Eighteen-year-old Dakota Birdwell may have been killed this week in a dispute about $85 and three bags of fake methamphetamine.

That’s what one person told Kennedale investigators Thursday after Birdwell’s body was found in a church parking lot, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released Friday.15cz5g_St_58

Cody Wayne Basinger, 18, of Burleson was arrested later Thursday and was in the Mansfield Jail on Friday facing a murder charge. Bail was set at $50,000, jail records showed.

Birdwell’s body was found Wednesday morning outside Life Fellowship Church in the 600 block of Little School Road in Kennedale. Officers reported that the body was face up with a large pool of blood around the head and with a cellphone near a hand, the affidavit said.

The affidavit, signed by Kennedale police Detective S. Dagnell, described interviews with several people as officers investigated the death.

  • At the church, a woman ran up to an officer to say that she was looking for her boyfriend, who had left her residence near the church early Wednesday with friends to get something to eat. He did not return and was not answering his phone, she said.
  • A man drove up to the church and told officers that he had heard a loud noise while he was taking out the trash Wednesday morning. He then saw a small red car make a quick exit from the parking lot.
  • An investigator from the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office pulled a small plastic bag from the victim’s right front pocket. He said it appeared to be methamphetamine.
  • A person acquainted with Birdwell and Basinger said that on Wednesday, Birdwell got four bags of methamphetamine from Basinger but owed him $85 for them. This person said three of the bags contained fake drugs, and Birdwell called Basinger to say he wanted to give back the fake meth but keep the bag with the real drug. Birdwell never returned from meeting Basinger.
  • Basinger showed one person a 9mm handgun equipped with a laser. When the person told Basinger that Birdwell was dead, Basinger said he deserved to die. The person also told officers that Basinger drove a red Mercury Cougar.
  • Police learned that Birdwell and Basinger attended the same high school.

Basinger was arrested later Thursday in Burleson.

A Kennedale police spokesman declined to answer questions about the affidavit, saying the investigation is not over.









Three men were arrested for transporting three pounds of crystal methamphetamine or “ICE” from Carter County through Rowan County.

Jose Guzman, 41, of Grayson, as well as two confirmed illegal immigrants with Grayson ties, Carlos Garza, 39, and Ariel Ceballos, 28, were charged with conspiracy of trafficking a controlled substance.545cd90605063_image

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Department made the arrests after initial investigations by the FIVCO Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (FADE).

The investigation took FADE out of their jurisdiction and contact was made with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the seizure and arrests.

The men were traveling westbound toward Lexington in two separate vehicles when they were stopped. The Rowan County Sheriff’s Department utilized its K-9 unit to confirm that drugs were present before making the arrests.

The type of methamphetamine found is thought to be produced in Mexican super labs, according to investigators.

The crystals are typically ground up and mixed with other chemical powders before being sold. After being cut, the three pounds of pure crystal methamphetamine would be turned into about nine pounds to be sold on the streets.

Street value of the drugs have been estimated between $400,000 and $1,000,000, according to law enforcement agents.

“This was a large seizure and it is not what we typically see in meth lab busts because it is the purest form of the drug,” said Rowan Chief Deputy Joe Cline. “Many times someone locally producing meth generates a few grams but this is a large concentration seizure and being transported up and down our highways and across our borders.”


FADE coordinated with U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to make the arrests. A translator from the Kentucky State Police assisted and the U. S. Forest Service law enforcement was on the scene.

Guzman, Ceballos and Garza are being held in the Rowan County Detention Center. No bond or arraignment date has been set for any of them.

Federal charges also are being pursued. The DEA is expected to eventually take over the investigation.









A Maiden woman has been charged with a number of drug-related offenses after leading authorities on a brief vehicle chase Thursday, officials said.

Jennifer Irene Brown, 33, was arrested after Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies said they found between 7 and 14 grams of methamphetamine on her person.2e6nF_Em_138

Investigators received a tip that Brown would be at a location on Campground Road with the drugs and set up surveillance, officials said.

Deputies asked Brown for her driver’s license and consent to search, but she refused, “grabbed her license out of the officer’s hand and left,” the sheriff’s office said.

After a short pursuit, officials said they stopped Brown’s vehicle and had a female deputy search Brown’s person. In addition to the meth, investigators said they found a large digital scale in the vehicle that can weigh amounts up to 5,000 grams. “It is the type of scales used by drug distributors, “officials said.

Jason Reid, a lieutenant with the department’s narcotics division, said officials believe Brown “has been a supplier of methamphetamine for several years.

“Our investigators have teamed with Catawba County on several drug investigations involving Brown,” Reid said.

Brown was charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine, as well as maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance and a number of misdemeanors, officials said.

