ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — A woman is behind bars after police said they found methamphetamine in her purse during a traffic stop.4985943_G

Cindy Romero, 35, of Zumbrota was pulled over Thursday around 8:30 p.m. on the 100 Block of 6th Avenue SE for a traffic stop.

A Rochester Police Department spokesman said she was acting very nervous and told the officer the purse in the car was not hers, even though the officer did not ask about her purse.

Goodhue County had issued a warrant for her arrest.

Police said a police K-9 found 1.6 grams of methamphetamine in her purse, and she was taken into custody



Five men were arrested Sept. 26 when the Northern Colorado Drug Task Force served five search warrants as part of a long-term investigation into methamphetamine distribution in Larimer County, according to a news release provided by Lt. David Pearson, drug task force commander.

The warrants were served in Fort Collins, Longmont, Lakewood, and Arvada.

Over the course of the investigation, more than 12 pounds of methamphetamine, more than $8,800 in cash, cocaine, prescription pills, and one firearm were seized.

Five men were arrested on various charges. Those arrested were: Dean Duran, 53; Richard Maddox, 54; Gerald Moore, 50; Darrick Heimann, 47 and Darren Heimann, 46. Details about specific charges and the men’s addresses was not released.

SWAT teams from Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County, Weld County, and Jefferson County served the warrants with assistance from the Criminal Impacts Unit from Fort Collins Police, the Fort Collins Police Services Neighborhood Enforcement Team, Department of Correction – Parole Division, and detectives from Loveland Police Department and West Metro Drug Task Force.

The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional team staffed by personnel from the Loveland Police Department, Colorado Adult Parole, and Fort Collins Police Services.



An early morning domestic dispute uncovers a marijuana growing operation and meth lab inside a Loogootee home.

Indiana State Police and Loogootee Police were called to the 300 block of Bloomfield Road in Loogootee shortly after midnight for a couple fighting.
Officers later received information that the homeowner, Edward McLoskey, was growing marijuana in his basement.
Investigators obtained a search warrant and searched the home Saturday morning. They say they found 30 marijuana plants growing in the basement.
They say they also a meth lab, precursurs to make meth and other drug paraphernalia scattered throughout the house.
McLokey was arrested on a long list of drug related charges.

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — One man from Rochester and nine from Owatonna are among eleven indicted Friday by a grand jury in a major methamphetamine crackdown in southeastern Minnesota. It caps a two-year investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies of what was called the Ortega drug trafficking organization.

U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the grand jury indictments. Authorities accuse the eleven of conspiring to distribute meth in Minnesota from January, 2012 through September of this year.  Two of the men, Daniel Segura Jr. and Sage Ollerman, are being charged with distributing about 26 pounds of meth.   Seven others are being charged with distributing more than 500 grams of meth.

The Rochester Police Narcotics Unit and Street Crimes Unit, Southeast Minnesota Narcotics and Gang Task Force, the South Central Drug Investigation Unit, the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force and the Owatonna Police Department were among a dozen law enforcement units said to have played a role in the multi-agency investigation, a collaboration led by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Other SE Minnesota agencies involved included the Olmsted, Steele and Goodhue Sheriff’s offices, and the Prairie Island and Red Wing police departments.  The Olmsted and Steele County Attorney’s offices were also active in the investigation, and even the IRS had a hand in it.

Those indicted:


Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Fresno, Calif.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 3 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 5 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Possession of Methamphetamine and Cocaine, 1 count



Rochester, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 2 counts



Owatonna, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, 1 count
  • Distribution of Methamphetamine, 1 count






More than 400 Kansas children died in 2012, the most recent report from the state’s child death review board shows.

The Kansas State Child Death Review Board’s annual report, released last week by Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office, shows 418 children died in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s one less than in 2011. The report covers deaths of children from birth to age 17.

Eighty-nine of the children were Sedgwick County residents.

Thirteen of the children who died statewide in 2012 were victims of homicide, including Jayla Haag, an 18-month-old from El Dorado who died, an affidavit says, after longtime abuse. Her mother, Alyssa Haag, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter/reckless in her daughter’s death and is in prison. Her mother’s boyfriend at the time faces a charge of first-degree murder in the girl’s death.

The number of homicides among children in 2012 was the lowest since 2005, the report says.

“Every death of a child is a tragedy,” said Theresa Freed, communications director for the Kansas Department for Children and Families. “Until there are no preventable child deaths, we as a community still have work to do.”

There were five homicides in Sedgwick County, the report says. Two occurred in Wyandotte County and one each in Chase, Ford, Gove, Saline and Shawnee counties. One occurred out of state.

It’s hard to say what’s responsible for the statewide decline in homicides, said Diana Schunn, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.

But increased awareness after eight child homicides in Wichita in 2008 – including the formation of the Wichita Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention – and educational campaigns such as “The Period of Purple Crying,” might be making a difference, she said.

Schunn obviously would like to see no homicides.

“Any time there’s a child death related to any kind of trauma it’s too many,” she said. “It’s a good sign that the numbers went down in 2012.”

Of the 13 homicides, 46 percent of the victims were under age 4, and 42 percent were 15 to 17 years old. Child abuse was to blame for all of the deaths under age 4, with crying the suspected trigger in 40 percent of those cases, the report says.

Of the six children who died from child abuse, four were killed by the mother’s boyfriend who was left alone to care for the child, the report said.

Seventy-five percent of the perpetrators, the report says, had a prior criminal history, and drugs played a role in half of the cases. Children living in environments where drugs are present “are at increased risk of abuse, neglect or death,” the report says.

Methamphetamine played a big role in Jayla Haag’s life and death, investigators say.

Alyssa Haag told the investigator that her boyfriend and others smoked methamphetamine around her daughter. Jayla tested positive for the drug when she was born and when she died.

