A Rome man was jailed Thursday after the Rome-Floyd Metro Task Force searched his room in a local hotel and turned up a variety of illegal drugs, according to Floyd County Jail records.


According to jail records:

Rome-Floyd Metro Task Force officers arrested Travis Sentell Wimbell, 34, at around 6 p.m. in his Royal Inn motel room, 1201 Martha Berry Boulevard.

Officers said Wimbley was found with more than an ounce of suspected methamphetamine that was packaged for resale.

Wimbley also had suspected cocaine and marijuana, which he tried to flush down the toilet.

Officers also found several grinders and scales and an unidentified pill that was not in its original container.

Wimbley was charged with felony tampering with evidence, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, drug trafficking.

He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of drug-related objects.

Wimbley remained jailed late Thursday without bond on a felony probation violation








A 31-year-old man is facing charges that he forced his way into a Billings home Wednesday morning and attacked his ex-girlfriend, who, with her twin sister, fended off the man.


The alleged burglar, James Robert Dill, was arrested later Wednesday after a foot pursuit in Laurel and made an initial court appearance Thursday on charges of felony aggravated burglary and misdemeanor partner or family member assault.

“He was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine,” said Paul Adam, a deputy Yellowstone County attorney.

Justice of the Peace Pedro R. Hernandez agreed with a request from the prosecutor and set Dill’s bond at $35,000.

Police started investigating the case Wednesday after an officer was dispatched at about 8:30 a.m. to a disturbance at a home on the 400 block of Terry Avenue, charging documents say.

Once there, the officer spoke with the woman and her twin sister. The alleged victim was visibly upset and had scrapes on one shoulder, the officer reported.

The woman said Dill is her ex-boyfriend. He had recently become obsessed with her and started stalking her, she said.

Earlier that morning, while alone at the residence on Terry Avenue, she said she spotted Dill peeking through a back window. She checked that all the doors were locked and then called her sister.

Dill left without causing any problems, she said. But she then noticed that a screen from the front window was damaged and lying on the ground.

A few minutes later, her twin sister arrived at the home. At about the same time, Dill also appeared.

He tried unsuccessfully to enter the house through a rear sliding door and then went to a window and started prying it open with a knife, court records say.

The woman yelled at him as he opened the window and tried to keep him from coming inside.

Dill, she said, overpowered her and climbed through the window.

He then chased her to a bathroom, knocking over and breaking a large dresser in the process, records say.

Once in the bathroom, she tried to close and lock the door, but he forced it open and slammed it against her, according to prosecutors. Meanwhile, her twin sister was on the other side of the door, trying to pull Dill away.

The woman said she managed to get her cellphone to her sister, who threatened to call 911 if Dill didn’t leave. He tried to grab the phone and swore at her, before running outside and fleeing in a Maroon Chevrolet Suburban, charging documents state.

The woman said Dill carries a backpack with several knives, a gun and his “needles” for injecting himself with meth.

Investigators tracked Dill, who is on probation and has multiple felony convictions, to Laurel, where the U.S. marshals assisted in arresting him.

An officer observed that Dill appeared to be high. A sample of his urine was collected for testing.

Dill is scheduled to enter pleas to the charges in District Court on Aug. 28.









A Callahan man and woman were arrested Thursday morning on drug charges after investigators found the makings of methamphetamine labs, plus chemicals and ammunition, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office.

Robson Image met_callahanmethbusts_01

Nicholas Adam Holden, 30, was arrested on charges of manufacturing or producing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of listed chemicals, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of ammunition by a felon, the Sheriff’s Office said. Patricia Robson, 41, is charged with manufacturing or producing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of listed chemicals, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at 8:35 a.m. at the home in the 54000 block of Lem Turner Road, the Sheriff’s Office said. A search revealed several plastic bottles, plastic tubing and a glass pipe containing methamphetamine residue, as well as ammunition, chemicals including multiple boxes of pseudoephedrine, two cooking vessels and other equipment used to make meth, the Sheriff’s Office said.








MONTGOMERY — The number of methamphetamine labs reported in Alabama has dropped significantly, according to the Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force and its report to lawmakers this year.

But some local sheriffs say meth busts are still a regular occurrence for them. Meanwhile, the same report says most of the meth in Alabama is smuggled into the state.

Barry Matson, chairman of the task force, recently told a panel of lawmakers that police were finding about 65 to 75 percent less meth labs than in previous years.

