Two female bus passengers were arrested recently after they tried smuggling narcotics through a local international bridge, according to records filed in a Laredo federal court.

Alma Delia Villarreal-Gomez and Cindy Lozano attempted to smuggle 41 pounds of liquid methamphetamine worth $820,000, states a criminal complaint.

Each woman expected a payment of $4,500 for smuggling the narcotics, according to Homeland Security Investigations special agents.

On Aug. 23, Villarreal-Gomez and Lozano arrived on a commercial bus at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers referred Villarreal-Gomez and Lozano to secondary inspection.

CBP said one of its K-9s alerted officers to the odor of contraband emitting from the luggage belonging to Villarreal-Gomez and Lozano.

CBP officers said they discovered in the luggage three bottles containing a combined 41 pounds of liquid methamphetamine.

In post-arrest interviews, both women allegedly admitted to picking up a package in Queretaro, Mexico, and were to deliver it in Austin.

The wars and conflicts of Tijuana have birthed a bleak, desperate generation of expendable men, and children, who fight for the street corners in the city. Rarely meeting their alleged ‘bosses’, middle management for higher profile leaders of the retail cells, they take orders from street level bosses, issuing commands through cell phone and radio communications. Payment almost always takes the form of crystal. Or in this case a few hundred pesos, which is the equivalent of roughly $60 dollars, depending on the exchange rate, which is around 15/1 currently.timthumbfrfefr

What can you buy with $60? An 8th/ounce of crystal in San Diego will run about that. Maybe $80. 1 gram, or 5 hits of MDMA, or ‘molly’ of questionable origins. A few ‘fusion’ cocktails over brunch in downtown San Diego, on a lazy Sunday, binge eating and drinking through the day. A few pieces of greasy pizza or hot dogs, 2 packs of cigarettes and a Coca-Cola. It’s not very much money. And, to many for whom that will never be very much money, they will never meet those who would commit murder for $60. Plus, an ounce of crystal. Or a half ounce. Joshua Issac Aguilar Lopez, 19, was arrested late last week in Tijuana, after allegedly assaulting a cab driver. Lopez was in possession of the ever present packets of packaged crystal for sale, and a 9 mm pistol. He reportedly told his interrogators he was part of the group of ‘El Grenas’, and was recruited 5 months ago. He was paid 300 pesos for identifying and scouting rival dealers to kill, and 800 pesos for collaborating on the murder, watching for police, and conducting surveillance.’With this price structure, one cannot imagine the cost for the actual shooter to be more than 2,000 pesos. So, we can recreate the comparison above with those figures, or just see the larger picture that murder, kidnappings, executions and their support are all available for a few hundred dollars. Poverty, addiction, apathy, and Mexico’s wrenching inequality have created this free market enterprise. Or not so free. Because if you collaborate with ‘Grenas’, his enemies will kill you. If you switch sides, his people will kill you. One can say “oh, he was a sociopath from birth, just evil personified’. But, there are many dead, and many killers, and they are not all from that cloth. To say with a straight face that hundreds and dozens of men, women, and children aspired to be killers and lookouts is very difficult. For me. Maybe not for others.

A grim sense of numb disgust comes as one imagine the bodies that turn up all over Tijuana, those that collect their payment, those that issue it, and those that sip the drinks on both sides of the border, whose daily lives don’t involve murder, or shootings, or kidnappings, who simply breeze through their days and Instagrams of shameless self-involvement….as others plot to kill, maim, and kidnap.

Sources: AFN Tijuana

At least three distinct Mexican drug cartels have operations with ties in El Paso, according to a recent Drug Enforcement Administration report.

The report “United States: Areas of Influence of Major Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations” identifies the groups with dominance in El Paso on a map as the Carrillo-Fuentes (Juárez cartel), Guzman-Loera (Sinaloa cartel) and the Beltran-Leyva drug-trafficking organizations.

Three maps included in the report illustrate the U.S. regions where the three groups and other Mexican drug cartels exert the most influence. One of the maps shows 2013 deaths by heroin overdoses by state and the areas of influence by the drug organizations.

“Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCO’s) pose the greatest threat to the United States: no other group currently is positioned to challenge them,” the report said.

“These Mexican poly-drug organizations traffic heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana throughout the United States, using established transportation routes and distribution networks. They control drug trafficking across the Southwest border and are moving to expand their share, particularly in the heroin and methamphetamine markets,” the report said.

The July 2015 DEA report states that the intelligence is current as of May 2015. It is the first the DEA has mentioned publicly that the Beltran-Leyva organization has ties to the El Paso border region.

It is more widely known that the rival Carrillo-Fuentes and Guzman-Loera cartels are the main drug-trafficking groups in Juárez-El Paso.

The DEA stated in the report that the intelligence was current as of May 2015,

Phil Jordan, ex-director of the El Paso Intelligence Center, said the DEA obtained good working information in its report.

“The fact that the Beltran-Leyva organization is active in El Paso-Juárez does not surprise me at all,” Jordan said. “Beltran-Leyva is an important and experienced player to be reckoned with. It should not be surprising also to have several cartels smuggling in the same border region, especially in the El Paso-Juárez corridor, which historically is one of the most lucrative.”

Most of the former leaders of the Beltran-Leyva cartel were arrested or killed; however, the DEA report suggests that members of the organization continue to smuggle drugs across the border.

In New Mexico, the DEA report indicated that the Sinaloa and Juárez drug organizations operate in the Las Cruces and Albuquerque regions.

The report said that as of May, five other Mexican drug cartels also operate cells within the United States: The Gulf cartel, the Knights Templar, Jalisco New Generation, the Zetas and the Moicas.

According to a separate DEA report, the 2015 “National Heroin Threat Assessment,” 8,257 Americans died from heroin-related overdoses, about three times the number in 2010.

“Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug abusers using heroin,” the DEA reported.

Natalia Melnikova, MD, PhD; Maureen F. Orr, MS; Jennifer Wu, MS, Bryan Christensen, PhD

Methamphetamine (meth), a highly addictive drug, can be illegally manufactured using easily acquired chemicals; meth production can cause fires, explosions, injuries, and environmental contamination (1). To analyze injury incidence and trends, data on 1,325 meth-related chemical incidents reported to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s (ATSDR) Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) system and National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) by the five participating states (Louisiana, Oregon, Utah, New York, and Wisconsin) with complete information during 2001–2012 were examined. The findings suggested that meth-related chemical incidents increased with the drug’s popularity (2001–2004), declined with legislation limiting access to precursor chemicals (2005–2007), and increased again as drug makers circumvented precursor restrictions (2008–2012). Seven percent of meth-related chemical incidents resulted in injuries to 162 persons, mostly members of the general public (97 persons, including 26 children) and law enforcement officials (42). Recent trends suggest a need for efforts to protect the general public, particularly children and law enforcement officials. Because individual state legislative actions can result in increased illegal meth production in neighboring states, a regional approach to prevention is recommended.

