Tyler James Zalman, 31, is facing federal charges after federal and local law enforcement officers found overwhelming evidence of his alleged involvement in a drug cooking and gun dealing scheme.
Zalman was not allowed to have a firearm, but federal authorities found a pile of guns and evidence of drugs in his home. This evidence was so substantial that Zalman was recorded in jailhouse phone calls admitting that authorities had him “dead to rights.”
The investigation started when a friend of Zalman’s reported that someone had broken into his home, used a sledgehammer and a crowbar to break into a firearm safe, and stolen 15 weapons.
Investigators later used a warrant to search Zalman’s home, where they found a number of weapons, including pistols, shotguns, and rifles. Some of these weapons were left in the open in the living room while a one-year-old child was present.
Images found on Zalman’s phone allegedly showed him cooking crack and text messages to an unknown buyer. Zalman texted, “Yea get me some crack heads I’ll hook ya up. This is the best dope around man, everyone who tries it loves it.”
Local 4 Crime and Safety Expert Darnell Blackburn said that cases like this are some of the most dangerous for officers to make an arrest.
“You don’t know what’s in somebody’s house. You never know, so that’s why police officers take extreme caution when they approach a house,” Blackburn said. “That’s why they don’t park in front of the house. That’s why they approach houses covertly, and then the other part of this is we don’t want to harm an innocent person who is caught in the crossfire of somebody who doesn’t care about themselves.”
Zalman was successfully arrested and is now facing a long list of charges, including five different gun charges and two drug charges, including intent to sell and trafficking. Notably, there were no child endangerment charges included in the charges against him.