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FGCU UPD uses social media to keep drug dealers in check

You never know who’s really on the other side when it comes to social media. It might be an FGCU student, or it might be a police officer. On March 13, a UPD officer tracked down two separate students who offered to sell him marijuana through Yik Yak and Snapchat.

“UPD has and will use any information available to address crime on campus, including the use of social media,” Chief Steven Moore wrote in an email to Eagle News.

The first case took place at approximately 7 p.m. Officer Michael Harbury decided to investigate a subject who was trying to sell marijuana using Yik Yak.

According to the police report, Harbury used the app to talk to the subject. The anonymous subject asked if “everybody was good,” and Harbury asked “good with what?”

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The student replied “bud.” Harbury then agreed to buy two (grams) for $15 and meet the subject at the smokers’ area behind Osprey Hall by Parking Garage B. The student told Harbury he would be wearing jeans and a grey t-shirt. Harbury waited for the subject, and as soon as he recognized someone who matched the description, he tried to approach him.

However, the subject ran into Garage B and got into the elevator. Harbury checked the security cameras and was able to identify the subject as John Dondero with the help of the resident assistants of Osprey Hall. The housing administrator on call was notified of the incident, and Dondero was contacted. Dondero then consented to a criminal drug search. UPD checked Dondero’s room but found nothing.

“On this particular evening, the officer was simply viewing the app when the conversations  started,” Moore wrote. “These are open public apps, so there is no expectation of privacy issues.”

The evening then progressed, and at 2:10 a.m., Harbury started to talk to another subject who offered to sell him 10 grams for $100.

The conversation went from Yik Yak to Snapchat, and the subject told the officer she wanted to meet him on the fifth floor of Everglades Hall in South Village.

Harbury went to the meeting place and told the subject he was there. The subject then came out of a hallway, and Harbury took her into custody. She had a bag of marijuana that weighed 9.6 grams. UPD then forwarded Guggisberg’s case to the Division of Student Affairs.

“It is important to realize that these cases could have led to charges of possession with intent to sell, which is a felony,” Moore wrote. “UPD would hope cases such as this would deter others from participating in such illegal activity.”

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