Her boyfriend, Justin Edwards, struck the girl and repeatedly choked her, Alyssa Haag told an investigator, according to an affidavit filed in Butler County District Court.

The majority of the 418 children who died in 2012 – 256 – died of natural causes such as prematurity, congenital conditions and disease.

Unintentional deaths caused by motor vehicle crashes, drowning or fire totaled 81. More than half – 48 – were motor vehicle fatalities, which marked a 45 percent increase from 2011.

SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, was responsible for 25 deaths. An unsafe sleeping environment was a factor in 98 percent of the cases, and 60 percent of the children were sleeping with adults and/or other children at the time of their deaths. The majority, 84 percent, were less than 4 months old.

There also were 19 suicides involving children. The vast majority of children who died from suicide – 84 percent – were male.

The manner of death for 24 child fatalities was undetermined.

The lowest number of child deaths since the board was created in 1992 occurred in 1995, when there were 404. Ten years ago, there were 498 child deaths, and there were 514 five years ago.




FAYETTEVILLE — A woman faces drug-related charges after hiding methamphetamine in her belly button and a man faces felony charges after fleeing from police during a traffic stop.49531856_FN-GUNS-&-METH-SANDERS-10-5_t300

Derrick Scott, 31, of 112 Virginia St. in Springdale was arrested Saturday in connection with felony possession of a firearm by a certain person, theft of property, fleeing and failure to pay child support.

Misty Sanders, 37, of 1146 W. Cato Springs Road was arrested Saturday in connection with felony possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police pulled Scott’s vehicle over as he left Fast-Trax on the corner of 15th Street and School Avenue for a light on his vehicle being out, according to arrest reports.

Scott opened the vehicle door and fled behind a nearby building and then back toward the vehicle where police arrested him, according to the reports. When asked why he ran, he told police he had a warrant for his arrest for not paying child support.

Police said Sanders tried to hide a bag with one-fourth of a gram of methamphetamine in her belly button. Sanders told police she had methamphetamine, two hypodermic syringes and a spoon in the vehicle, according to the reports.

Police dogs were used to search the area where Scott fled. A 9mm handgun, ammunition, a magazine and a holster were found, according to police.

Scott told police he stole the gun earlier in the night from a friend and he ditched the gun because he isn’t allowed to have firearms.

Scott was being held Saturday in the Washington County Detention Center in lieu of a $7,000 bond, and Sanders was being held in lieu of a $2,500 bond.



16008595-smallAn Oregon State Police traffic stop Friday afternoon along U.S. 97 north of Madras led to the arrest of a California man after a trooper found approximately 20 pounds of liquid methamphetamine concealed in a rental car.

The state police Drug Enforcement Section is continuing the investigation, according to information provided by the Oregon State Police.

At approximately 3:57 p.m. Friday, a senior trooper stopped a rented 2013 Hyundai Elantra displaying California license plates for a speed violation in a construction zone on U.S. 97 near Northeast Elm Lane in Jefferson County. During the traffic stop the driver was identified as Silvestra Rivera Fernandez, 25, from South Gate, Calif.

Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led the trooper to discover three  vacuum sealed bags concealed in the vehicle with a substance that was determined to be liquid methamphetamine. Total weight of the liquid  was approximately 20 pounds, which can later be converted to a solid form of methamphetamine. Estimated value is pending confirmation.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and lodged in the Jefferson County jail for unlawful possession and delivery of a controlled substance.

State troopers from the Madras and Bend offices were assisted by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s drug enforcement section.




HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Eight people were booked into the Madison County Jail in connection to three separate methamphetamine manufacturing busts made between Thursday afternoon and early Friday. STAC and Madison police officials say meth is an ongoing problem in the area that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

STAC officials responded to complaints about meth activity at a home in the 3600 block of 7th Avenue in Huntsville on Thursday afternoon. Investigators said they found a meth lab as well as a quantity of finished product. Both people inside, 31-year-old Jackie Allen Gibbs and 37-year-old Jennifer Reinnia Shurley, were charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance. Both also showed charges of probation violation.


The next bust was an unexpected one that occurred within Madison city limits shortly before midnight. Madison Police Department spokesman Capt. John Stringer said patrol officers pulled a vehicle over for a routine traffic violation and, upon talking with the two people in the vehicle, learned there was marijuana inside. More investigators responded and said they also found the precursors of a meth lab.

Ronald Anderson, 50, and Staci Rene Bentley, 38, were each charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


STAC and Huntsville police responded to a third bust just a few hours later at Kings Inn at 11245 South Memorial Parkway. STAC investigators said observation and interviews with people at the motel led them to a room containing a meth lab plus finished meth. Skye Randall Davis, 28, Ashley Dawn Griffin, 29, Monica Lea Madaris, 46, and Crystal Nicole Peppers, 31, were all charged with first-degree manufacturing of a controlled substance. Madaris was also charged with possession of a controlled substance.



Officials said Kings Inn has had several instances with meth labs in the past, as have many areas in the county and cities’ limits. They described this as an ongoing problem with more frequent occurrences. STAC agents said many of the suspects listed above have been in jail on meth-related charges before.

“People get just as addicted to cooking meth as they do to taking it,” said Stringer.

This was the area’s second multi-bust in just over a week. STAC agents said they responded to three other back-to-back meth busts last Thursday. They said in Huntsville they found meth labs at Shelby Motel at 2209 North Memorial Parkway and in a vehicle outside a home in the 100 block of Empire Lane. They also found a lab in a home in the 200 block of Hunter Road in Hazel Green. Agents said the mother and father arrested at that one were cooking meth a few feet away from a sleeping child.

Stringer said meth is as much a local problem as it is a nationwide one. He until people “lose that desire” the manufacturing will persist. has reached out to treatment facilities to find out more about options available for meth addiction.

