Student carrying drugs, almost $1,000 arrested at Volunteer

Jeff Bobo • Feb 26, 2009 at 12:00 AM

CHURCH HILL — A 16-year-old Volunteer High School student was arrested on campus Wednesday after he was allegedly found in possession of a large stash of methadone and Xanax pills, and nearly $1,000 in cash.

VHS Principal Jim Dykes said an informant told Assistant Principal Wes Smith during the school day Wednesday that the suspect might have illegal substances in his possession.

“Mr. Smith proceeded to bring that student to the office, and of course there’s probable cause to search him,” Dykes said Thursday. “He (Smith) found some prescription drugs, and he (the student) didn’t have a prescription for them. We didn’t receive information that he was selling them, just that he had them.

“But he did have a large amount money on him, which he said was his grandmother’s money that she’d given him to buy clothes with.”

The VHS student resource officer took the student to the Church Hill Police Department, where he was charged.

The exact number of pills wasn’t released, although Church Hill Police Chief Mark Johnson said it was “a large quantity of pills unofficially identified as methadone and Xanax” as well as a small amount of marijuana and $982 in cash.

CHPD Detective Dustin Dean cited the student into Hawkins County Juvenile Court on charges including possession of a Schedule II drug for resale, possession of a Schedule III drug for resale, and simple possession of marijuana.

Dykes said the student will be expelled under the school district’s zero-tolerance policy.

“I just wish they wouldn’t do this stuff,” Dykes said. “The school only reflects the community you live in, and prescription drugs are just too readily available.”

Johnson stated in a press release he will work with the juvenile court to ensure that the student does not return to VHS.

“Rehabilitation is the stated goal of the juvenile system, but in this case we will try to make rehabilitation take a back seat to the future safety of the 1,200 students who attend Volunteer High School,” Johnson said. “If the student is convicted, our department will work with the director of schools and the juvenile judge to hopefully make sure he doesn’t ever darken the halls of the school again. The risk is just too great.”

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