(07-13) 19:16 PDT SANTA ROSA — Santa Rosa police arrested a man Sunday for assault after he allegedly bit an officer and tried to grab one of the officers’ guns during a struggle at a K-Mart store.

Officers were called to the K-Mart at 3771 Cleveland Ave. in Santa Rosa at about 10:40 a.m. after security officers at the store saw the man cutting open boxes of merchandise, taking security tags off items and stuffing goods down his pants.

When the two police officers searched the man, later identified as 39-year-old Santa Rosa resident Michael Leigh Joseph, they found a knife and a bag of methamphetamine, Santa Rosa police said.

While being handcuffed, police said Joseph tried to run away and was tackled. He then allegedly bit one officer several times on the hand and arm. During the struggle, he tried to grab an officer’s handgun before the pair managed to subdue and handcuff him, police said.

Both officers were cut on their faces during the struggle, but the bites did not break the skin.

Joseph, who police said was a convicted felon in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun, will be booked into jail on charges of assault, methamphetamine possession, burglary and other offenses after he is released from the hospital for injuries he received during the arrest.

The Santa Rosa Police Department is encouraging anyone who witnessed the assault on the officers to call the Violent Crimes Team at (707)543-3590.








A 40-year-old Port Macquarie woman was arrested on Friday for allegedly importing and supplying methamphetamine.

Police said she was arrested near Hastings River Drive at 5.15pm, following months of investigation.

Detective Inspector Steve Clarke said Strike Force Doyen was formed to investigate the crimes in June.

“Police utilized a number of physical and electronic surveillance techniques as part of their investigation,” Detective Inspector Clarke said.

The woman was charged with one count of importing a prohibited drug, six counts of supply and one count of ongoing supply.

“Police will allege she supplied quantities of 0.1 to 3.5 grams of methamphetamine,” Detective Inspector Clarke said.

Bail was refused and a court date had not been set by Monday morning.







A 31-year-old Ardmore man and his 22-year-old female companion, who allegedly were using a local motel room as a methamphetamine distribution center, were arrested late Thursday in a joint raid conducted by Ardmore Police Department and Carter County Sheriff’s Department narcotics officers.

Detective Brandon Cathey, APD Narcotics Division, said Kendrick Jackson and LaJordan Smith were taken into custody without incident when a search warrant was executed on a room at a local hotel, located in the 2500 block of Veterans Boulevard.

“Both agencies had received information about this pair’s involvement in the sale of methamphetamine from the room. While serving the search warrant, we located 15 grams of methamphetamine among other items which were indicative that the methamphetamine was intended for sale,” Cathey said.

In addition, the couple was apparently attempting to avoid arrest by monitoring law enforcement activity. Cathey said a working police scanner was found in the room.

“The possession of a working scanner in the commission of a crime is a felony itself,” he said.

Jackson and Smith were both booked into the Carter County Detention Center. Charges were filed Friday against the twosome by the district attorney’s office. Both are charged with unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and unlawful possession of a scanner.

In addition, Jackson faces a felony charge of possession of marijuana and an outstanding warrant connected to his failure to appear in court on charges of possession of methamphetamine and illegal possession of a firearm stemming from his arrest by APD in April.

Smith also faces prior charges. She was arrested by APD in March and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next month on charges of unauthorized use of a credit card and possession of methamphetamine.

The couple made initial appearances in district court Friday afternoon on the charges they garnered from Thursday night’s arrest. Bonds of $80,000 were set in both cases. The duo remains detained at the county jail pending the posting of bonds and/or the outcome of their cases.

Cathey credited the apprehension of Jackson and Smith to the joint effort of the APD and CCSD.

“It is a pleasure to have the working relationship with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department that we have,” he said. “They were an integral part of this investigation being successful.”

The detective added the tips both agencies received concerning the couple’s operation were vital to the investigation that ended with their arrests.

“Both agencies cannot stress enough how vital information from the community is. Some of our investigations do take longer than others, but every little piece of information that either agency gets is essential,” Cathey said, adding both agencies have the same goal: “Drugs will not be tolerated in the city of Ardmore or in Carter County.”






A four-count federal indictment has been unsealed in Galveston following the arrest of five area residents, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Abel Hinojosa, 34, Nelson Agapito Ventura, 37, Daniel Reyna, 33, Israel Sanchez, 20, were taken into custody today and made their initial appearances in federal court in Galveston before U.S. Magistrate Judge John R. Froeschner. A fifth defendant — Rodolfo Hernandez Perez, 26 — was previously in custody. A detention hearing is set for Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

The indictment was returned May 15, 2014, and unsealed upon the arrests of the La Marque residents today. All five are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with the Intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine as well as more than 500 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas.

Perez and Hinojosa are further charged with one and three counts, respectfully, of possession with intent to distribute varying amounts of methamphetamine. The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture.

Each face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison for the conspiracy. The possession with intent charges against Hinojosa and Perez also carry varying terms of either a minimum of five and up to 40 or another minimum of 10 and up to life for the underlying drug offenses.

The case is being investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and Galveston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Ted Imperato and Sharad Khandelwal are prosecuting.







In April, Tennessee passed a law allowing women who use narcotic drugs during pregnancy to be thrown in jail for up to 15 years, regardless of whether the child suffered any ill-effects. This week, new mother Mallory Loyola became the  first woman in Tennessee to be arrested under the new law.


Loyola, 26, gave birth to a baby girl on Sunday at the UT Medical Center in Monroe County, Tennessee. Police were called when the baby tested positive for meth. Loyola—who admitted to smoking meth a few days before giving birth—was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault (punishable by up to one year in prison). While the law allows some pregnant women to opt for a treatment program over time behind bars, no such option is available for drug-addicted moms once they give birth.

“Anytime someone is addicted and they can’t get off for their own child, their own flesh and blood, it’s sad,”  Monroe County Sheriff Bill Bivens told local news station WATE, adding that he hoped Loyola’s fate would deter other pregnant drug users.

Cases like Loyola’s are sad, of course. And I understand the impulse people have to do! something! about it! But addiction isn’t rational, and addicts don’t generally respond to the same incentives a non-addict would. If the welfare of someone’s “own flesh and blood” isn’t enough to stop them from using, why would the possibility of police intervention work? I suspect Loyola’s fate will deter other pregnant drug users, but not from doing drugs; it will deter them from seeking addiction treatment, prenatal care, and hospital births.

