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Gate City athletes investigated for alleged drug activity, underage drinking

September 27th, 2013 11:03 pm by Wes Bunch

Gate City athletes investigated for alleged drug activity, underage drinking

GATE CITY — Law enforcement officials in Scott County confirmed this week that an investigation is ongoing into alleged drug activity involving several Gate City High School athletes who were recently suspended from a football game.

Scott County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marcus McClung said his office has forwarded the case to the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force and requested a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate allegations involving both the possession and distribution of Schedule I drugs, marijuana and alcohol.

On Friday, Scott County Public Schools Superintendent John Ferguson released a statement regarding the ongoing investigation.

“An incident that took place on September 13, 2013, involving student athletes from Gate City High School was reported to school officials on September 16, 2013,” Ferguson said. “As we are obligated to do, school administration investigated this matter, and related matters, and have taken action based upon findings during the investigation.

“Because of the complexities of the situation and where these incidents involve juveniles, we will have no further comment at this time.”

The investigation came to light after at least six athletes were suspended for Gate City High School’s Sept. 20 football game against Bluefield High School in Bluefield, W.Va.

According to multiple sources, school officials launched an internal investigation into allegations that a number of athletes attended a party in Lee County that involved drug use and the underage consumption of alcohol following the team’s Sept. 13 game against Sullivan South High School.

Law enforcement became involved in the matter after the school’s investigation revealed allegations that marijuana and alcohol were brought onto school property prior to the party. The students’ suspension also stemmed from those allegations.

The names of the students involved in the incident have been withheld due to the fact they are minors. Authorities have said, however, there are individuals connected to the alleged drug activity that are older than 18.

Law enforcement officials characterized the Southwest Virginia Drug Task Force investigation as ongoing and said no students — or other individuals associated with the allegations — have been arrested.

Despite the lack of arrests, charges are expected to be filed at some point.

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