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Quinn Sullivan

Quinn Sullivan

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TORRINGTON -- Talk about Happy Meals.When Officer Quinn Sullivan saw a man drop a McDonald's Chicken McNuggets carton and run from him Sunday night, he knew whatever the box contained probably wasn't destined for a dip in a tasty sauce.Sullivan was right.

The 10-piece McNuggets box contained more than an ounce of marijuana, neatly packed to go.By the end of the night, police had arrested three city residents and a suspected drug dealer, seized four more ounces of marijuana and found evidence that more of the stuff was being grown in a North Elm Street apartment.Pretty good police work for an incident that began as a suspicious-persons stop.The bust went down like this: About halfway through his evening shift, Sullivan spotted three people sitting in a car with its engine running in an empty parking lot near 164 N.

Elm St.Thinking the group looked a bit shady, Sullivan stopped to interview them, and was told the three were "waiting for someone who was at a gas station and who didn't have a car, but they were nowhere near a gas station," Sullivan said.When Sullivan looked up, he saw a man police identified as Glenn M.

Brandner, 19, of 167 French St., walking out of an apartment building across the street from the parking lot holding a Chicken McNuggets box.

When Brandner saw the officer interviewing his friends, he dropped the box like a scalding coffee and "immediately ran inside" the apartment building, Sullivan said."I kind of figured something was in it because he had dropped it when he saw me," Sullivan said.

Once he got Brandner back outside, "I asked him if he had anything illegal on him and he just handed me the box."The box was packed full with more than an ounce of marijuana.The nearest McDonald's, at 693 Main St., is a bit of a walk — about a half mile — from the apartment, which also happens to be about a half mile from Forbes Elementary School, in the opposite direction.Sullivan said he asked Brandner whether he had just bought the weed in the McNuggets box.

When Brandner said he had, Sullivan called dispatchers for backup to detain anyone inside the apartment.The only person in the apartment was its resident, whom police identified as Frank V.

Gentile III, 18, of 164 N.

Elm St.

When Sullivan confronted Gentile with Brandner's admission that he purchased marijuana inside the apartment, Sullivan said Gentile also admitted to selling the marijuana and told Sullivan he had more inside.Sullivan gave Gentile an ultimatum: "We told him we would either apply for a search warrant or he could give us consent to search the apartment." Gentile let them in."We searched and found 4.8 ounces, a large garbage bag full of stems from marijuana plants, a lot of packaging materials, scales, a pipe," Sullivan said.

"It was definitely a selling operation."Brigitte Ruthman contributed to this report.To read the complete story see Tuesday's Republican-American or our electronic edition at would you have done if you were in Officer Quinn Sullivan's shoes? Share your comments using the form below.
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