BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A man who was convicted of murder in 1969 and went on to work as a legal assistant with the regional public defender’s office in Billings has been found guilty of drug charges.

The Billings Gazette reports a federal jury Thursday convicted Gary Lee Quigg of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Prosecutors say 68-year-old Quigg and his 48-year-old wife conspired with another co-defendant to distribute meth in Billings in 2014 and 2015.

His wife has also been found guilty in the case.

Quigg testified in his own defense and denied the charges.

Quigg was convicted in 1969 of the shooting death of Lee Robbins. He was paroled in 2006. Quigg had previously been released, but his parole was revoked due to drug and alcohol violations.


A federal jury on Thursday convicted Gary Lee Quigg, a paroled murderer who worked for the state’s Public Defender’s Office in Billings, and his wife of methamphetamine trafficking charges.

The panel deliberated about six hours before finding Quigg and his wife, Dusty Whitehouse, guilty on all counts in an indictment.

The indictment charged each with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute meth and with distribution. The jury also found that drug quantity was more than 50 grams, rather than the 500 grams alleged by the government.

Quigg and Whitehouse face a minimum mandatory five years to 40 years in prison and a maximum $5 million fine.

District Judge Susan Watters said sentencing would be set for later in May or early June and ordered Quigg and Whitehouse to remain in custody.

Federal prosecutors accused Quigg, 68, and Whitehouse, 48, of conspiring with co-defendant Charity Leigh Mendonsa, 40, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., to distribute meth in the Billings area from about December 2014 until September 2015.

Mendonsa, who pleaded guilty to a possession count as part of plea deal that could reduce her sentence, testified against Quigg and Whitehouse during the four-day trial. Mendonsa is awaiting sentencing and faces a maximum 20 years in prison.

Quigg, who testified in his defense and was his only witness, denied the charges. Quigg said he never provided money for a drug run to California, didn’t sell or use meth and didn’t use his cellphone to arrange drug deals.

Quigg said his wife used meth with Mendonsa but that he had asked Mendonsa not to give Whitehouse meth because he didn’t like what it did to her. He also said he was too broke to get meth and, choking up with emotion on the witness stand, said he couldn’t even afford to buy his wife of five years a wedding ring.

“I never had any money,” Quigg said.

Convicted of murder in 1969, Quigg was paroled in 2006 and went to work for the state Public Defender’s Office in Billings as a legal assistant. Quigg is facing revocation of his parole pending the conclusion of the federal drug case.

Quigg was 21 when he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of a Billings drug salesman. He was paroled and revoked several times for drug and alcohol violations, then he completed a treatment program prior to his 2006 parole. He had no major violations until the federal indictment.

Whitehouse did not testify and called no witnesses.

Whitehouse’s attorney, Lance Lundvall of Billings, told the jury at the start of the trial Monday that Whitehouse was guilty of distributing meth because she is an addict, but that the sale, which was a recorded undercover deal, involved only 3.7 grams. Whitehouse was not “a big time” drug dealer and didn’t conspire with anyone, Lundvall said.

In closing statements on Thursday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Whittaker of Helena said Quigg and Whitehouse were partners in a conspiracy in which they bought meth from Mendonsa and sold the drug, including selling to a cooperating informant and an undercover agent during a controlled buy.

Both Lundvall and Quigg’s attorney, Vern Woodward of Billings, attacked the government’s evidence as lacking proof of the alleged crimes and called Mendonsa and informants admitted liars who were trying to help themselves.

The government’s case relied on witnesses, including testimony from confidential informants, law enforcement agents, a secretly recorded drug deal and text messages from Quigg’s cellphone, along with other investigative evidence.

Mendonsa, Whittaker said, supplied Quigg and Whitehouse. Mendonsa and her husband, Kevin, who died in April 2015, lived in Molt. Kevin Mendonsa made drug runs to California to supply his wife’s habit and also sold to Quigg, Whitehouse and others, he said.

After Kevin Mendonsa died, Charity Mendonsa began making trips to California to get meth for redistribution in the Billings area.

Charity Mendonsa testified that her husband initially brought back 36 ounces of meth a month for the first two months, then increased the drug amount to about 46 ounces a month. After her husband died from inconclusive causes, Mendonsa said, Quigg and Whitehouse called and told her they had given Kevin $1,800 for meth but that he died two days before a scheduled trip to California.

Mendonsa said she responded that she didn’t have money to refund but that she would go to California to get meth and charge them for it.

Mendonsa further testified that she sold meth to Whitehouse two times, one sale involved an ounce for $800 and a second sale involved four ounces, which was fronted because Whitehouse didn’t have the money at the time. She said she sent her brother to collect the money for the four ounces the next day.

Quigg, Mendonsa testified, called her and was upset for having sold meth to Whitehouse because Whitehouse didn’t have the money and he was tired of cleaning up the mess.

Investigation inside a Methamphetamine lab

Posted: 3rd February 2017 by Doc in Uncategorized

WINOOSKI, Vt.Meth houses are popping up all over the state. Just last year, police caught people cooking methamphetamine in five different Vermont counties. Now, we’re taking you past the crime scene tape inside a meth lab to see what investigators see as these drug cases unfold. And to learn what these labs look like and why police always tell us they’re so dangerous.

The call came in about a suspected meth lab at a crowded college dorm in Chittenden County.

“We have over 100 students that were actually removed from it,” Vt. State Police Lt. Reg Trayah said.

This scenario is just a drill but these first responders take the threat seriously.

“All egos get left out,” Trayah said.

To keep everyone alive, the bomb squad, hazmat, clandestine lab team and National Guard must work together.

“One of the largest factors for us going into these houses is we don’t know exactly what we are walking into,” Vt. State Police Tpr. Kaitlyn Armstrong said.

