Comments Off on Rural China and the Asian Methamphetamine Trade: a Case Study of Lufeng

East Asia is in the midst of an intensifying struggle with methamphetamine trafficking that has led to dramatic political changes. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, elected on a populist agenda, has made the swift elimination of narcotics trafficking the central promise of his administration. While his methods have largely drawn criticism from the international community, China has backed his campaign, citing its own concerns about the growth of drugs (Inquirer [Philippines], July 20, 2016). This is not without cause. China is also facing domestic troubles due to rising production of cheap methamphetamine and increasing rates of addiction.

Shabu, or methamphetamine (“meth” for short), is the drug of choice for most of the Philippines’s 1.7 million addicts (Philippine Star, December 16, 2016). In July 2016, Duterte, with his typical bluntness, issued death threats against three prominent Chinese drug lords and accused China of harboring narcotics smugglers (SCMP, July 28, 2016). To date, Chinese nationals do play a role in the Philippine drug trade, although the vast majority of traffickers are local Filipinos (Inquirer, July 7, 2016). To make matters more complicated, the Philippine press has a tendency to lump Mainlanders, Taiwanese, Hong Kongers, Macanese and members of the Chinese diaspora into one umbrella term—“Chinese”—thus creating further confusion on the origins of “Chinese drug lords.” Nevertheless, regular appearances of Chinese individuals in the Philippine drug war highlights China’s role in the Asian narcotics trade (HK Standard, September 8, 2016).

China is the world’s largest cultivator of Ma huang (ephedra sinica; 麻黄). A precursor of meth, Chinese Ma huang is used to manufacture one-third of Asia’s total meth production (2009). [1] Although Chinese officials frequently downplay the country’s role in this illicit industry, increasing efforts to clamp down on rising meth production shows that the Chinese state does recognize this as a problem (South China Online, January, 3). In recent years, total drug-related criminal cases involving opiates shrunk to 30 percent while cases relating to meth and synthetic drugs climbed to 60 percent. In 2014, there were 1,459,000 registered synthetic drug addicts, 1,771 percent higher than 2005’s 78,000. A 2013 study of 2,773 recovering synthetic drug addicts in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Yunnan and Hunan provinces show that meth was the first choice of 65 percent of respondents, followed by the meth precursor ephedrine (27 percent) and meth tablets known as magu (4 percent). [2]

Although domestic and international consumers of Chinese meth are mostly city-dwellers, China’s meth trade is actually rooted in the countryside. An examination of China’s most active meth manufacturing region—Guangdong Province’s Lufeng City—provides insight into the rise and resilience of meth trafficking based out of rural China.

Lord Thunder’s Domain

Sandwiched between the special economic zones of Shenzhen and Shantou is the tri-city area commonly referred to as Hailufeng—composed of Shanwei, Haifeng and Lufeng. Although the region is home to several natural harbors, its economy remains stagnant and is often overlooked by investors. Yet underneath the gray surface, subterranean business is booming. Since the beginning of Reform and Opening-up, the tri-city region has accumulated a reputation for illegal activities. As a local saying goes, “Up in the heavens there is Lord Thunder; down on earth, there are the people of Hailufeng (天上雷公, 地下海陆丰).”

The City of Lufeng is probably the most lawless of the three. In the 1980s, Lufeng was known for smuggling. In the decade following, it gained infamy for counterfeiting. Now, Lufeng typically occupies headlines as the busiest region for narcotics manufacturing. Prior to a major crackdown in December 2013, the region supplied one-third of China’s meth. [3]

Most of Lufeng’s meth comes from its suburbs and outlying areas, and in particular, an area called sanjia (三甲地区), made up of three towns—Jiazi, Jiaxi, Jiadong. A hub of criminal enterprises, in 2016, half of Lufeng’s 328 wanted criminal suspects came from sanjia, and 65 belong to the village of Boshe—once China’s largest meth factory (The Paper, May 18, 2016).

A little over two kilometers from the sea, Boshe is a village of 14,000 all belonging to the Cai lineage (族). During the early hours of December 29, 2013, 3,000 police, armed police and border control troops descended upon Boshe (BBC, July 10, 2015). After encircling the village, the authorities began their largest ever operation seeking to completely root out drug manufacturing. By daylight, the police had broken up eighteen narcotics gangs and arrested more than 182 gang members. Seventy-seven drug labs, as well as an explosives manufacturing plant,  were destroyed. A total of three metric tons of meth, along with twenty-three tons of precursor chemicals were seized. Nine guns, 62 rounds of ammunitions and one grenade were also netted (People’s Daily, January 3, 2014).

The village of Boshe has been subdued ever since. As of May 2016, 43 security cameras and more than 40 policemen monitor the villagers’ every move (The Paper, May 25, 2016). But only a few years ago, Boshe was the richest village in the area, nicknamed “Little Hong Kong” for its wealth. More than two-thirds of its villagers were involved in meth manufacturing (RFA, January 3, 2014). Money and precursor chemicals flowed in daily. New country homes and refurbished ancestral shrines reminded visitors of Boshe’s opulence. And neighboring villages even began to circulate a rumor that Boshe worshippers burned wads of newly minted notes at ceremonies to honor their ancestors (Guanchazhe, January 18, 2014).

Boshe’s Rise as a Meth Village

How did Boshe become involved in the meth trade? What was its position in the value chain? Who led the enterprise? To answer these questions, we must start with the story of one man—Boshe’s former party secretary, Cai Dongjia.

A native of Boshe, details about Cai’s early life is murky except that he was a gregarious man who made good investments in personal relations. Once the security chief of Boshe, Cai left for Shenzhen in 1999 as narcotics manufacturing in Lufeng intensified (Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department, December 15, 2015). After returning home in 2005, Cai rejoined the bureaucracy with the help of a few old friends in the government and was appointed the village committee secretary and Party secretary of Boshe a year later (QQ News, March 30, 2016).

Cai came from the largest of the Cai lineage’s three houses (房). Therefore, not only is he the Party’s man but also he carries a weighty responsibility to the Cai lineage as their informal clan leader. Initially, Cai wanted to lead his fellow kinsmen on a path to wealth (致富) legally. But after failures to introduce cash crops, Cai, along with a few close relatives, decided to try narcotics manufacturing (China Dissertation Online, June 30, 2014).

Using his personal connections, Cai gained support from corrupt superiors in the government and even made partnership with police officers. [4] Business boomed like never before. Young men, elementary pupils, and even septuagenarians joined the enterprise. Investments poured in from businessmen and crime syndicates based in the Pearl River Delta that provided Boshe men with funds to purchase Ma huang from Fujian province, which was shipped to Boshe by the truckloads (The Paper, May 25, 2016; People’s Daily, January 2, 2014). Barrels of ephedrine—processed from Ma huang—and over-the-counter medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine were also stockpiled in the village. [5] Meth production was conducted as a township or village enterprise, where each household took up a division of the labor. The finished products were then transported to the nearest harbor, only 2.5 km away, to be loaded onto vessels that sailed to the Pearl River Delta. A common fishing vessel could carry two tons of meth if properly concealed (Xinhua News, June 22, 2016). Upon arrival to the Pearl River Delta, Triads from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau made purchases and drove the goods onward to the international destinations, but especially the Southeast Asian states of Malaysia and the Philippines. [6]

Meth Manufacturing Techniques in China

The “Lufeng Method” is a way of cooking meth—modeled upon the ephedrine/pseudoephedrine reduction method that was perfected in its namesake town before spreading throughout China. Meth manufacturing in Lufeng, which was once done openly, has gone underground after the December 2013 crackdown. Intimidated by the heightened security, Lufengnese meth cookers left their hometowns to set up labs elsewhere around Guangdong.

