SHAH ALAM, Oct 6 (Bernama) — Police have detained seven men, including a father and son, to help with investigations into the murder of a married couple last month at a durian orchard near a rubber farm at Batu 30, Jalan Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh, Hulu Yam, Selangor.

Selangor deputy police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan said the suspects, aged between 16 and 44, were apprehended at various locations on Sept 30 and Oct 3.

“The first arrest involved five men. Three had previous convictions, while two had a case each under the Prevention of Crime Ordinance (PCO) in Ulu Yam.

“Two more suspects were arrested last Monday. Neither had any criminal record, but one tested positive for methamphetamine,” he said in a press conference at the police contingent headquarters’ media centre here today.

He said police also recovered two units of parang in Selangor Rasa river at Batang Kali, about one kilometre from the murder scene, which were believed to have been used by the suspects to kill the victims.

Police suspected the motive to be jealousy and a misunderstanding.

The bodies of L. Ramasandram, 57, and A. Bakiam, 51, were found sprawled on the road near the orchard about 5.30am on Sept 28.

Ramasandram had serious injuries on his head, and all five fingers of his right hand were severed. Bakiam’s wrist was almost severed, and her head was slashed.

The couple were said to have left home around 5am to tap rubber at the farm, about two kilometres from the house.

BARSTOW • A defense attorney representing a Barstow man on trial for murder in the 2010 shooting death of his neighbor asked jurors to convict his client of second-degree murder, rather than first-degree, during closing arguments in the case on Wednesday.

Frank Gonzales, 36, is on trial for the Aug. 2010 shooting death of his 39-year-old neighbor, Mark Good. Gonzales — who said he was high on methamphetamine and hadn’t slept for two days prior to the shooting — believed that Good was peeking in his windows to look at his fiancee and children.

Gonzales confessed to shooting Good several times after the shooting, including during his testimony in court on Tuesday.

Ron Powell, Gonzales’ conflict panel attorney, said during his closing statements that a crime was committed on the day of Good’s death, but said the jury shouldn’t convict his client of first-degree murder because he said Gonzales did not lie in wait and the murder was not premeditated. The jury has to find at least one of those allegations correct in order to find Gonzales guilty of first-degree murder.

Powell also said that Gonzales was not in his right mind on the day of the shooting.

“The actions (Gonzales) took were not reasonable,” said Powell. “No one in their right mind would act the way my client did.”

Powell added that Gonzales had bought the rifle because he was afraid for himself and for his family.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Daugherty asked the jury to convict Gonzales of first-degree murder and an additional special allegation of using a firearm to kill Good. He said Gonzales showed both premeditation and lying in wait during his actions on the night of Good’s death.

“Is there a more unambiguous intention to kill than shooting someone twice?” asked Daugherty of the jury during his closing statements.

The jury of seven women and five men began their deliberations Wednesday morning after closing arguments were finished.

The jury has the choice of convicting Gonzales of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or can find him not guilty. Gonzales also has an alleged special allegation of using a firearm to commit the killing, which adds additional time to the sentence if he is convicted.

Gonzales faces 79 years to life if convicted of all charges.

A woman has been left partly deaf by a violent attack in which she was bitten so hard her lower lip and one ear were nearly torn off.

Lorraine Cassidy, a 47-year-old preschool teacher, was at a birthday party in Northland when she was attacked.

Glenis Ngaire Tito, of no fixed abode, was arrested in Auckland last week in relation to the attack and appeared in North Shore District Court. She is on bail.

It is alleged the 38-year-old Tito grabbed Ms Cassidy and pinned her to the ground before biting her so hard on the lower lip that it was torn from her face and left hanging by a small strip of skin.

The solo mother then allegedly moved to Ms Cassidy’s ear, again biting on it so hard that it ripped in half, causing the victim’s eardrum to rupture.

The Herald understands the attack, early on July 16, stopped only when Tito’s partner pulled her away.

Although it is not clear what prompted the violence, it is believed Tito was dating a man who had gone out with, and fathered a child with, one of Ms Cassidy’s relatives.

Tito has been charged with two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one of injuring with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

She also faces one charge of possessing a glass methamphetamine pipe, in relation to an incident last week.

It is understood Ms Cassidy, who also had her hair pulled and was left with a bite mark on her forehead, was taken to hospital after the attack.

She required numerous stitches to reattach her lip and fix her ear, but has reportedly lost the hearing in it.

Two people were arrested Saturday after a routine traffic stop in Carrollton led to the discovery of a mobile meth lab in the back of a truck, police said.

