After police officers found several pounds of marijuana in the home of Des Moines Area Community College president David C. England, England was arrested March 12 and now faces various drug-related charges.
Police say England was also smoking the drug at the time of his arrest.
England has since been charged with possession of marijuana, intent to distribute it, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as other charges. Charges of this magnitude could land England in prison for up to 15 years if convicted.
In addition to England’s arrest, his wife, Donna, was arrested and has since taken a paid leave from the Des Moines Art Center. England’s wife and 22-year-old daughter Jessica are facing charges similar to his. The couple’s 16-year-old son, Charlie, was also charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, but these charges are less serious.
Two to four pounds of marijuana were seized from the England home at the time of the arrest. The drug was divided up into several individual bags, one of which was hidden in the freezer.
The police were apparently tipped off to England’s marijuana possession after two people reported suspicions about the entire family’s actions.
England has been placed on paid administrative leave from the college, where he earns $183,750 annually and receives a $1,500 monthly housing allowance. The school has since begun its own investigation as well.
Many have begun to question why England was hired at the college to begin with after previous charges for marijuana possession in Texas in 1971. England worked at North Lake College in Irving, Texas, from 1996 until he began at DMACC.
Some alumni are expressing anger regarding the current situation surrounding their alma mater. However, Pat Butin, vice president of the DMAAC alumni association, said he was sorry some alumni feel that way.
“I hope that alumni don’t feel that they can’t be supportive of DMAAC because of this,” Butin said. “DMAAC is a very fine school … I feel certain that we’ll weather this.”
In addition, Butin noted the alumni association is raising large sums of money for scholarships that have been awarded to a number of students in past years. The school has just begun its annual fundraiser, in which alumni are hoping will be as successful as it has been in previous years.
“Sometimes people don’t always know how to separate the alumni from the school,” Butin said. “Students don’t have any control over who the president is or what he does.”
DMAAC offers two-year associate degrees as well as vocational diplomas in a number of different areas. Approximately 13,000 part- and full-time students are enrolled in Ankeny and at four satellite campuses.
“The school is going to survive this,” Butin said. “It’s a sad thing, but we’ll get past it.”