One such operation was rapidly built in a mountainous and swampy area 371 km away from Lufeng. This small-scale meth factory designed by Lufeng meth cooks produced 837.3 kg of meth in only six days. Funded by investors from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the factory, built by brick and wood, was divided into three areas: living quarters, work area and garbage disposal. Carefully designed, factory supported rotating 24-hour shifts for a maximized output (Xinhua News, November 4, 2015).

With the government crackdown on supply raising meth prices from the wholesale price of 20,000 RMB per kilogram in 2013 to 30,000 RMB per kilogram in 2016, the lure of greater profit will continue to entice cooks and traffickers to defy the law (Wenweipo, December 31, 2016).

Impact of Meth on Rural China

From criminal’s perspective, there are a few short-term positive and long-term negative effects regarding meth manufacturing. Employment and financial gains are the greatest incentives for most people in the drug trade. An average Boshe laborer makes 1,000 RMB per month. But as a drug trafficker, one can easily make a few hundred, if not more than a thousand RMB a day (China News, January 1, 2014). Although fast money comes with equally high risk since China has severe penalties for drug dealing, and authorities have not been reluctant in executing traffickers (Sohu News, June 27, 2015). 

The impact of meth on society and the environment raises long-term developmental obstacles for local communities. Drug addiction is increasing in Lufeng, in congruence with the provincial pattern (QQ News, May 30, 2012). Addicts to one kind of hard drug are more likely to try other drugs, which is reflected in the surge of HIV/AIDS in rural Lufeng through needle sharing. [7] Gun crime is also a concern in these areas since traffickers are likely to be armed (South China News, October 14, 2016; People’s Daily, October 28, 2016). Poisonous waste from meth production, freely disposed, contaminates the environment and retards economic development in the long run (Sohu News, January 3, 2014).

State Initiatives in Combating Meth Manufacturing

In addition to enacting laws to limit the public’s access to medications containing ephedrine/pseudoephedrine (Sina News, December 27, 2012), the government’s response so far has mostly been the tried and true method of strike hard (严打), where it uses overwhelming force and a harsh application of the law to quickly reduce crime. Although Boshe is now a poster child of China’s anti-meth efforts, one author wonders how long this may last, given the costliness of maintaining such a campaign. [8] Yes, meth making is down in one village, but surrounding narcotics villages in the sanjia region are still in business (QQ News, January 18, 2014). Not to mention that despite the crackdown, Boshe villagers are still making meth, if not, traveling to new parts of China along with other Lufengese in search of a freer business climate to set up shop. Moreover, Chinese anti-drug police forces are fraught with internal challenges such as low pay, insufficient training, understaffing, overburdening, low morale and bureaucratic politics. China still has a distance to cover in developing a strong law enforcement counterweight against the deadly attraction of meth. [9]

There is no singular approach to solving the problem of meth trafficking in China. Ninety percent of people and goods enter China through Guangdong, which accords all of the province’s coastal cities a natural advantage in trade that includes drug trafficking. Lufeng’s stagnant human development limits economic mobility for its residents. [10] Take education for example. Despite population growth, the number of middle school students in attendance dropped from 147,000 in 2010 to 107,600 in 2014. Likewise, elementary school students in attendance diminished from 205,700 in 2010 to 116,500 in 2014 (China Data Online).

But the determining factor influencing the meth trade is official collusion with drug traffickers. Local officials—including policemen—worked with Cai Dongjia’s enterprise. Yet this is far from the only instance. [11] Lufeng’s city government, especially its public security bureau has a notorious reputation for being a cesspool of corruption. Two former Lufeng public security bureau chiefs, Chen Junpeng and Chen Yukeng, were convicted of taking bribes from and protecting drug traffickers. [12] In 2013, the entire Beidi dispatch station was placed under investigation due to similar concerns (Hailufeng Info., April 8, 2016).

Shanwei, the prefectural-level city that governs Lufeng, fares no better. Ma Weiling, the former Shanwei public security bureau chief and one-time provincial drug czar, sold official posts at will to the highest bidder and shielded city officials from criminal investigation. When Cai Zhiquan, a deputy of Shanwei city’s people’s congress was identified as a suspect in a shooting incident, Ma helped him avoid criminal charges after accepting a bribe of 1.3 million HKD (CCP News, April 8, 2016). Without Ma’s support, Chen Junpeng and Chen Yukeng, powerful patrons of Lufeng’s traffickers, would not have been Lufeng’s top cops (CCP News, October 21, 2015).


The alarming death toll of the Philippine drug war has refocused the world’s attention on Asia’s drug trade. At the center of Asian meth manufacturing, China’s successes and failures in combating drug trafficking will have regional, if not global, implications. Although the current hardline approach did have an impact on reducing meth manufacturing in one area, strike hard campaigns only last for so long. Official collusion with traffickers and economic underdevelopment cannot be addressed by simple, quick fixes. What is needed is a regular application of the law by professional law enforcers supported by a corruption-free government, and more importantly, greater investment in human development to expand opportunities for vulnerable communities like the townships and villages in the vicinity of Lufeng.

China’s drug problem will continue to highlight a number of issues that the Chinese government faces. The rural-urban divide is changing crime and public safety. Domestic stability will increasingly take up more resources of the state and further strain the links of authority that tie the central government and the provinces.  Despite the growth of China’s security budget in recent years, the state’s seemingly inability to stamp out the drug business shows us the corrupting effects of the trade on local administrators who protected traffickers for financial gains. Moreover, China’s internal security strategy, which prioritizes political crime and threats against national unity, gives traffickers space where they can operate without impunity.


Zi Yang is an independent researcher and consultant on China affairs. His research centers on Chinese internal security issues. He holds an M.A. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from George Mason University.

  1. Ralph A. Weisheit and William L. White, Methamphetamine: Its History, Pharmacology, and Treatment (Center City, MN: Hazelden, 2009), p. 134.
  2. Xinmin Fan, “我国毒品社会问题新趋势与应对思路 [New Trends in Narcotics-Related Social Problems in Our Country and Thoughts on Counter-Measures],” Social Sciences in Guangdong, no. 2 (March 2015), p. 189; Yanping Bao et al., “我国五地区合成毒品滥用者中海洛因多药滥用特征及相关因素分析 [The Characteristics and Associated Factors of Heroin Poly Drug Use among Synthetic Drug Users in 5 Areas in China],” Chinese Journal of Drug Dependence, no. 6 (December 2015), pp. 452, 453.
  3. Jiadi Zhuang, Ning Bin, and Guangjie Li, “群体性事件形成的演化博弈分析——以广东省陆丰市毒品博社村为例 [Analysis of the Evolutionary Game of Mass Incidents—using Guangdong Province’s Lufeng City’s Boshe Village as an Example],” Market Weekly, no. 9 (September 2014), p. 85.
  4. We do not know exactly how many officials were involved in Lufeng’s drug trafficking, and we may never find out. Cai Dongjia might, in fact, be a lower-level player who was sacrificed to protect higher-ups. Likewise, we do not know the exact number of police officials involved in the drug trade. However, with a meager salary of 2,000 RMB per month, traffickers easily bought off the policemen. See: Gang Liu, “广东‘制毒第一村’何以成为‘法外之地’ [Why Did Guangdong’s ‘First Narcotics Manufacturing Village’ Became a ‘Lawless Territory’],” Country, Agriculture, Farmers, no. 2 (February 2014), p. 37.
  5. There are about 31 types of common Chinese medications that contain ephedrine/pseudoephedrine.
  6. 67.7 percent of drug traffickers arrested by the Guangdong police from January 2015 to May 2016 were Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau nationals. See: Sohu News, June 23, 2016. Yuanyuan Xu and Zhixin Qiu, “论广东制造毒品犯罪的现状、趋势与对策 [On the Status Quo and Developing Trend of Drug-Making Crimes in Guangdong Province and Countermeasures],” Journal of Political Science and Law, no. 5 (October 2015), p. 22.
  7. Xuezhong He et al., “2012—2015 年广东省陆丰 HIV/AIDS 流行特征分析 [Analysis of the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Guangdong Province’s Lufeng],” Journal of Applied Preventive Medicine, no. 4 (August 2016), p. 308.
  8. Fei Zhu, “广东禁毒法制建设和法律适用存在的问题与对策——以粤东地区制毒犯罪严打整治为视角 [Problems Existing in the Construction of Guangdong’s Anti-Drug Laws and Legal Application and Countermeasures——From the Perspective of Striking-Hard Campaign against Drug Crimes in the East Region of Guangdong Province],” Journal of Political Science and Law, no. 5 (October 2015), pp. 26–27.
  9. Weili Zhu, “当前粤东地区禁毒工作队伍建设中存在的问题分析 [Analysis of Current Problems in Building Anti-Narcotics Forces in Eastern Guangdong Region],” Public Security Education [公安教育], no. 12 (December 2015), pp. 17–18.
  10. Qingcai Sheng, “广东黑社会性质组织犯罪成因研究 [Research on the Reasons for Crimes by Organized Criminal Gangs in Guangdong],” Journal of Guangdong Ocean University, no. 5 (October 2009), p. 42.
  11. The Chinese Communist Party never intended to portray itself as absolutely corrupt and irredeemable. Thus, corrupt scandals exposed by the official press only shows the tip of the iceberg.
  12. Chen Junpeng accepted bribes that totaled 1.66 million RMB and 200,000 HKD. Chen Yukeng’s case involved bribes totaling 2.5 million RMB and 940,000 HKD. See: Xinhua News, July 1, 2015; Xinhua News, October 22, 2015.

