BURTON — A 33-year-man from Davison is behind bars at this time after being arrested in Burton on meth-related charges.

The Burton police responded to the Goodwill on the 2000 block of South Center Road, after receiving a call about a man slumped over in his vehicle.

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When police arrived, the man was just leaving the Goodwill parking lot in his truck. The driver stopped right in front of the main doors to the nearby Security Credit Union.

Police say that when they approached the truck, they could smell chemicals. They asked the driver if he had a meth lab in the vehicle. Police say that the man said he did.

The driver was arrested and taken to the Genesee County Jail where he awaits arraignment.

A HAZMAT crew and the Flint Area Narcotics Group (FANG) were called out to assist with the crime scene.

The investigation has been handed over to FANG.







CULLMAN — The mother and boyfriend accused of aggravated child abuse in her one-year-old son’s death tested positive for multiple drugs including methamphetamine, according to a Cullman County investigator’s sworn affidavit obtained by The Times via an open records request.

Crystial Vialonda Ballenger, 23, and Jeffrey Hugh Brown, 37, both of Cullman, were charged with aggravated child abuse in connection with the death of Ballenger’s son, Hoss Wayne Benham, who reportedly died after being left in a bathtub on his first birthday, March 11. His death has been ruled a homicide but a specific cause of death has not yet been released.


Ballenger admitted she and Brown used methamphetamine on Sunday and Monday prior to Hoss’s death on Tuesday and again on Wednesday night after his death, court records show.

Ballenger tested positive through a court-ordered drug test for marijuana, methamphetamine, amphetamines, and MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Brown tested positive for benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, amphetamines, and MDMA.


According to the probable cause statement signed by Cullman County investigator Bethhany Shaddrix, Benham had the following injuries: burns to feet, lesions to rectum, bruising to scrotum, and blunt force trauma to head and face area.

The Cullman County Circuit Clerk’s office released new documents on Wednesday after The Times filed a records request with Cullman County Clerk Lisa McSwain. The records were stamped as filed March 17.

The infant’s body was sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville on March 12. It could take up to a year to determine an official cause of death, said Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Max Bartlett. Shaddrix and Bartlett attended the child’s autopsy, conducted by Dr. Valerie Green, at the Department of Forensic Science in Huntsville.

Green stated the victim had bruising on the back of his head with skull fractures, numerous bruises on his body, both new and old. The victim had injuries on the bottom of his feet consistent with burns, and injuries inside of his mouth consistent with cuts. The report stated the victim had rectal tearing consistent with sexual abuse, but could not confirm until further forensic testing was completed.

“We’re waiting on the pathology report to return with the cause of death and at that point the staff and the district attorney will talk and if it’s appropriate to file additional charges, it will be done at that time,” Bartlett said. “Through that report the determination will be made if it’s a homicide or some other cause of death. We are still gathering evidence regarding the case. The maximum bond for a child abuse charge has been set and it’s been sufficient at this point.”

Brown and Ballenger remain in the Cullman County Detention Center Thursday on $30,000 cash bond each.

The new court records state investigators interviewed Brown’s juvenile daughter in the early morning hours of March 12. The juvenile lived in the home with Ballenger, Brown and Benham. In regards to the apparent burns on the baby’s feet, the juvenile told investigators he may have gotten burned a few weeks prior when walking over heating vents in the floor or stepping on a tack. Ballenger reported her son had just started learning to walk and could only do so by holding onto things.

“Hoss is spoiled and wants to be held all the time,” the minor told investigators, according to the court records.

The juvenile said she would often babysit the child when Ballenger and Brown would walk to Warehouse Discount Grocery and that Ballenger did not have a vehicle and was unemployed. The teen said she didn’t notice any bruises on Benham the day before he died when she was giving him a bath.

She also said Brown would stay in the bathroom with the baby when he was given baths.

“Crystial stated on the night of March 11, Jeff was giving Hoss a bath and she walked into the bathroom and witnessed Jeff holding Hoss under water for 20-25 seconds,” Shaddrix wrote in the affidavit. “Jeff told Crystial he was teaching Hoss how to float and that he could hold his breath. Crystial stated Jeff allegedly tried to perform CPR because she didn’t know how to perform CPR.”

Ballenger also told investigators she witnessed Brown giving her son Tabasco sauce as punishment to make him stop crying, and she would give the baby cough medicine because he was cutting teeth.







A 38-year-old Ketchikan man faces felony drug charges after police and U.S. Postal Inspectors allegedly found 23 grams of methamphetamine in a package mailed to a home on North Tongass Highway.

Christopher J. Kitsmiller was arraigned Thursday on one count of third-degree controlled-substance misconduct. Sgt. Andy Berntson of the Ketchikan Police Department said the package was discovered by Postal Inspectors when it came through Anchorage on its way to Ketchikan.


