A 53-year-old convicted sex offender and kidnapper who kept showing up at a Multnomah County prosecutor’s home was arrested on accusations of misdemeanor stalking last week.

Shane Vondel Michael Greene, 53, first encountered Deputy District Attorney Nicole Jergovic on June 19 or 20 as she was walking her dogs, according to a probable cause affidavit. He began petting her dogs and asked if she was in law enforcement, to which she replied that she was, according to the affidavit.18228017-mmmain

Greene asked which branch — and when Jergovic said she was a prosecutor, Greene began yelling that Jergovic had a secret indictment out against him, the affidavit states. Jergovic “was alarmed by the defendant’s behavior” and walked away, but Greene followed and Jergovic told him to stop, according to the affidavit.

Over the next several days, Jergovic said she spotted Greene outside or near her home several times.

In one instance when Jergovic was leaving for the gym, Greene stood outside her home and yelled “Hey prosecutor, are you out to get me?” the affidavit said. Greene said he didn’t like law enforcement, and Jergovic responded “You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone,” according to the affidavit.

In another instance, Jergovic reported that she saw Greene across the street and outside her house, staring at it. When she made eye contact with him, he walked away, she said. Later that day, she left her home, spotted Greene apparently urinating next to a tree and ignored his attempts to talk to her, according to the affidavit.

Jergovic encountered Green yet again last Tuesday.

“Jergovic was crossing the street and was again approached by the defendant,” stated the affidavit. “He said hello to her and she asked why he was doing this again. Jergovic left the area and contacted police.”

Portland police officer Rick Doran arrested Greene.

It’s not clear if Greene lives near the prosecutor: Authorities weren’t able to verify his address.

Greene faces allegations of stalking as well as felony methamphetamine possession after police say they found a baggie of meth on him during his arrest. He also is expected to be charged with failing to register as a sex offender. He is being held in Multnomah County jail, with a court appearance scheduled Thursday.

A Clackamas County deputy district attorney has been assigned to the case, to avoid any perceived potential conflict of interest.

Although prosecutors routinely come in contact in the courtroom with angry defendants, they’re rarely contacted by defendants outside of court.

Greene was convicted of first-degree kidnapping, unlawful sexual penetration and other crimes stemming from a 2007 incident. He was prosecuted by one of Jergovic’s colleagues. In 2008, he was sentenced to 6 ¼ years in prison, plus 10 years of post-prison supervision.

Although details of those crimes weren’t immediately available in court records, Greene told a counselor that he was on post-prison supervision for sexually assaulting a drug treatment employee.

Jergovic, who has been a licensed attorney in Oregon for 13 years, prosecutes an array of serious crimes, including murder and animal abuse and neglect cases.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/06/sex_offender_who_reportedly_be.html

Police have detained a 24-year-old man, surnamed Moon, for breaking into a women’s bathhouse in Busan after allegedly snorting methamphetamine.

According to Yeonje Police Station, Wednesday, Moon took methamphetamine around 6:00 a.m., Tuesday, at a motel in Suyeong-gu, southern Busan.

He then broke into a women’s bathhouse in Yeonje-gu, prompting screams.

Moon reportedly said at the women’s changing room that someone was trying to kill him. He was apprehended by police immediately.

Police requested an arrest warrant for Moon on drug charges, Wednesday.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/07/116_181973.html

Kayla Nason, 25, is hospitalized after being exposed to the chemicals and she is later charged with trafficking, along with James Anthony, 30.Kayla-Nason

Police have charged two people with manufacturing methamphetamine in Ludlow after a woman was taken to a hospital in Houlton after being exposed to the chemicals used to make the drug.

Kayla Nason, 25, of Houlton was taken to Houlton Regional Hospital after an accidental exposure to the toxic chemicals used in making the drug, according to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Police say manufacturing methamphetamine also can lead to fires and explosions.James-Anthony

Nason was treated and released but police launched an investigation that led to the seizure of a vehicle. A search of the vehicle Monday uncovered evidence related to making meth, police said.

Nason was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, a class B felony, and James Anthony, 30, of Ludlow was charged with aggravated trafficking of methamphetamine, a class A crime because of a prior felony drug conviction.

The seizure was the 26th methamphetamine lab incident in the state this year, the sixth in Aroostook County.

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/06/30/houlton-area-meth-chemical-incident-leads-to-2-arrests/

LaSALLE PARISH (KNOE 8 News / LPSO) –  At 6am last Thursday morning, LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives and deputies began a narcotic round-up including cases narcotic detectives have been working on for several months, obtaining evidence for warrants to be issued through 28th Judicial District Court.

The round-up was dubbed “Operation Fielder’s Choice” because of the three choices that Sheriff Franklin issued to drug dealers and users when he became Sheriff seven years ago. Those three choices were (1) Quit; (2) Move Out of the Parish; or (3) Go to Jail.

By Sunday morning, a total of 19 people had been arrested, with 17 of those facing distribution charges.

Those arrested and charged since last Thursday, include:

