Man Suspected of Selling Concentrated Cannabis to Kids in East Hemet

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

MURRIETA (CNS) – A 20-year-old man suspected of selling marijuana loaded into vaping devices to students at an East Hemet middle school was out of custody Thursday.

James David Britton Jr. of Hemet was arrested and booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta Tuesday on suspicion of furnishing marijuana to a minor and child endangerment. Britton posted a $50,000 bond and was released from custody Wednesday.

According to a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department statement, deputies in February received information the suspect was allegedly selling “vape pens containing concentrated cannabis … to juveniles who attend” Dartmouth Middle School in 41500 block of Mayberry Street.

“The investigation revealed James Britton … used social media to contact and sell the pens to students at the school,” the agency stated.

Sufficient evidence was gathered to obtain an arrest warrant, which was served on the suspect in the area of Lake Park about 9 p.m. Tuesday. He was taken into custody without incident.

Britton’s arrest came within a few days of two other arrests involving suspects allegedly selling concentrated cannabis to youths in the Temecula Valley.

Catherine Ann Hickisch and Anthony Harry Mathisen, both 18 and of Murrieta, were arrested last week and charged with two counts each of distribution of controlled substances and possession of controlled substances for sale, as well as one count of furnishing cannabis to a child under 14 years old.

Hickisch pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Wednesday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. She’s being held on $1 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

Mathisen is free on a $1 million bond and slated to be arraigned on April 17.

Background information on Britton was unavailable.

Sheriff’s officials asked anyone with information relevant to the investigation to contact the sheriff’s Hemet station at 951-791-3400.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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