DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Commentary by Kim

I have received a few emails regarding this blog and I am encouraged to keep sharing stories, poems, news and commentary.

I received word yesterday that "ALLEDGEDLY" the Mexican Mafia is recruiting up in Northern Minnesota. They are driving around with their lights off and if someone flashes their lights at them, the person being initiated is ordered to kill that person as their initiation into this "elite club".

I do not know if this is true. As it came to me, I am believing it to be rumor.

I also heard from the same party that their was a BIG meth bust made in Duluth. Please see the story below in it's entirety. Please note the Spanish names from California. Is it me or is this "Mexican Mafia" connection real? I have heard of this connection throughout the United States ever since I heard of my son's kidnapping... Something to ponder.

Officials make Northland's largest meth seizure, arresting 9 suspects
BY JOHN MYERS AND CHRIS HAMILTON
DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
Tuesday, November 8, 2005

By using a man who was picked up last week for alleged drug dealing, Duluth police were able to arrange Friday's delivery of a 3-pound shipment of methamphetamine by two Mexican nationals to a motel parking lot near Interstate 35.
The dealer-turned-informant's source for meth was a California man whom he knew as Sergio Ochoa. Ochoa had seen to it that at least 50 pounds of meth found its way into Duluth since July, according to charges filed Monday afternoon in St. Louis County District Court.
When police recovered the shipment -- believed to be the largest ever seized in the region -- it was wrapped in motor oil-soaked rags, electrical tape and Ziploc bags and hidden in a secret compartment in a car-door panel to thwart drug-sniffing dogs.
Nine people eventually were arrested Friday by local, state and federal law officers. On two days' notice, authorities had designed several elaborate stings in which Twin Ports police tailed cars and employed surveillance cameras and wireless recording devices, according to court documents.
The bust, dubbed "Operation Taconite," is credited with derailing a meth import operation that pumped about $1 million of the drug into the Northland every month. Officials from the Lake Superior Drug Task Force announced the arrests Monday at Duluth City Hall.
"They don't get any bigger for us," said Duluth Police Chief Roger Waller, adding that the arrests "made a huge dent" in the local availability of meth.
The arrests of additional suspects are possible, including that of "Sergio."
"It isn't done yet, but we've netted at least nine of the major players," Waller said.
Police believe the meth was cooked in large-scale labs in Mexico and California, brought to the Northland by gang members and distributed by local dealers, some with extensive criminal records, he said.
Aside from the motel bust, the task force on Friday nabbed a 24-year-old Duluth man, Andrew Harlan Salus, with 8 ounces of meth, which is believed to have come from the same California source, said Lt. Patricia Behning of the Duluth Police Department. The meth's price was $10,000.
"They are very businesslike and very organized," Behning said of the cross-country distribution system. "It confirmed many of our suspicions, and we gained a lot of knowledge through this."
Police also executed four search warrants and took possession of more than $40,000 in cash and eight vehicles. Authorities were reluctant to share other details in order to protect witnesses and informants, Behning said.
Duluth's tactical response team provided added protection during the arrests, but none of the suspects resisted, Waller said.
All nine defendants appeared Monday afternoon before Sixth Judicial District Judicial Officer Gerald Maher in Duluth on charges of first-degree possession with intent to sell meth:
• Jeffery Donald Doig, 26, Virginia.
• Noel Cipriano Felix, 19, North Shore, Calif.
• Saloman Felix, 26, Shafer, Calif.
• Lee Ronald Nesgoda, 24, Duluth.
• Francis Taylor O'Brien, 26, Duluth.
• Andrew Harland Salus, 24, Duluth.
• Zachary Robert Scufsa, 20, Ely.
• Steven Wesley Slama, 27, Duluth.
• Joseph Alan Rogers, 25, Duluth.
The suspects, all arrested Friday, may also be charged in U.S. District Court with federal drug trafficking crimes, police said. Maher set bail for each man between $100,000 and $500,000.
Prosecutor Mark Rubin called the men major local drug dealers and serious threats to public safety. "We don't see these amounts too much in the Duluth area," he said.
Rubin also said despite the money involved in the operation, most of the suspects have few assets and probably were fronted the drugs or cash by other people.
Nearly all of men qualified for public defenders. However, Nesgoda indicated to Maher that he would have no problem coming up with the 10 percent needed to make his $150,000 bail through a bondsman.
"So what's that, 15 G's ($15,000)," Nesgoda said. "That's it, huh? Cool."
None of the suspects entered pleas at Monday's hearings. Slama and Rogers each said he was either buying for personal use or an unsuspecting driver.
"Mr. Slama's not a criminal, your honor," said defense attorney Richard Holmstrom.
Elements of the Lake Superior Drug Task Force involved in the operation include Duluth, Superior, Proctor, Cloquet and Hermantown police forces; the Minnesota Gang Strike Force; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; St. Louis County Sheriff's Department; and the Minnesota State Patrol.
"The (officers) who did this should be commended. They took a risk to help get this drug off the streets," said Dan Perich, Hermantown police chief.
Drug arrests for methamphetamine or meth, which is a highly addictive and dangerous form of speed, have grown exponentially over the past few years in St. Louis County -- and across Minnesota. It's known for being relatively cheap, and several people can get high for hours on just a gram of meth.
Meth also is made in small batches using over-the-counter medications along with corrosive household and farm products.
"The idea of the backyard cook shop is more the exception these days," Waller said about meth.

