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Teens charged with bringing drugs, weapons on school bus

A Colleton County High School student is facing several charges after she and another student brought a Taser and nearly $4,000 worth of marijuana onto a school bus last week.

Phoenix T. Brown, 18, has been charged with Possession of a Weapon and Disturbing School. A second suspect, whose identity is being withheld because the suspect is under the age of 18, is also charged with possession of marijuana.

Despite original reports, Brown has not been charged with any drug charges.

In all, 9.28 ounces of marijuana – more than one-half-of-a-pound – was confiscated.

The incident began when Karen M. Jenkins, a school bus driver with the Colleton County School District, smelled marijuana on the school bus. Jenkins was on her morning route on March 29th: that route runs from Jacksonboro to both the Colleton County Middle School and Colleton County High School.

According to a press release issued by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Jenkins followed the school district’s protocol by notifying the district’s Transportation Department of her concerns.

Then, administrators from CCMS were awaiting Jenkins’ arrival when the bus came to the school.

“An initial check conducted by Disciplinarian Jay Davis resulted in the location of marijuana near the back of the bus,” said Lt. Tyger Benton, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “Davis, assisted by other CCSD personnel and SROs J. Brown and S. Thomason, removed all the students from the bus and instructed them to leave their belongings in their seats.”

While searching the bus, officers found marijuana hidden in a headphone case. The marijuana was already divided into plastic bags and unmarked prescription medicine bottles. Additional marijuana was found hidden inside a camouflage jacket that was lying on the seat next to the headphone case. “… (Officer) Davis stated that he believed there was more GPM in the lining of the jacket due to the texture,” said Benton, in a press release. “I located a slit in the inner liner and used the slit to locate and remove approximately an ounce.”

Additionally, video footage from the school bus surveillance system showed that the headphones and jacket belonged to suspect Brown and to an additional juvenile suspect. The two suspects were “separated from the rest of the bus students,” the press release states.

The juvenile suspect had “a visible bulge in the groin area of his pants.” According to a press release, about 59 grams of marijuana was found hidden in a plastic bag that was stashed in his groin, the press release states.

Both suspects were taken into custody.

Brown also refused to stop talking on her cell phone during the course of the investigation. Deputies say she also refused to comply with commands being given to her law enforcement officers.

Consequently, she was also charged with Disrupting School.

During a search of Brown and her property, deputies also found a pink camouflage Taser and a can of BlackHawk pepper spray, the press release states.

The juvenile suspect was taken to the sheriff’s office and released to the custody of his/her parents.

Since Brown is an adult, she was taken to the Colleton County Detention Center in Walterboro. She has since been given a total of $6,000 in bond.

Heather Walters (1469 Posts)