By Cleve Bryan
RIVERSIDE TWP, N.J. (CBS) – Two 12-year-olds are facing charges for allegedly trying to sell prescription sleep pills for $10 a piece to classmates at Riverside Township Middle School.
School resource officer Anthony Congemi spoke with the students involved and their parents, finding out that one of the boys stole about 15 pills of Ambien from a family member.
“They weren’t familiar with what the medication was. They didn’t know how they would react to it,” says Congemi.
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The two boys trying to sell the pills confessed to consuming them and as well as a third boy who they tried to sell it to.
That third student is charged with possession of a controlled substance. Police say each of the children were advised to see a doctor to make sure they are okay.
Riverside Township Police Lt. Louis Fisher says 12-year-olds dealing drugs is a first, but it’s in line with a fearless attitude he sees from young people about prescription drugs.
“The abuse of prescription drugs, the age is getting younger and younger all the time,” says Fisher.
Police believe this was an isolated incident and the 12-year-olds haven’t tried selling the pills previously.
They aren’t certain if any other students besides the three involved took any pills, so they’re asking parents to be aware.
Some parents told CBS 3 they are extremely upset they didn’t receive notification from the school district.
“Outraged is what I am,” says Stephanie Mahle whose child attends the middle school.
She told the principal that any risk of exposure to children should have been enough to trigger a direct communication to parents.
“He just gave me the same thing over and over again, it was an isolated situation, we didn’t have to notify the parents. But it wasn’t an isolated incident, the police had said don’t know how many were handed out or sold,” says Mahle.
Nancy Volkman has three granddaughters at the school and also wishes she would have heard from the school district. She also hopes parents see this as a wake up call.
“I think it’s terrible. I have a lot of medicines that I take but my grand children can’t get ahold of them in any way shape or form,” says Volkman.
Riverside Township Schools did not reply to CBS 3’s requests for comment.