A London man under house arrest was taken into custody early Sunday when police discovered a half-pound of crystal meth and more than $100,000 in the same room where the man’s 8-year-old son was dustin%20higginbothamasleep.

Dustin Higginbotham, 32, of Chippewa Lane was charged with first-degree drug trafficking and wanton endangerment. He already was under house arrest for drug possession, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. He was being held at the Laurel County jail.

The child was released to Higginbotham’s parents, police said.

Police had obtained a search warrant based on a tip that over%20100,000%20dollars%20cashHigginbotham had a large amount of drugs in his house. The investigation is open.







RYEGATE, Vt. – There was an increased police presence in Ryegate Sunday after a camper fire sent a man to the hospital.

Ryegate’s Assistant Fire Chief tells Local22 / Local44 News crews responded to a camper fire on South Bayley Hazen Road Saturday afternoon.wf897whr8wmhefwp

The Vermont Hazmat Team, the Vermont Clandestine Labs and the Drug Enforcement Administration were on the scene Sunday. State Police officials say they found evidence of manufacturing meth inside near the burned camper.

“As a result of that – the scene was secured. We had troopers cover the scene. People were evacuated from the residence as a safety precaution,” Lt. Kirk Cooper with Vermont State Police said.

No materials were located in the main residence on the property, and residents were allowed to come back after the hazardous materials and chemicals were located.

A man in the camper, 28-year-old Joel Alexander, was taken to Cottage Hospital and then flown to Boston for treatment. Police say the victim is in serious condition. No other injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.






DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WVEC) — Dare County Narcotics agents discovered a methamphetamine lab on Hatteras Island last week resulting in two arrests.meth_1464002721851_2458497_ver1_0

Joshua Eugene Moreland, 33, and Messina Denise Moreland, 35, face a number of charges after investigators found a recent one pot methamphetamine production lab on the Hatteras Island campgrounds.

Both Joshua and Messina were charged with four counts of felony possession/distribution of methamphetamine precursors and felony manufacturing methamphetamine.

The Dare County Sheriff’s Office Hatteras Patrol/Investigative Divisions and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Clandestine Laboratory Response Unit assisted in the investigation.







When Brandon Main was released from the state prison last October, he went back to Fort Belknap.

In all, he’d be away from the reservation about 15 years. Many of the people he grew up with were dead from drug use, and he didn’t recognize some of the ones who are still alive. Most of the homes he visited 57422fe271320_imagewere filled with drugs and addicts.

He relapsed before his first meeting with a parole officer.

“I’ve been repeating the cycle my whole life,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of bad things, sold drugs. The last time I was in for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.”

Main has been clean since April 26. He believes this time recovery will work because he’s enrolled in the peer mentorship program of the Aaniiih Nakoda Anti Drug Program.

The 37-year-old has been down this road before. “I’ve been through almost every treatment program the state has to offer from Deer Lodge boot camp to the WATCh program, pre-releases. I’ve been through the whole cycle a couple of times,” he said. But having someone to talk to who understands his struggle and his culture makes a difference, he said.

Knowledge of addiction

Peer mentors are people who have gone through recovery. They do everything from make appointments for the person they mentor to driving them to meetings. They help with court hearings. But mostly, they listen.

“Peer mentors must be strong in their own recovery, and they work with people in active addiction or who have been clean for a short time,” said Miranda Crasco-Kirk, who runs the program with Charmayne Healy. The two women spoke about their program last week to a gathering of tribal leaders, health care and social workers and others who gathered for a two-day summit on meth abuse in Indian Country put on by the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leadership Council.

They started Jan. 4 and got their first participant in February. Three more enrolled in March, then two in April and eight in May. There are 12 active participants now; two dropped out.

All 14 used more than one drug. Ten of the 14 were intravenous drug users. Eight who have completed the program have had some sort of relapse at one point and eight are in some form of other treatment.

‘The new smallpox’

The program is funded by $150,000 seed money from tribe’s Island Mountain Development Group. Kirk and Healy are beginning to transfer the program to a nonprofit. Tribal leadership comes and goes, they said, and they don’t want to be dependent on anyone else’s approval to operate.

Meth in Indian Country, said George Horse Capture, Jr., vice president of the Fort Belknap Tribal Council, is “the new smallpox of the day, and believe you me, it’s not done feeding on us.”

Jonathan Gilbert, chief medical officer for the Billings area office of Indian Health Services, said meth use on the reservations is beyond just a problem.

“It is an epidemic, it’s a plague,” he said. “Elders call it the end of days, youth call it the zombie plague. … Through the night people are walking through the streets aimless without direction. Crime is up, employment is down, our schools are affected.”

Conference attendees shared some stories of successes in treating meth, but also spoke about the many challenges they face. A lack of money to pay for sufficient rehabilitation was a universal problem.

Lenore Myers, director of the White Sky Hope Center, said her organization in Rocky Boy’s spends $10,000 to send patients to Seattle for treatment, and the money that pays for the program was recently cut from $90,000 to $50,000. In the drug court at nearby Havre, 75 percent of participants are American Indian, she said.

Working together

Peer mentors are less costly and can help fill the deficiency that on-reservation treatment might have over in-patient clinics out of state.

Kirk’s husband, Bryce Kirk, is a mentor in the Fort Belknap program. He has been clean two years.

“I can sit there and say ‘I’ve done this, I’ve done this.’ They can ask you ‘How did you do that?’ And I can talk to them about the barriers.”

Peer recovery is “the wave of the future in how we can spread out or resources the most,” said Erin Awes, a certified addiction counselor at the Crow Wellness Center.


Marshelle Lambert, the meth initiative coordinator at the Bureau of Indian Affair’s regional office, said the Billings area is the only one to get money to address meth. It receives $1.4 million that’s split among 11 tribes and three agencies.

“Most of the social services programs are understaffed,” she said.

Ken St. Marks, chairman of the Chippewa Cree Tribe, said there’s not enough money to reach people, especially pregnant women.

“What we’re finding is a lot of the young ladies are coming to us wanting help and we don’t have a place to send them. We don’t have the money to send them.”

For the first two quarters of this fiscal year, based on what the tribes report to the BIA, 27 babies have been born addicted to meth on the Fort Peck Reservation and 18 on Blackfeet.

Tribes and reservations have rehabilitation centers set up to treat alcoholism, Gilbert said, but the methods don’t work for meth.

“This isn’t alcohol. The 12-step program doesn’t work for methamphetamine.”

Meth treatment, he said, takes longer. And those who go through it struggle when they go back home to the situations that the lived in when they were using. People are encouraged to use and their rehabilitation is discouraged, Gilbert said.

“People have so little hope in their life they turn to something that gives them happiness for so little time,” he said.







A Northland property manager has called for a public register naming tenants who contaminate rental properties with methamphetamine.

Judy Morgan, managing director of Property Management and Rentals in Northland, said there should be tighter controls around testing standards for P in properties to stop the “poisoning” of homes.A_270116NZHDPMETHHOUSE05_480x270

Ms. Morgan said the drug had become the new “Leaky Building Catastrophe”. In a letter to Parliament, Ms. Morgan expressed concern over the lack of standards for those testing houses for P contamination.

