A Northern California college student is facing felony charges for allegedly creating an iPhone app he dubbed the Banana Plug to sell illicit drugs.
Collin Howard on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to federal drug charges in San Jose. Investigators say the 18-year-old named the app Banana Plug and hung posters advertising it on the University of California, Santa Cruz campus. The school’s mascot is the banana slug and plug is slang for drug dealer.
Prosecutors say a campus police officer noticed the posters late last year and started an undercover operation with federal authorities. Undercover officers set up four drug buys using the app and Howard was arrested in his dorm room on Nov. 28.
Howard’s federal public defender Rhona Taylor didn’t respond to a phone call and email query.