BOZEMAN– A Billings man is behind bars after he was stopped for speeding along Interstate 90 and reportedly found to have hidden meth in his underwear.

Matthew Morledge, 30, was stopped by a Montana Highway Patrol officer on Monday for speeding through a construction zone on Interstate 90 near mile marker 313 eastbound in Gallatin County. When the officer stopped Morledge, he saw that the Cadillac’s glove box door had fresh white powder spilled on it, which Morledge claimed was a weightlifting supplement, court documents state.

When Morledge got out of the vehicle and was asked to raise his shirt, the officer reports he saw a plastic bag sticking out of Morledge’s shorts.

“Morledge claimed to have worked in Billings that day, traveled to Bozeman to have sex with his girlfriend whom he only knew by her first name and did not know her address,” court documents state.

Morledge was found to have 11.1 grams of meth in a plastic bag in his underwear and $7,758 in cash, according to court papers. Morledge claimed he had the money because he was conducting business with a person in the T-shirt business in Bozeman, but did not know where he lived or have a phone number for the person, court documents state.

Morledge was arrested for felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs. He was found to be on federal probation for possession of explosives as well as methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute.



JAY, Okla. — A Kansas, Okla., man accused of giving his sick wife a fatal dose of methamphetamine has received a 10-year prison sentence.

Court records indicate Charley S. Guess pleaded no contest Friday to a reduced charge of first-degree manslaughter in the death of 35-year-old Gidget Guess. A judge sentenced him to life in prison but suspended all but 10 years.

According to The Oklahoman (, an autopsy report indicated Gidget Guess died Dec. 29, 2009, from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease exacerbated by methamphetamine.

Charley Guess was locked up on a meth charge in Delaware County when he allegedly told a fellow inmate he figured his wife would die if she used meth.


Charley Guess’ attorney, Al Hoch, didn’t immediately return a message left after hours seeking comment.



Wondering if your neighbors might be mixing up meth at home? The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration offers some advice.


Powder methamphetamine in foil. (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration)


Meth lab indicators:

— The usual giveaway is a fire or explosion caused by the manufacturing process. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that about 15 percent of meth labs are found this way.

— Strong, unusual odors similar to rotten eggs, cat urine, nail polish remover or ammonia.

— Unusually large amounts of cold medicine that lists ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as ingredients.

— Unusually large number of jars containing clear liquid with a white or red colored solid on the bottom, iodine, red phosphorus, fine red or purple powder, or dark shiny metallic purple crystals.

— Coffee filters containing a white pasty substance, a dark red sludge, or small amounts of shiny white crystals.

— Bottles labeled as containing sulfuric, muriatic or hydrochloric acid, or containers with rubber tubing attached.

— Glass cookware or frying pans with a powdery residue.

— Unusually large amount of camp fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starter fluid, Lye, drain cleaners, or lithium batteries.

— Soft silver or gray metallic ribbon stored in oil or kerosene.

— Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue.

What to do if you find a meth lab:

— Do not touch anything.

— Do not turn on any electrical power switches or light switches.

— Do not turn off any electrical power switches or light switches.

— Do not eat or drink anything in or around the lab.

— Do not open or move containers.

— Do not smoke in or near the lab.

— Do not sniff anything.

— Decontaminate yourself and your clothing, and wash your hands and face thoroughly.

— Call the police or a DEA district office.




Dozens of residents of a high-rise apartment house in North Arlington were ordered out of the building shortly before midnight Monday after police discovered what they thought was an illicit laboratoryfor producing methamphetamine.

Police said Leonard Fischer, 44, and William Hudgens, 31, both of Arlington County, were arrested and charged with attempting to manufacture the drug in an apartment in the building, in the 800 block of North Monroe Street.

Police said officers went to the address, near the Virginia Square Metrorail station, to investigate the report of a dispute. After they arrived, the officers “noticed items that were consistent with” the manufacture of methamphetamine, police said.

Police said they evacuated residents of three floors about 11:30 p.m. out of concern for their safety.

