Key ingredients sit on local store shelves and can cost less than $100, which, according to police, is why the production and use of methamphetamine is a growing problem in Uvalde.

Just last month, Uvalde law enforcement arrested two men and one woman allegedly involved in the production, use or distribution of methamphetamine.

The designer drug is made of toxic and flammable ingredients including acetone, lithium, toluene, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and ammonia, which are found in household items like drain cleaners, battery acid, and antifreeze.

According to police, the chemicals can remain on household surfaces for months or years, causing cancer, organ damage and other health problems.

Methamphetamine can be snorted, injected, ingested, or smoked. Common street names include meth, crank, chalk and speed.

When the drug is smoked, users can suffer from nasal tissue destruction. Users who inhale the drug face future respiratory problems.

Infectious diseases and abscesses are common in users who inject methamphetamine.

Short-term side effects include loss of appetite, dilation of pupils, disturbed sleep patterns, nausea, hallucinations, and hyper excitability or irritability.

They may also experience panic and psychosis; convulsions and seizures; an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature; and bizarre, erratic, or violent behavior.

Recently a 47-year-old man who was allegedly high on the drug summoned police to his makeshift meth lab after dialing 9-1-1 on himself.

“He didn’t even remember calling us,” said Leo Flores, a detective with the Uvalde Police Department.

Long-term side effects include permanent damage to blood vessels of the heart and brain and high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes or death.

Methamphetamine also affects the abuser’s physical appearance by causing advanced signs of aging, tooth decay, and sores.

According to Flores, methamphetamine can destroy a person’s face and body to the point where he or she becomes almost unrecognizable. The change can occur in just a few months.

The detective recently arrested a 29-year-old woman with severe facial sores. The woman admitted to using methamphetamine daily, and Flores said she confessed to police that she once went seven days without sleep while high on methamphetamine.

Flores noted the woman’s home was in impeccable condition because she cleaned excessively while high.

Because of the ingredients used in methamphetamine production and its severe side effects, most people can’t understand its appeal. Police say a methamphetamine high can last up to 16 hours, significantly longer than an hour-long cocaine or marijuana high.

Flores noted that it only takes one high for a person to become addicted to methamphetamine. He said that after the high there is a crash, which is exhibited by severe depression, fatigue, and irritability.

To suppress the unpleasant symptoms, individuals use more and more of the drug, leading to rapid addiction.

http://www.uvaldeleadernews.com/node/3076

A passenger on a commercial bus was recently arrested for attempting to smuggle methamphetamine through the Interstate 35 checkpoint, records state.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday states Francisco Guerrero, 30, tried smuggling 8.50 pounds of meth through the checkpoint. He was charged with possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

On Sunday, Guerrero was a passenger on board a Turimex Internacional bus. At the I-35 checkpoint, an agent allegedly recognized him and a woman from a previous encounter a few days earlier.

http://www.lmtonline.com/front-news/article_01f888b0-3d62-11e5-940f-cb730ff976bd.html

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office arrested a woman parked in a church lot with stolen license plates and meth on Thursday.TAMMY+GAGNON+MCSO+PHOTO+080615

Deputies saw a suspicious vehicle parked in a Clifton church’s parking lot at around 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

When contacted, 48-year-old Tammy Gagnon of Grand Junction told deputies she didn’t have a valid driver’s license and that the plates on her car were stolen.

She was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, driving a vehicle under suspension, operating an uninsured vehicle, and two felony counts of introduction of contraband (into the jail).

http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Woman-with-meth-arrested-in-church-parking-lot-320931731.html

PARIS, Texas — Two Paris parents face child endangerment charges after investigators say a toddler tested positive for meth.

Billy Naylor, 28, and Dana Naylor, 30, were both arrested yesterday afternoon at their residence off Clarksville Street.080615+meeeeeeth

Detectives say the investigation began from a report received by Child Protective Services.

“The case was initiated by a CPS intake,” Paris Police Detective Chris Bean said. They received information that there were drugs being used in the home. They initiated an investigation. As a result of that investigation, a child under the age of two was found to test positive for methamphetamine. “

Police say the child has been removed from the parents’ custody.

http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/Toddler-tests-positive-for-meth–320977821.html

ABILENE, Texas – It is one of the largest drug crimes that the Abilene Police Department deals with, and methamphetamine use is on the rise.

Meth doesn’t only affect those who smoke — it is breaking up families.

“Right now, Abilene is leading the state for forceful removal of children from our homes [by Child Protective Services] because there’s a direct nexus with drugs,” said Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge.

According to police, there have been more than 30 meth cases this year with many cases still open. That number is expected to rise.

Lynn Maxwell started smoking meth when she was 20, but now she is clean. As a nurse at the Serenity House, Maxwell helps others find sobriety.

“[Meth] is cheap, it’s a quick high and once you start, it’s so addictive it takes over,” Maxwell said.

“It’s an epidemic.”

According to police, the meth is manufactured in Mexico and then brought across the border. Police said that drug runners utilize main highways such as I-20 to move the drugs across Texas.

“It’s a problem not a lot of us know is there until it comes up and hits you right between the eyes,” Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls said. “That’s what happened with methamphetamine.”

Bolls said one case involved a child who tested positive for meth when her parents smoked it in the same room, something Maxwell said she has regretfully done with her grandson.

“That is probably the greatest guilt and shame was exposing that child,” Maxwell said. “It’s rough — putting him in such great danger — and you do not even think about those things. You just do it.”

