An American was arrested last Saturday, June 16, 2019, for selling drugs during a buy-bust operation. The joint team of anti-illegal drug operatives made the arrest in one of the boarding houses in Barangay Taclobo, Dumaguete City.
Arrested as “Street Level Target”
According to the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office (NOPPO), the arrested suspect is identified as James Thomas Hobert. He is a 50 years old American from Florida. Hobert was tagged by the arresting authorities from the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Negros Oriental as a newly-identified “street level target”.
He was arrested on around 8:00 p.m. Saturday at a rented room in Canlas. The law enforcers recovered from the foreign national an elongated transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu, which the suspect allegedly sold to an undercover operative and the Php 500 bill used as buy-bust money. The suspect is now under the custody of the Dumaguete Police Station while appropriate charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act are being readied against him.
Also recovered from the suspect was another elongated transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu; two pieces medium transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu, one big transparent heat-sealed plastic sachet containing suspected shabu, and Php 230 cash. The total confiscated suspected shabu, weighing about eight grams, had an estimated Dangerous Drugs Board value of Php 54,400.
Back in April 2018, he was arrested for possession of illegal drugs. However, reports say that he claimed to be framed after the police found the illegals drugs in his apartment. He quoted “Somebody must be in the house and I can’t say who that person is, or else my life will be over,” during a followed investigation. This 2018 incident happened while the suspect was residing at Pinero Subdivision in Barangay Mangnao, Dumaguete City. According to reports, back when he was identified to live in Iowa, United States of America and was identified as a “high-value-target” by the police.
Recovered from the operation was one plastic sachet believed to contain shabu (methamphetamine), four elongated heat-sealed plastic sachets, one plastic sachet with residues, an improvised ‘tooter’, cigarette lighters, more than Php 1,000 in cash, tinfoil, a Samsung cellphone, and empty plastic sachets.