’s sister, said.

But prosecutors say there’s no leniency for what Rincon did.

“As a result of her consumption of methamphetamine, she decided at that point to try and kill her child. She did that by stabbing him 25 times and then stepped out of her apartment complex and after that then grabbed him and threw him down cement stairs,” Bob Whalen, deputy district attorney, said.

And when police showed up, she told them not to help three–year–old Noah, calling him the devil.

“She was going through a very tough period in her life, post–partum depression,” Esqueda said. “Just a combination of things, like I said, just being depressed and having two children on your own, fathers not involved, just trying to live everyday life. It’s hard.”

Vanessa’s sister says they know she’s not innocent.

“I know for a fact that she’s very remorseful. I know that if she could take that day back, she would. But she can’t. So all she can do is try to make right and serve her time,” she said.

But one blessing to come out of this mess, little Noah is thriving.

He and his sister Adreena were adopted by Vanessa’s sister and brother–in–law and recently moved to New York.

But miles can’t erase the past.

“He understands. He knows what happened. He knows that mommy hurt him. But he stills loves her because he asks for her,” Esqueda said.

Vanessa will be eligible for parole in about 14 years.

Her family tells KMPH News, they will continue to visit her and talk to her on the phone as much as they can.

Rincon’s family says they also blame drugs for sending Vanessa over the edge that day.

During her sentencing Wednesday, the judge said her recreational use of “meth” was her downfall.


A Fresno mother was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison with a chance at parole for stabbing her 3-year-old son and throwing him down a flight of stairs in May 2010.

Vanessa Deanna Rincon, 31, said nothing when her punishment was announced in Fresno County Superior Court.

Judge W. Kent Hamlin said the case against Rincon was tragic because she had no prior criminal record and by all accounts was a good mother.

He also said it was a miracle that her son survived the attack on May 4, 2010. The boy was stabbed more than two dozen times at their central Fresno home — a second-story apartment on the 3600 block of North Pleasant Avenue near Marks and Dakota avenues.

Rincon’s downfall was her “recreational use” of methamphetamines, which “undoubtedly affected her judgment,” Hamlin said.      

Rincon was sentenced to seven years in prison for using a knife to inflict great bodily injury to her son and life in prison with parole for premeditated attempted murder of her son. That means she must do 14 years behind bars before she is eligible for parole, prosecutor Bob Whalen said.

During a trial last month, Whalen described Rincon as a manipulative mother who stabbed her defenseless son before throwing him down a flight of stairs.

When paramedics arrived, Whalen said, Rincon yelled hysterically: “Leave him alone. Let him die.” According to Whalen, Rincon later made a series of spontaneous statements, including, “I did this. He’s the devil.”

Rincon’s lawyer, Franz Criego, contended his client was in the midst of a psychotic breakdown when the crime happened. He sought a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

On Dec. 12, the jury ruled that Rincon was not legally insane at the time of the incident and convicted her.

A relative has adopted the boy as well as Rincon’s daughter, who was 2 months old when the attack occurred. The girl was found unharmed in the apartment.   


SALINAS, Calif. — Samantha Tomasini, the Salinas mother who attempted to sell her 9-month-old baby outside of a Walmart store, is still strung out on methamphetamine and tried to kill herself twice, family members said.

Samantha Tomasini

Samantha Tomasini

 Tomasini pleaded no contest to child endangerment for helping her boyfriend, Patrick Fousek, sell their daughter to strangers for $25 in the summer of 2010. Police also said Tomasini breast fed her infant while high on methamphetamine.

 PHOTOS: Salinas Walmart Baby Case

 The 22 -year-old mother served a brief stint in jail, had to enroll in a drug treatment program and was placed on probation.

 “We really hope that this is rock bottom for her,” Vanessa Chobanian, Tomasini’s mother, said two years ago after Tomasini entered her plea.

 Chobanian had hoped her daughter would be convicted, locked up, and get help to kick a vicious meth addiction.

 “We’re hoping that this will be the end, that this will be a huge turning point in her life and that she will get the help she needs. We’re praying that out of this whole mess, something really, really good will happen,” Chobanian said.

 “The court can force her to do what she’s not doing now, that why I hoping she get appropriate amount of time that be like a dry out period for her. Jail not a fun place, it will be a place for her to think about what has happened.”

 But not many good things have happened since then.

