A parolee allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl in the 1000 block of Oregon Street Sunday afternoon.

The girl told police that the suspect, Angel Frank Rodriguez, 32, was following her and coaxed her into a vacant residence on Oregon Street, Bakersfield police Sgt. Mary DeGeare said. Rodriguez smoked methamphetamine, tried to get the girl to smoke meth with him and blew smoke in her face in an effort to get her high, DeGeare said.

Rodriguez then sexually assaulted the girl, after which there was a struggle and the girl got away, DeGeare said. The girl ran to a relative’s house and reported the assault.

Police found Rodriguez two blocks away and arrested him, DeGeare said. He was booked on suspicion of charges including kidnapping a child with the intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts, rape, and willful cruelty to a child, according to the sheriff’s department’s website.


A Calgary man pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl as the first of three criminal trials against him got underway on Monday.

Dustin Paxton, 30, is accused of unlawful confinement, sexual assault and assault of the girl between January and March of 2009. Her name is protected by a publication ban.

The victim, who is now 19, testified on Monday as the three-day trial began.

She told the court Paxton, whom she was dating, became very controlling and had major mood swings. She described trying to leave him after they had a fight.

“I walked out the door, made it to the middle of the street. He ran out, grabbed my hair, and dragged me back inside,” she testified.

Paxton choked her on four occasions during sex, she told the court. “It was like I was his property, if he wanted it, he’d take it,” she said.

But Paxton’s defence lawyer, Jim Lutz, questioned the teen’s recollection of the alleged abuse.

“I don’t know the chronological order it all happened,” she replied. “I don’t know the month or day or time. I wasn’t looking at a calendar all the time.”

She also admitted she was a heavy user of methamphetamine at the time.

Paxton was arrested in August 2010 in connection with a brutal, long-running series of alleged attacks on his former roommate, who also cannot be named.

Those assaults are alleged to have occurred between December 2008 and April 2010 in Calgary and Regina, until the man was dropped off at a Regina hospital.

Paxton faces several charges related to those allegations, including aggravated assault, forcible confinement, sexual assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.

The alleged assault against the teenage girl came to light during the investigation into the attacks on Paxton’s former roommate.

His trial on those charges is set to begin Sept. 27.

A third trial in December involves separate alleged attacks against four people, including the roommate.


Earlier this morning the Criminal Investigations Division of the Bristol, Va. Police Department arrested one man after discovering 115 methamphetamine “cook” bottles and several precursors when executing a search warrant at 805 Norfolk Ave.

The company responsible for the cleanup is calling this the largest meth lab they have found to date in southwest Virginia.

It is unclear at this time who resided at the house, as no utilities were connected. The house itself was condemned by Bristol, Va. Environs Control after cleanup was completed.

Stephen Craig Frost, Jr., 21, was arrested in connection with the incident. Frost was charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of two or more precursors used in the manufacture of methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

He is being held in the Bristol, Va. Jail on a $3,000 bond awaiting a court date on July 7.


In the wake of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office seizure of an operational methamphetamine laboratory at 133 Coronet St. in the Meadow Run subdivision in Knightsville area of Dorchester County, four people were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine within half-mile proximity of a school.

David C. William Jr. of 133 Coronet St., Gerald Smith of 119 Roberts Road, Rhonda Morgan of 133 Coronet St., and Faith Mccutcheon of 2081 Scuffletown Road, Ruffin, were decontaminated and transported to the Dorchester County Jail.

Smith and Mccutcheon are currently out on bond for a methamphetamine manufacturing charge from April 1. All four are currently awaiting a bond hearing at the county jail in St. George.

The Metro Narcotics Unit received a tip of the active meth lab about 7 p.m. Friday and went to the residence to investigate. Detectives knocked on the front door to speak with occupants of the residence and upon doing so could see at least three people in a running around the house concealing items used to manufacture the drug.

Detectives alleged a strong, chemical odor associated with meth manufacturing emitting from the residence.

Four people were detained and a search warrant was obtained for the residence. During the search of the residence detectives seized an operational methamphetamine lab. Detectives worked until 4 a.m. Saturday, while storms rolled into the region, dismantling the lab and removing the hazardous chemicals.


Who ever said that meth heads – or meth “chemists” were smart??

MENDON — The theft of a 1000-gallon tank of anhydrous ammonia from a farm field in Leonidas Township Saturday was likely the work of manufacturers of the street drug, methamphetamine, said Sandy Spence, assistant manager of Crop Production Services, owner of the tank.

“They don’t steal them to put on corn,” Spence said.

