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05-20-06 Two arrested at Celina High School

By Janie Southard

  A surprise visit Friday morning by seven drug-sniffing dogs and seven law enforcement agencies netted drug stashes and two arrests at Celina High School.

  Celina City Police Department's K-9 Unit as well as six other jurisdictions arrived at the high school around 8:30 a.m. after students and staff were placed in lock-down, a known practice wherein no one is to leave home room until notified. The search included student lockers and parking lots.

  The dogs alerted to two vehicles -- one where alcohol was found and the other led to suspected drugs, Celina Police Chief David Slusser said.

  Beer was found behind the seat of a pickup truck driven to school by a 17-year-old student. That student will be charged with underage possession of alcohol, Slusser said in a press release.

  The dogs also made a hit on a vehicle where suspected marijuana was found. The 18-year-old student who drove that vehicle admitted it was his and will be charged if testing confirms the substance is marijuana, Slusser said.  Both students were turned over to school officials.

  No drugs were found inside the school, but hits were made.

  "Canines alerted to several lockers inside the high school, but no drugs were found. The canines can sometimes alert to residual or trace amounts of drugs, particularly marijuana smoke that clings to clothing," Slusser said.

  Reached at his office, Celina Superintendent Matt Miller said he could not comment on the discipline of any individual student.

  "We have been working with the Celina police for several weeks on bringing in the drug dogs and plan to continue the practice periodically throughout each school year," Miller said.

  The plan took shape in early April following the hospitalization of four students who suffered an adverse reaction from taking a prescription medication given to them by a fellow student. All students were treated and released.

  The 14-year-old student who brought the drugs to school has been disciplined according to school policy. Miller again said he could not "comment on the discipline of any individual student."

  Neither school or police authorities were acting Friday morning on any tip-off that there were drugs to be found.

"Of course, we weren't happy we found something. But we are glad we are able to get Celina Police and other agencies involved in our proactive stance on drugs," Miller said. "With the incident in early April, we were reactive, but from now on we will continue to be proactive."

Four drug dogs and their handlers searched the high school, while three more dogs and handlers were taken to the education complex on Livingston Street where some Tri Star as well as alternative center classes are held on the third floor.

  The trio of dogs then were taken to the middle school where they found nothing. They went on to assist in the high school parking lot.

  Agencies assisting in Friday's locker check included St. Marys Police Department, Auglaize County Sheriff's Office, Cridersville Police Department, Kenton Police Department, Sidney Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.


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