CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A Duval County Public Schools teacher was arrested Thursday after she was accused of trying to buy methamphetamine while she was working on an elementary school campus.
According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Valerie Lee Prince was arrested after she bought 3.5 grams of methamphetamine for $85 from an undercover narcotics detective in Clay County.
Prince, a first-grade teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary, originally tried to set up the transaction at or near her school, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but ended up making the purchase after work.
“We did not deliver the drugs to that school but that brought us great concern. It was a pretty nonchalant request and the indication was it was no big deal to this suspect,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Vincent Hall said.
Prince told investigators she had used methamphetamine 10 times in the last six months, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office was involved in the investigation because Prince is a Clay County resident.
“The situation is disturbing. This is someone that is in charge of kids and it was a priority to us,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Domenic Paniccia said.
Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels and investigators announced the teacher’s arrest in a video posted on Facebook.
Homeland Security and the Duval County School Police Department were also involved in the investigation.
Investigators said Prince was stripped of her credentials, her keys and access to the school.
Paniccia said it was unclear if she was using drugs at the school.
Prince was charged with felony purchase and possession of methamphetamines.
Duval County Public Schools issued a statement following the arrest: