Police arrested a man after they found hundreds of grams of crystal meth in his Sweetwater home.

On Thursday, officials searched 41-year-old James David Bradley’s home at 227 Country Road 298 as part of an on-going investigation. Inside, officers discovered more than 225 grams of crystal meth as well as cocaine and marijuana for resale. Police also found drug paraphernalia, two assault rifles and a pistol that was reported stolen in Loudon County.

Authorities charged Bradley with possession for resale of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. Bradley is also facing charges for having a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, theft, and violating probation.

Sweetwater Police Department Chief Eddie Byrum said recent legislation has made it more difficult to make meth in Monroe County.

“The officers are finding fewer meth labs and one pot labs,” said Chief Byrum in a release. “However, we are seeing more crystal methamphetamine being imported to our area.”







Heroin use in Eau Claire County had a notable increase this year, but methamphetamine remains the county’s biggest law enforcement problem, Sheriff Ron Cramer told the County Board Tuesday night.5095c7c286728_image

Cramer gave a presentation on past accomplishments and upcoming challenges for his department at the board’s monthly meeting, then fielded questions from supervisors, many relating to drug use.

2013 was the first year of operation of the new jail, and it went well, Cramer said.

They are continuing to work with the drug courts, which have had particular success in working with offenders who have alcohol problems, he said. But he added that some drug dealers were going to drug court who should not be in the program, which tries to rehabilitate people with drug and alcohol problems. “As sheriff I know some people who are going there who are out-and-out drug dealers,” he said.

Cramer said heroin is coming up Interstate 94 from Chicago and southern Wisconsin to the area. Some people who develop heroin habits start out using oxycodone or similar prescription drug, sometimes legally, but when they come off the prescription they are looking for a similar high and find heroin is cheaper. It can be gotten locally for about $40 per dose, he said.

But the main drug problem is meth, which they have been dealing with since 1996, and “it’s not getting better,” he said. A good portion of the crime they deal with is caused by people trying to get money for the drug.







 A chemistry teacher at a Texas high school and her husband, a convicted felon, have been arrested on drug charges.


Haivan Bui, 29, was arrested Friday at Oak Ridge High School, where she’d taught chemistry since last year. Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies said she had recipes for date-rape drugs in her backpack when authorities took her into custody.

Her arrest followed a police raid earlier that day at the home where Bui lives with her husband, 33-year-old Chris Alan Hartwell. Police said Hartwell possessed methamphetamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate, a compound used in date-rape drugs. The search also turned up a loaded shotgun and additional drug-making recipes, police said.

Police charged Bui with possession with intent to deliver or manufacture a controlled substance. Hartwell faces charges including possession of a controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm.

The principal of Oak Ridge High School said there is no evidence that any illegal activity took place at the school. Students described Bui as a “good teacher,” and were surprised to learn she’d been arrested.

“It was kind of crazy. Everyone was like, maybe it’s drugs, and it was,” student Armando Sanchez told KHOU.

The couple’s neighbors were also shocked to learn of the allegations. Some said they didn’t feel safe with an alleged date-rape drug operation in the neighborhood.

“Maybe they’re trying to be the new ‘Breaking Bad,'” neighbor said Phyllis Hannon told KPRC. “He was a chemistry teacher on the show, too.”

The sheriff’s office said the investigation is ongoing.









VERO BEACH — Police on Sunday charged two women and a man who had supplies for making methamphetamine in a car parked on Ocean Drive.

Audrey BowieBobby Sue Black

Robert Steven Coleman II, 31, of the 1600 block of 17th Court Southwest in Vero Beach, Audrey Bowie, 23, of the 8000 block of 126th Street in Sebastian, and Bobby Sue Black, 19, of Greenwood, South Carolina, each were charged with possession and manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Coleman also was charged with loitering and prowling, resisting arrest without violence and petty theft.

Robert Coleman II

Police found the drug-making equipment inside a white, four-door vehicle shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday. The Drug Enforcement Administration responded to collect evidence.