5 Comments:

Blogger Eli Blake said...

The 'flashing light' story may be true-- they used to do that here in the Southwest, although I haven't heard of it for awhile.

I have some news for you:

Here in Arizona, our worthless legislature refused to vote for an Oklahoma-type bill restricting the sale of Pseudoephedrine (Senator Barbara Leff was front and center on blocking it, and deserves to be thrown out if anyone reading this is in her district).

However, some of the localities have taken up the challenge. It started in the Verde Valley where a number of small communities passed local restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine, but has now spread to some large jurisdictions (Prescott is considering it right now).

Wouldn't it be funny if the pharmaceutical companies spent all their money to buy a couple of key legislators, and the communities all over the state went around them and banned it anyway?

Thursday, November 10, 2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Leanne said...

I've heard the "flashing light" story...I always thought it was an urban legend. The Mexican Mafia may be as well - back when I was in high school up north, I heard a lot of similar stories about the "Asian Mafia."

However, we do know that small, remote towns like those on the Range are ideal for dealers to set up shop anonymously, and kids in small towns are prime targets because, let's face it - there's not a lot for them to do!

Friday, November 11, 2005 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw no change in the availability to get meth not me personaly but i know alot of people who use and sell... the cops need to stop bragging about the huge dent they made and go make some real progress!!!!.. lets face it meth is every where as sad as that sounds.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 8:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Southern California, for 35 years, until I recently moved to WI. All you say about the Mexican Mafia is true and then some. Most of the Meth, in out neck of the woods is imported but it will soon be like California. There is a "meth lab" in every neighborhood. They cook in their homes, (with their children present and exposed to the chemicals), in motels, in fields and in all neighbor hoods, poor and upscale alike.
Once meth has been "cooked" in a building, the chemicals have permeated the building and there is no way to get rid of the danger other that destroying the building. Soon, with the illegal mexicans we are allowing to live in these Northerns states, there will be more meth trafficing as it will be easier to "blend in" with the members of the members of the community. We should deport all the illegals from out states before the Mexican Mafia gets a foot hold here, too. When all this "cooking" is going on, everyone in the surrounding area is in danger as meth labs blow up all the time! These chemicals that are used are highly toxic and dangerous! Also, Meth is the only drug that the user becomes addicted after one use!

Saturday, February 17, 2007 8:27:00 PM  
Blogger stacy said...

If you have troubles sleeping you should consider getting help for eating disorders programs with care and compassion.

Monday, June 25, 2012 11:23:00 PM  

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