“The police were going door-to-door and knocking to get us up and out,” said Robin Rothrock, a resident of the third floor. “They gave us five minutes.”

Rothrock said the county arranged for some residents to stay at a community center. She went to a hotel. By Tuesday morning, she said, everything at the building seemed back to normal.

Rothrock called the incident extremely unusual. “It’s a wonderful building,” she said. “We love living here.”


(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Perkins man — on probation for possessing substances with intent to manufacture methamphetamine — has been charged with possessing methamphetamine on Monday with a Tryon woman and also a Stillwater man who is on probation for breaking into a Cushing museum.

 All three, Travis John Rush, 40, of Perkins, Magen Marie McVey, 34, of Tryon, and Lewis Allen Summers Jr., 37, of Stillwater, remain in the Payne County Jail, a sheriff’s spokesman told KUSH Tuesday afternoon.

Seven years ago, Rush was ordered into the Payne County Drug Court program as a condition of a 10-year probationary sentence for possessing the drug and possessing substances with intent to manufacture methamphetamine in 2004, court records show.

On Tuesday, Rush was charged as a co-defendant with McVey and Summers with again possessing methamphetamine and also a right-hand leather glove containing a used syringe and small baggy containing methamphetamine on Monday.

Summers was also charged with transferring a product containing pseudoephedrine on Monday to Rush, who was allegedly endeavoring to use it to manufacture methamphetamine.

Earlier this year, Summers was given a six-month jail term followed by seven years of probation for breaking into Dodrill’s Museum in Cushing in January.

Asked why he committed the crime, Summers said, “he was strung out on dope and addicted to meth,” Cushing Police Detective Adam Harp wrote in an affidavit.

If convicted of his drug charges filed Tuesday, Summers could be incarcerated for 31 years and fined $31,000.

If convicted of their drug charges filed Tuesday, Rush and McVey could be incarcerated for 21 years and fined $21,000.




According to sheriff’s deputies, on Thursday, August 23, officers arrested 46-year-old Kimberly Jo Kincaid and 35-year-old Charles Maxwell Merritt and seized a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory at 917 Misty Lane, Gilbert.

                   Kenneth Mark Steele                                                Charles Maxwell Merritt

               Kimberly Jo Kincaid

Deputies say they arrived at the Misty Lane address around 9:30 a.m. in an attempt to serve outstanding warrants on both Kincaid and Merritt who reside at the residence.

Upon arrival, deputies noticed a two liter bottle containing a mysterious liquid that is consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine, the report stated.

Narcotics investigators were able to determine that the substance was methamphetamine.

In addition to being served their outstanding warrants for arrest, both Kincaid and Merritt were each charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Deputies say they seized another clandestine methamphetamine laboratory on Friday, August 24 at approximately 7:30 p.m. on 3419 Two Notch Road, near Gilbert.

According to the report, a deputy was on his way to another call when he witnessed a fight occurring in the middle of Two Notch Road between two females. The fight prompted the officer to stop and attempt to break up the incident. After settling the parties down, the deputy noticed a smell consistent with methamphetamine from a nearby residence.

After obtaining search warrants, deputies discovered a clandestine methamphetamine lab inside the residence located at 3419 Two Notch Road, the report stated.

Deputies arrested 39-year-old Kenneth Mark Steele of 3419 Two Notch Road and he was charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine.

What are meth labs costing us?

Posted: August 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Conservative estimates by Kentucky State Police show that the minimum cost to taxpayers for the clean-up of a small, one-step methamphetamine lab is $5,000.

In 2011, KSP found 163 labs in the eastern part of the state. With just over four months left in 2012, they have found 147.

The cost doesn’t include clean-up costs to the homeowner of rental property, health department inspection time, the cost of storing the toxic residual material, incarceration of the manufacturer or if children are involved, health testing and possible state guardianship.

“We spend about five to 10 hours on the clean-up alone,” said Sgt. Rob Conn, a 17-year KSP veteran and current DESI (Dug Enforcement Special Investigation) officer. “That is five to 10 hours spent away from the other duties DESI is responsible for.”