STAC officials explained the requirements for a first-degree charge of manufacturing of a controlled substance. The offense must fulfill two of the following requirement: manufacturing within 500 feet of a residence, having finished product present, having a child on the premises, the presence of a booby trap or having a firearm there.




The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office arrested 7 people this week in connection with methamphetamine possession and distribution investigations in Conway, Greenbrier and Damascus. Six of them were charged with drug offenses.

The first of two search warrants served on Wednesday was at 5 Kelly Circle in a rural area roughly between Greenbrier and Conway and about two miles west of Highway 65.

At this address, FCSO found “narcotics, weapons and cash from drug sales,” according to a FCSO news release. Jo Carrol Montgomery, 53, was arrested on suspicion of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, a class-Y felony, and other charges related to possession of drugs and, as court filings show, the firearm in question — a “sawed-off” pump-action shotgun with only 12.5” of barrel left after the modification. A shotgun with a barrel less than 18” is illegal without special licensing under federal law.

Another woman at this address, Jeanette Hamilton, 51, was arrested on suspicion of simple possession of methamphetamine because, according to documents filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court, an object an arresting deputy noticed in her pants pocket was a container with suspected methamphetamine in it. A third woman at the address was arrested and released without being charged.

Upstairs at the Kelly Circle home deputies found a safe with drugs including about 17 grams of suspected methamphetamine in it and an undisclosed amount of cash, according to the court filings.

The second warrant that day was served at 475 E. Robins St., Lot 103 in Conway, where Kayla Jeanninie Thomas, 27, Ashley Renea Roberts, 24, and Michael Leon Bennett, 23. Roberts and Thomas were arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and other drug-related charges including maintaining a drug premises near a school bus stop. Bennett was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia. Court documents filed as of Friday afternoon didn’t include further details.

Finally on Wednesday, Brenda S. Quattlebaum, 55, of Greenbrier, was arrested after she allegedly agreed to meet with investigators in a “controlled buy” sting operation in the parking lot of the Damascus Dollar General store. Quattlebaum was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine.





GETTYSBURG, Pa. – A joint investigation by federal, state and local police resulted in the seizure of more than 200 grams of packaged methamphetamine with a street value in excess of $250,000, along with a handgun and related drug paraphernalia, at an Adams County motel near Gettysburg.aa20f2593a72044e2d9f8c503c1d94e0

Adams County District Attorney Shawn Wagner said Pennsylvania State Police, members of the Adams County Drug Force and officers with the United States Marshals Service, armed with a federal arrest warrant conducted the raid at 6 a.m., Friday, when they converged on Room 203 at the Cross Keys Motor Lodge, 6110 York Road, New Oxford, Pa. An as yet unidentified Texas resident was arrested during the operation.

Police seized more than “200 grams of packaged methamphetamine, a Colt Mark 4 .45 caliber handgun with an obliterated serial number, packaging material for narcotics distribution and two stun guns,” Wagner said. “Approximately 10 grams of methamphetamine was taken from his possession. The Marshal’s Service provided detailed investigative information to the Pennsylvania State Police about observations made while conducting surveillance on the individual who was wanted on federal narcotics charges.”

Wagner said the suspect has been detained on the federal warrant and also faces charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance; possession a firearm without a license; possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number; and related charges. This was the largest recorded drug seizure in the history of Adams County.

First Assistant District Attorney Brian Sinnett, supervisor of the Adams County Drug Task Force, has been assigned to prosecute the case.



Law enforcement officials seized 145 pounds of methamphetamine Thursday while serving search warrants in Modesto and Brentwood.


Leonor Sarabia, 44, Estelo Chaidez, 34, and Humberto Olguin, 22, all of Modesto, were arrested for conspiracy, possession of methamphetamine for sales, transportation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance while armed, according to the Modesto police. Vanessa Santos, 23, of Modesto, was arrested for child endangerment.

In addition to the methamphetamine, officers seized a half-pound of heroin and $6,000.

The arrests and seizures were made during searches conducted at 9 a.m. Thursday at two locations in Modesto and one location in Brentwood by the Stanislaus County Drug Enforcement Agency and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. A press release from Modesto police did not identify the locations.

“This investigation is the result of a collaborative effort between local law enforcement agencies and the DEA to aggressively curtail the methamphetamine epidemic in the area,” Lieutenant Clint Raymer, commander of the Stanislaus County Drug Enforcement Agency, said in the press release.


Newly released toxicology reports show that one of the two drivers in a June collision that killed six people had methamphetamine in his system, though investigators concluded that drugs weren’t a factor in the crash.


Matthew Boegli of Townsend was driving Crystal Ross and their three young children on U.S. Highway 12 outside Helena when Three Forks Fire Chief Todd Rummel lost control of his fire engine and veered into the family’s path on June 19.

Nobody survived the fiery crash, which investigators determined was an accident caused by a mechanical failure of the fire engine’s front drivetrain.

The Montana Highway Patrol presented its conclusions more than two months after the crash, but troopers and the Jefferson County attorney’s office refused to release the results of the toxicology investigation.

The Jefferson County attorney’s office handed over the toxicology reports after a judge ordered their release under a petition filed by The Associated Press and Independent Record.

The state Department of Justice’s Forensic Science Division found Boegli had a methamphetamine blood-concentration of 1.2 milligrams per liter.

Montana has no methamphetamine impairment standards. However, federal transportation safety officials say concentrations of more than .2 milligrams per liter are considered abuse, and past DUI cases have found impaired drivers with blood concentrations as low as .05 milligrams per liter.

Impairment can lead to distraction, disorientation and cognitive damage in drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes said despite the report, investigators don’t believe Boegli could have done anything more to avoid the crash. He swerved onto the shoulder of the highway to avoid the fire engine, but there wasn’t enough time or space on the roadway to prevent the crash, Barnes said.

