Student sold pot at Saroyan Elementary to get money to help mom

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A sixth grader is in trouble after police say he sold marijuana to classmates. He said he wanted to use the money to help his mom. (KFSN)

A sixth grader is in trouble after Fresno Police officers say he sold marijuana to his classmates on campus at Saroyan Elementary School.

The student was interviewed and released to his mother after admitting to taking cash for drugs from five other children.

Detectives say another student who heard about the drug dealing told on their classmates. Investigators recovered five grams of marijuana and $25 cash they believe was collected during the transactions.

The 13-year old told officers his mom was struggling financially. So he thought the best way to turn a few bucks was to sell some marijuana.

"She had mentioned buying a new car and not having extra money," said Fresno Police Lieutenant Mark Hudson, "so he felt, at that point that he needed to sell marijuana that he stole from his cousin at school to help with money at the house."

Officers believe he sold one gram of marijuana to five friends. All of the students involved were brought to the office, and the drugs were recovered. But school officials won't say what discipline the young suspected seller and buyers will receive.

Central Unified Public Relations Officer Sonja Dosti said, "We do have our discipline that we will issue to students as appropriate but because of the confidentiality issues- we do have to keep that in-house."

School administrators only notified parents of the students directly involved because the incident did not meet their notification criteria- which includes "stranger danger," lockdowns, teacher arrests and threats.

Officers believe Thursday was the first time the student sold drugs on campus.

Fresno Police officials say the sixth grader had no other criminal past and was very upset when police showed up to question him.

Hudson said, "He was crying, mom was there, she said he never cries. That it's not something that's made up, and he's very remorseful."

The police report will be sent to the district attorney to determine if charges should be filed. But the officer did not arrest or cite the student and instead released him to his mother.
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