The Central Marin Police Authority intercepted a party bus in Larkspur Monday afternoon with drugs, alcohol and 33 Marin County teens under 17 years old on board.
Police received an anonymous call around 5:40 p.m. as the bus was about to depart the Larkspur Ferry Terminal, and the passenger door of the bus was open and swinging freely when the bus made the left turn out of the terminal parking lot, police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.
Officers responded in minutes, and the large black and silver bus got no farther than across the street from the ferry terminal, Rohrbacher.
Police found boys and girls between 15 and 17 years old and smelled the odor of alcohol and marijuana. A search found 30 separate containers of hard alcohol, a case of hard lemonade, a jar of marijuana under a seat and prescription drugs in a purse, Rohrbacher said.
Bags in the bus driver’s compartment contained suspected narcotics, drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs and alcohol.
The bus driver, James Greene, 63, of San Francisco, initially cooperated with police and said he was taking the teens to their parents.
Greene said he was not aware of alcohol on board, Rohrbacher said.
Greene was arrested for possession of narcotics, controlled substances, drug paraphernalia and a switchblade knife. He was booked in the Marin County Jail under $10,000 bail and will be arraigned at 9 a.m.
Wednesday in Marin County Superior Court if he does not post bail.
A 16-year-old Tiburon resident arranged for the 45-passenger party bus owned by Richmond-based Fantastic Voyage Express Transportation, Rohrbacher said.
The teen rented the bus online, did not have to produce identification and had a $900 cash payment for the rental when police intervened before the payment was made, Rohrbacher said.
The company was contacted and Greene’s boss responded to take possession of the bus, Rohrbacher said.
The bus was supposed to drive around Marin County and San Francisco for six hours, Rohrbacher said.
The teens on board are from Larkspur, Tiburon, San Rafael, San Anselmo, Kentfield and Mill Valley. Their parents were contacted and came to the scene or arranged for their children to get home, Rohrbacher said.
“Some of the parents knew their kids were on the bus and others had no idea,” Rohrbacher said.
The 16-year-old girl who owned the purse containing the drugs was cited for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and false identification cards, Rohrbacher said.
The California Public Utilities Commission’s Transportation Enforcement branch that oversees passenger carriers was notified of the incident, Rohrbacher said.
Police posted photos of the bus on their Facebook page.