'She's all we have:' Kids plead with Snohomish County deputies not to arrest mother for drugs

ARLINGTON, Wash. -- A 45-year-old woman is behind bars after police allegedly caught her with drugs in a car filled with six kids.

The kids tried to hide the woman's drugs, police said, and begged them not to take her away. The children are now in the care of Child Protective Services.

The Everett Herald first reported on the story Monday morning.

According to probable cause documents from the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office:

A Snohomish County Sheriff's deputy was on patrol Tuesday morning in a park near the intersection of 84th Street NE and Westlund Road when they noticed a woman in a car smoking from a pipe.

When spotted, the woman yelled at her kids to "get in the car." The woman started to move the vehicle before all the kids had a chance to shut the doors, deputies said. She sped toward the exit but was blocked by the sheriff's deputy.

The deputy approached the car and spotted a meth pipe and a bloody syringe in the car. He also spotted six kids in the car, ranging in ages from three to 15. The car was in disrepair, the deputy said, filled with "old trash." He said the children didn't look healthy.

"Their eyes looked tired, they were dirty, they looked hungry, and they had scrapes and bruises on most of their bodies," the deputy said in his report to the prosecutor's office.

The deputy ordered the woman to get out of the car. When he returned to the car to talk to the kids, many of them had "hid" the drugs in the car, by putting the drugs under their shoes or putting other things on top of the drugs.

The deputy told the children he spotted what they were doing. The kids broke down when confronted.

"Two of the children started crying," the deputy wrote in their report, "saying, "'don't take her away she is all we have.'"

The kids told the deputy the family lives in the car, or their mother sometimes drops them off at a friend's house. CPS took the children into protective custody.

The woman was arrested. She had multiple warrants, including one for similar circumstances in King County.

The woman was booked into jail under investigation of felony endangerment with a controlled substance and other charges.