Florida teens sold drugs on Snapchat, detectives say

Another teen released to parents and not charged

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Three teens who were supposed to be doing virtual school were instead selling drugs over a popular social media platform, Polk County deputies said.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit received information that THC cartridges and marijuana were being sold on Snapchat to Polk County students.

Undercover detectives said they were able to identify one of the teens as a 17-year-old boy from Lakeland. Detectives then arranged for a transaction, officials said.

“On Thursday, detectives waited at a gas station where the meetup was to take place. The suspect and two other boys arrived on bicycles,” detectives said. “The suspect entered the detective’s vehicle and soon called over to the other boys to come over.”

One of the other boys, who is also 17, entered the back seat of the vehicle, while the third boy, a 14-year-old, stayed outside, deputies said.

“The boy in the back seat sold the undercover detective 56.8 grams of high-grade marijuana for $400,” investigators said.

The two 17-year-olds were arrested. The 14-year-old was turned over to his parents and does not face charges, detectives said.

“Here is what happens when the parents are away at work and the kids are left home alone to attend virtual school. Without the proper supervision, many of them are going to get into trouble,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “This particular scheme could have gotten them robbed, hurt or even killed. This is another example of the potential dangers of social media for children and teens, and the serious danger and trouble that kids can get into on social media platforms when they are not supervised.”

The two teens were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center and face multiple felonies, including possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of marijuana-over 20 grams, selling marijuana, use of a two-way communication device to sell marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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