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Text meant for drug dealer sent to sheriff


Text meant for drug dealer sent to sheriff


ALANA LISTOE                                                                                  Independent Record

Friday, September 3, 2010 12:20 am


A Helena teen sent out a text message last week looking to buy marijuana, only instead of texting the drug dealer, he hit a wrong number.

Who received it?

The Lewis and Clark County sheriff.

The text message said: “Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?”

Sheriff Leo Dutton initially thought someone was playing a joke on him, but quickly realized it was a real request for a drug exchange.

“I’m thinking, ‘Hey this is odd,’ ” Dutton said. “I was looking around to see if there was someone outside my window playing a prank.”

He played along as if it were legitimate. “How much we talking?” Dutton replied to the teen.

The sender said he was close to the dealer’s house, so Dutton got the Missouri River Drug Task Force involved. A detective pretending to be the dealer agreed to meet the sender at a business at the north end of town at 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Dutton said.

Inside the business the detective spotted two male juveniles with an adult male. To ensure it was the right person, the detective called the number three times, Dutton said.

The detective called the teens over and showed them his badge. Dutton said the young boys turned white and their knees began to wobble. The group went outside to discuss the issue further and one of the teens passed out.

“Was it divine intervention or just bad luck?” Dutton said.

The adult male with the group turned out to be the father of one of the teens. He was a big, military-looking guy and he wasn’t happy, Dutton said. The drug detective got both of the teens’ parents involved and decided not to issue any citations.

“When the detective saw there were parents that wanted to be involved he took the right action and I’m really proud of the deputy,” Dutton said. “Trying to buy drugs is a crime, but it’s probably worse that they had to face their parents.”

Entry #3,089


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