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Fla. Principal Linked to Drugs

April 6, 1998

MIAMI (AP) _ A North Miami vice principal has been arrested on charges of working for a cocaine ring that has smuggled 11 tons of cocaine into the United States over the years.

Willie James Young, 53, was arrested Friday after accepting 66 pounds of cocaine from federal undercover investigators two blocks from his middle school.

Police say Young was a distributor for the Cano drug organization, a Miami-based drug-trafficking empire that stretched from the Dominican Republic to New York and from Texas to the Midwest.

``Willie Young was one of the distributors in Miami,″ Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Pam Brown said. ``He was one of the recipients of the drugs from a top Cano distributor.″

Young, who is being held, is charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during a drug transaction and conducting a drug transaction within 1,000 feet of a school.

He told reporters that he was innocent and was planning to deliver the drugs to police.

A school district employee since 1976, Young became one of four assistant principals at North Miami Middle School in 1996.

DEA investigators said one round of negotiations regarding the alleged drug sale took place in Young’s school office. A caller who interrupted the meeting was told Young was in parent conference, investigators said.