Ga. middle school teacher busted growing pot

Marijuana growing operation found in home near school

Friday, April 11, 2014 6:58 AM
Last updated 7:14 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

ATHENS, Ga. -- An Athens-Clarke County middle school teacher was arrested Wednesday when authorities found an indoor marijuana farm at his home near the school where he taught.

Members of the Northeast Georgia Regional Drug Task Force went to the residence of Joseph Weston LePage to execute a search warrant. When no one was home, they forcibly entered, Athens-Clarke County police said.

The home is located around the corner from Clarke Middle School, where LePage is a sixth-grade social studies teacher.

In addition to marijuana growing inside the home, drug agents found equipment commonly used for indoor farming and some psilocybin, a hallucinogenic mushroom, police said.

LePage, 28, came home while the search was underway and was arrested, police said.

He was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, felony possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute a Schedule I drug.

LePage was released from the Clarke County Jail Thursday afternoon after posting a total bond of $8,000, according to the jail Web site.

According to the teacher’s LinkedIn Web page, he has been employed by the Clarke County School District Since August 2012 and taught at Clarke Middle School since June 2013.

Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, the school district’s director of public relations and communications, said that federal privacy laws prevented her from discussing a personnel matter.

“However, I can state that our protocol when an employee is under investigation — particularly of a criminal nature — is to place that employee on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” she said.

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corgimom 04/11/14 - 07:16 am
The dummies always get busted

The dummies always get busted by the electric company- to grow that stuff puts their electric bill way up, and that's how they get caught.

scoobynews 04/11/14 - 07:18 am
Looks like a position is

Looks like a position is about to come open at this middle school. Geez!

Farmboy 04/11/14 - 12:01 pm
Corgimom -

I'm not trying to say that this guy has done nothing wrong, however - does the electric company have any right to get upset and check someone out just because their electric bill goes up? Am I missing something? It's a crime in itself to have a high electric bill? Please discuss. In essence, in a way, I just feel like his privacy is being invaded. Which I feel like is wrong. What he is doing is wrong, but itsn't there another angle to this?

oldredneckman96 04/11/14 - 05:33 pm
Pot heads

Law enforcement depends on crooks being dummies. Pot heads lead the pack in stupidity. If anyone wants a pot head teaching their kids, put your kids in prison with the rest of the drug addicts and save your self all the trouble of trying to raise them right. Farmboy, criminals do not deserve rights to be criminals.

Young Fred
Young Fred 04/12/14 - 12:21 am
I thought

this was a requirement when going for a bachelors in education nowadays.

You may laugh, but if you actually saw what was required and taught in order to get this degree, you'd laugh/cry even more!

Put it this way - depth of thought and critical thinking are a detriment to this degree. Blind unthinking fawning over the status quo is what it takes.

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