Notably, the new Tennessee statue was passed with painkiller addicts in mind—state officials spoke to the need to address the “epidemic” of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a form of withdraw that can result from a mom using prescription opioids (such as codeine and Vicodin), heroin, or methodone during pregnancy. The language of the  Tennessee bill specifically criminalizes narcotic use during pregnancy only:

As enacted, provides that a woman may be prosecuted for assault for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if her child is born addicted to or harmed by the narcotic drug; law expires July 1, 2016.

As meth is by no means a narcotic, it will be interesting to see how law enforcement tries to justify Loyola’s arrest under this statute. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s extensive drug classification list explicitly states that both amphetamine and methamphetamine are not narcotic drugs. And Tennessee’s own state code  defines narcotic specifically as any compounds, salts, and derivatives of opium and coca leaves.







Around 11:00 p.m. Friday, the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department conducted a welfare check at a residence.

During that time, they were given permission to enter the premises on Gashell Run Rd. in Triadelphia. While inside, they discovered a on pot meth lab.

As a result, 41 year old Cheryl Danehart was arrested on one felony count of operating a clandestine meth lab out of her trailer as well as one felony count of child endangerment, due to the fact that a 3 year old child was present.

A St. Paul man trying to ditch his drugs apparently didn’t keep track of the West St. Paul officers who had pulled him and three other adults over. He tossed a bag of meth, hitting the officer behind him, according to court document filed in Dakota County District Court July 11.


Thomas Charles Gilson Jr., 33, is now facing a felony charge for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, according to the criminal complaint.

While West St. Paul officers were on routine patrol near the intersection of Butler Avenue West and Charlton Street in West St. Paul on July 8, they responded to a report of a dispute over money in a vehicle.

The officers found and stopped a sedan with four adults inside, the complaint said. The adults were separated, so the officers could speak to them.

Standing in front of a squad car, Gilson pulled something out of his pocket and threw it backwards, the complaint said.

The plastic baggie filled with white crystals, believed to be methamphetamine, hit an officer; Gilson was arrested.

The crystals were tested, identified and weighed as .26 grams of meth.

If convicted, Gilson could face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In October 2010, Gilson was accused of burglarizing a neighbor’s apartment and raping her while she was asleep. A Ramsey County jury acquitted him of those charges in 2011. Gilson initially tried to hide from police, according to that criminal complaint, but was found in a dumpster near where the incident was reported.

In January, Gilson was convicted of a gross misdemeanor for third-degree driving while intoxicated, according to court records.







Traci Lee Vaillancourt, 35, wrote a letter to her ex-boyfriend Timothy Walker who was sentenced this week to life in the murder of Sgt Derek Johnson

Valliancourt and Walker met when she was 12 years old; the two have a 6-year-old daughter together

Walker, 34, a meth addict, killed the married father last September during a traffic stop in Utah and then shot his girlfriend in the back

Valliancourt is facing obstruction of justice charges in connection to the deadly shooting

The former long-time girlfriend of a Utah man sentenced to life in prison for murdering a police officer has spoken out for the first time since the verdict, saying that she forgives him for shooting her in the back.

Timothy Troy Walker pleaded guilty Tuesday to aggravated murder in the slaying of Sergeant Derek Johnson, 32, and was immediately sentenced to life without a possibility of parole.

In her first jailhouse interview with Deseret News, Traci Lee Vaillancourt, 35, read a lengthy letter she penned to Walker, the father of her 6-year-old daughter and her partner of more than 20 years.

The woman said she and Timothy met at age 12 and have been inseparable until that fateful night last September when her meth-addict boyfriend shot dead Sgt Derek Johnson during a traffic stop.


‘We may never know why you did what you did,’ the former model wrote. ‘For me, I’ve stopped asking why and just accepted it, because even if I knew, it doesn’t excuse it. It doesn’t lessen the hurt. It doesn’t make any sense.’

Vaillancourt admitted that she still loves Walker and continues to pray for him despite everything he had done to her.

‘I forgive you for the years of physical, mental and emotional abuse. I forgive you for putting the bullet in my back that almost took my life,’ the jailed mother of one wrote.

But Traci added that it is not her role to forgive her ex-boyfriend for the murder.

Vaillancourt, a one-time model, suffered a series of strokes that have left her severely disfigured.

In her letter, she said Walker took advantage of her health crisis instead of helping her fight for her life.

Even though she described her 22-year relationship with ‘Troy’ Walker as a ‘mess,’ she noted that she could have never imagined that he would become homicidal.


Traci Vaillancourt, who is facing obstruction of justice charges, also eulogized Sgt Johnson, saying that Draper City lost one of its finest men.

She apologized to the slain officer’s family, including his parents, wife and young son, saying that she prays for them every night in jail.

Looking ahead, the 35-year-old woman said she has learned a lot from her experience and now feels stronger without Walker by her side.

But Vaillancourt also wrote that she is terrified that her daughter, who is currently living with Walker’s mother, will reject her.

She concluded her missive with the words: ‘I’m so scared Troy. You promised we would always be together. I love you.’

When asked if she would like to see her ex-boyfriend in person, the jailed woman replied that she wants nothing to do with him anymore.

But in the next breath Vaillancourt said that Walker will forever be a part of her life because of their daughter.


The family of Sgt Johnson had considered asking prosecutors to push for a death sentence for Walker, but said they were happy with the penalty handed to his killer Tuesday.

Randy Johnson, Sergeant Johnson’s father, told KUTV: ‘Today the streets are safer, because the man that shot Derek is now off the streets and can’t hurt anyone else.’

Walker, 34, had been by the sitting in a broken down Volvo by the side of the road with his girlfriend, Traci, when Sgt Johnson had pulled over to check on them September 1, 2013.

Johnson had not even stepped out of his patrol car when Walker shot him in the right side of his torso with a 9mm Glock pistol.

The bullet pierced several of his organs, including his heart, KUTV reported.

Walker continued to fire as Johnson drove away, the court heard. Critically injured, the policeman eventually veered off the road and smashed into a tree. He later died in a hospital.


Walker then turned the gun on Vaillancourt, shooting her in the back, before trying to kill himself with a bullet to the head. He missed and the bullet ended up going through his jaw and mouth.

Vaillancourt was left with a bullet lodged in her sternum. She still faces two counts of obstruction of justice after allegedly lying to officers investigating Johnson’s death. she is due back in court next Tuesday.

As well as the aggravated murder of Sgt Johnson, Walker also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Vaillancourt, three counts of third-degree felony discharge of a firearm, and third degree felony possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person.

He apologized to the court for his actions. Sergeant Johnson was married to his high school sweetheart Shante Sidwell with whom he had a six-year-old son, Bensen.





