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Teacher arrested after allegedly buying drugs

By: April Lehmbeck | C&G Newspapers | Published March 23, 2012

A Fraser teacher faces a drug charge for allegedly purchasing pain medication illegally in a drug deal intercepted by Roseville and Fraser police.

Roseville police went to the Masonic and Kelly area to investigate a possible drug deal in the afternoon March 19.

Gregory Francis Austin, 31, a teacher at Eisenhower Elementary in Fraser and Chesterfield Township resident, allegedly tried to buy prescription pain medication from Jason Tassie, 37, of Fraser, according to information released by Roseville police.

“The two had a short conversation after which Austin followed Tassie from the parking lot they were in to an elementary school parking lot in the city of Fraser,” Roseville Deputy Police Chief James Berlin stated in a news release on March 23. “Once at the school, detectives observed as Tassie allegedly delivered to Austin a quantity of Hydrocodone pills, a drug only available by prescription and normally prescribed for pain.”

Both suspects were arrested.

Austin faces a charge of possession of analogues, a two-year felony. Tassie faces two felony charges for delivery of a controlled substance, police stated.

Austin is out on a $5,000 personal bond, and Tassie’s bond was significantly higher at $10,000 cash or surety.

The Fraser Public Schools district sent a letter home to parents dated March 21, which did not give many specific details except that an Eisenhower Elementary teacher had been arrested on March 19 after school.

The letter stated that the teacher was placed on leave pending the outcome of a police investigation, with which the district was cooperating, and a qualified teacher had been chosen for instruction in his place.

The letter referred parents to police for any additional information.

“At this time, we have no information that would indicate the school district or any Eisenhower student is involved in any way,” Director of Human Resources Kerry Terman stated in the letter.

The letter asked parents not to speculate as the investigation was continuing.

“As the parent letter states, this is an ongoing police investigation, and we will fully cooperate with the police,” Fraser schools Community Relations Coordinator Nicole Hinchman said in an email. “Our main priority remains providing a safe and supportive learning environment for our students. We will continue to ensure the safety of our students by following our district policies, maintaining order, and continuing to provide quality education throughout the district.”