Federal Prosecutors: Drug Ring Sold Heroin Through Facebook, Snapchat

Image courtesy of TLFagan

Legitimate businesses aren’t the only people using social media to reach customers, and online drug sales apparently aren’t relegated to darknet markets. Federal prosecutors say an alleged drug ring operating in Atlanta took advantage of various social platforms to advertise and accept heroin orders.

U.S. Attorney John Horn’s office in Atlanta announced that the four defendants marketed their heroin on Facebook and then accepted orders via telephone as well as through Facebook and Snapchat.

Authorities were tipped off to the alleged criminal activity by a citizen who contacted the Atlanta Police Department’s Crime Stoppers tipline and said that an individual was advertising drugs for sale, including heroin, on Facebook. The tipster also said the defendant offered “specials of the day” on illicit drugs.

APD shared the information with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and they jointly validated the tip. The two groups set up an undercover drug buy from the defendant, arranging each transaction using a phone number on his Facebook page. Every time, the transaction took place in the same community, with different runners completing the hand-to-hand transaction, Horn’s office says.

All four defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin.