A Severna Park High School teacher has been charged in a felony drug case after a student at Anne Arundel Community College, where he also teaches, claimed that the instructor offered to raise a grade in exchange for marijuana, police said today.
Anthony Edward Mongello, 38, of Annapolis, has been charged with possession of marijuana, or "pot," with the intent to distribute, said Sgt. Joseph Bisesi, an Anne Arundel County police spokesman. According to police, the teacher paid an undercover detective $1,500 for about 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana.
Police have no evidence that the suspect was selling drugs to students at Severna Park High or the community college in Arnold, where he teaches evening English classes part time.
Police received a tip two weeks ago from a male community college student, whom police would not identify. The student claimed that his instructor had asked him several times during the last six months to find a supplier of marijuana for him, police said. In turn, the instructor offered to raise the student's final grade in his class.
A detective, posing as a major marijuana dealer, arranged to meet a potential buyer at an undisclosed location in the Arnold area last night, police said.
Mongello was arrested after that meeting and later released on his own recognizance. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.
The community college, which has 12,000 students taking credit classes, plans to put Mongello on administrative leave with pay until it has time to further consider the case, college spokeswoman Theone Relos said.
Mongello told Severna Park High School that he could not work today and tomorrow, Principal Oliver Wittig said.
Wittig said the arrest would affect students at Severna Park High, where Mongello was "well-known and popular."