OKLAHOMA CITYAn Oklahoma City man is facing charges for domestic assault and destruction of property after a drug-fueled incident on the south side of the metro early Sunday morning.


Officers were first called out to the scene at a home in southwest Oklahoma City around 12:30 a.m. The caller told police that the suspect had left the home walking east toward S. May Ave.

The officers arrived and searched the area when they located the suspect, identified as 40-year-old Shaun Walsh, in the 2800 block of SW Grand Blvd.

Police continued to the scene where they located the victim and a witness standing in the driveway of the home where the alleged incident occurred. The officers noticed that the victim had redness and swelling on the right side of her face.

The woman told police that she and Walsh had had an intimate relationship in the past, but had been separated for the last year. She said the two remained friends, however, and would see each other from time to time.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. she told police that Walsh had called her and asked if she could pick him up. He said there was trouble at the house he was staying at and he needed to leave. The woman told the officers she and her friend went to get Walsh and then drove back to her home.

It was at the victim’s home where the two got into an argument over a methamphetamine pipe that Walsh had in his possession. The woman told police that she pressed Walsh on the issue of the pipe and about his drug use. That’s when she said he became enraged and started punching her in the face three times.

According to the victim, Walsh said, “F*** you, b****. You get what you deserve,” as he punched her. After he stopped punching, the victim told police Walsh went into another room of the home and grabbed a three-prong pitchfork. She said he began chasing her around the house before she could make it out the front door.

Once outside Walsh demanded the victim give him the keys to her car. She refused, and that’s when she said Walsh used the pitchfork to break the passenger side window to her car. He then dropped the pitchfork and left the scene on foot.

The victim’s friend corroborated her story and Walsh was placed under arrest. While in the back of the squad car Walsh informed the officers that he was under the influence of meth. He also told police that before he was arrested he swallowed a baggie containing .2 grams of the drug, and was about to “feel the full effects.”

Walsh was first taken to Southwest Medical Center to be medically cleared before he was transported to the Oklahoma County Jail, where he was booked without incident. A bond has not been set at this time.







ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — A woman was arrested after Rochester police said officers found 83 grams of methamphetamine in her car. 4743493_G

Rochester police Lt. Mike Sadauskis said officers arrested Ayla Krohn, 25, about 10:15 p.m. Saturday after an officer recognized her from previous incidents. According to the report, Krohn was driving with a revoked license when she was pulled over, and a police K9 smelled the drugs in her car. 

She’s facing multiple controlled substance and drug sales charges.










The Richardsville Volunteer Fire Department was called to a fire underneath a bridge Sunday morning in the 2500 block of North Campbell Road.

Fire officials found suspicious items and called the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded and found components of a methamphetamine lab that had caught fire, according to a release from the sheriff’s office. Deputies also found numerous items used in manufacturing meth.

Deputies, with the assistance of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force, seized the items. No arrests were made.







MOULTRIE — A suspicious vehicle parked in the back yard of a residence prompted a call to law enforcement Friday. The resulting investigation led to an arrest on drug charges.

Eric Morgan Beck, 28, of Enigma, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of an officer.

Deputies responded to a call about a black SUV in a back yard in the 100 block of Saturday Lane. They found Beck inside the SUV, the sheriff’s office report said.

The report said Beck gave the deputies permission to search the vehicle, and methamphetamine was found. The report also said Beck physically resisted the officers before he was taken into custody.








Hamlin, WV When Affordable Cleanup, a meth remediation company, pulls up to a job they always attract a crowd. Owner Jennifer McQuerrey said neighbors are always curious how homes with methamphetamine labs are taken care of.


“You don’t see somebody in a hazmat suit come in your neighborhood everyday, so it’s just kind of a spectacle,” said McQuerrey.

The cleanup crew travels across West Virginia cleaning dozens of contaminated homes a year. Last week, the crew spent two days at an apartment complex in Lincoln County. Three rooms inside had tested positive for meth. Apartment manager Daniel McKay is worried about being able to rent it out in the future.

