Houde out of tournament following marijuana arrest

By Caitlin Russell | Feb 28, 2013
Photo by: Andrew W. Griffith Wareham Vikings basketball player Jeff Houde's season is over following an arrest on charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

After police found what they say was approximately a pound-and-a-half of marijuana in his car, Wareham basketball standout Jeff Houde is off the team and out of the state tournament.

He was arraigned in Wareham District Court Monday, Feb. 25, on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Houde was released on personal recognizance. 

"Following school and MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) policy and rules, Jeff is no longer able to participate on the team," Vikings coach Kevin Brogioli confirmed Thursday.

According to court records:

Houde, 17, was pulled over for speeding on Saturday, Feb. 23. The police officer making the stop observed Houde leaning over toward the passenger's seat. Unsure of what he was reaching for, the officer asked him to step out of the car.

The officer patted Houde down for weapons and, after finding none, did a "pat-frisk" on the outside of a backpack sitting on the passenger's seat.

The officer felt a hard object and, suspecting a weapon, opened the backpack -- where he discovered a digital scale (the hard object) and three bags of marijuana, weighing approximately a pound-and-a-half.

Searching the car, police reported finding a BB gun under the passenger's seat.

Asked to comment, principal Scott Palladino said via e-mail: "I can't comment on student discipline other than to say all students are disciplined in accordance to the Wareham High School Handbook."

Brogioli has coached Houde for four years and was disheartened by news of his arrest.

"It's unfortunate, but kids don't always make good choices. . . I just hope he does the right thing going forward," said Brogioli.

The coach said that, with one of the team's star players now disqualified, others have been stepping up to the plate.

"There are things that Jeff brought as a basketball player on the court that are going to be hard to replace," said Brogioli. "Through a combination of players and being a team," they hope to compensate for Houde's absence on the court.

Comments (35)
Posted by: Vinsdada | Feb 28, 2013 17:37

Team already had a disadvantage having to not have their home court advantage now this poor decision by this young man will def hurt the team



Posted by: barnstorm | Mar 01, 2013 07:28

  • Yes, it's definately going to put them in a tough position, because he was part of the starting five. However, he missed 5 games earlier due to his 1st situation for the same problem and one before that because of a double technical in a game. The team was able to rise up and win games despite of that major distraction. This group of kids are a good bunch and that goes for the players on the JV and Freshman team. Exceptional coaches there also, I would love to have had any of my own on their teams or in their classroom. There are some negative and vile things being written on some of the sports blogs this week about Wareham and the basketball program. It's sad to see that happen because of a kid making 2 stupid mistakes that have nothing to do with his teammates or the program. Sometimes a bad situation turns around and you'll see a good thing happen. I saw these kids at the shopping plaza a few weeks back collecting food and money donations for the Food Pantry in our town. They were there from 8am to closing on one of the coldest days this winter. Every single one of them participated along with all the coaches and they collected tons of food & money. That's something that will never make it to the Standard Times news etc. now, will it. It's a charity the program has been working on for some years. Congratulations to all those kids and coaches. You do this town and your parents/grandparents proud. Please come out to tonights game and watch this team play. The money will help to pay for the repair work needed on the court surface and you'll be watching a great high school basketball game.



Posted by: WIMOM | Mar 01, 2013 08:24

@ Talknroll, I second your sentiments.

I have said before in this forum that none of the good stuff is ever talked about, but people just can't wait to jump on the bad.  It is very sad that Jeff has let the team down, but worse than that he has let himself & his family down.  I hope that he will learn something from this and make more positive choices for his future.

That being said, this team has worked hard to get where they are.  I for one cannot wait to show my support again tonight.  As they did last year, I am hoping they make it all the way to the end, but with a win on the last game.  I have loved watching every game, there is some amazing talent on this team and that should not be soured by the poor choices of one player.

I would love to see even more people turn out to show their support tonight than at Wednesday's game.  You are actually missing out on some amazing basketball if you don't attend.  It is well worth it!  Not to mention the money from ticket sales is largely needed to help with repairs.

Let's Go Vikings!!!

