CALEXICO - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized about 4 pounds of methamphetamine at the Calexico downtown Port of Entry on Sunday.

Arizona resident Shontae Murray, 26, approached the Calexico downtown Port of Entry driving a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta with passenger and Arizona resident Jeanette Valenzuela, 42, according to the court complaint.


A detector dog alerted to the Jetta, and the vehicle was referred to secondary inspection. Officers found a package hidden in the vehicle that contained about 4 pounds of methamphetamine estimated to be worth about $76,800, according to a CBP press release.

During a pat-down of Murray, an officer also found 1.3 grams of marijuana hidden in Murray’s bra, according to the complaint. After being advised of her rights, Murray “stated she was going to get paid $1,000 to deliver the drug-laden vehicle to Phoenix, Ariz.”

During a pat-down of Valenzuela, an officer found 5.2 grams of methamphetamine inside a silver package hidden in the woman’s body cavity, according to the court complaint. After being advised of her rights, she denied knowledge of any drugs in the vehicle.


The women were booked into Imperial County jail, and CBP seized the vehicle and narcotics.




MUNCIE – A Muncie woman was jailed early Tuesday on methamphetamine-related charges after an “explosion” was reported at her near-downtown apartment.


Brandy Star Williams, 32, 519 S. Liberty St., is preliminarily charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth and maintaining a common nuisance.

The incident was reported just before 4:20 p.m. Monday. According to dispatch traffic, a caller reported hearing a “loud pop” that “sounded like an explosion.” They said it “shook their apartment” and that a “foul smell” had overtaken the building.

Fire and police crews arrived to find no flames visible.


According to police reports, officers found several materials in or outside the apartment commonly used in the production of meth, including fuel, a lighter and aluminum foil. Also found by responding Indiana State Police troopers was a green plastic bottle that was described as a “one-pot” meth lab.

Reports indicate officers are possibly looking for other suspects in this case.



A man was arraigned Friday on three counts of delivery of a controlled substance to undercover police, as well as operating a methamphetamine lab, according to police.

Jason Hood, 29, no known address, delivered suspected meth to an undercover Bethlehem police detective Nov. 28, Dec. 12 and Dec. 13 in the parking lot of McDonalds at 442 Wyandotte St. in Bethlehem, police said.

On Dec. 13, after Hood delivered the suspected meth to police, he was taken into custody and was found in possession of a tin container that contained suspected meth, a small amount of suspected marijuana. a suspected meth mixture and a straw with meth residue on it, police said.

Results from a field test came back positive for the meth and marijuana, police said.

Hood was arraigned on charges of possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance in front of District Judge Patricia Romig-Passaro.

Hood was also arraigned Friday on charges stemming from the September raid.

Police said that on Sept. 19, officers noticed a backpack on an adjacent roof near an entryway that appeared to be abandoned.

Police retrieved and emptied the backpack, finding contents that are used in the making of meth, police said.

On Oct. 11, a Pennsylvania State Police general investigation report confirmed that the items found in the backpack are used in making meth, police said.

Police spoke with the primary tenant of the residence, Theresa Bowen, who said the backpack belonged to Hood and it was brought to the residence Sept. 19, police said.

Hood was arraigned on charges of possession of liquefied ammonia gas, precursors and chemicals as well as operating a methamphetamine laboratory and illegal dumping of meth waste in front of Romig-Passaro.

He is being held in Northampton County Prison in lieu of $30,000 straight bail for the delivery incidents and $75,000 straight bail for the backpack, totaling $105,000 straight bail.




ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Federal authorities say 12 people believed to be members of a methamphetamine trafficking ring are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Asheville said in a statement that seven of those charged were arrested Tuesday during an early morning round-up by federal, state and local law enforcement.

A criminal indictment unsealed last week says that between June and July of last year, ring members conspired to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, or more than 500 grams of a mixture or substance containing meth.

The indictment alleges that the defendants ran their drug ring primarily in Buncombe, Cleveland and McDowell counties.

All 12 defendants face a minimum of 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine.




One person has been charged and another is facing charges after the investigation into drug activity at a Rhinelander business.

Randy Zadnik, 45, the owner Zadnik’s Brick Oven Bistro is now charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of narcotics after a search of his business and personal vehicle.  According court documents investigators seized a light bulb that tested positive for having meth residue at the business. The criminal complaint states Zadnik had adderall, xanax and morphine pills in his pockets.


According to court documents Zadnik told investigators he had purchased one gram of methamphetamine for $80 on approximately Dec. 11.

Pedro Jacinto, 29, of Rhinelander is accused of selling Zadnik the methamphetamine. He’s expected to be charged with manufacturing or delivering methamphetamine; however no future court date has yet been set. Jacinto is behind bars in the Oneida County Jail.



SILVERTON, OR (KPTV) – A man is accused of stealing his parents’ TV, selling it, smoking meth in their Silverton home and then catching it on fire.

Firefighters were called to the home on Oak Street near Silver Cliff Drive at 11:12 p.m. Sunday.