ATSDR supports state health departments to collect and analyze data about the public health impact of acute toxic substance releases. Data were analyzed from five states that collected information on meth-related chemical incidents for ATSDR’s HSEES system during 2001–2009 and for NTSIP (the successor to HSEES), during 2010–2012. All chemical incidents possibly related to meth production, including ammonia releases associated with thefts for presumed meth production, were reviewed and confirmed. Injured persons were classified as responders (firefighters, law enforcement officials, or unspecified responders), employees, and members of the public, who could include meth producers (i.e., “cooks”) or other household residents, including children. Joinpoint analysis was used to examine trends in meth-related chemical incidents.* Data on injured persons including their age group, injury severity, injury type, and population category were tabulated and analyzed by time interval.

During 2001–2012, a total of 1,325 meth-related chemical incidents were reported in the five states. Among all chemical incidents, the percentage that were classified as meth-related, by year, were plotted, and joinpoint analysis verified three trend periods: 2001–2004, 2005–2007, and 2008–2012. This percentage increased each year from 2001 through 2004, then decreased each year through 2007, and increased again through 2012 (Figure).

In 87 (7%) of the meth-related chemical incidents, 162 persons were injured, including at least 26 (16%) children (Table 1). Among those injured, 136 (84%) were treated at a hospital, including 19 (73%) children; 36 (22%) injured persons, including 19 (73%) children, required hospital admission. The percentage of injured persons who went to a hospital increased over time, from 75% (2001–2004), to 86% (2005–2007), to 90% (2008–2012). Two adults died: one, who might have been a meth cook, was found dead in a meth laboratory; the second was a law enforcement official.

The percentage of meth-related chemical incidents with injured persons increased from <5% during 2001–2004 and 2005–2007 to 10% during 2008–2012 (Table 1). The most commonly reported injuries were respiratory irritation (44%), chemical and thermal burns (27%), and eye irritation (22%) (Table 1). Chemical and thermal burns significantly increased, from 7% during 2005–2007 to 44% during 2008–2012 (p<0.001), temporally associated with new, hazardous production methods. During the same time, skin irritation injuries decreased from 20% to 2% (p = 0.004), eye symptoms decreased from 18% to 11%, and respiratory symptoms decreased from 57% to 31% (p>0.05).

Most injuries were to members of the general public (97) and law enforcement officials (42), followed by employees working in areas where meth contamination occurs, including hotels and motels, abandoned buildings, and treatment centers (14); and firefighters (7) (Table 1). The most commonly reported injuries among the general public were burns (43%) and respiratory irritation (37%); among injured law enforcement officials, respiratory irritation (64%), and eye irritation (38%) were most frequently reported (Table 2). Only two injured law enforcement officials used personal protective equipment (PPE). All seven injured firefighters used protective clothing with respiratory protection; one had respiratory irritation, but more symptoms consistent with inadequate skin protection (skin irritation) and wearing heavy, hot gear (headache and gastrointestinal) were observed. Among the 14 injured employees, nine reported headache, seven respiratory irritation, and seven eye irritation.


In September 2006, federal legislation restricting the retail sale of the common meth precursor drugs ephedrine and pseudoephedrine was enacted (2). Many states independently implemented this act in 2005, and the number of meth-related chemical incidents in the HSEES database subsequently declined. However, this trend was reversed in 2008 when meth cooks learned to circumvent the laws and obtain the restricted precursor drugs by purchasing permitted quantities from multiple locations, often using false identification and the assistance of other persons (3). Also around 2008, the “shake-and-bake” meth-making method became popular (4). This method involves shaking smaller amounts of precursor chemicals in a 2-L plastic bottle, which frequently bursts, causing burns and environmental contamination (3,4). Burn injuries increased during this time, particularly to members of the public, who might have been meth cooks or household residents.

“Prescription-only” laws for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine were enacted in Oregon (2006) and Mississippi (2010). Since the law went into effect in Oregon, fewer meth laboratories have been seized, and Oregon has reported fewer meth-related chemical incidents. Meth-related chemical incident data are not available for Mississippi; however, since Mississippi’s prescription law went into effect, fewer meth laboratories were seized in that state (3), but meth-related chemical incidents increased in neighboring Louisiana (5). To most effectively reduce meth production, a regional, rather than state-by-state approach to outreach has been proposed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, including implementing stricter laws limiting meth precursors, using electronic monitoring systems to track precursor purchasers, and developing and maintaining a database including information about offenders (6).

Workers, including responders, should be trained and prepared to recognize the different potential hazards of their occupations, and to know control measures to prevent injury such as avoidance, proper PPE selection and proper PPE use. Law enforcement personnel might encounter dangerous meth situations while responding to other calls, in conducting public safety assignments in response to meth incidents, and during meth laboratory seizures (1). Although the number and severity of law enforcement personnel injuries was slightly reduced, which might be related to targeted outreach, this group remains at high risk and needs training to recognize these risks and use appropriate PPE and procedures to avoid exposure and injury (7). The use of PPE by firefighters appears to afford respiratory protection; however, their gear is not designed to protect their skin from chemicals and can be heavy and hot during response. If possible, they should have physical fitness qualifications and physical monitoring for PPE usage.† Other workers were injured in locations where meth laboratories or contaminated persons are often encountered; therefore, employees working as cleanup contractors, or in housekeeping, patient intake, and other high-risk occupations should be alerted to the dangers.