Maxwell has now realized that none of it was worth it.

“My worst day clean is 100 percent better than my best day high.”

In order to combat the increase in CPS cases dealing with meth, the Abilene District Attorney’s Office requested an additional employee to help handle the case load.

http://www.ktxs.com/news/meth-abuse-in-abilene-leads-to-increase-in-cps-caseload/34586904

DESTIN – A 29-year-old woman is accused of having methamphetamine in her purse.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a Destin store on July 21 around 10:15 a.m., according to the arrest report. The storeowner said two people were in the store who had previously stolen items.Jacklyn Suzanne Stacey

She pointed out the two, Jacklyn Suzanne Stacey and a man, the report said. Stacey was crouched at a rotating display with her bag open between her legs.

Deputies asked Stacey to step outside and she agreed, according to the report. Investigation found that the man with her was not the man involved in the previous theft.

Deputies asked Stacey if she had anything in her bag that had been stolen while in the store, the report said. Stacey said she did not and told deputies they could search the bag if they wanted to.

While looking in the bag, deputies noticed a Crown Royal bag that they believed could have held jewelry from the display Stacey had been crouched in front of, according to the report. Deputies saw a small plastic bag with what they believed was methamphetamine inside the bag.

Stacey “quickly grabbed” the bag from them, stating “I use that for my face,” and then said deputies no longer had permission to search, the report said. She was detained and the substance was identified as methamphetamine.

After being arrested, Stacey said she’d found the bag on the side of the road while walking from the beach, according to the report. She allegedly said she’d found it on the corner of Mountain Drive and Marler Drive, then said it was around Harbor Boulevard.

She then said she had through that the substance in the bag was beach sand, the report said.

She is charged with possession of a controlled substance.

She is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 8.

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/article/20150806/NEWS/150809620/16024/NEWS

A man accused of cooking methamphetamine threw its explosive ingredients at narcotics agents while trying to escape arrest in Coker Thursday morning.

Sergeant Alex Miles, the spokesman for the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, said police were called to a home on Roberts Road in Coker early Thursday morning to investigate reports of a meth lab in the area.18488466-mmmain

Sheriff’s deputies and agents of the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force responded, and entered the home after smelling the strong chemical odor typically associated with making meth.

A woman was arrested inside, and a man ran out of the house’s back door trying to evade arrest. Miles said the man, Dewey Coley, “threw an active meth lab at narcotics agents” in his attempt to escape

Miles said it could have caused a dangerous, toxic explosion, but no one was hurt and Coley was taken into custody shortly after.

“If it were to bust open and moisture were to make contact with the lithium strips inside, it would ignite the flammable materials (fuel oil and ammonium nitrate) causing an explosion,” he said.

Agents found and seized 75 grams of methamphetamine oil, meth pipes, syringes and several items and ingredients used in the manufacture of the drug.

Coley 38, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and tampering with physical evidence. His bond was set at $211,000.

The woman, 33-year-old Jennifer Roberts Taylor, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance. Her bond was set at $100,000.

http://www.al.com/news/tuscaloosa/index.ssf/2015/08/tuscaloosa_sheriff_meth_cook_t.html

A 33-year-old San Angelo woman was arrested on drug charges after a San Angelo police K9 alerted officers to narcotics inside her vehicle just before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Christy Jackson was charged with 2nd Degree Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance on August 4, 2015 after police retrieved methamphetamine that was partially concealed inside a void in her vehicle’s door.christy-jackson-jail

San Angelo police K9 Dog Vader. (Contributed/SAPD)Prior to Jackson’s arrest, Patrol Officer Tony Dietz had been searching for a reckless driver in a red truck that had several items in the truck bed when he observed a vehicle that matched the description pull into a parking lot in the 300 block of W 14th street. Officer Dietz went to investigate and detained the truck’s driver, later identified as Jackson, for not having a front license plate.

During the detention, Officers observed something suspicious inside a void where a door handle was missing and requested assistance from a Police K9 Team. SAPD K9 Sergeant Chris Cimino and Police Service Dog Vader responded to the request. Vader conducted a “Sniff” search and alerted Officers to the door and they retrieved a small bag that contained suspected methamphetamine. The contents field-tested positive for methamphetamine and weighed approximately 3 grams.

Jackson was transported to the Tom Green County jail without incident.

http://sanangelolive.com/news/crime/2015-08-05/police-san-angelo-woman-caught-3-grams-meth

Multiple methamphetamine labs were found in a home in the 2900 block of Lexington Road where two people were arrested, according to a Madison Sheriff’s Department arrest citation.55c3be992086d_image

A deputy was dispatched to the residence after a report of drug activity. When the door was opened by a woman who claimed to be a resident, the deputy noticed a spoon with residue on the table in plain view, the citation stated.

“Everyone was removed from the residence,” and a search warrant was obtained.

Numerous spoons with white residue and liquid were found among “numerous” labs that included all the components to manufacture methamphetamine, the citation stated.

Roy S. Johnson, 41, was arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine (second offense or more) and first-degree methamphetamine possession. Johnson also was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine in April.55c3be99efa2f_image

Diana Shanks, 30, was arrested on a warrant charging her with second-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking ($500 or more but less than $10,000), and third-degree criminal mischief. Online jail records indicate she is also facing charges of with manufacturing methamphetamine (first offense) and first-degree methamphetamine possession.

