Snapchat comments lead to drug raid

Man arrested, 4 teens sent home with parents

BEECH GROVE, Ind. - A series of messages posted on Snapchat led police to raid a Beech Grove home, where officers say they found marijuana and a young runaway.

Police said they received an anonymous phone call, saying that several messages were posted on Snapchat, mentioning “bud” being sold from a home on North 9th Avenue.  Another posting used the same slang term for marijuana, with a further mention that the pot being sold from the home was “good bud.”

Snapchat is a smartphone-based app, which has been growing in popularity among teens, allowing messages and photos to be sent to a select group of friends or recipients. The messages are automatically deleted shortly after being received.

In this case, police said they were alerted to the marijuana dealing at the home from someone who had received the text messages.

Captain Bob Mercuri of the Beech Grove Police Department said his officers were not surfing around on the chat service, but once the anonymous caller described where the “good bud” was being sold, police knocked on the door and found immediate evidence of drug use.

“They could smell it right away,” said Mercuri.

Officers said the smell of burning marijuana allowed them to enter the home in the 100 block of North 9th Avenue on Thursday night. Officers encountered four teenagers and an adult, along with a backpack containing marijuana and several different pipes used to smoke pot.

Police reported finding seven pipes, some which were homemade, along with two water bongs.

Parents were called to pick up the four teenagers:  a boy and a girl both age 14, a 15-year-old boy, and a 17-year-old boy.

The only adult in the home was a confirmed runaway, charged with leaving home back when he was a juvenile.  Isiah Hatcher, 22, of East 34th Street in Indianapolis, was booked on misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and charges of being a juvenile runaway.

“Looks like he’s taking the fall for it,” Mercuri said of the drug sales that were posted in the Snapchat messages.

Officers said they found some of the drugs in plain sight when they entered the home, but the backpack full of marijuana was found in a back bedroom where one of the teenagers lives.

The father, who was called to return home, told police he rarely entered the boy’s bedroom and had no idea that drugs were in his house.

The marijuana was found tucked inside a medium-size Christmas tin that was hidden in the backpack, according to the arrest report filed in the case.

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