2 Students Are Charged In Pot Ring Investigation

By Dan Morse
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 15, 2008

Montgomery County police said yesterday that they expect to make more arrests in a marijuana investigation involving students at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Winston Churchill High School in Potomac and Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest Washington.

Investigators think several students pooled their money to buy marijuana to sell to other teenagers, police said. More than three pounds of marijuana was seized last week, and scales and $6,600 were found at one student's home, police said.

Detectives have arrested two adults and two 17-year-olds, a male Whitman student and a female Churchill student. Among the suspects not charged is at least one student from Wilson, police said in a news release.

The investigation began Friday after detectives received a tip that drugs were being sold at a house in the 800 block of Ivy League Lane in Rockville. Detectives who went there saw a man enter the house and leave several minutes later with a white plastic bag, according to police charging documents.

After officers watched the man place the bag in the trunk of his silver Honda, they followed him and pulled him over for speeding and driving too fast for weather conditions, according to the documents. Officers found eight ounces of "high-grade" marijuana in the trunk, police said.

Carlos Marroquin, 21, of the 9100 block of Kimes Street in Silver Spring, was charged with possession of marijuana, police said. He was released on his own recognizance. Marroquin told officers that he had bought the marijuana at the house from a man he knew as Paul, police said.

Back at the house, police said, detectives saw a male and a female -- later identified as the two 17-year-old students -- drive up in a red Mazda, according to charging documents. The students later left the house with a third person, and one of the students was carrying a backpack he did not have when he went inside, according to charging documents.

Officers followed the Mazda, pulling it over on Falls Road near Interstate 270, according to charging documents. They found 2 1/2 pounds of "high-grade" marijuana in the backpack, according to police.

The Whitman student was charged with possession with intent to distribute. At his home, police found marijuana, ecstasy, psilocybin mushrooms, scales, packing materials and $6,600, police said.

The Churchill student was charged with the same offense. Both were charged as juveniles and released to family members, police said.

The third person in the Mazda was identified as Paul Peckham, 18, who lives at the house on Ivy League Lane. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute and other drug charges. He was released on $50,000 bond. At Peckham's house, officers found marijuana, packing materials, scales and $2,600, police said.

Efforts to reach Marroquin and Peckham, who do not appear to have listed phone numbers, were unsuccessful yesterday. It also could not be determined whether they have hired attorneys.

All told, police said, they have found $12,000 worth of marijuana in the case.

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