One teenage high school student and seven adults face drug charges in connection to an alleged drug ring in Ohio. Police were able to track down the adults after arresting the teenager, who was allegedly earning $20,000 each month by selling high-grade cannabis to students at two Ohio high schools. The suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 58, have been charged with multiple felony drug crimes, including drug possession. Police made the arrests after a year-long investigation, culminating in a raid in which officers seized about 600 cannabis plants with an estimated value of over $3 million.
Police say the teenager led them to three facilities where high-potency marijuana was being grown in sophisticated hydroponic systems. The two of the suspects have been accused of being the ring's principle growers, who allegedly operated in the back of one of the suspect's furniture store. Other associated grow houses were located in other parts of Ohio. One of the growers, the son of an Ohio school district superintendent, was previously arrested on drug possession charges after being involved in a $50,000 cocaine sting in 2000.
Police say that each of the 600 plants could produce up to a pound of cannabis, which is valued at $5,200.
Ohio implements harsh penalties for individuals convicted of drug crimes, especially large scale offenses such as this. The teen may have led police to the evidence because he is hoping for a lighter sentence in exchange for his cooperation. This case also requires a discussion about how the teen could best be punished. He is only 17. Will throwing him in jail for years really help him?
Source: Middletown Journal, "Mason student at center of large drug bust," Justin McClelland and Tom Beyerlein, July 16, 2012