“The apartment that’s next to it, she has three kids,” he said. “Her kids could have easily been exposed to it too.”

The rooms tested .18 micrograms. The state requires cleanup for rooms above .1 micrograms of residue. McQuerrey explained the only way to remove meth crystals is through scrubbing. In this case, it will most likely take three rounds of cleaning to remove all traces.

“We’re putting water on the walls, then the solution cleaner on the walls,” she said. “We start with light fixtures, we work out and do the ceiling, then the walls.”

Before cleaning, all the contaminated furniture has to be moved outside where crews have to break them and render them unusable.

“It is so hard to detect and so easy to make with shake and bake and various methods,” said McKay. “I knew sooner or later it would come here to Hamlin.”

The meth epidemic has also spread to other parts of the state. McQuerrey has cleaned dozens of homes and is still shocked by what she finds.

“We see so many kids in them, and it amazes me people cook meth with children in the house at the time they are cooking it,” she said.

Work is booming and profitable, but McQuerrey said she hopes her work becomes obsolete.

“I’ll find something else to do,” she said. “If this problem can go away, I’d be happy to go out of business.”







Rehabilitation and drug experts from across the ACT are warning that more Canberrans are seeking treatment for dependence on ice or crystal methamphetamine as the purity and strength of the drug increases.

Camilla Rowland, the chief executive of the Karralika drug outreach program, said the number of people seeking treatment from her organisation for ice use had increased during the past 12 months and was expected to continue rising.

“We have seen a significant increase in the proportion of people coming to us seeking treatment who have identified methamphetamines as their primary drug of concern,” she said.

The proportion of people seeking treatment for ice use with Karralika increased from 15 per cent during 2012-13 to 30 per cent during 2013-14, which almost equalled the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol.

“For many years, alcohol has been identified as the primary drug of concern by the majority of people – which is consistent with the ACT and national data,” said Ms Rowland.

Major Scott Warrington from the Salvation Army rehabilitation centre in Fyshwick said he had also noticed an increase in people seeking treatment for ice or methamphetamines due to an increase in the quality of the drugs and associated harms.

“There has always been an issue with people using methamphetamines but the quality of the drug has risen to the point where we are seeing greater harm to users and families,” he said.

Of the 218 people treated for drug and alcohol problems at Fyshwick centre during the last 12 months, 22 per cent listed amphetamines as their primary drug while 35 per cent said they had used amphetamines among other drugs.

Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association ACT executive officer Carrie Fowler said it was clear drug users had changed how they consume methamphetamine, however overall consumption was not necessarily increasing in the ACT.

“Nationally, all indicators say there are changes in methamphetamine use and harms and that’s what the ACT services are saying,” she said.

“There has been a rapid change in drug use shifting towards to the use of methamphetamines in crystal forms and consequently a lot more harm being experienced by the user.”

Major Warrington said there was now a higher rate of families calling in to ask for help as their children displayed behaviours that they weren’t raised with.

“We’re seeing a more desperate plea from families and multi-generational families trying to help their sons and daughters as their situations become more desperate “

Major Warrington said as the purity and quality of ice has increased, so too has the number of violent incidents and mental health problems in communities.

Earlier this year, a study led by ANU researcher Dr Rebecca McKetin found a direct link between the use of ice and violence.

After studying 278 chronic users of methamphetamine, Dr McKetin and fellow researchers found only 10 per cent of users were violent when not taking the drug, although 60 per cent were violent when using ice often.

“It is clear that this risk is in addition to any pre-existing tendency that the person has towards violence,” she said.

“Heavy ice use alters the chemicals in the brain that are responsible for controlling emotions like aggression.”

Earlier this month, the Victorian government tasked a committee to make recommendations on how to tackle what has been described as an “epidemic” of people abandoning street drugs for more concentrated methamphetamines.

The report found the purity of crystal methamphetamine had increased over the past two years across the nation, which in turn exacerbated the drug’s harmful effects.

“It is this shift in use which could account for the increase in the extent of harms reported by the community,” read the report.













