A Clover mother was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to taking her children to buy crack cocaine and smoking the drug in front of them, according to court records.
Misty Ann Wheaton, 32, pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful conduct toward a child, possession of crack cocaine-first offense and habitual traffic offender, according to Assistant Solicitor Erin Joyner of the 16th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Circuit Court Judge Dan Hall sentenced Wheaton to two years in prison for each unlawful conduct charge with the sentences running concurrently and time served on the remaining charges. Prosecutors recommended a cap of three years on the sentence.
Police arrested Wheaton on Aug. 24 after a witness called police to report someone smoking crack cocaine in the parking lot of a store on North Main Street, Joyner said. Surveillance cameras captured Wheaton smoking the drug in her car.
An officer saw the vehicle with three children in the back seat. The driver, identified as Wheaton, had a white rock-like substance that later tested positive for cocaine.
Police took Wheaton into custody, and her three children — ages 4, 7 and 11 at the time — were taken to police headquarters to wait for a Department of Social Service caseworker. Joyner said DSS determined placement for the children.
“The crack cocaine that was recovered during the traffic stop had been purchased that night,” she said.
Police said the children observed the drug deal happen and even described the drugs that the mother was using.
One child told police Wheaton was “putting the white crumbly stuff in tin foil and smoking it,” and another had to get out of the car because “the bad smell” was burning his eyes, according to the report. That child told police his mother was “confused while driving and went driving up on the sidewalk,” the police report states.
Joyner said Wheaton faced up to 10 years in prison on each unlawful conduct charge, up to five years for the habitual offender charge and up to three years for the drug charge.