$100,000 seized in Alabama student’s alleged smartphone drug enterprise

AUBURN, A.L. (WRBL) — An Auburn University student is facing drug trafficking and other related charges after agents raided her Auburn condo. Investigators say the young woman was using a smartphone app to operate a sophisticated and profitable drug enterprise.

Narcotics agents served a search warrant on Sept. 22 at 23-year-old Cindy Zheng’s condo along Downs Street just off Longleaf Drive in Auburn. Agents recovered MDMA or Ecstacy, Marijuana, Psilocybin mushrooms, THC wax/oils, pills, digital scales, 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,” Sheriff Jones said. “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.”

How long Zheng had allegedly operated the drive-thru drug enterprise is under investigation. However, the case began a few weeks ago when the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division from Fort Bening 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,” Jones said.

Jones said using technology in illegal enterprises should give pause to parents. Know the apps your kids are using.

“It underscores the importance of parents being aware that there are many things on the negative side taking place with cell phones,” Jones said.

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 334-215-7867.