Sabrina Michelle May, 31, and Dewayne Edward Crews, 43, both of Whitesburg, are facing charges of criminal intent to manufacture methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute meth — all following a simple seat belt violation.

According to police reports, Officer Omereo Potts of the Carrollton Police Department pulled over a white Dodge Dakota on Rome Street when he noticed that neither the driver nor the passenger were wearing seat belts. May, who was driving the truck, presented a Georgia identification card, rather than a driver’s license, and admitted to Potts that her license had been suspended. Crews, who was riding in the passenger seat, said the truck belonged to him.

After getting consent to search the vehicle, Potts discovered what he believed to be meth, digital scales, and “items used to manufacture meth,” according to the report. Potts also found the components of a mobile meth lab in a cooler in the back of the truck.

May and Crews told the officer that they have been selling the drug for the past six months to “make ends meet,” according to the report.

Capt. Chris Dobbs said meth certified officers were called to the scene to dispose of the chemicals.

Meth continues to be a major source of crime and one of the leading causes of drug arrests in Carroll County.

Sgt. Matt Howard said the police department has recovered around $14,000 worth of meth this year, though the costs are higher because of the expense of cleaning up meth labs. He said the total number of arrests in Carrollton from January to August has been roughly 15.

Last year, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office confiscated 30 pounds of meth, which they said has a street value of $2.1 million.

“What we’re having a big problem with now, is people go to your local pharmacies and they will purchase boxes of Ephedrin pills, batteries, Coleman fuel and fertilizer, and nine out of ten times they’re not the ones manufacturing the dope,” Howard said.

He said because of the limits in place to prevent major sales of Ephedrin, those cooking meth are finding it more difficult. Now, users have taken to bartering for the product rather than paying cash.

According to Jill Hendricks, a patient advocate at the University of West Georgia’s Health Services and vice-chair of the Carroll Meth Awareness Coalition, there is a major concern in the public sector over the effects of the drug.

“In addition to homegrown labs, people are buying it off the street. It’s dangerous for a lot of reasons, because it’s so inexpensive and easy to make, the repercussions are so great,” she said. “It can tear apart the fabric of the community because of its ripple effect in the health care community, and schools.”

The CMAC is holding its annual drug awareness summit, “Meth and Other Dead Ends,” on Oct. 20 at the Tabernacle Baptist Church. This year’s focus, Hendricks said, is to spread awareness beyond meth to the abuse of prescription and synthetic drugs, gangs and violence.

NEWARK — A Newark woman was arrested for reportedly purchasing medication used to make methamphetamine at her East North Street residence.

Melissa A. Robbins, 36, last known address 54 E. North St., was charged with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for manufacture of drugs near juveniles, a second-degree felony.

Newark firefighters discovered the suspected methamphetamine lab in the basement of 54 E. North St. when extinguishing a fire at the residence Sunday evening, according to court records.

Police report that Robbins’ husband, Chad, was making methamphetamine in the basement with pseudoephedrine Melissa Robbins purchased from pharmacies across Licking County, according to court records.

Their two children were living in the house where the drugs were made, according to records.

Melissa Robbins was arrested Tuesday. Her bond, set at $10,000 by Licking County Municipal Court Judge Michael Higgins, was posted Wednesday and she was released.

Chad Robbins remains incarcerated on a $100,000 bond set by Judge David Stansbury. Both cases will be reviewed by a grand jury for possible indictments.

ALTMAR — Members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department arrested an Altmar man Tuesday for allegedly running the methamphetamine lab deputies found earlier this week.

The sheriff’s department reported that it received a tip from a concerned citizen regarding a possible methamphetamine lab at 581 CC Road, Altmar. Members of the department investigated, and on Monday, found the lab and materials used in manufacturing the Schedule II stimulant. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a Schedule II drug “has a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

On Tuesday, deputies arrested Robert E. Christensen, 25, who lives at the address where the methamphetamine lab was found. He was charged with criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine, a class E felony; unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, a class D felony; and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class A misdemeanor.

WACO (October 5, 2011)–Billy John Ortiz, of Hewitt, was sentenced to prison Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Waco after he earlier pleaded to possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute the drug.

U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith sentenced Ortiz to 46 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years release and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment to the court.

Waco police narcotics officers arrested Ortiz May 27 after they executed a search warrant his home in Hewitt.

During the search of the residence, officers found about 42.5 grams of white powder in the garage and kitchen areas of the home, which tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, prosecutors said.

