Three Monessen High School football players have been arrested after locker room searches found guns, marijuana and suspected heroin.
Monessen police Chief Mark Gibson said police around 8 p.m. Thursday received a call from head football coach Andy Pacak.
Mr. Gibson said the coaches had suspicions that some players had brought illegal drugs into the locker room, so they searched the lockers. In one, they found suspected marijuana; in another suspected heroin and a .22-caliber gun; and in a third a 9 mm gun. Mr. Gibson said the team was on the football field.
As a result, a 15-year-old was charged with possession of marijuana and possession with intent to deliver; a 16-year-old was charged with possession of a weapon on school property and possession of a firearm by a minor; and a 17-year-old was charged with possession and intent to deliver suspected heroin, possession of a firearm by a minor, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and possession of a weapon on school property.
The three were taken to the Westmoreland County Juvenile Detention Center where they awaited a detention hearing.
The office of Monessen Superintendent Linda Marcolini issued a statement: "The school district is very distraught over the current alleged situation. The school is doing an internal investigation, but the legal matters have been handed over to the local authorities."
It said the "top priority" of the district is the "safety and security of all our students," noting students go through metal detectors each day.
Education writer Eleanor Chute: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1955.