Crews at the scene said heavy fire and smoke were coming from the windows of the house. After an aggressive attack by firefighters, the blaze was out and the situation was deemed under control after 50 minutes.

More than three dozen firefighters responded to the scene.

Investigators said one man was in the home at the time of the fire, Matthew Petrina, 30, while his parents were away on vacation.

Firefighters said the cause of the fire is considered accidental, but negligent.

When the homeowners returned, they noted that several items were missing. Silverton police said Petrina had stolen their TV and sold it. He then returned to the home, smoked methamphetamine and caught the house on fire, according to officers.

Investigators said Petrina ran away from the scene after starting the fire and did not report it.

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Petrina was arrested on charges including reckless burning, criminal mischief, theft and possession of methamphetamine.

The home and its contents are considered a total loss. The damage is estimated at $150,000.




TRUSSVILLE – AL - Two people are in jail after police busted a meth lab inside a hotel room.

Trussville Police responded to a tip at the Quality Inn Sunday night. Birmingham Police assisted and firefighters were also called out to the scene. Half of the hotel was evacuated as a precaution and those exposed to the chemicals were checked out on the scene. Those people did not show any symptoms.

No other details are available right now.



CHARLESTON, SC - On Monday and Tuesday law enforcement agencies from Dorchester,  Colleton and Berkeley Counties organized a methamphetamine Blitz  initiative.  Participating in the initiative were Dorchester  County Sheriff’s Office, Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Beaufort  County, Charleston County, Colleton County and the Summerville Police  Department.  SLED and the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force also  assisted these agencies.


The operation was to identify locations where meth was being manufactured with the participating counties. At least 24 people were arrested in the busts which also continued into Wednesday, officials say.

Tuesday afternoon police arrested two additional suspects in  connection with another meth lab uncovered on Frankie Lane just off  Royale Road.

On  Wednesday night in Berkeley County two more netted by the blitz, Joshua Rockwood, age 34, and Kari Curtis, age 38, both of Frankie Lane  in Ladson were formally charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

They are included in the 25 so far taken in by the sweep.

The following locations are where meth labs were seized and suspects arrested:
1010 Harrison Rd Ladson – Meth Lab Marsha  Linn, Patrick Lynch and Stacey Gibson are charged with manufacturing  meth..  Gibson is also charged with distribution of meth.
128- A Wendy Way Ladson – Meth Lab David Rabon and David Tromnetta charged with manufacturing meth and meth waste disposal.
402 Rose Lane – Possession of meth John Delieesseline is charged with possession of methamphetamine.
153 Cannan Road – Meth Lab No charges have bee filed in this case.
264 Cheyenne Road – Meth Lab Deborah Hardee, Marshall Hardee, Brandon Hardee and Kelsey Holladay are charged with manufacturing meth.
114 Chausse Blvd. Summerville – Meth Lab Robert Radcliff is charged with manufacture and possession of meth.
131 Webaster Street – Meth Lab John Childs Jr. and Melissa Highley are charged with manufacture and possession of meth.

In Colleton County six methamphetamine labs were located, some of which were meth waste dump sites.

Five people were arrested and charged as follows:

  1. Thomas Greer McMillan of #110 Hale Dr. Walterboro, SC was charged  with Possession of Methamphetamine 3rd Offense and Conspiracy to Violate  Drug Laws.
  2. Jason Edward Davidson of #623 Cannon Rd. Round O, SC was charged  with Manufacturing Methamphetamine and Improper Disposal of  Methamphetamine Waste.
  3. Ronald R. Juliano of #623 Cannon Rd. Round O, SC was charged with Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws.
  4. Nadia Baha Sami Tass of #402 Poplar St. Walterboro, SC was charged with Conspiracy to Violate Drug Laws.
  5. Rodney Zeigler of #208 State St. Walterboro, SC. was charged with  Manufacturing Methamphetamine and also had outstanding arrest warrants.

Police discovered Methamphetamine Labs at the following addresses in Colleton County:

  1. 208 State St. Walterboro, SC
  2. 623 Cannon Rd. Round O,SC
  3. 1643 Keegan Dr. Walterboro, SC





RINCON, GA - Effingham County Sheriff’s are doing their part to take meth off the streets.

It starts at local drug stores and grocery stores where investigators are checking the pseudophedrine logs.


Their vigilance led to a surprising arrest Thursday night.

Sharon Jenkins was seen on the logs buying extensive amounts of cold medicine from local stores, deputies said.

Deputies got a warrant and searched her home, where they found the makings for meth and five or six “One Pot” labs.

Jenkins is a lunchroom worker at Rincon Elementary school.

She now faces a variety of meth related charges, including possession and distribution of the drug.

Jenkins also faces a charge of possession of a firearm for the commission of a crime.




