33-year-old Jennifer Darger and 32-year-old Adam Darger have been arrested after a search by Sioux Falls Drug Task Force officers of their home at 6605 W. 53rd St. in Sioux Falls, SD.
Authorities found methamphetamine in the basement of the couples’ home, the same residence which Jennifer and Adam Darger were using to operate an in-home daycare center. The home is about a block from John F. Kennedy Elementary School. Authorities said that the meth was packaged for distribution, however there is no indication that the couple was actually making methamphatamine. Additionally, the basement door was locked and according to the couple, the children were not allowed in the basement.
The couple have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, keeping a place where drugs are used or stored, violation of a drug-free zone and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Prior to the search, police said there were three children under the age of 2 that were at the day care when the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force arrived on scene. The children’s parents were alerted and the kids turned over to their parents prior to a search being conducted of the home.
Police were first alerted to the fact that the daycare center had methamphetamine when Jennifer Darger’s daughter told a school counselor that her mother and Adam Darger had been selling meth from the residence for the past year, and that her mother recently relapsed into addiction.
Abby Roseler, a Minnehaha County deputy state’s attorney, said that the Jennifer Darger’s daughter told authorities that she was often asked to watch the children at the in-home day care center while her mother sold meth. Roseler says that Jennifer admitted to police that she smokes meth about five times a day.
Charles Tordoff was a parent who used to leave his 3-year-old daughter at the Dargers’ day care center, however he pulled his daughter out after just two months. According to him, the reason for taking his daughter out of the day care center ranged from Jennifer admitting she previously did methamphetamine to the lack of supervision given to the children.
Tordoff also recalled Jennifer’s daughter watching the kids in the morning several times because Jennifer was sleeping.
Jennifer Darger is currently being held on a $25,000 cash-only bond while Adam Darger is being held on a $15,000 cash-only bond.
Both Jennifer and Adam have had previous arrests for drug possession, however those arrests were not flagged in criminal background checks by the city or state, which look only at the past five years of an applicant’s criminal history.
Jennifer was arrested in 2006 and pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance . Her seven year sentence was suspended by a judge.
Adam Darger was arrested in 2002 for possession of marijuana, however the charges were dropped. He had another run-in with law enforcement in 2011, getting arrested for driving the influence.
The day care had been inspected by the city twice and passed both times. The first was a scheduled visit before approving the license and the second was a random check-in in May 2014.
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