BILLINGS – A 73-year-old Hysham man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling methamphetamine.


U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters on Thursday also ordered Thomas Edward Van Haele to serve five years of supervision once he is released from custody. Van Haele earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing methamphetamine.

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Billings had been investigating Van Haele for the distribution of methamphetamine in the Billings area since May of 2012.

On June 13, 2012, an undercover agent purchased methamphetamine from Van Haele in the Lee’s Saloon parking lot in Billings.

The methamphetamine was sent to the DEA Laboratory for testing, and the results indicate that the amount was 9.5 grams of pure methamphetamine.

On June 15, 2012, a second undercover purchase was made from Van Haele at the same location. This methamphetamine was sent to the DEA Laboratory for testing and the results indicate that the amount was 11.3 grams of pure methamphetamine.

The press release states that the term pure methamphetamine refers to the purity contained in the transacted amount which is usually “cut” with inert ingredients that make the actual product less pure but more profitable as drugs are generally sold based on quantity not quality.

Parole has been abolished in the federal system so Van Haele will be required to serve the entire sentence although federal prisoners are given some days off their sentence for complying with prison rules and not committing any infractions or causing disruption inside the prison.




CLARKSTON, WA – A 26-year-old woman from Clarkston remains in jail on multiple drug counts.

Cammie Dahl was arrested Wednesday afternoon by the Quad-Cities Drug Task Force. With the use of an undercover informant, Dahl is now accused of dealing methamphetamine and prescription narcotics.

After being booked into the Asotin County Jail on delivery charges, officers found another 18 grams of methamphetamine as well as oxycodone in her bra.

Dahl is expected to face charges related to drug trafficking and possession. She also could even be facing charges of introducing contraband into a jail facility.




COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A Minnesota sex offender is accused of running 25 methamphetamine-making operations out of an East Pace Avenue home.

Phillipe Fritzke, 46, is charged with first-degree felony manufacturing meth. He also faces charges in Minnesota for failing to register his address as a sex offender and assault, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

A Summit County sheriff deputy found a car that was registered to someone who had an active warrant near the home on East Pace Avenue, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputy knocked on the door and Fritzke answered, sheriff’s said. The deputy asked to search the home because of an ammonia-like smell consistent with meth labs, sheriff’s deputies said.

The deputy found a meth lab in the basement and 25 more meth making operations inside the residents, according to the sheriff’s office.






DES MOINES, Iowa — Last year, then Monona County Auditor Brooke Kuhlmann made news by becoming the only county auditor in Iowa ever arrested for possession of methamphetamine.

Now she’s making news again. This time she’s accused of using taxpayer money for personal expenses during her tenure as county auditor.

A new report from the Office of the Iowa State Auditor details how allegedly Kuhlmann used county credit cards for everything from casino visits to purchases at the iTunes store.Brooke-Kuhlmann-225x300

The report identified more than $7,000 in inappropriate personal use of county credit cards. There were also more than $1,000 in late fees on those card because Kuhlmann did not make payments on time, the auditor said in the report.

According to the report, Kuhlmann was responsible for a total of $8,217 in appropriate purchases and late fees.

As auditor, Kuhlmann was the one responsible for monitoring the county’s spending for any irregularities.

County officials discovered the improper credit card use following Kuhlmann’s arrest for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in July 2013.

“Up until then, everything seemed fine,” Monona County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tim Jessen told Iowa Watchdog. “There was no sign of anything going wrong.”

As the report documents, Kuhlmann’s alleged misuse of credit cards began in March 2012, more than a year before her drug arrest.

“Maybe we were naïve in counting on one person to look after the accounts,” Jessen said.

Whether the people of Monona County — population 9,243 — were naive, counting on a single person to monitor accounts is common in governments throughout rural Iowa. It’s a situation that frequently results in the misappropriation of funds

“It is a common situation,” Chief Deputy Auditor of the State of Iowa Warren Jenkins told Iowa Watchdog during an interview on official misconduct in rural Iowa. “In these smaller localities, there’s often a belief that they know an individual well and that leads to too much trust being placed on the individual.”

That was the case in Monona County.

Prior to her arrest, the most notable thing about Kuhlmann was her youth.

Kuhlmann was only 23 years old when she was first elected auditor in 2008. She was re-elected in 2012.

“She struck everyone as a very impressive person,” Jessen said. “That’s why what happened took everybody by surprise.”

Jessen and the other county supervisors got another surprise when they learned how hard it is to remove an elected official from office in Iowa.

Because Kuhlmann was only charged with misdemeanors following her arrest, her drug bust had no effect on her eligibility to serve as county auditor.

