Posts Tagged ‘methamphetamine’

Mexico’s Gulf drug cartel has allegedly joined up with an unlikely ally to bring illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, over the border and into Texas.

The link between the cartel and the white supremacist prison gang and organized crime group, the Aryan Brotherhood, reveals that Mexican drug trafficking organizations have expanded their business networks into the U.S. prison and street gangs…and that the Aryan Brotherhood is putting business before ideology when it comes to their dealings with the Mexican groups.

“It may seem puzzling that a white supremacist gang would work with a Mexican criminal organization,” wrote Claire O’Neill McCleskey of Insight Crime. “But the collaboration is not unusual for the Aryan Brotherhood. In the California prison system, the Aryan Brotherhood has a longstanding if fluid alliance with the Mexican mafia against black gangs.”

The cartels are looking for partners, bridges, to connect their activities inside the United States, and the supremacists have become an important force on the streets and inside prisons.

– Larry Gaines, gang expert and president of the criminal justice department at San Bernardino State University

 According to the Mexican newswire Notimex, an agent working for the U.S. Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms stated that an Aryan Brotherhood member, James Sharron, alias “Flounder,” admitted after his arrest that he worked as a go-between for the group and the Gulf Cartel as well helping bring hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine into Texas from Mexico for distribution.

“The defendant stated that he had some important connections with Mexican drug cartels, specifically the Gulf Cartel and moving hundreds and hundreds of kilos of methamphetamine in the Houston area and was distributed in East Texas,” said Boehning, according to Notimex.

Sharron purportedly began his ties with the cartel after being released from jail in Texas and moving to Mexico about ten years ago.

Earlier this month, 34 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas were picked up in raids in several cities and charged with conspiracy in an organized crime group.

The Aryan Brotherhood was founded in the 1960s in San Quentin prison in California. It is believed today to have 200,000 members both in and out of prison and, while it makes up only 1 percent of the prison population in the U.S., is allegedly responsible for up to 20 percent of murders in federal prisons.

Despite their racist ideology, the group is known to have ties to the Mexican Mafia prison gang along with Asian gangs that import heroin from Thailand.

The Gulf Cartel, which is in battle with its former paramilitary group the Zetas, has lost much of its power over the last few years and might be looking to shore up its drug transit routes in the U.S. by creating ties with the white supremacist group.

“The cartels are looking for partners, bridges, to connect their activities inside the United States, and the supremacists have become an important force on the streets and inside prisons,” according to Larry Gaines, gang expert and president of the criminal justice department at San Bernardino State University



Fifteen defendants from Springdale were sentenced to a combined 77 years in prison Thursday for a massive Northwest Arkansas drug trafficking scheme.

Multiple state and local law enforcement agencies have been carrying out Operation La Pantera Negra over the last two years, prosecuting 31 suspects over that time frame. Authorities have seized 118 pounds of methamphetamine, $82,000 in cash, 16 vehicles and 12 firearms during the investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

meth bust


In the particular case concerning the 15 defendants, Drug Enforcement Agency agents conducted several undercover meth purchases in February 2011. Officers later recovered 20 pounds of meth from a Fayetteville home.

The following February, agents seized 83 pounds of methamphetamine from a stash house in Dallas, along with $48,000 and six vehicles.

A federal grand jury indicted 15 defendants the next month, on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine and money laundering. All defendants pleaded guilty to various charges.

The main defendants, Celen Zendjas and Eberardo Coria-Hernandez, were sentenced to 28 years and 10 years in prison, respectively.

The other 13 defendants and their sentenced time in prison include:

  • Wilber Alvarenga, 31 – Four years
  • Gregorio Carranza, 28 – Four years
  • Rodolfo Carrillo, 41 – 1 year supervised release
  • Porfirio Castro-Ruiz, 47 – Two years, three months
  • Donna Daosavanh, 24 – Three years
  • Omar Frias, 30 – Three-and-a-half years
  • Dianna Gandert, 28 – Four years
  • Jose Herrera, 26 – Five years
  • Marlene Martinez, 27 – Five years, two months
  • Jose Mejia-Machado, 44 – Seven years
  • Tamera Rivera, 31 – Two-and-a-half years
  • Jeffery Ruano, 26 – One year
  • Ana Vaca-Gomez, 34 – Seven years, three months



PHOENIX (CBS5) – A woman made her 16-year-old daughter hold an ounce of methamphetamine during a police traffic stop in the Valley on Wednesday, officers said.

Nereyda Campana, 33, was pulled over for a violation in the 13,000 block of Interstate 17.

(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Nereyda Campana

Campana said she had her teenage daughter hold the meth for her during the stop, according to officers. Campana admitted to buying the methamphetamine on Tuesday for $300 for personal use, law enforcement officials said.

Officers said they found $1,114 in cash in the vehicle. The daughter said she had been in the vehicle in the past when her mom delivered drugs, according to officers.

