LEBANON, Ohio - A 17-year-old Mason High School student has ben charged with several counts of drug trafficking after allegedly spearheading a local pot ring, and employing several other Mason High School students in the process.
Police said the 17-year-old, whose identity has not been released because of his age, led them to a $3 million marijuana growing operation involving seven adults.
Gerald Peele, Michael Lopez, Stacy Lampe, Cody Lampe, Justin Baker, William Sparks and Allen Honeycutt were indicted Friday on a total of 46 separate felony charges ranging from trafficking and cultivation to endangering children and possession of criminal tools.
Hundreds of marijuana plants were discovered in hydroponic grow-houses in Norwood and Blue Ash.
For about a year, the Warren County Drug Task Force had been investigating the trafficking of high-grade marijuana being sold to students at Mason and King Mills high schools, which they say they traced to the 17-year-old. When officials searched the boy’s house, they found more than $6,000 in cash in his bedroom at his parents' house.
As part of the investigation, task force members searched locations in Blue Ash, Norwood and Hamilton where they seized more than 600 hydroponic high grade marijuana plants .
Officials with the Warren County Drug Task Force say the street value from the pot was $5,000 a pound.
They seized thousands of dollars in grow equipment as well.
Authorities valued the drug operation at more than $3 million and say they believe the 17 year old was grossing more than $20,000 a month.
Criminal charges are being pursued in juvenile court as well.
Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.
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