An Alabama mother was arrested after her twin infants tested positive for methamphetamine at birth.

Tonya Lynn Henley, 22, of Geneva is charged with two counts of chemical endangerment of a child, court records show.19137894-large

Geneva Police Capt. Ricky Morgan told the Dothan Eagle that the twins, a boy and a girl, were born on Halloween, seven weeks early, and are being treated at a hospital in Pensacola, Fla. The twins are expected to be released from the hospital today and placed in the care of a foster family.

“She has just continued to use while she was pregnant,” Morgan said of Henley. “One of the circumstances that upset us the most was she didn’t go to any prenatal doctor’s visits. We’re going to be the voice for these kids because they don’t have a choice.”

Henley reportedly told police she didn’t know she was having twins until she gave birth.

Henley was charged in 2012 with the chemical endangerment of a child during a previous pregnancy. She reportedly lost custody of that child. The charges are still pending.




PIERRE, SD – Acting on a tip, KELOLAND News emailed the corrections department and they have confirmed that nine female inmates at the women’s prison tested positive for meth.

Secretary of Corrections Denny Kaemignk says prison staff were notified that one of the inmates may have snuck the drug inside prison walls.68394

“It came in after a female prisoner was transported to the women’s prison and the female prisoner had hid the meth in a body cavity,” Kaemignk said.

So Thursday morning, they randomly tested several of the women for drugs in their systems and found nine had taken meth.

“This is quite unusual. Our staff was Johnny on the spot and took care of it very quickly, got the DCI involved in it to investigate, we came back and did another round of UA tests in the middle of the night again and we believe we have all the individuals involved,”  Kaemignk said.

The women have been put into disciplinary segregation while the DCI investigates. Charges are being considered.




WATERTOWN — As the process of manufacturing methamphetamine becomes simpler, cheaper and more portable, local substance-abuse and addiction service providers have grown increasingly concerned.

Chris S. Paige, deputy director of Pivot — formerly the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County — said the drug’s ingredients are dangerous for human consumption.

When those ingredients — which include sulfuric acid from liquid drain cleaners, lithium strips from batteries, and diethyl ether from camping fuel — are combined, he said, dangerous effects can be compounded and will affect every user differently.

“You don’t know what kind of health consequences you’re going to have,” Mr. Paige said. “It certainly is something you can become addicted to rapidly, and recovery is definitely going to be a long process.”

Mary A. Hughes-Hoistion, a substance-abuse counselor at Samaritan Medical Center Addiction Services, agreed.

“I think one of the biggest things is that when people start using it, they get hooked on it pretty quickly,” she said. “It is pretty cheap to make, and it’s something fairly easy to get ahold of.”

Not only is addiction to methamphetamine a quick process, but she said physical side effects also can appear within a few months of using the drug.

“Because it is a stimulant, there is weight loss associated with it,” she said. “One of the most severe issues that you would see with a meth addict is what they call ‘meth mouth.’ ”

That condition, she said, is characterized by severe dental problems, such as tooth loss or discoloration and a wearing away of the gums.

Ms. Hughes-Hoistion said meth users also will develop acne and sores on their skin that take longer to heal than they would on a healthy individual. Overall, the skin appears unhealthy and loses its elasticity.

Combined, she said, these symptoms and others will cause meth addicts to appear much older than they really are.

“The physical health is just bad,” she said.


While it is possible to overdose on meth, Ms. Hughes-Hoistion said, there are far fewer overdose deaths caused by that drug than by heroin.

Since 2005, there have been 83 deaths in Jefferson County caused by an overdose from heroin or other opiates, while two people have fatally overdosed on methamphetamine.

Additionally, there has been one case this year in which an individual who died of a drug overdose also had meth in his or her bloodstream.

As a comparison, Ms. Hughes-Hoistion said meth wears away at a user’s body over time, while heroin has a more immediate effect because of its ability to shut down the respiratory system.

She said a meth overdose would be more likely if an individual were a chronic user of the drug.

“However, somebody could take meth and have some sort of side effect to it that could be life-threatening,” she said.

In Jefferson County, where meth and heroin both are prevalent, addicts sometimes will use one drug to counteract the effects of the other.

Meth is a stimulant that causes the brain to release dopamine and produces feelings of euphoria and pleasure, while heroin is a depressant that ultimately causes some numbness and drowsiness.

“(Some) addicts are trying to offset the feeling of either drug,” Mr. Paige said. “If you get high, you take a downer. If you’re feeling down, you take the upper.”


In 2014, Credo Community Services for the Treatment of Addictions worked with 921 clients at its outpatient substance-abuse clinics in Watertown and Lowville. Forty-six of those patients — or 5 percent — were treated for a meth addiction.

By Nov. 2 of this year, Credo’s staff had seen 686 clients, and 79 of them — or 11.5 percent — were meth users, an increase of 72 percent so far from last year.

Elizabeth W. Stevens, clinical director of Credo’s outpatient substance-abuse services, said she believes the rise reflects how easy the meth-making process has become.

She said many users have turned into their own manufacturer.

“The language was different in the past,” she said. “It was buying or selling, but now it’s different because it’s very easy to make.”

When a meth addict comes to Credo for treatment, Ms. Stevens said, the individual first is screened to determine if he or she is a heavy user or is at risk of harming themselves or others.

She said a heavy user might not be a good fit for outpatient treatment, which typically lasts one hour a day, seven days a week. But if outpatient care is deemed appropriate, Ms. Stevens said, work is done to tailor a treatment plan based on the patient’s specific needs.

“Everyone who comes in, we treat them as an individual,” she said. “If they have physical needs, we refer them to primary care. We try to treat the patient as a whole.”

For outpatient treatment, Ms. Stevens said, patients are charged on a fee-for-service basis, adding that a patient’s medical insurance would pick up most of the cost.

“Cost varies by individual and group therapy,” she said. “If they don’t have insurance, we encourage them to sign up through (health insurance) navigators in the community.”

Ms. Stevens said outpatient treatment is a mixture of individual and group therapy, which helps patients address their chemical dependency and develop coping skills.

However, she said, coping with a meth addiction is never easy and often is made more difficult because many patients have pre-existing mental-health issues.

“Underlying could be depression, anxiety, or a variety of other conditions,” Ms. Stevens said. “If you tease back the layers and went back to when they started using, people will say they were anxious and this made them feel better.”

She said meth’s ability to quickly release dopamine allows users to feel alert and focused, easing their feelings of anxiety, uncertainty or depression.

For this reason, she said, some patients won’t respond to treatment suggestions because they think meth is what is best for their mental-health condition.

“They’re being their own psychiatrist,” Ms. Stevens said. “Once they get into mental health (treatment), they think they know better than the psychiatrist.”

Unfortunately, she said, this prevents many meth addicts from continuing their treatment program, because they don’t believe they can find happiness without the drug.

“Meth’s ability to release dopamine quickly gives you that rush, but after chronic use, your brain is changed,” she said. “Once they are trying to get clean and sober, the dopamine in their brain is so wiped out.”

Although fighting meth addiction is a battle — as any addiction is — Ms. Stevens said she’s optimistic about how the community is coming to understand all addictions.

“We believe in the disease concept of addiction,” she said. “It’s a lifelong disease that you need to treat.”

“Right now, there is a movement of recovery in our community,” Ms. Stevens added. “I think it’s a positive time for people, and it offers them hope.”





Below are a handful of local providers dedicated to treating addictions and helping addicts find the services they need:

  • Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions, 595 W. Main St., Watertown, (888) 585-2228,
  • Samaritan Medical Center Addiction Services, 1575 Washington St., Watertown, (315) 779-5074,
  • Pivot, formerly the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County Inc., 167 Polk St., Suite 320, Watertown, (315) 788-4660,
  • Jefferson County 24-Hour Crisis Response Hotline, (315) 782-2327
  • Mountain View Prevention Services, 7714 Number Three Road, Lowville, (315) 376-2321,
  • Seaway Valley Prevention Council, 206 Ford St., Suite 301, Ogdensburg, (315) 713-4861,



An Alexis First Nations man who had been awake and high on methamphetamines for 13 days when he killed his half-brother was sent to prison for 4 1/2 years Friday.

Nakoa Ernest Potts, 28, was previously convicted of manslaughter for stabbing his younger brother Warren Fox Potts over a drug debt in the hamlet of Glenevis.

“I’m sorry for the mistakes I made,” an emotional Nakoa Potts said in the prisoner’s box as his family cried in the court gallery. “When I do get out, my little brother is not going to be there. What I’ve done is something I’m going to have to life with my entire life.”

On the afternoon of July 1, 2014, Nakoa Potts was drinking with two other half-brothers outside his grandmother’s house and asked a passerby if he wanted to sell crack cocaine for them. The witness refused, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Nearby, Warren Potts was cycling around Glenevis and offering to sell pills to strangers, court heard. Warren Potts then met his brothers at a local store and an argument erupted about a drug debt Nakoa Potts owed his siblings.

