Tommy Jones Foundation

Dedicated to the Reduction of Youth Substance Abuse

PO Box 958,
Granite Quarry, N.C. 28072
704-633-3543. e-mail website


February 13, 2000

To: Rowan County Community Leaders

Re: Methamphetamine Alert

It is of  particularly concern to read of the recent arrest of Larry and Angela Rowland for various charges associated with the distribution of methamphetamine.  While hearty congratulations are in order to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department for helping make this important arrest, I fear the large quantity seized marks the beginning of a plague that is descending upon our community- one in which we are ill prepared to combat and will add to rather than replace the significant problems we already have with crack cocaine and other drugs.
I have been tracking it for the past year. Despite forewarning it continues its inexorable march eastward finding many young people in rural communities easy prey. Tragically, they seem to be unaware or unconcerned by the tremendous damage it will do to their bodies. Nor do they realize that once addicted, most users frequently share needles and risk other life threatening illnesses like AIDS and Hepatitis C . Its victims become psychotic, paranoid and violent with users often digging at their skin, trying to get at "crank bugs" -- imaginary insects they think are crawling just under the surface of their gaunt bodies.
Communities then suffer greatly responding to the effects of this drug. Substance abuse treatment centers become overwhelmed. Felony arrest rates double or triple. Special clean up squads have to be created to dismantle deadly and highly explosive meth labs. Court calendars are clogged and jails overflow. Social Services contend with the discarded or endangered children of meth addicts and/or “cooks”. Farmers must become vigilant as their land becomes hazardous dumping grounds for the highly toxic chemical sludge by-products that are produced. Some rental housing become serious health hazards as meth “cooks” move from house to house hoping to keep a step or two ahead of the law.
Sadly, I have not read any articles depicting success in turning the tide against meth. California, the first state to be inundated with it, remains overwhelmed despite receiving huge sums of money from the Federal government. Ditto for many other states like Montana, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Consequently, this leads me to believe that the only way to spare our community this scourge is by prevention and public education programs. We must find some way to convince our youth that this drug is extremely dangerous. Parents, teachers and community leaders need to be alert to its dangers. Law enforcement and other government entities must act with urgency to seize meth labs and quickly arrest these awful people who manufacture and distributing this poison.
I realize that it is difficult to visualize the plague of methamphetamine on the strength of one small article buried in a sea of other small town news of the Salisbury Post. However, if you can spend a little time exploring the links on the attached web-page you should come away greatly alarmed. Our community is just like all those other communities. Once established, we are doomed to be forever fighting it. That will be a terrible shame that can be avoided if we can somehow collectively prepare for its onslaught. Sadly, that is a virtue few communities possess.
In conclusion, if you have read this far and I have at least alerted you to the dangers of meth then I have accomplished my goal. However, I hope far more can be accomplished. At a minimum, a community coalition should  be formed. In some parts of the country coalitions have become effective organizations in fighting substance abuse. As far as I know, we do not have an on-going coalition but I greatly encourage one to be formed. It’s better now than later!

        Mike Jones

Methamphetamine links

PS: I also monitor other abused substances (both legal and illegal) and when possible place links  to pertinent information that can be accessed at

Rowan county arrests

Rowan county meth labs- year 2000.



Story 1

Two charged with dtug trafficking

GOLD HILL —After a year-long inves- tigation, a team of agents from federal, state and local agen- cies arrested two resi- dents on charges of trafficking in metham- phetamine powder.
A camera was set up on a bird house above their mobile and a mon- itor was on the TV so the suspects could monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, Lt.
John Sifford said.
The Special Inves- A. Row’and tigative Unit of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, the Salisbury Police Department, the State Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration worked together on the investigation that
focused on the mobile home at 935-E Zion 
N Seven handguns of various types a~ 
Church Road. 
calibers and four long guns of varioi 
Larry Wayne Row dT31 and his 
wife, Angela Marie Rowland, 25, of the 
N Various publications dealing with ti 
home on 935-E Zion Church Rd.,were 
production of methamphetamine ai 
homemade explosives. 
I n v e s t i g ~i t o r s 
I Various items of drug paraphernali 
served the search war- 
Investigators charged Larry Rowla 
rant Thursday and con- 
with trafficking in methamphetamine 1 
fiscated the following 
possession and trafficking in methamph 
items from the resi- 
amine by transportation, both felonies. 
Larry Rowland is in the Rowan Coun 
Detention Center under a $200,000 securi bond.
N Approximately 140 grams of metham- phetamine powder with a Street value of
two pounds of “Biker’s 
C o f f e “~
(coffee/methamphetamine mixture). N Approximately $3,152 in cash.
N A 1987 Pontiac Trans Am, a 1991 Honda CRX and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Angela Marie Rowland was charg~ with trafficking in methamphetamine I possession and felonious possession methamphetamine.She is ,m~U~e Row County Detention Center under $150,000 secured bond.
The State Department of Revenue w contacted due to the drug tax in Nor Carolina and some property was seized pay for the taxes on the $56,000 conf:
cated from the home.

Bust 2
Drug lab busted in Gold Hill- Feb 11, 2000
GOLD HILL — Law enforce- ment officers arrived just in time Thursday afternoon to interrupt a man making a batch of metham- phetamines, the Rowan County
Sheriff’s Department said.
At 2080 Liberty Road, Rowan County Special Inves- tigators served a search war- rant and en- countered tox ic fumes. Agents say
William Dou- 
glas Barringer 
Jr. was trying to finish making two to three ounces of the illegal drug.
Along with the Rowan deputies, agents from the State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Adminis- tration and an undercover Salis- bury Police officer surrounded the house and arrested Barringer,
They also arrested Michael Alex Hall, 46, of Route 1, Polkton in Anson County.
Sheriff George Wilhelm said numerous anonymous tips lead to the drug bust. After the arrest, Wilhelm’s department Contacted Anson County deputies, who found an “out
of use” drug f~ 1 lab in Hall’s home, Wilhelm said.
say Barringer Was OPerating a Clandestine lab to make the drug at his L4betty Road home. “There are dangers in dealing with all of
the chemicals used in making the drug,” Wilhelm said.
Rowan County Emergency Med ical Services, the Liberty and
Salisbury fire departments and the Rowan County Haz-Mat Team also responded in the event of an injury,
Earringer Was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine by possession, simple felonious possession of methamphetamine maintaining a dwelling to manu- facture a Controlled substance, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and manufac.. turing methamphetamine His bond is $200,000.
Hall was charged with traf- ficking in methamphetamine by Possession, manufacturing methamphetamine Conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and carrying a Concealed weapon,
Deputies Confiscated the un- processed drug. Methampheta mines sell for around $200 to $300 per gram.
They also Confiscated drug Paraphernalia, literature on the production of methamphetamin and the set UP of a drug lab, liter- ature on the production of bombs and explosives, six long guns and three handguns