Intercepted Twitter messages lead to marijuana bust

Posted at 4:33 PM, Feb 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-18 18:40:07-05

SANDY, Utah - Two 13-year-old girls and an 18-year-old man have been arrested after messages on Twitter led to a marijuana bust at Albion Middle School in Sandy.

Sandy police say two teenage girls made arrangements over Twitter to buy marijuana from an 18-year-old man, but a proactive parent intercepted the crime.

One of the girls' mothers discovered that her daughter had marijuana, so she went through the girl's Twitter account and text messages, police say.

"They were all telling each other who had what marijuana, who didn't have it, who was coming and who smoked. They all pretty much put it out there," the mother, who didn't want to be identified, said.

The mother then used the girl's phone to set up a sting at Albion Middle School. Police arrested 18-year-old Maxwell Curtis.

"The individual who was going to pick them up, texted them. So the parents told him to come pick us up at the school. He came to the school, officers were there. That individual was an 18-year-old male. He was ultimately arrested," said Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold.

Curtis was arrested on drug possession charges, plus contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Court records show that he was busted in a separate drug-related incident in Cottonwood Heights last month.

Curtis allegedly told police that he thought the girls were 16 years old, even though the sting happened at a middle school.

"He was so ignorant to the fact that these girls were 13. It didn't dawn on him that he was doing anything wrong. He drove right to the school. It wasn't even shady," the mother said.

Police say that a search of one of the girl's lockers and the other girl's bag found evidence of marijuana.

"In this day and age, social media is such a big thing, you need be aware of what your children are doing and what accounts they have. You're responsible for your kid up until they're 18," Arnold said.

The mother pressed charges against the two girls and now they'll have to appear before a juvenile court judge.

"I pressed charges against her for paraphernalia and possession so she was arrested," she said. "I love my daughter and if it's tough love and she hates me for it, I hope one day she forgives me because kids don`t know what they're doing."

School officials and police are giving the mother kudos for aggressively patrolling her daughter's social media accounts.