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Drug Headlines across the U.S. December 23 Edition

Dear Friends,
       Again I want to thank you all for the support and encouragement you have given me throughout this past year.  My journey has been filled with both accomplishments and sadness.  The accomplishment of drug and alcohol policy improvement, legislation passed, improved networking and most importantly, families helped.  Sadly, I am still receiving letters from parents who like me are struggling with the death of a child or dealing with a  child's struggle with the disease of addiction.  We will continue our work at MOMSTELL to focus on those families.
      We have such a unique opportunity in this field of work.  We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. What greater gift can we give than our time and our knowledge?   
      In 2006 lets keep our heads and our hearts focused on why we have dedicated our lives to the field of substance abuse, it is for the children and their families.  I know how difficult this work is, but we are making a difference as we continue to unite. My prayer is for strength and wisdom for you all as you continue in your work. 
      As we look forward to 2006, lets keep focused on the families who we are helping.  Remember, we are not here to see through each other, we are here to see each other through!  This year our voices will continue to be heard!
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

Sharon L. Smith
Box 450
Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055


RING SOLD HEROIN, COCAINE IN 3 COUNTIES, OFFICIALS SAY                                                            

The can of Daily Bowl Cleaner toilet spray worked after the blue cap was popped off, and the Gunk Brake Cleaner worked after its white cap was removed.  But their most interesting function became apparent when their bottoms were removed and the sticks of heroin spilled out.

State Attorney General Tom Corbett described yesterday how drugs hidden in household items were discovered by agents searching the Lower Paxton Twp. home of Luis Felipe Nater in November. They became evidence that helped break a heroin and cocaine ring, led by Nater, that peddled drugs worth more than $1 million in and around Dauphin, Cumberland, and York counties, authorities said.

Four people were charged and a warrant was issued for a fifth yesterday following a 10-month grand jury investigation. A sixth man associated with the ring, Roberto Hernandez of Philadelphia, was arrested last week, Corbett said. Corbett said the arrests were not related to those made last week on Interstate 81 in Cumberland County, when 43 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in a U-Haul truck by a state trooper during a routine traffic stop. http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/11351604922


When it comes to indulging, moneyed teenagers living in the affluent communities near California's wine country have little trouble getting what they want: designer clothes, the latest electronics, and the other accessories to trendy living. But officials are alarmed at the ease with which Marin County teenagers are getting beer and other alcoholic beverages. A recent survey suggested that 54 percent of Marin County's teenagers consume alcohol, a statistic 10 points higher than California's already soaring rate and nearly double the national rate.
The front line is shifting in the battle against underage drinking. In October, the Office of National Drug Control Policy began airing television commercials that chide parents for knowingly or unwittingly contributing to underage drinking. The adult-oriented strategy is resonating across the country, after years of focusing the battle directly at the offenders.
Last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services, which considers underage drinking a national health concern, launched public service announcements of its own, as part of a nationwide antidrinking campaign targeted at parents.
SIX NATION DRUG RING BROKEN UP, DEA SAYS                                                                             
WASHINGTON -- Federal drug agents said Thursday that they have broken up a drug trafficking and money laundering ring that had been operating in the United States and five other countries, seizing more than $7 million, two tons of cocaine and 500 pounds of marijuana. A federal grand jury in Miami has indicted 24 people on charges that include conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, importation of a controlled substance, money laundering and criminal forfeiture, the Drug Enforcement Administration said.
DEA agents made 18 arrests in recent days in Miami and the Dominican Republic as part of Operation Cali Exchange. The group also distributed drugs and laundered money in the Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia and Panama, said DEA Administrator Karen Tandy. Among those arrested in the Dominican Republic was Eric Gardiner, described by the DEA as the leader of the organization in Panama.