The tank, delivered to the field Friday night, was full of two tons of fertilizer, valued at $875 a ton, she said. The tank was clearly marked indicating that the ammonia was treated with GloTell, a substance that dyes the product bright pink and makes it unsuitable for methamphetamine production, Spence said.

Spence said it appeared that the vehicle used to haul the heavy tank from the field did not have 4-wheel drive normally required to pull such trailers, and that a chain was used to drag the tank and trailer to the roadway.”The scene was all torn up,” Spence said.

She said the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s office handled the initial complaint, and told her the information would be forwarded to Michigan State Police drug enforcement authoirities as well.

Spence said the theft is the first the company has experienced for several years. Before the advent of GloTell, Spence kept a log of the frequent theft of product for their facility and its tanks in the field, but GloTell has put an end to that trend, she said.


Two men are set to be sentenced today in federal court in Charlottesville for their role in a drug-trafficking pipeline that funneled Mexican methamphetamine into Southwood Mobile Home Park, according to officials.

From Southwood, the meth was parceled out for sale as far away as Lexington, according to Brian McGinn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

Charlottesville itself wasn’t a major market for the drug, said city police Lt. Don Campbell, who heads the local narcotics task force. Rather, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Healey, the trailer park was used as a distribution hub.

At the head of the local ring, authorities contend, was Esteban Salmeron-Duque, also known as El Pis or Primo. In court documents, authorities describe a group that moved pounds of methamphetamine north from Atlanta.

Confidential witnesses have told police that at least as early as December 2009 dealers were making the trips to Georgia.

But in January, South Carolina authorities caught a load in Greenville, S.C. Three men were in a Lincoln Navigator when they were caught with about two pounds of methamphetamine, according to court documents.

Two confidential informants told police that after the South Carolina arrest, the dealers switched their route, transporting the drugs through Greensboro, N.C., Winston-Salem, N.C., and Richmond, according to court documents.

More than once, dealers rendezvoused at Mexican restaurants, and at least once the drug was moved while packed into shipments of garlic and coffee, court records show.

Excessive cutting of the drug was sometimes a source of conflict among the dealers, Campbell said.

During one sale, dealer Miguel Angel del Angel Espindola offered a money-back guarantee, an informant told police, court documents show.

“Espindola told [a wholesale customer] that if there were any problems with the methamphetamine to call [the person selling the drug] and they would give better methamphetamine or return the money,” reads an affidavit seeking charges against Espindola.

The meth coming in from Mexico is cooked in labs there, and is quite pure to start with, according to Campbell.

“It’s not the cheap biker-type meth or the meth that people cook locally,” he said.

Even people relatively low in the now-dismantled organization were selling relatively large quantities of the drug, Campbell said.

Campbell described the local operation as being led by Salmeron-Duque, with a more loosely organized group below him.

“They said that they were the main source for meth [in Central Virginia] at that time,” Campbell said.

Many of the dealers are illegal immigrants, and will eventually be deported, according to McGinn.

» Salmeron-Duque was indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamines and pleaded guilty to the charge June 13. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

» Alvaro Heredia-Luna pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and was sentenced earlier this month to three years and four months in prison.

» Tomas Jaimes-Campos pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine and was sentenced in January to 13 ½ years in prison.

» Sabrina R. Coles was indicted in February 2010 on one count of possessing with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine. She pleaded guilty that May and was sentenced that July to 10 years in prison.

» Espindola pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, four counts of distributing 5 or more grams of methamphetamine and one count of distribution of a detectable amount of methamphetamine.

» Darlin Antonio Rodriguez Recinos pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine.

» Israel Espinoza-Chavez pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to distribute of 500 grams or more of a substance containing methamphetamine, court documents show.

» Cynthia Dawn Haldane was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, according to court documents. She pleaded guilty in June 2010.


A drug-trafficking ring between Earlimart and Santa Barbara was stopped by authorities in both locations Wednesday, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.

Warrants were served in both Santa Barbara and Tulare counties, resulting in the arrests of four people.

Jose Paul Guillermo Perez Lopez, 42, was arrested at his home in Santa Barbara, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Deputies also believe that he headed the ring. Upon searching Lopez’s residence and vehicle, deputies discovered more than 8 ounces of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine packaged for sale and $5,700 in cash.

Juan Delgado Beltran, 37, was arrested at a residence in the 800 block of East Terra Bella Way in Pixley. Deputies said they found cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, a loaded handgun and more than $45,000 in cash at the home and at another house in Earlimart.

