Nevada Police Search SWAT Buses

Cassidy Waters and Alison Pietrykowski, Staff Writers

On Dec. 27, 2011 four buses full of high school students were searched by police at a rest stop on their way to Salt Lake City, Utah for the annual SWAT ski trip.

Every winter break, students from the Lamorinda area take part in the Summer Winter Action Tours, commonly referred to as SWAT. The students stay at a hotel and ski during the day.  At night they attend various events.

This year the drive up to Utah didn’t go as smoothly as planned. While at a McDonalds in Elko, Nevada, a bystander witnessed several students get off one of the buses and smoke marijuana. The police were notified and came to further investigate.

The Elko police chief told the students that their police dog had smelled illegal substances in the luggage below the bus. He told the students that if they gave up all their drugs and alcohol the punishment would be far less severe. After collecting roughly two pounds of marijuana and several bottles of alcohol, the buses were allowed to continue their trek to Utah.

“The majority of kids were scrambling around trying to get everything off the buses, but everyone on my bus was pretty calm,” an anonymous senior said. “The SWAT employees were just encouraging everyone to give the police their stuff.”

Once the buses arrived at the hotel, 17 students were sent home due to either their refusal to cooperate with the police or their direct use and possesion of the illegal substances. None of the students mentioned were from Miramonte.

“I had no idea it was a big deal until the second night of SWAT,” an anonymous junior said. “Everyone was talking about how the incident was on the news.”

Because students were also caught with illegal substances on last years’ SWAT trip, the police placed responsibility on the organization rather than the students.

Due to legal reasons most SWAT participants and all staff members refused to comment.