In the real world, troopers like Armstrong will not get a second chance if the methamphetamine blows up.

“If that explodes, someone is going to get seriously hurt or likely dead,” the incident commander said.

The nine-member State Police clandestine lab team invited me to suit up so I can show you how they protect us from these secret drug labs.

“So we don’t want any exposed skin because heaven forbid there’s some kind of flash or something,” Armstrong explained, helping me into the mask.

“We are going to go in. We are doing a recon,” the team leader said. “We’re not picking up anything.”

During our recon mission, we found three labs: one made of glass, two others in plastic soda bottles. The glass could shatter, so the bomb squad was assigned to dismantle it.

“Complacency is the number one killer, so you just have to be on your toes,” Vt. State Police Det. Tpr. Matthew Hill said.

The chemicals are volatile. The danger is real.

“We don’t really have time to play the ‘what if’ game, even though it’s kind of always in the back of your mind,” Armstrong said.

“Does your family worry when you respond to these kinds of things?” I asked.

“They probably do, but we don’t really talk about it too much,” said a trooper who specializes in catching meth cooks hiding in your neighborhood. We’re not identifying him because he works undercover.

“It makes people nervous when they see us pull into a scene, and they see us go on oxygen, and they realize they’ve been living next to this lab,” the trooper said.

He says most cooks in this state make meth in soda bottles. It’s called the one-pot method. And it’s what the team suspects is happening in this dorm room.

“People come in and out of the state that teach other people how to cook, leave their recipes behind,” Hill explained.

The ingredients are all legal. But when they’re mixed together they form a highly addictive and dangerous drug that can explode.

We put on special safety suits, sealed up every seam and protected our hands with fire-retardant gloves. Our mission was to get the rest of the drugs out of the room. I found it to be incredibly delicate work in really clumsy gear. Not to mention one false move could kill my whole team.

Hill said, “If we don’t go in and do our job safely, we just become part of the problem.”

And again, this was just a drill. State police didn’t actually put anyone at risk by letting me clean up real meth. But speaking of clean up, that’s when police worry most about innocent people getting hurt. Times like Green Up Day when unsuspecting volunteers are picking up trash. Meth cooks discard this stuff all over the place. So if you come across soda bottles that look funny, don’t touch them and call the police.



Connor Jones, 22, twice posted the private picture of Ex on the Beach’s Aimee Kimber on Twitter after finding it online.

He first posted the image after it was announced the Aimee, 22, would be appearing on the MTV smash show which sees singletons looking for love in a paradise resort.

The photo, which shows an intimate act, was shot before Miss Kimber became famous and was illicitly taken when she was just 17.

He then re-posted the image four months later when the first episode of the series aired.

Jones, of Colchester, Essex, could have been jailed for up to two years but was instead given a community order for his callous actions.

Miss Kimber has now bravely spoken out about her ordeal in the hope others will find the confidence to go to police.

She branded Jones’ actions “bullying” which caused her anxiety and depression.

Aimee hit the headlines during her Ex on the Beach stint last year when she was filmed having sex with Stephen Bear – who is reportedly now dating Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby.

Jones had never met his victim but was prosecuted under ‘revenge porn’ legislation which is usually used against spurned lovers who illegally share private pictures.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday the TV starlet was heavily intoxicated when it happened after taking an “illicit substance, which she believed to be methamphetamine” at a party.

Bearded Jones was not present when the photo was taken but remembered seeing it after it first surfaced in 2012.

The smartly dressed defendant first shared it last year after joking with pals in a WhatsApp group following the announcement that Miss Kimber would be appearing on the programme filmed on a Thai beach.

He first posted it on Twitter, then did it again after the first episode of the series aired.

He was reported to police when Miss Kimber, also of Colchester, found out.

Prosecuting Ian Allen said: “Last year in 2016 Miss Kimber came to the attention of the general public because she was reported as scheduled to appear on a TV programme going under the byline of Ex on the Beach.

“It is offensive to the general public to see what it shows and it is distressful to the victim. This is an incident she never gave consent would reach the pubic domain.

“She is not a porn star or anything approaching.

“It’s the sort of thing that will regrettably come to the court more frequently in the future, as young people do foolish things which previously they would be able to forget and move on from.”

Mr Allen gave the court details of how the image had first been taken.

After being arrested Jones told cops: “I sort of knew it would p**s her off and show her in a bad light”

Laura Austin defending said her client was previously of good character, was in a long term relationship and deeply regretted his actions.

She said: “He was in a group chat on WhatsApp and there was some discussion about who was going to post it and unfortunately it was the defendant who says, ‘I will do it’.

“He said this was some very stupid and very immature banter between him and his friends and thereafter he decided to post it.

“The parties involved have never met, don’t know each other, and have never been involved in a relationship.

“The defendant now feels remorseful and feels extremely guilty.”

Jones spoke only to admit his crime and confirm his name, age and address.

The chair of the magistrates bench John Gilchrist said: “We have looked at this very carefully, there was a certain amount of very bad laddish behaviour on your behalf which is something in the news quite recently.

“It’s unacceptable. We believe there was an element of planning, it was on two occasions.

“You knew about the photograph and it was sort out on Google and you must have known it would have caused some amount of distress to the victim.

“However we don’t believe what you did was revenge and as we have been told you believe it was stupid behaviour.”

Jones was slapped with a community order and must complete 130 hours of unpaid work and hit with fines and costs of £370.

Speaking afterwards Miss Kimber said the ordeal had knocked her confidence.

She said: “I am glad this has finally come to an end after ongoing taunting and bullying for the last five years.

“Connor Jones deserved to be punished after treating me the way he did. I went through a lot of anxiety and depression due to the abuse I received.

“I am so glad he pleaded guilty and has been sentenced.

“I just hope people will see the severity of this and think before they post anything online which will cause distress and pain.”

