A Myrick woman who has twice faced criminal charges for doing drugs while pregnant isn’t likely to get a third chance, if she stays in prison as long as her sentence calls for.
Tiffany Dement, 34, was ordered to serve 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony child abuse, sale of hydrocodone and possession of hydrocodone with intent to distribute.
“She admitted that she knew (drug use) would hurt her child,” said Assistant District Attorney Kristen Martin, who worked out the plea deal with public defender Michael Mitchell.
Dement was facing five to 30 years on both sale charges and five years to life on the felony abuse charge.
The 15-year prison sentence is the longest for any of the local women who have been to court for doing drugs while pregnant.
In 2016, Dement was accused of stealing pain pills from her ailing grandmother and trying to sell some and ingesting some, all while six months’ pregnant. She was charged with selling 20 pills to a confidential informant in September 2016, then trying to sell 20 more in the Walmart parking lot in October 2016.
Judge Dal Williamson asked Dement if that baby was born with any birth defects.
“No sir, not to my knowledge,” she said, adding that he’s 2 and speaking and acting like a normal toddler.
“Then thank God you have a healthy child,” Williamson said. “This is one of the most troubling things to me.”
He listed some of the ingredients of methamphetamine — from “battery acid to chemicals that are used to remove rust” — that she ingested while carrying her baby.
“It’s beyond comprehension,” he said. “I hope you ask for forgiveness … and thank God every day.”
Dement was arrested again in February after narcotics investigators with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department went to her home on Shamrock Drive to pick her up on an indictment for selling drugs. When they arrived, they noticed that Dement was pregnant and she admitted to “snorting meth” and taking Valium. She was “around six months pregnant” again and not under a doctor’s care, she told investigators, adding that she was taking Flintstones vitamins. She also admitted to being a member of the Simon City Royals gang.
Dement’s child who was born earlier this year is reportedly being raised by a family member. It’s not known if that baby suffered any ill effects from her drug use.
“We’ve got people around here that can’t have kids at all,” Sgt. Jared Lindsey of the JCSD said at the time of her second arrest, “and then we’ve got people like her doing drugs while they’re pregnant, now twice.”