Matson later said no agency tracks the dismantling of labs or meth arrests statewide, but based on figures he has seen and law enforcement he talks to, he knows the numbers are down.

Matson said labs include both physical structures and the “one-pot” or “shake-and-bake” containers used to mix the chemicals that create meth.

He attributes the drop to legislation that put more restrictions on the purchase of cold medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, key ingredients in meth.

“I don’t suspect they will come back; you have to have ephedrine to make meth and we’ve cut that off,” Matson said. “Labs are down; the one-pot cooks are down.”

But according to the task force’s 2014 report lawmakers, most of the meth in Alabama comes from outside of the state, including Mexico.

Mexican meth is up in parts of Alabama,” he said. “What we are seeing is meth, on the back of cocaine, coming in.”

The increase of the availability of methamphetamine is a direct result of the drug being brought into the state from Mexican drug trafficking organizations, the report said.

The report also shows increases in the amount of meth seized by law enforcement. The amounts of heroin and marijuana seized also increased.

Locally, several sheriffs say meth is major problem and they’re not all seeing a decrease in labs.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Ronnie Willis said there has been a steady increase in meth lab arrests in recent years: 63 in 2012; 104 in 2013; and 101 so far in 2014.

But Colbert County Sheriff Ronnie May said meth lab busts are down about 50 percent in his county to about 54 last year.

“So far this year, if it stays consistent, it will be lower than that,” May said.

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said meth busts keep his department “awful busy.”

“I can keep two drug officers full-time dealing just with that,” Blakely said. “It is keeping us pretty preoccupied and keeping us from focusing on other drugs.”

He said there have been at least four meth labs broken up so far this month.

“There is rarely a week that goes by that someone isn’t getting busted for trying to get meth materials or making it,” he said.

In Morgan County, Sheriff Ana Franklin said that labs may be down a bit, in part because repeat offenders are spending longer in jail. But the amount of finished product in the area is up.

“(Those drugs coming from out of state) are much higher,” Franklin said. “It seems like people have tried to stop making their own … but the meth has not (decreased).

The rehabilitation of meth addicts is key to stopping repeat offenders, Franklin said, but treatment can take two years and there aren’t many programs available.

“The only thing I have seen that really fixes the situation, the recidivism, is a long, long lock up,” she said.







Four people arrested Friday when drug agents raided a Cherokee County home looking for the alleged leader of a multistate methamphetamine operation remain behind bars, authorities said Thursday.   Pelz-Colleen

Cherokee sheriff’s spokesman Jay Baker said agents from the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad had been investigating the activities of James Madison Flood III for two months.

Last Thursday night, the squad’s commander was contacted by agents with the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“ICE had been supporting the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office in a multi-agency investigation which pointed to Flood as a source of Methamphetamine in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina,” Baker said.

Armed with that information and a search warrant, agents executed the warrant at 4 a.m. Friday at a home on Vaughn Road, in the Hickory Flat area of the county near Canton, Baker said.

“Agents noted heavy security around the house, including several security cameras and a make-shift electrified fence,” Baker said Thursday in an email.

Agents arrested Flood, 28, of Canton, for trafficking in methamphetamine, Manual Jose Arce, 25, of Canton, for trafficking in methamphetamine and possession of a firearm while in the commission of certain crimes, Daniel Badger Franklin, 46, of Mineral Springs, N.C., for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Colleen Lucille Pelz, 38, of Mill Springs, N.C., for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.


Baker said agents recovered $7,874 in cash, four firearms and 14 ounces of methamphetamine valued at $21,000.









U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested two men early Thursday morning at the San Clemente checkpoint who had methamphetamine concealed inside their car.


The 33-year-old Mexican national driver and his 22-year-old male passenger arrived at the checkpoint at approximately 2 a.m. Agents referred them for a secondary inspection and a routine K-9 sniff of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring resulted in an alert.

Additionally, the immigration inspection revealed that the Mexican national passenger held a valid Visa, but did not possess an I-94 permit, which would allow the man to travel a distance greater than 25 miles from the U.S./Mexico international border. Due to the immigration violation and the K-9 alert, agents detained the men.

A search of the Chrysler revealed 19 vacuum-sealed packages of meth inside the gas tank and an additional 20 packages inside the vehicle’s rocker panels.

The methamphetamine weighed approximately 78.04 pounds and has an estimated street value of $780,400.

