A Maryland police officer worked as a Burger King employee for two months to expose two workers that were dealing drugs. The operation was sparked by reports that some local BK employees routinely sold drugs in the restaurant’s parking lot.
Officer Nicole Fair’s findings led to the arrest of two people, but the bust was relatively modest: five grams of cannabis and a couple of morphine pills. So, some people said the department should have spent its resources on something else instead.
Fair, on the other hand, was over thrilled with the outcome of her first operation. She described both the arrests and her work at the fast-food joint as “extremely rewarding.” She noted the Thurmont Police Department hired her to serve the community, which she did. The officer first joined the dept. in July.
She also pointed out that even small busts like this can make a big difference since many communities struggle with serious drug problems. Also, she underscored the local community really feels the effects of these problems, “whether it’s marijuana or something else.”
When Fair become officer, there were rumors that people working at a local Burger King were selling drugs. Since she was a fresh face, she was the perfect man for the job. So, she applied for a position at the restaurant.
In her résumé, she obviously did not mention her experience with the local law enforcement. The fact that the community barely knew her helped her get a nomination for the undercover op.
She landed the BK job in August. Over the last two months, Fair not only sold burgers but she also bought controlled substances from two of her co-workers. So, a 23-year-old man from Thurmont and a 28-year-old man from Emmitsburg landed in jail in September.
The two men now face charges for sale and possession of marijuana and morphine respectively, the police said. Nevertheless in Maryland, possessing less than 10 grams of pot is not illegal. But you risk a $100 fine at a first offense.
The two men face jail time and a criminal record because they sold the drugs to the undercover agent.
Yet, not all people shared officer Fair’s enthusiasm for the bust. One Facebook user described the operation as a “complete waste of time and energy.” And a Twitter user criticized the department for wasting taxpayer money.
Maryland’s Drug Epidemic
But experts noted Maryland is in the midst of a rampant heroin epidemic. Last year, more than 500 people died because of heroin overdoses, which is thrice as much as the number of heroin-related deaths in 2010. Authorities also reported 378 deaths from cocaine overdose and alcohol intoxication during the same period.
Heroin has become more popular because it is sometimes easier to access than prescription opioids. But not only heroin fuels the drug epidemic. Many addicts overdosed on fentanyl, a synthetic opiate drug traffickers add to heroin to make it more potent.
A recent survey shows that 3 in 10 people living in Maryland have a beloved person struggling with opioid addiction.
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