A day care worker at a Montana facility is facing criminal charges after authorities claim she transformed an area of the business into her personal “drug den.”
According to Fox News, 30-year-old Autumn Sienna Heinz was working at the YMCA Learning Center in Missoula County where police found methamphetamine residue on a pipe inside a hidden compartment beneath a set of cabinets.
Authorities also reported finding a tube filled with crystals analysis later determined to be meth.
Reports indicate the area was secured from within so it was not accessible from the outside.
Heinz allegedly retreated to this area to smoke meth, attempting to reduce the fumes with a nearby restroom ventilation fan.
She had been working with infants at the time of her arrest and had been employed full time at the facility for three years.
The hidden area was located within the laundry room, but investigators found evidence of residual fumes from the illicit drug in each room of the facility.
As KRTV reported, the suspect admitted to a history of drug abuse but stopped short of confessing to smoking meth inside of the day care facility. At that point in questioning, police say she requested an attorney.
She did allegedly acknowledge constructing the hidden compartment, however.
The cost to decontaminate the facility could total more than $80,000.
In addition to drug counts and criminal mischief, the suspect is expected to be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
[Featured image: Autumn Sienna Heinz/Missoula County Sheriff’s Department]