Meth

Iowa Woman Who Didn't Break Allergy Pill Limit Law Charged with Crime Anyway

Overzealous prosecutors target farmer's wife and friends

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Wal-phed: Decongestant of the Devil
Walgreens

The Des Moines Register's Reader's Watchdog tells the rather predictable tale of anti-meth zealotry run amok, as a 50-year-old farmer's wife faces trial for buying too much pseudoephedrine at a Walgreens in the small town of Ottumwa, Iowa. Of note, even though she bought a lot of allergy pills, she actually didn't break Iowa law. Yet she could still face a 25-year sentence for a conspiracy "with one or more persons to manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to deliver … a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine."

Lee Rood of the Register notes the details:

This case began when members of the southeast drug task force obtained a warrant to search the state's database of pseudoephedrine purchases for those suspected of "smurfing" for the cold and allergy drugs in the area.

Smurfers use power in numbers, taking turns buying meth's key ingredients, while prepping for a planned cook.

McGee said that last fall, task force investigator Mark Milligan called her and asked her to come over to Ottumwa to explain her purchase of 32 allergy-drug packages since late 2010 — all but a couple at the Walgreens in Ottumwa.

She said she tried to explain that she has severe allergies, especially when she is out in the fields, and that she was in the habit of picking up some Wal-phed when she made the more than hourlong road trip to Ottumwa from Lovilia and back.

McGee did buy a lot of pills, Rood reports, but McGee's total purchases of pseudophedrine were still within the limits of Iowa law.

Also snatched up in this alleged meth ring were McGee's sister and the wife of the mayor of the tiny town of Lovilia, Iowa, population 538. According to Rood, their lawyers have told the ladies not to talk. McGee told Rood she's now afraid that somebody is going lie on the stand and say she gave them pills.

Rood decided not to let the story go. She ran an initial story on Friday and then followed up again on Saturday with more information. In her follow-up column she explores an all-too-familiar component of these drug ring busts, getting police informants to name names in exchange for dropping or reducing charges. McGee figured out how her name and the names of her friends could have gotten dragged into the proceedings:

Then there were others in the alleged ring whom McGee said she barely knew or had never heard of: Sean Crawford, Scott Merrill, Melinda Schultz, Shawn See, Kevin Tangie and Robert Tangie.

The person who does stick out in the alleged conspiracy is Douglas Maddy, McGee's cousin.

McGee said she knew her cousin had a drug history. And she knows his girlfriend, Teresa Denherder, also had been arrested on drug charges.

But McGee claims that neither she nor her husband have had anything to do with drug activity in the area, and that she is tied to Maddy through her favorite aunt, who has dementia.

She said she didn't know until I told her that Maddy had been convicted in 2005 of pseudoephedrine possession. "Until I was questioned, I didn't even know Doug's girlfriend's last name," she said.

Rood spoke with a local defense attorney who has dealt with similar cases (but not McGee's) and said McGee is absolutely right to worry that somebody could have given authorities her name in exchange for a reduced sentence, regardless of any actual involvement.

Both of Rood's pieces are worth a read. She goes on to investigate and point out that the drug log method used to keep track of pseudoephedrine purchase in Iowa has done little to curb the meth lab problem because meth manufacturers simply adapted and changed the formula again. Always bet on the black market.

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81 responses to “Iowa Woman Who Didn't Break Allergy Pill Limit Law Charged with Crime Anyway

  1. When will it end?

    1. When the CCT cameras see you buying one 16 oz soda at one store and than see you buying a second one down the street. You’ll hear it just before it gets there. You’ll look up. By then it will be to late. That’s how it will end.

  2. Tulpa, if you are out there:

    This case exemplifies the moral superiority of anarchy over statism.

    1. And yes, it is absolute. Anarchy is always a better bet than statism.

      1. I think a federal government can serve a purpose but I have no doubt that everyone (us and the rest of the world) would be better off with no US Government than with what we have today.

      2. Sure, if you can keep it.

        1. Which is probably the only reason most of us are not anarchist.

          1. Anarchy isnt even possible. Archies immediately form, even if its just some neighborhood warlord.

            1. There will always be a last word in violence.

              1. And comic book bands.

            2. Just make sure the anarchist is the warlord. Impose absolute anarchy on everybody.

    2. And will the next mafia hit exemplify the moral superiority of statism over anarchy?

  3. “but McGee’s total purchases of pseudophedrine were still within the limits of Iowa law.”