Campana was found to be driving on a suspended license.

She was booked into jail on one count of a dangerous drug for sale, one count of transporting drugs and one count of child abuse.






INDEPENDENCE – Two Independence men were arrested for methamphetamine manufacturing or related charges after a two-month undercover operation, according to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards.

Kerry Thomas was NOT charged with the narcotics offense of manufacturing methamphetamines, as previous reported by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s spokesman Dawn Panepinto. Thomas is not a resident of either property, he is the property owner, she said Thursday.

Thomas was arrested and charged for driving under a suspended license as he was leaving one of the residences.

“My sincere apology for any upset this has caused,” said Panepinto.

On November 26, agents with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Office Narcotics Division, Patrol Division, along with Tri-Parish Narcotics Task Force executed two methamphetamine related search warrants.

They searched residences located on Charlotte Drive in Independence.

During the investigation, agents located evidence revealing that prior methamphetamine manufacturing was taking place on both properties.

Agents also located precursor materials used in the manufacturing methamphetamines concealed inside both residences.

As a result, the following suspects were arrested:

Billy Wayne Jordan, 45

Charge: Manufacturing methamphetamines.

Samuel McClendon, 45

Charges: Possession of drug paraphernalia, and 4 failure to appear warrants.


LOUISVILLE (WATE) – A new TBI toxicology report shows the driver blamed in a head-on crash that killed a Maryville teen had drugs in his system.

Amelia Keown, 16, died in August. The report says John Perkins, the driver who hit her, had a level of Oxycodone in his system that was close to toxic. The report also shows that he’d taken Methamphetamine.

“Enraged is how I felt today. I was so mad he chose to get high and get behind the wheel,” said Amanda Moore, Amelia’s mother.

Amelia Keown, 16, died in August. The report says John Perkins, the driver who hit her, had a level of Oxycodone in his system that was close to toxic. The report also shows that he'd taken Methamphetamine.Amelia Keown, 16, died in August. The report says John Perkins, the driver who hit her, had a level of Oxycodone in his system that was close to toxic. The report also shows that he’d taken Methamphetamine.


A TBI report shows that John Perkins had drugs in his system when he hit and killed a Maryville teen.A TBI report shows that John Perkins had drugs in his system when he hit and killed a Maryville teen.

Perkins was let out of prison in 2005 after serving just 4 years of a 12 year sentence for armed robbery.

“I know he had failed drug tests in prison,” said Moore, about records she’s obtained. She also has paperwork that shows after his early release, he was arrested several times.

Amelia’s family has been pushing for “Amelia’s Law”, which proposes tougher parole rules.

Moore says the new toxicology report will now also be a focus in their effort to change how felons are set free.

“We’ll have to add something about drug testing,” explained Moore.

Moore says she’s heard that Perkins had a prescription for Oxycodone. But that information has not been verified by law enforcement.




PALM CITY — Four people were arrested in a joint federal-local crackdown on a methamphetamine lab on Thursday morning at a home in the 4400 block of Southwest Ranchwood Road.

Members of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency served a search warrant on the house at about 10:30 a.m. and found the front door wide open. They entered wearing gear to protect themselves from potentially dangerous chemicals.

Inside, officers apprehended four people and found some methamphetamine and materials associated with making the drug, including sodium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, Coleman fuel, filter papers, a digital scale and a silver spoon, as well as other materials, according to an arrest affidavit.

Some marijuana, a pipe for smoking marijuana and pills also were found.


Arrested on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine were two residents of the house: Thomas Cornman, 52, and Michael Minor. Also, Eric Ballard, 20, of 4200 block of Southwest 83rd Street, Palm City, was charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance.


Carrie Krupa, 23, of the 1800 block of College Street, Stuart, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to investigators, Cornman, Minor and Ballard made statements implicating themselves in the making or possessing of methamphetamine.

Officers quoted Cornman as saying he sometimes helped Minor “cook” methamphetamine and purchased packs of pseudo-ephedrine tables that are a main ingredient for making methamphetamine.

According to arrest affidavits, Minor said he buys peudo-ephedrine tablets and helped in production but was not the “cook.” He said other people who live elsewhere come in to “cook” and then leave, leaving behind some of the drug for the residents to use or sell. Minor, according to the arrest affidavits, said he sells methamphetamine for $80 to $100 a gram.

Krupa said she was never present during manufacturing and never bought pseudo-ephedrine. She described herself as an intravenous drug user. Investigators said they found a syringe in a purse.

A fifth person found in the home said she is a neighbor and not involved in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

All four of the arrested people were taken to the Martin County Jail.—meth_lab_shut_down/

Three people are in custody after a traffic stop in Lacey’s Spring Thursday resulted in Morgan County Sheriff’s deputies finding marijuana and methamphetamine.