“As the custodian of investors’ properties, along with present and future retirees’ investment properties, it is my duty of care to vet and let these homes to our citizens. It is also my duty to ensure that the people who rent these properties, are living in a safe and sanitary dwelling, free of meth contamination,” Ms. Morgan said.

For that to happen a code of regulation for those doing the testing for methamphetamine was needed, with clear parameters. The Ministry of Health only offers guidelines, not standards. She said it was not fair to threaten to impose fines on owners based on guidelines that were of an advisory nature only.

“The fact there is no standardized testing regime is the greatest problem we face, because the method used by one testing agency can differ from another.”

Testing between tenants is not mandatory but should become a requirement for both rentals and properties for sale, Ms. Morgan said.

“What’s occurring is an ever-increasing number of addicts are moving from property to property, all over NZ, ‘poisoning’ our homes, with absolutely no penalty for their wanton vandalism. There should be a public register naming any tenants who have vacated their rental property in a contaminated state.”

Housing New Zealand spent $231,361 decontaminating 13 Northland houses infected by methamphetamine over the past three years, but that cost would rise now that HNZ would start testing its houses each time there was a change in tenant.

MethSolutions director Miles Stratford, a decontamination contractor, said of 167 private properties it tested in Northland last year, 94 had traces of methamphetamine – or 56 per cent. Whangarei had the highest rate of positive results in the country.

A woman who owned and managed a portfolio of nine properties in Northland had one property contaminated with methamphetamine by tenants. She did not want to be named but said it had so far cost $14,000 to have the house cleaned and estimated the final bill would be up to $35,000.

She warned landlords to make sure they had properties tested in between tenants, preferably on the last day they moved out, to see if methamphetamine had been consumed. If tenants could prove they had moved in and the house was contaminated they could take their concerns to the Tenancy Tribunal.

“Meth Minders,” which detect the use of methamphetamine, have been fitted to all the houses she manages. If meth is detected it alerts a monitoring service in Auckland, which contacts police.






Note:  BB readers will recall those people displaced, shot at and homes destroyed by helicopter fire during the hunt for Chapo…these are those people.  BB has long reported about Sinaloa forcing these people into organized crime activities. In 2014 BB reported a story of 5 killed for refusing to work for Sinaloa. Read that story at this link

This is the first story in a three-part series on the impact Mexico’s drug wars is having on indigenous people — a project by Dromómanos, VICE News, and Periodísmo CIDE with the support of the W.K. Kelloggs Foundation.

By Dromómanos, CIDE, and VICE News

Sinaloa cartel hitmen killed 18-year-old Benjamín Sánchez on February 26 2015, after he refused to work for them.eje_guachochi_killed_for_not_working

A month later Cruz Sánchez, Benjamín’s father, was on his way back from visiting the authorities in the nearest big city to their village in the mountains. As he made his way home he received a call from a friend, warning him that the same men who had killed his son were waiting for him on the road.

Cruz left his pickup and continued his journey by foot in order to avoid the gunmen. It took him eight hours walking along mountain trails to get to his community of El Manzano.


Three days later, the gunmen were back. This time two of Sanchez’s children heard a voice screaming “finish them off” as they walked to a local shop in the village to buy food. They ran to the house of a relative and grabbed the rifles most families keep in order to scare away the coyotes that roam the area.

The shootout lasted for seven hours. A cartel hitman died and one of Sánchez’s sons received three bullets. The military arrived after nightfall. The family decided it was time to leave.

El Manzano lies in the southern part of the Tarahumara mountain range in the northern state of Chihuahua. It is a vast area of enormous natural beauty famed for its ravines deeper than the Grand Canyon, the vibrant culture of the indigenous Rarámuri communities that pepper the mountainsides, as well as a long tradition of cultivating marijuana and opium poppy.

There used to be 34 families living in El Manzano, almost all of them Rarámuri. According to two former residents, the drug business didn’t used to interfere with the community. They said that the cartels pretty much left them to work in their fields and tend to their animals in peace. There was nothing to stop them gathering together in their ceremonial centers and performing rituals during fiestas they believe help heal, restore order, and keep chaos at bay.

But these locals say things changed abruptly two years ago when some community leaders were recruited by organized crime. Corn made way for poppies, and residents stopped their communal gatherings, opting instead to keep a low profile hidden away in their farms.

“They wanted the locals to work for them and join their group,” said Sánchez, who claimed the gunmen came from the neighboring state of Sinaloa. “Almost everyone is put to work [growing poppy] on their own land. That group controls several municipalities.”

After the Sánchez family left El Manzano fearful for their lives, others soon followed until there was almost nobody left.

Two months ago a group of armed men rolled into the community to strip the few who remained of their land. The last family in town had to hide in the pine forests around the village for three days. They watched their community disappear from a distance. Their cattle, clothes, and food were stolen. Their farms were razed to the ground.

The gunmen gave the family three options: they could grow poppy, run away, or die. Once they left there were no more families to threaten.

El Manzano’s pain is just one of many tragedies in the Tarahumara where the indigenous population has become increasingly trapped since president Felipe Calderón launched a military-led offensive against the cartels almost a decade ago, triggering the country’s vicious drug wars.

Today, groups of armed men are visible at road intersections, where paved and dirt roads come together. There’s a self-imposed six o’clock curfew in several communities.

The remains of burnt vehicles lie along the path that leads to the community of Samachique where locals say a massive confrontation involving more than 50 gunmen took place last year and was never investigated. The locals do not speak much. They are silenced by fear.

One of the few Rarámuris who dared to speak, as long as his name was not published, said that the day prior to our conversation an acquaintance knocked on his door in very bad shape and said he had escaped from a poppy plantation.


“Right now they are harvesting their stuff, so they need a lot of people. They search the community and abduct them,” the man said. “They never pay them.”

The man said that the cartel had tried to recruit him last year, but he had managed to slip away and had gone to work picking apples elsewhere in the state instead.

“What’s happening is that the cartels are multiplying. There are two [the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels] but they have split and now they are everywhere,” said Isela González, director of Sierra Madre, a NGO that defends the land rights of indigenous people. “There are more guns, more drugs, and nonstop drug farming.”

González has worked for almost two decades with Rarámuri communities, but death threats mean she has not been able to set foot in the mountains since 2013. At that time the municipality where she was working had a homicide rate of 164 per 100,000 residents, according to the Citizen Observatory of Violence, about four times higher than the rate for the entire state that year.

“What fight against drug cartels? Everything is done in broad daylight, under the noses of the police and the military,” González said. “With that much impunity there has to be collusion from the authorities.”


Story continues…to read full VICE story use this link…








SANDPOINT, Idaho – A northern Idaho woman will spend up to a year in prison for exposing her child to methamphetamine while breastfeeding.