Shanks and Johnson were taken to the detention center where they remained Thursday afternoon, according to online records.

http://www.richmondregister.com/news/multiple-meth-labs-found-in-lexington-road-home/article_217c5f00-3c76-11e5-bcf0-2b905c7928ec.html

CONOVER – A three month investigation led to police charging a woman with selling methamphetamine in a Conover Wal-Mart parking lot Wednesday, officials said.55c3ceedd258c_image

Autumn Dawn Buckland, 34, of Iron Station, was charged with one count of maintaining a place for a controlled substance, four counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, one count of conspiring to sell methamphetamine, one count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver methamphetamine, one count of failure to appear for driving while impaired, and one count of reckless driving to endanger, according to the Catawba County Who’s In Jail database.

She was given a $101,500 secured bond.

Another man was charged with a drug trafficking crime as part of the same investigation, Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Jason Reid said.55c3ceb5035a6_image

Terrell Jerome Fisher II, 35, of Charlotte, was charged with one count of resisting a public officer and one count of conspiring to traffic methamphetamine, according to the Catawba County Who’s In Jail database.

He was given a $16,000 secured bond.

The Catawba County Drug Task Force, which is comprised of narcotics investigators from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Maiden Police Department, and Department of Homeland Security, began investigating methamphetamine trafficking in the Catawba County area in May, Reid said.

“Our drug task force was able to infiltrate an organization which has been trafficking methamphetamine through the greater Hickory and Conover area,” Reid said. “We were able to introduce an undercover officer who has made multiple purchases from individuals within this group.”

Investigators were dispatched to Wal-Mart at 201 Zelkova Court NW in Conover at approximately 5 p.m. Wednesday in reference to methamphetamine being sold there, Reid said.

When officers arrived, they observed Buckland selling methamphetamine in the parking lot at Wal-Mart, Reid said.

After seizing more than $2,000 that was on Buckland, officers arrested her, Reid said.

Investigators then met with Hickory Police Department officers, who assisted them with the methamphetamine trafficking investigation.

“Due to our great working relationship with the Hickory Police Department, we were not only able to arrest a trafficker of methamphetamine, but we were also able to identify and arrest their supplier,” Reid said.

After meeting, Catawba County Drug Task Force investigators and Hickory Police officers found Fisher at about 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Quality Suites Convention Center at 1125 13th Ave. Drive SE in Hickory.

In total, officers seized 39 grams of methamphetamine from the suspects, Reid said.

http://www.hickoryrecord.com/news/police-shut-down-meth-trafficking-in-walmart-parking-lot/article_368c6e80-3c80-11e5-9d61-235efdc3f016.html

ANGOLA, Ind. (WANE) Conservation officers collected more than 25 trash bags filled with materials to make methamphetamine in Pigeon Creek, which is in southwest Steuben County.user31863-1438879633-media2-e1438882935472

Officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department made the discovery Sunday afternoon and helped remove the trash bags.

Investigators said meth labs and materials to make meth were dumped into the creek late Saturday night or early Sunday. The creek is between Golden Lake and Hogback Lake. Officers believe the bags may have been dumped from the CR 450 W bridge.user31863-1438879636-media3-e1438882922191

The DNR urges the public to be very careful when coming across suspicious containers or trash. The manufacture of methamphetamine involves chemicals which can be very harmful when coming in contact with them. If anyone sees something that appears to be a meth lab or trash containing materials used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, do not touch the items, contact authorities immediately.

This incident remains under investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the DNR at 812-837-9256.

http://wane.com/2015/08/06/dozens-of-trash-bags-filled-after-meth-labs-dumped-in-river/

A woman, 35, and her unborn child have died from an apparent drug overdose.

Astoria Police responded to the Rivershore Motel for a report of an unconscious woman who had reportedly overdosed. The woman, Torae Shufelt of Astoria, was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead along with her unborn child.

An investigation continues into the circumstances of Shufelt and the baby’s death.

An autopsy has been scheduled with the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office in Portland Friday.

Arrested in connection with the death was Lacey Saranpaa, 19, of Astoria, for delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. Police believe there are other people who have knowledge of or were involved in circumstances leading to Shufelt’s death.

Deputy Chief Eric Halverson said, “What makes this death particularly tragic, is the loss of both a mother and her unborn child. We will continue to investigate to determine the exact cause of her death.”

Anyone who had recent contact with Shufelt or has additional information are asked to contact Detective Nicole Riley or Detective Thomas Litwin at the Astoria Police Department at 503-325-4411 or by email at nriley@astoria.or.us or tlitwin@astoria.or.us.

http://www.dailyastorian.com/Free/20150805/astoria-woman-unborn-child-die-from-possible-overdose

Walhalla – Two Walhalla women are charged with possession of narcotics.

Kristen Hope Carter, 21, of Snead Road, was arrested Wednesday when two deputies responded to a shoplifting KristinHopeCarter_22344009_ver1_0_640_480LindsayRebeccaEades_22344010_ver1_0_640_480report at the Seneca Wal-Mart on Sandifer Boulevard, according to an Oconee County Sheriff’s Office statement.

One of the deputies searched Carter’s purse while the other deputy found Carter’s car in the parking lot. The authorities found marijuana, 58 grams of methamphetamine and prescription pills in her purse, according to the Sheriff’s Office statement.

Carter is charged with possession of a controlled substance, shoplifting, trafficking in methamphetamine and simple possession of marijuana.