Sheriff Ana Franklin said that deputies stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation on Hwy 36 near Lacey’s Spring on Thur., Nov. 29.

Lauren Ashley Duenas
Lauren Ashley Duenas
Paul Raymond Redifer
Paul Raymond Redifer

A law enforcement K-9 unit sniffed around the vehicle and indicated that narcotics were in the vehicle. Deputies searched the vehicle and discovered methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Morgan County Drug Task Force Agents responded and questioned the suspects.

Both Lauren Ashley Duenas and Paul Raymond Redifer were arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Agents believe that the marijuana belonged to Tony Lee Deunas, who was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana second degree.

All three suspects were taken to the Morgan County Jail. Bonds for the suspects have not yet been set by a judge.


 47-year-old Belleville man was charged with four felonies for allegedly manufacturing methamphetamine out of the trailer where he resided.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly’s office charged Charles J. Belfield Tuesday with the following: aggravated participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, participation in methamphetamine manufacturing, unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials and unlawful possession of methamphetamines, all felonies.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Drug Tactical Unit went to a trailer located at 7417 Makeeta Farms Road in Belleville in reference to a complaint of a possible methamphetamine lab at about 2:45 p.m. Monday and located Belfield.

Drug Tactical Unit Supervisor Lt. Kurt Eversman said investigators were familiar with Belfield from a previous methamphetamine case in 2011. After speaking with Belfield, investigators were able to obtain enough evidence to have a search warrant issued for the residence.

At approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday, investigators secured the residence and conducted a search of the property. Chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamines such as ammonium nitrate, lye, and Coleman fuel were located in the trailer. Investigators also located several “shake-and-bake” meth labs and methamphetamines ready to be used or sold, according to Eversman.

Investigators spoke with the owner of the horse farm where the trailer was located. The owner had no knowledge of the meth lab and was not connected to this case, police said.

Belfield’s bond was set at $250,000.


A 28-year old Vallejo woman visiting her two young children in Napa was arrested at around 2 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs and for possessing suspected methamphetamine and a pipe, according to an arrest summary from the City of Napa Police Department.

 Officers responded to a call from family members to the 10 block of Calaveras Ct.

 The family reported Yasmin Rodriguez (09/07/1984 of Vallejo) was under the influence of drugs and attempting to take her two children (ages 5 and 10) from the residence.   The children live at the location with their father who was at work.   Officers evaluated Rodriguez and determined she was under the influence of a controlled substance.

 Rodriguez was taken into custody. Upon searching Rodriguez, Officers located suspected methamphetamine and a methamphetamine pipe.  Rodriquez was transported and booked into Napa County Department of Corrections.


CLAYTON — Two adults have been arrested and a 4-year-old child turned over to the Johnston County Department of Social Services after deputies found an “active” and dangerous methamphetamine lab Tuesday at a home in Clayton.

Acting on a tip that methamphetamine was being produced at the 150 Loop Road residence, sheriff’s deputies had been investigating for evidence to confirm the accusation. When they visited the home on Tuesday, they found evidence of the one-pot method of manufacturing methamphetamine.

“It’s really dangerous,” sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Craig Fish said.

 There are toxic vapors and a batch of methamphetamine mixed up inside a plastic bottle inside the home, he said.

The one-pot method has grown in popularity across the state in response to efforts to limit access to over-the-counter drugs, including pseudophedrine, used to make methamphetamine because it requires less of the ingredients. The method also is much more compact and portable than the large-scale operations that involve beakers and jugs of chemicals.

The names of the two adults – man and woman – have not been released, but Fish said they will be charged with felony manufacturing of methamphetamine, felony possession of precursors, or chemicals to make methamphetamine, and felony conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. They also will be charged with felony maintaining a dwelling place for a controlled substance and misdemeanor child abuse.

A 6-year-old also lived in the residence, but was not at the home when the adults were arrested Tuesday, Fish said.


A man on probation was arrested Wednesday during a 10:20 p.m. traffic stop on Flosden Road near Corcoran Avenue on suspicion of drug possession, according to American Canyon police. The 1993 green Ford Escort had no operable headlights, according to police.

Police found a small amount of suspected methamphetamine in the car, Chief Jean Donaldson said. The driver, Abraham Avincular Lopez, 32, of Vallejo, had no driver’s license, Donaldson said.

Lopez was arrested and booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of methamphetamine possession, providing a false name to a peace officer, probation violation, a driving without a driver’s license, police said.



A methamphetamine addict’s drug deals were so chaotic drugs were lost and amounts owing were not kept track of, a judge has been told.

In Wellington District Court today Geoffrey John Hooper was sentenced to three years three months’ jail.

Hooper, 43 and unemployed, now realised he was getting too old to lead the kind of life he had been for more than two decades, his lawyer Christopher Stevenson said.