    This is the only thing that matters. And it’s pathetic that there is any such thing.

  4. She smurfed more smurfberries than any other Smurf has ever smurfed. Clearly she’s guilty.

  5. Her smurf name is Speedy Smurf. Or maybe Twitchy Smurf.

    1. Well it’s probably not smiley smurf.

      1. But maybe it is

        http://www.deltadentalidblog.c…..-mouth.jpg

  6. totally true about the black market. the method we are now seeing most commonly is the shake and bake method, and i never even saw shake and bake in the past – it was all nazi method, etc.

    shake and bake method uses really small quantities, so they get around the high pill thang, and it’s quick and down and dirty way to make meth.

    sprackers going to sprack and they will always find a way to make meth. these guys aren’t geniuses; there’s a reason we call them beavis and butthead labs, but they are resourceful and motivated.

    and as usual, innocents (ok, alleged innocents) get caught up in this pseudofed bullshit.

    i’ve used ephedrine (not pseudoephedrine) as a training aid, and they make you feel like a fucking criminal when you buy bronkaid all because it CAN be used to make meth.

    at least around here, meth is kind of passe anyway. it’s all about the opioids.

    1. innocents (ok, alleged innocents)

      That is a revealing turn of phrase.

      1. it’s called being cautious and not assuming shit. i am reasonably confident the woman in this article is innocent, given the fact pattern presented. but it’s certainly not a 100% certainty. shackford seems to have good kung fu and i trust the article, but she COULD be guilty. who fucking knows?

        1. Since it’s a victimless crime, you are already assuming a shit-ton.

          1. i mean guilty OF the victimless crime. again, im assuming she’s PROBABLY innocent, but i’m not naive enough to assume that just because i see a claim in an article , that it must be true. you can wallow in naivite if you want, but just because a story fits a compelling metanarrative (iow showing the ridiculous excesses of the war on (some) drugs), that all elements presented must be true

            have you vetted the article? i haven’t

            so, again, i remain CAUTIOUS. iow, atfpapic, it’s a fucked up story.

            that’s tangential to the fact that drug crimes shouldn’t be illegal IN THE FIRST PLACE, but that’s a normative subject i wasn’t addressing

            1. The legal phraseology is not “innocent,” it’s “not guilty.”

            2. Except that people who have been arrested, for whatever reason, aren’t allegedly innocent; they are innocent and allegedly guilty unless a jury decides otherwise.

              1. Except that people who have been arrested, for whatever reason, aren’t allegedly innocent; they are innocent and allegedly guilty unless a jury decides otherwise.

                Really? So Jared Lee Loughner is innocent? And the Aurora shooter is innocent?

                A person is either innocent or guilty at all times; the jury’s decision doesn’t make them guilty, it just allows the government to start punishing them.

                1. “A person is either innocent or guilty at all times; the jury’s decision doesn’t make them guilty, it just allows the government to start punishing them.”

                  Well, first, let’s start with your conflation of “innocent” with “not guilty”; there is no requirement that someone charged with X be found “innocent” to be freed of prosecution. Pretty sure I don’t need to go further, right?

                  1. I’m not conflating anything. Innocent and not guilty are the same thing. Our legal tradition uses “not guilty” rather than the more accurate “not proven guilty”; plenty of people who were in fact guilty of a crime have been found “not guilty” during the subsequent trial.

                    In other words, the verdict of the jury is a separate thing from the reality of whether a person is guilty of a crime. We try to make them the same as much as possible, but perfection is not an option.

        2. Until she is convicted by a jury of her peers she is innocent.

          Disarm cops for a safer America.

          All cops lie, all the time.

          1. Hate to side with Tulpa here, but he’s right.

            You are not “innocent until proven guilty”, you are “presumedinnocent until proven guilty.”

            Whether you are innocent or not has nothing to do with what the courts say. Innocent people can be convicted; if so, they are still innocent. Guilty people are guilty even though teh court has to presume they are innocent until sufficient proof has been presented.

            There is reality, and then there are legalities. They are not necessarily the same.

      2. The fact that you guys nitpick anyone who doesn’t always agree with you is sure revealing.

        Dunphy’s comment is completely in agreement with Shackford’s post, but you guys are always determined to start something because you don’t like his occupation.

    2. “…innocents (ok, alleged innocents)…”

      I have had more than one cop acquaintance of mine tell me that in their mind everyone is a criminal.
      Isnt that fucking sweet?