“A shipment of approximately 23 grams of methamphetamine was intercepted bound for a residence that Mr. Kitsmiller sometimes stays at, which is a primary residence of one of his family members,” Berntson said. “After that was seized, search warrants revealed the methamphetamine was inside.”

Berntson said authorities allowed the package to be delivered, and Kitsmiller allegedly accepted delivery. After that, police served another search warrant at the home and made the arrest.

Berntson said Kitsmiller had been on the police department’s radar, partly because of prior federal drug offenses, and partly due to more recent information that police had gathered.

Berntson added that Kitsmiller took responsibility following his arrest.

“He’s admitting that it was bound for him,” Berntson said. “That it was his shipment. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Berntson said drug-related paraphernalia also was found and seized during the search. Kitsmiller remains in custody on $50,000 bail. His next hearing is set for April 11in Ketchikan District Court.







The Madisonville Police Department received a complaint of a white female possibly intoxicated at 2115 South Main Street around 10:15 a.m. April 3.

According to a MPD report, officers made contact with Tammy J. Suttle, 43, struggling next to the vehicle that was described by dispatch. The officer asked for identification and she retrieved her purse from the vehicle. When Suttle opened her purse, the officer could see a hypodermic needle and Suttle said she didn’t know why it was in her purse.

Tammy J. Suttle

After Suttle gave officers permission to search her purse, they found a small clear bag containing a clear crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine. Also in the clear bag were crushed pills, one being a Dilaudid. Suttle told officers that she did not have a prescription. The clear crystal tested positive for methamphetamine in a field test kit, according to the report.

Suttle was charged with possession of a controlled substance, first degree, first offense (meth), possession of a controlled substance, first offense (drug unspecified), drug paraphernalia-buy/possess and public intoxication.

A Phoenix man was arrested Thursday after the stolen truck he was driving collided with another car, killing an unborn baby, according to a police report.

Michael Angelo Delacruz, 31, admitted to police that he had been using methamphetamine “all day” before the crash, according to court records.

According to court documents, Delacruz was driving a black 2002 Dodge pickup eastbound on McDowell Road near Ninth Street just after midnight on Thursday morning.

Michael Angelo Delacruz

Delacruz’s truck crossed the center line and crashed head-on into another vehicle, according to court records. The front passenger of the other vehicle was 27 weeks pregnant and required emergency surgery, according to court documents, but the unborn child died as a result of the crash.

Delacruz and his passenger fled the scene on foot to a nearby house, where they attempted to steal the homeowner’s BMW, police said. The passenger was taken into custody at the house, but Delacruz fled on foot, police said.

Delacruz was arrested in the 500 block of West Lynwood Street, police said. He was taken to the hospital because he appeared to be under the influence of drugs, police said.

After being discharged from the hospital, Delacruz attempted to escape from the officers and had to be taken back into custody, police said.

Delacruz admitted to being involved in the accident, fleeing on foot, and trying to escape police custody, according to court records. Delacruz also told investigators that he had borrowed the truck.

Delacruz was on parole and had an outstanding felony warrant, police said.

He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, fleeing the scene of an accident, aggravated assault, aggravated DUI and attempt to escape from felony custody, according to court records.







Two people were arrested after officers from several law enforcement agencies searched a Roodhouse residence suspected of being used for methamphetamine production.

Greene County sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Roodhouse and White Hall police departments searched the house in the 200 block of Simmons Street about 11 p.m. Monday after obtaining a search warrant.

Christine R. Taylor, 20, of Roodhouse and Corey W. Murphy, 35, of Jacksonville, along with a child belonging to Murphy were found in the residence, according to authorities.

Taylor and Murphy were taken into custody without incident. The child was taken into protective custody and later placed into protective care by the Department of Children and Family Services.

The search revealed what officers believed to be an active meth lab in the house. The Roodhouse Fire Department was called to stand by and the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team was called.

Both Taylor and Murphy were booked into the Greene County Jail and held on preliminary charges of aggravated manufacturing of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine precursors, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine waste and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and hypodermic needles.

Both were being held without bail Wednesday in the Greene County Jail, awaiting the filing of formal charges by the states attorney’s office and a bail hearing in circuit court.







Police charged two people with manufacturing methamphetamine after deputies found drugs and paraphernalia in their motel room Friday.

and Heather Studer, 24, have been charged with felony counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of cocaine, according to a statement from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Heather StuderJackie Ray Beasley

About 7:30 a.m., deputies were called to the Economy Inn at 3061 Deans Bridge Road, where they found what appeared to be narcotics paraphernalia.

Narcotics investigators were called in and found “six precursors for successfully manufacturing methamphetamines,” according to the release.

Investigators seized 1.2 grams of methamphetamine and 2.1 grams of cocaine at the scene.





Two people, including a man with alleged ties to Mexican drug cartels, were arrested March 27 after detectives seized 37 pounds of methamphetamine from their vehicle, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.

