Feds begin anonymous texting tip line to catch drug dealers

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has made an anonymous texting tip line available to the public in Connecticut and rest of New England.

“Tip411” allows anyone with a cell phone to quickly and easily report drug trafficking, money laundering or related suspicious activity directly to a DEA agent, according to federal law enforcement officials.

How the texting tip line works

To use the service, 847411 (Tip411) is entered in the “To” field and the keyword “DEADRUGS” in the text field on a cell phone followed by the tip. All information provided is 100% anonymous.

Technology by Citizen Observer, which powers the tip line, removes the identifying information of the sender before the tip is forwarded to DEA.

The service allows the agent to follow up with the sender in a response text, but the citizen remains completely anonymous throughout the conversation.

Cleaning up neighborhoods

“This program enables citizens, who otherwise might be reluctant to provide information, to communicate directly and anonymously with a DEA agent via text message,” said John J. Arvanitis, special agent in charge of the DEA’s New England Field Division.

“Through the Tip411 service, we are strengthening our partnership with the community, whose members want to rid their neighborhoods of drug traffickers” Arvanitis said.

The system currently is utilized by other law enforcement agencies around the country, including several in Massachusetts.