Children who are present during drug production face many hazards in addition to threats to their health and safety (8,9). Several states, including Georgia, have enacted laws to protect children from meth-related injuries. In 2004, Georgia’s governor used ATSDR data to support passage of a law that provides for serious penalties to meth producers if a child is present or is seriously injured during meth production (8).§ As part of the president’s 2010 National Drug Control Strategy, the Department of Justice established the Federal Interagency Drug Endangered Children Task Force to provide guidance to professionals to help identify, respond to, and serve children endangered by drugs.¶

With the increase in residential meth laboratories comes an increase in contaminated housing. The Drug Enforcement Agency maintains the National Clandestine Laboratory Register, which lists meth laboratories or illegal dump sites reported by law enforcement; some states maintain independent registries. These registries might help prevent inadvertent occupation of nonremediated contaminated housing. The agency’s Clandestine Drug Laboratory Cleanup Program assists states with the removal and disposal of seized drug-making chemicals and equipment, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides national remediation guidelines and remediation support (9). In February 2011, state assistance was temporarily discontinued. During the unfunded period, according to an Associated Press report, local governments did not seize at least one third of known meth laboratories because they could not afford the clean-up cost, highlighting the importance of these resources for the seizure and effective clean-up of meth laboratories.**

The findings in this report are subject to at least three limitations. First, all meth-related incidents for the five states in the database might not have been captured because of the queries used. NTSIP does not include meth incidents in homes unless there is a public health action, such as evacuation. In addition, because of pending legal actions, data on meth-chemical incidents are often difficult to obtain. Second, because states rely on relationships with law enforcement agencies and on scanning media reports, the quality of meth-related chemical incident data differs among states. Finally, trends from the five states cannot be generalized to the entire United States.

Implementation of federal and individual state legislative efforts to curb meth production has sometimes resulted in unintended consequences, such as shifting the problem to other states and circumvention of laws limiting precursor availability. Public health outreach aimed at protecting the general public (including children) and law enforcement officials, the groups most often injured in meth incidents is urgently needed. Possible actions include additional legislative restrictions, continued support for the identification and remediation of contaminated housing, professional responder training, and identifying children at risk for exposure.

1Division of Toxicology and Human Health Sciences, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; 2Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, CDC.

Corresponding author: Natalia Melnikova,, 770-488-3697.


  1. Melnikova N, Welles WL, Wilburn RE, Rice N, Wu J, Stanbury M. Hazards of illicit methamphetamine production and efforts at reduction: data from the hazardous substances emergency events surveillance system. Public Health Rep 2011;126(Suppl 1):116–23.
  2. The combat methamphetamine epidemic act of 2005. Pub.L.No.109–177, Sec.701–56, 120 Stat.192, 256–77. March 9, 2006.
  3. Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President. Fact sheet: methamphetamine trends in the United States. July 2010. Available at Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon.
  4. Burke BA, Lewis RW 2nd, Latenser BA, et al. Methamphetamine-related burns in the cornbelt. J Burn Care Res 2008;29:574–9.
  5. Trachtman WC, Xiaoping N, Syed AA, Koehler AN. Considerable increase in methamphetamine events Louisiana, 2011. Louisiana Morbidity Report 2012;23:2–6. Available at Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon.
  6. Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President. Controlling precursor chemicals. Available at Web Site Icon.
  7. CDC. Public health consequences among first responders to emergency events associated with illicit methamphetamine laboratories—selected states, 1996–1999. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2000;49:1021–4.
  8. Horton DK, Berkowitz Z, Kaye WE. The acute health consequences to children exposed to hazardous substances used in illicit methamphetamine production, 1996 to 2001. J Child Health 2003;1:99–108.
  9. US Environmental Protection Agency. Voluntary guidelines for methamphetamine laboratory cleanup. Revised edition: March 2013. Available at Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon.

* Additional information available at Web Site Icon.

† Additional information available at

§ Georgia code § 16-5-73(b).

¶ Additional information available at Web Site Icon.

** Available at Web Site Icon.

WACO — Waco Police discovered a large drug stash during a traffic stop and a fully loaded handgun hidden in the female suspect’s vagina.

The incident occurred Monday night shortly before 11:00 p.m. Waco officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation and discovered a large quantity of Methamphetamine.8751663_G

During the arrest a male and female were taken into custody. While transporting the suspects it was discovered that that female had concealed a fully loaded Smith and Wesson .22 cal. Semi-auto handgun inside her vagina.

Officers had initially stopped a 1998 Toyota Land Rover at 15th and Blair in North Waco. After the traffic stop the Hispanic male driver, Gabriel Garcia, 30, was found to be in possession of 2.7 grams of Methamphetamine that he had concealed under his driver’s seat. Garcia was arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine in a Drug Free Zone. The stop was within 1000 feet of West Elementary School.

A further search of the vehicle found 29.5 grams of Methamphetamine in the female passenger’s purse along with a set of digital weighing scales. That Hispanic female, Ashley Cecilia Castaneda, 31, was arrested and charged with Possession of Methamphetamine in a Drug Free Zone.8751670_G

During Castaneda’s transport to the jail she told the officer that she had concealed a handgun inside her vagina. Officers immediately stopped and a female officer searched Castaneda discovering she had in fact placed a loaded Smith and Wesson pistol inside her body cavity. The weapon had a round chambered and a full magazine of bullets.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – A man who claimed to be on a five-day methamphetamine binge climbed a power pole and threatened to stab officers with a knife if he came down, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.

Officials say at 11:32 Monday morning, a police officer was flagged down by a witness saying a man had climbed a pole north of a Rite Aid store near Mt. Vernon Avenue and Bernard Street.150908-man-on-power-pole

Investigations found the man approximately 20 feet up a power pole, armed with a knife, saying he wanted to kill himself.

Officers called medical aid, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and police negotiators to the scene. PG&E was able to shut down the power to the pole.

The power outage left about 103 customers and several businesses in the area without power, according to officials.

The man came down after about an hour of negotiations. Kern County Fire Department officials set up a ladder allowing the man to get down safely.

The man, whose name was withheld, has been placed on a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation and was transported to Kern Medical Center.–325492981.html

A woman who allegedly gave her daughter drugs to hide following a traffic stop Friday was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, aggravated child abuse or neglect, and possession of drug paraphernalia, Trooper Vince Mullins, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said in a report.

Charged with the offenses was Christina Lee Bradshaw, 36, of 915 Roaring Creek Road.

Passenger Ethan E. Starette, 20, of 150 Horse Creek Road, was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, another report said.

Bradshaw and Starette have first scheduled General Sessions Court appearances on Wednesday.


Troopers pulled over a Saturn sport utility vehicle on Horton Highway and received permission to search from the occupants.

A plastic bag containing about 4 grams of “a white milky crystal substance” and a scale, along with a large quantity of cash and “other paraphernalia,” were found, a report said.

Bradshaw told troopers the drugs were hers. Bradshaw’s 16-year-old daughter was also a passenger in the SUV.

“I saw (her) stuffing items in her shorts as I approached,” the report said.

The plastic bag containing the drugs was found next to one of the wheels of the SUV, near where the occupants were standing, the report said.

Bradshaw was charged with aggravated child abuse or neglect for allegedly giving the teenager “a large quantity of methamphetamine and $1,840 in cash” to conceal “in an attempt to avoid detection, placing the child in imminent danger of serious injury and bodily harm.”