Juan Manuel Ponce-Chavez, 22, and Normal Yolanda Juarez, 28, were arrested in San Jose on suspicion of drug trafficking by sheriff’s detectives and booked into the county jail, sheriff’s Sgt. Andrea Urena reported.

including a man with alleged ties to Mexican drug cartels,

Ponce-Chavez is being held on $1 million bail and Juarez on $500,000 bail, according to Urena.

The arrests concluded an investigation over the past several months by Special Operations detectives into Ponce-Chavez, regarded as a significant San Jose-based drug trafficker, according to Urena.

Ponce-Chavez and Juarez, both of San Jose, were stopped in their vehicle where they were found to have concealed the 37-pound quantity of methamphetamine, according to deputies.


The drugs seized had a wholesale value of more than $200,000 but would be worth much more after being cut and sold at the street level, deputies said.

Ponce-Chavez has been tied to the Mexican state of Michoacan that is “currently occupied and heavily influenced by the remnants of the La Familia Michoacan Cartel, the Los Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar) Cartel, and the El Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (New Generation Cartel of Jalisco),” Urena said in a statement.







SALT LAKE CITY – Authorities arrested 13 people Wednesday as part of operations targeting the distribution of methamphetamine and heroin in Utah by alleged gang members.

The arrests were part of a federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force targeting the La Raza gang and their associates.

targeting the La Raza gang

According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, officials conducting searches seized about 10 pounds of methamphetamine and heroin, seven firearms, eight vehicles and about $175,000 in cash.

The individuals are charged in two indictments unsealed this week, and the charges include distribution of methamphetamine and heroin, conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin, possession of methamphetamine and heroin with the intent to distribute and money laundering.

The first indictment names 30-year-old Juan Lazareno of Santa Clara and an individual identified as “FNU-LNU (first name unknown – last name unknown)”. The two are charged with distribution of methamphetamine. Lazareno appeared before a judge Wednesday and is being detained.

The second indictment names thirteen individuals. According to the release: “They are Wayne LeRoy Burr aka Miclo, age 30, of Draper; Samuel Covarrubias-Velazquez aka Pollo, age 36, of West Valley City; Javier Corrales, age 34, of Provo; Juan Reveles, age 35, of Richfield; David Miramontes, age 28, of West Valley City; Anthony Pedroza, age 26, of West Valley City; Carlos Tenengueno, age 24, of Sandy; Jose Munoz, age 26, of Salt Lake City; Beatriz Miramontes, age 56, of Richfield; Elisa Gallardo, age 27, of Draper; Guillermo Miramontes, age 22, of Salt Lake City; and William Reveles, age 34, of West Valley City. Alejandro Arciniega-Zetin, age 24, of Salt Lake City has not been arrested.”

The charges in the indictment include 25 drug trafficking counts and six money laundering counts. The individuals charged in this second indictment had initial court appearances Thursday in Salt Lake City. Elisa Gallardo was released following her initial appearance. Detention hearings for the others were underway Friday.

Officials stated in the release that indictments are not findings of guilt, and individuals charged are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court.

According to the press release: “Several local and state agencies contributed to the joint operation including the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, IRS Criminal Investigation, Salt Lake City, West Valley, Sandy, and West Jordan police departments, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Unified Police Department, the Metro Gang Unit, and the Utah Department of Public Safety. Several other agencies assisted in executing arrest and search warrants Wednesday in the Salt Lake metro area, Richfield, and St. George, including the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah County Major Crimes Task Force, Utah and Sevier County Sheriffs’ Offices, St. George, Spanish Fork and Richfield police departments, the Utah Highway Patrol, the Washington County Drug Task Force, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.”








HOULTON, MaineDebris found in a garage fire late Thursday on Johnson Street led firefighters to call police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, who later charged a local man who lives in the home next to the garage with selling methamphetamine.

Thomas Lowery, 36, was arrested after investigators found items “involving the suspected manufacturing of methamphetamine,” MDEA commander Peter Arno said in a Friday press release posted on the department’s Facebook page.

Thomas Lowery

Lowery was charged with Class B trafficking in Schedule W drugs, which could send him to prison for up to 10 years and result in a $20,000 fine.

Firefighters who fought the blaze at 5 Johnson St. in Houlton called the Houlton Police Department, who asked the MDEA to assist at about 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

“Based upon evidence gathered during the investigation, agents had probable cause to believe that methamphetamine was being manufactured on the property,” Arno said.

Lowery was taken to the Aroostook County Jail and bail was set at $5,000 cash, the MDEA director said.

“The origin and cause of the fire in the garage remains under investigation,” Arno said.

The suspected meth lab is the eighth responded to by MDEA agents in Maine this year, and the third in Aroostook County.


A 20 year-old man has been charged with importing 4.6 kilograms of methamphetamines hidden inside dozens of shampoo bottles.

Hong Kong national Chi Chang faced the Magistrates Court on Saturday morning, charged with the import and attempt to posses the street drugs.

The case was adjourned for Tuesday. No application for bail was made and Mr Chang will remain in custody at least until the file hearing.

