Child found in car trunk with drugs | Crime
ABBEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - A Henry County Sheriff's Deputy found more than he bargained for at a traffic stop in Abbeville late Saturday night.
Sgt. Jesse Ingram stopped a Gray Mitsubishi Eclipse traveling southbound on U.S. 432 in Abbeville Saturday night for a minor traffic violation.
Sgt. Ingram was in the process of issuing the driver, 30-year-old Mariea Smith of Midland City, a warning citation when he detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the inside of the vehicle. Sgt. Ingram also noticed that two male passengers in the vehicle were extremely nervous considering it was only a traffic stop.
The three vehicle occupants were asked to step out of the car for a probable cause search for contraband. One of the passengers, 31-year-old Anthony Darrell Smith of Midland City, told authorities that the trunk of the vehicle wouldn't open. Sgt. Ingram still attempted to open the truck and Smith stepped forward again, this time asking that the deputy not open the trunk because he did not want to wake his 5-year-old son sleeping inside.
Once open, authorities did find a 5-year-old asleep in the vehicle's trunk. The boy was sleeping on top of a plastic garbage bag that contained what they determined to be more than two pounds of a "high-grade" marijuana.
Mariea, Anthony and the third occupant, 23-year-old Jerome Jackson of Dothan, were taken into custody and charged with first degree possession of marijuana.
Authorities also immediately notified the Alabama Department of Human Resources. DHR is now involved in the ongoing investigation with Henry County Sheriff's Deputies.
“It’s a sad day when a parent, or any adult for that matter, puts a child in danger to conceal illegal drugs. The vehicle could have been rear-ended, he could have suffocated from carbon monoxide, there’s just so much that could have happened to that child”, said Henry County Sheriff Will Maddox.
Authorities also added that Smith recently bonded out of the Henry County Jail on charges of assaulting an officer following an incident last month. Both men are currently in custody at the Henry County Jail awaiting their first appearance in front of a judge. Mariea was released on a $6,000 bond.
The street value of the drugs is estimated to be at least $5,500. Investigators are expected to file several additional felony charges against all three suspects once the investigation is complete.