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Comments Off on Jolynn Ophelia Gardner, 22, of Bar Nunn, Accused of Selling Methamphetamine in Casper Area

A woman arrested Wednesday afternoon as the result of work by Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation agents is accused of selling methamphetamine in the Casper area.

Jolynn Ophelia Gardner, 22, was charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine Friday afternoon during her initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court.

She could face up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

Court documents say in January, DCI agents discovered a drug-trafficking organization in the Casper area.

A confidential source told agents that Gardner was selling methamphetamine for a man she lived with in Bar Nunn. Gardner later admitted to agents that she sold methamphetamine in the area, according to the DCI affidavit.

The methamphetamine was reportedly picked up in Denver and brought back to Casper for distribution.

From November 2016 through December 2016, one person involved in the drug ring allegedly sold four to five pounds of methamphetamine in the Casper area.

Court documents indicate the DCI investigation into Gardner’s alleged distribution may be linked to the DCI investigation into Michael Ross.

Ross is charged with conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

The court on Friday appointed a public defender to represent Gardner. She is being held on $15,000 cash or surety bond.



Comments Off on Oscar Cardinez Perez Jr., 28, of San Angelo, sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl

A Tom Green County judge sentenced a 28-year-old San Angelo man to 20 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl.

Oscar Cardinez Perez Jr. appeared before 51st District Judge Barbara Walther for a plea hearing Thursday afternoon.

Perez pleaded guilty to a lesser included offense of aggravated sexual assault of child under 14 years of age, a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison, as part of a plea agreement with state prosecutors.

A charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 6 years of age is a punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Perez is required to register as a sex offender for life.

Perez was dating the girl’s mother at the time and had stayed the night at her residence in San Angelo, according to court documents.

The child told a forensic interviewer at the Heart of Texas Children’s Advocacy Center in Early that her “dad” had violated her in the bathroom while her mother was not at home in early February 2016, according to court documents.

Child Protective Services learned of the allegation later that month, and the child and her siblings were removed from the residence, stated court documents.

Perez told an investigator he “did not believe that he had sexual intercourse with the victim, but stated that it was possible while he was intoxicated on methamphetamine,” adding at he would believe what the child told authorities, according to court documents.

Perez was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on a first-degree felony drug charge of manufacture/delivery of 4-200 grams of methamphetamine. The sentences will be served concurrently.

The Court also took into consideration two of Perez’s other charges as part of the 20-year sentence — forgery of a financial instrument and evading arrest detention with previous convictions, both state jail felonies punishable by 180 days to two years in prison.



Oscar Cardinez Perez, Jr., 27, of San Angelo, indicted on child sex charge, accused of sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl – claimed he was high on Methamphetamine at the time

Comments Off on Bellevue sex trafficking may involve girls as young as 15 under the influence of Methamphetamine

BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) — Police say they’ve arrested two buyers as part of an ongoing investigation into a human trafficking bust in Bellevue. The investigation came to light in September when three suspects were arrested on human trafficking charges that involved a girl as young as 15.

Kylie Ray, Branden Felt and Jesse Blum were all arrested for felony human trafficking in September, 2016. Investigators believe they ran part of the operation out of room number seven of the Offutt Motor Court Hotel, just across the street from the Offutt Air Force Base.

“The trafficker could be a mother selling her child, a husband selling his wife, a boyfriend selling his girlfriend,” said Anna Brewer with Magdalene Omaha. “The buyer could be anybody.”

As part of the ongoing investigation, two buyers were arrested this month. Chad Marvin Hayes, 48, was arrested on charges of first degree sexual assault of a child and soliciting prostitution. His bond was set at $100,000. He has since bonded out of jail.

Bellevue police also arrested 29-year-old Tyler Wolfe for felony soliciting prostitution. Investigators said Wolfe is accused of having sex with a 19-year-old who was selling her body and also involved in the case. This is Wolfe’s second offense so he’s facing a felony charge. Wolfe was previously arrested in Iowa for soliciting prostitution.

It’s alleged that the 15-year-old victim was involved in the sex trafficking for two months under the influence of meth.

WOWT 6 News spoke with the young victim’s father. According the report, the teen victim told her mother that she had been using the website and was charging up to $300 a night. Since then the federal government has shutdown the underground web site’s adult escort section.

“Crimes of this nature, of course it’s very, very serious. We try to take action as quickly as possible,” said Bellevue Police Information Officer Laurie Synowiecki. “You need to call it in. The police can’t do their job without information from the public.”

Investigators collected sheets and the bedding in the Bellevue hotel room for later testing. According to the report, they found a pipe at the scene that tested positive for methamphetamines.

If you see something, say something. If you suspect sex trafficking, report it to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 888-3737-888 or text HELP to BEFREE (233733).


Comments Off on Timothy Harper, 29, a gay porn star with Nazi tattoos, arrested in Methamphetamine raid that rattled Oak Lawn

A gay porn star was among four people taken into custody Thursday during a SWAT drug raid that set off a series of loud booms and rattled an Oak Lawn neighborhood.

Timothy Harper, 29, was arrested on a charge of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance. Bail has been set at $100,000.

The booms occurred just before 1 p.m., as reported by Cory Smith of KXAS-TV (NBC5).

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, SWAT officers had been serving a warrant Thursday afternoon at an apartment in the 4300 block of Dickason Avenue.

Upon entering, SWAT members saw a large plastic bag with a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine, which led to a search and the discovery of more than 1,600 grams of suspected meth, scales and packaging “consistent with narcotics trafficking.”

After being read his rights, Harper admitted ordering and receiving the drugs,  the affidavit says.

According to The World of Wonder Report, Harper works in the gay porn industry using the name Cameron Diggs.

The entertainment news site quoted gay-porn industry news blog Str8UpGayPorn (note: NSFW), which described Diggs as a white supremacist with a history of drug use and “Nazi-era” tattoos that have “led to at least one gay porn studio pulling down Cameron Diggs content from their site.”

In a story on racism in the gay porn industry for VICE News, Str8UpGayPorn editor Zachary Sires further described Diggs as a Dallas-based male stripper and gay porn actor “whose torso is drenched in tattoos, several of which are symbols popular among white supremacist groups.”

Sires noted that he and others condemned Diggs last April for tattoos he displayed in footage released by San Francisco gay-porn studio NakedSword. Sires specifically referred to “the Iron Crosses on his chest and the SS Bolts on his hips, both of which are classified as hate symbols.”