  • James Rosier, age 27, of Trout, was charged with Distribution of CDS I (Marijuana) Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS I (Marijuana) and Contempt of Court.
  • Blain Bass, age 32, of Urania, was charged with Distribution of CDS I (Synthetic Cannabis) and Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS I (Synthetic Cannabis).
  • Charles Keene, age 42, of Tullos, was charged with Distribution of CDS III (Hydrocodone) and Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS III (Hydrocodone).
  • Sherie Keene, age 36, of Tullos, was charged with Distribution of CDS I (Synthetic Cannabis), Distribution of a Legend Drug, Distribution of CDS III (Hydrocodone), and Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS III (Hydrocodone).
  • George Nobles, age 60, of Jena, was charged with Distribution of a Legend Drug.
  • Teresa Vanmeter, age 51, of Jena, was charged with (2 counts) of Distribution of CDS IV (Clonazepam).
  • Becky Dyess, age 43, of Olla, was charged with (2 counts) of Distribution of CDS II (Lisdexamfetamine), Distribution of CDS IV (Clonazepam), and Distribution of a Legend Drug.
  • Melissa Danielle Lisenby, age 31, of Olla, was charged with Distribution of CDS II (Methamphetamine), Illegal Carrying of a Weapon during Distribution of CDS, and Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS I (Marijuana).
  • James Boyett, age 33, of Jena, was charged with Distribution of CDS III (Hydrocodone).
  • Gusty McPherson, age 27, of Rhinehart, was charged with (2 counts) of Distribution of CDS I (Marijuana) and Theft of Goods.
  • Jada Mcbroom, age 35, of Olla, was charged with Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS I (Synthetic Cannabis).
  • Brittany McLaughlin, age 29, of Tullos, was charged with Distribution of CDS III (Hydrocodone).
  • James Kimball, age 31, of Jena, was charged with Distribution of CDS II (Methamphetamine).
  • Samantha Peppers, age 24, of Jena, was charged with (2 counts) of Distribution of CDS I (Marijuana), Distribution of CDS II (Methamphetamine), and (2 counts) of Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS II (Methamphetamine).
  • Karen Johnston, age 47, of Jena, was charged with (3 counts) of Distribution of CDS II (Methamphetamine) and (3 counts) of Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS II (Methamphetamine).
  • Shawn Johnston, age 45, of Jena, was charged with Distribution of CDS II (Methamphetamine) and (2 counts) Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS II (Methamphetamine).
  • Robert Randall, age 33, of Olla, was charged with Distribution of CDS II (Methamphetamine) and Criminal Conspiracy to Distribute CDS II (Methamphetamine).
  • Porsha Solis, age 29, of Jena, was charged with Possession of CDS II (Methamphetamine) and Possession of CDS in the presence of a minor.
  • Robert Bordelon, age 53, of Rhinehart, was charged with Possession of CDS I (Marijuana), Possession of CDS II (Methamphetamine), and Illegal Possession of a Firearm by a convicted felon.

http://www.knoe.com/home/headlines/LaSalle-Parish-Sheriffs-Office-round-up-net-19-arrests-311035711.html

With a resurgence of methamphetamine cases in past months, it’s no surprise local law enforcement was able to make 10 arrests in a recent investigation.

At around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Rapid City Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit and the Unified Narcotics Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at 121 E. Knollwood Drive apartment #23. All four occupants inside the apartment – William Scott, Marcella Adams, Cyril Black Spotted Horse and Kayla Gay were arrested on drug charges after police found methamphetamine, marijuana, and a pistol inside the residence.

While investigating the apartment, police were led to apartment #16 at the same address. Saul Crowe, Jacob Jones, Doris Romero, Greg O’Kelley, Danielle Running Shield and Katelyn Tordsen were located inside, where authorities located more drugs and paraphernalia in plain view. A search warrant was obtained, and all six people were arrested.

“This was an incredible effort by all agencies and units involved,” said Police Chief Karl Jegeris. “These personnel were able to identify two criminally-active residences in our community and safely orchestrate the investigation and subsequent arrests of these offenders. We have once again demonstrated the benefit of interagency teamwork and its power to keep the citizens of Rapid City safe by removing dangerous drugs, people, and weapons from our streets.”

Arrests:

  • Marcella Adams (20 of Rapid City) – Ingestion of Controlled Substance, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, Maintaining a Place Where Drugs are Kept/Sold, Ingesting Substance to Intoxicate, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Cyril Black Spotted Horse (36 of Colorado Springs, CO) – Ingestion of Controlled Substance, Ingesting Substance to Intoxicate, Warrant
  • Kayla Gay (32 of Rapid City) – Ingestion of Controlled Substance, Ingesting Substance to Intoxicate, Warrant
  • William Scott (34 of Rapid City) – Ingestion of Controlled Substance, Possession of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, Maintaining a Place Where Drugs are Kept/Sold, Ingesting Substance to Intoxicate, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Warrant
  • Jacob Jones (25 of Rapid City) – Ingestion of a Controlled Substance, Ingesting Substance to Intoxicate, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Doris Romero (29 of Rapid City) – Probation Hold
  • Greg O’Kelley (43 of Rapid City) – Parole Violation
  • Saul Crowe (21 of Rapid City) – Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, Maintaining a Place Where Drugs are Kept/Sold, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Warrant
  • Danielle Running Shield (34 of Rapid City) Ingestion of a Controlled Substance, Ingesting a Substance to Intoxicate, Warrant
  • Katelyn Tordsen (18 of Rapid City) Ingestion of a Controlled Substance, Ingesting a Substance to Intoxicate

http://www.newscenter1.tv/news/local/10-arrested-in-connection-to-methamphetamine-investigation-311060001.html

A Hong Kong man charged with importing an estimated $4.7 million worth of methamphetamine hidden in toys has been remanded in custody in Melbourne.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers arrested Long Sang Cheuk, 22, at a games store on Swanston Street in the CBD on Saturday night.

It is alleged seven kilograms of drugs were hidden in a shipment of toys delivered to the store by a courier in 11 boxes.

Staff members who opened the boxes found a crystalline substance in a toy drum, it is alleged.

Staff raised the alarm after becoming suspicious when Cheuk later went to the store to ask about the boxes.

The AFP said the drugs were methamphetamines.

Cheuk was charged with attempting to possess and import a commercial quantity of border-controlled drugs.

If proven, the importation offence carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Cheuk was assisted in court by a Cantonese interpreter.

His lawyer said it was his first time in custody and the judge noted his age and potential vulnerability in prison.

Cheuk did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to return to court in October.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-01/alleged-drug-importer-smuggling-meth-in-toys-faces-court/6587412

Prosecutors have filed drug and spousal battery charges against a Cuesta College employee already under investigation for allegedly sending private college personnel data to a personal email account.

Lacey Fowler, who is on leave from her position as a human resources analyst at Cuesta College, had already been charged with one felony count of illegally accessing computer data.BQXSU_AuSt_76

She was scheduled to be arraigned on that charge Monday morning in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, but a judge continued the hearing to allow Fowler more time to hire an attorney, Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham said.

Early this month, Cuesta College administration sent an email to its staff alerting them of a security breach in the college’s employee database and that personal employee information had been sent to one employee’s personal email account. That information included home addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and Social Security numbers.

A Cuesta College Police Department investigation into the breach led investigators to serve a search warrant at the Paso Robles home Fowler shared with her husband, Chad Lee Fowler.

