Riverside school employee arrested for allegedly providing fentanyl to students

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- An employee at a Riverside school for students with special needs was arrested for allegedly distributing fentanyl to students, police say.

Melissa Harloam-Garrison, 46, was arrested this week on suspicion of providing the drug to students at Bright Futures Academy, a non-public school serving kindergarten to 12th grade students. Harloam-Garrison is the daughter of the school's chief operating officer, Eyewitness News has learned.

Riverside police say officers were at the campus Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. and were contacted by school staff about an employee possibly giving fentanyl to students.

Police learned a student had recently overdosed on suspected fentanyl the week before at their home in another city. That student was revived by paramedics and will recover, Riverside Police Department Sgt. Ryan Railsback said.

A school investigation revealed an employee - who works as a bus driver and campus security - was believed to have distributed the fentanyl to students on campus, including to the student who overdosed, according to police.

Police identified the employee as Harloam-Garrison. RPD said she lives in a cottage on school property with her husband.

A search of Harloam-Garrison's home found more than 100 suspected fentanyl pills, two handguns and various types of ammunition, according to police.

Harloam-Garrison was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on several charges, including possession of narcotics for sale, sale of narcotics to minors, possession of controlled substances, possession of a firearm on school campus and child endangerment. She is being held on $50,000 bail and is due in court Friday.

Her husband, 58-year-old David Garrison, was arrested and booked for possessing a firearm on campus and being a person prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. He is being held on $25,000 bail.

Eyewitness News reached out to the school for comment, but has not received a response so far.

The investigation is ongoing.

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