Former Pop Warner coach faces drug charges

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A former Pop Warner football coach who police said ordered a 13-year-old to dispose of contraband during a police pursuit that ended in a car wreck, pled guilty to heroin possession charges this week.

Theodore Holmes, 50, of Middletown, NY, pled guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony. He will be sentenced in August. Authorities said Holmes was intercepted on surveillance during an investigation into Spring Valley dealer Michael McMullin.

Specifically, Rockland County District Attorney said Holmes was heard planning the purchase and sale of heroin.

“This defendant is the last person you would want coaching young athletes,” Zugibe said. “When we encounter a case such as this, we will make it a priority to prosecute it to the fullest. Our community is yearning for solid role models and it’s a real tragedy when this trust is violated.”

As part of undercover intelligence gathered during the 2015 Rockland County Drug Task Force investigation dubbed “Operation Money Mike,” the defendant was heard detailing efforts to distribute heroin in Rockland and Orange counties, Zugibe said.

After purchasing over a quarter ounce of heroin from McMullin in Spring Valley, Holmes drove to Orange County, in the company of a 13-year-old. During an ensuing vehicle pursuit with law enforcement, the defendant ordered the young athlete to throw the 8.6 grams of heroin from the moving car. Media reports from 2015 said the chase ended in a car accident. The heroin was later recovered by police, Zugibe said.

Pop Warner administrators said they were aware Holmes had a criminal record, but wanted to give him a second chance. “I thought he had a lot to offer as far as using his past mistakes as a teaching tool for the young boys growing up in Spring Valley,” Velton Blacknall told the Journal News in December 2015. “As the president of a league that has witnessed many kids fall to the streets of Spring Valley, I sincerely believed Mr. Holmes would be an asset to the league. My only regret is he backslid.”

According to Blacknall, Holmes was a coach for Ramapo during the 2014 season only. The DA’s press release said the 13-year-old in the car with Holmes was a member of the Valley Cottage youth football team.

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