A woman in Tennessee has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for making and using methamphetamine while pregnant, reports WVLT.
In an effort to crack down on drug use during pregnancy, a new state law has deemed it a crime to abuse drugs while pregnant. Lacey Weld, 27, of Dandridge, is the second mother this week to be held accountable for using meth while pregnant. Weld pleaded guilty in November to federal charges and video evidence was provided in court that showed the mother spending about 40 minutes cooking and using meth in a meth lab while pregnant. The mom was reportedly nine months pregnant at the time, reports WBIR.
Police say Weld’s baby was born addicted to the drug and suffered withdrawals for six weeks.
She was sentenced on Tuesday in a federal court in Knoxville. Prosecutors say they wanted an even more severe sentence for Weld because of how she harmed her baby. A case manager from the Department of Children’s Services said that, out of 50 cases involving drug-dependent babies, this one was “by far the worst.”
U.S. Attorney William C. Killian released the following statement shortly after Weld’s sentence:
This nation has seen a tragic rise in the number of babies born addicted to drugs. Through this prosecution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sends a message that, should a child, born or unborn, be exposed to a substantial risk of harm through the manufacture of methamphetamine, we will pursue any available enhancements at sentencing.