Drug Bust

Dec 6, 2012 2:02 PM

Women Charged After Allegedly Exposing Children To Illicit Drugs

Two women were arrested in Madison County after they allegedly exposed young children to illicit drug activity and dangerous drug paraphernalia.

Police say they were called to the Knights Inn on Northgate Drive at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Upon arrival, officers say they were greeted at the door by a visitor to the room, Kathie L. Browning, 51, of Berea. In speaking with Browning, officers deduced that she was under the influence of an intoxicant and noted that the room was filled with smoke and had an odor that officers associated with possible drug use. Officers further observed two small male children, ages 4 and 9, asleep on a bed in the room.

Upon entering the room, officers observed several items of drug paraphernalia scattered about the room, including spoons, cotton balls, pill bottles, burnt marijuana cigarettes, and numerous syringes and pills that were in close proximity to the sleeping children. Officers subsequently located the renter of the room in the bathroom. She was identified as Sarah L. Ritenour, a.k.a. Sarah Hogue, 24, and she also appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant.

It was subsequently determined that the sleeping children had been brought to the room by Browning, who was a relative of the children but not their guardian.

Browning and Ritenour were ultimately taken into custody and a search of Ritenour's person produced a syringe, a cut straw, five oxycodone pills, and a baggie containing an unidentified white powder.

Social services representatives were summoned to the scene and transferred custody of the children to another relative.

Browning and Ritenour were both arrested and charged with first-degree wanton endangerment. In addition, Ritenour was charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both women were held at the Madison County Detention Center.

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