University Place teacher charged with selling prescription pills

Staff writerJuly 11, 2014 

University Place teacher Brian Bennett enters Pierce County Superior Court on Friday to answer drug-dealing charges. He pleaded not guilty.

ADAM LYNN — Staff writer

A University Place teacher was charged Friday with several drug counts after allegedly selling prescription pills during school hours.

Brian Bennett, 33, has worked as a seventh-grade teacher for nine years. A confidential informant tipped Tacoma police in June that he was dealing drugs, which prompted an investigation.

After allegedly seeing Bennett sell Oxycodone pills to the informant on multiple occasions, local and federal officers served a warrant at his Lakewood home Thursday.

On Friday, Pierce County prosecutors charged Bennett with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

He pleaded not guilty and was ordered jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Bennett’s attorney, Bryan Hershman, said his client was a long-time resident of Pierce County and a successful teacher who was not a flight risk. Bennett was a standout football player at Lakes High School in the 1990s, Hershman added.

When Bennett was arrested, police said, officers found 41 Oxycodone pills and 1.8 grams of heroin in his vehicle. Detectives said he was selling the prescription pills and using the heroin.

Bennett told detectives he sought drug treatment over the winter and was dealing drugs because he needed money while going through a divorce, according to charging papers.

“He confessed to smoking heroin at school in his car in the parking lot,” court documents state. “He said he never sold any drugs to kids. He did admit to leaving school during school hours to sell Oxycodone.”

Staff writer Adam Lynn contributed to this report.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653 stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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