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Teen admits to distributing drugs at school

May 02, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

The former South Hagerstown High School student who police alleged sold marijuana to star athlete Domonique Richmond in March admitted in juvenile court Wednesday to distributing drugs on school property.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Steve Kessell agreed to drop the remaining charges of possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana in exchange for the admission.

Kessell told Washington County Circuit Judge Donald Beachley, who was sitting in juvenile court, that the 16-year-old was arrested in March after marijuana was found near fellow student Richmond, 18.

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During an interview with police, the 16-year-old said he bought a $10 bag of marijuana, smoked some of it and took the rest to school.

He approached several people looking for buyers and eventually sold the bag to Richmond for $10, Kessell said.

Beachley delayed sentencing of the teenager, of Hagerstown, pending a pre-disposition investigation. Beachley told the student that the maximum penalty he faces is placement outside his home until he is 21.

The 16-year-old and Richmond were both expelled from South High, school officials and the teenager's attorney have said.

Defense attorney Jerome Joyce said the 16-year-old has been helpful at home, doing chores. "He's changed people, places and things" that led him to sell drugs, Joyce said.

The student's father said his son was doing well at home and was put to work removing a retaining wall.

Joyce said he shows promise as a baseball player.

"Athletes such as Cal Ripken never used illicit substances because they know it doesn't enhance their performance in any manner," Beachley said.

Richmond, who now attends the Evening High School, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Washington County District Judge Ralph France in April placed the charges against Richmond on the inactive docket, where they will remain provided he doesn't commit a crime within the next year.

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