Man facing drug charges allowed to coach youth football
By Bianca Buono
A federal judge in Boston made a controversial decision to allow a New Bedford man facing drug charges to continue coaching Pop Warner football. Thirty-nine-year-old Sharik Mendes was arrested in a large drug bust in June for distributing heroin.
The judge’s only condition is that he must notify parents of his impending trial.
"I've known him since he was probably about 13, 14-years-old, maybe even younger,” said Bob Giusti.
Bob Giusti's son grew up playing sports with Mendes and says he's always been great with kids.
"He was always very well with getting along with kids he was good at that, always telling kids the right things to do
But other parents are outraged.
"I think it's shocking and repugnant for a person to be acting in this way and being allowed to be a leader for the children as an example,” said Nichole Silva of New Bedford.
ABC6 showed up to the home of Bunny Conceicao, the co-founder of the Pop Warner league in New Bedford, and she told declined to comment.
We did receive a statement from the spokesman of the national Pop Warner organization saying:
"We are working closely with the league and New Bedford officials to make sure that appropriate action is taken with respect to this coach and to understand how he passed a background check. Based on what we know, we will not allow this coach to participate in any role with Pop Warner."
According to court documents, Mendes is expected to plead guilty at his plea hearing on September 13th.
© WLNE-TV 2016