At least five people face charges of distributing LSD, heroin and other hallucinogenic drugs to Lake Norman High School students and residents in the Lake Norman community following a two-month investigation by Iredell County narcotics detectives.
Sheriffs deputies began investigating after they received a call to a local residence that a high school student had ingested LSD. During their undercover investigation, detectives said they learned of several people distributing illegal narcotics and hallucinogenic drugs including LSD, heroin, marijuana and a Schedule 1 bath salt known as molly to students.
Major Darren Campbell said undercover police bought the drugs several times at different houses across the area.
A 15-year-old who was expected to turn himself in to police on Wednesday was a main source of LSD and molly for students at Lake Norman High, Campbell said.
Police also suspect Elliott James Ziegler, 24, to be one of the groups leaders. He faces some of the stiffest charges after detectives say they found him in possession of more than 4 grams of heroin last week.
Ziegler is charged with three counts of trafficking heroin and six other drug felonies.
His mother, 48-year-old Denise Lynne Mingle, was looped in to the investigation after detectives say they made several drug buys from people at her house. Campbell said investigators determined that she knew about the drug distribution.
Mingle is charged with maintaining a dwelling for controlled substance and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Also arrested on the felony charges are Daniel Gilbert Brown and Thomas Jordan Wykoff, both 19.
Ziegler has a criminal history, a records search showed. He pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in 2012 and 2009, records show.
Campbell said the investigation continues and there will be more arrests.
Investigators dont yet know how many students were purchasing and using drugs. None of the undercover drug buys happened on the campus of Lake Norman High, Campbell said. But he urged parents who suspected their children were involved or had information about the case to call the Iredell County Sheriffs Office at 704-878-3180.
These are very dangerous drugs, some of the worst, Campbell said. Observer researcher Maria David contributed.