On Wednesday evening, August 21, 2013, members of the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) task force arrested three men, one of whom is a substitute teacher and assistant football coach at Haines City High School, on drug charges.
According to the affidavit, detectives observed one of the suspects, later identified as 24-year-old Michael Gray of 220 West Northside Drive in Lake Wales, taking a puff from what appeared to be a marijuana "blunt" and then handing it to the driver of the car he was in, later identified as 22-year-old Paul Burr of 911 Oxford Way in Haines City. The car was parked at a Citgo gas station in Lake Wales at the time. The car then drove off.
Detectives made a traffic stop on the vehicle, and found the following items in the car:
- A plastic baggie containing 43 Alprazolam (Xanax) pills
- Three plastic baggies which field-tested positive for Methamphetamine, total weight over 14 grams
- A plastic baggie containing approximately 1/4 lb of marijuana
- Several plastic baggies containing marijuana residue
- A scale containing marijuana and Methamphetamine residue
The silver Kia that the three suspects were in was rented to 24-year-old Chad Alexander of 420 Pearl Street in Lake Wales. Alexander was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car. Alexander told detectives he is a substitute teacher and an assistant football coach at Haines City High School. Alexander confirmed that the car was rented in his name.
All three suspects were arrested and charged as follows:
Alexander: one count Trafficking in Meth (F-1); one count Maintaining a Vehicle for Drug Trafficking (F-2); one count Possession of Alprazolam With Intent to Sell (F-2); one count Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell (F-3); one count Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams (F-3); and one count Possession of Paraphernalia (M-1).
Gray: one count Possession of Marijuana Under 20 Grams; one count Possession of Paraphernalia (M-1).
Burr: one count Trafficking in Meth (F-1); one count Tampering with Evidence (F-2)*; one count Possession of Alprazolam With Intent to Sell (F-2); one count Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Sell (F-3); one count Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams (F-3); and one count Possession of Paraphernalia (M-1). *Burr's charge of Tampering With Evidence comes from the fact that he swallowed the marijuana blunt during the traffic stop, which he admitted post-Miranda to detectives.
Their mugshots are attached. All three suspects were booked into to the Polk County Jail and held under no bond until first appearance hearings.
"I'm very proud of our detectives for putting Chad Alexander -- someone who could have been teaching at the high school today or coaching during this upcoming football season -- behind bars. His behavior is not that of someone who should be teaching, coaching, or influencing kids." - Sheriff Grady Judd