Two Taranaki siblings addicted to methamphetamine have been jailed for dealing the drug, crimes they managed to keep hidden from their parents before they were arrested last year.

On Monday at the District Court in New Plymouth, Ben Allan Howe and Sarah Louise Howe were sentenced on four charges each of offering to supply the class A drug.

While jail was the only option for Ben Howe, due to the amount of drugs he sold, Judge Chris Sygrove declined to give Sarah Howe home detention.1468213493217

He said while he accepted the Howes’ parents did not know anything about the offending, serving a home detention sentence from the same address where the drug dealing took place was “totally inappropriate”.Sygrove said the Howes were arrested as part of Operation Chiefs, a Taranaki police sting which targeted methamphetamine dealing linked to the Auckland based Headhunters motorcycle gang.

Activity on their cellphones was analyzed by officers which found evidence of offers by the pair to sell the drug and a search of their property last December by police also located drug paraphernalia in their home, he said.

Crown prosecutor Stephanie Simpkin sought a prison term of between three years and three years and nine months for Ben Howe, 28, who admitted to dealing about one gram of methamphetamine a fortnight over the course of last year.

At an estimated street value of $1,000 per gram, this amounts to drug deals totaling about $26,000.

Simpkin said Sarah Howe’s offending was not as serious as her brother’s as she was only connected to the sale of  4.3 grams of methamphetamine and sought a prison sentence of two years and three months for the 21-year-old.

Lawyer Julian Hannam acted for the siblings and outlined to the New Plymouth District Court the lengths they both went to in order to get help for their drug problems.

Hannam said each had sought placement at  drug rehabilitation facilities and had been given several court adjournments to see if they could be accepted but nothing had eventuated.

“We are woefully unprepared to assist those who have serious problems like this,” he said.

Hannam pointed the finger at the inadequate resourcing of publicly funded drug and alcohol programmes and said while Sarah Howe had been accepted into a privately run clinic, she could not afford the full cost of the $50,000 treatment.

He said it was accepted jail time was the only option for Ben Howe but home detention for Sarah Howe was still viable and that she would benefit from the support of her parents.  She also planned to start a hairdressing course, he said.

But Sygrove said while methamphetamine was commonly known as “P”, in his courtroom the letter also stood for something else – prison.

“That’s what we start with when we look at sentencing people who indulge in this activity,” he said.

He said in 2015 Ben Howe was convicted of possessing utensils used to smoke methamphetamine and Sarah Howe had convictions in 2011 for possession of the class A drug and cannabis.

However, both deserved credit for their early guilty pleas to the charges, Sygrove said.

Ben Howe was the first to hear his fate and as he walked out of court to begin a two years and six months term of imprisonment, he hugged his sister in a long embrace as they both cried.

Shortly afterwards, Sarah Howe was jailed for 23 months.


BAY CITY — Three people face felony drug charges after a raid last month on a 63-year-old man’s Bay City home.

Members of the St. Croix Valley Drug Task Force executed a search warrant June 17 on the home at N2001 690th St., where resident Kim C. Wessman and two others — Jaimie N. Tri and Melissa M. Schlichting — were arrested.

Kim C. Wessman

Kim C. Wessman

Wessman was charged June 20 with methamphetamine possession with intent to deliver and maintaining a drug trafficking place. Both are felonies. He is also charged with two misdemeanor-level drug crimes.

Tri, 35, and Schlichting, 36, were each charged with one count of meth possession — a felony — and one count possession of drug paraphernalia. A fourth man living at the home, 46-year-old Thomas Piotrowski, was charged with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Authorities launched the raid at 4:50 a.m. June 17, where Wessman was allegedly found coming out of a bedroom. In an interview with police, Wessman allegedly admitted to possessing about an ounce of meth in his bedroom. He told an investigator he is dealing with addiction and “is going broke” from the struggle.

Tri and Schlichting were found together in a different bedroom in the house. She told investigators she had been living there since May, when she relapsed following a family member’s death. She said suspected drugs found in the room belonged to Tri — not her, the complaint states

A Pierce County sheriff’s investigator noted in the complaint that “Melissa was not being truthful.”

Tri was also interviewed by the investigator. He also denied possession of suspected drugs found in the room, prompting the investigator to reach the same conclusion.

“Jaimie is not being truthful with me and was blaming everyone else for the drugs,” the investigator wrote in the complaint.

According to the complaint, a search of the house turned up a syringe, a spoon with residue in it, pills, a marijuana pipe and other assorted pieces of paraphernalia.

Small bags of suspected meth and pot were found in a bedroom, along with a digital scale.

Wessman, Schlichting and Tri were all released on signature bond after a June 20 hearing.

Wessman and Schlichting are due back in court on Aug. 1; Tri had a preliminary hearing on July 5.



A Rome man and woman facing drug charges were released from jail on bonds Monday.

According to Floyd County Jail reports:

Thomas Dewayne Hash, 52, and Carrie Leigh Hash, 34, both of 4660 Old Dalton Road, were 578463e6376ef_imagearrested late Sunday at the intersection of Old Bells Ferry Road and Davis Loop Road after police stopped Thomas Hash for failing to maintain his lane while driving.

Police found four plastic bags of suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale and a loaded Glock .45 by his seat. They also found a plastic bag of methamphetamine on Carrie Hash, who was a passenger in the car.

Thomas Hash is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during commission of a crime and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. He also charged with misdemeanor failure to maintain lane.

Carrie Leigh Hash was charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and released on a $5.700 bond.


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – There is one illegal drug that’s ruining more lives and communities in the Ozarks than any other. It’s meth.

It’s no secret that meth is an epidemic here in the Ozarks. Some even use our area code ‘417’ as slang for the drug. Numerous efforts by community groups and law enforcement are battling meth, and have succeeded in one aspect, according to the Commander of Narcotics and Special Investigations for Springfield Police, “It’s changed a little bit. If we had this interview a couple years ago, we would’ve talked about meth labs, and people cooking meth locally. That has really dropped off dramatically.”

