Crime

Manatee schools custodian arrested on drug charge

MANATEE -- A Manatee County School District custodian and another man were arrested after someone complained they were using drugs in the presence of a child, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

About 5:10 p.m. Thursday, deputies responded to an apartment in the 1600 block of 34th Avenue East, Ellenton. Through an open front door, they saw drug paraphernalia -- aluminum cans modified to smoke marijuana -- in plain view but were unable to locate anyone inside, according to a news release.

About that time, Boyce Dunn, 49, a custodian at Haile Middle School who rents the apartment, and Paul Houle, 43, who was visiting, came walking up on foot.

Dunn, 49, consented to deputies collecting the cans -- he said they belonged to Houle -- and to a further search of the apartment, according to the report.

Dunn led a deputy to his bedroom and pulled out a used glass rock cocaine stem from a dresser drawer that Dunn said belonged to him.

Deputies also found three plastic baggies with marijuana residue and a syringe.

Dunn later said the crack pipe was his but all the other items belonged to Houle, according to the report.

Dunn was charged with drug possession and released after posting $120 bond, according to the Manatee County jail's website.

Boule was being held without bond on a aggravated child abuse charge, according to the website.

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