9 Signs Your Neighbor Is a Drug Dealer

Kent Police Lt. Jim Prusha and Cuyahoga Falls Police Capt. Jack Davis provide a list of signs that could indicate drug activity in your neighborhood.

The thing about drug operations is they can be set up anywhere, anytime.

And occasionally, it's not just police officers that work to find the bad guys. It may all boil down to a tip given by an observant resident.

Here are some things to watch for regarding suspicious neighborhood drug activity, according to Kent Police Lt. Jim Prusha and Cuyahoga Falls Police Capt. Jack Davis:

  • There's an unusually large amount of traffic, often at strange hours. This traffic is usually quick, and the people stay only a short time. Sometimes they don't even go in at all; instead, someone comes out to meet them. 
  • Observable exchanges of items, especially where money is visible.
  • Ability to afford items without a job -- cars, TVs, etc.
  • Neighbors will continually host parties and appear to be under the influence of drugs.
  • Repeated flickering of cigarette lighters.
  • Windows are blocked out, preventing neighbors from seeing in.
  • Finding drugs or drug paraphernalia (syringes, pipes, baggies, etc.) in the area.
  • Noxious odors coming from around houses or buildings, such as musty or chemical smells.
  • Houses or buildings where extreme security measures seem to have been taken.

After a report is provided, it may not always result in a drug arrest as some tips simply lead to dead ends, said Davis. At times, it takes sufficient evidence or a prolonged investigation, so be patient and keep a watchful, yet inconspicuous eye on suspicious neighbors, he said.

Anyone that suspects ongoing drug activity in Kent should contact the Portage County Drug Task Force at (330) 296-8626, said Prusha.

If drug activity is spotted in real time, residents should try and get descriptions of people, vehicles and the direction of travel, and call the Kent Police Department at 330-673-7732, said Prusha.

