Student Busted For Peddling Cocaine

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A Payson High School student was arrested Wednesday for selling cocaine to other students, Payson Police Commander Don Engler said.

Salvador Anaya Sanchez, an 18-year-old junior at PHS, was charged with two counts of selling cocaine, three counts of involving minors in drug offenses, possession of cocaine in a drug-free school zone, use of cocaine and marijuana and DUI drugs.

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Salvador Anaya Sanchez

"Our school resource officer, Steve Montgomery, started receiving some information that there may have been some cocaine on the school campus within the last couple of weeks, and he began an investigation," Engler said.

According to Engler, Sanchez was already under scrutiny for selling drugs to adults, but until his name came up during Montgomery's investigation, police were unaware that Sanchez was a student at PHS.

"(Sanchez) was basically attempting to begin a (drug) sales business there in the school and had been providing drugs to minors over the last couple of weeks," Engler said.

Engler said five other minors were charged with use of a narcotic drug and referred to Gila County Probation.

"It is possible that more people are involved, but we feel comfortable that we have most of the suspects at this time," Engler said.

Engler also said Sanchez was the only person selling drugs; the other students were clients.

"He appears to be an independent salesman and the others appear to be consumers and users," Engler said. "We believe he was selling both cocaine and marijuana."

PHS Principal and Payson Unified School District Administrator Sue Myers said the district is also taking action against the selling of drugs on campus.

"I just want people to know that the administration here at the high school is working very closely with the police department to solve this issue," Myers said. "Six students have been suspended and each of their cases will be referred to the governing board for further action."

Engler said the investigation is ongoing.

"It was shocking and disappointing for me," Myers said. "We have a zero-tolerance environment here at Payson High School and we are working to maintain a safe and drug-free campus for our students."

Sanchez remains in custody at the Gila County Jail in Globe. Bail was set at $10,000.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Payson Police Department at (928) 474-5177.

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