California college student created ‘Banana Plug’ app to sell drugs: prosecutors

A California college student has been indicted for allegedly creating a phone app through which he sold drugs, officials said.

Collin Howard, 18, was arrested on federal drug charges Friday after a grand jury indicted him on Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said in a news release.

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A freshman at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Howard allegedly created an app called “Banana Plug,” which was available on the Apple App Store alongside the motto, “We Have What You Want.”

Through the app, the student offered to sell cocaine, “Molly” and “Shrooms,” and also offered customers special requests, prosecutors said.

A university police officer who noticed posters advertising the app around campus then worked with the Department of Homeland Security to try to get drugs from Howard via the application.

Authorities used the app to request weed and cocaine and then coordinated with Howard through Snapchat to buy the drugs, according to prosecutors. The undercover sting operation included four separate drug buys. On the fourth encounter, campus police officers didn’t buy drugs from Howard and instead arrested him.

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Scott Hernandez-Jason, a spokesperson for the school, told The Associated Press that Howard is “no longer a student [at] UC Santa Cruz.” Citing student privacy laws, Hernandez-Jason declined to say if Howard was expelled or voluntarily withdrew.

Howard, who pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges in San Jose after a grand jury indicted him on Feb. 14, was freed on bail in federal and state court. He had earlier pleaded not guilty to similar drug charges in Santa Cruz County where he was arrested in his dorm room on Nov. 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/california-college-student-created-banana-plug-app-to-sell-drugs-prosecutors

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