Teacher arrested after trying to buy meth at Fla. elementary school, deputies say

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJXT/CNN) - An elementary school teacher from Florida faces drug charges after deputies say she bought 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from an undercover narcotics detective.

Valerie Prince, a former first grade teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary in Jacksonville, Fla., is charged with felony purchase and possession of methamphetamines. (Source: Clay County Sheriff's Office/WJXT/CNN)

Valerie Prince, a first grade teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary in Jacksonville, Fla., was arrested Thursday. She is charged with felony purchase and possession of methamphetamines.

According to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Prince originally tried to get an undercover detective to bring the meth either to or near the school while she was working. Law enforcement was not willing to do so, and Prince allegedly 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 that it was no big deal to the suspect,” Sgt. Vincent Hall said.

Prince is accused of buying 3.5 grams of meth for $85 from the undercover detective. She later told investigators she had used meth 10 times in the last six months, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The situation is disturbing. This is someone that is in charge of kids, and it was a priority to us,” Lt. Domenic Paniccia said.

Paniccia said it was unclear if Prince was using drugs at the school. The teacher has been stripped of her credentials, her keys and access to the school, investigators say.

Copyright 2020 WJXT, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Valerie Prince via CNN. All rights reserved.