Community shocked at teacher's indictment in cocaine ring bust

Teacher fired after arrest in multi-state drug bust

Learning that a large cocaine trafficking operation was happening so close to home was already a shock for people in Carroll Township.

Finding out that one of the people charged was an elementary school teacher was almost too much to take for some.

RELATED: Dozens charged in large-scale drug trafficking operation

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“Oh my God. Unbelievable. Unbelievable,” said Jennifer Jone of Charleroi.

Renee Kinder was one of 39 people federal officials charged in what they say is one of the largest cocaine organizations in the history of western Pennsylvania.

“That’s scary. That’s a sad thing to say,” said Jodi Lignelli of Carroll Township.

Kinder’s exact role in the organization is unclear, but according to federal indictment, she was one of several defendants who conspired to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.


Channel 11 learned that Kinder is a teacher at Ringgold Elementary School South.

The district quickly distanced itself from her, confirming Wednesday evening that she did indeed work at the school, but was not permitted on school property at this time.

"At least they found out so that she's not in the school anymore," said district resident Chelsey Huffman.

Channel 11 tried to get answers from Kinder, but were ultimately told by a family friend that she had no comment.

According to federal officials, the maximum sentence for Kinder’s alleged crimes could be up to 30 years in prison, up to a $2 million fine or both.