WSIL — Two Carbondale residents are facing federal meth charges.

Heather L. Richey, 38, and Leeann M. Simmerman, 20, are charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

Prosecutors say the crime happened between 2010 and January 2014 in Franklin, Jackson, Union and Williamson Counties.

Richey and Simmerman are being held without bond pending a March 28 hearing.

Each faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine.



OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, MI — The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a methamphetamine lab was found at the scene of a mobile home fire Wednesday in Oshtemo Township.

The Oshtemo Fire Department responded to the fire in the 5500 block of Patriots Lane at the Colonial Estates mobile home park at 7:30 a.m. and discovered a one-pot meth lab. Deputies then responded and cleaned up the lab, according to a news release from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office.

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Two adults and three children were living in the mobile home. Charges are pending for operating a methamphetamine lab, deputies say.

Oshtemo Township Fire Chief Mark Barnes said the home sustained heavy damage but isn’t a total loss. No one was injured in the fire.




Two pounds of crystal methamphetamine police say is worth $32,000 was found last week in a vehicle pulled over on Interstate 985, Gainesville police reported Wednesday.

The driver, Thomas Dean West, 42, of Whitesburg, Tenn., and the passenger, Lee Ann Bishop, 53, of Bean Station, Tenn., were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine. West also was charged with removing or defacing ID or license plate and no proof of insurance.


The vehicle was pulled over for an equipment violation during the day March 20 near mile marker 18 in the northbound lanes of the interstate, police said. Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said he had no other information about what that violation was.

Some $3,000 in cash also was found in the car, according to police.

Holbrook said police did not want to release any information about the trafficking case until investigators had time to follow up on it.

He also did not release any information about where the two were headed or where they had come from, citing the pending investigation.

The Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Unit made the arrest. Holbrook said that is a proactive unit that typically works in high crime areas.

Bond has not been set for either West or Bishop. West has a committal hearing set for April 4 and Bishop for April 14.



CARPINTERIA, Calif. – Santa Barbara Police Department released the following information:

A nearly three-month long narcotics investigation culminated with the arrest of Renee Albert Zuniga, age 31, of Ventura, for possession of heroin for sale and possession of methamphetamine for sale.

In January 2014 detectives from the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Narcotics Unit initiated an investigation into Zuniga’s narcotics activities.


Investigation revealed that Zuniga, a parolee, was selling drugs to other dealers and to street level users in Santa Barbara County, including within the City of Santa Barbara.

Investigation further revealed that he was storing his drugs at his place of employment, Beach Motor & Tires at 4897 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria. On the morning of March 25, 2014 SBPD Narcotics detectives obtained a search warrant for that location.

Assisted by a State Parole agent and a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s K-9 team, the detectives served the search warrant at 1:00 p.m. that afternoon and contacted Zuniga.

Roughly 6 ounces of heroin and 9 grams of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $9000.00, were recovered from the premise.

Additionally over $53,000.00 in cash, believed to be proceeds from drug sales, was seized. Zuniga was arrested and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned charges with a bail amount of $30,000.00.

He was additionally booked on a no-bail parole hold.



A teenage girl was arrested Tuesday in Nogales after authorities found over a pound of methamphetamine in her undergarments, according to a statement of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Officers selected the 17-year-old resident of Nogales, Mexico, for additional inspection when she applied for entry to the United States through the Port of Nogales.


A search of the teenager revealed a package of methamphetamine near her crotch area, according to Marcia Armendariz, an agency spokeswoman.

Armendariz said officers seized nearly $18,000 worth of drugs and turned the teenager over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Last week, a 38-year-old Mexican national was arrested at the Port of Nogales after border officials said they found more than five pounds of heroin in her undergarments.

The woman was trying to drive into the U.S. with two packages of heroin in her bra and two more in her underwear, according to agents. The drugs were estimated to be worth more than $67,000.



Calexico, California - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Calexico ports of entry over the weekend seized methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in the rocker panels of two vehicles during separate incidents.

The first incident occurred shortly before 2:00 p.m. on Mar. 21, when a CBP canine team was screening vehicles as they waited in line for inspection at the Calexico East port of entry. The detector dog alerted to a 2007 Ford Focus, and officers escorted the vehicle and driver, a 31-year-old male Mexican citizen, for further examination.

During an intensive inspection, CBP officers utilized the port’s imaging system and detected anomalies within the rocker panels of the vehicle. Officers continued searching the vehicle and discovered 19 wrapped packages of marijuana, weighing 22 pounds, and 10 packages of methamphetamine, weighing 11 pounds, concealed inside both rocker panels.

The marijuana has an estimated street value of almost $10,000; the methamphetamine is valued at approximately $72,000.

The second incident occurred shortly after 6:00 a.m. on Mar. 22, when CBP officers encountered a 29-year-old female Mexican citizen driver after she arrived at the Calexico downtown port of entry driving a 2006 Ford Fusion. The vehicle and driver were referred for further investigation.

During an intensive inspection, a CBP detector dog alerted to the vehicle’s interior. A subsequent search led officers to the discovery of 25 wrapped packages of methamphetamine concealed within both rocker panels of the vehicle.

The total weight of the narcotics was 35 pounds, with an estimated street value of more than $100,000.

In both incidents, the drivers, each residents of Mexicali, Baja Calif., were arrested and turned over to the custody of Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing. They were both later transported to the Imperial County Jail to await arraignment.

CBP seized the vehicles and the narcotics.



HODGDON, Maine (NEWS CENTER)– On Tuesday NEWS CENTER showed you footage of the state’s seventh successful meth lab bust so far this year. The frequency of these meth labs popping up across the state raise several concerns about the safety of our communities, but also the price attached to breaking down these labs.

MDEA Commander Peter Arno said, “Each response is a little bit different, but anywhere typically between $7,000-$10,000. You know we are in a pretty rural area of Aroostook County and some of our agents and staff that we need come out of Central and Southern Maine. So just the response itself is expensive, the agents time, the laboratory costs, the clean up costs. It can run up a pretty stiff bill, pretty quickly.”

According to Arno, MDEA is on track to double the amount of meth lab busts compared to last year. If true, this would mean agents will see thirty busts costing roughly $30,000.

“Really we have to deal with them because they present dangers to not only the community but to the people living in the house.” explained Arno.

Another hit to the state’s wallet came back in 2011 when federal funding to clean up meth labs was cut leaving the burden on the state. Currently, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection is present at every raid and once samples are collected for the investigation they are in charge of disposing of the harsh chemicals properly. According to DEP spokesperson Jessamine Logan, each clean up costs anywhere from $700 to $2,000. Normally, the DEP could go after those responsible for reimbursement but Logan said in these situations it is not the case.

MDEA agents, however, agree something needs to be done to crack down on the number of labs even if it carries a hefty pricetag.

“So I don’t know what the answer is, I know that we need to do what we can to create a firebreak in the problem to get it and keep it from spreading into the communities…Law enforcement doesn’t hold the sole answer to the problem. In the case of drugs, it has to be an equal amount of drug enforcement combined with treatment combined with education. In and of themselves none of those hold the answer, but our best shot is going to be if we all work together.”

Along with the costs there are environmental hazards associated with these labs. Once a lab is broken down, the bottles or materials used to cook the drug, usually plastic bottles, are discarded. MDEA agents have found them showing up in redemption centers across the state and state chemists have voiced concern that sometimes the material ends up in our landfills and water supply posing another threat.