During the search, officials allegedly discovered 4.5 pounds of methamphetamine and about 7 ounces of heroin, worth a reported $27,000, in a storage container on the property.

Chad Fowler was arrested on suspicion of possessing the drugs and has since been charged with felony possession of heroin and methamphetamine with an enhancement for possessing more than a kilogram.

The District Attorney’s Office formally added Lacey Fowler to that case when it filed similar charges against her on June 25, according to court records.

In addition, prosecutors filed misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia possession charges against her on June 23 for an offense that allegedly occurred May 30 — one day before the suspected data breach.

No other details of that case have yet been made public.

Furthermore, prosecutors on June 18 — the same day Lacey Fowler was arrested on suspicion of the data breach — filed another misdemeanor charge of battery on a spouse over an unspecified June 5 incident. According to court records, Lacey Fowler is suspected of violating a restraining order, filed by her husband, the same day as the alleged battery.

Details within the restraining order are not public.

Neither Lacey nor Chad Fowler have entered pleas in their cases yet, and both remain out of custody. Chad Fowler is scheduled for a further arraignment July 13; Lacey is set to be arraigned on all her charges July 6.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2015/06/29/3701601_lacey-chad-fowler-cuesta-data.html?rh=1

Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home invasion in Afton, followed van tracks in the snow to a homeless woman with drugs in her bra, and the suspect ended up with 68 days in county jail plus probation.

Kate Irene Oney, 34, of South St. Paul pleaded guilty to fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine. She was sentenced this month to 180 days in county jail, 112 of which she already served, and her sentence of one year, one day in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee was stayed for 10 years, pending compliance with supervised probation.

According to the complaint:

At 1:29 a.m. Dec. 20, 2013, a deputy responded to 15th Street South in Afton for a burglary involving multiple intruders walking around his home.

Tracks in the snow led to a van with license plates matching the description given by the complainant. Coming head on, the van tried to evade the squad car but ended up stuck in a snowbank.

As backup was on its way, the lone deputy handcuffed the driver, who possessed a cigarette pack containing a baggie of meth.

One of the three passengers in the vehicle was Oney, owner of the van, who was jailed. She admitted to having a glass bubble pipe in her bra. A female corrections officer removed a syringe from the woman’s bra, as well as the pipe, which contained meth residue.

Another passenger had given the group directions to a house she said was abandoned and she had visited before. Oney, whose license says South St. Paul but who told deputies she is homeless, was looking for a place to crash for the night.

Oney described previous burglaries that occurred at the Afton residence, including theft of guns, ammunition and copper jars of loose change. The other passenger had allegedly been involved.

A box containing other stolen items were in the van, which had been impounded and searched. Credit cards and checks were found with the complainant’s name on them. Under a purse was another small baggie of meth.

Knives, crowbars and assorted hand tools were located in the van.

http://www.woodburybulletin.com/news/crime-and-courts/3769016-deputy-finds-meth-homeless-womans-bra

A Tennessee man accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in north-central Oregon was arraigned Monday in Gilliam County Circuit Court.

William T. Cooter, 46, of Greeneville, Tennessee, was arrested east of Arlington on westbound Interstate 84 after the woman called 911 at about 6:12 a.m. Saturday.william-t-cooter-c6e7e1e4fe5a7f27

He is being held at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles and is facing charges of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, menacing, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and interference with making a report, according to court documents.

Cooter is being held on more than $1 million bail, according to court documents.

Gilliam County District Attorney Marion Weatherford summarized the probable cause statement provided to the judge in a phone interview with The Oregonian/OregonLive on Monday.

He said the victim, who is not being identified because The Oregonian/OregonLive does not name victims of suspected sexual crimes, was reportedly driving to Montana when she stopped to rest in her car early Saturday morning. Cooter is suspected of breaking into her car, hitting her and binding her hands and mouth with electrical tape before driving to a remote road along the Columbia River near I-84, Weatherford said.

Cooter used threats to her life and to her dog in order to force sexual contact upon her, leading to rape, Weatherford said.

The car had a flat tire, and as repairs were being attempted, the woman called 911, Weatherford said.

Morrow County and Gilliam County deputies and Oregon State Police officers responded to the call and found the car traveling west on I-84 east of Arlington, according to the state police.

Officers pulled the vehicle over and determined Cooter had assaulted the woman and held her against her will, according to the state police. He and the woman did not know each other, the officers discovered.

Weatherford said evidence will be presented to a grand jury Wednesday. Cooter is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, according to court documents.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/06/tennessee_man_charged_with_kid.html

HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. — Police have arrested a man they say exposed himself to customers at a gas station.629-Hughey_21708

Matthew Hughey, 25, was arrested on Sunday at the Exxon station on Upward Road.

Police believe he was on meth when he pulled his pants down in the store. He allegedly ran outside and jumped a fence before officers tackled him.

Hughey, of Brevard, is charged with indecent exposure, possession of schedule II, resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.

http://www.wlos.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/police-man-meth-pulls-down-pants-gas-station-21708.shtml#.VZMAsGtFCUl

Fayette County deputies arrested two Rio Grande Valley men Friday after finding about 20 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in their vehicle during a traffic stop.MEthfound

Deputies stopped a Ford F-150 truck on Interstate 10 at the 659 mile-marker at about 10:12 a.m., according to a news release from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

A deputy observed one fire extinguisher inside of a tool box, and another hidden underneath it.

After opening the extinguishers, a deputy discovered about 20 pounds of methamphetamine wrapped in foil packaging, according to the news release.

Deputies arrested Juan Angel Dimas, 40, of Mercedes and Francisco Lopez Jr., 32, of Edinburg upon finding the narcotics, authorities said.

The bond for each man is set at $200,000.

http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1224067#.VZL_62tFCUl

LAPORTE | A husband and wife were charged Monday with dealing methamphetamine allegedly cooked inside a Kingsford Heights home where six children lived.

The six children did not appear harmed by the potentially deadly vapors created by a reaction of the chemicals used in making the narcotic, authorities said.