“Without the information you would obtain from a field sobriety test or direct observation, it is difficult to know the level of impairment just by looking at the number,” Barnes said. “We don’t see any indication that he could have done anything else to avoid that accident.”

Boegli’s brother, William Boegli, said he read the reports and spoke with the officers involved in the investigation. He said he agreed with the conclusion that his brother couldn’t have avoided the crash, but he did not know about the drugs in his system.

“I knew my little brother smoked marijuana, but I didn’t think he went beyond that,” William Boegli said. “I just didn’t realize that Matt would have been impaired like that.”

Rummel’s toxicology report also found caffeine and naproxen, an anti-inflammatory drug in pain relievers such as Aleve.



A federal grand jury in Minneapolis indicted 11 people, including a Hennepin County corrections officer, on charges of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger announced Friday.

Luger’s office said the case is the result of a two-year investigation by state and federal law enforcement agencies. According the indictment, from January 2012 through September 2014, the defendants conspired to possess and distribute methamphetamine.

Daniel Segura, Jr., 30, and Sage Ollerman, 24, both of Owatonna, are charged with distributing about 26 pounds of methamphetamine in Minnesota in March of this year.

Nine others are charged with conspiring to distribute smaller amounts of methamphetamine in Minnesota and elsewhere, according to the release. Nine of the 11 defendants are from Owatonna. One is from Rochester, Minn., and one is from Fresno, Calif.

The corrections officer, 26-year-old Ashley Mariakas of Owatonna, is charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and two counts of distribution of methamphetamine. Hennepin County spokesperson Carolyn Marinan said Mariakas has been employed at the county’s Adult Correctional Facility in Plymouth since January.

As a county employee, Mariakas, who is still employed, is entitled to due process, Marinan said.

The complaint does not allege that Mariakas used her position in the commission of any crimes.


FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) — People with drug addiction are much more likely to face stigma than those with mental illness because they’re seen as having a “moral failing,” according to a new survey.

The poll of more than 700 people across the United States also found that the public is less likely to approve of insurance, housing and employment policies meant to help people with drug addiction. 85

The study results suggest that many people consider drug addiction a personal vice rather than a treatable medical condition, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers.

“While drug addiction and mental illness are both chronic, treatable health conditions, the American public is more likely to think of addiction as a moral failing than a medical condition,” study leader Colleen Barry, an associate professor in the department of health policy and management, said in a Hopkins news release.

“In recent years, it has become more socially acceptable to talk publicly about one’s struggles with mental illness. But with addiction, the feeling is that the addict is a bad or weak person, especially because much drug use is illegal,” she added.

The survey revealed that only 22 percent of people would be willing to work closely on a job with someone with a drug addiction, while 62 percent said they would do so with a person with a mental illness.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said employers should be able to refuse to employ people with a drug addiction, while 25 percent said the same about people with a mental illness. Forty-three percent of respondents said people with drug addiction should not be given the same health insurance benefits as the general public, while 21 percent felt the same about those with mental illness.

About 30 percent of respondents believed that recovery from either drug addiction or mental illness is impossible, according to the study in the October issue of the journal Psychiatric Services.

“The more shame associated with drug addiction, the less likely we as a community will be in a position to change attitudes and get people the help they need,” study co-author Beth McGinty, an assistant professor in the department of health policy and management at Hopkins, said in the news release.

“If you can educate the public that these are treatable conditions, we will see higher levels of support for policy changes that benefit people with mental illness and drug addiction,” she added.



Rockbridge County — A man in Rockbridge County sustained severe burns Wednesday while attempting to make methamphetamine, according to deputies.

The sheriff’s office reports that deputies and the South River Volunteer Fire Department responded to the Fairfield rest area near mile marker 200 on Interstate 81 about 8:30 p.m.

A 911 caller reported seeing a man on fire.

At the scene, deputies say, crews provided medical treatment to a rest area employee. He was then taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Deputies say the man’s condition is unknown. His name has not been released.

Deputies say it appears that the employee was attempting to make methamphetamine in a maintenance building.

Deputies say an explosion happened causing the burns. The building was not damaged.

The rest area was closed while crews cleaned up hazardous materials.

Deputies say the man’s condition is unknown. His name has not been released.



A Powell day care provider and her husband have been charged with child endangerment for allegedly keeping methamphetamine in the same home where the woman watched other people’s children.

Powell police say they found drug paraphernalia and a small amount of meth during a Friday afternoon search of Mandy and Nick Ringler’s home.

“Currently, I have a day care; I’m sure I’m not allowed to do that anymore,” Mandy Ringler said of her employment during a Monday morning appearance in Park County’s Circuit Court.

The Ringlers each are facing misdemeanor counts of possessing methamphetamine and four felony counts of child endangerment. Each endangerment count — alleging the couple knowingly allowed a child to stay in a dwelling where they know there’s methamphetamine — is tied to children who were in the couple’s home the day before and the day of the police search.

Their Avenue D residence is licensed by the state as a family child care home, but that license was suspended by the Wyoming Department of Family Services after Monday’s court hearing.

Two of the counts relate to toddlers who Mandy Ringler, 33, watched last Thursday at the residence. The other two counts relate to Mandy Ringler’s own children, who were in the home prior to Friday’s search by police.

At Monday’s hearing, Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters agreed with the recommendation of Deputy Park County Attorney Tim Blatt and ordered the Ringlers each held on $10,000 cash bonds pending an Oct. 9 preliminary hearing.

Nick Ringler, 35, did not object to Blatt’s recommendation.

Mandy Ringler unsuccessfully asked to be released on her own recognizance. She had cited her strong family ties to Powell, a general lack of past criminal charges and an urgent need to address some financial obligations.

The judge said that, while he wasn’t worried about Mandy Ringler fleeing the area, he was concerned about the danger she posed to the community.

