A York County special education teacher arraigned on a drug trafficking charge this week has been placed on administrative leave from Helen Thackston Charter School in York City.
The charter school released a statement Thursday morning saying Wednesday's arraignment was the "first time" school officials learned Megan Butler Warner was arrested in January for transporting heroin.
"The teacher has been placed on administrative leave until this incident can be fully investigated," read a statement released by the charter's board of trustees. "Today we spoke with the chief of the arresting department. He assures us that his department took steps to make sure that our students were not at risk between the time of the arrest and the time she was formally charged."
Reached by phone Thursday, Chief Bryan Ross of Spring Township Police Department in Berks County said officers didn't have a reason to believe Warner was doing anything improper at the school.
"How can anybody say that for sure?" he said. "But we did not have any belief this was occuring at the school."
Warner was not under the influence of a controlled substance when police stopped her in January, "and we have nothing to believe she was dealing narcotics at the school," he said.
"Our belief was that she was simply involved in the transportation," Ross said.
The school's board, citing a "personnel matter," said it cannot discuss what other actions are being taken "other than to let you know that the staff member has been placed on leave until this is resolved."
The charges: Ross said police were observing Warner based on a tip, and she was a person of interest "based on a location she had gone to."
Police were preparing to pull her over for a traffic violation Jan. 19 when she pulled into a conveniece store parking lot, so officers began to talk to with her there, Ross said.
Police said they found nearly $1,000 worth of heroin, 97 bags, in the vehicle being driven by Warner, 39, of the 700 block of Hardwick Place in York City.
She is free on $25,000 unsecured bail, according to court documents.
Police said Warner told them she transported heroin from Spring Township, Berks County, to the suburban York County area "numerous" times, delivering several hundred bags of heroin.
Warner is charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin. She was also cited with failure to stop at a red light, according to court records.
Her next court date is May 20 in Berks County for a preliminary hearing, records state.
Warner could not be reached for comment, and it's not known if she has retained an attorney.
—Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.