Conn said even after 17 years in the field, his eyes have been opened farther since coming to DESI.

“The meth addiction is frightening and the toxins that manufacturers and users are exposing themselves to are unthinkable,” he said.

“It only takes one hit to become addicted,” said Conn. “We don’t even know what longterm exposure can really do to them or to us.”

Depending on which “recipe” the cook uses, things such as lithium batteries, drain cleaner, muriatic acid, red phosphorous, iodine, paint thinner, camp stove fuel and acetone may be used to mix with pseudoephedrine(PSE).

“Alone, some of these chemicals can kill if ingested. Imagine what mixing and heating them does to a person and the environment,” said Conn.

KSP estimates that for every pound of meth produced, there are nearly five pounds of residual chemicals to dispose of.

“We store the residual toxins in special buckets in a fallout shelter for hazmat pick-up,” Conn said.

Kentucky began using a computerized tracking system called MethCheck in 2008.

“The system tracks all PSE sales within the state,” said Conn. “With a photo ID, consumers can purchase 9 grams of PSE a month, but only 2.9 grams can be purchased per day.”

Those 9 grams equals roughly six -24 dose boxes.

“The MethCheck system is a good investigative tool,” Conn said. “But it does not stop the buying.”

“Cooks get their buddies to do what we call “smurfing”. Each one of them will purchase their 2.9 grams to donate to the meth manufacturing process.”

“Senate Bill 45, which would have required a prescription for pseudoephedrine, did not pass in 2011,” said Conn. “There are many states that have passed the bill and it has made a huge impact in reducing the number of meth labs found in those states.”

“In 2004 before Oregon’s House Bill 2485 passage, nearly 3,000 labs were located over a three year period. That number fell to 10 the following three years after pseudoephedrine could only be purchased with a prescription.”

“There are over 150 alternative allergy medications available that do not contain PSE,” said Conn. “Passing this bill in Kentucky will not stop the sale of meth, but it can stop the impact of if being manufactured here.”



RALEIGH — Police have arrested a second man they think is connected to a methamphetamine lab explosion that rocked a quiet, Northwest Raleigh neighborhood on Aug. 8.

Allen A. Peterson, Jr., 44, of 2708 Pidgeon Hall Road, is charged with one felony count each of maintaining a vehicle and dwelling place for a controlled substance and manufacturing methamphetamine, according to arrest warrants filed Monday at the Wake County Clerk of Courts Office.

Detectives say they found evidence of a meth lab at the home and charged Ralph Edward Bradsher, 48, with maintaining a dwelling place for a controlled substance. Peterson’s Pidgeon Hill Road home is in a middle-class subdivision off Ray Road about 3.5 miles north of Crabtree Valley Mall.  

Making methamphetamine involves a volatile combination of chemicals under pressure, but tablets of pseudoephedrine are the main ingredient needed.

The substance can be inhaled, smoked, injected or swallowed. It is a powerful stimulant that creates a quick, intense euphoria. Considered by some to be more addictive than crack cocaine, it can keep users awake for days at a time, during which they may hallucinate and become agitated or violent.

Peterson was not at home when the explosion occurred, according to police spokesman Jim Sughrue. But investigators think he was responsible for the chemicals they found inside of the home that are used to manufacture the illegal drug, Sughrue said.

Bradsher and Peterson both are being held at the Wake County jail, a jail spokeswoman confirmed Monday. Brasher’s bail is set at $25,000; Peterson’s bail is $50,000, according to court records.


Neighbors of a South Omaha used car dealership said Monday that they never had problems with the business or its owner, who was indicted last week on federal drug charges in connection with an operation that investigators say was tied to a Mexican drug cartel.

Heriberto Gomez, who owns Gomez Auto Sales at 2310 Q St., was one of 13 people indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly possessing and intending to distribute 26 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $1 million, said U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg.

The Omaha Metro Task Force, made up of law enforcement officers in Douglas and Sarpy Counties, was involved in the investigation, as was the FBI and Nebraska State Patrol.

The investigation began earlier this year after a couple of traffic stops raised authorities’ suspicions.