And when the Commander says ‘dropped off’” he means it. In a span of three years, the number of meth labs busted by Springfield Police has been cut by 80-percent (dropping from 77 in 2012 to 16 in 2015). It’s not because they’re not finding the labs. This is a national trend. So, that means there’s less meth in Springfield, right? Wrong. The amount of meth found and seized in Springfield is up astronomically, from three to 73 pounds in the same span.

The Commander explains what is going on. “It’s just been replaced with people bringing in meth, usually from Mexico, or somewhere South. And, the unfortunate thing is, it’s easier to get. It’s a better quality product, and it’s cheaper. Our meth use is still high. The amounts that we seize are actually higher than they have been in the past.”

And, the Commander says meth doesn’t just destroy the user’s health and family. He says, meth can bring down an entire community, “Unfortunately, drugs run through every crime we have. From domestic violence to property crimes, such as burglary or stealing, a lot of times, all that is done, either because people are under the influence of drugs, or because they’re trying to find items to pawn or sell to buy drugs.”

So, how can we, as a community, slow down this epidemic? Police say, it could start inside people’s homes, by you talking to your loved ones about the dangers of meth, or getting help for your loved ones who are addicted, before it’s too late.

For ways to get help for your loved ones, and report meth in your neighborhood, click on this link:



HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN) — A 40-year-old man was arrested Monday after he allegedly climbed into a Happy Valley resident’s treehouse while high on meth.

The homeowner called 911 around 4:25 p.m. to report a trespasser on her property on the 9900 block of SE Eastview Drive, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.iolt;oti;;yi;

Deputies arrived on the scene and found Troy Miller in the treehouse. Behavioral specialists and hostage negotiators were called in to help bring him down.

Authorities spent over 2 hours working to get Miller to come down. He climbed onto the roof of the treehouse and higher into the tree at times, deputies said.

Miller eventually came down for a bottle of water and was taken into custody. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine, resisting arrest and criminal trespassing.




Deputies: Treehouse trespasser was high on meth


POMONA, Calif. – Pomona police say officers responding to a report of shots fired at an apartment building found a weapon and 20 pounds crystal methamphetamine.

Corporal Richard Martinez says a resident was arrested after police searched an apartment unit late Sunday.

Officers uncovered a .22-caliber pistol and the huge stash of crystal meth.

City News Service says Jose Real Velazquez could face charges including narcotics possession and various weapons counts. It wasn’t immediately known if Valazquez has an attorney.
  • Police said Valencia Skipper’s car appeared to have crossed the centre line, rolled and ended up in a ditch. Saphire died at the scene.
  • A young mother is facing a rare charge of causing the death of her own daughter while driving under the influence of methamphetamine.

Police have charged 21-year-old Hastings mother Valencia Marie Skipper with causing the death of 2-year-old Saphire Te Aroha Skipper-Hira while under the influence of the Class A drug.

The charge carries the same maximum penalty as drink-driving causing death – up to 10 years in prison, or a $20,000 fine.

Valencia Skipper and daughter Saphire, who died in a crash in Hastings in January. Skipper has now been charged with driving while under the influence of methamphetamine, causing the 2-year-old’s death.1468228516279

Saphire died in January after being thrown from a rolling car in what police described at the time as a “violent crash” on the Hawke’s Bay expressway near Hastings.

There was a child restraint in the rear of the car, but police said they were looking at the possibility that Saphire was not restrained at the time.

The crash occurred on State Highway 50A, on the outskirts of Hastings between Omahu Rd and Flaxmere Ave, just before 5pm on January 13.

Police said at the time that the Nissan Primera in which Saphire was travelling appeared to have crossed the centre line, rolled and ended up in a ditch.

Saphire died at the scene, despite attempts to resuscitate her by ambulance staff and motorists who had stopped to help.

Her mother and aunt, who was also a passenger in the car, were both taken to Hawke’s Bay Hospital with moderate injuries.

As well as being charged with causing her daughter’s death, Skipper faces a second charge of driving while forbidden.

According to court documents, she had initially been scheduled to appear in Hastings District Court on Monday, but court staff said her first appearance had been put back to next month.

Senior Constable Cory Ubels, of the Hawke’s Bay serious crash unit, said he could not comment on the case while it was before the courts.1468228516279d

The type of charge laid against Skipper is relatively rare, according to Karen Harding, an Auckland lawyer specializing in driving cases.

From 2009, amendments to the Land Transport Act gave police new powers to prosecute drug-impaired drivers.

Officers who have grounds to suspect a driver is on drugs can carry out a compulsory roadside “impairment test”. They can also take a blood sample to check for the presence of a range of drugs if a driver fails that initial test.1468228516279rr

If a person is injured in a crash, police can require them to have a blood sample taken while they are in hospital to determine whether they have a Class A drug, such as methamphetamine, in their system.

Hutt Valley-based criminal defense lawyer Geoff Fulton described the charge under section 61 2b of the Land Transport Act as unusual. “You’re not required to prove the level [of methamphetamine]; only that the drug is in the bloodstream.”

In 2012, West Auckland mother Toni Ericksen was sentenced to 12 months’ home detention and 200 hours’ community work after a crash that killed her 12-year-old daughter Bryer Greenwood, and injured her 8-year-old daughter Gemma.

Ericksen, 33, had pleaded guilty before trial to driving while under the influence of drugs causing death, two charges of driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, and driving while forbidden.

In March this year, Janine Elizabeth Carter, 37, was jailed for three years and two months for fatally injuring a 69-year-old woman in a crash while high on methamphetamine.



A Rome man remained in jail Friday without bond after being accused of assaulting a woman and forcing children to stay in their rooms.

According to Floyd County Jail reports:

Daniel Dominguez, 29, of 12 Towers Drive, was arrested Friday at 7:41 a.m. after he choked a woman until she was unconscious and prevented her from calling 911. Dominguez did this in front of her four children.