 While locked up in the Monterey County Jail, Tomasini tried to commit suicide twice.

 Soon after she was freed from her cell in November 2011, prosecutors and friends said Tomasini was back on drugs.


May Chow

 In court Wednesday, Tomasini was sentenced to another year in jail for violating her probation. Prosecutors said the troubled mother tested positive for drugs and did not check in with parole agents.

 Fousek, 40, was found guilty by a jury of child endangerment. In December 2011, Judge Pamela Butler handed Fousek the maximum sentence she could give, six years in prison.

 Their child was taken away by child protective services and has been living with a foster family for the past two years.

 Before the baby selling incident, the couple lived together on the 700 block of East Romie Lane, where they heavily used methamphetamine, police said.


SALINA, Kansas (AP)— A Salina man convicted in 2008 of trading methamphetamine for sex with a 13-year-old girl has been given a reduced sentence.

Forty-three-year-old Kendall T. Brown was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison. He had originally been sentenced to 15 years but the Kansas Court of Appeals ordered another trial because Brown was not allowed to represent himself. Rather than go to trial again, Brown accepted a plea agreement.

Prosecutors say in 2005 Brown offered middle school-aged girls methamphetamine if they would have sex with him. The girls forced a 13-year-old girl to have sex with Brown. But rather than give them meth, he gave the girls salt.

The girl testified that she had sex with Brown because she feared her classmates.


PARKER COUNTY — Just in time for the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Wednesday, investigators with the Weatherford/Parker County Special Crimes Unit arrested a Weatherford man Monday they say was “pimping” a teenage girl for profit.

Jonathan Adam DeLarosa, 25, a registered child sex offender, was arrested Monday night on charges of compelling prostitution of a child under 18 years and possession of a controlled substance, less than 1 gram.

0112 one delarosa.jpg

According to the arrest affidavit, investigators received information that DeLarosa was making a profit by compelling a female to perform sexual acts for monetary reward and set up a sting at a hotel in the 200 block of Alford Street Monday evening.

An investigator acting in an undercover capacity contacted Delarosa by phone and agreed to meet him and the female at the hotel. They arranged the price, the sexual acts to take place and the particulars for the meet on the phone, according an investigator’s statement.

DeLarosa texted the officers a picture of the girl, who investigators recognized as someone they were investigating for prostitution and knew to be 17 years old, according to the affidavit.

Investigators reportedly equipped the hotel room with audio and video recording and contacted DeLarosa to meet.

DeLarosa also advised the officer to keep the money arrangement between them and not tell the girl, according the investigator.

Officers in an adjoining room and in the parking lot observed during the sting.

DeLarosa reportedly took the undercover officer into the bathroom and took $80 from the officer and placed the other $100 in the girl’s purse before leaving the hotel room, an officer’s statement reads.

The girl agreed to perform oral sex on the undercover officer in exchange for $100 and began to disrobe when other investigators entered and detained her, according to the affidavit.

The girl did not appear to be aware of the payment to DeLarosa, the investigator wrote.

Both DeLarosa and the girl were transported to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office and interviewed.

After waiving his Miranda Warnings, DeLarosa confessed to compelling prostitution of the girl and possession of methamphetamine, which investigators located in his vehicle, the affidavit states.

The 17-year-old was not arrested because she was the victim, Parker County Deputy Danie Huffman said.

Following the arrest, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office emphasized that drugs are often a major contributing factor in many crimes, including prostitution.

“In this case, we have an underage female sold by an adult with drugs being a factor,” Weatherford Police Chief Mike Manning said.

“It is not unusual for additional crimes to stem from drug offenses,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said. “At least 90 percent of all crimes reported in the county are a direct result from narcotics use or trafficking. The city and county have worked together to keep a strong enforcement effort, and we will continue to do so.”

It appeared DeLarosa was on probation at the time of his arrest Monday.

DeLarosa was given 24 months probation in November after pleading guilty to a class A misdemeanor charge of assault causing bodily injury to a family member.

According to a Parker County Sheriff’s report, DeLarosa’s wife told deputies he had struck her about the face and head with his fist several times.

DeLarosa also spent 54 months incarcerated after being convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year-old boy in 1999 and is a registered sex offender, according the Texas Department of Public Safety Public Sex Offender Registry.

DeLarosa worked as a painter and lived in Weatherford as of August, according to DPS information.

