Sheriff: 2 teen brothers arrested on same day for pot, firearm at school

Pierce County Sheriff's Office photo shows items found on student.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - Two teenage brothers were arrested on the same day this week after authorities found the younger one with marijuana at a local middle school, then found the older one with marijuana and a gun at the high school.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office says the episode unfolded Tuesday when a school resource deputy at Cougar Mountain Middle School in Graham responded to a report that a 13-year-old student's backpack smelled strongly of marijuana.

A grinder containing marijuana was found inside the backpack, and the student said he believed his 15-year-old brother had put it there without his knowledge and that his brother smokes marijuana "all the time." The 13-year-old student was arrested and released to a family member, sheriff's officials said.

The school resource deputy then contacted staff at Bethel High School in Spanaway, where the suspect’s older brother attends, and passed on the information about the older brother’s involvement with marijuana.

The 15-year-old brother was removed from class and brought to the high school security office. When told he would be searched by school staff, he had refused to allow himself to be searched and refused to give the staff his backpack.

While the student was being held in the office, another student approached the school security staff and advised them that the 15-year-old was known to frequently carry a gun and that he had reportedly showed it off to other students, according to the sheriff's office

The school resource deputy then rushed to the high school security office, where the student was seated still wearing his backpack. The deputy instructed the student to keep his hands in his lap and stay seated, and then asked him if he would cooperate and allow the deputy to search him. The student’s face turned red, he began to sweat, and he slowly shook his head from side to side indicating no, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

When the deputy asked the student if he had a weapon on him, the student did not answer at first but eventually admitted that he had a gun. The deputy then placed the student’s hands behind his back and handcuffed him.

Once the deputy began to pat down the student, he found an unloaded semiautomatic handgun in the student's pocket. A folding knife and $13 was also found in another of his pockets, sheriff's officials said..

Another school resource deputy arrived at the school office as the suspect was being searched. Inside the suspect’s backpack, deputies found a digital scale, baggies, 11 grams of marijuana, a grinder containing marijuana residue and $105 in cash, according to sheriff's officials. There was no ammunition located on the student or in his backpack.

The 15-year-old student was arrested for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

His parent was notified of his arrest and he was booked into Remann Hall.

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