Six South Carroll High School students have been arrested and charged with drug possession after police found about a half-ounce of marijuana, a smoking device and $274 in school.
Police arrested the boys Friday after school administrators learned of possible drug violations. School officials detained the boys until police arrived.
Further investigation by the Carroll County Drug Task Force and Maryland State Police led authorities to the residence of one of the teen-agers, where police found 2 ounces of marijuana, a hand-held scale and a smoking device in the boy's bedroom, police said.
Investigators said they learned that the money seized was proceeds from drug transactions.
Four of the boys - three 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old - were charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Two - one 16-year-old and one 15-year-old -were also charged with marijuana possession with the intent to distribute. The six were charged as juveniles and released to their families.
"This is fairly unusual up here," said Maryland State Police Lt. Terry L. Katz. "It's happened at other school districts a lot of times, especially at the beginning of a weekend when people might distribute back and forth for the weekend. But it's unusual to get them up here."
Carroll County law enforcement typically arrests that many adults in a weekend for drug-related offenses, Katz said.
"This is probably a good example of the vigilance and work the school did," he added.
Although privacy regulations prevent school officials from discussing individual student disciplinary cases, the school system's drug policy details guidelines for suspension or expulsion:
A first-time offender who uses, possesses or manufactures drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia is automatically suspended for at least five days and referred for mandatory alcohol and drug education or treatment. A principal can suspend the student for up to 10 days with a recommendation to the schools superintendent for a longer suspension.
On a second offense, a student is suspended for 10 days with the recommendation to the superintendent for extended suspension or expulsion.
On a third offense, a student is suspended for 10 days with the recommendation for expulsion.
The penalty for drug distribution calls for suspension for 10 days after a first offense with the recommendation for an extended suspension.
In all cases, students must complete mandatory drug and alcohol education classes and treatment.