DeLarosa has four other convictions since 2004 in Parker County, including unauthorized use of a vehicle, driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years old, and driving while license suspended, county records show.

DeLarosa was being held in the Parker County Jail on $35,000 bond as of Wednesday night.


The number of domestic violence cases has increased in Green Country, so has the number of meth lab busts. Authorities believe there is a direct correlation between the two.

“Most law enforcement will tell you anytime they get a domestic call, there’s usually drugs involved,” said Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office. “Anything meth contacts, it destroys. It usually destroys relationships.”

In 2010 Tulsa County accounted for more than 40 percent of meth labs in Oklahoma. The number of domestic violence reports continues to grow: in 2010, there were just 6,211 reports in Tulsa. In 2011 there were 7,227 reports.

“Unemployment is a risk factor for domestic violence,” said Tracey Lyall, Executive Director of Domestic Violence Intervention Services, and “cases are getting worse.”

“People are coming with more severe injuries: bruises, cuts,” said Lyall.

Lyall said many victims stick around because they think things will eventually change.

“He really didn’t get physical unless he was drinking,” said Leslie, a domestic violence victim. “He always apologized, promised things would get better. He promise he’d never hit me again.”

She suffered abuse from her ex-husband for 13 years.

“After I got with him, I didn’t have any friends,” said Leslie. “My kids would get in my lap, thinking if they were next to me he wouldn’t hit me.”

Although Leslie made it out of her relationship alive, she still looks over her shoulder and she still has nightmares about her abusive relationship.

For police, the frightening part is meth labs keep popping up, and domestic violence calls keep coming in.

Some signs of abuse: victims are often kept away from friends and family. They have to ask for permission to hang-out, or use the cash. Also, they try to hide bruises and they make excuses for their spouse.


Last Thursday, January 5th, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division, in conjunction with members of the Special Operations Division, executed a search warrant on the residence of 230 Dallas Watson Lane, Deep Gap, looking for a stolen firearms and a methamphetamine lab. A father, son, and three others are now charged. Detectives secured and searched the residence and found 1 stolen firearm, a full red phosphorous methamphetamine laboratory, precursor chemicals used in the manufacturing process, and chemical solutions found in mason jars. Outside, in a chicken coup, detectives located a large duffel bag full of additional precursors, hoses, and beakers used in the methamphetamine manufacturing process. The State Bureau of Investigation Clandestine Laboratory Team responded to the scene to assist in taking samples to be tested on location, as well as at the laboratory. Of those located within the residence, John Calvin Hicks Jr. and John Calvin Hicks Sr. were arrested. Calvin Hicks Jr. was charged with Manufacture Methamphetamine, Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Dwelling CS (F), Conspiracy Possession/Distribution of Methamphetamine Precursor Chemicals, Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor Chemicals (2 counts), Manufacture Marijuana, and Possession of Marijuana. Hicks Sr. was charged with Manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Dwelling CS (F), and Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor Chemicals. Both were placed under a $200,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court on February 23rd. Calvin Hicks Jr. will also be facing charges of Felony Breaking and/or Entering, Felony Larceny, and Possession of Stolen Goods in reference to the stolen firearm.

From information furnished at 230 Dallas Watson Road, detectives furthered the investigation arresting three additional individuals for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine. Michael Peterson and Ashley Winebarger were charged with Conspiracy to Manufacture Marijuana and Conspiracy to Possess Methamphetamine Precursor Chemicals. Saraya Nicole Baird was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine Precursor Chemical. All three were placed under a $40,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court on February 23rd. Sheriff Len Hagaman said that the operation is ongoing and more arrests are expected to follow.


The man arrested Tuesday night on methamphetamine possession charges after authorities raided a suspected meth lab in Mocanaqua was arraigned this afternoon on more charges related to the lab’s operation.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Brian Engle, 26, of Shickshinny, is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession with the intent to deliver methamphetamine, possession of chemicals to manufacture methamphetamine, causing or risking a catastrophe, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and illegal dumping of methamphetamine waste.

Engle was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge John Hasay and jailed in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.

According to arrest papers filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office:

Police arrested Engle on Tuesday night after he was suspected of manufacturing methamphetamine at 19-21 Hill St. in Mocanaqua. Authorities found him in possession of eight bags of meth.

During the search, investigators found methamphetamine and items commonly used to make the drug, including lithium, drain cleaner, lye, gas generators and pseudoephedrine.

