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Mother allegedly sold heroin with kids in car, police say

June 04, 2008|Francisco Vara-Orta | Times Staff Writer

A mother of eight who Long Beach police say took her two youngest children with her when she sold heroin from her SUV was in jail Tuesday awaiting arraignment.

Enedina Cardona Rodriguez, 36, was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of drug dealing and child cruelty after she left five of her children alone for at least 12 hours, said Sgt. Paul LeBaron of the Long Beach Police Department's drug investigations unit.

LeBaron said officers searched the single mother's two-bedroom apartment in the 900 block of Cherry Avenue while she was gone and found about $10,000 in cash and $40 in black tar heroin.

The plastic bag that held two pieces of heroin was stuffed in a white baby shoe, LeBaron said. Wads of money, along with welfare credit cards, were stuffed into the pockets of clothing crammed in suitcases, in the closet and in drawers.

Rodriguez's 13-year-old daughter told officers that their mother left in the middle of the night after asking her 16-year-old brother to be in charge.

Rodriguez told investigators she left her children in the apartment about 3 a.m. Monday, and took her two youngest boys, ages 3 and 6, with her to Turlock, Calif., a midpoint where drugs switch hands between dealers in Northern and Southern California.

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francisco.varaorta@latimes.com

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