Police also reported finding packaging materials, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia in the garage and kitchen areas of the residence.

In addition officers recovered four handguns, one bulletproof vest, ammunition of various calibers and approximately $1,375 in U.S. currency during the search.

United States Attorney Deborah R Gilg announced that Javier Garcia-Hernandez, a/k/a Alberto Perez, a/k/a Juan Manuel Aranada, Jr, a/k/a Carlos Alcozer, a/k/a Javier Hernandez, a/k/a Alberto Aranda, a/k/a Juan Manuel Aranda, 43, of Lincoln, Nebraska ., was sentenced to life imprisonment on October 4, 2011, for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Garcia-Hernandez was convicted of the charge by a federal jury in Lincoln in June of 2011. Prior to the trial, the United States Attorney’s Office filed an Information alleging that Garcia-Hernandez had three prior felony drug convictions from the states of Iowa, South Dakota, and Texas. Those three felony convictions were filed under three different names. At an evidentiary hearing on October 4, 2011, the government presented documentary and fingerprint evidence linking Garcia-Hernandez to the three prior convictions.

Based on that evidence, the Honorable Richard G Kopf, United States District Judge, found that Garcia-Hernandez was the person convicted in all three of the earlier cases. Due to the amount of drugs for which Garcia-Hernandez was held responsible and the court’s finding that Garcia-Hernandez had at least two prior felony drug convictions, the mandatory minimum sentence was life imprisonment.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that between the spring of 2009 and May 19, 2010, Garcia-Hernandez was part of a methamphetamine distribution organization which distributed multiple pounds of methamphetamine in the Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota areas. Search warrants executed on May 19, 2010, at four Lincoln residences and three garages resulted in the finding of over two pounds of methamphetamine at locations associated with members of the conspiracy. This case resulted from an investigation which began in the spring of 2009.

A total of eight persons, including Garcia-Hernandez, were indicted as a result of that investigation. The remaining seven persons all pled guilty and have received sentences ranging from 37 months to 135 months in federal prison.

The matter was investigated by the Lincoln/Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force, which includes the Lincoln Police Department Narcotics Unit and investigators from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department and the UNL Police Department; the Drug Enforcement Administration in Omaha and Sioux Falls, South Dakota; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Additional assistance was provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota.

FORT COLLINS – Deputies arrested a man on Monday evening after they say he hit them several times with his pickup before running into a tree in his front yard.

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office says deputies responded to 33-year-old Frank Ray Runyan Jr.’s home in Fort Collins around 5 p.m. on Monday on a report of a domestic disturbance.

When deputies tried to talk to Runyan, he tried to leave in his Ford pickup. That is when deputies say he hit them several times with his truck and ran into hit a tree.

The sheriff’s office says Runyan then tried to run away on foot. Deputies chased him, but he circled back around, got in his truck and drove away. He allegedly hit deputies again when he drove away.

Runyan was finally arrested at gunpoint and investigators found a significant amount of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in and around the truck.

The deputies were not severely hurt, and Runyan was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Runyan faces several charges, including two counts of first-degree assault of a police officer and domestic violence.

His bond was set at $500,000 and he will appear in court on Oct. 13.

BARTLESVILLE – Lyndsey Fiddler said she has been “waking up every day to the same bad dream” since Nov. 4, when her 10-day-old daughter was found dead in a washing machine.

In a presentencing investigation report filed in her case, Fiddler insists that she did not kill her daughter, Maggie May Trammel.

“It sucks being me,” Fiddler states in the report. “Everybody has made it out like I’m a monster. I want the truth to come out, but I know it never will.”

Fiddler said she lives daily with the impact of Maggie May’s death.

“I am guilty of child neglect, and I lost my daughter,” she states. “I know I am not the victim in this case, but I wish I would have died (and) not her. There’s nobody that can hurt me any worse than I’ve been hurt now.”

Washington County District Judge Curtis DeLapp will sentence Fiddler, 27, on Wednesday on charges of child neglect and second-degree manslaughter. She pleaded guilty to the counts in August.

District Attorney Kevin Buchanan has recommended a four-year prison sentence on the manslaughter charge and a split 30-year sentence – with 15 years in prison followed by 15 years of probation – on the neglect charge with the sentences to be served concurrently.

Despite testing positive for numerous drugs, Fiddler said she knows everything that happened on the day and night of her daughter’s death and remembers putting the baby to sleep in a bassinet before lying down to take a nap.

Fiddler said that when she awoke, her other children were screaming and her aunt Rhonda Coshatt was pulling the baby out of the washing machine.