Speaking last year in response to the crime, Vaillancourt’s sister Victoria King revealed her sister’s downward spiral from aspiring model and TV star to drug-addled homeless woman reliant on her violent boyfriend.

After having her first child, Vaillancourt was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called Hereditary Angioedema which made her face, throat and limbs swell, her sister said.

She says her sister quickly became addicted to her pain medication after suffering four strokes before the age of 30. ‘It just went downhill from there,’ Ms King told KSL.com last year.

‘I tried to get him away from her. She chose a different path. … He was bad news from the get-go, I knew it, and the two of them combined, and a loaded gun nonetheless, and strung out on drugs.’

‘We tried and tried and tried to help her but you can’t help someone who won’t help themself,’ she added.

Ms King last saw her sister and Walker the day before the shootings and was left startled by his behavior.

‘He got out of the car and he was hyper, showing me a gun that has a laser and a machete and knives,’ she said.


The couple were trying to talk King into giving them cash – an event which wasn’t unusual according to Vaillancourt’s older sister.

Ms King told Salt Lake Tribune that her sister was not without remorse at what had become of her life but couldn’t work her way out of the cycle of addiction.

‘She would cry, “I never pictured my life turning out like this”,’ Ms King told the newspaper.


According to Ms King, Walker gave Vaillancourt attention and Vaillancourt ‘was attached to him at the hip’.

She says the pair had been living in and out of motels and, at the time of Sergeant Walker’s murder, were living out of their car.

She says the couple told her they needed protection and that’s why they had purchased a cache of weapons.

‘I know she was a victim, but I felt like I already lost her a long time ago. My heart is absolutely bleeding for Derek Johnson’s family,’ Ms King added in the interview.

‘I just want them to know I’m sorry’.

After Tuesday’s sentencing, Mr Johnson, Sergeant Johnson’s father, said: ‘There’s a finality in this that was very difficult to deal with, but there’s also comfort that we’re reaching to that point where we can say, “Yes, we can now move forward.”

‘We can find those things that bring us comfort, that help us to celebrate Derek’s life and also to pay back to the community.’










ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An Albuquerque woman woke up early Friday to find a man standing in her bedroom wearing a woman’s bathing suit and robe, and announcing that he was an angel there to protect her.

It turns out he was no angel.

Police said he was a child pornography suspect high on methamphetamine.


Albuquerque police arrested 22-year-old on a warrant issued in Roswell last month after he failed to appear in court on multiple felony counts of child sexual exploitation and child pornography.

Segura remained in the Bernalillo County jail late Friday on a no-bond hold, jail records show.

The woman told police she woke at about 6:30 a.m. to find the man standing in the doorway of her bedroom wearing only a woman’s bathing suit and a purple robe, APD spokeswoman Sgt. Ferris Simmons said.

The woman told police the man made several odd statements, among them that he was “an angel sent to protect her,” Simmons said.

Segura later told police he was high on methamphetamine, Simmons said.

The man said he had entered the house through an unlocked rear door. The woman’s small child was in the next room during the encounter.

Police who responded to the woman’s 911 call entered the home and arrested Segura on the Roswell arrest warrant, Simmons said. Jail records state the incident occurred in the southeast part of the city near Zuni and San Mateo.

Segura was charged in 2011 with 19 felony counts of sexual exploitation of children under 18 and possession of visual media, court records show. A Roswell County District Court judge issued a warrant for his arrest after he failed to appear for a hearing on June 10.

No new charges had been filed in Albuquerque on Friday in connection with the break-in.

Segura pleaded guilty in 2012 in Bernalillo County District Court to a felony charge of possession of narcotics and received a suspended sentence, court records show.









HYDERABAD: The common capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is also fast becoming the narcotics capital of south India due to lack of proper surveillance from the law enforcement agencies. While Hyderabad had recently become notorious as a favourite spot for cocaine peddlers, now it is being known as the ‘meth’ manufacturing centre of South India.



Acting on a tip off, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) sleuths in association with Cyberabad police had a few days ago raided Guna Sai Life Science Unit in Dharmaguda village of Choutuppal Mandal, Sai Priya Chemical firm in Bahcharam village of Hayath Nagar, a godown cum clandestine lab in Lashkar Guda of Hayath Nagar and a small house in Sunmaiguda of Hayath Nagar.

From all these premises, the sleuths unearthed 223 kilos of psychotropic substances called Methamphetamine, Ephedrine and arrested 12 persons. “The value of the seized narcotics in India is about Rs 30 crore while it is anywhere between Rs 200 to Rs 300 crore in the international market,” a NCB official said.

Out of the 12 arrested accused, three including the main accused Fayaz Ahmed, Sunil Sardar Singh and Sayyad Vazeerulla Pasha were earlier arrested by the NCB in Gujarat for a drug crime and after coming out of prison, they leased two chemical factories on the outskirts of Hyderabad to manufacture narcotics. The owners of the factories that were raided are also aware of the narcotics business taking place in their premises and all of them are absconding.

When NCB sleuths raided the factories, one of the arrested accused, Karikalan from Chennai has come there to collect a huge stock of Ephedrine and Methamphetamine from Fayyaz and others. In November 2013 and March 2014, Karikalan has purchased 140 kilos of Ephedrine from Fayyaz and Sunil.

According to NCB officials, the gangs are supplying ‘Meth’, a translucent crystalline drug, to party goers in metro cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad through agents. The gangs are also suspected to be supplying Meth and Ephedrine in the international market from Chennai via Malaysia.

As per the NCB data, the latest incident is the second such drug laboratory bust in Hyderabad in the past six months. “Hyderabad city is considered as capital city of drug & chemical manufacturing facilities in India. Many drugs and pharmacy companies abuse its facilities to make quick money in this dirty trade. The drug cartels also get storage facilities in the remote villages to avoid detection and verification from the enforcement agencies,” a NCB official said.

Ephedrine and Methamphetamine are highly addictive. According to NCB sleuths, even a single time usage of ‘Meth’ can make a user addictive to it and the severe side effects like depression, schizophrenia, suicidal tendency, heart disease, psychosis and violent behaviour will appear in the user in one to three months time after the first exposure.








FALLBROOK – A 37-year-old Mexican man was arrested after Border Patrol agents found nearly 25 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine in his car during a traffic stop on Interstate 15, Border Patrol officials said today.

Agents patrolling a stretch of the interstate near Fallbrook around 2 p.m. Thursday stopped the suspect’s red 2003 Dodge Neon, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Paul Carr said.

A drug-sniffing dog tipped agents off and they subsequently found 10 bundles hidden in the  lining of the back seat — five filled with cocaine and the others with methamphetamine, Carr said. The drugs were estimated to be worth more than $285,000.