A few months later, an account using Diggs’ name posted a comment on Sires’ blog:

“I believe people should want to be proud of who they are and where they come from,” the post read. “I feel like we are suppose to continue our race and our culture… When it comes to having kids, I prefer to stay inside my race. It’s nothing hateful toward any race, it’s just what I believe. Why is that so wrong? Does that make me a racist?”

Within hours, porn studio CockyBoys had scrapped a Cameron Diggs scene from its site. Jake Jaxson, CockyBoys’ director and CEO, told VICE. “His statement does not represent the basic values of mutual respect and acceptance that is the mission of CockyBoys.”


Comments Off on Woman and two 2 parolees busted for Methamphetamine at Red Arrow Motel in Paw Paw

Two men are jailed and charges are being sought against a woman following a drug bust at a Van Buren County motel.

Deputies were called to Red Arrow Motel in Paw Paw around 1 a.m. Friday for a loud party with possible drug use. All three in the room denied they were doing anything wrong, but a search of the room resulted in police finding three syringes, with one having suspected meth.

The 38-year-old woman said it was hers, and she had recently shot up.

Both men were on parole, and one told deputies he had also used the drug and would test positive. The two men are in jail, and deputies say the woman will be charged with meth possession once their investigation is done.


2 parolees arrested when meth syringes found at motel room party

PAW PAW, MI — At first they denied anything unusual was going on. But two men were arrested and charges are being sought against a woman after police found syringes at a party in their motel room early Friday morning.

At approximately 1 a.m. Feb. 10 Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Red Arrow Motel at 38254 W. Red Arrow Highway on a complaint that there were several subjects having a loud party and that meth was possibly being used, according to a news release from the department.

Deputies contacted the motel and were invited into the room by two men and a woman.

When deputies told them that they were called there for a party and people being loud who were possibly using meth, all three said nothing was going on, authorities said.

But after a search of the room turned up three syringes, one containing suspected methamphetamine, the 38-year-old woman told deputies that she had recently injected methamphetamine and that the syringes belonged to her.

The 37-year-old man, who was on parole at the time of this incident, advised that he, too, had used meth recently and would also test positive. He was taken into custody, accused of a parole violation and lodged at the Van Buren County Jail.

The 34-year-old man, who was also on parole, advised that he was not sure what drugs he would and would not test positive for. He was also taken into custody, accused of a parole violation, and lodged at the Van Buren County Jail.

Once this investigation is complete charges will be sought against the woman for possession of methamphetamine, authorities said.


Comments Off on ‘Meth is haunting… it torments you years after’
  • Jonathan Clark has opened up about his addition to meth and its impact
  • He said the drug ‘takes something in the inner man’ and ‘bewitches your mindset’
  • Despite relapsing at times, he is clean thanks to help of Narcotics Anonymous
  • Clark now wants to use his experience to educate others

A former meth user has opened up about his crippling addiction to the drug and the devastating impact it had on his life.

Jonathan Clark, from Mandurah in Western Australia, has told how his life spiraled out of control after he was introduced to the drug by a former work supervisor.

‘Meth is haunting, it knocks on the door, it taps on the mind,’ Clark said in an interview with the Mandurah Mail.

‘It takes something in the inner man, in your inner self, and it bewitches your whole mindset.’

Clark started experimenting with drugs at 14, first with marijuana, then heroin and amphetamines, before being introduced to meth.

He said using meth gave him a feeling of ‘euphoric happiness’, with the drug quickly taking over his life.

‘I’ve had some meth where one bit of it kept me up for two nearly three days straight without sleeping, and I’ve had times where I stayed awake for four to five days without sleeping or eating,’ Clark told the paper.

Clark said he was able to break free from the grip of meth on a number of occasions, sometimes going up to eight months without using the drug.

But he would relapse each time – until he had a psychotic episode, in which he thought he heard the voice of the devil.

The voice told him he was going to lose his mind forever.

He sought out the help of the Teen Challenge program, Narcotics Anonymous and his religious faith.

He has now been clean for a long period but he said he still dreams about meth.

Clark now wants to use his experience to help other addicts, with the aim of becoming a mentor.

He said as an addict he knows there is freedom from the drug.



Comments Off on U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers seize about 84 pounds of Methamphetamine at Brownsville-Matamoros bridge – Two women arrested

Officers intercepted about 84 pounds of meth at the Brownsville and Matamoros International Bridge on Tuesday.

The seizure happened when a 21-year-old Brownsville woman and a 22-year-old Yoakum woman approached the bridge in a gray 2009 Dodge Avenger, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The vehicle was referred to secondary inspection where 96 bottles of liquid meth were found.

The drug load weighed 84.32 pounds, according to the news release.


Comments Off on Methamphetamine lab contamination leaves home buyers homeless in Cherokee County

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. – A Cherokee County home sits empty right now because the family that bought it found out it was toxic.

Tests show the home was previously a meth lab and Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland found out the law is of little help to the homebuyers, Hollis and Natalie Reece.

“We bid $10,000 over what they had it on the market for and we got it,” Natalie Reece told Strickland.

That was in June 2016. Renters had been evicted 6 months earlier.

Strickland asked Hollis Reece how many nights he and his family have spent in the house.

“Zero. None,” Reece replied.

The house sits vacant and tainted. Several trailers in the driveway hold the Reece’s belongings. They were about to move in when a next door neighbor, Kimberley Partain, warned them about frequent noxious odors emanating from the house.

“Whatever it was, it would burn your nose and your throat and your eyes and we would bring the kids inside,” Partain told Strickland. Strickland asked Partain if she had any suspicions as to what the smell was.

“That it could have been a meth lab or some kind of drug lab,” Partain said.

“We’ve spent like $1,700 on meth testing for this house to know that’s unsuitable to live in,” Hollis Reece said.


Comments Off on El Chapo drug rival, Juan Francisco Sillas-Rocha, of the rival Arellano Felix cartel, is linked to East Grand Forks murder and wanted in North Dakota federal court

FARGO—Federal prosecutors in North Dakota are after a Mexican cartel leader connected to “Operation Speed Racer,” an investigation that resulted in dozens of convictions after the shooting death of an East Grand Forks resident more than 10 years ago.

Documents that were unsealed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fargo revealed a 2011 indictment and arrest warrant for Juan Francisco Sillas-Rocha. He has been named by authorities as a top contributor for the Arellano Felix cartel, which has smuggled numerous drugs into the U.S. in competition against the Sinaloa cartel headed by infamous drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Guzman was extradited to the U.S. last month to face federal charges in connection with his actions as the head of the cartel.

Authorities have said Sillas-Rocha helped kidnap family members of a Sinaloa cartel leader in 2010. Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada led the cartel alongside Guzman, with media reports describing the two as rivals.

In the North Dakota case, court documents alleged Sillas-Rocha was part of a conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of meth-mixed drugs in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Washington, California and other places. Prosecutors also said in documents Sillas-Rocha was involved in making arrangements to ship meth and marijuana from Mexico, Washington, California and elsewhere to the Red River Valley for distribution.

“During the course of this conspiracy, in excess of 30,000 grams of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine … was distributed in the Red River Valley area of North Dakota and Minnesota by members of the conspiracy,” court documents stated.

Court documents also stated Sillas-Rocha used violence, including murder, kidnapping, human trafficking, public corruption of government officials, assault and other crimes, to further trafficking efforts.

Court documents also said he ordered others to kill multiple people, including entire families and a girl with disabilities. No victims were named in the court documents. In some instances, a confidential informant for the government said Sillas-Rocha would pay the CI to murder the targets.

Investigators have connected Sillas-Rocha to Jorge Manuel “Sneaky” Arandas, a member of the Arellano Felix cartel who was sentenced in 2008 to 40 years in prison for importing drugs to the Red River Valley. Arandas was arrested after investigators launched “Operation Speed Racer,” a massive investigation that netted more than 60 convictions related to the drug ring.