Martin Rios Beltran, 37, and Josephina Delgado Beltran, 40, were arrested at a residence in the 13000 block of Road 80 in Earlimart. A search there uncovered 2.6 pounds of cocaine, 15 pounds of marijuana, two loaded handguns, two loaded rifles and more than $11,000, deputies said.

A fifth man, Eduardo Ramirez, 35, is wanted by authorities after detectives searched his residence in the 100 block of Ash Avenue in Earlimart and found an ounce of methamphetamine and two children under 12 left unattended.

Detectives said Lopez has been traveling from Earlimart to Santa Barbara during the week for years and selling mass quantities of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine to customers and other narcotics dealers in Santa Barbara County, including the cities of Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta. He has recently been observed by Santa Barbara sheriff’s detectives conducting dozens of daily narcotics transactions, some within 1,000 feet of a school.

All those arrested were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Lopez, Josefina Delgado Beltran and Juan Delgado Beltran were booked for outstanding arrest warrants alleging sales and transportation of controlled substances, with bail set at $250,000. Additional charges, including weapons violations, are pending.

Martin Rios Beltran also was booked into the Santa Barabara County jail on drug violations, with bail set at $100,000 with a requested immigration/bail review.


Four people are in jail after the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office discovered a meth lab Friday night. The suspects are charged with manufacturing methamphetamine

Authorities say the lab was active when the bust was made around 8 p.m. Investigators uncovered the lab at 133 Coronet Street in the Meadow Run subdivision in the Knightsville area of Dorchester County.

The metro narcotics unit received a tip of the active methamphetamine lab around 7 p.m. and went to the residence to investigate. Detectives knocked on the front door to speak with occupants of the residence and then saw at least three people running around the house concealing items used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Detectives say they smelled a strong chemical odor associated with methamphetamine manufacturing emitting from the residence. Four people were detained and a search warrant was obtained for the residence.

During the search, detectives seized an operational methamphetamine lab. Detectives worked until 4 a.m. Saturday to dismantle the lab and remove the hazardous chemicals associated with the lab. The cleanup was done during the storms that rolled into Summerville on Friday night.

Four people were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine within ½ mile proximity of a school.

Deputies arrested David C. William Jr., of Summerville, Gerald Smith, of Summerville, Rhonda Morgan, of Summerville, and Faith Mccutcheon, of Ruffin.

Smith and Mccutcheon are currently out on bond for an April 1 methamphetamine manufacturing charge. All four are awaiting a bond hearing at the Dorchester County jail in St. George.

The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident.


Lakeland police say they shut down a methamphetamine lab today that was run out of a hotel room. Six people found in the room were arrested.

A patrol sergeant with the Lakeland Police Department got word that someone on probation for drug charges was staying at the Relax Inn, 1433 Lakeland Hills Blvd., according to the agency. The sergeant and a patrol officer went to Room 130 and came upon the lab and six people.

The six were arrested – including Jerome Smith, 36, the man said to be on probation – and a hazardous materials team was called in to help shut down the lab, Lakeland police said.

Smith, 36, who was living in the room, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a church; trafficking in more than 400 grams of methamphetamine; possession of listed chemicals; possession of drug paraphernalia; being a public nuisance by virtue of using a structure for manufacturing drugs; and violation of probation.

Chalmes A. Pridgen, 19, who was also living in the room, was also charged manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a church; trafficking in more than 400 grams of methamphetamine; possession of listed chemicals; possession of drug paraphernalia; and being a public nuisance by virtue of using a structure for manufacturing drugs.

Katrinna Lynn Austin, 23, of 448 Athabasca Court, Kissimmee, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anita Michele Taylor, 39, of 124 N. Polk Ave., Lakeland, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of probation.

Barbara Marie Pridgen, 44, of 2120 Shady Acre Drive, Mulberry, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

And Michael Anthony McKerley, 39, of 4535 U.S. 92 E, Lakeland, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.


A 43-year-old Bath woman who plied a teenage boy with drugs and then sexually assaulted him will spend the next three to seven years in state prison.

Theresa Kasznicki admitted giving the teen, who was friends with one of her children, drugs and then taking him to her room where they had sex. Northampton County Judge Stephen Baratta said Kasznicki admitted regular marijuana, alcohol, prescription medication and methamphetamine abuse in her pre-sentencing interview. She also admitted to hosting parties for kids and using drugs with them.

Kasznicki also bragged about having sex with the boy to a co-worker at Guardian Life Insurance, according to court papers, and was fired. She worked for the company for 23 years, she said in court.

