By any measure, a gram of wax is a solid deal for a double quarter-pounder, two fries, and two large sodas. For 22-year-old Brian Starliper of Idaho Falls, convenience—and the possibility of making a new friend—outweighed cost. “I’m too lazy to get up and go to McDonald’s myself tbh,” Starliper wrote on Facebook. But Facebook, tbh, is crawling with snitches. And somebody tipped off the Idaho Falls Police Department about Starliper’s offer. That tip led to a search warrant which led to a pair of arrests and a long docket of charges. And that’s why it’s not a good idea to talk about weed on Facebook in Idaho.
Who Snitched on the Brian Starliper’s Incredible Wax-for-Fast Food Offer?
Cannabis prices can vary substantially, especially in a place with no legal market. Idaho is one of the few remaining states in the country where cannabis is fully illegal. No medical–not even any decriminalization measures–but plenty of harsh sentences. Possess less than three ounces for personal use, and you’re looking at a misdemeanor charge with up to a year in jail. Anything above that, or any amount with intent to distribute, and you’re looking at a felony. Idaho even has felony charges for weed paraphernalia.
So, based on law enforcement’s search of his residence, Starliper had cannabis for personal use—and trading for fast food, obviously. Whoever brought Starliper the grub was going to get more than a gram of wax to take home. The dude and his companion were open to a hang. “I have hella wax to play with too,” he wrote.
Starliper’s ad received an answer almost instantly. He even provided his address to the helpful stranger for all to see. Bring some food and get some wax; could be a standing offer with this guy. He’s got wax to play with! Or at least about 10 grams of it, and a gram of coke, and various dab rigs, according to Idaho Falls police.
Facebook Weed Wax Bust Reveals Idaho’s Strange Law Against “Criminal Frequenting”
Someone, obviously, saw Starliper’s post and decided it would be cool to tell the cops about it. And when they got the tip, the Idaho Falls Police Department Special Investigations Unit wasted no time. They obtained a warrant on Thursday, then raided Starliper’s residence early Friday. Starliper already had two outstanding warrants for violating his probation and failing to appear in court. In addition to those charges, he faces charges for possessing controlled substances with intent to distribute. He’s currently behind bars at Bonneville County Jail.
But the enforcement action against Starliper also took down a woman in the house with him. Her presence is only hinted at in the Facebook messages by a shrugging emoji. Kayleigh Hawley, who is 20-years-old, isn’t in jail. But police cited her with possession of marijuana paraphernalia and a second charge known as “frequenting.” Turns out, Idaho has a controlled substances law against “criminal frequenting,” which means being present at a place where you know illegal controlled substances are being manufactured, cultivated, or held for distribution, transportation, delivery, use or—the kicker—to be given away.
So merely for hanging with a dude who offered some wax in exchange for fast food, Kayleigh Hawley is facing a charge that could cost her $300 and/or 90-days in jail. Geoffrey Talmon, who works with Idaho Freedom Foundation, says the state tends to charge frequenting when it can’t prove any other drug charges. And the law allows police to charge someone even if they did not come into contact with illegal substances at all. So for example, if you’re at a concert and you smell someone smoking weed, and you don’t leave, you’ve committed a criminal act. That’s why Talmon says the statute is unconstitutionally over-broad and should be eliminated.