His solicitor said her client spoke very little English and that his language barrier needed to be addressed while he remanded in custody.

Australian Federal Police arrested Mr Chang in Melbourne CBD on April 3 after he allegedly imported the drugs.

An AFP federal agent said the arrest was part of a larger operation, adding that the quantity of drugs seized was “significant”.

The street value is not yet known but the agent said the cost of manufacturing the methamphetamines would have cost about $190,000.

The charges carry a total maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison.






Two Carthage residents have been arrested and charged for manufacturing methamphetamine following a drug investigation, said Moore County Sheriff Neil Godfrey.

Jason Phillip Wallin, 42, and Krystal Kate Mays, 21, both of 923 Carthage Road, were arrested and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine precursors, felony conspiracy, and maintain a place to keep/manufacture controlled substance.


Wallin was also charged with 18 counts of exceeding or attempting to exceed Federal Pseudoephedrine Compliance Laws.

Mays was also charged with 7 counts of exceeding or attempting to exceed Federal Pseudoephedrine Compliance Laws.

Wallin received a $150,000 secured bond and was placed in the Moore County Detention Center.

Mays received a $20,000 unsecured bond and released from the Moore County Detention Center.

During the investigation detectives went to 923 Carthage Rd. Carthage, N.C with arrest warrants on two individuals for exceeding and attempting to exceed the Federal Pseudoephedrine Compliance Law. While detectives were at the residence items used to manufacture methamphetamine were observed.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and discovered the individuals had been manufacturing methamphetamine in an outbuilding on the property.

Agents from the North Carolina State Bureau Investigation Clandestine Lab Unit, NCSBI Fayetteville Field Division, and Moore County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Response Team assisted in the investigation and search.

During the investigation Officers seized items to manufacture methamphetamine, $500.00 in U.S Currency, and items of drug paraphernalia.







SAN LUIS, Ariz. — Two Bullhead City women were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of trying to smuggle methamphetamine across the Arizona-Mexico border.

The women were reportedly passengers in a Honda sedan that was selected for further inspection at the San Luis Port of Entry.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers searched the car and occupants after a narcotics detection K-9 alerted to the possible presence of drugs.

The women, ages 32 and 33, allegedy had meth concealed in tubular objects inside their pelvic areas.

The drugs weighed more than 1/2 pound and had an estimated value of just over $15,000, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The women were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

The 41-year-old male driver was released.







Bettendorf Home Repair owner Lenny Wilkinson has not taken a day off since August, when his former office at 3221 State St. caught fire after an explosion at a neighboring meth lab.

“It was a disaster,” Wilkinson said.


The contractor had been renting four storage units for 14 years at the former red warehouse, which has since been stripped to its original wood frame.

Vizient Manufacturing Solutions rented the space to Wilkinson for $700 a month. The approximately 5,400-square-foot building included storage space leased to McArtor Construction, where the fire started.

David McArtor, whose father’s construction company leased the storage unit, started the fire Aug. 26 while he and others were cooking meth.

McArtor, 31, was sentenced in Scott County District Court last week to 25 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to second-degree arson, two counts of manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony and sponsoring a gathering for use of controlled substances.

Cases are pending against seven other defendants: Julie Anna Huffman, 32; Christopher A. Smith, 27; Ira S. Dornbach, 35; Zachary R. Bishop-Jensen, 25; Sarah M. Adamson, 21; Sylvester Emory, 53, and Jack A. Otto, 52.

An investigation also uncovered a second methamphetamine production site in a field at Middle Road and Indiana Avenue in Bettendorf, resulting in the second manufacturing methamphetamine charge against McArtor.

McArtor has to pay $8,000 in restitution to Bettendorf Home Repair and $3,500 to Vizient.

Less than a week after the fire, Wilkinson purchased a building in Eldridge, which the business now uses as its warehouse.

Between August and February, he rented and leased space to keep his business open.

“I told my employees that this is the kind of thing that can ruin us, but it doesn’t have to if we take care of our customers,” said Wilkinson, who added he has gained more trust in his employees since the fire. “It was a growing experience for me. My crew stepped up to the plate.”

After three months of planning and preparing to continue the business, Wilkinson purchased space at 3050 State St. from Bettendorf Autowerks, just west of his previous workspace.

Blake Collins, co-owner of Vizient Manufacturing Solutions, said Wednesday the company has started the initial phases of skinning the building.

“We want to save the building and refurbish it,” Collins said. “We’re going to remodel it and put it back like it was.”

Collins said Vizient will not lease the space after construction is completed at the end of May.

“It’s space we need anyway here in the future,” he said. “The next couple of months, we’ll be hitting it pretty hard and peeling off original framing to see what needs replacing.”

For the Wilkinson family, business is back and busy. The contractors are booked through the end of May.

“We were lucky we had been saving up for a while,” said Wilkinson, who designed his business’ current home base. “You always have to find the best stud after something bad happens.”