Brown was processed into the Lincoln County Detention Center and later released on a $20,000 secured bond.













Crime reports have soared in Frankston during the past five years, with the drug ice emerging as one of the drivers of the increase in crime, police data obtained by Fairfax Media shows.

Drug offences more than doubled in the five years to 2013-14, while violent crime spiked 30 per cent over the same period, with assaults accounting for the majority of violent crime reports.0811frankston-420x0

The Age analyzed Victoria Police crime data for the two postcodes that make up the majority of the seat of Frankston, which shows there were 1206 violent crimes recorded there in 2013-14 and 626 drug crimes, which include use, possession and trafficking offences.

The seat, which is also one of the most marginal in the state, has one of the highest drug and violent crime rates in Victoria.

And the suburb of Frankston North, which was made part of the Frankston seat as a result of redistribution in electoral boundaries, has a higher rate of drug and violent crime than the Frankston central business district.

Frankston local area commander Tony Silva said there was a link between drug offences and other crimes such as burglaries, car thefts and crimes against the person.

“There’s no doubt the prevalence of drugs like methamphetamines has increased on the streets,” he said.

Inspector Silva said the increase in violent crime recorded was due to better reporting of family violence assaults and that increases in drug offences reflected that local police were getting better at catching drug offenders.

He said ice had also emerged as a contributing factor in family violence assaults.

Methamphetamine makes users more prone to aggression and increases the propensity to handle situational stresses with violence,” he said

But it was not the only factor, he said, with poverty, mental health and other relationship stresses also driving family violence in the region.

Inspector Silva said violent crime was down in Frankston so far this calendar year compared with the corresponding period last year, based on statistics that have not yet been released publicly.

Peninsula Health program manager Stephen Bright said amphetamines such as ice were the most common illicit drug people sought treatment for in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula, with 445 cases in the year to September 2013.

The number of people seeking treatment for amphetamine use has surged from 236 in 2011-12, but it has dropped off slightly from a peak in 2012-13.

Peninsula Health’s alcohol and other drug service, which provides counseling for people with crime-linked drug issues, received 563 referrals through the courts for a variety of drugs in the year to September 2013.

Frankston MP Geoff Shaw said the increase in reported crime figures reflected the larger police presence in the area.

“Because of a greater number of police and protective service officers throughout Frankston, the crime that before went unresolved and unreported due to a lack of resources is now being pursued and stopped by the fantastic work of the Victorian Police,” he said.

He said that four years ago crime had been the top concern of the people of Frankston in surveys, but it now ranks outside the top three issues in terms of community priority.

The Labor candidate for Frankston, Paul Edbrooke, said violent crime and drug crime had “a devastating impact” on the community. “Denis Napthine is failing to resource our police properly,” he said.

Liberal candidate Sean Armistead, the son of a policeman, defended the Napthine government’s record on law and order and said people in the area felt safer thanks to the increased police and PSO presence.

“Frankston – from when I was growing up in the area – has always had challenges, and ice is one of those challenges. It’s a challenge on a global scale. But we’re out there on the streets making a difference,” he said.











BEAUFORT, CARTERET COUNTY – Officials have identified a father and daughter who were burned and airlifted to Chapel Hill after a suspected meth lab fire in Beaufort Thursday morning.

According to a news release from the Town of Beaufort, 54-year-old John William Merritt and his daughter, 31-year-old Charley Renae Merritt, were injured in the fire at their home on the 300 block of Pine Street.john-merritt-charly-merritt

As of Thursday night, John Merritt was in critical condition at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, but Charley was not listed, a hospital official said.

The call of the blaze came in at 9:23 a.m. Thursday, said Assistant Fire Chief Richard Lovick.

After the fire, the father drove his daughter down the road to Beaufort Rescue Center and dropped her off, said Beaufort Police Chief Steven Lewis. The man then drove to another house on Tuttles Grove Road, where he left his car and called for help.

Neighbors said the man was naked because his clothes were burned off.

Charley Merritt told EMS workers she and her father were cooking meth, police said.

They were then airlifted to the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill. Their next of kin have been notified, officials said.

Lewis said investigators believe a meth lab most likely caused the blaze. A hazmat team from Cherry Point was at the scene assessing the situation, Lovick explained. A team with the State Bureau of Investigation was also called in to clean up the scene.

At last check, no charges had been filed. 


“I came outside and police just went by and came out running back towards there down that road and before that there was a big boom,” said neighbor Kayla Fillipic.

That sound coming from this home on Pine St. where police say a father daughter duo, were cooking meth when the chemicals caught fire.

