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.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Methamphetamine Use

I found this story on

Methamphetamine Use
Shared by bdotburke on Nov 10, 2006 9:35 pm. quote | edit | delete
This drug, metamphetamine, is a drug that has no useful purpose. It's use is habit-forming and addictive usually from the 1st use. It quickly is a persons" God". A user puts out of their life except being high or looking for the money to buy and place to buy.Everyone that once knew the person was unimportant unless they can be manipulated in some way to help them I divorced my children's Dad 32 years ago after a 10 year marriage. We loved each other and had a good life until he was introduced to meth. After his introduction he quickly changed from a good husband, father, and provider to a man that had no morals, beat me without mercy, had nothing to do with his chidren. Before I divorced him he had traded me and our children for prostitutes. Why? He needed money. He couldn't get up and make it to his job. He also became a thief. I was heart-broken when I heard he'd been robbing houses at Christmas time taking even the children's presents.I had to see a psychiatrist and, in short, he told me my exwas indeed a devil in disguise as a human. That is the way I would describe them now, users, if I talked about it.It's use is a travesty for a person, his family, his job, his God and his Country Their behavior always leads to hurt, pain, prison, insane asylum or death. His girlfriend was murdered by him. He shot her in the throat and she bled to death quickly. I'm not a professional and I don't have any training , but, I can guarantee you I'm self educated and I know probably as much or more than a professional. I was educated by my ex-husband, then our youngest son, then our oldest son, then ou or 3rd son. My sister took it up with her husband who is now dead. High on meth he went to his truck and a meth addict shot him in the head killing him instantly. The killer thought his wife was going out with my brother-in-law. You see, Meth causes psychotic episodes that resemble mental illnesses. They have delusions and hallucinations that are horrible. My son thinks he's the devil with lots of power but, as his trip is close to over the Devil he thought he was is a victim that suffers horribly. He's now in prison.I was never rich, however at age 52, 10 years ago, I'd managed to have a nice savings account for my older years. I've spent over $20,000.00 on rehabs, bondsmen, lawyers, phone charges, putting money on his books while incarcerated, supporting him when he got out of jail because I always let him come back home, him promising he'd never mess up again. When he'd scared me nearly to death with his behavior and I was nearly too weak to stand I'd call the police to come get him.I'm really not sure about my title. Maybe it should tell about , Sufferings of a mother with a meth addicted child.

Man pleads guilty in meth-dealing case (Minnesota)

Man pleads guilty in meth-dealing case

One of five men arrested in August during a methamphetamine bust in Stillwater has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge, according to court documents.

Felipe Alvarez-Quiroz, 28, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to conspiring to distribute and possessing to distribute methamphetamine. A sentencing date has not been set.

Federal drug agents arrested the men during an Aug. 28 raid at a Stillwater town house. Agents confiscated more than 7 pounds of methamphetamine and several weapons, including two assault rifles and an automatic pistol, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Authorities said the bust was one of the largest of its kind in Washington County.

A trial for the others has been set for Jan. 3.

— Nick Ferraro

Benefit planned for Teri Lee's children

A benefit luncheon and silent auction will be Nov. 18 at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka for the children of a West Lakeland Township woman who was shot and killed in September.

The event, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., also has kids activities.

Proceeds will go to help Teri Lee's four children, who are now being raised by their aunt and uncle, Vicki Seliger Swenson and Erik Swenson, in Minnetonka. They are Taylor, 12, Tyler, 10, Trevor, 8, and Tara, 6.

The Swensons also have three daughters of their own.

Lee and her boyfriend were killed Sept. 22 in her West Lakeland home. Her ex-boyfriend has been charged with murder.

Hopkins High School is at 2400 Lindbergh Drive in Minnetonka. To donate an item, service or money, contact Mary Slinde at 952-292-8520 or Kara Dahnke at 612-247-7748 or

— Alex Friedrich

Woodbury board applications sought

Applications will be accepted through Monday for 11 openings on Woodbury advisory boards and commissions.

The groups are Economic Development Authority, Economic Development Commission, Environmental Advisory Commission, Park and Recreation Commission and Planning Commission.

Citizens appointed to these groups serve as volunteers for three years, with the exception of Economic Development Authority appointees, who serve six-year terms.

Applications are available at

The City Council will interview applicants Dec. 2, and new appointees will begin their terms in January.

— Nick Ferraro

Colorado man admits drug charge

By Gazette News Services

A Colorado man this week admitted he conspired to traffic more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in the Billings area last year.

