News Release
January 5, 2006
Contact: DEA Public Affairs

DEA MET Team Disrupts Methamphetamine
Distributors in Upstate New York

JAN 5 --Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride of the DEA New York Field Division highlights the success of the NYFD’s MET team’s collaboration with the Jefferson County Task Force in the arrests and dismantling of a methamphetamine organization based in Watertown, NY.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with federal, state and county agencies focused a task force to investigate and combat the methamphetamine epidemic and the manufacture and sale of other illicit drugs in the Jefferson County community of New York State. The detail was comprised of DEA Special Agents, State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and members of the Watertown Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department assigned to the Metro-Jefferson Drug Task Force.

Jefferson County was one of the busiest regions for methamphetamine production in the state. A several month long investigation into the methamphetamine activity in the region culminated in the exposure of a methamphetamine lab in Jefferson County. Both James M. Mayhew, 28 and Billy Jo Simmons, 27, were arrested for conspiracy to produce and distribute methamphetamine. The subjects were arraigned in federal court and are currently incarcerated awaiting disposition of their charges. If found guilty, both fact the possibility of substantial time in a federal penitentiary. A second lab was discovered at a remote cabin in Northern Lewis County that resulted in the seizure of 150 grams of a liquid containing methamphetamine and 21 grams of ephedrine, a precursor for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

In addition to the eradication of two methamphetamine labs in the north country region, the task force worked long hours compiling intelligence and making controlled purchases of narcotics on the streets of Watertown and the surrounding area leading to further arrests and asset seizures. As a result of this investigation, seventeen individuals were arrested on state charges for trafficking narcotics and eleven federal arrests were generated. Eleven properties were searched and seizures included an automobile, a residential home valued at approximately $55,000.00, three weapons and over $16,000.00 in cash. As a result of the efforts of these dedicated agencies, over 194 grams of crack cocaine, with a street value of $19,000.00 was taken off the streets of Jefferson County.

John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the NYFD stated, “Today’s arrests mean we have successfully identified and weeded out some of the dangerous drug dealers, users and distributors of Jefferson County. Their drug trafficking was detrimental to the community. I applaud the work of this multi-agency task force and its ability to make such a lasting impact by the arrest of these individuals.”

This case is being prosecuted by District Attorney Cindy Intschert, Jefferson County, NY.


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