School Behavioral Aide, Husband Arrested for Dealing Fentanyl to Students

The employee and her husband are believed to have furnished fentanyl to at least eight students, including one who overdosed.

School Behavioral Aide, Husband Arrested for Dealing Fentanyl to Students

Image via Adobe, by Zerbor

Riverside, California – A woman employed as a behavioral aide at Bright Futures Academy, as well as her husband, face charges of dealing fentanyl to students, possibly resulting in an overdose.

Melissa Harloam-Garrison, 46, and David Wayne Garrison, 58, were arrested May 17 following an investigation by the Riverside Police Department’s Narcotics Unit, reports the Desert Sun.

Authorities say Harloam-Garrison provided fentanyl to at least eight students at the school that serves K-12 students with special needs, as well as cognitive and behavioral issues, reports ABC7.

The charges she faces include child endangerment and selling controlled substances to a minor, dealing in controlled substances, possession of controlled substances while armed, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and a sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegation. She’s being held on $50,000 bail.

Her husband was arrested for possessing a firearm on campus and being a person prohibited from owning or carrying a gun. He was previously convicted of domestic abuse, although the school disputes this point. They also say his wife is not a convicted felon.

The couple live in a cottage on campus.

The ordeal began when local police were called to the school to deal with an incorrigible student. However, when officers arrived, some campus staff members told them they suspected a fellow employee was dealing drugs to students.

The narcotics team then learned that just a week before, a student overdosed on suspected fentanyl at the child’s home. (The student survived the medical emergency.)

Investigators believe Harloam-Garrison distributed the fentanyl to some students on campus, including the student who overdosed. They say she recruited a male and female student to help sell the drugs.

When officers searched the couple’s residence, they found more than 100 suspected fentanyl pills, two handguns, and various types of ammunition, according to a spokesman for Riverside Police.

Harloam-Garrison is believed to be the daughter of Bright Futures Academy’s owner or chief operating officer. She has been fired by the school.

The California Department of Education has temporarily revoked the school’s special education funding certification.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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