- Riverside California sheriff’s deputies attempted a covert drug sting last week.
- The operation was botched and the suspect flew out after buying 60 pounds of methamphetamine.
- The department is actively investigating where the suspect and the drugs ended up.
Riverside, California police sold 60 pounds of methamphetamine in a botched “reverse buy” drug sting operation in which the suspect quickly walked away with the illicit proceeds.
the desert sun first reported that Riverside County sheriff’s deputies organized the drug deal last Thursday. According to a department news release, undercover investigators met with the suspect to seal the deal, with the goal of identifying “narcotics dealers.”
But after the transaction, the suspect quickly walked away with the drugs.
In the news release, the department said they had identified a local suspect who wanted to buy large quantities of the drug. The officers sold the drugs to the suspect and then attempted to detain the suspect, the statement said, leading to a high-speed pursuit.
“Due to the high speeds and the suspect’s disregard for public safety, officers lost sight of the vehicle,” the department said in the statement.
According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, In 2022, the retail price for medium grade methamphetamine is $2,500 to $3,500 per pound. The suspect in Riverside walked away with between $148,000 and $208,000 worth of drugs, according to that estimate.
Michael Lujan, a retired department captain who lost a recent election for sheriff, said los angeles timesthat “reverse buy” operations like this usually require more vigilance and “guardrails” to ensure someone doesn’t flee the scene.
“Why would you let someone get into their vehicle? I don’t know,” Luján told the Times. “It’s pretty embarrassing. It’s unfortunate because now we have more narcotics on the street.”
The department said the investigation into the suspect is ongoing.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for inside information.