Drug dogs sweep Houston schools


HOUSTON – Drug dogs from three counties visited Houston school campuses last week and a thorough search resulted in the discovery of marijuana in two vehicles.

Canine units from Chickasaw, Union and Monroe counties found small amounts of marijuana in a pickup on the Houston High School parking and a car parked at the Houston Tennis Court across the street from Houston High School following a morning search Friday.

“The dogs searched the high school, the alternative school, the vo-tech and the middle school,” said Houston Town Marshal Billy Voyles. “We asked for the additional dogs so we could do this quickly.”

Voyles said both vehicles where drugs were found had been driven to where they were parked by students at Houston High School.

Voyles said a citation was issued to an 18-year-old for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia after dogs alerted to a pickup parked at Houston High School. A small amount of the drug was found in the truck as well as items used to smoke it.

Voyles said a citation was issued to an 17-year-old for possession of marijuana after dogs sniffed a car parked at the tennis courts and alerted that drugs might be inside. A small amount of marijuana was found in that vehicle.

Voyles said the 18-year-old’s case will be heard in Houston Municipal Court and the 17-year-old’s case will be presented in Chickasaw County Juvenile Court.

Voyles also said the Houston School Board will be made aware of both citations and upon successful prosecution, trustees will vote whether to expel the students from school. Mississippi has a zero-tolerance law for drugs, weapons and assault of a school employee. Houston trustees have not always stringently enforced that law.

“We want people to know our goal is not to catch kids but to make our schools safe,” said Voyles. “We have been invited by the schools to do these searches and while they don’t know when we are coming, they do know we do this on a regular basis.

“The students know too,” Voyles added, “and I think it does act as a deterrent.”

Voyles said the buildings and parking lot searched contained hundreds of students and he was pleased only two incidents were discovered. Voyles also pointed out the dogs used last week are also trained to smell gunpowder and narcotics.

“After the school shooting in Connecticut I think everyone wants our schools to be safer,” said Voyles. “These searches let parents, teachers and students know they don’t need to bring drugs or weapons to school.”

Random searches by drug dogs of Houston Schools began in the fall of 2011. Last year firearms and drugs were found in a search of the Houston High School parking lot.


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