A “green glass stem with residue” and other drug paraphernalia items were found in Bradshaw’s purse, a report said.

Bradshaw was also carrying $1,088 in cash, the report said.

Starette was a passenger in the SUV “where his girlfriend and her mother were concealing a large quantity of methamphetamine, cash, and other paraphernalia,” a report said.

A small zipper case was found next to Starette that held a clear glass pipe containing residue and a razor blade, a report said.

Bradshaw was also cited for having no proof of insurance, driving an unregistered vehicle and speeding.

Bond for Bradshaw was set at $61,000. Bond for Starette was set at $51,000.

A Logan man ran afoul of the law Aug. 28 after he was allegedly found to be in possession of drugs and a stolen car.

Trooper S.M. Thompson, with the West Virginia State Police (WVSP), reportedly observed a suspicious vehicle on the side of the road in the Justice Addition area of Logan County. The vehicle’s driver was reportedly tampering with building materials on private property.web1_JoshuaBoggess-CMYK

Upon investigation, Thompson found the driver to be Joshua Wayne Boggess, 30, of Logan. Boggess reportedly stated he had permission from the property owner to take away any scrap from the construction.

Thompson was informed by WVSP Communications that the verhicle’s registration was improper and that Boggess’ license had been revoked for unpaid citations and an active driving while suspended citation.

While running more checks on the vehicle, Thompson was informed by WVSP Communications the vehicle’s identification number was registered as stolen in the state of Tennessee. While questioning Boggess about the vehicle’s provenance, Thompson reports he stated he obtained the vehicle from his girlfriend’s family who lives in Tennessee.

Upon searching the vehicle, Thompson allegedly discovered several hypodermic needles, a suboxone strip and approximately one gram of a white powdery substance believed to be methamphetamine.

Boggess was subsequently arrested and is charged with misdemeanor counts of driving on a revoked license, improper registration, simple possession of a controlled substance, simple possession of methamphetamine and a felony count of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. If he is found guilty on all counts, Boggess could be forced to spend between 1.5 and four years in a state correctional facility and pay up to $8,000 in fines.

Criminal complaints are public information. Charges listed in a complaint are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three people are facing charges after Lafayette Police say they were operating a meth lab from an apartment.

Police were called to investigate a chemical odor coming from an apartment at 318 S. 5th St. Monday morning. A maintenance employee for the apartment complex had arrived there to perform work and notified police.

Police found an inactive methamphetamine lab inside the apartment.

Officers arrested Bryan P. Hewitt, 51; Jessica C. Omand, 32, and Wayne C. Furman, 43, all of Lafayette.

Hewitt was charged with Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine and Maintaining a Common Nuisance. Furman was charged with Dealing Methamphetamine. Omand was charged with Visiting a Common Nuisance.

The Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppress Team assisted Lafayette Police in the processing and clean-up of this lab.

RATCHABURI — Authorities arrested an abbot and two monks for allegedly consuming methamphetamines at a Buddhist temple in Pak Tho district Monday.

A team of police and officials from the Ratchaburi Provincial Office of Buddhism raided Wat E-sarn in Moo 6 village of tambon c1_683876_150907215547_620x413Don Sai in the afternoon. Police said the operation came after arrested members of an accused drug gang told them they sold ya ba pills to monks at the temple. Residents also had complained that monks here were involved with drug use.

Police searched the living quarters of 46-year-old abbot Phra Baideekawisan Jattapayo and found drug paraphernalia along with numerous empty beer cans. Drug testing was performed on Phra Baideekawisan and 10 monks and novices at the temple.

Phra Baideekawisan and two other monks, Phra Decha Promjit, 35, and Phra Jetsada Charngmai, 30, tested positive for methamphetamines and were taken into custody.

The three confessed to using the illicit drug. Phra Baideekawisan told police his temple was previously used as a venue to organize a rehabilitation workshop for drug addicts. He once tried ya ba obtained from a participant and became addicted to it. After that he had bought the drug from local teen drug dealers who would deliver it to Phra Decha.

Phra Decha and Phra Jetsada said they had been on ya ba before entering monkhood three months ago.

BRISTOL, Va. — A raid on a Wood Howell Road residence resulted in the arrests of two people on meth-related charges and the removal of two children from the home last week.

The Washington County Sheriff’ Office arrested Christopher Cody Lester, 22, and Melena Ann Lester-Blankenship-meth-arrestsBlankenship, 25, while acting on a search warrant Thursday night at 20328 Wood Howell Road.

Sheriff Fred Newman said deputies received a tip that methamphetamine was being manufactured at Lester’s residence, resulting in the search warrant.

Both Lester and Blankenship were charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine precursors.

Lester was taken to the Abingdon Facility of the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail where he was held without bond. Blankenship, of 9 Chase Street, Honaker, was taken to the Abingdon Facility of the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail where she was held on a $7,500 secured bond.

As a result of the arrests, two small children were removed from the home by the Department of Social Services.

Eleven Iowans are facing charges for working together to sell meth.

Starting in the spring of 2013, nine people from Marshalltown, Iowa and two from Waterloo, Iowa, conspired to distribute meth, according to an indictment.

According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office, four of the accused, 46-year-old Donita Urban and 48-year-old Brian Swartz from Waterloo, as well as 30-year-old Alvaro Hernandez and 45-year-old Marcos Perez-Trevino, face 10 years to life in prison followed by five years of supervised release, a $10 million fine and $100 in special assessments if they are convicted.

Prosecutors say 51-year-old Scott Mathews, 28-year-old Daniela Castellanos, 22-year-old Rogelio Avalos-Sanchez, 20-year-old Jennifer Mares-Flores, 23-year-old Miguel Mendoza AKA “Loko,” 25-year-old Francis Gasca, and 27-year-old Alejandro Becerra AKA Juan Flores, all from Marshalltown, all face a possible 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, a $1 million fine, and $100 in special assessments in they are convicted, according to the statement.

The statement indicated that Hernandez appeared in court September 1, 2015. Urban, Swartz, Mares-Flores, and Avalos-Sanchez appeared in court on September 3.

The trial for the conspiracy was set for November 2, 2015.

MOSES LAKE — A man was arrested in Moses Lake Wednesday night after allegedly assaulting a woman while she was holding a small child.

About 6:40 p.m. the Moses Lake Police Department received a domestic violence report at a residence in the 800 block of South Winona Street, according to police records.

Police learned that Robert Guzman, 50, of Moses Lake, allegedly assaulted a 29-year-old woman during an incident.

