A 13-year-old boy, not even 5 feet tall and less than 100 pounds, was arrested Wednesday night for selling methamphetamine.

Lincoln police say the boy is the youngest person to sell meth they can remember.

The Lincoln/Lancaster Narcotics Task Force began investigating the case after multiple sources reported the boy was selling, said Lincoln Police Officer Katie Flood.

According to court records, the boy sold two grams of meth to an undercover officer for $200 in a parking lot near First Street and Cornhusker Highway about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Minutes later, an SUV pulled up and the boy allegedly bought more meth from 19-year-old Tasha Ryan, a transient who, police say, had 3.3 grams of meth and 12 grams of marijuana with her.

The boy is in the juvenile detention center, charged with possession of a controlled substance, said Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly.

If convicted, he would face probation, classes or being sent to the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney.

Ryan is in jail, charged with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Flood said Shane Samuelson, 43, of Shelton, drove the boy to the parking lot, but police are unsure of their relationship. Samuelson is in jail charged with aiding and abetting delivery of a controlled substance to a minor.

"The adults were fully aware of his activities and his age," Flood said.

The boy, who lives with his grandmother, ran away Nov. 6 and has not been to school or gone home since, she said.

The child's mother died in March and his father is out of state, according to police.

His grandmother has been his legal guardian since before his mother's death, Flood said.

She said the boy has a lengthy list of contacts with police, but this is his first narcotics-related arrest.

"We've had a lot of kids this age be arrested for possessing and selling marijuana, but this is the first for meth," Flood said.

Narcotics team Sgt. Deanna Toupin said the the situation reminded her of a teen who was killed dealing drugs when she first started working.

Brandon Pickinpaugh, 17, was shot and killed in 1999 when three men tried to steal nearly a pound of marijuana and $1,000 from him, police said.

"Someone that young dealing that hard of drug is not a common thing, and we hope it's not a trend," she said. "These kids are vulnerable."

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Reach Jordan Pascale at 402-473-7120, jpascale@journalstar.com or follow him @LJSPascale.


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