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Nassau teacher charged with drug possession after traffic stop

A Nassau County high school teacher is facing criminal charges, and the possible loss of her job, after police claim to have found drugs in her vehicle during a traffic stop. She was charged with a seventh-degree misdemeanor after police say there was a bag of heroin in her car.

Police pulled over the suspect in Freeport on the afternoon of June 11. They later said they did so because of an allegedly broken tail light. Readers should remember that a relatively minor mechanical problem can be used by officers to justify a traffic stop, which could lead to a search of your car.

Why officers in this case decided to search the suspect’s car is not clear. They said they found “a glassine bag containing heroin,” which led to her being issued a desk appearance ticket on a misdemeanor drug possession charge. She is due to appear in court on June 23.

The suspect is a high school social studies teacher in the Massapequa School District. In a statement released the day after the traffic stop, the district said it was aware of the incident and would cooperate with law enforcement, but would not comment further. Separately, a district official declined to say whether the suspect had been suspended or fired from her job.

Though everyone who is arrested is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the news that someone has been arrested often has serious social and professional consequences. It is not uncommon to hear of teachers who get suspended after getting arrested, or even fired.

Source: Newsday, “Massapequa High School teacher charged with heroin possession,” John Valenti, June 12, 2014

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