Sheriff: Teacher trying to protect son busted for having drugs at school

Sheriff: Teacher trying to protect son busted for having drugs at school
Luke Vest (Source: Izard Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Luke Vest (Source: Izard Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

MELBOURNE, AR (KAIT) - Sheriff's deputies say a Region 8 teacher's attempts to protect her son from arrest led to her trip to jail on drug charges.

Terri Hatfield, 52, of Oxford was arrested Thursday, Feb. 12, following a drug dog search at Melbourne High School.

She's charged with three felonies including possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) with the intent to deliver near a certain facility, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and tampering with physical evidence.

Her arrest came after a weeklong investigation by the Izard County Sheriff's Department and 2 days of deploying the department's drug dogs at the school, according to a news release from the sheriff.

Sheriff Tate Lawrence said that one of the dogs alerted to a locker in Hatfield's classroom; inside the locker deputies found a purse belonging to Hatfield containing 27 bags of marijuana and another larger bag of the drug.

"It appears Hatfield had removed the controlled substance from her son's car to protect him from a vehicle search she anticipated to happen," the sheriff said.

Deputies searched the son's vehicle and found a small amount of marijuana and a number of narcotic pills. The teen who had driven the car to school was arrested.

Hatfield was taken to the Izard County Detention Center. She was released the following day after posting a $10,000 bond. She's scheduled to appear in circuit court on March 17.

The teen--who was not identified due to his age--remains in the juvenile detention facility.

Also during the school sweep, 18-year-old Luke Vest was arrested after deputies reported finding a marijuana cigarette in his pocket. He remains in jail pending an appearance before a judge.

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