Determined buyer tries to score meth from police detective
By Rebecca Taylor
Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2007
A man hoping to score some meth ended up getting himself arrested Monday when he allegedly tried to buy drugs from a Eugene police detective who was in the process of arresting the man's usual source.
The Eugene police vice narcotics unit had searched an apartment at 1055 W. Seventh Ave. on Monday night and were questioning the tenant inside when a man came up to the door and asked to buy drugs, Sgt. Jerry Webber said.
As detectives stood around with their badges hanging from their necks and latex gloves on their hands, the man asked the tenant, "Can you hook me up?" Webber said.
"I really need a 30," the man said, meaning a $30 bag of methamphetamine, or about 1/4 gram, Webber said.
The tenant was seated on the couch with handcuffs around his wrists. A detective was writing him a citation. The tenant said, "I don't think I can help you," Webber recalled, but the visitor persisted, and turned to the detective for help.
That's when detective Jeff Drullinger pointed at his police badge and said, "How does that shard look?" (A "shard" is a small chunk of crystal meth.)
He told the visitor he was under arrest for attempted possession of methamphetamine. "The guy says, `No, I'm not. I'm leaving,' and tries to run," Webber said.
Three or four officers grabbed him before he could flee. They found a small amount of marijuana in his possession, Webber said.
The officers arrested the man, identified as James Lewis Wilkinson, 34, of Eugene, on charges of attempted possession and sale of meth, delivery of marijuana and resisting arrest.
They cited the tenant, Gary Puckett, 58, for possessing meth and for endangering the welfare of a 15-year-old girl who was in the apartment.
They also arrested Luis Sanchez-Flores, 21, of Eugene, who walked into the apartment carrying seven baggies of meth, which he stuffed into his mouth when he saw the officers, Webber said. He ended up spitting them out and was booked into the Lane County Jail on a warrant and on new charges of meth possession and delivery.
A fourth man, Edgar Daniel Figueroa, 18, of Eugene, showed up at the apartment carrying an illegal butterfly knife, Webber said. He told police he had come to tell Puckett not to sell drugs to his girlfriend. He left with a citation for carrying a concealed weapon.
After that, police stopped answering the door, Webber said.
Such scenes are not uncommon, the sergeant added.
"This is the third or fourth time where we're in full regalia and someone's come in and tried to buy dope from us," he said.