Judge sets bond at $37.5K for student allegedly caught with guns, drugs

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A judge has set bond at $37,500 for the 18-year-old West Ashley High School student police say was caught with a loaded shotgun and knives in his truck parked on campus Thursday.

School district spokesman Jason Sakran said Colby Alan Rawson of Johns Island has been suspended and is being referred to the Office of Student Placement for expulsion.

Sakran said that a phone message went out to parents at 3:30 p.m. in regards to the incident. In the phone message, school officials tell parents that the gun found in the student's truck is used for bird hunting and that the student is a hunter.

CCSD officials released the following statement:

"The student has been recommended to the Office of Student Placement for expulsion and in the interim, the student cannot return to any Charleston County school.  There is no indication at this time that the student was planning to commit any violent acts on campus.  We applaud the pro-active surveillance by the school resource officers.  Resource officers, principals and teachers across the district are continuously working to keep our schools and students safe."

Attorney Daniel Boles, who is representing Rawson released the following statement Friday evening:

"I would like to comment that any alleged wrongdoing on Mr. Rawson's part is only made worse by the events of late, and  the heinous acts of others casts a long, dark shadow over Mr. Rawson's situation.  Luckily, in America's criminal justice system, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty."

The Charleston Police Department charged Rawson with possession with intent to distribute within close proximity of a school, possession with intent to distribute/manufacture marijuana, two counts of unlawful carry of a weapon on school property and possession of a firearm on school property.

Rawson was previously arrested for malicious injury to real property in Sep. 2012, according to State Law Enforcement Division records.

On Thursday morning, police officers were on patrol at the student's parking lot at West Ashley High School and say they saw a sheathed knife in plain view on the front passenger seat of a Ford F-150 truck.

Officers then obtained information that it was Rawson's truck and notified school administrators. Rawson was then taken out of class and escorted to a private office by school administrators.

The vice principal then requested officers to search the student's truck for any additional contraband per the school's policy.

The student was then escorted to his vehicle and asked if he had any more weapons or narcotics in the truck. Rawson replied that "he didn't think so."

Officers say they found a large purple "Crown Royal" bag with a clear plastic baggy containing 20 grams of a green leafy substance that tested positive for marijuana. Authorities say they also found a silver in color digital scale and a plastic baggy with multiple baggies bundled inside.

A police report states that officers found a loaded shotgun, a total of five knives and two machetes inside the truck.

The suspect told police that he had no intention of distributing marijuana to other students. Rawson was locked up at the Al Cannon Detention Center.

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