A Baltimore County elementary schoolteacher and a school bus driver charged with 17 others as part of an alleged drug ring in the northern Baltimore County will be suspended without pay and face dismissal if convicted, school officials said yesterday.
Teacher Diana Lynn Elk Widener, 25, of Stewartstown, Pa., has been charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs and criminal conspiracy. Bus driver Gail Six, 33, of White Hall, has been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, Baltimore County police said.
They were arrested as part of a 17-month investigation into a drug ring responsible for importing 15 pounds of marijuana each month from Virginia, police in Baltimore County and Virginia said.
Mrs. Widener is a physical education teacher who divides her time between Pot Spring Elementary in Timonium and Warren Elementary in Cockeysville, and has been a county employee since Aug. 30, 1988.
Mrs. Six has been a county employee since Aug. 27, 1990, and drives routes for Dulaney High School and Pot Spring Elementary in Timonium, and the Cockeysville Play Center, a day-care center at Cockeysville Middle School.
County schools employees charged with crimes are suspended without pay until the matter is settled. If innocent, they are reinstated with back pay; if found guilty, they are fired, spokesman Richard Bavaria said.
Dr. Anthony G. Marchione, deputy superintendent, said school officials met yesterday with the teacher and will meet today with the bus driver to inform her of the policy.
Police identified one of the alleged leaders of the Baltimore County ring as Mrs. Six's husband, Robert Wayne Six, 34, of White Hall, who was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and criminal conspiracy. Police said that at least one of his suppliers was based in Spotsylvania, Va.
Sarah Deneke, a drug prosecutor in Spotsylvania County, said Mr. Six met with Eugene Hord, 45, at his Virginia home Feb. 17 and bought 10 pounds of marijuana for about $1,500 per pound. She said Hord pleaded guilty Aug. 9 to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and is scheduled to be sentenced in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court Oct. 18.
Baltimore County District Judge Barbara Rae Jung yesterday set bail amounts ranging from personal recognizance to $7,500 for six defendants who surrendered or were arrested Wednesday and yesterday morning.