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Lakewood Ranch science teacher arrested on drug charges

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ONA, Fla. -- The search of a home led to the arrest of a Lakewood Ranch science teacher on drug possession charges.

Detectives entered the home of Hollis and Gambino Morantes with permission to search on Wednesday. Detectives were searching for David Alday, who had earlier fled from Desoto County Sheriff's Office in the Morentes' vehicle.

Hollis granted detectives permission to search her home for Alday. Detectives learned that Alday had left the home in another vehicle owned by the Morantes'.

According to the Hardee County Drug Task, while detectives were searching the residence, for Alday, drug paraphernalia was located in plain view by detectives. This paraphernalia field-tested positive for Methamphetamine, which spawned further investigation. Detectives then spoke with Gabino Morantes, husband, who stated he had smoked Methamphetamine that morning. Both homeowners consented to search the residence for further narcotics.

Upon further searching they located more drugs and drug paraphernalia under the pillow where the husband, Gabino, was resting his head. Under the pillow was a pouch that was surrounded by lighters and a pack of gum. Inside the pack of gum was a clear baggie that contained 3.8 grams of methamphetamine. The pack of gum was in reach of a 5 year old child the couple has in common.

Hollis, a science teacher at Lakewood Ranch High School, admitted she had Methamphetamine in her purse, which was in the bedroom and consented to have detectives retrieve it. In her purse, they located a black pouch that contained 0.5 grams of Methamphetamine. In their master bedroom detectives located baggies, scales, pipes, synthetic urine, and a cleansing agent used for passing drug tests. All this was in reach of their 5 year old child.

A straw that tested positive for Methamphetamine was located on the dining room table among the child’s board games. Hollis stated that she had used Methamphetamine earlier in the day. Further, the couple admitted to detectives that they have been using Methamphetamine for approximately a year.

The 5 year old child was picked up by a family member. Department of Children and Families was notified.

Hollis and Gabino were both charged with Possession of Methamphetamines, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Child Neglect.