A mother with a newborn baby in Bonner County, Idaho, was detained and accused of exposing her infant to the dangerous methamphetamine drug via her breast milk, a local newspaper reports.
Bonner County officials arrested 25-year-old Samantha Lee Caroline Morikawa and charged her with exposing the baby to meth through her breast milk from August 2015 to January of this year.
The woman was also charged with aggravated assault after police accused her of physically attacking the baby’s father who reportedly had intervened to take the child once he found out about the woman’s drug use.
The arrest stemmed from a domestic argument the police were called to quell. At that time the father of the five-month-old baby told police he was upset upon finding evidence of the woman’s drug use on her cell phone, including texts to a dealer.
Police said drug tests indicated that both amphetamine and methamphetamine were found in her system after her arrest.
This month, First District Judge Barbara Buchanan sentenced Morikawa to four years in prison on each charge but noted that if the woman completes a year-long drug treatment program in jail she may be eligible for early parole.
In court the mother said she was unaware meth could be transmitted to her baby through breast milk and asked for leniency.
Morikawa pleaded with the court to consider her progress thus far saying, “I’m aware that the trouble I caused was not small at all. I’m trying really hard.”
But prosecutors said Morikawa has shown increasing levels of violence and drug addiction since first coming to the court’s attention in 2012.
“We do think she needs more structured treatment in order to be able to get over that and to reduce the risk to her children,” Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Katie Murdock said according to court documents.
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