The bus driver accused of trying to lure a teenager for sexual acts will stay behind bars. Michael Varian was denied bail Wednesday at the federal courthouse after the judge ruled he was a threat to the public.
He was arrested in Albany where they say he expected to meet an underage boy, and now authorities are checking if there were any potential victims in this case.
Varian waived his right to a preliminary hearing, and is being held in Rensselaer County jail.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Varian was sending explicit text messages to someone he believed was a 14-year-old. It really was an undercover law enforcement officer who set up a meeting where agents arrested him.
Varian worked for Star and Strand Transportation, which is one of the companies used by the Troy City School District.
Spectrum News is told he is no longer driving routes for the company. When contacted, Star and Strand Transportation refused to comment.
Spectrum News spoke with one parent who says it is concerning to know Varian had close contact with so many children.
“I’m here with them off the bus and when he gets on, until I see the driver pull off. But, it doesn’t really scare me as long as the school system does what they need to do to not have this happen again,” said parent Brent White.
The district sent us a statement on the matter Wednesday saying, “At this time the district has not been made aware of the involvement of any Troy students. The parents of the students on this routes are being notified.”
If convicted he could face 10 years and up to to life in prison. The FBI is asking anyone who may have concerns over Varian's interactions with their child to call them, and anyone who would like to speak anonymously can also call their tip line at 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).
The FBI arrested Varian on Tuesday, at a location in Albany where they say he expected to meet an underage boy.