BAGUIO CITY- A 35 year old suspected “drug queen” together with her “Lieutenants” were taken midnight Thursday after agents of the National Bureau of Investigation-Cordillera with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Cordillera operatives swarmed an apartment on a three-storey building in Purok 8, Bakakeng Norte here being used as a drug den and a drug distribution operations hub.

A former drug dependent turned government informant bought P1,000 worth of shabu from Cristina Escopete, 45, who lives nearby, prompting the former to activate a prearranged signal for NBI and PDEA agents to swoop down at the apartment catching the drug queen and two more. When frisked, a sachet of
shabu weighing at least a gram of shabu was seized from Escopete’s wallet. Although nothing was seized from wifi cable installer Jason Prodon, 32, seven sachets of shabu were found from the ball cap of Steven Donne Rivera Halili, 27, who also lives nearby. A miniature digital weighing scale was also found from the pocket of Halili.

Prodon, who claimed, he had been warning Escopete and Halli to stop calling in strangers inside the apartment, reportedly negotiated with the building owner more than a month ago that he be allowed to
rent the apartment for P6,000.00 Building owner Josephine Laroco said they often notice motorcycle-riding men arriving and leaving the apartment during the night or Escopete meeting men outside the building
compound handing out something. Dogs dont cheat about strangers frequenting the apartment, she added.

NBI agents have undertaken at least four test-buy operations with the help of two government informants aided with a surveillance camera to confirm and reconfirm Escopete’s drug dealing inside the apartment.
Prosecuting Fiscal Bernard Angeles, the building owner, Bakakeng Norte barangay kagawad Precy King-eo and a media representative witnessed the inventory of the seized sachets of shabu pegged to reach over P40,000, drug paraphernalia like a weighing scale, makeshift scooper, lighters, a roll of aluminum foil,
the buy-bust money.

Artemio A. Dumlao/ABN

Amianan Balita Ngayon