Lawrence Parents Arrested After 1-Year-Old Girl Tests Positive for Fentanyl

The couple's children are now in the state Department of Children and Families' custody

A Massachusetts couple appeared in court Monday to face charges after their 1-year-old daughter tested positive for fentanyl.

The girl's parents, Jennifer Ouch and McDanner Pereyra, both 27, were arraigned in Lawrence District Court on charges of drug trafficking and illegal possession of ammunition. It wasn't immediately clear who their attorneys were.

Police and the state Department of Children and Families responded to Lawrence General Hospital on Monday afternoon for a report that a young child had been admitted after testing positive for fentanyl. After the child's parents were interviewed by police detectives and DCF investigators, police obtained a search warrant for the couple's address on Osgood Street in Lawrence.

There, a variety of illegal narcotics and ammunition were found, according to Lawrence police.

The girl's parents were then arrested.

According to court documents, the couple told police the 1-year-old put a pill that she found at Target in her mouth, prompting her mother to bring the child to the hospital. When police interviewed the couple's 6-year-old son, he told authorities his sister put the pill into her mouth while they were at home watching TV.

"Pereyra apologized for lying and states he was afraid of what DCF would do if they heard she had found the pill at home," said a defense attorney.

Pereyra allegedly admitted to police to smoking and selling marijuana. He also allegedly admitted to seeing a bag of fentanyl in the couple's kitchen pantry, but denied it was his.

The couple's children were taken into DCF custody, and police said the 1-year-old is expected to be OK.

Ouch and Pereyra were ordered held without bail. They are due back in court for a dangerous hearing Feb. 26.

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