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Bay Area elementary school principal accused of dealing meth

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Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET: The principal of a Bay Area elementary school was arraigned Monday on five felonies and one misdemeanor -- all related to the sale of drugs.

Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office via NBC Bay Area

Principal Eric Dean Lewis, of Montague Elementary School in Santa Clara, Calif., was arrested Friday on drug charges.

Eric Dean Lewis, principal of Montague Elementary School in Santa Clara, Calif., was in custody on Monday, following his Friday arrest, and declined NBC Bay Area's request for a jailhouse interview. His bail was set at $25,000. He did not enter a plea during his brief court hearing and was ordered to return on Friday. He was referred to the public defender's office.

This story originally appeared on NBCBayArea.com.


Court documents show the 42-year-old Lewis was charged with possessing and transporting with the intent to sell controlled substances including methamphetamine, the club drug GHB and MDMA, otherwise known as Ecstasy. Lewis also faces a lesser charge of having an opium pipe, the documents show. When police showed up at his home, he had 4.8 grams of meth, 7 Ecstasy pills, about 450 grams of GHB and clear baggies, documents state.

Police reports by the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team that were obtained by NBC Bay Area on Monday show that Lewis became a target in September, after an anonymous tipster told a Mountain View police officer that the principal was selling meth in San Jose and San Francisco.

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Last Tuesday, the Mountain View police officer, using an alias, contacted Lewis through an online dating service the principal allegedly used, which is where the principal wrote: "Let's kick it n (sic) blow someclouds. (sic)."

Blowing clouds, the officer wrote, means to smoke methamphetamine. Lewis then told the officer in the pretext conversation that he'd bring the drugs to a San Jose hotel with "the goods," the report states. But then Lewis changed his mind, the report states, saying he'd rather make the exchange in San Francisco. All the while, the report states, Lewis was texting about meth from his workplace in Santa Clara.

On Thursday, the officer secured a search warrant for Lewis' home and car, and was able to arrest him with a team of officers in San Francisco. When he was put into handcuffs, Lewis appeared confused, though he later acknowledged to police that he was the principal of Montague Elementary, the report states.

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The news came as a shock to his school community, where he has taught for seven years. He was put on unpaid administrative leave following the arrest.

Santa Clara Unified School District spokeswoman Tabitha Keppler-Hurley told NBC Bay Area on Sunday night that Lewis has been a well-liked principal, and that the community was "in shock" over the allegations.

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