A Florida mom with an alleged prescription drug addiction was accused by police of trying to sell her 5-year-old son for $2,000.
Police said that Jessica Marie Beers, 28, offered to sell her boy to a couple that befriended her in a Tampa Bay-area church, My Fox Tampa reported. The husband, James Gardner, alerted Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies about Beers’ proposed trade on Saturday, The St. Petersburg Times said.
Sheriff’s deputies had Gardner proceed with a phony deal to buy the kid. When Beers showed up at a prearranged meeting point to make the swap, they arrested her, booking her for sale of parental rights. She also allegedly violated the terms of probation for a prior grand theft arrest, ABC News said.
For years, Gardner and his wife had given money to Beers so she could pick up food and basic necessities, ABC News said. The couple eventually realized that Beers had a prescription drug habit.
The Herald Sun, of Australia, reported that Beers was homeless until the Garnders allowed her to move in with them.
Recently, she’d been relying on them to look after her son more frequently and finally, last week she allegedly offered to sell him. Gardner assumed she’d use the cash to buy drugs, news reports said.
Her son is in protective custody.