An elaborate video system, including a small camera found in a teddy bear, has been discovered inside the home of an elementary school principal who has been arrested on drug charges, authorities said.
Michelle Gregory from the State Department of Justice, confirmed Tuesday that investigators had found cameras inside Dean Lewis' San Francisco apartment, one in a teddy bear.
“They found drugs, scales and hidden cameras,” she said of the search adding that computers had also been confiscated.
The items were discovered last week during the course of an investigation into a tip that Lewis was selling drugs.
The latest developments were even more shocking to the teachers and parents at Montague Elementary School.
“It's very shocking,” said Bobbie Plough, Santa Clara Unified School District Superintendent. “It's a very sad time for the school."
Shawna Yacob, a parent of a student at the school, said Lewis was respected by parents, teachers and students before his arrest.
“We were really quite disappointed,” she said. “Mister Lewis is quite respected here.”
Lewis, 42, was arrested around 4 p.m. Thursday at the San Francisco Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets after he allegedly offered to provide drugs to an undercover officer who had contacted him through www.adam4adam.com, an online dating site for gay men, according to Deputy District Attorney Daniel Rothbach. In Santa Clara County Superior Court Monday, Lewis stood with his head hung facing away from the courtroom cameras, and asked Judge Jerome Nadler to be referred to the public defender's office.
He has been charged with five felonies for drug sales and possession, plus a misdemeanor charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.
Following his arrest, Lewis was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave, she said.
The sting that led to Lewis' arrest was set up after members of the interagency Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team received a tip that Lewis was involved in drugs and frequented the dating site, Gregory said.
The team involves San Jose police and other local authorities, plus the State Department of Justice.
Lewis was not found to be in possession of drugs at the time of his arrest, but a search of his San Francisco home uncovered around a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine, seven ecstasy pills, and several vials of GHB and scales, Gregory said.
The discovery led investigators to conclude that he was dealing, not just using, according to Gregory and Rothbach.
Rothbach said law enforcement officials have also seized several computers as part of the investigation, including at least one from the Montague Elementary School campus.
Gregory said it does not appear that Lewis was engaged in any drug activity related to the school, although the investigation is still ongoing.
Lewis is being held in Santa Clara County Jail on $25,000 bail. He will return to court on Sept. 28.
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