September 1, 2014

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Middle school students arrested on drug charges

AMHERST — A recent crackdown on drugs led to several drug-related arrests, including some at Amherst Junior High School and Nord Middle School.

On Friday, a 13-year-old student was arrested for allegedly selling drugs to other students in the building.

Vice Principal Rhonda Neuhoff contacted police at 11:45 a.m. Friday after she learned that a 14-year-old student was holding marijuana for a 13-year-old student who had been selling it, according to a news release from the Amherst Police Department. Police said two other students were involved in the alleged drug deals as well.

The teen accused of dealing was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and trafficking in drugs at a school. He told police that he had been selling marijuana for approximately a year at the school, and he said he had sold the drug at Nord Middle School, too.

An undisclosed amount of money and drugs were taken from the student, according to the news release.

Three other students were charged with drug abuse, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. They were released to a parent pending an appearance in juvenile court, police said.

On Monday, a student also was arrested at Nord Middle School after the student was allegedly found with marijuana in his book bag.

During a search of that boy’s bag, police said the principal found a cigarette pack with marijuana in it.

The student was cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and released to his mother.

Ryan Coleman, principal of Amherst Junior High School, said, while he couldn’t comment on the incident at the middle school, the arrest at the junior high school was an isolated incident.

Coleman said the amount of marijuana found on the student was small, but police were immediately contacted as part of the school’s “zero tolerance” policy. All of the students involved were suspended for 10 days with a recommendation for expulsion.

“This is the first incident that we’ve had this year,” he said. “Is this a big problem? I think this is a societal problem.”

Coleman said the district is taking the incident “very seriously.”

The Amherst Police Department also is taking these drug incidents seriously, according to the release from the Police Department. A spokesman could not be reached Monday, but police asked that Amherst residents contact them immediately to prevent drug-related incidents from occurring.

“We want our citizens to know they are not exempt from this problem,” the release read. “We need your help. We need you, as parents and family, to pay attention to your children and family members. Check their bedrooms. Look for contraband. If contraband is found, more than likely they are on their way to being an addict.”

In addition to the marijuana arrests, police also have handled three overdoses this weekend.

On Sunday, officers were sent to a home in the 500 block of Jackson Street where a 17-year-old female who was given Narcan by the renter of the home was unresponsive in an upstairs bedroom. The girl was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center.

During an investigation, rescue crews also took Tyler Young, 18, to the hospital for an apparent overdose. He was the boyfriend of the 17-year-old girl, according to police, and he was taken to Mercy for treatment.

A search of the home found drug abuse instruments, police said.

At 1:32 a.m. Monday, a 20-year-old man was found unresponsive and barely breathing after he reportedly took heroin. Police said Ross Waldon was taken to Mercy for treatment after officers found with a syringe next to him on the floor. Waldon’s mother told police her son had been battling a heroin addiction, and he had been staying in the basement of her home.

Anyone with information on heroin usage is asked to call the Amherst Police Department at (440) 988-2625.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.