Methamphetamines Articles

Arkansas Attorney Arrested on Methamphetamine Charges

An attorney from Berryville, Arkansas, was arrested Friday night on multiple drug charges after she allegedly sold methamphetamine to a confidential informant. Cindy Baker, 36, is facing several felony counts, including delivery of a controlled substance (meth) and possession of drugs and firearms, possession of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance near certain facilities, possession of drug paraphernalia, and conspiracy.

A bond hearing was held Monday at the Carroll County jail with Judge Marianne McBeth setting Baker’s bond at $100,000. Baker is currently in Memphis, Tennessee, undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Baker made headlines in 2005 when the Berryville courthouse was evacuated after she introduced what was believed to be a bomb during the trial of Mike Koster of Green Forest. Baker stated that the device was a commercially-available firecracker, but Circuit Judge Alan Epley ordered it to be removed. In the meantime, law enforcement evacuated the building, resulting in a mistrial with Epley threatening to jail her for six months for contempt of court.

A different jury trial of Koster followed and Koster was convicted on some charges. Baker asked the state Supreme Court to throw out the case, claiming double jeopardy, but the court refused.

Baker landed in jail on Friday after authorities arrested her at her residence and office in Berryville. According to Carroll County Sheriff Bob Grudek, an arrest and search warrant were executed based on information gathered during an ongoing investigation.

Grudek said in a press release that on Oct. 28 a confidential informant made a controlled buy of one gram of a substance believed to be meth from Baker for $200 at her home and office.

Later that day, a “buy bust” was made by Mynor Jimmy Aleman-Gonzalez, 24, of Green Forest, who was suspected of being a meth supplier. Authorities seized $1,000 from him, which included bills that were paid to Baker for buying meth earlier in the day.

On Friday, the same confidential informant made a controlled buy of one-half gram of a substance believed to be meth for $50 from Baker, again at her home and office, with the informant giving Baker a $100 bill and receiving $50 in change.

Based on that information, Grudek said, the warrants were issued. At about 7 p.m. Baker was arrested, and confiscated from her person was the $100 bill used to purchase meth earlier in the day.

Confiscated from her home and office were additional substances believed to be meth, along with drug paraphernalia and weapons. The sheriff said additional charges are being considered. Arraignment on the charges is tentatively slated for Nov. 23.

Baker was a candidate for prosecuting attorney in 2006, losing the Democratic primary to current Prosecutor Tony Rogers by 53 votes. She has served on the boards of Carroll Regional Medical Center and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, and was named Volunteer Attorney of the Year in 2005 by the Carroll County Bar Association. She also served on a committee to establish the 19th Judicial District Drug Court.

Meth and the Middle Class

Methamphetamine, or “meth” as it’s popularly known as, is a popular drug and a fast growing drug threat in America

Meth addiction first came to light as a problem that affected the vagrant, rural and underprivileged sections of the population in the western parts of the country. Over the last few years it has spread its tentacles and is now a serious problem all over the country. And it is no longer limited to a few specific sections of society. It has now become a middle class drug. That means when we talk of meth addiction as a problem, we are talking about a problem that is beginning to affect the majority of our population.

Meth first made its appearance in Oregon in the early 1980s. It has spread along the west coast and was linked to the I 5 corridor – Interstate 5 runs from Mexico to Oregon. Mexico is where the drug originated. However because of the ease with which it can be manufactured, home meth labs are commonplace. In 2003, a young Orange Country resident was arrested for running a meth lab out of her parents’ mansion without their knowledge. When she was arrested, the young woman had $1 million worth of meth ready for sale.

Campbell is a progressive middle class California community located near Silicon Valley. As early as 1999, the local hospital reported a growing number of cases of meth addicts coming in for treatment. These addicts were between the ages of 18 to 50 plus, and were from all walks of life and even included soccer moms who used the drug to stay slim and keep up with their hectic schedule. The one thing they all had in common was that they belonged to the middle class.

In 2002, a middle class Ohio single mom received a 35 year prison sentence for selling meth. According to the New Jersey Dental Association, the use of meth is growing in the New Jersey area.

Obviously the use of meth has made a steady progress and it is now no longer a problem of just some parts of the country. In addition, it’s no longer a problem limited to any specific demographic – it covers the Great American Middle Class – from school kids to soccer moms to hard working fathers.

The Illinois Attorney General’s report mention earlier provides the following profile of a meth user:

  • He or she is a middle class white person in the 20s and 30s living in either a rural community or in urban centers like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago etc. where meth is rapidly becoming a widely used “club drug.”
  • While most meth users are in their 20s or 30s, more and more cases of meth use are being reported among middle class teenagers as well as those in the 40 plus age bracket.
  • Meth use is now spreading from the middle class to the wealthy and affluent.

Meth addiction is not long something that happens to “other people.” It’s everyone’s problem and needs to be treated as such.