A former Hannibal school principal pleads guilty to drug charges.

Marion County Prosecutor David Clayton says Joshua J.D. Foust waived a preliminary hearing Monday and entered a guilty plea to felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Clayton says no evidence exists to show Foust used or distributed drugs at the school. The drugs he was charged with possessing were located at his residence and he had resigned from the school system approximately 60 days prior to his arrest.

Foust is sentenced to ten years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. He will initially serve 120 days in an institutional treatment program. Clayton says that if Foust successfully completes the treatment program, he will have served eight to nine months behind bars before being granted probation. If the treatment program fails or if terms of probation are violated, Foust could spend ten years in prison.

In a press release, Clayton says:  "The plea agreement is the result of many factors, namely that the defendant was very cooperative with law enforcement, that the defendant had no criminal history, and that the defendant promptly took responsibility for his actions and admitted that he was a drug addict that hoped to turn his life around. The defendant will have served several months in custody before being granted probation (if granted) and will face several years in prison if he fails at probation."

The prosecutor adds that even if successfully discharged from probation down the road, Foust will not be able to escape his past. Clayton says Foust will have a permanent conviction on his record that should prevent him from ever working with children again. "That is a primary concern of mine," said Clayton.