WINNIPEG – A complaint about a man in a red truck pointing a firearm led to multiple drug and weapons charges against two Alberta men.


Several Winnipeg police units went to Winnipeg’s St. Boniface neighbourhood just after 1:30 a.m. Sunday following a complaint about two men in a red truck.

They searched the area near Archibald Street and Provencher Boulevard, where the incident reportedly happened, and spotted a red truck at Archibald and Marion Street.

Police searched the truck and seized:

  • A Ruger SR .22-calibre semi-automatic long-barrel rifle and ammunition, including a loaded magazine
  • 2,161 grams of methamphetamine, which police estimate is worth $200,000 on the street
  • More than half a kilogram of powder cocaine worth an estimated $52,000
  • 46 grams of crack cocaine worth an estimated $3,000
  • 28 grams of powder methylamphetamine (Ecstasy) worth an estimated $1,000
  • 46 Ecstasy pills worth an estimate $460.

Jaden Joshua Omeasoo, 18, of Hobbema, Alta., and Benjamin James White, 25, of Lloydminster, Alta., face numerous drug- and weapons-related offences.







 THIBODAUX, LA (WAFB) – A Thibodaux man is behind bars after police say he stole speakers from a business Thursday.


The theft happened around 7 a.m. Reports say 27-year-old Timothy Matherne Jr. was seen stuffing speakers into a bean bag. Matherne later purchased the bean bag, but not the items hidden inside. He was stopped and officers found the stolen speakers inside the bean bag.

Once Matherne was placed under arrest, officers searched him and when they would get close to his waistband, he would do a squat. This happened multiple times. After further investigation, police officers found Matherne was wearing double underwear, boxers and briefs. Hidden inside his briefs was a Crown Royal bag filled with methamphetamines, oxycodone, and codeine.

Police say 18 to 20 grams of meth was found, along with the codeine and oxycodone. The street value for the drugs is around $3,000. Police also found bean bag filler in his pockets.

Matherne was charged with possession with intent to distribute meth, possession of oxycodone, possession of codeine, theft of goods, simple criminal damage to property, and parking in a handicapped zone. He is being held in the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on a $15,200 bond.






JONESBORO, Arkansas — An Arkansas inmate is facing additional jail time after guards say they found nearly $2,000 worth of methamphetamine in her pants.

A Craighead County judge said Monday there is sufficient evidence to charge the 30-year-old woman with meth possession. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Craighead County Detention Center jailers say they discovered 19 grams of meth in baggies during a “shakedown.” The woman told them she couldn’t remember the name of the inmate who gave her the drugs.

The woman is serving a 120 day sentence for second-degree forgery.







15 September 2014 – The illicit manufacture of methamphetamine has traditionally been concentrated in North America (primarily in Mexico and the United States) and East and South-East Asia (China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand), close to the major consumer markets. The latest UNODC’s Global SMART Update study, however, shows that it has recently spread to other countries such as Guatemala, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.


The Update also reveals that some countries in Africa and the Middle East have recently emerged as important regions for methamphetamine supply, and that methamphetamine manufacture is also spreading across Europe, though at low levels.

Manufacturing methods vary throughout the world, although most regions continue to rely on the use of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine as precursors to manufacture methamphetamine. An exception is North America, where methods based on P-2-P – a precursor also known as 1-phenyl-2-propanone or benzyl methyl ketone (BMK) – are mainly in use.

The threat of synthetic drugs- such as methamphetamine, amphetamine and ecstasy-type substances and new psychoactive substances (NPS) – is a significant drug problem worldwide. After cannabis, amphetamine-type stimulants are the second most widely used drugs in the world, exceeding the use of cocaine and heroin.

As a response to the synthetic drug challenge, UNODC launched in 2008 the Global SMART (Synthetics Monitoring: Analyses, Reporting and Trends) Programme. The Programme improves the capacity of Member States to generate and manage information on illicit synthetic drugs, including its reporting, and it operates in East and South-east Asia, and more recently Latin America.

