A county school maintenance worker has been charged with the intention to sell marijuana and using a pager supplied by the school department to help conduct drug business.
Frank Bingel, 26, who has worked for the school since September 1988, was charged Friday with possession of drugs with intent to distribute.
Bingel was arrested at 12:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Old Stage Coach Apartments, in the 100 block of Maple Avenue in Ferndale. The man, who rents an apartment there, was carrying 4.4 ounces of marijuana, police said.
An apartment search turned up another 2.75 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of nearly $9,000, and $215 in cash. The arrest warrant was obtained on the basis of information obtained from an informant, police said.
Police said they have no evidence to suggest that the man sold drugs to school children.
Jane Doyle, a spokeswoman for the county school system, said that maintainance workers are not assigned to a particular school, but work where repairs are needed.
"They have very little access to students in schools," Doyle said, adding that Bingel will be suspended until his case has been decided. If found guilty, Bingel will be fired, Doyle said.
Jack Colleran, assistant supervisor for maintenance, said 85 plumbers, heating and air conditioning workers, supervisors and foremen carry pagers, which cost the county $5.50 each a month.
Colleransaid that there are 158 maintenance employees to cover 120 schools.
"When we had an emergency, it was very difficult to locate our mechanics," he said. "We found (the pagers) to be very beneficial."
County police confiscated the pager and the man's 1989 Dodge Ram pickup truck.