Other news outlets report that 25-year-old Samantha Lee Caroline Morikawa was thumbnail_16051715570100_1463777029217_2416674_ver1_0charged with attempted injury to a child for using the drug while breastfeeding from August 2015 to January. Separately, Morikawa was charged with aggravated assault because prosecutors said she attacked the child’s father while he was taking the child away from her after finding about the drug use.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan sentenced her to up to four years in prison on each charge, but said that if she successfully completes a prison treatment program she may be released early on probation. The prison treatment program typically takes less than a year.

According to court documents, Morikawa said she was unaware the drug would be passed on to her 5-month-old daughter. Morikiawa is currently pregnant with her fourth child.







MOORHEAD — A Minnesota State Patrol trooper who came upon a car stopped in a driving lane of Interstate 94 in Clay County confiscated drugs, needles and a set of brass knuckles.

The driver, Jeff L. Nygaard, 46, of Fargo, was found Monday sitting behind the wheel of the idling car appeared to have passed out.0B9ICSRgvo88IUE9QTXJlTHI0cjg

As the trooper spoke to the driver and attempted to rouse him, the trooper noticed there were multiple phones in the car that began ringing as he spoke to the driver, who showed signs of having used methamphetamine.

Documents filed in Clay County District Court state that a search of the car yielded about 9 ounces of suspected methamphetamine.

Nygaard was arrested and charged with a number of counts, including second-degree possession with intent to sell three grams or more of methamphetamine and second-degree possession of six grams or more of methamphetamine.

Troopers say items typically associated with selling and using drugs, such as baggies, scales and hypodermic needles, were found in the car along with a set of brass knuckles.

Nygaard also faces charges of possessing a dangerous weapon and possessing drug paraphernalia.







ST. JOSEPH, Mich. — A three month old infant was found Monday during a meth investigation directly across from St. Joseph High School.iop;7ltguiltg

Katlynn Dee-Ann Williams, 19, was pulled over in her vehicle and taken into custody because of a probation violation.

Upon a resulting search of Williams’ residence on Lakeshore Dr. in St. Joseph, the Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET) discovered a three-month-old infant and called Child Protective Services to assist in the investigation. There is no information being released on who the infant belonged to.

Deputies also found several meth components, an active reaction vessel and finished meth product.yhoohki],e0wy

Katlynn Williams is now facing meth charges, along with Chase Franklin Hall, 26, and Roger Lynn Doss, 50, who were both inside the home.

Two more occupants of the residence, Joshua Hengstebeck, 25, and Amanda Coulson, 25, were arrested on outstanding warrants.







FARMERVILLE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Corrections has removed six female inmates from the Union Parish Detention Center amid a rape investigation.

Sheriff Dusty Gates tells The News-Star that the transfers occurred Monday, less than a month after a 28-year-old male inmate allegedly raped a 17-year-old female inmate in a holding cell while she was under the influence of methamphetamine.

After a meeting of the detention center’s commission on Thursday, Warden Jerry Ward said three employees have faced disciplinary action. But he wouldn’t specify whether any of the employees have been suspended or fired.

Gates says an investigation of the alleged rape is ongoing.

“We cannot set a timeframe as to when it will be complete because it is a complex matter,” he said. “We are asking that people don’t rush to judgment because this is a serious matter, and we want to make sure we have all the facts.”

Both the suspect and the alleged victim of the rape are state inmates, which account for 165 of the center’s 277 inmates.

The suspect — Demarcus Shavez Peyton, 28, of Homer — faces a third-degree rape charge for allegedly raping the teenager in her isolation cell.





Three facing disciplinary action for alleged rape at Union Parish Detention Center

FARMERVILLE, La. (AP) – The Louisiana Department of Corrections has removed six female inmates from the Union Parish Detention Center amid a rape investigation.

Sheriff Dusty Gates tells The News-Star that the transfers occurred Monday, less than a month after a 28-year-old male inmate allegedly raped a 17-year-old female inmate in a holding cell while she was under the influence of methamphetamine.

After a meeting of the detention center’s commission on Thursday, Warden Jerry Ward said three employees have faced disciplinary action. But he wouldn’t specify whether any of the employees have been suspended or fired.

Gates says an investigation of the alleged rape is ongoing.





MUNCIE — City police say a Muncie man sold methamphetamine at his eastside home in the presence of his wife and their 7-year-old daughter.

Chad Phillip Arnold, 38, of the 500 block of South Butterfield Road, was arrested 635993667037677506-MIN-parents-methThursday evening, not long after he allegedly sold meth — for the second time in recent days — to an agent for the Muncie Police Department’s narcotics unit.

Also arrested was Arnold’s 38-year-old spouse, Melissa Ann Arnold. The couple’s house is a short distance from a facility frequented by law enforcement officers: the Muncie Fraternal Order of Police lodge.

In an affidavit, narcotics officer Scott O’Dell wrote that in a recording of the first transaction, both Arnolds and the child can be heard.

Investigators reported finding several plastic bags, containing a “crystal-like” substance that tests indicated was meth, in the house.

Also found was a “marijuana grow” operation, made up of 10 plants, in the house’s master bedroom.

O’Dell wrote that Indiana Child Protective Services officials were called “due to the dealing of the meth with the child present, living conditions, the house smelling like raw marijuana, and guns and drugs in plain view.”

The child was placed in the care of a relative.

Chad Arnold was being held in the Delaware County jail on Friday under a $30,000 bond, preliminarily charged with dealing in meth, possession of meth, cultivating marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance and neglect of a dependent.

The former resident of Albany and Dunkirk has been convicted of possession of marijuana and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Melissa Arnold — preliminarily charged with cultivating marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance and neglect of a dependent — was released Friday after posting a $10,000 bond.

The Arnolds are two of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit, filed in October 2011, over a traffic accident involving a city police vehicle. Defendants are the city and two insurance companies.

A jury trial on the suit is set for July 15 in Delaware Circuit Court 5.







ANGOLA – Deputies in West Feliciana Parish say five people have been arrested in connection with a double murder on Tunica Trace Saturday morning.

Saturday night, deputies arrested 23-year-old Kylie Jackson, 21-year-old Raven Majoria, and 26-year-old Lindsey Dooley. Sunday morning, Lafayette Police Department two men, 22-year-old Paul Bourque Jr. and 19-year-old Kristofer L. Cockerham.



Both men were charged with two counts each of first degree murder. The three women were charged with two counts of principle to first degree murder.

The investigation started early Saturday morning, the sheriff said, when neighbors heard gunfire and called 911. Two men, Clinton Ray Nicholson and Brian Mooney, were found dead when deputies arrived at the home on Tunica Trace.

Sources say Nicholson’s grandson was inside the home when the shooting happened. The child was okay and was cared for by deputies until his mother picked him up.

Before lunchtime Saturday, deputies had to call a hazardous materials cleaning crew after finding a meth lab in a shed on the property where the murders happened. Deputies say they also found a homemade pipe bomb at the home.rthshbie-g0ie3

Investigators believe the five individuals went to the home on Tunica Trace Saturday morning. Jackson, Majoria and Dooley were dropped off at the residence. At some someone fired a gun and the vehicle returned to the home and picked up the three individuals. The group then traveled to Ascension Parish where a good Samaritan saw someone toss a wallet and papers out of the window. That person was able to report the license plate and vehicle to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies recovered the wallet and discovered that it belonged to one of the victims.