The ring laundered more than $10.2 million in drug proceeds through banks in Chicago, Miami and New York using bulk cash deliveries, wire transfers and a highly secretive and sophisticated black market peso exchange that is favored by drug organizations. Drug profits were then returned to suppliers in Colombia.                                                                         http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1110AP_DEA_Drug_Arrests.html


The DEA also indicted the owners of five other Mexican companies and is waiting for Mexican authorities to extradite them. The
traffickers are located in Laredo, Texas, and San Diego.The arrests follow a 21-month investigation in which the DEA discovered:
82% of all DEA-seized and analyzed steroids in U.S. are manufactured in Mexico.  U.S. steroid sales for these companies are
$56 million per year.

The DEA identified more than 2,000 U.S. customers who have bought steroids over the internet from these businesses, including
individual users, some of them teenagers, as well as street-level dealers and organized trafficking groups in dozens of cities across
 the country.           http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2005-12-15-dea-steroid-arrests_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA

FORBES.COM                                                                                                                                                                                       PARENTS CANS SWAY TEENS ATTITUDES ON DRUGS                                                                                                 
Peer pressure isn't the only major factor influencing whether teens use drugs. Parents also play an important role, a new study finds.

"Much of the previous research in this area shows that adolescents make their decisions about drugs based on influence from their
 friends. But those studies neglect the notion we found here, that some of the family characteristics help determine who teens
associated with," study lead author Stephen Bahr, a professor of sociology at Brigham Young University, explained in a prepared

"We also found that some steps taken by parents had a direct effect on lowering drug abuse, even in the face of peer influences,"
he said  http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/feeds/hscout/2005/12/09/hscout529538.html

Prosecutors in the United States are gearing up to target elusive drug kingpins and fugitive murder suspects in Mexico in the wake
 of a landmark Mexican Supreme Court decision paving the way for extraditions even if the suspects face life sentences in the United

Imprisoned drug capos such as Benjamin Arellano, Osiel Cardenas and Hector Palma are among the narco-traffickers and murder
suspects wanted in the U.S. but who couldn't before be extradited because Mexican law held that life sentences are "cruel and unusual" punishment.

Last month's Supreme Court ruling was hailed by prosecutors in the U.S., who had been required to guarantee they would not seek life sentences or death penalties for returned suspects. Mexico will still refuse to return suspects facing death.

While some U.S. prosecutors had made the assurances or reduced charges to get fugitives back, others refused and in some cases
declined to even seek an extradition because they didn't want another country dictating appropriate punishments in the U.S.

A court fight in Florida over the software used in the instruments that detect alcohol in breath could threaten the ability of states and
 localities to prosecute drunk drivers.
The battle is over the source code of breath analyzers made by CMI Group, a closely held maker of breath-alcohol instruments.
Defense lawyers have challenged the use of the device and asked to see the original source code that serves as its computer brain,
 saying their clients have the right to examine the machine that brings evidence against them.
Last February, a state appeals court in Daytona Beach ruled that Florida had to produce "full information" about the test that
establishes the blood-alcohol level of people accused of driving under the influence, or DUI. Otherwise, the court said, the evidence is inadmissible.

Alcohol use and cigarette smoking among teenagers are at historic lows, but the number of high school students abusing prescription
drugs like Oxycontin is rising, and sedative abuse is at its highest in 26 years, according to an annual national study released yesterday.
Asked whether they had used tranquilizers, barbiturates or sedatives for nonmedical use in the last year, 14 percent of high school
seniors, 11 percent of 10th graders, and 7 percent of 8th graders said yes, according to the Monitoring the Future study, which the
federal government considers the best benchmark of teenage drug use.
Among high school seniors, 7.2 percent had used sedatives without a prescription in the last year, up from a low of 2.8 percent in
1992, and a level not reached since 1979, when 7.5 percent of seniors reported using them. And 5.5 percent of seniors reported using Oxycontin, a potent pain killer, up from 4 percent in 2002, when the survey first asked about the use of the drug.

NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                                                                       
New Jersey's acting governor signed an executive order Tuesday that requires random steroid testing for athletes on high school
teams that qualify for postseason play. The order makes the state the first to test high school students in all sports for performance-enhancing drugs.  Testing of students in championship tournaments is scheduled to begin with the 2006-7 school year and will be
overseen by the state's interscholastic athletic association. The group is now weighing possible penalties for students who test positive.
One proposal would exclude them from competition but would allow their teams to play.

Acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said that he felt compelled to issue the order, through powers granted the governor in the state's
Constitution, after reviewing the findings of the task force he appointed earlier this year to study the use of steroids by student-
athletes. Mr. Codey cited figures from a study by the state's Division of Health Services that found that steroid use among New
Jersey high school students had increased from 3 percent in 1995 to about 5 percent in 2001. Mr. Codey, who is also a youth
basketball coach, said that he believed that figure now could be as high as 8 percent.                                                                                                         http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/21/sports/othersports/21steroids.html?adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1135357747-ZPaC686JryRdrJf5hRg11A

Despite the state's crackdown on methamphetamine labs, a new study says the number of child welfare cases involving parental
meth use in southwest Iowa has remained steady over the past two years at about 49 percent.

According to the study, of 1,469 child abuse cases examined in 2003, 720 involved parental meth use. In 2005, 781 of 1,605
cases involved parental meth use. Both account for about half of the cases handled in that area.


PATRIOT NEWS(PA)                                                                                                                                          
10 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA COST 2-4 YEARS IN PRISON                                                                            
A Halifax man who was caught with 10 pounds of marijuana will do prison time but won't face a hefty fine.  Cumberland County Judge Kevin A. Hess decided the 2- to 4-year state prison term he imposed Tuesday on Rex Allen Nightwine was sufficient punishment.  Prosecutors had also asked for more than $10,000 in fines, a penalty that was opposed by Nightwine's attorney, Marlin Markley. "I think two to four years out of your life is enough to pay," Hess told Nightwine.

Nightwine, 53, appeared for court in a tattered plaid jacket. He said his only substantial asset is a house he shares with his daughter and ex-wife. Nightwine pleaded guilty to a marijuana delivery charge in October. http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/west/index.ssf?/base/news/1134642175187010.xml&coll=1

The number of drunken drivers being sent to prison in Kansas has shot up dramatically in recent years. The Kansas Sentencing Commission said 196 DUI violators were booked in prison last year, the most recent numbers available. It amounts to a 38 percent jump from 2003 and an even more dramatic rise from 2001, when only five drunken drivers went to prison.
Credited for the increase is a 2001 change in state law that puts four-time drunken drivers on parole -- not probation -- after serving county jail time, and threatens them with prison if they get in trouble within a year. State law now requires that after a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction, offenders must serve at least 90 days in county jail. If they violate their parole, they can be sent to prison for 180 days. The change is having an effect statewide.

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                                                                  
Despite the state's crackdown on methamphetamine labs, a new study says the number of child welfare cases involving parental meth use in southwest Iowa has remained steady over the past two years at about 49 percent. The study was conducted by Carol Gutchewsky, a social work administrator in western Iowa. She looked at ongoing child welfare cases in the Iowa Department of Human Services' Council Bluffs Service Delivery Area, a 16 county area.

Gutchewsky said she did the study because many social workers were reporting an increasing number of child abuse cases where meth was involved.According to the study, of 1,469 child abuse cases examined in 2003, 720 involved parental meth use. In 2005, 781 of 1,605 cases involved parental meth use. Both account for about half of the cases handled in that area.

Gutchewsky said her study looked only at known meth use, not suspected use. That included parents who were arrested, had positive drug tests or gave birth to babies with meth in their systems.The numbers are somewhat higher than what state officials have reported, partly because the state uses a different measurement. State data on parental meth use includes only two categories: manufacturing/possessing dangerous substances in the presence of a child, and presence of illegal substances in the child's system.

SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE                                                                                                                                                   

The warrants federal drug agents relied on to search 13 medical marijuana dispensaries last week were signed by a San Diego County Superior Court judge, not a judge from U.S. District Court. That's no small distinction for some dispensary operators and medical marijuana activists. They note that marijuana is legal under California law if it's recommended by a doctor, and state judges are bound by state law.
The circumstances surrounding one of the largest raids of its kind in California have left patients, caregivers, advocates and defense attorneys scratching their heads.

