Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared Pennsylvania's school zone mandatory minimum sentence for drug offenses to be unconstitutional in the case of Commonwealth v. Hopkins. This affirmed an earlier Pennsylvania Superior Court decision in Commonwealth v. Bizzel, which had already declared the school zone mandatory minimum to be unconstitutional in 2014. The highly-criticized school zone mandatory created a two to four year mandatory minimum sentence for any drug felony occurring within 1,000 feet of the real property line of any school or university. In densely populated areas, or college towns like State College, entire communities were "school zones."
Two "amateur" drug dealers with ambitious aspirations of controlling all the marijuana sales on the Mainline were quickly busted, along with young associates who were selling high-quality California-grown cannabis, cocaine, hash oil and Molly at wealthy high schools and colleges in the affluent region west of Philadelphia known as the Mainline. Neil Scott was the 25 year old senior partner in the venture, while 18 year old Timothy Brooks allegedly served as his right-hand man and protégée. The pair had both attended the elite $35,000 a year Haverford School before washing out of college. They dubbed their plan to dominate marijuana sales in the "The Mainline Takeover Project."
A 37 year old Central Pennsylvania women has been charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child in Lebanon County, after leaving an eight month old baby in a sweltering car for over two hours in July of this year. The baby barely survived, and is now brain-damaged, blind and deaf. The defendant, Damaris Manrique, had been the baby's legal guardian.