Aimee, a personal assistant at an architects’ firm, welcomed the use of revenge porn legislation to snare Jones.

“I am so happy that legal action is now being taken for these cases so no one can get away with it.

“I hope what has happened to me will raise awareness so that people going through similar situations will be brave enough to stop this type of bullying.”

Speaking of the night the photo was taken, Miss Kimber admitted she was very drunk but said she had been “tricked” into taking methamphetamine.

She added: “I hope young girls will read what has happened to me and hopefully they will be aware of the dangers of putting themselves in vulnerable situations.”




GREENEVILLE — Jason Wayne Helton, a.k.a. “Crack Baby,” 33, of Morristown, was sentenced on Jan. 31 by Judge R. Leon Jordan, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 262 months in federal prison following a conviction for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in east Tennessee.

According to his plea agreement on file with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, Helton sold quantities of methamphetamine to an individual working on behalf of law enforcement on three occasions between Dec. 2015 and March 2016.

In Feb., 2016, a federal search warrant was executed at a residence in Stone Mountain, Ga., where Helton was present and was scheduled to obtain and transport an ounce and a half of methamphetamine back to Tennessee.

Another federal search warrant was executed at Helton’s residence in Morristown in March, 2016 which resulted in the seizure of an additional quantity of methamphetamine.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Grainger Co. Sheriff’s Office, Hamblen Co. Sheriff’s Office, Morristown Police Department and the Third and Fourth District Judicial Drug Task Forces.

This case was a result of the Dept. of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy.


Kentucky State Police arrested Kristy Whitaker, 22, of Bridgestone Drive, Berea, Tuesday evening for multiple drug charges in Richmond.

According to the arrest citation, Whitaker was a passenger in a vehicle stopped because she was not wearing her seatbelt. While speaking with police, Whitaker appeared nervous and wouldn’t make eye contact.

The driver allowed a search of the vehicle and police found a large brown purse claimed by Whitaker, who said there was likely “pot” inside. While looking for the drug, police found a plastic box holding several straws, seven 0.3-gram bags of suspected methamphetamine, two small bags of marijuana, digital scales and five syringes, according to the citation.

While the officer searched through the bag, Whitaker repeatedly placed her hands inside after being told to stop. Whitaker told police she was pregnant, which the citation noted was visible, and never had a drug charge. Whitaker said she was weaning herself off methamphetamine by using marijuana.

When Whitaker was asked why she had so many small packages of the drugs, she said she was trying to dose herself “the right way,” the citation noted.

Whitaker was charged with first offense first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance (less than two grams methamphetamine), marijuana possession and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia. She was booked into the Madison County Detention Center, where she was released later that night, according to online jail records.

• • •

Raymond G. Jacobs, 38, of Kenzie Court, Berea, was arrested Tuesday night on Dryfus Road.

KSP stopped Jacobs’ vehicle for an inoperable break light. However, according to the citation, it was discovered Jacobs had a warrant for methamphetamine manufacturing.

Police found a baggie holding a brown substance, identified as heroin by Jacobs, and a hypodermic needle on his person, noted the citation.

Jacobs was charged with improper equipment and first offense first-degree possession of a controlled substance (heroin). He remained lodged at the MCDC Wednesday afternoon, according to online jail records.



A woman who reportedly refused to leave the Casper Motel 6 after checkout time was arrested Tuesday afternoon after police allegedly found a bag of syringes and about a dozen baggies containing suspected methamphetamine residue.

Sasha Rae Zwetzig, 27, was booked on a possession charge.

Casper police officers went to Motel 6 at about 2 p.m. for a report of a guest that was refusing to leave after checkout time. Court documents say the manager said Zwetzig was asked several times to leave after a noon checkout, but she evidently argued with staff and wouldn’t leave.

Officers went up to Zwetzig’s room and found the door wide open. Zwetzig was reportedly trying to get her bags and luggage out of the room.

She reportedly let officers into the room and indicated that her friends had abandoned her, so she she was trying to get all their belongings and leave.

Zwetzig also indicated that her boyfriend had been arrested the night before and she was trying to get to his court appearance.

According to the affidavit, officers saw Zwetzig casually scrape small debris from a table and toss it into the trash. When officers asked her about it, Zwetzig reportedly said it appeared to be marijuana and may have been from her roommates from the night before.

Court documents say one officer had been informed previously that Zwetzig was possibly involved in ongoing drug investigations. The officer asked Zwetzig about drug use, and she allegedly indicated that she was addicted to methamphetamine, saying she’d been sober for about two weeks.

Zwetzig reportedly let officers look through her belongings. They allegedly found a bag of syringes, 11 baggies with methamphetamine residue inside and a baggie containing several pills of Tramadol.

Court documents say Zwetzig told officers the baggies were not hers. She reportedly would not let officers look through some of the luggage, saying they didn’t belong to her and she didn’t feel right giving consent.

Officers helped Zwetzig take all the bags to her vehicle. Zwetzig reportedly produced a jewelry box that contained a film canister and told officers that’s where the baggies of methamphetamine came from. An officer opened the canister and allegedly found one more baggie with a sim card inside.

Zwetzig reportedly said the sim card was hers, but someone else put the other baggies in there and gave them to her to hold.

Officers reportedly put Zwetzig’s belongings into the vehicle and secured it before taking Zwetzig to jail.


OWENSBORO, Ky. (2/1/17) — An Owensboro woman was arrested on drug charges after a K-9 unit alerted officers to possible drugs in her vehicle.

According to the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, around 12:30 a.m. this morning, a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office, was conducting a business check at the Fast Fuel Storage Buildings on Kentucky 144 in Thruston, Kentucky, when he saw a vehicle pull up to a storage building. The storage unit was opened and all doors to the vehicle were open. The storage buildings are closed at midnight.