 



Posted by: barnstorm | Mar 01, 2013 09:14

WiMom, thanks for pointing out the fact that Jeff Houde has hurt his parents and himself as well with this situation. My wife and I were talking about it and how this boy really needs help right now. He was given a second chance and he blew it. Let's pray someone can give him or get him the help and guidance he'll need to move on with his life. Love your spirit and passion. I'm glad you've been following the team and enjoying the all great basketball being played. Everyone, take WiMom's advice and come out at watch tonights game. You're missing out on some great entertainment. And watch for the Lady Vikings next season, they should have a great team returning for 1st year coach, Dave Brogoili. I know they lost to Ursaline in last nights tourney game, but congrats to the them and the coach for a great season.



Posted by: JD | Mar 01, 2013 11:55

i wonder if he was able to collect all that stuff fir the food pantry by telling his weed buyers to bring a canned item when he  nade his deals.  I would called it stupid and naive to think this kid only made two poor decisions.



Posted by: barnstorm | Mar 01, 2013 15:20

The hilarious remarks and comment by JD prove exactly what WiMom was talking about. I might be naive, but I know I'm not stupid. JD needs to go back and read his thread again. He made two mistakes while typing. He couldn't spell "for" or the word "made" correctly. Is that stupid or was he high on "weed"?



Posted by: Lou Ken Goud | Mar 02, 2013 06:30

So much for innocent until proven guilty huh?. Regardless of whether or not he did it , at this point in the ordeal he is suppose to be considered innocent, Yet he is kicked off the team. also everything else  I'm seeing and hearing is pretty one sided  I don't know if this kid did it  or if he is a nice guy or a jerk Not my place to say, however either way he deserves his due process

Why is it they never kicked The Big Chief 00 off the team when he was busted with large quantities of weed . Oh wait that's right he had millions to buy his innocence,  There is no justice any more,  justice is for those who can afford it!  I personally do not smoke it ,eat it , drink it or deal with it however..wasn't it just deemed legal .

Does anyone realize how many peoples lives have been ruined by having much less than this kid "allegedly" had in his possession , yet now it is legal to have the amount that ruined so many lives ? There are people doing 20 years for less than an ounce of weed,  My point is after the crucify this kid  is  it going to be legal to do what he is accused of doing in say 3 years from now?  

Oh wait he had a BB gun too " NOT THAT "   I thought they were legal also  I mean they sell them at Super Markets for crying out loud. Years ago you needed an F.I.D. for one but not any more. Why do they  feel the need to mention the BB gun? To me thats  like saying  ."Police also found a cap gun in his trunk along with a water pistol as well" It's to make him look bad  Make up our minds is weed legal or not?  

Pretty soon they will be telling us  OK your only allowed to have 4 pounds of toilet paper. What pisses me off is that non violent first offence drug convictions  carry a stronger minimum sentence than Rape, Bank Robbery, Child Molestation or Manslaughter. Why is that?



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Mar 02, 2013 06:43

Marijuana is not legal Lou.  In any amount.  Under 1oz is a civil penalty now but it is not legal.  What was legalized is medical use only.  I personally think that is BS as well but it passed the vote so it is what it is now.

 

Also, I have never seen BB guns in Stop and Shop or Shaws.  I assume you mean you can get them (I think) at Wal Mart or another department type store.  Can't say for sure as I don't go into the gun section of those stores.



Posted by: biogeek | Mar 02, 2013 11:05

I am sorry to see such details of a criminal case involving a minor published in the local newspaper. Basketball is important in Wareham, but young people with a developing cerebral cortex sometimes make bad decisions. Does the entire community need to know the details of why the player isn't on the court? I hope this young man gets effective counseling, legally and personally. I also hope he can recover from the public embarrassment of having his alleged bad decisions exposed worldwide on the internet.

From what I know of Wareham basketball, there will be a squadron of gifted players able to fill a void on the starting line, and I wish them luck and strength in the upcoming games. Basketball is part of the Wareham blood, but this enthusiasm for basketball should not trump the rights of minors to privacy.



Posted by: JD | Mar 02, 2013 11:19

my spelling is poor due to a spinal cord injury which has left me with the ability to type with on one finger on my right hand. most peoplecan see by the mustakes that it is  not a soelling mistake as much as a typo.



Posted by: justin beiber | Mar 02, 2013 13:40

 

Oh really?

JD's spelling was just fine two days ago.

If the purported spinal injury is recent, JD has certainly made a speedy recovery.

Most folks would still be hospitalized.

My guess is that JD gets his weed from Jeff Houde.



