Local News

Photos Lead to Trouble for Parents

Posted January 23, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— A young Durham couple has been charged with with child abuse after police found snapshots they took of their 2-year-old son, including one in which he is smiling and holding a 12-gauge shotgun.

In a second series of photos, the same boy is seen sitting on a bed atop a pile of money, wearing a diaper and holding a small cellular phone to his ear.

`In my experience - and I've done hundreds of these things - I've never seen anything quite like this,'' Durham police Investigator Charles Sole said. ``It totally shocked me.''

When asked about the photos, Sole said the couple didn't understand why he was making a fuss about the pictures during their interrogation.

Police said the found the pictures when they raided an apartment and arrested the boy's 20-year-old mother, Joyce Powell, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Andras Snell, on charges of possession with intent to sell and deliver and maintaining a dwelling for selling drugs.

Police confiscated a .32-caliber revolver, 64 bags of marijuana, $132 in cash and the shotgun. The shotgun prompted police to file additional charges against Snell and Powell for possession and manufacture of a weapon of mass destruction.

While searching for incriminating paperwork, police found the photos in an upstairs bedroom, Sole said. The child abuse charges he filed are considered general misdemeanors.

Sole said he was still trying to find Snell who had been released on bond from the Durham County Jail. Powell, who is nine months pregnant, has been transferred to the Correctional Institute for Women in Raleigh.

The case began about a week ago when Sole received complaints about drug activity in the Damar Court public housing complex.