The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 9, 2011

Conneaut police claim: Dad drugged kids

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

CONNEAUT —  Police in Conneaut are investigating a city man who reportedly gave his four young children a prescription pain-killer, then collected and stored their urine with the intent to pass it off as his own, apparently to foil medical examiners, according to reports.

No charges have been filed, but court records indicate police believe the man gave his children — ages 6, 7, 9 and 10 — the drug Oxycodone, for which the man had a prescription. Officers said the man may have collected the kids’ urine by a desire to mask the presence of illegal drugs in his own system.

The children were removed from their Old Main Road late last week by Children’s Services, police said.

A search of the house, conducted by police, uncovered a wealth of prescription medicine, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and evidence of a marijuana-growing operation, according to records filed with Conneaut Municipal Court.

An affidavit police filed with the court to justify a search warrant provided some details into the case:

On Jan. 28, the police department was contacted by Children Services regarding a man and woman living in the city. The agency said it had learned the man, who had a prescription for Oxycodone, was giving the drug to his four children, then collected their urine. Armed with a court order, Children Services removed the children and placed them in residential custody.

Agents with the agency interviewed the children, and were told the parents routinely crush “blue” pills, which are ingested by all the kids, according to the affidavit. The older child told investigators his parents smoke marijuana and grow the drug in the basement of the house.

Police searched the house on Thursday and collected five bags of cut marijuana and equipment used in its cultivation, plus several bottles containing prescription medicine, according to court documents.

In the affidavit, police said some users of prescription drugs are asked to submit to testing to ensure they are not using illegal drugs in addition to the prescription medicine. Tests are also meant to ensure the patient is taking the drug and not selling or giving it to someone else, according to the affidavit. Some people who are required to submit to testing sometimes collect urine from non-users to help them pass the tests, police said in the affidavit.