Further information at:

Global SMART Update 2014 – Vol. 12 (English)








BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – Goshen Police arrested a Beloit man Friday morning, charging him with drug abuse and endangering children after he admitted to making and using meth, according to a police report.bob-uyselt-meth-porn-arrest-mug-shot

Police arrested Robert Uyselt, 44, Friday, after a local parole authority reported a parole violation on the part of Uyselt. Parole officers told Goshen Police there was an active meth lab at the house, according to the report.

Uyselt told police who arrived at his residence that there was some methamphetamine in a black bag by his bed, along with pseudoephedrine tablets, which are frequently used in the manufacturing of meth.

Uyselt also told officers he was making meth at the residence until the last couple of months and used meth on a daily basis.

Police also recorded seeing a child, found to be Uyselt’s 18-month-old son, in a crib watching a pornographic movie on television, and said that there were several syringes near the crib, according to the report.

Authorities have charged Uyselt with illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, drug possession/abuse, endangering children, possessing drug abuse instruments and drug paraphernalia, according to Mahoning County Jail records.







ATHENS — A mobile meth lab bust on Pump House Road led to two arrests Monday after officers discovered a camper containing methamphetamine and lab materials.

Colt Losh, 32, and Alicia Brumley, 32, both of Poplar Bluff, Mo., were arrested, according to police reports.

According to a state police report, the two suspects are being charged with operating a clandestine meth lab, altered pseudoephedrine, purchase of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, and conspiracy.

Troopers D.C. Graham and D.B. Whited of the West Virginia State Police, Princeton detachment responded after the Athens Police Department got a 911 call of a suspicious vehicle, according to Graham.

“When I arrived we observed paraphernalia and products used in the manufacturing of a clandestine lab,” Graham said. “We called in the methamphetamine detection unit and they were able to come down from Beckley and determine that the vehicle that was suspicious was in fact a meth lab.”

According to Graham, the meth lab was assembled in a camper attached to a truck.

“It had a little kitchen in there and everything,” Graham said.

Multiple grams of methamphetamine along with cooking tools, hydrogen peroxide, and paraphernalia were discovered in the camper, which the two suspects allegedly claimed broke down, Graham said.

There were no contamination issues, according to Graham, and all material was removed safely.

“They (Beckley team) did a good job,” Graham said. “They were able to recover all of the hazardous material and the vehicle was able to be towed off and decontaminated.”

According to Graham, the two suspects have traveled up and down the East Coast purchasing pseudoephedrine, including purchases in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

“They knew what they were doing,” Graham said.

The two suspects are being held at Bluefield Jail until their arraignment, according to Graham.









INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s State Fire Marshal is asking lawmakers to help crack down on fires caused by methamphetamine lab explosions.

Indiana led the nation in meth lab seizures last year, busting 1,721 labs, according to state records. Records show fires from explosions inside those labs are also believed to be responsible for killing four people, leaving 27 others hurt, and damaging dozens of adjacent homes.

“These fires are especially dangerous,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “And, they can become hazardous to those who respond. They also create a hazardous materials incident, which takes up a lot of time, is costly to mitigate, and takes away those resources from being able to respond to other incidents they may need to respond to.”

But, the meth cooks responsible for them almost never face criminal charges related to the fires.

Testifying before the legislature’s Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code Monday, Greeson said that’s due to Indiana’s definition of arson.

“The definition actually refers to two words: knowingly and intentionally setting a fire through an explosive, or some device that causes harm, property loss or injury. In the manufacturing of clandestine substances such as meth, those people aren’t intentionally, or willingly or knowingly trying to set that fire. They’re trying to produce meth. So, depending on where they are and what the products are on hand, they may or may not be able to be charged with a crime. And, what we’re trying to do is get into the law some language that allows a prosecutor the tool and our investigators the ability to bring forward that evidence and create a case,” Greeson told 24-Hour News 8.

Greeson said that the current wording of the statute has also prevented arson charges from being filed in several recent copper wiring theft cases that resulted in fires.

