Bangladesh has seized 2.8 million methamphetamine tablets worth an estimated $10.5 million in the country’s biggest ever seizure of the drug, as it struggles to stem its surging popularity, officers said Monday.

Police confiscated the drugs in night-long raids on Sunday at a railway station in Dhaka and at an anchorage in the port city of Chittagong, elite Rapid Action Battalion spokesman Major Rumman Mahmud said.article-doc-765ye-1PKDBtosyQb614ed440cc33b3834-8_634x399

“This is the biggest seizure of yaba tablets in Bangladesh. We’ve arrested three traffickers including a ring leader in connection with the seizure,” Mahmud told AFP of their investigation, adding that the drugs were made in neighboring Myanmar.

Bangladesh is struggling to shut down drug trafficking from Myanmar, in part because of a river running along their long border which is difficult to patrol

Yaba, a Thai word for “crazy medicine“, is made of methamphetamine and caffeine and has become a popular drug among young people in the nation of 160 million.

Police in the southern town of Teknaf, which borders Myanmar, and the Bangladesh Navy have in recent months seized hundreds of thousands of the stimulant from traffickers attempting the journey by land and sea.

“The Myanmar-Teknaf border was the main trafficking route when the drug cartel introduced yaba in Bangladesh. But now they are mostly using sea routes after many of their consignments were seized on land,” Teknaf police chief Ataur Rahman Khan said.

“It seems Bangladesh has become a big target of the international drug cartels,” Khan told AFP.

The seizure comes just months after Chittagong customs officials seized a shipment of cocaine mixed in sunflower oil weighing more than 60 kilogrammes (132 pounds) and worth $14 million.

A Department of Narcotics Control (DNC) official said Bangladesh was struggling to shut down trafficking from Myanmar, in part because of a river running along their long border which is difficult to patrol.

“Yaba pills can be produced in small bathroom-sized labs. We shared our intelligence with Myanmar about the location of some labs. But they didn’t take necessary steps,” he also told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.




Two women from Denver, Colorado, are facing drug trafficking charges after accidentally leaving a pillow stuffed with more than $50,000 worth of methamphetamine in a Williston hotel room.

The stash was apparently part of a pound of methamphetamine that Tanya Morgan, 43, and Marina Rodriguez, 41, allegedly brought from Denver to deliver to “a person rodriguez_morgan_0known to law enforcement,” according to an affidavit filed in district court on Friday.

An employee at Winterton Suites hotel called police Wednesday after finding the pillow and discovering what was inside. Officers tracked Morgan and Rodriguez down at a nearby restaurant, where Morgan was allegedly found with cocaine and Rodriguez with methamphetamine and a small book with names and contact information, court records say.

Both women are facing Class AA felony charges, which carry a possible life sentence.

They were in tears during a court hearing in Williston on Friday afternoon, when district judge Kirsten Sjue set Morgan’s bond at $250,000 and Rodriguez’s at $100,000.




WILLISTON — Two women from Denver are facing drug trafficking charges after accidentally leaving a pillow stuffed with more than $50,000 worth of methamphetamine in a Williston hotel room.

The stash was apparently part of a pound of methamphetamine that Tanya Morgan, 43, and Marina Rodriguez, 41, allegedly brought from Denver to deliver to “a person known to law enforcement,” according to an affidavit filed in district court on Friday.

An employee at Winterton Suites hotel called police Wednesday after finding the pillow and discovering what was inside.

Officers tracked Morgan and Rodriguez down at a nearby restaurant, where Morgan was allegedly found with cocaine and Rodriguez with methamphetamine and a small book with names and contact information, court records say.

Morgan was arrested for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Rodriguez was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies at the Williams County Correctional Center allegedly found seven grams, or about $1,500 worth of methamphetamine in Morgan’s groin area during the booking process, and removed a smaller amount of the drug from Rodriguez’s groin as well.

Rodriguez told police that Morgan, who was going to pay her for driving with her from Denver, dropped off about a quarter of the pound of methamphetamine at “the receiver’s residence” when they first arrived in town, court records say.

Both women are facing Class AA felony charges, which carry a possible life sentence.

They were in tears during a court hearing in Williston on Friday afternoon, when district judge Kirsten Sjue set Morgan’s bond at $250,000 and Rodriguez’s at $100,000.

Prosecutor Nathan Madden said he requested relatively high bonds because the amount of drugs traced back to the women is “a significant quantity for the Williams County area.”

Morgan told Sjue that she’d planned on working in Williston, and was hoping for a fresh start here. “I was trying to start a new life,” she said.



NORTHPORT, Maine — A bail check of a local woman who was out on bail on unrelated drug charges ended with police discovering a suspected methamphetamine lab in her Prescott Hill Road home, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a Saturday news release.

Melinda “Mindy” Jo Way, 38, was arrested for violating her bail conditions and later

01/16/16 - Melinda Jo Way

01/16/16 – Melinda Jo Way

was charged with unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, he said. She was booked at the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset on Friday.

“MDEA’s meth lab team responded to the home Friday night and seized a substantial amount of evidence related to the manufacturing of meth,” McCausland said. “Way and a second person are expected to be charged on the meth violations, likely next week.”

McCausland did not give details about the second person involved.

Way and Brian Sanderson, 38, of Belfast were arrested for burglary in August for an alleged burglary at a residence along Hanson Road. Sanderson was charged with burglary, and Way was charged with burglary, theft and violation of bail, according to state police.

In addition, “Way and two others were arrested last April by troopers for forging checks from two Belfast businesses to purchase drugs,” McCausland said. “Way was the bookkeeper for the businesses.”

In the April case, Way was charged with forgery and theft, and Ryan Weaver, 33, of Monroe was charged with forgery, theft and violating conditions of release and Daniel Beeton, 25, of Stockton Springs was charged with forgery, theft and violating conditions of release.

The discovery of the Northport meth lab is the state’s second for 2016.




Two people face a total of 10 felonies after Fort Smith police say they found several illicit drugs and more than $3,000 cash in their possession.

Jessica Malone, 33, and Jason Cook, 38, both of Fort Smith, each were arrested on suspicion of felony possession of methamphetamine with purpose to deliver, web1_jessica-malone201611518468936possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance with purpose to deliver, possession of a Schedule IV/V controlled substance with purpose to deliver, possession of marijuana with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop near the intersection of South 16th Street and Dodson Avenue about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according a Police Department report.

After police witnessed the two leaving a residence known as a “hot house,” or place with a large amount of drug activity, police ran the license plate information in the database and found that the vehicle did not have any insurance. They also noticed that the vehicle had a brake light out, according to the report.

