Meth in the News
Professor Nicholas E Goeders
For this Meth in the News column each week, I typically pick two or three news items from the past week or so and devote the entire column to those reports.
I wondered recently, however, if some readers think that I have to search and search for newsworthy items to write about each week. That is hardly the case. I have to literally pick which news reports I will focus on for a particular column.
There are enough reports on meth and the havoc it produces to fill this column even if I wrote it on a daily basis – with enough stories for several more columns if I had the time.
So this week I thought that I would highlight several news items that came out during the past week without delving into them in any great detail. And even so, I could not begin to list them all.
Some of these will make you angry. Some may make you cry. Some will horrify you. But they are all true. I encourage you to look them up on my website – or elsewhere on the Internet – if you want to read more.
On April 19, police from Tulsa, Okla. found 25-year-old Glenda Cole passed out in her car near 101st and Riverside Parkway after concerned citizens called 911. She told the police that her children were with her mother. Ms. Cole was so intoxicated on meth that she had no idea that one of her children was in the car with her.
On April 19, a concerned mother called Moore Township, Pa. police to check on her 27-year-old daughter because she was concerned that the man that her daughter was living with was fueling her drug addiction. When police searched the property owned by 44-year-old Andrew V. Hunger, they found Mr. Hunger and 27-year-old Heather L. Staub (the woman’s daughter) living in a shed behind Mr. Hunger’s home were the pair were also “cooking” meth.
On April 21, employees at the Clear Choice Auto Body Repair in Mankato, Minn. received a special bonus for their work at the shop. Shop owner Jesse Michael Seifert, 40, gave each of his employees a half gram of meth instead of money as a bonus, according to a spokesperson with the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force.
On April 18, an undercover detective with the Lincoln County Narcotics Unit in Hickory, N.C. received a call from 43-year-old Angela Lingerfelt Juarez, aka ‘Shorty’, of Lincolnton, offering to sell him meth. She obviously thought that she was speaking to someone else. After several subsequent phone conversations, detectives set up a meeting to purchase meth and arrested Ms. Juarez along with 44-year-old Robert Castillo from Vale.
On April 21, agents with the Morgan County Drug Task Force, along with officers from the Hartselle Police Department, searched the residence of Shelly Diana Smith, 32, of Hartselle, Ala. following several weeks of investigation into Ms. Smith’s activities. During the search, investigators found eight one-pot meth labs, lithium batteries, coffee filters, pseudoephedrine, lye and syringes. Apparently, Ms. Smith was allowing people to come into her home to “cook” their meth, and even provided them with some of the necessary ingredients, for money.
On April 18, James Clifford Paul, 22, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in provincial court in Stony Plain, Alberta. Mr. Paul pleaded guilty in November to sexually assaulting a little seven-year-old girl and leaving her naked in the snow on the First Nations Indian Reserves in Alberta.
Mr. Paul admitted to investigators that he lured the girl away from her family, sexually assaulted her, and left her naked in the snow. When she followed him and begged him not to leave her, he beat her with his fists until she was unconscious, and threw her into a bush.
Mr. Paul claimed that he was drunk and high on methamphetamine at the time and told police he wouldn’t have done it if he had been sober.
Only 10 years!
On April 22, a federal investigator testified that Janelle Red Dog, 42, beat a 1-year-old girl to death on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, located in Montana about 20 miles from the U.S.–Canada border. Ms. Dog confessed to punching little Kenzley Olson several times and killing her. She then put the little girl’s lifeless body into a duffel bag and threw it in a dumpster. Ms. Dog initially reported the baby missing before confessing to the crime a day later.
Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure told the court that Kenzley’s death reflected a rising methamphetamine drug epidemic that his Montana reservation has failed to address.
On April 23, a 22-year-old man kicked out a massive window pane next to the front door of a Market street restaurant located in downtown Ballard, Wash. The man, thought to be high on meth, picked up a shard of glass, walked into the dining room and began menacing customers. He injured a man and a woman with the piece of glass before being disarmed. Passersby wrestled the man to the ground and held him until police arrived.
On April 25, deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from a woman who said that a man stole her car from a house in Paw Paw Township, Mich. When deputies found the car, they discovered a naked, 41-year-old man behind the wheel and high on meth. A news release from the Sheriff’s Office stated, “The man had left an earlier domestic situation so quickly that he did not put on any clothing before getting into and driving off in the vehicle.”
Sheriff’s Deputies said that they recognized the man because they had dealt with him just the day before when the man overdosed on meth and was treated at a local hospital. They also learned that the man was involved in a crash the next day in a different vehicle and fled the scene.
On April 24, Vera Marie Del Rosario, 53, from Guam, was arrested for actually selling meth out of her Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) workspace. Ms. Del Rosario works for the DPHSS’ Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC program.
However, this is not Ms. Del Rosario’s first run in with the law. She was initially caught with meth back in 2013 and was subsequently put on probation pending trial for more recent infractions. Ms. Del Rosario has violated the terms of her pretrial supervision repeatedly, skipping out on weekly drug tests with her probation officer and failing her drug test at least 12 times, according to court documents. Yet she was still employed with DPHSS at the time of her most recent arrest.
On April 22, Shane Anthony Whitener, a 23-year-old homeless man from Butte, Mont. was charged with custodial interference, endangering the welfare of a child, and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia in Butte-Silver Bow County court. Mr. Whitener was accused of exposing a 14-year-old runaway girl to methamphetamine and harboring her from her parents. This is a story I have heard far too many times regarding meth and teenage girls.
I could go on, but I am running out of room for this week’s column.
Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!
If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.