Due to the suspicious nature, the deputy investigated. During the investigation, an Owensboro Police K-9 Unit was called to the location. The K-9, which is trained in the detection of illegal narcotics, alerted officers to the vehicle.

After a search of the vehicle, officers found over 19 grams of methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia.

Crystal A. Basham, 34, of Owensboro, was arrested and charged with first degree trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine), first degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Basham was lodged in the Daviess County Detention Center.

A Cawood woman is facing charges including trafficking a controlled substance after hospital staff allegedly found methamphetamine on her person.

Elicia Burns, 30, was arrested on Tuesday by Kentucky State Police Trooper James Hensley.

According to the citation, Burns was admitted to Harlan ARH Hospital. Nurses located approximately two grams of methamphetamine which Burns had on her person, as well as a set of brass knuckles, a pipe and approximately $220 in cash.

Burns was charged with first-degree trafficking a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed weapon. She was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center.

• Chasity Phillips, 22, of Harlan, was arrested on an indictment warrant by Harlan County Sherriff’s Deputy Winston Yeary on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, Phillips was in possession of methamphetamine on March 5. She was also in possession of a pipe and a syringe.

Phillips was indicted for first-degree possession of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $2,500 full cash bond;


POCATELLO — Police charged a Pocatello woman with drug possession following an incident at WinCo on Yellowstone Avenue on Friday evening.

Deleena Jo Conlin, 43, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and misdemeanor petit theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Pocatello police reports, Conlin was being detained for theft at WinCo when she was found to be in possession of a small amount of meth.

Conlin was released on her recognizance to court service Monday. A preliminary hearing for the felony charge is set for Feb. 13, and a pre-trial conference for the misdemeanor charges is scheduled on March 16.

A Kewanee woman is in jail on charges related to methamphetamine and a stun gun.

Melissa J. Sallee, 30, was arraigned Monday on Class X felony possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, Class 1 felony possession of methamphetamine and Class 3 possession of weapon (a stun gun) by a felon. According to the charges, between 15 and 100 grams of methamphetamine were involved.

Judge Dana McReynolds appointed public defender James Cosby and set a Monday preliminary hearing. Judge Terry Patton had set bond at $30,000 earlier. An arrest warrant was issued Jan. 25, and she was apprehended Jan. 28.


This Tax Man allegedly “broke bad.”

An Ivy-League educated lawyer with the Internal Revenue Service has been arrested on federal charges of conspiring to distribute the illegal drug methamphetamine, authorities said Wednesday.

Jack Vitayanon, a Washington, D.C., resident who is an attorney in the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility, allegedly conspired with others in Arizona and Long Island, New York, “to distribute methamphetamine” since mid-2014, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn.

“The defendant — a federal attorney working for the IRS’s Office of Professional Responsibility — broke bad and supplemented his income by selling distribution quantities of methamphetamine,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Capers.

The phrase “broke bad” refers to hit television show “Breaking Bad,” which depicted high school chemistry teacher Walter White becoming a meth manufacturer to make money after receiving a diagnosis of cancer.

The Office of Professional Responsibility’s mission is to ensure that tax practitioners, preparers and others in the tax system “adhere to professional standards and follow the law,” according to the IRS’s website. Vitayanon’s LinkedIn page, which says he has worked at the IRS for nearly five years, details how he has conducted investigations of attorneys, accountants and IRS agents “based on reports of suspected misconduct.”

Vitayanon, 41, was in custody in Washington as of Wednesday afternoon after his arrest. He has yet to appear before a federal judge there.

Vitayanon’s LinkedIn page says that he is also an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

He graduated from Dartmouth in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree, and got his law degree from Columbia University. He also holds a master’s of law degree in taxation from New York University School of Law. Vitayanon previously worked at the prestigious Debevoise & Plimpton firm in New York City, and a small boutique tax firm.

A affidavit filed in support of criminal complaint against Vitayanon suggests that his alleged meth dealing came to light in early December when authorities investigating meth distribution on Long Island seized a Federal Express package containing 460 grams of the drug at a private residence in Oceanside, New York.

After being arrested, the intended recipient of the meth allegedly told authorities they had paid a source in Arizona $8,600 for the shipment. The recipient allegedly said they had originally been put in touch with that source in September 2014 by Vitayanon, who himself was using the source to purchase meth, the affidavit said.

The affidavit went on to say that the intended recipient of the meth shipment agreed to cooperate with agents from the Department of Homeland Security to investigate Vitayanon, and ended up negotiating with him to buy shipment containing an ounce of meth from him.

Those negotiations allegedly occurred via internet-based video chats and text messages.

During a video chat on Dec. 15, “Vitayanon was observed in his Washington, D.C., apartment smoking what appears to be methamphetamine from a glass pipe,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit accuses Vitayanon of eventually sending two separate shipments, totaling three ounces of meth, to the recipient on Long Island.

It also claims that Vitayanon asked the recipient to split up a $1,650 payment for the initial ounce he sent that person in mid-December between Vitayanon and the source in Arizona. That payment, according to the affidavit, included Vitayanon’s expenses from shipping and what he called “my Ubers.”

When authorities searched Vitayanon’s apartment, they found suspected meth, drug paraphernalia, packaging material, as well as “drug ledgers,” prosecutors said.

An IRS spokesman, when asked about Vitayanon on Wednesday, said “We cannot comment on specific personnel matters.”

“The IRS holds its employees to high standards and does not tolerate inappropriate behavior,” the spokesman said. “When questions arise, the IRS works closely with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and other law-enforcement authorities to pursue appropriate legal action. The IRS strongly emphasizes that it will take any and all actions against inappropriate employee conduct, up to and‎ including dismissal.”

