Police arrest more than 40 pot dealers exposed in Telegrass bust

Telegrass was supposed to provide anonymity to dealers and buyers.

By
March 21, 2018 12:20
1 minute read.

POLICE ARREST MORE THAN 40 POT DEALERS EXPOSED IN TELEGRASS BUST (Israel Police)

POLICE ARREST MORE THAN 40 POT DEALERS EXPOSED IN TELEGRASS BUST (Israel Police)

 
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Israel Police arrested more than 40 drug dealers Wednesday morning after an undercover agent infiltrated the app-based weed delivery service Telegrass.

Throughout the past 9 months, police conducted a covert investigation into drug dealers' illegal sales on Telegrass. The service was supposed to provide anonymity to dealers and buyers.

The Telegrass community, a sub-category of the encrypted messaging application Telegram, was founded by Amos Dov Silver, an ex-haredi Israeli. It was designed to facilitate drug — mostly marijuana — exchanges and deliveries between buyers and sellers, and requires dealers to provide their ID number, cell number and a short video of themselves to sign up.

Buyers are also required to disclose private information about themselves to participate. Once buyers find a dealer with whom they wish to conduct business, they will hand over their ID number, as well as their cell number, Facebook profile and a selfie of themselves.

During the investigation, the agent established his position and gained the trust of the suspects. Police caught the dealers at the stage of "ordering drugs and coordinating shipments" on Telegrass.

"During the operation, I bought all types of drugs: ecstasy, cocaine, MD [ecstasy], LSD , marijuana and hash according to instructions from my handler," the agent said.

In a video released by police, Peretz Amar, commander of the coastal district, is shown speaking before the Wednesday arrest.

"This morning we will wake up to a new day, with less drug dealers, around 50 less, because tonight we will successfully limit their operations," Amar said. "Using undercover operatives as an important and useful tool."

Eli Magen, commander of the coastal central unit, had a warning for would-be Telegrass pot dealers.

"From now on, whoever uses Telegrass will think twice before opening the application," he said.

Last month, police hacked the app, exposing more than 3,000 marijuana-loving Israelis' personal details.

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