Pre-teen drug case brings call to resist pressures

Three pre-teen girls wound up in the hospital Saturday after being given drugs by a Marietta man at the Washington County Fair, highlighting the need for expanded awareness and tools to help youth combat peer pressure.

Two of the three girls passed out at the fair after smoking synthetic marijuana, which Charles Raymond Cody Miller, 18, of 910 Caywood Road, reportedly provided and urged the girls to smoke.

Miller has been charged with multiple felonies out of the incident.

The events unfolded Saturday evening at the Washington County Fair with Miller urging three young girls to smoke the drug, known as K2, said Marietta Police Capt. Jeff Waite.

“I believe the girls were in the 10-to-12 year-old age group,” said Waite.

According to a statement of facts in the case, Miller produced a blunt rolled with K2.

“All three juveniles and Mr. Miller smoked the K2. One of the juveniles walked away and eventually passed out in the area of the roller rink,” said Waite.

According to the statement of facts, the second juvenile passed out near the horse barns shortly thereafter. All three were treated by EMTs on scene at the fair and later transported to Marietta Memorial Hospital.

Conditions of the girls was not available Tuesday.

Miller, who knew two of the girls according to the statement of facts, repeatedly tried to talk the girls into smoking the drug with him.

One of the juveniles told an EMT “that Cody Miller continually begged the three juvenile females to try K2,” according to the report.

Juveniles often know just as much, if not more, about what drugs are popularly circulating, said Chief Deputy Mark Warden of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

“I do a survey of what type of narcotics are out there. They’ll tell me K2, meth, heroin. They know what’s out there,” he said.

Almost always, younger students using drugs is a matter of peer pressure, Warden said.

“In 10th grade, they didn’t wake up and say I’m going to get addicted to narcotics. It’s a process and that process boils down to peer pressure,” he said.

To combat this, Warden has been implementing a program called Crossroads in Warren High School since 2006, which he hopes to expand into other schools. Rather than focusing on specific drugs, which are always changing and evolving, the program focuses on choices and peer pressure, said Warden.

Miller is charged with three counts of corrupting a juvenile with drugs, second-degree felonies, and a fifth-degree felony count of possession of drugs.

He is on juvenile parole out of Columbus and remains incarcerated in the Washington County Jail in lieu of a $150,000 bond.