Fabricio Orozco-Ambriz, 27, faces a minimum 10 years to life in prison and a $4 million fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Seykora said in October 2005, a detective with the City-County Special Investigation Unit received information about suspicious behavior in a Billings motel room that had been rented by a Billings resident. The detective found five people, none of whom had rented the room, in the room. One of the persons was Orozco-Ambriz. After getting consent to search the room, law enforcement officers found about 10 ounces of meth and $6,201 in cash.

In April, a confidential informant told law enforcement about drug trafficking activities of Orozco-Ambriz, who had told him the meth and money seized in the motel room were his. Orozco-Ambriz also told the informant his distribution was still active and that a man from Montana was driving to Denver and picking up two to three pounds of meth at a time to take back to Montana. The investigation was conducted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Billings High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull set sentencing for Feb. 9.

Spiritual 'restoration' takes time (Colorado)

Tarnished evangelical leader faces long, grueling rehabilitation process

Dan Elliott
Associated Press

DENVER -- There will be prayer, and perhaps the laying on of hands. There will be counseling and a confession. And there will be advice, confrontation and rebuke from "godly men" appointed to oversee the spiritual "restoration" of the Rev. Ted Haggard.

Atoning: The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after allegations of gay sex and drug use. He has agreed to undergo a spiritual "restoration." - Erik Stenbakken / Associated Press

Haggard's Indiana ties

The Rev. Ted Haggard grew up in Indiana, moving with his family to Yorktown from Delphi in 1969. He graduated from Yorktown High School in 1974. His father operated a veterinary clinic in the Yorktown area. In 1987, Haggard's brother, Timothy, an Albany pharmacist, was convicted of attempted murder after an attack on his estranged wife in the couple's Muncie home. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but a judge suspended the sentence in 1995.

-- Star news services

After tumbling from the pinnacle of the American evangelical movement amid allegations he snorted meth and cavorted with a male prostitute, Haggard has agreed to a rehabilitation process that could last three to five years.
"I see success approximately 50 percent of the time," said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian ministry in Colorado Springs.
Those who fail "end up selling cars or shoes or something, and being miserable and angry the rest of their lives," London said.
Haggard was president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs until Nov. 4, when a Denver man said Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month for three years and sometimes took methamphetamine during the encounters.
Haggard denied having sex with the man; he admitted buying meth but said he threw it away unused. He resigned from the association and days later was fired from his church after confessing to unspecified "sexual immorality."
London, who is not involved in Haggard's restoration, said the process will demand honesty from Haggard and determination from his overseers.
"It cannot be just a matter of friendship. It will have to become almost a confrontational relationship," he said. "You've got to confess your sins, and you've got to have a group of people around you who will not let you whitewash the issue."
The process includes counseling, in groups and alone, and prayer. Each restoration is unique, with a program tailored for the needs of the participant.
"From the Christian perspective, we think in terms of prayer, we think in terms of what we call godly counsel, where godly men who are clean themselves insert themselves in the life of the one who is struggling," London said.
The symbolic laying on of hands may also be a part of the recovery, London said.
"I'm sure there will be those who lay their hands on Pastor Haggard as an act of faith, calling on the act of God to restore and heal," he said. "The prayer can be therapeutic, the laying on of hands can be ceremonial."
One of the men who agreed to oversee the restoration, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, has already withdrawn, citing a lack of time. The other two -- Pastors Jack Hayford of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., and Tommy Barnett of First Assembly of God in Phoenix -- declined to comment on specifics.
It isn't clear whether Haggard will try to return to the ministry.
"He says that he has committed his life to God and that he is looking for direction as to where God can best use him," said Leonard Chessler, Haggard's lawyer and friend.
The Rev. Shawn Spear, a Brethren in Christ pastor in Hollidaysburg, Pa., knows at least part of what lies ahead for Haggard. After admitting he had an affair with a woman, Spear endured a painful yearlong separation from the ministry, went to counseling six times a month and worked to earn back the trust of his wife and his church.
It was brutal for his wife, Joy, as well. She said she suffered nightmares, had trouble sleeping and at times wanted to die.
"If God could have taken me at that point, I would have been pleased, because you just didn't feel like you could take another day," she said.
Now they feel blessed: They say their marriage survived, even flourished, and their church accepted Spear back as minister.
"There's hope," he said. "There's grace. There's restoration."

