Crime

4th Mom charged in 4 days: York County kids, 2 and 4, exposed to meth, police say

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A York County mother has been arrested after she and two of her children tested positive for meth, police said.

Courtney Lanette Blocker, 28, of Sharon in western York County, was found late Tuesday by patrol and warrant deputies after an investigation that lasted over a month, said Det. Walter Beck of the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Police had two warrants for unlawful conduct toward a child or helpless person after the children, ages 2 and 4, had positive drug tests, Beck said. Blocker also tested positive for meth, Beck said.

The investigation took weeks because officers had to determine where the drug use happened and who was responsible, Beck said.

“These cases take time,” Beck said. “We have to show where and when a crime occurred. These children are victims who cannot help themselves.”

The introduction of meth into the home and use by the mother put the children at risk and in danger of physical harm, Beck said.

Deputies received a report of possible drug use in February and also received a referral from the S.C Department of Social Services about the children testing positive, police said. DSS was involved because the father of the children was in jail on pending domestic violence charges, Beck said.

The children were placed into the custody of another relative at that time in February, then police investigated for over a month.

“The first priority in every one of these cases is the safety of the children,” Beck said. “The children were placed in safe place immediately.”

16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said the safety of the children involved in these cases is the top priority.

A conviction for unlawful neglect of a child carries up to 10 years in prison under South Carolina law.

The arrest of a mom for felony neglect is the fourth by police in York County since Sunday. At least 16 parents have been charged by police in Rock Hill, Clover, York and York County since July after children tested positive for narcotics. All but one of the arrests have been mothers, York County court records show.

Many of the cases have come from referral by social services but others came from reports of drug use, police reports show.

The child neglect cases are handled by police detectives, not narcotics officers. However, Marvin Brown, commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, said his officers have seen a sharp rise in women charged in methamphetamine cases in 2018 and this year.

Blocker remains in the York County jail under a $10,000 bond.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.
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