Recently the Sweetwater Police Department officers and Narcotics Agent have been seeing an increase in the “one-pot” method meth labs, or “shake bottles” in our area. For example, Officer Rob Burris, had he not been alert while on routine patrol one night, could have missed a “one-pot” lab that had caught fire and was being thrown out of a moving vehicle on Starrett St., in very close proximity to a school. What makes them dangerous is the fact that they are mainly “mobile” and meth can be “cooked” pretty much anywhere. Narcotics Agent Marty Kyle recently made an arrest which resulted in three “one-pot” labs being seized.

“We are trying to make the holidays safer and we have stepped up our patrol and Sweetwater Police officers have been alert and have found several labs and have been alert and have found several labs and have made arrests accordingly,” SPD Chief Eddie Byrum said.  “Not only during the holidays but every day we try to take as many offenders and drugs off the streets and out of the community as we possibly can.”

Chief Byrum commended officers for being alert during daily activities, thus allowing SPD to make these arrests.

“I would also like to make everyone in the community aware that if you find anything like trash or bottles that look suspicious, do not handle it,” Byrum said.  “Call 911 so they can dispatch an officer to check it out. Unfortunately, after someone makes meth, often they throw the bottles out when they are finished and it is hazardous and has to be processed by HazMat and Meth Certified Officials.”

“In an ongoing attempt to keep everyone safe throughout the holiday season, we will continue to step up our patrol and we plan to conduct a sobriety checkpoint as well on Friday, Dec. 20 from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Highway 68 at the intersection of Cleveland Road,” the department said.

“We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season,” per Chief Byrum, “and remind everyone to drive safely throughout the holidays, and all year.”




KIRKSVILLE, MO. — A proposal to require a doctor’s prescription in Kirksville to buy medications containing pseudoephedrine is gaining steam.

Pseudoephedrine is one of the key ingredients used to make methamphetamine, and Adair County Sheriff Robert Hardwick told KTVO he thinks a local ordinance limiting the purchase of over-the-counter medications containing the ingredient would go a long way toward pushing the meth problem out of our community.


Hardwick said he has seen firsthand how meth-related crimes lead to other unlawful behavior.

“I ran a study on individuals that had been arrested at the sheriff’s office,” said Hardwick. One-hundred-twenty people arrested. Of the 120 people, 85 of those people, after arrested for drug crimes, went out and committed other crimes in our community.”

Three representatives from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, lobbyists for makers of non-prescription medications, spoke to the Kirksville City Council during Monday’s study session.

The three are obviously opposed to requiring a prescription for pseudoephedrine-containing products, but added that doing nothing is not an option and going to the extreme is not an option.

“Prescription-only does make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get the medications that are FDA approved, that they’ve chosen, that they want, said James Gwinner with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. “It means that they take time off work to get a doctor’s signature. It means that they have to visit the physician.”

Gwinner told the council about recently proposed legislation introduced in Jefferson City that would reduce the number of grams of pseudoephedrine that can be legally possessed by an individual.

Adair County Prosecutor Matt Wilson said something has to be done to curb the local meth problem.

“The reality of it is, we don’t have the magic wand to wave and make it all go away,” said Wilson. “If nothing else, it’s bringing both sides together to start talking about a solution to the problem.

At the end of Monday’s presentation, Kirksville Mayor Richard Detweiler instructed city staffers to draft an ordinance that requires a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine products in Kirksville.

At least least three of the five councilmen seemed in favor of the proposal.

The council is then expected to vote on the measure during one of its January meetings.



LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas—Five people were arrested in the Tarkington area when an active meth lab, stolen guns and other items from a string of burglaries were recovered, Liberty County officials said.

Clinton James Laudermill, Jason Karl Hill, Toni Danielle Lang, Tonia Kay Small, and Elisha Louise Blanchard were all charged with possession and transportation of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, a second degree felony.


The drug lab and the stolen items were found at Laudermill’s home located in the 600 block of CR 2250 on December 13. The bust was a result of the very close coordination and inter-agency cooperative effort between the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department and the Liberty County Constable’s Pct. 5 Office.

Authorities said it appears, at this point, that a total of four to five burglaries will be cleared up as a result of these arrests. An additional investigation is underway by both agencies more charges could be filed.


All suspects were placed in the Liberty County jail. At this time, no bond had been set.



Santa Monica police arrested a 48-year-old Los Angeles woman on Wednesday, Dec. 4 after finding a “crack pipe” on her person that contained methamphetamine residue.

Officers of the Santa Monica Police Department were on patrol in the area of 12th Street and Olympic Boulevard at 12:04 am on this day as a result of recent reports of narcotics activity in that part of town when they chanced upon a person who was standing on the west sidewalk of the 1700 block of 12th Street.

The officers observed this person walk westbound into a parking lot, so they followed to see what was going on.

The officers then saw two people standing in this parking lot located directly behind a commercial building.

The officers spoke with these individuals and during the verbal exchange, one of the subjects announced that they (the suspects, not the officers) were high because they had just smoked some methamphetamine.

The officers then asked this pair if they were in possession of anything illegal, but they said that they were not.

The officers then asked them if they would mind being searched, and the subjects told the officers that they didn’t mind at all.