Guzman allegedly grabbed the woman by the hair and slammed her head into the ground. He also reportedly slammed her head into the side of the house.

Guzman reportedly struck his fingers in the woman’s mouth causing the roof of her mouth to start bleeding, according to police records.

When the woman attempted to go inside the residence Guzman reportedly followed her in and pushed her down into a wall, causing her to injure her hand.

The woman was reportedly holding a 2-year-old child when Guzman pushed her into the wall .

The child reportedly hit his head on the wall, causing him to cry.

Guzman was booked into the Grant County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree assault (domestic violence), possession of methamphetamine, obstruction and for a valid misdemeanor warrant out for his arrest for fourth-degree assault (domestic violence).

NEW CASTLE, Del. — A New Castle County, Delaware, police officer started to feel ill this weekend while transporting a package that turned out to contain methamphetamine, a report says.

A police officer began feeling ill Saturday when he was transporting a package that contained crystal meth, reports say.

The incident took place round 1:30 p.m. Saturday, according to the Wilmington, Delaware, News-Journal.

The officer had picked up the package from a contractor working on an abandoned house in the Brandywine Hundred area and was taking it back to the police station to determine its contents.

While driving, The News-Journal reports, the officer began feeling ill.

The officer stopped his cruiser and was taken to an area hospital while numerous fire departments and a hazardous material crew surrounded the car.

After being checked out the unidentified officer was released from a hospital.

Hazmat crews remained on the scene where the cruiser was located for several hours.

Six children were taken to the hospital early Friday morning after Williamsburg police discovered a methamphetamine lab inside the apartment complex where they were living.

Williamsburg police charged Lakin P. Ayers, 23, Darren L. Canada, 26, Krysten M. Stevens, 25, and Steven B. Perkins, 28, all with first-offense manufacture of methamphetamine, first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and six counts of first-degree wanton endangerment.

All four were lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center.


About 6 a.m. Friday, Williamsburg Police K-9 Officer Jason Strunk and Officer Cody Jeffries received a report through 911 about a strong chemical odor coming from 55 Crisp Court in apartment number two.

Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird said the apartment buildings at Crisp Court are very small, and the building in question only had four apartments inside it.

Bird said that the minute the officers went into the enclosed breezeway, they were overwhelmed by the chemical smell.

“The officers knew they would have to get out pretty quickly,” Bird said. “When they knocked on the door of apartment number two they quickly learned that is where it was coming from so they secured everybody. There was an active one-step meth lab in the bathroom.”

Williamsburg police also recovered six grams of finished methamphetamine in addition to the active meth lab inside the apartment.

Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement Special Investigations officers responded to the scene to clean up the meth lab.

Bird said that the wanton endangerment charges stem from six children being present in the building although they weren’t in the actual apartment where the methamphetamine was being manufactured.

“A couple of children woke up that morning showing effects from the chemical odor,” Bird said. “You have to understand these apartments are two on the bottom and two on the top.

“The apartment where the meth lab odor was located was on the bottom so that odor was traveling up through the exhaust vents in the apartment and was filling the building. There were some kids directly above it.”

In addition to the methamphetamine fumes, which can be damaging to one’s health, Bird said the wanton endangerment charge was also filed because meth labs tend to be discovered when they blow up.

“This one was an extreme fire hazard,” Bird added. “These people had acid inside of Ziploc baggies that is definitely not the proper container for it. Had that acid leaked through those bags then you had major potential for a fire.”

Parents took all the children to the hospital and Bird said it appears that all six children are OK.’burg-apartment-complex;-four-people-arrested#comments

Papillion police say a 25-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of meth early Saturday after he flipped his car end-over-end on Highway 370.

Police were called just after 2 a.m. for a report of a vehicle driving east in the westbound lanes of Highway 370, said Sgt. Jerry Prazan with the Papillion Police Department. The driver attempted to cross the median and flipped his car west of 96th Street.

The man got out of his vehicle and walked to a nearby bar and grill. He was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The man was arrested on suspicion of failure to maintain a lane, driving under suspension, possession of meth with intent to deliver and driving under the influence of drugs.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — A former Stearns County deputy who once led the department’s Explorer program has been sentenced to two years in prison for violating his terms of release for a sex offense conviction.

Forty-five-year-old Phil Meemken had been on probation since June 2012 after pleading guilty to one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of providing alcohol to a minor. He was originally charged with 20 counts of proving alcohol to minors and then sexually assaulting them. Two of his alleged victims belonged to the Explorer post. He served about 220 days in prison before his release.

The St. Cloud Times reports ( ) his probation violations included using marijuana and methamphetamine, possessing pornography, failing to complete sex offender treatment and failing to keep in contact with his probation agent.

In a remote forest clearing in Mexico’s war-torn Michoacán State, armed and masked men are cooking crystal methamphetamine to be sold by their cartel in the United States.

After unloading barrels of chemicals and equipment from military trucks, the night air is soon filled with thick white smoke produced by their crude method of narcotics production.

‘We produce large amounts of narcotics and most of it goes to the United States,’ says the gang’s leader, who oversees the operation carrying a fearsome assault rifle.

‘Of course we are doing harm,’ he admits frankly, ‘But they can’t stop us.’

These narcotics are not being produced by a drug-smuggling cartel.

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cartel land dogwoof documentary dvd 4.jpg

Shockingly, they are being made by one of the government-sponsored ‘self-defense’ groups which were specifically created to rid Mexico of the gangs which terrorized the country.

The state of Michoacán in south-west Mexico, where these vigilantes produce their best selling product, went through a violent revolution last year.

After Mexico legalized the country’s growing number of vigilante brigades, thousands across the country took up arms to join so-called self-defense groups.

They rose up to fight the brutal Knights Templar cartel – responsible for drug trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping and arms trafficking – and freed themselves from the violence and terror that had plagued their lands for decades.

These ‘gangsters’ cooking up crystal meth deep in the Mexican jungles still wear the white dove of peace on their clothing – the symbol which came to represent the vigilante struggle against organized crime.

They have now taken on their vanquished enemies’ business of extortion, kidnap and narco-trafficking.

And they produce and distribute the same drug that has destroyed entire communities both north and south of the US-Mexico border.

‘Now that we’re part of the government we have to lay low,’ says the group’s leader dressed in his ‘Rural Force’ uniform.

‘It will always happen, and if not here then somewhere else in Mexico. You can’t stop it no matter what you do.’

Highlighted in a shocking new documentary released on Friday, this is just one example of the blurred lines between the drug cartels and the government in Mexico.

‘Cartel Land’, directed by Matthew Heineman, goes deeper into the criminal world of Michoacán than any documentary before.

