Officials discover 3,000 pounds of meth at Otay Mesa Port of Entry
SAN DIEGO — Authorities discovered 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine, plus heroin and fentanyl, in a semi-trailer at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.The drugs, worth an estimated $7.2 million, were found Friday bundled up in cardboard boxes and tucked in the trailer along with boxes of medical lab supplies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.Authorities said it was the second-largest meth bust in the federal agency’s history. The agency did not provide any information about the biggest methamphetamine bust.The incident unfolded about 9:45 a.m., after the driver pulled up to the border...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Feds detail Aryan Brotherhood investigation as founder of skinhead gang moves for release from California jail
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In their bid to keep the founder of a California skinhead gang in prison while he faces charges of agreeing to kill a fellow Aryan Brotherhood member — an alleged murder plot that was never carried out — prosecutors revealed new details about the federal investigation into white gangs across the state, including the fact that police conducted surveillance of a concert featuring the defendant’s hardcore band.The Wednesday filing by the U.S. Attorney’s office responds to a motion Donald Mazza, 49, for release from the Sacramento County Jail, where he is in federal pretrial d...
The Mercury News
Meet Loren Culp, the Republican candidate who wants to unseat Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
REPUBLIC, Wash. — On the dusty, unpaved road leading to Loren Culp’s house, a no trespassing sign calls out a warning to “all public officials or agents thereof.”Quoting the U.S. Constitution, the sign declares any officer or person who attempts to enter the property without a warrant “will be treated as any other intruder would” when attempting to “extort, injure, oppress, threaten, harass, intimidate …”In case that isn’t clear enough, visitors may consider the message in the road’s name, which Culp picked himself: Goa Way.The prickly pun fits with the platform of the small-town police chief ...
The Seattle Times
Myths about fentanyl spread more prolifically online than articles correcting them, study finds
PHILADELPHIA — News articles containing misinformation about fentanyl — falsely suggesting that people can overdose and die from simply touching the synthetic opioid — are shared and spread far more widely on social media than stories that attempt to correct such myths, a new study from researchers at Northeastern University finds.Fentanyl has approved medical uses as an anesthetic during surgery and an analgesic for severe pain. But an illicit form has been turning up in the heroin supply in cities like Philadelphia for the last several years. Stronger and cheaper than heroin, it was initiall...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Addiction, PTSD treatments could be more accessible for Californians under new law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some Californians may have an easier time accessing treatment for mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD and addiction under a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Friday.The measure, Senate Bill 855, requires insurance companies to cover all mental health and addiction treatment deemed “medically necessary” by a doctor.Federal law already broadly requires insurance plans to provide comparable coverage for mental and physical illnesses, what’s known as mental health parity. California law also has parity requirements, but bill author Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, a...
The Sacramento Bee
How Manuel Ellis slipped through the cracks of the mental health system
TACOMA, Wash. — On the night Manuel Ellis died, he and Tacoma police were left alone on the pavement without the calming presence of mental health professionals, even though Pierce County and Tacoma tout their crisis intervention resources.It was a situation officers had seen before — with Ellis, who struggled with addiction and mental illness, and with many others. And as they often do with people in crisis, officers responded with force.Tacoma, adjacent to Western State Hospital and military bases, has a higher prevalence of mental illness than the state and national averages.But Pierce Coun...
The Seattle Times
Addiction to opioids and tobacco increases risk for COVID-19, study finds
People with substance use disorder — especially involving opioids or tobacco — are at a significantly higher risk for contracting COVID-19. What’s more, they also are more likely to develop a serious case of the virus and die, a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health has found.Additionally, these findings mark still more examples of race-based health disparities that the pandemic has thrust into the spotlight.The study, conducted by researchers at Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland MetroHealth System, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, looked at data from more...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Overdoses rise in South Florida as people struggle with isolation from pandemic
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — More people who are out of work and isolated at home are dying of drug overdoses in South Florida, becoming overlooked victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.Florida reported 5,621 overdose deaths, a 14% increase from January 2019 to January 2020, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in parts of South Florida, early numbers suggest 2020 could be even worse.In Palm Beach County, overdose deaths are already 49% higher from January to August of this year than they were for the same period last year, according to records. At the current ra...
A military veteran in recovery is using his home to help struggling veterans find peace and sanctuary
PHILADELPHIA — Anthony Luton has seen a lot of things in life, good and bad.A Vietnam-era veteran, the West Philly man served his country in the Air Force and struggled with service-connected depression for years before he knew what was wrong with him. He’s been through addiction, and come out the other side. Homelessness, too.By the time he was in his 60s, Luton was well on his way to earning a college degree in behavioral health. But he didn’t want to wait to help people. He felt he already had something of value to offer: his home.“It’s a four-bedroom house my mother left me,” Luton said. “...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Nation and world news briefs
Rudy Giuliani claims ‘no reason to believe’ his Ukraine contact is a Russian spy despite sanctionsNEW YORK — Rudy Giuliani claimed Friday he has seen “nothing” to back up the Trump administration’s conclusion that he worked alongside a seasoned Russian spy as part of his Ukraine-obsessed smear campaign against Joe Biden.President Donald Trump’s own Treasury Department sanctioned ex-Ukrainian politician Andrii Derkach on Thursday for being “an active Russian agent” pushing “false and unsubstantiated” corruption claims about Biden in a bid to influence November’s election — but Giuliani begged t...
Tribune News Service