Police followed the two for several blocks before Cook got out of the vehicle and tried to quickly walk away before police made him get back inside, according to the Police Department. Police conducted a search of the vehicle and the couple and found 2.9 grams of methamphetamine, according to the report. Oxycodone, Carisoprodol (a muscle relaxant), marijuana and drug paraphernalia were also found in Malone’s purse, the report states.

On the floor of the vehicle, near where Malone was sitting, an envelope containing more than $3,400 cash was located, according to the report.

Police said it appeared as though the two were selling the drugs based on the amount they had in their possession and the way they were packed. Also found were several baggies that are commonly used for drug sales.

When police asked Malone about the large amount of cash, she said she got it during an insurance settlement a few months ago, according to the Police Department. Cook told police he didn’t know that there were drugs in his vehicle.

Cook’s vehicle was seized for evidence.

The two were released Thursday on $15,000 bonds.



On January 15, 2016 Lamar County Sheriff narcotic detectives and Paris PD narcotic detectives executed a search warrant at a residence in the 900 block of 3rd SE in Paris.

Detectives found that methamphetamine was being manufactured at the residence.

During the on-going investigation, Detectives using the NPLEX data base gained Lisa-Ann-Glasgowinformation showing numerous purchases of medication containing pseudoephredrine that is consistent with precursors used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

Detectives during the search warrant located numerous items used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including a large amount of methamphetamine over 4 grams.

Two individuals were arrested at the scene, a Terry Ray Glasgow w/m and a Lisa Ann Glasgow w/f living at the residence.

Both were charged with Manufacturing and Delivery of Methamphetamine over 4 grams less than 200 grams a felony, and Possession/ Transport Chemicals with intent to manufacture PG 1 a felony.

Both were transported to the Lamar County Jail were Justice of the Peace Cindy Ruthart set total bonds for each in the amount of $ 125,000.00 dollars.

At the time of arrest Terry Glasgow was currently out on bond for similar charges resulting from a Lamar County Sheriff’s narcotic investigation. During that investigation, Glasgow was arrested and charged with sixteen counts of Manufacturing and Delivery of Methamphetamine over 1 gram less than 4 grams as a result of sixteen separate “meth labs” located during the search warrant at the residence.

This is good police work and good continued working relationships between agencies that are working hard to get these drugs off our streets and out of our communities, and put these individuals in jail where they belong.



A Bullitt Central High School Teacher has been arrested and is now facing charges involving meth.

Authorities say Kristan Smith, 33, who teaches math at Bullitt Central High School, 9496597_Gwas charged with possession of meth early Saturday morning by Hillview Police.

As of Saturday afternoon, Smith was still employed by the school system.

The district has not yet made a statement about Smith’s future employment at the school.




The use of methamphetamine, a powerful and addictive stimulant, appears to be on the rise in both Walworth and Rock counties, officials said.

Before 2015, the Walworth County District Attorney’s Office saw only a handful of methamphetamine cases, but in 2015, the number of meth arrests rose, District Attorney Dan Necci said.

“Methamphetamine activity spiked dramatically in 2015,” Necci said while looking at a stack of meth files going back nearly a decade spread across his office floor.

A stack of 17 files sat in the 2015 pile while fewer than a handful covered the years back to 2008.

“Just anecdotally sitting in this chair doing all the drug cases, I think I had one meth case before this year … and now it’s coming,” Necci said.

Rock County deputies have been seeing signs of an increase, as well, said Capt. Todd Christiansen of the sheriff’s office.

“It’s here, unfortunately, in Rock County,” Christiansen said.

Most of the Rock County charges have been for possession of the drug, Christiansen said.

The only recent meth-manufacturing case in Rock County was in Janesville, one block from the county courthouse. Christiansen said before that, the only lab he can remember was a small-scale operation in the town of Beloit in April 2013.

State officials in 2013 called the town of Beloit operation an isolated incident. Before that, Rock County had not had a reported meth lab since 2006, officials said at the time.

Christiansen said he suspects most of the meth is coming in from rural manufacturers in Green and Lafayette counties and perhaps some imported from Mexico. “

It’s increasing. We’ve probably, in last two years, been seeing just a little bit more. We haven’t been seeing anything like the lab in the city (of Janesville), but it’s been moving in,” Christiansen said.

The lab discovered Jan. 3 in an apartment at 418 St. Lawrence Ave. in Janesville, like many rural labs, involved mixing store-bought chemicals in bottles, the so-called one-pot or shake-and-bake method.

About 10 years ago, Walworth County would find a meth lab once every three years, Walworth County Drug Unit Sgt. Jeff Patek said.

Patek said about 80 percent of the people facing meth charges in the county tie back to the same group of people or the same person who hopped house to house, staying with people and teaching them how to cook meth. This ultimately led to other people becoming addicted, he said.

The 2015 meth cases in Walworth County stem from a handful of meth lab busts across the county. Most involved more than one person making meth for personal consumption.

The majority of the methamphetamine manufacturing is for personal consumption, using the shake-and-bake method of cooking, Necci said.

Cooking meth involves combining poisonous, explosive and flammable chemicals.

The shake-and-bake method is especially dangerous. It combines various chemicals in a bottle. The bottle is then shaken until the meth separates from the liquid and is filtered out. It is highly flammable.

The question of why people choose to use, produce and distribute meth puzzles law enforcement and attorneys.

Alan Hunsader is a special agent with the state Department of Justice Clandestine Lab Enforcement team, a group of trained law enforcement officers who specialize in going into residences where hazardous meth labs and manufacturing ingredients are found.

Hunsader has been a member of the team since 2000. He’s been across the state and seen all sizes of meth production labs. He is based out of the Fox Valley area but has traveled to Walworth and Green counties for meth lab raids.

He said the “hottest area probably seems to be down by Walworth.”

It’s difficult to say why, in 2015, there was a surge in meth related arrests and charges in Walworth County, but Hunsader said drug trafficking is not confined by borders, and drugs can stay hidden for a long time before becoming a noticeable problem.

“It has evolved to a statewide problem, and it seems like 2015 has been a very big year for labs down in your area,” Hunsader said.

In the Fox Valley area, 2014 was a big year for single-pot meth labs.

“I think the problem is everywhere, it’s just where it is revealing itself. …Very often when you find one, you find many.”

The Gazette requested numbers of methamphetamine cases in Rock and Walworth counties from each clerk of courts office.

Necci raised concern about the numbers the offices provided because of how statutes are represented in online court records.

Figures from the Rock and Walworth county district attorney’s offices could not be obtained by press time.

Hunsader said he doesn’t know why people choose the highly addictive, corrosive drug.