Arandas faced multiple charges, including for the 2005 shooting death of 28-year-old Lee Avila in East Grand Forks. Forum News Service archives state the shooting was carried out in front of two children, including one of Avila’s.

Investigators said Arandas ordered Avila’s death because Arandas failed to pay for five pounds of meth the drug dealer in the Red River Valley had received from Sillas-Rocha, according to media reports. Arandas told investigators he killed Avila out of fear as a display of strength.

Sillas-Rocha originally was indicted Aug. 20, 2008 in federal court for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances. The other charges were added in 2011. Those charges have been under seal until early last week.

Sillas-Rocha faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder in the furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise and aiding and abetting, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances, and one count of continuing criminal enterprise.

Sillas-Rocha was arrested in 2011 by Mexican authorities. Authorities claim he is responsible for the death of dozens of people.

He has been fighting extradition to the U.S. and remains jailed in Mexico.

No hearings have been set for Sillas-Rocha. North Dakota’s U.S. Attorney Christopher Myers declined to comment on the story.

Keeping drug users out of jail and prison was supposed to save money and make the public safer.

That was the promise of South Dakota’s 2013 criminal justice reform package: Spend money on treatment instead of incarceration, and crime would fall.

The state poured millions of dollars into new drug treatment programs and offered shorter probation and parole terms to offenders who followed through with them.

Yet four years later, crime is up and the prison population continues to grow as a surge in methamphetamine cases tests the limits of the state’s treatment capacity.

Drug offenders can face weeks-long wait lists for treatment, especially for inpatient and residential programs that offer more stability and structure than outpatient programs can on their own.

“What we don’t have are enough treatment programs,” said Judge Robin Houwman, who operates the Second Circuit’s DUI court in Sioux Falls. “We’re waiting on bed dates at the Arch or the Glory House for sometimes four weeks out.”

The Arch and Glory House are among dozens of drug treatment partners in the state. Collectively they have beds and facilities to treat hundreds at a time, but money is a bottleneck. State funding to help addicts who can’t afford to pay for their own treatment is growing, but not as fast as the volume of drug cases.

Since 2014, the state’s budget for inpatient treatment has grown 11 percent to about $3.7 million in the last fiscal year. That was enough to cover the cost for 312 of the neediest clients. Of those, however, 121 were for intensive methamphetamine treatment, according to DSS spokeswoman Tia Kafka.

Meanwhile, in the same period the number of felony drug cases in the state surged by 73 percent to 10,199.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s office is asking the Legislature for another $604,000 to expand an 18-month meth treatment program in the central part of the state, and the court system has asked for $100,000 to fund halfway house beds for drug court clients, who are sometimes forced to stay in homeless shelters in the early days of recovery.

Jennifer McConniel runs one of the state’s two intensive meth programs at Keystone Treatment Center. She’s not sure if there will ever be enough money to help all users, but more investments have to be made if the state expects to cope with the surge in drugs and drug-related crime.

“We need it,” McConniel said. “It’s an epidemic, it’s getting worse, and people are getting more violent.”

Not all meth users qualify for state-funded inpatient treatment. Most get some form of outpatient treatment, and the state has increased funding for those options. But the need there is growing as well.

South Dakota has rapidly expanded its drug and DUI courts since the 2013 criminal justice reform. The specialty courts focus on connecting defendants with treatment rather than sentencing to prison. Today there are 16 compared to just three in 2013.

As many as 445 people can now get the intensive case management through a specialty court, and that number is set to grow even higher. The programs generally last at least 18 months and offer near-daily contact with court service officers, who help clients find treatment programs, housing, work and more.

The state also poured money into two new outpatient therapy models. One combines cognitive behavioral mental health therapy with a focus on substance abuse. The number of clients served has swelled to more than 1,400 since 2014.

“That’s the primary program that’s used for that criminal justice population,” said Amy Iverson-Pollreisz, deputy secretary of the Department of Social Services.

The programs supplement typical treatment with life skills and stress management as a buffer against relapse, and the state sees promise: 53 percent of participants successfully completed the CBISA program last year, compared to a national average of 43 percent.

Iverson-Pollreisz said most people who get court-ordered chemical dependency assessments need some form of outpatient treatment and aftercare, not inpatient treatment.

At the Carroll Institute in Sioux Falls, the total number of clients served for meth is on pace to nearly double for fiscal year 2017.

“That animal has really just taken over,” said Carroll Institute Director Gary Tuschen.

The waiting list for a spot at the Carroll’s 16-week outpatient meth program can be three weeks long, though acceptance can be faster if the applicant is pregnant or actively using intravenous drugs.

Even so, finding an outpatient program can be easier than finding a safe and sober place to stay between treatment sessions.

Housing is a huge part of recovery, according to Tiffany Butler, director of operations at the Carroll Institute’s Arch halfway house. Addicts coming out of jail or prison often have nowhere to go that they won’t be surrounded by drugs, drug-using friends or violence.

“They were either homeless when they were arrested, they were living somewhere that was not supportive of their recovery, or they lost their home while they were incarcerated,” Butler said.

Other treatment centers struggle with the same issues. The 16-week outpatient program at the Glory House doesn’t have a waiting list at the moment, but addicts who need to stay on site often have to wait two to four weeks for a bed. There was no waiting list at the start of February, but that changes frequently.

“A lot of the meth addicts, they’re homeless, they’re jobless – they need that residential piece,” said Sally Holiday, who runs the thrice-weekly outpatient meth groups at the Glory House.

There’s a waiting list for the women’s residential program at Volunteers of America, according to VOA’s Behavioral Health Manager Amy Hartman, but there are openings in the treatment programs for adults and adolescents.

“We have seen continued growth and participation in our programming with an increase of those reporting methamphetamine use,” Hartman said.

Given the tight housing market and the wait for a slot in a residential program, the best path for a newly-recovering addict in outpatient treatment can be to stay at a homeless shelter, search for jobs between sessions and save money for a rental deposit.

“Sometimes our clients have to go either to the Mission or Bishop Dudley because there are no options,” said Mike Miller of the Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office, who works with the Second Circuit Drug Court.

Waiting for treatment can have serious risks to drug users. It’s not unheard of for addicts to pick up additional criminal charges as they wait for a slot, said Minnehaha County Deputy Public Defender Katie Dunn.

Dunn’s caseload alone includes nearly 70 people who could use methamphetamine treatment and community support, she said.

“If someone’s actively using methamphetamine and they have more than one (criminal) file open,” Dunn said, “they need that treatment.”



Comments Off on Donald Jones, 40, of Crestview, charged with sexual battery on 4-year-old child, possession of Methamphetamine

CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa County sheriff’s investigators have arrested a man for the sexual battery of a 4-year-old child, possession of methamphetamine and heroin, and violating his felony probation.

The investigation revealed Donald Jones, 40, of Crestview — a registered sex offendersexually battered the child on Jan. 20 at a home in Crestview, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

After his arrest, a search of Jones’ revealed he was in possession of both methamphetamine and heroin.

Jones’ probation officer confirmed he was on felony probation for a prior charge of lewd and lascivious molestation of a juvenile.


Comments Off on Victor Samaniego, 81, of San Angelo, Arrested for Distributing Methamphetamine

SAN ANGELO, TX – Yesterday afternoon, San Angelo Police Detectives with the Street Crimes Division executed a search and arrest warrant issued by Justice of the Peace J.P. McGuire at a residence in the 2700 block of Jomar St. They arrested 81-year-old Victor Samaniego, who was in possession of methamphetamine.

Public Information Officer Tracy Gonzalez said, “Samaniego was located and arrested at the property. During the search, investigators located a handgun, over $700 in U.S. Currency, a quantity of methamphetamine, and items consistent with the manufacture and delivery of methamphetamine.”

