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Cocaine allegedly planted to influence child custody

A 58-year-old grandmother from Texas has been accused of trying to plant cocaine and other drugs in an effort to influence a child custody battle over her granddaughter. She was arrested and charged with child abuse. Police asserted that she gave her 9-year-old elementary school student the drugs, instructing her to place them in a pickup truck owned by her father, the grandmother's son. Had the drugs successfully been pinned on the father, he might have faced serious criminal charges and been declared an unfit parent.

The grandmother used to have custody of the girl, but now, according to the father, he and the girl's mother, whom he never married, have joint legal custody, with the child living with him except for one weekend a month, when she has been in the care of the grandmother.

Child custody decisions are supposed to be made in the best interests of the child. Children should never be used as pawns or weapons in disputes between family members or be made to feel that they have to "choose sides" between parent or between a parent and other relatives. Whether the allegations in this case are true or false will have to be sorted out by the courts. It does bear saying that making false charges against another person in an attempt to prevail in a custody dispute is more likely than not to backfire.

Police who arrested the grandmother expressed their relief that the little girl had not swallowed the drugs. The child reportedly ultimately turned a baggie with the drugs in to the principal of her school. She initially claimed that she had found the drugs in her father's pickup truck, later admitting that it had been her grandmother who had given her the drugs.

Source: AZCentral.com, "Gilbert police Woman gave granddaughter cocaine" Jim Walsh, Oct. 17, 2013

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