Lehigh Valley

Police allege mom dealt heroin with kids in the backseat

She was arrested Friday in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Authorities arrested a Bethlehem woman last week after she allegedly sold a baggie of heroin with her twin 5-year-olds in the backseat of the car.

Bethlehem police charged Ninacika Marquez with a handful of drug offenses following her arrest Friday afternoon outside her 11th Avenue home. District Judge Michael D’Amore arraigned the 29-year-old later that night, setting bail at $50,000.

Members of Bethlehem Police Department’s vice unit were conducting surveillance at an Exxon gas station at 11th Avenue and West Broad Street, when a detective spotted a man hanging out on the west side of the parking lot. After a few minutes, a blue Nissan pulled in and parked behind the carwash area.

The man, who is known to police, hopped in the backseat and allegedly made a hand-to-hand exchange with Marquez, who was behind the wheel, according to court records. Authorities stopped the man as he walked south on 11th Avenue and stopped the car in the 600 block of 11th Avenue. A search of the man allegedly turned up a baggie of heroin.

After stopping Marquez and removing her from the car, police allegedly spotted in plain view on the driver’s seat small plastic baggies commonly used to package and sell drugs, according to court records. She was originally taken from the vehicle to separate her from her front-seat passenger and the twins in the back, according to records.

A further search of the car allegedly turned up more baggies, a digital scale covered in a powdery residue and a water bottle with a false compartment. Police said they also found a backpack containing small baggies of marijuana, Suboxone packets and cash.

And just before being searched at police headquarters, Marquez allegedly pulled a baggie of heroin from somewhere in her pants.

Police charged Marquez with three felony counts of possession with intent to deliver, three misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and a single misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Marquez was released from Lehigh County Jail Saturday after posting $50,000 bail. Her next court date is a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for March 16.

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