Police say first caught wind of the fire when a call came in saying that a woman had been dropped off at a Beaufort rescue center with severe burns. That woman, 31-year-old Charly Renae Merritt, told EMS workers there that she her father had been cooking drugs in their home on Pine Street when the drugs caught on fire.

“EMS there treated her, our officers came here to the scene discovered that the house was on fire. There was smoke showing from the house and immediately the fire department responded,” said Beaufort Police Chief Steve Lewis.

Police got another call shortly after from a home nearly 7 miles down the road from the home, where Charly’s father, John William Merritt, had driven to in a white car before collapsing in the yard.

“Both of the received critical burns and were airlifted to Chapel Hill Medical Center,” said Lewis.

“Currently we have the SBI here with their hazmat team and they’re going thru collecting evidence, making sure the scene is safe and all the disposal of the chemicals will be done by the SBI,” said Lewis.

Those chemicals are what is making neighbors nervous.

“We babysit kids over there and there’s a lot of kids in this development, like right at my back door,” said Filipcic.








A man whose drug arrest led to the recovery of a body on his southern Stafford property last year pleaded guilty to six felony charges Thursday.

Dennis Paul Benzie, 60, told police about the remains of Jason Shane Plaster following a raid at Benzie’s home at 881 Belle Plains Road in March 2013. Plaster, 31, had been missing since July 2007; his remains were dug up following a weeklong search at Benzie’s multi-acre property near Potomac Creek.

The resulting investigation led to the arrests and convictions of William J. Hughes and Stuart Sullivan. Hughes, 45, was named as the mastermind of a plot to kill Plaster while Sullivan and Benzie helped him carry it out.

Benzie received assurances that he would not be charged with murder so long as he cooperated in the ensuing investigation. Both Benzie and Sullivan testified against Hughes, who is serving a 27-year prison sentence.

On Thursday in Stafford Circuit Court, Benzie pleaded guilty to three counts of distributing methamphetamine, two counts of tampering with evidence and possessing a firearm as a felon. Nine other charges were dropped.

Benzie will be sentenced Feb. 10.

According to prosecutor Ed Lustig, a confidential informant made multiple methamphetamine purchases from Benzie in 2010. Lustig said Benzie wasn’t arrested at the time because the informant was working other cases for police and they didn’t want to expose his identity.

The Sheriff’s Office later began looking at a number of cold cases, including the one involving Plaster. There had been rumors over the years that Plaster was buried on Benzie’s property, Lustig said, so detectives decided to use the controlled drug buys from 2010 to put pressure on Benzie.

Police raided Benzie’s home in March of last year and found more methamphetamine and a gun on his hip, which was illegal because Benzie was already a felon.

Detective Sgt. Chris Cameron began pressuring Benzie for information about Plaster, and Benzie agreed to cooperate. He didn’t remember exactly where Plaster was buried, but pointed police in the general area.

According to testimony in previous court hearings, Hughes was reportedly mad at Plaster for making advances toward his wife and his daughter.

A plan was hatched to lure Plaster deep into the woods on Benzie’s lane under the pretense of digging up buried firearms. Hughes shot Plaster with a Derringer and Sullivan shot him in the back of the skull with a 9 mm weapon, according to court testimony.

Sullivan said he had nothing against Plaster, but shot him at Hughes’ direction because he was afraid of Hughes, the leader of a motorcycle gang. Sullivan has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and will be sentenced later this month.

Benzie didn’t shoot Plaster, but assisted in the deception and the cover-up.

Hughes denied any role in the slaying and said he could not explain why Benzie and Sullivan, two men he considered friends, implicated him.










CLINTON – A man who was overcome by fumes Wednesday at his home north of Clinton faces drug-related charges after deputies found a methamphetamine lab on the property, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said. 545bb6b70befd_image

Deputies were called to the home of Robert Kyle Ellis, 51, who lives on the 6000 block of Taylor’s Bridge Highway, after receiving a report that a man was overcome by fumes, a Sheriff’s Office release said.

Deputies arrived and found Ellis, who was conscious and refusing medical treatment.

Because of “suspicious circumstances around the fumes,” the department’s Special Investigation Division was called to the scene, the release said.

Investigators saw items used for making methamphetamine on the property and the lab was found in a pump house near the Ellis’ turkey farm, the release said.

Ellis was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing precursor chemicals, possessing methamphetamine, maintaining a drug dwelling, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and animal cruelty.

Bail was set at $75,000.










A 37-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of selling methamphetamine in Laurel County, Kentucky.enhanced-20336-1415247984-2

Deputies from the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department reported having several clues: 3.37 grams of the drug, digital scales, cash… And the woman was wearing a shirt that read, “I <3 CRYSTAL METH.”

