Minors caught with drugs in thousands

The Fuerza Pública said Tuesday that its officers had detained more than 2,000 minors on drug allegations in the first five months of the year.

The data came from the  Sección de Análisis y Estadística of the Ministerio de Seguridad Pública. Minors were defined as those under 18.

The deputy director of the police agency, Nils Ching, said that the statistics should attract the attention of a number of public agencies. He added that frequently the drug crimes are associated with others.

The detentions were mainly for carrying, selling or otherwise distributing drugs.

In the province of San José alone there were 950 detentions, the agency said. There were detentions in all provinces with number ranging from 511 in Alajuela to 169 in Heredia.

Fuerza Pública officers conduct stop-and-frisk operations on the streets. Frequently they find small amounts of marijuana on those they stop. They also search schools with trained drugs and generally turn up drugs or drug paraphernalia.

The use of drugs by minors is not a new phenomenon. A.M. Costa Rica has documented homeless as young as 8 years smoking crack pipes in the full view of the public.

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