“You guys gonna jump me?” Nakoa asked before he pulled a knife with a two-inch blade. He lunged forward and stabbed his brother in the chest, close to his heart. His brother collapsed immediately.

Nakoa’s first instinct was to help his brother. He dropped to the ground and briefly attempted to revive him with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. He fled when he heard sirens, Crown prosecutor Eman Joumaa said.

He later told police he had been drunk and hadn’t slept for 13 days because of his methamphetamine use. He was arrested the next day after RCMP were tipped off that he was driving home from Mayerthorpe after taking his mother to a medical appointment.

Joumaa told court Potts was too intoxicated on drugs and alcohol to form the necessary intent to kill his brother.

Defence lawyer Dale Knisely argued that the stabbing was impulsive because his client felt threatened. In a police interview, Nakoa Potts claimed the killing was self-defence because one of his brothers had a knife. A second knife was never found.



SURRY COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies executed a search warrant at a Surry County home on Tuesday after receiving reports that methamphetamine was being made there.

During the investigation, the Surry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics team pieced together evidence that three people were operating a meth lab out of the home located at 122 Ayers Circle in Mount Airy.Crystal Sue Hodges, Jason Alton Hodges and Charles Ray Pack

Authorities found evidence that at least 92 “one pot” labs were used to cook meth at the home.

The homeowner, 56-year-old Charles Ray Pack, was arrested at the end of the search. He was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, maintaining a drug dwelling and possession of drug paraphernalia. Pack is being held on a $25,000 secure bond.

Two other suspects who were identified during the investigation were not present during the search.

Later in the day, detectives spotted the pair, 38-year-old Jason Alton Hodges and 34-year-old Crystal Sue Hodges, driving south on Highway 52 near the Holly Springs exit.

After stopping the vehicle officers learned that Crystal Hodges had an outstanding warrant for arrest for larceny from a business in Mt. Airy and an outstanding order for arrest for a probation violation.evidence that at least

Officials took Crystal Hodges into custody and searched the vehicle for a variety of meth precursors.

After searching the vehicle, Jason Hodges was also taken into custody.

Crystal and Jason Hodges were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of a methamphetamine precursor, maintaining a drug vehicle and felony conspiracy.

Both are being held on a $50,000 secure bond. Crystal Hodges is being held on an additional $1,500 bond for previous crimes.





A man is accused of breaking into a mobile home’s shed and filling a bottle with ingredients to make methamphetamine before the bottle blew up — scorching his hands and forearms with wounds that ushered him to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, according to Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

HUBERT | A man is accused of breaking into a mobile home’s shed and filling a bottle with ingredients to make methamphetamine before the bottle blew up — scorching his hands and forearms with wounds that ushered him to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, according to Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.

About 11 p.m. Tuesday, a deputy was near Hubert Volunteer Fire Department when a vehicle sped by and, when approached by the deputy, a man in the car’s passenger seat was moaning in pain with burned hands and forearms, Maj. Chris Thomas said.onslow-meth-lab-110415

That man, William Tracy Allen Jr., 32, lives on Hubert Boulevard; near the site that caught fire after the explosion at 129 Hubert Boulevard.

Deputies received the call of the fire about an hour and a half later, he said.

“It was a vacant mobile home with a vacant storage building on its lot,” Thomas added.

The bust — which involved the sheriff’s office, fire department and State Bureau of Investigation — revealed evidence of a “one-pot” meth lab, Thomas said. Basically, the user places all ingredients into a plastic bottle, Thomas added.

“They shake the bottle and allow it to do what it does,” Thomas said. “It creates a meth product. It’s a liquid.”

The ingredients include lithium, which may spark.

The bust is the county’s ninth in six weeks, he added.

“It takes a lot of man hours to clean up a meth lab,” he added.

Although Allen has not been arrested, charges will be filed, Thomas said.

“The individual had broken into the storage building, trying to use the ‘one-pot’ method of cooking meth and it blew up on him,” Thomas said. “It caused his burns and caused damage to the storage building.”



Drug Enforcement Administration

In 2013, more Americans died of drug-induced causes than were killed by guns or car crashes, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual analysis of the drug threats facing the nation.

And that has been the case every year since 2008.2015-drug-threatsjpg-e054507e5f187e35

The DEA’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment says heroin poses the highest threat to Americans in 2015, followed by methamphetamine and controlled prescription drugs.

According to the report:

“Drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Each day in the United States, over 120 people die as a result of a drug overdose. The number of drug poisoning deaths in 2013, the latest year for which data is available, involving opioid analgesics (16,235) is substantial and outpaces the number of deaths for cocaine and heroin combined (13,201). While recent data suggest that abuse of these drugs has lessened in some areas, the number of individuals reporting current abuse of CPDs is more than those reporting use of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA, and phencyclidine (PCP) combined. With the slightly declining abuse levels of CPDs, data indicate there is a corresponding increase in heroin use. Some opioid CPD abusers begin using heroin as a cheaper alternative to the high price of illicit CPDs or when they are unable to obtain prescription drugs.”

The drug threat assessment also talks about drug trafficking from Mexico and Colombia; the rise of synthetic drugs known as “spice” or “spike,” and a rise in marijuana use that may be due to legalization in some states.




PICKENS — Dozens of alleged meth users and dealers in Pickens County are being rounded up after a months-long undercover operation, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Operation Community Response, led to 79 charges against 56 people, Sheriff Rick Clark said at a news conference Thursday.635823498824661639-Jessica-Louise-Davis

Another 18 suspects remained at large.

“The target of this operation was our low level dealers,” Clark said.

Calling meth a “scourge on our society,” Clark said meth use is what’s fueling 90 percent of the county’s trailer and metal thefts, auto break-ins and burglaries.

“They’re supporting their habit by preying on our citizens,” Clark said.

Since last July, deputies have worked to identify illicit drug users and dealers through the use of undercover agents and surveillance techniques, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The following people have been charged, according to warrants:

Jennifer Dianne Bagwell, 33, of 142 Denise Road, Easley: possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance.

Marcie Etrulia Brooks, 52, of 5648 Moorefield Memorial Highway, Liberty: possession of a controlled substance.635823498826845653-Terri-Ellen-Lawson

Nicole Diane Burrell, 44, of 555 Golden Creek Road, Liberty: distribution of meth, possession of meth — 2nd offense.

Justin Allen Chappell, 28, of 318 E. Beattie St., Liberty: possession of meth.

Kris Clark, 49, of 221 Ridgefield Circle, Easley: distribution of meth.

Jessica L. Davis, 35, of 414 Friendship Road, Seneca: possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance.

Tommy Allen Davis, 44, of 223 Sunny Lane, Pickens: possession of meth — 3rd offense.

Brian Lee Dodgens, 44, of 221 Tommy’s Trail, Pickens: possession of meth — 2nd offense.

Jackie Lamar Dodgins, 48, of 555 Golden Creek Road, Liberty: distribution of meth.

Kieky Dawn Durham-Williams, 42, of 314 Amsterdam Road, Easley: possession of meth.

William Timothy Gantt, 46, of 108B Elm St., Pickens: possession of meth — 2nd offense, three counts.

Summer Leigh Goss, 36, of 102 Garden Drive, Apt. 76, Pickens: possession of meth.

Steven Douglas Graham, 25, of 721 Mountain Estates Road, Pickens: possession of controlled substance.

Roger Brian Hembree, 30, of 194 Barr Road, Easley: possession of meth.

Travis Mitchell Hendricks, 31, of 219 Five Forks Road, Liberty: possession of meth.

Joy Mary Hurley, 41, of 223 Sunny Lane., Pickens: possession of meth — 3rd offense.

Blake Marvin Johnson, 30, of 300 Maw Bridge Road, Central: possession of a controlled substance — 2nd offense.

Terance Gene Johnson, 43, of 323 Meadow Brook Lane, Pickens: possession of meth.

Laura Jean Jones, 36, of 103 Effie Court, Liberty: possession of meth.

Mark Donald Karr, 49, of 141 Brookway Drive, Easley: distribution of meth — 2nd offense.

Ronald Eugene Kelley, 54, of 1106 Gentry Memorial Highway, Easley: possession of meth.

Terri Ellen Lawson, 50, of 218 Georges Creek Drive, Easley: possession of crack cocaine and marijuana.

Carla Shawn Morgan, 31, of 414 Friendship Road, Seneca: possession of meth.

Lindsey Brooke Morgan, 21, of 669 Five Forks Road, Liberty: distribution of meth.

Charles Mosley Jr., 43, of 208 Chesapeake Trail, Pickens: possession of a controlled substance, meth and cocaine — 2nd offenses.

Jennifer Tracy Gillespie Mowen, 39, of 300 Longview Terrace, Easley: distribution of meth.