Debra Delane Asher and Richard Jeffrey Rice were taken to the Laurel County detention facility, where their booking photos were taken. They are each accused of one count of trafficking a controlled substance as a first offense.










Nogales, Arizona – A Mexican national is in custody following a seizure of just more than 22 pounds of methamphetamine at the Port of Nogales on Tuesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Dennis DeConcini crossing arrested Jorge Eleazar Soto-Estrella, 24, of Nogales, Sonora, after a CBP narcotics detection canine helped officers find approximately $66,000 worth of meth in the rear quarter panels of his Chevrolet El Camino.

Officers seized the drugs and vehicle, and referred Soto to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.










SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) – A man authorities say used a rare and dangerous chemical process to manufacture meth was arrested Tuesday in Rowan County.

Thomas David Martinez, 27, faces numerous charges for manufacturing, possessing, and trafficking methamphetamine. Authorities say Martinez was involved in a large-scale meth operation in Rowan County.5633980_G   

Deputies say Martinez is known to investigators as “The Chemist” because of his chemistry background. Authorities say he used methods to manufacture meth which are rarely seen in North Carolina, including a process known as the “Red P” method, which uses red phosphorous, and another process called “P2P,” which uses platinum dioxide.

Police were tipped off Tuesday that Martinez was driving a red Pontiac and carrying meth and a weapon. After following Martinez from Megan Drive in Rockwell, deputies say they stopped his Pontiac on Dale Earnhardt Drive where a searched turned up 29 grams of meth and a loaded pistol.

After searching Martinez’ apartment on Locke Street in Salisbury, investigators say they found a meth lab which used the Red P process.

The apartment is in a building next door to a church and just one block from Salisbury High School.

On Wednesday, investigators also searched a storage unit they say Martinez rented on W. Jake Alexander Blvd. in Salisbury. Officials say that search turned up more meth equipment, including items used in the P2P method, and the more common one-pot “shake and bake” method.

An SBI chemist and a site safety officer helped to process the scene. Officials called in hazardous waste disposal contractors help to remove the chemicals from the storage unit.



Martinez was placed under $250,000 bond. The list of charges include possession with intent to sell methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine by possession, trafficking methamphetamine by transportation, trafficking methamphetamine by manufacture, manufacture of methamphetamine, 2 counts of possession of meth precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of concealed weapon.

Additional charges are pending against Martinez based on the equipment seized at the storage unit.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Bureau of Investigation, and Salisbury police participated in this investigation.











Four suspects in custody were rounded up during an undercover narcotics investigation by Lubbock Sheriff’s deputies.

Thirty-three-year-old Jesus Camarena and 26-year-old Moices Vega-Salazar were held on a charge of possession with intent to deliver 400 grams or more of methamphetamine.

According to investigators, Camarena drove Vega-Salazar to an agreed location and accepted cash from undercover officers in a deal to buy 18 ounces of meth.

Two other suspects, 24-year-old Maria Azucena Razcon-Valdez and 26-year-old Jesus Daniel Contreras-Martinez were also held on the same drug possession charge. Investigators report they were in another vehicle acting as lookouts during the exchange.

The four suspects also face immigration violation charges.










CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) — If you think of Contra Costa County as a peaceful, beautiful suburbia, maybe these recent headlines would surprise you.

Like a dad finding a bag of meth while going through his 8-year-old daughter’s Halloween candy. Or a huge meth bust connected to a Mexican drug cartel.

The bust, dubbed “Operation Road Trip,” pulled an estimated $18 million of drugs off the streets. The task force WestNET, who worked on the drug bust for six years, say the drugs started south of the border from the infamous Sinaloa cartel.

Investigators say the county acted as a hub — a pit stop for dealers before trafficking elsewhere. This news doesn’t come as a surprise to Judith Cohen, an epidemiologist at the East Bay Community Recovery Project.

“There is a methamphetamine problem in Contra Costa County,” Cohen said, adding that the drug is in high demand in the county’s suburban and rural areas.

She points out Contra Costa’s network of freeways fits into the drug traffickers’ M.O.

“That’s their preferred way of operating,” Cohen said, “to keep a low profile and stay with routes that do not have a large police presence.”

Cohen says most drugs on the route are headed out of the state to the Pacific Northwest and Canada. But for what stays here, she’s seen the pain it brings.

“They had miserable jobs if they had any, the women had histories of abuse,” Cohen said. “Methamphetamine makes people violent.”

Cohen says meth spread through family and social networks, and that helps the problem stay under the radar, too.










CADILLAC, MI – An indigent man collecting returnable bottles happened upon components of a methamphetamine lab in a dumpster, the Traverse Narcotics Team said Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The clerk at a Cadillac party store noticed the man returning pop bottles that contained “odd substances” and had tubing attached.

