By Lethbridge Herald on May 28, 2015.
Two Lethbridge women were arrested and are facing charges under Albertaâ€™s Drug-endangered Childrenâ€™s Act after bringing a three-year-old girl to an alleged drug deal, according to Alberta Law Enforcement Response TeamsÂ (ALERT).
ALERT Lethbridge, an integrated team consisting of Lethbridge Regional Police Service and RCMP members, made the arrest on May 25 as part of an operation targeting street-level fentanyl sales in southern Alberta.
Moments after witnessing the accused complete a roadside fentanyl deal, with the toddler in the backseat, ALERT terminated the operation and made theÂ arrest. Officers believed the safety of the child was in jeopardy and made the decision to prematurely conclude the investigation in order to protect the welfare of theÂ child.
A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of 27 fentanyl pills and a small amount of crack cocaine.
Fentanyl, a highly addictive and deadly opioid, has been linked to a number of overdoses throughout the province and its presence around children causes particular concern forÂ ALERT.
The women, aged 25 and 26, are both are facing drug trafficking charges in addition to charges under Albertaâ€™s Drug-endangered Childrenâ€™s Act. The accused will not be named in order to protect the identity of theÂ child.
The Drug-endangered Childrenâ€™s Act makes it clear that children exposed to an adultâ€™s involvement in serious drug activity, such as manufacturing and trafficking, are victims of abuse and need protection. Alberta became the first jurisdiction in Canada to adopt the legislation on November 1,Â 2006.
Child and Family Services was notified and the child was placed in the care of a familyÂ member.