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Toddler in unsecured car seat had meth pipe in pants, police say

Methamphetamine Arrest (MGN Online via Radspunk, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0).jpg
A Goose Creek woman is facing drug possession and child endangerment charges after North Charleston Police say they found her three-year-old son in an unsecured car seat with a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine hidden in his pants.{ } (Photo: MGN Online via Radspunk, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

A Goose Creek woman is facing a child endangerment charge after North Charleston Police say they found her three-year-old son in an unsecured car seat with a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine in his pants.

Lucia Cash, 35, was arrested shortly before 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12, near Northwoods Boulevard and Ashley Phosphate Road. She's charged with cruelty to children.

  • *Correction: A previous version of this story attributed a second criminal charge to Lucia Cash. Police confirmed she was only charged with one crime. The story was updated on Feb. 12, 2020 at 4:20 p.m. to reflect the change.

According to North Charleston Police, Cash was originally pulled over for a reported traffic violation along Northwoods Boulevard.

Police say Cash appeared nervous when an officer approached her vehicle, claiming she was stammering and her hands were visibly shaking.

When officers questioned Cash and her passenger, the police department says the two couldn't come up with a coherent story, and gave conflicting statements about where they were coming from.

Based on this, police asked for and received consent to search Cash's truck. Officers say their initial search yielded suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Officers said they next turned their attention to the three-year-old juvenile who was in the back seat.

Police say the child was in a car seat, but the seat itself was not anchored to anything.

Police had Cash remove the child from the car so they could continue their search, whereupon officers say they found a methamphetamine smoking pipe with drug residue on it "stuck in the pants of the juvenile."

According to police, Cash immediately claimed that "you didn't find any on me" and that her child sometimes "grabs" random items from the car and that he "unbuckles his seatbelt all the time."

A relative came to the scene to take custody of the child and the vehicle, police say.

Cash and her passenger, 25-year-old Samantha Ann Priegue, were placed under arrest.

Cash has since been released from the Charleston County jail on a $15,000 bond after appearing in front of a magistrate Wednesday morning.

Priegue was charged with possession of methamphetamine. She has since been released on a $2,500 bond.