It’s not a good idea to do a drug deal at a restaurant drive-thru.
You never know who’s watching.
Take early Wednesday morning, when Kody Lucas, a detective with the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit, stopped at the McDonald’s in St. Clair to get a burger on his way home. He was in an unmarked vehicle.
Lucas said members of the task force had been working late following leads in a major, ongoing crystal meth investigation. He first stopped at a gas station to get a slice of pizza and a soda but the place was out of pizza, he said.
Then he went to McDonald’s to grab a quick burger.
Lucas said he was behind a car in the drive-thru lane when a man in another car pulled up and stopped on the parking lot. The second man got out and walked over to the car in front of Lucas and leaned in, then left after a quick exchange.
Lucas said at first he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“They did a deal right in front of me,” he remarked.
The detective ran a check on the car’s license plates and it came back to Philip J. Sohn, 35, of St. Clair.
Lucas said narcotics investigators are familiar with Sohn.
Lucas then contacted St. Clair police after learning that there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
St. Clair officers responded and stopped Sohn after he drove off the restaurant lot.
Sohn refused to give officers consent to search his vehicle so Lucas called Officer Nathan Pinter to respond with the unit’s drug dog.
When the dog “alerted” on both doors of the vehicle, that gave officers probable cause for a search.
Lucas said they seized 14 individual packets, each containing about a half gram of suspected crystal methamphetamine.
Sohn was arrested and booked on a previous felony drug possession charge from April 2013.
His bond was set at $100,000 cash only in that case.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob Parks said his office just issued the charge in the 2013 case after getting laboratory results on evidence that was seized.
He said his office will consider new charges against Sohn after evidence seized early Thursday is analyzed by the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab.