Lowcountry mom arrested after marijuana found in newborn’s system

Crime & Safety

Rochelle Watkins (Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office)

PORT ROYAL, S.C. (WSAV) – A Lowcountry mother is facing a felony charge after she and her newborn baby tested positive for drugs.

The Port Royal Police Department arrested 23-year-old Rochelle Watkins on Feb. 4 for unlawful conduct towards a child.

According to a police report, Watkins had marijuana and ecstasy in her system when she gave birth to her baby boy on December 26, 2019, at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. The newborn also tested positive for drugs but only marijuana.

The Department of Social Services (DSS) became involved in the incident, according to the report, and developed a treatment plan with Watkins and her newborn.

DSS reported the incident to Port Royal Police on Jan. 8.

According to the report, it’s unclear where and why Watkins used the drugs but states that she did admit to a caseworker she smoked marijuana sometime in November 2019.

The report states that Watkins’ great grandmother, who she lives with in Port Royal, will hold guardianship responsibilities of the baby pending a Family Court appearance.

If found guilty of the offense, Watkins could face a fine, 10 years in prison or both.

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