The victim told police that Dominguez repeatedly forced her two older children to stay in their bedroom all the time unless they were outside or at school. He also confined the victim to a bedroom and refused to let her leave.

Officers found marijuana and methamphetamine and various drug-related objects in Dominguez’s possession.

Dominguez is charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault, two felony counts of cruelty to children in the second degree, felony false imprisonment and felony possession of methamphetamine. He is also charged with four misdemeanor counts of cruelty to children in the third degree and misdemeanor counts of obstructing someone making a 911 call, possession of marijuana, battery under the Family Violence Act, criminal trespass and possession of drug-related objects.


NEW DELHI: Drug abuse and the illegal drug trade is still at alarming proportions in India despite a recorded drop in the total number of illicit drugs seized in the country, shows data from the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). The introduction of drugs like methamphetamine (crystal meth) and Mephedrone (M-Cat/Meow-Meow) have pushed the demand for illicit drugs and increased trafficking incidents, according to the bureau’s latest annual report.


For the first time, alcohol has been overtaken as the most pressing addiction problem in the country.

The addiction treatment sector says more patients now need help for methamphetamine use.

Treatment facilities are stretched to capacity and there are long waiting lists.

“For a number of our treatment facilities, methamphetamine is the primary presentation issue – [it’s] overtaken alcohol,” says Vanessa Caldwell, Addiction Treatment National Committee chairperson.

“That hasn’t ever happened before and it’s significant because it demonstrates how many people are struggling with this addiction.”

Higher Ground program director Johnny Dow says more than two-thirds of those seeking help at one Auckland rehabilitation clinic are there for methamphetamine addiction.tgjgy8er8gyq3

“The problem does seem to be getting worse,” he says.

And there are plenty waiting for help.

“On the waiting list currently, there’s about 70 people waiting to come in,” Mr Dow says.

“They won’t all be addicted to methamphetamine, but a majority will be.”

Last night, Newshub revealed even a faction of Black Power has concerns about the drugs availability.

“It’s nearly on every street corner,” a former Black Power president said. “It’s accessible for anyone.”

In 2009, John Key promised to break supply chains in a war on the drug.

“We will use every tool we have available to destroy you,” he said.

But that hasn’t happened.

Even so, he’s not accepting Government policy has failed, saying New Zealand “definitely” hasn’t lost the war on P.

“But we’ve got a bigger target on our heads because there’s just so much money involved in these gangs,” he says.

Domestic manufacture has dropped, but imports are at record levels.

And experts say it’s hitting provincial New Zealand particularly hard.

“A number of provincial communities are feeling actually overwhelmed by the problem… and don’t know where to start,” Ms Caldwell says.

She says an extra 50,000 people could benefit from addiction treatment every year, and she wants to see a funding boost for both addiction services and mental health.

Labour says it’s clear the Government hasn’t achieved what it set out to do when it declared a war on P back in 2009.



New Zealand’s coastline is wide open to drug smugglers, a researcher and criminologist says.

Recent record drug busts beg the question – where does a 500 kg haul of methamphetamine come from?1468312565516

How do organized crime groups get drugs to New Zealand?

Flows of methamphetamine, cocaine, and other illicit drugs around the world are, for obvious reasons, difficult to pin down.

Bales of meth could be dropped in one of two ways: from an aircraft, which is highly unlikely; or from a larger boat.

Canterbury University professor of sociology and criminology Greg Newbold said trafficking methamphetamine in large quantities to New Zealand could feasibly begin in a coastal city in China.a8e95b58-aac6-4e7f-a8f2-45b8c80f7436src=embed

Reports by the UN and other international monitoring agencies finger Hong Kong, Ghangzhou and southeastern Chinese provinces as a drug shipment hub.

If the drugs are not manufactured in China, then in all likelihood they will be shipped to China from drug-producing centers in southeast Asia, such as Myanmar, Lao and Cambodia – the infamous “Golden Triangle“.

Drugs could also flow through east and southeast Asia to New Zealand or from the Americas via the Pacific.7a665ebd-616a-4816-9914-1174a2a524desrc=embed

Much of the coast is remote and wide open and under international shipping laws, vessels can seek shelter in New Zealand waters in bays and inlets, without clearing Customs.

Other shipments could be concealed in container ships and offloaded surreptitiously in ports, Newbold said.

“Most of the big busts have come from China.

“Increasingly it’s because the police have been effective on the clandestine labs, they’ve reduced. The amount of pure meth coming has increased.

“Sometimes New Zealand will be used as an end destination but sometimes it would be used as a place to transport drugs as a stop-off point. If you were going to send drugs to Australia they would be less alert to the possibility of meth arriving [from New Zealand].

“The big thing is if it’s going to be dumped at sea it’s come direct from China.

“The New Zealand coast has been used in this way for years. You can send boats out, go out fishing, passing yachts and not enter [sovereign] waters and don’t have to go through customs.

“It’s really an open go.”

New Zealand ‘s coastline is 17,000 kilometers and most of it is well off the beaten track.

In China, most of the seized methamphetamine production labs lie in a block of provinces in the centre of the country.

The countries with the most seizures of meth are the United States, Mexico, China, Thailand and Iran.

In New Zealand, in 2015, Customs seized 258 kg of meth with an estimated street value of $219.7 million and 761kg of ephedrine worth $87m.

The bulk of the world’s heroin supply originates in Afghanistan, cocaine from South America and the world’s amphetamine-type stimulants from southeast Asia, China, west Africa and the Americas.

Meth smuggled into New Zealand, in all likelihood, originates in China or southeast Asia, but could also have made its way to the far east from the Americas.

China’s crystal meth epidemic is hard to comprehend with the number of users estimated at two million.

In reality, the origin of a meth shipment is hard to pinpoint.

The Pacific ocean and small island nations are also used as staging posts for smuggling drugs around Oceania through, for example, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Timor-Leste.

