Andover police arrested three Phillips Academy students on Tuesday, October 7, on charges relating to the possession of drugs and transportation of alcohol. The three students, two Senior female day students and one Upper male boarding student, are no longer students at Phillips Academy, said Rebecca Sykes, Associate Head of School. The charges filed against the students were possession of a class B substance, possession of a class D substance, and persons under 21 years of age transporting liquor, said Lieutenant James Hashem of the Andover Police Department. According to Hashem, the class B substance was cocaine and the class D substance was marijuana. Two of the three individuals were also charged with intent to distribute cocaine, a felony under Massachusetts law. Two of the students were reached by phone and declined to comment for this story. The third student involved could not be contacted. According to Hashem, Officer Greg Scott of the Andover Police saw the three students parked in a car at 8:40 p.m. on the night of the arrests while he was on routine patrol on Burnham Road. Hashem said that Scott saw a vehicle parked in Penguin Park, an unusual spot to find a vehicle at night. According to Hashem, Scott saw three occupants in the car and drug paraphernalia in sight on the back deck of the vehicle, below the rear window. After Scott requested a back-up unit, the Andover Police Department’s K-9 unit responded and arrived on site with a drug-sniffing dog. The police proceeded to search the vehicle and discovered several glacine bags containing white powder, which was eventually identified as cocaine, Hashem said. The police then arrested the three students and continued to search the vehicle, where they found marijuana and an open container of alcohol. According to Hashem, the students said that they had acquired the drugs and alcohol earlier in the evening and were planning on using and repackaging them. While the officers were processing the arrests, one girl received text messages from individuals wishing to purchase cocaine, Hashem said. The police confiscated her cell phone and the vehicle, which belonged to the parents of one of the day students. Hashem would not comment on possible further investigation of the suspected potential drug buyers. Detective Evan Robitaille transported the students to the police station at 10:46 p.m. All three students were in custody for several hours before they were released on bail. Two of the arrested students are 18 years of age, and the third is 17 years old. For criminal cases in Massachusetts, 17 years of age is considered adult, regardless of state residency. The Andover Police Department did not contact the students’ parents because they were eventually charged as adults. However, the students were allowed to call their parents. According to Paul Murphy, Dean of Students and Residential Life, the boarding student who had been arrested called a faculty member, who then alerted Murphy of the arrests on Tuesday night. “I had been called at home the night of the arrest,” Murphy said. “On Wednesday morning, the police made what I would consider a courtesy call to the school saying that this had happened the night before.” Massachusetts has a mandatory minimum jail sentence for adults possessing class B substances with intent to distribute. However, the sentence may be bargained down in court. If the students had been juveniles, the arrests would have followed the same procedure, according to Hashem. Juveniles, however, would go to court with different expectations for rehabilitation and punishment and they would not be placed in a secure facility. At the All-School Meeting this Wednesday, Murphy said that a court date for the three students was set for December, at the earliest.
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