Hooper was an addict who was involved in dealing to ensure his own drug supply, not to make a profit.

Mr Stevenson described the day-to-day organisation as “chaotic” and “pretty shambolic”.

Hooper was among a group caught in a police operation targeting methamphetamine dealing in the Wellington region in March and April this year.

Mr Stevenson said communications the police intercepted showed that several times drugs were lost and the amounts owed were unknown.

Hooper pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply methamphetamine as well as supplying the drug and offering to supply it.

Judge Bruce Davidson said Hooper had sold 3.8g of methamphetamine in six sales worth up to $4500 and offered to sell another 1.05g, contained in seven offers, worth up to $1260.

Hooper had also played an important role in assisting one of the central figures in the group the police had targeted, the judge said.

At the time he was on parole from a three year sentence imposed in 2010 for similar offending, the judge.



Two Carson City sisters, 12 and 14, were having trouble at home.

They sought solace in the arms of a 22-year-old Reno gang member, nicknamed “Joker,” who told them each he loved them, bought them food and drove them around town, they testified Wednesday.

The girls had sex with Hugo Sanchez, too, with the older girl prostituting herself in downtown Reno and giving Sanchez, her pimp, half of her earnings, she said. In return, he supplied her with methamphetamine and lies about his romantic feelings toward her, she said.

Hugo Sanchez

 Hugo Sanchez, 22, of Reno, was sentenced Nov. 28 to two life in prison terms for pandering a 14-year-old Carson City girl and having sex with her and her 12-year-old sister

After Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan sentenced Sanchez, an illegal immigrant, to two life terms for the crimes, the younger girl cried.

“Hugo presented himself as caring for me, and able to save me from the life I was living,” the 12-year-old told Flanagan, adding she was highly involved in gangs. “He took care of me. He bought me food and took me places.

“He’s a bad person who preyed on my sister and I,” she said. “I loved him. I didn’t know who he was.”

Sanchez earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of lewdness with a minor, statutory sexual seduction, and pandering a child.

In handing out the two life terms, Flanagan ordered Sanchez would have to serve at least 22 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Upon his prison release, he will be deported, his attorney Maizie Pusich said. She noted he will be paying for the crimes with his own youth, and will be missing out in the lives of his young children.

Deputy District Attorney Erica Jones said Sanchez played the sisters against each other and manipulated them to participate in activities far beyond what was appropriate for their ages.

“She is a little girl, and you waited outside the door to collect money,” Jones scolded Sanchez. “… you were making money off the back of a child.”

The 14-year-old, who attempted suicide following Sanchez’s arrest, told Flanagan that Sanchez got her addicted to meth. She said Sanchez introduced her to prostitution because he said it would help her earn money to give to her mother, who was financially struggling.

“I feel like you messed up my relationships with my mom, my sister and my friends,” the 14-year-old girl told Sanchez. “You got me hooked on meth. Everything you told me were lies. I have (meth) cravings every day.

“You threatened to hurt me if I didn’t give you money, or if I worked for someone else you said you’d hurt me,” the girl said, adding she is now in treatment to address her addiction and emotional trauma.

The girl said she felt like a fool, doesn’t trust men and suffers flashbacks and nightmares.

“You caused a lot of trauma in my life,” she said. “I cried every night hoping you were OK. You gave me rides, a place to sleep, and meth. I chose to be with you instead of my sister and my friends. I almost lost my family because of you.

“I feel like you are a lying, disrespectful pervert, and nasty fake (gangster) who thinks you’re hard, but are scared to face yourself and the world,” she said.

The girl said she’d be putting her life back together while Sanchez served his prison term. Her mother testified that Sanchez scarred each of them, and took away her daughters’ innocence.

“You made fake promises and gave false hope so you could get your way,” their mother told Flanagan. “What you put those girls through, most grown adults couldn’t handle.”

Flanagan said Sanchez’s crimes were despicable and had no excuse. They are “beyond reprehensible,” he said, adding that the victims were barely out of elementary school.

Jones said Sanchez’s youngest sister is 14, and he likely never fathomed she would be “pimped out on Craig’s List.”

“I only hope these girls recover and realize their self-worth, which is much more than what this man thought they were worth,” Jones said.

Sanchez told Flanagan he was sorry.

“It was not my intentions to hurt them,” he said. “I know I will have to pay for what I did. I’m not going to sit and lie. That’s not me.”

Court records show that Sanchez was living in an apartment on Neil Road with his sister and mother and working on a factory line when he was arrested. A court evaluation said he had no job skills and was at a moderate to high risk to commit more sex offenses.

The case was investigated by Reno police patrol officers, the Regional Gang Unit and the Street Enforcement Team. SET detectives had contacted the older girl on June 11 while she was walking in downtown Reno. They soon learned Sanchez was her pimp and sexual partner, court records show. Days earlier, she said Sanchez drove her to a Sparks motel where she later gave him $40 of the $80 she made for having sex with two men, authorities said.