Lawmakers could consider changing the language of the law when they reconvene in January.








AN IRANIAN refugee who was caught smuggling 51 packages of methamphetamine into WA after one burst in his bowel has lost an appeal against his sentence.

Sam Mousavi was sentenced to six years and eight months’ jail for trying to smuggle the drugs internally on a flight from Dubai to Perth in November 2011.


The father-of-one, who was granted asylum in Australia several years ago, became ill on the flight where it was alleged he alerted passengers that he was carrying “ice”.

When the flight landed he was rushed to hospital where a CT scan revealed a total of 51 packages with a street value of $132,000 located in his stomach, small intestine and lower intestine.

He was found guilty of trying to smuggle the drugs into the country last year.

In June, Mousavi lodged an appeal against his sentence arguing it was “manifestly excessive” and did not take into account his personal circumstances.

Today the WA Court of Appeal handed down its decision.

During his original District Court trial, Mousavi argued he had been forced to smuggle the 51 packets of methamphetamine to pay off a $20,000 debt he owed to an Iranian loan shark.

He claimed he borrowed the money to pay for his wedding to his wife.

At the start of the trial, Mousavi claimed that he was knocked unconscious and threatened at gunpoint and told that unless he took drugs to Australia he would be killed.

He also claimed the loan shark made him swallow a number of packages and that some larger packages were inserted into his backside, and was told that if he did not co-operate his parents would be killed.

But it later emerged the asylum seeker-turned-tiler had a gambling debt, owed $20,000 on his credit card and that his tiling business was failing.

A District Court jury found him guilty in November 2013.

He received six years and eight months and is eligible for parole after four years.

Today the WA Court of Appeal dismissed his application against sentence saying it felt the length was not unjust. The maximum penalty for smuggling methamphetamine into Australia is 25 years.

“Having regard to the maximum penalty for the offence, the circumstances in which it was committed, the range of sentences customarily imposed and the personal circumstances of the appellant, it cannot be reasonably argued that the sentence imposed was unreasonable or plainly unjust,” Justices David Newnes and Robert Mazza said.







Four Chinese nationals have been charged with possession of drugs worth an estimated HK$1.2 billion in the Philippines, the country’s Department of Justice announced on Monday.


The suspects were arrested during a raid on a warehouse on Friday in the Pampanga provincial capital San Fernando.

Drug enforcement agency chief Arturo Cacdac Jnr said police found around 460kg of crystal methamphetamine, as well as large amounts of hydrochloride and ephedrine, marking one of the biggest drug busts of the year.

Cacdac described the case, which has been in the works for more than six months, as a “big blow to syndicates”.

The four Chinese suspects, three men and one woman, have been identified by police as Jason Lee, Willy Yap and Near Tan from Xiamen and Ying Huang from Fujian. They underwent inquest proceedings accompanied by a state-provided defence attorney on Monday.

Last month, a court in Manila sentenced three Chinese nationals to life in prison after they were arrested inside a methamphetamine laboratory in 2010.

The methamphetamine trade in the Philippines is believed to have links to Mexican organised crime. In February, a raid on a small operation in Lipa city, south of Manila, swept up three suspected members of the deadly Sinaloa cartel.

That raid came after months of speculation that the cartels were moving into the Philippines.

“The Mexicans are already here,” drug task force chief Bartolome Tobias told the South China Morning Post in January, adding that he believed they were getting help from “Chinese drug syndicates“.









The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the eastern Nigerian state of Anambra, has raised concern over the increasing production of methamphetamine in the state.


Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system.

Mr Sule Momodu, State Commander of the agency, told newsmen in Awka on Monday that the national headquarters recently intercepted a shipment, which was traced to Awka, the state capital.

He said that the agency was working seriously with other security agencies to get those involved in the business.

Momodu said that Gov.Willie Obiano recently approved N500, 000 to anyone who would provide information on the clandestine activities of laboratories where illegal methamphetamine was being produced.

