A couple in California is accused of trying to exchange their two sons for money or drugs.
Police arrested Vincent Calogero, 38, and Sarah Nilson, 32, after responding to report of possible child abuse in Lancaster on Dec. 14, reports City News Service.
"Deputies contacted the suspects and determined [they] had been attempting to give and/or sell their children in exchange for money or drugs," Ali Villalobos of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lancaster Station said.
The two boys were placed in the custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services while bail for the parents was set at $100,000.
The couple pleaded not guilty to felony charges on Dec. 18.
Each faces two felony charges of attempted desertion of a child under 14, two misdemeanor counts each of child cruelty by endangering health and one count each of being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Authorities thanked the public for helping them make the arrest.
"Lancaster Station Detectives would like to commend the residents of Lancaster who intervened in response to the danger the children were in and contacted law enforcement," the department wrote in a Dec. 18 news release. "We remind the public if you see something suspicious, say something!"
Police are still investigating the case and are looking for witnesses to help in the investigation.
It is not the first time authorities have accused a couple of trying to sell a child for drugs.
In May 2016, police arrested a West Virginia couple after they tried to sell a 3-month-old baby, reports the New York Post. Police believed the couple wanted the money so they could buy drugs.
Ashley Nichole Harmon, 25, and her fiance Lucas Flint, 20, reportedly tried to sell the child to neighbor Carolyn Redden first for $1,000, and then for $500. Flint is reportedly not the baby's father.
Redden said she refused to buy the baby. The couple then allegedly left the baby at her house, having asked Redden to baby-sit. They did not return that day.
Redden called 911 when the baby would not stop shaking or crying, reports WSAZ.
Harmon reportedly went to Redden's house the next day to pick up the baby, but the child had already been turned over to authorities.
Authorities say they were disturbed by the case.
"You try very hard to separate your professional life from your personal life," said Capt. Jim Sizemore of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. "But, when there's a child being abused, you can't help but think there but for the grace of God is my child. I have a daughter that I love more than anything on this earth, and I would gladly give my life to keep her safe."
Sources: City News Service via MyNewsLA.com, Los Angeles Sheriff Department, New York Post, WSAZ / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Los Angeles Sheriff's Department via MyNewsLA.com, Zxc/Wikimedia Commons