The schedule II narcotic rots teeth, causes weight and memory loss, ages users and causes psychological problems.

Hunsader said he’s heard that when heroin use goes up in a community, methamphetamine can be “right around the corner.”

He said he has seen people mix heroin and meth and inject it together.

Rock County’s Christiansen said heroin remains at the top of the list for the harder drugs used in Rock County.

 “For a while, crack cocaine had kind of disappeared, but it’s back; it’s on its way up, and unfortunately, we’re seeing more and hearing more about meth,” Christiansen said.

Christiansen also had no theory about why meth use is increasing. He suggested anyone who sees how the drug can destroy a body would be frightened to try it.

Janesville police officer Jeff Winiarski, who worked on Janesville’s recent meth lab case, said heroin use is strong here because of low heroin prices.

Janesville is on the Interstate system, which is used as heroin-trafficking routes linking Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, Winiarski noted.

“It’s cheaper to get heroin than anything else, for people that are into that,” Winiarski said.

Winiarski has heard from counterparts in more rural counties where the price of heroin is three to four times what it is in Janesville.

And it’s rural counties where methamphetamine often dominates the illicit drug trade.

Travis Schwantes, office manager and assistant public defender of the Walworth County Public Defender’s Office, was a public defender in Minnesota between 2001 and 2009.

From 2001-05, methamphetamine “was the only drug we really saw” in Minnesota, he said.

Schwantes’ clients from the rural suburbs of the Twin Cities said they used meth to work long, hours, party, enhance sex and lose weight.

Schwantes recalled meth users whose appearances were drastically altered and would “end up looking like skeletons” because of the highly addictive drug.

“You see versions of that with other drugs but nothing so severe as with meth,” Schwantes said.

Users span all socioeconomic statuses and ages, Patek said.

In 2006, nationwide legislation went into effect limiting the amount of cold medicine with pseudoephedrine people could by. Pseudoephedrine is a common methamphetamine ingredient.

The limitations seemed to help in western Wisconsin, where in the late 1990s and early 2000s some counties were “run over with meth labs” of massive scale, Hunsader said.

Then, about five to six years ago, the state began to see an uptick in one-pot cooks, Hunsader said.

Schwantes recalled clients who got around the restrictions on pseudoephedrine by having teams of people buying it from a circuit of stores.

In Wisconsin, a gram of methamphetamine that has come in from Mexico through the drug cartels and made its way from the Twin Cities and eastward, costs between $125 and $150, Hunsader said.

In Walworth County, a gram of methamphetamine can cost between $120 and $150, Patek said.

The uptick in meth incidents may also be due to more training by the Walworth County Drug Unit, Patek said.

Last year, the unit began training more local police, first responders, probation and parole agents, health and human services workers and other professionals on what meth looks like and how to spot it, Patek said.

The ease of making methamphetamine is another draw, several people said.

People can look up recipes, directions and tips online. All the ingredients can be purchased at local big box stores.

Walworth County authorities have seen some higher quality meth they suspect was made outside the county or in a different state or country. The source of the higher-grade methamphetamine is not known, Necci said.

Mexican and Asian cartels are moving methamphetamine across the Mexican border to Chicago and the Twin Cities using established drug routes. The cartels’ deliveries of methamphetamine have been on the rise since 2006, when the stricter pseudoephedrine regulations went into effect.

Authorities aren’t sure how to address the growing popularity of methamphetamine.

Necci plans to reach out to prosecutors in northern Wisconsin, where methamphetamine has grown in popularity, to get a glimpse of what law enforcement is seeing, what they are doing and what users may be saying about their motivations.

“I believe that we as a law enforcement community, as a criminal justice community, we need to reach out to other communities who have been dealing with this and find some of this stuff out,” Necci said. “I think it will help everyone do their job better.”



Mexico has stepped up its war on drugs and sent 20 tons of illegal narcotics up in smoke.

Authorities in the border city of Tijuana, Baja California, incinerated the heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, opium and marijuana on Friday.569a037f1f000023002160bc

The Mexican attorney general published the footage that shows flames and a thick column of black smoke rising from the stacks of drug packages.

Nineteen tons of marijuana, 919 pounds of meth and 24 pounds of cocaine were among the drugs destroyed.

The controlled fire took place at the National Defense’s 28 Infantry Battalion base, according to a statement on the Mexican attorney general’s website.

More than 19 tons of marijuana was destroyed, as well as 919 pounds of meth, 24 pounds of cocaine, 15 pounds of heroin, 8 pounds of opium and 400 illegal prescription pills.

It comes after drug smugglers were caught this month trying to bring 2,493 pounds of marijuana wrapped to look like carrots across the U.S.-Mexico border at Pharr, Texas, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency said Wednesday.

In November, agents at the port also seized $1.7 million in marijuana and cocaine hidden in bags of fresh carrots and cucumbers.




Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop D arrested two people for drug possession yesterday after a traffic stop on I-10 in Sulphur.9659622_G

About 3:00 p.m. Thursday, a State Trooper assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop D observed a vehicle commit a traffic violation on Interstate Highway 10. After stopping the vehicle, the Trooper spoke to the occupants and requested and obtained consent to search the vehicle.  A search of the vehicle revealed approximately one pound of methamphetamine, a small amount of synthetic marijuana, $2,740 in currency, and a .40 caliber handgun.9659640_G

The driver, 37-year-old Jose D Ornelas, Jr. of Houston, Texas, was booked with possession with intent to distribute Schedule II drugs (methamphetamine), possession of Schedule I drugs (marijuana), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, illegal carrying of weapons, and improper lane usage.

The passenger, 24-year-old Ashlyn D. Litty of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was booked with possession with intent to distribute Schedule II drugs (methamphetamine), possession of Schedule I drugs (marijuana), and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both people were booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Center. Bond for Ornelas was set at $51,100.  Bond for Litty was set at $22,000.



Agents with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division arrested two suspects during a traffic stop in New Iberia on drug-related charges after they found what they believe to be methamphetamine hidden in the clothing of an 18-month-old baby Thursday.

While conducting a narcotics investigation in New Iberia, agents executed a traffic stop on a vehicle for no turn signal. During the stop, agents learned the driver of the vehicle, Abbeville native Keylan Vallot, had outstanding warrants for possession of 9658371_Gmethamphetamine and resisting arrest issued from the Lafayette Police Department on Sept. 28, 2014.

Vallot was also charged Thursday with failure to identify and driving while under suspension.

The passenger in the vehicle, Danielle Picard, attempted to conceal a small amount of suspected methamphetamine in her 18-month-old child’s clothes, who was also a passenger in the vehicle. When an officer picked up the baby, they said they felt a hard substance in the baby’s pocket, which turned out to be meth.

