The Wasco County Sheriff’s Office plans to perform random locker searches at two area schools in upcoming months as part of a new program to reduce drug use among students.
Chief Deputy Lane Magill said the searches were organized after law enforcement officials received reports of potential drug activity at Maupin High School. He said administrators agreed that steps should be taken to address the situation and then officials from Dufur High School, also under the jurisdiction of the sheriff’s office, decided to participate.
“We want to improve school safety by letting students know that this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated,” said Magill.
“These searches are not going to be announced so no one will know when we are coming.”
The locker searches are being conducted with a canine unit from the Sherman County Sheriff’s Office and members of the Mid-Columbia Interagency Narcotics Task Force.
On Dec. 10, the first search took place at both schools and Magill said the drug dog “hit” on several student lockers at Maupin.
Administrators gave law enforcement officials permission to search the lockers, which are the property of the school district, and a small amount of marijuana and paraphernalia was recovered.
The male student, age 18, assigned to that locker was interviewed by a deputy and then cited for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.
No drugs were located in the other lockers that had drawn the attention of the canine.
The dog did not detect anything during the search at Dufur.
Magill asks that anyone with information about drug use or trafficking of controlled substances at either school call the sheriff’s office at 541-506-2581.