All three women were brought to the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office for questioning, where they were later arrested. Bourque, Jr. is still in custody in Lafayette he had outstanding warrants. He is expected to be in court May 24, in Lafayette. Cockerham is in custody in West Feliciana Parish.

Earlier in the investigation, authorities said Erica Cockerham was a person of interest. At first, authorities released the woman’s first name as Nicki but updated the information after WBRZ.com broke the story.  Cockerham was wanted for a few hours, but was located just after lunch Saturday at a local post office.  She was being questioned Saturday afternoon, authorities confirmed, but later released.






(Woodland, CA) – May 20, 2016 – District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced today that on May 19, 2016, a Yolo County Jury convicted 28-year-old Woodland resident Adrian Duran of a felony count of Possessing Methamphetamine and found four prior prison term enhancements to be true.

On February 28, 2016, Woodland Police stopped Duran while he was riding his bicycle on Lincoln Avenue in Woodland. Duran had recently been released from prison and was on searchable parole. He is also a registered sexual offender. Police searched Duran and found multiple doses of methamphetamine in a plastic bag in his pants.

The jury deliberated for approximately ten minutes before returning a guilty verdict. After finding Duran guilty, the jury proceeded to the second phase of the trial. The jury heard evidence of Duran’s four prior prison commitments. Duran has served prison commitments for vehicle theft and possession of methamphetamine. The jury deliberated for under an hour on the second day before finding the four case enhancements to be true.

Because Duran is a convicted sex offender, the methamphetamine charge was elevated to a felony. Judge Thomas Warriner presided over the trial. Duran’s next court date is scheduled for May 31, 2016, at which time Judge Warriner will rule on whether Duran will be released from custody pending sentencing. At that time, a sentencing date will be scheduled. Duran faces up to 7 years in local prison.







AUGUSTA — The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency says methamphetamine labs discovered inside a home in Bangor and a vehicle in Lincoln bring to 73 the number of methamphetamine responses by the drug agency this year. There were 56 for all of 2015.

Bangor Police took 49-year-old Jeffrey Miller into custody at a home at 67 Deer Isle Road Wednesday and charged him with a meth lab discovered last month on METH%20BANGOR%205-16Hammond Street. Found inside the Deer Isle apartment was a second methamphetamine lab, which required a response from the MDEA methamphetamine lab team Wednesday night. Drug agents then charged Miller with methamphetamine manufacturing, in addition to the Bangor PD charge. Miller is at the Penobscot jail.

Lincoln Police discovered a methamphetamine lab inside a car they stopped in the town yesterday. 29-year-old Jared Lovett of Lincoln was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Lovett was taken to the Penobscot County Jail. Found in his car were three bottles with the ingredients to make the drug. The drug agency’s methamphetamine team also responded to that scene.







There’s a sense of helplessness surrounding the rise in child abuse and neglect cases in Missoula and across the state.

Watson Children’s Shelter built a second shelter in July 2010. It’s full, and there’s a waiting list. The shelter is not the first resort, said director Mike Boehm. Most who walk through the doors have suffered “profound abuse.”574109811b365_image

If they were to build a third shelter, Boehm worries it would be full in no time.

Child abuse is showing no signs of letting up. If anything, it’s getting worse, according to Missoula County and state data. The increase in child abuse and neglect cases parallels a rise in meth cases – not a coincidence, people in the child protection systems say.

“The status of the Montana child protection system is deeply troubling,” according to a recommendations report released Tuesday by the Protect Montana Kids Commission, established by Gov. Steve Bullock last fall to examine issues in the system. “The system is in crisis and is experiencing an enormous growth in caseload.”

There are a record number of Montana children in foster care this year, according to the report – 3,179. That’s more than double the number in 2008. The commission agreed with the correlation: Most of the spike can be attributed to parental drug abuse.

Of those 3,179, more than 1,000 were removed due to their parents’ meth abuse. That’s up from 230 children in foster care due to parental meth abuse in 2010.

Montana courts handled more than 2,300 child abuse and neglect cases in 2015, up from 1,600 in 2014.

Missoula County’s data falls in line with the statewide trend.

In 2015, 173 child abuse and neglect cases were filed in Missoula County. That’s a stark increase from the 51 cases filed per year from 2007 to 2011.

“Our DN (dependency and neglect) cases are slightly ahead of this time last year,” said Missoula County Attorney Kirsten Pabst.

From 2013 to 2015, the number of meth cases opened in Missoula County rose 137 percent.

“Meth cases are still consuming an inordinate amount of resources,” she said.

Deputy county attorney Kelly Henkel reported that about 80 percent of the DN cases she’s filed this year are meth-related. The rest are alcohol-related, or have elements of mental health challenges and physical abuse. All of those children have been removed from the home, with 70 percent placed with family members or close family friends, and the rest going into foster care.

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Missoula (CASA) saw its cases triple in three years, ending 2015 with 180 cases.

“It’s drugs, drugs and drugs,” said Youth Homes executive director Geoff Birnbaum. “It’s the one thing we know, let’s put it that way.”

‘Flooded with methamphetamine’

On a Youth Homes caseworker’s first day of in-home parent visitations in Lewis and Clark County, their caseload was full.

“The oldest kid was 5 and as young as a month old, and every one of the cases had … drug and alcohol, and mostly drugs,” Birnbaum said. “I think the drugs people are using, starting with marijuana, are stronger than ever before. When you go to Oregon and you get legal marijuana, it’s powerful compared to what it was in the ’60s and ’70s. What that tells you is people aren’t just getting a buzz. They’re gone. They’re not available.”

The number of drug abusers has stayed fairly steady during the years, Pabst said, but the types of drugs and where they come from has changed.

“We’re just flooded … flooded with methamphetamine from Mexico,” she said. “There’s just such a rampant supply. We’re seeing a huge influx in product coming from the superlabs in Mexico versus 10 years ago when we were dealing with meth problems and a lot of it was cooked locally.

“It’s a huge money-making venture for these labs in Mexico. They’ve got state-of-the-art equipment, engineers, chemists, versus when it was just real small-town and inconsistent in 2005 and 2006 when we were dealing with such a resurgence.”

A day at the children’s shelter

At 2 p.m., Quinn Kessler starts her day at Watson Children’s Shelter.

Kessler, an evening case manager, reviews the communication log, where staff write down the day’s events and what’s on the schedule for that night, what appointments are coming up that night, for example, if a child has a visitor.

She’s worked there for 12 years, since she was 18 years old.

“I was three years older than our oldest kid,” she said.

Program director Deboruah Madonna’s story is similar. She started at Watson when she was 19, and has now worked there 28 years. But she’s been connected to the shelter far longer. As a child, she grew up next to the shelter and would play with the children, not knowing why they were there.

