(Reuters) - Two graduates of an exclusive Pennsylvania prep school were charged with operating an extensive drug ring that dealt cocaine and marijuana to students at high schools and colleges in an affluent part of Philadelphia, authorities said on Tuesday.
Neil Scott, 25, and Timothy Brooks, 18, led the effort to create a "monopoly" on drug sales in the area and used high school students to deal drugs at their local schools, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.
"While parents sought to provide education to their kids, these defendants sought to use the schools to create drug addicts," Ferman said in a statement announcing their arrests.
Scott and Brooks were former lacrosse players and graduates of The Haverford School, an all-boys prep school near Philadelphia that charges $35,000 per year in tuition, prosecutors said.
They used their privileged connections to move drugs along suburban Philadelphia's Main Line, a stretch of wealthy neighborhoods northwest of the city, authorities said.
The two called their drug network the "main line take over project," and "employed students from five local high schools and three colleges as what they call sub-dealers to distribute cocaine, marijuana, hash oil, ecstasy," Ferman said.
Scott and Brooks encouraged dealers, who were assigned to specific schools, to meet quotas including selling a pound (450 grams) a week of marijuana transported to Pennsylvania from a California supplier, prosecutors said.
During the four-month investigation, authorities said they uncovered scores of text messages and other communications in which Scott and Brooks discussed their business and their future plans.
One message read that all marijuana "on the Main Line is about to come from you and me," officials said.
In addition to Scott and Brooks, who faced a preliminary arraignment on Monday, authorities announced the arrest of seven adults and two minors accused of drug dealing, the Montgomery County District Attorney's office said.
It was unclear how the two men intend to plead.
Gregory Pagano, an attorney for Brooks, said on Tuesday his client was "depressed and was not well physically or mentally."
"He is remorseful and truly regrets having been involved in the distribution of marijuana to anyone," Pagano said.
Calls to Scott's lawyer on Tuesday were not immediately returned.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)