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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

N.J. Dad Charged With Storing Stash of Drugs in 6-Year-Old Daughter's Jacket Pocket

Police here say a man charged with drug possession had an unusual place to store his stash: his 6-year-old daughter's jacket pocket. Dennis Riker, 41, raised suspicions Monday morning when he stopped by his daughter's school in Hillside, saying he had left his keys in her jacket.

But the staff at the A.P. Morris School would not let him in because Riker was not the girl's legal guardian. That role belonged to the girl's grandmother.

Police said Riker, unbeknownst to the school, called the woman to ask her to come to the school. Meanwhile, school officials called her, too, but believed someone else answered and impersonated the woman. And then, the actual grandmother arrived, saying she wanted the girl's jacket.

It was all so strange that principal Tracey Wolff called police to the school. An officer checked the coat and found 25 vials of cocaine and a half-ounce rock of crack in the pocket inside.

Riker was charged with drug possession with intent to distribute and possessing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school. He was being held in municipal jail on $40,000 bail.

The grandmother said her son duped her into asking for the jacket.

And the 6-year-old? Authorities said she had know idea what was in her pocket.

"It's unconscionable that an adult would knowingly put drugs in a child's coat pocket," Police Chief Robert Quinlan told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Tuesday's newspapers.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press

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