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2 at school charged in pot bust

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 22, 2003

PINELLAS PARK -- Two students at Northside Christian School were arrested at the school Thursday and charged with possession of marijuana.

Derek Robert Erskin, 19, of Seminole, was charged with felony possession after detectives and a canine unit from the Pinellas Sheriff's Office found about 25 grams of marijuana in the glove box of Erskin's 1991 Cadillac, said Sgt. Greg Tita, a Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Erskin, a senior at the school, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Detectives said they also found about 15 grams of marijuana in a backpack belonging to a 10th-grader at the school.

The student, who is a juvenile, was arrested on a misdemeanor possession charge and taken to the county's Juvenile Assessment Center.

A third student, also a 10th-grader and a juvenile, was found with a marijuana pipe.

The student was released to his parents.

Northside Christian has an enrollment of about 900 students in grades pre-K through 12.

"We're cooperating fully with the police in this matter," said Northside Christian headmaster Rick Newberry.

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