One of the three passengers in her car, Lindsay Rebecca Eades, 22, of Playground Road, admitted to having a syringe of methamphetamine, according to the Sheriff’s Office statement. Eades is charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Eades and Carter remained in custody Wednesday afternoon at the Oconee County Detention Center. A $25,000 bond was set for Eades, and no bond was set for Carter.

http://www.independentmail.com/news/two-walhalla-women-arrested-in-seneca_18170000

MIDLAND, TX – Two people were arrested Sunday on federal charges after they were caught operating a methamphetamine lab in a Midland hotel, officials said.

Patrick Bonar and Hailey Walston allegedly had a “homegrown meth recipe,” chemicals used in manufacturing the 8497265_Gdrug, unknown liquids undergoing a chemical reaction in plastic containers and other suspicious materials in their room at the Residence Inn on Deauxville Boulevard, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) representatives.

The two are currently charged with knowingly and intentionally possessing chemicals, equipment and materials which may be used to manufacture a controlled substance. If lab tests detect any amount of methamphetamine in the containers seized from their hotel room, officials said, charges will be upgraded to manufacturing the narcotic.

Midland Police reportedly uncovered the operation when they were investigating Bonar for a non-related criminal offense.

“They immediately contacted us and DEA agents determined the evidence was consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine,” said Dante Sorianello, the DEA’s resident agent in charge of Midland. “This is reminiscent of what used to be referred to as ‘tweeker labs.’ The size and scale of this operation would have been for personal use, with maybe just a little bit extra to sell to other individuals.”

This marks the first time in more than seven and a half years the DEA has busted a meth lab in Midland, he added.

According to Sorianello, meth abuse and trafficking are more common than manufacturing in West Texas.

“I would say 99 percent of the meth we see here is manufactured in ‘super labs’ across the border in Mexico,” he explained.

It’s unclear when Bonar and Walston checked into the Residence Inn or began mixing their chemical concoctions. Representatives for the Marriott-owned hotel could not be reached for comment.

Other guests reported noticing nothing out of the ordinary during their stay.

“I had no idea,” Mike Russell told NewsWest 9. “From what I’ve seen, it seems like any other hotel.”

Officials detected fumes coming from the couple’s equipment, Sorianello said, and evacuated surrounding rooms as a precaution. He confirmed no injuries, fires or explosions were reported as a result of the meth operation.

“You can create toxic fumes, flash fires [and] chemical spills with homegrown meth recipes,” said Sorianello. “If you’re doing it in a hotel instead of a [secluded location such as a] barn, other people who are not involved in any of this have the potential to be injured.”

http://www.newswest9.com/story/29721566/couple-arrested-for-running-meth-lab-in-midland-hotel-room

One of two men charged in connection with last month’s home invasion, rape and fatal bludgeoning of a 64-year-old California woman was in the U.S. illegally and on probation, the News-Press has learned.

Victor Aureliano Martinez Ramirez, 29, who is charged along with Jose Fernando Villagomez, 20, in the July 24 attack in Santa Maria, Calif., was on probation for committing battery against an unidentified woman on May 22, sbsuspects2014, while in possession of methamphetamine. He was charged twice this year for violating probation, once for possessing a concealed knife and the other for drugs, but a Santa Barbara judge allowed him to enter a substance abuse center in Santa Maria in lieu of jail. According to County Jail officials, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to issue an immigration detainer that would have required local authorities to hold him for deportation.

Police say Marilyn Pharis was beaten with a hammer and sexually assaulted in the morning attack, and died later at a local hospital. An autopsy was set for Thursday.

Ramirez fled, but was tracked from the scene by a police dog to a nearby home, according to authorities.

Ramirez pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, first-degree burglary, and assault with intent to commit rape. Those charges could be upgraded to murder following Pharis’ death. He was being held on $1 million bail.

Villagomez was booked Tuesday into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of sexual assault and attempted murder. He was already behind bars after a July 28 arrest over a probation violation.

In May, Villagomez allegedly committed battery against Miguel Angel Romero and was found in possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation June 17 and was also allowed to enter a drug treatment center in Santa Maria.

Both men will next appear in court on Aug. 13. The autopsy findings could result in murder charges against both.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/08/06/illegal-immigrant-held-in-rape-murder-california-woman-was-on-probation/

A call to a Campti disturbance resulted in the arrest of a 26-year-old man and the recovery of about 59 grams of crystal meth, other drugs and three firearms, according to a release.Sylvestor Jermaine Millage

The disturbance call was received on Thursday afternoon from the 100 block of Cherry Drive and, because “of the nature of the disturbance call,” Natchitoches SWAT was placed on standby, according to a release from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force agents also responded.

Deputies soon had the situation under control, but reported that they had seen suspected marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside a residence. Agents with the task force were granted a search warrant from the 10th Judicial District Court.635743825851549212-IMG-0101-2-1

The search revealed the crystal meth with a potential street value of more than $6,000, 25 hydrocodone pills, marijuana, a SKS rifle with a loaded 30-round clip, two 12-gauge pump-action shotguns and drug paraphernalia, according to the release.

Arrested was Sylvestor Jermaine Millage, who lives on Sherry Circle in Campti. Millage was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center and was charged with simple battery, two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance II with intent to distribute, one count of possession of marijuana, two counts of second or subsequent offenses (related to previous CDS II conviction), three counts of illegal possession of firearms during a felony narcotics office, one count of criminal obstruction of justice and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The simple battery charge stems from Millage allegedly hitting a woman during the disturbance, according to the release. He remains in jail on a $95,000 bond.

