Atlanta undercover narcotics sting at 97 Estoria results in three arrests
Narcotics officers with the Atlanta Police department conducted an undercover operation at 97 Estoria on Jan. 3 and arrested three men on charges of selling cocaine.
Police officers arrested Patric Wilson, 32, Philip Radley, 26 and Robert “Luke” Bullard, 27 on charges of distributing a controlled substance.
According to a report provided by APD, two plainclothes narcotics officers visited the hipster hangout on 727 Wylie Street Southeast on Jan. 3 around 9 pm looking for “suspected narcotics dealers.”
The officers sat at the bar next to a group of five people, four men and one woman. The two officers ordered a beer “to better blend in with the patrons,” the report says.
One of the officers wrote, “Upon sitting down I observed a white male with dark hair and a mustache remove a green vial from his pocket and begin to pack a white powder substance into the tip of his cigarette.”
He sent the other officer a text message, “advising that he could see one of the individuals seated near us putting a white powder substance in his cigarette.”
“After approximately 30 minutes at the bar, I introduced myself to the male sitting to my right,” the officer’s report says. “The male introduced himself as ‘Luke.’ … I asked ‘Luke’ if he knew where I could get some ‘powder’ (a common street term for powder cocaine). ‘Luke’ advised me that he could ‘hook me up.'”
The report alleges the suspect turned to Radley, who was sitting next to him. After speaking with him for a few minutes, Radley allegedly spoke to Wilson, who was sitting three spaces to the right.
“After speaking with the male for a few minutes, Mr. Radley stated to me, ‘He’ll do 3 for 50,’ which I understood to mean three baggies of cocaine for fifty dollars,” the officer’s report says. “I stated to Mr. Radley that I only had $20 bills. Mr. Radley stated that that was OK. Mr. Radley then stood from his stool, at which point I did as well. I retrieved $40 in city-issued funds and handed them to Mr. Radley. Mr. Radley then walked to Mr. Wilson.
“After a brief conversation, I observed Mr. Radley exchange the money I had given him for something I could not see. Mr. Radley then walked back to me and handed me two small, green plastic baggies. The baggies contained a white, powdery substance that I suspected was cocaine.”
According to the report, Radley allegedly told the officer, “Let’s hit it,” which the officer “understood to mean that he wanted me to ingest some of the cocaine with him at the bar.”
The undercover officer said he wanted to wait until he went back to his friend’s place, meaning the other undercover officer.
“Mr. Radley was adamant, stating, ‘We can go do a bump in the bathroom,” the report says. “I told him that I was not going to do anything at the bar. After the transaction (the officer) went to the restroom where he contacted the takedown team and advised them that the transaction had taken place, and gave descriptions of the suspects.”
Uniformed APD officers entered Estoria and arrested the three men. According to the report, a search of the suspects revealed that Radley allegedly had a small plastic baggie in his left jacket pocket, containing a substance suspected to be cocaine. Officers also said they found a small plastic baggie in Wilson’s pants pocket and the $40 provided by the undercover officer.
“The three suspects were charged accordingly, and transported to the Fulton County Jail without incident,” The report says. “No injuries were reported. The suspected cocaine was submitted for analysis as evidence. Nothing further.”
Decaturish on Sunday first heard murmurings about the Saturday night police “raid” conducted at 97 Estoria. An employee at the bar who answered the phone on Sunday denied that a raid had occurred the previous evening. Reports weren’t available until Monday, Jan. 5.
The bar was open for business on Sunday. A message posted on the Facebook page said, “Can’t fake the funk. Don’t believe the hype. Estoria is open and ready for ya. Happy 2015 y’all!”