Graphically showing the torture, shootouts and terror caused by vigilante justice, the film has sent shockwaves through Mexican society since its North American release two months ago.

The film tracks the descent into criminality of a vigilante force originally established to defend the public against organized crime.

‘By the end we see the lines between self-defense groups, government and cartel all meshed into one,’ said the film’s director Matthew Heineman in an interview.

One scene documents the funeral of six children who have been victims of the cartel. As the weeping families of their murdered young bury them alongside one another, an interview with one of the deceased’s mother tells the story of life in modern Michoacán.

‘There’s no hope here, only tragedy,’ she tells the camera as she tries in vain to hold back her tears, ‘This is what life is in Michoacán. The authorities do nothing – in fact they even help the criminals.’

‘I wanted to make a film about what happens when government institutions fail and citizens are forced to take matters into their own hands,’ he said.

Matthew spent nine month travelling throughout the crime-ravaged state of Michoacán in documenting the vigilantes’ descent into criminality.

‘I didn’t just want to parachute in and out,’ he said, ‘I wanted to be there and to be involved. It was only that way that I would be able to properly tell their story.

‘When I started the project I thought it was going to be a very simple hero-villain story, just like in the classic westerns with guys in white shirts versus guys in black hats.

‘Over time those lines between good and evil became ever more blurry.’

The gritty documentary deals with the issue of vigilante justice, and follows the self-defense groups’ leader Dr Jose Manuel Mireles on his quest to rid his beloved state of the insipid Knights Templar cartel.

Teaching townsfolk how to defend their communities from organized crime, the doctor and his men give the local people the knowledge, tools and courage to extract the rot of organized crime from their towns.

Yet as the movement grows in strength the group’s methods start to mimic those of the hated Knight Templar, the very scourge they are trying to rid themselves of.

In the troubled town of Uruapan, a man suspected of involvement with the Knights Templar cartel is forcibly taken from his wailing family to the self-defense group’s base.


The ‘Mexican Drug War’ is the government’s ongoing battle against various drug-trafficking gangs.

By the end of former president Felipe Calderon’s term in office, the official death toll stood at 60,000 although some estimated the true number of those killed could surpass 120,000, with 27,000 missing.

The government’s main goal since the army was brought into the conflict in 2006 has been to decrease drug-related violence, rather than stopping drug-smuggling altogether.

Cartels have existed for decades but their power and influence increased with the fall of the Colombian Cali and Medellin gangs in the 1990s.

A disturbing report from the Congressional Research Service claimed Mexican cartels were responsible for 90 per cent of the cocaine entering the United States in 2007.

It also said: ‘Mexico, a major drug producing and transit country, is the main foreign supplier of marijuana and a major supplier of methamphetamine to the United States.’

The same report claimed that gangs earned between around £9billion and £30billion from these illegal sales every year.


Once trapped in the vigilantes’ headquarters, he and other local men accused of involvement with the Templars are kept like caged animals, waiting for their turn to be tortured.

Whipping their suspects with belts, tazering them repeatedly and forcing admissions under duress and agonizing torture, the self-defense groups themselves become the villains, exacting a form of frontier justice that is sickening to watch.

‘It was a terrible thing to see,’ said Matthew Heineman, who travelled throughout the crime-ravaged state in the process of making his documentary, ‘In the end, the documentary says more than I possibly could about my opinion of vigilante justice.

‘It’s something we wrestled with every day during the shoot,’ he said, ‘And in the end it’s a film about the inevitability of power corrupting.’

Dr Jose Manuel Mireles, whose heroic fight for the citizens of Michoacán, was finally arrested last year after when he refused to merge his movement to the Mexican government’s fight against the cartel.

‘Despite his personal flaws, the doctor is one of the only ones who stays true to the idea of not giving into the government,’ said Matthew, ‘He always said that if we give into the government they’re going to screw us.

‘Ultimately because everyone else in his movement gave up their principles he as become the phenomenon’s biggest victim.

‘There were a number of times that I feared for my life during filming,’ the director said.

‘All the shootouts were terrible but the first was absolutely terrifying, particularly because for a lot of those scenes, I was filming by myself.

‘I dealt with the fear by trying to concentrate as much as possible on being behind the camera and the craft of film-making rather than the situation I was in,’ he said, ‘That would actually calm me down in these really intense moments.

‘Despite those more adrenaline-charged moments like the torture and the meth lab, the scariest experience for me was the interview with Milagros.’

Milagros was a woman who had been kidnapped by the ruthless Knights Templar cartel alongside her husband.

Her abductors raped her and then forced her to watch as they murdered her husband and hacked his body into pieces. Then they released her to warn others of the consequences of crossing the cartel.

Matthew said: ‘Hearing her describe the horrors of what they did, and then thinking that we’re the same species of human being that would do that to other people.

‘That mentally stuck with more than any of the terrifying things I lived through and saw first hand.’

The film also showcases vigilantes on the other side of the border – American groups who claim to defend their country against the ‘invading force’ of illegal Mexican immigrants and cartels.

Matthew spent six month gaining the trust of a band of vigilantes who call themselves the ‘Minutemen’ and patrol the Arizona stretch of the US-Mexico crossing.

When asked about his own opinion on the merits of vigilante justice, the director said: ‘I can completely understand why the self-defense groups rose up.

‘They were living under the tyrannical rule of the Templars with no protection from their government.

‘But is vigilantism sustainable? Well clearly in the case of the self-defense groups it wasn’t.

‘At the end of it all the cycle has repeated itself,’ says the director, ‘The violence has continued, the kidnappings have continued, and things are as scary as every in Michoacán.’

‘You can’t stop the cartel, no matter what you do,’ the final interview of the documentary with the government official – and crystal meth cook – tells the camera.

‘If it’s not us then it’s Sinaloa, or Guerrero or whoever else. While there is demand, there will be supply.’

A woman who police say left her 5-year-old grandson at a Wichita Kohl’s store after an aborted shoplifting attempt has been arrested, according to Sedgwick County Jail booking reports.

was arrested Friday in the 1900 block of South Broadway, on suspicion of child abandonment, theft and probation violation, booking reports show. She was booked at 2:32 a.m. Saturday morning.IMG_Williams__Kathleen_A_5_1_KT59GD4E_L140737510

She is currently being held at the Sedgwick County Jail, awaiting charges, on $505,500 in combined bonds.

Police have said the boy was left at the Kohl’s store in the 6900 block of West Kellogg on June 16 when Williams, his paternal grandmother, fled during a shoplifting stop and did not return.

