Crime

Students find cocaine-filled balloons on school campus – 13 exposed, sheriff says

A 13-year-old boy is being investigated for bringing balloons of cocaine on to a middle school campus in Terra Bella on Friday.

The balloons, which were filled with a white powder, were discovered by several student on the school’s playground Friday morning and reported to school staff, who then called the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies tested the substance and determined it was cocaine.

Thirteen children were exposed to the drug when the balloons popped. Two students became dizzy and were taken to a hospital as precaution, Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said.

None of the children tested positive for having a dangerous level of the drug in their systems, but two were taken to Sierra View hospital in Porterville.

A sheriff’s drug-sniffing dog was called to the campus and detected cocaine residue on the shirt of the 13-year-old student who is believed to have brought the cocaine to the school. Detectives from the narcotics division learned the student had brought the balloons from home and searched the home Friday.

A drone and deputies searched the campus and found no more drugs. The search was conducted room to room using the drug-sniffing dog.



About 300 students attend the school.

“We’re confident at this point there is no dangerous exposure to the children, but having that on campus truly could have resulted in a more dangerous situation,” Boudreaux said.

No arrests have been made.

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