UPDATED: TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 11:10 A.M.
In a massive mix-up, a woman from Broad Channel sent her six-year-old son to his Whitestone school with her heroin stash, police said on Monday.
As first reported by the New York Daily News, Leah Pagano, 36, sent her son off to P.S. 9 — a special education school co-located in the same building as P.S. 209 — at 16-10 Utopia Pkwy. in Whitestone on the morning of Friday, March 3, where the boy found a white box inside of his book bag.
According to the criminal complaint provided by the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the young boy showed the box to a teacher’s aide at the school, who opened it and found eight glassine envelopes containing heroin, three pills, and two straws.
Officers from the 109th Precinct were called to the school. Pagano was then contacted, and she was arrested after arriving at the school.
“I am the only one who prepares my son’s school bag and lunch. I use heroin, I do not shoot it but I snort it,” Pagano allegedly told detectives in remarks noted in the criminal complaint. “I could not find my box with heroin inside. I was not sure if it was in his school bag and went to sleep. I cannot believe I did this.”
Pagano has been charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and endangering the welfare of a child, the criminal complaint said.
The mother was released without bail following her arraignment on March 4, and her next court appearance is scheduled for April 25.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of students and staff,” a representative from the Department of Education (DOE) said. “This troubling incident was immediately reported to the NYPD and we are ensuring appropriate follow-up action is taken.”
A previous version of the story indicated that the boy went to P.S. 209. The DOE confirmed that the incident took place inside the co-located school of P.S. 9.