Ronald Walters, II, and Tammy Walters, both 37, are each charged with dealing in methamphetamine, neglect of a dependent and possession of the materials used to make the drug.

Early Friday, police responded to a home in the 300 block of Evanston Road after an anonymous caller stated ”a batch of methamphetamine is being made in the garage as we speak,” according to court documents.

Sgt. Brett Swanson, while approaching the home, detected a chemical odor strong enough that when he went inside the garage he began coughing and choking on the noxious fumes, court documents revealed.

He also saw what he described as a white chemical haze inside the garage.

Six children and two young adults were sleeping inside the home attached to the garage by a breezeway.

Two of the children belong to the Walters while the remainder of the juveniles were with two other families living in the home, authorities said.

Four other adults, including a pregnant woman, were taken in for questioning. None of them have been charged.

Authorities wearing respirators and other gear as protection against the toxic vapors went inside the garage, finding items such as hydrochloric acid, camping stove fuel and lithium battery strips used in making the highly addictive drug.

Child protective services was brought in due to the presence of children inside the home, which had been the subject of anonymous tips about methamphetamine production numerous times in recent years.

If convicted, the couple each could face anywhere from a 2- to 12-year sentence.

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/laporte/police-kids-taken-from-home-where-meth-lab-was-found/article_072e9d81-cda3-5e33-9410-4f663144a9b9.html

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside family is suing a nurse and a home-health agency after a young special-needs boy was severely burned while under care.

Adam Bautista, 4, was born with an undeveloped brain, and requires constant medical care as he remains in a largely vegetative state.

In March, Bautista’s parents were told by a nurse that she had accidentally sprayed him with hot water while bathing him. Adam suffered blistered skin, covering his chest, as a result of the burns.

“It was just really stressful seeing him in that condition and knowing that he was hurting, and I couldn’t do anything for him,” Adam’s mother said.

However, it was the results of a forensic analyst test of Adam’s shirt that the boy’s parents say left them absolutely shocked.

The forensic analyst, tasked with investigating the boy’s shirt by attorney Mark Peacock. He says he discovered the presence of vomit on the front of the shirt, and traces of skin on the inside of the shirt, along with evidence of sodium hydroxide.

Peacock says the chemical was a red flag to him, as it is commonly used in making methamphetamine. The nurse, who lives in Yucaipa, had been arrested 20 years ago for manufacturing methamphetamine.

“There’s some evidence that there’s something sinister going on, so we want to find out exactly what that is,” Peacock said.

The nurse, meanwhile, maintains that the burning was an accident, and that she would never have intentionally harmed the child.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/06/29/riverside-family-sues-nurse-after-traces-of-chemical-found-on-burned-child/

FAIRBANKS—The scales weren’t a tip-off, but the 8 pounds of methamphetamine allegedly found in a Fairbanks gold-buying office this month led police to suspect an ex-employee was distributing the drug.

Two Fairbanks men had federal court dates scheduled for this week on drugs charges that stem from the suspicions of a retail gold assessing store owner who reported finding drugs in a company safe earlier this month.

Federal charges accuse Robert Michael Curry and Matthew Paul Lugin of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. They’ve both been charged, but neither has been indicted. Lugin is in custody at Fairbanks Correctional Center. Curry has been released to a third-party custodian.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating June 6 when the Anchorage owner of Oxford Assaying and Refining reported drugs he found inside two small safes within a larger company safe, according to an affidavit filed in court from DEA Special Agent Daniel Lakin.

One safe contained 8.29 pounds of methamphetamine and $27,150, according to the affidavit. The other had “gold and silver coins, ivory and gemstones, along with a smaller bag containing a substance that tested presumptively positive for the presence of methamphetamine, as well as paperwork bearing the name of Robert Curry.

The owner of the business suspected Curry, who was the lone employee of the Fairbanks office and who the owner had recently fired because he suspected Curry was embezzling from the business.

Eight pounds of methamphetamine is a huge quantity of the drug, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Cooper, who’s prosecuting the case. It’s worth a few hundred thousand dollars, he said.

Federal agents executed a search warrant on Curry’s home in the Riverview neighborhood on June 16. The agents found a small amount of methamphetamine and a loaded pistol in a backpack with an Oxford Assaying and Refining logo. Curry said the backpack was his but that the safe belonged to his co-defendant, according to the affidavit.

“Curry stated he had stored a safe for Lugin on three other occasions and that he was not absolutely sure it contained methamphetamine but guessed it did,” according to Lakin’s affidavit.

Federal agents organized a sting in which Lugin allegedly met with Curry to pick up the safe and drop of 8 grams of meth.

Curry is represented by Fairbanks attorney Bill Satterberg, whose partner Thomas Temple said he had no comment on the case at this stage. Federal public defender MJ Haden is representing Lugin.

http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/pounds-of-meth-found-in-safe-two-fairbanks-men-charged/article_998abf60-1ecf-11e5-a214-63c92a13ab60.html

ELKHART — An Elkhart man was arrested Saturday night, June 27, on preliminary charges of meth manufacturing after a traffic stop near Main and Crawford streets.

Officers stopped a moped driver for a traffic violation at 9:57 p.m., according to Sgt. Chris Snyder of the Elkhart Police Department. Officers discovered that the driver, Lee Alan Stewart, 22, had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear at a court hearing and police began arrest procedures.

During a search of Stewart and the moped, Snyder said, officers found meth, heroin, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a meth lab.

Stewart was booked at Elkhart County Jail on preliminary charges of manufacturing meth, possession of meth, possession of heroin and possession of a hypodermic needle, which are all felonies. Snyder said Stewart also faces preliminary misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Stewart’s bond was set at $7,500 for those charges, according to InmateInfo.com.

http://www.elkharttruth.com/news/crime-fire-courts/2015/06/29/Meth-lab-three-kinds-of-drugs-found-on-Elkhart-moped-driver-police-say.html

SOUTHERN INDIANA — A Georgia man said to be a major supplier of methamphetamine and Opana to the Southern Indiana region was arrested Wednesday, according to a news release from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Charles Pruett, 33, was arrested in Bremen, Ga., and found in possession of several illegal drugs, including three-quarters of a pound of methamphetamine, in addition to two handguns and $21,500 in cash.

