ATF arrests OMS coach

Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 19, 2014

Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say the arrest of a local teacher on Tuesday had nothing to do with students in his company at the time of the incident.

ATF agent Michael Knight said Charles T. Grimes, a teacher with both Opp City Schools and the Covington County Board of Education, is facing federal charges after he was arrested at his residence in the Rose Hill Community.

“The students were properly taken care of; they were not part of the operation,” Knight said. “The arrest was low key and without incident.”

According to federal court records, Grimes has been charged with three counts of selling firearms to an addict, felon or fugitive, as well as one count of a firearms licensing offense.

“At this point, I can tell you that he was arrested by ATF for violation of the federal firearms laws,” Knight said. “We are in the initial stages (of the investigation).”

Those initial stages include a not-guilty plea entered by Grimes Tuesday in federal court. He was initially indicted in May.

Knight said Grimes was carrying out duties involved with his role as a contract driver’s education teacher with the CCBOE at the time of his arrest.

“He did come back to the residence of his own accord, which displays a positive manner on his part,” Knight said. “At this point, there is no connection between the school or the other students in the car.”

In addition to his contract role with the CCBOE, Grimes served as the athletic director, physical education teacher and head football coach at Opp Middle School from 2009 until 2014. On Tuesday, the OCS Board of Education approved transferring Grimes to the Opp Alternative School, where he would have served as its director. OCS Superintendent Michael Smithart said Grimes is now on a paid administrative leave, pending further information, but added the coach and teacher has been an asset to the system.

“This has nothing to do with Opp schools, our campuses or, especially, our students,” Smithart said. “He’s done a great job for us and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this time.”

Knight said further information concerning the case will be released, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Knight said suspects taken into custody by federal agents are often transported to a federal facility in Montgomery.

According to records, Grimes has since been released.