West Fargo High School drug sweep leaves officials pleasedWest Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Three West Fargo High School students face drug charges after local law enforcement did a school wide sweep of cars parked around campus.
By: Kay Cooley, WDAY
West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Three West Fargo High School students face drug charges after local law enforcement did a school wide sweep of cars parked around campus.
The Fargo and West Fargo police departments teamed up with The Cass County Sheriff's Office and used four drug dogs to search for narcotics hidden in the students' vehicles.
The search happened here on campus Wednesday morning, both in school parking lots and for the first time on surrounding streets where many students park. But today school officials and police say they are pleased with results.
The 10:30 bell at West Fargo High School had a different meaning yesterday morning, instead of signaling the start of 4th period, it also marked the beginning of a school wide drug sweep outside.
Mike Reitan/West Fargo Asst. Police Chief: "We try to keep it random. The idea is to discourage the drug use and possession of it in and around the schools."
Gary Clark/Principal: "The main reason we do that is for safety. We want our campus to be drug free."
These types of searches happen a few times each year. This time with dogs finding eight cars worth a hit, but only three cars with marijuana inside after searching.
Reitan: "Certainly with the number of vehicles parked in the school parking lot or around the school, three vehicles that actually had marijuana in them, that's a relatively low number."
Those three vehicles were off campus on nearby streets. Defense attorney Ross Brandborg says police are legally allowed to search any car parked on a public road without a warrant if a drug dog finds reasonable cause.
And for West Fargo students, this is a popular place to park.
Clark: "We were pleased, quite frankly, that we didn't actually find any drugs on campus."
Signaling a small drug presence for the student body of more than 15 hundred.
Clark: "There is no more drug problem at West Fargo High School than in any other school district around."
But ultimately using the search to send out the same message.
Clark: "Don't bring drugs to campus or even across the street in your vehicle because you will be caught eventually."
Now the three students caught with marijuana in their cars are all under 18 and face misdemeanor drug charges. After the search they were each released to their parents. The school cannot take any disciplinary action because the cars were off campus.