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The Pros And Cons Of Using An Uber For Drug Dealing, According To A Driver

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I'm Lexus Jones. I have a regular full-time job but on the weekends and occasional weeknights I drive for Uber. Over the last couple of years I have driven over 2,000 trips for Uber. At first I drove on the UberX platform. Now I drive a luxury car on the Uber Plus platform. Whenever I think that I have seen it all, something new happens. I will be sharing those stories here. I will also answer questions and give advice on how to get the most out of your rides.

Earlier this year two young entrepreneurs from our neighbors to the north were busted for alleged drug dealing. The two pimply faced Thousand Oaks residents, according to the L.A. Times, "told deputies they were using Uber to drive them to a drug deal to sell... hash oil."

For some, using Uber for illegal activities might seem like the perfect vehicle. The cars are clean, air conditioned and, mostly importantly, reliable. When you use the app, you can see how far away the car is from you and you can track its approach. Once inside the drivers are typically nice, some have bottled water and good music. Even if you have a suitcase full of contraband, the driver will rarely question the passenger about its contents. All the driver wants to know is where you want to be dropped off.

Taxis, in comparison, are more expensive and—worst of all—you never know when they will arrive or if they will come. If you are trying to do a deal where time is of the essence, cabs are unreliable and a poor choice.

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But for all the benefits that Uber might provide for the modern drug deal, there are some pitfalls that should dissuade would-be criminals from using the service for their dirty deeds.The primary item firmly in the "con" column is everything is on the record. Your pick up and drop off locations are noted in the system forever. That includes what time the ride started and when it ended. Your name, phone number, and credit card are all in Uber's database. And some of that information is in the drivers' records (the time of the ride, the destination, and pick up spot).

What sensible drug dealer wants a paper trail like that?

What's worse is Uber is constantly fighting it out in the courts. Don't you think they'd rat out a dope dealer in a flash and hand over all that data to the authorities if they were asked? Of course they would. They don't want to be known as a safe haven for criminal activity.

Another problem is the driver rates every passenger and even has a way to send messages to the company. If some sketchy guy with a duffel bag reeking of weed has a weird ride with the driver, that driver might say something to Uber to cover his own ass. These cars are owned by the drivers. They don't want to be considered an accomplice to felonies. So they might just rat out their weird passenger who didn't tip.

I've had several rides with people who were traveling with little suitcases or loud friends who may have said the wrong things. Some people do say incriminating things after getting high off their own supply. Hell, the two Thousand Oaks boys flat out admitted to the sheriff that they were on their way to a drug deal—even though the deputies pulled over the Uber for something completely unrelated.

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So if you don't think the Uber driver or Uber itself won't narc you out, think again. They have enough problems.

Lexus will answer your questions. So leave them in the comments below or e-mail us at tips@laist.com. Follow Lexus on Twitter at @uberlexus

Related:
What It's Like To Be An Uber Driver In 2015
10 Things That Make Your Uber Driver Sad
Tales From An Uber Driver: Why I'm Anonymous