Pruett is connected with a methamphetamine bust at a Henryville gas station that resulted in four other men being arrested and charged. According to the release, Pruett was charged in Clark County on Friday and will be extradited to Indiana on charges of conspiracy to deal methamphetamine.

Jon Morgan, 28, Scottsburg, and Michael Elkins, 34, Georgia, are accused of transporting nearly four ounces of methamphetamine from Georgia to Indiana on June 16.

During a search, police also found 19 Opana pills — a prescription opioid that is tied to Scott County’s HIV outbreak through intravenous drug abuse — and an AK-47 in Morgan’s truck. Elkins later told police he originally had 60 Opana pills but had sold them. The AK-47, he said, belonged to him and was purchased in exchange for $450 worth of methamphetamine.

Under surveillance, police had Elkins call Pruett, who Elkins named as his methamphetamine source in Georgia, according to the probable cause affidavit. The two men arranged to have eight ounces, or $1,700 worth, of methamphetamine delivered to Indiana by way of a courier.

Police stopped the Chevrolet Tahoe carrying the methamphetamine just south of the Indiana state line. The driver, Tyler Turner, Georgia, and passenger William Thrower, Georgia, were arrested after police found plastic containers containing methamphetamine in the vehicle. More arrests in Indiana and Georgia “are forthcoming,” according to the release.

The DEA said it has teamed up with the Indiana State Police, Scott County Sheriff’s Office and both Clark and Floyd County prosecutors to combat the use of methamphetamine and Opana in the area, adding that the drugs account for “150 infected drug users in Southern Indiana.”

According to Clark County Public Health Officer Dr. Kevin Burke, Clark County’s rate of new HIV cases in 2014 was about 37.5 percent higher than the state average. The rate of new cases of hepatitis C was over 40.5 percent higher than the state average in the same year.

At an initial hearing on Friday, Turner and Thrower both said they were unaware of a regional hepatitis C or HIV outbreak.

All four men from the original bust, including Turner and Thrower, are being held in Clark County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bonds with tentative trial dates set for November.

http://www.newsandtribune.com/news/major-drug-supplier-to-region-arrested/article_43548e2a-1ea5-11e5-a03d-67e085c0fe62.html

The Sinaloa cartel and other Mexican drug organizations are making a new push to build markets for Upper Manhattan stash apartmentmethamphetamine on Long Island and in New York City, placing samples of the powerful drug inside their cocaine and heroin shipments to get customers hooked, law enforcement officials said.

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/marketing-meth-sinaloa-drug-cartel-makes-push-on-long-island-in-nyc-1.10593252

Tunnels used by drug dealers to sneak narcotics and cash from Mexico into the United States could also become an underground route for Islamic State terrorists to enter the country, a former FBI agent is warning.

 “Drug dealers have found a way to move money without it being followed,” the former agent, Tyrone Powers, said, according a story posted by Siouxland News, the website for CBS affiliate KMEG and Fox44 in Sioux City, South Dakota. “They found a way to move people in and out and they found a way to move product.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, also a 2016 presidential candidate, agreed that “the stronger they get over there, the more power they have so I can definitely see, in the future, collaboration between terrorist groups and drug dealers to our south.”

Powers said that the individuals that could come “may be, at some point, suicide bombers, which is really scary, and then weapons of mass destruction.”

Terrorism experts believe Mexico’s unstable leadership, along with ruthless drug cartels are creating a vacuum that ISIS could exploit.

 “What’s been going on in Mexico creates an opportunity for any organization to try to take advantage of it, whether it’s ISIS or Al Shabbab,” Brandon Behlendorf, a terrorist targeting strategist,commented.

There are two major drug cartels that could come into play, with the Sinaloa Federation controlling western Mexico’s borders from Texas to California, and Los Zetas, which occupies eastern Mexico, including the southern Texas border. Experts claim Al Qaeda tried to hook up with Mexican drug lords about 15 years ago, the Siouxland News report indicates.

“It makes logical sense for ISIS to do this,” said Powers. “But I do not think they’ll be catching the intelligence agencies off guard, because this has been a persistent problem whether it was Al Qaeda or any other group.”

Earlier this month, ISIS claimed it has plans to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan and smuggle it into the U.S., using drug and human smuggling routes already in use by Mexican and South American drug cartels.

In ISIS’s online magazine Dabiq, in an article entitled, “The Perfect Storm,” apparently written and narrated by British captive photojournalist John Cantlie, ISIS says that using “billions of dollars” it has banked, the group could purchase a nuclear device from corrupt Pakistani officials and send it on its way to explode in the U.S., the Daily Mail reports.

Further, in April, Judicial Watch reported that ISIS is operating a camp in northern Mexico just a few miles from El Paso, Texas citing sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police inspector.

Judicial Watch sources said that “coyotes” working for the notorious Juarez Cartel are involved in helping to “move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico.”

Moreover, east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed coyotes are smuggling members of the jihadi terrorist group “through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas,” Judicial Watch reported.

The group says that these locations were targeted for exploitation by ISIS “because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing.”

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/isis-us-border-drug/2015/06/27/id/652505/

ST PETERSBURG — An overdose during the weekend and the discovery of a mobile home lab showcase a resurgent crime problem in Pinellas County: Methamphetamine activity, by one measure, has nearly doubled in the past six months.Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Deputies discovered the overdose victim in the intersection of Alternate 19 and Klosterman Road and made three arrests in the discovery of the meth lab nearby, operating out of an abandoned trailer at 4720 Roberts Road.

Meth seizures submitted from Pinellas and Pasco counties for analysis by the Pinellas County Forensic Lab total 120 during the first six months of this year compared to 68 during the same period last year.

“We’re definitely tracking to be higher than last year,” said lab director Reta Newman.

Pinellas sheriff’s deputies confirm a rise in activity involving meth, a relatively easy-to-make narcotic that targets the central nervous system and is extremely difficult to quit, said Capt. Mark Baughman, sheriff’s narcotics nit commander.

“It’s not like cocaine or heroin where you’re dealing with a source country,” Baughman said. “You’re dealing with a group of people who know how to manufacture it and all the ingredients are legal.”

