Two charged with supplying fake cocaine to teen

March 31, 2014
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From left: Douglas E. Louk Jr. and Ryan W. Santek
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Two men were arrested Sunday by state police after they allegedly sold baking soda that they claimed was cocaine to a 17-year-old boy.

Douglas E. Louk Jr., 18, of 36 Madison St., Cokeburg, and Ryan W. Santek, 22, of 86 Hawkins St., Canton Township, were charged by state police with possession with intent to deliver cocaine and corruption of minors. Santek also is charged with possession of marijuana.

State police were on West Chestnut Street near McDonald’s in North Franklin Township about 6 p.m. looking for a 17-year-old boy who had run away from the Mel Blount Youth Home in Buffalo Township when Louk was spotted walking along the street.

As police were talking with him, the boy ran from a wooded area, telling the trooper he had been robbed. The boy told police that Santek, who also was found in the area, grabbed his wallet containing $80 while he was at Washington Crown Center.

The boy later changed his story, indicating it was really a drug deal that had gone bad, and he apologized to police for lying. The 17-year-old told police he had sent Louk a text message asking him if he had white powder. He told police that he had met Louk when they were both at a juvenile facility.

Louk reportedly met with Santek, telling the 22-year-old that he was going to sell the teen baking soda for $80 and that the two would split the money. The baking soda was placed in a small plastic bag, police said.

Louk and Santek reportedly walked down the railroad tracks to the mall and met the 17-year-old in a bathroom. Police said they gave the teen the bag, and Santek walked out of the bathroom with the money. As Louk was walking out, police said he turned to see the teen trying what he thought was cocaine. The teen then told Louk “it is not real,” and Louk and Santek fled with the boy chasing them, police said.

Both men were arraigned before District Judge Ethan Ward and placed in Washington County jail on $5,000 bond. The two are scheduled for an April 14 preliminary hearing before District Judge Robert Redlinger.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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