Fake News: Drug Dealer NOT Busted After Calling 911 to Report 150-lbs of Cocaine Stolen

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Drug Dealer NOT Busted After Calling 911 to Report 150-lbs of Cocaine Stolen

Was 29-year old José Ramirez arrested by the LAPD after he called the cops to complain other drug dealers had stolen his stash? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes up tales about weird crimes and bizarre sex acts but always just for entertainment purposes. The story is not real.

It originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on November 19, 2018 titled "Drug dealer busted after calling 911 to report 150-lbs of cocaine stolen" (archived here) which opened:

A man was arrested by the LAPD this morning after calling the police to report that rival drug dealers had stolen almost all of his drugs, leaving him "only a few pounds".

29-year old José Ramirez called the police around 10:15 AM to report that an armed robbery had just taken place at the "drug safehouse" he was watching.

Betty Morris, the 911 operator who took the call, says she first thought it was a hoax when the young man described the situation.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Drug dealer busted after calling 911 to report 150-lbs of cocaine stolen

A man was arrested by the LAPD this morning after calling the police to report that rival drug dealers had stolen almost all of his drugs, leaving him "only a few pounds". 29-year old José Ramirez called the police around 10:15 AM to report that an armed robbery had just taken place at the "drug sa

The reality behind the picture used to illustrate the story is much weirder than the fictional tale about the idiot drug dealer:

Lip tattoo leads to arrest in home invasion of Elvis impersonator

Yes, you read that headline correctly. According to this report, a distinctive tattoo lead to the arrest of 20-year-old Anthony Brandon Gonzales for the home invasion of a Pueblo, Colorado Elvis impersonator. Gonzales' facial tattoos were visible even though he was wearing a mask. This story in the Pueblo Chieftan provided more information.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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