Bethlehem police arrested a teen earlier this week on drug charges after three Bethlehem Central High School students apparently overdosed at the school and were hospitalized.
Ashanti J. McCormick, 16, of Delaware Avenue, Delmar, is accused of selling methadone to the three students. Police said at approximately 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Bethlehem police school resource officer at the high school was contacted because two students in the health office appeared to be under the influence of drugs and possibly overdosing. A third student was located in a classroom, police said. All three were taken to Albany Medical Center.
Police said an investigation led them to McCormick, who was arrested on Wednesday. He was charged with the felonies of criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, as well as the misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child. He was arraigned in Bethlehem Town Court and remanded to the Albany County jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Methadone is an opioid most commonly used to treat patients withdrawing from an opiate dependency, such as a heroin addiction.
High School Principal Charles Abba sent a letter home to parents on Wednesday making mention of “an increase of inappropriate behavior” at the school, specifically mentioning marijuana and other drug use. When contacted Wednesday, school officials would not discuss any details leading up to the letter, saying only that the district would be taking a proactive approach to drug and alcohol prevention going forward.