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.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Meth lab is discovered in Elizabeth City; five arrested (Virginia)

Police discovered a methamphetamine lab for the first time in Elizabeth City on Thursday, leading to concerns the highly addictive drug may still be coming east even as the numbers of labs found statewide are dropping.

Elizabeth City police and the State Bureau of Investigation arrested five people Thursday night at 505 North Road St. after finding signs of a methamphetamine lab operation there, Capt. Frank Koch of the Elizabeth City Police Department said.

Facing charges are John Torres, 25; Michael Williams, 22; and Brett Vaughn Jr., 22, all of 505 N. Road St.; Tony Rodriguez, 22, of 201 W. Church St., Elizabeth City; and Carrie Donahue, 18, of 978 Thunder Road, Elizabeth City.

It was the first methamphetamine lab found in Elizabeth City, Koch said. Evidence showed that the lab already had been used or was about to be, he said. Typically, methamphetamine labs are found in rural areas.

The number of methamphetamine labs found in the state has dropped this year. State officials credit a new law that restricts sales of some over-the-counter drugs used in its production. The Elizabeth City lab bust raises concerns that methamphetamine producers might be getting materials to make the drug from sources overseas or on the Internet, Koch said.

In 2005, the State Bureau of Investigation busted 91 labs between Jan. 15 and March 31. In 2006, agents busted 62 labs between Jan. 15 and March 31, according to statistics from the state attorney general.

The new North Carolina law, which took effect in January, requires that all tablets, caplets or pills containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine be sold behind pharmacy counters. Purchasers must be at least 18 years old , show a photo ID and sign a log. The law also limits purchases of these products to no more than two packages at once and no more than three packages within 30 days without a prescription.

Two years ago, in northern Currituck County, authorities uncovered one of the biggest methamphetamine labs ever found in the state. The lab was inside a ventilated cargo container on a 19-acre lot littered with discarded cars, tractors and equipment. Four people were arrested. The lab had produced 2 to 3 ounces - more than 55 grams - of methamphetamine every other week.

Typically, the drug sells for about $150 a gram in powder form and about $500 a gram in crystal form.

Labs also were found in Dare County and in Hertford County in 2004, according to the State Bureau of Investigation . Koch was not aware of any methamphetamine labs found in northeastern North Carolina last year .

The rapid spread of methamphetamine through the state in recent years prompted passage of the new law. In 1999, the first year methamphetamine labs were reported in North Carolina, State Bureau of Investigation agents discovered nine labs, according to data from the state attorney general. Police found 322 labs in 2004 and 328 labs in 2005. More than 200 children were removed from property with methamphetamine labs in the state in the past two years.

Methamphetamine production produces some hazardous wastes that can be harmful to people, especially children .

Reach Jeffrey Hampton at (252) 338-0159 or


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