Pennsylvania authorities have broken up a drug ring they said was run by two prep school graduates at high schools and colleges, including Lafayette College in Easton.
The suspects, Neil Scott and Timothy Brooks, even recruited their clients to join the business, police said.
The alleged ring leaders of the "Mainline Takeover Project," officials said, wanted to take over the drug trade on several high school and college campuses: Lower Merion High School, The Haverford School, Harriton High School, Conestoga High School, Radnor High School, Gettysburg College, Lafayette College and Haverford College.
Police raids earlier this year netted large amounts of marijuana, hash oil, cocaine, ecstasy and more than $11,000 cash. A loaded AR assault rifle, other guns and ammunition were also found.
"This was a dangerous business. This was not a game. These people were in business. They were in business to make money and they were going to do whatever they needed to do to protect their business," said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.
While the bulk of the operation was in Montgomery, Chester, Adams and Philadelphia counties, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said his office was included in the investigation after two Lafayette students were named as suspects.
"The prosecution of this case, including any involvement with Lafayette College matters, will be prosecuted in Montgomery County," said Morganelli.
Lafayette students, John Rosemann and Christian Euler, are charged along with nine other people, including two juveniles with playing a role in the drug ring.
Attorneys for alleged ring leaders Scott and Brooks spoke with the media at the mass arraignment.
Brooks' attorney, Greg Pagano, said his client suffers from depression and it was Neil who was the alleged leader.
"He was involved in this conspiracy for a very very short period of time. He was only 18-years-old and he was at a very susceptible low point in his life," said Pagano.
Lafayette College released this statement: "The college’s policy on illegal drugs is clear -- the possession, use, distribution, or intended distribution of illegal drugs as defined by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a violation of college policy and is subject to disciplinary action."
The suspects will be back in court May 6 for a preliminary hearing.
Bail for Scott was set at $1 million.
Lafayette students weighed in on the arrest of their peers.
"It's been really surprising in general for everyone. I mean obviously we feel really sorry for these guys, we all know them, it's a really unfortunate situation," said Elizabeth Anderson, a senior. "I think people knew it was happening. People just had no idea how big it was."
"It's just really surprising," said Rachel Leister, a junior. "I never would have expected it to happen here."
Senior Randall Logan said, "That's really unfortunate for them and they made a really big mistake."
He added, "That's probably the most shocking thing was like how extensive it was, that probably to me was the most shocking thing."