SALISBURY — A former special education teacher pleaded guilty this week to two counts of possession with intent to distribute drugs and was sentenced to 20 years, all but five of which was suspended.
In Wicomico County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Monica Snee, 51, of Salisbury, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of controlled dangerous substances stemming from her arrest last Nov. 14 while leaving Parkside High School where she worked as a special education teacher. Snee was sentenced to a combined 20 years for the two convictions, all but five years of which were then suspended. She was also placed on probation for five years upon her release.
The charges stem from a drug investigation that culminated with Snee’s arrest last November. Members of the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office Community Action Team (CAT) received information that Snee was selling illegal narcotics, likely on school grounds and possibly to students. On Nov. 14, deputies conducted a traffic stop on Snee as she was leaving the parking lot at Parkside High School and executed a search and seizure warrant on her vehicle.
During the search, deputies recovered 173 capsules containing more than 53 grams of a powdery mixture including fentanyl. In addition, deputies recovered 339 oxycodone tablets and $2,879 in cash from her vehicle.
Deputies also executed search and seizure warrants on Snee’s residence in Salisbury along with various banks where she had accounts. At one bank, detectives recovered $18,000 in U.S. currency from a safe deposit box held by Snee. As part of sentencing, Wicomico County Circuit Court Judge Leah Seaton ordered the $20,879 recovered during the execution of the search warrants to be forfeited to Wicomico County.
The sentence handed out by Seaton on Tuesday actually exceeded the state guidelines, which recommended a sentence of one to three years.
Maryland judges must consider the guidelines, but they are not mandatory. Likely because Snee was dealing narcotics at the school where she worked as an educator, her active five-year sentence exceeds the guidelines. Wicomico County Ad Interim State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes commended the deputies who investigated the case and the assistant state’s attorney who prosecuted the case.
“As an educator, Monica Snee was entrusted with teaching and being a role model for our youth,” Dykes said. “Her sentence reflects a violation of that trust.”