Parents arrested after children test positive for meth, marijuana


    Elisha Presnell, 34, and Kenneth Presnell, 31, are charged with misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile (Photo credit: McDowell County Sheriff's Office)

    MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- A Marion couple faces charges after detectives say their kids tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.

    Elisha Presnell, 34, and Kenneth Presnell, 31, are charged with misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, a misdemeanor.

    Detectives say the couple's 9-year-old and 1-year-old boys tested positive for the illegal drugs.

    "We've seen a few instances of children who have tested positive for different drugs, mainly methamphetamine," McDowell County Sheriff's spokesperson Richelle Bailey said.

    Bailey said this latest case happened down Old Glenwood Road. A DSS report led to a call to the sheriff and a test investigators said shows the boys had meth and marijuana in their systems.

    Authorities said Elisha and Kenneth Presnell are responsible.

    "Through the investigation, [we] determined that there was some drug use in the home, around those children, and that's how they ingested the drugs into their systems," Bailey said. "Second hand -- we don't have any indication that they actually ingested the drugs themselves."

    Investigators are finding more and more cases just like this one, from newborns to adolescents, with drugs running through their bloodstream. Many people believe the charge for that does not fit the crime.

    "These are only misdemeanor charges because there's not a law that allows them to be charged with a felony, you know, and people do get irate about that and they have every reason to," Bailey explained.

    Bailey said hopefully it makes folks irate enough that community members will begin looking to the state capital in Raleigh if there's ever a chance for meaningful change.

    "We're doing the only thing that we can do, by law, and so that's something that needs to be addressed by the legislature," Bailey said.

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