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Today, at about 2:30PM, Astoria High School Resource Officer, Matthew Clausen, was in the woods behind the high school when he watched a young man receive cash for a bag of marijuana. The man was later identified as Michael Bruton, age 19, of Astoria.
Since becoming the School Resource Officer in October of 2012 Officer Clausen has arrested, cited, or detained eight high school aged juveniles for marijuana related offenses at or near Astoria High School. He had learned that the juveniles were buying marijuana, either from other students or other young adults, meeting dealers at the “hill,” a wooded area behind the school.
While waiting for other officers to respond to the area, Officer Clausen also watched a group of about fifteen young people passing around a pipe which he identified as marijuana. He recognized several people in the group as well as the person who received the marijuana and will be following up with them at a later time.
While Clausen was trying to arrange his cover units the group of fifteen overheard him and he watched as Bruton walked away, into Tapiola Park. Officer Clausen and Officer Hansen contacted Bruton in Tapiola Park and seized $80 in cash, 7 baggies of marijuana and a digital scale. The marijuana weighed approximately 11 grams.
Bruton was charged with Distribution of Marijuana within 1000 feet of a school and lodged at the Clatsop County Jail. Distribution of Marijuana within a 1000 feet of a school is a Class A felony punishable with up to 20 years in prison and/or a $ 365,000 fine.