The baby was given to the Iberia Parish Office of Child Protective Services, Maj. Ryan Turner with the sheriff’s office said Friday.

Picard was then charged with possession of crystal methamphetamine and possession of a controlled dangerous substance in the presence of a juvenile. Both suspects were booked into the Iberia Parish Jail.



JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Police say a man arrested on drug charges admitted to making meth to sell so his ex-wife would have cash when she went to rehab.

Jonesboro police arrested Lemuel Brent Lewis, 40, early Friday morning on suspicion of possession of meth or cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.9660467_G

During a probation search of a “well-known drug house on Vine Street,” Officer Bryan Bailey reported finding a set of digital scales, a box of nylon gloves, match strips, and a used syringe.

Bailey also stated he found a syringe containing 0.5 ml of suspected liquid methamphetamine.

According to the initial incident report, Lewis “voluntarily stated that the items were all his and that nobody knew he had them.”

After being read his Miranda rights, Lewis reportedly told the officer his “ex-wife was supposed to leave for rehab so he knew she needed money and was going to cook a batch of meth.”

Bailey took Lewis to the Craighead County Detention Center to await a probable cause hearing.



A Grand Junction woman who was out of jail on bond for a felony methamphetamine possession arrest last year was arrested again Thursday for allegedly selling the drug to her 15-year-old stepbrother.

The assistant principal at Mount Garfield Middle School, where the 15-year-old is a student, found meth and drug paraphernalia inside a school locker, and the boy MURPHY_Justine_600x400admitted to a Mesa County sheriff’s deputy he had injected and smoked the drug at his stepsister’s house Wednesday night.

Justine Murphy, 35, was advised Friday she could be charged with felony counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a controlled substance, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and violation of bail-bond conditions and a misdemeanor count of child abuse. Mesa County Judge Gretchen Larson ordered Murphy held on a $3,000 cash bond after District Attorney Dan Rubinstein called the allegations in the case “pretty serious.”

Meanwhile, the teenager, KC Hatley, was arrested Friday afternoon on a felony charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful use of a controlled substance. He is being held in the Grand Mesa Youth Detention Facility, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office said.

Colorado law says the names of juveniles accused of committing crimes that would be felonies if committed by an adult are public record and can be disclosed.

A math teacher at the middle school said Hatley told her he had not slept all night because he had been at a concert with his stepsister. He later admitted to a school counselor that he had used meth Wednesday night and hadn’t eaten anything all day Thursday, according to an arrest affidavit.

The school’s assistant principal and the counselor searched Hatley for contraband and found him in possession of a butane lighter. They also searched a locker containing Hatley’s backpack and found meth and a syringe.

Hatley told a sheriff’s deputy he injected and smoked meth Wednesday night in his stepsister’s bathroom, and that Murphy sold him the drug, the affidavit said.

Hatley posted early Thursday morning on his Facebook account that he “had an awesome time at the concert tonight with my step sister.”

A sheriff’s deputy noted in the affidavit that Murphy was out on bond for a methamphetamine arrest last spring at the time of her new arrest.



ATHENS, AL (WAFF) – Narcotics investigators say it’s the most one-pot meth labs they’ve seen during a single bust in Limestone County in years, and a toddler was in the home.


Authorities say they discovered 51 labs, along with other drugs and several rifles, one of which was confirmed stolen.

Limestone County Deputy and Public Information Officer Stephen Young said a two-year-old girl was caught in the middle of the dangerous mess, and that someone looking out for her tipped off the Department of Human Resources about the situation.

DHR workers and sheriff’s deputies went to the mobile home on Carey Street in Athens Thursday night.9658598_G

Investigators say the trailer was full of used one-pot meth labs, They say one of the rifles of the six rifles found was stolen, and they are checking to

see if any of the others are, too.

Authorities say, they also found more than eight grams of methamphetamine, the dangerous chemicals used to make the drug, pills, and drug paraphernalia.

A family member is taking care of the girl. Her parents, 29-year-old Stanley Scott and 23-year-old Dustie George, are charged with chemical endangerment to a child, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute, and receiving stolen property.

Young said the health dangers from the chemicals aren’t the only problems for kids subjected to meth making. He said it sometimes takes intervention to break a generational cycle.

“Their children are around it and growing up, and then 10 -15 years later, they’re the ones in it. A lot of times you’re left trying to pick the best of a lot of bad alternatives,” Young said.

Stanley Scott and Dustie George bonds have not been set yet.



UNION CO., KY (WFIE) – In Union County, a child found a working meth lab in the woods. Now, three law enforcement agencies are working leads, hoping to catch whoever is responsible.

Uniontown Police say a 9-year-old boy was riding his bike when he stumbled upon items that he described, just didn’t belong in the woods. Police say he went straight to his mom who called the police.9662489_G

“We contacted KSP and Sheriff’s Office and both agencies sent meth lab technicians to the scene and we were able to determine that one of those labs were active, it was cooking at the time,” said Jeffery Hart, Uniontown Assistant Police Chief.

We’re told lab techs neutralized and properly disposed of the hazardous materials. That’s how they found evidence they hope will lead them to the suspects.

“We gathered a number of samples and collected a number of physical evidence here at the scene,” said Hart.

Hart says that the two liter bottle actively cooking meth could have quickly turned into a dangerous situation had the boy not known what to do.

“These one-pot meth labs are extremely unstable. Roughly 30-40 percent of the time they will self-ignite and cause fires and chemical burns so they are very dangerous and we are so happy he didn’t touch it.”

Officer Hart says all three agencies are following leads but no arrests have been made at this time.




A Terre Haute man faces numerous charges in connection with a meth lab fire at his North Terre Haute home in June.5699b28c34bdc_image

David J. Stewart, 37, was arrested on a warrant at 11:30 a.m. Friday by Indiana State Police troopers from the Meth Suppression and Drug Task Force Teams. Stewart was arrested without incident at a South Fifth Street location, and he was lodged in the Vigo County Jail with bail set at $60,000.

Stewart faces four counts of neglect of a dependent, and one count each of manufacturing methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of precursors, possession of methamphetamine, and dumping controlled-substance waste.5699b28c260ab_image

Stewart was inside a detached garage at 5593 N. Clinton St., when a sudden explosion occurred on June 15, 2015, police said. Two minor children were inside the house at that address, and one child ran next door to get help. The children were not injured. The garage was engulfed in flames, and was extinguished by the Otter Creek Fire Department.

