Two Portsmouth brothers, ages 15 and 16, are suspected of running a drug sales operation for high school students, international drug shipments and money laundering, Portsmouth police said Tuesday.
The two teens were arrested following a police raid Monday night on the Portsmouth apartment they share with their mother. Police said they confiscated hard drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine, along with bath salts, hashish and marijuana.
Police said they believed the drugs were sold to students at Portsmouth High School.
Also seized: hypodermic needles, scales, baggies, cellphones and laptops, as well as knives and “some unique weaponry,” including a five-bladed hand grip, police said.
Deputy Police Chief Corey MacDonald said he was surprised at the infrastructure the two had in place.
“It’s not so much the quantity of drugs,” MacDonald said, “it’s more the diversity, it’s more how dynamic this is.”
MacDonald said most teenagers who sell drugs spend whatever money they make. However, police believe they have found evidence of an in-depth operation to legitimize the drug proceeds. He said illegal drugs are available online, and it is safe to assume some drugs were shipped through the mail into the country.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Portsmouth police continue to investigate, in part because authorities want to determine whether adults were behind the operation, MacDonald said.
The boys’ mother has not been charged.
The teens, whose names cannot be disclosed because of their age, were released to the custody of their mother, MacDonald said. Police would not disclose the location of the raid.
Anyone with information about the case should contact detective Scott Study at 436-2511.