Alleged pot-peddling momma caught drying dope in foster son’s bedroom

Officials suspect her son of actually dealing the dope. But the question remains, doesn’t anyone check on kids in foster homes? Learn the answer right here …

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office detectives say they could smell the pungent aroma of marijuana from outside this Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood home.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
We wanted to make sure we had all of the facts before we brought you this sad, unusual story about an outer East Portland foster mother, 49-year-old Sherry L. Feightner, being caught this week with 11 pounds of marijuana in her home – some of it said to be drying in her foster son’s bedroom.

Child visit 10 days before pot bust
We asked Lauri Stewart, communications officer at Oregon Department of Human Services, how a large-scale pot packaging operation could go on, undetected, in a foster home.

“First, all foster homes are visited for ‘certification’ every 180 days – or every 90 days, if many children are placed in the home,” Stewart told us. “The most recent inspection of Feightner’s home was in August, 2008.”

Stewart added that caseworkers visit foster children at least every 30 days. There had been two visits on October, she said, the most recent on October 17 – just 10 days before the pot bust.

She wouldn’t comment on whether or not she suspected that Feightner’s son, 28-year old Michael Chastain was responsible for bringing the pot into the foster home.

“We did send [Feightner] a letter stating that her adult son [Chastain] was not to visit the home, nor have any contact with the foster children,” Stewart said. “This isn’t a suggestion; it is a directive in the form of a warning letter.”

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office detectives snapped this photo of the suspected marijuana drying in the bedroom of a foster child. MCSO photo

Smelled the pot outside
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office detectives, following a tip about possible drug activity at a children’s foster care home, conducted a welfare check 3626 SE 132nd Avenue on October 27, according to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Paul H. McRedmond.

“Our detectives said they could smell a strong odor of marijuana while standing on the sidewalk outside the house,” explained McRedmond. “Upon ‘consent entry’ into the home, detectives said they found eleven pounds of marijuana in an upstairs kid’s bedroom, drying on clotheslines strung about the room.”

Detectives said they found 11 pounds of pot being prepared for sale in this foster home. MCSO photo

McRedmond stated that one of the detectives said the odor of marijuana within the house was “so strong it made my sinuses hurt”. Detectives added that they believe that the pot had been in the house for two days.

A nine-year-old male foster child, whose bedroom was next to the “drying room”, was turned over to Child Protective Services. A two-year-old female child left the scene with her mother; the 13-year-old foster child, whose bedroom was the drying room, was not at the residence at the time of the bust.

Whether or not she was actually dealing dope, 49-year-old Sherry L. Feightner was arrested and booked on multiple charges – some of them felonies.

According to McRedmond, Feightner was arrested booked on two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, misdemeanors; two counts of Child Neglect 1, a Class B felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance and Manufacturing of a Controlled Substance – both class-B felonies; and Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a class A felony.

Although he wasn’t supposed to be at the home, 28-year old Michael Chastain was taken into custody there on a Federal pre-trial release supervision program violation, and lodged at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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