Agents arrested the two men for the possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. In addition, the passenger faces charges for his immigration violation.

The two men and narcotics were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle was seized by the U.S. Border Patrol.








The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico is for the first time prosecuting a suspected drug-trafficking organization on charges of distributing methamphetamine in the U.S. territory.

Sixteen suspects have been charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth and the date-rape drug gamma-butyrolactone, known as GBL. One of the suspects is the son of a local mayor.

An indictment released Thursday says the meth came from California and the GBL from China.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating the organization in September 2013.







The relationship between drug trafficking and terrorism has long existed, and can take many forms depending on the goals and needs of each party. Sometimes hybrid criminal-terrorist organizations form in which terrorist groups become involved in the drug trade to fund operations, purchase equipment, and pay foot soldiers. 29fb4bc2-438a-47a7-9b21-b4d06b9f4508

In return, they provide safe passageways for the drugs and give traffickers tips for circumventing customs and security forces. Other times a localized criminal organization or terrorist group lacks expertise, so increased contacts and business with major drug cartels helps advance the sophistication of their operation. Ultimately, though, both have logistical needs and working with or even talking to each other allows the groups to share lessons learned, important contacts to corrupt officials, and operational methods.

Thus, it’s not surprising to hear that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is already talking to Mexican drug cartels. Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, said as much on Newmax TV’s “America’s Forum” on Wednesday when asked if there’s any interaction between the two.

“My opinion is yes,” he replied. “There seems to be at least a talking to each other. How much? I don’t know. But … drug cartels use the same operational plan as terrorist groups do. They kill their opponents, they behead their opponents, they brag about it and they have operational control of many portions of the southern border of the United States. Mexico doesn’t. The United States doesn’t. Otherwise they wouldn’t be crossing daily with their drugs. They’re as vicious as some of these other terrorist organizations. We need to recognize them that this is an organized international crime group. And we have to deal with them as such.”

Even amid all the domestic and international crises going on at the moment, it’s important that the American people and lawmakers not give up on putting pressure on this administration to beef up border security. The crisis at the Southwest border is about more than just the illegal immigration of tens of thousands of Central Americans—it’s about national security. Criminals, violent gang members, drug cartel members, and yes, terrorists, are also coming in and will continue to do so as long as this administration puts politics and political correctness ahead of security.








LUCEDALE, Mississippi — Two Moss Point women were arrested Tuesday on drug-related charges in George County after a routine traffic stop, Sheriff Dean Howell said.


Geana D. Broadus, 37, of Pierce Road in Moss Point, was arrested after a consent to search the vehicle turned up drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine.

George County narcotics officers charged Broadus with driving with a suspended license, possession of paraphernalia and a felony possession of methamphetamine charge.

The passenger in the car, 25-year-old Laci Logan, also of Pierce Road in Moss Point, was arrested and charged with possession of paraphernalia.

The women were arrested at about 2:30 p.m. on Mt. Pleasant road in the Basin Community.

Both of the suspects were being held Wednesday in George County Regional Jail, awaiting an initial court appearance and bond hearing.








MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY) – Authorities arrested two people from Huntsville and had to use a Taser to subdue one of them during their arrests on meth-related charges. 53f4c02a1a987_image

William Chad Lones, 35, and Amanda Leann Erwin, 31, were arrested on first-degree meth manufacturing and felony drug paraphernalia possession charges Tuesday after a search at a home on Cardinal Road in Hartselle.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said drug task force agents searched the home after getting a tip that meth was being cooked there. Franklin said both Lones and Erwin frequently were buying cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine.


Agents found a one-pot meth lab in a bathroom and a burnt meth lab under a bed, Franklin said. They also found meth-making ingredients, baggies with meth residue and syringes.

While Somerville volunteer firefighters were decontaminating Erwin, she ran from the area and had to be tased to be subdued, Franklin said.

Lones’s bond was set at $252,500. Bond for Erwin, who was also charged with felony escape, was set at $302,500.










KLIN COUNTY, Alabama — Citizen tips have helped Franklin County sheriff’s deputies uncover one of the county’s largest methamphetamine operations ever, according to AL.com’s news partner, WHNT News 19.

From the left, Donald Wayne Clark Jr. and Billy Ray Clark

The sheriff’s office could not provide details to AL.com, but WHNT reports two cousins are accused of cooking meth following a residence search on U.S. 43 near the Colbert County line. Investigators reportedly found 92 one-pot meth labs.

