13 students evaluated after boy brings cocaine-filled balloons to school in Tulare County, authorities say

Authorities are investigating after a 13-year-old student allegedly brought cocaine-filled balloons to school in Tulare County.
(Tulare County Sheriff’s Office)

More than a dozen students were evaluated after a classmate brought two cocaine-filled balloons to his Tulare County middle school, authorities said.

Two students found the deflated balloons on the playground of Carl F. Smith Middle School in Terra Bella on Friday morning with a white powdery substance both inside and outside, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities said the substance tested positive for cocaine.

An ambulance crew evaluated 13 children who may have been exposed to the illicit drug, and two of those children were taken to a hospital as a precaution. The sheriff’s office said “all of those results came back negative.”

Sheriff’s deputies detained and interviewed a 13-year-old boy who they said brought the balloons to the campus. A drug-sniffing dog alerted to the boy’s shorts, which tested positive for drugs, the sheriff’s office said.


Authorities said Friday they were preparing a search warrant after they determined the drugs came from the boy’s home.

Authorities used a drone to search the nearly 300-student campus, while the narcotics dog went room to room, and found no other evidence of drugs.

Twitter: @AleneTchek


Get our Essential California newsletter