When police interviewed Engle, he admitted making methamphetamine for “a while” because “he cannot find a job.” Engle acknowledged he was cooking meth on Tuesday night at 19 Hill St. when a fire erupted. He extinguished the fire himself. Police said a 10-year-old child was home on the other side of the double-block.

An acquaintance of Engle lives at the home. The acquaintance told authorities Engle has been manufacturing meth at his home for several months, but he did not participate. He said Engle provided him with small amounts of meth. In exchange for the drugs, he would allow Engle to use his home to manufacture meth.


OAKLEY — A police raid on an Oakley residence Tuesday night resulted in the seizure of nine pounds of methamphetamine and the arrest of two men, authorities said.

Detectives from the Contra Costa County Sheriff Office’s Narcotics Unit arrested 23-year-old Samuel Lopez and 22-year-old Jose Reynoso after serving a search warrant at a home on the 4500 block of Waterford Way around 8 p.m., Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee said in a news release. They are being held at County Jail in Martinez on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance for sale and theft of utility services. They are being held without bail because they are also on an immigration hold, Lee said.

The street value of the methamphetamine found was approximately $250,000, Lee said.



STOCKTON — Nine felony methamphetamine distribution charges were filed Tuesday morning in Rooks County District Court against Rooks County Sheriff Randy Axelson.

Five of the charges are distribution of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of school property, the most serious charges filed by Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees, appointed as a special prosecutor in the Rooks County case. The four remaining charges are distribution of methamphetamine.

Axelson, 43, is on paid leave after being arrested Dec. 30 on a probable cause warrant.


A former Walmart employee who admitted stealing merchandise every day for two months was also found with methamphetamine in a Play-Doh container, Mesa police said.

Walmart employees called police Monday after James Michael Watson, 41, admitted that he stole $10-$15 worth of merchandise each day he worked at the Mesa store on Stapley Drive.

After police arrived, Watson told officers that he stole about $500 in total during a two-month period while he worked at the store.

After an officer placed him under arrest, Watson’s backpack was searched. The officer located a crystal-like substance in a plastic bag in a Play-Doh container. Watson told officers that the substance was methamphetamine. He told police that he was holding onto it for a friend, but he also admitted that he has used the drug for two years.

Watson was booked on one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of theft.


A Colorado pilot will face at least eight years behind bars after he was convicted of charges he was involved in a plot to smuggle methamphetamine to the county.

James M. Handzus

Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele filed court papers Friday indicating he will seek at least an eight-year mandatory sentence against James Michael Handzus, 51, of Rifle, Colo., who was convicted in November of charges of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, criminal use of a communication facility, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy in connection with incidents that occurred in April 2011 in Plymouth and at Wing’s Field in Whitpain.

State law allows for certain mandatory prison sentences based on the amount of drugs involved in crimes. Because Handzus was convicted of possession with intent to deliver 433.6 grams of methamphetamine, prosecutors can seek the imposition of an eight-year mandatory sentence and a $50,000 fine, according to court documents.

Once prosecutors seek a mandatory sentence, judges have no discretion but to impose the punishment.

Handzus potentially could face even more prison time if a judge imposes consecutive sentences for the other crimes of which he was convicted. Judge Joseph A. Smyth, who convicted Handzus of the charges during a non-jury trial in November, is slated to sentence Handzus later this year.

Handzus remains in the county jail pending his sentencing hearing.

During the two-day trial, Steele argued the one pound of methamphetamine that was seized had a street value of between $64,000 and $76,800. Steele, who was assisted by prosecutor Lindsay Carfagno, characterized Handzus’ arrest as a “significant drug bust.”

Handzus’ girlfriend, Tamara Vincent, 41, pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and conspiracy in connection with the incident and is also awaiting sentencing. Vincent’s lawyer, John I. McMahon Jr., said Vincent participated in the conspiracy but was not the “main actor.”

Vincent faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 to 20-years in prison on the charges.

Despite his girlfriend’s admission, Handzus opted to go to trial on the charges, which were the culmination of a sting operation conducted by county detectives.

During his testimony, Handzus maintained he was set up by a police informant, claiming the informant planted the one pound of methamphetamine inside his luggage. Defense lawyer Douglas P. Earl argued prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence that Handzus planned to deliver the one pound of meth to detectives.

But prosecutors said detectives did an outstanding job investigating Handzus.

