Authorities in Suffolk County say 38-year-old Anna Kovarick, of Bayshore, would drive students to private schools in the West Islip area, including St. John the Baptist High School, then park her bus, and go and sell the drug.
In the afternoon, prosecutors said she would return to school in her bus to drive students home, then sell more heroin after her shift ended. She allegedly made sales in front of the Acme bus depot where she worked in Bohemia, and was selling anywhere from 300 to 500 bags of heroin every two to three days under the direction of her boyfriend, who is in prison, they said.
But Kovarick's friends from Acme where she's worked for 16 years were in court Wednesday to support her and said there is no way the accusations are true.
"She has an extremely great character," said one colleague.
Prosecutors said she used the money to pay off her boyfriend's drug debts. But her attorney said there's just no proof any of this happened.
"There's no confession here," said Christopher Cassar, her attorney. "They claim she's this major drug dealer, but they haven't recovered any money. So these are factors that make the case weak."
But prosecutors said they have proof that Kovarik sold heroin to undercover officers on two occasions.
"It's pretty horrifying. I can't imagine somebody not considering what they're doing and they're working with kids," said Rose White, a West Islip resident. "Just in general what was she thinking?"
Lisa Aponte, another West Islip resident, agreed. It's "concerning because we put our children in their trust, hopefully they do the right thing about it," she said.
Kovarick was arrested on April 10 and she was ordered held on $100,000 bail.
The district attorney said there was no evidence Kovarick drove the bus while under the influence of the drug.