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3 Charged in Drug, Child Endangerment Case

Drugs and alcohol were found in the backseat next to two young children.

Salem Police arrested three people from Nashua following a reported theft from Target. As a result of the arrest, two children, ages 3 and 18 months, who were in the backseat of the alleged getaway car, were also taken into custody Wednesday after the children were found in close proximity to drugs and alcohol.

Police were contacted by an employee of Target on South Broadway at 4:33 p.m. for a report of individuals who had just stolen seven cans of baby formula and were attempting to leave the lot in a blue Honda.

Employess at Target told police they saw two children in the vehicle and officers spotted the vehicle in the nearby Kmart parking lot.

Arrested were Jose Ramos, 38, and Ashley Baga, 24, who had their two young daughters in the backseat of the car. Both children were turned over to the Division of Children, Youth and Families after Ramos was charged with driving after revocation, theft, two child restraints violations and two counts of endangering child welfare.

A third individual, Francis Sarson, 49, was charged with willful concealment, heroin possession, an open container violation and two counts of endangering child welfare.

Ramos and Sarson allegedly hid the formula, valued at around $100, in a diaper bag while Baga acted as lookout, according to police.

An open container of beer was found on the backseat next to one of the children and police also determined neither car seat was buckled in. While removing the beer can, a syringe loaded with what police believe to be herion was found on the seat next to it.

In addition, neither child was buckled in to their car seat.

While police were questioning Baga, they said they found a "cylindrical screw top container attached to her keychain" that contained an assortment of non-prescribed pills.

Baga was charged with criminal liability for the conduct of another, felony drug possession and two counts of endangering child welfare.

All three adults were taken into custody and held ovenight pending arraignment in the 10th Circuit Court of Salem.

The two young girls were taken to the police department and on-duty dispatchers "cared for, cleaned them up and fed them" until  someone from the Division of Children, Youth and Families arrived to take custody of the children, were transported to a foster home, police said.

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