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Impaired bus driver preparing to take students to Disneyland gets jail sentence

Published: Monday, Feb. 25 2013 6:58 p.m. MST

Bus driver Brandon Mark Gillman, 30, of South Jordan, was ordered to spend 30 days in jail and three years on probation. Police say he was under the influence as he prepared to drive newly-graduated students from Canyon View High School in Cedar City on a trip to Disneyland.

, Iron County Jail

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CEDAR CITY — A South Jordan man who pleaded guilty to being impaired as he prepared to drive a busload of students to Disneyland has been sentenced to jail and probation.

Brandon Mark Gillman, 30, pleaded guilty to possession or use of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a class B misdemeanor, in November. He was sentenced to zero to five years in jail for the third-degree felony and six months jail for the misdemeanor by 5th District Judge Michael Westfall, but the judge suspended the prison and most of the jail term.

He ordered the man to spend 30 days in jail, three years' probation, 100 hours in community service and $1,566 in fines and fees.

Gillman was about to transport Canyon View High graduates to Southern California moments after graduation ceremonies on May 24, 2012, when a drug-detecting K-9 indicated there were illegal substances in his backpack. Three Utah Trailways buses and drivers had been hired to take the students and were preparing to depart when Cedar City police officers conducted a search of the students' luggage.

After one of the dogs responded to a backpack belonging to Gillman, a police officer asked to search Gillman and the man agreed. When asked to empty his pockets, he told the officer he was carrying a prescription medication. He had a bottle containing 17 Endocet pills, according to charging documents.

Officers said they found no evidence that Gillman had a prescription for the medication.

The officer asked to search Gillman's backpack and found a bottle holding two Zolpidem pills as well as three plastic bags filled with powder. The man was taken to Iron County Correctional Facility, where he took field sobriety tests. Prosecutors say the man failed all of the tests.

A urine test was positive for cocaine and OxyContin.

The Canyon High School principal said the arrest averted what could have been a tragedy.

E-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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