An International Narcotics Control Board report into the global amphetamine trade said smugglers use New Zealand residential addresses falsely claimed as legitimate Kiwi companies.

“Large importations are increasingly common, and offenders apparently have no difficulty accessing those chemicals, as reflected in the fact that there is no discernible decline in the methamphetamine market.

“Authorities consider the use of the Pacific Ocean by organized criminal groups to move illicit drugs and precursors to be of high risk to New Zealand.”

In the most recent available report, the Organized and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (OFCANZ) said there were four types of organized crime perpetrated in New Zealand by youth gangs, adult gangs, family syndicates and international syndicates.

Organized crime groups were linked by ethnicity, or involvement in a specific market.

“West African, Vietnamese, Chinese, Iranian, Italian, Romanian, Pakistani and Malaysian organized crime groups have all been noted for their involvement in a range of organized offending including fraud, intellectual property crime and illicit drug activity.

“Asian organized crime groups in particular continue to pose a serious threat to New Zealand, due to their ongoing involvement and central role in the illicit drug market.”

It’s important to note the majority of meth supplied in New Zealand is produced domestically, using precursor chemicals, but the number of seizures of the finished product continues to increase at the border.

China and India are the primary sources for precursor chemicals.

Drugs flow from manufacturers in China and southeast Asia, mainly Thailand, Myanmar, Lao and Indonesia, to Australia and New Zealand, by any conceivable means – boat, aircraft, smuggled in goods, post, sea containers and so on.

Production of meth in west Africa and subsequent smuggling into Asia and the Pacific including New Zealand has also increased, according to reports.

Since 2010, the global production and seizure levels of the finished drug have increased in New Zealand.

A report to Cabinet in 2015 said usage among the Kiwi population remained steady. Seizures of meth precursor drug pseudoephedrine remained constant but seizures of the other main precursor, ephedrine, and the finished product, have increased markedly in the past few years.

Not including the recent Northland seizure, which was more than all 2015 seizures, these trends are echoed by other official monitoring agencies. That seizure outstrips all previous years in terms of the quantity of meth seized at the border.

In 2015, a total of 334.3 kg of the drug were seized, more than three times the amount stopped at the border in 2014 and more than nine times the amount seized in 2013.

In the first quarter of 2016, Customs seized 77 shipments of meth worth $47.7m

Australia, too, had record seizures of the finished drug and precursors.

Of course, all the available figures represent the amounts seized, not the amounts that have made it into New Zealand.

A 2015 report by the International Narcotics Control Board said the South Pacific was a recognized smuggling route and, although small, the Kiwi cocaine market was growing.

As for methamphetamine, the Australia Crime Commission reports the precursors are sourced manly from China and India.

“New Zealand saw more finished methamphetamine trafficked in 2014, possibly in response to increased law enforcement pressure on precursor imports and on domestic clandestine laboratories,” the report said.

Police national manager of organized crime Detective Superintendent Virginia Le Bas said technologies for meth manufacturing and distribution were always evolving.

While the technology was becoming more sophisticated, there would always be criminals who were “clumsy and opportunistic”, who would have to carry out some of the work, she said.

“I wouldn’t like to give them too much credit.”

Meth in the News – July 8, 2016

Posted: 12th July 2016 by Doc in Uncategorized

Meth in the News

Professor Nicholas E Goeders

In last week’s Meth in the News column, I reminded the readers about how methamphetamine produces its intense euphoria by increasing the brain pleasure chemical, dopamine, to levels that no other drug or activity produces.

I also discussed how the increases in dopamine can begin to slowly damage the very brain cells that release the pleasure chemical in different parts of the brain, including the frontal cortex. This damage, plus the desire for that pleasure that meth no longer produces, can lead people to do things that they previously would never even consider ever doing.

Some even claim that meth is evil – that that it is of the devil.

As is always the case when it comes to meth, there were three cases last week – among many – that clearly illustrated the evil that meth produces. And while these three reports all carry a common theme, they could not be more different.

One involves a grandmother in Georgia. The second centers on a man and his friend in Minnesota, and the final story is about a man and his mother in Indiana.

I feel confident that these crimes would not have occurred if the accused in each had not used meth. But you can judge for yourself.

Sandy Springs is a suburban city in northern Fulton County, Ga., and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In March of 2016, Hayden and Taylor Shaw, along with their 9-month-old son, Kobe, were temporarily living with Ms. Shaw’s mother, Tonya Monroe, at her apartment at the Legends at Dunwoody Apartments.

On that fateful March night while they were fast asleep, they were suddenly awakened by Ms. Monroe.

“She had walked in,” Ms. Shaw said in a statement. “She walked over to his crib and she said, ‘He’s blue, Taylor, he’s blue!’ So I automatically jumped out of bed, ran over… and I looked down and automatically ran away, screaming and crying, ‘No!’”

They dialed 911, but to no avail. They could not revive little Kobe.

No one thought that anything was suspicious about Kobe’s death at first. You see, the baby was born with an undeveloped brain, and doctors did not even expect him to live to be five-years-old.

But the Fulton County Medical Examiner went ahead and ran routine toxicology tests on Kobe, not expecting to find anything unusual. The results finally came back the week of June 20, 2016.

Sandy Spring Police Captain Mike Lindstrom broke the news in a statement to reporters.

“Toxicology results came back positive for methamphetamine,” he said. “Something that should not have been in a 9-month-old child.” Captain Lindstrom said that little Kobe’s cause of death was a meth overdose.

Detectives now believe that the baby’s own grandmother, for some unknown reason, intentionally forced enough meth into Kobe to kill him.

They base this on the fact that it would have been physically and medically impossible for Kobe to have accidently crawled into any meth that might have been left within his reach. Kobe was so limited in his ability to move – he could not crawl, could not touch his hands to his face, could not do anything on his own. He stayed in his crib except when others picked him up to hold him and cuddle him.

