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.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Homicide suspect jailed in Sunnyside (Washington)


SUNNYSIDE — Bail was set at $1 million Wednesday for the man suspected in a December killing outside a home where police found about $100,000 worth of crystal meth.

Fidel Medina, 26, who was arrested early Tuesday, is expected to be arraigned Friday on charges of murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Police say he shot and killed 27-year-old Xavier Perez in the doorway of the house where Perez lived on Guernsey Street on Dec. 22.

There was about 91/2 pounds of methamphetamine found at the house, according to a probable-cause affidavit used to obtain a warrant for Medina's arrest.

The shooting was drug-related, Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder said Wednesday. He would not comment on how the drugs led to violence.

Radder said the meth found at the house was "crystal," not the lower-grade drug commonly referred to as "crank." According to Mel Rodriguez, the agent in charge of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's Yakima office, crystal meth has a street value of $10,000 to $11,000 a pound, which puts the value of what police found at the site as high as $104,500.

The probable-cause affidavit also said witnesses told police Medina was the first to shoot, but it was unclear whether anybody else fired shots that morning.

"We're waiting for results from the crime lab," Radder said.

Perez was hit three times, and a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol was found near his body. A similar pistol was found in the yard behind the house, the affidavit said.

Police believe Medina and three others fled the scene in a sport-utility vehicle that was later recovered with bullet holes in it. Police say two of the other three may still face charges. The fourth person, identified by police as 18-year-old Decederio Palencia, remains at large and is wanted for questioning.

Medina's longtime girlfriend, 26-year-old Michele Martinez, with whom he has four children, also was arrested Tuesday. She could face charges of rendering criminal assistance for helping hide Medina. The Sunnyside SWAT team found and arrested Medina at her home in the 700 block of South Ninth Street.

n Pat Muir can be reached 837-6111


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