Sting operation at high school in Carroll yields seven arrests Westminster students face varied charges

May 29, 1998|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A suspect arrested and charged Thursday in connection with an undercover investigation at Westminster High School was misidentified by a Maryland State Police news release. The correct name of the suspect is Kevin William Wayson, 20, of the 1200 block of Campus Court in Westminster. The person incorrectly named in yesterday's editions is Kevin Wayson's brother, Augustus, state police said yesterday.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Seven Westminster High School students were arrested yesterday on various charges -- including drug, theft and arson -- as police, fire and school officials concluded a two-month undercover operation sought by the school's principal.

Authorities began the investigation in April in the wake of the overdose death of a 15-year-old Westminster High School student in January and the return to school of two of three suspects charged in connection with the death.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Saying that a high school reflects what is happening in the community, Principal Sherri-Le Bream said she saw an increase in crime and vandalism at the school and was suspicious that drug use was also on the rise.

Posing as a student, Trooper Derek Howell quickly formed relationships that enabled him to build his case and collect information that will be used in future drug investigations, according to Col. David B. Mitchell, Maryland State Police superintendent.

Mitchell said that the trooper purchased a .38-caliber pistol from one youth at the boy's home; bought marijuana from three of the suspects; and developed evidence to link some of the youths with two auto thefts in Westminster, three cases of malicious destruction of property and several shoplifting incidents.

Howell also obtained information that enabled fire marshals to solve five of six arsons that occurred April 13-30, Mitchell said.

Augustus T. Wayson III, 20, of the 1200 block of Campus Court, Westminster, was charged with two counts of first-degree malicious burning and one count of first-degree arson.

Four youths from Westminster and two from Finksburg were to be turned over to juvenile authorities for further action, state police said.

All seven will face disciplinary action, pending hearings with school authorities, school officials said.

State police listed the charges against the six juveniles: A 16-year-old Westminster boy was charged with illegally possessing a fire arm, selling a .38-caliber pistol to Howell, distribution of marijuana, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Another 16-year-old boy from Westminster was charged with distribution of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

A 15-year-old Westminster boy was charged with distribution of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana, three counts of malicious destruction of property, three counts of shoplifting, and breaking and entering.

A 17-year-old boy from Finksburg was charged with distribution of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A 14-year-old Finksburg boy was charged on two counts of malicious destruction of property.

A 15-year-old Westminster boy was charged with breaking and entering, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

One of those arrested, Kristopher Olenginski, 16, was charged as an adult and is awaiting trial.

Pub Date: 5/29/98

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