CONNECTICUT — NBC Connecticut reports two school bus drivers for DATTCO in South Windsor who have been driving students for Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) schools have been suspended without pay amid investigations into allegations they sold heroin and possessed drugs in the presence of children.
Police arrested Jorge "Wapito" Aviles and his girlfriend, Ashley Byrdsong, last week after authorities searched their homes and found a .45-caliber gun, 270 bags of heroin, packaging materials and $187 cash. Both Aviles and Byrdsong are facing several drug charges, including possession of heroin, sale of heroin and operating a drug factory, according to the news outlet. Since Byrdsong's three preteen children were in the apartment, Aviles and Byrdsong are also charged with three counts of risk of injury to a minor, police told NBC Connecticut.
A statement from DATTCO reports that CREC has disqualified them from driving any CREC-contracted buses, according to the news outlet. DATTCO Safety Director Frank Baio told NBC Connecticut Aviles has been employed there since October 2012. He added that students were never in harm's way, no illicit activity happened while the driver was on duty and that the company conducts yearly background checks and random drug tests. According to the news outlet, Byrdsong’s attorney said she was not involved in heroin sales and didn't know about the drugs.
“Another way to look at this incident is that Connecticut needs to take a serious look at the minimum standards for all bus drivers in the state,” CREC Executive Director Bruce Douglas told NBC Connecticut.
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