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California police followed a neighborhood tip and discovered a unique drug distribution method -- and a child in serious danger.

The father of a 9-year-old child and a woman living in the house with him were operating their drug sales via a literal high-tech operation. The drugs were being delivered to customers waiting in a field near the drug dealer's home by a remote-controlled drone.

The drone would land, the buyers would collect their purchase and then drive by the dealer's house and toss their money on the front lawn.

Police say that it was an unusual arrangement -- one that they'd never seen before. Unfortunately, what they found inside was distressingly familiar: high-powered narcotics scattered all over the house, including candy made with LSD.

Many of the illegal drugs were being kept hidden in the bedroom of the man's 9-year-old child.

The two adults in the home face child endangerment charges in addition to the various drug charges -- and the child's mother couldn't be happier.

She'd begged the family court judge to give her sole custody for the last seven years of her daughter's life. She asked the judge to put the child's father in drug rehab or on supervised visitation, but lacked actual evidence that he was dealing or using drugs. The child, her mother said, was too afraid or too emotionally conflicted to testify against her father, so the mother's pleas went unheard.

Cases like this illustrate the problems that can arise whenever a court system swings too far in any direction. Once, family courts generally awarded custody of young children to the mother. Now, they favor shared parenting plans and joint physical custody in the absence of evidence that there's any actual danger to the child.

In a case like this, it seems like a slightly deeper investigation by the court could have discovered the father's side business. It certainly seemed to be a well-known fact in the father's neighborhood.

Parents who suspect -- or know -- about their former partner's illegal drug activities are well-advised to seek legal help to try to pierce through the notion that shared parenting is always better.

Source: abc7chicago.com, "California drug-dealing-by-drone operation endangered child, police say," Rob McMillan, Dec. 27, 2017

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