War on drugs often frustrating (Minnesota)

But it's just part of the job for law enforcement
Jim Romsaas
Mesabi Daily News
Saturday, November 11th, 2006 09:29:39 PM

The 2004 kidnapping and murder of an Embarrass man is a tragic example of just how violent drug-related crimes in the area can be.

Area law enforcement authorities continue to fight the “epidemic’’ known as methamphetamine and admit being frustrated at times by seeing both the number of related crimes and the costs to combat them continue to rise.

However, that doesn’t stop them from continuing the war on drugs, which now includes a Drug Court (an alternative to the traditional punishment of drug users).

“We’re accustomed to frustration,’’ said John Malovrh, supervising deputy for the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department in Virginia. His office is so deluged with cases, the investigators take what is there and run with it, he said, which doesn’t leave much time for developing strategies against drugs.

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Gilbert Police Chief Mark Skelton dealt with the impact firsthand after Travis Holappa was kidnapped from his town and killed more than two years ago.

The Gilbert Police Department incurred overtime costs of about $15,000 from just that one case. “That is a huge burden on our communities,’’ Skelton said.

Spending that much time on an investigation also takes quite a toll on a five-person department, he said, but “it’s just something you have to do.’’

“It’s warranted,’’ according to Skelton. “You have to get to the bottom of it.’’

In Eveleth, the battle against drugs taxes police department resources to the extreme, said Police Chief Brian Lillis. If the officers aren’t building a case, he said, then they are involved in a case they are prosecuting.

“It continues to be a problem, particularly with meth crimes,’’ Lillis said. “It has progressively worsened over the years.’’

Lillis is dealing with much the same obstacles regarding labor costs. “There’s a limited amount of overtime expenditures,’’ he said, and that part of the budget is “strained to the max.’’

Offsetting that slightly are his employees donating their time to the cause, he added.

But the frustration does return on a regular basis.

When Skelton thinks there is a lull in activity, the bottom drops out of it. Three cases will be taken care of, for example, and then three more will pop up. He and his officers don’t know if they are gaining ground.

“We just can’t quit on it,’’ Skelton said.

“Without a doubt, it taxes the staff,’’ said Steve Borchers of the Boundary Waters Drug Task Force. The Sheriff’s Department just doesn’t have the ability to fight the war at this level of staffing, he said.

That’s where the Task Force comes in, Malovrh said. The Boundary Waters group is focused on the rising number of drug crimes.

“It’s definitely an epidemic,’’ said Sgt. Drew High of the Sheriff’s Department. The burglaries, thefts and assaults the department sees every day are 70 percent related to methamphetamine, he said. “You get to meth somewhere along the line’’ in investigating these cases.

While law enforcement feels some frustration, area residents do as well. Rampant vandalism and thefts are reported regularly, as are some residents’ reactions.

In Virginia, for example, a resident woke up to find all the decorative frogs and fountains that decorated their yard missing. Their response: A sign that says, “Thanks for Stealing.’’

One answer the area is looking at is the Iron Range Drug Court.

The Drug Court will work with low-level, non-violent persons (with addictive situations who have been convicted) to work through a program including weekly court and other visits to become and stay free of meth use and other drugs.

Malovrh supports the Drug Court because the crime fighting effort needs a many-sided effort. His department also has a voice in the people who will go through the Drug Court, he said.

“We’ll do whatever we can to help them in their effort,’’ Malovrh said.

Lillis is also on board with the idea. Certain individuals would be better served by being treated for their problem, he said.

Prevention and treatment are just as important as the punishment side, Skelton added. “We have to find a way to help them.’’

Borchers would also like to see the state’s laws changed to deal with the meth epidemic. “We need an ingestion law,’’ he said.

That would be a tool that gets people treatment at an earlier time, said Borchers, who previously worked in California where they already have ingestion laws. In this area, many people who have ingested meth are taken to the local emergency room instead of going through the criminal system.

While the meth-related crimes are on the rise, local law enforcement agencies are not standing still.

The Boundary Waters Drug Task Force continues to evolve, Malovrh said. In 2007, the BWDTF will no longer include the Koochiching and Itasca Sheriff’s Departments or the Grand Rapids and International Falls police.

He said the geographical area has been pared down to St. Louis County and the Virginia, Eveleth, Gilbert and Hibbing police departments. The bigger area was just unmanageable, he added.

As far as the other counties, Malovrh said they will most likely team up with agencies in their own areas.

The local departments are also cooperating more than they ever have, according to Skelton. Officials from city to city simply can’t afford to be parochial, he said, because “drug dealers aren’t parochial.’’