Thomas Snell Jr. of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida was arrested after police accused him and four others of trafficking cocaine, according to news reports. Snell, 37, was arrested along with Elijah Banks, 41; Reynaldo Garcia, 49; and Eric McGill, 50. The quartet was purportedly booked at Hillsborough County Jail on charges of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. Banks and McGill face additional charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reports indicate. Snell is apparently still incarcerated at the jail in lieu of paying $50,000 bail bond. It is unclear whether any of the other defendants has qualified for bail bond, nor is it clear whether any of the four has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
The case is making headlines primarily because of Snell’s position as a security specialist at South Plantation High School, located in Plantation, Florida. Snell has reportedly worked at the school for nearly twelve years, where his responsibilities included working with law enforcement officers to limit illegal or disruptive activities on school grounds. School officials report that he has never faced any disciplinary action in the district. “I think anybody is innocent until proven guilty,” commented one school board member to the press. A spokesperson for the district told reporters that if Drew bails out of jail, he will be permitted to continue to work for the district, but will be assigned to a location where he is not in direct contact with students.
Snell and the other defendants were arrested following an undercover operation orchestrated by the Tampa Police Department, according to sources. The arrests were reportedly the result of a two-week investigation. During the investigation, Snell, Banks, Garcia and McGill allegedly agreed to purchase a kilogram of cocaine from an undercover detective in exchange for $34,000 in cash. The group allegedly went to a strip mall located on East Busch Boulevard in Tampa to complete the transaction. Deputies purportedly indicated that they found $34,000 in cash and a 9mm pistol on the defendants at the meeting point. Two vehicles, a Ford Expedition and a Chrysler van, were also evidently seized by the police department as evidence.
In another recent area arrest, Joseph David Knowles was reportedly apprehended in Riviera Beach on Monday after his girlfriend alleged that Knowles attacked her with a pair of scissors. Knowles, 35, was charged with simple battery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in connection to the allegations, according to reports. It is not clear whether Knowles has qualified for bail bond. If he is granted bond, a condition of his release would likely include not having contact with his girlfriend.
According to news reports, the alleged incident occurred at approximately 8:45 p.m. at an apartment located at 1965 W. 16th Court in Riviera Beach. It is not clear whether the couple lives together in the apartment. The victim, whose name and age have not been released, reportedly told authorities that she and Knowles had gotten into a verbal altercation and that she had retreated to a bedroom in the apartment. She was allegedly sitting on a bed when Knowles ran into the room and began punching her leg. The victim alleged that she threatened to call the police and that Knowles poked her shoulder with a pair of scissors several times. Knowles reportedly denied the allegations.