Mission Valley, CA - What started out as a police officer making a joke in a motel hot tub turned into a drug raid after somebody took him a little too seriously.
The incident began on March 26 at the Courtyard by Marriott when the suspect Andrew James Harris started a 'friendly conversation' with three off-duty Marin County Deputies in a motel hot tub, according to Marinij.com.
He asked them why they were there, and one of them said, as a joke, that their crack lab had blown up. The man apparently didn't know that crack labs don't blow up, but sensing kindred spirits, he told the three that he was in the drug business, too.
One of the detectives, who is a part of the Marin County Major Task Force, said, "We let him lead the conversation, take it where he wanted to go."
The three deputies were back in the motel hot tub, along with six more officers who were also there for the same training the next night. Harris approached the group and said that he had something he thought they might be interested in.
He left and came back with an 'eight-ball' in a hat. The female deputy told Harris that she was interested but didn't have anywhere to put the dope because she was in a bikini but offered to talk later. The deputies later told their instructor about the incidents, and he decided to continue and see how it played out.
The next day, the three deputies met Harris for a deal at a Starbucks parking lot, and introduced him to their instructor, who was acting as if he were a hippie from nearby Ocean Beach looking to score some LSD. The transaction was completed, and Harris was paid $600 for four grams of cocaine and 50 tabs of LSD.
The deputies completed their training and went back to Marin County. A second buy at the same location between the same narcotics detective/instructor and Harris resulted in $360 being exchanged for 3.5 grams of cocaine and 20 tabs of LSD.
The third buy was the charm for Harris, who was arrested when he tried to sell the detective 30 grams of cocaine and 100 tabs of LSD for $2,000. Besides what he had brought for the sale, Harris also had in his possession $4,100 in cash believed to be earned by selling drugs.
After that deal, officers obtained a search warrant, which was signed by a San Diego Superior Court judge.
A search of Harris' home led to the seizure of 180 grams of cocaine, 30 grams of Ecstasy, 90 tabs of LSD, 3 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, and several bottles and vials of what are believed to be anabolic steroids, a digital scale, $2,600 in cash, hundreds of tiny plastic baggies printed with designs, and a Savage Model 10 6.5-millimeter bolt-action rifle with ammunition were also seized.
Harris was initially charged on the state level, but those charges were dropped so federal charges could be obtained instead. He has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges, and is out on $30,000 bond.
The female undercover Marin County detective said that she had never seen anything so 'bizarre.' She said "I work undercover on a regular basis and have never encountered anything like this.”