Posted: 10:51 a.m. Thursday, July 25, 2013

School teacher, wife charged with trafficking marijuana

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Alison and James Banks photo
Alison and James Banks
Chester marijuana operation photo
Chester County Sheriff's Office
Chester marijuana operation
Chester marijuana operation 2 photo
Chester County Sheriff's Office
Chester marijuana operation 2

By Nate Stewart

CHESTER, S.C. —

A Chester County school teacher and his wife have been arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana.

The Chester Sheriff's department said a search warrant turned up hundreds of pot plants at the couple's home.

The Chester County Sheriff's Department has charged James Banks, 50, and his wife Allison Banks.

The Chester County School District said they were made aware on Friday of charges made against Banks, a Junior ROTC teacher at the school. They said he is no longer employed here.

Outside Banks' home, investigators found a grow operation and hundreds of plants inside a shed.

Banks' home in Chester County is just a half-mile away from the school he once taught.

One neighbor, a retired police office, didn't want to go on camera but said he was disappointed when he found out his neighbor had been arrested.

Banks was fired from Chester High School last week. Channel 9 asked the school district if they knew of the charges and if they believed banks was selling to students. They told us by phone:

"Mr. Banks is no longer employed with Chester County Schools. At this time we don't believe he was selling to students," said Brooke Clinton, public information officer with Chester County Schools.

School officials said they won't know for sure until the sheriff department conducts a full investigation.

Banks and his wife surrendered to Chester County authorities Tuesday. They have been released on $25,000 bond.

The pair are expected to go before a judge on these charges in September.

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