  • Kelly Neilsen developed an ice addiction after she asked her husband for space
  • She went to stay with a friend and while there experienced her first hit
  • The mother of three was hooked immediately and began smoking the drug daily
  • In just 18 months she spent $125,000, causing her family to lose their home

A Victorian mother of three who spent $125,000 on a secret meth addiction over 18 months before coming clean has revealed how it almost tore her family apart.

Kelly Neilsen told that’s life! Magazine she had been running the administration side of her husband’s plastering business and parenting her three boys when she slowly became resentful of her selfless life.

Shortly after her 40th birthday, she asked her husband Jeff for a break and moved in with a friend.

While there, she experienced her first hit of methamphetamine – and quickly became addicted.

‘Suddenly, I felt a rush of excitement,’ Mrs Neilen told that’s life!

‘Although crystal meth is illegal, and I knew it was addictive, the thought of doing something on my own, without my family, gave me a thrill.’

Mrs Neilsen explained from that moment on, getting high and its associated euphoria consumed her thoughts.

From her first dalliance with the drug, smoking meth became an everyday habit for the now-44-year-old.

She would skim money from her husband’s business to pay for the illicit substance, and was only paying the minimum on bills for the business and family home.

Despite being able to hide her financial deception, Mrs Neilsen could not cover up the effects the drug was having on her body.

She reported rotting teeth, acne on her back and personality changes, which caused her to be cruel to her then-estranged husband.

Some days, she admitted she would spend up to $1500 on meth.

It wasn’t until she realized she had spent $125,000 on drugs alone that the 44-year-old snapped.

She broke down in tears and called Lifeline, who referred her to a rehabilitation service. She booked in for a 10-day detox starting the next day.

Luckily, her husband was understanding when she confessed that night.

‘When Jeff got home, I sat him down and said: “I’m addicted to ice – I’ve spent all our money”,’ she said.

‘He was shocked, but he pulled me into a hug and said “I love you, we’re going to get through this”.’

Mrs Neilsen has now been clean for three years.

While her marriage is strong again, the family were forced to sell their house, and the mother-of-three needed a full set of false teeth.

‘I still can’t believe what I did – I went from model mum to meth addict,’ she said.




LEWISTOWN — Mifflin County and the surrounding Juniata Valley, have recently experienced spikes in heroin and methamphetamine resulting in deaths and arrests of area residents.

Currently, local and state police are cracking down on meth dealers and labs.

Since the start of the year, Pennsylvania State Police have found, and subsequently busted, three meth labs in Mifflin County. The labs were located in McVeytown, Burnham and most recently, Lewistown.

“Meth is on the rise,”Mifflin County Detective Craig Snyder said. “Everything goes in cycles, one drug will be prevalent in the area then another will cycle through.”

According to research from the DEA Philadelphia Field division, meth is a stimulant drug, which is capable of causing hallucinations, aggressive behavior and irrational behavior.

Data found in 2014 showed a total of 211 meth lab incidents reported in Pennsylvania.

Data released in July 2016, based off the year 2015, showed meth was the cause of death in only 3 percent of incidents, while none were reported in Mifflin and Juniata counties.

Snyder, a member of the Mifflin County Drug Task Force, said meth and other drugs, are highly addictive, causing repeat users. When taken, meth causes an increased amount of dopamine in the brain, which results in the user feeling high.

“Because the drug is causing the increased amount of the chemical, it does not last long,”Snyder said. “Which is what creates the addiction.”

John Miles, patrolman with the Mifflin County Regional Police Department, said the dopamine created by the drug kills off the natural dopamine created by the brain.

“The change from natural to the synthetic dopamine is what makes the crash from meth so hard for users,”Miles explained. “The body can rejuvenate natural dopamine but it takes time.”

This time, is what meth users do not give themselves. Miles said the crash users experience is so strong, they cannot manage without a hit. However, the amount of the last hit is not enough to give the same level of high.

“To reach the same level, without taking a break, they need to take more,”Miles said.

In some cases, meth can be produced in large quantities in sizable labs however, smaller labs can also be created and have been spotted in the Juniata Valley.

“Most people are making meth in quantities that is just one hit,”Miles said.

These “small hit labs,”as Miles calls them, can be found in bottles and even in the back of a car.

“This allows the meth to be made on the go,”he explained. “These can be extremely dangerous.”

Heat is a major component to making meth and if the pressure from the heat is not relieved, bottles could explode and burn skin from the chemical components. Miles said this is just one of the many reasons why making meth is dangerous.

Meth can be inexpensive to make, using ingredients found in over-the-counter cold medicine. Snyder said because of this, he encourages store owners to report or keep a record of the amount of medicine, like SUDAFED, sold to a customer.

“We take reports from store owners who see people buying the ingredients or the public who sees odd activity,”he explained.

Other ingredients to make meth include some of the following:


¯Alcohol — isopropyl or rubbing

¯Ether (engine starter)


¯Cat litter

¯Methanol (gasoline additive)

¯Sulfuric acid

¯Toluene (break cleaner)

¯Trichloroethane (gun cleaner)

Due to the toxicity of some of these ingredients, long-term meth use can change the way a user’s brain functions, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. A long-term user could show signs of psychosis like paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. Some of these side effects do not go away after the person stops using meth.

Miles said other side effects can include high blood pressure, increased heart rate, higher body temperatures and wounds.

“These wounds can be self-inflicted or happened in an accident because the person feels like they are invincible,”he said.

The self-inflicted wounds, Miles explained, could also be the result of a hallucination the person had.

“Common wounds are scratches because the user feels like there are bugs crawling on them,”he said.

Miles encourages residents who have any indication a meth lab is in the area, to call the Mifflin County Drug Task Force.