Christopher Eugene Nichols, 44, of 209 Welby Way, Liberty: distribution of meth — 2nd offense.

Eddie Coleman Powell, 33, of 210 Avis Lane, Liberty: possession of a controlled substance, possession of meth — 2nd offense.

James Doyce Reeves, 59, of 8809 Moorefield Memorial Highway, Liberty: distribution of meth.

Johnny Clifford Reeves, 56, of 414 Friendship Road, Seneca: possession of meth.

Christopher Robert Robinson, 27, of 103 Penrose Circle, Pickens: distribution of meth, two counts.

Betty Jean Shirley, 54, of 555 Golden Creek Road, Liberty: possession of meth, distribution of meth — 3rd offense.

Jonathan Keith Simmons, 24, of 462 Pearson Road, Easley: distribution of meth, distribution of a controlled substance (2), distribution of a controlled substance near school.

Gregory Paul Simon Jr., 35, of 8809 Moorefield Memorial Highway, Liberty: distribution of meth — 2nd offense.

Jeffrey Lavern Stone, 35, of 3516 Walhalla Highway, Six Mile: possession of meth — 2nd offense, unlawful carrying of pistol.

Alvin Clark Sutton Jr., 29, of 109 Argonne Drive, Easley: possession of marijuana with intent to distribute — 3rd offense (2), possession of a controlled substance — 2nd offense (2).

Toni Leigh Trent, 33, of 101 Mom Lane, Pickens: possession of meth.

Corey Glenn Whiten, 21, of 115 Brookway Drive, Easley: distribution of meth — 2nd offense.



SALEM — Former Journey drummer Deen Castronovo recently sat down for a brutally honest interview, his first after completing court-ordered drug rehabilitation.

Castronovo spoke with The Statesman Journal on Monday at his oldest son’s home in Keizer, Oregon, with no publicist or attorney by his side.-d8b19510124efe7a

“It’s my truth, I have nothing to hide,” he said. “I was a verbally abusive man. I was a physically abusive man.”

He recounted details of what led up to his arrest on domestic-violence charges in June. Domestic-violence counseling is a component of his probation, and it has taught him the 24-day methamphetamine binge leading up to his arrest is not to blame, he said.

“Domestic violence is really a choice, and it is calculated,” he said. “The drugs and the alcohol exacerbated it immensely, but there’s no excuse for what I did. I deal with it every day, and it’s deeper than regret or remorse.”

He apologized, discussed his ongoing domestic-violence and drug-abuse counseling, and then apologized again.

“I want to talk to my community; that’s important,” he said. “I have to live here. I’ve lived here all my life. My children have gone to school here. My children have friends here.

“They deserve to be apologized to. I’ve got to make it right now, no matter what it takes or what it costs.”

Castronovo is serving four years of supervised probation on charges including domestic-violence assault, unlawful use of a weapon and coercion. He says he emotionally, verbally and physically abused his former fiancée and will always be indebted to her for calling the police.

“This is not about clearing my name,” he said. “The only way I’m going to get my family’s trust back is to walk the walk. I’ve let everybody in the community down, everyone who ever put any faith and trust in me.”




Nothing puts the rapid in rapid response like a little meth.

Hillary’s brand new rapid response director Zac Petkanas was arrested for meth possession in Atlanta in 2013, according to the New York Post. Less than a year later, he was hired to be the communications director for failed Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.proxy

Clinton’s campaign announced the hiring of Petkanas, who previously worked for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), over the weekend.

  Will Franklin  ‎@WILLisms

It turns out Wendy Davis’ chief propagandist might not have been smoking crack, after all. Turns out, it was meth: …

9:30 AM – 4 Nov 2015

By New York Post @nypost

The new head of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s “rapid response” team has a skeleton in his own closet: a 2013 arrest for drug possession. Zac Petkanas, who was hired just days ago for the senior post

The New York Post reported this morning that Petkanas was arrested for possessing two small bags of meth:

Zac Petkanas, who was hired just days ago for the senior post on the Clinton camp’s communications team, was arrested at an Atlanta hospital at 4:55 a.m. Aug. 17, 2013, and charged with possessing methamphetamines, according to a police report.

 A nurse who searched Petkanas while he was being admitted to the Grady Hospital found two “small baggies of a controlled substance [in] the right back pocket of the accused,” according to the report.

 It isn’t known why Petkanas went to the hospital at the pre-dawn hour.

 No further court documents are available, and it wasn’t clear how the case was resolved.

 He was working for the Nevada Democratic Party at the time of the bust.

After leaving Wendy Davis’s failed campaign, Petkanas was hired to be a vice president for Media Matters, a highly partisan liberal propaganda outfit run by Hillary confidant David Brock. In 2012, Daily Caller reported that Brock’s friends believed he was a regular user of cocaine.

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon told the New York Post that Petkanas had made a “full recovery” since his 2013 arrest.



As the amount of methamphetamine seized along the 2,000 mile U.S.-Mexico border continues to surge, the amount of cocaine being captured continues to plummet, according to a new Drug Enforcement Administration report.

The trend, noted in the DEA’s 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment released Wednesday speaks in part to how drug fighters have warned in recent years. Mexico-based drug cartels have realized they can make big money pushing meth. They don’t need to depend on crops for producing cocaine and don’t have to be at the mercy of Colombian growers for livelihood.meth-caught-map

Much of the report is classified, but the agency Wednesday released the largest unclassified portion ever in creating a 148-page “summary” for the public. It is all posted below.

There is plenty of information in the report about a range of illegal drug use in the United States and law enforcement’s assessment of what is in store for the coming year.

“The most significant drug trafficking organizations operating in the United States today are the dangerous and highly sophisticated Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) that continue to be the  principal suppliers of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana,” the DEA’s acting chief Chuck Rosenberg said in a letter published at the front of the report.

“These organizations are responsible for the extreme violence seen in Mexico, as these groups battle for turf and attack public officials and innocent civilians,” he continued. “Domestically, affiliated and violent gangs are increasingly a threat to the safety and security of our communities. They profit primarily by putting drugs on the street and have become crucial to the Mexican cartels.”

As the report notes, methamphetamine is now readily available across the United States, and the supply is increasing, the report notes.

The finding supports a 2014 report the Houston High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a coalition of local and federal law enforcement agencies, that described methamphetamine as being the “greatest threat” in this region.

“We are finding that with meth use there are increasingly more violent crimes by abusers in the form of home invasion and aggravated robberies,” coalition director Mike McDaniel has said. “The drug is making them more crazy.”

The amount of cocaine caught by law enforcement dropped in nearly every significant smuggling corridor along the entire U.S. Mexico border.

That includes a 20 percent drop in South Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and 12 percent drop in San Diego – two places that have traditionally been the hottest for cocaine trafficking.

Meanwhile, the amount of meth being taken down is skyrocketing, with seizures climbing 90 percent in the Rio Grande Valley and 245 percent in El Paso.


DEA Report




As state laws clamp down, dealers simply import from Mexico.

Meth labs may not be blowing up apartments or setting cars on fire as much as they used to, but methamphetamine continues to be a big problem — and a big business — in Tulsa.

“Tulsa has a culture of being a methamphetamine town,” said Tulsa Police Department Cpl. Mike Griffin. “The demand for meth hasn’t changed.”

A nationally recognized authority on drug crimes, Griffin testified earlier this year before a congressional hearing on heroin and prescription-drug abuse. Those drugs have become a new focus in the media and with some lawmakers, but Griffin said meth, because of cost and availability, “has always been the biggest” of the most dangerous illegal drugs.

Oklahoma and other states countered the rise in local meth production with laws in 2004 and 2012 that made it more difficult to buy large quantities of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a basic ingredient in home-cooked meth.

The number of meth labs found by Tulsa police dropped dramatically, at least in part because of the laws, but meth use did not. Dealers simply began importing it from Mexico.

Griffin and others say the pseudoephedrine laws did what they were intended to do — shut down labs, which tend to explode, catch on fire and leave behind a deadly residue that turns houses, apartments and trailers into hazardous-waste zones.

“I worked the death of a 15-month-old child” killed in a meth fire, Griffin said. “I don’t want to have to ever do that again.”

So the explosions from larger-scale meth labs have been drastically reduced, and so have the smaller fires from the small-batch “shake and bake” method devised after passage of the 2004 pseudoephedrine law.

Putting meth dealers out of business, though, is dependent on something local law enforcement can’t control — border interdiction.

“If we’re ever going to fix it, that’s the issue,” Griffin said. “The Mexican drug cartels have flooded the market with cheap methamphetamine.”

Alex Brill, an expert on drug policy with the American Enterprise Institute, agrees. He released a study last week that says the border is the only place authorities have a chance to control meth.

“Given the way the markets have evolved, this is probably something the states are not best equipped to grapple with,” Brill said. “This may be something for national border control.”