Detectives determined that six of the bottles were used as hydrochloric-acid generators and another as a “reactionary vessel” for a one-pot meth lab.

The man who found the components told police he was “dumpster diving” Friday, Oct. 24, looking for returnables, when he found the bottles a block from the party store. He led police to the dumpster where they found other components used to make meth.

A meth response team from Traverse Narcotics Team processed scenes at the party store and the dumpster.











CADILLAC, MI – Police say a suspicious bottle found on the ground Tuesday, Nov. 4, had been used to produce methamphetamine.16269176-large

Police called in the Traverse Narcotics Team, or TNT, to investigate and remove the bottle, found near Sixth Street and First Avenue. Authorities confirmed that the item included components and chemicals to produce the drug and officers disposed of the bottle.

Police say discarded materials from clandestine meth labs can be volatile and dangerous. Police said anyone who comes across such materials, including needles, bottles, tubing and chemicals should contact police immediately.

No one should touch the items.










A 46-year old Kuwaiti woman was arrested in Mangaf area in possession of 30 grams of methamphetamine, a piece of hashish and 70 narcotic pills, reports Al-Rai daily. According to security sources, when securitymen received information about the suspect selling drugs to youths, they investigated and arrested her in the act in Mangaf area. They referred her to the Directorate General for Drug Control for further investigations and necessary legal action against her.







BRIDGEPORT — One of the country’s largest synthetic drug distribution centers was operating out of a brick warehouse in the city’s Innovation Center.628x471r

Millions of dollars of synthetic marijuana, methamphetamine, bath salts and Ecstasy were coming into the city in bulk from other countries and being repackaged with the help of local gangs and then sent out to points in Mississippi and other states for sale, making it one of the biggest operations of its kind nationwide, police sources confirmed Wednesday.    

This past weekend State Police gang and drug task forces, along with federal investigators, raided both the warehouse and an apartment on Sunshine Circle connected to the operation, seizing more than 150 pounds of synthetic marijuana and 22 pounds of bath salts and Ecstasy, all together valued at more than $1.5 million.

Three men were arrested: two in Bridgeport, Michael Young, 43, and Lawrence Gathers, 36; and in Mississippi, Rasheed Muhammad. State police said the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.

Young, of Sunshine Circle, was being held in lieu of $250,000 bond, while Gathers, of Vincellette Street, was released after posting $150,000 bond. Both are charged with numerous drug offenses.

Young was taken to federal court Wednesday where he was formally charged in a warrant out of Mississippi for participating in the drug operation in that state.



State police said two search warrants were executed as a result of the investigation, the first was at the warehouse at the Innovation Center on Connecticut Avenue and the second was at the Sunshine Circle residence.


Seized from the warehouse were about 22 pounds of synthetic narcotics, including methamphetamine and MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy). Also seized were over 3.8 pounds of marijuana and 150 pounds of synthetic marijuana, state police said.


There was a large amount of packaging materials and chemicals used to prepare the synthetic narcotics and marijuana for street sales, police said.

During the search, Gathers was found inside the building with keys for the warehouse, state police said. He was arrested at that time.

During the execution of the search warrant at Sunshine Circle, Young was arrested.


At the time of his arrest, state police said Young had driver’s licenses from three different states in three different names with his photo on each. Police seized 96 bags of heroin and $1,300 in cash from Young’s car.

State police said they seized synthetic marijuana, synthetic narcotics, and marijuana from the residence. Also seized were $15,822 in cash, a loaded .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol that had been reported stolen in South Carolina from an Atlanta police officer in November 2013, and a 2012 Acura MDX that was stolen in New York City.

Police said the raids on Connecticut Avenue and Sunshine Circle were the culmination of a year-long investigation by the Statewide Urban Violence Cooperative Crime Control Task Force, and the Statewide Narcotics Task Force along with the U.S. Secret Service, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service.











Amanda C. Riley, 34, Springfield, was charged in Dallas County Circuit Court with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and hydrocodone, on Oct. 29.

A warrant for her arrest was issued Oct. 30, and bond has been set at $100,000.

In his probable cause statement, Officer Jeremy Gann of the Buffalo Police Department said that on Oct. 29 while on patrol on North Locust Street he observed a white Dodge Stratus with invalid license plates that checked back to 2013. He then observed the car travel onto Morrow Street while not using a turn signal. He stopped the vehicle on Morrow Street and made contact with the driver, who granted consent to search, the report said.

Officer Gann reported that upon searching he located two methamphetamine pipes; two bags of meth which field tested positive for methamphetamine and later weighed at the police department as six grams; two hydrocodone/acetaminophen pills that were validated as such from Drugs.com; and one counterfeit $50 bill that was checked with a monetary marker pen.

