TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Brian Bennett, 33, with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Bennett, a University Place teacher, smoked heroin on school property and sold oxycodone pills. He pleaded not guilty today and is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
“The last place we want to see drugs is on school grounds,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “And the last person we want to see selling drugs is a teacher.”
In June 2014, Tacoma police officers received a tip from a confidential informant that Bennett was selling oxycodone pills. After an investigation that included two “controlled buys,” officers obtained a search warrant for Bennett’s car and residence. On July 10, officers pulled Bennett over in Lakewood. They patted-down Bennett and found drug paraphernalia with heroin residue in his pocket. Bennett told the officers he was on his way to work, where he taught seventh and eighth grade summer school. In his car’s center console, officers discovered 41 oxycodone pills and 1.8 grams of heroin. A search of Bennett’s home revealed additional drug paraphernalia.
When detectives interviewed Bennett, he told them he sells oxycodone pills because he is going through a divorce and owes money. Bennett told officers that he primarily smokes heroin, but will smoke the oxycodone pills if he’s unable to obtain heroin. He confessed to smoking heroin in his car on school grounds, and to leaving school during work hours to sell oxycodone. Bennett told detectives he went through treatment for oxycodone addiction in November and December 2013.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office