SPRINGBORO, Ohio – A 48-year-old elementary school teacher faces drug and child endangerment charges after a drug task force raided her home and found evidence her son was selling LSD to students with her blessing.
The Warren County Drug Task Force raided the home of fifth grade Five Points Elementary School teacher Amy Panzeca in May and seized what they think is LSD and marijuana, as well as four cell phones, WKEF reports.
On Tuesday, Panzeca pleaded not guilty to charges of permitting drug abuse, endangering children, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A judge released her on her own recognizance with an electronic tracker and instructions not to interact with anyone under the age of 18, with the exception of family members.
Police stopped cars leaving Panzeca’s home in April and busted students who allegedly told police they bought the drugs from the home, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Police eventually raided her home and found evidence her 15-year-old son was selling LSD to 20-30 mostly Springboro School District students, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told WKEF.
There was also evidence the teens used LSD and marijuana at Panzeca’s home with her knowledge.
Panzeca’s son, who previously had a truancy case that alleged his mother failed to send him to school, is also facing drug possession and drug trafficking charges.
He’s detained in a juvenile detention center and has denied his three felony charges, the Daily News reports.
A Warren County grand jury indicted Panzeca on Monday after reviewing the evidence.
The search warrant states that detectives interviewed Panzeca’s son, who admitted to giving his mother money to buy “bitcoins,” he said he then used the “bitcoins” to buy LSD online. Panzeca told detectives she did buy “bitcoins” for her son, but said she didn’t know anything about the drug use. Detectives say Panzeca told them she thought the “bitcoins” were being used for her son’s gambling habit. A search warrant also stated that detectives found a text message conversation between Panzeca and her son show that she was complicit to the use of LDS and marijuana in her home.
Springboro Schools spokesman Scott Marshall told the Daily News that Panzeca is on paid administrative leave and a substitute is assigned to lead her fifth-grade class when school starts next week. Panzeca has taught in the district for 15 years with no prior disciplinary problems.
Panzeca’s arraignment came the same week as her school’s “Meet the Teacher” event, he said.
She now faces up to three years in prison and a $7,000 fine, if convicted.