Sheriff Shannon Oliver told WHNT the search resulted from complaints of unusual behavior at the residence. Deputies went to check it out and saw a meth lab out in the open.

Donald Wayne Clark Jr. was charged with 92 counts of manufacturing of a controlled substance. He has been released from the Franklin County Jail on $25,000 bond. Billy Ray Clark faces 20 counts and is still in jail on a $12,000 bond.









Two arrested; 92 meth labs found on Franklin County property

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – What may look like just a grown-up lot on Highway 43 North near the Colbert County line, one of the largest meth lab operations in Franklin County history was found.

Sheriff Shannon Oliver says two cousins were using the one-pot method to cook meth.

Oliver said during a six-hour clean-up process, investigators uncovered 92 labs on the property.

It’s an alarming number for even Oliver.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory,” explained Oliver. “When you mix this kind of stuff up and what it does to your body and what it could do, it’s very dangerous. If the least little thing was wrong, it could be a huge problem.”

Oliver said his department received complaints of unusual behavior going on at the residence.

When he sent deputies to check, they saw a meth lab lying out in the open next to a shed.

Donald Wayne Clark Jr. has been charged with 92-counts of manufacturing of a controlled substance.

His cousin, 35-year-old Billy Ray Clark is charged with 20-counts of manufacturing of a controlled substance.

Oliver says it appears they had been cooking the meth for an extended amount of time.

“We would like to think we are making a dent in it but it is hard to tell. There is so much that we may not know about. But the only thing we can do is just keep working at it because this drug is destroying people’s lives,” stated Oliver.

But with the help from citizen’s and their tips, Oliver says they can continue to fight the meth war.

Donald Clark has been released from the Franklin County Jail on bail totaling $25,000.

Billy Clark remains at the jail on a bail of $12,000.







Saluda, SC (WLTX)- Saluda County Sheriff John Perry took office in November of 2012, he says he immediately began to identify people involved in the Methamphetmaine epidemic in the county. During the course of 7 days, 10 people were arrested as a result of a month long meth investigation.


“Most of them can spend 50 dollars and make a profit of 500 dollars depending on how they break it down, ” said Sheriff Perry.

Sheriff Perry says not only is it cheap to make but the ingredients are at their finger tips. Perry says the sad reality is children are often involved and many times meth users can’t quit using the highly addictive drug.

“I have never seen a meth user come clean.”

Sheriff Perry says they have been educating their department along with the fire department on meth awareness.

“I want to send a clear message to those who are using or are planning to use or make meth, we will catch you and put you in jail,” said Perry.








Remember how $330,000 worth of methamphetamine was just found at the San Clemente border checkpoint on Aug. 6? Perhaps it was part of a great big drug convoy because two busts at the same border stop last week uncovered more than a half-million dollars worth of meth, marijuana and cocaine, according to federal authorities.


After the driver of a 2007 Dodge Ram truck was sent to a secondary inspection area around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, a canine alerted agents to the tailgate area, where 16 plastic bundles were seized, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Four bundles weighing nearly six pounds contained methamphetamine, and the 12 others that weighed nearly 30 pounds held cocaine, according to the border officials who estimated the street value or all the drugs at more than $440,000.

The truck’s driver, identified only as a 44-year-old male Mexican national, was held on suspicion of drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The following morning, a 26-year-old driver had his 2010 Chevrolet Malibu searched at the San Clemente checkpoint, where multiple bundles of marijuana were found in the trunk, behind the front and rear bumpers and under a blanket in the back seat and inside a hidden compartment, according to border agents.

The 480.5 pounds of pot seized had an estimated street value of $216,000, according to the agency, which arrested the fellow on the same charges as the Mexican national before turning him over to the DEA.








The Myanmar Police Force will begin investigating money laundering in cooperation with the United Nations Offices on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Zaw Win, chief of the force.

Cooperation is heightened after the Ministry of Planning and UNODC signed the integrated Country Programme for 2014-2017 on Monday, agreeing to collaborate together to strengthen the rule law and address significant crime and drug issues. The agreement was approved by President Thein Sein and the Cabinet.

Investigations into money laundering will include transnational crimes, narcotics, human trafficking and illegal timber extraction, Zaw Win said.

Parliament approved the Anti-money Laundering Law on March 14. UNODC’s support could affect investigations about share dealings at Asia Green Development Bank to determine whether the cash using to buy shares was derived from or connected to illegal activity, officials said.

The agreement calls for building the capacity for Myanmar police to implement UNODC programs according to international standards of policing.

Officials said that investigations into alleged financial aid to terrorist groups as well as efforts to reduce violent crime will accelerate following the agreement.

Zaw Win said there will also be a shift to prevention of crime that will be in line with the transformation to democracy. An opium poppy substitution programme for farmers will also be introduced in cooperation with UNODC, the police chief said.

Today, senior policy, law enforcement and justice delegates gathered at special regional conference in Yangon. They shared the information that East and Southeast Asia remains the world’s largest market for synthetic drugs, and the methamphetamine problem is showing signs of accelerating, with Myanmar being a key part of the jigsaw,

The event was organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Global SMART Programme.

Growing demand in East and Southeast Asia for methamphetamine is being met by large-scale production in China, Myanmar and several other countries in the region. Information presented at the conference confirms continued high, and rising, demand and supply of methamphetamine.

“Organized crime groups are well positioned to take advantage of regional integration agreements to expand the trafficking of synthetic drugs and precursor chemicals” said Jeremy Douglas, UN Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

“Capacities to ensure the rule of law vary greatly across the region, and this evolving and growing threat diverts increasing amounts of scarce state resources away from efforts to develop and improve governance. Douglas commented further that “It can’t be ignored that the billions generated for organised crime exceed the size of several national economies in the region. Where is the money going?”

While most of the methamphetamine produced in East and Southeast Asia is consumed within the region large quantities are also being trafficked to nearby major markets like Japan, Australia and New Zealand, and more recently to neighbouring South Asia. Transnational criminal groups also continue to identify new precursor sources and methods for production, and are diversifying trafficking routes.

Myanmar remains a major source of both methamphetamine pills and crystal methamphetamine or “ice”, with significant volumes from the country seized in neighbouring states. At the same time the Government of Myanmar officials acknowledged methamphetamine use is rapidly increasing across the country.

“A much greater degree of information sharing and cooperation is needed to effectively respond to the synthetic drug and precursor problems in our country and across Asean,” said Pol Lt Gen Kyaw Win of the Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control (CCDAC), Ministry of Home Affairs. “No country can tackle these challenges alone, and there is no doubt we need improved training and support for frontline law enforcement and justice officers, especially along the Mekong corridor and in remote areas of the region.”

Several delegations raised concerns about new psychoactive substances (NPS) also known as “legal highs” being produced by introducing slight modifications to the chemistry of controlled drugs. The fast-paced nature and evolution of the regional drug market has raised concerns that transnational organised criminal groups are expanding product lines to target youth.

In 2008, UNODC launched the Global SMART Programme to enhance the capacity of states and authorities in East and Southeast Asia to generate, manage, analyse, report and use synthetic drug and precursor information, and to apply this evidence-based knowledge to strategy, policy and programme design and implementation.

All 10 Asean nations and China now receive related assistance from UNODC through Global SMART. The programme is funded by the governments of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.


A 44-year-old Eldorado man faces a number of charges after Saline County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at his home Tuesday.

Inside Joseph Robertson’s home, deputies found 145 grams of cystral methamphetamine, more than 5,000 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine, more than $18,800, a .38-caliber pistol, a .410 shotgun, 31 Lortabs, 24 Xanax and numerous items of drug paraphernalia.

He was charged with aggravated methamphetamine manufacturing, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis.








ARDMORE, AL (WAFF) – An Ardmore man was arrested on Monday on drug charges after investigators responded to complaints at his home.4529626_G

Investigators received complaints that 48-year-old Ronnie Rolin was manufacturing methamphetamine. When they got there, investigators smelled a strong odor and discovered an active meth lab.

They also saw a haze of fumes in the home when Rolin answered the front door.

Investigators served a search warrant and found five, one-pot meth labs and an active gas generator in the residence. They also found one container of meth oil that Rolin was apparently in the process of making when investigators arrived.

Investigators also found chemicals that are used to manufacture meth, as well as a small amount of finished meth.

Rolin was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was set at $56,000.








FATE, Texas – Two Dallas area men were arrested by Fate detectives following a traffic stop which revealed over $600,000 worth of methamphetamine in their vehicle.

The two men, who have not been identified, were taken into custody and charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Additionally charges may be filed, according to the Fate DPS, including possible immigration violations.

