Addiction can drive people to make terrible decisions that they probably would never otherwise even consider. Pawning school musical instruments to feed a heroin addiction is certainly one of those acts. Unfortunately, that is exactly what an upstate New York music teacher is accused of doing as she is now facing several drug charges.

According to police in Nunda, approximately 50 miles southeast of Buffalo, the 32-year-old music teacher allegedly stole 50 musical instruments from elementary, middle and high schools in the local school district to pawn for cash in another county in order to purchase heroin.

The woman was arrested after a police officer became suspicious about a tuba located in the backseat of her car during a routine traffic stop. The woman’s 32-year-old boyfriend was also arrested and charged with being the woman’s accomplice.

Both the teacher and her boyfriend allegedly took turns pawning the musical instruments in Monroe County, a county adjacent and to the north of Livingston County. The money from the instruments was then used to pay for heroin.

Twelve of the instruments were recovered by police in various local pawn shops in both counties. In addition to drug possession charges, the woman was charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Her boyfriend faces similar charges.

Criminal charges can take a significant toll on a New York resident’s personal and professional lives. Charges can severely tarnish a person’s reputation and even jeopardize current and future employment.

Anyone who faces charges with seemingly insurmountable evidence against him or her can request a plea deal in order to reduce the severity of the charges. In some instances, a plea deal can keep a prison term off the table. An accused person also may choose to fight to have charges dismissed. The experience of a criminal law professional is invaluable, whichever route an accused person wishes to follow.

Source: My Fox New York, “Police: NY music teacher sold instruments for drugs,” March 20, 2014