“The problem is, if you open up a day care, you’re the one responsible for the protection of the lives of those kids,” Waters said. “And the state Legislature has determined it’s a pretty serious offense — and rightfully so — to have such things as methamphetamine in close proximity to those kids.”

Charging documents in the case indicate the Powell police investigation began on Sept. 22, when an informant came forward to accuse the Ringlers of using and selling methamphetamine. The informant recounted times in August and September when the informant had used meth with the Ringlers in their home and garage, as well as a couple instances of getting meth from them, too, according to an affidavit from Officer Kade Richmond.

“The meth use and distribution activities … concerned (the informant) because the Ringler’s (sic) operate a state-licensed daycare (sic) from their residence,” Richmond wrote.

Police obtained a search warrant and executed it around 3 p.m. Friday.

Officers found several pipes in a trash can in the master bedroom and the bedroom closet, while discovering a spoon, syringe and plastic baggie with crystal-like residue in a bathroom trash can. The garage reportedly held a bong, a glass pipe with white residue, two small digital scales and several measuring cups with residue.

“I believe these cups had been used to measure out and weigh meth,” Richmond wrote.

A motor home parked behind the residence — owned by a different man — yielded another bong, an apparent marijuana pipe, three apparent meth pipes, a plastic baggie with a small amount of what looked like marijuana inside and a bottle and two small baggies with white residue, Richmond wrote.

During the search, Mandy Ringler “substantially denied using or selling methamphetamine, saying that it was only her husband,” wrote Richmond. Police later received court permission to obtain a blood sample from Mandy Ringler for drug-testing purposes.

Nick Ringler, who is unemployed, reportedly told police that the paraphernalia found in the house and garage had been stored there for about six months.

Police say they found meth in the liner of the vest he was wearing.

Nick Ringler admitted to having used the drug earlier that day and said “he had been using meth heavily since he was arrested in California in August,” Richmond wrote.

According to the Ceres, Calif., Courier, Ringler had been arrested Aug. 31 on a misdemeanor charge of possessing a loaded handgun. Ceres police told the Courier that Ringler had been found armed and asleep in his car, parked outside of a home where officers seized 39 grams of methamphetamine and $2,300 in cash.

The informant reportedly told Powell police that Nick Ringler had been on a “run” to get meth at the time of his California arrest.

“Nick told (the informant) a friend had bonded him out of jail and (he) had to sell some methamphetamine to pay that person back,” Richmond wrote in an application for a search warrant.

Nick Ringler was freed after posting a $20,000 bail bond in the California case, according to Stanislaus County Superior Court records. He had been scheduled to be arraigned on the handgun charge on Wednesday afternoon in Modesto, Calif., but instead remained jailed in Cody.

Mandy Ringler has been licensed as a child care provider since 2006, and her license had been renewed for an additional year in May, according to Department of Family Services data. Her family child care home license is intended for providers watching three to 10 children, and the service reportedly was the couple’s primary source of income.

Department policy is to make at least two visits to licensees’ home each year: one scheduled and one unannounced. The last department inspection of the Ringlers’ residence took place in February, and no violations were found, said Tony Lewis, a department spokesman.

Before receiving or renewing a license, an applicant and any other adults living in the home — which in this case would mean both of the Ringlers — must undergo criminal background checks, Lewis said.

He said the department has launched its own investigation that will have to work “behind and around” the one being conducted by law enforcement.




leadThe drug might be a prototypically contemporary vice, but its discovery was rooted in traditional Eastern medicine.

Nagai Nagayoshi, the first man to create meth, began his life in Tokushima Prefecture, a place that today farms sweet potatoes and strawberries, just to the west of Osaka. When he was born in 1845, the military government of the Tokugawa shogunate had presided over Japan’s feudal system for more than two centuries. But the political system that had held in place for so long was changing. By 1868, when Nagai was 23, the shogunate had fallen, the Meiji Emperor had restored imperial rule, a democratic government of sorts was formed, and Japan had stepped back from its isolationism.

Nagai had grown up as a member of the elite, the oldest child of a well-off family, which had served Tokushima Prefecture for years as doctors versed in traditional, herbal medicine. In 1871, when the new Meiji government sent a handful of promising young scholars to study abroad, Nagai was one of them. He was headed to Berlin, where he intended to study medicine.

Nagai would spend twelve years in Germany, and after hearing a lecture by the German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann, he changed his academic plan. He would be a chemist too, and he would become close with Hofmann. By the time he returned to Tokyo, in 1883, Nagai was a Catholic, the husband of German woman and a newly minted professor of pharmacology.

He began, in his new role, applying the tools of chemistry that he had learned in Europe to the traditional Japanese and Chinese medicine his family had studied for years. One of those remedies was ma huang, a bushy, evergreen plant that grows in Central Asia and was used to treat simple complaints—colds, headaches, congestion. Nagai discovered, according to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, a drug company established in 1885, “some crystalline material recognizable to the naked eye coexisting in the blackish brown essence extracted from wild ma huang.” He started studying its chemical structure and soon isolated the compound ephedrine.

Nagai and his students kept tinkering with the ephedrine, and within the next decade, Nagai had used it to synthesize methamphetamine. In 1919, a student of his, Akira Ogata, figured out how to more simply manufacture the same compound in crystallized form. By the 1930s, its properties as a stimulant were well known. The Japanese chemists had not patented their work, though, and in World War II, armies on all sides of the war used methamphetamine to keep their soldiers alert. In Methland, Nick Reding reports:

Japanese, American, British, and German soldiers were all given methamphetamine pills to stay awake, to stay focused, and to perform under the extreme duress of war. Methedrine…was a part of every American airman’s preflight kit. Three enormous plants in Japan produced an estimate one billion Hiropon pills between 1938 and 1945….[T]he German pharmaceutical companies Temmler and Knoll in only four months, between April and July 1940, manufactured thirty-five million methamphetamine tablets, all of which were shipped to the Nazi army and air corps.

