St. Louis police find guns, stolen iPads during major drug bust

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by Maggie Crane / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 10:10 AM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Police recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen iPads while taking down a major drug trafficking suspect just two blocks from a St. Louis park on Friday.
 
Authorities say they also discovered a substantial amount of crack cocaine, cash and illegal guns inside the north St. Louis home.
 
If you have ever been robbed or had your car or home broken into, police say there is a good chance your goods have gone to pay for drugs.
 
On Friday morning, a covert team of officers took out a big-time drug operation, following a tip. Police say community involvement is the best way to beat criminals.
 
A truckload of stolen goods was discovered inside a home near Fairground Park. St. Louis Police Special Ops arrested a 45-year-old man, who they say told them that he had a good run selling drugs.
 
Police reportedly pulled more than a pound of crack cocaine from inside his house, worth about $25,000 on the street.
 
"You can see that it's in a circle, which means it's right out from being cooked," said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Lt. Steve Dodge.
 
Lt. Dodge says the drug would likely have been on the street by nightfall.
 
"It would have been, in all likelihood," Lt. Dodge said.  "If he's cooking it up, he's ready to do business."
 
But buyers do not even need cash. Police say stolen merchandise is often exchanged for drugs. During Friday's search warrant, police found everything from furniture to tools, plus five iPads and four iPods -- all brand new and unwrapped.
 
"It's not like guys are stealing iPads and going to feed their family," Lt. Dodge said.  "More or less they're stealing iPads and trading it in for dope.  And as you can see right here, you've got the guns and potentially stolen merchandise, so it's not just people using drugs for themselves, it's violence, and it's burglaries and it's car clottings. The narcotics is tied in with a lot of the crime."
 
By locking up dope dealers, police hope to have a trickle-down effect on reducing violence throughout the community, because they say with drugs come guns.
 
Police found two revolvers inside the home and ammunition that matches other guns, including pistols and rifles that are still somewhere on the street.
 
"The rifles are a big concern, especially for policemen because those rounds will go right through our vests," Lt. Dodge said.
 
The accused drug dealer in this case is expected to be charged on Saturday.
 
As for all of that stolen merchandise, officers will sift through police reports to try to find their rightful owners.

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