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Walter Armstrong Walter Armstrong

Rich Kids With Guns Busted in Preppy Drug Ring on Philly’s Main Line

The Philadelphia Main Line, home to some of the nation’s wealthiest zip codes, is synonymous with old money, WASPs and preppies.

3 Substance

The Philadelphia Main Line, home to some of the nation’s wealthiest zip codes, is synonymous with old money, WASPs and preppies. The drug laws that apply to the rest of us, especially to inner-city blacks and Latinos, often seem not to apply in leafy enclaves like the Main Line.

But on Monday, two exemplary sons of the Main Line did not get the presumed pass. Neil Scott, 25, and Timothy Brooks, 18, were accused of running a drug ring that included nine students at eight local high schools and colleges schools, including Haverford School, the boys’ prep where Scott and Brooks played lacrosse, and Haverford College, which is ranked ninth in US News and World Reports’ national college ranking (liberal arts).

When police searched Scott’s apartment, they seized eight pounds of marijuana, 23 grams of cocaine, 11 grams of ecstasy, three grams of hash oil, $11,000 in cash, two AR-15 rifles and one handgun. Nine of the 11 suspects (two are under 18) face charges that include possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced the charges at a news conference where she brandished one of the AR-5 rifles along with matching rhetoric. “These drug dealers, motivated by their own greed, sought to create a network to push poison into our educational institutions and…use the schools to create drug addicts,” she said.

Scott and Brooks launched the drug-dealing endeavor in December with grandiose ambitions. Dubbed “The Main Line Take-Over Project,” the start-up was designed to gain a monopoly on Main Line drug trade among the 21-and-under crowd. The nine student “subcontractors” were incentivized to meet the demanding goal—to sell a pound of weed a week—with the opportunity to buy at discount and on credit.

Investigators said that Brooks told his employees to keep their school’s supply of pot constant “because he remembered not always being able to buy marijuana when he was in high school.”

Scott, who apparently played mentor to the younger Brooks, had moved home to Haverford last fall after several years in San Jose, where he worked at a medical marijuana dispensary. Brooks got in on the scheme after dropping out of college in December and moving back in with his parents in Villanova, where the average home price is $1.5 million. According to a friend, a “career-ending” shoulder injury that Brooks sustained at the start of lacrosse season “put him down the wrong path” that led to his current prospect of a long prison sentence. His lawyer said he had “depression.”

Scott, who is the only defendant still sitting in jail (on $1 million bail), took objection to the DA’s “create drug addicts” talk. He told investigators that his high-quality West Coast pot “would sell very well on the Main Line because everyone between 15 and 55 loves good weed.”