MIAMISBURG — Police have identified the two suspects in Thursday’s suspected meth lab fire on Maue Road.

Both James Plemons, 45, and Melissa Guffey, 33, are charged with breaking and entering, illegal manufacture of drugs, illegal assembly and inducing panic.

Plemons also faces possession of criminal tools and resisting arrest charges.

Previous coverage:

APRIL 3, 2014: Two in Custody Following Meth Lab Fire

MIAMISBURG — New information has been released about a fire at a suspected meth lab that forced evacuations Thursday.

Two people are in custody, taken from the scene before 6:00 Thursday evening. Miamisburg Police say it was a breaking-and-entering call that led them to the scene at 2444 Maue Road, and that the fire started after they got to the suspects.

Black smoke could be seen from around Miamisburg. The fire started inside an outbuilding behind a vacant home at the Maue Road address.

One male suspect was put in handcuffs and taken to a Miami Township ambulance after being bitten by a police dog.

“He was refusing to listen to officers and wouldn’t comply so subsequently ended up getting bit,” said Miamisburg Police Sgt. William Kelly.

A female suspect was also arrested without incident.

Both suspects, and police and fire personnel were sent to area hospitals to be evaluated because of the potentially hazardous chemicals involved in the incident.

“It kind of smelled like burning plastic, I’d say,” said Jason Barber, who was evacuated from his work nearby fire by police because of the health hazard.

“I was in a meeting and they came over the conference system and told everybody to evacuate the building immediately and they said it wasn’t a joke,” Barber said. “You could definitely smell it when you came out of the building. I looked up over the trees and there was smoke coming out.”

Residents in nearby Miamisburg were also told to stay inside and turn off their HVAC systems.

The vacant property is for sale.

“There’s some people who go in there at times but I don’t know what they’re doing,” Barber said.

As of Thursday evening, police say the area around the fire is no longer a hazard.

But as to whether or not meth production started the blaze, Sgt. Kelly said, “It’s suspected. It’s still being investigated to determine if that’s the case.”

Earlier coverage:

MIAMISBURG — Multiple fire crews are trying to contain a suspected meth lab fire at 2444 Maue Road near Earl Boulevard. The fire broke out just after 4pm and smoke could be seen billowing from the trailer from a couple miles away. Police and fire crews are telling residents who live within a mile of the fire to stay inside. Two nearby companies, including a gymnastics school have been evacuated.

Police did arrest someone on scene.

We have a crew on scene and will bring you updates as they become available.UPDATE: Miamisburg Meth Lab Suspects Identified







A Marrero man who pleaded guilty in December to cooking methamphetamines at a Harvey home was rearrested after authorities found a new lab inside a Harvey motel. Jefferson S. Faggard, 57, was booked Tuesday (April 1) with creation of a clandestine lab and drug possession, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest report.


Deputies were called out to a motel in the 3700 block of West Bank Expressway in Harvey on Saturday (March 29) after caller reported finding drug paraphernalia in room No. 136. Investigators discovered precursor chemicals and other components used to cook meth, the arrest report said.

Faggard and an unidentified co-defendant had been staying in the room. But Faggard left before deputies arrived, according to the report.

He was arrested Tuesday (April 1) at the Jefferson District Office of the state’s Probation and Parole Department, located at 2150 West Bank Expressway, Harvey. Officers also discovered three dosage units of the prescription pain drug oxycodone, an arrest report said.

Faggard was sentenced to five years probation after he pleaded guilty two counts of creation of a clandestine lab in December, according to Jefferson Parish court records. Faggard confessed to cooking meth at a townhouse located at 2321 Justin Lane in Harvey in the presence of a 9-year-old boy. He also pleaded guilty in December to obscenity for exposing himself in public, court records said.

Faggard is not to be confused with his son, Jefferson Faggard, 36, of Terrytown, who was also arrested in connection with the Justin Lane meth lab. The charges against him in that case have not yet gone to trial.

But the younger Faggard was rearrested in February after authorities say he ran from a deputy, leading to the discovery of a methamphetamine stash in his apartment.

Both men were still being held Thursday at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna. Bond for the elder Faggard was set at $510,000 for the meth-related charges. He was being held without bond for probation violation.







A man was arrested on Wednesday, April 2 after police officers found evidence that he may have been making meth.

Harley Harris, 31, is facing multiple drug charges. Officers said that they received a tip that lead them to the Spruce Cove Apartments. That is where Harris’ sister lives. Investigator said they found a meth lab during the search.


Harris is charges with Operating or Attempting to Operate a Clandestine Drug Lab, Exposure of Meth Manufacturing to a Child and Possession of a Substance to Manufacture Meth.

The case is still under investigation. Harris is being held in the Southern Regional Jail on a $30,000.







A registered sex offender was arrested Wednesday after allegedly smoking methamphetamine with a 16-year-old runaway.