BRITISH TIMES                                                                                                                                        
CANNIBIS: ITS TIME FOR A RETHINK                                                                                                            

A fear of confusion, loss of memory, a fragmented thought process, the boring repetition of the same thought, swinging moods with laughing or weeping without good cause, paranoia, hallucinations and a preoccupation with their own psyche and physique. These are the symptoms described in an Oxford study on the effects observed in social cannabis smokers yet they are unlikely to dissuade anyone intent on having a drag on a spliff at a Christmas party.

Nor, unfortunately, is the potential smoker likely to be deterred by the rumour that research recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry may cause some change in the Governments approach to cannabis.

This would be the first step to do anything to dissuade people from smoking cannabis since Labour came to power in 1997. The claim now is that they became aware of the potential of cannabis to cause schizophreniform symptoms or induce an actual psychosis, in those who are genetically vulnerable only after they realised that modern cannabis is many times more powerful than that circulating in the Seventies and Eighties. Had they sought it, the evidence is that it may not only cause psychotic breakdown in the one in four who carries the genes that gives them a vulnerability to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but may do so in those without any family history of psychiatric disease. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,8123-1937214,00.html


SAN DIEGO NEWS                                                                                                                                     

Authorities are discovering that more and more desperate users of the drug are turning to identity theft to pay for their habit, creating a criminal nexus costing Americans millions of dollars.
The trend is sweeping the West and spreading to other parts of the country, with one hub of activity in the garages and trailer parks of Riverside and San Bernardino counties on the fringe of suburban Los Angeles.
The region was the site of a third of California's nearly 500 meth lab busts in 2004 and is home to the second-highest number of identity theft victims in the nation.
"It's been said the two crimes go together like rats and garbage," said Jack Lucky, a Riverside County prosecutor who nearly became a victim of identity theft himself before his personal information was found at a meth lab.
The connection is posing a major challenge for authorities, who until recently tended to overlook or neglect identity theft evidence at meth labs in favor of pursuing drug charges that are easier to prove and carry stiffer penalties.

CNN NEWS                                                                                                                                                                                   POLICE: ELDERLY SELLS PAIN PILLS FOR CASH                                                                                                              
The woman -- who spent two days in jail after her arrest last December -- is among a growing number of Kentucky senior citizens charged in a crackdown on a crime authorities say is rampant in Appalachia: Elderly people are reselling their painkillers and other medications to addicts.

"When a person is on Social Security, drawing $500 a month, and they can sell their pain pills for $10 apiece, they'll take half of them for themselves and sell the other half to pay their electric bills or buy groceries," Floyd County jailer Roger Webb said.

Since April 2004, Operation UNITE, a Kentucky anti-drug task force created largely in response to rampant abuse of the powerful and sometimes lethal painkiller OxyContin, has charged more than 40 people 60 or older with selling primarily prescription drugs in the mountains.

"It used to be a rare occasion to have an elderly inmate," Webb said. "Five years ago it was a rarity." http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/12/12/elderly.dealers.ap/index.html

Congress gets closer to making financial aid available to students with drug convictions
Buried in the $40 billion, five-year deficit reduction bills that the US House of Representatives and Senate have passed is a provision that will partially repeal the ban on federal financial aid to students with drug convictions. Faces & Voices has endorsed this important first step to increase the availability of aid to thousands of people, many of whom are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. Because of differences that still need to be ironed out between the two bills, the House must vote on the bill again, probably not until early in 2006.                                        (Thanks to Faces And Voices Of Recovery for this update)