Cooking meth can create fires and explosions so addicts often take over abandoned buildings and homes to cook the product. Baughman said most users aren’t in the business for the money and are often their own best customers.

Pinellas’ dense population makes the meth problem particularity dangerous, distinct from areas elsewhere in Florida where people go into the woods to cook, Baughman said. Pinellas addicts move from hotel rooms and abandoned buildings often because they’re more likely to be seen and caught here.

Cooks are teaching others how to make the drug, which multiplies the problem, Baughman said.

“Once somebody gets good at making it … they’re willing to show other people how to make it,” he said. “Then they start popping up everywhere.”

Meth is a problem in all parts of the county, Baughman said, but more so in Pinellas Park.

In the city of St. Petersburg, meth activity is down significantly over last year, said city police Maj. Antonio Gilliam. In 2015, 24 grams of meth have been seized so far compared to 100.3 grams during the first six months of 2014.

“I don’t know if it’s less meth being produced, but were not seeing as much as other counties or jurisdictions,” Gilliam said.

Still, in a major bust in February that followed a month long investigation, Pinellas deputies raided a meth house and made five arrests at 2500 19th St. N in St. Petersburg. Baughman said the home was abandoned and had no running water.

Baughman said law enforcement relies on tips to tackle the problem and asked that people keep an eye open in their neighborhoods.

“There’s a number of ways to investigate it,” he said, “but I would say a lot of it is investigated based on complaints.”

http://tbo.com/pinellas-county/pinellas-sees-meth-activity-nearly-double-in-2015-20150629/

(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Freightliner semi-truck driver accused of being under the influence of methamphetamine while he was traveling eastbound in the westbound lane of Highway 33 in a no-passing zone has been ordered to stand trial on a first-degree manslaughter charge in a head-on collision that took the life of the driver of a car in Payne County.

The defendant, Daniel Ray Grimm, 48, of Kansas City, Mo., was arrested in Bolivas, Mo., in April — 18 months after the fatal collision in Payne County, court records show.

Grimm remains in the Payne County Jail on $100,000 bail, which Special District Judge Katherine Thomas refused to reduce at the close of a preliminary hearing last week. The judge ordered Grimm to appear for arraignment in trial court on July 17.

The victim, Shala Martin Smalley, who was driving a Chrysler Sebring, died as a result of the head-on collision in Payne County on Highway 33 west of Karsten Creek Road, to which Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Clancy Williams was dispatched at 10:38 am on Oct. 11, 2013, according to his court testimony Friday.

“The truck went left of center in a no-passing zone and went head-on with the vehicle,” that was pushed a couple hundred feet at least, the trooper testified.

“I believe it went under the semi after impact,” the trooper testified.

“It looks like he (the semi driver) just hit the brakes,” and didn’t try to get back into his lane, the trooper testified.

About seven and one-half hours earlier, the semi-truck driver had run off the road at 2:57 a.m. and hit a light pole on I-35 north of 15th Street in Edmond, OHP Trooper Rick Ellis testified in the preliminary hearing.

“He told me he fell asleep and ran off the road. I believe he (then) went to the Freightliner place. His semi-truck was not drivable – it had a busted radiator. A tow truck had to be called,” according to the trooper, who cited Grimm for inattentive driving resulting in a collision in the Edmond incident.

The trooper testified, “I did not look at his log books,” and saw no sign of drug use in Grimm – emphasizing that he is not a drug recognition expert. He said, “that is a very extensive and exhaustive school.”

OHP Trooper Clay Fredrickson, who said he had investigated close to 2,000 accidents, testified that he responded to the fatal collision near Stillwater on Oct. 11, 2013.

“It appeared the semi did go across the center line into oncoming traffic. He was still in the process of trying to stop the vehicle when the collision occurred,” the trooper testified.

“If there is a fatality crash and one of the drivers is being cited with a violation of law, we are required to do a blood draw under state law,” so the trooper told Grimm he was transporting him to the Stillwater hospital for that test, he testified.

“On the way to the hospital, he nodded off two times. He told me just prior to the (fatal) collision, he was looking for a mileage check on his dash,” the trooper testified.

Grimm told the trooper, “The evening prior, he was in Kansas City, got up, went to the yard, drove on I-35, had another collision in Oklahoma City (area) with a light pole, was towed to Freightliner, picked up a lease truck, stopped at Flying J, had a sandwich, slept an hour, got off at State Highway 33 — he remembered going by Langston,” Fredrickson testified.

That trooper testified on cross-examination he is not a drug recognition expert: “Normally when we see someone on meth, they are agitated,” which he did not observe on Grimm.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation forensic toxicologist Paul Wallace, who supervises the toxicology lab and is a drug recognition expert instructor, testified that he found methamphetamine in Grimm’s blood.

Wallace said that there are two phases to the effect of the stimulant, methamphetamine, on the body.

“The first phase occurs in recent use – the heart rate is up, the blood pressure is up, the person is restless, agitated, there is high-risk driving.

“In the second phase, occurring after 24 hours or more, there is fatigue – he’s sleepy, drowsy, can’t stay awake,” Wallace testified.

Methamphetamine can be prescribed by a doctor for narcolepsy, ADHD, 50 to 150 nanograms. Anything over 130 nanograms is considered recreational use,” Wallace testified.

In the case of Grimm, whose blood test showed 288 nanograms of methamphetamine, “this defendant could be in either phase,” Wallace testified.

“With just one blood draw, it is difficult to tell if they’re going up or going down,” Wallace testified.

“Either phase can have detriments to the person,” Wallace testified.

Grimm’s court-appointed defense attorney Sarah Kennedy argued to the judge, “The fact that meth was present in the blood doesn’t mean DUI under drugs at the time of this accident.”

Since the prosecution had filed the first-degree manslaughter charge also in an alternative theory, the defense attorney argued, “they allege a series of events – the statute doesn’t say you can go nine hours earlier – there’s no causal connection to what happened at 11 a.m. that morning.”

The defense maintained that the charge should be negligent homicide, which is a misdemeanor, rather than manslaughter, which is a felony.

However, the prosecutor, Kevin Etherington, successfully argued that there are two phases to methamphetamine’s influence and that Grimm was in the second phase in which a user falls asleep.