Nagai died in 1929, and therefore never knew that the herbal remedies that his family of traditional doctors had used would kick off an epidemic of drug abuse across the world.




HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. – Authorities are on the lookout for a pregnant woman who was recently arrested on methamphetamine charges.4976456_G

The Dickson County district attorney has issued a warrant for 33-year-old Jamie Quillen, who they say could be jeopardizing the life of her unborn child.

Drug agents raided her Bon Aqua trailer home Sunday night and reportedly found meth making components, money, drug paraphernalia and a positive hit for methamphetamines.

Two different investigative sources on the raid said Quillen admitted that she is still using meth despite being eight months pregnant.

Officers arrested Quillen on promotion of methamphetamine and manufacturing and possession of methamphetamines.

Two days later, she posted bond and was released from the Hickman County Jail after her bond was reduced from $127,000 to $2,500 dollars.

When asked why the bond was reduced, District Attorney General of the 21st Judicial District Kim Helper said a Hickman County Deputy on the raid requested the bond reduction.

“In talking with members of the sheriff’s department, there had been a discussion, a request to reduce the bond. Frankly, it was stated that her incarceration would be a strain on county resources if she is pregnant and has the baby. In checking on the case, she never failed a drug screen. It is my understanding she had passed obstetrician tests as well. Based on that fact, it is not unusual to reduce the bond,” explained Helper.

“It is not unusual for us to work with a sheriff’s office across my district and if they face an inmate with high medical costs for them to talk to us and see if we can reach an agreement that protects the community. She is on bond and she has not failed any drug screens. That is the understanding.”


Quillen was also on probation out of Dickson County for comparable charges.

The latest arrest in Hickman County violates that probation.

Newly elected Dickson County District Attorney Ray Crouch told News 2 that getting the pregnant woman behind bars where she can’t use drugs and possibly hurt her child is his top priority.

“I am in fear for the unborn child’s life. My primary motivation is the welfare of the unborn child,” stated Crouch.

Helper says the mother could be charged additionally under the state’s new law that protects children whose mothers use drugs.





A Vancouver woman accused of causing the death of a Skamania County man in August 2013 by selling him methamphetamine pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced charges after a prosecutor discovered problems with the case.


In a negotiated agreement, Andrea Thomas, 43, pleaded guilty in Clark County Superior Court to attempted delivery of methamphetamine and tampering with physical evidence. She is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

Deputy Prosecutor Dan Gasperino dismissed charges of controlled substance homicide and three counts of tampering with a witness because the witness, Diana Braden, who allegedly saw the methamphetamine transaction between Thomas and the victim, John Cantwell, 40, has credibility and possible mental health issues. Cantwell died Aug. 10, 2013, of a methamphetamine overdose.

Gasperino said three DNA profiles on the plastic bag containing the methamphetamine that killed Cantwell didn’t match Thomas’ DNA profile.

Braden told Washougal police that she had overheard a phone conversation in which Cantwell asked Thomas to get him drugs, according to a court affidavit. Braden said she also saw Thomas sell the drugs to Cantwell shortly before his death, the affidavit says.

“As we went through the discovery process, it came to light that (Braden) has had dozens of police contacts over the last several years, many of which included allegations that were unfounded,” Gasperino said.

In addition, Braden was charged last month with violating a domestic violence no-contact order. Her attorney requested that she undergo a competency evaluation because of concerns about her mental health.

“There was a question about whether she would even be competent to testify,” Gasperino said.

Gasperino said he and Thomas’ attorney, Louis Byrd Jr., will recommend a sentence of 400 days, which is the amount of time she already served in the Clark County Jail while her case was pending.

“We felt the risk of a potential acquittal warranted us making the offer we made and getting some accountability out of the case,” Gasperino said.




When law enforcement and drug rehabilitation officials want to provide a simple example of the effects of methamphetamine use, a common tool is a series of photographs called “Faces of Meth.” These photos show meth addicts in before and after photos. The “before” photos show ordinary, everyday people. The “after” shows sunken cheeks, deathly pale, sore-covered faces. Meth users look prematurely aged.

Those under the influence have increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. They may sweat and breathe heavily. Long term physical damage includes extreme weight loss and malnutrition, severe tooth decay, damaged blood vessels that increase risk of stroke, irregular heartbeat that may cause cardiovascular collapse or death, as well as liver kidney and lung damage.

Users suffer mentally and emotionally as well, with memory loss, extreme mood swings, depression, psychosis, and brain damage similar to Alzheimer’s, stroke or epilepsy.

Meth users aren’t just a threat to themselves. They exhibit bizarre, erratic and violent behavior, along with hallucinations, paranoia, extreme excitability and irritability.

There are three commonly known categories of meth abuse. Low-intensity users swallow or snort the drug, relying on the stimulant factor to perform tasks faster or stay awake longer, or to lose weight. Binge abusers smoke or inject meth with a needle, receiving a more intense dosage. High-intensity users are consumed by the drug, using more often and in larger doses to avoid the painful “crash” when the high wears off.

Because of the physical effects and behaviors caused by meth, addicts under their influence may not be able to hold down regular jobs and therefore resort to committing crime to feed their habit.

Fort Stockton Police Lt. Lisa Tarango wants citizens to be aware of all these details, because methamphetamine is becoming a real problem here. She says for many years, meth wasn’t a problem in Fort Stockton. It tended to stay on the fringes of the county. Then “it just exploded.”

“The past three years we’ve really seen it start to develop, and now we just see it increase by leaps and bounds daily,” said Lt. Tarango. “You can see the physical effects it’s taken on people in our community that we deal with.

She says her department is used to dealing with marijuana, cocaine and even occasionally heroin users. Meth seems to be the number one drug right now.