Brill’s study looks primarily at Mississippi and Oregon, the two states that have made pseudoephedrine available by prescription only, something Oklahoma previously considered but is no longer contemplating.

Brill said prescription-only laws don’t seem to have had any more effect than purchase restrictions such as Oklahoma’s, but have increased costs and inconvenience for legitimate users of the drug.

Griffin said meth is relatively inexpensive, in part because it does not have the broad international market of other drugs such as cocaine and opiates.

Cocaine has doubled in price locally, he said, but meth remains plentiful — and deadly.

“Addicts will tell you it’s the death of them,” Griffin said. “I have had people thank me for putting them in prison for multiple decades just to get away from it.”



Elise, 25, is fidgeting in a hardback black plastic chair in a small clinical room at a detox unit in the picturesque regional Australian city of Orange, inland New South Wales. Occasionally touching her face, her eyes are darting around the room. Elise [not her real name] has been heavily addicted to methamphetamine for the past four years, using a gram a day of the drug known as ice up to five days a week, crashing on the weekends.enhanced-buzz-wide-2479-1446686943-12

Speaking with BuzzFeed News, Elise’s emotions oscillate between sadness, regret, hope and anger. At just 25 she’s lost everything: job, car, house, friends and family. Her young son is currently being cared for by her parents.

“I was using speed before, and it made me feel pretty good and kept me awake because I was working pretty long hours. When I first tried ice, I didn’t even know it was ice. I was tricked into using it, I just thought it must have been speed or something, and I thought it was the most amazing thing and I never looked back.”

“A gram [of methamphetamine] costs as much as $300 a day, and it would get really out of hand. I needed to spend that much to get a hit, a proper rush.”

The detoxification unit is Elise’s first step toward residential rehabilitation. It will be her second attempt at kicking the drug. She says the first time didn’t work because she “wasn’t committed”.

Elise wants a drug-free life after sinking to rock bottom. Earlier this year she was arrested for fraud, caught forging cheques and cashing them in to feed her addiction. The ice had also started to poison her physical and mental health.

“My skin was insanely bad. And the weight loss. I had to go to mental health because I started to get a bit of psychosis from the paranoia and stuff and the twitching. I thought, ‘holy crap this is really bad.’”

Julaine Allan, the deputy executive officer of the Lyndon Community centre which is helping Elise get back on her feet, tells BuzzFeed News that the number of Aboriginal people across regional NSW seeking help for methamphetamine has steadily increased in recent years.

“There are more people using methamphetamine in the smaller, poorer communities. I think it’s probably a higher rate in the Aboriginal community than the non-Aboriginal community. About 2% of the [drug using] population, in general, are amphetamine users, it’s more like eight to 10% in Aboriginal communities.

“We’re seeing a lot more Aboriginal people come to our treatment services; probably about 20% of our treatment services were Aboriginal eight years ago and now it’s 50%.”

Between January and July this year Lyndon Community treated 980 people for substance abuse issues, 60 percent of those came from western NSW.

“The problem is for people that want to go to rehab, or get in touch with an alcohol and drug service, is that they really have to try hard to find one that’s close or can take them,” Allan says. “We could double our services if we had enough money to pay the staff to provide the services. And you know what? our counselors would still be busy and our beds would still be full.”

When asked about what the biggest hurdle in her recovery is, Elise says bluntly that it’s her hometown of Dubbo, almost 200km away. Despite having the biggest population in the central west, Dubbo doesn’t have a residential rehabilitation facility. There are only three residential rehab centers beyond Sydney and the coast, waiting lists are long, the demand for a bed is high.

The closest for Dubbo residents is 200km away in Canowindra, just south of Orange. That facility is run by Lyndon Community, a non-government organization providing a range of programs for drug treatment, primarily for people from the central west.

“There is ice everywhere [in Dubbo] and it’s cheap and nasty; it’s awful,” Elise says. “I don’t want to go back home because I know how easy it is. I know I will walk down the street, and I will see someone who will try and give it to me. I am just terrified because I don’t want to use it anymore, but I know how hard it is to say no.”

Waves of dry heat are rolling over the western NSW city of Dubbo; a five-hour drive west of Sydney. Fat thick clouds bloated with grey offer the promise of tantalizing rain, but residents know better than to hold out hopes of water from above.

Dubbo sits on the edge of Australia’s vast interior, a gateway to the outback. Its outskirts are lined with rows of red brick single-story houses, whole blocks encased in a whir of humming air conditioners. The bitumen and concrete gradually unfurl into farmland and dust, hinting at the looming arid landscape a few hundred kilometres west, with its flat ruby red earth and never-ending ocean of blue sky above.

In South Dubbo, Wiradjuri elder Frank Doolan is escaping the heat, sitting inside a small office clutching a white Styrofoam cup of black tea. The first thing you notice about Doolan is his snow-white hair, and then his slim, wiry body.

A print by street artist Banksy is emblazoned across his shirt. The painting, called Rage, Flower Thrower, shows a protester hurling a bouquet of flowers in place of a Molotov cocktail. The image is a fitting summation of Doolan, affectionately known as ‘riverbank Frank’, a man who has dedicated a lifetime to fighting for the rights of his people, using love and respect, not violence.

Although he’s seen the Koori community face many crises, Doolan says his people are now staring down the barrel of an unprecedented danger; the rise of methamphetamine.

“I would describe ice in this community as a train crash. I would describe ice in Aboriginal communities across western NSW as a train crash. People in those communities are completely stumped by this one,” Doolan tells BuzzFeed News. “It’s very scary. It’s a heightening of the levels of trauma and the drama that Aboriginal people live with. It’s a pretty bad thing. People react on ice in a way that no other drug has done to them in the past. There is no handbook for it and a lot of it is guesswork.”

Doolan works with young Aboriginal people at Apollo House, the only community centre in the notorious Apollo Estate. A place that, up until a few years ago, Domino’s Pizza refused to deliver to. Nicknamed ‘The Bronx’ it comprises several streets running parallel to each other, made up predominately of public housing. Poverty is rife, crime and drug abuse is a part of everyday life. But strip away the ghetto hyperbole and the poverty porn headlines and you’ll find a proud community struggling to survive, and a vulnerable community being savagely preyed upon by drug dealers and manufacturers.

Doolan lifts an arm that has seen many outback summers and takes a sip of tea, looking out the window past the torn grey mesh of the fly screen, his eyes fall on the empty Collins Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in the Apollo Estate.

“If alcohol and drug abuse affected Aboriginal families badly in the past, well, magnify that 100 times more. Ice’s unpredictable nature makes it the worst thing to have to deal with in community because you just don’t know on any given day what may occur. And no one knows that better than emergency ward staff. But before people get to hospital, locals out in the Aboriginal community are seeing the effects. Especially children.”

As he speaks Doolan’s voice becomes garbled. Bowing his head, tears begin to roll down his weathered, distraught face. He recalls the first time he was offered ice by kids, a jarring realization of how the drug had seeped into all parts of the estate.

“It is an issue when ice in a regional community can be more easily obtained than marijuana. It’s a worry too in a regional city such as Dubbo. When I’m on my way to work in the morning walking through the estate and 14-year-old kids are trying to sell me the ‘cool stuff’.”

“It raises the question in my mind, who the hell is giving these kids ice to go out and peddle on the streets of Apollo Estate? The young people are just trying to keep their heads above water or make their check go a little bit further, so they’re quite possibly unaware of the enormous and devastating impact ice will have on us as a community both now and into the future. They’re just seeing it as another way to rise above the poverty level,” says Doolan.

Ice is a synthetic man-made drug that has crept its way into Australian communities over the past decade. Country towns and remote Aboriginal communities, where there is a lack of health services and youth programs, are in the crosshairs of methamphetamine manufacturers who see these communities as an untapped marketplace to make easy cash.

Under the midday sun the rigid long grass cracks underfoot on Apollo Estate as opened syringe packets flap and twist on the breeze, pinned to rusted wire fences. Apollo Estate resident Leanne O’Connor is sitting on her veranda balancing a tray on her lap while filling out some forms ‘for someone who needs help with their paperwork’.

O’Connor has lived at Apollo Estate for the past ten years and has become known as the community social worker. Always helping others, whether it’s court papers, Centrelink forms or recommendations, O’Connor is dedicated to her community. She says the ice problem is an unfolding daily nightmare played out on the streets in front of her house.

“I can sit back here [on the verandah] and tell if a bad batch [of ice] has come in because everyone goes psychotic and starts carrying weapons around and wants to fight each other. They carry knives around, and you can tell when [the bad batch of ice] is gone because everyone calms down. You see all of that living here.”

O’Connor’s brow furrows when she speaks and the gold cross on her necklace glints in the sunlight, she’s blunt about the toll ice is taking.

“These older ones get these young little ones addicted to it and then they want to make them have sex with them just so they can get their hit. It’s wrong, it’s abuse,” O’Connor tells BuzzFeed News.

