Two men accused of widespread drug distribution in several Philadelphia-area high schools and colleges had a much larger business plan to take over the entire marijuana trade to schools, authorities say.
The suspects -- Neil Scott, 25, and Timothy Brooks, 18 -- allegedly sold cocaine, marijuana, hash oil and ecstasy at schools along the "Main Line" -- a group of affluent towns and cities outside Philadelphia. They also employed several students -- including two juveniles -- to act as "sub-dealers" to distribute the product, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said in a news release Monday.
"They were using very traditional business principles," Ferman said in a news conference. "They were trying to identify and incentivize their dealers. They were trying to create a market."
Eight people have been arrested, one is being sought under a warrant, and two petitions have been filed on juveniles as a result of the investigation, the district attorney said in the news release.
According to authorities, Scott would have marijuana shipped from a California supplier to his Haverford apartment, which he used as the base of the operation. Scott also used his parents' house and Brooks' family home,
Seized text messages showed Scott and Brooks' plans to expand their business, calling the operation the "main line take over project," according to a news release from the district attorney's office. Scott gave Brooks business advice on how to expand marijuana sales in local high schools, and Brooks supervised the sub-dealers and encouraged them to "efficiently distribute drugs at their schools," the release said.
"They were in business to make money," Ferman said.
In addition to seizing the text messages, authorities raided property at nine locations during their investigation -- including the homes of Scott and Brooks. They found 8 pounds of marijuana, 3 grams of hash oil, 23 grams of cocaine and more than $11,000 cash. Two AR-15 rifles and a pistol also were seized.
Scott and Brooks and their alleged sub-dealers have been charged with felony drug offenses.
Scott's attorney Tom Egan, III spoke briefly to CNN affiliate KYW.
"The main concern for him is how the mandatory minimums are going to operate if he's indeed guilty of the offenses," Egan said.
Brooks' attorney Greg Pagano told CNN affiliate WPVI that his client was going through a low point in his life but was only involved in the operation for a short time.
"He's willing to accept responsibility for what he did in this case," Pagano said.
Messages left by CNN for Scott and Brooks' attorneys Tuesday were not immediately returned.
Scott and Brooks both were graduates of the Haverford School, a prestigious all-boys preparatory school, where they were affiliated with the lacrosse team. The Haverford School was one of eight schools -- five high schools and three colleges -- affected by the drug ring, according to the release.
"You're dealing with kids with one of the finest institutions probably in the country. To take those skills and turn it into this kind of an illegal enterprise is very distressing," Ferman said.