Deputies with the Gage County Sheriff’s Department arrested Craig A. Dorn, 42, on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse after spotting the juvenile in his residence at 3479 E. Hoyt Rd.

Gage County Court documents state that that Dorn picked up the juvenile, who is from the Crete area, in Lincoln and drove her to Stagecoach Lake near Hallam where they both smoked methamphetamine.


Dorn allegedly told the female they had to wait until dark to go to Beatrice. Before going to the residence, Dorn received a call from Beatrice Police officers regarding a different case concerning a shoplifting charge.

Documents state he dropped the minor off at Burger King while he went to meet officers and picked her up after. They then went to the residence.

While at the Police Department, Dorn allegedly asked officers if he could get leniency for bringing in a runaway child and was told that decision would be up to the county attorney.

Court documents state Dorn indicated it was his intent to take the minor to his house that night to use as leverage when speaking with the Gage County Attorney’s Office.

A Sheriff’s deputy and Police officer went to the residence and could see the juvenile identified as a runaway through a window.

While authorities were taking both individuals into custody, the female asked them to grab her jacket. When they did, the deputy found a glass methamphetamine pipe with residue, according to Court documents.

A press release stated that during post arrest interviews, both Dorn and the juvenile admitted to smoking methamphetamine together. Dorn also admitted to driving with the juvenile as a passenger after smoking methamphetamine and knowing the juvenile was a runaway.

The juvenile was detained, transported to a juvenile detention facility, and charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Dorn was arrested, transported to the Gage County Detention Facility, and charged with child abuse, a class IIIA felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class I misdemeanor.

Court documents state Dorn was sentenced to 60 months probation in September 2010 for possession of child pornography.

Dorn was arrested in August, 2013 when officers found several pill bottles in his home during a routine search following a shoplifting conviction in Lancaster County.

He was again arrested in December for possession of methamphetamine after the vehicle he was a passenger in was pulled over for having expired license plates.







VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – In 2013 Indiana law enforcement busted nearly 1800 meth labs – that’s not only top in the nation, it’s also 100 more than last year.

Meth is still Vigo County’s number one drug problem according to Jim Palmer, an undercover detective with the Vigo County Drug Task Force.

“We see methamphetamine labs all the time here in Vigo County and have for years since I’ve been a narcotics detective,” said Palmer.

News 10 reached out to several county jails in our viewing area.

Every one we surveyed indicated most of their inmates were in jail on something drug-related. This includes those who are arrested for crimes other than drug dealing or possession.

“General users are doing scrap metals, selling them illegally, doing burglaries, thefts, and thefts from vehicles,” Palmer explained.

Regardless of method, the essential ingredient in making methamphetamine is pseudoephedrine. That’s the active drug in the most effective over-the-counter cold medicines.

In this past legislative session some lawmakers, including Terre Haute’s Alan Morrison and Clyde Kersey, have voiced their support by making pseudoephedrine a scheduled controlled substance; meaning it would only be available by prescription-only.

Palmer welcomes this change.

“I know it poses a problem for the general person that has a cold,” said Palmer, “but I think in the long run, if we want to combat this problem it would be very helpful.”

Whether that change happens remains to be seen. Until then, Detective Palmer said it’s possible he and his fellow officers will set a new record when 2014 ends.

Tennessee finished in second on this list, followed by Missouri. It costs taxpayers nearly $2,000 to clean up a typical meth lab busted by police.







A Lafayette man is accused of dealing methamphetamine and battering his landlord after the landlord reportedly discovered the tenant making meth inside his rental property, according to documents filed in Tippecanoe Superior Court 1.

Daniel Ryan O’Harra, 32, faces four drug-related counts and one count of battery in relation to a March 29 incident at 1023 Hartford St.

Landlord Andy Tetzloff told police he went to do some work in the cellar and found the door unlocked and a light on.

Tetzloff said he walked in and saw several items on the floor; then O’Harra stepped from behind a water heater, holding a 2-liter bottle with liquid in it. Tetzloff told investigators he went to dial 911, and O’Harra knocked him down, injuring his knee, hand and shoulder.

O’Harra turned up later in the day when an acquaintance asked Lafayette police to remove O’Harra from the acquaintance’s apartment.

The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Team was called in, and found the 2-liter bottle, several chemicals and other materials used to manufacture the drug.

O’Harra has previous drug convictions, including a 2005 guilty plea to possessing methamphetamine and a 2010 guilty plea to possessing marijuana and criminal confinement, according to court records.







TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – The Pima County Medical Examiner reports accidental overdose of methamphetamine and heroin is now deadlier than car crashes in Pima County.

The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner investigated 843 accidental deaths last year, and about 34 percent of which were due to drug or medication overdose; motor vehicle accidents accounted for 23 percent of the total, according to office personnel.

The new report shows prescription drugs were the top killer in 2013, followed by methamphetamine. Overdose deaths rose from 314 in 2012 to 327 last year.

