Lucia Mar school bus driver arrested on suspicion of possessing meth for sale

A Lucia Mar Unified School District school bus driver was arrested Thursday afternoon after sheriff’s deputies found a small amount of methamphetamines, a scale and packaging materials in her personal car.

April Annamarie Nunez, 31, of Nipomo, was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine for sale. She remained in County Jail Friday in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Deputies, who believed Nunez was selling meth, had intended to make contact with Nunez before she started her shift driving a Lucia Mar school bus to pick up children from Mesa Middle School, sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla said.

By the time they arrived, she had already started a bus and headed toward the school. Deputies intercepted the bus about 2 p.m. in the 700 block of Huasna Road before she reached the school, Cipolla said.

No students were on the bus at the time, and deputies do not believe any drugs were sold to students. She was also carrying about $1,200 in cash.

Nunez was first employed with the district in 2004 as a school bus driver, said Michelle Ellis, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources. She quit at some point and was rehired in 2006. She has worked for the district as a bus driver since then, Ellis said.

The district conducted a background check when Nunez was hired, as it does on all employees and volunteers, which came back clean, Ellis said.

By law, Nunez has been placed on paid administrative leave. If charges are filed, then the Lucia Mar school board can consider placing her on unpaid leave, Ellis said.