Officials are continuing to investigate the bust to determine if there are any additional suspects involved in the trafficking of drugs in and around the community.

The suspects names have not been released.

Fate residents are encouraged to call the Fate DPS Criminal Investigations Division at (972) 771-4601 x118 or the Rockwall County Crime Stoppers at (972) 771-TIPS with any information concerning the possession, sales, and manufacturing of illicit drugs or any other criminal activity.









Walkers, joggers and children playing in the woods are being warned that any trash they find may be contaminated with chemicals used to manufacture meth.

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“On August 14th we had some children playing in an wooded area in East Oolitic and they came across the remains of a meth lab,” Craig says. “Parents need to be vigilant and talk to their children about the dangerous of finding and or touching what might look like trash. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into contact with the skin.”

The “trash” could be toxic, flammable, corrosive and acidic.

Craig’s advice: Don’t touch it and call police.

Indiana State Police say meth cooks are using a variety of containers to manufacture their product.

For example, 1.5-gallon gas cans have been found along the roadside by people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.

Other items to avoid: battery casings, Ziploc style bags, empty blister packs and containers that contain a granular material.

Be aware of any type of cylinder found in a field, ditch or wooded area that has a modified valve. The valve will typically be modified in some way and will have a bright blue color to it.

These cylinders are used to store or transport anhydrous ammonia, which is an extremely dangerous gas when direct contact or inhalation has occurred.

If someone comes across this type of trash, contact police.







East and Southeast Asia are the world’s largest markets for synthetic drugs. With rising demand for methamphetamines, health is not the only thing to suffer. The drug trade is also slowing development, say experts.  


The use of synthetic drugs, particularly methamphetamines, is escalating rapidly in East and South East Asia. Powerfully addictive stimulants, methamphetamines can deliver a euphoric high but come with devastating side effects including brain damage, psychosis and severe decay as well as loss of teeth known as “meth mouth” – a tell-tale sign which could become increasingly recognizable across the region.

In East and South East Asia, the drug is mostly consumed in the form of pills, or by smoking white crystals known as “ice” – notorious around the world as crystal meth. Following crackdowns over the last decade on plant-based drugs in the region, most notably opium, the market has opened up for the production of synthetic drugs, which is more difficult to detect as it does not rely on cultivating large areas of land.

Myanmar, which remains the world’s second largest opium producer after Afghanistan, is the principal producer of synthetic drugs in Southeast Asia. On August 18, the Myanmar government signed a landmark agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to implement a program tackling the country’s major drugs and crime issues. The country is also currently hosting a regional conference aimed at identifying solutions to resolve the problem.

Jeremy Douglas, UNODC regional representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, told DW that a transnational approach is essential when tackling synthetic drugs. One of the reasons the market has expanded so quickly is because economic integration in the region has created opportunities for drug-related activities across borders.0,,17339793_404,00

East and Southeast Asia are the world’s largest markets for synthetic drugs

Keeping up with demand

While the level of plant-based drug use across East and Southeast Asia has remained relatively stable, “synthetic drugs have really exploded,” Douglas says. “They’ve been very attractive to young users where opium or heroin is associated with the older generation,” he added. And the use of the drugs has not only grown geographically – their social appeal has also expanded. “More recently they’ve evolved again and gone upmarket, attracting different demographic groups,” Douglas added.

According to a report by the Australian National Council on Drugs (ANOD), “most countries of Asia are either producing countries or on major transit or trafficking routes from producers to consumer nations.” The growing demand for methamphetamines in East and South East Asia is being met primarily through large-scale production in China and Myanmar.

Between 2009 and 2011, the total number of dismantled laboratories in the region that were producing amphetamine-type stimulants rose by almost 90 percent, according to a UN report this year. Douglas believes, the key to stalling the trade is to target the precursor chemicals used in the preparation of these drugs. “Most of the countries in this region don’t produce the chemicals that are necessary to make the drugs,” he told DW. These chemicals are produced by pharmaceutical companies in countries such as China and India, and are then sold by traffickers to drug producers in East and Southeast Asian nations.

“Distorting effect”

The UNODC estimates that the trade of synthetic drugs alone generates almost 17 billion USD a year in East and Southeast Asia. “This money is in the hands of criminal groups which are able to influence public officials; they are able to launder the money into legitimate businesses so it has a distorting effect on the economy,” explained Douglas, adding that the huge economic power of the drugs trade can seem an attractive prospect for those involved.

