More than 30 teens from affluent Bay Area communities who planned to celebrate on the first day of summer were busted Monday when police stopped their rented party bus and found it loaded with booze, prescription drugs, marijuana and fake IDs, police in Marin County said Tuesday.
The teens had intended to party for six hours as the bus tooled around Marin and San Francisco on Monday evening, but their plans were undone by an anonymous tipster who warned the Central Marin Police Authority that a bus full of juveniles and alcohol was about to leave Larkspur Ferry Terminal, police said in a statement.
One of the teens, a 16-year-old boy from Tiburon, had reserved the bus online and paid $900 cash and didn't have to provide ID, police said.
Officers arrived about 5:40 p.m. as the bus was pulling away from the terminal with the passenger door still open and swinging wildly, authorities said. Officers immediately pulled the vehicle over.
Inside, police said, they found a trove of illegal contraband.
The bus reeked of alcohol and pot and was loaded with 33 boys and girls who ranged in age from 15 to 17 and were residents of Larkspur, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Kentfield and Mill Valley, according to police. Officers found 30 separate containers of hard alcohol, a case of hard lemonade, a jar of marijuana hidden under a seat and half-filled and empty alcohol containers in the trash.
One 16-year-old girl had a purse full of various prescription drugs, marijuana and fake IDs.
The bus driver, 63-year-old James Greene, had methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs and alcohol in the driver's compartment and was carrying a switchblade, police said.
On Monday, Marin County prosecutors charged Greene with several misdemeanors related to the teens drinking on the bus, along with misdemeanor possession of methamphetamine and carrying an open container in the driver's compartment. He denied knowing alcohol was on the bus to police, officials said.
After the stop, police took all the teens off the bus and called their parents, who either picked them up or made arrangements for them to get home, officials said.
The girl with the pills, marijuana and fake IDs was cited for possession of a controlled substance and marijuana and possession of false identification cards and was released to her parents.
Police notified the bus company about the incident and alerted the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees passenger carriers.
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1:19 p.m.: This article has been updated with details on the charges against the bus driver.