The medical examiner’s office investigates any death in Pima County, in addition to many in eight other Arizona counties that are considered sudden, violent, unexpected or an unknown cause. The office conducted nearly 1,500 autopsies last year.







More than twice as many people in the Tucson region died of methamphetamine overdoses last year than in 2011 and 2012 combined, according to an annual report from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner.

Deaths due to heroin overdoses likely are following the same trend, but those deaths can be harder to track, said Dr. Gregory Hess, chief medical examiner for Pima County.

His office investigates any death that is sudden, violent, unexpected or where the cause of death is unknown. Last year, the office conducted nearly 1,500 autopsies, the report states.

Almost three-quarters of the 2,333 death cases reviewed by the local medical examiner in 2013 were from Pima County. The office also handles all cases for Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. Eight other counties use the office’s services on a case-by-case basis, Hess said.

In cases handled by his office last year, 327 deaths — a slight year-over-year increase — were determined to be overdoses of drugs or alcohol. In about half of those deaths, the overdose was caused by a single drug. The majority of the deaths — 87 percent — were classified as accidents.

In 2012, the medical examiner reviewed the cases of 314 overdose victims. In 2011 and 2010, the number of overdose deaths was 277 and 273, respectively.

The most significant difference over the last couple of years was in the types of drugs contributing to overdoses.

For several years previous, oxycodone, a painkiller that can be highly addictive, was identified as causing the most overdose deaths in the Tucson area.

However, last year, meth “was the most commonly abused illicit drug contributing to death … followed by heroin; both significantly increased in comparison to 2012,” the medical examiner’s report stated.

Meth contributed to 78 deaths in 2013.

Morphine was listed as the second-highest killer, playing a part in 64 deaths, followed by oxycodone found in 55 victims, but it is likely that heroin actually caused more than the 53 deaths ascribed to it.

“Heroin is probably on par with meth, but we can’t prove that,” Hess said. “The number of heroin deaths is likely underreported.”

That’s because heroin is rapidly metabolized to morphine by the body, so some of these “deaths may be classified as either morphine intoxication or opiate intoxication,” he said in the report.

Demographically, 58 percent of those who died of a fatal overdose were men, and about half the people who died of an overdose were between the ages of 40 and 59. Fifty-six of the 327 reported overdose deaths were people 20-29 years of age; seven were teenagers.

Nearly 1,700 deaths reviewed by the Medical Examiner’s Office occurred in Pima County last year, according to the annual report.

The highest number of deaths — 657 — were attributed to natural causes. The leading cause of natural death was cardiovascular disease.

Of the 123 homicide victims examined, 88 of them were killed in Pima County. That was down from 136 cases in 2012 — 79 in Pima County.

The largest number of victims, 34, were between the ages of 20 and 29, and the majority of the victims — 80 percent — were men. Of the homicide cases, 62 percent were from firearms, with stabbings and blunt-force trauma tied for second most.

From all counties, the medical examiner reviewed 843 cases of accidental death. Overdoses, blunt-force trauma and motor-vehicle accidents were the top three causes of accidental deaths last year.

Of the 199 deaths ascribed to vehicular accidents, 120 were in cars or trucks, 35 were on motorcycles and 44 were pedestrians or bicyclists.

Of the 270 suicides reported by counties that asked the Pima County medical examiner for assistance, 213 of the victims were male. Almost 200 of the people who killed themselves ranged in age from 20 to 59.

The skeletal remains of undocumented border crossers made up a majority of “undetermined” deaths in the medical examiner’s report. Of the 168 sets of remains recovered in 2013, forensic anthropologists determined most were men from Mexico. The number of recoveries was down from a high of 223 in 2010, according to the report.







If Steven Asir Thomas gets convicted on the federal charges he now faces, the club owner and purported money launderer won’t get any points for subtlety.

Federal prosecutors in Seattle contend Thomas tried to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in methamphetamine money through his aptly named nightspot – Ice Nightclub.

According to charges filed earlier this month, neither Thomas’ Queen Anne club nor his money laundering ring ever really got off the ground. Informants turned on him before the club opened its doors and federal investigators claim to have watched drugs, money and guns flow through the business from the beginning.

Arrested Friday, Thomas, an Olympia resident, has been charged in U.S. District Court with conspiring to deal meth and money laundering.

Writing the court, a Homeland Security Investigations special agent said the investigation into Thomas’ fledgling business in October following a tip from a police informant.

At the time, Thomas planned to open Ice Nightclub at 332 5th Avenue North, the former home of several notoriously rowdy clubs. Thomas is alleged to have met several undercover agents while looking for drug traffickers who needed to legitimize their income.

The scheme Thomas proposed, as outlined by the HSI agent, was straightforward.

The club would report drug money as the proceeds of ticket sales; the actual ticket revenue would be paid directly to performers. According to charging papers, Thomas planned to take a 10 percent cut of the cleaned drug money and the legitimate income made through liquor sales.

