WITH the pandemic pushing pushers adopting new methods and technologies to properly sell their wares, gardaí have been forced to adopt new personas in a bid to crack down on the sale of narcotics on social media.
Dealers are being made aware of undercover cops posing as customers on Snapchat, setting up meets before swooping in and arresting all involved. Luckily, Waterford’s finest cocaine peddlers have identified a few ways to know if the eager customer sending fifty snaps an hour looking for ‘a drug bag’ is in actual fact an undercover cop:
A lack of casualness
“If someone is overeager to meet you at a very specific place at a very specific time, that should be a red flag” said one Waterford ecstasy salesman we spoke to.
“There’s no banter out of these lads. Most people send you shite snaps for hours, working their way into your good books or maybe just off their faces sending barely-readable nonsense.”
“If someone lands in straight away with ‘hello, is this where I buy drugs? Can I buy some for tonight at 7.45pm? Can you tell me what you’ll be wearing when you approach the unmarked white van parked on the corner of main street and the bridge?’ Something shady going on there.”
Whereas most casual drug users will be fairly au fait with the terminology surrounding drugs and drug usage, our man in Waterford suggests that the DS officers posing as Snapchat users may use strange or outdated terminology while setting up stings.
“Take this snap here, for example; ‘hi my man, looking to get really high tonight with the guys, just wondering if you could hook us up with some of that chronic to roll up a few fatties, homie’… yeah, there’s something suss there. Also, this guy calling it ‘wacky backy’- even my Da doesn’t call it wacky backy. Cop, cop, cop, block, block, block”, he advises.
Usernames that sound cop-ish
“90% of these lads are called Padraig and have a Bob Marley cartoon with a hashleaf on it as their avatar” says our contact, showing us an endless sea of ‘Padraig420’ variants on his Snapchat. “Look at this guy; contact number is 999, for fuck sake. Block!”.
With the vast majority of Snapchat drug sales involving younger people wanting to buy a few pills for the weekend or a gang of business lads looking to share one bag of coke between them on what they class as being a ‘wild night out’, our drug source says to be mindful of anyone on Snapchat looking to purchase a larger-than-normal amount of drugs.
“It’s a sure sign you’re getting set up for a sting when you see a message saying ‘I’d like to purchase a class A narcotic with the street value of €5,000 or over, cash ready and waiting for you under a big net'” our man says. “The cops are sneaky, but they’re still cops at the end of the day”.
While drug dealers around the country are urged to follow this advice to stay safe while providing their vital service to the greater criminal network in the country, it should be noted that sneaky gardaí may have infiltrated other channels including news websites and planted fake information to lull people into a false sense of security. Be careful out there!