The driver was taken into custody and the drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Carr said. He is expected to face federal charges of drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.

The Border Patrol seized the car, Carr said. The driver’s name was not immediately available.









Police on Saturday night seized 300,000 methamphetamine pills in Chiang Mai province following a car chase, but made no arrests.

Pol Lt Gen Wanchai Thanadkij, assistant police chief and acting Region 5 Provincial Police commander, said officers chased a white van which made a u-turn and fled northward in haste after seeing a checkpoint in front of Mae Jo University in San Sai district. This happened at 10.45pm on Saturday night.

The officers failed to catch the van but later found a big sack left at the foot of a tree on one side of the road to Ban Pa Kham in tambon Nong Han of San Sai district.

In the sack were 150 packs containing 300,000 methamphetamine pills with a street value of about 60 million baht.









As a former U.S. House speaker, I have long been concerned about our nation’s security problems and their link to narcotics. During my tenure as speaker, we led a bipartisan effort to elevate new anti-drug approaches. As new technologies enabled the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to do battle against drugs, we adopted them. We passed the Drug Free Communities and other bills in this area. Our motivation was to save lives.

Today, we can do that again by shutting down methamphetamine (meth) labs and getting modern medicine more swiftly to sick Americans at the same time — but we need to step up. For several decades, America has struggled to find the right balance between protecting the public against the growing threat of domestic meth labs and allowing consumers maximum access to pseudoephedrine medicines, often critical to treat respiratory ailments. The challenge has been maximizing both public safety and public access. Sometimes, science points the way.

Balancing the interests of law enforcement, community leaders, educators, parents, young people and producers of pharmaceuticals such as pseudoephedrine is challenging. We are at a crossroads. Clandestine meth labs have triggered explosive meth use, and current policies are not working. The health, safety and economic consequences for the nation require new thinking and urgent action.

Experts now estimate that meth abuse costs the American public approximately $23.4 billion per year, according to the most recent RAND study, including more than $4 billion in crime and criminal justice costs, nearly $1 billion in foster care for endangered children, more than $500 million in drug treatment, a third of a billion for other healthcare costs and $61 million in destroying meth labs and cleaning up toxic waste.

These are damning numbers. In the period from 2002 through 2011, an estimated 21,000 children were adversely affected by meth labs. In the same period, more than 4,000 Americans were incarcerated for meth-related murder or manslaughter. Wider public safety costs are not quantified.

So, two facts are clear. First, traditional pseudoephedrine products are getting accessed and converted to meth by both addicts and clandestine labs. We have to stop that. Second, as long as our policies remain stuck in neutral, we will continue to drift backward, kids dying because we are still using convertible pseudoephedrine products. What if we had relatively non-convertible products? Turns out, we do — and we need to use them.

Today, nobody denies that the American public should have maximum access to products that provide effective respiratory relief. We all know pseudoephedrine is widely accepted as the best of these products. At the same time, in 2005, Congress tried to stop the meth labs with the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA), which regulated pseudoephedrine, by having it kept behind the counter. While we had good intentions, this approach has not worked. Meth labs have continued to proliferate — because the precursor is easily convertible to illegal meth.

So-called Smurfing, individuals sweeping through multiple pharmacies to buy the legal limit in each, reopened the door to massive meth-lab proliferation. Thus, under current law, 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine can be purchased for about $25, and converted into 3 grams of meth, selling on the street for more than $300. We are not winning this way. We need a new answer, since 90 percent of today’s meth labs use this “one-pot method,” placing every American at risk.

When CMEA was enacted, we foresaw the one-day emergence of new, innovative technologies that prevented easy extraction and conversion of pseudoephedrine from cold medications into meth. Accordingly, we granted the Drug Enforcement Administration full authority to exempt from purchase restrictions any pseudoephedrine products that might come closer, by making conversion less economical. We provided an exemption for science that made it harder for traffickers to convert it to illicit meth. DEA was empowered to use that authority to help bring science to America’s rescue.

So far, DEA has not made the shift to the less-convertible standard. It is time to do so. It is time to move forward, granting the exemption that curtails meth production from convertible pseudoephedrine and helps all Americans by embracing the new, meth-resistant versions, while also returning public access to pseudoephedrine. While some have interpreted our law as “all or nothing” — perfection or failure — no one in Congress ever meant to deny the advance of science. That was never our congressional intent.

The notion that any pseudoephedrine extraction blocks public access to this innovation contravenes not only our intent, but common sense. We can do better for our kids. Let’s get the locked options exempted and into use. The result is predictable: A dramatic improvement in public safety, reduction in meth labs and their rippling dangers to the community, less meth addiction and greater public access to an important respiratory medicine.

While DEA can do this alone, Congress is now rightly pressing the case for instant action. In a bipartisan way, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri Republican, has recently introduced HR 4502 — Stop Meth Labs and Enhance Patient Access Act. That bill aims to “strike the right balance between keeping people safe and keeping people healthy,” and regrant to DEA “authority to balance the effectiveness of tamper-resistant technologies with processes currently being employed by meth manufacturers.” The bill is backed by the National Narcotics Officers’ Association, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association and the Fraternal Order of Police. My hat is tipped to this bipartisan effort. Let’s get it done now — one way or the other.

J. Dennis Hastert served at the U.S. House speaker from 1999-2007, and managed much of the nation’s anti-drug legislation from 1995 forward.









Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/11/hastert-the-struggle-against-meth-requires-new-tec/#ixzz37O4SB7wz
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Newborn babies who test positive for methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

Children with limbs wrenched so hard their bones snap. Others who have been thrown against a wall, suffering massive head injuries.

Children growing up in such abject filth and squalor that Child Protective Services workers and police officers have difficulty entering the home to check on the children, including roach infestation so pronounced that roaches have been found in children’s ears.

CPS workers and 74th State District Judge Gary Coley Jr., who presides over McLennan County’s juvenile and CPS cases, have seen all these things recently and more.

So much more this year that McLennan County has broken an ignoble record for the number of children removed annually from their homes by CPS case workers for abusive or neglectful treatment.

Through the end of May, the most recent figures available, CPS workers removed 232 children from their homes, breaking the McLennan County record of 223 for the entire year in 2005. At the end of May, there still were four months left in the county’s fiscal year and Coley said CPS cases and new removals continue to come in weekly.

Just last week, CPS workers took temporary custody of two newborns who tested positive for methamphetamine, Coley said. The children went through their normal newborn tests at the hospital and it was discovered the babies and both mothers also tested positive for the powerful illegal stimulant.