He said he also located one bag of marijuana, one cut straw, and two invalid/printed stickers for license plates. He noticed that the 5-month-old child in the rear seat was not buckled into the car, and the driver could not provide proof of insurance on the vehicle.

Riley also was charged with several misdemeanors.









Redding, Calif. – Police officers toting military-style assault rifles swarmed over a Redding neighborhood this morning after receiving reports that a man wielding a machete was attacking residents. Grant_1415239623740_9461976_ver1_0_640_480

Officers, who arrested a man identified as Brandon Scott Grant, 33, of Vacaville on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery, said he got into a violent altercation with a 21-year-old Redding woman at a suspected methamphetamine-fueled party, leaving her with a 2-inch laceration to her head.

“It’s a blade wound,” said Cpl. Chris Jacoby, but noting he received conflicting reports on whether the weapon was a machete or sword.

Police said Grant was claiming self-defense.

With the aid of a helicopter, a police dog and witnesses, officers surrounded a home in the area of Alfreda Way between Hartnell Avenue and Cypress Avenue in east Redding as they investigated the alleged assault and questioned witnesses and potential suspects.

Two others at the party had fled before officers arrived, police said.

The incident, which began around 7:30 a.m. and forced a brief lock down at Enterprise High School, saw a portion of Downard Lane blocked by police cars as officers attempted to keep the area clear of motorists and others to help ensure their safety.

According to a police news release, the search began after an officer on patrol was flagged down near Hartnell Avenue and Lawrence Road by a woman who was bleeding from the head.1105_RCLO_SuspectSearch1_1415204886914_9454239_ver1_0_640_480

The subsequent police investigation determined that the woman, identified as Deidra Balderrama, had been struck on the head by a sword, which was provided to officers by Grant, the news release said.

Balderrama is expected to fully recover from her wound, police said.








WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Drummer Phil Rudd of Australian rock band AC/DC whose hits include “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” was accused Thursday of trying to arrange two killings as well as possession of drugs.

He appeared briefly at the Tauranga District Court in his adopted home of New Zealand and was charged with attempting to procure murder, which carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.fe25d09ca7f49b2b640f6a70670025bd_r620x349

Rudd, 60, was released on bail. One of the conditions is that he must not have any contact with anyone involved in the alleged plot.

The Bay of Plenty Times newspaper reported that the Australian-born Rudd was accused of trying to hire a hit man to carry out the two killings. Police raided Rudd’s home Thursday morning, according to the paper, and held him in custody until his court appearance.

A judge suppressed the names of the intended victims and the would-be hit man, the newspaper said.

The court declined to release further details.

Rudd’s lawyer Paul Mabey said he was still getting up to speed on the case and had no comment. Mabey said he was out of town attending a trial when he heard about the charges.

A publicist for the band could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rudd has also been charged with threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

Court staff said Rudd was due to make a second appearance Nov. 27, although that date could change. He has yet to enter a plea.

AC/DC is due to release the “Rock or Bust” album next month and plans a world tour next year. It was unclear whether Thursday’s events would affect those plans.

Rudd and the other members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

“Featuring guitarist Angus Young as their visual symbol and musical firebrand, they grew from humble origins in Australia to become an arena-filling phenomenon with worldwide popularity. They did so without gimmickry, except for Angus’s schoolboy uniform, which became mandatory stage attire,” said the Hall of Fame’s biography.

According to the biography, Rudd first joined AC/DC in 1974, the year after it was started. Other reports indicate he left the band in 1983 but rejoined again in 1994. The Bay of Plenty Times reported that Rudd first moved to New Zealand in 1983, during the period when he had left the band, and in 2011 bought a Tauranga restaurant he named Phil’s Place.

The restaurant’s website says it represents Rudd’s long-held vision to “offer you fresh local food at affordable prices delivered by warm and friendly staff.”

AC/DC’s albums include “Highway to Hell,” ”Back in Black,” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.”

The U.S. military has used the band’s music for martial purposes. In 2004, U.S. troops blasted AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells” and other rock music full volume in Fallujah, Iraq, hoping to grate on the nerves of Sunni Muslim gunmen.

AC/DC had been one of the few acts that refused to allow its music to be released digitally on iTunes. It relented in late 2012. This year, the band announced that founding member Malcolm Young, brother of Angus, was leaving due to unspecified health reasons.









A man has been charged following the seizure of 65kg of methamphetamine, also known as ice, worth an estimated street value of $43 million.

The drugs were allegedly concealed within flat-pack timber and was discovered after an operation involving the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).5871194-3x2-340x227

AFP officers said a shipment was tracked to an address in the Sydney suburb of Rosebery and they arrested a Chinese national as he attempted to access the consignment.

