Text meant for drug dealer sent to sheriff

2010-09-03T00:20:00Z Text meant for drug dealer sent to sheriffBy ALANA LISTOE Independent Record Helena Independent Record
September 03, 2010 12:20 am  • 

A Helena teen sent out a text message last week looking to buy marijuana, only instead of texting the drug dealer, he hit a wrong number.

Who received it?

The Lewis and Clark County sheriff.

The text message said: “Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?”

Sheriff Leo Dutton initially thought someone was playing a joke on him, but quickly realized it was a real request for a drug exchange.

“I’m thinking, ‘Hey this is odd,’ ” Dutton said. “I was looking around to see if there was someone outside my window playing a prank.”

He played along as if it were legitimate. “How much we talking?” Dutton replied to the teen.

The sender said he was close to the dealer’s house, so Dutton got the Missouri River Drug Task Force involved. A detective pretending to be the dealer agreed to meet the sender at a business at the north end of town at 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Dutton said.

Inside the business the detective spotted two male juveniles with an adult male. To ensure it was the right person, the detective called the number three times, Dutton said.

The detective called the teens over and showed them his badge. Dutton said the young boys turned white and their knees began to wobble. The group went outside to discuss the issue further and one of the teens passed out.

“Was it divine intervention or just bad luck?” Dutton said.

The adult male with the group turned out to be the father of one of the teens. He was a big, military-looking guy and he wasn’t happy, Dutton said. The drug detective got both of the teens’ parents involved and decided not to issue any citations.

“When the detective saw there were parents that wanted to be involved he took the right action and I’m really proud of the deputy,” Dutton said. “Trying to buy drugs is a crime, but it’s probably worse that they had to face their parents.”

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4080 or alana.listoe@helenair.com

Copyright 2016 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(36) Comments

  1. eelizabeth
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    eelizabeth - September 10, 2010 1:02 pm
    Purple said: "Lets not forget folks, these kids are a PRODUCT of the helena school system.Tell us again how the public school system in this town is doing such a good job."

    Other products of the Helena school system include athletes, musicians, artists, mathematicians, writers...this list goes on. there might even be a presidential scholar in there. I'm having difficulty seeing your point. Schools do not make idiots.
  2. helenros
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    helenros - September 10, 2010 8:14 am
    IGOTAQ said: "Somewhere in this story there was a reference to a drug dealer. It was of absolutely no consequence. Makes no sense to me." Good point. I wonder if an effort was made to determine the identity of the supposed dealer in this case. If someone is selling drugs to kids then that person ought to face consequences. If this story is true then I think the levity is really unwarranted.

  3. IGOTAQ
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    IGOTAQ - September 09, 2010 6:42 pm
    mtjewel said: "No citations were issued? Solicitation of drugs is a crime. This doesn't even qualify as a slap on the hand, its more likea handshake! "

    Selling drugs is also a crime. I am a bit surprised that no effort was spent tryint to determine just who the "Dawg" in the text message was.
  4. IGOTAQ
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    IGOTAQ - September 09, 2010 5:55 pm
    Somewhere in this story there was a reference to a drug dealer. It was of absolutely no consequence. Makes no sense to me.
  5. griz_girl2010
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    griz_girl2010 - September 09, 2010 11:42 am
    *even though I really don't think it happened.
  6. griz_girl2010
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    griz_girl2010 - September 09, 2010 11:31 am
    i agree with you, terese. Community service is a great way to get kids and adults to straighten up.
    I hope these kids don't think that they can do this again and get away with it.
  7. terise14
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    terise14 - September 09, 2010 10:56 am
    I am also somewhat surprised that a citation was not issued. My son got a MIP (for marijuana) and when I showed up to get him, I made it very clear to the police officer that I was not happy and did not condone this behavior. The officer even said something to the effect, "looks like life for you isn't going to be very good for awhile". I think at that point, my son would have rather been taken to jail, as he knew he was in big trouble. Still, he did ticket my son, after I made my son "come clean", as they had no evidence against him. My son ended up with community service and probation. It seemed a little stiff, as he had never been in trouble before, but it was a great life lesson to him.