The officers then searched the pair and discovered upon one of them had a “crack pipe” (a hollow glass bulb, with an extruding shaft, used for vaporizing methamphetamine or crystal meth, in order to inhale the vapor for its stimulating properties).

The pipe contained a white residue. The officers searched further, and in the purse of the woman upon whom they had discovered the pipe, found two small clear plastic polyurethane bags that appeared to contain a crystalline powder residue.

The officers recalled their training and deduced that this substance could well be methamphetamine.

The officers arrested the owner of the purse. This woman was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and bail was set at $250.



A man accused of making methamphetamines on the rooftop of a College of Charleston building was arrested by State Law Enforcement Division agents on Monday.

Justin Allan Paulus, 25, of Charleston, was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Paulus was never a student at the college, according to spokesman Mike Robertson.

On Nov. 27, police found meth-making items on the roof of a campus building on George Street. They also found a sleeping bag and personal items, including mail addressed to Paulus, according to an affidavit.

Police later saw Paulus standing on the roof in the area where the meth lab had been discovered, the warrant stated. Paulus was then arrested and charged with trespassing by the school’s Department of Public Safety.

SLED obtained surveillance video from a pharmacy a few blocks away from the meth lab, where Paulus was seen buying pseudoephedrine, a medicine used to cook meth, according to the warrant.

Authorities found the meth lab after George Street Apartments’ housing officials received a call around 1 a.m. from a CVS employee complaining of water dripping into the store from the upperclassmen dorm above them, according to Robertson.

A search for the leak led to the discovery of two one-liter bottles on the roof.

Robertson said the bottles contained a suspicious liquid substance and Public Safety officers with the school were notified.

According to Robertson, a nearby parking garage could grant anyone access to the area where the materials were found.

Robertson said the dorm was fairly empty as most students had already left for Thanksgiving break.




PADUCAH, Ky – Seven people were arrested and charged with various Methamphetamine manufacturing- related charges.

Detectives deduced that illicit drug activity was taking place following an investigation at 940 Martin Luther King Drive, and approached the residence at 3:30 p.m., Monday, December 16th to search the home.

While approaching the house, deputies made the first arrest when Jessie Young, 32 was found in possession of a syringe and Methamphetamine while attempting to drive away from the home.

The second arrest was Dustin Giller, 34 who was caught after a short chase when he was observed to have jumped from a second story window and flee on foot.

Four more arrests were made when deputies entered the house and found Corinna Meyers, 34, Faith Tidwell, 18, Trisha Little, 26, and Christopher Fernandez, 23. All are charged with meth-related charges.

The final arrest was made when Timothy Copley, 39 arrived at the residence after deputies learned he was driving on a suspended license.

Investigation revealed Dustin Giller was manufacturing Methamphetamine inside the home for about two months while Young, Tidwell, and Meyers assisted him by purchasing additional resources in return for Methamphetamine.

Two children were also found within the home, and further investigation revealed methamphetamine was made in the home while the children were present which prompted further Substance Endangerment to a Child charges to Meyers, Tidwell, Little, and Giller.

Giller was convicted and received a 20 year sentence for Manufacturing Methamphetamine in 2010, but was released on parole



An accused shoplifter was arrested on Saturday for methamphetamine possession after drugs were found in his pocket, according to a Rock Hill police report.


Police were called to Walmart on Dave Lyle Boulevard when an employee saw Samuel Rhodes, 32, hide several items in his pants and try to leave the store without paying for them. When confronted by the employee, Rhodes admitted to taking a wireless router, knife, flashlight and a few other items, according to the report.

When an officer was searching Rhodes, he found two small bags in his pocket. One contained a blue pill, which Rhodes said was a Xanax he had been prescribed, and the other had a “white granular substance” that tested positive for methamphetamine, the report states.

Rhodes told the officer that he didn’t know what the substance was because he was wearing someone else’s pants. He didn’t know who owned the pants.

He was charged with possession of methamphetamine and given a shoplifting citation.

Two men, including the son of the longtime Watertown mayor, were arrested Friday after police say they found evidence of materials used to manufacture methamphetamine during a Lebanon traffic stop.

Brandon Michael Jennings, 27, of Watertown, and Danny Lamar Vick, 42, of Lebanon both face multiple drug charges.

Both were being held on bails of $25,500 in the Wilson County Jail.

Jennings is the son of Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings.

Brandon M. Jennings

Brandon Jennings was the driver of a 1998 black Toyota Corolla with Vick, and two others in the car when it was stopped after leaving Upton Heights and turning onto North Cumberland Street.

Police found 0.5 grams of crack cocaine on Jennings and then searched the car and found other drugs and drug paraphernalia, including the materials to make methamphetamine in the trunk, according to the police report.

Vick told police the car was his and that he and Jennings were aware of the meth lab in the trunk. The car registration displayed on the vehicle belonged to a Dodge Avenger.

Candas Boatwright, 31, of La Vergne was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. The fourth person was released at the scene.

Mike Jennings did not comment on the arrest. Jennings is in his 12th term and finishing his 30th year as Watertown’s mayor.

“He’s a pillar of our community, and I feel for his family going through these trying times,” Watertown Vice Mayor Brandon Howard said. “The community should come together and pray for him and his family and support him.”



HELENA — Authorities say an Anaconda man accused of attempted robbery also gave methamphetamine to a juvenile family member with whom he was having sexual relations.

Joshua James Kline, already behind bars in Helena for robbery, now faces felony charges of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs, endangering the welfare of children and incest. A warrant on the new charges was issued Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege Kline gave the relative methamphetamine multiple times and allowed the girl to take the drugs while in his care. Documents filed in Anaconda-Deer County district court also say Kline had a sexual relationship with the juvenile girl from August through November.

Kline and his cousin, George Kelly Kline, 39, are accused of trying to rob the Copper Club casino in Helena on Nov. 24, the same date he allegedly ended the relations with the girl. Joshua Kline, 38, was hospitalized after an employee at the casino beat him with a baseball bat. Testing at the hospital revealed Kline had amphetamines and opiates in his system, police said.

Police later arrested George Kline after finding him hiding underneath a bed in Butte.

Joshua Kline’s criminal history includes convictions for sexual assault, robbery and drug dealing.

Bond for Joshua Kline’s new charges is $75,000.



A family of armed drug runners arrested at gunpoint by the armed offenders squad in New Plymouth have been sentenced to jail.

Their arrest on August 24 last year followed an overnight methamphetamine courier run.

16-TDN-CC-COUJAIL TIME: From left, Maxien Chand, 23, Halen Ryder, 27, Daniel Pue, 21 and Oscar Chand, 42 received jail terms yesterday for dealing in methamphetamine




Two sisters – one of them nearly nine months pregnant – and their partners travelled from Auckland to the home of New Plymouth drug dealer Tommy White, who was jailed for 39 months for his part in August.

They got only a few hundred metres on their return trip when the AOS surrounded their Jaguar outside the Ugly Duck bar in Fitzroy.

Yesterday in the New Plymouth District Court, “mastermind” Oscar Chand, 42, of Auckland received a 3 year 9 month sentence.

His daughter and her partner Maxien Chand, 23, and Halen Ryder, 28, received 4 years 3 months and 4 years 9 months respectively.

Daniel Pue, 21, received 18 months.

Charges were later dropped against Maxien Chand’s younger sister Jessica Chand, Pue’s partner.

In July, Oscar Chand, Maxien Chand and Ryder were all found guilty at trial of dealing methamphetamine, dropping off 25.9 grams of 71 per cent pure meth at White’s Fitzroy home in the early hours.

Maxien Chand, Ryder and Pue were also found guilty of possessing a loaded revolver stashed under the front seat of Pue’s Jaguar.

The group was unaware they had been under surveillance by police.

In sentencing Judge Allan Roberts said the drug run was “a planned and synchronised operation”.

Phone records between the two groups clearly showed what was happening.

The methamphetamine was an amount of significance and the purity was high, so the operation would have been very close to the manufacturer, the judge said.

Oscar Chand was the ringmaster, “the man pulling the strings”, Judge Roberts said.

While all accused said they did not know of the loaded gun’s existence, this was “implausible in the extreme”.

Oscar Chand’s phone communications showed that he “simply did not trust White”.

The firearm, stashed underneath the front passenger’s seat, was loaded, on hand and there available for use, the judge said.

The judge reduced the starting point sentences for all but Pue by 10 per cent to acknowledge their time on electronic bail.

Earlier, Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich said none of the four showed any remorse.

“All chambers were fully loaded and ready to be used,” he said of the revolver.

The lack of remorse could be seen with Maxien Chand’s communication with the Taranaki Daily News complaining with the way she was dealt with by police, he said.

In September the Daily News revealed she had complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority claiming police had endangered the life of her then unborn child.

This complaint was rejected by the authority.

For Oscar Chand, counsel Ron Mansfield said his client had no criminal drug history.

For 16 years he had worked as a fitter and turner but left due to ill health and “sadly this has led to these circumstances”.

For Maxien Chand, Julian Hannam asked for a merciful sentence of home detention. She acknowledged her drug use and wanted to rehabilitate after the birth of her child.

    Pue’s counsel Paul Keegan asked for home or community detention for his client who was “salvageable” despite making some poor decisions and being influenced by his situation.

Patrick Mooney for Ryder said his client appeared to be “making up the numbers as a courier” during the operation.

Judge Roberts ordered the confiscation of Pue’s Jaguar car and the $40,000 drug money found in Maxien Chand’s handbag.

Following sentencing, several of the defence lawyers said their clients were likely to appeal their convictions and sentences.




CHEYENNE — Law enforcement officers have seized an additional 29 pounds of methamphetamine and a pound of cocaine from a local man arrested in November.