In March, the district attorney’s Drug Task Force and Narcotics Enforcement Team, which had been investigating the distribution of methamphetamine in the county, learned that Handzus allegedly had been smuggling large quantities of methamphetamine into the county using his airplane, nicknamed “My Lady,” according to arrest documents.

On April 21, authorities learned Handzus was arriving at Wing’s Field in Whitpain, court papers indicate. Although Handzus did not file flight plans before piloting the aircraft on a 2,400 mile trip from Las Vegas, investigators had seen his Facebook page and learned of his travel plans, court records indicate.

After the Colorado couple was in town, an undercover detective arranged to purchase the meth from Handzus the following day, according to arrest documents. The undercover detective arranged to meet Handzus and Vincent at Ruby Tuesday’s on Chemical Road in Plymouth, court papers indicate.

At the restaurant, Vincent allegedly explained that her boyfriend had family in the area, and when the couple visited they brought the drugs to sell to pay expenses and provide spending money, according to court papers. She allegedly agreed to sell the undercover detective a pound of meth for $27,000.

Vincent suggested the prospective buyer could divide the substance up into eighths of an ounce, called “eight balls,” that would sell on the street for between $500 to $600 each, according to prosecutors. Selling the meth in those quantities would result in a street value between $64,000 and $76,800, authorities alleged.

After inspecting the meth, the undercover detective gave Vincent a $2,000 down payment. Detectives then moved in and arrested the couple, and the pound of “crystal meth” was seized from the couple’s luggage, according to court documents.

Prosecutors previously alleged the methamphetamine was manufactured in Mexico and sent to Las Vegas, which is “the hub of distribution” for the illicit narcotic in the United States. Prosecutors described the confiscated drugs as “very high grade.”

Authorities previously moved to take possession of the airplane, a 1959 Piper Comanche, under state drug forfeiture laws.


After state child welfare workers received a tip that methamphetamine was being manufactured in a home where a 12-year-old girl was living, Daytona Beach police accompanied them there and ended up arresting the child’s mother.

Jennifer McCaffrey, 35, faces charges manufacturing methamphetamine with a child present and child neglect.

Jennifer McCaffrey arrested after meth lab found in home (Volusia County Jail, Volusia County Jail / January 10, 2012)

According to an arrest affidavit:

McCaffrey told officers there was nothing inside her home and allowed them inside to search.

They found narcotic paraphernalia and substances that tested positive for methamphetamine.

In the garage they found chemicals and equipment commonly used for making the drug.

Officers obtained a search warrant and returned to the home where they seized the chemicals and equipment.

The girl was taken to a local hospital to be checked out.

At the time of her arrest today, McCaffrey was out of jail on methamphetamine-related charges.


Bossier City police arrested two people today after discovering components of an active methamphetamine lab in a pickup truck parked outside a local casino hotel.

Unassembled Meth Lab

Police arrested 28-year old Adam Brent Peal of Shreveport and Brittany Rachelle Brice of Farmerville for creation of a clandestine lab and resisting an officer after police were called to the Boomtown Casino Hotel Monday afternoon to investigate a man who was using a fake identification card while staying at the hotel.

Bossier City patrol officers and narcotics agents responded and made contact with the two suspects who initially gave officers false names. Upon further investigation officers located the Toyota Tundra pickup truck that the man was driving parked next to the hotel entrance. Inside the rear seat compartment officers found components used to make methamphetamine, some of which had been mixed.

Due to the volatile state of the chemicals police and casino personnel cordoned off an area in the vicinity of the hotel entrance as a precaution and called Bossier City Fire Department hazmat personnel who responded and rendered the chemicals safe for disposal.

Peal and Brice were taken into custody and booked into the Bossier City Jail. In addition to the listed charges Peal was also booked for being a fugitive from Louisiana Probation and Parole.



A Richmond man whose residence burned last month was arrested over the weekend on a warrant charging him with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Alex M. Mopps, 26, of 319 S.W. 15th St. in Richmond, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine (a Class B felony) and appeared Monday afternoon in Wayne County Circuit Court for an initial hearing.

Alex M. Mopps

 Alex M. Mopps

The Indiana State Police began an investigation after Mopps’ house caught fire Dec. 13, 2011, and determined the fire was caused by a meth lab explosion.

