QC police arrests online drug sellers; ₱1.4-M marijuana seized in follow-up ops

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — The Quezon City police has arrested three drug suspects for selling marijuana via group chat which also led to the confiscation of around ₱1.4 million worth of the said illegal drug in a follow-up operation.

Acting Quezon City Police District (QCPD) Director PCol. Ronnie Montejo identified the suspects as John Paulo Flores or alias Sindi, 29; Ryan Erpelo, 29; and Kees Van Paul Lorenzo, 34.

According to QCPD, a confidential informant tipped off authorities that the three suspects were selling marijuana through a group chat in Facebook Messenger. After validating the report, an anti-drug operative posed as a buyer in the group chat.

A joint buy-bust operation was conducted on Thursday evening in front of a fast food store along Susana Road, Brgy. Novaliches Proper, Novaliches, wherein two bricks and a ziplock of dried marijuana leaves worth P240,000, a cellphone, a motorcycle, and the buy-bust money were confiscated.

The QCPD reported that Lorenzo confessed during the investigation that he had remaining stocks of dried marijuana at his home and agreed to surrender them.

A follow-up operation was conducted early Friday in Lorenzo’s residence at Maximo Drive, Brgy. San Agustin, Novaliches.This led to the confiscation of approximately 12 kilos of dried marijuana worth P1.4 million inside a Hyundai Starex van and a small bottle containing marijuana oil.

The suspects were charged with violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The confiscated illegal drugs were turned over to the QCPD Crime Laboratory Office.