“These men are dirty dogs and I see it a lot. Getting the young ones addicted to ice and then these older ones, and when I say old I mean in their thirties, and then want to make them [the young people] have sex with them to get more ice.”

“Sometimes kids will go up to these men with money to buy ice and the guy will say, ‘suck me off or something and you don’t have to pay’. It’s sick.”

O’Connor also says she’s seen a rise in parents voluntarily placing their children into government care, unable to see a way out of their addiction.

“I see a lot of women giving up their children for ice and in my heart I don’t judge them in any way because I think they are good people for giving up their kids rather than leaving them stuck in a life they shouldn’t be in.”

“There’s a lot of bad situations here; you just have to find the best in every situation up here, because these people need a lot of help.”

Two major roads slice through Dubbo, the Mitchell Highway connecting the east to the west and the Newell Highway linking north to south. These arterial roads cut the city into four and make Dubbo an easy place to transport drugs into. Every month hundreds of rumbling dusty road trains and Mac Trucks, carrying everything from livestock to food supplies, sail through the city.enhanced-buzz-wide-11866-1446089410-7

Orana Local Area Command (LAC) Detective Chief Inspector Brett Smith tells Buzzfeed News that the majority of methamphetamine is coming through on these trucks.

“We have seized large quantities of amphetamine, not only ice, but also cannabis and a myriad of prescription drugs.”

Smith says the overwhelming majority of local drug-related crime are connected with ice.

“You’re looking at over 50% of people that do get charged with possession or supplies are generally the methamphetamine-related drugs.”

“Because it is a drug that’s easily produced, there is a lot of it. And unfortunately what it comes down to is a town the size of Dubbo, which is 45 to 50,000 people, there is always going to be those people in the community with that as a drug of choice. And whilst there is a demand there is always going to be people happy to supply it,” said Smith.

The city also has a large Indigenous population. According to the Bureau of Statistics almost 13% of the community identify as Aboriginal. Smith says they’ve been particularly hard hit by the spread of ice.

“Dubbo has a large Indigenous community and ice is a big problem, and it’s unfortunate. We are working with Indigenous leaders to quell that problem.”

Smith says punitive action alone will not solve the problem and says a stronger unified working relationship between government agencies is the key.

“Basically it comes down to a situation where we [the police] don’t believe we could possibly arrest [our way] out of the situation in relation to ice and the prevalence of it in Australia and regional NSW.”

“Unfortunately when a crime is committed the community expects us to do our job, and that is we arrest and we charge and we place them before the court, and the NSW courts system deals with those people how they see fit. Nine times out of 10 the only way for those people to get help is for people to go through that process so that if they are incarcerated, they receive help while they are in corrective services custody. If they’re not incarcerated they are on the street and they generally continue with what they do and that is take drugs”

A National Ice Taskforce was set up in April by the then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott to develop a strategy in overcoming the ice epidemic sweeping Australia. The task force travelled around the country, consulting with communities and taking submissions from organisations dealing with the drug. Australia uses ice at higher rates than other nations.

The final report was handed to the Prime Minister in early October. Its findings and recommendations haven’t been made public yet, but elders like Frank Doolan [pictured above] are hoping for substantive grassroots investment.

“Kids are caught up in this insidious business with ice, there are really no second chances. Go visit a ward where they’re rehabilitated and you’ll find they sit around in a zombie like state. My people are the dreamtime people and I just think, ‘well wow what impact is this going to have on us as a people?’”, says Doolan.

“In reality we are kangaroos caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck and the only certainty is the impending impact.”



Allan Clarke is an Indigenous Affairs Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Allan Clarke at


It has long been known that Colombian terrorists produce roughly half of the cocaine that enters Mexico en route to the US. Panamanian authorities have recently revealed that the Sinaloa Cartel has had a direct presence in Panama for years—including most-wanted kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán himself.AP_384942602722-640x480

Prior to this revelation, this cocaine would normally make its way through typical drug trafficking channels in Central America north to Mexico.

The new findings come as a result of an 18-month long investigation—coordinated with Mexican authorities—during which Panamanian authorities confiscated about four tons of cocaine, more than $500,000 in cash, five speed boats, and 38 vehicles. More than 50 people were arrested and processed in Panama, according to UPI news service. Because El Chapo Guzmán was allegedly in Panama seven years ago while on the run, Panamanian officials started to believe a cocaine connection existed and that his organization was operating in-country.

The case sprang out of inquiries regarding a Mexican couple working for the Sinaloa cartel while living in Panama City. Authorities in Panama said the couple established a drug trafficking business relationship with Martín Leonel Pérez Castro, known as Richard—leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Front 30 unit who was arrested in 2014. The FARC was borne out of the Colombian civil war and emerged as a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary group in the 1960s. It started resorting to terrorist tactics like bombings and kidnappings, and was eventually designated as a terrorist organization by the US government.

According to UPI, Pérez Castro allegedly controlled about 60 percent of the FARC’s drug trade to buy weapons and other materials for the rebel group’s insurgency campaign. Front 30 operates in Colombia’s southwestern Valle del Cauca province, which has access to the Pacific Ocean, making it easier to traffic drugs to Central America and Mexico.

The FARC’s size and activities have diminished significantly in Colombia in the last several years, due in no small part to cooperation between the US and Colombian governments via Plan Colombia. The Colombian government and the FARC have been trying to reach a peace deal for years, with a deadline agreed upon in September. However, despite the decrease in terrorist attacks and the impending deal, cocaine production in Colombia has not diminished.

The Sinaloa Federation has probably the widest geographic reach of all the Mexican cartels, and its presence in places like Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras is well documented. However, its reach into Panama is significant because of the FARC’s historic presence there—particularly in the notoriously lawless Darien region. In July 2013, former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli told AFP news service, “When I assumed the presidency in 2009, 25 percent of the Darien Gap was controlled by the FARC. Today I can say that Panama has total sovereignty over 100 percent of its territory.” assessed that this claim was implausible due to the region’s remoteness and difficulty in patrolling its jungle terrain. The first cocaine processing facility in Central America was actually discovered in the Darien in 2013, and likely belonged to the FARC.

Historically, the Sinaloa cartel hasn’t been alone in Panama. According to intelligence reports cited by the newspaper La Prensa in September 2013, the Gulf cartel, the Beltran Leyva Organization, Los Zetas, and the Juárez Cartel were the drug trafficking organizations most readily identified as being present in Panama in previous years. A local intelligence report in late 2012, seen by La Prensa, said:

“A group of Mexican hitmen were in Panama, then Mexican agents lost track them in Paso Canoas.” According to this information, suspected Sinaloa cartel assassins “were looking for several members of the opposing Los Zetas cartel operating in Central America, including Panama.” According to the report, this group of gunmen had several “jobs” in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Honduras.

Panama is working to extradite the unidentified Mexican couple accused of helping expand Guzman’s cocaine trafficking network.


Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.



OKLAHOMA CITY – Hoping to send a clear message, U.S. Sen. James Lankford laid out what he sees as the biggest threats to the United States in an interview Friday.9199782_G

He had three threats that topped his list; ISIS, cyber security and drug trafficking.

His top threat is ISIS and other radical terror groups that he says pose a threat worldwide.

“Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS, all these different groups that are connected,” he said. “They are a form of radical Sunni Islam, that they are intent on remaking the world government.”

Lankford opposes the President’s recent order to send special operation forces into Syria.

The group of around 50 soldiers is under orders to assist in the Middle Eastern country.

Lankford said it wasn’t enough of a response. He said he thought the president waited too long to act and was leaving too much room for other countries to step in.

“We do not need Russia as being the lead voice in the Middle East. That destabilizes the region. It does have an economic effect on us and it does cause major international conflict in the years ahead,” he said.

As a member of the Senate homeland security and intelligence committees, Lankford said there are very real virtual threats calling the growing issue cyber security a top priority. Lankford also made cyber security a campaign issue while running for his seat in 2014, calling it the largest threat to national security.

But it was his final issue he said hits closer to home. That issue is the trafficking of drugs through the United States southern border which has caused and eruption of cartel and gang violence in Latin America.

“We’re getting a much more rapid flow and a much more pure version of cocaine and heroin and marijuana coming in from Mexico and central America and it has a devastating effect on our economy and on our families and lives as well as gang violence,” he said.



GRAND RAPIDS, MI – With his hands still scarred, Jason Vroma admitted to setting up a methamphetamine lab in a low-cost hotel room that ended up bursting into flames.

It didn’t really blow up, it was on fire,” Vroma told a Kent County Circuit Court judge Tuesday, Nov. 3. “I don’t know if that’s splitting hairs.”

Vroma was in a room at the America’s Best Value Inn, 777 Three Mile Road NW, on Feb. 24 with his girlfriend of three months, 41-year-old Christine Myers.19114928-large

“I think she didn’t know until she got there that I had a meth lab,” said Vroma. “I brought the methamphetamine lab to that address.”