Within the first three weeks of a child’s stay, they’re enveloped in services – dental, vision, physical, mental health evaluation, counseling and an educational assessment. Watson works with attorneys, a CASA, Department of Public Health and Human Services and family. Meanwhile, parents start treatment plans and in-home services are put in place.

At 4 p.m., three more staff come in to help Kessler as the children get back from school. There’s an afternoon snack and they unwind from the school day before dinner, appointments and showers.

Dinner is family-style at 5 p.m.

After dinner, it’s homework time. Many are in specialized programs at school because of gaps in their education, so there’s a lot of catch-up work. With all of that missed schoolwork, the kids could be working for hours every night, but that stress isn’t healthy for them, staff say. At some point they cut off the studying and let the kids relax – playing, then quiet time, then bedtime.

“We want them to be kids, because often kids come in here, with the type of abuse or life they’ve had, they haven’t had the chance to be a child,” Madonna said.

Staff also have a rule that every child gets at least three positive reinforcements a day.

“We really try to build the children up while they’re here,” she said. “When you come to shelter care, it’s the uncertainty. If you think about going into somebody’s home, they’re strangers – you’re scared and you’re frightened. We’re strangers to them.”

Watson takes in children up to 14 years old. The average stay is 60 days, though children in the more extreme cases – sexual and emotional abuse –often stay longer. The first choice is for parents to be able to get their children back; second is another family member. But many go into foster care, and others to residential treatment homes.

“They become almost like brothers and sisters here, in a way, because they’re living together,” Madonna said. “I ran into a girl yesterday at Walmart and she’s having her third child and we were talking about other shelter kids that she still is in contact with. She named one of her kids after her because they’re best friends.”

Drug abuse’s shocking reality

CASA of Missoula executive director Jeri Delys had one word for the child abuse and neglect spike – meth.

“If you think about what meth does, how can you take care of yourself, let alone a child?” she said.

The images of the Montana Meth Project’s “Not Even Once” campaign stuck with Delys, but reality was more shocking. When she traveled to Mineral County for a meth dealer’s case, she had a vision of what the person would look like – emaciated, with bad teeth and sores on her face.

Then Delys saw the woman and nearly did a double-take: She looked exactly like Delys’ sister.

“It scared me,” Delys said. “It’s so well-hidden. If you think about somebody who’s intoxicated, you can tell. But the signs of a dealer, what do they look like? I was just in my own little bubble. It was extremely eye-opening to me.”

A CASA is assigned to a child in a DN case. The CASA is a trained community volunteer who becomes the voice for that child, “an independent fact-finder.” They have a court order to interview whomever they need.

Nearly every CASA works one case at a time – though last year CASA of Missoula had to ask some to take on two – and they’re at about 125 CASAs right now. There are 80 kids on the waiting list.

“We’re just seeing a steady increase, which is difficult to manage,” she said. “It’s important that our program be able to keep up and it’s hard, and I think anybody who does this kind of work will tell you the same thing. It’s very difficult.”

In 2013, St. Luke Community Healthcare and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, both in Polson, started collecting data on newborns at risk for neonatal abstinence syndrome. NAS is essentially withdrawal for a baby whose mother was using opioids during pregnancy. That year, 15 percent to 19 percent were at risk. In 2014, it jumped to 22 percent. In 2015, it was nearly one-third.

By January and February of this year, at St. Luke alone, nearly 50 percent were at risk.

“That really touches on everything we’re experiencing,” Delys said.

She doesn’t know what it will take to slow the rise in cases, or stop it altogether.

“I have no idea. I wish I knew. That’s the $10,000 question.”

‘We’ve got to get better as a system’

Policies need to be enacted to help parents and children before a crisis occurs, Missoula County Commissioner Stacy Rye said at April’s “State of the Young Child,” including universal prekindergarten, flexible work schedules and high-quality childcare.

Many businesses still fall behind in offering parental leave, she said, and daycare isn’t cheap.

“We do more and more each day,” Rye said. “We’re so busy that we’re dazed.”

Birnbaum said publicly-funded daycare would take a lot of pressure off families.

“There’s definitely nurses that would tell you … that we know the kid who goes home that we’re worried about,” he said.

Removing a child from their home isn’t simple, according to state law.

“But the cases we’re seeing, it’s like, what took you so long?” Birnbaum said. “And I don’t mean that negatively, because I think they’re (Child and Family Services Division) trying. But everybody’s full. The hospital’s full, the shelters are full.

“I think we’ve got to get better as a system in getting people to be willing to involve. I think that some of it’s just cultural. People defend themselves as parents. When people call me, the first thing I try to do is to make them realize that everybody doesn’t know what the hell to do with their kid. And if we can do that, I think we’d get more families the help they need.”

Pabst said locally, prevention efforts and addiction treatment must be the top priorities.

“Working with projects like the Montana Meth Project, and schools,” she said. “But it’s hard when it’s such a monumental challenge.”

As meth abuse grows, so do serious domestic violence cases. And while children are not directly involved, being around it “is just as traumatizing,” she said.

“We’ve seen a spike in felony domestic cases,” Pabst said. “What meth does to people from a social standpoint from our professional position is that it turns what would be perhaps petty criminals and turns them into felons. These extremely violent cases we’re seeing more often than not are tied to meth abuse: assaults with weapons, strangulation.”

Birnbaum’s message was simple: We can’t give up.

“I have a former Youth Homes kid who wound up losing her children in her early 20s,” he said. “She had a meth addiction, went to prison for three years and lost custody, came out, stayed sober, filed to get shared custody and got it back.

“It’s possible.”







SINGAPORE: The man known to be Singapore’s fastest wheelchair sprinter was found guilty of trafficking the controlled drug methamphetamine and given the minimum jail sentence of five years.

Muhammad Firdaus Nordin, 28, a former Asean Para Games gold medalist, also pleaded guilty to a charge of taking the drug on Jan 31 last year, saying it was to get in shape for the 8th Asean Para Games held here last December.ST_20160521_AHFIRDAUS_2307880

He was jailed for 10 months on the consumption charge, but his two jail terms will run concurrently.

The prison sentence brings to a halt the para-athlete’s remarkable sporting achievements.

When he was 13, Firdaus, who was born with spina bifida, raced in the National Junior Disabled Games in Australia in 2001, clinching a gold and two silver medals, and also breaking a Games record.

Four years later, in 2005, at the Third Asean Para Games in Manila in 2005, he won two golds, including for the men’s 100m race, and a silver medal.

He became famous by claiming top spot in the world for the century sprint event.

But earlier last year, on Feb 2, the police stopped a car driven by his cousin Hamza Jubir near Block 510, Bedok North Street 3. Firdaus was in the back seat, while Hamza’s girlfriend was in the front.

A policeman found three packets tucked between Firdaus’ groin and right thigh. Firdaus said they belonged to him and was arrested at about 5am.

His urine tested positive for methamphetamine and the packets were found to contain 2.65g of the same drug.

Firdaus later told a Central Narcotics Bureau officer he had been selling the drug. He repeated this in three statements recorded on the day of his arrest and the next day.