“Agents believe the narcotics was intended for distribution in the north Natchitoches Parish area,” reads the release.

http://www.thetowntalk.com/story/news/2015/08/05/campti-man-charged-after-search-finds-59-grams-of-meth/31170715/

30-year-old Savannah Helene Underwood of Fallview Drive in Boone was arrested Wednesday (August 5) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of e8b913d3733088cffd6a267b42ba2334_Smethamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Underwood was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $100,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Thursday, August 6).

http://www.whky.com/archive/item/7515-watauga-county-woman-arrested-on-multiple-drug-charges-in-caldwell-county#.VcPGUGtRGUl

35-year-old Terrell Jerome Fisher of Ten Point Drive in Charlotte and 34-year-old Autumn Dawn Buckland of Highway 73 in Iron Station were both arrested Wednesday (August 5) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. Fisher is charged with conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, Buckland is charged with the following meth-related counts, 52de2b00f0de76167c59394bff2b4352_Strafficking by possession, trafficking by transportation, trafficking by sale, trafficking by delivery, conspiracy to traffic, possession with intent to sell and deliver meth, and maintaining a vehicle for the purpose of sale and delivery of meth.

Investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office along with narcotic investigators with the Hickory Police Department arrested the two suspects at the conclusion of an investigation into trafficking methamphetamine into Catawba County. The investigation had been ongoing since May of this year.

According to a news release from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Buckland was arrested in the parking lot of Wal-Mart in Conover after investigators saw her taking part in a methamphetamine transaction. During the arrest, More than $2,000 in U.S. currency was found in Buckland’s possession. Following that arrest, officers went to Hickory and met with Hickory Police Department narcotic investigators. They then arrested Fisher at the Quality Inn on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard.

Officers also seized approximately 39 grams of methamphetamine during the two arrests. Buckland was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $101,500 secured bond. Fisher’s bond was set at $16,000 secured. Both suspects are scheduled to appear in District Court Friday (August 7).

http://www.whky.com/archive/item/7518-two-arrested-following-investigation-into-meth-trafficking#.VcPFA2tRGUl

Two men were arrested and about $100,000 worth of drugs were seized in searches early Wednesday at homes in Waco and Woodway, Waco police said.

55c28c5245c81_image55c28c5253f6b_image

Waco and Woodway SWAT officers served the search warrants about 5 a.m. at homes in the 2400 block of McFerrin Aveneue and the 8800 block of Whippoorwill Drive, respectively.

The raids were related to the same Waco investigation, but Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton would not disclose more information about the connection.

Swanton said Woodway assisted so the raids could occur simultaneously.

Between the two homes, officers found and seized 3.35 pounds of high-quality methamphetamine, valued at about $100,000; 19 grams of marijuana; $3,725 in cash; four vehicles; digital scales; and other miscellaneous items, Swanton said.

Michael Moreno, 32, was arrested in Woodway at the Whippoorwill home, and Manuel Puente, 33, was arrested at the home on McFerrin.

Both men were charged with possession of methamphetamine and taken to the McLennan County Jail.

Drug Enforcement Administration officers and McLennan County sheriff’s officials helped search both homes, Swanton said.

Moreno remained jailed on a $250,000 bond Wednesday evening, while Puente remained jailed in lieu of a $258,000 bond.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/police/police-seize-of-methamphetamine-in-waco-woodway-drug-raids/article_b3a4c75d-29d3-5c01-b11e-ce1ba7b7de5f.html

Confronting the narcoterrorism nexus

Posted: 6th August 2015 by Doc in Uncategorized

U.S. officials worry that a confluence of powerful drug-trafficking cartels, terrorist groups and an insecure southern border poses a strategic threat.

MIAMI – On a recent morning, Gen. John Kelly sat in his spacious office at U.S. Southern Command headquarters, a sprawling complex on the outskirts of Miami with a staff of more than 1,200 people. A tall and lanky Marine with a pronounced accent from his native Boston, Kelly is one of the few officers ever to rise from the enlisted ranks all the way to four-star general. Looking out the windows, he interrupted a discussion with a journalist to point to a civilian airliner banking toward the headquarters.

“Look, he’s not supposed to be on that flight path,” Kelly said, watching the aircraft until it disappeared from view. He then cracked a joke. But as a veteran of multiple combat tours and the commander of an organization tasked with helping to counter some of the most powerful and violent criminal cartels and terrorist groups in the world, it never hurts to stay alert.

Southcom is one of the smaller and most under-resourced of the U.S. military’s geographic commands, in large part because its area of responsibility is Latin America, a vast region of 31 countries and more than 475 million people that is nevertheless often an afterthought for U.S. officials preoccupied with higher-priority crises, like Syria or Ukraine. Nor does it help that Southcom’s primary mission involves some of the most intractable problems the U.S. government has faced, including long and unsuccessful “wars” on drugs and terror and an inability to secure the southern U.S. border.

And yet, in the news of any given week, Southcom officials see a threat matrix that has a direct impact on the lives of millions of Americans. The public recently learned, for instance, that Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the world’s most notorious drug lord, had escaped from a maximum-security prison in Mexico for the second time. Governors and mayors across the country have recently begun warning of an unanticipated heroin epidemic that has seen the number of heroin-related deaths in the U.S. nearly quadruple. Time magazine recently reported that tiny El Salvador is now on track to replace little Honduras as the world’s most murderous country outside a declared war zone. Peace talks between Colombia and the FARC narcoterrorist insurgent group are reportedly on the brink of collapse. Argentines remain transfixed by an ongoing investigation into the mysterious death earlier this year of that country’s best-known prosecutor, who was found with a bullet in his head after building a case that Iran’s terrorist proxy Hezbollah was behind the long-ago bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, and his government knew about it.