“You’ll see the weight loss, the teeth that are falling out,” she continued. “You’ll see the sores on the body and face, the arms, chest, where they are scratching so much.”

Lt. Tarango said scratching is caused by hallucinations that there are bugs or worms beneath the skin that itch.

She says meth is so dangerous because it “drastically” takes over the lives of its victims, given the drug’s intensely addictive nature and relative ease of acquisition. Heavy or long-time users aren’t hard to spot.

People under the influence of meth exhibit intense paranoia, think others may be talking about them or watching them, and may act out in aggressive, unpredictable and confrontational ways. They may appear wild-eyed and be sweating heavily, with heavy breathing and rapid pulse.

“We’re extremely concerned about our community and what physical effects we see happening,” she said.

She says when her officers deal with someone under the influence of meth; it’s common that the person has been awake for three or four days, compounding the paranoia and hallucinations.

“Once a week, for the last three weeks, we’ve gotten some form of meth off the streets,” Lt. Tarango said, “and that’s just what we’ve caught in a small amount of time.”

Part of meth’s popularity as a drug is based on it’s “homemade” nature, wherein most of its ingredients can be bought over the counter and the drug can be cooked up, instead of being imported like cocaine or heroin.

But Lt. Tarango says not much meth production seems to be taking place locally; the telltale “rotten egg” smell associated with cooking the drug makes it difficult to hide. The use of highly flammable, volatile chemicals makes creating the drug dangerous as well. Explosions or fires can occur, and the chemicals are toxic if breathed, and can poison food nearby.

Most of what her department sees is meth from Mexico, where it is made cheaper and the end product seems to be more potent, and more dangerous.

She says in Fort Stockton, there is no specific age demographic for meth addicts, and she’s seen victims of all ages.

Those arrested for drug possession or use frequently give casual explanations for their addiction, such as being bored or just wanting to try something others were doing. But recent medical literature suggests that addiction is genetic, and those most likely to try drugs do so because of mental, emotional or physical trauma, and an unwillingness or inability to deal with that trauma.

Getting high is self medicating, a way to forget or ignore their problems, if only for a short while. As use continues, the effects of the drug may lessen, but the addiction and need to use grows, despite the consequences, which frequently includes loss of a job, car, home, friends, family, serious mental and physical problems, and even death.

Lt. Tarango says that people are more educated about the realities of drug addiction, and many understand that it is a disease, not just chosen behavior. Unfortunately, many underestimate how hard it is to quit, and the real need for professional help.

Many addicts feel intense shame and guilt for their addiction, and may have trouble finding help on their own. Sometimes it’s a support system encouraging treatment that gets addicts into rehab; sometimes it takes an intervention, where that same support system refuses to be in the addict’s life unless help is sought.

It’s important for those wishing to get off the drug seek help. Trying to go “cold turkey,” or stopping use on one’s own is dangerous. Meth withdrawal symptoms include depression, the inability to experience pleasure, physical pain and may even become suicidal. Withdrawal symptoms may not even begin until 90 days after last use.

Lt. Tarango says unfortunately Fort Stockton doesn’t have the drug rehabilitation and treatment centers that Odessa and Midland do, so local help for addicts is fairly limited. Those seeking help can request information from the Fort Stockton Police Department, which can provide a referral for an evaluation to see if they qualify for state assistance, since drug treatment can be expensive. Lt. Tarango credits local prosecutors for working with her department to get non-violent offenders treatment.

Yet people must want to be helped, Lt. Tarango says. A parent who thinks their child has a drug problem cannot force them into rehab, because all treatment is voluntary. The best one can do is notify law enforcement if a family member is in possession of drugs, acting erratically or threatening themselves or others, which provides legal and court ordered consequences that encourage treatment.

“If they assault a family member, that gives us probable cause to make an arrest,” she said.

Lt. Tarango says ordinary citizens should be aware of the meth problem, and take care.

“We want them to be aware,” she said, “make sure their own safety is at heart. Secure their home, their vehicles, their property.”

The police encourage citizens to report suspicious behavior of individuals that may appear to be under the influence, or residences that may have high volumes of traffic at all hours.

“The physical effect it takes on the person,” she said. “That leads to the desperate need to get money for it, and those desperate needs lead to desperate actions. Whether its thefts, burglaries, homicides. It’s all about getting money to provide for their addiction.”





A Richland woman faces trial Nov. 17 for allegedly breaking into her parents’ detached garage and stealing a Winchester rifle.

Teresa Kay Sargent, 21, pleaded innocent to first-degree possession of a gun, theft of a gun and second-degree burglary.

She also pleaded innocent to an unrelated charge of possessing methamphetamine.

According to court documents for the burglary, Sargent went into the South Lexington Street garage in Kennewick some time between Sept. 1 and 27.

Sargent admitted to sheriff’s deputies that she took at least one gun and a BB gun, documents said. But her parents, who discovered the burglary Sept. 27, reported that 22 guns were missing.

The guns had been inherited from a family member.

Deputies found two sets of footprints in the garage near where the guns were stored. The smaller set of prints matched a shoe found in a travel trailer on the property that Sargent’s mother identified as belonging to her daughter, court documents said.

Sargent had been staying in the trailer at night without her parents’ permission, her mother reportedly told deputies.

Sargent admitted going into the garage about a week before her mother reported the items missing, documents said.

She allegedly gave the Winchester rifle to another person who immediately sold it. She further claimed the other guns were still in the garage when she removed the rifle and BB gun.

Sargent is not allowed to own or possess guns because of prior felony convictions, including a 2009 residential burglary.

She’s being held in the Benton County jail, with bail set at $25,000.





Tyler Wiggins still remembers seeing the headlights of an oncoming car swerve into his lane as he drove with his family on FM987 outside of Kaufman almost two years ago.

The vehicle suddenly turned back into its own lane before it made “an almost deliberate turn right in front of us,” Wiggins told a Kaufman County jury Wednesday.


