PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (CBS) – A pair of teenage brothers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire is accused of running one of the most vast and sophisticated drug rings police here have ever seen.
“Really the scope of the investigation is pretty unprecedented for us,” says Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald.
Portsmouth detectives say the 15 and 16-year-old boys were running a lucrative business selling a wide range of drugs to classmates at Portsmouth High School.
They arrested the duo in the apartment they shared with their mother, who has not been charged.
The boys had everything from marijuana to prescription drugs imported from overseas along with sophisticated computers and drug paraphernalia. Their names are not being released because they are juveniles.
As the investigation continues, police have a lot of questions, among them, “How does a 15 or 16 year old wind up in a really a drug dealing business at that age, and an advanced one at that,” according to MacDonald.
Detectives believe the young men even laundered a lot of their income through legitimate investments in an attempt to hide their tracks.
At their school, there is disbelief among classmates and parents, who say they know that some students here use drugs – but no one would have thought an operation on this scale was possible.
Abby Scharff is a junior here. She says the news of the arrests broke after school got out for the day, so there was a lot of interest among students about the brothers’ identity – to say nothing of what the charges they face.
“I know that people in high school do drugs,” Scharff says, “but I was really shocked at how it was international and how there were weapons involved and how it was two brothers.”
“It’s really surprising because this doesn’t happen around here,” says Rose Fecteau, whose daughter is a sophomore here. “You don’t expect any of these kids to be doing any of these things. You know some stuff happens, but you don’t expect anything that sophisticated.”