In the news of any given week, Southcom officials see a threat matrix that has a direct impact on the lives of millions of Americans.

The linkages between those seemingly unrelated stories are easily missed in a frenetic news cycle, but Southcom officials are paid to connect the dots. Though a military command that is officially responsible for monitoring and detecting drug trafficking and supporting U.S. law enforcement operations in the region, Southcom is also an operational and analytic hub for U.S. counterdrug and counterterrorism activities in Latin America. Its headquarters includes more than 30 representatives from U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, as well as liaisons from their law enforcement counterparts in numerous Latin American countries.

Southcom officials know that the Sinaloa cartel leader “El Chapo” Guzmán’s escape from a Mexican supermax prison speaks to the enduring strength and reach of major Mexican drug-trafficking organizations. The current heroin epidemic in the United States is an outgrowth of the American public’s voracious appetite for illegal drugs, which sustains a $650-billion-a-year business. The Mexican cartels who fight over that lucrative market are largely responsible for the deaths of more than 120,000 Mexicans estimated to have been killed in drug violence over the past decade. The tactical alliances those transnational criminal organizations have with brutal street gangs like Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 along the smuggling pipeline helps explain why eight of the 10 most violent countries in the world are in Latin America.

Perhaps most worrisome, Southcom officials know that the nexus of violent drug cartels, transnational smuggling organizations and terrorist groups in Latin America continues to sustain terrorist hybrids such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Peru’s Shining Path, and to attract extremist groups like Iran’s shadowy terrorist proxy Lebanese Hezbollah, which has long had a presence in the region, due in part to a large Lebanese diaspora in Latin America. That nexus represents the dangerous and rapidly evolving threat of narcoterrorism.

“I’m paid to worry about worst-case scenarios, but to me if a known terrorist group is doing business with a known illicit smuggling network, that amounts to convergence, and we’re seeing it in my area of operations,” Kelly said in an interview. The organizations may not share the same motives or ideology, he noted, and if a terrorist group announced that it wanted to ship a load of anthrax or some other weapon of mass destruction to the United States, a smuggling cartel would probably consider it bad for business.

“But these illicit smuggling networks don’t check passports or do baggage checks, and they involve thousands of unscrupulous subcontractors who are interested in money, not motive,” said Kelly. “So if we don’t care about a heroin epidemic or illicit drugs from Latin America that kill 40,000 Americans on average each year, or the fact that these cartels are corrupting and intimidating the governments of our neighbors with illicit money and violence, then we should at least care about these brutally efficient smuggling networks that reach deep inside the United States. ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] often talks about that vulnerability on their websites.”

An evolving threat

The nexus of terrorism and powerful drug-smuggling cartels is not new, nor is it hypothetical. In the 1990s, the U.S. joined in Colombia’s fight against Pablo Escobar’s Medellín cartel, a hyper-violent drug cartel that turned to terror in its fight against Colombian authorities, routinely bombing police buildings, assassinating judges and politicians and even blowing up a civilian airliner in flight. Colombia’s successful fracturing of the Medellín and Cali cartels in the 1990s had the unintended consequence of creating a vacuum in the lucrative drug trade. That vacuum was eventually filled by Mexican cartels and Colombia’s FARC, which morphed from a Marxist insurgency relying on terrorist tactics into primarily a drug production and trafficking organization. Now under pressure from the Mexican and Colombian governments, those groups are fracturing once again, forming new alliances and seeking sanctuary in weak or more permissive countries like Venezuela and Bolivia, where the government has expelled the U.S. ambassador and the Drug Enforcement Agency representative.

“The Mexican cartels are definitely fragmenting like the Colombian cartels before them, and in that reordering we are seeing more contact between transnational criminal organizations and terrorist groups, though the overlap remains relatively small,” said John Donnelly, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent assigned to Southcom. “I asked an intelligence analyst recently about the connection between transnational criminal organizations in the region and terrorist groups like Hezbollah, which is certainly present in Latin America. His reply was, ‘Define connection.’ Both terrorist and smuggling groups swim in the same pool and use some of the same services, such as money laundering. That connection exists, but it’s not an ideological connection.”

In the post-9/11 era, the most resilient al-Qaida franchises and terrorist groups have survived the United States’ “global war on terror” by constantly adapting to the pressure. In that Darwinian landscape, many groups responded to the Treasury Department’s increased scrutiny of their funding sources by turning to the drug trade or other independent streams of money, such as kidnapping and extortion. According to DEA statistics, nearly 40 percent of the State Department’s designated terrorist groups are now involved in drug trafficking.

Until recently Derek Maltz was in charge of the DEA’s Special Operations Division. “The model that has long concerned us is the FARC in Colombia, which evolved from a terrorist insurgency into primarily a sophisticated drug-trafficking organization because at some point they realized the money was easy,” he said. “Now we’re seeing that same phenomenon repeated around the world, with terrorist groups getting involved in drug trafficking because the money is good. That’s been the case with the Afghan Taliban, al-Shabab in Somalia, the Kurdish PKK terrorist group in Iraq and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Because of this nexus of narcotics and terrorism, we can’t just focus on an extremist group’s terrorist activities anymore. We have to also go after its money-laundering and funding streams, its arms and drug smuggling, its logistics infrastructure. We have to go after the whole network.”

