Board member's son faces pot charge

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Forrest High School student was arrested last Friday and charged with simple possession of marijuana on school property after a police dog led deputies to his car.

Jonathan Wilkerson of Caney Creek Lane, who turned 18 on Dec. 28, is alleged to have had "seeds, stems and a small amount of a leafy green substance believed to be marijuana," in the car he drove to school, according to a report by School Resource Officer Eli Stuard that is on file at the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, "The car had a strong odor of marijuana in it," officers also reported.

Wilkerson is the son of school board member Mark Wilkerson, who is currently scheduled to be in court on Feb. 13, after being arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in the early morning hours of Nov. 16.

"While running drug dogs at Forrest High School," Stuard reported, "We were searching cars in the parking lot when Deputy Brad Fann's dog alerted and hit on a car that was driven to school by Jonathan Wilkerson. We then went and got Wilkerson out of class so we could search his car."

After finding the seeds, stems and leaves that are alleged to have been marijuana, Wilkerson was "taken into custody and transported to the Marshall County Jail for booking," Stuard wrote.

Wilkerson was charged with "simple possession on school property," and his bond was set at $6,000. His court date is Tuesday, Feb. 24.

By state law, drug possession on school property is a "zero-tolerance" offence meaning that the pupil must be expelled for one year if convicted, though the director of schools does have the power to modify the expulsion requirement on a case-by-case basis.