“Since it wasn’t a felony, it didn’t disqualify her. So we couldn’t remove her for that and we didn’t try. It was her dereliction of duty that was the more important factor,” Jessen said.

Following her arrest, Kuhlmann stopped showing up for work almost entirely.

It was during this time that a review of the files of the auditor’s office first revealed the misuse of credit cards. The county Board of Supervisors then requested the state auditor’s office conduct an investigation.

But because Kuhlmann did occasionally go to her office, removing her as auditor for dereliction of duty wasn’t easy.

Under Iowa law, an officeholder must be absent from work for 60 consecutive days before a county board can declare that office vacant.

Kuhlmann’s occasional appearances at the office prevented that from happening.

“It was a very tenuous and stressful time,” Jessen said.

In November, the Board of Supervisors instructed the county attorney to petition the district court to remove Kuhlmann from office.

On Dec, 11, Kuhlmann resigned before the court ruled on the county’s petition.

Later that month, Kuhlmann pleaded guilty to the drug charges against her. She was sentenced to two days in jail.

Iowa Watchdog was unable to contact Kuhlmann to get her response to the auditor’s report.

The audit report does note the county has been repaid by “a member of Kuhlmann’s family” for all the expenses related to the credit cards.

“Monona County taxpayers are not out any money. Everything has been repaid,” Jessen confirmed.

The state auditor’s office filed a copy of its report with the Monona County Attorney’s office. Iowa Watchdog attempted to contact County Attorney Michael Jensen to learn if Kuhlmann would face any charges for her alleged misuse of county credit cards, but Jensen did not respond to messages left with a secretary.

Monona County has made changes in how its credit cards are used.

“We now have more openness and have introduced checks into the system to make sure nothing like this happens again,” Jessen said.

“It’s been a real eye-opening situation.”



Two men are facing felony drug charges after a sting by the BCA and DEA in the mall’s parking lot.

A staged drug deal at the Albertville Premium Outlets has led law enforcement agencies to taking down two major methamphetamine dealers in the northwest suburbs, including one supplier who could face up to 39 years in prison for his role in meth distribution.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Wright County District Court earlier this month, an undercover drug deal at the mall Thursday, Oct.2 led DEA and BCA agents, assisted by Wright County deputies, to the arrest of Jose Ivan Hernandez, 29, of Minneapolis.

Police had been tailing Hernandez for some time, stating he had been involved in a discussion with an undercover investigator the prior week, agreeing to deliver one pound of methamphetamine for an agreed on amount of money. The complaint states the transaction was scheduled to happen on Oct. 2.

WrightCoSheriff2At approximately 6;45 p.m., the undercover agent and Hernandez met at the Outlets, with Hernandez entering the undercover agent’s vehicle and producing a Rubbermaid container. Hernandez indicated the container held shards of meth (glass), weighing about 18 ounces.

The investigator gave a signal, the complaint states, and fellow officers arrested Hernandez on scene. During questioning, Hernandez cooperated with the lead investigator, and identified his supplier as Homero Parra Pacheco, Brooklyn Park. Hernandez was expected to return to Pacheo’s apartment with the cash from the Albertville transaction.

Hernandez then led police to Pacheo’s residence. Investigators questioned both men, and in the course of the questioning, one officer asked to use Hernandez’s cell phone to see with whom he had been discussing the ongoing meth deal. Pacheo’s phone rang.

Pacheo also admitted his fingerprints might be on the package of methamphetamine delivered to the Albertville drop.

Police arrested both men on felony counts of first degree sale of meth -10 grams or more. The punishment of the offense, if convicted, is a 30-year prison sentence and/or $1 million fine.




PAW PAW, MI — A Van Buren County man was arrested while trying to escape through a lower level window during a methamphetamine bust at his home Thursday.


Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Stephen Figg Jr., 21, of Paw Paw, on outstanding warrants but will be pursuing methamphetamine-related charges, after finding an active meth lab in a barn on the property.

Narcotics detectives executed a search warrant at the home in the 36000 block of 60th Avenue in Paw Paw Township at about 3 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release. When officers entered the home, they found a 44-year-old woman in a bedroom.

Police then found Figg trying to crawl out a basement window in an effort to escape, according to the news release. During the search, police found an active one-pot meth lab, along with components used to produce the drug. Also found in the home were finished methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Police are seeking charges of operating a meth lab, possession of meth and maintaining a drug house against both suspects.






Doctors at Yangon Mental Hospital say they are seeing a rise in the number patients in their 20s who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, and this along with anecdotal and other evidence indicates that alcohol and drug addiction use is surging among those in their 20s as well as among teenagers.

The warning was made at seminar in Nay Pyi Taw last month during which public health experts and officials sought to draft new guidelines and strategies to control the distribution, advertising and consumption of alcohol.