Posted by: watersprite | Mar 02, 2013 14:15

What makes this story important is it highlights that everyone, even kids like Houde who have worked hard and perform at a very high level, is capable of making bad choices, possibly life-changing bad choices.  It's not just lifetime criminals, the mentally ill, or the desperate.  Houde has been one of the hardest working, most improved players on Wareham's current team, and could have parlayed that into a free good education.  In order to do that now, he basically has to start over and prove himself all over again. It doesn't mean he can't or won't, but he screwed up and now the world knows about it.  Even if charges are dismissed later, he's now damaged goods to colleges who might have earlier been eager to have him.

What's sad as well is that it is yet another good basketball player from Wareham who may be have reached his peak in high school, and not gone on to a future education with a scholarship.  Do kids from Wareham, even good kids who don't get into trouble with the law, who excel in the basketball program, have such low expectations of themselves that they can't see how to use package themselves to a better life?  Or is this a failing of coaching and guidance counselors?  Or of parents who are satisfied with their kids being high school stars alone?  Or is just the kids themselves?



Posted by: Phoneman | Mar 03, 2013 08:15

I agree with JD.. and I could care less whether he/she has typing problems or not. This man has proven himself to be a loser in every way. He CHOSE to not care about his team, his family or tis school. Lets not be totally ignorant here people. Anyone under the age of 60 should by now know what up when it comes to marijuana. This kid has been caught more than once. He was found to have multiple bags. He at the very least is helping supply some to his friends and may be selling to many others. The fact that he is a good basketball player means nothinig. He is a disgrace to the team and in my opinion should be banned from all sports and from attending any sporting events associated with this team. The fact that it's marijuana also means nothing to me. The fact that he blatenly broke the law is the issue. The law is the law. If a person robs a small bank or steals a small amount of money does not mean it isn't a crime. People need to be held accountable for thier acions. Giving them sympathy, coddling, and makes excuses does these people no good. Also for those who feel that this information shouldn't be publishes is just ridiculous. It MUST be public. Let the world see their crimes and allow the parents of other people his age to kow that thier children may be hanging with the wrong crowd. Publishing it help many. It only hurts the kid who is accused... and that is his problem. If you can suffer the consequences you shouldn't do the crime.



Posted by: harrythebarber | Mar 03, 2013 11:07

WAREHAM needs to raise the bar!!!...WHS had got to address its lack of tolerance not only for breaking the law but for underacheiving academically..whether you're caught with drugs, charged by the Police for running over a teammate due to stupidity, or fail Math and English,you SHOULD NOT have the priviledge of representing this Town!

 

PARENTS here need to care as much about their children's educations as they do the number of touchdowns they score or baskets they make..Wareham will become home to more successful STUDENT-ATHLETES only if there are higher expectations put on them about their behavior and academic performance..

 

 



Posted by: Phoneman | Mar 03, 2013 12:13

I totally agree Harry. Sports is great but Wareham Parents seem to care more about themselves than they do their children. They seem to be fine with raising a bunch of hoodlums these days. Very sad.



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Mar 03, 2013 12:26

You are acting as if the youth of Wareham are nothing but a bunch of losers.  I respectfully disagree.  This young man made a mistake.  Yes he even made it twice.  Does that define the entire population of the youths of Wareham?  Generalizations like this do no good.  Have you never learned that in life?  Sad.  Teaching the children the way that you think is a dangerous game.  You can blame the parents, you can blame the teachers but the bottom line is that you are saying that the kids suck and that is just wrong.



Posted by: Phoneman | Mar 03, 2013 15:38

This young man did a hell of a lot more than make a mistake. When you button your shirt wrong or buy the wrong item at the store that is a mistake. When you knowingly smoke, purchase and or deal drugs that it is far from a mistake. The is totally disobeying the law and telling everyone you feel you are above the law. I could care less how popular this young man is or how talented he is. He has broken the law and should be disgraced for it like anyone else. To make excuses for this kid or any other kid is doing them no favors. It is telling them only certain laws need to be followed.

 I believe that the majority of kids are good and as always we hear very little about those kids. To have adults though publicly making excuses for a high school kid who breaks the law, is given another chance and still does it again is a horrible way for an adult to respond. What I'm saying is that thee are far too many parents who feel this is the way to bring up kids. How much of a crime needs to be committed for a kid to be held responsible instead of being treated like a baby spilled some milk. Grow up adults!

