DHS student charged with selling pot

A 17-year-old Douglas High School student was arrested last week for allegedly selling marijuana near campus.

Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said the student, who wasn't identified because he is a juvenile, was charged with possession for sales and sales of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Mezzetta said the student had three small plastic bags of marijuana.

He was arrested and released to the Juvenile Probation Office.

Mezzetta said a 16-year-old student was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in connection with the March 15 incident.

Principal Marty Swisher said the school follows district and state policy in dealing with students caught with drugs or alcohol.

"We take it very seriously," Swisher said Wednesday. "Certainly, on our campus we don't want students bringing, using, or distributing any kind of drugs or alcohol. Anytime we get that kind of information - whether on campus or off during lunch - we pursue it very vigorously."

He said depending on the seriousness and number of offenses, a student can face a 90-day expulsion. The school also has flexibility for reduced suspension if it's a first offense and the student and parent agree to counseling.

Swisher said the school is required to report the offense to the sheriff's office, he said.

"I'm not going to say we don't have any problems," Swisher said. "Our community knows just within the community that we have issues with drug use and drug distribution."

Swisher said most of the illegal activity occurs off campus, but sometimes during lunch.

"That's still during the school day and we will not tolerate that," Swisher said.

"If it's happening off campus, it's still a problem we want to address," he said. "We want to be up front with parents and students. We're working as hard as we can to enforce the policies of the district and help students who genuinely want help. We want parents to know we're working very hard to make sure the campus is secure and safe."

Mezzetta said the school initiated the investigation after receiving information about drug use and sales both at and near the campus.

The student was arrested by Deputy Greg Shields, the school safety resource officer.

Mezzetta said the incidence of such arrests is not high.

"We have great cooperation with the schools in the entire district," Mezzetta said. "They understand our position and job function as we do theirs. We work very well together."


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