After contacting a person familiar with the drug trade in China, DW found out that while “ice,” or crystal meth, was previously the most popular methamphetamine on the market, a new variety nicknamed “pork,” which is “stronger,” has now taken over. “Nobody takes “No. 4″ [high purity Heroin] anymore,” the contact told DW on condition of anonymity, adding that the price of “pork” has also increased. The drugs are produced in China’s Sichuan province, and close to the border with Myanmar, he said.

While some East and Southeast Asian countries do offer treatment for drug addiction – Thailand, in particular, has extensive programs. However, the treatment available is often not in line with international recommendations. The focus on confinement and withdrawal often results in high relapse rates, where community-based programs show longer lasting results.

While the punishment for possession varies, almost every country in the region enforces the death penalty for the trafficking of methamphetamines, depending on the amount of drugs involved.

“Synthetic drugs have been very attractive to young users where opium or heroin is associated with the older generation,” says Douglas

Undermining development

While poverty is believed to be the underlying cause of the surge in the market, the economy suffers even further from the ensuing financial burden. According to experts, the drug trade is a major drag on development in the region, drawing resources away from where they are most needed.

“A disproportionate amount of public expenditure is spent on the drug problem,” said Douglas. While law enforcement bodies are under pressure, court systems are clogged with cases, prisons are overrun and in some cases the health systems are struggling to cope with the number of drug related patients, he explained.

Furthermore, the criminal activity on account of drug trade is not only undermining development efforts, but also increasing human insecurity and threatening peace processes in the region, according to UNODC. The impact of the region’s methamphetamine habit reaches further than the growing number of users and producers. The powerful drug trade is chipping away at the region’s stability, even for those to whom “pork” and “ice” still just mean meat and water.









Results of a toxicology report released Wednesday showed the driver in last week’s fatal State Route 36 crash was under the influence of more than three times the lethal level of methamphetamine, which could have caused him to have a heart attack, according to the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office.

“Daniel Morris was very high, and his methamphetamine level was at 0.77 mg/L,” said Deputy Coroner Roy Horton. “Methamphetamine levels are potentially toxic around 0.2 mg/L, and that’s been known to kill.”

Morris, a 40-year-old Fortuna resident, died in the crash. He was driving a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup truck just east of Fisher Road near Hydesville around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 when the vehicle veered off the road and ran head-on into a tree, according to a California Highway Patrol press release. Three other Fortuna residents, including 33-year-old Alisha Marie Summerfield, her 13-year-old daughter Judith Maxine Martin and 20-year-old Savanna Nicole Line Ramirez were also killed.

Officials described it as the deadliest crash to be investigated by Humboldt County CHP in 12 years.

Four other occupants received major injuries and were taken to out-of-the-area hospitals. Twins Thomas and Taylor Wheeler, 15, were flown to UC Davis Medical Center, while 21-year-old Fortuna resident Christopher Spencer and Scotia resident Faith Anderson, 15, were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

“It’s my understanding that one of the twins still has pretty serious injuries, but they’re all expected to live,” Horton said.

CHP Officer Matt Harvey said he didn’t have any updates on the surviving victims.

“This is one of the more unfortunate reminders that we need to intervene if we see someone impaired that’s going to get behind the wheel, because we could save a life,” Harvey said. “It’s extremely sad and unfortunate, and impairment continues to be a leading cause of accidents in Humboldt County.”

Horton said it’s very rare to see that level of methamphetamine.

“I’m used to dealing with blood alcohol level, but this lends itself to a new level, and I’ve not seen this before,” Horton said, adding that no alcohol was detected in Morris’ system. “The vehicle left the roadway secondarily to the methamphetamine, which I think was the primary cause. The public needs to know why this happened, because it was so horrific. For someone to be driving around with that level is unfathomable. It leaves me speechless, and it’s scary.”

Horton said to be at that level, Morris “had to be a user in the past or present.”

“With methamphetamine, you don’t know how pure it is and this could’ve been really pure,” he said.

Harvey said the CHP accident investigation is ongoing.







Bellflower sheriff’s authorities seized 13 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop Tuesday night, officials said today.

A deputy made a traffic stop of a car that came back with a warrant Tuesday night, according to officials. The exact location of the stop and time was not released because the case is still under investigation, authorities said.