“You truly are a perpetrator,” Baratta told Kasznicki. “You are a sexual predator. It’s clear. You groomed this young man and bragged about it later. Not good. Not good.”

She pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit involuntary deviate sexual assault, statutory sex assault and endangering the welfare of children and today was sentenced by Baratta to 42 to 84 months in state prison.

“This criminal episode will destroy your life,” Baratta said.

Kasznicki was not considered a sexual predator after a court-ordered evaluation, Baratta said. The judge said he disagreed with the report’s finding.

Baratta also noted that people draw distinct differences between how they treat female and male perpetrators of sexual assault and female and male victims. Baratta wondered aloud if a man who did what Kasznicki admitted to would have faced more outrage, and been labeled a sexual predator.


Lompoc – Police have arrested two men in a drug bust Thursday afternoon.

It happened around 3 p.m. in the 1700 block of E. Ocean Ave.

Oman Hernandez, 28, of Rialto, and Mario Salas, 35, of Pomona, were arrested for possession for sales of methamphetamine and transportation of methamphetamine.

According to police, Hernandez and Salas possessed over three pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $136,800.

A residence in Rialto and a residence in Pomona were also searched. Police found an additional pound of methamphetamine from the residence in Pomona with a street value of $45,600.

A small quantity of methamphetamine and cash were also seized from the Rialto residence.


PANAMA CITY — More than a dozen people are named in a federal indictment that alleges a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

The 12-page indictment, which was unsealed Thursday, charges 15 people with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, methamphetamine. Several members of the alleged conspiracy also are charged with other crimes, including selling meth, unlawfully transporting firearms and re-entering the country after being deported.

A 42-page affidavit filed by Special Agent Michael Clear with the Drug Enforcement Administration details a lengthy investigation that relied on confidential informants, wiretaps, ground and aerial surveillance, and GPS tracking.

According to the affidavit, Lee Parker Bussey was acting as a local distributor for a drug organization operated out of South Carolina and Georgia and controlled by Jesus Cadenas-Baez, who supplied quantities of meth to Rufino Robelo-Galo.

Couriers working for Robelo-Galo in Atlanta delivered 1 to 2 pounds of meth each week for about 18 months to Bussey in Marianna, according to a confidential informant familiar with Bussey’s organization. Frank Eben Gullett Jr., Jack Allen Kelly and Mary Ann Brewer are charged with distributing meth for Bussey.

Law enforcement stopped Robelo-Galo in Phenix City, Ala., on May 15 and pulled $60,000 cash from a concealed compartment in the wheel well of the Nissan Altima he was driving, investigators reported. Less than a week later, he was arrested when agents raided a suspected stash house on a warrant and found 6 pounds of meth, several ounces of marijuana and about $30,000 in secret compartments in two vehicles located at the property, according to federal authorities.

Robelo-Galo and Nestor Jose Hernandez-Estrada, whom investigators said they believe has been a courier for the ring, were arrested during the raid on the stash house. Bussey, Gullett, Kelly, Brewer, Cora Rebecca Stone, Rowdy Dewayne Gilbert, Christopher Gullett and Bobby Jene Kent were all arrested on warrants shortly thereafter.

Also named in the indictment are Soul Barragon, Ricardo Heredia Barron, Octavio Gonzalez-Flores and Juan Jose Cadenas-Baez.

Twelve of the defendants are currently in custody and will be arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court.


A longtime drug-trafficking ring linking Tulare and Santa Barbara counties was broken up Wednesday after five warrants were served in both areas, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department announced Friday.

The 42-year-old ringleader has homes in both counties and for years has traveled from Earlimart to deliver heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine in Santa Barbara County. He was arrested at a home in Santa Barbara, and nearly eight ounces of drugs were seized along with about $6,000 in cash.

A 37-year-old man described as a co-conspirator was taken into custody on the 800 block of East Terra Bella Way in Pixley.

Nearly nine ounces of cocaine, three ounces of heroin, an ounce of methamphetamine, a handgun and $45,000 in cash were confiscated at a home he was associated with on the 900 block of Olive Road in Earlimart.

Another 37-year-old man was arrested on the 13000 block of Avenue 80 in Earlimart, where deputies found 2.6 pounds of cocaine, 15 pounds of processed marijuana, four firearms and $11,000 in cash.

A 40-year-old woman deputies say was connected to the operation was arrested at another home on the 800 block of Olive Road in Earlimart. All were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail.

A 35-year-old man remained at large.


Meth probe nets 3 arrests

Posted: June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

WILKES-BARRE – Making and selling methamphetamine was no big deal to Glen Kocher, authorities said, but it was to police who searched his house on Blackman Street, three other residences and a car to shut down his alleged illegal operation.