Gilg wouldn’t specify Gomez’s alleged role in the drug ring, but she called him “a major player.”

Authorities seized all the cars that were for sale at the Q Street business. Gomez also owns another dealership, at 41st and Harrison Streets in Bellevue.

Gilg said a total of $110,000 was seized from the 13 people indicted. The case remains under investigation, she said.

“It’s big time,” Gilg said.

Gilg said charges against the 13 carry penalties of 10 years to life in prison.

“It was a lot of drugs, and when you’ve got drugs you’ve got violence,” Gilg said. “At least we’ve reduced some of the violence that would have been associated with 26 pounds of drugs.”

An employee who answered the phone at the Q Street location Monday said drugs were not being dealt out of the business.



Hair-raising reports of grisly murders, often carried out in plain sight, offer chilling reminders to rival drug cartels and intervening authorities in Mexico’s drug war. As the government scrambles to assert its control, who is responsible for the bloodshed?

Leaders with colorful nicknames and eccentric habits are trotted out before the media alongside seized drugs and weapons. The presentations are intended to show off the government’s successes in stymying violence, yet the death toll continues to climb.


Mexico Drug War

In this Oct. 9, 2009, file photo, the body of an unidentified beaten and mutilated man hangs from his neck under a bridge on the old Rosarito Highway as authorities stand by in Tijuana, Mexico


The various gangs terrorizing Mexico control different swathes of territory, trafficking illegal drugs up to the United States via several routes. The government’s failed response to the trafficking, most notably President Felipe Calderon’s crackdown beginning in December 2006, has resulted in the deaths of about 50,000 people. The recent election of Enrique Pena Nieto from Mexico’s old ruling party, the PRI, suggests little will change.

Much of the violence is attributable to violent clashes between the two main cartels, Los Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel, and their allies. The Los Angeles Times explains:

In Mexico’s eight most violent states, the battle has essentially boiled down to a no-holds-barred fight between two cartels: the Sinaloa network, Mexico’s oldest and traditionally most powerful gang, and the newer and exceedingly vicious Zetas.

Mexico’s network of drug cartels is vast and complex, with recent power struggles driving wedges between former allies and disbanding other groups entirely.



Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell reported Monday afternoon that two people have been arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine and a stolen motorcycle.

“Officers were investigating numerous complaints about traffic and loud motorcycles leaving an address on Hodson Drive in the early morning hours. Officers were informed of similar activity on Monday, Aug. 27 at 3 a.m.,” Ravenell said.

He said officers responded to the location and observed George Sean Wilson, 37, of 1852 Henry Road, Norway, commit a traffic violation while driving a motorcycle.

“Wilson’s motorcycle stalled in a gas station parking lot at the corner of Hodson Drive and Five Chop Road. Wilson was arrested for driving under suspension and searched,” the sheriff said. “The search produced Equate Suphedrine and a zip-lock bag containing methamphetamine.”

He said officers returned to the 1102 Hodson Drive address and discovered a 31-year-old female resident there had outstanding bench warrants against her. The woman consented to a search of her home, and officers found a green zip-lock bag containing methamphetamines and other paraphernalia associated with the use of methamphetamines, Ravenell said.

“Further investigation indicates the motorcycle Wilson was riding had an altered identification number and was reported stolen from Richland County,” he said.

“We are grateful to the residents of this county for their vigilance in reporting suspicious activity in their neighborhoods regardless the time of day. Unfortunately for criminals, the sheriff’s office does not close down at 5 p.m. on weekdays,” Ravenell added. “We can investigate and make arrests on weekends and in the early morning hours, too. We will continue to deploy resources to connect criminal and narcotic activity throughout the county.”


On the night 17-month-old Patrick Nicholas Lerch died of methamphetamine poisoning, his mother went with her boyfriend to a local Circle K at 10:15 to buy Polar Pops and cigarettes.



Heather Lerch reacts during the reading of the jury verdicts in Judge Tom Parker’s courtroom in the Summit County Courthouse Monday. Lerch was found guilty on several accounts, including murder, involuntary murder, and child endangering, following the death of her 17-monty-old son Patrick in a meth house.