He said that the governor had also approved N15m for the agency to use in the cleaning up of illegal methamphetamine factory, discovered in 2012 at Nanka in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state.

Momodu commended the state government for being the first to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment on the facility, where large methamphetamine laboratory was discovered

The Commander said that the substance, which had strong smell, was being produced late night in deserted buildings, adding that its waste product was hazardous.







Three Elizabethtown residents have been indicted on a wanton endangerment charge after police say a 17-month-old in their care tested positive for meth. Joseph Roy Culley Jr., Jessica Marie Humphrey and Sherrie Ann Smith, aka Sherrie Sprowls, are each indicted on a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment.

Smith has an added indictment of first-degree felony offender. In July, Elizabethtown police responded to a call at Hardin Memorial Hospital on a possible child abuse case.


In 2003, then-Wright County Sheriff Gary Miller estimated that 80 percent of the prisoners in the Wright County Jail were there because of methamphetamine.

From manufacturers to sellers to users to those who committed crimes to help support their habit, it was a drug that was gaining a stronghold in Wright County a ruining lives.

It was this concern that created MEADA (Methamphetamine Education And Drug Aware) in 2004 – a project that would prove to be extremely successful in banding communities together to limit the spread of the drug use in Wright County.

Things have improved significantly in that regard over the decade since, but current Sheriff Joe Hagerty said the meth epidemic was something law enforcement had never seen before.

“Everything back then was about meth,” Hagerty said. “That was probably an accurate number. You had the people who were making it, selling it or using it, but just about every robbery, mail theft or home invasion involved someone who was addicted to meth and needed to get money to pay for their habit.”

Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly was one of the founding members of MEADA and, just as law enforcement was getting deluged with prisoners, so too was the criminal justice system because the meth problem was showing no signs of loosening its grip on Wright County.

“When we created MEADA back in 2004, I came up with a little saying – meth robs your liberty, kidnaps your soul and holds you prisoner,” Kelly said. “It was a major issue. There was a time during that period where 72 percent of kids that were put in a foster care setting or out of home placement was because of methamphetamine. That’s a huge number.”

What made methamphetamine such a problem was that users weren’t the standard idea of those who would be drug addicts.

It happened to young, old, wealthy, poor, men, women. It truly ran that gamut of society.

“It happened with all cross-sections of the community,” Hagerty said. “Socioeconomic lines were crossed. People who had been successful that had strong families. It was a drug like no other we had ever dealt with. It was truly the devil’s drug. It would grab a user on just one use and the addictive power of that drug was unbelievable. It was a scourge”

One of the primary problems in Wright County was that, back in 2002-03, the county was a hotbed for meth labs. In that era, it wasn’t unusual to discover an abandoned meth lab or two every week.

Those cooking meth had to do it in a wide open area because of the smell and the hazardous chemicals used in its production. At first, the county was taken a bit by surprise when uncovering a lab, but, as time went by, the problem kept growing exponentially.

“It came into Wright County extremely fast,” Hagerty said. “It went from being ‘what is methamphetamine?’ to having a full-blown problem within a matter of months. When we saw how fast it was spreading and how horrible the consequences of this drug was. That was the genesis of MEADA in Wright County.”

One of the turning points came in 2006, when Minnesota passed a state law that took ephedrine – an active ingredient in meth – and put it behind drug store counter and making people who bought drugs like Sudafed to present identification.

By taking the main ingredient away from those cooking meth, it became difficult to manufacture locally. But, it didn’t stop there.

MEADA was so successful in combating meth addiction because it brought all the key players in communities together. Individually, law enforcement, school districts and parents could try to combat the problem. But, as a united front, they created power in numbers.

“We got buy-ins throughout the county,” Hagerty said. “Just about every school and city got involved and, what made it so successful here was that we got parents and families involved to educate them on the dangers and the warning signs. You never know how successful a program you’re trying to run will be because you need people to buy in for it to be successful. We had that with MEADA.”