“I can’t tell you for sure why our numbers are up so much, but there appears to be a significant higher percentage of methamphetamine-related removals, but I don’t think anybody would be able pinpoint that with the data,” Coley said. “But it seems to me like there have been a lot of methamphetamine-related removals this year. Also, we are seeing a lot of family members saying. ‘I will take the kids but I want you guys to stay involved.’ ”

State totals

While removals are up dramatically in McLennan County, Julie Moody, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, said CPS removals are up only slightly statewide.

Through the end of May, 12,708 children statewide have been removed from their homes, compared to 12,582 through May 2013. There also were 12,582 children removed in the same period in 2012, according to DFPS figures.

“There has been a significant increase in children being removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect in McLennan County,” Moody said. “It’s hard to say why, maybe an increase in population, but we know that drugs and domestic violence play a role in CPS involvement in many of our cases in McLennan County.”

Moody and Coley said there also have been increases in CPS involvement with larger families, with three or four children being removed instead of just one or two. That also could contribute to the rising number of removals, they said.

“This stresses the whole system,” Coley said. “It creates problems for the DA’s office, it creates problems for the court-appointed attorneys for the children and the parents and it creates problems trying to provide services for these parents and kids. It also creates problems for CPS case workers and those trying to find enough foster care families to help care for these kids. It stresses every element of the system, but we are working hard to address it.”

Coley, CPS workers and foster families across the state were saddened last week when a brother and sister from Waco in foster care in Williamson County drowned at Lake Georgetown. Coley terminated the rights of their parents and the siblings were on the road to adoption.

Riley Smith, 4, and his 6-year-old sister, Jenetta Smith, were swimming with a 12-year-old boy, who also was in foster care. The siblings were playing a game to see how long they could hold their breath under water when neither resurfaced. The foster parents were at Russell Park with the children but not in the water with them, officials have said.

“One of the problems we are dealing with here is a shortage of foster families in this area,” Coley said. “We are sending kids to Harris and Galveston counties because we just don’t have enough foster families available.”

Moody said it is always a difficult decision to terminate parental rights. The ultimate goal is to reunite families, but sometimes that is not possible, she said.

“It’s not an easy decision to come to for anyone,” Moody said. “Once that happens, though, children then have a chance at finding permanency and a forever family through adoption. And CPS works very hard to find permanent homes for children.”

Moody said the DFPS and child-placing agencies will play host to a foster/adoption family recruitment open house from 4 to 7 p.m. July 24 at Carver Park Baptist Church, 1020 E. Herring Ave. in Waco.

Moody said the event will include profiles of children waiting for foster or adoptive families, with CPS workers on hand to answer questions.

Removal process

After an abuse or neglect complaint reaches CPS workers, they investigate and decide if the child needs to be removed from the home.

After removal, Coley schedules a hearing within 14 days and appoints attorneys at county expense in most every case to represent the indigent children and parents. The Family Code requires cases to be resolved within a year, but allows for a six-month extension if necessary.

In that time, CPS and court officials work with parents who many need drug treatment, anger management counseling, parenting classes or help finding another place to live that provides a safer, cleaner environment for the children.

In frequent cases in which the mother’s boyfriend abuses the children, the children might not be removed if the boyfriend is jailed or otherwise out of the picture, Coley said.

In cases in which parents face criminal charges of injury, abuse, neglect or worse, it makes it more difficult to work with the families, the judge said.

“If they have a criminal proceeding hanging over their head, you can see the conflict by them saying, ‘I made a terrible mistake and I want to get things right for the sake of my family.’ There are a lot of cases where parents don’t try to get kids back and don’t engage at all with CPS because they feel if they open up, then there is a report that can potentially be used in a criminal case.”










A Lebanon woman who faced charges linked to multiple meth labs appeared in court Thursday.


Candas Boatwright, 32, was charged with promoting methamphetamine manufacture, initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of schedule II drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia for an incident Jan. 3 where Wilson County sheriff’s deputies discovered a meth lab while serving warrants at a Lebanon motel.

The meth lab, found at the Knight’s Inn, was not active. Two other suspects were also charged in the incident.

Lebanon police previously charged Boatwright with possession of drug paraphernalia Dec. 13 after officers found a meth lab in a vehicle she was a passenger in during a routine traffic stop at the Burger King on N. Cumberland Street.

Boatwright was also charged with initiating the manufacture of methamphetamine and promoting methamphetamine manufacture for another incident March 11 where Lebanon police found another meth lab at the Travel Inn on Murfreesboro Road.

On Thursday, Judge David Durham appointed Boatwright an attorney. Her next court date will be a disposition hearing set for Sept. 12 at 8:30 a.m.


The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is seeking those responsible for operating a meth lab deputies found across the street from an elementary school Friday.

methamphetamine were reportedly found by law enforcement

Deputies arrived at 1 Winco Ave. in Spartanburg to search for two individuals believed to be manufacturing methamphetamine, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

No one was at the residence but deputies found lithium battery packs, cold packs, boxes of pseudoephedrine, coffee filters, melted bottles and other items in an outside trash can, the report states.

Deputies executed a search warrant and once inside found small face masks, metal cutters, a small bowl wrapped in tin foil containing a small bag, multiple syringes and 10.59 grams of methamphetamine in total.

According to the report, the lab inside the residence was found across the street from Lone Oak Elementary School. The home is also within a half mile of the University of South Carolina Upstate’s campus at 800 University Way.

The materials found inside the home were placed into evidence, the report states.








Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Deputies and Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents have arrested three people near Robeline, La.  on felony drug  and weapon charges, that resulted in the seizure of suspected methamphetamine, pharmaceutical narcotics and weapons according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.

Sheriff Jones said, On Thursday morning July 10th, at approximately 7:40am, Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to a welfare concern call which  resulted from an overnight domestic disturbance in the 200 block of Burket Slough Road, in the Spanish Lake Community near Robeline, La.

Deputies say upon their arrival, they spoke with the female victim observing bruises to areas of her body.

Deputies say while they were checking the residence for a suspect involved in the domestic disturbance they observed suspected narcotics in plain view in the residence.

Three people inside the residence identified as Chuck Anthony Mitchell, Donna L. Prothro, and Savannah Maria Weeks were detained while deputies requested the assistance of additional deputies assigned to the patrol division, criminal investigations division and  Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force.

As the investigation progressed, agents with the Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force obtained a search warrant signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge to search the residence of Chuck Mitchell, located at 275 Burkett Slough Road, Robeline, La.