She added that, at the conclusion of the operation, officials booked Samaniego into the Tom Green County Jail for First Degree Felony Manufacture Delivery of Controlled Substance Penalty Group 1.

“SAPD K-9 Team Flores and Duke, Patrol and Criminal Investigations Division, and the Department’s Tactical Medical Team assisted the operation,” Gonzalez concluded.


Comments Off on April Gilliland, 42, of Gadsden, arrested, Methamphetamine, cocaine, pills, cash seized

A woman has been charged with trafficking in opiates in Etowah County.

Etowah County Drug Enforcement Unit Commander Randall Johnson said April Gilliland, 42, of Gadsden, is being held without bond at the Etowah County Detention Center. She was arrested Feb. 2.

Deputy Commander Phil Sims said a deputy stopped a vehicle for a moving violation on Hutchins Drive in Gadsden. Gilliland was a passenger in the vehicle. Officers discovered Gilliland had a felony drug probation violation warrant and she was placed under arrest.

Then officers discovered trafficking weight of oxycodone pills, along with methamphetamine, cocaine, morphine pills, marijuana and suboxone strips, as well as $2020 in cash.

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Gadsden Police Department and the ECDEU worked together on the case in response to complaints about drug activity in the area, Sims said. The FBI North Alabama Safe Streets Task Force also participated in the case.

Gilliland was on probation with community corrections for trafficking and distribution of methamphetamine, and could face additional charges in relation to this incident, Sims said.



Comments Off on White County Circuit Court Judge Robert Edwards lowers bond for pregnant inmate, Mary M. Sanders, 25, of Searcy, who was jailed on Methamphetamine charges

A $50,000 bond issued after a woman failed to appear in White County Circuit Court was lowered even more than she asked Wednesday by Judge Robert Edwards so that the woman could afford to be released from jail and have her baby before facing felony drug charges.

Mary M. Sanders, 25, of Searcy said she is due to have a baby in about four weeks. She asked the judge to reduce her bond to $5,000 to give birth while not incarcerated. Roberts lowered her bond to $2,500.

“I’d rather you have money to take care of your baby than to pay a bondsman,” Edwards said. “But by all means, stay away from drugs and people who are doing drugs.”

In July, Sanders was arrested during a Judsonia traffic stop after a trained canine indicated suspicion of her vehicle. Police subsequently found digital scales, a backpack with syringes and almost a gram of methamphetamine. She was charged with possession of a schedule II controlled substance, namely methamphetamine, class D felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B felony.

She was out on $2,500 bail a week later, but failed to appear at her November court date. Judge Edwards set a bond forfeiture hearing for Wednesday, where he decided due to her pregnancy to lower the bond. Her next court date is April 4.

“I give you my word, I will be here,” Sanders said.


Comments Off on Robert Tennent, 63, a probationer from Rancho Cucamonga, accused of running Methamphetamine and drug operation out of home

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> A 63-year-old Rancho Cucamonga probationer allegedly found with methamphetamine, cocaine and about 5 pounds of marijuana in his home pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Robert Tennent appeared via video in West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga to answer to drug charges and for a probation revocation hearing, according to jail records.

Tennent was arrested Monday after deputies and San Bernardino County probation officers conducted a compliance check at his home in the 9100 block of Jadeite Avenue, according to a sheriff’s statement.

During the initial search of Tennent’s home, probation officers reportedly found a small amount of methamphetamine inside his bedroom, officials said. Officers then asked Rancho Cucamonga deputies to assist with a more thorough search of the home.

Authorities recovered 11 ounces of methamphetamine, 16 grams of cocaine individually packaged for sale, more than 5 pounds of marijuana, a digital scale, several rounds of ammunition and baggies typically used to package narcotics, according to the press release.

Tennent was arrested and booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of cocaine for sale and possession of marijuana for sale. He is being held without bail.

His next appearance in court is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday.


Comments Off on Julianna Radford, 45, Of Owensboro, And 30-Year-Old Eric Denson, 30, Of Maceo, Charged After Methamphetamine Allegedly Found In Toilet At A Residence In Maceo

On Thursday, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office reportedly found drugs at a residence in Maceo, Kentucky.

Deputies say while they were inside the residence in the 7700 block of Highway 2830 in Maceo, they found a small baggie of methamphetamine floating in the toilet.

Following further investigation, deputies reported that more meth, synthetic marijuana, drug paraphernalia, two handguns, and approximately $200 in cash were found.

Authorities say two children were also found at the residence and were turned over to a family member.

45-year-old Julianna Radford of Owensboro was charged with Trafficking in Synthetic Drugs, Trafficking in Controlled Substance, Possession of a Handgun by Convicted Felon, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

Authorities say Radford also had two outstanding warrants coming from Daviess County, Kentucky.

30-year-old Eric Denson of Maceo was also charged with Possession of Controlled Substance, Tampering with Physical Evidence and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.

Radford and Denson are lodged at the Daviess County Detention Center.


Comments Off on Danielle Della Simpson, 27, of Brigham City, high on Methamphetamine, found with her two young daughters in the back seat

SPANISH FORK — A Brigham City woman was arrested for allegedly driving while high on drugs with her two young children in the back seat, thanks to an alert Utah County sheriff’s deputy.

Danielle Della Simpson, 27, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of two counts of child endangerment, DUI, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

About 8:20 a.m. Wednesday, a deputy made a stop at the Dug Out convenience store, 866 S. Main in Spanish Fork, and noticed a beat-up looking car with a California license plate and a woman in the driver’s seat, said Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

The deputy drove off to continue work. But when he passed the store again 15 minutes later, the car and driver were still there.

“She wasn’t passed out. She was just sitting there,” Cannon said.

The deputy approached the car and discovered two young girls, ages 4 and 5, asleep in the back seat. The car’s registration had expired two years ago, Cannon said.

When talking to the driver, the deputy suspected drug use, he said.

“She told him she was coming from California. She was embarrassed to contact her parents. She was taking the kids to their father’s parents in Denver. She thought she was in Draper or Cedar City, but she wasn’t sure,” Cannon said. “She was pretty out of it in terms of drug use.”

Simpson eventually admitted to the deputy that she had taken meth within the past hour, he said.

The girls, who were not injured, were taken into protective custody until Simpson’s parents could drive from Brigham City to get them.

In addition to her new case, Simpson also had warrants for her arrest out of Box Elder County and Sevier County for shoplifting.



Comments Off on Theron Greer, 38, and Douglas Williams, 40, arrested after mobile Methamphetamine lab found inside an RV in Daytona Beach

A mobile meth lab — inside an RV — was found in Daytona Beach, like a scene straight from the popular TV series Breaking Bad.

Theron Greer, 38, and Douglas Williams, 40, were taken into custody after police received an anonymous tip about this “dangerously real” case.

Volusia County sheriff deputies helped search the RV in hazardous-material suits and found all the chemicals needed to make crystal meth.

Both men are being held at Volusia County Jail on $37,000 bond each.–law/just-real-life-breaking-bad-meth-lab-found-florida/GzQWUta4g0MQohnxrWFIaL/

Comments Off on Naomi Kaufman, 41, arrested in Provo on report of selling Methamphetamine, prescription drugs

A woman was arrested Tuesday by the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force on a report of selling methamphetamine and prescription drugs.

Police reports state Naomi Kaufman was selling drugs and was located at a Provo motel. Detectives reportedly observed Kaufman, 41, drive away from the motel and violate several traffic laws while driving north on University Avenue, so she was stopped by police.

Kaufman was asked by police to exit the vehicle while a K-9 was called to the scene. Kaufman was asked if she had any narcotics with her and she said she did, handing the officer several bags of methamphetamine, reports state.

The K-9 indicated there were drugs in the vehicle. Police reported finding numerous drugs on Kaufman and in her vehicle, including 110 pills of morphine, 14.5 pills of clonazepam, four pills of alprazolam, 46 grams of meth, 3.5 grams of marijuana, 110.5 pills of oxycodone and one glass meth pipe.

