Idaho 911 Drug Deal: Suspect Arrested After Butt-Dialing Emergency Line During Illicit Transaction

A 911 Idaho dispatcher received a very unusual phone call on September 27.

According to the Idaho Falls Post Register, a man from Portland, Oregon, accidentally butt-dialed the emergency line while he was in the middle of a drug deal with two other people.

During the unintentional phone call, the man could be heard talking to two other men about breaking up a large number of drugs and selling them individually in smaller packages.

Lawan Sanders, 38, was tracked down by the Idaho Falls Police Department as he was unknowingly being listened to by the dispatcher. When the police arrived at the scene of the illicit transaction in an unmarked police cruiser, they arrested Sanders and charged him with possession and intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance and in trafficking cocaine more than 28 grams but less than 200 grams.

Sanders and his girlfriend, Charity Fournier, were booked at the Bonneville County Jail. They both later posted their $50,000 bail each. They have a preliminary hearing scheduled for October 23. The other two men, both from Shelley, were not arrested. However, the case has been referred to the Bonneville County Prosecutor's Office to determine if they will face charges.

Sanders originally told the police that he had come to the area with his girlfriend to watch a football game in Moscow, Idaho. However, the two other men involved in the drug deal said they had met Sanders at a restaurant, and he and Fournier had told them that they would sell them marijuana at the Shilo Inn where they were staying. The police officers reportedly found a prescription pill bottle in the Sander's vehicle with marijuana inside of it. After receiving a search warrant, the officers searched the couple's hotel room, where they discovered 2.6 ounces of cocaine, more than half a pound of marijuana, and eight grams of methamphetamine.

The couple could face up to nine years in prison. According to the website, trafficking in more than 28 grams but fewer than 200 grams of cocaine carries a mandatory minimum punishment of three years in prison. Possession with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance is punishable by up to nine years in prison, and possession of a controlled substance carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison.

According to the New York Daily News, this isn't the first time that a drug dealer has accidentally called the authorities on themselves. In September 2014, a Tennessee man Grant O'Connor, 25, butt-dialed 911. The dispatcher, in this case, could hear O'Connor talking about getting high and going to a drug dealer's house. He could be heard talking about "pleasure shivers" and "tiny little pins" in his body. The dispatcher stayed on the line and was able to trace O'Connor's location to a Mexican restaurant in Mt. Pleasant.

When the police arrived at the restaurant, they saw O'Connor and an unidentified woman attempting to pull out of the parking lot. There was a taillight out on the woman's vehicle, and the police used that to stop them. The police then found a small bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia underneath the passenger seat.

O'Connor was arrested and charged with possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia. He apparently did not realize that he had dialed 911. The woman, who claims she did not know the drugs were in her vehicle, was not arrested.

"Really bad luck. And also some really good police work," Mount Pleasant Police chief Michael Hay said at the time.

[Photo via Shutterstock]