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Alleged East Ridge drug dealer faces felonies

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A Woodbury teenager accused of peddling drugs at East Ridge High School faces two felony charges after police allegedly witnessed him selling marijuana on school grounds.

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Washington County prosecutors in May charged Erik Dunn Flanders, 19, with third-degree drug sales to a minor and fourth-degree marijuana sales in a school zone. Flanders made his first court appearance July 27.

In addition to marijuana allegations, police said Flanders' cell phone housed hundreds of drug-related text messages involving other drugs including cocaine, morphine, Oxycontin and ecstasy.

Police apprehended Flanders during an April 1 traffic stop, where he was allegedly found in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint:

Washington County Narcotics Task Force members put Flanders under surveillance following complaints of narcotics trafficking. Flanders was identified by Woodbury police as a primary suspect.

Detectives watched April 1 as Flanders and another teen performed a hand-to-hand exchange between vehicles in the East Ridge parking lot.

The detectives followed Flanders to Bielenberg Sports Center, where he was spotted making a brief interaction with another male teenager at his vehicle's window.

Officers stopped Flanders' vehicle; he allegedly admitted to selling marijuana to at least one person. An occupant of the first vehicle later admitted buying $20 worth of marijuana from Flanders, who he said was known to sell marijuana in East Ridge.

When detectives conducted a forensic search of Flanders' cell phone, thousands of text messages were found. Police examined what prosecutors called a "representative sample" of the messages - approximately 1,100 from a one-week period - most of which police said referred to buying or selling drugs.

If convicted of the more serious charge - selling drugs to a minor - Flanders could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Michael Longaecker
Mike Longaecker is editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. His coverage includes local crime, legislative activity and prep sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker
(651) 702-0973
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