Ms. Shaw told the authorities that her mother had a history of meth arrests. She was raised by her grandmother because of Ms. Monroe’s drug use. She and her husband wanted to believe her when she said that she was clean so that she could be a part of Kobe’s life for as long as possible.

Tonya Danyial Monroe, 45, has since disappeared, and Sandy Springs Police hope someone will tip them off about where she is. She was last known to be driving a silver 2004 Toyota 4-Runner with a Georgia license tag, RAL9819. Police say that they believe that she has dyed her hair brown.

How terribly sad.

In another tragic case, something went terribly wrong between two friends in Minnesota.

Apparently, the girlfriend of Joseph C. Thoresen, 35, of Grand Rapids, Minn., told him that she had been raped in their own apartment by his friend, David A. Haiman, 20, of Hibbing.

I don’t know if these allegations were true or not, but if I had raped my friend’s girlfriend, I don’t think I would willingly go back to their apartment.

Remarkably, however, Mr. Haiman arrived at the couple’s apartment on June 21 or 22, according to the girlfriend. She confronted Mr. Haiman right there in front of Mr. Thoresen, and began punching and kicking him. Mr. Thoresen also punched Mr. Haiman and told him that he should not have raped “my girl.”

Then, inexplicably, the three left together in Mr. Haiman’s vehicle to smoke marijuana with some people, and then they smoked meth with another friend. Later they left to drive “around in the woods” in northern Minnesota for a while.

Soon they stopped, and Mr. Haiman and Mr. Thoresen got out and stood in front of the vehicle. Suddenly, Mr. Thoresen hit Mr. Haiman with a baseball bat and stabbed him in the back and abdomen.

Then the unthinkable happened. Mr. Thoresen took a machete, decapitated Mr. Haiman and threw his severed head in the woods.

The authorities later found Mr. Haiman’s body in one spot in the woods and his head dumped in another location.

The police caught up with Mr. Thoresen and arrested him. He was charged on June 28 in Itasca County District Court with the second-degree murder of his friend.

What a horrific crime!

Finally, in the early morning hours on June 30, Richard Milton Franks, 43, of Muncie, Ind., made a frantic call to 911. He claimed to have been in a “big struggle” with his girlfriend over a shotgun.

“I charged at her,” Mr. Franks told the dispatcher. “She pulled the trigger before I could get to her, and my mom’s dead!”

When Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene, they found the 73-year-old victim’s body lying face down on the living room floor. She had been shot once in the head and had a cell phone in her hand.

Mr. Franks had already left the scene, but was arrested about an hour later during a traffic stop. At this point he told an officer that a “hooker” had killed his mother.

Later while being interrogated by sheriff’s investigators, Mr. Franks finally admitted that he had fired the fatal shot while arguing with his mother. He said that he had used meth in the hours before the shooting.

According to the affidavit, Mr. Franks said that “he retrieved the shotgun from his bedroom and loaded a shell” after his mother threatened to call a family member about his conduct. He then threatened his mother with the shotgun. Mr. Franks stated that when she continued to threaten to call someone, he shot her.

Mr. Franks was preliminarily charged with murder and was last being held without bond in the Delaware County jail.

A grandson, a mother and a friend are all dead now, and meth use can be linked to all three crimes. How many other lives has this insidious drug affected?

Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!

If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.

FORT SMITH — A doctor living in Fort Smith and was charged Friday with hiring a couple to make her a batch of methamphetamine.

A news release from Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Shue said Cynthia Carol Almond,yjhrjwrthw described as being in her 60s, was charged in a warrant with conspiracy to commit manufacturing of methamphetamine. She was released from the county jail after posting a $20,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Sebastian County Circuit Court, the release said.

Conspiracy to commit manufacturing of methamphetamine is a Class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison.

The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision showed Almond is licensed until March and specializes in pain medicine and family medicine. The board record showed her office was in Roland, Okla., but calls to that office were not answered Friday.zl9x2ljdhywialnigblr

An affidavit for an arrest warrant Shue sent out with the news release said Almond was seeing a patient, Justin Sharp, 31, of Roland on June 10.

“Almond asked him whether he still had the skills necessary to make methamphetamine and told him that she would find a place for him to do a one-pot (“shake-n-bake”) meth cook and would pay him $200 up front and another $200 after the cook was complete,” the affidavit said.

Almond offered to let Sharp and his wife Kyla use the vacant home next door to her home at 3220 S. 42nd St. to make the drug.

The affidavit said the three split the shopping list and bought the materials needed to make methamphetamine at various stores. It said Almond wrote herself a prescription for Zyrtec D and purchased two boxes at a Fort Smith pharmacy.

As Justin Sharp cooked the methamphetamine June 15, the affidavit said, Kyla watched their children in the front yard of the house. When the drug was cooked, Almond used her hair dryer to dry about 2 grams of the drug in her bathroom.

“After it was dry enough to ingest, Almond snorted some of the meth and Justin Sharp gave her the rest,” the affidavit said.

Justin and Kyla Sharp also were charged with conspiracy to commit manufacturing of methamphetamine but had not been arrested as of Friday. The warrant showed $20,000 signature bonds were set for them.

Almond was issued a medical license in Arkansas in 1979, according to the Arkansas State Medical Board. The license expired in July 2012. It said she specialized in occupational medicine.

Almond graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences School of Medicine, according to the board records.

Board records showed her license was suspended in 1984 for fraudulently prescribing a drug for herself and again in 1987 after an arrest on unspecified drug charges.

Roland Doctor Charged In Meth Manufacturing Bust


A woman arrested last month in a car that had been reported stolen allegedly handed over a bag of methamphetamine to deputies at the Miller County jail.

Celeste Nichole Acord, 30, of Ratcliff, Ark., allegedly denied she had anything illegal in her meth-696x365possession when she was taken to the Miller County jail after being arrested for theft. But when in the jail’s sally port, Acord allegedly pulled a small bag of meth from her “buttocks area,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Acord was driving a green 1994 Chevy Camaro with no license plate when she was pulled over by Miller County sheriff’s deputies shortly after midnight June 19 as she traveled along Highway 71 south near Carpenter Road. Acord told a deputy she had just bought the car and hadn’t had time to register it or acquire insurance.

