Auto Window Tint Leads to Heroin Dealer Bust

Illegally dark tinted windows drew police attention to a vehicle they say later turned out to be carrying 2,339 sale-ready bags of heroin.

How dark were the windows?

The windows were so dark, Wilmington Police Department Cpl. Jamaine Crawford said “officers had to tap on the window in order to make contact with the operator.”

Officers were on routine patrol when they stopped the vehicle because of the window tint at 11:21 a.m. Friday in the 2400 block of N. West St., Crawford said.

The officers checked the vehicle registration and learned it did not have an exemption to allow the tinting to be darker than normally allowed by law, he said.

After the driver finally rolled down the window, he said, she was unable to produce a driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.

Officers observed heroin while talking with the suspect, Crawford said. The driver was removed from the vehicle and arrested, he added.

The packages ultimately proved to hold a total of 46.78 grams of heroin with an estimated street-sale value of $31,600, Crawford said.

Shawnette M. Valentine, 22, of the 200 block of Concord Ave. in Wilmington, was charged with the highest-quantity category of possession of a controlled substance, operating a vehicle with improper window tinting and failure to carry a driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

She later was released after posting $16,500 secured bail, Crawford said.