Boca Raton Police say 31-year-old Christine Maier was seen by an officer conducting a hand-to-hand drug transaction in a Marathon gas station parking lot on West Glades Road just before 3:30 p.m.
Officers said Maier was seen meeting an unidentified man in the parking lot, where he gave her a plastic bag, according to the police report. The man returned to his car, and Maier got in the passenger seat of another car. Police say the two vehicles drove off in different directions.
Boca officers stopped Maier’s car after the driver failed to stop at a stop sign and had a nonfunctional side brake light. The police report states that Maier was seen frantically moving about the car as it came to a stop. The driver, identified by police as William Bennett, complied with officers when asked to step out of the car and provide identification. Police also say Bennett gave the officers permission to search his car after police told him they witnessed the drug transaction.
According to the arrest report, as police searched the car, they found a plastic bag containing two hypodermic needles on the floorboard behind the driver’s side. Police also found a third needle on the rear driver side seat. The police report states that all three needles were close to where the toddler was sitting, with one needle being within arms reach.
Officers noticed a fresh open cut on the bridge of the child’s nose. Maier told officers that the child fell down the day before but that one of the needles could have caused the injury, according to the report. Police also say the child was not in any type of car seat or booster seat while in the vehicle.
Police say that Maier told officers that she panicked when she saw the police lights and made a “stupid mistake” by throwing the needles into the backseat.
Police continued to search the car and also found a sunglasses case containing a small plastic bag filled with a white crystal-like residue and two additional hypodermic needles. Maier told police the items in that case did not belong to her, according to the report.
Upon discovery of these items, police said Bennett became “visibly infuriated” and began yelling at Maier. He told officers that he had no idea what she was retrieving from the man she met in the parking lot and that he had only known her for about a month. Bennett also told police he drove her because he had just gotten out of jail and that “it’s been a while since [he] had a girl,” police say. Maier told police that she met the man to get needles for a friend.
Police say the residue found in the sunglasses case tested positive for methamphetamine.
Maier was arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail. She faces charges of neglect of a child, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The Department of Children and Families took custody of the child.