Town meetings were standing room only as those looking to help in the fight or just curious to see what all the fuss was about banded together to make a difference. Even those on the front lines were shocked at how unified communities became.

“It was amazing how the public turned out for the town hall meetings,” Kelly said. “We had a meeting in Rogers that had more than 1,000 people attend. I think because we saturated the county with education and information that it helped. We were asked to give our template to other counties and even other states to see what we did that worked because they saw our program as a successful way to combat the problem.”

Over the last several years, the meth epidemic has waned.

It’s still a problem, but now is being replaced by the influx of designer drugs, increasingly potent marijuana and the unfortunate comeback of heroin as a drug of choice for users.

While MEADA’s initial mission statement centered on methamphetamine, the program has branched out and evolved as new drugs problems emerge.

“MEADA has done quite a bit over the last 10 years and continues to do so,” Kelly said. “Last year, it served more than 7,000 community members. While meth isn’t the problem to the extent it was 10 years ago, the objectives of MEADA are still in place today and we’re still fighting to protect children and families.”

In the war on drugs, it would seem that drugs is a foe that won’t go away and keeps drawing in new recruits.

Ten years after MEADA showed that citizens banding together can fight the war on their home turf, it would be naïve to think that drugs won’t be part of the culture of our society. But Hagerty hopes to never see the epidemic that methamphetamine caused a decade ago and why MEADA was formed.

“We’re always on the lookout for the next drug that’s coming down the line,” Hagerty said. “With the synthetic drugs that are out there, there will always be something, but I’m not sure we’re going to run into something that was so rampant and destructive to people’s lives than methamphetamine was 10 years ago.”







An Asheville woman has been charged with running a meth lab in her home.

The Buncombe County Anticrime Task Force arrested Kelly Shirlynn Portch, 27, of High Oaks Drive on Saturday, according to warrants filed at the Buncombe County Magistrate’s Office.

She is charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of the chemicals to create the drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia, including pipes and syringes. She is also charged with using her house to make and distribute drugs.

She is being held in the Buncombe County Detention Center with a secured bond set at $205,000 on all charges.

In another drug-related arrest:

William Alexander Imus, 25, of Francis Street, Asheville has been charged with possession of 26 hits of LSD, trafficking more than 200 grams of MDMA, conspiracy to traffic drugs, possession of marijuana, possession of 65 units of Xanax, and using his house to sell drugs from. He is being held in the Buncombe County Detention Center with a secured bond set at $12,500.








Bond was set at $5,000 Thursday for a Duncan woman who was found to have a syringe loaded with methamphetamine and another bag of methamphetamine in her backpack.

Duncan Police Officer Nicholas Dziewa said Amanda Jennings, 23, was walking on 1st Street, then turned around when Dziewa passed her, so he turned around and asked to search her backpack.

“I asked Jennings if I could search her backpack, she replied that she would prefer that I did not because she didn’t want to go to jail,” Dziewa said.

After Dziewa asked a second time, Jennings emptied her bag on the hood of Dziewa’s patrol car, according to an incident report.

“I located a syringe in a blue pencil bag and a purple plastic baggie containing a clear, crystal-like substance… in a yellow Play-Doh container,” Dziewa said.

Jennings was arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and taken to the Stephens County Jail.








An Adelaide woman allegedly high on meth crashed a stolen hire car while two children without seatbelts sat in the back.

The suspended driver rear-ended another car in North Adelaide on Friday night, and police drug tests showed she was on methamphetamine, police say.

Two children under the age of five were unrestrained in the back seat, and were taken to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital with minor injuries.

The woman’s car turned out to be a hire car she had not returned, and which had been reported as stolen.

The 33-year-old Woodville Gardens woman was also wanted over the alleged illegal use of a motor vehicle in Mount Gambier in July.

She was charged with driving without due care, dangerous driving, two counts of aggravated acts to endanger life, two counts of failing to ensure child safely restrained, driving while suspended, two counts of illegal use, drug driving and possess prescription medication without a prescription.

She has been bailed to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on November 10.