The 14-year-old cooperated with detectives to lure Sanchez to them on the ruse she needed a ride so she could prostitute herself at another location, records show. Sanchez told police she owed him money after he lent her money to support her marijuana habit, authorities said. Investigators learned later about his sexual relationship with the 12-year-old girl.



FRIENDSWOOD — A Houston man was arrested at a Friendswood grocery store and charged with possession of child pornography as well as methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana and Valium.

Officers from Galveston County Precinct 8, Texas Department of Public Safety and Friendswood Police Department served a Galveston County arrest warrant to 27-year-old Jesse Andrew Burton in the parking lot of the Kroger store on North Friendswood Drive.

 The Friendswood department said police were tipped off that Burton was in North Galveston County and possibly working for United Parcel Service. Police surveillance units spotted a United Parcel Service truck in the grocery store parking lot as well as a man matching Burton’s description, the Friendswood police department said.

Once officers detained him, police found Burton had methamphetamine, synthetic marijuana and Valium with him. The original warrant for Burton charged him with possession of child pornography, a charge originating in Galveston County, the department said.

Burton’s bonds total $14,500. He was in the Friendswood city jail awaiting transfer to Galveston County Wednesday afternoon.




BAY COUNTY, FL (CBS ATLANTA) – Two suspects arrested in Florida buying methamphetamine in Atlanta and distributing it in South Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shaunder Grace, 39, and Octavius Weston, 30, of Panama City, FL after a month-long investigation.


Narcotic agents attempted to take Grace and Weston into custody at 3325 W. 23rd St. in Panama City when Weston struck one of the investigators and fled on foot. After a foot chase, officer caught up with Weston. He was taken into custody.

Three ounces of methamphetamine in “ice” form and two ounces of powder cocaine were seized according to Bay County Florida Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation indicates that Grace and Weston were living in hotels in Bay County and traveled to the Atlanta area to acquire the meth and “ice” and then distributed it between Albany and Bay County.



Davenport police sniffing around the west end of town late Tuesday smelled a strong chemical odor coming from a garage at 1947 Dixwell St., according to police reports.

Officers checked the garage and located materials used to manufacture methamphetamine, police said.

John M. Petre

John M. Petre

John M. Petre, 43, who lives at the address, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with felony drug possession/delivery. He’s in the Scott County Jail awaiting his initial appearance.

Police received information Tuesday that there was a methamphetamine lab in the Dixwell Street area and went to investigate. After smelling the chemical odor from the one garage, officers executed a search warrant on Petre’s home, according to an arrest affidavit.

Officers found sludge containing more than five grams of methamphetamine, camp fuel, lye, ammonia nitrate, hydrogen chloride gas generators, blister packs with pseudoephedrine, plastic bottles with suspected residue, coffee filters with residue, grinding stone with pseudoephedrine residue, funnels and digital scales with methamphetamine residue, the affidavit stated.

Police also arrested Joel D. Harter, 51, of 124 S. Vermont St., Davenport, in connection with the case. He’s charged with felony drug possession/delivery and is in the Scott County Jail awaiting an initial appearance.


PHILADELPHIA — More than two dozen people face charges in a $3.5 million crystal methamphetamine trafficking network that stretched from Mexico to Pennsylvania, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

The drugs came from Mexico and were moved across the border in Texas, authorities said, with as much as a pound of drugs transported into Reading and Philadelphia every two weeks. The drugs were then repackaged in smaller quantities and resold in the Philadelphia area, the Lehigh Valley and north-central Pennsylvania, prosecutors said.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said in a statement that investigators with her office, state police and the Bucks County district attorney’s office used surveillance and court-authorized wiretaps — along with undercover drug buys — to identify suppliers, distributors and dealers connected to the organization. Evidence and testimony was presented to a statewide grand jury, which recommended charges against 27 suspects.

The investigation centered on the activities of Robert H. Snyder, 53, of Pottstown, and Wesley B. White, 53, of Roaring Branch.

Snyder received bulk quantities of meth from sources in Mexico and supplied drugs to White, who used a number of dealers and associates in Berks and Tioga counties to sell the drugs, according to investigators.

Snyder and White were charged with participating in a corrupt organization, delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy and other counts. Telephone numbers for them could not be located and it was not immediately clear if any of the defendants had attorneys.

During the investigation, agents and troopers seized about four pounds of crystal meth, one partially dismantled meth lab, nearly 100 firearms, $110,000 and 16 vehicles, authorities said.




GREENVILLE — Methamphetamine-related crimes are on the rise in Montcalm County, and law enforcement officials are racing to keep up with the addicts turned criminals.

Montcalm County Sheriff Bill Barnwell said his officers have been working closely with the Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) and the Greenville Department of Public Safety in light of an “increase in meth-related incidents within the county, especially in the Greenville area.”