“I know I’m not the one who put my baby in that washing machine, but I can’t prove that I did or didn’t,” Fiddler states in the report. “I know in my heart I did not kill my baby.”

William Alexander, a Bartlesville probation and parole officer who prepared the presentencing investigation report, recommended incarceration for Fiddler.

“The community is justifiably outraged by the loss of an innocent life in such a manner,” he states in the report. “The impact of the crime affects not only the immediate parties related to the victim, but the entire community.”

Buchanan originally charged Fiddler with first-degree murder but amended the charge to manslaughter in August, noting that there were “unique factual and legal circumstances” in the case.

He said the evidence does not point to Fiddler intentionally killing her child; however, her “conscious decision to ingest methamphetamine, along with other prescription medication, directly led to the death” of the baby.

During the 11 months since her daughter’s death, Fiddler has been in the Washington County Jail with bail set at $100,000 while her two sons – ages 6 and 9 – have been in the custody of a relative.

Coshatt, the only other adult present on the night the baby died, could not be located by authorities to be interviewed in connection with the presentencing report. Investigators determined that she had left Bartlesville for Coffeyville, Kan., but then left that residence without a forwarding address.

During Fiddler’s preliminary hearing in March, Coshatt testified that Fiddler had been doing methamphetamine the day before the baby died.

Coshatt also testified that she had taken morphine that night for back pain.

In a previous court document, Fiddler states that Coshatt “was high on morphine and I was high on methamphetamine. I do not know which of us put her (the baby) in the machine, but I do not think either of us did it on purpose.”

The District Attorney’s Office has said it wants Fiddler to remain in prison long enough to avoid ever having custody of her children again, Fiddler says in the report that she hopes she will “get out to at least see my other kids before they are grown.”

Crestview meth lab shut down

Posted: October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Other occupants of the house allowed deputies to enter, however, McDonald could not be found, deputies reported. The occupants told deputies about a trap door in the bathroom that allowed access to underneath the home, through which McDonald had climbed.

McDonald was seen by deputies under the house, but refused to come out. A sheriff’s special response team arrested McDonald after spraying a “chemical irritant” under the house to force him to come out, according to the press release.

While inside the house, deputies saw items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine in plain view, the press release states. Okaloosa Drug Task Force Investigators were called to the scene and obtained a search warrant for the methamphetamine lab.

McDonald is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence.

Another occupant at the house, Kenneth Ben Williams, 21, of Crestview is charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and drug paraphernalia.

The U.S. Border Patrol busted a driver with 25 pounds of methamphetamine hidden near the bumper of a sedan, it announced Tuesday.

The $806,000 worth of drugs were found on a car driven through the Indio station checkpoint at highways 78 and 86 near Salton Sea.

Border Patrol dogs alerted agents to the car about 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Agents found a compartment added near the bumper that hid two long tubular packages, the Border Patrol said. The methamphetamine was hidden inside.

The driver, a 20-year-old man whose name was not released, was arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Darren McCracken busted with Meth, guns and a dead hawk!

A local man whom police call a prolific methamphetamine dealer is behind bars following a two-week investigation by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Darren McCracken, 48, of East Portland is being held at the Clackamas County Jail on $250,000 bail on allegations of delivering and possessing methamphetamine and heroin.

Police arrested him Friday, Sept. 30, at a Milwaukie motel after confronting him in the middle of a drug deal, said Detective Marcus Mendoza.

Meanwhile, a Milwaukie Police Department police canine trained to sniff out drugs indicated there were narcotics in the car McCracken was driving.

Inside the vehicle, police reportedly found a large amount of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, oxycodone pills and money, Mendoza said.

Detectives found more of the same – plus cocaine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, two stolen handguns, including one that was stolen from Gresham, and a dead hawk in a freezer – during a search of his home in the 15800 block of Southeast Stark Street.

In total, police seized 264 grams of methamphetamine and 204 grams of heroin. The combined street value of the drugs is more than $20,000. In addition, a total of $12,000 in cash was seized.

McCracken faces additional charges in Multnomah County for drug possession and delivery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm and a game violation. Hawks are a protected species, so Oregon State Police fish and game investigators will focus on that aspect of the case, Mendoza said.

Two co-defendants in the “Devil’s Professor” methamphetamine trafficking case entered not-guilty pleas Tuesday to conspiracy charges.
Chelsea Marie Johnson, 34, and Eric Cortez, 31, both of Redlands, entered the pleas and denied all allegations at a formal arraignment before Judge Harold T. Wilson in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Both defendants face charges in connection with a methemphetamine trafficking ring allegedly run by Cal State San Bernardino professor Steve Kinzey.

