Police were called to a Kmart store in Hannibal, Missouri, after a woman was caught shoplifting. The woman had her young son with her in the store.
After she was caught stealing, she allegedly stuffed her drugs into her son’s coat pocket before police arrived.
According to Quincy Police, 27-year-old Jennifer Shurtleff, was trying to steal from a local Kmart when she was stopped by a security officer who was working at the store.
The officer held the woman and her young son at the store until police arrived.
Officers searched Shurtleff and her son and allegedly recovered the stolen merchandise totaling less than $300.
According to court documents, upon searching the son, they found heroin, cocaine and marijuana that Shurtleff had placed inside of her son’s pocket. The amount of cocaine and heroin found in the pocket of the child exceeded a full gram each, therefore she was charged with possession and intent to sell.
Shurtleff was booked into the Adams County jail and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and one count of felony retail theft.
Shurtleff pleaded guilty to heroin possession, retail theft and child endangerment charges. The county's probation department recommended probation for Shurtleff. But Judge Scott Walden said he couldn't go with that because she involved her son.
The judge said prison time could be a potential deterrent to parents "exposing children to the horrors of drugs."
Shurtleff was sentenced to four years in prison.
According to court records, In 2008, Shurtleff was arrested for retail theft and she received 12 months conditional discharge, 40 hours of public service and two days in the county jail. She successfully completed the terms of her discharge in 2009.