PA: Marijuana bust goes awry

Discussion in 'The Drug War Headline News' started by Coolguy, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Coolguy Coolguy

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    Marijuana bust goes awry
    Erin L. Nissley | Centre Daily Times | 12/04/2005

    STATE COLLEGE -- Undercover police were nearly ripped off in a drug deal Friday after they gave a man $3,200 for a pound of marijuana, but he never came back with the drugs.

    Kevin M. Hecht, 19, of 2133 Fairview Drive, West Lawn, turned himself in to police about 9:30 p.m., more than an hour after he took the money from a confidential informant. According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in the case, he admitted he'd planned to rob the guy when he set up the deal.

    Undercover cops working with state police's Troop G Vice Unit first became aware of Hecht through a confidential informant, according to the affidavit of probable cause. A buy was set up for Wednesday at a Bryce Jordan Tower apartment where, according to court records, Hecht was supposed to sell them up to six pounds of marijuana for $2,600 a pound. The buy was eventually canceled because the cops "couldn't get it to go on our terms," according to one of the investigators, who asked not to be named because of his continuing undercover work.

    They arranged another buy for Friday. The confidential informant met Hecht at Bryce Jordan Tower and drove him to 220 Easterly Parkway to purchase a pound of marijuana for $3,200. After taking the money, Hecht was supposed to return with the drugs, the investigator said.

    "After a couple of minutes went by, it became obvious he wasn't coming back, that he was ripping us off," the investigator said.

    The undercover officers went to Hecht's girlfriend's apartment, at Bryce Jordan Tower, according to the affidavit. While they were there, Hecht apparently called his girlfriend, and police asked to speak to him. They told him they were cops and he needed to turn himself in and return the money, court records show.

    He told them he was at the Uni-Mart on South Atherton Street and police picked him up there. He still had the $3,200 in his jacket pocket, according to the affidavit.

    The investigator declined to say whether police and the confidential informant followed procedure in the drug deal, or how often they give suspected drug dealers money before obtaining the drugs.

    Hecht was arraigned late Friday on charges of theft, receiving stolen property and criminal use of a communication facility. He was not charged with drug-related counts because he was never in possession of any drugs. He could not be charged with robbery because the informant willingly gave Hecht the money, the investigator said.

    Hecht remains in Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of a $10,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday. Information on whether Hecht had an attorney was unavailable Saturday.

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