Steward sustained extensive chemical and thermal burns, and was transported by TransCare ambulance to Union Hospital in Terre Haute, and later airlifted to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis.

A post-fire investigation on June 18, 2015, by ISP revealed numerous items commonly associated with methamphetamine production and a “one pot” meth lab inside the detached garage, police said.



A 20-year-old woman is in Greene County Jail after calling 911 to report she had tried to kill her boyfriend and he pulled a gun on her.

Brittany M. Prince, of Bloomington, was arrested early Friday morning on preliminary charges of Class B misdemeanor battery, Class C misdemeanor possession of an alcoholic beverage, Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and Level 6 felony possession of methamphetamine.

A probable cause affidavit filed with Greene Superior Court by Bloomfield Police Department (BPD) Officer Jordan Allor states he and Greene County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Davis Aerne were dispatched to a Jefferson Street residence in Bloomfield at 4:09 a.m. in reference to a domestic disturbance.

Upon arrival, the officers made contact with the male in the residence who reported Prince was his ex-girlfriend, but she was still staying at the home. His current girlfriend was in the residence at the time of the altercation.

Due to the nature of the call, the officers first asked the male where the gun was Prince had referenced in her call to 911 so they could secure the weapon. He directed officers to the couch where the pistol was hidden in the cushions.

Once inside the residence, Prince allegedly told officers she was asleep in the bedroom and when she awoke around 3 a.m. she walked into the living room to see the male and female on the couch together.

Prince reported when she saw the two together she got angry, picked up a bottle of vodka, poured it on the two of them and then lit a piece of her cigarette box on fire. At this point, she told officers, the male drew a pistol, pointed it at her and she let the flame extinguish.

She then called 911 to report the incident.

Allor reported that Prince later told officers she had not planned to actually set the couple on fire, but wanted to instead scare the male.

Allor said while at the scene he received written consent from Prince to search her purse, where she told officers the bottle of vodka was hidden. The probable cause says the officer also located a glass smoking device, a straw with white residue and a pen cap with white residue. The substance field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Prince reportedly told police she had previously used methamphetamine, but had not used the drug for several months.




Lincoln, Ill. – Six Lincoln residents were arrested early Friday for their participation in allegedly manufacturing over 900 grams of methamphetamine.

Donald Sturgeon, 29; Alexandria Bitner, 20; Rodney Lovelett, 25; Sarah Shelby, 21; Ashley Davis, 24; and Brandon Lovelett, 24, were all arrested at 1:05 a.m. in the 1000 block of Seventh Street in Lincoln.

Sturgeon was wanted by the Illinois Department of Corrections for a parole violation as well as a Woodford County warrant for possession of methamphetamines, according to a Lincoln police news release.Alex Davis

While doing surveillance, officers located Sturgeon in the 1000 block of Seventh Street. After a foot pursuit, officers found an active methamphetamine lab inside the residence where Sturgeon was located, police said. The other five people also were at the house and were “participating in the offense,” police said.

“Officers secured the residence and obtained a search warrant for the residence,” the news release said. “The Illinois State Police was contacted and responded with their tactical response team and methamphetamine team to clear the residence and process the methamphetamine lab where they located over 900 grams of methamphetamine.”

Police on Friday were searching for a seventh person, Robyn Johnson, 19, of Lincoln, who was accused of fleeing from the house and could not be immediately located.

Alexandria BitnerSarah Shelby

The Lincoln-Logan County Crimestoppers are offering a $1,000 reward for her capture. Anyone with information is urged to call Logan County Crime Stoppers at (217) 732-3000, where they can leave an anonymous message.

In December, Sturgeon was arrested in Woodford County for possession of less than 5 grams of meth and possession of paraphernalia. He had two felony cases in Logan County in 2004 for possession of a weapon/firearm by a felon and for residential burglary.

Shelby had no criminal history in the county. However, she was granted an order of protection against Brandon Lovelett in October of last year. That order was taken out two years after another woman filed for an order of protection against him in 2013. In 2008, Lovelett was arrested for theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. In 2014, he was again charged with possession of paraphernalia.

Rodney Lovelett faced misdemeanor domestic battery charges twice in Logan County in 2008. In 2014, he was charged with possession of a hypodermic needle and disorderly conduct. Last year, he was again charged with possession of a hypodermic needle and possession of paraphernalia, as well as theft.

Davis and Bitner have no criminal history on file in Logan County.

The owner of the home at 1006 Seventh St., where the suspected meth lab was found, did not wish to be named. But he said Friday that Johnson was the only one of the people involved known to be residing in the house.



The FBI has arrested a reputed member of the Aryan Brotherhood, the white supremacist prison gang, and accused him of plotting a contract killing in a remote corner of St. Tammany Parish.

Jeffery A. Howard, 45, of Nicholson, Mississippi, faces one count of murder-for-hire after federal authorities said he accepted a $2,500 down payment for the execution of a black drug dealer, according to court documents. The planned killing was to be retribution for an assault and robbery Howard had been told the drug dealer committed upon a woman.

In announcing the arrest, the feds made prominent mention of the drug dealer’s race — and Howard’s alleged membership in a white supremacist gang — but did not explicitly charge that the planned murder had a racial animus.

Howard, described as a known methamphetamine dealer, planned to carry out the killing Thursday evening at the Pearl River turnaround in a rural area near the Mississippi border, the FBI said. He was to receive an additional $2,500 after the murder, Special Agent Kevin Miller wrote in a criminal complaint.

Howard appeared briefly in New Orleans federal court Friday and is expected to return Jan. 29 for a preliminary hearing.

The FBI has been investigating Howard since at least June, but the bureau acknowledged in court filings that its early attempts to infiltrate his drug-dealing ring had been slowed because potential informants “believed Howard was violent and would kill their families.” The bureau characterized the probe as a “domestic terrorism investigation.”

Howard’s 83-year-old mother, Edna, said in a telephone interview with The Advocate that her son had spent 10 years in prison for residential burglary after becoming addicted to methamphetamine. “He got on drugs real bad,” she said. He was released about two years ago, she said.

She said she did not know her son belonged to the Aryan Brotherhood but recalled hearing him speak at times about white supremacy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the group as “the largest and deadliest prison gang in the United States, with an estimated 20,000 members inside prisons and on the streets.”

“On the streets, the (Aryan Brotherhood) is involved in practically every kind of criminal enterprise, including murder-for-hire, armed robbery, gun running, methamphetamine manufacturing, heroin sales, counterfeiting and identity theft,” the nonprofit says on its website.

The FBI described Howard as a methamphetamine trafficker “who has subordinate dealers operating in the Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana area.” According to the criminal complaint, the bureau received a tip in June that Howard belonged to the Aryan Brotherhood.