Patrick was left behind in the rat-infested basement of a two-story home on St. Leger Avenue in Akron’s Goodyear Heights neighborhood.

At 10:45 p.m., another man living there called 911 to report that Patrick wasn’t breathing.

Less than an hour later, the child was pronounced dead at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Testimony from Summit County’s chief medical examiner showed Patrick most likely was dead two to three hours before the official pronouncement.

Prosecutors cited those sequential facts Monday afternoon to explain the jury’s guilty verdicts against the mother, Heather M. Lerch, 21, on one count of murder, two counts of involuntary manslaughter and three counts of child endangering.

The panel of six men and six women reached its decision at 12:30 p.m., after less than three hours of deliberations.

As the jury filed into the courtroom of Common Pleas Judge Tom Parker, one woman was crying, with a hand over her face, and another was holding back tears with a tissue clutched in her left hand.

None wished to speak afterward while silently leaving the courthouse.

Bruises as evidence

Assistant county Prosecutor Gregory Peacock said the state felt the most compelling evidence “was that there were so many injuries on Patrick, and [Heather] admitted she knew there were burns on him, but she still left him in that environment.”

The child had bruises from head to toe, Peacock said.

“The other thing is, he was dead for a couple of hours prior to the police being called,” Peacock said. “Then we have her at Circle K at 10:15, and 911 was called at 10:45.

“From that, you can decipher that Patrick had been dead when she left the house. It’s evidence showing she had to know what was happening.”

Lerch sat next to her attorney, with her head lowered, as Parker read the decision. Minutes later, she was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs, weeping, by three sheriff’s deputies.

Although Lerch was convicted of the most serious charges, she was found not guilty of one count of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the related charge of illegal manufacturing of meth.

The jury also found her not guilty of one count of aggravated possession of drugs and one count of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Sentencing on Sept. 25

Parker ordered a pre-
sentence investigation and set sentencing for Sept. 25.

Under Ohio law, Lerch faces a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life, Peacock said. Parker has discretion, because of Lerch’s other convictions, to add to the time she must serve before she can be considered for parole, he said.

Lerch’s attorney, Brian Pierce, declined to comment with her sentence pending.

From the outset of the Feb. 26 crime, when the child was taken from the Goodyear Heights home by an emergency squad, police said there was a working meth lab in the basement.

Lerch’s boyfriend, Randy Legg, and his older brother, Ronald Legg, were arrested with her and were indicted in connection with the death. Their trials are pending in Parker’s court.

The fourth co-defendant, 25-year-old Allen R. Kostra, testified at Lerch’s trial last week. He said he and co-defendant Ronald Legg cooked meth in the basement of the home and used it virtually all weekend before Patrick’s death.

Kostra said he was addicted to the drug to such an extent he had not slept in close to three days.

He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and manufacturing meth. Under the plea deal, he agreed to testify against Lerch and the others in exchange for an 11-year prison sentence.

In Kostra’s two hours on the witness stand Thursday, he told the jury he never saw Lerch cooking or doing meth at the St. Leger home. He said she spent most of her time there on the upper floors with Randy Legg.

Akron police Detective Gary Shadie, who is assigned to the department’s juvenile unit, said after the verdicts that Lerch’s involvement was preventable.

“That’s the saddest thing,” Shadie said. “It’s something that didn’t have to happen. I would hope this would be a lesson to people in general, that there are dangers of methamphetamine and dangers for having your children around it.

“And, hopefully, this unfortunate accident in which Patrick lost his life will save some other children’s lives somewhere down the line.”



A 28-year-old Springfield man was charged with arson after prosecutors say he started a fire in his home while attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.

Investigators say in court documents that Shawn Westfall did not notify authorities of the June 7 fire at 2259 N. Missouri Avenue.




Prosecutors say the fire started while Westfall was mixing together ingredients in an attempt to manufacture methamphetamine.

Westfall suffered burn injuries in the blaze and was treated at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

Fire officials interviewed Westfall, who said he was in the house when the fire started, according to the documents.

