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Chesterton teacher surrenders on cocaine charge
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Chesterton teacher surrenders on cocaine charge

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series
Patrick Miller

Patrick Miller

VALPARAISO — A Chesterton High School teacher, who is slated to lose his job after allegedly dropping a small bag of cocaine outside the school, surrendered at the county jail at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.

Patrick Miller bonded out on a $500 cash bond about an hour later, a jail official said.

The number of reported drug overdoses in Porter County have risen each year from 63 in 2018 to 112 last year, Porter County Prosecutor Gary Germann said, quoting statistics provided by the Porter County Sheriff's Department Heroin Overdose Response Team.

An initial hearing is scheduled for May 21 before Porter Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer.

Miller, 60, of Jackson Township, is charged with possession of cocaine within 500 feet of school property, according to court records.

A parent told police she was picking up her daughter from practice at the school at about 4:30 p.m. April 15 when she noticed a small baggie containing white powder in the parking lot. She took it home and provided it the next day to police, who confirmed it was cocaine.

An officer viewed surveillance footage from April 15 of the area in question and watched as Miller pulled keys from his pocket and then the bag in question fell to the ground unnoticed at 12:18 p.m., according to charges. The officer then watched as the parent picked up the bag about four hours later.

Miller later told police he went to Illinois, picked up two friends and the package in question, which he assumed was cocaine, according to the charges.

Coming Sunday, see a day in the life of Michigan City Police Officer Brian Wright.

He then gave several differing stories about how he came into possession of the cocaine, police said. He admitted to having used the drug in the past, but reportedly refused to take a drug test.

The Duneland School Corp. said it cooperated with Chesterton police during the investigation and has taken "immediate steps to remove the staff member from employment."

"At no time were students involved in the incident," according to the school district.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.

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