Teens held in drug search

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Deputies arrest 18-year-old Darius Pettway on drug charges.

A surprise inspection of Escambia County High School for drugs and other illegal paraphernalia ended with the arrest of three students Tuesday afternoon — including a basketball player who had been scheduled to play in the state Final Four tonight.

Two minors and one adult, 18-year-old Darius Pettway, were taken into custody by Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies for possession of marijuana. Pettway is a guard for the ECHS Blue Devils.

Deputies arrested Pettway after finding what Fountain Correctional officers said looked to be around three to four grams of marijuana hidden in the fuse box of a tan Nissan Altima.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Two minors were also detained Tuesday after deputies confiscated a small amount of marijuana from the ECHS field house and another small amount from a white Nissan Altima in the school’s parking lot.

Chief Deputy Mike Lambert said the surprise inspections are part of an agreement the Sheriff’s Department has with local schools that allows deputies to spontaneously check campuses for illegal substances.

“We have an open door policy with them,” Lambert said. “That way we can come in and do a surprise check every so often. We usually try and do this at least once a year.”

Both minors were transported to the Baldwin County Juvenile Detention Center in Bay Minette. Pettway was transported to the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton and will likely face misdemeanor charges Lambert said.

The Sheriff’s Department was assisted Tuesday by Atmore Police officers and canine units from Fountain Correctional Facility.