Bay Area drug dealer snared by undercover Instagram account

Many people and companies promote their products and brands on Instagram. Marcos Hatch is one of those people.  The problem, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, is that Hatch did it to sell dope.

Marcos Hatch wasn’t originally on the DEA’s radar.  They were actually looking into another suspected dealer named Christian Vanleer.  An undercover officer managed to get Vanleer to accept his follow request. Once that happened, the DEA was able to see all his pictures and followers.  One of those followers, posting under the name “triggerplayornoplay” caught the attention of agents working the case.

With “triggerplayornoplay”, later identified as Marcos Hatch, now on their radar, agents began monitoring his Instagram activity.  They found photos of him advertising the prescription drug Xanax for sale.  Authorities say he also sold marijuana via Instagram  For that, he took orders via the comments for the photos.  He also took photos of himself with large stacks of cash and his face clearly visible.

Agents obtained a search warrant for his Instagram account.  In his private messages, they found conversations he had about buy and selling drugs and guns.  On May 16, the DEA executed an arrest warrant on his home.  In it, they found a number of guns, drugs and other evidence of his drug-dealing.

As for the original target, Chris Vanleer, his activities led them to an even larger drug-ring.  The DEA raided several of their houses, where they seized hundreds of thousands in cash, guns and ammunition.

If I had to guess, I suspect that a lot of people have since unfollowed Chris Vanleer.


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An opinionated technologist, JP launched Death By Social Media when he saw just how easily and how often people's misunderstanding/abuse of social media created personal catastrophes. As a result, he wanted to provide a resource that would provide cautionary tales for those seeking to avoid similar fates.