From the Parker County Sheriff’s Dept.
Arrests and charges are pending on five Parker County teenagers who were caught purchasing drugs in Fort Worth.
In early October, Parker County Sheriff’s Special Crimes Unit (SCU) received intelligence of numerous young adults in Parker County who were purchasing controlled substances through the use of a mobile messaging service, SnapChat. The app allows users the ability to send photographs and videos, allowing the receiver to view them for a limited time. If the receiver takes a screenshot of the photograph or video, the app notifies the sender. The app can be used in the covert sale of narcotics to avoid detection from law enforcement.
SCU investigators identified a 25-year-old male from the Dallas-Fort Worth area who openly advertised the illegal sale of marijuana, THC concentrates and edibles, vapes, Oxycodone, Psilocybin, Ecstasy/MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide), DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine), and Cocaine using the app messaging service.
SCU members initiated an undercover investigation and surveillance methods leading them to identify the suspect and where he resides. SCU investigators conducted numerous operations and surveillance on the suspect and buyers throughout October and November. SCU Investigators ultimately obtained a Parker County arrest warrant for drug charges on the suspect and coordinated with Fort Worth Police in the planned execution of a search warrant at the suspect’s residence in Tarrant County.
On Dec. 6, members of Parker County Sheriff’s SCU and Fort Worth Police Criminal Tracking Unit (CTU) attempted to arrest the suspect in the 3300 block of NE 28th St in Fort Worth at a business parking lot.
Upon making contact with the suspect, investigators observed he was actively engaging in delivery of controlled substances to five teenagers from Parker County who were making illegal purchases of marijuana they had ordered on Snapchat. The suspect immediately fled the scene in his vehicle, evading officers at a high rate of speed. Investigators did not give chase due to safety concerns and the fact that the suspect had been identified. SCU and CTU members remained on the scene, identifying the drug buyers and obtaining their admissions of attempting illegal drug purchases.
SCU and CTU members later executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence in Fort Worth. At the home, investigators seized 1,239 grams of illegal drugs including marijuana, hashish, THC edibles, THC concentrate wax, THC vapor cartridges, Ecstasy (MDMA), mushrooms, LSD, and Cocaine.
Investigators reported the drugs carried a street value of $22,000. Investigators additionally seized $15,240 in cash, considered as proceeds from illicit drug sales. While investigators processed the scene, the suspect entered the residence through the back yard, at which time he was taken into custody. He was transported to the Parker County Jail on possession charges. He was later released on a $15,000 bond. Due to the ongoing investigation, the suspect’s identity is not being released.
Investigators reviewed data from the suspect’s digital records, confirming he sold illegal drugs to more than 20 Parker County residents, all under the age of 20, on a regular basis.
Earlier this week, and stemming from the original investigation, Parker County Sheriff’s SCU investigators arrested another male suspect related to the case. SCU investigators believe the suspect was the drug supplier of the Fort Worth suspect arrested earlier this month. Investigators seized an additional $13,000 in cash, believed to be made and collected from illegal drug sales, one pound of marijuana, and intercepted a package believed to contain illegal drugs inbound from another state via the mail service.
Sheriff Larry Fowler said the latest arrest followed an extensive investigation, which revealed the suspects had shipped and transported illegal drugs over state lines.
Fowler said the investigation was a success due to the cooperation of Fort Worth Police.
“We are seeing an increase in drug cases involving social media and mobile messaging applications,” said Sheriff Fowler. “These drug investigations often cross county lines and jurisdictional boundaries. There are no parts of our community which are immune, including our school districts. We would like to thank the Fort Worth Police Department, which has been an invaluable tool in our investigations which cross county lines. We would also like to thank our Special Crimes Unit investigators who are instrumental in detecting drug activity and following the drugs to the source, regardless of what jurisdiction they are found in.”
Fowler added that the case is ongoing. Additional arrests and charges are pending, including the five teens from Parker County.