“Now, even teenagers have started drinking [alcohol] and some will become addicts in their 20s. It’s the same with drugs,” said Dr Win Aung Myint, a mental health specialist at the hospital. “This is why we are seeing a rise in mental illness,” he added.

The seminar was told that as much as 70 per cent of the alcohol consumed by youths was illegally distilled.

Win Aung Myint also said methamphetamine had replaced heroin as the greatest threat. Instead of injected heroin, youths are now smoking methamphetamine pills, which are easier to obtain and more popular than heroin because they do not have to be injected and their effect is more appealing, he said. “Heroin makes users drowsy while methamphetamine makes them feel more energetic, so young people are choosing methamphetamine pills,” he explained.

The price of the pills differs based on their type, but the average street price in Yangon is about Ks 5,000 (US$5) per pill, researchers say. The drug can make users aggressive and has been blamed for a rise in fighting among youths, increased theft and other social ills, the researchers said. Prolonged use of the drug can cause psychosis, health experts say.

According to arrest and treatment records, about 10 per cent of methamphetamine users are women, according to Dr Hla Htay, project manager of the National Drug Abuse Control Programme.

Myanmar lacks nationwide data on alcohol consumption. However, according a 2008 rapid assessment by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health in Yangon, Taunggyi and Mawlamyine 19-24 per cent of drinkers surveyed were “problem users”, last month’s seminar was told.

The warnings come as global beer and liquor manufacturers expand their presence in what one international analyst described as “one of the last remaining virgin markets for growth”. Jeremy Cunnington, an alcoholic-drinks analyst at Euromonitor, was also quoted in local media as saying that for global manufacturers there were “very few opportunities to expand and grow” and that “Myanmar is one of those opportunities”.

Heineken’s global external communications chief, John Clarke, agreed. He said in an e-mail that per capita beer consumption in Myanmar was about three litres a year, compared with 36 in China, 30 in Vietnam, 26 in Thailand and 15 in Cambodia. “There is significant room for growth in the market,” he added.

Public health experts in Myanmar, however, say the lack of enforced regulations on advertising, distribution and sale of alcohol can leave youths vulnerable to the industrial drive now underway to increase sales of beer and alcohol in the country.



ALBANY, GA (WALB) – An Albany man has pleaded guilty to trafficking meth a year after he was arrested for throwing large chunks of methamphetamine while running from a police officer.5107137_G

36-year-old Kenley Grissom was sentenced to 17 years in prison, and banned from Dougherty and Lee Counties for 30 years on probation.

Grissom pleaded guilty to trafficking meth, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and DUI.

Prosecutors said on October 14, 2013, Grissom crashed his car on Beattie Road. When a police officer drove up, Grissom ran down the road, throwing crystal ice meth.

According to a report, Grissom was described as “hallucinating, irrational, and ridiculous.”


Drug agents found more than a pound of meth, with a street value of $40,000, making it one of the largest meth seizures in Albany at that time.

They also found cocaine and pills. Grissom was out of jail on bond at the time after he was arrested on drug and bank robbery charges.




TRINITY, TX (KTRE) – A call of a naked woman knocking on doors led to the arrest of her meth dealer, according to the Trinity County Sheriff.

Sheriff Woody Wallace said dispatch received a call around 6 a.m. of a naked woman beating on a door on French Road. Deputies responded but could not find anyone.

Wallace said a second call came an hour later and deputies responded again and found a naked woman sitting in a cedar tree. As they were coaxing her down, dispatchers received another call, this time of a naked man running around and knocking on doors in the same area. Wallace said they were able to round up both naked people, who happened to be in a dating relationship.

“We got them dressed and finally got them to admit they had been on some dope,” Wallace said.

Wallace said he asked them who their meth dealer was.

“They said they didn’t know his name, but they had been texting him,” Wallace said. “I said, ‘well, text him again.'”

Wallace said the couple texted their dealer again and set up another buy. Then Wallace sent two from Trinity police and an investigator to the house.

Around 2 p.m., Wallace said the dealer showed up and met the officers.

They arrested Jacob Walker, 42, of Trinity. Wallace said the couple could have been arrested for public intoxication and indecent exposure, but because they were cooperative and no longer a danger, he let them off.


Walker is charged with second-degree delivery of a controlled substance.

“We have been developing information about Walker for some time now,” said Trinity Police Chief Steven Jones. “This incident happened and we seized the opportunity to bust him.”




An Oklah13785642oma City woman allegedly began using a breast pump to distract a state trooper from searching her vehicle during a Carson County traffic stop that netted 15 pounds of methamphetamine, according to court records filed Thursday.

Federal authorities in Amarillo charged Elda Deyanira Delfin, 37, and Diego Delfin-Esquivel, 27, of Oklahoma City with drug trafficking conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and aiding and abetting.

Shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped a 2015 Kia Sorento SUV on Interstate 40 on a traffic violation of an improperly placed or obscured license plate, according to court records.

The trooper then talked to Delfin-Esquivel, the driver, and Delfin, a passenger, about their trip through the area, and both appeared nervous and gave conflicting information about their travels.

“During the traffic stop, Delfin started to pump breast milk from her breasts in what (the trooper) believed what an attempt to distract him from searching the interior of the vehicle,” according to court records.

Delfin then told the trooper she could not stop pumping once she started. Because of Delfin’s actions, the trooper thought Delfin was trying to hide something inside the SUV.

The trooper asked Delfin-Esquivel to search the SUV and he agreed, according to the affidavit. During the search, the trooper found nine bundles of methamphetamine in the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Six of the bundles were in a box by Delfin’s feet and three more bundles were found under the passenger’s seat where Delfin was sitting, according to a court affidavit.

Delfin and Delfin-Esquivel agreed to be interviewed by investigators. Delfin said she traveled with Delfin-Esquivel, her husband, to Phoenix to attend a funeral of one of her husband’s relatives, but she said she did not know the person’s name or gender. Delfin stated her husband dropped her off at the Phoenix funeral home and left her for about 45 minutes.


Delfin-Esquivel stated he never dropped his wife off at a funeral home, but said they drove to an apartment complex where he met a person in the parking lot who gave him the methamphetamine. Delfin-Esquivel later said he placed the methamphetamine under his wife’s feet, but claimed she did not know the drugs were there.

Delfin also said she had just given birth and that the child was in the intensive care unit at an Oklahoma City hospital.

During the investigation, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent interviewed another unidentified person who said Delfin-Esquivel was a methamphetamine dealer, that his wife was aware of his drug trafficking and that the couple had made several trips on short notice to unknown locations.

The pair made a brief court appearance Thursday in Amarillo’s U.S. District Court and will remain in custody pending further hearings in the case. Child Protective Services also took custody of a 3-year-old child who was in the vehicle, a DPS spokesman said.




CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS) – A Shawsville woman who was high on methamphetamine when she ran over a man with her car appeared in court Thursday. 5092027_G

Makayla Jones, 19, plead and was found guilty of felony maiming while driving under the influence of drugs and misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs in Montgomery County Circuit Court Thursday. Her bond was revoked and she will remain in jail while until her sentencing on Jan. 6.

She will be sentenced by the judge and faces up to 5 years in prison for the felony and 12 months in jail on the misdemeanor.

The Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office says the incident happened on March 13 around 4:45 p.m. Jones was driving a Ford Focus on Route 460 in the Shawsville/Elliston area of Montgomery County when she was observed cutting off another vehicle and then straightening back up. Jones then abruptly veered off the road and ran over Jeremy Miller with her car. Miller had been walking on the shoulder of the road.

Miller had life threatening injuries and was flown to Roanoke Memorial by Life Guard. Jones and the two passengers from her car, her two year old son and her friend Amber Austin, were taken to Montgomery Regional.

Jones told a Montgomery County Sheriff’s office deputy that there might be methamphetamine in her blood. She said she’d been using for the past few days and it had been a few days since she had slept. Analysis of her blood indicated that the level of methamphetamine in her blood was .15 mg/L. By statute, a driver is presumed impaired at a level of .10 mg/L of methamphetamine.

The passenger, Amber Austin, told police that she and Jones had been using methamphetamine at a motel in Radford the previous night and that morning. They had then gone to a residence in Radford used meth there, as well. She said they drove from Radford to Salem to pick up Jones’ child and used meth again in the car.

Austin said that she began going in and out of consciousness as she rode in the car. Near Riverside she awoke and saw that Jones had her phone out and was using Snapchat. Austin then passed back out and awoke to find that she’d been in an accident.

Austin said Jones then told her, “I killed somebody”.

Jones told deputies that the meth made her sleepy and she’d considered pulling over but figured she’d be ok and continued driving. She put her car on cruise control and then there was a big crash. She did not remember if she had been using her phone prior to the crash. A search of her phone indicated that she had posted a “selfie” of her driving the car on Facebook about 10 minutes prior to the crash.

Miller sustained multiple serious injuries in the crash. Both of his legs were broken as was his arm. His knees are badly damaged and he has a head injury. He was in a coma for an extended period. He remains in a rehabilitation facility and is unable to walk and has difficulty communicating.

“Jones’ choice to use meth and drive had devastating consequences for Mr. Miller and his family. Thankfully Jones’ own child wasn’t injured,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt. “We will urge the judge to impose a lengthy sentence for her behavior.”




BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – A backpack, thought to be that of student who may have lost it, was brought to West Branch High School, but it contained nothing a student would need for class.

The book bag was dropped off at the school Monday by a person who said they found it by the railroad tracks near the fire station. The person thought it may belong to a student.

School officials opened the bag to determine who it may belong to and found items that looked “suspicious” and realized it was not a school book bag.

An officer who was working at the high school took the bag outside to examine its contents and found several items used for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Drug Enforcement agents from Salem and Portage counties were called to the scene and confiscated the items.

The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made.




5094570_GTULSA, Oklahoma – Tulsa police are looking for a suspect who’s still on the loose. They said they don’t know if he is still in the city, or long gone.

Police said Erik Williams shot and killed his former girlfriend Wednesday at the Colonial Park Apartments.

The homicide detective investigating the case described Williams as armed and dangerous and known to use drugs and guns.

They believe he was looking for the victim, found her, shot her, and fled.

There’s a makeshift memorial at the Colonial Park Apartments, where several people saw a young woman as she was shot to death Wednesday afternoon.

The police said it was anything but random, and that the 37-year-old suspect was looking for 24-year-old Christian Shockley.

“Some people said they were fighting, they would have domestic violence in the front yard of their house. That relationship recently ended maybe three, four, five days ago. He had been using methamphetamine and that put him in a state of mind where he’s not thinking clearly,” said Tulsa Police Sergeant, Dave Walker.

Police said Williams fled to a nearby apartment complex, Autumn Ridge, where he abandoned his truck. They watched it for ten hours, but he never returned.

They since found another car he used and they have that too.

“Even though we stole his car so to speak, he’s getting around somehow. So there’s people out there that are in his underground, they’re helping to conceal him, and we’re trying to reach out and touch those people, and eventually those people will be the ones that lead us to him,” said Walker.

When the shooting happened, police said the witnesses were able to describe the truck well so it didn’t take long to identify their suspect; now they just need to find him.

Though his only conviction is for public intoxication, police said in his vehicles they found drugs and guns and believe he’s growing more violent.

“He premeditated a murder. He drives up, sees her, gets out of his truck, pulls his gun, shoots his ex-girlfriend in front of a lot of other people, so obviously he targeted her, and then got back in his truck and left and then put his plan in motion to escape and so far he’s been successful doing that,” Walker said.

The suspect has ties to the Pryor area and detectives are working on those connections to find him.

Police ask anyone with information to either call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.



Montanans, it is time we all take a stance to stop one of the most damaging and dangerous addictions that is occurring in our backyard. Methamphetamine is bulldozing across our great state leaving no community untouched.

Methamphetamine infiltrating our state is at its highest availability, in part due to drug cartel activities originating out of Mexico. Law enforcement has seen a dramatic upswing in the purity of the meth being smuggled into our state. In fact, meth tested in our area often exceeds the purity levels of 98 percent. Methamphetamine is so addictive that users will commit unthinkable crimes to obtain their meth.5433519da564c_preview-620

You may be asking yourself: Why do I need to be involved? The simple answers are the rise in crime, the destruction of our loved ones, and the cost to each of us, and to our communities.

  • Prosecution of adult methamphetamine crimes at the federal level has doubled within the past ten years.
  • Over the last five years, warrants served by the Montana Violent Offender Task Force have shown a 200 percent increase in adult offenses with a direct correlation to drugs.
  • 50 percent of adults in prison are there due to meth-related crime at a cost of $60 million per year.
  • 20 percent of adults in treatment are there due to meth addiction at a cost of $6 million per year.

With these expanding numbers, each and every one of us has the potential to become a victim. We are losing the battle against protecting our communities against this cancer in our state. As the United States Marshal for the state of Montana, I ask you to join me and the Montana Meth Project in a renewed commitment in the battle against meth in our communities.

The highly successful Montana Meth Project is a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing first-time meth use among teens through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. Central to their integrated, research-based campaign is, a definitive source for information about Meth. Additionally, their Meth Prevention Lesson reaches students in the middle and high schools with the facts, tools, and resources to understand the risks of methamphetamine and to influence their peers.

In order to help us reach adults, the Montana Meth Project is committed to doubling their efforts with a return to traditional advertising noticeable on television, radio, billboards and newspaper, as well as maintain their presence on social media. These advertisements are meant to get your attention, challenge what you know about meth, and encourage you to get involved.

Law enforcement and the Montana Meth Project need your commitment to join us in this fight. It will take all of us to protect our great state and our families from this destructive drug. Help us strive to make a difference, find solutions, and protect the future of Montana.



StorywrwwCONWAY, TX — A DPS traffic stop Wednesday on Interstate 40 near Conway in Carson County, yielded over 14 pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $515,000.

