KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The contracted driver of a Sullivan County school bus faces several charges after police reported that they found a substance believed to be meth, pipes and other drug paraphernalia on bus 415.
Kingsport police assisted Sullivan County authorities to arrest the driver, who is employed by a contracted company — not the school system. The suspect, identified as Contessia D. Cravens, 45, of Fall Branch, was arrested at the contractor’s bus depot on Tilthammer Drive on Oct. 26.
When officers pulled up to Cravens — who was still in the school bus with the keys reportedly in the ignition — in marked vehicles at 4:37 p.m., police say they saw her moving around in the front seat and that it appeared as though she had just turned off the bus.
Police asked Cravens to exit the school bus, and she allegedly stalled before officers “had her step down” to arrest her for violating probation. Online court records state previous charges against her include shoplifting and a seat belt violation.
Cravens told police that she only had one purse on the bus and that all other items had been left behind by passengers, according to an incident report from the Kingsport Police Department (KPD).
Officers reported finding a purse and several other items, including a pouch near the driver’s controls and a second purse. Police reportedly found a small baggie of suspected meth inside the pouch and a “methamphetamine bong with residue” and a cut straw with an identifying item in the second purse. She allegedly admitted the items were hers.
Police reported that Cravens performed poorly on a series of sobriety tests and declined a blood test. She allowed police to search her personal vehicle in the parking lot, where authorities reported finding multiple baggies, a scale, two pipes with residue, a straw and another pack of suspected meth in a black ammo box. The combined weight of the substance was 2.8 grams.
The Kingsport Police Department used a warrant to gather a blood sample from Cravens, which will undergo lab testing via the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation along with the substance found in the baggies. Police reported seizing the baggies, bong, digital scale, LBA kit, mirror with residue, glass pipe, school bus and Cravens’ personal vehicle.
She faces the following charges: driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, felony possession of schedule II drugs and three counts of unlawful drug paraphernalia.
News Channel 11 reached out to the contracted company regarding Cravens’ employment status. The company declined to comment. This is a developing story and will be updated.