Pittsburgh McDonald’s employee has been arrested for allegedly selling heroin inside of Happy Meal boxes meant for children. Director of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Communications Director Mike Manko, reports a complaint was filed against Shanita Davis, 26, of E. Philadelphia. Allegedly Davis is the second person in the city within a week to attempt honing her drug selling skills out of the popular fast food restaurant.
Customers seeking heroin were told to use the drive-by and code words, “I want to buy a toy.” The complaint filed reports that when they pulled to Davis’ window they received a box with stamp sized packets containing heroin. She was able to get away with slinging dope by having customers come directly to her drive-thru window, avoiding a stop at the second window and interaction with other employees.
As a McDonald’s employee, Davis did not see herself being arrested for selling heroin in Happy Meals. She did however, see an opportunity to cash in on sales as heroin use is reportedly up in the city, and is currently touted as the substance of choice for suburbanites. Entrepreneurial pursuits aside, her actions speak to a direct correlation between attempts to acquire money while not thinking past what doing so and being caught actually costs in the long run.
Are the actions of Davis a sign of the times perhaps for people on the lower paying of job scale? Are social-economic conditions forcing people to do the unthinkable as they try and make ends meet? Or, is it just stupidity? The complaint on record says after the undercover drug buy, Davis was arrested. At this point she will have time to think about her actions as she sits awaiting arraignment.
Davis represents a growing segment of the female population being busted for criminal activity. It has yet to be determined if she was acting on her own, or if the nervy move to distribute through her employer was due to influence from a boyfriend or romantic partner.
While Davis may have acted on her own it bears stating that numbers are increasing across the country for teenagers and young adult women who are coerced into breaking the law either out of fear, or to prove loyalty to romantic partners. At 26, one is able to make choices that will keep them out of jail. The Council on Women and Girls, a task force in Washington D.C., says the growing numbers are in fact linked to social economic conditions facing the country. This places women at greater risk for prison terms as they try to handle life. Felony possession of narcotics with intent to distribute are felony crimes that come with heavy consequences.
There are likely to be more police busts as law enforcement addresses the growing number of narcotic drug users. On the other end are community based agencies around the country working to discuss the issues facing young women who are unable to gain financial footing that makes criminal activity an out-of-bounds option.
The report filed on Davis did not include information on how long she had dealt from the drive through window or how long it took undercover agents to put together the team and a plan to catch her in the act.
What is known is are that the conditions whether related to domestic violence, poverty and low financial gain, or ignorance in thinking that the law can be broken without penalty are issues that have to be turned around. With increased drug use come a barrage of problems and societal ills.
The fast food industry and McDonald’s is spotlighted on this one. There will be more instances of people trying to make a fast buck in this way until real issues addressing poverty are recognized. Business owners be on alert. Without addressing the specifics that caused Davis to distribute drugs she will not be the only McDonald’s employee arrested for selling heroin or other drugs in Happy Meals.
Opinion by C. Imani Williams