The deputy reportedly smelled marijuana coming from the car and searched the vehicle, resulting in the seizure of 13 pounds of methamphetamine, officials said.

At least one person was arrested. The person’s name was not made available.







CLARKSVILLE — Two men were arrested after they were found cooking methamphetamine Tuesday in a wooded area behind Hobby Lobby in Clarksville, police report.

Ricky Shepherd, 46, Clarksville, and Joshua Webb, 34, Tennessee, were each arrested on various preliminary, drug-related charges.


A Clarksville police officer reported that at about noon, “I got out of my vehicle and was checking the wooded area to the southeast of Hobby Lobby [located on Lewis and Clark Boulevard] for trespassers on town property, which I periodically do,” according to the report.

The officer saw the men sitting under a tree and determined they were in the process of making methamphetamine by the one-pot method.

After the officer activated his body camera to record the activity and identified himself as Clarksville police, Webb fled on foot, according to the report, and Shepherd was taken into custody.

Through the use of a CPD K-9 unit, including canine Maiko, Webb was located and arrested.

Before he was booked into the Clark County jail, Webb was taken to Clark Memorial Hospital for treatment to bite wounds.

Adding to his preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine; manufacturing methamphetamine; resisting law enforcement, possession of a precursor; and possession of a syringe, Webb was also preliminary charged with cruelty to an animal and battery to an officer for his alleged actions at the time he was taken into custody.

Shepherd has been preliminary charged with manufacturing methamphetamine; possession of a syringe; possession of precursor; and possession of methamphetamine.

An Indiana State Police methamphetamine lab team responded to the scene to safety process the possibly volatile drug materials.

According to online court records, the men have not had their initial appearances scheduled in a Clark County court.












KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A toddler aged child was transported to an Indianapolis hospital Tuesday following a warrant service by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies found a child had ingested materials used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Deputies arrested Richard Poe, of Bicknell, following the Tuesday incident. He was charged with five counts, including neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.

“It’s alleged that the young child had consumed the meth residue,” said Knox County Sheriff Mike Morris. “The contents of it, the draino, the ammonia the acids, it can literally eat through your skin or whatever else.”

Sheriff Morris explained deputies intended to serve the warrant to Poe for a May 2014 incident involving methamphetamine. Poe was incarcerated the Knox County Jail and the Department of Child Services was called to investigate the incident.

The toddler’s condition was not immediately known.








CALIPATRIATwo women visiting inmates at Calipatria State Prison are accused to trying to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine into the prison on Sunday.

Delores Ann Carrillo, 45, of Lancaster was visiting inmate Miguel Arellano, who has been convicted of carjacking, when prison staff noticed they were seated and behaving suspiciously, said Lt. Everardo Silva, prison public information officer and administrative assistant.



Carrillo and Arellano were continually looking in the direction of visiting staff and Arellano was seen reaching into Carrillo’s blouse and retrieving a bindle. Staff approached the couple, separated them, and recovered the one bindle from the inmate.


The bindle contained two smaller bindles, with one containing 17.6 grams of heroin with an estimated prison value of $13,200 and the other containing 4.1 grams of methamphetamine with an estimated prison value of $4,100.

The evidence collected linked Carrillo, Arellano to the crime as well as two others, Angelica Mendez Esquivel, 28, of Canyon County and the inmate she was visiting, Steven Mendez who has been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon.


Arellano and Mendez were placed into the prison’s administration segregation unit while Carrillo and Esquivel were booked into Imperial County jail.

If convicted, Carrillo and Esquivel will face three to five years in prison. A child who was with Esquivel was turned over to Child Protective Services.








SANTA CRUZ, Calif. —Santa Cruz police officers posed as drug users looking to buy methamphetamine from street dealers.

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The sting focused on three areas plagued by frequent drug dealing: Harvey West Park, the 200 block of Coral Street, and the top of Ocean Street.


According to police, one woman and five men who sold methamphetamine to the undercover officers were arrested during Friday’s sting.


The suspected drug dealers were: Kathryn Gibbons, 32, arrested at Grant Street Park; Kevin Jones, 42, arrested at Harvey West Park; John Burke, 55, arrested at Harvey West Park; James Beck, 45, arrested at Harvey West Park; Paul Ensminger, 49, arrested  on the 200 block of Coral Street; Anthony Rodriguez, 52, arrested on the 200 block of Coral Street.