Westfall allegedly admitted to fire officials that the fire started during an attempt to produce the drug.

Westfall was charged late last week with first-degree arson, a felony that carries a penalty of ten to 30 years in prison.

According to online court records, Westfall had a warrant for his arrest at the time of the fire, stemming from a charge of driving with a suspended license.


PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) – A Paducah man has been arrested after police say he sold meth.

In August 2012, the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department received a tip that Mark English, 46, was selling crystal meth from the Hickory House Inn on Bridge Street in Paducah.


Paducah man accused of selling meth

Mark English


Detectives began an investigation which included making methamphetamine purchases from the suspect.

On August 26 detectives arrested English.

A search of English and his room found methamphetamine, U.S. currency believed to be proceeds from illegal drug sales, drug paraphernalia, and other evidence of crystal meth trafficking. A police scanner was also located and seized.

Charges include trafficking methamphetamine 1st offense, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession/use of a police scanner.

In a related story, detectives also arrested Christel Anderson for driving under the Influence after a traffic stop of a truck owned by English.

To report illegal drug activity in McCracken County, call the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department Drug Division at 270-444-5157.



SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 27-year-old man has admitted distributing methamphetamine in the western Iowa city of Denison.

Prosecutors say Antonio Lara-Pantoja, of Denison, pleaded guilty in federal court in Sioux City to a drug conspiracy charge. He was arrested on March 26, 2011, after officers found nearly 4 grams of meth in his vehicle.

Investigators say Lara-Pantoja sold meth in Denison from January through March last year after obtaining it in Omaha, Neb.

He faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison. His sentencing hasn’t been scheduled yet.


DEKALB COUNTY, Alabama — DeKalb County Drug Task Force agents seized 33 pounds of methamphetamine in ice crystal form Friday during a search of a mobile home near Collinsville Sheriff Jimmy Harris stated in a press release.


Meth crystal ice.jpg

The mobile home on County Road 354 was uninhabited and appeared to be used for the re-packaging of narcotics for distribution. Commander Darrell Collins reports the street value of the methamphetamine found at roughly $1.5 million.

Friday’s seizure of methamphetamine was the largest made in DeKalb County to date. No arrests have been made yet in the case, but the investigation continues.


MICHIGAN CITY | A LaPorte man is accused of driving three children in a vehicle containing a meth lab.

Louis Graham, 31, was arrested in Michigan City for neglect of a dependent and possession of methamphetamine, both Class C felonies, along with other misdemeanor charges.

He also was taken into custody for failure to pay more than $10,000 in child support, police reported.

According to Michigan City police, Graham was pulled over about 5 p.m. Monday at Barker Avenue and Poplar Street for not wearing a seat belt.

During a computer records check, several outstanding warrants for Graham’s arrest turned up and while being taken into custody revealed there was a meth lab in the car, Michigan City Police Detective Bureau Commander Cary Brinkman said.

Brinkman said the meth lab was in the form of a 20-ounce plastic soda bottle containing methamphetamine and chemicals.

It was in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, increasing the potential for danger to the three children in the event the contents exploded or the noxious fumes escaped.

His girlfriend, Shannon Stepp, 33, of LaPorte was also taken into custody.

According to police, she came out to pick up the children and was found with several active warrants on charges such as neglect of an animal.

Brinkman said the meth lab would have been found without Graham’s disclosure.

That’s because the car was impounded and searched, which is standard procedure to document whatever is in a vehicle so the items are given back once a vehicle is reclaimed.


U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than $400,000 worth of methamphetamine at a checkpoint near Indio and arrested the driver of the car where the drug was hidden, a spokesman said today.

Border Patrol dogs zeroed in on a Honda Civic at the Highway 86 Border Patrol checkpoint near Indio on Friday night.

Agents who subsequently inspected the car noticed “anomalies within the door panels” and found a dozen packages of meth hidden away, Agent Brandon Menancio said.