The U.S. DEA also suggests looking for the following signs:

¯Unusual odors

¯Excessive amounts of trash, especially cold medicine containers

¯Evidence of chemical waste or dumping

¯Frequent visitors at unusual times

¯Extensive security measures or excessive attempts to ensure privacy

The Mifflin County Drug Task Force can be reached by calling the Mifflin County District Attorney’s office and speaking with Craig Snyder at 248-9800.


Dr. Gregory Hess, Chief Medical Examiner in Pima County, Ariz., has ruled the death of former jockey Garrett Gomez an accident due to methamphetamine overdose. Gomez, 44, a two-time Eclipse Award winner who stopped riding in October 2013 and announced his retirement in June 2015, was found in his room at a Native American casino hotel near Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 14.

Gomez struggled with alcohol and substance abuse issues throughout a brilliant career that saw him become leading money winner in the country for four consecutive years and earn Eclipse Awards in 2008 and 2009.

Gomez began riding at Santa Fe Downs in New Mexico in 1988 and he would go on to win 13 Breeders’ Cup races and 83 Grade 1 events. He broke Jerry Bailey’s record for most stakes victories in one season in 2007, riding 76 added-money winners. Gomez piloted Beholder, Blind Luck, Rags to Riches, Pioneerof the Nile, among others. His peers voted him the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2011.

He also completed nine stints in rehab for alcohol, cocaine, and meth, and served jail time for possession of a controlled substance. Gomez got clean around 2003 or 2004, and collaborated with co-author Dr. Rudolph Alvarado to pen his autobiography in 2012. Gomez told media at the time he hoped the volume, titled “The Garrett Gomez Story: A Jockey’s Journey Through Addiction & Salvation,” would serve as a warning to young riders to avoid the same paths he had taken. All proceeds from the book went to the Winners Foundation, a Santa Anita Park group assisting racetrack workers with drug and alcohol issues.

Gomez left the sport with 3,769 wins from 21,639 starts. His mounts earned a total of $205,224,899. Married twice, Gomez has four children, two from each marriage. He had been estranged from his second wife, Pam, for two years and living in near Tucson, where he was born on Jan. 1, 1972.


MYANMAR police made record meth pill seizures last year, according to the latest data, underscoring the country’s ongoing role as a major narcotics producer.

Police confiscated a record 98 million tablets, nearly double the 50 million seized in 2015.

Myanmar is one of the world’s top drug-producing nations, churning out huge quantities of methamphetamine as well as heroin, opium and cannabis.

Most production takes place in remote border territories controlled by ethnic minority militias or rival armed groups allied to the powerful military. While low-level smugglers are often arrested, few cartel leaders have been brought to justice over the past three decades.

Myanmar’s cheap and abundant meth pills — which contain methamphetamine in low dosages — are hugely popular across Asia, from wealthy clubbers to exhausted blue-collar employees.

In addition to the tablets, police documents show some 759 kilograms of heroin, 945kg of opium and 2,464kg of pure methamphetamine — the stronger variant “ice” — were seized last year.

Drug prosecutions jumped from around 8,800 in 2015 to 13,500.

Narcotics officers say the latest figures show policing is making inroads into the problem. But one senior officer told reporters that trafficking was still on the increase.

“It certainly tallies with our data,” said Jeremy Douglas, regional representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, adding that Myanmar saw a noticeable increase in meth pill production over the past year and a leap in the stronger crystalline variant.

Trafficking routes were also shifting, he said, with smugglers targeting growing domestic demand as well as looking for new markets to the west of Myanmar.

Neighboring Thailand yesterday announced two major drug seizures last week. Police found 87kg of methamphetamine and 25kg of cannabis in the southern province of Hat Yai. They also confiscated 720,000 amphetamine tablets and arrested three suspects in the northeast province of Udon Thani.

Officers said the three were part of a network run by Xaysana Keopimpha, a Laos national detained in Bangkok last month.

Thailand, Myanmar and Laos share a porous, remote and largely mountainous zone dubbed “The Golden Triangle,” long a major drugs-producing region.


Authorities say a woman involved in last week’s shooting death at a Helena motel had a pound of methamphetamine in her car at the time of the murder.

The suspected shooter, a convicted drug dealer, told investigators he has been labeled a “snitch” and had been threatened by his victim prior to the homicide, according court documents. 

The woman, Travis Holly Stephens of Butte, was arrested on a charge of meth possession directly after the shooting and now faces two additional felony charges of criminal possession with intent to distribute.

Court documents say investigators found the pound of meth alongside three containers of marijuana, scales commonly used to weigh drugs and bags generally used to deal drugs in her vehicle. A .22-caliber pistol also was located in the vehicle, which was seized after last Wednesday’s shooting.

Stephens, 30, is jailed in lieu of $150,000 bond.

Meanwhile, the suspected shooter, Brandon James LeClair, remains jailed on a felony charge of deliberate homicide. LeClair, 41, is accused of killing 31-year-old Kenneth Lee Purcell Jr. during a fight at Motel 6. Purcell died in the parking lot at 800 N. Oregon St. from a gunshot wound to the chest around 1 a.m.

Directly after the shooting, LeClair ran from the motel. Police apprehended him without incident that afternoon at a gas station in Boulder, 30 miles south of Helena.

LeClair admitted to the shooting, according to court documents. He told investigators Stephens gave him two other guns after the shooting to hide before police arrived at the scene. Those guns, which were both stolen, were later located. 

After his arrest, LeClair told detectives he, Purcell and Stephens all used and sold drugs. Court documents say LeClair said the shooting victim had been threatening and harassing him on social media.

Court documents say when police originally arrested Stephens they found a small amount of methamphetamine alongside a meth pipe that appeared to have recently been used in the motel room she shared with LeClair.

