A teenager will serve between six months and three years in a juvenile prison after a court convicted him of selling as much as $20,000 worth of cannabis to students at two Ohio high schools each month. The 18-year-old allegedly employed six other teenagers to help him with drug distribution, with authorities claiming him to be one of the most active dealers in the Cincinnati area. The judge who sentenced the man called him "a pretty fine young person that went down a bad trail," taking into account the suspect's non-violent behavior, accomplishment in academics and completion of a drug abuse program.
Police say the suspect became involved in the cannabis trade at around the age of 15, initially selling the illicit substance out of his home to avoid detection. Eventually, however, he reportedly expanded his business to two local highly ranked high schools and began selling cannabis to well-off students. The suspect himself was just three classes away from graduating high school at the time of his arrest.
Additionally, authorities claim the suspect became involved a group of adults responsible for growing the cannabis in two homes and a warehouse. Thus far, seven individuals between the ages of 20 to 58 have been charged in connection to the operation. The drug task force that investigated the drug ring claim to have discovered over 600 cannabis plants at the group's facilities, worth about $3 million. Police also allegedly found $6,000 in cash in the suspect's bed room.
The suspect's mother said she knew her son was using cannabis recreationally and selling it to friends, but was not aware of the scope of the suspect's alleged operation. "He wasn't out to become, you know, a big drug dealer. He didn't buy a new car. He didn't buy fancy clothes," she explained. "He wasn't making the money that a drug dealer would make and flaunting it."
This young man will have to serve time in jail for his drug charges, and hopefully will not make the same mistakes again in the future.
Source: WLWT, "'He is not going home today:' Teen member of Mason drug ring jailed," Oct. 22, 2012