Johnson and Cortez were ordered held on the charges after a preliminary hearing on Sept. 27. Judge Douglas Gericke ruled then that sufficient evidence was presented to hold over the defendants for trial.

Also on Tuesday, lawyer Sean O’Connor, who represents Johnson, sought a hearing to argue for a reduction in his client’s bail. She is currently being held on $150,000 bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

“There is a little bit of confusion as to what the court may have used to get there,” said O’Connor.

He argued that the gang allegations in the case do not apply to her, according to the preliminary hearing.

“Statutorily, it should be lower,” O’Connor said of his client’s bail.

Deputy District Attorney Steve Sanchez agreed that the gang allegations don’t apply. But he said Johnson’s bail should remain the same because more than a pound of meth was recovered by investigators.

A hearing on the bail issue was set for Friday. Both Johnson and Cortez are being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Cortez on $300,000 bail, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
In other matters related to the case, Deputy Public Defender Timothy Douglass, who represents Cortez, announced in court Tuesday that he plans to file a motion challenging the charges against his client.

O’Connor said he would join in the motion with Douglass.

A pretrial hearing for Johnson and Cortez was set for Oct. 19. A jury trial was scheduled for Nov. 7.

Johnson faces one count of conspiracy. Cortez is charged with conspiracy and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

Sheriff’s detectives allege that Kinzey purchased large amounts of methamphetamine from Jeremy Disney, 30, of San Bernardino and distributed quantities to Johnson and Cortez, who then split the drugs into smaller amounts for mid-level and street-level dealers.

Kinzey is president of the San Bernardino Mountains chapter of the Devil’s Diciples, a group founded in Fontana in 1967, deputies said. He also has taught kinesiology at Cal State San Bernardino for 10 years.

Local, county and federal law enforcement launched the “Devil’s Professor” investigation six months ago, which culminated in a raid Aug. 26 at Kinzey’s East Highlands Ranch home, sheriff’s deputies said.

On Monday, two other co-defendants accepted plea bargains and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, prosecutors said. They become the second and third defendants – of the 11 charged in the case – who have taken plea bargains.

Under the agreements, Stephanie Danielle Padilla, 33, and Elaine Linda Flores, 35, both of Redlands, will receive 210 days in county jail, which can be served on weekends.

However, the court agreed to release Padilla and Flores from custody conditionally before sentencing, Sanchez said.

To ensure the defendants return to court, Judge Kenneth Barr sentenced both women to three years in state prison. If they return to court on Nov. 1 and haven’t violated any laws or had any contacts with law enforcement, the judge will re-sentence them to the lesser term.

A Williamson County jury sentenced a drug dealer Friday to 61 years in prison for two convictions. William Ray Sponsler, 54, will serve both sentences concurrently.

Sponsler was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a felon. Cedar Park police investigating complaints that Sponsler was selling methamphetamine at his house found five grams of the drug and two .22 rifles on Oct. 21, 2010, according to the Williamson County District Attorney’s office.

Sponsler had six previous felony convictions from three Texas counties for offenses including criminal mischief, forgery, theft from a person and unlawful receipt of chemical percursor (for making methamphetamine), the district attorney’s office said.

Florida State Senator Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, opened his new district office in Marianna on Monday with a meeting about the growing methamphetamine problem; he asked local officials how he can help combat the epidemic from his legislative position.

Montford invited Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts, Marianna Police Chief Hayes Baggett, County Judge Woody Hatcher, and other law enforcement and court officials from three other jurisdictions – Liberty, Gadsden and Calhoun counties – to talk about the issue.

In discussing various means of addressing the crisis, they gave Montford some statistics he found alarming.

Roberts told Montford that his officers could, on any given Tuesday, sit in the parking lot of a big box store and watch the same scene unfold numerous times: a carload of people pulls in, individuals leave the vehicle one a time, each going into the store separately to buy their limit of pseudoephedrine-containing cold pills. The pills aren’t sold by prescription, but are kept behind a counter so that each purchase is monitored and logged. An individual can only buy so much – 9 grams a month – enough to keep one person high for about 16 days if they’re using it to cook meth.

The pill-buyer might do that, or sell it on what has become a lucrative black market for the supply; according to Roberts, they can sell a $5 box of pills for $50 on the street.

Pharmacists do what they can, armed with this new selling limit and the behind-the-counter rule, and many have become experts at figuring out who’s buying the pills for legitimate use and who is likely a meth user.

