Mom Sentenced After 4-Year-Old Hands Out Heroin at Daycare

By McCarton Ackerman 03/20/15

Ashley Tull pleaded guilty after having all three children removed from her custody.

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A Delaware mother proved she could make do with a few parenting classes after her four-year-old daughter brought 250 packets of heroin into daycare.

Ashley Tull was charged last October after the girl unknowingly took the heroin packets to school, believing they were candy, and passed them out to several children. When staff workers realized the baggies were filled with drugs, they quickly confiscated them and called police.

Tull pleaded guilty this week to child endangerment, receiving a one-year probation sentence from the judge and an order to complete a substance abuse evaluation. Tull must also cooperate with the Division of Family Services or risk having all three of her children removed from her care.

But less than three months into 2015, other daycare centers across the country have also been the site of drug-related incidents. Last week, the owner of a child-care center in Sioux Falls, S.D., was arrested after local officers discovered meth onsite. Jennifer Darger, 33, and Adam Darger, 32, were charged with possession of a controlled substance, a violation of a drug-free zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both had previously been arrested for drug possession. Local police said the three infants being cared for at the facility were turned over to their parents before they conducted a search of the residence.

Last month, police arrested the son of a daycare center owner in Queens, N.Y., after discovering he was running a drug den below the center. Michael Gomez, 24, was also selling drugs outside of the facility while children went home for the day. After selling drugs to several undercover NYPD officers, they conducted a raid the next day and seized seven ounces of ecstasy, four ounces of marijuana and over $2,000 in cash. Gomez was charged with drug sales, possession, and endangering the welfare of children.

An Indiana native was also arrested last month after police found $5,000 worth of heroin, as well as cocaine and marijuana at an in-home daycare center. Paul Tinch, 57, was charged with drug possession and endangering the welfare of children, but was not the owner of the facility.

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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.