- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) - A former grade school principal in the northeast Missouri town of Hannibal has pleaded guilty to a drug charge in a plea deal with prosecutors, but he may spend only a few months behind bars.

The Hannibal Courier-Post (http://bit.ly/1Fiy77Y ) reports that J.D. Foust, 33, of Hannibal, pleaded guilty Monday to possession of drugs with intent to distribute, after heroin was found at his home.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but was allowed to enroll for 120 days in a prison treatment facility. If he successfully completes the program, he will be eligible for probation.

Marion County prosecutor David Clayton says he agreed to the plea deal because Foust was cooperative, had no criminal history, and took responsibility for his action.

“Even if successfully discharged from probation down the road, he won’t be able to escape his past,” Clayton said. “He will have a permanent conviction on his record that should prevent him from ever working with children again. That is a primary concern of mine.”

Foust resigned as principal of A.D. Stowell Elementary School not long before his arrest in February. Police say they found enough heroin to make more than 800 capsules after a search of two homes, including Foust’s.

His brother and another man were also arrested. They were not involved in the plea agreement.

Clayton said Foust told police he sold heroin to pay for his own addiction. Authorities say there was no evidence that Foust sold drugs to children, or while working at the school.

Foust earned about $65,000 annually before resigning effective Feb. 2, saying he was taking another job.

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Information from: Hannibal Courier-Post, http://www.hannibal.net

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