Stephens told police she and LeClair had traveled to the motel from Butte the previous night but would not say why they came to Helena, court documents state. Purcell was in the room with them, she said, when an argument broke out between the two men.
During a subsequent fight, Purcell hit LeClair in the head with a whiskey bottle and kicked him after LeClair fell to the ground, she told investigators.

The fight then moved to the parking lot, where the shooting occurred. Stephens later told police she believed both men were carrying guns. A semi-automatic .9 mm pistol and a spent casing were found near Purcell’s body.

On Purcell’s body, police found a magazine for a semi-automatic weapon believed to be from a different gun.

Stephens said she did not witness the shooting, but later saw Purcell laying in the parking lot. LeClair had bleeding head injuries from the fight, court documents note.

LeClair, who lived in Billings at the time, was sentenced to five years in federal prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had been convicted in federal court in 1999 for possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute and was sentenced to just over three years in prison. LeClair completed his probation in November 2014.

LeClair is jailed in the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Purcell’s criminal history includes a conviction for criminal distribution of dangerous drugs out of Silver Bow County for a crime that occurred in 2009, state court records show.


COLDWATER – Siera Rodriguez, 23, will face three 40-year felony charges after a tip lead Michigan State Police to her apartment Sunday.

Troopers asked if they could search at 196 N. Angola Road, Apt. 1, and Rodriguez allowed them in. Her two children, ages 18-months and 3-years-old, were with her.

Inside the refrigerator was a “one-pot cook” meth lab that was still active. The unemployed Rodriguez said she was cooking meth to sell to make money.

Child protective services was called to take custody of the children while she went to the Branch County Jail.

Rodriguez told troopers she “screwed up the cook” and she did not get the meth she expected.

Rodriguez will face two counts of manufacturing meth in the presence of minors, and one count of operation of a meth lab. All are 20-year felonies but because she has convictions from Cass County for possession of meth and meth lab operation in August 2012, the maximum penalties are doubled.

Branch County District Court Judge Brent Weigle set her bond at $250,000 with preliminary proceedings set for Feb. 9 and 15.



GLADE SPRING, Va.—A woman was arrested on methamphetamine charges Monday after police executed a federal search warrant in Glade Spring.

The warrant was executed on South Monte Vista Drive by members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Smyth County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Washington County Sheriff Fred Newman said the investigation began after information was received from area citizens who reported possible drug activity at the location, which led authorities to obtain a search warrant.

Michelle Renee Boardwine, 34, was charged with two counts of possession of methamphetamine and two counts of bringing a controlled substance into the jail facility.

Boardwine was transported to the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon, where she is being held without bail.


POCATELLO — Police charged a Pocatello woman with drug possession following an incident at Winco on Friday evening.

Deleena Jo Conlin, 43, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and misdemeanor petit theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to Pocatello police reports, Conlin was being detained for theft at Winco when she was found to be in possession of a small amount of meth.

Conlin was released on her recognizance to court service on Monday. A preliminary hearing for the felony charge is set for Feb. 13 and a pre-trial conference for the misdemeanor charges is scheduled on March 16.


A traffic stop in Reedsburg on Sunday turned into a drug arrest, when police dog Xena sniffed out methamphetamine-making ingredients in the vehicle, resulting in the arrest of three Elroy residents.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon in the 2700 block of East Main Street, Reedsburg police said.

Londyn Forsythe, 41, Cody Murdock-Forsythe, 23, and Jasmine Williams, 26, were taken into custody, tentatively charged with possession of methamphetamine precursors, or materials used in the making of methamphetamine.

Officer Joshua Hoege stopped their vehicle for a minor traffic offense, then deployed his partner Xena, trained in narcotics detection, to sniff the vehicle, with Xena indicating to Hoege that narcotics were present.

“A search of the vehicle turned up drug paraphernalia and products used to manufacture methamphetamine,” said Police Chief Timothy Becker.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was informed of the arrest, with a small meth lab found in Murdock-Forsythe’s residence, police said.



LaGRANGE – Three people who allegedly align themselves with the Ghostface Gangsters’ criminal street gang remain behind bars in the Troup County jail.

Austin B. Key, 22 and Anthony Levi Rice, 22, of LaGrange plus Kira Weiss, 18, of North Carolina, were arrested Friday night during a routine traffic stop by investigators with the LaGrange Police Special Investigation Unit.

The team stopped the car carrying the three people for failure to yield at the intersection of Dallis Street and Park Avenue, said Sgt. Mark Cavender, head of the SIU division.

Investigators noticed Rice, who was sitting in the backseat of the vehicle, had marijuana in his hand and was reaching for something underneath him, Cavender stated.

Cavender realized Rice was sitting on top of a pistol, he said. SIU investigators pulled all three individuals out, handcuffed them and searched their car.

The SIU team discovered another firearm under the driver’s seat – where Key was sitting – a glass container carrying methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana, according to Cavender.

Inside Weiss’ purse, investigators found more marijuana and another pistol that was equipped with a silencer, Cavender said.

SIU investigators located methamphetamine in Rice’s pockets when they patted him down. They also discovered the gun Rice was sitting on was reportedly stolen out of Miami-Dade County, Florida, said Cavender.

More ammunition for more powerful weapons was found in the car by SIU investigators. However, the firearms to match the ammunition were not located inside the vehicle, Cavender said.

Investigators were able to match tattoos on all three individuals (among other evidence) that showed the trio aligned themselves with the Ghostface Gangsters, according to Cavender.

The Ghostface Gangsters originated inside the Georgia prison system, he said. The gang is split into two factions: one side aligns themselves with Aryan Brotherhood and the Ku Klux Klan; the other side unites themselves with Folk Nation, which includes the Gangster Disciples.

“We’ve (SIU investigators) seen an influx of this gang,” said Cavender. “They’re really big in North Carolina and Tennessee. We’ve also started seeing the ‘DSGB’ or Down South Georgia Boys. We’ve seen more and more members of these gangs in Troup County within the last two years.”

