2 Northrop students charged with dealing fake Xanax

Jacob Howard and Christopher Bryant are being charged with dealing look-alike substances.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Two Northrop High School students are charged with dealing fake Xanax in school.

Northrop senior Jacob Howard, 18, is charged with four counts of dealing in a look-alike substance, a level 5 felony. Police said one of the students he sold fake Xanax to overdosed and was hospitalized.

According to court documents, Howard got 22 pills from an unknown source through an arrangement by Christopher Bryant. Bryant also now faces a charge of dealing in a look-alike substance.

Fort Wayne Police Department (FWPD) detectives said the fake drug problem is bigger than just Northrop High School, but is a regional problem they’re hoping to axe at the root.

Investigators are finding a few major trends. One, more fake drugs are being bought online from countries like China.  Also, kids are becoming more attracted to pills.

Sergeant Jonathan Bowers of the FWPD’s vice/narcotics division said he wants to catch dealers, but more importantly he wants parents to jump in.

“Make sure you’re having those conversations with your kids, not only about the dangers of fake drugs, but drugs in general and learning how to make good decisions and know when, ‘hey, I need to notify authorities or teachers that things are going on that need to be dealt with,'” he said.

Bowers said the the pills Howard and Bryant sold were labeled Xanax and appear to have had a similar effect as the actual drug, but they’re not the real thing. He said it could be a couple more weeks before they know exactly what the substance is. He also said Fort Wayne Police are moving their focus from Northrop High School to finding the bigger suppliers in town.

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