The home’s owner, Mark Mopps, gave authorities consent to search the property, and ISP located materials used to make methamphetamine, including pseudoephedrine, sodium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, lithium and hydrochloric acid gas generators, court documents showed.

Later that day, members of the ISP Meth Suppression Unit and the Union County Sheriff’s Department went to interview two Liberty, Ind., residents — Ryan P. Smith and his wife, Patricia Smith — who were at the home in Richmond when it caught fire.

Officers reported finding a working meth lab at 202 Mill St. in Liberty and arrested the Smiths, both 30, who have been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine with 1,000 feet of a day care (a Class A felony) and maintaining a common nuisance (a Class D felony).

Also Dec. 13, police arrested Chad M. Kasper, 29, of 3989 Wolke Drive in Richmond. Kasper was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine (a Class B felony), aiding, inducing or causing the manufacturing of methamphetamine (a Class B felony), possession of methamphetamine (a Class D felony) and maintaining a common nuisance (a Class D felony).

An affidavit of probable cause says Alex Mopps told officers he uses meth and has seen Kasper and the Smiths use methamphetamine. He also said he has purchased precursors and provided them to Kasper to make methamphetamine, which he says occurred on Wolke Drive and at his residence on South West 15th Street.

The document goes on to show that Alex Mopps told authorities that Kasper was making methamphetamine at his South West 15th Street residence when the fire began.

Kasper was interviewed by police and admitted to knowing Alex Mopps, but he denied being at the home when it caught fire that morning, records show.

The following day, Alex Mopps was located by authorities while seeking medical treatment for burns suffered in the fire. He was interviewed and released at the time. A warrant for his arrest was filed last week.

Alex Mopps was released Sunday from the Wayne County Jail after posting bail on $15,000 bond. His trial was set for April 10 during his initial hearing Monday.

A Class B felony conviction carries a sentence range of six to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Three people have been charged after police discovered an active methamphetamine lab in a van during a traffic stop in Cedar Rapids.

Jessica R. Hopkins, 29, and Daniel C. Bramow, 30, both of Fairfax, and Daniel J. O’Hare, 30, of Cedar Rapids, were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Hopkins faces an additional charge of possession of marijuana.

Police stopped the van shortly after 3 a.m. Friday on Interstate 380 near the exit for Eighth Street NE. Officers had checked the license plates and discovered that the van had been reported stolen from West Union on Nov. 16.

According to a police report, Hopkins was driving and had a baggie of marijuana in her purse. Officers also found the meth lab inside the van, according to a criminal complaint.

Hopkins and her two passengers claimed the van had just been purchased. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said charges were pending for the stolen vehicle, and an investigation was continuing.


LONGVIEW — On January 8, 2012, Officers responded to call at a hotel in the 500 Block of South Access Road. The caller told Police that they thought there was someone dealing drugs out of a hotel room. Eyewitnesses told Police that several people were going in and out of a particular room and that the room was getting an excessive amount of phone calls.

 When Police knocked on the door they a spoke with a female, later identified as Jaime Bautista 35, of Longview, who told Police the room was rented to her. When Officers searched Bautista they located several baggies of suspected methamphetamine. Bautista consented for her hotel room to be searched and officers located more suspected narcotics as well as cash, scales, and other drug paraphernalia. The methamphetamine weighed approximately 20.9 grams. Bautista was arrested on a charge of Manufacturing/Delivery of a Controlled Substance, which is a felony offense. She was transported to the Gregg County Jail and booked in without incident.

Information from Longview Police


PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon State Police report a traffic stop early Monday morning yielded seven pounds of methamphetamine and two arrests, according to a press release.

Officers said they pulled over a 2000 Acura Integra with California plates on Interstate 5 at about 2:30 a.m. for “multiple traffic violations” near Wilsonville and discovered seven 1-pound packets of meth in the vehicle.

Wilsonville traffic stops nets seven pounds of meth, two arrests


The two men in the car were identified as driver Alfredo Chavez, 33, and passenger Guillermo Lopez Madueno, 38, both from Watsonville, California.

Officers said Madueno attempted to flee on foot but was quickly apprehended.

Police said the drugs were worth about $140,000.

Both men were taken into custody without further incident and lodged in the Clackamas County Jail for Unlawful Delivery and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine).

Police said the OSP Drug Enforcement Section is continuing the investigation.