Methamphetamine Alert!!!
Quick News Reference Guide
1.   Governor Rendell's Anti-Meth Legislation Passed in the House of Representatives
2.   New Act 57 to Benefit Fight Against Meth
3.   House Bill 2285 Regarding Illegal Disposal of Meth Waste 
4.   Operation "Desert Snow" Training for State Police
5.   Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives Training for State, County & Local Law Enforcement
6.   Yaupon Pharmaceuticals - Studying a Possible Drug for Meth Treatment
7.   Anne Arundel County, MD Begins to Prepare for the Meth Epidemic
8.   Nebraska Proposes New Meth Treatment Facility 
9.   Oregon's Meth Watch Program Demonstrates Effectiveness
10.   Sine-Off Brand First to Reformulate Product Eliminating Pseudoephedrine
11.   New Child Endangerment Law in KY to Protect Meth Exposed Children
12.   An Update from CAM (CommUNITY Against Methamphetamine) in Bradford County, PA
13.   How to Bring the Anti-Meth Ad Campaign to Your Area
14.   Anti-Meth Campaign Launched in Springfield, MO
1.  This PR Newswire release describes Governor's Rendell's anti-meth legislation which has passed in the House of Representatives, due to go before the Senate:
2.  In the Towanda Daily Review, Governor Rendell supports the newly passed Act 57, formerly Senate Bill 565. This new law allows part-time district attorneys to shift to full-time status, promoting more effective law enforcement, including methamphetamine trafficking.
3.  Lister Lara Ruesch, Manager of the Bucks County Council's Juvenile Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness program, passed along the following pending legislation, House Bill 2285, making the illegal dumping of meth waste and precursor materials on any property a third degree felony.
4.  Operation "Desert Snow," described in this Yahoo! News press release, is a new training program for Pennsylvania State Police to help identify potential terrorists and drug smugglers through inspections of commercial vehicles. This includes locating secret compartments and mobile meth labs.
5.  Yahoo! News announces a training on 12/12/05 and 12/13/05, provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is geared for state parole agents, county probation officers and local law enforcement officers in Lycoming County to assist them in identifying booby traps and explosive dangers related to methamphetamine labs.
6.  This article, from philly.com, discusses the funding source for Yaupon Pharmaceuticals, who is developing and studying a medication designed for treatment of methamphetamine addiction.
7.  In the Annapolis Capital, recent meth activity in Anne Arundel County, Maryland has propelled county police to develop a unit to combat methamphetamine.
8.  In this brief from Join Together Online,  the Nebraska Community Corrections Council proposes the construction of a methamphetamine treatment facility.
9.  Lister Louise Kennedy, Community Engagement Specialist at the Bucks County Council, shared this article from Southern Oregon's Mail Tribune, concerning the "Meth Watch" program being implemented in their region. One component of this effort is a weekly compilation of statistics, published in the Mail Tribune, to demonstrate the effects/effectiveness of the Meth Watch program on the community.
10.  Louise Kennedy also passed along this very interesting press release in PR Newswire regarding the reformulation of Sine-Off cold medication, the first brand to completely remove pseudoephedrine from all of its products. In addition, the Sine-Off Charitable Foundation is supporting the efforts of Partnership for a Drug-Free America by providing a grant to support the Partnership's educational campaign to combat meth abuse nationwide.
11.  The following article from The Courier-Journal marks the first child endangerment arrest made in Kentucky due to a new law deeming it illegal for a child to be in the presence of a meth lab.
12.  The following is the latest press release from C.A.M. (CommUNITY Against Meth) which is now posted on the C.A.M. website. This release addresses the positive headway that has been made in Bradford County, a silver lining amongst negative press received regarding the meth situation there.
13.  From methresources.gov, the following link provides information about the above-referenced campaign, and who to contact if you would like these anti-meth public service announcements to run in your community:
14.  From the Springfield News-Leader, the article below is a local account of this new anti-meth campaign. Springfield, MO was the first city to receive the anti-meth public service announcements.
1.  Meth Lab Bust in Germantown, Philadelphia
2.  Meth Bust in Anne Arundel County, Maryland
3.  Federal Anti-Meth Bills Packaged with Patriot Act
4.  Federal Anti-Meth Legislation Passes House of Representatives
5.  Federal Anti-Meth Legislation Rejected by Senate
6.  Editorial re: Anti-Meth Legislation Status
7.  The Cost of Meth
8.   Drug Dealers Operating in Hotels/Motels
9.   Meth Bust in Waynesboro, PA Motel Room Today
10.  CADCA's National Leadership Forum and Community Prevention Day - February 2006
1.  From CBS 3, this article describes a meth lab bust right in Philadelphia's Germantown section:
2.  The Annapolis Capital describes the third meth bust in a four month period in Maryland's Anne Arundel County. The last Methamphetamine Alert mentioned that the police in this county had developed a unit to combat meth in response to the recent increase in methamphetamine activity in their area, as well as in PA and neighboring states.
3.  From The Washington Times, this article discusses the federal anti-meth legislation paired with the Patriot Act renewal.
4.  From Join Together Online, the following news brief discusses the nature of this federal anti-meth legislation, "The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act 2005," which also included funding for drug endangered children.  This legislation passed the House of Representatives, but not the Senate.
5.  From The Oregonian, the above-mentioned anti-meth bill, which had been tacked on to the Patriot Act renewal, was not approved by the Senate:
6.  Harry Patterson of CAM (CommUNITY Against Methamphetamine) forwarded the following editorial concerning one author's response to the failure of this bill due to its contingency on renewal of the Patriot Act provisions. This editorial was printed in the Elmira Star-Gazette.
7.  Tim Philpot, Associate Director of Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., passed along the following website from the Meth Awareness and Prevention Project that discusses the cost of meth:
8.  From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, this article addresses the threat of drug activity in hotel rooms:
9.  Coincidentally, published today in The Waynesboro Record Herald, this article was sent to us by lister George Reitz of Franklin and Fulton County Drug & Alcohol Program, regarding a meth lab bust in a Waynesboro Best Western motel room in Franklin County.
10.  Lister Deborah Sapin-Feldstein, Executive Director of Aldersgate Youth Service Bureau, shared the piece below from CADCA Coalitions Online, regarding CADCA's National Leadership Forum from February 14-16, 2006 in Washington, D.C. On the pre-conference day, "Community Prevention Day," scheduled for February 13, 2006, there will be a workshop on mobilizing communities against meth entitled, Crank It Up! Successful Strategies for Addressing Methamphetamine in Your Community. Click on the link below for more information and registration form.
The California Attorney General Crime and Violence Prevention Center has recently released a DVD entitled "Methamphetamine: A Prevention Trilogy" that contains three films related to meth that we produced in the late 90s.
The first film on the DVD is called: "Meth...The Great Deceiver" and provides insight into teens and how meth can damage young lives. Viewers learn about the harm caused by meth use firsthand from the young people themselves.