Kaufman said she had a prescription for the pills, however, the morphine and oxycodone pills were packaged in small quantities consistent with drug distribution, reports state.

At the jail, Kaufman’s urine test reportedly indicated positive for amphetamines, meth, opiates and oxycodone.

Kaufman was booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of the following charges: four counts of possession of a controlled substance, two being second-degree felonies and two being class B misdemeanors; one class B misdemeanor of drug paraphernalia and one class B misdemeanor of driving with a measurable controlled substance.


Comments Off on Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel warns Methamphetamine threat on par with opioids

MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on Attorney General Brad Schimel’s presentation to lawmakers on methamphetamine (all times local):

10:45 a.m.

Attorney General Brad Schimel is warning legislators that methamphetamine use has quietly surged in Wisconsin and now presents as serious a threat as opioids.

Schimel made the remarks during a presentation Thursday to the Legislature’s criminal justice committees on methamphetamine. He said that state laws making access to methamphetamine ingredients have made it harder to operate local labs but Mexican drug cartels are now producing most of the meth for sale in Wisconsin. He said the Mexican-produced meth is more potent, more addictive and cheaper.

He praised police and policy makers for battling opioids but implored them to turn their attention to meth.

FBI agents also are expected to address the committees.

8:55 a.m.

State and federal law enforcement officials are set to brief the Legislature’s criminal justice committees on a rise in methamphetamine use in Wisconsin.

The state Department of Justice, Milwaukee police and the FBI released a report in November that found methamphetamine use in the state grew between 250 and 300 percent from 2011 to 2015. The report said western Wisconsin and rural areas are seeing the most use.

The report predicts the state will continue to see growth in methamphetamine use over the next decade because rising amounts of high-grade, high-potency methamphetamine will keep prices low.

The Assembly’s criminal justice committee and the Senate’s judiciary committee will hear from Attorney General Brad Schimel and Justin Tolomeo, special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Milwaukee office, during a hearing Thursday.


Comments Off on Hearing details brutal torture and death of Scottie Goodpaster Jr. by four people in Sedgwick County District Court

The case against four people charged in the brutal torture and death of Scottie Goodpaster Jr. unfolded in Sedgwick County District Court last week.

For some witnesses, the details were difficult to recount.

The preliminary hearing, which is being held to determine whether the case will move forward, went on for two days and will resume Feb. 10.

Four people are accused of killing Goodpaster at a home on South Meridian in Valley Center Nov. 6. Heidi Hillard, Jeff Hillard, Willie Morris and Brian Bussart are each charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and three counts of aggravated battery. Jeff and Heidi Hillard are also charged with one count of rape. The fifth defendant, Alexandria Scott, is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.

The preliminary hearing lasted all day Feb. 2 and 3 for Heidi Hillard, Jeff Hillard and Willie Morris.

Scott waived her right to a preliminary hearing and will have a trial by jury on March 6. Bussart waived his right to a preliminary hearing and jury trial. He will have a bench trial on Feb. 23. He has accepted a plea deal in exchange for his testimony, which will dismiss all charges except for first-degree murder. Prosecutors are recommending a prison sentence of 25 years with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

Testimony came from three witnesses. Craig Bright is the former brother-in-law of Jeff Hillard and testified on Feb. 2; the two had contact on the day of the crimes. Goodpaster’s girlfriend testified on Feb. 2 and 3. Brian Bussart began testimony on Feb. 3 and will finish cross-examination on Feb. 10.

Goodpaster’s former girlfriend is not being named because she was the alleged victim of a sexual assault. The details of her testimony were difficult for some to process because of her borderline schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, which created some consistency issues in her testimony.

During cross-examination by the defense, the woman outlined a chaotic, drug-filled lifestyle she and Goodpaster had been leading during the month before his murder. She detailed homelessness and crime that became routine parts of the day for the couple during their month of acquaintance. According to her testimony, the couple woke up each day not knowing where they’d sleep that night; she said they often sold an ounce of methamphetamine each day and panhandled to pay for hotel rooms and other necessities. She said the relationship had “gotten serious” during their final week together and that the two were “emotionally attached.”

Nov. 6 was a typical day for her and Goodpaster, she said. They found a group of potential methamphetamine customers in Heidi Hillard, Jeff Hillard, Willie Morris, Brian Bussart and Alexandria Scott. According to the woman’s testimony during cross-examination, they also found a potential seller in her brother. Bussart testified during the prosecution’s examination that an ounce of meth can cost up to $800; the group was only able to come up with $185 so the woman’s brother offered to trade his handgun to make up the difference.

Things went south when the brother, who left the hotel room earlier, was arrested after being pulled over and failed to deliver the meth. No one else involved in the deal was aware of his arrest at the time and the buying party got anxious when they felt they had been swindled. According to the woman’s testimony during the prosecution’s examination, she woke up to the five suspects already inside of the hotel room. Bussart said that a third person, Danielle, was staying with the couple at the hotel room and opened the door when he knocked and told her it was him; the rest of the suspects accompanied him.

The woman said that conversations about the missing drugs and money stayed civil for about 20 minutes before Heidi Hillard asked to talk to her in the restroom and proceeded to threaten and question her. Heidi asked repeatedly about a “setup” before striking the woman in the head and knocking her to the ground, she said. The victims’ cell phones were taken by the suspects and the woman was told she would have to come with the Hillards, who she had just met, to “explain it to Ted,” she said. She was led out of the hotel room at knife-point and told by the Hillards to “remain calm” and “don’t act like anything’s happening,” she said.

Alexandria Scott went with them. The woman had known Scott for three years since Scott had dated the woman’s ex-boyfriend’s brother.

According to testimony, Goodpaster didn’t appear fearful at the time and left under his own volition with Morris and Bussart. Bussart said the three went back to the Hillard residence in Valley Center and smoked methamphetamine for several hours. Bussart had been living with the Hillards for about two months and had known Heidi for almost a year; Bussart had known Morris for five years and Goodpaster for four months.

The female victim said that she was driven to Walmart and questioned more about a “setup” and threatened. Scott was sent inside by the Hillards to purchase rope, zip ties and a blindfold; after returning, she asked to be taken home before telling the woman “you get what you deserve,” she said.

The woman was child-locked in the back seat of the vehicle with Heidi and was driven to an empty parking lot by Jeff. Once they arrived, Heidi used a taser on the woman about 20 times, she said. When she still didn’t give any answers about the “setup,” the Hillards got more aggressive. The woman said Jeff climbed into the back seat and laid on top of her while blindfolding her and zip-tying her hands together; he then took the taser from Heidi and proceeded to lift her shirt and use the taser on her abdomen and on her genitals.

After the tasing stopped, the woman said she was strangled unconscious by Jeff Hillard with a rope-like object. When she woke up, she said she begged for her life and admitted she was trying to think of anything to tell the Hillards to get them to stop.

She said that she told them Goodpaster claimed earlier in the day that he wanted to “set them up with law enforcement” after the meth deal was done. Bussart wasn’t present when she told the Hillards this, but claimed during examination that Heidi was enraged because she was under the impression Goodpaster would come after her children and try to get them taken away, a detail that wasn’t admitted by the female victim.

The woman said after telling the Hillards about the “setup,” Jeff “seemed to drive faster” back to the Hillard residence. Once back at the residence, the group lured an unsuspecting Goodpaster into a large farm shed with his blindfolded and zip-tied girlfriend. The victims were seated in wooden desk chairs and surrounded by the suspects. The Hillards began to question Goodpaster about the supposed “setup” that he may or may not have even known about.

Eyewitness accounts conflicted over who threw the other under the bus once Goodpaster and the woman were cornered. The woman said she became angry when Goodpaster started blaming her for the failure of the drug deal. Bussart gave a different account during examination.

“She just kept saying he’s a liar,” said Bussart. “He kept denying it; he never really blamed her for it, he just kept denying it.”

