A former San Diego-area club lacrosse coach used his connections to monopolize drug sales inside prestigious high schools in another state, officials claim.
Neil Scott, who lived and coached lacrosse in San Diego from 2010 to 2013, was arrested in Pennsylvania this week in connection with a illegal drug operation.
Prosecutors claim Scott teamed up with an 18-year-old to import large amounts of marijuana from California and sell the drugs inside high schools, prep schools and local colleges in Montgomery County, near Philadelphia.
Scott allegedly recruited nine other dealers that included two juveniles.
The handcuffed man in a red jail jumpsuit seen hiding his face and cursing at news photographers outside a Philadelphia courthouse Monday is not the Neil Scott his San Diego lacrosse family says they once knew.
"He went out of his way to have personal relationships with them,” said John Tauss of Scott’s relationship with his players.
Tauss used to coach a club team with Scott.
“He’d direct them just about life in general. You know, good paths to be on, so I’m very surprised," he said.
Scott veered onto the wrong path late last year according to prosecutors.
That's when they say he returned to the Philadelphia area, teaming up with 18-year-old Timothy Brooks to corner the suburban drug market.
Prosecutors say the two dubbed their operation "Main Line Take Over Project."
Officials say they seized marijuana, hash oil, cocaine, ecstasy, $11,000 and an assault rifle.
“I’m really surprised about it,” said lacrosse player Josh Tauss. “ It’s a bummer.”
The 14-year-old said it's tough to believe his 25-year-old former coach is being held on $1 million bail
“It’s a disappointment because I looked up to him,” said Josh Tauss. Now I think of people differently.“
Investigators said they learned of the operation through confidential informants and conducted a one-day round-up in February.
“The high school sub-dealers were encouraged to develop their business so that they could sell at least one pound of marijuana each week,” Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said Monday.
Ferman alleged that both men, who are graduates of a prestigious all-boys preparatory school, worked together to "create a [drug] monopoly to high school students in the area."
Text messages allegedly show Scott joking about the money being made by saying "Once you go tax free it’s hard to go back."
Scott’s attorney declined comment on the charges saying he had just gotten the case.
San Diego officials told NBC 7 they were not involved in the investigation.