The DPS trooper pulled over 27-year-old Diego Delfin-Esquivel and 36-year-old Elda Deyanira Delfin for a traffic violation.

During the traffic stop, the trooper discovered 12 bags of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

Both of the occupants were placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance, a first-degree felony, and booked into the Carson County Jail.

The illegal drugs were allegedly being transported from Phoenix, to Oklahoma City.




meth_21396There’s a new twist on an old but deadly drug.  Hundreds of thousands of pounds of methamphetamine are pouring into our neighborhoods — but not in the traditional way.

“We’ve seen a really big trend, and the most common that we’ve been seeing lately, is liquid methamphetamine,” says DEA spokesperson Wendell Campbell.

It could be in a water bottle, soda bottle, even tequila bottles.  Campbell told us the liquid form is typically used for transportation.  A stash on a bus from Houston on Sept. 30 is believed to be the largest seizure of liquid meth in U.S. history.  It was stored in dozens of old soda bottles.

But the problem is much bigger than liters.  Campbell says, “We’ll see a dual tank pick-up truck.  One tank will be full of methamphetamine – the other will be used for fuel going down the freeway.”  That means gallons of combustible chemicals sharing the road with you.  “It is our biggest and number one drug threat coming across the southwest border right now,” Wendell continued.

In Williamson County, Raymond Johnson was recently arrested driving with a couple bottles.  According to the arrest affidavit the deputy did not even realize that the brownish colored liquid inside a Listerine bottle was drugs.  That’s how new this trend is.  The deputy actually let Johnson go with a ticket for not having insurance.  Johnson was later arrested after lab test confirmed the liquid was meth.

Yet, the danger goes beyond transporting it.  A 16 year old died in California earlier this year when he drank liquid meth.  Near Houston last year, six eighth grade girls got high in their middle school when they put paper in their mouths soaked in liquid meth.

In the Austin area, the DEA is particularly worried about what they call conversion labs.  That’s where the liquid is turned to crystal.  The procedure can cause explosions.

“It’s highly concentrated methamphetamine, it’s extremely dangerous,” Campbell says

The DEA says a good gauge of how much meth is coming into our area is the price.  Years ago in the Austin area, meth was $20,000 to $30,000 a kilo.  Today it’s about $8500.



A federal indictment unsealed Thursday implicated 52 members and associates of a San Bernardino street gang in a drug-dealing operation that stretched from a local park to state prisons.

The gang, West Side Verdugo, operated under the direction of the Mexican Mafia, transferring drug profits for lawyer fees and taxing local drug dealers, according to the indictment.

Twenty-one of the men and women indicted were arrested Thursday and pleaded not guilty to the drug conspiracy in U.S. District Court in Riverside, according to Corey Lee, assistant U.S. attorney.

Another 22 were already incarcerated — mostly in state prisons — and their cases will be transferred within the court system, Lee said.

Federal, state and local police were searching for the remaining nine people who were indicted but not arrested.

The federal investigation into West Side Verdugo’s activities lasted at least from Aug. 26, 2010, to Jan. 16, 2012, but the San Bernardino police spokesman, Lt. Rich Lawhead, said local police, who assisted in Thursday’s operation, will continue to put pressure on gangs in the area.

“We are trying desperately to put a dent in the amount of money and everything else that gangs can use to raise their profile,” he said.

By paraphrasing phone and text message conversations, the 90-page indictment — prepared by federal authorities — details an international drug-dealing operation with a hub in San Bernardino.

One of the hub’s directors, as laid out in the indictment, is Jonathan Ray Brockus. He is not a defendant in this case but is listed as a co-conspirator. Lee said Brockus has been indicted in another case.

Lawhead described Brockus as one of the “shot callers” in West Side Verdugo.

According to the indictment, Brockus oversaw heroin and methamphetamine sales in WSV territory, particularly at La Plaza Park, at Seventh Street and Mount Vernon Avenue.

He purchased heroin from a Rialto woman, until she was arrested, and distributed the opiate along with copious meth, authorities said.

Much of the heroin was sold at La Plaza Park, where drug dealers paid a $5-per-day tax to the gang. Other times, authorities said, Brockus mailed small amounts of the drug to inmates in state prison.

On Oct. 13, 2010, guards at Ironwood State Prison in Blythe intercepted 3.6 grams of heroin allegedly shipped by Brockus. Five days later, authorities at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad found 1.8 grams of heroin in a package Brockus shipped, according to the indictment.

Through a middleman, Brockus told an imprisoned Mexican Mafia member in September 2010 that he would receive a special plate of food from the kitchen for personal use, authorities said.

Other times the drugs were sold in the prison yard. Inmates returned drug profits to Brockus by sending him a blank money order, the indictment said.

