by: Ken Lemon Updated:
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - A Gaston County couple faces serious charges after officials said their four children tested positive for long-term methamphetamine exposure.
Police said the couple was cooking the drug just feet from their children’s toys.
Gaston County vice agents said it’s something they have never seen before.
Toys in the front yard make the home look like a safe place for children.
“I think it’s sad,” said the children’s great aunt Debbie Carroll.
Carroll lived next door to the house where agents found a 1-year-old girl and three boys, ages 3, 9 and 11.
"I feel for them kids. I really feel for the children,” Carroll said.
Police got a tip that the parents, Amy Carroll Brown and Michael Carroll, were making meth at the home just south of Gastonia.
Family members remember seeing police swarm the home about 10 days ago.
“There was unmarked cars. It was all undercover,” Debbie Carroll said.
She said she never suspected anything illegal was happening at this house until the day police showed up and she saw the children taken away by social workers.
Social workers tested the children for drug exposure.
Vice agents say the exposure means the ingredients mixed in the house and it got into the children's systems.
There is no way to tell how it has affected them.
The parents were charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of minors.
"You just don't cook meth in a house with children,” Debbie Carroll said.
The children are in the care of other family members.
The abuse charges mean if the parents are found guilty on drug charges they will receive more time in prison.