The 13.58 pounds had an estimated street value of $434,560, according to Menancio.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took custody of the driver, a 19-year-old female U.S. citizen, Menancio said. Border Patrol spokeswoman Cindy Moreno said it is the agency’s policy to withhold suspects’ names.

It was the second meth seizure reported on Friday at that checkpoint — agents also found about 23 pounds of methamphetamine in the gas tank of a pickup truck and arrested the driver, according to Moreno.


LAPORTE | LaPorte authorities are alleging a city man made and sold methamphetamine.

Mathew Rancatore, 23, of 111 Scott St., is charged in LaPorte Circuit Court with felony dealing methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Rancatore was arrested Aug. 15 after police learned he had purchased pseudoephedrine — a main ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine — at a local pharmacy.

According to police, Rancatore was followed to a house on Worden Street where he was seen pouring camping fuel, another key ingredient in the cooking of methamphetamine, into a clear bottle.

Police went inside the home and confiscated other ingredients such as lithium batteries and lye drain cleaner.

Rancatore could face anywhere from a six to 20-year sentence on the most serious charge.


CASSOPOLIS — A Cass County man is in jail after police found methamphetamine and meth paraphernalia in his home where two children were living.


Paul Canen III.jpg

Cass County Sheriff’s Office drug enforcement team detectives found the meth Thursday when they conducted a search of Paul Canen’s residence on Crooked Creek Road in Calvin Township, near Cassopolis.

Canen was arrested at the scene and the two minor children were removed from the home by Child Protective Services, according to a news release.

Canen has been arraigned on charges of possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house. He is being held on $15,000 bond at the Cass County Jail.



SACRAMENTO – A woman is in police custody after her 5-year-old granddaughter was found surrounded by knives and drugs on Saturday afternoon.

Sacramento police officers arrived at a home in the 7800 block of Burlington Way on a felony warrant.


According to police, when officers went inside the home they found the young girl lying on a bed with large knives, bags with methamphetamine residue, methamphetamine pipes, and open pill bottles.

The girl, along with her 6-year-old brother who was also inside the home, was taken into child protective custody.

The grandmother, who police have identified as Martha Bagby, 64, was arrested and is being charged with child endangerment.p>

Both children were uninjured and police continue to investigate.


PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – Deputies responding to a domestic dispute arrested a Port Charlotte couple on child neglect and drug charges Saturday after they found a plethora of drugs and paraphernalia in their home.

Investigators went to the home of Phillippe Jules Laurent, 30, and his girlfriend, Amanda Leigh Ray, 23, on Harbor Boulevard just after 1 p.m.


Phillippe Jules Laurent

Phillippe Jules Laurent



Amanda Leigh Ray

Amanda Leigh Ray


They say they noticed a marijuana plant in a pot and burnt marijuana cigarettes in plain view in the living room.

The sheriff’s office says the couple agreed to let the deputies search the home. Their five-year-old son was home at the time.

Detectives say they found four burnt marijuana cigarettes in the child’s room, mixed with candy and toys in a TV stand drawer.

Investigators say there were three bongs and two pipes on a closet shelf in the boy’s room.

Deputies say they found 11 pipes/smoking devices, two grinders, four plastic baggies with marijuana and one plastic baggie with cocaine in the couple’s bedroom.

In the living room, they allegedly found a plastic bag with Methamphetamine, a glass pipe with Meth residue, four baggies with Meth residue, a glass pipe and a wooden box with marijuana residue, a burnt marijuana cigarette and a marijuana plant growing in a pot.

All the items were within reach of the child, according to deputies.

Detectives say they seized a plastic baggie with 13 grams of marijuana, a burnt marijuana cigarette, a plastic baggie with Methamphetamine, a plastic baggie with Heroin residue, two cut straws, a scale and a Pyrex pipe and a metal pipe both with marijuana residue from the kitchen.

The lanai by the swimming pool featured two marijuana plants, according to deputies.

DCF took custody of the child and released him to a grandparent.

Laurent and Ray are charged with Child Neglect, Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Heroin, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana Over 20-Grams, and Possess of Narcotics Paraphernalia.