      1. Let me rephrase that.

        Everyone but cops are criminals.

        1. It helps to dehumanize the enemy.

    3. WTF is up with (the real one)? Why would anyone want to pretend to be a piece of shit?

      Dunphy, go fuck yourself. No one believes anything you say except when you show yourself to be the fuckturd that you are.

      I read Tony’s comments for laughs. I can’t imagine wanting to read anything that you would “write”.

    4. Innocent. Not alleged. I guess they should be thankful your brothers in blue didn’t just gun em down.

  7. Prohibition is bullshit.

    1. Also, since these legalization inititives have been going on I’ve startesd to notice a lot more “news” articles about how some person ruined their lives with drugs. The state propanda is in full swing.

      1. i’ve personally met people who ruined their lives with drugs, and not the drug war, but the drugs themselves. it DOES happen. but the reality is tons of people use drugs without ruining jackshit, and plenty others are fucked up by the CJ system fucking with them, not the drugs themselves.

        i’ve seen some batunas (so to speak) completely destroy their body with meth. in the course of 4 yrs, the change is amazing

        granted, if it was legalized, they could at least be using pure meth, and not getting the negative health factors of the adulterants and shit you are going to get from a beavis and butthead bathtub lab.

        the most common syndrome i see is that the addicts will steal everything from their family that is not nailed down – jewelry, ipods, etc. and the family keeps cutting them breaks (ill try harder this time), until it reaches breaking point and they throw them out on the street and end up having to get a protection order to keep them away.

        it’s powerful shit, if it can turn an otherwise law abiding good daughter into somebody who will steal her mother’s jewelry and hock it just so they can get high

        1. All that is true. I’ve seen all of that happen to a number of people I’ve personally known. I also know people that can smoke pot, do coke, drink, and whatever and have no probalems with it. Unfortunaltely the current system does not differnciate between the two and typically adds to the problem users problems rather than subtracts from them. Not to mention the violence that is inherent in alchphol and drug black markets caused by prohibition. It’s not fuckin rocket science.

          1. iow, we agree. i’ve known TONS of people who did all sorts of recreational drugs and led productive lives. no problems whatsoever.

            and they should be free to fuck up their lives, if that’s what happening, w.o govt. intervention.

            1. People can fuck up their lives by fucking too much, working too much, or even spending too much time with their kids.

              1. And often enough, the judgement of ‘screwing up a life’ is made by someone who should really STFU and get lost.

        2. We, the people of this Great Land, care so much for you and so desperately want you to NOT destroy your life with drugs, that if we ever catch you doing or selling them, we will put you in prison FOREVER where your life will be permanently destroyed.

          There. See how we much we CARE about you?

          1. Beat me to it, didn’t ya?

        3. Dunphy (the real one)| 2.20.13 @ 6:50PM |#
          “i’ve personally met people who ruined their lives with drugs, and not the drug war, but the drugs themselves. it DOES happen.”
          Yes, in about 1/10th the cases that getting tossed in the can ruins lives.

          “the most common syndrome i see is that the addicts will steal everything from their family that is not nailed down – jewelry, ipods, etc. and the family keeps cutting them breaks…”
          Hmm, I’m sure there’s a reason that stuff is so pricy that they have to steal to buy it. Now why would that be?

          1. Yes, in about 1/10th the cases that getting tossed in the can ruins lives.

            Dubious. People wreck their lives with all sorts of perfectly legal things too, so there’s little reason to believe drugs are rarely the cause of wrecked lives.

      2. Hey, I’m in favor of pandas too. Who wouldn’t be? =P

    2. straight up. word. god knows it doesn’t stop sprackers from using. if we legalized this shit, we could concentrate on harm reduction, instead of turning people into criminals based on the contents of their bloodstream.

      1. Yep, I fail to see how locking them up and giving them a prison record is “helping” them. It’s a pretty perverted sense of paternalism. But then what isn’t from the nannys.

      2. Harm levels are none of the government’s business either unless an unwilling party is involved. (Also known as “Fraud” or “coercion”.)

        1. i didn’t say it was the govt. business. harm reduction can be handled by, for example, church groups, the medical community, etc. in offering resources for users who WANT help. some don’t. they just want to use, and imo they should be allowed to do so.

