A 15-year-old boy who police said was sold by his mother to a drug dealer to pay off a $1,000 crack cocaine debt was found here early Tuesday and taken into custody.
Authorities struggled to piece together the facts of the bizarre case, the latest in a serious of incidents to rock Detroit in the past year.
It is still unclear whether the youth, Tazar Carter, was traded by his mother, chose to join the drug underworld on his own or was physically and sexually abused.
The teenager is being held on a $10,000 bond in Wayne County Juvenile Home pending preliminary hearings on neglect charges against his mother, Mary Carter, and on charges against him for cocaine possession and truancy.
Tazar Carter was missing for six months, and police believe that his mother - who is reportedly addicted to crack cocaine - gave the boy to a drug dealer to settle a debt. He was forced to sell drugs, was confined to crack houses and was sexually abused by some male drug users, police said.
“At some point he became a willing partner in the drug dealing,” Detroit police Inspector Michael Hall said.
Police said Carter denied he was sold by his mother. Regina Carter, the boy’s grandmother, said that he had told her it was his decision to join the drug dealer.
“He said his mother didn’t sell him,” she said in an interview Tuesday. “He did it of his own free will.