5-Year-Old Brings Heroin Packets To Show-and-Tell: The Calculated Risk Of Marrying Drug Dealers

Deep, deep sigh. And this from the “reasons why you should not date/marry drug dealers ever” files: A 5-year-old boy took 50 packets of heroin to his kindergarten show-and-tell after finding them in his stepfather’s jacket.

Bridgeport police spokesman Keith Bryant told the Connecticut Post that the child, a student at an elementary school in Bridgeport, came to school carrying his stepdad’s jacket and, when it came time for show-and-tell, showed off to his classmates 10 small plastic bags, each containing five folds of heroin. The teacher peeped game and quickly snatched the baggies from the kindergartener and notified the principal, who called the police, Bryant said. None of the kids came into contact with the drugs.

The stepfather, Santos Roman, showed up to the school just a short while later, frantically searching for his jacket. He found it in an empty classroom and ran out of the school with it, but returned when he realized the drugs were missing. That’s when police, who’d already seized the drugs—they had a street value of about $500—took Roman into custody.

Roman was arraigned yesterday and charged with risk of injury to a minor, possession of narcotics, sale of narcotics and possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of school. He was held in lieu of $100,000 bond after prosecutors pointed out he had an extensive record of convictions.

Meanwhile, the poor little kindergartener was turned over to the state Department of Children and Families, who granted temporary custody to the child’s grandmother.

Sweet mother of God, I can’t with this today.

Just yesterday, I came across this story, about a new campaign by the state of Nevada, aimed at educating parents about qualities in partners/caregivers that can put children at risk for abuse. The “Choose Your Partner” Campaign is admirable in that it lays out things like personality traits parents should watch out for, plus infant-care basics and phone numbers moms can use to report child abuse—all steps that child welfare agencies hope will help cut down on the climbing numbers of children severely abused by the boyfriends of single moms. But I took real issue with the way the writer of the story characterized single moms; in it, he suggests that mothers whose children fall victim to “the monsters sleeping in mommy’s bed” are too stupid and scared and overwhelmed to properly care for their children, let alone read literature that might help them make smarter choices in mates.

Of course, the writer of that piece is ridiculously naïve at best; though the world is full of women who make dumb dating decisions, it’s adolescent to suggest that mothers date/marry bad guys because they’re uneducated and just want some tail. Mothers take calculated risks when they’re deciding what men will be around them and their children: he may not have a job, but he can watch the kids while I’m at work; he may be inattentive to my kids’ needs, but he’s bringing in a check so these babies can eat; he may have another chick on the side, but kids have a roof over their heads and clothes for school. None of these situations are ideal, but neither is watching your kids starve.

Still, when I see stories like this, with a 5-year-old bringing 50 packets of heroin to show-and-tell because his drug-dealing stepfather left his stash somewhere where a kindergartener could find it and bring it to school to show off to his friends, I gotta wonder, just how much a calculated risk is worth to a mother. Is it worth losing your child to child welfare? To accidental ingestion of dangerous, illicit drugs? To the drug dealer your drug-dealing husband answers to, who won’t take too kindly to opening up the morning paper to see that his minion’s been popped for leaving his drugs in his jacket pocket where the babies can find it? Is it worth losing your life? Your babies life? I think not. But that’s just me.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this. I admit that just reading the headline almost made the vomit. Yikes. I am grateful for my mama’s teaching today!

  2. It is hard being a single mother. I’m struggling. I am a divorced mother of 2 teen and 1 preteen, all girls. The only thing that comes before them is God. I have had to tell men and female friends alike that I will not trade my children’s well being, happiness and sense of safety for some man…not any man. I am open to having a healthy, progressive relationship where we are headed to having a happily functioning family, but involved with a man just to get bills paid, laying down with some man for a few dollars and living a life I wouldn’t want my girls to live, I wouldn’t do it. If that means me not being in a relationship, so be it. This world is full of millions of things outside of a man to contribute to my and my children’s happines.

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