Father Arrested After Toddler Son Tests Positive For Meth

By McCarton Ackerman 03/17/14

The child was taken to a dope house, where he was exposed to second-hand meth smoke that deteriorated his health.

Joseph Michael Ray. Photo via

A young Minnesota father was arrested and charged with child endangerment after his two-year-old son tested positive for meth.

Joseph Michael Ray, 22, admitted to taking his son to a dope house, where the child was exposed to second-hand smoke. The two-year-old boy was taken to a children's hospital in St. Paul after being found unresponsive and lethargic last week.

Ray said to police that he when he took his son to the dope house, “one of the residents was smoking methamphetamine and he acknowledged that they shouldn’t have been there.” The boy’s health deteriorated over the next several days after being exposed to the meth smoke, eventually sparking his father and grandfather to call paramedics. When police arrived, Ray's son was unable to answer police officers’ question and appeared “pale and dehydrated with chapped lips.”

After being taken to the hospital, he was given a drug test and tested positive for meth. The boy will likely be placed in foster care since his mother abandoned him to Ray’s care five weeks ago. Meanwhile, Ray was also charged with violating a domestic abuse no-contact order because his former girlfriend, who had him convicted of making threats against her, accompanied him to the hospital.

This wasn't the only case of bad parenting in recent days. Last week, a New Jersey father was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child after his toddler son arrived at daycare with 48 packets of heroin in his jacket pocket. Phillip Young, 27, is currently being held on $85,000 bail.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.