Meth arrests on the rise in Vidor

Joy Kay Rickett (left) and Michael Dewayne Williamson

Vidor police arrested three people for methamphetamine-related crimes in a three days’ time, one of whom was driving around in a mobile meth lab, police report, and the Vidor Police Department’s chief says he is concerned that the dangerous drug seems to be “making a comeback” in his community.

To readers who think texting while driving is bad, this alleged meth cook’s actions could cause serious alarm. According to a police report from VPD, officers on foot patrol in the 400 block of Mill Street in Vidor at about 2:15 a.m. on Feb. 23 conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle operating without using headlights. Vidor resident Joy Kay Rickett, 36, was arrested after police reportedly caught her using the “shake and bake” method to cook methamphetamine inside her vehicle.

“She was cooking it in the car,” said VPD Chief Dave Shows. “It is very dangerous. It could blow up.”

Shows explained that the “shake and bake” technique frequently used by meth cook to create small amounts of the drug produces heat and volatile fumes that could “ignite” and, in this case, “engulf the car in flames.”

“On a 1 to 10 scale of danger, I would rate it a nine and a half,” Shows asserted. “The people who do it are stupid.”

Rickett was arrested for possession and manufacture of methamphetamine and transported to the Orange County Correctional Facility.

In another early morning incident the following day, Feb. 24, VPD Officer Jesse Loredo conducted a stop at approximately 2:45 a.m. on a pedestrian seen staggering while walking in the area of West Park Street and Mill Street, not far from where the previous morning’s arrest was made. The officer spoke to the male, who was identified as 22-year-old Michael Dewayne Williamson of Vidor. Williamson was arrested for outstanding warrants including one for possession of drug paraphernalia, one for operating a vehicle with no driver’s license and two for failure to appear. After Williamson was arrested and taken to the Orange County Correctional Facility, he was reportedly found to be in possession of what police believe to be methamphetamine, “a clear crystal substance” inside a “small blue baggy.” Officer Loredo submitted an affidavit of probable cause charging Williamson with possession of a controlled substance and for having a prohibited substance inside a correctional facility. While in custody, Williamson reportedly admitted the substance was indeed meth, and told officers at the jail he tried to dispose of the baggy before they were able to find it but was unable to do so. According to Williamson, who faces jail time and hundreds of dollars in fines if convicted, he paid $30 for the meth he had in his possession.

In a third meth-related incident on Feb. 25, VPD Officer Eric Meineke responded to a call regarding shoplifting at Walmart on Main Street. Reportedly, a white male had just returned stolen merchandise for cash and left the store. The white male was last observed walking north on Main Street, witnesses reported, and VPD Sgt. Lee Brading, who was in a nearby parking lot, saw the subject drop something on the ground as he walked. When Officer Meineke caught up to the fleeing suspect, according to the police report, the man, identified as 30-year-old Orange resident Colt Allston Rash, threw his hands into the air. Meineke then told the man to place his hands on the hood of the patrol car, which he did. He was handcuffed and detained while officers looked around the grassy area where Brading allegedly saw the suspect dispose of something while walking. VPD Officer Barry Laird found a small baggy, clear on one side and green with Playboy Bunny logos on the other side, that contained “white crystal rocks” police believe to be methamphetamine. Rash denied that the baggy containing the potential drugs was his but admitted being at Walmart. He said he returned Christmas presents he received while at the store. However, loss prevention personnel from Wal-Mart told police a different story. Security officers reportedly saw Rash take items from the shelves of the store before returning the very same items, an air mattress, a bottle of Nyquil and the DVD “Ender’s Game,” to the store for cash. Rash denied the accusation but was arrested for theft in relation to the alleged shoplifting. Walmart’s loss prevention staff did provide police with video evidence for examination and investigation.

Upon questioning, police report, Rash eventually admitted he threw the baggy into the grass and told police he paid $50 for the methamphetamine inside. He was arrested for theft and taken to the Orange County Correctional Facility. Possession charges are pending.

Chief Shows said the incidents seem to indicate an upward trend in methamphetamine distribution and use in Vidor, and he believes that could be partially due to Vidor’s crackdown on bath salts that were being sold in stored and abused in a manner similar to meth.

“We are starting to see a comeback of methamphetamine,” Shows cautioned.

But in a warning to potential abusers and sellers, Shows said he and officers at VPD will be working hard to suspend that upward trend and are on the lookout for meth users and distributors throughout Vidor.

“We’re prepared to deal with this situation,” Shows said. “We are actually hunting them.”


Sharon Brooks can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at sharon [at] theexaminer [dot] com.