School bus drug deal lands teens in jail

Wanda English Burnett

A South Ripley student has been charged with Dealing in a Schedule I, II, or III Controlled Substance on a School Bus, which is a Class A felony. Another two students have been arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class C Felony.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on a bus that was transporting students from South Ripley High School to the Southeastern Career Center. The incident occurred on January 20, according to information from an affidavit of probable cause filed in the Ripley County Clerk’s Office on February 3.

Versailles Town Marshal Joe Mann was the arresting officer who noted that Chandus Jeffery Graham, 18, had six 30-miligram morphine tablets. While he wouldn’t reveal to police where he obtained the drugs from, he did say he sold them because he needed some extra money. He said he sold the pills for $9.00 each, but didn’t know how much money he actually received from the transactions.

Graham allegedly told police he sold the pills to two other students on the bus.

According to information from court records, police were able to track down the transaction through a variety of avenues. First, they found a note that a teacher passed along to the school resource officer, Dan Goris who was in immediate contact with officers from the Versailles Police Department. The police were able to watch video from the bus and gain information from that.

From the bus video, police were able to see that one of the boys who bought the drugs was acting in an odd manner on the bus ride back to South Ripley from the Southeastern Career Center. He was more animated in his movements, and rubbed his face frequently. Marshal Mann knew from his experience as a law enforcement officer who specializes in drug activity, that this boy was possibly under the influence of something.

Graham was arrested and taken to the Ripley County jail without incident on January 26 after Marshal Mann went to South Ripley. “I told Chandus that I needed to talk to him about some stuff that had happened on the bus and he said O.K.” Mann said, according to court files. He was taken to the Versailles Police Department’s interview room where Mann and Deputy Lee Mathews talked with Graham. He was read his Miranda rights and said he understood them and was still willing to talk with police about the drug deal.
Graham bonded out of jail on February 2 but is no longer a student at South Ripley according to authorities.

On Wednesday, February 8 two other South Ripley High School students were taken from school in handcuffs in the morning hours according to Marshal Joe Mann. These two boys had allegedly purchased the pills from Graham. Christifer Wickizer and Christopher Michael Krause, known as Mike, are both 18-years of age and were initially charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Class C Felony.

“We are enforcing South Ripley’s zero drug tolerance policy,” noted school resource officer Dan Goris. He noted that if anyone wants to contact him he can be reached through his personal website at the school at: officer@sripley.K12.IN.US.

Goris noted that South Ripley is taking a proactive approach in a lot of areas to make the school a safe learning environment for all students. He complimented Marshal Joe Mann for his efforts in helping with any law enforcement situation at the school and feels they have a good team in place.