A two-week-long investigation into narcotic sales in Stratford ended last week with the arrest of a 31-year-old local man following a sting that included text messaging the suspected heroin dealer.
Ricardo "Rico" Burton of Johnson Court was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 4, at the gas station on the corner of Stratford and Beardsley avenues.
Police said they text messaged Burton's cell phone in the days leading up to the arrest, asking to purchase heroin from the Stratford man. The gas station was the agreed upon meeting spot for the drug deal, police said.
Burton, who police said had four active warrants out for his arrest, immediately admitted to being in possession of heroin when approached by officers at the gas station, according to police. Police said they found six wax paper folds containing heroin in Burton's pocket.
What follows is the correspondence via text messages Stratford detectives had with Burton in the days leading up to his arrest, according to police. A phone call to Burton on Aug. 31 was not successful in establishing a meet time to purchase heroin, police said.
On Sept. 1, detectives receive three texts from Burton:
"Im around fire (expletive)"..."Im around"..."Im around fire (expletive)...Now Stronger...Twenty a bag 16d a bun"
[Note: Stratford police said "fire" is a strong brand of heroin and a "bun" is 10 bags of heroin. There was no explanation for what a "d" represents.]
On Sept. 2, detectives sent following message to Burton:
"U around" Burton's reply: "Im around at 13d. now stronger 16d a bun. Twenty a bag...Im around. Rite now" Detectives: "Im back around tom" Burton: "Wat u need?" Detectives then responded that they'd contact Burton in two days.
On Sept. 4, detectives sent following message to Burton:
"Yo u good" Burton's reply: "Ima b around 123d. My train came at 115d" Detectives: "Ok where" Burton: "Strat or bpt" Detectives: "Gas Station strat" Burton: "Yes" Detectives: "Cya 123d" Burton: "Wat u wanted so I can get it ready 4 u?" Detectives: "bun" Burton: "I got twentys bun r 16d if u get it all once. U cool wit dat?...B at gasstation in ten mins u should head over now."
Stratford police said at that point they established surveillance at the gas station and apprehended Burton when he approached the specific meeting spot.
At police headquarters, Burton was charged with possession with intent to sell a narcotic substance. The heroin taken from his pocket tested positive with a weight of .065 ounces, police said.
Burton was unable to post $50,000 bond and is due in court Sept. 13.