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Police: High school student was 'kingpin' of marijuana ring

A 17-year-old student was recently arrested and charged for his significant role in a drug operation that netted more than $20,000 a month. Sources are referring to the young man as the head of an intricate drug ring that grew, distributed and sold several pounds of marijuana throughout his state. After a yearlong investigation, the student will now face drug charges in juvenile court.

The situation has drawn the attention of people across North Carolina and the rest of the country because of how young the man is and how robust his operation was. Police say the teen had at least seven adults working for him, as well as other students his age, and was the primary source of high-grade marijuana in the state. An investigation into the operation also led authorities to three major suppliers of marijuana.

According to reports, the young man would get the drugs from the suppliers and sell them to his so-called lieutenants. They would then distribute the marijuana to high school students. However, the young man was very deliberate in instructing others not to sell the drug on or near school grounds. Schools often routinely conduct surprise searches and drug sweeps, and it would have been very easy to get caught. If caught on school grounds, they would face even more severe consequences.

An undercover investigator used the 17-year-old student to gain access to all points of the operation. Ultimately, they were able to identify three main suppliers who grew hydroponic marijuana in homes and business around the community. The high-grade pot was sold for $5,000 a pound. Police seized 600 plants in total, which would have sold on the street for $3 million.

A county prosecutor described the young man as a good kid, but misguided. He is very smart and seems more like an honor student than the head of a marijuana operation. Still, he must face consequences for his actions. Because of his young age at the time the crimes were committed, he will face charges as a juvenile.

Source: ABC News, "Ohio High School Kingpin Arrested in Major Drug Bust," Russell Goldman, July 16, 2012

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