“It is critical that law enforcement remain vigilant in this area of illegal drug use,” Barnwell said. “Meth is extremely addictive and can consume people quickly once they become addicted.”

Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause agreed, saying meth is a “highly addictive, destructive drug.”

“We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who not only cook meth, but also those who supply the cooks and use as well,” Krause said.

Flat River Inn meth bust

A man and two women were arrested last weekend as the result of a meth investigation at a Greenville motel.

Sheriff’s deputies, with the assistance of the Greenville Department of Public Safety, conducted the investigation at the Flat River Inn at 2 a.m. Saturday.

Natasha Allen, 29, of Greenville, and Ashley Hansen, 23, of Belding, were both found to be in possession of meth, prescription narcotics and various drug paraphernalia. They have been charged and are scheduled for a pre-trial Monday and a preliminary examination Tuesday in 64B District Court in Stanton.

Daniel King, 25, of Greenville, was found to have outstanding warrants for his arrest in Ionia County and was transported to the Ionia County Jail on a contempt of court charge. He has not yet been charged in Montcalm County.

Flat River Trail meth discovery

Four people were arrested after a stash of meth paraphernalia was found on the Flat River Trail in Greenville last July — including Hansen, who was arrested at the Flat River Inn last weekend.

The crime trail led back to Donald Allen III, 31, of Eureka Township. Allen’s meth addiction became public knowledge when he attempted to create a one-pot meth lab in his pickup truck the night of May 6 in Eureka Township. The meth lab exploded, engulfing the pickup truck in flames and causing Allen to flee into the woods, discarding his clothes on the way.

Sheriff’s deputies and Greenville police officers arrived to find meth components in and around the fire-ravaged vehicle. Spectrum Health United Hospital officials contacted police later that night after Allen sought treatment for severe burns sustained in the explosion.

Less than three months later, police received information about a stash of meth paraphernalia hidden on the Flat River Trail between the Flat River Museum and the Flat River in Greenville. The stash included two reaction containers and other meth production components, as well as hazardous waste associated with meth production.

The investigation once again led to Allen, who was located and arrested on an outstanding warrant for the meth explosion three months prior. Allen admitted to disposing the meth equipment on the trail behind the museum.

Allen eventually pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and operating or maintaining a meth lab. He was sentenced earlier this month in 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Stanton to from one year and six months to 10 years in prison.

Allen’s girlfriend, Melissa Mudget, 30, of Evart, was arrested in connection to one of Allen’s meth labs for supplying pseudoephedrine to Allen. Pseudoephedrine is commonly used to treat congestion, but is also one of the primary ingredients in the manufacturing of meth.

Mudget pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced this week.

Michael Smith, 30, of Orleans, and Hansen were also arrested and charged in connection to the meth labs. Smith pleaded guilty and was sentenced earlier this month to 12 months in jail. The case against Hansen was dismissed in court last August, but she is still facing charges related to Saturday’s meth bust at the Flat River Inn.

Meth use linked to murder

One decade ago, Mudget was involved in a case where meth use led to a murder in Montcalm County.

Mudget was 20 years old when she and a 16-year-old female accompanied four young men to a Trufant home on July 19, 2002.

Mudget and the female teen smoked meth in a vehicle parked outside the home while the four young men broke into the house in search of drugs. Instead they found Henry Marrott, 88, and they beat him to death inside his own home.

Mudget and the teenage girl pleaded guilty to being accomplices to a murder. They were sentenced to two years probation in December 2006.

A jury found Heath McGowen, now 31 years old, of Greenville, his brother, Clint McGowen, now 29, of Orleans, and Edward Griffes, now 30, of Greenville, guilty of first-degree murder. They were all sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A fourth man, Michael Hansen, now 31 years old, of Greenville, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to from 22 years and six months to 50 years in prison in December 2006.




WAYLAND, Mich. (AP) — A West Michigan attorney is facing drug-related charges after police say they found a methamphetamine lab at a law office.

State police say 35-year-old Patrick Burson of Wayland turned himself in Wednesday at the Allegan County sheriff’s department and was arraigned in 57th District Court. Charges include four counts of operating/maintaining a methamphetamine lab and two counts of possession of methamphetamine.

A message seeking comment from Burson was sent Thursday by The Associated Press. He’s due in court Dec. 6.

Police say that meth labs and production components were found during searches June 13 at the law office in Wayland, about 20 miles south of Grand Rapids, as well as a home in Allegan County’s Otsego Township. Two other people from the Otsego area also are charged in the case.


One of three suspects in a large federal drug case, which allegedly smuggled methamphetamine to Guam hidden in a box of teddy bears, has confessed to her crimes in a plea agreement.

Monica Leasiolagi has offered to plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, or “ice,” according to District Court of Guam documents.