Agents eventually found an informant who, along with an undercover officer, conducted a series of “controlled purchases” of drugs from Howard at his home in Nicholson.

In November, according to the criminal complaint, Howard told the FBI’s informant that if he ever needed to “hit a lick on someone, that he was the man for the right price.”

The FBI conferred with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the complaint says, and “a story was devised” in which Howard was told that the undercover agent’s sister “had been assaulted and robbed by an African-American drug dealer in Pearl River.” It’s not clear if the drug dealer actually exists.

Howard agreed to kill the dealer for $5,000 and, in a series of recorded meetings, hatched a plan in which the FBI’s informant would bring the drug dealer to the Pearl River turnaround, just north of Pearl River, where he would “take him out,” according to the complaint.

Last week, Howard rode with the informant and the undercover officer from Nicholson to Pearl River, where he accepted $2,500 as a “down payment for the murder.”

“The second payment of $2,500 was to be paid after the murder,” Miller wrote in the complaint. He said Howard provided “detailed instructions” about how he planned to carry out the murder.

The kill had been scheduled to take place Thursday evening, authorities said, but Howard was taken into custody beforehand. He was arrested without incident and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

Edna Howard said she does not believe her only child has a history of violence. She said she believed he had been “framed.”

“That don’t sound like my son,” she said. “I just don’t think my son could murder anybody.”

“I know there’s a sad heart laying in his chest tonight,” she added, “because he don’t know when he’ll see his family again.”



CUBA, NY – A local police chief is in the odd position of having to press charges against a relative.635885490147674985-MethLabBust1

The police department in the Allegany County Town of Cuba confirms that Police Chief Dustin Burch charged his uncle after his officers found a meth lab.

Andrew Gaeta faces a slew of drug possession and manufacturing charges. Investigators sent us pictures of the lab they say was operating inside a home on Grove Street.

Police say it’s possible more people could be charged as the investigation continues.




MISSOULA, Mont. – Lee Yelin works for Water Rights Inc. He cleans properties contaminated by meth. He says meth cases are increasing in Montana.Still0115-00000-jpg--1-

“Back in 2005 when the program began, I would clean up one to two houses a year and test maybe one to two,” said Yelin. “Now it’s as many as I can fit in. I have a waiting list of nine properties that need to be cleaned.”

Yellin says a lot of the drugs are coming from out of state, because he typically doesn’t see huge lab productions here in the state.

In a recent case, court documents say Lester Oxendine traveled to Las Vegas to purchase a large quantity of methamphetamine. Police say he sold $640,000 of it in Butte.

Court records say officers found four ounces in Oxendine’s vehicle and another four in his home. Prosecutors charged him with one count of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

In another case, a grand jury indicted a couple from Hungry Horse for distributing large amounts of meth. A search warrant claims they moved to the Flathead from Spokane because Washington law enforcement was watching them.

That warrant says they were questioned in a murder and quotes a confidential informant as saying the two got their meth from a Mexican cartel.

Yelin says if anyone purchases a home they should test the property. He says with drug transport from state to state, the problem will only get bigger.





Indianapolis – Indiana’s methamphetamine problem isn’t going away – though it’s not in the headlines as much as the heroin/opioid epidemic. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Leigh DeNoon reports, while the police are doing what they can to suppress meth, legislators are considering ways to further inhibit production of the extremely addictive drug. Undercover officer, “What looked like a male back here, just got back in and they’re backing out now.”

Trooper Ennis, “All right. I’m clear. If they go in to Kroger, I would like you to tail them, if you could please.”

From his car outside a pharmacy in Monticello, Trooper Wesley Ennis was tracking a man he suspected was trying to buy what he needed to make meth, including the most important ingredient — pseudoephedrine. As he listened to his police radio, Ennis monitored a laptop where he can watch real-time Sudafed sales for every pharmacy in the state, and kept an eye on approaching traffic.

We’ve got a long eye now. We’re southbound now but we’re several vehicles back.” Indiana police made more than 15 hundred meth lab busts last year, nearly 100 more than in 2014. The term “meth lab” conjures up images of rural homes and trailers, or a scene from “Breaking Bad,” but these days most meth makers use what police call the “one-pot method.” It’s basically a plastic bottle with ingredients easily found in pharmacies and hardware stores. The explosive cocktails are now so easily concealed that Ennis says police even busted a “walking meth lab” in Lafayette.

“Sure enough, this guy had a live one-pot in a backpack that he was carrying. So, here we are in downtown Lafayette, and he is basically manufacturing meth as he’s walking down the street.”

While crystal meth – imported mainly from Mexico — is made in large labs using complex chemistry, home-cooked methamphetamine ingredients are simple and include the crucial pseudoephedrine. That’s why Senate Bill 80 would require Hoosier pharmacists to decide if someone is eligible to purchase Sudafed over-the-counter.

While the Indiana State Police won’t take a stance on pending legislation, Sergeant Mike Toles, acting commander of the meth suppression unit, says he’d personally like to see pseudoephedrine become a prescription drug. “The argument is…well, pseudoephedrine is a very effective nasal decongestant – and I agree it is. But there’s also over 100 other – actually probably over 130 other medications out there that you can get by going to your pharmacy that don’t require a prescription that you can get to address that.”

Toles is a veteran in the meth suppression unit, and he’s frustrated that despite law enforcement’s best efforts, they haven’t made more headway on a problem that too often involves innocent victims — kids. For him, it’s a family health problem. It’s a public health problem.

“We’re not just dealing with the user and the seller. We’re dealing with the environments. We’re dealing with children. You look at the numbers of children – we’re going to be over 300 children this year identified at labs. I hate to use this comparison – but sometimes it makes people think. If a dog were locked inside of a home where they were manufacturing meth and the dog became ill or died because of it – people would be writing editorials – they would be outraged. Where’s the outrage?”

Toles supervises meth investigators assigned in each of Indiana’s 13 state police districts, like trooper Ennis working the bust in Monticello. After undercover officers followed the suspect home, uniformed troopers helped arrest him…“…for possession of precursors. So, he’s a meth offender again that had purchased Sudafed, after being convicted of manufacturing meth. So we were able to obtain a warrant for his arrest and that’s what got us in the house.”

Lawmakers this session are considering whether to deny pseudofed for all felony drug offenders – not just those with meth convictions.


EAST COUNTY — Border patrol agents seized 46 pounds of methamphetamine, worth about $465,000, hidden in a Jeep’s secret compartment during a Pine Valley checkpoint inspection Wednesday, officials said.