 



Posted by: P-SPAN | Mar 03, 2013 19:29

I’m not here to really comment on this young man, the decisions he made, or how it reflects on the town. But, I do think that P-Man (not to be confused with P-Span ;) is going a little overboard. I look at marijuana prohibition much like I do alcohol prohibition (How’d that work out?). Some people say it’s bad, some don’t think so..and others are ambivalent. By making any product illegal that any other people want (whether it’s illegal or not) you create criminal acts because demand will always create supply (and a supplier). If you raise the penalty, you increase the risk. So, that’ll just increase costs, and the price will go up. But, not enough to stop the “market”. There are also costs to enforce the laws, the court system, the prison system, etc.. I (personally) don’t believe it’s worth it. Some people want to do it, some don’t care if they do..and some just really want to tell other people how to live. I say bring it to the electorate. Positive votes for medical use marijuana and the de-criminalization of marijuana have shown a trend toward more reasonable attitudes toward marijuana. I’ve felt (for a long time) that the hypocrisy shown in having tobacco and alcohol legal while acting as if marijuana is any worse than either is ridiculous. In fact a case could be made that they’re worse. I feel we should legalize it (with reasonable restrictions) tax it (which would make a LOT of money for the government (us) and all but eliminate the “criminals”). We’d also save a ton of dough because “enforcement” would hardly be necessary, and no one would get hurt or die in any “war on drugs”..at least as far as marijuana. And that’s all I’m talking about here. Not coke, heroin, or anything else. That’s just my opinion, and I know not everyone will agree.. But then again, do they ever?  



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Mar 03, 2013 19:46

Phoneman I agree, this kid broke the law and the law will punish him as it sees fit.  I have no problem with that.  It is what we have laws for.  I couldn't care less if this kid was citizen of the year or something similar, I would expect the same punishment to be handed out.

 

P-Span, I don't agree with your statement but I do agree that WAY too much is being spent on controlling marijuana in terms of law enforcement, etc.  However, I can't have it both ways unfortunately.  If there are laws, they have to be enforced.  I, however, would not want people to have access to a joint at a local shop.  I just don't think it would do anyone any good other than the convenience stores who would be selling alot more munchies.



Posted by: Zephyr | Mar 03, 2013 19:46

P-SPAN,  I agree with you 100%.



Posted by: justin beiber | Mar 03, 2013 20:53

 

Two thumbs up, P-Span.



Posted by: NativeSun | Mar 03, 2013 22:55

Back in college I did a research paper on the cost benefits of legalizing marijuana.  If you add up the money that would be saved on courts, enforcement, and incarceration the total was around 475 million a year nationwide*.  If you then add tax revenues (which I based on current tobacco tax rates) the estimate was around 350 million*.  I then estimated additional savings that could come from using hemp products such as hemp paper, which is far cheaper to make, in government agencies such as town halls, schools, and courts.  The total swing Nationwide was just shy of 1 billion dollars.  That didn't include the additional jobs created in cultivation and distribution.  To put it in perspective, I was able to calculate that if it was legalized, regulated, and taxed, the State of California would be able to not only get out of debt, but have a budget surplus in less than 5 years.

Now I realize the same could be said about heroin, coke, or any other drug.  And for anyone who has seen a friend, family member, or their own life ruined by drugs, this is an extremely difficult decision to make.  However, I think that with decriminalization  measures passing in more and more states the writing is on the wall for the prohibition of marijuana.  It would be a great benefit financially for state and federal governments.

All that aside, this young man broke the law.  He is being punished and that is the end of it.  We can express our disappointment in his decision but I don't think he needs to be tried in the court of public opinion.  With any luck this will be a learning experience for him, and he will use this lesson to make better decisions.  By going on and on about it here, we are basically saying, "Your life is over." and it can be if he doesn't smarten up.  But lets give him a chance to turn it around before we assume he will now have to flip burgers and serve fries his whole life.

 

 

*all numbers are circa 1998.  College was a LONG time ago.

p.s. I got an A- on the paper and the research was done by me, my roommate, and our dealer, ahem, I mean "research assistant."



Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Mar 04, 2013 07:37

I'm curious  what the response would have been had the police arrested a non-white individual for speeding, 1.5 pounds of marijuana, a scale and a BB gun., who wasn't a H/S basketball star.



Posted by: WIMOM | Mar 04, 2013 11:23

I'm saddened that this could even be suggested as a race issue.



