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Part of National Methamphetamine Awareness Day - Effort to Educate the Public and Prevent the Spread of this Highly Addictive Drug

BALTIMORE - At a press conference today, federal and state law enforcement authorities gathered to discuss the dangers related to the production and use of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine and their efforts to prevent its spread.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, "The drug known as 'meth,' 'crank' or ‘speed’ is a major problem in the western United States, and law enforcement officials report an increase in the number of cases in Maryland. Methamphetamine is a poisonous combination of dangerous chemicals. Criminals who produce it pollute the environment, and people who use it destroy their bodies. Anyone who suspects that methamphetamine is being made or sold should report it to the police."

Each defendant in the following federal cases prosecuted in Maryland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine:

U.S. v. Christopher Marshall and Brian Kaufmann - Methamphetamine was manufactured at a residence in Anne Arundel County. Marshall was sentenced on June 28, 2006 to 10 years in prison. Kaufmann is awaiting sentencing.

U.S. v. Terry Lee McMillion, et al. - Methamphetamine was manufactured at residences in Harford County. Earlier this year, McMillion was sentenced to eight years in prison, Carol Ann Lee was sentenced to five years in prison, Mary Atti was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Donald Burchette to 24 months in prison.

U.S. v. Thomas James Roman, et al. - Methamphetamine and ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine were found in the car that the three defendants were traveling in when they were stopped in Harford County for driving under the influence. These North Carolina residents had been purchasing pseudoephedrine in locations throughout Maryland and Virginia. Valerie Ann James, Thomas Roman and Donald Evans are scheduled to be sentenced early next year.

U.S. v. Michael and Sheila Beil - Methamphetamine was manufactured at their residence in Anne Arundel County. On May 22, 2006, Michael Beil was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $2,997.67 in restitution to cover the cost to clean up the lab at his home. His wife Sheila Beil is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2007.

Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant drug which is commonly produced in crude laboratories. It is distributed in powder, crystal, rock, and tablet form. The most common ingredient in meth is pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, commonly found in cold medicine. Through a cooking process using ingredients such as ether, paint thinner, freon, acetone, anhydrous ammonia, iodine crystals, red phosphorus, drain cleaner, battery acid, and lithium (taken from inside batteries), the pseudoephedrine or ephedrine is chemically changed into meth. The "cooking" of these chemicals generates toxic waste that may seep into the soil and groundwater, as well as toxic fumes and highly explosive gases.

Persons addicted to methamphetamine may experience irritability, anxiety, sleeplessness, aggressive feelings, violent rages, cravings for more meth and depression. A fairly common hallucination experienced by meth users is the so-called crank bug, where users get the sensation that there are insects on top of, or underneath, their skin. Users will scratch their skin trying to get rid of the imaginary bugs, which can create open sores. In addition to these side effects, there is the human toll paid by the children of addicts, who are neglected and exposed to the dangers of meth labs, chemicals, and drug paraphernalia.

Further information about methamphetamine is available at

Source: U.S. Attorney for Maryland

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