SPARTA, NJ - A Succasunna woman is facing charges for having planted drugs in a Sparta High School student's back pack. In an effort to frame the 16-year-old student, the Beth Weickert sent an anonymous text to a teacher at the school on January 3 reporting the student to be using and selling drugs on school grounds.
Police speculate "the teacher was chosen at random, using contact information listed on the school's website," according to Sparta Public Information Officer Dennis Proctor.
As required, the teacher reported the text to the school's administrators who found 13 oxycodone hydrochlorice/acetaminophen pills in the student's backpack. Sparta police said they were notified by the school and the student was suspended, per district policy.
Facing charges from police, the teen and his father were adamant that the pills had been planted Proctor said. Additionally, objections raised during the interview with them on Jan 11 led Det. Brian Hassloch to continue to investigate. Hassloch began to look at Weickert as a suspect, according to Proctor.
Hassloch's investigation included securing grand jury subpoenas on Jan. 19 to track down the origin of the anonymous text. The phone number used to send the text was "spoofed" or a fake, according to police.
Weickert was interviewed by Hassloch on Jan. 24. While "she did not admit to planting the pills, she had access," to someone who had a legal prescription for the same drugs, according to Proctor.
The next day Det. Tom Laird from the Sussex County Prosecutor's office told Hassloch the fake phone numbers had been traced back to Weickert's phone and IP address in her home in Succasunna, police report.
Even when faced with this information, Weickert "didn't share anything," and asked for an attorney, Proctor said.
The connection between the 16-year-old student and Weickert has not been reported, "because the investigation is continuing," and due to the need to protect the identity of the minor, Proctor said.
Weickert has been charged with cyber harassment, false reports to law enforcement and fabricating evidence.
Proctor said Weickert also faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child and obscene material for a person under 18 for an unrelated incident in which she is alleged to have sent an explicit photo to a 15-year-old boy.
The 15-year-old is not related to the Sparta High School student and the two incidents are not related Proctor said.
Weickert was released pending a court date.