Meth in the News
Professor Nicholas E Goeders
Last week in this Meth in the News column, I tried an experiment where I highlighted several methamphetamine-related news items that were reported during the preceding week or two without delving into them in any great detail.
A close friend and regular reader of this column wrote this in an e-mail to me when he read the results of my little experiment.
“Amazing the geographic spread of all these stories, showing no one region, culture, or age is immune! The extent and social impact of it all can be overwhelming.”
So I decided that it was worth continuing my experiment. Other readers may also soon understand why I have become so passionate about this topic.
And just like last week, some of these reports will make you angry. Some may make you cry. Some will horrify you. But once again, they are all true.
Misty Marie Cutburth, of Great Falls, Mont., was arrested on April 28, 2016, on suspicion of felony endangerment in the death of her 10-month-old daughter, who was found dead on January 19. A 911 call reported that the baby girl was not breathing.
Responding officers found the baby unresponsive in a cold room where the window was wide open. The outside temperature that night was approximately 32 degrees. Court records report that a medical responder couldn’t even register the girl’s skin temperature on a thermometer.
The baby was taken to Benefis Health System hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her body surface temperature was reportedly 78 degrees at the time!
Although an autopsy could not pinpoint an exact cause of death, Cascade County Attorney John Parker told reporters that toxicology tests determined that the baby girl had been exposed to “chronic methamphetamine use” during the final weeks of her life.
The Montana Division of Child and Family Services had received at least two reports in October 2015 from people concerned about drug use by the baby’s mother, according to court documents.
And people claim that drug use is a victimless crime!
The next case is difficult for me to believe. I cannot understand how it could have ever happened!
A 17-year-old girl, who was extremely high on meth, was being held in the Union Parish Detention Center on April 19. Somehow, Demarcus Shavez Peyton, 28, a convicted serial rapist – who was actually awaiting sentencing at the time for aggravated rape in Claiborne Parish – was put into the same isolation cell as the teenage girl.
Guess what? Mr. Peyton is now facing an additional charge of third-degree rape for raping the girl at least twice while they were in the Union Parish Detention Center.
It boggles the mind that a convicted serial rapist would be put into the same cell as a woman – much less a teenage girl high on meth – while being held in a detention center awaiting sentencing – for rape! Seriously?
I’m just getting started.
In the Express Inn motel in Hartselle, Ala., a Hartselle police officer found at least 4 people trespassing in a room that they had not rented. The Morgan County Drug Task Force was called because the officer also found drugs in the room. Methamphetamine, several syringes, meth pipes and straws were all seized.
However, Task Force agents also found an 8-year-old girl that her mother, Crystal Hubbard Riddle, 33, brought with her to the motel while she used meth. Ms. Riddle was subsequently arrested along with Colton Henderson, 23, Jordan Cole, 21, and Daniel Brown, 31.
The Department of Human Resources was called and placed the child in foster care.
In Glenwood Springs, CO, police received a call on April 23 from a 26-year-old man who was concerned that his 17-year-old cousin had been missing all day. She had posted a photo of herself holding a whisky bottle in a motel room that the man believed to be in the Silver Spruce Motel.
Upon arriving on the scene, a motel employee told Glenwood Springs police officers what room the girl may have been in, saying that numerous people had been coming and going all evening and that motel staff had received several noise complaints regarding the room.
Jose Salvador Medrano, 33, of Carbondale, and Abran Gutierrez, 19, of Rifle, were subsequently arrested for providing methamphetamine, alcohol and cocaine to three underage teen girls who had been in the room with the two men. Mr. Medrano and Mr. Gutierrez were charged with several felony crimes.
In Pamelia, NY, Michael J. Desormeau, 27, was charged with third-degree manufacturing of meth in his Royal Inn motel room on April 26. The New York State Police had been investigating Mr. Desormeau as part of a petit larceny complaint from a Wal-Mart store back in February.
The State Police Contaminated Crime Scene Emergency Response Team, the Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and uniform troopers recovered items commonly used to illegally manufacture meth, including an HCL gas generator, lithium batteries, lye, Sudafed packaging and blister packs, ice packs and straws from room 209 at the Royal Inn.
On April 28, Michael Dean Yepma, 58, and Robert Allen Guinn, 49, were arrested after officers with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Organized Crime Unit, its Fugitive Apprehension Special Tasks Unit and K9 team served a search warrant at the New Road Inn in Waco, TX.
The authorities seized about 443 grams of methamphetamine from the motel room.
On April 16, an Indiana State Police trooper stopped a maroon vehicle for following too closely to another vehicle. When he noticed that both occupants of the vehicle were acting unusually nervous, he requested a K-9 unit to respond to the scene.
During a search of the vehicle, troopers found six bricks of meth, weighing a total of 6 kilograms, in the trunk. The driver of the vehicle, Lorenzo Eaton, and his passenger, Holly Nivens, both from Michiana, were subsequently arrested on meth-related charges.
Apparently, Ms. Nivens met a fellow inmate, Hilda Lopez, while incarcerated in the St. Joseph County Jail who told her where to find the meth. Ms. Lopez told Ms. Nivens that the meth was buried at a house in Vandalia, Mich.
Ms. Nivens told State Police investigators that after she was released from jail, she, Mr. Eaton and Ms. Lopez’s son, Brandon, went to the home in Vandalia and dug up the meth. She said that their plan was to sell it and split the money.
Like I have said so many times, I could not make this stuff up!
Remember, no one is immune from the effects of meth. Don’t try it – not even once!
If you are an IV meth user, especially a woman, I want to hear from you. I want to learn more about what meth does to you and your body to better determine what needs to be done to help you. I also want to know your story – how you started using meth and whether or not you also appreciate the differences between smoking meth and slamming it. Please contact me in complete confidence at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will remain completely anonymous. I will never print anything about you that will betray your trust in me, and I will never judge you.