The 48-year-old, self-employed mason, his wife, Donna, and his girlfriend, Amanda Adamski, were arrested as part of an investigation into the sale and manufacture of the drug.

“We did some,” he said after his arraignment on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver or delivery of a controlled substance.

“They’re making more out of it than it really is,” he added. “It’s an election year.”

Deputy Attorney General Tim Doherty disagreed.

“It’s big in the sense that where it leads,” he said. “It has the potential, again, of making a lot of money.”

Doherty said agents of the Attorney General’s Office converged on three houses in the city shortly before 7 a.m.

With heavy rain falling, city police shut down traffic as armed agents wearing body armor executed search warrants at 18 Spruce St., directly across from the Spruce Street Playground, and a double-block house at 356-358 Blackman St. just before 7 a.m.

A utility truck with a retractable canopy parked in front of the Blackman Street house. A table was set up under the canopy as agents brought out chemicals from the house suspected of being used in the making of methamphetamine.

The same process was repeated at houses on Spruce and Regent streets.

As a result of those searches, agents obtained additional search warrants for a house on Buck Creek Road in Bear Creek Township and a car parked on Blackman Street.

The search warrants and the affidavits to support the searches were filed under seal in Luzerne County Court.

Doherty said that during the course of the searches, “we were able to locate not only methamphetamine itself, but more importantly the manufacturing equipment, the raw materials, the packaging materials, the cooking instruments.”

At all the locations searched, agents “located instruments” used to make methamphetamine, said Doherty.

The husband and wife allegedly had methamphetamine on them when they were arrested. They said it came from a batch he made the previous night at a clandestine laboratory, according to the affidavit filed to support their arrests.

Donna Kocher, 52, told agents her husband had given her some of the methamphetamine, said Doherty. She kept half and sold the rest, he said.

The Kochers face identical charges and were committed to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail each.

While waiting to be arraigned before District Judge Paul Roberts Jr. in Kingston, a handcuffed Donna Kocher leaned toward her husband who also was handcuffed and sitting nearby and said, “This is what happens when you cheat on your wife. It’s karma. I hope it was worth it.”

He did not respond to her.

Agents said Glen Kocher had been living with Adamski, 28, at the Spruce Street house, a few blocks from Kocher’s Blackman Street house.

Agents found a small amount of marijuana, rolling papers, a pipe and a “roach clip” in a bedroom at the Spruce Street house, according to the arrest affidavit filed against Adamski.

“They found other things too that were taken to be analyzed,” said Doherty.

Adamski, who has no permanent address, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was committed to the county prison for lack of $10,000 bail.

Doherty said she faces additional charges of resisting arrest and tampering with evidence after a struggle with an agent at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, where Adamski tried to swallow pills. Adamski was taken to the hospital for an undisclosed ailment. She appeared at the arraignment wearing a hospital gown, scrub pants and socks.

The investigation developed out of complaints from neighbors, said Doherty.

“They called Wilkes-Barre police and we have a very active task force and Wilkes-Barre is very active,” he said.

Doherty said the Kocher operation was not related to the investigation of a fatal shooting of a man in February inside a trailer in Hunlock Township suspected of being a methamphetamine lab.

Depending upon where the Kocher investigation leads, there could be additional arrests, said Doherty.

He added it is up the city to decide whether to take action on the houses searched by agents.

“Once police hit a house, then the inspectors go out,” said Doherty.


YAKIMA, Wash. — A 35-year-old Mexican national who had been living in Pasco was sentenced in federal court Thursday to more than 17 years in prison for trying to sell methamphetamine.

Gerardo Sanchez-Ramirez was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Yakima to 210 months, or 17 1/2 years, after Tri-Cities drug investigators found nearly five pounds of methamphetamine in his Pasco home in February, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern District office in Spokane.

A conviction for possessing more than 50 grams of meth with the intent to distribute carries a sentencing range between 10 years and life in prison, the release said.

After serving his sentence, the Sanchez-Ramirez will be deported and barred from re-entering the United States without permission from the U.S. Attorney General, the release said.


STOCKTON – A murder trial began Thursday for two of three people charged with shooting, stabbing and beating a man before lighting him on fire in a Stockton home last year.

Graphic photos and gruesome descriptions of torture that 49-year-old Jeffrey Wheatley suffered proved unsettling in court. A relative of the victim could be heard crying in the rear of the courtroom.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Mark Ott’s voice quivered in his opening statement as he described the excruciating death Wheatley experienced on April 7, 2010.

