Douglas County police bust middle school drug ring

- Three 14-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy are accused of running an elaborate drug ring inside the Douglas County middle school which they attend. Douglas County Sargent Jesse Hambrick released a photo of the .9 millimeter handgun he said deputies found loaded in the backpack of a 14-year-old student at Chestnut Log Middle School last week.

Sgt. Hambricjk said the weapon belonged to one of four boys charged with selling drugs inside the middle school. He would not specify how long the alleged ring has been operating.

"I will say this: This is something that was surprisingly organized. I never seen anything like this with kids this age," Sgt. Hambrick told reporters Monday afternoon at the Sheriff's Department.

On April 26, someone tipped off school officials about the loaded weapon. Investigators detained the student just before the end of the school day. Sgt. Hambrick said the 14-year-old boy had cash and less than a half an ounce of marijuana already packaged for distribution. Douglas County deputies returned to Chestnut Log the following day and arrested two other 14-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy.

"There was evidence they were also selling drugs with the 14 year old and they had all been involved with selling drugs prior to April 26th," Hambrick said.

The boy charges include possession of a weapon at school, possession of a weapon during a drug transaction, conspiracy to distribute marijuana at school, racketeering and using a cell phone to facilitate a drug crime. Hambrick hopes the arrests and serious charges send a strong message to parents about what kids are capable of committing with cell phones.

"Parents need to talk to their kids. Find out what they're doing. Find out where they're going. Find out what they have access to on their phones. Television and movies are telling kids one thing about how glamorous this lifestyle is. But their parents need to be telling them something different because the consequences for these actions are real," Hambrick said.

Douglas County School officials said they cannot comment on the incident.

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