“When you do shows … you can run up a few hundred thousand dollars in revenue on one show,” Thomas told an undercover agent, according to charging papers. “We can say we made $400,000 off of one event.”

Such an arrangement would solve a classic problem facing high-volume drug dealers – it’s surprisingly hard to spend drug money. Most major purchases – cars, homes – are reported to the government in some fashion, and large cash deposits raise red flags with banks and regulators.

Dealers with no reportable income have difficulty explaining how they paid cash for a house or a boat when the Internal Revenue Service comes calling. Foreign drug cartels must either clean the money so it can be deposited in a bank or physically remove it from the country.

Ice Nightclub was to provide a steady stream of cleaned money to methamphetamine dealers, the HSI agent said in court papers. The dealers would be paid by check to a “square-bear” – a licensed, taxpaying business – posing as a promoter.

Speaking with an undercover agent, Thomas explained there was almost no limit to how much money they could launder through the club, the agent continued.

“You can write off you shit, and it can all be totally legit,” Thomas told the undercover agent in October, according to charging papers. “You’ll get your tax forms and tax statements that says this is how much was paid out for the shows that were done and you guys are on your own at that point.”

Thomas is also alleged to have brokered a guns-for-meth deal on behalf of drug traffickers associated with a Mexican cartel.

According to charging papers, Thomas said he wanted to know if any of the guns had been used in killings and provided the agent with a list of weapons his cartel contacts were interested in.

As the scheme wore on, Thomas moved three test loads of methamphetamine around the West Coast, the agent continued. To do so, he is alleged to have relied on an informant and undercover agents.

Agents seized several pounds of methamphetamine during the investigation. The Mexico-made drugs were being moved north on Interstate 5 aboard long-distance buses.

Those seizures complicated Thomas’ plans to open Ice Nightclub, as he needed the money from the drug sales to refurnish the space, formerly home of Diamond Nightclub International and Element, the HSI agent said.

According to charging papers, Thomas laundered $20,000 for an agent posing as a meth dealer in December. He is alleged to have done so again in January for another undercover agent.

Currently jailed, Thomas is expected to appear for a preliminary hearing Tuesday before Magistrate Judge James Donohue at the U.S. District Court in Seattle. He has not yet entered a plea.







KINGMAN – A California truck driver faces serious drug charges after Arizona Department of Transportation officers discovered roughly 21 pounds of methamphetamine in his trailer with a potential street value of more than $900,000.


Javier P. Gaytan, 28, of Los Angeles had just entered Arizona from California at about 6:15 p.m. Friday when ADOT officers at the eastbound weigh station discovered he was wanted by Bullhead City Justice Court after he failed to appear for a false log book, a misdemeanor.

A load inspection resulted in the discovery of the methamphetamine in the trailer.

Detectives with the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team assisted in the investigation, according to Kingman Police Departmentt spokeswoman Jennifer Sochocki, who said the origin and destination of the drug shipment is unknown at this point.

The investigation is ongoing. Gaytan was booked into the Mohave County jail on charges of transportation of dangerous drugs, possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of dangerous drugs and the misdemeanor warrant.








Coldwater, Mich. –  An heir to a multi-million dollar Midwest agricultural operation, Greg Parr of Orland, Ind. will serve 20 months to five years in the Michigan Department of Corrections for attempted possession of meth.

Parr was arrested in Gilead township last May.


Branch County Circuit Judge Bill O’Grady said the 43-year-old Parr had been before a criminal court 29 times and had once served a three-year Indiana prison sentence in community corrections.

“This is a significant amount of various types of crime. You have been given an incredible opportunity from your family. I hope you get your life back on track,” the judge told Parr.

Parr, his brother and his sister each inherited an equal portion of their father Gaylor’s large estate when he died in 2002. The elder Parr had amassed over 15,000 acres of farmland in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, as well as a trucking company and feed mill operation on SR 327 north of Orland.

Parr at first was granted a public defender, claiming he had no cash because he had just paid off more than $100,000 in back child support.

His latest trouble came when he took a ride with a female friend into Michigan to pick up a dog. Stopped for a traffic offense by sheriff’s deputies, 1 gram of meth was found in the car. A glass pipe was also seized.

“We planned on smoking it,” Parr told the judge.

Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble originally did not think the small amount warranted anything more than county jail time.

Parr admitted he began using meth in 2005. At sentencing Kimble told the judge Parr “has a terrible problem (with meth). He is either playing games or is dumb.”

While out on a $100,000 bond Parr failed to appear in court in July. Then he failed a drug test. Freed again, he was found hiding a container of clean urine on his person when strip-searched before another drug test.

Parr also was convicted of cocaine possession in Williams County, Ohio near the turnpike in 2006. Police found the drug in Parr’s possession while they were investigating a meth lab at a motel.

Last April Parr was investigated in DeKalb County, Ind. for stopping women and impersonating a police officer. The vehicle involved was located at his family home.

Parr had been a race car driver in the Midwest, but stopped driving in the last few years.