Former Panama Union School District parent council pres., Dereck West, arrested on drug charges

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Panama Union School District told 23ABC the district is looking at the books to make sure no criminal acts were committed while Dereck West served as president of the Sing Lum Parent Club and President of the Panama Union School District parent council.

Panama Union School District parent council president, Dereck West, has stepped down from his position as president amid allegations of drug charges.

23ABC obtained the arrest record and according to the criminal complaint, West had over 4 grams of methamphetamine, a used glass pipe, a glass stem and a plastic straw in his possession during his arrest.

The arresting officer said that on April 29 at about 11:04 p.m., he was driving in the 400 block of Rodriguez Avenue in Shafter, Calif., when he noticed Brian Webb, who was on active probation.

The officer said that Webb was standing with West and Webb told the officer that they were just doing some yard work.

The officer said that Webb appeared to have a hard time standing still and his hands were twitching. The officer conducted a standardized field sobriety test on Webb and determined that Webb was under the influence.

Webb was arrested on a charge of being under the influence of a controlled substance.

According to the arrest affidavit, the officer inquired how West knew Webb and West said that he knew him through a mutual friend.

The officer said he then asked to search West and his vehicle and said he found a glass pipe and straw in his vehicle.

The officer said while placing West under arrest, West dropped his head and said, "I've got a pipe in this pocket and some dope in this pocket," while looking to his left and then his right.

According to the affidavit, the officer said he reached into West's pockets and found a used glass pipe and and baggies that contained methamphetamine.

The officer continued in his report that he then searched West's cell phone and said that there was a texted based conversation between West and Webb but did not indicate what the conversation consisted of.

West was advised of his Miranda Rights and agreed to talk with the arresting officer, according to the affidavit.

The arrested officer said that West told him that he was a daily methamphetamine user. The officer also wrote that West had gone to the home the, "give (Webb)" some methamphetamine.

West was arrested on 3 felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, transportation of controlled substance and conspiring to commit a crime.

A parent of a student at Sing Lum Elementary School said that West is no longer the president of the parent council.

Another parent 23ABC spoke to who worked with West was shocked to hear the news.

"The first thing I that went through my mind when I heard it was how sad that a man who had given so much to the school for so many years had gone down a path in his life for who knows what reason that would take him away from what his passion is," said Sing Lum parent Janelle Ashbaugh.

Ashbaugh also told 23ABC West gave hours and hours of his time to the school through Parent Club and everyone loved him.

23ABC contacted the school and the school said that West voluntarily left for health reasons but would not comment further.

23ABC also contacted the PBVUSD and officials have yet to return our phone calls.

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