LONG ISLAND, N.Y. – A Long Island school bus driver was recently arrested for selling heroin in North Massapequa last week.
Officers with the Nassau-Suffolk Heroin Task Force and the Bureau of Special Operations busted 26-year-old Maldane Cockett around 8 p.m. last Monday for allegedly selling an undisclosed amount of heroin to a person near the corner of N. Beech Street and N. Broadway Avenue, the Massapequa Patch reports.
Crockett was a driver for Educational Bus Transportation, a contractor that hauls kids to school in Massapequa and Copiague, before he pulled from duty upon his arrest.
“We act immediately if we suspect a driver is involved in illegal activity,” the transportation company wrote in a prepared statement. “Additionally, our drivers undergo a rigorous hiring process and are randomly tested for drugs and alcohol for the duration of their employment, according to CBS New York.
“We are cooperating fully with the authorities in this matter. As is our policy following an arrest, the driver has been removed from service pending the outcome of the charges.”
Crockett was arraigned on two felony drug charges in First District Court in Hempstead: criminal sale of a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
“Parents would be quite upset and quite concerned with this,” Nassau County police Lt. Richard LeBrun told the news site. “You know, nobody would like their bus driver to be dealing or purchasing any type of drugs or heroin, and possibly using them.”
Crockett declined to comment about his arrest when confronted by CBS New York after posting a $12,500 bail.
Parents and guardians, of course, were livid when they heard about the arrest.
“Are you kidding me? Why don’t they scrutinize the employees more carefully?” grandmother Barbara Milano questioned.
“This is absolutely disgusting,” Adela Smith said. “I have children who take the bus. That is horrible.”
“I’m just speechless, because it’s terrible,” another unidentified woman agreed. “They’re taking care of our children.”
CBS New York reports local authorities have increased efforts to curb a heroin epidemic in the area, both by cracking down on drug dealers and working to help addicts.
Jeffrey Reynolds, with the Family and Children’s Association, believes Crockett’s arrest “is proof that the heroin crisis knows absolutely no boundaries, and it has the potential to impact your even if you’re not a heroin user.”
Readers online also weighed in on the bus driver’s arrest.
“He should be treated like a pedophile and not allowed around children anymore,” Kelli wrote.
“With the justice in Long Island, I’m sure he will be out on the streets and do no time,” Patrick B posted.