Pepper February 11, 2013 at 09:08 AM
Is a reward offered for being an informant? Seems like there should be for risking your life and the life of your family.
Teresa K. February 11, 2013 at 01:40 PM
Pepper: I was wondering the same thing about some form of payment. We are to : "get descriptions of people, vehicles and the direction of travel, and call the Kent Police Department at 330-673-7732" Sounds like a job. Police get paid for their discovery of drug dealers/ activity via a paycheck. How will we get paid for our input? Snitching could be dangerous work.
Anne February 11, 2013 at 02:34 PM
The fact that you want paid to be a good neighbor and to help keep your neighborhood safe and clean is ridiculous. We aren't in a large gang area where you are going to be retaliated against or "taken down" for reporting drug activity. Not to mention you can report it anounymously.
JustSaying February 11, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Your "reward or payment" is that your neighborhood and community becomes a safer place in which to live.
Elliott Ingersoll February 11, 2013 at 04:28 PM
I guess i can see it both ways. Certainly we must be vigilant to threats to our neighborhoods but there is a huge "gray" area here. We're not talking just "meth labs." All prohibitions can easily turn law-abiding citizens into informants ("snitches" to use the vernacular) and I expect people would exercise judgment in this area. I wonder how many people would turn in their neighbor for suspected use of marijuana? Yes, it is illegal but the major threat in this case is the laws, not the drug. Again, outside of drug dealing there is a large gray area and i hope people consider that.
Conserned Neighbor February 11, 2013 at 04:46 PM
very interesting...my neighbor has his blinds up all the time plus he is a foreigner and acts suspicious...wouldn't be surprised if he is a Muslim too. If there are drugs in my neighborhood I want them out. Thanks for the tips Patch. My eyes will be watching him much closer and I may just call the police tonight and have them keep an eye out too.
Conserned Neighbor February 11, 2013 at 05:00 PM
also I have been hearing rumors that marihuana may be legalized soon. We need to arrest, take fines and put as many people as possible in jail before this eventual miscarriage of justice takes place in the good state of Ohio. This must be milked and I encourage all good family oriented Kent people to report all drug use before the laws change. I don't care if it means snooping around in other peoples garbage or calling our local law enforcement over suspicious behavior. We need to send a loud message to our community that drug use won't be tolerated. Thanks Patch. You've give this good citizen plenty of ammunition to move forward
Teresa K. February 11, 2013 at 05:04 PM
Anne: there is no such thing as anonymous anymore.
Elliott Ingersoll February 11, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Maybe we should go through each others' garbage for evidence of tax fraud too.
Timothy D February 11, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Want to bust some drug dealers? Try every frat house in the city of Kent.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 11, 2013 at 07:22 PM
"•Windows are blocked out, preventing neighbors from seeing in." I thought those were called curtains. And I question why peeping toms seem to be encouraged in this article.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 11, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Can I help you spell concerned correctly before you dig through piles of your neighbors garbage?
Sa;;y February 12, 2013 at 12:43 AM
Mars - Great comments. Yeah, I have curtains... and I have blinds that are open or closed depending on the weather, etc. If I catch my neighbor digging in my trash or peeping in my windows .... well.... lets just say they better not. We already have to worry about morons and identity theft. Mary Alice- I feel sorry for you and your children. Maybe you should find a city that better suits your lifestyle.
Mrs. Mary Alice Fasline February 12, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Oh Mars, I'm not complaining, motherhood is God's most beautiful gift!
Mrs. Mary Alice Fasline February 12, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Oh goodness! No sympathy for me and my family, please. There is comfort knowing that we are safe and loved under His watchful eye!
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 12, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Who is he? He sounds creepy. Maybe he goes through your trash.
Alex White February 12, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Best 6 signs your skinny neighbor is a drug-dealer. Snow-rusted jalopy pulls up playing Marley’s “Burnin’.” Sage smelling smoke pours from the windows. Between cigarette lighter flickers, you notice a “Kush For President” decal on the window; there's no bumper sticker proudly proclaiming-- “My kid is smarter than your kid—again!” Residence has a dirt lawn, rusted-out vehicle-- hood up-- empty Red Bull cans, Twinkie wrappers, mold-crusted Pizza boxes, and the resident doesn’t attend Kent State. A secretive neighbor is seldom present, but his numerous infrared video surveillance cameras and scary Guard Dog are. During your unpaid 24/7 “community service” gainful employment surveillance, you see an expensive 52” LCD TV delivered; you observe "suspect" crawling around in the front yard muttering obscenities, shining his expensive I-Phone light on the ground at 2:30 AM. You know he doesn’t wear contacts because you went through his trash looking for discarded tax returns and found optometrist’s receipts instead. You hear a loud boom. When you open the back door to investigate, your secretive neighbor’s vicious Guard Dog is there begging for dinner. As you feed him scrapes, you notice a noxious chemical smell, and it is not caused by surreptitious Fracking. You also observe your neighbor smoldering on the back porch. Your secretive neighbor only shops at Wal-Mart, Stop & Go, and he publically laments the loss of Lawson’s Chipped Ham.
Logan February 12, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Would it honestly matter if he was Muslim? When you use the term "wouldn't be surprised if he is a Muslim too" you are stating that it is a race...well it is not. Also they way you wrote it, it sounds very racist. It shouldn't matter what religion or race anyone is!
Sa;;y February 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Mars and Alex - I'm certainly enjoying your comments. On a more serious note I am quite sure the police department never intended for anyone to dig in their neighbors trash or peep in their windows. I believe Obama has a fleet of drones that will be in town to handle those tasks.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! February 13, 2013 at 12:38 AM
“Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another.” ― Desmond Tutu What will the white "majority" do when they become the minority? Time to buy more guns!
Chris (Kit) Myers February 13, 2013 at 09:43 PM
In Kent if one of the signs of a drug dealer doesn't conform to Kent's sign ordinance, he/she will get more grief from the City than a judge will ever give him/her.


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