Four teenagers were arrested Thursday for illegal drug sales after a two-month investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Street Enforcement Team.
During the investigation, officers made controlled purchases of cocaine, marijuana and Ecstasy. Large quantities of Oxycontin and morphine also were seized.
The suspects ranged in age from 16 to 18 and included three high school students. They are set for appearances in juvenile court this week.
"Although there is no evidence thus far in the investigation that any of these illegal transactions occurred on the property of the Douglas County School District, the fact that these students - children - have been accused of these acts should serve as a wakeup call to all parents," said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tom Mezzetta.
Mezzetta said one suspect bragged about the Ecstasy sales on his My Space Web page.
"Our children are being approached and offered these drugs," he said.
He said the arrests served as a reminder that these substances are in the community.
"The sheriff's office works with the school district in presenting such programs as Drug Abuse and Resistance Education to the students, but ultimately, parents need to be very active in their child's life," he said.
He pointed out that while methamphetamine is receiving media attention, it is not the only illegal substance which causes harm.
"I've heard of comments from other kids arrested for the use of cocaine exclaiming, 'At least it wasn't meth,'" Mezzetta said.
Residents can purchase drug test kits for $10 at the sheriff's office.
"I'd like to believe that just the thought of one of these kits in the kitchen cabinet poised for use by a parent would be in itself enough encouragement for kids to pass on using these drugs," he said.
Mezzetta said the sheriff's office will continue to work with the school district "to ensure that our students have a safe and drug-free environment in which to learn."