Witnesses said that Goodpaster was tortured over a two-hour period, mainly by the Hillards, while the others were present and failed to do anything to stop it. The female victim was cut loose and “participated” in the torture of Goodpaster, according to Bussart. She claimed during cross-examination that she acted out of fear.

Eyewitness testimony corroborated that while the Hillards began to question Goodpaster more aggressively, they began also using the taser on him, beating him and kicking him; he was struck with pieces of wood, a spray painter, fists and feet. The female victim said Heidi drove the sharp end of a hatchet into Goodpaster’s knee; she then threatened him with a knife before slicing his ear almost off and pushing screws into his ears. The woman said Heidi cut Goodpaster’s genitals and told him she would “make sure” he “didn’t have children.” The woman described Goodpaster’s screams as “yelps” and Bussart said the group started a mo-ped engine to drown out the sound. Bussart said the Hillards choked Goodpaster with an extension cord and attached jumper cables to Goodpaster’s nipples, but the battery on the other end was dead.

Bussart claimed during examination that he doesn’t like blood and couldn’t watch most of the torture. He left the scene in a pickup to get cigarettes roughly an hour into the torture. Eyewitness testimonies claimed that Morris struck Goodpaster once with a fist and that the female victim struck him twice with a piece of wood and again with a fist. At three different times, Goodpaster attempted to escape. On the third try, he dove through a glass window and badly cut his arm; this increased the profuse bleeding in addition to his nose and other injuries.

After crashing through the window and trying to run, Goodpaster was chased down by Jeff Hillard and beaten even more while Morris helped hold him down, the woman said.

She said she was sent after a wagon in the yard to help move Goodpaster when Bussart arrived back at the residence in the pickup and pulled it over to the group. Heidi was concerned that Goodpaster was now screaming outside and sent Bussart after a staple gun, the woman testified. She said Heidi attempted to staple his mouth closed and taped over the staples when he was still able to scream.

The group tied a rope around Goodpaster’s feet and loaded him onto the floor of the backseat of the pickup as Heidi’s young daughters arrived back home with their babysitter sometime in the morning, the woman said. Heidi took the woman inside with the children and Jeff drove away with Morris and Bussart.

Bussart said during examination that Goodpaster eventually stopped fighting when they were loading him into the pickup and stopped moving shortly after they left the driveway.

The female victim said she felt the suspects now trusted her but said she was still terrified and didn’t know what they would do to her. Heidi told her to shower and when she got out, she said she found Heidi in the bedroom with her daughters, she said. The two were then watching a video feed from cameras Bussart admitted to setting up a month before when the police showed up. The woman hid in the closet while the police kicked down the door and raided the house. The woman said that because she was on the run for probation violation, and also terrified, she lied to police about her identity.

Meanwhile, Jeff Hillard saw his neighbor, which is his mother, outside and feared that she had called the police, Bussart said. He headed south on Meridian to potentially throw off a pursuit and made his way to his former brother-in-law, Craig Bright. Bright lives on 93rd Street and instantly knew something was wrong when he saw Jeff, he said. He testified during examination that Jeff knocked at the door asking him to “help stash something” but said he didn’t need to know the details. Bright saw blood on Jeff’s hands, knew something was wrong and asked him to leave. Jeff again asked for help and inquired about cleaning supplies. Bright said he thought he could see someone slouched over in the backseat of the pickup as he gathered a couple of supplies for Jeff. He said Jeff told him the blood on his hands wasn’t his. He immediately called the police when Jeff left. He broke down during cross-examination.

“I can share this as a man I’ve known a lot of years,” said Bright. “I had never seen anything resembling the appearance that I saw on my porch that morning. I was fearful; and I had never had any reason to fear Jeff for anything. Jeff and I were brothers for a lot of years and I asked his help for things … so would I say I was shocked he asked for help? No. But I never dreamed I never dreamed it would’ve been.”

After being turned away by Bright, the men frantically searched for another place to dispose of Goodpaster’s body, Bussart said. They settled on a country location near a creek bed and some trees. Bussart said the men dragged Goodpaster’s body to a tree where they tied the rope around his neck and Jeff pulled the rope over a branch and hung the man’s corpse before dumping it in the creek.




Scottie W. Goodpaster Jr., 33, of Wichita, sexually tortured before he was killed over Methamphetamine deal – Heidi Hillard, 42, Alexandria Scott, 26, Brian Bussart, 39, Jeff Hillard, 49, and Willie Morris, charged

Comments Off on Driver in deadly Daviess County crash, Kelly Brey, 35, had “very high concentrations” of Methamphetamine in her system
 DAVIESS CO., KY (WFIE) – Authorities in Daviess County say toxicology results show the driver in a deadly crash had a high concentration of meth and prescription drugs in her system.

It happened on December 20.

The Daviess County Sheriff’s Office says 35-year-old Kelly Brey crested a hill on Pleasant Valley Road, lost control of her vehicle and crashed into several trees.

Brey was killed, along with her daughter, eight-year-old Abigail Brey and her daughter’s friend, seven-year-old Katie Hodskins. Deputies say they weren’t wearing seat belts.

Both of the children were second graders at Country Heights Elementary.

Authorities say Brey also had Clonazepan and a muscle relaxer in her system. The coroner says the amount of meth in her system was “a very high concentration.”


Comments Off on Madison grandmother, Shannon Westcott, 49, accused of selling Methamphetamine from her home where her two grandchildren live

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville grandmother was arrested after police say she admitted to selling methamphetamine from her home, where her two grandchildren live.

According to an arrest affidavit, 49-year-old Shannon Westcott’s Connare Drive home was searched on Tuesday by Madison Precinct police detectives.

Ten grams of meth were reportedly found in Westcott’s bedroom. Her grandchildren are ages 2 and 5, according to the affidavit.

Their mother, 26-year-old Samantha Roberts, also lives in the home.

Both women were arrested on Tuesday night and charged with two counts of aggravated hild neglect.

Westcott was also charged with possession of meth with the intent to sell, and she allegedly told police she sells meth to make a “little extra money.” Westcott also faces a weapons charge for a handgun and shotguns found in the home.

Both women are due in court on Thursday, Feb. 9.



Comments Off on Shelly Ann Bosley, 38, of Thornton, in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on Methamphetamine drug charges

NEWBURG — A Thornton woman was arraigned in Preston County Magistrate Court on Tuesday, Feb. 7, on charges of possession with intent to manufacture controlled substances.

According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 20, 2016, Preston County Sheriff T.E. Mitter was monitoring traffic on W.Va. Route 26 at Raccoon Valley Road when he observed a white Subaru Outback pass heading north with an expired inspection sticker and a young child in the back seat leaning up to the front seat.

Upon stopping the Subaru, Mitter contacted the driver and his passenger Shelly Bosley. In the back seat was a three-year-old child who, according to the complaint, was neither in a child seat nor a seat belt.

Deputy First Class C. Cline arrived on the scene and informed Mitter that Shelly Bosley and her husband, Michael Bosley, were “again believed to be manufacturing methamphetamine.”

Shelly Bosley has a current methamphetamine charge and “has been alleged to be still involved with methamphetamine.”

“Shelly Bosley then advised Deputy Cline that she had a ‘tooter’ in her purse,” the complaint continued. “Cline knows this to be slang for a snort straw commonly used for snorting methamphetamine.”

Cline began to search the vehicle he immediately observed a plastic ziplock bag containing coffee filters in Shelly Bosley’s purse.

Cline asked Shelly Bosley where there were coffee filters in the her purse and she stated, “she didn’t know why they were there.” Upon continuing the search, Cline located another pouch that contained multiple plastic containers with suspect methamphetamine, and more filters which contained a white powder substance.

The complaint reads, “Deputy Cline asked Shelly Bosley what the powder was and she stated that she did not know.”

Shelly Ann Bosley, 38, is in Tygart Valley Regional Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.