Police: Riverhead teacher was driving drunk with loaded gun

Police say a teacher at a Riverhead elementary school was arrested for driving drunk with an illegal, loaded gun in his glove box. Authorities say

RIVERHEAD - Police say a teacher at a Riverhead elementary school was arrested for driving drunk with an illegal, loaded gun in his glove box. Authorities say Joe Johnson, 38, was pulled over by police in his hometown of Southampton after he was observed weaving in and out of traffic. Police say Johnson's blood-alcohol content registered at .14, nearly twice the legal limit. Officers say Johnson made furtive movements toward his glove box, and after he was arrested, a loaded handgun was found inside. Police say Johnson did not have a permit for the gun. Parents at Phillips Elementary School, where Johnson teaches fourth-grade, were shocked to learn of the allegations. Some say they were doubly surprised to hear that he has several prior arrests on his record, dating back to 1996. In a statement, the Riverhead School District said Johnson was fingerprinted and passed a background check by the state before he was hired. The district says he has been suspended from teaching pending the outcome of the case. Johnson faces an 11-count indictment, including a charge of criminal weapons possession, a Class C felony. If convicted, he could face three-and-a-half years in prison.

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