Former Jericho High School hoops star arrested in Pa. drug bust
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A former Jericho High School basketball star was arrested, accused of dealing drugs as part of a Pennsylvania drug ring, prosecutors there said Monday.
Prosecutors allege that Garrett M. Johnson, 18, of 73 Foxwood Dr., Jericho, was a "subdealer" in an organization that sought to take over the marijuana trade in local high schools and colleges in Montgomery and surrounding counties.
Johnson is a freshman at Haverford College, and plays on the basketball team.
Haverford spokesman Chris Mills said the college was cooperating with law enforcement.
"Because this is an active police investigation, we have no comment about the student in question," Mills said in an email.
Prosecutors allege that the drug ring was headed by two former Haverford prep school students and lacrosse players, Neil K. Scott, 25 of Haverford and Timothy C. Brooks, 18, of Villanova. The two allegedly used students from five high schools and three colleges to distribute cocaine, marijuana, hash oil and Ecstasy. Authorities called their alleged dealings the "Main Line take over project" based on seized text messages that described a business plan to control the local drug trade.
"These drug dealers, motivated by their own greed, sought to create a network to push poison into our educational institutions," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a news release.
Authorities said they seized weapons, including two AR-15 assault rifles, and illegal drugs at several locations in a four-month investigation.
It was not immediately clear Monday what charges Johnson faces.
Johnson's former coach at Jericho High School, Walter Bachman, said he was shocked by the allegations. "This doesn't make any sense," Bachman said. "He must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, because he's no drug dealer, I can guarantee that."
In 2012, Newsday called Johnson one of Long Island's "players to watch." He was captain of the Jericho Jayhawks team that won the Nassau Class A county championship game last year and he played in the All-Long Island second team.
Haverford College's website said he played an average 6.4 minutes per game and scored an average 2.5 points per game.
"He got some playing time, he was having a great freshman year," said Bachman, who has kept in touch with Johnson. "He was a great scorer, all he lived and dreamed for was playing basketball and going to college."
A call to Johnson's family in Jericho was not immediately returned. A woman who identified herself as Johnson's sister on a cellphone said she had not heard of the arrest and couldn't comment.