In October of 2009, James Capra, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Division, invited media to a press conference so he could show off the massive haul from a long-in-the-works bust involving the Mexican drug cartel known as La Familia: 220 pounds of methamphetamine, 4.5 kilos of cocaine, $660,000 in cash and dozens of machine guns.

A fraction of a fraction of the meth and money seized by local law enforcement during their 2009 La Familia bust-up.

The feds and other law-enforcement officials said they’d nabbed some 1,100 people around the country during an operation known as Project Coronado; 84 of them were taken into custody in and around Dallas, a major distribution hub for drugs brought in from Mexico — Michoacan, specifically, La Familia’s home base. Six months later, Ricardo Hernandez-Cruz, a.k.a “Rica,” a 37-year-old who handled the merch, pleaded guilty to meth trafficking.

Since then La Familia, which, per Time, attempts to mask its infamous, well-documented brutality behind quasi-religious camouflage, has overhauled its operations, at least from the looks of the latest heads-up from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A Dallas federal grand jury this week indicted 16 more members of La Familia, all of whom were arrested December 14 in Tyler and Dallas. Some were nabbed in rural Tyler, at the so-called “ranch” of Sergio Renteria Echeverria, otherwise known as “Trippa,” the 30-year-old who Capra and U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña say is the “cell-head” who “concealed large amounts of drugs” on the premises. They also say he maintains another residence in Richardson, on Midway Drive, which the feds will seize if he’s convicted.

This time around, authorities say they got about $700,000 in cash, 20 pounds of meth, one kilo of cocaine and 70 firearms. They also discovered a meth conversion lab in Duncanville. It’s not just shipping the drugs to Dallas-Fort Worth; La Familia is now manufacturing them locally.

According to the government, this investigation into La Familia’s doings on U.S. soil has been going on since ’06; that ’09 bust was part of that. But it’s like cutting off the head of a hyrda:

While the LFM cartel itself is based in Michoacan, the investigation identified several LFM distribution cells throughout North Texas. Intelligence obtained from the investigation revealed that after leaders of the LFM were arrested, replacement leaders, or “cell-head leaders” were assigned to continue the distribution of narcotics in the Dallas area and to other parts of the U.S.

Since the LFM Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation began, agents with DEA Dallas have arrested more than 100 defendants on federal charges and seized approximately $7.6 million in cash and assets, approximately 900 kilograms of methamphetamine, more than 85 kilograms of cocaine, approximately one kilogram of heroin and numerous firearms.


A three-month investigation led to the Saturday morning arrest of two men and the seizure of $10,000 in drugs from an Oxnard home.

Oxnard police said they arrested Salvador Antonio Valdivia, 24, and Orlando Reyes, 28, both of Oxnard, after investigating whether the men were selling rock cocaine out of a home in the 400 block of North Grant Avenue.

Detective Miguel Serrato said officers made the arrests after obtaining a search warrant. The operation originated from information that the home was a base for drug sales, he said.

While searching the home, which was being rented by Valdivia, police found drugs with an estimated street value of $10,000 — 3 ounces of cocaine, 4 ounces of marijuana and enough methamphetamine to categorize it as being used for sales, Serrato said.

Police also found two small handguns, paraphernalia related to the sale of drugs and $2,000 in suspected drug profits, Serrato said. The department can use the cash for police-related purchases if the suspects are unable to prove to a judge that the money was not gained through the sale of drugs, police said.

Police arrested Valdivia on an allegation of possession of cocaine for sale and several weapons violations. Reyes was arrested on an allegation of possession of methamphetamine for sale and three felony warrants related to transporting a controlled substance and domestic battery, according to Serrato.

Detectives feel they’re arrested all who were involved, Serrato said.

Both men are being held in Ventura County jail, authorities said.


The State Fire Marshal and State Police Hazardous Materials Unit have joined the investigation, said Lt. Brian Kimmins, a spokesman for the Stroud Area Regional Police.

According to SARP, the homeowner just arrived home when she heard an explosion come from the basement.

The homeowner’s daughter than came up from the basement and told the homeowner not to go downstairs because she “blew it up.”

The homeowner asked her daughter what she had blown up, and the daughter responded that it was the meth she was cooking. The daughter then fled the scene.

The explosion happened at 7 p.m. At least seven fire trucks and several ambulances descended on the residential area, a few blocks east of North Fifth Street near the municipal building.

Firefighters told neighbors to get away from the home because toxic chemicals were escaping from it.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze within about a half hour.