NORTH READING, MASS. (WHDH) - A 17-year-old Lynnfield boy was arrested Tuesday after a Snapchat post received by an undercover North Reading police officer led to the seizure of a loaded handgun, an array of knives, and about $4,000 in THC oil cartridges, officials said.
The arrest comes after a nearly monthlong investigation found the boy was offering concentrated marijuana vaping cartridges to minors via the popular social media app, according to the North Reading Police Department.
On March 6, police say they received a tip about marijuana and THC oil cartridges being sold to high-school-aged students in North Reading.
A school resource officer launched an investigation and learned that the suspect was allegedly using Snapchat to arrange, sell, and deliver THC oil in North Reading. Officers then contacted the suspect using Snapchat and arranged to buy a quantity of THC vaping cartridges from him.
After meeting at a commercial parking lot in town, police say other officers approached the suspect’s vehicle and identified themselves. At that time, the suspect allegedly refused commands to show his hands and reached toward his waistband. The suspect was restrained by officers and a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun was said to be found on him.
The gun, THC oils, knives, and ammunition were seized by officers.
“This case is a heavily-anticipated consequence of the current state of marijuana regulation and availability. Police have warned about, and are now observing across countless communities, the rise in youth marijuana use and the skyrocketing popularity of smokeless, sometimes odorless THC concentrate in vape devices,” North Reading Police Chief Michael P. Murphy said in a press release. “A profitable black market has been created, with easily available products getting into the hands of minors all across Massachusetts.”
THC oil is a marijuana concentrate that is typically three to four times stronger than standard pot.
The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a class C substance, unlawful possession of a large capacity firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition.
He will be arraigned at a later date in juvenile court.
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