A drug-sniffing dog alerted to a 1995 Jeep Wrangler about 11 a.m. as it approached the checkpoint on Interstate 8, a U.S. Border Patrol spokesman said.

Agents found 10 bundles of crystal methamphetamine in the secret compartment under the Jeep.

The woman driving and a man in the passenger seat, both 20-year-old U.S. citizens, were arrested, spokesman Payam Tanaomi said. The Jeep and the drugs were seized.

In fiscal year 2015, the U.S. Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector intercepted 2,266 pounds of methamphetamine, according to the agency.



After Methamphetamine, I’m Still the Boss

Posted: 16th January 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

By Danny Pintauro — January 15, 2016

One of the things I’ve been doing a lot of recently is reading emails from supporters around the world. I’ve heard tragic stories of loss and love, courageous stories of survival, and encouraging stories of hope and happiness. While I’ve heard from all types of people, the majority are from men and women living with HIV. We are a community who’ve been through something life altering and that brings you closer together even from thousands of miles apart.

But there’s an undercurrent in so many of the messages: Meth. I was expecting to hear from a lot of people who have come through Meth or are still grappling with Meth. What I wasn’t expecting is just how many have Meth and HIV in the same sentence.

My encounters with Meth started in late 2002, at the beginning of the ‘meth epidemic’ that swept through major cities around the country. And my Meth use mirrored the timeline of the epidemic, with the largest number of people using meth being recorded in 2004-2005. In a 2004 CDC study, the rate of use among gay men in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City was 22%, 16%, and 14% respectively. (CDC) That’s an astounding number: nearly a quarter of all gay men in San Francisco in 2004 were using meth. In 2005, the Center for HIV/AIDS Education Studies and Training (CHEST) did a study of men in New York City… their findings indicated that MSM (Men Seeking Men) who used methamphetamine were THREE times more likely to contract HIV through receptive anal intercourse than MSM, who did not use the drug.

Now you might think ‘Oh it’s 2015, surely we’ve gotten away from Meth, I’ve only ever heard of it from watching Breaking Bad.’ And though the numbers have decreased since 2004: 13%, 13%, and 6% in 2011 according to the CDC study I mentioned above — I would venture to say that the rate of infection amongst those who use meth is the same today as it was then. In a Seattle study by the National AIDS Treatment Advocacy released in 2013, Meth-using MSM were 5.2 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than MSM, who did not use the drug. In other words, MSM who used meth accounted for up to 20% of all new infections during that study.

Since I’ve been through Meth firsthand, these numbers are not surprising to me. I had only done meth maybe three times before I became positive. I could go on any of hookup site or app right now and point out the guys using meth — every five or six profiles is probably going to have a reference (sometimes obscure) to that person’s meth use, you just had to know what to look for. Never mind the fact that there are hookup sites built just for guys looking for other guys who PNP (party and play). Letendre

I could go on about Meth and I will discuss in another article soon, but my goal here is to talk about why guys seem to be contracting HIV more often while on Meth. Let’s talk about some of the factors involved:

1) The drug lowers sexual inhibitions, impairs judgment, and provides the necessary energy and confidence to engage in sexual activity for longer periods of time. (Yeon) For a lot of guys I’ve spoken to, when you’re high you are up for anything and all of the rules and regulations you had during sober sex go right out the window; there are many ways in which this can lead to contracting HIV. 2) Since you have all this energy and drive you to have sex off and on for a long time, for me it was usually three to four hours. I don’t know about you, but too much fun tends to lead to raw and sore body parts — these raw body parts could create an open wound situation. 3) Meth is a well-documented cause of erectile dysfunction. (Yeon) So the guy who can’t get an erection might choose to be the bottom instead, and bottoming carries a higher risk of infection than topping. 4) Meth causes ‘mucosal dryness’ — imagine the worst cotton mouth you can and times it by five in your mouth and anal area and this dryness can cause tissue tears, and everyone knows that a tear is a gateway to infection. 5) When I was on Meth and especially when I was coming down from meth, I always felt less inclined to take good care of myself, including forgetting to take my medication or skipping a doctor’s appointment. This could lead to having sores in the mouth that haven’t been checked, or ulcers or hernias in the rear that could present a problem, amongst a host of other problems. But, for me, the real concern is medication adherence. Luckily I never developed a resistance to any ARVs I was on, but it’s so easy to create a resistant strain of the virus by not taking your medication every day. So a guy who’s not taking care of himself could be putting his partners at risk because his viral load is not suppressed even though he might think it is.

Okay, enough facts and statistics, the point? There are still 13% (or more) guys in the gay community using crystal meth. I am going to say that every gay person in this country knows someone who has done meth or is doing meth … you probably don’t know it, but you know someone. And if those guys doing meth are still three times more likely to contract HIV than men not using, we’ve got a big problem.

There is absolutely no better way to talk about what we need to do now, as a community, than to quote the men who bravely took steps to address the meth problem in New York City in 2005 — Peter Staley and others from the Crystal Meth Working Group bought a full-page ad in the New York Times. It’s 2016, but their messages are, unfortunately, as relevant today as they were then:

So, here’s what we’re going to do.

We will take responsibility for our lives and the health of our community. We will make informed choices about sex and partying, and urge our friends and lovers to do the same.

We will not be silent. We will talk to other gay men about the dangers of crystal meth. We will create real prevention campaigns so that every gay man knows the real risks of meth use.

We will show compassion for those who are addicted. Meth is the problem, not those in its grasp. Addicts need treatment, not stigma. And if they’re in denial, they need to be challenged by those who love them.

We will fight for more money for drug treatment. We will advocate for treatment programs tailored to the needs of gay men.

And finally, we won’t let crystal meth destroy another generation of gay men. We will continue fighting the hatred that seeks to diminish our self-worth, our sexuality, and our relationships. We will continue to create and strengthen our political groups, our churches, our sports teams, our social clubs, and our families. We will lead by example as we have done before.

This article was reprinted with permission from the Central Voice.

Ron Pike was doing the nightly lock-up at Royal Prince Alfred hospital on a Sunday last September when a “code black” warning came over the radio.

The hospital security guard, who was in a patrol car with his co-worker Glen Dansie, was urgently required for a “personal threat” situation in 8 West 1: the geriatric ward.

Guards are not allowed to restrain or detain anyone and are there to ‘observe and report’.

About 25 family members were brawling violently following an argument between two women over who should be there with their dying grandmother.

“We didn’t know what we were running into. We tried to separate the fighting family members and then they were turning on us, bashing us, kicking, punching,” says Pike, 51, who has worked at RPA for five years.

