Thursday, October 26, 2000

Drug sales by juveniles increasing?


Latest bust involves 3 Fairfield-area youths

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — Butler County sheriff's deputies say there appears to be an upsurge in the number of teens arrested for alleged drug dealing — and the amounts they're accused of selling.

        On Tuesday, they arrested a trio of Fairfield-area boys on drug-trafficking charges involving a total of about three-quarters of a pound of marijuana.

        Charges against an adult are pending.

        Those arrests follow those of three teen girls accused of selling 100 capsules of suspected “ecstasy” to an undercover officer in Hamilton on Saturday.

        “When juveniles are in volved in drug trafficking, you normally expect to see a few joints. When you see three-quarters of a pound of marijuana or 100 capsules of ecstasy, it's extremely alarming,” Detective Sgt. Mike Craft, supervisor of the sheriff's drug and vice unit, said Wednesday.

        “The sheriff is so concerned that he said, "We've got to put a stop to these juveniles selling drugs — it's like a cancer.'”

        The latest arrests occurred Tuesday after two boys, ages 16 and 17, allegedly sold a quarter-pound of the drug to an undercover officer at the Kroger parking lot at Nilles Road and Pleasant Avenue.

        The 17-year-old ran from police and was caught after a short foot chase, Sgt. Craft said. A third youth, 17, believed to have been the supplier for that sale, was arrested after police searched his bedroom and found an additional half-pound of marijuana and a small safe containing $1,300, Sgt. Craft said.

        A judge on Wednesday ordered all three boys held in the county Juvenile Detention Center awaiting a Tuesday court hearing.

        The girls accused in the ecstasy sale also remain in detention and are scheduled for court hearings Wednesday.

        Although exact figures were not immediately available, deputies estimated that a total of 12 juveniles have been arrested so far this year for alleged drug sales.

        More arrests could be coming, Sgt. Craft said, as deputies were pursuing other tips about alleged juvenile drug dealers.

        Deputies aren't sure what might be fueling the apparent trend, Sgt. Craft said, but added: “Some juveniles have told our investigators they were doing it for the money without even thinking about the serious consequences.”
       

       



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