Millionaire Boys' Club
Wine and dine with the Caso Hand Held Vacuum Sealer. (Williams Sonoma)
Petrole, a 21-year-old college student, was shot nine times as he sat in his car, just outside his townhouse.
Within weeks, police arrested a suspect in Danny's murder. Owen Barber, 21, grew up in a comfortable neighborhood near Manassas. According to Barber's then longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Pasquariello, Barber was a normal suburban kid.
Barber told police that another suburbanite, Justin Wolfe, had hired him to kill Petrole in exchange for money and drugs. Wolfe and Barber had been friends in high school. Wolfe, 20, was arrested and charged with capital murder.
Peter Van Sant reports on an unlikely tale of drugs, sex and greed in the suburbs that first aired last December.
Sergeant Greg Pass started work on the Petrole case the morning after the murder. In Petrole's garage, police found 47 pounds of high-grade marijuana. It wasn't long before police discovered that Petrole and Wolfe were drug dealers.
According to Wolfe's mother, Terri Steinberg, her son was a typical teen-ager, an "all-American kid." Wolfe agreed, saying smoking marijuana wasn't a big deal for many high school students in town.
"It's not viewed as the other drugs are," says Wolfe, who first smoked marijuana in eighth grade.
Both Regina Zeuner and Jennifer Pasquariello became friends with Wolfe in high school. "Smoking weed, a lotta people make friends in high school that way," says Pasquariello. "You wanna be like everybody else, or haven't tried it and wanna try it. You get sucked in - peer pressure."
"From your smartest jock to everyday, average student - everyone smoked," says Zeuner.
But they weren't smoking the same weed that their parents' generation did. They were smoking a much more powerful version of the drug, known as "chronic," which is also much more expensive. It costs up to five times more than normal marijuana, also known as "schwag," and can cost up to $350 an ounce on the street.
But for teenagers here, finding that kind of money was often not difficult, says Zeuner.
In high school, Wolfe began dealing to support his own habit. He started out selling a few ounces of schwag, but by graduation, he was dealing multiple pounds of chronic.
"You smoke for free, and then you're like, 'I can make money doing this,'" he says. "The more money you make, the more you can get. The more people you meet, you start getting rid of more."
Business boomed when he met Petrole, who Wolfe says controlled all of the chronic coming in the area.
Petrole's roommate, Paul Gunning, later testified at trial that Petrole got his chronic from a source in Seattle, Wash. According to Gunning, Petrole bought 100 pounds a month on average for $360,000.
At 19, Wolfe made up to $15,000 a month selling the chronic supplied by Petrole.
"It makes you a movie star in a small town," says Jason Coleman, 28, who hung out with Wolfe and managed a bar where all of their friends partied. "They always had money. They did whatever they wanted. They didn't care."
"We always had girls around us," says Wolfe. "I blew money basically. I'd run through money like it was nothing."
Wolfe says at the time he was smoking marijuana, doing cocaine and ketocet, a tranquilizer. Zeuner says they would smoke dope "constantly throughout the day. Just like money, that was an unlimited supply as well."
His mother, Terri, however says she had no idea he was dealing and using drugs so heavily.
"None of these parents never would have imagined. They never would have known," says Zeuner.
But the investigation that followed uncovered a drug ring worth millions of dollars. And it was an enterprise created and controlled by suburban college students.
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