    I am happy to report that he has turned into a responsible, young adult that does not drink or take drugs. I am proud of him and feel very fortunate that he has chosen this path, especially considering all of the peer pressure our youths face. I don't know if all of the credit goes to the fact that he got a citation, but thank you HPD.
  8. helenros
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    helenros - September 08, 2010 3:48 pm
    Also, if the kid asked for a $20, why would the dealer respond "how much?" He just SAID $20, duh! Kid might have smoked a few brain cells, I guess.
  9. truth_whereru
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    truth_whereru - September 07, 2010 11:29 pm
    griz_girl2010 I agree with you! Seriously, what are the chances that a teen gets the sheriff's cell phone number? Rumor has it around town that the sheriff's neighbor is the one who texted him. Very interesting. Might this have something to do with the fact it is election season? Hmmmm....makes me wonder.....the whole thing sounds just too tidy and neat to me. No citations were issued, the father just happened to be there.....
  10. griz_girl2010
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    griz_girl2010 - September 07, 2010 1:03 pm
    This story is a load of crap! It's so obviously not true. For one, no kid sends a text message like. Two, He would have his drug dealer in his contacts. Three, Once the text came back and he saw that it was the wrong number he would have stopped texting.
    This is just a way to scare kids. It's no coincidence that it came out right after the school year started.
    And when it says that no citations were issued, YEAH RIGHT!!! This is Helena, MT. You look the wrong way and you get a citation. Totally and completely unbelievable.
  11. helenros
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    helenros - September 07, 2010 6:51 am
    It is curious that the kids were going to score with Dad in tow. It does make one wonder if the kids were actually scoring Dad's dope? A military-looking haircut is no indication that the dude is straight.
  12. WalleyeHunter
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    WalleyeHunter - September 05, 2010 11:03 pm
    Purple said: "With the current leadership in D.C., I doubt seriously these kids would face any federal sanctions."

    Oh yes, this is all linked to Obama in the end. LOL.

    Sheriff Dutton is to be commended for how he handled this, as well as how he handles the workings of the Sheriff's office in general. I'm a fan, personally, of this guy.

    I actually hope that these kids DON'T suffer "federal sanctions" as purple says. What a waste of our taxpayer dollars going after a substance that really has no place even being considered a controlled substance. No, I'm not a medical marijuana cardholder and no, I don't use the stuff so don't question my motives.

    Put our scant law enforcement resources into making sure the wife and child abusers, the muggers, the killers, the deadbeat dads, and the other violent criminals are in jail and get these harmless dope smokers out of the system so we don't have to clothe, house, and feed these people.

  13. hiddenmuggle
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    hiddenmuggle - September 05, 2010 1:12 pm
    Purple said: "Lets not forget folks, these kids are a PRODUCT of the helena school system.Tell us again how the public school system in this town is doing such a good job."

    perp back with more assumptions. PROVE that the kid is a product of the HSD1 perp. How do you know that he's not from townsend, or wolf creek, or canyon creek, or Montana city?
    I'd tell you the old adage about assuming, but you pretty much have the first syllable thoroughly covered...
  14. obsethed
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    obsethed - September 05, 2010 8:32 am
    ...your username is "Tiny" Twigginberries...really? I hope that name gives you higher self esteem. Nothing better than making fun of yourself. Oh and by the way, it was MARIJUANA!!! I'd rather see people use marijuana than opiates that doctors prescribe. Our society is so screwed up to think if a doctor prescribes it, it's okay! Get out! I would much rather smoke reefer than take opiates!
  15. Brian 'Tiny' Twigginberries
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    Brian 'Tiny' Twigginberries - September 04, 2010 4:49 pm
    HaffyNuts said: "Medical Marijuana was mentioned NO WHERE in this story - why would any of you add it?"

    Because it was said in previous stories and because I have a right to free speech much like you. Thanks for asking.
  16. Purple
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    Purple - September 04, 2010 10:10 am
    Lets not forget folks, these kids are a PRODUCT of the helena school system.

    Tell us again how the public school system in this town is doing such a good job.
  17. Purple
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    Purple - September 04, 2010 10:06 am
    helenros said: "A kid fainted? Really? Glad the Sheriff had a sense of humor about this... a drug conviction can result in permanent ineligibility for federal student aid, which IMO is a pretty harsh sentence... lifetime of reduced earning power for a youthful stupid decision."

    With the current leadership in D.C., I doubt seriously these kids would face any federal sanctions.


  18. HaffyNuts
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    HaffyNuts - September 04, 2010 1:03 am
    Medical Marijuana was mentioned NO WHERE in this story - why would any of you add it?
  19. HaffyNuts
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    HaffyNuts - September 04, 2010 12:13 am
    Wow - even though it was an illegal interaction - it had a POSITIVE result. KUDOS to Helena Mt law enforcement and PARENTING!

    My eldest got an MIP at 15 - and BEGGED the sheriff not to hand her over to me - so I understand this young man's fainting. His Papa had NO idea - and when he saw that badge....well.......I bet he even peed a little.

    I never had to lay a hand on my daughter - but commanded enough respect with her to instill the kind of fear that this young man OBVIOUSLY experienced. Funny how nobody here acknowledged the FEAR - enough to make him faint.

    Yeah - his papa had NO CLUE - and I bet that young man will live with this lesson for the rest of his life - my daughter is, and it has been a good lesson.

