An allegedly armed 17-year-old was arrested as police seized approximately $4,000 in THC oil cartridges, according to North Reading Police.
Police said they had been investigating the target for nearly a month after learning that he was offering concentrated marijuana vaping cartridges to minors via Snapchat.
On March 6, police received the tip about the possible sales, and an investigation was launched into the report.
That investigation then indicated that the suspect was allegedly using the app to arrange, sell and deliver THC oil in North Reading, and police allegedly contacted the suspect through Snapchat to arrange a time to buy THC vaping cartridges from him.
@NorthReadingPD arrest 17-year-old who they say set up THC vaping cartridge deals, selling to minors through Snapchat. Undercover officers posed as customers, arrested suspect who was armed with handgun, and did not surrender, had to be restrained, per police .@boston25 pic.twitter.com/FCwVUeVYPu— Evan White (@EvanWhiteIII) April 10, 2019
After a meeting at a parking lot in North Reading, other officers approached the teen's vehicle and identified themselves, and the suspect allegedly refused commands to show his hands while reaching toward his waistband.
The teen was restrained by officers, and a loaded 9mm handgun was found on him.
"There are countless ways in which this scenario could have turned out worse, had it not been for the calm reactions and professionalism of our North Reading Police Officers," North Reading Police Chief Michael Murphy said. "But it should be a startling wake up call for everyone who does not fully appreciate the unintended consequences of marijuana commercialization.”
Police allegedly seized the handgun and approximately $4,000 worth of marijuana products, and arrested the 17-year-old Lynnfield native, who won't be identified due to his status as a minor.
“We are seeing a rise around the region in marijuana use among young people through the use of THC oil in vape devices, and public safety officials are extremely concerned about the increased availability of drugs to minors,” Murphy said. “I urge all parents to educate themselves on THC oil, its effects, and how easy it is for minors to disguise its use.”
The teen was charged with possession with intent to distribute a class C substance, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
The suspect will be arraigned in juvenile court after the alleged incident.
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