After a while on the drug, users aren’t that hard to spot; they’re often gaunt, hollow-eyed, paranoid, losing weight rapidly, and their teeth are starting to rot. Hygiene is not a high priority, and they’re probably got a lot of time to roam because they’ve likely lost or quit their jobs.

They resort to crime to feed their habit; Montford himself has come to the conclusion that a crew of meth addicts may have stolen his aluminum boat for the price its metal would bring. Law enforcement put him wise to that; Montford said he initially, and naively, thought that it might have been a kid out for a joy ride on the lake.

Law enforcement officers told him Monday that the thievery isn’t the only crisis resulting from the rise of methamphetamine across the rural areas of the country. Children are often exposed to the toxic and volatile chemicals used in the process, and may be in danger of harm in the event that a batch literally blows up in the faces of the cooks.

Addiction comes quickly; law enforcement officers say it typically happens the first time someone uses it. Public Defender Mark Sims told Montford that a defendant once described his first-time high as “1,000 times better than sex.” An addict’s life becomes centered on the quest for a repeat of that first experience although it rarely, if ever reaches the same intensity a second time.

Calhoun County Judge Kevin Grover and other court officials told Montford that the families of these addicts tell a grim story in their actions when it’s time for their loved one to be sentenced. Rarely do they make the usual request for leniency that judges hear from mothers, fathers, sons and daughters; meth addicts’ families more often beg the judge to lock their loved ones away. That’s because they know all too well something that law enforcement officers explained to Montford on Monday; short-term treatment plans rarely work and immediate probation is almost a sure road to failure. They’d rather see their loved ones behind bars for a couple of years to give them a fighting chance to stay off the drug long enough to come out on the other side of addiction.

The officials batted around a number of possible solutions to the meth problem, but many of those had their drawbacks, too. Putting pseudoephedrine-containing pills on the by-prescription-only list could increase meth trafficking from other states and countries, they fear. Addicts who are denied the raw materials would not likely just walk away from the powerful drug, law enforcement officials say. They fear a return of the dangerous trafficking trade that they believe first brought meth into the country in the hands of illegal aliens. Additionally, they say, making the pills prescription-only would create an unfair hardship on the people who take them for legitimate ailments.

The officials gathered Monday seemed to agree that the problem must be attacked in more than one way; research into long-term treatment options for addicts, getting a strong anti-meth message across to youngsters before they reach the age of broader access and temptation, and money to clean up the meth labs once they’re discovered are three tracks along which most agreed the state would be prudent to proceed.

Montford said he plans to hold similar meetings with other stakeholders in the future at his office in Marianna, located at 2866 Madison Street near the Jackson County Commission’s administrative suite.

17 Pounds Of Meth Seized

Posted: October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

A 26-year old man attempted to enter the U.S. from Mexico at the San Luis port of entry with nearly 17 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in his car Saturday.

The man , driving a Lexus , was referred to secondary inspection after a canine team alerted to the car. The methamphetamine was found hidden in a non-factory compartment. The meth has a street value of approximately $256,000.

Meth lab busted in Eustis

Posted: October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit busted a meth lab in Eustis Monday.

Detectives say they developed information that led them to believe that a meth lab was being operated at a home on Grand Terrace Drive.

A surveillance operation was then conducted on one of the occupants of the home, Nicholas Ray Ciceri, and detectives soon learned that he had active arrest warrants for fraud and driving with license suspended. Detectives then made contact with Ciceri at the home and arrested him on the warrants. A search warrant was then executed on the home and detectives located numerous amounts of chemicals and other items that are commonly used in clandestine methamphetamine labs. Detectives also located over 200 grams of meth oil, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.

During the investigation, detectives learned that Ciceri resided at the residence with his girlfriend and the owner of the home, Richard Mark Sprague.

Ciceri’s girlfriend told detectives that she has been physically abused by Ciceri and that he forces her to purchase decongestants to use in the manufacturing process for the meth. She has not yet been charged.

Ciceri was charged with the manufacture of methamphetamine, trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and domestic violence.

Sprague was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and

Tehama County Sheriffs arrested a man on charges of possession of marijuana and methamphetamine, saying he led them on two chases while riding a quad runner.

Authorities said that Eli William Gosnell, 26, ran a stop sign on a quad runner at around 1:38 a.m. Sunday. Officers tried to pull him over but the man drove off, officers said, at speeds of 40 to 45 mph, running stop signs and blind intersections.

