Carroll student arrested Teen-ager faces drug charges

December 07, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A 17-year-old Westminster High School student, who the county's drug task force believes may have been selling marijuana, was arrested Friday afternoon in the school's parking lot.

The youth, whose name was not released, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to State Police Sgt. John E. Burton, head of the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force.

According to Sergeant Burton, an anonymous call to the task force's tip line Monday complained of a Westminster High School student who was selling marijuana to other students at the school.

Later in the week, another call describing the person came into the tip line, Sergeant Burton said.

With that information, Tfc. Richard R. Heuisler and task force drug-sniffing dog Baxter approached the student's 1983 Toyota truck late Friday morning while school was in session, Sergeant Burton said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Baxter "alerted," giving Trooper Heuisler a reason to search the truck, Sergeant Burton said. The trooper waited for school to end, and when the student walked toward the truck, Trooper Heuisler asked to search it.

Sergeant Burton said the student handed over to the trooper about an eighth of an ounce of marijuana and a pipe. The student was arrested without incident, charged and then released to the custody of his parents.

The student has not been charged with drug distribution, Sergeant Burton said, but the task force has seized the student's truck.

School officials were told of the task force's investigation on Friday, said Peter B. McDowell, the county's director of secondary schools.

Mr. McDowell declined to comment yesterday on specific action taken against the student who was arrested, but he did explain that the district's drug and alcohol policy calls for an automatic five-day suspension for anyone carrying drugs or alcohol while on school property.

Before returning to school after such a suspension, a student must take drug or alcohol counseling and then undergo an interview with school officials.

The policy calls for extended suspension for any student who is charged with drug distribution, Mr. McDowell said.

Both Sergeant Burton and Mr. McDowell said yesterday that drug arrests in the county's five high schools are quite rare, although drug abuse is considered a problem.

"Any time we have anything along those lines in the schools, we feel that we have a problem," Mr. McDowell said.

He said the school system's drug policy, formulated in 1982, has resulted in fewer drug or alcohol related suspensions. He called the policy "strict" and effective, and said it was considered by federal drug officials to be a model for other school systems.

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