JACKSON (AP) — A Mississippi high school football coach and his college-age son are among four people charged in a 10-month investigation into the distribution of Ecstasy, LSD and marijuana, authorities said Friday.
Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director Marshall Fisher said in a news release that David Patrick Coates, the 55-year-old athletics director and football coach at Northwest Rankin High School, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell or distribute.
His son, 21-year-old Joseph Patrick Coates, a student at the University of Mississippi, is charged with sale of MDMA, the main ingredient in Ecstasy, and possession of narcotics.
Coates has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation, the Rankin County School District said in statement Friday.
Northwest Rankin’s football team was 11-2 last season before losing to Madison Central in the quarterfinals of the 6A playoffs. The school’s website said Coates has been coaching at Northwest Rankin for 19 seasons.
Calvin Robinson, an assistant principal at Northwest Rankin, has been named the interim athletic director.
“We’re all still in shock,” said John Morganti, the president of Northwest Rankin’s football booster club. “I’ve known coach Coates for several years and have obviously thought a lot of him. We’re waiting for all the facts to come out. I’ve had at least 50 phone calls today from parents and players. The kids are in disbelief.”
Also charged in the investigation, according to Fisher, are Mary Jane Miranda, a 23-year-old Ole Miss student, and Marc Frank Davis, 54, of Greely, Colo.
Miranda and Davis are charged with sale of MDMA.
It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys. David Patrick Coates did not immediately respond to a message Friday.
Officials said MBN, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, the Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit and the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the investigation.