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Excuse me officer, would you like to buy some drugs?
By Monica Deady/ Staff Writer
Thursday, January 13, 2005

Usually, drug dealers don't try to hitch a ride with police, or sell them drugs.

But one evening two years ago a man selling drugs on lower Beacon Street tried to do just that - a mistake that will cost him three years in jail.

"It's pretty unusual that the bad guy tries to hop in the car with the police officer," said Brookline Police Sgt. Andy Lipson.

Lipson was working as an undercover police officer around 8:30 p.m. on April 8, 2003, when Hernan Ospina, 33, of Revere thought he was his drug connection and tried to get in the officer's car.

Ospina was charged with possession of a class B substance (cocaine) with intent to distribute; a drug-free school zone violation; giving a false name at arrest; and failure to appear in court. He was sentenced this month to three years in jail and three years of probation. Ospina was also ordered to undergo drug counseling.

Lipson, who was a detective at the time, said he saw Ospina sitting in a running car by himself on lower Beacon Street, an area where he said a number of car breaks had been occurring. Suspicious of the situation, Lipson parked by 1180 Beacon St. to observe the area.

About 10 minutes later, Lipson said, Ospina walked up to his car and tried to open the passenger seat door to get inside.

"Luckily it was locked, otherwise we would have been sitting in the car next to each other," Lipson said. "I don't think he realized I was a police officer after he tried to get in the door."

Lipson said he got out of the car and addressed Ospina, asking him if he realized he was a police officer.

Ospina had three large rocks of cocaine that weighed more than 28 grams, as well as a second plastic bag with 3 1/2 grams of a similar substance, according to court documents. The arrest occurred within 1,000 feet of the Massachusetts School for the Blind.

"It was definitely a memorable experience," he said.
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