Teacher charged in coke buy; kids, goats involved

2010-08-10T00:05:00Z 2010-08-10T07:10:24Z Teacher charged in coke buy; kids, goats involvedBy Nolan Rosenkrans nolan.rosenkrans@lee.net Winona Daily News

A Rochester, Minn., elementary school teacher was charged Thursday for buying cocaine from a police informant while two young children and two goats waited in a car for him, police said.

John Joseph DeRouin, 51, of Dover, Minn., is charged with third-degree possession of cocaine for the May 5 buy at a St. Charles, Minn., gas station. He is a fourth-grade teacher at Saint Francis of Assisi School, a part of the Rochester Catholic School system. Principal Barb Plenge said he’s been at the school for more than a decade.

Plenge said DeRouin was placed on administrative leave at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, about the time police said he bought the cocaine. She declined to say why DeRouin was placed on leave because it is a personnel matter.

DeRouin did not return a message Monday requesting comment.

A Winona police investigator met with an informant May 5 and prepared a sale of 3.66 grams of cocaine to DeRouin for $200, court documents show. The informant said he thought DeRouin was a teacher and said he uses cocaine.

The informant set up a meeting with DeRouin at a gas station on Whitewater Avenue in St. Charles near Interstate 90. The informant told DeRouin he would put the coke in a McDonald’s bag for the transfer.

The officer saw DeRouin standing near a station wagon with the children and goats inside, according to the criminal complaint. DeRouin got into the informant’s vehicle. One of the children got out of the station wagon and went to DeRouin, who got out of the informant’s vehicle with the bag in-hand.

Police then arrested DeRouin, who told police “You got me,” court documents show. The cocaine was found in the McDonald’s bag.

DeRouin has been summoned to appear Nov. 3 before Judge Nancy Bostrack.

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