Phillip Martin, 53, was arrested Nov. 26 after about 9 pounds of meth and cocaine was found in his car, a news release sent Thursday by the
Laramie County Sheriff’s Department says.

After his arrest, the sheriff’s department and Drug Enforcement Administration continued to investigate and later found the additional 30 pounds in his house and car.


The drugs have an estimated street value of $1 million to $2 million.

Law enforcement officers also found 25 guns and about $18,500 in cash.

“This is one of the largest seizures in Wyoming history,” Laramie County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Gerry Luce said.

Martin is charged in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing
methamphetamine. He faces 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.

A federal prosecuting attorney couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday about whether more charges would be filed against Martin based on the additional drug seizure.

Thomas F. Aflague Jr., 35, of Cheyenne is also facing a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distributing methamphetamine. After his May arrest, a confidential source told authorities Martin was Aflague’s primary source of meth.

The two are awaiting arraignment in federal court.

The news release says the investigation is ongoing, and more arrests may be coming.

Court documents in Aflague’s case show:

On April 30, Aflague contacted a confidential informant and told them he could get them meth.

On May 7, Aflague text messaged the informant and asked if they would like to buy 1 ounce of meth. The informant agreed and arranged to meet Aflague in Sidney, Neb.

The informant, who was given $1,600 and fitted with a wire transmitter, met Aflague and bought meth from him.

On May 15, Aflague contacted the informant again. The two met in Big Springs, Neb., and the informant bought one ounce of meth, a handgun and a shotgun from Aflague.

Several days later, a sheriff’s deputy stopped Aflague in Cheyenne for not turning properly. When the deputy contacted him, he could smell marijuana.

The deputy searched the car and found a backpack, which Aflague said wasn’t his.

Inside the backpack was about 3 ounces of marijuana, 19 grams of cocaine, 24 grams of meth and a loaded handgun.

Aflague also had about $9,665 in cash on him.

A confidential source later told authorities Aflague was supplying meth for half of Cheyenne.

Court documents in Martin’s case show:

On June 11, the sheriff’s department and DEA interviewed a confidential source, who said they had been in Martin’s house and had seen a gun
safe that had multiple pounds of meth in mason jars inside.

On July 16, officers interviewed another confidential source. They said they got four to five ounces of meth every three to four days from Martin. They would sell the meth for $1,600 per ounce.

The source also said Martin travels to Phoenix, Ariz., to get the meth. He brings back 15 kilograms per trip.

Officers then got a subpoena for Martin’s phone and found that he had contact with two Phoenix telephones 132 times between June 23 and July

A DEA special agent then got a trace device on Martin’s phone, as well as video surveillance on his house and a storage unit.

On Nov. 24, the agent saw Martin’s cellphone was being used in Phoenix. The next day, he saw Martin was headed back to Cheyenne.

On Nov. 26, Martin got back to Laramie County. The agent contacted the sheriff’s department, and a deputy stopped Martin on Interstate 25 for going 75 in a 65 mph zone.

During the stop, another deputy responded with a patrol dog, which alerted on Martin’s car.

The car was searched. Deputies found about nine pounds of meth and one pound of cocaine. They also found numerous baggies, a scale, syringes and dirty spoons.

During his arrest, deputies found $4,000 on him.



JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A Jonesboro woman was arrested Friday on charges related to possession of methamphetamine.

The Jonesboro Police Department was dispatched to the 6600-block of Wooded Acres Cove at around 5 a.m. when a resident called and said that there were people with flashlights prowling around a vacant house.


When Officer Ben Stone arrived on the scene there were three vehicles in the driveway along with a woman, Stephanie Poe. When Stone asked her what she was doing she said that she used to live at the house, which was foreclosed, and was picking up items that had been left outside.

Poe changed her story about who was there with her several times. In the police report, Officer Stone said that he noticed “Poe was very nervous and that she could not sit still.”

Police found her purse inside the truck she was driving. Poe was asked if she had anything illegal inside the purse and she claimed she didn’t.

When officers searched her purse, they found a glass pipe with white residue inside of it.

Poe then admitted she uses meth and was arrested. While searching the rest of her truck officers found a hollowed out pen and a dollar bill that both had white residue in them.

Poe was taken to the Craighead County Detention Center with felony charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth. She was held in lieu of a bond for a probable cause hearing.

According to court documents, she has been released.




They go by aliases like “Bombas” or “Bombs.” “Piratatita,” or “Little Pirate.” “Gordo” or “Fat.” One goes by “Primo” or “Cousin.” Another “Tio” or “Uncle.”

They, along with 13 others, are now each considered to have been part of a $7 million methamphetamine conspiracy linked by law enforcement officials to Mexican drug cartels. And at least three of them allegedly used a rural Douglas County property to produce the illegal drug.

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Roosters still crow at the vacated rural Eudora property at 2174 N. 700 Road. Two black and white dogs also still roam freely, months after the property was raided and neighbors stopped seeing anyone near the house, save for a caretaker who allegedly looks after the animals.