But during his trial last month, he claimed the drugs had been found on the back seat.

Firdaus also said Hamza’s girlfriend had taken the drugs from the glove compartment and told him to put them on the seat.

Firdaus also alleged that his admissions of guilt had been made because of threats from Hamza.

However, he said both in court and in his statements that he had taken methamphetamine to get in shape for the Asean Para Games.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo told Firdaus the trafficking charge has a mandatory minimum of five strokes of the cane and it was for the Prison Service to certify that he is unfit for caning.

Firdaus showed little expression, but his relatives wept when the sentence was passed. The judge allowed them to speak to him before he was led away in his wheelchair.

The penalty for trafficking methamphetamine is five to 20 years’ jail, with five to 15 cane strokes.








PHUKET: Despite the recent effort to ‘restart’ Thailand as a more civil and corruption-free society, continued reports of drug-related arrests indicate that our nation still has a long way to go in curbing the chronic problems of illicit drugs.

The reflections of two female inmates serving lengthy sentences at the dangerously overcrowded Phuket Provincial Prison should serve as cautionary tales for anyone tempted to try their hand at dealing drugs as an ‘easy way’ to make money.

When it comes to drug dealing, the risks simply do not justify the rewards. In few countries is this truer than Thailand, which has particularly harsh sentencing for convicted drug dealers. Even those caught in possession of as few as 20 ya bah (methamphetamine) pills typically get a minimum three-year prison term.

Given the apparent popularity of meth among Thais and the role of poorly-educated young women in our country’s notorious night life industry, it comes as little surprise that some 42,000 Thai women, about 14 per cent of the total prison population, are behind bars.

This puts Thailand among the nations with the highest percentage of female inmates anywhere in the world. The scale of the meth problem is further indicated by the fact that more than three-quarters of all inmates in Thai prisons are serving sentences for drug-related convictions.

According to an estimate by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, about 1.4 per cent of Thais are addicted to amphetamines or related stimulants, among the highest national percentage in the world.

From 2009 to 2014, the number of drug cases nationwide more than doubled, from about 151,000 to about 347,000. Over the same period, the number of registered drug offenders increased from nearly 168,000 to almost 366,000, according to official figures.

Yet, out-and-out addicts appear to make up only a small portion of the much larger ‘iceberg’ of recreational drug users in the country. This is evidenced by the fact that authorities seize about 100 million ya bah pills annually, not to mention a metric ton of the even more potent ya ice (crystal meth).

It is difficult to imagine why anyone would roll such dangerously loaded dice by selling drugs, putting not only their own future, but also that of friends, family and loved ones, at risk.

Despite the harshest of deterrents, many young people still take to drug dealing with reckless abandon.

If any of their number happens to be reading this column to its conclusion, please take this advice and quit while you’re ahead.









A VIETNAMESE woman has been arrested at Ho Chi Minh’s international airport bound for Australia allegedly with one kilogram of methamphetamines.

Vietnamese officials said the arrest of the 76-year-old woman, late on Friday, came as she prepared to board a Vietnam Airlines flight to Sydney.hr[004gu3[uw3t

Vietnamese media said security officers made the arrest after allegedly uncovering the methamphetamine pills in two jars of fish paste — a delicacy in many Asian dishes.

Officers said investigations were continuing looking into the case.

The arrest follows the detention last December of a 71-year-old Vietnamese-Australian woman after police allegedly uncovered some three kilograms of heroin hidden in 36 soap containers in her luggage.

The 71-year-old was also arrested at Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh City as she was checking in on a Sydney bound flight. The heroin had an estimated value of $647,526.h4io;ujhp;qeor

In August 2015, Vietnamese authorities sentenced 39-year-old Australian Nguyen Ly Toan to 20 years’ jail for attempting to send drug precursor chemicals through the postal service.

Nguyen had been arrested in July 2013 after Vietnamese customs officials uncovered the chemicals in the packages bound for Australia.

Vietnam is reported to have among the world’s toughest drug enforcement laws, with the death penalty for those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or of methamphetamines.







Meth in the News – May 20, 2016

Posted: 20th May 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

When most people think about where clandestine methamphetamine labs are typically found, they envision run-down homes or cheap motels. That gives many people a false sense of security, and they often think that there is no way that a meth lab could be located next door –especially if they live in a ritzy neighborhood.

Last Thursday, May 12, 2016, Durham Police responded to a tip that a meth lab was potentially located in a home on League Way in Durham, NC.

It was a god tip. A functional meth lab was located inside the home, and Gregory Goldstein and Christie Lee were arrested and charged with manufacturing meth. They are being held under $530,000 bond each.

Neighbors were confused. You see, Durham County property records indicate that the home is valued at $425,657 and is 3,817 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms.

“Utter shock, really,” Anna Rosati, a neighbor, told reporters. “We always would take the girls to scooter ride right in front of the house. It’s really such a good neighborhood.”

Another neighbor, Carli Reo, said, “I saw the cop cars. I have never seen that many cop cars in this neighborhood. I was just confused at what was happening.”

Like they always say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

Also last Thursday, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and detectives with the Scottsdale Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit executed seven search warrants simultaneously across the Phoenix, Ariz., area.

A news release provided by the DEA said that this operation was “part of a long-term joint investigation into a large-scale methamphetamine trafficking organization responsible for the monthly distribution of hundred-pound quantities of meth across the U.S.”

The operation has been ongoing since the summer of 2015. During the past year, the DEA arrested four subjects, seized over 90 pounds of meth, 33 grams of cocaine, $50,000 in cash, two vehicles and nine weapons, including two rifles.

But what was most disturbing about this operation was that one of the homes under surveillance, which was being used as a methamphetamine stash house, was also used as a private day care for small children.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman told reporters, “During some of our surveillance we would see six and seven kids dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon.”

Special Agent Coleman added, “It is unfathomable that innocent children would be exposed to the inherent dangers of drug trafficking by those individuals entrusted with their care.”

I could not have said it better! Luckily no children were harmed – as far as I know.

With the recent untimely death of legendary musician Prince and President Obama’s plans to address the epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, increased attention has been drawn to the fatal overdoses often associated with the abuse of these drugs. However, it should come as no shock to most people that overdoses on meth, as well as practically any other drug, also occur. In fact, in a report just issued on Monday, May 16, New Mexico State Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Landen reported that from 2010 through 2014, New Mexico hospitals observed a spike in deaths and emergency room visits caused by meth.

But last Wednesday, May 11, Brandi L. Bailey, 34, of Bremerton, Wash., was charged in Kitsap County with controlled substances homicide, a charge intended for drug dealers who give people a fatal dose of drugs.

Apparently Ms. Bailey sold methamphetamine to Dustin Theodore Frame, 21, last February and then allegedly injected him on the night of February 24 with what he described as “a big fat load” of meth. There were other people present in the house at the time who heard him describe the injection, but none actually saw Ms. Bailey inject Mr. Frame.

