Drug dogs sweep Houston High School

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

Four drug dogs searched Houston High School Wednesday. A sweep of the parking lot turned up two shotguns, a bottle of vodka and a small amount of marijuana.

The weapons, alcohol and drugs were found in two trucks in the high school parking lot after a search dog alerted on the vehicles. The owners of the vehicles were contacted and two juveniles were charged.

Houston Town Marshal Billy Voyles said one juvenile was charged with possession of marijuana under an ounce, possession of paraphernalia and possession of alcohol on school property. He said a second juvenile was charged with possession of firearms on school property.

“This was part of a random search of the schools that we do on a regular basis,” said Voyles. “We don’t target anybody, we don’t pick on anybody and we don’t tell anyone when we are coming.”

Drug dogs from the Tupelo Police Department K-9 Unit were accompanied by the Chickasaw County K-9 Unit and officers from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in making the search.

Voyles said while he was pleased no drugs were found inside the school, he was concerned with what was found in the parking lot.

“We confiscated some cigarettes off students inside,” said Voyles. “We also had the dog alert on some backpacks and coats in a classroom, indicating they had been in the presence of drugs, but when we checked them no drugs were found.”

Houston High School Principal Buz Boyer said the school was placed on lockdown, students were ushered into hallways and the dogs were sent into classrooms.

“I think anything we do to keep drugs out of our schools is good,” said Boyer. “They came in quickly and quickly searched the building.”

Police showed up at Houston High School at 9:30 a.m. and also searched the Vocational Education Building and the Alternative School.

The drug dog sweeps were voted on by the Houston School Board of Trustees last year and this marks the second time dogs have searched Houston High School.

Students are repeatedly reminded during announcements that the district does allow random drug searches by police dogs. The district also explains to students they need to contact teachers or administrators if they drive to school and realize a gun has been left in their vehicle following a hunt.

Possession a firearm on school property is a felony and can result in expulsion from school.