Former Magoffin principal pleads guilty to federal drug, gun charges

A former Magoffin County school principal pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal drug and gun charges.

Darrell B. Patrick, 46, admitted selling pain pills to an undercover informant several times in 2009, possessing pills for the purpose of distribution and possessing guns in furtherance of a drug crime, according to a court document.

Police found more than 100 shotguns, rifles and pistols, as well as a bulletproof vest, when they raided Patrick's home near Salyersville in October 2009.

He agreed to forfeit 87 of the weapons to the federal government, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey.

Patrick faces up to 20 years in prison on the drug charges and a minimum of five years on the gun charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5.

In a separate federal lawsuit, Patrick claimed the county school board had demoted him from a principal's job in May 2008 because he had sued the district earlier, testified for others suing the district and reported alleged wrongdoing to the state Office of Educational Accountability.

The lawsuit argued that after the school system eliminated the positions of Patrick and three other principals, Patrick was the only one not given another administrative post.

Patrick filed that lawsuit a year before Operation UNITE began investigating him for selling drugs.

Detective Carl N. Adams said in a court document that in addition to the undercover buys the UNITE witness made, police had information about a lot of in-and-out traffic at Patrick's house, suggesting other drug sales.

The school board suspended Patrick after he was arrested in 2009. He was not indicted in federal court until January.

Patrick's lawsuit against the school board was delayed while the criminal charges against him were pending.