School bus driver charged with giving fentanyl to students

May 21, 2022 GMT

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A bus driver at a private Southern California school was charged Friday with selling fentanyl to special-needs students on campus, including a girl who was treated for an overdose.

Melissa Harloam-Garrison, 46, was charged with child endangerment and furnishing controlled substances to a minor, along with other drug and weapons charges.

She and her husband, David Garrison, 58, were arrested Tuesday. He was charged with possession of controlled substances while armed, illegal possession of a gun and being a convicted domestic abuser in possession of a firearm.

The two were scheduled for arraignment on Friday but that was continued to Monday, KNBC-TV reported.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the couple had attorneys to speak for them.

Harloam-Garrison worked as a bus driver and security guard and lived in a cottage on the campus of the Bright Futures Academy in Riverside, a private kindergarten-through-12th grade school serving students with behavioral problems and other special needs, authorities said.

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Her mother owns the academy, police said.

Officers who went to the school on Tuesday to deal with a report of an unruly student were told by staff that they suspected Harloam-Garrison of furnishing drugs to the students, police said.

Police said they seized more than 100 suspected fentanyl pills and two handguns from the couple’s cottage.

Harloam-Garrison and her husband recruited several students to help peddle the drug, which was sold to about a dozen students, authorities alleged.

Their arrests came a week after a teenaged girl who attends the school overdosed and needed medical care, authorities said.