He escaped by driving into a canal, officers said, where they could not follow him.

Deputies later spotted Gosnell, according to reports, on the quad runner in Los Molinos area, near the Josephine Street and Stanford Avenue intersection. They tried to pull him over as he drove through a stop sign and blind intersections, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Then, the Sheriff’s report says, he abandoned the quad runner and ran off, leading officers on a short foot chase. Officers said they allegedly found a quarter pound of marijuana and .3 grams of methamphetamine, with evidence that Gosnell was involved with selling marijuana.

NEWARK — Newark firefighters responded to a Sunday house fire on East North Street and found a methamphetamine lab in the basement.

Chad A. Robbins, 31, last known address 54 E. North St., Newark, was arrested after firefighters extinguished a fire at his house at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Robbins, his wife and two children were in the house at the time, according to a Newark police report.

Firefighters contacted the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force, which found multiple items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, Licking County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Paul Cortwright said.

Robbins was charged with illegal manufacture of methamphetamine in the vicinity of juveniles, a first-degree felony. He appeared in court Monday in front of Licking County Municipal Court Judge David Stansbury, who set bond at $100,000.

A grand jury will review the case for possible indictment.

Paul J. Morrison, the O’Fallon man alleged to have shot his estranged wife’s boyfriend on Christmas Eve morning was sentenced this morning.

Morrison, 45, was originally charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a firearm. He pled guilty to second-degree assault, a Class C felony, on Sept. 19.

Morrison also pled guilty Monday to a second charge of manufacturing an illegal substance (methamphetamine), a Class B felony. That charge stems from a Sept. 7 arrest.

St. Charles Circuit Judge Nancy L. Schneider sentenced Morrison to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for the assault and 10 years for the drug charge. His sentences are to run concurrently.

Morrison also was sentenced to 120 days of either drug treatment in a determined facility or 120 days of shock prison time.

Christmas Eve Shooting

Police say the shooting occurred before 5 a.m. Friday, Dec. 24, 2010, just outside Wentzville.

Lt. Craig McGuire of the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department told Patch at the time of the shooting that Morrison gave investigators a statement implicating himself in the crime.

“At 5:16 a.m. we received a call to come to St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis,” McGuire said. “The call was in response to a gun shot victim.”

The man shot was Dennis Vehlewald, 42.

McGuire said when deputies arrived on the scene Vehlewald was coherent and could speak with authorities. The shooting occurred at Sunbrite Christmas Tree Farm, where Morrison lived and worked.

Vehlewald told deputies he and his girlfriend, along with another male friend, had been Christmas shopping in the early morning hours. As they pulled into the long driveway upon arriving at the girlfriend’s home, her husband drew a gun on the pickup truck carrying the trio.

McGuire said Vehlewald was shot through the passenger side window and hit in the back of the head and side of the face as the pickup truck was pulling away.

The victim’s male friend was behind the wheel, and the woman was sitting between them. No one else was injured.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A 36-year-old North Dakota woman who earlier pleaded guilty to selling five bags of methamphetamine in a church parking lot has been sentenced to four months at a recovery center.

U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson also sentenced Kenzie McKay, of Fort Totten, to four months of home electronic monitoring and three years of supervised release.

McKay pleaded guilty to a charge of distributing a controlled substance in July.

Prosecutors say McKay sold .60 grams of methamphetamine in a Spirit Lake Indian Reservation church parking lot in January 2010.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested Friday after a meth lab was discovered in her Weirsdale home.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to Vanessa Donovan’s Lillian Lane home after being tipped off about the lab.

Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. John Herrell said Donovan, initially would only let detectives search outside the home. But detectives were able to find items on the exterior of the property that are commonly associated with meth labs, and so demanded to search the interior as well.

Herrell said that upon the discovery, Donovan became aggressive towards a detective and began struggling with him.

She was placed under arrest as detectives obtained a search warrant for the home — inside which they found an inactive meth lab along with about two grams of methamphetamine.

Detectives also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Donovan was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana (less than 20 grams), possession of drug paraphernalia and battery on a law-enforcement officer.

She was also charged with child abuse as a result of Donovan’s “exposing two children to the dangerous environment within the home,” Herrell added.

The Department of Children and Families responded and took custody of the children.

Donovan was being held at the Lake County jail on $31,000 bail.

Authorities had a 2-year-old girl checked for exposure to methamphetamine Thursday night after finding her at a mobile home in Wayne County where people had allegedly made the highly addictive drug.

