A Southern Lehigh schoolteacher with a 20-year career must now wear electronic monitoring bracelets as part of his house arrest until he goes to trial on methamphetamine charges.
Garrett Dudeck was in the federal courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Perkin of Allentown today as police detailed three undercover "buys" at Dudeck's Bethlehem home.
Meanwhile, Dudeck's attorney, Patrick Reilly, commented during court proceedings, "Based on the severity of the charges, he's finished as a teacher."
As of this writing, James Bartholomew, solicitor for the Southern Lehigh School District, confirmed that no formal action has been taken against Dudeck. "We're waiting to connect with [Dudeck's] attorney," Bartholomew said.
Dudeck barely looked up from his seat in Perkin's courtroom while a local police officer, who is also a Drug Enforcement Administration task force member, detailed the buys.
"Dudeck first came on our [DEA] radar when an informant came forward and told [DEA officers] that a guy named 'Gary' was selling methamphetamines in Easton," the officer said. He went on to explain that the informant told officers that Dudeck and another man, Edward Shelton, were selling meth out of Dudeck's home. The informant agreed to make "controlled purchases" from Dudeck and Shelton while wearing a wire.
Each time, the informant called or texted Dudeck to make a purchase. "We kept Dudeck under surveillance, which began at the school, and we then followed Dudeck as he left [Southern Lehigh Middle School] and headed home," the officer said.
The informant bought from Dudeck three times -- Jan. 31, Feb. 8 and March 2. Each time, the informant purchased approximately 3.5 grams of drugs, known on the street as an "eight ball." Each field tested positive for methamphetamines and have been sent for lab testing. One sample already back from a lab rated 99.3 percent pure, according to today's court testimony.
The first and third buys -- on Jan. 31 and March 2 -- were recorded. The recording equipment failed during the Feb. 8 buy.
Police arrested Dudeck coming out of his home at 1715 Watkins St. Inside the house, police said they found two baggies of "eight balls," eight bags containing drug residue and a scale that also had residue on it. All have been sent to the crime lab for additional testing.
Based on the quantity of drugs allegedly found at the scene, Dudeck would serve a minimum of five years in prison if found guilty. The maximum sentence is 40 years per count.
Dudeck was released on $100,000 bail and placed under house arrest until trial. Shelton faces the same charges as Dudeck and also was released on $100,000 bail and placed under house arrest.