Acord’s passenger, Terry Wayne Bohanan, 28, allegedly gave a second deputy a completely different story about how the Camaro came to be in he and Acord’s possession. Bohanan allegedly said at first that the car belonged to Acord but later claimed he had borrowed it from a friend named “Jimmie” several days before.

Bohanan allegedly told the deputy he had been unable to return the car because it had mechanical issues. The car had been reported stolen in Little River County, Ark.

Miller County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Cotten signed off on formal charges of theft by receiving and possession of methamphetamine earlier this week against Acord. She faces up to six years and a fine up to $10,000 on each count.

Bohanan has not been formally charged. However, he remains in the Miller County jail on an arrest warrant charging theft by receiving. At his initial court appearance June 20, bail was set at $10,000.

Acord appeared before a Miller County judge the same day. Her bail was set at $15,000. She remains in the Miller County jail. Both Acord and Bohanan are scheduled to return to court July 12.


Woman arrested in stolen car hid meth in seat of her pants



A recent search of a residence conducted by the Blackford County Probation Department reportedly turned up several illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia, which were discovered in plain sight.

The occupants of that home — Lexie A. Capper and her son, Warren J. Dickson — have since been formally charged in the local courts system.578014b390b29_image

According to a probable cause affidavit, the Probation Department, with the assistance of officers with the Hartford City Police Department and the Blackford County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a search of Capper’s residence at 204 S. Monroe St. the morning of June 22.

Capper, 54, is currently on probation for a December 2015 driving while intoxicated conviction in Blackford Superior Court. In the home at the time was Capper and Dickson, who turns 35 today.

While conducting a “safety check” in the residence, Lt. Cody Crouse with the Hartford City Police Department reported finding an open box in a second-story bedroom that, in plain sight, contained the following:

  • Four hypodermic syringes with orange caps and two without caps
  • Spoons with “residue” on top and “burn marks” on the bottom
  • Five “metal cigarette style smoking devices” with burnt residue on them
  • A cut down red straw with “white residue” on it
  • An empty capsule with white residue on it

Located next to the box on a table, according to the report, was a “small plastic bag with crushed up crystals inside of it” that later tested positive for methamphetamine, as well as a burnt spoon with a cotton tip containing a white residue and a “clear plastic bag with (a) corner cut off of it.”

“I know through my training and experience that packaging such as this is used for packaging and transportation of illegal narcotics,” Crouse wrote.

Later located in the living room downstairs were several items “used to smoke marijuana,” as well as a “small silver marijuana grinder with (a) green plant like material inside” that later field tested positive for marijuana, court documents indicate.

Questioned by the officers, Capper allegedly admitted that she “sleeps in the living room,” and that the grinder and the marijuana was hers. She’s charged in Blackford Superior Court with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; she has since pleaded not guilty.

Dickson, meanwhile, allegedly admitted that he had purchased the crystals found in the upstairs bedroom the night prior, and “believed that he had gotten ripped off and that it was not actually meth that he had bought.”

“I informed him that it did field test positive for methamphetamine,” Crouse wrote.

Dickson also allegedly admitted that the needles discovered in the box were his “and that he only uses those to inject methamphetamine into his body.” He has since been charged with possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a syringe, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of drug paraphernalia in Blackford Superior Court, and has also entered a plea of not guilty.

A jury trial in Dickson’s case has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 24.

According to court records, Dickson — whose last name is also spelled “Dixon” in some records — has a prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance (2013; Blackford County).


ATHENS — Investigators seized more than 60 grams of methamphetamine hidden inside a cereal box Thursday afternoon, authorities said.57802cb5c0235_image

Leah Charlene Appleton, 37, 1004 Bay Hill Drive, Athens, is charged with trafficking methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the Athens Police Department.

Appleton was arrested on U.S. 72 near Interstate 65, Chief Floyd Johnson said.

The street value of the drugs is estimated at $6,000, the chief said.57802cb5514ac_image

Appleton was being held in Limestone County Jail without bail set on the trafficking charge. Bail on the misdemeanor is $1,000.


Millions of dollars of methamphetamine have been seized in a shipment of handbags from China.

Customs says the shipment of 4000 handbags contained more than 30 kilograms of silica gel packs containing about $30-million worth of meth.meth-handbags

Investigations manager Maurice O’Brien said officers spent a a day and a half opening and testing thousands of tiny meth-filled sachets.

He said the seizure reflects how effective frontline officers are at identifying and and examining risks, and how far criminals will go to to smuggle drugs.

“This creative concealment shows that criminals will go to great lengths to try and smuggle drugs.

“[However] Customs is also constantly building its intelligence picture and updating its risk assessment and examination techniques to keep ahead of emerging trends.

“Customs officers know what to look out for, and are passionate and committed to protecting our communities.”

The handbags arrived in an air freight and appeared normal inside and out, but each contained between two and five gel packs.


  • Sydney City Police searched Sydney’s north and south-west suburbs
  • Alleged syndicate members will face Parramatta Local Court on Saturday
  • Leanne McCusker said the street value of the drugs will be in the millions

Twelve Sydney people arrested for their alleged involvement in an elaborate ice distribution ring 3617F4E600000578-3681916-image-a-27_1468046226536have been charged with an array of drug supply, possession and organized crime offences.

The alleged methamphetamine syndicate members range in age from 19 to 32 and are facing court in Parramatta on Saturday.

Six simultaneous searches were conducted around suburbs including St Marys, Kellyville, Fairfield West and West Hoxton from about 8.00 pm on Friday.

The group includes William Siryani from Padstow, Craig Fisher from Oxley Park, Vincent David Craddock from West Hoxton, Wayne Robertson from Oxley Park, and Joshua Talvi from Lane Cove.