Mr. Frame had difficulty breathing and collapsed soon after being injected. An autopsy found that Mr. Frame died from a lack of oxygen, exacerbated by chronic bronchial asthma with a “significant contribution” of acute methamphetamine intoxication.

Court documents report that a deputy coroner ruled that Mr. Frame likely would not have died if not for the meth use.

A witness told the authorities said that Ms. Bailey waited to call “911” for about 5 to 10 minutes after seeing that Mr. Frame was having trouble breathing. Therefore, an aggravator for “deliberate cruelty” was added to the charge by prosecutors.

And from the “I really can’t make this stuff up” files, two police officers employed by the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools were charged in federal court with the possession and distribution of meth.

James Baray, 30, worked with students at Wyandotte High School, while Chad Kleppin, 44, was assigned to Fairfax Learning Center, the district’s alternative school.

The criminal complaint alleges that Mr. Baray supplied six pounds of meth per week to his customers.

One of Mr. Baray’s neighbors, Garland Alders, told reporters that he thought it was odd for his police officer neighbor to have three expensive cars, including a Mercedes, a Volvo and a Cadillac.

You think?

Administrators with the Kansas City Kansas Public School district say that both officers have been suspended while the charges are investigated. The district claims that it doesn’t have any complaints against the officers from students.

Go figure!

Finally, Angela Carr, 44, of Moreno Valley, Calif., a former supervisory drug counselor at the Calipatria State Prison was named in a San Diego federal grand jury indictment last week.

Ms. Carr is accused of smuggling drugs — including methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana — and cell phones into the prison five times. On one of those occasions, an estimated $1.2 million in contraband was brought into Calipatria, according to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

The complicated smuggling scheme that involved inmates and their “girlfriends” was actually discovered back in August of 2015 when Ms. Carr was confronted at the staff entrance of Calipatria prison, reeking of marijuana at the time, according to indictment.

Ms. Carr was allegedly carrying almost a pound of meth, four pounds of marijuana, a quarter-pound of heroin, 409 tablets of Soma, Xanax, Valium and Norco, 212 grams of tobacco, four bottles of cough syrup and 39 cell phones at the time.

Seriously? And this woman was supposed to be running a drug rehabilitation program in the prison??

It’s getting to the point that nothing surprises me anymore! And there is so much more to tell you – but I am already out of room!

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 nickgoeders@gmail.com. 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.

PITTSBORO — A tip to a member of the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force in fall 2015 led to the confiscation of a significant amount of methamphetamine and two guns, resulting in the arrest of a Pittsboro couple.573e20726d827_image

Nicholas McIntyre, 30, 5100 block of East County Road 551 North, Pittsboro, went to the Boone County Jail to post bail for Adria Runion, 22, on May 10, and according to a media report obtained on May 11, was “twitching really bad, had methamphetamine sores all over him,” and he appeared to be “on drugs.” McIntyre did this, according to court documents, while the trunk of the car he drove contained 349 grams of methamphetamine, less than 5 grams of cocaine, less than 5 grams of heroin, 5 oxycodone pills, hypodermic syringes, a digital scale, a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol padlocked in a black box.

“It’s kind of shocking … almost an arrogance,” said Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force Division Commander Major Aaron Dietz, about coming to the jail with that much contraband.

Dietz characterized the seizure of just over 3/4 of a pound of meth as “a lot,” and said the pair of handguns makes three total firearms taken from drug dealers in Lebanon over the past few weeks.573e207260e12_image

“That concerns us and we’re glad we’re able to take those three handguns,” he said.

Shortly after McIntyre and Runion left the jail, Lebanon Police Department Officer Ben Phelps pulled over Runion’s 2010 Dodge Avenger with McIntyre driving on the exit ramp from I-65 south to State Road 267 in Boone County, for multiple traffic violations.

McIntyre had a warrant out for his arrest and was placed into custody. Because Runion did not have a valid driver’s license, the car was inventoried before being towed.

During the inventory, Phelps and Whitestown Police Department Sgt. Dave Bowles found a small amount of methamphetamine and paraphernalia in the passenger door pocket. They then tried to place Runion under arrest, at which time a probable cause affidavit said she “began backing away from (the two officers) yelling that she was not going back to jail.” After placing Runion in Bowles’ car, the officers continued their search and came upon the black box in the trunk’s tire compartment.

Both McIntyre and Runion face charges of dealing methamphetamine, a level 2 felony; possession of methamphetamine, a level 3 felony; possession of cocaine and possession of a narcotic drug, both level 5 felonies; unlawful possession of a syringe, a level 6 felony; and carrying a handgun without a license, a class A misdemeanor.

The pair could face a maximum of 61 1/2 years in prison and up to $55,000 in fines.

Boone County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kent Eastwood filed a notice of intent to seek an enhanced penalty for firearm use in conjunction with those charges. That could add additional years to the sentences.

Runion also has two prior cases from incidents occurring this year pending in Boone County.

Runion was arrested in January on two counts of fraud, level 6 felonies, and theft, a class A misdemeanor, for allegedly stealing and using her aunt’s credit card. She was also arrested in late April on misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

McIntyre has no open cases, but has pleaded guilty to two burglary cases and operating a vehicle while intoxicated in the county since 2008.

Runion remains in the BCJ on a $50,000 cash or surety bond, while McIntyre bonded out May 15.

These arrests are the latest of several significant takedowns by the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force in the last month.

“We’re getting after it and we’re not even half way through (the year),” Dietz said. “We’ll keep going.”







A Palmer couple face charges for bringing drugs to Alaska from Washington and for hosting drug-fueled parties at their home, federal prosecutors said.

During one such party, a teen died after overdosing on methamphetamine, prompting the investigation that led to their arrests, the prosecutors said.

According to a Thursday statement from U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler’s office, Tod James Rodolph, 40, and Jessica Elizabeth Hopkins, 35, were each indicted on three counts: conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possess them with the intent to distribute, maintaining drug-involved premises, and possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute.

Rodolph was also charged with possessing four firearms as a convicted felon and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug crimes.

“It is alleged that, over the course of 2015 and early 2016, Rodolph traveled from Alaska to the area of Seattle, Washington, approximately 20 times to purchase large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine,” prosecutors wrote. “He then traveled back to Alaska where he sold the drugs for profit.”

In addition to trafficking the drugs, prosecutors said Rodolph — who was convicted in Arizona court of solicitation of dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2007 — often used them at home, along with Hopkins.

“Rodolph and Hopkins’ drug trafficking activities created an environment in which their teenage daughter and her friends were able to consume illegal drugs at their Palmer residence,” prosecutors wrote.

The case stemmed from an investigation by Alaska State Troopers and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration into the death of a teenager identified as A.F., who attended a party at the home. During the early hours of Jan. 10, prosecutors said A.F. used drugs there and “began having a negative reaction.”

“When Rodolph learned of the teenager’s condition, he failed to call 911 and instead instructed another teenager to drive A.F. to the hospital,” prosecutors wrote. “A.F. later died of what the medical examiner determined to be the acute toxic effects of methamphetamine.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Courter, who is prosecuting the case, said more details on the case were likely to emerge as it neared trial, but that Rodolph had brought a large stockpile of drugs to Alaska.

