Police: Father brought seven-year-old daughter to drug deal
PELHAM, Ala. —
A Florida man is in the Shelby County Jail after attempting to sell drugs to investigators. Authorities say he brought his 7-year-old daughter to the attempted drug deal.
The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force made the arrest this morning and said it's a horrible case. A mom explained she would never let it happen.
Ryan William Leacock, 27, of Milton, FL is charged with child endangerment, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Investigators said he transported about 57 grams of meth from Florida to Alabama Friday to meet with undercover narcotics investigators in the area of Highway 31 and Highway 119 in Pelham. When they made contact with Leackock investigators realized he had his young daughter with him. He attempted to sell the officers $4,000 of meth.
Commander Clay Hammac told ABC 33/40 NEWS it's heartbreaking. Commander Hammac said Friday morning, "Many of us in this profession are fathers. So thinking about the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty that this girl must be feeling, it certainly pulls at the heartstrings."
Drug Agents said Leacock drove from Milton, Florida to Pelham to make the deal. All the while, his Is riding along. "It's certainly out of the ordinary for us when it comes to narcotics investigations," Commander Hammac explained.
Jennifer Daniel is a mother in Shelby County who said she can't fathom why anyone would take a child to a drug deal. Daniel told ABC 33/40 NEWS, "There's nothing that I would be so desperate for that I would do something like that."
His daughter was taken into Shelby County DHR's custody and transported to Children's Hospital for a wellness check. Now, DHR tries to track down the closest family member. If that doesn't happen, the child could remain with a foster family for a long time. A reality the mother of three doesn't want to imagine.
"It's just sad that someone would risk their child's life and well being for their own personal need," Daniel said.
In a press release Friday morning Commander Hammac made this statement: “My heart breaks for the young child and I am incredibly grateful for the quick and passionate response of the Shelby County Department of Human Resources. Exposing a child to a life of drug trafficking and drug deals is despicable."
Leacock remains in the Shelby County Jail on a $1,516,000 bond.
We did speak with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office in Florida. Leacock does have a prior arrest record in that state. The state DHR office told me it is in a 72 hour pick up window.
That means from the time the arrest was made, it must find another parent or suitable relative for the child to live with before any court hearing happens.
No word on whether the child has been reunited with family.