In September, Myers testified that Vroma disappeared to the bathroom on Feb. 24 and then started yelling, “I’m on fire.”

Vroma burst out of the bathroom with his hands ablaze and ran out the door to plunge them into the snow to douse the flames, Myers said.

She said after Vroma put the flames out, they did not call police when they saw the flames or seek medical attention for her boyfriend’s scorched hands, according to a police report in Kent County Circuit Court.

Instead, Myers allegedly told police they drove to a Meijer store parking lot in Holland where Vroma got into a car with a friend after apologizing to his girlfriend.

Myers said she decided to call her probation officer and confessed to being at the hotel room that blew up.

She ended up taking a deal in which she pleaded no contest to operating a methamphetamine lab in a confined space and was sentenced to two to 20 years in prison on Sept. 30.19114932-large

In the hotel room on Feb. 24, police say they found all the makings of a so-called “one pot” or “shake and bake” meth lab: a burned Gatorade bottle in the bathtub, cold packs and fertilizer sticks to create ammonia nitrate, Coleman fuel, coffee filters, tubing and lithium batteries.

Police say they also found children’s clothes – Vroma has visitation rights for his 5-year-old daughter.

Police say they also have video of Vroma buying 12-hour decongestant from a CVS store, 3590 Plainfield Ave. NE, and a Walgreens, 3596 Alpine Ave. NW, on Feb. 23.

In exchange for his plea Tuesday, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office will not charge him as a repeat offender. He now faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 3 by Judge Dennis Leiber.



A registered sex offender in Vinemont was arrested Monday for meth manufacturing, after a welfare check led deputies to discover a meth lab in the man’s car.Christopher Dewayne Kimbril

Christopher Dewayne Kimbril, 43, was arrested and charged with unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance in the first degree, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrest was made by the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Cullman Narcotics Enforcement Team (CNET).

Authorities say the arrest originated on County Road 1382 in Vinemont after deputies received a call from a citizen who had a woman walk up to her house and claim to have been held hostage by a man down the road. A deputy arrived on the scene to check the welfare of the woman, and officials say he determined the woman was on drugs and delirious.

A short time later, deputies and CNET officers followed the investigation to Kimbril’s home. After establishing probable cause to search, deputies discovered a homemade meth lab in his car. Investigators believe the meth lab was removed from the home and hidden in the car by Kimbril.Cullman County Sheriff's Office

“I commend the deputies for this arrest and getting another meth lab and drug dealer off the streets and behind bars,” Sheriff Matt Gentry said in a prepared statement. “I hope the drug manufacturers and dealers have gotten the message we will not tolerate drugs in our community.”

According to the sheriff’s office, Kimbril was previously arrested in 2002 and was convicted for the attempted rape of a 14-year-old female.



WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WPEC) – A prostitution sting in Walton County netted the arrests of seven people, including two sisters whom the sheriff says were totally unaware of each other’s criminal activities.

According to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, an undercover sting operation was conducted, targeting active prostitution rings in South Walton.b6ed4d58-b8ee-4bf3-ae62-5a7a63d734c3-large16x9_Prostitutionsting_WaltonCountySheriff

The operation began after receiving multiple complaints from citizens stating they believed prostitutes had moved into their neighborhoods and were actively using various websites to advertise their business, according to a media release.

Based on these complaints, the Vice/Narcotics Unit began an operation aimed at women posting solicitation advertisements on various websites.

On Thursday, Oct. 22 the operation was put into action and began at an undisclosed location in South Walton.

The operation revolved around the use of an undercover officer contacting females through Internet advertisements.

During this contact, the women agreed to meet at a hotel room on Scenic Gulf Drive. Once the women arrived, they offered sex or sex acts for money, officials said.

All parties charged during this operation were found with illegal narcotics on their persons, including needles used for methamphetamine, according to the sheriff.

All were charged additionally with those violations.

One male subject who provided transportation for a female was also arrested on drug-related charges.

Arrests from Operation South Beach include:

  • Molly McCarty, 39: prostitution, cocaine possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Sara Scruggs, 27: prostitution, cocaine possession, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, marijuana possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Shoshannah Diaz, 30: prostitution, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, two counts of selling methamphetamine, and two out-of-county warrants.
  • Yohannah Dwyer, (sister of Shoshannah) 31: prostitution, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana.
  • Tara Buntyn, 45: prostitution, possession of drug paraphernalia, and an out-of-county warrant.
  • Joshua Johnson, 27: possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and possession paraphernalia.
  • Jennifer Pope, 40: possession of drug paraphernalia.




A summons has been issued by Polk County Circuit Court for Kersten Lee Reed, 19, of Springfield on class C felony possession of a controlled substance.

According to the court file, Reed is accused of possessing methamphetamine found during a search of her vehicle after a traffic stop Aug. 23 on Mo. 13 south of East 490th Road.

She is due in court at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25.



SIOUX FALLS, SD – In terms of arrests, meth is the second most common drug in South Dakota. Those who deal with addiction call it an equal opportunity drug of destruction.

Darcy Jensen with Prairie View Preventative Services says meth first started becoming a serious problem in South Dakota in the early 2000s. She believes its use has fluctuated over the years.68308

As for who is most likely to use the drug in South Dakota? The answer might surprise you.

Experts say meth is a drug that gets a hold of a person and never lets go.

“One of the things that clients have repeatedly said is, ‘Once I started using meth, I wanted more. It became my drug of choice,'” Jensen said.

Jensen says most people often think of drug offenders as men. When it comes to meth in South Dakota that’s not the case.

“Especially in the corrections side those that maybe in prison or served time. We’re seeing it’s about 22 to 29 percent of the males and we’re closer to 40 some percent of the females,” Jensen said.

Jensen says meth is a stimulant, giving people almost unlimited energy. She believes that’s a big reason why women are drawn to the drug.

“Many times, we have young females who maybe are parenting, who maybe having one or two jobs and trying to get it all done,” Jensen said.

She says the most common age of users is between 18 to their early 30s. Younger teens also use it. Jensen says there have been years in South Dakota where meth use among teenagers has been higher than in the rest of the country. Recently, there’s been an uptick in use.

“I think parents need to be aware of the substance is here and it’s here in this state. We have adolescents when we’re doing our screenings and our assessment talk about meth use,” Jensen said.

A drug used by many with devastating results.




Lebanon has long been a playground for wealthy citizens of austere Arab countries, but even the worldly Lebanese were taken aback on October 26 when security officials arrested a 29-year-old Saudi prince, Abdel Mohsen bin Walid bin Abdel Aziz al-Saud, on suspicion of trying to take 2 tons of amphetamines with him on a private jet bound for the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Lebanese police also arrested four other Saudi men at Beirut International Airport in what the state news agency described as the biggest bust in the airport’s history.

The prince’s arrest has focused attention on Lebanon’s notorious drug-trafficking networks and their ability to cross the Middle East’s political and sectarian divides. Combatants in Syria’s civil war, civilians in the battle-weary region and the wealthy citizens of the Gulf countries all have a growing appetite for hard drugs. That demand has, in turn, generated fresh revenues for drug barons and militias, who, as they did in previous wars in Colombia, Afghanistan and elsewhere, have become allies of convenience in many cases.1113lebanondrugs01

Analysts say that the war next door has tied up many of Lebanon’s security officials who might otherwise be fighting drug traffickers; many are busy monitoring the volatile border areas and the pockets of jihadis straddling it who are sympathetic to extremist Sunni groups involved in the Syrian war. The police’s and army’s lack of focus on the drug-producing regions has inadvertently helped fuel the rise of the amphetamine trade. Lebanese hashish producers say that the limited law enforcement presence in the country’s Bekaa Valley in particular over the past two years has contributed to a barely interrupted supply of marijuana, driving street prices down and cutting into profit margins. That decline in profits, and the growing appeal of amphetamines in the Middle East, has created an incentive for some hashish dealers here to produce more amphetamines. In recent years, makeshift labs have sprung up in Lebanese villages and just over the Syrian border. These labs churn out a knock-off version of Captagon, a brand name for the widely banned synthetic amphetamine phenethylline. That’s what the police say they found on the Saudi prince’s plane.

Drug dealers in the Bekaa Valley say they are used to dealing with customers from the Gulf states. “Saudis and other Gulfies are the biggest buyers of Captagon, absolutely,” says Abu Hussein, a Lebanese drug trafficker from a village several miles from the Syrian border. “They believe it gives them special powers for sex,” he adds, smiling mischievously.

The drug is not only popular for those rumored benefits; fighters from all sides of the Syrian war use the pill’s speedy effects to stay alert for long stretches on the battlefield. Competing propaganda outlets frequently claim Captagon pills have been discovered on dead and captured enemy fighters. For Hezbollah and Syrian government forces, alleging that their enemies are taking drugs plays into claims that they are fighting against nonbeliever “terrorists.”