“If he was reaching for a log book, his entire truck wouldn’t be in the opposite lane.

“I submit at the time of this crash, the defendant was asleep.

“After the accident, on the way to the hospital, he falls asleep a couple of times. He’s still suffering from the effects in phase two.

“This isn’t reaching for something,” the prosecutor argued.

Ruling in favor of the prosecution, the judge bound over Grimm for trial on a first-degree manslaughter charge “as engaged in the commission of DUI.”

The judge also bound Grimm over for trial on the alternate theory of first-degree manslaughter that he was driving recklessly in the improper lane of traffic.

If convicted of first-degree manslaughter under either theory, Grimm could be given a sentence of four years to life in prison.

http://1600kush.com/story.php?id=8664&section=1

A Rome woman remained in jail Sunday without bond after being accused of having methamphetamine and other drugs at her home, according to Floyd County Jail reports. 5590e19855ad7_image

According to reports:

Brandy Ray Bradford, 36, of 2531 Shorter Ave., Lot 31, was arrested at her home at 5:10 p.m. Sunday after police found plastic bags of methamphetamine and two different pill bottles without labels containing Trazadone and Seroquel in her bedroom.

She is charged with a felony count of possession of methamphetamine, two misdemeanor counts of possession of a dangerous drug and drugs not in the original container.

http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/news/police_fire/woman-accused-of-having-methamphetamine-other-drugs-at-rome-home/article_b322137a-1e24-11e5-a7a7-bbdd9cde0ac3.html

GOSHEN — Some Goshen-area homes are standing vacant. On a window or door is taped the reason why. “Unfit for human habitation,” states fluorescent pink health department notices.

The notices are gaudy reminders of how prevalent methamphetamine addiction is in local communities.

Besides the human toll of broken families, incarceration and wrecked lives, the drug has made many houses and mobile homes unsafe to enter.55908373272da_image

“It’s terrible,” said Jeff Roberts, who lives across the street from 405 1/2 E. Jefferson St. in Goshen. “I’m buying this house. I’ve been here almost 10 years and I’m not going to leave. I don’t know if it (the neighboring house) will get fixed up or not.”

Roberts sat under a shade tree in his front yard, where the pink health department warning sign across the street was clearly visible.

“I remember when it happened and saw the men wearing their little white suits when they rolled up to get rid of the meth,” Roberts said. “It’s a terrible drug.”

The numbers

The Jefferson Street structure was condemned Oct. 29, 2014 after the Indiana State Police Clandestine Laboratory made a report of a methamphetamine lab at the residence. The lab was one of 53 labs seized in Elkhart County last year, according to Indiana State Police information. The county had the fifth-most meth lab seizures in the state.

Also at the top of the seizure lists were Kosciusko County with 58 and Noble County with 57. LaGrange County had just nine seizures reported by ISP.

Records found at www.in.gov/meth listed the seizure at the Jefferson Street residence as a one-pot lab. The items found inside the house included a chemical stew of hydrochloric acid gas generator, flammable solvents, water reactive metal-lithium, anhydrous ammonia, corrosive acid, corrosive base and ammonium nitrate/sulfate.

The occurrence listings on the locations map on the Indiana State Police’s clandestine lab website date from 2007 when the department first started reporting the numbers, according to Sgt. Katrina Smith, ISP southern supervisor.

According to the clandestine location map, since 2007 there have been 85 occurrence reports listed within the boundaries of the Goshen reporting area, 78 reports in Bristol, Middlebury and Shipshewana, and 68 reports including LaGrange and Howe.

Smith said the popularity of the methamphetamine labs “exploded” around 2004 when the one-pot method or “shake and bake” method came into use.

“People didn’t have to go to drug dealers to get their drugs, they could make their own,” Smith said. “They can put everything in a backpack or a small tote and take it with them with the one-pot method.”

Smith described meth as a central nervous system stimulant.

Meth has been used for some medical purposes, but there are very minute quantities used for such medicinal purposes,” she said. “What we see on the streets is not used for that purpose. The ease for cooking and obtaining chemicals make it readily available. It’s a win-win for the bad guys.”

A second house

Another listing found on the ISP clandestine website includes a residence at 219 N. Second St. in Goshen that was seized Oct. 9, 2014.

Next-door neighbor Tommy Stover, who was home at the time of the raid, said he recalled seeing “cops everywhere” and being “surprised” finding out later there were two meth labs at the residence.

“I never realized they had a lab inside the house and one outside in the shed,” Stover said. “There had been a few disturbances and a lot of comings and goings but they all seemed fairly friendly. I never had a problem. They basically were good neighbors.”

Stover said he’s lived in the 200 block of North Second Street for almost 25 years and had never had any encounters with a meth lab in the neighborhood.

“I can’t be judgmental on who it was. It could have been anybody living there,” he said.

The process

After a house has been identified as having a meth lab by law enforcement, the ISP response team removes bulk chemicals and drug-making paraphernalia and posts a sticker placard indicating the property has been the location for a lab, according to Sgt. Mike Toles, northern supervisor for ISP’s methamphetamine suppression section.

“We notify the county health department, local fire department and make a hotline report to Child Protective Services if children are at the residence,” Toles said. “The county health department issues and posts an ‘unfit for human habitation’ order. Elkhart County has been very proactive in condemning houses long before other counties had protocols and procedures.”

Toles said the ISP clandestine lab team is no longer involved after the ISP cleans up the lab.

“It’s out of our hands then,” Toles said. “Once the residence has been cleaned up, it can be removed from the unfit for human habitation order. I feel strongly about the structures and vehicles that are involved. There can be high costs and costs can be extensive. I’ve been told that insurance will sometimes cover the costs and sometimes it will not cover it.”

Cost and coverage

According to Bill Baxter, environmental scientist for Kosciusko County, the actual cost of a meth lab cleanup varies according to each case.

He said the property owner receives information from the local health department on how to proceed with the cleanup and has to hire a qualified inspector before any work is done.

