Ordering a coke may have taken on a double meaning at a popular
Kenny Liera, a 23-year-old assistant manager at In-N-Out, was
arrested Thursday night at work on suspicion of selling cocaine out
of the restaurant's parking lot, Glendale Police said.
Acting on anonymous tips, police set up surveillance outside the
restaurant at about 7 p.m., and saw Liera allegedly conduct two
cocaine transactions in an hour in the parking lot, Det. Manny
Fernandez said. Investigators suspect the North Hollywood resident
could have been dealing cocaine for up to a year.
"Basically, he did two narcotic transactions within an hour,"
Fernandez said. "Based on that, he is not new at it and has several
Six officers and a sergeant were dressed in plainclothes and were
in unmarked cars Thursday while staking out the restaurant on Harvey
Officers first noticed Liera get a call on his cell phone and go
into the parking lot to allegedly sell the drugs, police said. When
officers stopped the man after the transaction, he told them he
bought the cocaine from Liera, Fernandez said.
A short while later, the investigators observed another man pull
up to the store and call Liera on his cell phone, Fernandez said.
When Liera came out, he was arrested, Fernandez said.
Police found two bags of cocaine on Liera, and about 15 more in
his car, Fernandez said. Liera had nearly an ounce in total, with a
street value of about $1,500, Fernandez said.
Police do not plan to cut Liera a deal to bust any other drug
traffickers up the chain, police said.
"From the information he gave us, we believe he has no one
worthwhile to [inform on] to get leniency," Fernandez said. "And we
like to be pretty strict and not give him any leniency because he was
selling cocaine out of one of the most popular restaurants in the
city. It wouldn't be right."
Two Glendale men, in their mid-20s, were arrested for allegedly
purchasing the cocaine during the bust. Fernandez declined to
Liera has worked for In-N-Out for about four years, but company
officials are not sure how long he has worked at that location.
In-N-Out does not administer drug tests to employees, company
spokesman Carl Van Fleet said.
As of late Friday, Liera was being held at Glendale City Jail on
$30,000 bail, police said.
* JACKSON BELL covers public safety and courts. He may be reached
at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.