The war in Syria has created supply as well as demand. Supplies of Captagon in the region rose after Syrian rebels lost the city of Qusayr to Hezbollah fighters backed by the Syrian army in 2013. Qusayr has been transformed into a Captagon production and distribution hub and a hideout for notorious Lebanese Shiite traffickers, some of whom are subject to arrest warrants on charges of murder, kidnapping and currency counterfeiting, says Abu Hussein. The city, which was once home to roughly 60,000 mostly Sunni residents, lies on a strategic route linking Damascus to the Syrian regime’s Mediterranean coastal stronghold. Today, according to Abu Hussein and people who have traveled recently to Qusayr, the city is mostly a transit point and garrison for Hezbollah and allied Syrian militiamen.

At times, the lines between drug baron and warlord become blurred. Lebanon’s most flamboyant drug lord, Noah Zaiter, was filmed in September with Hezbollah fighters besieging the rebel-held Syrian mountain town of Zabadani. Wearing his trademark cowboy hat, Zaiter pledged to destroy the Sunni militant group the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in the name of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

Deep family ties on both sides of the border—and in both drug-smuggling organizations and militias—ensure that the flow of drugs, weapons and militiamen is largely uninterrupted. Most of the drugs go through the Bekaa Valley, a narrow, fertile basin that runs parallel to Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria and is arguably the Middle East’s primary hub for counterfeit amphetamine pills. Bracketed by two mountain ranges, the picturesque plain has long been known for the production and trafficking of narcotics—mostly locally grown hashish and cocaine smuggled from Latin America and West Africa.

“The Bekaa is basically a tribal land, ruled by clans that are heavily armed and often involved in the drug trade,” says Timur Goksel, a former U.N. peacekeeping official in Lebanon, now an editor for the news site Al-Monitor. “The police are practically nonexistent there,” he adds. “The whole structure of the Lebanese state allows this to happen.”

The Lebanese army and police promised a crackdown on criminal activity in the Bekaa Valley in February, but after nine months Lebanese politicians have deemed it a flop. One Hezbollah member of the Lebanese parliament last month called the plan “a total failure,” and Lebanon’s Interior Minister Mohammad Machnouk, who belongs to a political bloc opposed to Hezbollah, agreed, telling reporters in October the crackdown was nothing more than “empty promises.” A police spokesman said the country’s security forces are preparing a new plan.

The Bekaa is the backyard, training camp and birthplace of Hezbollah, which was formed over three decades ago by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. The only building in a vast field of chest-high hashish plants near the Bekaa village of Taraya is a small green and white mosque. The square structure, which stands alone at a small crossroads, flies the yellow and green flag of Hezbollah and black banners bearing religious rallying cries.

Hezbollah and the prominent Shiite drug trading clans here are mostly bound by mutual self-interest. Both offer some protection for the other: The clans have recently helped to secure Hezbollah supply lines to its forces fighting in Syria, while the group allegedly provides political cover to top clan members during occasional law enforcement crackdowns near their turf.

Several of the area’s most prominent traffickers downplayed the role that the Captagon trade plays in fueling the war in Syria. When asked, most cited the drug’s rock-bottom wholesale price, the high cost of black-market military hardware and a massive influx of foreign money as reasons for why the profits from even large sales of the low-cost narcotic would not greatly influence the war’s course.

Abu Hussein and his family have made their fortune by growing and selling hashish in this part of the country for decades, as well as moving shipments of cocaine. Captagon is so cheap and easy to produce, he says, that the Gulf’s insatiable appetite for the drug made getting in on the action several years ago an obvious business decision. Chinese-made pill presses sell for anywhere from $700 to $2,000 here, and the chemicals used in production are similarly inexpensive and easy to acquire, mostly by way of smuggling routes from Turkey.

Captagon is one of the cheapest narcotics available in the Middle East. The small, eastern town of Baalbek, famed for its Roman ruins and decades of virtual lawlessness, has numerous small labs. There, one pill goes for $1 to $2 on the street. In Beirut, the average going rate is $10 apiece. Some Lebanese cocaine dealers admit that they sometimes cut their product with Captagon because it’s so inexpensive and readily accessible. The United Nations’s Office on Drugs and Crime reports that Saudi Arabia’s drug of choice is amphetamines—usually some form of Captagon. According to UNODC figures, nearly 40 percent of the world’s amphetamine seizures were made in the Middle East in 2009. Over half of those occurred in Saudi Arabia, where drug charges are often punishable by death.

“It’s a garbage drug, but it’s inexpensive,” says Marwan, a 31-year-old IT specialist from the Bekaa who says he uses Captagon several times per week. “We can only afford cocaine for special occasions.”

Despite the attention that the Saudi prince’s arrest has brought to drug smuggling in the region, Abu Hussein says he’s not concerned about a crackdown on producers and dealers. “The army will issue threats, and the police will stay away, as always,” he says. “Once a year they arrest a few of our cousins, and there are no charges. There is no Lebanese state.”



An American Drug Lord Comes Home

Posted: 4th November 2015 by Doc in Uncategorized

In 2006, a Texan named Edgar Valdez Villarreal was at an inflection point in his drug-smuggling career. Valdez was thirty-three and known as La Barbie for his blond hair and blue eyes, the fair-skinned look that Mexicans call güero. A former high-school linebacker from Laredo, he had spent about fifteen years shipping marijuana, and later, cocaine, to Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. During the late nineteen-nineties, he was one of many smugglers operating across the border, in Nuevo Laredo, the largest inland port in Mexico. The drug trade had been relatively peaceful. Each smuggler paid sixty thousand dollars a month to the local plaza boss, a man named Dionisio García, known as El Chacho, who in turn paid the bribes that insured the trafficking routes.Slater-AnAmericanDrugLordComesHome-6904

But in 2000, the Gulf cartel began to take over Nuevo Laredo, and gave every crook in town an option: join or die. El Chacho was killed, and La Barbie fled to Acapulco. He joined a clan from western Mexico, the Beltrán-Leyva brothers, who were associates of the powerful Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo. La Barbie prospered with the Beltrán Leyva cartel, a group of four brothers led by Arturo Beltrán Leyva, known to authorities as A.B.L. Government sources say the group imported about forty tons of coke per month through the southern port at Zihuatanejo. La Barbie, together with the Beltrán Leyvas and the Sinaloans, warred against the Gulf cartel for control of Nuevo Laredo. La Barbie orchestrated a bold public-relations campaign on behalf of his crew: he placed newspaper ads and editorials denouncing their rivals, and was supposedly responsible for making a viral video documenting the execution of four assassins who’d been sent to Acapulco to kill him. Soon, he acquired a global reputation as a top player. But by 2006, as the new Mexican President, Felipe Calderón, promised an assault on drug cartels, it became clear that La Barbie’s side had lost.

La Barbie scrambled. He separated from his first wife and married Priscilla, the teen-age daughter of a drug-smuggling associate. He was losing friends and money. Through his attorney, he contacted the Drug Enforcement Administration in Laredo, which wanted an informant to help capture A.B.L. and El Chapo Guzmán. La Barbie offered to help the D.E.A. get A.B.L. or Guzmán, but not both, and he had several requests; among them, he wanted to bring six million dollars into the United States and get a case against his cousin dropped. The agents he spoke to were eager to strike a deal, but their boss quashed the negotiation. “It got to the point,” a retired D.E.A. agent who was involved in the talks told me, “where management said, ‘He’s a fucking doper; if he doesn’t want to coöperate, screw him.’ ”

Undaunted, La Barbie shopped his intelligence at other federal agencies—the C.I.A., Immigration and Customs Enforcement—and found a receptive ear at the F.B.I., which, coördinating with Mexican law enforcement, used his information to reach A.B.L., who died during a capture attempt in 2009. “At that point, he would’ve loved to come to the States and get a big sentence reduction,” a government official who worked on the case said, of La Barbie. “But there was never an explicit agreement where we told him, ‘Yes, we can help you.’ It was complicated. Too many jurisdictions had charges on him. There’d also been some executions of police officers in Mexico.” La Barbie was controversial, his lawyer at the time, Michael McCrum, told me. “The agents wanted to work with us, but we hit roadblocks from the upper levels of D.O.J. There’d been too much publicity.” He added, “That video didn’t help,” referring to the filmed execution.

When the remaining Beltrán Leyva brothers realized La Barbie had set up A.B.L. with the F.B.I., they marked him for death. He went into hiding, moving around Acapulco, Cuernavaca, and Mexico City. In 2010, he was captured by Mexican federal police. Last month, after five years in prison, La Barbie was extradited to the U.S. in a group that included his father-in-law and eleven other fugitives.