The majority of the 502 pieces of evidence listed against the defendants in the indictment center around Brockus.

He controlled most of the heroin and methamphetamine trade in WSV territory, authorities said, by supplying it to or taxing lower level dealers.

However, in early 2011, it appeared a political shake-up within the enterprise began to take form.

On Sept. 11, 2011, defendant Frank Joseph Ramos, “informed Brockus that he no longer had the authority to collect drug taxes from WSV gang members because they were now being collected by” a Mexican Mafia member who is identified in the indictment as “A.R.”




Six people have been arrested and approximately 90kgs of Methamphetamine has been seized after a drug bust in West Perth.skynews_img_1200_745

A joint operation between the Australian Federal Police, Western Australia Police, the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, which had been in progress since July, led to the bust.

The investigation targeted a South-East Asian-based criminal organization suspected of sending members to Australia to facilitate the trafficking of methamphetamine.




HESPERIA — A 30-year-old Barstow woman was arrested on suspicion of methamphetamine possession Thursday morning after she was found passed out in her car at a Hesperia AMPM, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials said.

Authorities said Erin Shelikh, 30, was found by deputies just before 2 a.m. in her vehicle, which had reportedly been parked in front of a fuel pump at an AMPM in the 16800 block of Main Street for over an hour.

Sheriff’s officials said Shelikh was passed out when deputies found her. Later, during an investigation and vehicle search, authorities said deputies found six grams of methamphetamine hidden in the vehicle.

Shelikh was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sale. She was booked into the High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto, and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.




On Tuesday October 7th 2014, Deputies with the Uniformed Patrol Division of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to 1632 Sand Basin Road in Grand Ridge Fl., to investigate a tip from a concerned citizen in reference to possible illegal drug activities. When Deputies arrived they made contact with Lori Hemanes and Sharon Neely. Lori Hemanes lived in the house located at this address and Sharon was living in a camper trailer also on the property. During the investigation a legal search of the property and residences revealed various drug paraphernalia which was consistent with the use of methamphetamine and approximately 316 grams of suspected methamphetamine concealed inside of Lori Hemanes residence. At the conclusion of the investigation, Sharon Neely, who is also currently on State Probation, was placed under arrest and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of State Probation. Lori Hemanes was placed under arrest and charged with Trafficking methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In the State of Florida, the minimum mandatory sentence for trafficking methamphetamine in excess of 200 grams if convicted is 15 years and a fine of $250,000.00.



Lori Hemanes, 36 years old

1632 Sand Basin Road

Grand Ridge Fl. 32442

Charges: Trafficking methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia.


Sharon Neely, 37 years old

1632 Sand Basin Road

Grand Ridge Fl. 32442

Charges: Trafficking methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of state probation



FLORIDA (WKRC) — A mother and her son were allegedly busted for making meth in their home after “butt-dialing” 911.

Police reports said Donna Knope, 55, and her son Jason Knope, 32, were “talking about making and selling methamphetamine” for a half hour as the 911 operator listened to the whole conversation. The operator also heard a bubbling sound in the background, as if something was cooking.

Police went to the house from which the call came and they saw white smoke coming out of a shed. In the shed, they found all the makings of a meth lab.

Donna and Jason were both charged with manufacture and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell or deliver.

A third person was arrested at the scene. Thomas Stallings, 41, who does not appear to be related to the Knopes was also charged with manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine. He was already on probation.





A Buffalo man and woman were each charged last week in Dallas County Circuit Court with three felony counts — possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; maintaining a public nuisance; and possession of drug paraphernalia on Sept. 30.

Johnny R. Swigart, 45, and Buffy M. Owens, 42, both of Buffalo, allegedly manufactured and possessed methamphetamine at a residence at 740 E. Madison in Buffalo. They also allegedly did this while a minor child was present in the home.

Swigart’s bond was set at $60,000, and Owens’ bond was set at $50,000.

In his probable cause statement, Buffalo Police Chief Curtis Mayfield reported that on Sept. 30 at approximately 12:15 p.m. he responded to the residence of Buffy Owens at 740 E. Madison to assist the Division of Family Services with a hotline report.

When Mayfield entered the house, Owens was advised by family services that there had been a report made on the residence for unsanitary living conditions as well as a possible meth lab. Owens gave consent to search the residence and said there was no meth lab there, according to the report.

While checking the residence, Chief Mayfield found a juvenile girl sleeping on the living room couch, and Owens said that was her daughter. In the kitchen Chief Mayfield located a male subject who appeared to be asleep on a cot, and he was identified as Johnny Swigart.

