Bainbridge Island police arrested a suspected high school cocaine dealer last week as a side effect of surveilling a suspect in a different case.
Police were engaged in surveilling the now-arrested "up-skirt" voyeur on Tuesday, March 5 when one detective saw something suspicious out of the corner of his eye.
"A Poulsbo detective observed a 17-year-old boy with some other boys at Safeway and they had a metal tin that was open," said Bainbridge Detective Scott Weiss.
The alleged dealer is a student at Bainbridge High School. The boys were off-campus during second period lunch.
The metal tin turned out to be a cigarette case with plastic lock bags inside. It was later discovered to contain a total of 2.5 grams of cocaine.
Once detectives finished surveilling their suspect, they immediately returned to the Safeway to locate the high school boys. They tracked the alleged dealer and his friends to the nearby gazebo at the Bainbridge Public Library.
The 17-year-old was found with white powder still on his nose.
"Obviously he had recently taken some (cocaine)," Weiss said.
The alleged dealer admitted to police that he sold cocaine, though he denied selling any that day.
He said that he would travel to Seattle, purchase cocaine and return to Bainbridge Island to sell it. Weiss said that he believes the high school was the dealer's main market.
"That seems to be the people he associates with and that is where he's from," Weiss said.
The 17-year-old had $250 in his possession at the time of his arrest.
He told police he had no job and that the money was his life's savings.
The young man also had a marijuana pipe on him.
The teen was arrested and taken to a juvenile detention center.
Weiss said that cocaine has always been present on the island since he started working on Bainbridge in the late 1980s.
"Heroin seems to be more on the uptake, but cocaine has always been out there," he said.
Weiss said he believes that if the department had more resources, it would come across a lot more cases like the recent arrest.
"We just lucked out this time because we were already doing surveillance," he said. "But we don't have the resources to do that very often anymore."