When someone is indicted in a U.S. court and flees to a country with which the U.S. has an extradition treaty, the prosecuting attorney can request extradition. A provisional arrest warrant, known as a PAW, gets the ball rolling: it’s a simple form with the defendant’s name, the issuing court, the agent or investigator, and a factual basis for the charges. The prosecutor sends the PAW to the Office of International Affairs at the Department of Justice, which reviews it, and sends it on to the State Department, which sends it to officials in the country in question—in this case, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who passes it on to the Attorney General’s Office. They pass it to the appropriate Mexican court. If that court finds probable cause, and the fugitive is arrested or is already in custody, the Americans have sixty days to compile an extradition package, which can include affidavits, fingerprints, witness lists, and coöperating defendants.

Extradition from Mexico is tricky. U.S. prosecutors and defense attorneys said they believe that if a fugitive has a corruption deal with the Mexican government, or simply knows too much about corruption, Mexico may prolong extradition until a new administration is elected, or just prosecute the defendant itself. Another potential tactic: if Mexico lacks charges of its own, the Mexican prosecutor might use the charges from the Americans’ PAW, then later refuse extradition on the basis of “double jeopardy,” the legal principle that prohibits a defendant from being prosecuted twice for the same offense.

Some fugitives actively seek extradition to the U.S., either for safety reasons or because they believe they have valuable information to trade. Hanging over every Mexican extradition is the precedent set by Osiel Cárdenas Guillén, the former Gulf cartel leader. Extradited in 2007 and sentenced in 2010, Cárdenas, who was eligible for a life sentence, is scheduled for release in 2025. His plea agreement remains sealed. But law enforcement sources say that Cárdenas, through his own informant, passed along information about drug loads and the whereabouts of underbosses—the kind of meaningful, real-time intelligence that only a top capo could possess.

“Cartel cases often rely on coöperators,” Angel Moreno, a federal prosecutor in Texas, says, of the general nature of these prosecutions. “To many people that coöperator may be the devil, but if he’s going to help us get five other archangels, we’ll probably still use him as a witness.” The worst guys are positioned to make the best deals.

After La Barbie’s arrest, in 2010, Mexican authorities summoned his new lawyer, Kent Schaffer, to discuss an agreement through which La Barbie would be extradited in return for information about several Mexican officials. La Barbie was eager to come home, and confident about his negotiating position. “Shortly before the exchange was supposed to take place, the strangest thing happened,” Schaffer told me. “The government lawyer we were negotiating with, Marisela Morales, suddenly cut off the talks, and said, ‘No deal.’ They went from being gung-ho about extradition to refusing our phone calls.” Schaffer guesses that the Mexican government initially wanted information on officials from the opposing political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), but then worried about collateral damage to their own party, the National Action Party (PAN). Months later, Morales was appointed the first female attorney general in Mexico’s history. (She couldn’t be reached for comment.) La Barbie was left in his Mexican prison cell.

Years passed, and La Barbie grew pessimistic about his ability to make a favorable deal with U.S. prosecutors. His information about drug routes was becoming stale, and the associates he might have snitched on were dead or in prison. As a legal strategy, he began fighting extradition: under the U.S.-Mexico extradition treaty, the “rule of specialty” says that if you’re extradited over your objection, you cannot be tried for cases that aren’t provided for in the extradition request. Many agents and lawyers started to argue that La Barbie was never a very powerful drug lord in the first place. Even within the Beltrán Leyva family, many underbosses ranked above him, including Sergio Villarreal Barragán, known as El Grande, a former member of the Mexican federal police. In 2012, El Grande was extradited to the U.S., where his information led to the capture of Mexican military officials. He remains an informant, still un-sentenced. “El Grande is going to get a sweet deal,” the retired D.E.A. agent told me.

La Barbie’s situation remained unchanged. Rumors of mistreatment and hunger strikes surfaced. In 2012, when the PRI took over the Mexican government, La Barbie still wasn’t moved from his cell. From the American perspective, there is little logic to the timing of an extradition; it’s in Mexico’s hands, and all a U.S. prosecutor can do is speculate. Schaffer expected the extradition would come eventually, but the wait was becoming awfully long. Then, one day in late September, La Barbie found himself on a plane with a dozen fellow-fugitives, flying back to his birth country. “I think the Mexican government finally released him now only because Chapo Guzmán escaped,” Schaffer said. “If one of these other guys escaped, it would be too damaging to the relationship with the U.S.”

La Barbie is being prosecuted in Atlanta, on charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering. He’ll probably seek retroactive credit for his help with A.B.L. The court may have to determine whether he gave up A.B.L to curry favor with law enforcement or to move out a competitor. Without an explicit agreement that conferred a benefit on La Barbie in exchange for coöperation, he’s unlikely to see a significant sentence reduction for help he provided six years ago.

Should La Barbie consider going to trial, he’ll have to contend with the witnesses lined up to testify against him, including co-conspirators who’ve already pleaded guilty, and one of his top customers, Craig Petties, a.k.a. Lil Dude, the half brother of DJ Paul from the rap group Three 6 Mafia. Lil Dude is serving nine life sentences for a raft of murder and drug charges related to his affiliation with La Barbie and the Beltrán Leyvas.

Among the other twelve fugitives extradited in September is Jorge Costilla Sánchez, known as El Coss, a former Gulf Cartel leader who was arrested in 2012. Charged in Texas for drug trafficking, money laundering, and threatening federal agents, El Coss’s future will probably depend on how many associates he can help the U.S. government capture and prosecute.

El Coss and La Barbie are both in their mid-forties. El Coss is by all accounts the more accomplished drug lord, but he’s being prosecuted in the Southwest, which sees more cartel cases than anywhere in America. In Georgia, by contrast, La Barbie will be a blockbuster. La Barbie has new representation, two Atlanta-based lawyers. When he appeared in court earlier this month, they met for the first time. Kent Schaffer suspected that the U.S. attorney they are facing will have concerns about granting La Barbie leniency. “His attitude is, ‘Why should I cut a deal? I’ve already got the biggest guy I’m going to get.”


DD; Maybe its Karma, but La Barbie seems to be particularly unlucky.


Borderland Beat Reporter dd Posted at 9:03 AM



(MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) – Morgan County deputies arrested two people during a meth bust on Sunday night after a welfare check revealed a woman said she had been poisoned by bad meth.

Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin said deputies were dispatched to a home on Bluff City Road in 9157764_GSomerville for a welfare check. When deputies arrived, they found Brittany Battles, 23, and Anthony Coburn, 37.

Battles said she believed she had been poisoned by bad meth. Agents then got a search warrant for the home.

They found four one-pot meth labs and two HCL gas generators along with chemicals and materials associated in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

They also found a liquid substance that tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, weighing approximately four fluid ounces.9157768_G

Coburn was arrested and charged with the unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance, trafficking in methamphetamine, and unlawful possession of felony drug paraphernalia with bonds totaling $70,000.

Battles was arrested and charged with loitering in a drug house. Her bond is set at $300.



(JASONVILLE) – A 30-year-old Linton woman is facing drug charges after she was stopped for not having working tail lights.

Jasonville Police arrested Teleshia Hoesman early Sunday morning on a felony charge of possession of meth and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.sheanea%20Hoesman-thumb-250xauto-5318

A Jasonville officer stopped Hoesman just before 2 a.m. when he noticed her 1988 Chevrolet truck was traveling south on State Road 59 with a tail light out.

While officers were talking with the male driver, another officer arrived with his K-9 and walked around the vehicle. The dog alerted police to possible drugs inside the truck.

When police asked the male driver if there were drugs in the truck he replied “no” and gave police consent to search the vehicle.

During the search, police found a black and white purse that had been dropped on the ground outside of the passenger door and kicked under the truck.

Hoesman, who was a passenger in the truck, was asked if the purse was hers and though hesitant gave police consent to search the purse which she admitted was hers.

In the purse police found syringes and a “tooter” which is slang for an instrument used to ingest controlled substances. They also found a pen tube containing a white residue that tested positive for meth, a piece of folded aluminum foil containing a clear crystal-like substance, a metal spoon containing meth residue, and a red screw-top container containing a plastic corner baggie with a white crystal-like residue.

During an interview with police, Hoesman told police they two were on their way back from Terre Haute when officers stopped them. They went to Terre Haute to get meth.

When asked where the meth was, Hoseman admitted she had about a half gram of crystal meth in her bra.




Lady Lake police arrested a 24-year-old woman on Sunday afternoon who allegedly had methamphetamine concealed in a Hello Kitty wallet.

A police officer had been dispatched due to some unwanted persons at Sunny Oaks Way in Lady Lake.Tiffnie-Espino

Tiffanie Alexis Espino of Eustis was located and found to have drugs concealed in a backback, which included the Hello Kitty wallet.

She was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a synthetic drug, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drugs without a prescription.

She was booked at the Lake County Jail and later released after posting $8,000 bond.