Near where Swigart was lying, police located a piece of cellophane which contained a coffee filter, two white saucers containing a white powder substance identified as methamphetamine and a broken knife blade, the report said.

According to the report, Owens said she used the plates to “vamp” the meth from the coffee filter. She allegedly explained that vamping is a term used to describe the process of extracting meth from the filter for use. Also located in the kitchen were three used syringes as well as various pieces of drug paraphernalia, including a plastic funnel, glass bowls with residue, metal spoons with residue, two partially melted plastic bottles and liquid Drano. Chief Mayfield said the residue located on the items field tested positive for the presence of meth.

Believing that they had located items used to manufacture meth, officers asked Dallas County sheriff’s meth-lab technician, Deputy Vic Barber, to respond to the location to assist. Deputy Barber confirmed that the items were in fact a meth lab.

Swigart said that the white powder substance that law enforcement officers had seized was methamphetamine, the report said. He allegedly confirmed that all of the contraband found in the house belonged to him and that he injects meth into his arms and often injects it into Owens’ arms.

He, too, explained the vamping process and said Owens’ juvenile daughter was present when they vamped meth. According to the report, Owens said her daughter was asleep on the living room floor when the vamping took place.



BEMIDJI — A Red Lake woman was apprehended Saturday by Bemidji Police in Bemidji with more than 40 grams of methamphetamine.


Stormie Jasmine Graves, 23, appeared Monday in Beltrami County District Court facing a felony first-degree possession of methamphetamine charge. Graves was arrested at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday outside a residence on the 2300 block of Calihan Ave. NE. Bemidji Police officers were originally in the area responding to a 911 call, according to a criminal complaint.

Officers questioned occupants of a Dodge Caliber parked in the driveway at the residence about the origin of the 911 call. When a passenger rolled down the front window of the car, an odor of marijuana was detected, court documents said. Police officers noticed a plastic micro baggie on the floor, as well as a silver scale in the back between the passengers. Officers searched the interior of the vehicle as well as the four occupants. Graves was in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.

During the search, a plastic baggie containing fresh marijuana and a methamphetamine pipe was seized from the center console, according to the complaint. Approximately 8 grams of methamphetamine was seized from Graves’ purse as well as a methamphetamine pipe, another 5 grams of methamphetamine was found on Graves after she was arrested for meth possession.

Graves was transported to the Beltrami County Jail where correctional officers seized a baggie containing approximately 30 grams of meth which was concealed under Graves’ shirt. All baggies tested positive for methamphetamine, the complaint stated. Officers noted Graves is on probation for a DUI conviction which conditions include abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

A first-degree possession of methamphetamine charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Graves is scheduled to appear Monday in Beltrami County District Court. She is being held at the Beltrami County Jail with conditional bail set at $50,000.





Under the influence–Oct. 5, 11:38 p.m. Dallas Drive. A woman was contacted after making paranoid statements during a call to the Campbell Police Department. She was determined to be under the influence of methamphetamine and was on probation. A search of her room revealed a meth pipe.



A suspected meth user’s unique face tattoos helped police quickly identify and arrest him when they responded to a disturbance at a Billings hotel on Sept. 28, according to charging documents.

While police were en route to the hotel, dispatchers described the man’s face tattoos. 54357f2b8be99_preview-620

Officers realized the tattoo descriptions matched those of 40-year-old Michael Ray Hinshaw from having interacted with him before, according to prosecutors.

As police arrived at the hotel on the 5200 block of Midland Road, “they observed him driving away from the hotel at a high rate of speed,” Chief Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Juli M. Pierce said at Hinshaw’s arraignment on Tuesday.

“When he was stopped, BPD finds a syringe with methamphetamine under the seat and empty syringes in the vehicle,” she continued.

The syringe contained 40 units of liquid that tested positive for meth, charging documents say.

At Hinshaw’s arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to felony drug possession and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession.

At the arraignment, Pierce asked that bond be set at $20,000 and told District Court Judge Russell C. Fagg that Hinshaw has a “significant” criminal history that includes convictions for burglary, false use of a credit card, forgery, operating a clandestine meth lab, drug distribution and multiple misdemeanor assaults.Hinshaw asked the judge if he could be released from jail without bond.

“I just want to go back to work, that’s all,” he said, adding that he was paroled 10 months ago.

The judge said he couldn’t do that and set bond at $10,000.


When police arrested Hinshaw on Sept. 28, he had a passenger, 26-year-old Amanda Parrish, who was also arrested after she allegedly gave police a false name.

On Tuesday, she pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer and felony drug possession for allegedly having Clonazepam, a sedative, that was not prescribed to her.

Fagg set her bond at $3,000 and ordered her to wear a patch that monitors drug use if she posts bail.

The defendants’ trial dates are yet to be determined.