Two arrested for endangering minors; one using drugs
UPDATED 12/21/17: Two people were arrested in St. Helens Friday, Dec. 15, on charges of endangering the welfare of minors when a man was discovered using heroin inside a parked vehicle with two young children in the back seat.
Joshua Sterling Ashley, 27, of Bend, was found sitting behind the wheel of a black SUV just before 1 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Walmart with a hypodermic needle in his hand and "was actively involved in the use of heroin," according to a press release from the St. Helens Police Department.
Police were dispatched to the scene Friday afternoon on a report of drug activity in the parking lot on Gable Road. When officers arrived, 32-year-old Nicole Christina Guerrero, also of Bend, was sitting in the passenger seat while Ashley sat in the driver's seat.
Officers also discovered two girls, ages 2 and 4, in the back seat of the car. Ashley and Guerrero were identified as the girls' biological parents.
SHPD officers found hypodermic needles, assorted drug paraphernalia and a substance believed to be heroin in the vehicle.
Ashley was arrested on charges of reckless endangering, endangering the welfare of minors, unlawful possession of heroin, driving while suspended and parole violation.
Guerrero was arrested on charges of reckless endangering and endangering the welfare of minors.
Both were lodged into Columbia County Jail. As of Thursday, neither Guerrero or Ashley were in custody.
The children were placed in the care of the Department of Human Services after being taken into protective custody.