They both bonded out on Sunday.


Woman arrested Friday, killed man in a previous case, according to court papers.

Eighteen months after she killed a man to protect her own life in a methamphetamine lab, Amanda Rose Bowman was found inside another suspected meth lab Friday, Wilkes-Barre police allege.

Bowman, 30, of Glen Lyon, was one of three people charged in connection with a suspected mobile meth lab found parked on East Lafayette Place Friday afternoon. Police also arraigned two men, Christian Joseph Morgan, 38, of Beach Haven, and Courtney M. Wolfe, 29, of Shickshinny, on drug manufacturing and other felony charges Saturday morning.

During an August 2011, trial, Bowman testified she shot 44-year-old Robert Muntz in the head with a .40-caliber handgun after Muntz burst into her trailer in Hunlock Township on Feb. 8, 2011. Bowman was not charged with homicide in the incident as prosecutors ruled she acted in self-defense. Muntz was carrying a stolen .22-caliber handgun and wearing a Halloween mask as he entered the trailer, according to investigators.

State police said the trailer at 59 Old Tavern Road, which Bowman shared with her boyfriend Jeffrey Layton, was filled with firearms, ammunition and materials used to manufacture methamphetamine. Drug, weapons and other charges were filed against nine people in connection with the incident.

Bowman pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal conspiracy of possession with intent to deliver and was awaiting sentencing Sept. 4 at the time of her arrest Friday. She will now face new drug charges at a hearing scheduled for the same day.

On Friday afternoon, Wilkes-Barre police allege, Bowman was found sitting in a green Toyota Corolla parked on East Lafayette Place with Morgan and Wolfe. State police forensic scientists pulled containers and other items they called consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine from the trunk and passenger compartment of the vehicle, which was later towed to the city’s impound lot at LAG Towing.

All three were charged Saturday with manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance; conspiracy to manufacture, deliver or possess a controlled substance; possession of red phosphorous, etc. with intent to manufacture controlled substances; risking catastrophe; internal possession of a controlled substance, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

Red phosphorous is a substance found in match boxes, road flares and fireworks that is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Morgan was additionally charged with resisting arrest. Residents of the East Lafayette Place neighborhood said a man ran from the vehicle as Wilkes-Barre police Officer Robert Collins approached and Collins used a Taser to subdue the man and take him into custody.

Bowman, Morgan and Wolfe are being held at Luzerne County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 each in straight bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. before District Judge Rick Cronauer, Wilkes-Barre


Thirty people in the US state of Texas were on Friday charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess Mexican-produced methamphetamine.

According to local TV channel ABC13, US Attorney John Malcolm Bales announced on Friday the indictment in Plano, Texas.

He said that the people indicted were believed to have distributed more than 225 kg of methamphetamine, which, also known as metamfetamine, is a psychostimulant of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of psychoactive drugs.

These people were reportedly part of a network that sold methamphetamine in Greenville, about 80 km northeast of Dallas.

Three of these people are still on the run, and authorities have called for help to bring them to justice.


Two methamphetamine-manufacturing operations were found in a hotel and a house, respectively, Crestview police reported.


Angela S. Mawhir


Police responded Monday to one report at Rodeway Inn on South Ferdon Boulevard after housekeepers complained of a chemical odor and suspicious carpet burns.

Officers determined the odor was “consistent with that of the manufacturing of methamphetamine,” a news release stated. The room’s tenants had vacated the hotel. Charges may be pending.

On Aug. 17, police commenced a warranted search of an Apple Drive residence. Police believed that people in the residence was manufacturing methamphetamine, according to a news release.

Investigators found the chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine and additional drug paraphernalia, police said.

Angela S. Mawhir, 39, was arrested and charged with possession of precursor chemicals for the manufacturing of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mawhir, also charged with probation violation, was taken to Okaloosa County Jail.

“We have had a quite a few (drug-related) incidents just this month, which isn’t uncommon,” Lt. Andrew Schneider, police spokesperson, said.

The department is diligently pursuing all cases involving methamphetamine manufacturing, he said.