The SIU’s arrest of the three alleged gang members was significant for the community.

“They (suspects) had drugs in an amount that is indicative with the sale of drugs … We know that gangs, drugs and guns do go hand in hand,” Cavender stated. “I don’t know what they (suspects) were doing with guns. However, riding around with that many drugs and guns – one with a silencer – is concerning.”

Rice was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm during certain crimes and at least three counts of participation of criminal street gang activity.

Weiss and Key were each charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of certain crimes, stated Cavender.

Weiss was also charged with one count of possession with an illegal silencer and two counts of participation of criminal street gang activity.

Key also faces charges of participation of criminal street gang activity.



MASSILLON Police arrested a nude Akron man when they pulled him over for speeding early Monday morning.

The 23-year-old man was arrested at 2:50 a.m. after he was pulled over in the southbound lanes of state Route 21 and police saw him “making furtive movements, reaching from side to side and under the driver’s seat,” Stark County Jail records said.

That behavior and the fact that he was “completely naked” caused the officer to call for additional assistance, the jail records said.

The man was removed from his vehicle after he refused to get out and the police K-9 Inca indicated a presence of illegal drugs inside. Officers searched and found a bag containing an undisclosed amount of meth and four pipes used to smoke it.

He was jailed on charges of aggravated drug possession, operating a vehicle while impaired, driving under suspension, a marked lanes violation, failure to use turn and stop signals and possession of drug abuse instruments.

He was later released on his own recognizance pending a Massillon Municipal Court hearing.

Summit County court records show he was arrested Dec. 16 on charges of methamphetamine possession and possession of drug abuse instruments, but those charges were dropped on Jan. 4.



STURGIS, MI (WTVB) – The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department says seven persons were arrested Monday night when police found a large amount of Crystal Methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside of a home in Sturgis.

Sheriff Bradley Balk says a search warrant was executed at about 6:30 p.m. at a residence in the 500 Block of North Clay Street.

Five men and two women were taken from the home and lodged at the St. Joseph County Jail on several drug related charges.

St. Joseph County Area Narcotics, otherwise known as SCAN, was assisted by the St. Joseph County Sheriffs Department, Sturgis Police, LifeCare ambulance and the Sturgis Fire Department.


A woman who allegedly tried to run from police Sunday morning was arrested on felony drug charges.

Arica Lynn Wallace, 21, was booked for possession of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana and methadone, as well as interference with a peace officer.

Court documents say Casper police officers were sent to a home on South Beech shortly before 9:40 a.m. for a report of a family fight. Officers were told that a woman and a man were leaving the home in a car.

An officer found the car and stopped it for speeding on East Second Street. When the car stopped, Wallace allegedly bailed out the passenger side and started running.

The officer got out of his car and yelled for Wallace to stop. She did, but as the officer approached, she allegedly started at him before turning and running.

She got about three feet before she slipped on the ice and fell.

The officer handcuffed Wallace and called EMS after Wallace said she was hurt. She allegedly told officers her name was “April.”

When EMS arrived, Wallace reportedly denied any injury or medical treatment. Other officers arrived on scene.

Wallace then gave her correct name to officers, who discovered two warrants out for Wallace — one for a probation violation, and one for possession of methamphetamine.

Wallace allegedly told officers she ran because she knew about the warrants and was “going to prison.” She also allegedly said she was on probation for “conspiracy” but fled after being sentenced to treatment at Central Wyoming Counseling Center.

Another officer spoke with the man in the car, identified as 32-year-old Manuel Nikolas Sambrano. Court documents say the officer smelled marijuana coming from the car, so they began a search.

As officers began their search, Wallace allegedly said “anything” officers found did not belong to Sambrano. She reportedly said a “rig” — a syringe commonly used to inject drugs — was in her purse.

Officers reportedly found a syringe loaded with methamphetamine in Wallace’s wallet.

The search allegedly turned up two more used syringes and several jewelry bags with methamphetamine residue.

Sambrano consented to a search of his person, according to the affidavit, and officers allegedly found a glass marijuana pipe in his pocket.

In the trunk, officers allegedly found 46 used syringes, multiple bags with drug residue, a loaded syringe containing a yellow liquid, a vial containing a clear liquid and two unidentified white pills.

Wallace allegedly said the syringes belonged to her and her boyfriend, whom she reportedly refused to identify.

One of the loaded syringes tested positive for .31 grams of methamphetamine, while another reportedly tested positive for .38 grams of heroin.

Officers also allegedly found a plastic container of marijuana in Wallace’s makeup bag.

The unknown pills were reportedly identified as methadone hydrochloride, a schedule II controlled substance.

Sambrano was arrested for marijuana possession after officers allegedly found a prescription pill bottle containing pot beneath the driver’s seat of the car.

Court documents say Sambrano denied ownership of the marijuana, saying it all belonged to Wallace, who had borrowed the car for several months.


During an undercover drug deal earlier this month, a Slatington woman apologized to her buyer for being late to their arranged meeting because it took her longer than she expected to make methamphetamine, according to court records.

Outside her apartment on Jan. 20, Kelsey Lee Rockel, 23, delivered the meth to the buyer, who was actually a Lehigh County detective, telling him, “It’s hard to cook when the kids are around,” records show.

Rockel was arrested and charged with making the Jan. 20 transaction and a second meth deal on Jan. 24, records show.

In the second deal, an undercover detective fronted Rockel $40, so she could buy some of the ingredients used to cook meth, records show. She and her boyfriend then cooked the drugs in her apartment on North Seventh Street, records show.

Rockel was charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine and criminal use of a communication facility and one count of conspiracy.

She was arraigned by District Judge Rod Beck and sent to Lehigh County Jail under $50,000 bail.