June 24, 2011

Police: 18-month-old baby ingests cocaine; parents charged

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

OAKLAND -- A toddler who overdosed on cocaine was hospitalized Thursday and her parents were arrested, according to police.

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Jillian Jones

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Justin Currier

The 18-month-old girl was in stable condition late Thursday afternoon at Thayer Campus, MaineGeneral Medical Center, in Waterville, police Captain Rick Stubbert said.

"This why we do drug enforcement," Stubbert said of the case. "This is an innocent victim of parents' carelessness and irresponsible actions on a defenseless victim."

Police were still investigating details of the case Thursday night, but Stubbert said that from information they gathered, it appears the baby was playing unsupervised and got into the cocaine.

Both parents were in the same room with the baby at the time, he said.

"I don't want to speak on their (behalf), but the baby did get into the cocaine, the baby did ingest the cocaine, they found that the baby had gotten into the cocaine and called 911 some time later. A lot of it's still under investigation. I'd say we're still in the preliminary stage."

Stubbert said one of the parents appeared to be remorseful.

"Mom is very distraught," he said. "I wouldn't say the Dad is."

The girl's father, Justin Currier, 30, of 25 Belgrade Road, was arrested and charged with a probation violation and taken to Kennebec County jail in Augusta following the incident, Stubbert said.

"He has more charges to follow," he said.

The girl's mother, Jillian Jones, 21, also of 25 Belgrade Road, was arrested and charged with felony child endangerment, unlawful possession of drugs (cocaine) and destroying physical evidence, because she destroyed the cocaine before police arrived, he said.

Jones was released on $10,000 unsecured bail, he said.

Stubbert said he expects Currier to be charged today with the same charges Jones received Thursday.

The Waterville Communications Center got a 911 call from Jones at 10:57 a.m. saying that the baby had swallowed cocaine and was not breathing, according to Stubbert.

Both police and rescue workers were dispatched to the third-floor apartment where Currier, Jones and their child live, he said.

Stubbert, Police Chief Michael Tracy, Officer David Savage and Sgt. Jerry Haynes arrived with rescue workers.

"The baby was actually alert and breathing by the time we got there," Stubbert said. "The baby was transported (to Thayer), has been admitted and the baby is in stable condition at this time."

MaineGeneral spokeswoman Diane Peterson said the hospital cannot release information about the condition of minors without parental consent.

Police called officials from the state Department of Health and Human Services about the case.

"They were involved in the early stage," Stubbert said. "They will ultimately make the decision (about whether the child will be taken from the parents)."

There were no other children in the apartment when police arrived, he said.

Currier's probation violation prohibits him from being released, according to Stubbert.

"He's not getting out any time soon," he said.

Amy Calder -- 861-9247



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