High School Heroin Ring

High School Heroin Ring

A serious drug epidemic sweeps across Northern Virginia, where upper-middle-class adolescents are getting hooked, overdosing and dying.

The death of honors student Alicia Lannes, 19, from a heroin overdose is the impetus for this independently produced video. Producer Aaron Rockett peeks behind the scenes of a drug “ring” of more than 50 teens and young adults in Fairfax County, VA, that has resulted in four deaths, 16 convictions, and at least a dozen more non-fatal overdoses.

As a police lieutenant notes, these kids don’t look anything like the stereotypical disheveled heroin addict. Instead, they are straight-A students who excel at high school sports. They live in “nice” houses and come from “nice” neighborhoods.

We hear from Alicia’s dad, Greg, that he was as surprised as anyone to find out that his daughter — a cheerleader and golfer, whose ambitions included a career in medicine — was involved in illicit drugs. “That was the last thing we would have ever thought to happen.”

Alicia’s boyfriend, Skylar Schnippel, 20, who supplied the heroin, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In all, 16 drug users and suppliers were convicted, with sentences up to 26 years. One of the conspirators admitted to distributing 300,000 bags of heroin in the previous 18 months.

Alicia’s parents feel they must break the “code of silence” that surrounds families of teen addicts, so that their kids don’t become just another statistic.

Length: 6:01

By Aaron Rockett

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