ORMOC CITY– An estimated 50. 1 gram of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P340,500 was recovered by joint forces from the City Drug Enforcement Team of the Maasin city police, the Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit of Southern Leyte Provincial Police Office, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) from a painter during a buy-bust operation.

Maasin city police chief Lt. Col Jason Balbarona identified the suspect as Johnny Lou Retana, 40, who was arrested in a sting operation at about 5:05 am on Wednesday (Jan/31) in Barangay Manhilo.

Recovered from the possession of the suspect, identified to be a high-value individual target both in police and PDEA, was one sachet containing a white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu procured by an operative in the amount of P500.

During the conduct of a body search in front of an elected barangay official and a representative from the media, the searching cops recovered from the suspect’s possession 14 more sachets containing suspected shabu with an estimated weight of 50.1 grams with a commercial value of P340,500.

No statement was issued by the suspect to the media covering the operation.

Charges of violations of Sections 5, 11, and 12 of Art II of RA 9165, the Comprehensive Law against Illegal Drugs of 2002, were filed against the suspect who is now detained at the locked-up cell of Maasin city police station.(ROBERT DEJON)