The second film on the DVD is called: "Where Meth Goes... Violence and Destruction Follow" and examines the havoc caused when meth use and clandestine meth labs gain a foothold in our communities. This film also takes a look at how two communities have responded to the meth epidemic.

The final film on the DVD is called: "Hidden Dangers: Meth Labs" and offers tips on recognizing potential meth labs and what to do when you suspect a meth lab is present. First responders, utility workers, social workers and others working out in communities will benefit from the information.

If your agency/organization would like a free copy of this DVD, please fax a request on your agency/organization's letterhead to: 916-327-2384, Attn: Wendy Tully, and I will send a copy out to you.

Wendy Tully, AGPA                                                                                                                                                                                     
Office of the Attorney General                                                                                                                                                                          
Crime and Violence Prevention Center                                                                                                                                                             
1300 I Street, Suite 1150                                                                                                                                                                            
Sacramento, CA 95814                                                                                                                                                                               
(916) 323-2166                                                                                                                                                                                          
(916) 327-2384 fax                                                                                                                                                              wendy.tully@doj.ca.gov


Melanie Swanson, M.Ed.
Prevention Specialist
Bucks County Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
252 West Swamp Road, Unit 12
Doylestown, PA 18901
Phone 215-230-7739
Voicemail  215-230-8715, ext. 3123
Fax 215-230-8205