The boy was placed in foster care after no one showed up to claim him. On Friday, Sedgwick County District Judge Jeffrey Syrios said he would remain there for now unless and until his mother’s life and home situation improved.

The boy’s mother, 25, lives in Amarillo, Texas. Attorneys said Friday in court that she tested positive for methamphetamine after recently giving birth and is or would be undergoing drug treatment in Texas. She has hasn’t seen the boy since August 2011.

The whereabouts of the boy’s father are unknown. The court had made attempts to find him over the summer, but he was found in default Friday by Syrios. His last known address was in Pueblo, Colo.

No other relatives have stepped up on the boy’s behalf.

In June, police said Williams, the paternal grandmother, was confronted after trying to leave Kohl’s with about $200 worth of women’s clothing. Williams returned the clothes but then ran from the store without her grandson.

He was taken into police custody.

Court records show Williams had a history of theft convictions and substance abuse problems. Wichita municipal court records indicate she pleaded no contest in March 2013 to two counts of misdemeanor theft – one charged for shoplifting from a south Wichita K-Mart store on Jan. 20, 2013, and the second for stealing from a west-side K-Mart two weeks later, according to Wichita police reports.

Later that year Williams was arrested and again charged with theft – this time felonies – for stealing a women’s tube top and jeans, a purse, a wallet and men’s underwear from the Von Maur and JC Penney stores in Towne East Square on Aug. 30, 2013, and for shoplifting food and a boy’s stocking cap from Dillons at 5500 E. Harry on Dec. 28, 2013.

She pleaded guilty in both cases and was sentenced to probation by a Sedgwick County District Court judge. The probation violations she’s been jailed on stem from these cases.

She also has convictions for possession of controlled substances in 2004 and driving under the influence in 2006 in Pueblo, Colo., as well as a history of methamphetamine and marijuana use in Sedgwick County, according to court records.

Williams was listed in July as one of Sedgwick County and Wichita police’s most wanted persons. She has been listed as an absconder since June 18 on the Kansas Department of Corrections website.

A methamphetamine bust yielded nearly a pound of meth at a Woodstock home.

Agents with the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad on Thursday arrested Timmy Lane Reed, 54, and Sherri Satterfield, 49, both of Woodstock. They both have been charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.20150955e9fef8a5902

Reed and Satterfield remain in custody at the Cherokee Adult Detention Center with no bond.

The agency received information that Reed was an alleged source of meth in the southern part of the county. Agents executed a search warrant Sept. 3 at the home in Woodstock, and seized more than half-pound of methamphetamine, the agency said in a press release.

The weight of the drugs at the scene was more than nine times the weight required for a trafficking charge in Georgia, CMANS Commander Phil Price said.

Charges will be ultimately based on the official weight determined by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab.

The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Divisions is also following up on several guns, motor vehicles and automobile parts seen at the residence during the drug search.

Methamphetamine continues to be the most commonly abused drug in Cherokee County.

Last year, CMANS agents made 26 methamphetamine trafficking arrests and seized over 10 pounds of the drug. In the first seven months of 2015, CMANS Agents have made 27 methamphetamine trafficking arrests and seized over 7 pounds of meth.

In contrast, CMANS agents in 2014 seized less than one ounce total of heroin. In the first seven months of 2014, the aency seized slightly more than 2 ounces of heroin.

“There is sometimes the perception that CMANS makes numerous drug charges because the county is riddled with drugs,” Price added. “I would contend that is not true, but that by our hard work and with the cooperation of the citizens of Cherokee County we have made this county a difficult and challenging place to deal drugs. One of our favorite things to hear when trying to set up an undercover drug buy is that the dealer is afraid to come to Cherokee County. We are happy to hand that suspect off to one of our neighboring counties.”

The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad is a joint task force that investigates drug related violations. Participating agencies include the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, Canton Police Department, Woodstock Police Department, Holly Springs Police Department, Ball Ground Police Department, Cherokee County Marshal’s Office, District Attorney’s Office for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia State Patrol.

Citizens may call in tips anonymously to (770) 345-7920 or may speak to an agent by calling (678) 493-7625

An Otis woman faces several criminal charges following a drug investigation in Lincoln City.

Lincoln City Police detectives arrested Marissa Anne Baker, 37, on multiple drug charges including distribution of heroin and methamphetamine following an Aug. 28 raid on a residence in southeast Lincoln City.55e905fe4732e_image

Police entered the home in the 300 block of SE Port Avenue to serve a narcotics and stolen property search warrant. Detectives located Baker in the bathroom. According to a probable cause affidavit, Baker told officers she had been making up a syringe of heroin when the detectives arrived and ran to the bathroom.

A search of Baker’s purse revealed numerous syringes, digital scales and plastic bags containing suspected heroin residue. Detectives found money scattered on the floor of the bathroom, a cell phone hidden under a towel and pouch containing heroin and methamphetamine.

Baker allegedly admitted to a detective that she was selling the drugs but refused to identify any of her customers. She did provide police with specific details about how much she paid her suppliers for the drugs and how much she resold them for.

Police transported Baker to the Lincoln County Jail where she was book on the following felony charges.

  • Unlawful possession of methamphetamine
  • Two counts of unlawful delivery of methamphetamine
  • Unlawful possession of heroin
  • Unlawful delivery of heroin
  • Two Counts of supplying contraband

Baker’s bail was set at $170,000.

RALEIGH — Information that police disclosed Thursday shows that a man they charged in July with trafficking in methamphetamine had spent six months going back and forth between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Los Angeles, where he shipped FedEx packages back to himself in Raleigh about every 10 days.

The information is in an application that a Raleigh drugs detective filed July 9 for the small, brick house where 42-year-old Billy Brian Roberson lives on Van Dyke Avenue.Billy_Ryan_Roberson

Citing from his informants and from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Detective B.V. Johnson wrote, “Roberson was alleged to fly to L.A. to purchase pounds of methamphetamine and then ship the drugs back via mail or FedEx.

“Over a period of approximately six months, flight records for Roberson showed multiple trips to L.A., where he would stay for a few days and then return to Raleigh. These trips occurred, on average, once every 10 days,” Johnson told a magistrate who granted the search warrant.

Johnson said he also had examined trash bags that were put out on city property for pickup in May and June and found material every time that tested positive for traces of methamphetamine.

Also in a bag one time were discarded FedEx packages that each had weighed 1.1 pounds and had been sent by overnight express from California, Johnson said.

With the search warrant in hand, detectives went to the house at 2627 Van Dyke Ave. late on July 9.

