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Woman’s Airbnb home becomes party, drug-dealing venue

CURRIE -- A woman's Currie home on the market with short-term rental lodging company Airbnb became the venue of an underaged house party and drug market.

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Hester

CURRIE - A woman’s Currie home on the market with short-term rental lodging company Airbnb became the venue of an underaged house party and drug market.

According to court documents, the Murray County Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint that someone renting the home in the 200 block of Everett Street was throwing a party in the basement, which was in violation of the American hospitality service’s terms and agreements to be signed by both the hostess and renter. Airbnb is a modern-age accommodation option where property owners list their homes for rent as an alternative to a traditional hotel room.

Upon entering the stairwell, the deputy smelled what he believed to be burnt marijuana emanating from the basement. Juveniles were released to adult, sober drivers, court documents indicate.

Multiple bookbags were located in the home’s basement, and the deputy attempted to determine their owners. One backpack contained 31 individual baggies with marijuana and personal identification for Demareio C. Hester, 18, of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Hester was located sleeping halfway underneath a bed. He denied ownership of the bag and told law enforcement that if he was dealing drugs, he would be smarter than to leave personal identification laying around.

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A lockbox was also located in the basement; the homeowner indicated it wasn’t hers. Hester also denied that the lockbox belonged to him, although he confirmed the key located inside his pant’s pocket would open it.

A credit card scanner for a mobile device was also located and secured as evidence.

Hester referred to himself on Facebook as ‘Demareio Kiid Mario Hester.’

He faces fifth-degree drug possession in Murray County District Court. The felony-level offense is punishable up to five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both.

Hester’s bail was set at $15,000. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance July 23.

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