He took the stand on the second day of testimony in the trial of John Allen English, 31, who is charged with intoxicated manslaughter, manslaughter and four counts of aggravated assault causing bodily injury. Each of the second-degree felonies carries a penalty of two to 20 years in prison.

The Dec. 9, 2012, crash killed Whittney Crawford, 21, a passenger in the car with English, and injured Wiggins, his wife, Michelle Cheney, and her 13-year-old daughter.

Tests taken shortly after the crash revealed that English had marijuana and high levels of methamphetamine in his system, according to earlier testimony.

Cheney, a Kaufman attorney, told jurors she’s had to have almost two years of physical therapy to recover from injuries that included a cracked pelvis and a shattered leg and arm. Her daughter, who was in the back seat, was hospitalized with a dislocated hip and lacerations.

Wiggins testified that his leg injuries made it impossible for him to continue working in law enforcement. He is now a welder.

State trooper Justin Schumann, who investigated the crash, told the court Wednesday that Crawford appeared to be dead when he arrived at the scene of the crash.

English, who was ejected from his car, was found unconscious on the ground, Schumann testified.

The officer told the court that he had found a marijuana pipe and rolling papers in the vehicle.

Both English and Crawford were found with their pants down around their legs, Schumann told the court. He testified that he believes they were performing a sexual act. That, coupled with drug intoxication, caused the fatal crash, he said.

On cross-examination by defense attorney Taryn Davis, Schumann testified that he found no marijuana or methamphetamine in the car and that he didn’t take a blood specimen from the defendant to test for drugs.





Two Cleveland residents are in custody on drug charges after they were arrested Sept. 29 at the Budget Inn hotel in Cleveland.  542dce2888594_image

Officers with Cleveland Police Department were called to the hotel around 11:07 p.m. Sept. 29 regarding a welfare concern. When police arrived, they made contact with several occupants in Room #109, including Robert Collins, 27, who was found to have several active warrants for his arrest.

While searching Collins while taking him into custody, the officers reportedly discovered him to be in possession of methamphetamine.

A female who was staying with Collins in another room, Jessica Swords, 20, was reportedly in possession of 20 grams of methamphetamine.

Inside Room #112, which Swords and Collins had been sharing, officers reportedly found drug paraphernalia, scales and other items that indicated the two had been selling methamphetamine.

“Officers discovered a stolen Samsung Galaxy Tablet, which was seized to return to the rightful owner. Officers also seized numerous tools, computer equipment, old coins and other miscellaneous items,” said Capt. Scott Felts in a press release. “Cleveland Police Department will be conducting a further investigation into these items to see if they are linked to stolen property reports.”

542dce28af31b_imageCollins and Swords are both charged with Manufacture and Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a first-degree felony.

Municipal Court Judge Bob Steely set their bonds at $25,000 each.





(Riverton, Wyo.) – Two women have been charged with child abuse and neglect after school officials alerted police to a 5-year-old boy who was bruised and who had an open wound on his head that was not healing. Charged were Cheryl Willow, 55, of Riverton and Rosalie Willow, 29, of Ethete. Cheryl Willow was also arrested on two outstanding failure to appear warrants and Rosalie Willow was found to have four outstanding warrants, also for failure to appear. The abuse charges were lodged after officers found numerous methamphetamine paraphernalia, including uncovered hypodermic needles, a spoon with meth residue and a light bulb that had been fashioned into a meth pipe. Cheryl-Willow

The little boy had bruising on his face, under his left eye and on his left cheek, bruising on the middle of his back and the laceration on his head.

According to a Riverton Police Department Report, officers were called to the Ashgrove School on Tuesday where social workers and school administrators had noticed the child’s condition. The report indicated the laceration on the boys head was not clean and had not been cleaned in some time, with crusty blood and dirt inside the wound.

Officers went to the boy’s residence in the 500 block of South 3rd West and discovered a house in disarray with clothes, trash, and dried food on the floor and furnishings, empty cupboards and a refrigerator that only contained old leftovers that had dried out and that were inedible. Police also learned that 17 people lived in the three bedroom home, including 12 children ranging in age from 11 months-old to 15. The children had four different last names. Police were told that Cheryl Willow was looking after the five year-old boy, since his mother was incarcerated. She was listed in the report as the boy’s grandmother.

Also found in the house, in a backpack out in the open was two syringes with the needles exposed sticking out of a pocket. Also found was a bundle of small clear plastic bags used to package drugs, a spoon with suspected methamphetamine in it, a light bulb converted to a smoking pipe with methamphetamine residue inside and a pill cutter. One of the males inside the house was also found to have a MRSA infection. According to WebMD, “MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is one of many strains of a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus — or staph, for short. Staph bacteria are common on skin and in noses.”

Northern Arapaho Department of Family Services was contacted to take the children into protective custody and the two women were arrested and taken to jail.Rosalie-Williow

The children inside the home were an 11 month-old male infant, a 1 year-old male, a 2 year-old female, a 4 year-old female, a 5 year-old female, a 7 year-old female, an 8 year-old female, a 9 year-old female, a 12 year-old male, a 13 year-old female and a 15 year-old male. The children were not found to have any visible injuries.




PEORIA, Illinois — A central Illinois woman and her son are charged with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, according to federal prosecutors.

U.S. Magistrate Jonathan Hawley ordered Denise Taylor of Mason City held by the U.S. Marshals Service and set a detention hearing for Oct. 9. Her son, 23-year-old Brendin L. Williams, is in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections and is scheduled to appear in court with his mother.

U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois Jim Lewis said Wednesday that Taylor was arrested Tuesday. He did not give details of the case against the woman and her son. However, Lewis said the two allegedly distributed more than 500 grams of methamphetamine from 2010 to September 2014.

It wasn’t immediately known if Williams or Taylor have legal representation.