SAN DIEGO — So a suspected drug dealer gets into a hot tub with three off-duty cops…
It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but it was a sobering reality for an accused California drug dealer.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the story begins back in March when a man got into a friendly conversation with two men and a woman in a hot tub at a Mission Valley hotel. The man asked them why they were staying at the hotel and one of them replied that their crack lab had blown up.
Crack labs don’t blow up. But Andrew James Harris apparently didn’t pick up on the joke. He then told them he was in the drug business — unaware that the three people were off-duty police officers staying at the hotel for a two-week narcotics training in San Diego.
The following night, Harris approached the same three people in the hot tub — except this time there were six more law enforcement officers. According to the newspaper, Harris approached the group with an eight-ball of cocaine in a hat. The detective said she was wearing a bikini and had nowhere to put it, but that she’d get back to Harris.
The officers then told the detective leading their narcotics training, and that’s when the sting began.
The deputies met harris at a restaurant and introduced the task force officer as a family member who wanted to purchase LSD. According to documents, the officer purchased cocaine and 50 tabs of LSD for $600.
The officer went back in April and purchased more cocaine and LSD, according to the documents. That’s when Harris was arrested.
A judge signed a search warrant for Harris’ home, and investigators reportedly found 180 grams of cocaine, 30 grams of Ecstasy, 90 tabs of LSD, cash and a rifle.
“This was totally bizarre,” a detective on the case said, according to the Union-Tribune. “This is probably a career case for me. I don’t think it will ever happen again.
“I work undercover on a regular basis and have never encountered anything like this.”
A federal jury indicted Harris in June. He pleaded not guilty to drug-trafficking charges.