The "Banana Plug" app was reportedly used to distribute drugs.
According to a confirmation filed by a home country security agent, Collin Riley Howard, 1
The US law office for Northern California attends prosecution in a announcement on Tuesday.
Along with cocaine and methamphetamine, the app announced "Molly" and "Shrooms", while customers were invited to make "special requests" for other controlled substances. The UC Santa Cruz police were tipped off by the illegal app after finding posters that published "Banana Plug" for students at the UC Santa Cruz campus.
In a sting operation that followed, an underground HSI agent used the app to request marijuana and cocaine. Subsequent Snapchat messages helped facilitate a total of four purchases, of which the third and fourth involved more than five grams of methamphetamine, according to the statement. Howard was arrested on February 15, before paying for fourth sale.
"Banana Plug", which is still available for download on the App Store as it is written, is marketed as a game "involving [ing] bananas and plugs." Users point tiles that alternate between photos of bananas and electric plugs, the goal being to remove the screen on all bananas.
Customers allegedly communicating with Howard are not known, although the specific features may no longer be active in the latest version of the app. Banana Plug was published in the App Store in October and was updated twice, most recently in November. The app's name appears to refer to the college's mascot, Banana Slug, and the street's "plug", commonly used to describe a drug trafficking.
"We have what you want," reads the app's teaser.
The statement does not clarify how the app passed through Apple's review process, nor does it indicate whether Apple was made aware of the app's fabulous nature before or after Howard's arrest. As mentioned in Section 1.4.3 of the Apple App Review Policy, software such as "Banana Plug" is strictly prohibited from deployment on the App Store.
Apps that encourage the consumption of tobacco products, illicit drugs or excessive alcohol are not allowed in the App Store. Applications that encourage minors to consume any of these substances will be rejected. Arrangements for the sale of marijuana, tobacco or controlled substances (except licensed pharmacies) are not permitted.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Masquerading as an undamaged game, "Banana Plug" probably snuck past Apple's rigorous review protocols and on the App Store, where it remains undiscovered for a month.
Howard faces a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment and a $ 1,000,000 fine for each of two divisions and possession to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine. On two simultaneous possessions intending to distribute more than five grams of methamphetamine, Howard could earn a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison, and a fine of $ 5 million each.