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Students arrested in drug bust at Gate City High

Wes Bunch • May 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

GATE CITY — Three students were arrested at Gate City High School on drug-related charges Friday morning following an undercover investigation by local authorities.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday afternoon that all three students were charged with distribution of Schedule III drugs, distribution of Schedule IV drugs and distribution of marijuana.

Authorities declined to release the students’ names or grade levels because they are minors.

The students were taken into custody before lunch Friday by the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force for allegedly selling marijuana and pills, like Lortab and Xanax.

Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said the arrests were the culmination of a weeks-long investigation by the multijurisdictional task force.

“This was the result of undercover investigations that we’ve had,” McClung said. “We have a new drug task force agent and we sat down and talked about what we wanted to do and the first thing we both said is we want to make the schools safer. So this is just step one.”

McClung declined to comment on the possibility of more charges being filed in the investigation, or if any drugs were found at the Gate City High School campus when the students were taken into custody.

The arrests, McClung said, served a dual purpose of increasing school safety and sending a message to other students who might be involved in drug-related activity.

“The school’s first consideration, and our first consideration, was the safety of the students.” McClung said. “That was one of the main things that we were concerned with, but on our part we also wanted to make sure everyone else knew what was going on.” School officials declined to comment on the arrests other than to say they would cooperate with law enforcement in any way possible.

McClung also acknowledged the school system’s cooperation in carrying out the investigation.“Where we could use them, and where they could help us, we had their cooperation,” he said. “Certainly, we couldn’t tell them everything, but every time they could help us they did.”

All three students are expected to be arraigned next week in Scott County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

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