Her co-defendants, Martha Burgos and John Michael Pangelinan, haven’t signed any plea agreements and are still facing trial.

In the plea agreement, Leasiolagi admits that she was one of the conspirators who hatched a plan to smuggle ice to Guam hidden in mail parcels. The conspiracy began in August, and lasted less than two months before a mail parcel was intercepted by federal authorities, the plea agreement states.

Authorities found the drugs hidden in a parcel with three stuffed bears, and the plea agreement notes that Burgos had previously alerted Leasiolagi she was having some “teddy bears” sent to Guam.

After the package was intercepted, federal authorities replaced the ice with fake drugs and tracked the parcel to Leasiolagi, which led to the arrest of the alleged conspirators, according to the plea agreement.



A food service manager is expected to plead guilty Dec. 15 to dealing methamphetamine out of Vancouver’s El Rancho Viejo Family Restaurant.

Ramon Lopez-Guitron, 45, appeared today in Clark County Superior Judge Daniel Stahnke’s courtroom for a scheduled guilty plea, but the plea was delayed to allow the defense time to complete paperwork.

El Rancho Viejo restaurant manager Ramon Lopez Guitron, seen here at his first court appearance last year, will plead guilty to drug charges.

El Rancho Viejo restaurant manager Ramon Lopez Guitron, seen here at his first court appearance last year, will plead guilty to drug charges

The prosecution and defense have reached an agreement for a guilty plea, said Deputy Prosecutor Randy St. Clair.

In exchange, Lopez-Guitron would be convicted of just one felony and a gross misdemeanor instead of five felony charges he now faces. Those charges are four counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit delivery of a controlled substance.

His guilty plea and sentencing are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15. St. Clair said Lopez-Guitron would likely not have to serve time in prison and would receive credit for time served in jail. The amount of time he’s already served was not available today. He is now on supervised release, St. Clair said.

Lopez-Guitron is accused of dealing methamphetamine out of the family-owned and operated restaurant between October 2009 and January 2010. He was arrested after he allegedly sold methamphetamine to uncover informants on several occasions at the restaurant, 6321 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.

Prosecutors alleged in charging papers that the investigation revealed he “occupied a high position in the drug distribution hierarchy.”

El Rancho Viejo also has locations in Camas, Ridgefield and Battle Ground, all operated by members of Lopez-Guitron’s family.



Drug use in motels is nothing new to Humboldt County.

“Normal day: 5 to 10 complaints,” said Lieutenant Wayne Hanson. “Honestly, do we get to all of them, no.”

Hanson is part of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force and says they react on complaints—but since this happens often, it all depends on the severity.

“The ones that would be immediate response would be a methamphetamine lab in a hotel,” Hanson said. “Or if somebody’s found a methamphetamine lab in someone’s house, we’re going to react that day.”

But acting on one search warrant lasts at least four hours, taking up half of a workday.

“You go in, you have to interview everybody, photograph everything. You have to collect evidence, when it’s methamphetamine you have to photograph it, document it, tag it and leave inventory sheets,” Hanson said.

He says drug use in motel rooms is common because transients will occasionally live there.

“It’s always the same group of hotels,” Hanson said. “Usually the ones that are cheaper that have this issue.”

Hanson says a good indication of drug use in a motel is heavy traffic in the rooms.

“You wouldn’t see 10-15 people coming in and out of the hotel room throughout the day,” he said.

Along with these activities.

“Lots of noise in the room, they have a tendency to stay up late at night.”

But what are the motels doing to prevent this?

Several motel managers in the area wouldn’t go on camera, but said they require I.D. They also said that the owner was out of town.

The manager at the Pine Motel says off camera that he doesn’t tolerate drug-use, and has no problem kicking people out if they are using.



The 36-year-old Ypsilanti Township man arrested in October after police say they caught him cooking methamphetamine in the front seat of a Mustang convertible was arraigned on drug charges in the matter Tuesday.


Jeremy Bryant

Jeremy David Bryant was charged with maintaining a methamphetamine lab, delivery or manufacture and possession of methamphetamine for the Oct. 1 incident.

Bryant faces identical charges from an incident in May when police discovered a number of drug-making-related items at a mobile home police said Bryant occupied in the 9000 block of Geraldine Street in Ypsilanti Township.

He was scheduled to appear in court on those charges when he was arrested the day before on Oct. 1. Police said Bryant had turned the front seat of his Mustang into a meth lab. The car was parked in front of a family member’s home in the 7900 block of Briarbrook Drive in Ypsilanti Township.

At that time, police told charges would not be filed for that incident until lab results were complete. A preliminary examination was scheduled for Dec. 4 in that matter.

Bryant remains in the Washtenaw County Jail on $25,000 cash or surety bond.



ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A 38-year-old man was arrested Monday after St. Lucie County Sheriff’s investigators found methamphetamine in the beginning stages of production in his shed on Edwards Road, according to an affidavit and a report released Tuesday.

Roger Dale Greeley was arrested on a felony manufacture methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school or church charge after sheriff’s and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials executed a search warrant Monday at a shed at Greeley’s listed address in the 4800 block of Edwards Road. The address is about 100 feet from a Christian school.


Sheriff’s officials this year have shut down at least eight meth labs — not including the Greeley lab. Police in Port St. Lucie have raided at least three others.


Greeley detailed to investigators the meth-making process he was using, saying he produces the drug for himself to feed his addiction. He said he initially got involved with meth when he was about 23 or 24 “when the rave scene was big,” a report states.

In general, methamphetamine manufacturing is considered highly dangerous. The chemicals involved are volatile, and meth labs have been known to explode.

A key meth-making ingredient is pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter medication that’s used to treat nasal congestion.

Investigators found receipts for pseudoephedrine purchases in the Greeley probe, along with empty pseudoephedrine packaging.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 mandates that retailers of non-prescription items containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine to keep them behind the counter or locked in a cabinet, according to the DEA. Consumers must sign a logbook and show identification when making a purchase.

Investigators got the search warrant for Greeley’s shed after contacting him to discuss his “excessive” pseudoephedrine purchases.

Meth can be snorted, swallowed, smoked or injected. Those who abuse meth can show a variety of behaviors, including anxiety, insomnia, violent tendencies and hallucinations, according to the DEA.

Greeley was held Tuesday in the St. Lucie County Jail on $75,000 bail, a jail official said.

SANTA CRUZ — A man convicted of making methamphetamine in a rented Bonny Doon barn was handcuffed in court Tuesday during his arraignment on new drug charges.

On Oct. 12, jurors found David “Dirk” Robert Rauen guilty of felony use of chemical synthesis to produce methamphetamine, a felony that carries a penalty of three to five years.

Rauen, 47, was released on his own recognizance pending sentencing, and ordered to obey all laws.

But California Highway Patrol officers arrested Rauen after spotting him in Moss Landing on Nov. 8. County prosecutors have charged him with felony evading, forgery and possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia, plus a sentencing enhancement that he committed those crimes while released on his own recognizance.

“This does not bode well for the sentencing, ” Judge Paul Burdick noted, directing that Rauen be remanded. Burdick set his bail at $100,000 and ordered “no clerk’s O.R. and no sheriff’s O.R.”

Rauen, dressed in blue jeans and work boots, hung his head and put his hands behind his back as a bailiff placed handcuffs on him.

He pleaded not guilty to the new charges.

CHP officer Sarah Jackson said Rauen was arrested just before midnight on Nov. 8 after officers spotted him driving a silver 1999 GMC Yukon pulling a trailer. Officers had been on the lookout for a similar vehicle and a suspect matching Rauen’s description after rims were reported stolen on Manfre Road. A Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy initially tried to stop Rauen. CHP picked up the pursuit when he failed to yield at Larkin Valley. They chased him at speeds of 80 mph on Highway 1 until he exited west onto Jensen Road in Monterey County, Jackson said.

 Rauen continued onto Bluff Road, through a barbed wire fence and into a strawberry field, then through a wooden fence, back onto Trafton Road and Bluff Road. He eventually drove through another dirt field where he got out of the Yukon and fell down. CHP officers took him into custody without injury, Jackson said.

He was in possession of a counterfeit $100 bill, burglary tools, methamphetamine and a meth pipe. His vehicle registration was expired and he had no insurance. Two days later, CHP recovered a black Jeep stolen from a home on Manfre Road. Jackson said evidence points to Rauen as the suspect in the stolen Jeep case as well.

In the original case, Rauen was arrested in 2010, after the owner of a Grainger Lane property near Bonny Doon Airport went to speak to a man who had been renting a barn there and saw a plastic tent inside the barn containing what appeared to be a meth lab.

None of the drug was recovered, though investigators found a mixture that looked like the initial phase of a cook.

At trial, Rauen and his attorney, Ted Meneice, argued the items didn’t belong to him and that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meneice also claimed errors were made in the investigation, including investigators failing to test a pair of gloves found at the scene.

Prosecutor Abel Hung said the items inside the tent included blister packs of pseudoephedrine, black electrical tape,  a printout of a recipe for creating meth and other chemicals commonly used to make the drug. He said Rauen’s fingerprints were found there.

Rauen was arrested by members of the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, who said at the time that the man renting the barn had been away for a few days and that Rauen had gone to the barn to ask permission to park his recreational vehicle there. Then-Cmdr. Rich Westphal alleged that when Rauen found no one home, he decided to cook meth in the barn.

Westphal said Rauen lived in a camper that he parked in various spots in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Burdick set a preliminary hearing date of Dec. 10 in the new case.