TULARE COUNTY, Calif. -- (KTLA) -- Authorities detained a 13-year-old boy who allegedly brought balloons stuffed with cocaine to his middle school in a small Central Valley town on Friday, resulting in the hospitalization of two students.
A pair of students found two balloons, which had popped, while on a playground at Carl F. Smith Middle School in Terra Bella, about 40 miles north of Bakersfield, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said. The students noticed a white powdery substance on the inside and outside of the deflated balloons and reported it around 8:40 a.m. Friday to staff, who called authorities.
Deputies performed a presumptive test on the substance, and it tested positive for cocaine, officials said. Medical personnel responded and evaluated 13 other children who had potentially been exposed to the narcotic. Nearly 300 sixth to eighth grade students attend the school.
A K-9 unit searching the campus and was able to identify the area on the playground where the balloons were initially uncovered and alerted deputies to a 13-year-old boy’s shorts, which wound up testing positive for drugs, investigators said. That student was detained and is being questioned on suspicion of being the one who brought the narcotics to campus. Amid the ensuing investigation, detectives turned up the source of the drugs at the boy’s home, authorities said.