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Charges: Children exposed to meth at Waterville grandma’s house

(Waseca, MN) – A Waterville grandmother and her friend are facing criminal charges, accused of smoking meth in front of the woman’s grandchildren.

Julie Ann Mertins, 56, was charged with two counts of felony “causing or permitting a child to ingest, inhale, or be exposed to meth.”  Jesse David Miller, 45, of Waterville, faces one count of the same in Waseca County Court.

The criminal complaint says a 7-month-old child was taken to the Mayo Clinic Waseca emergency room in September.  The baby’s father had gone to pick the child up at Mertins’ residence, where he found a man smoking meth inside the house, according to the complaint.

Mertins’ daughter told police the baby had been going to grandma’s home for daycare for approximately two months, and she had no idea her mother had been using meth.  Another woman living at the home was there to get clean off meth, according to Mertins daughter.

Mertins eventually identified the man on her couch smoking meth as Miller, according to the complaint.  In a police interview, Miller admitted he’d been smoking meth at Mertins’ house, but didn’t realize there was a child in the residence.   Miller said five people were smoking meth in the house when the child’s father arrived.

The criminal complaint says the child tested positive for meth.  The baby’s mother told investigators she was concerned about her other child, who also spent time with Mertins.  A hair follicle test tested positive for meth in the second child, according to the complaint.

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