• 77°

HCHS locked down; student arrested

AHOSKIE – Alleged illegal drug activity caused Hertford County High School to implement a “Code Red” here Friday morning.

At the end of the brief campus-wide lockdown, a HCHS senior was arrested.

Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan reported that 18-year-old Jeremy Alexander Tucker of Malibu Drive, Ahoskie, was charged with possession with intent to sale and deliver marijuana, maintaining a vehicle to store a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Tucker was jailed under a $16,000 cash bond and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday of next week.

Sheriff Vaughan said 42 “dime” ($10) bags of marijuana were discovered in Tucker’s vehicle, parked in the HCHS student lot. The quality of marijuana seized was 59 grams, or just under two ounces, the Sheriff said.

Vaughan added that $293 in cash was also seized from Tucker.

“We became aware of the situation when one of my officers, Deputy Leon Eason, who works part-time providing security at C.S. Brown (Student Development Center) in Winton, smelled the strong odor of marijuana on a person that was seen emerging from a vehicle driven by Tucker as he dropped off some students Friday morning at C.S. Brown,” Vaughan said.

Sheriff Vaughan added that once Eason learned that Tucker was heading to HCHS, he contacted Lt. Curtis Freeman, who serves as the ranking security officer for the entire Hertford County Public School system. That, in turn, led to Deputy Ben Williams, the School Resource Officer at HCHS, being notified.

“Those officers, assisted by Investigator Dexter Hayes, quickly assessed the situation on the high school campus and made the arrest,” Vaughan said. “I commend them for their quick response. They were able to prevent the possible sale of those illegal drugs.”

HCHS Principal Jerry Simmons said the decision to post a “Code Red” was immediate once school administrators learned of what was unfolding on the Ahoskie campus.

“We received information that there were possibly some students either in the parking lot or were attempting to leave the campus,” Simmons said. “We were not sure at that moment of which one of the two was occurring. After speaking with Lt. Freeman, it was decided the safest route to take was to go with a Code Red.”

Simmons said the Code Red lasted…“10, no more than 15 minutes.”

“It was done as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Simmons noted. “As administrators, if we err we will do it on the side of caution. It was an unfortunate incident, but one we were able to handle. It was handled by the book.”

He added, “Once the situation was assessed and handled, we went back to a normal school day without any incidents. I hope that this school will not be judged negatively by this one, isolated incident. We have very outstanding young men and women enrolled in a positive learning environment at this school and we are proud of their accomplishments.”

Simmons said he kept Hertford County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Fahey updated…“minute-by-minute of what was happening on our campus.”