METHUEN – A 16-year-old high-school student is being held without bail for 90 days after police say he gave two fellow students marijuana-laced cookies at school on Tuesday.
One girl who ate a cookie complained of chest and stomach pain afterward and was taken by ambulance to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen.
The other student, also female, was sent home with her mother, according to a copy of a redacted Methuen Police Department report obtained by The Eagle-Tribune through a public records request.
Urine samples taken from both girls tested positive for marijuana, although they told police they had never used marijuana before, according to the police report.
Following an investigation, the boy who allegedly gave the girls cookies was arrested on a warrant Tuesday night.
He is charged with distribution of a marijuana, violation of a drug-free school zone and a public health crime for having a food containing a foreign substance, according to the police report.
The boy was arraigned in juvenile court and ordered held without bail for 90 days due to open cases he already has and this new arrest, police said.
Tuesday, police officer James Mellor was on duty at Methuen High School when he was called the nurse’s office “for two students who had eaten a cookie that may have had drugs in it,” he wrote in his report.
A school nurse told Mellor one girl had gone to the hospital by ambulance and the other went home with her mother.
Mellor tried to question the boy who allegedly gave the girl the cookies, which were wrapped in tin foil. He refused to answer any questions, police said.
The boy allegedly offered the girls the cookies without first telling them they contained marijuana. According to Mellor’s report, after the girls both ate the cookies, the boy “then started to laugh at them and said you did not know there was marijuana in the cookies and you will start feeling it in about an hour.”
He also told the girls “not to tell anyone who gave them the cookie,” wrote Mellor, who was assisted by Sgt. Joseph Aiello in the investigation.
The officers obtained an arrest warrant after conferring with Assistant District Attorney Lindsey Shaheen.
When asked for comment, School Superintendent Judith Scannell said she could not comment specifically on “disciplinary matters” at the high school due to “federal and state regulations pertaining to student records and privacy.”
“Although unable to respond directly to your inquiry, I can confirm that the Methuen Public Schools’ primary concern is the safety and welfare of our students and that controlled substances, illegal drugs and alcohol in District schools will not be tolerated,” Scannell said in an email Friday.
Students found in possession of drugs at school, on school grounds or at school-sponsored events are “subject to long-term suspension or permanent expulsion from school and will be referred to law enforcement authorities for possible criminal prosecution,” she added in the email.
In June 2015, Mellor also investigated when a student was hospitalized after her father said she purchased and ate a drug-laced cookie and got sick at school.
Then, the girl’s father said his daughter got sick after purchasing three cookies from a male student for $10. A short time later, the girl got sick and went to the nurse’s office.
A urine test taken that showed marijuana in the girl’s system.
No charges were filed.
This week’s incident and subsequent arrest occurred at Methuen High during a particularly busy period. On Wednesday, the high school was evacuated after an email bomb threat was received. Students were eventually sent home of the day and no bomb was found in the school.
On Thursday, a 15-year-old boy was arrested and charged with for allegedly making a handwritten bomb threat. The hoax bomb note was not related to emailed bomb threat a day before.
Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.