SAUGERTIES, NY — A 17-year-old high school student is facing a felony drug charge after allegedly distributing marijuana-laced brownies to classmates, five of whom required hospitalization, while on a field trip to Salem, Mass., police in Salem said on Monday.
Lt. Conrad Prosniewski of the Salem Police Department did not provide the youth's name but said, “That person admitted to police and parents that he baked and provided the brownies.”
He “did admit that while he was at home, he baked the brownies and brought them on the trip,” the lieutenant said.
Prosniewski said the youth will be charged with distribution of a Class D substance, marijuana, to a minor, which is a felony in Massachusetts. The teen will be summoned to the First District Court of Essex County's juvenile division, probably in mid- to late November, he said.
Saugerties school district Superintendent Seth Turner said, “An investigation into the cause of the illnesses is continuing with school officials working with police and child welfare specialists.” He did not cite the cause of the illness or return a reporter's follow-up call after Salem police reported the criminal charge.
The lieutenant said a couple of bus loads of students from Saugerties High School went on a class trip to Salem on Friday. Some of the students “ingested brownies with marijuana, and several young people began throwing up,” Prosniewski said.
Prosniewski said police were notified at 6:26 p.m. Friday by the school's lead chaperone, Adile Jones, that the students had become ill near the Salem Witch Museum.
He said the boy who admitted to baking and giving out the brownies was among the students who became ill.
Five students were transported to Salem Hospital for treatment, the lieutenant said.
“All the parents (of the sickened students) were contacted (on Friday night) ... and all the parents were on their way from New York to pick up their children,” he said.