Cell Phone Ad Leads To Pot Arrests

Cell Phone, Money, Cash
Six teenagers were arrested on drug charges after a parent flipping through a cell phone found a text message and photo advertising a pound of marijuana for sale, police said.

Police said teens in Farmington, Conn., would call teens in Shrewsbury, Mass., to arrange to buy drugs. The Massachusetts teens then allegedly used cell phones to take pictures of their merchandise and send them to Connecticut.

"They had a lot of proprietary enthusiasm," Sgt. Daniel Devine told The Herald of New Britain. "They would e-mail a picture of the drugs and a message to kids in town on their cell phone, and then the kids in Farmington would send the photo and message to all their friends to notify them of the upcoming sale."

A mother in Farmington found one of the advertisements on her daughter's cell phone and called police. They obtained warrants to monitor additional calls and narrow down locations where the sale could take place, Devine said.

According to reporter Jon Camp of CBS affiliate WFSB in Hartford, Conn., the text message accompanying the picture said, "This is coming to CT this Friday. Get some money together. ... MA BANDT."

Bandt is high quality marijuana.

Farmington police Lt. Bill Tyler told Camp, "We can see who sent the message, who it was sent to, and who it was forwarded to."

The teen whose mother found the advertisement was not involved in the sale and had simply received a text message about it, Devine said.

On Friday night, Farmington police stopped a car and arrested six teens. Devine said police found and seized less than a pound of marijuana, several hundred dollars, drug paraphernalia and cell phones.

Police charged three 15-year-olds from Farmington with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. A 15-year-old from Massachusetts was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

Their names were not released because they are juveniles. They were released into the custody of their parents and will be referred to juvenile authorities.

Police charged Errin Parsons, 18, of Shrewsbury with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released on $1,000 bond and scheduled to appear Jan. 4 in Hartford Superior Court.

Zachary Brady, 16, of Shrewsbury was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and conspiracy. He was released on $10,000 bond and is due back in court Jan. 3.

Devine said police believe Brady has ties to Farmington. Shrewsbury is just northeast of Worcester, Mass.

"These were affluent kids who were selling drugs to other affluent kids," Devine said. "They weren't trying to make a profit to support themselves or their family; they were doing it for fun."

"One of the jobs of a good parent is being nosey," Tyler told Camp, "and that's what happened here. A parent recognized what she saw, and got the info to us."