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SES teacher faces drug charges

By Staff | Jul 30, 2014

Gina Crawford

Gina Crawford, 33, a fifth grade teacher at Sistersville Elementary School, was arrested late Friday night for the felony offense of possession with/intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Sistersville Police executed a search warrant at her residence at 215 Wiley Avenue in Sistersville, around 11:20 p.m. Earlier in the day Tyler County Magistrate John Roberts issued the search warrant after a month-long investigation into the alleged use and distribution of controlled substances from the location.

Police Chief Ben Placer said the search of her home revealed numerous items consistent with the use and distribution of marijuana.

Also arrested was Crawford’s live-in boyfriend, 32-year-old Justin Todd Britton, who also has an address of 187 N. St. Rt 2, Apt. 320, New Martinsville. The search of the Sistersville home turned up prescription pills, marijuana, money, and other drug paraphernalia. Among the items seized were multiple sandwich baggies containing a green leafy substance which later tested positive for marijuana, according to police.

Both Crawford and Britton were transported from the scene to the North Central Regional Jail. Bond for each was set at $10,000 cash/surety. Both have posted bond and are scheduled for preliminary hearings on Aug. 15. Two other individuals were at the residence when the warrant was served. Chase Cornell, 18, of Sistersville, and Austin Rhodes, 18, of Friendly were both ticketed and charged with possession.

Tyler County Schools Superintendent Robin Daquilante, said Monday that Crawford “will be treated as any other employee.” Crawford is Daquilante’s daughter.

“As an educator, I am discouraged to think that any educator working with children would personally be involved with anything illegal,” said Daquilante. “As a parent, I love my daughter and know that she will have to answer personally as well as professionally for any action deemed to be illegal.”

For the time being, Crawford is considered suspended, although her employment period for the 2014-2015 school year hasn’t technically begun.

“The Tyler County Board of Education has a dual role in such cases,” Daquilante said. “First we must take the proper steps to deal with this as a professional personnel matter, including protecting the rights of our employee. Secondly, we want to assure the parents and guardians of our students that student safety and well being is our top priority on a daily basis, as it will be in this case.”

Most actions in the case would come through the personnel office, but Daquilante said the district is reviewing with its attorney whether she will have to recuse herself from parts of the process.