Posted by: cranky pants | Mar 04, 2013 11:44

Sad news indeed. High five for blowing your basket ball career Cheech. Stick to the books bud, cause it shows your intelligence level isn't going to win you any scholarships any time soon...Talk about riding dirty.

Someone needs to watch a few more Boys in the Hood movies and learn some street knowledge before trying to come out the gate with a strong hustle. Then again this is Wareham, and we do glorify this easy living.

" wanna be a baller... shot caller... "

 

 



Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Mar 04, 2013 12:45

Honestly Karen?  You are going to pull race into this?  Shame on you.  I think the majority of the people on here see that this kid is in trouble and SHOULD be in trouble.  Doesn't matter if he is white or black.    Break the law, you should get punished.  Period.



Posted by: JD | Mar 04, 2013 15:15

For Karen to even bring race into this issue shows how little any opiniom  she ever nakes means. She is ignorant!



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Mar 04, 2013 20:33

I can only assume that getting to a point of selling drugs in such a large quanity didn't happen overnite with this drug dealer.Even after being caught previously he still chose to continue on a path of poor decision making with apologists and enablers all along the way. He is the fruit of todays liberal society where breaking the law is accepted and rarely punished sufficiently.



Posted by: watersprite | Mar 04, 2013 21:34

When I was in high school long, long ago star athletes were selling marijuana.  In my opinion, society hasn't moved that much.  Kids were getting drunk on vodka and worse and passing out in parks back then, and they're still doing it today.  There are a lot worse things than weed happening out there and selling weed is a lot different than selling heroin, crack, cocaine, and a lot of other stuff.  This kid made a bunch of really stupid decisions that has gotten him in a lot of trouble.  He is a big kid who probably felt invincible.  I doubt he's feeling that way now

Karen, what do you think would have happened if Jeff Houde was black, cape verdean, or hispanic?  Would his penalty be worse?  He was, after all,  arrested.  Something like this usually makes the police report, so it is picked up by WarehamWeek.  If Jeff Houde had not been a star on the basketball team, but just some regular kid from Onset who police stopped for speeding and got caught with scales and weed, would there be same number of comments?  Probably not.



Posted by: WIMOM | Mar 05, 2013 11:35

I have said it before and I will say it again.  Everyone wants to jump in on the bad, but not many, if any at all want to jump in on the good.

The rest of the Vikings basketball team has done extremely well.  The article posted this morning about their amazing victory last night without Jeff had only one comment.

Everyone is so quick to comndemn, but not many are overly eager to congratulate or build up any of these kids.

Perhaps that is part of the problem with society?



Posted by: beanief20 | Mar 05, 2013 21:56

anyone who has followed the bball program or this kid would know that he is by no means a "star". he is tall. whoopie! the team will be stronger (is stronger) without him. just thought i would add that in. i truly hope he makes better decisions in the future



Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Mar 06, 2013 08:38

Watersprite..... Thank you for your response. There has been so much research on this topic and Obama made reference to it very recently.  There is ample evidence to indicate that the judicial system is far harsher in sentencing non-whites than Caucasians when the same or similar crimes have been committed.

Ignorance is ignoring that the judicial system is biased.

It will be interesting to see the sentencing outcome of this case.

 



Posted by: Phoneman | Mar 06, 2013 08:58

Karenspinks is so full of sh*t!  The jails are full of people or color for one reason and one reason only! They committed the crimes they are in there for.  Go put your head back in the sand!

 



Posted by: watersprite | Mar 06, 2013 11:10

I agree with Karen that the evidence is convincing that people of color and hispanics get harsher sentences than whites.  But in order to get sentenced you first have to be arrested - and a lot happens between arrest and sentencing. Poor kids get arrested more than rich kids, too.  Since Houde is white, we'll have to wait to hear his sentence.  If he is found guilty as a first-time offender, he, like almost everyone, probably will be very light sentence.

Phoneman: As for whether Houde is a star or not, ask his coach and teammates.  He's not Darrien Fernandez, but they'll tell you how good he is.  Right now, the Vikings are playing well, which is a great testament to their character, coaching and desire to overcome adversity.



Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Mar 06, 2013 12:51

The street value of 1.5 pounds of weed is, I am told, approximately $2000.   I find it difficult to imagine that this 'mistake' will be overlooked but you never know.  It will be interesting to see the outcome.

Phoneman... I never once stated that jails are full of innocent people. You appear to have entirely missed the point of the discussion.



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