On Thursday afternoon, after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas unsealed an indictment dated Dec. 4 that linked the home’s most recent residents to a multimillion-dollar meth conspiracy, no one was home but the animals and scores of everyday household and decorative items that were left behind. A window without curtains revealed several large upturned couches.

Ezequiel Olivas-Yanez, 48, Monica Ortiz, 34, and Benito Olivas-Yanez, 34, are each charged with using the property to produce methamphetamine intended for distribution from May 1 to Aug. 3. Ezequiel Olivas-Yanez is still listed by Douglas County as the owner of the property, and there’s even record of him having paid $1,270.82 in taxes on Nov. 18.

The three also face charges of conspiracy and possessing more than 50 grams of the drug with intent to distribute it on Aug. 2 alongside Raul Vidal Ramirez-Florez. Ezequiel Olivas-Yanez is also accused of using a cellphone to facilitate a meth deal on Aug. 12.

All three were born in Mexico, and Ezequiel Olivas-Yanez and Monica Ortiz-Soto married on June 19, 2009, in Baldwin City, according to Douglas County District Court records.

They’ve run afoul of the law before.

The three have histories in Wyandotte County, with each having been booked into Wyandotte County Jail several times between 2002 and 2007, mostly on suspicion of DUIs and domestic battery. In 2004, Ezequiel Olivas-Yanez was booked on suspicion of illegal gambling.

And in Douglas County, Ezequiel Olivas-Yanez pleaded guilty in 2011 to felony cockfighting violations and was sentenced to probation after a 2009 raid on the property ended with the seizure of more than 100 animals.

It wouldn’t be the last time authorities would visit the home.

Paving the way for arrests

When the Douglas County Drug Enforcement Unit raided Olivas-Yanez’s home this summer and seized nearly 25 pounds of methamphetamine — the largest total ever seized in the county — along with several thousand dollars in cash and a 9 mm handgun, police identified suspects but did not make immediate arrests.

The decision was made by investigators with an eye toward a larger case: the one now headed toward prosecution in federal court.

According to court documents, at least seven of the 18 indicted are in federal custody, their arrests taking place between Wednesday and Thursday.

The arrest of Eliser Lopez-Arenas in Oakland, Calif., kicked off this week’s activity. So far confirmed by court documents are two arrests in Kansas City, Kan., three in Kansas City, Mo., and another — Manuel Lopez-Deharo — in Bonner Springs on Wednesday. Lopez-Arenas (“Primo”), Humberto Rascon-Frias (“Tio”), Stephen Eugene Rowlette, Jose Alejandro Ruiz (“Pancho”), Alejandro Santos-Valderama, Manuel Lopez-Deharo and Fidel Carlos Zavala are those so far confirmed in federal custody.

Zavala is one of two men who also face federal gun charges as part of the case. He is accused of possessing a Colt Mark IV .380 caliber handgun in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes in early December 2012.

Each of the 18 indicted could face penalties of up to life in prison and fines ranging from $250,000 to $10 million.

Filling a niche

Olivas-Yanez’s property fit the usual profile of ideal real estate for Mexican cartel affiliates in the United States.

“They want to stay underground and off the radar,” said Erik Smith, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in the Kansas City area.

When Lawrence police unveiled the meth bust in August, Sgt. Trent McKinley, a police spokesman, told reporters that investigators had made a clear connection to Mexican cartels, the latest in a string of connections between the enterprises and the United States.

In February, Chicago named the notorious Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Public Enemy No. 1, the first such distinction handed down by the city since Al Capone in 1930. Guzman helms the Sinaloa cartel, thought to be Mexico’s most powerful organized crime operation. And though the bulk of the damage done by Mexican cartels has occurred south of the border — conservative estimates put the number killed at 60,000 since 2007 — the U.S. government has offered a $5 million reward for Guzman’s capture and wants him extradited to face trial here if he is ever caught alive.

But Smith said that at least four major Mexican cartels have a well-established presence in the Kansas City metro area. And at least in some degree, he said, “all cartels have a presence here.”

Laws passed in Kansas in 2005 and 2009 put up to 80 percent of the state’s meth labs out of work because they made it harder to buy bulk quantities of key ingredients, according to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. This created a demand that Mexican cartels positioned themselves to fill, Smith said.


The following is a summary of some recommendations the EPA offers as possible best practices in cleaning up a former meth lab:

Walls: Remove stained or smelly wall surfaces unless the removal would damage structural integrity. Clean smooth walls, then “encapsulate” them in paint or other sealant to slow the release of any leftover contamination.

Before cleaning or removing a textured wall, check it for asbestos. If it has no asbestos, wash and encapsulate it. If it has asbestos, consider encapsulating it. Remove any absorbent building material, such as insulation that is stained or smelly.

Ceilings: Clean or discard ceiling fans; remove and replace smelly or stained ceiling; check textured ceilings for asbestos; encapsulate the ones that have no asbestos. Discard contaminated ceiling tiles; consider encapsulating the ones that contain asbestos instead of removing them if removal would disturb the asbestos.