A Task Force spokesman stated during a search of the residence, agents seized approximately 17 grams of suspected methamphetamine with a potential street value of $2125 dollars, (60) sixty suspected alprazolam pills with a potential street value of $300-400 dollars,  (70) seventy suspected hydrocodone pills with a potential street value of $400-700 dollars, various legend drugs, drug paraphernalia, surveillance equipment, (5)  five rifles, (2) two shotguns, and electronic equipment.

As a result of the investigation, deputies arrested:

*Chuck Anthony Mitchell, 52 of 275 Burket Slough Road, Robeline, La.,  booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule III Hydrocodone with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule IV Alprazolam with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and 1-count of Illegal Possession of Firearms in the Presence of Controlled Dangerous Substances.

Mitchell has been released on a $45,000 dollar bond set by a Tenth Judicial District Judge.

*Donna L. Prothro, 52 of 275 Burket Slough Road, Robeline, La., booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule III Hydrocodone with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule IV Alprazolam with Intent to Distribute, 1-count of Illegal Possession of Firearms in the Presence of Controlled Dangerous Substance, and 1-count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Prothro has been released on a $35,000 dollar bond set by a Tenth Judicial District Judge.

*Savannah Maria Weeks, 22 of the 2500 block of Robeline-Provencal Road, Robeline, La., booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Possession of CDS Schedule II Methamphetamine.

Weeks remains in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

Deputies say the investigation into the domestic disturbance is continuing and that they have identified a  suspect involved in the  disturbance.   Criminal warrants are expected to be filed.

Deputies believe that seized narcotics was intended for distribution in  west Natchitoches Parish.

The narcotics investigation is also continuing as detectives are attempting to identify sources, and other suspects involved in the distribution of methamphetamine in that area.

Involved in the investigation and arrests were:  Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division, and Natchitoches Multi-jurisdictional Drug Task Force.

The case will be turned over to the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Deputies ask that if you see suspicious activity in your community to contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 318.352.6432 or the Natchitoches Drug Task Force at 318.357.2248.










Agents with the 19th Judicial District Drug Task Force dismantled a methamphetamine lab on Tuesday night at a local apartment and arrested one woman, according to a Wednesday night press release.

Samantha Smith, 29, who gave an Executive Drive Apt. 2A address, was booked into Montgomery County Jail on charges of initiating the process of manufacturing methamphetamine.


“Clarksville Police Department responded to a call at the complex where children were complaining of a chemical smell and a burning sensation in their eyes,” said Sgt. Kyle Darnell, Director of the 19th JDDTF. “They called us for assistance and we searched the apartment”

Agents collected components used in creating methamphetamines, which lead to the quarantine of the entire building, as the apartments in the building share an attic and ventilation system.

“The neighbors, who were innocent in all this, found themselves displaced because of the meth being manufactured in the apartment,” Darnell said.

Along with CPD, Clarksville Fire Rescue and Montgomery County EMS provided assistance at the scene.









PEABODY — A Peabody man whose effort to manufacture methamphetamine literally went up in toxic smoke was sentenced to two years in federal prison Wednesday.

Joseph Penachio, 35, will then be on supervised release for four years and must pay $7,095 in restitution, U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton ordered during the sentencing.

Penachio pleaded guilty in March to a charge of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.

Back on July 29, 2012, police and firefighters were called to the Holiday Inn on Route 1 on a report of acrid smoke pouring from Room 119.

Inside the room was a makeshift meth lab.

According to a government sentencing memorandum, Penachio had mixed starter fluid with ether and pseudoephedrine when chemical smoke began pouring from the unstable mixture.

Prosecutors said Penachio was attempting to make meth using a highly dangerous “one pot” method. As the toxic smoke poured from the room, Penachio fled, prosecutors said.

They later determined that he had used the wrong type of battery in the process.

Investigators also found evidence that there had been a fire in the bathroom.

A total of 192 adult guests and staff members, and 25 children, were evacuated from the hotel as firefighters and a team from the Drug Enforcement Administration rushed to stop the reaction that was causing the smoke.

A number of firefighters and guests complained that the smoke was burning their throats and lungs.

Federal prosecutors argued for a two-year term, citing the hazards Penachio created, particularly to children who were in the hotel at the time. They also pointed to his prior criminal record.

His attorney, William Cintolo, asked for a year in custody, in a sentencing memorandum that detailed a troubled childhood, addiction and mental illness, and also included anecdotes about his client’s family life (Penachio and his girlfriend have two children).

“Joseph’s actions in this case cannot be explained or treated as a rational choice,” said Cintolo, who explained that Penachio’s source for meth had dried up. He was “alleviating his emotional pain,” said the lawyer.

“Like the mythological Phoenix, a regenerated Joseph Penachio will rise from the ashes of his past drug use,” wrote Cintolo.










A Rome woman arrested Thursday in connection with a March kidnapping on Alexander Avenue was additionally charged Friday with drug trafficking, according to Floyd County Jail records.


According to jail records:

Brandi Nicole Lanham, 35, of 11 Alford Road, was additionally charged Friday with felony possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and trafficking methamphetamine.

Lanham was arrested Floyd County police officers Thursday at Kenny Newberry Paint & Body Shop on charges stemming from a kidnapping and assault on March 27.

Warrant information released Thursday stated that she and three others kidnapped, beaten and held a Rome woman hostage at a residence on Alexander Street.

Police said that shortly before she was arrested on Thursday, Lanham had pulled into the body shop in a 2004 Ford F-150 to pick up her boyfriend.

Police arrested her on the warrants on the kidnapping allegations and searched the pickup truck.

Inside they found five small bags suspected methamphetamine that were hidden several, separate containers —a black and pink camouflage tin, a black velvet bag, a pink rubber zipper bag and a small pink bag.

The total weight of suspected methamphetamines was more than an ounce, according to the statement of criminal charges.

Also found in the truck were scales used for weighing meth, glass pipes for smoking the drug, a spoon with suspected methamphetamine residue and a syringe loaded with suspected liquid methamphetamine.

Lanham remained behind bars without bond late Friday.










A former homeless Medford man once lauded for helping others break away from the streets will spend more than six years in prison for punching and stomping a tenant to death during a methamphetamine-fueled attack last year.

John Troy Lopes, 51, was sentenced Friday to the mandatory minimum of 75 months in prison for his guilty plea to a second-degree manslaughter charge in the beating death of Charles Ward Puzak.

As part of Lopes’ plea agreement, prosecutors agreed Friday to drop a more serious charge of first-degree manslaughter as well as two felony assault charges for which Lopes was indicted in November.

Had Lopes been convicted on the first-degree manslaughter charge, the mandatory minimum under Oregon sentencing law would have been 10 years in prison.

