Party bus with 33 teens, alcohol and drugs stopped by police in Marin County
The Mercury News
By Gary Klien, Marin Independent Journal
June 23, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A bus driver was arrested in Larkspur after police stopped him driving an alleged party shuttle carrying 33 Marin teenagers and a supply of alcohol and drugs.
James Frederick Greene, a 63-year-old San Francisco resident, was booked into Marin County Jail on suspicion of child endangerment, possession of narcotics, possession of a switchblade and other violations. His bail is set at $10,000.
Greene was arrested at about 5:40 p.m. Monday after police received an anonymous tip about a charter bus at Larkspur Landing with juveniles drinking alcohol.
Central Marin police intercepted the shuttle as it was turning out of the ferry terminal parking lot, its main door swinging open, said police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher.
Greene initially told police he was taking the teens home to their parents and that he was unaware of any alcohol on board, Rohrbacher said. But police could smell alcohol and marijuana, and they searched the tour bus.
The search revealed 30 separate containers of hard alcohol, a case of spiked lemonade and a jar of marijuana hidden under a seat. Police also found empty or partially empty containers of alcohol in trash cans, and a purse containing a mix of prescription drugs.
In addition, police found bags allegedly belonging to Greene that contained suspected narcotics, drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs and alcohol.
The boys and girls in the shuttle ranged from 15 to 17 years old. They live in Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, San Rafael and Tiburon.
The organizer of the party was identified as a 16-year-old Tiburon boy. He told police he booked the bus online for a six-hour excursion around San Francisco and Marin. He said he paid $900 cash and did not have to show identification.
The teens’ plan was to meet at the ferry terminal, leave by 6 p.m. and get dropped off at the ferry terminal at midnight, Rohrbacher said. Police stopped the bus at the beginning of the trip, and the money never changed hands.
The 16-year-old girl who had the medications in her purse was cited for possession of narcotics, marijuana and three types of false identification. Police left the discipline of the remaining teens to their parents, who were called to pick up the children.
Police contacted the bus company to come and retrieve the shuttle. Central Marin police referred the case to the California Public Utilities Commission Transportation Enforcement Section for potential regulatory action.
Police said the bus is owned by Fantastic Voyage Express Transportation of Richmond, but the Tiburon boy booked the charter through the website of a company called Galactic Transporter.
A spokeswoman for the California Public Utilities Commission said it had no listing for a company called Fantastic Voyage Express Transportation. And a woman whose name is listed as a principal of Galactic Transporter said the company belongs to her ex-husband and that he sold the charter bus previously.
Greene remained in custody Tuesday afternoon pending further review by the Marin County District Attorney’s Office. An initial court appearance is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.