“He was subjected to the highest levels of pain and suffering any human could endure,” Ott told jurors inside the San Joaquin County Superior Courtroom.

On trial are 26-year-old Valerie Nessler, who was a roommate of the victim, and 33-year-old Robert Turner. A third defendant, Allen Periman, 31, will be tried later.

According to the prosecution, Nessler had heard Wheatley brag of killing a man in 1994 with a gun. That crime, as he described it, resembled the way Turner said his own brother had died, Ott said.

Yet, Ott added that the accused killers didn’t have the facts correct. Turner’s brother died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot, something Turner and his family never could accept.

Nessler told Turner about her roommate’s story of killing a man, and then she set him up to be killed, the prosecutor said.

On the day of his death, Turner and Periman kicked in the door to the home in the 8300 block of Sussex Way, Ott said.

Turner shot Wheatley twice with a shotgun, the prosecutor said, adding that Nessler and Periman next stabbed him 30 times, and they doused him with gasoline.

Wheatley was able to get up and stumble to the front door before falling. That’s where Ott said the trio lit him on fire, engulfing the entire home. When Stockton firefighters arrived, they found the body inside, launching a murder investigation that led to the three defendants.

Turner’s attorney, Deborah Fialkowski, told Judge Edward Lacy that she would give her opening statement to jurors later in the trial.

Nessler’s attorney, John Panerio, said his client admits that she was there. In a video of her statement to detectives, Nessler admitted to once stabbing at Wheatley, but only because Turner ordered her to do it.

“Any aiding and abetting she did in this murder, she did out of fear,” Panerio said. “She was terrified.”

Panerio, who said the residents of the home were using methamphetamine, asked jurors to focus on the big picture. The prosecution will not meet the burden of proof, Panerio said.


LAMONT, Calif. — The Kern County Sheriff’s Department said that deputies have arrested two men with 450 grams of crystal methamphetamine.
Deputies said that on Tuesday around 3:40 p.m., they performed a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of East Pacheco Road and Cottonwood Road.
Deputies said they discovered inside the vehicle 450 grams of crystal methamphetamine. The crystal methamphetamine has an approximate street value of $45,000, deputies said.

Oswaldo Heredia, 26, was arrested on charges of possession for sales of a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance, providing false information to a peace officer, driving without a license and two outstanding felony warrants.
Pedro Heredia, 22, was arrested on charges of providing false information to a peace officer and two outstanding felony warrants.
Both Pedro and Oswaldo Heredia were booked into the Sheriff’s Office Central Receiving Facility.


MODESTO — When you get in a car accident and the other person involved gets angry to the point of a physical confrontation, what do you do?

The 19-year-old Modesto man who accidentally rear-ended a pickup on Claus Road late Tuesday night did the right thing by getting into his car, police said.

“His first reaction was a smart reaction,” said Lt. Rick Armendariz of the Modesto Police Department. “Instead of engaging in an argument with the person, step away or, in this situation, get in your vehicle and distance yourself.”

Unfortunately for the man, the pickup driver pulled out a gun and gave chase in his vehicle, eventually tracking down the man and shooting him in the back. Armendariz also said that the suspect shot at a female companion who was with the victim. She was not injured.

The pickup driver, Victor Ramirez, 20, of Modesto, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of attempted murder. He was taken into custody without incident at a home in the 2800 block of Andalusia Way in east Modesto.

The victim, who was treated and released from a local hospital, saw the suspect in the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. He told Central Valley TV that his two friends got a license plate and followed him to the house on Andalusia.

The victim then called police, who surrounded the house and eventually took Ramirez into custody without incident as he exited the home.

The owner of the home, Richard Garcia, 30, arrived home soon after and gave police permission to search the residence for other possible suspects.

Inside, police found 30 marijuana plants, methamphetamine and a gun that turned out to be stolen.

Garcia was arrested and charged with marijuana cultivation, possession of meth and a stolen gun, as well as being a felon in possession of a stolen gun.

Armendariz said the gun was not the same one used in the shooting. He said Garcia and Ramirez were acquaintances.

“I thought I was going to die,” the victim told Central Valley TV. “I’ve never been shot at before … never gave anyone a reason to shoot at me. I don’t even have a gun. I’ve never thought to shoot anyone else.

“I guess people think differently.”

In addition to trying to leave the scene, Armendariz said it’s best in those situations to stay on busy streets and try to bring attention to yourself.

