About two years ago, I posted a blog (Seller Beware) about Craigslist transactions. We had experienced some robberies in Boca Raton and there were also some violent crimes, including homicides, in other jurisdictions across the country.
Over the last several months, we have seen another disturbing trend involving transactions. This time, it’s primarily marijuana deals. Here is a sample of the cases we have worked:
- Last December, Nicholas Acosta was shot and killed at the U-Park Apartments after five suspects came to buy marijuana from him.
- In March, Atila Dearaujo died from stab wounds after engaging in a botched drug deal in the 1600 block of NW 13th Street.
- On April 3, 2016, a dealer was stabbed twice after he made arrangements to sell 25 grams of marijuana to Jordan Washington. Washington was arrested and charged with Robbery with a Weapon and Aggravated Battery.
- On April 15, 2016, a buyer showed up at Woodlands Park to purchase weed and was shot after an altercation ensued during the transaction.
- On April 29, 2016, a buyer arranged to purchase marijuana from someone he met at the Blue Martini. The victim got into the car with the suspect in the BP Gas parking lot on Glades Road. During the course of the transaction, the seller pulled out a handgun and demanded the victim’s wallet. The suspect then forced the victim out of the car and fled.
- On June 7, 2016, Jacob Walsh was shot and killed during a marijuana transaction at the San Marco Apartments, 5507 North Military Trail.
- On June 9, 2016, a 16-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to his left ankle after he showed up to buy weed at 5800 North Federal Highway, behind the 24-Hour Mart.
Buying weed isn’t what it used to be. Not that it was ever a good idea, but this generation of consumers and vendors are arming themselves, and they clearly have a greater propensity for violence. They are even advertising it on their social media profiles.
You might ask, “Why is this important to me?” When we were dealing with the Craigslist problem, we offered up our police station as a recommended safe location for people to complete their transactions. We can’t make the same offer for your weed deal.
Last Tuesday night, a 17-year-old was shot during a marijuana purchase. Is your kid likely to buy weed? At the very least, parents need to have a conversation with their kids about the potential outcomes.
Most of these armed thugs don’t practice very often and don’t care about who may get caught in their field of fire. Everyone needs to be aware of any suspicious activity - and report it to us accordingly.
The pattern is all over the place and not unique to Boca, but we will be attacking the problem from a number of different angles. We need you to be vigilant and let us know when you see a problem. As always, let’s be careful out there.