“The homeowner is responsible for the cleanup. It’s hard to put a finger on the costs,” Baxter said. “It depends on the rooms and the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system in the structure. It depends on the type of surfaces. Soft materials absorb the chemicals and soft surfaces like drywall, Sheetrock and paint, are harder to clean. If it gets in the HVAC system, the duct work has to be torn apart to clean.”

Trailers and mobile homes can be hauled off cheaper than the value of the structure compared to the cost of a cleanup, Baxter added.

“If the structure is demolished, those places have to be tracked where the material is taken to,” he said.

Baxter said he requires a certificate of decontamination by a contractor, who submits the certificate in order to lift the condemnation of the structure.

“Only then do we free up the property,” he said. “I’ve been told insurance can cover a cleanup and if it happens again a second time, it won’t cover it at all. The insurance company doesn’t take a hit a second time.”

Molly Livengood, an insurance agent with American Family Insurance in Goshen, said the determination for claims is handled on an individual basis.

“It depends on what happened and who it was,” Livengood said. “Each case is individual. The claims are turned over to the insurance adjuster.”

After a residence has been removed from the contamination list, the homeowner can put the structure on the housing market, according to Emmon Schmucker, a Realtor and auctioneer.

“I have seen (a residence) on the market at times, but not a lot lately,” Schmucker said.

“Realtors have access to the clandestine website, but I haven’t dealt with it a lot.”

Schmucker said he sees a lot of vacant lots, parking lots and parking spaces that have been reported on the website.

“In the past, there were more cooking meth labs inside homes,” Schmucker said. “It seems to have moved from residential homes and seems to have moved outside. People don’t want the smell and chemicals inside their house and create a hazardous condition.”

Such an outside meth cooking location was discovered by police Feb. 4 near Keystone Drive and Ashburn Road in Goshen, which is the location for several medical facilities, according to an ISP meth lab report. The lab was in a vehicle with flammable solvents found in the trunk and there were no children involved at the location.

The heartache

Sgt. Toles said he has seen plenty of heartache befalling the people involved in meth labs.

“It’s a big mess and hopefully someday before I retire, there will be no more meth labs,” Toles said, shaking his head. “I can only hope.”

http://www.goshennews.com/news/local_news/the-meth-mess-goshen-area-houses-trailers-left-unlivable-after/article_c5c79546-1dec-11e5-8eb7-df702a4791f6.html

Dealers have found an inventive way of dispensing their drug of choice — Tic-Tac containers.

Drug and Organized Crime detectives have charged a 23-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl with drug offences after they busted the pair with 14 g of meth, $5000 cash, digital scales and a small amount of cannabis.832017-c4e0853a-1dfa-11e5-b6f0-2a5d3d9ded3f

Acting Superintendent Clint Sims said police witnessed the pair meeting in a Darwin car park before conducting a search of their car.

The man was charged with four drug offences including supply meth to a child, and possess tainted property.

He will appear in Darwin Magistrates Court today.

The girl will appear in Youth Justice Court today charged with possess and supply methamphetamine.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/tic-tac-containers-the-new-way-meth-dealers-supplying-their-drugs/story-fnk1w5y0-1227419833038

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Complaints of chemical odors led Tulsa police to a motel where five people were arrested in connection to manufacturing methamphetamine.Meth_Bustreere

Police say four men and one woman were trying to dismantle the meth lab at the Super 8 when officers arrived Friday night. The suspects were arrested on suspicion of manufacturing and possessing meth.

http://publicradiotulsa.org/post/police-5-arrested-tulsa-motel-meth-operation

A crackdown on drugs in North Korea is sending many users across the country on long trips in pursuit of their means of pleasure.

“Border control has become a lot tighter, making methamphetamine harder to get”, a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK. The blanket crackdowns, aimed at curtailing defections, illegal phone calls and human trafficking as well as drug smuggling, have adversely affected North Korean’s once-buoyant drug production market: domestic production has decreased significantly, as those in the industry look for other ways to make money.Crystal meth, once abundant in North Korea

“Some residents with strong addictions are even traveling to areas where the drugs are produced. In the past, you could get meth in provincial black markets, but these days this has become more challenging, so people are seeking out places where it’s [still] being made.”

The lack of supply is sending addicts – often in groups – to the major crystal meth-producing cities of Hamhung and Sunchŏn, where supply is still reliable.

“Currently, it’s very hard to find anyone in Hyesan [on the Chinese border] who smuggles or sells drugs. Some people who use meth will travel to Hamhung and then climb through the mountains on foot to get back to Hyesan”, she said, describing a 360-mile round journey.

She added, “State Security Department and Ministry of People’s Security officials have figured out that people head to meth-producing cities [to buy drugs] – so officials spend a lot of time on the streets.”

Though the North Korean government has been widely accused of profiting from the production and smuggling of methamphetamine, a tough line is officially taken against drug abuse.

In 2013, state news agency KCNA said unequivocally: “The illegal use, trafficking and production of drugs which reduce human beings into mental cripples do not exist in the DPRK.”

Underneath this stark rhetoric, drug use is widespread – and production lucrative. Both are technically illegal, and for those unfortunate enough to be caught and convicted, punishments range from three to six month stints for minor first-time offences to the ever-present fear of execution in extreme cases.

Many of those incarcerated in long-term reeducation or labor camps for drug crimes still pursue their addiction after release.

The state may persistently crackdown on drug abuse, but narcotics are still serve medical and social purposes. DailyNK reported in 2014 that for those wanting to curry favour with an official, “the drug ‘ice’ is seen as an ideal gift”, and is commonly seen as a panacea, curing everything from strokes to back pain.

Much of this proliferation in drugs is attributed to the failing medical system in the country. Healthcare in North Korea is purportedly free, but has deteriorated at a rapid pace since the mid 1990s. Most are required to pay for medication, and connections generally prove more advantageous than financial means alone.

With trust in the state service low, many self-medicate with crystal meth or opium, and end up addicted. One of the residents told the source what started as a method to cope with an inflammation in the gallbladder has become a full-blown addiction to opium. “In difficult times like this, I can’t seem to get by without my drugs. I can’t live with my head clear,” he told our source.

Government crackdowns and surveillance has led to greater pent-up anxiety, and in many ways encouraged the use of such substances, the source added.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/29/north-korea-crystal-meth-drug-addicts