WASHINGTON – A high school student’s homicide near his school last fall was the catalyst for a full-scale narcotics operation in Prince WIlliam County focusing on youth drug use.
Shortly after 16-year-old Woodbridge High School senior Brenden Wilson was killed and robbed in an attempt to buy marijuana last November, police in Prince William County launched Growing Pains.
“We started to take a look at the younger demographic and try to focus in and seeing how big of a problem this is in the county,” said Officer Jonathan Perok with Prince William County Police.
During the four-month operation, 26 arrest warrants were issued. So far, 19 people are in custody, two of which are minors.
“We sent a message this was not going to be tolerated in our community. We also wanted to send a message out to parents, ‘Hey, this is going on,'” Perok said.
Of those arrested or wanted, six are students at Gar-Field, Osbourn and Patriot high schools. He says the arrests often come as a surprise to parents.
“Parents really do need to take an active role to combat this before this becomes a problem,” Perok says.