“Honk your horn, drive to somewhere public, a shopping center … call 911 on your cell phone,” he said, adding that in the late night or early morning hours, head to a main thoroughfare. “We wouldn’t recommend going into a residential neighborhood and going, 30, 40, or 50 miles per hour.”


Investigators determined methamphetamine toxicity to be the cause of death for the 23-year-old Rapid City man who was found in May in Rapid Creek.

A Sioux Park passer-by found Spencer Pitcher’s body on May 1 in about 1 foot of water in the creek near Dakota Drive and Canyon Lake Drive, according to a news release from the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.

The autopsy, scene investigation and toxicology reports determined the main cause of death, but investigators said the creek may have been a contributing cause, according to law enforcement.

Foul play was not a factor in Pitcher’s death, the sheriff’s office said.


BAYOU GEORGE, Fla. — A Panhandle man who police say texted his mother to help clean up and hide drug evidence for him is being held in jail on drug charges.

Bay County investigators arrested 33-year-old Anthony Paul Burdeshaw Wednesday. He has no attorney listed. Jail records show he was being held Thursday on charges of methamphetamine possession.

Investigators say they were talking to Burdeshaw’s mother about an abandoned barn next to the family’s home that contained methamphetamine-manufacturing chemicals when she received a text from her son. The text asked the woman to clean his bedroom, hide any evidence of drugs and to not allow the police to search his room. The mother brought out to police a glass bowl which tested positive for drugs.

The investigation is ongoing. Additional charges are pending.


A well-known Alpharetta horse trainer already facing attempted child molestation charges is now accused of driving naked while smoking meth.

Forsyth County deputies arrested Kenneth Acebal, 46, on June 8 after a truck driver called investigators to report he’d seen a naked man in a Cadillac SUV driving on State Route 19 near Cumming.

An arrest report said that Acebal was fully clothed when deputies pulled him over, but that they noticed his pants were “twisted.” The report said deputies found pornographic magazines sprawled out in the car and a pipe with methamphetamine residue in it.

He was charged with meth possession and indecent exposure and booked into the Forsyth County Jail. A sheriff’s department spokeswoman told Channel 2 that Acebal bonded out of jail June 18.

Channel 2 tracked down Acebal’s business manager, Ann Clements, who called Acebal a decorated horse trainer who was once on the short list to compete in the Olympics.

“He enjoys the respect and admiration of trainers, riders and owners at the highest level of the equestrian competitive game,” she said.

Clements said Acebal has been under tremendous stress since an April arrest in Catoosa County on attempted child molestation charges. The FBI arrested Acebal and two other metro Atlanta-area men, accusing them of chatting online with an agent posing as a child and then driving to Ringgold to meet for sex.

“He was charged with what the FBI themselves have called a victimless crime,” said Clements. “The stress was horrendous. It’s the first time he’d been in any legal kind of trouble like that.”

Clements said Acebal believed he was meeting an adult, not a child.

She said he has entered rehab and expects to be fully exonerated in both cases.


Arson suspect Robert Boyce appeared in Washington County Court today for formal arraignment.

Boyce appeared with his attorney, Jim Conatser, to plead “not guilty” to charges of two counts of second degree arson, manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine), conspiracy to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine), unlawfully concealing hazardous waste, false claim for insurance and second degree conspiracy to commit arson.

A date of Aug. 3 was set for a jury docket in anticipation of a jury trial.

Boyce was previously bound over on all charges stemming from the alleged 2009 arson of a downtown Bartlesville building at the continuation of his preliminary hearing in late April.

The charges stem from a fire that destroyed the historic former May Brothers building in downtown Bartlesville in August 2009.

Boyce remains in the Washington County Jail on $500,000 bond.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Indictments were returned Wednesday against 40 people who face charges related to the possession and distribution of methamphetamine and other drugs.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien said the investigation led to the seizure of more than five pounds of crystal meth with a value of more than $225,000 — the largest amount of the drug ever seized in Franklin County, 10TV’s Chuck Strickler reported.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 26 of the 40 suspects had been taken into custody.

“There is no particular neighborhood; it’s all over Columbus,” said Columbus police Lt. Larry Yates. “We have tried 60 to 70 addresses and we’ve gotten well over half our suspects.”

The indictments and apprehensions came after an investigation that started more than a year ago. Yates said that Columbus was used as a base for the distribution of meth to other locations in central Ohio.

“We have a total of eight counties involved, where suspects lived (and) would come to Columbus to get the meth or deliver meth, and then go back to their counties,” he said.

Aside from meth, investigators said they seized cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and marijuana, along with more than $100,000 in cash and 15 firearms, Strickler reported.