A visibly anguished Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia said in court that the litany of defendants in his courtroom whose methamphetamine-related violence ends up harming people “is getting to me.”

“This is so tragic,” Mejia told Lopes. “Again, it’s methamphetamine resulting in violence, violence that results in the death of a human being. I have no options, so I will sentence you.”

The 61-year-old Puzak was one of several people with whom Lopes shared his house in the 2300 block of Howard Avenue, authorities said. The pair had drank several beers and Lopes had used methamphetamine before they got into an early-morning fight Sept. 15 over the way Puzak spoke to Lopes’ girlfriend, according to Medford police.

“We had a disagreement about how he was handling himself in my home,” Lopes told Mejia in court.

Witnesses told police that Lopes attacked Puzak, punching and kicking him 10 to 15 times each before dragging him outside and stomping him on a curb, police said.

Methamphetamine and alcohol were both involved and, I think, fueled his behavior,” defense attorney Donald Scales told Mejia in court.

Puzak never fought back and was conscious when police arrived. He was even conscious when he was getting treatment at Rogue Regional Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed Puzak with a traumatic cranial hemorrhage.

Lopes was arrested at the scene and a grand jury indicted Lopes on felony assault charges two days later.

Puzak’s condition deteriorated over time and he died Oct. 10. A subsequent autopsy ruled his death a homicide, and Lopes was later indicted on the manslaughter charges.

Scales said in court that his own forensics expert reviewed Puzak’s medical records and agreed that his injuries suffered at the hands and feet of Lopes likely led to his death.

Since his arrest, Lopes has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail, having never raised the $50,000 bail required for his release.

Lopes was homeless when he first began using a Central Point shelter in 2009. Shelter workers said once he got on his own feet and rented his own house, he regularly opened it to as many as 10 homeless people at a time. He even gave lifesaving CPR to a homeless man at the shelter in January 2013, a shelter manager told the Mail Tribune in November.

“He charges nominal rent,” Scales said in court. “He basically gave them a place to stay.”

A carpenter by trade, Lopes had no criminal history in Oregon until August 2012, when he pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of methamphetamine, court records show.

No members of the general public were present in the gallery during the 10-minute hearing.













Check in to the wrong room at a motel or hotel and you may bring home more than great memories of fresh smelling linens, plump fluffy towels, stylish furniture, and a comfortable bed, according to recent news from the Associated Press.

motel-room-300x222Stay in a motel or hotel room that’s been used to make meth and you may find your eyes and skin get irritated, your asthma may act up, or your stomach may feel so nauseated that you feel like you have to vomit.

The Associated Press reported that DEA records that they obtained showed evidence that nearly 2,000 motel and hotel rooms have been used as meth labs over the last 5 years and those figures only reflect the ones that have been reported to them.

John Martyny, an industrial hygienist, meth researcher, and associate professor at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, is considered an expert on meth lab chemical contamination. Martyny says that people are more likely to blame cigarette smoke for any respiratory problems they experience while spending time in a motel or hotel room. Yet, motel and hotel rooms that have been used as meth labs by previous renters can make you sick, if they haven’t been decontaminated. Experts say that contamination caused by toxic chemicals used to make meth can last more than a decade.

According to American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA), methamphetamine labs can be set up and produced in less than four hours, which is typically done between midnight and 4 a.m.

Although, the AH & LA says they are working with law enforcement to shut down these labs, many motel and hotel rooms are still being used by meth cooks to manufacture methamphetamine.  In fact, the trend is growing. According to Joseph Mclnerney, president and CEO of the AH & LA,  “meth lab cooks may check in to the hotel late at night and cook their meth throughout the night before leaving early the next morning. Under the influence of meth, a meth cook can stay awake all night without any problem. In fact, meth addicts can stay awake for several days without sleeping.”  Their lack of sleep, however, makes them extremely dangerous, as their lack of sleep coupled with their addiction to meth can make them extremely irritable and highly prone to becoming violent.  It is also common for them to hallucinate or experience delusional thoughts. Paranoia is always a central part of their thought processes, as well. They are always worried that someone is going to do something to them i.e. arrest them, steal from them, hurt them, etc.

Warning: Knocking on the door of your hotel neighbor or calling them because they are making too much noise in the middle of the night may put your life at risk -weapons are almost always found when meth lab busts occur.

Why do meth cooks like to use motel and hotel rooms as meth labs? Using a motel or hotel room to make meth helps meth lab cooks keep their homes from becoming contaminated. It also protects their home and family from becoming involved in a meth lab explosion. Setting up a meth lab in a motel or hotel also keeps their neighbors from smelling the fumes of a meth lab cook coming from their home.  Motels and hotels are also popular spots for meth dealers to sell the finished product to their customers. They may rent rooms for a night to sell meth in addition to renting it to use as a meth lab.

While setting up a meth lab in a motel or hotel room is highly advantageous to meth cooks, it is extremely expensive for the motel and hotel industry, who may rent rooms to hundreds or thousands of individuals every month. The cost of testing and decontaminating a single room can cost the motel / hotel owner anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, according to the AH&LA. Like private homeowners, who rent to others who use their property to make meth, or those who have bought a meth lab home without knowing the history of the home, motel and hotel owners are responsible for footing the cost of cleaning up the meth lab contamination.

Hotel and motels don’t actually rent out rooms that have been used as meth labs, do they?

According to meth lab cleanup professionals, like Joe Mazucca from Meth Lab Cleanup, LLC, the odds are that they do. Nearly 70% of of the contaminated properties that his company deals with are never reported. Those properties include all types of property including motels and hotels.

If a motel or hotel isn’t listed on the DEA’s website, then it’s safe, right?

The short answer to that question is – NO! The meth labs listed on the DEA website are only a partial list of meth labs that have been found in the U.S. The DEA list only includes information about busts that have been reported to them by law enforcement agencies, who submit that information to them on a strictly voluntary basis. Law enforcement agencies are not required to give that information to the DEA, therefore you shouldn’t view DEA lists of meth labs as complete lists.









Renter, realtors, home buyers, and home owners often miss the signs of a meth lab, which may appear to look “odd” but not so odd that it sends up a red flag.  A word of advice: If you think something is odd, weird, or unusual, you should listen to what your gut is telling you. Ask questions and investigate the history of the home before you buy or rent it. Talk to the local health department, the local and state police departments, and the neighbors may help you to learn more about whether the previous occupants may have been meth users, meth cooks, or if a meth lab bust occurred at that address.