“The quantities overall that are charged in the course of the indictment are over 100 grams of heroin and a sizable amount of methamphetamine,” Courter said. “It was a substantial amount.”

Courter said it wasn’t clear how frequently Rodolph and Hopkins hosted drug parties like the one on Jan. 10, or how many people they sold drugs to.

“They would transport them into Alaska and then distribute them locally,” Courter said. “Their home was in Palmer, which was where they were primarily operating out of.”

Courter said the case is an important one for Southcentral Alaska, due to both the overdose death it involved and Alaska’s wider backdrop of problems linked to heroin and meth. In a similar case last year, the Dec. 1 heroin overdose death of 22-year-old Houston resident Michael Chalender led to the arrest of three people accused of running a Valley heroin ring, as well as an alleged supplier from California.

“Given the prevalence of heroin and meth in this community and the scourge that they are causing, it is certainly important to prosecute this case,” Courter said. “This isn’t a problem I think we’re going to prosecute our way out of, but I think law enforcement has a significant role to play in it.”

On Thursday morning, an Alaska inmate database listed Rodolph in custody at Goose Creek Correctional Center in the Mat-Su, and Hopkins at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River.

Rodolph and Hopkins will be arraigned in federal court in the near future. They face five to 40 years in prison on the drug charges if convicted, and Rodolph could receive an additional five years on the gun charge.

Prosecutors also moved to seize a series of assets from Rodolph and Hopkins used in the alleged crimes — including any drug proceeds, the three handguns and one shotgun Rodolph is accused of possessing as a felon, and a 2002 Cadillac Escalade — if they are convicted on various counts in the case.




ANCHORAGE (KTUU) A Palmer couple is accused of importing methamphetamine and heroin to sell in Alaska and running a drug house where a teenager overdosed and died earlier this year.

Tod James Rodolph, 40, and Jessica Elizabeth Hopkins, 35, were indicted Wednesday on multiple felony charges. Rodolph made some 20 trips from Alaska to the Seattle area where he paid cash for large amounts of heroin and meth in 2015 and 2016, the charges say.

The indictment stems from an investigation into the Jan. 10 death of a teenager who attended a party at Rodolph and Hopkins’ residence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Anchorage.

The couple’s drug dealing “created an environment in which their teenage daughter and her friends were able to consume illegal drugs at their Palmer residence,” the U.S. Attorney’s office statement says.

Prosecutors say a visiting teenager began having a bad reaction to methamphetamine at the house but Rodolph failed to call 911. He told another teen to drive the boy to a hospital, the charges say.

The teen died from “acute toxic affects of methamphetamine,” the state medical examiner found.

The five-count indictment charges Rodolph and Hopkins with conspiracy to distribute heroin and meth, using their Palmer home to use and distribute drugs and possessing firearms used in the furtherance of drug crimes.

Rodolph is additionally charged with heroin and meth possession and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

If convicted, the couple will be forced to forfeit a Cadillac Escalade and several firearms.






WEAR — A fire sparked at the America’s Best Inn and Suites in Pensacola Thursday morning, May 19th.geogigiq3]t

Officials said the fire was caused by a meth lab in one of the rooms at the motel.

It happened around 12 a.m. Thursday morning.

“There’s no bang, no boom just a woman next door hollering for help,” said David Dimarco. “When we opened the door, flames and smoke started pouring in our room from next door.”leho4ho43

The person in the room suffered multiple burns and was transported to a hospital.

“There was this lady that ran out of the room and there was this huge burst of flames,” Faith Cheatham said.

At least $250,000 in damages occurred from the fire.

Charges are pending as the investigation continues.






A woman who is accused of keeping her children alone at home allegedly told police she left them in the care of her boyfriend while she went to get high on meth.rtgiq3iq]3rgiqt

Management of the Meadows Apartments near 31st Street and Garnett Road contacted police about 9:20 a.m. Thursday after finding children alone in an apartment while doing maintenance. When officers arrived, they found the apartment in “total disarray with food, trash, bugs all over” the residence, according to an arrest report.

In an interview with police — Christina Marie Brown, who lives at the apartment — said she left the kids with her boyfriend about four hours earlier. Brown, 28, reportedly said this was the third time she left her children in her boyfriend’s care and that he has left them alone in the past.

The report states Brown admitted she had left the apartment to use meth. She was booked into the Tulsa Jail on complaint of child neglect with bail set at $50,000.

Court records show Brown pleaded guilty to child neglect in 2013 and was given a deferred sentence until 2018.







Sheriff’s deputies used spike strips to bring to an end a high-speed chase and arrested the driver with about half a pound of methamphetamine in his possession.

Tuesday evening, sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop a red Mustang for a traffic violation, failing to maintain a single lane, left of center and no headlights in the 13000 block of U.S. 166. After the deputies activated their emergency lights, the driver fled.

Deputies continued to pursue the vehicle east on U.S. 166 to 151st Road where the vehicle made a U turn in the middle of the intersection. At that time, deputies verified the driver was Sage Breeze Martin, 32, Arkansas City, who had an active warrant out of Arkansas City Municipal Court. Martin then fled westbound on U.S. 166 and passed a vehicle without signaling in the 12000 block of U.S. 166.

The deputies first deployed spike strips in the 11000 block of U.S. 166, successfully flattening the two front tires.

They spiked the tires again at 81st Road and U.S. 166, flattening the right rear tire, and the vehicle continued westbound on rims. At the roundabout at U.S. 166 and U.S. 77, Ark City police successfully spiked the vehicle again, flattening the left rear tire.

The driver then drove through the roundabout and went south on the bypass. The vehicle continued south on rims on the U.S. 77 bypass to Madison Avenue and turned west. The driver then turned North onto F Street. About four blocks north of Madison Avenue, he fled on foot towards the west. He was taken into custody about 30 yards from his vehicle by Arkansas City police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Martin had a firearm on his person. Drug use paraphernalia, drug sales paraphernalia and approximately a half pound of methamphetamine were also recovered. Martin was transported to and booked into the Cowley County Jail on suspicion of the following charges: possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, possession of drug sale paraphernalia, criminal use of weapons, aggravated weapons violations by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, possession of drug use paraphernalia, no drug tax stamp, driving while driver’s license is cancelled or suspended, no proof of insurance, felony flee or elude law enforcement officers and reckless driving. He remained in custody as of 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.






ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A 20-year-old Gadsden woman was arrested and admitted to smoking methamphetamine while pregnant, the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office says.i8t5ei5e54

“Kathy Breeann Whitmore, 20, of Gadsden, was arrested and is charged with chemical endangerment of exposing a child to an environment in which controlled substances are ingested, produced or distributed, which is a felony,” investigator Brandi Fuller said.

Whitmore was incarcerated in th e Etowah County Detention Center with a $10,000 bond. A condition of the bond stipulates she must successfully complete a drug treatment program.