Drug arrest made at Westlake High School


Drug arrest made at Westlake High School
By Kevin Kelley
Published March 5, 2008

A 15-year old female student at Westlake High School was arrested Thursday morning after she allegedly offered to sell illegal drugs to fellow students. All of them refused the offer, and one reported the incident to a teacher.

The suspect was questioned by the Westlake Police’s school resource officer and found to be in possession of approximately one gram of a controlled substance, according to a police department press release. The other students that were reportedly approached were interviewed by law enforcement and confirmed that the suspect offered to sell it, police said.

The girl allegedly told fellow students the substance was cocaine. Preliminary tests indicate it may be a mixture of cocaine and other controlled substances, police said. Further testing will be done by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, police said. The suspect was released to the custody of her mother.

Specific charges will be filed once the final test results are received, police said.

Three other Westlake High students were arrested at the high school in two separate incidents in recent weeks. But unlike Thursday’s arrest, the earlier incidents did not involve attempts to share or sell drugs on school property, police said.

On Jan. 30, Westlake Police arrested an 18-year-old female student at the high school. Police said she admitted using heroin that day and had quantities of the drug in her possession.

Based on other information, Westlake Police began investigating two 17-year-old students, Freeman said.

According to Westlake Police, search warrants were obtained for the residences of the two students Feb. 6. While the searches were taking place, police arrested the two at the high school in connection with drug activity.

Two more search warrants were issued this week in connection with the recent drug activity at Westlake High School, Westlake Police Lt. Ray Arcuri said.

On Monday morning, Westlake Police executed a search warrant at a Horseshoe Boulevard residence where marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found, Capt. Guy Turner, police department spokesman, said.

A 17-year-old boy, who police said is a student at Westlake High School, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Turner said. A 26-year-old man at the residence was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, Turner said. A summons was issued for a 54-year-old woman who lives at the residence for permitting drug abuse, Turner said.

On Tuesday, police executed a search warrant at a Clague Road residence but no arrests were made, Arcuri said.

The arrests in January and February received considerable attention in the news media and community. As a result, the district and the Westlake Parent Connection organized a community meeting Feb. 19 at the Westlake Schools Performing Arts Center to address illegal drug use by adolescents.

Following the meeting, high school Principal Tim Freeman sent home a letter stating that another substance abuse incident came to light.

“Since that community forum, district administrators received tips about potential alcohol and substance abuse matters,” Freeman’s letter stated. “We were able to substantiate several of the tips and immediately enforced our code of conduct.”

Superintendent Dan Keenan said Freeman was referring to a group of students reportedly showing up at a school dance Feb. 16 intoxicated.

Keenan said that although he was gratified that a student reported an attempted drug sale in the most recent incident, there is still some way to go to change the adolescent culture.

MORE PROGRAMS: At 7 p.m. March 10, the school district and Westlake Parent Connection will present a talk by Elaine and James Psarras, who will discuss the death of their son Andy from a heroin addiction.

The program will take place in the Westlake Schools Performing Arts Center at 27830 Hilliard Blvd.

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