Also in the group were Larissa Mundy-James from Sylvania, Drew Keating from Oakhurst, Liano Patuki from St Leonards, Alicia Meleane Tohi from Fairfield and a 20-year-old woman yet to be named.3617F4EA00000578-3681916-image-a-42_1468047717819

Fairfield brothers Cameron and Liam Collenette also face charges in connection to the elaborate ice distribution syndicate.

The group was arrested in raids on Friday night involving more than 100 police in multiple locations across northwest and southwest Sydney.

During the raids, tactical, riot and dog squads also seized cash and drugs.

Acting Superintendent Leanne McCusker said the street value of the drugs would be ‘in the millions’.

‘This strike force demonstrates that drug supply is a problem across Sydney and police will continue to investigate drugs across the Sydney area,’ Acting Superintendent McCusker told reporters on Saturday.





Philippine police shot dead eight drug suspects Saturday, bringing the number of fatalities in the new government’s crackdown on illegal drugs to around 80, according to local media.

The eight were killed and another suspect arrested after a brief firefight broke out when officers attempted to serve warrants of arrest to allegedly “big-time” drug pushers and robbers in southern Cotabato province, according to news broadcaster ABS-CBN.thumbs_b_c_5a61e2873d0d53cc326efba358a77181

Three high-powered guns, a grenade and five sachets believed to contain methamphetamine — locally known as “shabu” — and other drug paraphernalia were recovered in the morning raid.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who was inaugurated June 30, has launched a campaign against drugs under his pledge to curb corruption and criminality within three to six months.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s The Kill List, which is regularly updated to document fatalities in the anti-crime drive, at least 72 suspects were killed from June 30 to July 7.

Several lawmakers have expressed concern over possible extrajudicial killings, with some seeking congressional investigations.

Senator Leila de Lima, who served as justice secretary under former President Benigno Aquino III, announced Thursday that she would move for a legislative probe.

“I will file a resolution… We have to look into that, in aid of legislation, because as you know there are just telltale signs of summary executions in a number of them [recent killings],” GMA News quoted her as saying.

“Perhaps some of them are legitimate, meaning the suspects resisted but not all can be considered that,” she added, underlining that a congressional probe could result in the institutionalization of the operational procedures of the national police, drug enforcement agency and other law enforcement.

While she described the Duterte administration’s all-out war on illegal drugs as “laudable”, she stressed that “it should not be done at the expense of human rights and due process.”

Meanwhile, Congressman Teddy Baguilat of northern Ifugao province has already filed a resolution in the House of Representatives calling for an investigation.

“We don’t want culture of violence… The rule of law, due process must prevail,” Baguilat said earlier this week. “And if you look at it positively, who knows, during the hearings we will be able to know if there are laws that need to be replaced or strengthened.”

Since the May 9 election victory of Duterte, who served 22 years as mayor of southern Davao City, thousands of drug suspects and “addicts” have surrendered to police.

In the United Nations World Drug Report for 2012, the Philippines was listed as the East Asian country with highest use of methamphetamine.


The chief monk of a pagoda in Stung Treng province was defrocked on Friday, just hours after a raid on his living quarters turned up nearly a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine, officials said.

Son Nimol, chief of the provincial police’s anti-drug bureau, said officers swooped in on Mai Samoeurn’s room inside Wat Khetiyaram in Stung Treng City at about 11:40 a.m. and seized 936.7 grams of crystal meth.

He said officers from his department became suspicious of the 34-year-old pagoda chief after he made numerous trips to the Laos border.

“He told police that he brought the drugs from across the Laos border,” Mr. Nimol said.

City police chief Chhouk Komal said Mr. Samoeurn was defrocked following his arrest.

Meach Eang, chief of the provincial cults and religion department, said Mr. Samoeurn had traveled extensively across Cambodia, Thailand and Laos over the past few years, neglecting his pagoda. He closed a school for monks, ignored advice from senior clergy and caused infighting among the pagoda’s leadership, Mr. Eang said.

Villagers living near the pagoda recently complained about Mr. Samoeurn’s conduct to the district cults and religion office, he added.

“He never fulfilled his duty as chief of the pagoda,” he said.

Provincial chief monk Chheun Mony said members of the clergy who used or trafficked drugs would face the full force of the law.

“Monks are supposed to strictly uphold rules and principles, and when monks break the rules, it is wrong,” he said.

Provincial authorities questioned Mr. Samoeurn at the provincial police headquarters into the night on Friday, and he will be sent to the provincial court this weekend, according to Mr. Nimol.

The monkhood has been plagued by crime in recent years, including rape, child rape, violence, murder and drug use. Senior members of the country’s Buddhist clergy have refused to acknowledge a pattern, however, and have dismissed the scandals as aberrations.


Pagoda Chief Caught With Major Meth Stash



A convicted sex offender living roughly one mile from Magnolia Elementary School was recently arrested on multiple counts of Possession of Child Pornography after police officials investigated a report of suspicious online activity submitted by the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.577ed521db571_image

The suspect, identified as 62-year-old James Shannon Harper, was first arrested on charges related to child pornography more than 10 years ago. In 2005, a jury convicted the Pearland resident for Possession of Child Pornography and he was sentenced to eight years in prison, according to Brazoria County Court records.

After receiving the tip that Harper might again be downloading child pornography from the internet, detectives began studying online evidence related to one of Harper’s social media accounts and detectives were soon again at his door with a search warrant.

According to Pearland Police Spokesman James Wells, the investigation uncovered multiple images of child pornography on both the suspect’s computer and cellphone.

“When interviewed by detectives, Mr. Harper at first denied the allegations,” Wells said when contacted by The Journal. “But during the course of the interview at his house that day, the suspect eventually admitted he had received multiple images involving child pornography via a social media account.”

Following the interview, detectives searched Harper’s residence and in his bathroom reportedly found more than a gram of methamphetamine, which was seized as evidence along with his computer and cell phone among other items.

“A forensic search of the cell phone later uncovered three large files containing multiple pornographic images involving children,” Wells said.

