Girl, 11, accused of selling heroin

Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 7, 2004 at 12:45 a.m.
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South Miami Detective Patricia Wagner carries a 7-year-old girl as police take an 11-year-old girl suspected of selling heroin, behind center, out of a house Friday in South Miami.

SOUTH MIAMI - An 11-year-old girl is accused of going out in the street in her school uniform or nightgown to sell heroin for her mother, police said Tuesday.
Investigators and prosecutors were deciding whether to charge the girl, who was in the custody of the Department of Children & Families with her 7-year-old sister. But officials hinted that it was unlikely she would be prosecuted.
"She was quite obviously doing it to support her mother," said Charles Blazek, a spokesman for the city of South Miami.
Police there arrested the girl's mother, Alison L. Davis, 36, during a raid Friday. A 60-year-old man who may be Davis' husband is named as a co-defendant and remains at large.
Police said they started watching the area near the girl's home in October after receiving a tip. Officers said they saw the girl regularly selling $10 and $20 doses of heroin from in front of her home to drivers and pedestrians. Undercover officers also made purchases.
Blazek said the girl's neighborhood was not known for drug dealing. Tuesday afternoon, it was quiet, with generally well-kept houses. But the girl's house is run down, and neighbors said her family struggled to get by.
Alda Larios, who lives on the block, said the girl often came to her house to play with her children. Larios said she was shocked when she heard of the alleged drug sales.
"It hurt me a lot because we never thought she would do something like that," Larios said. "She was always sad. But she didn't cause problems."
The girl's father, Dennis Williams, appeared at a juvenile court hearing Tuesday as a judge tried to decide where the sisters should live. Officials said Williams, who does not live with the mother, has asked to take custody of the two girls.
Williams refused to talk to reporters afterward. It was unclear when a custody decision would be made.
Davis is jailed on multiple drug possession and trafficking charges pending a Jan. 23 arraignment. If convicted, she faces anywhere from 15 years to life in prison.
She had not been assigned a public defender as of Tuesday.
Police said they seized 10 grams of heroin, two grams of crack cocaine, 10 Xanax pills and two grams of marijuana from Davis' home, along with $1,300 and drug paraphernalia. Police said they will ask prosecutors to also charge Davis with child exploitation.
"Any claims (Davis) makes saying that she did this to feed her children goes out the window, because she put her 11-year-old in the line of fire," South Miami Police Capt. Greg Feldman told The Miami Herald.
Experts said children often are used to deal and traffic drugs, usually as a front for adults.
"It happens all the time, unfortunately," said Joe Kilmer, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, which assisted in the raid.

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