Drug ring discovered in Provo schools

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An eighth grader from Centennial Middle School was arrested for allegedly operating a drug trafficking ring using sixth graders from Franklin Elementary School.

A view of Franklin Elementary School from the playground. (Photo by Winston Behle)

The 14-year-old suspect would meet the elementary children in front of Franklin Elementary School and give them enough money to buy drugs from an unknown location. The children would then bring the drugs back to the eighth grader, who would sell them to others.

“The eighth grader wanted to buy dope, but he didn’t want to get caught so he went to Franklin Elementary School because he thought if the sixth graders got caught the police wouldn’t be as harsh on the sixth graders,” Lt. Siufanua, public information officer for the Provo Police, said. “He would pay them by getting them high. It was very disconcerting to us because drug houses are filled with shady people and weapons and are no place for a sixth grader to go into.”

The kids were buying, selling and using marijuana and spice.

Dr. Greg Hudnall, the associate superintendent of the Provo School District, said Franklin Elementary School has never had a problem before with children using drugs and no anti-drug program exists at the school.

“We’re working closely with the police department and juvenile courts,” Hudnall said. “We have done an investigation and interviewed all the children. All of the students involved in this drug ring are being required to go to a drug prevention program through the district with their families.”

The eighth grader was suspended from school and will be working with the juvenile court system.

The Provo Police Development did not comment when asked where the children were buying the drugs from, only stating that it was still an active investigation and they would let the public know when they had a suspect in custody.

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