St MARTIN, MS (WLOX) – A popular St. Martin High School teacher is accused of growing marijuana at his home.
Patrick Charles Walker, 51, has been charged with one count of cultivation of marijuana and one count of felony possession. Jackson County Narcotics agents raided Walker's home Wednesday night, and said they seized both drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The six year teacher was absent from class at St. Martin High Thursday. Instead, Walker was in the courtroom facing serious accusations. Narcotics Task Force Commander Curtis Spiers said drug agents busted him the day before for possessing and growing marijuana at his Rosemont Drive home.
"It seems to be on the rise," Spiers said. "We seem to be seeing more and more, lack of a better term, home grown marijuana, and more and more localized marijuana."
Drug agents said they found half a dozen plants and more than $1,000 worth of harvested pot scattered throughout the bedroom and the backyard.
"We also recovered grow lamps, nutrients, fans, timers, fertilizers, and things use to mature these plants to make them healthy plants."
Authorities said they received an anonymous tip, but Spiers said they had no clue it would lead them to a teacher.
"When you are talking drug and drug addiction you may think you know your neighbor, but there may be something there you don't know about them" Spiers said.
Walker's neighbors said they are extremely shocked about the alleged activity going on nearby, and admit it is pretty disturbing.
"I thought that teachers are the ones who are supposed to tell the kids, nine times out of ten, not to do drugs and not to be around drugs," neighbor Courtney Wilson said. "You never think that would be coming from a teacher."
School officials say they are waiting on the outcome of the police investigation before deciding if Walker will return to the classroom. The assistant superintendent of schools, Michael Van Winkle, said no one saw it coming.
"We're very surprised," Van Winkle said. "Just doesn't seem to be in character with the person we know who worked here."
Walker is out of jail after posting a $15,000 bond.