Monessen high school students arrested after drugs, firearms found inside locker room

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MONESSEN, Pa. —

Three Monessen High School students were arrested on Thursday after drugs and guns were found in their team lockers, police said.

According to Monessen police, marijuana, suspected heroin and two firearms were found in the school’s locker room.

Police said a 15-year-old has been charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana; a 16-year-old with illegal weapons possession; and a 17-year-old with possession with intent to deliver heroin and weapons charges.

The three students, who are not being identified because they are juveniles, are in the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center pending a hearing.

"He must have just got tied up with the wrong people and I don't know what would make him make that dumb decision," one of the juvenile’s relative said.

Channel 11’s Vince Sims reported all three students are members of the Monessen football team.

Police Chief Mark Gibson called the situation "discouraging and disappointing that they would bring any of this onto school property."

“Whatever led the coach’s to (thinking there was something wrong) led them to randomly checking all the lockers. They were shocked and in disbelief and then they called us,” Gibson said.

The school district released the following statements on Friday:

"The school district is very distraught over the current alleged situation.  The school is doing an internal investigation, but the legal matters have been handed over to the local authorities.

"Our top priority is the safety and security of all of our students.  Each and every day, all students go through metal detectors and vigilance is taken in searching personal belongings.  Our teachers, aides and coaches have all worked diligently to ensure a safe environment for our students."

Members of the Monnessen community, like Tara Manderino, said they’re very surprised at the news.

"It's scary,” Manderino said. “I thought the sports program was one you didn't have to worry about.  It's kind of disturbing."