Floors: Wash and re-seal sheet, laminate or vinyl tile unless it is stained or melted. Discard porous floors, such as those made of wood or cork. Consider also removing floors in high-traffic areas. Vacuum to remove dust from subflooring. Remove tile floors if they are porous; otherwise wash them. Grind down and replace grout then seal it, or seal over it.

Kitchen countertops: If you can see it is contaminated, or if it is porous, discard it. Sand down and wash non-porous solid countertops. Remove ceramic and stone countertops if they’re in a “high-contact area,” otherwise re-glaze them.

Concrete, cement and brick: Wash with a detergent-water solution If you suspect high contamination, leave it up to the contractor to decide what to do, because removal may cause structural damage, Encapsulation is also possible.

Appliances: Discard contaminated appliances, electronics and tools. Discard large and small appliances used in meth making or storage. Wash the outside of them before you discard them to protect refuse workers. Make them unusable so they can’t be salvaged. More research is needed to know if it’s safe to use appliances that had been located in a meth lab.

Wood: Discard any wood that shows visible contamination, or wash then encapsulate it.

Windows: Triple-wash, with clean cloths each time.

Electric: Electrical outlet covers and wall switch plate covers should be replaced or washed

Plates, etc.: Discard any used in meth making. Discard any plastic bottles, nipples and baby utensils and dishes in a way to prevent reuse. Wash everything else.

Toys: Any baby toys that can fit in the mouth and any contaminated toys should be discarded in a way that prevents reuse. Stuffed animals and other porous toys should be discarded. Metal and hard plastic toys can be washed.

Carpet: Remove and discard in a way that prevents reuse. Don’t clean it. Carpet padding and flooring under carpet are also likely contaminated.

Clothes: Discard contaminated ones, triple-wash the rest on-site then take off-site to dry. Anything that can’t be washed in a machine should be discarded. Exceptions can be made for wedding dresses and the like, as long as owner understands the risk.

Upholstered furniture: Destroy, then discard. In some cases, you can strip the upholstery and cushions, then clean.

Mattresses: Most states recommend tossing mattresses, but if there was not much meth to begin with and the mattress was far from the meth cooking site and the same heating, ventilation and air conditioning system doesn’t serve both rooms, it can be saved.

Paper and books: Discard, except important legal or historical documents and photos.

Mobile homes: It may be more cost-effective to demolish a mobile home, because they tend to have more porous surfaces.



High school students are increasingly using methamphetamines and other stimulants to relax or help them study, according to the UN.

A spike in trafficking of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) across the borders with Thailand and Laos over the past two years has gone hand-in-hand with a rise in drug use in schools near the trafficking routes.

“Over two-thirds of people who use drugs are under the age of 25. The vast majority of these are ATS users,” Clay Nayton, a drug treatment officer with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Cambodia (UNODC), said last week.

“We have had reports from government counterparts that there has been a fairly significant increase over the last 24 months in secondary schools, particularly in provinces along the border of neighbouring countries.”


Southeast Asia has in the past decade seen a dramatic rise in the production and use of ATS, which has overtaken heroin as the product of choice for trafficking syndicates in the Golden Triangle – the storied region where Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and China’s Yunnan province meet.

While Myanmar remains the regional hub for ATS production, the UNODC in recent years has recorded a surge in manufacturing and export of ATS from labs in Cambodia by drug-trafficking groups predominantly from China and Taiwan.

“In Battambang, ATS use amongst high school students] seems to be a bit more of a phenomenon than in Banteay Meanchey. In Battambang, there’s also been a huge spike in ice,” Nayton said, referring to the crystalline form of meth.

“There has been an increase in trafficking of ATS and there’s definitely a correlation between the two,” he added.

Unlike in some neighbouring countries, the rise in the use of the drug does not seem to have preceded a corresponding increase in other forms of criminal activity.

“It’s interesting. It’s not similar to Thailand, also because of the motivating factors behind it,” Nayton said. “The students are not really the type of people that are engaged in other forms of crime. We’re not really sure of the motivations, but more likely [they are] recreational users.”

“Some of the [UNODC] outreach staff have been operating in schools . . . but because it’s relatively new, we haven’t managed to talk to the students yet.”

Ngy Seth, director of the Batambang provincial education department, said: “I heard [about the reports] and I went down to some schools to ask school directors and teachers about this, but [the schools] did not have [a problem].

“There are not students using drugs in school or class, but we do not know if they used in another place.”

The UNODC’s Nayton, however, said that UNODC outreach staff had been operating in schools in the provinces and had discovered evidence to back up the reports, including drug dealers operating in school yards.

Meas Sovann, director of Drug Addict Relief Association of Cambodia (DARA), said about half of the recovering addicts in the DARA centre in Phnom Penh are students.

“Most of them [drug users] are young people . . . drug users increased in the provinces near the border and they mostly use methamphetamine,” he said.

Kao Khon Dara, deputy chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, declined to comment.