SEMINOLE — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrested a Seminole woman Saturday after they believed she was trying to sell her 5-year-old boy for $2,000.
Deputies said they received a tip about the case from James Gardner, 58, of Tampa. Gardner and his wife met the mother, Jessica Marie Beers, 28, through their church and had been helping her financially.
Gardner and his wife also began helping Beers take care of the boy. Over time, they noticed Beers had a prescription drug addiction, deputies said, and she was leaving the boy with them more frequently.
One day last week, Beers offered to sell Gardner and his wife parental rights, deputies said. The couple feared Beers wanted to feed her drug habit, deputies said.
Deputies arrested Beers in Seminole as she met with Gardner to make the exchange. Beers was arrested on charges of sale of parental rights and violation of probation for grand theft.
When reached by phone, Gardner declined to comment.
The boy was in the custody of child protection investigators Saturday night.