Crime

Snapchat drug dealer made $2,000 a night selling to Tacoma, Gig Harbor students, charges say

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

The 23-year-old was busy and stressed out selling drugs via Snapchat.

He was constantly fielding orders, and it wasn’t unusual for him to make $2,000 a night.

No, he didn’t always check IDs, but he tried not to sell to minors or to peddle harder drugs to anyone under 21.

That’s what he allegedly told police this week after they pursued an anonymous tip that someone was selling marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills to high school students in Gig Harbor and Tacoma.

The suspect pleaded not guilty at arraignment Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court to four counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, two counts of unlawful drug possession with intent to deliver and one count of furnishing liquor to a minor.

Charging papers give this account:

The tipster told police the names of two Snapchat accounts used in the operation.

A Tacoma officer tried to add both those accounts on Snapchat, and his requests were accepted.

That let the officer see daily posts in which the suspect openly advertised marijuana and hash oil. He also appeared to be selling cocaine and posted photos of prescription pills.

He bragged about how much gasoline he used in one night dealing.

In one video he said: “North End (expletive) I know you’re getting out of school so hit me up.”

He also let it be known that he was armed, apparently to ward off potential heists, and advertised a gun for sale.

Investigators used an informant to do controlled buys last month.

The man later posted there wouldn’t be any deliveries, because his Volkswagen Rabbit broke down.

He said he was dealing from Hosmer Street, instead. A few days after that he posted that he might be getting a Ford Fiesta and that he was back up and running.

Officers followed the suspect recently as he apparently sold marijuana and alcohol from a Ford Fiesta near the 8800 block of Hosmer and elsewhere.

Two customers were 16-year-olds. One was 15.

One minor told police there were 100 classmates contacting the suspect to buy drugs. Another knew of 15 to 20.

The state Liquor and Cannabis Control Board told police the suspect has been banned from some licensed marijuana shops for trying to exceed his daily limit.

Officers arrested him this week.

They found drugs, guns, cash and packaging materials when they searched his vehicle and the hotel where he was staying.

He was surprised, he allegedly told police, that they hadn’t caught him sooner.

Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.

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