What you see inside and outside of a home may help you to identify a meth lab home, but you should keep in mind that many former meth lab homes have been “cleaned up” by their owners. Does the home appear as if it’s undergone a total rehab? Does it have new flooring, new rugs, new kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and new paint? Ask yourself “why is that”? Looking “new” is not a guarantee that a home is not contaminated by meth or meth lab chemicals. The only sure way to find out if a home is contaminated by meth is to have the home professionally tested.

*According to estimates by law enforcement agencies and meth lab cleanup contractors, only one out of ten homes where meth has been manufactured, have ever been discovered by the police. Buyer and renters beware!

Chemical stains on flooring

Chemical staining on walls and floors often result when chemicals spill during the meth cook.  Floors and carpets are often stained or damaged by meth chemicals that can include liquids such as hydrochloric acid. A former meth lab may also have brand new flooring and carpets, which can signal that the previous flooring was damaged because of meth lab chemical spills.

Fixer-upper buyers beware! Also, keep in mind that meth lab homes may look brand new and not show any of the damages you see in the pictures listed here. Unscrupulous sellers who buy meth lab homes at rock bottom prices often cover stains with carpeting and new flooring and paint walls to minimize any questions or concerns about the home from prospective buyers or renters.



Burned grass or vegetation

Meth lab cooks may cook meth outdoors or burn empty pseudoephedrine packages or blister packaging for cold, allergy, and sinus medicines, to avoid raising the suspicion of anyone seeing the tell-tale meth signs in their trash. Cooking outdoors is remote locations in another way to avoid being detected by neighbors who may smell the chemicals they’re cooking. Cooking outdoors also keeps their homes from getting contaminated or exposing their children to the hazardous chemicals they’re cooking with.  If you see burn pits, stained soil or dead vegetation it may indicate areas where meth lab chemicals have been dumped.


Kitty Litter

Kitty Litter is often used by meth lab cooks to soak up spilled chemicals.  In the first picture, a meth lab cook uses this kitty litter container as part of their meth manufacturing process. Tubing is commonly found at meth labs, where it is often connected to a variety of containers.


Do you see kitty litter in unusual locations? It could indicate that someone used it to absorb a chemical spill.



When someone is addicted to meth, meth is ALL THAT MATTERS.  The effect of meth on users makes it difficult for them to get organized and keep the kind of focus it would take to keep their house neat and tidy.

Renters who are using meth and/or making meth will try to avoid having their landlord come in to inspect their home, due to its condition and to prevent the landlord from seeing anything that might evoke questions.  Neighbors and other visitors are also avoided by meth lab cooks, for the same reasons.

Windows  are often  covered or blacked-out to keep prying eyes from seeing inside.






Strange Plumbing

Strange plumbing, vent systems, and/or  electrical connections in a house should make you question why someone would have a plumbing, wiring, or electrical system like that in their house, basement, attic, or garage. Could the plumbing be installed to make it easier to dump chemicals without being detected by anyone outside of the house?


Could venting systems be installed in basements to vent out meth lab fumes? Are electrical outlets or wiring found in weird places?



The windows on basements and garages made be covered or painted to keep others from seeing what’s “cooking”. Exhaust fans are common, as well.



Police often find different types of glassware in meth labs, including glass bottles, jugs, and glass cooking containers.


Plastic Bottles

Meth cooks who use the “shake and bake” method, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, typically use commonly found plastic bottles to make meth. Water bottles, soda bottles, sports drinks bottles, juice bottles and other plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes are being used to make meth. Meth made in these bottles frequently explode causing fires and burn injuries to people in their vicinity.


This post was originally published on July 16, 2009.









Signs of a Meth Lab

Posted: July 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Homemade “kitchen” meth labs can look so ordinary that they may escape detection by the untrained eye. Discarded containers that have been used to make meth using the one-pot method are dangerously contaminated but may look harmless. You can help make your community safer by learning the signs of a meth lab.

If you think you have spotted a meth lab or the remnants of meth production, call 911.  Do not examine or investigate it yourself.
Cold Medicine
A large quantity of cold medication packages or containers is a strong indication of methamphetamine production. Pseudoephedrine, found in cold medicines, is the key ingredient for homemade meth.

Organized Pseudoephedrine Purchases

Meth cooks and addicts try to bypass pseudoephedrine purchase limits by purchasing small amounts at multiple pharmacies, sometimes working in groups. Driving from pharmacy to pharmacy to purchase pseudoephedrine is known as “smurfing.” Law enforcement officers are now using sophisticated computer databases to identify “smurfs” and stop their meth production.

Chemical Smells
A telltale sign of a meth lab is a powerful chemical smell. The odor of an active meth lab may smell like:
  • Paint thinner or vanish smell
  • Ether or a “hospital smell”
  • Sour or vinegary smell
  • Ammonia-like smell (like the smell of window cleaner, fertilizers or even cat urine)
Meth labs are usually equipped with items such as:
  • Pyrex, glass or Corning containers, mason jars or other kitchen glassware (These may be fitted with hoses, clamps, or duct tape.)
  • Plastic soda bottles (This may be the only evidence of meth labs that use the one pot or shake and bake method.)
  • Rubber tubing
  • Dust or respiratory masks and filters
  • Funnels
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large plastic storage containers or tubs
  • Containers of multi-layered liquids
  • Coffee filters or other items including bed sheets, used as strainers and stained red
  • White powdery residue
  • Sheets or other coverings on windows
  • Gas cylinders or tanks that may contain anhydrous ammonia (especially if the gas cylinder has a blue top. A chemical reaction causes the brass valve to turn blue when used to store the gas.)










HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio – Not one, but two working meth labs in a home.
An accused Harrison County meth cook lived in a house with his wife and three kids. His wife claims she didn’t know what was going on, and the police say they believe her.
So would you know what to look for if this was going on in your back yard?
During the last 10 years, meth labs have changed, and they’re pretty hard to spot — most of them as small as a 2-liter soda bottle.
“It’s a shake-and-bake operation and he has led us to believe he has done it on the road,” Harrison County Sheriff Ron Myers. “And here it’s very dangerous, especially with his kids in the house.”
Many people wonder how no one else at the home knew there were dangerous chemicals inside, especially Moon’s wife and three children?
Myers says she didn’t know. But there are things to watch and smell for that could be hints something isn’t right.
Here are just a few of the things to watch for: Unusual strong odors, like the smell of cat urine, ammonia, or other chemicals. Residences with windows blacked out or covered by aluminum foil, plywood, sheets, blankets — and also excessive trash.
These are all hints that something could be out of the ordinary.
In this particular case, investigators said the hint that tipped them off to a possible meth cook operation was the NPLEX system that tracks cold medicine sales.