They also recovered seven gallons of a chemical that is used to make GHB, which is known more commonly as the “date rape” drug.

“Hopefully it will make an impact,” O’Brien said. “Unfortunately, when you arrest 40 people like this, there are too often someone standing behind them, ready to step up and take their place.”


BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – Bond was set Wednesday for three Bartlesville residents arrested after drug task force officials raided their home near Ranch Heights Elementary School and found an alleged methamphetamine cooking operation.

William Anthony Allred, 60, faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine within 2,000 feet of a school, maintaining a residence where drugs are kept, used or sold, possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony and possession of a firearm after a former conviction.

During his appearance in Washington County District Court on Wednesday, the judge set his bond to $750,000.

George Thomas Ishem III, 53, faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine within 2,000 feet of a school. His bond was set to $500,000.

Shawnda Kay Jackson, 41, faces charges of manufacturing methamphetamine within 2,000 feet of a school and maintaining a residence where drugs are kept, used or sold. The judge set her bond to $500,000.

According to the probable cause affidavit, at around 7 p.m. Tuesday, officials with the 11the Judicial District Drug Task Force served a search warrant on a residence on the 1400 block of S.E. Lakeview Ct.

Officials spoke to Allred who told them both Ishem and Jackson both reside with him at that address but in the northeastern bedroom.

Furthermore, he said officers would not find any methamphetamine in the house, according to the report.

One officer though entering the garage found a number of items indicative of methamphetamine cooking via the “one-pot” or “shake and bake” method. Among those items were a can of camping fuel, stripped lithium batteries, cold packs, drain cleaner and empty pseudoephedrine blister packs. Also located in the garage was a syringe with contents that field tested for methamphetamine.

When officials confronted Allred, Ishem and Jackson —by then all detained in the home’s dining room — about the findings in the garage, Allred told them he knew nothing about a meth lab adding that he was not a cook, just a meth user, said the affidavit.

After being placed under arrest and while being walked out to a patrol car, Allred then reportedly told officers Jackson was the cook.

Officers then searched both bedrooms on the north end of the house and found in the northeast room a digital scale, among other items, and in the northwest room, a .22 caliber rifle, two boxes of .22 caliber ammunition, a leather pistol case containing a magazine and .40 caliber ammunition.

Later as officers booked Allred at the Washington County jail, Allred reportedly cursed at an investigators and threatened him, telling him he knew where he lived and that he will put a bullet in between the eyes of the investigator when he gets out of jail.


Hector Rivera had been on the run for more than three years. But the hunt for the 35-year-old man, suspected of trafficking and distributing methamphetamine in Pennsylvania, ended Friday, June 17 at the Mexico Lindo restaurant in Brick.

The popular Mexican restaurant, situated in the middle of a jug-handle on Burnt Tavern Road, was where U.S. marshals from Pennsylvania and New Jersey finally caught Rivera, who was indicted April 8, 2008, by a federal grand jury on charges of distribution and possession with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine and use of a telephone to facilitate the commission of criminal acts, according to Martin J. Pane, acting U.S. marshal for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Rivera was indicted along with his brother, Juan Rivera, for his alleged role in a methamphetamine trafficking ring operating in Schuylkill County, Pa. The indictment charged that the Rivera brothers obtained methamphetamine from suppliers in Las Vegas, brought it to Schuylkill County and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, and then distributed it numerous locations. The Rivera brothers were also charged with using cellular telephones to maintain contact with their co-conspirators and customers.

Shortly after the April 2008 federal indictment, Juan Rivera was arrested in Berks County, Pa., but Hector Rivera’s whereabouts were unknown, and he was declared a fugitive. On April 14, 2008, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration delegated apprehension responsibility to the United States Marshals Service.

The Marshals Service developed leads over 38 months, according to Pane, and last Friday marshals from Scranton, Pa., teamed up with their New Jersey counterparts to follow up on a lead at the Jersey Shore. Around 1 p.m., they caught up to Rivera at Mexico Lindo and arrested him. Federal officials did not say why Rivera was at the restaurant at the time.

“Although Rivera was on the run for three years, the U.S. Marshals Service never slowed in their pursuit,” Pane said. “Fugitives must know they can run, but they cannot hide. We will ensure they are ultimately brought to justice.”

Hector Rivera is currently being held in New Jersey pending federal court proceedings, Pane said.

As for his brother, Juan Rivera pleaded guilty in federal court in October 2008 to all of the charges leveled against him. In June 2010, he was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik to serve 188 months – just under 16 years – in a federal prison.