A school bus driver in Stratford, Connecticut is being accused of using the bus to buy and sell heroin. NBC Connecticut reported that Garfield Howell was deemed a suspect during a months-long heroin investigation conducted by the Stratford Police Narcotics Vice and Intelligence Unit.
Authorities say the 29-year-old is an employee with WE Transport, which is a bus company that is contracted by Bridgeport schools. Raul Laffitte, director of transportation for the Bridgeport School District, stated that Howell drives for two schools, New Beginning Charter School and Dunbar Elementary School.
He was allegedly captured on surveillance camera using the school bus to purchase and sell heroin several times throughout police investigation.
Capt. Frank Eannotti of the Stratford Police Department stated that there weren’t any children on the bus during the time Howell would purportedly use the bus to pick up and sell heroin. He went on to say that the suspect would usually drop the children off first.
The Stratford unit and members of the Bridgeport Police executed a search warrant on Thursday at Howell’s residence on Barnum Avenue, where police reportedly discovered around 195 grams of heroin. Howell was taken into custody on four counts of sale of a narcotic, two counts of conspiracy to sell narcotics, and risk of injury to a minor.
It was reported that the superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools did not respond to the school bus driver’s charges, but a terminal manager at the Bridgeport facility stated that an investigation is ongoing.
Andrew Ifill of We Transport stated that at this time, “we don’t have any information to release until that investigation is completed.” When asked if the Stratford school bus driver had been fired after his arrest, Ifill stated that it will all depend on the completion of the investigation.
Laffitte said that if Howell is found guilty of using the school bus to purchase and sell heroin, he will no longer be able to drive for the district.
Howell remains at the Stratford County jail on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on April 18. He does not have an attorney at this time.
An investigation is ongoing.