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UPDATE: Falmouth teacher not in class after marijuana possession charge

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UPDATE: Falmouth teacher not in class after marijuana possession charge

FALMOUTH — A Falmouth High School teacher has been charged with possession of marijuana after a surprise police search of vehicles in the school parking lot Nov. 1 uncovered a small amount of the illegal drug in his car.

Mark Melnicove, 58, of Dresden, who has taught English at the school for eight years, was issued a civil summons and will appear in court Dec. 10 to answer the charge.

"Falmouth Police Department along with 10 other K9s from Cumberland County conducted a surprise sniff of vehicles in the parking lot," police Lt. John Kilbride said Friday. "This is an on-going exercise with the school in an effort to keep drugs off the campus."

Kilbride said two police dogs alerted officers to a vehicle, which was then searched. Officers found 2.4 grams of marijuana in a container in the car.

Superintendent of Schools Barbara Powers confirmed Tuesday that Melnicove has not been in class since the summons was issued.

"He is still working for Falmouth High School," Powers said. "There is an investigation happening around the summons."

She said the school's investigation into the matter is not complete.

Powers said she hoped to be able to release the findings of the investigation soon, but could not say for sure when more information would be available.

"Obviously the kids are very interested in what's happening to their teacher," Powers said. "Hopefully there will be a time when this can be discussed more openly."

In front of the high school parking lot, there is a sign notifying those parking there that periodic drug searches do take place.

"The parking lot is posted," Powers said. "This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."

Only one other car was searched during the raid and no other drugs were found.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net

Updated on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010.