An inventory of what they found, returned with the search warrant to the Wake County court clerk’s office Thursday afternoon, showed that the officers confiscated more than $6,000 in cash, 197.87 grams of methamphetamine (about 0.43 pounds) and a bit under a half-ounce of marijuana.

There also was a digital scale, shipping labels and packaging materials listed.

Roberson was charged shortly after midnight with trafficking in methamphetamine and using the house to keep and sell drugs.

The magistrate before whom police took Roberson after his arrest said he was a “high flight risk, frequent traveler with travel plans in the near future” and had “access to large amounts of cash.

Roberson was initially held on $1 million bail, but he had been released as of Friday. He is scheduled for another court appearance on Oct. 6.

As the dangerous drug ‘ice’ continues to be a threat to our community, the Sunshine Coast Daily’s four-part series with the University of the Sunshine Coast examines the impact of the drug with those who are battling it on the front lines.

THE Sunshine Coast’s top medical experts are warning the damage already being done by the deadly drug ice – or methamphetamine – could lead to a rise in serious mental illness for users, even if they eventually shake their addiction.

Dr Wayne Herdy, a Coast GP with more than 30 years of experience, said he had never seen a drug take hold of a community as ice has.

“I think it is incredibly easy to get ice, in quite a number of public bars,” Dr Herdy said.

“The number of patients that we are seeing on ice now has escalated quite dramatically, especially in the last three years.”

In the first part of this series, the former lover of an ice user described the drug’s availability as an “epidemic” on the Sunshine Coast, with sellers routinely offering it as “you walk down the street”.

When used, ice causes rapid speech, delusional thoughts, hallucinations, the inability to follow logic, and may keep users awake for days or weeks at a time.

But there are also long-term effects, including mental health impacts, which Dr Herdy said could be very serious.

“Easiest way to summarize … is they become like a paranoid schizophrenic,” Dr Herdy said.

It can persist for days, weeks, months or even years after they stop taking the amphetamine.

We Help Ourselves Sunshine Coast, also known as Najara, is a drug rehabilitation centre based in Nambour that encourages users to regain a sense of responsibility as part of their treatment.

Najara’s Trevor Hallewell said about 70% of the centre’s clients had some form of mental health issue.

“A methamphetamine user may have been struggling with varying different stages of psychosis,” he said.

“Anxiety, paranoia – those sorts of things – are fairly high on the list; depression, bipolar, borderline personality disorders.

“You do find that issue in the drug and substance use population anyway, but it can be exacerbated by the methamphetamine usage.”9-2895506-scn290715drugsd_t460

Najara steers away from describing users as “addicts” or “drug abusers” in an effort to reduce the stigma that surrounds those who grapple with addiction.

Those entering Najara for rehabilitation on the Sunshine Coast are likely to have had at least some experience with ice, according to a survey done earlier this year.

In May, 94% of the residents admitted to using ice at least once, with the average cost being between $300 and $500 a day.

The same survey was done in Newcastle, with only 61% having used ice, and the average cost per day being between $100 and $200.

“I think historically our larger clientele has been amphetamine users,” Mr Hallewell said.

“However, even after rehabilitation, there’s no way of knowing how many people stay clean.

“It is a chronic relapsing condition.

“Some relapse for one day or one week … Or they call us and say, ‘I’ve made a huge mistake – can I come back?’ Some end up in jail, and some end up dead, and some end up doing their own thing.”

GUELPH — Guelph police and community groups are placing an addictions worker in bail court to help people who have committed crimes related to crystal meth in an attempt to tackle the rising use of the dangerous drug in the city.

The pilot program is thanks to a $100,000 provincial grant that takes proceeds from crime and channels them back into local police and community initiatives.B822094317Z_1_20150904144002_001_G1Q1HRJ0A_4_Content

The grant will also support education and training of front line workers who work with people addicted to meth on a daily basis.

It will also involve the business community through “meth watch,” which alerts suppliers of products used to make the drug aware of suspicious purchases such as large quantities of lithium batteries.

Guelph Police Chief Jeff DeRuyter said the program is a reaction to the growing use of meth in the city.

“Over the last year our members have noted increase in the sale and use in Guelph and have seen an increase in violence in drug subculture,” he said.

Crystal meth is the smokeable form of the drug methamphetamine. It’s a stimulant that gives a very fast and long-lasting high and it is highly addictive.

It can cause people to become paranoid and very aggressive.

Meth use has also been linked to spin-off crimes like robberies, DeRuyter added.

“We also see addictions and more recent community challenges emerging in trafficking and sexual exploitation of women in our city,” DeRuyter added.

This winter the police laid 30 charges in a meth crackdown dubbed Project Ice.

But police cannot arrest themselves out of the problem, DeRuyter said.

“We do need to work together on so many of these issues with our key partners,” he said.

Guelph MPP and Minister of Education Liz Sandals, who was on hand at Guelph police headquarters to officially announce the grant, said it will focus on prevention.

“As we think more and more about crime prevention, we understand that the root of crime prevention is the policing plus community interventions,” she said.

“We already know proactively preventing crime is more effective and more often creates positive lasting change then reactively relying on enforcement and punishment.”

Adrienne Crowder, manager of the Wellington Guelph Drug Strategy, a coalition of 30 community partners and police, said agencies had been hearing from outreach workers about the different behaviours the drug was bringing into the community.

“It was clear that we needed to do something about that,” she said.

Crowder said the idea for placing an addictions worker in bail court is something that Perth and Grey-Bruce, two communities that have also had challenges with crystal meth, have done.

“There’s a history of having mental health workers but to have someone to have addiction focus hasn’t been done, so we’re piloting it,” she said.

“So at the very time when people are coming into the legal process that’s holding them accountable for some challenges they might be having, we’re also offering support, we’re inviting them into a social service network,” she said.

Crowder said if an extension to the grant is granted the pilot program will continue until June 2016.

WICKENBURG, AZ (KPHO/KTVK/AP) – Maricopa County Sheriff’s detectives seized about 6 1/2 pounds of methamphetamine off a passenger bus near Wickenburg on Thursday that was headed for Las Vegas.

The bus was stopped on U.S. 60 for speeding in an area that is a common corridor for drug traffickers, MCSO spokesman Officer Christopher Hegstrom said.

Detectives used a narcotics dog around the outside of the bus and it alerted deputies to a storage compartment under the passenger area.

Authorities opened a red and black duffel bag and found six individually wrapped bundles hidden in the base.

Detectives attempted to identify the owner of the bag but nobody claimed it.

The bus driver and all the passengers were released and continued their trip to Nevada.