A hybrid threat

The connective tissue between those terror, drug cartel and smuggling networks makes narcoterrorism a potent threat. For instance, in 2011 an Iranian operative named Mansour Arbabsiar with dual Iranian and American citizenship approached an extremely violent Mexican drug cartel with a murder-for-hire proposal. Arbabsiar was working for the Iranian military, and he proposed that a cartel hit man assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States by bombing a popular restaurant in Washington, D.C., that the ambassador frequented. The risk of being tied to a violent drug cartel and a mass-casualty terrorist attack in the heart of the nation’s capital did not deter Iranian military officials. Luckily, and only by chance, the individual Arbabsiar approached was a DEA informant, and the plot was thwarted.

According to DEA statistics, nearly 40 percent of the State Department’s designated terrorist groups are now involved in drug trafficking.

In another instance the same year, DEA agents in Guatemala intercepted a shipment of cocaine and $20 million tied to the hyperviolent Mexican cartel Los Zetas. In a wide-ranging conspiracy investigation, the DEA discovered that the drug shipment was part of a smuggling network that moved product from South America to Europe via West Africa. The profits were then laundered through the Lebanese Canadian Bank, which scrubbed the money in part by financing a string of used-car dealerships in the United States. The ultimate benefactor of the proceeds was Hezbollah. The U.S. Treasury Department ultimately shutdown the Lebanese Canadian Bank by exposing its links to Hezbollah and sanctioning it under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

“In that case you had cocaine being moved by Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel generating profits passed through a Canadian-Lebanese money-laundering bank to the Hezbollah terrorist group, which has killed a lot of Americans,” said Maltz. In that sense the case resembled the DEA’s arrest of Afghan heroin kingpins Khan Mohammed and Haji Juma Khan, both of whom shipped heroin to the United States and used the profits to arm the Afghan Taliban for their fight with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

The investigation of the Lebanese Canadian Bank was just one of a number of cases suggesting that Africa is the next destination where drug trafficking and terrorism are converging. “If you’re a South American businessman involved in drug trafficking, why wouldn’t you ship your product through West Africa, where governments are weak and you are much less likely to encounter U.S. law enforcement, and on to Europe, where you can get a much higher price on the street?” said Maltz. “It’s a no-brainer, which is why we think Africa is going to be the next Afghanistan in terms of a hub of narcoterrorism.”

The ability of hybrid narcoterrorist groups in Latin America to corrupt and undermine governments as far away as Africa was revealed in a 2012 case involving Guinea-Bissau. One of the world’s poorest nations, Guinea-Bissau had already been dubbed Africa’s first “narco-state” because so many of its top military and civilian leaders were on the payrolls of drug cartels. As a hub for transshipment and a marketplace where drug proceeds could be traded for arms, the nation had attracted representatives of Hezbollah, FARC and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. In 2012, DEA sources posing as Latin American drug traffickers approached Guinea-Bissau Naval Admiral José Américo Na Tchuto, who agreed to help store and transship two tons of cocaine. Admiral Na Tchuto also agreed to supply advanced weapons to the FARC narcoterrorist group as part of the deal, including surface-to-air missiles.

“To close the deal, we took a beautiful big yacht and parked it in international waters just off the coast of Guinea-Bissau and sent a motor skiff into shore to bring Admiral Na Tchuto and his co-conspirators out to the yacht to ‘celebrate’ the deal,” said Maltz. “And then we arrested them in international waters.”

An existential threat

Despite the rapidly evolving threat of narcoterrorism in Latin America, Southcom has struggled with shrinking budgets and an acute lack of drug interdiction and surveillance assets. As a result, its counterdrug task force was able to respond only roughly 25 percent of the time last year even when suspected drug traffickers were detected. Meanwhile, the State Department has supported a Central American Regional Security Initiative to help weak Central American countries cope with the violence and instability engendered by predatory trafficking cartels and tens of thousands of gang members, many of them forcibly deported veterans of the L.A. gang wars. And yet the initiative failed to stop a wave of nearly 70,000 immigrant minors that swept up on the Southwest border last year trying to escape the violence.

At that time, Gen. John Kelly made headlines by calling the confluence of terrorism, violent drug cartels, collapsing societies and out-of-control migration an “existential” threat. He stands by that assessment.

“There have been notable successes in this region, such as Colombia’s fight against FARC, which has really lost strength and influence, but I continue to be concerned about this convergence between known terrorist organizations and illicit smuggling and money-laundering networks,” said Kelly. “There are those in the intelligence community who take the view that it is not a major threat and argue that those groups will never find common cause. I think those who take that view are simply trying to rationalize away the problem because no one wants to raise another major threat at a time when we face so many around the world.”

http://news.yahoo.com/confronting-the-narcoterrorism-nexus-181859104.html

HAYFIELD TOWNSHIP — Two Meadville area residents are facing charges in connection with manufacturing methamphetamine in Hayfield Township, according to Pennsylvania State Police at Meadville.

Courtesy CrawfordCrawford County

Police said Frank H. Albaugh, 51, and Renae L. Attenborough, 46, were found making methamphetamine just after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday off a gas well access road near West Cole Road.