    Glad the Sheriff and his staff allowed a parent to PARENT rather than make the state do it. Good Job Leo - thank you.
  20. Brian 'Tiny' Twigginberries
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    Brian 'Tiny' Twigginberries - September 03, 2010 7:19 pm
    What's amazing is that Sheriff Dutton has nothing better to do than worry about medical marijuana "getting out of hand" and use the limited law enforcement resources the city has to get kids to solicit $20.00 worth of anything.
  21. Sacaudos
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    Sacaudos - September 03, 2010 2:55 pm
    1rosary: so, if you know the story, why don't you share it? There are lots of stories in the IR that leave open-ended questions. I wish we had some REAL investigative reporters in town...
  22. abodox33
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    abodox33 - September 03, 2010 11:55 am
    Big L: You may be correct that this is not entrapment, but the story looks fishy to me.
    The kid says: “Hey Dawg, do you have a $20 I can buy right now?”
    And then the article states: “He played along as if it were legitimate. “How much we talking?” Dutton replied to the teen.”
    Then the article gets very vague and does not cite any other communications by the kid or the deputy. I can’t help but wonder why, but my gut tells me that the cop was baiting him and “tricking him” into meeting a dealer.
    The kid asked to buy a $20, not drugs in his first note. Could have been a $20 pack of baseball cards…
  23. ostagaard
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    ostagaard - September 03, 2010 11:12 am
    Nice job Sheriff Dutton....... everyone needs a break now and then, thank you for looking out for Helena's youth! Lesson learned I am sure. :)
  24. 1rosary
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    1rosary - September 03, 2010 11:04 am
    I cannot believe the idiot comments on this board. First of all, NEVER believe anything the IR writes. The majority of the time it isn't factual and you DON'T get the entire story such as in this case. You actually believe for one iota of a second that the paper knew the ENTIRE story or that Sheriff Dutton told it to them? Being associated in law enforcement I can tell you 100% the paper does NOT know the entire story and exactly what happened. Please people, use some common sense. Next time you read a story understand it is just that. A STORY and don't make ridiculous comments or accusations when you do NOT know all of the facts.
  25. The Big L
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    The Big L - September 03, 2010 10:52 am
    I don't think that this could be considered entrapment at all. Entrapment is when someone would not have broken the law if they were not tricked by law enforcement. In other words, law enforcement enduces a person to commit an offense that the person likely would not have committed otherwise. I think that it's obvious that the kids would have committed this offense had the sherrif not been texted.
  26. Katmandu
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    Katmandu - September 03, 2010 9:38 am
    ROFLOL!!! Now that is karma, huh?! This story made my day!
  27. hiddenmuggle
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    hiddenmuggle - September 03, 2010 9:37 am
    this is why you should always enter your drug dealer into your phone book and not just put in the numbers, dawg!!
  28. riza58
    Report Abuse
    riza58 - September 03, 2010 9:27 am
    Wait a second why the heck wasnt the "adult" charged with anything? If you buy alcohol for a minor thats a crime, but you can buy drugs with your child and hey thats ok? Come on enforce the laws what a waste of man power and money to start with. I mean you bring in the drug task force for $20 worth of weed, and then you dont even charge anyone....Must have been a friend of a cop or some they knew this stinks of favoritism.
  29. curteous
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    curteous - September 03, 2010 9:02 am
    Common sense justice. I like it! Reminds me of how things were handled "back in the day".
  30. jlarsen
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    jlarsen - September 03, 2010 8:58 am
    Interesting that the father of one of the teens would accompany them to the location where they were expecting to purchase drugs, and somehow be unaware that his son was in the middle of a drug purchase. Is it possible that the father was "not happy" because his kid accidentally texted the wrong number, not only resulting in no green for the trio but also for bringing the cops around?

    I bet all three of them are laughing about how they got out of a ticket for attempted purchase of a controlled substance.
  31. 59602
    Report Abuse
    59602 - September 03, 2010 8:04 am
    Must be election season, All the politicians are starting to get the free press in the IR. When we want info in the IR, it never seems to get there until after the other major papers in MT print it.
  32. abodox33
    Report Abuse
    abodox33 - September 03, 2010 8:02 am
    Sounds pretty close to entrapment to me. I'm glad no citations were issued.
  33. helenros
    Report Abuse
    helenros - September 03, 2010 7:51 am
    A kid fainted? Really? Glad the Sheriff had a sense of humor about this... a drug conviction can result in permanent ineligibility for federal student aid, which IMO is a pretty harsh sentence... lifetime of reduced earning power for a youthful stupid decision.
  34. Montana Mike
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    Montana Mike - September 03, 2010 7:26 am
    I'm just wondering how the sheriff knows or doesn't know that the parent wasn't involved in the drug deal with the minor. Quite frankly the fact the parent was upset is not a good indication of cupability on the parents part.
  35. hotpepper
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    hotpepper - September 03, 2010 7:26 am
    Can we say STUPID or maybe someone smoked one too many? A parent was involoved in this? Wonder if dad or the teen or both will be grounded? Better think before you text kids.
  36. mtjewel
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    mtjewel - September 03, 2010 7:15 am
    No citations were issued? Solicitation of drugs is a crime. This doesn't even qualify as a slap on the hand, its more likea handshake!

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