A former Severna Park High School and Anne Arundel Community Collegeteacher has pleaded guilty to buying 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana from an undercover police detective last October.
The teacher, 38-year Anthony Edward Mongello, had offered to raise an AACC student's gradein exchange for the name of a large-quantity supplier of marijuana, county State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said.
Mongello, who had taught English at both schools, pleaded guilty Monday to possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, county State's Attorney Frank R. Weathersbee said. Mongello, 38, who was living in the first block of Silverwood Circle in Annapolis when he was arrested last October, faces a maximum punishment of five years inprison and a $15,000 fine at his sentencing, set for May 31.
Weathersbee said Mongello remains free on bond pending sentencing on the condition he submit to and pass weekly urine analyses for drug use.
A 21-year-old AACC student, who was earning an incomplete in Mongello's freshman English class, asked the teacher how he could improve the grade. Mongello replied the student would earn a B if he found theteacher a high-level marijuana source, Weathersbeesaid.
The student told Crofton police of the offer, and county police responded by sending an undercover detective posing as a dealer to meet Mongello inthe parking lot of an Arnold business. Mongello, who bought 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana for $1,500, was arrested by officers as he left theparking lot, Weathersbee said.
The prosecutor said he knew of no evidence that Mongello sold drugs to students.
Mongello taught 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade creative writing and yearbook courses at Severna Park, where he spent all but one of his 16 years as a teacher.
Debbie Shaughney, public relations coordinator for AACC, said Mongello was placed on administrative leave after his arrest. She said hiscontract to teach at AACC expired at the end of last fall's semesterand he no longer teaches at the school.
Mongello is the second county public school teacher to be convicted of a drug charge in the past four months. Thomas Russell Rubins, a former Magothy Middle School teacher, was sentenced to six months of house arrest in February for conspiring with convicted drug trafficker James Todd Hibler to sellmarijuana.
Rubins, 46, whose 25-year teaching career ended after his arrest last May, had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in December.