The state police Troop E clandestine lab response team identified an undisclosed number of alleged methamphetamine labs and collected and processed evidence, police said.

http://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/police-say-meth-labs-found-at-hayfield-township-gas-well/article_efb9e132-3b75-11e5-ae1c-2b0041755bb6.html

A Smithville man was arrested for possession of drugs for resale and statutory rape on consecutive days in July.

Thomas Braxton Nix, 20, was charged with possession of a Schedule II drug for resale (methamphetamine), possession of a Schedule VI drug for resale (marijuana), possession of a Schedule IV drug for resale (Alprazolam), and possession of a Schedule III drug for resale (Hydrocodone) on July 20. In a separate incident, Nix was also charged with statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl on July 21.Lomas

According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, a sheriff’s department detective made a traffic stop on a red Grand Am on July 20 after observing the car weaving on Highway 70 east. He stopped the vehicle on Terrell Road, and as he approached the car, the lawman saw that the Nix was moving around inside the vehicle as the he approached it.

The officer asked Nix to get out of the vehicle, and when he left the driver’s seat the detective saw a cellophane pack with four alprazolam pills inside. After Nix gave consent for a search of his person, the detective spotted a small piece of “ICE” (methamphetamine) baggie containing “ICE” was found on the ground and behind the vehicle.

Inside of Nix’s wallet the officer allegedly found 17 Hydrocodone pills. During a search of the vehicle, the detective also found a bag containing two Mason jars. One of the jars was full of marijuana, and the other had two marijuana buds.

Two digital scales, several baggies, and a marijuana shredder were also found in the bag. Nix was reportedly in possession of 23.4 grams of meth, 2.66 ounces of marijuana, four Alprazolam pills, and 17 hydrocodone pills along with $853 cash. Nix was arrested and allegedly admitted to selling meth.

Then, on July 21, Ray said Nix had statutory rape added to his charges. The man was arrested by another sheriff’s detective for the sexual penetration of a 14-year-old female at a County House Road residence.

His bonds total $300,000, and he will appear in court on Aug. 27.

http://www.smithvillereview.com/section/1/article/8361/

MERIDIAN, Idaho – A 23-year-old man has been arrested after a woman reported being attacked by a naked man at a Meridian convenience store.

The assault was reported about 6 a.m. Monday. The woman says a naked man attacked her when she entered the women’s restroom.

Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea says witnesses were able to describe the unclothed assailant and police searched the area. A suspect was found who matches the descriptions of the naked man, though the he was clothed at the time of arrest.

The man was taken to a local hospital after officers determined he was under the influence of methamphetamine. He was later booked into the Ada County Jail on suspicion of battery with intent to commit a serious felony.

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Woman-reports-attack-by-naked-man-in-Meridian-store/34525032

SANTA ANAMeth sometimes leads to monkey business.

A shirtless man covered with mud and claiming to be Tarzan was arrested Tuesday morning after he was found swinging from the trees and trying to get into a monkey pen at the Santa Ana Zoo, police said. He was found to be in possession and under the influence of methamphetamine.nskzmj-zoo_0804

At around 10:30 a.m., officers were called to the zoo at 1801 E. Chestnut St. by an employee reporting a disturbance, said Cmdr. Jeffrey Smith of the Santa Ana Police Department.

When officers arrived they found that the disturbance was 37-year-old John William Rodenborn.

“He was trying to get into some of the monkey enclosures,” Smith said.

Zoo director Kent Yamaguchi said Rodenborn jumped over the safety fence that prevents people from going into the exhibits.

“We do have training for if animals ever come out of their cages, but we haven’t had people trying to go into the cages.”

Rodenborn, who police said was a local transient, tried to run off when confronted by the officers but was quickly captured.

He was arrested for possession of methamphetamine. Smith said he would be issued a citation and was to be released Tuesday. Court records show Rodenborn has previously pleaded guilty to being under the influence of drugs and burglary charges.

The park was open at the time of the debacle but authorities said Rodenborn did not disrupt park activities or patrons.

Yamaguchi said the monkeys weren’t disturbed nor were their cages damaged.

The zoo is famous for its unique rule regarding primates. The land for the zoo was donated by Joseph Edward Prentice in 1952 on the condition that it house at least 50 monkeys at all times, Yamaguchi said.

“It has to be non-human primates,” he said. “(Rodenborn) would not have counted.”

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/rodenborn-675877-zoo-trying.html

An Athens man has been formally charged with arson and manufacturing methamphetamine in connection with an alleged meth-lab explosion at his parents’ home in August 2014, records show.

A Limestone County grand jury recently indicted Jeffery Scott Carter, 42, of 502 Brownsferry St., on charges three 5417661edc0e2_imagecharges — third-degree arson, a misdemeanor; one count of first-degree manufacturing a controlled substance, a felony; and one count of second-degree manufacturing a controlled substance.

Athens Police initially arrested Carter Sept. 11, 2014, on two warrants stemming from an Aug. 21 fire at the home of Carter’s parents at 104 Suffield St., Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said at the time.

“The investigation into the fire lead investigators to believe Carter had a meth lab in operation when it blew up causing the fire,” Johnson said. “The arson charge is a result of his recklessly damaging the residence by fire when the meth lab exploded.”

He remained in the Limestone County Jail Tuesday, with bail set at $76,000.

http://www.enewscourier.com/news/local_news/athens-man-indicted-on-arson-manufacturing-after-meth-blast-at/article_7d9bed82-3ad7-11e5-9fdc-d36019203c0f.html