From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE – According to Birmingham Crime Watchers, and confirmed by the Trussville Police Department, Hewitt-Trussville Middle School Principal Jennifer Abney reported to the Trussville Police Department on Jan. 12, 2023, that multiple faculty members had complained of a contracted special-needs student aide smelling like marijuana. Abney, along with assistant principals Goodwin Scott and Erin Piper, met with the aide, Tiariah Pollard, to discuss the odor.
Pollard claimed that her jacket possibly smelled like marijuana because of her boyfriend, and she removed the jacket. An officer searched the jacket for contraband but found none.
Pollard also mentioned having used a vape, which she kept in her vehicle, but said she never used it on school property. The officer asked for consent to search Pollard’s vehicle, which she granted.
During the search, the officer found the following items in a small black handbag in the trunk of the vehicle: plastic “SpongeBob” pipe with residue pill bottles with Pollard’s name; a pink change purse containing a clear plastic bag of a green leafy substance, believed to be marijuana; a clear plastic bag containing mushrooms, which, through his training and experience, the officer believed to contain psilocybin, a controlled substance; a small black grinder with marijuana residue; two 9mm bullets.
Pollard was arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana Second Degree, and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Pollard was handcuffed and transported to Trussville City Jail without incident. A sergeant transported the evidence to Trussville Police Department, where he photographed and unpackaged all evidence before placing it in the evidence vault.
The green leafy substance tested positive, via a field test kit, for the presence of marijuana. It weighed 3.1 grams. Pollard’s vehicle was impounded, and she was transferred to Jefferson County Jail.
TCS Superintendent Dr. Frank Costanzo confirmed that Pollard was a contracted employee and therefore not an employee of Trussville City Schools. Additionally, Costanzo said no students were in any danger at any point.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.