          1. You usually use “we” as a pronoun for your police department, so I may have made an incorrect assumption.

            On the other hand, the typical end of church groups, medical community, etc. is to force help (via gov’t) onto people. That is how we got into the current state of things. Not meaning to disagree with your assertion of “help for those who seek help”, I just find myself frustrated because we HAD such an environment and yet it devolved into the present antagonistic mess.

            1. it was a societal “we”, not a govt. “we”.

              1. So was it the “societal” side of you posting the phrase “alleged innocents”?

  8. If this kind of shit ever happens to me I will fuck some people up.

  9. It would be awful if one of these crusading prosecutors was the victim of a brutal axe murder.

  10. I hope the Iowa cops are using targets of grannies with the sniffles, so they overcome any impulse to hesitate before pulling the trigger.

    1. Uh, Pomeranians.

    2. I hope the Iowa cops are using targets of grannies with the sniffles, so they overcome any impulse to hesitate before pulling the trigger.

      The horror they face when confronting the aging wives of rural farmers must be paralyzing.

  11. she COULD be guilty. who fucking knows?

    Shoot first.

    OFFICER SAFETY means never having to face consequences.

    1. In any organization larger than, say 50 people, at least one per year is going to screw up enough to get canned. It happens; the hire wasn’t good to begin with, the job description changed, etc. Tough; time to find a job that better suits your talents.
      So, to Mr. Dunphy: How many cops got fired this year?

      1. More than one.

  12. You’re all missing the big question:

    Does she know Radar?

    1. Beat me to it. OT Ottumwa is a, unless they have turned it around in the last 18 years, total shit hole (I went to school there for a brief time).

      1. It truly makes me sad that I had to be the one to make the connection, seeing as how M*A*S*H was off the air ~5 years before I was born.

        Failures, all of you.

        1. And yet, you went out of your way to watch enough of it to know where Radar came from? You had a perfect pass to do something useful and enjoyable with those hours of your life and you chose to watch M*A*S*H. Talk about FAIL.

  13. I had something similar happen to me about 10 years ago. I have bad allergies, the midwest is a terrible place for allergies, so I would take one actifed at night and one in the morning. So I’d buy a box ever 3 weeks, which evidently aroused suspicion. Only a dozen cops in body armor showed up on my door for a little “chat”. No SMGs or assault rifles though.

    They literally would not let me go unless I “consented” to a search, and since I couldn’t call (or even afford) a laywer, after an hour I gave in, since it was raining and I was worried about my dogs.

    I eventually had to cut back on taking the pills, since I don’t want that to happen again. Only take one a day at night, so my nose is stuffy all day.

    1. Should have sneezed right in each pig’s face. A big, wet one.

      -jcr

  14. even though she bought a lot of allergy pills, she actually didn’t break Iowa law.

    Fucking LOOPHOLES.

    1. Technicalities.

  15. What we need is anarchy! Led by a strong anarchist leader!

    1. Alphonse| 2.20.13 @ 10:21PM |#
      “What we need is anarchy! Led by a strong anarchist leader!”

      That’d be Obozo in his 5th term, right?!

      1. Can’t we have a better class of tyranny than this?

  16. How come Shriek’s not in this thread telling us how great Obama is compared to Bush?

    1. This looks to be state-level douchebaggery, not the feds.

  17. A DA who prosecutes someone they know is innocent should be disbarred, and get double the penalties they sought to inflict on the innocent party.

    -jcr

  18. This is the law that made me a Libertarian. Yeah, there was a lifetimes worth of government clusterfucked shit that led up to it, but that’s the one that pushed it over the top.

    My advice to government? Keep doing what you are doing, you dumb motherfuckers, please support the cause.

  19. what Alexander answered I’m shocked that a mother can get paid $4989 in 4 weeks on the computer. have you read this webpage http://www.WOW92.com

    1. I think she did it by making meth in the bathroom.

  20. She said she tried to explain that she has severe allergies, especially when she is out in the fields, and that she was in the habit of picking up some Wal-phed when she made the more than hourlong road trip to Ottumwa from Lovilia and back.

    So she fucked up. She talked to the cops.

    Let this be a lesson for the next sucker.

    Because any thread like this demands it must be posted:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

  21. Shit I’ve probably bought that much Zyrtec since 2010. Have to do the suspected smurf walk every time. I figure buying on-brand removes the suspicion, but it’s either that or go without breathing through my nose. Don’t state lawmakers realize that the more you ban, the more dangerous the ingredients for meth become?

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