Juvenile arrested for handing out meth on school bus
SILVERTHORNE – Police arrested a 12-year-old boy Sunday for allegedly possessing amphetamines, which he also reportedly distributed to another student on a school bus.
Silverthorne officers were alerted by a parent who learned from a neighbor that her daughter had received the drug. According to police reports, the 13-year-old girl said the boy gave her a bag containing a white powder on the school bus sometime in April.
Because the individuals involved are minors, police would not identify them.
The girl said she feared she would get in trouble for having the powder and kept it in her wallet until June 1. That night, the report states, the girl showed the powder to her friend while the pair was babysitting and spilled some of it on the kitchen counter. The girl’s neighbor later discovered the powder and contacted the girl’s mother.
After testing the powder and determining it contained amphetamines, police officers interviewed the boy accused of giving the powder to the girl, along with his parents. The boy initially denied giving anything to the girl, but when a search of his bedroom revealed more of the white powder, he admitted to giving some to the girl and using it on several occasions.
Silverthorne Police Officer Britt Dinsmore conducts DARE (Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education) classes at local elementary schools and said he was disappointed by the incident. He urged parents to look for changes in their children’s behavior or appearance as tell-tale signs of involvement with drugs.
“I don’t know if this is happening more frequently – it’s happening all over the country, though,” Dinsmore said. “It’s unfortunate it took place here, but we’re just like any other place.”
Silverthorne police turned the case over to the Summit County Drug Task Force. The boy told police who had given him the powder, but staff at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the drug task force, could not comment on the investigation.
Summit Schools Superintendent Wes Smith said he and other school officials were aware of the incident, but had not been contacted for an investigation. Smith said the school district does have a discipline policy for conduct on school buses and bus drivers have a good relationship with students. But, Smith said, drivers’ main job is to keep their eyes on the road, and sometimes things happen on buses that drivers don’t see.
In November 2001, drug task force agents confiscated apparatus for a methamphetamine lab in Silverthorne discovered in a McDonald’s employee housing unit. It was the second discovery of a methamphetamine lab in Summit County since 1996.
Methamphetamine (also known as meth, crystal meth, speed, crank or glass) is a central nervous stimulant. Its effects last longer than cocaine, but it costs about the same or cheaper, leading to the nickname “poor man’s cocaine.” It can be prescribed by a physician but is often produced in clandestine laboratories, bathrooms, sheds and even hotel rooms.
Methamphetamine labs are extremely dangerous. The process of making the drug usually involves petrochemical solvents, volatile organic compounds and carcinogens. Labs frequently explode or catch fire and environmental cleanup of each production site averages $150,000 nationally.
The danger of the underground labs is so pronounced and their proliferation so great that legislators are cracking down on the operations. Gov. Bill Owens Thursday signed into law Senate Bill 50, making it a felony to stockpile large quantities of legal drugs used to make methamphetamine; and House Bill 1038, which makes it illegal to possess supplies and equipment that can be used to make the drug.
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