Pike and Dansie were both badly assaulted, resulting in weeks off work. A female nurse had her hair pulled. Other visitors screamed and locked themselves in rooms until the NSW Police Riot Squad arrived.1452909587089

“We just didn’t have enough security personnel to control the situation, we weren’t equipped with anything to protect ourselves,” says Pike, the hospital’s Health Services Union (HSU) delegate.

Pike is a 26-year veteran of the security industry, having worked in nightclubs, shopping centers and on industrial sites.

But he has never seen violence like the current wave gripping NSW hospital wards, partially fuelled by the skyrocketing use of the drug crystal methamphetamine, or ice.

“It’s just getting worse and worse; it’s out of control and we’re losing the battle,” he says. “I’ve got two grown-up daughters who are often asking me to think about changing jobs. My wife is extremely worried; she says she has never seen anything like it.”

The security crisis in NSW hospitals deepened this week, following the near-death of a police officer and security guard, allegedly at the hands of a patient in Nepean Hospital’s emergency department.

Michael De Guzman, himself a registered nurse who left Westmead Hospital two years ago and had been battling an ice addiction, allegedly took a female doctor hostage on Tuesday night, holding a pair of scissors to her throat.1452909587089e

When police and security guards arrived, Guzman turned on them and, following a short struggle on the ground, allegedly pulled Senior Constable Luke Warburton’s gun from its holster and fired two shots. One hit the officer’s upper thigh, passing through his femoral artery and almost killing him. Security guard Barry Jennings was shot in the calf.

Guzman, 39, has been arrested earlier that day for break and enter and assaulting three police officers. He was taken to hospital in an ice-induced state, granted bail and left in the hands of hospital staff.

Police have launched a critical incident investigation and the NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner will meet with the HSU this Thursday to discuss hospital security.1452909587089d

“This sort of thing is happening all over the state,” says Pike. “Police bring in violent and aggressive ice addicts. Then the handcuffs come off and they get handed over to us but we’ve got nothing. We aren’t given any powers; we aren’t given any equipment. I don’t blame the police because they’re under-resourced and they do a fantastic job but there is huge pressure on us.”

The number of ice-related presentations to 59 public hospital emergency departments in NSW increased more than seven-fold between 2009 and 2014, according to a NSW Health background paper released in September. In the first six months of 2015, there were 1942 ice-related presentations – a 50 per cent increase on the same period in 2014.

NSW Health refused to provide Fairfax Media with any data on assaults in hospitals, saying violent incidents were not categorized clearly so it would be too time-consuming to collate them.

Using freedom of information laws, the Northern Star newspaper found last month that assaults on staff at Ballina Hospital had tripled in five years.

The secrecy around assault data has prompted the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association to launch their own app for members to log workplace assaults. The HSU conducted its own survey of security guards in 2013, finding that 50 per cent were responding to a duress alarm more than once per day. One in four had been spat on, three in four had been injured badly enough to require medical attention.

HSU secretary Gerard Hayes says he will ask Skinner for a round-table to be convened to get a clear picture of the crisis.

Skinner declined to answer any questions on hospital security before the meeting.

“We’ve had peak-level meetings before with ministers and they have basically looked at ways of dealing with the current situation without any major changes,” Hayes says. “The ministry is of the view that the security function within hospitals is adequate.”

In October, the NSWNMA asked NSW Health to put security guards in every emergency department. Ministry of Health workplace relations director Annie Owens declined, saying the current approach was “appropriate”.

Several hospital security guards have told Fairfax Media of chronic staff shortages, poor training and mandated powers that render them almost useless.

Guards are not allowed to restrain or detain anyone and are there to “observe and report”. They are not allowed to carry restraints such as handcuffs.

Nathan Sing, a security guard at Hornsby Hospital and an HSU delegate, says the hospital usually has just one NSW Health guard and one contracted guard on duty. He says three guards are off work due to workplace injuries.

On November 19, several patients in the mental health intensive care unit turned on Sing and other staff, headbutting and punching a nurse, punching an occupational therapist in the face and grabbing another nurse by the throat to strangle him.

“I was tied up for 11 hours with that incident which meant the whole hospital was left unguarded,” he says. “If you walk into an emergency department, there is no guarantee that you’re going to be safe at all.”

He says violent incidents are a weekly occurrence and “about 98 per cent” related to drug-affected patients.

Police data held by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows that assaults in NSW hospitals have increased by 5.5 per cent each year since 2012. Yet the raw number of 484 assaults in the year to September 2015 is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

Hayes says the concept of hospital security needs to be completely rethought.

He wants guards to be immersed in the clinical setting and given training with a medical bent so they can add to a patient’s health rather than simply act as bouncers.

He says the hospital security system is still stuck in the 1970s, with security officers sometimes performing menial tasks, such as putting parking tickets on cars.

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australian Medical Association have both backed a review of hospital security arrangements, saying staff face violence every day.

The AMA has suggested the introduction of “rapid response” teams in emergency departments – a mix of hospital staff tasked with handling volatile situations.

Pike says he has asked for such a team at RPA but has been knocked back.

“At the end of the day, you can’t protect everyone 100 per cent of the time,” he says. “But we can at least try to minimize the threat and protect staff as best as we can.”

A spokesman for Sydney Local Health District said RPA has about three violent incidents per week and adequately responds with a “multidisciplinary” team including clinicians and security staff.

Guards undergo training which “provides them with the skills, over and above those required for their security license, to de-escalate and manage difficult situations”.

A Northern Sydney Local Health District spokesman said Hornsby Hospital spent $1 million on security staffing in the last financial year, with 14 full-time positions.

The hospital “provides regular security and incident response training,” he said.




VALDOSTA, Ga. — Three Moultrie residents are behind bars on drug, pimping, and prostitution charges.

On Tuesday evening, investigators with the Special Operations Division of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office arranged to meet a woman for the purpose of prostitution. The woman, prostitution+arrestsidentified as 24-year-old Tomron Folsom, arrived to for the arranged meeting and struggled with investigators when they placed her under arrest.

The persons accompanying Folsom, 38-year-old Demetreus Williams, who tried to flee on foot, and 31-year-old Ada Slaughter, were also arrested.

Investigators found a quantity of marijuana and methamphetamine on the suspects. The methamphetamine was packaged for sale or distribution.

Tomron Folsom, Ada Slaughter and Demetreus Williams were all taken to the Lowndes County Jail.

Folsom is charged with prostitution and obstructing an officer.

Williams is charged with pimping, obstructing an officer, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

Slaughter is charged with pimping and possession of marijuana.

The Sheriff is asking that anyone with information about this trio to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (229) 671-2950; or anonymous tips can be provided at (229) 671-2985 or online at