AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) — An Auburn University student is facing drug trafficking, and other related charges after agents raided her condo. Investigators say the young woman was using a smartphone app to operate a sophisticated and profitable drug enterprise.
On Sept. 22, narcotics agents served a search warrant at 23-year-old Cindy Zheng’s condo along Downs Street just off Longleaf Drive in Auburn. Agents recovered MDMA or Ecstasy, marijuana, Psilocybin mushrooms, THC wax and oils, pills, digital scales, a money counter, decorative packaging, and jars.
Agents also seized approximately $100,000 in U.S. currency.
“It was a sophisticated operation in regard to using cell phones to conduct the transactions and place orders, if you will. Customers purchasing the illegal drugs were using an app to place orders. They picked the order up at a particular location, which was pre-packaged based on the order they had placed. Cell phone technology was also used for payments,” said Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
How long Zheng had allegedly operated the drive-thru drug enterprise is under investigation. However, News 2’s sister station, WRBL, learned the case began a few weeks ago when the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division from Fort Benning reached out to the sheriff about military persons acquiring drugs in Auburn. That call led to a joint operation with Auburn police.
“We always look for angles that may lead us to other involved individuals. However, at this particular time in the investigation, it doesn’t appear she was working for anyone auspiciously, and she was managing this on her own accord,” said Jones.
Jones says using technology in illegal enterprises should give pause to parents, so make sure to know the apps your kids use.
“It underscores the importance of parents being aware that there are many things on the negative side taking place with cell phones,” said Jones.
Zheng has made a $60,000 bond and is out of the Lee County Detention Center. Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at 334-749-5651 or Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP (7867).