The man has been charged with attempting to possess a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs and importing a commercial quantity of border controlled drugs.

“Our message to those wishing to import this hideous drug, methamphetamine, is quite simple,” AFP Commander Ray Johnson said.

“Every day of every week we are building our intelligence picture on… schemes and more importantly the crime syndicates involved in this type of activity.

“We’re very pleased to say as a result of this interdiction and efforts of both Customs and the AFP, a large number of hits of methamphetamine have been removed from Australian streets.”

Australia is attractive to organized crime: police

The container that allegedly carried the drug haul was picked up by a Customs X-ray on October 22 and revealed a concealment of white powder within particle boards, police said.

The powder was tested and found to contain amphetamines.5871224-3x2-340x227

Methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $43m were allegedly found in this shipment

The AFP said the bust would have a major impact on their efforts to stop major drug operations in Australia.

“This will have a significant impact on the street hits available to be sold,” Commander Johnson said.

“The other impact also is inevitably these types of operations lead to a raft of intelligence information about the organized crime syndicates involved both here and offshore.

“So this will have ongoing impact.”

The AFP said the investigation was continuing and they indicated there could be more arrests.

“I am sure he wasn’t acting alone because it’s a significant investment to get 65kg of methamphetamine into Australia,” Commander Johnson said.

“So there is clearly greater organized crime involvement.

“It would be fair to say that Australia is attractive to organized crime because it’s an affluent democracy and there is now a number of people in Australia that have an appetite for illicit drugs.

“So as a consequence I think like any business, organized crime are looking for the best market and Australia at this point is time is one of those.”

Police pull over car with ice in boot

In a separate case, detectives from the New South Wales Organized Crime Squad have charged two men after seizing 1kg of ice from the boot of a car at Wollongong, south of Sydney.

The squad was investigating a drug ring operating in Sydney’s south when it stopped and searched a car at Albion Park.

The drugs were hidden inside a sports bag in the boot, police said.

The driver and his passenger were arrested while seven Sydney properties were raided at Hurstville, Epping and West Ryde.

Police seized pistols, $40,000 and equipment allegedly used in the production and distribution of large quantities of methamphetamine.

Organized Crime Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Scott Cook said supplying drugs carried a penalty of up to life in prison.

“Every time we seize illicit drugs we’re not only hitting the pockets of organized criminals, we’re preventing the poison they peddle from reaching the wider community,” he said.

Two men from Epping, aged 33 and 37, have been charged with commercial drug supply offences.

They were bailed to appear in court again next month.









  • Sylvia Mashiah, 33, pulled her car into a secondary inspection area despite being waived through by Customs agents
  • Investigators discovered 17 packages of meth hidden in the rear quarter panels of her 2006 Ford Focus
  • Mashiah faces a mandatory minimum five year sentence if convicted of the felony drug importation charge

Contrary to what television dramas have shown us in recent years not every meth dealer is a criminal genius.

Such is the case of California woman Sylvia Mashiah, who was busted with 27 pounds of methamphetamine Monday night after driving her car in a Customs lot specifically marked for suspect vehicles meant to be searched by federal agents.

Her car had not been ordered into that area, but thanks to her mistake she let investigators find the 17 packages of meth hidden in the rear quarter panels of her 2006 Ford Focus.   Sylvia Mashiah

The Smoking Gun reports that Mashiah, 33, was alone in her vehicle at the time.

She was passing through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry at about 7:45 p.m., one of three border crossings that connect San Diego to Tijuana.

The case’s probably cause statement said she’d been cleared to enter the country after only a ‘primary’ inspection.

But, she ‘mistakenly drove the vehicle to the secondary lot where Customs and Border Protection Officers inspected the vehicle.’

Vehicles in that area are subject to a thorough driver questioning, close vehicle inspection, and even a canine inspection.

It’s usually the next step when an agent’s suspicions are triggered by either a driver or passenger.

The meth seized is enough to carry a felony drug importation charge.She was passing through the Otay Mesa

If convicted she faces a minimum five-year sentence.

Her initial court appearance was this morning in U.S. District Court.











Introducing The Dumbest Drug Smuggler Ever

NOVEMBER 4–Call her The Bumbling Smuggler.

A California woman who had 27 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in her car successfully got through a Customs checkpoint last night, but then mistakenly drove her vehicle into a lot reserved for suspect vehicles to be examined by federal agents.

During the ensuing search of Sylvia Mashiah’s car–which had not been ordered–investigators found 17 packages of meth concealed in the 2006 Ford Focus’s rear quarter panels.

The 33-year-old Mashiah, seen at right, was alone in her car when she approached the Otay Mesa Port of Entry at 7:45 PM Monday. The border crossing is one of three that connects San Diego with Tijuana, Mexico.1baddrivermeth

As reported in a probable cause statement, Mashiah, a Los Angeles resident, was cleared for entry into the U.S. after a “primary” inspection. However, she “mistakenly drove the vehicle to the secondary lot where Customs and Border Protection Officers inspected the vehicle.”

A “secondary” inspection involves a more thorough questioning of the driver, a closer inspection of the vehicle, and a canine review of the auto. The “secondary” inspection is usually ordered due to the suspicions of the agent who first contacted the driver (as well as any passengers).

After tearing apart Mashiah’s Ford, agents found 12.45 kilos of methamphetamine. As a result, she was arrested on a felony drug importation count carrying a minimum five-year prison term.







WEST PLAINS, Mo. — The South Central Drug Task Force (SCDTF) has released their quarterly statistics.

From July through September, the SCDTF reports that almost 97 grams of methamphetamine were seized, as well as over 3200 grams of marijuana. Other drugs collected include heroin (.4 grams), cocaine (.05 grams), and prescription drugs, all of which had a total street value of $39,390.28.

The report also states that 20 marijuana plants were seized, and 17 meth labs were busted.South Central Drug Task Force

During that time period, SCDTF also served thirteen search warrants and conducted six consent searches, which resulted in the arrest of thirty-six individuals on thirty-seven separate drug related charges.

SCDTF is a multi-jurisdictional drug task force which serves Carter, Dent, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Shannon, Texas and Wright Counties, as well as the cities of Alton, Ava, Cabool, Houston, Licking, Mansfield, Mountain Grove, Mountain View, Rolla, Salem, Thayer, Van Buren, West Plains and Willow Springs.

If you have any information regarding illegal drug activity, please contact your local law enforcement, or call the South Central Drug Task Force Drug Activity Hotline at 888-779-9901 extension 1, or call the Missouri State Highway Patrol Hotline at 888-823-METH (6384) or 1-800-BAD-WEED (223-9333). All callers can remain anonymous.










DECATUR, Alabama — Decatur police say their investigation of a repeat methamphetamine suspect led to a new arrest on Monday. Officer say he did not go quietly though.james-daniel-sapp-a1f159360251289e

Investigators with the Decatur Police Department’s organized crime unit say they developed James Daniel Sapp Jr., 37, as a suspected meth distributor during an investigation over the past few months. Police say Sapp distributed meth on two separate occasions within city limits during this time.

Police obtained two felony warrants against Sapp for charges of distribution of a controlled substance. They caught up to him Monday during a traffic stop. Police said they pulled a vehicle over near U.S. 31 in front of Lynn Layton Chevrolet and found Sapp was a passenger inside.

Officers said Sapp put up a brief struggle when they tried to take him into custody. After detaining him, he was subsequently charged with resisting arrest and served with three active failure to appear warrants.

Sapp may not be getting bond at the Morgan County Jail. Court records indicate he was already on bond after an Aug. 20 arrest at a local motel. He was charged with possession with intention of distributing crystal meth. Sapp’s girlfriend and an Ohio fugitive were also arrested there.

Police said they are attempting to have Sapp’s previous bond revoked.









A 37-year-old Port Huron man was arrested Tuesday night after a meth lab was found in his basement.

Port Huron police Cpl. Jason Barna said police were called to the 100 block of 17th St. about 8:25 p.m. for a possible unlawful imprisonment and sexual assault.

When police arrived on scene, they found a 35-year-old Port Huron woman in the basement of the home and evidence of a methamphetamine lab.

Barna said the woman had used social media to tell someone she was being held against her will.

The person contacted via social media called the police.

While police were at the scene, a 37-year-old man, who was a suspect in the case, returned to the residence and was arrested.

He was lodged at the St. Clair County jail.

Units from the St. Clair County Drug Task Force assisted Port Huron police with the cleanup of the meth lab.










A Noble County man was arrested on a federal drug charge last week, accused of dealing crystal methamphetamine.

Cory Castetter was picked up by members of the Noble County Sheriff’s Department and task force officers with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday, investigators received information from an officer in Michigan about methamphetamine coming from Indiana. Using surveillance, they tracked the suspected dealer’s vehicle to a home in Kimmell.

In September, officers served a warrant on the house and found a large amount of cash in a crawl space in the basement and in the basement wall.

They also found narcotic patches and synthetic marijuana, as well as a small amount of meth, scales, surveillance cameras and other items consistent with drug distribution, according to court documents.

Crystal methamphetamine is purer than other forms of meth, about 90 percent pure, according to court documents.

Castetter, 47, is charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute five or more grams of methamphetamine, according to court documents.