The girl was not physically injured, police said, but the incident comes days after police found a pregnant woman amid noxious fumes at another alleged meth lab in the county. Officials said Shelley Parrigin, 30, of Monticello, went into labor during the investigation of the lab.

Such cases are the latest examples of why police and others are mounting a new push to require a prescription for cold and allergy medicine that contains the ingredient that people need to produce meth in homemade labs.

The number of meth labs has plummeted in states that have required a prescription for pseudoephedrine, supporters of prescription said.

“It’s a prime example of why we have to have legislation” requiring a prescription, Dan Smoot, law-enforcement director of Operation UNITE, said of the latest Wayne County case. “It’s just going to get worse until we do something.”

Kentucky is on track to have an all-time high number of meth-lab cases this year, according to state police. There had been 809 cases recorded by the end of August — 20 percent more than in the same period in 2010, state police said.

Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant found in some over-the-counter medicines.

Meth “cookers” mix pills with ingredients including drain cleaner to create a chemical reaction that converts the pseudoephedrine to meth, often in small labs fashioned from two-liter plastic soft-drink bottles.

The labs emit toxic vapors and can blow up.

“When that stuff’s cooked, these fumes settle everywhere, and they’re harmful,” said Wayne County Deputy Jerry Coffey, who investigated the case involving the 2-year-old girl.

Children can experience respiratory problems, skin irritation and other adverse affects from being in a place where meth is cooked, Smoot said.

That’s why police have those children checked as a precaution.

Parents also neglect children while chasing a meth high, police said.

When police found the girl on Thursday, they were investigating a report that a child was locked outside a mobile home in a rural area of the county and that there was a strong chemical odor, Coffey said.

When police arrived about 11 p.m., the girl was in the house, he said.

Some of the five adults in the trailer tried to get out the back door when police came, but there were officers at both doors, Coffey said.

There was not an active lab in the house. However, police found the remains of a lab, and some of the finished drug and materials needed to make meth, including pills containing pseudoephedrine, according to a news release from Operation UNITE.

Police arrested Paul Sweet Sr., 45, and Samantha Carter, 24, on charges of making meth and endangering the little girl.

Sweet has faced drug and other charges earlier. In January, his son said in a criminal complaint that Sweet had stabbed him in the arm and face with a screwdriver. Sweet said in a separate complaint that his son had tried to bully him.

Sweet and Carter declined interview requests at the Wayne County Detention Center Friday.

More arrests are expected in the case.

Smoot said Sweet and Carter are the girl’s parents. Police did not release the child’s name.

Social workers placed the girl with another family, Coffey said.

The number of children placed at risk by people producing meth in homemade labs has increased as abuse of the drug has gone up in recent years.

Police in Kentucky said that between 2007 and 2010, 350 children were removed from homes because they were there when police found a meth lab.

In May 2009, a 20-month-old boy died in Wayne County after drinking drain cleaner at a mobile home where people had allegedly made meth earlier.

The issue of requiring a prescription for medicine containing pseudoephedrine has been controversial in Kentucky.

A pharmaceutical industry group lobbied heavily against such a proposal in the Kentucky legislature in 2010 and earlier this year.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association argues that requiring a prescription would drive up health care costs and create a hardship for law-abiding citizens who want certain cold and allergy remedies.

The association also argues that the state has an effective tracking system to enforce limits on how much pseudoephedrine people can buy under state law.

Police, however, argue that the number of meth labs has continued to go up significantly even with that system in place. Meth cookers evade those limits by getting others to buy pills for them, police said.

State Sen. Tom Jensen, a London Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will sponsor a bill in the 2012 General Assembly to deal with the issue of meth labs, and he said other lawmakers might also.

Jensen said requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine would slash the number of meth labs in the state. However, Jensen said he is considering several potential approaches to the issue.

It’s clear the state needs to do something to deal with the labs, which are expensive to clean up and dangerous, he said.

“It’s just a matter of time until there’s going to be something really horrendous,” he said.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho State Police and local county officers arrested two men in the hills south of Twin Falls, recovering guns, methamphetamine and paraphernalia in the process.

Carlos Paladini and Chirs Chouinard were in Twin Falls County Jail on Friday after the bust in the South Hills.

Police also found three counterfeit $20 bills.

Police expect the 55-year-old Paladini to be charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and being a felon in possession of a firearm, among other things.

Paladini has a long history of run-ins with the law, including a 2001 conviction for drug possession.

The 47-year-old Chouinard is charged with driving without privileges.

He’s also a known commodity in law enforcement circles, having been sentenced to prison after a 1999 burglary arrest.