Nevada DMV-PS News Release

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Carson City, Nevada 89711
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             December 6, 2000
NEWS FROM: Nevada Division of Investigation                                                                   00-142

Nevada Division of Investigation Busts Multi-State Meth Manufacturing and Distribution Ring
Task forces led by NDI and Tri-Net arrest over 20 suspects in meth distribution investigation

Investigators from the Nevada Division of Investigation's Tri-Net Task Force, in cooperation with Nevada and Montana jurisdictions, joined forces on Wednesday, December 6 to secure evidence of a methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution organization. The investigation suggests that since February, the multi-state drug ring suspects are allegedly responsible for the manufacture and distribution of up to 60 pounds of pure meth with a street value of over a million dollars.

The meth produced by the suspects is labeled "pure" by investigators, who believe the drug commands prices up to $1000.00 per ounce. Investigators believe that the organization was purchasing and receiving huge quantities of the necessary meth manufacturing ingredient, "pseudoephedrine" from the Dayton Valley Corner Store in Dayton and the Country Store Food Mart in Carson City. The owner of both stores, Shahawali Abdulwahabzada, is currently in custody at the Carson City jail.

Investigative leads led to the Great Falls, Montana area where officers from the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, Great Falls Montana Police Department and the Cascade County Sheriff's Office joined the case. Their participation in the bust has resulted in the service of fifteen initial warrants of arrest in residents of Nevada and Montana. Located in the searches were three clandestine meth laboratories in Ulm, Montana, Great Falls, Montana and Dayton, Nevada. A second possible lab was also located in Ulm, Montana. $5,000.00 and over one pound of methamphetamine was seized at the locations. (See attached list of arrested suspects and their addresses.)

More requests for warrants of arrest are expected in the weeks to follow as up to 45 people have been implicated in the investigation. It is anticipated that the dismantling of this organization will disrupt the availability of methamphetamine in Western Nevada and Great Falls, Montana.

DMV&PS Director Richard Kirkland praised the efforts of the involved jurisdictions, "This case provides an excellent example of the benefits of task force enforcement conducted by local, state and federal law enforcement. Governor Guinn and I are very proud of the investigative work of these officers."

Tri-Net Narcotics Task Force is comprised of members of the Douglas County Sheriffs Department, Lyon County Sheriffs Department, Carson City Sheriffs Department, Storey County Sheriffs Department and the Nevada Division of Investigation. Other Nevada law enforcement jurisdictions involved in the intensive surveillance and investigative work include: North Central Nevada Narcotics Task Force, Nevada Parole and Probation, Nevada Highway Patrol, Humbolt Consolidated Task Force, US Drug Enforcement Administration, US Internal Revenue Service, South Lake El Dorado Narcotic Enforcement Team (SLEDNET) and the Northern Nevada Violent Crime Task Force.

Suspects arrested at the listed locations include:

Robert Ray Roberts 46 294 Prospector Road Dayton
J. Novak 29 294 Prospector Road Dayton
Kimberly Rigdon
AKA Kimberly Powers
43 608 North Nevada Carson City 
Kenneth Chandler 50 Four Seasons Hotel, 299 3rd Street Great Falls, MT
Melvin Tom Cowperthwaite
AKA/Tom Cowperthwaite
48 Four Seasons Hotel, 299 3rd Street Great Falls, MT
Joe Flood 33 124 Milligan Road Ulm, Montana
David Neal Adkins 50 124 Milligan Road Ulm, Montana
Larry Powers 54 1191 East Long Carson City
Erica Crandell  46 1191 East Long Carson City
Shahawali Abdulwahabzada 34 4557 Muldoon Carson City
Marvin Higday 43 Plaza Motel Carson City
Kyle Higday 24 Plaza Motel Carson City
Robert Beattie 33 2789 Gardner Lane Carson City
Bruce Peart 48 2789 Gardner Lane Carson City
Brian Mitchell 39 2789 Gardner Lane Carson City
Christina Moriarty ? 2789 Gardner Lane Carson City
Rebecca Wilcox ? 1123 Azul Gardnerville
Gary Sabino
AKA/Gary Pavallero
43 1123 Azul Gardnerville
Cathy Wurster 41 630 E. Long Street #101 Carson City
Russell Dean Robinson 48 2350 Poole Way Carson City
Teddy J. Peterson 49 2350 Poole Way Carson City
Christopher Adkins 18 2521 7th Ave. Great Falls, MT

The Nevada Division of Investigation, a Division of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety, assists local law enforcement jurisdictions in criminal investigations.