Harper also reportedly confessed to having downloaded child pornography other times in the past since his 2005 conviction.

As a result of the investigation, Harper was arrested and charged with three counts of Possession of Child Pornography and one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance (more than one gram but less than four grams). As a convicted sex offender, Harper is required to register all his online accounts including any social media accounts. Since he allegedly failed to do that, he was also charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.

At the time of his arrest, police reports indicate that Harper was unemployed and living at a residence located in the 5800 block of Patridge Drive. He is currently being held at the Brazoria County Jail on bonds totaling $70,000. A Brazoria County Grand Jury is expected to review the charges in the coming weeks.


ODESSA, TX (KWES) – One woman is behind bars on charges after she tried to swallow two bags of methamphetamine.10935477_G

Odessa police said officers conducted a traffic stop on a silver Nissan Quest in the area of University Boulevard and Dixie Boulevard on Sunday.

According to the report, while police were talking with Angel Bruton, 33, who was a passenger in the vehicle, officers saw something inside of her mouth.

That’s when, police said, Bruton spit out two bags of methamphetamine.

Bruton was later arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and tampering with physical evidence.


Michelle+Homstad+mugshotCrookston, Minn. (Valley News Live) A 28-year old Grand Forks woman has been arrested in Polk County on a drug charge.

Michelle Homstad is charged with 5th Degree Possession of Meth, after a stolen pickup she was riding in was pulled over in rural Polk County.

The charged carries a maximum sentence of 10-years in prison.


A pair busted inside a Middleburg home where a suspected methamphetamine lab was operating Wednesday are tied to another meth lab operation found in a Shamokin Dam motel last February.

Charges are pending against Charles “Chip” K. Hanson, 23, and Savannah Goodling, 24, in both cases, Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch confirmed.

Police have suspected for a year that Hanson has been involved in manufacturing methamphetamine, according to a search warrant filed by county detective William Neitz Jr. in District Judge Lori Hackenburg’s Middleburg office.

In February, according to court records, Shamokin Dam police found a “one pot” method of manufacturing methamphetamine inside a room at the Golden Arrow Motel occupied by Hanson and Goodling.

Police went to the motel to investigate a domestic disupte and cited the pair for harassment and disorderly conduct. At the time, Shamokin Dam police chief Timothy Bremigen said there would be more charges pending an investigation.

In the warrant related to the Middleburg case, Neitz alleges that Hanson has been “moving from place to place to cook upmethamphetamine.

Acting on a tip Wednesday morning, county probation officers went to the the home of Bre Hendricks at 409 Center St. in Middleburg looking for Goodling, 24, who is on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia, after she failed to appear in county court earlier in the morning. Under the conditions of her probation, Goodling is not to have any contact with Hanson.

Probation officers were greeted at the door by Hendricks’ boyfriend, Josiah Hayes, who confirmed Goodling and Hanson were inside with another male, whom sources identified as Luis Vasquez.

Neither Goodling or Hanson would come to the door to speak with the probation officers, the warrant said.

While the area was being secured and Middleburg police were called, law enforcement learned from Hendricks and Hayes that Hanson may be cooking meth in the basement.

Authorities entered the house and found evidence of a meth lab in the basement, including several open cans of chemicals associated with manufacturing the drug.

Both Goodling and Hanson are being held in county jail. Goodling is being held for probation violations and Hanson is being held on a warrant from an unrelated case.

Piecuch said charges stemming from the suspected meth lab in Middleburg are also pending.

He could not say whether Hendricks, Hayes or Vasquez, 42, will face any charges.

“It is an active investigation,” Piecuch said, praising the efforts of the probation officers. “I give probation a lot of credit for getting on top of it. (Meth labs) are very dangerous. These are the folks we need to get off the street.”


PERU, Ind. – Police in Indiana say a 30-year-old man high on methamphetamine shattered the window of a squad car with his head after being shot with a stun gun and handcuffed following a crash along a rural road.

Deputies were called to the intersection of county roads 250 South and 300 West, 577e879d92f97_imageabout 80 miles north of Indianapolis, late Monday night after receiving a report of a shirtless driver who had crashed his vehicle and ran into a patch of woods along U.S. 31.

According to an affidavit obtained by the Kokomo, Indiana Tribune, officers surrounded the area and heard the man, later identified as Brent Youngblood, crashing through trees nearby. He then ran out of the woods, saw the deputies, and fled back into the trees.

Officers eventually located Youngblood lying in some tall grass. He jumped up and tried to flee again before being hit with the stun gun. Police said the electric jolt had no effect on Youngblood.

Officers eventually apprehended him and placed him in handcuffs.

As deputies led him to a squad car, Youngblood was “yelling and swearing at officers and laughing, stating, ‘Took you long enough to find me,’” according the affidavit.

As he was led to a squad car, a handcuffed Youngblood became agitated and complained that the cuffs were too tight on his wrists. After deputies placed him in a cruiser, Youngblood began banging his head against a window in the car. They told him to stop and offered to change his cuffs if he calmed down. Instead, he began to yell “abusive language” at the officers, according to the affidavit.

When officers shut the squad car door, Young again banged his head against the window, causing it to shatter.

Youngblood’s behavior was consistent with someone on a methamphetamine high, according to several studies on the side effects of meth use. They cite increased levels of dopamine, serotonin and other brain chemicals that can lead to mood swings, increased delusions and hallucinations, which can contribute to a feeling of invulnerability or heightened adrenaline levels.

Youngblood was removed from the squad car and placed in a transport vehicle with a cage before he was taken to a hospital.

Officers obtained a warrant to draw Youngblood’s blood for an operating-while-intoxicated investigation, during which time deputies heard him say he was under the influence of meth, according to the affidavit.

Youngblood was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, criminal mischief, resisting law enforcement and operating while intoxicated under a controlled substance, as well as a warrant for invasion of privacy. He was being held at the Miami County jail without bond.