Couple Allows 9 and 10 Year Olds to Smoke

A couple is accused of allowing two young boys to smoke synthetic marijuana about 20 times in the past month, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Douglas Staker, 37, and Stephanie Nelson, 24, were arrested Monday on child abuse charges. The boys, who were in the couple’s care, are 9 and 10, deputies said.

Deputies went to the couple’s home at 3801 58th Ave. N to investigate reports that Staker was allowing the two boys to smoke the synthetic drug, which is known as “K2” and marketed as incense.

The boys told deputies Staker and Nelson allowed them to smoke K2 in front of them, according to a sheriff’s report. Nelson confirmed their account, deputies said, and also implicated Staker.

Nelson also told deputies she knew it was illegal for children to use K2, but could not explain why she allowed it.

Only Staker denied the allegations, according to the report, though he told deputies he smokes K2 himself. Both Staker and Nelson were being held Tuesday in the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $20,000 bail each.

St. Petersburg Times